Burne Jones Window
One of the most beautiful windows in St Giles’ was designed by the pre-Raphaelite artist Edward Burne-Jones, and made in the workshops of William Morris. This window, at the west end of the Cathedral near the Albany Aisle, shows the Crossing of the River Jordan in the upper section, and portrays the figures of three great heroines of the Old Testament
in the lower lights: Miriam, Ruth and Jephthah’s daughter. Her name is not known, but she was sacrificed by her father because of an unfortunate vow that he had made. The window commemorates the High Court judge John Marshall, Lord Curriehill, an energetic supporter of the Chambers Restoration. It was given by his family, led by his son the Reverend Theodore Marshall, who also had a close connection with St Giles’ and whose memorial plaque can be found lower down on the same wall.
The initial approach about the window was made to the Cathedral in the summer of 1883, but as usual the Managing Board had to approve the design, which they finally did on 23 July 1885, after much discussion. Burne-Jones complained later that in view of the trouble he had during his lengthy correspondence with the Scottish clergy, he wished that he had tripled what he described as his trifling design fee. However, the window was safely installed in August 1886, and when William Morris visited St Giles’ that September to see it, he congratulated himself on how its splendid appearance and glittering, jewel-like colours made a strange contrast with what he unkindly regarded as the miserable daubs round about it.