Piers Gaveston Society

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The Piers Gaveston Society is a dining club founded in 1977 at the University of Oxford with membership limited to 12 undergraduates. It is named in honour of Piers Gaveston, favourite and supposed lover of King Edward II of England. Its members have a reputation for indulging in bizarre entertainments and sexual excess. Traditionally, the society organises secret bacchanalian parties for hundreds of friends, who are whisked away to secret locations (usually grand country mansions) to enjoy a night of Bollinger champagne, beluga caviar, multitudinous illegal drugs, and public copulation.[1][2] Words often associated with this society are decadence and debauchery.[3]

Notable members[edit]

Name Notable for:
Rory Stewart[4][5] Member of Parliament
Nat Rothschild[2][5][6] Financier, scion of the Rothschild family
Darius Guppy[7][8] Convicted of fraud in 1993, he was best man at the wedding of his friend Charles Spencer, the brother of Diana, Princess of Wales
Count Gottfried von Bismarck[9][10] Descendant of Otto von Bismarck
Tom Parker Bowles[5][11] Son of The Duchess of Cornwall & stepson of The Prince of Wales
Hugh Grant[5][12] English actor and film producer
Ian Hislop[13][14] Satirist and Private Eye editor


  1. ^ Oxford Dining Societies[dead link]
  2. ^ a b Slater, Sasha (23 December 2010). "New hedonists beat decadence of my youth". London Evening Standard. 
  3. ^ Sherwell, Philip (5 February 2006). "Goodbye, Animal House: fraternity drinking has to stop, say colleges". Daily Telegraph. 
  4. ^ Kvinta, Paul (2007). "Can Rory Stewart Fix Afghanistan?". National Geographic. 
  5. ^ a b c d Delingpole, James (6 September 2012). "A degree in decadence: The Oxbridge student clubs that make Cameron's Bullingdon chums look like the Girl Guides". Daily Mail. 
  6. ^ Dennys, Harriet (27 March 2014). "City Diary: Nat Rothschild's too posh not to crash Porsche". Daily Telegraph. 
  7. ^ Guppy, Darius (January 1997). Roll of the Dice. Blake Publishing. ISBN 1-85782-159-9. 
  8. ^ D'souza, Christa; Davison, John (14 February 1993). "Arrogance that lured Guppy to final fall - Darius Guppy". The Sunday Times.  – via NewsBank (subscription required)
  9. ^ "Obituaries: Count Gottfried von Bismarck". The Daily Telegraph. 4 July 2007. 
  10. ^ Lawless, Jill (7 July 2007). "Count Gottfried von Bismarck; Known For His Extravagant Parties, Appearance". Washington Post. 
  11. ^ Morgan, Christopher; Chittenden, Maurice (16 May 1999). "A wild child in the royal family". The Sunday Times.  – via NewsBank (subscription required)
  12. ^ Richardson, Sarah (18 October 2003). "Membership has its advantages". The Telegraph. 
  13. ^ Jones, Dan (14 May 2012). "Piers Gaveston: bending the monarch’s ear, and will". Daily Telegraph. 
  14. ^ Billen, Andrew (7 November 2001). "The Man Who Just Wants To Be Believed". London Evening Standard.  – via NewsBank (subscription required)

Further reading[edit]