Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co.

Edward Burne-Jones, Philip Webb and Morris, Marshall & Faulkner, east window (1865), Church of St John the Evangelist, Torquay, Devon.
Photo: Peter Hildebrand

Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co. (1861-74) or ‘the Firm’, as it was colloquially referred to, was founded in 1861 by William Morris, Edward Burne-Jones, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Ford Madox Brown, Philip Webb, Peter Paul Marshall and Charles J Faulkner.  ‘The Firm’ and its later iteration, Morris & Co., would go on to create some of the most influential stained glass of the 19th century, creating new aesthetics and themes that artists in both the Arts and Crafts Movement and the big glass companies would learn from.

It was an artists’ collective born of Morris and his friends’ enthusiasm for decorating his new marital home, Red House in Bexleyheath, near London, designed by Philip Webb. Morris was quite arrogant about his ambitions for design in churches, saying, ‘You see we are, or consider ourselves to be, the only really artistic firm of the kind, the others being only glass painters in point of fact, or else that curious nondescript mixture of clerical tailor and decorator that flourishes in Southampton Street, Strand; whereas we shall do — most things.’

Stained glass became one of the main stays of the company, with most designs by Burne-Jones, and, later by the 1890s and after Morris and Burne-Jones’ deaths, John Henry Dearle, the Firm’s chief designer.

For a brief overview see Morris & Co on Wikipedia
Angels and Icons: Pre-Raphaelite Stained Glass by William Waters and Alistair Carew-Cox (Seraphim Press, 2012)
Burne-Jones Special Issue, The Journal of Stained Glass, Vol. XXXV, 2011
Damozels & Deities Pre-Raphaelite Stained Glass 1870-1898 by William Waters and Alastair Carew-Cox (Seraphim Press Ltd, 2017)
‘Morris stained glass: “an art of the Middle Ages”’ by David O’Connor in William Morris and the Middle Ages ed. Joanna Banham and Jennifer Harris (Manchester University Press, 1984)
The Last Pre-Raphaelite: Edward Burne-Jones and the Victorian Imagination by Fiona McCarthy, Faber & Faber, 2011.
The Stained Glass of William Morris and his circle by A Charles Sewter (Yale University Press, 1974)
William Morris: A Life for Our Time by Fiona MacCarthy (Faber & Faber, 1994)