Diary of Rev Edward Stevens

Saturday, 16th February, 1878 

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.

Monday, 25th February, 1878

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.

Wednesday, 27th February, 1878 

The wife of Henry Lines, carrier of Sibford Ferris, called this morning with a petition for money to buy a new horse, theirs being so old and worn out that the officer of the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals had stopped them in Banbury and refused to allow the horse to bring their load out to Sibford. As the petition contained signatures with donations of Mr. Routh Senior, Canon Payne and others who I presume know more about their circumstances than I do, I gave her £1,  though it is a way of doing things that does not at all commend itself to my judgement. When I asked her how it was that they had worked the horse 15 years at so good a business as that of a carrier, and yet were obliged to beg for the money to buy another, she said they had some heavy losses on some land they rented through failure of crops etc.

Saturday, 2nd March, 1878

Went to Banbury to meet Mr S. by 3.20 train from London. Took Mrs. Elley and Frank. William Wise Wilson our old doctor when we lived in Islington who has ruined himself with drink and whom I have seen him in Banbury almost every time I have been there lately, appeared to recognise me as I was driving through the Market Place. I avoided him. He looked diseased, old, bloated with bottle nose, shabby clothes and walked with a stick.

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Read about the Rev Edward Stevens here.