History of the Knights of Equity

The Knights of Equity (f. 1895) is a Roman Catholic Irish social group first established in Cleveland, Ohio, as the Knights of Equity Supreme Council which then grew into a national organization. The group's purpose, stated in their articles of incorporation, is "to create and foster a spirit of mutual helpfulness among its members; to advance them intellectually and socially; and by co-operation among them, to promote their material interests and well-being." The Cleveland group was active from 1895 to 1905. Three courts were founded in Cleveland, one of which eventually had 5,000 members. After 1905 the group disintegrated in Cleveland, but it continued to grow in other cities, having fifty-six courts across the United States.

The ruling body of the Knights of Equity is known as the Supreme Council, which is made up of all the elected supreme officers. The council has the power to make rules and regulations in conformity with the constitution of the organization. A general assembly or national convention is held each year, and the supreme officers and the delegates from each court discuss issues important to the Knight of Equity.

In 1954, at the national convention, a decision was made to draw up a set of bylaws to include women in the organization. In 1960 at the national convention held in Buffalo, New York, the National Daughters of Erin were officially accepted by the Knights as an auxiliary. Their aims and objectives were "to aid the Knights of Equity financially and socially, and to further its aim, principles and causes; to participate in Catholic action; and to contribute to charity and to foster Americanism." Both groups have continued over the years and are still active in several states. Its present day goals and objectives are to promote Irish heritage and Catholic values and promote peace and a united Ireland.