1879 USA: Tracery Window from Boston UK

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photo by B.A. Cotton

Around 1878, an American visitor to St. Botolph’s Church in Boston, Lincolnshire found fragments of a tracery window discarded in a corner of the church and asked that they be sent to the Trinity Church in Boston, Massachusetts. As a result, it is said that a friendly rivalry ensued regarding as to whether the Tracery Window would go to the Trinity Church or the First Church in Boston, USA. Rev. Rufus Ellis, Pastor of the First Church and a successor of John Cotton, felt that the First Church would be an ideal location for the tracery window. On the other hand, Rev. Phillips Brooks, rector of the Trinity Church (foremost Episcopal church in Boston) urged that the Tracery window was originally intended for his church. [1]  Eventually, it was amicably resolved that the Tracery window would reside in the cloister of the Trinity Church. “For ourselves and for the church which we represent we acknowledge a peculiar gratification in affixing to our new walls so welcome a reminder of our mother country and our Mother Church, for whose prosperity and welfare we shall ever pray… The gift has attracted interest not only of our own parishioners, but all our citizens.”

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The memorial plaque reads:

  • PART OF THE ORIGINAL TRACERY FROM A WINDOW
  • OF THE ANCIENT CHURCH OF ST BOTOLPH BOSTON
  • LINCOLNSHIRE ENGLAND OF WHICH JOHN COTTON
  • WAS VICAR FOR XXI YEARS UNTIL HE CAME TO
  • NEW ENGLAND IN MDCXXXIII
  • PRESENTED TO TRINITY CHURCH BY THE
  • REVEREND C B BLENKIN VICAR OF ST. BOTOLPH’S
  • AND PLACED HERE A PRECIOUS MEMORIAL OF
  • THE CHURCH OF OUR FATHERS OCTOBER MDCCCLXXIX

[1]. Forbes, Allan. Towns of New England and Old England, Ireland and Scotland: Part 1. Vol. 1, New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1921. p-27/28

 

 

 

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