About the Club

A History of The First Trinity Boat Club

by W. W. Rouse Ball
Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge
Published by Bowes & Bowes, Cambridge, 1908

Contents | Illustrations | Text

Front and inside front covers of the book
Front and Inside front covers of Trinity College Library's copy of Rouse Ball's book

Overview of Contents

Chapter 1: 1825-1826
Introduction
The club's formation, described by C. F. R. Baylay
- a letter by C. F. R. Baylay
Rowing in King Edward III to Lincoln
- an article from a Lincoln Newspaper
- an article from a Boston Newspaper
Commentary on Baylay's letter
- an editorial note from the Field
- an excerpt from History of the Lady Margaret Boat Club
The origin of organised rowing at Cambridge - the Bumps
- an excerpt of a speech by Dean Merivale at the University Boat Race dinner, 1881
- an excerpt from The Portfolio (1840), by J. J. Smith
The first college boat club
Title, constitution, uniform and shield
The first club members
Crews challenged each other to races by sounding bugles
The first VIIIs on the Cam - suitable for picnics
Chapter 2: 1827-1834
Formation of the C.U.C.B. and organised bumping races
The first official bumps races
Raising funds for a T.B.C. VIII
Earliest extant rules of the Club
T.B.C.'s black boat
Dispute cripples the Club
The inaugural University boat race
A shortage of coxes limits T.B.C. to one VIII
Financial affairs of the young Club
New bumps regulations - crews starting from both sides
Origins of the Second Trinity Boat Club
Trinity challenges and defeats C.U.B.C.
Second VIII's are nicknamed "Cannibal"
Interest in rowing increases - Trinity enters 5 VIIIs in Easter Term
The formation of Third Trinity Boat Club
C.U.B.C. sets up subscription system to raise funds
The bumps are expanded to two divisions
Chapter 3: 1834-1843
The racing course is moved downstream when Chesterton lock is removed
The Club moves boatyards and orders a third boat, with cushions
The Club pays for equipment with a 4 entry fee and subscriptions
Cambridge beat Oxford by a minute, expenses being paid by the College Clubs
The ambiguity in the authority of a boat's Coxswain in the presence of the Captain is resolved
The Junior Proctor breaks up T.B.C.'s party for College Boat Club officers
The Club resolves to paint its fleet black with the Lion and Crowns on the bows
T.B.C. wins the Grand Challenge Cup at Henley
Trinity suffers heavy losses at the bank and on the river
The third VIII is named the Noyous from their noxious pulling
Denman of T.B.C. wins the first Cambridge Colquhoun sculls race
The first instance of boats 'rowing on' is recorded
The college do not allow the annual dinner but it goes ahead
Chapter 4: 1843-1850
Scratch fours and Pewter races are established
A getting-on race format is defined - called the slogger races
The Town challenge C.U.B.C. to a race and lose badly
The Magdalene Silver Pairs is founded
The Club moves to Searle's boathouse
The second VIII row over comfortably despite their cox falling overboard
A T.B.C. member is taken to court after throwing a ferryman into the river
The new Eastern Counties Railway shortens the bumps course
Professionals are employed to coach
The University IVs are established; T.B.C. win the inaugural race
A scratch C.U.B.C. VIII races Oxford in December; their win is overruled
Chapter 5: 1850-1857
Colquhoun sculls end in confusion
The 1st VIII is bumped by LMBC, the 4th VIII taken off for their own safety
During end of term frivolity, a combination Trinity crew dead heats the rest of the University
The 4th VIII re-enters for the slogging races
Macnaghten wins the Diamond sculls easily, establishes the Macnaghten Sculls and wins the University IVs
Midsummer common is under 3 feet of water
The 4th VIII bumps up in the slogging races, despite the cox needing to retrieve a lost oar
Bumps expanded to two divisions of 16
Jesus capsize, their cox almost losing his life
Lent term Bumps abandoned due to ice whilst three or four men break down in May
The Club concludes it should train college's freshmen
42 IVs enter the amusing scratch IVs competition
The 4th VIII bump, despite the bank party throwing the bowman his oar mid-race
The Club's Wyatt Pairs race is founded
Keel-less boats dominate rowing at Henley
Chapter 6: 1857-1865
Keel-less boats increase the difficulty of rowing but slash 30s off a course
A highly successful year sees T.B.C. rowing Head, winning the Grand, Ladies, Visitors and Stewards prizes at Henley and the Fours, Colquhouns and Magdalene Pairs on the Cam
T.B.C.'s trial VIIIs is the forerunner of C.U.B.C.'s famous trial VIIIs race
Bumps are expanded to three divisions
Time on the slide is time wasted; C.U.B.C. lose 9 consecutive races
Searle builds a new boathouse for the expanding Club
T.B.C. diversifies to include athletic sports
Popularity of Second Trinity begins to wane and options to guaranttee its survival are discussed
Chapter 7: 1865-1871
The beginning of seven prosperous years
Entrance to T.B.C. is limited to 50 a year to assist Second Trinity
Success in the races is celebrated with a May Ball
Formation of the independent First Trinity Athletic Club
T.B.C. row-over Head with seven men
Club members pay for financial losses on the May Ball
Gordon is killed in his College room - a major loss for the Club and C.U.B.C.
The 5th boat do no training and are bumped by the 6th
The restriction on entry intended to bolster Second Trinity is abolished
First and Third engage each other in cricket
The Cam requires dredging for rowing to flourish
The first VIIIs change in uniform is deemed inappropriate after objection by former members
It is decided the novices should do a term's tubbing before rowing in VIIIs
More discussions on the fate of Second Trinity end in deadlock
The social facilities of the boathouse are improved with the provision of newspapers, books and athletic appliances
For once the C.U.B.C. VIII is not over-trained and wins for the first time since 1861
A large meeting is held in an attempt to resolve the issue of Second Trinity; four schemes for supporting it are thrown out
The Club raises funds to build itself a boathouse on newly leased land
The bumps course is lengthened again after the completion of a new railway bridge
Chapter 8: 1872-1886
The club moves into its new boathouse
Cambridge win the boat race despite sabotage
'St John's College Boat Club' is formed
James B. Close wins the Colquhouns with a rudder on his funny
The introduction of sliding seats further increases the challenge of rowing
The second VIII bumps the first VIII
The Club regrets representing Cambridge in the U.S.A.
Second Trinity is disbanded
T.B.C. plummet to 6th, as Jesus begin a 10 year reign
The 4th VIII row at the Head of the 2nd division
A College Don is appointed as Treasurer
The Club begins to plan for the purchase of its land in 1911
Sewage in the river makes rowing difficult
C.U.B.C.'s Goldie boathouse is built
The May races are moved to June
Other amusements at College reduce the appeal of the boat club
The Prince of Wales joins the T.B.C.
It is proposed that the Lent and May races be separated
Chapter 9: 1886-1897
The Lent and May bumps are set up as separate events
A member of the Clare VIII is killed in the Lents; bow-balls are introduced as a result
The post-bumps procession is becoming increasingly disorderly, with boats frequently capsized
The numbers joining T.B.C. decline due to an increase in field games; a football VIII is formed and membership fees relaxed
A regatta featuring canoe races, tugs of war, obstacle and blindfold races is established on the Backs
James B. Close begins a successful period of coaching for the club
The Club continues to appoint undergraduate members as captain; James B. Close meanwhile guides the club on rowing matters
A few Trinity men race as Second Trinity, but were required to enter as a new club
There is skating on the frozen Cam to Ely
The Club is able to buy the land on which its boathouse stands
A combined Trinity College Boat Club was formed to permit combination crews to row at Henley
Chapter 10: 1897-1908
James B. Close's coaching finally rewards the Club with the Mays Headship for the first time in 24 years
The Ball is named the First and Third Trinity Ball but still managed by T.B.C.
The Club decides against entering a third VIII in the Mays
James B. Close leaves Cambridge, but continues to coach occasionally
The College Field Club is formed and provided with sports fields; the expenses involved with rowing contribute to a reduction in size of the boat club of 50% over 20 years
A third boat is at last entered and bumps every night; the 1st VIII contrives to allow an absent Hall row-overs
The football VIII is bumped by the 5th and 6th VIIIs
A dispute over crew selection sees the resignation of Captain and Secretary
The second VIII is awarded first boat colours
An association of old members is established to assist financially

Illustrations

The 1st Trinity Boat Club shield and motto
Map of Racing Course, 1827 - 1834
Map of Racing Course in and after 1835
Boat Races on the Cam, 1837
Searle's Boathouse used by T.B.C., 1845 - 1863
Railway Bridge across the Cam, 1846 - 1870
T.B.C. Boathouse, 1863 - 1871
Railway Bridge across the Cam, built 1870
T.B.C. Boathouse in and after 1872

Chapter 1: 1825-1826

THE First Trinity Boat Club was founded in the year 1825. This booklet contains a brief outline of its history; it is published at the request of various past and present members of the Club. I warn my readers, however, that it is not and cannot be much more than a bare record of events which, though interesting to those who took part in them, are of singular sameness and of but little intrinsic importance; hence, those who read on must not be disappointed at the constant recurrence of similar statements about similar incidents. In the unlikely event of there being any profit from the sale of this book, it will be devoted to Club purposes.

The minute books of the Club now in its possession date from 1835. Some ten years ago I was told that a minute book earlier than 1835 was in existence, but I have been since assured that my informant was mistaken, and I fear we must take it that the earlier books are now lost or at any rate cannot be traced. The Club possesses, however, a few loose sheets, containing extracts from T.B.C. books and papers, on events in the years 1827 to 1834. It also possesses sets of its early laws, and a list, probably compiled in 1834, of its honorary members who had joined the Club in or before 1834 and the dates when they first joined it. The minute books contain full records of the proceedings of the Club in and after 1835, comments on Cambridge boating affairs, and, more often than not, memoranda of the minutes and decisions of the University Boat Club; in fact they constitute a frank history of the amusement as seen and judged by undergraduates, and are an interesting record of one aspect of College life. The Club also owns a book containing (inter alia) some lists of the orders in which boats started, and regulations and rulings of the C.U.B.C. about racing on the river from 1828 to 1837. The Club's account books date from 1829 but details of its expenditure are missing in many of them. The Club, in 1852, put all its papers at the disposal of J. F. Bateman, President of the Lady Margaret Boat Club, when he wrote his Aquatic Notes, so most of the information concerning rowing in general, as distinguished from the affairs of First Trinity, has been already published.

The statements made in the following pages rest generally on the authority of the Club minutes. These might be amplified and checked by reference to Bell's Life, and to the records of other clubs, but I take them as they stand: they are always optimistic on matters of opinion, but on matters of fact there can be no doubt of their accuracy. In documents extending over so many years it has of course occasionally happened that Secretaries have omitted to mention events which should be noticed in a history like this. Sometimes I have learnt of them from other sources and given the facts, though doubtless some are passed over in silence, and so far this sketch must be regarded as incomplete. Even, however, where materials exist, I dare not suppose that there are not inaccuracies due to the writer, and for these I must throw myself on the indulgence of my readers.

The minutes are necessarily disconnected, and I content myself with a chronological account of the salient features of the Club's history, and of rowing on the Cam not attempting to make a continuous story, which indeed would be an almost impossible task. Of the actual details of the hundreds of races chronicled in the books I say little or nothing. To those who took part in them such descriptions are of great interest, but their reproduction here would occupy too much space, and is the more unnecessary since the records are accessible to members of the T.B.C. who like to read the history of these many and hard-fought struggles. I note however each year the positions occupied at the end of the races by the T.B.C. boats, and I add also those occupied by the boats of the other Trinity Clubs. In the last chapter I summarize the results of various races.

1825

Although the minute books of the Club prior to 1835 are not available, we possess an account of its origin in a letter by the late C. F. R. Baylay. This was published in the Field, January 28, 1882, and I here reproduce it.

Sir,- My attention having been drawn to a paper... in one of your contemporaries, I find it stated that what led to systematic rowing at Cambridge is not on record. I fear there are very few, if any, now surviving who took part in the first formation of boat clubs, and set races on the Cam....I will now as shortly as possible relate my experience. I went up to Cambridge in October, 1824. I soon found my way to the boat-houses, and I hired a canoe and sculled down to Baitsbite (no one ever stopped at Ditton). This was the usual distance, except when it was prolonged to Clayhithe. The resources of the "dockyards" were more considerable than the above writer supposes. There were two six-oars, and three or four four-oars, besides many other boats of smaller size. Before the end of the October Term, 1824, I joined a scratch crew and rowed to Ely and back, which, at that early date, was not considered an extraordinary feat. In the spring of 1824 four Trinity men, of whom I was one, used very frequently to hire a four-oar when we felt inclined for a row. Sometimes finding the boat we liked best engaged, we formed ourselves into a club, and hired a four-oar called the Shannon by the term. This was the first Cambridge Boat Club; We chose for our stroke a Westminster man of excellent form; but, unfortunately, sudden illness soon obliged him to quit Cambridge. So we took in another man, and I was elected stroke in his place. Rowing constantly together we easily beat any scratch crew we fell in with. This excited the emulation of some Johnians. They formed the next club, and brought up an eight-oar from Eton. What the writer says of its being cut into steps like the Great Harry, simply refers to a false overhanging stern, rising high at the after part, where the Flag staff was fixed; but this was only shipped on gala occasions, as, I presume, was the case at Eton. Otherwise the boat was like any other boat at that date. Snow was the stroke; the elder Selwyn, afterwards Margaret Professor, No. 7; and for a short time the Duke of Buccleuch, then an undergraduate at John's, was in the boat which was called the Lady Margaret. We managed to hold our own with her in the chance contests we had on the river, but we found that we could hardly expect to keep ahead of an eight-oar when the crew got to work better together. Our club therefore determined to increase its numbers, and to build an eight. King, of Oxford, had a good reputation as a boat builder; so we commissioned him to build an eight-oar for us. She, as was the custom then, was built entirely of oak, and was very crank, but fast under a crew well together. We called her the King Edward III, and I took my place in her as stroke. Other Trinity men then formed a Club, and brought up an Eton ten-oar, the Monarch; but she was a failure, so they commissioned Searle, of Westminster, to build them an eight, which they also called the Monarch - Blofeld, an Eton man, being stroke. Some Westminsters also built a four-oar at Cambridge, and the Caius men a six-oar in London. Having got so far, the next step was to form a Cambridge University Boat Club, to have set races, and lay down rules for them. I may here mention that I started a subscription for making good gravel paths across the common to the boathouses, and obtained the mayor's leave to execute the work - a great comfort to all who had to cross the common. The races established by the U.B.C. were carried on through every term. So long as our crew remained together - i.e. till the October Term, 1827, when some honour men ceased to row - we kept our place as head of the river. The Lady Margaret always pressed us dangerously during the first half of the distance; after that we went away from them. Once, indeed, she did succeed in bumping us, but that was owing to an accident to one of our rowlocks. The next day we recovered our place. Such is the history of the earliest rowing at Cambridge, from the still vivid recollections of one who had a very large share in it, and who established the first boat club in the university. It will probably be interesting to Cantabs who are, or have been, boating men. It cannot be very long before an authentic record of these events will be impossible. The popularity of the university boat race is an undoubted fact, and perhaps you may think it well that the rise of systematic rowing on the Cam, which has culminated in these stirring contests with the sister university, should be preserved on the files of The Field, as a matter of interest and future reference.

Appended to this narrative is an account of our taking the King Edward III to Lincoln in the Easter vacation of 1827, extracted from a Lincoln and a Boston paper of that date. It is a nearly correct statement, but our pace was eight miles an hour, as we found by the milestones on the Witham bank.

As a hint to "training," I can confidently state that I was never in such hard and staying condition, as at the end of those six day's rowing, of nearly forty miles a day on the average.

The crew of the King Edward, on my leaving Cambridge, presented me with the standard used on gala occasions, such as the Boat Procession at the College backs, which I greatly value, and still possess. It is of purple silk, with the heraldic lion and three crowns - motto, Fama super aethera notus.

Lincoln. It seems by the Lincoln Mercury that no small degree of curiosity was excited in that city on Saturday and Sunday last, by the appearance in its river of a superb pleasure boat, announcing itself in golden letters as belonging to "Trinity College, Cambridge," and manned by nine young gentlemen of that College, in the full aquatic costume of straw hat, blue jacket, striped, trousers, &c. It was first supposed, but incorrectly, that the visit of Bishop Kaye to his cathedral had been the attraction in this case, as the young gentlemen, having attended divine service in the morning, shortly afterwards took their departure for Tattershall, on their way home. The vessel in which this very spirited expedition was conducted was an open row boat, very long and narrow, being about 42 feet by 3 or 4, evidently well adapted for speed, but more to be trusted upon the smooth waters of the Bedford Level, than upon the inconstant main; in this wherry, however, having descended the Cam and the Ouse to Lynn, the gallant crew crossed the estuary of the Wash on Friday last, over to the mouth of the Witham, with the assistance of a Lynn pilot engaged for the purpose. Passing through Boston, they arrived at Tattershall the same evening, the castle at which place belongs to Lord Fortescue, the father of one of the adventurers, and on the following day reached Lincoln, about eighteen miles further. The rumour of this singular arrival, and of the intended return on the following afternoon, was soon bruited, and to the unadventurous citizens of Lincoln seemed to partake not a little of the marvellous, for though they believe the existence of such a communication has never been doubted by geographers, yet a canoe of Sandwich Islanders could hardly have excited more astonishment, in a place, which, considering its position, is remarkably deficient in aquatic accomplishments, The subordination of the boat's crew to their commander, with their seamanlike movements, afforded great gratification, and augurs much for Cambridge discipline, against certain cavillers of our day. Having unmoored their vessel from the boathouse in Brayford, each took his seat, and in an instant hats and jackets were doffed, the eight oars were then elevated upright at the word of command, and at the next signal were cleaving the water, with the precision (as connoisseurs observed) of the "true man-of-war's stroke." In this fine style they made the circuit of Brayford, to the delight of the many hundreds assembled, and then shooting rapidly through the town, were soon out of sight, intending to spend the rest of the day at Tattershall on their way home. They reached Boston on Monday morning, and on Tuesday, between six and seven o'clock, they attempted to repass "the stormy firth"; but in consequence of very unfavourable weather, prudently returned again to port between eight and nine, and rowed away with more success on Wednesday....

Boston. On Friday last the inhabitants of this town were rather surprised by the arrival of a very handsome, neatly decorated eight-oared boat or wherry which had been that morning rowed over from Lynn by nine young collegians of Trinity College, Cambridge. The boat excited much attention, being peculiarly calculated for cutting its way through the waves. It measured forty-two feet in length, and only four in breadth. The "tight young watermen" were all dressed alike in blue jackets, striped trousers, and straw hats, with purple ribands. After taking refreshment, and lounging through some of the principal streets of the town, they again embarked on board their "trim-built wherry," and proceeded up the River Witham to Lincoln. The expertness and facility with which they plied at and feathered their oars, will be obvious from the fact, that they travelled the first mile, although rowing against a very powerful current, in about six minutes. From the rapidity of their progress, which certainly averaged nearly seven miles an hour, and their easy and elegant style, the task must have been scarcely more than agreeable. They excited much attention at Lincoln, from whence they returned to this port, yesterday morning.

C. F. R. Baylay., Kirkby Rectory, Horncastle, January, 1882.

To this letter was appended the following editorial note.

From the above very interesting account of the rise of boat racing at Cambridge, it appears that Trinity men have still adhered to their original boat uniform, in spite of the changes of fashion and the vagaries of college tailors. The only alteration of importance that has been made is in the jacket, which no longer is cut in the nautical style, with brass buttons. The... oars of that date were painted all over, and the boats were made entirely of oak. Many generations of Cambridge men must have been exceedingly thankful for the gravel path across the common, without knowing the history of its existence, The only way to the boat-houses in those days was down Park Street. It will astonish modern boat-captains, and horrify them also, to hear that in the "dark ages" at Cambridge men only boated when they felt inclined, and the only attainable craft besides funnies, pair-oars, and randans, were a couple of six-oars and a few fours, and those of a pattern excessively primitive. Logan and King were the chief boat builders, and before 1826 the only races were scratch races, got up on the spur of the moment. - M.P.

A letter by Archdeacon Cust - formerly E. G. Peacock, one of the founders of the Lady Margaret Boat Club - gives some additional details. The following extract from it is taken from the History of Lady Margaret Boat Club by R. H. Forster and W. Harris, Cambridge, 1890.

I remember Baylay perfectly well as stroke of a capital four-oar which easily beat any other on the Cam, and I also well remember meeting that boat coming up below Ditton, as we went down for the first time in the old Lady Margaret, which had only arrived a day or two before. The Trinity crew looked at us with astonishment, An eight-oar on the Cam! Unheard of prodigy.... I don't think Baylay's letter quite gives full credit to Trench, who was really the sole proposer and starter of the eight-oared races at Cambridge. He persuaded us to start an eight-oar, and got up the Lady Margaret from Eton. She was far too short for a crew of men, though well enough for boys.

1826

The origin of organized rowing at Cambridge was also described by Dean Merivale - likewise one of the original members of the Lady Margaret Club - in a speech at the University Boat Race dinner in April, 1881, as follows.

In the summer of 1826 there were only two eight-oars in our water, a Trinity boat and a Johnian, and the only idea of encounter they had was that each should go, as it were, casually down stream and lie in wait, one of them, I believe, sounding a bugle to intimate its whereabouts, when the other, coming up, would give chase, In the year 1827, this slender flotilla was increased by the accession of a Trinity ten-oar, and of two or three six-oars from other Colleges, and then the regular racing began. In the year 1828 most of the other Colleges manned their eights.

There is also a slight sketch of the introduction of eight-oared racing in The Portfolio, published in 1840, and edited by J. J. Smith, Tutor of Caius, from which I take the following account.

It is now only twelve years since the naval armaments of Cambridge consisted almost entirely of funnies and canoes, large fleets of which were wont...to glide down the stream.... At the period of which we speak...there might be found...a. two-oar or a four-oar; but there is not the vaguest tradition of an eight-oar having ever floated on the waters of the Cam up to that time....The idea was conceived simultaneously by a Trinity man and a Johnian.... The Johnians started in an old Eton boat of prodigious strength and weight...Such was the old "Lady Margaret," the venerable ancestress of a goodly line of daughters, who have inherited her title and improved upon her virtues. The Trinity crew adopted a wiser course under the direction of their Westminster captain, and had their boat built in London; which proved in every respect superior to its competitor. This was soon ascertained in the trials of strength which the rival crews extemporized between themselves; the Johnians rowed gaily down the river, their steerer equipped with a bugle, which he occasionally blew in order to intimate his whereabouts to the Trinity boat; which would by and by come up and give chase, and generally succeed in bumping or striking the stern of its gallant rival. - Such was the origin of boat racing at Cambridge. The example thus set by the boats of the two principal colleges was rapidly followed by several others, and the following year (1827) saw the organization of an University Boat Club, and the institution of regular and systematic racing.

It is unfortunate that the names of the two reputed founders of the sport are not given. I conjecture that the Johnian was the Hon. R. Le P. Trench who had been at Eton, but I am unable to identify the Trinity Westminster, though, in addition to the above account, allusions to him are made by Bateman and Baylay.

Doubtless boating as an amusement existed long before the formation of boat clubs, but until 1825 or thereabouts men made up a party, hired a boat, separated afterwards, and considered themselves as connected by no stronger tie than binds friends accustomed to enjoying amusement in one another's company. From the above accounts we may, however, take it that in 1825 a Trinity crew rowed regularly on the river, raced after the manner of those times, and ultimately organized themselves into a boat club.

Baylay makes it clear that First Trinity was not founded before the spring of 1825, and I think his language implies that it was founded before the summer of that year, though (probably) with only five members. At any rate he asserts definitely that the Club was formed before the Lady Margaret Boat Club, and since we know that the latter was founded in the Michaelmas Term,1825, this would show that the former club was established not later than that term. The foundation of First Trinity before that of the Lady Margaret Boat Club is corroborated by the fact that in 1827 T.B.C. was granted priority, in the initial order of the eight-oared boats when bumping races were introduced. On the other hand I find that in the Easter Term, 1846-7, the Club celebrated by a dinner "the completion of its twenty-first year." At first sight this would seem to indicate that it was then believed that the Club was not definitely constituted until 1826, though it is consistent, if the 21st academic year is meant, with its foundation in the Michaelmas Term, 1825; but the early books of the Club had been previously lost, so the date fixed for the coming of age has not much importance especially as Bateman of St John's writing in 1852 mentions "about. 1825" as the date of its foundation, and gives it priority to the Lady Margaret Club. No College, other than Trinity and St John's, formed a boat club before 1827.

The First Trinity Boat Club was, it is supposed, constituted with the title of the Trinity Boat Club, commonly shortened into T.B.C. Technically this remained its name until 1906, though for a long time it had been also generally known as First Trinity, and thus distinguished from the Second Trinity and Third Trinity Boat Clubs which were founded later. I use indifferently the terms First Trinity and T.B.C.

In the absence of definite records I am unable to speak with certainty as to the early constitution of the Club. It is however probable that at first it was composed of active members who formed the actual rowing crew, and perhaps a few additional members from whom substitutes were provided when any of the regular crew were temporarily absent. Usually the stroke of the boat was Captain, and in early days he and the Steerer shared the management of the boat, and were independent officers. Presumably the boats were bought by subscription, and the current expenses were divided amongst the members. The earliest set of rules we possess may be referred probably to the year 1828: they are printed at length in the next chapter. I have already said that the Club's account books go back to 1829, and in the next chapter I give a summary of the Club's finances at that time.

From Baylay's letter it would seem that the original uniform of the Club was substantially as it is at present. The flag he mentions is also of the same design as that still in use. The armorial shield used by the Club on its flags, boats, &c., is azure with three crowns, one and two, and in base a lion passant gardant or. This shield has no connection with the Black Prince or his Father. I conjecture that it was invented by the founders of the Club, who took the lion from the arms of England or of the College, and added the crowns of France, England, and Scotland, which are borne on the sceptre carried by Edward III in his statue on the Clock-Tower. The motto taken by the Club, Fama super aethera notus, is that painted after the name of Edward III on that Tower.

The 1st Trinity Boat Club shield and motto
The 1st Trinity Boat Club shield and motto

It has been the tradition of T.B.C. that the ten-oared Monarch, mentioned by Baylay and Merivale, was, like the King Edward, a T.B.C. boat. It will be noticed, however, that Baylay definitely asserts that it originally represented a separate Club, Blofeld being its stroke. This letter is the only first-hand evidence on the subject, and I accept it as indisputable. But if his statement means that the Monarch Club was at first entirely distinct from T.B.C., we must, I think, take it that its independent existence was very brief. At any rate in the Easter Term, 1826, Blofeld was elected a member of T.B.C., and I have do doubt that in the races in 1827 the Monarch represented T.B.C. This question is mentioned again in the next chapter. Other members of the Club elected in 1826 were G. B. P. Jenner, H. C. Singleton, L. Garland, J. Marriner, C. V. Worsley, W. H. R. Read, and R. Blane. It does not seem an unreasonable conjecture that these, with T. J. Blofeld, were members of the Monarch crew. Worsley's name does not appear in the College admission books, but notwithstanding this he may have been a member of the College. In October 1826, J. Corser and M. Smith were elected members. All the above became honorary members in or before 1834. Of those who were elected members before 1834, but ultimately resigned, we have, in general, no record, and even in the case of a few whose names are given we do not know for how long they had been members.

Baylay came up to Cambridge from Greenwich School in 1823, and graduated as B.A. in 1828. He alludes to a Westminster man who stroked the Shannon in the spring of 1825, and according to the custom of that day would have been the earliest Captain of the Club, and presumably was its founder. There is no evidence that Baylay rowed after June 1827. His name appears in the subscription list of 1828, but it does not appear in the lists of 1834 and 1835 of honorary (non-resident) members, and it may be supposed that he resigned, perhaps in 1827. T. J. Blofeld came up to Cambridge from Eton in 1824, graduated as B.A. in 1829, was Captain of the Club 1827-8, and in due course became an honorary member of it.

The racing contemplated, and which took place in 1825 and 1826, was of an informal character. Each steerer carried a bugle with which he intimated his whereabouts to any rival crew on the river, and challenged them to a race. One boat coming up behind another pursued it and tried to bump it. A steerer was not allowed under a penalty of a guinea to blow the bugle or permit his crew to race if any member of the crew did not wish it.

The introduction on the Cam of eights was due to the Lady Margaret Club. The boats were large cutters. In the extracts above given the King Edward III is said to have been about 42 feet long with a beam of 3 or 4 feet. The Lady Margaret was 38 feet long, 5 feet wide, and 26 inches deep. The Monarch was an old Eton ten-oar boat, but we do not know its dimensions. These boats had some sort of a framework which could be fixed in the stern and carried a pole and flag. The weight of the flag and its support must have been considerable, for it is said that on one occasion, the crew of a boat shifted them into the bows in order to balance a rather heavy cox. The substantial character of the boats is shown by the voyage of the King Edward III to Lynn and Boston. The oars had heavy square handles and narrow blades: members of the Club are no doubt familiar with the sculls of 1846 and 1847 which hang in the Club rooms, and are built in this style.

The boats were used for water parties on such days as they were not required for racing, and the Lady Margaret Club has preserved a list of the articles packed into its boat when starting for a picnic. It includes two kettles, nine plates, a table, nine cups, saucers, eggholders, four basins, four dishes, table-cloths, napkins, and other miscellaneous paraphernalia.

Chapter 2: 1827-1834

1827

In 1827 the University Boat Club was established, and bumping races initiated. Until 1835 the history of First Trinity has to be reconstructed from disconnected sources, and its presentation in a connected form is not easy.

Before dealing with the racing, I would remind the reader that the Club possessed two boats, the ten-oared Monarch and the eight-oared King Edward. Thus twenty members were required to man the boats.

At least nine new members were elected in the Lent Term, 1827, namely, W. J. Aislabie, C. Q. Constable, J. Frere, H. J. Greene, C. P. Hamlyn, B. R. Heath, F. Rodd, W. J. Tayler, and L. Thompson. All these, in due course, became honorary members: possibly there were also others who ultimately resigned. These, together with those of the original members and those elected in 1826 who were still in residence, would suffice to man the boats.

I proceed next to describe the doings of the Club in the bumping races held on the Cam under the directions of the C.U.B.C.

First as to the racing course. At that time there was a lock at Chesterton about half-way between the present Pike and Eel Inn and the Railway Bridge, and another lock opposite the present Fort St George Inn. The boats started from the former lock and rowed up stream, the winning post being situated where the capstan of the existing grind-ferry to the First Trinity Boat House now stands. The figure is a map taken from one in possession of the Club showing the course. The starting posts were 90 feet apart. Immediately on starting, each boat had to steer across the river. In order to allow the crews to get well on their way, a bump was regarded as ineffective unless the boat bumped or passed had previously reached a stake known as the bumping post, which is indicated on the map; and in 1830 it was further decided that if a boat were bumped or passed before reaching this post the boat making the bump or passing the boat in front should lose one place. To claim a bump it was necessary to "change flags." I conjecture that a boat when racing carried a small flag, and on making a bump exchanged it for a large one.

Reproduction of the racing course illustration
Map of Racing Course, 1827 - 1834

From the beginning boats had a continuous history, and new boats, whether representing new clubs or not, were required to start at the bottom of those racing. At first, boats were put on and taken off somewhat capriciously. There was no limit to the number of boats that raced, and any crew who liked to hire a boat could row in the races. Thus, a few friends hired a boat, rowed as long as they liked, and, on one member or more getting tired of the amusement, broke up the association and disappeared from history. Boats, representing temporary clubs of this kind, were put on by Trinity crews at various times. In some books and charts the Trinity boats prior to 1831 have been mis-termed First Trinity, Second Trinity, &c. This is incorrect, for it is known that the Second Trinity Boat Club did not originate before 1831, and Third Trinity was founded in 1833. Hence before 1831 the adjectives First, Second, &c., must be taken to refer only to the order on the river. We can distinguish the T.B.C. boats, and it seems clear that the other boats represented temporary crews; accordingly I shall designate them as Trinity A, B, C, &c.

The records of the order of racing are contemporary, and we may take it that the published charts are accurate, as far as the top boats are concerned, save for the misleading numbers attached to the various Trinity boats. I ought, however, to add that the records for the lower boats sometimes differ slightly, and this is especially noticeable in the year 1838. In reading the early charts, it must be also remembered that occasionally the order of the boats was changed between the races in a manner unintelligible to us. I believe that in such cases crews rowed against one another on non-racing days, and changed places according to the results of these unofficial trials.

I had at one time thought of giving a chart of the races each year and following it by a comment on the doings of First Trinity as therein represented, but this would make the history of the Club unnecessarily prolix, and I content myself with a running commentary on its doings and such other matters connected with the racing as may appear to be of general interest.

The races commenced in 1827 - the first race taking place on February 26 - and were held three times a week during the Lent and Easter Terms, 15 races being held in the Lent Term, and 11 in the Easter Term.

It was arranged that on the first day the ten-oared Monarch should start at the head, and that the two eight-oared boats, the King Edward and the Lady Margaret, should come next in that order. These were followed by six-oared and four-oared boats; of these only one, from the Jesus Boat Club, started the first night, but four others representing Caius, St John's, Emmanuel, and Trinity Westminsters entered later. Macmichael writing in 1870 says that T.B.C. then owned a parchment chart showing the results of the races in 1827. This is now lost, but probably it was one of the authorities used in compiling the published charts recording the races of that year.

As a result of the racing during the Lent Term, the King Edward went head the first day, was bumped by the Monarch the second day, rebumped it the third day, rowed head for two days, was then bumped by the Monarch, but rebumped it the next day, and then rowed over head till the end of the races. In the 12th race, on March 24, the King Edward rowed with only 6 oars, but just succeeded in keeping its place as head. The Monarch had rowed head or second for the first 11 days, but was bumped on the 12th and 13th days. Thereupon the boat was taken off the river, though it appeared again temporarily for two evenings in the Easter Term. In fact experience showed that a ten-oared cutter was too unwieldy a craft for racing on the narrow waters of the Cam. In the Easter Term, the King Edward started head, was bumped by Lady Margaret in the sixth race, but regained its place the following evening, and rowed head until the last evening. On that evening, according to the charts and the T.B.C. memoranda, it also rowed overhead; but, since in November it started second, the fact cannot be said to be certain. Thus out of the 26 races held, the King Edward rowed or finished head 23 or 22 times and the Monarch twice. After the races there was a procession of boats bearing their flags, as indicated in Baylay's letter quoted above, and this remained the recognized custom until 1892.

Another Trinity crew (Trinity A) which took part in the races in 1827 was composed of Westminster men. They rowed in a four-oared, or perhaps six-oared boat. The boat was put on in the seventh race in the Lent Term, and at the end of the Easter Term was taken off, it being then last on the river. I think Baylay's statement that the crew built the boat must not be taken to mean that they owned it - probably it was hired for the races from some yard. Had it belonged to the crew it might have led to the organization of another Trinity Club with a continuous history.

At the end of the races in May, 1827, only six boats were on the river, and they finished in the order T.B.C., Lady Margaret (or vice versa), Caius, Emmanuel, Jesus, and Trinity A (Westminsters); the boats being designated, according to Cambridge custom, by the names of the Clubs to which they belonged.

In the following year, 1827-8, races were held twice a week, 6 being held in the Michaelmas Term, 9 in the Lent Term, and 8 in the Easter Term. Only four boats started in the Michaelmas Term, but later in the year Jesus, Caius, Magdalene, Trinity Hall, Corpus, and Peterhouse put on boats.

The new eight-oared Monarch was delivered in October and was used in the Michaelmas races. The Club has a note that the crew were drawn from the old Monarch boat and that the King Edward did not start in these races. In this term, T.B.C. started second, went head the first night, and rowed head for the rest of the term. Besides this, a Trinity Etonian boat, which we may call Trinity B, appeared on the third night of the races, though it was taken off at the end of the term. In the extant Club records there is mention of only one election this term, namely, of T. G. Gossip.

We have a memorandum issued by the crews at this time, to which I must now direct attention. It is obvious that the expense to a small club of providing new boats would prove very costly to its members. Accordingly the Club appealed to residents in the College for donations. The response was most gratifying; more than 100 was received from no less than 148 subscribers, including nearly all the resident Fellows. "The Crews," in a printed letter, dated March 12, 1828, thanked the College. "The money collected," they continued, " is sufficient completely to cover the expenses of one boat; and it is their intention to procure a second themselves, from the crew of which all vacancies in the first may in future be supplied." They justified their appeal for funds by saying that "there did not appear to be any other mode of permanently uniting the crews"; they emphasized the desirability of the existence of a firmly established club, owing to "the liability of private crews to be dissolved when the parties by which they are formed leave Cambridge"; and they reminded the College "that neither of the private boats" in the previous year "had been able to make up its full complement." In this interesting memorandum it will be noticed, first, that "the crews" write as being or representing the Club, second, that they speak of the desirability of "permanently" uniting the crews of the boats, and third, that they make it clear that the boats I have termed Trinity A and Trinity B were private ventures.

The "permanent union" of the crews took place, for in a letter, probably from the Secretary, dated March 11, 1828, of which a few sentences are extant, the writer says "an union has just taken place between the a Clubs of Trinity." If this letter, that by Baylay, and the above memorandum stood alone, we should conclude that the King Edward and Monarch Clubs were independent before this term, and now amalgamated. But this is impossible, for we have definite evidence that both boats belonged to T.B.C. early in the autumn of 1827, and there is no reason to think they did not do so throughout that year: in fact all the extant club notices of the early racing treat both the King Edward and the Monarch as T.B.C. boats. Baylay's letter makes it clear that the King Edward was a T.B.C. boat from its origin in 1825. The Monarch was bought in 1826: the only member of its crew whose name we know was elected a member of T.B.C. in 1826, but the other elections of that year would, with the previous members, provide crews for both boats, so this also tends to show that the Monarch was a T.B.C. boat from 1826, and probably from the time of its purchase. On the other hand the Club did not include all rowing members of the College, and in particular did not include the crews of the boats I have designated Trinity A and Trinity B.

I think we can reconcile all these statements if we suppose that the King Edward and the Monarch boats were each the property of its own crew and not of the Club. On this view the two crews formed two divisions of T.B.C. and no doubt, if each crew had purchased its own boat, it would to a large extent manage its own affairs independently of the other crew. If so, we cannot speak of either boat being the first or second of the Club, for they were separate, though both represented T.B.C. Such, I believe, was the constitution of the Club before 1828, but I give the facts and my readers can draw their own conclusions. It will be observed that Baylay speaks of his crew ordering the King Edward from King, and of the Monarch crew after the races in 1827 ordering a new eight-oared boat from Searle. The latter was in fact built by Rawlinson and Lyon: the cost was 80, and the bill (of which there is a copy in the Club memoranda) was made out to the Gentlemen of the Trinity Boat Club, but the individual members of the crew may have paid for it themselves, and I suspect they did so. The note that the Monarch crew in the Michaelmas Term 1827 was drawn from the Monarch crew of the previous academic year also suggests that the crews were independent, though as the King Edward was not rowing, the Monarch (which was the only T.B.C. boat. then racing) took its place and was not required to start at the bottom of the boats racing. Henceforth however we may take it that the two crews or divisions were amalgamated and that, a crew was selected from any members of the Club available. Thus the constitution of the Club was put on its present basis.

The earliest extant rules of the Club were printed in 1827 or 1828 - I suspect in the Lent Term, 1828, at the same time as these changes were made. I give these rules in full:

LAWS OF THE TRINITY BOAT CLUB.

  1. That this Club be called the Trinity Boat Club and be limited to 20 Members, exclusive of Steerers.
  2. That no Member of any College except Trinity can on any account, or in any way, belong to this Club.
  3. That since this Club has been established solely for the purpose of rowing, no Member will be obliged to attend at any other meetings but those regularly appointed by the Club for rowing or settling their affairs, and that no public meetings of the Club be held for Breakfasts, Dinners, or Suppers.
  4. That a Committee of five Members be appointed each term for the management of the affairs of the Club; and that the Captain, Steerer, Treasurer and Secretary, be Members of this Committee; and, in case there be a second boat, its Captain and Steerer shall be additional Members of this Committee.
  5. That the rowing shall commence each term on the day appointed for the men to be in residence, and shall continue till the end of the term, except in case of any examination.
  6. That a general meeting be held every term on the Sunday after lectures begin; and that due notice of such meeting be given to each Member of the Club by the Secretary.
  7. That each Member of the Committee be obliged to attend at every general meeting, under the penalty of two shillings and sixpence, unless he give the Secretary previous notice of non-attendance; and such Members as absent themselves shall abide by the decisions of those present; and that the Secretary shall give twelve hours' notice of a general meeting to each Member, previous to the assembling of such meeting.
  8. That all questions concerning the enacting of laws, the choice or alteration of rowing dress, increasing or diminishing the subscription, the election of new Members, or the expulsion of any one, and the appointment of the Committee, shall require a general meeting for decision; and that all other business whatsoever be entrusted to the Committee, to be settled at their discretion.
  9. That the admission money of each Member be 4 - due immediately after his election, and 2 more, due at the commencement of the following term.
  10. That the subscription of each Member be five shillings a term, due on the first day of the term.
  11. That any Member not present at the boat-house at a quarter past one when the racing commences at a quarter past two, or at a quarter past six when the racing commences at half past seven, shall pay on racing days the sum of two shillings and sixpence, unless some unavoidable circumstance should prevent him from coming, and in that case he shall give notice to the stroke of the boat before nine o'clock on that morning.
  12. That any Member not arriving at the boat-house within a quarter of an hour after the time appointed for meeting, on non-racing days, be fined one shilling.
  13. That the fines for non-attendance can by no means be remitted except in the case of any Member having an exeat, absit, or aegrotat, or having been prevented from attending by some law of the College or University.
  14. That every Member provide himself with the several articles of uniform chosen by the Club, and shall appear in such uniform on each racing day, under the penalty of five shillings each time.
  15. That any person except the Captain or Steerer giving orders or speaking in the boat on a racing day, or on any other day after silence has been called, be fined at the discretion of the Captain any sum not exceeding two shillings and sixpence.
  16. That all fines be paid within a week after they are incurred, and that in case of any Member obstinately refusing to pay his fine, he be dismissed the Club.
  17. That the Treasurer keep a regular debtor and creditor account of all monies entrusted to him, and that his books, as also those of the Secretary, be open for the inspection of any Member of the Club at every general meeting, and that the accounts be audited at the end of every term.
  18. That any Member intending to propose a candidate for admission, shall give notice of such intention to the Captain, who shall acquaint each Member of it, at least a week before the Candidate be proposed.
  19. That any person wishing to become a Member of this Club, be proposed and balloted for in a general meeting, and that four black balls exclude.
  20. That any Member intending to leave the Club, be required to give one calendar month's notice of his intention, or pay a forfeit of one pound, and that immediately after he shall have given notice of his intention to resign, his place shall be open for a new election.
  21. That the command and direction of the boat be entirely entrusted to the Captain, and under his direction to the Steerer, and that a Captain pro tempore, in the absence of the regular Captain, be appointed before the crew set out.
  22. That the Committee shall have the power of offering an oar on a racing day, to a Trinity man who is not a Member of this Club, in preference to an existing Member.
  23. That every Member be subject to the authority of the Committee in all rowing matters; and that if any Member be considered to have infringed the laws of the Club, his case shall be submitted to a general meeting, which shall decide whether he shall be expelled or not.

The uniform of the Club in 1827 is described in Baylay's letter. In this year, 1828, the Club directed - see rule 14 supra - "the Club" (query Crew) "of the first Boat to go down every day in uniform, the ditto of the second Boat to please themselves. The Crew of the first Boat to wear the Britannia striped shirts." Shirts of this pattern continued to be worn in the boat procession till 1857 but after 1837 jerseys were used when racing.

1828

After this long digression I return to the racing in the spring of 1828. During the Lent and Easter Terms the T.B.C. first boat and the Lady Margaret boat changed places more than once, but at the end of May the former went down to the fourth place. In the Easter term, the custom was introduced of the boats rowing down to the start in procession, in their proper order, and with their flags flying. Another Trinity boat appeared in the races after Easter, but was taken off at the end of the term. Having regard to the circular of March 12, I suppose this should be regarded as a T.B.C. second boat. At the close of the races, the first six boats were Lady Margaret, Caius, Jesus, T.B.C., Trinity Hall, and T.B.C. 2nd.

The order for the new boat for which general subscriptions had been raised in the College was given to Rawlinson and Lyon in the course of the summer. The cost, with two sets of oars, was 94. 10s. It was named the King Edward, but did not prove a success, and ultimately after a good deal of correspondence was taken back by the builders, who allowed 60 for it, and built a new boat for the Club in its place.

Next year, 1828-9, races were again held in each of the three terms, 6 in the Michaelmas Term, 11 in the Lent Term, and 7 in the Easter Term. The boat used by First Trinity in the Michaelmas Term is described in the Treasurer's books as the "black boat": from the references given below (pp. 43, 50) it would seem that the T.B.C. boats were at first painted black.

1829

The records of the Club in 1829 are somewhat confused. At the beginning of the Lent Term acute differences of opinion arose in T.B.C. and some members left it. We have quotations from letters on the subject, but nothing to show the cause of the quarrel. The seceders included F. G. Lugard, H. A. Pitman, and C. Warren.

This dispute crippled the Club for the time being. No second boat of the Club appeared again until 1832, and even the first boat did not row in the earliest two races this term. Save on these two occasions, and on June 7, 1902, the Club has never withdrawn its boat from the river, and its records, like those of the Lady Margaret Club, have been continuous. It may be added that its first boat has never been lower than sixth on the river.

The members who left T.B.C. formed a new Club, which I designate Trinity C. They put a boat on the river in the Lent Term, and at the close of the races in May it was second. In some of the early charts the Club is called the Trinity Independent, and in others the Trinity Privateer. From a paper among those alluded to in the last chapter, entitled Extracts from T.B.C. books, we learn that the "Trinity Independent 1 Lent, 1829" arose from "a split... in the Trinity Boat Club," that "it took the name of Privateer the year after 1 Lent, 1830," and "lasted out the year." Its captain was C. Warren, who rowed in the University Boat of 1829 and it seems to have comprised some good oars. The boat was taken off at the end of May, 1830. In explanation of the name Privateer, it is perhaps well to remind the reader that at this time it was customary to designate Clubs by the names of the boats used. Thus T.B.C. is termed indifferently the Monarch Club, the King Edward Club, or the Black Prince Club, just as the Johnian Club was and is still described as the Lady Margaret Club.

A novel point was raised in these races. Trinity Hall and Caius had separate boats on the river in the Lent Term, Caius being the higher. In the Easter Term they entered a combined crew, who claimed to row in the position of the Caius boat. It was decided, May 9, 1829, that the new combination must be considered to be a new Club, and thus its boat could not take the place of either the Hall or the Caius boat; consequently it had to start at the bottom of . the river, but, as the Hall and Caius Clubs remained distinct, both boat captains were allowed to attend meetings of the C.U.B.C.

At the end of the races, May, 1829, the first six boats were in the order Lady Margaret, Trinity C, T.B.C., Corpus, Jesus, and a combination boat from Magdalene and Christ's.

This year, 1829, the C.U.B.C. challenged Oxford "to make up a University match." The race took place at Henley in June. Oxford won. The boat used by the Cambridge crew is said to have been good to look at but bad to go. The T.B.C. representatives in the crew were A. B. E. Holdsworth, T. Entwistle, and B. R. Heath (cox). The boat was painted pink; and the crew wore white trousers and shirts with pink sashes, on which is based the current statement that the earliest University colour was pink. The Oxford boat was painted green, the crew wore white trousers and jerseys with black sashes and black hats. Seven years elapsed before the next inter-university race took place.

The earliest book relating to T.B.C. now in its possession is an account book for the years 1829-1831. From this book we learn that in February, 1829, there were in the Club 13 members and one steerer; there were also a few honorary members, and perhaps one or two non-rowing members. In February, 1830, there were 13 contributing members and one steerer. In the Lent Term 1831, there were in residence 17 members (of whom 3 were honorary) and one steerer. The C.U.B.C. required the coxswain to be a member of the Club represented; hence in these years T.B.C. had only one boat on the river.

On the authority of this book it appears that the T.B.C. boats were housed by King, but that the Club employed Logan to clean them. King's boat-yard was on the site of the present Emmanuel Boat House. From these accounts we learn that in 1829 the Club acquired a new boat called the Monarch built by King at a cost of 55. It seems also that in 1831 the members had another boat, called the Black Prince, built for them by Rawlinson and Lyon, apparently at a cost of 62. 10s. 0d. Since then the boat used by the first crew has generally (though not invariably) borne this name.

From an analysis of the accounts I find that the average receipts of the Club from 1829 to 1831 were 60. 3s. 6d. a year. When we turn to the expenses I find that the cost of housing "the two boats" was 10, and the average annual cost of oars, and small repairs, came to 10; petty expenses - such as fees for opening locks, cushions for the boat, yard-boys for steering, and ale consumed by the crews - to rather under 2; the tax to the C.U.B.C. to about 2; thus leaving a fair margin for extraordinary expenses.

1830

In 1829-30 and subsequently the bumping races were confined to the Lent and Easter Terms. This year there were 7 in each term. At the end of the races, First Trinity was head, and the next five boats were in the order Lady Margaret, Trinity C, The Corsair, Jesus, and Lady Margaret 2. The Corsair was a Johnian Club; the crew used the boat in which the University had rowed against Oxford in 1829. After the races, instead of a procession, the eights rowed to Ely and dined together.

1831

In consequence of the increased number of boats taking part in the races, new regulations were drawn up in 1831. By these regulations 11 boats started on the Chesterton side of the river from posts 20 yards apart, the ropes attached to each post being 10 yards long. The rest of the boats started from the Barnwell side. If the number of racing boats exceeded 12, the last boat started from the lock with a rope 3 yards long. All other boats on the Barnwell side started with ropes 15 yards long. If more than 13 crews wished to race, the boats on the Barnwell side were started as soon as the middle of the 11th boat was opposite the bows of the 12th.

In 1831 there were 5 races in the Lent Term, and 9 in the Easter Term. T.B.C. finished head seven times, second six times, and third once, ending head.

Two other Trinity boats appeared in these races. One a short-lived experiment which I term Trinity D, appeared on the fourth day, but after six days' racing was taken off in the Easter Term. The other was a boat belonging to the Club ultimately known as Second Trinity [old] Club. It commenced its career in the Easter Term, and on the eighth day of the races achieved the distinction of bumping over five places, going from ninth to fourth on the river: a similar feat was performed by Third Trinity in 1837.

Second Trinity was originally called the Nautilus Club, but in 1833 the title was changed to the Queen Bess, from the name of the boat used. Most of the original crew were Simeonites, and the Club was popularly known as the Hallelujahs. In the T.B.C. books it is at first usually described as Reading Trinity - in fact throughout its history the Club had a close connection with the Scholars of the College - but it is also sometimes termed Second Trinity, and later, when the three Trinity Clubs were well established, the latter name is usually employed.

Whether this Club should be considered the same as the historic Second Trinity is doubtful. I had better depart from the chronological order and give the facts at once. The Nautilus or Queen Bess Club of 1831 continued to appear regularly in the races until 1838 when its boats (two in number) were taken off. But a boat of a Club called Second Trinity appeared again in 1840 starting at the bottom of the river. In the boat chart issued in 1842, and drawn up by F. C. Penrose of Magdalene, president of the C.U.B.C., this is called the "Second Trinity new Club"; also in the paper of Extracts from the T.B.C. books, alluded to on page 28, occurs the following paragraph. The Second Trinity, Queen Bess, "took off at the end of the year 1838 and did not appear again till.........when (curiously similar to the old Second Trinity which started in Easter 1832) it again sprung out of a boat called the Nautilus, alias Hallelujah, being a boat of Sims, which was not one of the racing boats; and which is the present Second Trinity, not one of the old Second Trinity being a member or even owning the connection." The construction of the sentence is open to criticism, but the meaning is clear, and if it be correct, the Second Trinity Club which came to an end in 1876 must date its origin from the year 1840. On the other hand it is certain that the original Second Trinity boat was popularly known as the Hallelujahs, and apparently was mainly recruited from Simeonites, so that at any rate the members of the new Club were drawn from the same set as those of the old Club, and on the river the name Second Trinity was applied to both Clubs.

It is not known in what colours the Queen Bess Club rowed, but in and after 1840 the uniform of Second Trinity consisted of flannel trousers, a shirt or zephyr, and a white flannel jacket or blazer edged with pink; the members wore a light blue ribbon on a pale speckled straw hat. In 1870 they changed their colours to black and dark blue. After a long and honourable history the Club was dissolved in 1876 as mentioned below.

An interesting point was raised in the races in 1831. The Pembroke crew desired to start with a coxswain from Corpus, but the C.U.B.C. decided (May 7) that such a boat must be regarded as a combination of two Colleges, and as such, being a new Club, must start at the bottom of the races.

At the close of the races, 1831, the first six boats were T.B.C, Lady Margaret, the Corsair or Tally-Ho of St John's, Second Trinity, Jesus, and Caius. After the races, First Trinity played the rest of the College at Cricket, and paid 24s for a tent on Parker's Piece in connection therewith. The match was an annual affair for several years.

In the Michaelmas Term, 1831, the Captains of the boats then on the river challenged the C.U.B.C. to a race. At the request of the Vice-Chancellor, who seems to have acted under a curious misapprehension as to the propriety of the affair, the contest did not take place that year, but explanations were given, and in 1832, and subsequently until 1848, the race was rowed in the Michaelmas Term, and to some extent served the purpose of University trial eights.

1832

In 1832 there were 7 races in the Lent Term and 6 in the Easter Term. Throughout the year T.B.C. rowed head. At the end of the Lent Term, First Trinity was head of the river, and out of 108 races then held, it had been head 52 times. Proud of its success, the Club challenged the University Boat Club to a race. The challenge was accepted. The Trinity crew consisted of H. F. Broadwood, bow; P. Parker, 2; C. F. Partridge, 3; R. B. Cumming, 4; H. F. Carleton, 5; E. Carter, 6; C. Fosbrooke, 7; T. Entwistle, stroke; and C. Smith, cox. The race was rowed on April 7, and after a good contest, won by Trinity. The Club was presented with a flag to commemorate the event; this was in the possession of the Secretary as late as 1852. In the following year a similar race was arranged, but it fell through owing to a series of mishaps.

In the first race of the Easter Term the Club again entered on the river a second boat, described by the adjective cannibal. The crew rowed in a boat with the remarkable name of the Tobacco Pipes and Punch-bowls, and do not seem to have specially distinguished themselves. They did not row on the last night of the races, but the day before they were 12th out of 13 boats then racing.

"The name cannibal," according to the Magdalene Boat Club books, quoted by Bateman, "was given by the First Trinity to their second crew in 1832 because its captain Carlton was called Cannibal Carlton by his friends." H. F. Carleton (not Carlton) was an Etonian, an excellent oar, who rowed 5 in the first boat; a silhouette of him hangs in the Captain's room at the boathouse. Subsequently the name cannibal was commonly used on the river to designate any boat of a club except the first, but its use has now died out.

It seems probable that the limit of 20 as the maximum number of rowing members was now cancelled, and that henceforth the Club was open to all properly qualified members of the College, subject, of course, to election. We have no complete lists of members of this time, though in October 1832 there were not less than 14 contributing members in residence, and in February 1834 not less than 18, but there may have been, and probably were, more. In the Michaelmas Term, 1834, we have for the first time a complete list of members in residence. In this term, as mentioned in the next chapter, and in the Lent Term, 1835, there were 28 ordinary members besides some honorary active members. I think this change of policy in increasing the numbers must be referred to 1832, and perhaps should be associated with the name of Carleton.

Rowing must have been a popular amusement in the College this year, for, in addition to the two boats of T.B.C. and the boat of Second Trinity, two other Trinity crews, which we may designate Trinity E and Trinity F, appeared on the river in the Easter Term. They rowed in boats called respectively the Dick Haterick and the Adelaide. Both boats were taken off before the end of the Easter Term. At the end of the races, the first six boats were T.B.C., Clare, Lady Margaret, Queens', Jesus, and Christ's; the Second Trinity boat finished 7th.

1833

In 1833 there were 5 races in the Lent Term, and 9 in the Easter Term. In the former term T.B.C. rowed head. In the latter term its first boat rowed head four nights, second three nights, and third two nights, ending third: the crew were ill with influenza towards the end of the races. The boat was called the Black Prince. First Trinity had two boats in these races, as also had Second Trinity.

On April 30 a new Trinity Club appeared on the river composed, it is believed, of Eton and Westminster men. They rowed in a boat called the Dolphin Boars built for six oars. The new Club may be considered to have been permanently established by 1835, when it is described as Third Trinity. There is however a break in its subsequent history for in March, 1836, it took its boats off the river and did not appear again till February 1837, when it started, like a new club at the bottom of the boats, but notwithstanding this, I take it that Third Trinity has had a continuous history since 1833. Presumably the Club colours in 1833 were much the same as at present.

It has been conjectured that the Dolphin Boars Club in 1833 was composed of freshmen, but nothing is really known about its constitution. Representatives of Eton and Westminster must have always formed an important section of the rowing community in Trinity. A Westminster boat had appeared in 1827, and an Eton boat in 1828, but with these exceptions, hitherto, most or all Trinity Etonians and Westminsters, if they wished to row, had joined First Trinity.

Probably the new Club was started by a few friends, and although it is supposed that it was confined to Etonians and Westminsters, it is certain that at first it was not intended to include all members of those schools. I do not know when it first became the custom or rule to regard old Etonians and Westminsters as ineligible for First Trinity, but it was not until much later. I have the authority of an Etonian, who took his degree in 1842, and was Secretary of T.B.C., for saying that in his time no custom or tradition of the kind existed, and that Etonians joined the one club or the other indifferently. It would even seem possible that a man might belong to both clubs. In the T.B.C. books in 1840 C. M. Vialls is alluded to as the Captain of Third Trinity, but he was also a member of First Trinity, though as far as I can find out he rowed only for Third Trinity. Again, in 1854 the stroke of the Third Trinity boat, H. R. M. Jones, temporarily joined T.B.C. and rowed in the club colours at Henley. I do not gather that this was regarded as in any way irregular, though by this time such a proceeding was unusual. I am inclined to conjecture that as old Etonians and Westminsters were accustomed to emphasize their school connections the Club gradually grew into one intended to include, and not merely confined to, all former members of those schools, and thus by a process of evolution such men were gradually regarded as ineligible for First Trinity.

At the end of the races in May, 1833, the first six boats were Christ's, Queens', T.B.C., Caius, Second Trinity, and Magdalene; the T.B.C. boats finishing 3rd and 14th, the Second Trinity boats 5th and 16th, and the Third Trinity boat 11th.

The extension of numbers of First Trinity, the foundation of Second Trinity and of Third Trinity, and the institution of second and other boats belonging to the Trinity Clubs gave all who desired it an opportunity of rowing in one of the recognized Clubs. After 1833, with one unimportant exception, no Trinity boats other than those of the three recognized clubs appeared on the river. Accordingly the history of Trinity rowing is much simplified.

In 1833 the subscriptions from the various Colleges to the C.U.B.C. were put on a definite basis, by the Clubs agreeing to pay for each boat racing 5s. a year, a sum which was afterwards raised to 10s., and in 1850 to 42s. Subsequently (1864) this was changed to a capitation tax, still later (1885) to a tax on the income of the Clubs, and quite recently (1907) to one on their expenditure.

The Club rules were amended and reprinted, probably in 1834, but perhaps as early as 1832. In this issue the rule placing a limit on the number of members was omitted, the entrance fee was reduced in the case of men in their seventh or higher term of residence, no subscription was required in the term in which the entrance fee, or part of it, was paid, and the offices of Secretary and Treasurer were directed to be combined as far as practicable. The offices were separated in 1844.

1834

In 1834 there were 5 races in the Lent Term and 4 in the Easter Term. In the latter term so many boats desired to row that it became necessary to form two divisions - the top of the second division having the right (if it had rowed over) to challenge the last boat in the first division to a bye-race, and if successful to take its place. No less than 19 boats took part in the races, and it is clear that the amusement was now well established and popular.

An interesting point was raised in February by the Captain of Third Trinity. He asked whether, if the Club changed from a six-oared to an eight-oared boat, it would be required to start again at the bottom of the boats rowing. It was unanimously decided that a boat did not lose its place by changing the number of oars. Third Trinity went up a place every night.

First Trinity went head in the Lent Term, but was bumped on the last night of the races in the Easter Term. The T.B.C. boats finished 2nd and 14th. Of the other Trinity Clubs, Third Trinity finished head, and Second Trinity 3rd, the latter club's second boat rowed for one night only in the middle of these races. At the end of the races, the first six boats were Third Trinity, T.B.C., Second Trinity, Queens', Clare, and Christ's. In this year, 1834, Cambridge challenged Oxford to another race, but the match did not come off.

Chapter 3: 1834-1843

In the autumn of 1834 the Conservators of the Cam removed the locks and sluices at Chesterton and Fort St George. The change was hotly opposed by the boating men, but their resistance was belated and unsuccessful. The alteration caused a drop in the level of the water near Midsummer Common, and after some consideration the course was moved lower down the river to the position still used. At the same time the distance between the starting posts was extended to 140 feet, and the bumping post, no longer necessary, was abolished. The winning post was placed by the dyke which divides Stourbridge Common from the osier bed above the present Railway Bridge. All the boats rowed in one division, and they were started by gun-fire, somewhat as at present. The new course proved a decided improvement on that before used, and racing and rowing benefited by the change. A map of the course, in its present condition, is given below.

A reproduction of the 1835 map
Map of Racing Course in and after 1835

From this time until 1855 it may be taken that normally there were races in the Lent and Easter Terms every year, and that all the boats on the river rowed each term. In and after 1860, until 1887, the top boats rowed only in the Easter Term and the lower boats, if they rowed at all in that term, did not race every night. After 1887 the Lent and Easter Races were separated one from the other, and rowed under different regulations.

The books of the Club give us a continuous record of its affairs from the end of 1834 onward, and hereafter when sentences are put in inverted commas they are taken from the minute-books unless any other authority is given.

In the Michaelmas Term, 1834, 28 contributing members were in residence. This term the Club decided to move to Layton's yard, and its boats, the Black Prince and King Edward, were moved there in the course of the Christmas vacation. within three months Layton sold the business to Cross, and for some years the place was usually known as Cross's Upper Yard. The Club used this boathouse until the end of 1844. I am informed that it was on a portion of the site now occupied by Foster, and a few yards higher up the river than the Club's present house.

At the end of 1834 the Club determined to have a new boat built. Estimates were sent in by Lyon, King, Logan, and Searle. The contract was given to the latter. According to the agreement the boat was to be 471/2 feet long, of best English oak, to be painted black outside, and green inside, with gilt beadings and lines inside and out. The Club was to have the use of the boat from February 1835 until June 1837 in consideration of the sum of 60. There is a memorandum that the boat was launched on Friday, February 20th, and was named the King Edward.

As I am dealing with boats I may note that only a few months later the Club directed Logan to build a new eight-oared cutter on the same lines at a cost of 70, and within less than a year another new deal boat, also called the Black Prince, 49 feet long, was built at a cost of 50; it was not satisfactory, and was replaced later by an oak boat for 70. But now that I have traced the early history of the Club I need not concern myself further with the regular provision of new boats. It may be worth adding that the boats were provided with cushions to which there are constant references in the minutes and accounts: for instance we read October 29, 1835, "Received, 1. 4s. 0d. from the Third Trinity Boat Club for our new set of green cushions as the Club intend keeping to the old pattern."

1835

The rules were again overhauled in February 1835. The entrance fee now appears as 4 (instead of 6) for freshmen and junior sophs, but less for senior men, and the subscription was raised to 10s. a term for members subsequently elected. In 1835 the income and expenses were about 120. By 1840 the totals did not fall far short of 200. For the purchase of new boats special subscriptions were usually opened. Those who had paid a certain number of subscriptions (probably for not less than 10 or more than 20 terms) were generally elected honorary members, and commonly a few of these were in residence and rowing.

The numbers of contributing members varied in the different terms, usually being greatest in the Michaelmas Term and least in the Easter Term. On the other hand in the Lent and Easter Terms more honorary members took an active share in the Club affairs than in the Michaelmas Term, and since the numbers of such honorary members cannot be determined accurately I prefer to take the number of contributing members in the Michaelmas Terms as indicating the size of the active club; though, to obtain an estimate of the total number of members available, probably we ought always to increase this by two or three to allow for honorary members who had recently taken their degrees and were still in residence and regularly rowing. The numbers given in the Secretary's and Treasurer's books often differ slightly. In many years the Treasurer's returns are missing, so preferably I quote those given by the Secretary, though probably they are slightly in excess of the actual numbers.

The interest of the Club in the doings of its members was not confined to the river, and on February 15, 1835, the Secretary made a memorandum that 10 members went in for their degree, of whom not one was plucked, while among them was the captain of the poll and the last in the same except "the extracts." Similar memoranda occur in later years. Among other matters of miscellaneous interest noted in the minutes of this year, I observe that the Club's boats were blackleaded; the mixture being composed of "two quarts of small beer, one pound of black lead, and six eggs." It was also "agreed to have a new die for the Club buttons, and to abuse Creek for the present one, which is so vile."

As far as the actual races were concerned, henceforth we usually have the names of the crews, and various particulars of the racing. It will be enough to say that this year, 1835, there were 5 races in the Lent Term, and 6 in the Easter Term. The T.B.C. boats finished 2nd and 16th. Of the other Trinity Clubs the Second Trinity boats finished 1st and 11th, and Third Trinity (rowing in a boat called the Victory) finished 4th. At the end of the races, the first six boats were Second Trinity, T.B.C., Magdalene, Third Trinity, Trinity Hall, and Caius.

The C.U.B.C. contemplated a race against Oxford this year. To facilitate the collection of a representative crew it was decided that any boat from which one of the oarsmen was taken might be exempted from rowing, and allowed to keep its place on the river. I do not know that any Club availed itself of this privilege, and in fact the race against Oxford did not come off.

In the Michaelmas Term, 1835, 32 contributing members were in residence, including 6 elected in the course of the term. The Club possesses a list drawn up this term of all its honorary members previously elected: they number 144 and of course most of them were no longer in residence. In November the Club asked Second Trinity to join in sending, as the two head boats, a challenge to the rest of the University for a race that term. The challenge was sent, but declined at a meeting of the Captains on December 7 on the ground that there was not sufficient time to arrange affairs.

1836

In 1836 there were 4 races in the Lent Term and 7 in the Easter Term. On the first day of the races the T.B.C. first boat bumped Second Trinity half-way up the Long Reach "regaining our old place at the head of the River." The crew received many felicitations, among others a letter from Queens' College Boat Club congratulating "them most sincerely on their again having obtained their own and proper place at the head of the river." But their pride must have been short-lived, for next term they were bumped on May 11 and again on May 14: the page in the minute-book which "records these sad facts being edged by the Secretary with black. The rudder of the Black Prince, the boat in which the first crew rowed, is preserved in the large club room. At the close of the races, the first six boats were Corpus, Caius, T.B.C., Lady Margaret, Second Trinity, and Queens'; the T.B.C. boats finishing 3rd and 12th, and the Second Trinity boat 5th. Third Trinity had taken its boat off, and presumably was in a dormant condition; thus First and Second Trinity were the only Trinity Clubs represented on the river.

In 1836 the University rowed Oxford from Westminster to Putney. To meet the expense it was agreed that the College Clubs should give the C.U.B.C. 1 for each boat they had on the river, The Club minutes record that Cambridge won easily, arriving at Putney...more than a minute in advance of Oxford. The T.B.C. representatives in the boat were W. H. Solly and J. H. Keane. In this race Cambridge chose light blue as their colour. It is said that when the crew were on the point of pushing off it was remarked that they had no colours, whereupon E. Stanley, Jesus, who was rowing 3 and had been captain of the boats at Eton, proposed that they should take light blue. Subsequently it has been generally adopted as the University colour in Inter-University matches.

Details of the Inter-University matches belong rather to the history of the C.U.B.C. than to that of a College Club, but most of the races are described at length in the T.B.C. books, and members of the Club usually took part in them, so I follow the minutes in mentioning them, and in chapter XI I give a table of the results.

Hitherto the Captain and the Steerer of each boat had been elected by the Club, and the two officers shared the management. This appears to have caused difficulties and in 1836 and 1837 matters came to a head. There was no doubt that the Captain had uncontrolled discretion in forming the crew, and making arrangements when they were not rowing, but it was not clear who was responsible when the boat was afloat; Finally the Club solved the matter by giving to the Captain the appointment of the Steerer or Coxswain.

The following year, 1836-7, seems to have been uneventful in the history of the Club. The members were again concerned with the pattern of their buttons, and decided that the "outer rim of the button should be bright, and T.B.C. should be put in the place of the word Trinity." In the Michaelmas Term 5 active honorary members were in residence and 37 contributing members (or perhaps only 34 for the Secretary's and Treasurer's books do not agree); in the Lent Term the numbers were 11 and 30, total 41.

1837

There were 4 races in the Lent Term, 1837, and 7 in the Easter Term. On the second day in the Lent races Third Trinity bumped Emmanuel over five places. At the close of the races, the first six boats were Lady Margaret, Caius, T.B.C., Third Trinity, Corpus, and Queens'; the T.B.C. boats finishing 7th and 9th, the Second Trinity boats 7th and 23rd, and the Third Trinity boats 4th and 15th. I give below a view of the races in this year. It is interesting as showing the style of boat then used.

A picture of rowing racing on the Cam in 1837
Boat Races on the Cam, 1837

At the end of the term T.B.C. gave a dinner, to which the officers of most of the other Boat Clubs seem to have been invited. For several years this was an annual event described in the minutes, but in 1837 it appears to have been a new departure. The year 1838 is the first in which there is any detailed account of it. It took place then at the Hoop Inn, and 38 sat down to dinner. The proceedings were interrupted at an early hour by the unexpected appearance of the Junior Proctor, who broke up the party, but I note that they had already consumed, or at any rate the Club ultimately paid for, 47 bottles of Champagne, 12 of Sherry, 6 of Moselle, and 2 of Claret, besides 6 quarts of Ale, and 6. 14s worth of Punch.

In May 1837 the Cambridge Subscription Rooms were opened in London, and for many years the best oars in the University, on going down, usually joined the Rooms.

As there was no Inter-University race this year, it was arranged that the C.U.B.C. should row the Leander Club from Westminster to Putney, and that the Oxford and Cambridge Clubs whose boats should finish at the heads of their respective rivers should race at Henley. In the latter event, Christchurch should have represented Oxford, but its place was taken by Queen's College, Oxford, who met and defeated Lady Margaret, Cambridge. The former race was won by Cambridge after a close struggle. The T.B.C. representatives in the University boat were W. N. Nicholson, J. H. Keane, and C. T. Penrose.

In the Michaelmas Term, 1837, the number of contributing members in T.B.C. was 45 including 17 elected during the term; there were also 5 active honorary members in residence. In November the Club was much exercised over the painting of its boats, but it was "determined to keep to the old colour of the boat, viz. black with the Lion and Crowns on the bows"; it was also agreed that henceforth the crews should "pull in jerseys instead of shirts." As no less than 17 new members had joined the Club this term, it was decided to enter a third boat for the Lent Term races, 1838; this was done though the number of contributing members in the Lent Term was diminished by 8.

1838

In 1838 there were 3 races in the Lent Term, and 8 in the Easter Term. The T.B.C. boats finished 2nd and 9th: its third boat having been taken off at the close of the Lent Term. Of the other Trinity Clubs, the Second Trinity boat finished 5th, and the Third Trinity boat 4th. At the end of the races, the first six boats were Lady Margaret, T.B.C., Caius, Third Trinity, Second Trinity and Lady Margaret 2nd.

This year it again proved impossible to arrange a match with Oxford, so one was got up between the C.U.B.C. and the Leander Club, but in the race the boats fouled and the umpire declared the race off: Cambridge seems to have had the better crew. The T.B.C. representatives in the University boat were W. W. Smyth, W. R. Gough, and C. T. Penrose.

In the Michaelmas Term, 1838, the number of contributing members was 51, including 18 elected during the term; 3 active honorary members were also in residence. This term the rules were again revised and reprinted. The entrance fee was reduced to 3 for freshmen and junior sophs (and less in the case of senior men), and members who had subscribed for ten terms were entitled to become honorary members.

1839

In 1839 there were 4 races in the Lent Term and 9 in the Easter Term. No less than four T.B.C. boats appeared, though the fourth boat rowed only in the Lent Term; at the close of the Easter Term, the other three boats finished 1st, 8th, and 16th. The Third Trinity boats finished 2nd and 14th. At the end of the races, the first six boats were T.B.C., Third Trinity, Caius, Magdalene, Lady Margaret, and Jesus. Second Trinity had taken its boats off; and First and Third Trinity were the only Trinity Clubs now represented on the river.

The race with Oxford this year was rowed from Westminster to Putney in 31 minutes. Cambridge won, according to the T.B.C. minutes, by 1 min. 40 sec. The T.B.C. representatives in the boat were W. W. Smyth, and C. T. Penrose.

In this year, 1839, the Grand Challenge Cup was instituted at Henley. The Club entered for it and after two good races won it. The race is described in detail in the minute book. The Club was proud of its success, and a painting of the boat in which the crew rowed hangs in the Captains' room in the Boat House.

1840

In the Michaelmas Term, 1839, the number of contributing members rose to 63, including 18 elected during the term; 3 active honorary members were also in residence. In 1840 there were 4 races in the Lent Term and 6 in the Easter Term. The "Second Trinity new Club" started at the bottom of the boats, and went up 7 places. At the close of the races, the first six boats were Caius, T.B.C., Third Trinity, Jesus, T.B.C. 2nd, and Magdalene; the T.B.C. boats finishing 2nd, 5th, and 17th, the Second Trinity boat 14th, and the Third Trinity boats 3rd and 23rd.

The race with Oxford this year, 1840, was rowed from Westminster to Putney in 29 min. 30 sec., and won by Cambridge by three-quarters of a length. The T.B.C. representatives in the boat were W. Massey and S. B. Taylor. The stroke was C. M. Vialls, Captain of Third Trinity (who seems to have been also a member of First Trinity see p. 37). In the account of the race given in the minutes there is a note that the boats were exactly alike save that the Oxford boat was carvel-built, while the Cambridge boat was clinker-built. There is also a note by G. Denman that he and a friend timed the crew from Westminster Bridge to Putney Bridge and that it was rowed in practice in 27 min. 30 sec., the best time then on record. Later in the year T.B.C. sent a boat to Henley to defend the Grand Challenge Cup, but lost to Leander.

In the Michaelmas Term, 1840, George Denman took up the Captaincy of the Club; he held it for three years, and proved en excellent officer. He commenced his tenure at a somewhat unlucky time, for the Cambridge bank with which the Club had an account failed this year, involving some pecuniary loss. On the other hand the number of contributing members rose to 80, including 23 elected during the term; there were also 5 active honorary members in residence. In the following term the corresponding numbers sank to 59 and 4.

1841

In 1841 there were 4 races in the Lent Term and 7 in the Easter Term. In the first race the first boat went head, but on the next racing day it went down, and at the same time the third boat, as also both boats of Third Trinity, were bumped; "thus completing" as the minute-book says, "as unsuccessful a day for Trinity as any evil spirit could wish for." The Club was hardly consoled for this defeat by the fact that two of its members obtained University scholarships, though the fact is duly recorded in the minutes; one of these honours was obtained by H. J. Munro, who was awarded the first Craven. In the Easter Term the first boat was again unfortunate, and for two nights it rowed fifth, a lower place than it had previously occupied. At the conclusion of the races, the first six boats were Caius, Jesus, Peterhouse, T.B.C., Lady Margaret, and Second Trinity; the T.B.C. boats finishing 4th, 11th, and 17th, the Second Trinity boats 6th and 15th, and the Third Trinity boats 8th and 18th.

This year the custom about the procession after the races changed. "Instead of stopping in Queens' Pool to cheer," the crews "turned here and were drawn up in two lines between King's and Clare Bridges for this purpose. The effect was much better. And the champagne part of the business being quite stopped the whole thing was much more orderly." The new plan became the regular custom and remained so till 1892 after which year the procession was abolished. In the Club dinner comparative quietness was the rule, "and omitting a few breakages the conclusion might be called orderly."

The race with Oxford this year, 1841, was rowed from Westminster to Putney in 32 min. 30 sec. and won by Cambridge by 1 min. 4 sec. The T.B.C. representatives in the boat were A. M. Ritchie and G. Denman. The stroke was again C. M. Vialls of Third Trinity. The Club entered for the Grand Challenge Cup at Henley, but withdrew before the race so as to give the Cambridge Subscription Rooms a better choice of oarsmen. The Rooms won easily, two T.B.C. men, J. G. Lonsdale and W. A. Cross, being in the crew.

In the Michaelmas Term, 1841, the number of contributing members was 80, including 18 elected during the term; there were also 6 active honorary members in residence.

1842

In 1842 some of the Clubs increased the length of their boats, and hereafter few boats were built that were not more than fifty feet long. This year we first came across the name Noyous as the name of the T.B.C. third boat. For some years the term was regularly used in the Club minutes, and it continued in occasional use until recent times. The Secretary has appended a note that the name was given "to our second cannibals...from their bad or noxious pulling." In the Lent races the first boat sank to sixth on the river, but in the Easter Term it retrieved its position. The remarks about the racing this year are unusually full. At the end of the races, the first six boats were Peterhouse, T.B.C., Jesus, Magdalene, Lady Margaret, and Caius; the T.B.C. boats finishing 2nd, 11th, and 21st, the Second Trinity boats 10th, 19th, and 22nd, and the Third Trinity boats 7th and 24th.

The annual dinner took place after the races. The Secretary has recorded that the food was good but the wines indifferent, though "this did not stop the good humour of the company, and everything went off well and with but little breakage."

The race with Oxford this year was rowed from Westminster to Putney in 30 min. 45 sec. and won by Oxford by 13 sec. The only T.B.C. representative in it was G. Denman. According to the Club minutes the Cambridge boat was thrown out of its course by a barge, and then hampered by steamers. There is also a long account in the minutes of the racing for the Grand Challenge Cup at Henley, though the Club does not seem to have been directly represented in the regatta. The race was won by the Cambridge Subscription Rooms, J. G, Lonsdale of T.B.C. rowing in it. The C.U.B.C. also entered for this race, but was beaten in the final.

In the Michaelmas Term, 1842, the number of contributing members was 96, including 24 elected during the term; 12 active honorary members were also in residence. This term the races for the Colquhoun silver sculls were for the first time rowed at Cambridge. This prize, open to all members of the C.U.B.C., had been founded in 1836, and had been raced for on the Thames in 1837, 1838, 1839 and 1840. In 1841 it was decided to move the contest to Cambridge. The first race under the new conditions was rowed in 1842, and was won by G. Denman of T.B.C. A list of the subsequent T.B.C. winners is given in chapter XI.

1843

In 1843 there were 4 races in the Lent Term and 7 in the Easter Term. Hitherto there had been no limit to the number of boats allowed to enter for the races, and all the boats rowed in one division. The arrangements did not however permit more than 28 boats to start at the same time, and, as this year 29 boats wished to enter, private races were arranged between the lower boats to decide which should row. On the first night First Trinity regained its place as head of the river and kept it throughout the races. The minutes note that influenza was prevalent throughout the term, and that in every race one or more members of the crew were on the sick list. In this matter history has repeated itself. At the end of the races, the first six boats were T.B.C., Peterhouse, Caius, Magdalene, Lady Margaret, and Third Trinity: the T.B.C. boats finishing 1st, 9th, and 21st, the Second Trinity boats 8th, 10th, and 20th, and the Third Trinity boats 6th and 26th.

The annual dinner this year was held under difficulties in consequence of the Dons refusing leave for it. In the end, one of the members, P. P. Rolt, took his name off the boards of the College, and invited all would-be diners as his private guests. On this occasion the Club presented Denman with a silver cup in recognition of his services.

The Club entered for the Grand Challenge at Henley this year, but was defeated in the first heat by the Oxford University Boat Club. The final heat lay between Oxford University and a crew from the Cambridge Subscription Rooms in London; the race has been often described, owing to the fact that Oxford won though rowing with only seven oars.

Chapter 4: 1843-1850

In the Michaelmas Term, 1843, the number of contributing members of T.B.C. was 110, including 32 elected during the term; 8 active honorary members were also in residence. The activities of the club were not confined to the regular races, and this term we read about scratch fours held in December. Also there were Pewter races, apparently in four-oared boats. In 1844 these were held in the Lent Term, but a little later they were moved to the Easter Term. The results are not worth chronicling, but the existence of such races is worthy of note. As an incident of this year's proceedings, I may mention that hitherto the Club meetings had usually been held on Sunday evening: it was now decided to abandon this practice.

1844

In the Lent Term, 1844, there were again more boats desiring to start than could be accommodated. If this became usual it was clear that a friendly arrangement - such as had been made in the previous year - among the crews of boats at the bottom of the order could not provide a permanent solution of the difficulty caused by an excess of numbers. Accordingly it was determined to limit the numbers of regular racing boats to 28, and to start a second set of "trial races" on other days for any crews who liked to enter for them. Such crews were called sloggers, and the best slogger boat was entitled to row at the bottom in the regular races.

These trial or slogging races continued until 1857 or 1859. The minutes usually record the results of them as well as of the regular races, but the order in which the slogging boats finished is not always known, and in giving the places occupied by the Trinity boats at the end of the races I have generally been obliged to omit all reference to those rowing in the slogging division. The Club seems to have done nothing for its slogging crews beyond providing boats in which they might row. The slogging crews were made up of any men who liked to row on the particular day, but I suspect they got as much amusement out of their races as if they had taken them more seriously. In the first of these trial races there were 11 entries. The introduction of a limit to the number of boats racing and the organization of slogging races mark the opening of a new chapter in the history of Cambridge rowing. Henceforth, new boats and clubs could not appear in the regular races at the pleasure of those who formed them.

As far as the racing this year, 1844, is concerned there is but little to chronicle, though, alas, T.B.C. went down, being bumped by Caius. At the close of the races, the First six boats were Caius, T.B.C., Second Trinity, Third Trinity, Magdalene, and T.B.C. 2nd; the T.B.C. boats finishing 2nd, 6th, 13th, and 28th, the Second Trinity boats 3rd, 12th, and 17th, and the Third Trinity boats 4th and 15th.

The close of the bumping races was followed by an interesting challenge from the Town to the C.U.B.C. to row a race. The proposal was accepted, but the University, instead of entering a crew of its own, requested the head of the river (Caius) to represent it. The Town crew was mostly composed of professionals. Caius won with ease.

In this year there was no race with Oxford, but both University Clubs entered boats in the Thames Regatta. Oxford won. The T.B.C. representatives in the Cambridge boat were W. P. Cloves and J. Richardson. The Club was not represented at Henley this year.

In the Michaelmas Term, 1844, the number of contributing members was 103, including 35 elected during the term; this was in addition to 10 active honorary members in residence. This term a new University race was initiated owing to the presentation by the Magdalene Boat Club of a pair of silver oars to be rowed for by pair-oared boats manned by members of the same club. The races were held in December, and this year no less than fifteen pairs entered. The challenge oars, usually known as the Magdalene Pairs, were won by W. A. Brooks and W. P. Cloves of T.B.C. The names of T.B.C. winners in subsequent years are given in chapter XI.

In December, 1844, the Club determined to move from Cross's boathouse to Searle's. It paid for the expense of fitting up its new rooms, and made these its headquarters until 1863; the rent was 50 a year. A view of the boathouse is given below.

1845

In the races in 1845 T.B.C. went head of the river on the third night, and continued to row there till the end of 1847. The second boat had an interesting experience in the Lent Term, as its cox fell overboard in the middle of the races, but the crew rowed over very comfortably for the rest of the course without him. At the end of May, the first six boats were T.B.C., Second. Trinity, Lady Margaret, Caius, T.B.C. 2nd, and Third Trinity; the T.B.C. boats finishing 1st, 5th, and 16th, the Second Trinity boats 2nd and 22nd, and the Third Trinity boats 6th and 20th. The annual procession after the races was held as usual opposite King's, "the band was playing...everything went off as well as could be expected. No accidents. No champagne."

Searle's Boathouse on the Cam, 1845 - 1863
Searle's Boathouse used by T.B.C., 1845 - 1863

The Club minute-book contains a memorandum that by the end of the Easter Term, 1845, there had been altogether 257 regular bumping races on the river, and that in these First Trinity had been head 122 times, other Trinity boats 15 times, Lady Margaret 69 times, Caius 21 times, Peterhouse 13 times, Queens' 8 times, 'Jesus 5 times, Corpus 3 times, and Christ's once.

The race with Oxford this year, 1845, was rowed from Putney to Mortlake in 23 min. 30 sec. Cambridge won by 30 sec. The T.B.C. representatives in the boat were W. P. Cloves, J. Richardson, and H. Munster (cox). Henceforth, the Inter-University races were rowed on the Putney course.

The two Universities met again at Henley in the race for the Grand Challenge Cup, where also Cambridge won. The T.B.C. representatives in the University boat were W, P. Cloves, F. L. Hopkins, and H. Munster (cox). The Club, being head of the river, decided to enter for "the New Challenge Cup," subsequently known as the Ladies Plate. After a very close race the crew just missed winning it - losing by two feet. Two members of T.B.C., Cloves and Hopkins, also rowed for the Cambridge Subscription Rooms in the race for the Grand Challenge Cup at the Thames Regatta. The Rooms won it.

In the Michaelmas Term 1845 there were in residence 15 active honorary members, and 102 contributing members, of whom 25 were elected during the term. We may say that rowing was now the popular winter amusement in the University; in fact in the Michaelmas and Lent Terms there were then but few other organized sports except court-tennis, rackets, and riding - the Trinity beagles were started a few years later. This term, besides the annual race between the Captains of the Easter Term boats and the University, there was a race between the Questionists and the rest of the University. Of the crews in the latter race, eight men came from Trinity: the "rest" just won.

1846

In February 1846 the Club subscribed 20 towards the costs incurred by Mr C. A. Nicholson in an action brought against him. It seems that on April 30, 1843, the ferry boat at Chesterton, through the carelessness of the man at the windlass, nearly broke one of the T.B.C. boats. Whereupon some undergraduates, presumably including Nicholson, threw the man into the water. For this summary action, proceedings were taken against Nicholson, and at the Cambridge Assizes in 1844 he was ordered to pay 40 damages, but subsequently the judgment was annulled on the ground that he was an infant. Such at any rate is the story as told in the minutes, but it may be conjectured that all the facts are not given, for of course an infant may be liable in civil damages for a tort, though whether he possesses property to meet damages given against him is another question. Nicholson's costs in defending the action came to 112, for which a subscription was got up, headed by T.B.C.

In the race with Oxford this year, 1846, Cambridge won by two boat-lengths. The T.B.C. representatives in the boat were F. F. Holroyd, W. P. Cloves, and E. P. Wolstenholme. Both crews used out-rigged boats, an invention introduced at Henley in 1845. Henceforth such boats came into general use, though it took some little time before crews became accustomed to them. The race is said to have been one of the hardest ever rowed. Up to Chiswick the boats rowed oar to oar, and it was not until within sight of the winning post that Cambridge drew clear of their opponents.

At this time the Eastern Counties Railway was being laid out, and the line from Cambridge to Ely was carried across the Cam towards the end of the racing course - the bridge being made of wood, with supports fixed in the bed of the river as shown in the reproduction below of an old engraving. In consequence of this obstruction the course had to be shortened. Accordingly, in 1846, the winning post was moved to the ditch situated some hundred yards north of the bridge. The four starting posts nearest Cambridge were taken away, and the number of boats on the river limited to 24. Throughout this year T.B.C. rowed head of the river. At the close of the races, 1846, the first six boats were T.B.C., Lady Margaret, Third Trinity, Magdalene, Lady Margaget 2nd, and Second Trinity; the T.B.C. boats finishing 1st, 9th, and 21st, the Second Trinity boats 6th, 13th, and 23rd, and the Third Trinity boat 3rd.

Easter Railways bridge across the Cam, 1846-1870
Railway Bridge across the Cam, 1846 - 1870

At the end of May, 1846, T.B.C. had rowed head of the river for 21 consecutive races. Having been so successful on the Cam, the Club determined to enter at Henley for the Grand Challenge Cup as well as for "the New Cup, now called the Ladies Cup." The crew won the Ladies Plate after a stiff race, but were defeated by the Thames Boat Club for the Grand Challenge Cup; they tried their luck again against that Club at the Thames Regatta, but were not more successful there, though a T.B.C. crew carried off the Thames Challenge Cup for Fours.

In the Michaelmas Term, 1846, the number of contributing members was 100, including 26 elected during the term; 16 active honorary members were also in residence. Among other events this term, the Colquhoun Sculls were won by W. Maule of First Trinity, who beat his opponent in the final race by no less than one minute. "The sculling of the winner" according to the Club minutes "was greatly in advance of anything before seen at Cambridge, and was consequently, the theme of universal admiration." He had been timed over the course, in 10 min. 15 sec., which in the heavy boats then in use was regarded as a remarkable performance. One of the sculls he used hangs in the Club's large room, as also one of those he used at Henley in the following year.

1847

In the bumping races, 1847, it was, according to the minutes, expected that T.B.C. would go down, but the Club falsified all predictions by easily keeping head. The time of the first boat over the new shortened course is given as 5 min. 50 sec. which was considered to be very fast. It is curious to read that, during the Lent Term, Trinity Hall, which has now for so many years taken a prominent part on the river, could only find six men in the whole College who were willing to row, and though a new out-rigged boat had been procured it was impossible to get a crew to man it. At, the close of the races, the first six boats were T.B.C., Lady Margaret, Third Trinity, Magdalene, T.B.C. 2nd, and Second Trinity; the T.B.C. boats finishing 1st, 5th, and 18th, the Second Trinity boats 6th, 11th, 15th, and 23rd, and the Third Trinity boats 3rd and 21st.

After the procession on May 24 "there was a supper in Swan's auction room to celebrate the completion of the 21st year of the Club, and its remaining three years continuously at the head of the river": in fact T.B.C. went head on the second night of the races in 1845 and had rowed head in 32 consecutive races. About 70 sat down to supper.

There had been no race with Oxford this year, but both Universities entered for the Grand Challenge Cup at Henley. Oxford won. The T.B.C. representatives in the boat were W. Maule, E. P. Wolstenholme, A. Garfit, C. A. Nicholson, and S. Vincent. First Trinity entered a crew for the Ladies Plate, but failed to carry it off - a failure which was attributed to the fact that the C.U.B.C., in forming its crew for the Grand Challenge, took five men out of the Trinity boat. W. Maule of T.B.C. won the Diamond Sculls.

In the Michaelmas Term, 1847, the number of contributing members was only 86, including 14 elected during the term, but 15 active honorary members were also in residence.

1848

The races in 1848 were less favourable to the Club than those of previous years. During the first two races the Club easily rowed head, but just before the third race No. 6 in the first crew developed heart trouble, and was unable to row. This led to the boat being bumped by Third Trinity. The race was unusually trying for an untrained man as the day was stormy, and the stream so strong as in places to cover the tow path; in fact, at a meeting of the C.U.B.C. it had been proposed that the weather was too bad to permit of racing, but the motion was lost by two votes.

In the Easter term further misfortunes befell the Club. Six men out of the first crew had gone out of residence in April, and the boat went down to fifth on the river. The Secretary has noted with regret that shortly before the races the coxswain of the first boat increased no less than 4 lbs. in weight! At the end of May, the first six boats were Third Trinity, Second Trinity, Sidney, Caius, T.B.C., and Lady Margaret; the T.B.C. boats finishing 5th, 8th, and 21st, the Second Trinity boats, 2nd, 7th, and 19th, and the Third Trinity boat head. The Club was not represented at Henley this year. The records of this term are concluded by a recital of the successes of the Club on the Cam and Thames during its history.

In the Michaelmas Term, 1848, the number of contributing members was 86, including 17 elected during the term; in addition 10 active honorary members were in residence. In the minutes there is a note that the "usual supper" given by the third year to the fourth year came off on December 8, was honoured by the presence of all the "stunners" (whoever they may have been), and was a great success. This supper seems to have taken the place of the dinner formerly held in May, and in many later years there are allusions to the "customary supper" in December.

1849

In the Lent Term, 1849, the Club engaged Clasper to come from London to train the crews. His charges were 4 a week, and his railway fares to and from Cambridge. For some years it remained the custom to engage professionals to coach the boats. This year is the earliest in which such a practice is recorded in the T.B.C. books, but professional watermen were engaged by the Lady Margaret Club in and after 1845, and possibly a similar practice existed in other clubs. A rule forbidding this use of professionals during the fortnight immediately preceding the races was made in 1873. The custom of employing professional coaches is now obsolete. In the races First Trinity went up to third on the river, but on the last night of the Lent Term the boat was bumped by Lady Margaret in consequence of stroke breaking his oar.

The Oxford and Cambridge race at Easter, 1849, was won by Cambridge after a very fine race. The composition of the University crew is remarkable from the fact that all the men were selected from Trinity. The T.B.C. representatives were W. C. Hodgson and G. Booth (cox). It may be interesting to observe that the then custom was that the expenses of the University crew in London, so far as they were not paid by the crew themselves, were met by voluntary subscriptions.

At a meeting of the C.U.B.C. on April 30, it was suggested that the race between the Captains and the rest of the University in the Michaelmas Term should be abandoned and replaced by a four-oared race: the motion was carried on May 14. In the following year, 1850, a silver challenge cup was given by Third Trinity to be held by the winner of the Fours. While noting events concerning the C.U.B.C. I may add that in November, 1849, it was decided that for the future medals should be awarded to crews representing the University at Henley or elsewhere, and that arrangements should be made for adapting the die of the old "Rooms" medals to the purpose. This die is still used.

In the Easter Term races the Club bumped Lady Margaret on the first night, and subsequently went second. At the close of these races, the first six boats were Second Trinity, T.B.C., Third Trinity, Emmanuel, Lady Margaret, and Christ's; the T.B.C. boats finishing 2nd, 10th, and 23rd, the Second Trinity boats 1st, 8th, and 14th, and the Third Trinity boats 3rd and 12th. The Club was not represented at Henley this year.

In the Michaelmas Term, 1849, the number of contributing members was 82, including 25 elected during the term; 7 active honorary members were also in residence. The first of the newly created races for four-oared boats - commonly known as the Fours or Light Fours - was held this term. It is satisfactory to relate that it was won by T.B.C. This race has proved an important annual event, exciting much interest and calling forth the best efforts of the best oars resident in the University. Since its commencement in every year save six (1855, 1887, 1888, 1890, 1902 and 1904) T.B.C. has been represented by a crew. The successes of the Club in this event are chronicled in chapter XI.

The fact that the Cambridge University boat in 1848-9 had been drawn from only one College and yet had won the Inter-University race made Oxford desirous to try the issue again, and at the beginning of the Michaelmas Term, 1849, a challenge from Oxford to row at the unusual time of Christmas was announced. The proposal was accepted. From the account of the race given in the T.B.C. minute-book it seems that the Cambridge crew rowed under some disadvantages, for they did not practice together for more than a fortnight, and one of them "detained at Cambridge for a week by the dons for some...examination" did not reach town until the day before the race. In spite of this Cambridge finished first, but the boats had fouled and the umpire gave the race to Oxford. The decision involved some debatable points, and, though accepted frankly and without question, was not universally approved. This crew like that of the previous Easter Term was drawn entirely from Trinity. The T.B.C. representatives were A. Baldry, W. C. Hodgson, and G. Booth (cox).

1850

At the beginning of the next term a challenge was sent to Oxford to row at the customary time, Easter, and in spite of considerable opposition it was further agreed that if the challenge were accepted no College races should be held in the Lent Term. Oxford however declined the match, but suggested that an Inter-University race should be rowed at Christmas in each of the ensuing five years. It does not seem that this would have been convenient to either University, and after some correspondence the proposal was dropped.

The C.U.B.C. reported a deficit, and to meet it the College clubs agreed for this year, 1850, to make an extraordinary subscription of 3 for each boat on the river and 1 for each boat taking part in the slogging races. And it was further agreed in future to raise the regular subscription for each boat to two guineas a year, which was a reasonable subscription for current expenses on the Cam. This increase of the subscriptions enabled the C.U.B.C. to clear off its debts, and at the beginning of the Lent Term, 1851, it was reported that its finances were in a satisfactory condition.

On the first day of the races in February, 1850, T.B.C. bumped Second Trinity and went head of the river, a position which the Club easily occupied for the rest of the year, and this in spite of the fact that one of the crew broke down in the middle of the May races. At their close, the first six boats were T.B.C., Third Trinity, Lady Margaret, Emmanuel, Second Trinity, and Christ's; the T.B.C. boats finishing 1st, 10th, and 22nd, the Second Trinity boats 5th and 13th, and the Third Trinity boat 2nd. The Club was not represented at Henley this year.

Chapter 5: 1850-1857

It will be convenient to commence a new chapter with the doings of the Club in October, 1850. In the Michaelmas Term, 1850, the number of contributing members was 94, including 35 elected during the term; 15 active honorary members were also in residence. This term the final of the Colquhoun Sculls lay between H. Cowie of First Trinity and C. Hudson of St John's. It would seem from the minutes that the evidence as to who won was conflicting, and the authorities shelved the question by declaring it a dead heat. In Trinity it was thought that Cowie had the better claim, and no less than 60 was collected in College with which a silver vase was purchased and presented to him at the T.B.C. supper on December 10.

1851

In the bumping races in 1851 T.B.C. rowed head of the river for the first two nights, but on the third night the boat was bumped by Lady Margaret. The page on which the event is described is edged with black, and the Secretary concludes his account of the race by writing αναστΕςτΑι. However the Club went head again in the second race in the Easter Term, and kept its place for the rest of the year, though as the crew went to see the Derby on the day before one of the races "the Johnians made sure of bumping us." In these races "the fourth boat, after distinguishing itself by doing more damage than all the barges on the river, and becoming a general nuisance, was taken off." At the close of the races, the first six boats were T.B.C., Lady Margaret, Third Trinity, Second Trinity, Lady Margaret 2nd, and Magdalene; the T.B.C. boats finishing 1st, 12th, and 22nd, the Second Trinity boats 4th and 15th, and the Third Trinity boat 3rd.

This year there was no race with Oxford but both Universities entered boats for the Grand Challenge Cup at Henley. The Cambridge boat lost a thowl-pin shortly after the start, and Oxford won easily. The T.B.C. representatives in the boat were R. Formby and H. Brandt. The Club also entered for the Ladies Plate and the Visitors Cup, but without success.

In the Michaelmas Term, 1851, the number of contributing members was 124, including 34 elected during the term; 5 active honorary members were also in residence. The Magdalene Pairs were won by E. Macnaghten of T.B.C. and F. W. Johnson of Third Trinity, the rule requiring each pair to belong to the same club having been rescinded in 1848. It was agreed that for the future this race should be transferred to the Lent or Easter Term "in order to allow of the winning boat going in at Henley." Accordingly the next race was held in the Easter Term, 1852, when it was won by a Sidney pair. "Unfortunately the change neither improved the boats themselves nor did the winners even attempt to distinguish themselves on the Thames."

On December 5, 1851, "there came off the annual supper of the T.B.C. given by the Third Year members to those who are about to take their degrees. Numerous invitations had been issued...the utmost joviality and goodwill prevailed, and the festivities were prolonged to a late hour." The Club scratch fours were rowed on the next day, and on December 10 a combination crew from the three Trinity clubs rowed the rest of the University: the result was a dead heat. This "closed the exploits of the T.B.C. on the Cam for 1851."

1852

The Club continued to use a professional to train its boats, and at the beginning of 1852 the minutes say "the first crew has been for the last fortnight under the scientific training of Jack Phelps, and has improved far more than could have been expected since last May term. Bob Coombes has been at work with iii Trinity, and the Johnians engaged his brother Thomas. Some fine races may consequently be looked forward to, and the three first boats are pretty nearly equal." As a matter of fact the three boats rowed over every night in the Lent Term, and, though in the Easter Term Third Trinity bumped Lady Margaret, this was due to the fact that in the race that night the Johnians lost one oar and broke another.

In these races the T.B.C. fourth boat, whose doings in the past had roused the ire of the Secretary, had the courage to start again at the bottom of the slogging races. The Club provided a boat, but it cannot be said that the crew received much other encouragement, The Secretary records that one night they were "bumped chiefly from the conceit of rowing in an outrigger when they had got a very good tub." Nevertheless they went up and ended fifth in these races, and no doubt had a good time and enjoyed it as much as if they had rowed in the excellent tub provided for them by the Club. At the end of the races, the first six boats were T.B.C., Third Trinity, Lady Margaret, Emmanuel, Trinity Hall, and Peterhouse; the T.B.C. boats finishing 1st, 9th, and 16th, the Second Trinity boat 15th, and the Third Trinity boats 2nd and 18th.

An Inter-University race was arranged this year though with considerable difficulty. The style of rowing at Oxford was supposed to be poor, and the O.U.B.C. boat was trained and coached by T. Egan of Caius, one of the best representatives of Cambridge rowing at the time. A similar service was rendered to Cambridge by G. Morrison in 1870, and by W. A. L. Fletcher in 1898 and 1899. Oxford won easily by six boat-lengths. The T.B.C. representatives in the boat were E. Macnaghten, H. Brandt, and H. H. Foord. It would seem from the Club minutes that there were differences of opinion in the University about the proper constitution of the crew.

The time fixed for the regatta at Henley was very inconvenient for Cambridge boats this year. Accordingly Cambridge was not represented either in the eight or four-oared races, but "T.B.C. to support the honour of Cambridge" induced their Captain, E. Macnaghten, to enter for the Diamond Sculls, which he won "with the utmost ease."

In the Michaelmas Term, 1852, the number of contributing members was 118, including 34 elected during the term; 9 active honorary members were also in residence. A Club sculling match was founded this term through the generosity of Macnaghten, who offered a silver cup to be competed for annually, open to all members of the T.B.C. who had not won the Colquhouns. It was hoped that this would encourage sculling, and tend to ensure the representation of T.B.C. in the Colquhoun races every year. The first race was held on November 22 and won by E. Courage. The names of the winners in subsequent years are given in chapter XI.

Of the other events this term, the Club won the Fours, the final being rowed between T.B.C. and Third Trinity. The account of the race is written with much humour. The victory seems to have been largely due to the stroking of Macnaghten who at the Willows "sharpened up like a man, and an Irishman as he is, and we came in winners by about 40 yards."

Rowing this term took place under great difficulties. "The floods were remarkably high and Midsummer Common was three feet under water and was crowded with a fleet of boats of all descriptions." It was feared that all sculling would be impossible, but the water having somewhat fallen it was decided to hold the race for the Colquhouns; this was won by E. Courage of T.B.C.

On December 1 there was a race between Trinity and the rest of the University "similar to the one of last year." The Trinity boat was composed of seven First Trinity men and two Third Trinity men. The race was easily won by Trinity. "On December 3 the annual supper was given by the 3rd Year men to those going out. The party was not altogether confined to members of the T.B.C., but Captains and Secretaries of other Clubs... were also present.... The festivities were continued with great enjoyment to a late hour."

1853

In the races in the Lent Term, 1853, the posts were moved 130 yards lower down the river, and the last boat started exactly from the locks. To the general surprise T.B.C. easily kept head throughout the races in this and the Easter Term. Third Trinity also retained its place as third on the river in front of Christ's. A member of the latter College was so confident that his boat would bump Third that he gave 25 to 5 on the event coming off and in the T.B.C. minutes his loss is recorded with great satisfaction. Interest in the slogging races seems to have begun to deteriorate. On some days only four or five boats entered. Presumably also the oarsmen were not good, for on April 21 one of the crew of the Trinity fourth boat, rowing in the slogging races, lost an oar going round Grassy, which the coxswain picked up and "passed forward, "after which they made their bump over two places." At the close of the races, the first six boats were T.B.C., Lady Margaret, Third Trinity, Christ's, Trinity Hall, and Emmanuel; the T.B.C. boats finishing 1st, 9th, and 22nd, the Second Trinity boat 21st, and the Third Trinity boat 3rd.

Cambridge having lost the last Inter-University race sent the usual challenge to Oxford. It appeared however that the only time which would suit both clubs would have clashed with the Henley Regatta. The clubs agreed that any injury to that meeting was to be deprecated, and therefore deferred their race until the following year. Both Universities entered for the Grand Challenge Cup at Henley, and Oxford won a fine race by one foot. The T.B.C. representatives in the Cambridge boat were A. Bramwell, E. Courage, H. Tomkinson, E. Macnaghten, and E. Freshfield (cox). The Ladies Plate was won by T.B.C. The Club also entered for the Stewards Challenge Cup, but the race was held almost immediately after that for the Grand Challenge Cup, and the crew were too tired to make a good fight for it. The Club entered for the Visitors Cup, but withdrew before the race.

In the Michaelmas Term, 1853, the number of contributing members was 138, including 41 elected during the term; 10 active honorary members were also in residence. At the annual supper in December, large numbers of Captains and Secretaries of the other clubs were present, "and the whole affair went off most successfully." The usual scratch fours were held shortly afterwards.

1854

In 1854 a further change in the regulations for racing was made so as to permit of more boats (31 in all) rowing. The boats were now arranged in two divisions, each consisting of 16 boats; the top of the second division (or sandwich boat) rowing at the bottom of the first, and thus providing a way by which a boat in the second division could get into the first. The racing in the second division took place the day before that in the first division.

During the Lent Term this year the Club easily kept at the head of the river, but on the first night of the Easter Term the boat was bumped, and rowed in the second place for the rest of the races. The year was also unsuccessful to Third Trinity, which went down to sixth place on the river and narrowly escaped being bumped by the First Trinity second boat. As regards other events I notice that, as the examination for the Classical Tripos was being held on the first day of the Lent Races "and some of the Magdalene crew were taking that Tripos, their boat was allowed to miss the race without losing its place.

On the first day of the Easter racing there was a bad accident. At the moment the Queens' boat was bumping Jesus, the latter capsized, and its coxswain was caught under the ear and carried along for a considerable distance. For some days his life was in danger, but fortunately he completely recovered. During his illness the Jesus boat was allowed to retain its place without racing. At the end of May, 1854, the first six boats were in the order, Lady Margaret, T.B.C., Trinity Hall, Emmanuel, Corpus, and Third Trinity; the T.B.C. boats finishing 2nd, 7th, and 23rd, the Second Trinity boats 14th and 25th, and the Third Trinity boats 6th and 22nd.

The boat race this year was won by Oxford. The T.B.C. representatives in the Cambridge boat were R. C. Galton, S. Agnew, and E. Courage.

First Trinity was again represented at Henley this year. The boat was stroked by H. R. M. Jones of Third Trinity, but the rest of the crew were from First Trinity. Jones was elected temporarily a member of T.B.C., and his name appears at the end of the list of members in May, 1854, but it disappears in the list of the following October. The boat is treated in the Club minutes as representing T.B.C.: it rowed in the Black Prince, and in First Trinity colours, and the expenses were paid by T.B.C. The crew won the Grand Challenge Cup, and the Ladies Plate. R. C. Galton of T.B.C. entered for the Diamond Sculls, but was beaten in the final.

In the Michaelmas Term, 1854, the number of contributing members was 106, including 19 elected during the term; 6 active honorary members were also in residence. The T.B.C. boat which entered for the Fours upset in the course of the race.

1855

There were no bumping races in the Lent Term, 1855, "the river being frozen over up to the 28th of February." In the May races, the first boat was very unlucky. Owing to an accident on the river one of the crew was injured just before the first race, and three (or four) other men broke down in the course of them. It is not surprising that with these mishaps it went down. The Secretary concludes this melancholy story with the aspiration Spero meliora. At the close of the races, the first six boats were Lady Margaret, Trinity Hall, Emmanuel, T.B.C., Christ's, and Caius; the T.B.C. boats finishing 4th, 13th, and 26th, the Second Trinity boats 11th and 17th and the Third Trinity boats 11th and 17th.

In the Easter Term, the Club determined to allow members of Second and Third Trinity to compete for the Macnaghten Sculls, a resolution which was however rescinded in the following year. This year some Third Trinity men entered. The race was won by A. Smith, of First Trinity, by 200 yards.

The season had not been sufficiently successful to induce the Club to send a boat to Henley, but both Universities entered boats for the Grand Challenge Cup there. Cambridge won. The T.B.C. representatives in the boat were E. C. Graham and W. Wingfield (cox). There had been no race with Oxford at Easter this year, but the clubs had agreed to meet at Henley.

In the following year, the Club was not much more successful. In the Michaelmas Term, 1855, the number of contributing members was 103, including 42 elected during the term; 10 active honorary members were also in residence. I infer from the accounts that the subscription was now 15s a term - the entrance fee remaining 3. This term, the Club could not make up a good crew for the Fours, and therefore determined not to put in an appearance. The T.B.C. representatives for the Colquhoun Sculls also made an indifferent show. The Club, however, started a sculling prize open to Freshmen, which was won this term by H. Hoffman. The names of the winners in subsequent years are given in chapter XI.

1856

In the Lent Term, 1856, the C.U.B.C. determined that only the second division should race, so as to secure for the authorities a better choice of men for the University boat. Henceforth this was the usual practice, and therefore many of the best oars rowed only in the Easter Term. In the May races the first boat bumped Emmanuel on the first night, but lost the place on the last night but one to Second Trinity. On these races, the Secretary records "the Club had great difficulties to contend with, being utterly destitute of old oars, and but few members of the Club had been coached in their freshmen's term.......Moral: train your freshman." On the whole, however, the Trinity clubs were fairly successful, the nine boats of the three clubs making 31 bumps between them. At the close of the races, the first six boats were Lady Margaret, Trinity Hall, Second Trinity, T.B.C., Third Trinity, and T.B.C. 2nd; the T.B.C. boats finishing 4th, 6th, and 25th, the Second Trinity boats 3rd and 20th, and the Third Trinity boats 5th and 11th - the fourth boat of T.B.C. and the third boat of Second Trinity having been taken off the river at the end of the Lent Term. This year again the season had not been sufficiently successful to justify the Club sending a boat to Henley.

The Inter-University race this year was won by Cambridge. The T.B.C. representatives in the boat were F. C. Alderson and W. Wingfield (cox).

In the following year, 1856-7, things began to mend. In the Michaelmas Term, the number of contributing members was 108, of whom 38 were elected this term; in addition 7 active honorary members were in residence. This term the Club again entered for the University Fours, and although before the race they had only rowed twice together they proved an excellent crew and got into the final. The cup was won by Lady Margaret in 8 min. 32 sec.: the time of both boats being faster than the previous records. The University scratch fours, which for some years had been held towards the end of the Michaelmas Term, usually provided the most popular amusement on the river. This year no less than 42 boats entered. The day before the end of the term the customary T.B.C. supper was held at the Lion. "The festivities were kept up to a late hour, and the quantity of liquor consumed was surprising."

1857

In 1857 the first division raced in the Lent as well as in the Easter Term. In the former, the First boat went up to second place on the river. This seems to have been largely due to the coaching of Mr R. Burn. "He went down with it almost every day, and without him we should never have done as well as we have." The success of T.B.C. was popular, "such cheers were never heard on the Cam before; men of all Colleges and Clubs joining in the congratulations." The second boat however went down to the eighth place, but against this may be set the fact that the third boat went up one place. It was the fourth boat however that had the most exciting races. On the second day "near the first post, bow got his oar fast in a bungstring and was completely disarmed. However Mr A. L. Smith caught up a spare oar, and at the corner threw it to bow, who although nearly knocked out of the boat by it, caught it, and rowed on. They made their bump opposite the Plough." In the Easter Term it was settled that there should be only five days racing, and that hereafter both divisions should row on the same day, the second in the afternoon and the first in the evening. The number of boats in the first division was increased from 16 to 20. The Secretary has made a note on the general doings of the boats this year. On the whole they showed improvement over those of the previous year.

Among other events in these races, "Magdalene by the aid of their many migration men from Trinity" went up. Also, a second Johnian club, called the Lady Somerset, was formed and put a boat on the river. A more interesting event was the appearance of a new club, known as the Ancient Mariners, formed under the captaincy of Mr Burn. Membership was confined to masters of arts and fellows of Colleges. At a meeting of the C.U.B.C. some of the smaller Colleges opposed the recognition of this club, but ultimately it was allowed to enter a boat for the races. This boat went up one or two places, but I gather was taken off before the end of the Easter Term. It took as its motto Seniores priores. At the end of the races in the Easter Term, the first six boats were Lady Margaret, T.B.C., Second Trinity, Trinity Hall, Emmanuel, and Third Trinity; the T.B.C. boats finishing 2nd, 8th, 23rd, the Second Trinity boats 3rd, 17th, 29th, and 35th, and the Third Trinity boats 6th and 18th.

Of Club events this year, a new race was started for pair-oared boats with the object of improving the Club entries for the University Magdalene Pairs. Three years later silver challenge oars were given to be held by the winners, and the event is now known, from the name of the donor, as the Wyatt Pairs. The results are given in chapter XI under this name. This year the race was won by N. Royds and F. Thompson, who also won the Magdalene Pairs. In May, 1857, the Club resolved that for the future the uniform worn by the crews in the procession should be the same as in the races, namely, dark blue over a jersey instead of over a striped shirt as heretofore.

The boat race this year was won by Oxford. The T.B.C. representatives in the boat were A. L. Smith, and J. J. Serjeantson. In this race both crews used keel-less boats and oars with round handles. Keel-less boats had been introduced in the Henley Regatta in the previous year, when their superiority to the boats previously used was conclusively shown. At the first meeting in the Easter Term it was reported to T.B.C. that the advantage to be obtained by using these boats was so great that it would be useless to go to Henley unless the Club could get a new keel-less boat built in time for it, but it became unnecessary to decide this question, for ultimately the date of the regatta was fixed so late as to render it impossible for the Club to send any crews.

Next year keel-less boats were introduced on the Cam for the upper boats, and at the same time the regulations about the racing were altered. This therefore may be taken as a convenient date at which to commence a new chapter. We have no record in the Club minutes of slogging races after this year, and though it is possible that they continued a year or two longer, general interest in them had ceased. Their disappearance marks the close of an epoch in the history of Cambridge rowing.

Chapter 6: 1857-1865

In the Michaelmas Term, 1857, the number of contributing members was 133, of whom 53 were elected during the term; 9 active honorary members were also in residence. In the following term keel-less boats were for the first time used in the bumping races. Their introduction affected the sport in various ways, and particularly in making the rowing of the best men a more specialized amusement, which necessitated considerable preliminary work: hence it tended to confine the highest development of the art to those who devoted themselves entirely to it.

1858

In the bumping races in 1858 new regulations came into force. The number of boats admitted to the races was raised to 42, but in order to give the C.U.B.C. authorities a better opportunity for getting together a representative University crew, the top ten boats did not race in the Lent Term. Their absence permitted also the appearance of some additional crews at the bottom of the second division, if that were wanted, and thus rendered unnecessary the continuance of slogging races. It is believed that no slogging races were held after 1859, and it is not certain whether any were held in 1858 or 1859. Henceforth (save in the year 1859) the top boats usually raced only in the Easter Term. The charts of the racing show this clearly, and a reference to them will give the reader the necessary information for any particular year.

In the Lent Term, T.B.C. was represented by third, fourth, fifth, and sixth boats all of which went up. In the Easter Term the first and second boats rowed, as well as the third, fourth and fifth, but the sixth boat was taken off. The first boat had the benefit of using a keel-less boat. After the crew had got accustomed to it they found it possible to diminish the time over the course by half-a-minute or more. T.B.C. went head of the river on the first night of the races, and remained so throughout the year. At the close of the races, the first six boats were T.B.C., Third Trinity, Trinity Hall, Lady Margaret, Second Trinity, and Caius; the T.B.C. boats finishing 1st, 10th, 17th, 30th, and 35th, the Second Trinity boats 9th and 15th, and the Third Trinity boats 2nd and 22nd. The Club sent a four to Henley which won the Wyfold and the Visitors Cups.

The race with Oxford in 1858 was won by Cambridge. The T.B.C. representatives in the boat were A. L. Smith and D. Darroch.

In the Michaelmas Term, 1858, the number of contributing members was 135, of whom 48 were elected during the term; 8 active honorary members were also in residence, besides 22 non-rowing members. This term the three Trinity Clubs rowed the rest of the University on December 1, and won with ease.

1859

The Oxford and Cambridge race in 1859 was marred by the weather. The race was over the usual course from Putney to Mortlake. Cambridge rowed in a very light low boat which was swamped by the wash from one of the steamers. According to the T.B.C. minutes the crew was an exceptionally fine and fast one, and was confident of victory, so the disappointment at the result was great. The T.B.C. representatives in the boat were N. Royds, A. L. Smith, D. Darroch, and J. T. Morland (cox).

In 1859 the Lent Term was unusually long, and it was agreed that all the boats in the first division should race that term. The Club entered six boats. On the second day in the races the first boat was bumped by Third Trinity. On this the Club altered the constitution of the crew, always a dangerous action in the middle of racing, and suffered by being bumped by Trinity Hall the next night. But the success of the Hall was only temporary, and in the Easter Term, T.B.C. recovered its place. The Club took off the fifth and sixth boats in May. At the conclusion of the races, the first six boats were Third Trinity, T.B.C., Lady Margaret, Trinity Hall, Second Trinity, and Magdalene; the T.B.C. boats finishing 2nd, 10th, 19th, and 25th, the Second Trinity boats 5th, 15th, and 34th, and the Third Trinity boats 1st and 24th. The Magdalene pairs were won by D. Ingles of T.B.C. and J. P. Ingham of Third Trinity: I mention the fact here because they rowed in a keel-less boat which improved their time over the course by 30 seconds.

In the Easter Term the Club discussed at length whether it should move from Searle's boathouse. But finally it was agreed to continue for the present with him, provided he improved the arrangements in various specified matters. He met the Club's wishes in these respects, and it continued to occupy the rooms until 1863, when he built a separate boathouse for the use of T.B.C.

The Club entered for the Ladies Plate and the Wyfold Cup at Henley, and won both events. The regatta was so late this year that T.B.C. and Third Trinity combined to spend a fortnight at Maidenhead prior to it.

1860

In the Michaelmas Term, 1859, T.B.C. started trial eights in tubs, with the object of improving the rowing of the freshmen. Since then this has continued the usual practice. In the Lent Term, 1860, 146 contributing members were in residence, of whom 53 had been elected the previous term; there were also 19 honorary and non-rowing members in residence. Of other club events in 1860 the Pairs were rowed in the Lent Term. There were several entries, and R. Wyatt presented silver oars to be held by the winners for the time being, but the event has not usually attracted much competition.

The race with Oxford this year was won by Cambridge by six strokes. The tide was running against the crews for part of the race, and the time occupied was no less than 26 minutes. The T.B.C. representatives in the boat were S. Heathcote, D. Ingles, and J. T. Morland (cox).

The racing of the top boats in 1860 was confined to the Easter Term, and T.B C. easily went head the first night. The river was so swollen that some of the races had to be postponed for a few days. At the end of the races, the first six boats were T.B.C., Lady Margaret, Third Trinity, Caius, Trinity Hall, and Emmanuel; the T.B.C. boats finishing 1st, 9th, 16th, and 22nd, the Second Trinity boats 7th, 21st, and 35th, and the Third Trinity boats 3rd and 25th.

The Club, as head of the river, was asked by the C.U.B.C. to represent Cambridge at Henley, and its crews carried off the Grand Challenge Cup, the Ladies Plate, the Visitors Cup, and the Stewards Challenge Cup, and only just missed winning the Pairs. This was an unusually fine performance for a College Club. The result was largely due to the coaching of R. L. Lloyd of Magdalene, who had been President of the C.U.B.C. in 1859.

Thanks to the introduction of trial eights in 1859, and the efforts of the officers, the rowing of the Club had greatly improved since 1855 and 1856. In the Michaelmas Term, 1860, the Club won the Fours, and later in the year representatives of the Club carried off the Colquhoun Sculls and Magdalene Pairs.

1861

In the Lent Term, 1861, the number of contributing members was 152, including 54 elected during the previous term and 10 this term; in addition 20 honorary and non- rowing members were in residence. The racing this term was uneventful. In the Easter Term the Club started and finished head, though during the races it temporarily lost the position. At the close of the races, the first six boats were T.B.C., Third Trinity, Lady Margaret, Trinity Hall, T.B.C. 2nd, and Trinity Hall 2nd; the T.B.C. boats finishing 1st, 5th, 15th, 22nd, 39th, and 43rd, the Second Trinity boats 8th, 23rd, 32nd, and 44th, and the Third Trinity boats 2nd and 24th.

Although the Club was so successful this year, Cambridge rowing was entering on a period full of misfortunes. Before 1861 there had been 17 Inter-University matches, of which Cambridge had won 10, and Oxford 7. This year, 1861, Oxford won the first of nine consecutive victories. The only T.B.C. representative in the Cambridge boat was G. H. Richards.

After the Club's fine performance of the previous year, T.B.C. determined to be represented at Henley. The Club were defeated in the race for the Wyfold Cup, but carried off the Grand Challenge Cup, the Ladies Plate, and the Visitors and Stewards Cups, a remarkable feat at a regatta where the competition was so keen.

The excellent effects of the trial eights started by T.B.C in 1859 were a matter of common comment, and in the Michaelmas Term, 1861, the C.U.B.C. determined to initiate University trial eights in order to bring forward the most likely oars for the University boat; since then it has been the regular custom to have such a race each year. Silver medals were given to the members of the winning crew; somewhat later, caps were given to the members of both crews; and in and after 1876 bronze medals were given to the members of the losing crew.

1862

In the Lent Term, 1862, the number of contributing members of T.B.C. was 183, including 66 elected during the previous term and 4 elected this term; in addition 12 active honorary members were in residence. This year so many boats entered for the races that it was determined to make a third division. The first twenty boats formed a first division, the next twenty boats formed a second division, and the remaining boats (of which this year there were ten) formed a third division. The first division raced on 8 days, all in the Easter Term; the second and third divisions raced on 3 days in the Lent Term and on the first 5 race days of the Easter Term. The third division rowed from the Railway Bridge to Baitsbite, and the first and second divisions from Baitsbite to the Railway Bridge. In the races this year the Club was unfortunate in the craft built for the first boat, but probably in any case the crews were not as good as those of the immediately preceding years. The first boat went down to the third place. At the end of the races, the first six boats were Trinity Hall, Third Trinity, T.B.C., Lady Margaret, Second Trinity, and Emmanuel; the T.B.C. boats finishing 3rd, 9th, 19th, 24th, 34th, and 39th; the Second Trinity boats 5th, 27th, and 30th, and the Third Trinity boats 2nd, 14th, and 49th.

The Inter-University race this year was again won by Oxford. The T.B.C. representatives in the Cambridge boat were W. C. Smyly, J. G. Buchanan, and G. H. Richards. This defeat, like the defeats of following years, is explained by the fact that an unfortunate theory found credence on the Cam that, as the force which moved a boat forward was due to the blade of the oar being driven through the water, the time during which the oar was out of the water was wasted, as far as the propulsion of the boat was concerned, and it was desirable to minimise the time occupied in coming forward. Accordingly the crews were taught to pull as long a stroke as possible through the water, followed by a rapid, or even hurried, swing forwards. On the other hand the Oxford coaches taught the men to pull a long sweeping stroke through the water, and to swing steadily forwards, but not to hurry over this, and they laid emphasis on the principle that it was desirable to catch the water as sharply and hard as possible at the beginning of the stroke, partly because it enabled all the crew to apply their force at the same instant and partly because it assisted men to utilize their weight as well as their muscles.

There was an animated discussion about whether the Club should defend the cups won at Henley in the previous year, but as it was impossible to get together a good crew it was thought better not to enter.

In the Michaelmas Term, 1862, the number of contributing members was 164, including 73 elected during the term; in addition 6 active honorary members and 34 non-rowing members were in residence. This increase in the number of members rendered the accommodation of the Club rooms inadequate. Accordingly Searle offered to build for the Club a new boathouse, and the Club agreed to contribute 50 towards its cost and to lease it from him for seven years at a rent of 25 a term, the rent to include the exclusive services of two yard-men.

1863

The boat race in 1863 was again won by Oxford. The T.B.C. representatives in the Cambridge boat were W. C. Smyly, and J. Stanning (stroke).

In the Lent Term, 1863, the fourth and sixth boats went up and the fifth boat kept its place. In the Easter Term the second boat tried the experiment of rowing in a craft with a copper bottom, "the queerist boat out." The success was not such as to justify a renewal of the experiment. The first boat maintained its position but did not improve it. In these races Third Trinity is said to have done the course in 7 min. 40 sec., then a record time. At the end of the races, the first six boats were Third Trinity, Trinity Hall, T.B.C., Lady Margaret, Emmanuel, and Corpus; the T.B.C. boats finishing 3rd, 8th, 16th, 21st, 39th, and 41st, the Second Trinity boats 11th, 32nd, and 37th, and the Third Trinity boats 1st, 12th, and 38th.

In the course of the Easter Term T.B.C. entered into possession of its new rooms built by Searle and leased by the Club. It continued to occupy them till the end of 1871. A view of this boathouse is given on the opposite page.

Searle's boat house on the cam, 1863 - 1871
T.B.C. Boathouse, 1863 - 1871

In spite of the moderate performance in the May races, the Club entered for the Grand Challenge, the Stewards, and the Visitors Cups at Henley, and with the more confidence because Lloyd, who had done such good service for them in 1860, supervised the training. The result was not successful, and the T.B.C. crews were beaten in all three events. All the Cambridge crews did badly, largely owing to their style of rowing.

In the Michaelmas Term, 1863, the number of contributing members was 217, including 82 elected during the term; in addition 6 active honorary members were in residence, At this time the organization of College athletic sports began, and those who started the movement turned to the boat clubs for assistance, regarding them as the chief or sole clubs connected with winter amusements. This term T.B.C. agreed to hold athletic sports, and a committee was appointed to make the arrangements. A separate subscription was paid by those competing, and presumably entry was confined to members of T.B.C.; at any rate this was the case in 1865. Other boat clubs organized similar meetings, and in the following term an Inter-University match with Oxford was arranged. The connection with the boat clubs explains why the C.U.B.C. allowed the University die to be used for the medals given to successful athletes.

Corresponding to the increasing popularity of T.B.C., the number of members of Second Trinity fell off. Early in 1864 matters in the latter Club came to a crisis, and the problem of its further continuance was brought by its officers informally before T.B.C., apparently with the suggestion that the two Clubs should be united. It was deemed possible that an amalgamation might be held by the C.U.B.C. to constitute a new Club. Accordingly T.B.C. declined to consider that solution, as it was not under any circumstances prepared to take steps which might affect, or be supposed to affect, its historic continuity.

The Club, however, expressed its willingness to consider favourably any practicable method of assisting Second Trinity. The first proposal brought before it with this object was to restrict its membership to two "sides" in the College, leaving other members of the College (so far as they did not come from Eton and Westminster) eligible only for Second Trinity. This was rejected by an overwhelming majority. It was then proposed that a Committee should be appointed to frame a scheme for assigning men to one Club or the other by their schools, or on some similar plan. This was rejected by 48 to 37, but I am told that the size of the majority inadequately represents the feeling against the scheme. For the moment therefore nothing came of the discussion.

1864

In the Lent races in 1864 the racing was, as usual, confined to the second and third divisions, and the crews, under a new rule of the C.U.B.C., were required to row in tubs. Downing, which had not hitherto put a boat on the river, appeared for the first time this year. At the close of the races in May, the first six boats were Trinity Hall, Third Trinity, T.B.C., Lady Margaret, Emmanuel, and T.B.C. 2nd; the T.B.C. boats finishing 3rd, 6th, 11th, 21st, 31st, and 39th, the Second Trinity boats 17th, 36th, and 44th, and the Third Trinity boats 2nd and 35th. The Club had maintained its position on the river, but not much more, and there was nothing to encourage it to send a crew to Henley.

The boat race this year, 1864, had been again won by Oxford. The only T.B.C. representative in the Cambridge boat was G. Borthwick. It now began to be recognised that the failure of the Cambridge crews in the Inter-University races was due to the style of rowing, and at a meeting of the C.U.B.C. on October 26, 1864, a committee was appointed "to take into consideration the bad style of rowing in the University and the best means for improving it."

In the Michaelmas Term, 1864, the number of T.B.C. contributing members was 180, including 70 elected during the term; in addition 4 active honorary and 60 non-rowing members were in residence. In this term the C.U.B.C. determined in the future to raise its income by an annual capitation tax on the rowing members of the various Clubs: this remained the rule till 1885, when it was changed to a tax on the annual incomes of the Clubs. The poll tax was fixed in 1867 at 3s. 6d. for rowing members of Clubs, and 1s. 9d. for non-rowing members. The race for the Colquhouns this term, won by G. D. Redpath of T.B.C., was rowed in 8 min. 44 sec., the fastest time on record on the course then in use.

I suppose that boat races had gradually come to be held early in the afternoon or perhaps even in the morning, for at a meeting of T.B.C. in December, 1864, a formal memorandum on the subject by the Tutors of the College was read, stating that they considered it a grave offence against discipline, and requesting that a copy of their communication should be preserved in the minute books for the information of future officers.

1865

The Inter-University race in 1865 was again won by Oxford. The only T.B.C. representative in the boat was G. Borthivick. This race exemplified the evils of the style adopted by Cambridge. The Cambridge crew, though of exceptional strength, were rowed down by a weak Oxford crew. The stroke of the Cambridge crew is said to have been the strongest man in either University, and it is possible that he overrated the strength of the men behind him and forced the pace too much at first, but the real cause of defeat was the style of rowing.

In the bumping races in 1865 the number of boats was limited to 40, and in the Easter Term the first division raced for only 6 nights instead of 8. T.B.C. is said to have had the fastest boat on the river, but was not good enough to make its bump. At the end of the races, the first six boats were Third Trinity, Trinity Hall, T.B.C., Lady Margaret, Emmanuel, and T.B.C. 2nd; the T.B.C. boats finishing 3rd, 6th, 17th, 25th, 34th, and 38th, the Second Trinity boats 15th and 35th, and the Third Trinity boats 1st and 29th. The Club was not represented at Henley this year.

Chapter 7: 1865-1871

The year 1865-6 is the beginning of a memorable period in the history of the Club, for from this time until 1872 its first boat held the headship of the river. Its prosperity during these years was great, and justified it in making arrangements to provide itself with a boathouse and establishment of its own.

In the Michaelmas Term, 1865, the number of contributing members was 186, including 72 elected during the term; in addition 4 active honorary members and 75 non-rowing members were in residence.

1866

In the race with Oxford this year, 1866, Cambridge was again defeated. The only T.B.C. representative in the boat was J. U. Bourke. The Cambridge boat was hampered by a barge, but in any case it was unlikely that it would have won.

At the beginning of the next term, April 24, 1866, the affairs of Second Trinity were again brought before T.B.C., and after a long discussion it was agreed to limit the entrance to T.B.C. to 50 members a year, a measure which, it was hoped, would enable Second Trinity to secure a sufficient number of recruits to continue its separate existence.

In the bumping races in 1866, rules were made in connection with "getting on races," and graduates were declared to be ineligible to row in most of the races unless they were resident. In the races in May, T.B.C. went head - a position which it had not held for four years. General congratulations from all sources followed. In fact, a change in the headship is always popular, and in the then parlous condition of Cambridge rowing it seemed a good omen that the largest club should be again taking the lead in matters. At the close of the races, the first six boats were T.B.C., Third Trinity, Trinity Hall, Lady Margaret, Emmanuel, and Pembroke; the T.B.C. boats finishing 1st, 10th, 15th, 27th, 36th, and 38th, the Second Trinity boats 12th and 29th, and the Third Trinity boats 2nd and 23rd.

This year, 1866, the Club organized a Ball in the May Week, a custom which is now regularly established. The Club stipulated that none of its funds were to be used for the purpose, and this still remains the rule. The Ball was held at the Lion Hotel, and "was attended by about 300 people. It was a grand success - the only single drawback being the room.......Ladies numerous. Julien's band. A handsome supper. What more could be wanted?" But I gather that though the Ball went off very well the expenses exceeded the receipts by 75.

As the Club was now head of the river, it determined once more to send a boat to Henley. For preliminary practice the crew entered for the Challenge Cup at the Lynn Regatta, which they won with ease. At Henley two members of the crew fell ill on the eve of the racing, and although the Club won its heat for the Grand Challenge Cup, it had to scratch for the final, and it lost the races for the Ladies Plate, the Visitors Cup, and the Stewards Cup. In this the crews had bad luck.

In December, 1865, attention had been called to the small number of entries for the First Trinity Sports, and in the following term it had been arranged that T.B.C. should directly undertake their organization, and should increase the subscription of each member for the Michaelmas Term by 5s. to pay for the cost. The whole matter was reconsidered in October, 1866, when this policy was reversed, and it was decided to create an independent First Trinity Athletic Club, to be open not only to members of T.B.C., but to all other members of the College who did not belong to the Second Trinity or Third Trinity Boat or Athletic Clubs.

In the Michaelmas Term, 1866, the number of contributing members was 144, including 50 elected during the term; in addition 26 active honorary members and 77 non-rowing members were in residence. This term the T.B.C. gained the Fours, and a T.B.C. representative gained the Colquhouns - signs of the more prosperous period on which it was now entering.

1867

The boat race in 1867 resulted in another victory for Oxford. The T.B.C. representatives in the boat were W. H. Anderson, J. U. Bourke, and J. H. Gordon; the crew were rather unlucky in not winning the race.

In 1867 it was decided that the second and third divisions should race on 4 days in the Lent Term and on 4 in the Easter Term. With a view to improve the river for racing purposes the C.U.B.C. levied a poll tax of 1s. on every rowing member, to be spent in cutting away the banks. In the races T.B.C. rowed head every night. This was the more creditable because one night, when going down to the races, the boat was damaged by a barge, several riggers being broken, two or three oars fractured or sprung, and two of the crew badly injured, one so seriously that he had to be taken out of the boat. According to the Club minutes the rowing of most of the boats on the river this year was indifferent. At the end of the races, the first six boats were T.B.C., Third Trinity, Lady Margaret, Trinity Hall, Emmanuel, and T.B.C. 2nd; the T.B.C. boats finishing 1st, 6th, 19th, 26th, 38th, and 39th, the Second Trinity boats 10th and 30th, and the Third Trinity boats 2nd and 20th.

After the May races the Club entered for the King's Lynn Challenge Cup for eight-oared boats and won it. G. Shann of T.B.C. also carried off the Amateur Championship of the Ouse. Owing to the lateness of the fixture at Henley it was found impossible to send a crew there, but Shann entered for the Diamond Sculls though he failed to win them.

In the Michaelmas Term, 1867, the number of contributing members was 139 including 50 elected during the term; in addition 22 active honorary members and 31 non-rowing members were in residence. The Club subscription, this term, was raised from 15s. to 1 a term. It was reported that there was a deficit of 54 on the Ball Fund, "and that therefore those who had been kind enough to guarantee any debt that there might be would have to pay 7s. 7d. in the pound. This announcement was not received with cheers."

The new rule about electing only 50 men a year caused a good deal of heart-burning, as men had to be rejected who wished to join T.B.C. and whom the Club wished to have. It was decided however to retain it, but that all the 50 men elected annually should be freshmen if there were sufficient candidates.

This term, as usual, T.B.C. entered for the Fours, but the crew were beaten in the final by Emmanuel. There were seven entries, and according to the Club minutes the First and Third Trinity crews alone were composed of undergraduates. Of the Club's "patriarchal and hirsute antagonists" from Emmanuel, say the minutes, stroke was an Oxford man who had just migrated to Cambridge, and two of the crew were bachelor of arts, one being a fellow.

1868

On February 12, 1868, the Hon. J. H. Gordon, who had taken a prominent part in the affairs of the Club, was killed in his rooms in College owing to the accidental discharge of a rifle. His death was deeply regretted in the Club and University. "The flags of the different boathouses were hoisted half-mast high, and on the 13th instant, the day of the inquest, no boats from any Club went down the river, and no T.B.C. boats went down until February 17."

Gordon had rowed in the University boat, and in consequence of his death the C.U.B.C. determined to withdraw the challenge to Oxford for a race in 1868 - a course which had been independently urged at a meeting of old Blues called in London to consider it. Oxford, however, asked for a reconsideration of the matter, and in the face of this request it was thought better to have the race as usual. The result was the same as in previous years: Oxford winning easily. The T.B.C. representatives in the boat were W. H. Anderson, and W. J. Pinckney (stroke).

In the Lent Races, 1868, the sixth boat of the Club bumped the fifth, a painful experience for the latter. The Secretary notes "See the result of not training!......the fifth boat seemed to think themselves such fearful swells that they did not condescend to train." The crew were changed before the next day, but it did not prevent their being bumped again. In these races the Downing boat was allowed to keep its place (27th) without racing, as one member of the crew was rowing in the University boat.

In the Easter Term further alterations were made in the regulations of the bumping races. Throughout the races the Club rowed head of the river. At their close, the first six boats were T.B.C., Lady Margaret, Third Trinity, Emmanuel, Trinity Hall, Christ's; the T.B.C. boats finishing 1st, 7th, 15th, 24th, 38th, and 39th, the Second Trinity boats 18th and 29th, and the Third Trinity boats 3rd and 23rd.

Of the other Club events this year, I note that at the end of March, 1868, the Club very sensibly decided that the earlier achievements of the T.B.C. should be painted on boards and put up in the boathouse. The Club also again considered the question of the limit on the numbers elected each year. From statistics laid before the meeting it would seem that during the two years the rule had been in operation the Club had lost a considerable number of members who wished to join it, of whom not more than 3 had consented to join Second Trinity, from which it was argued, with reason, that while the rule injured T.B.C., it had failed to assist Second Trinity. The abolition of the limit was unanimously carried.

At the end of the Easter Term the first boats of First and Third Trinity played a cricket match, which was won by T.B.C. The second boat entered for the Challenge Cup at the King's Lynn regatta; after an excellent race it was beaten by the Third Trinity first boat.

At the end of the May races, Third Trinity had asked T.B.C. to make up a joint boat to enter for the Grand Challenge at Henley, but the Club determined to try its luck unaided. It was not however successful, for its boats were beaten in the races for the Ladies Plate, the Wyfold Cup, and the Visitors Cup, and withdrew from the races for the Grand Challenge and Stewards Cups.

At a meeting of the C.U.B.C. in June, 1868, a long discussion took place on Cambridge rowing. The bad style in vogue was generally attributed to the state of the river Cam, the bed of which had recently silted up nearly five feet. The consequent shallowness caused the boats to drag, and it was said to be imperative that the river should have an average depth of five feet or so, if the rowing was to be improved. It was asserted that to do this would cost 1000 per mile, but it was decided to undertake the work, and a subscription list for the purpose was opened.

In the Michaelmas Term, 1868, the number of contributing members of T.B.C. was 150, including 67 elected during the term; in addition 27 active honorary members were in residence: the number of non-rowing members is not given. In this term the Club agreed to give a cup to the winner of the Freshmen's Sculls. Such a prize usually makes competition keener, but in fact it is only rarely that there have been many entries for this event.

This term the Club entered for the Fours, but without success. The race was won by Sidney. The Secretary in his account of it says, that "they were not a pretty crew to look at," and "although a fine set of men it is to their style and rowing they owe the race. The stroke is a long steady pull, firmly caught at the beginning, and pulled right through to the end, doing work the whole way. Besides which they do their work together." This, then, was the style which Captains and Coaches began steadily to inculcate on Cambridge crews.

1869

In the race with Oxford in 1869, Cambridge again suffered defeat. The T.B.C. representatives in the boat were W. H. Anderson, and H. E. Gordon (cox). One member of the crew was untrained.

In April, 1869, a challenge was received by the C.U.B.C. and O.U.B.C. from Harvard, U.S.A., for a four-oared race. Oxford accepted. Cambridge also accepted conditionally, but ultimately did not enter. The race was won by Oxford.

In the bumping races in the Easter Term, 1869, the boats were divided into three divisions of 15, 15, and 10 boats each, instead of as formerly into two divisions of 20 each. The second and third divisions were required to row in tubs, and to prevent any evasion of this rule the C.U.B.C. defined a tub; the definition is not above criticism. Throughout the races T.B.C. rowed head of the river. At their close, the first six boats were T.B.C., Lady Margaret, Third Trinity, Trinity Hall, Christ's, and T.B.C. 2nd; the T.B.C. boats finishing 1st, 6th, 16th, 29th, 38th, and 39th, the Second Trinity boats 17th and 34th, and the Third Trinity boats 3rd and 20th. The bottom boats did not race in the Easter Term, and their positions as stated are those occupied by them at the end of their races.

This year again the second boat entered for the Grand Challenge Cup at Lynn, and won it. The Club was also represented with success at the Bedford and Burton Regattas, but did not enter for any of the Henley events.

In the races this year, 1869, the first boat had thought fit to wear white flannel trousers. Such an innovation excited much interest. The question was brought before the Club; former members wrote letters appealing to the Club traditions, and a long discussion on the subject ensued. Finally it was decided that the Club uniform could not be altered except by a resolution of the Club; that the uniform of the first boat was "black and white straw hat with dark blue ribbon, dark blue coat trimmed with blue ribbon, white zephyr trimmed with blue, and blue and white striped trousers of the pattern now generally worn in the Club"; that the uniform of the second boat was "a plain dark blue coat, plain white zephyr, and the rest the same as the first boat"; that the uniform of the third boat was "a blue and white stripped jersey of the pattern now generally worn in the Club, trimmed with blue, and the rest the same as the second boat"; and that the uniform of the rest of the club was "the same as the third boat except that the jersey was not trimmed." Such sartorial rules must be noted.

In the Michaelmas Term, 1869, the number of contributing members was 160, including 65 elected during the term; in addition 28 active honorary members and 20 non-rowing members were in residence. The subscription seems to have been now raised to 21s. a term. This term the Club decided that freshmen should not be put to row in trial eights during their first term, since it was desirable that they should have coaching for not less than one full term before they raced in eight-oared boats. An excellent rule, but experience has shown that it is not generally acceptable to freshmen.

The affairs of Second Trinity were again discussed this term. The Captain informed a meeting of T.B.C. that Second Trinity was on the point of dissolution in consequence of lack of members. He also stated that the numbers in Third Trinity were decreasing, and that the whole question of rowing in the College demanded careful consideration by members of First and Third Trinity. He added that proposals had been brought before the officers of these two Clubs, that, as there were (then) three "sides" in the College of approximately the same size, each of the three Clubs should, for the future, be associated with a particular side, and take all the freshmen on that side who desired to row, leaving the freshmen on the other sides to the other Clubs. This seems to have been the solution favoured by the officers of both clubs, but it was entirely repugnant to the wishes of T.B.C., and I believe also to the members of Third Trinity. The question was deferred to the Easter Term.

At a meeting of the C.U.B.C. in October, 1869, an account of what had been done in improving the river was laid before the meeting. A sum of 3000 had been spent in dredging the river from Jesus Sluice to the railway bridge, a new railway bridge was to be built, and 1500 more was about to be spent on dredging the racing course. It was also proposed to cut through Grassy and Ditton Corners so as to leave no sharp corners in the course. Unfortunately sufficient money for carrying out this last improvement was not received, though it would have been of decided benefit to the rowing.

This term the C.U.B.C. asked for a poll tax of 1s. to provide a Challenge Cup, "the Granta," for eight-oared boats at the Lynn regatta, as it was believed that it would be to the advantage of Cambridge rowing if the best May boats were accustomed to row there. At this time the races were finished before the end of May, and there was ample time to prepare crews for the regatta at Lynn or Henley. It would seem that in 1879 the Cup was returned to the C.U.B.C., and it is now held by the head for the time being of the Lent Races.

1870

In February, 1870, the Club determined for the future to take in newspapers at the boathouse. Later, writing materials, books, and various athletic appliances were supplied, and generally efforts were made to use the rooms as a centre of social activity, at any rate during the afternoons. This remained the policy of the Club until compelled to give it up owing to the need for rigorous retrenchment of expenses.

The race with Oxford in 1870 ended in the victory of Cambridge, the first since 1861. It was largely due to the excellent work of J. H. D. Goldie of Eton and St John's, who stroked the boat. With that chivalry between the Universities which has always characterised these contests, the crew were coached by George Morrison of Oxford. According to the T.B.C. minutes "our crew this year was very much heavier and stronger than usual, and were treated somewhat differently from past years. Very hard work was done in the tub to get them together, and when they were together and went into the outrigger their work was much less. Hence they came to the post fit and well and were not over trained before leaving Cambridge, as has been usual in late years." The only T.B.C. representative in the boat was H. E. Gordon, the cox. To the general advantage a limit was fixed to the number of steamers following the race.

In the Easter Term, 1870, T.B.C. rowed head every night. At the end of the races, the first six boats were T.B.C., Lady Margaret, Third Trinity, Trinity Hall, Sidney, and T.B.C. 2nd; the T.B.C. boats finishing 1st, 6th, 17th, 24th, 36th, and 39th, the Second Trinity boats 18th and 38th, and the Third Trinity boats 3rd and 16th: boats lower than 30th rowing only in the Lent Term.

After the races the first boat entered for the Grand Challenge Cup at Lynn, and as the Lady Margaret boat, now second on the river and stroked by Goldie, also entered, the race was interesting. T.B.C. won by four lengths. At Henley the Diamonds were won by John B. Close, but the Club was not represented in any other event.

The lease of the boathouse ran out in the course of the Easter Term, 1870. There was a general feeling in the Club that it would be desirable to build a boathouse for itself, but pending further negotiations it was decided to renew the lease for another seven years.

The discussion on Second Trinity was again taken up in May, 1870, and the Secretary of the Club opened the subject by laying down the principle that it "would do good to 'varsity rowing in general if First Trinity lost its place as head," a proposition which did not commend itself to the Club. The matter was adjourned until June 2, and the officers undertook to circulate before then outlines of all practicable solutions which had been submitted to them. Accordingly before the meeting there were printed and distributed to the members outlines of six possible schemes, four resting on the hypothesis that Second Trinity could be kept going, and two concerned with the policy of T.B.C. if Second Trinity were dissolved.

Large numbers of past members came up for the discussion. The meeting decided unanimously that amalgamation was out of the question, as it might be held to destroy the continuity of the Club, and that even if Second Trinity were dissolved those members of it who wished to join First Trinity must pro forma be proposed, seconded, and balloted for, in the usual way. A proposal that First Trinity should for internal purposes divide itself into two sections, each of more manageable dimensions than the existing Club, also found no support. General hostility was also shown to any compulsory division between T.B.C. and Second Trinity of men in College whether by "sides," by alphabetical arrangement, by schools, or in any other way. In fact the meeting would agree to none of the schemes laid before it, and in effect decided that, while T.B.C. was willing to give any assistance it could to Second Trinity, it did not know of any practicable way of doing so. I believe however that the Club agreed to encourage the officers of Second Trinity to canvass freshmen who came up with no special connection with either club, and for the next few years Second Trinity succeeded in getting a sufficient entry each October to keep going.

The 1870 Cam railway bridge and an VIII coached from horseback
Railway Bridge across the Cam, built 1870

In the Michaelmas Term, 1870, the number of contributing members was 188, including 75 elected during the term; 36 members (active, honorary, and non-rowing) were also in residence. In the following term the Club appointed a permanent standing committee which could settle small affairs without reference to a general meeting. It was composed of all the officers, four to form a quorum. This saved much trouble and led to no abuses.

1871

In March, 1871, the Club went into the question of building a new boathouse, and decided to secure land and push the matter forward. A committee was appointed to prepare detailed plans. These plans were submitted on May 6, 1871, and adopted. As a result the Club secured a lease of a piece of ground for 40 years at a rent of 7 a year. As far as I can make out, the new house cost 632 and the furnishing and fittings 244. 15s. 7d. more. The Club found 229. 3s. 8d. out of its own funds, the Ball Fund provided 30, and the rest was covered by subscriptions.

The race with Oxford in 1871 resulted in another Cambridge victory. The T.B.C. representatives in the boat were John B. Close, H. J. Lomax, and H. E. Gordon (cox).

The new railway bridge was finished towards the end of 1870. A view of it is given on the opposite page. Owing to this improvement, it was possible in 1871 again to lengthen the racing course by moving the winning post for the top boats to the Horse Grind. Throughout the Easter Term, T.B.C. rowed head. At the close of the races, the first six boats were T.B.C., Lady Margaret, Third Trinity, Trinity Hall, Corpus, and T.B.C. 2nd; the T.B.C. boats finishing 1st, 6th, 12th, 27th, 34th, and 38th, the Second Trinity boats 13th and 37th, and the Third Trinity boats 3rd and 21st.

After these races, the Club entered for the new Granta Challenge Cup at Lynn. Lady Margaret whose boat was second on the river also entered. A good race ensued and towards the end the T.B.C. crew were leading by more than a length, when "a more than ordinary brilliant committee-man started a race of ships-boats from the other end" of the course. The T.B.C. cox saw them coming and managed to avoid them, but the Lady Margaret boat was fouled and severely damaged. The same two clubs competed for the Prince of Wales' Challenge Cup for Fours at this regatta; T.B.C. won with ease. At the same meeting, the Sandhurst Goblets for Pairs were won by John and James Close of T.B.C. The Club won the Visitors Cup at Henley, but was beaten in the races for the Ladies Plate and for the Silver Goblets for Pairs.

In the Michaelmas Term, 1871, the number of contributing members was 204, including 81 elected during the term; in addition 44 members (active, honorary, and non-rowing) were in residence. This term was the last spent by the Club in its old rooms. The building of the new boathouse was pushed forward rapidly, and before Christmas it was ready for the Club.

Chapter 8: 1872-1886

1872

In January, 1872, T.B.C. moved into its new boathouse. This may be taken to begin a fresh chapter in the history of the Club. A view of the house is given on the next page, but it should be noted that the shed shown on the right of the picture was not added till 1880. The old boathouse was let to Caius for the residue of the lease.

1st Trinity Boat Club's boathouse in 1872
T.B.C. Boathouse in and after 1872

Cambridge again won the boat race this year. The T.B.C. representatives in the crew were James B. Close, C. S. Read, and John B. Close. An unpleasant incident in the race was that the backstay of stroke's rowlock broke in half during the race, and there was a strong suspicion that it had been injured deliberately by a river tout. The crew this year were, however, so much better than their opponents that the accident did not affect the result. A somewhat similar incident occurred a year or two later when, just before the race, the Cambridge rudder was half sawn through. Since then both Clubs have their boats guarded.

In the Lent Term, 1872, so many members of T.B.C. wished to row that besides the boats racing in the second and third divisions the Club had four trial eights. In May, T.B.C. lost the headship which it had held for six years. Its boat rowed head for the first four nights, but on the last two evenings was bumped by the Lady Margaret and Jesus boats respectively, ending third. The bump on the last night was due to its running into the bank, but undoubtedly Jesus was the faster boat. The minutes note as a novelty the use of a rattle by Johnians on the banks. General pleasure was felt that Goldie, who had done so much for Cambridge rowing, was able to finish his career on the river by rowing head.

A new Johnian Club, the St John's College Boat Club, made its appearance in these races: it lasted till 1876. At the close of the races, the first six boats were Lady Margaret, Jesus, T.B.C., Third Trinity, T.B.C. 2nd, and Corpus; the T.B.C. boats finishing 3rd, 5th, 12th, 26th, 32nd, and 39th, the Second Trinity boats 11th and 33rd, and the Third Trinity boats 4th and 20th.

After the May races, the Club entered crews for the regatta at King's Lynn, and won the Granta Challenge Cup for Eights, the Prince of Wales' Prize for Fours, the Pairs, and the Sculls - a brilliant performance. The Club sent a four to Henley, and entered for the Visitors and Wyfold Cups, but was not successful in either race.

In the Michaelmas Term, 1872, the number of contributing members was 195, including 88 elected during the term; in addition 18 active honorary members and 16 non-rowing members were in residence. This term T.B.C. won the Fours very easily; it did not win them again until 1898. The Club representative, James B. Close, also won the Colquhouns: in the race a rudder was fixed to his funny, this was then a novelty.

During the term a fund was raised to commemorate the services of Goldie to the University. A considerable sum was collected, and it was at first proposed to spend the money on a bridge at Charon's, but the C.U.B.C. preferred other schemes, and proposed that a poll tax of 6s. 4d. a head should be raised to build the bridge, leaving open to what other object the Goldie subscriptions should be applied. T. B. C. agreed to this special tax, but other Colleges objected, and finally the proposal was abandoned.

1873

In the boat race in 1873 both crews used sliding seats: this was an innovation. Cambridge won. The T.B.C. representatives in the boat were James B. Close, J. E. Peabody, and C. S. Read. The introduction of sliding seats quickened the pace of the boats, but by introducing another factor which required constant attention, it increased the difficulty of mastering the art of rowing, and this tended to specialize the amusement still further. A good body swing, a powerful leg drive, and the ability to control the slide, are not only essentials, but must be combined in unison. The difficulty of getting a powerful leg drive when sitting on a moveable seat, and at the same time not allowing the slide to diminish the swing of the body, is considerable.

In the Lent races, 1873, C.U.B.C. decided that watermen should not be allowed to coach racing eights during the fortnight immediately preceding the races. In the following term the Club again recovered its position as head. "Our victory," says the Secretary, "was very popular, which is a rather marked change since last year." At the end of the races, the first six boats were T.B.C., Lady Margaret, Jesus, T.B.C. 2nd, Third Trinity, and Corpus; the T.B.C. boats finishing 1st, 4th, 13th, 21st, 33rd, and 35th, the Second Trinity boats 7th and 34th, and the Third Trinity boats 5th and 25th. The Club was not represented at Henley this year.

In the Michaelmas Term, 1873 the number of contributing members was 177, including 75 elected during the term; in addition 26 active honorary members and 25 non-rowing members were in residence. On sartorial matters the Club decided this term that the crew of the second boat might have their jerseys trimmed with a ribbon of white and blue striped: this is the existing rule.

1874

In 1874 Cambridge won the race with Oxford. The T.B.C. representatives in the crew were James B. Close, J. A. Aylmer, and C. S. Read. The boat built for the crew did not suit them, and they rowed in a boat lent by T.B.C. for the occasion.

In the races in 1874 the winning post for the first seven boats of each division was fixed at the Horse Grind and for the other boats at the Osier Beds, "contrary to expectation this system worked well." Throughout the races T.B.C. rowed head. The second boat finished third, for which the crew were given their oars. At the end of the races, the first six boats were T.B.C., Jesus, T.B.C. 2nd, Lady Margaret, Third Trinity, and Trinity Hall; the T.B.C. boats finishing 1st, 3rd, 7th, 17th, 22nd, and 32nd, the Second Trinity boats 8th and 36th, and the Third Trinity boats 5th and 26th. T.B.C. entered a crew for Henley this year, and won the Ladies Plate, but failed to carry off the Grand Challenge Cup.

In the Michaelmas Term, 1874, the number of contributing members was 198, including 85 elected during the term; in addition 29 active honorary members and 21 non-rowing members were in residence. The race for the Fours this term resulted in a dead heat between T.B.C. and Jesus.

1875

In the Inter-University race in 1875 a slide in the Cambridge boat broke one mile after the start, and Oxford won easily. The T.B.C. representatives in the boat were W. B. Close, G. C. Dicker, W. G. Michell, and J. A. Aylmer.

The bumping races in May, 1875, brought disasters on the Club. On the first night the T.B.C. first boat was bumped by Jesus, and on the second night was bumped by the T.B.C. second boat. It was not until 1898 that T.B.C. again rowed head. The rowing on the river this term was indifferent. At the close of the races, the first six boats were Jesus, T.B.C. 2nd, T.B.C. 1st, Third Trinity, Lady Margaret, and T.B.C. 3rd; the T.B.C. boats finishing 2nd, 3rd, 6th, 18th, 22nd, and 28th, the Second Trinity boats 9th and 39th, and the Third Trinity boats 4th and 24th. The Club entered at Henley for the Grand Challenge Cup, Ladies Plate, and Diamond Sculls, but failed to carry off any of them.

In the Michaelmas Term, 1875, the number of contributing members was 174; in addition 13 active honorary members and 16 non-rowing members were in residence. This term the C.U.B.C. raised the poll tax by 1s. a head. The expenses of the C.U.B.C. have always shown a tendency to increase, and the fact that it raises what it wishes by demand notes on the College Clubs does not tend to economy.

1876

In 1876, Cambridge won the boat race easily. The only T.B.C. representative in the boat was W. B. Close.

In the bumping races this year the T.B.C. first boat (which took the place of the second boat) rowed over second every night, while the second boat sank to the fifth place. At the end of the races, the first six boats were Jesus, T.B.C., Third Trinity, Lady Margaret, T.B.C. 2nd, and T.B.C. 3rd; the T.B.C. boats finishing 2nd, 5th, 6th, 16th, 31st and 34th, the Second Trinity boats 14th and 41st, and the Third Trinity boats 3rd, 22nd, and 40th. This year the course for the "getting on" races was shortened. Except in the races for the Silver Goblets and Diamond Sculls, the Club was not represented at Henley this year.

In the summer, the Club sent a four to race at the Centennial regatta at Philadelphia, U.S.A. The C.U.B.C. had in October declined an invitation there, but a desire was expressed that Cambridge should be represented, and some pressure was put on T.B.C. to send a boat. It was an unfortunate experience. The crew were uncomfortable in their surroundings, the arrangements were different from those customary at English regattas for amateurs, the heat was great, and finally the men suffered from malaria. In the most important race one of the crew fainted, and all were glad to get away to a more temperate climate. A curious echo of this visit is to be found in a vote in the following year of 22 from the Club funds in order to patent a rowlock made from a design brought to the notice of the crew in America. I believe the patent was of no use.

In the Michaelmas Term, 1876, there were in residence 205 contributing members, including 85 elected during the term. The complete list of active honorary members is not given.

This term the protracted discussions on Second Trinity came to an end. Its numbers had fallen so low in the Easter Term that there was considerable difficulty in finding members to man its boats on the river; and in fact its first boat sank to last but one in the first division, St Catharine's being the only boat below it, and its second boat sank to the bottom of the third division. At Michaelmas some of these men had gone down, and the Club determined to dissolve. T.B.C. now offered to accept, subject to a formal election, all individual undergraduate members of Second Trinity, and to exempt them from payment of the usual entrance fee. Five men joined at once, and one joined a year or two later. I do not know whether there were any other undergraduate members; there were some graduates, but the offer of T.B.C. did not extend to taking them. I have been unable to discover what was done with the Second Trinity books.

To finish the story I may add that Second Trinity owned two challenge prizes, which it desired to hand to T.B.C.: these were the Baines Cup and the Dodington Oars held respectively by winners of sculling and pair-oared races. First Trinity gratefully accepted the offer, and decided to assign the Baines Cup for a sculling race open to all members of the Club except former winners of the Macnaghten or Colquhoun Sculls; and the Dodington Oars for a pair-oared race open to all pairs except former winners of the Wyatt or Magdalene Pairs, provided the approval of the original donors was obtained. This approval was given, votes of thanks to the donors were passed, and they were elected honorary members of T.B.C. A list of the subsequent winners is given in chapter XI.

No record exists in the T.B.C. books of those members of Second Trinity who won the Dodington Oars before they were handed to T.B.C. From the inscriptions on the stand of the Baines Cup it would seem that it had been won in 1858 by Oswald Smith, in 1859 by A. Moody, in 1860 by T. M. Dodington, in 1861 by R. M. Hensley, in 1862 by G. Crewdson, in 1863 by E. Morris, in 1864 by A. Cockshott, in 1865 by R. Johnstone, in 1866 by O. Airy, in 1867 by C. Colbeck, in 1868 by W. Knight, in 1869 by H. G. S. Smith, in 1871 by E. A. A. Spencer, in 1872 by C. E. Jolliffe, in 1873 by S. A. Saunder, in 1874 by F. T. Swanwick, and in 1875 by C. Macmichael.

1877

The result of the Oxford and Cambridge race in 1877 was given as a dead heat; the Oxford bow damaged his oar shortly before the finish, and but for this Oxford would have won. The T.B.C. representatives in the boat were J. C. Fenn and W. B. Close.

The year 1877 was disastrous to the fortunes of T.B.C., the first boat going down to sixth on the river - lower than which it has never rowed. Jesus rowed head, and continued to hold the place of honour for ten years. Caius finished second, having in the races of 1876 and 1877 made 13 bumps from the position of sandwich boat. At the end of the races, the first six boats were Jesus, Caius, Lady Margaret, Third Trinity, Trinity Hall, and T.B.C.; the T.B.C. boats finishing 6th, 7th, 10th, 17th, 26th, and 29th, and the Third Trinity boats finishing 4th, 28th, and 37th. Notwithstanding its ill success on the Cam the Club sent a four to Henley to compete for the Visitors Cup. It was not successful.

In the Michaelmas Term, 1877, the number of contributing members was 192, including 74 elected during the term; the number of honorary members in residence is not known.

Oxford won the Inter-University race in 1878 by no less than 12 lengths. The only T.B.C. representative in the boat was T. W. Barker.

1878

In the races in 1878 T.B.C. went up to fourth and the Club's fourth boat rowed head of the second division, so the average performance was not bad. The account of the racing is followed in the minute-book by a long disquisition on Cambridge and T.B.C. rowing. In these races Magdalene went down to the third division, but as one of the University crew had been taken out of it, it was allowed to row in the May races at the bottom of the second division. At the close of the races, the first six boats were Jesus, Caius, Lady Margaret, T.B.C., Third Trinity, and Trinity Hall; the T.B.C. boats finishing 4th, 8th, 9th, 16th, 22nd, and 30th, and the Third Trinity boats 5th, 18th, and 38th.

Hitherto the Treasurer of the Club had been an undergraduate who usually held the post for only one year. At the end of the Easter Term, 1878, the Club altered its policy in this respect, and appointed as Treasurer one of the Dons, who might be expected to hold office for a longer period and to introduce greater continuity into its financial working.

At Henley the Club entered for the Ladies Plate and the Diamonds, but failed to carry off either event. The expenses however were heavy, and to assist in paying these it was agreed in the following term to impose on all second and third year men an additional subscription of 6s. and on all freshmen an additional entrance fee of 1. 1s. 0d.

In the Michaelmas Term, 1878, 69 new members were elected. The Club now took up the question of providing a sinking fund to meet the expenses which would have to be faced at the expiration of the lease of the ground on which the new boathouse was erected. To enable the Club to make due provision for its needs then, it was decided to take out, at an annual cost of 18, two policies of assurance for 1124 due in 1911. As a matter of fact the Club was able to buy the freehold in 1897, and the policies were sold before their maturity.

The river had again got in a bad condition and it was reported at a meeting of the C.U.B.C. in November that it was useless to dredge it further until the sewage of the town was diverted. Steps to procure this were initiated, but several years elapsed before the work was undertaken. The poll tax for this year was fixed at 4s. 6d. for full-subscribing members of College Clubs, and 3s. for part-subscribing members.

1879

Cambridge won the boat race in 1879. The T.B.C. representatives in the boat were A. H. S. Bird and R. D. Davis (stroke).

The bumping races in 1879 were again unfavourable to the Club. The first boat rowed over each night. All the others went down. At the end of the races, the first six boats were Jesus, Lady Margaret, Caius, T.B.C., Third Trinity, and Trinity Hall; the T.B.C. boats finishing 4th, 9th, 13th, 23rd, 29th, and 32nd, and the Third Trinity boats 5th, 16th, and 35th. In June there were 165 contributing members in residence, including 32 who resigned at the end of this term or perhaps earlier in the year; in addition there were 6 active honorary members and 13 non-rowing members. This year T.B.C. sent a four to Henley to compete for the Stewards and Visitors Cups, but without success.

In the Michaelmas Term, 1879, 51 freshmen were elected. The C.U.B.C, was desirous of building a boathouse for itself with the money collected for a memorial of Goldie's services, and asked the subscribers leave to do this. Assent was given, though I understand with reluctance on the part of some contributors. The work was taken in hand at once. The C.U.B.C. also now assigned the Granta Challenge Cup to be held in future by the head of the Lent Races. During the latter part of the term there was a severe frost which put a stop to rowing. At the final terminal meeting of T.B.C. no one appeared but the Captains, who at once re-elected themselves for the ensuing term, and skated away.

1880

Oxford won the boat race in 1880 by 4 lengths. The only T.B.C. representative in the boat was R. D. Davis.

In the races in 1880 the T.B.C. rowing showed an improvement over that of the last few years and its first boat went up to third on the river. At the close of the races, the first six boats were Jesus, Caius, T.B.C., Trinity Hall, Lady Margaret, and Third Trinity; the T.B.C. boats finishing 3rd, 7th, 11th, 22nd, 30th, and 35th, and the Third Trinity boats 6th, 13th, and 33rd.

In the Easter Term the Club added to the boathouse a shed for use as a workshop. This is shown on the right-hand side of the view on page 116. At the end of the term, there were 195 contributing members in residence; there were also 5 non-rowing members. The Club was not represented at Henley this year.

In the Michaelmas Term, 1880, 157 contributing members were in residence, including 80 elected during the term. During the term the Club discussed the position occupied by its boats, and requested its officers to consider whether freshmen were taught on the best lines, and in particular whether they should not have more practice in tub pairs before being placed in eights.

1881

Oxford won the boat race in 1881. There was no representative of T.B.C. in the crew.

In the Lent Term, 1881, the Ball Fund transferred 50 from its accumulated profits to the general funds of the Club. In later years the Club could not have struggled on save for grants of this kind. The Club was rather cramped for space on the ground occupied by the boathouse, and it now secured an additional width of 20 feet at an increased rent of 1 a year.

This term the C.U.B.C. - practically at the suggestion of the University authorities agreed that after 1882 the Easter Term races should be shifted from May to June so as not to interfere with University examinations. In the races T.B.C. went up to second. At their close, the first six boats on the river were Jesus, T.B.C., Trinity Hall, Lady Margaret, Caius, and Third Trinity; the T.B.C. boats finishing 2nd, 8th, 15th, 23rd, 31st, and 38th, and the Third Trinity boats 6th, 13th, and 33rd. Encouraged by this success the Club entered at Henley for the Ladies Plate and the Visitors Cup - winning both events. In October the C.U.B.C. formally congratulated the Club on their victories which were described as "the one redeeming point in the athletics of this University during the past year."

In the Michaelmas Term, 1881, 74 new members were elected. T.B.C., as usual, entered for the Fours, but was beaten in the final by Jesus. The boat was within 20 yards of the finish and believed to be on the point of winning when one of the crew fainted. The officers had taken the hint given in 1880 and devoted much attention to teaching freshmen. The good results had been shown in the races in 1881. This term, with a view of encouraging freshmen, races for them in tub pairs were started: there were 23 entries. Similar races were held in subsequent years. The improvement in the T.B.C. rowing was shown by the fact that half the men selected for the University trial eights belonged to the Club.

1882

In 1882 Oxford again won the boat race. The T.B.C. representatives in the boat were J. C. Fellowes and S. P. Smith (stroke). The Cambridge style of rowing was open to criticism in various respects.

In the Easter Term races in 1882 T.B.C. got to within feet of Jesus but failed to bump, and the Club had to be content with still rowing second. At the end of the races, the first six boats were Jesus, T.B.C., Trinity Hall 1st, Third Trinity, Lady Margaret, and Trinity Hall 2nd; the T.B.C. boats finishing 2nd, 9th, 16th, 24th, 27th, and 37th, and the Third Trinity boats 4th, 14th, and 36th. The account of these races in the minute book is followed by a long critique by R. C. Lehmann on them. After the races "the customary cricket match" between First Trinity and Third Trinity, which had been discontinued for a year or two, took place. It was easily won by T.B.C. This term there were in residence 177 contributing members, including 28 who resigned at its end or perhaps earlier in the year.

It was thought that the performance of the first boat was sufficient to justify entering at Henley for the Grand Challenge Cup, the Ladies Plate, the Visitors Cup, and the Wyfold Cup, but the Club was not successful; in fact the Wyfold was the only event which any Cambridge crew won.

In the Michaelmas Term, 1882, 81 new members were elected. The Club rooms were improved in various ways - more newspapers taken in, writing tables and note-paper provided, and even single-sticks and boxing gloves supplied to amuse those waiting to be tubbed.

This term the Club was asked by the C.U.B.C. to make some exceptional payments. In the first place it was alleged that the C.U.B.C. had been misled as to the boundary of the T.B.C. ground, and the latter Club was asked to pay compensation for expenditure incurred in consequence of the error. I believe that this demand was equitable, although the Club may not have been legally liable. In the second place it seems that some members of T.B.C. had in 1880 promised 70 towards the new Goldie boathouse. It does not appear that T.B.C. was responsible for these individual promises, but the C.U.B.C. considered that First Trinity was bound to collect the subscriptions. A good deal of correspondence ensued. The senior members of the Club urged that the University Boat Club should be referred to those who had made the promises, but they were overruled, and finally T.B.C. made good the money.

1883

In 1883 Oxford again won the boat race. The only T.B.C. representative in the crew was F. W. Fox.

In the Lent races, 1883, a Selwyn boat made its first appearance on the river. In the Easter Term races - now held in June instead of in May - T.B.C. were bumped by Trinity Hall, thus sinking to the third place. The minutes complain that not much interest was now felt in the College about rowing - other amusements being more popular. At the close of the races, the first six boats were Jesus, Trinity Hall, T.B.C., Third Trinity, Lady Margaret, and Pembroke; the T.B.C. boats finishing 3rd, 9th, 20th, 29th, 32nd, and 38th, and the Third Trinity boats 4th, 18th, and 40th. The result did not justify sending a crew to Henley. The customary cricket match between First and Third Trinity was won by the latter club by one run. There were 209 contributing members in residence in June.

In the Michaelmas Term, 1883, 92 new members were elected, including Prince Edward of Wales, and 66 second and third year active members were in residence; there were also in residence 16 non-rowing members. In this term Cups for a boxing competition at the boathouse were presented, but no record of the contests has been preserved.

1884

Cambridge won the boat race in 1884. There was no representative of T.B.C. in the crew.

In the bumping races in 1884, T.B.C. went down again, sinking to fifth on the river. At the close of the races, the first six boats were Jesus, Trinity Hall, Third Trinity, Pembroke, T.B.C., and Lady Margaret; the T.B.C. boats finishing 5th, 9th, 15th, 26th, 31st, and 39th, and the Third Trinity boats 3rd, 22nd, and 44th. In these races the Pembroke boat used long slides. This proved an advantage to them, and following this example most boats considerably lengthened the slides in use, but ultimately about 26 inches became the normal length of the slides used. The Club was not represented at Henley this year. In July a T.B.C. four entered for the Bedford Regatta, but though successful in the preliminary heats, it failed to carry off a prize.

In the Michaelmas Term, 1884, 77 new members were elected. The Club had been in debt for some time, but, owing to various economies and the considerable number of members now generally in residence, it was able to clear off its liabilities, and it commenced the year with a credit balance.

1885

In 1885 Oxford won the boat race. The T.B.C. representatives in the boat were W. H. W. Perrott and G. Wilson (cox).

In the Easter Term, 1885, there were in residence 166 subscribing members. In the races T.B.C. rowed over fifth every night. At the conclusion of the races, the first six boats were Jesus, Trinity Hall, Third Trinity, Pembroke, T.B.C., and Caius; the T.B.C. boats finishing 5th, 8th, 15th, 23rd, 35th, and 37th, and the Third Trinity boats 3rd and 25th. After the races a four was sent to Henley and entered for the Visitors Cup but failed to carry it off.

In the Michaelmas Term, 1885, 79 new members were elected. Though not overburdened with wealth, the Financial position of the Club was sound. In the races for the Fours this term the T.B.C. boat had the bad luck to break an oar when rowing against Third Trinity, the winners. According to the minutes the Club would have been likely, but for this, to have won the event. In November, 1885, the C.U.B.C. decided to raise its income by a percentage on the annual income of each Club, instead of by a poll tax.

1886

The race with Oxford in 1886 was won by Cambridge. There was no representative of T.B.C. in the boat.

In the Easter Term, 1886, there were in residence 155 members. In the races this term Jesus lost the position of head of the river which it had held for ten years - going down to fourth. On the last night of the races T.B.C. were bumped, going down to the sixth place. At the end of the races, the first six boats were Trinity Hall, Third Trinity, Pembroke, Jesus, Clare, and T.B.C.; the T.B.C. boats finishing 6th, 13th, 16th, 22nd, 33rd, and 35th, and the Third Trinity boats 2nd and 29th. In spite of its misfortune in the races the Club entered a four for the Stewards and Visitors Cups at Henley; it won the latter cup, but lost the race for the former. T.B.C. was also represented in the race for the Diamonds, but without success.

In June F. I. Pitman of Third Trinity, President of the C.U.B.C., brought forward proposals for altering the system on which the boat races were conducted. Hitherto the sandwich boats had provided ladders from each division to the one above it; the first and second divisions rowing in racing boats in the Easter Term, and the second and third divisions in clinker-built boats in the Lent Term. One effect of these rules was that some of the smaller clubs might be unrepresented in the Easter Term races, and thus might have no opportunity of rowing on sliding seats in racing boats. These were real evils, and to obviate them it was suggested that the Lent and Easter races should be made wholly distinct, and every Club should be given a right to be represented in the races in each term. The changes were approved, and 1886 was the last year in which racing took place under the old conditions.

Chapter 9: 1886-1897

1887

The new system of conducting the bumping races came into force in 1887. Under this scheme the races in the Lent Term and those in the Easter Term were made distinct affairs - the Lent boats retaining their relative positions at the end of one set of races until the following Lent Term, and so too the Easter boats. In each term the boats (31 in the Lent and 30 in the Easter Term) were arranged in two divisions, with a sandwich boat. The races in the Lent Term were to be in clinker-built boats, those in the Easter Term to be in boats with sliding seats - the boats being light or tubs according as they were in the first or second division. Further, it was agreed that anyone who had rowed in the first division in the Easter Term should not be permitted to row in the following Lent Term; this rule was modified more than once in subsequent years. In each term, each division rowed for four nights.

To allow for the representation of every Club in both sets of races, one or two of the larger Clubs had to alter the position of their lower boats, or move them to other divisions, but on the whole there was little or no friction in introducing the scheme. Generally the first and second boats of a Club became the first and second boats in the Easter Term races, and the second and third boats became the first and second boats of the Lent Term races.

At the same time as these changes were introduced, and to give facilities for learning the use of sliding seats, races for clinker-built sliding-seat fours were introduced. These races were held in the Michaelmas Term, 1886, at the same time as the races for light fours. In 1888 the regulations about these races were recast and made more definite.

About this time Cambridge rowing was of a high character, and several first rate oars were produced. In particular the art of leg driving, combined with a good body swing and control of the slide, was excellently taught.

In the Michaelmas Term, 1886, T.B.C. elected 65 new members. In the first of the races under the new conditions in the following Lent Term the Club put on a fifth Lent boat. At the close of the races, the first six boats were Corpus, Jesus, Lady Margaret, T.B.C., Caius, and T.B.C. 2nd; the T.B.C. boats finishing 4th, 6th, 16th, 23rd, and 28th, and the Third Trinity boat 11th.

This year, 1887, Cambridge again won the boat race - probably on their merits, but the race was spoilt by one of the Oxford crew breaking his oar near the finish. There was no representative of T.B.C. in the boat.

In the June races T.B.C. went up to fifth on the river. At their close, the first six boats were Trinity Hall, Third Trinity, Pembroke, Jesus, T.B.C., and Trinity Hall 2nd. All three T.B.C. boats were in the first division, finishing 5th, 13gth, and 14th, while the Third Trinity boat finished 2nd. At the end of the term there were 170 members in residence.

The Club regarded these races as having been sufficiently successful to justify sending crews to Henley to enter for the Ladies Plate and the Visitors Cup. They failed however to win either event. The regatta was notable for the success of the Trinity Hall Boat Club, which carried off the Grand Challenge Cup, the Ladies Plate, and the Thames, Stewards, and Visitors Cups.

In the Michaelmas Term, 1887, 58 new members were elected. This term for the second time in its history T.B.C. was not represented in the races for the Fours, but this was due to an accident to one of the crew just before the races began.

1888

In the first two days of the Lent races, 1888, T.B.C. went up two places. The third day was the occasion of a sad tragedy. Clare bumped Queens', and drew into the bank by Grassy. Behind these boats was the Trinity Hall third boat. This, instead of rounding First Post Corner, ran, by some mishap, across the river, and the nose of the boat struck number 4 in the Clare boat just over his heart, killing him on the spot. The further races were at once stopped. Since this dreadful incident small india-rubber knobs have been fixed on the bows of all the racing boats. At the end of the races, the first six boats were Jesus, T.B.C., Corpus, Lady Margaret, Caius, and T.B.C. 2nd; the T.B.C. boats finishing 2nd, 6th, 16th, and 22nd, and the Third Trinity boat 10th.

Cambridge won the boat race this year. The only T.B.C. representative in the crew was R. H. P. Orde.

In the June races, the Club went up to fourth on the river. At their close, the first six boats were Trinity Hall, Third Trinity, Pembroke, T.B.C., Caius, and Jesus; the T.B.C. boats finishing 4th, 9th, 14th, and the Third Trinity boat 2nd. At the end of the term there were 125 members in residence - a drop from the number then usual. The procession after the races had for the last few years been somewhat disorderly, boats being sometimes upset, and much confusion introduced. It was proposed this term that it should be discontinued, but finally it was agreed merely to require for the future strict observance of the existing rules, and to impose a heavy fine for upsetting boats. This year the Club entered at Henley for the Ladies Plate and the Wyfold Cup, but was not successful.

In the Michaelmas Term, 1888, there were 126 contributing members in residence, including 62 elected during the term. This showed a falling off in the numbers usual a few years before, largely due to the increasing interest taken in football, hockey, and other field games of the kind. The annual expenses of the Club at this time rather exceeded 600 a year, and had been framed on the basis of an average entry of freshmen of 70 or 80 or thereabouts, and an average number of at least 170 or 180 subscribing members. In 1883 the receipts had been about 720 a year, which gave a margin for buying new boats or sending crews to Henley. The receipts had however now sunk to 525 a year, and as it was impossible to cut down expenses in the same proportion, the financial position began to cause anxiety.

This term again T.B.C. was not represented in the race for the Fours. Trinity Hall won it in the then record time of 10 min. 181/2 sec. Freshmen's trial eights were re-introduced this term, no doubt with the object of popularizing rowing among those who had joined the Club. It was also decided to form a football eight for the Lent Races, and to exempt those who rowed in it from the entrance fee and from all subscriptions except that for the term in which they rowed.

1889

In the Lent Term, 1889, I note as a change of custom that training breakfasts were provided in Hall, whereas formerly the men in each crew usually breakfasted in turn with one another. I also observe in the minutes of the C.U.B.C. that the getting on races were described by the adjective "slogger" - an interesting echo of the language of a previous generation. The T.B.C. boats were far from successful in the Lent races, their misfortunes being partly due to illnesses. At the close of the races, the first six boats were Lady Margaret, Corpus, Trinity Hall, Jesus, T.B.C., and Caius; the T.B.C. boats finishing 5th, 8th, 20th, and 26th, and the Third Trinity boat 9th.

Cambridge again won the boat race this year. The only T.B.C. representative in the boat was R. H. P. Orde. Except for the cox, the crew were exactly the same as in 1888, and mostly composed of senior men.

In the June races T.B.C. went up to second place. At their close, the first six boats were Third Trinity, T.B.C., Trinity Hall, Pembroke, Caius, and Jesus; the T.B.C. boats finishing 2nd, 13th, and 18th, and the Third Trinity boat 1st. The successes of Third and First Trinity were properly celebrated by a joint bump supper held in Hall, and the subsequent letting off of 40 of fireworks in the Backs; for further particulars of which the reader may consult the columns of the Granta. The boat procession after the races was conducted in a more orderly manner than had been the case in recent years, but its management was still open to criticism, and in many cases the dress was slovenly, the crews not appearing in proper uniform. Visitors found it picturesque, but the interest of boating men in the affair was waning. At Henley the Club tried to carry off the Ladies Plate and Thames Cup but failed. It also failed to win the Grand Cup at the Marlow regatta.

In the Michaelmas Term, 1889, 80 new members were elected. In the Fours, T.B.C. had the bad luck to break a slide in the middle of the race.

1890

In the Lent Races, 1890, the T.B.C. boats were again unsuccessful on the whole. At the end of the races, the first six boats were Trinity Hall, Lady Margaret, Jesus, Corpus, T.B.C., and Third Trinity; the T.B.C. boats finishing 5th, 12th, 24th, and 28th, and the Third Trinity boat 6th. At the end of this term there were 147 contributing members in residence.

At this time the undergraduate world was much exercised over the question of giving Blues, and this term a permanent committee consisting of the Presidents or Captains of the University Boat, Cricket, Athletic, and two Football Clubs was formed under the chairmanship of the President of the C.U.B.C. to settle all applications of the kind. This was a happy solution of the difficulty.

Oxford won the boat race in 1890. There was no representative of T.B.C. in the crew. This was the first of another series of nine consecutive victories by Oxford. In these races the Oxford crews were on the whole better than their opponents, but Cambridge turned out some good boats, and once or twice had rather hard luck in losing. There was no controversy as to the best style of rowing - in this differing from the period 1861 to 1869 - but during most of the time, attention at Cambridge was concentrated on securing a powerful leg drive, and the body swing was indifferent. Unfortunately the issue was complicated by personal questions. This did not tend to make things run more easily in selecting and training crews. I content myself with a bare allusion to the fact.

In the June races, 1890, T.B.C. sank to fourth place. At their close, the first six boats were Trinity Hall, Third Trinity, Pembroke, T.B.C., Caius, and Emmanuel; the T.B.C. boats finishing 4th, 15th, and 19th, and the Third Trinity boat 2nd.

After the races a regatta was held in the King's Backs by T.B.C., Third Trinity, and King's, jointly. The events comprised single and double canoe races, tugs of war, obstacle races, blindfold races, &c. It was a distinct success. Similar regattas were held for the next year or two, and it is to be regretted that they were allowed to disappear. The Club was not represented at Henley this year.

In the Michaelmas Term, 1890, the number of contributing members was 160, including 57 elected during the term. This term T.B.C. again did not enter for the Fours. A crew had been made up, but it turned out indifferent, and the entry was withdrawn.

1891

In the Lent races, 1891, the first boat went up to second - a welcome change from the low position it had too long occupied. At the end of the races, the first six boats were Corpus, T.B.C., Lady Margaret, Third Trinity, Trinity Hall, and Pembroke; the T.B.C. boats finishing 2nd, 14th, and 23rd, and the Third Trinity boat 4th.

The boat race this year was again won by Oxford. There was no representative of T.B.C. in the boat.

In June, 1891, T.B.C. went up to second on the river. At the conclusion of the races, the first six boats were Trinity Hal], T.B.C., Third Trinity, Pembroke, Emmanuel, and Caius; the T.B.C. boats finishing 2nd, 13th, and 20th, and the Third Trinity boat 3rd. The Club entered crews at Henley for the Ladies Plate and Visitors Cup. It was unsuccessful in the race for the Ladies, and withdrew its entry for the Visitors.

In the Michaelmas Term, 1891, 60 new members were elected, but the total number of members in residence is not stated. Here, and in similar cases in the following years, the numbers might, perhaps, be determined by analysing the Treasurer's books, were it worth the very considerable trouble that would be involved. This term the Club tried a new system of selecting crews for the Senior Trials and Freshmen's Trials, which on the whole worked well.

1892

In the Lent Term, 1892 all the T.B.C. boats went up - a satisfactory feature. The success of the first boat was largely due to the labours of James B. Close, who came into residence, and devoted himself to coaching it. At last T.B.C. ended head of the Lents. At the close of the races, the first six boats were T.B.C., Pembroke, Corpus, Lady Margaret, Jesus, and Third Trinity; the T.B.C. boats finishing 1st, 10th, 21st, and 26th, and the Third Trinity boat 6th.

Oxford won the boat race in 1892 with the utmost ease. The only Trinity representative in the boat was G. C. Kerr. The constitution and training of the crew were much criticized.

Throughout the June races, 1892, the T.B.C. first boat rowed over second, but the second and third boats went up. A sad accident occurred on the first night of these races. A Christ's man who was walking down the river to see them being struck by lightning and killed. At the end of the races, the first six boats were Trinity Hall, T.B.C., Third Trinity, Trinity Hall 2nd, Pembroke, and Lady Margaret; the T.B.C. boats finishing 2nd, 9th, and 17th, and the Third Trinity boat 3rd. This appears to have been the last year in which the procession after the races took place - it was coeval with the establishment of bumping races on the river, and its discontinuance caused a great deal of regret. The Club sent an eight to Henley and won the Ladies Plate. A boat was also entered for the Grand Challenge Cup, but failed to carry it off.

The number of members in residence during the year 1902-3 [1892-3] is not stated in the Club books.

1893

In the Lent Races, 1893, the Club rowed head every night. At their close, the first six boats were T.B.C., Jesus, Pembroke, Trinity Hall, Lady Margaret, and Caius; the T.B.C. boats finishing 1st, 8th, 19th, and 25th, and the Third Trinity boat 10th. The Secretary concludes his account of these races with the remark that the crews of the four T.B.C. boats included nine scholars of the College.

Oxford again won the boat race this year, 1893. The T.B.C. representatives in the crew were G. A. H. Branson, L. A. E. Ollivant, and G. C. Kerr.

In the June races, 1893, the first boat rowed over second throughout the races. It was coached by R. C. Lehmann. The second boat was coached by James B. Close. At the close of the races, the first six boats were Trinity Hall, T.B.C., Third Trinity, Lady Margaret, T.B.C. 2nd, and Trinity Hall 2nd; the T.B.C. boats finishing 2nd, 5th, 15th, and the Third Trinity boat 3rd. The subsequent Ball was held this year in College, and was a brilliant success. It was given jointly by First and Third Trinity; this was a new departure, hitherto the Ball had been given only by T.B.C.

The meeting for the annual election of officers in June, 1893 had to settle a novel and very important question of policy, namely, whether the practical control of the Club should be put into the hands of an able and experienced member who had gone down many years before, or be left, practically as well as nominally, in the hands of undergraduate officers. The Club decided on the latter policy, though only by a small majority. In this decision it echoed the general opinion that it is better that a boat club which exists chiefly for undergraduates should be run by the members themselves as far as possible, even though this may lead to occasional mistakes. James B. Close, however, became for the next few years the permanent adviser of the Officers, and the policy of the Club on rowing matters was largely guided by him, while he took endless trouble in coaching the boats.

The Club sent two crews to Henley which entered for the Grand Challenge, Ladies Plate, and Visitors Cup, but failed to carry off any of them.

In the Michaelmas Term, 1893, there were in residence 160 active members including those elected this term; 3 active honorary members were also in residence. This year the tradition that the University trial eights should be rowed in heavy boats was abandoned, and the race was rowed in ordinary clinker-built eights.

1894

Throughout the Lent races, 1894, T.B.C. kept head easily. In these races the Club put on a fifth boat. At their close, the first six boats were T.B.C., Trinity Hall, Jesus, Pembroke, Caius, and Pembroke 2nd; the T.B.C. boats finishing 1st, 9th, 20th, 27th, and 28th, and the Third Trinity boat 11th.

In 1894 Oxford again won the boat race. The only T.B.C. representative in the boat was L. A. E. Ollivant. The constitution of the crew and its style of rowing were again bitterly criticized in Cambridge, and at any rate the result did not justify the style. An unpleasant controversy ensued. The final upshot was that in April the C.U.B.C. paid James B. Close the unprecedented compliment of asking him to take the Presidency for the ensuing year, notwithstanding the fact that he had come up as an undergraduate as long before as 1870.

In the June races, 1894, T.B.C. rowed over second every night. On the last day of the races, say the minutes, "the Mathematical Tripos list came out in which it appeared that No. 6 of the First Trinity first May boat and No. 6 of the First Trinity second Lent boat were bracketed Senior Wrangler." These were W. S. Adie and W. F. Sedgwick. This term a few men in Trinity organized themselves into a new club to which they gave the name of Second Trinity, and claimed a right to row in the races as a representative club, arguing that the new club was as much entitled to that privilege as First Trinity, or Third Trinity. The C.U.B.C. decided that it was not a representative club within the meaning of the rules, but was a new club which must compete, in the getting on races, for the right to row, and, if successful, must start at the bottom of the river. This the Club did, and it successively bumped Magdalene, the Non-Colls., Downing, and Peterhouse; it was dissolved at the end of the year. At the end of the races, the first six boats were Trinity Hall, T.B.C., Third Trinity, T.B.C. 2nd, Lady Margaret, and Emmanuel; the T.B.C. boats finishing 2nd, 4th, and 13th, and the Third Trinity boat 3rd. The Club entered at Henley for the Ladies Plate and the Thames Cup, but failed to win either.

In this term a new University event was started on the river for a double sculling race. The winners for the time being hold the Lowe Challenge Double Sculls given to the Lady Margaret Boat Club by the will of F. J. Lowe (B.A. 1874), and offered by that club for open competition.

The number of members in residence during the year 1894-5 is not stated in the club books.

1895

In the Lent Term, 1895, there were seven weeks of severe frost. The Cam was frozen over, and there was skating from Cambridge to Ely. The Lent races were abandoned. An extraordinary proposal was brought before the Club that members of each boat should wear numbers on their hats or some other distinctive marks to show the boats to which they belonged. This was decisively rejected.

Oxford again won the boat race, the T.B.C. representatives in the boat were H. A. Game and W. S. Adie.

The Secretary omitted to record anything that happened this year after the end of the Lent Term, though he left ten and a half blank pages in the minute book, apparently in the expectation - unfulfilled - that somebody would write them up. It appears however that in the June races, 1895, T.B.C. rowed second each night. At their close, the first six boats were Trinity Hall, T.B.C., Third Trinity, Lady Margaret, T.B.C. 2nd, and Emmanuel; the T.B.C. boats finishing 2nd, 5th, and 14th, and the Third Trinity boat 3rd. The Club sent a four to Henley, which entered for the Visitors and Wyfold Cups, but failed to win either event.

Towards the end of 1895 an opportunity occurred of buying the ground-rent charged on the boathouse, and the reversion at the end of the lease, for a sum of 800. Although the terms were rather high they were not unreasonable, and the Club determined to buy. The purchase was not completed until 1897, and the property was then conveyed to the College as trustees for the Club. Repairs and alterations costing another 200 were effected, so that a total sum of 1000 had to be raised. Towards this about 500 was received from subscriptions and miscellaneous sources, and a sum of 500 was borrowed from the bank on the security of the policies, that being then their full surrender value. Thus the Club owned its own boathouse, though it had to pay 20 a year interest on the loan. Of course it also had to pay the premiums of 18 a year to keep up the policies, but this was really of the nature of an investment.

The number of members in residence during the year 1895-6 is not stated in the Club books.

1896

In the Lent Term, 1896, the Club rowed over head every night. At the end of the races, the first six boats were T.B.C., Trinity Hall, Jesus, Lady Margaret, Pembroke 1st, and Pembroke 2nd; the T.B.C. boats finishing 1st, 11th, 17th, and 27th, and the Third Trinity boat 15th.

Oxford again won the boat race in 1896. The only T.B.C representative in the crew was H. A. Game.

In the June races, 1896, T.B.C. had the fastest boat on the river, but it was not good enough to bump Trinity Hall, and the crew had to content themselves with rowing over second. At the end of the races, the first six boats were Trinity Hall, T.B.C., Lady Margaret, Emmanuel, Third Trinity, and T.B.C. 2nd; the T.B.C. boats finishing 1st, 6th, and 14th, and the Third Trinity boat 5th. The annual Ball was again held in College. The Club entered at Henley for the Grand Challenge Cup but failed to win it.

The number of members in residence during the year 1896-7 is not stated in the Club books.

1897

In the Lent races, 1897, T.B.C. lost the headship of the Lents, going down to second place. At the close of the races, the first six boats were Lady Margaret, T.B.C., Trinity Hall, King's, Pembroke, and Caius; the T.B.C. boats finishing 2nd, 9th, 21st, and 23rd, and the Third Trinity boat 12th.

Oxford again won the boat race this year, 1897. There was no representative of T.B.C. in the crew.

In the June races, 1897, the T.B.C. boats were far from successful, the first boat being bumped twice, and the second boat going down every night. At the conclusion of the races, the first six boats were Trinity Hall, Emmanuel, Third Trinity, T.B.C., Lady Margaret, and Caius; the T.B.C. boats finishing 4th, 10th, and 14th, and the Third Trinity boat 3rd. The Club was not represented at Henley this year.

During this term a Trinity College Boat Club was formed in order to enable First Trinity and Third Trinity to send combination crews to row at Henley or elsewhere away from Cambridge. R. C. Lehmann was elected president, James B. Close, treasurer, W. Dudley Ward, captain, and R. B. Etherington-Smith, secretary. The captain was a Third Trinity man; the other officers belonged to First Trinity: practically the management of the Club has usually been in the hands of the T.B.C. officers. In 1899 and 1900 the Combined Club entered for the Grand Challenge Cup and some other races, as is related in the next chapter, but it has not been found easy to form combination crews from the two Clubs, as the interval between the June races and the meeting at Henley is very short.

Chapter 10: 1897-1908

There is not much of note to record in the history of T.B.C. in 1897 and the following years. The number of members gradually fell; but most of those joining it took an active part in its affairs, and it was well represented on the river.

In the Michaelmas Term, 1897, 78 new members were elected, but the total number of members in residence is not stated. This term the Club representative R. B. Etherington-Smith won the Colquhouns, in the record time of 8 min. 5 sec., and it is noted that out of 56 races for this event, T.B.C. had now won it 26 times. In December, Prince Eric of Thurn and Taxis, a member of the Club, presented challenge double sculls, for an annual race. The rules for it were made similar to those for the Wyatt Pairs.

1898

In the Lent Races, 1898, T.B.C. went head again, thanks largely to the coaching of James B. Close; it remained head till 1903. At the close of the races, the first six boats were T.B.C., Trinity Hall, Caius, Lady Margaret, Pembroke, and King's; the T.B.C. boats finishing 1st, 10th, 18th, and 20th, and the Third Trinity boat 15th.

This year Oxford again won the boat race. The day was unfit for racing, and to win the toss was equivalent to winning the race, as the boat that lost it was necessarily water-logged, and could keep afloat only by the use of bladders. There is no doubt that the race ought to have been postponed, and that the officials responsible for not taking this course committed an error of judgment. W. A. L. Fletcher of Oxford, the famous oarsman, very kindly directed the training of the Cambridge crew. The T.B.C. representatives in the boat were J. F. Beale, H. G. Brown, and R. B. Etherington-Smith.

In the June races, 1898, the C.U.B.C. reduced the distance between the boats at starting from 175 yards to 150 yards. The first boat was again coached by James B. Close. It went up the first three nights to head of the river, and rowed over the last night. It was 24 years since the Club had been head. During 11 of the intervening 23 years (1875 to 1885) Jesus had finished head. During another 11 years (1886 to 1888 and 1890 to 1897) Trinity Hall had finished head; and in one year (1889) Third Trinity had finished head. The third boat was taken off, as it was said to be bad for freshmen to put them so early into a light boat, while it might also prevent their rowing in the following Lent Term. At the close of the races, the first six boats were T.B.C., Trinity Hall, Third Trinity, Emmanuel, Lady Margaret, and Trinity Hall 2nd; the T.B.C. boats finishing 1st and 12th, and the Third Trinity boat 3rd.

The Ball this year was held in the Corn Exchange, and following the precedent of the previous year, was called the First and Third Trinity Ball, but, as usual, it was managed by T.B.C., and Third Trinity agreed that T.B.C. might take the profits, if any. These profits were used to help the Club to send boats to Henley, where it entered for the Grand Challenge and the Ladies Plate, but though the crews got in each case into the final, they failed to win either event.

In the Michaelmas Term, 1898, 60 freshmen were elected, but the total number of members in residence is not stated. This term the Fours were won by the Club, for the first time since 1872. The rules of the Club were revised, the subscriptions by non-rowing members were reduced, and in the following January football players were allowed to join the Club for the Lent Term on payment of a single sum of one guinea.

1899

In the races in the Lent Term, 1899 there were three divisions, thus enabling 43 boats to row. The Club rowed over head every night. At the end of the races, the first six boats were T.B.C., Trinity Hall, Pembroke, Caius, Emmanuel, and Lady Margaret; the T.B.C. boats finishing 1st 12th, 20th, 22nd, and 28th, and the Third Trinity boats 9th and 31st.

The boat race this year was won by Cambridge, the first success since 1889. The T.B.C. representatives in the boat were R. B. Etherington-Smith and R. H. Sanderson. The crew again trained under the directions of W. A. L. Fletcher of Oxford. Later the C.U.B.C. asked him to accept a piece of plate to commemorate his kindness and services in assisting Cambridge in the training of the crews in 1898 and 1899.

In the Easter Term, 1899 the question of T.B.C. putting on a third boat was again discussed, it was however finally decided not to enter one, since the effect on promising freshmen was certainly bad; but in order to encourage such men to row in the summer term, the Club determined to give medals to the winning crew in sliding trial eights. During the bumping races T.B.C. kept head. At their close, the first six boats were T.B.C., Third Trinity, Trinity Hall, Pembroke, Lady Margaret, and Emmanuel; the T.B.C. boats finishing 1st and 9th, and the Third Trinity boat 2nd. This year, as in 1893 and 1896, the annual Ball took place by leave of the College in tents erected on the Trinity Backs. It was given jointly by the two boat clubs, but the officers arranged between themselves that First Trinity might receive the profits. In subsequent years the profits have been divided between the Clubs. At Henley, the combined First and Third Trinity Boat Club entered for the Grand Challenge and Stewards Cups, but were beaten in both events. T.B.C. won the Thames Cup, but lost the race for the Silver Goblets.

At the end of this term James B. Close left Cambridge, and the members of the Club presented some plate to him at a dinner in London in memory of his many and long-continued services to the Club. Although no longer in regular residence he continued at intervals to come up and coach boats.

In the Michaelmas Term, 1899, 60 freshmen were elected, besides 7 football members, but the total number of members in residence is not stated. The Fours were again won by T.B.C.

1900

In the Lent races, 1900, T.B.C. rowed head every night. At their close, the first six boats were T.B.C., Trinity Hall, Caius, Third Trinity, Emmanuel, and King's; the T.B.C. boats finishing 1st, 8th, 23rd, 25th, 30th, and 40th, and the Third Trinity boat 4th.

Cambridge won the boat race in 1900 by no less than 20 boat lengths, in the record time of 18min. 45 sec. The T.B.C. representatives in the crew were C. J. M. Adie, B. W. D. Brooke, R. B. Etherington-Smith, and R. H. Sanderson.

In the June races, 1900, the Club rowed over head. At their close, the first six boats were T.B.C., Third Trinity, Trinity Hall, Pembroke, Emmanuel, and Lady Margaret; the T.B.C. boats finishing 1st and 9th, and the Third Trinity boats 2nd and 21st. The Trinity Boat Club (combined First and Third Trinity) entered at Henley for the Grand Challenge, Thames, Stewards, and Visitors Cups, and the Ladies Plate, and won the Thames and Visitors.

In the Michaelmas Term, 1900, 45 freshmen were elected, but the total number of members in residence is not stated.

This term a Field Club was started in the college; it was a federation of the leading clubs dealing with sports and games played on land. The movement was initiated by a circular which I issued in November, 1898, to all resident members of the College on the possibility of an Amalgamation Club. The proposal was received favourably, but the issues raised were large, and things moved slowly. In the scheme which I originally suggested the two boat clubs would have been included in the new Club, and they were so included in the first scheme on the subject which was worked out by a committee appointed to consider the matter, and was approved by most or all of the clubs concerned in 1899. But in 1900, before it became operative, the matter was reconsidered, and it was thought better to confine the Club to field games. Hence the boat clubs have remained independent of it. The College in its corporate capacity has secured two large playing fields comprising nearly 25 acres of land. These with the Paddocks have been placed, generously, and I believe very wisely, at the disposal of the Field Club. This, by cheapening field games, has made boating seem a rather more expensive amusement. Whether in consequence of this or of the increasing popularity of other amusements, recent years have shown a decrease in the annual entries to T.B.C., and of course this has prejudicially affected its financial position - in fact the average number of subscribing members of T.B.C. has sank to about half the number of twenty years ago.

1901

In the Lent Races, 1901, the Club rowed over head every night. At their close, the first six boats were T.B.C., Trinity Hall, Third Trinity, Emmanuel, Caius, and Jesus; the T.B.C. boats finishing 1st, 11th, 21st, 27th, 33rd, and 43rd, and the Third Trinity boats 3rd and 38th.

The boat race in 1901 was won by Oxford after a good contest. The T.B.C. representatives in the crew were B. W. D. Brooke, G. Parker, H. B. Grylls, G. M. Maitland (stroke), and E. A. O. A. Jamieson (cox).

In the races in June, 1901, the Club was unsuccessful, the first boat going down to the third place, and the second boat going down every evening. At the end of the races, the first six boats were Third Trinity, Trinity Hall, T.B.C., Lady Margaret, Jesus, and Pembroke; the T.B.C. boats finishing 3rd and 13th, and the Third Trinity boats 1st and 25th. The success of the Club was not such as to justify sending an eight to Henley, but fours were entered for the Wyfold and Visitors Cups; they were beaten in the races for both events. This term, the C.U.B.C. revived an old Club called the Granta in order to enable small colleges to send combination crews to Henley. It has not however proved of much service, though a crew rowed in its colours in 1904.

In the Michaelmas Term, 1901, 58 freshmen were elected, but the total number of members in residence is not stated. In December, W. Adams, who had been boatman in the employ of the Club since 1860, resigned. A sum of 62 was raised to provide a pension for him: this was sufficient to secure half-a-crown a week during his life, and the Club added to this, until further order, another 10s. a week so long as it was satisfied with his conduct.

1902

In the Lent Term 1902, the weather was so bad that the races had to be postponed for a week. T.B.C. rowed over head every night. The lower boats were also successful, the second and sixth boats making bumps every night, and getting their oars. At the conclusion of the races, the first six boats were T.B.C., Third Trinity, Jesus, Trinity Hall, Lady Margaret, and Emmanuel; the T.B.C. boats finishing 1st, 7th, 22nd, 31st, 33rd, and 39th, and the Third Trinity boats 2nd and 42nd.

Cambridge won the boat race in 1902. The only T.B.C. representative in the crew was H. B. Grylls.

In the Easter Term, 1902 a Sub-Treasurer was appointed to collect subscriptions, and thus save the cost of commission. This term the question of putting on a third boat was again raised, and it was now decided to allow one to try to get on at the bottom of the second division, but it was suggested that if and when it ever got into the first division it should be taken off so as to secure that the crew might only have fixed seat rowing. It succeeded in getting on, and went up a place every night. During the races T.B.C. started and finished third. As the Master of Trinity Hall died during the races and Trinity Hall did not wish to race for the last two nights, the Club arranged to row past the Hall starting post the third night, and allow the Hall to row past the T.B.C. post the following night, thus enabling the Hall boat to retain its place on the river without racing. Technically these constituted bumps, and therefore appear so on the charts. At the end of the races, the first six boats were Third Trinity, Trinity Hall, T.B.C., Jesus, Lady Margaret, and Emmanuel; the T.B.C. boats finishing 3rd, 11th, and 26th, and the Third Trinity boats 1st and 23rd. The Club was not represented at the Henley regatta this year.

In the Michaelmas Term, 1902 42 freshmen were elected, but the total number of members in residence is not stated in the minutes. The Club did not enter for the Light Fours this year. It was said that promising oars were often spoilt by having to row in indifferent trial eights, and to prevent this a four-oared race on fixed seats was got up between First Trinity and Third Trinity; the race was won by T.B.C.

1903

In the Lent Races, 1903, T.B.C. went down to third on the river, losing the headship which it had held since 1898. During the races the fifth boat bumped the fourth. At the end of the races, the first six boats were Lady Margaret, Trinity Hall, T.B.C., Third Trinity, Caius, and Jesus; the T.B.C. boats finishing 3rd, 8th, 21st, 32nd, 34th, and 37th, and the Third Trinity boat 4th.

Cambridge won the boat race in 1903. The T.B.C. representatives in the crew were S. R. Beale and H. B. Grylls.

In the June races, 1903, the three boats at the head of the river rowed over every night. The third boat again went up a place every night. At the close of the races, the first six boats were Third Trinity, Trinity Hall, T.B.C., Lady Margaret, Christ's, and Caius; the T.B.C. boats finishing 3rd, 11th, and 22nd, and the Third Trinity boats 1st and 25th. The Club was not represented at Henley this year.

In the Michaelmas Term, 1903, 55 freshmen were elected, but the total number of members in residence is not stated. In the following Lent Term the Club determined to get five new boats within the next two years. The price was said to be low, but in the then state of the Club's finances, the arrangement was extravagant.

1904

In the Lent Races, 1904, T.B.C. went head again. An extraordinary feature in the races was that the fourth boat was bumped by the fifth and sixth boats; this is accounted for by the fact that the fourth boat was wholly made up of football players. At the close of the races, the first six boats were T.B.C., Lady Margaret, Jesus, T.B.C. 2nd, Trinity Hall, and Third Trinity; the T.B.C. boats finishing 1st, 4th, 18th, 32nd, 34th, and 35th, and the Third Trinity boat 6th.

The boat race this year, l904 was again won by Cambridge. The only T.B.C. representative in the boat was A. L. Lawrence.

In the June races, 1904, the T.B.C. crews were much hampered by illness, notably chicken-pox. Notwithstanding this the first boat went up to second place. At the end of the races, the first six boats were Third Trinity, T.B.C., Trinity Hall, Lady Margaret, Caius, and Emmanuel; the T.B.C. boats finishing 2nd, 10th, and 23rd, and the Third Trinity boats 1st and 29th. The Club entered at Henley for the Ladies Plate and the Thames Cup, but failed to win either event.

In the Michaelmas Term, 1904, 54 freshmen were elected, but the total number of members in residence is not stated. The Club again did not enter for the Fours.

1905

In the Lent races, 1905, the boats were disappointing, and the first boat sank to the fourth place. At the conclusion of the races, the first six boats were Jesus, Lady Margaret, Trinity Hall, T.B.C., T.B.C. 2nd, and Third Trinity; the T.B.C. boats finishing 4th, 5th, 18th, 29th, 35th, and 36th, the Third Trinity boat 6th. The T.B.C. fourth boat was composed of Rugger players.

The boat race in 1905 was won by Oxford very easily. The only T.B.C. representative in the crew was W. B. Savory.

In the Easter Term, 1905, there was considerable difference of opinion in T.B.C. as to the constitution of the first boat. The Club did not support the Captain, and accordingly he and the Secretary resigned. The new Secretary did not enter any minutes, so that there is a gap of five months in the records of the Club. In fact, however, the first boat went down every night. At the end of the races, the first six boats were Third Trinity, Trinity Hall, Lady Margaret, Jesus, Christ's, and T.B.C.; the T.B.C. boats finishing 6th, 7th, and 27th, and the Third Trinity boat 1st.

In the Michaelmas Term, 1905, 89 members (active and non-rowing) were in residence, including 48 freshmen elected during the term, 9 active honorary members were also in residence. The rules about wearing the blazer of the combined First and Third boat clubs were made definite. In December the Club played Trinity Hall at Rugby Football, and was beaten by 33 points to 8. At the beginning of the following term the falling income compelled the Club to discontinue adding prizes to the various Club events.

1906

In the Lent races, 1906, the Club again went head. The fifth or Rugger boat, however, distinguished itself by going down six places in four nights. The sixth boat was bumped the first night by Downing, the crew of which, if we may trust the Club minutes, celebrated the event by a bump supper the same night, and suffered for it by being re-bumped the following night. Downing however bumped T.B.C. again on the third night, but was bumped over three places on the last night. At the close of the races, the first six boats were T.B.C., Jesus, Trinity Hall, Emmanuel, Lady Margaret, and T.B.C. 2nd; the T.B.C. boats finishing 1st, 6th, 22nd, 33rd, 38th, and 41st, and the Third Trinity boat 10th.

Cambridge won the boat race this year, 1906. The only T.B.C. representative in the boat was M. Donaldson.

In the June races, 1906, T.B.C. went up to second place, making a bump every night. The stroke of the second boat was considered to have rowed so well that he was given first boat colours, an unusual, if not unprecedented, compliment. At the close of the races, the first six boats were Third Trinity, T.B.C., Trinity Hall, Jesus, Christ's, and T.B.C. 2nd; the T.B.C. boats finishing 2nd, 6th, and 28th, and the Third Trinity boat 1st. The Club entered at Henley for the Grand Challenge Cup, the Ladies Plate, and Thames Cup, and won the Ladies Plate.

In August, 1906, the University rowed Harvard, U.S.A. over the Putney to Mortlake course, and won the race. The T.B.C. representatives in the boat were A. B. Close-Brooks, M. Donaldson, and H. G. Baynes.

In October, 1906, there were in residence 74 subscribing members, including 54 freshmen elected during the term. The Club revised its rules this term, and changed its name from the Trinity Boat Club to the First Trinity Boat Club, in accordance with what had long been the language of the river.

The Club now overhauled its financial position. It owed the Bank 500 and there were accounts due to the amount of about 480. The actual value of the policies of assurance (which were held by the Bank as security for the debt due to it) were stated to be, on a liberal estimate, 673, but by the generosity of some friends, they were disposed of for 871. Another 100 was collected from various sources. The total served to clear the Club of its outstanding liabilities. On going into the matter it was however clear that, at any rate for a few years, the normal expenses would exceed the normal receipts, and that the deficit would have to be met by donations or from exceptional sources. Rules for checking the expenditure were passed, and the Club resolutely set itself down to live as economically as possible. At the same time a subsidiary Edwardian Association was formed which it was hoped might collect money, keep some sort of a reserve fund, and be able to make grants from time to time to the Club for specific purposes. The Club hoped that former members would occasionally give donations to this association, and I heartily commend it to all old T.B.C. members.

In this term it was discovered that much of the woodwork of the balcony of the boathouse was rotten. To repair or renew it would have cost something like 125. It was quite impossible to face this expenditure out of the Club resources, and the Club had of late years made so many appeals to the kindness and goodwill of former members that it was felt that it would be unreasonable to ask for subscriptions from them. Accordingly the balcony was shut up, and the question of its renewal postponed until the financial position improved.

At the end of this term, the Club played a rugger match against the Caius boat club. T.B.C. won by a handsome margin, "after disabling a large percentage of our opponents."

1907

In the Lent races, 1907 the first boat was bumped the first night, but rowed over second for the rest of the races. At their close, the first six boats were Jesus, T.B.C., Caius, Trinity Hall, Emmanuel, and Lady Margaret; the T.B.C. boats finishing 2nd, 9th, 24th, 33rd, 41st, and 42nd, and the Third Trinity boat 12th.

The boat race was won by Cambridge. The T.B.C. representatives in the crew were A. B. Close-Brooks, J. S. Burn, and H. G. Baynes.

In the Easter Term, the C.U.B.C. decided for the future to raise its income by a tax on the expenditure (instead of the receipts) of College Clubs. In the June races, First Trinity first boat went head on the first night, but was bumped on the third night, ending second. At the conclusion of the races, the first six boats were Trinity Hall, T.B.C., Jesus, Lady Margaret, Third Trinity, and Christ's; the T.B.C. boats finishing 2nd, 9th, and 25th, and the Third Trinity boat 5th. On the Monday after the races the Club gave an afternoon party in its boathouse and grounds: it proved a great success. The Club entered at Henley for the Ladies Plate, and the Thames and Visitors Cups, but failed to carry off any of them.

In the Michaelmas Term, 1907, there were actually in residence 81 subscribing members, including 43 freshmen elected during the term; 8 active honorary, and 15 non-rowing members were also in residence. In the Lent Term the numbers of full subscribing and of non-rowing members were 65 and 19, and in the Easter Term 26 and 5.

In October, 1907, the crews entered by T.B.C. and Trinity Hall for the light Fours tried the experiment of using swivel rowlocks, but neither boat got into the final. No less than seven boats were made up for the Club trial eights this term. At the end of the term, T.B.C. played Caius Boat Club at Rugger and Jesus Boat Club at Soccer, winning the first game by 11 points to 3, and drawing the second.

1908

In the Lent races, 1908, the first boat lost one place. The fourth boat went up a place every night. At their close, the first six boats were, Jesus, Lady Margaret, T.B.C., Trinity Hall, Caius and Emmanuel; the T.B.C. boats finishing 3rd, 12th, 21st, 29th, 44th and 45th, and the Third Trinity boat 16th.

The boat race was again won by Cambridge. The T.B.C. representatives in the crew were O. A. Carver and J. S. Burn.

The Club boats were not successful in the Easter Term this year; the first boat losing one place, and the second boat three places; the third boat gained two places. At the end of the races, the first six boats were Trinity Hall, Jesus, T.B.C., Lady Margaret, Pembroke, and Emmanuel; the T.B.C. boats finishing 3rd, 12th, and 23rd, and the Third Trinity boat 8th. The Club entered at Henley for the Ladies Plate and the Thames Cup, but failed to win either event.

In the International Olympic Regatta in the summer, 1908, England had the right to be represented by two eights. The Selection Committee, after careful discussion, asked the C.U.B.C. to make up one of them, while the other rowed in Leander colours, and practically was made up from the rest of England. The C.U.B.C. crew was, save for one oar, identical with that which rowed against Oxford earlier in the year; the T.B.C. representatives in it were O. A. Carver and J. S. Burn. The Leander crew also included, in R. H. Sanderson and R. B. Etherington-Smith, representatives of T.B.C. The race was won by Leander.


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