Charles Eamer Kempe in Cumbria

Charles E Kempe aged 23

Charles E Kempe

Charles E Kempe (1837-1907) was a painter of walls, ceilings and woodwork of churches in the 1860’s. The style then in vogue reflected a resurgance of interest to high church practices.
Kempe’s training served him well, and he started his own stained glass company, CE Kempe and Co in London, in 1868.
Kempe was not a trained artist, but was nevertheless artistic, and able to suggest ideas which could be developed by his artists and cartoonists. He insisted that only the firm’s name should take the credit for the standard of work produced, and that individual members of the studio remain anonymous.
Kempe perfected the use of silver stain on clear glass, which leaves a yellow tint, which could be delicate or deep depending on the amount of stain. His greatest stylistic influence was the stained glass of Northern Germany and Flanders from the 16th Century. He took many trips to Europe, often taking the Kempe Company artists with him.

St Michael’s Church, Lamplugh

Church windows in Cumbria
by Charles E Kempe :
Barton St Michael
Bigrigg St John
Boltongate All Saints
Broughton in Furness St Mary
Broughton Mills Holy Innocents
Cockermouth All Saints
Coniston St Andrew
Crosthwaite St Kentigern
Field Broughton St Peter
Greystoke St Andrew
Lamplugh St Michael
Matterdale church
Mealsgate Old All Hallows
Skelton St Michael
Ulverston Holy Trinity
Wythop St Margaret

Appleby St Michael was declared redundant in 1975, and sold for private use. Holy Trinity Ulverston has also been sold for private use.

The wheatsheaf

The insignia of Kempe, from about 1895 until his death in 1907 was a wheatsheaf, from his family’s coat of arms.
After his death, the firm was run by four of his directors, including his cousin, Walter Tower. The insignia then changed to a wheatsheaf with a black tower.
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