Object type

stained glass heraldic panel


Beatrix van Valkenburg

Place Associated

England, Norwich (place of manufacture); England, Norwich, Church of the Greyfriars probably (place of use); England, Norfolk, Costessey Hall (place of use)


about 1293 and later


white, coloured, stained and painted glass, lead


overall (approx): 595 mm x 260 mm x 10 mm


Stained glass panel depicting Beatrix van Valkenburg (c. 1254 -1277), daughter of Dietrich von Valkenburg, Lord of Valkenburg, in the Dutch province of Limburg. She was the third wife of Richard of Cornwall (1209-1272) - second son of King John of England, and brother to King Henry III. As wife to Richard, King of the Germans (King the Romans), Beatrix served nominally as Queen of Germany.

Beatrix wears a low yellow coronet, with vine-leaf decoration, above a wimple and veil. She looks right, her hands clasped in an attitude of prayer. She wears a red robe with green sleeves and is draped in a mantle of black and white stripes, lined with a fur trim. She stands against a blue backdrop powdered with yellow and black roundels enclosing the Imperial Eagle. Beatrix is identified by a panel in Lombardic text above ‘BEATRIX DE VALKENBURGH REGINA ALLEMANNIE’ (Beatrix of Valkenburg Queen of Germany).

The panel has undergone alteration and displays some losses. The trefoil arches above would have once been surmounted by a canopy, and the placement of the red brick passage at the base is unusual and unlikely to be authentic. A close inspection of Beatrix’s left shoulder reveals that her mantle was originally yellow and appears to have been powdered with Imperial Eagles in the same manner as the blue background.

Beatrix’s father supported the contentions claims of Richard of Cornwall to the Imperial Crown of Germany, drawing him into conflict with the electors of Saxony, Brandenburg, and Trier, who supported the claims of Alfonso X of Castile. Beatrix’s father was killed in the struggle and her uncle imprisoned.

During these years of turmoil Richard met with Beatrix, who was said to be one of the most beautiful women of the age. Richard, who was some 45 years her senior, was infatuated with Beatrix, and the two were married at Kaiserslautern on 16th June 1269, when Beatrix was just 15 years old.

Returning to England with Beatrix in 1269, neither were to return to Germany. Richard died in 1272, with the widowed Beatrix dying just five years later, at the age of 23, on 17th October 1277. Beatrix was laid to rest at the Franciscan church at Greyfriars, Oxford, alongside the heart of her husband. It was once thought this panel was installed at the site of her burial. Research by David King (2010) indicates that this piece is more probably from the Franciscan Church in Norwich. Evidence suggests that it was paid for by Beatrix's nephew, King Edward I, about 20 years after her death. King also suggests that two further panels in the collection, 45.24 and 45.25, originated from later glazing installed in the same church.

Sir William Burrell acquired this panel not long after purchasing his family home at Hutton Castle in 1916. He was particularly fond of this piece and installed it into a window on the staircase leading up to his bedroom.

Later, Burrell went on to buy a panel showing another princess, Princess Cecily of York (45.75). Wilfred Drake, the dealer who sold the panel to Burrell, suggested installing it close to Beatrix, inorder to make 'a pair of English royal portraits of different periods, ... each of them a fine example and full of romantic interest.'

Provenance: Ex Coll: Barons Stafford of Costessey Hall, Norfolk. Bought by Sir William Burrell from Thomas and Drake Ltd.

Selective bibliography:

Aymer Vallance, “The Costessey Collection of Glass,” The Costessey Collection of Stained Glass, ed. Maurice Drake, 1920, pp.3–7.

William Wells, Stained and Painted Heraldic Glass, Burrell Collection, 1962, no. 1.

Richard Marks, Age of Chivalry: Art in Plantagenet England 1200-1400, ed. Jonathan Alexander and Paul Binski, 1987, p. 290., no. 226

Linda Cannon, Stained Glass in the Burrell Collection, 1991, p. 45, more

Credit Line/Donor

Gifted by Sir William and Lady Burrell to the City of Glasgow, 1944


Burrell Collection: Stained Glass

ID Number



Burrell Collection

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