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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 ACC/2655
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1837-1981
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 4.13 linear metres
Name of creator(s): Tailors Benevolent Institution


Administrative/Biographical history:

The Benevolent Institution was established in February 1837, perhaps partly in response to the tailors' strike of 1834/5, and was incorporated in 1859. It was intended to provide a fund for the relief of aged and infirm journeymen-tailors and to provide an asylum for them and their wives. Firms and individuals, masters and journeymen, could be members upon payment of an annual subscription. Journeymen became eligible for relief after three years' membership and out-pensioners were chosen and inmates of the asylum elected by the board of directors. In 1839 the first annual dinner was held which, with the donations solicited at it, supplemented the institution's income.

According to an aged journeyman in 1897 'the men had {before the establishment of the institution} two ordinary houses in Vauxhall Bridge Road, which the houses of call and shops used to support when the society used to meet at the Dog and Gun' (the institution met in Sackville Street until July 1952). The first stone of the institution's asylum in Prince of Wales Road, Haverstock Hill, was laid by the Marquis of Salisbury in May 1842. Four of the houses were built by subscription, the other six being paid for by John Stulz, a wealthy West End tailor who was the founder and first president of the institution and who also built and endowed the chapel, consecrated by Bishop Blomfield in June 1843.

The pensioners remained at Haverstock Hill until 1937 when the expense of maintaining the now out-dated buildings became too great and it was decided to sell the site. New 'Nursing and Rest Homes' in Shirley, Pampisford Road, South Croydon, were opened in November that year.

In 1950 it was decided to sell this property and to move to a new home at 2 North Drive, Wandsworth, which was opened in July 1952. This in turn has since been closed but has been rebuilt by the Shaftesbury Housing Association which allows the tailoring trade to use it as necessary.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the Tailors Benevolent Institution. Despite a few gaps in the minute books, the most regrettable being the absence of the first minute book, the records give a clear picture of the development of a trade benevolent enterprise. The gaps are in part compensated for by the survival of accounts and cash books from the foundation of the institution and by a diary for 1837 belonging probably to the first secretary. The records are in good condition.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Charter ACC/2655/01;
Rules ACC/2655/02-06;
Directors ACC/2655/07-20;
Asylum ACC/2655/21-25;
Financial records ACC/2655/26-71;
Dinner ACC/2655/72-73;
Master Tailors ACC/2655/74;
Reports ACC/2655/75-76.

Conditions governing access:

These records are open to public inspection, although records containing personal information may be subject to closure periods.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright to these records rests with the City of London.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Gifted to the Archive in January 1989.

Allied Materials

Related material:

The president has retained the surviving correspondence.

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

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.

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