06-12-1876: Scots’ Church, Collins Street, Melbourne, Victoria.

The Argus, Melbourne, 6th December 1876, page 5.

 “The large window in front of Scots’ Church, Collins-street, has just been filled in with stained glass. The window is in four compartments, with Gothic tracery over each of them. Each compartment is filled in with two Scripture illustrations, with canopies and ornaments in accordance with the style of architecture. The subjects in the first compartment are “Christ Preaching to the Multitude from the Ship”, and the parable of “The Sower”. In the second compartment “Christ Rebuking the Pharisees”, and “The Pharisee and the Publican in the Temple”; in the third “Christ at Meat in the Pharisee’s House”, and the parable of “The Lost Sheep”; and in the fourth, “Christ Weeping over Jerusalem”, and the parable of “The Un-just Steward”, The tracery is filled in with angels bearing scrolls. The subjects illustrated were suggested by the Rev. C. Strong, the minister of the church and in the style of decoration was under the superintendence of Messrs. Reed and Barnes, architects. The work was executed by Messrs Ferguson and Urie, Collins-street, at the cost of £500, to the order of Sir Samuel Wilson, and bears the following inscription at the bottom of the window:- “Presented to Scots’ Church by the Hon. Sir Samuel Wilson, A D, 1876”

Riverine Herald, Echuca, Vic, Tuesday 19th December 1876, page 3.

“A magnificent new stained glass window has been completed to the order of Sir Samuel Wilson, and fitted in the front of Scots’ Church Collins street. It is a beautiful work of art, the design being appropriate, and the execution exquisite.”

Apart from the window described above, the second largest window in Scots church, “The Last Supper”, in the south transept, was also the work of Ferguson & Urie and was donated by Samuel Wilson’s elder brother, John Wilson, in 1879.

Photos taken 12th December 2010;

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THE EIGHT EPISODES FROM THE GOSPELS:

The west window is known as “The Eight Episodes from the Gospels” and has its own individual National Trust Classification granted in November 1992. It was donated by Sir Samuel Wilson and installed in 1876 at a cost of £450 (this differs from the newspaper articles reported cost of £500).

At the very top of the tracery is a trefoil with the cross and crown depicted. On the lower left and right off that are floating angels with ribbons of text that read:

‘HOSANNA | HALLALUIAH’

Further down are two quatrefoils depicting angels with ribbons of text that read:

‘THY KINGDOM COME | THY WILL BE DONE’

The text at the bottom of the window reads:

‘THIS WINDOW WAS PRESENTED | TO THE SCOTS CHURCH BY THE | HONBLE SIR SAMUEL WILSON | ADDO DOMINI 1876.’

The scenes, chapters, and verses displayed on the window are; from top left to right and bottom left to right are:

1:  (Matt 13-2) Jesus teaching the people from a boat.
2:  (Luke 11-37) Jesus teaching the people.
3:  (Luke 7–37) A woman wiping Jesus’ feet with her hair.
4:  (Luke 19-41) Jesus weeping over the City of Jerusalem.
5:  (Matthew 13–3) The parable of the Sower.
6:  (Luke 18–10) The parable of the Pharisee and the Publican.
7:  (Luke 15 -3) The parable of the Shepherd with Lost Sheep.
8:  (Luke 19-20) The parable of the Talents (or Minas).

THE LAST SUPPER WINDOW:

The Last Supper window is the second largest window in the church and was gifted by John Wilson. Esq, J. P of Woodlands (brother of Sir Samuel), it cost of £350 and was installed in the South Transept in 1879.

There were some reservations about who should be commissioned to create the window. Mrs Judith Kilmartin from Scots Church kindly provided this information 7th February 2011:

An excerpt from the Scots’ Church Board of Management Minutes of 9th August 1878 reads:-“The subject of the gift of a stained glass window for the East (South) Transept promised by Mr John Wilson came up for discussion and fear was expressed lest its execution should be trusted to inferior makers.  Eventually, Mr B??  moved that the Board convey to the Trustees the expression that the manufacture of this window should be entrusted to some leading English firm”.

Obviously the trustees ignored the advice of the board and the work was subsequently entrusted to the local Melbourne firm Ferguson & Urie who had previously done the magnificent eight episodes from the gospels window in 1876. Why the board were considering an English firm to create the window will probably remain a mystery forever!

Text on the Last Supper window reads:

In the upper three trefoils. above the main five lights, are three trefoils with emblems representing Faith, Hope and Charity. Below that are two quatrefoils with an angel in each holding a ribbon banner with the text:

‘THIS IS MY COMMANDMENT | THAT WE LOVE ONE ANOTHER’

The main three lights read:

‘THIS IS MY BODY | WHICH IS GIVEN FOR YOU | THIS DO IN | REMEMBRANCE OF ME’

‘THIS WINDOW WAS PRESENTED | TO THE SCOTS CHURCH | BY JOHN WILSON ESQ J.P | OF WOODLANDS’

Sir Samuel Wilson’s mansionLongerenong(Crouch & Wilson 1862), and John Wilson’s mansionWoodlands(Crouch & Wilson 1867), both also contain magnificent secular stained glass windows created by Ferguson & Urie.

Related posts:

1868: John Wilson’s ‘Woodlands’ at Ararat

External links:

Biography: Sir Samuel Wilson (1832-1895)

Death Notice: John Wilson (1813-1888)

Wikipedia: Scots’ Church Melbourne

National Trust: Scots’ Church Melbourne


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