Updates 2014

This is the last update entry for 2014.


The mystery of James Ferguson’s brother, David, is now resolved. It’s known that he disolved his partnership with his brother James and James Urie and returned to Scotland in early 1857. Back in Wallacetown, in 1871 or earlier, he contracted “phthisis abdominalis” (An archaic medical term for a form of Tuberculosis) and so began his slow and painful demise. At this stage David was the sole proprietor of his late father’s Plumbing and Slating business. Probably fully aware of his imminent death, he sold the company to long time employee, John Miekle, on the 20th January 1872. Nine weeks later David died, a bachelor, on the 26th March 1872, aged 48

See post: 30-01-1857: David Ferguson returns to Scotland.


The Welsh Church in Latrobe Street Melbourne has a very typical stained glass design by Ferguson & Urie from 1872, except its written in Welsh using English Gothic lettering! This has had me stumped for a long time. Translating it has been a nightmare, especially when the lettering was difficult to read to start with.

Anyhow, a Flickr member from the “Stained Glass Help” pool (yes, amazingly, there is such a thing), has unraveled it. Flickr member John Luff has the translation as:


The text comes from the King James Bible:
1 John 4.7 – “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.

See post 01-01-1872: Welsh Church, Latrobe street, Melbourne, Victoria for the update.


The post 26-06-1868: St. John’s Anglican Church, Toorak, Melbourne, Victoria has been updated to include a photo summary of the Cornish family monument at the Melbourne General Cemetery.


The Coburg Historical Society post presentation report by Marilyn Moore can be seen <here>


Wednesday 15th Oct 2014: If this is in your territory it might provide an alternative to the TV ‘doom and gloom’. At 8pm at the Coburg Library meeting rooms (corner Victoria and Louisa Streets Coburg)  I’ll be giving a visual presentation on “Ferguson & Urie, Victoria’s Colonial Stained Glass Craftsmen 1853-1899″. See Twitter Info.


It’s felt like a long drought since any updates, news, or changes to the web site, but it’s only been just over three weeks. It feels like months!

Anyhow, I’ve eventually found an historic tabloid article from 1863 that specifically mentions ‘Ferguson & Urie’ by name as the manufacturers of the stained glass at the Church of Christ (former ‘John Knox’ Free Presbyterian Church) in Swanston Street Melbourne. Although it’s well known that the windows were made by Ferguson & Urie (the three light window facing Swanston Street has the company name on it!) I suppose it’s just a nice little bit of icing on the cake for the provenance of the windows but I’ve decided to do a major rewrite of the entire article.

See: http://wp.me/p28nLD-10A


I followed up an obscure clue on fathers day by a quick trip to the Uniting (former Presbyterian) church at Melton which was opened in 1867.

The only obscure clue that this church may possibly have had stained glass by the Ferguson & Urie Company was a flimsy mention of the stained glass during the opening ceremony on the 8th September 1867;

“…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…”

When I walked in and saw the kaleidoscope of colours projected on the floor from the window and then looked up, you can imagine the wry smile on my face when confronted  by another magnificent unmistakeable 1860’s Ferguson & Urie window. Another great addition to the research collection!

I have no specific article on this window yet but detailed photos of the window can be seen in my FLICKR photo sets here;


A full cycle of all the figurative windows, which includes the other four two light windows by the Brooks, Robinson & Co stained glass company can be seen here;



I’ve consolidated three articles about the 1867 illuminations of the Melbourne City and suburbs.

See: 1867: The Royal Visit – The Illuminations and decorations throughout Melbourne.


I’ve added a ‘Twitter’ feed to the right menu bar of the web site. It’s an experiment at this stage to see if my research gains a wee bit more of a following.

Follow on Twitter at: @FergusonAndUrie


I met my uncle and aunt Bill & Betty at Queenscliff for lunch at to tell the story of the stained glass at St George’s Anglican Church. The unusual thing found was an amazing  recent entry in the visitor book which i’m following up – Visitors book 13 Mar 2011.


My next presentation on Ferguson & Urie stained glass and the history will be (at this stage), at the Coburg Historical Society on Wednesday 15th October 2014. Details and confirmation will be published here closer to the date.

Unfortunately I neglected to add the details for the last one held on the 24th June 2014 at the Essendon Historical Society. It was quite an attendance with more than 40 people crowded into the court house.


Updated post: 1897: The Singleton Dispensary, Collingwood, Victoria.

I’ve added new photos of the Dr. John Singleton gravestone at the Melbourne General Cemetery. On our last visit in 2013 the entire site of memorials had been removed for refurbishment and as at the last visit, on Sunday the 20th July 2014, it’s all been completed and back in place.


Updated post 07-08-1867: Decorative Art. James Urie sojourning in Tasmania.
An extra historical newspaper article transcription has been added to this post.


Updated post: 17-04-1867: St Paul’s Anglican Church, Latrobe Terrace, Geelong, Victoria.
I’ve recently found a fantastic article from the Geelong Advertiser published on the 25th April 1868 and I’ve added a complete transcription of it to my post.


Updated post: 14-02-1868: St Paul’s, Latrobe Terrace, Geelong, Victoria.
I’ve found a great article from the Geelong Advertiser of the 18th Feb 1868 about this window and have added a full transcription of the article to this post.


Updated post 27-04-1862: St Giles Presbyterian Church, Geelong, Victoria.
Added an additional transcription from the Geelong Advertiser 29th April 1862.


Updated post: 21-09-1867: St Paul’s Cathedral, Sale, Gippsland, Victoria, Australia.
Minor addition of another historical newspaper article about the Floyd Minter Peck memorial window from the Geelong Advertiser 26th Sep 1867.


Today I visited the Presbyterian and St John’s Anglican Church at Epping, which is about 22km north of Melbourne. Last week I saw at the Presbyterian Church what looked to be the typical outline of a Ferguson & Urie three light window from about 100 meters away from the footpath and today’s visit to see the window from the inside confirmed it! There is not much known of the Presbyterian church history at all other than it has “A.D. 1867” in a sandstone tablet in the liturgical west gable facing High Street.

An album of detailed photos of the Presbyterian window can be seen on my Flickr photo stream <here>.

Just down the street a bit further on is St John’s Anglican which I thought may have had a round/rose window by Ferguson & Urie and today’s visit proved that one to also be another good example. The nave windows are also Ferguson & Urie stock windows but are in poor condition with many plain replacement pieces of glass.

An album of detailed photos of the St John’s windows can be seen on my Flickr photo stream <here>.


A few days ago I found an article from a newly digitised edition of the Geelong Advertiser from Oct 1873 with the following:

“…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…”

That old quote still stands! Even after over 140 years have passed, it is still well “worth a visit”.

If you did a rudimentary Google search for the Drysdale Catholic church you would find a fancy new building with modern glass etc, not a church erected in 1855. http://www.stthomasparishdrysdale.org.au/

Anyhow, thankfully the “Old” St Thomas’s survived the wrecker and still exists some distance away and is now part of the Drysdale Grove Nursing Home and so is not generally accessible to the public (can be hired for weddings though). It has been very simply and tastefully restored too!

I arranged for a visit today to see if there was still a window there and, “Bingo”, I definitely hit the jackpot with a nice typical three light F&U depicting the Crucifixion and the usual symbolism.

I haven’t put together an article for the F&U web site yet (coming soon) but you can see the detailed photos of the window here:



Updated article 1886: The History of Ayr Cottage, Leonard Street, Parkville, Melbourne, Victoria.

I found an interesting article from 13th Feb 1886 indicating that the Minister of Lands had objected to James Ferguson’s house being erected at the rear of the allotment facing Leonard Street which was supposedly in violation to the conditions of the Royal Park land conditions. I’ve added a transcription of the article to this post.

Regardless of the Ministers objections, ‘Ayr Cottage’ was still built facing Leonard Street.


I’ve updated the post about the chancel window of St John’s Church at Ballan by including pictures of the Anderson & Lyon memorial at the St Kilda cemetery.

See: 1874: St John’s Anglican Church, Ballan, Victoria. 


I’ve done some minor updates to the post 01-01-1867: The Infant Jesus Catholic Church, Koroit, Victoria.

As you read the article the clickable “[View]” link appears in appropriate places which will open a new window with a detailed image of the window. From any of these windows you can also go back and forward using the Previous or Next buttons to cycle through all the photos attached to the whole article.


I received an email to day from Glenn Morris from Zest Developments. Glenn brought the old Presbyterian Church in Fitzroy a couple of years ago and is transforming it to residential apartments. His new web site http://churchonnapier.com is worth following to track the progress of the construction as well as have a look at the detailed plans.

My article published in August 2012 includes historical information about this old church and the Ferguson & Urie stained glass windows

See 21-04-1872: Presbyterian Church, Napier St, Fitzroy, Victoria.


I’ve uploaded a detailed selection of all the stained glass windows of St John’s Anglican Church at Corowa in New South Wales.

The chancel window is by Ferguson & Urie circa 1884. Surrounding windows in the chancel and Nth & Sth transepts are by Lyon & Cottier.

A nave window is by Leonie Le Cornu, another is by Ted Gowers & Albert Brown (“G+B” & Red Setter dog logo). Artist/Studio for the 1968 ‘Rogers’ memorial window not known.

See: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stainedglassaustralia/sets/72157642730301993/


My cousin Janice Ball from New Zealand and her husband Cleeve have been to Porangahau to see the Ferguson & Urie window in St Michael’s Church. I still have a long way to go to present an article about the window and the Canning history yet but you can see a quick peek of the window from Janice’s photos taken 11th March 2014.


Updated post 1993: St Matthew’s Anglican Church, Albury, New South Wales.

On the 9th March 2014 I managed to get detailed photos of the “Phoenix” window made by Kevin Little in 1993 which incorporates a small Ferguson & Urie window which survived the 1991 fire.


Detailed photos of the Ferguson & Urie stained glass windows at St Paul’s Anglican Church at Milawa in Victoria can be seen on my Flickr site at:

The east and west windows of St Paul’s Anglican Church at Milawa, Victoria were created by the Ferguson & Urie stained glass company of Melbourne.
The east two light window depicts Paul at Athens and the stoning of Stephen and is dedicated to the first Bishop of Melanesia, John Coleridge Patteson (1827–1871) who was clubbed to death on the 20th September 1871 on the island of Nukapu.

There is plenty of information about Patteson but why there is a stained glass window dedicated to him in St Paul’s at Milawa is a mystery.

The west three light window contains the biblical representations of the four evangelists and a central roundel contains the symbol of the trinity. This window is dedicated to William Ahrens, a trustee of the church who died 7th April 1872. Not much is known about Ahrens other than he was a farmer at nearby Oxley and according to his probate documents his wife’s name was Mary.

The church was severely damaged in a storm on the 14th January 1977 and rebuilt and re-opened in 1979. The stained glass windows were severely damaged and there are obvious replacement pieces of glass throughout including repainted or replica elements in the figurative work. It’s not known who may have done the glass restoration work between 1977-79.


Janice & Cleeve from New Zealand are following up the latest Ferguson & Urie window discovery at St Michael’s at Porangahau. This will be a really significant discovery and they are doing an over 400km trip to see it! On the Australian side of the fence, we are off to Corowa in NSW to see the F&U window at St John’s which is about 350km from here.


I’ve added a page called “Wish List” to the web  site which I’ll update as required. This is a list of all the ‘other’ Ferguson & Urie window locations I have in my ‘confirmed’ list which I have not created dedicated articles yet. See http://wp.me/P28nLD-2l3


I’ve uploaded a full cycle of photos of the stained glass windows at St Andrew’s Presbyterian church at Kilmore to my Flickr site.

Only the left and right decorative gothic design windows either side of the liturgical west end of the church and the plain windows with mono coloured borders are original Ferguson & Urie glass. I don’t have enough information at present to add an individual article about the Ferguson & Urie windows themselves to this site as yet.

The other figurative windows in St Andrew’s date from early 1900’s and were made by the Brooks, Robinson & Co stained glass company of Melbourne.

See: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stainedglassaustralia/sets/72157641500473914/


Possibly found another Ferguson & Urie window in New Zealand at St Michael’s Anglican Church in Porangahau. An article from the Hawkes Bay Herald in 1881 describes a three light window that was created by Ferguson & Urie which depicted the Baptism, Crucifixion and Resurrection. It’s not known yet as to whether the window still exists.


Updated post, St Peter’s Anglican Church, Akaroa, New Zealand. An article published in an Akaroa tabloid in 1877 indicated that Ferguson & Urie were paid £46-3-1 for the window!


I met the minister of the Broadford church, James Playfoot, at St Andrew’s Presbyterian church at Kilmore. The aim of this trip was to get photographs of a war memorial window by Brooks Robinson & Co for Dr. Bronwyn Hughes. The bonus was the find of two Ferguson & Urie windows in the west wall of the same church!


Added a complete transcript of the historic tabloid article to the post,  05-01-1865: The Wesleyan Church, Punt Road, Prahran.


The 2013 ‘Updates & latest news has been archived to the link below.

What an awesome year for field trips and research! There’s much more to come I think. To date, only just over 200 locations have been found with Ferguson & Urie stained glass windows. This probably seems like a lot but is realistically a very tiny drop in the ocean. The company had a 38 year period of stained glass manufacture so I reasonably suspect there would have to be at least quadruple the number of locations I have found in the last six years.

Don’t forget that my alternate site http://stainedglassaustralia.wordpress.com/ has nearly 100 articles on other interesting historical stained glass windows.

Lets see what 2014 holds!


2014 – Updates & Latest news

2013 – Updates & Latest news.

2012 – Updates & Latest news.


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