May 1st, 1847 (Saturday). Feast of Saints Philip and James
Mr Dean of All Souls called on Sewell, to speak about our project, which delighted him. He said he knew several persons, who were anxiously looking out for a school for their boys, and also that he had no doubt of our getting plenty of them. It is quite cheering to find so many persons taking a lively interest in the embryo college.
Sewell had another letter from Mr Hornby, mentioning that his brother-in-law, Revd. – Derby of Kells, Co. Kilkenny was with him, and had represented matters affecting Stackallan in a very different light from what Sewell had done, – and therefore begging an explanation. Mr Derby resuscitated his dormant suspicions of severity on my part, and referred to letters of mine which he had seen with Lady Erne, and which it was said were proof of my delinquency under my own hand.1 Mr Hornby was very anxious to see them, if I would (so far) consent to extend his confidence. The fact of the letters was this: A boy (Newland) had behaved extremely ill, and was severely punished with the unanimous approval of the whole College. I wrote three very long letters to Sewell, at the time, giving him a minute account of the whole affair. His delight at hearing of all our proceedings, and his love of detail, made me desirous to gratify him, and therefore it was that I wrote at such length. About the same time he was engaged in an effort to bring Lord and Lady Erne over to our side, knowing that if they would patronise Stackallan, the mere Protestant party might become less hostile to us; – and in order to show Lady Erne what kind of place it was, he sent her these very letters, feeling assured that her estimate of it must rise very much in consequence: – and so he understood that it did. But it seems that Mr Derby was pleased to think differently, and as he has a son at present at Stackallan, he, not unnaturally, felt jealous at what we were doing, – and therefore communicated his sentiments to Mr Hornby about me. Sewell enclosed the letters, saying that he cordially approved of what the whole College had approved before, – that he would have done precisely the same had he been in my situation, – and that the success of the measures one had adopted were amply proved by the penitence of an obstinate, bad, boy, who had subsequently told his father that the ‘Warden was the kindest man he ever saw in his life’; – the father also sending me repeated thanks for my care and management of his son, and deeply regretting that poverty compelled him to remove him to a cheaper school, now that all hope of his being placed on the foundation seemed to be taken away. Sewell added that he was getting tired of exposing calumnies, which seemed endless. What Mr Hornby may think of the letters we don’t know, but we are quite prepared to release him from his promise of £200, if he retains his scruples. We shall conduct the College in our own way, or abandon the whole attempt. It is quite clear that mischievous persons have been busy at their pursuit of misrepresentation. Mr Derby never gave a cordial support to St. Columba’s, and long ago raised some objections about our fasting, as well as other parts of our system.
Sewell and I dined with Mr Pollen at Merton, who is rejoiced at the prospect of the College. He gave us an account of some of his travels in the East, and presented us with a piece of olive-tree, which he had cut himself in the supposed site of the garden of Gethsemane. I think he will also give us some drawings, of his own, of sacred places, visited by himself, which will be of great value in stimulating the interest of the boys in the Holy Narrative, and feeding their faith in Divine Things.
1: ‘Lord and Lady Erne’: John Crichton, 3rd Earl Erne of Crom Castle, County Fermanagh, and his wife, Selina Griselda, daughter of Rev. Charles Cobbe Beresford. Their three sons were born in 1839, 1841 and 1844 and were thus of an age to be considered as potential pupils for either Stackallan or Radley.
May 2nd, 1847 (Sunday)
Mr Ley, the Sub-rector of Exeter called on me, & showed me a letter from Mr Fortescue, in which he declined coming to us, for private reasons, which I have no business to specify. He would have been a very desirable person, but all is for the best; we must not be dispirited.
May 3rd, 1847 (Monday)
A letter from my mother to say that she was not all ‘fidgetty’ about my new movement, for that she knew I had a ‘hankering after a college’, – and praying for God’s blessing on me. I confess that this was a great comfort.
Mr Hobson arrived from Gloucester bringing sixteen old panels, exquisitely carved with Scripture devices. These had come into his possession the day before, and he lost no time in coming with them to Oxford, to let Sewell see them. He gave us the outline of their history, but he will make more minute inquiries into it, and when I hear the particulars I shall write them down. He asked £150 for the lot, but said he would take £140. The execution is bold and graphic and evidently in the very first style of the art. Sewell and I consulted together and agreed that, though the sum was large, we should never meet with such a group again; that by a proper arrangement we could dispose them over no inconsiderable surface, and that by erecting a canopy over them, and placing the whole at the back of the Altar, we should relieve a dead wall, and give the east end of the Chapel at once that character, which would impress the building, and thus the whole work, with the sacredness and dignity which we were so anxious it should bear. We therefore offered the man his price, (£140), if he would wait for two months, to which he consented.1 He also brought with him another carved oak cornice, or moulding, which he had executed after a pattern in Gloucester Cathedral. It is much richer than the other, and accordingly is double the price, (2 guineas) but still very reasonable. It represents vine leaves, tendrils, & bunches of grapes, with occasionally the knotted stem appearing. The work is well done, with boldness and considerable spirit. We told him to go on with 2 or 3 more pieces of the two patterns. Either of these will form a beautiful finish for the base of the gallery front, – and for other positions.
1: Ultimately, these panels were not used in the way Singleton planned, since, a few weeks later, he and Sewell purchased the Brabant altarpiece which still adorns Radley College chapel.
May 4th, 1847 (Tuesday)
Captain Haskoll arrived from Walworth, at Sewell’s invitation. We offered him a Fellowship, intending to employ him in teaching French and Latin, and probably as a Bursar also. He had formerly paid us a visit at Stackallan, and we all liked him very much. He was highly pleased with our plans, and anxious to throw himself heartily into the work, expressing the utmost readiness to do any thing which might be assigned to him. When he heard the particulars of our troubles in Ireland, his great fear seemed to be lest our Statutes should not give sufficiently ample powers to the Warden; – that even if a tyranny were inevitable, one tyrant was better than many; – and that his experience of a naval life had been more than enough to satisfy him that discipline was the safety of all societies. He told us that on accepting office in the College, he felt the great importance of being able to join in the musical services of the Chapel, and therefore, though he had never sung a note in his life, he went constantly to Mr Hullah for instruction, and that he was making comfortable progress. This trait shewed his character in a clear light, – though I did not require any such proof of his fitness, for Sewell had known him intimately for years, and is well assured of his worth.
The three of us went out to Radley, – and also Messrs Heathcote, & James Edwards Sewell. Messrs Underwood & Johnson also met us there, who made sundry measurements, & found that the disposition of our buildings, upon which we had settled before, was quite practicable, and did not involve the loss of a single tree. We abandoned the idea of a covered way in front, & attached to the house, as very expensive & difficult to manage. We determined that the Students should pass through the basement storey, in getting from the school-room, on one side of the house, to the dormitory, on the other. This is not what we could wish, but it is what we must do. The day was very fine, though the spring is unusually late, most of the trees still bearing a wintry aspect. Mr Heathcote and Captain Haskoll were very much pleased with the house and place, & especially with the permanent site. I confess I was in high spirits, & Sewell seemed happy.
Mr Heathcote told us that he knew an admirable person for a Fellow; – in Priest’s orders, about 30 years of age, with a private income, and now out of employment, only looking for the leading of Providence to devote himself to some duty. He was a second-class man, and appeared to be so well suited to our purpose in every way, that we begged Mr Heathcote to write to him about the situation, &, if he liked it, to get him to apply for it. From what I hear, I think he might do well for Sub-warden. His name is Anderton.
May 5th, 1847 (Wednesday)
Captain Haskoll, Monk, & I, breakfasted with Sewell in the Bursary at Exeter. Afterwards he took us to his rooms, to show us his first present to our New College; which consisted of a magnificent Grace-Cup, beautiful in shape & chasing, the lid of which is surmounted by a graceful figure of a Bishop, with a Crozier in his right hand. It is a charming work of art. The figure itself is taken from an older work, and is a thoroughly genuine thing, of great merit.
Besides this, there was an ancient salver, or dish, with three vessels, fitting in the bowl of it; and which he designs for the grand Inkstand, which is to hold the writing apparatus, to be used for the insertion of the names in the magnificent book. It is very handsome, & evidently of considerable age. It seems to have used for some sacred rite in the Romish Church; but we need not scruple to use it for so solemn a purpose as that of stimulating and crowning industry & goodness. The entire gift is of silver gilt, and is worthy of that great and good man, who has offered it. May God grant that the one may indeed prove a ‘Poculum Charitatis’,1 the cementing of brotherly affection among the members of a Holy Society; – and that the other may bear a deep share in arousing & strengthening the love of true Learning, upon the basis of true Religion! We put these treasures into the Strong Room at Exeter, along with that part of the Communion Plate which I withdrew from Stackallan, when I found the Visitor & Trustees bowing to popular clamour. It consisted of a magnificent dish, (antique,) 2 beautiful Patens, made to order, & a small cup of Eastern character. The former gift to the College (viz. 2 splendid dishes, a most glorious cup, & a Flagon,) were presented at a time when the possibility of its abandoning its principles never entered into our minds, and therefore could not be withdrawn with the same ease as the latter, though the justice would have been alike in both cases: – but those now so safely deposited, were consigned to the iron chest at Stackallan distinctly as a loan, – the Donor or lender refusing to give them absolutely, until his shaken confidence should be restored.
1: Cup of charity or friendship
May 6th, 1847 (Thursday)
Went into Walters’ little print shop in Oriel Lane, and saw a great number of prints and drawings which he had just purchased at a large sale of such things, belonging to Dr. Crainer, Principal of St Mary Hall, who disposed of them upon his becoming Dean of Carlisle. Some of them appeared very valuable, including a few of Piranesi’s views of Roman remains, and a great many etchings, & coloured drawings by the old Masters, very fine indeed. I got a very large assortment for £10, knowing it to be of great consequence that the boys should have access to sterling works of art, either for copies, or simply as objects to look at, I felt no difficulty in laying out this sum. The Printseller had some trouble to get them at all, as some person in the trade had come down from London, and was outbidding him for everything, and only that he went up to the richer party, & begged that he would leave him something to help his poverty, he would have got nothing worth looking at. We are going to get portraits of great and good men, as we can meet with them & afford the purchase, to hang up in our Hall. This will not only give it a character, but teach by the eye the value of high principles. Sewell also says that he will get casts, to place about the room which is to be the prefects’ study. He has also got prints of the twelve Caesars, which are neatly framed and glazed, and these are to hang round the walls. However, we are not particularly anxious that they should look upon the originals as models of virtue. Nero, Domitian, & others, were not exactly Paragons of excellence; yet portraits of them impress the mind with the reality of history in a way that perhaps nothing else does.
May 7th, 1847 (Friday)
Today & yesterday we spent some hours with Mr Underwood, working at plans for Hall & School-room, & Dormitory, &c. Though the buildings proposed are to be only of Wood & brick, yet we wish to give them some little character, by breaking long, flat surfaces by projections, and varying the shapes of windows. Sewell has more invention than Mr Underwood, but the latter is very valuable in determining what is practicable, and controlling any propositions which involve too much expense. By constantly working at the designs, we hope at last to arrive at something which will be convenient, suitable, and though temporary & cheap, yet not unpleasing to the eye. People will be found to criticize, but we must not mind that.
Sent Mr Telford a rough sketch of a design for the Organ front, which with Mr de la Motte’s assistance, was reduced to something far from bad. We are terribly restricted by the lowness of the Chapel, which is inevitable, in consequence of a heavy roof of wide span (25ft) having to be borne by wooden uprights, and nine-inch brick-work. Height, too, would add to the cost. Not that it is by any means too low for effect, – for length of building with a good pitch, is a great beauty, though the walls be depressed. From the floor to the apex will be above 40 feet, but as the organ will stand on a gallery, & as, being intended for a permanent Chapel (please God,) hereafter, its size will be very considerable, its shape must be modified by the line of the rafters. However, though pinched by narrow limits, I am in hopes that we shall succeed in devising a very imposing and uncommon design. Sewell is uneasy, from an idea that they cannot carve decently in Ireland. I think he underrates what they can do there in this way: at all events we must submit.
This day Sewell sent a copy of his Journal, with the lithographed letter announcing our plan, to the Vice-Chancellor’s lady. We felt it desirable to let leading persons in the University know what we were doing, lest people should say that we were secret or disrespectful, and therefore mischievous. To expect that people will not raise objections & make disparaging remarks, would be mere weakness; but to take away ground for, even unreasonable, cavil, where it is possible, is a plain duty. Mrs Symons, who had taken considerable interest in St Columba’s, wrote a civil reply, saying that the Vice-Chancellor took up the book in the evenings, after his duties were over, & was interested in it. Now, we are not particularly solicitous for the Vice-Chancellor’s approval, as we should have no expectation of meeting it, – but it is important that he should have no reason to charge us with want of courtesy.1 Mr Bowyer, too, is anxious that we should not be obnoxious to any such charge, both for our own sake, as well as his. Strictly speaking, Radley is just beyond University jurisdiction, as Sewell heard from Dr. Bliss, the Registrar, though at one time the Proctors claimed the right of entry to Radley Hall, if they had reason to suspect that an Undergraduate was within its walls.2
1 Benjamin Parsons Symons was elected Warden of Wadham College, Oxford, in 1831. Wadham College, and Symons in particular, supported the Evangelical Movement in the Church of England, and clashed with the Tractarians led by Newman on many points, particularly Tract 90. In 1844 the Tractarians opposed his election as Vice-Chancellor of Oxford but were defeated. As Vice-Chancellor of the University, Symons was one of the most influential people within the academic, ecclesiastic and geographic locality of Radley, and it was important to Singleton and Sewell that they should show him every courtesy. Mrs Symons, born Lydia Masterman, was known to be the more accessible of the couple, and the one who initiated religious discussion or support for missions or other innovations. See entry for Symons in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
2: At the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge (later also at Dublin and Durham) the proctors included in their duties the disciplining of undergraduates, particularly checking whether they were on unlicenced premises or outside the bounds of the university’s jurisdiction.
May 8th, 1847 (Saturday)
Sewell came to my lodgings at Sharpe’s in New College Lane, & after taking his seat on the sofa, produced a letter, and told me to ‘be prepared for the worst blow we have had yet.’ It proved to be one from Miss Angela Burdett Coutts, lamenting that ‘circumstances prevented her from engaging in any large undertaking at present,’ at the same time expressing her warm interest in the College. Sewell was not at all surprised at this, as the unusually severe pressure upon the monied interest along with the apprehension which she had expressed before about her ‘duty to the Bank’ interfering with an immediate announcement of what she could do for us, – was quite sufficient to account for all. The letter was cautiously though kindly worded, and seemed to us to convey that nothing but the peculiarity of the times prevented her contributing largely. At all events, we were not at all cast down, but were quite resolved to proceed vigorously, only we determined for the present to delay building the Hall, School-room, and Dormitory, and to omit the Apse to the Chapel, which we had thought of. We had no idea, however, of curtailing its necessary dimensions, being convinced that it must be thoroughly good, or people would little understand our intentions. I may as well mention that some days afterwards, (for my Journal is often unavoidably in arrear,) we settled with Mr Underwood that it should be 100 feet long outside, & inside 94 feet, by 25 in width. The Organ gallery being 17 feet deep, the whole apparent length would be about 3 widths, – a very fine proportion. The length being broken up by fine arches in the Roof, at a distance of half a width from each other, will have an excellent effect. By degrees, as students come in, we hope, please God, to proceed with the other buildings, and next year Miss Coutts may be more at liberty. It is really rather a comfort to meet with checks. If all went smoothly, one might become alarmed for the cause, as it seems to be a law that great works are never accomplished without great difficulties. If we are kept in a lowly and dependent frame of mind, reverses are a blessing.
We despatched several copies of the Journal, with its lithographed letter, to different parties, – including the Warden of New College, who wrote a very kind letter in reply, expressing hearty wishes for our success. I say ‘we’, because I folded and sealed the parcels, which took me as long as it did Sewell to write the accompanying notes. The Bellows-blower is of considerable consequence to the Organ-Player. Indeed there is a story which makes Royal hands bestow liberal gifts upon that functionary as if he were the real cause of the fine music, – in spite of the assurances of those, who were better informed, that but little of the merit of the performance was due to him.
This is the method fixed on for acquainting people with our object and our wants.
I found myself so annoyed by nocturnal visits from creatures of the ‘cunex’ kind, that I was at last compelled to leave Sharpe’s lodgings to seek new quarters. Before I went, I did society the best service I could, by entreating of them to burn the old, worm-eaten bedstead, which had proved a very rack to me. I managed to get a couple of rooms at Brown’s, the confectioners, at the top of Beaumont St. I do not say that I went from Scylla to Charybdis, for the case scarcely admitted of a change like that, but I certainly did get into the region of whistling boys, and bawling babies, dirty housemaids and dilapidated pastry, or something which caused an indifferent smell. This, however, I look upon as one of the minor penalties for rearing a College, and, if so, it may well be endured.
Monk and I fixed upon three boys for servitors, who have ears for music, & will help the Chapel-service. They were sent for inspection by Mr Hobhouse, – and two bear the names of Hiram & David, the leaven of dissent probably raising parental ambition at the time of their baptism. Mr Hobhouse mentioned that, in the course of his ministry, he had baptised one child by the name of Keren-happuch. We subsequently got 2 more boys, and intend to commence with six, to whom we shall give a religious education, teaching them to be servants, at first giving them nothing else but lodging, food, and raiment, but making them, as we hope, nice boys, and afterwards valuable members of a class, which sadly requires improvement. We shall put them to housemaid’s work, & diminish the number of female inmates as much as possible. The whole servants’ department will be placed under the care of the Chaplain.
May 9th, 1847 (Sunday)
A letter from Mr Bowyer to say that he had stopped proceedings in the matter of the lease, in order to give us time to acquaint some of the Heads of Houses with the proposed design. It is evident (indeed Mr Bowyer told me so,) that the Vicar of Radley has been insinuating that we are getting it in an underhand & secret way. Also a letter from Anthony to say that the money would soon be ready.
May 10th, 1847 (Monday)
Went to London, & saw Mr Bowyer. Mentioned that Sewell had sent, or was sending, his journal to several Heads of Houses, which quite satisfied him. All he wanted was, that they should not complain of secrecy either on his part or ours’. Said that he would give orders at once to his Solicitor to prepare the lease, and that we might immediately take possession. However, he recommended my going to Messrs Bridger & Blake, Carpenter’s Hall, London Wall, attornies to the Annuitants, or to some of them, & ask their concurrence to our going into the house. Though I made two long journeys on foot to this remote place, I did not succeed in finding Mr Bridger at home. The next day I was more fortunate, & easily obtained his sanction. I confess, this put me into good spirits.
These two days, I went about all the curious old shops in Wardour St., looking for furniture, &c. Captain Haskoll joined me by appointment, and we engaged some chairs & tables, & bought some pieces of stained glass for a trifle, 6 of them for 25/-. These will look well in the windows, & relieve the coldness of white light. We dined together at the Golden Cross, whither I had been driven from two Hotels, which I found full, & where I got damp sheets. I took the precaution of getting outside of them & slept in my cloak, – so I got no harm.
The day (the Eve of Ascension Day), Sewell & Monk & I, went out to Radley in the afternoon, & took possession of the House. We celebrated Evening Prayer in the Room which is to be the Warden’s, surrounded by bare walls, solitude & silence. Some fearful dark rain-clouds were to be seen, but they passed away without much wet, & sunshine presently appeared. There was nothing to disturb our devotions, unless, perhaps, the swallows twittering in the windows, the angles of which were full of their earthen habitations. Yet the association was rather pleasing, reminding one of the Psalm; – ‘the swallow hath found her nest, where she may lay her young, even thy Altars, O Lord of Hosts.’ If we can make the house an Altar, we may hope for a blessing on the sacrifice.
We were much struck with the suitableness of the service to our own case. In the Psalms occurred the words: – ‘Thou shalt shew us wonderful things in thy righteousness, O God.’ – ‘The folds shall be full of sheep.’ – ‘Thou, O God, hast proved us, Thou also hast tried us, like as silver is tried.’ ‘Thou sufferedst men to ride over our heads; we went through fire & water, & Thou brought us out into a wealthy place. I will go into thine House with burnt offerings.’ ‘God shall bless us, & all the ends of the world shall fear him.’ Then, the 1st lesson contained the account of the miraculous plenty in Samaria, scarcely more wonderful than what our own hopes are wont to realize. The doubting lord’s fate should be a warning to us. The 2nd lesson brought unhappy Stackallan most painfully before us. ‘I say then, – have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.’ ‘Thou wilt say then, the branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in. Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, & thou standest by faith. Be not high minded, but fear. For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest He also spare not thee. Behold therefore the goodness & severity of God: on them which fell severity; but toward thee goodness, if thou continue in His goodness; otherwise thou shalt also be cut off. And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in; for God is able to graff them in again.’1 ‘I would not brethren that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits, that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in.’; and so all Israel shall be saved.’ ‘How unsearchable are His judgements, & His ways past finding out!’ I hope we did not unduly magnify our own position, but we all three seem, independently, to have been filled with the same thoughts. We must the more study to be humble & charitable.
Sewell & Monk pleased with my exploits, & especially with the glass. Very tired; – waked up by the baby squalling. One comfort, – there will be no babies at Radley.
1: “Graffed” is an archaic form of “grafted” – to insert the shoot of one tree onto the root stock of another, resulting in a stronger, more productive plant
May 12th, 1847 (Wednesday)
Sewell got a letter from Mr Horner, of Mells, a great friend of Monk’s. He was charmed with our scheme, & enclosed £50. Also one from Mr Bowyer, saying that Willement had a stained glass window of his, which was at our service. This is very cheering.
May 13th, 1847 (Ascension Day)
Sewell had an interview with the President of Magdalene, who had previously received the printed letter. It was most satisfactory, the President quite admitting the decline of scholarship in the young men coming to the University, & expressing the fullest confidence in Sewell, and giving reason to hope that his sister, Mrs Sheppard, would contribute to us. His words were, – ‘now you want £4000, do you?’ The depressed state of the money market makes us somewhat anxious about funds, – but Providence knows no difficulties. We must trust to Him. We believe that we are acting in accordance with His will, &, if so, we shall not be left without the means necessary for fulfilling it.
Messrs Pollen, Mr Heathcote, & Wynn, went out to Radley, and returned highly pleased with it. Mr Pollen told me next day that it was the place ‘ipsissimus’ for us. What a comfort it is to find such men joined in heart with us! A letter from P. Hardwicke from Rome, in answer to one I had written to him, mentioning the College; – evidently much pleased. His taste for Architecture and the arts is so great that I heartily wish he was out of that dangerous place. However, he finds their worship to be mere pageant: it is a main point towards safety, when their unreality is detected. Romanism is a grand intrigue for power & wealth; the Christianity of it is a secondary element.
May 14th, 1847 (Friday)
Mr Heathcote called to say that Mr Anderton won’t come to us. On a former occasion his father refused to sanction him going to St. Augustine’s, so he would not consult him on this occasion; &, very properly, would not join without it. Still, though two admirable men have declined, there are plenty to be had.
Wrote to Minton, Stoke-upon-Trent, to get delft & china made for us, with our own device, he having made all used at Stackallan.
A letter from Mr Bowyer giving a piece of canopy-work, which has been lying for years at Plowman’s, the Builders’. It is very elaborate, & extremely good, & will do well to form a top for the beautiful panelling which we bought from the man at Gloucester. It is evident that Mr Bowyer is in earnest in his good wishes.
A letter from Mr Hornby to say that he was quite satisfied about our arrangements ‘De Visitatore’ – and promising the £200 on the 1st of August. I do not think I mentioned the receipt of a former letter from him, – in which he entirely exonerated me from the charge of severity; – saying that Newland’s case was treated with great firmness & kindness. He added that others (meaning of course, Mr Darby,) maintained their own opinion; – Sewell & I indeed did not expect that the latter party would change it.
Saw, in the evening, the cubicle stanchion which Mr Johnson had got carved as a specimen, – and were perfectly charmed with it. The finial is worked with great feeling & spirit, & is quite beautiful. We hope to get a great variety of them, which will give the dormitory a most striking appearance.
May 15th, 1847 (Saturday)
Sewell got a letter from the Bishop of Oxford, recommending us to drop the name ‘St. Columba’s’, on the ground that we can have the system without the name, & that the name may create enemies. It did not appear from his letter what sort of hostility we had to apprehend, but we debated the matter seriously with ourselves, & felt that the name, ‘St. Columba’s’, might cause confusion, & also give an idea of rivalry, than which nothing could be farther from our thoughts. On looking about for another, we were inclined to dedicate the College to St. Peter, there being no College of that name, – he being the Patron Saint of Exeter College; – but chiefly from our Lord’s injunction to him; – ‘Feed my lambs.’ So Sewell wrote to the Bishop to say that we had had the matter in serious contemplation, – and were so inclined; at the same time guarding him against the idea, that his recommendations were always to be followed.
Got two more Servitors, – Wentworth & Baker, fine boys.
Sent the Journal to several people.
Sewell & I walked to Radley, where we met Johnson, & fixed what works were to be done. I hope to commence residence on Saturday. He will commence on Monday. A letter from Captain Haskoll, to say that the mother of a little boy, who is his pupil, would be anxious that he should accompany him to the College, but that the father must give his consent first, he being absent at present.
Mr Henry Sewell arrived in the evening, and gave us an account of the legal state of matters about the lease. Owing to the number of persons interested in Sir George Bowyer’s life, it is a complicated affair, and there are remote chances of difficulties; but evidently we need not be apprehensive.
I am sorry to find Sewell hampered by electioneering troubles. Most people seem anxious to keep out Gladstone, but it seems no easy thing to get a competitor. I believe a strong body of Electors are looking to Mr Round. Sewell’s character & influence are so high, that they seem unable to get on without him, – but he is evidently much harassed. He says he will keep out of the turmoil, for that he cannot stand being hurried. One great thing is enough at a time; & I am thankful to see that the interest & excitement attending College-founding is rather improving his health than damaging it. It is curious to find all the high, and all the low, Churchmen opposed to Gladstone. A crooked policy is sure to fail, & so Mr Gladstone will find sooner or later. 1
1: At the general election of December 1847, Gladstone was elected one of the two MPs for Oxford University, supported especially by the Anglo-Catholics and by the Liberals of the university.
May 16th, 1847 (Sunday)
Sewell got a catalogue from Ireland of the late Dr Nash’s Library. It seemed so fine a collection that he wrote to Richard Gibbings at Dunfanaghy, to go to Ardstraw to inspect, & see if it would be possible to buy the whole on reasonable grounds. No man knows more about books than Gibbings, and he is at no great distance from the place. The auction is fixed for an early day in June. We calculate that it contains 4000 volumes.
May 17th, 1847 (Monday)
Sewell had a most satisfactory letter from Mr Coleridge of Eton, wishing us every success, and saying that he would be able to direct us to persons who would be likely to give us money.
Vaughan Thomas, who had declined assisting us, told Sewell today that he would give £50 next year, but that at present he was unable to do more than wish us well.1
Finished the selection from the Exeter Statutes. ‘Sans Deo’.
1: Probably to be identified as Vaughan Thomas, a clergyman who held the lucrative livings of Yarnton, Oxfordshire, Stoneleigh, Warwickshire and Duntisbourne Rouse, Gloucestershire. In addition he was a Fellow and Chaplain of Oriel College, Oxford, and governor of the Radcliffe Infirmary. He was a high-churchman described as a man who “deployed his formidable powers of management in combating every manifestation of the spirit of the age in the church and the university”. Entry in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
May 18th, 1847 (Tuesday)
Sewell, having received a note from Dr Todd, on Sunday, saying that he had heard from good authority that Sewell had published his Journal with a letter, in which allusion was made to Stackallan, & begging of him to send a copy to the Archbishop of Armagh, – wrote to his Grace, entering very fully into the whole subject of St. Columba’s, his altered views & relations with respect to it, – and stating boldly his opinion of the Trustees, and their betrayal of their Trust, declaring plainly that he had utterly lost all confidence in them, a confidence which nothing could restore.
We felt that a thorough explanation must sooner or later be made, & that therefore it was better to make it at once. They have been forcing him to it, this long time past, by their unwarrantable conduct. What his Grace may think I can’t divine, – but it is a most painful necessity to be obliged to speak out.
May 20th, 1847 (Thursday)
Gibbings & Mackarness called upon us. I had not seen the former since he left Stackallan on St. Barnabas’ day, nearly a year ago. He came by the merest accident to Oxford. Monk & I had been asked by Sewell to dine with him, Sewell, & his sisters in the Bursary, and Gibbings was secured. What made this unexpected meeting the more remarkable was, that this day twelvemonth the Trustees received the resignation of all three. How strange that we should all be settled in the neighbourhood of Oxford, owing to independent causes, and that this day should have brought us together!
We had an application, through Mr Dean, of All Souls, for our first ‘Decimal’ place, in behalf of the son of a deceased officer, whose widow was left very desolate and distressed. What a comfort to relieve the misery of such a case. But we must wait for nine boys paying the full sum, before we can carry our good wishes into effect.
May 21st, 1847 (Friday)
A letter from Mr Abraham of Eton, highly approving our plan. It is satisfactory to find two such influential tutors in the highest school in England, as Mr Coleridge and he, cordially entering into our views. It shows that they do not imagine us to be in hostility or rivalry to the Public Schools of the Country. A mistake of this kind would be most injurious.
Sewell has just had a note from Archdeacon Cotton, who has come to Oxford, asking for a copy of the Journal. To this Sewell replied that, though he forwarded one, he must request of him to return it, as only a limited number have been printed. I wonder what will come of all this? I am going out presently, & I certainly should not exactly like to meet the Archdeacon of Cashel in the street.
May 22nd, 1847 (Saturday)
Sewell had a letter from the Archbishop of Armagh, which was not unfair considering the false light in which his Grace views things; for he has evidently been led astray by —, who has told him, what he before told Dr —, that in the original rules sent down to Stackallan there was no mention of the fasts. This is the reverse of the truth, as the copy of them in my possession fully attests. The Archbishop, being possessed of this erroneous notion, naturally enough objects to certain statements made by Sewell, and therefore is going to communicate with the Bishop of Oxford. However, we are not in the least alarmed, as the Bishop will understand the case in a moment, when we lay, not assertions, but documents, before him.
Breakfasted with Sewell in the Bursary, where I met Mr, Mrs & Miss Markland of Bath. On being introduced to the first, he enquired after ‘the young organist who went to St. Columba’s’. Sewell from the other end of the room cried ‘Here is the gentleman of whom you are speaking, Mr Monk – Mr Markland.’ Mr Markland was a warm friend of St Columba’s, & was rejoiced to hear of a similar Institution in England. He is an excellent man, sound Churchman, & has a most satisfactory horror of Sir Robert Peel.1
After breakfast I paid my bill at Brown’s, and went out to Radley, Mr Johnson having overtaken me on the road & given me a seat in his gig. In the midst of the labours of unpacking, who should appear but Sewell & the Sub-Rector of Exeter. They immediately set to work, & we delivered sundry chairs, &c. from the thrall of skeleton cases. The seven from Bristol are exceedingly fine. These with the magnificent walnut wardrobe from Mallam’s, gave Ley quite a new idea of our scheme. Indeed, the character of the place set off by the fineness of a spring day, the size & handsomeness of the House, told with great effect upon a cool mind, wholly a stranger to enthusiasm. He said it was a grand idea, & that ‘its very boldness deserved success.’ They were so relaxed by the long walk in the hot sun that we broached a bottle of Sherry, and drank refreshment to ourselves & success to Radley.
They returned in the afternoon & I continued my labours till night, assisted by Henry Searle the first Servitor who arrived. It was then so late that the girl, whom I had engaged to help me reside in such a hurry, found it hard to get milk & butter for tea; in fact the former she could not get at all, & the latter was not the best. When she went home I fastened the doors with due precaution, and then made the little boy sit down opposite me, while I helped him with his Tea. I could not think of leaving the little fellow to the solitude of a distant kitchen, knowing that if there were no rats or mice to enliven it, gloom & silence in a subterraneous apartment were too severe a test to impose on his nerves. I ate little but drank much, & then despatched Henry to bed with a charge to say his prayers.
I scarcely closed my eyes the whole night. I was somewhat solemn to feel myself, one may say, alone in a huge house, thus commencing a new era in my life, once more absolutely embarked in a College. The doubts, difficulties, perplexities, labour, and responsibility, attending the new situation, were no slow in crowding about me; but I was not cowed, nor alarmed, nor even dispirited. We have had sufficient external testimony to confirm the motions of our own minds, & when God blesses, no man has ground to fear. Got up at 5 o’clock, fagged enough, & roused Henry from a deep sleep, and asked him would he like to spend Whitsunday with his friends, (who live in Beaumont St., next door to my last lodgings,) which when he recovered his dormant senses, he seemed pleased enough to hear.
1: Probably to be identified as James Heywood Markland, 1788-1864. The son of an industrialist from Manchester, he practiced as a lawyer in London. However, his main interests were antiquarian, particularly book collecting. In 1841 he settled in Bath. He was a prominent supporter of church societies. See entry in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
May 23rd, 1847 (Whitsunday)
Walked into Oxford, (the poor boy Henry] running half the way, for I rather dreaded the increase of heat, & so stepped out briskly,) & was almost overcome by the sun acting on a wearied frame & a stomach long empty. Went to Exeter Chapel, & afterwards breakfasted with the Sub-Rector, where I met Sewell & Ernest Hawkins.1 The former had fared hardly better than myself during the night, being too tired to sleep, & rising up lame with stiffness. Had some conversation about the College with Hawkins, who warmly approved it. He had brought with him the Church & State Gazette, which contained a most confused article about us, jumbling up all sorts of incoherencies; saying that the whole College of St. Columba was to be transferred by Messrs Sewell & Singleton to the neighbourhood of Oxford, a step which was deemed most dangerous to the University; & ending by a warning to the Bishop of Oxford to look sharply after the matter. This we deemed to be rather satisfactory, as it would help our becoming known. Sewell gives our neighbour, Dr Peter Morris of Kennington, the credit of being the communicator of this farrago to the Print above-mentioned. The reading of this brought on a discussion about the line that Bishops were in general taking on Church matters, Hawkins thoroughly agreeing with the independent line which Sewell & I mean to pursue, should his Lordship of Oxford take an unconstitutional course. However, we do not apprehend his giving us any serious trouble.
In the afternoon Sewell & I went out to Radley, bringing with us a respectable cold dinner from Exeter kitchen. We enjoyed the evening greatly, the place looking charming & our spirits being good. Henry & the maid not having made their appearance, we had to get all the dinner things ourselves. To a third party it would have been quite curious to see the Founder & Warden of a College, in the solitude of present emptiness, rummaging about for plates, & dishes, & spoons, & water, & bread, & salt – and sundry civilized expedients for partaking of dinner in a non-natural way. When all was got together, matters looked far from bad, though certain irregularities did unquestioningly prevail. The lettuce, for want of an appropriate dish, had to overshadow the cold tongue, which had to be carved by a knife & fork, already used in dissecting a veal pie. Such evils as these, however, were plainly not intolerable, at least under our present circumstances; indeed I am disposed to think that they rather added to the intensity of appetite. Monk came out in the evening to spend tomorrow with us, for these being the Whitsuntide holidays Sewell is free for a few days, and Monk has one at his disposal, though he must leave us in the evening to be at the Motett Society.
Sewell read me a friendly letter which he wrote to Archdeacon Cotton, saying that if a Trustee of St Columba’s were to leave Oxford without calling on him, it would be a very sad affair.
We discussed in the evening the question of our installation, the time, manner & persons to be invited to it, for it is clear that there ought to be some witnesses of so important a ceremony. As to the time; we agreed that it should be before the Colleges broke up, and also before I went to Ireland, for I promised on leaving it to return in summer to see my mother. This limited it to June. St Peter’s day is the Exeter Election; there was some objection to St John’s day; – the 16th is the Commemoration; – so that it was further limited to early in June; – therefore we fixed on the 9th, St Columba’s day. We drew up a list of earnest-minded men who would thoroughly enter into the spirit & importance of the act, & whom we intend to invite. We shall provide a cold dinner for them here, (at Radley,) so that the occasion may be cheerful as well as solemn.
I think it was this morning that Sewell got another kind letter from Mr Bowyer, offering us some bosses, and expressing great anxiety about the persons, whom we should appoint Fellows, and a hope that they would be the exponents of the true old Anglican School. This relieved our minds very much from the apprehension created by his early letters, & his subsequent conversation in the Bursary at Exeter.
1: Ernest Hawkins (1802-1868) was a fellow of Exeter College, Oxford. He held the posts as under-librarian of the Bodleian Library and curate of St Aldate’s Church, Oxford. Hawkins was appointed Secretary of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (SPG) in 1838, for which he traveled overseas extensively. He was sympathetic to the Oxford Movement, but was not notably outspoken on current issues of churchmanship. See entry in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
May 24th, 1847 (Monday)
Sewell began his reply to the Archbishop of Armagh, but soon found that he could not proceed without an inspection of the correspondence, which passed between the Trustees and myself soon after my leaving Stackallan. I showed it to him, & he was so shocked at what he read that he was quite knocked up for the rest of the day. It had such an effect upon him, that Radley changed its character & became a painful association.
Mrs Burky and her daughter arrived in the evening; the former over-joyed to be once more under the same roof with us. She said that she “scarcely ever dreamt of being so happy again”.
May 25th, 1847 (Tuesday)
Mr Johnson brought out our letters, among which was one from the Bishop of Bath & Wells, to Sewell, most cordially approving our plan; it was as strong an opinion as could be penned, & Sewell & I were not a little rejoiced.
In the afternoon we strolled about the Park, and talked most seriously, if not most sadly too, about our Chapel. The estimate for that mentioned earlier turned out to be far higher than we any of us expected; – above £1600, and yet no one could complain of the charges, which were all very reasonable. But this was a very serious sum to expend in the existing state of the finances; & yet what were we to do? We must have a chapel, & something good too, otherwise we should fail at once. We thought of getting up a simple shell, with the plainest & cheapest rafters that could be devised. Yet this would cost us nearly half the money, & would be very unsatisfactory, & besides would be worthless hereafter. Whereas the beautiful arching roof of stained Memel, of the other plan, would be put together with bolts, and might be available in our permanent College, were it to please God that we should build one. We thought of the disappointment of our Oxford friends were they to see a mean Chapel, & the striking effect upon the world of a suitable one. We dwelt upon the great encouragement we had already received, and of the fairness of the prospect before us, and asked each other would it not be a distrustfulness of Him, who had so graciously helped us hitherto, were we to shrink from what we honestly believed to be essential to our success? We then solemnly determined to build the wished for structure, & accordingly gave Mr Johnson the order in the evening, who said he would instantly set about it.
Captain Haskoll arrived this evening, so that I shall not feel lonesome. Sewell returned to Oxford, and on his table found a letter from the Revd. H. Swale of Settle in Yorkshire, to whom he had written at the instance of a Mr Trevor, a mutual friend. Mr Trevor recommended Sewell to send him a copy of the Journal with a note. Mr Swale’s reply was to this effect: – that he had long looked up to Sewell as his spiritual father; that his works (especially the Christian morals1) had been of the greatest benefit to him; that he rejoiced at the effort he (Sewell) was making to establish the College, to which he would feel it an honour to contribute; – that his hands were full this year, but that he had occasionally a large command of funds, which he hoped next year to help us with. In the mean time he collected £200 among his friends, and engaged to send it to us on Tuesday next. Sewell & I looked upon this as proof that our decision about the Chapel, (little knowing at the time what was awaiting us in Oxford,) was the right one: we trusted that the act of faith was approved. I did not hear of it till the next morning, but when I did I cannot say how happy I was. Captain Haskoll shared my joy heartily. He is longing to see the Chapel & the Organ. We get on together most comfortably, & as soon as the remaining Servitors came out, we shall have more employment. At present, indeed, I am fully occupied in copying out the Statutes fairly for the Bishop; – and with other matters.
1: William Sewell. Christian morals. Published in The Englishman’s Library, vol. 10, 1840
May 26th, 1847 (Wednesday)
Went about the House & Offices with Mrs Burky, who was charmed with the abundant accommodation of every kind. Fixed with her the different apartments to be occupied by herself and the servants. This being the first fast-day since I came to Radley, Captain Haskoll & I observed it by taking a small breakfast, & having no dinner. At Tea in the evening, the door opened, & in walked Sewell & the Sub-Rector. The latter pulled something triumphantly out of his pocket, saying to me, ‘here is something you have forgotten.’ It proved to be a box of Lucifers, – which I had not forgotten. He however, detected one instance in which I was at fault: I had omitted a knife-brick; so that he had the triumph notwithstanding. Monk joined us afterwards, having come out by the Abingdon coach, which passes & re-passes the upper gate twice a day. This is very convenient, as it is a long walk into Oxford in hot weather. Our three Visitors returned in the cool of the evening, & we accompanied them a short distance. All, especially Ley, in good spirits.
Sewell had an interview with Archdeacon Cotton this day. The latter was amicable. He quite allowed that the College at Stackallan was different in principle from what it was; seemed to maintain that the Primate & Trustees were justified in doing what they pleased with it; – either had never seen, or had forgotten, the letters which I had received from the four Founders quoted in my last letter to Dr E., & establishing the fact that an agreement was made with me that fasting was to be compulsory on the Warden & Fellows; – had never heard that it was a law of the College from the beginning, imposed by the Founders, that no meals should be taken on any day in private rooms without the Warden’s consent; – in fact, seemed to know nothing, & to confess that he knew nothing, of the early history & constitution of it; – and yet he was one of those who drove me away for maintaining the pledges given by the Founders to the Subscribers, and to myself. What will become of an Institution if it be left in such hands it is easy enough to foresee.
He was amazed at the idea of our having a College in England to open on 1st August, & infinitely more amazed at the intention of inserting the Statute about fasting, which they put into the Columban Statutes (themselves) though they turned it out 3 months afterwards. He begged that Sewell would not adopt the name of ‘St Columba’, this being from a fear that our Popish Establishment might be confounded with their Protestant one; to which Sewell replied that he had no right to make any such request, but that, to ease his mind, we had already nearly settled to call ourselves ‘The College of St Peter, Radley.’
Sewell endeavoured to impress upon him that we were not their enemies, but that, on the contrary, though in their present position neither we nor others could give them any assistance, if they would set their constitution right, we should be rejoiced to hold out the right hand of fellowship, & do what we could for them. At the same time he protested loudly against their gross injustice in detaining presents without the donor’s leave, now that they had changed their principles: especially he mentioned the Communion Plate, the detention of which was absolutely monstrous. Dr Cotton seemed to have some apprehension of the real bearings of the case, & yet he complained of people withdrawing their subscriptions: nay, he went so far as to ask Sewell ‘whether he thought it would be of any use to apply to me for the £500 I had promised them!’ To this Sewell of course replied that it ‘would be of no use, & strongly recommended them not to try.’ Really this looks like downright infatuation.
It was comfortable, however, to find that, though the utmost plainness prevailed on Sewell’s part, the interview was quite friendly. Indeed the Archdeacon was twice moved to tears. But it is quite clear that the present authorities have no idea of the work which they have undertaken to manage; they are wholly incompetent to it. Cotton confessed that he could not comprehend Sewell’s conceptions, which were no other than those of the Founders. They are altogether in a most unseemly & false position, & I wish to be thankful that I am out of it.
May 27th, 1847 (Thursday)
Captain Haskoll & I went into Oxford. Sewell had just received a letter from Richard Gibbings to say that Mr Nash would not sell the Library for less than £800, and that it was so near the day fixed for the auction that he doubted whether it could be sold privately at all. Gibbings strongly advised not giving more than £600, which seemed to us a very small sum for so fine a collection: but then books in Ireland are much cheaper than in England. Sewell wrote to say that he might offer £600, to be paid at the end of 6 months, for the whole, or if that would not be accepted, – he was at liberty to expend £200 in the Fathers & Standard Classics, provided they went cheap. I think that the auction will be allowed to proceed, and we shall not much regret it, as there is considerable interest in the gradual accumulation of what is valuable. Our prospects from Mr Swale & elsewhere we thought justified this step.
In the afternoon Sewell got a letter from Mrs Sheppard announcing the gift of £1000, 3 per cent Stock. Deo Optimo Maximae Gratiae.1 She likewise mentioned that she had given the same to Stackallan. How heartily should I rejoice in this, did I not fear that it will encourage them in their present course. Sewell does not share this fear: I hope he may be right.
Met Allen Cliffe coming out to Radley. I had not seen him for many years, except for a moment in Dublin, in Dame Street. He was very glad at my coming to England.
Dined at Exeter with Sewell & Captain Haskoll & Monk. A guest of Mr Tweed’s gave a horrible account of cruelty to a snake, which made the whole company to writhe, & quite knocked Sewell up for the rest of the evening. The gentleman seemed quite unconscious of the sufferings which he was inflicting on his neighbours, though every means were resorted to, which politeness would allow to exhibit their disgust. He only became the more minute in his details.
1: The greatest thanks be to God.
May 28th, 1847 (Friday)
Mr Searle brought out a dress for his son, which was proposed as a pattern for that of all the Servitors. It is a loose coat with standing collar, and extending nearly to the knees, confined at the waist by a leather strap. We like it very much, & fixed upon a coarse Oxford grey cloth for the material.
Sewell surprised us again the evening. The few, whom he had asked to come on the 9th of June, have most gladly promised. We drew up a plan for the ceremony itself, which I shall, no doubt, mention hereafter. He saw Hobson of Gloucester today, who is to proceed at once with oak panellings, &c. for the Chapel. He also sent for Mr De La Motte & gave him a good rowing for his neglect: the culprit promised to amend. We had a talk with Mr Johnson, who intends to begin digging the foundation of the Chapel on Monday, so that we must get Mr Goold’s leave, as the site is part of the seven acres, which go with the house, but which he holds for the season. We called on him when Sewell was going back, & found him very ready to accommodate us in any way we pleased.
29th May, 1847 (Saturday) – Extract from The Oxford Chronicle
Semi-popery in Oxfordshire. Our readers will recollect that we have from time to time drawn public attention, in the columns of the Church and State Gazette to the proceedings at St Columba College, Stackallan, Ireland. We have now, on the authority of an Oxfordshire correspondent, to communicate the astounding fact that the Rev. W. Sewell, of Exeter College, Oxford, has taken, on lease for twenty years, the mansion of Sir George Bowyer, Bart., Radley house, near Abingdon, Berks, and within four miles of the University of Oxford; and that St Columba College, with its warden, Mr Singleton, its fellows, and whole establishment, is to be forthwith removed to this locality, where the practical example of real Popery may prove fatal, as it appears is the case with St Columba, to the attempt at bastard imitation which has been made. The mansion is to be fitted up with the due Anglo-Catholic appendages; and choral services substituted for the simple performance of divine worship most congenial to Protestant ideas. Let the Bishop of Oxford see to this without delay, or we promise him he will afterwards have more work on his hands than will be quite convenient. Compulsory fasting is a part of the discipline of this Romanising establishment. – Church and State Gazette
[We learn on good authority that a matronly lady reached Oxford on Monday evening, who enquired for the residence of the Rev. Mr Sewell, and has come to take the management as dame, as Radley Hall, near Abingdon, where we hear a chapel and dormitory are in the course of erection, under the superintendence of Mr Pugin. The lady has for some years been similarly engaged in a convent at Wexford, Ireland. We give this lady full credit for honesty and consistency, as a Roman Catholic, but what can be said as to the honesty or consistency of men, Protestant in name, – paid from Protestant funds, to teach Protestant doctrine; when found in such an association as this? The law was quick enough in pouncing on Mr Shore, for hasty expressions, or even an orthodox exposition, when rubically out of place. Where is the Bishop of Oxford, the son of the author of Wilberforce’s practical view?]
May 30th, 1847 (Trinity Sunday)
Went twice to Church at Radley, but the Vicar did not call. Neither has he ever returned Sewell’s visits; all which certainly looks unfriendly. Sewell wrote last week to Mr Bowyer, expostulating on this way of going on, & expressing a hope that the Vicar is not resolved on being uncivil. He lives in Oxford & comes out to do the duty. The services were conducted in a more rubrical way than in any Church that I have been in since I came to England.
Sewell, who had been to London yesterday, appeared just as we were locking up the house for the night. He had made several purchases of articles, many of which I saw and wished for, when last there. Seven historical pictures at Falcke’s, & four very fine portraits of great masters, – together with silvered sconces for the East end, & some other matters, – he succeeded in obtaining. Also a very fine wrought iron-chest, with a most elaborate lock, at Pratt’s, & at the same place a magnificent piece of carved work in three compartments, representing passages in the life of our Lord. This was very costly, the sum asked being £140, & put into perfect repair £190 – but along with the panels purchased from Hobson will crown our Chapel.
We need not pay for these things for nine months, by which time we have good hope of quite sufficient funds. We are the more confirmed in this from a conversation Sewell has had with Mr Markland, who is a person of very great influence, & has raised very large sums of money for different objects connected with the Church. He has just accumulated £14,000 for one charitable purpose, & he says that he will now beg for us. He says that he does not gather by tens and twenties, but by hundreds and thousands. Altogether, we have ceased to be uneasy about funds, having several openings through which, please God, money will come in. We have the deepest cause for thankfulness to a good Providence, who has indeed ‘given us our daily bread,’ and raised up friends for us in a wonderful way.
Mr Barrow, of Queen’s, will be delighted to come on the 9th if he can possibly escape from a Scholarship examination, which is fixed for that day. He had a talk with Sewell about Mr Jones of that College, who had been already mentioned by Mr Marriott, & who, he thought, would be a very suitable person for us. He was a 1st or 2nd class man, & an Ireland Scholar.
Received £500 from Anthony. Sewell says funds are rising, & the money market getting somewhat relieved from its pressure. The news of this day cheered us greatly. I could scarcely sleep with happy thoughts.
May 31st, 1847 (Monday)
This evening Mr Johnson put the Oxford Chronicle of the 29th into Mrs Burky’s hands, containing the extract from the Church and State Gazette alluded to earlier which was accompanied by some editorial remarks of their own, whose absurdity and untruth were about equal. The document is on the opposite side. We laughed heartily at it; & yet it is scarcely right to laugh at the wickedness of others; for surely he who propagates a false or injurious report of his neighbour without examination is guilty of a grave sin.