Wednesday, April 27, 2016

"Bonking Vicars"

"No issue of a British tabloid newspaper is complete without a headline featuring 'bonking schoolgirls' or 'bonking vicars.'"* This pre-dates the modern boundary-less social media, paparazzi and hacked mobile phones. The cartoon here, a favorite of mine, is from the Illustrated Police News (copyright British Library.) In 1896, in a small village in Devon, the wife of a local miller disappeared, sending a note that she had taken her son and left for good. The note was sent thru the local curate, the Rev. A.B. Winnifrith. The clergyman said he had no idea where Mrs. Hern had gone. But, of course, he did. Eventually, it was shown that - under assumed names - he had visited her at several rooming houses around England. One landlady recalled that Mrs. Hern kept the curate's photo on the nightstand. The whole story of the "infamous conduct" of Mr. Winnifrith can be found in my book, Blame it on the Devon Vicar.

For new stories of miscreant clerics, check out the Kindle E-book, Clerical Errors - A Victorian Series, Vol.

If you do not have a Kindle, remember a free app is available for your smart-phone and tablet. Thank you.

* Miller, R.M., Trask's Historical Linguistics (2013)

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