Holy Trinity Church Holy Trinity Church

Brodie Mais wimdow

The window
Archangel Uriel
In memory of ....
A treasure revealed
The Trail ....

The Trail .....

A number of people in the village could remember the window being installed and the suggestion was made that perhaps it had come from “Burton Closes”, at Bakewell some 8 miles from Tansley. “Burton Closes” was a large country house which was sold in 1939 and is now a residential home for elderly people.

One elderly resident in the village still had a copy of the brochure advertising the saleof Burton Closes and from this the name of the firm of auctioneers was found. By a stroke of good luck the auctioneers still had a microfilm of all the correspondence from the Deputy Public Trustee relating to the sale some 50 years previously and from this much valuable information was found.
16th July 1936

The Deputy Public Trustee is having sent from Llandudno to Burton Closes in a week or so a stained glass panel. It is to be kept in storage there until a decision is arrived at as to the future of Burton Closes and its contents. Would you kindly ask Mrs Johnston to advise you when it is delivered so that you may satisfy yourselves that it is not damaged in transit, and afterwards give her the necessary instructions to ensure its safe custody?
The letters revealed that Burton Closes was owned by a Mr Alexander Campbell Blair who also owned and lived at a house called Bronmeillion at Llandudno in North Wales.

When he died in 1935 some of his effects were transported to Burton Closes to be auctioned with the house.

This extract from one such letter shows that a stained glass panel was sent by rail from Llandudno to Burton Closes in 1936.

The letter of the 4th August 1936 shows that the stained glass panel transported to Burton Closes was by Madox Brown but that did not prove it was the same panel as the window in the church. 4th August 1936

I am directed by the Deputy Public Trustee to reply to your letter of the 17th ultimo, and to state that he has now heard from Mrs. Johnston at Burton Closes that the stained glass panel by Ford Madox Brown has duly arrived in its packing case. Mrs Johnston states that she had to pay 10s.2d carriage, and when you arrange to inspect the condition of the panel you will no doubt arrange for her repayment.

4th August 1936

This panel, as you know, consisted of many small panes set in leaded frames, and our representative found that 14 small panes, were slightly cracked.

(There follows a list of the broken or cracked pieces)
However, further correspondence shows that the panel duly arrived at Bakewell and the cracked panes were listed in detail. Another letter said the panes had been cracked before despatch.
Alexander Campbell Blair must have been a collector of many things. The catalogue of the auction of Burton Closes shows 6 lots of stained glass panels with a total of 27 panels.
Lot 417 4 Stained glass panels value 10s-0d (50p)
Lot 413 2 Stained glass panels of figures value £1-0s-0d (£1)
Lot 546 5 Stained glass panels value £2-0s-0d (£2)
Lot 523 5 Stained glass panels value £1-0s-0d (£1)
Lot 524 5 Stained glass panels value £3-0s-0d (£3)
Lot 469 6 Stained glass panels value£1-10s-0d (£1.50)
There are no records of which lot contained the Madox Brown window but it seems likely that it was lot 413 because only that particular lot mentions figures. Unfortunately no records remain which indicate who bought the window.

Because the window was available for installation so soon after his death and because he expressed a wish during his 100 year Anniversary sermon to have installed a stained glass window in memory of his wife, it can be assumed that the Revd. Brodie Mais bought the window at the Sale of Burton Closes in 1939 shortly after his wife died.

That this window is the one belonging to Alexander Campbell Blair is borne out by the fact that some of the broken pieces of glass listed in the correspondence at the time can be identified in the window.

BUT .....

Four questions still remain

When was the panel made ?
Who made the panel ?
Why was the panel made ?
How did it come into the posession of Alexander Campbell Blair ?