An Oddfellow

James Gye was an Oddfellow. The Oddfellows are, and have been since 1810, a friendly society – perhaps somewhat akin to a health insurance club as well as being a social group who could gather and meet and have a good time. We are looking back over 100 years for we have James’s membership card for 1899.

James Gye's 1899 membership card for The Oddfellows. James was a carpenter on White Street, Market Lavington

James Gye’s 1899 membership card for The Oddfellows. James was a carpenter on White Street, Market Lavington

Manchester had been the birthplace of the Oddfellows so we assume that is why the card is for the Manchester Unity of Oddfellows. James was a member of the Devizes branch. We know that quite a lot of local men were members.

James died in 1900 so this would have been his last year of membership. The payments page does seem incomplete.

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Maybe James or his widow were able to benefit from his membership – but it would seem strict adherence to the rules was needed.

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The Oddfellows continue as a friendly society and still give aid for some medical needs – perhaps those not covered by our National Health Service.

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