Labourer's Friend Society

The Labourer's Friend Society was a society founded by Lord Shaftesbury[1] in the United Kingdom in 1830 for the improvement of working class conditions. This included the promotion of allotment of land to labourers for "cottage husbandry"[2][3] that later became the allotment movement,[4] which the Society campaigned for after the Swing riots of 1830 as "the most plausible remedy for the social problems of the countryside".[5] It published the Labourer's Friend Magazine, and in 1844 changed its title to the Society for Improving the Condition of the Labouring Classes, becoming the first Model Dwellings Company in 1844.

Society for Improving the Condition of the Labouring Classes
PredecessorLabourer's Friend Society
Founded1830 Edit this on Wikidata
FounderLord Shaftesbury
FateAcquired by Peabody Trust
Successor1830 Housing Society
Key people
Albert, Prince Consort (patron)
ProductsModel dwellings

The Society received support from many influential figures of the time, including Montagu Burgoyne, Sir William Miles, Mary Ann Gilbert and Lord Ashley, who was the primary influence behind the transition of the Society into a more powerful body.[3] The new Society had the patronage of Queen Victoria, the Prince Consort as president and Ashley as chairman. The company's architect was Henry Roberts, best known for Fishmongers' Hall in London.

In 1959, the company became the 1830 Housing Society, which was taken over in 1965 by the Peabody Trust.


Roberts's buildings made the SICLC a high-profile company with royal patronage and a display at the Great Exhibition; however, functional, utilitarian design of Roberts's buildings led to criticism that they were grim and unpleasant.[6]

Buildings included:


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Porter, Roy (1998). London A Social History. Harvard University Press. p. 271. ISBN 9780674538399.
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ a b "AIM25 collection description". Retrieved 2017-02-22.
  4. ^ [2]
  5. ^ Burchardt, J. (1995) Rural Social Relations, 1830-50: Opposition to Allotment for Labourers. Agricultural History Review, 45(2), pp.165-175
  6. ^ Tarn, J. N. (1973) Five Per Cent Philanthropy. London: CUP
  7. ^ "Turner Court". Retrieved 2017-02-22.
  8. ^ Site Labour Supplies