ID: 26049
Little Horkesley Provident Clothing Club.

MANUSCRIPT: LITTLE HORKESLEY PROVIDENT CLOTHING CLUB,, Little Horkesley Provident Clothing Club. The object of the club is to provide clothing for the industrious deserving poor for which the subscriptions of the affluent are earnestly requested to establish and perpetuate the funds of this institution. ..... n.d. [ca. 1820-40].

Manuscript in ink, 4to. (22.5 x 19 cms), 3 + (1)pp., final page blank, folded. In very good state of preservation.

An interesting document - probably a draft - setting out the rules and other arrangements for a proposed rural clothing club.* (Little Horkesley is a small village north of Colchester on the Essex / Suffolk county border). By the time of the 1834 Poor Law Act clothing clubs and societies had proliferated, satisfying, or attempting to reconcile, the competing motives of philanthropy on the one hand and of evangelical driven self-help on the other. Joining a club seemed, after all, to be vastly more worthy than soliciting help from the Guardians. The proposed club in Little Horkesley had all the usual rules of engagement as others, e.g. 'The indigent and laboring poor are invited to become weekly depositors of 1d. - 2ds. - or 3d. each which will entitle them to receive .....'. 'All persons admitted as depositors must present a written recommendation from a subscriber as to decent and moral conduct .....'. 'Should any depositor be detected in any gross immorality he or she shall be immediately excluded from all the benefits of the Institution & forfeit whatever sum may have been deposited .....'. 'On the Club Day, which will take place early in December, clothing and bedding will be provided, that the depositors may make choice of their purchases .....'. The only name mentioned in the document is that of a 'Mrs Smith' who seems to have been the treasurer whose duty was to receive and record the weekly deposits each Monday morning. * For a good and scholarly history, see Vivienne Richmond's recent (2013) Clothing the Poor in 19th Century England.>