Among the many changes which are now taken place I must mention one which has occasioned a small sensation. It has been decided that every Whitsuntide, the whole school is to be examined by the examiners of Oxford & Cambridge. This year being that of the Great Exhibition, has doubtless been selected to allow us to make some trifling addition to the many exhibitions which will probably take place. The following is the list of the subjects for Examination in the sixth.
Eurip. Heracleidae 1020 Lines
Demosthenes Philippic I
Horad. Ep. Omnes, & Ars Poetica
St Lukes Gospel (Gk) with Bible Hist.
Euclid Arith. & Algebra
Many paternals & sage school masters will be sure to exclaim “What a capital thing.” I wish they would bear in mind the old adage “That all work & no play makes Jack a dull boy.” We are already dull enough [crossed out text] and [eradicted text] us. What a shocking state of affairs.
J. M. Murray
An event happened this year, which I feel confident has never had a parallel here -viz. this Dr. Williamson having mentioned at the election of 1844 that the Electors were dissatisfied with the examinations of the Major Candidates, afterwards informed the two Head Third Election Q.S. that the Electors wished to see what the Q.S. were capable of doing in their 3d Election year, by themselves, & that therefore he wished them (Milman & Ingram) to comply with their request. To this effect he also added several subsequent arguments of equal weight: and the event was a challenge between them to contend for the priority then belonging to Milman by right. The Subject was the “Hecuba” there were three challenges, with certain limitations similar to those of Minor Candidates. Milman eventually kept his place. The reasons assigned above were, & with good reason, suspected to be not the genuine ones. Of the merit or demerit of the actual circumstance of the innovation; I will leave the Reader to form his own judgement hereafter from its effects. It is yet to be determined whether this is to be a regular thing, as a sort of “Return Match” to the usual Election of Minor Candidates at Whitsuntide. The Challenge was viva voce.
On July 10th Williamson decided the Barton Prize mentioned above. There were only 4 competitors two QS for Williamson’s own prize & two TBs for the Barton Do. The QSs were G.W. Randolph, & G.O. Edwards, the T.B. G. Gillett Half Boarder & myself I have enclosed a copy of the examination; on paper considering it too long & uninteresting to swell these pages with But – it may be of consequence to others who try hereafter, if there are any, in orders to compare their examinations with ours, I heartily wish that former Heads of Town Boys had copied their examination for me to see, & therefore I leave mind for others hereafter to collate and compare with theirs; hoping that my humble endeavours may be of use.
The above is a true & exact copy of this paper making Randolph winner of the Q.S. Prize which Williamson “himself gave them” and myself and Gillett equal with the chance of dividing “The blunt” or “going in again” we preferred the former I have not seen any number attached to the Examination papers. We had no Mathematics set. Dr W. said “my Greek was rather better than his, but my composition decidedly inferior” which was quite true especially the last remark
J. Preston O.P.
P.S. A prize which Williamson gave him was given to Randolph, which was not to exceed five pounds. The value wh we each received.
On March 3d 1844. Judge Burtons occasional prize was proposed by Dr Williamson for the Sixth Form T.B. to compete for; and at the same time another & separate prize was given by Dr Williamson for the Q.S. or rather was proposed & which he was to give them himself. The Examination was originally to take place before the Whitsuntide Holidays, but on being spoke to by myself in behalf of the rest of those who were going to compete it was postponed till after Whitsuntide; for which extra time for preparation, I believe none was sorry. For the Reader will see over the page the subjects given for competition.
Homeri Ilias – 24 Books
Xenophontis Socratis Memorabilia – 4 books (the entire work)
Sophocles Philoctetes – 1457 lines
Virgilii Aeneid – 12 books
Virgilii Georg. – 4 books
Horatii Od. – 4 Books
Cic. de Officiis – 3 books
Algebra to Quad Equat.
Latin & Eng. Composition in Prose & Verse.
And as the Philoctetes, Xenoph. Mem & Cic. Off were entirely new work, to some, & nearly so to some others it altogether amounted to quite as much (or very close upon it) as the Q.S. usually shew up for their Election. Euclid was at first specified but was afterwards annulled – instead however. Some Grecian History was (as I understood) to be substituted.
F. Osborn was, I think the last winner of this prize, but I do not find it mentioned in this B. heretofore.
J. Preston Prin. Opp
April 23d 1844
Altho’ I was taken in the examination by Speerway, yet having been first when the ledger was handed over to me in August I of course continued to call myself head of the Town Boys, independant of any changes in the School, which rule holds good with respect to Cricket & Water –
W.G. Andrewes Prin. Opp.
This year Williamson instituted an examination on paper of both T.B. and K.S. to take place half yearly in the Museum, in the work done in the form the preceding half year; and according to the answers given, altering the respective places of each T.B.
J.T. Ludlow H.B.
Note. This Williamson has now increased, so that there are 3 at least if not 4 examinations yearly.
J. Preston Op.
The Rt. Honble Charles William Wynne having again given a writership to be contended for by any fellow in the Sixth who wished to enter the lists, the examination took place on Monday Feby 2nd 1829 and lasted till 5 o’clock on Tuesday. The names of the candidates were Frere, Greensill T.B. but Home Boarder and Day and Snell K.S. it was finally pronounced that Frere had obtained it, that Greensill was second and Day and Snell equal, the examiners were Bailey Prebendary of Westr and Thorpe from Haylebury College, they expressed themselves highly gratified with the performance of the several candidates, the examination took place at Williamson’s and any of the Sixth were admitted who wished to be present.
The Right Honourable Charles William Wynne having generously given a writership to be contended for by any Boy in the Sixth Form at Westminster, who chose to enter into competition, on Wednesday February 7th and Thursday the 8th. Six Candidates, Davis, Escombe, Bailey and Findlater T.B. but Home Boarders and Froude and Allen K.S. were examined in the Library by Dr Batten President of Haylebury College and Messrs Tyler and Cramer of Oxford – the subjects of Examination were the Greek and Latin Classics, Geography and Mathematics. The Examination lasted from ½ past 8 till 5 o’clock on Wednesday and being again resumed at 8 on Thursday having terminated about one o’clock on that day in favour of Escombe – Wednesday being an early Play every Boy who chose was permitted to be present at the Examination, and the Sixth Form only on Thursday –
Dr Goodenough, Mr Preston together with Mr Wynne, some of the Ushers, and their Friends were present – In a very eloquent speech at the close of the Examination the principal Elector declared both himself and his co-adjutors to be highly pleased with the performance of several candidates.