Perhaps the most important vicar to have held the living was the Rev Lord Sidney Godolphin Osborne, who arrived in 1841. He was the brother-in-law of Charles Kingsley, the author of 'The Water Babies' and, for a while, curate at neighbouring Pimperne. Although the aristocracy were well represented among Victorian clergy, it was usually the 'younger son' and only exceptionally rarely the title holder. However, 'SGO' as he was known, proved to be an outstanding example of a campaigning parson. He was appalled by the lot of the agricultural labourers in his parish and tirelessly promoted their cause through the press, by giving evidence to the Poor Law Commissioners and any other means at his disposal including reminding the Church of its responsibilities. Of course these activities did not win him too many friends amongst the landowners and efforts were made to muzzle him, although without success. Unemployment coupled with terrible conditions prompted him to encourage many to emigrate, some at his expense. Between 1815 and 1895, 13 million people left the United Kingdom for good; 100,000 from Dorset alone. He died in Lewis, where he had retired, in 1889.
In 1991, the eminent sculptor, Don Potter, aged 89, accepted a commission to carve stone figures of the Madonna and Child and St Nicholas. These have been placed in separate niches in the tower and demonstrate how this brilliant artist has harmonised his work with an ancient setting. Don Potter was a pupil of Eric Gill before branching out on his own and teaching at Bryanston. He died in 2004 aged 102.
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