Saint James, The Mississippi Window

Believed to have been unveiled at Blandford Church on the 3rd of June 1910 is the Mississippi window featuring Saint James, the son of Alphaeus or James the Less. Selected as one of Christ’s twelve disciples, James the Less is often confused with James the brother of Jesus who wrote the book of James in the Bible. As a missionary, he was sent out to preach “the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” He was the first Bishop of Jerusalem and Tiffany’s artisans chose to depict him holding and perhaps protecting, a modern white New England-style church with a red spire. Saint James is as tall as the others but is portrayed as frail and less robust in comparison. (The artisans) chose cool or light colors to dominate the costume and surrounded the figure with pastel flowers that blend into a background of bluish foliage. These colors combined with the characteristics of opalescent glass, give the impression that this window receives radiant sunlight, although it actually gets no direct sunlight. (Martha Wrenn Briggs, The Compass Windows of Old Blandford Church). In the contract with the Tiffany Studios for the Mississippi window, the cost was $350, with a $35 fee added for “sash protection, freight and setting.” This was the standard charge for each of the now priceless compass windows installed in the Church between 1904-1912.

Saint James, James the Less.

John Rooney

Blandford Church is now managed by the Petersburg Preservation Task Force and is open for tours on the hour, Thursday – Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., and on Sunday, 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., with the last tour beginning each day at 4:00 p.m.


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If you enjoyed reading this, read other blog posts on our site about Edgar Allan Poe, Billy Mahone or any of the Tiffany windows at historic Blandford Church:


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Written by C. Wayne Tucker for The Petersburg Preservation Task Force.

Featured image provided by John Rooney