The Society of Eccentrics was an offshoot of an 18th century group of Whig debaters called The Brilliants. The Eccentrics were a completely separate group by 1800 and, by 1803, were burgeoning in popularity. They met, at least for part of their tenure, in the Sunderland Arms Inn, in Great May's Building, St. Martin's Lane.
|from The English Spy by Bernard Blackmantle 1825|
|A gentleman of eccentric personal habits|
|A lady of religious eccentricity|
|A lady of mental eccentricity (?)|
The Eccentric Club promotes “Good Fellowship” and “True Sociality” – “virtues which are now getting rare and eccentric; but which it is the wish and intent of this Society to cherish within their narrow circle to the utmost of their power... in the occasional enjoyment of ‘The feast of reason and the flow of soul’” (The Eccentric Society Rules and Regulations, 1808)
|An author of eccentric work|
I can imagine Heyer's Lord Alverstoke, Mr. Beaumaris, and Lord Worth belonging to the Society of Eccentrics. My own heroes--Lord Stadbroke, the Earl of Torgreave and Bennet Kelmarsh among them--would certainly have signed on. Which of your favourite Regency heroes do you think would have joined such an urbane and enigmatic group?
'Til next time,