Victorian London - Entertainment and Recreation - Clubs - Travellers Club

TRAVELLERS' CLUB (THE), next The Athenaeum in Pall Mall, originated, soon after the peace of 1814, in a suggestion of the late Lord Londonderry, then Lord Castlereagh, for the resort of gentlemen who had resided or travelled abroad, as well as with a view to the accommodation of foreigners, who, when properly recommended, receive an invitation for the period of their stay. Here Prince Talleyrand was fond of a game at whist. With all the advantage of his great imperturbability of face, he is said to have been an indifferent player. The present Club-house (Charles Barry, architect) was built in 1832, and is much and deservedly admired. The Carlton-terrace front is very fine. The Club is limited to 700 members. Each member, on his admission, pays 30 guineas, in which sum is included his subscription for the current year. The annual subscription is 10 guineas. Rule 6 directs, "That no person be considered eligible to the Travellers' Club, who shall not have travelled out of the British islands to a distance of at least 500 miles from London in a direct line. Rule 10 directs, "That no dice and no game of hazard be allowed in the rooms of the Club, nor any higher stake than guinea points, and that no cards be introduced before dinner."

Peter Cunningham, Hand-Book of London, 1850

The TRAVELLERS', 106 Pall Mall, built in 1832, at a cost of nearly 30,000l., from Sir Charles Barry's designs. The number of members is limited to 725, each of whom must have travelled at least 500 miles from London. Entrance fee, 31l. 10s.; annual subscription, 10l. 10s.

Cruchley's London in 1865 : A Handbook for Strangers, 1865

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Travellers’ Club,  106, Pall Mall. — The following is the form of recommendation of candidates for this club: “A. B. being desirous of becoming a member of the Travellers’ Club, we, the undersigned, do, from our personal knowledge, recommend him to that honour, subject to the qualification of Rule 15.” The provision of Rule 15 is “that no person be considered eligible who shall not have travelled out of the British Islands to a distance of at least 500 miles from London in a direct line.” The members elect by ballot. When 12 and under 18 members ballot, one black ball, if repeated, shall exclude; if 18 and upwards ballot, two black balls exclude, and the ballot cannot be repeated. The presence of 12 members is necessary for a ballot. Each member on admission is required to pay £42, which sum includes his subscription for the current year. Each subsequent annual subscription is £10 10s. 

Charles Dickens (Jr.), Dickens's Dictionary of London, 1879