Graphical version

London Metropolitan Archives



Reference code(s): GB 0074 LMA/4519

Held at: London Metropolitan Archives


Date(s): 1811-2009

Level of description: Collection

Extent: 10.25 linear metres

Name of creator(s): Travellers' Club | members' club


Administrative/Biographical history:

The Travellers' Club, 106 Pall Mall, London, was originally the concept of Viscount Castlereagh who spoke of establishing a club where men could meet socially with fellow travellers, visiting foreigners of distinction and diplomats. It has never been a political club like for example, the Carlton Club.

The club was founded by committee on 12 May 1819 and organisers included the Marquess of Lansdowne, the Earl of Aberdeen, Earl Beauchamp, Viscount Palmerston, Lord Auckland and Sir Archibald Macdonald and others. On 19 July the committee made the head of Ulysses the device of the club and on 18 August notices appeared in the major newspapers of the day to advertise its opening.

The original Travellers' Club was located at 12 Waterloo Place before moving to 49 Pall Mall in 1822. In 1829, Charles Barry was selected to design a new clubhouse at 106 Pall Mall. It was one of Barry's most acclaimed designs and was heavily influenced by his visits to Italy. The design is in the palace style of the Florentine republic and helped to establish Barry as the leading architect of the Renaissance Revival movement . The club moved into its new premises in 1832 and Barry became a member of the club himself in 1834.

In 1820, the first foreign travellers were invited to visit the club. Invitations were sent to Count Maurice Lewenhaupt, Count Rostopchin, Prince Liechtenstein, Prince Villa Franca, and Baron von Werden among others. One of the most famous regular visitors was Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Perigord, ambassador to the United Kingdom from France (1830-1834) and a handrail remains that was fixed to the staircase specifically to assist him.

Membership is restricted by election and to candidates who can demonstrate that they either resided or travelled abroad. It has counted among its members Prince George of Cambridge, the Duke of Wellington, 8th Duke of Devonshire, George Canning, Lord John Russell, 3rd Earl Grey, 2nd Earl Granville, Lord Raglan, Arthur Balfour, Stanley Baldwin, Sir Francis Beaufort, Robert FitzRoy, Colonel the Honourable George Anson, Sir Roderick Impey Murchison, and Sir Wilfred Thesiger among many others.

The focus of the club is travel and the majority of the library's publications are devoted to voyages and travel abroad. The club also provides a domestic setting for members and guests to socialise, dine, drink and smoke. The club also has 18 bedrooms for member and guest accommodation.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the Travellers' Club. This collection contains administrative records of the organisation such as minutes, agendas and correspondence. It also contains a large amount of material relating to the selection of members including printed annual lists of members, recommendations of members, members elected as well as invitations to foreign visitors and strangers' names. The collection includes staff registers, staff wage records, a staff discharge register, benevolent and provident fund records, financial records, plans, club inventories, provision stock books, coffee room statistics and some printed material.

Records of particular interest are a full series of general committee minutes (LMA/4519/A/01) which provides fairly comprehensive details of the administration of the club. Also of special importance is the large number of records relating to members such as printed annual lists of members (LMA/4519/B/01) and recommendation of members (LMA/4519/B/02) which contain information on those candidates who were elected as members, those blackballed and by whom.

Visitors from foreign countries (LMA/4519/B/13) and strangers' names (LMA/4519/B/15) highlight guests who visited the club.

Those researching genealogy may also be interested in the staff records for example, staff registers (LMA/4519/C/01), wages books (LMA/4519/C/02) and a discharge register (LMA/4519/C/03).

Researchers may be interested in the club's inventories (LMA/4519/E/04) and records of provisions such as wine (LMA/4519/E/07), cigarettes and cigars (LMA/4519/E/08), beer and mineral water (LMA/4519/E/09) and food (LMA/4519/E/10). These show the quality of provision supplied by the club and interestingly how this provision coped with the disruption of the second world war.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

This collection has been arranged into seven sections:
Administration: LMA/4519/A;
Members and Visitors: LMA/4519/B;
Staff: LMA/4519/C;
Finance: LMA/4519/D;
Building and Supplies: LMA/4519/E;
Printed Material: LMA/4519/F;
Visual Material and Artefacts: LMA/4519/G.

Conditions governing access:

These records are available for public inspection, although records containing personal information may be subject to access restrictions.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright to these records rests with the depositor.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information:

Some material consisting largely of duplicate copies, was not considered worthy of long term preservation.

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Records deposited in 2006 and 2009.


Related material:

The Travellers' Club: its Building History and the Evolution of its Design by Marcus Whiffen - SC/GL/NOB/B/W2/OXF/STR - W2/PAR

Publication note:

Fitzroy, Sir Almeric History of the Travellers' Club. Woking: George Allen and Unwin Limited, 1927.

Herrmann, Frank, and Michael Allen, eds. Travellers' Tales by Members of the Travellers Club. Christchurch: Castlereagh Press, 1999.

Herrmann, Frank, and Michael Allen, eds. More Tales from the Travellers - by Members of the Travellers Club. Oxford: 2005.

DESCRIPTION NOTES Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: June to August 2010.

Members' clubs | Clubs | Leisure time activities | Leisure
Social clubs | Clubs | Leisure time activities | Leisure
Travel abroad | Travel

Personal names

Corporate names
Travellers' Club | members' club

London | England | UK | Western Europe | Europe