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Records of The Family, 1786 - 2001

Reference Code: GBR/0265/UA/SOC.118

Scope and Contents

From the Management Group:

The category - Student administration and support records - comprises records relating to student admissions at all levels, graduate students, visiting senior scholars, student careers advice and welfare, together with the records of clubs and societies.


  • Creation: 1786 - 2001


Conditions Governing Access

From the Management Group:

The University Archives are generally freely available to the holder of a reader's ticket for the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library, West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DR. Restrictions on access are imposed on certain categories of sensitive record: financial, governmental and personal, by order of the originating body or under data protection legislation. Access information, including opening hours and how to obtain a reader's ticket, appears as part of the Library's web site (

Biographical / Historical

The club's exact foundation date in the eighteenth century is unknown but its members are thought to have had Jacobite sympathies and its name to have derived from the toast they drank to 'The Family over the water'. For much of the nineteenth and twentieth century, its members, senior male academics and administrative officers, numbered no more than twelve and met fortnightly during term for 'good wine, good talk and good fellowship'. Among nineteenth century members were Registraries Romilly and Clark, William Whewell, John Couch Adams, Alfred Newton and J.J. Thomson; among twentieth, A.E. Housman, A.S.F. Gow, Lord Adrian, A.L. Hodgkin, and John Leslie Martin. Hosted by members at their Colleges, dinners were elaborate multi-course affairs, the last of which was held in 1942. Thereafter, the club met for wine and dessert. For background information, see S.C. Roberts, The Family. The history of a dining club (Cambridge 1963) catalogued as UA SOC.118.8.


1.5 linear metre(s) (1.5 metres) : paper

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

The records were presented to the University Archives by Professor Gareth Hywel Jones, former Vice-Master of Trinity College, on 7 May 2015.

Date information

DateText: bulk 1870s-1970s.


The Family

Finding aid date

2016-02-05 09:52:00+00:00

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

Cambridge University Library
West Road
Cambridge CB3 9DR United Kingdom