Diary of Rev Edward Stevens

1885, March 23, Monday 

Farmer Gaydon called on me for my advice, saying he was in a difficulty. He had dealings with Mr Mark Walker, a substantial Corn dealer of Tysoe, and going down to him to receive payment for some corn. Mr Walker deducted £10. Gaydon asked for an explanation. Walker said it was the £10 he had borrowed. Gaydon declared there must be some mistake as he had not borrowed anything of Mr Walker. So the latter showed him a note signed “J. Jaydon” asking for loan of £10 saying it was brought by a young man a few weeks ago to whom he gave the money and would have let him have more if he had wanted it, but he said that was sufficient.

I pointed out to Gaydon that it was not a forgery as the name written was not the name of anyone in Sibford and that if it were a forgery it would be Mr Walker’s loss and not his. Gaydon’s fear was lest one of his own sons should have been tempted to such wickedness, but when I afterwards called on Mrs Gaydon, she said she had not the shadow of a suspicion of either of her boys. Neither had I, for none of them can write nearly so well as the note was written, and there were some mistakes as to facts which they would not have made. I cannot recognise the writing at all, neither can Elley.

Visited Gaydon, Miss Dix, Jane Legge, School.

Boys Confirmation Class at 7 pm.

1885, March 24, Tuesday 

Jane Legge died early this morning.

Held my Girls’ and married women Confirmation Classes at the Vestry from 3 to 5.

A Vestry meeting was held in the Schoolroom at 7.

1885, March 25, Wednesday

Visited Sibford Heath plantation which John West is cleaning of briars etc.

George Harris junior showed me a petition for raising money to pay expenses of endeavouring to obtain a free pardon for a man named Cross who was convicted of a rape on Bonner’s imbecile daughter at Wroxton a short time ago. Cross’s solicitor, being in difficulties, left Banbury on a sudden, having neglected the case which he had been paid to attend to. Cross’s friends aver that he had therefore not a fair trial – being left without a properly instructed counsel to defend him. Lord North, in whose employ the young man was, and his father is, takes an interest in the case.

I told George Harris (junior) that there was no occasion for begging round the country for that Lord North could and would easily do all that could be done without any expense.

Received a letter from Dr Hole.

1885, March 26, Thursday 

Attended Guardians meeting at Banbury.

Brought the very foul condition of Sibford Pond before the Rural Sanitary Authority.

Visited Thomas Messenger in the Infirmary of the Union. he looked very ill, and seemed grateful for all that was done for him. He was up and dressed, but looked more fit for bed.

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Read about the Rev Edward Stevens here.