Feature

The Milton Window at St Margaret’s Church, Westminster [1]

Beverley Sherry University of Sydney ([email protected])

Fig. 1. Milton window at right, St Margaret's Church, Westminster.

Fig. 1. Milton window at right, St Margaret’s Church, Westminster.

Milton and the visual arts is a widely researched subject but has not yet extended to stained glass. Portraits of Milton and illustrations of his works in some artistic media date from as early as the seventeenth century, but it was not until the nineteenth century, with the advent of the Gothic Revival, that they began to be depicted in vitreous form. From the mid-nineteenth century onwards, portraits of Milton in stained glass (as of Shakespeare) appeared in schools, libraries, universities, civic buildings, churches, residences. His poetic works were also depicted, or translated, into stained glass [2]. As with the portraits, these illustrations carry a rich freight of meaning because of the nature of stained glass as an architectural art, existing within an architectural, historical, cultural, and social context. Portraits of Milton in stained glass exist in diverse contexts in the UK, USA, Canada, and Australia. Illustrations of his works are much rarer but two splendid examples by American artists date from 1931, the Paradise Lost window designed by Henry Lee Willet (1899-1983) for Geneva College, Beaver Falls Pennsylvania and the majestic Paradise Lost window in the Chapel of Princeton University by Charles Connick (1875-1945). These two works differ markedly from each other and are highly imaginative vitreous translations of Milton’s epic. Both reward close study, and the Princeton Paradise Lost is regarded by Peter Cormack as “perhaps the finest modern depiction of Milton’s work in any medium” [3].

The present essay, however, focuses on a window of a different kind, the Milton memorial window at St Margaret’s Church, Westminster, which encompasses both portraits of Milton, at different stages of his life, and scenes from Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained. Particularly rich in meaning, the window was made by Clayton & Bell in 1888 and exemplifies Milton’s own description of stained glass, before he lost his sight, as “storied Windows richly dight”[4]. (figs 1 and 2)

Fig. 2. Milton window.

Fig. 2. Milton window.

The idea for the window came from Westminster Abbey’s Archdeacon Frederic Farrar (1831-1903) [5]. He chose Milton because of the poet’s association with St. Margaret’s and because Milton was his personal hero. According to his son, Farrar was devoted to Milton throughout his life: “the little volume of Milton which his mother gave him when he was quite a child” remained “his constant companion till the day of his death” and “he knew many passages of ‘Paradise Lost’ by heart” [6]. Farrar proposed the window as part of the restoration and beautification programme that he undertook for St Margaret’s. In 1882 Americans had funded the West window, a memorial to Sir Walter Raleigh, who is buried in the Church, and in November 1886 Farrar appealed to the Americans for a Milton window [7]. A philanthropist and newspaper magnate, George W. Childs of Philadelphia, known for funding memorials to poets, responded to the appeal [8]. Farrar records, “When I told Mr Childs how closely Milton had been connected with St Margaret’s, Westminster, where his banns of marriage were published, and where his dearest wife (‘my late-espoused saint’) and infant daughter lie buried, he gladly consented to give a window to Milton’s memory. When it was executed, he sent at once the sum which it cost – which was, I believe, more than £600” [9]. St. Margaret’s was the parish church for the House of Commons and Milton was a parishioner in the 1650s, when he worked for the Commonwealth and lived in Westminster. On November 12th, 1656, his marriage to Katherine Woodcock was conducted by a London Justice of the Peace, Sir John Dethicke. In accordance with the Marriage Act of 1653, it was a civil ceremony, and records have it taking place at either the Guildhall or St Margaret’s. It is possible that the civil marriage was followed by another ceremony at St Margaret’s. Katherine (Milton’s “late-espoused saint”) and her baby girl died in 1658 and they were buried in the parish of St Margaret’s [10].

Two inscriptions at the base of the window spell out its origin and purpose. One reads: “To the glory of God and in memory of the immortal poet John Milton: whose wife and child lie buried here. This window is dedicated by George W. Childs of Philadelphia MDCCCLXXXVIII”. (fig. 3) The other inscription was specially commissioned by Archdeacon Farrar. In a letter to Childs in 1887, he writes, “I can think of no one more suitable than Mr J.G. Whittier to write four lines for the Milton window. Mr Whittier would feel the greatest sympathy for the great Puritan poet” [11]. John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892) welcomed the request and provided the following quatrain:

The New World honours him whose lofty plea
For England’s freedom made her own more sure,
Whose song, immortal as its theme, shall be
Their common freehold while both worlds endure. (fig. 4)

A Quaker poet, Whittier campaigned against slavery and his lines salute Milton, himself a friend to Quakers, as a champion of freedom and an inspiration for the New World. Thanking Whittier in a letter of January 1888, Dr Farrar writes that the four lines are “all that I can desire . . . I think that if Milton had now been living, you are the poet whom he would have chosen to speak of him” [12].

Fig. 3. Dedicatory inscription, Milton window.

Fig. 3. Dedicatory inscription, Milton window.

Fig. 4. John Greenleaf Whittier's quatrain, Milton window.

Fig. 4. John Greenleaf Whittier’s quatrain, Milton window.

……………………………….

.

.

.

.

The two inscriptions thus speak strongly of cross-Atlantic links central to the occasion and origin of the window. Its design and manufacture, however, are English, for Farrar commissioned Clayton & Bell of London, the firm that had made the Raleigh window, for this project. In his letter of 1887, Farrar assures George Childs that, “The artists are taking great pains with it. I sent you an outline of the sketch not long ago. . . . Messrs Clayton & Bell are putting forth their best strength and promise me that it will be finished before the end of the Jubilee year” [13]. The firm of Clayton & Bell was established in 1855 by John Richard Clayton (1827-1913) and Alfred Bell (1832-1895), and by the 1880s they had become leaders in the revival of stained glass, with a forte in handling large series of windows such as those at Sherborne Abbey, Truro Cathedral, and St Edmundsbury Cathedral [14]. An ambitious programme by Clayton & Bell, which includes a full-length portrait of Milton, was made in 1857-59 for the University of Sydney’s Great Hall. One of the earliest complete glazing schemes of the Victorian revival, the windows received much publicity and royal approval before being dispatched to the colony of New South Wales. They are an oeuvre entire, unfolding a vast historical narrative [15].

The Milton window at St Margaret’s is likewise replete with stories, and demonstrates Clayton & Bell’s architectonic and iconographic skills in handling a range of subjects within a large window. Designed in four lights with tracery, its numerous panels depict themes from both the life and the works of the poet. The central panels show scenes from Milton’s life, and their selection was influenced by Archdeacon Farrar. He communicated with Clayton & Bell as they worked on the design, as evidenced in the sermon he gave on the day after the window was unveiled [16]. On Saturday, 18th February 1888, upon returning from the unveiling, Farrar wrote to George Childs, “In the centre is Milton dictating to his daughters the ‘Paradise Lost’; below is Milton as a boy at St. Paul’s school, and Milton visiting Galileo” [17].

The scene depicting Milton the school boy is unique as far as I know (fig. 5). He is depicted in a class with four other students. Their teacher stands close to them, addressing them with a raised finger. The young Milton, with long curling locks, is seated at a desk with pen and paper and looks up earnestly at his teacher. Lois Parker correctly notes that he looks more like “an advanced adolescent, if not an adult” [18]. There is wide artistic license here since we know that Milton as a schoolboy at St Paul’s had closely cropped hair, thanks to his schoolmaster Alexander Gil [19]. To the right of the school-room scene, Milton the young European traveller is shown visiting Galileo, clearly recognisable from seventeenth-century portraits of him (fig. 6). This meeting was of great importance to Milton. He records in Areopagitica (1644), his great defence of liberty of conscience and freedom of speech, that, during his time in Italy (1638-39), he visited the aged Galileo, then under house arrest by the Inquisition. The artist has portrayed Milton in the St Margaret’s window with an expression of serious respect as he lifts his hat to the seated astronomer. His face resembles the features of the schoolboy in the adjacent panel. Milton’s visit to Galileo proved attractive to artists in the nineteenth century but Clayton & Bell’s design is unique [20].

Fig. 5. Milton at St Paul's School.

Fig. 5. Milton at St Paul’s School.

Fig. 6. Milton visiting Galileo.

Fig. 6. Milton visiting Galileo.

Fig. 7. Blind Milton dictating Paradise Lost to his daughters.

Fig. 7. Blind Milton dictating Paradise Lost to his daughters.

……

……

…….

…………………………..

.

.

Above these panels, a larger scene in the centre of the window extends across two panels and portrays the mature Milton, now blind, dictating Paradise Lost (fig. 7). On the left, he is seated in an armchair, eyes closed and left hand gesturing. The right panel portrays two daughters, the older at a desk with pen in hand, the younger standing and looking at her father. Both are the soul of attention. Milton’s youngest daughter, Deborah, is known to have served her father as an amanuensis but it is generally believed that he relied mainly on his nephew Edward Phillips, students, friends, and paid scribes. Nevertheless, the idea of a domestic scene with the poet dictating to his daughters attracted a number of painters in the Romantic period. The best known version is by the Hungarian artist Mihály Munkácsy, his 1877 oil painting in the New York Public Library entitled “The Blind Milton Dictating Paradise Lost to His Daughters”. The scene by Clayton & Bell bears little similarity to any of the paintings but it does resemble a window, depicting the same scene, made in 1909 for Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon. The design is by C. E. Kempe & Co. and the similarity is probably due to the fact that Charles Earmer Kempe had trained with Clayton & Bell [21]. The facial features of Milton in the window bear no similarity to the numerous portraits of Milton in stained glass I have found, which derive ultimately from William Faithorne’s 1670 portrait of Milton from the life (fig. 8).

Fig. 8. Detail, Milton. Great Hall University of Sydney. Derived from William Faithorne's 1670 portrait from the life. One of the earliest portrayals of Milton in stained glass. By Clayton & Bell 1859. Photo by Milton Micallef.

Fig. 8. Detail, Milton. Great Hall University of Sydney. Derived from William Faithorne’s 1670 portrait from the life. One of the earliest portrayals of Milton in stained glass. By Clayton & Bell 1859. Photo by Milton Micallef.

Fig. 9. Adam and Eve at the Tree of Knowledge.

Fig. 9. Adam and Eve at the Tree of Knowledge.

Fig. 10. Adam and Eve leaving paradise, the archangel Michael behind them.

Fig. 10. Adam and Eve leaving paradise, the archangel Michael behind them.

Surrounding these panels devoted to Milton’s life are episodes from Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained, each accompanied by quotations from the text. For Paradise Lost, Adam and Eve are depicted before and after the Fall, and Satan is portrayed in both hell and paradise. Adam and Eve are shown at the fatal tree and the drama of the moment is heightened by the startling blue of a huge serpent wound around a golden trunk. Eve holds the fruit and Adam stretches an open hand towards her (fig. 9). This happens in book 9, although the inscription is from the opening lines of Paradise Lost, “The Fruit of that Forbidden Tree” (PL 1.1-2) [22]. On the opposite side of the window, the fallen Adam and Eve are shown leaving paradise. Behind them stands a stern but sorrowing archangel Michael, sent to expel them from the garden. The inscription is the last line of the poem, “Thru Eden took their solitary way” (fig. 10).

Below these panels, Satan is portrayed. On the left, he is a commanding presence, upright on the lake of fire, rousing the fallen angels. “He call’d so loud that all the hollow Deep / Of hell resounded” (PL 1.314-5) is adapted in the inscription as, “The hollow deep of Hell resounding” (fig. 11). Like William Blake and Henry Fuseli, Clayton & Bell have captured the dynamism and heroism of Satan. He is lent a certain glory through the use of gold tones, especially in the snake entwining his waist, and through his voluminous multi-coloured wings; his shield and spear were inspired by Milton’s unforgettable epic similes (PL 1.284-96). On the opposite side of the window, Satan is now in paradise, a frowning and darker figure, hidden in foliage and spying on the innocent Adam and Eve (fig. 12). “Forth came the human pair / And joind their vocal worship to the Quire / Of Creatures wanting voice” (PL 9.197-99) becomes in the inscription, “Their vocal worship to the quire”. Once Satan invades paradise, he is no longer heroic. Clayton & Bell have captured here the embodiment of evil intent in his facial expression, especially in the malevolent gaze. This portrayal of Satan darkly adumbrates the enormously powerful force that he proves to be in Paradise Lost.

Fig. 11. Satan rousing the fallen angels in hell.

Fig. 11. Satan rousing the fallen angels in hell.

Fig. 12. Adam & Eve in paradise, Satan spying on them.

Fig. 12. Adam & Eve in paradise, Satan spying on them.

Fig. 13. The Annunciation.

Fig. 13. The Annunciation.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

A striking feature of the window is the marked difference between the unfallen and fallen Adam and Eve (figs 9 and 10). The latter are clearly not the hand of Clayton & Bell. In fact, the original 1888 panel of Adam and Eve leaving paradise was hit by a “high explosive bomb” during the Second World War and the two figures had to be replaced [23]. The British artist Joan Howson (1885-1964) undertook this task in 1948 and reported that it was “very difficult to get the glass to match the existing glass” [24]. Painted, furthermore, in her own style, quite different from Clayton & Bell’s, the replaced figures not only differ in colour from the unfallen pair, they also have an almost Cubist quality that appears clumsy and crude compared with Clayton & Bell’s finely modelled figures of Adam and Eve. Their skin tone is darker and Eve’s flowing hair now looks like straw. Whether Joan Howson intended it or not, the effect weirdly evokes the trauma of the Fall. Clayton & Bell’s beautiful archangel Michael remains intact.

Fig. 14. The Nativity.

Fig. 14. The Nativity.

Fig. 15. The Baptism.

Fig. 15. The Baptism.

Fig. 16. Jesus on the temple mount, triumphant over Satan.

Fig. 16. Jesus on the temple mount, triumphant over Satan.

Scenes from Paradise Regained, exquisitely painted and “richly dight”, form the top row of panels in the St Margaret’s window. The brief epic narrates Jesus’s 40-day ordeal in the wilderness and his temptation by Satan. It is not highly visual but consists largely of debate between Jesus and Satan, which can hardly be translated into stained glass. However, events from Jesus’s earlier life are recalled in book 1 and Clayton & Bell have illustrated these in the first three panels. First is the Annunciation to Mary with God’s words to the archangel Gabriel, “I sent thee to the Virgin pure” (PR 1.134) (fig. 13). Next is the Nativity, with three shepherds, an elderly Joseph, and the quotation, “in the Inn was left no better room” (PR 1.248). This panel exemplifies the masterly drawing of Clayton & Bell, especially in the facial expressions and the immediacy and quiet reverence of the scene (fig. 14). The Baptism follows, with the quotation, “He Himself among them was baptized” (PR 1.76): Jesus is a young man, John an older man baptizing him; there is an attendant angel and the Dove descends with rays of light, as described in Scripture and in the poem (fig. 15). The last panel dramatically picks up the main action of the poem and the climactic event narrated in book 4.538-62. It is a translation into stained glass of Jesus’s victory over Satan and “The Tempter foil’d in all his wiles” (PR 1.5-6) (fig.16). Jesus is majestically robed, haloed, with golden hair and beard, and points heavenward. Satan, his hair wild, is naked but with huge red bat’s wings. Pointing downwards, he departs, with defeat and despair written on his face, while Jesus stands firm on the temple mount.

Fig. 17. The First Adam and Christ the Second Adam.

Fig. 17. The First Adam and Christ the Second Adam.

In addition, the figures of Adam and Jesus are portrayed within the tracery at the top of the window (fig. 17). A young Adam stands disconsolate and ashamed at the forbidden tree, holding the fruit with a bite (just detectable) taken out. To the right, a bearded Christ holds an open book with the Greek letters A and O for Alpha and Omega. It is a master stroke by Clayton & Bell. Interpreting Paradise Regained as a sequel to Paradise Lost, they have brought together the two epics by setting the First Adam beside the Second Adam, the “one greater Man” (PL 1.4) who will redeem fallen mankind.

A mysterious fragment of glass has been interpolated into the base of the window at the bottom right-hand corner and must have been inserted after the bomb damage of 1948. It reads “Thy Hand”. The meaning is obscure. However, where we might expect an artist’s signature, it possibly addresses God, acknowledging that the work of the whole window is by his “Hand”.

Before leaving the window, it is worth considering the entire work again and Clayton & Bell’s choice of centrepiece: Milton dictating Paradise Lost to his daughters (fig.7). The scene reminds us that the blind Milton did not write a word of Paradise Lost but spoke it, composing it orally. It is a supremely oral and aural poem, which is a reason why it is frequently read aloud in public performance. This crucial dimension of the poem cannot be translated into visual form. The same applies to Paradise Regained, which was also dictated to amanuenses. Showing us how these poems came into existence, this centrepiece, surrounded by scenes from the poems, recognises and celebrates Milton as the inspired bard who gave us these poems through his voice.

The iconography of this imaginative and intricate work cries out to be read, considered, and appreciated. Astonishingly, the window itself – its design, subject matter, and artistic merit – was ignored by both Matthew Arnold at the unveiling in 1888 and E. M.W. Tillyard at the unveiling of the restored window in 1949 in the addresses they each gave to mark the respective unveilings. Scarcely more knowledge is offered by the two Milton scholars who have published on the window [25]. However, the views of Arnold and Tillyard – one an eminent poet and man of letters, the other a distinguished scholar – are worth recording.

The window was formally and first unveiled on Saturday, 18th February 1888 and Matthew Arnold gave the address [26]. In it he made much of Katherine Woodcock, Milton’s “late espoused saint”, incorrectly attributing the dedication of the window specifically to her. He ignored both the subjects in the window and the work of Clayton & Bell. While acknowledging the generosity of George Childs of Philadelphia, he used the occasion mainly to inveigh against a mediocrity that he saw in England and spreading exponentially in the United States. There, “the average man is too much a religion” [27]. He quotes Goethe in the course of his address, and his opening words presumably quote Goethe: “The most eloquent voice of our century uttered, shortly before leaving the world, a warning cry against ‘the Anglo-Saxon contagion’”, a disease that consists of “all the prose, all the vulgarity among mankind” and “a general sterility of mind and heart” [28]. Milton is then proposed as an antidote to this contagion. Above all, he is extolled for his grand style and the unflagging purity of his rhythm and diction. Arnold’s disdain for Milton’s political and religious beliefs is barely disguised.

The following day, Archdeacon Farrar, famous for his sermons, took the opportunity to preach a sermon that countered Arnold’s anti-Americanism [29]. Arnold, in attendance, would have had to listen to Farrar portraying Milton as the inspiration for ideals of liberty that the United States drew from Cromwell’s England. Quoting Whittier’s stirring lines inscribed in the window, Farrar spoke of “those bonds of common traditions and blood and language and affection which unite England to the great Republic of the West”. There was “something especially appropriate in the Milton window being the gift of an American. For the United States represent much that Milton most deeply loved; the Commonwealth which, happily failing in England, in America gloriously succeeded; the Puritanism which, crushed in England, inspired vigor and nobleness in our kin beyond the sea. ‘Paradise Lost’ was the one English poem which the sons of the Pilgrim Fathers loved” [30].

Seven windows by Clayton & Bell in St Margaret’s were destroyed during World War II, but the windows to Milton and Raleigh survived, with the Milton window suffering some damage, as described above. The unveiling of the restored window took place on Monday, 4th July 1949, and E. M. W. Tillyard gave the address. He would not have hidden his light under a bushel, especially after the advance publicity in The Spectator: “When the window was unveiled in 1888 . . . the address was given by Matthew Arnold. I shall be surprised if the address next Monday, by Dr. E. M. W. Tillyard, Master of Jesus College, Cambridge, falls short of it” [31]. The speech was promptly published as “Arnold on Milton” in the Church Quarterly Review [32]. Tillyard’s main concern was to argue, by quoting Milton’s poetry and with astute commentary, that Arnold was quite wrong about Milton’s unflagging high style. He also observes Milton’s declining fortunes by the 1940s but predicts (accurately) that his time will come again. Apart from roundly rebuffing Arnold, he gears his speech to the church audience and concludes with a reading of Adam’s heart-felt speech to the archangel Michael, towards the close of Paradise Lost, “How soon hath thy prediction, Seer blest . . .” (PL 12.553-73). Like Arnold, Tillyard had nothing to say about the subjects in the window or the artists, including Joan Howson, who undertook the restoration work. Following Arnold too, he mistakenly identified the window as dedicated to Katherine Woodcock. Did Arnold and Tillyard actually look at the window?

This essay redresses such ignorance and/or indifference by two men of learning. More importantly, it introduces students and scholars of both stained glass and Milton to one example of a “storied window richly dight”. My wider aim has been to extend the large body of work already published on Milton and the visual arts into the field of stained glass, until now virtually unexplored by Milton scholars.

Notes

[1] With the exception of Figure 8, the photographs are by Christopher Parkinson, courtesy of St Margaret’s Church, Westminster.

[2] My research on Milton in stained glass is an extension of my work on translations of Paradise Lost in Milton in Translation, eds. Angelica Duran, Islam Issa, and Jonathan R. Olson (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017), pp. 33-50.

[3] Email to author 11 September 2018. For a discussion of Connick’s four Christian Epics in the Princeton Chapel (Le Morte d’Arthur, the Divine Comedy, Paradise Lost, and The Pilgrim’s Progress) see Peter Cormack, Arts & Crafts Stained Glass (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2015), pp. 228-35 and Richard Stillwell, The Chapel of Princeton University (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1971), pp. 45-91.

[4] Il Penseroso 159.

[5] On Farrar, see entry in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

[6] Reginald Farrar, The Life of Frederic William Farrar: sometime dean of Canterbury (London: James Nesbitt & Co., 1904), p. 4.

[7] “The Milton Window”, in The Story of the Memorial Fountain to Shakespeare at Stratford-upon-Avon (Cambridge: Riverside Press, 1890), ed. L. Clarke Davis, pp. 187-8.

[8] Childs had funded a two-light window to George Herbert and William Cowper in Westminster Abbey and the Shakespeare memorial fountain in Stratford-upon-Avon.

[9] Frederic W. Farrar, Men I Have Known (New York & Boston: Thomas Y. Crowell & Company, 1897), pp. 169-70.

[10] Arthur Axelrad, “Woodcock, Katherine”, A Milton Encyclopedia 8 vols, ed. William B. Hunter, Jr (Lewisburg PA: Bucknell University Press, 1978-80) 8: 176. J. Milton French gives sources for two different places of the marriage, the Guildhall and St Margaret’s, The Life Records of John Milton 5 vols (New Brunswick NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1956) IV: 126. British History Online records that “In St. Margaret’s Church, in 1656, John Milton was married to his second wife, Katherine Woodcocke” (http://www.british-history.ac.uk/old-new-london/vol3/pp567-76). Edward Jones advises, “Milton did not disavow all traditional practices in marriage even if he elected the secular option. This mixed position is also evident in the burials of his wife and daughter two years later. The St Margaret’s churchwarden accounts for 1658 indicate that both were buried ‘in the new Chappell’ (E 37, fol. 15v) and evidence in the parish church records indicates that the burial services for both took place in the Broadway Chapel in Tothill Fields”. (Email to author 22 January 2019)

[11] Samuel T. Pickard, The Life and Letters of John Greenleaf Whittier, 2 vols (Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin, 1894), vol. II, pp. 728-9.

[12] Pickard, Life and Letters of Whittier vol. II, p. 730.

[13] Pickard, Life and Letters of Whittier vol. II, p. 728. 1887 was Queen Victoria’s Jubilee.

[14] On Clayton & Bell’s work in the United Kingdom, see Martin Harrison, Victorian Stained Glass (London: Barrie & Jenkins, 1980), pp. 29-33 and Plates 10, 11, 12. Harrison considers that Clayton & Bell “produced the most satisfying integrated schemes of stained glass in the Victorian period” (p. 29). They were major exporters of stained glass to Australia in the nineteenth century – see Beverley Sherry, Australia’s Historic Stained Glass (Sydney: Murray Child, 1991), pp. 14, 33, 53-4, 67-9, 92-4. I owe a debt to Christopher Parkinson for additional, extensive information on Clayton & Bell.

[15] Sherry, Australia’s Historic Stained Glass, pp. 24-5, 67-9, 84-5.

[16] Letter to George Childs in Pickard, Life and Letters of Whittier vol. II, p. 728. The full text of Farrar’s sermon is printed in Davis, “The Milton Window”, pp. 212-34.

[17] Davis, “The Milton Window”, p. 194. Clayton & Bell’s pen and ink design of the window is preserved in the Victoria & Albert Museum (Museum number E. 1442-2001); John Richard Clayton and Alfred Bell are identified as the designers and Clayton & Bell as the manufacturers. For the central scene, the pen and ink drawing differs from the completed window. The drawing shows Milton with one woman whom the Victoria & Albert Museum curiously identify as Milton’s first wife, Mary Powell, whereas the completed window depicts Milton with two women, identified by Farrar as Milton’s daughters.

[18] Lois W. Parker, “The Milton Window”, in Ringing the Bell Backward: the Proceedings of the First International Milton Symposium, ed. Ronald G. Shafer (Indiana PA: Indiana University of Pennsylvania, 1982), p. 72.

[19] John Aubrey records that the schoolboy Milton was “ten years old as by his picture” and that “his schoolmaster was a Puritan in Essex, who cutt his hair short” – “Mr. John Milton: Minutes by John Aubrey 1681”, in The Early Lives of Milton, ed. Helen Darbishire (London: Constable, 1932), p. 2. The portrait referred to is dated 1618, is anonymous, and held in the Pierpont Morgan Library, New York.

[20] Two paintings held in the Wellcome Library, London are: John Milton Visiting Galileo when a Prisoner of the Inquisition by Solomon Hart (1806-1881) and Galileo Galilei Receiving John Milton by Annibale Gatti (1827-1909).

[21] On Kempe and Clayton & Bell, see Harrison, Victorian Stained Glass, pp. 32, 47. Christopher Parkinson pointed out to me the similarity of these windows, especially in the way Milton’s legs are crossed.

[22] For quotations, Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained are abbreviated to PL and PR. My quotations for Paradise Lost are from John Milton Paradise Lost, ed. Barbara K. Lewalski (Oxford: Blackwell, 2007) and for Paradise Regained from John Milton Complete Shorter Poems, ed. Stella P. Revard (Oxford: Blackwell, 2009).

[23] Information from Matthew Payne, Archivist at Westminster Abbey.

[24] Correspondence from Joan Howson to Westminster Abbey 12 September 1948. I am grateful to Matthew Payne for this information.

[25] Lois Parker, “ The Milton Window, the Americans, and Matthew Arnold”, Milton Quarterly 13.2 (1979): 50-53 and “The Milton Window”, in Ringing the Bell Backward, ed. Shafer, pp. 69-73; David Boocker, “A Fissure in the Milton Window? Arnold’s 1888 Address”, in Spokesperson Milton: Voices in Contemporary Criticism, eds. C. W. Durham and K. P. McColgan (Selinsgrove PA: Susquehanna University Press, 1994), pp. 126-137. Parker does at least note the subjects depicted in the windows but laments that nothing was then known about the artists. She is also unaware of Tillyard’s speech, as is Boocker. On 20 September 2017 in St Margaret’s, a lecture on the window was given by Duncan Baxter, retired head master and author of Paradise Lost: A Drama of Unintended Consequences (Kibworth Beauchamp, Leicestershire: Matador, 2017). He spoke of the motive for the window’s construction and the inspiration for its design. The lecture is unpublished but there is a brief report in St Margaret’s News 6 (Autumn 2017): 1.

[26] Published as “Milton” in Matthew Arnold, Essays in Criticism Second Series (London: Macmillan, 1903; first edition 1888). Macmillan got the date wrong, 13 February instead of 18th, a mistake repeated later

[27] Arnold, “Milton”, p. 57.

[28] Arnold, “Milton”, p. 56. The quotation was identified as Goethe’s by Steward Means: “The warning cry which Goethe uttered against ‘the Anglo-Saxon contagion’ was at bottom a protest against rising democracy” – “The Future of Religion”, The Harvard Theological Review 6.3 (1913): 327.

[29] Davis, “The Milton Window”, pp. 212-34.

[30] Davis, “The Milton Window”, pp. 214-5.

[31] The Spectator 30 June 1949. The Spectator wittily remarks, “one of the anthems to be rendered will be Parry’s ‘Blest Pair of Sirens’, which, since damage to the windows was caused by an air-raid, seems an unexceptionable choice”.

[32] Church Quarterly Review, 148 (1949): 153-160; reprinted in E. M. W. Tillyard, Studies in Milton (London: Chatto & Windus, 1951), pp. 1-7.

Comments are closed.