Late in the last century there met at a tavern kept by one Fulham, in Chandos Street, Covent Garden, a convivial Club called "The Eccentrics," which was an offshoot of "The Brilliants." They next removed to Tom Rees's, in May's-buildings, St. Martin's-lane, and here they were flourishing at all hours, some five-and-twenty years since. Amongst the members were many celebrities of the literary and political world; they were always treated with indulgence by the authorities. An inaugural ceremony was performed upon the making of a member, which terminated with a jubilation from the President. The books of the Club up to the time of its removal from May's-buildings are stated to have passed into the possession of Mr. Lloyd, the hatter, of the Strand, who, by the way, was eccentric in his business, and published a small work descriptive of the various fashions of hats worn in his time, illustrated with characteristic engravings.
From its commencement the Eccentrics are said to have numbered upwards of 40,000 members, many of them holding high social position: among others, Fox, Sheridan, Lord Melbourne, and Lord Brougham. On the same memorable night that Sheridan and Lord Petersham were admitted, Hook was also enrolled; and through this Club membership, Theodore is believed to have obtained some of his high connexions. In a novel, published in numbers, some five-and-twenty years since, the author, F. W. N. Bayley, sketched with graphic vigour the meetings of the Eccentrics at the old tavern in May's-buildings.
Club Life of London Vol. I