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Subsequently, the odd fellows became religiously and politically independent.The Odd Fellows are one of the earliest and oldest fraternal societies, but their early history is obscure and largely undocumented.When the English King Henry VIII broke with the Roman Catholic Church, the guilds were viewed by him as supporting the Pope, and in 1545 he confiscated all material property of the guilds. 79 because of their odd signs and ceremonies, are at best considered peculiarities.Queen Elizabeth I took from the guilds the responsibility for training apprentices, and by the end of her reign, most guilds had been suppressed. By the 13th century, the tradesmen's guilds had become established and prosperous.In a magazine review of a 1798 sermon preached in the Sheffield Parish Church, the "Oddfellows appear to be very numerous with about thirty-nine lodges of them in London and its vicinity, two at Sheffield, and one at each of the following places: Wolverhampton, Birmingham, Shrewsbury, Windsor, Wandsworth, Canterbury, Liverpool, Richmond in Surrey and Lewes".This suggested that the "Original United Order of Oddfellows" consisted of a total of 50 lodges at that time.In 1810, further instigations led to the establishment of the Independent Order of Oddfellows Manchester Unity in England.Odd Fellows spread overseas, including formally chartering the fraternity in the United States in 1819.
However, permission for "passive membership" in female groups affiliated with societies condemned by the church in 1894 (including such oddfellows as the Knights of Pythias and Sons of Temperance) could be granted individually under certain conditions, viz.Early known Odd Fellows from the time include John Wilkes (1725–1797) and Sir George Savile, 8th Baronet of Thornton (1726–1784), advocating civil liberties and reliefs, including Catholic emancipation.Political repressions such as the Unlawful Oaths Act (1797) and the Unlawful Societies Act (1799), resulted in neutral amalgamation of the Grand United Order of Oddfellows in 1798.Due to increased trade during the Middle Ages, guilds came to make up a part of the urban culture, grouping people from a number of trades banded together.Hence, people of an odd assortment of trades speculatively brought the background of the early history of Odd Fellows.
The first known lodge was called Loyal Aristarcus Lodge No.