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‘A view from the Hill’ – Mike Finch’s history of Sibford school

The following is an excerpt from Chapter 2 of the recently published book, ‘In the Beginning, Richard Routh – January 1842 until December 1880’

“In the Spring of 1845, Samuel Beesley, a member of the Committee, was visiting the School and Routh accompanied him part of the way back to Banbury and during a pause in the onversation, Beesley suddenly said to Routh: ‘Doesn’t thou think it a good thing for thee to get married?’ Routh answered: ‘Well, I really haven’t thought much about it. I don’t know of anyone at all likely.’ Beesley said: ‘But why not ask *Rebecca Thompson?’ Routh answered ‘Oh, I’m sure Rebecca Thompson would not regard me with any favour.’ And Beesley replied: ‘Oh but thou doesn’t know till thou tries – just think it over.’ And so he did and they were married in July 1845. ….. They had been married for twenty three years when Rebecca died, comparitively young at the age of 59, in 1868. …..

“Routh was a kindly disciplinarian who ran the school for the first 38 years of its life. An old scholar from South Africa leaves us a last picture of Routh: ‘Of vast bulk, suave manners and fatherly way, he was like a warm stove ina large room’.”

* Note – Rebecca Thompson joined the school in 1842 as The Mistress (Senior Mistress) – a Quaker and a widow of 33.

The book is available for £13.00 including UK Postage:





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For overseas orders the book is available for £18.00