Corpus Vitrearum Medii Aevi

Medieval Stained Glass in Great Britain

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Norfolk: Salle, Parish Church of St Peter and St Paul

O.S. TG 110249

Salle is an exceptionally important church in Norfolk, on account of its size, the quality of architecture, and the survival of many of its original furnishings, including the font, the font cover and canopy, the screen, the stalls, the roof bosses, and not least the painted glass. The remains of the latter are not large, but are of high quality and, when supplemented by the antiquarian record, of considerable iconographical and historical interest.

The church has a tall and slender west tower, six-bay nave and aisles, transepts and porches, all laid out with unusual regularity. The nave, porches and tower were set out at the same time, as the plinth courses reveal, and the later choir follows the same modular system. A start appears to have been made in the late fourteenth century, and the heraldry carved over the west door can be assigned to 1405–13, which provides a date for the lower stage of the tower. A court roll of 1408 mentions timber for the church, indicating that roofing was imminent or under way, and there was bequest to the glazing of a south aisle window by Thomas Boleyn, who died in 1411. The glass still in the south aisle windows is compatible with a date of c.1410 – c.1420. The choir was probably started by c.1430, and a lost inscription recorded in the windows dates its completion including glazing to 1440, 1 a date given support by a bequest to the rood in 1437. Transepts were added to the eastern bay of the nave as the choir was completed; that on the north was built at least in part by Thomas Rose, who died in 1441 and whose brass is in front of the transeptal east window, itself dated to 1441 by a recorded inscription. The south transept was the gift of Thomas Brigg, who died in 1444. 2 Glass from a memorial window to Thomas Brigg and his two wives is now in sVI, but has been adapted to fit a later window, remodelled, together with sVII, about twenty-five years after Thomas’s death by his son John Brigg. The upper stage of the tower was the last part to be completed, probably by Evorard, another member of the Brigg family. 3

There are no primary sources for the post-Reformation history of the glazing, but the extant glass and the antiquarian record provide some information. Substantial remains of the south aisle glazing survived until at least the eighteenth century. The side windows still have small amounts of original glass, and parts of a now-lost life of St John the Baptist were recorded in the east window of the south aisle (sV) at that time, along with Old Testament scenes in the south windows, slight remains of which survive. 4 Nothing survives or was recorded of the glazing of the side windows of the north aisle, perhaps because they had a Marian cycle. This may have culminated in the east window of the aisle (nV), where there are parts of the Coronation of the Virgin in the tracery lights, the last episode of such series. The head of the Virgin is missing, as well as the entire figure of God the Father, suggesting that iconoclasm was responsible for their loss. In sVI, the heads of the Virgin Annunciate, God the Father from the Coronation of the Virgin, and of St Thomas Becket, are missing, here also due to iconoclasm. In the chancel, a few fragments of the main-light glazing of the east window were to be seen in the nineteenth century, including part of a female figure, probably a donor.

More recent losses have occurred. In1884, James saw a figure of St Vincent in sVII that has since disappeared, and the labels on the remains of the Nine Orders in the east chancel window were more complete. 5 At some stage between James’ visit to the church and Woodforde’s 1950 account of the Nine Orders, the glass now in I A3–6 had been moved to sIV. 6 At an unknown date, the figures of St Catherine and St Margaret now in sII D1–2 were transferred there from sVI A3–4 (where they may have been transferred from sVII). 7 No antiquarian descriptions of the tracery lights of the side windows of the chancel have been found, but Martin’s account shows that in the eighteenth century, much of the main-light glazing of these windows was extant. 8

In the north transept, the restoration carried out in 1910–12 and paid for by Sir Alfred Jodrell made extensive alterations to the fenestration. The stonework of nVII on the north side must have been beyond repair, as it now houses the re-used tracery of the now-blocked north window (nVII), filled in presumably at that to time to accommodate the large memorial to Sir Alfred. The medieval tracery-light glazing of nVI was restored, along with that of nV, by the firm of Bryans, who also provided new glass for both windows and for nVII. 9

The earliest antiquarian accounts of the glass, dating from the late sixteenth century, are confined to heraldic glass. They complete the extant but partial series in the heads of the main lights of the east chancel window and give the interesting set of shields lost from the main lights of sVI. 10 The most important source is Martin, who in the eighteenth century made extensive notes on the now-lost important series of main-light figures from the chancel side windows, although his version of the heraldry in the east window is less complete than the sixteenth-century antiquarian descriptions. 11 He also gives the name of the donor of one of the south aisle windows, Thomas Boleyn, and its iconography, an Old Testament series. 12 In sV he saw the remains of a now-lost life of St John the Baptist, with the memorial inscription to John Holwey, and he also drew the heraldry he saw in sVI. 13 The Frere manuscript repeats the heraldry, adding a few details of what were probably donor figures in the main lights of the east window and of two shields from the aisles, clerestory or tower windows. 14 Norris’s account starts with three of the shields in the east window and mentions part of the donor inscription at the bottom of one of the chancel side windows. He says that these windows ‘have been Adorned with the Pictures of Saints & Kings’. He also records the donor inscription in sV and the shields in sVI, identifying some of the people signified. 15 In the Dawson Turner manuscript, there are two drawings of three fragments from the east window of the chancel: one is part of a female head with an elaborate coronet and caul; another is part of a female figure with crossed arms and wearing a mantle over a long-sleeved robe with a cord hanging from her neck; and the third is of a floral termination, perhaps of a sceptre. 16

The combined evidence of the extant glass, the antiquarian accounts and liturgical information from wills permits a partial reconstruction of the glazing scheme. The glass will be divided into five groups, each of which will be considered as to its iconography, patronage, date and style.

The Chancel

The East Window (I)

The tracery lights still retain part of a magnificent series of the Nine Orders of Angel, with six of the orders represented by a pair of figures, combined with the Fall of the Rebel Angels. The present arrangement is probably the original one, although we cannot be absolutely sure that the pairs of Principalities and Powers have not been transposed, as the figures in A3–4 and A5–6 were moved from this window at some stage between 1884 and 1930. At present, a labelled figure of an Archangel is in B1, and a similar label in B2; A3 and A4 contain figures of the order Principalities, and A5 and A6 have Powers. The two central lights of the bottom register of the tracery have remains of the Fall of the Rebel Angels, with Angels having red bodies. In 1884, James also saw a label for the order Seraphim higher up in the window. 17 It is reasonably certain that six pairs of tracery compartments in the lower registers of the tracery, other than the central B3 and B4, were originally filled with six of the Nine Orders of Angels, each represented by symmetrical pairs, with one figure the mirror image of the other. What is not so clear is how the other three orders were arranged, as there are more openings than are needed for three pairs in the upper registers. There were three ways of ordering the three hierarchies of the Nine Orders in the Middle Ages, deriving from the writings of the Pseudo-Dionysus, Gregory the Great, and Isidore of Seville; 18 all begin with the first hierarchy of Seraphim, Cherubim and Thrones, and these can be allocated to the upper part of the window. Even if the figures in the lower register are reallocated to other openings of the same size and shape, the only possible arrangement for the six orders of the second and third hierarchies that will fit this window is that given by the Pseudo-Dionysus, which is that adopted in the Legenda Aurea. If we presume that the list was rendered from left to right, the present arrangement is the correct one. This would give the following for the A and B tracery lights in the lower registers: A1–2 Angels, B1–2 Archangels, A3–4 Principalities, B3–4 Fall of the Rebel Angels, A5–6 Powers, B5–6 Virtues, A7–8 Dominations. In the upper part of the window, a case can be made for placing the Seraphim in the top two lights. Two reasons can be adduced for this: firstly, this order appears first in all the known hierarchies; secondly, the most frequent description of this order in the literary sources is that: ‘Seraphyn ardent amore dei’ (‘Seraphim burn with the love of God’), and they are often depicted as red. 19 This can be shown, unusually, to relate to the Fall of the Rebel Angels, who are here painted on ruby glass. Normally the Rebel Angels are referred to as Lucifer and his companions, but in Michael de Massa’s fourteenth-century treatise on the Passion, Angeli pacis amare flebunt (‘The Angels of Peace Will Weep Bitterly’), they are described as Seraphim. A copy of this work was made in 1430 for William Wode, Rector of Salle, who was responsible for the chancel glazing. It was copied from the version made in 1405 for Sir Miles Stapleton of Ingham, father of Ela Brewes, the patron of Salle when the chancel was built. 20 Moreover, James saw in 1884 the label Seraphim in the upper part of the window. 21 To either side of the Seraphim at the top and, probably, the next two lights below, would have been the remaining orders of Cherubim and Thrones. These may also have occupied other lights to fill the space available; although the extant Orders appear in pairs, this may not have been the case overall. In some of the smaller tracery lights suns and stars are still seen, representing heaven.

Today the heads of the five central main lights of the seven-light east window are filled with angels holding shields and, in one case, playing a lute. The central shield is that of the Trinity, almost certainly in situ; the musical angel may have been in light g, with a matching musical angel in light a. This leaves four heraldic shields to fill the remaining heads, three of which are extant. The following arrangement appears to be the most probable, when the antiquarian sources are also taken into account.

Light a: musical angel (lost)

Light b: Wingfield quartering Delapole (extant in this light) 22

Light c: France modern quartering England, for Henry VI (lost)

Light d: shield of the Holy Trinity (extant in this light)

Light e: France modern and England with a border gobony azure and ermine, for Thomas Beaufort (extant in light c) 23

Light f: Bardolf quartering Phelip, for Thomas Phelip, Lord Bardolf (extant in this light) 24

Light g: musical angel playing lute or gittern (extant in light e)

Also seen in the chancel and almost certainly in this window were the arms of Brewse impaling Calthorpe, Brewse with a crest, and Morley impaling Brewse. These would have been at the bottom of the three central lights. 25 The glass was probably made before the death of Sir William Phelip in 1441 and almost certainly at the same time as the side chancel windows, dated by a lost inscription to 1440.

The question as to whether it is possible to extrapolate the missing iconographic content of the main lights of this window and relate it to that of the tracery-light glazing is one that must be postponed until the original contents of the side windows have been discussed, as the iconographic programme of the chancel must be considered in toto. The present writer has discussed his reconstruction of the main lights of the three windows on each side of the chancel elsewhere. 26 The reconstruction is based on Martin’s notes, which show that each window had full-length figures of a king, a pope and an archbishop or bishop, each accompanied by his name and date, the latter an unusual feature. 27 This series was almost certainly inspired by the great series of kings, popes and bishops in the western choir clerestory of York Minster, completed c.1414. 28 Thomas Beaufort, Duke of Exeter, who died in 1426 and whose shield is in the east window, visited York Minster in 1417 on a pilgrimage to the shrines of St William and St Cuthbert. 29 The York series commemorates the main figures involved in the spread of Christianity in the Northern Province. The Salle series, in much reduced form, does the same for the southern. Martin records the names of thirteen of the eighteen figures in the side windows, but by adopting the apparent logic of the sequence and comparing it with the York scheme, it is possible to arrive at a tentative reconstruction of most of the original scheme. Figures in italics are not given by Martin.

North Side

nIV. a: St Lucius; b: Pope Eleutherius; c: St Fagan.

nIII. a: St Ethelbert; b: Pope Gregory; c: St Augustine.

nII. a: St Edward the Confessor?; b: Pope Boniface IV; c: St Lawrence of Canterbury.

South Side

sIV. a: St Alphege; b: Pope Urban I; c: St Edmund, king and martyr.

sIII. a: St Thomas Becket; b: Pope Silvester; c: St Edward, king and martyr.

sII. a: St Edmund Rich; b: Pope John I; c: St Louis IX of France. 30

In the lower part of the two central windows on the north and south sides, Martin also recorded scenes from the lives of St Paul (nIII) and St Peter (sIII); the church was dedicated to these saints. These scenes may have been extended to all the side windows of the chancel. Along the bottom of the windows on each side was the inscription to the effect that Master William Wode, rector, built the chancel from the foundations and completed it in 1440.

None of the antiquarians before James mentions the tracery lights of the side windows, but fortunately enough glass is extant to allow a reconstruction of their general iconographic programme, if not of individual names of figures. The bottom register of nII appears to be complete, and shows that there were patriarchs in the outer lights A1 and A6, prophets in A2 and A5, and sainted cardinals in A3 and A4; DI and D2 also had cardinals. Across the six side windows this would have given a series of twelve patriarchs, twelve prophets and twenty-four cardinals. Such an extensive series of cardinals would have been very unusual, particularly as the three extant ones are of figures who were not cardinals, but would have been had they lived later. It will be suggested late that there may have been motives arising from contemporary ecclesiastical politics behind this choice.

The only part of the chancel glazing for which some kind of reconstruction has not been given is the main lights of the east window, to which we return. Although it was not a requirement that windows above altars should relate to the dedication of the altar, there is evidence that this practice was followed by the workshop to which this window has been assigned, and that in one case input into the choice of iconography may have been given by the same priest as here. 31 The high altar beneath the east window was dedicated to Almighty God, and it is plausible that the window depicted one or more of the persons of the Trinity. In favour of the Trinity itself are the facts that the family of the patron of the church, Ela Brewes, founded a Trinitarian house at Ingham, and there is a shield of the Holy Trinity at the focal point of the window in the head of the central main light. In addition, Thomas Beaufort, whose shield is in the head of another light, had a devotion to the Trinity, judging from the evidence of his will. 32

There would have been plenty of room for other subject matter in this seven-light window, and the presence of the Nine Orders of Angels in the tracery may suggest that a central image of the Trinity was accompanied by series of Apostles, confessors, martyrs and female saints to make up a Te Deum window whose theme was the unending praise of God. One argument against this is the depiction of the Fall of the Rebel Angels in the tracery, a jarring note in the theme of everlasting praise. A possible context for this event in contemporary religious drama, if not in glass, is at the beginning of a Creation cycle, such as the N-Town cycle, where the Fall follows immediately after the Creation of Heaven. In the N-Town cycle, God says in his opening speech: ‘I am oo God in personys thre, / Knyt in oo substawns, / I am þe trewe Trenyté’; the presence of the Trinity shield may make reference to this. Soon afterwards, God says: ‘Now wole I begynne my werke to make. / Fyrst I make hevyn with sterrys of lyth, / In myrth and joy euyrmore to wake.’; this may be reflected in the Salle glass by the stars and suns in the lesser tracery lights. The creation of the angels follows immediately: ‘In hevyn I bylde angel ful bryth / my servauntys to be’. In the play, the angels then sing the Te Deum, which is followed by the Fall of the Rebel Angels. 33 This integrates the theme of the Nine Orders with both the Fall of the Rebel Angels and the Te Deum, but also introduces another possibility, that the creation of heaven and the Nine Orders of Angels in the tracery led into an extended Creation series in the main lights. This would betray a further influence from York Minster, where the Nine Orders appear in the tracery lights of the east window (along with much other material), and the main lights begin with a series of Creation scenes. 34

Against this suggestion is the fact that there was already an Old Testament series in the south nave windows at Salle. Another possible cycle for the main lights could have been the life of Christ, but this can probably be ruled out, as it appears in a series of wooden bosses suspended from the chancel roof, depicting nine scenes from the Annunciation to the Ascension. 35 It is ultimately not possible to decide between these various possibilities, but the sophistication of the iconography of the chancel windows that is recoverable, combined with the fact that the glazing was all done at the same time, suggests that whatever was in the main lights of the east window was part also part of a coherent programme.

North Aisle


In 1884, M. R. James recorded angels and a figure of the Virgin from a Coronation in this window. 36 Today, the tracery lights depict an Annunciation flanked by censing angels with lily-pots in the outer openings. An inscription records the restoration of this window in 1911, and that the many new pieces are marked with an X. The whole of the panel depicting Gabriel is new, as are the head of the Virgin, the dove, and the upper part of the Virgin’s body. It is clear that the two panels have been changed from a Coronation of the Virgin to an Annunciation to the Virgin, as James’ description attests. A number of details confirm this. Firstly, Parsons says that before 1910 there were traces of a crown over the Virgin’s head; secondly, the censing angels are more suited to a Coronation; and thirdly, the altar beneath was dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin (windows depicting the Assumption of the Virgin in the main lights regularly had her Coronation in the tracery). 37 Finally, the original inscription held by the Virgin bears a text derived from Isaiah LXI, 10, which in its extended form is suitable for the Coronation of the Virgin. The glass has 'Gaudeb[o in domi]no (et) exultabit a(n)i(m)a mea i(n) d(e)o me(o) '; the relevant passage in Isaiah reads: ‘Gaudens gaudebo in Domino et exultabit anima mea in Deo meo quia induit me vestimentis salutis et indumento iustitiae circumdedit me quasi sponsum decoratum corona et quasi sponsam ornatam monilibus suis’. 38 In the forty-leaf blockbook of the Biblia Pauperum a paraphrase of part of this verse – ‘Tanquam sponsus decorauit me corona’ – appears on the last leaf, depicting not the Coronation of the Virgin, but a similar scene, of Christ giving the crown of eternal life. 39 The reason why the restorers thought that the glass should depict the Annunciation was presumably presence of the lily-pots in the outer lights, the usual accompaniments of such a scene. No dating information is available other than the building history and style, which suggest a date of c.1425 – c. 1435.

North Transept


In the year following the completion of the chancel in 1440, the east window of the north transept (nVI) was glazed by the same workshop that was responsible for the chancel windows. 40 It is probable that William Wode, the rector, was also responsible for commissioning this window, as he was an executor for Thomas Rose, who died in 1441 and was buried in front of the altar beneath this window. 41 An unusual subject was chosen, and it may well be significant that it is one that can again be linked to medieval drama, and, more specifically, to the N-Town cycle. We do not know what the main lights portrayed, though the modern Tree of Jesse made in 1912 may reflect the original iconography, which was almost certainly Marian. 42 In the tracery is a depiction of the Visitation flanked by its Old Testament type, the meeting of Justice and Peace, Truth and Mercy, from Psalm LXXXIV (in the Vulgate numbering, LXXXV in the Authorized Version). This is very unusual, but the inspiration for the choice may be suggested with some confidence. In 1426, William Wode was a witness to the will of Thomas Beaufort, Duke of Exeter. 43 The position of his name on the list of witnesses suggests that he was probably a member of the duke’s household, perhaps a chaplain, at that time. The duke was buried in the Lady Chapel of the abbey of Bury St Edmunds, and in one of the windows there was this same subject matter, the Visitation with the Four Virtues from Psalm LXXXIV. Wode almost certainly saw this glass and in 1428 he was collated to the rectory of Salle at Bury St Edmunds. 44

South Aisle

According to Martin, the east window had in the eighteenth century the remains of a life of St John the Baptist; the altar beneath was dedicated to that saint in memory of John Holwey, Rector of Salle 1375–1401. 45 The rector was commemorated in an inscription in yellow letters that went across the three lights of the window, presumably at the bottom: ‘Orate pro anima d(o)m(ini) Joh(ann)is holiweye/ quondam Rectoris istius ecclesie et/ pro animabus omnium benefactor(rum) suo(rum)’. Martin also listed a number of fragmentary inscriptions from the window. These were of two kinds: texts from St Mark’s account of the beheading of St John the Baptist, sometimes slightly altered, which were spoken by the people in the story and would have been on speech scrolls; and descriptive Latin hexameter tituli not from the Vulgate.

Of the first the following were seen. 1. ‘Non licet habere uxorem fratris tui’ (cf. Mark VI, 18: ‘Dicebat enim Iohannes Herodi non licet tibi habere uxorem fratris tui’); 46 this was said by St John to Herod, who had married Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip. 2. ‘pete a me quid vis et dabo tibi’ (cf. Mark VI, 23: ‘Et iuravit illi quia quicquid petieris dabo tibi licet dimidium regni mei’). 47 ‘volo p(ro)tin(us) est des … Johes’ (cf. Mark VI, 25: ‘Cumque introisset statim cum festinatione ad regem petivit dicens volo ut protinus des mihi in disco caput Iohannis Baptistae’). 48 The first titulus is bracketed by Martin with the first text from Mark, and was ‘Arguit hic Rege(m) qui captat frangere lege(m)’ (‘Here he censured the king who desires to break the law’, that is, to marry his brother’s wife). The second titulus is numbered 2 by Martin: ‘Ca/[…]aus(us) b(e)n(e) ducere qui fuit [ca]rce[ere] claus(us)’. Although this clearly relates to St John’s imprisonment, the inscription must already have been jumbled when it was recorded, as the Latin does not seem to make sense, and there are too many syllables for a hexameter. The third titulus, labelled as such by Martin (and oddly described by James as ‘a bit of a leonine verse’) linked with Herodias wish for St John’s head: ‘nil plus optabat’ (‘she desired for nothing more’).

There are slight remains of the original glazing in the south windows of the aisle, and also in the west window of the south transept, which was re-used from the aisle when the transept was added. Martin saw a donor inscription on a south aisle window: ‘Orate pro animab(us) Th[o]me Boleyn … qui hanc fenes[tram] … [feceru]nt’. This refers to a Thomas Boleyn, who died in 1411, and presumably also originally his wife. He also saw ‘The History of Cain & Abel etc and Noah’s ark’. This implies an Old Testament series, and in sXII are parts of two figures of God the Father, probably as creator, and fragments of two blackletter speech texts. The first has ' [egre]dere de' and 'archa' from Genesis VIII, 16, where God tells Noah and his family to leave the ark after the flood: ‘Egredere de arca tu et uxor tua filii tui et uxores filiorum tecum’. 49 The second has 'deus pr[ovidebit] ' from Genesis XXII, 8: ‘dixit Abraham Deus providebit sibi victimam holocausti, fili mi pergebant ergo pariter’. 50 This is from the Sacrifice of Isaac, when Abraham replies to his son, who asks where the sacrificial lamb is. The five original south windows of the south aisle (sVIII in the south transept and sIX–XII) all contain fragments of early fifteenth-century glazing, including canopy tops and eyelet filling, suggesting that in c.1410 – c.1420 a single glazing campaign filled these windows. The figures of God the Father as creator in sXII suggest that they were in the first window of an Old Testament series that read from west to east, starting with the Creation. In his study of the Great Malvern glass, Rushforth pointed out that the Old Testament series there, which comprised six windows in the south nave clerestory, the scenes relating to one of the great types of the Old Testament (such as Adam, Noah and Abraham) were grouped in one window. At Salle the evidence suggests that sXII was devoted to the story of the Creation, including Adam and Eve; sXI had the story of Noah, and sX that of Abraham. There is no evidence for sIX and sVIII (at that time a south aisle window), but the story of Moses would certainly have been included. The life of St John Baptist in the east window of the aisle (sV), may have been seen as a bridge between the Old Testament and the New, with John as the last of the prophets. This last window commemorated John Holwey, described as a former rector. He died in 1401, and it is likely that the window was made as part of the same glazing programme of c.1410 – c.1420 in the south aisle.

South Transept


The south transept was made by Thomas Brigg, who died in 1444. It was remodelled c.1470 by his executor John Heydon and his son John Brigg. The will of Thomas Brigg is an important piece of evidence explaining the remodelling and the glazing of the transept. 51 As mentioned above, the transept was added after the building of the south aisle, and the present west window (sVIII) was re-used from the south aisle, having been the easternmost window there. This window was left untouched in the later remodelling, but the east and south windows were rebuilt.

The rebuilt south window (sVII) has a few panels of c.1470 glazing. In the lower register of the tracery there are saints: St Giles in A1, St Etheldreda in A2, and St Helen in A4 (St Vincent with a flesh-hook was seen in 1884, but had disappeared by 1930); in the upper part are two musical angels (D1–2) and a censing angel (H3) flanking the top tracery compartment. The east window of the transept (sVI) was also rebuilt, but here, some of the original transept glazing was re-used, as it both depicted the founder of the transept, Thomas Brigg, and his two wives, as well as glass linked to them iconographically. The re-used glass does not survive completely or in its original position, but some reconstruction is possible. The re-use was carried out in a rather crude fashion, as the original shape of the panels was kept and adapted to the new shapes of the tracery lights by the addition of plain blue glass. 52 The design of the tracery of the original east window is not known, and it may not have had the same number of large tracery lights suitable for figures; the present iconographic disposition of the re-used glass may therefore not be the same as that of the older window in this location, if indeed the re-used glass came from there.

Another possibility is that the rearranged glass came not from sVI but from the original larger south window of the transept (sVII), which, like sVI, would have had a different design for the tracery lights. Two panels depicting St Margaret and St Catherine, which from their shape, style and iconography must be from the re-used scheme in sVI, are now in sII in the chancel. The lowest register of tracery lights in sVI may have contained, after c.1470, the donor figures of Thomas Brigg and his two wives, both called Margaret, each paired with a saint. It should be noticed that the figure of a female donor now in sVI A6 is inside-out and originally faced to sinister. Clues to the probable order of the rearranged glass when/if in sVI are given by the inscriptions held by the donor figures and the original direction of their gaze. The two women both have the beginning and the man the end of the benediction ‘Nos cum prole pia benedicat virgo maria’ from the Little Office of the Virgin. The following order of figures could therefore be proposed.

A1. St Margaret, facing to sinister (now sII D1)

A2. Margaret Brigg, facing to sinister (now sVI A5)

A3. St Thomas Becket, facing to sinister (now sVI A1)

A4. Thomas Brigg, facing to dexter (now sVI A2

A5. Margaret Brigg, facing to dexter (now sVI A6)

A6. St Catherine, facing to dexter (now sII D2) 53

There are a number of issues here. The directions of gaze do not form a symmetrical pattern, but against this, the two Margarets are both placed with their name saint. St Thomas appears to face to dexter, but the head is missing and the head could have faced forwards or to sinister in contrapposto. The disposition of the second tracery register appears to be correct, with the Annunciation, the first event in the Gospel story of the life of the Virgin, flanking the Coronation, the last event in her life. What was in the top light, flanked by censing angels, is unknown, but a figure or head of God the Father is likely.

In his will, Thomas Brigg asked to be buried in the chapel of St James in Salle church, the dedication of the altar in this transept. He also stipulated that twenty-five years after his death, that is in 1469, two of his manors should be sold and the money used for masses, pilgrimages and other pious alms for his soul and those of his wives and those to whom he was obliged. Preference in the sale of the manor of Pensthorp should be given to John Heydon (his executor), in the sale of the manor of Hardegreyse to Stephen Lynge, and in that of the manor of Wooddalling to his son John. It seems likely that this part of his will was the reason for the rebuilding of the transept, with some of the money from the sale of the manors being used to carry out the work. In the main lights of sVI, now void of stained glass, antiquarians recorded heraldic glass. 54 Seven shields were listed: Brigg impaling Beaupre; Beaupre impaling Brigg; Calthorp impaling Brigg; Heydon impaling Winter; Beaupre impaling Holdich; Holdich impaling Berney; and Winter impaling Berney. It is possible that other coats were originally to be seen; one might reasonably expect nine in a three-light window.

With a few gaps, which any missing shields may have filled, it is possible to construct a genealogy from these alliances that links John Brigg and his sisters Agnes and Margaret with John Heydon, their father’s executor, via a common descent from John Berney. 55 This display of heraldry devoted to the three Johns would have been appropriately placed next to window sV, which depicted the life of St John the Baptist. This link between the east window of the transept and the adjacent east window of the aisle was also seen on the north side, where the Marian iconography of nV in the aisle is paralleled by that in nVI.

The new glazing and re-use of the old glass of c.1444 should be dated to c.1470 – c.1475.

Patronage and Propoganda 56

William Wode, the rector of Salle who directed the building and glazing of the chancel, was instituted to the rectory of that church in Bury St Edmunds by the trustees of Sir Robert Brewes, patron of Salle, who was alive in 1424 and dead by 1427. 57 In 1426, he was a witness to the will of Thomas Beaufort, Duke of Exeter, and the position of his name in the list of witnesses suggests that he may have been a member of the duke’s household. 58 The duke was buried in the Lady Chapel in the abbey of Bury St Edmunds, and the link between one of the windows there and a window at Salle provided by Wode as an executor has been made above. By the time the chancel was built between c.1430 and 1440, the patron was Ela Brewes, the daughter of Sir Miles Stapleton and widow of Sir Robert Brewes. The shield of Brewes with crest was in the east chancel window, probably the central shield in the bottom row. It was flanked by shields of Brewes impaling Calthorpe, and Morley impaling Brewse. The first of these shields is for Thomas Brewse, second son of Sir Robert Brewes, who inherited after the early death of his brother Miles, and who married Joan Calthorpe. 59 The second shield commemorates a marriage that has not been identified. It may commemorate the marriage of William Morley, executor, treasurer and attorney of Thomas Beaufort, Duke of Exeter, who perhaps married Margaret Brewes, daughter of Sir Robert and Ela Brewes. 60 Such a marriage would help explain the links between Salle and William Wode and the Duke, whose shield was in the centre light of the east window at the top. The whole glazing of the chancel can be seen as a Lancastrian scheme, designed to promote the kingship of Henry VI, and perhaps as a memorial to Thomas Beaufort, Duke of Exeter, the brother of the king’s grandfather and the person appointed as his guardian when his father, Henry V, died in 1415. 61 William Wode’s association with the duke is key in this respect. The heraldry in the east chancel window shows a strong affinity with the king, including his own shield and those of the Duke of Suffolk, the leading member of his council, and of William Phelip, Baron Bardolf, another member of his council and chamberlain of the king’s household. Support for Henry VI is continued in the iconography of the side windows of the chancel, where the anomaly of the presence of Louis IX of France in a series of English Kings is explicable by the fact that Henry VI and his father justified their claim to the throne of France by a common descent from St Louis and St Edward the Confessor, who, it is suggested, was placed in the window opposite St Louis. The figure of St Edmund, king and martyr, a saint to whom Henry VI was especially devoted, also plays its part in this theme.

As note above, an unusual feature of the tracery-light glazing of the side chancel windows is the presence of a number of saints dressed as cardinals. There may have been twenty-four of these, which would have made it a unique series in English medieval glass-painting. The three identifiable cardinal saints, Laurence, Felicissimus and Asterius, were not in fact cardinals, being early Roman ecclesiastical saints from the period before cardinals existed, but whose position in the church would have made them cardinals had they lived later. A historical explanation for this extraordinary preoccupation with the office of cardinal may be found in the events surrounding the year 1440 in which the chancel was completed. 62

Unusually there were two English cardinals at the time: Henry Beaufort, Bishop of Winchester, and John Kemp, Archbishop of York. Henry Chichele, Archbishop of Canterbury, had not been granted the red hat and was in dispute with Kemp, who had been given precedence over him in parliament after consultation with Pope Eugenius IV in about 1440. 63 The exceptional emphasis on cardinals in the Salle glazing would seem to lend support to this decision and Kemp’s faction, suggesting an element of Schadenfreude on Wode’s part. At York, the series that may have inspired the Salle glass contained archbishops of York, but at Salle southern primates were depicted; by placing cardinals’ hats above them, the point about Kemp’s precedence over the Archbishop of Canterbury was underscored. Cardinal Henry Beaufort, a close associate or relative of several of those involved in the chancel glazing, would also have been honoured here.

As outlined above, William Wode was active in the production of a window in the north transept (nVI); this glass can also be shown to allude to contemporary events. In 1441, the feast of the Visitation was repromulgated by the Council of Basle in the hope of healing the schism in the church. 64 Bishop Brouns of Norwich had earlier been a delegate at the council and had continued to take an interest in it, and Edmund Beaufort, Duke of Somerset and brother of Thomas Beaufort, had also taken part. 65 Wode’s appointment in 1441 to the College of St Mary in the Fields in Norwich, which may have already occurred when the window was made or was at least in the offing, would have extended contact he probably had with episcopal circles. Brouns’s vicar-general, John de Wygenhale, was soon to be Dean of the College of St Mary. 66 It may well have been the typological connection of the Visitation with the kiss of Justice and Peace that led the Council of Basle to repromulgate the feast in an effort to bring peace to the church.

The second possible explanation is associated with hopes for peace of a different kind that occurred in the previous year. By 1436, a sizeable group of influential people had become convinced that continuing the war in France in the hope of conquering it was a hopeless prospect, and that a peace treaty should be sought. Henry VI decided that in order to secure this aim, the Duke of Orleans, a long-term hostage, should be released. In 1438, a delegation under Cardinal Beaufort and including Bishop Brouns was sent to open negotiations with Burgundy as part of this peace campaign. After many difficulties, it was decided in early 1440 to free the duke, and terms were agreed for his release on 2 July of that year. The document authorizing the release was signed by Henry VI in November. 67 Although the duke’s release achieved none of the hoped for results, it was seen at the time by those in favour as an important step in the right direction. The date of the agreement to release him fell on the feast of the Visitation, which can not have been a coincidence, and it is more than conceivable that the Salle window was intended to celebrate this event, together with the 1441 repromulgation of the feast. 68


Martin (NRO, Rye MS 17, iii, f. 174r) saw at the bottom of nIII ‘Erexit et compleit Ao dni MoCCCCoXLo’; in sIII he saw ‘--- isti’ eccie rector qi hac fabrica DCCCCo a fundamet’; and in sIV he saw ‘istß eccie …. CCCC|o’. Norris (NRO, Rye MS 6, ii, p. 347, recorded at the bottom of one of the windows of the chancel ‘… erexit & coplevit ao dni MoCCCCXL’. The correct date must be 1440 rather than 1450,as the heraldry in the east chancel window is dateable to around the earlier date. The whole inscription, which appeared on each side of the chancel, may be reconstructed as ‘Orate pro bonu statu Willielmi Wode, istius ecclesie, rectoris, qui hanc fabricam erexit et complevit anno domini MoCCCCXLo’. Return to context
Window sVIII with its glazing was originally sVI in the south aisle and was turned through 90 degrees and reused as the west window of the south transept when the latter was built c.1444. Return to context
For the building history, see Parsons 1937, pp. 19–71; Fawcett 1980, pp. 332–33; Heslop 1988. Return to context
NRO, Rye MS 17, III, ff. 170r, 175r. Return to context
James 1930, p. 165. Return to context
Woodforde 1950, pp. 136–37. Return to context
The figures of St Margaret and St Catherine now in sII D1 and D2 are in the same style as the glass in nVI; they have the same original cinquefoil tops, and the iconography fits in the reconstructed original scheme for the nVI tracery lights given below. Return to context
NRO, Rye MS 17, III, f.174r. Return to context
Parsons 1937, pp. 46, 148. Return to context
, MS Harley 901, f.69v; MS Lansdowne 260, f.246r–v. Return to context
NRO, Rye MS 17, III, ff. 147r, 178r. Return to context
Ibid., f.170r. Return to context
Ibid. f.175r. Return to context
NRO, NAS 1/1/7. Return to context
NRO, Rye MS 6, II, pp. 346, 347, 351, 352. Return to context
BL, Add. MS 23043, f.98r. Return to context
James 1930, p. 165. Return to context
Morgan 2004, pp. 211–12. Return to context
Ibid., pp. 214, 220. Return to context
The 1405 manuscript is Oxford, Bodleian Library, Bodley MS 758, and the 1430 copy is London, Lambeth Palace Library, MS 505. The colophon of the latter on f.86v records that it was written for William Wode, Rector of Salle, in 1430, in the rectory there by Edmund Sowthwell. On f.6r it is said of the Order Seraphym that ‘aliqui de isto ordine per suam superbiam ceciderunt perientes …. Positi sunt in tenebris perpetue obscuritatis’ (‘Some of that order fell as they perished through their pride … They are placed for ever in the darkness of obscurity’). Return to context
James 1930, p. 165. Return to context
Quarterly 1 & 4, Argent on a bend gules three pairs of wings conjoined in lure of the field (Wingfield); 2 & 3, Azure a fesse between three leopards’ heads or (Delapole). Michael Delapole married Katherine, daughter of Sir John Wingfield, and died in 1389. The quarterly arms of Delapole and Wingfield were born by their son Michael from 1389 to 1415, and then by his brother William from 1415 until his death in 1450. The quarterings here are reversed, perhaps because Alice Delapole, William’s wife, seems to have had a claim to the manor of Kerdiston, part of which was in Salle (Parsons 1937, pp. 69, 219). Return to context
Humphery-Smith and Heenan 1962–63, p. 124. Return to context
Quarterly 1 & 4 Azure three cinquefoils or (Bardolf), 2 & 3 Quarterly gules and argent on the first quarter an eagle displayed or (Phelip). Again, the wife’s quarter is in first place. Sir William Phelip, son of Sir John Phelip of Dennington, married Joan, second daughter and coheiress of Thomas Bardolf, Lord Bardolf. After 1437, Sir William was styled Baron Bardolf, having recovered his wife’s inheritance; he died in 1441. H. Castor, ‘Phelip, William, Baron Bardolf (1383/4-1441)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 2008 (online edition), (accessed 20 October 2008). Return to context
An unpublished reconstruction by the present writer of the heraldry of c.1435 in the east chancel window of Ketteringham Church in Norfolk shows that the family heraldry of the local patron, Henry Grey of Ketteringham, was at the bottom of the five lights, while those of more national figures, mainly of the Mowbrays, were at the top of the same lights. The difference at Ketteringham was that there was a family link between the Greys and the Mowbrays. Return to context
King 2008b, p. 108. Return to context
NRO, Rye MS 17, III, f.174r. Return to context
For the York series, see Harrison 1922; Johnson 1972, p. 100; Brown 1999, pp. 71–73. Return to context
Cokayne 1910–59, V (ed. V. Gibbs and H. A. Doubleday), p. 202. Return to context
The reconstruction here follows that in King 2008b, p. 108, which is different from that in King 1980, pp. 57–58. Return to context
See King 2006, pp. clxxxiii–clxxxiv Return to context
. His will begins ‘In nomine sancta & individue trinitatis, patris & et filii & spiritus sancti, Amen.’ He wills a thousand masses to be said for his soul and those of his parents, benefactors and the faithful departed, of which two hundred should be for the Holy Trinity, two hundred for the Holy Spirit, two hundred for St Mary, two hundred for All Saints, one hundred for the angels and two hundred for the office of ‘requiem eternam’. The list of masses in fact adds up to eleven hundred. It may be that the presence of the Nine Orders in this window reflects his will; Nichols 1780, p. 250. Return to context
N-Town Play 1991, I, pp. 21–24. Return to context
French 1995. Return to context
Parsons 1937, pp. 59–60; five plates between pp. vi and vii. Return to context
James 1930, p. 165. Return to context
Parsons 1937, p. 45. He mentions that there were two altars in the north transept, those of the Assumption of the Virgin and of the Holy Trinity. A will of 1456 mentions that the altar of St Mary was in the north transept and leaves a missal to the altars of the Holy Trinity and St John the Baptist (Parsons 1937, p. 99). This post-dates the building of the north transept, whereas the glazing of nV predates it. It seems very probable that before the transept was added, the altar at the east end of the north aisle beneath nV was dedicated to the Virgin Mary and was rededicated to the Holy Trinity when the Lady Chapel was moved into the transept. That the dedication was to the Assumption is suggested by the fact that the Guild was dedicated to that feast (Parsons 1937, p. 94). Return to context
Authorized version: ‘I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels’. Return to context
Biblia Pauperum 1987, p. 125. Return to context
Martin wrote: ‘In the North Chapell on a window east in this chapel MoCCCCoXLIo’; NRO, Rye MS 17, III, f.173r. Return to context
Thomas Rose’s brass, dated 1441, is beneath this window. His will is lost, but an entry in the patent roll of 1454 mentions it, and tells us that William Wode (late Parson of Salle), Robert Luce, Edmund Peyntour (chaplain), Edmund Segeford and Alan Roos were executors. Return to context
Parson 1937, p. 46. An inscription in this window dates the restoration of the tracery glass to 1912 and gives the initials of those responsible. See further the catalogue. Return to context
Nichols 1780, p. 262. Return to context
King 2008b, p. 111. It is possible that a similar window was made in the Dominican Friary church in Norwich, in about 1452; ibid. pp. 116–17. Return to context
NRO, Rye MS 17, III, ff. 175r, 178r. Return to context
Authorized version: ‘For John had said unto Herod, It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother’s wife.’ Return to context
Authorized version: ‘And he sware unto her, Whatsoever thou shalt ask of me, I will give it thee, unto the half of my kingdom.’ Return to context
Authorized version: ‘And she came in straightway with haste unto the king, and asked, saying, I will that thou give me by and by, in a charger, the head of John the Baptist.’ Return to context
Authorized version: ‘Go forth of the ark, thou, and thy wife, and thy sons, and thy sons’ wifes with thee.’ Return to context
Authorized version: ‘And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.’ Return to context
NRO, NCC, Wylbey 44-5. Return to context
In D1 and D2 orange glass is also used. Return to context
The following arrangement would also be possible, but does not give such a symmetrical arrangement: A1. Margaret Brigg, facing to sinister; A2. St Margaret, facing to sinister; A3. Margaret Brigg, facing to dexter; A4. St Catherine, facing to dexter; A5. St Thomas Becket, facing forwards or to sinister; A6. Thomas Brigg, facing to dexter. Joseph Spooner is to be thanked for help with this reconstruction. Return to context
BL, MS Harley 901, f.69v; MS Lansdowne 260, f.246r; NRO, NAS 1/1/7; NRO, Rye MS 17, III, f.175r; NRO, Rye MS 6, II, f.351r. Return to context
King 1980, p. 334. Stephen Lynge, mentioned in the will, does not appear in the heraldry and was probably dead by the time the window was made. Return to context
King 2008b, pp. 107–12. Return to context
Parsons 1937, p. 77. Return to context
Nichols 1780, p. 262. Return to context
Cokayne 1910–59, II, p. 306. Return to context
Parsons 1937, p. 167; Nichols 1780, p. 258. Return to context
King 2008b, pp. 107–10. Return to context
Ibid., pp. 110–12. Return to context
Ullmann 1961. Return to context
Pfaff 1970, p. 44. Return to context
For Brouns, see Jacob 1964; M. Harvey, ‘Brouns, Thomas (d. 1445)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 2008 (online edition), (accessed 17 January 2008). Material on the Council of Basel during Brouns’s episcopacy in Norwich is to be found in his register in NRO, DN/REG5/10, ff.104r–6v. Return to context
For Wygenhale, see Jacob 1964, p. 71. Return to context
Griffiths 1981, pp. 443–52. Return to context
At this time, Henry VI was supportive of moves for peace both between France and England and within the church; see Schofield 1964, esp. p. 269. Return to context
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