for- Sarah Lomas Greaves Young
John Albert's great great granddaughter
I was fond of antiquities from a child and was always interested in talking to people about the past. I have been led in this way to make some investigations into the history of my family altho as I have spent so much of my life as a missionary abroad my opportunities have not been very great and at this moment I feel that more research should be made in the wills at Northampton and Somerset house.
Revd. J. A. Greaves
Still I think it best, remembering how short and uncertain this our mortal life, to put down in some kind of cover the facts I have collected in three other note books. The first note book is a black work begun at Lincoln College, Oxford, the next is a square book in white parchment and the third is the red book which contains records of tombs and entries of registers.
As a little boy I remember questioning my old uncle James Greaves of the Field House, Haversham, about the family, but it was not til I had taken my B. A. degree at Oxford that I went to the Bodleian Library to look at county histories. Here I saw Lipscomb Bucks and B/wper1 Northamptonshire and still more by the kindness of old Dr. Bandevel, the librarian. I was allowed to read
The History of the Hundred of Newport Pagnell by Browne Willis2. This I may observe in passing is copied by Cole into his M.S.S., which are in the British Museum where I have seen them.
My first thought was to find out the origin of the name of Greaves. In looking through Lysong's Derbyshire I found it stated (p. CLXXX.) that "Greaves of Beeley: this ancient family took there name from a place called the Greaves or Greves in the parish of Beeley. Where they record as early as the reign of Henry III. John Greaves, their descendant in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, was a joint purchaser of the Manor of Beeley at which place they continued to reside until about the year 1700."
The present representation of the Derbyshire branch of the family is the Rev. George Greaves, rector Stanton by Bridge, W. Swarkestone.
There is another branch settled at Liverpool.
1 Italicized words indicate questionable spelling in the typewritten copy of his journal.
2 This was never published. The manuscript is in the British Library.
Arms: _ew bind, vert and gules Eagle displayed on Coat - An eagle displayed on spring from a wreath.
The name of Greaves_______ to be derived from an office. M. Horsfall Turner in his Yorkshire Genealogist for January 1839 gives a continuation of the Greaves of Hepperholme, Restrub_________ camonden and says it was an office. Of the German Land-grave of Helperthorpe.3
The Greaves family appears to have lost their property in the Civil War. Within the altar rails of Beeley Church is a fine flat stone with the coat of arms on the head of it: Eagle displayed spring from a wreath and moto "Superna Quaro" and with the following inscription:
This marble stone doth prefse int not opprafse the body of John Greaves of Greaves Esquire who was always a true son of the Church of England merciful and charitable to the poor patient and courageous in a tedious sickness and at length being full of faith and hope did exchange this world for a better upon the 13th day of October in the year of our Lord 1694.
Ann dau of Geo. Birds of Stents hall Gent
died May 25th, 1700
Beeley is close to 'Chatsworth'4 and now belongs to the Duke of Devonshire. I had a great desire to see this spot and tombstone which I thus read of and as my dear friend and fellow scholar of Lincoln, Arthur J. Bonner, became about this time Curate of Chesterfield and I paid him a visit, with the express object of visiting Beeley and walked across the moors to Beeley. I saw the old house with the court enclosed and paved on the hill above Beeley. It is now called 'Hill-top' and there is in it a fine coat of arms to the family of Saville who owned it subsequently, but there is nothing to connect it now with the family of Greaves.
The Chancel of Beeley Church had been spared, but the body of the Church had been pulled down and rebuilt exactly as a square meeting house with common domestic windows and the ancient font stood outside the Church to catch the rain water a modern basin having been set on a post in the interior. I never saw a worse case of desecration and departure from an old style of building. There were therefore no more tombs.
3 Thomas Guy Greaves added this- "Note: The old, hand written, book of Rev. John Albert Greaves was partly illegible and hence the uncertain spelling and omissions of the typed copy. He was buried June 6, 1893, age 64, died of cardiac asthma. Buried at Great Leighs, Essex."
The Peacock Inn, Rowsley is but a mile below and Madden Hall a little further and it is another lovely spot. The name of Greaves still remains through this district.
The name of Greaves also abounds in the W. Riding of Yorkshire which is near this part of Derbyshire. In the British Museum I saw subsequently a long M.S.S. account of the family of Greaves compiled by Mr. Richard Greaves of Michlethwaite, Gloucestershire. Cleckheaton parish was their home. He quotes very copiously from old wills and records in the W. Riding of Yorkshire, tracing the name under different forms of spelling 'Greves, Graves, Greaves' and then finally traces his own line thence down to Gloucestershire amongst whom were some distinguished men as seen in Nash's History of Gloucestershire and portraits especially of John Greaves, who moved to London and lived to be 102 years old. But amongst his labours search no where indicates any immigration of any branch of the family to Norhamptonshire, the settlement of this branch in Gloucestershire was at a comparatively late period. There are tombs to this family at Moseley in Birmingham as may be seen in the County History and by will at Somerset House.
Notes for 7)
Notes: There is in the British Museum pedigrees of the Greaves family in the W. Riding of Yorkshire. Mr. Greaves of Micklethwaite, Gloucester, (hire) tracing his decent from these.
This refers to the Thomas Greaves of Helmdon - but W. Boyd says this is certainly Greve but he gives fr. the Subsidy Rolls (two pages below) John Greaves of Tyng&wrik [Tingewick] 1524, and Robert Greves 1543.
I did not know at the time I was pursuing this Derbyshire and Yorkshire search that the family had already settled in Northamptonshire from a very early period, much earlier than I then supposed. On asking old uncle James and others whence our family had come. They said that there was a tradition that three brothers had fled from Yorkshire in consequence of some difficulty in connection with some horse dealing. Another version not coming from such an accurate a source was that three brothers fled from Wales. The Yorkshire tradition came from the oldest and most trustworthy source and as it plainly appears from Lipsam and Mr. Richard Greaves' researcher that the family was in those parts during the Middle Ages. This tradition is probably true.
But if the immigration took place it must have been at a very early period as we find the family in Northamptonshire 1524. Moreover our
Northamptonshire crest is an eagle with two heads which differs from the Derbyshire tomb. The two headed appears however to be more generally used. I found the late Edward Greaves, MP from Warwick used a crest with two heads altho he could not tell me much of his ancestry. This point I must defer for further information.
(A genealogist whom I met at Somerset House said to me that the theory of three brothers' settling in a particular part was such a common myth without the slightest foundation that he could not attach value whatever to such a tradition unless it was supported by clear evidence. This is not the case here for the family had been in Northamptonshire, evidently, as far as the available records extend.) - note by John Albert Greaves 1890
When I was Vicar of Towcester a Mr. Bridgen, an octogenarian, came from the British Museum to search the register for a name. I was hospitable and in return he sent me shortly afterwards the following entries from the Northamptonshire__________ /bees (diocese?) which is the first notice I popep of the family in the county.
15 Henry VIII (1524)
||Thomas Greeve in goods
||John Greve in goods
||Phus Greve in goods
|Hynton and Steeton [North Yorkshire]
||Thomas Greve _esisen in wage
|28th October 35 m. Elizabeth (1593) Exchequer Lay Subsidies Northampton
||Robert Greeves in goods
||Illti viijs (157)m2nd
|| 10th October 39 m. Elizabeth (1597) 157
||George Greeves in lands
|| X [Northamptonshire]
Mr. William Boyd, genealogist certified that this word is Greene and not Greeve and so the family does not appear this early in Northamptonshire. But he gives John Greve at Tingewick [Buckinghamshire] paying tax 1522.
John Albert, fifth child of Thomas IV and Susan (Coates) Greaves was born in the old cottage at Haversham, at three o'clock Feast Sunday Morning, St. Matthew's Day, 1829 in the back room over the kitchen looking toward the meadows (altho’ I opened this East window only in 1886). In stature like unto great grandfather Greaves, auburn hair and red whiskers, tho’ not quite as red as the colour photograph represents, with grey eyes and aquiline nose like his eldest brother, Thomas, or uncle John. His mother regarded him as the least robust of her children (tho’ he is the longest survivor) and he was much devoted to books from his childhood and would spend hours alone playing with his toys upstairs, whist his more robust brothers were out of doors.
He was quick and experienced very little trouble at learning and was usually at the top of his class. He went first to a junior school in the village and then, with his elder brothers, to a school at Stoney Stratford, kept by Mr. Barnes, a good man. After this they went to Mr. Addison who had a large school at Castle Thorpe at the first house on the right from Haversham.
Mr. Addison's School at Castlethorpe
In old times the floods of the Ouse were very high at times before the river was cut straight and widened by the L & N W R C below the viaduct in Haversham meadows. I remember once we had gone as usual in the little pony cart to Stratford and the river rose rapidly during the day and my father got through the water with great difficulty as the water reached above the flanks of his tall racing mare, Dolly Spier. He met us just as we were approaching the flood from the Stratford side in ignorance of our danger and took us back by Old Stratford, where there was a bridge, and by Thorp Brook and Grove Corner and so we got home very late.
It is one of the traditions of Haversham that a poor young girl riding behind her father slipped off into these deep waters in a flood and was not missed until too late. One of the Busby's, it was said, whose tombstones are in the church yard.
||We next went to a school at Old Stratford kept by Mr. John Jellery, a native of Cosgrove, at the house which had been Saracen's Head Inn, kept by Mr. Capes, but is since called Trinity School. I can remember the frightful Saracen head with flashing eyes on the sign board on the inn.
All the towns on the old London and Chester turnpike opposed the
L & N W R and it was driven from Stratford and Northampton and had to make its way by the by-palls of Wolverton and Blisworth. But it soon drove all the old coaches off the road and this inn, with many others in Stratford, were closed. No more exciting scene can be imagined than that which was seen daily at Stoney Stratford or any other town on the main turnpike to London. Coach after coach drew up successively with the sound of the guard's horn to announce their arrival and to summon a change of horses. It barely occupied two or three minutes to unhook the weary ones and put in fresh ones and with a crack of the whip, when passengers were hastily seated, they flew off again. Every available stable was filled with well-groomed horses. When distinguished persons were passengers there was great excitement. I remember seeing Marshall Soult alight at the Cock Hotel and retire for a brief refreshment there.
Before going to this school at Old Stratford we were sent for a time to Helmdon, West Towcester at the suggestion of the Rev. Pryce Jones, curate of the place, who was a very old friend of our family. The father of Pryce Jones was the vicar of Abthorpe. This school was kept by Mr. James Poole, but I went to Mr. Jones to hear Latin. He put me at once with Virgil's Aeneid to make one class with his son, William, and my brother, William, who were four years older. But it was an unmeasurable expectation and tears marked the page where I floundered hopelessly in the not very easy idioms of the sixth book of the Aeneid. He soon allowed me to substitute a Delectus and by this easy passage I approached the language with pleasure.
At Helmdon Church there was a Western Gallery and musical instruments as was then universal. We boys sat in the gallery and enjoyed it to the full. The universal bass viola was there provided by the parish and for festive occasions. It was very grand when, from a neighboring village a trap tambourine and cornet came and sometimes as ophicleide, called commonly 'horse's leg'. This gave occupation to many men on Sunday who were obliged to be there. I kept up the love and cultivation of music all through our country villages. And as a band of music is always an attraction many came to church to hear it and if the tunes were florid (as Martins Lake, nativity) it was all intended and hearty. I think it has been a distinct loss to the Church to substitute an harmonium played by a single woman for the great and wide spread interest in the singing. In proof whereof the Salvation Army with their bands parading the street on Sunday are now using music which we have discarded. I suppose however, chanting is almost impossible without harmonium or organ and this may have led to the
St Mary Magdalene - Helmdon
institution. Each age has its own tastes. We stayed here two years. We used to go by carriage to Towcester and there the old pony met us with our cart. She was an old Welsh mare, a faithful creature who lived to a great age.
After going to Mr. Jellery of Old Stratford for two years we went to Brackley School. This was not the Magdalen College School near St. James, which was in a state of abeyance, but at a very large academy just opposite behind a row of arched elms. It had been formerly kept by Mr. Lee and now had come under the charge of a really first rate scholar, the Rev. Hugh William Smith of St. John's College, Cambridge. His brother was a distinguished agriculturist at Woolstone, Bucks.
We were thoroughly taught here. It was the best school I ever knew in point of accuracy. We were expected to recite without displacing a single word. We learned geography off blank maps and every Saturday we repeated a portion of Latin grammar by heart, going through the whole of it excepting Prosody. We were sent into the fields for half days to test our geometry by measuring fields, whilst we read so many authors that I have often wondered to what proficiency I might have attained if I had remained there. I left when little more than sixteen years old. I had then read not only the more common Latin authors as Virgil and Horace, but also Livy, and Invenal and Celsus5. When I went up to Oxford for three years, I mentioned these books which I never opened at Uppingham.
A fellow scholar was the Rev. Joseph Foxly, who was born at Turweston and he continued with Mr. Smith til he went up to St. John's, Cambridge, of which college he became a fellow. Mr. Smith's own son, William Francis, is also a fellow of St. John's.
Unhappily for my future scholarship, though happily for my general culture, I was removed at Christmas 1845 in order to go to Uppingham Grammar School, to which the Rev. Henry Holder, late scholar of Bulscott and the first Club man, had just been appointed head master, vice Dr. Butterton.
I was confirmed the summer before I left Brackley School, 1845, by Dr. Kaye, Bishop of London at Stony Stratford. This was Bishop Kaye's last visit to Bucks, as this county was now transferred to the Diocese of Oxford to which the able and energetic Dr. Samuel Wilberforce was this years appointee. The young people were taken in wagons, kindly provided by the farmers, and there was a very large gathering. The aged Bishop laid hands two by two on a whole rail full and then repeated the words of benediction. He afterwards read some remarks from the desk and I did not much remember them. The Rev. William Godfrey, my God-father, gave me a little book of preparation, which I used privately for which I was thankful. The Rector of Haversham called one day and my brother, Ed, and myself were sent into the parlor to him and he said he was
5 A. Cornelius Celsus; the greatest of all the Roman physicians.
quite sure we both knew the catechism and its meaning and he would give us our ticket, which he did then without any question.
There was a Mickaelmas celebration of Holy Communion at Brackley but I did not stay. The sixty or seventy boarders were crowded together in a small space in St. Peter's Church. The Rev. W. H. Smith is rector of Biddlesdon.
I went to Uppingham February, 1846. Oakham was first thought of but the fame of the young master of Uppingham was greater than that of the aged Dr. Doncaster of Oakham, who immediately afterwards retired to the college living at Navenby in Lincolnshire. My uncle, Edmund took me to school that he might see for himself what it was like. He said he had never me a stranger whom he so much liked as Dr. Holder. I found too in Dr. Holder a life-long friend. From the commencement we were warm friends and he wrote a letter to me on his wedding day when he married Margaret E. D. Edmonds. She died after the birth of her fifth child. I went to Durham with my brother-in-law to stand Godfather to Henry Edmonds Holder, baptized in the noble font of Durham Cathedral.
Holder was the first High Churchman with whom I had personal contact. I had read G___ Siege of Lichfield and P_______ Tales of the Village.
I had formed from them an idea of what a good clergyman would be, but I had not got further. Born myself in the neighborhood of Olney and living much in holiday time with Rev. W. and Mrs. Godfrey at Ravenstone, I was in the midst of the Tradition of Newton and Cooper and Leigh Richman and Fry of Emberton as the rector of the place was of the Evangelical type. One curate had lately come to Clifton, Rev. T. Evelts, who had weekday prayers but this was all whist the older clergy wanted.
In Holden I saw someone who was of equal personal piety to any example which I had seen, and added the observance of the daily prayer (somewhat absorbed) in school, the keeping of Saint Days with service and sermon in the parish church, and the inclusion of fasting in Lent and singing as a joy at festival, and the coaching of us by catechismal book to be read on Sunday, and by sermons to boys on Sunday evening. We were taught to chant and Mrs. Holden played to us. He threw his garden open to us on Sunday afternoons. He lectured to us in architecture. We read the Prayer Book responsively and got accustomed to responding in church, and so broke in upon the tradition of parson and clerk which prevailed.
He preached to us directly of the Holy Communion and I began at once to stay though, at first, there were but three of us who continued to do so. I became also the Sub. S. P. G. having afterward my first meeting here and expressed an intention to go out for mission work when old enough.
I was thrown into a real world in the public school and no doubt the training was good. Holder was a perfectly good fisherman and fair cricketer as well as a devoted churchman and things were pleasant enough. I did not join
in games very heartily. I was just in the eleven because I could catch a ball. I suppose I was not over strong and rather shrank from very violent exercise. I studied too hard and was sent home from school with a bad cough and the worst results were feared.
One day I was sick in bed those words of the Prayer Book crossed my mind, "I shall die but live to declare the works of the Lord" and forthwith I seemed to recover daily. I returned to school but had been backened somewhat in my work and hard reading was quite optional. At Brackley there was no escape from Smith's dark strong eye, while at Uppingham we could read at our recitation and get help with our verses and learn from translations. Those who chose to work could do so, those not so minded did not. I gained a prize for a Latin poem, "The Great Britain Steamship", and could always write verse. Holder excelled wonderfully in verse as an old Shrewsbury man and devoted too much time to these. We read Riles, Prelectones Academic as a standard book instead of Luz and Taulas which would have helped us at Oxford. I don't think the whole course was judicious however, I got a exhibition from the school.
In the spring of the year 1848 we had news from Oxford that there was a Buckinghamshire Scholarship to be tried for a Lincoln College, founded by Mrs. Tatham, widow of the late Rector Tatham. She had left a considerable sum to the college but the laws Mortmain had interfered and only this scholarship was saved. It was worth fifty pounds a year and at the suggestion of Mr. Bampfield, our excellent third master who had a brother in Lincoln, I went up by coach from Blisworth. My uncle Ed thought it was no use. My mother said, "I lay a guinea he gets it." Holden wrote for me a very kind letter to the tutor, he said it was a case of spec rather than R s, for I had been hindered by bad health but he believed that I should come out well at last. He said I was one of a large family and fatherless. I do not know what his letter weighted, or whether my exam was satisfactory. I thought it very bad for it was the first exam I ever had and I was nervous and awkward and made some bad mistakes which I corrected in voice as kindly Dr. King pointed them out. However, thanks to a Providence, William Holder has never failed to help and govern.
I was sought for by the college porter with the important news and hurried up to the rooms of R. S. Sanderson in Lincoln to receive the congratulations of the Uppingham men then at Oxford, Hankin of Oriel, Hy Temple of B. N. C., C. H. Cholmeley of Magdalen, R. W. Marriott of Exeter. This was March 29th. I remained in school until the following Michaelmas. Holder was unwilling for me to go to college and he said I could spend another year at school, but the scholarship made it imperative and I also gained forty pounds exhibition from the school and so whereas beforehand I could not see how I was to be maintained at college. Ninety pounds was available which was nearly enough for a quiet man. Among my school fellows I ought to mention the name of Charles Winfield of Tickencote, afterwards fellow of All Souls and R. G. Welwyn of Herts
and Henry Hawsel, Fellow of Magdalen, Henry Leach who went to Cambridge, Bishop Willis of Honolulu and many others.
I went up to Lincoln in 1848 and spent my first term in George Bampfield's rooms which were the attic, immediately touching the East end of the Chapel. Next term I had the attic north of the entrance of the gateway. I suffered so much from headaches in Oxford that I could not read satisfactorily. I determined to try the largest room then vacant, and moved to the ground floor next to the Chapel, but I afterwards found that the coal cellars of the college were here and these were dull oppressive rooms. Two terms consecutively I was obliged to go down. When I got home and could ride on a horse I seemed better but in Oxford I seldom felt well. I believe now it was much a stomach affliction but my head has all my life troubled me when I tried to study very closely. On a second occasion as medical advice gave me no relief, I determined to close my books.
Lincoln College - Oxford
I was reading fifteen in my thirteenth term which I did in Trinity term in 1857. Holder blamed me for this. He said he had made enquiries about me from time to time and believed I could have got a second class but I had no one to advise me. Tutors did not advise. Mr. Godfrey, who was my guardian, wooden and imperturbable as ever, did not say anything and if I had gone away for a year, which was what Holder wished, I should have lost my scholarship and exhibition which depended on residence. I had imbibed from Pattison the erroneous and dangerous opinion that unless a man got a high class a lower was of no use. I say this is a most pernicious idea, for I hold that any class is better than none at all, for it not only preserves a man's name in the lists but it is an evidence that a man has read something and has not satisfied himself with a state of well being during his precious Oxford days.
I enjoyed my Oxford days more than I can say. Individual freedom, restraint from college lecture and Chapel and discipline provide a most enjoyable state of reasonable happiness. I tried to keep at my Chapel after the example of Horkins, which was sometimes a difficult thing as I had not a watch that was reliable. Two or three times I missed accidently. Once I remember walking to Cassington. We found it so far that my companion and myself failed to get back till the door was closed. I went to the early celebration at St. Mary's. The first night I slept in Oxford was at the King's Head and I heard a church bell ring in the morning before seven o'clock. I dressed hastily and followed the bells and they brought me to St. Mary's early communion. I kept it up when I came into residence, first consulting my tutor, Pattison.
As dear Pattison wandered away into the wiles required by speculation, it is only fair to record how well and tenderly he advised me. It was an awful ordeal to call upon Pattison and required much resolution to face his petrifying gaze through spectacles. But under the exterior, which was more shy than frigid, there was a kindly sympathetic heart and if we know enough to justify us and any
definite conception of a case like his where intellect and logic "science so called" over mastered faith. I would desire to pray and praying to believe the Infinite love of God may pity the error and restore the lapse. He did not change but outgrew his previous conviction, as a garment too small, but this surely was not the normal or uniform growth of the whole man, but as overpowering of intellect to the neglect of the moral virtue, charity and active benevolence. If he could have seen how little the happiness of mankind at large depend on mere abstract study for study's sake and how much more important for the good are the active charities of life, his ideal in life would have been strongly mortified if not directed to other channels simultaneously. He was tender and kind and invited me to come to his rooms more than the other tutors, indeed of all the tutors, who in respect of religious views, were upright and irreproachable.
He said to me on this occasion, "What is your difficulty?" I said, "A fear lest too great frequency should diminish a fitting reverence of Holy Communion." He said, "What is Holy Communion? It is an act of worship, the greatest indeed but such an act of worship. Now do you find in worship, as in private prayer or other devotional practices that frequently produce indifference?" I replied, "No, it was rather the contrary. The more regularly or frequently when prayed the more one found its value." He said, "You will be quite safe in applying this strategy to the subject in question." I continued the habit and it was a very precious one.
The college and Chapel were at 8 a.m. and the early service was at 7 a.m. In winter it was dark and through the early light, dark figures gathered along the streets and on entering St. Mary's the two lights on the altar gave all the light we had in the chancel. Edwin Palmer, of Balliol and James Riddell were always there and also H. M. Oxenham and H. Parry, now Bishop of Perth. Ed Ring, now Bishop of Lincoln, was always there and he and Edwin Palmer, whose very shrill voice was conspicuous, always knelt on the right hand as you enter behind the stall. J. B. Jenkins, (good soul now in Paradise set amidst new candles) was there, Lewis Gilbertson and G. A. Jones now of Cardiff, Rev. Young of Lincoln and many others, Siddons sometimes, but I think the L. of L. men could not go out before chapel. F. Bathwell of Merton, now Archdeacon of Bedford, Dr. Romastess of St. John's, like President Wigatsonie, forbad the gates to be opened too early.
Dr. Pursey came sometimes and was observed to continue kneeling throughout even at the Gloria in Excelcis, La Gent at the mission of Exeter, C. R. Eden was vicar a little time and then Charles Marriott whose weak looking frame seemed to gather all its strength for the Gloria in Excelsis. In those days there was no attempt at ritual but was perfectly simple yet how earnest and real Communion in the stillness and freshness of the early day would seem.
We had a little brotherhood in Lincoln and I was asked after a time to join it. Its rules were simple; to attend chapel when possible, to observe the Feasts
and on Friday to learn to say the Penitential P.S.S. and not to drink more than two glasses of wine after dinner and other rules employing caution and watchfulness. There were but few members of it and just before I left, it was merged with the larger B. H. T., which still exists, 1889. It was a help to have some rule of life. The question was raised about this time whether it was well to bind men definitely, as in the matter of wine, so Dr. Pursey was consulted (for he was our superior) and he said, "A rule was helpful and wise because men's ideas of moderation differ very widely and it was better to have a definite standard." Our strict rules made our society small but it was strong in affection and sympathy and I found it a great help. We used to have tea and eggs in our rooms on Friday instead of going to hall to drink and on Sunday nights we used generally to meet for company.
At one time I found bad headaches on Saturday resulting from the vigorous observances of Friday and I went to Dr. Pursey who told me, first, that I was not of age and that it had not been considered for persons growing to arrange to fast severely. Secondly, that it was wrong to disable oneself from doing ones daily work and it was always better to seek direction in these acts. He told me not to diminish the quantity of food on Fridays but eat what was plainer. This advice was good and I found it helped me. I consulted Dr. Pursey on another occasion when I felt terrified and in difficulty and I willingly testify my sense of value of consulting a wise and experienced and spiritual minded man and he, be it observed, never invited or advised anyone to come but if they came, he gladly received them. I remember well when I first called at his home in the South West corner of Tom Quad that a quiet man in black opened the door and I said, "Is Dr. Pursey at home?" He said with his sweet smile, "I am Dr. Pursey. Did you wish to see me?" He afterwards explained that the servants had all gone to church for it was just after the sermon that I had called but he was so humble. Speaking of him, I was in the Bodleian Library with Mr. Small and he called my attention to a person whose back was turned towards us bending over at catalogue. He said, "Look at that man. Did you ever see such a head?" I walked by to see who it was and it was Dr. Pursey. It was a wonderfully developed head.
Dr. Kay, D.D. was tutor when I was elected to my scholarship and when I came into residence he lived in the street room with the Oriel Window looking on to All Souls Churchyard. I was not in any lectures with him and he soon left for Bishops College, Calcutta, to which he was appointed head. He was a good man as the theological world knows, a man of fervent piety, he was not popular as a sub-rector though. He was considered brusque in manner and not a born ruler of men. F. F. Perry was another tutor and I think I was considered to be under his care but I had no demonstration of this beyond one call. He was considered the best writer in Oxford and has since been distinguished as a writer of Church History and is Rector of Waddington with Abbey and Overton,
too. Lincoln has become conspicuous in this field of research.
I passed my final exams in June, 1851 and as I could not be ordained earlier than December, 1852, I wanted a tutorship to fill up this time which would have been more profitably occupied at a Theological College if such an institution had been available. I think that Chilterton was then at work under P. O. Freeman but I could not afford to lose time and Mr. Godfrey did not suggest it. A. W. Madden, of Madden & Stubbs, had been requested to find a tutor for Mr. M. D. Williams of Cwmcynfelin near Aberystwyth, Wales and he spoke to Pattison and Pattison recommended me. The offer came by letter while I was making hay in Great (Homes) Meadow and my uncle brought it down. When I opened it and read it that offer of one hundred twenty pounds a year and to live in the house, he said, "Ah boy, that will pay you better than making hay!"
I had a very happy year there. I went to Shrewsbury by rail and thence started at two a.m. on the top of a coach for Aberystwyth as there was no railway. It is a beautiful drive in the summer to Welshpool and Newtown along the Severn River to Llanllowell6 and over the ridge to Llacnyateth7 along to the Vgamway and so towards Aberdovey and north to Aberystwyth. Matthew Davi[es] Williams was in the old parish of Llanbadarn Town where his parents and family were buried. But immediately below his house in the valley of the Clarach was spot called Llangorwen which ambition and name alike invalidated the probably existence of a church in previous days. So he and his family built one and his cousin, the Rev. Lewis Gilbertson, fellow of Jesus College, accepted it with meager endowment, and here probably the only church where is said morning and evening prayers in Welsh.
I had four boy pupils, George was at Trinity, Oxford, Charles, Isaac and Lewis were younger. I met here the Rev. Isaac Williams, author of The Baptistery" and the tract on 'Reserve' in the tracts for Times. He was a quiet and humble man, in that time of feeble health. Of the other children, Kate is a Sister of Mercy and a fine woman. She used to ride a horse that few could manage. I used to ride Collyn, a brown mare that shied very frequently and badly, this riding prepared one for future travel on horseback. I had the great blessing here of the society of Rev. Lewis Gilbertson one of the most saintly men with whom I lodged when the hall was very full. He used to read aloud 'Special Commitments' during breakfast and I derived much council from him at this particular period of my life. I regarded his continued friendship as one of the blessings of my life and one of the losses in teaving Hellidon for Lincolnshire to be again separated from him. I returned to Oxford in the autumn of 1852 to look for a curacy.
All Saints - Llangorwen
6 Possibly Llanidloes.
7 Possibly Llangurig.
The towns in italics are not found using this spelling in the The County Maps of
Old England 1830 by Thomas Moule or the modern maps of Wales.
Dr. Pursey wished me to go to help at St. Saviours, Leeds where they were very short handed, mainly in consequence of secedes to Rome. I was not unwilling as I had never felt any temptation whatever towards Rome though I had known several who had seceded. Mr. Godfrey, however was very angry at the proposal and I did not think it right to act against his wishes and certainly it was not well to expose an untried deacon perhaps to the companionship of other clergy (for all lived together) who did not know the ground on which the English Church based her claim to our allegiance. Holder strongly advised me to get into a good town curacy, no such appeared at present and at this juncture the Rev. Plumpton Wilson L. S. R., rector of Knaptoft, Leicestershire came up to look for a curate for his new parish which embraced the Chapelry of Shearsby. His son, Plumpton, had been my warm friend at Uppingham and at Oxford, together they prevailed me to accept the charge of Shearsby and live there, the Rector living at Mowsley, two miles off.
I was ordained by Bishop Davys of Peterborough at the Cathedral, 4th Sunday Advent, 1852 and priested by the same Bishop at the same place the following Advent, 1853.
Shearsby was a secluded village seven miles from the nearest town. There had never been a resident clergyman, the mother church at Knaptoft was in ruins and the former rector and their curates had lived at Mowsley and given Shearsby one service on Sunday. Now the bishop required two services so a resident curate was necessary. The Rector rented an old farm house in the center of the village with road all round it. There was no school and we opened a school in an old dairy barn at the south end of the house. The mistress lived in the kitchen adjoining and I lived in the parlor and she waited upon me and an old woman came in besides every morning. As the school was there in my house I was able to open it every morning with prayer and singing and gave scripture lessons. As I took other subjects my school became most excellent, the mistress doing her part well, too. There were no government inspectors in those days and no grants but I collected from the landowners and from children's pence to pay the expenses and many people came to hear the children's examinations. I started a quarterly missionary meeting also and many contributed their pence. I got services on S. S. days. I did not attempt more. Descent was very strong, especially in Baptists, having an old established chapel in Mowsley where Robert Hall used formerly to preach and the Baptists are usually very positive.
St. Mary Magdalene - Shearby
There were many Mormons in the village and some of them went to Salt Lake City. After I came I endeavored by kindness and singleness of heart to go amongst all. I called upon and listened to what they had to say and said little, feeling that the church which had never lived amongst them was in no position to reproach them. A poor woman, a strong Baptist, was confined to her room with a lingering sickness and by request I called to see her and read to her one of the
sections from 'Visitation Informer'. She asked me to come again and I went regularly once or twice a week all the time I was in the parish. Eventually she wished her children to he baptized and they joined the church in the time of my successor. I did not press the matter much. There was another poor man, bedridden, Mr. Bottink, whom it was as a sermon to visit, such prayer, such knowledge of Holy Scripture and such resignation amidst extreme sufferings and cold surrounding. Oh, how does God sustain his own without the help of man? Another man, the old blacksmith, was, I think, the noblest type of a churchman I ever saw. He always came to church and had never left it. He carried a large Prayer Book under his arm and read it and was never absent. I never knew a man who knew the Scriptures more intelligently and who better appreciated the Prayer Book, yet he was quiet and unobtrusive, devout yet humble and quiet and undemonstrative amongst the loud preaching of the Baptist and Mormons. He had such a native dignity withal, he seemed to have caught it from the time of the Prayer Book. I have always regarded him as a type of the Christian which the Prayer Book, if faithfully followed, is able to produce and it is to my mind the highest type and seemed to accord so well with the English Character. Yes, Edward Harris was a blacksmith and a poor man and the clergy and church had given him no special attention, but had given him church prayer with a sober practical tone and this seemed enough.
My school had helped me to the hearts and interest of many parents whom otherwise I should not have known so well. This parish was my first love and I don't think I have ever since gone heart and soul into any other and I have often doubted whether I ought to have left it. I have wandered over the earth but I hardly know for what purpose. I loved these people very much. The Mormons would not come to church but after awhile they would tolerate me and I could go to their houses. The older Baptists were softened and the younger ones had less prejudices. The parish was not too large for my strength or sympathies, about three hundred fifty population. I had cordial supporter and friend in the wife of my principal farmer and he himself had quarreled with most of his neighbours as he was considered a conceited aspiring man but was most kind to me and lent me horse and carriage whenever I wanted it and if I did not ask it, and he knew that I had any invitations he always offered it. My Rector would not tolerate him, to me he was most civil. I had a pupil from a neighboring village, a backward young gentleman who rode over to read three hours in the morning, which doubled my income and enabled me to take my brother, James, and prepare him for Durham University. Why was all this work broken up? My successor was a weak man of St. Bedes who married the widow school mistress, who was his and my housekeeper and then seceded to the see of Rome. After him were several changes. One a good man who did much but did not stay long and then when I revisited it some years later I found a middle aged gruff man whose record must be left to the judgement of the merciful God for many opinions were very bad. The poor parish was adverse to part with me and was adrift, I think very much after I left.
I became engaged to Agnes, fourth daughter of my Rector, in January, 1856. This did not make my departure quite necessary but some of my friends did not like my remaining in so small a place. My old master, Mr. Holder, whose interest in me had never flagged, wished me to go back to Oxford to a vacancy at Magdalen School with a house and boarders seemed to offer an opportunity. As I have grown older I believe less than ever in changes, especially changes of diocese. I think the cannons of early church forbidding this were very wise, however as the prospect seemed suitable in many ways, I left Shearsby went to Oxford, 17 Long Walk, and took school work with a house of boarders and had a pupil undergraduate as well. My mother and sisters came to live with me but again the confinement of school or the air of Oxford or both again disagreed with me as when I was an undergraduate. I had to take medical advise and was recommended to take shower baths with some little benefit but it seemed fighting against nature for I was heavy and lifeless. As alterations were made in the head masters house which would accommodate my pupils. I had about resolved to leave when the Rev. Ralph Barnes, Vicar of Bampton, came to the school and asked me if I would represent him in this parish, as he lived in another living at Ardington, Bucks.
It was a peculiar charge. There were three Vicars with equal powers and responsibilities for the duty of the four churches in the very scattered parish alternately. One Sunday one vicar took the services at the mother church at Bampton and the next Sunday he took Aston and Shifford, two and four miles off, and the third Sunday he took the two services at Lea9 and the week duty followed the Sunday so that there was constant rotation. Mr. Barnes wished for a curate because the late curate had, from the pulpit, declared himself a non converted man and declared that the other vicar and curate (his two fellow clergy) were not converted. This was very painful. The curate, G. B. Newman, had the squire's (deceased) daughters as his followers or rather forerunners in this experience and they were good women and seemed likely to draw many people after them and Mr. Newman would not leave. Mr. Barnes said whoever he sent must go first for a few Sundays on trial and see how he could get on in such unpleasant and difficult state of things. To this I accepted.
St. Mary's - Shifford
The squires daughters met and accosting me in a very respectful way for they were true ladies, yet ventured to be allowed to ask me if I were a converted man. I said I had sadly mistaken my work and calling if I were not. But they said they knew the day and the hour when they had felt their sins forgiven. It was a case for a plain and mutual and honest speech. I said that I could not remember the time when I had not prayed and felt God's love, unworthy and impossible tho' I had been. I told them that they must not limit the work of the Spirit which bloweth where and when it listeneth and that there were certainly in the Old
9 Possibly Lew [Holy Trinity]
Testament and New Testament instances when men were called from their birth, sanctified from the mother's womb. They admitted this and said they had no reason to doubt my sincerity and believed it might be so with me, as they had heard of my preaching. It was the most trying passage in my ministerial career thus far. I relate simply what it was given me to say in that house, but they seemed satisfied and Mr. Newman agreed to depart and Mr. Barnes nominated me and I was licensed and as Vicar number three, I took a little house in Bampton.
St. Mary's - Bampton
I felt much rejoiced to be away from school and books and be at parish work again. The Rev. Davis Adams, the resident vicar of second portion, and Rev. Vernon Blake, curate of the first portion, I found to be true hearted fellow workers. Vicar Adams was singularly nice man. He was Justice of the Peace and guardian of the parish and so had a thorough knowledge of business. He as a sportsman but never carried a gun in his parish but took his holiday in September and visited his aged father in Devonshire at Bowden10 near Totnes and got healthy exercise then.
Mrs. Adams was a Miss Fulford whose brother was the first Bishop of Montreal, a very dignified and truly Christian lady who had strong sense and did much in the parish. Mr. Adams was the Rural Dean under Bishop Wilberforce and so quite in touch with the reviving life of the church. Bishop Wilberforce, with that powerful originality which so marked and gave luster to his work, had held an ordination in Bampton not long before and the people had addresses every day from himself and his chaplains and on Sunday the ordination where such a thing had certainly never had been seen before and the result was lifting up of the church to a higher level. A revival in fact of life and power which the whole parish and neighborhood could not forget. Such missions have become more general since. They were unheard of then.
There was double daily service at Bampton and Kimrose on Sunday morning and evenings. The followers of the late curate now said that Messrs. Adams and Blake were not converted men because they could not or did not preach without books. Mr. Adams felt that this reproach must be rolled away and one day in vestry he took counsel with Blake and me about it. He said he was now over sixty and it would be much harder for him to begin new habits than for us, but he believed we ought to try and he intended to do so, so it seemed a duty to show ourselves able. I never heard him preach without a book as we were scattered on Sundays but he really did in a quiet simple way sometimes and although Mrs. Adams thought it not nearly as good as his usual mode, she was glad he succeeded. After a while the excellent Blake succeeded too in preaching without a book and speaking fairly well. One day at Shifford, when I had my written sermon in my pocket was struck in reading the Psalm for the day
10 Possibly either Belsford or Blagdon.
with that verse 'For with Thee is the Will of Life and in Thy Light...' it struck me that I could speak from that verse and I gave it out and did so and having once preached and got through without breaking down I never again lost confidence, but always upon emergency could retain sufficient calmness to say something, although I have all my life since seldom preached without brief heads before me. It was exactly like the experience of swimming to effect when only self progression is required.
So we would go on for some months and then it struck me forcibly that it was a very unpractical arrangement for us all to live within a stones throw of each other at Bampton and have to travel out to distant churches on wet Sundays and to have to walk at almost five miles and back to visit parishioners at Brighthampton on week days. This seemed a strange waste of time and strength and I said that one of us ought to live at one of the outlying hamlets. But the question was who would give up the pleasant society of Bampton and to go and live at Aston or Shifford where were only families of farmers and poor people. I was quite willing to carry out my own proposal and the others were glad to be relieved of constant travel and rotation of visits to sick and schools. Mr. Barnes gave his consent and I took a house in the middle of Cote, halfway between Aston and Shifford church and agreed to be responsible for this end of the parish. This arrangement of separate work to vicars already independent of each other is a different thing from sub-dividing a parish already under one head. So I lived where no clergyman had lived before me in this way in my second parish by which perhaps, I was prepared for the work that awaited me abroad.
For I had never lost sight of my intention expressed at Uppingham School when I attended the first meeting of S.P.G. I had always preached frequently for my neighbors for S.P.G. and had always parochial associations. When I was at Cote about this time my attention had been drawn to the Bishop of Grahamstown's work in South Africa. Archdeacon Merriman was in England and was looking up men. I wrote him but he could not give me definite particulars as to stipend and I said I must go in Faith. I saw Hobhouse in Oxford one day and he said this was not business like as I too thought. I also went to Stratton Audley to see Rev. E. C. Elington who had worked in Kaffir-land and he told me the work was interesting and urgent but said I ought to have more definite particulars than Rev. Merriman proposed, especially as I wished to marry before I went out. I thought it best to write directly to Bishop Armstrong but if he got my letter he had not time to reply to it, for the mail which should have brought a reply conveyed the tidings of his death. So this African business fell through.
Shortly after this time in 1856 when I had been in Bampton parish eighteen months, Redfern, my future brother-in-law, wrote to me to say he had just heard that the Bishop of Newcastle, New South Wales had sent home
urgently for eight clergy and must have them and that here was an opportunity for me to carry out my long cherished desire to work in other lands, two hundred fifty pounds a year and passage paid. I made some inquiries and found it was so, except that the sum actually guaranteed was only two hundred pounds. I had now two brothers in Australia. My eldest brother, Thomas, had gone to South Australia ten years ago and my next youngest brother, Oliver, had gone out to Melbourne three or four years and so I felt that it was not an unknown field of labour for me. I was not long in deciding to go and Agnes was willing as she had a brother in Victoria, too, William Arlington, next to her in age, who had gone out from an office in Manchester when almost a lad in the first voyage of the 'Great Britian' and was living with Dr. Minton there. So parents on both sides were reconciled to part with us feeling that they already had children there to whom our going might be a help or comfort in that far off land, as I think it proved to be.
But a difficulty was now raised by kind Vicar Adams. He said the parish was now going on so satisfactorily after its former difficulties, we were building a large school at my end of the parish at Aston, my going to reside there had answered admirably, and he thought it a very questionable step for me to leave at present usefulness with the possibility of throwing arrangements only recently made out of gear again and that England had her spiritual necessities too and that a man in this work might well hesitate before leaving it. As our views were divergent in thinking that the claims of the infant Colonies quite as great as the care of the people at home and much more difficult to supply, he very wisely suggested that we should refer the point to the Bishop (Wilberforce) for his decision. I thought it a proper thing to do and wrote to the Bishop stating our different views of duty in the case and asking his Lordship's opinion. The Bishop in reply said, "My carriage will be at the station at Oxford such and hour. Come over to me to Cuddesdon and stay the night and we will discuss the matter." I had never spoken to the Bishop at this time and so it shows more strongly the personal care and interest which this great Bishop showed in the humblest worker in his diocese. I went and found the carriage there and I got in and was driven up into the city where the Bishop himself and Lord Arthur Gordon got in also. He scarcely spoke to me then and on the way he and Lord Arthur were reading letters together and discussing matters very earnestly. At my arrival at Cuddesdon Palace I was taken up to one of the numerous little rooms which the Bishop had made in his attic for the use of clergy at ordinations and other gatherings and in due time we assembled for dinner.
St. James - Aston
There was a large party, the house seemed full of people, Mrs. Tait, wife of the Archbishop Tait, was there and Archdeacon Randall and Pott and many I did not know and Ernest, the Bishop's son then a lad, now Bishop of Newcastle, sat the bottom of the table. The Bishop's power of conversation, wonderful, I made the remark writing to Mr. Godfrey that great as was the
Bishop as a preacher he seemed, if possible, greater on conversation the way he kept it going around him, his happy introduction of antidotes and illustrations, the way he stirred up any distant part of the table if he saw conversion flagging was simply wonderful and I thought as one who had it not, how great a gift is this. After a time the ladies left, soon old Archdeacon Randall began to nod in spite of the Bishop frequently appealing to his wisdom and we rose to join the ladies.
But dinner had been late after the work of a long day had first been gone through and the company speedy separated, most had gone and I began to think that I certainly could not see the Bishop that night when he came and tapped me on the shoulder and said, "Come to me in my study." I followed him and found Dr. Trench and Archbishop sitting there turning over and cutting the leaves of a new book with complete attention. The Bishop said, "Dr. Trench, give us your attention for a few minutes. Now, Mr. Greaves, state your case." I replied briefly it was my wish to go abroad as a missionary to New South Wales and my vicar thought our work in the parish was at so important and interesting a stage that I ought not to leave. The Bishop then asked me how long I had been thinking of foreign work, was it a sudden impulse or had I the feeling for sometime in my mind. I said since the days I was at school I had the desire, perhaps there was some love of travel and adventure in my nature too. I had expressed my intention the first missionary meeting which I attended and it had never left me. He walked across to Dr. Trench to talk and I walked to the other end of the room and took up a book. After a few minutes the Bishop called me and said in effect, we have thought it over together and we shall be very sad to lose you from the parish of Bampton and the diocese, but we are better able to fill vacancies than the Bishop of Newcastle is and I think his necessity is greater than mine. You have my permission to go. He showed me up to my room and bade me goodnight. With my way thus cleared I rested in peace.
I might mention as part of the life of Cuddesdon that in the evening before dinner we went to prayers in the Chapel and the Bishop asked me to read the second canticle to the end of the creed. It was his habit to assign some portion of the service to every clergyman as far as possible, I suppose that all might feel that they were not forgotten. Next morning we went again to the Chapel for morning prayer and as we were leaving he touched me on the shoulder and said, "Stay a moment." When all had left he gave me a little book of Prayer (without the author's name) as a memorial and a private letter to the Bishop of Newcastle, commending me to his love and care. Then he said, "I have asked Canon Ellison, who is going after breakfast into Oxford to give you a seat in his carriage and now, goodbye." Thus with this courtesy providing for my getting back over that inconvenient seven miles to Oxford, he hurried off to the multitudinous duties of another day.
I mention this incident not only because it was the cleaning up of my path, but to show the secret of the influence of this great prelate. What pains he he bestowed upon a curate, how he would satisfy himself by personal inquiry and not be content to write a letter in the dark and how he sent one on his somewhat arduous way, rejoicing in the sense of God's Blessing and approval so far as we should see, of the course now taken. A man who could do his work so thoroughly in every point of view could not fail to command an influence in the church greater than any man in this age. Thanks be to God for His unspeakable gift.
Bishop Wilberforce had the great gift of a wonderful memory for names and faces Some years after this, when I had returned invalided from Australia, Dr. Holden pressed me to come to Oxford where the Bishop was to hold a conference at Queens College. As the Bishop walked up the stairs at the entrance from High Street, Holden stepped forward and asked to introduce a friend, the Bishop said cheerily, "You don't need to introduce him. How do you do, Mr. Greaves?" At the meeting afterwards he took occasion to call upon me to speak a few words on the constitution of the Colonial Church and when the Rev. P. T. Strong questioned my statement about the independence of the Church in the Colonies of the State, the Bishop rose and corrected him as I thought rather severely. "Mr. Strong, if a hammer had fallen upon your head and given you a heavy blow it would be of no use discussing whether the hammer ought to have fallen upon your head and given you a heavy blow, or whether we ought to consider that a blow had been given strictly speaking. The State had cut off its aid for the church in New South Wales as Mr. Greaves says and that is a fact, whatever our feelings about it."
It was on this occasion that he preached one of the most original yet moving sermons I ever heard from Romans VIII, "The earnest expectation of the Creation waiteth for the Manifestation of the Sons of God." Everything in this world is imperfect - the flower blooms but to fade, the intellect ripens but to fall back into imbecility. In our moment of closest worship the 'touch me not' seems to intervened we can not lay hold more firmly and inseparably - all is an expectation the leaning out of window listening for the footsteps of the great Advent Day of Redemption. But this is anticipation. It is hard to be silent when I think of Bishop Wilberforce and I feel how imperfectly has any published life given such details which after all make his life the real thing it was.
It was a sorrowful Christmas for us at Cote and Aston, but I had to say farewell and make preparation for my voyage. The parishes of Aston and Cote and Shifford gave me a silver ink-stand which I have always valued much and I had to part. George Giblets drove me to Witney to the coach, and I would see him no more. I preached my last sermon at Shifford on 'St. Paul, kneeling down on the shore and praying' and when Miss Wallis, the farmer's daughter sent me for her album to write something, I at once embodied the same idea in hastily scratched poetry.
I went up to London to see about a ship and called on Captain George Tyrell, the Bishop of Newcastle's brother. He sent a clerk with me to the East India Dook 11 to show me over the passenger ship soon to sail but when I came back to his office on Gresham Street he asked me if it would not be well for me to go out as Chaplain on an Emigrant ship and so employ my time usefully and get my passage free. He wrote to the Emigrant Office and they were very pleased to secure my service for the 'Regina' [670 tons ]which was to sail on St. Patrick's Day in March. I went over it and it was settled.
I had now to get married before Lent came on and the time was short. February 18th was fixed which was actually in Sexagesima week but we were not ready earlier. We were married at Mowsley. The Rev. W. Godfrey and Plumpton S. Wilson, my wife's brother, married us, her father gave her away. My dear uncle Edmund came down which was kind and spoke kindly at the breakfast and said I had never given him any trouble and hoped for a pleasant future for us. The Rev. C. L Holthouse, Vicar of Helwin was there and I think Redfern A. Thompson. I hardly know how many. It was a large and cheerful party, the Wilsons were a large family, fourteen in all grew up, and they were singularly strong and cheerful and to visit their home was at all times a delight to everybody.
St Nicholas - Mowsley
It may be well to give here some account of the family. As regards to Plumpton, there is a pedigree extended to which may be added. At North Witham near Grantham where my son, Alban, was locum demeanus in 1890 I found the following entry of facts. John Plumpton was rector of North Witham from 1750 to 1751. He was buried and had a memorial tablet on the south wall of the Chancel near the west end, by which it appears he was buried Mary 20th, 1766 at 46. Also John Plumpton, rector and Naomi were married January 24th, 1754. I found tombstones to the Stevensons in the churchyard of South Witham in 1890 under the east window. In 1758 February 26th, Dorothy, daughter of John Plumpton and Naomi was baptized. In 1759 June 3rd Susanna, daughter, was baptized. In December 12th Susanna was buried 1761, December 8th, Susanna, daughter was baptized. In Colchester churchyard on the north wall there are some tablets which I believe were taken out of the church at its restoration. Dorothy, wife of Maurice, a daughter of Rev. John Plumpton, died May 4th, 1816 at 58. Also, Anna, of the same Maurice, died. John Plumpton, who died in the West Indies in May 1795, Anna, the wife of John Plumpton, surgeon of the fleet, died February 8th, 1795. It was this Anna, daughter of this John, who married Wilson of Wexford, father of Ruth Wilson.
We had the wedding, psalms sung and the Holy Communion afterwards and we went to Wexford station and on to Peterborough, where I had been ordained. We took the evening train to Ely and did not get there till nearly
mid-night, which made the day a very long one. We had to go to the first inn at the station and rented rooms. We went to service and over the Cathedral for the first time and much admired the lectern. We went on the Cambridge town midday and stayed at the Bull Hotel and walked in the evening. Next morning we breakfasted at Immanuel with the Rev. A. B. Chalker, a Junior Fellow, a friend of our good neighbor, Mr. Badcock of Fleckney. After breakfast he took us over the University Library. I saw Henry Bradshaw and asked him about "Coles, M.S.C." which I thought were at Cambridge. Dr. Bandmill told me they were at the British Museum where I subsequently saw them. With a deep sense of Mr. Chalker's kindness, for he was a stranger to us and which I had never had the opportunity to return (I never shall now, for he died November, 1887, Cannon of Carlisle). We left Cambridge for Newmarket. Emily and Charles Hammond invited us as our time in England was short and Emily would have no other opportunity of seeing her dear sister, Agnes. We went and spent some days very pleasantly there at the Bank12. I walked up to the breezy course most mornings whilst Charles was at the Bank and saw those wonderful race horses with their apparently disportionately long legs, and accidently I saw some races going on. But the noise and excitement of the bettors quite marred the pleasure one might have felt in seeing these beautifully conditioned horses put forth all their strength in simple honest contest. We left Newmarket and returned to Mowsley on Shrove Tuesday.
After a few days of final packing we moved on to Haversham where Mrs. Wilson joined us and where Mr. Wilson also came afterwards. My books and all things were packed. I had some trouble in getting the boxes tinned. Old Jack Wesley declared he was too old to do them and I got angry with the old man because he would not exert himself in such an exceptional occasion. My uncle Edmund, who was calm and not easily provoked and who knew how to manage men, said he would go to him and so I got the boxes finished at last and sent to the 'Regina' in London Docks.
We went to London. Uncle sent his carriage to Mother's cottage for us but did not come himself to say goodbye. Though he was a strong man he had a tender heart and an aversion to farewells. We saw him at a distance watching us from his premises, but he did not come to speak. We met poor Edmund in London, he had a bad cough and his days on earth were numbered, but he helped us much from his knowledge of the City. He gave me a nice microscope and helped us to get some gold finches which I wished to take out with me and saw us off to the South Western Railway Station. We were to join the ship at Southampton. We stayed with aunt John.
The ship had terribly rough passage down the channel and the Captain was glad we were not on hand. The Rev. W. H. Hoare, the Bishop of South
12 This could be the town of Bank in Hants, near Lyndhurst and Southampton.
Conniferry, told us to get a pound's worth of books as a memorial and after some delay we at last got off. I imprudently ate a good dinner with the owner of the ship, Mr. Bray, who came to see us off. I went on deck and felt sick before we were clear of the Isle of Wight and continued desperately sick through the Bay of Biscay. I was unable to lift up my head off the pillow and at the last the old steward came and said I must not lie in any longer and he carried me bodily up on deck. I suppose it did me good but the rough sea and equinoctial gale and cold weather with sunless skies were not pleasant. I however, gradually recovered and soon we got further south to summer skies. I was then able to gather the children on deck and teach them. We had service on Sundays and a good deal of singing and I read prayers below at the doors of the single women's department. Miss Buchannan our most excellent matron, gave me most valuable assistance. This good woman remained a friend through life. She first stayed with Mrs. Barker, wife of the Bishop of Sydney, and then came into my parish and on to Belltrees and the Upper Hunter (river). She married J. W. Jones, who was on the White's Station at Bandon and had one son. I have just heard that he deserted her and that she died. Perhaps she was a little old to marry and might have been happier if she had remained unmarried. She was a good woman and deserved different treatment. "How goes in Paradise our store?"
We had a quiet passage, no cabin passengers except ourselves and Dr. Malian of Yonghal, and Captain B. Thornton and large and funny mates. The Captain brought us cards at the beginning of the voyage. The Dr. Malian, who had been in the army and very stern and military in his bearing, said they were the 'devil's pack board' and if the Captain had seen the misery and destruction brought by cards in the army as he had, he would never touch them again as long as he lived! So they were put away and not seen again. I was glad too for the games of skill are not objectionable but I have a most inveterate dislike to playing for money and will never do it! I too have seen neighbours invited to spend the evening and cards brought out and sums lost which though small, yet were more than simple people cared to lose. The wretched spirit of gambling and money grabbing evoked by cards is, to me, most despicable. I cannot respect a person in whom I see it and I never bought or kept cards in my house!
A voyage of ninety eight days without any deaths or accidents brought us to Sidney. We came through Bass Straits and enjoyed the scenery of Capetown. We had high winds and then soon afterwards we saw the low dark coast line on the horizon. Botany Bay was very beautiful from the sea. The Captain thought the entrance to Sydney Harbour so easy that he spoke of not needing a pilot. The Doctor interfered and said he must insist that so any lives should not be risked! We signaled for a pilot and just at sundown on midsummer eve, as we Northerners would reckon, June 23rd we entered the rocky gateway. Then moved a little further, the sound of chains running out proclaimed that our journey was done.
We had a case of measles on board some weeks before and so we were put into the pleasant grounds for quarantine overlooking the ocean on one side of Sydney Harbour for a few days. As we woke next morning the view seemed unearthly. The water of the harbour shone like burnished silver. The beautiful dove coloured gulls were dipping lightly in the water. The local fish eagle, holding its wings together, its head would dive into the water and emerge with a fish and fly to the rocks. The noise of the strange jackals was heard on the shore and numerous parrots of all hues piped along. The grape tree reared its spears and the rock were covered with flowering shrubs whilst the air was so clear that the range of vision seemed almost unlimited.
Map of New South Wales
We were released on Saturday and took the boat that eve for Morpeth, where the Bishop of Newcastle lived. I travelled with William N. Arnold, M.L.A. who was very civil. When we landed we sent up our luggage to the Bishop's gate. They were all in church. It was about twelve noon and Agnes I carried the baggage between us across the Bishop's paddock to the front door. Soon the Bishop came in from church a very fine stately man with broad shoulders and very upright, hair slightly iron grey and very bright black eyes, a pleasant smile played upon his face. He did not ask me to preach that evening as I was just off a journey.
The next morning he asked if I could ride and I said, "Yes." There was one clergyman and his wife, the Rev. L. H. Ramsay already in the house having just arrived before us. As he could not ride, the Bishop determined to appoint him to the town parish of St. John's, Newcastle (he did not remain long in the colony). For myself the Bishop said he had two parishes which he was especially anxious to fill. One was the hundred twenty mile long and the other two hundred forty or more. The former was Muswellbrook which the Bishop's chaplain was waiting to leave having worn himself out by constant journeying and labours manifold. He had agreed to come and try the care of Morpeth where the travelling would be less and where the Bishop could assist him in the pulpit. There was not really less work considering that Morpeth was the headquarters of the diocese. He soon after returned to England. The larger parish, attended to by the Bishop, was Murrurundi with the Namoi, Liverpool Plains. The Bishop said that I seemed to have average strength and he would appoint me to Muswellbrook.
He asked me if I had ever bought a horse, I said, "No." He said I would have to learn how. I demurred for I knew that I might be easily taken in and have a vicious or worthless animal on my hands. He said he would sent his nephew, the Rev. L. Tyrels with me. We sallied forth the next day amongst the farmers below Morpeth and after riding most of the day we found a young horse tethered to a post. It was rather a rough looking creature but we could see nothing else and we bought Robin for sixteen pounds. Next morning I went to Rourkes of West Maitland and bought saddle, bridle and valise and so prepared to go at once to my new parish.
As soon as I reached Morpeth my first work was to have a dray to take up my goods. I found a dray with twelve bullocks ploughing through the mire with a load of wool, the man demanded sixteen pounds for the load of furniture. There had been a great flood in June, two others had followed in July and August, 1857. It was a memorable year for floods. I thus started my furniture to Muswellbrook and a few days followed myself on horseback and hired a vehicle to take my wife. The roads beyond West Maitland were simply tracks through the woods where there was a mud hole which seemed dangerous, the road turned another way to avoid it. We waded through this slush and mud and came the first night to Singleton, a distance of thirty three miles from Morpeth. Here we bore a letter of introduction to my good brother and hence forward my closest friend, the Rev. James Blackwood, B. A., of Trinity College, Dublin.
Next morning we started again, my wife driven in a carriage and I on horseback. The country became less cleared and the solitary ride appeared very long for I could not keep with the carriage all the time. We passed the Chain of Ponds and here I heard a strange guttural wail in the bush. Turning aside to see what was the source of this doleful scream I perceived it was the note of the crow to which I was now introduced the first time. Passing on further my horse, I suppose, was getting tired and was rough with heavy forward paces. And the way beyond Grape Tree Hill seemed so long I thought I must have missed the roads amidst the half score tracks which lay ahead. At this time looking northward I saw a valley before me and a little brick church with square tower standing in the midst of houses. This then was Muswellbrook. I alighted from my horse and gave thanks for a moment that after coming round the world I had got to my journey's end. I rode on and descending and entered the village where the Rev. R. G. Boodle was waiting to welcome me.
He took me at once to the little brick parsonage by the church, which was our first married home. A delightful place, it was with fruit trees of all kinds in the garden and the verandah was covered with Stephanotis and Passion vine. Two of our goldfinches we had brought with us were hung out in their cages. The next morning a hawk pounced upon one cage killed the bird through the wire. The hawk was so intent upon getting it out that it suffered itself to be captured. The other was attacked afterwards by a butcher bird, as we supposed, when we were in church, as its body was drawn through the wires and the head remained behind. Mr. Boodle was waiting to take his last journey round the parish until I came so that he might show me the way and so I'd be able to travel alone in the future. The Bishop gave me a scheme of the journeys as the parish had hitherto been worked. He told me to try it and if I saw any reason to make alterations to consult him and we would consider it. In this way he had a list of all the journeys made by his clergy and services held and he said we had his full permission to for go the long journey in the hot month of January and indeed he rather advised it.
My excellent church warden of St. Alban's, Muswellbrook, was John Hobart Cox of Nigoa,13 he and his excellent wife, he was son of Clo Cox of Mulgoa. It is impossible to speak too highly of him. He collected the stipend and laboured indefatigable for the clergymen. He and some of his family usually drove in to church on Saints Days. St. Alban's was the only church in the diocese in which there was daily services. This had begun by Mr. Boodle and I kept it up and it has been kept up continuously after the temporary incumbency of the Rev. F. D. Bore and by the Rev. W. E. White until now. Mr. Cox seeing that my horse was rough paced and would tire me, offered to lend me a nice little horse for my first journey. I was also advised that my light overcoat, which I brought from England, would be of no service on journeys. Acting under Mr. Boodle's suggestion, I went to the store and bought a large square of unbleached calico and nailed it right to the stable boarding, and melted up a mixture of oil, soap and beeswax. I painted it twice and cut a hole in the middle to pass my head through. Around this opening a collar was fixed and thus I had a covering that would reach over saddle, saddle bags and myself and reaching almost to the horse's tail. This was strapped in front of the saddle over the valise. Leaving Agnes with Mrs. Boodle, I started with Mr. Boodle on Tuesday morning.
St. Alban's - Muswellbrook
We rode up by Merriwa Church and crossed the Hunter River at W. Hewitt's and Stent's farm, about sixteen miles. Here we had dinner and then service. All the people on the farm coming in and bidding Mr. Boodle farewell very affectionately. After dinner we started for Thomas Hungerford at Baerami Creek. The wattles were in full bloom now with their delicate orange blossoms in the sandy soil and were very striking. We reached the place at sundown and after tea had service at which Mr. Boodle preached again a farewell sermon. I asked Mr. Hungerford how it was that things grew so well in a soil which seemed all white sand. He moved it with his foot and it was damp beneath and he explained that while a stiff clay soil would crack in hot weather and dry up the roots of a plant, the sand never cracked and so retained moisture. He seemed a hardy and very energetic man, an Irishman by tale.
We started the next morning for Crabby Creek where Mrs. McDonald lived. They were Scots and Presbyterian but her husband had died. As there was no Presbyterian church in the district, Mr. Boodle had visited him very regularly and the widow and family were so grateful that they begged him to continue. I did so too afterwards and always had the regular service. My successor, D. G. Birds, thinking to please them read a chapter and a few collects and preached and they made a complaint against Mr. Bird to me, that he did not treat them with due respect in not using the proper service. When a clergyman came they expected from him the proper church service. I was struck
13 A sheep station
with this. We lower our principles often under a false impression. People, if they receive a clergyman, expect him to be what he professes to be and not something else. It was but once in two months that we could go to this place. Oh, how precious was the Word of God to them. God forgive if I did not appreciate sufficiently the opportunity and its importance and prepare accordingly. After service we had a sumptuous meal at which pie and cheese were recommended.
We returned in the evening to Mr. Buchannan at Mt. Dangar for service. Mr. Cox's pony had developed decided lameness since I started. It had been lame before, but he thought it was well. Mr. Boodle borrowed for me a horse at Bradford on our way up to Crabby Creek. This was a noble horse nearly thoroughbred. I was surprised to find how easily I travelled and how the fatigue of a days ride would be minimized by riding such a beautiful horse. I asked for his price, he said forty pounds. I thought the money too much to spend on a second horse. I saw him a few months later and he told me he was glad he did not sell him. He had won twenty pounds at a local race and when I left the Colony, nine years after, I believe he had the horse still. I did not realize then and no one told me how in work of continual travelling where a clergyman's efficiency at these rare visits depends very much upon whether he comes in tired and wearied with jolting or comparatively fresh, an easy horse should be regarded as of the first necessity and should be secured at any reasonable price. The Bishop always bought the best horse he could find and the moment they showed signs of failure sold him and he charged this item to his yearly traveling expenses. He sent them to the sale yards at Sydney.
We always had a nice service at Mt. Dangar. A fair number of people gathered there and the children came dressed in their Sunday clothes and stood in the throng awaiting the arrival of the clergyman long before the service. It was in fact their Sunday in the bush they have no other. The children said the catechism and pronounced their copy books and we had a spirited service and stayed all night. I remember this night seeing the stars shine through the cracks in the roof. We had only a shutter for our window, though it was July and winter, the clear pure air did not seem to get cold. I did not know for a long time that Mrs. Buchannan was a Roman Catholic by birth and education. He husband was, I think, a Presbyterian properly, but they received us so kindly. We were then the only clergy who travelled and I trust God has helped them for their help and kindness they showed in welcoming us, the clergy, to keep up worship.
Thursday. This day we rode to the public house at Peabodys at the Wybong Crossing, eight miles. We had a service where the Peabodys, who were very nice girls, attended and the landlord and one or two travellers. After service the good man provided a sumptuous luncheon, a bottle of port wine among other things and when we asked him what we should pay he said, "Nothing, sirs. If you take the trouble to come so far to preach to us, the least we can do is to give you and your horses something to eat." This opened my eyes
to a new slant of things. We had to start for Merriwa sixteen miles and alighting to see the curious 'Ginger Beer' Springs bubbling and the piles of basaltic columns at the foot of the Nope. We reached Brindly Park at Merriwa, then under the care of E. G. Marlay, Esq., J. P., who was our lay reader and a most excellent and energetic churchman. Friday we kept at Merriwa like Sunday. We had two services in the little state Church of Iron Bark and Sunday School. After service we went to Cullingrabwhere Joseph Cooper, son of Rev. J. Cooper of Jerrys Plains, lived and his excellent wife. We spent the night here and he lent me a fresh horse to ride as my pony was still lame. On Saturday we had luncheon at Coldary where our kind and excellent friend William R. T. Truile lived and presided over his large and busy station and rode for night to Alex Busby's, J. P. at Capites and here we prepared for dinner.
I always kept a change of clothes and of linen. They were always ready for me in my drawer when I arrived month by month. Mrs. Busby was an elegant lady not long from England and so English taste and comfort prevailed. Mr. Alex Busby was an accomplished gentleman with a good library, a M.C. L. and the leading J. P. of this neighborhood. He was helpful in all good works.
On Sunday morning we went down to the village of Capitis in Dalkeith a mile below here there was a school room built of sheets of bark tied to a form of wood with mud floor. In this poor shanty we had a celebrations of Holy Communion and Mr. Boodle preached. He had prepared for a better building which was begun immediately afterwards. We had luncheon, I think at the Constables, in town and returned to Mr. Busby's. After the afternoon service we rode back eleven miles to Collanny and had evening service in Dr. Touill's dinning room which was our usual place of worship up to that time. Later Capitis was the end of our journey and we had to go eleven miles homeward. It began to rain this evening and then I saw what an Australian downpour was. Next morning, Monday, the flats began to show pools of water and the Krui Creek began to rise and Mr. Boodle said that if we did not start to start we would not be able to cross. Probably we should not have started in such a heavy rain except that Mr. Boodle had made arrangements to leave at the end of the week and was very desirous to get home.
So the horses were brought out in the pouring rain and we started for Merriwa, sixteen miles. I now found the benefit of my homemade waterproof cape which covered me well and kept me dry. The black soil was like ploughed land but we plodded quickly on and got to the Krui (creek) which was beginning to get deep. At Bowral we had some trouble to cross this usually small creek but choosing the crossing where the banks were low we got through and after a very weary ride which, however, I did pretty well on Cooper's nice large mare. We reached the Gummum Creek at Merriwa opposite Brindley Park intending to cross to Mr. Marlay's. Logs however were coming down and rubbish in considerable quantity and it was evident that the water was too deep and swift to
be entered and Mr. Boodle prudently rode down the bank to Cullengrial.
On Tuesday morning the water seemed to abate a little but the valley was full of water and the creek unapproachable. After dinner a black fellow went down near the crossing and stuck a stick at the edge of the running water. He went down again in the afternoon and found the water had sunk considerably and later in the evening he went again and said he believed we could cross. Mr. Boodle was anxious to get on, that we saddled up and started. The black boy, when we came to the creek, crossed over first and came back again, then leading the horses ahead the way as he knew the ford well. Mr. Boolle next and I followed on my pony but the water came up to his flanks and I had to kneel up on the saddle. It was a comfort to get over safely and we rode on to Brindley Park that night.
Wednesday we started for home in good time by Gunolive and got some refreshment there from the poor old hut keeper who was always so civil and attentive. We had now seventeen miles to reach Muswellbrook as we went down through the pine scrubs, we came to that horrible country where the crust of the ground gives way under the weight of the horses. The poor beasts have to flounder through the quagmire as best they can, the rider throwing himself off and keeping hold of the rein. We travelled here so slowly through this clay soil and the horses got so weary, that it was evident after a time that we should not reach Nigoa that night. So we made for Mr. Keys at Bengalla late and tired we pulled up here and they received us kindly and then we learned for the first time that the whole valley of the Henclair had been under water and that much property had been swept away and that there was no prospect of crossing for some days.
The next morning, Thursday, however we rode slowly up the ridges from Bengalla towards Nigoa. We got down to the bank of the Hunter opposite Muswellbrook and found that Mrs. Boodle was at Nigoa and that Agnes had been taken away from the parsonage in a cart as the waters reached the back door and was at Dr. Thornton's.
Friday. As the water continued to subside slowly D. H. King got a large box from the store and nailing a triangular piece at each end to enable him to steer it he paddled across the Hunter and Mr. Boodle went over first and then he came for me and then for our saddles and valise and so we were able to get to the parsonage leaving our horses at Nigoa. This ended my first journey and it was a severe breaking in. I do not know how I should have travelled if I had been alone and inexperienced as I was. But God ordered it otherwise and I had a wise and experienced companion in Mr. Boodle and his observation of currents in flood and other advice served me in good stead afterwards. For when I went on this same journey alone in August I was caught in the third flood of 1857.
The Rev. Richard George Boodle, M. A. of Oriel College Oxford went
out with Bishop Tyronville as his chaplain, he was a very hard worker and a tough wiry man but with the care of pupils and this parish of Muswellbrook which had no limit towards the interior, his strength broke and this parish of Muswellbrook which had no limit towards the interior, his strength broke down entirely and after a brief attempt to recuperate at Morpeth he returned to England and became curate of Wells and after, Vicar of Coldford. He resigned the living of Compton Dando to go into and had to begin again as curate. Dr. Thorton of Muswellbrook our medical advisor and a very dear friend wondered very much that the Bishop should send me, who had only average strength and was not probably as strong as Mr. Boodle, to tread exactly in his foot steps with the same certain results. I hardly know what the Bishop was to do when the population was sparse and clergy so few. The doctor considered the heaviest work to be the ride to Merriwa Church two Sundays in the month. On these two Sundays I had the horse standing ready by the time I had swallowed a little luncheon. I had to start at one o'clock in the heat of the day to get to Merriwa, twelve miles by three p.m. Go at once to full service with Baptism sometimes and churchings. Start back by four fifteen or four thirty for full evening service again at Muswellbrook six thirty p.m. and often when roads were heavy . They would begin to ring the church bell as soon as they could see me cross into town - a hasty cup of tea was all that I could take before service, which the loving hand of my good wife would have ready. But in hot weather the strain was great and it was hard to preach.
The monthly journey to Capetis and the western end of the parish occupied nine or ten days of continuous riding and preaching but there was not the pressure of time then as on the Merriwa Sundays. I had a monthly service at the Weli Station and sometimes at one of the Ebinglassie Stations sometimes at Woolshed. Captain Russell's overseer, Mr. Marsh, came from Sandy Creek (Hollow?) and represented to me how entirely bereft of services they were and I went once a month there. My Caritis journey I varied, though I always took in Merriwa and Collaney. Caritis and Merriwa having one Sunday monthly service and the alternate month Friday. Once I went as far as Tamarang baptizing a baby at Tongay on the way and I was overtaken there by rain forty miles beyond Capitis, forty two miles from home, and my service at Turea could scarcely be held as the black soil was awful in wet weather. Sometimes I went back by Neville's of Deridgerel and down the Goulbourn by Bylong. I was induced to go to Bylong which was forty miles from Mudgee because no one visited it and though farther from Muswellbrook than from Mudgee it was on the waters of the Goulbourn.
I started from Deridgerel and calling at Anthony West's had luncheon and got directions. There I was told to follow the road down the river bank until I came to a small creek, after crossing this creek I should see a pond or swamp of water on my left and then if I took any of these main tracks I should soon come
to Bylong. I rode on a new horse who had not much sense and had stupidly refused to eat his food the night before because he had been taken from his home at Mr. Cooper's. I came to a dry water course and said to myself this is not a creek as there was no water in it. I saw a pond to my left and saw cattle tracks to my right but I still had to cross a creek.
I rode on and as evening drew on I tried to force my horse who was now very hungry and tired and soon the land began to rise and I entered a wood of pine trees. I heard nocturnal sounds and felt now that I must have gone by Bylong though I had not crossed a creek with water in it. It grew dark and my horse would not keep on the road but constantly turned off to eat the grass and several times I was obliged to dismount and feel with my hands for the wheel tracks to find whether I was on the road. After a time the woods became more exclusively of pine and the road between them was well defined so I rode on and on. Towards midnight I heard the welcome sound of barking dogs and I knew I was approaching a house. The dogs came round me rather furiously but a shutter opened and a voice asked who I was and I found myself at Mr. Gordon McDonald's, some seven miles above Crabby Creek. They had heard I was expected at Bylong the evening before. They gave me some supper as I had not eaten since mid-day and then only sparingly because the people were strangers. I was very thankful I was amongst friends for the young people used to go to our services at Crabby Creek. Old Mr. McDonald was, however a highlander and could not speak English but only Gaelic and showed me his Gaelic Bible.
When another two months came around I made the same journey and recognizing the shallow crossing as the creek I found Bylong easily. It was Easter and I remember so well that I preached on the "Resurrection, but some men will say, 'How are the dead?"1 There were not many people, there had been many at my previous appointment but I had disappointed them, the notice had been generally made known. I noticed one young man very attentive. It was Henry Pyne, a stockman. I felt sufficient interest in him to enquire of Mr. White respecting him, he had died early of consumption with a good hope. The next morning I wished to start early but they told me that a woman wished to bring some children to be baptized before I left.
She came and lamented much that she did not know of the service the night before, the master was away and his letters were not opened. She said she and her husband had taken all their elder children in a cart to Mudgee to be baptized but now as their family had increased they were too many to travel and they could not leave them alone. The last two had not been baptized. She said I was the only clergyman who had ever visited this place. She had been brought up in Northern Ireland to attend Church regularly and Sunday School and she wept as she recalled those bright and happy days and Sundays of her childhood and I said how dreadful it was to live in a land where Sunday and Public worship were unknown, what would become of her children reared in such surroundings. How could she make them Christians when there was no church. I told her she
must live in hope and that God was near her and would hear her prayer for self and children and would no doubt open a way. Not many years after the church of St. Stephen's was built by Bylong. This way was opened when my successor the Rev. W. E. Wight built at Bylong and also St. Luke at Woolar and held stated services there and in a few years the parish was sub-divided and not only was Merriwa taken off from Muswellbrook and had a clergyman of its own. Dear Mr. S. Wilson was appointed to Merriwa and Capitis and Bylong was brought within reach of pastoral supervision.
My work at Muswellbrook was very happy except that it was so entirely beyond the power of one clergyman to do all that was needed in the vast parish which was unlimited towards the interior. At Easter, 1858 the churchwardens called upon me and gave an Easter offering of one hundred pounds as a present as I had the expense of moving to the Colony and parish and buying furniture and horses, this was very considerable and we had some large properties then in the parish. Collary used to shear eighty thousand sheep on our side of the range and forty thousand at Black Creek beyond. Mr. Alex Busbie at Capitis had many sheep and bred thoroughbred horses from imported sires. Llangollen the property of Alfred Denison was a smaller station, Brindley Park was a large station owned by Mr. Bettington and Collingenal by George Blaxland.
Ebinglasses by Mr. S. Samuel White and Merton Merlandvale and Woolar by Olgilvie, John Blaxham and Thomas Bettington. Pickering by old Mr. Pike who never came to Church. Arch Bell at Melgarra at the head of Wybong, Mr. Cox on the lower Wybong and John Hobert Cote at Megoa, besides, smaller properties. The Dumaresgac sold S. Helicis to Thomas Hull, this family had land at Grendebri and elsewhere besides their place at Darlbrook were Presbyterians. There was no free selection yet. These large parishes were workable provided one was always in strong health but a journey which otherwise might quite break a man. When I went to Capitis in December I was told to publish banns and prepare to marry persons there at my next journey in January. The Bishop gave me leave to omit the January journey if I felt it necessary as this was the height of summer. The heat had been very great and I had a furred tongue and no appetite, though I was bilious and took some blue pills by doctors advice. I think it was a mistake to reduce the strength in a hot climate where, especially in such a case of mine, the difficulty was to keep strength enough for such journeys. I took the medicine however and was still very weak in consequence. When the day of my journey came on I could have omitted it but for this wedding and as the bridegroom was coming in from Dubbo, eighty miles off and the girl was to be left that day alone by Mr. and Mrs. Busby, whose housemaid she was, going down to Sydney, I could not well break my appointment. My nearest neighbor was Rev. Colin Chide of Scone, sixteen miles off, and if I had sent to him he might be from home and it was hard to ask another to undertake such a journey. There was nothing for it but to start and so
I got out of bed and dressed and had my horse, Clough, brought to the door. I mounted hardly able to sit upright and hold an umbrella to keep off the burning sun. I went off at a foot pace towards Mr.Cox's place at the Bylong.
I got there with some difficulty and found Mr. Cox gone from home and only the servants there. Everything was locked up. They brought me some of their supper but the scent of the hung beef was enough, I could not touch it. There was not an egg on the place and I ate a little damper and went to bed. Next day I got into Grenctebri. with great difficulty and took off my saddle and turned it upside-down on the floor of the hut while the good natured old hut keeper got me some tea and a piece of plum pudding (Christmas). I could barely eat it and I mounted again for my last stage to Brindley Park.
I had to alight several times to rush under a tree and my nose began to bleed and I was in poor plight when I reached this hospitable house of our good lay reader, Edward F. Marlay J. P. I could taste nothing, tea, spirits, all seemed hot. At last in despair I asked if they had any colonial wine. They said, "Yes," but it was poor home made stuff. I tasted it and the acidity was grateful and I ate something almost for the first time since I left home. I went to rest but awoke in the middle of the night with the feeling that I was feinting from exhaustion. I went to my little verandah room and was able to knock at the door of Mr. Martay's bedroom window close by and awoke him and asked him to come, I was feinting, he got a stimulant and some food which I ate and so got through the night. Next day he offered to send his carriage for the couple and let me marry them at his house. This was wise but I thought it would inconvenience the wedding party not to have the ceremony at home and then the newly married couple would have to get back home. So I demurred and he said he would then send me in a carriage as I was not fit to ride horse back. So I drove calling at Collary to lunch but not eating. When I got to Mr. Busby's and found the family gone to Sydney and was waiting for tea I feinted in my room. Dr. Morris was sent for and fortunately was at home and came and gave me ether and other restoratives. He went to the cabins and got me some slices of meat which, under his kind attendance, I ate, and so he left me later and I got through the night. He said I had a narrow escape for my weakness was such that he did not know at first whether he could help me through. But God had something more for me to do, I suppose. The next morning I rose and married the young couple in the dining room at Capitis House. And so the work of my journey was done. But I was seventy two miles from home. In Mr. Marlay's carriage I started back but when I got as far as Collary, Dr. Traill, the great friend of the clergy, himself the son of a Scottish clergyman, being a physician though not in practice, saw my weak condition and sent on Mr. Marlay's carriage and kept me at Collary seven weeks before he thought me strong enough to go home.
I should like to pay a more adequate tribute to the character of this man. He came out as a young man to practice medicine and settle at Tenterfield.
The climate was so healthy that he used to relate that he only got two cases in the first quarter so he became an overseer at a station. Being a man of great force of character and good judgement, when Edward Hamilton, brother of the Bishop of Salisbury and chaplain M. R. for Salisbury and the Fellow of Jesus College, Cambridge, retired from New South Wales, Dr. Trail took his place as manager of Clive and Hamilton. He married Hannah Windyer of Raymond Terrace and had a large family of boys, Archibald, Windyer, Mark, Arthur, Robert, Harold, and Cecil.
On a subsequent occasion when he heard that I was overworked at E. Maitland he drove up to the parsonage with his pair of greys and said he heard that I needed a little rest and he had come for me. We were taken by surprise and did not know what to do. I think he had seen the Bishop already and he said he would not go without me. I had to pack up hastily and go Collary. The sun was glaring and I was suffering from headaches and he gave me his green spectacles to wear on the journey and would not take them back. I have them by me and also his photograph. Mrs. Trail died and he married again after I left the Colony. He is buried at Collary, I am told, by the little church.
I was absent on a journey to Capitis when our first little girl was stillborn. Agnes was always brave as well as good and would not have me miss my journeys. Friends around were kind, Mrs. John Cox, Mrs. Thornton and Mrs. White. I was not at home when Alban was born either but arrived home the same night from Singleton. In the midst of work we had to trust in God to go forward.
In May or June, 1859 the Rev. George Rusden, M. A., Pembrook College, Cambridge, Canon and Incumbent of E. Maitland died and at an advanced age. The Bishop wrote and said he had considered well and had come to the conclusion that the interest of the church required that I should go to E. Maitland. I did not wish to move for I was getting to know my parish better and there was no house at E. Maitland and the work not really less, only there were no long journeys. These however, were in most cases a pleasant rest and change of air and scene and Agnes said that whereas I got headaches often after working at home at Muswellbrook the journey to Capitis refreshed me. It was very pleasant staying at the house of different parishioners every night and receiving the best hospitality they could offer. It was also deeply interesting as the work of God was so precious being preached but once a month or once in the two months, that one always felt these occasions were no ordinary ones but full of solemn interest. There was ample time for thinking out ones sermons as one rode alone through the bush that I think they were preached with deliberate preparation and therefore one was at ones best.
One long journeys I must mention before I leave this parish. Mr. Boodle, my predecessor, had once gone out as far as Castle Reach and visited some scattered stations but one day suffered much from not finding water. A shower
came down and by catching the drips off the end of the leaves in a tin mug he got enough to carry him through. I never went so far but a wish was expressed that I should go to Tongee and baptize a child and also to travel to the Elliot's whom Mr. Boodle had found good people. So I got the old Chief Constable to ride with me to show me the road. After sleeping at Capitis we started westward. He had been an old Irish trooper and would not go out of a fast walk. He was an oldish man and his horse had his regular pace and was a strong heavy creature. We reached Tongee at mid-day and rode up this hill and the woman quickly brought us in a nice dinner. I then said at once, "Where is the baby?" She said, "Surely you will stay all night. The men are with the sheep and there is nobody here but me and they expect a service tonight." Though she admitted I had said 'mid-day' in my letter. Unfortunately, I had promised to be at Talbragar that night and Tures the next day and could not disappoint them. So she brought in a candle and set in on the table and some water and we had the Baptismal service and as she and the Constable were the only ones I could not say much.
We started for Talbragar and got there, after a forty mile ride, about sundown. The old constable could not go on faster and some people had gone away in despair of my coming. We sat down to dinner at the Inn, the only place in the village to stay and found a roast leg of mutton and a boiled egg provided for us, too. I then had service in the parlour cleared off tables and stood on a box in one corner. I preached but not very well. It had been a long day in the saddle owing to the slow riding and I was tired and some of the people tho' waiting for me at the Inn had imbibed freely. In the night the rain came down as Australian rain can come down and next morning we started through it to reach Tongee at mid-day afraid and unable to stay long from the heavy roads and got to Capitis that night.
The Bishop pressed me to go to E. Maitland and as he put it for the good of the parish and the diocese and the difficulty he had in filling its cares suitably. I could not refuse and left Muswellbrook in June or July, 1859 for E. Maitland driving tandem in Mrs. White's large dog cart with Agnes and babe, Alban. There was no parsonage at E. Maitland as Canon Rusden had lived in his own house on the hill overlooking the cemetery close to the glebe. He thus provided a home for his family. We had to live in the only house we could find, a small cottage with a galvanized roof and without a single tree or sign of a garden in the allotments above the church facing Bank St. I first had to collect the money and build a new parsonage but considered Bishop Tyrril more responsible for its site than myself, as I wished to have an architect, his lordship did not believe in architects and thought that as he had built so many parsonages, he could amongst all his plans, find one that would suit me. After much weary toil and a tedious arbitration with the contractor which might have been avoided if he had a properly worded contract drawn up by someone familiar with such things instead of myself at the Bishop's insistence we got into the house and I built a tank and planted.
The services were two on Sundays and one at Bolwarra School Room on alternate Sunday afternoons. They asked me to increase to one every Sunday afternoon and I yielded to this. I had to go to the gaol to preach each Wednesday morning and visited more frequently when occasion occurred. This was very heavy work as I had four men condemned to die whom I attended at the scaffold in little more than a year.
One of these was an Aboriginal whose spirit so sank under confinement that he was incapable of any mental or spiritual exertion. And another was a Chinaman who had stabbed a fellow countryman in a gaming house. He was very intelligent and learnt by heart the Lord's Prayer and the Ten Commandments and I was able to baptize him. The others were English.
About this time the Rev. Canon Boodle returned to England and the Bishop asked me to become examining chaplain. I said I did not desire honors but I was obliged to accept them. This chaplaincy involved the preparation of a candidate for Holy Orders as we had no college, and immediately soon after Mr. Enoch Price, who had been an excellent school master, came to read with me. He knew nothing whatever of Greek and very little Latin but the Bishop considered our need so great that he must ordain any man who had any sort of qualification. Accordingly, he placed at the same time another young man named White who had, I think, a kind of sub-librarian in the British Museum and subsequently a schoolmaster, to read with the Rev. A. S. Selwyn of Grafton. These two were presented by me for ordination with scant satisfaction. They were sent to the remote corners of the diocese; Mr. Price to Wee Waa and White to Richmond R. Price was over 200 miles from the nearest clergyman at Tamworth and Mr. White, seventy miles from Grafton. They had no experience beyond lay reading. Certainly a clergyman completely isolated at these remote post had need of great strength of character and of resources within himself. Both these poor young men found the position too trying and lapsed into drunkenness. Poor Price, after marrying, soon died. White after another trial, was deposed or disappointed some way. It was a great caution to me against admitting men of inferior qualifications or without some strongly marked spiritual character to counter balance this lack to the ministry. I strongly objected when my dear Bishop, in after years, wished to ordain one whom I did not consider to have any spiritual character to compensate for other deficiency. He was not ordained in my time, but after I had gone away he was. The preparation of a candidate took some of my already well occupied hours. Then the Bishop came to me in difficulty about Mt. Vincent of Brook's Flat, which was now served by Rev. R. T. Bolton (afterwards vicar to Padbury, England) who had a continual propensity to lose himself and when he went from his home at Hexham would sometimes come out of the woods at home again instead of Brook's Flat. He was so deficient in the organ of locality that his services were most irregular and this was subject of complaint to the Bishop. The Bishop said if I would give one
Sunday a month to these places he would himself take my Sunday morning service. I would go on Saturday night and stay with that excellent old London Clergyman who built Mt. Vincent Church partly with his own hands, William Knox-Child. Then after morning service then ride to Brook's Flat in the afternoon and to my church of St. Peter's, E. Maitland, in the evening. This was an additional burden of course, but I took it in addition to Bolwarra and the goal and the domestic chaplaincy.
Bolwarra schoolroom was a wooden building liable to flood and I collected money and got a site in Langs from Andrew Lang who was in England, and built the little stone church which the Bishop consecrated by the name of St. Andrew's.
I was also elected as secretary to the Newcastle Church County when Mr. Boodle went home and though the Bishop kept the accounts, for he was mathematical and excellent accountant, yet the district reports came through my hands and there were sums of money to be acknowledged and many details. Besides drawing the annual report which contained a summary of the work of each parish and a recording of the growth of the diocese during the year. This involved the attendance at the quarterly meetings of the Committee at Morpeth when grants were made and general business of Depot was transacted.
The Bishop also signified that he wished me as Chaplain, to see the clergy first who had business or complaints to bring before him, as he would then learn it from me and have time to consider before giving them an answer. So my house in E. Maitland became a kind of halfway house to Morpeth. The clergy came to me first and I had to present their case to the Bishop. The above work though considerable was none of it distasteful. I always enjoyed preaching and even the journeys to Bolwarra and Mt. Vincent although they made my Sundays hard, were not unpleasant.
The gaol was trying. Most of the cases were so hardened that I wearied myself often to very little purpose. I rather enjoyed reading with Price for it brushed up my dim theology and the intercourse with the clergy as chaplain and my weekly official calls upon his Lordship at Morpeth to discuss the affairs of the diocese were pleasant. As for the reports of the N. C. S. I could write them without difficulty. I remember the last year when my headaches were too constant and severe to enable me to take any part, the Bishop sent to me asking me to write the opening remarks, if no more as they could then fill up the parochial details without difficulty.
I did this but now there was a task to be laid upon you which entailed constant worry which called for a callous temperament which I did not possess and power of collecting news which my retiring and taciturn disposition did not favour. A diocesan newspaper was called for by the clergy. A meeting was held, all the clergy promised help, only an editor was needed. The bishop guaranteed the expenses for the first year and so it looked easy. I was requested to do this and declined. It was however considered that through me
the Bishop could best convey his wishes to the diocese and the editor must live near the printers.
I hated the thought of it but it ended in the Rev. Y. R. Thackery, Incumbent of St. Paul's, W. Maitland and myself taking joint editorship. I could work with Thackery very well. He was a fair churchman and was intimate with the W. Maitland editors and knew all that was passing. But we had hardly begun 'The Xth Volunteer', for so the Bishop chose the name, before Dr. Dockes of Scone, sent some letters reflecting strongly on the Bishop to whom he was strongly opposed. It seemed'hard to insert these attacks upon the Bishop in a paper which he was altogether instrumental in supporting. Yet if we refused correspondence on church matters of what use was the paper as a channel of communication on church topics?
I took the letters to the Bishop. He said, "If you print this I can't continue to be answerable for the paper." I felt too that we wanted a paper for instruction and information rather than for personal controversy. So we omitted the offensive parts and published the rest. The middle course gave satisfaction to neither. Dockes protested against the mutilation of a letter and then publishing it and the Bishop was annoyed by any part of it being published and so in a few weeks we found ourselves in a most uncomfortable position. Some of the clergy sympathizing with open discussion, others feeling that the paper was not started to air private grievances. Here I had found the work plainly beyond my powers. I was worried and lacked the dash and decision of an editor. My colleague Thackery bore up well. Nothing troubled him and he was fond of publicity and has subsequently devoted himself wholly to newspaper work. But the Bishop and clergy were not willing to leave it entirely in his hands and I dragged on leaving him to do most of the work. The clergy sent in absolutely nothing. The Bishop began well but cooled and after a time I broke down under the weight of my three parishes and gaol and Bishop's chaplaincy and secretaryship of church sessions and with the newspaper added and my headaches became so bad that Dr. Traill drove up to my door one day and took me away to Collar[o]y. The paper died. It was a position in which it was improbable to have succeeded.
The Rev. Skinner Wilson, B. A. of Oriel College, now arrived in the Colony and the Bishop appointed him to my parish while I rested. He, as the son of Dean Wilson of Fyvie, Aberdeenshire and a grandson of Bishop Skinner, Jane Skinner was his mother. He was my dearest friend, married J[a]ne White of Edenpassie and died of heart disease supervising or over exertion in travelling at Merriwa, when he built a parsonage and now sleeps awaiting Resurrection of the Just, the Energetic, the Brave and True. "Sit anemia Mea Cum Illo PIX"
The climate of E. Maitland is relaxing. It has lagoons and low lands around and the dense woods above kept off all the sea breezes. I felt I must
have a change and asked the Bishop to send me to N. England14 and Tenterfield but nothing came of it. Wollombi I asked for, nothing came of it and he sent Claughton. Then when Claughton had to leave I again wished to try what a hill parish care would do for I would not regain my strength in Maitland.
By way of trial as Wollombi wanted a Sunday service, I got a horse on Saturday and rode through. It was forty miles but at the end of the journey I felt mentally refreshed. The scenery was pretty, the road winding for the last ten miles along a narrow valley brings the traveller at last to the sweet little stone church. I took the services the next day with comfort. The long ride had dissipated my headache and I was well again. The effect of riding and rest of mind which comes with it or the equilibrium thus restored between mind and body has been of the greatest help to me often but never so strikingly and I came back and asked to go to Wollombi and the Bishop no longer refused.
Here in this quiet mountain parish I recovered. I had plenty of work and on the first occasion of the Bishop's visit I had one hundred ten confirmed and the parish had not been neglected either in time past. I persuaded the Bishop to purchase a new building at Ellalong which had been built for a public house but not used and turn it into a school where I held services monthly instead of in Samuel Cadman's house. I had a school room at Laguna and at Millfield and gave afternoon services on alternate Sundays. Also a service at the head of Murray's Run and sometimes at Mr. Crawford's toward Congewai and Ellalong pretty well covered my district.
I would have been happy if I could have continued, but one hot day I was sitting in my room when the old clerk, Charles, came and said there were two women at the church wishing to have children baptized. I crossed the creek and saw them and said, "Wherever do you come from?" "From the McDonald River, sir." "How far is that?" "Forty miles." "And where do you come from?" I said to the other. "A few miles further." "And how have you carried these great babies? On horseback?" "We had to wait until they were considerable grown so they could bare the journey, poor things." There faith in Divine ordinance had brought them so far. I baptized them. Before leaving they asked me if I could come at least once a quarter to baptize the children for they had no clergyman now for some time past.
It was two days journey over very steep roads. My Christian pity was excited as well as my regard for the weaker sex and I said I would think about it. Cadman was a good fellow. There was a row in Coventry when machinery was invented and they were broken. Cadman was in the district once and was transported. I spoke to the police magistrate who went occasionally on duty and he said, "Don't go. You have quite enough to do here and the place is too far off. Don't be rash." The chief constables present and said, on my observing that forty miles was not very long days ride he said, "Sir, I had rather ride eighty
14 New England Range
miles on a fair level road than forty miles of such a mountain track. You have to cross the river twenty four times and the bottom is sandy and not very safe in wet weather and for more than twenty miles you have but a mountain path without a sign of habitation." Time went on and the Bishop had not sent a clergyman and some of the men called upon me and said it was most essential that somebody should go if only occasionally just to keep the congregation together. I said I would go.
I preached at Murray's Run on the way. There were a good many people and it was a long evening and the good lady made some strong green tea which I did not know, as the colour was pale, and I lay awake absolutely all night. In consequence I started tired and after a long and lonely ride descending by a rocky path to the river and crossing it again I came at last to the house where I was to stay. I was tired and had done a fair days work but my host, in his zeal and goodness, said it was desirable that I should show myself down the river and make a few calls upon the people who had been offended by the former clergyman and had been sore ever since. I spent therefore the rest of the day and went to bed too tired to rest.
Next day was Sunday. The little stone church on the McDonald River which is a tributary of the Hawkesbury, had been designed by Sir John and Lady Franklin when they were in New South Wales. It was going to decay through want of repairs and I had a consultation before service with the men about raising funds. The church was well filled and we had Holy Communion, and I was appointed to have afternoon service in an old school six miles up river and wanted a good dinner.
It was hot but I started down and found a great crowd awaiting and some had followed from below. I went into the school and stood a box in the corner and set a basin of water on the mantel shelf. The room was filled and people stood in the doorway and windows. When I had finished the second lesson and wished to baptize the infants the people had to pass them to me over the heads of the crowd. Here the women lived who first invited me and the field seemed white indeed unto the Harvest. And the trying feeling was that these were not poor heathen whom to leave a little longer unsupplied was only to prolong a state natural to them but these were English born people or children of Englishmen, ones own fellow churchmen already baptized and instructed and it seemed a kind of sacrilege to abandon such to the great enemy of Souls. They asked me when they might look for me again. I said I hoped in a quarter. They said, "Say two months?" I said I would see.
I went back to my hosts. I was really overstrained by the many considerations forced upon me. A subscription was required for the church to keep it from getting rapidly worse, the people wanted a better school room than the one I had preached in. We sat late and I did not sleep and I rode wearily and as I crossed those weary mountains where I saw and gathered wooden fears I felt my head growing thoroughly tired and dizzy. There was no halfway
house convenient for rest and I got home to Wollombi with a frightful headache. This never left me for months. With the help of the school master from Luguna I got through the services on Sunday but I could not recover from the strain as it appeared to me after some months of inactivity waking with the same pain in my temples like a gimlet through them just as I went to sleep with it after counselling Dr. Bowker without any relief. I concluded I had better go home.
Some weary Sundays I sat on those rocks at the back of the parsonage at Wollombi doubtful and sad but not in despair and when there seemed no relief in that hot glaring heat I took my passage by the 'Norma Hal' and left Sydney in the end of January, 1866. It was not nine years since I had entered it mid summer eve 1857 and I calculated I had ridden on horseback half the circumference of the globe.
How imperfectly my work was done God Knoweth. I don't know that I could have done otherwise. I was thinking of going to Tasmania and was in correspondence about a parish but I had not confidence in my strength at this time and if I had broken down in Tasmania as soon as I got there it would have been awkward. I thought England gave me more prospect.
It was a trial to leave a diocese when I had spent here the best years of my life and when I had attained a respectable position amongst my brethren to whom I was very much attached for our heavy labours threw us together by a strong mutual sympathy and moreover I had my Government stipend of one hundred fifty pounds a year which would be lost to the church if I left beyond leave of absence and I had my canonry of twenty pounds a year.
The Bishop offered me to the Cathedral at Newcastle thinking that here I should have no travelling and bracing air, but I did not feel equal to undertake the chief care of the diocese and so got a year's leave of absence from the Colonial Sect. Office and bade it farewell. A purse of money was given me sufficient to pay my passage home and back again and in my parish of Wollombi many Roman Catholics as well as the Dissenters signed a too kindly Testimonial.
The old 'Norma Hal' was one hundred fourteen days getting finally into London Docks. We sailed by Cape Horn and called at the West Islands for a barrel of flour and fowls and vegetables.
It was leafy June as we came down from London to Wolverton and what struck me most was the wonderful beauty of the English trees in their dense foliage so different from the thin spare gum which gives so little shade. We went to my Mother's at Haversham first and then to Mowsley. In each parish the Rectors asked me to preach without mercy or consideration to save themselves. I felt their selfishness extremely when not one sermon a day would satisfy them. I believe if I had rested fully I might have been ready to return at the expiration of a year. But we had four children and we were a large party altogether. I had not saved money as no missionary ever can on the voluntary system with two hundred fifty or three hundred pounds a year and horses to buy, churches and
schools to build. The S. P. G. asked me to travel for them and I thought I might as well do this as stay with relations who expected one to preach for them as a part recompense and when you and yours were eating their bread, you could not refuse.
I travelled for the S. P. G. At the end of the first summer and autumn and saw parts of England new to me and went as far as Dorchester and Weymouth on the one side and through parts of Nottingham and Lincolnshire on the other. At Bedford I heard Lightfoot preach a beautiful sermon on the leaves to which he compared the growth of the S. P. G. and S. P. Church and here good old Bunyan stood up in great indignation at the sanctity of country gentlemen and other clergy at the meeting. One speaker failed and Lightfoot refused to speak having already preached and I had the chief part to do and did not do it well, I think. I travelled with Bishop Lewis of Ontario a good deal in the South of England and with his pleasant Canadian wife. I observed that he made the same speech at different places which certainly saved thought and labour, but I could not or at least I did not.
Thus the summer of 1866 passed pleasantly, but not wisely. There was no council of war that sat for me to see what was best. None of us had sense enough to see or say, "Sparten nactus us hanc enorma", New South Wales is your chosen field, rest and recruit and return. Neither of my two uncles said, "Do not trouble about one hundred pounds but take a good rest and recover." Yet these uncles had me down in their wills, one for fifteen hundred pounds or one thousand pounds which at last soon I afterwards received as a legacy from Mr. Godfrey whilst Uncle Ed Greaves left me Haversham Manor. Perfect rest I believe would have restored me within the year, instead of which I partly visited friends (unfortunately clerics my chief friends were) and preached for them or travelled for the S. P. G. When winter began to draw near I felt the necessity of having a home for my family and so I took the Curacy of Cosgrove, third Sunday in Advent, 1866 and took the little farm house below the locks belonging to Osborn. This was sole charge practically as the Rector was disabled. Thus I actually did not rest after my return a single Sunday.
Next spring as my year of absence drew on, the Bishop of Newcastle became anxious for my return, he wrote and offered to create for me an Arch-deaconery and endow it with one hundred pounds a year and this with my Government Stipend of one hundred fifty pounds would be considered a fare maintenance if I did not more than occasional duty. He thought I might take the small parish of Hexham and he was pleased to say he should be well content with the general influence I could exert over the clergy. But I was not fully recovered. I got through the duty of a small parish but I felt my head was not strong and did not feel fit to face the great heat of Australia. I showed the letter to my uncle Edmund and he said, "I think I would not go" very decidedly, but he never intimated to me that he had any views respecting me which made him desire my presence.
The Bishop of Grafton and Armidale now fell suddenly vacant by the deplorable drowning of Bishop Sawyer on his return from a service. I had met this man, warm hearted and beloved prelate after his Consecration before he went out at the rooms of the S. P. C. K. in London. The first question he asked me was as to the amount of the endowment. I said about eight hundred pounds a year. He said he thought it was twelve hundred pounds and if he had known it was not he would not have accepted it. He asked me if the people at Grafton would raise him money to build a Cathedral for he should not be satisfied to work without one. I could not but tell that he was going to a diocese where there was not even wooden churches, and parsonages in adequate numbers and that there was not a house for the bishop and he would find many things needful before he could think of a Cathedral. He said he should go and if he did not find himself properly supported he would come back and Lord Abergavenny would give him a living. He said he had never lived on less that six hundred or eight hundred pounds a year in England and he did not see how a bishop could live on that sum abroad, for a bishop must exercise hospitality and that freely and generously. I left him feeling that he had not, as I thought, quite counted the cost and I wondered what the consequences would be when he found himself amidst the roughness of those half settled districts. He however made himself, I believe, very much beloved by his warmth of heart and attracted by his fervent preaching. The last sermon he preached was especially touching as with arms out stretched he addressed them all as his dear children. He did not live to meet other difficulties in detail, as he was steering home after service they turned a corner, he pulled the wrong string perhaps half awake after labours of the day and so exposed the side of the boat to the sudden force of the wind and she capsized and he could not swim. He was seen no more till next day by his golden hair it was discerned on the surface of the water and he was taken thus early from the watery grave to rest beneath the consecrated sod with his little son and nurse.
There had been much difficulty in filling up this Bishopric after Mr.Waddelove, who was first chosen, withdrew on the morning of his consecration through discovery of a latent disease which soon carried him off.
My brother-in-law, Henry Smith of Bradford, wrote to me in New South Wales to say that the Bishopric was going a begging and he mentioned a neighbour, H. J. Burfield, who had declined it rather because he knew nothing about it, than because he was un-fit. I rode down to the Bishop of New Castle from Wollcombi with Henry Smith's letter and said there must be something very wrong at home, we heard soon that Mr. Sawyer had accepted it and I was told that it was said at a meeting of clergy at breakfast the vacancy was spoken of and Sawyer said, "I will take it" and was accepted. When the vacancy came again the Bishop took the matter into his own hands as there was no Synod, and
he wrote to Dr. Curry, Master of the Charterhouse, and asked him if he may lay my name before the Bishop of Canterbury for His Grace's sanction.
The Bishop wrote to me and begged of me to allow no feeling of difference to prevent my coming out to help him in this higher capacity. The Bishop's other commissary, Rev. R. G. Goodie, wrote also and told me that if I did not accept it, the Bishop's sister, Miss Tyrell knew of an excellent clergyman the Rev. J. F. Turner who was willing to go. I was not long in seeing what my course must be. I was not yet free from headaches on the least occasion although I was working I had never taken any rest. I therefore sent for my country doctor and asked his opinion. He suggested that I should see Dr. B. W. Richardson, who was and is I suppose, the first authority on brain disease. We went together and Dr. Richardson said, "There is no fundamental injury and you will eventually recover with care, but you are not sufficiently recovered yet to undertake any office which involve much care and responsibility. If it were offered to me," he said pleasantly, "I should take it if I died in consequence, but then I am ambitious. You have a family. I should advise you to let this offer go by and wait for the next offer." This made my way so clear that I did not give it another thought, but wrote to Dr. Curry to ask him not to lay my name before the Archbishop and to Mr. Boodle to say that the way was quite open for Miss Tyrell and her friend, who was accordingly elected.
I went to see Mr. Turner consecrated with Bishop C. Wadsworth and Bishop Hatchard. Old Dean Wilson asked me afterwards how I felt at seeing another man take the office I might have had. I said I felt nothing about it one way or the other, the matter was decided for me by the clear judgement by the best medical authority I could get and there was an end to it. Thenceforth it was not a matter of consideration at all. I was however, sorry to disappoint my dear Bishop Tyrell who had been to me as a Father and who had admitted me to all his diocesan plans and cares. But I decided as I believe, for the best and what can a man do more?
Mr. James White who visited me shortly after this at Cosgrove was astonished to see me looking so well, and said he thought I had not sufficiently allowed for the bracing climate of North England, which must not be judged by that of the Lower Hunter which alone I knew. However, this may be, I have reason to be thankful to have been spared a burden of responsibility for which I do not think I was strong enough physically or intellectually. One part of the Episcopal office, as my friend, the Rev. James Blackwood of Singleton, used to agree would have been easy viz. to invite weary clergy and their wives if they could come to the Bishop's home that they might recruit their wasted strength and get spiritual and mental refreshment whenever they felt they needed it. The other parts of the office are far more arduous in a new country where clergy are hard to get and adequate stipend almost harder. I am not sufficiently prompt in seeing things at a glance as some men do. I generally get into the best course I
think at last, but it takes me longer to balance the alternatives. I am easily persuaded at first until I have had time to form a mature opinion. It is comforting to believe that there is an over ruling Providence who ordereth all things both in and without and so all God does, if rightly understood, shall work my final goal.
I resigned my curacy shortly after the death of my uncle Edmund, in 1867, July 23rd. I was near him at Cosgrove in his declining days but did not suspect that he was in such danger. I had been given no particulars of his death. I had not the least idea he would leave me the Manor and when he lay dead I went into church and knelt at the tombstone of my great grandfather, prayed that God would still guide the family with the Protecting Hand as He saw best and I felt no further anxiety. We thought he would not sell it for H. Pike had said that when it was told to my uncle that Lord Carrington would like to buy it he said, "Ah, he will have to wait a long time before he has the opportunity." When we returned from the funeral and went into the best parlour, south east room, Parrot, the lawyer read the will. The Manor was left to Mr. H. Pike to rent for fourteen years at seven hundred sixty pounds a year if he chose to take it. It was left to me but there was originally ten thousand pounds in legacies to pay off which by death had fallen to seven thousand pounds. There was the stock on the farm worth five thousand pounds, but there was no ready money worth speaking of.
I have paid off two thousand pounds more making five thousand in all and two thousand pounds remains as yet upon the estate now, June 1889, which if I do not clear must be left to my successors who will then take the estate less burdened than I had it. The cottages too, were many of them very old and ruinous and I have rebuilt a fair portion of the village which my successor will have the benefit. The blacksmith's was an old thatched house so too the Tithe houses in Q Square. The next row adjoining were very miserable places with upstairs windows on the floor level the houses opposite I had reslated tho' I ought to have pulled them down, I improved the next. The shop down street I pulled down and rebuilt at a cost of two hundred eighty pounds and I have put barns and out buildings to most of the others. I have worked at a disadvantage through not being on the spot. The cottages are now too small but the rents are small also. Some widows still pay six pence a week and some nine pence. We want better houses but agricultural laborer cannot pay sufficient rent yet the sanitary inspectors pursue us with their investigations of which however, I do not complain. The village is low and the drainage is always a difficulty and I am placed at a disadvantage in not owning the land behind the cottages.
My eldest brother, Thomas, was angry at not succeeding to The Manor, but I at least was perfectly ignorant of the whole business until the will was read. I asked my father-in-law the question whether it was not a mistake not to tell a nephew of future intentions on the part of an uncle. He said he thought it was as a person, hereby deprived themselves of many attentions which a prospective heir could very properly render.
I think it was a just will as all were remembered and the heir elect had more than enough to occupy his whole life clearing off the legacies. I had to accept the responsibility and do what I could. I had not the option of living at The Manor and turning farmer for the place was let for fourteen years. The Manor being only three hundred seventeen acres with a tithe to pay was a small property to tie up absolutely. However, I accepted the duties cast on me and have thus far retained it, managing it myself. I think it might have been wiser if I had appointed an agent from the first.
I resigned the curacy of Cosgrove where my son, Edmund, who born January 24th, 1867 after my uncle's (Edmund) death as there seemed much business to attend to, I kept my home at Cosgrove and paid a long visit to Dean Wilson at Fyvie, Aberdeenshire. The Hon. Gathorne Hardy had presented me to the Vicarage of Lon Moor just before my uncle died and I resigned this before institution not wishing to go so far away. I afterwards temporary duty at Grafton and Alderton in the absence of the Vicar Mr. Sams and when he returned I asked the Bishop of Peterborough to find me another Curacy. He sent me three and I took Swinford near Rugby. I was the first resident clergy here as the living was joined to Stanford and the Vicar was over ninety.
St. Peter & St. Paul
Church - Cosgrove
They had never had more than one service and little visitation. I introduced a Hymnal and to the annoyance of the Dissenters, of some of my people had an evening service. I think I loved this parish in its surroundings better than any I ever had. Leicestershire was the finest grass country and there was work in pulling together the parish. The Roman Catholics from Rugby under the influence of the Hon. Mrs. Wyatt Edgill and her youngest son, now Lord Bray, a pervert, were trying hard to seduce the people and brought back one of their perverts on her death bed. It was difficult work with the Sisters at Stanford Hall who were jealous or opposed to each other but I did the best I could. It was here our dear child, Maurice grew up, such an interesting and perfectly fearless child who, at two years old, used to cross the road alone to Mrs. Webster's and go to the cupboard for a biscuit and put away Mr. Webster's slippers.
All Saints - Swinford
I was appointed examiner of the schools in the Deanery in religious knowledge and very much enjoyed my ministry in this beautiful county. The cure seasonal meetings were very interesting and in these early days of Bishop Magee, Episcopate there was much life vim around. I have ministered in many places but never found work more agreeable than in Leicestershire. I would have stayed there but the Bishop of Peterborough wrote and offered the Vicarage of Towcester. I thought an offer from a Bishop amounted to a command, though I don't think so now. In cases where a Bishop does not know his clergy intimately as Bishop of Newcastle did but as Bishop Magee did not me. It was not til some years after that I learned that it was at the suggestion of my dear Bishop of anti-Colonial days, Bishop Wilberforce that the Bishop of Peterborough gave me preferment. For to me personally the Bishop was never
more than polite and when ten years after I was asked by my dear friend, Thompson of Dodford to meet him at a luncheon after confirmation he showed no delight in seeing me again as Bishop Wilberforce had done but was just civil. When the Bishop of Peterborough was appointed it was thought that in eloquence he would equal the Bishop of Oxford (Bishop Wilberforce). Miss Graham came to stay with me at a confirmation to hear Bishop Magee's address and we were obliged to confess that in clearness of diction as well as depth and fervour Bishop Wilberforce was far above him.
When I got to Towcester my friends thought I ought to have been content. I had one of the town churches of the diocese and being on the Bishop's list I could get removed when I needed a change. I was thus provided for as it seems. But I could not quite rest. "And in our ashes live their wanted fires." As an missionary I was often asked to preach and in speaking of the great derth of clergy abroad and of the duty of some Shepherds to follow our people emigrating each year in tens of thousands (27,400 in one year) the thought was forced back upon my self, why should I go again? I was now quite strong and I had a little independence so that I could go without actual pecuniary oneself, altho' I had a family I have always believed that colonization is a great and holy work, that to lay the foundation of future empires on religious truth, as taught by the church, was the only guarantee for safe growth in the future. Then I believed there was more room for a family in our colonies than in England. Then the poverty of our towns population was very trying to me, I went round my parish more as a relieving officer than anything else. The shoe makers were utterly improvident and were often out of work and came to ask for six pence to buy a loaf of bread. I felt that the clergy, who had been used to this distribution all their ministries might beat it. But to me who had lived ten years amidst the superabundance of plenty in a colony it was very painful. Before I left Swinford I ventured to suggest to the Dowager Lady Beauchamp the propriety of rebuilding the chancel but she would not repair the sin of her ancestor who pulled it down nor did she provide for it in her will.
Nor was I quite unmindful of my Haversham property. It was let for fourteen years by will from 1867, and this only 1872. I could do nothing for nine years more with it in any way and Mr. Pike took my cottage rents and managed them. The income from Towcester was two hundred eighty pounds was not nearly enough the support one in a town and I found I should spend most of my Haversham income on Housekeeping. I thought by going abroad ten years I could live on my professional income as I had done in New South Wales where I had no private fortune whatever and thus save my Haversham income to pay off the legacies due from the estate. I told old cousin, Alex Greaves of Bradden this as he walked back with me towards Towcester and I thought at that time the argument was sound. And I think that it would have answered if I had chosen a British Colony for my field of labour, of course I ought to have returned to New
South Wales where I knew everybody and was known and where my friend, Bishop Tyrell still lived. But for two reasons I did not go.
I thought Australia too far off for me to exercise any supervision over my property. In case of death of a tenant or any emergency it was a serious undertaking to take a voyage which formerly occupied one hundred fourteen days and which in any case was long and expensive and I had suffered so much from the heat of New South Wales that I doubted that it would be prudent to face long journeying there again. In the midst of this doubt Capt. Clifford Wilson, my wife's brother, wrote to us from Virginia saying how he had gone there because he regarded himself a little better than a dying man from Indian Fever which he could not shake off in England and that he found himself so renovated that he could work all day and could absolutely cut down a tree against any negro, that the climate was dry and clear beyond description and the country on the Upper James above Lynchburg, most lovely. There was but one drawback, there were so few churches and many of them had stood closed since the Civil War. They were nine miles from a church and could hardly ever go so far. He sent land catalogues too showing how old estates were being offered for sale on all sides for less than the value of the buildings and that I could buy a farm very cheaply and reopen some of the churches.
My innate love of Colonization as well as my missionary ardor were alike aroused, but my good and cautious wife doubted it was wise to move with six children so far. So one Monday morning I started with my light portmanteau in my hand having got my duty taken care of for four or five Sundays and started for Virginia to see what it was like.
We went in the 'Austrian' (Allan Line) we touched at St. Johns, Newfoundland and at Halifax. Here I called on Bishop Burney who I knew by sight at Oxford but he was away on a tour. The old Dean saw me and begged me to wait and see the bishop as he would gladly find me work. I had already written to the bishop Commissary in England, I. Allbut, and got rather a curt reply that the Bishop wanted no man over thirty-five years of age, Dean Bullock disclaimed this, however the Bishop was not there and I went aboard and landed at Norfolk, Virginia sailing up that noble harbour with the Cathedral like spires before me which proved afterwards to be Baptist and Congregational Chapels.
|SS Nestorian, the sister ship of the SS Austrian. The SS Austrian, built in Glasgow in 1867 for the Canadian-owned Montreal Ocean Steamhip Company (also called the Allan Line)
I was beset by land agents on board and on the train but made my way next day to Lynchburg. I however called on one of the clergy, Rev. O'Keson, and told him I was thinking of removing to Virginia. He said, "Don't come if you have a bit of bread and cheese to eat in England. Don't come to Virginia." I asked him, "Why?" He persisted that the country was poor and no place for English colonization. I suggested Missionary desires might buy me. He said there was no great need here and persisted on his advice as he followed me to the door. He meant that they had as many visiting clergy as they could support.
I had written Bishop Wheeler and found a letter to say he would be out of
town (Richmond) when I passed so I went straight to Lynchburg and made my way up the beautiful James [River] with its high bluffs rising on alternate sides of this noble river. Drawn by three horses abreast and the driver blew his horn as we approached the rather frequent locks that they might be opened for us (for the boat carried the mail) and the horn re-echoed amidst the mountains in the stillness of the summer evening as it passed into twilight and finally into darkness, made this perhaps the most enchanting piece of travel in my somewhat varied experience. The air and the scenery quite answered to Clifford's description and was exhilarating beyond anything I have ever felt. We rode next day to Cheremount and saw nice farms at the foot of the Blue Ridge. Wellington Burks, Esq. wanted to sell his place, we went next to orchards.
The apples hung like ropes of onions, every branch apparently touched the ground. We lifted the drooping limbs of the vines trailing carelessly about the garden and the fruit hung in cluster beneath. It seemed a veritable land of plenty.
There was a church in which Judge Wharton used service once a fortnight. Clifford Wilson led me further to old Turpin's and I actually made him an offer of ten pounds an acre for his farm. Happily he did not take it for I should have found myself seventeen or twenty miles from Lynchburg amidst woods and desolation and I had a great escape but the beauty of the scenery and the perfect weather and the profuse growth of fruit in the garden and the wild grapes in the woods turned my head. Clifford did not restrain me by any words of caution. The next day he took me to the crack farm as he called it, Cheetham, down by the river where the old man had just died, but the son seemed to have taken it and I was not much struck by this. Clifford lost his way and we were tired and late getting back. Except for the fruit the land seemed very poor and had no crop. We were told grass would grow if the land were taken care of. But I had to hasten back and got to New York to return home within the five weeks.
I was very much alarmed to find my dear Agnes had broken down with a nervous attack after I had gone and had been very ill indeed and was and now away with Sophy, her sister at West Newton and the baby was with a nurse in Towcester. I did not suspect anything of this kind. Agnes was well as usual and I did not intend and was not in fact longer absent than an European tour often occupies and she had been so accustomed to my constant absences in travel every month in Australia and never expressed the least timidity or alarm when I went away on my journeys. The last thing I expected was an attack of this nature. In after years Sophy bitterly reproached me for taking this journey. I do not see that I was to blame. Clara was to come and stay while I was away and in the town surrounded by parishioners and doctors in the same street and plenty of relations about I did not think there would be any difficulty, but her nervous condition she began to think that the children might be ill and I was so far away or things might not go well in the parish altho' she fell ill, poor darling,
and was brought very low. I went to her as soon as I could to Newton and found her sadly emaciated. It was a caution for the future to regard woman more as the weaker vessel but the past could not be undone. She soon recovered her health. I suppose men are sometimes thoughtless but Agnes was a woman of unusual strength and endurance and yet, with all, highly nervous, timid in a carriage or with horses and in the presence of cattle.
It was in the Autumn of this year that we encountered the first great sorrow of our married life in the death of dear little Maurice James. During his Mother's illness he had fallen more that usual to my care and his unusual intelligence and absolute fearlessness had much endeared him to all. I have said how at Swinford he would go alone to Mrs. Webster's, when he could only just run and go about the house in perfect confidence. So at Towcester he has been found alone up at the market place, when Fanny said she would shut him in the cellar he simply said, "If you do I shall let the beer run away or drink it and do something with the cheese and butter." One morning as I was dressing he woke and was preparing to get up when he suddenly became sick. It was scarlet fever, I think. The doctor came but could not do anything for the throat and our family doctor, Dr. Daniels came from Swinford but it was of no avail.
He told Fanny he saw the Angels. He had been shown a picture of angels not long before and in his inquisitive way asked so many questions about them. What the explanation is we may not say. I saw this week the picture of a carving from Ely Cathedral of St. Michael carrying an infant to Paradise.
He fell asleep on the Feast of Simon and Jude and was laid on All Souls Day on the South side of Haversham Tower, a cross of slate marks the spot, I thought it would last but it is cracked.
"Ere' sun could blight or sorrow fade
Death came with friendly care
The opening bud to heaven conveyed
And bade it blossom there"
I felt the blow severely. Our little nurse, Ellen Brown, had a photograph of him and herself which was the only one we had for we had never had him photographed. His very broad forehead and calm self-possessed look are observable.
Lawrence was born at Towcester and named after the church as Alban had been after the church at Muswellbrook, New South Wales. He went West to Ivy with his brother, John, in the spring of 1888. Agnes Mary was also born here on July 28th 1873 and was a babe six weeks old when we sailed for Virginia.
The people of Towcester presented us with a silver teapot and sugar basin and an address with best wishes and regrets. The Ecclesiastical
Commission restored the choir and chancel while I was there and the pews which faced westward were turned sideways. It occasioned some ill feeling necessarily when the pews shifted and it has been my lot through life to be in a parishes where such things had to be done and I got thro'. I was sorry that they buried the tombstones for the sake of having encaustic tiles. I started a daily service each morning for the first time and having a curate, Rev. E. G. James now vicar of Chorley, we were able to work fairly well. The infant school was built and we had a service at Caldecote. I did not remain long enough to have more than an official connection with the parish. I did not however resign Towcester without asking my Bishop. He gave his consent and gave me a letter of commendation to Bishop Johns of Virginia, which however the latter said it was not necessary for him to read as I had my regular Canonical testimonial. I was blamed by some of my friends for leaving the Bishop's patronage. I can only say the old missionary renewed as I grew strong again. "E'en in our ashes live their wanted fires."
We landed at Norfolk, Virginia and were met on board by Mr. Tagewell Taylor at the request of Bishop Johns who brought us a supply of fruit. It would have been better if I had a parish before arriving but there seemed a difficulty for as Bishop Whittle said, "Come." by letter. The Virginians are shy of strangers and of clergy with large families and so I could hardly have got a call unseen. I made directly for Charlottesville and took a house for a week and then was invited to go and preach at Ivy and after service the vestry invited me to come at once to the old rectory at a stipend of two hundred fifty pounds. In their warmth and kindness of heart they did not wait for concurrence of Greenwood and so the latter objecting fairly enough that they had not been consulted did not invite me for some months later. The old rectory had not a pane of glass in it and was otherwise dilapidated but we got it repaired and were very thankful to move there.
The church of St. Paul Immanuel had been closed sometime, the last Rector the Excellent Dr. Nelson could not live on the salary and the Buck Mountain pulpit did not pay and then quarrelled with him. It was a strange sensation to one who had high views of the mission of the English Church to the English speaking nation and especially to old Virginia to find that whilst the old connected families belonged to us were Presbyterians or Methodists. However, I gave a service every Sunday in St. Paul's, Ivy one every alternate Sunday morning at Greenwood riding on to Ivy for the afternoon. "You can't do so," said Mr. Hacksam, "a clergyman must eat as well as other men on Sunday." Yet I kept it up to the last.
Wall painting - Greenwood
Emmanuel Episcopal Church
In March 1884, Mr. Henry Pike, my agent who lived at the Manor Farm, died, and I was obliged to decide on returning to England. The farm had been let to his son, John Henry, by the agent against my wish. I returned to England in June of 1885 leaving my family behind. My dear school and college friend,
Rev. W. J. Thompson, M. A., Vicar of Dodford near Weedon, had written to me in America respecting the Vicarage of Hellidon which was then vacant and I accepted it.
It was a lovely spot and I had visited it of old when the Rev. C. Molhouse was vicar and preached before going to New South Wales. It is one of the highest spots in England on the river Cherwell, which rises in a farm house in the cellar, almost within the parish and flows into the Thames. In a large pond in the village rises a stream which flows into the Avon and Severn and at Staverton within two miles rises a branch which runs to the Nene. Here I resumed daily service and found school and everything in perfect order, but there was an afternoon service at Catesby and I did not like three sermons a day. The church warden, Edward Avis Gilk told me before I left that I need not preach in the morning at Hellidon or very briefly but preaching to me is always exciting. I should not have left probably so soon for my wife and family joined me in August and liked the place much, but my brother-in-law, Plumpton S. Wilson, wrote to me about the large agricultural parish of Billingborough which was vacant by the death of the Rev. J. Kynaston in August 1883. He was eighty five years old and exchanged Billingborough thirty years before to rest as it was said having had the large parish of Tideswell in Derbyshire.
St. John the Baptist - Hellidon
He had an impediment in his throat and was never fully audible in this large church and for many years had only performed the Sunday duty and did not visit much. There were four chapels besides the Salvation Army built 1786 and the Spurgeon Tabernacle built 1867 having no resident preacher. The Wesleyans and the Primitive, 1866. The church was blocked up by unusually high pews facing in every direction and the interior was as mean in furniture as can be conceived. The body of the church was completely restored in 1886 and the chancel in 1888. We sold the old delapidated Toller School and purchased the Tabernacle in 1889. I have a daily service though scarcely anyone comes. The Sunday evening service congregations are very large but not the morning ones. We have tried to improve things but it will require a generation to grow before things can be satisfactory and this I cannot hope to see.
St. Andrew - Billingborough
I gave my tenant at the Manor at Haversham notice to leave at March 1890 and we have now to let the place again. Alban, who is in England with his wife, on a visit, wishes to sell it and Mr. Nevelyan and Dr. Holden both say they cannot see what possible benefit the place is to me as I cannot live there, but Alban says if I had the money and did not invest it better than my other money in Virginia it would soon be gone. As it was left me without my knowledge or previous explanation, perhaps it is as well to leave things as they have been settled for me. Here at least we stand this 24th day of February, St. Mathias Day, 1890 and we say in faith and confidence, "Domine Dirige nos" (Lord, direct us. The motto of the city of London). I felt sorry that the son of my old tenant, Mr. Henry Pike should leave against his will and if he had written to me to say
he would meet my wishes, I should have found it hard to dismiss him, but he chose to be haughty and did not acknowledge my letter and when he did write about another matter he wrote angrily. He told Mr. Alfred Greaves however that he wished to stay and I wrote a letter on some business of not great account to give him the option of approaching me again and he told Mr. Alfred Greaves he would see me when I came. But he had other advisers it seems and said to someone who asked if he were going to see me, that I knew where he lived if I wished to see him and so he did not call on me during the week I spent at Haversham but went off to Hastings with his wife on Thursday or Friday as if purposely to avoid me so I could do nothing more. We should have had the same difficulty again before the year was over, for a tenant who could have his hedges unkept and fields so weedy would not satisfy me. I found a drain burst up in Fairy's Close injuring all the fields and this he had neither reported to my agent, Alfred Greaves, nor attended himself.
1890, June 17th. Last Thursday, the 12th my son, Alban, and his wife Emily and his little sons, (two) Thomas Guy and Edmund King with their old Irish servant, Catherine White, went on board the steamer 'Ludgate Hill' at the Albert Docks, Agnes and I went to see them off. Alban has had colds and cough nearly the whole winter and spring. This English climate seems too cold and variable for him. This is the second time he has found it so, he never coughed after he reached America on previous occasion of his return, I hope it may be so now, by God's Goodness. But this inability to face the English climate make the retention of Haversham a matter of less importance than ever, and it shows that his preference for foreign country is based on a curious course beyond a mere matter of taste. In addition to this matter of health, he is married to an American Lady and his sons will grow up Americans. I, as a clergyman, can never live at The Manor and he as a clergyman still less so and his sons will grow up as strangers to English ways.
John, my second son, does not wish to come and rent The Manor as tenants. I have lately asked him but he prefers town life. So he and his wife with her sister, Mrs. Higginson settled at West Leigh close by Haversham, therefore, promises to be without a resident owner for the next three generations as far as we can see. If it were a farm only this would not signify but when all the cottages of the village are taken into consideration with their repairs, the reputation of the public houses, allotments, sanitary improvement and the fact that three bedrooms should be provided and many repairs and alterations could be only profitably carried out under the eye of a proprietor (for in any case cottages will not pay percentage for outlay) but alterations can be made more economically by a resident. I am afraid the case against my continuing to hold it is very strong. Then too the income is very small and does not seem sufficient and justify the entail.
I had taken the place as it was left without counting accurately the
income, for in fact I had not control over it for fourteen years as it was left to Mr. Pike for that period. Legacies left by my uncle's will are as follows:
|Elizabeth Greaves' children
|Thomas Greaves Edmund
|Greaves' children His brother
|John's son Marion Greaves lapsed by death
To meet this there was farming stock valued at 3,000.00 pounds
|Annual outgoing was Tithe R. charge
||183 pounds 0 shillings 0 pence
|Insurance of farm
||3 pounds 3 shillings 0 pence
|Interest on legacies Repairs
||160 pounds 0 shillings 0 pence
||60 pounds 0 shillings 0 pence
||45 pounds 0 shillings 0 pence
|Taxes Land tax
||20 pounds 0 shillings 0 pence
||48 pounds 5 shillings 11 pence
|| 5 pounds 0 shillings 0 pence
||454 8 10
||300 pounds clear
By means of a legacy of one thousand pounds (nine hundred pounds after paying taxes) from the Rev. W. Godfrey and by going abroad to Virginia, and so living more cheaply I paid two thousand pounds further legacies leaving now, 1890, only two thousand pounds to pay. I have been unable to do anything towards this since I have been in England. The education of my children and the poorness of my Ecclesiastical preferment preventing this, Billingborough, normally one hundred ninety eight pounds in net one hundred sixty seven pounds and there were many calls on this. Hellidon was but eighty pounds.
|This spring, 1890, the amount stands thus:
||183 pounds 0 shillings 0 pence
||700 pounds rent
||75 pounds 7 shillings 0 pence
|Interest on 2000 pounds
||30 pounds 0 shillings 0 pence
||3 pounds 0 shillings 0 pence
||4 pounds 0 shillings 0 pence
[note: does not add up correctly]
|420 pounds 7 shillings 0 pence
In 1886 it was 381 pounds without the cottages 420 pounds clear 280 pounds c
Thus three hundred pounds more or less has been the income of the Manor Farm. The cottages I have not counted when I succeeded to them, the rents were low and many of them very poor. My uncle's rent book is at Haversham The next year after his death, 1865, I rebuilt three of the worst at an expense of over three hundred pounds and I roofed the adjoining row with tiles for one hundred thirty seven pounds, 11 shillings, 11 pence; new barns seven pounds two shillings nine pence, and twenty pounds. Total four hundred sixty four pounds.
Here is a single item which would absorb nearly six years gross rents at once. The gross rental of the cottages proper in 1868 is eighty six pounds ten shillings 0 pence. The repairs besides viz. thatching, grates, fencing were considerable as may be seen by my books of cottage repairs. The cottage my mother occupied was rent free. There were also the shop and the public house and blacksmith shop but I pulled down completely and rebuilt the shop at a cost of about three hundred pounds the blacksmith shop. I also renewed and also took off the thatch and raised and slated it, the cost in 1868, was thirty one pounds and the roof sixty pounds. Considerable repairs (new ceiling and additional parlour for blacksmith shop) were done at the Greyhound15 and these amounted far above five hundred pounds would absorb the rent for many years, thus I omit the cottages. At the present time to make them comfortable there should be spent,
|reclaiming land tax on the west side of the street
|Old house turned into a public
|Three new cottages at Mr. Pike's
This would absorb the rent for seven years and adding one hundred pounds for sanitary improvements suggested and other necessary repairs fifty pounds would have over one thousand pounds which should be spent to make the village decent, i.e. one thousand fifty pounds and one hundred twenty
15 The Greyhound Pub still serving summer of 1992.
pounds equal eight and one half years rent, so I have not counted much from the cottage rents. They do undoubtedly produce something. But now I have given my tenant notice and wish to rent the farm again. I fear I shall lose at least one hundred pounds rent.
One gentleman after much inspection today offered five hundred pounds which reduction of two hundred pounds a year would go far to absorb all the income from the place or leave me at most but one
hundred pounds. To hold the property for such a return is certainly not worth the trouble it involves and altho' I should like to hold it and have a well regulated public house"16in which only pure beer was sold by some one who was paid wages and had no interest in making men drunk or in adulteration. We shall soon see whether the farm can be sold or not. My wife, whose judgement I generally respect, says it is an injury to the place not to have a resident owner there and only a worry to me. It is not right to let things worry us. I have done all I could for the place so far and shall do more if I can let the farm to a respectable tenant.
The poor man who will drink beer ought not to be drugged with tobacco juice and insidious concoctions and so made drunken and degraded. I think I could do something for an example to other landlords in this way. Altogether, when it comes to the point of selling it goes terribly against the grain. The only thing for which I would sacrifice this, and I hope all things, would be a call to work in the colonies and this is I have not had for many years and now I am getting too old and stiff I fear to be of any use and have the younger boys to educate and religion has a claim on my regard.
July 1st, 1890. I have been up to Oxford to dine in College and see Commemoration and the traveler Stanley and his fiancee, Dorothy Tennant, being the great attraction. I find my cousin, Mary, married to Morton Wilson here on my return and she wonders what good Haversham is to me. But on this day a letter comes from James Greaves, my cousin, asking on behalf of J. H. Pike whether the farm is let and I reply it is not, but if he wants it he had better offer the former rent at once before I go to see Mr. Whittle. As no one else will offer enough rent it may come to be a case between selling or letting it to J. H. Pike. Mr. Pike offered six hundred fifty pounds rent instead of seven hundred pounds as before which I did not accept. Alfred Greaves thought, as I had given notice, I ought not to take less. So Mr. Pike left at Michaelmas and the farm left on my hands.
We let the pastures December 25th for eighty two pounds and I am ploughing the land. I went up to Haversham October 20th to look around and the fences are terribly delapidated. I have had two offers of five hundred pounds a year by two practical farmers. Alfred does not believe it will make more than thirty five per acre at most, everything that farmers grow is subject to such keen foreign competition.
16 The Greyhound.
Wheat has long been at 30/- and 327- and even 287- a quarter which hardly pays anything after labour and taxes (a quarter of wheat is two full bags of seventeen stones) cattle have formerly helped, but now livestock is imported from Canada in large quantities as well as dead meat from all parts of the world (frozen) New Zealand even sends fine mutton, frozen. Thus the farmer paying good rents in England and heavily taxed is so confronted with foreign produce that he can make little of stock now.
This year, 1890, store stock cost more in Spring than they made fat in Autumn in some cases a farmer told me this week that it was not a question of rent, for if they had their farms for working it would be hard to make a living. Accordingly, rents are falling and I hear of 7/6 to 157- paid for farms which lately made treble that price. So that five hundred pounds may be a fair price for Haversham as things go. But in as much as the farm was let for seven hundred sixty pounds at my uncle's death and the legacies at this date have not been paid. I do not see at a rental rate of five hundred pounds that the price will be worth holding. For the estate at my uncle Ed's death stood thus loosely. Legacies to be paid under will, seven thousand pounds (Marian's having lapsed through death).
||Proceeds of sale farm stock
||Interest on 4000 pounds legacies
The cottages I put at nothing, for several years they more than absorbed the rent, so that with this three hundred two pounds per annum I had paid off three thousand five hundred pounds and I was unbeneficed and had a large family. I was, at my uncle's death, a curate at Cosgrove at one hundred thirty five pounds a year and no house. This I resigned for a few months never having recovered yet from Australian headaches and overstrain. Then I took the Curacy of Swinford and about the same rate. Then Bishop Magee of Peterborough gave me the vicarage of Towcester which was about three hundred pounds a year or hardly so much net, and the position of a town clergyman, could not be kept up on this.
My eldest son was now fourteen and the next, twelve. I had to send them
to school and had some teaching for the little ones. I now had seven children and the prospect of paying the legacies seemed small indeed. The Rev. W. Godfrey left me one thousand pounds at the time I was at Towcester, reduced by legacy duty to nine hundred pounds with this I paid off another of one thousand pounds. By going abroad to Virginia, I reduced expenditure. I not only lived more cheaply but the education of the boys was very little at the University of Virginia. I could not have educated them in England. I was able also to buy a farm at Ivy Depot and put up buildings and found a home, I also reduced the legacies debt to two thousand pounds at which it now stands and have left this for my son to pay. I don't know that I could have done more. We have always lived in modest style, my wife has been blessed with wonderful health and energy. We have exercised hospitality freely but it has been in a simple way and have seldom kept more than one maid-servant. So we have lived very happily in being free from debt and never having a bill presented during our married life which we could not pay. But with the rental reduced from seven hundred sixty pounds to say five hundred twenty five pounds which represents the full prices between the time when my uncle made his will, about 1860, and the present 1890, and considering also that the Manor Farm is very much impoverished by the Pike's never having consumed cake or corn on the farm but rather upon their own farm adjoining when they did consume and the letting of my farm to the tenant who had a farm of his own adjoining, was not my choice but settled but my uncle's will very unavoidably as I think.17
It would have been better to have given Pike five hundred pounds legacy than thus subjected his farm to being held for another fourteen years certain. My living at Billingborough is only two hundred pounds gross or one hundred sixty-seven pound net and I have three children at school. I am of necessity to draw all the Manor income and cottages too, to keep myself going. This Manor Farm wants a master resident, no tenant cares to keep up terraced gardens and fish pond and avenues. So that, as my wife always insists, it would be better for the place and village to be sold and to have some suitable person on the spot who could take a personal interest in it. If I were to sell it and it only made the eleven thousand pounds, Mr. Gills valued it at, this at four per cent, four hundred pounds and this without care. I believe it would make more, the houses are worth three thousand five hundred pounds and so from fifteen thousand pounds invested in Bank of Australia in New South Wales at five percent, I should receive seven hundred fifty pounds a year. I seem paying dearly for holding on to the Old Manor.
November 5th 1890. I offered to sell The Manor and cottages to James and Alfred for fifteen thousand pounds, they declined to buy more land and James assured me that investments were so hard to find in England. Now since
17 Memo added by Thomas Guy Greaves, (1888-1972). "The legacies which he paid off were later judged to be his own property and these still remained as debts on the estate. He had only a life interest."
Mr. Gotchen had reduced the consuls, that he begged of me to remember my uncle's will (in matter of entail) and not sell.
December. I went up to Haversham and met two Welshmen, farmers Wystred and Walton of Llandovey who agreed to take the farm, but after they got home we found the Banker's reference unsatisfactory, we are now in for a years work and shall see how the grass lets next spring.18
May 16th, 1891. "He whose never failing Providence ordereth all things both in Heaven and Earth," as the collect so wonderfully says was working a way for me out of my increasing temporal perplexity. I had hitherto escaped the depreciation of rents which had fallen upon all landed properties by having a family, so to say. But when he had left I found I could not let the land again on the same terms and my Billingborough Vicarage being only one hundred ninety seven pounds gross and not more than one hundred sixty pounds net was a battle the education of my boys.
I observed in the papers the death of Dr. Guy, Rector of Great Leighs March 8th. I did not apply for the living, though as I believe, there was no Fellow of Lincoln who would take it, for there were but two in Holy Orders. Mr. West who was too old and Mr. Clark engaged actively in College Work. I had a right, as a senior scholar, and so formally on this Foundation to send in my name. I knew none of the Fellows from long absence and my name had been dropped from the books while I was abroad though my son, Edmund, had just taken his degree there, and I had been asked to dine in College last summer. By the earnest expostulation, almost compulsion, of my brother-in-law, Plumpton Wilson, I sent in my name some weeks after the vacancy and on the day after Ascension
May 8th, 1891. I received a letter from the Rector to say that at a College Meeting the previous day I had been elected to Great Leighs. Wilson was with me when the letter came and he opened it, as I was reluctant. I feel sorrowful at the thought of leaving Billingborough for all things were in order. I could not tell who my successor might be. At the same time I felt that I was growing older and I did not see how I could provide a stipend for a Curate. So I set out with Agnes the following morning to see Great Leighs. We took the train from Sleaford to Braintree and drove thence to the Rectory where Mrs. Guy received us kindly and kept us all night and sent us to Hatfield Peveral station next morning. I was instituted the 9th of June and inducted by Archbishop Johnson himself in a nice evening service in June and stayed with Mr. Gooday at Folkingham over the Sunday and then returned to Billingborough. The people had a large mantel Clock of Black Marble and Malachite to present to me and I had to return for an evening in the Toller School
St. Mary's - Great Leighs
June, 1891. I came to Haversham and bought a nice looking bay cob at
18. Gives more figures re: Haversham Manor which I have omitted. -Christopher A. Greaves.
Northampton for twenty eight pounds and a small four wheel dog cart to match for thirty six pounds and drove down via Bedford and Shelford to Buntingford in one day. The next day via Bishop's Stortford to Great Dunmow where I dined and on to Braintree where I met the four o'clock train by which my wife and daughters and servants, Mary Wilson and Hardy Tyler came. So well did I time my journey that I was just on time.
My son, John, came in a day or two and joined us and stayed till he returned to Ireland to join his wife and return to Ivy Depot.
Edmund returned from U. S. A. looking very thin. He had taken a tutorship for the summer vacation instead of resting and was very busy in packing up my library of eighty six volumes which I gave to the Theological Seminary at Alexandria, Virginia and some he brought home to me. He was very poorly all that summer until I took him to Dr. Broadbent, the best authority in London and he asked him immediately if he had been living in a Malarious country. He said there was nothing wrong with heart or lungs or any organ that he could detect. He gradually got stronger and was ordained deacon by Bishop Davidson of Rochester, for the curacy of St. Mary's the Less, Lambeth, a very poor and hard parish but he agreed to this to his vicar and has gradually become stronger. He visited Great Leighs in July, 1892 and I was so deeply thankful to find that he had a good clear voice and was very distinct and deliberate in his reading and moreover preached two excellent sermons of which the churchwardens said they could hear and understand every word. How can I sufficiently thank Almighty God for these His great favours bestowed upon him and to all the family. He says his work is terrible hard as the chronic hopeless poverty of South London seems to drive out and stifle all higher thoughts and it is so hard to help people. God guide and keep him.
Christopher, having passed the age of sixteen, we began to consider his future, he had before said almost to our surprise that he should like to become a clergyman, that was when he was about fifteen. Then at the age of sixteen he suddenly changed his mind influenced I think by a companion who had just been to read at St. Bartholomew for a medical degree. He went to pass an exam in the College which was a preliminary to his entering a medical hospital. Ted took him to a meeting of the Central African Mission and then he reverted to his former choice and said he should like to be a clergyman and go abroad. So I sent him to school at Felsted with Alfred.
1892. We had many visitors this summer in our new large house. Beverly and Kate, Gerald Reynold and Chris and family, amongst others, Miss Rowlands from Norfolk, Virginia and Bishop and Mrs. Knickerbacher of Indiana.
January 10th, 1893. My dear wife fell ill, she had for some weeks complained of feeling tired and spiritless. She went to Lambeth to nurse Ned in rheumatic fever, and there or somewhere unknown, she took typhoid and was
confined to her bed for six weeks before the fever abated. Her recovery was protracted longer than was expected, but with deep thankfulness to Almighty God I record her complete recovery. She went away to Hunstanton to stay with Mary Morton Wilson and afterwards at West Newton and returned quite well and is vigorous in gardening early and late and in visiting in the parish as ever. Our son at Felstead, took one first prize for long jump, seventeen feet eight and one half inches and three second prizes viz. for throwing a cricket ball one hundred yards and for pulling weight, and for flat race.
-last entry by John Albert Greaves prior to death.
So here ends the last hand written record of John Albert Greaves in the "Family of Greaves" history which he began. He died suddenly at Hatfield Peverel railway station, Essex.
He had been on a visit to Oxfordshire for the benefit of his health, but while there, he had two attacks of cardiac asthma. He returned to Hatfield by train and had just got into his carriage to drive to Great Leighs when he suddenly expired. He was sixty-four years of age and is buried at Great Leighs in Essex, June 6th, 1893.
From the Ivy Parish History, Ivy, Virginia
In 1872 a search was begun for a suitable candidate for the opening of St. Paul's Church. There being a substantial nucleus of English people in Ivy, St. Paul's Church seemed a logical choice for the Rev. Mr. Greaves, a young English clergyman who earnestly wished to advance the missionary work of the Church. The Rev. John A. Greaves, an M. A. of Lincoln College, Oxford, a native of Haversham, Bucks, and a veteran of eight years missionary work in Australia, turned a deaf ear to the call to be consecrated Bishop of Newcastle, returned to England from Australia, served several parishes in his homeland, then set forth with his family for the United States. Mrs. Greaves was the former Miss Agnes Wilson, the daughter of an English clergyman who left Leicestershire for the United States shortly before the departure from England of the Greaves family.
Upon arrival in this community, the Rev. Mr. Greaves was promptly invited to accept a call to St. Paul's Church, Ivy at a salary of two hundred fifty pounds, with the promise of as much more as the parish could raise. Emmanuel Church, Greenwood, assumed the obligation of paying a sum similar to that pledged by St. Paul's Church, bringing Mr. Greaves' salary up to the figure of five hundred pounds a year. The rectory proving inadequate for a family of eight children, the Rev. Mr. Greaves purchased the farm of Mr. William Gilmer in 1874. For eight years Mr. Greaves served both Emmanuel Church, Greenwood and St. Paul's Church, Ivy struggling against the financial hardships of reconstruction and disruption, loved and respected by his parishioners in both communities. When in 1881 he felt that his health required the curtailment of his work, he tendered his resignation. St. Paul's Church, unwilling to relinquish so dedicated a priest, offered to increase his salary if he would consent to remain in Ivy. This Rev. Mr. Greaves was unwilling to do, basing his decision on his feeling of obligation to help support the weaker congregation, Emmanuel Church, Greenwood, which had only a few months before that time adopted a resolution entreating St. Paul's Church to assent to a continuation of the union between the two churches. The Rev. Mr. Greaves then consented to continue as rector of both churches, finally resigning at the end of two years. He returned to England, where he died two years later, leaving the example of a dedicated priest and a zealous missionary.
There is a subsequent memorandum in the permanent vestry records showing these services to have been taken at St. Paul's Church by the Rev. Alban Greaves, a son of the Rev. John Greaves, who was in Ivy visiting his parents at the time of his father's resignation, and who consented to serve the parishes until his father's place could be filled; seven in the latter part of 1883 and fourteen in 1884. For these services his honorarium amounted to one hundred sixty eight pounds.
The Rev. Alban Greaves had studies at the University of Virginia and later at Trinity College, Toronto, Canada going to England for his ordination in Peterborough Cathedral. He is said to have been a brilliant young man, and at both Ivy and Greenwood to have preached along theological lines that were undoubtedly, at that time, considered very advanced. He left Ivy in 1885, and for several years had mission churches in North Carolina and Georgia, keeping green his association with St. Paul's Church by visiting friends and relatives at Ivy. In poor health, and unable to carry alone the work of the parish, he ultimately returned to Albemarle County to assist his father's successor, the Rev. Frederick W. Neve in his mission work. He died in 1903 while visiting his in England. The marker under the memorial window in St. Paul's Church gives the
dates of the rectorship of his father, the Rev. J. A. Greaves, as 1873 to 1885, whereas our chronology (the facts for which were taken from parish records) indicated that the Rev. Alban Greaves conducted services from October 1883 until the end of 1884. This discrepancy may possibly be explained by the fact that the resolution acknowledging the severance of the parochial relationship with the Rev. J. A. Greaves, was not adopted until March 1885, a circumstance which suggests that the parish had hoped an improvement in his health would enable him to resume services, and that until the resignation, was final, they considered his son, the Rev. Alban Greaves only an interim rector. The final resolution was worded as follows:
"Whereas our beloved pastor, Rev. J. A. Greaves has tendered his resignation as pastor of this church; therefore be it resolved that it is with pain and sorrow we sever our connection with him. When he came amongst us, now nearly twelve years ago, he found a small congregation, struggling to maintain our organization as a church. Under his faithful ministration, and with the blessing of Almighty God, the number of our communicants has ncreased more than four-fold, our congregation, which was a mere handful, now fills our church building. Our youth of both sexes have been brought to confirmation, many of whom are now fighting life's battles amongst strangers.
"Resolved: That we desire to say to him that wherever his lot may be cast, our sincerest wishes for his happiness will follow him;
"That our Registrar be requested to enter these resolutions in the register."
During the years of Mr. Greaves' ministry at Ivy and Greenwood he and his wife experienced the joys and sorrows incident to the life of a closely knit household. They had the happiness of sending their son, Alban, to their native land for his ordination, and they faced the poignant parting from their nine year old son, William, whose body still lies in St. Paul's Cemetery. In 1876 their infant son, Christopher, was baptized by his father in St. Paul's Church; in 1878 their infant son, Alfred, was baptized, one of his sponsors being the Rev. Alfred Redfern, the vicar of an English church who was evidently visiting the rectory at the time. In 1885, their second son, Dr. Thomas Greaves, was married at St. Paul's to Miss Stella Flora Irene McRea of Sydney, New South Wales; in 1888 Mr. John Greaves, their third son, married Miss Georgina Helen Hornidge of Blessington, County Kildare, Ireland. (It was with their aunt, Mrs. John Greaves, and her husband, that Mrs. B. Charles Baker and her brother, the late John M. Hugginson, made their home after the death of their mother). In 1903 Miss Agnes Greaves was married by the Rev. Frederick Neve to Mr. Henry Neville Carey, and old records indicate that Mr. and Mrs. Carey returned to England to make their home. Mr. Lawrence Greaves, a son of the Rev. and
Mrs. J. A. Greaves, died in 1919 and is buried in the cemetery at St. Paul's church.
After the death of the Rev. Alban Greaves, his widow and their children continued to live in Ivy, the site of their house being part of the original Greaves' farm purchased from Mr. Gilmer. A chronicler of the era has told us that the farm boasted not only an adequate house, but an orchard from which the Rev. J. A. Greaves even with private means, must have welcomed the income. The parish rectory, meanwhile, was rented.
We must conclude that the Rev. Mr. Greaves was motivated by the motto on his family crest, "Superna Quaero" "I seek the higher things" for at a vestry meeting held at the railway depot room in December of 1875, it was reported that he had only received $171.20 of St. Paul's portion of his salary. No financial help could be expected from the literary entertainment given in Christmas week of 1875, for the proceeds from it, amounting to $46.00 was earmarked for other uses, among them a payment for an old debt of $10.00 to the Rev. William N. Nelson, the purchase of a pair of gates for the cemetery, the services of a carpenter and a blacksmith, the digging of a trench (fifty cents), lumber for various repairs, and paint (twenty cents). So we can only assume that the Rev. Mr. Greaves with the patience and forbearance which must have characterized his entire ministry, waiting for the rest.
Children of John Albert and Agnes Wilson Greaves
||Alban m. Emily Smith in 1887 d. 1903 buried Forest Hill, Oxford, England
||Thomas m. Stella Flora Irene McRae d. 1885. A doctor, died of a heart attack just after he started practicing medicine in Australia. No issue.
||John m. Georgina Helen Hornidge d. 1920
||William d. 1874
||Edmund m. Monica __________ d. 1955 (uncle Ned)
|| Maurice James d. 1872
||Lawrence d. 1919
||Agnes Mary m. Henry Neville Carey d. 1946
||Christopher m. Norah Dickenson.
||Alfred m. Margaret Helen Massey in 1910 d. 1940
1. description of each parish, chapelry, hamlet, etc., as it was in 1831.
2. date of commencement of all church of England parish registers before 1813.
3. name of county in which place was situated in 1831.
4. distance in miles from the next largest place.
5. ecclesiastical jurisdiction of each parish.
6. WR meaning West Riding, Yorkshire
7. NR meaning North Riding, Yorkshire
8. pec juris, peculiar jurisdiction (of)
ABERYSTWYTH parish 1735 co Monmouth 8 miles SW Abergavenny pop. 5,992 archd anddioc Llandaff
ABTHORPE parish 1737 co Northampton 3 miles SW Towcester arch Northampton dioc Peterborough
ALDERTON parish 1596 Gloucs 4 1/4 miles NW Wenchomb pop 330 archd and dioc Gloucester
ALDERTON parish 1597 co Northampton 3 3/4 miles SE Towcester pop. 162 archd Northampton dioc Peterborough
ALDERTON parish 1676 Suffolk 7 1/2 miles SE Woodbridge pop. 575 archd Suffolk dioc Norwich
ALDERTON parish 1603 Wilts 7 1/2 miles SW Malmesbury pop. 213 archd and dioc Salisbury
ARDINGTON parish 1674 Berks 2 3/4 miles E Wantage pop. 404 archd Berks dioc Salisbury
ASTON joint hamlet with Cote parish Bampton co Oxford pop. 718
BALSCOTT hamlet parish Wroxton co. Oxford pop. 213
BAMPTON parish 1538 co Oxford 16 miles SW Oxford comp chapelry Shifford, hamlets Aston with Cote, Chimmey, part of Bright Hampton pop. 2,514 archd and dioc Oxford
BEDFORD township parish Leigh Lane. pop. 3,087 West Meth
BEDFORD market town 1607 borough Beds. 50 miles NW London pop. 6,959 comp parish St. Cuthbert 1607, St. John 1609 etc.
BEELEY chapelry 1651 parish Bakewell Derbys pop. 441 Wesl Meth.
BLISWORTH parish 1551 co. Northampton 3 1/2 miles NE Towcester pop. 769 archd Northampton dioc Peterborough
BIDDLESDON parish 1686 Bucks 3 1/2 miles NE Brackley pop. 184 archd Buckingham dioc Lincoln
BILLINGBOROUGH parish 1561 Lines 3 miles E Folkingham pop. 831 archd and dioc Lincoln
BISHOP'S STORTFORD parish 1561 borough Herts 14 miles NE Hertford pop. 3,958 Commissary of Essex and Herts Consistorial Court of the Bishop of London Bapt, Soc of Friends, Indep Meth
BLOXHAM parish 1630 co Oxford 4 miles SW Banbury pop. 1,573 archd and dioc Oxford Bapt
BRACKLEY parish 1560 co. Northampton 20 miles SW Northampton pop. 2,107 archd Northampton dioc Peterborough
BRADDEN parish 1559 co Northampton 3 1/4 miles W Towcester pop. 165 archd Northampton dioc Peterborough
BRADFORD parish 1596 WR, York 10 miles SE Leeds comp town Bradford, chapelries No., Bierly, Hawarth, Heaton, Horton, Shipley,. Thornton, and Wilsden, townships Allerton, Bowling, Clayton, Eccleshill and Manningham pop 76,996 dioc York
BRAINTREE parish 1660 Essex 11 miles NE Chalmsford pop. 3,422 archd Middlesex dioc London Bapt, Soc of Friends, Indep Meth BRIGHTHAMTON hamlet parish Bampton co chapelry parish Aspenden, Layston, Throcking and Wyddial Herts Co. of Friends, Indep.
CALDECOTE parish Norfolk 4 miles NE Stoke Ferry pop. 63 archd Norfolk dioc Norwich
CALDECOTE parish 1662 Cambs 4 miles SE Claxton pop. 112 archd and dioc Ely
CALDECOTE parish 1725 Warws 3 3/4 miles SE Atherstone pop. 106 Coventry Lichfield
CAMBRIDGE University town Borough Cambs 51 miles NE London pop. 20,917 sep juris All Saints 1548, St. Andrew the Great 1635. St. Andrew the Less or Barnwell 1753, St. Benedict 1539, St. Botolph 1564, St. Clement 1567, St. Edward 1558, St. Giles 1596, St. Peter 1586, St. Mary the Great 1559, St. Mary the Less 1557, St. Michael 1538, St. Sepulchre 1567, Holy Trinity 1566
CASTLE THORPE parish 1562 Bucks 3 miles NE Stony Stratford pop. 366 archd Buckingham dioc Lincoln
CANTERBURY Kent 26 miles SE Rochester pop 13,924 sep juris All Saints 1559, St. Mary in the Castle 1558, St. Mildred 1558, St. Aphege 1558, St. Mary 1640, St. Andrew 1563, St. Mary Bredman 1558, Cathedral Christ Church 1564, St. Margaret 1563, St. Dunston 1559, St. George the Martyr 1538, St. Mary Magdalen 1634, St. Peter 1560, Holy Cross 1568 Bapt, Soc of Friends, Indep, Wesl Meth, Jews.
CATESBY parish 1705 co. Northampton 3 3/4 miles SW Daventry comp. Upper and Nether Catesby hamlet Newbold Ground pop. 103 arch Northampton dioc Peterborough.
CHEDSWORTH extra parochial liberty 3 1/4 miles NE Bakewell Derbys
CHORLEY parish 1550 Lanes 32 miles SE Lancaster pop. 9,282 archd and dioc Chester Indep, Westl Meth, Unit, Roman Catholic
CLECKHEATON (Clackheaton) York chapelry 1761 parish Birstall W R York pop. 3,317 Indep, Moravians
CLIFTON township parish Deddington co. Oxford pop. 268 Wesl Meth.
COLCHESTER town borough Essex 22 miles NE Chelmsford pop. 13,766 sep juris comp All Saints 1610, Holy Trinity 1696, Botolph 1560, St. Giles 1692, St. James 1560, St. Leonard 1542, St. Martin 1622, St. Mary Magdalen 1721, St. Mary the Virgin 1561, St.Nicholas 15441, St. Peter 1611, St. Runwald 1576, archd Colchester dioc London
COLFORD parish 1561 Devon 4 1/2 miles SW Frame pop. 302 archd Wells dioc Bath and Wells Wesl Meth
CONGRESBURY parish 1543 Somerset 7 1/2 miles NW Oxbridge pop. 1,327 archd Wells dioc Bath and Wells
COSGROVE Northampton parish T691 co. 1 1/2 miles NE Sony Stratford pop. 624 archd Northampton disc. Peterborough
COTE joint hamlet with Aston parish Bampton co Oxford Manchester parish 1573 Lanes borough 36 miles NE Liverpool comp etc., etc.
CWMCARVAN parish 1610 co Monmouth 3 1/2 miles SW Monmouth pop. 301 arch and dioc Llandaff
CUDDESDEN parish 1541 co Oxford 6 1/2 miles SE Oxford comp chapelries Denton, Wheatley, hamlet Chippinhurt pop. 1,460 archd and dioc Oxford
DODFORD parish 1581 co Northampton 3 miles SE Daventry pop. 279 archd Northampton dios Peterborough
DORCHESTER market town, borough sep juris Dorset 120 miles SW London pop 3,033 All Saints, Commonly called All Hallows 1654, Holy Trinity 1653, St. Peter's 1653 archd Dorset dioc Bristol Bapt, Indep, Wesl Meth, Unit
DURHAM city co Durham 67 miles SE Carlisle St. Giles 1584, St. Margaret 1558, St. Mary 1571, St. Mary the Less 1559, St. Nicholas 1540, Cathedral 1609, St. Oswald 1538 archd and dioc Durham
DUNMOW, GREAT parish 1538 Essex 121/2 miles NW Chelmsford pop. 2,462 archd Middesex dioc London Bapt, Soc of Friends, Indep.
ELY Cambr 16 miles NE Cambridge pop. 6,189 St. Mary's Cathedral 1691, Holy Trinity 1559 pec Dean and Chapter Bapt, Countess of Huntington's connection, Indep, Wesl Meth
EMBERTON parish 1659 Bucks 1 1/2 miles S Olney pop. 598 archd Buckingham dioc Lincoln
EXETER city Devon 10 miles NW Exmouth pop. 28,201 comp parishes Allhallows 1561, Allhallows on the Walls 1694 etc.
FAULKBOURNE parish 1574 Essex 2 miles NW Witham pop. 161 archd Colchester dioc London
FELSTED parish 1558 Essex 4 miles SE Great Dunmow pop. 1,788 archd Leicester dioc Lincoln
FLECKNEY parish 1637 Leics 7 1/4 miles NW Market Harborough pop. 514 archd Leicester dioc Lincoln
FOLKINGHAM or FALKINGHAM parish 1583 Line. 26 1/2 miles SE Lincoln pop 744 archd and dioc Lincoln.
FOREST HILL parish 1564 co Oxford 5 miles NE Oxford pop. 142 archd and dioc Oxford
GRAFTON township parish Langford co. Oxford pop. 71
GRAFTON REGIS parish 1580 co Northampton 4 3/4 miles SE Towcester pop. 241 archd Northampton dioc Peterborough
GRANTHAM parish 1563 borough Line 24 miles SW Lincoln comp town Grantham, township Manthorp with Little Gonerby, Harrowby and Spittlegate pop. 7, 427 archd and dioc Lincoln
GREAT DUNMOW parish 1538 Essex 121/2 miles NW Chelmsford pop. 2,462 archd Middlesex dioc London Bapt, Soc of Friends, Indep
GREAT LEIGHS parish 1556 Essex 5 1/2 miles SW Braintree pop. 756 archd Essex dioc London
HASTINGS parish borough sep juris Sussex 69 miles E Chichester pop. 10,097 All Saints 1559, St. Clement 1558, archd and dioc Chichester Bapt, Bryanities, Huntingtonians, Indep, West Meth
HATFIELD PEVEREL parish 1626.Essex 3 1/4 mi sw Witham pop. 1,313 archd Colchester dioc London
HAVERSHAM parish 1665 Bucks 3 1/2 SW Newport Pagnell pop. 313 archd Buckingham disc Lincoln
HELPERTHORPE parish 1733 ER York 12 miles E New Malton pop. 131 pec Dean and Chapter of York
HELLIDON parish 1571 co Northampton 5 miles SE Daventry pop. 426 archd Northampton dioc Peterborough
HELMDON parish 1572 co. Northampton 6 miles N Brackley pop. 515 archd Northampton dioc Peterborough
HEXHAM parish 1655 Northumberland 20 miles W Newcastle upon Tyne comp town Hexham, wards Gilligate, Hencoats, Market, Priestpople, district Hexhamshire, township High Quarter, Low Quarter, Middle Quarter (North) Middle (South) West Quarter pop. 6,042 pec Archbishop of York Indep.
HUNSTANTON parish 1538 Norfolk 10 miles W Burnham Westgate pop. 432 archd Norfolk dioc Norwich
KNAPTOFT parish incl in regs of Mowsley Leics 7 miles NE Lutterworth pop. 924 archd Leicester dioc Lincoln
LAMBETH St. Mary 1539, St. John 1824, St. Mathew 1824, St. Mark 1824, St. Luke 1824, Borough Surrey comp hamlets Boixton, Kennington, Stockwell, Vauxhall part of Norwood, extra parochial liberty of Lambeth Palace pop. 89,856 archd Surrey dioc Winchester Bapt, Indep. Wesl Meth, Welch Meth, Swedenborgians
LEA cities in counties Ches-Derby-Hereford-Lanc-Lincoln-Welts
LEIGH see WEST LEIGH
LEEDS parish St. Peter 1572, St. John 1725, St. Paul 1796, Trinity Church 1730
LINCOLN city Lines 132 miles NW London pop. 13,081
LLANBADOCK parish 1710 co Monmouth 1 mile SW Usk pop 374 achd and dioc Llandaff
LLANDENNY parish 1714 co Monmouth 4 miles NE Usk pop. 404 archd and dioc Llandaff
LLANGOVEN parish 1749 co Monmouth 3 1/4 miles SE Ragland pop. 136 archd and dioc Llandaff
LLANGWNY parish 1663 co Monmouth 3 1/2 miles E Usk pop. 292 archd and dioc Llandaff
LLANHILETH parish 1753 col Monmouth 11 miles NW Usk pop. 545 arch and dioc Llandaff
LLANLLOWELL parish 1664 co Monmouth 1 1/2 miles SE Usk pop. 78 archd and dioc Llandaff
MAGDALENE STOCKLINCH Somerset parish 1712 Somerset 2 3/4 miles NE llminster pop. 95 archd Taunton dioc Bath and Wells
MERTON parish 1635 co Oxford 4 miles SW Bichester pop. 234 archd and dioc Oxford
MICKLETHWAITE township parish Bingley WR York
MOWSLEY chapelry parish Knaptoft 1660 leics pop. 283
NAVERBY parish 1681 Line. 9 1/2 miles NW Sleaford pop. 778 archd and dioc Lincoln
NEWMARKET market town Cambs and Suffolk comp parishes St. Mary 1638 Suffolk, All Saints 1622 Cambs pop. 2,548 archd Sudbury dioc Norwich
NEW SLEAFORD parish 1575 Lines 18 miles SE Lincoln pop. 2,857 pec Prebendary of New Sleaford in Cathedral Church of Lincoln Countess of Huntingdon, Indep , Wesl Meth
NEWTON, WEST parish 1560 Norfolk 3 miles NE Castle Rising pop. 232 archd and dioc Norwich
NORTHAMPTON borough, market'town co Northampton 66 miles NW London pop. 15,351 sep juris comp parishes All Saints 1560, St. Giles 1559, St. Peter 1578, St. Sepuchre 1566, archd Northampton disc Peterborough Bapt, Soc of Friends, Huntingtonians, Indep, Wesl Meth, Roman Cath.
OAKHAM (or Oakham Lordshold) parish 1564 co Rutland 95 miles NW London pop. 2,390 archd
OLD SLEAFORD parish (incl reg of Quarrington) Lines 1 mile SE New Sleaford archd and dioc Lincoln
OLD STRATFORD hamlet parishes Cosgrove, Furth, Passenham, Potters, Pury co., Northampton
OLNEY market town, parish 1665 Bucks 19 miles NE Buckingham pop. 2,418 archd and dioc Lincoln Bapt, Soc of Friends, Indep, Wel Meth
OVERTON township parish Malpas Ches. pop. 111 Wesl Meth
OVERTON chapelry 1724 parish Lancaster Lanes pop 366
OVERTON township parish Richard's Castle Shrops
OVERTON parish 1645 Hamps 3 miles NE Whitchurch pop 1,507 pec Rector Indep Borough
OVERTON parish 1682 Wilts 2 1/2 miles SW Marlborough pop 923 archd Wilts dioc Salisbury
OVERTON parish 1593 NR York 4 3/4 miles NW York comp townships Overton, Shipton, Skelton pop 704 achd Cleveland dioc York
OXFORD city co Oxford 55 miles NW London pop. 20,434
PADBURY parish 1538 Bucks 2 3/4 miles SE Buckingham pop. 708 archd Buckingham dioc Lincoln Wesl Meth
PETERBOROUGH city, Cathedral 1615, St. John 1558 co Northampton 42 miles NE Northampton pop. 5,553 archd Northampton dioc Peterborough
RAVENSTONE parish 1568 Bucks, 3 1/4 miles SW Oleny pop. 430 archd Buckingham dioc Lincoln
ROCHESTER city and port 1657 Kent 8 1/2 miles N Maidstone pop. 9,891 sep juris comp. St. Margaret 1640, St. Nicholas 1624, archd and dioc Rochester Soc of Friends, Indep, Wesl Meth, Unit
ROWSLEY, GREAT township parish Bakewell Derbys pop. 242
RUGBY market town, parish 1620 Warws 16 1/2 miles NE Warwick pop 2,501 archd Coventry dioc Lichfield Bapt, Wesl Meth
SALISBURY city Wilts 82 miles SW London sep juris pop. 9,876 comp St. Edmund 1560, Cathedral 1564, St. Martin 1620, St. Thomas 1570, all peculiars of the Sub Dean of Cathedral Dioc Salisbury Cathedral Close is extra parochial in juris of Dean of Cathedral
SHEARSBERRY chapelry 1658 parish Knaptoft Leics 7 miles NE Lutterworth pop. 354
SHEARSBY chapelry 1658 parish Knaptoft Leics 7 miles NE Lutterworth pop 354
SHELFORD, GREAT township 1557 Cambs 4 1/2 miles SE Cambridge pop. 812 pec of Bishop of Ely
SHELFORD, LITTLE parish 1686 Cambs 5 1/2 miles SE Cambridge pop. 483 archs and dioc Ely
SHERRINGHAM parish 1670 Norfolk 5 1/4 miles W Cormer pop. 899 archd and dioc Norwich
SHERRINGTON parish 1698 Bucks 1 3/4 miles NW Newport Pagnell pop. 804 archd Buckingham dioc Lincoln
SHIFFORD chapelry parish Bampton co Oxford pop. 47
SHREWSBURY county town Shrops pop. 21,297
SINGLETON chapelry parish Kirkham Lanes pop 499
SINGLETON parish 1664 Sussex 5 1/2 miles SW Midhurst pop 653 archd and dioc Chichester
SLEAFORD, NEW parish 1575 18 miles SE of London pop. 2857 pec Prebendary of New Sleaford in Cathedral Church of Lincoln Countess of Huntington, Indep. Wesl Meth
SLEAFORD, OLD parish (incl reg of Quarrington) Lines 1 mile SE New Sleaford archd and dioc Lincoln
STANTON BY BRIDGE parish 1664 Derbys 6 3/4 miles SE Derby pop. 215 archd Derby dioc Lichfield
STEETON township parish Kildwick WR York pop. 859 Wesl Meth
STONY STRATFORD Bucks 8 miles NE Buckingham pop. 6,619 archd Buckingham dioc Lincoln
STRATFORD WATER parish 1596 Bucks 2 miles NW Buckingham pop. 186 archd Buckingham dioc Lincoln
STRATFORD FENNY chapelry 1730 parish Bletchley and Simpson Bucks 131/2 miles E Buckingham pop. 635 archd Buckingham dioc Lincoln
STRATTON AUDLEY parish 1696 co Oxford 3 miles NE Bichester pop. 360 archd and dioc Oxford
STORTFORD, BISHOP'S parish 1561 borough Herts 14 miles NE Hertford pop. 3,958 Commissary of Essex and Herts Consistorial Court of the Bishop of London Bapt, Soc of Friends, Indep, Meth
SWARKESTONE parish 1604 Derby 5 3/4 miles SE Derby dioc Lichfield
SWERFORD parish 1577 co Oxford 4 1/4 miles NE Chipping Norton pop. 441 archd and dioc Oxford
SWINFORD parish 1559 Leics 3 1/2 miles SE Lutterworth pop. 438 archd Leicester dioc Lincoln
SWINFORD KING'S parish 1603 Staffs 3 miles NW Stourbridge pop. 15,156 archd Stafford dioc Lichfield
SWINFORD OLD parish 1602 Worcs 1 mile SE Stourbridge pop. 13,874 archd and dioc Worcester
SYRESHAM parish 1668 co Northampton 4 3/4 miles NE Brackley pop. 895 archd Northampton dioc Peterborough Wesl Meth
TIDESWELL parish 1635 Derbys comp Market town Tideswell chapelry Wormhill hamlets Litton, Wheston pop. 2, pec Dean and Chapter of Lichfield Wesl Meth Roman Catholic
TINGEWICK parish 1560 Bucks 2 3/4 miles SW Buckingham pop. 866 archd Buckingham dioc Lincoln
TOTNESS parish 1557 borough sep juris Devon 24 miles SW Exeter pop 3,442 archd Totness dioc Exeter Indep, Wesl Meth
TOWCESTER parish 1561 co. Northampton 8 1/2 miles SW Northampton pop. 2,671 archd Northampton dioc Peterborough
TURWESTON parish 1695 Bucks 3/4 mile E Brackley pop. 371 archd Buckingham dioc Lincoln
UPPINGHAM parish 1571 co. Rutland 6 miles S Oakham pop. 1,757 archd Northampton dioc Peterborough
WADDINGTON parish 1675 4 1/2 miles S Lincoln pop. 768 archd and dioc Lincoln Wesl Meth
WAPPENHAM parish 1675 co Northampton 5 miles SW Towchester pop. 568 archd Northampton dioc Peterborough Wesl Meth
WEEDON hamlet parish Hardwick Bucks pop. 405
WEEDON or WEEDON BECK parish 1589 co. Northampton 4 miles SE Daventry pop. 1,439
archd Northampton dioc Peterborough Indep, Westl Meth city sep juris 1608 Somerset 19 miles SW Bath pop. 6,649 Bapt, Indep, Wesl Meth
WEST LEIGH parish 1561 Devon 2 1/2 miles NE Bideford pop. 484 archd Barnstable dioc Exeter
WEST LEIGH township parish Leigh Lanes pop. 2,780
WEXHAM parish 1606 Bucks 11/2 miles NE Slough pop. 818 arch Buckingham dioc
WEYMOUTH AND MELCOME REGIS borough 1606 sep juis Dorset 8 miles SW Dorchester pop 7,655 Indep, Bapt, Wesl Meth
WHITFIELD parish 1678 co Northampton 2 miles NE Brackley pop. 328 archd Northampton dioc Peterborough
WITHAM NORTH parish 1592 Linco 1 1/2 miles SW Colsterworth pop. 273 archd and dioc Lincoln
WITHAM SOUTH parish 1686 Lines 3 1/4 miles SW Colsterworth pop. 410 archd and dioc Lincoln
WOOLSTONE GREAT parish 1538 Bucks 31/2 miles N Fenny Stratford pop. 120 archd Buckingham dioc Lincoln
GREAT OUSE RIVER rising in Bedford and flowing NE into Wash below King's Lynn. It is 160 miles in length and is canalized to Bedford 74 1/2 miles. CHERWILL RIVER rises in the cellar of Cherwell House, an old farm NENE RIVER