Stained Glass windows at Christ Church
Table of Contents
History of the Stained Glass
The Sanctuary Chancel Window [click]
Windows in the Ambulatory
Windows in the South Transept
Windows in the Cloister Aisle
Windows in the Narthex
The West Window 
All Saints Chapel
Windows in the North Aisle [click]
Windows in the North Transept [click]


History of the windows

The stained glass windows of Christ Church provide a collection of fine art that is unparalleled in the Hudson Valley.  When the parish made the decision to construct a new church complex within the bounds of the Old English Burial Ground in Poughkeepsie, they contracted with an architect who was not only a significant presence in the American architecture scene, but who also had a personal connection with the parish.

William A. Potter had established his reputation while serving as the Supervising Architect of the U.S. Treasury Department.  Several of the buildings he designed for the government are still in use.  Even more so, Potter established a lasting reputation by his work on the campus of Princeton University.  He was the son of Alonzo Potter, who was a ‘child of the parish’ and later Bishop of Pennsylvania.  William’s brother Henry served as Bishop of New York.

Potter designed a single scheme for the stained glass windows, which was carried out in large part in less than two decades following the construction of the church.  In her Records of Christ Church, 1755-1910, Helen Wilkinson Reynolds mentions that, as of 1910, all but two of the windows were designed and fabricated by Clayton and Bell of London, with installation undertaken by Maitland Armstrong and Company, of New York. Click [here] to learn more about Clayton and Bell one of the most prolific and proficient workshops of English stained glass during the latter half of the 19th century.

It is noted that the ‘Jeweled Cross’ was not a part of the Potter's window sheme for the church.  It was both designed and installed at the peak of the West End of the parish by Maitland Armstrong. 

Several of the other windows bear inscriptions memorializing individuals who died decades after the completion of the church.  With several exceptions (see below) it is unknown which of the later windows might have been executed according to the original plans of Clayton and Bell, and which might have been designed by other firms.

As the narrative of the window collection begins attention might be given to the date of the installation of each window.  The construction of the new church was completed in 1888, which is the date provided by Reynolds of many of the installations.  Other windows are indicated to have been installed in following years.  


Terms Of The Liturgical Arts and Architecture

Clerestory (pronounced ‘clear story’) windows are a series of windows at the roof line that are intended to provide ventilation and indirect natural light.  Evidence of their use for such purposes is first seen in the temples of ancient Egypt.

Another term of specific windows used throughout is that of lancet window.  Lancet windows are narrow (frequently quite tall) with a pointed arch at the top.

Historically, the term light is often used when referring to windows.  Thus a window on a eastern facing wall would be referred to as an "east light".

The sanctuary in an Episcopal church is that area ‘behind the altar rail’.  In many Protestant churches, the term sanctuary will be used to describe the entire worship space.  In our tradition, the area where the People set is called the Nave (taken from several sources:  that the church is a ship in which the children of God transverse this life, i.e., Noah’s ark; that the ceiling of many churches give the impression of ship construction – as is the case in Christ Church.

The large empty area that connects the North and South Transepts, in front of the pulpit and lectern, is termed the Crossing.  The area between the Crossing and the Sanctuary is called the Chancel. In many liturgical churches, the Choir would be placed in the Chancel.  Such was the case in the original design of Christ Church.

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The Sanctuary Chancel Window



Rose window, East light, Chancel  (#2)

Christ on his throne, surrounded by seven angels





The Good Shepherd  between St. James and St. John

Three Gothic lancet windows , East light, Chancel  (#2)

St. James inscription:  Alonzo Potter, III Bishop of Pennsylvania, 1845-1865.  Born July 6, 1800.  Died July 4, 1865.

St. John inscription:  Horatio Potter, VI Bishop of New York, 1834-1887.  Born February 9, 1801.  Died January 2, 1887.

Given by the surviving children of Rt. Rev. Alonzo Potter, and of the Rt. Rev. Alonzo Potter.  Installed in 1888.


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Windows in the Ambulatory

The Seven Angels who stand in the Presence of God

The Ambulatory is the side aisle that provides an exit from the Nave into the hallway that leads to the Rector’s Office and Newton Community Room.

On the south wall are seven windows. 

Four are small lancets that provide representations of the four Archangels: 



St. Michael and St. Gabriel, St. Raphael and St. Uriel

South light, Ambulatory  (#44 and #43)


Above, are three quatre-foils, representing the three angels, unnamed in Christian Art, bearing insignia of the Trinity: Pater, Filius, S. Spt. (Spiritus Sanctus).

Given by the Sunday School, assisted by Mrs. Albert Tower.  Installed in 1888.



Over ambulatory door, is the small window which is perhaps the favorite of the present generation of members at Christ Church... 


East light, Ambulatory (#1)

InscriptionIn Loving Memory of Virginia Carpenter  April 20, 1878  November 16, 1882

Given by William B. Carpenter, installed 1897, in memory of their daughter, who died at the age of 4.  The image is made in the style of the artist Raphael.

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Windows in the South Transept

Old Testament Scenes


Madonna and Child

Rose window, South light, South Transept (#39)

Inscription: To the Glory of God and in Memory of Adolphus Hamilton.

Given by Mrs. Adolphus Hamilton.  Installed in 1889.




Jesse Tree

Three Gothic lancets, South light, South Transept (#39)

The Jesse Tree is a traditional feature of Christian art, depicting the ancestral line of Christ.  It portrays Jesse, the father of David, in slumber.  In a detail to the left, rising from tree of Jesse are various of the Kings of Israel and Judah.  King David with his harp is seen, as well as Solomon, shown holding a representation of the Temple.

In a detail of the window of the right, begins in the lower right hand corner with an image of the Prophet Isaiah (not a part of the genealogy of Jesus) in whose writings many Christians have read a foretelling of the coming of Jesus.  He holds a scroll which reads:  There shall come a rod out of the stem of Jesse.

A detail of the window on the left begins with an image of the Prophet Balaam (also not a part of the genealogy of Jesus) holding a scroll with the inscription:  There shall come a star out of the east.

Given by Mrs. Adolphus Hamilton.  Installed in 1889.




The Creation

West light, South Transept (#38)

Inscription: So God created man in His own image

In memory of Mary Van Benshoten Carpenter

Born April 26, 1846 Died May 6, 1933

 The scriptural reference in the inscription is from Genesis 1:27, the ‘first creation account. However, the image depicted in the window is taken from the ‘second creation’ account.  It is that version of the Creation that the Lord God caused Adam to fall asleep, and taking one or his ribs, created woman.

We have found no record of who gave this window.  Date of placement, after 1910 (Reynolds).

Mrs. Carpenter survived her husband, William B. Carpenter, by almost 30 years, in whose memory she contributed another window in the North Transept.  The Carpenter family was very generous in their gifts to the parish, utilized to adorn the parish with art in stained glass.  Their daughter Virginia, who died at age four, is remembered in the window above the Ambulatory door (see: Windows in the Ambulatory).




Abraham's Sacrifice of Isaac  

East light, South Transept  (#40)

Inscription: My Son, God will provide Himself a Lamb

In Loving Memory of Charles Henry Buckingham 

September 13th, 1842 May 12th, 1904

As told in the book of Genesis, chapter 22.

Given by Mrs. Charles H. Buckingham.  Placed in 1908.


The Brazen Serpent

East light, South Transept  (#41)

Inscription: Moses Made a Serpent of Brass and Put It upon a Pole

William B. Carpenter  November 26, 1893  February 7, 1902

 A detail of the window is shown here, as told in scripture in the Book of Numbers, Chapter 21:1-9

Given by Mrs. William B. Carpenter.  Placed in 1903.


The Translation of Elijah  

East light, South Transept  (#42)

Inscription: I Pray Thee let a double portion of Thy Spirit be upon Me.

To the Glory of God and in Loving Memory of Robert Van Kleeck. 

July 19, 1841. September 23, 1893.

 As told in scripture at 2nd Kings, chapter 2.   One of the most dramatic of the Christ Church windows, in a detail of the window, Elijah is shown in his chariot of fire, drawn by horses of fire,  going into heaven.  Elisha kneels in the foreground, having received the mantle of Elijah, which was his request.

Given by the Sunday School and its friends.  Placed in 1897.

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Windows in the Cloister Aisle

Latin Fathers of the Church




St. Ambrose who was Bishop of Milan in the 4th century, is shown with a boy holding a large book (the boy is the symbol of man and is associated with Matthew).

St. Jerome (right) who translated the whole Bible from various sources into the Latin Vulgate is shown with a book and a lion (the lion is the symbol associated with Mark).



St. Augustine of Hippo in North Africa, a bishop in the fourth and fifth centuries, is shown with an eagle (the eagle is a symbol associated with John).

 St. Gregory (right)  Pope in the fifth century, shown with book and quill and an ox at his feet (the ox or bull is associated with Luke).


South light, Cloister Aisle  (#34-37)

Given by the Sunday School, assisted by Mrs. Albert Tower.  Placed in 1888.

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Windows in the Narthex

Four Evangelists

St. John

West light, Narthex  (#26)

Depicted with symbol of an eagle.

Inscription:  In memory of Joseph Tuckerman Tower, Jr. June 21, 1897 - August 23, 1931


St. Luke

West light, Narthex  (#27)

Depicted with the symbol of an ox.

Inscription:  Mary Thorne Tower December 19,1892. May 7, 1927.

St. Matthew

East light, Narthex  (#30)

Depicted with the symbol of man.



St. Mark

Depicted with symbol of a lion.

East light, Narthex  (#31)


Given by the Sunday School, assisted by Mrs. Albert Tower.  Placed  in 1888.

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The West Window

The story of the Life of Christ from the

Annunciation to the Ascension


Three Gothic lancet windows, with a series of images from the life of Christ.  

The center window of the triptych displays three scenes:


In the bottom window panel Jesus is praying in the Garden of Gethsemane with his exhausted friends all asleep.  Note that an angel hovers near Jesus holding a cup.

Inscription:  O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me.






Just above that Jesus is shown laboring to Golgatha with his cross.

Inscription:  He bearing his cross went forth unto the place of the skull.




At the top of the center window is a reproduction of the scene of Jesus on the cross.

Inscription:  Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.



The left side of the triptych displays two scenes:

The lower scene is of the Annunciation, when the angel Gabriel tells Mary that she has been chosen by God to bear the child, Jesus. A detail is shown here.

Inscription:  Fear not Mary for thou hast found favor with God.






The top scene in the left triptych is of the Nativity. A detail of the window is shown here.

Inscription: She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger. 



The right side of the triptych displays two scenes:

The bottom panel shows the Resurrection, showing the guards placed to guard the tomb reacting in either fear or amazement.  Inscription: O death where is they sting, O grave where is thy victory.

The upper panel represents the Ascension. 

Inscription: He was taken up and a cloud received him out of their sight.

West light, West window (#23)

The West Window was given by Albert Edward Tower.  Placed in 1890.

At Easter 1901, the sons of Mr. Albert Tower placed below this window a tablet, dedicating the window to the memory of their father and their mother.

Inscription:  To the Glory of God and Sacred to the Memory of Albert Tower, November 8, A.D., 1817, December 24, A.D. 1891, and Anna Tower, August 28, A.D., 1828, May 31, A.D., 1897, This Window is Dedicated.  The Righteous Live forevermore; Their Reward is with the Lord, And the Care of Them is with the Most High.

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Windows in All Saints Chapel

(originally The Baptistry)

Patriarchs of the Old and New Testaments

Each of the windows represents a character from the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures, who are associated with a "type of baptism": 


Noah Patriarch

East light, Baptistry  (#15)

Baptism of the Ark


Moses Patriarch

East light, Baptistry  (#16)

Baptism of the Red Sea


Aaron Priest

Northeast light, Baptistry  (#17)

Baptism of the Cloudy Pillar


Saint John the Baptist

North light, Baptistry (#18)

The Baptism of Christ




Saint Philip

Northwest light, Baptistry (#19)

Baptism of the Ethiopian Eunuch

  Saint Peter

West light, Baptistry (#20)  

Baptism of Cornelius



 Saint Paul

West light, Baptistry (#21)

Baptism of the Jailer




The windows are installed in 1897, by James W. Hinkley.

A brass plate bears the inscription: In Loving Memory of Mary A. Hinkley  February 14, 1831-- March 18, 1896

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Windows In The North Aisle 

Events in the Public Ministry of Christ 


Christ and the Children

Christ and the Children

North light, North Aisle  (#14)

Inscription: Of such is the Kingdom of Heaven In Memory of John Reade Stuyvesant Born June 10, 1798 Died December 8, 1853.

As told in scripture at Luke 18:15-17.

Given by Mrs. John Reade Stuyvesant and her children: Mrs. Robert Sanford (Helen M. Hooker Stuyvesant); Mrs.  Francis Butler (Katherine Livingston Stuyvesant ); John Reade  Stuyvesant 2d; and Miss Anna Elizabeth Stuyvesant.  Installed in 1888.        

The Raising of Lazarus 

North light, North Aisle (#13)

Inscription:  When He thus had Spoken He Cried with a Loud Voice, Lazarus Come Forth. 

Jane Gibson 1855.  Mary Gibson 1886.  Mary Gibson Richards 1888.  William Gibson 1898.

Given by William Gibson.  Placed in 1890.

By the courtesy of Guy C. Bayley, M.D., William Gibson's own name was added after his death, to those already on the window.  William Gibson was the Sexton at Christ Church.


The Transfiguration

North light, North Aisle  (#12)

Inscription:  James McKim Dennis. Died October 22, 1882.  Cyrus Cornell Dennis.  Died December 30, 1884.

Given by Roland R. Dennis.  Placed in 1889.


The Raising of Jairus' Daughter 

North light, North Aisle  (#11)

Inscription:  Damsel, I say unto thee, Arise.  Annie S. Otis.  April 21, 1884.

Given by John C. Otis, M.D., and Katherine Haviland Otis, his wife.  Placed in 1889.


The Sermon on the Mount

North light, North Aisle  (#10)

Inscription: Blessed are they that hear the Word of God and keep it

In Memory of Edward Rollinson Born July 6, 1860 Died February 20, 1888

As told in scripture in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 5-7.

Edward Innis Rollinson was a communicant of the Episcopal Church; he died of yellow fever at Georgetown, British Guiana, South America, and his body could not be brought home for burial.

The window was given by his mother, Mrs. Joseph Rollinson, and his sisters: Mrs. Henry  Barroll, Mrs. Henry Booth, Mrs. Louis Sweeny and Mrs. Morris Poucher.  Installed in 1888.

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Windows In The North Transept

Hymns sung by the Primitive Christian Church and Incorporated in the Prayer Book Offices for Morning and Evening Prayer


Nunc Dimittis 

East light, North Transept  (#5)

Inscription: Lord, Now Lettest Thou Thy Servant Depart in Peace

To the Glory of God and in Memory of Philipina Fields Carpenter.

 The Nunc Dimittis is a feature of the service of Evening Prayer. As told in the second chapter of Luke, when Mary and Joseph took the infant Jesus to the temple, they met there an old man named Simeon, who had been promised that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. He recognized the infant Christ and took him in his arms, saying, “Lord, now lettest thy servant depart in peace.” The other woman is the elderly Anna, a widow who spent her days in the temple and who told the people of Jerusalem what she had witnessed.

Given by the Rev. Walter Mitchell and Amy Carpenter Mitchell, his wife and her daughter.  Installed in 1908.



Te Deum

Rose window and three lancets, North light, North Transept  (#6)

Inscription: When Thou Hadst Overcome the Sharpness Death of Thou Didst Open the Kingdom of Heaven to  All Believers.

In Memoriam 1890 George M. Van Kleeck and  Edgar M. Van Kleeck.      


The north window is the Te Deum from Morning Prayer, written by a Yugoslavian Bishop around 400 A.D. 


The figures in the right hand panel are twelve Old Testament figures.

The middle panel depicts nine early Christians.  

 The window on the left show twelve New Testament figures.




Given by Mrs. George M. Van Kleeck and Mrs. Edgar M. Van Kleeck.  Installed in 1890.




East light, Choir  (#3)

InscriptionMy Soul Doth Magnify the Lord and My Spirit Hath Rejoiced in God my Savior

The Magnificat, “My soul doth magnify the Lord,” comes from Mary’s visit to her cousin Elizabeth after she learned she was to be the mother of Jesus and while Elizabeth was also bearing John the Baptist. (Luke 1:46)

Given by the King’s Daughters.  Installed in 1890.




West light, North Transept  (#7)

InscriptionBless be the Lord God of Israel

In loving memory of John Calhoun Otis 1847-1925 and Katharine Haviland Otis 1848-1927

As told in the first chapter of the Gospel of Luke, Zachariah, the father of John, who had been told in a vision that the name of his son would be John.  The Benedictus in Morning Prayer is his song of thanksgiving.

Date of placement, after 1910 (Reynolds).




West light, North Transept (#9)

Inscription: O  Ananias, Azarias, & Misael, Bless ye The Lord.

To the Glory of God and in Loving Memory of Benjamin Rowe Tenney

March 28, 1882 December 13, 1898

The story of this window behind the organ shows Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (the names by which these three young men were known in Nebachundessah’s court), who were thrown into the fiery furnace by King Nebachudnezzah because they would not worship his golden idol. Although the fire was so hot it burned to death the soldiers who threw them in, the three were visited by an angel of the Lord and were unharmed. The Benedicite, “Bless ye the Lord,” was their song, and on seeing them safe, Nebachudnezzah admitted their God was greater than his. See Daniel, Chapter 3.

This window is of American glass; designed and made be Maitland Armstrong and Company of New York.  Given by Mrs. Benjamin R. Tenney.  Placed in 1901.

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Symbols of the Passion and the Jeweled Cross


The ventilator window openings were part of the original Potter design for the building and initially held temporary windows when the church was built in 1887-1888.  In the summer of 1895, the Ladies Aid Society paid the Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company $726.00 to install windows with "clouded" glass.  The Tiffany windows were then replaced sometime during Rev. Cummins' rectorate (1900-1946) with the present scheme.  The scheme of these windows depicts angels bearing shields on which are inscribed Symbols of the Passion.


Spear and Ladder (and reed with vinegar sponge)

North light, Clerestory in the Nave (#51)


Casting of Dice for the seamless coat

North light, Clerestory in the Nave  (#50)


The Scourging Pillar

(symbolizes trial and condemnation before Pontius Pilate)

North light, Clerestory in the Nave  (#49)


Crown of Thorns

North light, Clerestory in the Choir  (#48)


The Crowing Cock

South light, Clerestory in the Nave  (#52)


The Scourges

South light, Clerestory in the Nave  (#53)


The Three Nails

South light, Clerestory in the Nave  (#54)


The Empty Cross

South light, Clerestory in the Choir  (#55)


The Jeweled Cross

West light, Clerestory in West End of Nave  (#25)

The Jeweled Cross is a lancet in the west end of the nave, near the peak of the roof, not included in the original ecclestiastical window scheme.  It was cut as a ventilator and filled with plain glass.  In 1889, stained glass was placed in it, the work of Maitland Armstrong and Company.  The design of the cross was selected by Dr. Ziegenfuss, who named the window the "Jeweled Cross" from it's rich coloring.  It was a gift from the King's Daughters.











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