A printed poster is held at Gloucestershire Archives outlining the annual accounts of the Annuitant Society. Although based in Tetbury it was not primarily Tetbury residents. Payments made to members give surname only. However the final box of information lists the widows belonging to the society with their usual place of abode [strangely indexed by place rather than by name!]. Places of abode are a diverse as New York to Tetbury to Stroud and Ross.
Twenty pounds ANNUITANT SOCIETY for widows, sick and aged members instituted and held at Tetbury, Gloucestershire, is protected by Parliament
Patrons: Henry Duke of Beaufort, Henry Charles Somerset, Francis Reynolds Lord Ducie [trustees]
Wood, Pitt, Croome, Croome and Bowly, bankers, treasurers to the Society.
Accounts from mid May 1799 - beginning June 1800
Tetbury widows listed were Mrs’s Bamford; Cope; Cowdell; Cooper; Giles; Paul; Pike; Watts.
(Source: Gloucestershire Archives ref.D1571/R20 1792-1800)
In 1793 an Act of Parliament encouraged the formation of Friendly Societies with rules and amendments being approved by the county Quarter Sessions. This means that the Tetbury societies should appear in the QS records held at Gloucestershire Archives.
A number of friendly societies cropped up in the town. Before any form of social security, other than that created by the Poor Law which helped the most destitute and was avoided at all costs, the friendly societies were a method of investing funds for future use such as pensions and annuities. References to the following groups have been found advertising their meetings in local press:
Friendly Society met at the Three Cups for the benefit of widows, sick and aged; N.Craddock was the clerk and admittance for a single man was half a guinea, and one guinea for a married man. It was instituted on 6/1/1794.
Friendly Society met at the Boot - the fifteen pound society - to help widows, sick and aged. In 1800 an advert called it the Thirteen Pound Annuity and it was supported by Rev Davies, Ths Saunders, John P.Paul, Wm Wood sen. as trustees, with N.Craddock clerk. Non attendance at the annual meeting on Whit Sunday resulted in a 1 shilling fine unless in bed due to sickness.
‘Old established Annuitant Society’ for the benefit of widows and aged members met at the Prince and Princess, Market Place in 1805. Patrons were Duke of Beaufort, Lord Ducie [trustees] and Wood, Pitt and Co. [bankers]. Clerk was John Pill.
Tetbury Friendly Society, branch of the Wiltshire Friendly Society had over 200 members in 1906-7 with 69 having joined in the year. The books had over £100 balance with £22 having been paid out during the year. Chair was Mr A.C.Mitchell.