Fraternal networks of Victorian Norfolk

Weinbren, Daniel (2021). Fraternal networks of Victorian Norfolk. Family & Community History, 24(1) pp. 24–42.



The social and economic dislocation experienced in Victorian Norfolk during the later nineteenth-century derived from the fall in land and grain prices, declining rental incomes, the spread of cattle disease, imports of cheap grain and its transportation by rail, and tensions between labourers and farmers. In this context, an assessment of one Masonic lodge indicates that Freemasonry provided a space where men might meet to develop trusting strong ties to one another and resolve their conflicts. However, lodge members were increasing isolated from the working-class brethren who were members of other fraternal associations. They found refuge in the Conservative Club, the Masonic lodge and the Church, while poorer men supported the Chapel, friendly societies and Liberalism. The development of weak ties to friendly societies helped to shape those bodies and to provide the Freemasons with an inexpensive and pragmatic means to improve the flow of useful knowledge and promote social harmony.

Viewing alternatives

Download history


Public Attention

Altmetrics from Altmetric

Number of Citations

Citations from Dimensions

Item Actions