An Epiphany East Window and Maimonides
After the end of the Great War 1914 - 1918 the family of Ernest Arthur Lazarus Barlow gave the parish church of St Edmund King and Martyr East Mersea an East Window celebrating the feast of the Epiphany. At the top,
scarcely visible from the ground, is a small 'hand of God'. Below this are the four seraphims six angel musicians and then a large depiction of the Holy family, shepherds and 'wise men' or kings.
The artist was Thomas Curtis 1854 - 1924. The installers were Ward and Hughes and the glass was made by Howard Burkin OBE.
Ernest Arthur 1855 - 1914 was the son of John Barnett Lazarus 1824 - 1904 Chaplain to the Forces at the time of the Crimea, who married Martha Barlow at St Judes Whitechapel on September 29 1853. He was a converted Jew
born at Grottingen Courland, Russia on May 15 1824. He was disowned by his family and fled to London where he was baptised in the Episcopal Jews Chapel. He was later ordained and joined the Mission to Jews living eventually at Penn Road Villas, Holloway.
J.B. Lazarus claimed to be a descendant of Maimonides through 22 generations. Moses Maimonides or Abu Anoran Musa was a Spainish Jewish philosopher and physician born at Cordova in 1135 who settled in Egypt in 1165 and became Court Physician to the Saracen leader Saladin at
the time of the crusades. He was concerned with the exposition of the Talmud and the relationship of Aristotle's philosophy and the Bible. His most famous
work seems to be'The Guide to the Perplexed' which is said to have influenced St Thomas Aquinas and Duns Scotus. The road to perfection and immortality is the path of duty and as described in the Law of God.
The children of the Rev J.B Lazarus adopted their mother's maiden name of Barlow with varying degrees of formality. Martha Barlow was the niece of Sarah Trimmer a friend of Dr Johnson and a writer of children's books.
Sydney Smith described her as 'A lady of respectable opinions and very moderate talents defending what is right without judgement and believing what is holy without charity.'
Earnest Arthur Lazarus Barlow was the manager of three branches in England of a French Bank. He lived at Smiths Hall, West Mersea. He and his brother Waiter Sidney both in turn won the Mersea Flower Show in competition with the Rector the Rev R. Dunn in the years 1909, 1910 and
Walter Sidney (1865 - 1950) was educated at the City of London School and Downing College, Cambridge. He was a leading worker in Cancer Research and Professor of Experimental Pathology at London University and Middlesex
Hospital. He lost an arm as a consequence of some of his experiments and is noted for a number of medical publications. He lived at Coverdale, West Mersea and was noted for his roses.
Walter Sidney's son, Percy, (b 1895) was a consultant pathologist to the Hastings Hospitals and was the father of Miss Susan Lazarus - Barlow of the USA and of a baby boy who died of meningitis and whose grave is in the
Churchyard at St Edmunds, East Mersea. His first wife was Sarah Pavey.
After her death he married Jean Papillon.
Ernest Arthur had no surviving male issue. His daughter Edith married Mr A.E. Snook and their son married a Miss Cross but there seem to be no identifiable descendants, at least in the Mersea area.
Such is the story of a much - valued East Window set alongside remains of medieval glass recovered from the Churchyard after the depredations of the Roundheads.