No 314

Tuesday July 29th 1845 was marked by an event which I feel sure will be remembered, after what passed last year, with sincere pleasure by every Westminster as long as the School shall exist. I mean the Boat Race between Eton & Westminster which took place on that day & terminated in favour of the latter by 65 seconds. The following account may perhaps be admissible here.

At 111/2 A.M the “Echo” Steamer left Chandler’s Pier filled with the friends of either Crew & reached its destination Barker’s Rails nr Kew Bridge at 11/2 P.M or rather more, from which place we were to start & after a little waiting the Etonian Crew also arrived: Burton Sr then tossed up with Luttrell Sr (the captain of the Eton Boats) for choice of stations which Westr. won & took the Surrey side of the River. Mr. Selwyn an old Etonian kindly officiated as umpire: & on the word “off” being given we started in such an uneven manner that the Etonians led by more than a length before we were steady. But in ¼ of a mile we were oar & oar; in ½ a mile clean ahead; & continuing, at most without an effort, to draw ahead lost sight of them round the turn before Hammersmith Bridge. We then rowed easily down the Hammersmith Reach continually gaining ground; spurted into Putney passing the Leander & or own Watermen’s Eights; & went under the Bridge amidst the warmest cheering ahead by more than a length of any Boat that rowed the distance.

The course was nearly 5 miles; the time 27 ¼ (which we could have lessened) & we were victorious by 65 seconds or something like 40 or 50 Boat’s lengths. Our crews were

Preston
Williams
Bedford
West
Goodenough
Milman
Shiffner
Rich (Stroke)

Burton

For further particulars see Water Ledger. I may as well here remark that W.G. Green who was our Head of the Water as I had not time to attend to it was very unfavourably and it is generally thought unfairly rejected from the Racing Crew & his place supplied by Williams who if he was stronger was certainly deficient in style. Our training was strict & our condition extremely good this year, we had continued to improve ourselves for six weeks & before we actually received a Challenge.

Dr Williamson who behaved extremely well throughout, & was extremely generous towards us as far as he was concerned followed the Race this year together with many other Old Westminsters on Horseback, by the Towing Path & returned I am happy to say extraordinarily satisfied with the result of our efforts.

Thus ended the most complete victory of the Championship of the Universe as far as regards rowing in Schools that was ever obtained by our crew over another. And I think I may, from personal experience, add, one of the least distressing spurts we ever had during the whole course of training. The betting before we started was 5 to 1 having risen from even wagers.

Joseph Preston Prin. Opp.

No 144

In consequence of the accident mentioned in the preceding number Williamson sent round the following regulations about the water.

1st No boy is allowed to go on the water except in one of Robert’s boats, and with his permission or knowledge – and if a boy has a private boat he must keep it at Roberts and use it only when he (Robert) thinks proper.

2 The bounds are from Westminster to Hammersmith bridges

3 The Season is from Easter to Bartholomew Tide

4th No boy may stay ashore anywhere, but he may take refreshments down to the boat.

5th The boats when done with should be left at Roberts’

E U Sealy
Head Boarder

No 102

On the reception of a letter from the Etonians (their holydays having commenced) challenging us to row them at Sunbury; we returned an answer to this purpose that we should be very happy to row them any distance within reach of Westminster; but that it would be quite impossible for us to go to the place above mentioned, as time would not allow of it.  Upon this, Lord Waterford the stroke of the Eton boat came down to Westminster, and it was settled at last that we should row from Putney Bridge to Hammersmith, and back on the 27th of July.  Accordingly at 5 o’clock on that day the Westminster rowers proceeded to Putney in a Barouch and four, when on their arrival they found their boat and steerer ready for them.  At ¼ to 7, all prepared to start, they set off, the Westminsters taking the lead; but on arriving off Craven Cottage the Etonians came alongside, and gradually gained on them till they arrived at Hammersmith bridge; when they were about 200 yards ahead, but the Westminsters having just got into proper time, on their return to Putney had gained considerably on the Etonians; the Etonians finally won by about 100 yards.  Had the race been continued on to Westminster Bridge, there is no doubt but that the Westminsters would have won.  The race being finished the parties dined together at the Star and Garter, Putney.  The following were the Rowers

Ley
Preston
Bainbridge
Wrottesley x
Smith x
Mayne x
Hussey  x
Croke  x
Steerer
Bruwell

Umpire
W. Page (O.W.)

P.P. Williams H.B.