January 31st, 1848 (Monday)

January 31, 2010

Sewell came out and slept. A clergyman from Reading had called upon him, I believe with a view to boys, and said that the whole country will be with us. Has had a letter from the Head of some large school in Cheshire (or if not the Head, some person concerned) saying that he is labouring to get things on our model. Also a letter inclosing £26 presented at an offertory at Torquay for St Peter’s College. This no doubt is through the Duboulay’s. Every thing serves to show the general interest which is taken; – for which ‘Sans Deo.’

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January 30th, 1848 (Sunday)

January 30, 2010

Got a letter from Mr Tibbs, who seems rejoiced at his election. Mentions a very close friend of his, of admirable tone, and sound Churchmanship, who would be likely to throw himself heartily into the work here. Is in Priest’s orders, an excellent musician and mathematician. Altogether, it would appear precisely what we want. Mr Tibbs is to see more of him, and let us know. Providence appears to be raising up fit instruments for us as we require them.

This being the 1st day of Term, the Students began to arrive, – ten, besides our former three. All gentlemanlike, promising looking boys, with the exception of the two Hills, who are vulgar and ill-countenanced. They show pretty well what a low place Marlborough must be. I think however they are not past improvement; but if we cannot make something of them, we shall quietly ask Mrs Hill to take them away.

Sewell came. He had been to see a lady at Tunbridge Wells, who takes the deepest interest in St Peter’s. Told her the whole story about the fasting troubles; – she thought we were thoroughly right, and gave him £100.

Went to Mr Wilton at 79 Pall Mall to get a list of persons likely to help us, who mentioned that Dr Todd had written to him to know, “whether the subscriptions had fallen off, owing to Mr Sewell’s strange behaviour.” How highly improper to write in this way to a mere clerk in a public office! Wilton sent the letter to Nugent Wade, who wrote to say that whether there had been any failing in consequence of the Journal, he could not undertake to say, but that there was a large one, owing to their treatment of oneself. Indeed by Wilton’s account, I should gather that their supporters were reduced one half.

The Sub-Warden and Monk returned this day before 1st day of Term, – according to Statute. Told them all about Mr Tibbs, and all agreed to elect him: so I wrote announcing the fact, pressing him to come as soon as possible.

Howard came unexpectedly. Had seen Upton Richards, of Margaret St. Chapel, – a very high Churchman, to whom he told the tale of my secession from St Columba’s. It seems that Bishop Hope, and all that party, (- for they are a party, with I do believe no sincere love of the Church of England, -) think that the present Statute there is a very good one, and that I ought to have been contented with it. Now, the meaning of the Statute is this; – that each individual may be at liberty to interpret the Church’s rule as he pleases, and even to think that she imposes no obligation at all. About this there can be no doubt whatever, for the Trustees acknowledge it. In fact, the object is, to be able to say to the strict Churchman that the law of the Church is the law of the College, he not dreaming that it may be evaded by any one who chooses to say that the Church really orders nothing; – and at the same time to say to the Puritan, or lax Establishmentarian, that the consciences of the Fellows are perfectly free. Now Mr Hope either knows all this, or he does not. If he does, he is unsound in condemning us, – if he does not, he is to blame in censuring upon insufficient information. I cannot but think that he and others of his stamp are jealous of Sewell for his firmness in detaching himself from that extreme party, and exposing their unquestionable tendencies. Mr Hope says that the Primate of Ireland laid the whole correspondence before him. Now, I don’t believe His Grace did, for I don’t believe His Grace has seen the whole himself. If he has, people are even worse than I thought. Whether or not, it is a very unpleasant position to find oneself in, – to be consulted by a man of highest station upon a point, which he has already ruled in one, very definite way.

The Servitors sang a Christmas carol under my windows, and hurraed loudly, – I suppose from delight that the College had begun to reassemble. They knew that Howard and I were at tea in my room. Poor boys, – they are very happy.

January 24th, 1848 (Monday)

January 24, 2010

The Revd. Henry Willis, who is at present residing at Brighton for his health, having been obliged to give up parish work, came with a letter of introduction to Howard. Rev. Alfred Mason had mentioned this college to him, and recommended the Journal. So struck that he came off at once and asked me to receive his little boy, to which I at once consented, perceiving him to be a gentleman as well as a sound Churchman.

Badcock is gone, and Battersby arrived.

Sewell came out from Oxford for an hour or two. Is quite satisfied with Mr Tibbs, so I wrote to say that he would certainly be elected, and to beg him to come as soon as possible.

Sewell has had a letter from Todd complaining of the Journal, and saying that he believes that a jury of 12 English Churchmen would pronounce that the Trustees could not have acted otherwise than they have; but since they offered no resistance to the printing of the Journal before, he scarcely thinks they can do so now. Morton has written to Wade, enclosing Sewell’s letter, – and begging to know his opinion of its ‘animus’. To this Wade replied that it had ‘no animus at all’; and he took this opportunity of telling Morton that he had seen the whole correspondence between me and the Trustees, and that I could not have acted otherwise, a point upon which, moreover, there ‘could not be a second opinion.’ Thus is truth making its slow but sure way.

Revd. Henry Wall Tibbs came, in accordance with what is mentioned under December 15th. Would have been here before, but for illness. Is an A.M. of Dublin, and a Scholar on that foundation, where he knew Robert King very well. Also a licentiate in Theology of Durham; – has been in Priests orders for several years, and accustomed to chant the service. Testimonials of scholarship and knowledge of Divinity very high; – sound Anglican; sound musician, – in fact, just the sort of person we want. Explained the chief points of the Statutes to him, with which he was highly pleased, especially with our firmness about the fasts. Altogether, I was so well satisfied, that I said I would hold election the moment the fellows came back. He knows Morton intimately.

Hon. & Rev. Arthur P. Perceval1 came out from All Souls, (of which he was a Fellow) and dined with me, returning in the evening. Very much pleased. “You see I have not brought my gown with me,” – was one of his first remarks. (Vid. Sewell’s Journal) He is one of the most active-minded men I ever knew. His ordinary correspondents are crowned Heads and Ministers of State, to all of whom he tells the plainest truth, and who therefore hate him very sincerely. I am amazed that the Queen does not deprive him of the chaplaincy in Ordinary. When Palmerston, who abhors the name of Perceval, does not answer his letters, he writes to Prince Albert and makes him. He has almost got possession of a glorious Church in Lubeck, which he wishes to devote for ever to the Anglican service, but diplomacy stands in the way. Given the library a copy of his Ecclesiastical tour, in which he puts forward the favourable inclination arising in Germany towards the English Church. Admirable man! He is so active, zealous, firm and plain-spoken, – that most men, who cannot comprehend truth, or the principle of contending for it, think him, as he says himself, ‘dementé’. Thank God for all the signs of life that the English Church is manifesting in so many places.


1: Arthur Philip Perceval was the fifth son of George Perceval, 2nd Baron Arden. He was associated with the Oxford Movement from its foundation, and was the author of three of Tracts for the Times. He was a prolific author. He was appointed Chaplain to George IV in 1826, and continued as royal chaplain to William IV and Queen Victoria, but was deprived of the appointment in 1850, following the Gorham case. He was connected to the family of the Earls of Egmont and to Spencer Perceval, Prime Minister, whose sons were among the earliest boys to attend Radley. See entry in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.