Diary of Rev Edward Stevens

1871, July 1, Saturday 

Called on Rev L. J. Lee, New College. He gave me nominations of assistant curacy of Sandford on Thames which I accepted at the nominal stipend of £30 per annum. The “living” is worth £90 without a house. “Father Faber” the Hymn writer was one of my predecessors. The stipend will barely pay for my driving over to the services.

1871, July 3, Monday

Wrote to Bishop of Oxford (Mackarness) forwarding my nomination to curacy of Sandford on Thames. I walked to Sandford this evening. Time in going 1 hour 8 minutes.

1871, July 13, Thursday

Miss (blank), Mrs Prowse went on to Bristol. Bell returned from Cheltenham. I wrote to the Bishop of Oxford.

1871, July 16, Sunday 

Received letter from Bishop of Oxford saying he had added my name to his list for the September Ordination.

1871, September 21, Thursday

Examination commenced by Professor E. Palmer and Mr Ince with Mr Furse acting as Archdeacon. Bishop extremely kind and genial.

1871, October 1, Sunday

Commenced duty at Sandford. Read prayers in morning, preached in afternoon. Drove over in a cab, back with Mr Lee.

1871, October 3, Tuesday

Went to Islington. Called on Rev W E Coghlan, Curate of St Paul’s, Covent Garden, and dined with him.

1871, October 8, Sunday

Hole being Curate of St Michael’s, Stockwell, I was invited to preach this afternoon and to read prayers in the evening, which I did. During the afternoon service time the Rev Watson, MA, formerly Headmaster of the Stockwell Grammar School, living in a street close by, murdered his wife under circumstances of great horror. Of course the deed was not known till the evening at the earliest, as there was no one else in the house at the time. He was doubtless insane and was ultimately acquitted on the ground of insanity and ordered to be detained during Her Majesty’s pleasure.

I went to Mr Estall’s to supper this evening.

Read more about the Rev John Selby Watson. Beryl Bainbridge’s novel Watson’s Apology is a fictional reconstruction of the affair.

This entry raises a question about when Stevens actually wrote his diary. He presumably wrote this page after Watson’s trial, which took place three months later in January 1872 (10 diary pages later).

Click on an entry date to view an image of the original diary page.

Read about the Rev Edward Stevens here.