Foundation and Closure

From the entry in Minute Book in York Minster (MB4) on 28 April 1745 it can be seen that Mr Busfield resigned as secretary after 20 years. It can be inferred that the club had been founded in 1725 or earlier. Peter Cass’s resignation on 11 January 1753, after nearly 20 years of membership, gives a founding date of at least 1734. As the Minute Book in Shandy Hall (MB2) and MB4 each cover a period of 19 years it can be deduced that 1724 is the possible founding date and that John Busfield is the founding secretary. MB1 would have been dated 1725 and MB3 would have been dated 1762. (Will they ever be found?)

As each new minute book was commenced, the articles of association were rewritten. The current members then signed their names.

In column one (shown in the display case) can be seen: Busfield to Vaslet; column two Garancieres to Storr. Chandler and Hamilton (or Hambleton)were absent and shortly afterwards left the club. Thereafter, as members were elected, they signed their names below the original 16 and as they left by resignation, excommunication or death, their names were crossed through.

28 March 1761 Whereas Mr Cautley did not think proper to give any answer to a letter sent him by this Club, last Thursday night, it is unanimously agreed, that he be deemed an Unworthy Member of the same, & be excluded accordingly.

By the end of MB2, with 21 new members elected to replace the 21 whose membership had ceased, there are 18 signatures (now numbered to show the current state of membership. Although Swainston, Oldfield and Hunter have signed in MB2 there are no formal minutes confirming their election. These minutes must appear in MB3. At the beginning of MB4 (1781) there are 24 signatures – three members short of the permitted total.

Dr. Newcombe Cappe became a member in the 1800s. This is recorded at the end of MB4, just 19 years after the first entry in the book and significantly covering the same period of years that the first three minute books covered. Is there a 5th minute book recording the later years of the club’s activities? Or did the club just fade away at the beginning of the 19th century with the changes in fashion and mores of the time?

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