Tuesday July 29th 1845 was marked by an event which I feel sure will be remembered, after what passed last year, with sincere pleasure by every Westminster as long as the School shall exist. I mean the Boat Race between Eton & Westminster which took place on that day & terminated in favour of the latter by 65 seconds. The following account may perhaps be admissible here.
At 111/2 A.M the “Echo” Steamer left Chandler’s Pier filled with the friends of either Crew & reached its destination Barker’s Rails nr Kew Bridge at 11/2 P.M or rather more, from which place we were to start & after a little waiting the Etonian Crew also arrived: Burton Sr then tossed up with Luttrell Sr (the captain of the Eton Boats) for choice of stations which Westr. won & took the Surrey side of the River. Mr. Selwyn an old Etonian kindly officiated as umpire: & on the word “off” being given we started in such an uneven manner that the Etonians led by more than a length before we were steady. But in ¼ of a mile we were oar & oar; in ½ a mile clean ahead; & continuing, at most without an effort, to draw ahead lost sight of them round the turn before Hammersmith Bridge. We then rowed easily down the Hammersmith Reach continually gaining ground; spurted into Putney passing the Leander & or own Watermen’s Eights; & went under the Bridge amidst the warmest cheering ahead by more than a length of any Boat that rowed the distance.
The course was nearly 5 miles; the time 27 ¼ (which we could have lessened) & we were victorious by 65 seconds or something like 40 or 50 Boat’s lengths. Our crews were
For further particulars see Water Ledger. I may as well here remark that W.G. Green who was our Head of the Water as I had not time to attend to it was very unfavourably and it is generally thought unfairly rejected from the Racing Crew & his place supplied by Williams who if he was stronger was certainly deficient in style. Our training was strict & our condition extremely good this year, we had continued to improve ourselves for six weeks & before we actually received a Challenge.
Dr Williamson who behaved extremely well throughout, & was extremely generous towards us as far as he was concerned followed the Race this year together with many other Old Westminsters on Horseback, by the Towing Path & returned I am happy to say extraordinarily satisfied with the result of our efforts.
Thus ended the most complete victory of the Championship of the Universe as far as regards rowing in Schools that was ever obtained by our crew over another. And I think I may, from personal experience, add, one of the least distressing spurts we ever had during the whole course of training. The betting before we started was 5 to 1 having risen from even wagers.
Joseph Preston Prin. Opp.
On Saturday July 5th /45. we had an Early Play, because Ingram Sr. had fortunately taken a First Class in his College Examinations at Cambridge.
J. Preston O.P.
It may perhaps appear a trivial & needless circumstance for me to mention here yet as I have frequently heard the point contested & still remain unanswered I may as well add here what I ought rightly to have inserted higher up viz that to settle the point it was resolved this year that when the pancake was thrown in School on Shrove Tuesday it should be retained whole by Barton a Q.S. after a shew of scrambling & “greasing” who should then make the experiment on Dr. Turton as to whether a Sovereign was obtainable or no on the representation of the School Pancake at the Deanery – whole – I am happy to add as an excitement and stimulus to future exertions that the result of the experiment was highly satisfactory & that the fortunate possessor returned from the Deanery 20s heavier in the pocket than when he went.
J. Preston O.P.
Owing to the superiority of the TB heavy four the Minor Candidates did not race them this year.
On May 27th being the day on which the Queens Birthday was kept (& which had generally fallen in the Whitsuntide Holidays, but did no this year owing to their early commencement) the Sixth had leave up Town in the Evening to see the illuminations.
On May the 9th Dr. T. Turton was made Bishop of Ely vice Dr J. Allen deceased. In whose room was appointed Dr. Wilberforce who read himself in on Sunday May 25th
During the Whitsuntide Holidays on ___ died Dr. E. Goodenough formerly Head Master of Westminster at his own Deanery, Wells, in Somersetshire. He dropped down dead whilst walking round his grounds with one of his younger sons W. Goodenough then at Westminster in the Fourth Form. He left a large family.
The Sixth then stood.
J. Preston 7th
This year no holiday task was set at Whitsuntide proving the truth of what I advanced at No 287.
An event happened this year, which I feel confident has never had a parallel here -viz. this Dr. Williamson having mentioned at the election of 1844 that the Electors were dissatisfied with the examinations of the Major Candidates, afterwards informed the two Head Third Election Q.S. that the Electors wished to see what the Q.S. were capable of doing in their 3d Election year, by themselves, & that therefore he wished them (Milman & Ingram) to comply with their request. To this effect he also added several subsequent arguments of equal weight: and the event was a challenge between them to contend for the priority then belonging to Milman by right. The Subject was the “Hecuba” there were three challenges, with certain limitations similar to those of Minor Candidates. Milman eventually kept his place. The reasons assigned above were, & with good reason, suspected to be not the genuine ones. Of the merit or demerit of the actual circumstance of the innovation; I will leave the Reader to form his own judgement hereafter from its effects. It is yet to be determined whether this is to be a regular thing, as a sort of “Return Match” to the usual Election of Minor Candidates at Whitsuntide. The Challenge was viva voce.