Now recognised as one of the foremost charities in the country for the provision of care for the elderly and for those with dementia, the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution owes its existence to the persistence of a number of notable Freemasons from the middle of the 19th century, such as Dr Robert Crucefix, who fought against prejudice and the hierarchy to create an organisation designed to support aged and infirm Freemasons at a time when the only alternative was the Workhouse.
The story of the RMBI is a fascinating one; in its early years it’s full of intrigue as the various factions sought to bring their vision of support to the fore. Once established, the organisation has faced numerous challenges fundraising, World Wars, the changing needs of society and of Masons, etc to ensure that it survives and continues to be relevant in the modern age.
In the first illustrated history of the RMBI for more than a century Dr John Reuther examines the origins of the organisation and how it has evolved over more than 150 years. Drawing upon a wide range of archive and other sources, the book allows the reader to appreciate fully how the early promoters helped set the first asylum up and how the organisation has grown and developed since the early days in Croydon.