The Primrose League


Primrose League Establishment


A small group had for some time discussed the means for obtaining the support of the people for Conservative principles. Sir Henry Drummond Wolff said to Lord Randolph Churchill, "Let us found a primrose league." The idea was accepted by several gentlemen in the habit of working together, and a meeting was held at the Carlton Club shortly afterwards, consisting of Churchill, Wolff, Sir John Gorst, Percy Mitford, Colonel Fred Burnaby and some others, to whom were subsequently added Satchell Hopkins, J. B. Stone, Rowlands and some Birmingham supporters of Burnaby, who also wished to return Lord Randolph Churchill as a Conservative member for that city. These gentlemen were of great service in remodelling the original statutes first drawn up by Wolff. The latter had for some years perceived the influence exercised in benefit societies by badges and titular appellations, and he further endeavoured to devise some quaint phraseology which would be attractive to the working classes. The title of "Knight Harbinger" was taken from an office no longer existing in the Royal Household, and a regular gradation was instituted for the honorific titles and decorations assigned to members. This idea, though at first ridiculed, was greatly developed since the foundation of the order; and new distinctions and decorations were founded, also contributing to the attractions of the league. 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica

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The Primrose League Article




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