Online text of John Keble's Parishes        Contemporary review (1899)
Charlotte Yonge's Preface to this book    Chapter titles

Online text of John Keble's Parishes

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"The Hidden History of the Oxford Movement"

Read a contemporary review of this book (and some corrections) in

The Living Age : Volume 222, Issue 2881 (September 23 1899) pp 802-809

"The LIving Age" was "A Weekly Magazine of Contemporary Literature and Though",
founded by E.Littell in 1844



by Charlotte Yonge

To explain the present undertaking, it should be mentioned that a history of Hursley and North Baddesley was compiled by the Reverend John Marsh, Curate of Hursley, in the year 1808. It was well and carefully done, with a considerable amount of antiquarian knowledge. It reached a second edition, and a good deal of it was used in Sketches of Hampshire, by John Duthy, Esq. An interleaved copy received many annotations from members of the Heathcote family. There was a proposal that it should be re-edited, but ninety years could not but make a great difference in these days of progress, so that not only had the narrative to be brought up to date, but further investigations into the past brought facts to light which had been unknown to Mr. Marsh.

It was therefore judged expedient to rewrite the whole, though, whenever possible, the former Curate's work has been respected and repeated; but he paid little attention to the history of Otterbourne, and a good deal has been since disclosed, rendering that village interesting. Moreover, the entire careers of John Keble and Sir William Heathcote needed to be recorded in their relations to the parish and county. This has, therefore, here been attempted, together with a record of the building of the three churches erected since 1837, and a history of the changes that have taken place; though the writer is aware that there is no incident to tempt the reader—no siege of the one castle, no battle more important than the combat in the hayfield between Mr. Coram and the penurious steward, and, till the last generation, no striking character. But the record of a thousand peaceful years is truly a cause of thankfulness, shared as it is by many thousand villages, and we believe that a little investigation would bring to light, in countless other places, much that is well worth remembrance.

For the benefit of those who take an interest in provincial dialect, some specimens are appended, which come from personal knowledge.

The lists of birds and of flowers are both from the actual observation of long residents who have known the country before, in many instances, peculiarities have faded away before the march of progress.

The writer returns many warm thanks to those who have given much individual assistance in the undertaking, which could not have been attempted without such aid.

18th June 1898.

John Keble's Parishes – Chapter titles

Chapter I – Merdon And Otterbourne

Chapter II – Mediaeval Gifts

Chapter III – Reformation Times

Chapter IV – Puritan Times

Chapter V – Customs Of The Manor Of Merdon

Chapter VI – Cranbury And Brambridge

Chapter VII – The Building At Hursley

Chapter VIII – Old Otterbourne

Chapter IX – Church Building

Chapter X – Hursley Church

Chapter XI – The Golden Days Of Hursley

Chapter XII – Hursley Vicarage

Chapter XIII – Later Changes

Chapter XIV – A Survey

Chapter XV – Words And Phrases

Chapter XVI – Natural History

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