The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Kit-Cat Club

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The Encyclopedia Americana
Kit-Cat Club
Edition of 1920. See also Kit-Cat Club on Wikipedia, and the disclaimer.

KIT-CAT CLUB, a club formed in London about 1688, originally for convivial purposes, but which soon assumed a political character, having in the reign of Queen Anne become the resort of Marlborough, Walpole, Addison, Steele and other leading Whigs. Its founder was Jacob Touson, the eminent publisher, and its name was derived from that of Christopher Cat, who supplied the club with mutton-pies. It was originally composed of 39 members, later enlarged to 48. The portraits (about three-quarters length) of the members were painted by Sir Godfrey Kneller, and hence a portrait of this length is called a “kit-cat.” The club was dissolved about 1720.