December 21st, 1847 (Tuesday)

December 21, 2009

The boys and Fellows went away today, and I am left to take charge of the College, but there is so much to be done that I dare say I shall not mind being alone. Sewell remains for a day or two. He is writing to Lord John Thynne: who he thinks has been affected by rumours, to beg of him to give no credence to them, until he shall have asked Sewell for an account of the real facts. That he had intended asking his leave to mention to him, with a few other persons of influence and station, the whole history of the troubles at St Columba’s, in order that they might be able to give the negative to the false statements so common, – but that we were becoming so much firmer, and making our way so cheeringly, that at present he would not trouble him with any detailed statement. Sewell has told a few leading men in Oxford the whole story, – Heathcote, Barrow, and others; and it is most satisfactory to find that they all accord entirely with the course we have taken. I heard from him with great delight that when Keble was informed of what we were doing he was much pleased, and said that it was a fine thing that we had begun again after the apparent defeat in Ireland. I hope it is not presumptuous to look upon such approval as an external testimony that we are in the right way.1

Sewell has had a letter from Mr Smith of Worcester declining to stand for a fellowship, on the ground that after his unsatisfactory career in college he cannot ask us to elect him. His letter is very well written, and shows him to be a man of intelligence and high principle.


1: In 1847, John Keble held the living of Hursley in Hampshire, under the patronage of Sir William Heathcote, 5th Bart. Sir William had originally offered the living to Keble in 1829, upon the death of Ven. Gilbert Heathcote, Archdeacon of Gloucester. Archdeacon Heathcote was the father of William Beadon Heathcote, Fellow of New College, and Warden of Radley 1851-52, who was frequently called upon for advice by both Singleton and Sewell. See entry in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

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2 Responses to “December 21st, 1847 (Tuesday)”

  1. David Key Says:

    In the footnotes to this page it states “1: In 1847, John Keble held the living of Hursley in Wiltshire, under the patronage of Sir William Heathcote, 5th Bart.”

    It’s a minor point but Hursley is in Hampshire (between Winchester and Romsey)

    I am currently undertaking an update of the History of Hursley Park (Sir William’s estate) so if there are any additional references you are aware of I would be extremely grateful if you could let me know.

    • Clare Sargent Says:

      Thank you for pointing this out to us – it was an oversight entered in error and we are happy to correct it. Clare Sargent

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