Papers of Robert Lancaster

Scope and Content

The collection contains menu cards, invitations, newspaper clippings, photographs, reports, admission tickets, programmes, reports, letters, a pass book, a death certificate, medals and badges.

Administrative / Biographical History

Robert Fischer Lancaster was born in Kendal in 1883. He trained as a solicitor, and was employed by the Newcastle branch of the Co-operative Wholesale Society in 1916. In 1917, Lancaster moved to Manchester to become the head of the C.W.S. legal department. He succeeded Sir Thomas Brodrick as secretary and chief executive officer of the C.W.S. in 1923. In the same year, he also became secretary of the International Co-operative Society.

In 1935, Lancaster became president of the Southport Co-operative Society, a position he held until his death in 1945. He was also the secretary of the Co-operative Insurance Society. In addition, he was the joint secretary of several C.W.S. and Co-operative Union joint committees, including a committee set up to examine the plans for an international co-operative oil company.

Lancaster also had an interest in co-operation outside of his official duties. He was involved in the establishment of the Balloon Street Luncheon Club, and supported out-of-hours sports and recreation for C.W.S employees.

In 1931, Lancaster was awarded the title of Chevalier of the Order of Danneborg by the Danish government. He was awarded the Order of Agricultural Merit by the Canadian government in 1935. Both of these awards were given in recognition of his services to trade between the two countries and the UK. He was given a knighthood in the New Year Honours List of 1945, in recognition of his services to the country through the co-operative movement.

Robert Lancaster died at his home in Southport on December 4th, 1945.

Access Information


Archivist's Note

Created by Rebekah Johnston, volunteer, 29th March 2012.


No further accruals are expected.