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Cases - Willis V. The Bishop Of Oxford

James Williams 1869 (Taigwynion, near Tal-y-bont, Cardiganshire) – 1954 (United Kingdom)

(2 Probate Division, 192)
Aid me, Muses! my endeavour is to sing a woful song,
How a very learned bishop in the Arches Court went wrong.
Aid me, for duplex querela is an uninviting theme,
And the practice of the Arches raises no poetic dream.
'Tis the Reverend Child Willis, child in name but not in age,
Comes he to the Court of Arches burning with a noble rage,
Filing his duplex querela, claiming for himself thereby
Vicarage of Drayton Parslow, or to know the reason why.
"Reason why?" the bishop answers; "that is not so far to seek.
Little Latin have you, Willis, innocent are you of Greek.
You were specially examined by my good Archdeacon Pott;
He reported to me promptly, 'Greek and Latin all forgot,
Non idoneus is Willis, minus et sufficiens,
He may have a sanum corpus, but he lacks a sana mens.'"
"Nay," says Willis, "such an answer is but trifling with the court,
I have preached a Latin sermon, and the classics are my forte,
You must name the books I failed in, you must give me every chance
Of a fresh examination at the hands of Lord Penzance."
Lord Penzance supported Willis: "Bishop, you must file," said he,
"Some more tangible objection, some less vague and general plea.
As it stands I cannot gather what it is you ploughed him in,
Whether Hellenistic aorists or the Latin word for sin."
But alas! the world has never known as yet what Willis did,
In the breast of the Archdeacon still it lies a secret hid.
Was his Latin prose defective? Did his style of writing show
More resemblance to Tertullian than to Tullius Cicero?
Were his dates a little shaky? Could it, could it be that he
Confidently made Augustine flourish at a date B.C.?
None will know save Pott, Archdeacon, for alas! the patroness
Showed no mercy to Child Willis in the day of his distress.
She revoked the presentation, leaving Willis in the lurch,
One of undisputed learning preached in Drayton Parslow church.
Doubly barren was his triumph, it was not a twelve-month ere
Death set up his Court of Arches, Willis did not triumph there.
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Submitted on August 03, 2020

1:49 min read

James Williams

John James Williams (8 October 1869 – 6 May 1954), commonly known by his bardic name of "J.J.", was a Welsh poet and served as Archdruid of the National Eisteddfod of Wales from 1936 to 1939 more…

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