Boodle’s was a club for gentlemen founded in London in 1762 by the future Marquess of Lansdowne and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, William Petty, Earl of Shelburne. It was established for like-minded men to meet, exchange, and discuss political issues and ideas. However, Boodle’s took its name from its head waiter, Edward Boodle, who also began to manage it shortly after it was opened.
The club originally opened at 49-51 Pall Mall, but in 1782, it moved into 28 St. James’s Street, a spot occupied by the Savoir Vivre club. Architect John Cruden designed the building in 1765, and it was soon cited as “the most interesting architectural object [on] St. James’s Street.” Between 1821-1824, architect John Buonarotti Papworth made alterations to Boodle’s ground floor that included a comfortable reading room.