A selection of speakers, famous members, guests of The Whitefriars Club and of their members

Note 'Friar' indicates a speaker's membership of the Club, beyond their year's honorary membership. This list will be expanded as and when information comes to hand.

For those speakers presently highlighted in bold, click to find further details of their speeches.

2016

  • 21st January: Nicholas Coleridge
  • 24th February: Stephen Barber
  • 26th April: Francesco da Mosto
  • 21st September: Stephen Page
  • 19th October: Charles Moore
  • 23rd November: Lord Collins

2015

  • 28th January: The Rt Hon. Desmond Swayne , MP
  • 26th February: Field-Marshal Lord Guthrie GCB, LVO. OBE, DL
  • 22nd April: Tim Waterstone
  • 19th May: Tania Freiin von Uslar-Gleichen
  • 23rd September: Jane Hawking
  • 21st October: Anne Widdecombe
  • 25th November: Lord Alton 

2014

  • 29 January: Alessandro Gallenzi, publisher
  • 26 February: Professor Ian Fells
  • 23 April: Andrew Lycett
  • 23 September: Major General Julian Thompson
  • 22 October: Irma Kurtz, Cosmopolitan's Agony Aunt

2013

  • 23 January: Anne Sebba
  • 26 February: Air Chief Marshal Lord Stirrup KG GCB, AFC, FRAeS, FCMI
  • 15 May: Peter Kyle, Chairman of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.
  • 25 September: Peter Conradi, co-writer of The King’s Speech
  • 23 October: Prof. John Ashdown Hill, on finding the remains of King Richard III
  • 26 November: John Julius Norwich (Viscount Norwich)

2012

  • 25 January: Shelley Katz and Diana Gilchrist in concert.
  • 21 February: Ion Trewin, publisher of the Alan Clark Diaries, Chairman of the Booker Prize
  • 24 April: Mark Easton, BBC Home Affairs Editor
  • 23 May: Sir Thomas Allen CBE, opera star, real-life inspiration for Billy Elliot
  • 26 September: Diana Vernon, Headmistress of The City of London School for Girls
  • 31 October: Susie Howe, Blue Badge Guide
  • 22 November: Rev. Gordon Warren, Hon. Chaplain to the Royal Navy

2011

  • 25 January: Nigel Farage, founder of UKIP
  • 24 February: The Rt Hon Lord Falconer of Thoroton, PC QC politician, Lord Chancellor 2003-07
  • 12 April: Dr Shelley Katz, assisted by Diana Gilchrist
  • 17 May: Rosemary Anne Sisson, author and writer for TV
  • 27 September: Lt Col Christopher Ghika, commanding officer of 1st Battalion, Irish Guards
  • 18 October: HE Mr Ünal Çeviköz, Turkish Ambassador. Charity evening, courtesy Friar Huseyin Özer
  • 29 November: Esther Rantzen, CBE broadcaster ("That's Life etc) Founder of ChildLine

2010

  • 12 January: Steven Norris MP
  • 25 February: Lord Pearson of Rannoch
  • 12 May: Dr Mike Maloney OBE
  • 21 September: Patrick Spottiswoode
  • 20 October: Major Gen. Sir Sebastian Roberts KCVO OBE
  • 23 November: Anton Edelmann, chef

THE MORE DISTANT PAST

  • 2000 Kate Adie OBE news reporter
  • 1930 Field Marshal, the 1st Viscount Allenby GCB GCMG GCVO
  • 1998 Lord (Jeffrey) Archer, author
  • 1921 Lady 'Nancy' Astor MP, wife of 2nd Viscount Astor

 

  • 1907 A.J. Balfour MP, Prime Minister 1902-1905, later 1st Earl
  • 2003 Richard Baker OBE, TV broadcaster
  • 1904 Sir Squire Bancroft, actor manager
  • 1902 Sir J.M.Barrie, author of, among other works, Peter Pan
  • 1903 Max Beerbohm, essayist, parodist, caricaturist
  • 1922 Major General John Hay Beith CBE - 'Ian Hay'
  • 1902, 1903, 1909 Hilaire Belloc, writer and historian
  • 1906 Arnold Bennett, novelist
  • 1913 Mgr Hugh Benson, leading Catholic author
  • 2003 John Bercow MP, now Speaker of the House of Commons
  • 1872 Ambrose Bierce, journalist, short-story writer, author of The Devil's Dictionary
  • 1901, 1902, 1904, 1917 Augustine Birrell KC, politician, later Chief Secretary for Ireland
  • 1998 Colonel John Blashford-Snell OBE, explorer
  • 1909 Andrew Bonar Law MP, future Prime Minister
  • 1920 Lady (Violet) Bonham Carter, politician, diarist, daughter of H.H. Asquith, Prime Minister
  • 1960 Lord Boothby, politician
  • 1957 Bernard Braden. Famous for TV's 'Bedtime with Braden', 'On the Braden Beat', etc
  • 1979 Lord George-Brown, politician
  • 1917 John Buchan [1st Baron Tweedsmuir PC GCMG GCVO CH] author and politician
  • 1902 Friar Shan F. Bullock, author, election of
  • 1952 Lord Burghley, athlete, politician, later 6th Marquess of Exeter
  • 1870s Sir Richard Burton, explorer
  • 1989 The Hon. Mrs Justice Butler Sloss, then Lord Justice of Appeal

 

  • 1903 Friar Hall Caine, novelist
  • 1923 The Rt Hon Neville Chamberlain MP (Guest of Friar Churchill)
  • 1903, 1907, 1908, 1909, 1927 G. K. Chesterton, author
  • 1899, 1902 H.E. Joseph Hodges Choate, U.S. Ambassador
  • 1901 Friar Sir Winston Churchill OM MP (elected 1900)
  • 1975 Sir John (‘Jock’) Colville, CB CVO Assist Private Secretary to PMs Chamberlain, Churchill, and Atlee
  • 1907 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, author
  • 1901 Marie Corelli, novelist (sold more books than Conan Doyle, H.G. Wells and Kipling combined)
  • 1904 Walter Crane, artist, one of foremost children's book illustrators of his time
  • 1999 Edwina Currie MP, politician

 

  • 1923 Walter De La Mare OM, CH, poet, novelist
  • 1958 Lord Denning, OM PC DL, Lord of Appeal in Ordinary, later Master of the Rolls
  • 1906 Friar J.M.Dent, publisher, Prior of the Day
  • 1913 Henry Fielding Dickens KC, son of Charles Dickens
  • 1968 Tom Driberg MP, later Lord Bradwell
  • 1920 John Drinkwater, poet and playwright
  • 1968 The Rt Hon Sir Alec Douglas-Home KG, previously 14th Earl of Home, former Prime Minister

 

  • 1926, 1960 Dame Edith Evans, actress
  • 1919 Captain Edward Evans, captain of the Terra Nova, later Admiral 1st Baron Mountevans

 

  • 1973 The Rt Hon Michael Foot MP FRSL, politician, leader of the Labour Party, 1980-83
  • 2007 Frederick Forsyth, author (and evangelist for UKip)
  • 1988 Sir David Frost OBE, broadcaster

 

  • 2002 Edward Garnier QC, later Solicitor General in the Coalition
  • 1976 Lord Goodman CH QC, solicitor & political advisor. Mr Fix-it for the Great and the Good.
  • 1905 Sir Edward Grey, Bt, later 1st Viscount Grey of Falloden, KG PC

 

  • 1903 H. Rider Haggard, novelist
  • 1914 Canon J. O. Hannay - 'George A. Birmingham'
  • 1985, 1995 Robert Hardy CBE actor
  • 1874 Friar Thomas Hardy OM, novelist, elected Hon Friar, 1901
  • 1892 Friar Alfred Harmsworth, later 1st Viscount Northcliffe, election of
  • 1892 Friar Cecil Harmsworth, later 1st Baron Harmsworth, election of
  • 1909 Sir Robert Hart, orientalist, expert on China in the mid-19th century
  • 1880 Bret Harte, American author and poet
  • 1922 H.E. Colonel George Harvey, U.S. Ambassador
  • 1998 Roy Hattersley MP, politician
  • 1983 Sir Michael Havers, MP, Attorney General
  • 1897 H.E. Colonel John Hay, U.S. Ambassador
  • 1922 'Ian Hay' [Major General John Hay Beith, CBE]
  • 1975 Rt Hon. Sir Edward Heath, former Prime Minister
  • 1885 Friar G. A. [George Alfred] Henty, election of
  • 1968 Sir Alan [A.P.] Herbert, campaigner, novelist
  • 1957 Fred Hoyle, astronomer, novelist
  • 1902 William Holman Hunt OM, artist

 

  • 1913 'Dean Inge' Very Rev. William Ralph Inge KCVO, Dean of St Paul's, author, columnist
  • 2008 Sir Bernard Ingham. PA to Margaret Thatcher
  • 1970 Richard Ingrams, co-founder, 2nd editor of Private Eye, later editor of The Oldie

 

  • 1925 Jerome K Jerome, writer and humorist, author of Three Men in a Boat (1889)

 

  • 1980 H.E. Ke Hua, Ambassador of the People's Republic of China

 

  • 1908 Andrew Lang, poet, novelist, literary critic, collector of fairy tales
  • 1913 Mr (later Sir) John Lavery, artist
  • 1920 Lord Leverhulme, co-founder of Lever Bros, industrialist, philanthropist, politician
  • 2008 Rt Hon. Peter Lilley, politician
  • 1905 Rt. Hon. David Lloyd George, OM MP, Prime Minister 1916-22 (guest of Friar Churchill)
  • 1907 Sir Oliver Lodge, scientist
  • 1959 Christopher Logue, poet
  • 1974 Lord Longford, 7th Earl, KG PC, politician, author, social reformer

 

  • 2009 Lord McClennan of Rogart, Liberal politician
  • 1025 The Rt Hon. Ramsay McDonald, politician, Prime Minister
  • 1921 Compton Mackenzie, novelist, biographer, historian
  • 1907 Frederick Macmillan, publisher
  • Rt Hon. Harold Macmillan, later Prime Minister, and 1st Earl of Stockton OM
  • 1984 Rt Hon. Alexander Macmillan, 2nd Earl of Stockton
  • 1911 Professor John Pentland Mahaffy, Provost of Trinity College Dublin
  • 1916 'The Man who Dined with the Kaiser'
  • 1904 Chev. Guglielmo Marconi, Italian inventor, pioneer in wireless telegraphy
  • 1903 9th Duke of Marlborough (guest of Friar Churchill)
  • 1973 Rt Hon. Reginald Maudling MP
  • 1973 Sir Robert Mayer CH, musical philanthropist, Founder, Robert Mayer Children's Concerts
  • 1900 Friar George Meredith OM, novelist
  • 1976 Sir Bernard Miles CBE, actor, founder of the Mermaid Theatre (1959) later Baron Miles
  • 1927 The 2nd Baron Montagu of Beaulieu
  • Friar the 3rd Baron Montagu of Beaulieu
  • 1979 Robert Morley, actor
  • 2002 Sheridan Morley, TV commentator
  • 1931 Sir Oswald Mosley, MP later founder/leader of the British Union of Fascists
  • 1975 The Earl Mountbatten of Burma KG OM
  • 1994 Lord Mowbray, Segrave & Stourton
  • 1976 Frank Muir, comedian
  • 1969 Rupert Murdoch, newspaper mogul
  • 1902 John Murray, publisher

 

  • 1906 Fridtjof Nansen, Norwegian arctic explorer
  • 1975 Airey Neave MP Conservative politician
  • 1902, 1904, 1905 Henry Newbolt, then editor of the Monthly Review
  • 1926 Beverley Nichols, author

 

  • 1920 T.P. O'Connor MP, father of the House of Commons, orginally a journalist

 

  • 1919 Mr Handley Page, aviation designer
  • 1914 H.E. Dr Walter Hines Page, U.S. Ambassador, Hon. Friar
  • 2006 Nicolas Parsons, radio and TV personality
  • 1910 Professor Flinders Petrie, Egyptologist
  • 1978 HRH Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh
  • 1910 Sir Horace Plunkett
  • 1968 Enoch Powell MP
  • 1990 Sir Terry Pratchett, author
  • 1918 Major George Haven Putnam, American publisher (first came as a guest in 1905)
  • 2002 Lord Puttnam, film producer and educator

 

 

  • 2011 Esther Rantzen CBE, TV personality, founder of ChildLine
  • 1906 H.E. Whitelaw Reid, U.S. Ambassador
  • 1974 Sir Ralph Richardson, actor
  • 2004 Angela Rippon, TV personality and reporter
  • 2006 Lord (Brian) Rix, comedy actor, and campaigner for those with learning disabilities
  • 1912 Field Marshal Lord Roberts
  • 1905 Lord Rosebery was reportedly 'dumb' when asked to speak

 

  • 1913 Sir Herbert Samuel, later 1st Viscount, politician and diplomat
  • 1931 Sir Malcolm Sargent, conductor
  • 2007 The Rt Hon. Baroness Scotland, PC QC, now Secretary General of the Commonwealth
  • 1985 Sir Peter Scott, naturalist
  • 1910 Captain Robert Falcon Scott ('of the Antarctic) RN CVO
  • 1909 Lieutenant Sir Ernest Shackleton RN CVO
  • 1906, 1920 [George] Bernard Shaw
  • 1987 Sir Donald Sinden CBE, actor
  • 1913 Rt Hon . F. E. Smith, KC, later Lord Birkenhead
  • 1970 C.P. Snow, novelist, later Lord Snow
  • 1972 Sir Basil Spence OM, architect
  • 1920 J.C. Squire, poet, editor of literary journals
  • 1890, 1892 Friar Sir Henry Morton Stanley GCB, explorer, elected hon. Friar 1892
  • 1986 Rt Hon David Steel KBE, co-founder of the SDLP, later Lord Steel of Aikwood
  • 1960 Rt Rev. Mervyn Stockwood, Bishop of Southwark
  • 1905 Bram Stoker, later elected Friar
  • 2009 Lord Strathclyde, 2nd Baron, then Leader of the Opposition in the House of Lords
  • 2007 John Surtees, OBE motorcycle and Formula One racing driver

 

  • 2003 The Rt Hon. Lord Tebbit CH
  • 1910 Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree, actor, theatre manager
  • 1993 Friar Donald Trelford, Editor of The Observer
  • 1904 Sir George Trevelyan Bt, historian
  • 1994 Joanna Trollope, OBE novelist
  • 1872, 1899, 1900 Friar Mark Twain (elected Hon. Member in 1874)

 

  • 1920 Hugh Walpole, novelist, later knighted
  • 1902, 1907, 1913 Friar H.G.Wells was Prior (first came as a guest in 1902)
  • 1983 The 6th Duke of Westminster KG
  • 1995 Friar John Whitney, CBE former Director General, Independent Broadcasting Authority
  • 2006, 2015 Rt Hon. Ann Widdecombe MP, Conservative politician, later panto dame
  • 1981 Rt Hon. Shirley Williams MP, co-founder of SDLP
  • 1903 Thomas J. Wise, bibliophile and later notorious book forger
  • 1906 Rt Hon. George Wyndham MP

 

  • 1904 William Butler Yeats