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Articles from 1893 part 1

Milton Lilbourne > Articles 1890s

NEWS FROM MILTON LILBOURNE, 1848-1909

Articles from 1893 (part 1)

The Marlborough Times, January 21st 1893:
Pewsey Petty Sessions
An assault at Milton. JOHN COLES was summoned by HERBERT SPACKMAN for an assault at Milton on 1st January. Complainant said as he was going along 'The Severalls' defendant came and met him, and took off his coat and wanted to fight. Complainant refused and defendant threatened him and gave him a push. Defendant's brother had enlisted as a soldier and he blamed complainant for it. Bound over to keep the peace for 6 months.


The Marlborough Times, February 4th 1893:
Deaths: On the 30th January at Milton Vicarage, Pewsey, the Rev. JOHN HENRY GALE, for 47 years Vicar of the parish, aged 72. No flowers, by special request.


[same issue]
Death of the Rev. J.H. GALE, of Milton
A staunch and vigorous personality has gone from among us; one of the last of the 'foxhunting parsons' of the old days - aye, and one of the best - is now but a memory; we refer to the Rev. JOHN HENRY GALE, of Milton. "Parson Gale", as he was familiarly called, was a gentleman beloved by all who knew him as an earnest, manly exponent of what has been called 'muscular Christianity', but what he more truly defined as the necessity for a sound body in order to develop a sound mind - mens sana in corpore sano.

The Rev. J.H. GALE was without doubt one of the most admirable of that race which is fast dying out, because he combined that love of sport which characterized Parson Jack Russell, of West of England fame, with the wit of a Sydney Smith, with literary ability of no mean order, including a facility for writing rhymes, which were always taking and often soared into poetry; a kind and generous heart; that thorough gentlemanly feeling which can see some good in everybody; and a freedom from that snobbishness which makes some people perpetually regulate their conduct to theirs according to their fancied status in the ranks of society. In short, the gentleman who died on Monday, after exceeding by 2 years the 3 score years and 10 of the Psalmist, was a churchman and a sportsman who combined all the generous feelings which characterize that class, with but few of their foibles. Long, long ago his black frock-coat and sober costume led the van in the Tedworth, and he is one of the last links connecting us with the time of ASSHETON-SMITH, the 'Modern Nimrod'. Long, long ago his name was one to conjure with in all movements promoting the development of the young men in his neighbourhood.

Some purists of the day may say that Mr GALE was an anachronism; he was mainly in advance of his time. The opinions he held many years ago, that old and evil customs, to be eradicated, must be replaced by others which should afford equal or superior recreation and pleasure, are the recognized tenets of these latter days. He early carried this opinion into practice. The villages around Milton bore into the last half of our century those Bacchanalian orgies called 'Revels', or 'Feasts', which disgraced our forefathers, where single-stick playing, wrestling and other exercises, more or less manly, alternated too often with drunkenness and profligacy.

Perhaps in his heart of hearts Mr GALE would not object to see a crown cracked in a sportsmanlike fashion, as in his boyhood's days - at any rate, the injuries inflicted were no worse than on a football field of the present day - but he foresaw that sports entailing 'Man's inhumanity to man' were going out with badger-baiting and cock-fighting, that the best of the old customs which involved Spartan self-restraint were dying out, and that drinking for drinking's sake was all that survived.

Not only in his own and adjoining villages did he, by wise and judicious counsels, and taking a personal part in the sports of the people, bring about a better state of things, but in the adjacent little town of Pewsey he took the most prominent part in leavening the old 'Veast' of rioting and drunkenness with the new leaven of sober enjoyment. He was chairman of the committee, judge and starter, and anything, in turn; his activity was unbounded, his general bonhomie made the sports in their new fashion as pleasurable to competitors as the prizes they won, and his rare efforts made them an unusual pleasure to all onlookers. More than 20 years ago he wrote an admirable and appropriate piece in verse which was performed at the distribution of prizes. He was occasionally a highly-valued contributor to these columns, and many clever things he has sent to friends, full of wit and humour, which in obedience to his own wishes have never seen the light of day.

With all these accomplishments, he never neglected his own parish. Straggling though it was, he knew every man, woman and child, not only therein but for miles around. He restored the Parish Church , and we have been struck by the hearty responses which his way of reading the service elicited from the congregation. In everything Mr GALE was thorough; in years to come many an anecdote will be told around many a Wiltshire fireside of his thoroughness as a sportsman, as a friend, as a churchman, as a lover of athletics, as a lover of his kind, gentle and simple, and of all animals.

"He prayeth best who loveth best
All things both great and small,
For the great God who loveth us
He made and loveth all."

In this selfish age, alas! most people regard others either as stepping-stones or as stumbling-blocks to their own self-advancement. Mr GALE was a living protest against such ideas; above all, he hated all shams and hypocrisies, and even in his hatred he was thorough. May his example in this respect, and in breaking down the coldness and reserve too often subsisting between the classes, and above all by personal effort in preventing sour Puritanism on the one hand, and excess on the other, from degrading our national characteristics - may this example long live and bring forth fruit in the hearts of those whose privilege it was to know and to love him. If so, "Parson GALE" will not have lived in vain.


[same issue]
Pewsey
Quite a gloom has been cast over Pewsey and the neighbourhood by the lamented death of the Rev. J.H. GALE of Milton , which occurred on Monday last. Mr GALE was a Justice of the Peace, and was Chairman for many years of the Everley and Pewsey Petty Sessional Division. He was also for 23 years Chairman of the Pewsey Board of Guardians, and his familiar form will be sadly missed.

The Marlborough Times, February 11th 1893:
Funeral of the Rev. J.H. GALE, of Milton
On Saturday afternoon last, in the presence of a large gathering of people, the remains of the late Rev. J.H. GALE were laid to rest in the picturesque little churchyard of the parish of which for 47 years he had been the faithful minister. Rarely has an event in the Pewsey Vale called forth such universal expressions of sorrow. The service, in accordance with the wishes of the deceased, was of a most simple character. The whole of the proceedings were indeed most touching in their simplicity, and the attendance at the funeral, comprising as it did in addition to the members of his family, men and women of every class in society, from all parts of a very wide area, bore pathetic testimony to the esteem in which the late Vicar of Milton was held.

There were present most of the members of the Everley and Pewsey magisterial bench, of whom the late Mr GALE was a valued colleague for so many years; and the members and officials of the Board of Guardians of Pewsey Union also attended in a body to pay their last token of respect to their departed Chairman. The inhabitants of the countryside attended in large numbers, from the aged folk, bent with years, to the schoolchildren just entering upon life, all wearing emblems of mourning. The scene was most impressive, and expressions of unaffected grief were to be seen on every side.

It was a lovely afternoon; the sun shone brightly, and the returning warmth had called into being many of the early spring flowers - fitting emblems of bright hope beyond the fleeting things of time. The interment took place in a brick grave, in the north side of the churchyard. The grave was prettily, but simply, trimmed by several ladies of the parish. It was lined with moss half way up, the remaining portion being trailed with ivy, finished off with fern fronds and snowdrops. This was the work of Miss KIMBER, Miss LEWIS and Miss THOMPSON.

The hour fixed for the funeral was half past two o’clock , and for some time previous the church bell tolled mournfully as the mourners assembled. Whilst the congregation were assembling in the church, Miss KIMBER, who presided at the harmonium, played the 'Dead March in Saul'. Punctually at the time appointed, the funeral procession left the Vicarage. The coffin was of polished elm, with plain black fittings, the breast-plate bearing the inscription: 'JOHN HENRY GALE. Died January 30th 1893 . Aged 72 years'. There were no wreaths, but the coffin was trimmed with ivy and moss, and a few spring flowers, including snowdrops, furze blossom and hazel catkins.

The mourners were: Mrs GALE and the Misses GALE; Mr E.H. GALE (son); Miss GALE (niece); Mr HUNGERFORD LUDLOW-BRUGES of Seend (brother-in-law); Mr PHILIP HENRY POORE (Andover); Mr & Mrs S.B. DIXON; Mrs DIXON Senr; Mr H.P. DIXON; Mr C.A. DIXON; Mr R. DIXON; the Rev. H. VAUGHAN (Wroxall); Captain STERNE RN; and the Rev. P. HUTCHINSON and Mrs HUTCHINSON (niece).

The magistrates, the guardians, and others joined the funeral procession on the way to the church, among those present being: the Rev. W.H. AWDRY; the Hon. & Rev. B.P. BOUVERIE; Mr W.H. FOWLE; Col. DAVIDSON and Mr A.R.E. HUSSEY-FREKE, members of the Everley and Pewsey bench; - Mr F. CAVE; Mr B. VINES; Mr H. WOOLCOTT; Mr W. WROTH; Mr L. ARNOLD; Mr F. STRATTON; Mr C. REDMAN; Mr T.W. HUSSEY; Mr W. FOOKES; Mr W.H. BULLOCK; Mr W.J. ROWDEN; Mr W. YOUNG; Mr JAMES HAINES; Mr J. REDMAN; Mr W. HEATH; and Mr J. HUGHES, members of the Board of Guardians; - the Rev. A.B. THYNNE (Seend); the Rev. W.J. BRODRIBB (Wootton Rivers); the Rev. H.J. SMELT (Wilcot); the Rev. J. STURTON (Woodborough); the Rev. R.W. DARTNELL (Huish); the Rev. J. HARTLEY (Oare); the Rev. W.A. HEYGATE (Burbage); the Rev. L.A. WILLIAMS (Pewsey); the Rev. W.H. WEEKES (Devizes); Lord FREDERICK BRUCE; Dr MAURICE; Dr FARQUHAR; Dr COLMAN; Dr RAYMENT; Capt. GOULD; Mr ROBERT LONG; Mr F. ROBINSON; Mr O.G. RADCLIFFE; Mr E.A. EVERETT; Mr E. McNIVEN; the Messrs SOAMES; Mr & Mrs W.H. ALEXANDER; Mr SOMERSET (Newbury); Mr RAVENHILL (Milton); Messrs D. HAINES & SIMON FERRIS (Churchwardens); Mr W.J. KINGSTON; Mr G. FERRIS; Mrs W. FERRIS; Miss FERRIS; Miss PONTING; Mr W. BULLOCK; Mr A.J. NOYES; Mr H.J. PUCKRIDGE; Mr HOMER POWELL (representing his father, Mr J.T. POWELL, who was unable to attend, owing to indisposition); Mr J.H. HAINES; Mr MARK JEANS; Mr T.M. JEANS; Mr W. HAYWARD (Kennett); Mr SIMEON RUDDLE; Mr FRANK FERRIS; Mr J. LANE; Mr T. WITHERS; Supt. PIERCE; Mr J.J. PRINCE; Mr A. BAKER; Mr J. BURFIT, and many others.

The service was impressively conducted by the Rev. T. WADE SMITH, vicar of Easton Royal, who met the cortege at the entrance to the churchyard, and read the opening sentences of the Office of Burial as the coffin was borne up the church path, on the shoulders of six parishioners, into the sacred edifice. During the service the hymns 'Thou turnest Man, O Lord, to dust' and 'Christ the Lord is risen again' were impressively sung. The church was quite inadequate in size to accommodate all who were present. A large concourse of people assembled around the grave, where, amid solemn silence, broken only by the voice of the officiating minister, the service was continued, and finally the grave closed over one who for well-nigh two generations had been so striking a personality in the Pewsey Vale.


[same issue]
To the Editor
Dear Sir - Will you allow me, through the medium of your paper, to express the grateful thanks of my mother, my sisters and myself to those many friends of my late father for their very kind sympathy towards us in his long and trying illness, and our gratitude for the high respect that was shown to his memory at his funeral last Saturday, the recollection of which will ever continue in our minds.
I am, dear Sir, yours faithfully,
EDMUND HINXMAN GALE Milton Vicarage, 7th February

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