08-12-1871: Christ Church, Hawthorn, Melbourne, Victoria.


The Argus, Melbourne, Friday 8th December 1871, page 5.

 “A very handsome memorial window has recently been placed in the north transept of Christ Church, Hawthorn, by Lady Palmer, in commemoration of her husband, Sir James F. Palmer, the late president of the Legislative Council. It is the work of Messrs. Ferguson, Urie and Lyon, of Curzon-street, North Melbourne, stained glass manufacturers, and is an exceedingly creditable production. The design, which is typical of the three Christian virtues, Faith, Hope, and Charity, is identical with that of the west window of New College Chapel, Oxford, which was painted by Jervais, from cartoons furnished by Sir Joshua Reynolds. The colours are very rich, and harmonise well together. The whole treatment of he subject is good, the drapery of he figures, in particular, being admirably managed. Mr.Wyatt, architect, supervised the execution of the work.”

Photos taken 14th November 2010.

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Geelong Advertiser, Vic, Thursday 7th December 1871, page 3.

 “A very handsome memorial window has jnst been placed in Christ Church, Hotham, at the expense of Lady Palmer, in commemoration of the death of her husband, the late President of the Legislative Council. As a specimen of colonial art, the work is probably in its way the finest production in Victoria. The window consists of three compartments, containing allegorical representations of the three Christian virtues, Faith, Hope, and Charity, respectively. The last named of these personifications is represented on the centre compartment, which is 9 feet 8 inches in height and 2 feet broad; the two others being 7 feet high by 2 feet wide. The colours are extremely rich, and the execution compares very favourably with that of two other painted memorial windows of English manufacture in the same church. The work was executed by Messrs Ferguson, Urie, and Lyon, of this city, under the direction of Mr F. Wyatt, architect, the design, so far as the forms are concerned, being copied from a portion of the Hew College Chapel window, which latter was the work of Jervaise, from paintings by Sir Joshua Reynolds. Running along the lower portion of the new window is the following inscription in old English letters:—”To the memory of James Frederick Palmer, Knt., who died April 23rd, 1871.” I understand that the total cost of the work was a little over £100”.

The first parts of Christ Church Hawthorn were constructed in 1853-54 of bluestone in the Gothic design of Charles Vickers. The chancel and temporary organ chamber were added in 1873 and extensions to the nave and north transept in 1886. The church has many historic stained glass windows by craftmen such as Ferguson & Urie, Brooks Robinson & Co, William Montgomery, William Wailes and Hardman of Birmingham.

The memorial window in the south transept is to Sir James Frederick Palmer (1803-1871). In late 1871 Lady Isabella Palmer had a memorial stained glass window erected in honour of her husband. The window was the work of local stained glass craftsmen “Ferguson, Urie & Lyon” of Curzon St North Melbourne and depicts the three Christian virtues, Faith, Hope, and Charity. The window uses quite large pieces of glass with very few lead lines and although quite spectacular to see is considered technically inferior to their earlier work. The depictions of Faith, Hope and Charity are copied from a stained glass window, located in New College Chapel, Oxford that was created by Jervais and based on designs by Sir Joshua Reynolds. Ferguson and Urie also copied some elements of the same for the Foster memorial window erected in All Saints Church in South Hobart in 1868.

There is another Ferguson & Urie window in this church not mentioned in any other article found to date. The Henry Nathaniel Ray memorial window is by Ferguson & Urie circa 1879 and depicts Christ carrying the Cross. Henry Ray was the son of Henry Gibbons Ray & Mary Singer and husband of Maria Josephine Ray.  Ray was a Broker, formerly of Middlesex, and died at his home “Maida Estate” at Weinberg Rd Hawthorn on on the 6th of Aug 1879 aged 59 after only a few hours of illness (as reported in the Argus, 7th of August 1879). (Vic BDM: 8008/1879). His family home “Maida Estate”, situated at Glenferrie and Riversdale Roads at Hawthorn, went up for public auction on the 26th of February 1880.

External links:

Sir James Frederick Palmer (1803-1871)


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