I came across this unusual antique Regency oak box and felt it warranted some research.
On the front of the box are the words Industry and Sobriety and the third word possibly says Obedience but it has been rubbed.
Having read a few articles it seems that in Regency Britain people believed that the worst conditions of poverty could be avoided/escaped by sobriety,obedience and hard work. They believed that bad habits and idleness were the root of poverty and that the poor should not spend their money on beer and gin but should be encouraged to save. Many savings banks and friendly societies sprung up, the banks being run by the rich!
This savings box was for six different people,the names George, Eliza, John,Priscilla, William and Stephen are painted on the box, each having their own compartment within the locked antique oak
box. The top opens up to retrieve their individually savings, maybe they were saving the money that they would otherwise have spent on alcohol or maybe they were saving for something else.......!