Home Page Home Page THE LOCKED JOURNAL Page 2.               About the same time I was made a member of the Choir of the Chapel, first as a Treble, and when my voice          broke, as an Alto, and altho' I had then very little knowledge of Music, having a good ear I could speedily acquire          the Alto of a tune, and thought myself no mean singer.               When a little over 17 years of age, the Rev James Sherman, then of Reading, but afterwards for many years          the successor of Rowland Hill, at Surrey Chapel, and one of the most eloquent, faithful, and successful preachers          I ever knew, came to Windsor on a week night to preach to the S. S. Teachers.               His text was Isaiah 44th Chap. 3rd, 4th and 5th verses “I will pour water upon him that is thirsty" etc and while          he most affectionately pleaded for God with the Teachers for personal and immediate consecration to          Christ - with eyes swimming with tears, my heart was broken into tenderness, and I trust I then yielded myself,          fully and entirely into my Saviour’s hands - for Him to live and die.               Peace, love, and unutterable joy came into my soul, and I felt that Jesus was mine, and I His.          Notwithstanding, I kept it to myself for some time, fearing to speak of it, either to my parents, or to my          Pastor - dreading lest I should afterwards bring disgrace upon the profession of religion by falling away.          This however was a suggestion of the enemy, and had well nigh lost me my happiness - but one Sunday          night in our Teachers prayer meeting after service, I broke through the snare and being called on to pray,          which tho’ repeatedly requested, I had never done before - I took up my cross and in a very incoherent manner          and with many sobs and tears showed by my prayers, that I was determined to serve the Lord Jesus.          My Superintendent, who looked after the Spiritual interests of the Teachers as well as the children soon introduced          me to our Pastors, both old and new and after about 3 months during which I received valuable counsel from them          and the Deacons, I was formally admitted a Member of the Church, and received the right hand of fellowship          from my dear old Pastor, (who had baptised me in infancy) - in the presence of the Church.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Soon afterwards I was called upon to pray in the Monday evening prayer meeting, and sometimes had          considerable liberty in that exercise. One Sunday mg [morning] a short time afterwards my Minister          Mr. Stoughton spoke to me after service, and said Do you not go to Dorney Sunday School this afternoon          (a village about 4 miles off) - I replied “Yes’. Well said he, there will be no preacher there this evening, and I          want you to stay and conduct the service - I objected strongly but he said - Take this tract, you see it is a          short sermon, and read it to the people, and if you feel free to say a few words of your own, do so by all means.          With fear and trembling I went to my first appointment my brother-in-law Mr Tilley accompanying me.          The service was held in the great kitchen of a farm house, and the place was quite filled, - I was very nervous          when I began to read my tract but gradually I felt more happy and interested and having got about a third part          through - I felt liberty enough to say something of my own and continued so - the consequence of which was that          I never got back to my tract but finished a (to me at least) very interesting service in the usual manner.               I was now between 17 and 18 years of age, and had hitherto taken no pleasure at all in the society of the female          sex - in fact I was unusually shy and timid when in company with them. I remember well that on Good Friday          in the year before, going in a van with the other teachers to the S. S. Anniversary at Maidenhead as was our          Annual Custom, that when the van stopped at the Inn, and we all got out - having a good way to walk to the          Chapel - all the teachers paired off each Jack to his Jill until at last there was only one Jack and one Jill left.          The Jack was I - and I ran away to the opposite side of the road and the Jill followed behind the Superintendent          and his Jill. All at once he saw her walking alone and I on the opposite side sneaking away.          In an authoritative manner he called to me to come over, I obeyed, and he directed me to go and offer my arm          to the young lady - I went up to her without saying a word, and she mechanically placed her arm within mine,          and we joined the others.               I several times looked up in her face, intending to say something, but she looked so very black and sour that I          was frightened, and I never spoke a word to her, or she to me, during nearly a mile's walk, or when taking or leaving          my arm. Happy was I when we reached the Chapel, and I was free again. but the next Good Friday, my time had          come.    Romance.               On Good Friday in the year 1834, I and a fellow teacher named Stephen Boult, some years older than I,          hired a boat at Eton to row up the river Thames to Maidenhead to the Anniversary. The van load of teachers          went as usual by road. It was a beautiful spring morning in April, and we greatly enjoyed our row of 10 miles.          We attended the morning service, met our fellow teachers, and went with them to an Inn and had dinner with          them. We afterwards went to the S. S. Tea meeting, after which there being time before the evening meeting          we separated, many going for a walk, some one road, some another - Boult and I went out by the road leading          up Folly Hill - A little in front of us, we saw two young ladies whom we knew as teachers, but, as yet had never          spoken to them. I said - Let us overtake them, and ask them to take a walk. Alright, said Boult, but I mean to have          the youngest Miss Hill - you can have Miss Jeffreys. Well said I, We'll see about that. Accordingly we made          up to them, and I at once secured my young lady leaving poor Boult with Hobson's Choice - We had a          delightful walk (of course) and then went to the evening meeting not before we had persuaded the ladies to          leave their companions and go down with us in the boat, it being a full moonlight night, they stipulating however          that a young married teacher named Hatty, should go with us to save appearances. We made a start on the river          about 9 p.m. Boult and I rowing, Hatty steering in the stern, and the ladies on the broad seat in front of us, - It          was a most delightful evening so calm and bright that we didn't hurry down, but every now and then would rest          upon our oars, and let the boat glide gently down the stream, and joined our voices in singing a hymn or sacred          piece making the echoes of the night ring, with our melodies. I should say that four out of the five were singers          in the Chapel Choir the exception being Miss Hill, who could sing very nicely on occasion but didn't blow - like          we did.               We got home very late, but perfectly happy, and pleased with our day's pleasure (at least I was). We met on          Sunday of course after prayer meeting in the evening and had a good time, only my mate Boult, was dissatisfied          with me for having taken the young one, but I clearly demonstrated to him that there was a fitness in things as          they were, seeing that Miss Hill and I were nearly of an age, between 17 and 18, while he was 22 and Miss Jefferys          about – well, an uncertain age, but older than he. That I was right was abundantly proved by the result. viz - that          each of us eventually married the right girl altho’ it was 4-½ years before I married, while Boult and Miss Jefferys          were not married until after our first child was born.               In looking back over this period of my life, I see clearly the good hand of the Lord my God as leading me and          guiding me and preserving me in the most dangerous period of my life. I had begun to contract bad habits.          Having a good Tenor voice, and being much praised by my shop mates, I was several times led astray to Public          Houses, where they used on one or more evenings in the week to hold (Free and Easy's) where I was of course          called on to sing and made much of, to gratify my poor vanity. I was restrained from drinking, because I did not          like it - but no doubt, if I had continued, I should soon have been equal to that accomplishment also. - But directly          I became acquainted with your Mother I at once ceased to attend these meetings - and found quite enough to          employ my evenings in going to see her. She was however very chary of giving me her company (or I thought so)          as she limited my evenings to two a week excluding Sundays, on the principle I suppose, that too much of a good          thing, was quite enough - and as the courtship extended to nearly five years, she was probably right.    Marriage.               Time went on, the years went past, with happiness for me in society of your dear Mother, until the day when          I became of age and was free from my apprenticeship. I cannot omit to mention, that my master, a week or two          before I was of age came into the workshop, and before the men said that he had never had an apprentice who          had fulfilled his obligations like me before, and that in token of his esteem, he would give me the best suit of          clothes the shop could furnish, to be made by the men, and that so long as there was a job of work in the shop,          I should have it, as his journeyman. The day of freedom arrived, I not only had the suit of clothes, which were          black as my Brother William had died shortly before - But he gave a supper to all the men at which many kind          things were said with regard to me. I became a journeyman at a good time financially for the King William IV,          died just as I was released and it was the custom in the trade in Windsor for double wages to be paid to Tailors          from the time of the King's death to that of his burial which was about 3 weeks, consequently I earned a great          deal of money.               After more than a year was past, I began to think about marrying, as I had put away nearly £50 since my          freedom. We took a 5 roomed house in William St, Windsor, and your Mother, who never would tell me whether          she had any money said she would find all the bed linen and other linen required but that I was to furnish the          house. This I managed to do, though it brought me very low in finances, and the all important day arrived               We had decided to be married on Monday Oct 8th 1838, and as the act allowing marriages to be performed          in Dissenting Chapels had become Law just before, we could not but be married in our own Chapel and by our          own Minister. About 3 or 4 weeks before the marriage, I went over to Old Windsor 2 miles off, to interview          Mr Bailey whose name you will see in my Marriage Certificate. He was Clerk of the parish church, but also the          Registrar under the New Act. It was a very dark night, and having with great difficulty found his farm house, and          being worried by his dog, I knocked at the door. A servant answered it with a candle in her hand saying          "Who be ye”. I said, I wanted to see Mr Bailey as I wanted to get married”. She called her Master, who at once said,          “If you want to marry, come to the Old Church, and do it in the right way, I am the Registrar under the New Act,          but I have never had a job, and I don't want to The old Church is enough for me”.                  Unprepared.               I replied that at all hazard, if it were Law, I would be married by my own Minister. Well, said he, then we must          go to Mr Long, Superintendent Registrar, who was a Solicitor in Windsor, but resided at Old Windsor. Accordingly          he arrayed himself in his great coat and taking his stick and his dog and lantern, we proceeded in the darkness          to Mr Long's, about a mile off. Here I was subjected to a bantering ordeal by Mr Long, who treated the whole          matter as a good joke. However I, at least, was in earnest, and paying certain moneys, I received a paper, which          I was to produce at the marriage ceremony to the Deputy Registrar Mr Bailey. The date was fixed and the place          the Independent Chapel in Windsor, and the Minister, my dear Pastor, the Rev J Stoughton. Full of happiness          I trudged home thro' slush and mud. A fortnight elapsed and the day of my happiness drew near, when one day          Mr. Bailey appeared, and said that as he had found that my future wife lived in another Parish Union, altho’ only          across the river it was necessary that the banns should be entered and read at the Eton Board of Guardians as          well as the Windsor.               There was no help for it, and so I had to go to the Eton Board and go thro' the same forms there, and my          marriage was delayed for a fortnight. But at last, the important day arrived, Monday 22nd Oct 1838.          We had kept the affair quite secret. Oh! Yes - But on going with my friends into the Chapel, I was surprised to          find that the Chapel was filled by I should think 500 people. More than half filled.               The ceremony proceeded very fairly for a time when I found there was an awkward pause, and I, who had been          in the seventh heaven or somewhere else was awoke from my reverie by the voice of the Minister gently asking          "Do you use a ring" - Now your Mother had given me that necessary article just before starting, wrapped in a          thousand folds of silver paper, and I had deposited the same in my waistcoat pocket               Awoke to consciousness, and not liking to unfold the ring in the presenceof so many people, I began trying          with my fingers to push it through the papers. But that was a work of extreme difficulty, and my embarrassment          was great, as amidst the suppressed tittering of many, I at last produced it. The ceremony proceeded, the ring          was duly placed, the audience dispersed, but it was necessary we should adjourn to the vestry to sign the contract.          I was asked at once to produce the document I had received from the Superintendent Registrar, without which          the Deputy could not sign the marriage Certificate.               Now on the mantlepiece of our newly furnished home, there was a paste board model of a Church, the roof of          which lifted and I had placed that document inside. I directed Mr Boult, who you will remember was my          companion when we first commenced our courting, to go home, and get the document from the Church.          He went, and a long and to me at least, painful interval elapsed. At last he came breathless into the vestry          stating that he had been to the Church and that old Cobbett the Parish Clerk knew nothing about it.               He had been to the Parish Church!! However he was soon sent off in a hurry to the right place, and the          documents were signed and sealed. We spent our marriage day at Virginia Water, a lovely spot in Windsor Forest,          and thus our marriage ended. On the next morning before I went to work, your Mother surprised me by putting          into my hands a £20 note which was extremely acceptable, as my finances had been almost brought to Nil, by          the expenses of the marriage, and thus was begun a union, which I believe, as the Poets say "Was made in Heaven"          and which for the long space of 41 years, was ratified by the blessing of God.    His wife Mary & children.               I have thus been particular in narrating the circumstances of my marriage, because it was the most important          epoch of my life and largely determined my future life. I only regret that we could not have gone down to the grave          together, but My Father in Heaven ordered otherwise. Your Mother was always a faithful wife and a loving mother,          and I hope my children will always revere her memory. I continued working for my apprentice Master for a year          or two afterwards, but I grieve to say that he did not fulfil his promise to give me full work and often in the slack          times I did not earn a pound per a week. But your Mother commenced business as a Milliner and Dressmaker,          and was largely patronized by the upper servants of the Castle and other Ladies, so that she soon began to have          work people to help her. I think at one time she employed three young women, and was highly esteemed by her          customers for her good honest work, and for the taste she exhibited in dress. It was on the advice of one of her          customers, the Lady of one of the King's Pages that I began business for myself as a Tailor, and soon got enough          work to keep me employed principally among the upper servants of the Castle. And now comes another of the great          incidents of my life. Your Mother was delivered of a baby in September 1839, and I thought that my cup of          happiness was now complete. The baby was Mary, and I rejoice that she is now alive, and the mother of a          numerous family.               Another daughter was born about a year and a half after, Susanna, who I am glad to say is still alive and also the          mother of a large family. But about this time, I, not liking my trade and being urged by my brother, Thomas, to          become a School Master, applied for admittance into the Training College of the British and Foreign School Society,          Boro' Road London. As I was a married man with two children, I had to satisfy the committee that my wife and          family would not want. Your Mother was equal to the occasion, and nobly agreed to attempt to keep the house          while I was in College. I was accepted on that condition subject to an examination. In August I went up. There          were more than 50 candidates, and the whole of us were seated at a long table. I sat near to the Tutor and examiner          Dr Cornwell, and the ordeal lasted 5 or 6 hours. At the close, he told us in plain terms that we were all miserably          ignorant, but that we should be admitted probationally. Gathering up our examination papers, he said, “These          will be produced at an examination in three months time, and if your next papers then do not show a great          improvement even in the best of you, you have mistaken your vocation and must go back from whence you came.               This so affected me, that as I walked down the Westminster Bridge Road that evening on a visit to your Mother's          Aunt, Mrs Ham. I had a good cry, at thinking what would become of me and my little family, were I to be turned          out of the College after having made such sacrifices to get in, and I resolved that with the help of God I would strain          every nerve of my body and spirit to prevent such a catastrophe. And I did so. On one occasion shortly afterwards          I was behind in my lessons and the Dr severely scolded me. My excuse was that I had not time. When he curtly          replied, “You must make time.” I understood him, and from that morning I used to rise at 3 or 4 o'clock and with          a few of the students who were like minded, studied my lessons in the Class Room, where we were permitted to          light the gas but were almost frozen by the cold.               The Dr shewed confidence in me by placing me in trust over the others others, and I had only to call those          who were disposed to be rowdy, to return to their studies, or I would inform the Doctor, to ensure obedience.          Once in 3 weeks I used to go down to Windsor to visit your Mother and my two children on the Saturday afternoon,          walking 5 miles thro' London to the Paddington Station and then 3 miles from Slough to Windsor, and after          spending Saturday afternoon and all Sunday with my family I had to answer to my name at ½ past 8 on          Monday morning.                                A teaching career.               It was in August 1842, that I entered, and in Decr I was appointed to Wrexham Denbighshire North Wales.          This was a very short training only 5 months, but the demand for Teachers was so great that I could not be kept          longer. I received a valuable lecture from Dr Cornwell before leaving. He told me that tho’ I was appointed to an          important School, I was not to understand that I had finished my education. He acknowledged that, he had          perceived in me the faculty of teaching but that I was still very ignorant and must improve myself both in          learning and teaching or I should still prove a failure. I arrived in Wrexham early in 1843, leaving your Mother          and the children at Windsor for the present. My salary was £80 per annum, quite a respectable income as          times then were. I found the school of 200 boys in a very efficient state, the master whom I succeeded being a first          rate teacher, and who was afterwards for many years the Head Master of the Model School at the Boro' Road, the          very School I had been practising in while in College. He may be there still. His name was, Mr J Langton, B. A.          of London University. The school was held in the Town Hall, an old and venerable building of several hundred          years standing, but very dilapidated and they had just commenced building a new School Room both for boys          and girls in another part of the town. I entered on my duties with great enthusiasm, and for a time all went on          swimmingly. I commenced a class in Vocal Music on Hullah's System, and soon had above 100 Members which          not only was a source of income to me, but served greatly to increase my fame as a Teacher. I went up to Windsor          at Easter to see your Mother and soon after I returned a baby was born, whom we called Amelia.               But now my troubles began which ultimately resulted in my leaving Wrexham. The Chairman of my Committee          a Dr Lewis, was a retired Physician and was a perfect enthusiast in the education of the people. Quick and          impulsive and overbearing in his nature, and his time entirely at his own command, he used to spend the          greater part of it in my school. This would all have been very well, had he confined himself to observing, but          unfortunately for me, he would interfere with the management of the school and go into the classes, armed          always with a ruler, and use it too, on the boys. Complaints were made to me from the parents, of his interference,          and I repeatedly asked him not to do so, but to refer anything wrong to me. Several times he promised to do so,          but continued the same conduct until it became intolerable.                  Singing and rapture.    Lay preaching