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In 1810, various lodges of the Union or United Order in the Manchester area declared themselves as an "Independent Order", and organized the "Manchester Unity of Oddfellows" which chartered the Odd Fellows in North America in 1819.The Catholic Church in the 19th and early 20th centuries condemned secret societies such as the Freemasons, deemed "pseudo-religious", but also addressed other organisations, including expressing suspicions against the stated religious neutrality and independence of Oddfellows.
The earliest surviving documented evidence of an “Oddfellows” lodge is the minutes of Loyal Aristarchus Oddfellow Lodge no. By it being lodge number 9, this connotes that there were older Oddfellows lodges that existed before this date.In a magazine review of a 1798 sermon preached in the Sheffield Parish Church, the "Oddfellows appear to be very numerous with about thirty-nine lodges of them in London and its vicinity, two at Sheffield, and one at each of the following places: Wolverhampton, Birmingham, Shrewsbury, Windsor, Wandsworth, Canterbury, Liverpool, Richmond in Surrey and Lewes".This suggested that the "Original United Order of Oddfellows" consisted of a total of 50 lodges at that time.When the English King Henry VIII broke with the Roman Catholic Church, the guilds were viewed by him as supporting the Pope, and in 1545 he confiscated all material property of the guilds. 79 because of their odd signs and ceremonies, are at best considered peculiarities.Queen Elizabeth I took from the guilds the responsibility for training apprentices, and by the end of her reign, most guilds had been suppressed. By the 13th century, the tradesmen's guilds had become established and prosperous.In the 18th century United Kingdom, major trades were organised in guilds or other forms of syndicates, but smaller trades did not have equivalent social or financial security.
One theory has it that "odd fellows", people who exercised unusual, miscellaneous "odd trades", eventually joined together to form a larger group of "odd fellows".
The first known lodge was called Loyal Aristarcus Lodge No.
9, suggesting there were earlier ones in the 18th century.
The exact origin of Oddfellowship is involved in obscurity.
It must have had a beginning, but just when and where, no historian has ever been able to ascertain.
Henceforth, the fraternity has remained religiously and politically independent.