‘The club was a strange one’

Carruthers talks of having chambers in Pall Mall and dining at a club nearby. His club, however, is closed for the summer.

For the purposes of Adventure Club, we’ve decided that the club is probably the Travellers. According to its own website, the Club was founded, in 1819, ‘for gentlemen who had travelled out of the British Isles to a distance of at least five hundred miles from London in a direct line’. Membership was extended to foreign visitors and diplomats posted to London.

The club was originally envisaged by Lord Castelreagh as a place where gentlemen who had travelled during the years of the Napoleonic Wars – which ended with Waterloo, four years before the opening of the club – might meet and share their intelligence of the world among themselves and with distinguished foreign visitors. The club’s device shows the head of Ulysses, the great Green traveller and strategist of the Trojan war.

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The club’s original location was 12 Waterloo Place but its popularity was such that it soon outgrew the space. It moved initially to 49 Pall Mall, but in 1826 money was raised to lease part of the grounds of Carlton House and Charles Barry, who later designed the Reform Club next door and the Houses of Parliament, was appointed as architect. His building is now at 106 Pall Mall.

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2 Responses to ‘The club was a strange one’

  1. EC Childers April 3, 2015 at 4:00 pm #

    Erskine was a member of several clubs over the course of his years in London ( 1895-1919 ).

    During the height of the book’s success he was invited to the Savile Club, and is listed as a member recurring until WWI.
    http://www.savileclub.co.uk/history-of-the-club

    His cousin, the former Chancellor of the Exchequer, Hugh Childers…
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chancellor_of_the_Exchequer#Chancellors_of_the_Exchequer_of_the_United_Kingdom.2C_1817.E2.80.931902
    …was already a long standing member of the Reform Club, and it was through him that Childers became a member. If you visit the club now, there’s a Childers frame on their walls.
    http://www.reformclub.com/home/about/history

    The Royal Cruising Club is where he spent his sailing years.

    The club he spent the most time is certainly the Royal Cruising Club, but from the papers and letters available, he was invited to most of the notable London’s clubs via his wide circle of friends ( Whitehall, Westminster, Royal Navy, and of course the literary world).

    • Lloyd Shepherd April 3, 2015 at 4:38 pm #

      Fascinating! So he was never a member of the Travellers?

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