|1858. 22nd May. Friday
A collegiate school
Letter to the Warden. I write the following lines on behalf of the Fellows to avoid any further misunderstanding from verbal inaccuracies, not from any desire to interpose unnecessary formality or stiffness in our relations with each other.
A question has arisen as to the position we occupy with regard to yourself. What is meant by our being Fellows of a College?
We thought that the least which could be meant by it was, that you did not intend to make any essential changes in the principles on which it has hitherto worked, without, at all events, consulting the Fellows on the subject. Our convictions as to this were strengthened by your having repeatedly expressed your wish to preserve the status quo. We therefore asked you to be so good as to express to us, as a body, the next time that you called us together for any Collegiate act, your intention to lay before the Fellows any proposal which to the greater part of them seemed to involve a change of principle, not for their decision, but for their discussion.
William Wood’s Diary 1855-1861, ed. by Mark Spurrell, is available from Oxfordshire Record Society. These excerpts are presented to give a flavour of life at Radley in the 1850s