The play (the Andria) was stopped this year in consequence of the death of her late lamented Majesty the Queen Dowager notwithstanding the efforts of the head Q.S. & head monitor who positively got a Royal Command to continue it as usual. Dr Liddell would not accept the command and they were sold.
W.C. Macready Prin. Opp.
In consequence of the new Masters not being Old Westminsters and having so many things to learn about the school there was no Latin play this Xmas and as myself and Turle (a home boarder) were the only Sixth TBB. of course no dinner could be held.
C F L West
I wished very much that the Sixth Dinner should not be forgotten, & therefore proposed that it should be held as nearly as usual as circumstances would permit which was agreed to. It was held on the 2d Play Night Decr 12th /44 at Gingers. Six Town Boys only attended. And although I fear it will prove of little use, except observing it as a custom, yet if managed with care it certainly can do no harm. On account of the death of the Princess Sophia the first Play Night (of the Eunuchus) was postponed from Monday the 9th to Wednesday the 11th the 2d Night being on the Thursday.
J. Preston O.P.
I may here observe that this Play was a very good one, & brought a very fair cap also several ambassadors & persons of that description.
It is usual when any of the Royal Family die, or any of the Masters of Westminster; as has long been the custom, to defer the play untill the following year. But although the Duke of Sussex died this year before Whitsundtide, the Play (Phormio) was prepared as usual – and acted extremely well.
Nov.13th 1843 J. Preston
His Royal Highness the Duke of Cambridge honoured the College Play with his presence on the 3rd night the 18th of December
This year in consequence of the death of his Majesty King William the 4th there being no college play the Sixth dinner (according to custom) was not held.
G.F. Bentinck Prin: Opp.
It was thought best on account of the very few boarders in the sixth and for several other reasons, to stop the usual practice of having a 6th dinner this year, which should have been held on the second play night. It is to be hoped however that this custom may at some future day be again revived.
After the second play Williamson sent for Hotham and told him that he understood that he had requested Mr Hudson to ask his Majesty to give us an extra week’s holydays, at the same time that his attendance at the play was requested, and as the King has accordingly desired that an extra week might be given he should not allow Hotham to act on the third night, in having what Williamson called the impudence to make such a request.
Added by Somerton H.B.
One of the Seniors, Hotham, having written to Mr Hudson, a gentleman attached to the King’s household and formerly at Westminster, to be, that if he had an opportunity, he would request the King to attend the representation of the Adelphi, he accordingly made the desired application to his Majesty who in the most gracious manner answered, that he should have been most happy to accept the invitation of Mr Hotham, but that his indisposition prevented him from coming; this was communicated to the Dean by Sir Herbert Taylor in a letter, upon which Williamson immediately sent for Hotham and told him, that he considered his conduct had been most impertinent in writing to Hudson, without either his or the Dean’s knowledge, and said that as a punishment he should not allow him to act in the two remaining nights, this transaction having occurred after the first play. Williamson however, most likely fearing there would be an uproar on this account on the nights in question, sent for Hotham again on the following day, and said he rather supposed that the application to the King had been made by others, before Hotham wrote, and that therefore he should allow him to act, but set him 400 lines to learn by heart. Any comments on this conduct are quite unnecessary, it is in strict accordance with all Dr Williamson’s other actions, when he meddles in these sort of affairs, for what Hotham chose to write in a private letter to a friend could not possibly by any business of Williamson’s.
On Monday Dec 15th being the 3rd performance of the Eunuch in College the King attended according to his gracious promise. A covered way was erected from Williamsons door to College door through which his Majesty passed about seven o clock and was received with immense cheering. He expressed himself well pleased with the performance and generously contributed £100 to the cap and asked for an extra weeks holidays.
R.H. Hurst HB