[The following entries have been transcribed from the minute books kept in Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge.]

 The Fourth Meeting of the Society…

…was held in the rooms of the Princeps Senatus on Monday Jan 23rd [1911] at 8:30pm.

In the absence of the Pontifex Maximus, the Ceremonius was solemnly ordained for that office by the Princeps. Mr Simpson read a paper entitled ‘Rise of the Democracy’, after which a discussion followed. The production of the society’s card was filled with acclamation and a hearty wave of thanks was proposed by the Fabricius.

All of the members were present with the sacrifice of the Pontifex.

The meeting is to be remembered for the fact that it is the meeting the cape was first used.

J. W. Reynolds (Prin. Sen)
A. D. Swainson (Mag. Rot.)


That the new Pontifex Maximus shall be admitted to his office by the retiring Pontifex in the presence of the whole society.

Further additions were made to the ceremonial to be used at meetings. It was decided that the President should take his chair and then with appropriate words (yet to be decided upon) bid the Pontifex to open the meeting. The Pontifex then shall read the following invocation and then shall follow the usual ceremony.

J. W. Reynolds (Prin. Sen.)

 The Fifth Meeting of the Society…

…was held in the rooms of the Princeps Senatus on Monday Feb 13th 1911 at 8:30pm.

At a committee meeting held previously the following additions were made to the rules.

That the solemn initiation of new members shall take place before the whole society except when visitors are present.

That no member be elected at the same meeting at which he is proposed.

Mr Pakeman read an interesting paper on the ‘Rise of the Vikings’.

All members were present.

J. W. Reynolds (Prin. Sen.)
A. D. Swainson (Mag. Rot.)

The Sixth Meeting of the Society was held on Monday Feb 20th [1911] at 8:30pm in the rooms of the Princeps Senatus.

A solemn service of initiation was held and Mr Chapman was admitted into the Society.

The Magister Rotulorum then announced that the resignation of Frater Molony as Ceremonius had been received, and accepted. Frater Pakeman was elected in his stead and solemnly admitted to the Senatus. At a committee meeting held previously, after some discussion, it was decided that fellowships of the society conferring certain privileges to those members of the society who had done good work for it, and who had done well in the tripos examinations, should be his XXX.

With the usual ritual the meeting was opened and Frater Smith read a paper on ‘The Political Influence of Islam’. Some interesting discussion followed.

Fratres Molony and Barker were absent.

J.W. Reynolds (Prin. Sen.)
A. D. Swainson (Mag. Rot.)

The Seventh Meeting of the Society was held in the rooms of the Princeps Senatus on Monday March 6th 1911. All the Fratres were present. The Magister Rotulorum, Frater Swainson, read a paper on ‘Political Union Amongst the Greeks’. For some reason or other certain fratres seemed to imagine the current Magister Rotulorum to be well up in the various diseases amongst the Greeks, and a long discussion ensued as to whether the Greeks suffered from malaria or influenza, the right reverend and renowned Pontifex inclining to the latter view. The Magister Rotulorum’s powers were again XXX tried by another Frater who was very anxious to how the Greek and Πodes declined. This he was fortunately able to do so, and thought the Pontifex Maximus seemed a little doubtful as to the correctness of the Magister’s grammar the Princeps upheld him.

J. W. Reynolds (Prin. Sen.)
A. Swainson (Mag. Rot.)

The Eighth Meeting of the Society was held in the rooms of the Princeps Senatus on Monday May the First. The Princeps just announced the result of the election to Senatorial offices at which Fr. Knife had been elected Pontifex Maximus, Fr. Simpson elected Magister Rotulorum, Fr. Swainson Fabricius and Fr. Pakeman Ceremonius. A fairly solemn service of initiation was then held, at which Fr Simpson was invested with his emblems of office.

A paper was next read by the Magister Rotulorum upon ‘Imperialism’, and a discussion upon imperialism and other things followed.

This meeting is noteworthy as the one at which the were recited by the fratres, and the closing rite duty performed, with due accustomed solemnity.

H. R. Simpson (Mag. Rot.)
J. W. Reynolds (Prin. Sen.)

The Ninth Meeting of the Society was held in the rooms of the Princeps Senatus on Monday May 15th [1911]. At a committee meeting held previously, three new rules had been passed. These were announced to the Society amidst universal acclamation. A discussion upon the wording of the minutes followed and explains the disgraceful untidiness of the preceding page. Fr. Hayward then read a paper on ‘Monasticism’; an interesting discussion followed.

After the discussion and meeting had been formally closed, it was suggested that the fratres should go on an excursion. After the first merits of London, Peterborough, and King’s Lynn had been debated, it was decided that Cockayne Hatley should be the honoured spot, and a time and date were fixed.

 Special Meeting of the Society

An extraordinary meeting of the society was held on Thursday, June [blank space] [1911] when the fraternity visited Gamlingay, and reviewed some really fine oak carving in the church. The society, which bloomed with red carnations, was conveyed to the station in taxicabs and to Gamlingay by train. The distance from Gamblingay to Potton was covered by walking, which was pleasant, although certain members expressed the wish that there were more of those quaint old hostelries which make our English roads so picturesque. When nearing the Star hotel, Potton, the hundred yards open championship of the society was held, Mr Knife reaching the bar in the extraordinary time of nine seconds. While acknowledging the merit of Mr Knife’s performance, it must be remembered that the course was slightly downhill and the weather very XXX. Other sports were indulged in, ending in one of our most popular outdoor games, cheating the railway company, which, however, failed, owing to the refusal of the latter to participate. This meeting is noteworthy in that it manifested to all eyes the fact that the sphere of own activities is not contained in the walls of our own college and in this connection we must tender our apologies to the Urban District Council and farmers of Potton for disturbing seriously the work of their labourers, many of whom ceased work for nearly a whole afternoon.

J. W. Reynolds (Prin. Sen.)

The Tenth Meeting of the Confraternity was held in the rooms of the Princeps Senatus on Monday, October 16th [1911]. The meeting being the first of the new academical year, evening dress and scarlet rose were worn. The Senate, and ex-members thereof, added a new lustre to the already dignified demeanour of that body by wearing their scarlet bands of office. The Confraternity having XXX and invigorated at the festive board of the, always hospitable, Princeps, several healths were drunk with loyal enthusiasm. The meeting was then formally opened with the accustomed ceremonial. A new feature was added to our impressive ritual owing to the generosity of Fr Swainson. In shape and form it hath the appearance of a goodly weapon and when wielded in the hands of the mighty Ceremonius, looked capable of doughty deeds of XXX in defence of our ancient rites. We know not how to name it, yet its wrath we doubt not.

The Princeps announced that according to our law, two places on the Senate were vacant caused by the resignation of Fr Knife and Fr Swainson. A general election followed and the names of Fr Hayward and Fr Knife were read out by the Princeps as the successful candidates. Subsequently the choice of the Senate fell on Fr Knife to fill again the ancient office of Pontifex Maximus; Fr Hayward that of Magister Rotulorum; Fr Simpson that of Fabricius; and Fr Pakeman remaining Ceremonius.

In the presence of the assembled Confraternity Fr Hayward was solemnly invested with the roles of his office by the Pontifex. The minutes were then read and passed. The Princeps then delivered his address to which Fr Simpson had a reply on behalf of the Confraternity, seconded in a most spectacular way by Fr Chapman. These two documents have been placed in our honourable archives.

Fr Swainson made a speech of extraordinary power – although we found it somewhat difficult to follow the intricate mazes of his oratory. We conclude, however, how he wished to make an amendment to the Presidential address by proposing the payment – in the form of an amity for life – of the Senate, thus sparing him the trials and difficulties of a Tripos and ensuring him a comfortable and lazy old age.

This speech – although in good sit terms, aroused the audible wrath of the Pontifex, who in vigorous words reminded the Frater of the wrath of Clio and his own dignity. This speech was received with very mixed feelings and signs of disdain.

A long and animated discussion followed involving questions of enormous constitutional importance. Fr Swainson at last showing unmistakable signs of the position of a ‘labour leader’, which he appeared to have adopted, had to be numbed by the Ceremonius at the point of the javelin. The enthusiasm increasing to such an extent, the meeting was closed by the Pontifex.

The success of this, our most brilliant meeting, was largely owing to the generosity and skill of the Princeps, to whom the Confraternity, doubtless, feels deeply indebted.

J. W. Reynolds (Prin. Sen.)
W. S. Hayward (Mag. Rot.)

The Eleventh Meeting of the Confraternity was held on Tuesday October 24th [1911] in the Princeps rooms. A new law was read out by the Magister Rotulorum relating to the election of new Fratres. The names of the following candidates being proposed and seconded were read out:-

Mr Knox Shaw
Mr Rouquette

Mr King was declared to have been elected. The meeting was then closed by the Pontifex.

J. W. Reynolds (Prin. Sen.)
W. S. Hayward (Mag. Rot.)

Additional Rules:

IV. That the names of candidates being duly proposed and seconded, for this our Confraternity, be henceforth read, in a loud voice by the Magister Rotulorum, in full session and before the Nunc Dimittis. If a Frater see just cause why any said candidate be rejected, let him carry to the Magister Rotulorum within forty eight hours, a signed protest to that effect, no reason should be stated!

V. Once a man has been proposed and seconded as a member of the Society he shall not be discussed by a member of the committee with any member of the Society not on the committee.

The Twelfth Meeting of the Confraternity was held on Monday October 30th [1911] in the President’s rooms. The following members underwent the solemn ceremony of initiation:- J. K. Shaw, D. G. Rouquette and H. B. King. A discussion then took place on finance. Fr Knox Shaw proposed and Fr Knife seconded that a tax of one shilling current coin of the realm, to be paid in silver by all members before signing the sacred roll. This was passed unanimously. The minutes of the last two meetings were also read and passed. Fr Molony then had a very learned and interesting paper:-

‘The Reformation in Scotland’.

Fr Simpson had an excellent speech in reply treating the subject from an entirely different point of view; after this the discussion became general; Fr Chapman in a lengthy speech, threw his nationality at us. The meeting was the closed by the Pontifex Maximus.

J. W. Reynolds (Prin. Sen.)
W. E. Hayward (Mag. Rot.)


It is our great pleasure to again record the generosity of our noble Princeps; his gift being a handsome mahogany casket to contain the sacred scroll. Fr Hayward also presented the Society with an hour glass.

The Thirteenth Meeting of the Society was held in the President’s rooms on November 13th [1911] at 8:30pm. The members signed their names on the new scroll and paid the accustomed toll. The meeting was then formally opened by the Dean and the minutes of the last meeting read. Brother Swainson then read a paper entitled:-

‘The Influence of Religion on History’,

which was followed by a heated discussion, with some good speeches being made. The Dean then closed the meeting after the accustomed manner.

J. W. Reynolds (Prin. Sen.)
W. E. Hayward (Mag. Rot.)

The Fourteenth Meeting of the Society was held in the President’s rooms at 8:30pm on Monday November 27th [1911]. The meeting was formally opened by the Dean as is customary. The minutes were then read by the secretary. The Dean, however, strongly objected to the aforesaid minutes on the ground that (inadvertently) the secretary had referred to him as the Chaplain. He protested that this was an indignity to his office too great to be borne. The necessary alterations were then made by the humiliated secretary and signed as consent.

Fr Baker then read a most excellent paper on:-

‘The Influence of Literature on History.’

This was followed by an interesting discussion.

The question of a joint meeting with the Historical Society of Corpus Christi College was next discussed. It was decided to appoint a Senatorial committee to make the necessary arrangements.

Finance was the next subject XXX before XXX the Society. A long and confusing discussion followed. The following two motions were carried finally, ‘That a tax be levied of a 1/. per term for the present year’; and, ‘That a balance sheet should be formulated terminally to the Society’. At this stage the President called on the Dean to close the meeting.

The following resolutions have been passed by the Senate.

‘That the office of Fabricius be suspended until further action be taken.’

‘That the office of “Comes Sacri Thusauri’ – Count of the Sacred Language – be instituted and that this official shall have control of the finance of the society’.

Charles Knife (Pont. Max.)

The Annual Banquet was held on Tuesday December 5th [1911] in the rooms of the Pontifex. The Senatorial Commission, to whom we all praise, provided amply well for the inner man. The fanciful decorations filled all with the greatest admiration, a loving-cup was circulated and many toasts were drunk introduced by neat speeches sparkling with wit and humour.

The Fifteenth Meeting of the Society was then formally opened by the Pontifex in the Princeps’ rooms. The minutes were read and passed. The Pontifex then read his pontifical charge with due solemnity. The meeting was immediately closed and the rest of the evening was spent in the performance of historical charades. Much historianic talent was observed in unexpected questions and a great deal of historical knowledge displayed.

Altogether a most enjoyable and successful evening was spent and much gratitude is due to the Princeps and all the other members who assisted him.

J. W. Reynolds (Prin. Sen.)
W. E. Hayward (Mag. Rot.)

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