Wood’s diary excerpts

A flavour of life at Radley in the 1850s

Wood’s diary – excerpts

1855. October 18th. Thursday

The first football
Stayed in bed this morning, feeling far from well. Violent headache. This was the first Game at Football and I had promised to play. I presented the School with a new Football. Mr Martin [Abingdon surgeon] came to see me and allowed me to go out for an hour, so I went to see the game. The boys gave three cheers in honour of the present, so I had to retreat. Afterwards at Roll I told Spyers [Senior Prefect] it ought not to have been done.West walked over to Oxford and saw Charlie who is said to be looking all the better for his tour.Two or three of the boys have been attacked in the same way as myself with a sore throat. The Warden is a little apprehensive of Scarlet Fever.
William Wood’s Diary 1855-1861, ed. by Mark Spurrell, is available from Oxfordshire Record Society. These excerpts are presented to give a flavour of life at Radley in the 1850s

William Wood, DD, Sub-Warden 1855-66 & Warden 1866-70 of Radley College

William Wood, DD, Sub-Warden 1855-66 & Warden 1866-70 of Radley College

Wood’s diary – excerpts

1857. 2nd October. Friday

Chapel
In evening College Meeting. Much talk backwards and forwards, the opposition holding to their old opinion. I thought the plan would have been rejected, but the Warden was very anxious it should be carried. At length, as the majority were for, the minority, West, Gibbings, Macrorie and Monk, very goodnaturedly agreed in a proposal of mine (carried unanimously) that we should leave it in the Warden’s hands, he knowing what our feelings were in detail. So it was adopted. On Surplice days we are to use the full service, and Wednesdays and Fridays the Litany only, on other days the shorter form of King Edward VI’s First Book.

 

William Wood’s Diary 1855-1861, ed. by Mark Spurrell, is available from Oxfordshire Record Society. These excerpts are presented to give a flavour of life at Radley in the 1850s

William Wood, DD, Sub-Warden 1855-66 & Warden 1866-70 of Radley College

William Wood, DD, Sub-Warden 1855-66 & Warden 1866-70 of Radley College

Wood’s diary – excerpts

1857. 19th September. Saturday

News from the Sepoy Rebellion in India

The news from India still of doubtful character. A letter to the Warden from Mr. Talbot. Havelock had fallen back on Cawnpore, but was again advancing towards Lucknow.

I find in the list of those murdered in this horrible mutiny, my old friend Block. 10 years ago we were freshmen together at Trinity. Then came his appointment to the Civil Service, 2 years since I found he had returned on leave and married. I hope his wife has been spared. What a state of things this is! Deus miseareatur animae. [God have mercy on his soul] Poor Gibbings feels his brother’s death deeply. Tomorrow he is going to preach and have a collection for sufferers in India. I have promised to help him in the afternoon.

 

How Radley was affected by the Sepoy Rebellion can be read in A letter home, 1857 in 100 Radley objects.

William Wood’s Diary 1855-1861, ed. by Mark Spurrell, is available from Oxfordshire Record Society. These excerpts are presented to give a flavour of life at Radley in the 1850s

William Wood, DD, Sub-Warden 1855-66 & Warden 1866-70 of Radley College

William Wood, DD, Sub-Warden 1855-66 & Warden 1866-70 of Radley College

Wood’s diary – excerpts

1855. September 11th. Tuesday

News from the Crimean War

News arrived by this morning’s post of the Taking of Sebastopol!!! This is indeed glorious. It took place on Sunday. The Warden had word sent in a letter, Lord Panmure having telegraphed to the Mayor of Oxford. I rushed out and told the boys as I had done last year when we heard of the Alma. They all ran out and a gave a spontaneous and hearty cheer.

Mr. Bartley read  “Julius Caesar”.

 

William Wood’s Diary 1855-1861, ed. by Mark Spurrell, is available from Oxfordshire Record Society. These excerpts are presented to give a flavour of life at Radley in the 1850s

William Wood, DD, Sub-Warden 1855-66 & Warden 1866-70 of Radley College

William Wood, DD, Sub-Warden 1855-66 & Warden 1866-70 of Radley College

Wood’s diary – excerpts

1856. September 2nd. Tuesday

A chat in Common Room

In evening an amusing chat in Common Room sitting on the table, Macrorie, West, Owen, Wilson and myself. The last of our many happy talks in that room with Owen.

 

William Wood’s Diary 1855-1861, ed. by Mark Spurrell, is available from Oxfordshire Record Society. These excerpts are presented to give a flavour of life at Radley in the 1850s

William Wood, DD, Sub-Warden 1855-66 & Warden 1866-70 of Radley College

William Wood, DD, Sub-Warden 1855-66 & Warden 1866-70 of Radley College

Wood’s diary – excerpts

1855. August 24th. Friday

Promotion prospects
Just before morning chapel the Warden took me aside on the terrace and after laying before me the perplexities of S. Columba’s, asked whether, suppose he could spare me here, I would undertake the office of Warden in place of Williams. I said such a thought could only have occurred to persons who knew but little of me and could not possibly understand, as I do myself, my own thorough incompetence for such a post.

William Wood’s Diary 1855-1861, ed. by Mark Spurrell, is available from Oxfordshire Record Society. These excerpts are presented to give a flavour of life at Radley in the 1850s

William Wood, DD, Sub-Warden 1855-66 & Warden 1866-70 of Radley College

William Wood, DD, Sub-Warden 1855-66 & Warden 1866-70 of Radley College

Wood’s diary – excerpts

 

1855. July 27th. Friday

‘I resolved to commence a diary’

It was from this point of view just ten years ago as nearly as I can remember, I first saw this, the first old ruined Abbey I had ever seen. I had walked with Ackland from Ruabon. How well I remember everything. There lay the Abbey just as before, the ivy clinging to the old walls, the sunlight on the top buttress faces of the angles towards the West, the dashing brooklet at my feet just seen at intervals through the thick beeches, the quiet solemn grandeur of the bare mountains enclosing the little valley – all just as before. Nothing changed but myself. And myself, how much! Ten years! What a change they make in all one’s thoughts and aspirations when they are the ten between 16 and 26. Is it a change for the better? Not much, I fear. How little good done, how great the evil!

Among other things I resolved to commence a Diary, a thing I had often intended, but always lacked energy to make a beginning. Here then I may write incipit [it begins].

 

William Wood’s Diary 1855-1861, ed. by Mark Spurrell, is available from Oxfordshire Record Society. These excerpts are presented to give a flavour of life at Radley in the 1850s

William Wood, DD, Sub-Warden 1855-66 & Warden 1866-70 of Radley College

William Wood, DD, Sub-Warden 1855-66 & Warden 1866-70 of Radley College

Wood’s diary – excerpts

1857. 6th June. Sunday

Oxbridge result
Drove in to Oxford to see Charlie and enquire about Spyers in the Trinity [examination]. Found him quite out of the running. His last prose bad, essay childish. It is very provoking to find so little return for one’s pains.

 

William Wood’s Diary 1855-1861, ed. by Mark Spurrell, is available from Oxfordshire Record Society. These excerpts are presented to give a flavour of life at Radley in the 1850s

William Wood, DD, Sub-Warden 1855-66 & Warden 1866-70 of Radley College

William Wood, DD, Sub-Warden 1855-66 & Warden 1866-70 of Radley College

Wood’s diary – excerpts

1856. June 4th. Wednesday. Commemoration Day

Fireworks in Oxford

I set off at ½ past 7 and walked in to Oxford by the towpath, a most beautiful day, not a creature by the river side. The swallows dipping into the water and breeze rippling the surface almost the only signs of life. Oxford in all the stir of anxious preparation. Met Wilson and gave him my ticket. Had some breakfast in Bowyer’s bedroom, he expecting a visitation of ladies. Went with him to the [Sheldonian] theatre, got in easily, but soon a tremendous crush, never felt anything like it. Prince Albert, the Princes of Prussia and Baden were there, with Lord Derby. The two latter Princes had degrees given them, also Colin Campbell, Williams (absent) Sir E. Lyons, Lord Clarendon etc. Not much wit from the gallery and the men behaved very badly to poor Claughton, who spoke the oration.

Gibbings and West dined with me in Hall at 1½, a capital cold collation. The President gave the toast of “the ladies” received rapturously, afterwards sat in the garden and watched the lions [guests]. Walked to the Museum. Archit.-Soc. (Gibbings taken in by my practical joke). Tea in Richards rooms. Akers joined us. At 9 sallied forth to see the illuminations. Walked all round the town. A magnificent sight, like some scene in the Arabian Nights. The end of Magdalen very pretty. Passed through a shower of squibs up High Street at 10½. Christ Church being regularly bombarded. Walked out to reach Radley at 12.
William Wood’s Diary 1855-1861, ed. by Mark Spurrell, is available from Oxfordshire Record Society. These excerpts are presented to give a flavour of life at Radley in the 1850s

William Wood, DD, Sub-Warden 1855-66 & Warden 1866-70 of Radley College

William Wood, DD, Sub-Warden 1855-66 & Warden 1866-70 of Radley College

Wood’s diary – excerpts

1858. 22nd May. Friday

A collegiate school

Letter to the Warden. I write the following lines on behalf of the Fellows to avoid any further misunderstanding from verbal inaccuracies, not from any desire to interpose unnecessary formality or stiffness in our relations with each other.

A question has arisen as to the position we occupy with regard to yourself. What is meant by our being Fellows of a College?

We thought that the least which could be meant by it was, that you did not intend to make any essential changes in the principles on which it has hitherto worked, without, at all events, consulting the Fellows on the subject. Our convictions as to this were strengthened by your having repeatedly expressed your wish to preserve the status quo. We therefore asked you to be so good as to express to us, as a body, the next time that you called us together for any Collegiate act, your intention to lay before the Fellows any proposal which to the greater part of them seemed to involve a change of principle, not for their decision, but for their discussion.

William Wood’s Diary 1855-1861, ed. by Mark Spurrell, is available from Oxfordshire Record Society. These excerpts are presented to give a flavour of life at Radley in the 1850s

William Wood, DD, Sub-Warden 1855-66 & Warden 1866-70 of Radley College

William Wood, DD, Sub-Warden 1855-66 & Warden 1866-70 of Radley College