Notes Copied from the Records of The Beggar's Benison

For which see Male Sex Clubs of the Enlightenment in Scotland

The Minutes of The Beggar’s Benison

1734 Candlemas: 13 Knights present.  Chamber tyled at 3 o'clock, and opened in due manner.  One Feminine Gender, 17, was hired for One Sovereign, fat and well-developed.   She stripped in the Closet, nude; and was allowed to come in with face half-covered.   None was permitted to speak to or touch her.   She spread wide upon a Seat, first before and then behind:  every Knight passed in turn and surveyed the Secrets of Nature.  Afterwards the Sovereign closed the Chambers, after Repast in the accustomed form.  Secresy enjoined upon faith.

1735 St. Andrew's Day:  24 present.  Every Penis exhibited and compared by erection and frig-discharge, 3 Novices were tested  .   A girl of 15 appeared nude for a few minutes:  she shewed herself satisfactorily and was engaged for next Assembly.

1737 St. Andrew's Day: 24 met, 3 tested and enrolled.  All frigged [masturbated].  The Dr. expatiated.  Two nymphs [young girls], 18 and 19, exhibited as heretofore.  Rules were submitted by Mr. Lumsdaine for future adoption.  Fanny Hill was read.  Tempest.   Broke up at 3 o'clock a.m.


Toasts of The Beggar’s Benison

  • Firm Erection, fine Insertion, excellent Distillation, no Contamination.
  • The School wherein we learnt to Ride.
  • In we go and take our chance.
  • May our Bald-headed Hermit, when he enters his Cell, fervently pour forth his Essence of Devotion.

Dates Etc.

Full Title:  The Most Ancient and Most Puissant Order of the Beggar’s Benison and Merryland, Anstruther, Scotland

Founded in 1732 in Anstruther on the Firth of Forth and formally established in 1739.

First Edinburgh Meeting:  1766

Club dissolved: 1836

Activities of The Beggar’s Benison

Poems were read, naughty tales were shared, sexual riddles were puzzled over and in the spirit of The Enlightenment, men (for twas men only) discussed the procreative varieties of animal sex discovered in the world.  Masturbating communally into a pewter platter, now one of the treasures of Prince William’s alma mater, St Andrews University.


The Beggar’s Benison had a stock of pornography and there were also sometimes naked ‘posture girls’ for the members to look at. A snuffbox full of King George's courtesan's pubic hairs and a wig made from King Charles' courtesan's pubic hair. A Bible had a lock on it in the shape of a vulva.

(Attributed to Nathaniel Murray, Clerk to Collector John McNanghton.)


[The property] being an improvable concern, it is well [suited] for a young man of industrious habits, who will, in the short space of one year, find a visible increase in his original investment.  The premises are of great depth, with spacious and beautiful frontage.  They were formed nineteen years ago by an able architect, at a great expense and labour, and have been in a continual state of improvement for the last two years, when a material alteration took place by breaking through a partition in the interior, which some considered a detriment;  but the possessor has found great benefit therefrom, it having rendered the frontage more airy, facilitating ingress and egress.

About six years ago, a shrubbery was planted, which has so increased as to place the entrance in embryo, which, although centrically situated, and having a pair of folding; doors, may be called a private entrance.  It may also be termed a Marine Retreat, having a beautiful natural spring of Salt Water in the interior.

The only reason of the proprietress being desirous to let [the property], is the death of her husband. The whole is in substantial repair, and calculated at present to do a good stroke of business.  Coming in easy.  None but standing tenants will be treated.

And Finally, A Few Scotch Saws and Proverbs Spouted at Meetings

  • As hasty as a sheep, nae sooner is the tail up but oot comes the turd.
  • He that has his baas in a cleft stick maun wyle them oot the best way he can.
  • He that ance a guid name gets, may pish the bed and swear he sweats.  But he that ance a guid name misses, and sweats in bed, they'll say he pishes.
  • Love and pease-brose will mak' their way.
  • Like Davie Dougal's dochter, bid her sit down and she'll lie down.
  • Ye’ll no die the death o' Jenkins' hen, wha died for want o' treadin'.
  • Ye're a' tripes and trollybags.
  • You and her pishes in the same nutshell.
  • Ye're like the leeks, ye ha'e a green tail and a grey head.
  • Your heart's wi' the Lord, but your p— is in Jenny Walsh's c—.