© Copyright 2017 Dalton Book Club

The world’s oldest book club

Established on the 12th day of May, 1764

Dalton Book Club

Seventeen men of Dalton-in-Furness and the surrounding district met in the White Horse Inn, then the house of Mr Thomas Taylor, and drew up the “Rules and Directions” of what was to become The Dalton Book Club. The members have met every month since that date, leading to their claim to be the oldest book club still in existence.

Membership is limited to thirty, and by tradition the thirtieth place is kept vacant for the son of an existing member.

Members again meet at the White Horse Inn, currently at 7pm on the fourth Wednesday of the month, meetings having been held in various locations over the two hundred and fifty-two years of the club’s existence.


No.4: Every member not so appearing shall notwithstanding pay his Club of threepence for the first time de does not appear and sixpence for each subsequent time that he shall neglect to attend the Club, to be spent by the members present at each meeting.

From the Rule Book:

No.2: That every old member entering into the said Club shall advance the sum of Ten Pounds and every new member the sum of Ten Pounds Twenty Five Pence or more as a majority of the members may agree, to be laid out in books as a majority of the Club may judge proper.

Applications for membership:

No.22: No new member be voted for unless notice of intention of proposal be given at the meeting before the one at which he is voted for. Voting shall be by ballot and four votes against will reject.

Drawing by lots:

No.10: Books to be drawn out by lot or ticket.

No.11: Every person not appearing before the drawing of such lot or ticket shall forfeit the benefit of the first choice, then anyone present may draw for such absent members as shall send their books in time.