ABERDEEN-L ArchivesArchiver > ABERDEEN > 2008-10 > 1223552473
From: Gavin Bell <>
Subject: Re: [ABERDEEN] free gardeners
Date: Thu, 09 Oct 2008 12:41:13 +0100
>The Free Gardeners a friendly society with Masonic connections.
According to what I have been able to find out, they were NOT connected
with the Masons. They were rather one of numerous groups which formerly
existed, principally as "friendly societies" to support their members in
time of need, but most of which have disappeared since the advent of the
Welfare State. There may be similarities in organisation with the
Freemasons, but this simply reflects the fact that they grew up in a
similar social context. Ironically, my great-uncle, who was a
professional gardener, was a member of a different organisation, known
as "The Most Noble Order of Buffaloes".
>Do they still exist if so is it possible access records.
I cannot discover that any of the former branches, or any central
organisation, still exist. On this page:
you will find lists of former branches, many with dates of closure, the
others shown simply as "unkown". On the same page, you will find the
names of 4 branches described as belonging to the "New Order 2002", but
it is unclear what connection (other than the name) they might have with
the former organisation.
>In the 1920 they owned houses in Oldmeldrum which they rented [probably
>other places also]
I rather think there is a tenement on Hutcheon Street, Aberdeen, which
has the name of the Free Gardeners and the date of building (from
memory, 1890-something) chiselled into the front.
>Who did they rent to society members only? or as they were a mutual friendly
>society was it people in unfortunate circumstances, or could anyone rent
I would guess the latter. Like other trade organisations, it is likely
that, over time, theybuilt up reserves of cash more than was needed to
cover their normal outgoings, and a good way to put this money to work
would have been to build houses for rent.
|Re: [ABERDEEN] free gardeners by Gavin Bell <>|