Hope of Clydach Tent, Independent Order of Rechabites Records

Scope and Content

Minutes; Annual reports; Membership; Medical certificates; Financial records; Correspondence; Miscellaneous

Administrative / Biographical History

The Independent Order of Rechabites was a Friendly Society founded in England in 1835 as part of the temperance movement to promote total abstinence from alcoholic beverages. Always well connected in upper society and involved in financial matters, it gradually transformed into a financial institution which still exists, and still promotes abstinence. A branch may be known as a "Tent," since the biblical Rechabites lived exclusively in tents. Each Tent was ruled by a High Chief Ruler, assisted by a High Deputy Ruler, Corresponding Secretary, Sick and Tent Stewards, Inside and Outside Guardians, a Levite of the Tent and a number of Elders. Before one could join the Rechabites and benefit from their insurance and saving scheme a document had to be signed swearing that the proposed member and his family would not drink any alcoholic beverages. This document was known as The Pledge and represented a solemn promise. The initials "IOR" on a tombstone may indicate that the deceased was a member of the organisation.

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A hard copy is available at the West Glamorgan Archive Service

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