- Museum number
Beggar's Benison club medal; electrotype; inscription on both sides; Adonis with hound and spear surprising Venus over whom Cupid watches; reverse: Adam and Eve.
- Production date
- Curator's comments
- The Beggar's Benison was founded in 1732 in the port of Anstruther, north of Edinburgh, by a group of local lairds and merchants, and lasted until 1836. Formed as a jovial society for the entertainment of libertines, the underlying link was tax evasion and the support of free trade. The society's motto, 'Be Fruitful and Multiply' was engraved on medals worn at meetings. Various manuscripts and artefacts relating to the society are held at St Andrews University.
For a full account of the Beggar's Benison society, see J. Peakman, 'Lascivious Bodies. A sexual history of the eighteenth century', London 2004, chapter 6: 'Scottish Secret Sex Societies', pp. 129-147; see also D. Stevenson, 'The Beggar's Benison: Sex Clubs of Enlightenment Scotland and their Rituals', East Linton, 2001.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: W.314