Diary of Rev Edward Stevens

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.

1878, March 19, Tuesday

Dr. Routh delivered lecture on Astronomy in School which I illustrated with Magic Lantern lent to me by Mr. Hurst of Linden House, Littlemore, Nr. Oxford. The proceeds  17/6 are to be devoted to a fund for purchase of lamps for public meetings in Schoolroom.

1878, March 26, Tuesday

Lewis Poulton spoke about raising of school-fees to Mechanics etc rather prematurely seeing that his only child is only a few weeks old. Talked about hardship, free school, the duty of Trustees to help those who were “trying to keep off the Parish”; he did not get any of the “Charity” and therefore ought not to have to pay 3d. a week for his child’s education.

I told him he ought to have more self-respect than to talk that way, that he was bound to provide Education for his children as well as food and raiment; that the cost of education in the School was a great deal more than he was asked to pay for it.

It is sad to see how even many of the better sort of men here have been pauperised by the existence of the Charity and how ignorant and selfish they are in the matter. I reminded him  that he expected to be well paid, and was well paid for all the work he did for the School, the farmers, myself etc and he had no right to expect us to pay entirely for the cost of his child’s education – etc etc. They all seem to think that the funds of the Charity can be made to do anything and everything.

Gave Lecture on the Instinct of Animals this evening and exhibited Magic Lantern.  Owing to the season, I presume, and another lecture last week, not many were present and only 9/6 was taken.

1878, March 31, Sunday 

Intensely cold today. I counted the Congregation in the morning because it seemed rather small, but there were 115 present, all told. In the afternoon there were, as far as I could see, 165.

Attended Boys’ and Girls’ Sunday School this afternoon. 23 boys and 25 girls were present.

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