GARRICK CLUB, No.35, KING STREET, COVENT GARDEN. Instituted in 1831, and named after David Garrick, to denote the theatrical inclination of its members. A lover of the English Drama and stage may spend two hours very profitably in viewing the large collection of theatrical portraits, the property of a member of the club, and chiefly collected by the late Charles Matthews, the actor. ... The pictures are on view every Wednesday, and the only mode of seeing them is the personal introduction of a member of the Club.
Peter Cunningham, Hand-Book of London, 1850
see also London at Dinner, 1858 - click here
The GARRICK, 35 King Street, Covent Garden, was established in 1831. Its founders proposed the general patronage of the drama, and the formation of a Club which
should combine economical charges with the advantages of
literary society; an object which has been successfully attained. The number of members is limited to 350, who
are balloted for, and pay an entrance fee of 21l, and an
annual subscription of 8l. 8s.
This Club possesses many celebrated theatrical portraits, chiefly collected by the late Charles Mathews.
Admission every Wednesday, from 11 to 3, by member' s order.
The walls of the smoking-room are covered with paintings by David Roberts, Louis Haghe, and Clarkson Stanfield.
Cruchley's London in 1865 : A Handbook for Strangers, 1865
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Instituted for the general patronage of the drama; for the purpose of combining
the use of a club, on economical principles, with the advantages of a literary
society; for bringing together the supporters of the drama; and for the
formation of a theatrical library, with works on costume. The election of
members is vested in the general committee. If a less number than twelve voting
members of the committee are present, two black balls will exclude; if twelve or
more, three. No candidate to be admitted unless seven of the committee vote. In
every case when the minimum amount of black balls is found, the ballot must be
taken a second time. Four candidates in each year may be selected by the
committee in consideration of their public eminence or distinction. The entrance
money is fixed at such amount as the committee may from time to time determine.
The annual subscription is £8 8s. The committee have power to admit, pro
tem., any distinguished foreigner known to the theatrical, musical, or
literary world. Visitors are only admitted to the rooms set apart for their
reception, except on Wednesdays, when members can take their friends all over
the house to inspect the pictures.
Charles Dickens (Jr.), Dickens's Dictionary of London, 1879