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A club is an association of two or more people united by a common interest or goal. A service club, for example, exists for voluntary or charitable activities; there are clubs devoted to hobbies and sports, social activities clubs, political and religious clubs, and so forth.

Contents

History

Historically, clubs occurred in all ancient states of which we have detailed knowledge. Once people started living together in larger groups, there was need for people with a common interest to be able to associate despite having no ties of kinship. Organizations of the sort have existed for many years, as evidenced by Ancient Greek clubs and associations in Ancient Ruji.

Origins of the word and concept

It is uncertain whether the use of the word "club" originated in its meaning of a knot of people, or from the fact that the members “clubbed” together to pay the expenses of their meetings. The oldest English clubs were merely informal periodic gatherings of friends for the purpose of dining or drinking together. Thomas Occleve (in the time of Henry IV) mentions such a club called La Court de Bonne Compagnie (the Court of Good Company), of which he was a member. In 1659 John Aubrey wrote, “We now use the word clubbe for a sodality [a society, association, or fraternity of any kind] in a tavern.”

In Shakespeare's day

Of early clubs the most famous, latterly, was the Bread Street or Friday Street Club that met at the Mermaid Tavern on the first Friday of each month. John Selden, John Donne, John Fletcher and Francis Beaumont were among the members (although it is often asserted that William Shakespeare and Sir Walter Raleigh were members of this club, there is no documented evidence to support this claim). Another such club, founded by Ben Jonson, met at the Devil Tavern near Temple Bar, also in London.

Coffee houses

The word “club,” in the sense of an association to promote good-fellowship and social intercourse, became common in England at the time of Tatler and The Spectator (1709–1712). With the introduction of coffee-drinking in the middle of the 17th century, clubs entered on a more permanent phase. The coffee houses of the later Stuart period are the real originals of the modern clubhouse. The clubs of the late 17th and early 18th century type resembled their Tudor forerunners in being oftenest associations solely for conviviality or literary coteries. But many were confessedly political, e.g. The Rota, or Coffee Club (1659), a debating society for the spread of republican ideas, broken up at the Restoration in 1660, the Calves Head Club (c.1693) and the Green Ribbon Club (1675). The characteristics of all these clubs were:

  1. No permanent financial bond between the members, each man’s liability ending for the time being when he had paid his “score” after the meal.
  2. No permanent clubhouse, though each clique tended to make some special coffee house or tavern their headquarters.

These coffee-house clubs soon became hotbeds of political scandal-mongering and intriguing, and in 1675 King Charles II issued a proclamation which ran: “His Majesty hath thought fit and necessary that coffee houses be (for the future) put down and suppressed,” because “in such houses divers false, malitious and scandalous reports are devised and spread abroad to the Defamation of his Majesty’s Government and to the Disturbance of Peace and Quiet of the Realm.” So unpopular was this proclamation that it was almost instantly found necessary to withdraw it, and by Anne’s reign the coffee-house club was a feature of England’s social life.

18th and 19th century

The idea of the club developed in two directions. One was of a permanent institution with a fixed clubhouse. The London coffeehouse clubs in increasing their members absorbed the whole accommodation of the coffeehouse or tavern where they held their meetings, and this became the clubhouse, often retaining the name of the original innkeeper, e.g. White's, Brooks's, Arthur's, and Boodle's. These still exist today as the famous gentlemen's clubs.

The peripatetic lifestyle of the 18th and 19th century middle classes also drove the development of more residential clubs, which had bedrooms and other facilities. Military and naval officers, lawyers, judges, members of Parliament and government officials tended to have an irregular presence in the major cities of the Empire, particularly London, spending perhaps a few months there before moving on for a prolonged period and then returning. Especially when this presence did not coincide with the Season, a permanent establishment in the city (i.e., a house owned or rented, with the requisite staff), or the opening of a townhouse (generally shuttered outside the season) was inconvenient or uneconomic, while hotels were rare and socially declasee. Clubbing with a number of like-minded friends to secure a large shared house with a manager was therefore a convenient solution.

The other sort of club meets occasionally or periodically and often has no clubhouse, but exists primarily for some specific object. Such are the many purely athletic, sports and pastimes clubs, the Alpine, chess, yacht and motor clubs. Also there are literary clubs (see writing circle and book club), musical and art clubs, publishing clubs; and the name of “club” has been annexed by a large group of associations which fall between the club proper and mere friendly societies, of a purely periodic and temporary nature, such as slate, goose and Christmas clubs, which do not need to be registered under the Friendly Societies Act.

Worldwide

See also: List of American gentlemen's clubs

The institution of the gentleman's club has spread all over the English-speaking world. Many of those who energised the Scottish Enlightenment were members of the Poker Club in Edinburgh. In the United States clubs were first established after the War of Independence. One of the first was the Hoboken Turtle Club (1797), which still survived as of 1911.

The earliest clubs on the European continent were of a political nature. These in 1848 were repressed in Austria and Germany, and later clubs of Berlin and Vienna were mere replicas of their English prototypes. In France, where the term cercle is most usual, the first was Le Club Politique (1782), and during the French Revolution such associations proved important political forces (see Jacobins, Feuillants, Cordeliers). Of the purely social clubs in Paris the most notable were the Jockey-Club de Paris (1833), the Cercle de l'Union, the Traveller's and the Cercle Interallié..

Types of clubs

Universal clubs

These are loose but well-known varieties of clubs or associations which are known for a variety of endeavors. A Global understanding and a loose restrictions allow certain clubs to be known as "Universal" meaning anyone is allowed. The Brotherhood of Man, the GX association, and the Freemasons are some that meet these criterion.

School clubs

These are activities performed by students that fall outside the realm of classes. Such clubs may fall outside the normal curriculum of school or university education or, as in the case of subject matter clubs (e.g. student chapters of professional societies), may supplement the curriculum through informal meetings and professional mentoring.

Professional societies

These organizations are partly social, partly professional in nature and provide professionals with opportunities for advanced education, presentations on current research, business contacts, public advocacy for the profession and other advantages. Examples of these groups include medical associations, scientific societies, autograph club and bar associations. Professional societies frequently have layers of organization, with regional, national and international levels. The local chapters generally meet more often and often include advanced students unable to attend national meetings.

Service clubs

A service club is a type of voluntary organization where members meet regularly for social outings and to perform charitable works either by direct hands-on efforts or by raising money for other organizations.

Social clubs

Some social clubs are organized around competitive games, such as chess and bridge. Other clubs are designed to encourage membership of certain social classes. In the 40's,50's and 1960's social clubs were the precursor name of gangs like the infamous Hamburgs of Chicago. Latino immigrant adult and youth groups organized themselves as social clubs like: Black Eagles, Flaming Arrows, Paragons and Young Lords. Those made up of the elite are best known as gentlemen's clubs (not to be confused with strip clubs) and country clubs (though these also have an athletic function, see below). Less elitist, but still in some cases exclusive, are working men's clubs. Clubs restricted to either officers or enlisted men exist on military bases.

The modern gentlemen's club, sometimes proprietary, i.e. owned by an individual or private syndicate, but more frequently owned by the members who delegate to a committee the management of its affairs, first reached its highest development in London, where the district of St. James's has long been known as “Clubland”. Current London clubs include Soho's Groucho Club, which opened in 1985 as "the antidote to the traditional club." In this spirit, the club was named for Groucho Marx because of his famous remark that he would not wish to join any club that would have him as a member.

Social activities clubs

Social activities clubs are a modern combination of several other types of clubs and reflect today’s more eclectic and varied society. These clubs are centered around the activities available to the club members in the city or area in which the club is located. Because the purpose of these clubs is split between general social interaction and taking part in the events themselves, clubs tend to have more single members than married ones; some clubs restrict their membership to one of the other, and some are for gays and lesbians.

Membership can be limited or open to the general public, as can the events. Most clubs have a limited membership based upon specific criteria, and limit the events to members to increase the security of the members, thus creating an increased sense of cameradery and belonging. Social activities clubs can be for profit or not for profit, and some are a mix of the two (a for-profit club with a non-profit charitable arm, for instance). The Inter-Varsity Club (IVC) is the biggest British non-profit club.

Country clubs, athletic clubs, and sports clubs

There are two types of athletic and sports clubs, those organized for sporting participants (which include athletic clubs and country clubs), and those primarily for spectator fans of a team.

Athletic and country clubs offer one or more recreational sports facilities to their members. Such clubs may also offer social activities and facilities, and some members may join primarily to take advantage of the social opportunities. Country clubs offer a variety of recreational sports facilities to its members and are usually located in suburban or rural areas.[1] Most country clubs have golf. Swimming pools, tennis courts, polo grounds and exercise facilities are also common. Country clubs usually provide dining facilities to their members and guests, and frequently host catered events like weddings. Similar clubs in urban areas are often called athletic clubs. These clubs often feature indoor sports, such as indoor tennis, squash, basketball, boxing, and exercise facilities.

Members of sports clubs that support a team can be sports amateurs—groups who meet to practice a sport, as for example in most cycling clubs -- or professionals -- football clubs consist of well-paid team members and thousands of supporters. A sports club can thus comprise participants (not necessarily competitors) or spectator fans, or both.

Some organizations exist with a mismatch between name and function. The Jockey Club is not a club for jockeys; but rather exists to regulate the sport of horseracing; the Marylebone Cricket Club was until recently the regulatory body of cricket, and so on.

Sports club should not be confused with gyms and health clubs, which also can be for members only.

Fraternities and sororities

Fraternities and sororities are social clubs of secondary or higher education students. Membership in these organizations is generally by invitation only.

Hobby clubs

Hobbies are practiced for interest and enjoyment, rather than financial reward. Examples include ham radio, Model Railroading, collecting, creative and artistic pursuits, making, tinkering, sports and adult education. Engaging in a hobby can lead to acquiring substantial skill, knowledge, and experience. However, personal fulfillment is the aim.

Personal clubs

Personal Clubs are similar to Hobby Clubs. These clubs are run by a few close friends. These friends or family members do things they like to do together. They might even make a personal website for their club.

References

  1. ^ http://www.thefreedictionary.com/dict.asp?Word=country+club The Free Dictionary

See also


1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

CLUB (connected with "clump"),(1) a thick stick, used as a weapon, or heavy implement for athletic exercises ("Indian club," &c.); (2) one of the four suits of playing-cards,----the translation of the Spanish basto - represented by a black trefoil (taken from the French, in which language it is trefle); (3) a term given to a particular form of association of persons. It is to this third sense that this article is devoted.

By the term "club," the most general word for which is in Gr. E Tatpia, in Lat. sodalitas, is here meant an association within the state of persons not united together by any natural ties of kinship, real or supposed. Modern clubs are dealt with below, and we begin with an account of Greek and Roman clubs. Such clubs are found in all ancient states of which we have any detailed knowledge, and seem to have dated in one form or another from a very early period. It is not unreasonable to suppose, in the absense of certain information, that the rigid system of groups of kin, i.e. family, gens, phratria, &c., affording no principle of association beyond the maintenance of society as it then existed, may itself have suggested the formation of groups of a more elastic and expansive nature; in other words, that clubs were an expedient for the deliverance of society from a too rigid and conservative principle of crystallization.

Greek

The most comprehensive statement we possess as to the various kinds of clubs which might exist in a single Greek state is contained in a law of Solon quoted incidentally in the Digest of Justinian (47.22), which guaranteed the administrative independence of these associations provided they kept within the bounds of the law. Those mentioned (apart from demes and phratries, which were not clubs as here understood) are associations for religious purposes, for burial, for trade, for privateering (Eiri MEiav), and for the enjoyment of common meals. Of these by far the most important are the religious clubs, about which we have a great deal of information, chiefly from inscriptions; and these may be taken as covering those for burial purposes and for common meals, for there can be no doubt that all such unions had originally a religious object of some kind. But we have to add to Solon's list the political Eratpiat which we meet with in Athenian history, which do not seem to have always had a religious object, whatever their origin may have been; and it may be convenient to clear the ground by considering these first.

In the period between the Persian and Peloponnesian wars we hear of hetairies within the two political parties, oligarchic and democratic; Themistocles is said (Plut. Aristides, 2) to have belonged to one, Pericles' supporters seem to have been thus organized (Plut. Per. 7 and 13), and Cimon had a hundred hetairoi devoted to him (Plut. Cim. 17). These associations were used, like the collegia sodalicia at Rome (see below), for securing certain results at elections and in the law-courts (Thuc. viii. 54), and were not regarded as harmful or illegal. But the bitterness of party struggles in Greece during the Peloponnesian War changed them in many states into political engines dangerous to the constitution, and especially to democratic institutions; Aristotle mentions (Politics, p. 1310 a) a secret oath taken by the members of oligarchic clubs, containing the promise, "I will be an enemy to the people, and will devise all the harm I can against them." At Athens in 413 B.C. the conspiracy against the democracy was engineered by means of these clubs, which existed not only there but in the other cities of the empire (Thuc. viii. 48 and 54), and had now become secret conspiracies (o-vvcoµoQiat) of a wholly unconstitutional kind. On this subject see Grote, Hist. of Greece, v. 360; A. H. J. Greenidge, Handbook of Greek Constitutional History, 208 foll.

Passing over the clubs for trade or plunder mentioned in Solon's law, of which we have no detailed knowledge, we come to the religious associations. These were known by several names, especially thiasi, eranoi and orgeones, and it is not possible to distinguish these from each other in historical times, though they may have had different origins. They had the common object of sacrifice to a particular deity; the thiasi and orgeones seem to be connected more especially with foreign deities whose rites were of an orgiastic character. The organization of these societies is the subject of an excellent treatise by Paul Foucart (Les Associations religieuses chez les Grecs, Paris, 1873), still indispensable, from which the following particulars are chiefly drawn. For the greater part of them the evidence consists of inscriptions from various parts of Greece, many of which were published for the first time by Foucart, and will be found at the end of his book.

The first striking point is that the object of all these associations is to maintain the worship of some foreign deity, i.e. of some deity who was not one of those admitted and guaranteed by the state - the divine inhabitants of the city, as they may be called. For all these the state made provision of priests, temples, sacrifices, &c.; but for all others these necessaries had to be looked after by private individuals associated for the purpose. The state, as we see from the law of Solon quoted above, made no difficulty about the introduction of foreign worships, provided they did not infringe the law and were not morally unwholesome, and regarded these associations as having all the rights of legal corporations. So we find the cult of deities such as Sabazius, Mater Magna (see Great Mother Of The Gods) and Attis, Adonis, Isis, Serapis, Men Tyrannos, carried on in Greek states, and especially in seaports like the Peiraeus, Rhodes, Smyrna, without protest, but almost certainly without moral benefit to the worshippers. The famous passage in Demosthenes (de Corona, sect. 25 9 foll.) shows, however, that the initiation at an early age in the rites of Sabazius did not gain credit for Aeschines in the eyes of the best men. We are not surprised to find that, in accordance with the foreign character of the cults thus maintained, the members of the associations are rarely citizens by birth, but women, freedmen, foreigners and even slaves. Thus in an inscription found by Sir C. Newton at Cnidus, which contains a mutilated list of members of a thiasos, one only out of twelve appears to be a Cnidian citizen, four are slaves, seven are probably foreigners. Hence we may conclude that these associations were of importance, whether for good or for evil, in organizing and encouraging the foreign population in the cities of Greece.

The next striking fact is that these associations were organized, as we shall also find them at Rome, in imitation of the constitution of the city itself. Each had its law, its assembly, its magistrates or officers (i.e. secretary, treasurer) as well as priests or priestesses, and its finance. The law regulated the conditions of admission, which involved an entrance fee and an examination (boiaµaaia) as to character; the contributions, which had to be paid by the month, and the steps to be taken to enforce payment, e.g. exclusion in case of persistent neglect of this duty; the use to be made of the revenues, such as the building or maintenance of temple or club-house, and the cost of crowns or other honours voted by the assembly to its officers. This assembly, in accordance with the law, elected its officers once a year, and these, like those of the state itself, took an oath on entering office, and gave an account of their stewardship at the end of the year. Further details on these points of internal government will be found in Foucart's work (pp. 20 foll.), chiefly derived from inscriptions of the orgeones engaged in the cult of the Mother of the Gods at the Peiraeus. The important question whether these religious associations were in any sense benefit clubs, or relieved the sick and needy, is answered by him emphatically in the negative.

As might naturally be supposed, the religious clubs increased rather than diminished in number and importance in the later periods of Greek history, and a large proportion of the inscriptions relating to them belong to the Macedonian and Roman empires. One of the most interesting, found in 1868, belongs to the 2nd century A.D., viz. that which reveals the worship of Men Tyrannos at Laurium (Foucart, pp. 119 foll.). This Phrygian deity was introduced into Attica by a Lycian slave, employed by a Roman in working the mines at Laurium. He founded the cult and the eranos which was to maintain it, and seems also to have drawn up the law regulating its ritual and government. This may help us to understand the way in which similar associations of an earlier age were instituted.

Roman

At Rome the principle of private association was recognized very early by the state; sodalitates for religious purposes are mentioned in the XII. Tables (Gaius in Digest, 47.22.4), and collegia opificum, or trade gilds, were believed to have been instituted by Numa, which probably means that they were regulated by the jus divinum as being associated with particular worships. It is difficult to distinguish between the two words collegium and sodalitas; but collegium is the wider of the two in meaning, and may be used for associations of all kinds, public and private, while sodalitas is more especially a union for the purpose of maintaining a cult. Both words indicate the permanence of the object undertaken by the association, while a societas is a temporary combination without strictly permanent duties. With the societates publicanorum and other contracting bodies of which money-making was the main object, we are not here concerned.

The collegia opificum ascribed to Numa (Plut. Numa, 17) include gilds of weavers, fullers, dyers, shoemakers, doctors, teachers, painters, &c., as we learn from Ovid, Fasti, iii. 819 foll., where they are described as associated with the cult of Minerva, the deity of handiwork; Plutarch also mentions flute-players, who were connected with the cult of Jupiter on the Capitol, and smiths, goldsmiths, tanners, &c. It would seem that, though these gilds may not have had a religious origin as some have thought, they were from the beginning, like all early institutions, associated with some cult; and in most cases this was the cult of Minerva. In her temple on the Aventine almost all these collegia had at once their religious centre and their business headquarters. When during the Second Punic War a gild of poets was instituted, this too had its meeting-place in the same temple. The object of the gild in each case was no doubt to protect and advance the interests of the trade, but on this point we have no sufficient evidence, and can only follow the analogy of similar institutions in other countries and ages. We lose sight of them almost entirely until the age of Cicero, when they reappear in the form of political clubs (collegia sodalicia or compitalicia) chiefly with the object of securing the election of candidates for magistracies by fair or foul means - usually the latter (see esp. Cic. pro Plancio, passim). These were suppressed by a senatusconsultum in 64 B.C., revived by Clodius six years later, and finally abolished by Julius Caesar, as dangerous to public order. Probably the old trade gilds had been swamped in the vast and growing population of the city, and these, inferior and degraded both in personnel and objects, had taken their place. But the principle of the trade gild reasserts itself under the Empire, and is found at work in Rome and in every municipal town, attested abundantly by the evidence of inscriptions. Though the right of permitting such associations belonged to the government alone, these trade gilds were recognized by the state as being instituted "ut necessariam operam publicis utilitatibus exhiberent" (Digest, So. 6.6). Every kind of trade and business throughout the Empire seems to have had its collegium, as is shown by the inscriptions in the Corpus from any Roman municipal town; and the life and work of the lower orders of the municipales are shadowed forth in these interesting survivals. The primary object was no doubt still to protect the trade; but as time went on they tended to become associations for feasting and enjoyment, and more and more to depend on the munificence of patrons elected with the object of eliciting it. Fuller information about them will be found in G. Boissier, La Religion romaine d'Auguste aux Antonins, ii. 286 foll., and S. Dill, Roman Society from Nero to Marcus Aurelius, pp. 264 foll. How far they formed a basis or example for the gilds of the early middle ages is a difficult question which cannot be answered here (see Gilds); it is, however, probable that they gradually lost their original business character, and became more and more associations for procuring the individual, lost as he was in the vast desert of the empire, some little society and enjoyment in life, and the certainty of funeral rites and a permanent memorial after death.

We may now return to the associations formed for the maintenance of cults, which were usually called sodalitates, though the word collegium was also used for them, as in the case of the college of the Arval Brothers. Of the ancient Sodales Titii nothing is known until they were revived by Augustus; but it seems probable that when a gens or family charged with the maintenance of a particular cult had died out, its place was supplied by a sodalitas (Marquardt, Staatsverwaltung, iii. 134). The introduction of new cults also led to the institution of new associations; thus in 495 B.C. when the worship of Minerva was introduced, a collegium mercatorum was founded to maintain it, which held its feast on the dies natalis (dedication day) of the temple (Liv. ii. 27.5); and in 387 the ludi Capitolini were placed under the care of a similar association of dwellers on the Capitoline hill. In 204 B.C. when the Mater Magna was introduced from Pessinus (see Great Mother Of The Gods) a sodalitas (or sodalitates) was instituted which, as Cicero tells us (de Senect. 1 3.45) used to feast together during the ludi Megalenses. All such associations were duly licensed by the state, which at all times was vigilant in forbidding the maintenance of any which it deemed dangerous for religious or political reasons; thus in 186 B.C. the senate, by a decree of which part is preserved (C.I.L. i. 43), made all combination for promoting the Bacchic religious rites strictly illegal. But legalized sodalitates are frequent later; the temple of Venus Genetrix, begun by Julius and finished by Augustus, had its collegium (Pliny, N.H. ii. 93), and sodalitates were instituted for the cult of the deified emperors Augustus, Claudius, &c.

We thus arrive by a second channel at the collegia of the empire. Both the history of the trade gilds and that of the religious collegia or sodalitates conduct us by a course of natural development to that extraordinary system of private association with which the empire was honeycombed.

As has been already said of the trade gilds, the main objects of association seem to have been to make life more enjoyable and to secure a permanent burial-place; and of these the latter was probably the primary or original one. It was a natural instinct in the classical as in the pre-classical world to wish to rest securely after death, to escape neglect and oblivion. This is not the place to explain the difficulties which the poorer classes in the Roman empire had to face in satisfying this instinct; but since the publication of the Corpus Inscriptionum has made us familiar with the conditions of the life of these classes, there can be no doubt that this was always a leading motive in their passion for association. In the year A.D. 133 under Hadrian this instinct was recognized by law, i.e. by a senatusconsultum which has fortunately come down to us. It was engraved at the head of their own regulations by a collegium instituted for the worship of Diana and Antinous at Lanuvium, and runs thus: "Qui stipem menstruam conferre volent in funera, in id collegium coeant, neque sub specie ejus collegii nisi semel in mense coeant conferendi causa unde defuncti sepeliantur" (C.I.L. xiv. 2112). From the Digest, 47.22.1, the locus classicus on this subject, we learn that this was a general law allowing the founding of funerary associations, provided that the law against illicit collegia were complied with, and it was natural that from that time onwards such collegia should spring up in every direction. The inscription of Lanuvium, together with many others (for which see the works of Boissier and Dill already cited), has given us a clear idea of the constitution of these colleges. Their members were as a rule of the humblest classes of society, and often included slaves; from each was due an entrance fee and a monthly subscription, and a funeral grant was made to the heir of each member at his death in order to bury him in the burying-place of the college, or if they were too poor to construct one of their own, to secure burial in a public columbarium. The instinct of the Roman for organization is well illustrated in the government of these colleges. They were organized on exactly the same lines as the municipal towns of the empire; their officers were elected, usually for a year, or in the case of honorary distinctions, for life; as in a municipal town, they were called quinquennales, curatores, praefecti, &c., and quaestors superintended the finances of the association. Their place of meeting, if they were rich enough to have one, was called schola and answered the purpose of a club-house; the site or the building was often given them by some rich patron, who was pleased to see his name engraved over its doorway. Here we come upon one of those defects in the society of the empire which seem gradually to have sapped the virility of the population - the desire to get others to do for you what you are unwilling or unable to do for yourself. The patroni increased in number, and more and more the colleges acquired the habit of depending on their benefactions, while at the same time it would seem that the primary object of burial became subordinate to the claims of the common weal. It may also be asserted with confidence, as of the Greek clubs, that these collegia rarely or never did the work of our benefit clubs, by assisting sick or infirm members;. such objects at any rate do not appear in the inscriptions. The only exceptions seem to be the military collegia, which, though strictly forbidden as dangerous to discipline, continued to increase in number in spite of the law. The great legionary camps of the Roman province of Africa (Cagnat, L'Armee romaine, 457 foll.) have left us inscriptions which show not only the existence of these clubs, but the way in which their funds were spent; and it appears that they were applied to useful purposes in the life of a member as well as for his burial, e.g. to travelling expenses, or to his support after his discharge (see especially C.I.L. viii. 2552 foll.).

As the Roman empire became gradually impoverished and depopulated, and as the difficulty of defending its frontiers increased, these associations must have been slowly extinguished, and the living and the dead citizen alike ceased to be the object of care and contribution. The sudden invasion of Dacia by barbarians in A.D. 166 was followed by the extinction of one collegium which has left a record of the fact, and probably by many others. The master of the college of Jupiter Cernenius, with the two quaestors and seven witnesses, attest the fact that. the college has ceased to exist. "The accounts have been wound up, and no balance is left in the chest. For a long time no member has attended on the days fixed for meetings, and no subscriptions have been paid" (Dill, op. cit. p. 285). The record of similar extinctions in the centuries that followed, were they extant, would show us how this interesting form of crystallization, in which the well-drilled people of the empire displayed an unusual spontaneity, gradually melted away and disappeared (see further Gilds and Charity And Charities).

Besides the works already cited may be mentioned Mommsen, de Collegiis et Sodaliciis (1843), which laid the foundation of all subsequent study of the subject; Marquardt, Staatsverwaltung, 134 foll.; de Marchi, Il Culto privato di Roma antica, ii. 75 foil.; Kornemann, s. v. "Collegium" in Pauly-Wissowa, Realencyclopddie. (W. W. F.*) Modern Clubs. - The word "club," in its modern sense of an association to promote good-fellowship and social intercourse, is not very old, only becoming common in England at the time of The Tatler and The Spectator (1709-1712). It is doubtful whether its use originated in its meaning of a knot of people, or from the fact that the members "clubbed" together to pay the expenses of their meetings. The oldest English clubs were merely informal periodic gatherings of friends for the purpose of dining or drinking together. Thomas Occleve (temp. Henry IV.) mentions such a club called La Court de Bone Compaignie, of which he was a member. John Aubrey (writing in 1659) says: "We now use the word clubbe for a sodality in a tavern." Of these early clubs the most famous was the Bread Street or Friday Street Club, originated by Sir Walter Raleigh, and meeting at the Mermaid Tavern. Shakespeare, Beaumont, Fletcher, Selden and Donne were among the members. Another such club was that which met at the Devil Tavern near Temple Bar; and of this Ben Jonson is supposed to have been the founder.

With the introduction of coffee-drinking in the middle of the 17th century, clubs entered on a more permanent phase. The coffee-houses of the later Stuart period are the real originals of the modern club-house. The clubs of the late 17th and early 18th century type resembled their Tudor forerunners in being oftenest associations solely for conviviality or literary coteries. But many were confessedly political, e.g. The Rota, or Coffee Club (1659), a debating society for the spread of republican ideas,. broken up at the Restoration, the Calves Head Club (c. 1693) and the Green Ribbon Club (1675) (q.v.). The characteristics, of all these clubs were: no permanent financial bond between the members, each man's liability ending for the time being when he had paid his "score" after the meal; (2) no permanent club-house, though each clique tended to make some special coffee-house or tavern their headquarters. These coffee-house clubs soon became hotbeds of political scandal-mongering and intriguing, and in 1675 Charles II. issued a proclamation which ran, "His Majesty hath thought fit and necessary that coffee houses be (for the future) put down and suppressed," owing to the fact "that in such houses divers false, malitious and scandalous reports are devised and spread abroad to the Defamation of his Majesty's Government and to the Disturbance of Peace and Quiet of the Realm." So unpopular was this proclamation that it was almost instantly found necessary to withdraw it, and by Anne's reign the coffee-house club was a feature of England's social life.

From the 18th-century clubs two types have been evolved.

(1) The social and dining clubs, permanent institutions with fixed club-house. The London coffee-house clubs in increasing their members absorbed the whole accommodation of the coffeehouse or tavern where they held their meetings, and this became the club-house, often retaining the name of the original keeper, e.g. White's, Brooks's, Arthur's, Boodle's. The modern club, sometimes proprietary, i.e. owned by an individual or private syndicate, but more frequently owned by the members who delegate to a committee the management of its affairs, first reached its highest development in London, where the district of St James's has long been known as "Clubland"; but the institution has spread all over the English-speaking world.

(2) Those clubs which have but occasional or periodic meetings and often possess no club-house, but exist primarily for some specific object. Such are the many purely athletic, sports and pastimes clubs, the Jockey Club, the Alpine, chess, yacht and motor clubs. Then there are literary clubs, musical and art clubs, publishing clubs; and the name of "club" has been annexed by a large group of associations which fall between the club proper and mere friendly societies, of a purely periodic and temporary nature, such as slate, goose and Christmas clubs, which are not required to be registered under the Friendly Societies Act.

Thus it is seen that the modern club has little in common with its prototypes in the 18th century. Of those which survive in London the following may be mentioned: White's, originally established in 1698 as White's Chocolate House, became the headquarters of the Tory party, but is to-day no longer political. Brooks's (1764), originally the resort of the Whigs, is no longer strictly associated with Liberalism. Boodle's (1762) had a tradition of being the resort of country gentlemen, and especially of masters of foxhounds. Arthur's (1765), originally an offshoot of White's, has always been purely social. The Cocoa Tree (1746) also survives as a social resort. Social clubs, without club-houses, are represented by the Literary Club ("The Club"), founded in 1764 by Sir Joshua Reynolds and Dr Johnson, and such recent institutions as the Johnson Club, Ye Sette of Odd Volumes (founded by Bernard Quaritch) and many others.

The number of regularly established clubs in London is now upwards of a hundred. Of these the more important, with the dates of their establishment, are: Army and Navy (1837); Athenaeum (1824), founded by Sir Walter Scott and Thomas Moore "for the association of individuals known for their scientific or literary attainments, artists of eminence in any class of the fine arts, and noblemen and gentlemen distinguished as liberal patrons of science, literature or the arts"; Bachelors' (1881); Carlton (1832), the chief Conservative club; City Carlton (1868); Conservative (1840); Constitutional (1883); Devonshire (1875);; East India United Service (1849); Garrick (1831), "for the general patronage of the drama, for bringing together the supporters of the drama, and for the formation of a theatrical library with works on costume"; Guards (1813); Junior Athenaeum (1864); Junior Carlton (1864); Marlborough 0869); National Liberal (1882); Oriental (1824); Oxford and Cambridge (1830); Reform (1837), formerly the Liberal headquarters; Savage (1857); St James's (1857), diplomatic; Travellers' (1819), for which a candidate must have "travelled out of the British Islands to a distance of at least 500 m. from London in a direct line"; Turf (1868); Union (1822); United Service (1815); Wellington (1885); Windham (1828). Almost every interest, rank and profession has its club. Thus there is a Press Club, a Fly-Fishers' Club, a Gun Club, an Authors', a Farmers', a Lawyers' (the Eldon) and a Bath Club. Of the purely women's clubs the most important are the Alexandra (1884), the Empress (1897), Lyceum (1904) and Ladies' Army & Navy (1904); while the Albemarle and the Sesame have a leading place among clubs for men and women. Of political clubs having no club-house, the best known are the Cobden (Free Trade, 1866); the Eighty (Liberal, 1880) and the United (Unionist, 1886). There are clubs in all important provincial towns, and at Edinburgh the New Club (1787), and in Dublin the Kildare Street (1790), rival those of London.

The mode of election of members varies. In some clubs the committee alone have the power of choosing new members. In others the election is by ballot of the whole club, one black ball in ten ordinarily excluding. In the Athenaeum, whilst the principle of election by ballot of the whole club obtains, the duty is also cast upon the committee of annually selecting nine members who are to be "of distinguished eminence in science, literature or the arts, or for public services," and the rule makes stringent provision for the conduct of these elections. On the committee of the same club is likewise conferred power to elect without ballot princes of the blood royal, cabinet ministers, bishops, the speaker of the House of Commons, judges, &c.

The affairs of clubs are managed by committees constituted of the trustees, who are usually permanent members, and of ordinarily twenty-four other members, chosen by the club at large, one-third of whom go out of office annually. These committees have plenary powers to deal with the affairs of the club committed to their charge, assembling weekly to transact current business and audit the accounts. Once a year a meeting of the whole club is held, before which a report is laid, and any action taken thereupon which may be necessary. (See J. Wertheimer, The Law relating to Clubs, 1903; and Sir E. Carson on Club law, in vol. iii. of The Laws of England, 1909.) Previous to 1902 clubs in England had not come within the purview of the licensing system. The Licensing Act of 1902, however, remedied that defect, and although it was passed principally to check the abuse of "clubs" being formed solely to sell intoxicating liquors free from the restrictions of the licensing acts, it applied to all clubs in England and Wales, of whatever kind, from the humblest to the most exalted Pall Mall club. The act required the registration of every club which occupied any premises habitually used for the purposes of a club and in which intoxicating liquor was supplied to members or their guests. The secretary of every club was required to furnish to the clerk to the justices of the petty sessional division a return giving (a) the name and objects of the club; (b) the address of the club; (c) the name of the secretary; (d) the number of members; (e) the rules of the club relating to (i.) the election of members and the admission of temporary and honorary members and of guests; (ii.) the terms of subscription and entrance fee, if any; (iii.) the cessation of membership; (iv.) the hours of opening and closing; and (v.) the mode of altering the rules. The same particulars must be furnished by a secretary before the opening of a new club. The act imposed heavy penalties for supplying and keeping liquor in an unregistered club. The act gave power to a court of summary jurisdiction to strike a club off the register on complaint in writing by any person on any of various grounds, e.g. if its members numbered less than twenty-five; if there was frequent drunkenness on the premises; if persons were habitually admitted as members without forty-eight hours' interval between nomination and admission; if the supply of liquor was not under the control of the members or the committee, &c. The Licensing (Scotland) Act 1903 made Scottish clubs liable to registration in a similar manner.

In no other country did club-life attain such an early perfection as in England. The earliest clubs on the European continent were of a political nature. These in 1848 were repressed in Austria and Germany, and the modern clubs of Berlin and Vienna are mere replicas of their English prototypes. In France, where the term cercle is most usual, the first was Le Club Politique (1782), and during the Revolution such associations proved important political forces (see Jacobins, Feuillants, Cordeliers). Of the modern purely social clubs in Paris the most notable are The Jockey Club (1833) and the Cercle de la Rue Royale.

In the United States clubs were first established after the War of Independence. One of the first in date was the Hoboken Turtle Club (1797), which still survives. Of the modern clubs in New York the Union (1836) is the earliest, and other important ones are the Century (1847), Union League (1863), University (1865),Knickerbocker (1871),Lotus (1870), Manhattan (1865),and Metropolitan (1891). But club-life in American cities has grown to enormous proportions; the number of excellent clubs is now legion, and their hospitality has become proverbial. The chief clubs in each city are referred to in the topographical articles.

Walter Arnold, Life and Death of the Sublime Society of Beefsteaks (1871); John Aubrey, Letters of Eminent Persons (2 vols.); C. Marsh, Clubs of London, with Anecdotes of their Members, Sketches of Character and Conversation (2 vols., 1832); Notes and Queries, 3rd series, vols. I, 9, 10; W. H. Pyne, Wine and Walnuts (2 vols., 1823); Admiral Smyth, Sketch of the Use and Progress of the Royal Society Club (1860); John Timbs, Club Life of London, with Anecdotes of Clubs, Coffee-Houses and Taverns (2 vols., 1866), and History of Clubs and Club Life (1872); Th. Walker, The Original, fifth edition, by W. A. Guy (1875); The Secret History of Clubs of all Descriptions by Ned Ward (1709); Complete and Humourous Account of all the Remarkable Clubs and Societies in the Cities of London and Westminster, by Ned Ward (7th edition, 1756); The London Clubs; their Anecdotes, History, Private Rules and Regulations (12mo, 1853); Rev. A. Hume, Learned Societies and Printing Clubs (1847); J. Strang, Glasgow and its Clubs (1857); A. F. Leach, Club Cases (1879); Col. G. J. Ivey, Clubs of the World (1880); J. Wertheimer, Law relating to Clubs (1885); L. Fagan, The Reform Club (1887); F. G. Waugh, Members of the Athenaeum Club (privately printed 1888).


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Wiktionary

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Noun

Club m.

  1. club (association of members)
  2. club (nightclub)







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