Panel thumbnail 1
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
British Galleries, Room 118a

Panel

ca. 1350 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Coats of arms appeared in stained-glass windows from the mid-13th century, but it was in the 14th that heraldic display became most widespread. Commissioning stained glass was a highly effective means of self-promotion. The nobility used armorial windows to embellish their churches, chapels and great halls alike, designing them to reflect not only their lineage, but also their real and aspirational allegiances.
This panel is decorated with the arms of Mowbray - a family who, from the early 1300s, proved themselves loyal champions of Plantagenet rule. Their alliance with the Earl of Lancaster in rebellion against Edward II was apparently forgiven since, in 1394, Thomas de Mowbray was made Duke of Norfolk. His successors, the Howards, exercised considerable influence throughout the reign of the Tudors.
This panel was possibly acquired from Strawberry Hill (Twickenham, Middlesex), home of Horace Walpole (1717-1797). Walpole, who pioneered England's 18th-century Gothic revival, transformed the property into a pseudo-Gothic 'castle' in which to hoard his celebrated collection of antiquities, prints and curiosities. His particular interest in heraldry was reflected in the Medieval stained glass with which he decorated his residence.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Clear and flashed glass, painted with brown enamel
Brief Description
Panel of clear and coloured glass with painted decoration in brown/black pigment depicting the arms of the Mowbray family. English, ca. 1350.
Physical Description
Panel of clear and coloured glass with painted decoration in brown/black pigment depicting the arms of the Mowbray family (gules a lion rampant argent).
Dimensions
  • Height: 24.3cm
  • Width: 24.1cm
Gallery Label
  • British Galleries: Walpole was one of the first people to collect stained glass. He paid an Italian named Asciotti to collect it for him on the continent. He also collected old English glass and had the glass fitted into the Gothic windows at Strawberry Hill to help create an effect he described as 'gloomth'.(27/03/2003)
  • STAINED GLASS from Strawberry Hill 1350-1400 Walpole was one of the first people to collect stained glass. He paid an Italian named Asciotti to collect it for him on the continent. He also collected old English glass and had the glass fitted into the Gothic windows at Strawberry Hill to help create an effect he described as 'gloomth'. Clear, coloured and flashed glass painted in brown/black pigment and silver stain Made in England Museum nos. 6905-1860 (top, arms of Mowbray); 6910-1860 (bottom, arms of Holland, Earl of Kent)(June 2011 (TAB))
Credit line
Bought
Object history
From the Strawberry Hill collection.
Historical context
These arms may have been those of John, 3rd Baron Mowbray (c.1306-1361) who served in the French wars in Nantes and Aguillon (at least) and married about 1325 Joan of Lancaster, daughter of the 3rd Earl of Lancaster.

It is also possible that they are the arms of his son and heir, John, 4th Baron Mowbray. The 4th Baron Mowbray is often cited as being born in 1340 but other evidence suggests his birthdate to be 1326 which is more feasible.

His heir, also John, 5th Baron Mowbray, was created the first Earl of Nottingham, a title given to him by Richard II. This John dies in 1379, leaving no heirs. The earldom of Nottingham passed to his brother Thomas who also succeeded as 6th Baron Mowbray. Thomas Mowbray was one of the Lord Apellants in 1387 but then became a supporter of Richard II in later years. He was Captain of Calais at the time of the mysterious death of the Duke of Gloucester in 1397 and soon after was created the first Duke of Norfolk.

Thomas Mowbray and Henry Bolingbroke were involved in a dispute and both parties were banished from the realm by King Richard. Mowbray died of the plague in Venice in 1399.

Thomas' heirs came from his second marriage to Elizabeth FitzAlan, daughter of the 11th Earl of Arundel. Thomas' coat of arms does not include the Mowbray arms (gules a lion rampant argent). It appears that Thomas, as second son and not expected to be heir to the Mowbray holdings, adopted the arms of the Brotherton family (gules three lions passant guardant or a label argent) based on a past marriage connection. This seems to have been later approved by Richard II who, upon creating him first Duke of Norfolk, allowed him to impale those arms with those of Edward the Confessor (arms assigned in the 13th century): azure a cross flory or between 5 martlets of the same; the arms of Edward the Confessor dominate.

Sir Thomas Brotherton was one of the leaders on the Calais Campaign (1346/7). His arms are described in the so-called Calais Roll as 'arms of England label argent'.

Sir John de Mowbray was one of the leaders on the Calais Campaign (1346/7). His arms are described in the so-called Calais Roll as 'gules a lion rampant argent'.
Subjects depicted
Summary
Coats of arms appeared in stained-glass windows from the mid-13th century, but it was in the 14th that heraldic display became most widespread. Commissioning stained glass was a highly effective means of self-promotion. The nobility used armorial windows to embellish their churches, chapels and great halls alike, designing them to reflect not only their lineage, but also their real and aspirational allegiances.

This panel is decorated with the arms of Mowbray - a family who, from the early 1300s, proved themselves loyal champions of Plantagenet rule. Their alliance with the Earl of Lancaster in rebellion against Edward II was apparently forgiven since, in 1394, Thomas de Mowbray was made Duke of Norfolk. His successors, the Howards, exercised considerable influence throughout the reign of the Tudors.

This panel was possibly acquired from Strawberry Hill (Twickenham, Middlesex), home of Horace Walpole (1717-1797). Walpole, who pioneered England's 18th-century Gothic revival, transformed the property into a pseudo-Gothic 'castle' in which to hoard his celebrated collection of antiquities, prints and curiosities. His particular interest in heraldry was reflected in the Medieval stained glass with which he decorated his residence.
Collection
Accession Number
6905-1860

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record createdApril 28, 1998
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