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  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1570 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Clear, flashed and coloured glass, with painting, coloured enamels and yellow stain

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mrs L. S. Kinsman, in accordance with the wishes E. Fordham Newling

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 58, case WS

Object Type
Heraldry was a common feature of 16th-century domestic glazing schemes. The great hall was the usual setting for such displays, since it was here that the medieval lord feasted with his household and guests. These eye-catching decorations not only advertised his wealth, but also proclaimed his lineage and social alliances.

This shield shows the arms of Edward Beaupré. Usually children did not display their mother's arms, but because Margaret Fordringaye was the heiress of her family, Edmund was entitled to 'quarter' her arms (on the right) with those of his father, Nicholas Beaupré (on the left). Edmund died in 1567 leaving his daughter, Dorothy, the sole heiress of the Beaupré line.

This is one of a series of coats of arms relating the Beaupré family history. It is thought to have been commissioned by Sir Robert Bell for Beaupré Hall, the family's ancestral home near Wisbech, Cambridgeshire. Bell married Dorothy, the sole heiress of the Beaupré line, in 1559 and succeeded to the Beaupré estate following his father-in-law's death. The windows seem to date from the completion of a new great hall in around 1570, but were later moved and cut down to fit narrower lights.

Materials & Making
The increasing complexity of heraldic shields made them almost impossible to assemble from pieces of coloured glass leaded together in the traditional way. Instead, the design was painted on clear glass in enamel colours and a silver-based yellow stain. Once fired, the surface of this stained glass could be 'abraded' or scratched away to reveal white details which could, in turn, also be coloured. This technique is known as 'flashing'.

Physical description

Panel. Arms of Beaupré and Fodringay, with inscription.

Place of Origin

England (made)


ca. 1570 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Clear, flashed and coloured glass, with painting, coloured enamels and yellow stain


Height: 76.7 cm sight, Width: 33.5 cm sight

Object history note

From Beaupré Hall, Wisbech, Cambs.
Made in England
Beaupre Hall is a 16th century manor house built by the Beaupre family and enlarged by their successors, the Bells. The oldest part, dating from around 1500, is the central block running from south west to north east, with a wing at a north west angle. The V&A windows were located in two windows in the entrance hall and date from 1570-80. These surviving heraldic windows were probably commissioned by Sir Robert Bell. He married Dorothy Beaupre, the heiress, in 1559 and succeeded to her estate after the death of her father Edmund in 1567. Sir Robert Bell held politically important positions during his lifetime. He was Speaker of the House of Commons in 1563 and later became the Chief Baron of the Exchequer.

Descriptive line

Panel of stained, painted and leaded glass depicting the arms of Beaupré and Fodringaye. Originally from Beaupré Hall, Wisbech, Cambridgeshire. England, about 1570

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Hussey, Christopher, “Beaupré Hall Wisbech, Coventry”, Homes and Gardens Old & New, Country Life, 1923
Atkinson, T.D., et al., “Wisbech Hundred: Outwell and Upwell”, in A History of the County of Cambridge and Isle of Ely, vol. 4, City of Ely, edited by R. Pugh, London, 2002, pp.206-219

Labels and date

British Galleries:
These stained-glass panels are part of a group that was formerly in windows at Beaupré Hall in Cambridgeshire. The complex heraldry shown on the glass records the long ancestry of the Beaupré family. Such massed displays of heraldic glass in a domestic setting were a strong visual statement of the status and history of the family. This served as a reminder to the family itself but more importantly to visitors. [27/03/2003]


Stained glass


Stained Glass; British Galleries


Ceramics Collection

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