Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section

General Guide


21: Clubs and Societies  


This section includes records of social, political, sporting, recreational, literary, academic, historical and antiquarian clubs and societies, and those of professional bodies, trade unions and mutual benefit and benevolent societies. Where the records consist of one or two volumes only, a phrase such as “Minute book” has been added to the description to indicate that these are the only records we hold. For all other collections, please consult the collection level descriptions in our online catalogue (which describe the whole collection and are called “Records of……” e.g. Records of Cogers Society) as these give an overview of the types of records within each collection.

Full catalogue entries will be found in our online catalogue www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/librarycatalogue (use the “Former catalogue”). To find the entries, do a Classification search for the Manuscript number given below in bold, adding leading zeroes if necessary to give the number five digits (e.g. Ms 00544, Ms 05345 or Ms 24199).

If the collection consists of a single document, it will be given in the following way in this guide: Ms 5345; if the collection consists of more than one document, the first manuscript reference number only will be given with a dash to indicate further numbers, e.g. Ms 34978-. In order to find the entries in our online catalogue, please just enter the first number in a classification search, without a dash, e.g. Ms 34978. This search will find the collection level description which shows the full range of manuscript numbers for each collection.

The catalogue is available in hard copy at the Manuscripts Section's enquiry desk.

For charitable societies see Section 18 (iv), for religious and missionary societies see Section 18 (i), and for traders' associations see Section 22 (ii).


ALDERSGATE CLUB, a club formed by residents of the parish of St Botolph Aldersgate to consider matters of local concern. Minute book 1879-89. L 24  Ms 6995

ALDERSGATE WARD CLUB, a revival of the Past Officers' Club, q.v. 1909-2004. L 24  Ms 18738-

ALDERSGATE WARD PAST OFFICERS' CLUB (see also Aldersgate Ward Club). 1888 (photograph album) and 1902 (minute book). L 24  Ms 6996-

ALDGATE WARD ASSOCIATION see ALDGATE WARD CLUB

ALDGATE WARD CLUB, known until 1906 as Aldgate Ward Association. 1898-1983. L 24  Ms 24541-

AMICABLE AND BROTHERLY SOCIETY, a mutual benefit society established 1738 by a group of tradesmen at the Ship Tavern, Leadenhall Street. 1778-83 (legal papers in a dispute with a member about sickness benefits). L 61.9  Ms 9383

AMICABLE DEBATING SOCIETY, established 1843, met at the Poulterers’ Arms, Freemans Court, Cheapside.  Minute book 1843-5. L 50.3  Ms 36000

ANCIENT SOCIETY OF COLLEGE YOUTHS see Section 26

ANTIENT AND HONORABLE LUMBER TROOP, a social club whose officers bore mock military titles. 1832-4. L 24  Ms 1772

ANTIQUARIAN HOROLOGICAL SOCIETY, founded in 1953 as a group for history and study of time measurement. Dates are of documents deposited by the Society, as well as its own records. 1704 to date. L 71.06  Ms 20510-

ARTISTS' ANNUITY AND BENEVOLENT FUND, or Artists’ Fund (from 1827 known as the Incorporated Artists’ Fund, or as the Society for the Management and Distribution of the Artists’ Fund), established 1810 for the protection and relief of artists engaged in painting, sculpture, architecture and engraving, and of their widows and orphans. Originally met at the Freemasons Tavern, Great Queen Street, later acquired premises in Suffolk Street, SW1, and registered office at 1 Serjeants' Inn. 1810- 1990. L 61.9  Ms 23649-

ASSOCIATION FOR PROMOTING THE EQUALIZATION OF THE POOR RATES. 1857-67. L 24  Ms 1088-

BARBICAN HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY, established 1980. 1979-92. L 45.5  Ms 24871-  

BARTHOLOMEW CLUB, West Smithfield, a social club.  Minute books 1859-1939. L 24  Ms 4953

BASSISHAW FRIENDLY ASSOCIATION see BASSISHAW WARD CLUB

BASSISHAW WARD CLUB, known until 1903 as Bassishaw Friendly Association. 1868-1986. L 24  Ms 23880-

BENEVOLENT SLOP CUTTERS' BURIAL INSTITUTION. Became the Clothier Cutters' Society in 1865. Minute book.1858-92. L 61.9  Ms 5345

BISHOPSGATE WARD CLUB. 1886-95, 1948-56. L 24  Ms 5127-

BISHOPSGATE WARD RATEPAYERS' ASSOCIATION, known 1857-ca.1862 as St Botolph Bishopsgate Ratepayers' Association. Minute books.1859-74. L 24  Ms 21144

BOOT AND SHOE TRADE PROVIDENT AND BENEVOLENT INSTITUTION see BOOT TRADE BENEVOLENT SOCIETY

BOOT TRADE BENEVOLENT SOCIETY. Formerly Master Boot and Shoemakers' Provident and Benevolent Institution (to 1890) and Boot and Shoe Trade Provident and Benevolent Institution (to 1900). Met at various London addresses. 1836-1977. L 61.9  Ms 23799-

BOUVERIE SOCIETY, known 1801-89 as the Bouverie Street Society, a dining and debating society for master pawnbrokers, which met at the Queen's Head Tavern, Holborn. 1801-1948. L 64.24  Ms 22321-

BRITISH FRIENDLY SOCIETY. HAMBURG, which relieved distressed British subjects living in or passing through Hamburg. 1925-38. L 61.9 Ms 25114-

BUTCHERS’ CHARITABLE ASSOCIATION. Founded in 1828 as the meat industry’s trade charity. It had offices at 61 West Smithfield from 1851-2001. L 41.5  Ms 31812-

CANDLEWICK WARD CLUB. 1739-1997. L 24  Ms 2841-

CENTENARY CLUB, known until 1795 as the Friendly Society/Club, a dining club which met successively at the Castle, Paternoster Row, the Half Moon, Cheapside, and the London Coffee House, Ludgate Hill. 1695-1872. L 24  Ms 544

CHARTERED ACCOUNTANTS’ BENEVOLENT ASSOCIATION. Founded in 1886 for the relief of members of ICAEW or Society of Incorporated Accountants, and their dependents. Based at Moorgate Place until 1965, thereafter Goswell Road and London Wall. 1886-1984. L 41.5  Ms 31824-

CHEAP WARD CLUB. 1863-2003. L 24  Ms 31625-

CHINA CLUB see Section 22 (ii)

CHRISTIAN DUTCH SEAMEN'S ASSOCIATION OF LONDON see Section 18 (iv).

CITY CLERICAL SOCIETY, a debating society for City of London incumbents and licensed curates, which met at Sion College (see also Section 18 (i) for records of Sion College). Minute book. 1853-6. L 24  Ms 10541

CITY GLEE CLUB, met at the New Corn Exchange Hotel, Mark Lane, and later at the London Tavern, Fenchurch Street. Successor to the Civil Club, q.v. 1853-1953. L 24  Ms 8588-

CITY LAY AGENCY ASSOCIATION see Section 18 (i)

CITY OF LONDON DISCUSSION AND LITERARY SOCIETY, an amalgamation of the City of London Elocution Society and the City of London Discussion Society. 1853-62. L 24  Ms 988

CITY OF LONDON DISCUSSION SOCIETY see CITY OF LONDON DISCUSSION AND LITERARY SOCIETY

CITY OF LONDON ELOCUTION SOCIETY see CITY OF LONDON DISCUSSION AND LITERARY SOCIETY

CITY OF LONDON PAST SHERIFFS' ASSOCIATION. Minute book. 1838-43. L 24  Ms 5646

CITY OF LONDON UNION RATING ASSOCIATION. Minute book. 1849-51. L 24  Ms 1091

CITY OF LONDON VOLUNTEER REGIMENT 5TH BATTALION (NATIONAL GUARD) OLD COMRADES' ASSOCIATION. 1919-47. L 24  Ms 6438-

CIVIL CLUB, met at the New Corn Exchange Hotel, Mark Lane. See also City Glee Club. Cash book.1856-77. L 24  Ms 2835

CLOCK AND WATCH MAKERS' ASYLUM see NATIONAL BENEVOLENT SOCIETY OF WATCH AND CLOCK MAKERS

CLOTHIER CUTTERS' SOCIETY see BENEVOLENT SLOP CUTTERS' BURIAL INSTITUTION

COAL METERS' MUTUAL BENEFIT SOCIETY, 1886-1920, and COAL METERS' PROVIDENT CLUB, 1933-62. L 61.9 Coal Meters' Committee. Both part of the archives of the Coal Meters' Committee - see Section 22 (ii). See also Section 22 (ii) Coal Factors' Society.

COGERS' SOCIETY, founded 1756 "for discussing questions of public interest", met at Cogers' Hall, Bride Lane. 1831-1992. L 24  Ms 545-

CONCENTORES SOCIETY, also known as Sodales Concentores, a glee club, which met at the Buffalo Tavern, Bloomsbury. Minute book.1798-1805. L 24  Ms 8593C

CONSERVATIVE CLUB OF MEMBERS OF THE CORPORATION see FRIENDLY SOCIETY OF COMMON COUNCILMEN

CORN EXCHANGE BENEVOLENT SOCIETY, founded 1862. 1862-1963. L 61.9  Ms 30561-  Part of the archives of the Corn Exchange – see Section 22 (ii).

COURT OF EQUITY CLUB, met for the holding of mock courts and the placing of wagers, at the Cheshire Cheese, Wine Office Court, Fleet Street, and later at the Belle Sauvage, Ludgate Hill. 1768-84. L 24  Ms 551-

CRIPPLEGATE WARD CLUB. 1882 (illuminated address) and 1967 (correspondence file). L 24  Ms  8313-

CRIPPLEGATE WARD RATEPAYERS' ASSOCIATION. Minute book.1864-71. L 24  Ms 1022

CUMBERLAND BENEVOLENT INSTITUTION, formed to assist old and needy Cumbrians resident in London, met at the Albion Hotel, Aldersgate Street. 1812-1927. Minute books. L 61.9  Ms 3322

DROVERS’ BENEVOLENT INSTITUTION, established in 1844 for the relief of “distressed and decayed Drovers”. Amalgamated with London Meat Traders’  Association in 1904 to form London Meat Traders & Drovers’ Benevolent Association , q.v. Had hall and almshouse in Islington. 1890-1953. L 41.5  Ms 36680-

EASTERN SOCIETY OF MASTER PAWNBROKERS, supported members against prosecution 1813-22, then became a friendly association, met at the Laurel Tree, Brick Lane, Spitalfields. 1813-31. L 64.24  Ms 22327-

ECLECTIC BOOK SOCIETY. Minute book.1812-20. L 24  Ms 988A

FARRINGDON WARD CLUB. 1894-1977. L 24  Ms 14274-

FISHMONGERS' AND POULTERERS' INSTITUTION (administered almshouses at Wood Green, Tottenham Middlesex). See also Poulterers' Benevolent Institution. 1835-1999. L 61.9  Ms 16798-

FLEET STREET CHOIR, founded in 1929 and consisted mainly of people involved in the newspaper and printing trades. It was disbanded after World War II and later reformed as the Dorian Singers. 1933-51 L 54.3  Ms 35219-

FRIENDLY MEDICAL SOCIETY, 1819-1922. L 24  Ms 8278-  Part of the archives of the Society of Apothecaries - see Section 18 (ii).

FRIENDLY SOCIETY/CLUB see CENTENARY CLUB

FRIENDLY SOCIETY OF COMMON COUNCILMEN, also known as the Conservative Club of Members of the Corporation, which met at the George and Vulture, Cornhill. 1797-9. L 24  Ms 195

FRIENDLY SOCIETY OF MASTERS AND JOURNEYMEN CURRIERS. 1812-19 and 1833-8. L 61.9  Ms 14343-. Part of the archives of the Curriers' Company - see Section 18 (ii).

FRIENDLY SOCIETY OF TRADESMEN, a social club, met at the Belle Sauvage, Ludgate Hill. 1774-9 and 1796-1801. L 24  Ms 554-

GLEANERS' LITERARY CLUB. Minute books.1860-73. L 24  Ms 1122

GRESHAM CLUB, formed in 1843 as a dining club for the professional classes of the City, met at Lombard Street/St Swithin's Lane (to 1915), and at 15-17 Abchurch Lane thereafter. Dissolved 1992. 1844-5, 1905-91. L 24 Restricted access to later records Ms 28834-

H.S. CLUB, a Whig political club meeting in the City of London. Minute book. 1714-17. L 24  Ms 197

HUGUENOT FRIENDLY BENEFIT SOCIETY, founded 1687 as the Society of Parisians, met at the Norfolk Arms, William Street, Bethnal Green. 1797-1912. L 61.9  Ms 9899-

INCORPORATED ARTISTS' FUND see ARTISTS' ANNUITY AND BENEVOLENT FUND

INGOLDSBY CLUB, of St Giles Cripplegate (amateur dramatics etc.). 1873-85. L 24  Ms 25047

JOURNEYMEN BOOT AND SHOEMAKERS' PENSION SOCIETY. Minute book.1857-64. L 61.9  Ms 23808

LAW STUDENTS' DEBATING SOCIETY, met at the Law Institution in Chancery Lane. 1846-54. L 24  Ms 543

LEATHER GOODS AND SADDLERY BENEVOLENT SOCIETY. 1924-57. L61.9. Part of the archives of the London Chamber of Commerce - see Section 22 (ii).

LICENSED VICTUALLERS' ASYLUM (administered almshouses on Old Kent Road, Camberwell). Became the Licensed Victuallers' Benevolent Institution in 1921. Records acquired with those of the Society of Licensed Victuallers, q.v., but no connection known. 1842-late 19th century. L 61.9  Ms 21458-

LONDON APPRECIATION SOCIETY see Section 25

LONDON CHILDREN'S GARDENS FUND, taken over in 1946 by the Metropolitan Public Gardens Association, q.v. 1921-62. L 27  Ms 22295-

LONDON INSTITUTION, established "to promote the diffusion of science, literature and the arts", based in Moorfields and later in Finsbury Circus. 1805-1930. L 50.2  Ms 2749-

LONDON MEAT TRADERS’ AND DROVERS’ BENEVOLENT ASSOCIATION, founded in 1904 to assist aged, sick and poor persons who had worked in the meat trade. Merged with the Butchers’ Charitable Institution in 1986. 1904-87. L 41.5  Ms 36666-

LONDON MUNICIPAL SOCIETY, founded to promote the interests of the Conservative Party in London, met at various Westminster addresses. 1894-1963. L 76.1  Ms 19526-

LONDON PHONETIC SHORTHAND WRITERS’ ASSOCIATION, formed in 1872, from 1894 the London branch of the National Phonographic Society, later the Incorporated Phonographic Society. 1872-94. Ms 35907-

LONDON RELIGIOUS SOCIETY, of St Giles Cripplegate, founded “to promote real holiness of heart and life”.  Account books.1693-1763. L 10.06  Ms 6478-

LONDON STONE DISTRICT VISITING SOCIETY see Section 18 (iv)

LUMBER TROOP see ANTIENT AND HONORABLE LUMBER TROOP

MANSFIELD DEBATING SOCIETY see UNION SOCIETY OF LONDON

MARINE SOCIETY see Section 18 (iv).

MASTER BOOT AND SHOEMAKERS' PROVIDENT AND BENEVOLENT INSTITUTION see BOOT TRADE BENEVOLENT SOCIETY

MEAT TRADERS’ AND DROVERS’ TRUSTEE COMPANY, founded in 1950 to handle money and investments of the London Meat Traders’ and Drovers’ Benevolent Association, q.v. 1950-83. L 41.5  Ms 36682-

METROPOLITAN PAWNBROKERS' PROTECTION SOCIETY, known until 1874 as Metropolitan United Pawnbrokers' Protection Society. Gave legal protection, assistance and advice to pawnbrokers trading in London. 1863-1940. L 64.24  Ms 22329-

METROPOLITAN PUBLIC GARDENS ASSOCIATION. 1882-1972. L 27  Ms 11097-. A collection of news cuttings compiled by the MPGA, 1883-1969, is held by the Printed Books Section. See also London Children's Gardens Fund.

NATIONAL BENEVOLENT SOCIETY OF WATCH AND CLOCK MAKERS and amalgamated institutions, of 35 Northampton Square. Formed 1916 by an amalgamation of the Watch and Clock Makers' Benevolent Institution; the Watch and Clock Makers' Pension Society; and the Clock and Watch Makers' Asylum (Waterfall Road, New Southgate). Also acquired with this collection was one volume of the Society of Clock and Watch Makers. 1767-1946, 1984-5. L 61.9  Ms 21338-

NATIONAL PAWNBROKERS' ASSOCIATION, established in 1892 in Derby, reconstituted in London in 1895. 1845-1972. L 64.24  Ms 22306-

NATIONAL PROVIDENT INSTITUTION see Section 22 (i)

NATIONAL SOCIETY OF OPERATIVE PRINTERS AND ASSISTANTS (NatSOPA). Merged in 1965 with the National Union of Printing, Bookbinding and Paper Workers to form the Society of Graphical and Allied Trades (SOGAT). 1944-87 (Daily Mirror and Sunday Mirror chapels only). L 61.8  Ms 23750-

NATIONAL UNION OF PRINTING, BOOKBINDING AND PAPER WORKERS see NATIONAL SOCIETY OF OPERATIVE PRINTERS AND ASSISTANTS (NatSOPA)

NatSOPA see NATIONAL SOCIETY OF OPERATIVE PRINTERS AND ASSISTANTS

NO. 1 CORNHILL CLUB, professional and social club of the Liverpool and London and Globe Insurance Co. and the Central Insurance co. - see Section 22 (i).  Minute books.1910-39. L 24  Ms 11693

PAWNBROKING PARLIAMENTARY REFORM ASSOCIATION, established in Nottingham. 1868-73. L 64.24  Ms 22331-

POULTERERS' BENEVOLENT INSTITUTION. Made cash donations to “decayed masters and infirm and meritorious journeymen”. 1835-41. L 61.9  Ms 16800. Deposited by the Fishmongers' and Poulterers' Institution, q.v. Both institutions had similar purposes but there was no administrative connection between them.

QUEENHITHE WARD CLUB. 1932-96. L 24  Ms 30617

RAMBLING CLUB OF RINGERS, account of meetings 1733/4 by William Laughton. L 24  Ms 254

RECTIFIERS’ CLUB, of the City of London Tavern (1819-66). Formed in late 1780s to discuss matters of interest to the distilling trade. L 68.31 Ms 32939-

REVOLUTION SOCIETY see Section 26

ROYAL SOCIETY OF ST. GEORGE, CITY OF LONDON BRANCH, a patriotic society. 1950-2005. L 24  Ms 31694-

ST ALPHAGE SOCIETY see Section 18 (iv)

ST BOTOLPH BISHOPSGATE RATEPAYERS' ASSOCIATION see BISHOPSGATE WARD RATEPAYERS' ASSOCIATION

ST DUNSTAN IN THE WEST LADIES' BENEVOLENT SOCIETY. 1859-70. L 61.9  Ms 2987. Part of the parish archives.

ST DUNSTAN'S CLUB, a social club for the inhabitants of the parish of St Dunstan in the West, the Liberty of the Rolls and the precinct of Whitefriars. 1790-9 and 1851-97. L 24  Ms 20748. Part of the archives of the parish of St Dunstan in the West.

ST HELEN BISHOPSGATE PARISH DINING CLUB. Minute book.1776-1805. L 24  Ms 6863. Part of the parish archives.

ST JAMES' GUILD, a society for religious study and for social purposes. 1907-14. L 10.06  Ms 10795-. Part of the archives of the parish of St James Garlickhithe. .

SHAKESPEAR LODGE, a masonic lodge, founded 1757 as the Parliament Street Coffee House Lodge. It adopted the name Castle Lodge in 1773 and was subsequently renamed Shakespear Lodge. The lodge has met at various addresses in Westminster and the City, including Albion Tavern, Aldersgate Street. 1767-1981. L 26.1  Ms 29718-.

SION COLLEGE see Section 18 (i).

SOCIETY FOR THE COMMEMORATION OF THE ACCESSION OF QUEEN ELIZABETH, a dining and campanological society. 1683-1787. L 24  Ms 16791-. Part of the archives of the parish of All Hallows Staining.

SOCIETY FOR THE MANAGEMENT AND DISTRIBUTION OF THE ARTISTS' FUND see ARTISTS' ANNUITY AND BENEVOLENT FUND

SOCIETY FOR THE PROTECTION OF LIFE FROM FIRE, formed in 1836 to bestow awards and medals for acts of bravery in rescuing individuals from fire. 1844-1998. L 46.61  Ms 34978-

SOCIETY OF CLOCK AND WATCH MAKERS see NATIONAL BENEVOLENT SOCIETY OF WATCH AND CLOCK MAKERS

SOCIETY OF EAST INDIA COMMANDERS, a friendly society which also represented the interest of the commanders of East India Company ships to the East India Company. Probably formed in 1773 at the Queen Arms Tavern, St Paul's Churchyard. Moved in 1775 to the Antwerp Tavern, then met from 1780 at the Jerusalem Coffee House, Fleece Passage, Cornhill. 1774-1828 (memorandum book only). L 61.9 Ms 31376. See also JERUSALEM COFFEE HOUSE in Section 22 (i).

SOCIETY OF FINSBURY ARCHERS. 1653-1761. L 26.11  Ms 193

SOCIETY OF GRAPHICAL AND ALLIED TRADES (SOGAT) see NATIONAL SOCIETY OF OPERATIVE PRINTERS AND ASSISTANTS (NatSOPA)

SOCIETY OF LICENSED VICTUALLERS, a mutual benefit society. Established a school in 1802 (see Section 18 (iii)) and a daily newspaper. Records acquired with those of the Licensed Victuallers' Asylum, q.v., but no connection known. 1794-1925. L 61.9  Ms 21439-

SOCIETY OF PARISIANS see HUGUENOT FRIENDLY BENEFIT SOCIETY

SOCIETY OF ROYAL CUMBERLAND YOUTHS, a bell-ringing society. 1747-1999. L 24  Ms 21658-

SOCIETY OF SUGAR REFINERS see Section 22 (ii)

SODALES CONCENTORES see CONCENTORES SOCIETY

SOGAT see NATIONAL SOCIETY OF OPERATIVE PRINTERS AND ASSISTANTS (NatSOPA)

SUGAR REFINERS' CLUB see Section 22 (ii) SOCIETY OF SUGAR REFINERS

TEA TRADE OF LONDON BENEVOLENT SOCIETY. Minute books.1925-57. L 61.9  Ms 16761. Part of the archives of the London Chamber of Commerce - see Section 22 (ii).

TRINITY PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, CANONBURY, LITERARY AND DEBATING SOCIETY. 1871-84. L 24  Ms 4987. Part of the archives of the Scots Church, Founders' Hall - see Section 17.

TRINITY PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, CANONBURY, YOUNG MEN'S FELLOWSHIP SOCIETY. 1885-6. L 24  Ms 4988. Part of the archives of the Scots Church, Founders' Hall - see Section 17.

UNION SOCIETY OF LONDON, a debating society, which met at various inns and clubs in London. Amalgamated in 1886 with the Mansfield Debating Society. 1844-1962. L 50.3  Ms 22403-

UNITED WARDS CLUB OF THE CITY OF LONDON. 1877-2004. L 24  Ms 11722-

VINTRY WARD CLUB. 1877-1957 L 24  Ms 31354-

VINTRY AND DOWGATE WARDS CLUB. 1957-95  L 24  Ms 31354-

WALBROOK WARD ASSOCIATION. 1798-1847. L24  Ms 465 and Ms 467. Part of the archives of Walbrook Ward - see Section 11 (ii).

WATCH AND CLOCK MAKERS' BENEVOLENT INSTITUTION see NATIONAL BENEVOLENT SOCIETY OF WATCH AND CLOCK MAKERS

WATCH AND CLOCK MAKERS' PENSION SOCIETY see NATIONAL BENEVOLENT SOCIETY OF WATCH AND CLOCK MAKERS

WATERLOO CLUB, a card playing club, which met at the Sussex Coffee House, Bouverie Street. 1816-20. L 24  Ms 553

WHITTINGTON HANDBELL RINGERS. 1958-9. L 11.62  Ms 20707. Part of the archives of the parish of St Michael Paternoster Royal.

UNIDENTIFIED CLUBS AND SOCIETIES:

Attendance register of a club whose members were residents of Clerkenwell. 1749-73. L 24  Ms 2910

Record book of attendances of members of a City of London dining club, with sundry minutes and rules. 1687-1815. L 24  Ms  3406


Last updated 21st February 2008

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