No 294

On August 5th 1844 as a prince was born Williamson generously resolved not to add a week to the Bartholmewtide Holidays; as he knew always had been customary – alleging that there was no reason for such an extension. Surely Eton must laugh at us & yet it no fault of ours (I mean the Westminsters individually) that we fare so badly.

We had hitherto had a week’s holidays extra for the Princesses; therefore there was still more reason for one now a prince was born.


Preston O.P.

No 293

I have enclosed an account of all the proceedings between Eton & Westminster on paper, for amusement & information to my successors. And I hope if anything worth recording or that might be of any use to Sixth TB or QS as a point of reference or authority will be inserted by the Head Town Boy boarder in this ledger; as it may amuse, perhaps profit others; but certainly can do no harm beyond filling the pages of the ledger; which can be at any time replaced by 10 or 20 shillings. I have taken this liberty & wish others also to avail themselves of it; acting upon the reason, I have given above. I have had several opportunities of sincerely regretting that these annuals of Westminster’s proceeding had not been more fully & copiously kept.

J. Preston Aug 4 /44

No 289

On July 10th Williamson decided the Barton Prize mentioned above. There were only 4 competitors two QS for Williamson’s own prize & two TBs for the Barton Do. The QSs were G.W. Randolph, & G.O. Edwards, the T.B. G. Gillett Half Boarder & myself I have enclosed a copy of the examination; on paper considering it too long & uninteresting to swell these pages with But – it may be of consequence to others who try hereafter, if there are any, in orders to compare their examinations with ours, I heartily wish that former Heads of Town Boys had copied their examination for me to see, & therefore I leave mind for others hereafter to collate and compare with theirs; hoping that my humble endeavours may be of use.

1. Randolph
2. Edwards



The above is a true & exact copy of this paper making Randolph winner of the Q.S. Prize which Williamson “himself gave them” and myself and Gillett equal with the chance of dividing “The blunt” or “going in again” we preferred the former I have not seen any number attached to the Examination papers. We had no Mathematics set. Dr W. said “my Greek was rather better than his, but my composition decidedly inferior” which was quite true especially the last remark

J. Preston O.P.

P.S. A prize which Williamson gave him was given to Randolph, which was not to exceed five pounds. The value wh we each received.

No 288

On June 7th 1844 the King of Saxony came to view the interior of Westminster Abbey; on which occasion School broke up at ¼ to 5 but the reason was not much known, or the circumstance observed in the School, & I myself did not know it, until told it afterwards at the Fields. Dr Williamson was introduced and also two of the QS who happened to be aware of his coming & went into the Abbey at the time Dr Williamson said “he has asked a Holiday for you” & consequently a week was expected but not obtained – & instead thereof we had an Early Play – Worse than ever!

J. Preston O.P.

No 287

It never has been, in my remembrance, not as far as I can understand in the remembrance of any other Sixth T.B. To have any Holiday Task set at Whitsuntide Holidays but this year, May 10th 1844 Dr. Williamson gave us a subject as unusual “Nelsonis Columna” to compose a set of verses on by after the vacation; 3 weeks 3 days. And when reasoned with on the subject still persisted in his mistake. His answer was that “if a Holiday Task was not set, by me, it was so by accident, as it is quite usual to set a Holiday Task at Whitsuntide, as it is at any other time. The exemption from Holiday Task in the past of the QS is because they are obliged to stay over the 3 or 4 days for their Election”. Now Holiday Tasks in my humble opinion are under any circumstances, most disgraceful imposition on, but most especially in the present instance, where the master is decidedly making an innovation. I suppose now it will be continued, but I dare say not without another attempt to convince Dr. Williamson of his mistake.

J. Preston O.P.

No 285

On March 3d 1844. Judge Burtons occasional prize was proposed by Dr Williamson for the Sixth Form T.B. to compete for; and at the same time another & separate prize was given by Dr Williamson for the Q.S. or rather was proposed & which he was to give them himself. The Examination was originally to take place before the Whitsuntide Holidays, but on being spoke to by myself in behalf of the rest of those who were going to compete it was postponed till after Whitsuntide; for which extra time for preparation, I believe none was sorry. For the Reader will see over the page the subjects given for competition.

Greek Authors

Homeri Ilias – 24 Books

Xenophontis Socratis Memorabilia – 4 books (the entire work)

Sophocles Philoctetes – 1457 lines

Latin Authors

Virgilii Aeneid – 12 books

Virgilii Georg. – 4 books

Horatii Od. – 4 Books

Cic. de Officiis – 3 books

Algebra to Quad Equat.

Latin & Eng. Composition in Prose & Verse.

And as the Philoctetes, Xenoph. Mem & Cic. Off were entirely new work, to some, & nearly so to some others it altogether amounted to quite as much (or very close upon it) as the Q.S. usually shew up for their Election. Euclid was at first specified but was afterwards annulled – instead however. Some Grecian History was (as I understood) to be substituted.

F. Osborn was, I think the last winner of this prize, but I do not find it mentioned in this B. heretofore.

J. Preston Prin. Opp

April 23d 1844