Diary of Rev Edward Stevens

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.

1878, February 27, Wednesday 

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.

1878, March 2, Saturday

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.

1878, March 3, Sunday

Very small congregations morning and afternoon.

But being a Club funeral there was a large concourse of people in the Church and church yard when I committed the remains of William Keene to the ground.

I made a short address by the open grave after the service – there was apparently a very excellent feeling – great reverence and much sobbing, even among the men.

1878, March 11, Monday

Received Bishop’s paper of questions respecting the working of the parish preliminary to the Visitation in April or May. Many of the questions appear to be new. Some of them are manifestly prompted by a desire to know whether and to what extent the attendance of the labouring classes at Church has been affected by the action of the Agricultural Labourers’ Union.

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Read about the Rev Edward Stevens here.