1863: Holy Trinity, Maldon, Victoria

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The goldfield regions of Victoria are responsible for a lot of our pioneer history and an historic stained-glass window erected at Holy Trinity Anglican Church at Maldon in 1863 tells a significant but mere fraction of it. The window is now more than a century and a half old. To be precise it’s 157 as of 2020, the year of the worldwide COVID-19 virus pandemic.

On the third of May 1861, the Tarrangower Times reported that the £750 tender of Hornsby & Briscoe was accepted for the construction of Holy Trinity Church at Maldon and will be built to the designs of David Relph Drape.[1]

The foundation stone was laid on Wednesday 19th June 1861 by Archdeacon Crawford of Castlemaine [2] and it was opened in October the same year.

In late 1863, a local mining investor from Maldon named William Samuel Threlfall donated a two-light stained-glass window for the west end of Holy Trinity Church. Given that architect of Holy Trinity, David Relph Drape was primarily a stained-glass artist by trade you could be forgiven for thinking that he would have some input in the design of the window or even some hands-on work with it. This may not have been the case.

Five years earlier, in 1858, Drape accepted an offer from James Ferguson of the Ferguson & Urie company of North Melbourne to emigrate to Australia from Carlisle, England, and be the company’s stained-glass artist in their new venture producing locally-made Colonial stained-glass windows. He arrived aboard the ship ‘Morning Light’ on the 20th September 1858 only to find that Ferguson & Urie’s stained-glass workshop in Curzon Street North Melbourne had not been built and there was no employment for him, so he decided to head for the goldfields town of Maldon in Central Victoria.

Why Drape chose Maldon specifically is not known, but there was plenty of demand for his skills there. Back in Carlisle Drape had been well acquainted with the Selby family and coincidentally, John Selby, closely followed by his sister Jane, had migrated to Australia earlier and settled at nearby Castlemaine eighteen kilometers southeast of Maldon. It’s a fair assumption that Drape’s heartstrings for Jane were the reason for many of his trips to Castlemaine, often by foot.[3] He married Jane Selby at the Congregational Church in Melbourne in 1864.

Drape became well known in Maldon in many different pursuits. He was the architect of many local Maldon buildings and his other skills included, draftsmanship, art, painting, illuminated testimonials, tombstone tablets and he was also a board member of the Concord Quartz Mining company. There is no record of him designing or fabricating stained-glass windows during his time at Maldon.[4] 

Coincidentally, in April 1861 a Scottish stained-glass artist named John Lamb Lyon arrived in Maldon with his wife Elizabeth. Why they chose Maldon is more obvious as John’s parents James and Janet had migrated to Australia earlier and established themselves as Maldon storekeepers and contractors for the local postal service.

A little over four months after their arrival in Maldon, John was in the process of submitting a design for a stained-glass window for the 1861 Melbourne Industrial Exhibition:

“Works of Art.- Mr John Lyon, lately arrived from England, on a visit to his father, a well-known old resident of this town, is now engaged on an elaborate design for an “Early English” stained glass window. It is intended for the forthcoming Exhibition, and space has been allotted him for that purpose. We consider Mr. Lyon a gentleman of great promise and sterling ability, and we cannot but hope that his work will attract such attention in Melbourne that he will be enabled to pursue his beautiful art in the colony with advantage to himself and the public. We are informed by gentlemen, we believe competent to judge that there is no Ecclesiastical glass painter of equal talent in the colony, at least not publicly known. Architects who in carrying out their designs have felt the want of such decorations will now have an opportunity of judging whether the talent of Mr. Lyon will fill the vacuum” [5]

I suspect that his stained-glass window design may have ended up being used as the design for the two-light window at St Margaret’s Church at Eltham in Nov/Dec 1861. That window is extant and currently the oldest Ferguson & Urie stained-glass window I have found to date. If a linotype or sketch of Lyon’s window for the 1861 exhibition were ever to be found it might solve or deny the mystery.

It would be incredulous not to think that Drape and Lyon did not become acquainted with each other in Maldon. Two stained-glass artists with similar tastes and artistic abilities in the medieval stained-glass craft in a small gold mining town in Australia is an extraordinary coincidence.

By late 1861 Lyon had joined the Ferguson & Urie stained glass company at North Melbourne and started the production of stained-glass from their new workshop in Curzon Street.

Drape had left Maldon by the end of October 1863 and started work alongside Lyon at Ferguson & Urie’s on the precise date of 8th November[6].

In late 1863 the stained-glass window for Holly Trinity had been completed and erected high in the liturgical west end. The exact date is not known. I can only broadly bracket it down to the latter half of 1863.  The first mention of it is in early February 1864. One thing is certain, the window had to have been fabricated at the new Ferguson & Urie workshop in Curzon Street North Melbourne. Ferguson & Urie had the only known stained-glass workshop in Victoria at the time. Lyon was quoted for an interview for the Australian Decorator and Painter in 1909 that their inception was primitive:

“In 1861, Mr. Lyon joined the firm of Ferguson and Urie, Melbourne. Their commencement was on a very primitive scale. They made their own colours and acid, and fired the glass in a colonial camp oven. They, however, soon got properly going, and produced good work under the firm name of Ferguson, Urie and Lyon.” [7][8]

The Maldon window is a two-light in the English style and has the image of  Jesus in the centre of each light. It certainly looks like Lyon’s style and the overall arrangement bears similarities to his other windows at Holy Trinity, Kew, and Christ Church, Kilmore. An article published in the Tarrangower Times in February 1864 states the Maldon window is his work. Whether Drape had any input or hands-on work with Lyon on the window may never be known.

“A great many of our readers will no doubt have observed the very handsome painted window in Trinity Church, presented by W. Threlfall Esq. As regards its intrinsic beauty, and its value as an ornament to what was already considered (we quote the Bishop of Melbourne’s remark, on the occasion of his last visit to Maldon) one of the prettiest little churches out of Melbourne; there can but be one opinion, but perhaps it is not so generally known that this window, reflecting as much credit on the liberal and public spirited donor, may be considered, as in some degree, the work of a Maldon artist; it having been designed, and fabricated, by Mr J. L. Lyon, the son of our respected fellow townsman Mr Lyon, of Main Street”[9]

 

A perplexing thing about the design of the window is a family crest depicting a boar’s head in the apex, presumably that of the donor William Samuel Threlfall. The crest appears above two images of Christ, the Holy Dove and the Lamb of God. The text at the base reads “Presented A.D MDCCCLXIII by W.S.T” (William Samuel Threlfall 1863). It’s not unheard of to see a family crest appear at the top of an ecclesiastical church window, but above the image of Christ or his symbology is extremely rare. Similar instances I have come across during research indicate that where the donor has elevated him/herself above Christ in an ecclesiastical window, it’s usually been met with a very harsh response by the congregation or church committee. The windows were usually forced to be re-made or modified. In extreme cases, a window was summarily sent back to where it came from.

Who was William Samuel Threlfall?

Threlfall was a native of Lancashire, England, and was a small-time mining investor in the Maldon district who had shares in failed gold mining ventures. Many articles of the time paint him as often owing money.

On the 2nd June 1864 at the age of 65, he married the widow Mary Ann Spence[10] at Christ Church, Castlemaine[11]. By November of the following year, he and his wife have disappeared from the Maldon area and dead letters addressed to his wife Mary begin accumulating at the Emerald Hill (South Melbourne) Post Office[12]. Another advertisement in late November 1865 appeals to “Mr. Threlfall, late of Maldon, will put himself (directly or indirectly) in communication with the advertiser, he can receive some beneficial information”[13]. In May 1867 the court ruled that in Threlfall’s mysterious absence his one-eighth share in a quartz-claim at Maldon would be forfeited in favor of the claimants. He is not heard from again.

Related posts:

Biography: John Lamb Lyon (1835-1916)

Biography: David Relph Drape (1821-1882)

Footnotes:

[1] Tarrangower Times, Maldon, Vic, Friday 3rd May 1861, page 4.

[2] Tarrangower Times, Maldon, Vic, Friday 21st June 1861, page 2.

[3] David Relph Drape, Architect, and Glass Stainer; E.M. Bradshaw 1970; Unpublished Manuscript, State Library of Victoria.

[4] Biography: David Relph Drape (1821-1882)

[5] Tarrangower Times, Maldon, Vic, Friday 30th August 1861, page 3.

[6] David Relph Drape, Architect, and Glass Stainer; E.M. Bradshaw 1970; Unpublished Manuscript, State Library of Victoria.

[7] The Australasian Decorator and Painter, August 1st, 1909.

[8] The partnership name of “Ferguson, Urie, and Lyon” did not commence until October 1866.

[9] Tarrangower Times, Maldon, Vic, Tuesday 2nd February 1864, page 2.

[10]  Mount Alexander Mail, Vic, Friday 3rd June 1864, page 2.

[11] Victorian Birth Deaths & Marriages, 398/1864, Christ Church Castlemaine.

[12] The Argus, Melbourne, Vic, Monday 13th November 1865, page 1.

[13] The Argus, Melbourne, Vic, Monday 20th November 1865, page 1.


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1877: St Peter’s Anglican Church, Sturt Street, Ballarat.

James Fry (1821-1903) is credited as the donor of the historic stained glass windows in the chancel of St Peters Anglican Church in Ballarat.

The windows were made by the Ferguson & Urie stained glass company of North Melbourne in 1877 at the time when extensions and renovations were being made to St Peter’s. Amongst these improvements was the addition of a new chancel complete with the stained glass windows. James Fry donated £500 towards the chancel and windows on the provision that the church raise the additional funds for a parsonage and a new organ and chamber. [1]

The Ballarat Star, Vic, Wednesday 20th June 1877, page 3.

“ADDITIONS TO ST. PETERS CHURCH.

We mentioned recently that some extensive improvements were being made at ST. Peter’s Church, and the approaching completion of the works warrants their being noticed. The church as it stands at present has in use a nave, and on the western side a transept, the original design being for another transept on the east, and an apse at the rear. As regards the apse, Mr Oakden (of Terry and Oakden), Melbourne, altered the design when he was drawing the plans for the western transept, and a chancel was projected instead of the apse. The requirements of the church have now necessitated this plan being carried out, and the work will soon be completed. Messrs James and Creber are superintending the work, and Messrs Llewellyn and Roberts are the contractors. The chancel is built of bluestone, to correspond with body of the church, and the inside measurements are:- Width, 18 feet; depth, 12 feet 6 inches; height of side walls, 20 feet 6 inches. The chancel window is a fine specimen of the stonemason’s art, the tracery being done in Waurn Ponds freestone. Stained glass is now being prepared in Melbourne to fill the window. There will be a small window on each side of the chancel, and a door on the east leads to the vestry. From the floor of the church there will be a step upwards before the chancel arch, and two others within it leading to the altar. An organ chamber is also being built, which will form part of the future eastern transept. The amount of Messrs Llewellyn and Roberts’ contract is about £480, but this amount will be considerably augmented before all the work is done in fitting up the chancel, &c. Mr Fincham, of Melbourne, is building the organ, whose largest pipe will be 16 feet, and the cost of the organ, we understand, will be about £500, so that it will be seen that the church authorities have launched into an expenditure of over £1000, towards which sum, as we mentioned a short time since, Mr. James Fry has contributed the handsome donation of £500. It is expected that all the new works will be finished, and the organ erected, in a little over a month’s time from the present.” 

In early August 1877 the three light stained glass window had arrived from the workshops of the renowned Melbourne stained glass firm of Ferguson & Urie and was erected in the chancel. The Church of England Messenger published a very detailed description of the window:

The Church of England Messenger and Ecclesiastical Gazette for the Diocese of Melbourne and Ballarat, Vic, Thursday 9th August 1877, page 14.

“The stained-glass window for the chancel of St. Peter’s Church has arrived in Ballaarat, and was placed in position. It is a very good specimen of Messrs. Ferguson and Urie’s art, and it is a matter of congratulation that such excellent workmanship can be produced in the colony. The window is divided into three lights, surmounted by tracery pierced with trefoils. These trefoils are filled with richly-coloured glass, bearing upon a starry background the three emblems of faith, hope, and charity; the heart with the sacred monogram, the cross with the crown of thorns, the anchor with the dove and olive branch. The subject of the central light is the “Ecce Homo.” The side lights, having reference to the pious and charitable lives of the ladies in whose memory the chancel was erected. are illustrations of Mark XIV, 8 (“She hath done what she could’) and Matthew XXV. 40 (“Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me”). In the central light the Saviour stands forth a solemn and mournful figure. Pilate and a Roman soldier occupying the background. Underneath there is a panel with a small but exceedingly well-drawn picture of Christ’s charge to Peter – “Feed my Sheep.” In the apex of the window is the emblem of the Holy Spirit, the dove, descending with rays of light. The right hand picture of Mary wiping the Saviour’s feet with her hair is remarkable for the beauty of the Saviour’s countenance and the grace of His gesture. In the light upon the left-hand side a female figure is casting a garment around an aged man and a child at her feet. The background of both of these pictures is of a similar character – a low wall decorated with scroll-work, overtopped with trees and flowers, the sky space being filled in with ruby glass in irregular lead-work. Underneath are the old church emblems  – the Agnus Dei and the Pelican; and above are the Alpha and Omega. The side window, which can be seen only upon entering the chancel, is the more special memorial window, having the upper part a scroll with the text – “Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord;” and at the bottom, a panel with the memorial inscription. The quarries of which the rest of the window is composed are ornamented with fleurs-de-lys, and the effect of the whole is highly satisfactory. The organ has been inspected on behalf of the church authorities, and is pronounced a first-class instrument. No time will now be lost in erecting it in the church.”

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The new chancel of St Peter’s was consecrated on Sunday 12th August 1877 [2]

Whilst there were significant descriptions of the three light chancel window in the tabloids, there was only a minor mention of the smaller single light memorial window erected in the liturgical south wall.

“…The side window, which can be seen only upon entering the chancel, is the more special memorial window, having the upper part a scroll with the text – “Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord;” and at the bottom, a panel with the memorial inscription…”[3]

The memorial text on the lower panel of the window provides the historic clues about the donor, James Fry, and his generosity to the church and the dates of death of his first two wives, Mary & Williamina.. As stated in 1877, unless you are standing in the chancel of St Peter’s you would not know the window was there. The Gothic design is recognisable as the work of Ferguson & Urie which includes a central scrolling ribbon design containing a piece of scripture from the King James Bible, Revelations Chapter 14, verse 13;

“WRITE BLESSED ARE THE DEAD WHICH DIE IN THE LORD”

Unfortunately, the memorial text at the bottom of the window no longer has back lighting from outside so it can only be read when artificially illuminated from behind. I managed to do that via the simple trick of utilising the smart-phone flashlight function and dangling it down the back of the vent which was sufficient to highlight the text enough to be read. There are many unfortunate paint splatters on the window and the fact that the memorial text cannot be read at all unless illuminated from behind gives the impression that it probably hasn’t been seen or known for many years. Probably not known for longer than I have been alive!

“THIS CHANCEL WAS ERECTED BY
JAMES FRY
TO THE GLORY OF GOD
AND IN AFFECTIONATE REMEMBRANCE OF
MARY FRY, DIED MAY 14th 1863 &
WILLIAMINA FRY DIED APRIL 13th 1876”

ballarat-st-peters-03d

James Fry (1821-1903) was a native of Somersetshire in England and he can be credited as a colonial pioneer of Victoria’s grain growing and flour milling in western districts of Victoria.

His official biography[4] records that he came to Australia with his wife Mary in 1854 aboard the ‘Brilliant’ but there is no record of their names on the passenger list.

After successfully pioneering as a grain grower in the Wimmera region in the late 1850’s, he began his own flour milling operations and entered in partnership with Thomas Creed in the Ascot Flour Mills north of Ballarat. In May of 1857 they dissolved their partnership[5] by mutual consent and James became the sole owner. The mill was known for many years as “Fry’s Ascot Mills” and he expanded it in 1860 by erecting a massive five storey bluestone building to the designs of Ballarat architect Henry Richards Caselli.[6]

frys-mill-c1860-01a

In 1857 the first family tragedy struck when his infant daughter, Mary Grimstead Fry, died on the 2nd of July. James obtained a family grave site at the Miners Rest ‘Dowling Forrest’ cemetery, 10km North West of Ballarat, where his daughter was interred. An imposing monument was later erected on the site which would provide an historic record of the family’s tragedies and history.

By the early 1860’s James’s milling empire was expanding. In September 1864 he purchased a flour mill at Ballarat opposite Lake Wendouree from “Hassell & Monckton” for £4500 [7]. He expanded the business further via leasing or purchasing mills all over the western districts at Ararat, Donald, St. Arnaud, Horsham, Nhill, Kaniva, Dimboola, and Natimuk[8]. His favoured estate, Sutton Park, at Newlyn near the Ascot mill remained a central hub to all his operations.

Fry’s prize winning ‘Ascot Mills’ flour was exhibited at the International Exhibition in London of 1862[9] and by the 1880’s it became a household staple throughout the colony known as Fry’s “Five Stars Flour”.

On the 14th May 1863 his first wife Mary, nee Gear[10], died at his Sutton Park estate near the Ascot Mills. She was only 45 years old and was interred in the family vault at Miners Rest with their infant daughter Mary Grimstead.

Being a widower was not a part of James’s future plans and he wasted little time in finding a new companion. On the 21st April 1864, at Brompton Cottage in Brighton, Victoria, he married Williamina Smith (nee Hay), the widow of Mungo Park Smith, Engineer and city surveyor of Melbourne[11].

James’s generosity was not just confined to the church. In October 1864 he and Williamina hosted a luncheon for his employees and their families. About 60 people were transported to Lake Burrumbeet in four decorated wagons where the best part of the day was taken up by games and; “At noon, a sumptuous dinner was spread and was partaken of with the best of appetites.” Wine and Spirits were supplied in generous quantities and later in the day, as heavy rain set in, the whole party returned to the Ascot mill where singing and dancing continued to a late hour[12]. This was undoubtedly one of the many occasions that James displayed his generosity towards his employees. Some of them would later join him as partners in his milling operations for many years.

frys-flour-mill-wendouree-ballarat-01a
On the 12th of July 1869 a tragic accident occurred at the Wendouree flour mill. On the Monday at about 7:30am a massive 36ft long boiler exploded at the mill. The sound of the explosion could be heard over three miles away and a huge plume of steam and debris could be seen in the air above the mill for many miles around. James’s nephew, Albert Hill, who was acting superintendent at the time, was unfortunately standing next to the boiler when it exploded. Albert was killed instantly. His mangled near naked and disembowelled body was blown more than one hundred yards away and landed in the Swamp on the other side of Wendouree Parade.

“…The clothing was torn into shreds, while the skull was completely smashed in. Both legs were broken, and besides several other terrible wounds, the body was almost disembowelled…”

When his body was recovered it was taken to Fry’s residence near the mill. Williamina was so traumatised by the horrific scene that she became seriously ill.[13] The inquest on Albert’s body was held the following day at the Wendouree Parade Hotel, where, coincidentally, some small portions of brick had been thrown a few hundred yards from the explosion and had landed in the bar. Albert’s funeral was held on the 14th and he was interred with James’s first wife Mary and their infant daughter Mary Grimstead at the Miners Rest Cemetery.

“The procession started from Mrs Fry’s residence, Wendouree-parade, and consisted of about thirty well-filled mourning coaches, buggies, &c, and several horsemen.”[14]

James’s second wife, Williamina died at his Sutton Park estate on the 13th April 1876. Coincidentally she was also only 45 years of age. Williamina was interred with James’s first wife and his nephew Albert at Miners Rest.  Whether by coincidence or design, some scriptural text from Revelations 14:13 which appears on their memorial stained glass window at St Peter’s in Ballarat is from the same chapter and verse as that on their monument at Miners Rest:

“Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord: even you saith the Spirit that they may rest from their labours.” Rev. XIV:13″

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In June of 1877, the year following Williamina’s death, James Fry donated £500 to St Peter’s Church for the construction of a new chancel and the stained glass windows. Shortly after this he departed Victoria aboard the ‘Northumberland’ for London[15]. James had been back to the old country a number of times before but this venture would secure his third wife.

At St. Mary’s, Stoke Newington, London, on the 27th December 1877 he married Louisa Anne Coles[16], the widow of Edward Coles. James and Louisa returned to Melbourne aboard the ‘Chimborazo’[17] in March the following year and she would be his companion for the next twenty three years.

On the 8th November 1901 Louisa died at Sutton Park aged 75. James had now outlived three wives. Louisa was interred at the Mount Prospect cemetery north of Ballarat and a marble casket type grave-stone was erected over the grave. After more than a century most of the lead letters in the inscription have gone and it’s now almost unreadable:

“In Memory Of, LOUISA ANN, Who for 23 years was the faithful and beloved wife of, JAMES FRY of Sutton Park, who died November 8th 1901, aged 75 years. Beloved by all who knew her.”

James was now in his early eighties and had not taken an active interest in the flour milling operations since he floated the company on the stock exchange in 1884. He devoted his time to agricultural pursuits at his estate near Newlyn. On Friday the 14th August 1903 James died there at the age of 82 and was buried with his third wife Louisa at Mount Prospect.

The Ballarat Star, Vic, Monday 17th August 1903, page 1.

“DEATH OF MR. JAMES FRY.

One of the earliest pioneers of the grain trade in Victoria, Mr James Fry, died on Friday at Sutton Park, Newlyn, at the advanced age of 82. Deceased was a native of Somersetshire, and came to the colony in 1854 in the ship Brilliant, settling first at Geelong with his wife and family, where he purchased a property. After various experiences on the Ballarat goldfields, in 1856 he purchased a property at Ascot, and shortly after secured a flour mill near Geelong, which he removed to that point, as the Talbot shire was fast becoming the centre of a large agricultural district. Beginning in a small way, he built up a very extensive business among the various mining townships, and erected plant and machinery at that time considered to be as complete an establishment as then existed in Australia. In 1865 he purchased a mill near Lake Wendouree, Ballarat, from Messrs Hassell and Monkton, and went there to reside. In 1868 he acquired a freehold property in the Wimmera, situated between Glenorchy and Banyena. He was the first to grow wheat to any extent on the Wimmera Plains, and demonstrate that it could be cultivated there at a profit. From Ballarat, as his centre, he followed up the settlement of the selectors on the land, first around Ararat, and then on to Stawell, having business relations with both places. When growers commenced to select on an extensive scale in the Wimmera, he opened at Horsham, in anticipation of the railway line being continued from Stawell to that centre, and intimately to the border, and as the movement spread, extended his operations till they gradually embraced all the centres in that far-reaching territory. In addition to the large grain business, Mr Fry erected, brought or leased flour mills at Ballarat, Ararat, Donald, St. Arnaud, Horsham, Nhill, Kaniva, Dimboola, and Natimuk. In 1884 the grain and milling business having reached large dimensions, with its head office in Melbourne, and branches in all the leading grain growing districts of the Wimmera and other parts of the colony, he decided to float it into a limited company, which was successfully accomplished, and shortly afterwards retired from the active management, devoting most of his time thenceforth to grazing and agricultural pursuits.

            At St. Peter’s Church yesterday, notice was taken of the death of Mr Fry. Mr Fry gave the land on which St. Peter’s Vicarage stands; the chancel, with a stained glass window; the tower and the bells, to St. Peter’s Church. The flag was flown at half-mast throughout the day, and muffled peals were rang on the bells. Before the service in the morning, the rev. Dr Pritchard alluded to the sad event. He reminded the congregation of all the late Mr Fry’s generous gifts, and said that he was a regular and frequent worshipper at ST. Peter’s when resident in the parish. Such a good example of generous help to the house of God should cause his name to be ever held in honored remembrance at St. Peter’s and they should pray that others might emulate such generous deeds. At the evening service similar reference was made, and special music was sung at the offertory. Mr L. Richardson played Mendelssohn’s Funeral March at the close of service.”

On the opposite side of the gravestone to Louisa’s memorial words are his;

“IN LOVING REMEMBRANCE OF JAMES FRY, WHO DIED ON AUG 14th 1903, AT SUTTON PARK NEWLYN, AGED 82 YEARS AND 6ms. I HAVE GIVEN YOU AN EXAMPLE THAT YE SHOULD DO AS I HAVE DONE TO YOU. 1 JOHN 13-15”

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James Fry’s total estate was valued at £128,400 and it was distributed to many family members in Australia and England. It included provisions for his daughter, step daughters, step granddaughters, the Ballarat Church of England, and his surviving son, James Rood Fry. 

The Sutton Park Estate was left to his son James but by 1918 it was under control of the government for soldier settlement purposes.[18]

Today, on a lonely dirt intersection amongst the farmland at Newlyn, you will find the original gates that once framed the entrance to Sutton Park. They now form part of an historic memorial of the district and nearby a stone cairn holds a plaque showing how the estate was divided for soldier settlement.

The gravesites at Miners rest and Mount Prospect, some of the old crumbling mill buildings around the district, the old gates to Sutton Park, and the stained glass windows at St Peter’s Church in Ballarat are the last physical reminders of a Colonial Pioneer and his family who shaped the western district of Victoria.

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Footnotes:

[1] The Ballarat Star, Vic, Monday 11th June 1877, page 3

[2] The Ballarat Star, Vic, Monday 13th August 1877, page 3.

[3] The Church of England Messenger and Ecclesiastical Gazette for the Diocese of Melbourne and Ballarat, Vic, Thursday 9th August 1877, page 14.

[4] Australian Dictionary of Biography: Fry, James (1821-1903)

[5] The Star, Ballarat, Vic, Tuesday 26th May 1857, page 4.

[6] The Star, Ballarat, Vic, Tuesday 14th August 1860, page 4.

[7] The Star, Ballarat, Vic, Friday 30th September 1864, page 2.

[8] The Ballarat Star, Vic, Monday 17th August 1903, page 1.

[9] Victorian Govt Gazette, Tuesday 14th April 1863, page 842.

[10] Daughter of John Gear (or Gean) and Jane Grimstead.

[11] The Age, Melbourne, Vic, Monday 25th April 1864, page 4.

[12] The Star, Ballarat, Vic, Saturday 29th October 1864, page 2.

[13] The Ballarat Star, Vic, Tuesday 13th July 1869, page 2.

[14] The Age, Melbourne, Vic, Friday 16th July 1869, page 4.

[15] Geelong Advertiser, Vic, Tuesday 19th June 1877, page 9.

[16] The Bath Chronicle, Somerset, England, Thursday 10th Jan 1878, page 5.

[17] The Argus, Melbourne, Vic, Monday 11th March 1878, page 5.

[18] The Age, Melbourne, Vic, Saturday 24th October 1903, page 11.


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1867: South Yarra Presbyterian Church, Victoria

In August 1867 the ‘Hobart Mercury’ newspaper published an article about the travels of Mr James Urie who was a principal partner of the Ferguson & Urie stained glass company of North Melbourne.

James was travelling throughout Tasmania with a portfolio of the company’s stained glass designs to garner commissions for secular and ecclesiastical windows. The tabloids published numerous articles of his “Sojourne” throughout the apple isle;

“STAINED WINDOWS – A few days since we stated that Mr.Urie of the firm of Ferguson, Urie, and Lyon, glass stainers, &c, Melbourne, was on a professional visit to Hobart Town. This gentleman is now in Launceston, and we were much gratified yesterday by inspecting a large portfolio of designs for church and other windows which his firm has executed or has in hand…”[1]

The article briefly mentioned a number of windows the company had recently made and I’ve posted many articles about the ones I have found from those clues. A couple of the windows have eluded me for some time as they merely mentioned names and the location as Melbourne and nothing else such as this obscure one:

…Judge Pohlman’s wife, and wife of Mr Stoddart [sic] both in Melbourne…[2]

Clues to other windows included church names and their locations which have helped to pin point exactly where some of the windows could be found, but the obscure mention of “Melbourne” in relation to the Polman and Stoddart windows was very little to go on.

In our Colonial times, the number of churches that were being erected throughout Melbourne and suburbs was phenomenal. The vast majority of these old churches are still standing but over the course of a century and a half many were burnt to the ground, demolished, moved and re-built, or in recent times, sold to developers. If these Pohlman and Stoddart windows still existed somewhere it was likely to take a long time to locate them whilst concurrently researching the locations of many other Ferguson & Urie stained glass windows. Since finding the historic newspaper article I have visited more than a hundred churches and nothing further has come to light in regards to these particular windows.

The names “Pohlman” and “Stoddart” were significant clues on their own, and in the case of Judge Pohlman it was easy to ascertain that he was Judge Robert Williams Pohlman (1811-1877). But even armed with the knowledge of his faith, being of the Church of England, nothing has been found of his stained glass window.

The name Stoddart presented further challenges, as the newspaper had spelt his name incorrectly on multiple occasions, and so I was looking for the wrong person. The tabloids mentioned that he had been buried in the Melbourne General Cemetery, which seemed like a decent clue, but the cemetery records had nothing for that name. It seems that when I get fixated on a particular direction or clue I miss the obvious things such as misspellings.

By sheer coincidence, a friend recently sent me some photos of the stained glass windows from the South Yarra Presbyterian Church, which, despite me having passed the church numerous times over the years, I had not yet managed to set foot in. Among the photos was a window to the memory of “James Dickson Stodart” (spelt with one letter‘d’).

This was undoubtedly the window that had eluded me for the past few years. Its design and the date of death mentioned for James Dickson Stodart leaves no doubt that it is the original Ferguson & Urie stained glass window from nearly a century and a half ago and not dedicated to Stodart’s wife as the tabloid incorrectly eluded.

[Photos kindly contributed by Paul Danaher, dated Sept 2015]

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James Dickson Stodart (c1825-1867)

In late 1867 the congregation of the South Yarra Presbyterian Church resolved to erect a stained glass window to the memory of their esteemed Church committee member and liberal supporter, James Dickson Stodart.

The window is of two lights with a small English red rose in the tracery above. The apexes of the cusp headed lancets feature the images of ‘Faith’, holding the cross, and ‘Hope’ with the anchor. Below these are the words “Post Nubes Lux,” meaning “After Darkness Light” or “Out of Darkness Light,” which is the motto of the Scottish Stodart/Stoddart family.

The memorial text across the central region of each window reads:

“ERECTED BY THE CONGREGATION IN AFFECTIONATE REMEMBRANCE OF”
“JAMES STODART ESQ, WHO DIED 12th JUNE 1867, AGED 42 YEARS”

At the base of each window are angels holding a scroll with the words:

“BLESSED ARE THE DEAD” “WHICH DIE IN THE LORD”

James Dixon Stodart was born in Edinburgh, Scotland c.1825 to merchant Alexander Stodart and Elizabeth Gray.

James married Maria Louisa Margaretha Meincke in Scotland c.1848. He departed Liverpool for Australia on the 17th March 1854 aboard the “Golden Era” which arrived in Hobson’s Bay three months later on the 13th June 1854 [3]. His family would arrive later.

He had been sent out from Scotland to wind up the business affairs of the “famous Mr. Boyd” (Benjamin Boyd) and on completion of the task he accepted the position as finance manager for the infrastructure and railway contracting firm of Cornish & Bruce in Melbourne.

He was active in local political affairs and was elected a Councillor of Prahran between 1858-1860 and 1863-1865 and served as Mayor of the municipality in 1864-65 [4].

His relationship with the principals of the Cornish & Bruce Company must have been very close. In 1861 he even named one of his daughters, “Margaret Vans Agnew Bruce Stodart”, after one of the principals of the firm, John Vans Agnew Bruce. Unfortunately Margaret died as an infant on the 3rd August 1863.

Stodart was a liberal supporter and member of the Scotch Presbyterian Church in Punt Road South Yarra. The foundation stone of this church was laid on a rainy day, 14th November 1865 [5] by Captain Tyler, Aide-De-Camp to the Governor, Sir Charles Darling. The Governor was unavoidably absent on the day and so J. D. Stodart presented Captain Tyler with the silver trowel to lay the foundation stone in the presence of Lady and Miss Darling,

After a long battle with tuberculosis, James Dixon Stodart died at his home “Yarra-Bank” at South Yarra on Wednesday 12th June 1867 [6]. His substantial funeral cortege crossed Melbourne’s iconic Princes Bridge at 2pm on Saturday the 15th to deliver him to his final resting place at the Melbourne General Cemetery [7].

There is no gravestone to be found for James Dickson Stodart and so the stained glass window in the South Yarra Presbyterian Church is the only lasting memorial bearing his name. The window represents a significant reminder of a colonist who contributed much to the history of Victoria and it is a remarkably intact example of Ferguson & Urie stained glass workmanship from our Colonial past.

Significant tabloid transcriptions:

The Age, Melbourne, Vic, Thursday 13th June 1867, page 5.

“We regret to have to announce the death of Mr James Stodart, which took place at ten o’clock last night, at his residence, South Yarra. Mr. Stodart was manager for the firm of Cornish and Bruce, and is understood to have contributed not a little to the success of its operations. His uprightness and amiability secured him many friends, and his somewhat sudden death will be a great grief to them.”

The Argus, Melbourne, Vic, Friday 14th June 1867, page 8.

“THE Friends of the late JAMES D. STODART, Esq., are invited to follow his remains to the place of interment, Melbourne Cemetery.
            Funeral to move from his residence, Yarra bank, South Yarra, on Saturday, 15th inst, at 1 p.m., passing Prince’s-bridge about 2 o’clock.
            JOHN ROMANIS, undertaker, Gardiner’s Creek road, South Yarra.”

The Argus, Melbourne, Vic, Friday 14th June 1867, page 4.

“It is a melancholy duty to record the very sudden death, on Wednesday evening last, at a late hour, of Mr. James Stoddart, who has been for many years past so well known and respected as the financial agent of the firm of Messrs. Cornish and Bruce, railway contractors. Up to a very few days ago Mr. Stoddart had been in the enjoyment of vigorous health. He was in charge, on the part of the firm he represented, of the arbitration now going on between the executors of Messrs. Cornish and Bruce and the Government, as to the balance due to the firm, and he was to have given his evidence before the arbitrators this day. Early in the week, however, he complained of symptoms indicative of internal disease. For a day or two he was confined to his room; but on Wednesday evening, feeling slightly better, he rose from his bed, made a step or two, and dropped down dead. Mr. Stoddart was a native of Edinburgh. Trained to business in a good school, and showing an uncommon capacity for finance, he was selected in 1853 to come out to this colony and wind up the multitudinous affairs of the then famous Mr. Boyd. He accomplished the arduous task successfully, and when Messrs. Cornish and Bruce entered on their gigantic enterprise, Mr. Stoddart was recommended to them by the contracting banks as the ablest man whose services they could retain as their financial agent. His labours in that capacity were most onerous; and he had all but completed successfully what may be called the task of a life, when death overtook him. He was one of the earliest promoters of building societies in the colony, and they owe much to his shrewdness, experience, and sagacity. He was for a season mayor of Prahran, and at the time of his death was a councillor of that borough. He took a very active interest in the affairs of the Scotch Church of the district in which he resided, and to his exertions the congregation are mainly indebted for the beautiful new Scotch Presbyterian Church in South Yarra, in which the Rev. George Mackie officiates as pastor. Many will lament in Mr. Stoddart the sudden and untimely death of an able, warm-hearted, and genial man.”

The Age, Melbourne, Vic, Wednesday 15th November 1865, page 6.

“SOUTH YARRA PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH.

The foundation stone of the above new church was laid yesterday afternoon, on the ground adjacent to the present building. It had been expected that the Governor would be present to perform the ceremony, but his Excellency was prevented from attending by indisposition. Shortly after three o’clock, however, Lady Darling, accompanied by Miss Darling and Captain Tyler, arrived on the ground; but, as it was then raining hard, the company assembled had to adjourn to the church. The proceedings were then commenced by singing and prayer, after which,      
            The Rev. GEORGE MACKIE, pastor of the church remarked that he had much pleasure in stating that they had that day assembled for the purpose of laying the foundation stone of the new building. Rain, which was most propitious for the country, would compel them to perform most of the preliminary part of the proceedings in the old one. He regretted that the absence of his Excellency the Governor, and still more, that he was prevented by disposition from attending. He was, however, happy to be able to say that he was represented by Lady Darling, Miss Darling, and several other members of the family, as well as by Captain Tyler; so that, although he was not himself present, he was with them by deputy. He thought it needless to explain that the members of the church had had great difficulties to overcome. At one time a large debt rested thereon, but through the praiseworthy liberality of their friends, it had now been cleared off. He had no doubt that many, with himself, felt gratified in being spared to witness the laying of the foundation stone of the new building, which would long stand as a memorial of the Christianity and piety which existed amongst the present generation.
            The Rev. Mr McDONALD, of Emerald-hill, then came forward to address the meeting, and during his speech remarked that he had been associated with the congregation of this church since its formation. He then dwelt upon the difficulties that had been overcome, and the advances that had been made in the cause of religion. He was pleased to know that they had missions at home and missions abroad, and that steps were being taken to establish a theological hall. He trusted that all that could be done would be done to bring about a satisfactory state of things, and that they would hereafter see such a revival as would speedily fill the new building as soon as it was erected.
            The Rev. Mr. BROWN, moderator of the presbytery, then delivered a dedicatory prayer; after which the assembly adjourned to the spot where the stone was to be laid.

            On arriving there,
            The Rev. GEORGE MACKIE read the following copy of a memorial record, which had been engrossed on parchment and enclosed in the case which was laid in the cavity of the stone, together with a copy of each of the Melbourne daily papers and Prahran Telegraph, and the various coins of the realm:-
            “Memorial record deposited in the foundation stone of the Presbyterian Church, South Yarra, within the boundary of the corporation of the city of Melbourne, in the colony of Victoria, laid on the fourteenth day of November, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-five, and the twenty-ninth year of the reign of her majesty Queen Victoria, by his Excellency Sir Charles Henry Darling, K.C.B., Governor and Commander-in-Chief of the colony. This congregation was organised on the third day of July, one thousand eight hundred and fifty-four, under the Ministry of the reverend George Divorty, A.M. The committee consisted of T. Dickson, J. Thompson Paterson, T. Finlayson, D. Walker, D. Ross, W. Adamson, J. Cameron, and J. Gair; T. Finlayson, secretary; T. Dickson, treasurer. For some time, as a provisional arrangement, the congregation worshipped in a large tent; afterwards, and until now, in a wooden church imported from Scotland, and erected on the present site at a cost of four thousand five hundred pounds, having accommodation for four hundred persons. On the seventh day of April, one thousand eight hundred and fifty-nine, the union of the different sections of the Presbyterian church in this colony took place. The Rev. James Clow was elected moderator of the first general assembly. In the year one thousand eight hundred and sixty-one, the Reverend George Divorty was obliged to resign this charge through failing health, and returned to Scotland. In May, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-two, the Reverend George Mackie was inducted as successor to the Reverend George Divorty. The communion roll at present numbers two hundred and eighty-five, and the church being overcrowded, the congregation resolved to build a more commodious and substantial edifice, of which this is the foundation stone, intended to accommodate eight hundred seat holders. The office bearers of the congregation at this date are as follows:- Minister: The Reverend George Mackie. Trustees: The Rev. George Mackie, David Ross, John Thompson, John Spence Ogilvy. Elders: David Ross, John Spence Ogilvy, John Stevens Miller, George Bell, Charles Anderson. Managers: James Stodart, Robert Mackechney, David J. Moorehead, James Munro, William Stronach, John Reid, James Edwards, Joseph Harris, Francis Bell, Thomas Donaldson, George Espie, John Romanis. Treasurer: John Spence Ogilvy. Secretary: William Stronach. Building committee: The office bearers, J. Brown, junr., W. Coulter, J. McPherson, W. Robb, A. Murray, D. Connacher, J. Drew, W. K. Ross, James Scott, T. J. Connor, A. Anderson, M. Stewart, J. Ferguson. Architect: Lloyd Tayler. Contractor: William Ireland. Moderator of the General Assembly: rev. James Nish, Sandhurst. Moderator of the Presbytery of Melbourne: Rev. Peter Brown, Hawthorn. The motto of the builders is “Jehova Shammah,” and their prayer, that the Lord would make this house the birthplace of many souls. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, the one God for ever and ever. Amen.”

            Captain Tyler then came forward and performed the ceremony of laying the foundation stone, a silver trowel having been presented to him by Mr. Stodart.

            The National Anthem was sung by the whole company, and three cheers were then given for Her Majesty the Queen; three for his Excellency the Governor and Lady Darling, and three for the Rev. Mr Mackie, which brought the proceedings to a close.”

Related biographical information:

Biography: James Stodart (1849-1922), Son of James Dickson Stodart.

Footnotes:

[1] The Mercury, Hobart Tasmania, Tuesday13th August 1867, page 5.

[2] Ibid

[3] Public Records Office Victoria, Inwards Unassisted passengers Fiche 68, page 001

[4] The Argus, Melbourne, Vic, Saturday 3 June 1865, page 5.

[5] The Age, Melbourne, Vic, Wednesday 15th November 1865, page 6.

[6] The Argus, Melbourne, Vic, Friday 14th June 1867, page 5.

[7] The Argus, Melbourne, Vic, Friday 14th June 1867, page 8.


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1877 James Winter’s ‘Dhurringile’ Mansion, Murchison, Victoria.

In the western district of Victoria is the historic mansion “Dhurringile,” erected for the wealthy Squatter James Winter in 1877.

The mansion still contains a number of secular stained glass windows crafted by the Ferguson & Urie stained glass company of North Melbourne.

“…Many of the windows are of stained glass, and are beautifully ornamented; the principal one in the large hall was made by Messrs. Ferguson and Urie, of Melbourne, a highly creditable example of colonial art…”[1]

Photos by Mrs. Noelle Nathan: (Dated March 2011)

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James Winter (1834-1885)

James Winter was born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1834 and came out to Victoria with his parents John and Janet and his siblings in 1841. In 1857, in partnership with his father and brothers they brought the Colbinabbin station and others in the Rodney district of Victoria at a cost of around £200,000.[2]

On the dissolution of the family partnership in 1868 James retained the Toolamba estate and architects Lloyd Tayler and Frederick Wyatt designed his 68 room mansion “Dhurringile-house” which was built in 1877 for a reported £30,000.

“…In 1870 he was elected president of the shire council of Waranga, of which he had been a member from 1864, and he was made a territorial magistrate by the Kerferd Government…” [3]

On the 27th April 1871, aged 36, he married Caroline Pettett[4], a daughter of former Hawthorn Mayor, William Henry Pettett, who, coincidentally has a stained glass window erected to his memory in Holy Trinity Church at Stawell which depicts St Peter & St Paul and it too was made by Ferguson & Urie circa 1871.

“…At the latter end of 1873 a railway league was formed – of which he was elected president, to bring a railway down the valley of the Goulburn…”[5]

In 1883 he travelled to England via the USA where he selected twenty seven ewes and twenty three American Merino sheep for breeding on his property in Victoria[6]. Shortly before his intended return to Australia in late January 1885 he fell ill died of inflammation of the lungs at Carlisle House, Central Hill, Norwood on the 3rd February 1885 [7][8].

Dhurringile:

Dhurringile remained within ownership of the family for many years. In 1890 Mr. M. Minter was the manager of the Dhurringile estate[9]. His two sons drowned on the property in 1895[10]. The property was eventually sold at auction in March 1902 to J. J. Falconer of the Australian Mortgage, Land, and Finance Company Ltd for £173,527.[11]

In 1910 Thomas Hastie was the manager of Dhurringile station and was appointed a member of the Closer Settlement Board.[12] Two years later in 1912 it was owned or managed by Everard Browne[13].

The property remained vacant for a number of years and was eventually sold to Vincent Hart in 1925,[14] but it still remained unoccupied during his ownership. In 1939 Hart rented the property to the Government for use as an internment camp for German and Italian alien civilians and by 1941 it was being used by the army as a prisoner of war camp for Germans.

In 1947 Dhurringile was purchased by the Presbyterian Church who refurbished the dilapidated property and after a public appeal in 1949 the church raised £15,000[15] to assist with the repairs. The property eventually opened in late 1950 as the “Dhurringile Presbyterian Rural Training Farm”, which was intended for accommodating and training immigrant boys from the UK whose fathers had died during the war. The first twenty nine boys from England and Scotland arrived aboard the ‘Cheshire’ in late December 1950[16].

In 1965 the property was purchased by the Victorian Government for use in the rehabilitation of alcoholic prisoners. The property is still used as a minimum security prison to this day but the mansion itself is only used for administration and as a training centre.

The extant Ferguson & Urie stained glass windows in the mansion, depict the Kangaroo and the Emu, the deities “Flora & Pomona,” a gothic decorated fanlight window and an arched window depicting the seasons which is very similar to the seasons window at Mandeville Hall in Toorak which also has Flora and Pomona windows.

Significant Transcriptions:

The Australasian, Melbourne, Vic, Saturday 24th April 1880, page 25.

“THE TOOLAMBA ESTATE, LOWER GOULBURN.

(BY OUR TRAVELLING REPORTER)

Within some half dozen miles of Murchison, on the Lower Goulburn, and not far from the small township of Toolamba, is the estate of the same name, belonging to Mr. James Winter, and which was casually referred to in one of my previous articles on the North-Eastern and Goulburn Valley districts. The length of the estate from the Goulburn River to the boundary of the Girgarre district is above 12 miles, and its width from the Murchison side to Toolamba between seven and eight miles. It is divided into about 50 paddocks, all of which are securely fenced with post-and-rail and wire fences, and a small portion with wire netting, for keeping the young rams in. Rich, well grassed plains, with soil of chocolate description, constitute the greater portion of the estate, and in places these are heavily timbered with box and gum, while at intervals wide stretches of country intervene which scarcely possess a single tree. No running streams are to be met with, but the whole estate is well watered, there being altogether nearly 100 dams, from which over 100,000 yards of excavation have been taken, and with one or two exceptions they all had a plentiful supply of water during the two recent summers, which have been the most trying for a number of years. On a small sandhill – one of the few elevations on the north side of the estate – the homestead is built. It is called Dhurringile-house – the former word in the native vocabulary signifying “and emu crouching,” the peculiar shape and isolation of the hill, there being none other for miles in every direction around it, having led the aborigines to imagine that it bore a resemblance to a gigantic emu in the act of lying on the plain, and to bestow upon it the appellation it now bears.

            Dhurringile-house is a fine edifice, in fact, there are not many superior to it in the colony; its construction involved a very large amount of time, labour, and expense. The whole of the operations were carried on under the personal supervision of the proprietor, who to a great extent acted as his own architect; and the vast pile of buildings which now towers so proudly above the Emu Plain has been acknowledged by some of the highest professional ability in the colony to be exceptionally well designed, and substantially erected. The house is constructed of red brick, in the rural Italian style of architecture; the frontages on the north and west are ornamented with finely-cemented arcades and pillars. A tower (along which a lightning conductor runs) rises to a height of nearly 100ft above the level of the hill, almost in the centre of the building, which is two stories high, and extends from east to west to a length of 130ft., while the extreme breadth is slightly over 90ft. Every portion of the house is supplied with gas, manufactured on the premises; while, in order to facilitate verbal communications, speaking tubes are fitted throughout the building. Many of the windows are of stained glass, and are beautifully ornamented; the principal one in the large hall was made by Messrs. Ferguson and Urie, of Melbourne, a highly creditable example of colonial art…”

The Argus, Melbourne, Vic, Saturday 29th April 1871, page 4.

WINTER-PETTETT.- On the 27th inst., at Minninnera, by the Rev. Wm. Henderson, James Winter, Esq, Toolamba, second son of John Winter, Esq, of Lauderdale, Ballarat, to Caroline, eldest daughter of the Hon. W. H. Pettett, M.L.C. No cards.”

Morning Post, London, England, Friday 6th February 1885, page 1.

“WINTER.- On the 3d inst., at Carlisle House, Central Hill, Norwood, James Winter, Esq., of Victoria, Australia.”

Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter, London, England, Saturday 7th February 1885, page 3-4.

“WINTER.- Feb 3rd, at Carlisle House, Central Hill, Norwood, James Winter, Esq., of Dhurringile, Victoria, Australia.”

Evening News, Sydney, NSW, Thursday 5th February 1885, page 4.

“LONDON, February 4 [sic].- Mr. James Winter, formerly a member of the Victorian Legislature, died here to-day from inflammation of the lungs.”

The Argus, Melbourne, Vic, Friday 6th February 1885, page 5.

“DEATH OF MR. JAMES WINTER. LONDON, FEB 4.

The death is announced, in his 51st year, of Mr. James Winter, of Turringili[sic], Toolamba estate, Murchison, the well known Victorian squatter. He died of inflammation of the lungs.”

The Argus, Melbourne, Vic, Friday 6th February 1885, page 5.

“In our cable messages this morning the death is announced of Mr. James Winter, of the firm of Messrs. Winter Brothers, of Turringili[sic], Toolamba estate, Murchison, who was on a visit to England. The deceased gentleman was an old Victorian Colonist, and had large pastoral interests in the colony. He at one time represented the district in which his property was in the Waranga Shire Council, and in 1870 he was elected to the president’s chair. In February, 1883, he left with a party of friends to go, by way of America, to England, partly for the benefit of his health. In passing through America he selected some sheep, which were designed to improve the weight of fleece of Victorian flocks. By the latest advices he had taken his passage, together with several other gentlemen well known in Melbourne, by the R.M.S. Pekin, which was to sail on the 29th ult., and the news of his death has taken his friends quite by surprise. He was greaty respected as a man of business and for his private worth. It is related that when the Toolamba run was selected Mr. Winter supplied the selectors with water from his tanks, without which they would have had to abandon their selections. As showing the energy and liberal outlay with which he improved his land, it may be mentioned that property held by him, and adjudged by arbitration under Duffy’s Act to carry one sheep to five acres, was ultimately made capable of supporting one sheep per acre. In 1857, Colbinabbin station and several others in the Rodney district were bought at a cost of about 200,000, by Mr. Winter and his brothers.”

Bendigo Advertiser, Vic, Monday 9th February 1885, page 2.

“An Argus telegram, republished by us on Saturday, reported the death from inflammation of the lungs of Mr. James Winter, of Turringili[sic], Toolamba Estate, Murchison. The deceased gentleman was a brother of the hon. W. L. Winter, M.L.C. for the northern Province, and was on a visit to England for the benefit of his health. His death, however, was entirely unexpected, in fact it is said he had taken his passage to return to the colony by the R.M.S.S. Pekin, when he was taken ill. We take from ‘Victorian Men of the Time’ the following particulars of the deceased gentleman’s career:-

Winter, James, J.P., for the firm of Winter Brothers, of Turringili[sic], Toolamba Estate, Murchison, is the second son of the late John Winter, Lauderdale, Ballarat; born at Edinburgh, 1834, and came out to Victoria in 1841 as a child with his parents. Educated in Melbourne, and brought up to pastoral pursuits. In 1850 His father purchased the Junction Station, near the Devil’s River, Merton, of Lockhart and Mackenzie. Struggled through the gold-fever period, acting as their own shepherds for a year and a half, until things began to right themselves in 1853-4. In 1857 Colbinabbin Station was brought, and several others in the Rodney district, at a cost of about £200,000, by Mr. Winter and his brothers. They shortly after sold the junction Station for £24,000. After these runs had been for the most part been improved, and a supply of water obtained, that country was cut up under the land Act of 1865, and in 1866 200,000 acres were selected in six months. The firm was obliged to secure a large tract of land on their various runs to preserve their flocks from annihilation, and this land ultimately became freehold. In 1868 the brothers dissolved partnership, in consequence of the properties becoming so detached, and their father, the late Mr. John Winter, arbitrated in the division of the property. The Toolamba Estate became the portion of Mr. James Winter. In 1870 he was elected president of the shire council of Waranga, of which he had been a member from 1864, and he was made a territorial magistrate by the Kerferd Government. In 1873 the rush for the Goulburn valley lands took place, and in about one year the whole of the Toolamba run was selected. Mr. Winter claims to have supplied the selectors with water from his tanks, without which they would have had to abandon their selections. At the latter end of 1873 a railway league was formed – of which he was elected president, to bring a railway down the valley of the Goulburn. His property is all securely fenced and sub-divided into fifty paddocks, with reservoirs in each. The land held by him was adjudged by arbitration under Duffy’s act to carry one sheep to five acres; by improvements he has made the land to carry nearly one sheep to one acre, and if, as the proverb has it, – “The man who makes two blades of grass grow where only one grew before, is a benefactor to mankind,” Mr. Winter claims to have done something in that direction to earn the title. In 1871 he married the daughter of the hon. W. H. Pettitt”

Footnotes:

[1] The Australasian, Melbourne, Vic, Saturday 24th April 1880, page 25.

[2] The Argus, Melbourne, Vic, Friday 6th February 1885, page 5.

[3] Bendigo Advertiser, Vic, Monday 9th February 1885, page 2.

[4] The Argus, Melbourne, Vic, Saturday 29th April 1871, page 4.

[5] The Argus, Melbourne, Vic, Friday 6th February 1885, page 5.

[6] The Australasian, Melbourne, Vic, Saturday 19th June 1886, page 11.

[7] Morning Post, London England, Friday 6th February 1885, page 1.

[8] Croydon Advertiser & East Surry Reporter, London, England, Saturday 7th February 1885, page 3.

[9] Kyabram Union, Vic, Friday 16th May 1890, page 2.

[10] Riverine Herald, Echuca, Vic, Friday 4th January 1895, page 2.

[11] The Sydney Morning Herald, NSW, Saturday 8th March 1902, page 10.

[12] Riverine Herald, Echuca, Vic, Wednesday 16th February 1910, page 4.

[13] The Argus, Melbourne, Vic, Wednesday 3rd April 1912, page 11.

[14] Victorian Heritage Council – report 125244 (accessed 5 Aug 2014)

[15] The Argus, Melbourne, Vic, Saturday 2nd July 1949, page 10.

[16] Riverine Herald, Echuca, Vic, Tuesday 26th December 1950, page 4.


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1867: Presbyterian Church, Melton, Victoria.

The Presbyterians of Melton had previously held their services in a wooden building known as the “Union Church.” which was used by all of Melton’s Christian denominations until they had erected their own.

The foundation stone of the Presbyterian church was laid on the 27th December 1865[1] but it would be nearly two years before it would open for services and the proposed tower and spire in the original designs never eventuated

The stone for the church was quarried free of charge from the nearby property of a “Mr. Corr”[2], who was the first headmaster of the Melton Common School, secretary and treasurer of the Melton Cemetery Trust, Treasurer of the Wesleyan Church and Deputy Registrar of births deaths and marriages[3].

 The Presbyterians held their annual Soiree in the old Union church on the 8th October 1867 and later proceeded to the new incomplete church. Of the windows it was reported;

“…The windows of the church are particularly elegant, especially the principal one at the back of the pulpit, which is fitted with stained glass of a very rich description…”[4]

A month later the Age newspaper published an article specifically mentioning the Ferguson & Urie company of North Melbourne as the makers of the stained glass window in the liturgical east end;

“THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH AT MELTON is nearly completed, the glaziers being engaged with the windows. The Bacchus Marsh Express praises the stained glass, the design and colors being beautiful. “Messrs Ferguson and Urie, of North Melbourne, are entitled to great commendation for their workmanship in this respect…[5]

Photos taken: 7th September 2014.

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The window is of four lights with smaller tracery windows above to complete the design and is a typical design by Ferguson & Urie from that period. The two centre lights have the ribbons/scrolls in the centre with the following two pieces of scripture:

“Christ is all and in all” – (Colossians 3:11)
“Worship God in the Spirit” – (Philippians 3:3)

The original bluestone nave of the church now sits sandwiched between two newer buildings with doorways to each at the ends. The single light windows in the nave are works of art by the Brooks, Robinson & Co stained glass company from the early 1900’s and later. These windows were originally likely to have been Ferguson & Urie’s simple stained glass bordered designs that have been replaced over more than a century and a half. The historic Ferguson & Urie stained glass window at the east end still lights the nave of the old church building the same as it has since 1867 and creates an amazing kaleidoscope of coloured patterns over the floor when the sunlight strikes it at the right time

Significant transcriptions:

The Age, Melbourne, Vic, Monday 14th October 1867, page 6.

“THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH AT MELTON is nearly completed, the glaziers being engaged with the windows. The Bacchus Marsh Express praises the stained glass, the design and colors being beautiful. “Messrs Ferguson and Urie, of North Melbourne, are entitled to great commendation for their workmanship in this respect. It is expected the church will be opened in a month for public worship. The cost is £1000, of which only £100 has to remain as a debt on the building. This speaks well for the Presbyterians of Melton.”

Bacchus Marsh Express, Vic, Saturday 14th September 1867, page 2.

“OPENING OF THE NEW PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, MELTON.

THE Presbyterians of Melton district have for some years back held divine service in a wooden building known as the Union Church, owing to it having been erected and afterwards used by all denominations. On Sunday last, however, the Presbyterian congregation took possession of their own Church, when the Rev. H. Darling, of Emerald Hill, and the Rev. James Lambie, pastor of the congregation, conducted the services. The former preached in the absence of the Rev. T. McKenzie Frazer, who had been announced to do so. The Wesleyans, who used to use the Union Church, have now a building of their own, and the Church of England congregation have also completed the erection of a handsome Church, with the exception of the windows and seats, so that in a short time the Union Church will be devoted to school purposes only.

THE SOIREE.

The annual soire of the congregation was celebrated in the building known as the Union Church, and after the eatables had been disposed of, the partakers proceeded to the new Church, a short distance away, where the Rev. James Lambie, pastor of the congregation, took the chair. Of the building itself we are not disposed to give elaborate particulars which are perhaps well known to those interested in the matter. Its dimensions are stated to be 50ft. [unreadable characters…] It is apparent to any observer, however that the new Melton Presbyterian Church, both externally and internally, would be a credit to any community; and although it is not yet finished, as a steeple is intended to be erected, yet the absence of this ornament is scarcely noticeable. The windows of the church are particularly elegant, especially the principal one at the back of the pulpit, which is fitted with stained glass of a very rich description. The building is entirely of bluestone, with a slate roof, and the ceiling is a groined one, thereby affording the greatest possible loftiness for ventilation, besides adding to the general ecclesiastical appearance of the interior. The pulpit and platform surrounding it is of a massive kind, having nothing paltry in its appearance, although the usual amount of French polish has not yet been applied. The seats, too, for the congregation are strong roomy ones, made upon a good pattern; and altogether the Church bears evidence that what has been attempted has been done in the best manner, and so far from there being any reason for surprise that the Church has been two years in course of construction, the wonder is that such thorough progress has been made in the time. These preliminary remarks may well be concluded by the addition of a word of praise to the efforts of the choir upon the occasion of the soire, as their performances were really enjoyable.

The CHAIRMAN remarked that while congratulating those assembled, he did not intend to specially address them; he would leave that to his brethren on the platform. It was two years last month since they commenced to built the Church. They had proceeded slowly, but surely. He submitted a statement of the Building Fund.

The subscriptions had amounted to £470. 7s. 4½d.; bazaars, £265.17s.7d.; grant from Assembly , £189.7s.9d.; foundation stone collection, £32. 10s.; loan from Bank, £100. He had little to say further than that the subscriptions had been raised almost entirely from members and adherents of the Church. He did not mention this boastingly. The ladies had purchased the lamps, and the children furnished the precentor’s desk. There had been expended £1049. 11s. 8d., leaving a balance of £11. 0s. 8½.

Mr. BLACKWOOD then read the treasurer’s report for the past year, from which it appeared that the receipts had been £126. 2s. 11d., and the expenditure £124. 0s.5½d., leaving a balance of £2. 2s. 5½d. The speaker referred to the lotting of the seats, and that accommodation would be made for those who did not rent seats. He wished some of the reverend gentlemen to take up the question of whether the congregation should stand or sit at singing. He wished to see uniformity.

The CHAIRMAN intimated that some of the reverend gentlemen who had been invited were absent. They were the Revs. J. Clarke, A McNicol, W. A. Lind, and J. C. Sabine. [Mr. Sabine had desired us to mention that he intended to be present, but the heat of the day prevented him, and he delayed sending an apology hoping that it would moderate].

The Rev. R. HENDERSON was the next speaker. He said that although several gentlemen were absent, he felt assured there would be no lack of speakers. They had Mr. Inglis, who was a host in himself. He would take his cue from Mr. Blackwood, and endeavour to comply with his desire that those learned in Church matters should enlighten them regarding the posture in worship. He believed it had been the practice of their Church for 300 years to sit during singing; but the General Assembly allowed congregations to make their own rules in regard to such matters. If they were unanimous in resolving to stand at singing, there was nothing to prevent them. So far as he was concerned, he preferred to see the congregation standing during singing, as it enabled them to execute their psalmody in a better manner than while sitting. The rev. gentleman then commented upon the necessity of improving the psalmody as much as possible, and was favourable to the use of a harmonium. Many congregations had introduced them, and others were merely putting off the consideration of the question. He agreed with all the encomiums upon their Church bestowed by the Rev. H. Darling, and suggested that all Presbyteries should adopt some definite system in regard to architectural style. He recommended the congregation to assume a reverential demeanour upon entering their Church, and exhorted them also to realise that, although Christians were divided into seats, yet they all had one heaven to receive them. Before sitting down, he must congratulate Mr. Lambie upon his success in raising money to build this Church. As a co-presbyter with him, he desired publicly to acknowledge his earnest and inudable endeavours in this matter. He rejoiced in being present this evening, and wished them God speed in their endeavours.

The Rev. J. W. INGLIS commenced by some humorous remarks, depreciatory of the laudatory manner in which the previous speaker had referred to him, and said that the expectation of the assemblage had been unduly raised. It was twelve years ago since he had attended his first tea meeting at Melton, and there were only five persons present. In fact, he had boiled his billy on the bank of the creek. His next meeting was with their present pastor, and now once again he had the pleasure of meeting them under prosperous circumstances, in their own Church. The Union Church had answered its purpose well, but now Melton possessed three substantial Churches, which they must all rejoice at. Their Church was certainly a handsome one, but no doubt no handsomer than they thought it to be; and he might say that Presbyteries were only beginning to pay proper attention to architectural effect; still they must never forget the higher object of their Church buildings. The speaker exhorted the congregation to take special interest in all that appertained to their Church, and to guard against the deadness which would fall upon a congregation which did not regularly attend at worship every Sabbath. He was more than pleased to hear that they had contributed to all the funds for which the Assembly sought their aid, and he trusted that they would always recollect the claims of such objects. Although a Presbyterian, he was no sectarian, and did not wish his sympathies to remain with that Church only; for there was but one Shepherd, one fold, one House of many mansions, and they should remember that this building was God’s house – not theirs – but dedicated to the God of Zion. Let them enter it as the gate of heaven, thinking of God’s words, “Come to me, all ye that are heavy laden;” and there was nothing which would cheer the adversities of this life but seeking the house of God every Sabbath, where they could have communion with God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ, and feel that there was a place prepared for them where the inhabitants know no tears, and which was the land of everlasting bliss. If they did this, truly this place would be a blessed place. He had but one word to say, in regard to their indebtedness to God for all they had. If they realised this, and were honest in their religious convictions, neither he nor any other minister would have occasion to ask them to give of their substance to the purposes of God’s worship. He hoped that for many years they would worship here, and may the faith they had imbibed enable them to enter into the joy of the kingdom of their Lord. A collection was then taken up, during which the choir sang “How Beautiful upon the Mountain.” They also sang at the conclusion of each speech.

The Rev. J. MEEK would simply make a few remarks in his own way. He had watched their progress as a congregation with considerable satisfaction, and he was here to confess that the career of this congregation had taught him one or two useful lessons. He had at one time serious misgivings as to the success of the effort to establish this congregation, but their prosperity had rebuked him, and taught him to remember that it was right to do one’s duty, and leave the results to God. We at Gisborne would not feel flattered by being compared to Melton; yet they worshipped in a temporary wooden building. He hoped their success in Melton would induce the Gisborne congregation to at least consider the matter of beginning to do likewise. He looked upon this Church as a testimony to the zeal and devotedness of their minister, and as a monument of their liberality; and he trusted most earnestly that on the great day of accounts, their minister might have many from among them as a crown of glory.

The Rev. J. SCOTT had been admonished by the departure of many that the patience of the audience was well-nigh exhausted. He had not come with any desire of speaking, but rather to hear others. However, he must join his congratulations with those of the speakers who had preceded him. Their minister had done what few of his brethren would have attempted. He felt that they had done great things in the past, and he believed it would be an incentive for them to buckle with a will to attend with zeal to all those observances which proved them a Christian people. The rev. gentleman urged the congregation to train their children to build up Christ’s cause in this young country, and concluded by hoping that they and their pastor would enjoy many such meetings as the present.

The CHAIRMAN announced the collection to be £5. 18s. 4d., making upwards of £20 with the collection of the previous day, for which the committee gave their hearty thanks.

Mr. BUCHANAN proposed a vote of thanks to the ladies, and made one of the best speeches of the evening. Carried by acclamation. Mr. BLACKWOOD proposed a vote of thanks to Mr. Corr, for having allowed the Committee to take the stone for building the Church from his property, free of charge. The vote was carried, and ordered to be conveyed to Mr. Corr. The vote of thanks to the visitors was also proposed by Mr. Blackwood.

The Rev. J. W. INGLIS, the Rev. R. HENDERSON, and the Rev. H. DARLING replied. The latter remarked that he was in favour of the congregation standing during singing and sitting during prayer, with the head upon the book board, as the attention was not then distracted as when standing. His congregation followed this practice.

Mr. MACINTOSH replied to a vote of thanks to the trustees. He was delighted to see what had been done, and he hoped that they would all recollect what had been said respecting regular attendance at Church. He was of opinion that the congregation should agree for the future to sit at prayer and stand at singing.

Mr. McPHERSON paid some deserved compliments to the choir in proposing a vote of thanks to them and their leader, Mr. Merchant.

The CHAIRMAN here presented Mr. Oldershaw, a member of the choir, a splendidly-bound edition of Cassell’s Illustrated Bible, as a testimony from the committee of their appreciation of his services.

Mr. OLDERSHAW expressed his thanks in a feeling manner, but was scarcely audible enough. The Rev. J. MEEK proposed a vote of thanks to the Chairman, which was briefly responded to, and the rev. gentleman remarked that henceforth he would be able to give more time to the spiritual wants of the congregation than hitherto.

The proceedings were closed by the choir singing a hymn. The proceeds of the sale of tickets amount to £16.”

Footnotes:

[1] The Australasian, Melbourne, Vic, Saturday 30th December 1865, page 12.

[2] Bacchus Marsh Express, Vic, Saturday 14th September 1867, page 2.

[3] Shire of Melton Heritage Study, Vol 5, page 3.

[4] Bacchus Marsh Express, Vic, Saturday 14th September 1867, page 2.

[5] The Age, Melbourne, Vic, Monday 14th October 1867, page 6.

 


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1864: St Enoch’s Presbyterian Church, Collins Street, Melbourne, Victoria.

St Enoch’s United Presbyterian Church was built c.1850 to the design’s of architects James Blackburn (Jnr) and Arthur Newson at the east end of Collins Street in Melbourne. The church opened on the 30th March 1851 with the Rev Andrew Mitchell Ramsay as the first incumbent.

Extensive renovations and extensions were conducted in 1864 by William Ireland to the designs of architect Charles Webb and it was re-opened on the 31st of July 1864. Part of these renovations in 1864 included the installation of decorative stained glass windows by Ferguson & Urie of North Melbourne.

“…Over the entrance at the tower end is a large circular window, with plaster moulding finished with crisps, and containing a cinquefoil of Bath stone, which is filled in with a stained glass representation of the “Burning Bush,” and motto “Nec Tamen Consumebatur” – the crest and motto of the Church of Scotland. All the windows have been filled in with beautifully stained glass, and have a very fine appearance, as seen from the interior of the church during the day. This portion of the decorations is the work of Messrs Ferguson and Urie, North Melbourne, who have acquired considerable reputation for artistic productions of this description…”[1]

My reasonable assumption is that the Burning Bush window was probably the only figurative stained glass window in St Enoch’s and all the other decorative windows were most likely typical of Ferguson & Urie’s simple stained glass bordered windows of alternating red and blue glass divided by a yellow or white flower. The central diamond shaped glass quarries in these windows would have been either plain glass, or filled with the ‘Fleur De Lys’ or similar Gothic patterns.

Under increasing financial pressure and a dwindling congregation, St Enoch’s was sold in August 1870 to the Presbyterian Church of Victoria for £4,400 who intended to convert it into the Presbyterian Assembly Hall.  The modifications were completed in less than a month and on the 12th September 1870 it was officially opened by Sir James McCulloch. [2]

Unfortunately St Enoch’s no longer exists. The church was demolished in early 1911[3] and on its site was built the Auditorium Building (Kurrajong House, 175 Collins Street)[4].

In 1915 the new Presbyterian Assembly Hall was opened on the opposite side of Collins Street, next to Scots Church, but there is no evidence of any Ferguson & Urie windows that may have been transferred to it.

Nothing is known as to the fate of any of the original Ferguson & Urie stained glass windows from St Enoch’s.

The slideshow photos depict various historic images of St Enoch’s Church between 1864-1911 as well as indicative examples of other ‘Burning Bush’ windows by the Ferguson & Urie company that still exist in other Presbyterian Churches in Victoria.

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Significant tabloid transcriptions:

The Argus, Melbourne, Saturday 30th July 1864, page 5.

“The additions to the United Presbyterian Church in Collins-street east having been completed the edifice will be re-opened for public worship tomorrow…”

“… The tower, which forms a central feature, is fifteen feet and a half square. On either side of it is a two-light window with appropriate tracery, filled – as are other windows in the new portion of the building – with ornamental glass, executed by Messrs. Ferguson and Urie, of North Melbourne.”

The Age, Melbourne, Vic, Monday 1st August 1864, page 5.

“ST. ENOCH’S UNITED PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH.

St. Enoch’s church, the name adopted by the Rev. Mr Ramsay’s congregation for their place of worship, in Collins street, was re-opened yesterday, having been closed for several weeks pending extensive alterations and improvements…”

“…The chief alteration that has been made on the building consists in the erection of a handsome stone front with a tower and spire in the decorative gothic style, and to this extent it is the second finest specimen of ecclesiastical architecture yet completed in this city. The total width of the front of the building, at the base, is 66 feet. The width of the church is 48 feet, and the remainder of the space is occupied by the manager’s office and gateway approach to the manse. The principal feature is, of course, the tower and spire, which together rise to the height of 110 feet, the spire being about 50[??] feet high. The base of the tower is about twenty feet in front by about seventeen feet in depth to the church. At the front, the sides and outer angles of the tower are supported by buttresses which stand at right angles to each other and are continued to the base of the spire, but are broken at intervals by gablets, water tables, &c. The tower consists of three divisions. The front of the lower division is occupied by an ornamental recessed doorway, enclosed between the front buttresses. The recesses of the doorway are filled in with deeply cut mouldings and pillars, with finely carved foliated capitals. The arch is similarly recessed and ornamented, and covered by a weather moulding with carved bosses. The doorway is crowned by a high gable filled up with quatrefoil and angular trefoil tracery, and surmounted by an encircled stone cross-crosslet standing about two feet in relief from the face of the tower. In a line with the base of the gable, the front and side buttresses on either side are ornamented with gablets, terminated with carved bosses and surmounted with foliated finials. The second division commences with a string-course, and contains in front a small window with a trefoil head, and at the sides quatrefoil windows with trefoil mouldings. The upper divisions, where the course is broken by weatherings, rises above the ridge of the church, and the four sides of the tower are here similarly ornamented, each with two one-light windows with trefoil heads. These windows are connected by moulded labels, and the moulding is also continued round the tower.

            The tower terminates with a cornixe [sic], enriched with ball flowers, and the buttresses are here surmounted by gablets, with foliated finials and carved bosses. The spire falls from the buttresses into an octagonal form. In the lower portion provision is made for a clock. A little above this, on four alternate sides, are one light windows, filled in with louvre slating. These windows are also ornamented with gables containing a trefoil, and the gables themselves are surmounted by foliated finials, and terminated with carved bosses. Above these, on alternate sides, are ornamental trefoil openings, with carved bosses and weatherings. The spire is then carried to a point without further embellishment, and terminates with a moulded apex, which is surmounted by a gilded encircled cross-crosslet, above which extends a lightning conductor.

            The angles of the church are supported by two buttresses, standing at right angles to each other. These are broken at the middle by water tables and are surmounted by gablets, from which spring octagonal pinnacles with foliated terminations. In the front of the church, on either side of the tower, is a two-light window with trefoil heads and a quatrefoil centering. These are further decorated by labels with carved bosses and surmounted by foliated finials.

            The manager’s office, which is built against the east side of the church, is, so far, a separate structure. It occupies part of a gable which is pierced by an arched gateway that leads to the office door in the side, the minister’s residence, class rooms, &c. The office is lighted by an ornamental on-light window, filled with stained glass, over which is a stone trefoil, while the gable is surmounted by a stone cross-crosslet similar to that over the church door.

            The front of the church and the tower are constructed of bluestone, but the ornamental portions, dressings and quoins are of Bath freestone. The spire is of Point Ventenet freestone, with Bath stone dressings. This Bath stone was imported by Messrs Miles, Kingston and Co. in the expectation that it might be chosen for the front of the Parliament Houses. That expectation, however, was not realised, and about twelve months ago a portion of the lot was purchased by Mr Adam Anderson, a member of Mr Ramsay’s congregation, and by him presented to the church for the purpose to which it has been applied.

            Internally the church has undergone a thorough renovation, and is fitted up with polished cedar pews. Over the entrance at the tower end is a large circular window, with plaster moulding finished with crisps, and containing a cinquefoil of Bath stone, which is filled in with a stained glass representation of the “Burning Bush,” and motto “Nec Tamen Consumebatur” – the crest and motto of the Church of Scotland. All the windows have been filled in with beautifully stained glass, and have a very fine appearance, as seen from the interior of the church during the day. This portion of the decorations is the work of Messrs Ferguson and Urie, North Melbourne, who have acquired considerable reputation for artistic productions of this description.

            The building stands considerably back from the street on an elevation about ten feet high, which slopes to within five or six feet of the front of the tower, and thus leaves a level platform which extends across the embankment. This platform is reached by a broad flight of stone steps opposite the main entrance, and from it a few steps within the doorway conduct to the vestibule, which at night is lighted with a beautifully stained glass lamp. The ground is enclosed in a line with the adjacent buildings by a low bluestone wall, with an elegant massive iron railing and gateway with open square pillars. These, which have a correspondence in style with that of the church, were cast at Laughton and Wilson’s (Vulcan) foundry, from designs specially furnished by Mr Webb, the architect of the building. The whole of the work has been completed in a way that affords the highest satisfaction, and reflects the utmost credit upon the builder, Mr William Ireland. The stone carving, which was executed by Mr William Allen, commands the highest admiration, as regards the capitals, bosses, and foliated ornaments, which in some cases are capable of being interlaced with a thread.

            An addition has been made to the building in the rear, which provides a commodious classroom on the ground floor, and a comfortable study in the second floor.”

The Australian News for Home Readers, Vic, Thursday 25th August 1864, page 12.

“ST ENOCHS UNITED PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH”

“St. Enoch’s church, the name adopted by the Rev. Mr Ramsay’s congregation for their place of worship, in Collins street, was re-opened on 31st ult, having been closed for several weeks pending extensive alterations and improvements…”

“… The office is lighted by an ornamental one-light window, filled with stained glass, over which is a stone trefoil, while the gable is surmounted by a stone crosslet similar to that over the church door…”

“…Over the entrance at the tower end is a large circular window, and containing a cinquefoil of bath stone, which is filled in with a stained glass representation of the “Burning Bush,” and the motto “Nec Tamen Consumebatur”[5] – the crest and motto of the Church of Scotland. All the windows have been filled in with beautifully stained glass, and have a very fine appearance, as seen from the interior of the church during the day. This portion of the decorations is the work of Messrs Ferguson and Urie, North Melbourne, who have acquired considerable reputation for artistic productions of this description…”

“…the vestibule, which at night is lighted with a beautifully stained glass lamp…”

Geelong Advertiser, Vic, Wednesday 10th August 1870, page 3.

“St. Enoch’s Church, in Collins-streets Melbourne, has now been handed over to the Presbyterian Church of Victoria, by which body it will be used as an Assembly Hall. The price was £4400, which is to be paid before the 1st of July of next year. The necessary alterations of the building are about to be proceeded with to adapt it to its new use.”

The Bacchus Marsh Express, Vic, Saturday 13th August 1870, page 4.

“THE Telegraph reports that the Church of St. Enoch, in Collins street east, has been purchased by the Presbyterian Church of Victoria as an assembly hall. The price given is £4,400. There is a mortgage of £1,700 on the property. The terms of the arrangement are that the balance of the price amounting to £2,700, and expenses should be paid on or before the 1st July, 1871. It is proposed to turn the building to several uses. Amongst these are primarily as assembly hall. Provision can also be made for committee-rooms, for the custody of the records of the church, for offices of the church, and for a theological library. Accommodation for ministers and elders visiting Melbourne for a day or two, it is suggested, should be provided; and the building can be used to hold meetings of young men’s societies, missionary meetings, &c., which may be expected to bring revenue to the church.”

The Argus, Melbourne, Vic, Tuesday 13th September 1870, page 5.

“Last night the Presbyterian Assembly Hall, Collins-street east, which was formerly St Enoch’s Church, was opened by a tea and public meeting, at which Sir James McCulloch presided. About 400 persons sat down to tea, and more than that number took part in the subsequent proceedings.”

Table Talk, Melbourne, Vic, Thursday 20th April 1911, page 4.

Brief article summary – In mid 1911 the Presbyterian Assembly Hall (formerly St Enoch’s United Presbyterian Church) is to be pulled down to make way for a public amusement hall.

The Age, Melbourne, Vic, Tuesday 18th May 1915, page 11.

“The Governor, attended by Mr. Victor Hood, was present last night at the opening of the New Assembly Hall of the Presbyterian Church of Victoria, in Collins-street.”

(The new Hall was built on the opposite side of Collins Street to the left of Scot’s Church.)

Footnotes:

[1] The Age, Melbourne, Vic, Monday 1st August 1864, page 5.

[2] The Argus, Melbourne, Vic, Tuesday 13th September 1870, page 5.

[3] Table Talk, Melbourne, Vic, Thursday 20th April 1911, page 4.

[4] http://175collinsstreet.com.au/history.htm

[5] The motto of the Church of Scotland is ‘Nec Tamen Consumebatur’ (Latin) – ‘Yet it was not consumed’, an allusion to Exodus 3:2 and the Burning Bush.


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1888: James Urie lays the Foundation Stone of the Flemington and Kensington Presbyterian Church.

James Urie was not only a much respected public figure as a Councillor, Mayor of Flemington and a principal partner of the Ferguson & Urie stained glass firm; he is also credited with being one of the lead instigators for the erection of the Flemington and Kensington Presbyterian Church.

On the afternoon of Monday 25th June 1888 he was bestowed with the honour of laying the foundation stone of the new church in Norwood Street. The ceremony was reported as a grand affair and prior to him laying the foundation stone there was a procession by the Sunday school children after which he generously presented each one of them with a specially struck medallion as a memento of the historic occasion;

“…Prior to the commencement of the ceremony, about 450 Sabbath School children, nicely dressed, and with flags flying marched in procession from the new hall to the ground in Norwood street. Before leaving the mayor presented each child with a neat medal with a design of the church on one side commemorative of the event…”

– Images from private collections, the Melbourne Museum and the State Library of Victoria.

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The medal included a picture of the proposed church on one side with the words:

“FLEMINGTON AND KENSINGTON PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH.”

On the reverse are the words:

“TO COMEMORATE THE LAYING OF THE FOUNDATION STONE. 25 JUNE 1888. BY JAS. URIE ESQ. J.P. MAYOR OF THE BOROUGH.”

An example of one these historical medallions can be seen at the Melbourne Museum in Carlton. [1] The Downies Numismatic Auction House also sold one of the medals at auction 308, item 945 for $200 circa 2012.

The Presbyterians originally intended to erect a smaller church costing only £1,400 but James Urie was adamant that it was worth the cost and effort to construct a more substantial building that would serve the congregation for many years;

“…Mr. Duguid, the architect for the building, stated in a brief speech that originally it was intended to erect a church costing only £1400 but Mr. Urie was so desirous of seeing a really good building worthy of the district put up, that at length it was agreed to adopt his advice, with the result that eventually the present design was accepted….”

“…Mr Thomson introduced the Mayor (Cr. Urie), who had been connected from the first with the church in the district, and had done all in his power for its advancement. He presented Mr. Urie amidst applause with a very handsome silver trowel, and invited him to lay the foundation stone of the church he had always advocated should be erected…”

“…He always believed in building a good church when they did build one, as it would serve all requirements for a long time to come, which a smaller one would not do. The design, he thought was most appropriate and suitable in every respect, and when completed they would have a church to be proud of. The height from the ground would be 10 feet to the spire, and with the seating the church would cost £2,500. He expressed his thanks for the silver trowel presented to him, and it would be a fitting souvenir of the important ceremony he was about to perform…”

James Urie exhibited the time capsule box, containing the newspapers of the day and undoubtedly many other artifacts. He then placed the box beneath the stone and declared the foundation stone “…to be well and truly laid amidst loud applause…”

His subsequent speech referred to their need to pay off the building as quickly as possible so they could be free of debt. He pointed out the collection plate and once again, as he done so liberally over the years, displayed his generosity;

“He set a most excellent example by placing what looked like two ten pound notes into the plate, and invited those present to follow suit…” [2]

It could be reasonable assumed that the windows for the church would be manufactured by the Ferguson & Urie stained glass company. It’s probably even reasonable to suggest that the designs for the windows would have been the suggestion of James Urie himself and that, as he’d so generously demonstrated in his contribution to the collection plate during the foundation stone ceremony, the windows were probably donated by the firm without cost.

The only obscure clues as to the stained glass windows were published in the North Melbourne Advertiser on the 7th July 1888 where it was stated;

“…The church will be lighted by ten double-light stained glass windows in the side walls, besides a large gable window…”[3]

On Monday the 10th of March 1889 the church was officially opened but very little detail was recorded in the tabloids about the occasion, except for the mention that they had purchased a – ‘”powerful’ bell, whose tones will no doubt remind the people of the borough of the ‘decent church that tops the neighbouring hill’.” .[4]

The Presbyterian Church in Norwood Street Flemington was only a short walk around the corner from James Urie’s house “Glencairn” in Wellington Street. Undoubtedly he would have been proud of the church they had constructed but he would not share long in its history.

James Urie died seventeen months later, on the 21st of July 1890 aged 62. His funeral was recorded as being one of the most imposing ever seen in the Borough of Flemington and Kensington;

“…The employės of Messrs Ferguson & Urie marched in front of the hearse, then came four mourning coaches and upward of fifty vehicles. Immediately following the mourning coaches came a hansom, in which the Hon Alfred Deakin was seated, then next in order a buggy containing the deceased gentleman’s council colleagues…”[5]

Alfred Deakin, later to be Prime Minister of Australia, also played a part as a pall bearer at the grave site.

The last known mention of additional stained glass windows occurred in 1924 when the congregation decided to erect a memorial to the fallen WW1 soldiers from the parish [6]. If the memorial window was actually created as intended then it would most likely have been created by the Brooks, Robinson & Co., stained glass company of Melbourne.

The church survived 81 years before unfortunately being destroyed by fire on the 24th April 1970. It’s not known if any significant historical artifacts survived the fire and there is nothing further known of the stained glass windows.

The whereabouts of the silver trowel presented to James Urie to lay the foundation stone remains a mystery. It was Willed to his daughter Maria as indicated in her mother Grace’s Will of 1899. Maria died a spinster in 1915 but the research trail has ended there and nothing further is known.

Significant tabloid transcriptions:

North Melbourne, Advertiser, Vic, Saturday 30th June 1888, page 4.

“FOUNDATION STONE CEREMONY

The foundation stone of the new Presbyterian Church, at Flemington, of which the above drawing is an excellent representation, was laid on Monday afternoon, by the Mayor (Councillor James Urie), in the presence of a very large assemblage of residents and visitors amongst whom were the Rev. G. D. Buchanan. S. Robinson and James; Professors MacDonald and Rentoul, and other prominent divines. Prior to the commencement of the ceremony, about 450 Sabbath School children, nicely dressed, and with flags flying marched in procession from the new hall to the ground in Norwood street. Before leaving the mayor presented each child with a neat medal with a design of the church on one side commemorative of the event. The proceedings were commenced by the choir singing the hymn “Brightly gleams our Banner,” and afterwards the Rev. John Thomson offered up an earnest prayer for the success of the undertaking.
Professor Rentoul, who was briefly introduced by the Rev. John Thomson, said it gave him very great pleasure to be present at the laying of the foundation stone of such a magnificent church, but especially so because he had the deepest regard for their worthy pastor, the Rev John Thomson, whom he had known years ago as a most earnest worker in the ministry in England. It was a great blessing to a congregation to have such a good and able pastor who took so deep an interest in the welfare of his flock, and it was also a boon to have a good church. Referring to the past career of the Presbyterian Church, Professor Rentoul pointed out that it had never been afraid to stand up for God’s truth when necessity arose, as history proved. It was the church of the people, as it was free to all and fell in more with their ideas of Christianity. Dr. Martineau had even advised his Unitarian congregation in England to embrace the Presbyterian form of Church government, and, in fact, he (Professor Rentoul) considered the Presbyterian Church of Scotland came nearest the beau ideal of what a Christian church ought to be. The grand old German Emperor who so recently passed away was a Presbyterian, and from the rapid manner in which the church was everywhere progressing, it would be, he thought, the church of the future. The foundation stone they were about to lay, was he was glad to say, a proof of the advancement of the Presbyterian cause in the district of Flemington and Kensington. He eulogised the efforts and liberality of the congregation in subscribing toward the erection of such a beautiful church, and referred particularly to Mr. Urie, as being worthy of special thanks for the part he had taken in the movement. He urged all to continue their exertions, and no doubt they would soon succeed in clearing off the remaining portion of the cost. If it had been the proper place, he should have felt impelled to call for three cheers for Mr and Mrs Thomson, and also for Mr. Urie who had been mainly instrumental in having such a splendid edifice built, but as at the present time he could not do this, he would conclude by congratulating the congregation on the success already attained, and urge them all to work in harmony for the good of the church.
Mr Thomson introduced the Mayor (Cr. Urie), who had been connected from the first with the church in the district, and had done all in his power for its advancement. He presented Mr. Urie amidst applause with a very handsome silver trowel, and invited him to lay the foundation stone of the church he had always advocated should be erected. Cr. Urie, who was well received, said that about five years ago the Presbyterians agreed to hold their services in the Flemington and Kensington Hall. They had been exceedingly fortunate in securing the services of their respected pastor, the Rev. John Thomson, and through his excellent capabilities and energy n the cause, the congregation became so numerous that it was thought advisable to take steps for the erection of a suitable church. The congregation were not at all backward in coming forward with donations, and the present site was accordingly purchased at £6 per foot. He always believed in building a good church when they did build one, as it would serve all requirements for a long time to come, which a smaller one would not do. The design, he thought was most appropriate and suitable in every respect, and when completed they would have a church to be proud of. The height from the ground would be 10 feet to the spire, and with the seating the church would cost £2,500. He expressed his thanks for the silver trowel presented to him, and it would be a fitting souvenir of the important ceremony he was about to perform. He then proceeded to mix the mortar, and after exhibiting a box, in which he had stated the periodicals of the day were encased, placed it under the stone, which he then, with great care and in a most workmanlike manner, declared to be well and truly laid amidst loud applause. The Mayor next drew attention to the collection plate, pointing out that paper money, sovereigns or silver would be thankfully received in aid of the building fund, which it was most desirable to pay off as quickly as possible so as to be perfectly free and clear from any encumbrance. He set a most excellent example by placing what looked like two ten pound notes into the plate, and invited those present to follow suit, with the result that for the next few minutes there was a decided rush of well wishers of the church and the Sunday school scholars were very conspicuous with their offerings, in fact it was pleasing to see the eagerness of some of the children to part with their money. At length the funds of the onlookers ‘having been well and truly laid,’ the Rev. John Thomson announced that several gentlemen would like to make a few remarks.
Duguid, the architect for the building, stated in a brief speech that originally it was intended to erect a church costing only £1400 but Mr. Urie was so desirous of seeing a really good building worthy of the district put up, that at length it was agreed to adopt his advice, with the result that eventually the present design was accepted. The land on which the church was to be erected was 80 feet by 180, and had been purchased at £6 per foot. The building would cost £2500, of which sum £900 had been subscribed, and another £150 was promised, provided that an additional £50 was collected by six months.
The Rev. Samuel Robinson, of St. Kilda, said he was pleased to say he been present at the initiation of the movement for the erection of the church, and he could assure them that Mr. Urie deserved the greatest credit for the interest he had taken in the matter throughout, while the Misses Urie, by their exertions in aid of the funds, were entitled to equal praise. Both Mr. and Mrs. Thomson had also by their untiring efforts brought the church to its present state of prosperity, and were deserving of the most hearty thanks of the congregation. He earnestly hoped all would continue to work together without and heartburnings, not only for the erection of the church, but for its after prosperity.
Professor McDonald expressed his pleasure at being present on such an eventful occasion, as it proved that Mr. Thomson had not laboured in vain for the district. The congregation were most fortunate in having Mr. Thomson as their pastor, as there were few superior or more devoted and earnest men in the service of God and man. His thought and scholarly attainments were well-known and appreciated, in fact, he possessed qualifications that entitled him to seek higher places, but he had chosen instead to cast his lot with them. He was truly happy to see that Mr. Thomson’s labours had been so successful and borne such good fruit.

 TEA AND PUBLIC MEETING.

 In the evening a very successful tea meeting was held in the New Hall, and was followed by a public meting and concert, at which there was a very large attendance. The Mayor (Cr. Urie) presided, and on the platform were the Revs. Alex Marshall, Buchanan, Burchett, James and Smith. The meeting having opened with prayer.
The chairman gave an interesting address, in which he described the past history of the Presbyterian Church at Kensington, and the difficulties that at first had to be contended with. Five years ago the congregation commenced to hold services in the new hall, and after some time the Rev. John Thomson was persuaded to cast in his lot with them, and accept a call to the church. The congregation largely increased under his ministration and it was then decided to make an offer to purchase a block of land on which to erect a suitable church. Subscriptions came in the most liberal manner, and a very successful cake fair was also held which materially increased the funds, and with other donations, they were at length in a position to purchase a valuable site in Norwood street at a cost of £520. Designs were then invited for a church to cost about £1400, but the congregation ultimately decided to erect a more imposing building, and the present design by Mr. Duguid was accepted. He believed in erecting a good church while they were about it, as the extra cost, he thought, would be subscribed without very much difficulty, and it was far better to have a building with which they would all be quite satisfied instead of a smaller one, which would not so well answer requirements. He thought if they all did their best the balance of the building fund would soon be collected and then they would have a church free of debt of their own, which they could be proud of (Applause.) The choir then sang the anthem ‘Then wilt thou show’ with excellent affect and Mr. Boreham followed with ‘Nil Desperandum.’
G. D. Buchanan next gave a spirited address, and congratulated the congregation on being able to erect such a splendid church, which proved that they appreciated the efforts of their worthy pastor, who was entitled to their hearty thanks for the energetic manner he had worked to bring the church in the district to its present prosperous state. He urged them all to stick together and do their best to pay off the remaining debt on the church, and if they remained united there was no doubt they would succeed in surmounting all difficulties, and become a strong congregation.
The Rev. Alexander Marshall, of Scot’s Church, the Rev. Jas. Burchett and James also addressed the meeting, and wished the congregation success in their undertaking.
The singing of the choir under the able conductorship of Mr. Townsend was much appreciated, the anthems – ‘Arise and shine’ and ‘I will wash my hands’ being particularly well rendered. A trio – ‘Thou shalt love the Lord’ by Miss Clayton and Messrs. Clayton and Townshend was very nicely given, and a song ‘Calvery,’ by Miss Gray was most successfully rendered. The meeting, which was most enjoyable and successful, closed with the benediction.”

North Melbourne Advertiser, Vic, Saturday 7th July 1888, page 4.

“FLEMINGTON PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH.

The following is a description of the above building. The church when finished will form a handsome and conspicuous addition to the architecture of the borough. In plan it is an amphitheatre in form; the pews radiating from the pulpit in five blocks, and providing accommodation for 360 worshipers. The extreme internal dimensions are 54 ft. wide, 48 ft. long. The width is arranged in a central nave 36 ft. wide, and side aisles 9 ft wide for three fourths of the length. The roof of the nave is supported on cast iron columns, and consist of four massive curved principals, giving a clear height of 28 ft. from floor to ceiling. Running along the top of the columns are heavily moulded beams, supported by curved gothic brackets springing from the caps of the columns, and similar beams and brackets run from the columns to the walls, to carry the roof of the side aisles. The whole of the ceiling will be finished in stained and varnished kauri pine, and the side walls will have a dado of same all round. The principal entrance are by the tower door on the right hand side, and a similar door in a porch on the left, these being connected by a commodious vestibule outside the main building. Besides these doors, there are four others intended more as a means of egress, and those arrangements have met with the fullest approval of Central Board of Health. The church will be lighted by ten double-light stained glass windows in the side walls, besides a large gable window. The main feature of the design externally is, of course, the spire, which rises in graceful proportions to the height of 100 ft. above the floor level, the upper part being slated and surmounted by a handsome cast iron finial. The main gable rises to a height of about 45 feet, and contains the large window before referred to. It is well balanced in effect by a flanking buttress carrying a small pinnacle, and the apex is filled in by coloured tiles. The back gable is filled in with wood and lath and plaster at present, to permit of future extensions, but the rest of the walls are all of brick, tuck-pointed, and having bands, arches, &c., of coloured bricks. It is no discredit to the other churches in the neighbourhood to say that when finished it will be beyond question the most handsome church in the borough, and reflects great credit on the skill and economical planning of the architect that a building of such proportions and style could have been undertaken for the very modest sum of £2150, which is the amount of the contract. The sum does not include fittings, but it includes an ornamental front fence, and a good deal of asphalting in the grounds.”

North Melbourne Advertiser, Vic, Saturday 8th September 1888, page 2.

“In connection with the Flemington and Kensington Presbyterian Church, it has been decided to substitute Victorian patent stone for timber and seating in the erection of the spire of the above building. This will add greatly to the appearance, and also to the durability of the structure. In spite of the scarcety of bricks the erection of the building is making good progress, and it is intended to open it about the middle of December.”

North Melbourne Advertiser, Vic, Saturday 2nd February 1889, page 3.

Summary – On the evening of Thursday the 31st January 1889, the wife of the minister, Mrs. J. Thompson was entertained on the eve of her intended journey to return temporarily to the old country for the benefit of her health. The going away party was organised by the Flemington congregation at which time she was presented with a small token of sovereigns. After some refreshments many songs were sung, including James Urie’s rendition of ‘Oh, steer my bark.’

North Melbourne, Advertiser, Vic, Saturday 23rd February 1889, page 2.

“It has been decided that the opening services in connection with the new Presbyterian Church at Flemington will take place on Monday 10th March. The denomination has purchased a ‘powerful’ bell, whose tones will no doubt remind the people of the borough of the ‘decent church that tops the neighbouring hill’.

The Argus, Melbourne, Vic, Wednesday 30th April 1924, page 9.

“It has been decided by the congregation of the Flemington and Kensington Presbyterian Church to have a memorial window placed in the church in memory of fallen soldiers of the parish.”

Related posts:

23-07-1890: James Urie (1828-1890)

18-09-1885: James Urie’s house “Glencairn”, Wellington Street, Flemington.

Footnotes:

[1] Museum Victoria, Carlton Gardens, Melbourne (accessed 14-08-2014).

[2] North Melbourne, Advertiser, Vic, Saturday 30th June 1888, page 4.

[3] North Melbourne Advertiser, Vic, Saturday 7th July 1888, page 4.

[4] North Melbourne, Advertiser, Vic, Saturday 23rd February 1889, page 2.

[5] The North Melbourne Advertiser, Friday 25th July 1890, page 2

[6] The Argus, Melbourne, Vic, Wednesday 30th April 1924, page 9.


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1873: Christ Church Anglican, Geelong, Victoria.

The John Rendall Morris (1820-1872) Memorial Window.

In October 1872 the committee of Christ Church in Moorabool Street, Geelong, requested the Ferguson & Urie stained glass company of North Melbourne to provide some designs for a memorial window to be erected in the liturgical north transept.

“Members of almost every denomination have contributed to the memorial window which it is proposed to place in Christ Church to the memory of the late Mr. J. R. Morris, the total amount received to date being about £112. About £40 more will be required, but, as several friends of the deceased have not sent in their subscription, and as others have intimated their willingness to increase their subscriptions, if found necessary to do so, the committee have requested Messrs Urie and Ferguson to furnish two designs, which are expected to arrive shortly.”[1]

The window was to be a memorial the memory of their much respected Church Warden and Trustee, John Rendall Morris who died aged 53 on the 15th September 1872.

An extraordinary list of prominent citizens of Geelong, including the Mayor, Sir Charles Sladen, was formed as the committee for the erection of the window[2].

By the end of November 1872 a total of £145 had been subscribed for the window of its reported total cost of £160[3] and by early December a design by the Ferguson & Urie stained glass company was on public display at the establishment of Henry Franks, stationer and book seller, of Malop Street in Geelong:

“The coloured design for the stained glass window to be placed in the north transept of Christ Church as a memorial of the late Mr J. R. Morris is now being exhibited at Mr Franks’s. In the centre of the design there is a representation of the Transfiguration of our Saviour, Moses and Elias being on either side, and Peter, James, and John underneath as witnesses. In the tracery there are figures of Abraham, Joshua, and David – representative characters of the patriarchs, judges, and kings of Israel. Next are busts of the twelve minor prophets, and on the outer side lights there are figures of the four greater prophets – Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel.”[4]

On the 23rd of December 1872 a meeting of the subscribers was held at the Market-Square offices of Geelong accountant, George Bowes Fraser (1810-1881)[5] , for the purpose of approving Ferguson & Urie’s proposed design[6].

The extremely ambitious and complex design contains the figures of twenty six prophets and saints and has the memorial text at the base;

“TO THE GLORY OF GOD – AND IN MEMORY OF – JOHN RENDALL MORRIS – CHURCHWARDEN & TRUSTEE – WHO DIED SEPTR 15 1872”

Exactly when the window was erected or dedicated in early 1873 has not yet been determined but 140 years later, in November 2013, mindless vandals managed to smash the lower centre area of this window and many others with bricks.

The Caulfield stained glass studio of Geoffrey Wallace is undertaking the repair and conservation work.

Photos taken between 2010 and 2013.

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The twenty six saints and prophets depicted in the window are:

Top Row:

ABRAM, ISAAC, JACOB, JOSHUA, SAMUEL, DAVID

2nd Row:

JOEL, AMOS, OBADIAH, JONAH, MICAH, NAHUM, ZEPHANIAH, HABAKKUK, HAGGAI, ZECHARIAH

3rd Row:

ISAIAH, MOSES, IMMANUEL, ELIJAH, EZEKIEL,

4th (bottom) Row:

JEREMIAH, ST JAMES, ST PETER, ST JOHN, DANIEL


John Rendall Morris (1820-1872).

John Rendall Morris was born 23rd January 1820, Islington, Middlesex, England, the son of John Morris and Jane Frances Watkins[7].

As a young man in his early 20’s he immigrated to Australia where, on the 6th of April 1843, he married Annie Wesley Morris nee Howe (c.1824-1866), daughter of a founder of the Sydney Gazette, Robert Howe, at St Lawrence Church, in Sydney[8].

Circa 1852 they moved to Geelong where he was appointed manager of the Bank of Australasia[9]. He was very active in community and church circles and in 1860[10], 1862[11] and 1869[12] he held appointments as Territorial Magistrate for Geelong. In 1861 he was a member of the Committee of Management for the Geelong Infirmary and Benevolent Asylum[13] but known to be involved in some capacity with that institution as early as 1858. He was also a well-respected member of the Anglican Church community and held the position of Trustee and Warden of Christ Church Geelong where his memorial window is located.

On the 5th June 1866 his wife Annie died at the age of 42[14] and two years later he married Priscilla Emily Ryland at Christ Church Geelong, on the 12th November 1868[15].

John Rendall Morris died on the 15th September 1872 aged 53[16]. He was buried at the Geelong Eastern cemetery on the 17th with his first wife Annie, who died in 1866 and second wife Priscilla, who died in 1891[17]. He is not known to have had any children by either marriage.


Significant transcriptions:

Geelong Advertiser, Vic, Tuesday 24th September 1872, page 2.

“It is proposed to place a large stained glass window in the north transept of Christ Church, in memory of the late Mr J. R. Morris, who was a constant attendant at the church, and an indefatigable office-bearer. That the window will be a valuable one may be judged from the fact that the following influential committee has been formed to carry out the object in view, and will receive subscriptions in its aid, viz:- The Hon. C. Sladen, the mayor of Geelong, and Messrs D. C. Macarthur, J. Bell, M. Elliott, E. Morrah, F. G. Smith, J. Galletly, J. Simpson, A. Buchanan, S. V. Buckland, S. A. Bryant, F. Shaw, M.D., J. B. Wilson, M.A., G. F. Belcher, T. C. Harwood, A. Douglass, C. Ibbotson, T. Roadnight, H. Franks, and G. A. Stephen. Mr A. S. Park, of the Colonial Bank, has been appointed treasurer, and Mr. G. Fraser, hon. secretary of the committee.”

Geelong Advertiser, Vic, Friday 18th October 1872, page 2.

“Members of almost every denomination have contributed to the memorial window which it is proposed to place in Christ Church to the memory of the late Mr. J. R. Morris, the total amount received to date being about £112. About £40 more will be required, but, as several friends of the deceased have not sent in their subscription, and as others have intimated their willingness to increase their subscriptions, if found necessary to do so, the committee have requested Messrs Urie and Ferguson to furnish two designs, which are expected to arrive shortly.”

Geelong Advertiser, Vic, Thursday 19th December 1872, page 3.

“A MEETING of Subscribers to the Memorial Window to be placed in Christ Church, in memory of the late Mr. J. R. Morris, will be held at the office of Mr. G. B. Fraser, Market-Square, on Monday, 23rd instant, at 4 o’clock, to approve of the design. A. STEELE PARK, Hon. Treasurer.”

Other historic Ferguson & Urie windows in Christ Church:

1869: The Chancel window.

1872: The Anglican Diocese 25th Anniversary window.

Footnotes:

[1] Geelong Advertiser, Vic, Friday 18th October 1872, page 2.

[2] Geelong Advertiser, Vic, Tuesday 24th September 1872, page 2.

[3] Geelong Advertiser, Vic, Saturday 30th November 1872, page 2.

[4] Geelong Advertiser, Vic, Monday 9th December 1872, page 2.

[5] Vic BDM: 4555/1881, age 71. Geelong Eastern Cemetery EAS-COE-OLD-A-807-355.

[6] Geelong Advertiser, Vic, Thursday 19th December 1872, page 3.

[7] Vic BDM: 6921/1872.

[8] The Sydney Morning Herald, NSW, Friday 7th April 1843, page 3.

[9] The Argus, Melbourne, Vic, Monday 16th September 1872, page 5.

[10] Victorian Govt Gazette 58, Friday 11th May 1860, page 881.

[11] Victorian Govt Gazette 140, Tuesday 9th December 1862, page 2507.

[12] Victorian Govt Gazette 1, Tuesday 5th January 1869, page 4

[13] Ninth Annual Report of the Committee of Management, Geelong, 1861.

[14] The Argus, Melbourne, Vic, Wednesday 6th June 1866, page 4.

[15] The Argus, Melbourne, Vic, Monday 7th December 1868, page 4.

[16] The Argus, Melbourne, Vic, Tuesday 17th September 1872, page 4.

[17] The Argus, Melbourne, Vic, Friday 16th October 1891, page 1.

 

1873: St Thomas’ Catholic Church, Drysdale, Victoria.

The original St Thomas Catholic Church in Drysdale was built in 1855 to the designs of architect Richard Abraham Dowden (1829-1868).

It was constructed by Simmie & Mclachlan [1] and was officially opened in 1856.

In June 1873, architect Andrew Williams advertised for tenders for the enlargement of St Thomas [2] and by the end of July significant portions of the south end (liturgical east) were removed to make way for a new chancel, transept and vestry [3].

By October of 1873 a new three light window depicting the Crucifixion was erected in the new chancel by the Ferguson & Urie stained glass company of North Melbourne.

On the 8th of October 1873 a Geelong Advertiser reporter going by the name “G.D.P” wrote:

“…I noticed extensive improvements at the Roman Catholic Church, and was told that a splendid new chancel window was being put in by the celebrated firm of Ferguson, Urie and Lyon, of North Melbourne. I had not time to look at it, but a friend at Drysdale told me it was worth a visit…”[4]

Photos taken 19th June 2014.

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If  “G.D.P” had actually seen the window for himself in 1873 then it would certainly have been well worth the visit as his friend had stated.

The three light window still exists in remarkably good condition to this day despite some significant paint loss and water damage in the top third of the window. It is an unmistakeable and typical 1870’s Gothic design by the Ferguson & Urie stained glass company of North Melbourne.

The centre light of the window depicts the Crucifixion. The upper region of the window contains the triquetra symbol which is synonymous with the trinity. Beneath this, on the left, is the Pelican in the act of self sacrifice feeding blood from her chest to her young and on the right is the Paschal Lamb or ‘Agnus Dei’ carrying the victory banner.

The left and right lights contain the “Arma Christi” or “Instruments of the Passion” representing the tools and weapons used in Christ’s Crucifixion.

In the left light, at the top, is the scourging or flagellation post and at the bottom are the crown of thorns and the three nails used to affix Christ to the cross.

In the right light, at the top are other tools used to in the Crucifixion, the hammer, pincers, the sponge on the reed, lance, whips and the three dice that the soldiers used to draw lots to see who would gain Christ’s seamless garment. At the bottom of the window is the Holy Chalice.

The centre light contains the figurative scene of Christ being crucified and beneath his feet is the monogram “I.H.S,” being the first three initials for Christ in Greek.

The whole of the arrangement is filled in with a background of Gothic floral designs using the bold primary colours with alternating borders of red and blue separated by a white or yellow flower.

On the 28th of July 2010 the new modern St Thomas Church, in Peninsula Drive, was officially opened by Archbishop Denis Hart.[5]

The original old St Thomas Church in Wyndham Street, Drysdale is now privately owned and forms part of the Drysdale Grove Nursing Home complex.

Significant transcriptions:

Geelong Advertiser, Vic, Wednesday 8th October 1873, page 3.

“FROM GEELONG TO PORTARLINGTON.

On a short journey for health I took my way to one of my old and favourite places of retreat – Portarlington, and send my jottings of men and things as picked up by bits and scraps from conversation and observation. And first I am sure you will be glad to learn that on my whole journey from Geelong through Drysdale the country looked splendid; crops never looked better even in the best seasons of the past; and the roads – some portions are good, very good; some middling, and part execrable – I believe that is the word. Has the Shire Council not funds to metal the plank road – that abomination of travellers. When driving over it on a very dry day you think every bone in your body will be rattled away from the flesh; and the vehicle! it is a trial to coachmakers – springs, bolts, nuts, shafts, and all fixings are tested. Further on, near the Roman Catholic Church there is a jolting quagmire and pits. The metal is good again after this until you get on another spongy piece, and so it is the remainder of the way through this rising township to Portarlington, alternate clay road and stretches of metalling. On nearing Drysdale I was gratified with a sight of that splendid sheet of fresh water, called Lake Lorn, formed by the shire council by throwing up a bank across the outlet and macadamising the top of the bank. Around this inland lake the land has been selected, and the settler’s improvements are progressing rapidly. The margin for about 200 feet around the water has been reserved by Government, and is studded with large eucalypti, rendering the whole not unlike an old park lake of Britain. Drysdale has improved; the cottage building is of a more comfortable and pleasing style than I saw here three years ago. I noticed extensive improvements at the Roman Catholic Church, and was told that a splendid new chancel window was being put in by the celebrated firm of Ferguson, Urie and Lyon, of North Melbourne. I had not time to look at it, but a friend at Drysdale told me it was worth a visit. The shire hall is now civilised looking. The trees and shrubs have grown in a belt, and the old store like appearance has been altered by some additions and pinnacled gables. It is certainly not the wretched thing it was, but it wants renewing – stock, lock, and barrel – to suit the improvements around. The Buck’s Head is improved in appearance, a new orderly-room for the Drysdale Artillery has been erected on a vacant piece of ground, and some new shops have been built. I was greatly pleased with the new English Church, a pretty building with stained glass windows, about a quarter of a mile from the Buck’s Head. This being on the road side, I took a look inside, and was fairly astonished, everything was different to what I had seen in similar places, but suitable. The benches low, with kneeling-board, the book boards under the seats, and the back rails levelled off to rest on during prayer. There is no “wine glass” pulpit but a convenient service stand for the minister; the table is covered with a short fringed cloth; and the front of table, desk front, chancel arch, walls, and window-bays, is hung on painted with texts. The stained window in the chancel has the centre piece, the women at the tomb after the Resurrection, and the words “He is not here, He is risen,” underneath. The nave windows are filled with thick cathedral and colored glass. The whole work is tasty and reflects credit on the congregation. After leaving the church I got on my way to Portarlington again, but as there is a good deal to say about the improvements and appearances here, I will send you the remainder in a day or two, describing the schools, and jetties, &c., and perhaps some rare characters I have met with but who have not yet figured on the boards, till then I hope to sign myself. G.D.P.”

 

Footnotes:

[1] http://vhd.heritage.vic.gov.au/reports/report_place/21576 (accessed 1 June 2014)

[2] Geelong Advertiser, Vic, Thursday 12th June 1873, page 3.

[3] Geelong Advertiser, Vic, Monday 28th July 1873, page 3.

[4] Geelong Advertiser, Vic, Wednesday 8th October 1873, page 3.

[5] Kairos: Volume 21, Issue 15, 2010.

 

 


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1872: Christ Church Anglican, Geelong, Victoria.

The 25th Anniversary Window.

The second historical Ferguson & Urie stained glass window to be erected in Christ Church at Geelong was a three light Gothic decorated design by the company’s senior stained glass artist and partner John Lamb Lyon. It was erected in the liturgical north side of the nave in Christ Church circa August 1872 which was a year before Lyon departed the firm for his own ventures in Sydney.

The instigator for the erection of this window was the Parish Incumbent, Canon George Goodman, who served as Vicar of Christ Church and other ecclesiastic appointments for 51 years from 1855 to 1906. His wife Margaret is credited with the momentum and collection of subscriptions for the window, which cost £50 with a further £5 required for its wire protection.

The three light window was erected to commemorate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Melbourne diocese and Prelacy of Bishop Charles Perry [1]. It depicts the biblical images of the alter egos of the four evangelists, with the Agnus Dei or Paschal Lamb in the centre light carrying the victory banner.

All of the text on the window is in Latin and the text at the base loosely translates as:

“Feast of St Peter’s Day (29th of June) 1872. Episcopate of Melbourne’s 25th year”.

Photos were taken between 2010 and 2013.

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Geelong Advertiser, Vic, Friday 16th August 1872, page 2.

“A few weeks ago it was mentioned that Mrs. G. Goodman was actively bestirring herself collecting subscriptions for an ornamental window, which it was proposed should take the place of a window on the north side of Christ Church, through which the summer sun occasionally shone too powerfully. In addition to this she is desirous that a memorial window should be placed in the church to commemorate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Right Rev. Dr. Perry’s prelacy. The sum required was £55, not much in itself, but large when the many calls that are being made upon the congregation are taken into consideration, and unassisted, Mrs Goodman accomplished her task. A window was ordered of Messrs Ferguson, Urie, and Lyon, of Melbourne. The artistic talents of Mr Lyon, who has lately returned from following medieval studies in the various cathedrals of Europe, were called into requisition, and the result was that during the past week a window has been placed in Christ Church that cannot fail to be admired. Many may consider there is a preponderance of green about it, but this colour was deemed the best for the powerful sun to shine through. The window, which is of the early decorated order, consists of three light, with two quatrefoils and a small oblong in the arch. The groundwork is a combination of faint yellow, with passion flowers outlined in black, so as to give a greenish hue, which as before hinted, subdues the glare of the northern sun. In a centre light, in a ruby ground, is the lamb and flag emblem of the Agnus Dei, within a vesica piscis. Four circular medallions with green borders are placed in the centre and side lights, so as to combine with the vesica in a cruciform arrangement, containing emblems of the four evangelists, viz.- the human face for St. Matthew, the lion for St. Mark, the ox for St. Luke, and the eagle for St. John. The wings of these emblematic creatures are of a cold blue, edged with green, to act as a foil to the bright ruby and violet distributed over the window. The inscription intimates that the window is erected in honour of the completion of the 25th year of the diocese of Melbourne, bearing date St. Peter’s Day (June 29th), 1872. The words of the inscription, like those of the evangelists’ names and of the Agnus Dei, are in Latin – “Festo S. Petri, MDCCCLXXII, Episcopatur Melbornsi, XXV annos condito.” The net cost of the window was £50, but £5 more was required for protecting it with wire.”

The instigators for the erection of the window:

Margaret Elizabeth Goodman (nee Mortlock 1821-1901) was former governess for the Marquis of Normanby and married Anglican clergyman George Goodman (1821-1908) in St. Bride’s, Fleet Street, London on the 1st July 1853. Just over three weeks later they departed Bristol for Australia aboard the ‘Corfield’ on the 23rd July 1853 and arrived in December of 1853[2].

Margaret died 26th September 1901 aged 80 and Canon George Goodman died 25th June 1908 at the age of 87. Both were interred in the Geelong Eastern Cemetery along with four of their children [3][4].

Of Christ Church itself, it is the only Church in Victoria designed by architect Edmund Blacket. It was opened and dedicated on the 27 June 1847 and consecrated on 25 October 1859.

Other references:

NLA Obituary: Geelong Advertiser, Vic, Friday 26th June 1908, page 3.

Australian Dictionary of Biography: Canon George Goodman (1821-1908).

Other Ferguson & Urie windows in Christ Church:

Other Ferguson & Urie stained glass windows in Christ Church include the Chancel window (c. Nov 1869) and the ‘John Rendall Morris’ memorial window in the liturgical north transept (c.1873).

Footnotes:

[1] Geelong Advertiser, Vic, Friday 16th August 1872, page 2.

[2] http://www.archerfamily.org.uk/family/goodman.htm (accessed 6 Jul 2014). Note: This reference can not be substantiated from any shipping registers.

[3] Geelong Cemetery Register: 5967, EAS-COE-OLD-A-807-051

[4] Geelong Cemetery Register: 4709, EAS-COE-OLD-A-807-072

 

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