Today being the 1st of May/51 with rather unusual civility, Liddell gave general permission for the fellows to go to see the procession, & the opening of the great Exhibition; & such fellows who wished to go home were allowed to stay till the Eve.
Another addition to the many grievances which arouse the indignation of all Westminsters has lately been made. On the Friday before Good Friday, a rumour was afloat that no leave out was to be given from Thursday till Easter Tuesday night, as has always been the custom. This, I am sorry to say turned out too true. Leave was given from Thursday might to Good Friday night, & again from Saturday to Sunday but we were required to come into school Easter Monday & Tuesday. When Liddell came up school some fellows hissed him without intending him to hear. But I suppose that his sense of having done us an injury caused him to be on the look out, and sharpened his ears, for he afterwards sent a polite message, intimating that the captain was to loose his election, & that I was to be expelled, if any more demonstrations of sulkiness was made. I of course could do nothing but laugh at this empty threat, for I can hardly suppose that he could think I shd endeavour to impress on the fellows, that ‘‘obedience to your master is your first duty’’ & ‘‘that whatever your masters do is all for the best’’ with such like moral effusions, to save myself from an expulsion in which for such a thing I shd rather glory. Another thing in which I thing Liddell behaved badly is this. He did not come forward publicly & declare that the Easter Holidays were stopped, & I give his reasons for so doing, but as it were, let the affair be bruited about, & indeed I can hardly tell how it was made known to the school. One feels, I think, that when a Head Master declaims to speak openly about a thing like that, that he must be conscious that he has rather overstepped his proper bounds, or that he is consulting his own interests instead of those of the school, which, I fear, is how a course of proceeding wh our present master seems resolved to adopt. It is reported that we are to have an extra wk at Whitsuntide, or Bartholomew tide, but I really think that we have a right to a voice in a matter wh concerns us chiefly, & I do not see why we are to go home, & come back, at the call of a ‘‘fashionable’’ master, in defiance of the rules & customs. Besides most of us if not all wd greatly prefer a break in a long uninteresting term, to an abbreviation of our best term; & next, supposing he does give us an extra wk at either of the above named vacations as far as I can learn, we have already become entitled to one, wh was obtained at the end of the Xmas half/50. I believe that, in extenuation of this abolition of the Easter holiday, it was brought forward by the masters, that many parents complained that they were so bothered by their sons to allow them to come home at Easter, as all the others did so, that it was distressing to them to refuse them, though they did not wish to have them home. However, I suppose this was but a lame excuse, got up for the occasion, for I think that out of every ten parents, nine would wish the Easter holidays to be continued. I may however be wrong, but I leave my readers to judge.
To day being St Patrick’s day we had an early play, & though it was pouring with rain, several fellows went up to the Red House, & ran a steeple chase in Battersea fields.
We had an early play to-day (Saturday Feby 22nd/51) for Mrs Liddell’s newly arrived daughter. Mr L. has since declared his resolution of giving no more early plays on Saturdays, till the History is better learnt.
J. M. Murray
When we came back after the Bartholomewtide Holidays, 1850 I found Liddell had taken upon himself to alter every thing – In the first place he had taken the house wh Rigaud had, (before he left for the head mastership of Ipswich school) into his own hands & had put a master in it, to manage it for him. This he ought never to have done, as it had never been the case so to do & besides gave offence to the old Westminsters. The hours of School were also altered, for whereas, Monday, Wednesday & Friday were whole school days & the rest half so the present changes, make all whole schooldays except Wednesday & Saturday thereby causing a great addition of work. We have a French master (Dupont) and a mathematical master (Hose). Liddell has divided the original 6th into 6th A, 6th B & the 7th & now there are more than a quarter of the school in the ci-devant 6th & two masters to that one form. We go on the water on Wednesday & there are also ‘Fields’, but there being no bats hinders the fellows from enjoying what is falsely termed a “half holiday”. I said ‘falsely’ as we have a copy of verses to do wh take up two or three hours of the time. In my opinion & I believe in that of most others, these changes have caused general dissatisfaction & discontent.
J. Murray Murray
The Rev. H. Milman having been appointed Dean of St. Pauls kingly asked Mr Liddell for an early play, which with his usual liberality he granted.
In consequence of a fever having broken out, it was broken up on Saturday, May 6th 1848 and 6 weeks holiday was given, that is to say in addition to the regular Whitsuntide holidays. The fever proved fatal in 2 cases, both in College.
The eight asked leave on the 29 of April (when there was an early play for the Westminster dinner) to go there accustomed row to Richmond but after some deliberation were refused as Mr Weare stated to the Head Master that it was only a leave of recent years although now the names would not allow as the time by which before the recent leave was given that Westminsters were enabled to go up the river
Charles F Luttrell West
In consequence of the change of Masters & alterations in College we had 3 weeks added to our Bartholomew-tide Holidays
On ___ our Dean (Wilberforce) having been consecrated Bishop of Oxford, Dr Buckland Canon of Ch Ch Oxford was appointed Dean of Westminster and came to the play on the last night when he gave us an extra week, at the Xmas vacation