December 9 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Bizarre advice from vicars, including not telling your wife how your mother makes “ripping tarts”, has been uncovered by the British Newspaper Archive.
The catalogue of quirky tips includes advice to “thrash drunks” - be they man, woman or child - and to lie about your new wife’s cooking skills.
Researchers at the British Newspaper Archive discovered the tips and hints once given by the nation’s vicars, who could be said to be the original agpny uncles.
According to the Rev AJ Waldorn of Brixton, the key to marital bliss in 1913 was pastry-based diplomacy.
In the Western Gazette he advised: “Whatever you do, don’t spoil your wedding day by telling your wife what ripping tarts your mother makes”.
If a bride’s puddings are not up to scratch, he says, simply “swallow the bride’s pie, and tell her it’s a dream of delight, and then take a pill on the sly”.
One vicar made some rather un-Christian suggestions in 1904 telling his parishioners to “thrash the drunks” to prevent “suffering from softness”.
He argued a better solution was for a man who has a drunken neighbour to “thrash him for being a scandal to the neighbourhood”, and to “thrash anyone in his home who drinks immoderately, whether man, woman, son, or daughter”.
Not all of these pearls of wisdom were aimed at husbands.
In 1941, RH Hawkins, vicar of Dalston, warned women that “a war wedding should not be taken in hand”, and certainly not be based on a “fear of being left on the shelf” or the “glamour of being the wife of being a man in uniform”.
Amy Gregor of the British Newspaper Archive said: “The unorthodox advice given in these columns may seem odd to us now, but at the time such advice was taken quite seriously by those who read them.
“Until relatively recently, vicars were at the centre of nearly every community and regarded as a source of wisdom and authority.
“Reviewing newspaper articles from the past is a great way to track social attitudes towards gender roles, politics and popular opinion, and these articles are among the treasures to be found in the archive.”