[The following entries have been transcribed from the minute books kept in Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge.]
The 137th Meeting of the Confraternitas Historica was held in Frater Passant’s rooms on Saturday, January 24th 1931 and was the occasion of the Annual Banquet.
After the opening ceremonies had been performed, fratres adjourned to the Hall in which the central table had been decked with flowers, fruit and cutlery. Then followed an excellent repast. The Princeps proposed the toast of the King and Frater Passant that of Martin, who said, in a short speech, how much he lamented the absence of his fellow henchman, William Maltby, whom he was happy to say was well on the way to recovery from his illness.
The Society had the pleasure of the company of Fratres T. Knox Shaw, Scott-Giles and Hind as its guests. After dinner the tables were cleared and the society split into three parties under Fratres Wyatt, White and Leeper. Frater Wyatt’s and Frater White’s parties each performed a series of charades the initial letters of which spelt ‘Knox-Shaw’ and ‘Serpent’ respectively. There was unfortunately no time for Frater Leeper’s party to perform. It was unanimously decided that Fratres Scott-Giles, White, Harland and Offiler gave the best performance in depicting the Garden of Eden. The sacrifice of Isaac was also realistically demonstrated, the thicket being particularly effective. Our thanks are due to Fratres Leeper & Wyatt without whose powers of imagination little would have been accomplished. Most fratres returned home about 11.45, but those whose rooms were in College returned to Frater Passant’s rooms and passed some time with wine and song, before retiring to bed at a later time.
Arthur Cartwright. (Magister Rotulorum.)
S. W. White. (Princeps)
The Society’s thanks are due to Fratres Powell and Wyatt for compiling an extremely witty Menu for the Banquet in Latin.
The 138th meeting of the Confraternitas Historica took place in Frater Passant’s rooms on Monday February 9th 1931.
When the opening ceremonies had been performed, Frater Mortimore departed, as a result of ill-health. Prior to this Frater Passant had retired, domestic duties claiming him. The minutes were read and an amendment was proposed by Frater Wyatt that some mention should be included in them of Frater Powell’s sterling work in the compilation of the Latin menu for the Banquet. This was seconded and carried and Frater Crowder then proposed a similar amendment on Frater Wyatt’s behalf, which was also second [sic] and carried. Letters of apology of absence were read from Fratres Alderton, McClellan, Stanton and Dakin. There was some discussion over the genuineness of Frater Alderton’s excuse, and the Society was in some doubt as to whether (a) Graduates need write letters of apology for absence and (b) notice of absence had not to be given twenty four hours before the meeting. Frater Leeper endeavoured to find some mention of either point in the Codex but was unsuccessful. Frater Wyatt first proposed that a research commission should be appointed to enquire into these points, but this motion was lost sight of in Frater Wyatt’s second motion that the Society was to be consoled with on the loss of half its members. It was pointed out that there were only six absentees, Frater Leeper said he would not vote for ‘that silly motion’ and the motion was lost. The Magister Rotulorum then proposed the election of Mr Cane to the Society, which motion was seconded by Frater Crowder and left to the Senate’s discretion. The question of guests for the Visitors’ meeting was next discussed and it was decided that each frater was to be allowed one guest, either male or female, and two on application to the Senate. Notification of the number of guests was to be given to the Magister by Monday February 16th. The Magister proposed that the habit of having beer at the society’s meetings should become a permanent one. It was agreed that this was a good thing, but it was pointed out that intoxicating liquor was allowed at the Society’s meetings, so long as the Senate gave their consent and the matter was left thus. The question of suitable renumeration for the waiters at the Banquet was next brought up and after a brief discussion as to whether the Comes or the Fabricius should be held responsible it was decided that the Comes should see the Steward and post a notice as to how much each frater was required to give and collect the money. The Princeps then read a most interesting paper entitled “On Early Victorian Theatre’, during the crux of which, punctually at 10 o’clock, the Pontifex Maximus, who takes his rowing duties seriously, left us. Immediately after the Paper was finished Fratres Acworth, Shaw and Sawyer departed. The remaining fratres discussed points arising out of the Princeps’ paper for some time and at a quarter to eleven Frater Leeper, in the absence of the Pontifex, read the closing ceremonies.
Arthur Cartwright. (Magister Rotulorum.)
S. W. White (Princeps Sen.)
The 139th meeting of the Confraternitas Historica was held in Frater Passant’s rooms on Monday February 23rd 1931, and was the occasion of the Annual Visitors’ meeting.
The Confraternity was honoured by the presence of the Professor of Modern History, Professor Harold Temperley and his wife and a number of other guests. After the opening and closing ceremonies had been performed the company adjourned to the Senior Combination Room, which was kindly lent for the occasion by the governing body of the college. Professor Temperley, after a short speech of introduction by the Princeps, read a most entertaining paper entitled “Terrorism and Diplomacy” in which he dealt with the Balkan situation from 1902-1914. On the completion of the paper gentlemen and fratres were invited to ask any questions they might wish of the Professor, who wrote them down on a piece of paper and then answered them en bloc. Frater Passant in a short speech thanked Professor Temperley for his kindness in coming to read the society a paper, saying that it was the fourth year running in which the Confraternitas Historica had obtained the services of a History professor, that his knowledge of the pre-war situation had been immensely enlarged and reminding the Society of Mrs Temperley’s connection with the college, whose presence there that evening he knew everyone appreciated very much. A letter was received from Mr Cane, saying that he was unable to join the Confraternitas Historica this term, but hoped to see his way to doing so next term.
A. J. R. Cartwright. (Magister Rotulorum.)
S. W. White (Princeps Sen.)
The 140th meeting of the Confraternitas Historica was held in Frater Passant’s rooms on Monday, March 9th 1931.
When the opening ceremonies had been completed, the minutes of the last two meetings were read. Frater Passant pointed out a mistake in the number of historical professors who had read papers to the Society in succession, which was amended. The minutes were then signed. Letters of apology for absence from the meeting were read from Fratres Wyatt and Alderton. Frater Passant rose to say that he considered that Frater Alderton’s excuse was explicit and unsatisfactory and that Frater Wyatt’s was unsatisfactory and inexplicit. On this motioned [sic] being seconded by Frater Offiler it was unanimously carried, and a vote of censure passed on the offending fratres. The Magister was instructed to convey the votes of censure in writing to the fratres in question. The inevitable wrangle about the necessity for graduates to write letters of apology then arose. Frater Passant pointed out that there was a considerable distinction between Masters of Arts and Bachelors of Arts. Frater Powell proposed that all class distinctions be swept away and this motion was seconded by Frater Leeper, who was determined to stand out for the rights of the Bachelor of Arts. Frater Passant, in reply to Frater Powell, pointed out the impractibility [sic] of his proposal, as it would entail the attendance of the Master, the Tutor, Frater T. Knox-Shaw and other officials of the College at every meeting or else the sending of letters of apology by the said officials, which he thought was imposing an unnecessary burden on them. He further pointed out that it would necessitate himself turning up in a dinner jacket, which thing he had no wish to do, pleading the added discomfort of living out of College. Frater Bovenizer proposed that, as nobody could quote the Codex accurately and as there still seemed doubts existent on certain points, the Fabricius be appointed a research student and be examined therein at a later date. The Fabricius protested as usual, but the motion was carried by a vast majority, and the Codex was handed over to the Fabricius. In future he is to settle any Constitutional point, which may arise. Frater Harland was appointed examiner-in-chief. The Comes then introduced his budget, demanding 2/6 from each frater. This was accepted by the Society. Frater Bovenizer, next, in a lengthy peroration proposed the much talked of trip to Audley End next term. A discussion took place as to the most suitable date and eventually Sunday, May 31st was proposed by Frater Passant and seconded by Frater Leeper. This was carried. Then as a result of much heated whispering between Frater Passant and Frater Elliott it was revealed that the latter’s addition had been faulty and that 1d per head more was to be demanded of fratres. Frater Elliott was struck dumb by the enormity of his error and on this amendment being put to the meeting nine votes were cast for each side. The Princeps in giving his casting vote in favour of the amendment remarked that he voted thus as a result of great personal affection for the Comes. Frater Elliott then read his paper on Sir William Temple. This was a most interesting review of the life as a politician and a litterateur of one of the most interesting figures in the immediate Post-Restoration period. Frater Elliott also dealt in detail with the career of Temple’s wife, Dorothy Osborne. Frater Mortimore slipped away after the paper was over and Frater Acworth, who has of late found it impossible to endure with the Society to the bitter end also departed. An animated discussion followed and at 11.30 the Magister Rotulorum, who was inducted to the office of Pontifex Maximus for next season, read the closing ceremonies.
A. J. R. Cartwright (Magister Rotulorum)
E. T. Mortimore (Princeps 2/11/31)
The 141st meeting of the Confraternitas Historica was held on Sunday May 31st and was the occasion of an excursion to Audley End.
Fratres assembled in the porch punctually at 12 noon and a bus supplied by the Ortora Motor Company arrived as the clock was striking. The party was thirteen in number and some fratres instantly objected on the grounds of superstition until it was pointed out to them that there were fourteen with the driver. Frater Harland was full of complaints and gloomy prophesies at first but cheered up later on passing the village in which the Rev. A. G. Kayll had been curate, this episode leading to several spicy anecdotes from Frater Leeper. The weather looked threatening, but Audley End was reached without mishap and in spite of an attempt by the driver to make a circular tour round the house we came to rest opposite the home of Lord Braybrooke. Only a few minutes had elapsed when Frater Passant’s car rounded the bend and drew up beside the Ortora. Lunch, consisting of sandwiches fruit and beer was then consumed by fratres on a grassy bank directly opposite the Audley End House. Fratres Wyatt, Leeper and Harland now busied themselves with passing votes of censure on all and sundry, particularly on the Magister Rotulorum for not bringing the minute book and so being unable to read the minutes of the last meeting and also on the quality of the beer, but as they were not put to the vote the validity of these measures is doubtful. After lunch the younger Miss Passant set out on a voyage of discovery into His Lordship’s Park and was shortly followed by her sister, while Frater Mortimore gave an exhibition of throwing the javelin with a bit of wood and other fratres threw apples about. An attempt to gain admittance to the grounds of the house by Frater Passant proved ineffective and the party then decided to go and visit Clare Church. On Frater Harland’s suggestion a stop was made at Thraxted to view the parish church of that place, which proved very interesting and unbritish [sic]. The voyage from Thraxted to Clare caused some discomfort to those seated in the rear of the bus, as the driver drove at considerable speed along lanes which were clearly not meant for so large a vehicle. Frater Wyatt, in particular, bore a peculiar resemblance to the proverbial pea on a drum. Clare was eventually reached and the church viewed, after which the long-suffering driver was ordered to drive back to Cambridge, which he did as quickly as possible, stopping only once when he considered that it was time for us to get out and see another church.
E. T. Mortimore (Princeps Magister)
A. J. R. Cartwright (Magister Rotulorum)
A list of fratres who undertook the voyage to Audley End.
E. J. Passant.
XXX G.T.S. McClellan.
The 142nd meeting of the Confraternitas Historica was held on Monday November 2nd 1931 in Frater Passant’s Rooms at 8.15 p.m.
After the Opening Ceremony had been duly performed in spite of the subdued mirth which tended detrimentally to affect the dignity of the proceedings, the minutes of the previous two meetings were read and after the substitution of “unbritish” for “unorthodox” in the minutes of the last meeting signed as correct.
A letter of apology was read from Frater Wyatt. The Fabricius was instructed to attempt to reconcile the existing codex with the law of the confraternitas [sic] and to report to the next meeting.
The Magister brought forward the suggestion of an outing in the House of Commons and after the subtle interjection by Frater White of “The Present House of Commons” the suggestion was approved and the Magister was requested to make enquiries and report at the next meeting.
Frater Passant with his usual foresight brought forward the consideration of the visitors’ meeting to be held next term and on his proposal it was unanimously adopted that Mr Lapsley be asked to address the Confraternity and if he was unable Professor Hilton should be asked to accept that privilege. The next matter which occupied the attention of the members was that of the Annual Banquet – its consideration was eventually deferred until the next meeting.
The Pontifex probably concerned about the safety of the bullion owing to the departure from the Gold Standard enquired about the financial situation of the Confraternitas.
The Comes said that he was not aware of either a balance or deficit and then arose some confusion over the statute time for the introduction of the Budget and it presently became almost certain that this occasion would be at the next meeting.
Frater White made enquiries about the office of Tribunes and Fraters Acworth and Sawyer were unanimously elected to those offices. The new Tribunes then read the Tribunal Oath, showing at first some hesitation in disclosing their baptismal names, and in the presence of the Magister affirmed their names thereto.
The following names have been unanimously proposed for election to the Confraternitas and submitted to the Senate for further consideration – Messrs XXX Farrett, Smith, Engholm, Thompson, Sumner, Ashford, O’Flaherty, Hochstetter, & Godfrey. The Chaplain (Rev. F. H. Maycock) and Mr E. A. Robinson were elected as honorary members of the Confraternity. After the business had been disposed of Fr. Passant led the discussion on “The Future of the State” in which he carefully avoided sounding a single note of optimism for democracy.
Several Fratres took part in the discussion and Frater Wyatt made a late, but graceful entry both into the meeting and discussion, but again the meeting was bereft of the company of Tribune Acworth, who made his customary early departure.
At 11.30 p.m., The Pontifex Maximus read the closing ceremonies.
J.B. Dakin (Magister Rotulorum)
E. T. Mortimore (Princeps Senatus)
E. T. Mortimore (Princeps)
A.J.R. Cartwright (Pontifex)
J.B. Dakin (Magister)
E.E. Stanton (Ceremoniarius)
T.L. Walter (Comes)
The 143rd meeting of the Confraternitas Historica was held on Monday, November 16th 1931 in Frater Passant’s Rooms at 8.15 p.m. The Opening Ceremony was duly performed by the Pontifex Maximus in a rather more restrained atmosphere than on the previous occasion. And after instruction by the Ceremoniarius the following blushing neophites [sic] were admitted to the confraternity with due solemnity and strict observance of the ritual of initiation – Fratres Jarrett, Smith, Engholm, Thomson, Ashford, Godfrey, Hochstetter, O’Flaherty and Sumner.
The minutes of the previous meeting were read and after the Pontifex with dramatic emphasis had corrected the Magister upon the pronunciation of the word “Fratres” and the addition of Fr. Robinson’s name as an honorary member been made the minutes were signed by the Princeps.
Apologies for absence were received and accepted from Fratres Maycock and White.
The Fabricius then made his report upon his examination of the Codex and it was found that his office was by statute defunct. The question of its revival was referred for consideration by the Senate.
The Comes was then called upon to present his budget for the current term and by his able and statesmanlike introduction in which he clearly stated his grave concern in demanding increased contributions at such a period, he, nevertheless, plainly emphasised the absolute necessity of balancing incomings and outgoings at all costs in order to continue the hitherto unquestioned confidence displayed in the Confraternitas.
After a short discussion, historical by its brevity, the budget was passed unanimously.
Frater Passant then reported that in accordance with the usual tradition he had not yet approached either Mr. Lapsley or Professor Hilton with the invitation of the confraternity to speak at the forthcoming Visitors’ meeting.
The Magister informed the meeting of the result of his enquiries re the proposed visit to the House of Commons and after some discussion the matter was adjourned in order to allow Fr. Passant to write to Mr. Horobin (of this college) making further enquiries.
The Princeps next brought up for discussion the question of the Annual Banquet and after some desultory consideration it was unanimously decided that a Banquet should be held on January 23rd 1932 when the 21st anniversary of the Confraternitas would be celebrated. It was also further decided to refer the further considerations of the celebration to the Senate.
After all business had been despatched Frater Jarrett was called upon to read his paper entitled ‘A War Novel of 1668’ which was a very interesting and comprehensive description of the personal side of the 30 years [sic] war, based upon Grimmelshausen’s Novel “Simplicius Simplisissimus [sic]”.
At 11.15 p.m. the Pontifex Maximus conducted the closing ceremony with due dignity.
J.B. Dakin (Magister Rotulorum)
E. T. Mortimore (Princeps Senatus)
The 144th meeting of the Confraternitas Historica was held on Monday November 30th 1931 in Frater Passant’s rooms at 8.15 p.m.
After the opening ceremonies had been performed by the Pontifex the minutes of the [lasting??] meeting were read and no comment thereon arising, signed by the Princeps.
Apologies were read from Fratres Ashford & Sumner the one from Frater Ashford being accepted as sufficient both in excuse and humility. A vote of censure was passed upon Frater Sumner, whose apology was sadly lacking in both the afore-mentioned qualities. The absence of Fratres O’Flaherty and Hochstetter without any sign of contrition being received from either was noted by the confraternity with sorrow tinged with a just indignation at their violation of the confraternity’s rule and custom, and a vote of severe censure was passed upon the offending fratres.
The Princeps reported upon the decision of the senate to revive the dignified office of Fabricius and intimated that his duty was to make his acquaintance with the Codex intimate.
Frater Passant confounding the tradition of delay reported that he had received a reply from Mr. Lapsley regretting at great length his inability to accept the confraternity’s invitation to speak at the visitors’ meeting to be held in the Lent Term. Frater Passant also informed the meeting that no reply had been received from Mr. Horobin respecting the proposed visit of fratres to the House of Commons.
A discussion was introduced by the Princeps with reference to the Annual Dinner and after some time the following positive resolutions were unanimously passed (α) That the Princeps, Magister Fratres Passant and Wyatt be constituted a Dinner Committee and be given full powers to arrange the menu and the entertainment to follow the dinner. (β) That the Dinner be held on Saturday, January 23rd 1932 and (γ) That guests shall pay for themselves. Business being concluded Frater Robinson addressed the Confraternitas on the State governed by the Princes in India. The paper was intensely interesting and enlightening owing to Frater Robinson’s personal experience and knowledge thereof and after some discussion the Pontifex Maximus conducted the closing ceremonies at 11.36 p.m.
J. B. Dakin (Magister Rotulorum)
E. T. Mortimore (Princeps)
Frater Mortimore (Princeps Senatus)
Cartwright (Pontifex Maximus)
Dakin (Magister Rotulorum)