Diary of Rev Edward Stevens

Sunday, 16th July, 1871 

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

Sunday, 1st October, 1871

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

Sunday, 8th October, 1871

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).

Thursday, 12th October, 1871

Called to see Old Cocksedge and Mrs Shelburne at Kemp Town. Did not see the latter; but saw Elizabeth Powell, her niece.

Wednesday, 25th October, 1871

Went to hear “Father Ignatius” Rev Lyne, a Deacon who addressed a large audience in the “Old Music Room”, Holywell Street on the “Duties of the Clergy,” admission 1/-.

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

Read about the Rev Edward Stevens here.