1920

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


The 53rd meeting of the society was held in Mr Edwards’ rooms, New Court, on Monday evening, Jan 26th [1920] at 8:30pm. When the opening rites had been duly performed, the Princeps called upon the Mag. Rot. to read the minutes, and after an omission had been made good, these were approved and signed. The first business was the election of a Fabricius and two Tribunes for this term. Fr. Horrax was duly elected Fabricius and to the two Tribunes Fratres Knox Shaw and Bowman were again entrusted the high office of Tribune.

The Princeps then announced to the society that Fr. Raff would not be able to give his paper on Mar 8th as he was going abroad before that date. It was therefore proposed and carried that a note of appreciation of Fr. Raff’s services to the confraternity be placed among its archives, and that a why thereof, together with fraternal greetings and good wishes, be sent to the distinguished Frater in his new sphere of life.

Fr. Bowman next read his paper on ‘The Relief of Poverty in England’ upon which followed an interesting discussion, in the course of which all manner of weird opinions were unearthed: Fabians, Anarchists, Guildsmen and even one Conservative.

Proposals for the election of new members were then asked for and there were proposed and seconded:

Mr. R. T. G. Arthur
” E. J. Lancaster
” I. M. Horobin
” R. Mellor
” S. C. T. Schiller and
” C. B. Spencer.

The meeting was then closed by the Pontiff with the accustomed rites.

Signed:
T. E. Nichol (Mag. Rot.)
G. J. Passant (Pont. Max.)


The 54th meeting of the society was held in Mr Edwards’ rooms, New Court, on Monday evening, Feb 9th [1920], at 8:30pm. After the opening of the meeting in due form, the two new members – R. T. G. Arthur and E. J. Lancaster – were admitted. The Pontifex Maximus (in the absence of the Princeps) then called upon the Mag. Rot. to read the minutes, and after two alterations had been made, these were approved and signed.

The Comes (Fr. Gaius) next presented the budget in a masterly fashion, and after a lengthy discussion it was finally carried with one amendment to the effect that any member of the confraternity who, after paying his assessment, obtains a college colour should be allowed to claim a rebate at the rate of £20 for every such colour awarded.

Some important private business was then discussed. First, it was decided to have a Banquet during the 1st fortnight of next term, and to leave all arrangements connected with it to the Senate. It was also proposed and carried that the confraternity give a breakfast to the 1st and 2nd boats. Lastly, in the proposal of the Pontiff, a committee of three was appointed to codify the constitution of the confraternity. Fratres Gaius, Johnson, Lancaster were elected to serve in this committee and Fr. Johnson was appointed to act as secretary. The names of the following, suggested for membership, were then proposed – Messrs. XXX, Horobin. Holmes, Mellor, Schiller and Spencer.

Signed:
H. B. King (Prin. Sen.)
T. E. Nichol (Mag. Rot.)


The 55th meeting of the society was held in Mr Knox Shaw’s rooms on Monday evening, Feb 23rd [1920], at 8:30pm. When the opening rites had been duly performed, the Princeps called upon the Mag. Rot. to read the minutes, which were approved and signed. The Mag. Rot. then announced that the Senate had decided that heckling should be allowed, except during the reading of the paper.

Fr. Wilkinson then read a paper on ‘The Philosophical XXX of Property’, upon which followed an interesting discussion. All were agreed on the excellence of the learned Ceremonius’ paper, but there the agreement ended, for most fratres appeared to be determined to discuss socialism and the nationalisation of coal mines, and then indeed confusion reigned supreme. After the learned reader had summed up the debate, the names of the following, suggested for membership, were proposed – Messrs. Hind, Horobin, Mellor, Schiller and Spencer.

The meeting was then closed with the accustomed rites.

Signed:
E. J. Passant (Prin. Sen.)
T. E. Nichol (Mag. Rot.)


The 56th meeting of the society was held in Frater Passant’s rooms on Monday, March 8th, 1920, at 8:30. The opening rites were performed with expedition and the minutes, having been read by the Magister Rotulorum, were confirmed by the Princeps. C. B. Spencer and N. Hind were then admitted to the privileges of the society having first taken the oath of allegiance. A vote of censure proposed by the Fr. Horrax and seconded by Fr. Jones in the alleged negligence of the Mag. Rot. was lost when put to the vote. It was then announced to the society and the sadness of this XXX betokened the deep disappointment occasioned, that owing to circumstances over which the Senate had no control – namely the Great War – there would be no punch provided. The concluding rites were then spoken.

The visitors were thereupon introduced and the society in open meeting enjoyed the privilege of regaling them with churchwarden and birds-eye tobacco according to the ancient custom. Fr. Passant then read an erudite paper upon ‘Erasmus’ which was followed by a discussion in which both fraters and visitors took part.

Signed:
E. J. Passant (Prin. Sen.)
C. Boyd. Bowman (Mag. Rot.)


The 57th meeting of the society was held on Monday, October 18th 1920 at 8:30pm in Fr. Passant’s rooms. A precedent was established whereby the customary refreshments were disposed of XXX to the opening of the meeting, it being felt that owing to the inability of the kitchen to send up the coffee later than 8:30, a new situation had arisen which necessitated a departure from the traditional arrangement.

The sacred rites were performed by the newly appointed Pontiff, Fr. Goodall in the presence of every member of the society in residence. The Princeps next administered the mystic exhortation to the new Magister Rotulorum, Fr. Bowman, and the Holy Pontiff, after which he called on the Mag. Rot. to read the minutes of the last meeting. They were approved without criticism.

In a moment of great solemnity, the Princeps delivered his address to the members of the society. Calling to remember the noble fratres who had gone before he adjured the older to maintain worthily the tradition they had left, seeking always the favour and honour of our Lady Clio. The reply was thereupon pronounced by the Mag. Rot. on behalf of the Confraternity.

The elections necessary to fill two vacancies in the senatorial bench were proceeded with. Fraters Webb, Horrax, Jones, Johnson and Harrison were duly proposed and seconded and having attended to stand their names were submitted for the poll. After a second ballot in accordance with conditions laid down by the act additional for the election of Senate and Tribunes, Frater Jones and Knox Shaw were declared elected and at once took their seats on the senatorial bench.

Proposals to fill the two vacant tribunates were called for and names of Frater Knox Shaw, Webb and Johnson were submitted, and the ballot being held, Frater Knox Shaw and Johnson were declared elected. These Fraters then took the Tribunician oath.

The Princeps then announced to the confraternity that the senate proposed to arrange the customary Banquet on Saturday 27th November.

The commission appointed at the 54th meeting to codify the constitution of the society was called upon to make its report. The secretary of the commission Fr. Johnson made a statement in which it appeared that the work had been commenced but had not advanced from the members to the positive state. A burst of criticism was aimed and Fratres Gaius and Lancaster resigned from the commission. All kinds of proposals and suggestions were thrown out, some of which were carried as formal motions. However, after the storm had somewhat abated, it was proposed and seconded that the commission, to which Fr. Lancaster consented to complete his relinquished XXX, should be XXX by the appointment of Fr. Spencer, and that they should be allowed a minimum of three weeks in which to make their considered report. This motion was carried with one dissentient vote.

The following members of the college were proposed and seconded for membership. Messrs. Giles, Hopkins, Wheatherill, Hawkes, Denton, Aliton, Phillips and Stanford.

The meeting was formally closed.

Signed:
E. J. Passant (Prin. Sen.)
C. B. Bowman (Mag. Rot.)


The 58th meeting of the society was held on Monday, Oct 25th, 1920 at 8:30pm in Frater Passant’s rooms. The Pontiff performed the customary rites. The Magister Rotulorum having read the minutes, these were approved after one or two alterations suggested by the noble resistance, an elusive truth which the society ever maintains. The Princeps then welcomed the presence of Frater A. D. Swainson, one of the inspired Fathers of the Foundation who was at present a furlough from Zanzibar. Fr. Swainson was the first to hold the high and responsible office of Magister Rotulorum.

There was no private business and the Budget was therefore presented to the society by the puissant financier, Fr. Jones, Comes Sacrae Thesauri. The proposals of the financial board proved to be deeply discerning, nearly revolutionary, and ineffably injurious. The recovery of the members from payment onslaught onto their purses was slow but gained strength. Finally approval was acceded to such of the propositions as were the least hateful and which should suffice to replenish the depleted coffers of the Comes.

No names were submitted to the Senate for consideration for election.

Signed:
E. J. Passant (Prin. Sen.)
C. Boyd. Bowman (Mag. Rot.)


The 59th meeting of the society was held on Monday, Nov 1st, 1920 at 8:30pm in Frater Passant’s rooms. After the opening rites had been performed the meeting was immediately closed in order that the distinguished visitors might enter. The Rev. Dr. Vance and Dr Thacker, Fellow of the College, were welcomed by the Princeps.

Dr Vance then spoke for an hour and a quarter on his experiences in Czechoslovakia from 1918-1920. The audience were quickly delighted by his caustic wit and cheerful cynicism and felt at once that the considered teachings of a trained observer were being delivered to them. Dr Vance was very sincerely and cordially thanked for coming up and delivering a very fascinating chapter on contemporary history as he saw it in the making.

Signed:
E. J. Passant (Prin. Sen.)
C. Boyd. Bowman (Mag. Rot.)


The 60th meeting of the society was held on Monday, Nov 15th 1920 at 8:30pm in Frater Knox-Shaw’s rooms. The appointed rites were performed by the Pontiff and the minutes of the 58th and 59th meetings were read and approved.

The Princeps announced that the august senate had decided to elect Frater Knox Shaw as Socius Honorabilis in recognition of the very great services which he had rendered to the Confraternitas. Never before had a member been chosen for this honour and it was felt that Fr. Knox Shaw by his devotion and merits more than deserved it. The Socius replied shortly and full-feelingly.

The letter which the commission on codification had addressed to the senate was then read by the Magister Rotulorum, and the act embodying the Codex Iuris as the laws of the society was promulgated by the Holy Pontiff.

Chapter by chapter the Codex Iuris was read to the assembly society by the members of the commission and discussions of an elucidatory and sometimes critical character followed each group of laws.

The Princeps voiced the thanks of the society by the commission. Frater Johnson (secretary), Lancaster and Spencer, for the extremely able way they had discharged their arduous task, in spite of many difficulties.

The meeting was closed by the Pontiff by the time-honoured rite.

Signed:
E. J. Passant (Prin. Sen.)
C. Boyd. Bowman (Mag. Rot.)


The 61st meeting of the society was held on Saturday, Nov 27th [1920] at 8.0pm in Fr. Passant’s rooms. The opening and closing rites were performed with dignified expedition and the society adjourned to Dr Thacker’s rooms where the Annual Banquet was served. Dr Thatcher was present as a guest of the society and Frater King happily on a visit of ecclesiastical character to Sidney was also present. The Banquet took the form of a supper which was served to the Emperor Charles X when quartered with his suite in the City of London in 1522. The tables were arranged on three sides of a square and an extremely fine display of plate glistened on them. The drinks were corked and as far as possible served according to the ancient fashion. A solemn and fascinating ceremonial attended the entry of the ‘Chykyus Boyled’. At the end of the first course, a silent toast was drunk to the memory of the members of the Confraternity who had fallen. The cup of Approval circulated between the two courses, during which interval speeches were made in the character of Henry VIII by the Magister Rotulorum, the Emperor Charles V by Fr. King and the Lord Mayor of London by Fr. Webb. After the second course, the Pontiff as Cardinal Wosley and Fr. Harrison as Sir Thomas More made their XXX. A loving cup went round, each member solemnly toasting his neighbour.

The members rose from the table at 10:30 and went back to Fr. Passant’s rooms where dessert, coffee and goodly tack awaited them. Further toasts were drunk to the guest, Dr Thacker, and the most noble, the Princeps.

Until the fast approach of midnight made swift dispersal necessary right hearty good-fellowship warmed the hearts of the society.

Signed:
E. J. Passant (Prin. Sen.)
C. Boyd. Bowman (Mag. Rot.)


The 62nd meeting of the society was held on Monday, Nov 29th [1920], at 8:35pm in Fr. Passant’s rooms. The opening rites were performed and the minutes of the 61st meeting read and approved without comment. The names of six gentlemen were proposed and seconded for the consideration of the Senate.

The Princeps then called upon the Holy Pontiff to deliver the annual charge. The reverence with which the solemn administrator and exhortations borne by deep and measured ends were received was remarkable, even among members long accustomed to hear learned and cunning phrases.

Fr. Jones then read a paper entitled ‘Army-Making in a Hurry’ which exhibited his devotion and zeal in rejoice of the Muse. The discussion which followed was energetic and general and became unfortunately perhaps, sidetracked on to the League of Nations.

The closure was applied at an earlier hour than usual by the performance of the appointed rites.

Signed:
E. James Passant (Prin. Sen.)
C. Boyd Bowman (Mag. Rot.)


The 63rd meeting of the society was held on Monday, January 12th at 8:30pm in the rooms of the Socius Honorabilis. After the due and ceremonious opening of the proceedings, C. W. Giles and F. W. Hawkes were admitted to the membership and privileges of the society, having taken the sacred oath before the Holy Pontiff.

Next was performed with proud solemnity a ceremony new in the annals of the Confraternity. Fr. Knox Shaw was invested with the insignia of Fellowship. The Pontiff clasped the riband about his neck, uttered the exhortation, and entered the right hand of distinguished and cordial congratulation.

The minutes of the 62nd meeting were then read, amended and confirmed. A letter from the Ceremonius, expressing with regret that the Muse had called him – for that night especially urgently – upon another arduous behest, was read by the Magister Rotulorum.

The Princeps announced that the Senate had elected three Honorary Members. The constitution provided for such election but never before had the desire so to elect been evinced. The Rev, the Master of the college, Dr C. R. A. Thacker, Fellow of the college, and the Rev. Dr F. G. Vance of Ware were the new honorary members. The Socius called the attention of the confraternity to the method adopted in the election of Honorary Members, and while it was fully recognised that no different method had been ordained by statute, yet he called on the August Senate earnestly to consider whether legislation could not be introduced to make the election of Hon. Members more democratic.

The election to the vacancy in the Senate, occasioned by the retirement of Fr. Jones from the office of Comes was filled by the election by ballot if Fr. Johnson. This necessitated the election of two tribunes. Fratres Webb and Harrison were elected to fill these onerous posts and immediately took the oath and signed the roll.

Messrs. Rice, Stanford, Milner and Horobin were proposed for membership and their names submitted to the Senate for consideration.

The Socius read a paper entitled ‘Misfits’ in which – illustrating from the history of the Sacrie of Light – he urged the necessity of chaos, ordered and logical neatening in the exact sciences and no less in the difficult, because necessarily inexact study of history. Most of the members present gave their opinions upon any subject that occurred to them – referring lightly to the paper to which they had listened.

The closing rites were then performed and the health of the Socius toasted in the glorious wine – rich XXX of fragrant cheer, which Dr Johnson describes as the ‘liquor for men’.

Signed:
James Passant (Prin. Sen.)
C. Boyd. Bowman (Mag. Rot.)

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