Clermont Set

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The Clermont Set was an exclusive group of rich British gamblers who met at the Clermont Club at 44 Berkeley Square, in London's fashionable Mayfair district now located at 27–28 Curzon Street and called Aspinall's. It was the first London casino opened by John Aspinall after he received a gaming licence under Britain's new gambling law. Clermont Club had become famous among British celebrities at once but Aspinall sold this club in 1972 to Playboy Enterprises; Playboy was forced to sell this club in 1982 when it lost its licence.[1]

Members[edit]

The club was founded in 1962 by John Aspinall and the original membership included five dukes, five marquesses, almost twenty earls and two cabinet ministers.[2]

Society figures included Peter Sellers,[3] Ian Fleming, David Stirling, Lucian Freud, Lord Lucan, Lord Derby, Lord Boothby, and the Duke of Devonshire.[2]

Businessman members included James Goldsmith, Gianni Agnelli, Jim Slater, and Kerry Packer. There were also members admitted on the basis of their charm and an ability to calculate gaming odds, thus making entertaining gaming opponents, such as David Munir.

Private Eye allegations[edit]

In 1976 Goldsmith initiated a libel action against the satirical magazine Private Eye, which had alleged that members of the Clermont Set, including Goldsmith, had conspired to shelter Lord Lucan after Lucan had murdered his family nanny, Sandra Rivett. Goldsmith won a partial victory and eventually reached a settlement with the magazine.

See also[edit]

  • The Mayfair Set, a 1999 BAFTA Award-winning documentary series by Adam Curtis describing how buccaneer capitalists were allowed to shape the climate of the Thatcher years, focussing on members of the Clermont Club.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Walsh, Dominic (2006-08-16). "Clermont Club set to fall to Malaysian billionaire". The Times (London). Retrieved 2011-05-19. 
  2. ^ a b Hiscock, John. "Gangsters in a class of their own ...", Daily Telegraph 21 February 2009
  3. ^ Wright, Jade, "Expect fireworks", Liverpool Echo, 23 February 2009