Shickle, Rev Charles William (polehead collector)

Date: 1700s-1800sExtent: 264
Brass polehead horse from the Shickle collection of poleheads
Brass polehead MERL 51/1022

Rev Charles William Shickle (1841-1927) was a clerk on Holy Orders in Bath, Somerset where he collected Friendly Society Emblems. These metal poleheads would be attached to a pole and carried in procession by the members of village clubs on their annual ‘walks’. These clubs were parish friendly societies formed to provide some insurance for their members against sickness or death. In addition, the clubs played an important part in the social life of the village. Each Friendly Society would have an emblem of a different design, from simple shapes like diamonds, hearts and crescents, to elaborate designs of ships, horses or more symbolic designs.

The Shickle Collection of poleheads contains examples from Somerset and the adjoining counties.

More Information:

The objects are catalogued on the online database. Search using the phrase ‘Shickle’

Other polehead collections in the museum include Allen, Jardine and Forster.

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