This Week In Brooklin History

110 years ago this week
June 8, 1888
A parson or not a parson

From the June 8, 1888 Whitby Chronicle:


B. F. Campbell Esq. arrived home from Rochester on Saturday evening.

Master Willie Fitchett returned on Sunday from Penetanguishene where he has been boarding for four years.

Two funerals that of Mrs. Albert B. Cook and John Piper of Toronto, nephew of Mrs. Jas. Routley’s, took place from here on Sunday afternoon last.

A number of our boys who are loyal to their Queen and country will soon have to don the red coat and shoulder the rifle and prepare for camp. They start for Niagara on June 12th for twelve days drill.

The Rev. J. A. Carmichael looks well on his return from the North-west. He arrived home on Thursday evening last from Portage La Prairie where he has been releaving a brother in the profession, who has been taking a trip for his health.


One of the items in your Brooklin news is the cause, or part of the cause, of an anonymous writer’s ungenerous attack upon your correspondent in the Times. In order to set Mr. “Spice” in the right road and give him an opportunity to censure the proper person I beg leave to inform everybody in any way interested that I am the author of the item referring to the social given by the Rev. Mr. Philp. Your correspondent had nothing to do with writing it.

Perhaps, sir, it is a mystery to you and the larger number of your intelligent readers to understand exactly what there was in the report of the social that produced the literary effort of friend “Spice.” My use of the expression “Parson Philp.” This is spoken of as being in very bad taste. Really, how intensely amusing ! and yet how fortunate we are in having a gentleman who can give us pointers in matters of taste. The only thing that our friend can do now, is to give us his name so that on all future occasions your correspondent and I can consult the infallible judge and by following his example save offending the too-too sensitive “Spice” and others of his ilk.

Please, “Spice,” what is your name? I hope my request will be granted; not because it is a matter of importance to know his name, only it will be convenient to know know it when I want to ask his advice. It would save so much trouble and annoyance to me. Now, just think, if I had know this person when writing that item I could have called on him and got his criticism and made the necessary correction. Now there is nothing to do but apologize for the expression. Please “Spice” and “self-same thinkers,” accept my apology and allow me to withdraw the ill-favored title “Parson” and substitute the proper “Rev. Mr.”

In conclusion, Mr. Editor, for the benefit of “Spice” and two “others”–for I am happy to inform you that only three persons (so far as I have learned) have objected to the term “Parson”–I want to give the meaning of the word. It is according to Webster, “a clergyman; one who is in orders or who is licensed to preach.” Only ignorant and vulgar persons would think for a moment, it was intended for a reproach. Anticipating being under obligations to “Spice” on matters of taste I wish now to advise him, in all charity, not to be so ready to impute “envy and want of feeling in head and heart,” to your correspondent.

Yours respectfully,

June 6th, 1888.

Jno. Spence.

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