February 27th, 1848 (Sunday)

February 27, 2010

Received a letter from Mr Tibbs, and Sewell one yesterday, to say that his friends have recommended him not to stir from Aston, and accordingly resigning his fellowship.

Also one from the Bishop saying that he intended to pay us a visit yesterday, with his brother the Archdeacon. It turned out afterwards that the violence of the weather, and an indisposed coachman, prevented their coming.

Hunt and Roskell have long had in their possession a pastoral staff, of silver gilt, of fine form and chasing. This Sewell had an idea of buying some years ago for St Columba’s, but abandoned it for some reason or other. Since we saw the same kind of thing in the Bishop’s chapel at Cuddesdon, we determined to send to London for it, and, if we liked it, to see if we could manage the purchase. Accordingly it was sent, and turns out to be a very handsome and tasteful work of art, of no antiquity, but thoroughly good. Weighs 116 oz., – of considerable size. We design to put it alongside of the Bishop’s chair, as a striking symbol of our being under Episcopal control. As to payment, the goldsmiths will wait till next year, when Sewell or I hope to be able to manage it.

Sewell wrote to the Bishop on the matter, and he wrote back to say that there “was not the smallest objection to it, if in itself or ornaments unobjectionable,” but that it “ought not to be borne in processions”. Nor exhibited just at present, but that by and bye there “would be no danger”. He speaks of the great “suspicion which surrounds the undertaking.” He called on Sewell subsequently, and mentioned Mr Henley, member for Oxfordshire, as having spoken against us.1 Sewell wrote him a sharp letter, to which the reply was that he meant no harm, but Sewell wrote him another sharp letter to condemn the censures and evil-speaking of mere ignorance. I have not heard the result of this.


1: Questions were raised in Parliament on “Encouragement to Schools in Connexion with the Church Education Society (Ireland)” by Captain Archdale, Kilmore, on February 15th, from the Protestant Inhabitants of Roscommon on February 16th, Mr Maxwell, of Cavan, of February 17th, Mr George Hamilton, of Kildare, and Sir William Veiney, of Armagh, on February 18th, by Captain Jones, of Armagh, on February 21st, from several places in Ireland on February 22nd, by Captain Archdale and others on February 23rd, by Mr Grogan, from Wexford, on February 28th. Throughout this period, debates in the House were concerned with all aspects of the Irish question, of which education (and the example of St Columba’s) was just one aspect.

Joseph Henley, MP for Oxford, was present in the House and spoke or commented on a variety of petitions on February 15th, 16th, 18th and 21st 1848, but not specifically on education.

It should be remembered that Radley was in Berkshire at this time, and that the MP for Oxfordshire did not represent the constituency. Source, Hansard

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