Wednesday 1 March 2023
Sugar and spice...and vegetable blood
This enticing chapter title comes from William Salmon’s London Dispensatory. William Salmon (1644-1713) called himself a ‘professor of physick’. His prolific writing output was partly due to his habit of condensing the work of others in his books. As well ...
Wednesday 1 February 2023
John Gilbert, Keeper of the Hundred Steps
The character depicted in this watercolour sketch is described as “John Gilbert ‘On duty’ after 40 years’ service. J.G. was latterly employed until his death in keeping clear ‘the Hundred Steps’.” [reference: SGC F.136c] The painting was done by ...
Sunday 1 January 2023
The west steps of St George's Chapel
The grand west steps of St George’s Chapel have become an iconic view within Windsor Castle, particularly in recent years when they have featured prominently on occasions of national importance. It is remarkable then that this famous sight is ...
Thursday 1 December 2022
A sign of the times
In any large building open to the public, there are a lot of signs. St George’s is no exception. There are signs welcoming, directing, informing and warning visitors. There are wooden notices, metal notices and plastic notices. There are blue, ...
Tuesday 1 November 2022
A First World War hero
Colonel Keith Furze, Military Knight of Windsor, served in the British Army in the First World War and kept a journal of his experiences.
Saturday 1 October 2022
The Eliots and their friends
Dean Philip Eliot's visitors' book records the many family and official visitors he hosted in the Deanery between 1891 and 1917.
Thursday 1 September 2022
Reading in tongues
This remarkable volume from the Chapter Library is a polyglot edition of the New Testament [reference SGC RBK B.241]. It was published in Nuremberg in 1599 and contains twelve translations of the text printed alongside each other.
Monday 1 August 2022
A Musical Sketch
This sketch of a man holding a bottle appears in one of the music books of the former Windsor Glee Club [SGC GD/50/23]. Judging by the inscription on the contents page, it may have been owned by one John ...
Friday 1 July 2022
On His Majesty’s service
Newly on display in the Chapel Archives is a sixteenth-century letter personally signed by King Henry VIII which confers a special privilege to one of the canons of St George’s Chapel. Canon Simon Haynes was a successful clergyman and ...
Wednesday 1 June 2022
An Address fit for The Queen
On 17 June 1952, shortly after her accession to the throne on 6 February, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II received Addresses from representatives of organisations including the Dean and Canons of St George’s Chapel and the Military Knights of Windsor, ...
Tuesday 3 May 2022
Licence for a male servant
This small slip of paper licenses the Dean and Canons of Windsor to employ one male servant in the year 1873. Richard Cope, then the Chapter Clerk, had paid 15 shillings on their behalf for this privilege – effectively a ...
Friday 1 April 2022
A beetle's eye view
The 1920s restoration of St George’s Chapel was an extraordinary, decade-long effort undertaken a century ago to stabilise and preserve the building's woodwork and stonework for the future.
Tuesday 1 March 2022
Celebrating World Book Day
St George's Chapel library is home to one of the longest novels ever published (four times the length of The Lord of the Rings). Learn more about its history and the great story it tells to celebrate World Book Day 2022.
Friday 4 February 2022
God bless The Queen
‘God bless the Queen with a full measure of her father’s wisdom, integrity and charm, and God bless the new reign!’ - Eric Hamilton, Dean of Windsor and Domestic Chaplain to George VI and Elizabeth II.
Friday 1 May 2020
The medieval Vicars' Hall
Now housing St George's Chapel's Archives and Chapter Library and events for St George's House, the Vicars' Hall was built 600 years ago with the intention of keeping idle men out of mischief.
Wednesday 1 April 2020
The architect's regret
From 1920-1930, Sir Harold Brakspear oversaw complex restoration works to St George's Chapel. He was dismayed to find that some necessary works would alter the iconic view of the Chapel's south front forever.
Sunday 1 March 2020
World Book Day and a Bible in disguise
On Thursday 5 March we celebrate World Book Day with a display of special Bibles. This beautiful volume was published in 1613, but claims to be a first edition from 1611.
Wednesday 29 January 2020
The legacy of King George III
29 January 2020 marks the two hundredth anniversary of the death of King George III. He made Windsor a favourite Royal residence and oversaw extensive restorations in St George's Chapel.
Wednesday 1 January 2020
Happy New Year
New Year’s Day 1812 in St George’s Chapel began with the baptism of Henry Batson, son of Edward Woodly [Woodley] Smith and Sarah, his wife. The event is recorded in the earliest surviving register book of baptisms, marriages and burials kept by the Chapel Archives [SGC R.1].
Sunday 1 December 2019
A happy Christmas and a bright new year
This festive scene was drawn by Alfred Young Nutt in 1900 for a Christmas card. Nutt was Chapter Surveyor, with responsibility for the buildings in the Lower Ward of Windsor Castle, for the Dean and Canons of Windsor from 1873 ...
Friday 1 November 2019
Man augments the earth
John Robinson, Dean of Windsor had an extraordinary career as a diplomat and bishop. While resident in Windsor he remodelled the Deanery incorporating his unusual motto using Scandinavian runes.
Tuesday 1 October 2019
The missing title page
One of the curiosities of the St George’s Chapter Library is a volume of Luciferi...Ad Constantium (Paris, 1568). It is missing its original printed title page, but we find in its place a highly accurate hand drawn replica of the missing title page.
Sunday 1 September 2019
Golden Anniversary of the Windsor Festival
2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the Windsor Festival. The photograph featured this month was taken at the first concert of the Festival held in St George’s Chapel in 1969.
Thursday 1 August 2019
A grave business
The plans featured this month were produced in 1789 by Henry Emlyn, a local carpenter and aspiring architect. They detail the gravestones which once marked burial sites throughout the nave and quire aisles of St George’s Chapel. Today you would ...
Monday 1 July 2019
The Merchants Map of Commerce
Cartography of the seventeenth century was both science and art. However, despite increased exploration, mapmakers and their printers often shared similar geographical misconceptions. One of the most famous inaccuracies of the time is the depiction of California as an ...
Saturday 1 June 2019
High Misdemeanours: the Earls of Strafford
In 1640 Thomas Wentworth 1st Earl of Strafford, faithful supporter of Charles I, was impeached for ‘high misdemeanours’. His son and heir, William Wentworth, lived a quiet life by comparison. Both were Knights of the Order of the Garter.
Wednesday 1 May 2019
Signed and sealed by Henry VIII
By this document, dated 26 July 1521, Henry VIII granted licence for a door or gateway to be made in the North Wall of Windsor Castle, Unusually, the document is authenticated by the King’s signature as well as a seal.
Monday 1 April 2019
Red herrings on the first of April
On 1 April 1352 the people of Great Yarmouth sealed an agreement to give more than 10,000 red herrings to the Dean and Canons of Windsor. They continued to do this every year for more than five hundred years. The agreement describes it as a freely given gift, but historians have suggested there might be a darker mystery behind it.
Friday 1 March 2019
Books within books
In honour of the upcoming World Book Day, the featured image this month is of two fragments used in the binding of a book held in St George’s Chapter Library: James Usher, Archbishop of Armagh ‘An answer to a challenge ...
Friday 1 February 2019
Mary Tudor and the Great Charter of Liberties
This ornate initial ‘P’ contains an illustration of Queen Mary I and her husband, Philip II of Spain. It begins a document confirming the rights of the College of St George, called an inspeximus [SGC X.3.7]. Mary I was ...
Tuesday 1 January 2019
An Adventure in the Dominion of Canada
In February of 1927, the gentlemen of St George’s Chapel crossed the ocean and journeyed through the Dominion of Canada. The Council of the Canadian Education Society had invited the St George’s Chapel Choir to tour the country by train ...
Saturday 1 December 2018
The Funeral of Queen Charlotte
On 2 December 1818 a funeral was held in St George’s Chapel for Queen Charlotte, who had died on 17 November. The queen was buried in the new Royal Vault in St George’s, which had been commissioned in 1804 by her husband, King George III. This image of the Royal Vault was completed by Alfred Young Nutt, surveyor at the Chapel, in 1849. It shows the vault as it would have originally appeared.
Thursday 1 November 2018
Remembering the First World War
The Great War, now commonly called the First World War, officially ended on 11 November 1918, when the Armistice was signed at 5 am and came into effect at 11 am. Sir Walter Parratt, Organist since 1882, informed the boys ...
Monday 1 October 2018
Signs of life in the library
A recent visitor searching for scholarly annotations in St George's Chapel's 1542 edition of Chaucer's works was surprised to find evidence of a rather different kind of use.
Saturday 1 September 2018
George Digby: irresponsible brilliance
An abundance of talent is not always allied with wisdom and sound common sense. This was certainly true of George Digby (1612-77), 2nd Earl of Bristol and Garter Knight, who was once described as one of English history’s most dangerous men.
Wednesday 1 August 2018
Design for the West Window
The west window of St George’s is the only window in the Chapel to retain any of its original Tudor glass. However, that was almost not the case, as this eighteenth-century scheme for its re-design shows.
Friday 1 June 2018
140th anniversary of the death of George, 5th King of Hanover
A grandson of George III and cousin of Queen Victoria, George 5th King of Hanover inherited the family's territories in Germany. He was exiled from his kingdom following a Prussian invasion and after his death his body was brought to St George's Chapel, Windsor, for burial.
Tuesday 1 May 2018
This stone screen can be found at the entrance to the Urswick chantry chapel. The pious inscription asks for prayers for the soul of Christopher Urswick, who had been Dean of Windsor, and more unusually for the souls of all those whom he had offended.
Wednesday 4 April 2018
Worm's cabinet of curiosities
This 'cabinet of curiosities' is the personal museum of Danish physician, antiquary and natural historian Ole Worm. His studies of the objects within it are the subject of a seventeenth-century text in the Chapter Library.
Thursday 1 March 2018
The Royal Maundy at Windsor
In March 2018 the Office of the Royal Maundy will be celebrated at Windsor for the third time in the reign of Queen Elizabeth II. The Royal Maundy dates back to 1210 and has been held at Windsor on a number of occasions historically.
Thursday 1 February 2018
The Magna Carta of Chester
This impressive great seal of Edward IV was applied to a document from 1463, re-confirming a grant of privileges originally made by the Earl of Chester in the thirteenth century.
Monday 1 January 2018
Farewell from Bournemouth
When Philip Frank Eliot was appointed Dean of Windsor in 1891, the parishioners of Holy Trinity, Bournemouth, presented him with a beautifully decorated book to mark their gratitude for his service for twenty-three years as their vicar.
Friday 1 December 2017
A crib for Christmas
This delightful ceramic Nativity scene, designed in 1980 by Benjamin and Barbara Holgate, is displayed in St George's Chapel every Christmastide.
Wednesday 1 November 2017
200th Anniversary of the Death of Princess Charlotte of Wales
6 November 2017 marks the two-hundredth anniversary of the death of Princess Charlotte Augusta of Wales. This engraving shows the funeral ceremony held for her in St George's Chapel, Windsor, prior to her burial in the Royal Vault.
Friday 6 October 2017
Unrolling the past
The account rolls of the Canon Treasurer give glimpses into the life of the College in its earliest days. Uncovering the details contained within each roll has been a challenging and rewarding task undertaken by three trainees.
Thursday 24 August 2017
The Supper at Emmaus
In the Ambulatory, at the east end of the Chapel, hangs an unheralded treasure: a seventeenth- century tapestry version of Titian’s painting ‘The Supper at Emmaus’, woven at the Mortlake Tapestry Factory.
Saturday 1 July 2017
Mapping the unknown
This seventeenth-century map of the Arctic Circle comes from Atlas Sive Cosmographicae Meditationes de Fabrica Mundi et Fabricati Figura by Gerardus Mercator, which can be loosely translated as ‘Atlas, or cosmographical meditations on the fabric of the world and the figure of the fabric’.
Thursday 1 June 2017
A Loyal Address on the Accession of Queen Victoria
One hundred and eighty years ago, on 20 June 1837, Princess Alexandrina Victoria of Kent acceded to the throne of the United Kingdom as Queen Victoria.
Monday 1 May 2017
Matilda of Wallingford
Matilda, the granddaughter of Wigod, the Saxon thegn or lord of Wallingford in Berkshire, was sufficiently wealthy and powerful to have her own seal for the authentication of documents, even after her marriage. One of the earliest examples of a ...
Saturday 1 April 2017
St George at St George’s
The feast day of the patron saint of England, and the saint after whom St George’s Chapel is named, falls on the 23rd April. Here in the Archives we have decided to take a look at the many depictions of ...
Wednesday 1 March 2017
Henry VIII’s New Dotation
Maisters and brethren this day I have been w[ith] maist[er] Almosn[er] / and seen the kyngs wylle wherein he entendeth to mortesse / vi C li [£600] of termp[er]all londe. This is part of a letter written by Dean of ...
Wednesday 1 February 2017
In the beginning was the Word
Upon the shelves of the Chapter Library an intriguing version of the New Testament can be found. From the outside the book is impressive: soft brown leather, tooled and stamped, and adorned with brass bosses, the tips of which have ...
Sunday 1 January 2017
The Old East End
This is the earliest known photograph of the inside of St George’s Chapel, dating from the mid-nineteenth century [SGC PH C.93a]. Although the east end is a familiar sight to many, this picture may look a little strange as the ...
Thursday 1 December 2016
An accurate description of the New World
In 1671 cartographer and bookseller, John Ogilby, published America, being an accurate description of the New World. Ogilby’s book was in fact an English translation of a monumental work on North and South America by Dutch writer Montanus with the addition of ...
Tuesday 1 November 2016
Developing St George's School
This photograph, taken in 1894, shows some of the first pupils and teachers of the recently expanded St George’s School outside their new premises at Travers’ College. Up until the late nineteenth century, the main focus of the choir school ...
Saturday 1 October 2016
The first College seal
In 1352, the first official statutes of the College of St George required the Warden [Dean] and Canons of Windsor to have a common seal. A seal (an impression made in wax from the engraved seal matrix) was to be ...
Thursday 1 September 2016
Dean Marc Antony de Dominis
Marc Antony de Dominis arrived in England from Croatia in 1616, having abandoned a successful career in the Roman Catholic Church where he had been a bishop and, from 1602, Archbishop of Split. However, de Dominis had disliked the interference ...
Monday 1 August 2016
Sir Jeffry Wyatville
August 3rd 2016 marks the 250th anniversary of the birth of the architect Sir Jeffry Wyatville. As the pictured ledger stone indicates, Wyatville was buried in St George’s Chapel on February 25th 1840; a fitting resting place for one who contributed greatly to ...
Friday 1 July 2016
Schorn Tower Inscription
The Schorn Tower, which rises above the south-east corner of St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, contains a spiral staircase leading to two tower rooms currently used for storage. On climbing the stairs one passes a niche on the right, formerly ...
Wednesday 1 June 2016
Points of Punctuation
Where now we might mark an important section in a text with an asterisk, or strike through it with a highlighter pen, medieval scribes and scholars often used a much more artistic approach. Here in the margin of one of ...
Sunday 1 May 2016
The missing will of Canon Oxenbridge
Within St George’s Chapel, Windsor, are several chantry chapels. These side-chapels, accessed from the nave, the quire aisles and the crossing, were established in the 15th and early 16th centuries by individuals and families who wished to ensure that prayers would be ...
Friday 1 April 2016
The Panel of Kings
This set of painted panels depicts four medieval royals: three kings and one Prince of Wales. They are each dressed in parliament robes of blue scattered with gold fleur-de-lis and red mantles lined with ermine. Each stands on a pedestal ...
Tuesday 1 March 2016
Stallplate of James, 4th Duke of Hamilton
The stallplate of James, 4th Duke of Hamilton, is found amongst the many hundreds of stallplates that adorn the quire of St George’s Chapel. These stallplates seem like jewelled windows, providing brief glimpses into the history of the Order of the ...
Monday 1 February 2016
A musical burlesque
Under the direction of Sir Walter Parratt, Organist at St George’s Chapel from 1882 to 1942, choristers were expected to work hard to produce the exacting standard of music expected of them in the Chapel. However, even in the Victorian ...
Friday 1 January 2016
New Year 1889
The St George’s Chapel Archives holds a collection of Chapter bills from the eighteenth and nineteenth century. These record sums of money paid for works done in the College, such as bricklaying and carpentry, and for the provision of services, ...
Tuesday 1 December 2015
The Adoration of the Magi
This scene, the Adoration of the Magi, may be found depicted in stained glass in the great east window of St George’s Chapel. Designed and installed by Clayton and Bell in 1862-1863, the window was intended as a lasting memorial ...
Sunday 1 November 2015
Not the Henry VI Helm
The helm depicted in this drawing hangs by the grave of King Henry VI in the South Quire Aisle of St George’s Chapel. In this plan, drawn up by Her Majesty’s Office of Works, Westminster, in November 1937, it is ...
Thursday 1 October 2015
The Knights of the Garter at Agincourt
Sir Thomas Erpingham was one of eleven Knights who had received the Garter before the Battle of Agincourt took place; whilst a further fifteen knights who had served in the battle were appointed to the Order of the Garter after ...
Tuesday 1 September 2015
The Mirrour of the World
When I first saw this image in the prologue to The Mirrour of the World [SGC RBK M.239] printed by William Caxton in 1480 I thought that the seated figure surrounded by eager readers could be the perfect embodiment of Caxton himself, ...
Saturday 1 August 2015
The Herbert Chantry Chapel
Lady Elizabeth Herbert was buried in St George’s Chapel in around 1507. She had been a ward of King Henry VII as a young woman when, after her father’s death in 1490, she inherited his barony and extensive lands in ...
Wednesday 1 July 2015
Sir Winston Churchill's Garter stall plates
2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the death of Sir Winston Churchill KG. As customary on the death of a Knight of the Garter, Churchill’s Garter achievements (banner crest, helm and sword) were removed from his Garter stall in St George’s ...
Monday 1 June 2015
Veterans of the Battle of Waterloo
Between July 1830 and April 1882 one hundred men were admitted to the post of Military Knight of Windsor. Exactly one fifth of these men were veterans of the battle of Waterloo, the famous victory of the United Kingdom and ...
Friday 1 May 2015
An impartial collection of the great affairs of state
An impartial collection of the great affairs of state, from the beginning of the Scotch rebellion in…MDCXXXIX. to the murther of…Charles I… is the major work of John Nalson (c.1638-1686), an English clergyman, historian and political pamphleteer. The first volume of ...
Wednesday 1 April 2015
King George III in 1820
This remarkable engraving of King George III as an old man by Charles Turner [SGC F.155] was produced using mezzotint – a smoother, more refined printing process to create tones than the earlier, clumsier method of cross-hatching and dots. Published ...
Sunday 1 March 2015
In 1524, Thomas Wolsey, who had served as a Canon at St George’s from 1511 to 1514, commissioned the great Italian Renaissance sculptor, Benedetto da Rovezzano, to construct a magnificent tomb for him. Work was well underway by the time ...
Sunday 1 February 2015
Workmen of the 1920s restoration
This photograph shows a number of workmen from the firm John Thompson & Sons Ltd. outside St George’s Chapel in the late 1920s. A major repair contract was issued to Thompson & Sons in 1920 for the restoration work that ...
Thursday 1 January 2015
A 16th century view of Windsor Castle
This 16th century engraving, which was included in Braun and Hogenberg’s Civitatis Orbis Terrarum Volume II (Cologne, 1575), has recently been acquired by the Friends of St George’s and Descendants of the Knights of the Garter for St George’s Chapel Archives and ...
Monday 1 December 2014
The Gilebertus Door
The Gilebertus door has been standing since the mid-thirteenth century and is one of the few surviving parts of the earliest chapel at Windsor Castle. The east wall of the present St George’s Chapel was originally constructed as the west ...
Saturday 1 November 2014
Bonfire Night 1770s
On 5 November, sometime in the 1770s, crowds gathered in the Lower and Middle Wards of Windsor Castle to celebrate Guy Fawkes Night. The occasion, presumably an annual one, was captured by influential English watercolourist, Paul Sandby, in a lively ...
Wednesday 1 October 2014
The Denton Black Book
This illuminated manuscript is the opening page to a two-volume work known as the Denton Black Book [SGC IV.B.2 & 3]. As with the similarly named Black Book of the Garter, the name refers to the colour of the books’ ...
Sunday 31 August 2014
The seal of Sir William de Dive
This month’s ‘Image of the month’ features a fine 13th century wax seal depicting an armed knight on horseback which was used to authenticate a conveyance of land in Deddington, Oxfordshire [SGC XV.32.1]. The name of the conveyancer, William de Dive, ...
Friday 1 August 2014
A Tale of Two Lay Clerks
Both the subject and the artist of this etching [SGC F.120/a] were lay clerks at St George’s Chapel. It may be assumed that Stephen Heather and Josiah French would have known one another well, as the final ten years of ...
Tuesday 1 July 2014
William Vertue’s contract of 1511
In 1511 Henry VIII was involved in the drawing up of an agreement between Dean West and master mason William Vertue for the vaulting of the Lady Chapel at Windsor and the completion of the exterior, including the buttresses, battlements ...
Sunday 1 June 2014
Prince George's Notebook
Between 1879 and 1882, His Royal Highness Prince George of Wales served as a midshipman on-board HMS Bacchante, an ironclad screw-propelled corvette of the Royal Navy. These images are taken from the notebook that he kept during a voyage at sea ...
Thursday 1 May 2014
An interesting discovery in the Deanery
During the current restoration of the Deanery, several archaeological finds have been discovered under the floor boards. One of the most interesting is the 17th century trade token featured here as ‘Image of the month’. Dating from 1669, it was issued by ...
Tuesday 1 April 2014
Katherine of Aragon's Book
The Chapter Library of St George’s College is home to approximately 6000 rare books, which have been collected by the Deans and Canons of Windsor over the centuries since the College’s foundation in 1348. The library’s contents cover an enormous ...
Saturday 1 March 2014
The Ancient Society of College Youths
In the Curfew Tower (formerly known as the Clewer Tower or Julius Caesar Tower) there is a peal board erected to commemorate a visit by the Ancient Society of College Youths on 10 April 1787. Grandsire is one of the ...
Saturday 1 February 2014
From sitting room to strongroom in the blink of an eye
Sir Walter Parratt was an organist and composer who served as Organist in St George’s Chapel for forty-two years. During that period he and his wife, Emma, lived below the Vicars’ Hall in No. 12 The Cloisters: the building which ...
Wednesday 1 January 2014
The 1729 Great Haseley Estate Survey
On 20 March 1478 Elizabeth Woodville, Queen Consort of Edward IV, granted the manor of Great Haseley in Oxfordshire to the College of St George, together with the manors of Bassetsbury and Long Crendon in Buckinghamshire and Pyrton in Oxfordshire, and ...
Sunday 1 December 2013
Adoration of the Magi, Beryl Dean
This tapestry is one of a set of five commissioned from Beryl Dean by the Dean and Canons of Windsor to hang in the Rutland Chantry. When she began the project in 1969, Miss Dean was initially given two years ...
Friday 1 November 2013
Dean Christopher Wren
Photographed by Dr John Crook. Copyright: The Dean and Canons of Windsor This fine portrait of Christopher Wren (1589-1659) is one of a series of portraits which usually hangs in the Deanery (currently under refurbishment) of some of the most renowned ...
Tuesday 1 October 2013
William, Count of Ostrevant KG
The fascinating story of how the 82nd Knight of the Garter came to be nominated in 1390 during the period of a truce in the Hundred Years War can be read in Froissart’s Chronicles. It is also mentioned in the entry ...
Sunday 1 September 2013
Captain Nicholas Burgh
Housed in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford is a portrait by Cornelis de Neve of an elderly gentleman wearing a red or Murrey gown and a dark blue, nearly black, mantle embroidered with the shield of St George. These represent the Elizabethan ...
Thursday 1 August 2013
F.G. Minter and the King’s Beasts
This photograph [SGC PH ROB.21/2] taken by Robert Burns Robertson, Chapter Surveyor, from the top of the Schorn Tower in 1925, shows part of the St George’s Chapel roof with the newly reinstated King’s Beasts adorning the parapets. Looking north-west ...
Monday 1 July 2013
The Rise of the Antiquarian
Housed in the Chapter Library are many volumes which would have appealed to those Canons who liked to think of themselves as antiquaries, individuals involved in the study of antiquities. Numerous books on coins, local history, genealogy and ancient monuments ...
Sunday 2 June 2013
The Coronation Choir, 1953
The coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in June 1953 involved a lot of preparation for St George’s Chapel, despite the fact that it would take place in Westminster Abbey. The lay clerks and choristers were to form part ...
Saturday 1 June 2013
Seal of William Mugge
William Mugge or Mudge was appointed Warden of the College of St George, Windsor Castle, in 1349, the second cleric to hold the post after the foundation of the College in 1348. He was to serve in this office (subsequently renamed ...
Wednesday 1 May 2013
This portrait of Edward IV, taken from the Black Book of the Order of the Garter, shows him as a true king, strong, powerful, and ready for battle. It is in stout contrast to the image of Henry VI, the Lancastrian ...
Monday 1 April 2013
St George and the Dragon
On 23rd April each year the Christian Church celebrates St George’s day. This festival has a special significance for St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, not only because it is named after the saint, but also because of the close association ...
Friday 1 March 2013
Thomas Cromwell - Traitor
In 1537, Thomas Cromwell had it all going for him. From his humble beginnings, he was now Lord Privy Seal, one of the highest ranking government officials under Henry VIII. High in favour with the King due to his success in ...
Friday 1 February 2013
The Amending of Life
Housed in the Chapter Library at Windsor is a fifteenth century manuscript copy of Emendatio vitae [The amending of life], a spiritual guide written by early fourteenth century author, Richard Rolle of Hampole. The volume containing this title [SGC LIB MS.1]* also includes ...
Tuesday 1 January 2013
John Holloway, Belfry Keeper
Hanging in the Curfew Tower, the bell tower of St George’s Chapel, are a series of photographs of the bell ringers past and present. The oldest of these is this photograph, showing the bell ringers who worked for the chapel ...
Saturday 1 December 2012
Money not art
In 1869, when this Punch cartoon was published, the Dean and Canons of Windsor were embroiled in a lengthy dispute with the Board of Works about repairs and alterations to the west Castle wall during the restoration of the Horseshoe ...
Thursday 1 November 2012
A King is Born at Windsor
“Thus arm’d fierce Edward did his Troops advance Resolv’d to Wast ye Stubborne Realm of France But Gracious Heaven stops his enraged Hand And loudly pleads in Thunder for the Land Edward obeys his Great Creator’s Will To yield to ...
Monday 1 October 2012
Henry Fitzroy, son of Henry VIII
Henry Fitzroy, the illegitimate son of Henry VIII by his mistress, Elizabeth Blount, was born in 1519. Elizabeth, the daughter of Sir John Blount, had come to the King’s notice as a lady-in-waiting to his first wife, Katherine of Aragon. In ...
Saturday 1 September 2012
Oliver Cromwell's Ordinance
On 30th January 1649, King Charles I was beheaded at Whitehall and England became a Republic. At the time, what did this fundamental moment symbolise for not only Windsor Castle but the College of St George? Windsor Castle had been ...
Wednesday 1 August 2012
Royal Arms of Philip and Mary
On the front of Mary Tudor Tower, the Governor of the Military Knights’ house in the Lower Ward of Windsor Castle, can be seen a carved panel displaying the arms of Philip II and Mary I. Such representations are rare since ...
Sunday 1 July 2012
The 1908 London Games
The first modern Olympic Games were held in Athens on 6th April 1896, and one of the main events was the marathon, commemorating the legendary run by Pheidippides from Marathon to Athens to announce victory in battle. The 1908 Games ...
Friday 1 June 2012
Garter Day 1948
In 1948, as one of several events to mark the six-hundredth anniversary of the foundation of the Most Honourable Order of the Garter and of its spiritual arm, the College of St George, a service of installation was held at St ...
Tuesday 1 May 2012
The Book of Common Prayer
The Book of Common Prayer is a central part of the Christian faith as practised by the Church of England. It is used in over 50 countries and in over 150 different languages. This year sees its 350th anniversary. During the 16th century, England ...
Sunday 1 April 2012
Mrs Coade's Stone
Between 1780 and 1790 a major refurbishment of St George’s Chapel took place under the direction of Henry Emlyn, largely funded by George III. As part of these works, Emlyn, originally trained as a carpenter, designed a new organ screen ...
Thursday 1 March 2012
The marriage of the Prince of Wales
This glorious print is one of a series showing the elaborate preparations for the wedding of the Prince of Wales, only the fifth to have taken place since the creation of the title, and the first at Windsor since 1361. ...
Tuesday 31 January 2012
A Welcome Return
On 13 September 1867, the Ecclesiastical Commissioners for England removed in the region of four thousand documents from St George’s Chapel to their offices in central London. Almost a century later, on 23 July 1963, they were returned to their original ...
Tuesday 10 January 2012
Popey-heads in the Quire
The woodwork of the Quire of St George’s Chapel was carved from oak between 1477 and 1484 to form part of the decoration in the newly constructed chapel of Edward IV. Aside from scenes taken from literature and proverbs, there are ...
Sunday 1 January 2012
Edward III, 1312-1377
Edward III was born in Windsor Castle on 13 November 1312, the first son of Edward II and Isabella of France. He became King on the formal deposition of his father on 25 January 1327. He ruled for the next ...
Thursday 1 December 2011
This unusual depiction of the Christmas Nativity scene may be found in an illustrated Bible held in the Chapter Library (RBK B.210). Published in Lyon, France, in 1527 by Jacques Mareschal, this Latin version of the Bible (traditionally known as the ...
Saturday 1 October 2011
The King's Head
Charles I was beheaded on a scaffold outside the Banqueting House at Whitehall on Tuesday, 30 January 1649, and was buried in a vault under the Quire of St George’s Chapel, Windsor, on 7 February 1649. This much is accepted as ...
Thursday 1 September 2011
To elect a Pope
Housed in the Chapter Library is one of the most unusual items held in the collections of St George’s Chapel. Brought back from Italy by Walter Harte, Canon of Windsor 1750-1754, it is a bound volume of the daily scrutiny ...
Monday 1 August 2011
Sir Reginald Bray KG
When Sir Reginald (or Reynold) Bray died on 5 August 1503, the present St George’s Chapel, commenced by Edward IV in 1475, remained unfinished. Although the Quire had been built and fitted out with magnificent carved woodwork, the walls of the ...
Thursday 30 June 2011
This volume is the earliest detailed report on Chinese and Japanese medicine to be written by a European. Meaning ‘to prick with a needle’, the word acupuncture was coined by Willem ten Rhyne, a Dutch physician who was responsible for ...
Wednesday 1 June 2011
Letters from the Western Front
In 1910 Arthur Stafford Crawley (subsequently Canon of Windsor, 1934-1948) had been appointed to a chaplaincy and to the living of Bishopthorpe by Cosmo Gordon Lang, the Archbishop of York. In 1915 the Archbishop gave him leave to volunteer with the ...
Tuesday 17 May 2011
From its foundation in 1348 under Edward III music, through the daily observance of the Divine Liturgy, has played a key role in the life and character of the College of St George. The College Statutes of 1352 provided for ...
Sunday 1 May 2011
This lithograph by John Doyle, a popular political cartoonist, dates from the early years of Queen Victoria’s reign. Depicted as an inn keeper, the young queen welcomes four pantomime characters into her castle at Windsor, which has been renamed the ...
Friday 1 April 2011
History of the Reformation
Housed in the Chapter Library is a copy of Gilbert Burnet’s masterly work on the Reformation of the Church of England [SGC RBK B.494]. Published between 1679 and 1715, it was for many years the classic account of the changes that ...
Tuesday 1 March 2011
Restore or rebuild
In 1867, the Dean and Canons agreed to employ part of the sum they received from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in compensation for the loss of their estates to establish a ‘Fabric Fund’. Their first project was to be the rebuilding ...
Tuesday 1 February 2011
Henry Emlyn, an uncommon genius
Henry Emlyn has been described as “an uncommon genius” to whom “posterity will be much indebited”. His restoration work on the chapel during the late 18th century blends seamlessly with the medieval, capturing the spirit of the original creators and ...
Saturday 1 January 2011
The Cross Gneth
This beautifully carved and brightly coloured roof boss, to be found in the easternmost bay of the South Quire Aisle, depicts one of St George’s Chapel’s most famous relics, the Cross Gneth.Kneeling on either side of this Celtic cross are ...
Wednesday 1 December 2010
Records in St George’s Chapel Archives concerning the Dean and Canons’ local charities in the mid to late 19th century show a great commitment to alleviating poverty in Windsor, particularly during the festive periods. With the absence of any state welfare, ...
Monday 1 November 2010
The Wolsey Chapel
The small chapel to the east of St George’s Chapel, currently the Albert Memorial Chapel, has been referred to by a number of different names over the centuries, one being ‘Wolsey’s Chapel’, as shown on the nineteenth century plan above ...
Friday 1 October 2010
Ye heavenward bound ship
Lieutenant Charles Okes was buried in the catacombs of St Georges’ Chapel on the 12th May 1860. On the 17th September of that year, his brother Richard, Provost of King’s College Cambridge, wrote to Chapter requesting permission to erect a small ...
Wednesday 1 September 2010
Dell' Arcano del Mare
When Sir Robert Dudley’s famous sea atlas Dell’ Arcano del Mare (‘On the Mystery of the Sea’) was published in Italy in 1646-1647, its author was over seventy years old. Written in Italian and illustrated by Antonio Francesco Lucini with over 200 engraved ...
Sunday 1 August 2010
Haile Selassie I, Emperor of Ethiopia
Across the centuries the Knights of the Garter have included in their number many intriguing characters and historically influential figures; however, Haile Selassie I, who was crowned Emperor of Ethiopia in 1930 at the Cathedral of St George in Addis ...
Thursday 1 July 2010
On 28 April 1854, Henry John Ellison married Mary Dorothy Jebb. The event was commemorated in this humorous account by Richard Jebb with illustrations by Lucy Blomfield, one of the bridesmaids. At the time, Henry was the Vicar of Edensor, ...
Tuesday 1 June 2010
E.H. Fellowes, clergyman, musician & scholar
Edmund Horace Fellowes CH MVO, clergyman, musical scholar and historian, served as Minor Canon of Windsor for over fifty years, from 1900 to his death in 1951, the only Minor Canon to have served in that office under five Sovereigns. A ...
Monday 10 May 2010
Catherine Room Wall Paintings
It is difficult to believe that the spectacular wall paintings which adorn the Catherine Room were rediscovered only in 1965. During reconstruction work on the College’s domestic buildings, the remains of a painted frieze appeared under the limewash on three walls ...
Saturday 1 May 2010
Leapfrog in the Library
There has been a library at the College of St George since its establishment in 1348. The Chapter Library has been added to over the centuries by members of the College and is now cared for with the College Archives. The ...
Thursday 1 April 2010
Earl of Clarendon's Injunctions
The arms of Edward Hyde, 1st Earl of Clarendon, adorn the first letter of his injunctions as Lord Chancellor following his visitation of St George’s Chapel on 7 October 1662. Issued in London on 10 June 1663, the illuminated instructions to ...
Monday 1 March 2010
The Oldest Chorister
This is one of three sketch designs for the brass memorial plate to John Mitchell, lay clerk, by A.Y. Nutt, Chapter Surveyor from 1873-1912, who designed six monuments for the chapel. This one can be found on the wall of the ...
Monday 1 February 2010
Sir George Job Elvey
Sir George Job Elvey was Organist and Master of the Choristers at St George’s Chapel for forty-seven years, from 1835 to 1882, making him one of the longest serving Organists in the Chapel’s history. This image shows Sir George Job Elvey ...
Friday 1 January 2010
The Old Dean
Published in “Vanity Fair” in 1876, this Spy cartoon, entitled “The Old Dean”, depicts the Honourable and Very Reverend Gerald Valerian Wellesley, Dean of Windsor, in a wintry scene. Armed with a walking stick and (folded) umbrella he trudges through the ...
Tuesday 1 December 2009
The Nativity Image
In September 1959, the Dean and Canons were contacted by Miss St Leger Forrest, who believed that her great great grandfather had painted certain windows in St George’s Chapel (SGC CL 17/3 (26)). She described him as an artist in the ...
Tuesday 3 November 2009
Pirates of the Caribbean
This image is taken from a rare book held in the Chapter Library at Windsor. It was printed in 1684 and is entitled Bucaniers of America: Or, a True Account of the Most Remarkable Assaults Committed of late Years upon the ...
Thursday 1 October 2009
Benjamin West, Monarch of Mediocrity
271 years ago this month, on 10 October 1738, the celebrated eighteenth century painter Benjamin West was born in Springfield, Pennsylvania. Historical painter to George III and Surveyor of the King’s Pictures for many years, Benjamin West had first come ...
Wednesday 2 September 2009
The Charitable Gift of Sir Francis Crane
This printed seventeenth century broadsheet held in the St George’s Chapel Archives and Chapter Library (SGC XI.H.11) describes the twists and turns of a long running legal dispute concerning Sir Francis Crane’s bequest to the Poor Knights of Windsor. From ...
Wednesday 5 August 2009
Elizabeth I's Statutes for the Poor Knights
This year has witnessed numerous events hosted to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the accession of Henry VIII, including an exhibition hosted by the Royal Collection in Windsor Castle. This month sees the anniversary of another event of great importance for the history ...
Wednesday 1 July 2009
The Curfew Tower
At the western end of Windsor Castle stands the Curfew Tower, the belfry of the College of St George. With walls 13 feet thick at the base and standing 100 feet high, it was built between 1227 and 1230 as part ...
Monday 1 June 2009
Ladies of the Garter
When Edward III founded the Order of the Garter in 1348 or thereabouts, he confined membership of the exclusive chivalric fraternity to twenty-six – the King and twenty-five loyal Knights who had distinguished themselves in battle. Despite the exclusively male nature ...
Friday 1 May 2009
The Martyrdom of St Stephen
The Hastings Chantry Chapel, built within St George’s Chapel on the north side of the Quire behind the stalls, contains four paintings depicting scenes from the life and death of St Stephen. Each painting is about four feet in height, ...
Wednesday 1 April 2009
Henry VIII's Tomb
Henry VIII had grandiose plans for his tomb at St George’s Chapel, Windsor, which were outlined in a document entitled ‘The manner of the Tombe to be made for the Kings Grace at Windsor’.* No expense was to be spared ...
Sunday 1 March 2009
A.Y. Nutt, Chapter Surveyor
Alfred Young Nutt was born on 5 May 1847 at Barrow on the Hill, Leicestershire, the youngest of 15 children. He left school at 14 to become an architectural pupil with an architect and surveyor in Leicester, where he met ...
Sunday 1 February 2009
Schorn Book of Hours
This intricately decorated illuminated manuscript known as the Schorn Book of Hours, written around 1430-1450, contains a collection of texts, prayers and psalms for Christian worship. Books of Hours are the most commonly extant form of late medieval illuminated manuscript. ...
Monday 1 December 2008
The Stall Plates
Some 800 stall plates adorn the stalls of the Quire, with the earliest, that of Ralph, Lord Basset of Drayton dating from c.1390. Their original function was not to indicate the occupant of the stall (done by the helm and crest); ...
Monday 1 December 2008
Foxe's Book of Martyrs Image of the month
Foxe’s Book of Martyrs In 1563 John Foxe published his Acts and Monuments, popularly known as the Book of Martyrs. In doing so, Foxe recorded the martyrdom of John Marbeck, one of St. George’s most famous organists. Or did he? ...