Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency (I include those who were born before 1811 and who died after 1795), today I continue with one of the many period notables.
Four Horse Club
April 1808 – 1826
The Four Horse Club was founded in April 1808, but didn’t last long. It was founded because the membership of the BDC was limited to 25 people. Charles Buxton, the inventor of the Buxton bit, along with some friends therefore founded the Four Horse Club. It was also informally known by various other names, as the Four-In-Hand Club (after four-in-hand), the Whip Club, and the Barouche Club. The third name was after a type of horse carriage called a barouche, which was driven by its members. The club rules dictated that a barouche should have silver mounted harnesses, rosettes at their heads, yellow bodies, “dickies”, and bay horses. However, the final requirement was relaxed. Club members Sir Henry Peyton and Mr Annesley drove roan horses.
The Four Horse Club rules also had strict dictates about clothing for the drivers. They required a drab coat that reached down to one’s ankles, decorated with large mother-of-pearl buttons, and three tiers of pockets; a blue waistcoat with inch-wide yellow stripes; knee-length breeches with strings and rosettes, made of plush; and a hat that was at least 3.5 inch deep in the crown.
The FHC encountered difficulties in 1820, revived in 1822 with slightly different club rules, but only lasting until 1826. An 1820 joke went the rounds, of a person addressing a FHC member, saying “I hear that you men have broken up.”. To which, the reply was “No. We’ve broken down; the FHC had not enough in hand to keep on with.” The modified rules called for a brown landaulet carriage, without ornaments; no restrictions upon horse colour; and brass mounted harnesses.