Working Men's Social Clubs and Educational Institutes by Henry Solly
Social reformer, Chartist sympathiser, advocate of universal suffrage, and opponent of slavery, Henry Solly (1813-1903) was a man driven by the desire to stamp out inequality. As part of his mission to improve the lives of working-class people, he founded the Working Men's Club and Institute Union, becoming its first paid secretary in 1863. The Union encouraged the formation of social and educational clubs where working men could 'meet for conversation, business, and mental improvement, with the means of recreation and refreshment, free from intoxicating drinks'. His tireless campaigning led directly to the formation of the Charity Organization Society, which advocated the principle of aiding those prepared to help themselves. Published in 1867, this is Solly's vigorous manifesto for social reform based around temperance and the formation of social clubs and educational institutes for working men.