Ada Ellen Bayly? What is this all about?

In 1983 or '84, when I lived in Ashford, Kent (England), I bought a large stained glass church window in an antique shop an hour's drive west from our home. I do not remember exactly where it was, but believe it might have been on the outskirts of Tunbridge Wells.

The shopkeeper had two windows, of the same size, for sale and told me that they came from a church in the area (I can't remember the town's name), which had been demolished not too long ago. I bought the one, which I tough was the nicest and paid (I believe) just over £100 for it. He then also gave me a smaller window (but the same width), which belonged to the set, which had a dedication on it.

I always wanted to install them somewhere in our home, but never came to it. Now, 30 years later, it has finally happened. It took some work however. Last year (2014) I had them cleaned, releaded and fixed in a thin steel frame. By now I had moved to a condo in Destin, Florida (USA) and installed them in the middle window of my office. It all fit perfectly in the window frame and looks so unusual and spectacular.

The top dedication window measures 31 x 15.5 inches. I installed it above the main church window, because our condo's window frame accomodated that perfectly.

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The dedication states: To the glory of God, and in memory of Ada Ellen Bayly {"Edna Lyall"}, who was born xxv th Feb: mcmiii

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The main window measures 30 inches wide and 57.5 inches long, It depicts a saint with a crucifix in his right hand and a scroll in his left, which reads like: In te Dūe speravi non cōfūdar ī a'tñū. I do not know Latin, so I might have copied it incorrectly. Look here for a close-up of the scroll.

I found a very similar quote in an old, on-line, church book:

Only after the windows were installed, in July2015, did we find out who Ada Ellen Bayly was. She was a famous author, who lived from 1857 - 1903. You can read more about her under the "Ada's Bio" button at the top of this page.

In that bio -from 1912- it is mentioned that "in 1906 a memorial window by Kempe was placed in St. Peter's Church, Eastbourne (built 1896), where Miss Bayly had worshipped and to which she had presented the seats"

Charles Eamer Kempe (1837 - 1907) was a very famous Victorian stained glass designer and manufacturer.

The church suffered badly during W.W.II and was demolished in 1972. Several of the remaining church windows were then installed in neighboring churches in Eastbourne.

So, we have the original windows from the St. Peter's Church in Eastbourne, which were designed and manufactured by Charles Eamer Kempe. They were one of the last windows made under his supervision before he died a few months later in 1907.

Read more under the 6 top buttons and compare our window to other Kempe windows from the St. Peter's church and others.