Royal Society of St George
|Motto||St George for England|
|Headquarters||Loughton, Essex, England|
|William R Firth|
In 1415 St. George became the Patron Saint of England after the English soldiers fighting under the command of King Henry V had beaten the French at the Battle of Agincourt. Ever since then, St George has been the patriotic rallying point for the English people.
Before the formation of The Royal Society of St. George and the American Revolution, Societies of St. George had been founded in the then North American Colonies for the relief of British immigrants and to give them general assistance in the new country. The earliest Branches of which there are any records are those of New York (1770), Philadelphia (1772) and Charlestown (1773). Subsequently Branches were formed in all the great cities of the North American continent and celebrations were always held on St. George's Day. At the time of the War of Independence many Loyalists moved to Canada and founded similar Societies in Halifax (1786) and other cities.
Howard Ruff was the founder in 1894 and the first Honorary Secretary of the Royal Society of St. George. In 1900 he gave up farming to devote his time exclusively to the Society. The Society's first Royal Patron was Queen Victoria - each monarch since has been the patron of the Society.
The Society is incorporated by a Royal Charter which was presented by Elizabeth II in 1963 and has its own Armorial Bearings granted under Letters Patent in 1990 and also now has members and branches around the world.
The Society's role today
Today the Society considers itself as the standard bearer of traditional English values, both at home and abroad. Of itself, the Society says, our
|“||…role is primarily educational, promoting the common cultural heritage of people throughout the English-speaking world, including our former Dominions and Colonies. The Society now focuses its work on the younger generations of English and kindred people whose most valuable inheritance is our nation's history and culture.||”|
The Society's objects
The objects are specified in the terms of its Royal Charter:
- To foster the love of England and to strengthen England and the Commonwealth by spreading the knowledge of English history, traditions and ideals.
- To keep fresh the memory of those in all walks of life, who have served England or the Commonwealth in the past, to inspire leadership in the future.
- To combat all activities to undermine the strength of England or the Commonwealth.
- To further English interest everywhere to ensure that St. George's Day is properly celebrated and to provide focal points all the world over where English men and women may gather together.
The Society runs its own charity - No. 263076.
The objectives of the charity are to:
- help and encourage young people to greater achievement
- encourage the enterprise, skills and enthusiasm of young people
Membership of the Society is open to:
- All those who subscribe to the Objects of the Society; and who
- Are born in England or wherever born being English men or English women or children or remoter issue of the same; or
- Not being of English descent nevertheless support the aims and objectives of the Society.
- The Duke of Cambridge
- The Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII then Duke of Windsor)
- Field Marshal The Viscount Montgomery of Alamein
- Rudyard Kipling and
- The Duke of Devonshire
Previous Vice Presidents
- Sir Winston Churchill
- Valerian Wellesley
- Gerald Grosvenor, 6th Duke of Westminster
- The Earl of Aylesford
- Peter Nelson, 9th Earl Nelson
- Charles Forte, Baron Forte Kt
- Field Marshal Edwin Bramall, Baron Bramall
- Robin Leigh-Pemberton, Baron Kingsdown
- Major General C. C. Taylor CB
- Brigadier F. G. Stafford
- John Cope, Baron Cope of Berkeley PC
- Baroness Margaret Thatcher
- B. M. Cronan
- A. H. Hamilton Hopkins
- G. F. Sadler MBE
- C. P. Fairweather
- W. R. Firth