Thomas Mackay: The Anti-Socialist Philosophy of the Charity Organisation Society

  • J. W. Mason


The Charity Organisation Society (C.O.S.) was established in 1869 with the declared aim of improving the condition of the poor by reforming the administration of both public and private relief.2 In each Poor Law district in London a C.O.S. committee was to be set up with the task of co-ordinating all charitable activity. These committees were to decide whether the applicant for relief was ‘deserving’ before passing him on to the proper specialised charitable agency or to the Poor Law. The C.O.S. thereby hoped to maintain a clear division between charity and the Poor Law and thus discourage mendicity and assist the poor to acquire the virtues of thrift and self-help.


Late Nineteenth Century Sixteenth Century Saving Bank Effective Shield Free Exchange 
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1974

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  • J. W. Mason

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