Kate Meyrick

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Kate Meyrick (1875–1933) was an Irish nightclub owner in 1920s London.[1]

Kate Nason was born 7 August 1875 in Kingstown to John William Washington Nason and Sarah Frances, née Bateman.[1] After her father's death her mother re-married to a clergyman and then died when Meyrick was seven.

Her father was a doctor, as was her husband, Ferdinand Richard Holmes Merrick (later changed to Meyrick). The couple married, moved to England, had three sons and at least four daughters[1] and then separated in 1916.[2]

In 1919 Meyrick opened Dalton's in Leicester Square in partnership with Harry Dalton. She followed with a succession of night clubs, the most famous being the 43 Club at 43 Gerrard Street, Soho, London,[3] an address also once the home of poet John Dryden.[4] She catered for both the nobility and underworld elite and suffered for it with five prison sentences, numerous fines for selling after-hours liquor and was sentenced to 15 months in 1929 for bribing a Metropolitan Police Sergeant.[2]

Meyrick died on 19 January 1933 from influenza caught in the pandemic. On the day of her funeral West End theatres and clubs dimmed their lights. Her husband was reported to have shown up at her funeral, inconsolable.[5] She is buried in Kensal Green Cemetery.

Three of her daughters married into the British nobility: Mary to the 14th Earl of Kinnoull, Irene to the 6th Earl of Craven and Dorothy to the 26th Lord de Clifford.

In February 1933, the Leeds Mercury stated that Scotland Yard had asked for a copy of Meyrick's book, Secrets of the 43 Club, as they may take exception to certain passages. This led to suspicion that the book had been censored to protect the Metropolitan Police and aristocratic society that feared exposure.[6][7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Davenport-Hines, Richard (2004). "Meyrick , Kate Evelyn (1875–1933)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/66827.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  2. ^ a b McDonald, Brian (22 October 2015). Alice Diamond and the Forty Elephants: The Female Gang That Terrorised London. Milo Books. ISBN 978-1-908479-84-6. 
  3. ^ Chinatown London W1, History through the ages
  4. ^ Link to Flikr image of plaque
  5. ^ "Dr. Meyrick at Wife's Burial". Singapore Daily News. 17 February 1933. Retrieved 1 April 2015. 
  6. ^ "Secrets of the 43". Leeds Mercury. West Yorkshire, England. 23 February 1933. 
  7. ^ Meyrick, Kate (1933). Secrets of the 43 Club. Parkgate Publications. ISBN 978-0-9523109-2-1. 
  • Linnane, Fergus (2007). London - The Wicked City: A Thousand Years of Prostitution and Vice. Robson. p. 322. ISBN 978-1-86105-990-1. 
  • Srebnick, Amy Gilman; Lévy, René (2005). Crime and Culture: An Historical Perspective. Ashgate. p. 85. ISBN 978-0-7546-2383-0. 
  • Watson, Colin (1971). Snobbery with violence: crime stories and their audience. Eyre and Spottiswoode. pp. 120,196.