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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 LMA/4228
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1828-1984
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 1.69 linear metres
Name of creator(s): Metropolitan Benefit Societies Asylum x Metropolitan Benefit Societies Almshouses


Administrative/Biographical history:

The Metropolitan Benefit Societies Asylum (MBSA) was established in 1829 under the patronage of her Majesty the Queen and the Duchess of Kent. It was supported by voluntary contributions. The objectives of the MBSA were to 'afford an asylum for the reception of aged and infirm members of Friendly Societies.'

The original asylum was located in houses rented for the purpose, however once sufficient funds were raised the almshouses at 100 Balls Pond Road, Hackney, were erected. The foundation stone was laid on August 17th 1836 by the then Lord Mayor, W. Taylor Copeland, and the total cost of the building came to 3600.

The asylum was built to accommodate 28 residents and was eventually expanded with the addition of two side wings affording accommodation for 64 couples. Sometime during the period up to the Second World war the Society changed its name from 'Asylum' to 'Almshouses'.

The MBSA was registered under the Friendly Societies Acts as a Benevolent Society, and although in later years it no longer came under the patronage of the Queen it still retained its voluntary contributions mainly from the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Subsequently the Benevolent Society registered under the Friendly Societies Act was dissolved and a new society was registered under The Charity Acts, enabling them to apply to form a Housing Association. The MBSA was registered in 1986 as a charity, and a Housing Association.

Since then much work has been done on the Almshouse building itself creating a Warden's residence and office, a central community block and 13 two room flats for residents.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the Metropolitan Benefit Societies Asylum, later known as the Metropolitan Benefit Societies Almshouses, including:

Administrative Records include minutes of the General Committee 1828 to 1965, Donors and Subscribers half yearly meetings 1844 to 1861, Monthly meetings 1883 to 1902, the Management Committee 1959 to 1984, House Committee 1839 to 1973, and Building committees 1853 to 1866 and 1953 to 1955.

Finance Records consist of Annual Statements 1963 to 1981, Accounts both income and expenditure 1831 to 1983, Registers of Donors and Subscribers 1835 to 1981, Annual returns 1975, 1979, 1980, and a rent book for Balls Pond Road 1905 to 1930.

Printed Material contains publications such as rules of the Almshouses 1855, 1926 and 1955, The Almshouse Gazette 1965 to 1990, and typescript notes about the history of the MBSA, plans of the Almshouse 1956 to 1980's and some ephemeral items which include a Warden's Diary from 1945 and a schedule of deeds and documents handed to trustees on 17th December 1878.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

LMA/4228/A: Administration; LMA/4228/B: Finance; LMA/4228/C: Printed Material and Ephemera.

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 Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Records deposited in June 1999.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Further records of the Almshouses are at reference ACC/3130. LMA also holds the records of various friendly societies, including some records of The Independent Order of Oddfellows, reference LMA/4254.

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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