Diary of Rev Edward Stevens

1878, January 26, Saturday 

Richard Austin of Sibford Ferris called for Land Tax for Allotments in that parish.

I had a long conversation with him about the “Sibford Ferris” Award, which is lost,  about the boundaries of Sibford Ferris which he says run down to Mr. Hitchcox’s farm – and about the encroachment at the north end of Hook Norton Road. These encroachments which narrow the road to 18 feet instead of 30 make that part of the road very dangerous and were made some 60 or 70 years ago because rough fellows used to congregate there on Sundays playing marbles etc. The pieces of land forming the Encroachment are in the possession of Richard Lamb, Isaac Padbury and James Lines. Austin tells me that Richard Lamb offered James Lines 6d. per yard for his. I told Austin I hoped the Sibford Ferris people would soon improve matters in that quarter.

1878, February 7, Thursday

Buried Thomas Keen, aged 22, idiot son of Thomas Keen, blind butcher of Sibford Ferris.

Gave out coal tickets this evening and tried the Magic Lantern which Mr. Hurst has lent me. Sent Bell to Hook Norton for beef for the sick.

1878, February 11, Monday 

Coal distribution commenced, under Charles Barnes’s supervision. 3 tons 7 cwts. were weighed out from School cellar where it was placed in November last. Six tons brought today. I ordered 7½ tons to be brought tomorrow.

There is a severe case of Scarlet Fever at the Friend’s School, Sibford Ferris and several of measles.

1878, February 16, Saturday

Thomas Hone’s wife called and asked Mrs. Stevens to lend her an old blanket for one of her children who had measles. Mrs. S told me that she came a few days ago and borrowed 2/6 promising to repay it at the end of the week but had not done so.

I lent her a blanket, a new one. They are a very improvident family who lived in a turf hut under the hedges for several years.  They are in a cottage now where they went shortly before I came to Sibford, but I am told they never pay their rent. The father can and does earn a lot of money. Two or three boys are also at work and I believe there are only two who do not earn anything.

1878, February 25, Monday

Harry went to Derby as a junior Master in the Grammar School which has just had the honour of a Senior Wrangler, though not Smith’s prizeman at Cambridge. He is to have £60 + board to commence.

Walked to Brailes and back this afternoon.

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Read about the Rev Edward Stevens here.