[The following entries have been transcribed from the minute books kept in Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge.]
The 125th Meeting of the Confraternitas Historica was held in Fr. Passant’s rooms on Monday, February 4th .
When the opening ceremonies had been performed, the Pontifex Maximus read out the changes that the Senate proposed to make in the Law of the Constitution. The Magister next read the minutes, which were [passed?], & notes from Frs. Cooper, Gibson, Lancaster & Rooke regretting their absence. The fratres then plunged to an attack on the proposed changes in the Constitution, (the Tribune ominously asking for instruction in the way in which he should exercise his veto) but they were restrained by the Princep’s [sic] warning that the most they could do was to ask for an explanation of any points that were not clear to them. As such explanation was likely to be a lengthy matter, it was determined, on Fr. Passant’s motion, that the old Codex with the new laws should be left side by side in Fr. Passant’s rooms for the convenience of zealous fratres with an inquiring turn of mind.
The Princeps gave notice of the reading of the Budget at the next meeting & of the Visitors’ Meeting on March 4th. The society then proceeded to the discussion of new members & Messrs. Gunner, Elliott, White, Crowder & Mclellan [sic] were duly proposed & seconded. By dint of eloquent pleading Fr. Passant succeeded in extricating himself from a tangle of votes of censure in which Fr. Bovenizer sought to implicate him.
Private business being at length over, Fr. Pulman read his Paper on “Party & the Electorate”. Whilst holding to democracy & the party-system as the only bases of government, he yet practically succeeded in convincing us of the futility of modern politics on acount [sic] of the apathy of a democracy which a rapacious party-system successfully pampered & controlled. And, in spite of a long discussion, no clear way of escape from the dilemma had been discovered when the meeting closed with the usual ceremonies.
A. J. Crompton. (Mag. Rot.)
H. E. Robson (Mag Rot.)
The 126th meeting of the Confraternitas Historica was held in Fr. Passant’s rooms on Monday, Feb. 18th . When the opening ceremonies had been performed with their customary dignity, two neophytes were duly admitted into this one Confraternity.
The minutes having been read & signed, the Comes delivered his Budget. To his obvious relief it was accepted. Fr. Taylor (E. J.) then proposed that a new financial system be substituted for the system at present in operation. He suggested that a fixed terminal fee of 2/6 should be exacted from each member, over & above the established entrance fee. Several disadvantages in his scheme were readily pointed out & his motion was lost by a very large majority.
A vote of very severe censure was then passed on Fr. Gibson, who had, for the second time, omitted to observe the proper legal requirements in warning the Magister of his absence from the meeting.
Next followed a discussion of the revision of the Laws of the Constitution. The opposition was wholly centred over the proposal to translate into a hard-&-fast law the custom of wearing dinner-dress at meetings. Both sides tried earnestly enough to convince the Tribune of the righteousness of their causes & the issue was not finally decided until Fr. Bovenizer declared his intention of exercising his power of veto. A rostrum was hastily provided, &, having amended it, the Tribune solemnly pronounced his interdict against Section of the Revision of the Laws Act, 1929.
Fr. Rabson then proposed that the Society should pay a visit to Audley End after the Tripos Exams &, Fr. Passant being agreeable, the motion was unanimously carried. The Society proceeded to the discussion of new members & Messrs. Gunner, McLellan [sic], Imeson & Offiler were duly proposed & seconded.
Fr. Robson then read a paper on “Le Salon de Mme. Necker” at the end of which the meeting was closed with the usual ceremonies.
C. D. Thomson (Princeps Senatus)
A. J. Crompton (Mag. Rot.)
The 127th Meeting of the Confraternitas Historica was held on March 4th, 1929. The opening & closing ceremonies were performed in Fr. Passant’s rooms & some important business was conducted before the fratres adjourned to the Senior Combination Room for the Visitors’ Meeting. Imeson, Maclellan [sic], & Offiler were admitted to the Society in the traditional manner. Nominations were next taken for the 2 vacant places on the Senate (the Princeps having previously announced that Fr. Crowder had been incorporated as Magister) &, on the vote being counted, Frs. Wyatt and Herring were declared elected.
Fratres then adjourned to the Senior Combination Room where the Professor of Economic History read a spirited paper on Protection. Fr. Passant moved a vote of thanks to Dr. Clapham & Fr. Robson seconded this.
C. D. Thomson (Princeps Senatus)
A. J. Crompton (Mag. Rot.)
The 128th meeting of the Confraternitas Historica was held in Frater Passant’s rooms on Monday, October 28th, 1929.
After the opening ceremonies had been performed Frater Crompton read his Pastoral Charge. He recounted that he had the previous night in Hall, taken the omens by means of a chicken-bone and was confident that the future held high hopes for the devotion of fratres to our Lady Clio.
The fratres then proceeded to private business. Fratres Leeper, Imeson and White were nominated as tribunes and after a ballot had been taken, Frs. Leeper and Imeson were declared elected. Saturday, November 16th was then decided upon as the date of the Annual Banquet and the question of the Dinner Committee was discussed. The Princeps stated that in his opinion no dinner committee would be complete without Frater Passant and Frater Hare. Frater Passant declined to serve otherwise than in a consultative capacity and proposed the Senate as the dinner committee. This proposal, despite the opposition of the members of that body, was accepted with alacrity by the assembled fratres. Messrs Alderton, Gunner, Bratby, Cartwright, Mortimore and Walter were nominated for membership. The Princeps then said that the rules relating to the election of members would be read but unfortunately this did not take place for some moments as the Codex had been mislaid and subdued sounds of mirth were heard until it was found. The Princeps read the relevant passage and then discovered that it should have been read by the Magister Rotulorum: he asked fratres whether they considered this necessary in the circumstances. A majority led by Fr. Passant were emphatic in their refusal to permit any breach of formality and the passage was therefore read again, this time by the Magister. The minutes of the last two meetings were then read and, after the alteration of the last sentence, they were signed.
Fratres were then much indebted to Frater Passant for a paper on “Erasmus”, in which he gave some very interesting extracts from letters and writings of the age and also explained the difficulty with which Erasmus was faced in being unable to throw in his lot completely with the reformers and yet fully alive to the faults of the Church.
After a brief discussion the meeting closed with the usual ceremonies.
C. D. Thomson (11/11/29)
Felix E. Crowder (Mag. Rot.)
The 129th meeting of the Confraternitas Historica was held in Frater Passant’s rooms on Monday, November 11th 1929.
After the opening ceremonies had been performed Messrs Bratby, Cartwright, Gunner, Mortimore & Walter were initiated. This ceremony was proceeded by the taking of the tribunitial oath and signing of the roll by Fratres Leeper and Imeson. Fratres then proceeded to private business. Frater Bovenizer as Comes Sacrae Thesauri submitted his budget for the term. Frater Leeper thought it his duty as tribune to point out that the budget had only been made to balance by the grift of 1d from the private resources of the Comes: his proposal to add a 1d to the quota of each of the neophytes instead was lost and a motion carried that the grift of the Comes be accepted. The Budget was then carried. [A note reads: Apologies for absence were read from Fratres Prideaux, Rooke and McClellan and also one, in Latin, from Mr Alderton, who regretted he could not be present at that meeting to be initiated.]
A motion of severe censure was passed on the Senate for not having had sufficient fixture cards printed for the neophytes. Motions of very severe censure were passed on Fratres Herring and Wright: on the former for absenting himself from his post of Ceremoniarius without due notice given: on the latter for absenting himself from two consecutive meetings without any notice.
The Visitors’ Meeting was then discussed and it was decided that it should not be the last meeting of the term and February 17th or 24th were suggested as possible dates. The following names were proposed and Frater Passant kindly offered to write and invite one of these gentlemen to read a paper at that meeting: Professor Barker, Dr Coullon, Mr Larke and Mr Winstanley.
Frater Bovenizer then read a paper entitled “History and Poetry” which gave much pleasure and led afterwards to a heated discussion in which Fratres Elliott, White and Imeson played a leading part and which was brought to a close by a quotation by Frater Imeson from Byron.
The meeting then closed with the usual ceremonies.
Felix E. Crowder
The 130th meeting of the Confraternitas Historica was held on Saturday, November 16th 1929 and was the occasion of the Annual Banquet. The opening and closing ceremonies were performed in Frater Passant’s rooms and Mr Alderton was initiated before the Fratres adjourned to the Hall.
To be in keeping with the 14th century menu which Frater Herring, the Ceremonarius, had selected, he and Frater Crompton the Pontifex Maximus, passed round the table bearing ewers of scented water in which fratres were invited to dip their fingers, before eating. During the banquet Messrs Dunford, Gundry and Mathieson provided music and to them the Confraternity is much indebted.
Frater Thomson in his Principial Oration reviewed the activities of the Confraternity and especially the enjoyable visit which fratres were invited to pay the following day to Frater and Mrs Passant in their new home. Frater Passant then proposed the health of Frater Smith in his new capacity of Tutor and coupled the musicians with his name, in the hope that this might predict a harmonious period of office: he expressed the pleasure of the Confraternity in having three old members present as guests Fratres Scott-Giles, Hind and Pulman. The Princeps then asked the Magister to read letters of good wishes and regret for their absence from
Frater Weekes Frater P. Knox-Shaw Frater Rapp Frater F. H. Johnston Frater G. P. Kerr Frater D. C. Temple Frater R. D. Young Frater J. W. Taylor Frater J. W. Stansfield
and to announce the regret of the Socius Honorabilis Frater Knox-Shaw that he could not be present, as he had intended.
Frater Scott-Giles then entertained the company with a most amusing paper on “Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass considered as historical source books with special references to the dynastic struggles of the 15th century”.
This was followed by a performance of Gilbert’s “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern” by the Senate and Tribunes which was very well received. Suggested by Frater Hare it owed much to him & also to the Princeps who produced it.
This brought a most successful meeting to a close and armed where necessary with “late leave” fraters dispersed.