No 182

On the 9th of December being the 2d play night, the annual 6th Dinner was held at the Café de L’Europe in the Haymarket where it was held last year. It was very inferior and exorbitantly dear. So few fellows were in the 6th it was found necessary to ask of the Upper Shell

The list of the 6th at Christmas 1835

*J R Turner
C.D. Obsorn
* F Turner
* H Lee
* A McKenzie
BG Astley
J D’Oyley

Those marked * are Homeboarders

C.D. Osborn HB

No 181*

In consequence of the daily decreasing state of the school both in number and size, and the bad effects these evils entail on the power and importance of the fellows themselves I have thought it right to give a few reasons for this, which have fallen under my notice during my stay at Westminster. In order to warn the future possessors of this book, (as much as it is in my power) against the continuance of these abuses or the formation of fresh ones. The principal reason (as I conceive) of this much to be lamented decrease in the school are 1st the expense of education at Westr and the great cheapness of it at other small schools (district and others) and this too acting upon, the low state of the landed interests, which combined, either entirely prevent a certain class of individuals* from sending their sons to school at all, or else induce them to give the preference to cheaper establishments. To this may be also added the overstocked state of professions which oblige the above mentioned class of persons, to choose inferior situations for their sons, and which need comparatively little or no education, these reasons and the immense increase of schools of all kinds, and the multitude of private tutors throughout England, as well as the rapid march of puritanism in all classes (which induces those afflicted with its tenets to commit their sons to the charge of clergymen of their own opinions) will account of the decrease in numbers of the school. Now let us trace the effects of that paucity of numbers upon the school. 1st the decrease in physical force on the part of the fellows must necessarily diminish their authority and necessary successful resistance to infringements on the part of the masters. 2dly the scarcity of fellows gives the Ushers and Masters more time to examine individually into the proceedings of each boy * and thereby to have more hold of him than he otherwise would have. 3dly The great scarcity also prevents the so close union between the different bodies of the school (viz Home Boarders, King Scholars and Boarders) as is absolutely necessary in order to pressing ahead against the innovations of masters. For as there are fewer fellows, any broil between even two boys of different bodies maybe productive of an estrangement of the whole set, whereas in the fuller state of the school such petty disagreements would pass unnoticed. I will now conclude with urging the proverb so universally adopted at the French Revolution, and which maybe better applied to a conservative subject ‘Union is Force’. Let the school (small as it is) unite together in a common cause, to resist innovations, maintain the most trifling rules, and stand up for their own rights, and I do not yet despair of seeing better times dawn on Westminster which desirable object and “consummation so devoutly to be wished” will never be attained without these precautions and now should future readers lay to m charge any vanity in laying down this advice, let them attribute it to my ardent desire for the welfare of the school, and my dread of its entire ruin.

C.D. Osborn
H. Boarder

* I mean the better sort of tradesmen and others of a like stamp.

* Every person who has any regard for their sons, must think, that the more they are looked after, the better; That, therefore, which is here pointed out as a fault, is on the contrary, a very great advantage.

Added by B.G. Astley

No 181b

On Saturday August 1st the annual Grand Match between the TB and KS was played. It continued pretty even during the first innings, when the KS were only a mere trifle in advance – But the dinner being between their second innings and our own – the juice of the grape told against some of the TBs and they were defeated. The names of the players were –

TB
C.D. Osborn
Bromley
Whittaker
Vardon
Vialls
Smith Junr
Merewether
Onslow
Boyce
Lee*
Turner*

KS
Taunton
Ellison
Gray
Balston
Drew
Smith
Barnes
Howard
Fielde
Andrews
Page

Those marked * are homeboarders.

It also must be observed that the TB were deprived of some of the best players on their side viz

Ld March
B.G. Astley
McKenzie
Burdett
Ld J Lennox

By the Scarlet Fever and other accidents unforeseen and unexpected.

C.D. Osborn
Head Boarder

No 181

On Wednesday the 22d (Friday being the day preceeding a saints day) the annual match was played between the Town Boys who had not played in the Grand Match the preceeding year and the Lamprobatics in which the former were beaten in one innings. The following is a list of the players.

TB
C.D. Osborn
B.G. Astley
McKenzie
Mereweather
Burdett
Vialls
Smith Junr
Somerset
Onslow
Boyce
Richards Junr

KS
Drew
Balston
Fielde
Barnes
Dickenson
Butler Senr
Andrews
Ellison
Tritton Junr
Robinson
Barnes Junr

There not being sufficient time on Wednesday it was finished the following day when two of the TB were absent C.D. Osborn and McKenzie

C.D. Osborn
H Boarder

No 180

The names at the fields and in Dean’s Yard at ½ past seven at the former place and ¼ past eight in the latter which Williamson had abolished last year were this year reinstituted on account of the dinner at Putney on the occasion of the intended race (mentioned (168) and given at length in the Water ledger) last year.

C.D. Osborn H Boarder

No 179

Williamson having proposed as a subject for an English Prize poem a translation of the chorus in the Hecuba several fellows tried for it and the best exercise being declared by Williamson to be that shown up by a Townboy, it was of course expected that he would have the prize, but in the interval the Townboy having got into some row Williamson refused to give him the prize though it was understood to be unconditional. He at the same time gave prizes for the 2nd and 3rd best translation both done by King’s Scholars. This is recorded here as a lasting monument of Williamson’s good faith and as an encouragement to Townboys in future to exert themselves. I may as well also mention that *Bishop Burton left a sum of money to buy an annual prize for Townboys but which prize has never been given, Mr Williamson perhaps finding the funds of the school in the low state to which he by his bad management has reduced it insufficient for himself and friends.

C. Bewicke Head Boarder

* This ought to be Francis Burton Esq who left £5 per anum for the purpose before mentioned.

Added by C. Bewicke Head Boarder

The Townboy alluded to was Bewicke himself, his modesty probably having prevented his mentioning the circumstance.

Added by C.D. Osborn HB

No 170

On account of the death of his royal highness the Duke of Gloucester which took place on Sunday evening Dec 30th 1834, it was expected (as is usual on such occasions) that the College Play would be stopped, and orders to that effect were issued by the Dean and notice given of it by Williamson in the afternoon school of the following day (Monday) who at the same time told Vernon (the Captain) that he might take any means in his power of getting leave from the King to have it acted as usual.  Vernon accordingly found out that Sir Herbert Taylor was the proper person to communicated with his Majesty on the subject.  Upon this White an old Westminster residing in College St. who had been on the most intimate terms of friendship with many of the Westminsters and to whom he had always behaved in the most honourable, gentlemanly and generous* manner, but who had become obnoxious to the masters by betting with the Westminsters, and having as was falsely asserted by them broken his word with Smedley and Williamson) knowing Sir H. Taylor, offered his assistance to the Seniors, went to Sir H. T. and having an interview with the King obtained his sanction for the play being acted, and gave out his gracious intention of patronizing Westminster by coming to the play on the 3rd night.  Accordingly on the following Wednesday the Eunuchus was acted – when the 6th having dined together in Grants, took their placed in the pit and White likewise happened to seat himself among them.  The first act having passed off, Williamson requested White to withdraw asserting that after his recent conduct he did not consider him a fit person to associate with his boys, adding that he should have recourse to force it White did not absent himself.  Upon this White withdrew; and the sixth incensed at the conduct of Williamson withdrew likewise with the exception of March* who from some cause or other did not come.  Williamson taking it as it was intended as a direct insult to himself gave the sixth to understand through the ushers, that unless he received an apology before 8 o clock the next morning the consequences would be very severe.  The Sixth however resolutely resolved to make no apology and abide by the consequences and a heavy imposition was the result.

*and Williamson then gave out that any one seen associating with White would be severely punished.

H. Boarder
Robt. Hy Hurst
Princeps Oppidanus

*Conf. No. 156 R.H. Hurst

*Though ill the winter of 1834 White had behaved to the Westminsters in a very gentlemanly manner, yet on account of his inability to discharge a quantity of bets with them amount to considerably more than £200, he made several false appointments, and acted altogether in a manner totally unworthy of a gentleman, and a man of honour.  It was subsequently disclosed that he had told several falsehoods, professing to have an independent property of £800 per annum and other circumstances wch have since been disclosed to be totally false and unfounded.  It is therefore but natural to suppose that he had betted (not possessing a farthing) with the hope of becoming the creditors of several Westminsters but in consequence of losing them he had recourse to falsehood and trickery of every description.

Added by C.D. Osborn
H Boarder

*The Revd H. Hodgson (with whom March boards) called him by name, and putting his hand on this arm stopped him.  It is therefore obvious that, he was prevented doing what the rest of the 6th and 2 of the upper Shell did (one being a peers’ son sitting there by right Ld Somerton) and the other C.D. Osborn. Being placed there by the civility of the K. Scholars, the writer, therefore of the description of the play (RH Hurst) must have had some private reason for omitting this explanation, which he must have been aware of.

Added by C.D. Osborn

This order was soon reversed and Williamson sent to White to say that he should be most happy to see him at the play on the second night, thereby openly taking off all restriction when he found it impossible to enforce it.

Added Dec 12th R.H. Hurst Prin Opp.

No 159*

Another sailing match took place, subsequently to those already mentioned – the following were the boats engaged in the contest.

General Hurst Osborn
Colonel Preston Astley
Commodore Milman Lowther Sen.
Captain Bewicke Somerton
Admiral Warren Vialls

The Boats after a beautifully contested race (the two first boats, having been side by side the whole way down to Roberts’) came in, in the following order. 1 General – 2 Colonel 3 Commodore 4th Captain 5th Admiral. This was the last race of the season of that description though it is hoped that they may be resumed every year.

Added by
C. D. Osborn
HB

No 32*

I have decided to post this entry, No 32*, after No 44 which appears to be its rightful place – ECW 08/03/2016

The papers from which this number is copied having for some time lain loose in this book I have thought it right to copy them into it for the benefit of posterity.  As no exact date is applied to them the list of the Sixth has been my guide as to the place for their insertion, the names of some who are mentioned in them, being in the list mentioned.

C. Osborn Head Boarder

Copy

About the middle of October 1821 a proceeding was set on foot, which as it maybe of importance hereafter it has been thought fit to transcribe.  It had been the immemorial privilege of the Sixth Form of West. to conduct among themselves, and determine, by their own voice, alone (and which power was acknowledged by Dr Page the late Head Master) (vide No. 7) everything relating to fagging.  To the astonishment of the whole body Mr Knox (the Usher of Mrs Du Brieux) gave out regulations relating to shoe blacking, cleaning candlesticks, knives etc none of which (as his orders [professed] to imply) were after Michaelmas day, to be done by the fags.  Upon this being communicated to the Sixth Form it was settled that the Prin Op should mention to Dr Goodenough their wish that some security should be given them that he should proceed no farther in such alterations.  Before this communication was made to him he told part of the Sixth to come to his house to hear something for their benefit, on their going thither he entered at full length upon the business and asked them their opinion on the point and on their disinclination being made known to him, he paid no attention to it whatsoever.  Great dissatisfaction was felt through the school but no further proceedings were instituted till the following Monday when a Committee was appointed to consider the case consisting of the following members – Mansel [P. Op] Morgan Mrs Stelfoxes Phillpotts, Wood Mrs Bests Wyld, Maurice Mrs Grants Shell Monk, Paget, Barton, Tryon, Dowdeswell jr Ridley.

It was then submitted to them that Mr Knox had forbidden the use of Blacking Brushes, Jack baskets or even potatoes the night before. Upon this it was resolved that a remonstrance signed by all the Upper School should be given to Dr Goodenough that if he paid no attention to their wish that no Sixth Fellow should take leave of him, on leaving, that no fellow should touch his hat to him, the other Masters or particularly Knox.  The remonstrance afore mentioned was ordered to be prepared which was to the following effect –

We the undersigned protest against the alterations which Dr Goodenough is making, against the system of fagging, merely on the ground of having no security against further innovation and we are of opinion that the Princeps Oppidanus, should request Dr Goodenough to give his promise to that effect —  On Tuesday these papers were brought into School, signed, but just before they were to be given up – two or three of the sixth withdrawing their names, the whole sixth! followed their example – it was too much odium to throw upon the shell alone and therefore the remonstrance was dropped, previous to this however, Mr Knox called in Mansel and told him, that he must be cautious how he acted in this affair, that he was watched, and that he (Mr Knox) was convinced that Mansel intended to oppose both Masters and Ushers, and that he should recommend Dr Goodenough expel him on the spot. But after some time, said that he would not mention it to Dr G – if Mansel would promise not to say, that he (Mr Knox) had threatened him, which was accordingly promised, the conversation (tho’ not with whom) being mentioned, it was determined that Mansel could proceed no farther with safety – things were in this situation when the lists were deprived of the names of the 6th. It was then thought right to ask Dr G – to allow the head of the Boarding houses to wait on him, at 12 o’clock – which he readily assented to, they first represented to him that the school were desirous for a promise to be made , and  that he would endeavour no further to alter the rules of fagging, in any way whatever – to wh[ich] he answered, that he could not fetter himself in anyway whatever, that he had no intention however remote, of doing so, but that still he left himself the discretion, if he found it necessary to use it.  That with respect to Mr Knox in his Boarding House, he could give no redress.  That if Mr Knox had used improper language, it would afford us an excellent opportunity of exhibiting an example of forbearance. At this time a report was spread by some fellows at Mrs Du Brieux’s that Mr Knox had ordered the maids to tell him whenever they saw anything boiling at the Kitchen Fire – Previously to this Mr Knox had told Mansel that now it would be a double crime in him (Mansel) as Prin Op if he interfered in any of the rules of the house. This naturally acted as a preventative to Mansels’ making any more objections, at this stage of the business it was determined that Dr Goodenough should be hissed, upon entering the school early in the morning, but an agreement being made overnight that Mansel should not but that Morgan 2dTB should represent first to Dr G – the pitch to which the feelings of the fellows were roused, this was accordingly done, Mansel having been requested, not to proceed any farther and an appointment made for 12 o’clock it was then agreed that all plans agreed on before- should be suspended till then. Upon Morgan’s going to Dr G he repeated his former communication merely adding that if any boy at Mrs Du Brieux’s had a complaint to make, he would hear it (which consent, under existing circumstances, was considered nearly equivalent to a refusal) – Telling Morgan at the same time, that Mansel had wisely withdrawn himself, and that he placed himself in a very responsible situation, this threat, in terrorem, caused Morgan to withdraw himself entirely and thus the succeeding part of the affair was managed by the Shell, to whom the greatest thanks is due for coming forwards readily on an occasion of so much importance, the answer of Dr Gs having thrown no light upon the subject it was resolved that he should be hissed  – it was accordingly done.  The whole school being drawn up in a semi-circle to receive him, on his entrance he was received with some very warm hissing, upon his commanding them to desist the hissing was still more vigorously repeated, at length exasperated he ordered some fellows by name to sit down in their places which being complied with, the rest followed.  After prayers the hissing was renewed, he more indignant ordered the monitor to stand at the door and not to let any one out and at the same time told every one who had a complaint to make to come out.  No one came out and thus the affair was dropped. About ½ past 5 the same evening Mr Knox requested the Sixth to wait on him which they did and he represented to them that he had no intention of doing away, with any part of fagging and desired Mansel to state, what innovations, Mr Knox had been making – an explanation then took place and after some abusive language from Mr Knox to Mansel, Morgan (who with the assistance of 3 others had acted as judge) expressed his opinion that Mr Knox had completely cleared himself of all the charges and that Mansel had perverted whatever Dr. G said into the most glaring colours possible.  Phillpotts immediately got up and said “Yes Sir, and I can prove it” Mr Knox then shook hands with them and wished them “Good night” and immediately afterwards Morgan sent the following letter to Mansel –

“Mansel,

Upon mature consideration, I think it necessary to retract as false, and unfounded that which I said in Mr Knox’s apartment this evening.  Concerning your having perverted what Dr. Goodenough said in his house, to us, as I have very good reason for so going – I likewise request you will show this to Mr Knox and request him, not to mention anything about it to Dr. Goodenough as I certainly shall not substantiate it if by chance I should be called upon to do so.  I trust you will ever find my ready, when I have done an injury or said anything improper, to make ample reparation if you consider necessary let me have one.

Yours,

Morgan

(A copy agreably to his request, this letter was shown to Mr Knox the next morning, Dr G. told the heads of house to come to him, at their coming, he asked Morgan, if the was not satisfied, that Mr Knox had cleared himself about the rules, innovations &c to which he answered, “yes perfectly Sir” sentence of expulsion from office was then passed upon Mansel.  A charge was them immediately made against Morgan (44) in his own vindication by Mansel.  Mr Knox submitted his conduct to the investigation of the Shell against the wishes of Masters, Ushers &c. but the Sixth declined it, Mr Knox as a last response sent an official letter to Dr Goodenough and by the advice of the Dean it was determined that Mr Knox’s request should be agreed to, that he, Mr Knox, would not remain, if Mansel was not removed during the week other circumstances rendering it impossible for Mansel to go to any other house, and therefore his being about to leave Dr Goodenough, to prevent his leaving with any reflection on his character, restored him to his former station and placed him in the exercise of the official acts belong to it.

This is all that is contained in the manuscript alluded to.  Whether any other is missing, it is impossible to say.  No names is affixed to it and in some places it is almost impossible to decipher it.

Added by C.D. Osborn H Boarder