Re: Bratton Fleming Death Club
Posted by John Avery on 4/4/2018, 5:30 pm, in reply to "Bratton Fleming Death Club"
There is an example of the sale by auction of a burial deed between Mr Cockram and the Death Club in 1893 see https://search.findmypast.co.uk/search/british-newspapers?date=1893-08-01&date_offsetdate=1893-08-31&lastname=sanders |
The bond between another subscriber Mr John Bowden  and the Death Club is held at the North Devon Record Office see
The Club must therefore have been operating from at least 1871 until after 1893. Possibly a local history group will have more information on the BF Death Club. A possible way of finding out more would be a request on http://www.brattonflemingparish.org.uk/
Burial or Death Clubs operated in several areas on the Friendly Society principle and there were more commercialied "penny a week" policies particulary popular were Prudential, Pearl and Co-op.
Many poor families reliant for most of their often short lives on workhouse or parish relief. Whilst accepting the payments as necessary for their survival in life there was in turn a resistance to accepting "the final indignity" of a pauper or common grave where a number of bodies were buried together and by law could not be identified by name plate on the grave. This gave rise to the formation of burial clubs - unfortunately in some cases an early suspicious death where a spouse desperate for money hastened the reason for the unexpected demise.
Sometimes clubs were abused and mismanaged, leading to their collapse.Parents would enroll their sickly children in several clubs, each of which would pay the assigned benefits without knowledge of the others. Some clubs known as Guinea Clubs [mainly in the North of England] purchased a large multiplot and buried perhaps 20 or so members then placed headboards listing all the names of the deceased thus avoiding the indignity of the anonymous pauper grave.