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Bookbinders and Machine Rulers' Consolidated Union

In 1835, a number of local bookbinder' societies came together to form the Bookbinders' Consolidated Relief Fund for the relief of tramping. In 1840, they formally amalgamated as the Bookbinders' Consolidated Union. In 1872, it changed its name to the Bookbinders and Machine Rulers' Consolidated Union to reflect the fact that many of its members were now machine rulers. In January 1911, it amalgamated with the London Consolidated Society of Journeymen Bookbinders, the Society of Day-working Bookbinders of London, Westminster, etc and the Vellum Binders' Trade Society to form the National Union of Bookbinders and Machine Rulers.

The main source of information is the series of circulars (MSS.39/SO/B/4/1/1-13), renamed the trade circulars and reports in 1855, from which all the following information is taken. The circulars appeared monthly or bimonthly and the sequence is not wholly complete.

Stations

The union had the following stations, as its branches were called. The years in brackets indicate the station's years of existence; those whose existence is marked as beginning in 1848 were actually already in existence in 1848 when the circulars were first issued.

Aberdeen (1878-1911); Abergavenny (1879-1886); Ashton-under-Lyne (1891/3-1911); Banbury (1848-1882); Barrow-in-Furness (1873-1911); Bath (1891/3-1911); Belfast (1848-1911); Birmingham (1848-1911); Blackburn (1892-1911); Bolton (1874-1911); Bradford (1848-1911); Bristol (1863-1911); Burnley (1899-1911); Cambridge (1848-1852); Cardiff (1878-1911); Carlisle (1848-1911); Chester (1848-1891/3); Chesterfield (1879-1908); Cork (1874-1882, 1899-1911); Coventry (1848-1880); Darlington (1856-1888, 1894-1911); Derby (1848-1911); Dublin (1848-1911); Dundee (1872-1911); Durham (1874-1911); Edinburgh (1848-1911); Fife District (Kirkcaldy; 1906-1911); Glasgow (1848-1911); Gloucester (1854-1873); Greenock (1876-1911); Grimsby (1896/9-1911); Halifax (1848-1911); Hanley (1860-1869, 1874-1911); Hertford (1848-1888); Huddersfield (1848-1911); Hull (1848-1911); Hyde (1894-1911); Ipswich (1877-1911); Kendal (1848-1896/9); Kirkcaldy (see Fife District); Lancaster (1848-1886); Leeds (1848-1911); Leicester (1848-1911); Letchworth (1907-1911); Lincoln (1876-1911); Liverpool (1848-1911); London (1857/9-1911); Londonderry (1881-1911); Macclesfield (1848-1911); Manchester (1848-1911); Merthyr Tydfil (1907-1911); Middlesbrough (1874-1911); Newcastle upon Tyne (1848-1911); Newport, Wales (1902-1911); Newton-le-Willows (1856-1886, 1896/9-1905); Northampton (1852-1883); Norwich (1877, 1894-1911); Nottingham (1848-1911); Oldham (1896/9-1911); Otley (1866-1906); Oxford (1848-1895, 1903-1911); Plymouth (1899-1911); Potteries (see Hanley); Preston (1848-1880, 1891-1911); Richmond, Yorkshire (1848-1885); Rochdale (1863-1911); Sheffield (1848-1911); Shrewsbury (1848-1911); Stoke-on-Trent (see Hanley); Sunderland (1877-1911); Tonbridge (1905-1911); Wakefield (1906-1911); Warrington (1848-1859/60, 1902-1911); Warwick (1848-1891/3); Whitehaven (1872-1882, 1891/3-1911); Wigan (1871-1911); Windsor (1848-1888); Wolverhampton (1848-1903); Worcester (1865-1883, 1901-1911); Wrexham (1863-1911); York (1848-1911).

Lists of clear members

Clear members (i.e. members who did not owe any arrears) are listed at the end of every year by station from 1851. It is noted whether they are on the tramp (i.e. travelling around looking for work), out of work or sick. From 1859 their date of joining the union is also listed.

Deceased members

Deceased members are listed from 1849, usually with name, age, date of death and (sometimes) cause of death. The deaths of some members' wives are also listed. The obituaries are indexed alphabetically at the beginning of each volume.