Stained Glass Windows in Cosgrove Church
Few of the windows in the church are entirely originals. Only the one behind the altar has any pretensions to real antiquity, and in the chancel the stained glass is of generally mediocre quality. Most of the windows were newly glazed with poor 'cathedral' glass at some time during the 19th Century.
However, by 1774 the windows in the South wall of the nave and in some other parts of the church had been reglazed, and they bear armorial devices which were tentatively identified as follows during an investigation carried out in the 1950's.
The shield which is barry wavy of ermine and black stands for the family of SPENCER or BRADWARDEN, impaling three crescents for OLIPHANT, BOWNE, HAMLEY, HANLOWE, LECKIE, KIRWAN, PERIENT.
Why any of these families should be connected with our parish church is unclear: it is also possible that the crescents mentioned are 'cadency' marks - that is, devices applied to the family shield by a son or younger son to show the difference between his own and his family's arms.
The three cinqfoils on the white shield signify the DARCY family, whose connection with the village is obscure as that of any of the foregoing.
The shield marked with a vertical bar between two chevrons would seem to belong to the families of BOMSTEAD or TENDRING, and the red chevron on the yellow background denotes STAFFORD.
The ermine shield with two rings on it, and a black bar across the top bearing three crosses is associated with the WITCHING-HAMS .
It is next to impossible to make any but a precarious guess at what these people had to do with the church, or why they should be commemorated in our windows. The families are not noticeably local ones. However, the considerable reconstruction of the church which was undertaken in the 1770's must have required expenditure and so it is not beyond possibility that these people were approached by the Rector for grant or loan and were forthcoming.
Less elusive are the Moorsom and Mansell crests: Mansell (variously spelt) is the local "landed gentry" name, and the family has long been associated with the church, having indeed the living within its gift until very recent times, whilst there is in the church a monument to Admiral Sir Robert Moorsom, Admiral of the Blue.
The commemorative stained glass window in the North aisle to Captain St. Ledger Atkinson is, of course, modern and self-explanatory.