Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Sir Alan Barlow

Letter No.: 
VWL2928
[1954?]

Dear Alan,1

Please thank the Athenaeum Committee for the great honour they wish to do me.2
But please ask them to consider my advanced years and not ask me to change the habits of a life time.  I am not naturally a clubbable person and have all my life been content with a little one-horse club in a basement.3
So do not ask me at the age of 82 suddenly to be confronted with the company of judges generals and prime-ministers.
Yours very gratefully

Ralph Vaughan Williams


1. Sir Alan Barlow had presumably invited VW to be nominated. Barlow was Chairman of the Athenaeum Club General Committee; he was married to Nora Darwin, a granddaughter of Charles Darwin through his youngest son Sir Horace Darwin. Nora was a second cousin of VW; both are descended from Erasmus Darwin and Josiah Wedgwood.
2. Presumably honorary membership of the club.
3. This was the 'Mainly Musicians' (M.M.) Club started by the cellist May Mukle in 1939 or 1940, near the Oxford Circus Underground station.

Location of original letter:

Location of copy:

General notes: 

Date from reference to VW's age.

Format: 
Letter
Original database number: 
53xxxc