Ancient Order of Foresters

From Kook Science

Ancient Order of Foresters

London United District (Ontario, Canada) version of the AOF emblem.

Formation 1834
Predecessor Ancient Order of Royal Foresters
Successor Foresters Friendly Society (UK); Foresters Financial (Canada)
Purpose/focus "Friendly society" (mutual benefit, insurance)

The Ancient Order of Foresters (AOF) was a British fraternal benefit order ("friendly society" under U.K. law), having been formed in 1834 by courts of the Ancient Order of Royal Foresters, with Subsidiary Courts in the United States and Canada. Each local lodge was a Court, under the administration of a Chief Ranger, and the Forester initiation ritual was based on the legend of Robin Hood.


See our page on Courts of the A.O.F. for index of local courts.



In 1874, a group of courts in the Eastern United States broke away to form the Independent Order of Foresters; and, in 1889, several courts likewise seceded to form the Ancient Order of Foresters of America (AOFA), also known as the Foresters of America. In Ireland, the Irish National Foresters split from their English counterparts in 1877.


In the United Kingdom, the order has become the Foresters Friendly Society, a savings bond and asset management company. In North America, the order has effectively ceased to exist as various High Court jurisdictions dissolved over time.