No. 186

This morning, Monday 21st July /73., Otter (Captain) told me that there was a matter which must be decided by the Council of M & accordingly Phillimore, Rodocanachi & myself went into College where the meeting was held. It appeared that on Saturday a QS had left his gown on Grant’s steps & it was taken by the servant till after “Abbey” when he gave it to a T.B, named Lefroy, to return to it’s owner. Lefroy, as he crossed the yard, put on the gown & sat on School steps with the gown still on, waiting for the Q.S. to whom it belonged. Just then one of the Q.S. Monitors came out of College (named Holthouse) & saw Lefroy wearing the gown, he immediately told him to take it off & Lefroy, of course, did so. These were the facts of the case & on this ground Holthouse & the other Q.S. said that Lefroy ought to be tanned. I, however, said that though Lefroy had done wrong in putting on the gown, still he ought not to be tanned for it, as it was such a trivial matter, & there was no rule that a TB should be tanned for wearing a gown, although it was an understood thing that a TB should never put one on; as the other two T.B monitors agreed with me & voted against the tanning the Q.Ss were unable to carry out their intention (Vide Entry no. 182 see 8). This did not satisfy them however, so Holthouse showed up to Scott with a view, I suppose, of getting his consent to the tanning. Scott did not view the matter in the same light as the Q.Ss but he spoke to me about it & said I had acted perfectly right in not giving consent to the tanning, & that he should have done the same has he been in my place, but at the same time that, as the Q.S.s has imagined themselves insulted, Lefroy must apologise to Otter as being the chief representative of the Q.Ss. This I think a satisfactory way of settling the matter, but the hostile spirit shown by the Q.Ss has excited no little ill feeling amongst the T.Bs & it is much to be regretted that the Q.Ss took up the affair so hotly, for had Holthouse asked for an apology at first, without making an absurd fuss about tanning, the matter would have been settled quietly. This officious Monitor also spoke to me today about fellows in the second II wearing white shags up fields, but as this has always been the custom, I took no notice of it, beyond telling Otter that for the last 3 years, at least, all T.Bs & Q.Ss in the Second II had always been permitted to wear shags.

H. J. Roberts

Prin Op.

No. 182

After numerous “meetings of masters” Scott has issued the following Rules for Discipline”

  1. The only Boys entrusted with authority for general school purposes shall be the Captain, Three Monitors & Three Town Boy Monitors, who shall form a council to take cognizance of offences against morality & the discipline of the School.
  2. Seniors & Town Boys in the Sixth Form, provided they be over 16 years of age, shall hold a subordinate authority, & shall report offences to the council or Head Boy, but shall not be authorised themselves to inflict corporal punishment.
  3. The Town Boy Monitors shall be appointed from time to time by the Head Master in school, being always chosen from Boys in the VIth Form & as far as possible in different houses.
  4. The Head Boy of each Boarding House & of the Home Boarders, on the nomination of the House Master, shall receive authority to deal with offences arising within the House.
  5. All Boys invested with authority shall sign their names in the Head-Master’s Book.
  6. No authority can be delegated from one boy to another under any circumstances, but in the absence of any regularly appointed authority, the Head Boy present is bound to maintain order & discipline, & to report grave offences to the Captain or Head Boy.
  7. All such offences shall be submitted to the council of Monitors of which the Captain shall be President. & this council shall deliberate in private, no others being present except the accused & witnesses if required.
  8. All questions shall be decided by a majority of the council, nor shall any corporal punishment be used without the consent of a majority of the whole Body, one at least of such majority being a Town Boy.
  9. In the case of offences arising within College or a Boarding House no punishment shall be inflicted without a court of all Boys who may be invested in authority in those places respectively, previously holden to decide upon the case.
  10. No Boy shall be judge in his own cause, nor himself inflict corporal punishment where the offence is personal against himself.
  11. No Town Boy shall be sent for into College, nor Queen’s Scholar out of College for purposes of discipline.
  12. No corporal punishment shall be used without clear proof of the guilt of the offender, nor upon such grounds as that an offence must have been committed by one or more of a certain number; for in any case, except for grave moral offences; such as falsehood, dishonesty, impurity, profanity, bulling, resorting to public houses or other improper places, drinking, contumacious defiance of authority, or wilful breach of rules after warning given.
  13. No instrument of punishment shall be used other than a cane or light stick – not shall more than six cuts be given in any instance.
  14. In every case the offender shall, if he claim it, be allowed the option before being punished in any way of having the matter laid by the Captain or Head Boy before the Head Master or in College or House questions before the Master in charge: & the Master shall then deal
  15. The right to fag is vested in such Boys of the VIth Form & Shell as may be above 16 years of age. Boys in the Upper Vth may not fag, nor are they liable to be fagged. All below the Upper Vth are liable to be fagged. No boy in the Eleven at Cricket has any right to fag on that account, unless to pick up balls for him on the ground, up fields.

H.J. Roberts

No. 176

*This rule or at least a similar one had been made in 1862 (vide Entry No. 30) but it had been broken once or twice since.

H.J. Roberts

In consequence of a T.B having been tanned in College without the consent of the head T.B. Scott has given the following rule “That the Captain & Monitors have a general authority to deal with moral offences which may fall under their cognizance but that no T.B shall be sent for into College or be punished by a Q.S without the consent of the Head T.B or Head of the House. The following were the circumstances. On the night of the first Play, a 3rd election  Q.S named Randall observed one of the T.Bs who did not seem to be doing his share of clapping, & because he (Randall) had been tanned when a T.B for no clapping at the Play, he showed up the T.B (Barber H.B Rigauds) to the godkeepers after the Play was over, next day Stuart Q.S one of the godkeepers sent for Barber & tanned him in College without asking leave of either Bramwell or me. As soon as I heard of it I went to Bramwell & asked if he had given permission for the tanning to take place, he said that he had heard nothing about it till it was over, so I asked him to go to Scott & demand an apology from the Q.Ss but he said he would rather that I went; accordingly at 5 ½ on Friday I went to Scott’s & told him the whole matter saying that all the T.Bs were determined to have an apology & that if one was not given no T.B would clap on the second night; Scott agreed with me that an apology was due & said he would speak to Rawson (Captain) Q.S about it The next morning Rawson spoke to me about it & said he was quite ready to apologise & wished that the matter should not got to Scott, he also said that he had been opposed to the tanning himself but that all the other Seniors were for it, however I told him that as Scott already knew about we had better leave it in his (Scott’s) hands. Accordingly at 10 A.M Scott sent for Rawson & myself to his house where Rawson apologised in the name of the Q.Ss for having tanned barber without asking leave of the head T.B & I in the name of the T.Bs expressed myself satisfied; Scott then dismissed us after thanking us for having settled the matter amicably, for had it got into the papers in might have created a row like the “Winchester funding affair” which had just taken place.

H.J. Roberts.

No. 135

In March another of those unpleasant rows took place which have from time to time made their appearance in the chronicle. Several articles had been missing in this house (Grant’s) from October last, when about the time of the Athletic Sports a boy named Lefroy had lost a little mechanical engine under circumstances which left no doubt that it had been stolen. All available means were tried to discover the culprit but without any result, and several other depredations were committed between that time and the play. Of course, as is always the case in these matters, suspicion attached to one boy but the event has proved that such ideas were entirely unfounded, and it needs very little if a boy be unpopular, as was to a slight extent the case with this fellow, to point the finger of suspicion at him. Well, as Jones had made a row about these losses at Christmas it was confidently expected that we had seen the last of them for nobody thought the thief would be so audacious as to persist in such a course when the probability of detection was so much greater. However soon after we returned for the present half, a pair of skates very mysteriously disappeared from Kitchin’s drawers, & were mysteriously put back when a noise had been made about their abstraction during a few days after the occurrence. In this matter also we were quite powerless, but a few days after one of the smaller boys had 10L stolen from one of his drawers where he had foolishly left it exposed to the gaze of any who from curiosity or other motive might be prowling about. As all the servants were above suspicion, the only feasible plan for detecting the culprit was tried viz:- to compel every boy return an account of his money affairs and to compare such account with any other means of ascertaining their correctness. The only account which presented any occasion for further inquiry was that of a boy named D*, a general favourite in the house, and as he was unable to explain satisfactorily the discrepancies in his return further inquiries were instituted. He was then found to have taken other boys’ books & sold them to the four booksellers in Hollywell Street, and on this being proved his friends were requested to remove him from the school, which was accordingly done. A fortnight afterwards a little fellow who had only just come to the house came forward and confessed to the theft of the money, which of course complicated matters to a much greater extent, as it seemed doubtful whether D* ought not to have his sentence mitigated when he was shown to be innocent of the charge which though indirectly had nevertheless brought about his expulsion. However Scott, & I must say I think his opinion was correct, declined to readmit him to the house and school on the ground that, taking the books was quite an equivalent offence to stealing the money, and as he was 15 years of age he was quite capable of distinguishing between right and wrong to this extent. K* who had taken the money was flogged but owing to the exceptional circumstances in his case, his youth, a severe family bereavement that had lately bereaved him, his penitence & that his confession alone could have convicted him of the guilt, he was not required to leave. The issue of this sad matter was much complicated by the interference of the Seniors who while the matter was ‘sub judice’ came to the determination to tan the little wretch and they accordingly sent for him without asking my leave, but when this reached the ears of one of the masters he put an immediate stop to the proceeding and K* got off untanned, but of course this unwarrantable interference with T.B. business caused a little ill-feeling though I rejoice to say it has soon subsided. Thus ended one of the most vexatious and distressing rows that has occurred for a long time at Westminster.

Oswell Macleay

Prin. Opp.

No. 118

There had been for some time a discussion, concerning fagging, tanning and other matters connected with the discipline of the Seniors. The result of this discussion was that the following new rules were drawn up:-

Rules for Discipline.

  1. Authority to be committed to Seniors in College VIth Form Town boys, & Head-boy of Boarding Houses on the nomination of the House Master; but no boys under the age of 16 yrs. or below the VIth Form, to hold authority except for some special reason.
  2. Each Boy before he is invested with authority, shall sign a promise in a book kept by the Head Master, as follows: “I promise to observe the rules of the School, as recognised by the Masters to the best of my ability: and to do all in my power to secure their observance by others.”
  3. No authority can be delegated to any boy not invested with it by the Head Master; but as heretofore, in the absence of any regular authority the Head boy present is responsible and bound to keep order, and report offences to Head Boy of the House or the Head Town Boy.
  4. No severe punishment shall be used except for grave moral offences, such as falsehood, dishonesty, impurity, profanity, bullying, resorting to public houses or other improper places, drinking or smoking, contumacious defiance of authority, or breach of rules after warning given.
  5. Before any such punishment is inflicted, the case shall be brought before the whole body of those entrusted with authority (in College or) in the boarding houses & decided on by a majority of those present: who shall also be bound to see that no undue severity is used.
  6. No instrument of corporal punishment shall be used, other than a cane or a light stick.
  7. In any such case, if the offender demand it, he is to be allowed the option of having that whole matter reported by the Captain or Head Town Boy to the Head Master.

 

It is to be hoped that in the consequence of the promulgation of these rules, there will be no more disputes between master & heads of houses, about tanning &c, which have been so numerous in past times.

Oswell Macleay

Prin. Opp.

No 582

Last half year we had another of more tanning rows which do more to destroy the discipline of the school than anything else. It as usual began with Marshall’s absurd idea than the house and school finally can be ruled by kindness and brotherly love alone, without the use of corporal punishment. He attacked Dowdeswell & myself and demanded whether we had at any time tanned anyone. This was nothing against myself, but Dowdeswell was convicted of having tanned someone, and was shown up to Scott who stopped him; not however for tanning as an offence, but for breaking a rule of his against the remove using that power. Marshall not content, since he had found nothing against me, asked me like a pickpocket and said I “was ignorant of the broader principles of Christianity.” Scott said nothing against me however and the affair ended. I did not remain good friends with him* however, but he and S made it up in a way at the end of the halfyear. I commenced[?] the first head Townboy and head of this house, on Marshall’s leaving, & start tanning as a regular thing, always keeping in mind not to let it be a vehicle for bullying.

*Marshall

J. L. Swale

Prin. Opp.

No 569

Oct 1860               Ordered

1 That the right of fagging belongs only to Senior Townboys and Third Elections in the Sixth Form and Remove

2 That Third Elections as such have no right or power whatsoever

3 That no boy shall be punished by any Third Election Townboy below the Sixth Form, nor struck with any racket or similar instrument

4 That no Townboy shall be punished by any Queen’s Scholar except the Captain and Monitors; nor ever without the full knowledgement of the Head Townboy

5 That Minor Candidates remain for all purposes of discipline, under the authority of the Head Townboy until their Elections

6 That no boy above the Upper Fourth shall be required to fag on the T[…]’s Courts

* Rule 6 is now upended by Scott, & making up extended to the Under Vth. The reasons for this change will be seen on referencing to article 38 in the new Ledger. March/83

Added by E. R. Dowdeswell

Prin. Opp.

Barker a third election in the Upper Shell and in the Eleventh having a spite against Lockwood an Under Fourth fellow in the Eleven called him to pick up hoping to find some excuse for tanning him which being bent on he of course easily found & being supported by several seniors & third elections he took him up school & formally tanned him without the knowledge of any Sixth T.B. which as soon as we found out we these Sixth T.Bs* went to Scott & complained of this extraordinary conduct of the Q.Ss. Scott took it very coolly & did not seem inclined to do anything, on which we went to Marshall who took it up very warmly so that Scott was obliged to listen to us and on enquiring he found that the Q.Ss had both prevaricated and misrepresented the facts of the case to him and that Barker was decidedly wrong & to prevent such an open infringement of the rights of T.Bs for the future he gave us the above rules.

*Forster, Swale & myself

October 1860

P. Southby

Prin. Opp.

No 482

The consequence of my having been shown up for tanning a fellow (which he most justly deserved), Liddell told me that the only way a Head Townboy or Head of a House had of keeping order was by showing up to the Masters; I told him that it never had been the custom of Westminster to do so, and therefore I could not think of being the first to break through an old rule. He said however that he did not care about fellows being tanned for any blackguardly or beastly action-

JohnGray Pr. Opp.

No 477

The other day “Dickson”, the present Captain of the QS, took it into his head to go and annoy the first eleven game at Fields, and on the ball hitting him by chance, after he had been warned, he threw it away, at the same time stopping where he was before; wherefore one of the Eleven, Adams (in 5th Form), cut a ball at him; the next day he expressed attention of tanning Adams up school, which being told to me, I went and tried to convince him how entirely he was in the wrong, but as he would not listen to anything I said, I left him, telling him that if he dared hide Adams up School I should not let the matter drop: he did not do so, and thus ended the row- I must say that no Captain of Westminster was ever more cordially detested than he has been, since he was first made so—

John Gray

PrOpp.