No 301

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.

No 191*

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.

No 191

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.

Somerton H.B.

No 173

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

1834 William IV visit to Latin Play copy

No 170

On account of the death of his royal highness the Duke of Gloucester which took place on Sunday evening Dec 30th 1834, it was expected (as is usual on such occasions) that the College Play would be stopped, and orders to that effect were issued by the Dean and notice given of it by Williamson in the afternoon school of the following day (Monday) who at the same time told Vernon (the Captain) that he might take any means in his power of getting leave from the King to have it acted as usual.  Vernon accordingly found out that Sir Herbert Taylor was the proper person to communicated with his Majesty on the subject.  Upon this White an old Westminster residing in College St. who had been on the most intimate terms of friendship with many of the Westminsters and to whom he had always behaved in the most honourable, gentlemanly and generous* manner, but who had become obnoxious to the masters by betting with the Westminsters, and having as was falsely asserted by them broken his word with Smedley and Williamson) knowing Sir H. Taylor, offered his assistance to the Seniors, went to Sir H. T. and having an interview with the King obtained his sanction for the play being acted, and gave out his gracious intention of patronizing Westminster by coming to the play on the 3rd night.  Accordingly on the following Wednesday the Eunuchus was acted – when the 6th having dined together in Grants, took their placed in the pit and White likewise happened to seat himself among them.  The first act having passed off, Williamson requested White to withdraw asserting that after his recent conduct he did not consider him a fit person to associate with his boys, adding that he should have recourse to force it White did not absent himself.  Upon this White withdrew; and the sixth incensed at the conduct of Williamson withdrew likewise with the exception of March* who from some cause or other did not come.  Williamson taking it as it was intended as a direct insult to himself gave the sixth to understand through the ushers, that unless he received an apology before 8 o clock the next morning the consequences would be very severe.  The Sixth however resolutely resolved to make no apology and abide by the consequences and a heavy imposition was the result.

*and Williamson then gave out that any one seen associating with White would be severely punished.

H. Boarder
Robt. Hy Hurst
Princeps Oppidanus

*Conf. No. 156 R.H. Hurst

*Though ill the winter of 1834 White had behaved to the Westminsters in a very gentlemanly manner, yet on account of his inability to discharge a quantity of bets with them amount to considerably more than £200, he made several false appointments, and acted altogether in a manner totally unworthy of a gentleman, and a man of honour.  It was subsequently disclosed that he had told several falsehoods, professing to have an independent property of £800 per annum and other circumstances wch have since been disclosed to be totally false and unfounded.  It is therefore but natural to suppose that he had betted (not possessing a farthing) with the hope of becoming the creditors of several Westminsters but in consequence of losing them he had recourse to falsehood and trickery of every description.

Added by C.D. Osborn
H Boarder

*The Revd H. Hodgson (with whom March boards) called him by name, and putting his hand on this arm stopped him.  It is therefore obvious that, he was prevented doing what the rest of the 6th and 2 of the upper Shell did (one being a peers’ son sitting there by right Ld Somerton) and the other C.D. Osborn. Being placed there by the civility of the K. Scholars, the writer, therefore of the description of the play (RH Hurst) must have had some private reason for omitting this explanation, which he must have been aware of.

Added by C.D. Osborn

This order was soon reversed and Williamson sent to White to say that he should be most happy to see him at the play on the second night, thereby openly taking off all restriction when he found it impossible to enforce it.

Added Dec 12th R.H. Hurst Prin Opp.