Royal Humane Society. Recognising Bravery.

Royal Humane Society

Instituted 1774 and Incorporated by Royal Charter in 1959

Patron:  Her Majesty the Queen

President:  HRH Princess Alexandra, the Hon Lady Ogilvy KG GCVO

Registered Charity Number 231469

50/51 Temple Chambers
3/7 Temple Avenue
London EC4Y 0HP
Telephone : 020 7936 2942
Click Here to send us an e-mail

Researching the Royal Humane Society’s archive

Held by London Metropolitan Archives

On this page:
London Metropolitan Archives contact details
Visiting LMA and carrying out research yourself
If you want LMA to do research for you
Advice before undertaking research
Data Protection
Replacement of past awards

The entire archive of the Royal Humane Society was gifted by the trustees of the Society to London Metropolitan Archives in October 2008 and formally transferred to LMA’s custodianship on 4 November 2008.  We are pleased to announce that it is now available for research either by visiting LMA in person or by submitting a research request to them.

LMA’ s contact details are:


40 Northampton Road
London EC1R 0HB


020 7332 3820


The general enquiry team is available at

Before contacting LMA, please read the information below and also the section ‘Advice before undertaking research …’

All the information you need about visiting LMA and its services is available via the City of London’s web site,  Use the following link to take you to LMA’s home page at

You can visit LMA and do the research yourself:

You’ll need to give the enquiry team 48 hours notice of what it is you’d like to see and the items will be made available in LMA’s Search Room. See the advice below for the kinds of information you’ll need to have to make the most efficient search.  Anyone wanting to take advantage of this service should contact LMA’s general enquiry team to give them the relevant details and confirm a visiting time (contact details, including e-mail address address above).

If you want LMA to do the research for you, you’ll need to complete the Family History Research : ‘Application for Search’ form:

From LMA’s home page, click on the Visitor Information button.  From there, click on the Information Leaflets button and choose ‘application forms’ from the first line of options.  Be sure, also, to read their leaflet, ‘About the Family History Research Service’.

For an application form please click here

Advice before you undertake research at LMA and for completing the Family History Research Service ‘Application for Search’ form:

Please note that all records of awards granted by the Society are filed in order of  the date the Committee reviewed the case and then by the allotted case number and name(s) of the awardee(s). If you’re trying to trace the details of an award granted by the Society, in order to facilitate your own research or that done for you by LMA, you’ll need the following information.

  • the name of the recipient
  • either the case number, the date the award was granted (Committee Meeting date) or the date of the event. if you’re not sure of the date, please choose a period of 10 years in which the award was most likely to have taken place or been granted.

It also helps if you can provide the following information:

  • the kind of award granted eg. bronze medal, testimonial on vellum
  • where the event took place
  • a general description of what happened

Data Protection

The Royal Humane Society’s records, in particular the casebooks in which details of all the awards granted have been recorded, contain personal and sensitive information.  It is a legal requirement that this information is not openly available to the public within the possible lifetime of those involved in a case.  Because of this, the Society’s casebooks for the last 100 years will not be made directly available to the public.  However, access to information in them will be provided, for individuals enquiring about their own case, through LMA’s enquiry team.  Next of kin or relatives of those involved in a case or those undertaking academic research should contact LMA to discuss their needs and the available options.

Please note, the Society’s annual reports contain a wide range of information about the cases reviewed and awards granted in any report year. Since the Society publishes all its annual reports, they are all (including those for the last 100 years and up to 2007) already in the public domain.  The Society’s bound copies are now held by LMA and are available, upon request, from the LMA enquiry team.

Replacement of past awards

Certifications of past awards

We can’t create a duplicate of an award for you because no copies of the originals were kept.  However, we can do what we call a ‘certification’ of the original award which will look very like the original.  The cost for this is 15 for UK applicants. For Europe add 2 and for elsewhere add 5 for postage.

If you already have the information we need, (see the list below), you’ll need to send confirmation of it to us with proof of your identity and your fee so that we can go ahead.

If you don’t already have the information we need, since we no longer hold the archive (it was gifted to London Metropolitan Archives at the end of 2008) you’ll need to contact LMA’s enquiry team, who’ll advise you about how they can help you.  Please note, the data protection issues referred to above will apply.  You’ll need information from the following documents:

  • the case book with the entry for the incident you were involved in
  • the Minutes of the meeting at which the award was granted
  • the page in the Annual Report for that time showing who was the Society’s President at the time of the award

From these, you’ll need to obtain confirmation of the following information, which will used on the certification:

  • the President’s name
  • the date of the Committee Meeting at which the award was granted
  • who the Chairman of the meeting was
  • what kind of award it was
  • to whom the award was made
  • the date of the incident
  • the place of the incident
  • a general description of the incident
  • how many saved or attempted saved people
  • the case number

Please Click Here to see what the certification would look like.  It will be A4 size, signed by the current Secretary of the Society, Dick Wilkinson, and stamped with the impress of the Society.

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