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CASUAL CLUB

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 LMA/4622
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
  Click here to find out how to view this collection at https://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/things-to-do/london-metropolitan-archives/Pages/ ›
Full title: CASUAL CLUB
Date(s): 1866-2007
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 1.18 linear metres
Name of creator(s): Casual Club | members' club

Context

Administrative/Biographical history:

The Casual Club was founded in 1866 by the Reverend W J Brodribb, Mr H C Boyes and friends at Dick Tavern in Fleet Street, when the former read a paper on 'Compulsory Education'. The founders were prompted by admiration for the coffee house and tavern coteries of Doctor Johnson and his friends. These coteries provided a kaleidoscope of amusing and informative conversation.

The Casuals believed that they were one of the few of those semi-organised coteries to survive and continued to meet every second Thursday in the month between October and May, to listen to a short talk by a member or visitor or simply engage in friendly discussion on every variety of subjects. The diversity of professions and pursuits of members enabled the meetings to be completed educationally and pleasantly. Over the years, members included authors, energetic housewives, engineers and Privy Councillors who have expounded and illustrated their views on subjects ranging from the mundane to the metaphysical.

The Casual Club meetings were held where it was convenient for travel and for people on their way home from work. One of the venues included The Society of Friends, 52 Saint Martin's Lane, WC2. Meetings generally terminated at 20:30 and sometimes even later to 21:15. Individuals that were considering membership were invited to meetings to see how interesting and useful, they can be. A dinner was also held every autumn, prior to commencing the meetings and a midsummer visit was made to places of interest and refreshment.

The Casual Club had a crest, which was a butterfly and this was flitted from place to place. Initially meetings were conducted at Dick Coffee House, which was located opposite Temple Bar. After its demolition, the Club moved to the Alpine Club in Saint Martin's Place. In 1875, it met at the Century Club. For a long period, meetings took place at the Royal Commonwealth Society. A move to the Horse and Groom in Poland Street was succeeded by meetings at the Institute of Contemporary Art, whence the Club moved to Saint James Hotel.

The history of the Club is largely that of people. From the original church led membership, it changed to Medicine, Science, Law, Engineering, Architecture and Writing. The second paper read at the Casual Club was by Sir Benjamin Ward Richardson. It was called 'Local Anaesthesia' and lecture took place with demonstrations. Sir Morell Mackenzie, throat specialist, who attended the German Emperor, was followed amongst others such as Sir J. Crichton Browne and Sir Ernest Graham-Little, Member of Parliament. On the side of Law, there have been those who followed William Patchett Q.C. to the late Sir John Beaumont who gave a speech at the annual dinner when he was 94 years old.

Source of information: 'The Casual Club: Origin and Activities' {LMA/4622/D/01/006}.

Content

Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the Casual Club, 1866-2007, including minutes, papers and correspondence concerning administrative issues, membership cards, members' directories, attendance books, subscription books, papers and correspondence concerning members, lecture material, photographs of members, account books, papers and correspondence relating to accounts, printed histories of the club, meetings' programmes and an engraved gavel.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:
English

System of arrangement:

These records are arranged as follows:

LMA/4622/A ADMINISTRATION
LMA/4622/A/01 MINUTES
LMA/4622/A/02 PAPERS AND CORRESPONDENCE

LMA/4622/B MEMBERS
LMA/4622/B/01 MEMBERSHIP CARDS
LMA/4622/B/02 MEMBERS' DIRECTORIES
LMA/4622/B/03 ATTENDANCE BOOKS
LMA/4622/B/04 SUBSCRIPTION BOOKS
LMA/4622/B/05 PAPERS AND CORRESPONDENCE
LMA/4622/B/06 LECTURE MATERIAL
LMA/4622/B/07 PHOTOGRAPHS

LMA/4622/C FINANCE
LMA/4622/C/01 ACCOUNT BOOKS
LMA/4622/C/02 PAPERS AND CORRESPONDENCE

LMA/4622/D PRINTED MATERIAL
LMA/4622/D/01 PRINTED PAPERS
LMA/4622/D/02 MEETINGS' PROGRAMME CARDS

LMA/4622/E ARTEFACTS
LMA/4622/E/01 ARTEFACTS

Conditions governing access:

These records are available for public inspection, although records containing personal information are subject to access restrictions under the UK Data Protection Act, 1998.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright is held by City of London.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at: http://search.lma.gov.uk/opac_lma/index.htm

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Deposited in November 2007.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

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:
Added February 2013.

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