Monday, 7 November 2011

Book of the Week (7th November 2011)

This week's pictures are taken from Add. MS. 121, a modern illuminated manuscript presented to Canon J. M. Wilson at the time of his retirement from Worcester in 1926 at the age of 89.  A thank-you note from Wilson slipped inside the front cover records his delight at the quality of the workmanship.

The book not only commemorated his time in the Cathedral, but also his extensive philanthropic works in the city of Worcester.  Wilson and his wife were instrumental in the foundation of the Worcester Infants’ Health Society.  They established an ante-natal clinic, paid for a nurse, and provided mothers with clothes for their young children.  Between 1906 and 1919 it is estimated that the Society’s work saved the lives of at least 500 children, and that if the rest of the country had followed Worcester’s example, some 400,000 lives would have been saved in total.

Canon Wilson also persuaded the council to give money to his Playgrounds and Open Spaces Society so that Fort Royal Park could be laid out and opened for public use.  He enlisted the help of his fellow clergymen to stock the rose garden and decorate the pergola!

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