No 314

Tuesday July 29th 1845 was marked by an event which I feel sure will be remembered, after what passed last year, with sincere pleasure by every Westminster as long as the School shall exist. I mean the Boat Race between Eton & Westminster which took place on that day & terminated in favour of the latter by 65 seconds. The following account may perhaps be admissible here.

At 111/2 A.M the “Echo” Steamer left Chandler’s Pier filled with the friends of either Crew & reached its destination Barker’s Rails nr Kew Bridge at 11/2 P.M or rather more, from which place we were to start & after a little waiting the Etonian Crew also arrived: Burton Sr then tossed up with Luttrell Sr (the captain of the Eton Boats) for choice of stations which Westr. won & took the Surrey side of the River. Mr. Selwyn an old Etonian kindly officiated as umpire: & on the word “off” being given we started in such an uneven manner that the Etonians led by more than a length before we were steady. But in ¼ of a mile we were oar & oar; in ½ a mile clean ahead; & continuing, at most without an effort, to draw ahead lost sight of them round the turn before Hammersmith Bridge. We then rowed easily down the Hammersmith Reach continually gaining ground; spurted into Putney passing the Leander & or own Watermen’s Eights; & went under the Bridge amidst the warmest cheering ahead by more than a length of any Boat that rowed the distance.

The course was nearly 5 miles; the time 27 ¼ (which we could have lessened) & we were victorious by 65 seconds or something like 40 or 50 Boat’s lengths. Our crews were

Preston
Williams
Bedford
West
Goodenough
Milman
Shiffner
Rich (Stroke)

Burton

For further particulars see Water Ledger. I may as well here remark that W.G. Green who was our Head of the Water as I had not time to attend to it was very unfavourably and it is generally thought unfairly rejected from the Racing Crew & his place supplied by Williams who if he was stronger was certainly deficient in style. Our training was strict & our condition extremely good this year, we had continued to improve ourselves for six weeks & before we actually received a Challenge.

Dr Williamson who behaved extremely well throughout, & was extremely generous towards us as far as he was concerned followed the Race this year together with many other Old Westminsters on Horseback, by the Towing Path & returned I am happy to say extraordinarily satisfied with the result of our efforts.

Thus ended the most complete victory of the Championship of the Universe as far as regards rowing in Schools that was ever obtained by our crew over another. And I think I may, from personal experience, add, one of the least distressing spurts we ever had during the whole course of training. The betting before we started was 5 to 1 having risen from even wagers.

Joseph Preston Prin. Opp.

No 229

This year the King College eight elated with some petty victories over small and insignificant clubs sent us a challenge which was of course never given the least attention to, the heads of the water merely saying that, as they never rowed London clubs they could not break the rule to row King’s College
Vide Water Ledger

F Byron Prin. Opp.

A similar but more “settling” answer was sent from Eton whom they challenged.

Added by F Byron H.B.

No 199

Williamson having discovered that in the sculling match just mentioned the fellows had all rowed in boats which were not Robert’s immediately sent for the Captain (Richards) and for Somerton (Head of the TB) and told them that he was willing to forget what had happened if they would pledge themselves on the part of the K.S. and T.B. that the 6th fellows should not in future infringe the rules which he had a year or two ago made for the regulation of the water; stating that if they refused to do so he should stop the water. In consequence of this communication the pledges required were given. Williamson stated that he included the Home Boarders in the regulations for which see the Water Ledger No __

Somerton H.B.

No 193

At 3 meetings of the sixth held on the 6th, 7th and 8th days of March 1837 the following paper was agreed to and signed by the Heads of the T.B. and H.B. boats. It being absolutely necessary, in consequence of the low state of the school to resort to this method of keeping up the crew of the Townboys’s boat.

Copy

Dean’s Yard March 8th 1837

In consequence of the present low state of the School, it has been thought expedient by ourselves and the rest of the sixth that there should be an union between the boarders and Home-Boarders, on the water, under the following Rules and Regulations mutually agreed upon. And we do bind ourselves to observe these rules so agreed to, so long as this union shall exist. And we do also agree that all Rules and Regulations hitherto made relating to the water, which are contrary to the conditions and Rules of this agreement or repeated more particularly the rule marked No. 153 in the T.B. Ledger, as long as this Union shall exist.

Rules agreed upon.

1st
That the fellow who has been longest in the boat (whether Boarder or Home-Boarder) shall be head of the water, and shall exercise all the powers and privileges hitherto enjoyed by Heads of the Water such as sending on fellows in boats &c &c

2nd
That the head of the water (if a Boarder) shall keep the Water Ledger, but (if he be a home boarder) that the Water Ledger shall be kept by the Head of the Town Boys, and that the Head of the TB shall give up this ledger to the head of the water, only when he requires it, either for the purpose of inserting any-thing in it, or for referring to it, and this rule is made in order that the water ledger may be always kept in Dean’s Yard.

3rd
That the Boarders and Home-Boarders shall be considered as on, and have equal privileges on the water; such as those fellows who are in the eight having light wherries &c &c

4th
That any fellow in the eight, who when the boat is going on, shall refuse to row, or having promised to row shall not appear at the proper time, shall (except when the fellow not attending be ill or absent from Westminster) be fined one shilling and sixpence.

5th
That the fines mentioned in the preceding rule shall be enforced by the head of the water, and shall go towards maintaining a fund for the payment of incidental expenses.

6th
That the following shall be the crew of the boat, and the order in which they are placed.

Vialls Senr
Turner
Somerton
Lee
Mackenzie Senr
Mackenzie Junr
Merewether

Steerer F. Lennox

Signed

Charles Vialls
Head of the Water

F. Turner
Head of the Home Boarder’s boat

It was then determined that every arrangement should be immediately made for carrying these Rules into effect.

Somerton H.B.