St. Botolph Club History


St. Botolph was founded in a golden epoch of the City of Boston. Arts, literature, music, architecture, clubs and public affairs, as well as the vast commercial, shipping and professional empires that supported them, were all experiencing a great flowering. Many of the eminent individuals connected with all these were original members of the St. Botolph Club. The Club was founded on January 3, 1880.

The name of St. Botolph was derived from the VIIth century abbot around whose monastery in the fens of East Anglia Botolph's Town, later corrupted to Boston, sprang up. Botolph thus became patron saint of Boston, England and latterly to the new city in Puritan New England. He was known for his kindly spirit and good humor, these attributes are continually celebrated at number 199 Commonwealth Avenue.

The early years began weekly meetings and monthly suppers and, especially after the Club settled at the great house at 4 Newbury St. with its magnificent gallery, art exhibits. There were shows for many artists, including some of the Club's own. This custom has continued to the present day.

The Depression brought hard times for all clubs, but that of the good Saint survived in smaller quarters at 115 Commonwealth Avenue; until 1972, when the Club moved house to 199.

After many years of being only a gentleman's club the St. Botolph Club opened its doors to ladies as equal and honored members in 1988.

To this day the Club continues to serve its founding purpose as a place for those with a love of the arts, sciences and humanities to gather and converse.