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A History of Horncastle by James Conway Walter

Affleck Peacock named after his relative Sir Robert Affleck


In 1855 a school Library was commenced, the Governors granting 10 pounds for the purchase of books; 20 pounds being given in the following year, and this has been further enlarged in later years, until the books now number nearly 500.

In March, 1893, a Magazine entitled _Banovallum_ was established, to be mainly carried on by the scholars, the Editor being J. G. Meanwell, Sub-Editor J. R. Cowburn. It was a monthly record of school work and sports, with various other matters of interest. It was intended also to be a link of connection between "old boys" and new; and with this view former pupils of the school were invited to contribute. {95a} The outside support, however, of such a publication was not sufficient to render it a paying venture, and after an existence of rather more than two years, it expired with the July No. of 1895.

Here we may fittingly introduce some personal reminiscences of the school, and those connected with it, in its palmiest days, under the regime of Dr. Smith, and first we may mention members of his own family.

Although, as before stated, himself of humble origin, {95b} he married the daughter of a General Sandwith, a lady who was highly esteemed by all who knew her. She bore him three sons and three daughters, and predeceased him. His eldest son, Bainbridge, graduated at Cambridge University, took Holy Orders, was at one time English Chaplain at Smyrna, and succeeded his father in the Rectory of Sotby. He married a daughter of Judge Haliburton of Nova Scotia, the author of _Sam Slick_, _The Watchmaker_ (1839) and other works, which were popular in their day. The eldest daughter, Frances, married a member of a then well-known Horncastle family, the Rev. John Fawssett, a graduate of Cambridge, who afterwards became in turn Rector of Minting and Vicar of Baumber with Stourton. A second son, Joseph Coltman, became a Solicitor in Hull, but died early in life. A second daughter, Isabella, married the Rev. W. Affleck Peacock (named after his relative Sir Robert Affleck, of Dalham Hall, Newmarket), Rector of Ulceby near Alford. The youngest daughter, as already stated, married the Rev. Henry Fiennes Clinton, Rector of Cromwell, near Newark, a near relative of the Duke of Newcastle, to whom he was appointed domestic Chaplain. The third and youngest son, Clement Madely, so named after his godfather, the esteemed former Vicar of Horncastle, adopted the medical profession and went out to India, where he became known as a keen sportsman among big game; a group of two tigers shot by him, and stuffed by Ward the great taxidermist, being exhibited in the Crystal Palace several years ago.

Of the scholars at the school, under Dr. Smith, we recall a few names, as samples of the class of pupils whom he received. There were three Sandwiths, Humphrey, Godfrey, and Henry, who were his nephews on his wife's side. Humphrey became a surgeon, and having a taste for foreign travel, went out to Constantinople to practice there. Having good introductions he was kindly received by Sir Stratford Canning, the English Ambassador, and making the acquaintance of Layard, he was invited to travel with him to Mecca, Mosul, and Nineveh, at two of which places excavations were conducted; as Hakim, or Doctor, he was visited by crowds of Arabs, suffering from various ailments; and his quinine wrought wonderful cures among them. When at home he sometimes surprised his friends by suddenly appearing among them dressed in Arab costume. In 1855 he was at the famous siege of Kars, under General Fenwick Williams; when a force of 15,000 English were shut in by an army of 50,000 Russians. The English had three months' provisions and three days' ammunition; they suffered greatly from cholera, and after five months surrendered, only when overcome by famine. Humphrey wrote a history of the siege.


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