F. Meeting the Twelfth
Tuesday 12th March
Annual General Meeting
The Feast of St Gregory the Great
Eight Bells of the Afternoon Watch
27, South Court, Emmanuel College


The following members were present:

J.D. Middleditch(President)
Dr G.H. Wright(Senior Treasurer)
J.S. Brett(Secretary)
I.R. Pettigrew(Junior Treasurer)
P.L. Allsop(Committee Member)
R.M. Ball, M.A.(Past-President)
Canon Davidson
P. Hoppen
M. Hand
P. Servini

The President welcomed the gathering, having supplied it with tea and cakes.

The Secretary read the Minutes of the last Annual General Meeting, held on Tuesday March 13 1973; no matters arose therefrom, and the Minutes were signed by the President.

"conticuere omnes intentique ora tenebant" [Vergil, Aeneid II.1]

The Secretary read his Report and Statement. Matters arising were as follows: The President urged a vigorous recruiting campaign for the next year; the Society was not to blame for the failures with regard to the Varsity Handbook and the Societies' Fair, but in future one must seek the mountain, so to speak, rather than wait for the mountain to come to oneself. P. Servini suggested that the meetings themselves be advertized; the Presidentreplied that this had indeed been tried in the previous year, but had made no difference. It was suggested that the Society advertize its existence in the next issue of the "Heraldry Gazette". Canon Davidson'sdoubts about the constitutional correctness of his membership were dispelled. The President asked the Secretary to translate the Latin parts of his Report; the Secretary obeyed, but the President remained unconvinced concerning their relevance.

The Junior Treasurer then read his Report. Matters arising were as follows: The President claimed that, contrary to what was said in the Report, he himself was in debt to those who paid for the Annual Dinner, and to Emmanuel College which had lessened the bill so outstandingly. R.M. Ball said that it was misleading to base the Society's financial situation on a year in which extraordinary difficulties had been encountered with regard to recruting.

An amendment of Paragraph 12 of the Constitution was proposed by the Junior Treasurer and seconded by P.L. Allsop; this paragraph would then read: "The subscription of the Society shall be: £3.00 for a University Life of three years; or £1.50 fro one year; or £1.00 for the Lent and Easter terms of one year. Members of the Society having paid an annual subscription of £1.50 in their first year may in their second year become members for the two years following upon the payment of a further £2.80." R.M. ball remained unconvinced of the necessity of the amendment, but the President urged that a reasonable sum should exist at the beginning of each year in case of disasters in the recruiting. A vote was held, for the first time for many years, the result of which was: For 5, Against 2, Abstention 1. The amendment was declared carried, to take effect from October next.

An addition to Paragraph 4 of the Constitution was proposed by the President and seconded by the Secretary, being designed to correct an old anomaly as a result of which Patrons, Vice-Presidents, and Honorary Vice-Presidents must, under the present circumstances, lose their position as members when they resign from their posts. he following sentence would be added at the end of the section: "Persons elected to these offices, except that of Senior Treasurer, shall be deemed automatically to have been elected Honorary Members of the Society for life." The motion was passed, nemine contradicente.

The following suggestions for meetings in the coming year were made:
More genealogical lectures;
Mr A. Wrigley;
Brass rubbing: possibly Nicholas Hooton or Dr Waring;
Dr Goodhart, of Gonville and Caius College

The President and the Senior Treasurer uttered words to the effect that there must be serious debate concerning Miss Crisp's donation of shields to the Society; perhaps the larger among them could be used to decorate the stall at the next Societies' Fair. A Committtee Meeting is to be held next term to discuss the matter.

It was decided that the Publishing Committee for the "Cambridge Armorial" for next year would comprise the Society's Committee with the addition of Dr Wright and Mr Scott-Giles. It was suggested that the new Secretary should circulate full details of previous discussions of the book to all members of the Publishing Committee.

The following gentlemen were proposed, seconded, and unanimously elected to hold office in the Society during the coming year:

  • The President: John S. Brett (Selwyn) [to take up office July 1 1974]
  • The Secretary: Michael hand (Peterhouse)
  • The Junior Treasurer: Patrick L. Allsop (Fitzwilliam)
  • The Committee: Peter Servini (Jesus)

Another Committee Member was to be coerced later, no further nominations having yet been received.

The President, who was to be baptized later that day, gave his report on the state of the Society; having done this, he showed that all previous Presidents have been lunatics, and that both he himself (although to a lesser degree) and the newly-elected President keep to this long and excellent tradition. He concluded by describing in verse his impending retirement; the perfect sonnet form in which his words were couched belied the fact that he is not William Shakespeare; in what more fitting or emotive manner could one conclude one's term of office?

The meeting was declared closed shortly after two bells of the first day watch.

I declare the above to be a true representation of the events, even as they occurred.

"Exegi monumentum aere perennius" [Horace, Odes III . XXX .1]

Witness oneself at Cantabrigia the twelfth day of the month of March in the Year of Our Lord One Thousand Nine Hundred and Seventy-Four, in the Twenty-Third year of the reign of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God ruler of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and of her other realms and territories beyond the seas, Defender of the Faith; upon the first day of one's election unto supreme office!

Johannes Stuartus Brett
Belatus Scriba
Presidens Electus

J.S. Brett 11/3/75

Report and Statement of the Secretary, 13 March 1973 to 12 March 1974
Annual General Meeting, March 12 1974

Mr President,

I am pleased to be able to record not only that the past year has been successful, but also that during the course of it the Society has entered upon a new era: a new Minutes Book has been begun.

This year has, however, seen a slight fall in membership, from 51 to the present figure of 37; of these 11 are honorary members; the remaining 26 consist of 17 life members and 9 annual members. Vergil once wrote (Aeneid V 400-3):

"sic deinde locutus
in medium geninos immani pondere caestus
proiecit, quibus acer Eryx in proelia suetus
ferre manum duroque intendere bracchia tergo."

Although I have no mighty gauntlets to put forward, I do possess two mighty reasons for the decrease in membership, videlicet the lack of a mention in the "Varsity Handbook" and the lack of a stall at the Societies' Fair. These failures took place outside the control of the Officers; but when one considers them, one realizes that the recruiting has been most successful. Neverthless, it appears to be necessary to seek inclusion in both the handbook and the fair for the coming year; if members of the Society can continue to recruit a reasonable number and the other two means are successful, there seems to be a good chance of raising the membership of the Society to its ancient and glorious levels.

The meetings of the past year have been, generally, well-attended, although there has been a slight but noticeable decrease in the more recent gatherings. As has been customary in recent years, there has been a bias not so much towards heraldry as against genealogy.

The first heraldic lecture,

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