Colebrooke Church -  The Samuel Norrish Window

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This window in the Horwell Aisle (South transept) was dedicated on 31st January1892.

(Exeter and Plymouth Gazette -

 Friday 5 February 1892)



COLEBROOKE. A short dedicatory service was held in Colebrooke Church on Sunday on the occasion of the unveiling of a stained-glass window erected the memory of the late Mr. Samuel Norrish. The window, which is one of three lights, represents the Resurrection of our Lord; in the centre light are the figures of the Saviour and the Roman soldiery; and in the side light attendant angels. The text is, "I am the resurrection and the life." The inscription is “In affectionate memory of Samuel Norrish, of Horwell, in this parish, died 29th January, 1888 aged 74. This window is erected by his widow, Frances Christina." The general treatment and colouring of the window —the work of Mr. F. Drake, of the Cathedral-yard, Exeter—are much approved.



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Samuel Norrish (1813-1888) was born in Zeal Monachorum. After the death of his grandfather in 1840, he farmed Horwell Barton, Colebrooke for the rest of his life.


In 1849, he married Frances Christina (1827-1912), eldest daughter of John Bussell, attorney, of Honeylands in Exeter




The Norrishes almost certainly had some part to play in the appointment of some of "Medical Gentlemen of Bow" -

Charles Henry Haycroft’s grandfather Robert Norrish, with whom he was living at the time of the medical vacancy at Bow, was Samuel Norrish’s cousin (as was Richard Davy, the Surgeon who lived in Zeal Monachorum), and William Warren married Emma Bussell de Mey, a first cousin of Frances Christina Norrish.

Frances Norrish was for 11 years church organist. In addition to this window she also gave the church an oak pulpit in 1903.

The couple were much respected in the area. Both were buried in the Norrish family tomb in Spreyton.