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


Record of the proceedings of the august Senate of the Confraternity as its meeting held in Y10 at 6.0 pm on the fourteenth day before the Kalends of February [18th Jan 1956] in the 46th year of the Confraternity.

Fratres Present:

Fr. S. M. Andrews – Princeps
Fr. J. F. Hemmings – Pontifex Maximus
Fr. J. M. Sergeant – Magister Rotulorum
Fr. J. Binns – Caeremonarius
Fr. J. Faux – Comes
Fr. J. A. Wood – Fabricius

46. The minutes of the meeting held on the tenth day before the Kalends of December were read and approved

Matters Arising

47. In order that no aspersion should in future be cast on senatorial efficiency it was recorded that Claret was in fact drunk at the 325th meeting of the Confraternity.

48. The Comes had prepared his Budget statement and gleefully displayed as unaccountable surplus of 7/9. The Principial countenance clouded and a short consultation with the Comes revealed an unaccountable deficit of 2/3. It was suspected that, due to the difficulty experienced by the Comes in extracting drink money from Fratres, the error could be accounted for in this direction. The Princeps and Comes asked Senatorial permission to go into the matter together, with the assurance budget statements would be available for inspection by noon the following Saturday. The Senate agreed with undignified alacrity.

Other Business:

49. The Princeps revealed that he had attacked the yellowing documents in Fr. Smail’s cupboards alone. His findings defied magisterial summary and have not been summarised. However the Senate decided to make the following recommendations through the Princeps at the 326th meeting:

i. That our only Tribune be included in the Senatorial body and one of the present Senators to resign in order to facilitate this.
ii. That the clause in the newly discovered draft constitution act additional providing for the retirement of one Senator at the beginning of the Lent and Easter terms and of two Senators at the beginning of the Michaelmas term, be included in the new constitution.

50. The Princeps asked and obtained permission to:

i. Destroy all apologies for absence without intrinsic merit.
ii. Destroy bills going to 1913

51. Goaded by his nightmare experience with documentary chaos the Princeps further obtained Senatorial permission for the purchase of a box file at some future date.

52. It was agreed that the Tribunition oath dated 1945 be kept and its use revived.

53. In the case of recalcitrant Fratres Parkinson and Webb attending the next meeting of the Confraternity, it was decided that the following order of business should be adopted:

i. Disapproval should be expressed of their attitude to date and a recapitulation of the proper mode of complaint
ii. They should speak
iii. The interim report on the Constitutional commission should be read
iv. They should speak again
v. There should be a popular vote on the provisions to be recommended as recorded in minute 49

It was decided to defer the problem of Fratres Marland, McCabe and Fee-Smith

54. The arrangements for the Banquet were discussed and the following decisions made:

i. That the cost of the meal (inclusive of drinks) should be as near to 27/6 as possible and that the Caeremonarius and Fabricius in arranging the menu should include soup, a fowl main course, a XXX, coffee, two wines, port and XXX.
ii. That the menu should be paid for out of the profit from drinks caroused at meetings that the Mag. should arrange for (its printing)
iii. That toasts should be proposed and replied as follows:

i. The Princeps to propose the Lady Frances Sidney and the Chaplain to reply.
ii. The Pontifex to propose the Lady Clio and Fr. D. Thomson to reply.

iv. That Senatorial port to be drunk in Y3 to the estimate of two glasses per Frater as part of the post-prandial proceedings and that squash, but no beer, should be offered.
v. That the Magister arrange for Fr. Harland’s magical demonstration in Y3.
vi. That sherry be drunk in Y10 or 11 before the meal.
vii. That invitation be sent to the appropriate Dons bearing quite clearly the cost of the meal.
viii. That the Princeps should appeal for the wearing of Dinner Jackets by the Confraternity at large.

55. In the case of the proposal of minute 49 being accepted it was decided that the Pontifex should stand down from the Senate. This simple statement covers the alacritous response to the Come, Fabricius, Caeremonarius and Magister to the principial enquiry as to who would volunteer. The decision recorded to make to reduce the degree of administrative chaos caused by a senatorial reshuffle.

J. M. Sergeant (Magister Rotulorum)
S. M. Andres (Princeps)

On the tenth day before the Kalends of February Fratres gathered at 8.15 [22nd Jan 1956] in Y2 for the 326th meeting of the Confraternity. The atmosphere was tense with uncertainty. Would Fratres Parkinson and Webb be present? Would he Budget remain balanced under the stress of plebeian questioning and would there be a plebeian rising against the findings of the Constitutional Commission in its interim report?

Fratres Parkinson and Webb were not present, but sent a note of apology while Fratres Rutt, Fenn-Smith, Harland, Marland and McCabe were censured severely for being customarily absent and for not sending notes of apology, as is their custom.

The minutes of the 325th meeting were read and not accepted until a connection had been made to the second resolution passed at that meeting. The note of apology from Fratres Parkinson and Webb was accepted while their absence from the meeting was taken as being a tacit withdrawal of their complaints.

The Princeps submitted the Interim Report of the Constitutional Commission. It centred round the sources: the Draft Constitution of 1914, the Provisional Constitution of 1940 and the Ottonian Archives which revealed a digest of the Constitution, the 1912 Act Additional but no Constitution. By the The Senate had discussed these findings at its last meeting and had agreed to propose to the Confraternity that an immediate return be made to the constitutional position of 1940 and to of 1914 at the beginning of the next academic year. A bill to this effect was read and a unanimous vote changed the bill into a Act which may be found in the Archives.

With regard to the Banquet it was decided that the fowl main course should be turkey and that it should be preceded by a soup (crème). The Princeps stressed that, although soberly suited Fratres would not be turned away, Fratres should make every effort to be clad in Dinner Jackets.

Next, the Pontifical Pastoral Charge, a XXX almost lyrical exhortation to virtue in which the Pontifex deployed, on behalf of the Lady Clio who had appeared to him, any insinuation that she would debase herself sufficiently to appear in corporeal form. It was unanimously agreed that the Charge be preserved in the Archives on the merit of a return to custom.

After a delay caused by senatorial inefficiency in the non-distribution of beverages before, the speaker for the evening Fr. Reeves was able to commence his paper on: “The Kruger Telegram: An Essay in Surprise Diplomacy.” With speed, assurance and ease the speaker guided Fratres with lucidity through the maze of high diplomacy and the contemporary South African situation but preferred to leave the mind of Kaiser William II to the psychologist. The paper ended, he answered questions knowledgably and proved that the qualities he had shown during the formality of a paper did not desert him in the informality of answers to questions. The meeting showed its appreciation by applause and a unanimous note of thanks.

The meeting then returned to matters of business. Yet another unanimous vote of thanks passed in appreciation of the Master’s gesture expressed in his invitation to the Confraternity to drink sherry before the banquet.

The Princeps exhorted Fratres to bring guests to the Guest Meeting, guests of much sense or faculty, an exhortation which was strongly supported by Fr. Smail who revealed that it had not been unknown for Guest Meeting speakers to retire to Y3 where they could address their handful of listeners without the discouragement of a pronounced XXX. To avoid this danger it was decided that the absorbency of the Elusinians should be relied upon in a general invitation to be intended to them by the Magister.

The Budget remained evenly balanced, despite an almost imperceptible wobble when Fr. Butcher thought he had discovered an error of tuppence. According to tradition the Confraternal half sovereign was passed round, watched closely the whole time by the Comes. On the proposal of the Fabricius, seconded by the Magister the Budget was approved unanimously, but the exorbitant price of College coffee provoked a successful proposal that it should in future be abandoned before meetings.

Proposals serious and humorous resulted in the election of Fratres Garson and Sanders as Tribunes since Fr. Firth was overdue to disappear into the incense-smoke remoteness of the Senatorial body. The recovered Tribunition Oath was administered, Fr. Firth swearing to uphold in retrospect a Constitution he had never known and Fratres Garson and Sanders swearing reluctantly to uphold a Constitution whose exact form was as yet shrouded in the mists of past obscurity and future uncertainty.

The sacred closing rites were celebrated at an hour between the four XXX one and that at which young gentlemen climb in.

J. M. Sergeant (Magister Rotulorum)
S. M. Andres (Princeps)

The Annual Banquet of the Confraternity was held, as is not the custom, on the Pridie Nones of February [5th Feb 1956]. The bounty of the Master supplied sherry before the meal which was drunk in the Lodge. In the course of this pleasant prelude the Master told the story of a book which had been an extended load for 200 years from the College Library and had been found and returned to the library of the Cholmondleigh (sorry, Chumly) family. The calligraphy of Lord Cholmondleigh was held up as a shining example and an examiner’s dream. The mass of Fratres were of a different opinion, however. Improved calligraphy would mean that what had been written would be legible and examiners would thus be enabled to find out exactly what Fratres know. So many fratres, far from being elevated by the example, made firm mental reservations resolutions never to part with one of the best weapons of the Tripos battle.

The circulation of table wines and port resolved the reserved dignity of the Blundell Room into a benign laziness and later into undignified hilarity. But the toast-makers were in very little need of alcoholic encouragement – their speeches, but half remembered by the present writer, were excellent. The Magister, proposing the Lady Frances Sidney, could not, it appeared, abandon the Constitutional Commission – he brought the Archives to Dinner. His announcement that the Constitution had been found had no sobering effect whatsoever, Fratres merely laughed vindictively. The Chaplin in reply, displayed a wealth of classical learning and a hitherto unsuspected intimacy with the Muses, all of whom shall remain nameless for fear of disfiguring their present record with the battered remnants of names which were barely pronounceable in the easeful haze of after dinner hilarity. The Pontifex, in the course of proposing the Lady Clio, managed to make the non-appearance of that to him an excuse for re-writing Gray’s Eligy. The lyrical and metaphysical strain of the Pontifical Pastoral Charge was here magnificently submitted. The reply Fr. D. Thomson sent Fratres, already oscillating gently, into controlled convulsions. He claimed to have traced a migratory muse to America and then to XXX XXX or was the last named our muse incarnate anyway? The issue was confused and so it must remain.

In Y3 afterwards Fr. Harland vindicated his frequent absences from the shrine of our muse n favour of the Pentach Club with professional excellence. All this in spite of the presence of the Chaplin, who the order could not remember the canonical order for an exorcism anyway, and his Supervisor who, whether by alcoholic indifference or conjurer’s licence, allowed himself to be called “Dad”. Fr. Harland was excellent even to the extent of giving himself an encore.

The evening slept itself off in Fraternal beds whose swayings and gyrations got less as the music of Fr. Warner’s guitar grew fainter in the clouds of midnight darkness.

J. M. Sergeant (Magister Rotulorum)
S. M. Andres (Princeps)

[A note is entered, but with no corresponding mark in the text]: On a question by Fr. Alexander, the Magister was at pains to show that this sentence referred to the Press not to the standard of Fr. Harland’s paper.

The 328th meeting, which was also the Guest Meeting, was held in the Blundell Room on the Ides of February [13th Feb 1956]. However, before the Confraternity invaded the secluded quiet of the Cloister Court the opening rites were celebrated in Y10 and a new Frater, duly besuited, besocked and behoved, was presented for admission. These ceremonies had been made compulsory for the Senate only – only the Senate were present.

After the ceremonies the Senate and the newly initiated Frater repaired to the Blundell Room there to wait, a little apprehensively for the audience to be a large one. Their apprehension was fortunately unfounded and by 8.30 a goodly gathering of Guests and Fratres had assembled to hear a paper by the Rev. Prof. M. D. Knowles on: “The Last Prior of Worcester: William More 1518-35.” The ears and minds of the company were not battered by massive harming or worn clean by erudition: Prof. Knowles, by simply reading selected passages from More’s diary, appealed to the imagination and the emotions and made the 400 year old world of William More live again. Historians, who had expected to be able to ask for enlightenment on knotty problems of Reformation England, had their ground cut from under them and framed instead questions which amply demonstrated the effectiveness of Prof. Knowles’ approach. We were grateful for an evening during which simplicity and imagination successfully ousted complexity and intellect.

After questions had been asked the Confraternal XXX telegraph made it known that Senators and their guests were invited to drink mulled Claret with the Guest speaker in Fr. Smail’s rooms. Senatorial diligence in bringing guests was amply justified by the suspiciously large number who eventually gathered in Y3. Groups formed; here a group pursuing the evening’s instruction by asking Prof. Knowles questions; there a less dignified group eagerly supporting the Comes’ efforts to sell Fr. Smail a motor-bike.

The absence of the Princeps at the closing rites presumably accounted for the undignified brevity with which they were celebrated at 11.15 pm.

J. M. Sergeant (Magister Rotulorum)
S. M. Andres (Princeps)


Record of the proceedings of the august Senate of the Confraternity as its meeting held in Y10 at 1.30 pm on the Ides of February [13th Feb 1956] in the 46th year of the Confraternity.

Fratres Present:

M. Andrews – Princeps
F. Hemmings – Pontifex Maximus
M. Sergeant – Magister Rotulorum
Binns – Caeremonarius
Faux – Comes
A. Wood – Fabricius
Firth – Senator Elect

56. The minutes of the meeting held on the fourteenth day before the Kalends of February were read and approved after an amendment had been made to minute no. 49 sub-section (ii).

Matters Arising:

57. It was announced that the Comes and the Princeps had effectively balanced the confraternal budget, a balance that would be listed the same evening in Y3.

58. The Princeps informed Senators that the Banquet had, in fact, been held almost as arranged and that the cost was 24/7 per head to drinkers and 16/2 to non-drinkers.

59. The reduced cost of the evening was attributed to the Master’s provision of sherry for the Confraternity before the meal.

60. It was agreed that the Magister should thank that Master and Fr. Harland for their valued contribution to the festal proceedings.

61. It was further agreed that the Fabricius should produce a Banquet financial statement.

Other M Business:

62. In an atmosphere of greater sobriety than that of his first announcement, the Princeps restated confirmed his Banquet announcement that the Constitution had in fact been found.
63. The announcement that Fr. Smail had cheated the Senate out of paying for Claret after the Guest Meeting by insisting on its being provided by himself was received in an atmosphere of relived.
64. During discussion on the Senate reshuffle tow things became obvious:

a. That the Caeremonarius was very anxious to avoid the weight of the Pontifical Role
b. That the disappearance of Fr. Firth on important business half-way through the meeting meant that he could not be Pontifex since he could not be ordained in time:

It was finally decided that:

i. The offices of Princeps, Magister and Comes should be filled as before.
ii. That the other offices should be filled as follows:

Fr. J. Binns – Pontifex Maximus
Fr. J. A. Wood – Caeremonarius
Fr. A. Firth – Fabricius


J. M. Sergeant (Magister Rotulorum)

The 329th meeting of the Confraternity was held in Y3 at 8.15 pm on the third day before the Kalends of March [26th Feb 1956]. The atmosphere was one of expectancy since it was known that the Constitution would almost certainly be discussed.

The minutes of the 327th and 328th meetings were read and provoked an almost uncontrolled hilarity, until the Magister had to except that his phraseology was not exactly the epitome of clarity. A word was altered in the minutes of the 327th meeting, the laughter subsided and the minutes of both meetings were signed as a correct record.

Matters arose from the minutes, matters which, as suspected, turned largely upon the new Constitution. The brief discussion which followed foreshadowed the bright discussion later in the meeting; but for the moment all discussion was cut short when the Princeps introduced the speaker for the evening, Fr. Lehmberg. His paper, entitled “The Governor and ‘The Governor’,” was a successful attempt to prove that finish for Thomas Eliot’s wrote XXX for XXX the sixteenth century publication on governance entitled “The Governor.” Fr. Lehmberg in the course of his speech, proved that he had an easy familiarity with the relevant documents, events and people connected with Eliot’s life and showed us in lively descriptive passages that way in which a minor royal servant bore himself under the Tudors. Fratres were entertained by Fr. Lehmberg’s humour, impressed by his erudition and fascinated by the sound of a Texan Kansan reading Tudor English. The applause following the paper and the interested questions which were asked fully attested to the success of the paper. The Princeps voiced the general sentiment once at least, when he attested to the merit of Fr. Lehmberg’s paper and regretted the necessity of having to cut the amount of time spent on questions in the interest of a speedy return to matters of business.

First, a note of apology for absence was received and accepted from Fr. Graham. Second Fratres Rutt, Marland, McCabe, Harland, Parkinson, Webb, Fenn-Smith and Faux were recorded as being absent with no apologies offered. The [they] were censured securely, “en bloc.”

Next, the Princeps intimated that, in view of the numerical strength of the Confraternity, to see a return to the practice of inviting numbers [of] freshmen to become Fratres. The feeling of the meeting on this point was as uncertain as that on the position with regard to the Constitution. In response to a request the Princeps recapitulated the Interim Report of the Constitutional Commission. This, and his proposal that the Provisional Constitution he continued until the end of the academic year when the Constitutional Commission would produce a Draft Constitution, gave rise to some discussion. In this discussion the proposals of Fratres Butcher [A note reads: Access to relevant documents for all Fratres] and Garson [A note reads: Elective principle in promotion to Senatorial rank] were finally incorporated into the resolution recorded below. For the rest motions were taken, proposals made, amended, discussed and valid down, not one at a time; but all at once. Even Fr. Beale’s proposal that the constitutional situation he left as it is was refuted by 10 votes to 9, the decided vote being that of the Princeps. At length it was resolved (on the proposal of the Princeps, seconded by Fr. Butcher):

“That the Provisional Constitution shall remain in force until the end of the academic year by which time the Constitutional Commission shall produce a Draft Constitution, that such Draft Constitution shall incorporate the principle of popular election to Senatorial rank and that the documents upon which the Draft Constitution shall have been based shall be open to the inspection of Fratres.”

The hour was late and Fratres exhausted when the still small voice of Fr. Roberts suggested that in view of the uncertain authenticity of some of the official names of the Senatorial office; a Latin Commission should be set up to enquire into the historical and linguistic validity of Senatorial titles. The Evidently Fratres were in no mood to involve themselves in further inquests into the past, and the proposal was rejected, having no seconder.

The sacred closing rites were celebrated at about 11.45 pm and the meeting was closed.

J. M. Sergeant
S. M. Andrews

Cromwell Night was celebrated by a meeting of the Confraternity, in 330th, on the day before the Kalends of May at 8.15 pm [30th April 1956]. The sacred opening rites were celebrated in Y3, a ceremony which was graced by the presence of neutral non-Senators. This latter fact is emphasised because attendance at the opening rites was made compulsory for Senators only.

By 8.30 Fratres were gathered in the Library of the Masters’ Lodge, there to be asked by the Princeps whether the meeting for consideration of the new constitution should be held before Tripos or after. The general finding was uncertain; but, there having been grunts of disapproval to the idea of a meeting before Tripos, it was decided to meet in a week’s time for the purpose of considering the Constitution.

Then to the Dining Room where the Master kingly showed and talked about some of the College silver. The Master’s introductory remarks, though brief, were of considerable historical interest while his knowledge of artistry in silver and its markings was considerable. Fraters were allowed to go as far as handling the silver, despite a previous promise from the Master that nobody would be ‘frisked’ before leaving.

Considerable interest was displayed in a beautiful soup ladle of French craftsmanship, probably because it was though that such a ladle must surely have ladled beautiful soup, since the College kitchen’s horrid ladle usually ladle[d] horrid soup. The inspection over, the Princeps thanked the Master for his kindness in inviting the Confraternity to the Lodge and for the accompanying opportunity and privilege of seeing some of the more priceless College silver. Fratres showed their undoubted appreciation of the occasion by the applause.

Back to the Library where a large quantity of beer, cider and claret was consumed in a short while, since time was pressing Fratres to return to the Dining Room where Fr. Smail had a display [of] some of books from the Merriment Room. But first, he introduced the books and pointed out some of their more interesting characteristics. Fr. Smail’s introduction was effective in two main directions. First it provided an admirably slow and witty historical setting, for the documents on show. Second, it made the fact that documents are not to be scorned, for reasons other than the possibility of being asked to announce Gabbetto. Among the books was a skull, a fossilised skull, which was handle[d] with reverence for two main reasons. First because Charles I had handled it, and he is dead. Second, because it belonged to a dead man anyway. Once again the Confraternity supported the Princeps with its loud applause, when he thanked Fr. Smail for an illuminating and humorous introduction to the books which all were now allowed to handle.

The silver having been returned to its place of safe keeping during Fr. Smail’s talk, only the books had to be returned to Y3 before Fratres were free to go to bed and the Senate and Fr. Butcher could celebrate the closing rites in Y10 at 10.15 pm.

J. M. Sergeant (Magister Rotulorum)
S. M. Andrews (Princeps)

The 331st meeting of the Confraternity was held in Y3 at 8.15 pm on the Nones of May [7th May 1956] in the 46th year of the Confraternity. This was an extraordinary meeting of the Confraternity, called to consider and promulgate the Constitution resulting from the word of the Constitutional Commission.

The sacred opening rites were celebrated with due solemnity before the Princeps announced that neither notes of apology for absence would be read nor a record of absentees made because the meeting was an extraordinary one. Next the minutes of the 329th and the 330th meetings were read, but not accepted as a true record until Fr. Lehmberg had been re-established as a Kansan at the 329th meeting, because he was not a Texan, as the Magister had tried to pretend.

The Princeps then introduced the main business of the meeting by reminding Fratres that the task of the Constitutional Commission had not been once of producing a perfect Constitution, but had one of synthesising all the relevant documents. The acceptance or rejection of the resulting document would thus be the task of assembled Fratres, and should, he suggested, take the following form: a first complete and uninterrupted reading of the proposed Constitution and a second reading section by section with suitable pauses for excision, amendment and addition. This form of the meeting was agreed upon and subsequently adhered to.

The first reading went well, but the second reading was a long and arduous process which called for the best fraternal attention and concentration. It involved a discussion of the problem of what shall constitute an elective majority of the Confraternity for various constitutional purposes and an attempt to open a debate on the moral issues of smoking, irrespective of whether a Frater had asked a question or not. All the discussions made were recorded and incorporated in the original copy of the Constitution which, at the end of the second reading, became law on the proposal of the Princeps and unanimous assent of the Confraternity.

With hardly a pause for breath the Princeps next proposed that a duplicate copy of the Constitution be made as soon as possible, and that it be kept in a safe place. This, and the next principial proposal that, because of the excellence of his calligraphy, Frater Murphy be deputed to copy out the Constitution in a book to be provided by the Princeps, were both carried unanimously. The Princeps further proposed that all documents which had been used in synthesising the Constitution should be clearly marked in order to avoid future spurious references to Constitutional sources. This too was carried unanimously. Next, Frater Garson, with warm fraternal approval, proposed a vote of thanks to the members of the Constitutional Commission, and especially to the Princeps, for their untiring efforts during the academic year. Many voices seconded and all voices approved the proposal.

Next, the Princeps announced that among the Senators for the 47th year of the Confraternity would be Fratres Faux, Sergeant and Wood [A note reads: Section IV Articles 6, 7, 10]. Then the following proposals for the remaining three senatorial seats were made:

Fr. Sanders proposed by Fr. Sergeant, seconded by Fr. Slimmon.
“     Alexander     “          “ Fr. Firth       to         Fr. Sanders.
“     Warner          “          “ Fr. Wood     to         Fr. Murphy.
“     Garson          “          “ Fr. Sanders  to         Fr. Warner.
“     Murphy         “          “ Fr. Sergeant to         Fr. Barrass.

Four Fratres were elected so a second ballot was taken [A note reads: Section VI Article 1] which resulted in the final election of Fratres Sanders, Alexander and Garson. Next proposals were made for the selection of a Magister Rotulorum from among these Senators chosen to serve in the ensuing year.

Fr. Sanders proposed by Fr. Garson seconded by Fr. Faux.
Fr. Alexander proposed by Fr. Warner seconded by Fr. Murphy.

Fr. Sanders [A note reads: Section VI Article 1] was elected and proposals were then made and seconded for the selection of 2 Fratres to the Tribune.

Fr. Murphy proposed by Fr. Warner seconded by Fr. Garson
Fr. Warner proposed by Fr. Slimmon seconded by Fr. Murphy.

There being only two proposals no vote was taken and Fratres Warner and Murphy became Tribunes.

Proceedings became more rapid and undignified as the hour grew later. Fr. Wood was ordained as next in our line of sacred Pontifex and in his turn administered the Tribunition Oath to Fratres Murphy and Warner [A note reads: Section VIII Article 2]. As the pace of the proceedings quickened hilarity was lightened until the sacred closing rites were mirthfully celebrated at 11.30 pm.

J. M. Sergeant (Magister Rotulorum)
J. M. Andrews (Princeps)


Record of the proceedings of the august Senate of the Confraternity at its meeting held in B2 at 9.30 am on the fourth day before the Nones of June [1st June 1956] in the 46th year of the Confraternity.

Fratres Present

M. Sergeant – Princeps
A. Wood – Pontifex Maximus
F. Sanders – Magister Rotulorum
Faux – Caeremonarius
G. Garson – Fabricius
L. Alexander – Comes

65. The minutes of the meeting held on the Ides of February were read and approved.

Matters Arising

66. No matters arose

Other Business

67. The meeting next turned to its mean and only business, consideration of the confraternal programme, and in particular that for the Michaelmas Term.

a.Dates were arranged: 29 October for the first meeting, 12 November for the second, and 26 November for the last.
b. Many and pressing were the matters which, it was discovered, presented fratres from addressing the Confraternity. So pressing indeed that the Pontifex could not be induced to remain for the whole of the deliberations of the august Senate, but must needs disport himself at cricket in temporary schism from the Lady Clio.
c. It was proposed that in accordance with confraternal custom the Princeps should deliver the first paper. After a disabling speech of marked ability, disclosing priceless gifts of humility and rhetoric, the Princeps agreed to the proposal.
d. It was agreed that where possible the Confraternity’s most distinguished members should be asked to address the Confraternity once each three years. Thus giving all generations of fratres an opportunity to hear them. Fratres present in accordance with this principle showed an unanimous desire to hear a paper by Honorabilis Thomson at the second meeting.
e. For the final meeting of the term, Fr. Garson, an unemployed frater, agreed to prepare a paper.


a. The Princeps stimulated interest in the programme for the distant Lent tern by fixing as the date for the Annual Banquet Saturday January 26th [A note reads: Section IX, 5].
b. No precision was possible for the two remaining meetings, although the dates 25 February and 4 March were agreed to.
c.For the guest meeting there were two main proposals. The first by the Princeps to ask Honorabilis Thomson to use his good offices to obtain the presence of Fr. Briggs. The second by the Comes to head a purported servant of out muse later proclaimed by honorabilis Smail and Thomson to be both heretical and bogus. The latter proposal has been dropped.
d. For the third meeting the names of Honorabilis Beales and several other fratres were mentioned. The Princeps pronounced his intention of investigating the possibilities his august self, and said he would pay particular note to a preference to hear Fr. Steele if this could be arranged.

69. There being no further business, the august Senate adjoined a little less than an hour before noon, and the glorious, bloodless and sacred constitution, clarified and restored to its pristine simplicity, entered upon its 57th

D. Sanders (Magister Rotulorum)
J. M. Sergeant (Princeps)


Record of the proceedings of the august Senate of the Confraternity at its meeting held in F4 at 1.30 pm on the ninth day before the Kalends of November [23rd Oct 1956] in the 47th year of the Confraternity.

Fratres Present

M. Sergeant – Princeps
A. Wood – Pontifex Maximus
F. Sanders – Magister Rotulorum
Faux – Caeremonarius
L. Alexander – Comes

70. The minutes of the meeting held on the fourth day before the None of Junes were read and approved.

Matters Arising

72. (Ref Min 68). It was decided that the dates for the meetings in the Lent tern would be now 4th February, 18th February and as near to 4th Marsh as Frater Briggs could manage. The Princeps reported that Fr. Steele would almost certainly read one of the papers, and that he would look for a third paper from among the third year members.

Other Business.

72. The Princeps reported that it was likely that all the freshmen historians would be joining the Confraternity, and that two older members of the college who had turned to the Lady Clio would also be invited to join.

73. The Princeps next proposed to ask for the election of Mr. John Robert Arnold to membership, and asked the Magister to proceed according to the sacred constitution [A note reads: Section I Article 5]

74. The Comes was asked to prepare a motion for the collection of the annual subscription. [A note reads: Section XII Article 4]

75. The Princeps then reminded officers of their duties [A note reads: Section VIII], and asked the Caeremonarius to take over the task of preparing the room for confraternal meetings. He proposed to ask for permission to use the chairs stacked by the Blundell Room to avoid a threatened shortage of seats.

76.The Magister was asked to book the Blundell Room for the Banquet, and for the guest meeting as soon as the date should have been fixed.

77. The Principial Charge and the Magisterial Reply, both to be delivered at the next full meeting, were approved without a reading, and it was decided that Fr. Murphy, a worthy Tribune, should be invited to second the reply [A note reads: Section IX Article 1].

78. It was decided that owing to the large numbers of prospective fratres the initiation ceremony should be conducted two at a time, and that the practice of shaking hands with the whole of the Confraternity present should be amended to shaking hands only with the two Tribunes. This was agreed against a proposal for a mass initiation.

79. The Comes asked for permission to move the few old accounts and economic documents in his charge to the archives. This was granted.

80. Finally, it was decided that the Princeps should sign the completed statement of accounts at the end of each academic year to substantiate what at present has no legal meaning. This was agreed unanimously when it was pointed out that the preceding Comes had spent the last vacation touring Europe.

81. There being no further business, the meeting of the august Senate adjourned at 2.15pm.

J. M. Sergeant (Magister Rotulorum)
J. M. Andrews (Princeps)

The 323rd meeting of the Confraternity, the first for many years begun and ended with a clarified constitution, was held on the fourth day before the Kalends of November [28th Oct 1956] in the 47th year of the Confraternity at 8.0 pm in Y3. Principial wisdom had called the meeting early in order to finished matters of business before the arrival of the Honourables. But many fratres were late, and the sacred opening writes were not celebrated until 8.20 pm.

The first business was the initiation of eight new fratres [A note reads: Fr. Deacock; Fr. Betts; Fr. Ewart; Fr. Lee; Fr. Murdoch; Fr. Redman; Fr. Sinnatt; Fr. Tobias], two at a time. The Pontifex showed singular speediness of wit in his ready translation of the sacred rites into the plural. With what firmness he corrected the new frater who answered ‘yes’ instead of the sanctified ‘I do’! The smooth efficiency of the tribunes hand-shake and the signing of the sacred scroll set a precedent in Confraternal ceremony.

Next the Pontifex promulgated a law for the collection of the annual subscription of 5/- [A note reads: Section III Article 3], and the minutes for the 331st meeting were read and approved.

Seven absent fratres had produced but one note of apology, that of Fr. Chaplin, which was accepted despite its commercial purposes. The Comes had lost a note from F. Slimmon, and so together with the verbally apologetic Fratres Parkinson and Harland, Fr. Slimmon was mildly censured. Fratres Steele, Marland and McCabe from whom all was silent received severe censures.

Ceremonious procedure had not finished, for immediately Fr. Barrass, seconded by Fr. Warner, an outraged tribune, moved a vote of censure on those responsible for the appearance of ‘Tribunes Plebes’ on the Confraternal calendar. Alas, the Magister had slipped a skipped a declamation and must needs hang his head!

In accordance with the sacred constitution [A note reads: Section IX Article 1], the Princeps next delivered the Principial Charge. He referred to the clarification and restoration of the constitution and asked for a true allegiance to the call for the “study of history in a spirit of amity.” The Magister rose to deliver his reply, in which he was sure that fratres would give their full support to the Confraternity and to the Princeps. Fr. Murphy seconded the reply, and the Charge was received with demonstrations of spontaneous unanimity.

The Princeps provided to remind fratres of the article of the sacred constitution [A note reads: Section XI] concerning drinking and smoking, making it quite clear that they did not apply to the Annual Banquet, at which it was specifically enacted that revels were to be had. He then proposed a vote of thanks to Fr. Murphy for the transcription of the sacred constitution into the new constitution book. The Confraternity seconded the proposal with one voice.

Despite attempts to start the paper, Fr. Alexander insisted on questioning Fr. Faux, his predecessor as Comes, about the Confraternal subscription. Amid scenes of confusion it was decided that Fr. Alexander owed the Confraternity two shillings. Amidst even greater confusion this decision was reversed, and an end was only put to this unconfraternal procedure by the desire for refreshment and the ensuing start of the paper. ‘Peter Abelard – Teacher and Lover,’ read by the Princeps, Fr. Sergeant.

He set out to show firstly the causes of Abelard’s disagreements with St. Bernard and the Church authorities, and secondly the effect of Abelard’s relationship with Heloïse on his life and belief. Fr. Sergeant revealed a wide and understanding knowledge of Aberlard’s life, and succeeded in clarifying the theological confusions of the age to the satisfaction of all but one. In the discussion which followed, it was made clear y Honorabilis Smail, in response to a remark by Fr. Barrass, that Astrolabe, Abelard’s and Heloïse’s son would have been 94 at the time of his supposed participation in the Children’s Crusade. What touching illusions were shattered! Honorabiles Casey pronounced that Heloïse, unlike Abelard, could not have been castrated. With this the Confraternity concurred.

Finally, the name if an intending frater, Mr. J. R. Arnold, who is not an historian, was read out by the Magister [A note reads: Section I Article 5]. The meeting closed with the celebration, also XXX, of the sacred rites at 10.15 pm, and the bill for the collection of the annual Confraternal subscription, having remained unchallenged, became law.

D. Sanders (Magister Rotulorum)
J. M. Sergeant (Princeps)




Record of the proceedings of the august Senate of the Confraternity at its meeting held in Y3 at 8.10 pm on the day before the Ides of November [12th Nov 1956] in the 47th year of the Confraternity.

Fratres Present

M. Sergeant – Princeps
A. Wood – Pontifex Maximus
F. Sanders – Magister Rotulorum
Faux – Caeremonarius
G. Garson – Fabricius
L. Alexander – Comes

82. Mr. J. R. Arnold, whose application for membership of the Confraternity was announced at the 332nd meeting, was elected a member of the Confraternity unanimously, there having been no objections [A note reads: Section I Article 5]. The august Senate adjourned at 8.15 pm for the 33rd meeting.

D. Sanders (Magister Rotulorum)
J. M. Sergeant (Princeps)


On the evening pridie the Ides of November [13th Nov 1956] in the 47th year of the Confraternity, the 333rd meeting was held with an abundance of members in Y3. An increase in the numbers of the servants of our muse, combined with the attraction of an address by one of our distinguished Socii Honorabiles provided the occasion for a full meeting. Indeed, the urge to heed the words of Fr. Thomson was so great as to head to the adopted of an irregular order of procedure, albeit unconsciously.

Preliminaries were short. The opening rites were celebrated and four new fratres [A note reads: Fr. Arnold; Fr. Backwell; Fr. Carter; Fr. Ellison] initiated with an efficiency and solemnity which is becoming an accepted part of Confraternal ceremony. The Princeps then announced that the enactment for the collection of the annual subscription, having remained unchallenged by the tribunes, would become law at the end of the meeting. At this accustomed point, the Magister, minute book in hard preparing to face the Confraternity with his carefully constructed sentences, prepared to rise. He was however, not called upon, and while the Princeps proceeded to introduce the speaker by denying his need to introduce him, the Magister sadly deflated, collapsed in a heap to the detriment of Fr. Smail’s sensitive sofa.

Deflation and sadness were soon forgotten beneath the amusing and perceptive account by Fr. Thomson of “the Twentieth Century as an Age of Violence.” He was mainly concerned with the apparent link between the welfare state and the warfare state: are they insolubly connected? All ages have known violence, but from the last of the nineteenth century it increased, until the peak was reached in the Second World War. The national identity is so connected with all acts of policy that a set-back has come to be taken as a national insult. It is from democracy that demands for total war and unconditional surrenders come. Fr. Thomson reflected on the growth of excess within modern states. Teddy Boys are international: they mirror the tendency to get excited about the most trivial occurrences: their charter, “Life, Liberace and the Pursuit of Elvis Presley.”

The discussion, which followed quick-fire questions and considered comments, was primarily concerned with the attitude of the United States and Soviet Russia to world affairs. Fascism, Hungary, Egypt and the place of the United Nations were eagerly pursued. A cry of ‘Shame’ greeted a slighting reference to ‘Rock ‘n Roll’; presumably from a “gone” frater. This is no ‘square’ Confraternity.

With the discussion becoming reflective, the Princeps intervened to call for the minutes of the 33nd meeting. Heated brains were cooled – the minutes were accepted with but on amendment. Further time for meditation was given by the silence which greeted the Principial request to hear the Notes of Apology, a silence shattered by the Confraternal wrath which censured the absent Fratres Steele, Marland and McCabe. So beside themselves with rage, fratres went to the unprecedented lengths of accepted Fr. Chaplin’s verbal apology.

With Fr. Parkinson intervention, the meeting assumed an ugly note. He had been unable to resign throughout the whole of the previous year. Fratres Marland and McCabe were likewise doomed to eternal censures. Had new fratres been told that they would never be able to end the Confraternal tie? The Constitutional Commission of sacred memory, by not providing a procedure for resignation, had failed in its task. Fr. Wood, with maximum pontifical perception, pointed out that Fr. Parkinson had himself removed the weight from his argument by proving during the 46th year of the Confraternity the possibility of complete abstention from Confraternal affairs. As the light of constitutional fervour glowed once again in Confraternal eyes, the Princeps proposed that discussion should be closed until the large proportion of new fratres were able to form their own ideas. Fr. Garson, an elder statesman, proposed a closure on constitutional discussion for the evening. It was accepted overwhelmingly.

With violence threatening in Confraternal as in world affairs, the sacred closing rites were celebrated at 10.15 pm.

D. Sanders (Magister Rotulorum)
J. M. Sergeant (Princeps)


Record of the proceedings of the august Senate of the Confraternity at its meeting held in F4 at 1.30 pm on the tenth day before the Kalends of December [21st Nov 1956] in the 47th year of the Confraternity.


Fr. J. M. Sergeant – Princeps
Fr. D. F. Sanders – Magister
Fr. J. Faux – Caeremonarius
Fr. J. L. Alexander – Comes

83. The minutes of the meetings held on the ninth day before the Kalends of November and pridie the Idea of November were read and approved.

Matters arising

84. The Princeps stated that there were two freshmen who had not yet joined the Confraternity.

85. The Magister muttered that it had not been possible for him to book the Blundell Room for the guest Meeting as the date remained unknown.

Other Business

86. It was decided unanimously that Fr. Garson should be created Socius Honorabilis at the 334th meeting, which he was to address.

87. The Princeps asked Senators to come before the Confraternity having decided whom they wished to replace Fr. Garson on the Senate. The election would take place at the 334th

88. The Princeps asked Senators to consider the election, of re-election of Tribunes whish would take place at the 334th

89. The Princeps proposed to set up a committee to deal with all question conserving the Annual Banquet, which would consist of himself, Fr Wood, Fr Faux and Fr Alexander. This was agreed.

90. The Programme for next term, the Princeps, stated was firmly fixed for two of its meetings, those to be addressed by Fatres Steele and Harland. He would ask Fr. Thomson as soon as possible is any definite date had been fixed with Fr. Briggs for the Guest Meeting.

The august Senate adjourned at 1.45 pm, hurried by the river and the rugger field.

D. Sanders (Magister Rotulorum)
J. M. Sergeant (Princeps)

The 334th meeting of the Confraternity was held in Y3 at 8.15 pm on the sixth day before the Kalends of December [25th Nov 1956] in the 47th year of the Confraternity. The minutes of the 333rd meeting were read and approved. Apologies for absence were received from Fr. Smail, and from Fratres Alexander, Warner, Harland, Slimmon, Deacock, Murdoch and Nedman. Fratres Marland, McCabe, Parkinson, Rutt and Webb were censured for failing to account for their absence. The Princeps lamented such poor attendance which resulted from the inclusion of papers on topics which were off the beaten track of the Tripos.

Before proceeding to the election of a new senator to replace the departing Fr. Garson and the election of Tribunes, the Princeps had to remind fratres absent in mind if present in body, that smoking and drinking were not allowed before the opening word of the paper. For the senate, Fr. Barrass was proposed by the Princeps, seconded by the Fr. Murphy and elected unanimously. For the tribunate, the two previous Tribunes Fr Murphy and Fr. Warner, were proposed by Fr Reeves, seconded by Fr. Faux and elected unanimously, thus entering on their second term of office. Next the Princeps announced that the Annual Banquet would take place on Saturday, 26th January, and hoped that all fratres would be able to attend. For the Banquet and for all meeting, he asked fratres to sign the notice posted on the Screens as early as possible to assist the administration.

With the business smoothly accomplished, Fr. Garson began his paper on ‘Offy Shepstone and the Swazi.’ He set out to describe the diplomatic intricacies between the Boers, the English and the Swazi, which have resulted in Swaziland remaining outside full colonial rule. Two cause, the Swazi refusal to the fight the white-man and the presence of Offy Shepstone as advisor to the Swazi King, ensured that the country was unlikely to be fought over. Shepstone, a British subject and recognised in his official capacity by England but for a large part of the time a pensioner of the Transvaal Republic, helped as means of negotiation between the three races in the late 80’s and early 90’s of the nineteenth century, although he confused the struggle for predominance for the student. In the conventions of the period, Offy was often the only pliable factor preventing a Boer attack. The matter was further complicated by the death of the Swazi King and a Regency unfavourable to Shepstone, who ended his career as a paid servant of the Boer government. In the many questions which followed it became clear that the continuous story was the result of Fr. Garson’s research alone. The full story of the negotiations over Swaziland and the part played by Offy Shepstone were known to few outside the Confraternity.

Before the celebration of the closing rights, Fr. Garson, for his paper, for his past services to the Confraternity and as a sign of confraternal faith in his future academic career in South Africa was created a Socius Honorabiles by the the Princeps, and feasted in milk-chocolate.

With the fire of scholarship warming confraternal hearts, the meeting ended at 10.30 pm.

D. Sanders (Magister Rotulorum)
M. Sergeant (Princeps)

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