The Foresters Friendly Society is a British friendly society.
The Royal Ancient Order of Foresters (often shortened to Royal Foresters or abbreviated to R.A.O.F.) society was formed in the mid-1700s. In August 1834 at Bolton, around 300 branches seceded to form the Ancient Order of Foresters (A.O.F.) which became the dominant branch of the society by the end of the 19th Century.
Unlike other Friendly Societies, branches of the Foresters are known as "courts", rather than "lodges".
A number of Female Foresters courts existed in the Huddersfield area, notably the one in Marsden which met at the Old Ram Inn. These were presumably unregistered and independent to the R.A.O.F. and A.O.F., as the latter did not allow all-female courts until the early 1890s — the "Sarah Ann Beaumont" Court (No. 8534) being the first in the Huddersfield area in 1895.
The following is an attempt to compile a list of the courts in the Huddersfield area, based on local newspaper reports:
|Court No.||Court Name||Locality||Affiliation||Formed||Meeting Places|
|335||Apple and Vine||Kirkbuton||Royal Foresters||Grapes Inn|
|6082||British Oak||Huddersfield||Ancient Order||Northgate Inn|
|632||Candour||Holmfirth||Ancient Order||Rose and Crown Inn|
|2156||Conquerer||Huddersfield||Ancient Order||1846||Saracens Head Inn, Prince Albert Inn, and Brewers Boy Inn|
|24||Eden||Meltham||Royal Foresters||Rose and Crown Inn|
|7||Fidelity||Holmfirth||Female Foresters||Rose and Crown Inn|
|405||Foresters' Home||Huddersfield||Ancient Order||Swan With Two Necks, White Hart Inn, and Palace Inn|
|1764||Fortitude||Huddersfield||Ancient Order||1825||Globe Hotel|
|Full Moon||Clayton West||Ancient Order||Black Bull Inn|
|Hawk||Primrose Hill||Ancient Order|
|1854||Hero||Marsh||Ancient Order||Croppers Arms|
|284||Intimacy||Linthwaite||Royal Foresters||1833||New Inn|
|2574||Kossuth||Huddersfield||Ancient Order||Victoria Inn and Ramsden Arms Hotel|
|2429||Lamb||Hillhouse||Ancient Order||Lamb Inn|
|1783||Lily of the Grove||Lepton||Ancient Order||Red Lion Inn|
|1827||Mount Hermon||Lindley||Ancient Order||1827||Fleece Inn and Albion Inn|
|302||New York||Kirkheaton||Ancient Order||1829||Beaumonts Arms Inn|
|125||Paddan Aram||Thongsbridge||Royal Foresters||Royal Oak|
|426 or 456||Prince Albert||Slaithwaite||Royal Foresters||1866||Commercial Inn|
|439||Prince Albert||Golcar||Royal Foresters||1850||Rose and Crown and Junction Inn|
|442||Princess Victoria||Almondbury||Ancient Order||Radcliffe Arms|
|76||Prosperity||Milnsbridge||Royal Foresters||Four Horse Shoes Inn and Armitage Arms|
|29||Prudence||Marsden||Royal Foresters||Old Ram Inn|
|1301||Refuge||Lockwood||Ancient Order||Swan Inn|
|308||Restoration||Dalton||Ancient Order||Black Horse Inn|
|8534||Sarah Ann Beaumont||Huddersfield||Ancient Order||1895||St. Paul's School and Assembly Rooms|
|99||Silence||Huddersfield||Royal Foresters||Crown Hotel|
|90||Solemnity||Huddersfield||Royal Foresters||Bull's Head Inn|
|301||The Chase||Whitley Upper||Ancient Order||Fox and Hounds Inn and Hare and Hounds Inn|
|819||Undaunted||Clayton West||Ancient Order||Commercial Inn|
|2316||Unity||Lockwood||Ancient Order||1849||Bridge Inn and White Lion Hotel|
|436||Victoria||Golcar||Royal Foresters||Rose and Crown|
|White Rose||Mirfield||Royal Foresters||Black Bull|
|332||William and Mary||Honley||Ancient Order||George and Dragon Inn and Foresters Arms|
|117||William IV||New Mill||Royal Foresters||1830||Duke of Leeds Arms|
|?||Linthwaite||Female Foresters||Coach and Horses Inn|
|?||Meltham||Ancient Order||Friendship Inn|
|?||Shelley||Ancient Order||Gardeners Arms Inn|
|?||Slaithwaite||Female Foresters||Shoulder of Mutton|
|17||?||Marsden||Female Foresters||Old Ram Inn|
|2||?||Meltham||Female Foresters||1835||Swan Inn|
|3 or 50||?||Saddleworth||Royal Foresters||1801||Navigation Inn and Pack Horse Inn|
- A question mark denotes an unknown value or a degree of uncertainty.
- In a small number of cases, just one reference to a lodge was found and it gave only partial information.
The following are the known surviving local lodges:
- William and Mary (No. 332) now meets at Honley Liberal Club
- Foresters' Home (No. 405) now meets at Crosland Moor Working Mens Club
A number of local beerhouses, public houses and inns were meeting places of the Foresters and named accordingly:
- Foresters Arms, Kirkgate, Huddersfield
- Foresters Arms, New North Road, Huddersfield
- Foresters Arms, Park Road West, Crosland Moor
- The Library and Museum of Freemasonry — The Ancient Order of Foresters
Notes and References
- Earliest refernce found was 1854. Named as being part of the "Holmfirth Unity".
- Established in July 1850 at the Black Bull Inn, Ley Moor.
- Named after the wife of local woollen manufacturer John Beaumont (of Court No. 405). Reported as the first all-female Ancient Order court in the Huddersfield district following the A.O.F.'s decision at their 1892 conference.
- Established on 1 September 1830 with 30 members.
- Donated to the Holmfirth Relief Fund in 1852. Disbanded in 1869 due to the low number of members but unfortunately Miss Broughton lost her share of the final funds (£9 15s) on her way home.
- Existed prior to 1851.
- Their 1870 report noted that 6 members had died during the year.