G. D. H. Cole and R. Page Arnot, Trade Unionism on the Railways: Its History and Problems, London, George Allen and Unwin for Fabian Research Department, 1917, p. 11; Norman McKillop, The Lighted Flame: A History of the Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen, London, Thomas Nelson, 1950, pp. 17 and 19; H. H. Champion of the General Railway Workers Union, quoted in P. S. Gupta, ‘Railway Trade Unionism in Britain, c. 1880-1900,’ Economic History Review, 2nd ser., 19, 1, 1966, p. 132; David Howell, Respectable Radicals: Studies in the Politics of Railway Trade Unionism, Aldershot, Ashgate, 1999, p. 6.
Trade Unionism on the Railways: Its History and Problems
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Henry Pelling, A History of British Trade Unionism, London, Macmillan, 1963, p. 77.
A History of British Trade Unionism
77 Google Scholar
The only thorough analysis of the first ten years of the ASRS comes in Philip S. Bagwell, The Railwaymen: The History of the National Union of Railwaymen, London, George Allen and Unwin, 1963. Gupta, ‘Railway Trade Unionism in Britain,’ and Howell, Respectable Radicals, both begin in 1880.
The Railwaymen: The History of the National Union of Railwaymen Google Scholar
For the early links between trade unions and friendly societies see Malcolm Chase, Early Trade Unionism: Fraternity, Skill, and the Politics of Labour, Aldershot, Ashgate, 2000. Google Scholar
Frank McKenna, The Railway Workers 1840-1970, London, Faber and Faber, 1980, p. 40.
The Railway Workers 1840-1970
40 Google Scholar
Three recent reinterpretations of the validity of the concept of a new model union are: Philip S. Bagwell, ‘The New Unionism in Britain: The Railway Industry,’ in Wolfgang J. Mommsen and Hans-Gerhard Husung (eds), The Development of Trade Unionism in Great Britain and Germany, 1880-1914, London, George Allen and Unwin, 1985, pp. 185-200; John Rule, ‘The Formative Years of British Trade Unionism: An Overview,’ in John Rule (ed.), British Trade Unionism, 1750-1850: The Formative Years, London, Longman, 1988, esp. p. 19; and Alastair J. Reid, ‘Old Unionism Reconsidered: The Radicalism of Robert Knight, 1870-1900,’ in Eugenio F. Biagini and Alastair J. Reid (eds), Currents of Radicalism: Popular Radicalism, Organised Labour, and Party Politics in Britain, 1850-1914, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1999, pp. 214-43. Google Scholar
For a history of the friendly societies, see Simon Cordery, Friendly Societies in Britain, 1750-1911, Palgrave, forthcoming 2003. Google Scholar
McKenna, Railway Workers, p. 43. Google Scholar
R. W. Kostal, Law and English Railway Capitalism 1825-1875, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1994, ch.7, offers a particularly clear exposition of the murky waters of Victorian accident compensation law. See also P. W. J. Bartrip and S. B. Burman, The Wounded Soldiers of Industry: Industrial Compensation Policy 1833-1897, Oxford, Clarendon, 1983.
Law and English Railway Capitalism 1825-1875 Google Scholar
Sir George Findlay, The Working and Management of an English Railway, 6th edn., 1889; reprint, Wakefield, EP Publishing, 1976, p. 74.
The Working and Management of an English Railway
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Joseph Tatlow, Fifty Years of Railway Life, London, The Railway Gazette, 1920, p.68.
Fifty Years of Railway Life
68 Google Scholar
Peter Ackers, ‘On Paternalism: Seven Observations on the Uses and Abuses of the Concept in Industrial Relations, Past and Present,’ Historical Studies in Industrial Relations, 5, 1, 1998, pp. 173-93; H. I. Dutton and J. E. King, ‘The Limits of Paternalism: The Cotton Tyrants of North Lancashire, 1836-54,’ Social History, 7, 1, 1982, pp. 59-74; Philip Scranton, ‘Varieties of Paternalism: Industrial Structures and the Social Relations of Production in American Textiles,’ American Quarterly, 36, 1984, pp. 235-57.
‘On Paternalism: Seven Observations on the Uses and Abuses of the Concept in Industrial Relations, Past and Present,’
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E. P. Thompson, ‘Patricians and Plebs,’ Customs in Common, London, Merlin Press, 1991, p. 64.
Customs in Common
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Michael Haynes, ‘Employers and Trade Unions, 1824-1850,’ in Rule (ed.), British Trade Unionism, 1750-1850, p. 254. Google Scholar
For the ‘New Paternalism’ see Patrick Joyce, Work, Society and Politics: The Culture of the Factory in Later Victorian England, New Brunswick, Rutgers University Press, 1984, ch.4; Richard Price, Labour in British Society: An Interpretative History, London, Routledge, 1986, pp. 59-67; and Joseph Melling, ‘Industrial Strife and Business Welfare Philosophy: The Case of the South Metropolitan Gas Company from the 1880s to the War,’ Business History, 21, 2, July 1979, pp. 163-79. Google Scholar
Great Northern Journal, 1, 24, 12 January 1860, p.183. Google Scholar
See, for example, H. V. Borley, The Memories and Writings of a London Railwayman, Alan A. Jackson (ed.), Mold, Railway and Canal Historical Society, 1993, and ‘Curly’ Lawrence, ‘LBSC Footplate Experiences: Reminiscences at New Cross, Headington, The Oakwood Press, 1996. Memoirs are notoriously unreliable or, at the very least, liable to be more nostalgic than accurate. A general sense of railway labour relations in the nineteenth century can be gleaned from the writings of railwaymen published in trade journals such as the Railway News or company periodicals like the South Western Gazette. These also contain evidence of a sense of identification with the companies. Google Scholar
Lawrence, ‘LBSC’ Footplate Experiences, p. 27. Google Scholar
David Howell, ‘Railway Safety and Labour Unrest: The Aisgill Disaster of 1913,’ in Chris Wrigley and John Shepherd (eds), On the Move: Essays in Labour and Transport History Presented to Philip Bagwell, London, The Hambledon Press, 1991, p. 126; Alfred Williams, Life in a Railway Factory, 1915; reprint, Gloucester, Alan Sutton, 1986, p. 267.
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J. R. Raynes uses the word ‘abject’ to describe petitioning in his authorized history of the enginemen's union, Engines and Men: The History of ASLEF, Leeds, Goodall and Suddick, 1921, p. 51. Google Scholar
Petition from Goods Department, Kings Cross, to Seymour Clarke, General Manager, 6 April 1853, Great Northern Railway, PRO, RAIL, 236/725; petition from the Mutual Provident Society to the Board of Directors, 14 January 1864, Stockton and Darlington Railway, PRO, RAIL 667/791. Railwaymen could only petition as individuals and all petitions had to be sent through a supervisor. Thus, for example, the 1849 rules of the LNWR contained a clause asserting ‘Should any servant think himself aggrieved he may memorialize the Board; but in any such case the memorial must be sent through the head of his department’ (LNWR, General Regulations Applicable to all Servants, 1849, in F. B. Head, Stokers and Pokers or the London and North Western Railway, the Electric Telegraph, and the Railway Clearing House, 1849; reprint, New York, Augustus M. Kelley, 1969, p. 162). Google Scholar
The concept of civility as a means of controlling railway labour is deployed in Beth Tompkins Bates, Pullman Porters and the Rise of Protest Politics in Black America, 1923-1945, Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina Press, 2001, p. 153. Google Scholar
Bagwell, The Railwaymen, p. 24. Google Scholar
P. W. Kingsford, Victorian Railwaymen: The Emergence and Growth of Railway Labour 1830-1870, London, Frank Cass, 1970, pp. 68-9, based on a sample of 38 petitions.
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Bagwell, The Railwaymen, p. 25. Google Scholar
Railway News, 15, 9 April 1864, p. 367. Google Scholar
Petition from Goods Department, Kings Cross, to Seymour Clarke, General Manager, 6 April 1853, Great Northern Railway, PRO, RAIL 236/725. Details of the formation and operation of the GNR-PS are found in Great Northern Journal, 1, 30, 23 February 1860, p. 231, and Railway News, 13, 26 March 1864, p. 320, and 469, 21 December 1872, p. 804. Google Scholar
D. V. Levian, ‘Short Histories of the Benefit Funds of the Great Western Railway Company,’ unpub. ms., 1926, p. 2, PRO, RAIL 1005/79; J. T. Lea, The Great Western Railway Enginemen and Firemen's Mutual Assurance Sick and Superannuation Society, 1865-1965, Swindon, The Society, 1965, p. 1. Google Scholar
Midland Railway Friendly Society, Rules, Derby, Bemrose, 1908, p. 20; Midland Railway Friendly Society, Rules, 1880, Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick (hereafter MRC), MSS.127/NU/5/5/7/11; Railway News, 1, 13, 26 March 1864, p. 320. Google Scholar
Industrial Review, 891, 9 November 1878, pp. 5-6; South-Western Gazette, 183, June 1896, p.12. I am indebted to Sean Creighton for information on the Hampshire Friendly Society. Google Scholar
London and South Western Railway Friendly Society, Rules, 1844, rules 2 and 4, PRO, FS 15/994. Google Scholar
GNR Locomotive Sick Society, Rules, 1884, and Annual Report Doncaster, Dale, 1888, MRC, MSS.I27/NU/5/5/7/li. Google Scholar
Philip S. Bagwell, Doncaster: Town of Train Makers 1853-1990, Doncaster, Doncaster Books, 1991, p. 42
Doncaster: Town of Train Makers 1853-1990
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Great Western Railway Mutual Aid Society, Rules, 1865, rules 4, 5, 9, PRO, RAIL 1005/79. Google Scholar
The LSWR-FS, for example, provided support during a member's wife's confinement for an extra subscription. It also paid benefits to the value of full wages for those completely incapacitated by accident, and half-pay for sick or injured employees capable of working but unable to earn their full pay: LSWR-FS, Rules, 1844, rules 15, 17, and 18, PRO, FS 15/994. Google Scholar
‘W. T. H.,’ Outline of History of the Midland Railway Friendly Society, Derby, n.p., 1928, p. 2. Google Scholar
Two societies supplying superannuation were the Great Western Enginemen and Firemen's Mutual Assurance Society (Levian Papers, ‘Short Histories,’ p. 2, PRO, RAIL 1005/79); and the South Devon Railway Incapacitation Fund (Kingsford, Victorian Railwaymen, Appendix I). Google Scholar
The state began publishing uniform rules and forms for friendly societies in 1834 with John Tidd Pratt, The Law Relating to Friendly Societies, 1834; reprint, London, Garland, 1978. Google Scholar
P. H. J. H. Gosden, The Friendly Societies in England, 1815-1875, Manchester, Manchester University Press, 1961, pp. 177-81; and Keith Burgess, The Origin of British Industrial Relations: The Nineteenth-Century Experience, London, Croom Helm, 1975, pp. vii-viii.
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See, for example, Gosden, Friendly Societies, p. 88. Google Scholar
See, for example, Kingsford, Victorian Railwaymen, ch.2; and Kenneth Hudson, Working to Rule. Railway Workshop Rules: A Study of Industrial Discipline, Bath, Adams and Dart, 1970, esp. pp. 45-6 and 59-60. Google Scholar
For examples, see Kingsford, Victorian Railwaymen, pp. 18-19. Google Scholar
McKenna, Railway Workers, pp. 155-6. Google Scholar
R. S. Joby, The Railwaymen, Newton Abbot, David and Charles, 1984, pp. 136-7. Google Scholar
Bagwell, The Railwaymen, pp. 25-35. Google Scholar
Kingsford, Victorian Railwaymen, pp. 64-5. Alcock among others identifies 1865 as the turning point: see G. W. Alcock, Fifty Years of Railway Trade Unionism, London, The Co-operative Printing Society, 1922, p. 2. Google Scholar
See Kingsford, Victorian Railwaymen, p. 64; Bagwell, The Railwaymen, pp. 20-8; and Joby, The Railwaymen, pp. 136-8. Google Scholar
Railway News, 558, 5 September 1874, pp. 327-8. Google Scholar
See W. L. Burn, The Age of Equipoise, London, George Allen and Unwin, 1964; Geoffrey Best, Mid-Victorian Britain 1851-70, Glasgow, William Collins, 1982; and K. Theodore Hoppen, The Mid-Victorian Generation 1846-1886, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1998.
The Age of Equipoise Google Scholar
Minute Book, 28 December 1855, Stockton and Darlington Railway Mutual Provident Society (S&DR-MPS), PRO, RAIL 667/134. Out of a total of thirty-three sickness claims, thirteen originated in the workshops and fourteen in the goods department for an aggregate cost of £28.5.0. The other four departments accounted for just six claims worth £3.6.8. Google Scholar
Minute Book, 8 January 1864, S&DR-MPS, PRO, RAIL 667/134. This was the lowest dividend members had received to date. Google Scholar
Petition from Members to the Board of Directors, Middlesborough, 14 January 1864, S&DR-MPS, PRO, RAIL 667/791. The petition cited the ninth rule of the society, requiring employment in the traffic department as a condition of membership, to justify excluding workshop employees. See Rules, S&DR-MPS, 1856, PRO, RAIL 667/134. This was the first printed version of the rules, based on manuscript copies which governed the society until ratified by the Board and published in 1856. Google Scholar
Minute Book, 9 December 1864, S&DR-MPS, PRO, RAIL 667/791. As traffic manager, Stephenson (nephew and namesake of the ‘father of railways’) served as an ex officio officer of the S&DR-MPS. See Michael Robbins, The Railway Age, London, Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1962, p. 17. This Stephenson brooked no challenge to his authority by employees. On 12 May 1866, he fired striking Stockton and Darlington railwaymen: Alcock, Fifty Years of Railway Trade Unionism, p. 14. Google Scholar
Minute Book, 9 December 1864, S&DR-MPS, PRO, RAIL 667/134. Google Scholar
See, for example, Raynes, Engines and Men, pp. 26-8; McKenna, Railway Workers, pp. 68-70; Bagwell, The Railwaymen, pp. 47-8; and Kingsford, Victorian Railwaymen, pp. 60-1. Google Scholar
For the details see Alcock, Fifty Years of Railway Trade Unionism, pp. 10-29. Google Scholar
Bagwell, The Railwaymen, p. 47. Google Scholar
The early records of the ASRS are incomplete. Institutional documents, held in the Modern Records Centre, date from 1875, while a reliable periodical record of the union's activities begins only in 1880, with publication of the Railway Review. Google Scholar
Quoted in Bagwell, The Railwaymen, p. 53 Google Scholar
Report and Financial Statements, 1875, p. 5, ASRS, MRC, MSS.127 AS/1/1/1. Google Scholar
Proceedings and Reports, 1879, resolution 1022, ASRS, MRC, MSS.127 AS/1/1/5. Google Scholar
Raynes, Engines and Men, illustration facing p. 96; John Gorman, Banner Bright: An Illustrated History of the Banners of the British Trade Movement, London, Allen Lane, 1973, p. 101. Google Scholar
Bagwell, The Railwaymen, pp. 51-5 (quote on p. 55). Google Scholar
Ibid., p. 56. For the loan, see Report and Financial Statements, 1875, p. 6, ASRS, MRC, MSS 127 AS/1/1/1. Google Scholar
Quoted in Bagwell, The Railwaymen, p. 63. Google Scholar
Report and Financial Statements, 1875, p. 5, ASRS, MRC, MSS 127 AS/1/1/1. Google Scholar
Gregory Blaxland, J. H. Thomas: A Life for Unity, London, Frederick Muller, 1964, p. 27.
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Industrial Review, 6 October 1877, p. 3. See also Bee-Hive, 13 Jan 1872, p. 3. Google Scholar
Railway News, 551, 18 July 1874, p. 88. For the concept of a ‘railway public,’ see George Revill, ‘Liberalism and Paternalism: Politics and Corporate Culture in "Railway Derby", 1865-75,’ Social History, 24, 2, May 1999, pp. 202-3. Google Scholar
Railway News, 551, 18 July 1874, p. 58. Google Scholar
Geoffrey R. Searle, Entrepreneurial Politics in Mid-Victorian Britain, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1993, p. 280.
Entrepreneurial Politics in Mid-Victorian Britain
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Industrial Review, 27 April 1878, p. 12. The occasion was a meeting in Bristol that Morley chaired. Google Scholar
Bee-Hive, 11 April 1874, p. 5. See also ibid., 9 May 1874, pp. 2-3. Shrives was chairman of the ASRS excutive committee in 1873: see Bagwell, The Railwaymen, p. 71. Google Scholar
Fred. W. Evans, The Railwayman's Catechism, bound with Report and Financial Statements, 1875, p. 5, ASRS, MRC, MSS 127 AS/1/1/1. Google Scholar
Bagwell, The Railwaymen, p. 80. Google Scholar
For an example of the ASRS mobilising around company uses of pensions for labour-control in the late 1880s, see Price, Labour in British Society, p. 126. The central place of friendly benefits is examined in Noel Whiteside, ‘Wages and Welfare: Trade Union Benefits and Industrial Bargaining Before the First World War,’ Bulletin of the Society for the Study of Labour History, 51, 3, 1986, pp. 21-33. See also Pat Thane, ‘Craft Unions, Welfare Benefits, and the Case for Trade Union Law Reform, 1867-75,’ Economic History Review, 2nd ser., 29, 4, December 1984, pp. 617-25. Google Scholar
Bagwell, The Railwaymen, p. 86. Google Scholar
Railway Review, 21, 3 December 1880, p. 12. Of this, approximately £15,000 had been paid in sickness benefit by branches, £7,800 in unemployment assistance, and £6,900 in superannuation. The balance went to the railway orphanage at Derby and a widows’ and orphans fund. Google Scholar
The Labour Year Book, 1916, reprint, Brighton, Harvester Press, 1972, produced by the TUC, the Labour party, and the Fabians, devoted one section to the topic of ‘Social Insurance,’ explaining how state programmes were slowly providing coverage against emergencies for working families. Particular attention is paid to the provisions and weaknesses of the 1911 National Insurance Act: see pp. 665-75. Google Scholar
Minute Book, Executive Committee, 1889, ASRS, MRC, MSS 127/AS/1/1/16. Google Scholar
As Crossick apdy writes, ‘Friendly societies have been strangely neglected by historians of Victorian Britain’ (Geoffrey Crossick, An Artisan Elite in Victorian Society: Kentish London 1840-1880, London, Croom Helm, 1978, p. 174). Some progress has been made toward integrating friendly societies into labour history. See, for example, Neville Kirk, Change, Continuity, and Class: Labour in British Society, 1850-1920, Manchester, Manchester University Press, 1998, esp. pp. 29-30. For recent writing on friendly societies, see David Neave, Mutual Aid in the Victorian Countryside: Friendly Societies in the Rural East Riding, 1830-1914, Hull, Hull University Press, 1991; Nob Doran, ‘Risky Business: Codifying Embodied Experience in the Manchester Unity of Oddfellows,’ Journal of Historical Sociology, 7, 2, June 1994, pp. 131-54; Simon Cordery,‘Friendly Societies and the Discourse of Respectability in Britain, 1825-1875, ‘Journal of British Studies, 34, 1, January 1995, pp. 35-58; Shani D'Cruze and Jean Turnbull, ‘Fellowship and Family: Oddfellows’ Lodges in Preston and Lancaster, c. 1830-c. 1890,’ Urban History, 22, 1 May 1995, pp. 25-47; James C. Riley, Sick, Not Dead: The Health of British Workingmen during the Mortality Decline, Baltimore, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997; Martin Gorsky, ‘The Growth and Distribution of English Friendly Societies in the Early Nineteenth Century,’ Economic History Review, 2nd ser., .51, 3 1998, pp. 489-511; and idem, ‘Mutual Aid and Civil Society: Friendly Societies in Nineteenth-Century Bristol,’ Urban History, 25, 3, 1998, pp. 302-22. Google Scholar
David Neave, ‘The Local Records of Affiliated Friendly Societies: A Plea for their Location and Preservation,’ Local Historian, 16, 3, August 1984, pp. 161-7. Friendly society records are now being preserved in local and national depositories, as the annual lists of Archive Deposits in the Labour History Review attest. The recent cooperation of friendly societies in founding the Friendly Societies Research Group at the Open University is evidence that this attitude is changing. The role of organized labour in establishing institutions of higher education is well known; less renowned is the role of the ASRS in the formation of the Central Labour College. See William W. Craik, The Central Labour College 1909-1929: A Chapter in the History of Working-Class Education, London, Lawrence and Wishart, 1964.
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Iowerth Prothero, Artisans and Politics in Early Nineteenth-Century London: John Gast and his Times, Baton Rouge, Louisiana State University Press, 1979, pp. 232-7; Second Report, Royal Commission on Friendly and Benefit Building Societies, C514, 1872, XXVI, pp. 497-500, and Fourth Report, Royal Commission on Friendly and Benefit Building Societies, C961, 1874, XXIII, Part I, pp. 79-81.
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J. Frome Wilkinson, Mutual Thrift, London, Methuen, 1891, pp. 210-11.
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Michael Savage, The Dynamics of Working-Class Politics: The Labour Movement in Preston 1880-1940, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1987, p. 144; P. H. J. H. Gosden, Self Help: Voluntary Associations in the Nineteenth Century, London, Batsford, 1973, p. 87. Friendly society political activism is explored in detail in Cordery, Friendly Societies in Britain.
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Patrick Joyce, Visions of the People: Industrial England and the Question of Class, 1848-1914, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1991, p.108, and see 115-16.
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Keith McClelland and Alastair Reid, ‘Wood, Iron and Steel: Technology, Labour and Trade Union Organisation in the Shipbuilding Industry, 1840-1914,’ in Royden Harrison and Jonathan Zeitlin (eds), Divisions of Labour: Skilled Workers and Technological Change in Nineteenth Century Britain, Brighton, Harvester, 1985, pp. 159-60. Google Scholar
Takao Matsumura, The Labour Aristocracy Revisited: The Victorian Flint Glass Makers, 1850-80, Manchester, Manchester University Press, 1983, pp. 60-1.
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‘Journeyman Engineer’ [Thomas Wright], Some Habits and Customs of the Working Classes, 1867; reprint, New York, Augustus M. Kelley, 1967, p. 39. Google Scholar
Quoted in Joyce, Work, Society and Politics, pp. xiii-iv. Google Scholar