There always has been ditch leaping as usual on the 1st of March. But there was not this year. It fell on a Saturday.
On the 17th of March 1840, the 1st falling on a Sunday, the annual custom of Ditch-leaping was observed by a large muster of fellows.
M.F.F. Osborn Prin. Opp.
This year Ditch Leaping was held to the honour of all old established customs the first day the attendance in consequence of cold was very small, but the second day there was a good [number]
F Byron Prin. Opp.
This year 1838 in consequence of the low state of the school it was agreed upon by the T.B. and Q.S. that the annual ditch leaping in Battersea Fields should not take place.
G.F. Bentinck Prin: Opp.
In 1836, It was agreed to leave off that beastly, annual practice of ditch leaping over Battersea Fields; for which, Dr Williamson gave us an early play. On a former season, we had been prevented going on the water, on account of the number of fellows out of school with colds, caused by ditch leaping.
Ditch-leaping was this year, in order to lull the suspicions of the master, deferred to March 17th when this ancient custom was kept up by a large assemblage of fellows. In consequence of there being names at 11 o’clock (as usual on early plays) we were much hurried, and the KS fearful of being late returned sooner than usual having gone about half the usual distance. But the T.B. with great spirit determined to go the usual round which they accomplished in excellent time.
C. Bewicke HB
As we thought it very probably that Williamson would endeavour to prevent Ditch leaping on the 1st of March – it was agreed to go on Saturday 15th of February which was an early play – a pretty good show of TBs and KS were assembled, considering the lowness of the school, and again succeeded in keeping up a custom which the masters have so long endeavoured to prevent —
E U Sealy
On Friday March the 1st Williamson endeavoured to put a stop to the old custom of Ditch leaping, by having names in the different boarding Houses at ½ past 11. We however carried it into effect between ½ past 11 and two oclock.
E U Sealy
In consequence of the unusual severity of the season, and the prevalence of the Cholera Moribus in London, Williamson thought proper to put a stop to Ditch-Leaping both on the 1st and 17th of March by having names at the different Boarding-houses at 11 and 1 o’clock
Tho’ Ditch Leaping was prohibited by Goodenough last year, it was carried into effect as usual on the 1st and 17th of March (1829) the 1st the weather was so very severe that only five went, but on 17th a larger field assembled tho’ still few in number from the number out of school with colds, coughs, measles &c there has been more illness lately in the school than has been known for many years.