April 8th, 1848 (Saturday)

April 8, 2010

Mr Telford arrived on Wednesday last, leaving the organ safe at Bristol, with four of his men, who had it carefully looked after at the terminus. The weather lovely, and the passage rapid with a still sea. On Thursday afternoon it was in Abingdon, whence it was removed on that and the next day hither, in three enormous loads on three enormous wagons. There were 84 packages, weighing above 12 tons. From the time the removal from the factory in Dublin commenced, till it was brought to Radley, – was a week, during which it did not receive a drop of rain. On Friday evening it was thundering and pelting at Abingdon, and we were much alarmed, as wet would have been ruinous; – but, thanks to Providence, we got everything into the chapel most comfortably soon after dusk. This day the erection began, and this day twelve-months ago I ordered the organ to be made, – though we had neither “local habitation, nor a name”. Looking upon the events of the past year, may we not say without presumption, – “He that is mighty hath done to us great things”? We all agree that the carving is eminently successful: indeed, Sewell wants to send some panels to Dublin to be executed there. However, more of criticism hereafter: at present the chapel is a scene of confusion, and looks more like a picture of the ruins of Babylon than anything else.1 Such infinity of parts!

1: Henry Layard’s description of the excavations at Nineveh had only just been published. Singleton may be referring to this in this comment. Nineveh and its Remains: with an Account of a Visit to tile Chaldaean Christians of Kurdistan, and the Yezidis, or Devil-worshippers; and an Inquiry into the Manners and Arts of the Ancient Assyrians (2 vols., 1848–1849).


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