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.

No 408

Another addition to the many grievances which arouse the indignation of all Westminsters has lately been made. On the Friday before Good Friday, a rumour was afloat that no leave out was to be given from Thursday till Easter Tuesday night, as has always been the custom. This, I am sorry to say turned out too true. Leave was given from Thursday night to Good Friday night, & again from Saturday to Sunday but we were required to come into school Easter Monday & Tuesday. When Liddell came up school some fellows hissed him without intending him to hear. But I suppose that his sense of having done us an injury caused him to be on the look out, and sharpened his ears, for he afterwards sent a polite message, intimating that the captain was to loose his election, & that I was to be expelled, if any more demonstrations of sulkiness was made. I of course could do nothing but laugh at this empty threat, for I can hardly suppose that he could think I shd endeavour to impress on the fellows, that ‘‘obedience to your master is your first duty’’ & ‘‘that whatever your masters do is all for the best’’ with such like moral effusions, to save myself from an expulsion in which for such a thing I shd rather glory. Another thing in which I thing Liddell behaved badly is this. He did not come forward publicly & declare that the Easter Holidays were stopped, & I give his reasons for so doing, but as it were, let the affair be bruited about, & indeed I can hardly tell how it was made known to the school. One feels, I think, that when a Head Master declaims to speak openly about a thing like that, that he must be conscious that he has rather overstepped his proper bounds, or that he is consulting his own interests instead of those of the school, which, I fear, is how a course of proceeding wh our present master seems resolved to adopt. It is reported that we are to have an extra wk at Whitsuntide, or Bartholomew tide, but I really think that we have a right to a voice in a matter wh concerns us chiefly, & I do not see why we are to go home, & come back, at the call of a ‘‘fashionable’’ master, in defiance of the rules & customs. Besides most of us if not all wd greatly prefer a break in a long uninteresting term, to an abbreviation of our best term; & next, supposing he does give us an extra wk at either of the above named vacations as far as I can learn, we have already become entitled to one, wh was obtained at the end of the Xmas half/50. I believe that, in extenuation of this abolition of the Easter holiday, it was brought forward by the masters, that many parents complained that they were so bothered by their sons to allow them to come home at Easter, as all the others did so, that it was distressing to them to refuse them, though they did not wish to have them home. However, I suppose this was but a lame excuse, got up for the occasion, for I think that out of every ten parents, nine would wish the Easter holidays to be continued. I may however be wrong, but I leave my readers to judge.

J.M. Murray

Princeps Oppidanus

No 399

At the end of last half (Xmas ’50) a very unpleasant melée took place between the T.B.s and QS.  As it had for a long time been the custom to tan the T.Bs, as they ran up to the gods on the play nights, I spoke to the captain (Blagden) about it some time before the play, and he promised me it should be discontinued.  When however the T.Bs went to try the gods, several were licked, and when I spoke to Blagden he again assured me it was contrary to his orders, and that he wd tan those QSS who had touched the TBs I was quite satisfied with this , and on the first play night all went off very quietly – On the second play night several TBs were standing round the College doors waiting to be admitted, and I went to speak to some of them, when to my great surprise I met a QS running after some fellows, who had managed to screw themselves into the doorway, with a knotted rope I stopped him and told him that the Captain had promised me there shd be no tanning, but he said he knew what had been told him, and refused to tell me what that was.  Upon this I went away, and fetched all the sixth fellows, and steward who was in the Upper Shell, and we agreed to stop the tanning, if any were intended.

We did not however say anything, but kept ourselves in the background, to be ready for any emergency – In the meantime I had to speak to one of the seniors, but failed and soon after it struck six.  The T.Bs then began to go up, and we saw the two QSS who kept the first bar, make them stoop down and go under the bar instead of through it, and repeatedly strike them – We then thought fit to interfere, and a rush was made wch ended in the two QSS getting bowled over, and the whole bar with its appendages coming down.* Some of us then ran all the way up to the gods, and saw the smaller TBs safely up – All the sixth fellows then went to dress but on presenting ourselves at the first bar we found that the Captain had given orders that none shd be admitted.  I insisted on being allowed to speak to Blagden, and at last managed to gain access to him, but he refused to listen to me, saying we had all behaved in a blackguard manner, and that he shd show the whole thing up to Weare the next morning.  I then said I wd have all the TBs down, but some of the sixth TBs asked me to wait ten minutes while one of them spoke to another of the seniors to try and arrange it amicably.  Before that time had expired, Liddell came in and what with the noise of the band and the clapping, and the crush of people, it was impossible to get the “gods” down.

Next morning Weare sent for me, and the Captain, and two monitors, and in a stern voice asked what complaint I had to make; I said I did not come to him to complain of anything, but that he had sent for me.  He then cross-examined me upon the events of the previous night, taking down all I said on paper and abusing me the whole time.  He then sent me out of his house and told me to send in another sixth T.B.  I went straight to Liddells, and showed up the whole thing and said I thought Mr W. was not doing the T.B’s justice, and he told me to send Mr W. to him.  I then went back to Weare’s house and he told me he thought fit on acct of my very injudicious conduct to prohibit me from going to the third play – I angered him by telling him that it hadn’t been my intention either to go myself or let any T.B go and finally exasperated him, when, upon his declaring he wd report me to the Head Master I told him I had just been and showed the whole affair up.  The two bar holders  were then had in and severely punished and the whole of us dismissed from the august presence of Mr Weare.  In the afternoon, L and Whitaker and myself sent to Mr W and when he made me a kind of apology and acknowledged he had no right over the TBs.

He behaved I think very unhandsomely to say the least of it, for he abused me before the QSS, and made it up when they were not present.  The next morning great was the silence that prevailed along the sixth side of the school, nobody conversing above a whisper, and as we were going down school Blagden told me he wished to speak to me.  He said he was extremely sorry it had ever occurred, and that he had thought it best to show it up to Weare, for fear either of us, being each prejudiced in favour of our own party, shd not do one another justice, and finished with ‘hoping to see us at all at the play, and offering his hand, wch I of course took and so the affair was finished.  Afterwards Liddell had Austen and myself with the Capt and monitors to his house and said he was sorry anything had happened to disturb the general harmony, and when he had sent the QSS away he told me he thought I had been rather hasty and that I ought to have gone to Weare at once instead of getting up a row.  Liddell of course spoke like a gentleman, but Weare quite the contrary, and I am not surprised at the dread of him and dislike wch all the QSS exhibit, and wch is not less felt by those unlucky fellows who are in the under school.

In the evening, we all went to the Play and parted in friendship with all the QSS.  I think this has done the TBs good, as it will show we are resolved to make a stand against the supremacy of the QSS and my thanks are due to * all the sixth and upper shell who so willingly backed me on this occasion.  I may perhaps have been too hasty, yet I do not see what else I cd have done, and I think that all T.Bs who read this acct will agree with me.

Jan 4 / 51

J. Murray Murray
Princeps Oppidanus

* I have since heard that the QSS have always boasted that no TBs have ever invaded college, and in fact still do so.  Let this contradict them –

*The following is a list:

6th

Murray
Whitaker
Milman
Berens
Waterfield
Henty

Up. Sh.

F. Steward