Montgomeryshire Friendly Society Papers

Scope and Content

This collection consists of the records of the Erfyl, Cadfan and Peibiaw Friendly Society of Llangadfan, Montgomeryshire, dating from 1868 to 1919. It contains mainly financial material recording members contributions; receipts; printed balance sheets; a junior branch account book and payments books, with details of expenses, such as sick pay, pensions and funerals. Also includes a register of members, from 1868 to 1919, which records information on the member's name, residence, occupation, current age and age on admission to society. The records show that the Llangadfan friendly society administered the payment of maternity benefit and sickness and disability benefit from 1912 to 1919. There is also a minute book for 1913 to 1918.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Sons of Erfyl, Cadfan and Peibiaw Friendly Society, Llangadfan Montgomeryshire was part of a nationwide movement of organisations which developed, before the introduction of state aid, to help people protect themselves against hardship and the threat of the workhouse, particularly in times of difficulty such as ill health or old age. Between 1868 and 1919 this Montgomeryshire organisation had approximately 281 members and made payments for expenses incurred through illness, disability, death, as well as maternity benefit and pensions provision. Membership of this society was made up of men who described themselves as labourers and farmers mainly, and also included a stonemason, blacksmith, carpenter and a police officer.

The idea of friendly societies goes back at least as far as the seventeenth century and grew as new towns and industries developed in the nineteenth century and people found it difficult to rely on village communities. At first, many societies were locally based and by the late 1800's there were about 27,000 registered Friendly Societies in small villages and large towns. The early meetings were often held as a social gathering when the subscriptions were paid with members contributing an amount regularly, providing payments to those who needed them, with the remainder being saved or invested.

With the introduction of state welfare provision, which the friendly societies helped run between 1911 and 1948, numbers were greatly reduced. They still exist today, albeit in a reinvented form as financial services providers. Further information is available from the Association of Friendly Societies


Material is incorporated into the General Collection of Bangor Manuscripts . There is no particular order of arrangement.

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Open to all users


Description compiled by Anne Lenaghan, November 2001.

Other Finding Aids

Item level word-processed list is available at the Archives Department of the University of Wales, Bangor. Reference numbers: General Collection of Bangor Manuscripts: 8541-8551

Conditions Governing Use

Usual copyright conditions apply. Reprographics are made at the discretion of the Archivist.