LADIES' CLUBS Although not exactly a new departure, one that has in recent years developed with surprising energy and completeness is the ladies' club. The earliest of these (putting aside the Ladies' Club of the 18th century, "the female Almacks" referred to by Wal pole) was the Alexandria (1883), into which no man was permitted to enter (the Prince of Wales, afterwards King Edward, was once refused admittance on accompanying the Princess who was a member there, and Lord Roberts used to be seen waiting outside for Lady Roberts) ; then came the Pioneer (1892), the Victoria, the New Century, the Halcyon, the Lyceum, the Forum, and so on. To-day there are numbers of these clubs dedicated to the ladies or in some cases, as in that of the Garden Club and others, open to members of both sexes.
With regard to the internal economy of clubs, this varies as much as does the character of the aims and objects of such asso ciations or as does the nature and architectural features of their club-houses. In some the committees possess the power of elec tion ; in others this is by ballot ; some, like the Athenaeum, have the right of electing annually a certain number of members on account of their distinguished eminence, services to the State, literature, art, and so forth. Once a year a general meeting is held, to which a report of the annual working is submitted. The committee is a responsible body, but the conduct of the club is largely in the hands of the secretary. The law concerning clubs is to be found laid down by J. Wertheimer in his Law relating to Clubs 0903), and by Sir E. Carson in the chapter on the subject in his The Laws of England (1909). It may be noted that the Licensing Act of 1902, passed primarily to prevent clubs from being formed merely as a cloak for the sale of intoxicants, brought every club, the largest to the smallest, within its scope.