Societies first established toward the end of the eighteenth century, in England, for the relief of mechanics, laborers, and other persons who derived their support from their daily toil. By the weekly payment of a stipulated sum, the members secured support, and assistance from the society when sick, and payment of the expenses of burial when they died. These societies gave origin to the Odd Fellows and other similar associations, but they have no relation whatever to Freemasonry.
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