The National Association of Funeral Directors, as it has been known since 1905, is one of a number of organisations that has appeared over the last three hundred years to represent those responsible for managing the disposal of the dead.

The first such institution The Upholders Company emerged in the early eighteenth century and was closely followed by The United Company of Undertakers.

However, the need for a national organisation became apparent during the nineteenth century and in 1898 a group of enthusiastic funeral directors set up the British Institute of Undertakers to ”raise the status of the profession”.

While this organisation ceased to exist in 1901, local associations remained active and, in 1905, the British Undertakers’ Association was founded. The Association adopted a new constitution in 1905, when it also changed its name to the National Association of Funeral Directors.

You can download a more detailed history of the Association here:

The History of the NAFD


The Association also maintains a detailed archive of publications charting the development of the NAFD since 1905.

Journalists and researchers are welcome to view the archive.