1925

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


The 95th meeting of the Confraternitas, which coincided with the Annual Banquet, was held on Sat. Jan. 24th, 1925 at 7:50pm in Fr. Passant’s Rooms.

The elections to the Senate and Tribuneship followed the opening ceremonies. Fr. Blanchard was re-elected to the Senate and Frs. Thompson and Hill to the Tribuneship. The closing ceremonies were then performed and fraters with one accord leapt to the feast. In the van skipped lithe Fr. Giles – frail flesh, ever-ready to renew acquaintance with the 14th century. How nobly did fratres fare, how rarely the Royal spits have turned. In quick succession disappeared carp and escalloped ousters, quite beyond with gave and ‘Humble Pie’, whereat the heart of the Dean smote him and he stayed his hand. Then came the great Plomme pudyng soused with XXX, born aloft by our Royal Chef amid the plaudits of all fratres.

The banquet over, the revels of Clio opened with the touching exhortation of Fr. Giles to the Confraternitas in general, pointing out to them the path of light and warning them from the way of darkness. He adduced there many sad examples of vice and depredation, whereat Fr Giles appeared to burst into tears and was led weeping from the room by his none too trusty acolytes.

At this juncture much discussion was caused by the departure of Fr. Passant with his brace of faithful hounds – the perambulating man-trap, devised by our barbarous laws for the unwary. Thence forward fratres invoked the Muses and led on drama after drama until the witching hour of midnight, when all went their various ways. So ended the Banquet of 1925.

Signed:
Stanley. H. Bailey (Mag. Rot.)
David F. Wood (Princeps)


The 96th meeting of the Confraternitas was held on Saturday. Feb: 7th, 1925 at 8:20pm in Fr. Passant’s rooms.

This was the Visitor’s Meeting. After the opening ceremonies, Messrs. Thomas, J. W. Taylor and H. E. Humphries were proposed to the Senate for membership. This concluded the business and the closing ceremonies were performed.

Fraters then moved with their guests to the Senior Combination Room, where Father Ronald Knox, the guest of the evening, delivered a paper on ‘The Miracles of Henry VI’. Father Knox, if in a serious mood – and the Miracles of Henry are not a subject for idle pleasantry – was profoundly interesting. His description of the alleged miracles was at the same time a description of the Middle Ages. Fratres appeared a little doubtful about two points: first, whether Father Knox really knew anything about the life and character of Henry VI; and secondly, whether he really believed these alleged miracles at all. The paper was, however, sound as a rock, against which fraters and their guests battled in vain. The Princeps brought the meeting to a close conveying the thanks of all to Father Knox.

Signed:
Stanley. H. Bailey (Mag. Rot.)
David F. Wood (Princeps)


The 97th meeting of the Confraternitas was held on Monday, February 23rd 1925 at 8:30pm in Fr. Passant’s Rooms.

The initiation of the neophyte, Mt J. W. Taylor, followed the opening ceremonies. Three sets of minutes were then read and confirmed. The question of the 100th meeting, which would fall in the next Michaelmas Term, was raised and fratres were asked to proffer the fruits of their contemplation to the Confraternity at the following meeting. A proposal for an official club notepaper was also shelved until that meeting.

Fr. Blanchard, Comes, then proposed his Budget. After a rapid, though comprehensive review of the scientific world of the 19th century and a bashful glance at the attributes of one of Nature’s gentlemen, the Comes hove to by the rock of High Finance. There with sunny smile he told fraters the worst. But his masterly beaming showed itself most prominently in rebutting the trifling attacks of low financiers, such as Fr. Perrycoste, who suggested – and in doing so amid a few crotchety, niggling fratres with him – that it would be well to have a little balance on the right side. Pricked to the depths of his professional pride, the Comes took a strong line and with a superb gesture, dismissed all questioning. This concluded the business of the evening.

Fr. B. T. D. Smith then read his paper in ‘Oats’. This intriguing title served only to cover the even more intriguing delights within. The paper passed from the evolution of the garden in England to the traditional cures of herbalists and so to the English medical profession. Fratres applauded with one accord the reader of this brilliant little paper.

Signed:
Stanley. H. Bailey (Mag. Rot.)
David F. Wood (Princeps)


The 98th meeting of the Confraternitas was held on Monday, March 9th 1925, at 8:30pm in Fr. Passant’s Rooms.

The opening ceremonies concluded, the question of the 100th meeting was discussed. Bashful fratres showed a surprising lack of constructive ideas. Negative assertions flowed in abundance, dates were rejected with unbridled ferocity; the more sober forms of celebration were received with scornful hoots until the cheeks of the more temperate fratres burned with shame for their ribald companions. O tempora! O mores!

The wings of time flapped fast until up rose Fr. Passant who demanded querulously: ‘What is the matter with November 7th?’ Nought was heard save the ticking of watches and the gurgle of pipes. The argument was unassailable. The date, November 7th, 1925, being fixed, the task of making the necessary arrangements was delegated to a committee of three.

The problem of the notepaper of the Confraternitas, after another lengthy debate, was referred to that depositary of all worldly wisdom – the Senate.

Mr. F. H. Owens was then proposed to the Senate for membership. This concluded the business of the meeting. Fr. Thompson thereupon read an amusing and scholarly paper on ‘Alchemy’, in the course of which fraters were guided to a Liars’ Paradise of pure gold, manufactured to suit all requirements, only to be cast forth upon the rocks of disillusionment. Thus ended an interesting term.

Signed:
Stanley. H. Bailey (Mag. Rot.)
Stanley. H. Bailey (Princeps)


The 99th meeting of the Confraternitas was held on Monday October 26th, 1925 at 8:30pm in Fr. Passant’s Rooms.

Following the opening ceremonies, the newly elected Pontifex and the Magister Rotolorum were ordained and inducted according to the sacred rites of Our Lady Clio of immemorial antiquity. When the minutes had been read and confirmed, the Princeps delivered his principal speech. This was a masterpiece of composition well fitted to the high-seated office of its author and indeed worthy of Our Lady. He spoke of the world wide fame of this, our Confraternitas. He mourned those who had left this haven of learning, no longer full servants of the Muse, rejoiced in the good fortune of those who, though no longer among us, still worshipped at the shrine, and exhorted those fratres still remaining to observe the rites and ceremonies with humble heart and clear head. Then the Magister Rotolorum made brief reply. Next, Fr. Youngman and Fr. Ede were elected to the Senate. Fr. Young and Fr. Taylor were elected Tribunes and took the Tribunicial oath with much gravity. Fr. Smith was elected Fabricius after two voting papers had been declared null and void on the motion of Fr. Smith and Fr. Knox-Shaw. The Princeps was much bewildered by these two papers inscribed ‘Fr. Smithfield’. The Confraternitas was not the mart for cheap humour.

Messrs Roach, Welch, Owens, Green, Carrol, Reeves, Joyce, Stansfield, Fraser and Thompson were proposed to the Senate for membership. This concluded the business of the meeting and it was with a sense of a pleasure well earned that fratres settled themselves to hear Fr. Youngman’s paper on ‘The False XXX’. This proved to be a most interesting, able, and well balanced appreciation of the work of Antony Ashley Cooper, 1st Earl of Shaftsbury. A short discussion followed in which all present took part. A vote of thanks was accorded Fr. Youngman and the meeting closed with the customary ceremonies.

Signed:
Maxwell Findlater (Mag. Rot.)
Stanley. H. Bailey (Princeps)


The 100th Meeting of the Confraternitas was held on Saturday November 7th 1925. In celebration of this a Banquet was held to which all Fratres past & present were summoned in the name of Our Lady Clio.

Fratres assembled in Fr. Passant’s Rooms where those who had left this noble seat of learning mixed again & renewed their acquaintance with the sacred ritual of our Holy Order. Five blushing & timid neophytes were initiated in the time honoured custom & took their places in the Order[.] They were Fratres Carrol, Green, Stansfield, Thompson, & Welch. Then followed the closing ceremonies.

Growls of hunger from certain famished fraters boded ill or well for the fare which our noble chef had provided. The Hall had been very kindly lent by the College for the Banquet. Amidst much joyful chatter & small talk Fratres set to with a will. Our chef had provided Pottage of Ye Ladye Frances, Escalloped Oysters, Legges of Motton [sic], Ye Roasted Fesant [sic], a pear tart creamed, Devils on Horseback, and Dessert of Alle Tymes. In spite of his calling in the outer world the worthy Fabricius seemed to enjoy renewing an acquaintance on more friendly terms than formerly when the Devils on Horseback appeared. Perhaps there is something in the remark that bitter foes may oft become good friends.

The feasting over Fratres adjourned to Fr. Passants [sic] rooms again. Lady Clio had permitted that the clock be put back a few hundred years & we met Our Ladye Frances[,] Queen Elizabeth, Cromwell, Dr Chafy, & some others. Fr. Giles traced the College history back to Roman times when one Sidonius lodged in Trinity St and gave us an amusing account of Our College through the ages. This was much enjoyed & provoked a great deal of mirth & not a little doubt as to Fr Giles [sic] adherence to the truth.

After the curtain had been dropped over these visions Fratres sipped Ye Oporto & talked of auld lang syne.

Stanley. H. Bailey (Princeps Senatus 23.XI.25)
H. Maxwell Findlater (Mag: Rot:)


The 101st meeting of the Confraternitas was held in Fr Passants [sic] rooms at 8.30 pm on Monday 23rd November 1925.

After the usual opening ceremonies the Princeps informed certain erring members that smoking was only permitted during the reading of the paper and after some contribution had been made to the discussion. The minutes of the last two meetings were read and approved. The Pontifex Maximus read his Pontifical charge from his throne with much dignity and an unusual assumption of authority. Messrs Fraser, Lancaster, Gage, and Rabson were proposed to the Senate for membership. There followed a long and somewhat difficult discussion of next terms [sic] plans. Many names of famous men were mooted for the Visitors [sic] Meeting most of which the learned and – presumably – wise Pontifex quashed by saying “Its [sic] no use asking him. Remember Bernard Shaw”[.] At length the Pontifex was empowered to write to Dr G. P. Gooch and failing him Graham Wallas. A motion was passed in which the Confraternitas observed with pain and regret the absence of the reverend & learned Fabricius. This was no message of sympathy or condolence but one of censure.

Fr. Young then read an interesting & humourous [sic] paper entitled St Edmund’s Abbey. This paper was an able & sound exposition of the rise & fall of one of the most important abbeys in England and was heard with rapt attention. There followed a short discussion to which all contributed.

The meeting closed with the usual ceremonies and Fratres sought their rest.

Stanley. H. Bailey (Princeps Senatus 7.XI.25)
H. Maxwell Findlater (Mag: Rot:)


The 102nd Meeting of the Confraternitas was held in Fr. Passants [sic] Rooms at 8.30 pm on Monday Dec 7th 1925.

After the usual opening ceremonies Fr Bailey very prettily welcomed & introduced Mr C. H. Smythe of Corpus Christi College. The minutes of the previous meeting were then read and confirmed. Fr. Youngman then presented his budget on which he had spent no little time & labour and which fully justified his tenure of the high office of Comes. He pictured Lady Clio seated in want and misery[,] thin cheeked and not a little wasted[,] almost driven to seek aid from Uncle. His budget in the face of such an appeal could not be rejected. Discreet inquiries were then made whether Fr. Passant had performed his duty by writing to those eminent historians which he had been instructed to approach for the Visitors [sic] meeting of the Lent Term. Fr. Passant said that Dr G. P. Gooch regreted [sic] that he could not visit the Confraternitas but that he had not yet written to Graham Wallas but would do so before the week was out. It was resolved to present him with a Memo book to help his erring memory as had already happened to the Fabricius. Messers Gladstone, Fraser, Owen, XXX, and Rabson were proposed to the Senate for election. Fr. Taylor in his Tribunicial office spied dust on the Sacred Box of the Confraternitas. The Fabricius made haste to remove it. It was observed that the Socius Honorabilis was not wearing his badge of office and a vote of censure which was passed unanimously, was proposed by the Princeps and seconded by Fr. Passant.

A constitutional crisis was proclaimed by the Princeps when C. H. Gage an uninitiated Frater arrived some three-quarters of an hour late. The Confraternitas decided that in view of the delinquents [sic] extreme youth they would be merciful and spare him the disgrace of censure. He was forthwith initiated and the meeting proceeded.

Mr C. H. Smythe then read a paper to the Confraternitas on the Strength of the Monarchy. This was a most amusing paper and its happy wit, apt quotations & humourous [sic] anecdotes kept all on the qui vive. Though somewhat difficult to discuss several contributions were made afterwards which proved that the paper had been thoroughly enjoyed and greatly appreciated. A vote of thanks was given Mr Smythe for the great trouble to which he had gone.

The meeting closed with the usual ceremonies.

Stanley. H. Bailey (Princeps Senatus 1-2-26)
H. Maxwell Findlater (Mag: Rot:)

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