Feltham writing in 1797/8 states that benevolent societies had been established in Douglas and Ramsey
I am happy to observe that at Douglas and at Ramsey, there are clubs for mutual benefit. The former, which was established in 1790, had, in 1798, a clear capital of more than 220l. The females have no society of this kind.
Curphey gives the following list of Isle of Man Friendly Societies (the initial column is Curphey's index number) - some of dates can be placed earlier by various deeds (Bond + Security or Mortgages) given as by ..
|1.||Isle of Man Friendly Society [aka Douglas Friendly Society]||1790||premises from c1800 to 1844 were in Club Room in Society Lane (the lane deriving its name from the FS) [see CTD Tri 1802 12 for purchase from Edward Moore]|
|29.||Ramsey Philanthropic Society||1795||c.1855|
|Methodist Friendly Society||1798||financial irregularities c.1814|
|41.||Old Friendly Society of Castletown||Pre 1809||by 1835|
|5.||Marown Friendly Society||1809|
|*6.||Onchan Friendly Society||1810||? c.1882|
|*13.||Kirk Michael Friendly Society||1810|
|*27.||Rushen Friendly Society||1811|
|37.||Douglas Artificers Friendly Society||1811|
|*24.||Kirk Andreas Benefit Society||1812 instigator Thomas Allen|
|14.||Peel Town Friendly Society||by 1807 [see SSM Oct 1807 1]|
|11.||Castletown Artificers Friendly Society||1813||1913|
|*17.||Santon Concordant Society||1814|
|*35||Maughold Friendly Society||1814|
|23.||St. Johns Friendly Society||1815|
|10.||Isle of Man Sisterly Society||1816|
|*22.||Ramsey Amicable Society||1818||1889|
|7.||Strangford Union Society||1822|
|9.||Castletown Philanthropic Society||1824||c.1860|
|4.||Ballaugh Friendly Society||1826|
|*30.||Laxey Patriotic Society||1826|
|12.||Ballasalla Friendly Society||1828|
|*3.||Arbory Friendly Society||by Jan 1817;|
|*28.||Colby Benevolent Society||Pre 1830|
|*34||Malew Friendly Society||1830|
|21.||Lezayre Friendly Society||1833|
|*25.||Peel Artificers Friendly Society||1833|
|*26.||Bride Friendly Society||1833|
|2.||Douglas Philanthropic Society||by 1814 [see SSM Oct 1814 10]|
|8.||Abbeyland Friendly Society||Pre 1834|
|39.||Labourers Friendly Society||Pre 1835|
|15.||Braddan Amicable Society||by 1813 [see SSM May 1814 45]|
|*16.||Kirk Patrick Benefit Society||Pre 1838|
|18.||Lark Hill Friendly Society||Pre 1838|
|*19.||Baldwin Friendly Society||by 1835 [see SSM May 1835 65]|
|*20.||Jurby Friendly Society||Pre 1839|
|31.||Rushen Female Society||c. 1843|
|32.||Foxdale Benefit Society||1850|
|*33||Renshent Union Society||1850|
St Mark's Union Society
(not in Curphey)
|36.||Lonan Parish Club||? pre 1802 Thomas Kinley died 1802 was said to be 1st of Friendly soc of Laxey|
|38.||Primitive Methodist Benevolent Society||?|
|*40.||Laxey Miners Sick Club||?|
|-||Rushen Parish Club||? Henry Kelly founder member||1913|
*Provident Societies and Clubs as returned to the Medical Aid and Poor Relief Commission 1879 - i.e. were still functioning in 1879 - see list in Browns 1881 Directory for membership, benefits etc. at this time.
These societies offered some protection against sickness (and would pay some money to any widow) but not against unemployment. Often some entry fee plus around 1s a week would be required as dues.
A major problem of the early societies was their lack of understanding of sound actuarial practice - when a society was formed, generally by young men of similar ages, a flat weekly rate independent of age, seemed to provide capital growth (so much so that some societies would fund an annual dinner). But as members aged their demands on the fund increased - prospective young members saw that it would be in their better interest to found a new society thus avoiding the need to support 'drones' (as so called by one such Ramsey breakaway group). National Friendly Societies, such as the Oddfellows and Rechabites, had been forced to put their finances on a sound actuarial basis in the mid 1850s and after some loss of membership prospered from then on.
Very few financial accounts or lists of members survive for these early clubs - numbers sitting down to some aniversary meal are sometimes reported in the press as are their appearance at some annual walk. An indication of the money laid out in longer term loans can be derived from the deeds known noted as Bond & Security to be found in the North and South Sale Mortgages and the Castletown Deeds - such deeds generally give the principal officers (President + two Stewards) of the societies both at grant and also at repayment of the loan. These documents are currently being researched to provide a list of such officers and amounts out on loan.
Founded 1 May 1816 - from a report in 1848 they had then 111 members (including 6 honorary members), they had a cash surplus of £300 after paying £57 16s 1d in sick benefit and £31 in funeral benefits during the year May 1847- May 1848. 'As many respectable females may be desirous of becoming members' they were to apply to Miss Mary Ann Hodgson, 2 Mona Terrace, Douglas.
Train briefly reports on three in 1838