Order of Alfredians

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Order of Alfredians

Engraving of Alfredian Order's emblem
Formation 1873
Purpose/focus Fraternity of Englishmen and their male descendants
Headquarters Rhode Island; Boston, MA

The Order of Alfredians was an American fraternal society for men of British origin, dedicated to King Alfred the Great (849-899) and open to his lineal descendants and "those descended from branches of the same stock which have thrown off the political allegiance, but who rejoice to be bearers forward and the amplifiers of that glorious civilization inaugurated by Alfred."[1][2] As with many other fraternities of its time, the order offered relief benefits and funeral insurance to dues-paying members.

Structure

The Alfredians were organised into Brigades, each presided over by an Honorary Commander and their officers — including Vice Commander, Chaplain, Treasurer, Scribe, Recorder, Guide, Assistant Guide, Inner Sentinel, and Outer Sentinel — who, in turn, were under the jurisdiction of Provincial Councils at the state-level, and the Supreme Council under the High Protector and his deputies.

List of Brigades

(This list represents a highly preliminary indexing of Alfredian Brigades. Please do email us using the link in the sidebar if you have further information or corrections.)

Brigade No. City/County State Founded Dissolved Notes
1 Providence RI 1873
2 Olneyville RI 1874
3 Providence RI Remained active well into the 1920s
4 Providence RI
5 Pascoag RI 1876
8 Providence RI
9 Providence RI
1 Boston MA 1907[3]
3 Boston MA
4 Springfield MA 1874-04-16
5 West Fitchburg MA
6 North Adams MA
8 Taunton MA
13 Worcester MA
3 Meriden CT 1883

References

  1. Bayles, Richard Mather, ed. (1891), History of Providence County, Rhode Island, 1, W. W. Preston, p. 674, https://archive.org/details/historyofprovide01bayl, retrieved 2016-07-26, "The Order of Alfredians is a secret order 'intended to provide for the welfare of born subjects of the lineal descendants of King Alfred [of England] and those descended from branches of the same stock which have thrown off the political allegiance, but who rejoice to be bearers forward and the amplifiers of that glorious civilization inaugurated by Alfred.' The order was established in Rhode Island in 1873." 
  2. Gould, S. C., ed. (November 1896), Order of the Alfredians, "Masonic and Arcane Societies in the U.S.", Miscellaneous Notes and Queries 14 (11): 277, https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=hvd.32044092649565;view=1up;seq=291, retrieved 2016-07-26, "This Order was active about twenty years ago in Boston, although little is heard of it in quite recent years. Intended especially for the descendants of the wise and good King Alfred, yet it will find favour with those descended from branches of the same Stock. The advice of the dying Alfred to his son is accepted as a rule of action, and on that advice the precepts of Alfredianism are founded. Alfred ascended the throne April 23, 871, and therefore the Alfredians decree that April 23 shall be celebrated as the commemoration day of the Order throughout the world. They also state as an additional reason for the 23rd of April, that it is the natal day of Shakespeare, 1564, the poet of all time, the embalmer of the Anglo-Saxon tongue." 
  3. Statistics of Fraternal Benefit Societies, National Fraternal Congress of America, 2003, p. 219