Bishop Edward King’s chasuble

The Bishop of Lincoln John Saxbee is wearing a glorious chasuble that was made for his predecessor Edward King, who was Bishop of Lincoln between 1885 and 1910. Glorious cream damask powdered with neo-medieval motifs in coloured silk and velvet orphreys with goldwork. Who’s it by? I’ll hazard a guess that it’s a Bodley design, embroidered by Watts. Bodley did some other work for King, including a succesful conversion of the buttery and pantry of the medieval bishops palace into a glorious chapel.

Bishop Edward King at Wold Newton

Incidentally that is me to the Bishop of Lincoln’s right, shortly after I was ordained to the priesthood. Needless to say the chasuble was a tad distracting during the proceedings!

4 thoughts on “Bishop Edward King’s chasuble

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  1. Absolutely marvelous late 19th century vestment. Considering the contemporary pictures of Bishop King, one wonders why he was never pictured in this. Could it have been that it was too Catholic looking for the Church at that period.Great picture of you in a real English surplice. Very medieval!


  2. I am revisiting this because of a memory of my first Anglican ordination. It was in St. Paul's Cathedral in Oklahoma City – not nearly so glorious as Lincoln. The bishop wore a baroque chasuble from the Spanish Netherlands and as each of the deacons were ordained they were clothed with the stole and dalmatic from that set. It was of coral silk embroidered with silver and coral and silver beads. All in all the dalmatic of itself weighed forty six pounds so getting up from your knees was always something of a struggle. The bishop told me he used that set exactly for that reason because he wanted them to know the weight of the ministry to which they had just been ordered.The set belonged to the Dean who was himself Dutch. I think he took it with him when he left. I have always wondered what happened to it.


  3. AllanNot a Bodley design according to David Gazeley of Watts & Co – an authority on these matters. He wrote in reply to an email of mine re this chasuble as follows:However, I do not think that in this instance this is Bodley's work. Bodley had a very recognisable way of designing the Sacred Monogram and this does not accord with the chasuble's motifs. Similarly the pomegranate designs are not quite his.I would stick my neck out, however, and say that the vestment does put me in mind of the work of the Rev'd Ernest Geldart, who provided many designs for the Sisters of St Margaret at East Grinstead.I would be much happier with an attribution to Geldart rather than Bodley. So probably designed by Geldart, and possibly made by the East Grinstead Sisters.Gordon Plumb


  4. Further to my comment re the Revd Ernest Geldart, he seems quite a remarkable character, Anglo-Catholic priest, incumbent of St Nicholas, Little Braxted, Essex 1881-1900, which church he decorated with paintings (he was an artist). He was also an architect, designing St nicholas, Rawreth, Essex in 1882 and with a total of 57 projects to his name in Essex alone. He designed the reredos at St Cuthbert's Philimore Gardens in London. Quite likely, therefore, that he might be asked to design vestments. Sounds an interesting character.Gordon Plumb


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