Temperance Orders & Friendly Societies
Independent Order of Rechabites
Known as the Rechabites or IOR, the order was founded in 1835 in Salford. Friendly Societies had been set up to help working-class people with such things as health insurance and death benefits.
It was the largest and wealthiest of the Temperance Friendly Societies. On a local level the order was organised into "tents".
The Rechabites took its name from the biblical Rechabites. They were the descendants of Rechab, through Jonadab, who forbade the clan to drink wine, and commanded them to lead a nomadic life. Their story is told in the Book of Jeremiah 35:6.
"..We will drink no wine, for Jonadab the son of Rechab, our father, commanded us, saying 'You shall drink no wine, you nor your sons, forever. You shall not build a house, sow seed, plant a vineyard, nor have any of these; but all your days you shall dwell in tents, that you may live many days in the land where you are sojourners.'"
In 1903 the reported aims & objectives of IOR were:
The promotion of individual abstinence from all intoxicating liquors
The total suppression of the sales, manufacture and importation of the same
For insuring a sum of money, payable on the death of a member, member's wife, widow or child
For insuring a sum of money, payable a member in time of sickness or when injured by accidents
For insuring medical attendance, advice and medicine
For granting temporary assistance to the widows and orphans of deceased members
For assisting members in distressed circumstances, or when travelling in search of employment
For insuring pensions to members after attaining 65 years of age
In 1903 the membership of the order was a follows:
Adult Benefit Members 120,0000
Juvenile Benefit Members 65,000
Members wives insured 14,500
Honorary Members 5,500
Giving a grand total of 205,000 members and the
accumulated funds or the order stood at £700,000.
International Order of Good Templars
IOGT was founded in American in 1851. In 1868 the Order was "planted" in England with the founding of "Columbia Lodge No 1" in Birmingham.
By 1870 this had grown to 12 Lodges and these constituted the "Grand Lodge of England" with Joseph Malins as Grand Chief Templar - a position he would hold for 44 years.
An example of Good Templar Regalia
In 1875 the IOGT Journal, The Good Templar Watchword was launched.
Also in 1875, the Order founded the Good Templar & Temperance Orphanage.
In 1881 the Order endowed a ward at the London Temperance Hospital - named the Middlesex Good Templar ward.
IOGT Rally in Trafalger Square, October 1971.