Monday, July 1, 2024

A Stained Glass Armorial Window That Is Truly a Family Affair

Having finished our tour of the Chapter House and its armorial stained glass windows, we find ourselves back out in the main body of York Minster, and looking at this window:

This is the Peter de Dene Window in the cathedral and it's a real family gathering.

We'll start at the top:

In the center of the three lights, at the top just below the roundel, we have in a small shield the attributed arms of St. Peter (not a relative), Gules two keys in saltire wards upwards or.

Then, in the top row of shields, from left to right, the arms of: the Emperor Frederick II (King Edward I’s uncle), Or a double-headed eagle displayed sable; the arms of King Edward I,  being England, Gules three lions passant guardant in pale or); and Margaret of France (King Edward’s second wife), Azure semy-de-lys or (France ancient).

Further below, in the center row of shields, again left to right: the arms of Eleanor of Provence (Edward’s mother), Paly or and gules; Richard of Cornwall, King of Rome (Edward’s uncle), Or an eagle displayed sable beaked and membered gules; and finally, Eleanor of Castile (Edward’s first wife), Quarterly Castile and Leon.

Finally, in the bottom row of shields, we have but two: on the left, the Kingdom of Jerusalem (held for a time by Edward’s uncle Frederick II), Argent a cross potent between seven crosses potent or; and on the right, Joan of Navarre (Edward’s sister-in-law), Gules an escarbuncle of chains or (though there is a lot of white in amongst the gold of the "chains" here).

As I said, a real family affair!

All that said, the particularly eagle-eyed amongst you may have noticed that there are a series of human figures flanking the central column of shields, each of whom is wearing a surcoat of arms. You may click on any of the images above to see a larger, more detailed photograph, which will show these figures and their surcoats more clearly. You may also recognize a number of these arms from having seen them elsewhere in the cathedral.

Starting at the top of this column, in the first detail photograph, flanking the arms of England, we have*: on the left, the Grand Master of the Knights Hospitaller; and on the right, the Grand Master of the Knights Templar.

Below those two figures, we find: on the left, the King of France; and on the right, the King of England.

Beneath those, in the second detail photo, we see: on the left, the Queen of France, and on the right, the Queen of England.

Underneath those, we have: on the left, Edmund, Earl of Lancaster, King Edward I's brother; and on the right, the chevrons of Gilbert de Clare, Earl of Gloucester.

Below those two figures, we find: on the left, the well-known checky arms of John de Warenne, Earl of Surrey; and on the right, the fess between crosses crosslet of Guy de Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick.

Beneath those, in the third detail image, we see: on the left, William, Lord Roos, Gules three water bougets argent; and on the right, John, Lord Mowbray, Gules a lion rampant argent.

And finally, underneath those, we have: on the left, Robert, Lord Clifford, Checky azure and or a fess gules; and on the right, Henry, Lord Percy, Or a lion rampant azure.

Didn't notice them? Please go back and take a closer look!

* The identifications have been taken from Weir's A Guide to the Heraldry in York Minster, but following my own advice from an earlier post, I confirmed them in other sources.

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