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 places 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.
Robt. Hy Hurst
*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
*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.