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Frank Leward: Memorials

Same to the same

page 20

Same to the same.

Upton School, June 15, 1838.

Dear Sir,—It is with the most profound regret that I have to report to you that your elder son has disappeared from the school, and that there rests on him, and on another thoroughly bad boy, named Jones, more than a suspicion of dishonesty.

Your son, as treasurer of the first eleven of cricket players, had charge of all the moneys of their club, and the boy Jones had, in an evil hour, and much against my wish, but at the instance of your son, been elected secretary of the same club. In this way, and evidently by design, the whole management of the moneys belonging to the association had come into their hands. It seems now that these two wretched youths have not scrupled to embezzle the funds so committed to their page 21care; and to avoid an inquiry, and the possible result of a magisterial decision, they took advantage of the quiet of Sunday night last to escape from the punishment due to their offence.

The school authorities have done all in their power to trace the fugitives and bring them to justice, but hitherto without success. Their plans must have been deeply laid and for some time past. Fain would I spare the pain these disclosures must cause a sensitive parent's heart; but duty to the others committed to my care compels me to inform you that under no circumstances, conditions, or considerations whatever could I receive back to the school either your son or his companion in crime.

Not only your earnest religion, but your recollection of instances of ancient Roman fortitude and love of justice, even when it must be meted out to a son, will help to support you in this trial. I feared at first the effect of this blow on your younger son; he is bowed down beneath an all-wise and chastening Providence, but resigned.

I hope he may long live to redeem the family name,—

I am, sir, in heart-felt sympathy, your obedient servant,

Theophilus Pott.

To Francis Leward, Esq., J.P.,

The Shrubbery, Southampton.