St Paul's Cathedral Window

The Window in St Paul's Cathedral

The Musicians' Company Archive Project

The original proposal for a Cathedral Window was made by Mr C.T.D. Crews in 1906 (seconded by Sir Frederick Bridge). The window, dedicated to St Cecilia was intended for the Lady Chapel of the Cathedral Church of St Saviour, Southwark. The design was established, but there were problems with the planned location within the Cathedral. Consequently it was decided that St Paul's Cathedral would become the recipient - and so it did, at a ceremony on 25th November 1907.

 

The entire issue can be seen in the Court Minute Books, as follows:

Volume 8: page 254, 255, 271, 281, 286

Volume 9: page 2, 24, 25, 33, 34, 35, 36

A report on that presentation ceremony and the Evensong that followed, is provided in a press cutting (provided to the right) taken from the Guardian of 27th November 1907. It includes some background to St Cecilia and also a transcription of the speech given by C.T.D.Crews. Click the image to expand.

 

The window was installed in the North Transept but was completely destroyed by enemy action on 9 October 1940. A framed picture of the window (above) hangs in the Company Office. The window's inscription reads:

TO THE HONOUR AND GLORY OF GOD

PRESENTED BY CHARLES THOMAS DANIEL CREWS, D.L., J.P., F.S.A., A PAST MASTER OF THE WORSHIPFUL COMPANY OF MUSICIANS ON BEHALF OF THE COMPANY TO COMMEMORATE THE REVIVAL OF A RELIGIOUS SERVICE BY THE MEMBERS OF THE COMPANY ON ST. CECILIA'S DAY IN 1906.

The Musicians' Company Archive Project

Here are pages from the Musical Times journal of 1908 discussing the window's origination, design, installation and an in-depth review of the November 1907 ceremony. Click on the page image to load a larger version.

The Musicians' Company Archive Project
The Musicians' Company Archive Project
The Musicians' Company Archive Project
The Musicians' Company Archive Project

The colour supplement referred to in these pages from Musical Times of 1908 is shown left. It's a drawing of the window and, as specified in the text above, it shows the coat of arms of the donor (CTD Crews) in the right hand bottom corner. Interestingly, this detail is omitted in the framed picture shown at the top of this web-page and also from the plate provided in the 1950 Company Handbook. Furthermore, the Inscription at the bottom of the glass is slightly different to that provided in the other picture - instead of refering to Charles Crews as "A PAST MASTER", he is referred to as "TWICE MASTER". The reason for such discrepancies is unknown.

The 4 fragments of score are taken from Handel's Alexander's Feast, HWV 75, an oratorio published in 1736 and set to a libretto by Newburgh Hamilton, based upon Dryden's Ode to St Cecilia. The phrases in the window are both taken from act II:

"At last divine Cecilia came" and "She drew an Angel down".

 

A suggestion that the Company would replace this window was made to the Cathedral administrators in 1977, but it was rejected by them in favour of retaining the plain glass that was installed following the wartime destruction of the St Cecilia window.

:              :