1914

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


The forty fifth meeting of the society was held in the Library on Monday, Jan 26th [1914]. This room, resplendent with the wisdom of many generations of our forefathers, was, for the first time, used for the assembly of the ardent followers of Clio. After the accustomed rites had been performed, the Pontiff summoned the two novices Fr. Dreuth and Fr. Haythoruthwaite who were then duly admitted. The Princeps then called upon the Magister to read the minutes of the last meeting and, when he had this done, he read a judicial decision of the interpretation of the law relating to the election of senators. The Magister then announced that the Senate now consisted of Fr. Reynolds, Fr. Raff, Fr. Mayall and Fr. P. Knox Shaw. Before proceeding to the election of a new senator Fr. Raff, in powerful and majestic words, urged that the gratitude of the confraternity to Fr. King for his vast services should be put on record. Whilst sympathising with the retiring senator for the dire malady which had attacked him, Fr. Raff further expressed his regret that unavoidable circumstances had caused his retirement from the Senate and urged the confraternity to endeavour to emulate the zeal of Fr. King. Fr. Rogerson was then elected as a member of the Senate according to the law of the constitution. After a double ballot has been taken, the Princeps declared that Fr. King and Fr. Ramsden had been elected tribunes for the ensuing term. No further private business being forthcoming, the Princeps called upon the Ceremonius, Fr. P. Knox Shaw, to read his paper on ‘Homer as Historian and Poet’. It would be difficult to imagine a paper which displayed the deep learning, classical upbringing and powerful eloquence of its reader more than that of the learned Ceremonius. The debate which followed demonstrated clearly to what extent the disciples of Clio had become imbued with the wisdom of the walls of her temple. Aged senators, fratres of mature years and even novices, formed forth below the living, but stern, face of Cromwell, the majesty of their learning and eloquence. Perhaps the greatest testimony of the work of the Ceremonius lies in the remark of the Princeps that never had the Confraternity seen or witnessed the like of this meeting.

After the tribunes had taken their oath the Pontiff closed the meeting in the accustomed manner. With the exception of one tribune who was unavoidably away, all resident fratres were present.

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


The forty-fifth meeting of the society was held in the Library on Monday, February 10th [1914]. When the Pontiff had opened the meeting in the accustomed manner, the novice, Fr. Raff junior, was duly admitted. It must be placed on record that this was the first occasion in the history of the confraternity on which Pontiff and Novice have been united not only by the mutual worship at the shrine of Clio but also by blood relationship. The venerable Pontiff, overburdened with this weight of fraternal responsibility and attacked by a fever of great heat, having asked leave to retire bed-wards, was escorted out by an aged frater, well famed and skilled in all arts of medicine and healing. In the course of private business the Comes announced that the budget for the term would be presented at the next meeting. No further private business being forthcoming, the Princeps called upon Mr G. R. Day of Peterhouse and Emmanuel Colleges to read his paper. This work, entitled ‘Leviathan Restrained’, advanced the claim that a federal system should be conducted in Great Britain in order to limit the power of the absolute democratic state. But in the course of expounding this great theme the reader touched on many side issues, which still dwell in the minds of fratres – the rights and liberties of corporations, the respect due to all senatorial bodies and the means, mode and methods of modern motoring, were all in turn most cleverly defined. The paper was one of the most brilliant and yet one of the most lucid and interesting to which the Confraternity has ever listened. A broad and interesting discussion ensued and in spite of the fact that several fratres brought out a second edition of their speeches, Mr Day proved himself most competent to answer any queries and to ward off any criticism. When the Princeps had thanked the reader for the honour he had paid to the confraternity, the Pontiff being absent, Fr. Reynolds, as ex-Pontiff, closed the meeting in the accustomed way. All resident members were present, but at the conclusion of the meeting the numbers were seriously deflated by the unavoidable withdrawal of all fratres who were rowing in the XXX in the service of the state.

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


The forty-sixth meeting of the society was held in the Library on Monday, Feb 23rd [1914]. After the accustomed rites had been performed by the Pontiff and the minutes of the last meeting duly read and signed, the Princeps called upon the Magister to make his notices with regard to the further election of new members and the arrangements for the visitor’s meeting. After three members of the college had been put forward for election to the confraternity the fratres considered a scheme for a general visitor’s meeting to which any member of the university could be invited. After a somewhat long and dreary discussion it was decided that the original proposer of the matter should bring forward a definite scheme for the XXX of the confraternity at the next business meeting. The Princeps, having called upon the finance board to hold the house, the Comes presented his budget for the Lent term. Owing to the fact that the finance board and certain fraters completely misunderstood one another, a lengthy and tedious discussion ensued. Eventually the budget which consisted of a poll tax of 2/5 was carried by an overwhelming majority. No further private business being forthcoming, the Princeps called upon Fr. Rosier to read his paper on ‘Lancaster York’. This paper was listened to with considerable interest by the fratres, but the discussion which ensued was particularly barren and uninteresting, except for the epigram of the Princeps, which met with its due reward alike in the confraternity and also the next morning when repeated in a lecture. The meeting was then closed by the Pontiff. All resident fratres were present.

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


The third visitors’ meeting was held in the library on Monday, March 9th [1914]. The Senate received the guests who then partook with the fratres of the fraternal punch bowl and in the cult of the kindly weed. After the Pontiff had proposed the toast to the memory of Lady Frances Sidney, the Princeps welcomed the guests in the house of the society and recalled to memory his predecessor in the presidential chair. Fr. Rogerson then read his erudite paper on ‘Monarchy in the Making’ in which with the hand of a master he brought together the results of the XXX learning. Fr. Mayall followed with a composite production. Several fratres professed knowledge of the sources of the scintillating fireworks and hinted that the epigrams were not a necessary appendage of Monarchy in Maturity. Fr. King then chanted in sepulchral tones the dirge of the Crown of England, and his epitaph was full worthy of the great theme. The Princeps then called upon the venerable Dean of the Society to open the discussion. The Dean of the college followed with a speech sparkling with humour in which he thanked the society in the name of the guests and congratulated the fratres on the seemly abode which the endeavours of the Princeps had provided for the worship of Clio. An animated and sustained debate ensued. It would be seemly to place on record the considerable effort of Fr. Rosier had not our reporter mislaid his notes and the favourite, but incoherent utterances of a vigorous and dark-eyed Celt (Mr Molony). After the readers had summed up the discussion the Princeps invited the fratres with their guests to accompany him to a lower plane there to partake of body comforts. With mind intrigued and body refreshed, the society then gave itself to merry rounds of that ancient game, the cult of which is highly prized by many fratres. And the moon had waned ere the fratres and their guests retired bed-wards.

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

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