Round Table (club)

Last updated
Round Table
MottoAdopt, adapt, improve
Formation1927;94 years ago (1927)
Founder Louis Marchesi
Founded at Norwich, Norfolk, England
Matthew Eaton

Round Table is a non-political, non-sectarian association open to men between the ages of 18 and 45, from any profession or trade. [1]


The objects of the association are the encouragement of high ethical standards in commercial life, the promotion of fellowship amongst young professional and business men, and to "empower each individual to make a positive impact at home, work and in his community." [1]

The association was founded in Norwich, Norfolk, in 1927 by Louis Marchesi.

Membership to association is open to all men between the ages of 18 and 40 (45 in the UK and Ireland) and provides its members a selection of social and community service related opportunities.

The name "Round Table" is not drawn from Arthurian Legend, as is its common misinterpretation; rather it has taken both its title and its maxim comes from a speech made to the British Industries Fair in 1927 by the then Prince Edward, Prince of Wales:

"The young business and professional men of this country must get together round the table, adopt methods that have proved so sound in the past, adapt them to the changing needs of the times and wherever possible, improve them."

The phrase "adopt, adapt, improve" is the slogan of the organisation, and is often seen on Round Table literature and regalia.


The 2020-2021 National President is Matt Eaton. The National Vice President is Paul Thompson and he will assume the National Presidency in May 2021 to May 2022.

Aims and objects of the Round Table

These are the current aims & objects of the Round Table. The wording may differ slightly in different countries.

  1. To develop the acquaintance of young men through the medium of their various occupations.
  2. To emphasise the fact that one's calling offers an excellent medium of service to the community.
  3. To cultivate the highest ideals in business, professional and civic traditions.
  4. To recognise the worthiness of all legitimate occupations and dignify each his own, by precept and example.
  5. To further the establishment of peace and goodwill in international relations.
  6. To further these objects by meetings, lectures, discussions and other activities.

These are the current Aims & Objects of Round Table International:

  1. To promote fellowship and understanding between Round Table Associations worldwide;
  2. To promote the formation of new Round Table Associations throughout the world;
  3. To initiate, develop and improve working relationships with Club 41 International and Ladies Circle International for fellowship, networking and Joint Service objectives;
  4. To promote and administer Joint Service Projects worldwide.


The first Round Table was formed in Norwich, England in 1927. The founder was a young member of Norwich Rotary Club who felt there was a need for a club aimed more at the younger businessmen of the town. His vision was for them to exchange ideas, learn from the experiences of their colleagues, and together contribute to the civic life of the town.

In the following year, interest was so high that the club attracted 85 members, and people around the country were starting to show an interest in establishing other clubs.

The second Round Table club opened soon after in Portsmouth. By the time the Second World War broke out in 1939 there were 125 clubs and 4,600 members.

The first overseas group was formed in Copenhagen in 1936, and while the movement continued to grow in Denmark, the war years halted British expansion for a while. Today, in the United Kingdom, there are 600 local Round Tables, with a combined membership of close to 4000.

The Round Table is now an international movement, with active members in most European countries, as well as Africa, the Middle East, India, Hong Kong, New Zealand, and the USA.

The Winchester Round Table Winchester - Table ronde du roi Arthur.JPG
The Winchester Round Table

Round Table has no direct connection to Arthurian Round Table. The design of the Round Table emblem or rondel (see right) is, however, an adaptation of the one which hangs in the Great Hall in Winchester Castle. Although this is claimed to be the Round Table of the mythical court of King Arthur, it is in fact a representation which was made in the 13th century, and painted in its current form on the order of Henry VIII.

The Round Table Family

The Round Table Family of clubs consists of four clubs. Round Table, Ladies Circle, 41 Club and Tangent.

In 1932 the wives of Tablers set up their own social networking and charitable fundraising organisation - Ladies Circle. This was founded by and for wives of Tablers, however is now open to all women aged 18 to 45.

Retiring Round Tablers have their own club, 41 Club. Similarly, retiring Circlers have Tangent & Agora(clubs), although Tangent is, but Agora is not, officially part of the Round Table Family of clubs.



The association promotes fellowship amongst young professional and business men. Members of a Round Table club meet on a regular basis, normally once a fortnight. Round Table clubs within the UK are grouped into "Areas", and clubs meet every three months for both social and charitable Area gatherings.

Community work

Round Table is frequently associated with its charitable fund raising activities and community service projects, which can either be requests for assistance or a project initiated by the club itself.

In the UK, many Round Table clubs operate these activities through charitable trusts but who receives these funds is agreed upon by the clubs members. Many clubs organise community events during the year, for example Bonfire & Firework Nights or ‘Santa’s Sleigh’ at Christmas. Although these can and do vary from club to club, however, most events aim to raise money to ‘give back‘ to local charitable causes

There is no obligation for members to commit a certain amount of their own personal time or any money; ‘Family, Work, then Table’

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  1. 1 2 "RT international main page". Round Table international. RT. Retrieved 16 March 2019.