THE REAL LIFE OF A VILLAGE PARSON IN EARLY VICTORIAN KENT

ID: 18104
1500.00
Account book. Rev'd I. Mickleburgh. 1846. 1847. 1848.

MANUSCRIPT: John MICKLEBURGH,, Account book. Rev'd I. Mickleburgh. 1846. 1847. 1848. [Upper cover so lettered, but actually January 1, 1846 - January 21, 1849].

Ms. volume, small 4to., approximately 335 closely written up pages (i.e. excluding blanks), in ink on ruled paper, original vellum boards, wanting the clasp, the binding a bit shaken but still in very good condition.

Far, far more than an 'account book' in the usual sense but actually a detailed journal of the daily life of John Mickleburgh, a Church of England country parson living and working in the rural parishes of Wrotham and St. Mary Platt about half way between Sevenoaks and Maidstone in Kent. The journal makes absorbing reading, covering the whole period from 1st January 1846 to 21st January 1849, a complete block of some 159 weeks. John and his wife Fanny were probably then in their thirties and, by August 1848, had 6 children, born variously between 1835 and 1848. Appointed the first vicar of the new parish of St. Mary, Platt, John Mickleburgh was an enthusiastic priest and was particularly involved with his parish Sunday schools. The diary is full of descriptions of his work for the children, the appointment and support of the school mistress, Sarah Roots, and the building of a new school (he already had a new church built in 1843). The designs of the new school (Platt National School), the work with the architect, raising funds, the appointment of a new school master (Sarah Roots had gone), the management committee, curriculum and so forth, are all recorded in some detail. The school was opened on 30 November 1846 with 50 children on the roll. The diaries also faithfully record the mundane minutiae of parish life (and death), the weekly round of services, and the highs and lows of village life in all aspects of which the parson and his family were central players. The narrative part of the journal is in each case faced by detailed financial records of family and official expenses. This diary is a remarkable document, bringing to life as it does the stresses and strains, as well as the joys and the minor successes, of a conscientious country parson in early Victorian Kent. John Mickleburgh, admitted pensioner at St. Catherine's College, Cambridge, on July 4, 1836, was the son of James Mickleburgh Esq. of Thanet House, Margate, Kent. B.A. 1840: ordained deacon (Winchester, for Exeter), 1840; priest (Exeter) 1841. Curate of Tregony, Cornwall, 1841-4; vicar of Platt, Kent, 1845-9. Died June 12, 1849, less than five months after the last entry in his journal.