Donor representation: people of status and/or wealth 

The nobility and clergy were early portrayed as having given buildings and works of art.  This image shows a cleric donor, recognized by his tonsure (shaved area of the head).  In the 15th century, parish churches saw merchants begin to claim positions of prominence by having themselves represented as donors or even having their mottoes written as decorative banding, as in the interior of St. Mary’s in Bury St. Edmunds or on the exterior of Long Melford.  Frequently the donors were seen as diminutive figures at the foot of a saintly patron.  There were alternatively shown, as in English illuminated manuscripts, keeling before altars or desks with open prayer books.  Donors were very often accompanied by their names, initials, mottoes, or other personalized inscription.  Very few contracts between donor and glass painter survive.  From those remaining one can surmise that the subject matter was usually defined by the patron (such as the depiction of a patron saint, here St. Dominic) a choice presumably made after consultation with the parish priest.  For discussion of donors and patrons, see Richard Marks, Stained Glass in England during the Middle Ages (Toronto, 1993), 3-27.