A branch of the Universal Beneficent Society was formed in Great Ellingham on the 3rd October, 1876. The Patron was the Marquess Townshend.
The object of the society is to relieve the poor and needy in the parish of Great Ellingham. With a membership fee payable, there would also be a one shilling entrance fee and an annual payment of one shilling.
Unconnected with any place of worship, the society would help both church people and dissenters alike.
Public Inauguration Meeting
The former British School and later the Board School (until 1896) in Long Street. Image courtesy of Sue Fay
At the beginning of November, 1876, an inauguration meeting was held at the Board School. This meeting was open to the public, and it was hoped that new members would enrol.
The Chair, the Reverend J Toll (Baptist Minister), set out the nature and object of the society. It was reported that the meeting was “well attended and all seemed to think that the society will be a good thing for the parish“.
At the close of the meeting a “hearty vote of thanks was given to the noble Marquess for his assistance and the Chairman for his exertions in bringing the society into existence“.
The committee officers of the society were: The Reverend J Toll, Messrs W Lebbell, J Lane, G Butler, T Wilby, J Ashby and J Berry.
Norwich Mercury 11th November 1876