Our history

See the key events that have seen The Co-operative grow from a small shop in Lancashire to a worldwide movement.

1844 – 1900

 

1844 to 1900 1901 to 1950 1951 to 2000 2001 to present

1844   1862   1863   1867   1870   1871   1872   1873   1895   1900   1901-1950


1844

Rochdale Pioneers Society established, starting a period of phenomenal co-operative growth. Based on their eight 'Rochdale rules', including distributing a share of profits according to purchases that came to be known as 'the divi'.

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1862

 

Industrial and Provident Societies Acts (I&P Act) gave co-operatives a corporate status for the first time, providing a proper legal framework for them. The first I&P Act had been enacted in 1852.

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1863

Co-operative Wholesale Society (CWS) established, originally called the North of England Co-operative Wholesale Industrial and Provident Society Limited; the Scottish CWS followed in 1868.

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1867

The Co-operative Insurance Company (CIC) becomes a limited company. The CIC later converted to the Co-operative Insurance Society (CIS) in 1899.

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1870

Co-operative Union established (initially known as the Co-operative Central Board) as an outcome from the first national Co-operative Congress, held in 1869.

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1871

The first edition of Co-operative News is published.

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1872

The Co-operative Bank established, initially as the CWS Loan and Deposit Department, registered as a separate wholly-owned subsidiary of CWS in 1971.

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1873

CWS entered manufacturing and later became substantially involved in importing, ship owning and in many overseas ventures, including joint CWS/SCWS tea estates.

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1895

International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) established and held the first international congress in London.

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1900

A total of 1,439 co-operative societies now registered.

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This is our history – be part of our future and join us today

1844 to 1900 1901 to 1950 1951 to 2000 2001 to present