Rule Book for the New Amicable Society at Sawtry. Click 'Text Show' Button.. The New Amicable Society, Sawtry
“On the Box” The NEW AMICABLE SOCIETY, Sawtry, was established on the 27th June 1842 with the aim, as stated in its Prayer – “to assist one another in the casualties that may befall us”. Membership was open to all men under the age of 30, providing approved by a doctors “investigation” – and was not afflicted by any incurable disorder – like the “kings evil, falling sickness, lameness, blindness, venereal disease or any other distemper” The Society was governed by the “a Father, two stewards and two assistants” who were responsible for collecting and holding all money paid in by members in “a box with three locks and keys of different wards”. Entrance fee to the Society, dependant on age, was from “two shillings and sixpence” and members paid “one shilling and elevenpence” every club night– held on every last Monday of the month at the Cross Keys Inn – “from the hours of six to eight, from Old Michaelmas to Old Lady-Day” After membership for one year if a member “falls sick or lame he shall havethe benefit of the box” and receive “eleven shillings per week for twenty-six weeks” - unless the illness was due to “drunkenness, quarrelling, fighting, wrestling, gaming, needless and inexcusable exercise – or through inadvertency contract venereal disease” – in which case no benefit was paid. Also if a member who is receiving benefit “shall be known to drink more beer in an ale-house that amounts to more than sixpence in one day – or be known to go from ale-house to ale-house making a practice of drinking and leading a drunken life … he shall be refused benefit!” When a member was “on the box” and claiming benefit he was visited five days each week by the stewards and the assistants – who if failing to go “forfeit sixpence for every and each neglect”. Forfeits were claimed for many offences – “being disguised in drink – one shilling; speaking after the chairman has called for silence – threepence; for refusing to leave the club-room when called out by his wife – sixpence; for refusing to serve as an assistant – one shilling” The Father was responsible for “causing a good fire and candles to be kept during club hours” and for organising “a Feast Day on the last Monday in May” when the “money in the box shall answer to the books, otherwise the deficiency shall be made good by the old stewards!” This Society must have died out sometime in the 19C – is it possible the Sawtry Oddfellows replaced it in 1926? Is it also possible that the New Amicable Society “Feast Day” on the last Monday in May could be the origin of the Sawtry Feast Week?
Date of coverage01/06/1842-30/06/1842
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