Tuesday, June 28, 2022

"It's only me, Emma. I won't hurt you."

St. Swithin's, Wellow (geograph.org)
A modern guide book describes the small Notts village of Wellow as "chocolate-box pretty, an idyllic vision of rural England." The maypole on the village green is the tallest in England. The 12th century church of St. Swithin's welcomed a new vicar in 1858; the Rev Jermyn Patrick Royle, with his wife and four children, arrived in Wellow and settled in the vicarage over the road. 

Late in 1861, 17 year old Emma Ward, the servant at the vicarage, asked Mrs. Royle if she could go to the Wellow fete to watch the cricket on the green. Whether Mrs. Royle instructed Emma to come right home after the match or not, Emma went along to the Durham Ox (now the Maypole) with some friends where she danced and talked of the day's events, not returning until quite late. Mrs. Royle was not pleased and gave the girl her notice. To which, Emma saucily replied, "It's for the best. I better leave before my character is gone.”

Emma's eventual story varied in each re-telling. A few weeks before the fete - Mrs. Royle took her three daughters to London for a short visit. Emma remained at the vicarage with Rev. Royle and his young son. According to Emma, Mrs. Royle's carriage wasn't even out of sight before the vicar suggested he'd come into her bed that night for a roll-about. Thinking it was just a ribald jest, Emma did her chores, locked up the house and brought the keys to the vicar's study and went up to her room. The door could only be loosely fastened. That night, she awoke to find the 47-year old vicar in her bed. 

The vicar - of course - denied it all. But the story got round and church attendance in Wellow began to decline. The churchwardens did some digging, visiting the vicarage to inspect the bedroom layout. The Bishop of Lincoln was informed of the "disgusting" claims against their vicar. The bishop demanded that Royle, if he was innocent as he claimed, must prosecute his young accuser for slander.

For two days at the Notts Assizes in March 1862, it was "he said, she said." As for the vicar, he insisted that he remained in his study until he went to bed that night at 11:30, keeping to his bedroom - alone - until morning. Under cross examination, he denied a servant at one of his previous churches left his employ "in the family way." The presiding judge also declined to allow into evidence a letter from another servant. Still, it was published in one of the local papers. The woman asserted she had been subjected to similar molestation and Mr. Royle deserved to be exposed. [Lastly, while researching this case, I learned that Mr. Royle, as a young student at Cambridge, was "rusticated for being in the habit of continually visiting the house of a prostitute." (Linehan, St. John's College Cambridge, A History)]

Emma Ward spent several hours in the witness box. She was sharply questioned. She admitted staying in the vicarage for several days after the alleged incident, telling no one, and only made her charges after she was let go by Mrs. Royle. Emma's testimony was frequently interrupted by laughter. When the vicar slipped into her bed, she recalled him saying, "It's only me, Emma. I won't hurt you." As noted, her story varied: to some, she said she struggled free from the vicar but, to others, she said "he had connexion with me."

Rev Royle's counsel tore apart the inconsistencies in Emma's stories. Her charges were completely uncorroborated. Emma's lawyer, meantime, insisted she was a "good" girl whose basic account of what happened in the vicarage bedroom remained unshaken. Connexion wasn't required. The shocking liberties taken with a young girl under the vicarage roof were proof enough. The jury of twelve men spent less than an hour to find Emma Ward had slandered Mr. Royle but they expressed their opinion of the reputation of the vicar of Wellow by awarding him damages in the insulting amount of one shilling

Police had to protect the Royles who were "jostled rather roughly" as they left the courthouse. The Rev. Mr. Royle returned to his vicarage; in fact, he remained many more years at St Swithin's until his death in 1885. The parish history records that, during Royle's time in Wellow, the church fell into considerable disrepair. At his death, however, he was remembered as an excellent preacher, "even the children could follow his beautiful discourses."

How the Vicar Came and Went, a collection of Victorian clerical scandals is available at Amazon.

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

A Jubilee Scandal

Canon Fleming
(Vanity Fair)

The anticipation for Queen Victoria's 50th Jubilee, being celebrated in June of 1887, would have seemed familiar to us. The stores were filled with Jubilee flags, brooches, soaps, plates, and framed photographs of Her Majesty for the mantel. For the more devout subjects, one of her favorite chaplains, the Rev. Canon James Fleming, published a small reprint of two recent sermons at St. Michael's, Chester Square, the posh London church where he had been vicar for many years. 

There was a belief in the book world that no one ever reads published sermons. Not in this case as Canon Fleming was soon publicly accused of gross plagiarism. An embarrassing pamphlet made the rounds: "The Stolen Sermon, or Canon Fleming's Theft." Side by side comparisons made it plain that Fleming had copied directly from a sermon given by the American evangelist T Dewitt Talmage of the Brooklyn Tabernacle. Talmage was a Presbyterian, and. a religious celebrity in America known for his "dramatic physical theatrics." During a London visit in 1877, huge crowds came to hear (and see) him preach in Hyde Park and elsewhere. Talmage even met Rev Fleming at that time and found him to be a "most agreeable" gentleman. 

Rev T Dewitt Talmage
(1832-1902)
Ten years later, in Brooklyn, when informed that the gentleman Canon had almost certainly stolen his sermons, Talmadge was quite gracious. Such a "friendly, genial, glorious man" wouldn't be capable of the charge made against him. In London, Fleming confessed that he had read Talmage's sermon in a published collection, Fifty Sermons (now to be found on line at forgottenbooks.com). It obviously made a great impact on him and he copied it out. When referring back to those notes, the canon believed he unconsciously presumed it to be his own work. Critics called the explanation of "unconscious cerebration" worse than the crime. The Pall Mall Gazette asserted that "no apology" could explain the "word for word, sentence for sentence, striking thought for striking thought" theft of another man's sermon. A New York paper said the matter raises "an uncomfortable doubt as to the English canon's moral condition." 

Fleming survived the kerfuffle, for he was "altogether a good fellow" and a royal favorite. But, the scandal was recalled at his death in 1908. "He will not be comfortable when he sees Talmage coming his way across the Elysian fields."

Monday, May 9, 2022

She Absolutely Refused To Live With Me

 

Sion College Library*

William Henry Milman was born in 1825. He grew up in cathedral surroundings. His father was one of the great Victorian Deans of St Paul’s. William went to Oxford to study for the clergy but seems to have been more noted as a champion oarsman. It was also at university that Milman first evidenced his “wide yet discerning appreciation for books.”
 

Ordained in the 1850’s, and benefiting from his father’s patronage, he was given the ancient church of St. Augustine & St. Faith on Watling Street in the City. But his greatest service to the church came as chief librarian for Sion College, overseeing a collection of 70,000 clerical books. Milman spent many years cataloging the books, developing his own system. He also prevailed upon the church to relocate the library from its inconvenient and inaccessible location in London Wall to a "more central position nearer to the West End.” 

The move to the Embankment was underway when, on 13 December 1884, Rev. Milman was married. Now a Minor Canon at St. Paul’s, Milman was 59 on his wedding day. His bride was just 23. Margaret Julia Campbell was a daughter of Sir George Campbell. After several years as an administrator in the Raj, Campbell returned to London, was elected to the House of Commons, and soon known as a great bore, offering “dismal orations on every possible subject.” The Campbells were South Kensington neighbours of the longtime bachelor bookman. Their wedding at St. Jude’s drew a “large and fashionable congregation” and the father of the bride gave a wedding breakfast for 800 people in Southwell Gardens. The curious couple left for a Paris honeymoon: Canon Milman in clerical black, his young wife sporting a red tam-o-shanter bonnet.

Only a few months later, a brief comment appeared in the weekly Truth: "The marriage of a well-known London clergyman which excited a good deal of interest in some sections of 'Society' last winter, has not proved a success, for incompatibility of temper has led to such very strained relations, that the lady has returned to her father's house."

The Milmans never lived together again. He returned quietly to the thousands of volumes to be sorted at the new Sion Library. “Mrs. Milman” made a stir in the “Spirit World” claiming she and her sister had “Coincidental Hallucinations” of seeing their mother writing letters in the library when the lady was actually upstairs in her bedroom all the time. This inexplicable event excited great interest in the Psychical Research journals. 

So it went for many years. "Unhappy couples were expected to put up with it, quietly arranging their lives to live apart if necessary." (Frances Osborne, The Bolter). But, in 1896, eleven years after they separated, the Canon received a letter from his wife. "The only straightforward and honorable course is to let you know that I have formed an attachment to one that has become everything to me. I am anxious to avoid all unnecessary publicity in the affair." The canon filed for divorce; he admitted his wife “who was of a very peculiar tone of mind,” declared that she could not live with him under any circumstances. Incompatibility alone was not enough. The usual private enquiry agent was employed to watch the movements of Mrs. Milman and a young solicitor named Murray (his actual name was Edward Sieveking.) They were discovered living as husband and wife at a hotel in Dover and in the Rue de Louvre in Paris. Mrs. Milman, of course, made no effort to defend her adulterous conduct. The divorce was granted and within months she and Sieveking were married.

Canon Milman died in 1908, to be remembered as a zealous and highly qualified librarian, a most amiable and good-natured man, who amply deserved the recognition of his brethren. There was no mention of his brief marriage. The temptation is to compare him to Edward Casuabon from George Eliot’s Middlemarch, that dry bookman who rejected “the preposterous demand that a man should think as much about his own qualifications for making a charming girl happy as he thinks of hers for making himself happy.”

How the Vicar Came and Went, a collection of clerical scandals, is now available at Amazon.

Illustration: MonumentofFame.org

Monday, April 4, 2022

A Railway Outrage or a Joke?



The Rev John Robert Kennedy Bell, just past 40, married with three children, was typical of the hundreds of “poor curates” – scouring the English countryside, literally begging for preferment, however temporary.  In 1892, he was employed as a locum tenens in Little Bedwyn, a Wiltshire village bordering Berks. 

On the evening of Thursday, May 12, the Rev. Bell was returning from Newbury to Bedwyn via the Great Western’s night train. At the stop in Hungerford, 16-year old Fanny Abery, - who worked at the Hungerford post office – came aboard the third class carriage returning home to Bedwyn. By some prior arrangement, she was supposed to have brought along Mr. Bell’s mail which she admitted she'd forgotten.  Rev. Bell never denied that he called her a “naughty girl” and – as a joke – said he would put her over his knee and “smack her.” Fanny was not having any of it, joke or not. At Bedwyn station, she reported the clergyman assaulted her. She claimed he pulled her on to his lap, tried to kiss her and assaulted her. The Rev. Bell was later arrested on a charge of indecent assault.  When taken to the Hungerford nick, he explained the girl had over-reacted; he'd been just “having a joke.” 

In Police Court, Fanny told her story again. They were alone in the carriage. From Hungerford to Bedwyn took eight minutes and she struggled with the Rev. Bell for about half that time. John Taylor, the Bedwyn station manager, recalled she made the report to him but he didn't think Fanny seemed unduly upset. When the girl's mother later came to complain, he turned it over to the police. The clergyman’s lawyer called it the mistaken testimony of a hysterical girl. She had no injuries, no marks, and no tears in her dress. The case had drawn great attention in the area and a second young lady (16-year old Kate Britton) had come forward. On that same night, on that same train, in Kintbury, she also had to fend off an amorous clergyman.  The Hungerford magistrates ordered Bell be kept six weeks in jail awaiting the Berkshire Quarter-Sessions.

The trial was held in Reading in late June; the second charge was never prosecuted, only Fanny Abery’s testimony was heard. The "tall, nice-looking girl" again detailed the alleged assault and ensuing struggle. After reporting it at the station, she ran home in tears and missed the next two days of work.  Arthur Spokes, Bell’s counsel, attacked Fanny’s credibility. She had, he claimed, a “flirty” reputation and Rev. Bell had cautioned her earlier about her “boyfriends.” There were also discrepancies in Fanny’s account, from the two court appearances some weeks apart. Alice Martin, another village girl, saw Fanny that night and her friend made no mention of any problem with Mr. Bell.  Alice noticed nothing unusual in Fanny’s behavior. 

Spokes, opening his defense of the Rev. Bell, praised the clergyman’s “pure and unsullied character.” He called the usual character witnesses, including Mrs. Bell, who described the curate as “the purest man that anyone could have for a husband.”  Spokes insisted a clergyman was due to be believed over a frivolous girl making a "reckless charge.” The jurymen made very quick work of the charge, finding the Rev. Bell not guilty.  The decision was greeted with a smattering of applause.  

Despite his acquittal, Mr. Bell’s stay in Little Bedwyn was over. The verdict did not remove the cloud over his name. Bell became obsessed with the newspaper coverage of his trial.  Most of the papers reported Bell had been charged with “assaulting two young ladies.” He had been branded a serial profligate. He sent letters demanding retractions; even the mighty Times published an apology. Bell wasn’t satisfied and sued the Times and numerous other papers. At that trial, new evidence was introduced that Rev. Bell was seen drinking in Newbury before boarding the Bedwyn train. The man insisted, however, he was not drunk that night. In the end, he won his case but at what cost? The newspapers were required to pay damages of --- 40 shillings each.  

The Rev. John Robert Kennedy Bell was adjudged a bankrupt in October 1893.  Assisted, supposedly, by the Bishop of London, Bell crossed the Atlantic, spending several years as an Episcopal clergyman in Canada and upstate New York. He returned to the U.K. and died in Surrey in 1908.

How the Vicar Came and Went, the latest collection of tales of clerical scandals, is now available at Amazon.

 

 

Sunday, March 6, 2022

A CURATE'S HEART

 


Herne Bay was the nearest seaside resort to London, offering the usual promenade and a pier, but the lay of the land - rather flat as it was and is - offered slight shelter from the bracing northeast winds. Thus, Victorian Herne Bay never was quite the place to go; nonetheless, many people found it to be "a quiet, respectable, easy-going watering place." Hardly the scene for a disgraceful divorce scandal involving the local curate. 

The Rev. William Lyster Cartwright had been a curate in North Kent for some time, serving in Whitstable and Seasalter and, in 1870, he came to Christ Church, Herne Bay. About a quarter-mile inland from the bay, Christ Church was a large, if squat, building of red brick built in the 1830's. It needed the room as the congregation was quite numerous during "the season."

Gervas Herbert Chaldecott and his wife, Emily, were among the holiday makers in Herne Bay in 1870. They were introduced to the Rev. Mr. Cartwright and soon became excellent friends. Neither Mr. Chaldecott nor Rev. Cartwright enjoyed very good health. Chaldecott was in something like a chronic state of weakness and required the daily attendance of a servant. Mr. Cartwright's malady was a palpitating heart that a local physician warned might give out at any moment. Dr. Gull, the leading London specialist was recommended. Cartwright wasn't strong enough to travel alone. Chaldecott would insist, of course, that his wife accompany their good friend to London. Indeed, the two journeyed to London where they remained for more than a month. Mr. Chaldecott stayed in Herne Bay.

That visit was the central basis for Chaldecott's divorce petition claiming his wife had committed adultery with the young clergyman at both a London Hotel and on several occasions at the Chaldecott home on Carlton Road in Maida Vale. Emily Chaldecott counterclaimed her husband's own adultery with a young woman named Mahala Clark, who was her husband's devoted servant. As for her own conduct, Mrs. Chaldecott said her husband's "willfull neglect and connivance" would excuse her adultery, if any

The trial in London Divorce Court offered a field day for those who enjoyed reading such things. The Rev. Cartwright admitted that he and Emily stayed one night at the Marble Arch Hotel. He said they  reached London too late to go on to Maida Vale (another five miles?) Under questioning, Cartwright said, "It never occurred to me to go to another hotel." Further, "It never occurred to me not to get a room directly adjacent to hers." He also admitted spending three nights in the Chaldecott home but only because his heart had gone dicky again; as soon as he was able, he swore that he left Emily's house.

Mr. Chaldecott did not play the part of aggrieved husband very well. His business was stock jobbing but his affairs were in disarray. He preferred not to discuss his health issues but it was suggested that he endured several bouts of delirium tremens. Mahala Clark, the nurse, gave much evidence of the improper familiarities she observed between Mrs. Chaldecott and the curate. But Miss Clark admitted she commonly slept in the same room with Mr. Chaldecott who, of course, often needed her in the night. She also admitted giving birth to a child but she insisted she had been seduced by a man she only recalled as "tall and fair."

Having heard all this over two days, the jury was ready with a verdict but Sir James Hannen, the judge, insisted the highly paid advocates for each of the parties be allowed to have their last say. Having listened carefully, the jury acted within minutes, finding that Mrs. Chaldecott had committed adultery with Rev. Cartwright, but as Mr. Chaldecott had committed adultery with Mahala Clark, he could not get a divorce. This left the Rev. Mr. Cartwright in a rather awkward position. He filed an immediate request that Mrs. Chaldecott, who had not been called as a witness, be summoned as she was willing to deny under oath there had been any adultery with the curate of Herne Bay. Hannen dismissed the request; he had heard all the evidence and he agreed with the jury's finding. 

The Rev. Mr. Cartwright found church employment difficult to secure in the wake of the divorce trial. He served as a chaplain at Aldershot, the great military base in Hampshire. His next church work was at Freshwater on the Isle of Wight. After four years as Vicar of Brockenhurst in the New Forest, he died in 1888 at just 52. He never married. 

How the Vicar Came and Went, a collection of stories of Victorian clergymen in spots of bother is now on sale.



Sunday, January 16, 2022

The Most Painful Case of its Kind


 It would seem that the Rev. James Whitley Deans Dundas was destined for the vicarage of St. Mary's, in the Berkshire village of Kintbury. The 28-year old Mr. Dundas was the son of Capt. and later Admiral Dundas, who was Lord of the Manor and patron of the ancient church. Thus, in 1840, when the longtime vicar, Mr. Fowle, died, it was his time. However, there was the matter of the clergyman's absent wife to be sorted.

In 1834, with a Cambridge degree, James began studying for holy orders. On holiday in Hampshire, he met the daughter of a Col. Burslem. Olivia was a "young lady of considerable personal attractions" and James was soon very much in love and was welcomed by the Burslem family, residing with them for some little time. During that visit, Olivia was ill and confined to her room, where James "abused the confidence reposed in him by effecting her ruin." According to the Burslems, James was thrown out and refused to take responsibility for his child (Olivia was sent to London where she delivered a girl in June 1835.) The Burslem and Dundas families, after lengthy negotiations, brought James and Olivia to the altar. By then, the Rev Mr. Dundas had been ordained and had a curacy in Portsmouth. They were quietly married on 13 February 1836; their marriage settlement was said to be 15,000 pounds!

A little over a year later, in August 1837,  they separated. Prior to 1857, a divorce would have required (an expensive) Act of Parliament. Frequently, as a first step, the husband (but not the wife) could establish his wife's adultery with an action for criminal conversation. In July 1840, the case for the Rev. Mr. Dundas, was opened at the Queen's Court, in London's Westminster Hall. Neither he nor his wife could be heard. The jury was told that Rev. Dundas had sincerely wished to reconcile with his wife until he discovered her misconduct. The servants from two inns, the Castle in Marlborough and the White Hart, Chippenham, were paraded through, swearing that Mrs. Dundas and William Hoey, a "wealthy sporting gentleman of Bath" had passed as man and wife, sleeping in the same bed. Such profligacy raised the prospect of a "spurious offspring" brought into the respected Dundas family. Substantial damages, therefore, were due to the vicar of Kintbury.

The case for Mrs. Dundas was made by her mother and father who testified to the "real circumstances" of their daughter's relationship with James Dundas. Since the day he got her pregnant, he treated her with the "greatest repugnance." He insisted on a huge fortune to marry Miss Burslem but never showed her any affection. He was violent towards her; there was evidence of a swollen lip and other maltreatment. In sum, Dundas devoted his whole attention to ridding himself of his wife, thereby exposing her to the seductions of other men. By his willful neglect, he discarded a young and beautiful woman from her home, placing her in great moral danger. 

How could the Burslems bring before the public the disgrace of their own daughter, Rev. Dundas' counsel argued. He admitted his client had sinned but he was not then a man of the church. "Some allowance must be made for human passion."

It was the most painful case of its kind, Justice Lord Denman declared, after listening to the lengthy and pretty candid testimony. The evidence was clear, he told the jury, that Mrs. Dundas had committed adultery with the shadowy Mr. Hoey and, by law, reparations were due to the violated husband. However, the jury must consider the conduct of the Rev. Dundas. "He who has taught a woman to sin once, has the less reason to be surprised she should sin again." After no more than a few minutes, the jury gave their verdict. There was no doubt criminal conversation had occurred but it was their opinion that Rev. Dundas had "morally deserted" his wife. Therefore, they awarded him the classic minimum damages of a single farthing.

The Rev. Mr. Dundas was never divorced. He remained married but lived apart from Olivia Dundas who outlived him, she died in 1881.  Dundas remained the vicar of Kintbury for over thirty years until his death in 1872. He was buried in the family vault. There was a church window installed at St. Mary’s in "affectionate remembrance of his unceasing acts of charity and kindness." 




How the Vicar Came and Went is my latest collection of stories of Victorian Clerical Scandals. It is available exclusively through Amazon.



Wednesday, December 8, 2021

The Secret's In and Must Come Out


The "ancient redstone edifice" of St. Margaret's, Wolstanton, is a landmark in the Potteries, "seated on an eminence, its lofty spire forms a conspicuous feature in this part of the country." In 1863, a serious charge against the longtime vicar of the church excited considerable interest. 

The Rev John Tyson had been in Wolstanton for more than 25 years. One of a clergyman's duties was to sit with the sick and provide some spiritual comfort. Thus did the vicar spend many hours in the cottage of Mrs. Mary Ann Barlow whose mother was dying. Mrs. Barlow was a widow in her 30's; she'd been born in the village, her late husband had been a schoolmaster and local relief officer. She was quite a respectable woman. Mr. Tyson's regular calls continued until the death of her mother in September 1862.

A few days after Christmas, a letter arrived at the vicarage, signed by Mary Ann Barlow. As the letter formed the centerpiece of the case against Rev. Tyson, it is quite unfortunate that it did not survive. On that occasion, the vicar read it aloud, in the presence of his wife and his nephew. From memory, they all recalled words to the effect that "The secret's in and must come out. I should have sent this letter after the second offence, but I was afraid if I had done so you would refuse to visit my mother. Your ingratitude is very base, after my having endured this so long. I must be paid, and receive compensation for the loss of peace of mind which I have sustained. Oh, that it were with me as in days past, when I could attend church, and receive the sacrament with inward and spiritual grace." When she heard the letter read, Mrs. Tyson turned to her husband, "Why John, she means to accuse you of having improper intercourse with her."

On New Year's Day, Mrs. Barlow was taken into custody by a local plod who recalled she told him how she had to fight the vicar off. "He put his hand up my skirt but I pushed him away and resisted him." At the Police Court in Stoke, the woman was charged with extortion with threats, namely that the Rev. Tyson had attempted to commit a rape upon her person. 

Amidst a great deal of public interest and excitement, the case was heard in March at the Spring Assizes in Stafford. The Rev. Tyson, in his 60's and in delicate health, had lived a blameless and irreproachable life. Not a breath of scandal touched his name, his counsel told the court. On the stand, the vicar denied a litany of alleged improprieties. During his many visits, he never bolted the door in Mrs. Barlow's home, he never pulled down the blinds, he never sat on the sofa with the woman, she never sat on his knee, he never put his arm round her waist or up her skirt. He was never with her in her bedroom; he never pushed her down and lay with her on the bed. He never wrote to her begging that she not reveal his past wrongdoing.

What motivation would a respectable lady have for making such a horrible charge? In that lost letter, there was also mention that Mrs. Barlow had asked the vicar for a loan of £30 which he had refused. At that time, Mrs. Barlow, the accused, could not take the stand in her defense. Representing her was Henry Matthews Q.C., a future Home Secretary. He made a lengthy speech insisting that the "wrong construction" had been placed upon that letter. Her mother had just died, she was in great need, and her pastor and spiritual adviser for twenty years, her friend and consoler in time of trouble, and with whom for years she'd worked as a Sunday School teacher, refused to help her. After the letter was delivered, she went to the vicarage to see Mr. Tyson, but his solicitor turned her out. Matthews suggested to the jury that, had she been allowed to talk to the vicar - before her mouth was closed in the dock - she could have explained her situation and her despair and that she had never intended to impute anything reflecting upon his character.

Baron Channell admitted the jury had two very different versions of events. The letter had been “imprudently parted with” and, without it, its full contents were unknown. It was a serious charge against Mrs. Barlow; one that would come with a lengthy jail term if she was convicted. The jurymen, "after a brief consultation," acquitted her.  

The verdict left the entire sordid matter unresolved. In Wolstanton, 400 parishioners signed a statement offering their support to Mr. Tyson "for his considerable annoyance of late." Their confidence remained unabated in his ministry and character. In his grateful reply, the vicar admitted "the only consolation remaining to me is a clear conscience before my Almighty Master." The Rev. John Tyson remained at St. Margaret's, Wolstanton, until his death four years later. There is a memorial to his memory in the church today. 


For this Christmas, consider this collection of stories of Victorian clergymen and their predicaments.