Left: Whole window. Right: Closer view of St Peter with the widows mourning Dorcas.

St Peter about to Raise Dorcas — the New Testament scene shown in the central panel of a lancet by Ward and Hughes, of 1868, in the north choir aisle of Southwark Cathedral, London. The theme of the whole window is Resurrection. At the top is a small vignette, showing the Holy Spirit shining down on St John, with angels either side holding the text, "Be thou faithful, and I will give thee the crown of life" (Revelations, 2,10). Then the central scene illustrates a miracle in Acts 9. Grief-stricken widows tell St Peter about Dorcas, "a woman full of good works and almsdeeds," who had just died. They show him "the coats and garments which Dorcas made, while she was with them," and Peter, clearly moved, then sends them out of the room and brings Dorcas back to life again (36-41).

The lower panel seems to have been refitted. This symbolic scene contrasts with the naturalism of the one above, and shows a child with clasped hands, and (although this is not clear) a bird. An angel flies up towards another, higher in the air. These words appear on the surrounding text: "O that I had wings like a dove," from Psalm 56, expressing the yearning for release from the trials of life — in full, "Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest" (verse 6). All these are appropriate choices for a memorial window to "Sam(uel) Benson MA Chaplain of this parish" who died in 1867.

Photographs, text and formatting by Jacqueline Banerjee. You may use these images without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one. Click on the images to enlarge them.

Related Material


Eberhard, Robert. "Stained Glass Windows at the Cathedral, Southwark, Inner London." Church Stained Glass Windows. Web. 26 February 2019.

Created 26 February 2019