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The History of Spencer Club


The Spencer Club was founded in 1872 with the formation of the Spencer Cricket Club. Earl Spencer, the great grand uncle of the late Diana, Princess of Wales, was at the time Lord of the Manor. He permitted the founders of the club to 'drain and enclose by means of posts and chains, part of Wandsworth Common' and they named the club in his honour.

In 1878, the Club moved to a site now bounded by Lyford and Ellerton Roads before coming to rest in 1903 at its present location at Fieldview.

Today, The Spencer Club has over 500 members. Hockey, Tennis and Squash have joined Cricket offering members access to a variety of sporting and social activities. The latest sport to join The Spencer Club was lacrosse in September 2000.

John Poyntz, Fifth Earl Spencer, 1835-1910John Poyntz - Earl of Spencer

John Poyntz, the Fifth Earl resumed the twin family preoccupations of field sports and politics when he succeeded his father in 1857. In a career which spanned much of the modernising legislation of the Victorian era, he was twice Lord Lieu tenant of Ireland, Lord President of the Council, and First Lord of the Admiralty. A friend as well as an appointee Gladstone, despite his Whig background, he identified with Liberal aims and was, for instance, an early supporter of Irish Home Rule. Like his uncle however, he was a 'nearly man' driven by duty and not by ambition for high office.

At home he was a keen huntsman, readily identifiable on horseback as the 'Red Earl' by his flowing beard. He often rode out with the Empress of Austria, a frequent guest at Althorp. With his wife, the beautiful Charlotte Seymour dubbed 'Spencer's Faery Queen', he also travelled widely with a round-the-world trip in 1895. The Red Earl has the dubious distinction of reputedly having introduced barbed wire to England.

Biography and picture courtesy of Althorp

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