East India Club

East India Club

British East India Company. Although the company was dissolved, the 1870 Annual General Meeting of the club voted to retain it.] The East India, Devonshire, Sports and Public Schools' Club, usually known as the East India Club, is a gentlemen's club founded in 1849 and situated at 16 St. James's Square in London. Membership of the club is by nomination and election, but today the majority of members are elected by virtue of attendance of an eligible public school.


Founded in the middle of the 19th century,the club's original members, as set out in the Rule Book of 1851, were- cquote|The East India Company's servants- Clerical, Civil, Military, Naval and Medical of all the Presidencies, including those retired [and] all commissioned officers of Her Majecty's Army and Navy who have served in India, members of the Bar and Legal Profession who may have been or are Company's Advocates and Solicitors...

But within the first two decades of the club's foundation, the East India Company started to lose its Indian possessions and was wound up entirely in 1874. As a result, the club could no longer look to the East India Company as its main source of members.

Since then, the club has amalgamated with the Sports Club (1938), the Public Schools Club (1972) and the Devonshire (1976), all of which ran into the twin problems of keeping up membership numbers and making ends meet, especially with the escalating costs of maintenance for historic buildings. With the disappearance of the East India Company, the public school influence has recently become an important one.

The club's facilities include two dining rooms, the 'American Bar' which is available to gentlemen only on weekdays (but ladies can use it on weekends), the 'Ladies Drawing Room' which is open only to gentlemen accompanied by ladies, a library of antiquarian and contemporary books, a gymnasium, snooker rooms and 67 bedrooms. The East India Club is also a popular venue for private events and offers conference facilities.

The East India Club has reciprocity with 100+ clubs throughout the world. Members can use the facilities of overseas reciprocial clubs with a card or letter of introduction issued by the East India Club [ [http://www.eastindiaclub.com/reciprocal.cfm Reciprocal Clubs] at East India Club web site (accessed 23 August 2008)] .

Club house

The East India Club club house is situated in the St. James's Square, Westminster.

The first occupant of the house was Thomas Jermyn, 2nd Baron Jermyn (?1670-1676)Forrest, "op. cit." p. 11] . He passed the house on to Robert Villiers, 3rd Viscount Purbeck, who occupied the house for 2 years (1676-1678). After Viscount Purbeck, a Swedish Ambassador occupied the house, followed by two sucessive Earls of Suffolk and the Earl of Romney. The house was then taken over by Sir John Germain, 1st Baronet, the lover and, later, husbund of Mary Howard, Duchess of Norfolk. When Sir John died in 1719, he left the house to his second wife, Lady Elizabeth Berkeley, 2nd daughter of the 2nd Earl of Berkeley. She was to occupy the house for no less than 50 years. When Lady Elizabeth died, the house went to George Germain, 1st Viscount SackvilleForrest, "op. cit." p. 12] . It then became the home of Admiral Vere Beauclerk, 1st Baron Vere and then of his son, Aubrey Beauclerk, 5th Duke of St Albans.

In 1785, George Anson bought No. 16. When he died in 1789, the house was passed on to his son, Thomas Anson, 1st Viscount Anson. In 1804, Viscount Anson sold the house to Edmund Boehm, a successful merchantForrest, "op. cit." p. 13] . . Mr and Mrs Boehm were very active socially and hosted many dinner parties. On June 21 1815, the Prince Regent (later George IV) was the principal guest at the dinner party. He heard the news of the victory at Waterloo at the house, where Major Henry Percy, aide-de-camp to the Duke of Wellington, presented the Prince Regent with four captured French eagles and Wellington’s victory despatch [Forrest, "op. cit.", pp 13-14] .

When Edmund Boehm was declared bankrupt, Robert Vyner became the owner of No. 16 Forrest, "op. cit." p. 15] . In 1825, Mr Vyner sold the house to the Marquess of Clanricarde. During Lord Clanricarde's tenancy, he let the house for a time to the Marquess Wellesley. In 1849, the East India Club Committee signed a lease with Lord Clanricarde [Forrest, "op. cit.", p. 7] . The club bought the house from Lord Clanricarde in 1863 [Forrest, "op. cit.", p. 35] .

Patrons of the Club

*Prince Albert, Chief Patron, husbund and consort of Queen VictoriaForrest, "op. cit." p. 60]
*James Broun-Ramsay, 1st Marquess of Dalhousie, Patron
*Edward Law, 1st Earl of Ellenborough, Patron
*General Sir Charles Napier, Patron

Notable members

This is a small selection of the notable people affilated with the club or its constituent clubs:
*William Adam MP (1823-1881)Forrest, "op. cit." p. 70]
*Archibald Acheson, 4th Earl of Gosford (1841-1922)
*Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn (1850-1942)Forrest, "op. cit." p. 57]
*Sir John Dugdale Astley, 3rd Baronet (1828-1894) [Forrest, "op. cit.", p. 83]
*Sir Robert Black (1906-1999)
*James Blyth, 1st Baron Blyth (1841-1925) [Forrest, "op. cit.", p. 135]
*Frederick ("Freddie") Richard Brown MBE (1910-1991)Forrest, "op. cit." p. 143]
*Richard Boyle, 9th Earl of Cork (1829-1904)
*General Sir Reginald Alexander Dallas Brooks (1896 - 1966) [Forrest, "op. cit.", pp 139-140]
*Godfrey Bloom MEP (born 1949)Dale, Iain, " [http://iaindale.blogspot.com/2006_08_01_archive.html Independent on Sunday Diary Column ] ", online at blogspot.com (accessed 23 August 2008)] .
*James Butler, 3rd Marquess of Ormonde(1844-1919)Forrest, "op. cit." p. 85]
*David Campbell-Bannerman.
*Spencer Cavendish, 8th Duke of Devonshire (1833-1908) [Forrest, "op. cit.", pp 69-70]
*Edward Cavendish, 10th Duke of Devonshire KG (1895-1950) [Forrest, "op. cit.", Pl. 10d]
*Joseph Chamberlain MP (1836-1914)Forrest, "op. cit." p. 74]
*Sir Joseph Austen Chamberlain KG (1863-1937)Forrest, "op. cit." p. 80]
*Sebastian Newbold Coe, Baron Coe of Ranmore (born 1956)
*Michael Colin Cowdrey, Baron Cowdrey of Tonbridge (1932-2000)
*William Edwardes, 4th Baron Kensington (1835-1896)
*Nigel Farage MEP (born 1964) [ [http://www.brugesgroup.com/about/columnists.live Commentators] at Bruges Group web site (accessed 23 August 2008)]
*Sir Henry Bartle Edward Frere, 1st Baronet (1815-1884)
*Prince George, Duke of Cambridge (1819-1904)
*Douglas Graham, 5th Duke of Montrose (1852-1925)
*Martin Hawke, 7th Baron Hawke (1860-1938)
*Bret Harte (1836-1902)Forrest, "op. cit." p. 79]
*Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. (1841-1935)Forrest, "op. cit." p. 80]
*Sir Leonard Hutton (1916-1990)
*Henry James, 1st Baron James of Hereford (1828-1911)
*Sir Jamsetjee Jejeebhoy, 2nd Baronet (1811-1877)
*Anthony Little (born 1954)
*Hugh Lowther, 5th Earl of Lonsdale KG (1857-1944)
*Peter May CBE(1929-1994)
*Admiral of the Fleet Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma (1900-1979) [Forrest, "op. cit.", p. 152]
*Field Marshal Robert Napier, 1st Baron Napier of Magdala (1810-1890))Forrest, "op. cit." p. 58]
*Augustus Newman VC (1904-1972) [Forrest, "op. cit.", p. 150]
*Whitelaw Reid (1837-1912)
*Field Marshal Frederick Roberts, 1st Earl Roberts VC (1832-1914)
*Oliver Russell, 2nd Baron Ampthill (1869-1935)
*Maharajadhiraja Sir Duleep Singh (1838-1893)
*Henry Somerset, 10th Duke of Beaufort (1900-1984) [Forrest, "op. cit.", p. 154]
*Frederick Temple Hamilton-Temple-Blackwood, 1st Marquess of Dufferin and Ava (1826-1902)
*Sir Denis Thatcher, 1st Baronet (1915-2003) [Will Bennett, "Estate's tenants are proud of their roots", "The Independent", November 27, 1990, p. 4]
*Andrew Vicari (born 1938) [ [http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2001/nov/16/arts.highereducation 'I am the king of painters] at The Guardian web site (accessed 23 August 2008)]
*Sir Pelham Francis Warner (1873-1963)


*George IV (as Prince Regent) was presented with the Waterloo Victory Despatch in the present day Library. He then announced the news from the balcony of the present day Ladies' Drawing Room [ [http://www.eastindiaclub.com/smoking_ladies_room.cfm The Smoking Room and Ladies Drawing Room] at East India Club web site (accessed 23 August 2008)] [Forrest, "op. cit.", p. 14] .
*Queen Caroline rented and stayed at No. 17, St. James's Square (part of the club's present site) during her "Pains and Penalties" trial [Forrest, "op. cit.", pp 15-16] .


*Forrest, Denys Mostyn, "Foursome in St. James's" (Brighton, Dolphin, 1982, 207 pp)

ee also

*List of London's gentlemen's clubs
*Honourable East India Company


External links

* [http://www.eastindiaclub.com/ Official website]

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