The Temple of Friendship was built specifically for Lord Cobham and his allies to meet and discuss politics. His allies were the notorious Kit Cat club which had a huge influence on the Whig Party in the 1700s. The Kit Cat club’s members included prominent writers, philosophers and politicians and exerted their power secretly to ensure that the Whig Party stuck to its ideals.
The Kit Cat Club wanted:
• A strong Parliament
• The Monarchy should abide by an agreed written constitution
• Resistance to France
• Protestant succession to the throne
Lord Cobham in particular was unhappy with the rule of George II, revering previous monarch Elizabeth I. The date 1739 is inscribed with a dedication inside the temple to mark the Visit of Prince Frederick, Prince of Wales who the group thought would be an ideal leader.
The name Kit Cat possibly came from Christopher (Kit) Catling, a London pie maker.
Image 1: Temple of Friendship, copyright David Humphries, not for reproduction.