There were six main windows in the Norman church which have been described by Samuel Pegge himself various historians. Trevor Nurse in his ‘Whittington – History of the Norman Church’ carried out a great deal of research and I am reproducing that here with his interpretation of how they may have looked and the numerous coats of arms that were displayed in the windows. It was usual at the time to display the ‘family shields’ of local families of note. They may have had a share of the manor or have funded something in the church. It is nice to be able to show these in colour.
This sketch by Trevor, which he copied from Schnebbelie’ drawing you can see the two windows in the chancel, and the two south facings windows in the nave. The west facing window is shown in the second sketch. The only window which isn’t shown is the North window however from a plan made in 1687 we know it was a three light window the same as the others in the nave.
The North Window
As noted above this window must have been similar to the others in the nave and was removed to make way for the north transept. It had a shield in the window. As can be seen from the drawing it had two shields the left one being illegible. The right coat of arms is that of ‘Bretton’ and given that it was the custom of joining family crests due to marriage, it is likely that the missing shield is that of the ‘Loudham’ family. Sir John Loudham married Isabelle, heiress of Robert Le Bretton approx. 1370. One of their daughters married Thomas Foljambe, and the younger daughter married Sir John Beckering which ties up with some of the shields in the other windows.
The large West Window
This window faced the entrance to the churchyard and had in it a coat of arms and a picture of St. John. In the following sketch Trevor has shaded the areas where these could have been fitted.
The shield in this window was the Foljambe coat of arms, coloured black and gold. The family owned most of Chesterfield until 1622,first appearing in the 1400’s when Sir John’s daughter married Thomas Foljambe.
The picture of St. John was in the upper tiers, possibly the centre as per Trevor’s sketch. This is one of the pictures painted by Samuel Pegge’s friend Jacob Schnebbelie seen elsewhere on this site and a copy of which is in Church. It was only 600mm long and therefore would have filled the upper tier window.
The South Windows of the Nave.
These windows were on each side of the entrance porch, both had three lights. The one on the East side of the porch was the larger of the two. A smaller window was high up on the side of the wall, this would be to give light to the balcony.
One of the coat of arms in this window was that of the Eyre family of Newbold. A Rodger Eyre married Elizabeth Whittington of Whittington approx. 1475. Their great grandson married Elizabeth, daughter of Robert Barley (Barlow) approx. 1510.
The shield left was displayed in the same window and Trevor has assumed that both shields were in the end lights. It is a quartered shield of the Earl of Warwick and the Earl of Salisbury. Richard Neville II inherited both of these about 1470, by marriage of his father and himself. Top right Beauchamp, top left and bottom right Montague, bottom left Newburgh.
The South Chancel Window
Trevor through his research is pretty certain that the window was as he shows in this sketch.
In the top light was a representation of ‘Our Saviour with five wounds’ As per the window with St. John this image was drawn by Schnebbele on the 27th July 1789. There is part of another angel missing on the left, but it clearly fits into the upper tier of that window. The glass window is very old, probably fifteenth century.
The shields in the Window
Trevor is a little doubtful about the reference by previous notes re the ‘Morteyne’ shield as he can find no connection the family had with Whittington. The other shield ‘Barley, which we now call Barlow belonged to the family which owned the adjacent manor to Whittington.
The East Chancel Window
The above sketch is Trevor’s impression of the window, with the two coats of arms and the picture of the Female Saint that was copied by Schnebbele in 1789. There is no information as to which shields were in which window or their size.
The Dethick family owned Whittington in the 1200s
The Beckering family of Walton was intermarried with the Foljambes
The Pegge Shield
This shield was positioned above the East window of the Chancel where he was interred.
Top right and bottom left Pegge
Top left and bottom right Stevenson (three leopards heads) and Clarke (three escallop shells) – since Trevor’s research I have been able to find that Clarke refers to the maiden name of Pegge’s wife Anne, the only daughter of Benjamin Clarke, Esq., of Stanley, near Wakefield, in tbe county of York.
Again to acknowledge the research of Trevor Nurse, particularly ‘Whittington – History of the Norman Church’ but also his other local history works.