"1629 The Amicable Society of Blues is formed (the oldest dining club in the world still in existence)"
I'd never heard of this organisation before a few days ago, certainly not whilst I was a pupil at CH.
Anyway, it seems that I'm now the proud owner of a medal presented to A.W Lockhart President dated 1900 and just bought on eBay. Mr A.W. Lockhart was a pupil and later steward of Christ’s Hospital.
Does this organisation still exist? If so who goes, and do they still present medals (presumably with some trouser leg turned up)? Will they let riff raff like me attend if I show Mr Lockhart's medal and the cane scars inflicted by David Newsome?
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Not too relevent but the society gave bursaries to CH pupils this year:
http://mun.christs-hospital.org.uk/file ... r_2015.pdf
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It is my understanding also that membership is by invitation only. I believe that financial substance is an important criterion to be considered for invitation.DavidRawlins wrote:The Amicables certainly continue to function. I think one has to be invited to join. Members can invite guests; though I have not been invited, so can not say how the meetings are conducted. I think that they are heavily involved in fund raising.
Rules me out!
As secretary and general dogsbody of the Amicable Society of Blues, I can confirm that the Society does still exist, indeed it positively flourishes. If you'll excuse a lazy cut and paste, this is an updated description written for the Blue a while back.
“Ladies and Gentlemen educated in Christ’s Hospital” - have been celebrating their debt to Housie by dining in each other’s company since the first Blues became Old Blues, though the first recorded date in a Will-book belonging to the school is 15th September 1629, and the first record of the present name, the Amicable Society of Blues, does not appear until 1775. It is the oldest CH association and claims to be the oldest dining society in the world, though this might refer to the age of its members.
In the early days a lengthy sermon preceded dinner, which was limited to one dish, usually in a City pub. It is not noted who realised that by cutting the sermon, several more courses could be accommodated, but the Amicables are eternally grateful. Many other traditions are retained, with toasts, speeches and singing, though as yet no dancing.
Membership is limited to 40 Old Blues and up to 10 Honorary Members. In its early years – up until 2 years ago – it was an all male Society and Members were called Brethren. It is now thoroughly modern, members can be any sex they choose, though have unanimously chosen to call each other Brother. They are elected because of their service to Christ’s Hospital, their achievements and their inclination to rib each other over dinner (“brawling”), for which they are fined by the President. All fines go towards the Amicable Foundation, which supports worthy school projects (for example the Model United Nations at which CH pupils so excel).
The Amicables and their occasionally distinguished guests meet three times a year, in February, on St George’s Day and on the anniversary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth 1st. The venue is almost always the Innholder’s Hall in the City of London, because we’re creatures of habit. The Headmaster (and Senior Grecian), the Clerk and the Treasurer are invited annually, though not usually together, in the same way as the Royal family do not all fly on the same plane.
The Amicables exist to help promote the worthy foundation of Christ’s Hospital to influential and charitable people, whether Old Blues or not, and to celebrate its continued success. We look forward to the next 386 years.
If I might add, we are not intended to be some secret society: a rolled up trouser leg is usually to display a garish sock, or because one's suit has not been dug out of the wardrobe since the last dinner. We are always looking to welcome OBs as guests.
Adrian, I am particularly interested in your medal, so please let me know how best to make contact outside of the forum. I can be emailed on email@example.com
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