Letter in George Moore's hand dated January 1st 1866 


5 Bow Church Yard

London E.C. January 1st 1866

Revd. & Dear Sir/

In accordance with a promise made I now take the liberty of sending you copies of a pamphlet containing letters both for and against the move-ment recently originated in the subject of Illegitimacy in Cumberland & Westmorland.

I can pledge myself to the accuracy of the Figures in the Letter of the Revd. John Percival .... a late Fellow of Queens College Oxford and now Principal of Clifton College Bristol, a Westmorland Man. I have compared them with the return made to the Registrar General Major Graham and which I obtained directly from him.

I am aware this is a most delicate subject and one naturally shrinks from interfering with it. But now that we are face to face with such sad facts, I feel that we who reside in this Northern Diocese & especially those of us who are so pleased of our Country & our  ? , ought not to rest satisfied until we have striven, with God's help to remove this blot from the District. I think moreover that every clergyman in this Diocese will recognise his individual responsibility & give all the help that his office and position command in this difficult matter.

I shall be greatly obliged if you will lend this pamphlet, as opportunity offers among your Parishioners, urging upon them the consideration of the important subject of which it treats.

I ask you to do this because I am confident that until the sin and shame of the existing state of things are established no good will be done -

I hope you will receive this communication in the same kindly spirits in which it is offered and not regard it as intrusive.

If you do not see your way to making use yourself of the accompanying copies of the Pamphlet perhaps you will either pass them on to a neighbour or return them to me.

I am Revd & Dear Sir

Your Obedient Servant

George Moore.



This letter whilst conforming to the niceties and conventions of the time seems to show George Moore adopting a somewhat obsequious tone in order to ingratiate himself with the recipient in order perhaps to further his own cause.  It shows again that George Moore believed fervently that he knew what was good for everybody else.

John Percival (1834 -1918), to whom George Moore makes reference, was the first Headmaster of Clifton College. It was in his seventeen years at Clifton he made his reptuatation as a great educator. He accepted the Presidency of Trinity College, Oxford to recover from his exhaustive years at Clifton. It was from Trinity that he went Rugby to become Head Teacher of Rugby School before becoming Bishop of Hereford.

John Percival

George Moore's second wife specifically requested in her will that Revd. Dr. Percival of Rugby School conduct, if possible, her funeral service. William Percival, his father, (who like George Moore came from a yeoman family) was named as one of her executors and Mrs Moore was Godmother to John Percival's daughter to whom she left £5000.

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