The Friendly Societies in England, 1815-1875

The Friendly Societies in England, 1815-1875

The Friendly Societies in England, 1815-1875

The Friendly Societies in England, 1815-1875

Excerpt

I HAVE approached the development of friendly societies in England topically rather than chronologically. The multiplicity and variety of these societies was such that a strictly chronological account could hardly form a coherent whole. Moreover my aim has been not only to show how the societies grew in size and how different forms of organisation emerged, but also to show the ways in which they met some of the needs of large sections of the population during this period. I found that I was better able to achieve this aim by examining in turn the development of the various aspects of the friendly society movement and of its work.

The preparation of this study has left me indebted to many. I am grateful to Dr. Hobsbawn of Birkbeck College for his valuable criticisms. My thanks are due to numerous officials of friendly societies and librarians for help in tracing material and especially to the staff of the Goldsmiths' Reading Room of the University of London Library who have shown great patience in meeting my frequent requests. Finally, I would like to thank the National Conference of Friendly Societies whose munificence has done much to facilitate publication.

P. H. J. H. GOSDEN.

Leeds University, December, 1960.

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