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Annuitant and Friendly Societies

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 D1571/R20 1792-1800

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 have been found advertising their meetings in local press:

In 1793 an Act of Parliament encouraged the formation of Friendly Societies with rules and amendments being approved by the county Quarter Sessions.  Further details can be found here.  This means that the Tetbury societies should appear in the QS records held at Gloucestershire Archives.