Spalding Gentlemen's Society
The Spalding Gentlemen's Society (or "The Gentlemen's Club at Spalding"), a learned society of the United Kingdom, was founded in 1710 by Maurice Johnson, (1688–1755), of Ayscoughfee Hall, Spalding, Lincolnshire, England, and is still active.
The Society's museum on Broad Street, Spalding opened in 1911 with additions in 1925 and again in 1960. The carved panels on the exterior were the work of Jules Tuerlinckx of Malines, a Belgian refugee during the First World War.
The Spalding Gentlemen’s Society started in 1710 with informal meetings of a few gentlemen at a local coffee house in Spalding called 'Youngers'. Many gentlemen's clubs formed in this way. They talked about local antiquities and discussed the popular London newspaper The Tatler. In 1712 the society was organised in more formal way as a Society of Gentlemen, for the supporting of mutual benevolence, and their improvement in the liberal sciences and in polite learning. Officers were appointed and minutes were kept. Francis Scott, 2nd Duke of Buccleuch (1695–1751), became Patron of the Society in 1732.
Records of the society's functions were issued as The Correspondence of the Spalding Gentlemen's Society, 1710-1761 and Minute-Books of The Spalding Gentlemen's Society, 1712-1755. Later works appear in catalogues as produced by "Spalding Gentleman's Society" in 1892, 1893.
Noteworthy and early members of the 'Gentlemen's Society at Spalding' include,
- Sir Isaac Newton. Stukeley's unpublished memoir of Newton mentions his joining the society, and making a substantial donation of books.
- Ayuba Suleiman Diallo, a freed slave, Muslim cleric and aristocrat from Senegal.
- Dr William Stukeley
- Sir Hans Sloane, President of the Royal Society, whose museum and library formed the nucleus of the British Museum
- "Honest Tom" Martin, antiquary
- Alexander Pope, the poet
- Alexander Gordon, antiquary
- Sir Joseph Banks
- Sir George Gilbert Scott
- Alfred, Lord Tennyson
- George Vertue, the engraver
- Joseph Ayloffe, antiquary
- John Anstis, F.R.S. Garter King of Arms
- John Gay, the poet
- Rev. Richard Bentley, D.D.
- Captain John Perry, the engineer
- Pishey Thompson, the historian of Boston
- Andrew Michael Ramsay
- Lord Curzon of Kedleston
- Lord Peckover of Wisbech
- Lord Ancaster, the Society’s Patron from 1960 to 1983
- "1710 - Spalding - Spalding Gentlemen's Society". History of Scholarly Societies. University of Waterloo. Retrieved 28 November 2010.
- Stukeley, William (2010). Rob Iliffe, Scott Mandelbrote,, ed. Memoirs of Sir Isaac Newton's life. William Stukeley 1752. (AHRC Newton Papers Project: transcript ed.). University of Sussex: The Newton Project. pp. Source: Ms. 142, The Royal Society Library, London.
- Brown, Iain Gordon. "Gordon, Alexander". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/11021. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
- "Ayloffe, Joseph". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.
- Owen, Dorothy M.; Woodward, S.W., eds. (1981). The Minute-Books of The Spalding Gentlemen's Society, 1712-1755. Lincoln Record Society 73. Fakenham.
- Honeybone, D.; Honeybone, M., eds. (2010). The Correspondence of the Spalding Gentlemen's Society, 1710-1761. Lincoln Record Society 99. Woodbridge: Boydell. ISBN 9780901503879.
- Official website
- Spalding Gentlemen's Society, Registered Charity no. 216131 at the Charity Commission
- The Gentlemen's Society at Spalding: its origin and progress (1851) Bound with a catalogue of the society's library, 1893.
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