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TitleGreat West Window. Charles Henderson Memorial Window.
ObjectNamestained-glass | window
Materialglass
LabelText‘A tender memorial to our beloved’
The creation of the impressive West Window took place amid the turbulent years of the
Great War.
It was planned as a memorial to Charles Henderson, from St John Lee, who died just after
the outbreak of World War I, ‘as a result of a chill caught while doing war work’.
BriefDescription“Northumbrian Saints & Their Histories”
A five-light window of great size, with bold mullions and tracery. The five lights each have three tiers of panels, the two upper being filled with large single figures of the Saints of Northern England, and the third with subjects illustrating episodes in their history.
In the TRACERY are twelve angels adoring Christ in Majesty who is at the top; two below Christ bear scrolls with the words: “O ye servants of the LORD” and “Praise ye The Lord”. The stonework of the tracery has been likened to the outline of a butterfly, which symbolizes the Resurrection.
The two UPPER TIERS are filled with large single figures of the Saints of Northern England who had been most closely associated with the evangelization of Northumbria:
Top, from the left: S.Paulinus, S.Aidan, S.Edwin K.M., S.Acca, V.Bede;
Centre: S.Oswald, S.Wilfrid [misspelt Wilfred], S.Etheldreda Q, S.Cuthbert, S.John of Beverley.
The LOWEST TIER has subjects illustrating episodes in the history of the figures in the central tier, with a two-line text at the foot of each light:
Here St Oswald at the battle of the Heavenfield | raiseth the Cross of God.
Here St Wilfrid doth instruct the Master Builder | concerning the plans of his Great Church.
Here St Etheldreda doth convey certain lands | to St Wilfrid for the erection of his Cathedral Church, [with her steward Ouini taking part in the transfer].
Here St Cuthbert liveth on the island of Farne in constant con | templation of Our Blessed Saviour and cherished God's creatures; [a Crucifixion scene, birds, an otter, a seal are shown].
Here St John of Beverley is received by the priest of Lee | where it was his custom frequently to enter into retreat [the church is shown above].
Memorial Inscription. A bronze tablet [HEXAB1022] below the window bears a heraldic shield and the Henderson motto SOLA VIRTUS NOBILITAT [Virtue alone ennobles].
ObjProdPersonHenry Thomas Bosdet
ObjProdOrganizationBishopswood Studio, Hendon, London
ObjProdDate1917
ObjectHistoryNoteMrs Henderson and the members of her family have decided to erect a memorial to her husband and their father, Charles William Chipchase Henderson, who died on December 3rd, 1914, and was laid to rest on December 5th in the Hexham Cemetery. The subject of the window had been chosen by Mr Henderson before his death, “he used to think that he might be able to put it in himself”. His plan was carried out by his widow and family. “Mr Bosdet, in consultation with the Rector, Mr Temple Moore, and the family interested, have already given much thought to the proposed memorial.” [Hex. Par. Mag. Apr. 1916]
“Mr Bosdet thinks he will have the great west window ready for Unveiling and Dedication on September 30th.” [Hex.Par.Mag. Sep.1917 p.2]
Dedicated 3rd November 1918 by the Rector (delayed because Mrs Henderson was ill).
The window is of specific interest designated by The Council for the Care of Churches in 1995. See also Bosdet DVD HEXAB9262.
CurrentLocationNave/West End/West Wall
URLSee also: www.hexhamabbey.org.uk

ObjectNumberHEXAB1431.1 Click on
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OtherNumberCB-1 | W1
TitleGreat West Window tracery
ObjectNamestained-glass | window
Materialglass
BriefDescriptionTwelve angels adoring Christ in Majesty who is at the top; two below Christ bear scrolls with the words: “O ye servants of the LORD” and “Praise ye The Lord”. The stonework of the tracery has been likened to the outline of a butterfly, which symbolizes the Resurrection.
ObjProdPersonHenry Thomas Bosdet
ObjProdOrganizationBishopswood Studio, Hendon, London
ObjProdDate1917
CurrentLocationNave/West End/West Wall

ObjectNumberHEXAB1431.2 Click on
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TitleGreat West Window left
ObjectNamestained-glass | window
Materialglass
BriefDescriptionTop: ‘S.Paulinus’ holding in his right hand a parchment “In the Name of the | Holy and undivided | Trinity … … in | Obey … … to | Authority to preach the | Christian Doctrine | within the Kingdom | of Northumberland | Edwinus | Rex”; S.Paulinus, the first Bishop of York, was the first to obtain the royal licence to preach the gospel of Christianity in Northumbria; he is a melancholy figure, saddened by the death of King Edwin who was baptized by Paulinus in York in 627.
Middle: ‘S.Oswald.K.’ holding the cross of Heavenfield, who gave the dishes from the royal table to feed the poor collected outside his hall and who defeated the king of North Wales;
Two-line inscription at the foot: “Here St Oswald at the battle of the Heavenfield | raiseth the Cross of GOD”
ObjProdPersonHenry Thomas Bosdet
ObjProdOrganizationBishopswood Studio, Hendon, London
ObjProdDate1917
CurrentLocationNave/West End/West Wall

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TitleGreat West Window left-centre
ObjectNamestained-glass | window
Materialglass
BriefDescriptionTop: ‘S.Aidan’ carrying a book, who was a monk at Hy in Scotland and then took up the work of teaching the doctrines of Christianity among the Northumbrians when others appointed found the task too rough and unpromising, became Bishop of Lindisfarne and notable for his acts of charity and mercy among the poor.
Middle: ‘S.Wilfred.’ [sic] with image of his Church of Hexham (as in 1870–1907) by his foot as an emblem, arguing his case against Royal Authority in Church matters at the Council of Austerfield [near Bawtry] in 703.
Two-line inscription at the foot: “Here St Wilfrid doth instruct the Master Builder | concerning the plans of his Great Church.”
ObjProdPersonHenry Thomas Bosdet
ObjProdOrganizationBishopswood Studio, Hendon, London
ObjProdDate1917
CurrentLocationNave/West End/West Wall

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TitleGreat West Window centre
ObjectNamestained-glass | window
Materialglass
BriefDescriptionTop: ‘S.Edwin.K.M.’ with the sceptre in one hand and the palm of martyrdom in the other.
Middle: ‘S.Etheldreda.Q’ with the crosier of an abbess and a model of Hexham Abbey (as in 1870–1907) as her symbols, she wears royal robes over the black Benedictine gown and is decorated with the jewels which were the glory of her youth but sacrificed later to works of piety and chastity;
Two-line inscription at the foot: “Here St Etheldreda doth convey certain lands | to St Wilfrid for the erection of his Cathedral Church”
[with her steward Ouini taking part in the transfer].
ObjProdPersonHenry Thomas Bosdet
ObjProdOrganizationBishopswood Studio, Hendon, London
ObjProdDate1917
CurrentLocationNave/West End/West Wall

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TitleGreat West Window right-centre
ObjectNamestained-glass | window
Materialglass
BriefDescriptionTop: ‘S.Acca’, known as a great chanter, with a portative organ as a reference to his having introduced instrumental music into the service of the Church.
Middle: ‘S.Cuthbert’ holding the head of S.Oswald which was placed for safety in Cuthbert's tomb, where it was found in 1104;
Two-line inscription at the foot: “Here St Cuthbert liveth on the island of Farne in constant con | templation of Our Blessed Saviour and cherished God's creatures”
[a Crucifixion scene, birds, an otter, a seal are shown].
ObjProdPersonHenry Thomas Bosdet
ObjProdOrganizationBishopswood Studio, Hendon, London
ObjProdDate1917
CurrentLocationNave/West End/West Wall

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TitleGreat West Window right
ObjectNamestained-glass | window
Materialglass
BriefDescriptionTop: ‘V.Bede.’, our great authority for the history of this period with his book “HISTORIA | ECCLESIASTICA | GENTIS ANGLOR | UM” [The Ecclesiatical History of The Race of The Angles].
Middle: ‘S.John.’ of Beverley, one-time Bishop of Hexham who ordained Bede as deacon then priest at Jarrow, and the object of greater reverence than any Northern saint except Cuthbert.
Two-line inscription at the foot: “Here St John of Beverley is received by the priest of Lee | where it was his custom frequently to enter into retreat” [the church is shown in the background above].
ObjProdPersonHenry Thomas Bosdet
ObjProdOrganizationBishopswood Studio, Hendon, London
ObjProdDate1917
CurrentLocationNave/West End/West Wall