1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Almack's

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ALMACK'S, formerly the name of a famous London club and assembly rooms. The founder, known as William Almack, is usually said to have been one Macall, or McCaul, of which name Almack is an anagram. In 1764 he founded a gentleman's club in Pall Mall, where the present Marlborough Club stands. It was famous for its high play. In 1778 it was taken over by one Brooks, and established as Brooks's Club in St James's Street, where it still exists. In 1765 Almack built a suite of assembly rooms in King's Street, St James's. Here for a ten-guinea subscription a series of weekly balls was given for twelve weeks. They were managed by a committee of ladies of rank, and admission was exceedingly difficult. At Almack's death in 1781 they were left to his niece Mrs Willis. As "Willis's Rooms" they lasted till 1890, when they became a restaurant, but as "Almack's" they ceased in 1863. Several clubs, including a mixed club for ladies and gentlemen, held meetings at Almack's during the 18th and beginning of the 19th centuries. A new London social club (1904) has also adopted the name of Almack's.