Between Empire and Revolution: A Life of Sidney Bunting, by Allison Drew

By Allison Drew

Sidney Bunting's existence bargains a different standpoint at the British Empire, illustrating the complicated social networks and values that have been carried the world over within the identify of empire. Drawing on archival fabric, together with the Bunting kin papers and files of Bunting's Oxford years, this paintings offers his biography.

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12 When a boy was deemed to have engaged in a sufficiently egregious infraction, he was caned. The Head Porter, a former military man and, in Sidney’s day, ‘a huge strapping fellow’, would dispense beatings. ‘Everything was done to make the performance as terrifying as possible’, recalled William Nichols Marcy, who was in the lower eighth form with Sidney in 1889–90. ‘The High Master presided with two assistant masters and the executioner himself. ’ Punishments consisted of a minimum of twelve strokes, with a half-minute between each stroke.

T]he desecration of art by a crowd of French roughs, as in the recent disturbances of Lohengrin, was not an instance of patriotism’, he argued. ‘The work of men like Wagner’, he maintained, ‘did not belong to one nation only, but was common property, and should be defended and protected alike by every country’. 39 In late November the Union shifted its concern to the Conservative government. This had come to power in July 1886 in a backlash against Prime Minister Gladstone’s support for Irish Home Rule, which had split the Liberal Party.

48 His cousin the Reverend John Scott Lidgett came up regularly from London to speak at the Guild; the two must have met up. By then the Reverend was developing a national profile. He had spearheaded the launch of the Bermondsey Settlement in South London, a mission dedicated to the regeneration and education of the poor. This opened in 1892; soon thereafter Lidgett was elected as a Poor Law Guardian on the ticket of the Progressive Party. Three members of the Guild – but not Sidney – were on the Settlement committee, and the Settlement’s progress was regularly discussed at the Guild’s meetings.

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