Artificial Collection of East Yorkshire Friendly Society Records

Scope and Content

This collection of original and photocopied material was assembled by Dr David Neave during the course of his doctoral and post-doctoral research (see Publication note). East Riding branches of the following national affiliated order friendly societies are covered by the collection: Ancient Order of Foresters, Independent Order of Odd Fellows (Manchester Unity), Independent Order of Odd Fellows (Kingston Unity), Grand United Order of Odd Fellows, Loyal Order of Ancient Shepherds, Order of the Sons of Temperance, United Ancient Order of Druids, National Equalized Druids Friendly Society and the United Order of Free Gardeners. There are also records of independent local societies for Beverley, Brandesburton, Driffield, Etton, Flamborough, Hedon, Howden, Market Weighton, Newbald, North Cave and Patrington.

Administrative / Biographical History

For a century or more prior to the First World War and the beginnings of the welfare state, millions of working men and their families were active participants in the friendly society movement, benefitting in times of sickness (or death), and in many other ways. In the East Riding of Yorkshire alone, there were over 350 societies in the 19th century, both local town or village benefit groups, and branches of the national affiliated order friendly societies.


U DFR/1-6 Original local branch records, 1839 - 1949

U DFR/7-14 Photocopies of and extracts from local branch records, 1838 - 1978

U DFR/15-18 Rule books, 1800 - 1965

U DFR/19-23 Various, 1835 - 1975

U DFR/24-36 Directories, diaries and histories, 1850 - 1984

U DFR/37-39 Placards, 1859 - 1868

U DFR/40-160 General (national) material, c.1820 - 1984

U DFR/161-166 Miscellaneous, 1874 - 1990

Access Information

Access will be granted to any accredited reader

Other Finding Aids

Friendly Society records subject guide

Custodial History

Donated by Dr David Neave, Department of History, University of Hull, December 1990; U DFR/166 was purchased at auction (H. Evans & Sons, St James Street, Hull) on 29th Jan 1991


  • David Neave, Friendly societies in the rural East Riding (PhD thesis, University of Hull, 1985)
  • David Neave, East Riding friendly societies (Beverley, East Yorkshire Local History Society, 1988)
  • David Neave, Mutual aid in the Victorian countryside: friendly societies in the rural East Riding, 1830-1914 (Hull, Hull University Press, 1991)