Stained Glass of Buckinghamshire Churches


Makers Marks by Charles Eamer Kempe

Charles Eamer Kempe (1837-1907) lived in Sussex, but studied at Oxford under the influence of the Tractarians. He wished to be ordained, but realized it would be impossible due to his speech impediment. So he then decided his future should be involved with the increasing adornment of churches that surrounded him in Oxford. He admired the work of the architect G F Bodley and joined him to study architecture and decoration, soon being involved with the Gothic decoration of Bodley's churches. Kempe then realized that he wanted to specialize in Stained Glass work, and in 1864 Bodley recommended that Kempe should become a pupil of Clayton and Bell. It was not long before he wanted the freedom to explore his own designs, and set up his own studio in 1866, and was soon joined by his own assistants including William Tate and Alfred Tombleson, who became the long-serving manager of Kempe's glassworks. The business was known by his own name of Charles Eamer Kempe (Eamer having been his mother's maiden name), and flourished having to move twice to larger premises in North London. The style of the work varied over 40 years, with early work sometimes described as too bright, and later work sometimes described as too dark. However, apart from their intricate ornamentation, Kempe windows are known for the technique that the company perfected of using a silver stain on clear glass which leaves a translucent yellow tint. The Kempe Makers Mark was a wheatsheaf (or garb) derived from his family coat of arms. Kempe died suddenly in 1907, but left specific instructions that the business should continue with certain people in control, but to be run as a limited company named C E Kempe & Co Ltd. That company existed until 1934.

5 Windows, listed in Church Order

Window Location Church Date Craftsmen
Details East St Giles in Chalfont St Giles 1899 Charles Eamer Kempe
Details S Aisle W St Giles in Chalfont St Giles 16th c. & 1894 Alfred Edward Tombleson
Charles Eamer Kempe
Details East Cemetery Chapel in Datchet 1902 Charles Eamer Kempe
Details Chancel N (W) St Augustine in Westbury 1901 Charles Eamer Kempe
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Details East St Laurence in Winslow 1897 Charles Eamer Kempe
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Stained Glass of Buckinghamshire Churches

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