The dominant benevolent societies were all branches of English organisations which entered the Island around the 1830's - although local initiative had seen the founding of Parish Benevolent Socities in most if not all parishes by this time. A brief overview of English Law on this topic was given by R Cambell in his history of the Rechabites - although the English law was drafted with an eye to reducing demands on Parish rates there was no such system on the Island. Until quite late in the 19th century the Poor were supported by voluntary contributions made at the Sunday services at the various churches.
Freemasonry is classified under this heading but, though often charitable, has a quasi-religious overtone and does not have the contractual relationship explicit in the other societies. Masonic ritual and practice were however often appropriated by many of these societies.
Insular Benevolent (or Benefit/Friendly) Societies
Main organisations are treated under Societies - see
R.A. Curphey The Castletown Artificers' Friendly Society Proc IoMNHASoc VII #2 pp 164/180 1969
Specific References to the organisations are included under each separate page.