No 30

Scott handed a fellow the other day for his imprudence to a master & on caning him in the Library expressed a wish (in my absence) that the Q.S.S. would look after the discipline of the Townboys a little better. On the strength of this O’Brien, head monitor, sent for the fellow who had been tanned & told him that if it happened again he should tan him up school. This I could not stand. So, as they seemed determined to stick to what they said, we went to Scott & laid the case before him. He seemed to think it very trivial & said his words had been somewhat misunderstood. That a monitor had a perfect right to tan a town boy, for break of discipline, indecency, or lying, but always with the full consent of the head town boy. Phillimore (the captain) waged that if VIth T.B.s might tan, seconds could also, since they ranked about town boys, but Scott said that his meaning was that there should always be more than one boy in authority among the town boys, adding that if there were as many T.Bs as Q.Ss in the VIth he should limit power to the first 4 town boys. So we altogether came off victorious, since no Q.S. may tan without the head town boy’s leave, & the precaution concerning the seniors & VIth T.B. is put to rest forever.

 E.R. Dowdeswell

   Prin. Opp.

No 27

Two days after the above had happened Bandinel a VIth T.B. told me his gold watch was gone from his cupboard in Chiswick. We consulted together & determined to examine everyone’s drawers, which we did on the following morning, but found nothing. The same day I was informed that a fellow named Bray had lost 2/6 from his drawers. Suspicion again pointed to T– who had been seen by one of the maids with a gold watch, which evidently was not his own. Worsley too (a shell T.B.) had his suspicions about him stealing the half crown. He gave his reasons, which are too lengthy for insertion. I sent for T– & heard the whole case & at length after telling innumerable lies he said he wished to speak to Marshall. We of course thought he was going to confess his crime, & so were very glad, thinking our business in the matter would end here – but not so. Instead of confessing he seems to have told Marshall that we were unjustly making him answer to charges of which he was innocent. Marshall sent for me & I gave him the true account, reading off the evidence which I had taken down on paper. The consequence was that he had T– in with him for a couple of hours, at the end of which he had confessed to both stealing the money & the watch. After progress we were surprised to hear that Marshall had sent for T–‘s hat and that he had gone down to the cloisters. Of course we thought he had gone to the Dean but it turned out the next morning that he had hidden the watch in a hole in Fighting “Green”. He was expelled, or rather taken away privately, & now I think we may be quite sure we have no more prigs. So much for T–. But we had not finished the matter. Marshall called the first four of us into his room the next day & instead of thanking us for doing out best to clear up this mystery, began by telling us that looking into the fellows by telling us that looking into the fellows drawer was illegal, & that we ought to have brought the case to him sooner. Now we thought this very hard for without us the thief would never have been found out, & as for its being illegal to search the drawers, it was done with the consent of everyone, as a means to clear them of all suspicion. I hope to God such a case may never happen again in the house, but if it does, I strongly advise the head of the house to have nothing to do with any investigations whatsoever, but leave Marshall to find out for himself.

E.R. Dowdeswell

   Prin. Opp.

No 26

Hardly a week had elapsed after the last row when Scott asked me to inquire among the fellows, about a thermometer of his which he had lost from its place by his desk up school. Now it happened that a boy named T had been seen with a thermometer the night before the loss of Scott’s was perceived. I of course turned to him first, & asked where his thermometer was.  He said that he had broken the bulb to get the mercury. I told him to bring me the wooden part, which he declared he had lost, but afterwards produced. There was only one other in the house, so I took them both up school & tried them in the place where Schott’s had been. One only fitted. That was T–‘s. I then asked him where he had got it from. He said that he had brought it from home, that his father had bought it 2.day!! & given him one. This was a palpable lie, so I took the thermometer to Scott, who immediately identified it. T– was sent for & after telling several lies at last confessed to have taken it down to look & to have been afraid of putting it back, for fear any should see him. Scott flogged him in the library, merely for telling lies, judging, & I think fairly, that he intended to put it back, only had not the moral courage. This is another instance of the gentlemanly spirit which exists at Westminster at the present day.

E.R. Dowdeswell

   Prin. Opp.

No 25

For more than a year past, fellows in this house have from time to time been losing money, from their drawers, purses, etc. Just this time last year there was one of these rows shown up to Marshall. Everything was done to find out the culprit, but in vain. Of course, someone was suspected and when he went into college we congratulated ourselves on having got rid of the thief. We were however mistaken & ever since then money has been going in a most serious way, so much so that I became almost certain that is was none of our fellows in this house, but either some of the next house, who could have got in at the windows, or some of the servants. At length, about three weeks ago, one of the fellows losing continually small pieces of money from his purse determined to mark it. This he did. The bait was taken. On it being missed, I sent for everyone’s keys to fit his drawer, none however fitted, so I sent for everyone into Chiswick & made them produce all their money. At length* William’s fag, B. was called in & to our surprise produced the marked sixpence, evidently without the least suspicion. This I did not take as proof positive, but cross-examined him severely. The course of which he declared, upon his honour, that Sutcliffe had given it him in change & carefully enunciated what he had spent, & on what. I had spoken to “Mother Crowther” about the maids, and my suspicion of the maids, and about one in particular. She (Mrs. C) told this maid, who, naturally, came to me saying that I had calumniated her, & was very much mistaken. I of course begged her pardon, & was in fact very sorry for suspecting her, but was driven to circumstances that I could not help myself. I then went in to Marshall, & told him all I knew of the case. He sent for B, who confessed to him to have taken money from William’s drawer 4 separate times & twice from another fellow’s. Marshall of course went to Scott, who pronounced the sentence to be expulsion. Now the thief’s brother was very much liked in the house, & his father and his mother were both ill. We therefore thought the sentence rather severe. We racked our brains to think of something that would punish as effectively without hurting the feelings of his parents & friends. We accordingly (I think at the wish of the whole house) went to Scott to beg him to reconsider the sentence & proposed to him a medium to flog him, & then only rusticate him for a year. But to our surprise Scott turned to the other extreme & after flogging him only rusticated him to the second of the half (3 weeks). So we shall have the young blackguard back here next half & we half repent ever having gone up to Scott about him. So ended this particular row & again we congratulated ourselves that we were free from this horrible mystery which had thrown a gloom over the house so long.

*Mr Williams it was who had lost the money. I call the thief B. not wishing to mention names

E.R. Dowdeswell

   Prin. Opp.

No 23

Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, came of age on Sunday the 9th of Nov., but owing to it being on a Sunday it was kept all over the Kingdom (except Westminster) on Monday. That is we did not keep it properly. It being Monday we of course expected leave till 10. This we did not get, so I went with Phillimore (captain) to Scott after breakfast to demand an early play: he would not hear of it, but said he would look at the “Papers” & see if it was to be kept here. We were not content, & went to him a second time, armed with the “Times” which gave notice that all the abbey and two government offices were to suspend business for the day in honour of the Prince’s birthday. He was of course obliged to yield but only gave a half holiday & that with very bad grace. It was very shabby of him, for it is not every year that a Prince of Wales comes of age. In fact it is more than 80 since George 4th arrived at the age of manhood. However, we will hope that when the next Prince of Wales comes of age, the majority may be kept with more loyalty at Westminster & that the School (being a Regia Schola) may be permitted to rejoice, in a sensible way, at any blessing which befalls the Royal Family.

E.R. Dowdeswell

   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 579

This last half year we have decided on establishing here “Athletic Sports” so accordingly a committee was formed to take this into consideration consisting of Gumbleton (Capt), J. L. Swale (Prin. Opp.)(which members of the school (named Capt & Prin Opp) always to be considered members), A J. Mackey T.B, H.B Maurice Q.S, A.P. Dawson Q.S, W. Winter T.B, B.N. Thomas, T.B. Barker QS having rejected to this election on the ground of Forster T.B having canvassed for them. The 5 selected members conferred and after rather a stormy meeting, were electively a […] majority than before. Jealousy had no a doubt a part deal to do with Barker’s rejection, he thinking he ought to have been elected as Q.S. captain of the eleven.

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 567

When we came back this half we found that in consequence of the meeting of Old Ws the Boarding* Houses had been painted. The Library has been thoroughly done up the back cases etc. polished, the ceiling whitewashed & new floorcloth laid down. The racket-court has been plastered & the old W.C. by the schoolsteps has been removed and new ones made at the top of the steps. A skylight has been made in the passage opposite the Library door. In College the cubicles have bad red curtains put to them instead of doors & they have new bedsheets in the place of the old wooden ones. It is to be hoped that these improvements will increase the number of the school. I forgot to mention that there have been four new boxes set up in College.

*N.B. There are only two boarding houses now Marshall’s (Grants) and James (Rigauds). Scott’s at the entrance of Gt Deans Yard has been closed some time now.

P. Southby Prin. Opp.

No 559

At the beginning of this half (after hours) I received a note from Eton asking us to row them. Chapman and I went to Scott for permission and were refused on the grounds that Williamson and Liddell both has said that it disorganised the school. We waited some time and today (Fri 29th) Salwey and I went again and after arguing the matter for nearly an hour met most of his arguments and he is now considering the matter. There is every hope we shall get the race soon.

J. C. Hawkshaw

Prin. Opp.