Friday, 27 June 2008

Come on down to the Kit Cat Club

How much plotting occurred here during the early 18th century?

This small house hidden away off Heath Street has puzzled me for a while..

So I learn that either this house or the pub that was called The Upper Flask (just up the road where St mary's now stands) was the gathering spot for a cluster of Whig grandees.

It should be noted that this was not a smoke cabal - it was a summer garden gathering where converse and social intercourse were the norm...

The political context is fresh from the Jacobite rebellions and are rooted in the succession in 1714 of Prince Elector George Louis of Hanover as King George I and appointment of the Whigs who became dominant from this date through to 1760.

The Kit Cat club's dissolution was about 1720 (probably after Walpole became Prime Minister) and the Upper Flask continued as a tavern. In 1750 it became private house known as the Upper Bowling Green House, and in 1920 this was demolished for Queen Mary's maternity hospital.