Stevens 1874-12-03

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Paid many visits in Sibford, among them to William Poulton, carpenter, who in answer to my request said he should not remove his timber from the front of the church till he was forced. His wife also was very rude and even passionate and tearful about it. “I a’ allays lent water for the church and lent a hammer too when they was decoratin’ for Harvest Festival, and I a’ done a good deal like o’ that for the church I ‘ave. But now I ain’t a goin’ to do no more. When you preached your first sermon in the church I did say I thought as how we’d got a nice good gentleman at last for a clergyman, but now you no sooner comes into the town than you wants to take the bread out of our mouths you does,” said she, whimpering.

“No, Mrs Poulton, I don’t want to take the bread out of your mouths but I want to take your timber away from the front of the church, where you have no right to put it and where it constitutes a nuisance in more ways than one. I would rather you did so at my friendly request than at any compulsion. But you will have to do it.” I left them still talking.

Returned to Oxford.