No 408

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.

J.M. Murray

Princeps Oppidanus

No 398

Thinking it convenient to have a list of the Princeps Oppidani from A.D. 1815 (when this ledger was first started) & thinking it might be interesting in some measure to posterity, either for a reference, or to satisfy the curious, I have traced them as accurately as I could to the present time, & hoping that if any future Prin Opp. should see any mistake he will excuse it, & take the trouble to alter it, I subscribe the following list.

1815 G.P. Sandilands
-16 G.M. Alington
G.E. Gillett
17 C.E. Walker
18 G. Shepley
18 C.A.J. Smith
18 George Bowen
19 Charles Floyer
1820 Robert L. Burton
20 William Allfrey
21 William Heberden
21 G.B. Mansel
21 E. Goodenough
21 C.O.S. Morgan
22 J.R. Wood
24 W.R. Fremantle
25 O.W.S. Trelawney
26 J. Mitchell
27 G. Chetwynd
27 George MacLeay
27 W.P. Lamb
28 David Mure
28 George Maule
1828 William Charles Rickman
29 E.H. Greathed
29 J.H. Preston
29 P.P. Williams
29 J.T. Ludlow
29 T. Blackall
1830 Abm Borradaile
31 J.R. Cornish
32 E.U. Sealy
32 R.P. Warren
34 Robt H. Hurst
34 Calverly Bewicke
35 C.D. Osborn
35 B.G. Astley
36 Lord Somerton
37 G.F. Bentinck
38 F. Byron
1840 M.F. Osborn
41 N.G. Smart
41 W.G. Andrewes
43 W.L. Spurway
44 J. Preston
45 C.F. Luttrell West
46 D. Stewart
49 W.C. Macready
*1850 J.M. Murray

I think if future Prin Opps were to inscribe there name legibly with the date on the left pages of this book, it might be useful to those who hereafter hold the office of Prin Opp.

J M Murray
Prin. Opp.

* I have not inscribed E. Evered’s name between my own & Macready’s as he was not really head Town boy vide *389
J M Murray Prin Opp

No 394

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
Princeps Oppidanus.

No 391*

Macready’s reasons for giving up the Headtownboyship to Evered who subscribes himself “Prin Opp”, were, I think, because (Macready) thought that there was going to be a row with the QS, and therefore being a great coward thought that it was better for him to be out of the row altogether. This is I am sure a true account of the matter altho’ Murray had not mentioned it in the preceding page.

R.B. Berens Prin Opp

No 390

On Thursday Aug 8th a match came off at our ground between our eleven & the Charterhouse. The challenge was given on our part; but some of the eleven thought it too low on the ground of Charterhouse not being a publick school. Blagden (Captain) & Ingram (1st Mon.) refused to play; but afterwards agreed, as Liddell on hearing it refused to give the early play on the following Saturday if they persisted in not playing. Liddell, I suppose, took it personally being a Charterhouse fellow. The match was not terminated but we had much the best of it when the wickets were drawn, as may be seen in Cricket Ledger

No 389*

As Macready and Evered were both going to leave at the same time, the former it appears gave up this book to Evered the 2nd T.B., by which means Evered seems to have thought himself entitled to subscribe himself Prin. Opp. but I cannot imagine how he could be head when Macready was above him, nor upon searching through this Ledger can I find any precedent to it although Macready seems to have thought it an old custom so to do. It seems to me that the office of Head TB is a mere farce, if it can be given away for a week to the 2nd T.B. For if this is allowable, I see no reason why the 3rd T.B. (if he chances to be leaving at the same time as the Prin. Opp.) should not have a taste of the Head Townboyship; I think that Evered’s name cannot fairly be inscribed among the real Prin. Opps

Added by J.M. Murray Prin. Opp.

No 382

We had a good row on the 17th of July (the Thames Regatta) to Putney, (not having leave off names, & a hard tide against us all the way back) – we saw part of the match for the Coat & Badge. (Sculler’s match). but were not able to stay for the last heat for absence of time.

W.C. Macready
Prin. Opp.

No 370

Notwithstanding the order given against ditch leaping by Mr Liddell, this old custom took place as usual & was well attended. I think it a very beastly practice, and also a senseless one and should not have given my sanction to it had I been in school. I advise future Head town boys to do their best to put a stop to this custom which cannot be productive of any good to anyone.

W.C. Macready
Prin. Opp.