The design and manufacture of the stained glass windows in Parliament's St. Stephen's Hall originate from a generous bequest made by Mrs. Norah Dearsley, an admirer of the Palace of Westminster who died in 1995.
It was decided that Mrs. Dearsley's bequest would be used to replace the stained glass windows in St. Stephen's Hall that were bomb damaged during the Second World War.
A design competition was held in 1997, using the 'history of the franchise' as the subject for the windows. Designs by a number of stained glass artists were considered by the House of Lords Works of Art Committee. The committee selected the submission by Shona McInnes of the Leadline Stained Glass studio in Yorkshire.
Subsequently, the John Hardman Studio in Birmingham was appointed to manufacture the windows. Hardman's link with the Palace can be traced back to the mid-19th century, as they made most of the stained glass and metalwork to A.W.N. Pugin's designs during the works following the 1834 fire.
The 'Dearsley Bequest' windows were installed in January 2002. There are four separate windows, each containing a timeline of significant images relating to the development of the franchise.