Mr Alan Chamberlain discovered this piece of Huthwaite history mysteriously bound into the roof of his farmhouse, remarkably located in Rushton Spencer among the Staffordshire Moorlands. This single sheet of paper folded in half forms a rule booklet.
Names of other Huthwaite Friendly, Death or Sickness and Dividing Societies have since come to light. They'd probably all follow similar rules to those presented here, while commonly adopting title of the public house which hosted their meetings. This one does boast a royal association, but unregulated references commonly used elsewhere only suggest a trust worthy scheme. Reportage does however, confirm this to be one of the profitable interests, whilst better known as the White Lion Sick and Dividing Society.
1. That every man who enters this Society shall pay 1/- as Entrance Fee. Age from 16 to 45.
2. That every member entering this Society shall pay fortnightly 1/1½, 1/- goes to the Club, and 1½ for refreshments.
3. Any member entering this Society after its commencement shall pay the entrance fee and all back payments, together with levies, etc., as other members have paid, before being entitled to benefits.
4. That the resident, Secretary and Treasurer, shall hold their positions for 12 months, unless, through unforseen circumstances, they cannot fulfill their duties.
5. A Committee of six members shall be chosen annually, and shall have possession of all books and information belonging to the Society. They are to be chosen from the body of members annually.
6. Any member being six weeks in arrears, shall be suspended from benefits 2 weeks after his arrears have been paid ; if 8 weeks in arrears, shall be suspended for 4 weeks ; if 10 weeks, shall be suspended 6 weeks ; and if in arrears 12 weeks, shall be expelled.
7. That when a member of this Society dies, entitled to the benefits, the relations shall receive at the hands of the Secretary, or President, the Sum of £4 ; for Wife £2 ; for Child £1 (under the age of 14 years.)
8. If any member fall sick; he shall be entitled to 6/- per week for 12 weeks, after which he shall receive 3/- per week for 12 more weeks, and should his illness continue after that period it shall be brought before a General Meeting, who shall be empowered to make a further grant if necessary. No member shall be entitled to Sick Pay for less than one week. Should any eligible member fall sick he must produce a certificate from a Duly Qualified Surgeon and one each week so long as his illness continues, and shall give notice to the Secretary before 6 o'clock in the evening, his pay being reckoned from the date of such notice. That every member receiving Sick Pay from this Society shall be at home by nine o'clock from the 25th. of March to the 25th. of September, and at 7 o'clock from the 25th. of September to the 25th. of March. Anyone breaking this Rule shall be dealt with as the Committee thinks fit.
9. That before any benefits of this Society be paid a note must be produced, (either written by a member or Surgeon) to the President or Secretary and goes on from the day he brings it in.
10. That no member while receiving benefit from this Society be allowed above three miles away from his home unless permission be given by the Society.
11. That it shall be the duty of every member before starting work at the termination of sickness to inform the Secretary ; in default be fined.
12. That every member of this Society on the death of a member shall pay a levy of 1/- per member ; wife 6d ; and child 2d.
13. Any member who shall through his own misconduct or pleasure, or through any other kind of games, be unable to follow his usual employment, shall not be entitled to any benefits of this Society until dealt with by the committee.
14. That when the President calls for silence, he who speaks afterwards shall pay a fine of 1d.
15. That all Fines paid in this Society shall be divided at end of the year.
16. That any member misbehaving himself and being requested to leave by the President and not obeying shall be fined 6d.
17. That any member swearing shall be reprimanded by the President for the first offence, and for the second offence be fined 1d. If not paid it shall be added in arrears.
18. That in any case of Sickness the funds become low a levy shall be made to save closing the box.
19. That any member misbehaving himself whilst in receipt of pay shall forfeit 1/- first offence ; 1/6 second ; 2/- third ; and afterwards be expelled.
20. That any member suffering from Veneral Disease shall receive no pay except funeral expenses.
21. That any member being a bachelor, and householder supporting his parents, shall receive same benefits as a full member.
22. That all benefits cease on and after the last club night.
23. When a member has drawn full pay and half pay in one year, he shall be off the funds a period of one year.
24. That no member shall be admitted in the lodge room whilst intoxicated. Any member defrauding or imposing in any way on the Society, shall be expelled.
25. That any of these Rules not meeting any case which may arise, the committee shall be called to consider the same, and their decision shall be final.