This week’s instalment from Masonic Periodicals Online comes from The Freemason's Chronicle, 26 February, 1898, where we find in the news of page 99 a report of Oxford student high jinks.
'INVASION OF AN OXFORD FREEMASONS LODGE.
An unusual scene was witnessed at a Lodge meeting which was being held in the Masonic Hall, Alfred Street, Oxford, on the night of the 10th inst. The account, however, which appeared in an evening contemporary is, we are informed, highly coloured. An Officer of the Lodge who was present supplies us with the following information:
"One of the Past Masters of the Lodge was speaking when we heard a tremendous hubbub and scrambling on the stairs. Judging from the noise that those ascending were intruders an Officer went to the door, and was just in time to prevent the party from entering the room. They were told that they could not possibly enter, as a Masonic Lodge was being held, at which they appeared very much amused. We appealed to them as gentlemen not to interfere, and the party withdrew with the exception of one individual, whom it was found necessary to eject by main force. He hung to the balusters like grim death, and it was only with the greatest difficulty that he was got outside. Everything was done in the best humour.'
'Had it been a boating or cricket club dinner the intruders would probably have been very roughly handled, but the Brethren maintained their dignity by treating the matter as a huge joke. No blows were struck, and everything was taken in good part. When the undergraduates had withdrawn to the street there was a little banter between them and the waiters, who doubtless felt vexed at the affair having blown over so easily. Several members of the Apollo Lodge were present at the banquet, and seemed thoroughly disgusted with the performance of the intruders.'
The article goes on to recall the full night's events for the students who caused quite a scene on the road with cars. Of course therer is also mention of their university's punishment for creating such a stir.