JOHN ORMAN, CURATE.
(Article 3 in the St Mary's Church Loop)
Inside the cover of the old register book belonging to the Church of Feltwell St. Mary, is written-"This Register book is one of the first after the establishment of Protestantism and is a great curiosity. J.0. 1827." These are the initials of the Rev. John Orman, who was curate at Feltwell 1824 to 1837. Formerly of Mildenhall, he was appointed Headmaster of Thetford Grammar School in 1821. An entry in the Minute Book of the Thetford Town Council made in 1822, states that John Orman ran away without giving previous notice and that instructions were given to advertise for another Headmaster. What became of John Orman on leaving Feltwell in 1837 is more than I know; he may have been appointed to a living, but such appointments meant influence or money. Curates in those days were very small fry, they were the inferior clergy and were treated rather as upper servants, especially by their rector's wives. There is an amusing story which helps to show the position of the curate. A country rector, on returning from his autumn holiday, saw a woman with a baby in her arms standing at her cottage door, and asked whether the child had been baptized. After making a curtsey, the woman replied "Well, Sir; I should not like to say as much as that; but your young man came and did what he could."
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