07-12-1885: St. Stephens Roman Catholic Church, Brisbane, Queensland.

The Brisbane Courier, Queensland, Monday 7th December 1885, page 4
also, The Queenslander, Brisbane, Saturday 12th December 1885, page 943.

“The Murphy memorial window in St Stephen’s Roman Catholic Cathedral, Elizabeth-street, has just been completed, and enhances the interior beauty of the building to a degree that should be highly gratifying to those who subscribed so liberally for the work. The Gothic window is 35ft high by 14ft in width, whilst the long lights which form the lower square are about 18ft in length and seven in number. The stained glass work has been most artistically executed. The centre light bears a representation of St Stephen, whilst at the feet of he patron saint is a representation of his martyrdom. The other lights bear representations of Saints Matthew, Peter, Mark, Paul, and Luke, whilst the glass below their feet is decorated with evangelistic emblems – the representations of “The Keys” (St. Peter), “The Eagle” (St. John), “The Winged Lion” (St. Mark), “The Sword” (St. Paul), The Winged Bull” (St. Luke), and “The Angel” (St. Matthew) – all being separate studies. The chief feature of the graceful tracery is a beautifully stained representation of “The Ascension”, and on either side are medallions of Mary and Joseph. The other and smaller spaces in the tracery are suitably decorated with representations of Cherubim. The shading and wise combination of colour throughout the window produce a splendid effect, more especially when viewed from the body of the church. The decoration of the window is the design of Messrs. Ferguson and Urie, Collins-street, Melbourne. The artistic portion of the work was done in that city, whilst the fitting up, which has been well and carefully executed, was intrusted to Messrs. Alexander Young and W. Urie, jun, representatives of the contracting firm. The cost of the decoration of the window, which is the largest but one of its class in the colonies, was something like £1000”.

At thirty five feet in entire height, the Murphy Memorial window in Brisbane is undoubtedly the largest window ever created by Ferguson & Urie and also the most expensive. This must have also been considered one of the companies most important works as it’s also the only article mentioned to-date where representatives from the company travelled such a long distance to Queensland to supervise the installation of the window.

Alexander Young and William Urie were employees of the Melbourne firm Ferguson & Urie. William was the son of principal partner James Urie, and Alexander Young was James Urie’s brother in law.

Alexander Young & William Urie, from Ferguson & Urie. June 1887

St Stephens Cathedral also included a copy of my Ferguson & Urie company history in their newsletter of August 2011.St Stephen’s Brisbane [Newsletter August 2011]

The Cathedral “Guide News August 2011, page 1.

“[…] I am also very grateful to Ray Brown who is a descendant of James Ferguson of Ferguson & Urie fame. He provided the Ferguson & Urie story which features on pages 6 to 11 […]”

The photos were taken on the 1st of March 2011.

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