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Sir Francis Dashwood
The Hell-Fire Clubs
While there is much rumour and hearsay about the Hell-Fire Club, there are few verifiable facts. Of the many clubs that either used the name, or claimed an anti-establishment, anti-morality stance, only two are of particular interest. The first is the original Hell-Fire Club, reputed to have been founded by Philip, Duke of Wharton about 1720. It either met in three locations or was one of three separate clubs. The second is the Order of the Friars of St. Francis, founded by Sir Francis Dashwood about 1750. While never called a Hell-Fire Club during its day, it is the one remembered by the name although the others all contributed to its reputation.
Atheistical Club, London, c. 1709. Cited in Ned Ward’s Secret History of Clubs
Hell-Fire Club, Westminster, London. 1720-21, founded by Philip, Duke of Wharton.
Hell-Fire Club, Conduit Street near Hanover Square, London. 1720-21
Hell-Fire Club, Somerset House, London. 1720-21
The Schemers, London, 1723. Founded by Philip, Duke of Wharton.
Hell-Fire Club, Montpelier Hill, Dublin, c. 1735. Founded by Richard Parsons.
Hell-Fire Club, Limerick, c. 1735.
Dublin Blasters, Dublin, c. 1737. Founded by Peter Lens
Hell-Fire Club, Oxford, c. 1735.
Hell-Fire Club, Edinburgh, .
Appalling Club, London, 1738-66. Founded by Hon. Alan Dermot.
Hell-Fire Club, George and Vulture Inn, London, c. 1730s.
Society of Dilettanti, London, 1732. Founded by Sir Francis Dashwood.
Divan Club, London, 1744. Founded by John Montagu, fourth Earl of Sandwich.
The Order of the Friars of St. Francis of Wycombe, Medmenham Abbey, c. 1750-70. Founded by Sir Francis Dashwood.
The Demoniacs, Crazy Castle inland from Saltburn, c. 1762. Founded by John Hall Stevenson.

The Hell-Fire Clubs, A History of Anti-Morality, Geoffrey Ashe. Gloucestershire : Sutton Publishing Limited, 2000 [first published in 1974 by W.H. Allen & Co Ltd.] ISBN: 0 7509 2402 0 250p
The Hellfire Club, Donald McCormack. Jarrolds, 1958
The Hell Fire club, Daniel P. Mannix. New York : Ballantine Books Inc., 1960 [1959] pb 186p.
The Hell-Fire Friars,Gerald Suster. London : Robson Books, 2000. hc 252p 16x24cm.
The lives of the Rakes: Volume IV, The Hell Fire Club, E. Beresford Chancellor M.A., F.S.A.. London : Philip Allan & Co. Quality Court, 1925. 256p 15x22cm
Sword of Wisdom, Ithell Colquoun (Neville Spearman 1970)
Dashwood: The Man and the Myth, Eric Towers (Crucible 1986)

Portrait: A. Carpentier Pin__. 1739. J. Faber Jecit 1753. "Sir. Francis Dashwood Bar'., of West Wycombe Bucks" The lives of the Rakes. plate face p. 30.


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