Thursday 2 September 2010

1895 South transept window dedicated to George Herbert; stained glass of Hereford Cathedral

The great stained glass window in the South transept of Hereford Cathedral represents the text from Te Deum Laudamus “The glorious company of the apostles praise thee”, according to Hereford Cathedral: Stained glass (ISBN 978-0-7117-4491-2.

The saints shown are, from top to bottom, left to right:
  • Saints Benedictus, Bonifacius, Thomas Hereford, Ethelbertu Rex, David Meneui, Dobritius, 
  • Saints Augustinus Cant., Gregorius, Augustinus doctor, Creadda, 
  • Saints Ionatius, Polycarp, Ambrosius, Iohannes Chrys, Hieronimo, Athanasius 12? 
There are rows of shields above and below the pictures of the saints of which two are probably the Bishopric of Ely (Gules three Ducal Coronets two and one Or, ie. A red shield with three gold ducal crowns) and the Bishopric of Hereford (Gules three Leopards’ Faces reversed jessant-de-Lis two and one Or, ie red shield with three upside down leopard’s heads on fleur-de-lis in gold).

The gold shield with five blue chevrons can also be seen in the top part of the window above the Cathedral shop.

The shield divided blue and red vertically, with three lions, is similar to that of Sir William (de) HERBERT "1st" Earl of Pembroke, knighted by Henry VI in 1449 (

Challenge: Can you identify the other shields!

In the bottom left hand corner is a roundel with three wheat sheaves, the mark of the window’s maker, Charles Eamer Kempe.

He had initially trained under Clayton and Bell who later manufactured another stained glass window in Hereford Cathedral, the West window.

The South Transept window is dated to 1895, by which time Kempe had set up his own studios and workshops, after being disappointed with the quality of other companies, and had relocated to 28 Nottingham Place in Central London. Kempe had a distinctive style that grew in popularity in the late 19th Century. The window is dedicated to George Herbert, who was dean of Hereford Cathedral for 27 years.

Eight stained glass windows in Hereford Cathedral are described individually and in detail in separate articles, links below 

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