John Barnes, Historian

Charles Street Gang

The derisive term used by the Whigs to refer to the activities of a committee formed in November 1830 to organise the opposition. The initiative seems to have been taken by men like Joseph Planta, Secretary to the Treasury from 1827 to 1830, and William Holmes, Treasurer of the Ordnance and government Chief Whip from 1820 to 1830. They recruited Arbuthnot, J.C. Herries, Sir Henry Hardinge and Lord Ellenborough. The object was not merely to organise the party in parliament, but to rebuild the Tory press and offer assistance to candidates in elections. Their meetings took place in private houses and, at Croker's suggestion, they dined regularly at the Athenaeum. However, when it was decided to have a permanent office, rooms at Planta's house in Charles Street, off St James's Square were used. On 16 June the house, by then vacated by Planta, became the party's official headquarters. By then the committee had a paid secretary, Edward Fitzgerald. By December 1831, it was apparent that the house was too small and, it may be also because the activities of the committee in relation to the press had begun to embarrass the party, the decision was taken to establish a social centre for the party that could act also a home for the whips and election managers. Charles Street remained the party headquarters until the Carlton Club was made ready, but by 1833 the Club had taken over its functions.

R.Stewart: The Foundation of the Conservative Party 1830-1867.
Longmans History of the Conservative Party Vol. I