1926

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


The 103rd meeting of the Confraternitas was held on Feb 1st, 1926 in Fr. Passant’s Rooms at 8.30 p.m.

Following the opening ceremonies Fraters XXX & Rabson were initiated. The minutes of the previous meeting were read and confirmed. An apology received from Fr. Gage was also read. The Princeps outlined the programme of the term & announced that the Visitors [sic] meeting was on Feb 15th to which Fratres could invite two guests. The Confraternitas then proceeded to elect Fr Taylor to be a Senator & Fraters Ede & Young to be Tribunes. Messrs Fraser, Lancaster, Gladstone, Roach & Owen were proposed to the Senate for election. Fr Findlater proposed & Fr Bailey seconded that a severe vote of censure be passed on Fr. Smith the Fabricius for his unexplained absence. The College of Tribunes were instructed to visit him & upraid [sic] him for his casual ways.

Fr. Findlater then read his paper on The Submarine Campaign & after a short discussion the meeting closed with the usual ceremonies.

Stanley. H. Bailey.  (Princeps. 10/3/26)
H. Maxwell Findlater (Mag: Rot:)


The 104th Meeting was held on Monday 15th February 1926 in Fr. Passant’s Rooms.

This was the Visitors [sic] meeting. After the opening ceremonies had been performed by Fr. Ede vice Fr. Passant the following were proposed to the Senate for membership[:] Messrs Owen, Gladstone, Ayr, Metcalfe, Lancaster, & Fraser. The meeting closed with the usual ceremonies.

Fratres & their guests then adjourned to the Senior Combination Room kindly lent by the Fellows for the occasion. G. Lowes Dickinson Esq gave a most interesting & instructive paper on the Origins of the War. The paper did much to clear away the mists which had collected and to show the impossibility of assigning the guilt to any one nation. Following the reading of the paper several questions were asked the reader & an interesting discussion followed which shows that the paper had been appreciated.

Fr. Bailey thanked Mr Lowes Dickinson for reading the paper and said on behalf of the Confraternitas how glad they were to welcome their guests.

Stanley. H. Bailey (Princeps. 10/3/26)
H. Maxwell Findlater (Mag: Rot:)


The 105th Meeting was held on Wednesday March 10th 1926 at 8.30 p.m in Fr. Passant’s Rooms.

Following the customary ceremonies Fratres Air, Fraser, Gladstone & Lancaster were initiated with due pomp and ritualistic observance. Fr. Taylor was then inducted by the Pontifex & took his place upon the Pontifical throne vacated by the retirement of Fr. Passant. The Minutes of the Previous meeting were then read and confirmed. Arising out of the Minutes the Tribunicial College were called upon to give an account of their visit to the Fabricius. Fr. Young on behalf of the Tribunes said that the Fabricius had been guilty of prevarication and suppresio veri et suggestio falsi. The real reason of his absence he sought to throw on his unfortunate gyp who it seemed had in a fit of colour blindness sent his red note book presented to him by the Confraternitas to the wash in place of the proper one which was green. The Confraternitas decided that the Fabricius was beyond redemption and left him to sink or swim in his sea of sin.

Fr. Youngman as Comes then presented his Budget. This was eminently satisfactory in that the neophytes paid more than anyone else and that Fr. Passant paid 1d more than his equals. This was no more than his due for he had been given a large pencil & a small notebook in which to enter his engagements.

The following were then proposed to the Senate for membership [:] Messrs Bond, Owen, Picker & Joyce. It was also decided that next term (the May term) a visit should be paid to Audley End.

Mr B. Kingsley Martin then read his paper entitled The Revolution of 1896. This dealt with the effect of the publication of the Daily Mail on the modern newspaper and many facts of psychology were given us which had previously been but half comprehended. We were somewhat shocked to learn that war & sex were what we chiefly desired to read about. Mr Kingsley Martin was most entertaining & it was very unfortunate that the meeting was cut short by the approach of midnight

H. Maxwell Findlater
H. Maxwell Findlater (Hon: Sec. Mag: Rot:)


The 106th Meeting was held on Monday, Oct. 25, in Fr. Passant’s rooms at 8.30 p.m, it being the first meeting of the Michaelmas Term, 1926.

After the usual ceremonies, Frater Picker was initiated in the ancient and time-honoured manner. The Minutes of the previous meeting were read. Arising out of them, Fr. Rabson drew the attention of the Society to the fact that the previous Magister Rotulorum, Fr. Findlater, had signed the aforesaid minutes, but instead of designating himself as Mag: Rot:, according to the constitution of the society, he had attached to his name the words Hon: Sec:[.] Fr. Findlater expressed his contrition for his lapse. Apologies for absences were read from Fr. Gage, on account of illness, and Owens, who was to have been initiated at the meeting, on the ground that the notice he had received of the meeting had been too short for him to alter his arrangements. Arising out of this, the Mag: Rot: was called to account for having failed to give Mr. Owen due and sufficient notice of the meeting. Fr. Rabson expressed his sorrow at having failed in his duty, owing to a misunderstanding with the Princeps Senatus. Fratres Gladstone and Air were elected to the Senate, Fratres Lancaster and Fraser were elected Tribunes, and Frater Gage was elected Fabricius. Votes of congratulation were passed by the Society to the Master on his election as Vice-Chancellor, to Fr. Wilkinson on his appointment to the Headmastership of Wallasey Grammar School, and to Fr. Passant on his newly acquired dignity as father of an infant daughter. Fr. Findlater then read his Principial Oration in which he mentioned these and other successes achieved by Fratres, and was replied to by the Magister Rotulorum. Messrs. Reeves, Bond and Joyce were proposed for membership of the Society. This lengthy Agenda having at length been completed, the Society settled down to enjoy an interesting and well-balanced account by Fr. Taylor of that enigma among many enigmatic queens, “Christina of Sweden”. The apparent inconsistency of character of this little-known ruler provided food for thought and for the animated discussion which followed the reading of the paper. It was with regret that we found ourselves obliged all too soon to apply ourselves to the usual concluding devotions to the Muse.

H. Maxwell Findlater (Princeps)
A. Rabson (Magister Rotulorum)


The 107th meeting of the Confraternitas Historica was held on Monday, Nov 8th [1926] at 8.30 p.m. in Fr. Passant’s rooms.

After the usual initial ceremonies, the Pontifex Maximus, seated on his throne, delivered his Pontifical Oration, in which he urged fratres to cherish the two-fold ideal of the Confraternitas, and the officers to prove themselves worthy of the dignity of their positions. Fratres Joyce & Reeves were then duly admitted to the membership of the Confraternitas with all pomp and accustomed ceremonies. The minutes of the previous meeting were read. Fr. Passant commented on the omission of the name of the reader of the paper, Fr. Taylor, for which mistake the Magister Rotulorum apologized in his usual manner and the minutes were signed. Apologies for absence were announced from Fr. Knox-Shaw on account of a prior engagement, Fratres Youngman & Thompson on the ground of ill-health, & Mr. Owens, who was to have been admitted to the Confraternitas at the meeting, on account of a summons to the presence of the Captain of C.U.R.U.F.C. This put Fr. Hackforth in mind of the vote of censure that had been passed upon him at the previous meeting for his absence, and he demanded why the Mag: Rot: had waited a week before notifying him of the said vote of censure. He descried in this dilatoriness not only a lack of respect for, but also an insidious attack upon, the honour of the Confraternitas. [A note reads: He was a merciful man, however, & would not propose a vote of censure on the Magister Rotulorum.] The Mag: Rot: overwhelmed with humiliation, pleaded that he was a busy man, protested his love and respect for the Confraternitas, and regretfully tendered his resignation. Fr. Passant therefore moved that as the Mag: Rot: was still young, and he might with experience yet become worthy of his office, the resignation be not accepted. This was carried nem. con. It was then discovered that in the minutes of the previous meeting, no mention was made of the aforesaid vote of censure. No amendment could be made to the minutes, as they had been signed. The Princeps Senatus suggested the addition of a footnote but added that there was no provision for such an act in the constitution of the Society. Fr. Hackforth, therefore, moved that a footnote be not added, lest it be held as a precedent in the future. This was carried nem. con.

Messrs. Bond, Robson, & Gibson were proposed to the Senate for membership. The Tribunicial Oath was then read by the newly-elected tribunes, Fratres Fraser & Lancaster.

In connection with the Visitors’ Meeting in the Lent Term, the Princeps Senatus, seconded by the Mag: Rot:, moved that ladies be admitted as guests of fratres. Some considerable discussion took place as to the age-limit of the said guests, but this was left unsettled. In order to test the opinion of the meeting, Fr. Carroll, seconded by Fr. Hackforth, moved an amendment to the effect that ladies should not be admitted as guests at the Visitors’ Meeting. This motion was lost by a large majority, & the original motion was passed nem. con. The number of guests per member was left as before at two, without discrimination as to sexes.

The meeting was reminded of the joint meeting with Peterhouse Historical Society on Friday, Nov. 19.

The Princeps Senatus then asked playwrights among fratres to send in their efforts for use at the Banquet on Sat. Nov. 27.

The Ceremonarius, Fr. Gladstone, then called the attention of the Society to the fact that the Constitution of the Society allowed for the membership of the Senate both five and six to be. A discourse by Fr. Passant on the subject of rigid & flexible constitutions, and the force of ancient customs, failed to solve the mystery of this anomaly, which was left to the Senate to rectify.

This lengthy agenda having been completed, Fr. Rabson read a paper on William Cobbett. The most that we dare say of this is that it aroused considerable discussion, and one frater at least was turned with regret to the usual concluding devotions.

A. Rabson (Mag: Rot:)
H. Maxwell Findlater (Princeps)


The 108th Meeting of the Confraternitas Historica was held in Fr. Passant’s rooms on Friday, Nov. 19 [1926], at 8.15 p.m.

After the customary initial ceremonies, Messrs. Owens and Bond were solemnly admitted to the Confraternitas. The Minutes of the previous meeting were read and adopted. Apologies for absence were announced from Frater Stansfield, Fr. Gage, and for absence from the second half of the meeting from Frater Gladstone. Frater Passant also apologized for his absence from the later proceedings, on the ground of doctor’s orders to go to bed early, and announced Fr. Green’s absence on the ground that Love had triumphed over Duty. A letter was read from Fr. Wilkinson, thanking the Confraternitas for its vote of congratulation on his appointment as Headmaster of Wallasey Grammar School.

The Magister Rotulorum then announced that the Senate had succeeded in solving the tangle in the Codex Juris by which the membership of the Senate was fixed at both five and six, by the addition of the words – “with the exception of the Fabricius” to Sec IV, Cap I – “That all officers be ex-officio members of the Senate”, the addition to take the form of an Act Additional, Sec. IV, Cap 14. Fr. Passant, seconded by Fr. Gladstone, moved that the amendment to the rules be adopted. This was carried nem. con. Messrs. Gibson, Robson, Prideaux & Watson were proposed to the Senate for membership.

His rebus factis, the Confraternitas proceeded to Peterhouse as the guests of the Peterhouse Historical Society. On the way thither, Fratres Joyce & Taylor encountered the eternal proctorial triangle with more or less unhappy results. Having arrived eventually at Peterhouse, the Confraternitas listened to a characteristically fascinating and trenchant paper by Dr. H. W. V. Temperley, on “The Turks, Old and New”. Dr. Temperley’s description of Turkish standards of morality in every sphere of life astounded and amused his audience, and a vigorous discussion followed, in which several Fratres contributed valuable and interesting speeches and worthily upheld the high fame of the Confraternitas.

H. Maxwell Findlater (Princeps Senatus)
A. Rabson (Magister Rotulorum)


[The] 109th Meeting of the Confraternitas Historica was held in Fr. Passant’s rooms on Saturday, Nov 28 [1926], at 7.45 P.M.

This was the night of the Banquet, when fratres were to hold high feast and revelry, and it was with difficulty that the Princeps Senatus silenced the famished ravings of hungry fratres concerning the temperature of the soup. But the Princeps and his satellite worked their way relentlessly through the Agenda, affording an admirable if unnecessary example for fratres to follow when they came face to face with the Agenda of the feast.

Having, as usual, worshipped at the altar of our Lady Clio, under the supervision of the Pontifex Maximus, the Confraternitas listened with impatience to the reading of the previous meeting’s minutes by the Magister Rotulorum. Arising out of the minutes was the problem of the progging of Fratres Joyce & Taylor while the Confraternitas was on its way to Peterhouse for its meeting with Peterhouse Historical Society. In reply to the assertion that the incident should not have been recorded, as it did not take place during a meeting of the society, the Magister proved to the satisfaction of the Confraternitas, that it did take place during a meeting of the Society. Fr. Fraser, seconded by Fr. Passant, then moved that the Magister Rotulorum should convey a vote of censure of the society to the Proctor concerned for having interfered in a meeting of the society. [A note reads: This proposal was carried nem. con.]

It was then suggested that the Magister should write to the Secretary of the Peterhouse Historical Society, expressing our thanks for the enjoyable evening we had passed as its guests. The Magister Rotulorum announced that he had already done so, and had received a reply from the Secretary of the Peterhouse Historical Society.

Fr. Air then presented his budget – an eminently capable and amusing and convincing summary of the financial condition of the Confraternitas. The budget was adopted nem. con.

Fr. Carroll was then congratulated on his recently attained Doctorate of Philosophy.

A big batch of regrets for absences were announced, including one from the Vice Chancellor, which was, with some difficulty read.

Messrs. Gibson, Robson, Prideaux and Watson were then proposed to the Senate for membership.

The meeting closed with prayer, and fratres adjourned to the small Lecture Room to enjoy a feast such as the great Doctor himself could not have bettered. The waiters waited as efficiently as ever, the flowing bowl flowed with happy effect, the dishes met their fate bravely, and all was merry as… you know the rest. Fratres drank to the King and to absent members, and then adjourned to Fr. Passant’s rooms where the evening was passed in the enjoyment of some excellent amateur theatricals. So many fratres took part in them, & were so good, that there isn’t room to mention the names of all of them. [A note reads: As instructed by the Confraternitas, the Magister Rotulorum visited the Proctor concerned (Rev H. E. Wynn of Pembroke College) and delivered the vote of censure, to which the Proctor replied that the gentlemen concerned, being members of such a society, and studying such a subject, should have some respect for the Constitution. If they could not keep the rules of the larger society to which they were privileged to belong, they must just lump it. If it should be their intention to continue to break the said rules of the said society, it was the hope of the Proctor that he should meet ’em in the act.]

H. Maxwell Findlater (Princeps)
A. Rabson (Magister Rotulorum)

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