Corpus Vitrearum Medii Aevi

Medieval Stained Glass in Great Britain

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Norfolk: Stody, Parish Church of St Andrew

O.S. TG 056351

This small cruciform church has a round tower of probably twelfth-century date and an early fourteenth-century chancel. The transept and nave windows, two on each side, are perpendicular, all of four lights, except the east-facing three-light transept windows. The extant glass is in windows nV and nVI of the nave, and sIV, the east window of the south transept.

The patronage of the church changed frequently in the late Middle Ages, but during the second quarter of the fifteenth century (the period when the glass was almost certainly made) it was in the hands of various members and relatives of the Braunch family. When Catherine Braunch, widow of Sir John Braunch, wrote her will in 1420, she left property to three of her sons. The third son, John, received the lordships of Stody and Hunworth in Norfolk. 1 He married Margaret Winter, daughter of Edmund Winter of Barningham, Esquire, presented to the church in 1430, and was dead by 1440, when Margaret Winter presented with her husband Ralph Lampet. In 1471, Robert Braunche was patron. 2 The antiquarian record associates this family with the surviving glass. 3 Kemp recorded the shield of Braunch Argent a lion salient gules overall a bend sable in all the north windows of the church. On the south side of the chapel, probably sV, were the shields of Lampet (Argent on a cross engrailed gules five bezants between four scallops sable) impaling Winter (Checky or and sable a fess argent), and Braunch impaling Winter. 4 These were the arms of Margaret and her two husbands, dating the glazing of that part of the building to 1420–71, and probably to c.1440 – c.1450, the period when Lampet was most active and to the glass has been dated on stylistic grounds by the present author elsewhere. 5 Ralph Lampet was a man of moderate consequence. Of Lincolnshire birth, he was Customer of Yarmouth in 1439–48, bailiff in 1444, 1450, 1454, and 1461, and in 1452/3 represented it in parliament. He was a witness to the much disputed will of Sir John Fastolf, which John Paston spent many years trying to have carried out, and appears several times in the Paston Letters. His last documented activity was in 1463. 6

In the Frere MSS saints including St Etheldreda, St Lucy, and the name of St Helena are mentioned in the east window of the north transept (nIII), with a small shield, Argent a lion rampant gules. This blazon was used by the Bokyngham family of Suffolk, and Ralph Lampet, who lived in Yarmouth, was closely associated in the documentary record with William Bokyngham, Prior of Yarmouth, but it is not known whether he used that shield. 7 In the east window of the south transept (sIV) are four fragmentary figures of female saints: St Margaret, St Mary Magdalen?, St Helen (labelled 'ellina'), and St Catherine. The glass was restored in 1982–84 by G. King & Son, before which date the figures were jumbled; the present arrangement does largely seem to reflect the original disposition. 8 The name and figure of St Helen have almost certainly been transposed from nIII; the former was recorded there, and the figure is different in style and setting to the other saints now in sIV. With six saints identifiable in all, it is probable that the east window of both transepts had female saints in the tracery. In view of the association of Margaret Lampet with the south transept, and the presence of St Margaret in the east window there, she may be tentatively suggested as a possible donor for that series.

The two windows on the north side of the nave, nV and nVI, which retain most of their tracery-light glazing, were also glazed by a donor associated with the Braunch family, whose arms were recorded there in the Frere MSS. Ralph and Margery may again have been the donors of this glass.

The more eastern of these two windows, nV, has a Coronation of the Virgin in the two central tracery lights, flanked by six of the Apostles. St Nicholas was seen by Dr Newdigate in the main lights of this window, with a sainted archbishop whose name ended in 'mis'. This is probably an error for 'mus' or 'mas', giving amongst English archbishops the possibilities of Sts Thomas Becket and Anselm of Canterbury, and St William of York; the first is the most probable. The choice of St Nicholas is of interest, in view of the possible presence in the east window of the north transept of the arms of the prior of Yarmouth, whose priory was dedicated to that saint. 9 Bishops were seen as the successors of the Apostles, and the series of Apostles in the tracery would have made that connection. Two other bishop or archbishop saints may also have been originally in the window.

Window nVI has an alternating series of unnamed kings and patriarchs in the tracery lights. In the main lights Dr Newdigate recorded St Christopher with a lantern, staff, and the infant Jesus carrying a globe, together with a female donor with a scroll over her head bearing 'Sancte Georgei [sic] ora pro nobis'. 10 It may be that this glass was connected to the shields of St George, St ?Michael, St Edmund, and St Edward the Confessor, which were noted in the church by Kemp, but without location. 11 A window with the patron saint of England and the two most famous sainted English kings, combined here with St Christopher, who was often depicted on the north side of the church opposite the door, would have provided suitable main-light iconography to accompany the kings and patriarchs above, who were seen as Old Testament forebears of medieval kings. The shields would have accompanied the relevant saints, with that of St Michael being placed with St Christopher, who was not accorded heraldic arms. It is also of interest that two of the tracery-light figures are painted from the same cartoons as two of the English sainted kings assigned the tracery lights of the Toppes Window in Norwich, St Peter Mancroft. Indeed, one of the figures at Stody incongruously holds the arrow of Edmund, on whom he is based. The closest iconographical parallel is with the fragmentary remains of the Genealogical Series from sIII at St Peter Mancroft, Norwich, attributed to the same workshop as the Stody glass. 12

The designs of nV and nVI are very similar, with figures standing against a seaweed screen on a chequered pedestal, with clifflets and plants at the bottom and a counterchanging ruby of blue background above the screen, set with a single yellow estoile in the cusp. The only difference is the direction of the diagonal lines of the chequered floor. In nVI, they all slope to the left, but in nV, some slope to the right and some to the left, the pattern not being consistent. However, if panels A6 and A8 were exchanged, a symmetrical pattern would be obtained, and the overall design also improved, since the two Apostles with long, upright attributes, St Matthias with halberd and St Thomas with spear, would flank the central Coronation of the Virgin in A4–5 and the often paired Sts Simon and Jude would face each other. This suggests that the two panels have been exchanged at some stage.

The two south nave windows, sVI and sVII, may have been glazed in a similar way; they have identical stonework to those on the north side. In sVI Dr Newdigate recorded a sainted archbishop, whose name ended in 'nes'. This was perhaps St John of Bridlington, Archbishop of York. There was also an incomplete inscription 'ceciliae uxoris suae'; neither husband nor wife have been identified. It is likely that the tracery had the six Apostles not present in nV opposite, with a central Annunciation to match the Coronation of the Virgin there: these two scenes were sometimes paired in Norfolk medieval glass. 13 Likewise, the tracery of sVII may have had a complementary set of Old Testament kings and patriarchs to those in nVI.

In 1534, John Braunch inherited the patronage of the church. He sold it in 1536/7 to the Bozun family, who kept it until 1571. 14 Heraldry recorded by all three antiquarian sources relating to Bozun alliances was painted on the chancel wall and placed in the south side of the chapel, probably in the window.

The Stody nave glazing has already been attributed on the grounds of style and design to the workshop of John Wighton, and the female saints figures here can be probably added to this œuvre. 15 They are from a less expensive type of window, as in their present condition they have no pot-metal or flashed glass. The glass from nV and nVI was examined in the workshop of G. King & Son Ltd, on 26 April and 12 May 1984, immediately after it had been conserved.

All the glass can be dated to c.1440 – c.1450 on style.


NRO, NCC, Hirning 64. Return to context
Blomefield and Parkin 1805–10, IX, pp. 441–42; Blake 1961, pp. 272, 273. Return to context
Of the three sources, only the Frere MSS provide information on iconography and donor panels. There are two loose folios relating to Stody Church: one consists of heraldry only, and is the same as BL, Harley MS 901, f.107r, without the added family names and with an acknowledgement to J. Anstis, Garter; the other is a description of the church including glass in the hand of Dr Newdigate, according to Cozens-Hardy 1931, p. 37. Several other descriptions of churches in the Frere MSS are dated to 1735. Cozens-Hardy does not calendar the heraldic folio. Return to context
Kemp gives the Lampet arms to Bromesbere, but the blazon is identified as Lampet in Corder 1965, col. 280. Return to context
King 2006, pp. cxlv–cxlviii. Return to context
Le Strange 1890, pp. 156, 157, 179; Wedgwood 1931, p. 524; Richmond 1996, pp. 104, 136. Return to context
For the Bokyngham arms, see DNB, I, p. 124; for the links between Lampet and Prior Bokyngham, see Gairdner 1986, III, p. 162, and IV, pp. 102, 237. Return to context
At the top of sIV is the ‘crown in glory’ device of the firm and the date 1982. Return to context
Le Strange 1973, pp. 137–38. The choice of St Nicholas in nV and St George in VI may also reflect Ralph Lampet’s connections with Sir John Fastolf. For Fastolf’s funeral in 1459, images of both saints were painted; Fastolf’s main residence at Caister was near Yarmouth; see Castor 2004, p. 127. Return to context
The invocation in the vocative case is in the form used in the litanies of the saints in the Sarum Missal. See Procter and Wordsworth 1879, cols 250–60. St George appears in the Feria sexta list in col. 258 together with St Christopher. Return to context
Kemp has Azure three crowns or (St Edmund) , Azure a cross flory between six martlets or (St Edward) , and Argent a cross gules (St George) . He also gives Gules a cross sarcelly argent, which the Frere MSS folio ascribes to Beck. Beck’s arms, which were used by Lord Willoughby, were, however, Gules a cross moline argent, and this was how Parkin records the shield (Blomefield and Parkin 1805–10, IX, pp. 383, 442). The brass of Sir Robert Willoughby (d.1524), late parson of Combs and son of Lord Christopher and Lady Margery Willoughby, was in nearby Bodham Church (Cozens-Hardy 1937, p. 10). Alternatively, the shield may have been intended for St Michael, who normally bears Gules a cross argent. In that case, his shield may have been placed over St Christopher, who has no arms ascribed to him to make up a set of four. Return to context
King 2006, pp. ccxviii–ccxx. Return to context
King 2006, p. xcii n. 186. Return to context
Blomefield and Parkin 1805–10, IX, p. 441. Return to context
King 2006, pp. cxlv–cxlviii. Here, several design links between the Stody figures and other glass in Norfolk are given. See also the introduction. The figure of St Helen, which is in a different style, may not be by the Wighton workshop, and may also be rather earlier than the other female saints. Return to context
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