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A crowned rose on a background of a scroll, with the inscription:-

HAMPSHIRE FRIENDLY SOCIETY FOUNDED A.D. 1825. Rev. The Royal Coat of Arms, supported by a Lion and Unicorn, with the inscription: HIS MAJESTY THE KING PATRON. WM. 40mm by A. Wyon.


The Hampshire Friendly Society was founded in Romsey in 1825, and spread throughout the county during the remainder of the century, it was one of the so-called “county” or “patronised” societies, founded and administered on behalf of working people by honorary members “drawn from the leading gentlemen and clergy of the county”.


Its principal purpose was to provide assurances against sickness and death, with a range of subscription rates and commensurate benefits to suit different income levels. When the Society was first set up, members were able to subscribe for sickness benefits (provided they were not engaged in hazardous occupations, in which case they would have to pay an additional premium); pensions; death benefits; and childhood endowments, which yielded a given sum of money when children reached their fourteenth or twenty-first birthdays.


During the greater part of the nineteenth century, it seems likely that the vast majority of members did subscribe for sickness pay, but during the early part of the twentieth century, an increasing proportion of new members appear to have registered for pensions or death benefits only

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