St Giles – Howe Memorial Window

Ernest Harry Howe was a native of London who came to West Bridgford in the mid-1890s, living initially at 9 Loughborough Road. He was a commercial traveller in goods, such as varnish, for the decorating trade.1 Later, around 1910, he became managing director of Messrs W Robinson (Nottingham) Ltd, a decorators’ merchants.2

1907 proved to be an eventful year for Mr Howe. He was Rector’s Warden at St Giles for 1906/7 and then visited Canada, with his wife Laura, at the end of February.3 A few months later on 3rd July, his father, Thomas, who lived in Essex, died.4

Ernest commissioned a stained glass window – the second to be installed in the refurbished church – by Messrs George F Gascoyne & Son, Nottingham,5 which carries the dedication: “To the Glory of God & affectionate memory of Thomas Howe. Erected by his son Ernest H Howe Dec 1907.”

A few years earlier, Ernest had made a gift of Communion Plate to the church, which bore the inscription: “To the Glory of God and sacred to the memory of Elizabeth Howe, presented by her son Ernest H. Howe, A.D. 1902, Coronation Year.”

The window depicts Saint Giles and Simeon.

According to legend, St Giles was a hermit who lived in a forest with a deer as his sole companion. One day a hunter spied the deer and shot an arrow at her, but the arrow wounded the saint instead, as he tried to protect her. However, this window shows the arrow piercing the deer. Around St Giles are the words “all ye saints of the Lord bless ye the Lord”, which are a variation on Psalm 134:1.

Simeon is shown holding the infant Jesus. Around him are the words from the Nunc Dimittis “mine eyes have seen thy salvation”, Luke 2:30.

References
1. 1901 Census and Trade Directories
2. Nottingham Evening Post 13th February 1928
3. Passenger Lists SS Teutonic 20th & 27th January 1907
4. National Probate Calendar 1907
5. St Giles Parish Magazine February 1908

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