Tho’ Ditch Leaping was prohibited by Goodenough last year, it was carried into effect as usual on the 1st and 17th of March (1829) the 1st the weather was so very severe that only five went, but on 17th a larger field assembled tho’ still few in number from the number out of school with colds, coughs, measles &c there has been more illness lately in the school than has been known for many years.
It is intended henceforward that no King Scholar should stay over the election, it is declared that interest is to have no effect, that it is to be decided by merit alone, and that every one is to have an equal chance whether that will be the case is to be seen hereafter.
That this would be the most fair and equitable way, I think there is no room for doubting but I can safely answer that if ever such a rule was made (and there seems to be the less reason for thinking so) it has been to my certain knowledge very often grossly violated.
Added by J. Preston 1845
A Library of useful and entertaining books was set on foot by Williamson a little before Xmas it was begun by voluntary subscription, and is intended to be kept up by a regular charge of one guinea upon every new comer in every boarding house, whether it will eventually prove any use, is at best doubtful, as it cannot be very likely that where fellows in the fourth and fifth can procure novels, they should be tempted much by the graver pages of history.
This Christmas Williamson introduced some new regulations as regarded removes such as introducing Ciphering, and Grecian and Roman History into the examinations for the Upper Shell and Sixth, it is to be hoped that these changes in the routine of School subjects will have their due influences on the minds of the public in general and induce those who were formerly the supports of Westminster, again to retrieve its fallen fortunes; and the innovation is, that all below the shell should be *corrected at the several boarding-houses, of which the halls are given up from the hours of 2 till 5 for that purpose.
* Of course this refers to Verses
The Rt. Honble Charles William Wynne having again given a writership to be contended for by any fellow in the Sixth who wished to enter the lists, the examination took place on Monday Feby 2nd 1829 and lasted till 5 o’clock on Tuesday. The names of the candidates were Frere, Greensill T.B. but Home Boarder and Day and Snell K.S. it was finally pronounced that Frere had obtained it, that Greensill was second and Day and Snell equal, the examiners were Bailey Prebendary of Westr and Thorpe from Haylebury College, they expressed themselves highly gratified with the performance of the several candidates, the examination took place at Williamson’s and any of the Sixth were admitted who wished to be present.
The following is a list of the Sixth as it stood at Christmas 1828
C. White *
C. Frere *
Sir J. H. Preston Bart
J. Frere *
E.H. Greathed H.B.
Those marked with an asterisk are Home Boarders