Taunton Courier & Western Advertiser

The Rev J.P. Hewett Writes

Wednesday, 27th August 1879

The Rev. J. P. Hewett writes, from Norton Fitzwarren Rectory, to the Editor of the Standard on the subject of "Gipsies," about which a correspondence has been going on in the columns of that journal. Our rev. neighbour says :-

"On Sunday, April 16, 1871, I publicly baptised in the parish church two gipsy children, son and daughter of William and Fanny Stanley. On the same day, and previous to the service when the children were christened, I read the Burial Service over Thomas Stanley, aged 64, who, having died in another part of the county, had been brought hither to be buried, this churchyard having been for many years past the burial-place of the Stanley tribe. At both services, and on other such occasions when I have had opportunities of observing them, the gipsies, plain and neat in their dress and attire, always appeared to realise the sacred character of the occasion; they were very anxious that their children should be baptised, and not the slightest necessity for persuasion was required to induce them to conform to this requirement - they rather considered it in the light of a religious privilege for which they were thankful."

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Extracted From:
Taunton Courier & Western Advertiser - Wednesday, 27th August 1879
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  • Fanny Stanley
  • Thomas Stanley
  • William Stanley