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Tour of St. Lawrence's Church, Towcester

East Window

The chancel is dominated by the large five-light east window with perpendicular tracery. This is flanked by two three-light windows facing north and south.

The east window was erected, against a backdrop of fierce local opposition, in 1898 to commemorate Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee. The richly painted stained glass window it replaced had been previously donated by Mr John Lovell and Mrs Ann Sabin. With the support of influential supporters and the Church Commissioners, the Vicar over ruled both his parishioners and the diocesan Chancellor and raised the necessary funds for a new window.
Image of east windowThe east window. Queen Victorioa Diamond Jubilee.
Exterior of the East Window.Exterior of the East Window.
The Crucifixion of Christ.The Crucifixion of Christ.
B1 crowned shield inscribed 1837B1. Crowned shield inscribed 1837
B2 Royal Arms encircled by GarterB2. Royal Arms encircled by Garter
B3 crowned shield inscribed 1897B3. Crowned shield inscribed 1897
A2. St George with dragon.A2. St George with dragon.
A3. St.Andrew with saltire cross.A3. St.Andrew with saltire cross.
A4. St Patrick with snakes under foot.A4. St Patrick with snakes under foot.
A5. St David with dove descending.A5. St David with dove descending.
Starting at the bottom and working upwards:

1 a-e: quarries imitating 15th-century work, incorporating initials V R
2-3 a-e: canopy work, with scroll By thy / Cross and / Passion / Good Lord / deliver us from the Litany
4-10 a-e: Scene of Crucifixion of Christ, divided as follows: a Jewish onlookers including Nicodemas holding jar of spices; b Virgin Mary supported by the Other Mary, with two angels above; c the Cross, with label I(esus) N(azarenus) R(ex) I(udeorum) [Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews]; and Mary Magdalene weeping at foot of Cross; d St John the evangelist, two angels above; e Roman onlookers, centurion with eagle shield and lance; others with banner S(enatus) P(opulus) Q(ue) R(omanus) [ The Senate and People of Rome] See Matthew chapter 27; John, chapter 19
11 a: shield of crown of thorns; b seamless robe; d lance crossed with sponge; e chalice
12 a-e: canopy work


A1: leaf;
A2 St George with dragon;
A3 St Andrew with saltire cross;
A4 St Patrick with snakes under foot;
A5 St David with dove descending;
A6 leaf
B1 crowned shield inscribed 1837;
B2 Royal Arms encircled by Garter;
B3 crowned shield inscribed 1897. [The Diamond Jubilee]
Extract from Parish Magazine August 1897

The Jubilee Window

"We are proud to be able to state that the subscriptions towards the new east window have poured in abundantly. In fact, the parishioners have responded to the appeal in a most noble and generous manner. Up to the present time, about £300 have been promised and we now need only £30 or £40 more. The committee have yet to visit several of the Parishioners who have not yet contributed, and we trust that they will be quite willing to support the permanent memorial of a most glorious event."
Extract from Parish Magazine 1898

The Jubilee Window

"On Monday March 7th Mr H. A. Hymers of Chelsea commenced to erect the new stained glass, which last year he had received instructions to prepare, in commemoration of the Queen's long reign. Ere the week had elapsed, his work was completed. Mr Hymers has designed and executed many windows but it is his conviction that the Towcester window is the best piece of work he has done, and we think that all those who have seen specimens of his work will share his views.
The subject of the window is one which we should all be glad to see represented in our church. Perhaps it will help some of us enter into the feelings of St Paul, which led him to exclaim "God forbid that I should glory, save in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ" as we gaze upon this glorious window, it is sad to reflect that it has been the cause of so much strife and dissension in the Parish, but let us all now endeavour to forgive and forget.

The vicar wishes to seize this opportunity of thanking those numerous parishioners who have in many ways manifested their sympathy with him in this time of worry and anxiety. The expenses in connection with the trial that was held in Northampton last December were very considerable, but the Vicar, although he did not so elicit any contributions, has received more than enough to defray the whole of the costs. He is extremely grateful to these kind friends, many of whom wished to contribute anonymously."

Harvey Harry Alexander Hymers of Chelsea, London erected windows in St Peter & Paul, Eye, Suffolk, also St Mary's Northampton and St Andrew's Harlestone, Northants.
Below follows a list of the contributors.

Trustees of Hick's Charity£50.0.0Mr W Brown£5.0.0
Lady Hesketh£25.0.0Mrs Peasland£3.3.0
Mr R W Watkins£20.0.0Mrs Wilcox Smith£3.3.0
Miss Ivy Smith£10.10.0Mrs Beers£3.3.0
Mrs Franklin£10.0.0Rev W H Deane£3.3.0
Mrs J Franklin£10.0.0Dr H Stedman£3.3.0
Mr T Percival£10.0.0Mr T Wheeler£3.3.0
Mr A P Kingcombe£10.0.0Miss Tarry£2.10.0
Mr E Phipps£10.0.0Rev J B Harrison£2.2.0
Mr W Betts£10.0.0Mr W G Stopps£2.2.0
Mr A E Greville£10.0.0Mr A Norris£2.2.0
Mr W Whitton£10.0.0Mr R Dudley£2.2.0
Mr R Phipps Bromyard£10.0.0Mr T Porter£2.2.0
Ecclesiastical Commissioners£10.0.0Mr R Phipps£2.2.0
Mrs Burchell£5.5.0Mr Heath£2.2.0
The Duke of Grafton K.G.£5.0.0Miss E Phipps£2.0.0
Mrs Belsey£5.0.0Miss A Phipps£2.0.0
MrJ H Jepson£5.0.0Miss C Phipps£2.0.0
Mr E Lewin£5.0.0Mr J Jenkinson£1.11.6
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