Hundred Guineas Club

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The Hundred Guineas Club in Portland Place, London, catered for the well off with an annual subscription of 100 guineas (£105). It was, by far, the most exclusive gay club of the period (1880s). It provided a place where upper class gentlemen could take their young soldiers for fun and games, for "short term" sexual encounters. The customers would assume female names. According to biographer Michael Harrison, Prince Albert Victor was a “regular and popular guest”, his assumed name being Victoria, after whom he had been named (his grandmother was Queen Victoria).

According to cavalry trooper Fred Jones, a rent boy at the Hundred Guineas Club at the time, all army recruits were initiated into sodomy by their NCOs immediately upon enlistment. Mrs Truman ran a Tobacconist next to the barracks in Albany Street, she took orders from "gentlemen" and let the boys at the barracks know "the orders". When Mrs Truman died, a series of clubs opened up, including 19 Cleveland Street (of the Cleveland Street scandal) and the upmarket Hundred Guineas Club.


The Cleveland Street Affair by Lewis Chester, David Leitch & Colin Simpson, 1976, Weidenfeld and Nicholson, London.