Ludlow Palmers
helping to conserve the fabric and treasures of St Laurence's
The West Window

The stone tracery of this window dates from the remodelling of the church in the second quarter of the 15th century; but the glass is all 19th Century.

The glass was installed under the supervision of Gilbert Scott during the 1859-60 restoration. The artist was Thomas Willement, the 'Father of Victorian Stained Glass' who had 'reinvented' the art of traditional stained glass-making from the observation of 15th Century examples at York Minster and elsewhere. The window was the gift of Beriah Botfield, MP for Ludlow, and his wife Isabella.

The figures in the 11 main panels of the West Window are connected with Ludlow's history. Seven of them were Lords of Ludlow. Several are comparatively insignificant compared to others that have been omitted. Reading top to bottom and left to right:

  • Roger of Montgomery, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury (d.1094) was by far the biggest landowner in Shropshire at the time of the Domesday Book and once thought to be the founder of Ludlow Castle. The 200-year history of the de Lacy family, the actual founders, is unrepresented.
  • Joce de Dinan (d.1166) was the second husband of Sybil, granddaughter of Walter de Lacy the founder of Ludlow Castle. He was a supporter of King Stephen and held the Castle during the civil war of the 1140s. On his accession in 1154, Henry II confirmed Gilbert de Lacy's ownership and compensated Joce de Dinan.
  • Fulk FitzWarin II (c.1138–1197) was married to Hawise the second daughter of Joce de Dinan, and through her had an unfulfilled claim on the de Lacy inheritance. His vicarious claim to fame is through his son Fulk III whose career of outlawry is celebrated in the medieval French chivalric romance Fouke le Fitz Waryn.
  • Peter de Geneville (c.1256–1292), was the son of Geoffrey de Geneville (c1230–1314) and was given his father's Ludlow lands in 1283. But he died before his father to whom they reverted. Geoffrey was the more significant figure. When he retired to a Friary in 1308 he gave the vast legacy of the de Lacy dynasty, including Ludlow Castle, to Roger Mortimer, the husband of his granddaughter Joan.
  • Roger Mortimer, 1st Earl of March (1287–1330) was from a line of Marcher barons going back to the Norman Conquest and based at Wigmore near Ludlow. He married Joan de Geneville and in 1308 was given the de Lacy lands by Geoffrey de Geneville. He led the successful rebellion against Edward II and virtually ran the country for nearly 4 years before being overthrown by Edward III.
  • Edmund Mortimer, 3rd Earl of March (1352–1381) was the great-grandson of Roger. Through his marriage to Philippa of Clarence, a grandaughter of Edward III, he also became Earl of Ulster and was the fourth largest landowner in England. He was Marshal of England when only 17 years old and was a member of the Regency Council of Richard II.
  • Richard of Conisborough, 3rd Earl of Cambridge (c.1385–1415) had no connection with Ludlow other than through marriage to Anne Mortimer, sister of the 5th Earl of March. He was executed in 1415 for his involvement in the 'Southampton Plot' against Henry V. His son, Richard Plantagenet, was heir to the Mortimers through his mother and inherited the Castle 10 years after Conisborough's death; so the reason for his being celebrated in this window is very unclear.
  • Bottom row — Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York (1411–1460) who inherited the Lordship of Ludlow when he was 14 from his uncle, Edmund Mortimer (grandson of Edmund Mortimer above). He was the father of both Edward IV and Richard III.
  • King Edward IV (1442–1483), son of Richard Plantagenet, was raised in Ludlow. He was crowned King of England after winning the Battle of Mortimer's Cross near Ludlow in 1461, one of the significant events of the Wars of the Roses.
  • King Edward V (1470–c.1483) son of Edward IV, was the boy-king also raised in Ludlow who was never crowned and who, with his brother Richard, mysteriously disappeared from the Tower of London.
  • Arthur, Prince of Wales (1486–1502) who resided at Ludlow Castle, latterly with his wife, Catherine of Aragon. He died in Ludlow aged 15 and his heart was buried in St Laurence's.
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