Antique 19th Century Order of Odd Fellows Patriarchs Militant Uniform (Coat)
This is an exceedingly rare authentic original Order of Odd Fellows Patriarchal Militant Full Dress or Parade Uniform | In particular, this is an Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) Patriarchs Militant Parade Uniform which dates to approx. circa 1865-1890. In excellent condition.
This is an exceedingly rare authentic original Order of Odd Fellows Patriarchal Militant Full Dress or Parade Uniform | In particular, this is an Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) Patriarchs Militant Parade Uniform which dates to approx. circa 1865-1890. The pictures below show a 19th Century photograph of an IOOF member dressed in the IOOF Patriarch’s Militant Parade Uniform virtually identical to the uniform presented here.
The underside of the coat’s collar has a label with “M. C. Lilley & Co. Columbus OH – Military & Society Goods” | M. C. Lilley & Co.was established in Columbus, Ohio in 1865 near the end of the American Civil War, placing the date of the uniform to approximately 1865 – 1890. The end of the Civil War saw a huge upward surge in fraternal and social organizations. This uniform has many of the characteristics of a single breasted civil war uniform.
The present rare example has brass buttons with the Order of Odd Fellows – Patriarchal Militant Coat of Arms, and has the crossed staff and sword insignia on each side of the standing collar. It also has a rank insignia embroidered on each cuff of the uniform, in each case a gold and crimson “Crown” insignia which today represents a “Chevalier – to Captain of Canton Crown.” See “UNIFORM REGULATIONS for the PATRIARCHS MILITANT ARMY,” Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Adopted by the General Military Council, I.O.O.F. during theSession held in SeaTac, Washington, August 1999 as Revised in 2010.
The coat has a silk diamond quilted lining in the front, a wool woven back lining, and a striped silk lining in the sleeves. The coat is also adorned with very nice shoulder gold knot epaulettes buttoned to a red shoulder epaulette shaped patch. Overall, the coat is a heavy high quality all wool blue dress coat.
The overall condition of the uniform is very good +. The collar insignia has minor fraying and the epaulettes are somewhat loose. Otherwise, the 100+ year old dress coat is in excellent condition complete with all original buttons and patches.
The Origin of the Order of Odd Fellowship (Oddfellows):
Odd Fellowship began in England sometime previous to 1745 with the earliest mention being of a Loyal Aristarcus Lodge meeting held at the Oakley Arms, Borough of Southwark, London. The Manchester Unity Oddfellows state on their website that “Oddfellows can trace its roots back to the Trade Guilds of the 12th and 13th centuries. Some believe that there are records in Scotland which show that the Oddfellows in its original form may have arisen in the 1500s.
There were numerous Oddfellow organizations in England in the 1700s. One Edwardian Oddfellow history argued that in 1710 there was a ‘Loyal Lintot of Oddfellows’ in London. The first Oddfellows group in South Yorkshire, England, dates from 1730. The earliest surviving documented evidence of an “Oddfellows” lodge is the minutes of Loyal Aristarchus Oddfellow Lodge no. 9 in England, dated 12 March 1748. By it being lodge number 9, this connotes that there were older Oddfellows lodges that existed before this date.
As a result of the Glorious Revolution of 1688 (when the Protestant William of Orange replaced the Catholic King James II), by the mid-18th century, the Order of Patriotic Oddfellows had formed in the south of England, supporting William, and The Ancient Order of Oddfellows had formed in the north, supporting the Stuarts.
Subsequent to the failure of Bonnie Prince Charlie’s uprising, in 1789 these two Orders formed a partial amalgamation as the Grand United Order of Oddfellows. These days they are more commonly known as “The Grand United Order of Oddfellows Friendly Society” (GUOOFS),v abandoning all political and religious disputes and committing itself to promoting the harmony and welfare of its members. Some books mention that there was a lodge of a ‘Union Order of Oddfellows’ in London in 1750, and one in Derby in 1775.
The Oddfellows Magazine of 1888 included a picture of a medal presented to the secretary of a lodge of the Grand Independent Order of Oddfellows in 1796. 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, various lodges of the Union or United Order in the Manchester area declared themselves as an “Independent Order”, and organized the “Manchester Unity of Oddfellows” which chartered the Odd Fellows in North America in 1819.
Formation of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF):
Evolving from the Order of Odd Fellows first founded in England during the 1700s, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) is a non-political and non-sectarian international fraternal order founded in 1819 by Thomas Wildey in Baltimore, Maryland, United States. It was originally chartered by the Independent Order of Oddfellows Manchester Unity in England but has operated as independent organization since 1842, although it maintains an inter-fraternal relationship with the English Order. The order is also known as the Triple Link Fraternity, referring to the order’s “Triple Links” symbol, alluding to its motto “Friendship, Love and Truth”.
While several unofficial Odd Fellows lodges had existed in New York City circa 1806-1818, because of its charter relationship, the American Odd Fellows is regarded as being founded with Washington Lodge No 1 in Baltimore at the Seven Stars Tavern on April 26, 1819, by Thomas Wildey along with some associates who assembled in response to an advertisement in the New Republic. The following year, the lodge affiliated with the Independent Order of Oddfellows Manchester Unity and was granted the authority to institute new lodges. Previously, Wildey had joined the Grand United Order of Oddfellows (1798-) in 1804 but followed through with the split of Independent Order of Oddfellows Manchester Unity (1810-) before emigrating to the United States in 1817.
In 1842, after an elementary dispute on authority, the American Lodges formed a governing system separate from the English Order, and in 1843 assumed the name Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF). The Patriarchs Militant are the uniformed branch of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF), one of the oldest and largest fraternal orders in the world today. The Patriarchs Militant were established by the Sovereign Grand Lodge – the international governing body of Odd Fellowship – back in 1885.
Origin of the Uniformed Patriarchal Militant:
Over time, “the desire spread for a patriarchal uniform, admittedly influenced by Masonic Knight Templar displays, and after an extended propaganda in 1874 the movement succeeded, and in 1882 the Sovereign Grand Lodge adopted a degree of Uniformed Patriarchs. The Patriarchs Militant, as the reorganized Uniformed Rank of Patriarchs is called, furnished the degree which supersedes the Uniformed Camp degree of the Uniformed Patriarchs. This is the existing military branch of the Order, and is recruited from among the Patriarchs. Can tons, as the separate bodies of Patriarchs Militant are described, are organized into regiments, brigades, and divisions.
Members of Cantons are known as Chevaliers and the officers of the organization have distinctively military titles. The uniform, drill, and tactics are modeled somewhat as are those of the Masonic Knights Templars. This new military branch of the Order was first proposed in 1870. It took shape in 1885, and in 1887 was reorganized to confer three degrees: (1) The Grand Decoration of Chivalry, to be conferred on Chevaliers, selected by the Commander; (2) the Deco ration of Chivalry, to be conferred on Chevaliers selected by Cantons and by Department Commanders; and (3) the Decoration of Chivalry, to be conferred on women members of the degree of Rebekah, as provided for.” From The Cyclopædia of Fraternities by Albert Clark Stevens (1907).
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