Overseas expeditions were seen as a way of furthering the cultural education of residents and students. In 1887 the first ‘Toynbee pilgrims’ visited Belgium, and the Travellers’ Club was created in 1889. Many of the group members had never been abroad before. They attended lectures and language lessons before making their trips. One group member, Thomas Oakey, a Spitalfields basket maker went on to become the first Professor of Italian at Cambridge University.