Thursday, 3 December 2020

More about the naughty vicar

A few more details about the rector appeared in other newspaper reports.

I'd wondered whether he had been a Chaplain during WW I. But it turns out that he had only been a clergyman for a couple of years.

"Mr Ryder Richardson prosecuting for the Bishop of Winchester, said the rector went to a public school and to Cambridge. He was in the Nigerian administration service and worked for the British Legion. He became a deacon in 1939 and a priest in 1940. 

. . .

He was, it would be stated, sometimes seen to fall off his bicycle on which he at times fetched a basket of beer bottles. 

. . . 

"He was sober when he read his book on Saturday afternoon for his service and on Sunday when he had his service and went to the infirmary," said Van Eyk."
Dundee Evening Telegraph - Friday 24 November 1944, page 4.

So he was a posh bastard, too. I wonder why he joined the clergy when in his late forties? At least he was sober during church services.

This next article reveals what was in the injection:

"Dr Thomas Charles Evans of Fleet, also attending on subpoena, said that one night in September 1942, at the request of Mrs De La Mothe, he gave the rector morphia, a recognised sedative for alcoholic irritation. He advised the rector to take treatment. 

Mark Edward Clowes, printer and publisher, said that on one occasion outside the Queen's Head the rector, who had apparently been drinking, told him that every Armistice Day he went to Badminton and preached a sermon before Queen Mary. He also said that he had been appointed "vicar of Grantley, in Cambridgeshire," and that it was quite in order to hold two livings. On another occasion in the Queen's Head the rector first refused to sign the A.R.P. book, wanted to fight, and called) him (Clowes) "a filthy, lechcrous brute, and half-witted." 

James Arthur Cook, son-in-law of the tenant of the Queen's Head, said he had seen the rector drink in the inn. He used word sometimes "which indicated children born of persons who were not married." He once used it when he said he would murder Clowes. He was not suggesting the rector had ever been drunk. 

Dr Arthur Harold Sheppard said had seen the rector go to public-houses in his own and other parishes. "I pointed out to him what people were saying about his habits. I said, 'Why don't you chuck the thing up? Fight and resist it.' He made no reply, put on his hat and walked out of the house." 

Mr Benson — Were all these reports from various members of his flock, or did they emanate from the big house, to put it bluntly? 

Dr Sheppard — They emanated from the parish. 

Mr Benson — They did not come from the patron house? 

Dr Sheppard — No."
Dundee Courier - Saturday 25 November 1944, page 3.

 Is morphine "a recognised sedative for alcoholic irritation"? Interesting that it's a different swearword in this report - bastard.

It seems that he rector didn't limit his boozing to the Barley Mow and Queen's Head, as he also drank in other parishes.

There's some rather odd boasting by the rector. I doubt very much that he preached before Queen Mary, of that he had another parish.

Next time we'll learn the court's decision.


Michael Foster said...

I'm sure I speak for many when I say I simply cannot get enough about this naughty vicar. My next drink I shall raise a toast to the bloody bastard!

Alan said...

My father was a man of the cloth and while he was rarely a drinker he did order me to go buy him beer the moment I got my drivers licence. He was constantly under a sort of surveillance in the community that he complained RC priests and evangelical pastors didn't seem subject to. This lad in these stories seems not particularly well suited but he also seems to be subject to standards not commonly held.

Rob Sterowski said...

Perhaps he'd had an engagement broken off and had foresworn women by joining the clergy. That might explain the drinking too.

Ron Pattinson said...


except he was married. Admittedly, with a spouse who might well have been playing away.