Archive centreWhitehaven
ReferenceYDSO 2
TitleIndependent Order of Oddfellows, Manchester Unity Friendly Society
DescriptionRecords of Cocker Lodge, Cockermouth; Excelsior Lodge, Maryport; Faithful Lodge, Dean; Rose of the Valley Lodge, Crosby; Victoria Lodge, Workington; Cockermouth District; Curwen Lodge, Harrington; Earl of Egremont Lodge, Egremont; Helvellyn Lodge, Distington; Whitehaven and District; Solway Lodge, Whitehaven; Ennerdale Lodge of Past Grands; Cumbria District Lodge.
Date1834-1999
Extent9 boxes
ContextThe Manchester Unity of Oddfellows was formed in Manchester in 1812 for social and welfare reasons, and was registered as a society in 1851. The welfare function of this friendly society included making sickness and death benefit payments to members and assisting widows, orphans and destitute members.

The Order of Oddfellows was established in Cumberland in 1833, and lodges in West Cumberland operated for the most part under the Cockermouth and Whitehaven Districts. The Solway Lodge (Manchester Unity no 1489) which was based on Lowther Street in Whitehaven, was the head office of the Whitehaven District and not only provided sickness and death insurance to its own members, but received payment from other lodges in order to administer the district. The constitution of the districts appears to vary as lodges declined and were transferred to other districts. The Whitehaven District was amalgamated with the Penrith and Eden Valley District in 1973.

The minute books of each lodge record the meetings (usually held monthly) with names of the presiding officers, proposals and amendments for the general operation of the lodge and some financial details. The minutes of committees, and Juvenile lodges may also be included. Each lodge sent representatives to their respective district meetings, which were usually held quarterly or half-yearly. The district lists which follow are not definitive, being taken from the source material available. The lodge name, lodge number, location, and year of opening are given where these are known.

Whitehaven District: Solway (1489) Whitehaven, 1838; Whitehaven (2014) , Whitehaven 1838; Helvellyn (2419), Distington, 1840; Sancta Bega (4544), St Bees, 1855; Curwen (5735), Harrington, 1869: Earl of Egremont (1369), Egremont, 1838; Widows Defenders (4866), Beckermet, 1860; Miners (2420), Parton, 1840*; Hematite (4984), Cleator Moor, 1861*; John Stirling (6726), Moor Row, 1878*; Edward Lewis (5657), Hensingham, 1869*; Mountain Pride (2817), Ennerdale Bridge, 1841*; Village Pride (5872), Frizington, 1871*.
* location of records for these lodges is unknown.

Cockermouth District: Victoria (1531), Workington; Scale Force, Lorton; Greysouthen Pride, Greysouthen; Cocker (4662), Cockermouth; Excelsior (5820), Maryport; Derwent Valley, Clifton and Little Clifton; Faithful, Dean; Rose of the Valley (6656) Crosby.
Related materialCarlisle Record Office, Carlisle, holds records of lodges in Carlisle, Lockerbie, Annan, Penrith, and of the Penrith and Eden Valley Districts; Cumbria Record Office, Kendal, holds records of lodges in Kirkby Stephen and Brough. Beacon Museum Whitehaven holds related regalia and artefacts.
Catalogue levelFonds
Subject termsSocial Welfare
Friendly Societies

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CodePerson/Corporate namesDates
NAX97Independent Order of Oddfellows;Manchester Unity Friendly Society
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