On a summer's day in 1905, twenty three amateur and professional magicians gathered together at London's Pinoli's Restaurant with the intention of forming a magic club. The result was the founding of The Magic Circle.
The first official meeting was held at The Green Man public house in Soho, but later meetings were held in a room above the stage of St. George's Hall in Langham Place, where Maskelyne and Devant presented their mysteries to a delighted public for so many years. David Devant, the greatest magician of his era, became the first President of The Magic Circle, and the Society grew rapidly and prospered.
In 1906, Nevil Maskelyne edited the first issue of The Magic Circular, and on its cover were the signs of the zodiac which, together with the words "Indocilis Privata Loqui", were destined to become the emblem of The Magic Circle. (The Latin motto, roughly translated, means "not apt to disclose secrets" - and any member who does so may be subject to expulsion from the Society.)
The Magic Circular has been published continuously since that time and today, twelve issues a year link members worldwide.
Membership. The total membership is around 1,500, and a quarter of these live overseas in 38 countries.
The Magic Circle museum is a treasure trove of items from the golden age of music halls. It features in the tour of our HQ during our public events programme. Our collection is not confined to the main museum but enriches the entire building with showcases throughout all the rooms and corridors. Some of the most precious items are held in "the inner sanctum" which can only be accessed by members.
The first President of The Magic Circle, often acknowledged as one of the greatest British magicians of all time.
This poster illustrates his catchphrase - "all done by kindness".