The Candlewick Ward Club

Church Of St Clement Eastcheap,

Clement's Lane

London, EC4N 7HB

 

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HISTORY - A SHORT REVIEW

In by-gone times when the Citizens of London lived as well as traded in the City, it was customary for men of all ranks to frequent the Taverns, where alone they could learn how “the world wagged”.  There, after the business of the day was over, they found an agreeable relaxation from the pursuits of active life in social intercourse and friendly jest; while at the same time they could discuss passing events and circumstances of local interest.  Hence, fixed periods for meeting and Rules for conduct arose among the frequenters of Taverns, resulting in the formation of Clubs.

 

Such, doubtless, was the origin of a certain Club, which, early in the 18th century, and probably much earlier, met at the “Salutation” Tavern¹, Nicholas Lane.  Up to the year 1739 it seems that no restriction was enforced as to Ward Residence; and the fact of such a restriction having been introduced in that year lends probability to the suggestion that the earlier association was called “The Candlewick Club”², which title, upon its re-organisation in 1739 on a more exclusive basis, was changed to “Candlewick Ward Club”. 

The amended Rules, or as they were then termed “Orders”, which were adopted by the new Club are entered at the commencement of its Minute Book, the date being October 1739.  One of these “Orders” begins thus: “And whereas it has been the ancient custom of this Club”, etc.  Now the word ancient could hardly have been applied to a period short of fifty years, so that there are good reasons for concluding that the Candlewick Ward Club was originated as soon as the citizens had settled down in their new homes after the Fire of London.  This gives an existence of at least 200 years to the Club; and that it has through this long period supplied a genuine want is evident from the fact that under its new name it has flourished for 190 years with an uninterrupted succession of meetings.  And, although it enjoys at the present time a vitality as vigorous as ever; and promises in the future to be for our sons what in the past it was for our fathers – a promoter of neighbourly intercourse and good fellowship.