Curates of Christ Church Watney Street (1841 – 1951) 

This long list reflects the general Victorian pattern of men holding a sequence of brief curacies - sometimes only a matter of months - in their search for a position as incumbent. Only a few stayed longer, because they had a specific commitment to ministry in the East End (particularly at the end of the 19th and start of the 20th century, when Christ Church had a well-developed programme, and a more definite Catholic ethos). Alongside the well-connected 'Oxbridge men' there are plenty of Irish, and a few Scottish, graduates, plus non-graduates from theological colleges such as St Bees, Birkenhead and Queen's Birmingham, for whom the struggle to find posts was harder.  See here for statistics of baptisms and weddings at Christ Church.
He was sent to England in 1826 (the painting right is from that year - image from later life needed!) and attended Charterhouse and St John's College Cambridge. He returned to Mauritius in 1837, in which year his father died, and was appointed a special magistrate, described as a young man of good education, the son of the Chaplain to the forces in this island. Back in England, and ordained in 1839 he served curacies in the then-extensive Chester diocese, though there is some conflict in the records: he was certainly at Whalley [now Blackburn diocese], appearing in the marriage registers; then from 1841 at St James Toxteth Park [now Liverpool], and at Wigan the following year [also now Liverpool]. In 1843, he published a reply to the Rev James Henry Sutcliffe's pamphlet accusing the Bishop of London of heresy and popery [on what grounds?] of which the Christian Remembrancer wrote loftily
We have never seen the [pamphlet] and therefore much of the force of the Rev. H. Berkeley Jones's Reply to it (Rivingtons) is lost on us. We think it can hardly be worth a Reply. We wish Mr. Jones would not mar his good cause by making untenable assertions. It is not true that the Clergy are learned as a body, and it is most important that they should learn to know and lament their fault in this respect.
The Observer of 18 December 1843, and the Christian's Monthly Magazine and Universal Review early the next year, announced his appointment as Perpetual Curate of St Paul Werneth, Cheshire (between Stockport and Hyde - then as now in Chester diocese). In fact it had been created a vicarage (though with a poor stipend of £150 a year) in 1842. However, he may not have taken up this post, as other records report him as curate of Chelsfield in Kent from 1844-46, prior to his brief spell in this parish. He was 'without cure' from 1848-51 and then became curate of Mitcham [then in Rochester diocese, now Southwark], where the church and vicarage had been rebuilt in the 1820s, and in the 1840s the vicar had become a Roman Catholic.

In 1852 he was sent by the Colonial Land Emigration Board with a party of 280 'bounty emigrants' to Moreton Bay, Queensland; his spontaneous writings about this experience - currente calamo, as reviewers put it - were published as Adventures in Australia, 1852 & 1853 (Richard Bentley 1853 - dedicated to Benjamin Harman). One of his comments on the gold-diggers (though he had not visited for himself, but was relying on reports from others!) was the mind, not well-fortified by religious sentiments, is apt, in the absence of the softening influences of domestic life, to be degraded step by step into paths which it never contemplated before without horror or dismay.
Oblivious of the political issues of Australian colonisation, The Critic said
that he aims rather at usefulness than at brilliancy. He looks at facts as they are and reports them with a sort of photographic truth. His outlines are good - his details accurate, we have no doubt; but the scene, as he presents it, is wanting in light and play, colour and motion. The artist, the man of fancy, will learn nothing from Mr. Jones's adventures. Indeed, it is an abuse of terms to call such commonplace experiences of men and things, 'adventures'. The emigrant, however, will find in this record of personal observation hints for his guidance of no small value.
The Spectator included a more positive review, with extended quotations from his book, reproduced here.
He supported Indian immigration to Australia, reflecting in his book (p80): Coolies from India would have been more extensively introduced had the Indian government permitted it. Such as have been got, about two hundred, have given satisfaction.They have been very well approved of at the [sic] Mauritius, where the writer was a special Justice, under the Apprenticeship Act [an Act of 1834 for New South Wales, making arrangement for former slaves and immigrants].They are patient, diligent and provident. A boon is conferred on them by removing them from India, where they are suffering much from a crowded population ... However, he favoured separate development for indigenous people, praising squatters' efforts, and recounting how he had entertained an Aboriginal woman by singing to her the National Anthem, but disparaged her children's songs, for they have no poetry or historical tradition of any kind.
The book's title page describes him as 'late curate of Belgrave Chapel', though this is not included in his university record. This was a grand proprietory chapel in the West End, designed by Robert Smirke in 1812, which for over thirty years was the preaching base of the Revd Dr Thorpe. [It later became a chapel of ease of St George Hanover Square, and was demolished in 1910.] Desiring a sabbatical, in 1846 Dr Thorpe sought to appoint an Irish curate but Bishop Blomfield, who disapproved of non-Oxbridge clergy, refused - prompting a question in Parliament! How long Henry was attached here we do not know: he rather disappears out of view. His book's preface says from 'Rectory, September 1853' - but which Rectory? His record says he was again 'without cure' from 1856-64 and then curate of Whalley Range in Manchester (also recorded, without further detail, in the first edition of Crockford in 1865), but this is clearly an error: that was Hugh Bethell Jones, who later became Vicar of St John Brooklands near Sale.  Nor we know if he ever married, or whether he visited his sister and her family in Mauritius (she married Lt Robert Webster there in 1835; they have many descendants, now in Australia and New Zealand - of whom one is Bill Webster, whose help with these notes we gratefully acknowledge) or his widowed mother until she returned to London at some point before 1861, living until her death in 1874 in lodgings in Marylebone.

An article comparing unfavourably the ministry of Roman Catholic chaplains at Scutari, who, it claims, were on hand primarily at public places to minister the formal rites of extreme unction and confession, with that of Anglican chaplains, who spent time talking with sick and dying men in the hospitals. It points out that the casualties among chaplains were more than double those of other officers - This does not look like the fate of a cowardly and self-sparing body - and singles out George Mockler for comment: So reduced was he by sickness, caused by hard work among cholera and fever patients in Bulgaria, that the medical officers besought him not to land with the troops in the Crimea. He took his name, however, off the sick list, saying, "What will the poor dying do if their chaplain be away?" He landed at Old Fort, dragged his worn limbs to Balaklava, and there became an easy prey to cholera (Dublin University Magazine vol.55 (1860) p165).
Another priest who saw action in the Crimean war and served briefly here was Edward Laughlin.

One of his sons, Hartwell (1869-1937), who married Millicent Phillips from Connemara in 1895 at St Matthew Bayswater, became Tasmania's State Mining Engineer.

After two further London curacies (Holy Trinity Chelsea and St Simon Zelotes Bethnal Green) Hill returned to his native Wales, to three incumbencies in Llandaff and Monmouth dioceses. He was the first incumbent of St Paul Grangetown, Canton (in Cardiff) from 1894 - a church built a few years earlier. to serve a deprvied area of 16,000 people, by Lord Windsor at a cost of £4,000 in Early English/Decorated style, seating 450 - [right: listed Grade II in 1975, it was used for filming an episode of Dr Who in 2005, and was then put up for sale, with an asking price of £300,000]. Hill had an endowment of £60, a stipend of £180 and a parsonage at 64 Clive Street. In 1895 he reported on its Relief Committee to the Charity Organisation Society (having been actively involved with its work in London); he was also a committee member of the National Vigilance Association and International Bureau for the Suppression of Traffic in Women and Children (in existence 1885-1953). In 1911 he moved to Llangwm, near Usk, and in 1922 to St John Ebbw Vale from 1922. From 1921 he was a regional organising secretary of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. He and his wife died in a motor accident in Weston-super-Mare in 1931.

Into the twentieth century

In Fr Groser's time
He was buried in Hollybrook (Southampton) cemetery, leaving a widow and two young sons.

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