Augustus Jessopp

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Jessopp in old age

Augustus Jessopp (20 December 1823 – 12 February 1914) was an English cleric of the Anglican Church, an essayist, and a local historian of Norfolk, East Anglia.


  • The old men remember the roadsides, the wastes, and commons, and village greens, and patches of no man's land, which have gone from them for ever. The donkey munched the thistles or rolled in the dust, the cow, half starved perhaps in winter, yet gained a certain sort of sustenance and picked up its livelihood under the hedge or on the green. The geese hissed at strangers intruding upon this or that patch of verdure, and brought in a few shillings, if their owner were lucky with them, at Michaelmas time.
  • If the salt was dear and scarce, sugar was unknown except to the very rich. The poor man had little to sweeten his lot. The bees gave him honey; and long after the time I am dealing with, people left not only their hives to their children by will, but actually bequeathed a summer flight of bees to their friends; while the hive was claimed by one, the next swarm would become the property of another.
  • The ordinary life of the monastery began at six o'clock in the morning, and when the small bell, called the skilla, rang, all rose, washed themselves at the latrines, put on their daily habit, and then presented themselves at the matin Mass.
  • Even in our country villages we are losing our Individuals. The world is getting quite too much for us—withering us, in fact.
    • (July 1885)"A Swain of Arcady". The Nineteenth Century 18: 48–57. (quote from p. 50)
  • It seems to me that before a man has any right to pose as a reformer he must do two things: first, he must learn the truth of things as they are, and look facts in the face; and secondly, he must learn how things were, and how they have come to be as they are.
  • The old Cambridge, which some of us knew in our youth, with its solemn ecclesiasticism, its quaint archaisms, its fantastic anomallies, its fascinating picturesqueness, its dear old barbaric unintelligible odds and ends that met us at every turn in street and chapel and hall—that old Cambridge is as dead as the Egypt of the Pharaohs.
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