During the early years the Society favoured giving loans to those temporarily unable to work, believing that they were also likely 'to elevate the tone of the poorer classes by inspiring feelings of self-reliance and independence'[COS 1881]; 1039 loans were made in London in 1872. However, defaulting rapidly made the practice less attractive. Most local district committees --- there were 40 by the end of the 1880s --- went ahead and raised their own relief funds, but they continues to vary considerably in terms of how they related to the poor law authorities and in terms of their own practices.

L 49