Royal Humane Society

The Society’s Archive


The archive of the Royal Humane Society (see list below) was gifted by the trustees of the Society to the London Metropolitan Archives (LMA) in October 2008 and formally transferred to their custodianship on 4 November 2008.


The archive consisted of the following:

Committee Minutes – April 1774 to November 2000

Select Committee Minutes – 1820 to 1833

Auditors’ Minutes – 1823 to 1964

Committee Agendas – 1823 to 1964

General Court Proceedings – Mar 1820 to May 1950

Letter Books – Aug 1830 to Jan 1867

Legacy Book – 1848 to 1887

Ledgers – 1840 to 1949

Annual Reports – 1774 to 2005

Case Books – Jan 1821 to Dec 2005

Medal Registers – 1776 to 2006

Anniversary Ticket Book – 1849

Enquiry Files, various - 1878 to 2004

Historical Papers (Capt Manby) – 1814-1846

Swimming Competition Register – 1892 to 1949


Documents and records from 2006 (with a few earlier exceptions) remain with the Society.


Researching the Society’s Archive

There are three options:

  1. Personal visit to the LMA. To obtain the information you’ll need to go to the LMA, obtain a history card (identity is required) and then you will be able to view the case book. However, because it is less than 100 years old the LMA have a strict data protection policy and normally these records are closed.  You would need to contact them ( to them to see if, as a family member, they would allow you access.
  2. LMA to provide the information. If you are unable to visit the LMA, then subject to the above, they would provide you with the information but they will charge a research fee (see their website for details).
  3. RHS to provide the information. Alternatively, we could research this for you and send scanned/photographed details of the entries in the case book, redacting those details not relevant to your enquiry. We would ask for a donation (£30) for this service.


Please note that all records of awards granted by the Society are written up in the case books in order of the date the committee reviewed the case and then by the allotted case number and name(s) of the awardee(s). Therefore, 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 the LMA or the RHS 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.


With the above information you should find the relevant case book at the LMA (you will need to consult their catalogue) and when you have the case book look at the index pages (generally in the front of the book). Search the appropriate page (ie if the name is ‘Smith’ search the ‘S’ index page). This will give you one or more possible candidates and their case numbers – with this information you will be able to find the correct case summary.


You may also wish to look in the committee minutes and the annual reports for further information (again, consult the LMA catalogue to identify the relevant documents).