Florence Ellen PARKER 
- Born: 20 Nov 1869, Farnham SRY
Florence was trained as a missionary and did not marry.
Julius Jottings No 2 April 1900
Florence Ellen, daughter of Henry Richard and Mary Ann Julius, born at Farnham November 20, 1869; educated at Winchester High School, 1884-97; at Bonn, 1888; worked at the "Willow's" Missionary Training College, including three months in the "Mildmay Mission Hospital", 1894-96; went to live with the family of the Reverend A. W. Wiseman, whose children she trains, and works among the girls in his parish, 1898.
Address: Ashton Vicarage, Preston, Lancashire.
Rowledge Parochial History.
Florence kept a diary/journal of events in Rowledge Parish, she passed it in Aug 1923 to the then vicar, Godefroy asking him to keep it safe, up to date and to pass it to his successor. This he did but unfortunately it was kept with diminishing zeal by successive vicars over the years. It is now held in the Surrey Local History Library in Woking (2012).
Roy Waight of Rowledge has produced an interesting book "Rowledge A Parish History 1870-1966" based on Florence's and her successors work and other research.
Julius Jottings. January 1901 No 4
LETTER FROM LANCASHIRE, Miss Parker.
Ashton Vicarage, Preston.
As yet no letter has been in the Julius Jottings from this. busy corner of England i.e., Lancashire, where I have been working for the last three years; in fact I have not heard that any of our numerous relatives are living in this county, which is very important in the eyes of its people, for they say " What Lancashire does to-day, England does tomorrow".
When strangers first visit them the people are very suspicious; they like to "summer and winter them" before they make up their minds to be friendly ; if they do meet with their approval, they are very warm-hearted and affectionate. Ashton is a suburb of Preston, but, though many of th girls, among whom my work chiefly lies, work in the mills they are far quieter and superior to those in the town. A great feature of Lancashire is the Sunday School. There are classes for people of every age. There are 1,200 scholars in the Sunday Schools of this parish. In the town, however, one class of men has 400 members. My class consists of young women over 18 years old. There are about sixty names on the book, but, happily, I have a room to myself. One difficulty in teaching is that the girls will not answer questions before so many others, so that one has no means of knowing how much has been taken in. Another piece of work is G.F.S. classes.
The, work in the mills goes on from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m., and is very monotonous, so when the girls and women come out they are very tired, and want a complete change; and a little excitement. They are too tired for needlework, so they go in largely for entertainments, theatres, and too often walking up and down Fishergate, the principal thoroughfare, which is said to be a most objectionable place on Saturday and Sunday night.
Twice a week we have G.F.S. classes for some of these girls. On Monday, in a school room in the poorer part of the parish, and on Tuesday, one at the vicarage. We read to then and sometimes get them to answer questions in the, "Elementary Reading Union," have some singing, and a little talk about the society, or something that will be useful. Nursing, cooking and dressmaking classes have also been held. There is a savings bank in connection with it, but though weavers earn up to 23/- a week, and winders up to 16/-, it is very difficult to get, any to save much. The money chiefly goes in food, clothes and excursions. As the girls are at work all day they become very poor hands at cooking, needlework, or housework ; they prefer to pay for their things to be done for them. When they marry they find it, so dull to stay at home, and do uncongenial work, that they often continue to go to the mill. If they have children, the poor little things are not unfrequently given into the charge of a neighbour for the day, or neglected, so that Preston enjoys the unenviable reputation of having the highest infant mortality of any town in the kingdom.
Many curious old customs are still kept up here, such as tossing pancakes on Shrove Tuesday, egg-rolling on Easter Monday, huge Sunday School processions, on Whit Monday, but a description of these must keep for another time. If any who read this could give me any hints as to songs, recitations, etc., to teach these classes, or make any other suggesticns, I should be most grateful if they would send them to me. It is so difficult to find fresh things to do, and these people are always wanting a change.
Hoping that someone will take pity on me, and will send some ideas,
I remain, dear Editor,
FLORENCE E. PARKER.
Julius Jottings No 7 April 1902
Florence writes again from Ashton Vicarage, bemoaning the fact that she has had no response to her last paragraphs in the article above. "People here are constantly craving after change and if one does not give it them they drop off in attendance at the classes. If any cousins will take pity on me, and send any suggestions to the address, at the head of this letter I shall be most grateful".
Florence continues: "Shrove Tuesday is a day when everybody who can possibly manage it takes a holiday. The schools are closed . . . . . all engaged in making pancakes. These have to be tossed in the correct style, and a penalty is enforced on those who let theirs onto the floor" . . . . . I have been warned against visiting that day, as if I dropped the pancake, has assured me I should do, my face might be sooted! Easter day is again a great day, . . . . . thousands of people may be seen wending their way to the parks. Here, there are long slopes of grouse, up and down which children roll coloured Easter eggs (hard-boiled), and oranges. The game is to see how many of your neighbours eggs you can break, without getting your own broken. The final is to sit on the ground and feast on the remains! . . . . . Whit-Monday however is the greatest function of the year. On that day all the Sunday Schools of the town have processions. The Romanists (a third of the population) and Orangemen in the morning, and church schools in the afternoon. All the schools have magnificent banners, especially the Roman Catholics" . . . . .
Processions were postponed in 1902 until "The Guild" a weekly function every 20 years of "trade guild processions, concerts, dancers and all manner of gaieties" attended by a member of the Royal Family. "The decorations are of a very substantial kind, one archway was standing three years after the last Guild, and Preston is said not to recover from the effect of the money spent for some years. Trusting I have not overstepped the space allowed me"
Florence E. Parker.
This is the last article in the last issue of Julius Jottings, it would suggest that the family have run out of ideas to support such a publication?
Parker family images courtesy of R Waight 2015
1. Census: England, 5 Apr 1891, Rowledge Vicarage Binsted E Hants. Florence is described as a daughter aged 21 single born Farnham
2. Census: England, 31 Mar 1901, Rowledge Vicarage Farnham HAM. Florence is recorded as a daughter unmarried aged 23 born Farnham.
3. Census: England, 2 Apr 1911, Rowledge Vicarage Farnham HAM. Florence is recorded as a daughter unmarried aged 41 a Parochial worker born Farnham