The Disturbances in St George's
TO THE EDITOR OF “THE EASTERN TIMES” (4 February 1860)
SIR, — Having been arraigned before a Magistrate as a ringleader connected with the disturbance which took place on Monday se’enight, and having been fined 40s., may I beg of you, both on public grounds and in vindication of myself, to state, as briefly as possible, what are the actual facts of the case?
When the Rev. Bryan King quitted St. George’s Church after the service of the evening of Monday week, to proceed to the Rectory, in Shadwell, a crowd of people were waiting to receive him with groans, hisses. yells, &c., which crowd swelled to the amount of several hundred people. My business calling me in that direction, I was an observer of what transpired. I affirm most positively that the vast concourse of people then assembled were provoked to what they said and did, by the conduct of the Rev. Bryan King himself, who brandished his stick in the face of the crowd in a most excited and menacing manner. I frankly acknowledge that at this particular moment I did use the word “Puseyite". Upon this the officer singled me out and took me into custody. It is not for me to impugn the decision of the presiding magistrate, but my conviction, I humbly submit, was not what I deserved. I have been an inhabitant for 20 years, and during that period have gained the respect of my fellow-parishioners, for peace, probity and general respectability. Having been a member of St. Paul’s Church, Dock-street, for fourteen years, it is not very likely that I should have been guilty of the conduct laid to my charge. As belonging to a church where the true Gospel is faithfully preached – as an ardent lover of the Church in its genuine Protestant character – as a hater of Romanising practices, manœuvres and tergiversation – as one who deplores the state of affairs in connection with his parish, I saw no particular harm, under the circumstances, in raising my voice by uttering that “unutterable” word “Puseyite". This, Sir, is the whole of my offence. As for endeavouring to disturb the public peace, I repudiate the charge most indignantly. Living, as I do, closely adjacent to St. George’s Church, I am compelled to witness scenes, which, had I my will, should at once and for ever cease. Apologising for the length to which this letter has extended. — Yours, &c.,
DANIEL CHAMP STOCKER.
46, St. George Street.
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