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The Eton Society: Pop



Administrative / Biographical history

Pop, or the Eton Society, was founded in 1811 by Charles Fox Townshend as a debating society, but also as a social club. This dual purpose meant its survival when others didn't. In early days, members were known as "literati", and it is believed that "Pop" comes from the place meetings were initially held in, the house of Mrs Hatton, the "popina" or lolly-pop shop. Membership was fixed at 25 initially, and it was to involve weekly debates of historical or literary character, politics and polemical subjects banned. Over the years, the society changed, both in membership and purpose. By the early 20th century, it was largely a club for the sporting elite. Its members have a great deal of privileges, for example over dress, areas they can go to, and they used to be allowed to "cane" other boys for infringements. They now act more like prefects, with Masters having some say in the membership.

A list of members can be found in the Chronicle at the beginning of each half


1811 - 2011

Publication note

A history of Pop appeared in the Eton College Chronicle 28/09/1911

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Number 17 of 41 at this Level

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