Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Dashwood of Hellfire

Today according to Australian Eastern Standard Time when this item was posted
1781 Death of Francis Dashwood, 15th Baron le Despencer (b. December, 1708), English rake and politician, Chancellor of the Exchequer (1762 - '63) and founder of the notorious Hellfire Club sometimes attended by Benjamin Franklin. The radical writer, John Wilkes, and John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, after whom the sandwich is named, are believed to have been members.

The club's meeting place and scene of its orgies was a cavern in the West Wycombe Caves, and also at Medmenham Abbey, with plenty of alcohol and prostitutes provided. According to Horace Walpole, the Hellfire Club members' "practice was rigorously pagan: Bacchus and Venus were the deities to whom they almost publicly sacrificed; and the nymphs and the hogsheads that were laid in against the festivals of this new church, sufficiently informed the neighbourhood of the complexion of those hermits".

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