OUR HISTORY

18th Century

1761

John Stuart, third Earl of Bute, buys the empty site in Berkeley Square and commissions Robert Adam to design a house there

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1763

Lord Bute resigns as the King’s chief minister

1765

William, second Earl of Shelburne, buys the unfinished property from Lord Bute, agreeing to keep to Adam’s original designs

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1766

Lord Shelburne becomes Secretary of State for the Southern Department, responsible for American affairs

1768

Lord Shelburne and his family move into the unfinished house. Lord Shelburne resigns as Secretary of State in October

1771

After the death of his first wife, Lord Shelburne goes to Italy and starts his collection of paintings and antique statues

1775

Outbreak of American War of Independence. Adam’s First Drawing Room completed

1782

Lord Shelburne negotiates peace treaty with America. Tradition holds that he drafted the treaty in what is now the Round Room Cocktail Bar of The Lansdowne Club. His friend Benjamin Franklin is the chief American signatory

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1784

Lord Shelburne is created first Marquess of Lansdowne. The house becomes known as Lansdowne House

1788

George Dance the Younger is commissioned to redesign Adam’s library and other rooms

19th Century

1805

The second Marquess of Lansdowne inherits the title and sells the bulk of his father’s art collection

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1809

The third Marquess of Lansdowne succeeds. He re-establishes the Lansdowne Art Collection

1816-19

Further alterations to Adam’s library carried out by Robert Smirke the younger

1830s -1850s

Visitors to the house include Charles Dickens, Byron’s biographer Thomas Moore and Lord Macaulay

1834-52

After fire destroys both Houses of Parliament, the Lansdowne Dining Room is used for meetings of the Privy Council until the Palace of Westminster is built

1847-51

The third Marquess employs Matthew Arnold as his secretary

1863

The fourth Marquess of Lansdowne succeeds

1866

The fifth Marquess of Lansdowne succeeds

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1870s

A sculpture gallery in the Gothic style is designed by T.H. Wyatt

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1888-94

The fifth Marquess holds office as Viceroy of India

20th Century

1902-4

As Foreign Secretary, the fifth Marquess negotiates the Anglo-Japanese Treaty and the Entente Cordiale

1914-18

Lansdowne House is used as a first aid station throughout the First World War

1921

The last grand family party at the house is held for the wedding of Lady Dorothy Cavendish to Harold Macmillan. The fifth Marquess rents the house to Gordon Selfridge, the American owner of Selfridge’s department store

1927

The sixth Marquess of Lansdowne succeeds

1929

An exhibition of English decorative art is held at Lansdowne House. The sixth Marquess then sells the house to the American architect and property developer Benson Greenall. Greenall is refused permission to build a fifteen-storey hotel on the south side of Berkeley Square

1930

Greenall sells Lansdowne House to the Bruton Club

1933

Lansdowne House is radically restructured. Adam’s façade is cut back forty feet. The First Drawing Room and Great Eating Room are dismantled and shipped to America

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1934

The Bruton Club sells the freehold to London Assurance

1935

Official opening of the renamed Lansdowne Club on 1 May. Plans to extend Curzon Street are shelved. The cul-de-sac outside the Club is named Fitzmaurice Place

1939

Outbreak of the Second World War. The Club pool is closed for the duration

1943

Adam’s First Drawing Room is reassembled for permanent display at the Museum of Art in Philadelphia

1946

Swimming pool reopens on 12 February

1954

Adam’s Great Eating Room is reassembled as the Lansdowne Dining Room at the Metropolitan Museum in New York

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1964-5

Westminster Council builds extension of Curzon Street, sweeping away Lansdowne Steps and adjusting the split levels

1972

The Club buys the freehold

1998

The MasterPlan commences

21st Century

2001

Refurbishment of the Fencing Salle is completed

2012

The sports area refurbishment is completed with a new exercise studio and steam room

2015

The Club Strategy is put into action to start the next chapter in the Club's history with a focus on Members, upgrading the Club and staff development and training

The Club in 1935


Membership


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