The poor wandering sheep

Francis Kilvert

From the age of thirty in January of 1870 until his death in September of 1879, Reverend Francis Kilvert filled almost thirty notebooks with diary entries that detailed his life as a country clergyman in Herefordshire, revealing his keen observations of the people and places he encountered, as well as his personal reflections on religion, nature, and the changing landscape of rural England. This entry came in February of 1874.

The Diary Entry

As I crossed the Common on my way home a form loomed through the thick mist, a labouring man going home from his work, and a voice halloed, “Stop there till I see who you be. Is that Mr. Frank Kilvert?” It was poor George Bourchier staggering along the worse for drink. I took his hand. “George,” I said sadly and gently, “you have had too much.” “I have, Sir,” he said. “God forgive me. I cry about it night and morning. I will try to leave it off. God bless you.” The poor wandering sheep.

Further Reading

By far the best way to enjoy Francis Kilvert’s diaries is to buy the plainly named Kilvert’s Diary, with entries selected and edited by William Plomer.

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