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( 107 )
( 107 )
XVI . —FRIENDLY SOCIETIES .
Life Assunaisrce Has Long Since Become A...
Life AssunAisrcE has long since become an established mode of provision against the contingencies of life , among * the upper and
middle classes . But with one or two recent exceptions , Assurance offices have confined their business to amounts quite beyond the reach
of the humbler classes . Still for even a longer period , another form of life assurance has been a favorite mode of provision for the future
among the industrious poor . Working- men have established Societies among themselves , which , though numerous instances of
failure testify to the bad principles on which they were conducted , or the bad management with which they . met , still succeeded so far
as to confer great benefits on numerous districts , and to leave unshaken the faith of working men in their efficacy . In every
town and in almost every village in the kingdom , such associations are to be found . They are but too frequently conducted in the
public-house or one of the public-houses of the district , the owner of which allows their weekly meetings to take place under his roof ,
in consideration of the drink which is likely to be consumed in the course of the proceedings . Nor unfortunately does his speculation
prove a barren one . To this fact might be traced many of the disasters that have overtaken these Societies . The landlord , if an
unprincipled man , plays into the hands of some unscrupulous good customer , who gets the management of the affairs , is entrusted
with the money , and finally decanrps with it . A Friendly Society is formed on the principle of Mutual
Assurance ; each member contributes a certain subscription per week or monthas may be agreed uponin return for which the Society
, , undertakes to pay him a certain sum weekly in sickness , or on attaining old age . In addition to thisit generally allows what is
, called " Burial Money , " a certain sum paid to the member ' s family at his death .
The causes that effect the failure or secure the success of these valuable Societies form a most interesting and important branch of
inquiry . The failure of institutions widely enlisting the sympathies and energies of working men , and calling forth their independence
for and real forethoug congratulation ht , is matter ;¦ and for he who serious by inquiry regret . , skill Their in success calculation calls ,
and knowledge of thpse laws which affect the subject , contributes to their future stability and progress , confers an incalculable benefit
upon society . Incalculable , inasmuch as the forethought of the parent tells on the training and education of the child , and gives
steadiness and strength to the very basis of the community . The first defectthe most frequent cause of failure in these
, Societies , has been the inadequacy of the rates of contribution demanded from members . It is manifest that if the members of a
Society pay twopence a week for mutual assurance , against a risk which to each is of the value of fourpence , bankruptcy will be the H 2
English Woman’s Journal (1858-1864), Oct. 1, 1860, page 107, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/ewj/issues/ewj_01101860/page/35/