March 1867

As the Lent Term of 1867 drew to a close, the highlight of the month was the annual Athletic Sports which took place on the Common for the first time on March 30 – in 1866 they had been held on the Rectory Fields in the Village.

The event attracted healthy support from both boys, villagers and the parents who lived close by. The weather was fine “although a cold bleak wind prevailed”. Hadji Stevens, the captain of cricket, won the “shying of the cricket ball”, throwing a distance of 97 yards. The school magazine reported that “while many of the contests were partially decided, the remainder were held over until the Monday”. There must have been quite a few such events as it took a further four hours on the second day to finish off.

Meanwhile, in Guildford teenager Matthew Mercer, who worked in the kitchens at the School, was prosecuted in court for stealing swedes from a farmer in Shalford. He was found guilty and fined 4d (2p) but as he was unable to pay he was sent to “the house of correction” for 21 days.