Diary of Rev Edward Stevens

1894, December 4, Tuesday   a b c

Cold. Dry. Visited school morning. North Oxford Hunt were out with a large number of followers.

Visited school again in afternoon. I saw one of the old desks pulled over on the top of her by a girl of David Hone’s. I thought it in a dangerous state, being partially broken and consequently ordered three new ones, which the trustees had empowered me to do.

Miss Grace, Miss Hayward, Mary Thame and Louisa Thame were here to tea in drawing room this afternoon.

The first Parish Meeting under the Parish Councils Act, 1894, was held in the School room this evening. A large number of electors was present. Mr Inns proposed Mr William Lamb as chairman, in accordance with the resolution of last meeting. He was unanimously elected. Methodists, Quakers and Radicals were in great force. But everything passed off very quiet and orderly. Twelve legal nominations were made and Inns, Abbotts, Spicer, Dan Sabin and John Lamb, farmer of Sibford Ferris were elected by show of hands. Mr R.H. Lamb nominated me on an invalid paper. He had called himself an Elector of Sibford Gower, which he was not. I had publicly stated that I did not desire to be a candidate for the Parish Council, but that if my assistance was very much desired by the majority I would serve. This course had been recommended by Bishops and Clergy throughout the country. No one else nominated me. I nominated what I considered a good representative Council, consisting of F Inns plumber, L.T.Poulton, Carpenter and Farmer, John Lively, Labourer, John Lamb of Sibford Ferris, Farmer, and Joseph Woolgrove of Sibford Ferris, Farmer. I proposed a vote of thanks to the Chairman at close of the meeting which was carried unanimously.

I afterwards called on Miss Dix. (Received letters from Frank and Mr Hemming about London and County Bank).

No poll was demanded as the Parish Meeting and everyone seemed to consider that a good election had been made. F. Inns, plumber, postmaster and Churchwarden. Abbots, a Quaker Radical evidently representing the labourers, a retired tradesman. Daniel Sabin, Conservative Churchman, Miller and Farmer and considerable cottage owner. George Spicer, an intelligent Liberal Methodist labourer, John Lamb a Conservative Quaker Farmer and Chairman of Sibford Benefit Society. I am altogether glad to be out of the Council, as my duties as Secretary to the Charity Trustees would possibly clash with those of a Parish Councillor.

Mr Jewell, my tenant, called in this evening and spoke about his pigs getting into my garden. He said they were breeding sows which could not well be kept shut up. He said he had a great quantity of winter greens in his garden and will be glad to give us as many as we might want in compensation for those of mine which his pigs had eaten or destroyed. He also promised to get me another “Lord Suffield” apple tree in place of the one in the orchard broken down by his swine. I also spoke to him about signing agreement for tenancy, which he has not yet done though he promised to call on Miller and Abbotts for when I let him the land. All was very civil between us.

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