[The following entries have been transcribed from the minute books kept in Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge.]
The 145th meeting of the Confraternitas Historica was held on January 23rd 1932 and was the occasion of the Annual Banquet which celebrated the 21st anniversary of the Confraternity. The opening and closing ceremonies of the Confraternitas Historica were conducted by the Pontifex Maximus before the Banquet in Frater Passant’s rooms in the presence of a distinguished gathering of past and present fratres.
The Banquet was held in the College Hall presided over by Frater Passant in the absence of the Princeps who was [unfortunate?] […] absence through illness.
After the Toast of the King […] The memory of the Founder Frater and Fratres killed in the […] War were observed in silence.
Frater Weekes then proposed the toast of ‘Confraternitas Historica’ in a witty […] began in the classic tongue, but to the relief of many fratres completed in the vulgar. In the course of his speech Frater Weekes referred to the high example which the Confraternitas set to all other societies in the college. Fratres T. Knox-Shaw and R. A. Barker responded and the toast was drunk with fitting enthusiasm.
After the festivities of the table had been completed a Masque […] of Vice and Virtue was staged most successfully – the Principal […] Characters who made the ‘sensation of the season’ being Frater Passant, who having shed his supervisory dignity, became […] an entrancing coy young Newnhamite and then the superb and generous Muse Clio. Fratres Jarrett and White could not have lived better the parts they respectively acted as the Virtuous and Vicious Students. The main scene was preceded by a prologue by Clio and tripping students reciting couplets in praise of History and the grand finale was a Pantheon of the Confraternitas concluding with the coronation of Clio – “A magnificant [sic] spectacle” is the unpublished comment of a literary critic.
After the performance of the Masque Fratres adjourned to Frater Passant’s rooms and spent the remainder of the evening (which was all too short) in pleasant gossip and midst the the [sic] atmosphere which is the true legacy of a banquet.
J.B. Dakin Magister Rotulorum
E. T. Mortimore Princeps
Present – Fraters
Bailey, S.H. “
The 146th meeting of the Confraternitas Historica was held on February 1st 1932 in Frater Passant’s rooms at 8.15 p.m.
The opening ceremonies having been conducted the minutes of the previous two meetings were read and signed.
Apologies were read from Fratres White, Godfrey, O’Flaherty and Sumner and after deep consideration of the validity and reasonableness of the excuses advanced they were hesitatingly accepted by the confraternity.
Further verbal messages of apology for absence were submitted from Fratres Wyatt & Smith and also accepted. Frater Passant made enquiries after certain portions, reported missing, of the M.S.S. of the Masque.
A vote of thanks was accorded to Frater White for his splendid work in the production of the Masque which followed the annual Banquet.
A sum of five shillings was granted to Mr Barrett for his services in cleaning up the Hall after the annual Banquet.
It was announced that the speaker at the Visitors [sic] meeting fixed for February 15th 1932 would be Professor Holland Rose of Christ’s College.
After this rather desultory business discussion Fr. Maycock read a paper on ‘John Donne’ which was in substance, wit and polished phraseology worthy of the traditions of the “other place”.
The closing ceremonies brought the meeting to an end at 11.15 p.m. the no. of Fratres present having been sadly depleted by the rigour of training.
J. B. Dakin Magister Rotulorum
E. T. Mortimore
Present – Frater Mortimore (Princeps Senatus)
The 147th meeting of the Confraternitas Historica was held on February 15th 1932 at 8.15 p.m. and was the occasion of the Visitors [sic] Meeting.
Refreshments were partaken of in Frater Passant’s room and after the opening and closing ceremonies had been conducted in Frater Passant’s annexe, Fratres and guests proceeded to the dignified comfort of the Fellows’ Combination Room.
The Vere Harmsworth Professor of Naval History (Dr. Holland Rose) was then introduced to the assembly by the Princeps who referred to the Speaker as the Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde of History – the one personality referring to his work on Napoleon and the other to his deep knowledge of the technique of Naval History.
Dr. Holland Rose read a paper entitled – “The mediterranean [sic] – the Nursery for Navigation”. This paper introduced those present to the mysteries of the Trireme and Quinquereme and the debateable question of whether man was of arboreal origin or not. The paper was illustrated by Lantern Slides – the lantern being ably manipulated by Frater Passant who at first appeared to have a passion for displaying the same slide twice or else exhibiting the full power of the lantern in all its blank glory.
After certain questions had been answered with professorial profundity the meeting adjourned about 10.30 p.m.
J.B. Dakin (Magister Rotulorum)
E.T. Mortimore (Princeps)
The 148th assembly of the Confraternitas Historica was held in Frater Passant’s rooms on Monday, March 7th 1932 at 8.15 p.m. or thereabouts. The Minutes of the previous meeting were approved and signed after the opening ceremonies had been performed with a solemnity befitting the final pontification of the Pontifex Maximus.
The princeps [sic] then amidst tense expectancy called upon Fr Walter, the Comes, to introduce the Budget for the current session. With the stance of a Mussolini and the piquancy of a Snowden the Comes called upon the Fratres to show fortitude under economic adversity and unhesitatingly to yield up their individual share of taxation as time was indeed the essence of the contract. The Budget was approved.
An apology was read from Fr. White and accepted and an [sic] unanimous vote of censure was passed upon Fratres O’Flaherty and Sumner for their absence without explanation.
The attention of the Fratres was now called to a breach of the Confraternity’s rules of attire […] the Princeps had failed to don his magenta socks. This oversight was severely censured by the Fratres present, Fr. Mortimore’s blushes failed to attone [sic] for his sartorial neglect.
The Princeps Senatus now called upon Frater Mortimore to read his paper upon “Voltaire and Frederick the Great”.
After some discussion Frater Cartwright installed his successor into the office of Pontifex Maximus and with a hesitant modesty duly befitting the occasion Frater Dakin performed his initial duty of reading the closing ceremonies.
J. B. Dakin Magister
Eric. E. Stanton Princeps
Frater Mortimore (princeps)
“ Cartwright (pontifex)
“ Dakin (Mag. Rot.)
“ Stanton (Ceremoniarius)
“ Walter (Comes)
“ Shaw (Fabricius)
The 149th assembly of the Confraternitas Historica was held in Frater Passant’s rooms on Monday, October 31st 1932. The opening ceremonies were performed in a stumbling sort of way, the new Magister was admitted to office and, Fr. Tanner was initiated into the misteries [sic] of the confraternity. When the minutes had been approved, the company turned to the serious question of the customary absence of Fratres Sumner & O’Flaherty. It was pointed out that these fratres had already been censured, that they had taken no steps to mitigate or explain their offence, and that they had, therefore, forfeited their membership. The Fabricius was instructed [to] inform them of this and to present at the next meeting, as visible evidence of the triumphant fulfilment of his instructions, the magenta socks belonging to the deposed fratres. [A note reads: The Following gentlemen were elected to membership of the Confraternity. Messrs. Banks-Martin, Callender, Carey, Haney, Hemming, Hicks, Leslie, Margenson, Smail, Winterton, Romain, Taylor.]
The question of the visitors meeting [sic] was next discussed. It was decided that, in Frater Passants’ [sic] absence it would be better not to recommence the custom of exchanging meetings with the Peterhouse historical society by inviting that body to the Visitors [sic] meeting. The following eminent historians and [man?] of letters were suggested as persons suitable to read a paper at the Visitors [sic] meeting: Mr Chesterton, Mr Belloc, Mr H. G. Wells, Professor Neale and Mr. Butterfield. It was left to the Senate to obtain the consent of one of these gentlemen. At this stage in the proceedings, the Pontifex, fearing apparently that Frater Acworth was tending to monopolise the proceedings, moved against him a vote of censure, which was carried. Frater D.N. Smith moved that, unless the Senate could produce a paper for the meeting which was to take place on Nov. 14 the senate should be called upon to resign. At the instance of the Pontifex, anxious to strengthen the Senate in this hour of crisis, The Fabricius was promoted to membership of that body.
Frater Acworth drew the attention of the company to Frater Jarrett’s recent unparalleled successes in the Civil Service Examinations. The Magister was instructed to send a note of congratulation to Fr. Jarrett.
At length Fr. Smith was called upon to read his paper on “The Problem of Security”. It succeeded in at least one of its explicit objects and gave rise to considerable discussion; this, however was cut short by the belated necessity of electing tribunes. Fratres Godfrey & Acworth were elected to these offices. The closing ceremonies were performed at a late hour.
L.J.A. Mag. Rot.
Eric. E. Stanton Princeps.
THE 150th ASSEMBLY of the Confraternitas Historica was held in Frater Passant’s rooms on Monday, Nov. 14th 1932. When the opening ceremonies had been performed, the task of initiating an almost endless procession of neophytes was proceeded with. One by one they entered in the mighty shadow of the Ceremoniarius until the Pontifex felt his robes heavy upon him and all those present knew the initiation ceremony by heart.
The minutes were read, and letters of apology from Fratres Taylor and Winterton. It was announced that no-one had yet been persuaded to give a paper at the Visitors’ Meeting. The Fabricius announced that he had delivered the sentence of expulsion to our sometime fratres Sumner and O’Flaherty but failed to produce the required socks.
Now the Princeps introduced Captain Acworth who proceeded to give his talk; a plea for traditional economics, or a re-statement of the basic doctrines of Adam Smith and Cobbett. He dealt principally with forms of transport, condemning air and motor traffic as uneconomic, and deploring as fallacious the tendency to regard all change as progress. He appeared to lay much of the blame for the present deplorable state of affairs on ‘this monstrous regiment of women’. Captain Acworth had been introduced as one who liked an argument, and he finished his talk by expressing the hope that he would have an opportunity to indulge this taste. Indeed, fratres were not lacking to take up the many gages which the captain had flung down; but one after another fell back, dissatisfied if not discomfited, and at 11.25 pm when the Princeps expressed himself bound to call for the performance of the closing ceremonies, our visitor was still invincible
L.J. Ashford. Mag Rot.
Eric. E. Stanton Princeps.
The Confraternitas Historica held its 151st meeting in Fr. Passant’s rooms on Monday Nov. 28th 1932. Following the due performance our ancient rites, the Princeps again referred to the question of the red socks of sometime fratres O’Flaherty & Sumner. After some discussion it was decided that a hue & cry should not be instituted, upon the information produced by the Fabricius to the effect that only half a pair of socks at the most could reward even a fully successful hue & cry in this instance.
A note of excuse for the absence of Fr. Acworth was read. It was not considered adequate.
The Comes at this stage produced his budget, a budget that must be unique in its generation, for it was received with rejoicing. The printer’s bills had not yet been received and the Comes had decided that fratres need not be taxed to meet them until they were received.
It was decided to ask Mr Butterfield of Peterhouse to read a paper at the Visitors’ meeting.
Having thus settled the affairs of the Confraternity to its contentment, the company turned to hear Fr. Engholm’s paper on “Hitler”. For the third time in the term the Confraternity discussed modern problems, though the discussion seemed scattered and slight in value, by contrast with the competence of Fr. Engholm’s paper.
L.J. Ashford. Mag Rot.
Eric. E. Stanton Princeps