Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.
Boodles Gentlemen’s Club
The club came to be known after the name of its head waiter, Edward Boodle.
Boodle’s is regarded as one of the most prestigious clubs in London, and counts many British aristocrats and notable politicians among its members. It is the second oldest club in the world, with only White’s being older. Boodle’s Orange Fool is a traditional club dish.
Early members were opponents of William Pitt the Elder’s foreign policies relating to the Seven Years’ War, and political allies of Lord Shelburne. The club is generally regarded as being aligned with the Conservative Party, with many of its current and former members holding important positions within the party, although the club is not formally tied to any political party. During the Regency era, Boodle’s became known as the club of the English gentry, while White’s became the club of the more senior members of the nobility.
It is reputed that Beau Brummell’s last bet took place at the Club before he fled the country to France. Today, membership is strictly by nomination and election only.
In 1782 Boodle’s took over the “Savoir Vivre” club house at 28 St. James’s Street, London, and has been located there ever since. The building had been designed by John Crunden in 1775. The ground floor was refurbished by John Buonarotti Papworth between 1821 and 1834.