Entries for 1849

January 1849

[Continued from the entry for 19th December, 1848]

The fear of inability to continue this my journal expressed on page 106, seems to have been verified sooner than I expected.

I am now writing at York, February 27th 1874, after reading through it for the first time during the past 25 years. This has been done preparatory to my committing it, along with several important documents, to the private custody of the Warden of St Peters for the time being, with the understanding that all is to be returned to me, or to the head of my family, in case of the College degenerating into a private or proprietory school.1

At this spot the work comes to a termination, and an abrupt one. However, on two sheets of paper, inclosed between the two proceeding leaves, I find scribbled the briefest memoranda of occurrences, which had evidently been intended to furnish matter for fuller notice. As there is no knowing of what value such trifles may be in the time to come, I do not like to throw the papers into the fire, without an endeavour to methodise their contents, and insert them here in the best form that I can.


1: In 1874, the Warden of Radley College was the Rev. Charles Martin. He had been appointed as Warden in 1871, and continued in the post until 1879. He was the fifth Warden to succeed Singleton, and, apart from William Sewell, the was to be the longest serving so far.


From this point onwards, Singleton’s “briefest memoranda” are recorded along with any marginal notes he made. The notes finally conclude in late 1849, though Singleton himself would remain as Warden until he finally resigned, along with his brother, in October 1851.

January 17th, 1849 (Wednesday)

[Many of the entries were annotated by Singleton when he transcribed them into the journal in 1874.]

I returned from my holiday, and found the new Dormitory and Schoolroom (as I imagine, 27/2/74) fit to occupy.

Harper (I suppose, a butler in the College).


February 1849

February 6th, 1849 (Tuesday)

Having heard complaints of the riotousness of the boys in coming back to School, made them a speech upon the impropriety of their behaviour. Took this occasion to condemn their teasing one another for personal defects.


February 8th, 1849 (Thursday)

Elected Baker to a fellowship.

Letters received from Todd, Morton and Wade (evidently concerning the critical condition of St Columba’s, 27/2/74)


February 9th, 1849 (Friday)

Henry William Wilberforce dined and slept in the College.


February 10th, 1849 (Saturday)

Philip Hardwicke, the architect, and Major Davis, came to the College. (I imagine they left the same day, although Hardwicke may have stayed, as he was a great friend of Sewell and mine. I know nothing of the other at this distance of time. 27/2/74)


February 12th, 1849 (Monday)

Sub-Warden returned.

This day the panel (query, in front of his seat in Chapel, or at the back?) was put in. Mine was fixed during the vacation.


February 19th, 1849 (Monday)

Lord John Thynne visited us.


February 20th, 1849 (Shrove Tuesday)

Boucher and others made their promise in the sacrarium of the chapel.


February 26th, 1849 (Monday)

Captain Wilson went away, telling me that St Peter’s ‘was the only place in England, where there was no humbug.’


February 27th, 1849 (Tuesday)

Elected Irons and Hetling to Decimal places


February 28th, 1849 (Wednesday)

Mr Buller brought his boy.


March 1849

March 28th, 1849 (Wednesday)

Dr Wordsworth (now Bishop of Lincoln, 27/2/74) paid us a visit, and Henry Sewell came to talk about the lease, and other matters of business.


April 1849

April 2, Monday

Some time during the Passion Week we discovered that the boys would rather be in chapel than in school.


April 8, Easter Day

Had Tallis’ Service in the chapel, and Croff’s Anthem ‘God is gone up.’

(I am pretty sure that I chanted the Litany. 27/2/74)


April 10, Easter Tuesday

Henry Sewell and Wade came. Money matters were talked about.
(I suppose with reference to St Columba’s. 27/2/74)


April 11, Wednesday

Henry William Wilberforce brought his son, and the Bishop applied for two more sons.
(I do not understand what ‘more sons’ means. 27/2/74. Were not Garton and Reginald in the College now? Or, were not the Bishop’s sons Reginald Garton, and Ernest? Had not Henry William Wilberforce a son at the College now? 12/3/74)


April 12, Thursday

Wilson, Cardale and Mason came to the College.


April 13, Friday

My brother Samuel arrived, having been elected to a Fellowship on the 12th of December last year.


April 14, Saturday

The Bishop had a party; also the Hon. Richard Cavendish, paid us a visit.


April 17, Tuesday

Mr Lavington went into Oxford: (I suppose he was staying in the College, and brought out word that he considered, 27/2/74) our service to be better performed than either Christ Church, or Magdalene.


April 21, Saturday

Majendie came


April 23, Monday

Harington came


April 26, Thursday

Thynne (major) came


May 1849

May 1, Tuesday

Mr Campion brought his boy.


May 3, Thursday

Mr and Lady Fanny Howard visited the College


May 4, Friday

A letter was received from Mr Grimaldi, forbidding our proceeding with the buildings. (At this distance of time I entirely forget what was the result of this inhibition; but I know that subsequently, – I cannot say how soon, – he had to give up the agency. He told me himself that he could not agree with Mr Bowyer now that he was Romanizing, or actually gone over to Rome: I think it was the latter. 27/2/74)


May 12, Saturday

Thynne (minor) came


June 1849

June 7, Thursday

Sub-Warden went away for his vacation, that he might return in time to allow me to get away at the end of June.


June 8, Friday

Lord Castlereagh and Sir John Harington visited the College


June 9, Saturday

Sir William Heathcoat and others paid us a visit.


June 20, Wednesday

Elected Edwardes to a Fellowship.


October 1849

[There are no entries in the Journal between 20th June and 27 October, 1849. Many of the entries were annotated by Singleton when he transcribed them into the journal in 1874.]

October 27, Saturday

About this date, – certainly no later, went to Bonchurch, Isle of Wight, to meet William and Robert Sewell. This I think was for the further purpose of looking at Appuldurcombe House, with the idea of taking it for the College, as there were difficulties about a permanent settlement at Radley. Took my meals with them and their sisters, but slept at some hotel, or other place, in the neighbourhood.


October 28, Tuesday

Sat immediately in front of Mr Paget at church: – author of Milford Malvoisin, etc.


October 31, Wednesday

Returned to the College, where I found the Fellows in a state of no small excitement, in consequence of hissing having been heard among the boys. This is serious, and must be inquired into tomorrow. Six or eight of the elder ones suspected either of the act itself, or of complicity with it.


November 1849

The explosive events of November 1849

A new Fellow, Stephen Edwardes, arrived at the school in August 1849. Earlier in the year George Bowyer had forbidden any further building, since there was still no lease on the house and estate, and there was talk of establishing the school on a different site. Towards the end of October, Singleton went to the Isle of Wight, to inspect Appuldurcombe House. While he was away, things went badly wrong. Edwardes beat a boy with extraordinary ferocity. The actual number of strokes was given by one contemporary as forty-two or forty-three, and by Reynolds as more than fifty. The boys as usual heard the punishment being inflicted, and saw the state of the victim’s arms and body afterwards. The details of what followed are not totally clear, but Edwardes was certainly publicly hissed by the boys, and Arthur Sewell, who had entered the school in September that year, later described a plot to put out the candles as Edwardes entered the School and then assault him with a shower of slates; the plot failed because Edwardes did not enter School at the required moment. That some of the Fellows supported Edwardes is shown by Howard’s taking it upon himself to make an angry speech to the boys, without the Sub-Warden’s authority. Singleton returned to find emotions running very high, and there was another outbreak of hissing. He himself was misinformed about the case, because he told the boys that only twenty-five strokes had been given. Another of the newly-elected Fellows, James Baker, who was a humanitarian strongly opposed to corporal punishment, had already argued with Singleton on the iniquity of teaching by the rod, and resigned his Fellowship in disgust at the attitude adopted by some of his colleagues.

However, very shortly after this a decree was passed at a College Meeting to limit corporal punishment to eighteen strokes. Baker withdrew his resignation, and continued at Radley until 1851. He later served at Chaplain at Winchester College from 1858 to 1895


All Saints Day, Thursday [1st November]

Went into School and ordered that all hissers should give in their names to Reynolds before Chapel. This was ostensibly done, and on examining it found that the culprits consisted only of little boys, with the single exception of Melhuish. After service went into School again, and made an address to the whole assembly, in which I characterized the list that had been furnished as a simple piece of mockery. Told them that I was fully resolved to get at the real truth of the matter, and with this view proceeded to examine separately every individual whose name was recorded. Most of the Fellows were present, and Boucher took notes of the proceedings. Found that several of the senior boys were implicated, not actually in hissing, but in the encouragement of it. Accordingly separated from the rest Adam Kennard and his cousin Martyn Kennard, Willie Sewell, and Austin. The behaviour of the three last was down right insolent, and I am very sorry to say that, in spite of all my kindness to Sewell, he has lately been going on very badly. I offered to be every thing to him when his parents returned to India. For his father, General Sewell, had the command of the Madras district, and was only home on leave, being obliged to return a little time ago. Before he went he felt the sorest anxiety about this his son, not knowing what to do with him during vacations. Knowing his difficulties, I said to him: ‘General, I will take care of your boy for you.’ When he heard this he fell on my neck, and shed tears of gratitude. This occurred, I remember, near the side entrance of the College, close to Mrs Burky’s door. I accordance my engagement I took him with me to Sandycove, near Kingsdown, Ireland, where I treated him as if he were my own son. I could do no more for him than I did, and was abundantly willing to do.


November 2, Friday

(I am pretty sure that it was on this day, and not yesterday, that the following occurred. 6/3/74)

During dinner time Day received a message across the Hall from Young to forward to Wilberforce, directing him to hiss after dinner. Melhuish hissed once by himself. I suspected Reynolds, and so I asked him: ‘Reynolds, did you hiss when others hissed?’ To this he answered: ‘No.’ I then rejoined: ‘Since you did not hiss yourself, did you use any means, that your position gave you, to stop a proceeding that was so unseemly?’ His answer again was ‘No.’

All this was so very serious that I made a solemn speech before the whole College, all the Fellows being present. I announced that corporal chastisement must continue. (At this distance of time I am unable to recollect what was the cause of the whole disturbance, but this looks as it if arose from resentment at the Fellows being allowed the use of the cane, which, however, was never administered but after consultation with me, and in my presence. 6/2/74)

Told Macdonald that he had been guilty of misrepresenting his case; and though I bore willing witness to the general good character of Melhuish, yet I announced that he, along with Young and Day, should be confined to their cubicles. AS for Reynolds, because he did not stop the act of insubordination, or at least endeavour to stop it, I degraded him from his place in School and Chapel, the punishment to continue during my pleasure. (What follows must have taken place on some Friday near to the date of the preceding events. My loose manuscript says: ‘Friday the 4th,’ but the 4th fell on a Sunday, so that it must have been later, probably the 9th. 7/3/74)


November, Friday the ?

Reynolds, at his own free wish, comes to me on every Friday preceding the day of Holy Communion, and on this day he sent word to me by Cox that he hoped I would allow him to attend the sacred ordinance as usual. But this I absolutely refused, forbidding him and Day from appearing among the other worshippers. Told Cox to say to him that his late misconduct was only another instance of his old fault, – want of moral courage. He answered that he could have prevented it, and would have done so, but that in his own mind he was satisfied to let it go on.

On hearing this I ordered him to come into my room, and there I directly charged him with deceit in telling me on Tuesday [sic] that he was ‘not discontented.’ To this he replied that his meaning was that he was not ‘generally discontented.’ Now this was obviously nothing but a mean evasion, although he said that he had intended to have come to me to make explanations, but that after my pronouncing judgement on Wednesday [sic] he considered it would have been useless. His whole behaviour all through the affair was so unsatisfactory, in fact it was so bad, that I told him I never was so angry in all my life, insomuch that I would not trust myself to say anything more to him at present further than this, – tht I would not expel him. However, I added that if I had known on Tuesday what I knew now, he would have been at Stoke Newington on Thursday morning.

It is quite obvious that things were very much mismanaged while I was away in the Isle of Wight. In fact, Howard was impetuous, or indiscreet enough, as to go into School, and there make an angry speech to the boys, without ever saying one word about his intention to the Sub-Warden. Of course, I have strictly forbidden any such act as this.

(I cannot make the days of the week here named square with the preceding dates, but I think it better to let them stand as I find them. 7/3/74)


November 26, Monday

The Bishop came, and confirmed in the Chapel Thynne, Young, Lumley, Cardale, Cockrill and Kennard (minimus). It was a day of great quiet in the College, the newly confirmed boys being excused from School, and allowed to go to their cubicles. But


November 27, Tuesday

Was a holiday (no doubt at the request of the Bishop, who frequently asked for the indulgence, and, being the Visitor, I do not think I ever refused
him. 7/3/74)


November 28, Wednesday

Restored Reynolds.


December 1849

December 6, Thursday

Howard was elected Vinirian Scholar, having become a Scholar of Lincoln College, November 9, 1843, and taken his B.A. June 3rd, 1847. Ratcliffe would have voted for him, but that he said in his note that he had been at Radley from its beginning A friend of Howard’s told him that Ratcliffe had been heard to say ‘that he hated Radley every day more than ever.’


December 9, Sunday

Now that I can approve the statutes of St Columba’s, I have offered them a large supply of Service Books, which Monk and I originally got printed for the use of that College. I do this now before we proceed to cancel all the chants, in order to introduce Monk’s Anglicana Chant Book. Tripp writes word that they have got into their new wooden Chapel, which has been given to them by the Primate. Telford says it is very nice. Sewell gave them some stained lights.