June 30, 2010
Mr Jones of Brasenose, and Fellow at Stackallan, called, (having met Sewell in Oxford who invited him out, -) and asked leave to attend chapel. His appearance and manners are not prepossessing. Without being solicited, he talked of matters which he should not have mentioned. They have 36 boys, (I left there 35, – so they have gained nothing by their former trimming,) which is expected to increase to 40 in August, which number will again be thinned materially, by boys going to the University in October. Ever since Mr Stevenson’s secession, or rather, expulsion, (2 months), Gabbett has been there teaching mathematics. This is a public scandal, that I shall write to Wade to remonstrate. He told Monk that, of all the boys there now, Bomford was his favourite, and that he had him constantly to his room. It is quite clear what has become of all discipline.
Monk asked how they got on with their music after Calkin’s running away. He said that for 3 weeks they had none, and that then the boys petitioned to have the Psalms chanted without the organ; which they have continued to do.
Got a letter (I think today), from Revd. Money of Sternfield, Suffolk, to say that the Bishop of Oxford had recommended St Peter’s as a proper place to send his son. This speaks well for the Bishop’s feeling to us, which we have had no means of ascertaining since his visit.
June 29, 2010
Mr Barker of Christ Church came out to dine, accompanied by a nephew of Archdeacon Manning’s, and a son of Dr Pusey’s. This poor boy is a sad cripple, and nearly stone deaf. He enjoyed his visit greatly, and was especially charmed with the organ, which he heard very well when played loud. The Sub-Warden was particularly kind to him, and I felt rejoiced to be able to show any attentions to the son of such a man. Mr Barker a charming person. This is the Exeter ‘Gaude’, so I suppose they are now in the mysteries of turbot, venison and champagne. Yet all good men want to be emancipated from these vanities: perhaps we may live to see the day when religious houses shall have religious ‘gaudes’ and the feasting shall be more in the Chapel than in the Hall.
June 28, 2010
Went into Oxford, the first time, I think, for 5 months, – to see Sewell about silver and gold for the quarter-day. (Vigil of St Peter). Took the opportunity to call on the Rector of Exeter, Principal of Brasenose (both at Collections) President of Magdalen, and Dr Bloxam. President. Very kind, asked about our numbers, etc. Mr Lowe, Curate of Market Bosworth, who has given us the books, came with Mr Chretien, Fellow of Oriel. Very nice man, and highly pleased. Slept here.
June 26, 2010
A constant influx of visitors today. Mr Willis (uncle to the student) with his curate, from Haddenham, Bucks, and a Lieut. Conjuit, RN. Then Colenso with a Mr Allen, Master of a school at Ilchester, a party of 7 or 8, – and last, – Captain and Mrs Moorsom, – remarkably nice people, who are thinking of sending a son. He is of the Scotch Fusilier Guards, quartered at Croydon.
June 24, 2010
Sewell came out, and several others; – Huntingford of New College, whom I had met in 1845 at Winchester, – Church of Oriel, – Thompson of Queen’s, – Lowe, of Exeter, – all charmed. Sewell says that people were delighted with our ‘Gaude’, – and that the Bishop told him that he was quite affected. That, I suppose, was what took him into the Chapel. By the way, I forgot to mention that the Bishop is very musical, and that he consented to accept a copy of the Service book at my hands.
Sewell brought over a present of a splendid work of Weale’s consisting of views of stained windows, etc.1
1: Probably a copy of John Weale’s Divers works of early masters in Christian Decoration; with an introduction containing the biography, journal, and a critical account of the works of Albert Dürer: notices of Wohlgemuth, Pirckheymer, Krafft: with examples of ancient painted and stained glass … the works of Dirk and Wouter Crabeth, etc. 2 vol. London, 1846. See entry in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
Another perspective on the events of June 21st.
‘On occasion of a fight between Donnison and Wood major, Mr Singleton consults with the Fellows what line they are to take. He allows that opinion at public schools does not condemn fights, but he resolves that they are to be condemned at Radley as unchristian, etc. Having settled this point, he sends first for the two boys who had been fighting; and finding that the cause of quarrel had originated with Wood, tells him that “he continued to be what he had ever been, a vulgar bully.” Finding also that Reynolds had been present at the fight for 5 minutes, and had then put an end to it, tells him that if it was his duty to put an end to it then, it was his duty to do so at once. Reynolds however “fidgeted about for clumsy excuses” and “was scolded for his constant defence of what is indefensible.”
If Reynolds had been listened to in his own defence, he would have said that as long as the fight was a fair fight he saw no reason for putting an end to it, but that he did stop it at once as soon as it was clear that one of the boys was over-matched and had no chance against the other; and he might have added that what he omitted to do and what he had done was what public opinion at public schools would have approved, and that he was not fixed with notice of Mr Singleton’s ex post facto law to the contrary.
This seems to me not a clumsy excuse, but a perfectly good defence; but since Reynolds was cut short and scolded, it was no doubt stated clumsily enough. That Wood major had always been a ‘vulgar bully’ is not true. I remember Wood perfectly well. He was a well conducted and fairly popular boy. If on this occasion he had provoked Donnison, it is certain too that he suffered for it, as Mr Singleton’s Journal shows. He could have been no match for Donnison, and he behaved very pluckily in standing up to him at all.’
Taken from Samuel Reynolds’ ‘Notes and remarks on Mr Singleton’s Journal,’ written in c1896 and deposited by Reynolds in Radley College Archives.
June 22, 2010
Dr Bull, canon of Christ Church came over with a letter from Sewell, accompanied by Mr Martin, Chancellor of Exeter. Sewell evidently did not wish us to be obsequious; so the Sub-Warden showed him over the College, and just before he went away, brought him (I am thinking of Dr Bull) to my room and introduced him to me. The Dr seemed much pleased with everything.
June 21, 2010
This has been a day of great labour, and I am glad it is over, and well over.
Just before we went into Chapel, Monk came upon two boys, (Donnison and Wood ma.) engaged in a regular pitched battle. Came and told me. As he first step, desired him to forbid their going into Chapel, and I could not think of allowing them to join in worship while under the excitement of passion. Put them in separate rooms, and told Mrs Burky to have a look out after them. On returning to my room, Donnison came to me, crying bitterly, (he is a big boy), and imploring forgiveness. Said I would attend to him by and bye. Sub-Warden, Monk and Gibbings being in my room, asked them if they had any doubt that it was our duty as Christians to set our faces against fighting? Was it not a plain sin? When any of us came across an unquestionable instance of it, if we disregarded it, would it not be an absolute sanction of it? Would it not be unfaithfulness to our Lord to allow the lambs of his flock to ‘bite and devour one another’? To shrink from doing right because the public opinion in Public Schools would be against us? The feeble pretext, that it made boys understand their own level, could scarcely be adduced; – for in spite of us they would fight, – and there were other ways of estimating physical power besides boxing and beating. All seemed to agree in the soundness of this argument; – so I called the culprits, and made Donnison, as the elder, tell the history of the feud.
It appeared that Wood had been in the constant habit of calling him names, and that he had just been doing so, when Donnison proceeded to chastise, and Wood to retaliate. Told Donnison that ‘I was grieved to find it necessary now, for the first time, to censure him; – but that though I sympathised with him under the contumelious treatment which he had received, yet he ought to have borne the injury rather than resented it; – that was what his Saviour would have done. That he need not be afraid of patience, after a time at least, being mistaken for cowardice, – if he were careful to set an example of manliness and courage at cricket, and other games.’
To Wood I said that ‘he had no possible excuse for his behaviour, which only showed that he continued to be, what he had ever been, – a vulgar bully; that if he had not received sufficient chastisement I would undertake to administer the balance myself, as some security that he would know better for the future how to behave towards Christian gentlemen.’
They told me that they had shaken hands on the field of battle, after the fray was over. But I said that this made but little difference in my view of their conduct; – for that such hasty reconciliations had only a tendency to disguise the offensiveness of quarrelling, and formed no ground for the hope of true peace and brotherly love being established. Warned them both ‘not to let the sun go down on their wrath,’ and sent them to separate rooms, that they might have time to reflect upon all I had said to them. As Wood’s face bore traces of severe usage, I let them both out in an hour after. They were both terribly cut up with crying and dread of being sent away, – as I heard afterwards.
Sent for Reynolds, as I understood he had been present at the combat. Admitted that he had been present for 5 minutes, but that he had then put an end to it. Censured him for not having terminated it at first, for that if it were his duty to do so last, it was at least equally so before. Fidgeted about for clumsy excuses, which he is ready at finding, and scolded him for his constant defence of what is indefensible. His eyes filled with tears, and we parted on good terms. I have been particular in mentioning this affair, as it serves to show the principle on which I am satisfied to act.
Dr and Mrs Spyers came to see the College, with a view of sending a son, who is at Twyford. They are from Weybridge, where he keeps a school. A gentlemanly man, – well known to the Rector of Exeter. Asked him about his ideas of fighting, which seemed quite to coincide with one’s own.
What between cold things provided at Oxford by Sewell, and hot viands here by us, we shall make out a very nice entertainment; – substantial and simple, – and not without elegance. Sewell has sent out two vases which he brought from Italy with him, and these are filled with flowers. Two tables are laid for guests, besides others for our 22 boys. A chair of distinction for the Bishop at my right.
- High Table
- Miss H Richards
- William Sewell
- Bishop of Fredericton
- Mrs Markland
- Mr Dean
- Mr Markland
- Rector of Exeter
- Miss Markland
- Second Table
- Sub-Rector of Exeter
- Messrs. Bellairs, E. Sewell, Woolcomb, Curtis, Coleridge (Oriel), Gibbings, Andrews (Senior Proctor), Patterson
So that we sat down to dinner about 50 altogether, including the boys, the Hall being quite full. Sewell had brought out Hewlett and Bradley from Exeter; and the Rector had his little servant with him, so we were tolerably off for attendance. Roby is very competent, and thus saves me much trouble and fidget. I should say that in the invitations Sewell had reference, as much as possible, to the parties who were present at our institution a year ago, – a great many of whom he succeeded in getting together. Mr and Mrs Acland greatly distressed that a previous engagement, which they could not escape, prevented their coming.
After dinner was over, (2 courses), the Grace Cup was placed before me, when I rose and said a few words, chiefly with a view of thanking them for their presence, especially those who had been with us before, and had not ‘despised the day of small things.’ Then drank from the cup, and handed it to the Bishop, and so it passed all round, even through the students. At first we had great hesitation about giving it to them, for I felt that hereafter it might be the occasion of excess and trouble, – (for we cannot too carefully guard the introduction of precedents;) – however, desired Roby to go with the cup, and prevent accident and impropriety. Not that I had much fear of the latter, but caution in such a case is wisdom, and thus no objection can be raised here after by the boys, (that is, if we continue the custom) on the grounds of restriction or espionage. ‘It was always so’ is practically a very good argument; – and it is certainly a great point to make them feel themselves a part of the College, members of the same family with us.
This over, – Sewell got up, and spoke at some length, recounting many of the blessings we had received during the past year, and tracing our wonderful progress to the good hand of God, and the prayers of many of his servants: – then concluded by drinking the Bishop of Fredericton’s health. The Bishop returned thanks in a speech which struck us very much, for its high Christian tone. Plain but fluent, he gave us most useful advice; warning us of the danger of deterioration in our simple habits, which he lauded warmly, and praying for every blessing on our undertaking. Exhorted us to trust in God, who would be sure to give us all we wanted for our success in His own good time, and encouraged us by his own experience in connection with his cathedral, which was advancing, he scarcely knew how. The quietness and simplicity of his manner were most charming. Then, after grace, we walked about the house and grounds, (- it was a lovely day, though very close,) till chapel time. 6 ½ o’clock. (Went into chapel with John Ley, but speedily retired, on seeing the Bishop on his knees at the sacrarium.) Full choral service in our surplices.
After chapel – tea, with cakes and strawberries in plenty for everyone. Marriott (Oriel), Colenso, Wayte and [another] joined us before chapl. After tea, Monk played on the organ some solemn pieces: – and all went away delighted beond measure, – some saying that it was one of their happiest days, – others, that it was ‘a model of a Gaude’, – and so on. The Rector and Sub-rector of Exeter, very cool, unenthusiastic, men, seemed particularly gratified and struck.
I am glad all is so comfortably at an end; – for I am very tired. Forgot to say, that in the General Thanksgiving the special form was used, which I hope will in future be done.
June 19, 2010
Mr and Miss Houblon are here in company with Gibbings. I have just told Gibbings of the affair about St Columba’s: he is in amazement. Has brought his carpet bag with him, and will stay till after Wednesday. How curious to have him here at the tine of all others we should most wish! The Houblons very plain, reserved people, but much interested.
Sewell has just come with the Bishop of Fredericton, whose very unpretending appearance would not lead you to think him the admirable man that he is. He is obliged to return to Oxford, but will be back again tomorrow or next day.
Just as he went, up drove the Bishop of Oxford accompanied by the Archdeacon of Oxfordshire (Clerke). Sewell, Sub-Warden and I were ready to receive them at the corner near the campanile, as the drive to the north entrance is rough and disreputable. Conducted them to the Bursary, where was a very nice cold collation laid out for them, though we guessed they would have had a good dinner at Headington: however they took some wine and water. Then conducted them over the house, with which seemed much pleased. Went into Chapel at the usual hour (6 o’clock) the Sub-Warden and self taking the Bishop to his seat in the Sacrarium, which was one of the carved chairs out of the house. For a desk we placed the lectern, covering it with some of the gold brocade, hanging full. Chanted the service, and then brought Bishop back same way, bowing to him as we came up. The tea, he on my right, Archdeacon on left. Both talked of the fine tones of the organ, which sounded grand through the high roof. Had some little pleasantry on Sewell discovering that he ought to have asked the Archdeacon of Berkshire (Berens) instead of, or as well as, Archdeacon of Oxfordshire. The Bishop was obliged to be at Abingdon Station by 8 o’clock.1 So after a cup of tea, according to a request from Sewell, he said a few words to the boys. Asked me a moment before what he ought to speak about; – not such an easy question to answer on the moment. However, – I immediately replied, – ‘thankfulness for their blessings, and obedience to their superiors’. He spoke for two or three minutes, and then Sewell, Sub-Warden and I conducted him to the carriage. A pity that his say was so short, – but, as I have said before, – it is well to have him on any terms. I do not doubt that he was gratified, and his manners were very courteous, – but that they are to everyone.
We were very glad to have Hobhouse, a Mr Baker, and some other persons, to help to entertain him. He had confirmed in Hobhouse’s church in the morning.
1: This reference to ‘Abingdon Station’ is puzzling. Great Western Railway had proposed a line to Abingdon, with a station, as part of Brunel’s London-Bristol line in 1835, but, following obstruction by local landowners, the proposed route was diverted via Steventon, four miles to the south of Abingdon. Abingdon itself did not receive a station until 1856 when a spur was built from the Oxford-Didcot line. This station was superseded in 1872, when the line was rerouted via Radley. There is little evidence that Steventon Junction was known as ‘Abingdon Station.’ [See Abingdon Junction and Abingdon Station]
It is more likely that the Bishop is referring to ‘Abingdon Road Station’, which was at Culham, about 1 ½ miles east of Abingdon. This was renamed Culham Station in 1856. [See the Culham entry in the Victoria County History.]
June 18, 2010
Heathcote, E. and Henry Sewell walked over. The last has no doubt that all things may be satisfactorily arranged about St Columba’s, and is in good spirits. Also, – Todd now says that both Cotton and Elrington misrepresented him to me, and that I was right all through. The great difficulty against this is: – that when I quoted Cotton’s letter to him, in which he uses ‘we’ (himself and Todd) the latter never disavowed the language nor the matter. However, a rag to cover bareness is all I ask. It is quite settled that the reconciliation is to be deferred until the Statutes are definitively agreed on. Were they to fraternize openly with Radley now, the Primate and the rest would be alarmed.