The History of Leith

June 10, 2012

the WIG CLUB

In the Advertiser for 1783 it is announced as
.a standing order of the WIG CLUB, ” that the
members in <^the neighbourhood of Edinburgh .should attend the meetings of the club, or if they find that inconvenient, to send in their resignation ; it is requested that the members will be ^pleased to attend to this regulation, otherwise their places will be supplied by others who wish to be of the club.—Fortune's Tavern, February 4th, 1783." In the preceding January a meeting of the club is summoned at that date, " as St. P 's day." Mr. Hay of Drumelzier in the chair. As there is no saint for the 4th February whose initial is P, this must have been some joke known only to the dab. Charles, Earl of Haddington, presided on the 2nd DecemDer, 1783. From the former notice we may gather that there was a decay of this curious club, the president of which wore a wig of extraordinary materials, which had belonged to the Moray family for three generations, and each new entrant's powers were tested, by compelling him to drink " to the fraternity in a quart of claret, without pulling bit—i.e., pausing." The members generally drank twopenny ale, on which it was possible to get intoxicated for the value of a groat, and ate a coarse kind of loaf, called Soutar's clod, which, with penny pies of high reputation in those days, were furnished by a shop near Forrester's Wynd, and known as the Baijen Hole. source-Old and New Edinburgh

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