UCL logo




About the Bloomsbury Project

Bloomsbury Institutions


Royal Oak Benefit Society

Also known as Royal Oak Benefit Building Society


It was founded in 1837 as a friendly society to provide financial assistance to its members in times of hardship or sickness

It celebrated its centenary in 1937 with a dinner at the Holborn Restaurant (The Times, 21 June 1937)

It was still operating in the 1980s, amid warnings of increasingly dire financial problems (Registry of Friendly Societies, Report of the Chief Registrar 1981–1982)

It no longer exists

What was reforming about it?

It was one of many friendly societies which flourished after the Industrial Revolution as a way for workers to protect themselves against unemployment and the workhouse

Where in Bloomsbury

It was originally based in the Covent Garden area

It was at 11 John Street by 1907; having previously led a peripatetic existence, it remained in John Street for at least the next 50 years and possibly for the rest of its existence

Website of current institution

It no longer exists

Books about it

It published its own journal, the Royal Oak Magazine, at least in the early twentieth century; copies are held in the British Library


None found

This page last modified 13 April, 2011 by Deborah Colville


Bloomsbury Project - University College London - Gower Street - London - WC1E 6BT - Telephone: +44 (0)20 7679 3134 - Copyright © 1999-2005 UCL

Search by Google