1913

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


The 31st meeting of the Society was held on Jan 20th [1913] at 8:30 in the rooms of the Pontifex. The mysteries having been duly performed, the Pontifex promulgated an Act for the further ordering of the method of electing senators and tribunes.

The Princeps then took the chair and after signing the minutes offered facilities for the explanation of the act, which was demanded by Fr. Hayward and given by the Magister. The resignation of Fr. Rouquette from the Society was then read, and also a telegraphic communication explaining the absence of the Comes. [A note reads: A telegram was despatched to Fr. Simpson voicing the sympathy of the Confraternity at his confusing absence, this was in the official language of the Confraternity.]

Thereupon ensued the serious business of the evening to wit the Senatorial and Tribunician elections.

No sufficient time having elapsed since the promulgation of the new act to allow facilities for the Tribunician veto, the elections were carried out according to the method therein prescribed by an act administrative, there being no method statutorily binding. One vacancy was declared on the Senate, by resignation of Fr. Simpson, who was however re-elected by an absolute majority ‘in absentia’.

Frs. Knox Shaw and Hutchison were next elected Tribunes for the ensuing term, a decision being obtained by a second ballot.

An opportunity being given for private business, six nominations were proposed and seconded, after which the meeting was at length ritually closed.

Signed:
R. A. Barker (Mag. Rot.)
S. A. Pakeman (Prin. Sen.)


The 32nd meeting of the society was held on Jan 27th [1913] at 8:30pm. Coffee was served in the rooms of Fr. King where the Princeps called on the Pontifex ‘to go and open the meeting’. After the accustomed opening the Pontifex admitted the new senatorial officers.

Fr. King to the office of Magister Rotulorum
Fr. Barker “ “     “       “ Comes Sacrae Thesaurae

The minutes were read, and the novice, duly instructed by the Princeps, was summoned and took his vow.

After two emendations the minutes were then signed, and the results of the senatorial elections were announced, besides the above mentioned offices. Fr. Reynolds was declared Pontifex with Fr. Simpson as Ceremonius.

The Comes then presented his Budget, a deficit of 9s/8 was declared for last term, to meet which and to provide for a sinking fund of 6s/8 a term an additional tax in the form of an income tax was submitted. All Fraters in receipt of scholarships, XXX and exhibitions were to pay 1s/2 in £ and all in receipt of fellowships at the rate of 1s in £ provided always that the first £220 be free from such tax payment. This tax was to be payable yearly at the end of this term.

The estimated balance was 3s/8 and the amount in the sinking fund at the end of the year £1.0.0. The first reading was taken as carried, the second reading was carried, while in committee every clause was contested, but all amendments fell, the last clause was passed just as the guillotine proposed by the Pontifex fell.

The majority of the budget was 10-4 votes. Fr. Hayward then expressed his disgust at the whole principle of the financial activity of the society, a motion to the effect was proposed, but lost.

Fr. Raff then gave us an excellent thesis on ‘Medieval Universities’, this paper provoked a discussion both more relevant and more sustained than usual. Fr. Chapman then submitted estimates for the scarlet of our confraternity and it was decided that a special meeting of the senate be held to proceed in the matter.

All resident fratres were present at this meeting which was at length closed with due solemnity.

Signed:
S. A. Pakeman (Prin. Sen.)
H. B. King (Mag. Rot.)


The thirty third meeting of the society was held on Monday, February 10th [1913] at 8:30pm in the rooms of the Pontifex.

After the accustomed opening, the Magister announced the decision of the Senate on the matter of the smoking jacket – all business connected therewith was to postponed until the beginning of next academic year –

Fr. Hayward then read his paper entitled ‘Ivory, Apes and Peacocks, a XXX on modern tendencies’. The field covered by this excellent paper afforded ample scope for debate and criticism. The discussion was, however, rather dilatory and irrelevant. Before the meeting was officially closed the Princeps gave permission to certain fratres to withdraw from devotion to Clio.

The meeting was soon after closed with due solemnity.

Signed:
S. A. Pakeman (Prin. Sen.)

Addition:
At a subsequent meeting of the Senate it was decided that ‘the compulsory withdrawal of certain fratres from the last meeting before the same was officially closed be not considered as a precedent’.


The Thirty Fourth meeting of the society was held on Monday, Feb 24th [1913] in the rooms of the Pontifex.

After the accustomed opening announcements were made in the Visitor’s meeting, Fr. Hutchison read an extremely learned paper, ‘Plato to Aristotle’. A good debate ensued, stimulated doubtless by the previous hospitality of the Pontifex.

The closing rites were then performed with due solemnity.

Fratres Hayward, Chapman and Pearson were unable to attend this meeting.

Signed:
S. A. Pakeman (Prin. Sen.)
H. B. King (Mag. Rot.)


The Thirty Fifth meeting of the society was held on Monday, March 3rd [1913], in the rooms of the Pontifex. In the temporary absence of the President, the Magister Rotulorum called on the Pontifex to open the meeting. When the meeting had been opened the President returned and the Pontifex summoned the novice, Mr P Knox Shaw who took the oath and was admitted.

A ‘senatus consultium’ was then read authorising the Magister in the absence of the President to call on the Pontifex to open the meeting. The Comes then submitted a bill for the better ordering of the finance of the society. This was promulgated by the Pontiff. An explanation was demanded and given by the Magister. The meeting was then formally closed and fraters adjourned to welcome their guests to the Taylor Library.

All resident fratres were present.

Signed:

S. A. Pakeman (Prin. Sen.)

H. B. King (Mag. Rot.)


The second annual visitor’s meeting was held on March 3rd [1913] in the Taylor Library. Fratres were present to receive their guests at 9.0pm. Mr Edward, invited as the guest of the society, honaris causa, was unable to attend. Coffee was served from an adjacent room. The President took the chair at 9:15pm. The subject for discussion was ‘Napoleon, Emperor of the French’. For ten minutes Frater Pearson reviewed the life, Fr. Rosier the success, Fr. Simpson the failure, of this genius. The high level of these papers might well have appalled further discussion, a lively debate, however, was well sustained. Fr. Chapman blended Fisher and Everton. Dr. McNeil thanked the society on behalf of the visitors. The dean of the society then spoke.

Fr. Raff accused Frs. Simpson and King of Chestertonian speeches, and with difficulty disguised the Oscar Wilde.

Fratres Ramsden and Knox Shaw junior made maiden speeches. Fr. Hayward tried to frighten the society, at this point the President deemed it necessary to close the debate as the hour was late.

Lest the intellectual strain of listening to, and partaking in, this discussion should tell on the human physique of fratres and visitors, they were not dismissed until they had been brought back to earth again by punch and light refreshment. The senior tribune is to be congratulated on his ‘brew’ and the whole society on a successful meeting, which we gather has not failed to impress our guests with the intellectual and administrative capacities of our society.

Signed:
S. A Pakeman (Prin. Sen.)
H. B. King (Mag. Rot.)


The thirty sixth meeting of the society was held on Monday, April 21st [1913] in the rooms of the Pontifex. The minutes were signed and the Magister announced the vacancies on the Senate. Fr. Knox Shaw, tribune for two terms, became ipso facto, a member of the new senate, this necessitated the retirement of Fr. Reynolds of the Pontifical college to the conscript fathers. The result of the second ballot decided that

Fr. Barker should be re-elected,
Fr. Hutchison was re-elected tribune with
Fr. Raff as colleague.

The retiring Pontiff then swore in the tribunes.

Fr. Mayall then read his paper entitled ‘The Roman Senate’. He displayed vast research and intimate knowledge on his subject. A good debate ensued in which many fratres partook.

Facilities were then given for private business. The Senate was commissioned to enquire into the advisability of wearing evening dress at meetings.

The advisory council then adjourned to another room, when the meeting had been duly closed, the new senator was admitted. Those fratres not members of the Senate withdrew. All resident fratres were present at this meeting.

Signed:
S. A. Pakeman (Prin. Sen.)
H. B. King (Mag. Rot.)


The thirty seventh meeting of the Society was held on Monday, May 12th [1913] in the rooms of the Pontifex.

Two administrative orders were read by the Magister and a letter from an absent member, Fr. Chapman who is engaged in studying the true ethics of eastern civilisation.

The Magister was commissioned to send an informal reply.

The terminal budget, which was then produced, included one novel feature, a bonus was declared on all fully paid policies, a constitutional crisis then arose about the relation of the finance board with the allotment of supplies. As time was short, the senate decided to enforce their right of interpreting the laws at a future date.

Fr. Pakeman then read a highly instructive paper on ‘Benevolent Despotism’. After a short discussion the meeting was closed with the accustomed ritual.

Of resident fratres, Fr. Hutchison was unable to attend and explained his absence; from Fr. Ramsden however, no explanation was received.

Signed:
S. A. Pakeman (Prin. Sen.)
H. B. King (Mag. Rot.)

Addition:
Fr. Simpson was consecrated Pontiff at this meeting.


The thirty eight meeting of the society was held on Thursday, May 29th [1913] in the rooms of Fr. Reynolds. The meeting was duly opened and the minutes signed and the Magister announced that the Rev. E. Milner White of King’s College had been invited to read a paper on that evening; the distinguished visitor was present at this amusement but he was then withdrawn and the meeting closed in the accustomed manner.

Owing to the temperature it had been decided that the paper should be read in the open air; the senior fratres of the society kindly placed the fellows’ garden at the disposal of the society.

After light refreshments the fratres migrated thither with candles, cushions and a XXX: a delightful spot was chosen full of romantic charm under spreading branches. Rev. E. Milner White after expressing his delight at the surroundings and making a probably insincere appeal to the Grey Friars to visit him and enlighten his subject, read an extraordinary brilliant paper on ‘The Church in History’.

Dealing with the subject from the historical side our visitor showed how each age was in advance of the preceding one. He laid great emphasis on the gloom and horror of the middle ages which he deemed inconceivable as anyhow unprintable. This paper though only a portion of a larger work which fratres will await with expediency charmed all present with the easy style and original handling.

A discussion followed after Fr. Pakeman had thanked the visitor.

After Rev. E. Milner White had left the society soon migrated from its sylvan glade in a solemn procession headed by the Princeps in spotless white bearing two candles, fratres followed laden with cushions and mugs.

Several fratres were unavoidably absent at the meeting.

Signed:
J. W. Reynolds (Prin. Sen.)
H. B. King (Mag. Rot.)

Insert:
Appreciation of this paper, and our own confraternity, was expressed by brother Churl at frequent intervals during this evening.


The thirty ninth meeting of the Society was held on Monday, October 20th [1913] in the rooms of the Princeps.

Before the meeting was opened fratres took wine in common with the Princeps at which many healths were drunk with the good will characteristic of our own confraternity. It is here the wish of the society to accord its very warrant appreciation of the hospitality of the Princeps, who thus made possible the revival of this ancient custom which marks the inauguration of a new year. After fratres had partaken literally in this expression of goodwill, as was shown when fraters were observed struggling manfully but ineffectually with churchwarden clays, the meeting was formally opened. Owing to the fact that the sole resident member of the Pontifical college was himself President, Fr. Reynolds obeyed his own command to go and open the meeting.

Business commenced with the reading of orders x-xiii and the last minutes together with those of Oct 16th 1911 recording the last ‘wine’.

The President then read his speech which has been placed among the archives of the society. This speech contained many interesting suggestions in the form of the printing of a summary of our constitution, the regretted discontinuation of pilgrimages in the future, the promise of simpler finance and the need of new members. The Magister moved the reply to this address and elaborated a scheme for improving debate, by which a short syllabus of future papers was to be given out by readers on application. Fr. Knox Shaw Jnr. seconded this reply in a telling manner, dwelling particularly on the need of evening dress at all meetings. He bade us remember that we were to dress up to our part and that appearing before Clio in any other garb was to insult the goddess.

Fr. Raff then waxed eloquent. Never have words flown more easily from this frater’s lips than now, when the jovial god spurred him on to sing the praises of the intellectual goddess. By irrefutable logic he told us why we must always wear evening dress at our meetings – evening dress was associated with good manners while the latter were undeniably connected with freedom of speech.

A heated discussion followed ranging round the proposed printing of a XXX of the constitution, a motion to the effect that they be not printed was defeated by the President’s casting vote. A motion regretting the growing practice of wearing evening dress at all meetings was likewise defeated by 7-2 votes. The motion put forward by the Magister with the following terms was then carried without dissent ‘that the confraternity of the Lady Frances, Countess of Sussex in form at meeting assembled do welcome and approve the policy of the senate of the confraternity as outlined in the Presidential speech of Michaelmas term 1913’.

The senate was then declared to consist of Fr. Reynolds, Fr. King and Fr. Raff; the two places thus vacant were thereupon filled by Fr. Mayall and Fr. Knox Shaw Jnr. The election of the two tribunes afforded the use of the second ballot which declared Fr. Knox Shaw Snr and Fr. Pearson elected. After the proposal of five names for consideration for membership when the tribunes had taken the oath the meeting was formally closed. This meeting the first of the new academic year was marked by sparkling humour and lively wit auguring well for future meetings. Fr. Swainson was present at this meeting and the preceding wine, where he impressed fratres with his great age and yet ready memory.

All resident fratres were present at this meeting and evening dress was worn universally.

Signed:
J. W. Reynolds (Prin. Sen.)
H. B. King (Mag. Rot.)


The fortieth meeting of the Society was held on Monday, Oct 27th [1913] in Fr. Knox Shaw Jnr’s rooms. The President was again forced to obey his own summons to open the meeting which was duly performed.

Fr. Raff was then installed as Pontiff, fourth in direct succession from Fr. Knife. The novice Fr. Gould was then summoned and took the accustomed oath and signed the roll.

During private business a letter was read from Fr. Chapman, and estimates for the proposed smoking jacket submitted. Fr. Rogerson then read a vigorous paper on ‘Ireland 1660-1714’, which produced a good debate. Fr. Rogerson took up a definite position which was assailed with equal definiteness.

Three names were proposed for membership and further debate ensued re the smoking jacket.

At 10:15 the meeting was formally closed by the new Pontiff.

All resident fratres were present with one exception whose absence had previously been accounted for to the Magister. Fr. Swainson, founder, was also present.

Signed:
J. W. Reynolds (Prin. Sen.)
H. B. King (Mag. Rot.)


The forty first meeting of the Society was held on Monday, November 10th [1913] in the rooms of the Bedel. After the accustomed ritual, a law was promulgated by the Pontiff for the better ordering of the finance of the Society. The Magister announced that the Senate had decreed that this law be observed for the forthcoming budget. The Comes thereupon presented his budget which declared the allotment of the sinking fund to help cover the expense of printing a portion of the constitution, it also contained a pole tax of one shilling and six pence. According to the scheme drafted in the new finance law, the budget was then submitted to the vote and was carried with one dissenting vote.

The Comes then announced that the Senate had dropped the business of the proposed smoking jacket in mew of the impecunious position of XXX of the senior fratres.

Fr. Ramsden then read a paper on ‘Mazzini’ which afforded an opportunity for the display of infinite knowledge and not a little wit. After one of the longest and most heated debates the Society has ever witnessed the meeting was duly closed. At this meeting Fr. Harris was received into the Confraternity.

Signed:
J. W. Reynolds (Prin. Sen.)
H. B. King (Mag. Rot.)


The forty-second meeting of the society was held on Monday, Nov 24th [1913] in the rooms of the Bedel. After the accustomed rites had been performed the Princeps called upon the Bedel to summon our moist distinguished visitor. When the Magister had ushered in and introduced Mr Seuiaus of St John’s college, the meeting proceeded to private business. The minutes being duly read and signed, the Magister announced that in view of the close proximity of the Banquet the Senate had decided to postpone the election of freshmen as new members until the beginning of the Lent term. No further private business of importance being forthcoming, the Princeps called upon Mr Seuiaus to read his paper on the subject of ‘Western Influences on China’. Any description of a paper so amazingly wide and yet concise, so tremendously learned and yet clean is difficult – it can only be recorded that the Confraternity is greatly indebted to its reader for a work which could only have been created by a master mind after actual experience in China and, in which, on its publication the world will possess a lasting authority on the beginnings of western influences on China. After such a masterful paper, debate was naturally difficult, but the continuous flow of questions intimated how thoroughly Mr Seuiaus had aroused the interest of the fratres, while the replies of the reader served to confirm what had already been fully recognised – the value of the paper to historical literature on China. [A note reads: Returning to private business four names were proposed for membership for the consideration of the Senate.] When the visitor had been withdrawn the Pontiff duly closed the meeting. All resident fratres were present.

Signed:
R. C. Mayall (Mag. Rot.)
T. Cecil Raff (Pont. Max.)


The forty third meeting of the society was held on Saturday, Dec 6th [1913] that day being the High Festival of St Nicholas, in the rooms of the Bedel. The Pontiff, having performed the accustomed rites, called for the minutes to be read. When the Comes, acting as Magister pro term, had this done they were duly signed by the Pontiff. The Magister then presented the Pontifical Charge in the accustomed manner and supported on either side by the Senators, the Pontiff in his priestly voice addressed the Confraternity. Of this sacred document, which now rests in the archives of the Confraternity, let it be said that special reference was made to the deeds of those fratres who had passed from our midst, to the personal attainments of the members of the Senate and to the obligations and duties of all the fratres. The Pontiff then closed the meeting in the accustomed manner.

Not many minutes had elapsed when the Ceremonius in solemn voice announced that the Banquet was served. So to the Library of one Taylor a light many Wyle, the fratres betook themselves to await the arrival of the Pontiff, Comes and Ceremonius. When those members of the Senate had entered the Banqueting Hall by the fratres reserved for their honour, the Princeps called for the Pontiff to declare the Banquet open. When fratres and servers alike had listened in dumb reverence to the ‘Ordynance for a Souper’ and the grace, the Confraternity fell to right heartily. For the emulation of posterity yet unborn some record must be made of this noble feast. The Princeps, supported by the Comes and Ceremonius, formed the centre of the picture, while on either side of the room were tables for the fratres. The tables decorated with scarlet ribbon and holly, according to the artistic temperament of the Ceremonius, were further ornamented by menus adorned in noble style by Ye Pictr, Fr. Rogerson. To speak of the Banquet itself would perhaps, to some fratres, mostly of senatorial rank, bring back unpleasant memories and even seem to re-echo the groans of the Princeps and the dull pains of the Comes but even XXX it must be noted that they whom the Venison Paste did spare, the sauvage pygge hys heade did devour, and they whom XXX XXX did escape were brought to a gloomy end by the ‘haggus garnished with clotted crème’. When the fraters had finished feasting the Princeps called upon the Pontiff to perform the Ceremonial toasts and after those had been given amid solemn silence and deep reverence, the Senate, the Finance board, the Ancient Members and Ye Pictr were in turn toasted. Of the speeches made, no mention can be given here, save that once again the Confraternity listened in dumb silence to the flowing words of eloquence of Fr. Chapman, and once again at the Princeps call the fratres pledged the health of ye Chef whose handiwork had been so successful. Nor must we fail to bear record that throughout the Banquet sundry fratres had sudden recourse to ye Prophet his chamber.

At last the fraters rose and with staggering gait betook themselves to ye Treasurer his lodgings. Here the drink from Araby was served while fratres placed on each others menus certain unintelligible letters. This work of art performed the Confraternity with hearts gladdened by the thoughts of the merry bowl partook themselves to 1/e Bedel his parlour. But alas Fate, which ever XXX men’s destinies for their own welfare, intervened and fratres, in the absence of the punch, were forced to quell the boar and stag with cylinders of water inflated with gas. Fratres will n’er forget the sight of the distended forms of members huddled together, wrapped in blanket and rug and recumbent on the floor. There lay the tribunes and there too lay the Pontiff, the most successful of all in emulating the deeds of our forefathers. The last scenes, who can describe them, ‘the Pontiff doing his gymnastics before the eyes of an unbelieving confraternity, the hasty flight of the Princeps with hands clasped and downcast mien, the still hurried exit of the Comes with staggering gait; and amid all these signs of agony and disorder the happy face of the Ceremonius even now armed with his churchwarden pipe. The fate of the rest of the fratres none can recount, but one by one with sorry steps they went bed ward.

Signed:
J. W. Reynolds (Prin. Sen.)
R. C. Mayall (Mag. Rot.)

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