Boodle's

Boodle's is a London gentlemen's club, founded in 1762, at 49-51 Pall Mall, London by Lord Shelburne the future Marquess of Lansdowne and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, and the club came to be known after the name of its head waiter Edward Boodle.

In 1782 Boodle's took over the "Savoir Vivre" club house at 28 St. James's Street, London and has been located there ever since.

The club-house was designed by John Crunden in 1775 and the ground floor was refurbished by John Buonarotti Papworth between 1821 and 1834.

Notable former members
  • David Hume (1711–1776)
  • Adam Smith (1723-1790)
  • Edward Gibbon (1737-1794)
  • William Petty-FitzMaurice, 1st Marquess of Lansdowne, KG, PC (1737–1805)
  • William Cavendish, 5th Duke of Devonshire, KG (1748–1811)
  • Rt. Hon. Charles James Fox, PC (1749–1806)
  • Michael Angelo Taylor (1757–1834)
  • John Fane, 10th Earl of Westmorland, KG, PC (1759–1841)
  • William Wilberforce (1759–1833)
  • Field Marshal Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, KG, GCB, GCH, PC, FRS (1769-1852)
  • George "Beau" Bryan Brummell (1778–1840)
  • Col. Claud Thomas Bourchier, VC (1831–1877)
  • Col. John Worthy Chaplin, VC, CB (1840–1920)
  • Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, KG, OM, CH, TD, PC, DL, FRS, Hon. RA (1874–1965)
  • Cdr. Wilfred Albert (Biffy) Dunderdale (1899–1990)
  • Ian Lancaster Fleming (1908–1964)
  • James David Graham Niven (1910–1983)
  • Charles Lyell, 2nd Baron Lyell, VC (1913-1943)
  • Brig. John "Jack" Profumo, 5th Baron Profumo, CBE (1915-2006)

It is reputed that Beau Brummell's last bet took place at the Club before he fled the country to France. Four members have been awarded the VC.

Sir Winston Churchill was one of the few people to be elected to honorary membership.

Adam Smith, a member of Boodle's, is the face on the Bank of England's £20 note.

Famous recent members
  • Sir William Roger Clotworthy Moore, TD, 3rd Baronet (1927)
  • Julian Kitchener-Fellowes, Baron Fellowes of West Stafford, DL (1949)
  • Andrew R. Hargreaves (1955)
In fiction

Ian Fleming is said to have based the Blades Club from his James Bond novels on Boodle's. However, Boodle's itself is referenced in the novel Moonraker.

Of J. K. Stanford's George Hysteron-Proteron, said to be a member of Boodle's, a real-life member wrote in 1944: "I see the author mentions Boodle's. I don't know if he is a member here but there are six George Proterons sitting round me in the smoking-room at the moment."

In the film The Avengers Boodle's is shown and as Uma Thurman's character Emma Peel, walks in it is said "No females have been in Boodle's since 1762".

Referenced in W.E.B. Griffin and William E. Butterworth IV's novel "The Double Agents," part of the "Men at War" series. Ian Fleming and David Niven are referenced as well as their membership at Boodles. While the actual story is fiction, the membership at Boodles, the friendship between the characters, and their participation in intelligence activities during WWII are factual.

In Oscar Wilde's 1895 play An Ideal Husband, Sir Robert Chiltern says, "Lord Goring is the result of Boodle's Club, Mrs. Cheveley," after Lord Goring establishes that he is a bachelor. Mrs. Cheveley responds, "He reflects every credit on the institution."

In Charles Dickens's 1853 novel Bleak House, ch. XII "On The Watch", a satirical paragraph mentions the lords Boodle and Coodle, Sir Thomas Doodle, the Duke of Foodle, etc., alluding to the famous club and thereby to the closed set of politicians and other powerful men, passing power among themselves.

Other
  • Boodle's Orange Fool is a traditional club dish.
  • Boodle's is the second oldest club in the world, the oldest being White's.