Clayton and Bell were one of the most prolific and proficient workshops of English stained glass during the latter half of the 19th century making stained glass windows across the world.The partnership of John Richard Clayton (30th Jul 1827 – 5th May 1913) q.v. and Alfred Bell (1832—1895) q.v. was formed while they were both working in the architectural practice of Gilbert Scott. They teamed up for a few years with Heaton and Butler (before they joined up with Robert Bayne, probably ex-Clayton & Bell; it’s an incestuous world!). Clayton & Bell and Heaton & Butler shared premises (Heaton supplied the early kiln which was fired by railway sleepers, and it appears that Heaton & Butler also supplied a lot of knowledge and expertise). In 1861 Clayton and Bell commenced manufacturing their own glass and moved into large premises in Regent Street, London, where they employed about 300 people. Clayton and Bell’s were at one time said to turn out the equivalent of a window a day and two on Sundays… they also made church fittings including mosaics. The company moved out of London to Buckinghamshire after 1945After the deaths of Alfred Bell in 1895 and John Richard Clayton in 1913, the firm continued under Bell’s son, John Clement Bell (1860–1944), then under Reginald Otto Bell (1884–1950) and lastly Michael Farrar-Bell (1911–93) until his death. Unfortunately, the records of Clayton & Bell were largely lost after bombing, however their windows can be found throughout the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand Among their major commissions, is the cycle of great scholars produced for the Great Hall of the University of Sydney, designed by the colonial architect Edmund Blacket and based upon Westminster Hall in London. Other famous windows are the West Window of King's College Chapel, Cambridge, 1878, Probably the most significant commission was to design the mosaics for each side and beneath the canopy of the Albert Memorial. This towering monument set on the edge of Hyde Park in London commemorates the Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria, who died in 1861. Not surprisingly, the firm of Clayton and Bell was awarded a Royal Warrant by the Queen in 1883.
Ward & Hughes (and T.F. Curtis)
The company was originally formed in 1836 as Ward & Nikon. In 1850 Nixon was replaced by Henry Hughes who became a full partner in the firm in 1857 and the name changed to Ward & Hughes. The company resided at 67 Firth Street, London.Perhaps the most prestigious stained glass commission of the 19th century, the re-glazing of the East Window of Lincoln Cathedral, was undertaken by the company in 1855 being the largest 13th century window in the world.In 1883 on the death of Hughes, T.F. Curtis (a relative) took over the company until 1924, with many of the designs being completed by G M Parlby.
Charles E Moore (A.L.Moore & Son)
Charles E Moore (1880 -1965) was the son of the master glass painter and decorator Arthur Louis Moore (1849 -1939). Arthur Moore was born in 1849 in Brixton and died in 1939. He was apprenticed in 1868 to J.T. Lyon, glass painter, in Fitzroy Square and in 1871 set up in partnership with S. Gibbs as 'Gibbs & Moore, artists in stained glass and mural decorations'. The firm had premises at Great Russell Street, then Southampton Row, where it remained until 1924. In around 1879 the firm was renamed A.L. Moore & Co. and in 1896 Moore's son, Charles Eustace Moore (1880-c.1965) joined the firm. In 1924 the firm's studio, named St Augustine's House, was moved to Upper Bedford Place; it was severely damaged by enemy action during the Second World War, and from 1946 until c.1955 when he closed the firm C.E. Moore had premises at Regent's Park Terrace. A.L Moore & Son supplied stained and painted glass to churches and other clients mainly in London and the Home Counties, but they had numerous customers elsewhere in Britain and abroad. Over the course of their careers the Moores produced over 1,000 windows in the UK and 100 overseas.
James Powell & Son
The company, originally known as the Whitefriars Glass Company, was purchased by James Powell in 1834 and developed into the world leading company for the production of church stained glass windows. The Powell’s were related to Baden Powell, the Scout Movement founderThe firm's name was changed to Powell & Sons (Whitefriars) Ltd in 1919 and the growth in business demanded a move, from the original premises off Fleet Street, to a new modern factory that was opened in Wealdstone in 1923.The onset of World War II saw a downturn in the companies fortunes with glass manufacture being restricted to aid the war effort. Cessation of hostilities found the company in a desperate struggle for survival, aggravated by the loss of key personnel who had enlisted and not returned. Despite an upturn in fortunes after the Festival of Britain in 1951, the firm continued to struggle and in 1962 the company name was changed back to Whitefriars Glass Ltd The arrival of glass bricks (cheap, thick slabs of coloured glass set in concrete bricks) dispensed with the need for expensive stained glass in new churches and by 1973 the stained glass department finally closed, with the firm now specialising in freeform domestic glassware. The company was finally closed in 1980 when it was purchased by Caithness Glass.