John Shinn (1837-1925): A Sketch of my Life and Times – Transcript

Page 1- I have made a brief and rough sketch of my childhood and life to show some of the hardships and trials that I went through in my early days & also to give some idea of the condition of things generally 80 years back. The readers may think that my statements are overdramatic, the worst I have not told. I consider the hard struggles of my early life, I often wonder that I have been able to attain my present position, but it has only been done by self-denial, perseverance and constant hard work and careful saving which has never ceased. The condition of things generally 75 or 80 years back, were very much worse in every way than one can have any idea of at the present time or have ever been since, at that time little or no help was given to the struggling poor or the working elapses labour was very badly paid for, and the hours of labour were very long, generally from 7am – 8pm  and in many cases much longer & it was frequently done under very tiring circumstances in unhealthy workshops , which was most painful to the workers. The comforts of the workers were never thought of in any way, I have been through it all so that I can speak from experience, the life of the workings in those days was indeed very hard, and one cannot be surprised that the workers at the present time, are both troublesome & dissatisfied and by to claim & gain what is their just rights ?

Page 3- A rough sketch of my life and the social condition of things in my early days- I was born on March 6 1837 at Taylors Row some houses on the south side of ?  St John Street Road, Clerkenwell (now called St John Street). The site is no occupied by the Northampton institute. My Father ( John Shinn) was born at Kings Lynn ? Norfolk on Sept 19th 1808 and the family moved to London when he was about 2 year old, and his parents settle at Stepney, they travelled to London in an eight horse wagon. The usual way of travelling in those days, during my father’s apprenticeship, his parents still lived at ? and he had to walk from Stepney to Clerkenwell  back every morning and night. My father was apprenticed to Price brothers (glass blowers) of Clerkenwell green while there he was listed in bending some glass to be used in a dome at Buckingham Palace. He married about 1823 Mary Ann Hall of Stepney? the youngest daughter of William Hatt at ? in the East (who lived on Stepney Green) after some years he left the glass ?? and went into the cabinet business with his brother (Samuel ) at Taylors Row but his brother not acting quite straight. They parted & did not see each other for many years,  but met (?? who died Jan 26 1849) at Shinners St James? Town (Near King X). During the first few years, my father’s business greatly increased and he removed into a larger house, with food / good workshops at 9 St John Street Road. It was a large old house and much of repair. The roof did not keep out the rat? and the drains(old brick drain) were ? faulty. The house was infested with rats, which frequently came on in day light into the garden? at a time at that time the old Smithfield cattle market

Page 5- was in use (it had been there for centuries outside the city walls) the cattle were ? throughout the week from all parts of the country & placed in Cattle ? at Islington which were on the site of the present agricultural hall, and after 10 on Sunday nights the cattle were driven all through the night in large flocks & droves to Smithfield past our house, ready for the market on Mondays and the noise of the cattle & the shouting of the drover was terrible all through Sunday night, then on Monday the cattle was again distributed after being sold to all parts of London and the cruel treatment of the drover was painful to be heard. Before the central meat market was built (which is on the site of the old Smithfield cattle market) Newgate market was the dead meat market, this was between Newgate street Paternoster Row on the site of Warwick Lane & ?? Square, which locally was then filled with butcher shape

Page 6-  and slaughter houses. At this time period, condemned persons were executed in the Old Bailey in front of Newgate (at 8 o’clock on Monday morning) about 20 years South of Newgate street. On these mornings, thousands of people used to pass our house to attend & see the executions, they were of the lowest class. Our house was a large double fronted house, the third house south of the church which now stand at the corner of Ashley Street — the house behind the church now used as the Vicarage was an old boarding school, called the Northampton House School, and the site of the church was the playground and before the church was built on a tree stood in the centre of the ground, which must have been there some hundreds of years, My father’s business greatly increased

Page 7- for a few years, and he bought a horse to use in the business but it went blind & had to be sold among my earliest recollections in life, was begin lifted onto the back of the horse after it had been cleaned by an apprentice ( at that time i could not have been more than about two years old). There were about 16 rooms in our house, so some of them were let out, two independent old ladies occupied the top rooms, named ‘Bethan’, one was a great gin drinker, a habit very common with many old ladies at that time. The first floor was rented by an old gentle man & his daughter named ‘Timson?’ Who formerly kept the ‘Beach Bull’ hotel & coaching house in ??

Page 8- they had a most ? servant tone of the good old named Mary Keen and one day when we were at tea in the kitchen, Mary Keen came rushing down, and cried out oh Mr Shin, Miss Bethan is on fire. My father caught up on large over coat, rushed up the stairs and found the old lady on the top landing all in flame, he threw on the floor & smothered out the fire with the overcoat, and sent for a doctor at once, but she was so badly burned that she died in a few days ,of course this was a great upset to us all. Miss Bethan? had been sitting too close to the floor drinking and her dress caught fire, being partly intoxicated at the time, gin drinking was common habit old ladies had at that time, about this time trade became very

Page 9- bad, and my father’s business fell always almost to nothing and from that time we gradually drifted into distress and trouble and during the next fifteen years we suffered very great privations and hardship in every way.  I Remember the brothers taking possession of our home three times during that period and were paid out by friends at the last hour to save our home being sold up from 1840 to 1850 was the most distressing time of the 19th century. During that period very large numbers of people were in the greatest distress, riots and meetings  were constantly taking place, the great meeting place was on ?? Green.  These ? we children ? got sight of any money, at that time there was an old lady

Page 10- who lived on the top floor who suffered very much from Rheumatism and could do but little for herself so I used to carry up all the water she required which I had to carry from the basement to the third floor up for which she occasionally would give me a penny, which I always spent to purchase paints or pencils to draw and paint with as I was always very fond of drawing & painting from my earliest days, about this period (1843-4) we children were  frequently kept in the house of ? together for want of both & clothing and Sundays were very long dreary old days, and the shop being closed, and we children had little to occupy the time, we only found ? had two or three children brooks. and they had been read through many times, about this time (1845) my father had a very serious illness (a nervous breakdown) which lasted

Page 11- about three year, and has been quite unable to do any  ? this really added to own distress & trouble. The doctor ordered him to get out as much as possible but he was too ill to go far or go alone, so I always went with him but he was only able to walk very slowly, which was very tedious and tiring or me and when at home I frequently had to sit with him in the bedroom while my mother was engaged with other domestic work.  Seeing Mr and Mrs. Booth??? For the first time – 1843. It was about this time 1842-3 that I first saw Mr and Mrs booth. ( Mr booth was my father’s cousin) and they stayed several days at our house. On their way back from Newmarket to. ???  Where he had been to fetch Mrs booth some years reviews Mr booth had been in business at Newmarket ( a boot business)…

Page 12 – and failed. One evening my mother and Mrs booth sat at work in the kitchen talking over their troubles, I was present and very much impressed?? with what Mrs booth told my mother although only about five or six years old I have never forgotten it. And think it worth recording   Mrs booth said when they were married Mr booth had a business at Newmarket but they came upon bad tunes and got into difficulties and were very much ??? For money.  Mr booth went to a distant town to ask help from a friend, but it failed and he was afraid to return home , so in his way back he enlisted for a soldier in the east India company service but he never wrote to let his wife or any of his friend know and for years Mrs booth entirely? Lost sight of her and and no one knew what had become of him.

Page 13-of course Mrs booth was in great trouble and distress so she disposed of the stock and shop as soon as she could and took a situation? As a servant housekeeper in the town where she remained for some years saved all the money she could. And paid off her husband’s debts but not a word could be heard about Mr booth- after several years Mrs booth went out one morning to Open the parlour? shutters when a man came up to she kept a ?? Not far off came up to her and said have you seen your husband. Mrs b was very much surprised at the question and said no I have not seen or heard of him since he left home and have no idea what has become of him the man then said well he is in the town and I saw him myself last night. – Mrs booth

Page 14- was very much upset at the unexpected news but during the day they met at the house of a friend after some years separation and came together again and remained together until the death of Mrs booth which took place many years after at Brentwood in Essex. When Mr booth had been in the east India company for some time he was chosen for an officers orderly (a server to the officers) being a quiet respectable man.  Sometime after the officers required a woman servant in the house to do certain work it was then that Mrs booth told his officer that he was a married man (he enlisted a single man) and spoke about the vacant situation for his wife. The officer brought the matter before the colonel colonel Hayes who ordered Mr booth to be brought before him and gave him a good for making a

Page 15- false declaration and then let the matter pass and sent him to Newmarket to fetch Mrs booth and they stayed at our house for a day or two on their return journey. They then took charge of the officer quarters where they remained for many years until the east India company was taken over by the government after this Mrs B received a pension of ?? per day. Soon after this period and for years after times were very hard with them and us and our distress was also very severe we g our food was of the plainest kind and at times very short we ?? Tasted meat more than twice or three time a week frequently only a piece bread and butter between breakfast and tea and often bread without

Page 16 – butter only a little sugar sprinkled on the bread and in the winter we were very short of fuel and frequently had to do without a fire booths when leaving at ?? Occasionally sent us up a little parcel of food and other things which were always most acceptable but they were only ? And could not do much but they did what they could to help us in our distress and trouble. After Mr booth was discharged from the army they still remained about and Brentwood for many years until the death of Mr booth when his pension ceased after this Mrs booth had a struggle to live and she then took a place as working housekeeper at Brentwood at that time I used to send her down a little help occasionally as they had helped us this was in my early marriage days.  But I could not do very much as my income at that time was very limited and my family was increasing

Page 17- and about that time I also had to give my own parents a little help which kept me very poor also the following now goes back some years.  The greatest and most serious time of my life has been the loss of schooling or education at the time of my school age parents were were very poor and in great distress and private schools were few and very expensive therefore my education was entirely lost which  has been to me the most greatest trouble but that was no fault of mine, the want of education has been a most serious drawback all through my life as a child I was passionately fond of drawing and painting spent much of my time in that way when I could get paper and paints to work with but our distress at that time made  this a great difficulty the few halfpence I did get were all for that purpose

Page 18- about  1845 this time my father came into possession of a violin which he gave to me as I was fond of music and for a small sum I purchased a cheap tutor and set to work to teach myself I used to practice in the workshop by the light of a candle at the end of the day after work was done which afforded me great pleasure and satisfaction and occupied my time and mind, Sundays were long and weary days when we were kept in for want of decent clothes  my mother who was a good pious woman did her best to keep us occupied during the long dull winter Sundays during the evening she would read to us from the bible and other suitable books and when we were tired would lead us in simply some favourite hymns for a change and ?? We got through the time she would sometimes after dark when our clothing was shabby she would take us to some chapter a distance from home where we were not known which made a little change for us children. About 1844-5 hardness of times in winter my father let a room to a lady Mrs Benson to ?? House some furniture and goods and

Page 19 – she came one very cold day to look for some article she wanted and asked my mother to let her have a fire in the room as she would be there for some time but we had no coals in the house so my mother went out and sold some little article to get a small quantity of coals before a fire could be supplied. This will show how hard we were pressed?? In those days other similar cases I might mention but the above is sufficient   1847 first musical instruction? At this time my brother and I joined the Sunday school at trinity chapel leather lane. There I received my first musical instruction in a singing class under the organist of the chapel (Mr C Dury) this was my first start and which was very useful.  Some years after the

Page 20- gave me an introduction into the London sacred harmonic society at Exeter hall where I remained for many years. At Trinity Chapel I met Alfred J.Jackson a lad poor as myself a long friendship sprung up between us which only ended with his death (it lasted over 60 years) by hard work and perseverance he died fairly well off. My first touch of a piano about 1847-  the first chance I had of touching a piano came about in the following way, a customer of my father’s named ?? (a Swiss gentleman) wanted to warehouse an old cabinet piano and asked my father to take it in which he did and it was placed in the kitchen that being the driest room and he gave us permission to use it so I bought a second hand piano tutor and set to work at once to teach myself. With much hard work and perseverance I made fair progress this I kept up for some years and thus my musical knowledge increased

Page 21- during the first half of the 19 century many people were unable to read or write and in chapels all over the country it was the custom for the clerk ?? Who gave out the number of the hymns first to read it all through and the to give it out again two lines at a time for the people to sing. After singing the two lines they waited for the next two times to be given out and started the singing again. In churches at that time all the ?? And psalms were read not sung. The minister and the congregation taking a verse each ??

Page 22- 1847- being sent into workshop about 10 or 11 years of age- as my parents were unable to send me to school I was sent into the workshop to occupy my time and give me something to do. In a little time, I became useful in assisting my father in many ways, and gradually drifted into the cabinet trade which I never liked but there was nothing else to be done, but to remain and do my best and wait and see what the future brought forth. The life in a workshop those days was very rough the working hours were very long from 7am – 8pm Saturday was the same no half holidays at that time. The only holidays allowed during the year were Christmas & Boxing Days Easter and whit?? Mondays (not food Friday) which left very little time for study or

Page 23-self improvement about this period. We were in very straightened circumstances and my brother Edwin & I were sent one day to try and sell them ?? Footstools to raise a little money. We could only sell them at furniture dealers. We carried them from Clerkenwell to Walworth??then on to Cautherwell?? Green then across to Kennington green, from there to Westminster through St Giles’s to Tottenham Court Road and Euston road and back to Clerkenwell? A distance of about 12 or 13 miles and brought them back unsold. On another occasion I took a towel horse we had made to Finchley a distance of twelve miles both ways. On another

Page 24- occasion, I took some small ?? We had made to Tottenham about 12 miles. All these journey were done by walking as there was no trams or busses in those days- this was very hard work but it had to be done and it fell to my lot to do it. At that time the working classes had to work very hard to live.  Life in a workshop in early past 19th century- the life of any new apprentice in a workshop 70 or 80 years back was indeed very trying. The British workman at that time was a very rough article both in manners and morals and for a respectable lad who had been brought up in a quiet comfortable home to go into a workshop full of such men found it indeed a very great trial. It was customary at that time for a new apprentice or

Page 25-new workman to pay his footing (as it was called) which meant, to give or spend a certain amount of money for drink for all the other men in the shop which generally ended in the men leaving their work and getting drunk for the rest of the day which was a terrible example for a new lad just entering life. This did. It take place in our workshop, as only my father, and brother and myself worked there, but there was a workshop above ours where a number of men and boys were engaged ?? Was continually taking place and as all the men and boys went through our shop to get to their shop, we had every opportunity of seeing all that took place.

Page 26- outside information- in 1850 trinity chapel closed when the minster took an appointment at a chapel at west Dulwich and the organ was taken there ( being his private property). One lovely Sunday in June my brother and I went there to see the chapel and the organ. We walked from Clerkenwell The top of ?? Hill (red post hill) led us to entrance of the beautiful village of Dulwich went through the village till we came to the gates of the old college I will remember looking trough the large iron gates through a avenue of Trees and across the green town, behind which stood the ancient chapel on the left stood the ?? Houses and on the right the old school which altogether made a most lovely picture which photographed itself on my mind and will never be erased. I had never seen anything so beautiful. The picture produced such a feeling of pleasure which I seem to feel now although over 70 year ago after staying at the gates for some time in admiration we walked on to Dulwich, the chapel and some ?? Tunes on the organ after the ?? And walked back to Clerkenwell.  Altogether a distance of 16 miles. First steps on the organ- 1847/48- When I joined trinity chapel Sunday school and the singing class under Mr Dury the organist I offered to blow the organ at the Sunday services (it was only a small organ with four?) after some time I was allowed to practice on the organ once a week. I had been working hard on the piano which was a great help to me. When I had advanced sufficiently to play hymn times I was sometimes asked to play at the week evening services which was a great step in advance and this I gradually moved on step by step – ?? Sacred harmonic society (about 1851-2) Mr Dury introduced me into the above society where I first met William carter and he became great friends for many years, at that

Page 27-  Exeter hall concert and singer – the practice and experience I gained at Exeter hall was most useful to me. The society performed all the greatest work and engaged the best solo singers of the day. The following were some of them Miss Birch, Miss Dolby, Mr Lockey, Mr Henry Phillips who were followed by Clara Novello, Mrs Sunderland, Madame Patey? Madame Rudersdoss??(one of the best), Sims Rieve, ???? Edward Lloyd and many others followed. 1852&3- very bad times between 1840&50. Between 1840&50 was the most trying time of the 19th century as regards business everything was at its worst. Trade was as bad as it could be and everything was very dear & costly.

Page 28- the poor were crushed to the lowest pitch riots were constantly taking place in all parts of the country, including London and thousands of people were in a starving donation and in the greatest distress. About 1949&50 the great exhibition of 1851 was set on foot. This appeared to brighten up things a little all over the world, work seemed to revive. And things in general picked up. The building (which is now the Crystal Palace at Sydenham) stood in Hyde park was a very beautiful building. We had a stand to make to exhibit some astronomical glass and I assisted with my brothers in taking the stand and was very much struck with beauty at the place , the exhibition opened on may 1st 1851. It contained a most wonderful collection of things from all parts of the world and at that time was the wonder of the age. Outside information – john ?? Began playing at St. Paul’s cathedral about 1852 or 3- I went to St. Paul’s one Sunday afternoon soon after the organ had been removed off the ?? &I placed and placed in the gallery over the north side of the choir and was very much. Delighted with Goss’s ??? He commenced moderate quiet and gradually worked up his subject to a most exciting and magnificent pitch of fire and grandeur. It was the finest piece of organ playing I ever heard???I have heard nothing like it in the whole of my life although I have heard all the great organist since that time. Goss was truly in the spirit? On that day. I never thought that in 30 years after when at organ of Brixton that I should be on friendly terms with that great and charming man when he was living at 26 Lambert road, Brixton hill &I frequently pressed to spend the evening with him and lady Goss but seldom was able to accept this hand written ??  It was about 1879-80 that he frequently invited me to his house

Page 29-  in 1852 2 years acquainted with Thomas midland and John Blake, young men who came up from bath to see the exhibition of 1858, but did not return, but remained in London – Thomas midland was a ?? Finder and obtained work at the British museums and from there he went to the library of Windsor castle where he remained for many years until death. John Blake was a tailor by trade and obtained work in Hanway street, but gave up the trade and became a postman but soon ??? and gradually worked his way up until he became chief officer in the department where he remained for many years at 65 he was compelled to take his pension of 200 a year & retire. Our friendship lasted for 70 years. He died 1922 at the age of 91. And brought people from all parts of the world to see it. Working at the cabinet trade- I worked hard at the cabinet trade about fifteen years (the best part of my life) during that time I made many pieces of furniture and it her articles for my own use, which I found most useful in after life. This had to be fine before or after the usual working hours which were from 7am -8pm. I had no waste time in those days,  for years my wife was very hard and toil some and at  that time I was working hard at music. I never much liked the cabinet work but it was my living at that time.

Page 30- about 1852/3 walked to Warley- my brother and I not being very well, our father gave us permission to leave work on Saturday at dinner time do we ?? To go down to Warley (to booths) for a change for the week end, until Monday morning. So we walked to ?? About 9 miles but reaching there about an hour &a half before the tram was due so we resolved to walk on to Romford a distance of another five miles and meet the train there ( the last train) but we reached Romford the minutes too late so had to walk the rest of the distance about ?? Miles all up hill. We reached Warley about 9 o’clock thoroughly worn out our feet very much blistered and very sore. About 1853/4 I became a performing member of the Polyhymnian choir as alto under Dr William rea who was an excellent conductor and choir trainer ( a choir for male voices only ) it was the best of its kind in London- Outside events- when about 18 I was able to play a plain church service fairly well and was anxious to get an appointment of some kind for the sake of an organ to practice on and I heard of a vacancy which I thought would suit me, so I arranged to play on a certain evening as a test, unfortunately an Arden came into remove a gentleman in that day from the city to Dulston. So I arranged with my father to leave the Job about 50 c and return to work again later in the evening so I left about 6 or after the first van load was delivered, went home & changed my clothes and went and played for the the post and I  got back to Dalton about 10 o’c and the ??? Had no yet arrived it reached the home about 1030 when it had to be unloaded and we were reached home about 2 in the morning thoroughly worn out. This will give some idea how hard the working class have to work to live & get on.

Page 31- outside remarks. About 1860- one of the greatest treats about this time was to hear George Cooper play after the evening service at church and Samuel noble at Christ church after evening service, the two largest organs in London at that time they were both magnificent players. About 1850-60—in the early half of the 19th century it was customary to play interludes between all the verses of the hymns. Thomas Adams of St Dunstans church ?? Street was a beautiful ?? By the organ and his interludes between the verses of hymns were most beautiful and became quite a feature in the service at that time.  My walking tour Through N&S Wales started August 5 1860- while I was playing morning and evening at St. Peter’s I offered to play the afternoon service at St. Paul’s church Whitechapel for £1 per quarter to do the three services i had to walk over 13 miles every Sunday. In 1860 W Jones ?? Of St. Paul’s asked me join him in a walking tour through n&s Wales which I consented to do.  We started on sat Aug 5 1860 took train to Bristol &I started our walk from ? through Clifton to the old passage??? The Severn to Chepstow & along the Wye valley to wind clef and Tintern abbey and Rompton castle (see p.34 A) Polyhymian choir – the concerts were given in ?? Bishops gate street in the city and at the Hanover square concert room w. The choir numbered about 70 votes and the converts were of a very High class. On these occasions, a large orchestra was engaged to take part and perform some of the best concerts and symphonies. I was presents at Hanover square rooms at the performance of the G?? Concerts for piano & orchestra by W. Sterndale Bennett, when Dr rea was at the piano and Sterndale Bennett conducted. In this choir, I gained much experiences and knowledge in voice training and I remained a member for some years until Dr Rea left London when the choir ceased to exist

Page 32- (34 in memoir) From – went to devil’s bridge went up to cader??? And I’m to Bangor and then to Chester and back to London. The tour took a fortnight and cost me about £8 a large amount for me to spend on pleasure at that time but I never regretted going as it was a grand holiday and saw much which I have never seen since nor likely to see again.

Page 32- My first organ appointment. I first played the organ at trinity chapel leather lane?? (occasionally) when about 13 years old on a small organ of four stops and one octave of pedals in 1850. My first real appointment was on Dec 19 1858 at St. Peter’s church, peter street hackney road, Bethnal Green. I became voluntary afternoon organist at St. Helens church bishops gate street, very soon after) this church was frequently called the abbey of the city a ?? And ancient abbey church. At St. Peter’s I was org & choir master I received no salary the first years. At This church I worked very hard at the organ, on the evening a week after 8 o’c I walked from Clerkenwell to St. Peter’s a distance of over two miles to practice on the organ, I remained at this church five years after

Page 33- after the first year I received a salary of six pounds a year for which I was very grateful as I found this money most useful at that time. While at St. Peter’s I took a course of twelve organ lessons of William carter who was a very good teacher but before the course had finished he went to Toronto cathedral to do duty for his brother Henry while he came to England for a year’s holidays any my lessons were transferred to George carter ( another brother) who was then organist of trinity church Sloan street Chelsea, who was also an excellent teacher some years after I took a short course of organ lessons from Dr E.J. Hopkins at the temple church, later on I also took lessons in the piano ?? And counterpart from w. Carter (who was pupil ?? The eminent pianist of that time) the above were the only music lessons I ever received, all the rest I did by hard work.

Page -34 – first meeting with my wife.  outside information- it was while I was at St Jude’s in 1863 that I first became acquainted with Miss eliz? who was a member of the choir and who eventually became my wife. First meeting- F bridge- 1863-I first met ?? At St Lukes ch old street from the Past of organist there which he been held for some years by Henry smart and who acted as ? Mr Shonless was the successful candidate ( from Norwich) who played the great ??? In 1864 I met Finish- 1863- St Jude’s church Whitechapel – my next appointment was to St Jude’s Whitechapel June 24 1863 (by competition) at a salary of £25 per annum. This was a great advance at St Jude’s I obtained a few pupils.  I then first contemplated the idea of giving up the cabinet business and devote my whole time entirely to music as I considered combining the two could not be carried on well together at the same time. I thought that teaching alone would not help me so I then thought of a music business to ??? As Many other musical men had done in times past with success. After well thinking the matter over I took a small house and shop in the Holloway Road Islington, which I opened for the sale of music and musical instruments

Page 35- I started in a small way at first as my capital was very limited, for some time it was very slow & hard uphill work, but time it gradually (but very slowly) improved. It was a great struggle to live and make ends meet experiences. ( my sister Maria was my house helper at that time) after a time things looked up as business increased and I felt that I had established a somewhat regular income though not very large- I then thought it would be an advantage to marry as I found many inconveniences in living and working single hanged and has I had been engaged to miss ward for some time, we seriously talking the matter over together and came to the conclusion that such a step would be for the best in many ways so after a little time we acted upon our decision and married a step which I have never had cause to regret ( quite otherwise) after I started the A

Page 36- business at Holloway, I found it greatly increased my work and labour in many ways as my church, and much of the teaching I had then was a long way from home, and mostly had to be done by walking as there were dry few buses and no trams at that time and the buses were very expensive. This made it tiring to get from place to place, about this time I turned my attention seriously to composition, which I had been studying for some years – I started by writing services of long which at that time were rather popular in Sunday schools, and some I brought out sold very well. This encouraged me to try larger works which also met with favour and success this necessitated considerable money which at that time was not very plentiful with me, all this made it very hard work for me, but it paid in the end, but I did this to increase my income which was very limited and I was, let anxious to put by something for my wife

Page 37- In case anything should happen to me or I should be overtaken by any misfortune or illness as before this time I had little or nothing that I could save, and my past experience of hardship and ? Gave me a ?? Dread of anything of the kind coming upon me again, and this provision could only be made by the greatest expense & ?? Which I have endeavoured to do the whole of my life, and my wife has did her very best to help me, for some years after we were married , we had a struggle to make enough to live comfortable, but we both did our utmost to make the best of we had. It is quite impossible for me to speak too highly of the noble manner in which she has did her past both to me and her then increasing family to make the home comfortable &  happy. For years she made the suits  of all the Boys

Page 38- with her own hands as they grow up which was not an easy task for a young wife to do, and my success in life at that time was to a great extent due to her careful thought and good judgement for which I have been grateful. I remained at St Jude’s church about three years, I left I march 1866 soon after the Rev Samuel Thornton?? ( the vicar) resigned to become rector of St George’s, Birmingham??, after which the Rev John Struckland was appointed to St Jude’s, but he see not a success. I then went to St Luke’s church Camden Road Holloway, but only remained there’s few months, when I was appointed ( by competition) to St. Paul’s church oct 10 1866 and followed Mr, cooper who had been there many years and who resigned to become organist of the blue coat school and church Newgate street- I remained at St. Paul’s until June 24 -1872. Then I was appointed (by competition) John Goss being the ?? To the parish church ? (St Matthews) I was returned second but ? Withdrew which left me first of the list so I obtained the past I remained at this church for 15 years. During the first ten years I resided ? At Holloway, which made my life and work very laborious. I had to take three services every Sunday. I left home soon after 9 am and did not get home until nearly 10 pm my meals I had to get the best way I could but it was neither pleasant or comfortable. Therefore, Sunday, was a very hard tiring day for me. I established a choral society this and the choir practices ? Evening services and some pupils etc kept me late from home until 11 O c most evening & I gave me little rest for years, at this time I thought that a university degree would greatly help me and from the time I went to St Matthews I began to prepare for it which also greatly added to my work and labour. This work

Page 40- continued for some years and in 1889 I sent in my application to the university of Cambridge for the Mus Bac Degree which was accepted, after this I went to Cambride for the examination and was very fortunate in passing satisfactorily without a failure , there were only two or three out of 60 who went through all the exam without having some of their work returned or had to go up again – after I had finished the final professor MacLarren Before I left before Cambridge  came & shook hands with me and said now come up as soon ?? For yours- but I had made a great sacrifice for my ?? And with the family I had at that time I could not afford the money so had to give up the idea of taking the ??, although it appeared so near

Page 41- after remaining at Church 15 years I was appointed to church chord. Sep 29 1887 Richard Allen was the vice a very comfortable appointment where I remained until the death of the vicar in 1899 – when the Rev J C ?? Was appointed vicar in his place, who desired to have a friend of his to Be organist so I had to resign to make a vacancy for him ,  but when he came his playing was so unsatisfactory that in less than twelve months he was obliged to leave , but this did not in any way improve my trouble, after I left Christ church , I was out of a post for three years , this put me back very much as it greatly reduced my income and cause me great inconvenience. Appointment to Emanuel ?? In 1900 ( Dec 31) but resigned in six month to take a post of ?????

Page 42-  at a salary of £30 per ?? The vicar was a very comfortable appointment and the vicar was a ?? Golding bird a gentlemen in every way, very ? & considerate. He died in 1907 when the rev was appointed in his place I remained at the church all together 15 years. I resigned in 1915 as my sight was then fast failing as I had not saved sufficient to live without work, was compelled to still struggle on with some pupils and am still (in 1923) doing so at the age of 85, so it has been a long hard busy life of work & toil. I would have ? Withdrawn from work ten years back but it was impossible to do so without the risk of being left badly off in the end.

PAGE 43- a new cantata Calvary- about two years back 1820 , I commenced a new ? ‘Cantata’ which I intended to be one of my best works and made very good ?  for some time, but my fast failing sight, compelled me to give it up after spending some months on the work and I fear that I shall never be able to complete it although I have been most anxious to do so. Sep 13 1923.

Page 44 – concluding remarks – in taking a survey of my life I don’t think I ought to be dissatisfied with the social position I have attained and the progress I have made considering the many hardships & difficulties I have had to content with through my whole life – what I have done has been done only by hard work and persistence perseverance considering the circumstances of my early life, it is surprising that I have been able to do so much my earnings ? Have always been very ? I may say small , but I could see from the first that unless I could put by something, however little, no progress could be made, and no provision made for sickness, misfortune as old age, therefore from the early life I resolved to save something out of my small income for future help which I have done the whole of my life . I have had many difficulties trials to bear. the greatest trial has been the want of education, but this was no fault of mine all the education I got I had to get for myself   It is a most unfortunate thing to be born of good parents and lose all the advantage of schooling which is so essential in the present age. Seventy years back there were no board schools and private schools were very expensive quite and out of reach of the ? Washing elapses in those days. The want of a better education has always been a great drawback all through my life, it has always made me feel nervous and timid and for me a great lack of confidence in myself but I have done the best I could under the circumstances, and must rest contented with what I have attained had I had the opportunities which I have seen many have, I could have done much more, one thing I shall always regret that when my parents were getting old, and were in need that my own circumstances prevented me from giving them more assistance, but I did what I could.

Page 45 & 46- Index

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