Diary of Rev Edward Stevens

1878, October 11, Friday   b

Visited school this morning.

Temperance Tea Meeting this afternoon at 5.30. Of the Church-people. Mrs Stevens, Misses E and S Dix. Miss Mawle Miss Shelswell and Mrs R L Routh took tables. About 160 or 170 sat down and a great number in addition attended the public meeting afterwards – things were very fairly managed on the whole. Mr R Lamb’s sons working very heartily and well – He was not present – He is not a total abstainer.

Visited Sally Green and gave her 2/-. She has recently been to Birmingham to see one of her daughters – Her fare was 3/11 each way and she walked home from Banbury. She told me with great pleasure that some old woman, lately deceased had made up a parcel of her clothes before her death and left them to her.

Visited Buckingham’s wife who said she wanted to get her eldest girl out to service.

Also visited Widow Ann Lines – she was not at home – but I told her daughter of the bad conduct of the boy Tom last Sunday and that I hoped they would try to make a good impression on him.

From Banbury Guardian Oct.17.1878


Our usually quiet village of Sibford has, during the last few weeks, assumed quite a different aspect. About the end of harvest two members of the Union Mission House, London, Mr. Ker and Miss Cobb, paid us a very welcome visit, holding services nearly every evening in a large tent which had been pitched for the purpose in a close at Sibford Gower. Many flocked to hear them, and every evening the numbers increased until on the last Sunday evening the tent was literally crowded with intent listeners to the words which clearly and powerfully fell from the lips of these earnest and devoted ministers of the gospel. On one evening Mr Ker gave us a stirring address on total abstinence, which so aroused many that they were brought to see the dangers attached to the use of alcoholic liquors, and they made up their minds there and then to give it up entirely, and the consequence was that several soon signed the pledge. This seemed to pave the way for still further exertion in the cause, and it was decided to invite Miss Craigen over to address us on the subject. The Wesleyan Chapel was kindly lent for the purpose, and the meeting was held on Monday evening, Septemher 30. Mr. Lovell, of Banbury, took the chair, and the gathering, on the whole, proved successful, about 35 signing before they left the room. On Monday evening, October 7, a social gathering of those most interested in the temperance cause took place, and it was decided to hold a public tea meeting in the village school on Friday evening, the 11th instant, and that a temperance meeting should be held afterwards. The matter was warmly taken up by those interested, and the consequence was that about 180 partook of the tea, which was kindly served by Mrs. Stevens, assisted by about ten other ladies, residents in the village, to whom we owe our hearty thanks for the excellent way in which the tea was provided for and conducted throughout. A clearance was obtained as soon as possible, and arrangements made for the meeting, which was appointed for 7 o’clock, but which did not commence till nearlv half an hour later. The Rev. Edward T. Stevens kindly offered to take the chair; and as one of the speakers remarked during the evening, “He was the right man in the right place.” The Chairman opened the meeting by reading a portion of Scripture, which was well adapted for the circumstances under which we were met. In making a few remarks at the commencement, he said that although he was not a pledged teetotaller himself, nevertheless it was a subject very near to his heart, and that he was rejoiced to see the numbers that had already signed the pledge, and hoped that many more would follow their example. He then called on Mr. Baylis, of Banbury, to address the meeting; he and two other gentlemen, Mr. Priest and Mr. Hughes, having, on being invited, freely given up the evening to come and assist us. Mr. Baylis earnestly with his hearers to give up drink, saying in the course of his address that he himself had been a teetotaller for twenty years, and that notwithstanding his many family and business cares and anxieties he had been enabled so far to work on very well without partaking of it. Mr. Priest showed us the evils of the drinking customs from a commercial point of view, and spoke of the thousands who were poverty-stricken, especially in the manufacturing districts, from this cause alone. Miss Capper, Mr. Nash, Mr. Golder, and Mr. Hughes also addressed the meeting, much to the interest of all present. At the close of the gathering some illuminated pledge cards, kindly presented by Mr. Ker, were distributed to those who had signed during his visit here; ten more signed before leaving the room, and the meeting closed by singing the first of Sankey’s hymns. A band of hope is about to be set on foot in the village, and we earnestly hope that the divine blessing may rest upon all concerned in it, as well as upon the senior members of the association.

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Read about the Rev Edward Stevens here.