Each month, Explore your Archive selects a theme and encourages archive teams from across the country to get involved by sharing something which relates to their collection across social media. February’s theme is #Nature so we thought we would share the Traherne windows which have so many lovely creatures.

The Traherne windows in the Audley Chapel (pictured above) are full of images of nature – see the below closeup of the 4th window - the Cathedral with birds circling overhead – stunning. Thomas Traherne’s beliefs in the glory of God in creation is well known through his poetry. 

A close up of a bright and multicoloured stained glass window shows the cathedral tower with silhouettes of birds flying above. The birds and the cathedral are almost drawn onto the glass in a sketch like mark making style

What is less well known is his role as a surrogate or deputy at the Dean’s Consistory Court at the Cathedral from Feb 1671 until September 1672– there he no doubt saw many sides of God’s human creation!  In the Cathedral archives, as well as references to Thomas’ appointments as a surrogate, we also have his signature on a 1672 judgement in a case of defamation between Jane Davies against Elizabeth Wall – both women were of St Peter’s parish in Hereford.  Elizabeth Wall was accused of persistent immoral and adulterous behaviour – but the witnesses were found to be unreliable and the judgement went in Elizabeth’s favour. 

a photograph of an ages piece of paper with incredibly elegant scripted writing in ink. The signature of Thomas Traherne is written at the bottom of the image

Download the visitor pamphlet about the Thomas Traherne windows here to find out more.

Explore Your Archive is an Archives and Records Association (UK and Ireland) tool for public and private organisations across the UK and Ireland to showcase the hidden gems stored in their collections. The campaign provides a range of resources to help you learn more about archives and help archivists share the collections they care for. Read more here: www.exploreyourarchive.org