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The Royal Bachelors' Club

On 19th November 1769 a group of twenty or so young men, all of them bachelors and many of them of English or Scots descent, met in Gothenburg and decided to form a private billiards club. The first signatory to the charter of foundation, which is dated 25th November 1769 was Thomas Erskine, whose portrait now hangs over the open fireplace in The Large Club Room. The Club's first chairman was not Erskine, however, but the merchant Johan Gustaf Forss. Erskine succeeded him in the following year, and "carried out the duties of his position for a period of eight years to the members' complete satisfaction".

In 1814 The Royal Bachelors' Club was extended from a small closed society to become an association of a more general character. The need for a club in which members could relax and refresh themselves every day had grown substantially. The fraternal orders then in existence fulfilled other functions, and were not designed to cater for everyday gatherings. In that year no fewer than 78 new members were elected, and the objects and purposes of The Royal Bachelors' Club became "... the provision for its members of premises in Gothenburg for the enjoyment of club life in accordance with the Club's traditions". The Club's objects and purposes are still the same today, and are set out in § 1 of its rules.

The Royal Bachelors' Club has none of the ceremonial associated with fraternal orders. It aims to provide gentlemanly society in unusually attractive surroundings. In addition to two formal meetings a year arrangements include club evenings, theme dinners, ladies' nights, excursions, golf tournaments, bridge and billiards tournaments, shooting and hunting, concert evenings and the like. There is considerable activity around lunchtime, when the premises fill with members and their guests, all enjoying the Club's tradition of a particularly good cuisine.

Over the years The Royal Bachelors' Club has occupied a number of different premises in the city centre. In total the Club has moved 14 times since 1769. However since 1866 we have changed location only 3 times. The main reason for moving during the first 100 years was due to the Club's size and economy. The number of members grew and the Club had to change to larger facilites. The last 2 changes however, the Club had to move due to major city plan alterations. We therefore had to leave the beatiful Wilson Palace at Gustav Adolfs Torg in 1932 and likewise, unfortunately again, Kungsportsavenyn 8 in 1969. These historic buildings do not exist any longer and would never have been touched in our day and age. The picture to the left is made by the the famous Swedish painter Carl Larsson when visiting the Club at Västra Hamngatan 11 in 1887.


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