Helping To Keep England In Your Heart

The Royal Society of  St.George in Hertfordshire

Subtitle

                  About the Society and its Objects

 

The Royal Society of St.George

Est.1894

 The Premier Patriotic Society of England

The story of England and English is one of history’s most remarkable sagas. The word ‘England’ conjures up any different images from our great Cities with their Georgian and Victorian architecture, to the mediaeval castles and cathedrals of our Country Towns, and the delightful villages and tranquil meadows of the rural shires, England’s green and pleasant land. But it is our distinctive culture, our habits, values and traditions, which are unmistakable marks of English nationhood.

 

A SOCIETY DEDICATED TO ENGLAND & ENGLISHNESS’

The Royal Society of St.George was formed in 1894 by gentleman farmer Howard Ruff.

Whilst in still in his mid-thirties, Howard Ruff was struck by the neglect of English patriotism. And as a result, on each recurring St.George’s Day he wrote to the press on this subject and was the first person to adopt the custom of wearing an English Rose on the 23rd April. In 1900 he gave up farming to devote his time exclusively to the Society

The Society quickly attracted the support of many distinguished public figures in England and throughout the British Empire. Its first Royal Patron was Queen Victoria; and the society has enjoyed the Patronage of every reigning monarch from that day to this.

King Edward VII granted the Society the prefix "Royal" in 1902. In 1963, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II bestowed a notable honour by granting the Society its own Royal Charter, a distinction of which its members are justifiably proud.

The Society has unique Armorial Bearings granted under Letters Patent in 1990. The Bearings are reproduced in ties, scarves, plaques etc.

Today, more than a century after its birth, the Society is still standard bearer of traditional English values, both at home and abroad. Its role is primarily education, including the common cultural heritage of people throughout the English-speaking world. The Society now focuses its work on the younger generations of English and a kindred person who’s most valuable inheritance is our nation’s history and culture.

To further this aim, the Society holds several activities throughout the year.

Flowers are sent to Her Majesty the Queen on the occasion of her birthday, 21st April, by the Society on behalf of all members and branches.

Each year the Society holds a Service of Thanksgiving in Westminster Abbey, usually on the nearest Saturday to St. George's Day, during which a wreath is laid on the tomb of the Unknown Warrior. Prior to this, a service is held at the Cenotaph in Whitehall, during which wreaths are laid. RSStG members are joined on this day by Army, Sea and Air cadets who form a large and important part of the parade.

Others activities include:

The Battle of Waterloo which is commemorated by a luncheon or a dinner in June, the Battle of Britain - commemorated by a luncheon in September, and Trafalgar Day, October 21, which is celebrated by most branches of the Society with either a dinner or a ball.

The Societies branches also plan and carry out many activities of their own, which are social and charitable. Certain events recognise and publicise the significance of England's special days. Others are enjoyable social occasions which are designed to raise funds for the Royal Society's numerous charitable undertakings. Most branches have junior sections.

Overseas branches of the Royal Society of St.George also hold their own celebrations. Some of the many countries with branches include: USA, Spain, Australia, New Zealand, France, Kenya, Canada, Jamaica, Japan, South Africa, UAE, Brazil, and China.

There are many more branches are in the making.

The Motto of The Society is "St.George for England."

 The badges of The Society are, St.George and the Dragon and the Cross of St.George.

 

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The Objects of the Society

 

One

To foster the love of England and to strengthen England and the Commonwealth by spreading the knowledge of English history traditions and ideals.

 

Two

To keep fresh the memory of those in all walks of life who have served England or the Commonwealth in the past, in order to inspire leadership in the future.

 

Three

To combat all activities likely to undermine the strength of England or the Commonwealth.

 

Four

To further English interests everywhere to ensure that St.George’s Day is properly celebrated and to provide focal points the world over where men and women may gather together.

 

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                          Howard Ruff - Our Founder

With the foresight of this man the Royal Society of St George was founded on the 23rd April 1894.

Howard Ruff was born on the 12th February 1851 near Wraysbury in Buckinghamshire, where his family had been associated for many generations. He spent his early life in country pursuits and was a keen sportsman and progressive agriculturist.

As a young man in his mid-thirties he was struck by the neglect of English patriotism and on each recurring St. Georges Day - England's Day - he wrote to the press on this subject and was the first to adopt the custom of wearing an English rose on that day.

The year 1894 witnessed the beginnings of the Royal Society of St. George to which he devoted himself with unflagging zeal and enthusiasm.  All his considerable energy was given to the Society in an honorary capacity at great sacrifice to his other interests.

In 1900 he gave up farming so that he could spend his time exclusively in the advancement and encouragement of his beloved Society and the reward for his efforts was undoubtly the acceptance of Their Majesties King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra as Patrons.  President was HRH The Prince of Wales and Vice Patrons TRH The Princess of Wales; The Duke of Connaught and Prince Arthur of Connaught.

"The English Race", the official magazine of the Society first appeared in February 1908 and it was due mainly to the efforts and growing strength of our Society that those serving in the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force now wear their national emblems on their respective saint's days.

Howard Ruff was presented with an illuminated address and a cheque from his many friends and members within the Society in recognition of his valuable services.  The cheque, with characteristic placed at the disposal of the Society.  He was a man of strong generosity   placed at the disposal of the Society.  He was a man of strong personality and great strength of character but at the same time was kindly, generous and broadminded in his outlook.

The Memorial Cross in Wraysbury Churchyard which bears the following inscription:

“In loving remembrance of Howard Ruff, Born 12th February, 1851; Died 29th October, 1928.  Founder of the Royal Society of St George – ‘He fought a good fight and being dead yet speaketh’.”

Mr Ruff was a Past Master of the Eastern Star Masonic Lodge and a member of London Rank.  A staunch Protestant, he was also a Fellow of the Huguenot Society of London and a supporter of other evangelical societies.  He was a Fellow of the Royal Colonial Institute and the Royal Geographical Society and a member of the Royal Societies Club.

He took a keen interest in the small holdings movement and in all efforts for the revival of rural life and would often write on antiquarian subjects, more particularly those associated with the City of London.  He was also a member of the London and Middlesex Archaeological Society and served as a member of the Holborn Borough Council.

He died at his home in West Kensington, London on Monday 29th October, 1928.  At that time the Society boasted a membership of over 25,000 with more than 100 branches worldwide.  He was buried in Wraysbury Churchyard where a Memorial Cross was erected by members of the Royal Society of St George.

We will remember with affection our Founder, Howard Ruff, without whom, the strength of the Royal Society of St George worldwide, bringing together a brotherhood of English patriotism, would not have survived the first one hundred years.

From 'The English Standard'

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                             The Charitable Trust

  

Registered Charity No. 263076

The Society owns and operates a Charitable Trust. Our main objectives are to help and encourage young people to greater achievement, whether in the fields of academe, sport adventure or business, to encourage their enterprise, skills and enthusiasm – for nothing succeeds without enthusiasm.

Its main objectives are to help and encourage young people to greater achievement, whether in fields of academe, sport, adventure or business, to encourage their enterprise, skills and enthusiasm - for nothing succeeds without enthusiasm.

Each Branch is encouraged to recommend young people from their own area and a list of the current donations can be obtained from the Trustees.

Our funds are limited but if you know of any young person who is doing something worthwhile and who genuinely needs a donation to help with expenses, please get in touch with the Trust Secretary. And if you come across a windfall yourself, don't forget the Charitable Trust!

Please support our Charitable Trust by sending a donation to the Trustees at the Head Office address or consider the possibility of leaving a donation to the Trust in your will.