Diary of Rev Edward Stevens

1886, July 2, Friday 

We heard this morning from one of Mr Davies’s servants whose friends live at Swalcliffe that Canon Payne died on Wednesday.

Mr Davies and I drove to Byfield this morning. I went into the Church which is a very large and fine one with a remarkably good East Window of immense proportions, and perpendicular in style put in a year ago. I met the Rector Mr Curgenven in the Churchyard. We got into conversation, and I introduced him, after a fashion, to Mr Davies, who was standing by Ruby outside. Mr Curgenven apologised to Davies for not having called on him owing to his wife’s illness.

We drove through Charwelton on our return,. It is a pretty and well-wooded place, with a good deal of water about, where the River Cherwell rises, and is probably not very healthy. The heat was intense.

1886, July 3, Saturday 

Received a note this morning from Miss Annie Norris, of Swalcliffe Park, forwarded from home saying that Canon Payne died on Wednesday and inviting me to the funeral at 12 o’clock today. I therefore left Hellidon as soon as my horse and carriage were ready, viz 8.30 am. Reached Byfield 4½ miles at 9. Banbury at 10.20. Picked up at Wardington a Mr Walton, Schoolmaster of the Parish, who was walking towards Banbury. He is a native of Sibford and married a sister of Frederick Inns. He has had his present school 25 years. I put up my horse whilst I did some necessary business in the town and reached Swalcliffe at 12.5. Webb was there to meet me with surplice etc, but as the procession had entered the church and the Lesson was being read (by Mr Wyatt, Rector of Broughton) I did not robe. Mr White Assistant Curate, read the prayers at the grave. Revs Porter (Banbury), Gepp (Adderbury), Short (Bloxham), Smith (Tadmarton), Willy (Epwell), Gerahty (Shutford), Egerton (Bloxham) and one or two others whom I do not know were present besides the Norrises and Canon Richard Payne and his family, all the leading parishioners and some of the villagers.

I drove home immediately after the funeral, without going into the Vicarage.

Mr Bourchier’s youngest son Walter came in with Frank this evening. He is staying for a day or two with Misses Dix. He is the biggest boy for his age, 9 years, I ever saw.

A political meeting was held in the schoolroom this evening in the interests of the Radical party: Sir Bernhard Samuelson being present.

1886, July 4, Sunday 

Holy Communion and collections in church for Rev W. Bourchier’s “day in the Country fund” for his poor people in the parish of St Olave, Hanbury Street. The sum received amounted to £1.16.3.

Called on Mr E. White this evening.

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Read about the Rev Edward Stevens here.