29-12-1888: St Stephen’s Anglican, Portland, Victoria.

Melbourne’s Bishop Charles Perry had originally offered to obtain an Iron Church for the Portland Congregation but at a meeting held on October 6th 1854 the offer was rejected in favour of building a stone church. Apart from funds already collected, the merchant Stephen George Henty had offered an additional £750 towards the building fund. The foundation stone of St Stephen’s was laid by Archdeacon Henry Thomas Braim on the 24th of March 1855 and the incomplete church was opened by Bishop Perry on the 11th May 1856. The Rev James Yelverton Wilson was installed as the first incumbent, retiring  in 1869.

There were three known Ferguson & Urie windows erected in St Stephen’s but only two have been identified as extant so far. The triple light Chancel (east) window was made by the firm and is a memorial to Stephen George Henty (1811-1872) and depicts the significant scenes in the life of Christ.  A single light window depicting ‘The Good Samaritan” is a memorial to the solicitor Philip Scott who died on the 21st of July 1870. The window not located was a memorial to the first incumbent of the church, the Rev. James Yelverton Wilson. A description of the window, it’s memorial text, and reference to the makers as Ferguson & Urie was published in the Portland Guardian in 1876 (see post 24-10-1879).

Detailed images of the Stephen George Henty and the Philip Scott windows are depicted in the slideshow below.

Photos were taken 8th January 2011.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Australian Town and Country Journal, Saturday 29th December 1888, page 25.

“… The Anglican Church, an ivy-clad structure, contains many interesting mementos of the Henty family. Upon the walls of the organ chamber a handsome brass tablet is seen, bearing the following inscription – “Edward Henty, who landed on these shores on the 19th November, 1834, became the founder of Portland and the pioneer settler of Victoria; this memorial chamber was dedicated by Anna Maria Henty, his sorrowing widow. He was born at West Tarring, in the county of Sussex, on the 28th march, 1810, and died on the 14th August, 1878.” There is also a splendid brass lectern, presented by Francis Henty, in memory of his wife, who died on November 27, 1881. Several stained glass windows beautify the interior of the building. One is to the memory of Philip Scott, a much respected lawyer. A baptistery has lately been built. It was the bequest of Mary Vine, who died some six years ago, and who wished to have this erected in memory of her husband. The church was formally opened in 1856 …”

Portland Guardian, Vic, Monday 30th August 1943, page 4.

“… A large triple light stained window is a memorial of Stephen George Henty. A similar window adorns the South Wall of the church in memory of Edward Henty and is a beautiful specimen of artistic work. Other stained windows in commemoration of past parishioners include those of Rev. J. Y. Wilson, Phillip Scott, T. Most and his wife. W. Jones, G. Day, wife and sons. W. Corney. F. E. Levett and wife …”

The Scott memorial window.

A prancing Stag appears at the top of the window with the letters “AMO” below, from the Scottish Clan “Scott” meaning “I Love”.
One of the most powerful of the Border families, the name was derived from the Scots who invaded Dalriada (Argyll) from Ireland and the surname is found in all parts of Scotland.

The single light window depicts the Good Samaritan and has the following text:


An angel below holds a banner with the text: “BLESSED ARE THE DEAD WHICH DIE IN THE LORD”

The memorial text at the bottom reads: “IN MEMORY OF PHILIP SCOTT SOLICITOR DIED JULY 21st 1870”

The triple light Stephen George Henty window in the chancel:

Portland Guardian, Vic, Friday 16th May 1873, page 5.

“IN MEMORIAM.- The movement inaugurated earlier this year for a memorial to the memory of the late Hon Stephen George Henty, has resulted in a magnificent memorial window in the chancel of St. Stephen’s Church, completed last week and thrown open to public gaze on Sunday last for the first time. The work is the manufacture of Messrs Ferguson, Urie, and Lyon, Melbourne, and was erected under the supervision of Mr Marshall, the outdoor manager of the firm, and in a way to reflect credit on both firm and manager. As is usual in all works of art, whether in painting or groups of statuary, we have the principal figure in the centre – Christ in his character of Saviour robed in majesty, in one hand a globe or orb with the motto “Salvatore Mundi.” The crucifixion occupies the upper compartment of the window and the Nativity the lower. The design is most elaborately worked out in every case, and the coloring and drapery would do no discredit to some of our medieval cathedrals in Europe. All that the modern critic can say is that the taste in church windows has not deteriorated in Victoria, and that Melbourne artists in glass are fully equal to brother artists in any part of the world. It is hardly necessary to state that the bordering in all three compartments of this memorial window is alike in character and consist of beautifully designed vine branches, leaves and bunches of grapes. On the bottom glass in the third or lowest compartment we have in old Roman characters:- “Erected by subscription to the glory of God, and in memory of Stephen George Henty, who died December 18th, 1872.” The best point of view is from the gallery. The blending of the colors is extremely beautiful, and the window forms a very chaste ornament to that church which Mr Henty so largely helped when living amongst us. The side lights to the memorial window might be so toned as to improve the effect and relieve the picture – which at present is more cramped in compass than desirable, the side lights properly toned will afford greater breadth and add to the effect.”

Left light:

The top scene depicts the Agony in the Garden. An angel below holds a banner with the text: KING OF KINGS – REV 19-16
(And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.)

The bottom scene depicts Christ being laid down after being taken down from the cross. An angel below holds a banner with the text: “SON OF GOD – JOHN 1-34”
(And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.)

Centre light:

There are three scenes in the centre light:

Top: The Crucifixion

Centre: Christ with the orb and the text below “SALVATOR MUNDY”.

Bottom: The Nativity.

The lower edge of the window has the memorial text:


Right light:

There are two scenes in the right light:

Top: The Ascension with an angel below holding a banner with the text:”LORD OF LORDS REV 19-16″
(And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.)

Bottom: The Resurrection and Ascension with an angel below holding a banner with the text: “SON OF MAN MARK 10-33”
(Saying, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests, and unto the scribes; and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him to the Gentiles)

Related posts:

24-10-1876 St Stephen’s Portland (the missing Rev Yelverton Wilson window!)

External links:

Biography: Stephen George Henty (1811-1872)

Short link to this page: http://wp.me/p28nLD-11T

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