Confraternitas Historica

Sidney Sussex College History Society


The Confraternitas Historica was founded by the first History Fellow, J. W. Reynolds, as soon as he came to Sidney Sussex College in 1910. Although it was not first such student history society in Cambridge, we think it may be the one that has had the longest continuous existence, and not just in Cambridge, but anywhere in Europe. Over the last hundred years of its existence, Confrat – as it is commonly known – has seen a lot of change in terms of the style and format of events, the use, decline and eventual rejection of Latin ceremonial rites, and the gender composition of its members (more on this here). But to the present day, Confrat is organized and run by undergraduate students of Sidney Sussex College. All members of the College who study History – whether undergraduates, graduates, or Fellows – automatically become members of the Confraternitas. It usually meets up to four times a term in both Michaelmas and Lent terms; meetings begin with pre-talk drinks, followed by a talk (or panel debate) and a discussion in the Old Library, and conclude with a formal hall with the College history community. With a total of nearly fifty history undergraduates and graduates, and a traditionally strong showing of the history dons, Confrat is the focal point of history at Sidney Sussex. Confrat talks are open to all members of Cambridge University. In recent years, the reputation of the Confraternitas for organising exciting events has attracted numerous visitors from outside College, and we take some pride in being one of the liveliest history societies in this country.