Douglas Macleane.

A history of Pembroke college, Oxford, anciently Broadgates hall, in which are incorporated short historical notices of the more eminent members of this house online

. (page 55 of 62)
Online LibraryDouglas MacleaneA history of Pembroke college, Oxford, anciently Broadgates hall, in which are incorporated short historical notices of the more eminent members of this house → online text (page 55 of 62)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

London dignitary, by self-denial had kept his batells for the year dow^n

to £60. It was one day proclaimed in College: 'B is going to

have a friend to breakfast, and has ordered an egg ! ' But he was
generally respected. There was a good deal of idealism and 'high
seriousness ' among young men fifty years since. Mr. Orger speaks
of one who entered the College at the end of Dr. Hall's Mastership,
Henry Baskerville Walton, a first-class man, afterwards Fellow^,
Tutor and Dean of IMerton, and Vicar of St. Cross, Holywell, from
1 85 1 till his death on Oct. 5, 1871. He says: 'Among the greatest
advantages received from his friendship was his introducing to my
notice Whytehead's College Life. It opened my eyes to the theory of
it, and to the meaning of many things which surround one in the
University.' Mr. Walton edited with ]\Ir. Medd Edward VI's First
Prayer Book. He was brother-in-law of William Robert Browell
(matr. 1824), a former Tutor of Pembroke.

The manciple's slate, used in the old Hall, now the Library, hangs
there now. It is still his duty to make the round of the tables and
note who are dining, for to dine is a part of College rule. The Rev.
John Polehampton says : —

' All I can remember about old Haskins, the Manciple, is his lanky
figure and proportionately lanky MS. book, and his assuring us on one
occasion, " Pickles, sir ! Why, pickles is out of season." Also I recall
myself persuading his simplicity (or his good-nature) that my pet King
Charhe^ was a cat, and so escaping tax! He used to march in about
the middle of dinner and go from table to table, and call each man's name ;
to which each answered " Bread " or " Beer," or both ; for there was
always a strong spirit of badinage afloat. He, on receipt of a reply, or
even no reply, made a mark against each man's name. We never attached

^ Presented by George Overman, Counsellor-at-law ; matr. 1728.
The rule against dogs was not very strictly enforced. Something had to be
done, however, when John Polehampton's smuggled spaniel walked into Hall, and
begged of Henney at the head of the high table.


the slightest importance to the custom, and neither knew, nor cared to
know, what it all meant ! I should say it lost itself en route to the new
Hall. I have no remembrance of it there.'

One custom which survived translation to the new Hall is referred
to by the Rev. Frederick Arnold ^ thus : —

' There is a curious old custom at Merton which corresponds with one
at Pembroke. When dinner is over, the senior Fellow strikes the table
three times with a trencher. The sound brings up the butler, who then
enters on his book what each Fellow has received from the buttery. Then
the grace cup is handed round, and the trenchers being struck once more
the Bible clerk says grace.'

The present Vicegerent, my friend Mr. Alfred Thomas Barton, tells
me : — ' It was always the custom when Grace was said regularly after
meat to rap one trencher on another twice. This lasted for almost six
or seven years after I came here in 1865. They were two of the old
wooden trenchers always used in the Hall until the new Hall was
built, and remembered by Prof. Chandler as used in his undergraduate
days for the bread and cheese after dinner. I never saw more than
these two, and what became of them I never knew. Probably as
individual objects they may have been neither old nor interesting ; but
as the last relics of a vanished usage they really were.'

Leave being often given to the lower tables to withdraw before the
high table had finished dinner, Camden's composition, popularly
supposed to contain an allusion to ' Senatus Populusque Romanus,'
but which Johnson told Boswell, towards the end of his life, that he
could still repeat, came to be but seldom heard. A grace before meat
was therefore introduced in the year 1887. It has points of resemblance
to those in use at Corpus Christi, at Christ Church, and at Worcester.
The two graces are as follows : —

Grace Before Meat.

Pro hoc cibo, quem ad alimonium corporis nostri sanctificatum es
largitus, nos Tibi, Pater omnipotens, reverenter gratias agimus ; simul
obsecrantes ut cibum angelorum, panem verum coelestem, Dei
Verbum aeternum Jesum Christum Dominum nostrum nobis imper-
tiare, ut Eo mens nostra pascatur, et per carnem et sanguinem Ejus
alamur, foveamur, corroboremur. Amen.

^ Oxford and Cambridge. A somewhat similar way of giving the signal for
Grace continues, I believe, at Brasenose.


After Meat.
Gratias Tibi aginius, Deus misericors, pro acceptis a Tua bonitate
alimentis; enixe comprecantes ut serenissimam nostram Reginami
Victoriam, totam regiam familiam, populumque Tuum universum tuta
in pace semper custodias. A?7ie?i. .

The Junior Common Room celebrated its centenary by a Dinner
in Hall on June 19, 1894. Though certainly adding to the expenses
of some undergraduates, and for a long time confined practically to
the wealthier among them, such an institution has given reasonable
facilities for sociability and hospitality, across the walnuts and the wine,
without the necessity for extravagant outlay. This is the oldest
wine-club in Oxford— the Corpus one dates from 1797. Its earlier
accounts, beginning in 1794, were rescued recently from a bookstall.

Few members of the College have a recollection going further back
than Mr. John Eustace Grubbe, of Southwold, Suffolk, J. P., who
was born in the Waterloo year, and matriculated Nov. 22, 1832.
Speaking of the Back Lodgings and a masquerade there one summer
evening, he writes : —

' I recollect being a member of a certain Secret Club, called by its
members, to whom alone its existence was known in those days, the
" Orontofoozle Club." The late Master was a member, as were also
Jackson (the future Bishop), I think Mackenzie 2, Newton ^ Substance
Evans ^ Giffard "', and Shute^ and others whose names I do not

'The Club had only an active existence during Collections. Then
a meeting was held in a room in the Back Lodgings on the ground floor,
and, I think, in the centre of the three blocks of buildings, at the luncheon
time, and lasted during the hour allowed for that purpose. A hot luncheon

^ In Jan. 164I the Master of one College ' called for the Grace they said publickly
in Hall, and, being taken down, he dashed out the King and the Queen's name,
and commanded that henceforth no memory should be made of them.' Gutch,
ii. 614.

^ Bishop Henry Mackenzie, matr. 1830. Vide supra, p. 479.

'^ Francis Wheat Newton, matr. 1831 ; of Barton Grange, Somerset; High
Sheriff 1 86 1.

* The Rev. Arthur Evans, matr. 1830; Rector of Bremilham, Wilts, 1840;
and of Somerford Parva 1847; ob. April 11, 1893. Mr. Evans married a sister
of the Rev. Henry Wightwick, Scholar 1827-39; Fellow 1839-42 ; Rector of
Codford St. Peter 1841-84; ob. June 28, 1884.

5 Edward Giffard, matr. 1831 ; son of Sir Ambrose Hardinge Giffard, Bart,
of Ceylon. Mr. Giffard died in 1867.

^ The Rev. Hardwicke Shute, matr. 1832 ; Vicar of Milton, Oxon, 1848-66 ;
ob. May 11, 1884.


(chops and steaks) was provided, and, I think, beer. Nothing else was
allowed. Shutters were closely shut, curtains drawn, and the room lighted
with candles. Every member had a name given him at his entrance
selected from the Old Testament, and having the same initial letter as his
own name. A system of fines was established, consisting of a penny, or
halfpenny, for every breach of the Club rules. I cannot, of course, recollect
all the rules, as they were numerous, the object being to trap one another
into a breach, and so extort a fine and provoke merriment. The followino-
formed part of the code : — i. Calling a member by any but his right name.
2. Quoting Latin or Greek, or making use of any but English words. It
was also a fundamental rule not to divulge the existence of the Club, or do
or say anything which might lead to its discovery. I do not know what the
penalty was. A fine would have been of little use, and expulsion worse
still. I remember one member was introduced because he had somehow
found out something about the Club, and it was thought advisable to shut
his mouth by electing him. It was really a jolly way of breaking the
monotony of a very dull business.

' I should say that the professed object of the Club was to put a stop to
the copper coinage of the Realm— not, I believe, very legal— by absorbing
all the pieces ! I need not say that the object was never effected ; but
I remember, some years after I had left College, the late Master, then
a fellow, upon one of my visits to Oxford, produced a large brown-holland
bag brim full of halfpence and pence, and consulted me as to what he
should do with its contents. The Club had come to an end. He was
treasurer at its close. And no arrangement had been come to as to what
was to be done with its assets. I think we determined to give it to the
Junior Common Room or the Boat Club.'

Very different has been the grave and serious existence of the
'Johnson,' the College literary society, to whose hebdomadal papers
and discussions many can look back not only with edification but with
delight. Never since has one cared to track the Origin of Evil, with
the metaphysical ardour peculiar to youth, back to its primal fount.
Those universal subjects which we determined with the mingled
cynicism and generosity, the teachableness and infaUibility, of twenty-one,
are now a matter of resigned indifference to us. But many friendships
were then cemented for life. And was ever tea and coffee better —
or stronger .? I speak of my own generation only, in recalling the

keen, legal mind of W. J. T , the psychical researches of F. P ,

most naifoi spiritualists and vegetarians, the Attic salt of St. G. S ■

(our senior: and mentor), C. A. C , the mirth-loving champion

of everything heterodox, that tender-hearted malleus schismatic oruvi,

D. P. H ,fortemque Gyan fortemque Cloanthum. The unbroken

career of the ' Johnson '—the other day it celebrated its five-hundredth
meeting, at which Mr. Austin Dobson's appropriate verses were


splendidly declaimed, through the author's modesty, by Canon Ainger,
Master of the Temple— was indeed nearly terminated on one occasion
by the great constitutional question about the introduction of anchovy
toast. For we discussed the least and the greatest topics with equal zest
and earnestness. And as, when others were asking * What is Truth ? ';
Charles Lamb's enquiry was rather ' What are trumps ? ' so it was
not unusual to end evenings so philosophical with the ' clean hearth
and the rigour of the game.'

The Debating Society, unlike the ' Johnson/ has no proper name.
It was originated about 1864 ^ Mr. Horsley writes: 'We started
a Debating Society that gave us good practice. Sydney Hall, Wylie,
Newbolt, Kershaw, Hull, Overton, and I were frequent speakers ; but
sometimes it languished, and Hull (now at St. Peter's, Norwich) and
I now and then tossed up to see which side of the question we should
take.' At a later date the Society was the object of various practical
jokes. It is remembered how, the Boat Club being short of funds,
a number of boating men, whose nominal subscription to the Debating
Society made them legally members of it, went up one night in a
body and boldly voted the transference of the accumulated moneys
of this intellectual association to athletic purposes.

The Pembroke Musical Society has long had the prerogative of
leading off the Commemoration Week with its summer concert.

The annual Pembroke Dinner in London was begun in 1887, through
the patriotic energy of Hugh Colin Robert Cunnynghame {vide
supra p. 367) and my dear friend, side by side with whom I entered
College life, Herbert Wilson Greene, recently Vice-President of
Magdalen College, but to everything Pembrochian still devoted. His
cousin, William Conyngham Greene, C.B. (Scholar 1873-5), has
been chosen to succeed Sir Jacobus de Wet as the Queen's Agent in
the South African Republic. Both are Harrovians.

The moral and religious ebb and flow of the age have been reflected in
the undergraduate world more, perhaps, than among their seniors. The

least likely men would be caught with new ideas. ' H ,' writes

Mr. Horsley, ' was one of a band of high churchmen we had there ; and
I remember upbraiding him for going to Hall on Friday, and his answer-
ing, "Ah, my dear fellow, I've a Catholic mind, but a Protestant stomach." '

Fifteen years after this there was again strong ecclesiastical feeling
in more than one direction. Pembroke supplied a First-Classman as

M am told, however, by Dr. Birkbeck Hill (matr. 1855) that there was a De-
bating Society in his time. He remembers defending Tennyson in a full room.
Mr. Livingstone recalls its existence in 1856. Bishop Mitchinson writes that he
learned there how to think on his legs in 1852.


co-founder to the Church Army, and earnest preachers to the Martyrs'
Memorial, while simultaneously compline was devoutly said in scouts'
pantries fitted up as oratories, pictures and busts of Laud and King
Charles ^ adorned many a sage-papered room, oak-apples decked every
breast on the twenty-ninth of May, and high church religious feeling
showed its reality in more enduring and self-denying ways. Nor must
the revival at this time of hippocras and roast swan, and of the real
commoner's gown, talaris and of four ample breadths, be forgotten.
That revival and much of the aesthetic and ecclesiastical movement is
associated with the influence of an Etonian whose indomitable and good-
tempered courage has since gained him the nickname of the ' School-
Board Athanasius.' Neither, in speaking of religious influence, can I for-
bear to think of two friends, the gentle Bampton Lecturer for this year
(1897), whose brilliant academic career is closing for the present with
his resignation of the principal Librarianship of the Pusey House, and

L. S.M (' Cato Major'), whose Lambeth and Farnham ancestry fitted

him to exercise an almost archiepiscopal supervision of our morals;
and many more who have since entered the service of Church or State.
At Oxford in the seventies the school of moral and social fervour,
which embodied the reaction of the new and emotional against the old and
philosophical Liberalism, was attracting to itself many intense and able
young men, lacking something perhaps, in some instances, of the Shake-
sperian and Elia-tic spirit. With this movement Pembroke had a passing
connexion in the person of Arnold Toynbee, who showed himself
only in the walls of the College, and then was rapt to a higher sphere.

Sir Alfred Milner, now Governor of the Cape, in his memoir of a loved
and admired friend, says : ' When little more than eighteen he went away
by himself, and spent nearly a year alone at a quiet seaside retreat, reading
and thinking, his whole mind possessed, even thus early, with a passionate
interest in religion and metaphysics and in the philosophy of history.
A year or two later, having, by his father's will, a small sum of money at
his command, he resolved to devote it fearlessly to the completion of his
education, and, after much pondering over the how and the where, finally
turned to Oxford.' Toynbee entered Pembroke as a commoner Feb. 5,
1873. The Master of Balliol (Mr. Jowett), however, 'had taken note of
Toynbee almost from the moment of his arrival in Oxford, and had been
at considerable pains to get him transferred from Pembroke to Balliol —
not without a severe brush with the authorities of the latter [? former]
college.' In a letter with which he has favoured me, Sir Alfred writes :
'Toynbee competed for the Brackenbury (History) Scholarship at Balliol
in the autumn of 1873. He was beaten by another friend of mine,

1 Connected, it may be, with the King Charles foundation is a lingering tradi-
tion that Pembroke men (and members also of Jesus College and Exeter) have the
right to wear a silver tassel. Or was it only Fellows on that foundation ?


Mr. P. Lyttelton Gell, but his papers made a very great impression on the
examiners, and Jowett seized the occasion to offer him rooms at Balliol.
To this the then Master of Pembroke, Dr. Evans, I think, not unnaturally
objected, and it ended in Toynbee's severing his connexion with Pembroke
and the University for some six months, and re-entering (I fancy this was
a fresh matriculation) as an undergraduate at Balliol in the autumn of
1874.' The Pembroke Convention Book records that Mr. Toynbee had,
with the Master's consent, stood for a scholarship at Balliol, and been
honourably mentioned ; but that he had then, without the privity of the
Master or the Tutors, made a private arrangement, direct or indirect,
with the Master of Balliol to migrate thither as a commoner. Finding the
matter arranged without their consent, the College had vetoed it, where-
upon Mr. Toynbee applied to become unattached ; but the College
unanimously refused the request on the ground of ' the obvious facility of
the Unattached system for effecting prohibited migrations indirectly,'
and of the desirability of 'discouraging migrations from College to
College.' Toynbee appealed unsuccessfully to the Visitor. The Spectator
(Dec. 1, 1894) says : ' Dr. Jowett managed to draw him away from Pem-
broke to Balliol.' It must be added that, unless it be assumed that
a small College is bound to discern the future prophets and reformers
among its freshmen and hand them over on demand to any bigger insti-
tution more desirous or more worthy to be niitrix leomun, it is impossible
to see why the authorities of Pembroke should have gone out of their way
to make an exception in this instance. However, Toynbee's translation
was the beginning of an unusually striking career. Though he took only
a pass degree (1878), through the discernment of Jowett he was at once
appointed to be lecturer in political economy and tutor of Balliol. Without
ceasing to be a thinker he plunged into the thick of economical and social
politics, and was quickly recognized as a leader in the battle against
laisser-faire^ and in the enthusiastic counter-revolution which aimed at
undoing the results of the enthusiasms of an earlier generation of re-
formers. Toynbee was an idealist rather than a visionary, and might, if
he had lived, have achieved something memorable, which only idealists can
do. But his bodily powers were unequal to his strenuous spirit ; his health
broke down, and he died in the spring of 1883, aged thirty. 'Toynbee
Hair in East London preserves his fame in the way with which he
would have been best pleased.

Two portraits in the possession of the College record the attach-
ment of members of Pembroke to the late and the present IMaster. The
portrait of Dr. Evans was painted in 1883 by Mr. Ouless, R.A. ; that
of Dr. Price in 1896 by Mr. Marmaduke Flower. Dr. Evan Evans
matriculated from Jesus College, June 22, 183 1, but migrated to
Pembroke, of which he was a Fellow 1843-64, Tutor, Dean, and
Vicegerent. On March 8, 1864, he succeeded Dr. Jeune as Master;
D.D. 1878; Vice-Chancellor 1878-82. With the exception of his
Vice-cancellariate, wrote the Times after his death, ' Dr. Evans took


little part in the business of the University, but devoted himself
entirely to College duties and interests. He was of a hearty, active,
genial disposition, possessed of strong common-sense, generous to
a fault, a staunch friend, but with a magnanimity which raised him
both in and out of office above the littleness of partizanship. He
was of a manly character and vigorous physique ; in his day an
enthusiastic cricketer, he never lost his interest in the game. Even
in his old age he was an ardent fives-player, and, in short, he
appreciated all manly sports.' Mr. Ouless's vigorous painting hardly
does justice, perhaps, to the venerable and kindly look, the miiis
sapie?iiia, of the late Master. Dr. Evans died at the College, Nov. 23,
1 89 1, aged seventy-seven. The appointment of a successor fell to
the Visitor, the Marquess of Salisbury. It cannot be necessary here
to dwell on the distinguished career, and the weighty services to the
University, and not least to the University Press, of the present
eminent holder of the office. Dr. Bartholomew Price \

The Club was formed in the Michaelmas term of 1841, chiefly
through the efforts of Mr. Martin Joseph Routh (Fellow 1846 till his
death in 1874), nephew of the famous President of Magdalen.

1842. Starting twelfth the boat made six bumps in the seven nights.
The head boat (Oriel) being unable to row at Henley requested Pembroke
to take its place. Owing to the absence of some of the crew this could
not be done. The late Dean of Canterbury, Robert Payne Smith, rowed
in this crew.

1843. Silver oars and rudder purchased for College Pairs.

1845. Henry Lewis ^ rowed No. 4 in the Oxford Boat.

1846. John and Henry Stedman Polehampton (nicknamed ' Ben ')
distinguished themselves in the Henley pairs, and in the next year also.
The eight was a 'queer boat of Noulton's with steerer (Henry Swabey^)
in the middle.' Mr. Henry Polehampton rowed bow at Putney for
the University. The present flag was adopted.

1847. The Eight (3rd) was ' universally acknowledged to be the best
on the River.' The Torpid went to second place. This year (or the year

^ University Mathematical Scholar 1842; Sedleian Professor of Natural Philo-
sophy 1853 ; Member of the Hebdomadal Council 1856 ; Curator of the University
Chest; Curator of the Bodleian Library; Perpetual Delegate of the Press;
Delegate of the University Museum; F.R.S. ; F.R.Astr.S. ; Honorary Fellow
of Queen's College 1868; served as a Royal Commissioner for enquiring into the
Property and Income of the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, 1872 ; Fellow
of Winchester College 1873 ; Visitor of Greenwich Observatory. Dr. Price is in his
240th term of continuous residence, without interruption, counting (as this College has
always hitherto counted) four terms to the year. He matriculated March 16, 1837.

2 Vicar of Stowmarket 1861 ; ob. 1876. ^ Vide supra, p. 386.


before) Messrs. Edward^ and Henry Polehampton and Frederick
KoE swam in one and a half hours from Iffley to Oxford. (See Sporting
Magasuie.) Scratch Fours instituted.

1849. 'Dissension and lukewarmness throughout the Club.' Six of
the crew had left, and the Eight went down to eleventh place.

1850. Christ Church 2, in gratitude for the loan of a boat at a critical
juncture during the races, presented a handsome Cup for Fours.

1852. A Pembroke Eight rowed over at Henley for the Ladies' Plate.
William Oliver Meade-King^ stroked the winning University Four,
and rowed No. 7 in the victorious Eight at Putney.

1853. Mr. Meade-King stroked the winning University Eight at
Henley, and No. 3 in a Four which gained the Stewards' Challenge Cup.
The Pembroke Eight and Four at Henley were beaten.

1854. Messrs. Meade-King, Thomas Aylesbury Hooper ^ and
George Lilly Mellish^ rowed stroke, 5, and 7 in the Eight which
beat Cambridge at Putney by five lengths. A Pembroke Four won the
Stewards' Cup at Henley.

1855. Three of the crew falling ill, the boat was withdrawn from the
College races.

1856. Richard Newman Townsend rowed No. 5 in the Oxford
Eight at Putney.

1857. A year to be marked with a white stone. The Torpid went
second ; the Eight went up seven places (to fifth) ; a Four, after one of
the hardest and most splendid contests ever witnessed, won the Visitors'
Challenge Cup at Henley from the Lady Margaret crew, representing
Cambridge ; the Pembroke Eight rowed a magnificent race for the
Ladies' Plate ; the Four beat the London and Henley crews and carried
off the Wyfold Challenge Cup ; Messrs. John Arkell ^ and Pownoll
William Phipps ' won the Silver Oars in the O .U. B. C. Pairs ;
Mr. Arkell occupied the third thwart in the University Eight which
beat Cambridge at Putney by ten lengths. He also stroked a scratch
Oxford Eight, with Mr. Phipps rowing 7 and CHARLES Paine
Pauli ' 3, which on the Eton water beat the best Eton Eight ever
turned out ; and at the close of this glorious year Pembroke won the
University Fours, accomplishing the distance in eight minutes and almost
* Cherwellizing' BalHol and other good boats matched against it.
Mr. Arkell soon after was elected President of the University Boat
Club. He had stroked the O. U. B. C. Eight defeated at Henley.

Online LibraryDouglas MacleaneA history of Pembroke college, Oxford, anciently Broadgates hall, in which are incorporated short historical notices of the more eminent members of this house → online text (page 55 of 62)