1884: St John’s Anglican Church, Toorak, Victoria.

Artist/Studio: Fouracre & Watson, Plymouth, Devonshire, England, 1884.
Location: Toorak, Victoria.
Building: St John’s Anglican Church.
Memorial: Allan Spowers.
Donor: Friends in England.
Photos dated: 31st October 2010.

These two triple-light English windows by Fouracre & Watson of Plymouth, were erected at St John’s Anglican Church, Toorak in April 1884 and are the only examples of this company’s work I have found in Victoria to date.

The company was started by John Thomas Fouracre and Henry Watson circa 1872 and operated from premises at 28 Chapel Street, Plymouth, Devonshire, next to Fouracre & Sons decorators and plumbers. Their work appears to be predominantly in England but they showed their stained glass at the Melbourne International Exhibition of 1881, where the company was listed in the Fourth Order of Merit in the awards among other English, Australian and German firms.[1]

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The Australasian, Melbourne, Vic, Saturday 12th April 1884, page 19.

“Two memorial windows, the cost of which was defrayed by subscription among the friends in England of the late Mr. Allan Spowers, have been erected in the north aisle of St. John’s Church, Toorak. Each contains three lights, and four of these have been filled in by full-length figures of the evangelists, each of whom is represented as a scribe, with the exception of St. John, who bears the sacred chalice. The other two openings enclose the effigies of St. Peter and St. James, the former grasping the symbolical keys and the latter holding the traditional sword; while the circular opening in the head of each window exhibits and angel bearing a palm branch. At the base of he figures is the following inscription:- “In memory of Allan Spowers, an original trustee of this church; died in London 1876, aetat 62″ The windows were executed by Messrs Fouracre and Watson, of Plymouth, Devonshire.”

The Argus, Melbourne, Vic, Monday 9th October 1876, page 5.


“We deeply regret to record the death of Mr. Allan Spowers, one of the proprietors of this journal. He was resident in London, and intimation of his decease has been received by cable message, which states that he died on September 27. Mr. Spowers arrived in Melbourne in 1855. He was an intimate friend and old schoolfellow of Mr. Edward Wilson, the senior proprietor of The Argus, and in January, 1857, he joined him as a partner. He never took any active part in public life, but he gained the respect of all brought in cntact with him in his private relations. He returned to England in 1864, leaving by the Great Britain in January of that year, and has since lived in London. He was 61 years of age; and as he had been in ill health for several months, his decease was not entirely unexpected. He was highly esteemed by his partners, Messrs. Wilson and McKinnon, with whom his connexion throughout was of the most friendly nature.”

Foot notes:

[1] The Argus, Melbourne, Vic, Tuesday 8th March 1881, page 6.


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