The role of the Friendly Society Orders in British society, 1793-1911, with particular reference to the Ancient Order of Foresters Friendly Society

Logan, Roger (2003) The role of the Friendly Society Orders in British society, 1793-1911, with particular reference to the Ancient Order of Foresters Friendly Society. (PhD thesis), Kingston University.

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Abstract

The evolution of friendly societies in Britain during the 18th and 19th centuries resulted in a variety of formats and structures providing similar objectives of financial support in times of sickness and death. In this thesis. friendly society Orders in particular are considered by addressing specific questions. These relate to (a) their distinctive characteristics, (b) the processes at work which produced these characteristics, (c) the fundamental significance of the individual contributing to formation and management, within a hitherto neglected model of working classes democracy, and (d) the wider appeal other than simply that of financial benefit. Within the timespan 1793-1911. issues are identified and examined, primarily with reference to the Ancient Order of Foresters Friendly Society. These take into account both chronological and geographical diversity. They include structural evolution, the fundamental feature of the Orders' culture; the establishment and maintenance of representative and participatory democratic features; self-government by locally constituted units constrained by universally adopted Order-wide rules; diversity of experience according to the wishes of members and reliance on individuals in the formation and administration of the Orders. The superceding of an explicit moral base by a business driven approach is looked at as is the. establishment of widow and orphan Funds to support two very visible elements of 19th century society. Aspects of membership beyond that of adult males is presented against a broader background of changes in society. Formation of female branches and recruitment and retention of young members, male and female, are examined. Finally the seemingly paradoxical presence of non-benefit. honorary members, is analysed. In placing the Orders at the centre of study. this thesis provides a context for examination of friendly society activity at local community and national levels. By identifying structures, characteristics and processes it reveals the capacity and desire of working people in Britain to secure for themselves, as far as was possible at the time, secure and stable lives.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Physical Location: This item is held in stock at Kingston University Library.
Research Area: History
Sociology
Faculty, School or Research Centre: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Depositing User: Automatic Import Agent
Date Deposited: 09 Sep 2011 21:38
Last Modified: 30 May 2014 10:42
URI: http://eprints.kingston.ac.uk/id/eprint/20237

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