Diary of Rev Edward Stevens

1880, November 11, Thursday 

This evening someone called with a petition to the House of Commons, praying that household suffrage might be conferred on rural population. I observed Mark Barnes’s name “Syloey” Sabin and others, most of which were signed with “his mark” only without the explanatory words. I declined to sign it.

1880, November 12, Friday

I had a conversation with Joseph Messenger who told me that the cottages in which he, Widow Keen and Sylvia Sabin live were, when Sibford Gower kept its own poor, the workhouse and known under the nickname of the “Bugbear” – He does not remember the workhouse but he helped to carry a cousin of his to the grave who had once been an inmate.

1880, November 25, Thursday 

Visited William Hall whose baby is ill. Henry Tarver whose wife says he is at work Swede cleaning, but will not be able to earn more than 7/6 a week at it. They have a lodger, a young man belonging to Tysoe and who is working for Mr Nicholls on Mr Payne’s farm. He pays her 1/6 per week which is some help to them.

I hear that when Mr. Dodgson, Curate of Brailes, recently married, was here with his wife on Monday, my little Frank age 5 years 3 months looked through the railings by the stairs very earnestly and asked “Have you been very happy lately Mr Dodgson?” On his replying that he had, Frank remarked “I am so glad”.

1880, December 20, Monday

Visited Thomas Wilkes and Widow of William Keene who spoke to me about her religious feelings. She comes to Church morning and afternoon and having nothing else to do, and desiring to save firing and light, goes to the Methodist Chapel or Quakers’ Meeting in the evening. She could not reconcile the various teaching she heard. The doctrine of “assurance of Salvation” which the Methodists taught her, she could not realise.

1880, December 28, Tuesday

Visited Humphrey Sabin and spoke to him about not letting his wife send the children to Sunday School. I gave him a long lecture about persons who professed to be church people and yet attended very rarely – going sometimes to Quakers’ meeting and sometimes to Methodists Chapel. He was at Church on Xmas Day and on Sunday last – I don’t think he had been for 6 months – and had the little taste to make some remark about there not being many men there. His wife thanked me very heartily for what I said to him and said she hoped I would call and speak to him again.

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Read about the Rev Edward Stevens here.