Hardwicke becomes a lay preacher at St. Mary’s, Soho. This also involves working as a volunteer at the Newport Market Refuge, Crown Street, Soho (January). He undertakes voluntary social work with the housing reformer Octavia Hill.

James Dawson, owner of Wray Castle and Estate, dies (17 January). The bulk of his estate is inherited by Edward Preston Rawnsley, Hardwicke’s cousin.

Hardwicke attends the wedding of his uncle Edward, father of Edward Preston, to Marion Julia Kennard at All Saints’ Church, Margaret Street, London (3 May).

Lady Jane Franklin, Aunt of Hardwicke's mother, dies (18 July). Hardwicke attends the funeral and writes a number of sonnets commemorating both Lady Franklin and her husband, Sir John Franklin, the Arctic explorer.

Hardwicke falls ill. Octavia Hill arranges for him to recuperate at The Croft in Ambleside, the family home of her friend John Fletcher. It is here that he meets Edith Fletcher, his future wife (August-September).

Hardwicke is ordained Deacon at a ceremony in Gloucester Cathedral. He is also licensed to the curacy of St. Barnabas, Bristol (19 December).

Christmas is spent at home with his parents and Hardwicke reads the prayers at Halton Holgate for the first time (27 December).


Hardwicke begins his career as curate of Clifton College Mission, Bristol, by publicly declaring his Assent to the 39 Articles in front of the congregation of St. Barnabas (9 January). As part of his curacy he is required to reside in the parish of St. Barnabas, whose vicar is the Rev. Ernest Adolphus Fuller.

‘St Werburgh’s Tower’, Hardwicke’s first published sonnet, appears in the Western Daily Press (7 March).

Two further sonnets are published in the Western Daily Press supporting the statuary of early Christian saints being erected in the nave of Bristol Cathedral (3 April).

Clifton College Mission House opens. This enables Hardwicke to hold services and Bible classes. Rooms are also fitted out for reading, games and cooking (19 May).

Hardwicke goes to Switzerland, his first visit overseas (Late July).

Hardwicke is appointed secretary of two of four committees formed by the St. Werburgh’s Tower Retention Fund to save the tower from demolition (December).


A Book of Bristol Sonnets published (March).

Bristol Tavern and Club Company is registered with Hardwicke listed as a director (April).

Clifton College Mission Working Men’s Club opens (8 May).

‘The Miner’s Rescue’, a narrative poem about the rescue of miners from an explosion at Troedyrhiw Colliery in April, is published as a pamphlet (May).

Hardwicke spends a month in the Lake District with the Fletcher family (August-September).

It appears that somewhere around this time Hardwicke is either dismissed by Dr. Percival or accepts that he has no future at Clifton College Mission.

Proposes to Edith Fletcher at Westward Ho (28 September).

Edith meets Hardwicke’s parents for the first time when they visit Halton Holgate (30 October).

Hardwicke accepts the offer of the living at Wray in the Lake District (3 November).

The Giant’s Castle, the first premises of the Bristol Tavern & Club Company, opens (15 November).

Letters Testimonial to enable Hardwicke to be ordained a priest are signed (17 November).

A petition is raised by Hardwicke’s parishoners to keep him at the Clifton College Mission and sent to Dr. Percival. It is rejected (December).

Two additional taverns are opened by the Bristol Tavern & Club Company (December).

Hardwicke is ordained as priest at Carlisle Cathedral and admitted to the Vicarage of St. Margaret, Low Wray (23 December).

 Next: 1878-1882