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. 108

At the end of this term, as Mr Marshall had signified his intention of giving up the house, which he had directed for 21 years, he was presented with a testimonial subscribed to solely by Grantites (Q.S. + T.B.) at present in the school. The testimonial consisted of a bronze clock & candelabra and a silver inkstand bearing the inscription

“ Viro Reverendo, J. Marshall, M. A.

Scholae Westmonasteriensis Magister

Dono dabant

Pietatis ergo

In Amicum, Tutorem, Patrem

Nuperrime sub faustis nutriti penetralibus”

Mr Marshall expressed himself as much pleased with this mark of our respect.

No 586

This term a new match at football was played for the first time, between Rigauds (Revd B. F. James) and Grant’s (Rev. Marshall).

This year the Rigaudites won, getting one game to none.

I hope this match will be kept up annually, as it stimulates the little fellows to play and thus prepares them for future matches. The following rules have been agreed to –

  1. That no fellow above Upper Shell or in the football Eleven be allowed to play on either side
  2. That it always be played “up fields” and after the Xmas vacation but previous to the T.B & Q.S football match

W. Winters Prin. Opp.

For list of Head Town Boys since 1815 see article 398.

No 547

The List of the School at the same time was-

Grant’s (Rev. Marshall)

Rigauds (Rev. James)

Scott’s (- Scott)

Homeboarders

Total                                                                                                                      ____________________

W.E.Dowdeswell,

Pr. Opp.