October 29th, 1847 (Friday)

October 29, 2009

The servitors have behaved very ill in their dormitory, going into one another’s beds, to talk and eat apples. Have given them a tremendous scolding, and told them that they are in one’s charge just like the students, and that I shall treat them in the same way, and, that, painful as it is, I shall probably have to chastise them. All the culprits have shed floods of tears, excepting Joseph Capell, who is apparently immoveable. In fact, the grief that they have exhibited is so great, that I have just called them up to say that my object appears to have been secured, and that I shall therefore take no further notice of what has occurred. When I told them that I had a great affection for them they cried bitterly. Thomas, who is a very nice boy, when I said that I expected much from him, and was grievously disappointed at my error, was almost stifled with sobbing. Joseph was apparently more glad to escape a whipping than that I had forgiven him. I threatened him severely. I fear an indifferent boy.

Sewell came out with some friends.

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Mr Johnson the observer, Mr Wynn of All Souls, and Mr Pattieson of Trinity, came out with Sewell to dine. Greatly charmed and surprised.

October 25th, 1847 (Monday)

October 25, 2009

Sewell came out late in the evening of yesterday with his brother Henry. The latter was much pleased with progress. Agreed about the insurance of House, etc. Advised us to stave off large payments, owing to the frightful depression in the money market; – but that if, from the same cause, our finances by and by should become alarmingly low, – he had little doubt that he could negotiate a loan for us. He appeared not at all uneasy about our getting on.

Reynolds went to Abingdon to be confirmed. Meluish [sic] and Clutterbuck were to have accompanied him, but when it was time to start, one of them was found to have nothing but a straw hat, and the other a very shabby one of felt, – so I was obliged to interdict the walk. So they went back to their books, but I shortly went into School, and relieved the poor fellows, who had already been disappointed enough.

Yesterday evening, instead of catechizing the three boys, read out one of St Bernard’s epistles, clause by clause, and made Reynolds translate, which he did pretty well. The change pleased them; and the letter was a beautiful one.

October 22nd, 1847 (Friday)

October 22, 2009

Mr Marriott, of Oriel, came with a Mrs Hill, whose son is curate at Bradfield, near Pangbourne.1 She had purchased nominations for two sons at Marlborough, but was determined to sacrifice the cost, for the sake of getting them hither, – being much dissatisfied with that place for many reasons. The numbers were too large, (near 500) and the Masters too few; – one of the boys had made but little progress, and the other none at all; – they were allowed to go into the town by themselves; – were compelled to join in bolstering matches; – and so on. Evidently very anxious to have them here, – to which I made no difficulty, owing to her introduction through Mr Marriott. So they are to come after Christmas. Much pleased with the College, and Mrs Burky.

Two gentlemen came over from Exeter to see Sewell, – one of them a Mr Paul, – who made inquiries with a view to his brother coming. They and Mr Marriott went in along with Sewell to Oxford after tea. Term has begun so we have lost Sewell for the present. He comes out, however, we hope, on the Feast of Saints Simon and Jude, along with some friends.


1: Charles Marriott was considered one of the most influential members of the Oxford Movement, taking Newman’s place as a leader of the movement after the latter’s secession to Rome, and was instrumental in persuading many young men to remain within the Church of England. Marriott worked closely with Pusey as advisor on his controversial historical writings and on some of his pioneering foundations. In 1847 he was rector of Great St Mary’s, the University Church in Oxford. Marriott’s keenest interest was education: he supported Henry Stevens, the Rector of Bradfield who founded Bradfield College in Berkshire. In 1855 Marriott retired to Bradfield, where his brother was curate, and died there three years later. (Entry in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography)

Sewell had a letter from Mr Bennett of Knightsbridge, which was very encouraging. He says – ‘All I can do I will; but it seems to me that we have need of more decision, promptitude, and heart, in our Bishops. All our endeavours are paralyzed by the mere tacit approval of our Rulers, instead of being strengthened by their cooperation and lead.’ He mentions that ‘he himself is endeavouring to form a little Parochial establishment, connecting by close links, School, Church, and clergy in one; – but is thwarted by having it called a Monastery, although it provides for the education of girls, as part of its plan, and although he, ‘the head of it, is a married man. But,’ he adds, ‘in spite of this, and other prejudices, I am advancing.’ He goes on, ‘I do sincerely join with you, and sympathize with you in the work of St Peter’s Colege, and I will take care to mention it wherever I can.’

It is curious to see how all sound men agree about the pusillanimity of the bishops. It is a great trial to us, but we must not allow ourselves to be forgetful of the duty of patience and obedience.

Monk had also a letter from Mr Dusantoy, who, although of a cheerful and sanguine turn of mind, says he is becoming quite ‘down-hearted.’ Mentions a rumour, which he can scarcely help crediting, that Archbishop Manning and Mr Dodsworth are inclining Romewards.1 This is very melancholy, but only makes us the more firm, please God, to stand our ground. It is quite clear that the Church of England is in a very critical state, but I do believe that there is a powerful body of true Catholics within her bosom, to preserve her, with God’s help, from Rome and the Pope. May he strengthen our hands here that we may prove a nursery of Anglicanism! What need have we of every exertion and every help, when England is to be inundated by a host of Romish Bishops and other Ecclesiastics, whose mission is to pervert the whole population! How wise a step, – and yet where is our own organisation to meet it?

I had a letter from Hopson of Gloucester, to whom I wrote inquiring about the history of the old oak bedstead in my room. He says it ‘was purchased at a mansion called Bowden Hall, about four miles from Gloucester, and was sold at the sale of Miss Turbefield. It was stated in the catalogue that King Charles had slept on this bedstead, and that twenty pounds was paid for it by the late proprietress, who was a great collector of antique furniture.’ Whatever the value of this tradition may be, it is at least as good as that which stamps historical interest on half the curiosities we see.

Writing of old furniture reminds me that Margetts told Sewell some time ago that he saw the fine carved panels, which we got from Hopson, exhibited at Bristol, at 1s per head; – but that unfortunately two were abstracted at the time.


1: Henry Edward Manning was one of the most influential members of the Oxford Movement. He was also the brother in law of Samuel Wilberforce, Bishop of Oxford. In 1847 he held the post of Archdeacon of Chichester. He spent most of that year and the next in Rome, suffering and convalescing from a serious illness. During his time in Rome he had an audience with Pope Pius IX. In the course of the next few years, Manning struggled with his role in the Church of England. He was received into the Roman Catholic Church in 1851. Eventually he rose to the post of Cardinal-Archbishop of Westminster. (Entry in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography)

William Dodsworth was a Tractarian clergyman and close friend of Manning, with whom he travelled extensively. In 1847 he was perpetual curate of Christ Church, Albany St., London, a centre of Tractarian preaching, where, under the direction of Pusey, he had founded the first Anglican sisterhood at Park Village West. Dodsworth resigned his cure and entered the Roman Catholic Church on 1st January 1851. He could not enter the priesthood because he was still married. Thereafter, he lived as a Catholic layman, writing a number of Roman Catholic tracts. (Entry in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography)

October 18th, 1847 (Monday)

October 18, 2009

Gibbings came to pay us a visit of a few days. Mentioned that the Archbishop of Dublin had begun to patronise Stackallan, and was going to ordain one of the Fellows there. I wonder how the Bishop of Meath will like this.

Mr Arthur Tidman of Lincoln, a friend of Howard’s, came to dine & sleep. Howard wishes him to be elected a Fellow; but, though he is amiable and clever, is hardly gentlemanlike enough for us. He had heard rumours of one’s coldness & reserve, but was much surprised at the contrast between fame and fact.

Monk has made a kite for the boys, finding that their own attempts were clumsy and unsuccessful, and Howard has printed on it a fine, bold figure of Pegasus, mounted by a Petran with cap in hand, taking polite leave of sublunary concerns.1 Overhead is a scroll with ‘sic iture ad astra’. However, owing to malformation or mismanagement, the kite flew giddily, & at length reached the despised earth, ambition meeting downfall & fracture. The Muses were probably more distressed than the boys, who bear the catastrophe with good humour.


1: This is the first example of a generic name for the boys of the school. ‘Petran’ is nowhere else recorded. ‘Petreian’ appeared for a while in the 1960s as the title of a mildly subversive school magazine, countering the official magazine The Radleian. ‘Radleian’ has been the preferred term for a pupil of the school since the 1850s.

Robert Elrington, who had 3 brothers at Stackallan, came unexpectedly. Talked to me about his Uncle’s Pamphlet on Education in which it seems that he has given in his adhesion to the National system in Ireland, at the same time declaring that his objections to it remain unaltered. Will men never learn that their only duty is to support truth & practise it? But the man, who sacrificed the discipline of the Prayer Book to Irish Protestants, was not likely to fight the battle of Education against Irish Papists. Thus it is, that one principle after another is surrendered to the clamour of the wicked by men who know not their own strength, if they had only the courage to stand firm. I hear that Dr Elrington is greatly lowered in the estimation of the Irish Church, and I am glad to hear it. Robert Elrington is to send me the tract.1

Howard returned more cheerful than I could have expected. It is such a comfort to have him back again amongst us. Our numbers are so few, that we can ill afford the absence of one, especially of one so amiable and so social as he.


1: A few suggestions addressed to the clergy upon the present state of the question respecting national education in Ireland. By Charles R. Elrington, Dublin 1847. Elrington had previously addressed this issue in 1838 in Remarks upon some statements made in a digest of the evidence on the national system of education in Ireland … in a letter to the Provost of Trinity College by Charles Elrington. Dublin, 1838.

October 15th, 1847 (Friday)

October 15, 2009

The slating finished to-day, and the plasterers will complete the scratch-coat inside tomorrow. The stone ridge-work in progress.

Nine stalls arrived, which had been given to Mr Bowyer. They originally came from Cologne, and formed part of the parcel, out of which Mr Bowyer supplied the twelve in the chancel of Radley Church. They are handsome and good, being apparently of the date of James 1st. I daresay we shall put tem into the chapel first of all, until we can complete the beautiful Gothic stalls, a few of which are now in Margett’s hands. Afterwards the Ante-Chapel may receive them.

Sewell received £100 from a lady, who would not allow him to disclose her name. This is a subject of thankfulness; thus our spirits are kept up. We are not taught to pray for wealth or independence, but for ‘daily bread’. Port Royal flourished on precarious supplies, and perished at last, not from want of funds, but from the hostility of the Jesuits.1


1 The Jansenist school at Chevreuse, near Paris, which introduced a revolutionary approach to education in the late seventeenth century. Its pupils included Racine and Pascal. [Article in the Catholic Encyclopedia]