March 19. 1837
My dear Talbot,
One of the persons to whom I thought your kind offer might agreably [sic] to your own wishes be applied, was an old Curate who has been so all his life, of whom I know nothing but
his having met him twice on the Bishop's Visitation in Gloucestershire,<1> but whose contented way of talking of his situation & of the manner in which he had brought up his family pleased me greatly, & made me bear his face & history in my memory, tho' not his name. Of this I am reminded by my Bishop this morning who writes thus:
"I am sorry I can think of no case which entirely answers your wishes, except that of Mr Jones, to whom you refer: & I doubt whether it wd be kind to take him from the neighborhood where he is known & respected: but you will judge". - I am quite of the same opinion; & besides shd be very unwilling to put into residence in a new Parish a man so old, tho' hearty; for there is a great diffce between the reverence acquired by 40 or 50 years of service, where length of time & familiarity wins indulgence for the growing failings of age, & that which wd be paid to a newcomer by people who would think that in a
fresh Clergyman they were to have a fresh vigour of pastoral superintendence. But probably you only want him to hold the Living, paying the present or another curate a competent salary. - If so, I wish you wd keep the nomination of his Curate in your own hands, & consult me; that what wd in one case be a matter of mere private favour, might in your hands & mine be the means of providing for or admitting to the Ministry a good man instead of a bad one. -
But I doubt whether this old man's thrift & habits do not put him beyond the reach of caring about, not to say of wanting, your bounty. So I have 2 other Irons in the fire.
1. Archdeacon Robinson <2> (of Madras) just returned from India, a man of the very first order both as a man of Literature & a Divine & a Christian. He once told me he wanted something to do: I have written to suggest the thing (without naming); but he is gone to Leeds to see if he can get the vacant Vicarage, of which I shd think he has no chance: it will be decided tomorrow. He lives at 53 Welbeck Street.
I must say however that I do not think he is 60; & if he shd reside, &
it his society were a matter of importance, tho' his own is the most desirable in the world, yet it is coupled with that of another who quæ frenum habet <3> in cornu. - He wd however As to age, he would give it up I am sure whenever he shd be required. -
(2) Yesterday morng at ¼ before 10 I recollected my first pædogogue a
very most worthy & pious Clergyman: he must be of the right age; the Rev. Wm Foster, of Clapham; & wrote a line to him to ask if he was alive. Probably after all this is your man. -
Tell me what you think, & especially if you do not need my service; for I am ½ dead with letter-writing & "the care of all the Churches".<4> I never had any ambition to be a Bishop: but I begin to desire it now, for I could not have more of their work to do.
If you leave yr parcel at the Univ. Club<5> & tell the waiter to send it by the next comer, I shall get it within 10 days. Whewell <6> will come on the 28th & perhaps I may be in town on Wedny next myself.
H. F. Talbot Esq
31 Sackville Street
65 Harley Street <7>
1. James Henry Monk DD (1784-1856), Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, later Bishop of Gloucester and Bristol. Thorp may have attended the visitation as Archdeacon of Bristol.
2. Thomas Robinson (1790-1873), Archdeacon of Madras.
3. Who holds the reins.
4. Care of all the churches refers to his duties as an archdeacon.
5. United University Club, a gentleman's club formed in 1821, 1 Suffolk Street, London; very exclusive, and limited to 500 members each from the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford.
6. Rev William Whewell (1794-1866), Master of Trinity College, Cambridge, Professor and natural philosopher.
7. Readdressed in another hand.