South Aisle Window (East end) by J W Knowles, 1876
John Ward Knowles (1838-1931)
‘The Ascension’ as well as ‘Faith, Charity and Hope’ are the work of York glazier John Ward Knowles.
After leaving school at the age of 12 he enrolled at the newly opened School of Design in York in 1851, winning several prizes for his stained glass work.
In 1858 he moved to London for a year to work for Heaton and Butler, where he developed an interest in photography and architecture. He returned to York in 1863 and set up his own business.
Marriage to Jane Annakin in 1874 produced two sons and four daughters. The sons, John Alder and Milward followed him into the family business of J W Knowles & Sons. Whilst his sons worked alongside him to produce stained glass the workshops produced all kinds of ecclesiastical decoration including embroideries and tapestries produced by his daughters.
Knowles was based in York in Stonegate at the old ‘Sign of the Bible.’ Even after it ceased to function as a workshop for the business in 1953 the property remained the Knowles family home for one hundred and twenty years.