Foresters Friendly Society

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Foresters Friendly Society is a British friendly society which was formed in 1834 as the Ancient Order of Foresters.[1] At 31 December 2012 the society had 65,221 members.[2] Its head office is in Southampton, England.


Sash worn by members of the Ancient Order of Foresters

The Society was formed in Rochdale in August 1834, when over 300 branches of the Royal Foresters society (established in the 18th century) formed the new Ancient Order of Foresters.[3]

In 1874 the American and Canadian Foresters seceded from the Ancient Order of Foresters and set up the Independent Order of Foresters (IOF).[4] The IOF's UK operation is now called Forester Life, based in Bromley, Greater London.[5]

The society became incorporated on 1 January 2003 (in accordance with the provisions of The Friendly Societies Act 1992), that year acquired Tunstall Assurance Friendly Society, followed by the Leek Assurance Collecting Society in 2005.[2] In 2014 it acquired the Post Office Insurance Society (POIS).[citation needed]

The society's local branches are termed Courts, rather than "Lodges" as in other friendly societies. They were named after the law courts of the royal forests, and performed the Ancient Ritual of the Society.[6] The most famous was Court LUD No. 10,100, which was formed in 1947, by members of the London District Management Committee. However, owing to lack of members willing to take office, this Court was closed in 2004.[7]

The society had its own magazine Foresters Miscellany which ran from 1862 to 2008, when it was incorporated into a replacement called The Forester.[8] The magazine is available on-line; it has been reduced in size and frequency, and only one edition was produced in 2012.[9]


The society provides its members with insurance policies against sickness and death. There are also policies for children, including an Ethical Child Savings Plan, Child Tax Exempt Savings Plan and Ethical Child Trust Fund. In addition to this, it is also the provider of group insurance to several Police forces in the United Kingdom, the Police Service of Northern Ireland being one of the largest, and its Guernsey business mainly consists of medical insurance.

The society is regulated in the United Kingdom by the Financial Conduct Authority.

The total combined assets of the Courts' (including Guernsey) in 2012 was £180.0 million [2]

At 31 December 2014 the Society had 82,874 members and has total assets of £264.5m.[citation needed]


In November 2012 Paul Osborn was appointed as Chief Executive. Mike Wilkinson was appointed to the Board in September 2012 and subsequently elected Chairman.[10] Two new non-executive directors were also welcomed to its board: Michael Allen, latterly of Liverpool Victoria (LV=), and John Instance from the Financial Reporting Council.


In December 2012 Foresters announced its official sponsorship of the Archery GB Olympic and Paralympic teams. In November 2013 Foresters renewed its sponsorship, taking its sponsorship beyond the Rio Olympics.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ About Us Ancient Order of Foresters, 2013. Retrieved 30 December 2013.
  2. ^ a b c Foresters Friendly Society (2013) Annual Report and Accounts 2012
  3. ^ Our history on Foresters Friendly Society website
  4. ^ Solt-Dennis, V., Discovering Friendly and Fraternal Societies: their badges and regalia, p.118 (Princes Risborough:Shire Publications Ltd, 2005) ISBN 0-7478-0628-4.
  5. ^ The Square: The Independent Magazine for Freemasons, Vol. 34, No.3, September 2007, p.61.
  6. ^ Solt-Dennis, Victoria, Discovering Friendly and Fraternal Societies, Shire Publications, 2005. ISBN 978-0-7478-0628-8. Pages 114-123
  7. ^ Quigley-Ferriday, M., A Short History of the Ancient Order of Foresters, pp. 31-32, The Square:The Independent Magazine for Freemasons, Vol. 32, No.1, March 2006.
  8. ^ Library and Museum of Freemasonry, catalogue ref: 1522 FOR fol.
  9. ^ Resources at Foresters Friends website
  10. ^ Foresters Friendly Media Centre, Foresters announces new look board. 5 March 2013. Retrieved 13 March 2013.

External links[edit]