Our founders are Colonel W Bromley–Davenport MP, Laurence Trent Cave and a few of their friends. In October 1860, appalled by the condition of the poorer districts of London, they set up a “Committee of Inquiry into the state of the London poor”. Their aim was: “to increase personal visitation of the poor and, by so doing, discover those painful cases which frequently never come before the public until too late to derive benefit from its sympathy and benevolence”.

The Society was duly formed with the motto is Bis dat qui cito dat (He who gives quickly gives twice). Its aim was achieved by unpaid (volunteer) almoners visiting those in need in their own area. Today, we rely on social workers and other agencies to keep us in touch with cases of distress.