St John Evangelist’s Day. Divine Service at 9.15.
Besides myself, family and servants and some children, there were only 4 persons present viz Miss S Dix, Miss H Colegrave and Mrs Way and Mrs Elley. The wind was in the East and I seem to have renewed my cold.
There were one or two more at Church yesterday than today. But I think it scarcely desirable to have service on Saints day morning under such circumstances in winter at least. Very few can come at any time – and when some of those persons are unwell – as Miss E Dix, Miss M Dix and Mrs Mawle are at present – it reduces the number of worshippers below what one can call a “congregation” – moreover the Church is very cold as the fire is not lighted.
The appended cutting is from “Banbury Guardian” of Dec 23. It appears that Mr S Hands has been paying all along on an assessment much higher than his actual rent. Mr Hiorns on taking the Farm did not know of this circumstance. When applied to for the rate he spoke to me – I told him he must appeal and get the matter put right. He either had not time or omitted to do so. Hence Coles had to summon him.
Cutting pasted into diary:
NON-PAYMENT OF POOR RATES.—Henry Hirons, farmer, Sibford, was charged by James Coles with non-payment of poor-rates amounting to £6 6s. 11d. Defendant pleaded guilty and said he was over-rated more than £50. ‘l’he Clerk—But you are assessed. Defendant—It was brought before the Assessment Committee three years ago, and was lowered. I only took to the farm last Michaelmas. Mr. Tawney—You must go before the Assessment Committee again. Defendant—It has been before them once and passed, I am willing to pay anything that is fair and right. Mr. Cobb—We have nothing to do with that here. Yon have come to the wrong Court. Defendant—I don’t object to pay, but I should like to know what is right. Mr. Tawney—If you object to the rate, you most appeal to the Assessment Committee. If they refuse to alter it, then you can appeal to this Court in a special way. Defendant paid the rate.
This is the last entry in volume 1 of the diaries. The next few entries in 1880 and 1881 are those transcribed by Leslie Baily for his research. Our transcriptions resume with volume 2 on 26 October 1881 – in Florence.