Graphical version

London Metropolitan Archives



Reference code(s): GB 0074 CLC/114

Held at: London Metropolitan Archives


Date(s): 1810-1990

Level of description: Collection

Extent: 63 production units.

Name of creator(s): Artists' Annuity and Benevolent Fund


Administrative/Biographical history:

The Artists' fund was established in 1810 for the protection and relief of artists engaged in painting, sculpture, architecture and engraving, and of their orphans and widows. All artists of merit, female and male, were eligible to become members, though most members were from London or the immediate surroundings. The fund was incorporated by royal charter in 1827 as the Society for the Management and Distribution of the Artists' Fund.

The fund was divided into two distinct branches. The annuity fund was maintained by members' subscriptions as an insurance fund for the payment of benefits on the sickness or death of subscribers. Each subscriber to the annuity fund was automatically a subscriber to the benevolent fund, which was for the exclusive relief of widows and orphans of subscribers to the annuity fund. For a time the benevolent fund was maintained not only by subscribers to the annuity fund, but also by means of appeals to the general public, but the latter method of raising money later declined.

Meetings of both branches of the fund were originally held in the Freemasons Tavern, Great Queen Street, but premises were eventually acquired in Suffolk Street, SW1 (ca. 1910). The registered office of the fund at the time of the records' deposit (1988) was 1 Serjeants' Inn.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the Artists' Annuity and Benevolent Fund, including records relating to the establishment of the fund, and joint records of both branches; records of the Annuity Fund; records of the Benevolent Fund; and records relating to John Pye, a founder member of the fund.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

The records have been sorted into categories which reflect divisions between the different functions and operations of the organisation and its administration. Order within these categories reflects chronology.

Conditions governing access:

These records are available for public inspection, although records containing personal information may be subject to access restrictions.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright to these records rests with the depositor.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:


Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

The archives of both branches of the fund were presented to Guildhall Library in October 1988, except for the royal charters of 1827 and 1926 which were deposited on indefinite loan. They were catalogued by a member of Guildhall Library staff in 1988. The Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section merged with the London Metropolitan Archives in 2009.


DESCRIPTION NOTES Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: June to August 2010.

Annuities | Investment | Finance
Benevolent societies | Societies | Associations | Organizations
Friendly societies | Financial institutions | Finance
Life insurance | Insurance | Finance
Mutual aid | Development aid
Professional associations | Associations | Organizations
Social security | Social services
Health insurance x Social security
Social welfare

Personal names

Corporate names
Artists' Annuity and Benevolent Fund

London | England | UK | Western Europe | Europe