Sir Evelyn Wrench

One man, a global vision

“I vowed I would devote my life to great causes, to the Empire, to my fellows.”
Sir Evelyn Wrench, 1910

Sir John Evelyn Leslie Wrench was born in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, an entrepreneur who made his fortune in picture postcards, before working with the press baron Lord Northcliffe. It was during his extensive travels around the world with Northcliffe in the early 1900s that Wrench’s vision for a global society was formed.

Sir Evelyn Wrench’s inspiration was to embrace the concept of ‘Empire’, not just as a political and economic network, but as a ‘far-flung brotherhood of individual men and women of diverse creed and races living widely apart under differing conditions in different latitudes’. Fuelled by this determination to encourage international understanding, Wrench formed the Royal Over-Seas League as the Overseas Club in 1910. Wrench had a truly visionary and international outlook for a man of his time.

ROSL Historical Images_Founder Evelyn Wrench
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In 1918, he went on to launch the English Speaking Union of the Commonwealth which served to cement the ties of comradeship between the British Commonwealth and the United States and by 1922, Sir Evelyn had joined the board of the popular periodical, the Spectator, buying a controlling interest in the paper. An astute investor and communicator, Wrench went on to serve as Editor of the Spectator from 1925-32.

Today, Sir Evelyn Wrench’s original founding vision continues to be realised as we celebrate our global connections and unique blend of culture and creativity as members from across the world visit, dine, stay and socialise at Over-Seas House, our historic clubhouse.

Global connections,
culture & creativity