FREEMASONRY IN CANADA
BY WILL H. WHYTE, P.G.M. :: K.T. OF CANADA
THE history of Freemasonry in British North America, or that part of the continent now
better known as the "Dominion of Canada," is a most interesting one. Upon the advent
of Confederation, July 1, 1867, local control in each Province for the government of the
Masonic Fraternity of the Dominion took a strong hold as a predominant idea, and
prevailed. Each Province has now a Grand Lodge, and in order of their organization
are as follows: Canada, having jurisdiction only in Ontario, 1855; Nova Scotia, 1866;
New Brunswick, 1867; Quebec, 1869; British Columbia, 1871; Manitoba, 1875; Prince
Edward Island, 1875; Alberta, 1905; Saskatchewan, 1906. The first marks of the
Ancient Craftsman have been found in Nova Scotia. A mineralogical survey in 1827
found on the shore of Goat Island in the Annapolis Basin, partly covered with sand, a
slab of rock 2 1/2 X 2 feet, bearing on it those well-known Masonic emblems, "the
Square and Compasses," and the date 1606. Who were the Craftsmen, and how the
stone came there, must be left to conjecture.
The records of the Craft in Boston, Mass., state that Bro. Henry Price was appointed
Provincial Grand Master of New England by Viscount Montague, Grand Master of the
Premier Grand Lodge of England (Moderns), and that his authority was subsequently
extended to all North America.
On the 13th of November, 1737, Erasmus James Phillips, an officer of the Fortieth
Regiment, then stationed at Annapolis Royal, visited Boston and was made a Mason in
the "First Lodge in Boston." This Bro. Phillips was a nephew of Col. Richard Phillips,
the first governor of Nova Scotia and the secretary of the governor's council, and
evidently obtained an appointment as Deputy from Bro. Price, the Provincial Grand
Master at Boston.
The first lodge established in Nova Scotia was at Annapolis and under authority from
Boston by the St. Johns Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. Under date 1740 the minutes
'The Rt. Worshl Grand Master granted a Deputation at the Petition of sundry Brethren
for holding a lodge at Annapolis in Nova Scotia, and appointed the Right Worshipful
Erasmus James Phillips, D.G.M., there, who afterward erected a Lodge at Halifax and
appointed His Excellency Edward Cornwallis their first Master."
Bro. Phillips, having organized this lodge at Annapolis as stated, later on - on the
petition of the Brethren at Halifax in 1750 - granted a Warrant for a lodge and
appointed Bro. Edward Cornwallis, the founder of Halifax, 1749, and first governor of
Nova Scotia (and an uncle of the Lord Cornwallis who figured in Revolutionary times in
the United States), as its first Master. This lodge was instituted at Halifax July 19, 1750.
Bro. Phillips held the position of Provincial Grand Master until 1758, and in the minutes
of the First Lodge at Boston in 1739 is entered as Grand Master of Nova Scotia.
In 1756 lodge meetings were held in Halifax, by the Lodge of "Social and Military
Virtues," No. 227, Irish Registry, then attached to the Forty-sixth Regiment of Light
Infantry. This lodge is now "Antiquity Lodge," No. 1, Montreal, on the Registry of the
Grand Lodge of Quebec.
The Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia is in possession of a large amount of valuable and
interesting Masonic documents, among them a Charter to form a Provincial Grand
Lodge, dated December 27, 1757, from the Grand Lodge of the "Ancients," signed
Blesington, Grand Master, and Laurence Dermott, Grand Secretary.
On the 2d day of June, 1784, a Warrant (apparently a renewal of the 1757) was
granted by authority of Grand Master Antrim, Deputy Grand Master Laurence Dermott,
and Robert Leslie, Grand Secretary. Under this Warrant, a Provincial Grand Lodge was
formed on September 24, 1784 - Bro. John George Pyke, Provincial Grand Master. By
this Warrant, the officers "together with their lawful assistants, that is to say the regular
Masters, Wardens and Past Masters only," were authorized to " nominate, choose, and
install their successors upon or near every St. John the Evangelist day forever."
From 1786-1791, His Excellency, John Parr, Governor-in-Chief of Nova Scotia, was
Provincial Grand Master, followed by the Hon. Richard Bulkeley, 1791-1800; Duncan
Clark, 1800-1; Hon. John Wentworth, LL.D., 1801-10; and John Geo. Pyke, 1810-20. At
this time, after thirty-six years, there were thirty-one lodges on the Provincial Registry.
Trouble then arose over a successor to Bro. Pyke and he continued in office another
year, followed by John Albro from 1821 to 1829. At this period the number of lodges
had been reduced to sixteen. For another forty years this Provincial Grand Lodge
continued its work until, after an existence of eighty-five years, its lodges united with
the new Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia in 1869.
The subject of an independent Grand Lodge had been agitated for five years, for the
Grand Lodges of England, Ireland, and Scotland had lodges chartered under their
authority in this Province.
In 1861 a committee was appointed from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Scotland to act
in conjunction with a similar committee from the Provincial Grand Lodge of England
regarding the practicability of forming a Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia. Upon reference
to the parent Grand Lodges, England refused permission. Scotland never answered.
On the 16th January, 1866, a meeting of delegates from all the Scottish lodges was
held, twelve out of thirteen being represented. It was decided to call a convention of all
the lodges in the Province at Halifax on the 20th February, and at this meeting the
Grand Lodge was duly formed and M.W. Bro. W. H. Davies elected Grand Master.
From 1866 to 1869 the Grand Lodge increased to twenty-five lodges. In this latter year,
the District Grand Lodge under the English Registry decided to affiliate, as did also the
remaining lodge under Scotland. On the 23d June, 1869, the amalgamation took place,
the twenty-five English and one Scotch Lodge uniting with the twenty-five Nova Scotia
lodges under the designation of "The Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted
Masons of Nova Scotia." The three oldest lodges now working under this jurisdiction
are in Halifax and are "St. Andrew's," chartered March 28, 1768, London, Laurence
Dermott, Grand Secretary; "St. John's," chartered June 30, 1780, London, and "Virgin"
Lodge, February 18, 1782.
1906. Nova Scotia has sixty-six lodges on the roll and a membership of 4,500.
The Province of New Brunswick previous to the year 1786 formed a part of Nova
Scotia. On March 6, 1784, application was made to John George Pyke, Esq., Provincial
Grand Master elect, at Halifax, by Elias Hardy, Master of Lodge 169, for a dispensation
to establish a lodge of "Ancient York Masons" at Parr Town. Parr Town, now the City of
St. John, was named after His Excellency John Parr, Captain General and Governor-in-
Chief, and who had been elected Provincial Grand Master of the "Ancient" Masons of
Nova Scotia 1786-91.
On August 22, 1792, a Warrant was granted by the Provincial Grand Lodge at Halifax
for Solomons Lodge, No. 22 (now No. 6 on the Registry of New Brunswick), to be
located at "St. Anns," now Fredericton, the capital of New Brunswick. On June 7, 1826,
J. Albro, Provincial Grand Master at Halifax, appointed Benjamin L. Peters Deputy
Grand Master for the city of St. John and the town of St. Andrews in New Brunswick.
On March 10, 1829, a Warrant, No. 52, was made out by the Provincial Grand Lodge at
Halifax for Albion, No. 841, St. John. This lodge, formerly also under the English
Registry as No. 400, is now No. 1 on the Registry of New Brunswick.
The Act confederating the Provinces into the "Dominion of Canada" came into force
July 1, 1867. This new state of political existence brought prominently to the front the
Masonic status in each Province, and the formation of an Independent Grand Lodge for
the Province of New Brunswick was agitated. On the 16th of August, 1867, a meeting of
the Masters and Past Masters in the city of St. John was held and it was resolved to
address a circular to every lodge in the Province. On the 10th day of October, 1867,
the Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of New Brunswick was formed
by representatives of fourteen lodges. There were nineteen lodges represented, but the
delegates from St. Andrews Lodge, 364 R.S. retired from the convention, while those
from Howard, 668 and Zetland, 886 E.R., though favoring the movement, stated they
had no authority to vote for a new Grand Lodge. The representatives of two others
were not present when the vote was taken. V.W. Bro. Robert T. Clinch, District Grand
Master, E.R., was elected Grand Master but declined, as he had not resigned his office
under the English Registry. Bro. B. Lester Peters was then unanimously elected Grand
Master, the installation taking place on the 22d of January, 1868. During the year 1867-
68 ten lodges holding under the English Registry became of allegiance to the Grand
Lodge of New Brunswick, and in September, 1872, St. Andrews Lodge, at Fredericton,
also affiliated, rendering the jurisdiction of this Grand Lodge complete. 1906. There are
thirty-five lodges on the roll, with a membership of 2,200.
Although it has been affirmed by French and other writers that a lodge of Freemasons
existed in the city of Quebec in the year 1755, no records or other evidences are known
to be in existence, and Masonry in the Province only dates its existence from the time
of "Wolfe," when the "Lily" flag of the Bourbon was replaced by the "Union Jack" over
the citadel of Quebec.
Quebec capitulated in September, 1759, and among the regiments taking part in the
capture the following seven held travelling warrants for lodges, as follows: No. 245,
I.R., warranted 1754, in the Fifteenth Regiment; No. 35, I.R., warranted 1734, in the
Twenty-eighth Regiment; a lodge in the Twenty-eighth, "Louisburg," Boston warranted
1758; No. 205, I.R., warranted 1749, in the Thirty-fifth Regiment; No. 42, E.R.
"Ancient," warranted 1755, in the Fortieth Regiment; No. 192, I.R.,warranted 1748, in
the Forty-seventh Regiment, and No. 218, I. R., warranted 1750, in the Forty-eighth
Regiment. There were likewise lodges in seven or more regiments taking part in the
capitulation of Montreal, September 9, 1760, holding under English, Irish, Scotch, and
The following extracts from a document in possession of the Grand Librarian of
England succinctly tell the story of the formation of the first "Lower Canada" Grand
Lodge on December 27, 1759, in the city of Quebec.
"In the winter of 1759 the Masters and Wardens of all the Warranted Lodges held in
the Regiments garrisoned there, assembled together and unanimously agreed to
choose an acting Grand Master to preside over them. Agreeable thereto they made
choice of Bro. Guinnett, Lieutenant in the Forty-seventh Regiment, and drew out,
signed and sealed, a Warrant empowering him and his successors elected, to
congregate them together as a Grand Lodge for the intent before mentioned, they
having the Constitution as their chief guide."
"The 24th June, 1760, Brother Simon Fraser, Colonel of the Highland Regiment, was
elected to preside over the Lodges, and Brother T. Dunckerley of His Majesty's Ship
the 'Vanguard,' who was possessed with a power from the Grand Lodge of England to
inspect into the state of the Craft wheresoever he might go, installed Brother Fraser in
his high office."
This Provincial Grand Lodge for the "Province of Quebec," annually elected a Grand
Master and officers, and was in existence for thirty-two years, 1759-91. Among the
Grand Masters following the Hon. Simon Fraser were, Capt. Milborne West, 1761;
Lieutenant Turner, 1763; Hon. John Collins, 1765; Sir Guy Carleton (Lord Dorchester),
1786, and Sir John Johnson, Bart., who resided at Montreal, 1788.
According to M.W. Bro. John Hamilton Graham, LL.D., who compiled that valuable work
The History of Freemasonry in Quebec, there has been traced some forty lodges
holding under or emanating from this Grand Lodge. The first lodges it chartered were in
the city of Quebec: "Merchants," No. 1, "St. Andrews," No. 2, "St. Patrick's," No. 3, and
Select, No. 0 1759-61. The next warranted was No. 4, St. Peter's, Montreal, instituted
1761, and lapsed about 1792. The next Montreal charter was St. Paul's, No. 10, and of
date November 8, 1770, which had an existence up to 1796. Among other lodges
warranted was one at Vergennes, Vt., U.S.A., named "Dorchester," and of date May 5,
1791, granted by Sir John Johnson, Bart., Prov. G.M., and still in existence as No. 1,
In 1752 the schism occurred in the Grand Lodge of England which caused the
formation of a rival Grand Lodge under the cognomen of the "Ancients." The rivalry
between these two Grand Lodges was at its height in 1791, when "Prince Edward,"
grand-father of His Majesty King Edward VII, arrived in Quebec as Colonel of the
Seventh Royal Fusiliers, and with the advent of the "Prince" came a new era in
Masonry in the Province.
On March 7, 1792, the Grand Lodge of the "Ancients" in England issued a patent
deputing Prince Edward "Provincial Grand Master" of "Lower Canada," and on June 22,
1792, His Royal Highness was installed with great eclat, a religious service and
procession to the "Recollect Church" (R.C.) Quebec, forming part of the ceremony. In
1799 H.R.H. was created "Duke of Kent," and remained Grand Master until 1813, when
he resigned to accept the Grand Mastership of the "Ancients" in England, being
succeeded in Quebec by the Hon. Claude Denechau, M.P.P., who filled that important
post until 1822. This new Provincial Grand Lodge in a period of over thirty years, 1791-
1823, warranted some twenty-six lodges, five of them still in existence, under the
present Grand Lodge of Quebec, viz.: "Dorchester" at St. Johns; "Select Surveyors"
now "Prevost," at Dunham; "Nelson," now at St. Armand Station; "Golden Rule," at
Stanstead; and "Sussex" now St. Andrews," at Quebec. It also warranted among others
"Zion," No. 10, now No. 1 at Detroit, of date September 7, 1794, and St. Paul's, No. 12,
May 1, 1797, which was apparently formed from among some of the late members of
St. Paul's, No. 1O, under the former Provincial Grand Lodge, and again lapsed as a
provincial Lodge about 1824.
April 2, 1823, marked another era in the history of the Craft in the Province of Quebec.
The lodges in Montreal as well as others in the Province forwarded their provincial or
Canadian Charters to the "United Grand Lodge of England," and exchanged them for
Warrants under that body. They then petitioned said Grand Lodge to establish a
Provincial Grand Lodge for Montreal and the Borough of William Henry, now Sorel; and
the Grand Lodge across the ocean saw fit to grant the request, and the Hon. William
McGillivray was appointed Provincial Grand Master. The lodges in the cities of Quebec
and Three Rivers being also formed into another Provincial Grand Lodge under the
Hon. Claude Denechau.
On the 5th September, 1826, John Molson, Esq., was installed as Provincial Grand
Master at Montreal. In 1836 the Hon. John Molson died, and the Provincial Grand
Lodge did not meet again for over ten years.
On May 20, 1846, the Provincial Grand Lodge at Montreal was revived to install the
Hon. Peter McGill as Grand Master. In 1849 the Hon. Peter McGill resigned his office
and was succeeded by the Hon. William Badgley until his decease in 1888.
In "Quebec," the Hon. Ciaude Denechau, deceased, was succeeded by Thomas
Harington, Esq., 1852, and he in turn by James Dean, 1857.
The Provincial Grand Lodge at Quebec finally dissolving in 1870, the members joined
the then new "Grand Lodge of Quebec." That of "Montreal and William Henry" with
three lodges had no active existence after the formation of the Grand Lodge of Canada,
and in the later years of the late Judge Badgley, never met.
A third period of thirty years had thus elapsed when in October, 1855, the
representatives of forty-one lodges in Canada West (now Ontario) and thirteen in
Canada East (now Quebec) met in Hamilton and formed the "Grand Lodge of Canada,"
holding jurisdiction over the two Provinces.
From 1855 to 1869 the Grand Lodge of Canada was the controlling Masonic power in
the Province of Quebec, but with the birth of the Dominion came also the agitation for
separate Grand Lodges. Several meetings were held, and finally, on the 20th October,
1869, the Grand Lodge of Quebec was formed by twenty-eight of the Warranted
Lodges then in the Province, with M.W. Bro. John Hamilton Graham, LL.D., as Grand
A number of the lodges did not at once join in this movement, but gradually were
absorbed. Those remaining under the Grand Lodge of Canada (which Grand Lodge
vigorously and strenuously opposed the formation of the new Grand Lodge) continued
until September 23, 1874, when "Canada" withdrew, and its lodges affiliated with
On the 27th of January, 1881, three lodges holding under warrants from Scotland also
affiliated, leaving three claiming allegiance to the Grand Lodge of England.
1906. The Grand Lodge of Quebec has now on the roll fifty-eight lodges and a
membership of 5,000.
Canada (in Ontario).
The history of the Craft in the Province of Ontario has been exhaustively compiled by
Most Wor. Bro. John Ross Robertson in his admirable work, The History of Masonry in
Canada. Lodge No. 156 in the Eighth Regiment of Foot appears to have been the first
lodge to hold meetings in this Province, at Fort Niagara, about 1755-80. From 1780 to
1792 some ten lodges appear to have worked in what was called "Upper Canada."
Some chartered by England, others by the Provincial Grand Lodge at Quebec, among
them St. James in the King's Rangers, No. 14, at Cataraqui (Rintrston), 1781; St.
John's, No. 15, at Michilimakinac (Michigan), then part of Canada; St. John's, No. 19, at
Niagara, and Oswegatchie Lodge, 1786, at Elizabethtown (Brockville).
On March 7, 1792, Bro. William Jarvis was appointed Provincial Grand Master of Upper
Canada by the "Ancient" or "Athol" Grand Lodge of England. Bro. Jarvis resided at
Newark (Niagara), the then capital of the Province. During his Grand Mastership, 1792
to 1804, twenty warrants for lodges were issued for various parts of the Province.
In 1797 Bro. Jarvis removed from Newark to York (now Toronto), when the capital was
transferred to the latter place.
The Brethren at Niagara continued to be active and enthusiastic, and urged Bro. Jarvis
to assemble Grand Lodge there, but he refused. This refusal caused much
dissatisfaction, and the Brethren of Niagara District met in 1803 and elected Bro. Geo.
Forsyth as Provincial Grand Master, and trouble and friction ensued.
In 1817, at Kingston, a Grand Convention was called by the Lodges in the Midland
District under R.W. Bro. Ziba M. Phillips. All the lodges attended excepting those in the
Niagara District. This convention was held annually during the years 1817, 1818, 1820,
After repeated entreaty to England during these years, R. W. Bro. Simon McGillivray
came to Canada in September, 1822, with authority from the Duke of Sussex to
reorganize the Craft in Upper Canada. The Second Provincial Grand Lodge was thus
formed at York in 1822, with R. W. Bro. Simon McGillivray as Provincial Grand Master,
and met regularly up to 1830; but the Morgan excitement in the United States also told
somewhat on the Fraternity in Canada, and while a number of the lodges remained
active, the Provincial Grand Lodge became dormant and remained so until 1845.
In 1845 Masonic enthusiasm once more gained the ascendency, an urgent appeal was
sent out, and a Third Provincial Grand Lodge organized in Hamilton with Bro. Sir Allan
MacNab Provincial Grand Master of "Canada West," appointed by the Earl of Zetland.
This body was an energetic one, and continued work until 1858.
In 1853 a number of the lodges holding Irish Warrants organized a Grand Lodge, but it
was not very successful. They then endeavored to secure the cooperation of the
Provincial Grand Lodge in forming a Grand Lodge for Canada, but the Provincial Grand
Body declined. But Home Rule and a self-governing body for Canada was the idea
uppermost and would not down, and finally on October 10, 1855, a convention of all the
lodges in the two Provinces was called at Hamilton and the Grand Lodge of Canada
was formed. Forty-one lodges were represented, twenty-eight in Canada West
(Ontario) and thirteen in Canada East (Quebec), and M. W. Bro. William Mercer Wilson
was elected Grand Master.
In September, 1857, the Provincial Grand Lodge under England met and resolved itself
into an independent Grand Lodge under the name of "Ancient Grand Lodge of
Canada," but the next year in July, 1858, they united with the Grand Lodge of Canada.
In October, 1869, the majority of the lodges in the Province of Quebec held a
convention and decided to form a Grand Lodge for that Province. The Grand Lodge of
Canada strenuously opposed this new body, and an edict of suspension covering all
the lodges and Brethren taking part was issued. The Grand Lodge of Quebec, however,
becoming duly recognized by all the leading Grand Lodges of the world, the Grand
Lodge of Canada, in 1874, likewise decided to do the same and withdrew from the
Province; all the lodges of her obedience joining the Quebec Grand Body. In 1875 a
schism occurred and a number of Brethren organized a "Grand Lodge of Ontario." This
breach was finally healed and the Brethren and lodges became of allegiance to the
Grand Lodge of Canada in 1896.
In 1886 the words "in the Province of Ontario" were added to the title of the "Grand
Lodge of Canada," owing to the representations of other Grand Lodges that the title did
not represent the jurisdiction of that Grand Body.
1906. The Grand Lodge of Canada has now 395 lodges and a membership of 37,628.
The first lodge established in this Province was Victoria, No. 783, by the Grand Lodge
of England, March 19, 1859, and the first chartered by the Grand Lodge of Scotland
was Vancouver Lodge in 1862.
In 1871 the Grand Lodge of England had three lodges in the Province, and the Grand
Lodge of Scotland six lodges. A convention was held on the 21st day of October, 1871,
and the Grand Lodge of British Columbia duly organized. Eight out of the nine lodges in
the Province were represented. The Provincial Grand Master of Scotland and the
District Grand Master of England both took an active interest in the formation of the
new Grand Body, and M.W. Bro. Israel Wood Powell, M. D., was unanimously elected
In 1872 the only lodge not represented at the formation of the Grand Lodge, viz.,
"Union Lodge" of New Westminster, late 899 E.R., affiliated with twenty-three members.
In 1875 two of the lodges in Nanaimo, "Caledonia" and "Nanaimo," amalgamated under
the name of "Ashlar."
In 1878 Victoria, No. 1, and British Columbia, No. 5, of Victoria, united as Victoria
Columbia Lodge, and Vancouver and Quadra Lodges, also at Victoria, united as
Vancouver Quadra Lodge.
1906. Grand Lodge has now thirty-nine lodges and a membership of 2,859.
In 1864 a dispensation was issued over the signature of M.W. Bro. A.T. Pierson, then
Grand Master of Masons in Minnesota, and "Northern Light" Lodge was organized at
Fort Garry (Winnipeg), with Bro. Dr. John Schultz, Worshipful Master, A.G.B.
Bannatyne, S.W., and Wm. Inkster, J.W.
In 1867 Bro. Bannatyne was elected W.M. and the lodge went out of existence, shortly
before the Red River insurrection. At this time, the country was claimed by the "Hon.
Hudson Bay Co."; but when the transfer was made to Canada in 1870 and the Red
River Settlement, as it was then known, became the Province of Manitoba, the Grand
Lodge of Canada assumed jurisdiction and shortly afterward issued Charters to "Prince
Rupert's" Lodge, Winnipeg, December, 1870, and Lisgar Lodge, Selkirk.
On May 12, 1875, the three lodges then existing, viz., "is Prince Rupert," "Lisgar" and
"Ancient Landmark," held a convention and formed the "Grand Lodge of Manitoba,"
electing M.W. Bro. the Rev. Dr. W. C. Clarke as Grand Master. Unfortunately he
removed from the Province before his year of office expired.
In 1878 the question of Ritual created considerable trouble, and a number of the
Brethren endeavored to form another Grand Lodge, but happily peace was restored the
On the 28th July, 1881, a Warrant was ordered issued to "Al Moghreb Al Asku," No. 28,
to be opened at Gibraltar, but protests from the Grand Lodges of Scotland and England
following, it was shortly afterward transferred to Tangiers in Morocco.
This Grand Lodge held jurisdiction over the Northwest Territories and the Yukon
Territory as well as Manitoba until 1905, when the Provinces of Alberta and
Saskatchewan were formed, followed by the organization of Grand Lodges for these
two new divisions, upon which the Grand Lodge of Manitoba withdrew.
1906. Grand Lodge of Manitoba has now eighty chartered lodges and six U.D., with a
membership of 4,410.
Prince Edward Island.
Previous to November, 1798, Prince Edward Island was called St. Johns Island, the
name being changed by Imperial Act on that date.
On the 9th October, 1797, St. John's Lodge, now No. 1 on the Registry of that
Province, was established by Warrant at Charlottetown by the Grand Lodge of
England. The then Lieutenant-Governor, General Edward Fanning, was one of the
Charter members. In 1857 Victoria Lodge at Charlottetown was chartered by Scotland.
In 1875 there were seven lodges in this Province working under English Warrants, viz.,
St. John's, King Hiram, St. George, Alexandra, Mount Lebanon, and True Brothers, and
one under the Scottish Register, " Victoria."
On the 23d day of June, 1875, these eight lodges met and formed the Grand Lodge of
Prince Edward Island. The Hon. John Yeo was elected Grand Master and was
installed, together with his officers, the following day by M. Wor. Bro. John V. Ellis,
Grand Master of New Brunswick.
1906. There are fourteen lodges, with a membership of 635 on the roll.
Previous to October, 1905, the lodges in the "Northwest Territories" of Canada were
under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Manitoba.
The political changes which culminated in the division of these Territories into the
Provinces of "Alberta" and "Saskatchewan" on the 1st of September, 1905, brought
forward the question of Provincial Autonomy for the Craft; accordingly "Medicine Hat"
Lodge, No. 31, took the initiative and requested the Senior Lodge in the Province, "Bow
River Lodge," No. 28, to call a convention at Calgary. This convention was held on the
25th day of May, 1905, and arrangements were made for a formal meeting on the 12th
day of October, 1905. Seventeen lodges out of eighteen in the jurisdiction were
represented by seventy-nine delegates, and the "Grand Lodge of Alberta" was duly
formed, with M. W. Bro. Dr. George MacDonald elected as Grand Master. The Most
Wor. the Grand Master of Manitoba, M.W. Bro. W.G. Scott, was present at this
convention and installed the officers.
1906 Twenty lodges, with a membership of 1,206.
The Brethren of the Province of Saskatchewan assembled at Regina on the 10th day of
August, 1906, and formally resolved themselves into the "Grand Lodge of
Saskatchewan." Twentyfive lodges out of twenty-eight located in the Province were
represented. M. W. Bro. H. H. Campkin was elected Grand Master and was installed by
M. W. Bro. McKenzie, Grand Master of Manitoba.
The Ancient Colony of Newfoundland still remains without the Confederation of the
Masonry in this island dates back to 1746, the first Warrant being granted by the
Provincial Grand Lodge at Boston. Bro. J. Lane's list gives six lodges warranted in the
eighteenth century The Grand Lodge of the Ancients (England) is credited with four -
one in 1774 and three in 1788 - and the Grand Lodge of England (Moderns) with two -
one each in 1784 and 1785. Nine others were chartered by the present Grand Lodge of
England up to 1881, a number still remaining active.
WE learn from several writers that about the year 1810 Civil and Military officers of the
Monarchy introduced the "Scottish Rite" into Mexico - then the principal colony of
Spain. The Grand Lodge of Louisiana after this erected lodges in 1816 and 1817,
respectively at Vera Cruz and Campeachy. The Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania also
established a lodge in 1824 at Alvarado; subsequently confusion ensued, Masonry and
politics being so closely interwoven that any attempt at separate treatment is quite
The Escoceses and the Yorkinos divided the country into two factions, moderate
measures being in favor with the former under a constitutional monarchy, and
republican institutions being advocated by the latter with the expulsion of the "old" or
Among the Escoceses, or "Scots Masons," were persons having titles of nobility; all the
Catholic clergy; many military officers; and all classes of native Spaniards.
The republicans appreciating the progress of their opponents, resolved "to fight the
devil with his own fire," and thereupon a revival faction was organized with the title of
Yorkinos, whose members were thought to be of the York Rite. Mackey is authority for
the statement that the Grand Lodge of New York established three lodges in the city of
Mexico in 1825.
These lodges were formed into a Grand Lodge of the York Rite by Mr. Joel R. Poinsett
(American Minister), a former G.M. of South Carolina. There is no record that since the
year 1815 any foreign lodges have been warranted by the Grand Lodge of New York.
But however established, the so-called York Rite, or, in other words, pure English
Masonry, flourished, and toward the end of 1826 there were twenty-five lodges, with a
membership of about seven hundred." The Escoceses, or 'Scots Masons,' finding their
lodges deserted, regarded the Yorkinos as renegades and traitors, and with a view to
counterbalance the fast increasing power of the latter, they formed the Novenarios, a
kind of militia, which derived its name from a regulation requiring each member to enlist
nine additional adherents. These ingratiated themselves with the clergy, who, after
having been the most embittered enemies of the Craft in past years, now joined the
Escoceses almost in a body.
"The Yorkinos, becoming aware of these proceedings, tried to outdo their rivals by
recruiting their own lodges upon the plan of receiving all applicants without distinction,
provided they belong to the federal, zip., the patriotic party. Thus, the system of
Masonry very soon degenerated into a mere party question, and at last all the
adherents of one side styled themselves Escoceses, and of the other side, Yorkinos. In
1828 the two parties resorted to open warfare, with a view to deciding the question at
issue by the sword, and the civil war then commenced lasted for more than a
"Somewhere about this time, while Dr. Vincente Guerrero - G. M. under the York Rite -
was President of the Republic, a law was enacted by which all Masonic lodges were
closed. The Yorkinos obeyed their Grand Master, and discontinued their meetings. The
Escoceses went on working, but some of their most influential lodges were suppressed,
and the members vanished. Subsequently, all native Spaniards were expelled from
"This internecine strife seriously affected the Fraternity in general, and gave birth,
during the darkest hours of the struggle for supremacy, to an organization called the
National Mexican Rites formed by Masons, and composed of distinguished men, but
containing innovations and principles so antagonistic to Masonic usage and doctrine,
that it was never accorded recognition, even in Mexico, by any Masonic body of
"This new school of Masonry was established by nine Brethren of both rites, and who
had belonged to the highest grade of either system, in 1830. To guard against the
intrusion of unworthy members and the revival of political antagonism, they resolved to
create a rite which should be national, in the sense of not depending upon any foreign
Grand Lodge for its Constitution, and to obviate by safeguards and precautions of an
elaborate character, the dangers to be apprehended from the reception of either
Escoceses or Yorkinos.
"The National Mexican Rite consisted of nine degrees, which, omitting the first three,
were 4d, Approved Master (equal to the 15d, 'Scots'); 5d, Knight of the Secret (equal to
the 18d, 'Scots'); 6d, Knight of the Mexican Eagle; 7d, Perfect Architect or Templar; 8d,
Grand Judge, and 9d, Grand Inspector General. All of these degrees had their
equivalents in the grades of the A. and A. S. R. 33. With the 'St. John's' (or purely
Craft) degrees certain special signs were associated, which, however, were not
required from foreigners unless they had acted as auxiliaries in any of the party
"A Grand Orient, composed of members of the 9d, was supreme in matters of dogma or
ritual. There was also an administrative body or National Grand Lodge, whose
members were elective and met in the metropolis. The Provincial Grand Lodges had
their seats in the State capitals, and were formed by the 'three lights' of at least five St.
"But although still preserving a nominal existence, the several Grand Bodies, owing to
political convulsions, were virtually dormant for many years after 1833. A lodge - St.
Jean d'Ulloa - was constituted at Vera Cruz, by the Supreme Council of France, in
1843; and another - Les Ecossais des Deux Mondes - at the City of Mexico, by the
Grand Orient of the same country, in 1845.
"The National Mexican Rite appears to have somewhat recovered from its torpor in
1863. At that date we find in the Metropolis a National Grand Lodge with six working
lodges, though of these one - belonging to the A. and A. S. R. - was constituted by the
Grand Lodge of New Granada, and consisted chiefly of foreigners; in Toluca a Prov.
Grand Lodge with five lodges; in Vera Cruz and Guadalajara two lodges each; and in
five other cities single lodges. (1)
"In the year 1858 or 1859," according to the official report," Bro. Lafon de Ladebat went
to Mexico, with authority from Bro. Albert Pike (of Washington, D. C.) to organize and
establish Masonry on a sound basis in that country. (2) However, Bro. Ladebat did not
organize a Grand Lodge of Symbolic Masonry first, as instructed, but constituted the
Supreme Council with jurisdiction over the three degrees of E.A., F.C., and M.M." (3)
The Grand Lodge of Yorkinos ceased to exist, and the " Scots
(1) Gould, vol. vi.
(2) Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Louisiana, 1884.
(3) This was entirely in opposition to Brother Pike's wishes.
Rite," divested of all political coloring, erected - December 27, 1865 - a Supreme
Council 33d, this being done after the overthrow of the Maximilian Empire. This
Supreme Council and the Supreme Council of 1858-59 were joined in 1868 and both
were fused with the National Grand Lodge, the President of the Republic, Benito
Juarez, being one of the highest officials. However, this union was more of a friendly
pact than of a thorough nature, as each rite was independent of the other with regard to
its own ritual and internal government. The National Rite numbered thirty-two, and the
A. and A. S. R. twenty-four, lodges in 1870.
"It would seem as if the authority of Juarez alone held these rites together, since at his
death in 1872 - although he was succeeded as President by his chief follower,
Sebastian Lerdo de Tejeda, also a prominent Freemason - dissensions arose, and they
fell asunder, Alfredo Chavero becoming G. M. of the Grand Orient, and Jose Maria
Mateos of the National Grand Lodge. In 1876 a Lodge of Germans left the G.O. and
joined the National Grand Lodge, but in the following year, with the consent of the
latter, affiliated with the Grand Lodge of Hamburg - under which body there is also
(1886) another lodge at work in Vera Cruz." (1)
About 182 the two rites probably seem to have been again united, though information is
so meager that this is not definite. however, it is quite possible that the National
Mexican Rite continued to exist though its proceedings are not recorded. As far as
there is any evidence, it appears that Grand Lodges were organized by the lodges
which were under the jurisdiction of the Supreme Council. (2) the capital a Central
Grand Lodge was formed, having jurisdiction over the subordinate lodges, and there
was very little interference upon the subject of Symbolism except by the Central Grand
Lodge, though the Supreme Council did not formally waive its authority thereover.
"In I883 there were the following State Grand Lodges: Vera Crux and Jalisco, each with
seven lodges; Puebla, Yucatan, and Guanajuato, with six; and Morelos and Tlaxcala,
with five; thus making a total of seven Grand and forty-two subordinate lodges,
exclusive of the Central Grand Lodge and the metropolitan lodges.
"It will be seen that at this period there existed at Vera Cruz a
(1) Gould, vol. vi.
(2) Recommended by General Pike.
State Grand Lodge, but from the fact that it was subordinate to the Central Grand
Lodge, it was not deemed by the Grand Lodge of Colon to exercise legitimate authority
over Symbolism in that State. Indeed, the whole of Mexico was regarded by the
lastnamed body as 'unoccupied territory,' and it therefore proceeded to charter three
lodges, which in January, 1883, formed themselves, at the City of Vera Cruz, into the
'Mexican Independent Symbolic Grand Lodge.'"
"Two of the lodges taking part in this movement had originally held Mexican warrants,
but having quarreled with their superiors, solicited and obtained charters from the G. L.
of Colon (now Colon and Cuba), shortly after which the third lodge was formed, and
then, finally, the Grand Lodge, although the Supreme Council of Mexico had formerly
protested against the invasion of its territory. Indeed the step thus taken by their former
superiors appears rather to have accelerated the action of the three lodges, as in the
record of their proceedings it is stated, 'that they hasten to constitute themselves into
an Independent Grand Lodge, pending the protest of the Supreme Council of Mexico,
to relieve their friend and mother, the Grand Lodge of Colon, from any further
'The Supreme Council of Mexico, in a Balustre numbered XXX., and dated April 25,
1883, renounced its jurisdiction over the symbolical degrees, and promulgated a variety
of relations with regard to Grand and subordinate lodges. This threw the Craft into the
utmost confusion, and might have ended in the destruction of the greater number of
Mexican lodges, or at least in the establishment of some half dozen Grand Bodies, all
claiming supremacy, had it not been for the skill and address of Carlos Pacheco, who
succeeded Alfredo Chavero as Sov. G. Com. 33d.
"The former Balustre was revoked, and by a new one (XXXII.), dated May 27, 1883, the
Supreme Council renounced, in favor of the State Grand Lodges then existing or which
might afterward be formed, the jurisdiction over Symbolism conferred upon it by the
Constitutions of the A. and A. S. R. 33d. The transmission of powers was to take effect
from June 24th them ensuing. The lodges having no Grand Lodge were to remain
under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge nearest to them, or the oldest if two were
equidistant, until they organized their own in accordance with Masonic usage and
precedent. The lodges of the Federal District, however, were directed to form and
inaugurate their Grand Lodge on June 15th then following. Balustre XXXII. was signed
(inter alias) by Carlos Pacheco, Mariano Escobedo, Alfredo Chavero, and Porfirio Diaz.
"On June 25, 1883, twelve lodges at the capital met and established the Grand Lodge
of the Federal District (or city) of Mexico, with Porfirio Diaz as the first G. M. The event
was announced to the Masonic world in two circulars, the first of which is in Spanish -
an immense document of one hundred and eighty pages! The second is in English, and
its only noticeable feature is a declaration that the American system of State Grand
Lodges, each with exclusive jurisdiction, has been adopted. Grand Lodges have since
been established on the same plan - i.e., in conformity with the edict of the Supreme
Council, as promulgated in Balustre XXXII. - in the States of Vera Cruz, Tlaxcala,
Morelos, Puebla, Campeachy, and Lower California. The complications, however,
already existing in the Republic, were still further increased in 1883, by the action of
the Grand Lodge of Missouri, in granting a Charter to the Toltec Lodge, in the City of
Mexico, which had been provisionally established at the close of the previous year
under a dispensation from the Grand Master."(1)
"The recognition of the Grand Lodge of which Porfirio Diaz became the head, by the
Grand Lodges of Louisiana and Florida, was duly protested against by Carlos Pacheco,
Sov. G. Com. 33d, and Carlos K. Ruiz, the latter of whom claimed to be himself the
legitimate G. M. It would appear from ' La Gran Logia,' a bulletin published by some
members of the Ruiz Grand Lodge, and denominated their official organ, that on the
same day, at the same hour, and in the same hall, when and where the Diaz Grand
Lodge was organized and installed, the other body was organized also. There was this
difference, however, that whereas the Diaz party transacted their affairs within the body
of the lodge, the supporters of Ruiz were reduced to the necessity of attending to theirs
in the anteroom - the latter Brethren having withdrawn from the original convention
while it was being organized, but not leaving the building, in the vestibule of which they
afterward conducted their own proceedings." (2)
(1) Gould, vol. vi.
Extract from Proceedings of Grand Lodge of Iowa.
Report on Foreign Correspondence, Theo. S. Parvin, Chairman, 1896.
"The year 1890 opens before us the new, and present era of Mexican Masonry. The
functions of the Supreme Council being limited and confined to the legitimate Scottish
Rite degrees 4th and 33d, inclusive, with no organized jurisdictions of Masonry of the
symbolic degrees except the Grand Lodges of the State of Vera Cruz and the Federal
District (city of Mexico), both of which had been recognized by the Grand Lodge of Iowa
as well as many other Grand Lodges, the Lodges, to the number of one hundred and
twenty-two of the one hundred and twenty-five, met in convention, and after a session
of ten days, on the 20th of July, 1890, unanimously created and organized a new and
governing body of Masonry, styled 'The Gran Dieta Symbolical or the Grand Diet of
Symbolic Masonry for the Republic of Mexico. It elected for its Grand Master, and who
has since by annual re-election been continued in office, Bro. Porfirio Diaz, the
distinguished and illustrious President of the Republic; and for its Grand Secretary
another distinguished citizen and Mason, Ermilo G. Canton, the Clerk of the Supreme
Court of the United States of Mexico, who also, by annual reelection, still continues in
"The Gran Dieta promulgated a Constitution of forty-seven pages, consisting of eleven
titles and one hundred and forty-five articles. The three sections of this Constitution
relating to Masonic power and authority, read as follows (we give the translation):
"'ARTICLE 30. The powers of Symbolic Masonry in this Republic are constituted in the
governing Grand Lodge, which goes by the name of the "Grand Symbolic Diet of the
United States of Mexico," whose duty it shall be to watch over the welfare, absolute
liberty and independence of the three blue degrees, or Symbolic Lodges, under the
Grand Lodges of the different States.'
"'ART. 31. The Sovereign Masonic Power resides essentially and originally in the great
body of Masons, who deposit their obedience for its exercise in the Grand Diet.'
"'ART. 32. The Supreme Authority of Symbolic Masonry shall have the title, 'Grand
Symbolic Diet of the United States of Mexico.'"
"All of the Grand Lodges save three that of the State of Vera Cruz, the Federal District,
and one other - together with the subordinate Lodges that had not participated in its
organization, transferred their allegiance to the Gran Dieta. These constituent Lodges
now number about two hundred, and the membership exceeds ten thousand; the
reporter for the Grand Lodge of Texas makes the former two hundred and fifty, and the
latter twenty thousand - too high, I think - among whom I found, during my visit, were
enrolled among its members not only the President of the Republic, but the Governors
of all the principal States (some sixteen of which I visited), the Mayors of the cities, and
the Judges of the Supreme Court. The Gran Dieta is, therefore, a sovereign and
independent body, organized after the manner of the Grand Masonic Bodies of the
United States. It, and it alone, exercises supreme authority and control over 'the three
symbolic degrees of masonry' in Mexico.
"The constituent elements in the Gran Dieta of Grand and Subordinate Lodges and in
the membership consists of Masons both of the York and Scottish Rite. We have
learned from the general history presented, that there was at one time some twenty
Lodges, with a membership of near eight hundred, that had obtained their charters from
Grand Lodges in the United States, and that the old York element has existed in
Mexico ever since, and, like the leaven of old, will yet under fostering care more and
more each year permeate the system of Masonry now established upon a new basis.
The ritual, however, used in a majority of these Lodges and Grand Lodges is that of the
three degrees of the Scottish Rite as practiced in Lodges created by the Supreme
Council, the exceptions being the Lodges composed exclusively or principally of
American citizens resident in the various cities of the Republic, in which the American
ritual is used. There are now some half dozen so-called American Lodges - that is,
Lodges composed of American citizens resident in Mexico and other cities of the
Republic. These Lodges all hold their charters from the Grand Dieta, which is and must
continue to be the only governing body of Symbolic Masonry in Mexico. The last effort
of the Grand Lodges in the United States to establish a Lodge in Mexico, was that of
the Grand Lodge of Missouri which chartered Toltec Lodge some ten or more years
ago, but which, upon the organization of Gran Dieta, surrendered its charter and took
out one from the Gran Dieta, under which it now works.
"There are thousands of American citizens, hundreds of them being Masons, residing
in the various cities in Mexico, many of whom are affiliated with the so-called American
Lodges, while others yet hold membership in the Mexican Lodges, and this number is
increasing each year.
"Upon the organization of the Gran Dieta it made no special effort to secure recognition
of American Grand Lodges, and it was some two or three years later that the Grand
Lodges of Texas and New York recognized it, as they do still, and then the subject of its
recognition was presented to other Grand Lodges, which deferred action for further
information, as it had been currently reported, especially through a publication issued
by an American resident of the city of Mexico, that the Gran Dieta by its constitution
authorized the making of women Masons, and prohibited the use of the Great Light in
their lodges. These statements I had heard and read while I was yet writing the Reports
on Correspondence for this Grand Lodge, and so declined to present the subject of
recognition of the Gran Dieta to the Grand Lodge of Iowa until I could satisfy myself
more fully in relation to these rumors developing into published statements. I examined
the Constitution of the Gran Dieta, to which I have referred, and could find nowhere
within it any provision prohibiting the use of the Great Light in their Lodges, or
authorizing the making of women Masons; the Constitution is entirely silent upon both
subjects. During my visit to the ltepublic of Mexico in February and March of 1895, I
had an opportunity to satisfy myself upon these subjects. I found that the Gran Dieta
did not, by any law, much less constitutional provision, prohibit or exclude the Great
Light from its altars - it did and does permit its use; it does, however, require by law the
use of the Book of Constitutions upon its altars. I found during my visit to Lodges and
Grand Lodges in some, and especially all of the American Lodges, the Great Light
open upon the altar; in other Lodges the Book of Constitutions only; and
notwithstanding the requirement that the Book of Constitutions should be used, I found
in some Lodges that it was laid aside in open view, and the Great Light substituted, and
the action was not called in question by any authority. It is not true, therefore, as has
been stated, that the Bible is excluded; its use, while permitted, is not required.
"In reference to this subject, I fail to find any warrant or requirement in the 'Book of
Constitutions,' the Constitution or Code of Iowa, or any other Grand Lodge I have
examined, requiring the use of the Great Light in our American Lodges. The
Constitution of the United States has no reference to God or a Supreme Being, and
many of our Presidents, in their annual messages, have omitted all reference to a
Supreme Being, so that a class of Christians are year after year clamoring for an
amendment to that National Charter, as if we would become more a Christian nation by
its insertion. The 'Book of Constitutions' not only does not, any more than the
Constitution of the Gran Dieta, require the use of the Bible in Lodges, but, on the
contrary, we learn from it that it 'charges the Masons of every country to be of the
religion of that country or nation,' and so, of course, authorizes the use of the book of
the religion of the people of such country and nation. It has been well said by high
authority that 'he that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone.' Until the
Grand Lodge of Iowa and other Grand Lodges, by constitutional or legal enactment,
shall first require the use of the Great Light in their Lodges, let them be sparing of their
criticisms and censure of another supreme and independent Grand Lodge possessing
all the rights and privileges they claim. Without the exercise and practice of this
Christian and Masonic charity, Masonry can never become, as the Constitutions affirm
it is, 'the center of union and the means of conciliating true friendship among persons
that must otherwise have remained at a perpetual distance.' Our people and Masons
are fast becoming important factors in the business and social relations (even marrying
and being given in marriage) of the cities of the Mexican Republic; they are already in
large numbers enrolled as members of their Lodges; and if given a Chance, will yet
bring the Masonry of that country more in harmony with ours.
" Another of the objections urged heretofore against the recognition of the Gran Dieta
is, that it made Masons of women. From a thorough examination of the Constitution, I
learn that this was not authorized or warranted by any constitutional provision; it was
not, indeed, until a year later, in 1891, that the Gran Dieta, by a law provided for the
initiation of women, and also for the issuing to them of charters for Lodges. From what I
saw and the best information l could obtain, there were some two or three only of the
Grand Lodges that had sanctioned this practice, and about the same number of Lodges
that had acted under the permission thus given. I found both in the city of Mexico and
the city of San Luis Potosi, which is the capital of the State of the same name, and a
city of about the size of our State capital, Des Moines - a woman's Lodge; that is, I saw
the charters hanging upon the wall of the ante-room side by side with the charters of
some four or five men's Lodges occupying the same hall; the charters were filled out
upon the same blanks, in the same manner, signed by the same Grand Officers, and
with the great seal of the Gran Dieta - the only difference being the insertion in one, of
the names of women rather than of men. Moreover, I find from an examination of the
Masonic Bulletin, the official organ of the Gran Dieta for 1891-94, edited by the Gran
Dieta, and especially in the number for February, 1893, which contains the official list
of a hundred and more Lodges all owing obedience to the Gran Dieta, among them one
or two Lodges of women, chartered by the Gran Dieta and organized by the Grand
Secretary himself, as I was informed by the brethren. In the official Bulletin for
February, 1892, pages 175-201, there is a list of the officers and members, of some
twenty Lodges, all of them constituent members, of the Gran Dieta, and among them I
find that of Martha Washington Lodge, No. 156, with a list of the names of its officers
and members, and the name of the Master is Maria C. Beall, the Secretary Josefina S.
Rivera. These ladies I know very well - have known the former from her childhood -
Mrs. Beall is a native of Iowa City, was educated in our State University (where for
years, I was a professor), was graduated in 1876, and went to Mexico as a missionary,
where she met and married her husband, who was a member at that time and later
Master of a Mexican Lodge in the same city, as his name appears in the published
record to which we have referred. The father of this lady is and has been for many
years a leading physician of Iowa city, and a prominent Mason for half a century. The
Secretary is the niece of the Governor of the State, the Grand Master of the Grand
Lodge, and the daughter of Gen. Rivera, one of the leading citizens of the Republic,
and the second officer in a Lodge that has in its membership several prominent
Americans, among them the Rev. Mr. Winton, who has long been a resident of the city,
and thoroughly informed as to Mexican Masonry. From them I learned, as also from the
Masters and other officers of Mexican Lodges I visited in the city of Mexico, that the
women were accustomed to visit the men's Lodges at pleasure.
"Wherever I went and visited, either Grand or subordinate Lodges, being received with
the greatest courtesy and welcomed by eloquent addresses delivered by the Grand
Orator, an officer attached to every Lodge for the purpose of welcoming visitors, I took
occasion in my responsive addresses, which I delivered upon every occasion and at
considerable length, to cite attention to this practice, which I found had obtained in a
few cases, and which was very objectionable to American Masons; and I assured them
that while it continued, many of our Grand Lodges would not recognize the Gran Dieta,
under whose jurisdiction they worked. I was everywhere informed, in public and in
private, that an overwhelming majority of the Lodges and members were opposed to
the practice, and were very anxious to be brought into closer and more intimate
relations with American Masons and Masonry. This sentiment was communicated to me
by President Diaz, who honored me with two very interesting interviews, as also by his
Deputy, both in the Supreme Council and Gran Dieta, and other prominent Masons.
"A few months after my return home I learned that the Gran Dieta had repealed the law
under which women were authorized to be made Masons, and upon receiving this
information, I replied that that would not satisfy American Masons; they must go further,
and provide by law for the revocation of charters issued to women, and still more, deny
to them the right of visitation to men's Lodges, both of which the Gran Dieta has since
done, as I am informed. Further than this I do not see what they could do. They cannot
unmake the women who are made Masons any more than we can by expulsion declare
that a man is no longer a Mason. We only do as they have done, deny them all the
rights and privileges of Masonry.
"The making of women Masons is not a new departure in Masonry; its has only been
more recent, upon a larger scale, and brought nearer home. Every well-read Mason
knows full well that in the last century a Lodge in Ireland, Num. 44, at Doneraile,
initiated a woman, Miss Elizabeth St. Leger, daughter of the Right Honorable St. Leger,
Viscount Deneraile, whose son and successor was Master of the Lodge at the time.
She afterwards married Hon. Richard Aldworth, of the County of Cork, and has left a
most honorable record as a woman and a woman Mason. Moreover, the Masonic
student may learn that during the reign of Napoleon, the First Emperor, a woman was
made a Mason, he being Grand Master at the time. she was a colonel, and a very
brave and distinguished officer in his army; served with distinction for many years, and
her sex was not discovered until she was severely wounded, when, upon her recovery,
the Masons, prompted by a spirit of gallantry, conferred upon her the three symbolic
degrees. Within the past decade the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Hungary, a
Symbolic Grand Lodge, which takes a prominent part the present year with the officials
and people of Hungary in the celebration of their Millenium Festival, a thousand years
of honorable history, conferred, himself, the degrees of Masonry upon his own wife.
While the Masonic press commented upon this last case as Masonic historians have
upon the former, I have yet to learn that any Masonic Grand Body ever withdrew, or
even withheld, their recognition from those Grand Lodges of Ireland, France, and
Hungary. They were all recognized by the Grand Lodge of Iowa as independent Grand
Masonic Bodies; and it was only when the Grand Lodge of France eliminated from its
ritual the requirement of 'a belief in a Supreme Being,' that the Grand Lodge of Iowa,
following the example of the Grand Lodge of England, and later followed by American
Grand Lodges other than our own, withdrew its recognition, or rather, refused to hold
further Masonic intercourse with that Grand Body.
"Another, and the third, objection has been very recently urged against the recognition
of the Gran Dieta as a lawfully constituted Masonic body, and the very sweeping
charge has been made, not only against the Gran Dieta, but against very many of the
Grand Lodges of the world, especially those of Europe, Asia, Africa and South America,
nearly all of which owe their origin to Supreme Councils of Scottish Rite Freemasonry.
It has been published that 'there is no lawful Masonry anywhere that is not descended
from the Free and Accepted Masonry of the British Isles, the Masonry of the Charges of
a Freemason;' and it is declared by the same writer that this is 'an indisputable fact.' He
further says that the Lodges in Mexico are 'clandestine;' that 'their members are
impostors and dissenters from the original plan of Masonry,' and that 'whoever visits
them violates his Masonic vows.' If these statements be true, then all the Grand Lodges
to which we have referred are clandestine, and their members are impostors and
dissenters, and all who visit them, as and thousands of other American Masons have
done, are guilty, as charged, of violating our vows. The writer affirms that the
statements made by him are 'indisputable facts.' They are not only disputed now, but
have been through the whole history of Freemasonry in the United States. In the
Reports on Correspondence of the past year, Past Grand Masters Drummond, of
Maine, and Anthony, of New York, two among the ablest Masonic writers of the day,
and certainly the peers in Masonic knowledge of any other two in the country, not only
deny the statement, but affirm, to which an overwhelming majority of Grand Lodges and
Masonic writers give their adherence quite as 'indisputably,' that 'a Lodge created by a
Supreme Council in a country where, by the Masonic law then prevailing, it may be
done, is just as lawful a Lodge, and its Masons as regular Masons, as any to be found
outside of those which can trace their origin back to the British Grand Lodges. The
bodies of the York Rite do not,' they say, 'embrace the whole of pure and accepted
Masonry.' To this I give my unwavering adherence.
"One of the so-called landmarks of Masonry, and quite as essential and important in its
character, and which has received the assent of quite a large number of Masonic
writers, affirms and declares that 'Masonry is cosmopolitan,' and is universal, in which
statement they are borne out by the Book of Constitutions itself.
"Let us refer briefly to the history of the English Grand Lodge. The first Grand Lodge of
which Masonic history gives any record, is that of England, organized by the 'four old
Lodges of London' in 1717. The Constitution (Charges and Regulations) for its
government was presented by Dr. Anderson (and since known by his name), and
adopted in 1823. This Grand Lodge, we all know, was constituted by only four Lodges,
leaving a larger number out in the cold, while the Gran Dieta was constituted by one
hundred and twenty-two of the one hundred and twenty-five Lodges in the Republic.
While there had never been an earlier Grand Lodge, there had been and were at that
time other Lodges constituted in the same way as those four - by voluntary action and
without any warrant or authority save the brothers' common consent. Now, the
Constitution of the Grand Lodge of England, then and there adopted for its government
and it alone - for it was not and is not binding upon any Lodge or Grand Lodge till
accepted as such - is either a truth or a lie. It reads, Head. VI, Division 2, that 'we are
also Masons of all nations, tongues, kindreds, and languages,' which is corroborated by
all history; that there was at that time other and 'lawful Masonry' elsewhere than in
England. England, while her political flag floats on every sea, has no 'monopoly' of
Masonry, outside of her own dominions. There was and is 'lawful Masonry' in other
parts of the globe, and so recognized by the Grand Lodge of England itself, by
Scotland, Ireland, Canada, and all English colonies, as by a majority of the Grand
Lodges of the United States, including Iowa. It cannot be said, as some have asserted,
that the Lodges in other nations sprung from the loins of the English Grand Lodge,
because at that date, 1723, the Grand Lodge of England had not warranted a single
Lodge beyond England and it was several years before she constituted one beyond the
"Not only has the Grand Lodge of Iowa, but a majority of the Grand Lodges of this
country as well as those of England and Europe have recognized the Grand Lodges of
Cuba, Veracruz, and the Federal District in Mexico, together with those of Chili, Peru,
Brazil, Argentine Republic, and others in the Western Hemisphere, and in the Eastern,
those of Spain, Portugal, Italy, Roumania, Hungary, and others, all of which, as we
have stated, were created by supreme Councils. We have not had time to look into
many of the proceedings of Grand Lodges, but those which we have at hand, and into
which we have looked, are those of California, Canada, Louisiana, New York, as well
as Iowa, all of which have recognized the aforesaid Grand Lodges as lawfully
constituted Grand Lodges of Masons. It will never do for us or others to assert that all
knowledge, all wisdom, and all Masonic intelligence reside either in Illinois or Iowa, or
any other American Grand Lodge, or even in the Grand Lodge of England, which has
always acknowledged and recognized a majority, if not all, of the several Grand Lodges
we have named. Moreover, the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of England, the
Prince of Wales, who has served his Grand Lodge and Freemasonry now for twenty-
one years, was made a Mason in a Lodge under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of
Sweden; and the Grand Lodge of Norway, which is now seeking recognition at our
hands, has been recognized recently by some of the American Grand Lodges, as well
as in former years by others.
"These statements and averments prove that Masonry is universal, wide spread and
cosmopolitan in its character; it embraces, as the Constitutions say, 'Masons of all
nations, tongues, kindreds, and languages,' Mohammedan, Hindoos, and even Pagans
have Lodges and Grand Lodges, using the Koran, the Vedas, and other sacred books
of their religion, instead of the Bible. I have myself sat in Lodges and Grand Lodges
with native aboriginal Americans, full-blooded Indians. One of the Presidents of the
United States, a former Grand Master of a Grand Lodge, ordered the degrees of
Masonry conferred upon Indian chiefs visiting the Secretary of War at the National
capital on business pertaining to their nation, and those men had very little knowledge
of the Great Light in Masonry, or of any other sacred book, except the great volume of
nature, and as little, also, of the Book of the Constitutions, or the laws of the Grand
Lodge under whose jurisdiction they were made.
"Let us inquire what is a 'clandestine Lodge' and see whether Lodges I visited in
Mexico were 'clandestine.' What is a 'clandestine Lodge,' and an impostor and
dissenter or 'clandestine Mason?' The (Anderson) Constitutions declare, Section 8, that
where a number of Masons shall take upon themselves to form a Lodge without the
Grand Master's warrant, the regular Lodges are not to countenance them nor own them
as fair brethren, and duly formed.' In other words, a Lodge formed without a warrant
from the Grand Master (we now say Grand Lodge) is s clandestine,' and so a
'clandestine Mason' is one made in a Lodge without a warrant. The Gran Dieta
Symbolica of Mexico, and the Lodges under its obedience, are as regular and legal
bodies of Masons as is the Grand Lodge of Illinois, Iowa, England, or any other Grand
Lodge in the world. The Gran Dieta is composed of Grand and subordinate Lodges that
obtained their charters from both Supreme Councils of the Scottish Rite and Grand
Lodges of the York Rite, but that does not militate, there more than here, against its
"So, too, a lawfully-constituted (warranted) Lodge cannot make 'clandestine Masons.'
There is a great difference between an 'irregularly-made' and a 'clandestinely-made'
Mason. The making of a person who is not a 'good and true man;' one who is not
'freeborn;' one who is not of 'mature and discreet (legal) age;' or a 'bondman,' a
'woman,' or an 'immoral or scandalous man,' and not of 'good repute,' is declared by
Anderson's Constitutions to be irregular and not permissible - but that irregularity does
not make them 'clandestine.' There are few, not any among all my brethren of many
years' standing in Masonry, who have not visited Lodges which had violated one or
more of these six commandments, called by some 'landmarks.' The violation of a
'landmark' by a Lodge or Grand Lodge does not make it or its members clandestine.
Were this so, the Grand Lodge of England itself, the oldest of Grand Lodges, would be
declared clandestine by all English-speaking Grand Lodges in the world, for there is no
fact more notorious than that the Grand Lodge of England, very many years ago, upon
the manumission of slaves in its colonies, changed one of the fundamental landmarks,
so recognized, from 'free born'into 'free man,' and thereby authorized the making of,
and did make, Masons of those who were born in slavery. Moreover, the Grand Lodges
of England, of Pennsylvania, and several other Grand Lodges in the United States -
even our neighboring Grand Lodge of Missouri - knowingly, and I may say willfully,
made Masons of those of nonage. We have residing in the State of Iowa to-day a
Mason made a Mason in his eighteenth year in a Lodge in Missouri, and the Lodge so
making him was fully cognizant of the fact. These are irregularities, and no irregularity,
however great, can vitiate the charter or the legal existence of the body performing the
act, however offensive it may be in the eyes of the brethren.
"Any and all Masons may visit any and all Lodges in Mexico without violating, as
charged by the ignorant or malicious, any O.B. of which I have any knowledge, or
known to the rituals here or elsewhere from the first to the thirty-third and last degree in
"The Grand Lodge of England was the first Grand Lodge and it was not created till
1717, nor its Constitution adopted till 1723; (1) yet within twenty years there was a
schism and a secession of a number of brethren, who constituted another Grand
Lodge, calling themselves the 'Ancients,' and by some strange hocus pocus their
mother Grand Lodge the 'Moderns' - all this about the middle of the last century. This
new schismatic, Clandestine Grand Lodge, engineered by a more intelligent, active and
energetic Grand Secretary,
(1) Constitution was adopted 1721, and first edition printed 1723. - EDITOR.
Laurence Dermott, grew rapidly, and soon assumed large and permanent proportions.
It, too, published a Book of Constitutions, called by its author, the Grand Secretary, the
'Ahiman Rezon,' and planted its Lodges 'at home' and abroad, especially in America,
for Bro. Hughan, the great Masonic antiquarian and historian, says that it secured the
'almost unanimous support of the Grand Lodges of America.' That 'a stream cannot rise
above its fountain,' 'nor can a pure stream flow from an impure fountain,' are
unquestionably axioms in nature and in Masonry. Now, there are a few Grand Lodges
in the United States in whose veins the blood of the 'Ancients,' the 'rebel Dermott,' and
his clandestine Grand Lodge, so declared from 1750 to 1813, when the mother Grand
Lodge condoned all offenses and gave her the 'kiss of peace,' better by far than that of
the 'betrayal.' If there is no Dermott blood in Iowa and Illinois, the veins of the Grand
Lodge of Pensylvania are full of it, and they still glory in their 'Ahiman Rezon,' and
reject and 'cast over among the rubbish' the Anderson's Constitutions. Nor is the Grand
Lodge of Pennsylvania alone in this, but she has illustrious associates; and yet who
ever heard of an Illinois or Iowa Mason, or one from any other jurisdiction, calling those
Grand Lodges clandestine, or refuse, Masonically, to visit their Lodges or hold Masonic
intercourse with their members, charging them with being 'impostors and dissenters
from the original plan of Masonry?'
"The difference between the Masonry of Mexico and the United States is just here:
Their origin and pedigree is more pure and lawful than ours, while their practices were
not only objectionable to us but to others, and to even a majority of their own
membership, as they have repealed and abrogated the law under which such
objectionable practices had obtained by only two of the twenty or more Grand Lodges,
and the same number out of more than two hundred subordinate Lodges.
"It has been publicly proclaimed that the Gran Dieta has not only repealed the law
under and by which women were made Masons, but revoked and recalled the charters
(only three, and that is three too many) granted to women Lodges, but gone further -
further they could not go - and forbidden Lodges to admit women Masons as visitors or
to recognize them (though they be as lawful Masons as the men).
"The Gran Dieta being a lawfully constituted Masonic Body, with some two hundred
Lodges and (it is stated) twenty thousand members, with several American Lodges and
many of our citizens affiliated therein, and having not only proved that it did not forbid
or exclude, but permits, as she has always, the use of the Great Light and moreover
settled the question of the past woman, she knocks at the door of the American Grand
Lodges for recognition. Let it be borne in mind that recognition is not essential, or even
necessary to legality. It only bears in its train a more enlarged and fraternal intercourse
among and between their members
CUBA AND PORTO RICO
On December 17, 1804, the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania chartered at Havana Le
Temple des Vertus Theologales, No. 103, Joseph Cerneau being the first Master.
Under the same sanction other lodges were erected - in 1818, Nos. = 157, 161; in
1819, Nos. 166, 167; in 1820, No. 175 (at Santiago de Cuba), and in 1822, No. 181.
They existed up to 1826, at which time the charters of Nos. 175 and 181 had been
revoked for failure of meeting for more than a year, and the others had died out. The
Grand Lodges of Louisiana and South Carolina next assumed the warranting of lodges
on the island. Under the former Grand Lodge, bodies sprang up, in 1815, No. 7, in
1818, Nos. 11 and 14, and under the latter in 1818, No. 50, and in 1819, No. 52. The
Grand Orient of France in 1819 established a lodge and consistory (32), and two
further lodges in 1821. The Grand Lodge of South Carolina received from the G.L. of
Ancient Freemasons in Havana in 1821, a communication stating that a Grand Lodge
had been organized there, to which the Lodge La Amenidad, No. 52, desired
permission to transfer its allegiance. A favorable answer was returned, but La
Constancia, No. 50, was retained on the roll of the G. L. of South Carolina for some
years, after which the Warrant was surrendered by the members "in consequence of
the religious and political persecutions to which they were subjected."
For many years Masonry languished in the is Pearl of the Antilles," its votaries
practicing their rites in secret, but not daring to indulge in any overt acts, which might
entail not only expulsion from the country, but also confiscation of their property. At
length, however, a faint revival set in, and a Warrant was granted, November 17, 1859,
by the Grand Lodge of South Carolina to St. Andrew's Lodge, No. 93, "for the purpose
of establishing, with the co-operation of two other Lodges (1) already existing on the
island, a Grand Lodge," which was accomplished on December 5th of the same year.
An independent "Grand Lodge of Colon" was thus established at Santiago de Cuba,
and - December 27, 1859 - a Supreme Council of the A. and A. S. R. 33d was founded
in the same city by Andres Cassard. (2)
At this time, it must be recollected, the practice of assembling as Freemasons was
forbidden by the Spanish laws, which laws, moreover, though destined to become -
after the dethronement of Queen Isabella (1868) - innocuous in the Peninsula,
remained for a long time in full force in Cuba.
Several, indeed, of the Captains General and other officers who ruled the islands were
Masons, and therefore from time to time the Craft was tolerated, but its members being
always compelled to work to a great extent in the dark, found it necessary to observe
the most inviolable secrecy, and even to shield themselves under "Masonic names,"
lest by the discovery of their own, they might incur the most grievous penalties.
For the same reason the Supreme Council and the Grand Lodge, which soon after
united in forming a Grand Orient, found a convenient title for the amalgamated body in
the name of Colon - the Spanish for Columbus - it being desired above all things to
conceal from the public ken the seat of the "Grand East" of the Society.
At the formation of the Grand Orient of Colon, a constitution published at Naples in
1820 was adopted as that of the new organization. By this the Supreme Council
necessarily became a section of the Grand Orient. In 1865 a new constitution was
promulgated. The Sov. G. Com. of the Supreme Council became - ex officio - G.M. of
the Grand Orient, but the G.M. of the Grand Lodge was still required to submit himself
for election. All charters for lodges were issued by the Grand Lodge, but had to be
confirmed and vised by the Supreme Council.
In 1867 the Grand Lodge promulgated a constitution of its own, in which, while
recognizing its continued membership of the Grand
(1) Brothers Albert Pike and Josiah H. Drummond agree that these were Spanish
lodges, having warrants from Spain.
(2) Sanctioned by S. C. 33d Southern Jurisdiction.
Orient, it claimed the exclusive power to enact its own by-laws, issue charters,
constitute and regulate lodges. Their right to do this was denied by the Supreme
Council. In 1868, September 30th, the Grand Lodge suspended its constitution until a
meeting took place of the Grand Orient, convoked for November 30th. But before that
time the revolution broke out, and Freemasons, being regarded by the Spanish
Government as revolutionists, the G. O. could not meet. The Grand Lodge, so far as it
was possible, resumed labor. But the times were unpropitious. In the winter of 1869, at
Santiago de Cuba, by order of Gonzales Bret, an officer of the Government, eighteen
persons were seized without warrant, and immediately shot, without trial, for being
Freemasons - one of them the M.W.G.M. of Colon - and many others were arrested
and committed to prison for the same offence.
The number of Cuban lodges, which in 1868 amounted to about thirty, had fallen in
1870 to about seven, and in the latter year the S. C. organized a Provincial Mother
Lodge at Havana, against which the Grand Lodge very naturally protested. The
Warrant to this if "Mother Lodge" was soon after recalled, but the dispute between the
S. C. and the Grand Lodge continued. In 1873 - April 11th - the Grand Lodge resumed
work openly, and in the following year entered into a compact with the Supreme
Council, whereby it was agreed that the former should have exclusive jurisdiction over
Symbolic Masonry, with the sole right of chartering lodges, and that it should establish
a Provincial Mother Lodge in the western section of the island to govern the lodges
there, but in submission to the laws of the Grand Lodge. After this compact it was
intended that the Grand Lodge, though still nominally a section in the Grand Orient,
should have full jurisdiction over the Symbolic Masonry. Nevertheless, it is quite clear
that there was a divided authority, and apparently great Masonic confusion on the
The Grand Lodge of Colon held five meetings in August, 1876, at the last of which -
August 26th - it declared itself free from all other authority, a sovereign body, with full
and unlimited powers over its subordinates.
This action, however, was accelerated by an event which had taken place on August
1st, when the representatives of nine chartered lodges, and of four under dispensation,
met at Havana, and formed the Grand Lodge of Cuba. This body from the very first kept
itself free from the blighting influence of the (so-called) high degrees, which it willingly
consented - December 31, 1876 - should be ruled in Cuba by the Grand Orient of
Spain. In a circular of September 4, 1876, the Grand Lodge of Colon claimed to have
on its register thirty-six lodges and 8,000 members; while its newly formed rival, the
Grand Lodge of Cuba, in 1877, possessed an apparent following of seventeen lodges.
In the latter year - June 3d - a second Grand Lodge of Colon (or Columbus) at Havana
was added to the two existing Craft Grand Bodies.
Thus we find three organizations, each claiming to be the regular Grand Lodge. From a
circular of the Grand Lodge of Cuba, we learn that in 1879 the three lodges which
formed the Grand Lodge of Colon, at Santiago de Cuba in 1859, and four others,
adhered to that body; but that the remaining lodges, excepting those under the Grand
Lodge of Cuba, were subject to the control of the Grand Lodge of Colon at Havana. To
local jealousies must be attributed this multiplication of Grand Lodges. The
representatives of some of the Havana lodges who seceded from the old (or original)
Grand Lodge of Colon at Santiago de Cuba, met as the Grand Lodge, and decreed its
removal to Havana.
Eventually, however, the Grand Lodges of Colon (at Havana) and Cuba formally united,
and March 28, 1880, the G. M. of one body became Grand Master, and the G. M. of the
other body Deputy Grand Master. The title assumed by the new organization was the
United Grand Lodge of Colon and the Island of Cuba, and it entered upon its career
with a roll of fifty-seven lodges, and between 5,000 and 6,000 Masons. The lodges
under the original Grand Lodge of Colon at Santiago de Cuba remained true to their
In 1885 the number of lodges under the "United Grand Lodge" had apparently
increased to eighty-two, with Provincial Grand Lodges at Santiago de Cuba and Porto
Rico; but on the official list there were only fifty-eight lodges in all upon the roll. Of
these, thirty are in the capital, or in its vicinity, and twenty-eight in other parts. It is
possible that further schisms may have disturbed the peace of Cuban Masonry; and it
is somewhat remarkable that the Provincial Grand Lodge of Porto Rico - with the
fourteen subordinate lodges on that island, shown in sundry calendars for 1886 - have
wholly disappeared in the official list of current date.
It only remains to be stated, that, from the statistics before me, there would appear to
have been in existence on the island thirteen lodges under the National Grand Orient,
and twenty-seven under the Grand Lodge of Spain. The latter were subject to a Prov.
G. M., whose jurisdiction also extends to Porto Rico.
Since the suppression of Masonry in Cuba by Spanish authority, and the murder of
Masons at Santiago de Cuba, no authentic information of the status of the Institution in
the island has been attainable. No official documents have been issued, but after the
war of the United States with Spain ended, a notice announcing that several bodies of
the Fraternity in the island had resumed their labors was issued, and under the new
regime there is no doubt that Masonry will flourish there, and its prosperity spread into
other parts of the Antilles.
The early Masonic history of this island is very vague and conjectural, as are all
questions relating to the problem of Spanish Masonry. In 1860, at Mayaguez, there was
in existence a Lodge Restauracion under the G. O. of Colon, but the changes which
took place in Cuba during the struggle for existence of the Grand Lodges there, had
their influence throughout all of the Spanish islands.
The lists show that the Provincial Superintendent of Cuba and Porto Rico under the
Grand Lodge of Spain (of which Becera was the G. M.) was Don Manuel Romeno. The
lodges are not enumerated in the list, but five are on the roll of the Grand Orient of
Spain, however, without a Provincial Superintendent named. Le Phenix, No. 230,
constituted in 1874, was the only lodge representing the S. C. of France. At one time
the United Grand Lodge of Colon in Cuba had under its jurisdiction fourteen lodges in
the island. However, these were formed into an Independent Grand Lodge, September
20, 1885. The greatest centres of Masonic activity have been San Juan, Ponce, and
Mayaguez, the last-named toxvn not only having two lodges, but also a consistory of
32d, a council of 30d, and a chapter of 18d.
While the lodges of Porto Rico severed their connection with the "United Grand Lodge"
of Colon in the island of Cuba, the chapters and other associations of Masons in this
Spanish dependency retained their allegiance to the Supreme Council of the same title.
Upon this a little light is thrown by the action of Don Antonio Romero Ortiz (at the same
time presiding over the Grand Lodge of Spain), who, in a decree, dated March 13,
1883, "denounced the Grand Lodge of Colon and Cuba, and the Masons of its
obedience as traitors to the Government and to the Mother Country," simply because
they declined to recognize his authority to govern or interfere in the affairs of
"Symbolical Masonry" in Cuba. In the same year the United Grand Lodge of Colon and
Cuba announced by circular that there being in all three Supreme Councils and three
Grand Lodges in Spain, it had recognized the Grand Lodge of Seville as being "the
only really independent organization of Craft Masonry" then existing in that country.
This, of course, was dealing very summarily with the pretensions of the Grand Lodge
(or Orient) under Ortiz, which Mr. Albert Pike pronounced to be the only Grand Body in
Spain legitimately entitled to recognition as a regular Masonic body. The name last
quoted being, as many will be aware, that of the Sov. G. Com. of the S. C. 33d for the
U. S. A., Southern Jurisdiction - the body of which he is the head being to other
Supreme Councils what the Grand Lodge of England is to other Grand Lodges, and his
own personal authority perhaps ranking higher than that of any other Mason either in
the Old World or the New.
The Grand Lodge and Supreme Council of Colon and Cuba have therefore followed
different roads, the latter treading in the beaten track traversed by Supreme Councils in
amity with that presided over by the patriarch and law-giver of the rite, and the former
boldly striking out a path of its own.
Owing to the state of political affairs in the island, and from the influential position held
by Ortiz in Spain, the charges he made were calculated to subject the Cuban Masons
both to surveillance and persecution on the part of the authorities. At Porto Rico the
circumstances were somewhat different. Out of Cuba itself the S. C. of Colon was long
regarded - and not alone by votaries of the A. and A. S. R. 33d - as a more stable
institution than any other of the numerous Grand Bodies which sprang up like
mushrooms in the island. When, therefore, the two governing bodies at Havana, each
in its own way, attempted to solve the problem of Craft sovereignty in Spain, it is not to
be wondered at that the confusion existing in the peninsula was reproduced with more
or less fidelity in the Spanish Antilles. In Porto Rico there were no less than five
chapters of 18d, besides a council of 30d, and a consistory of 32d. These, as already
related, adhered to their allegiance; but the lodges on the island set up a Grand Lodge
of Porto Rico at the city of Mayaguez in 1885, and it is satisfactory to state that the
Grand Lodge of Colon and Cuba subsequently established fraternal relations with the
FREEMASONRY IN ASIA
We are greatly indebted to Gould's "History of Freemasonry" for the following sketches
of Masonry in Asia and other countries in the Eastern Hemisphere. He says: "It has
been the practice of Masonic writers to pass lightly over the history of Free Masonry in
non-European countries and to exclude almost from mention the condition or progress
of the Craft, in even the largest Colonies or Dependencies within the sovereignty of an
Old World Power."
Information on this point must be sought amid the records of the countries discussed.
Too little emphasis has been laid by writers upon other than European countries, and
slight attention given to their dependencies. Of these latter Findel says: " The lodges
existing in these quarters of the globe were one and all under the Grand Lodges of
England, Scotland, Holland or France, and therefore their history forms an inseparable
part of that of the countries in question." This statement, to say the least, is inexact.
Owing to the varied admixture of peoples found in the Asiatic countries into which
Europeans have entered, the practice of the craft emanates from many different
While in the Greater Antilles arose Masonic Innovations claiming equality with or
superiority over the Grand Authority of the Craft, in the Lesser Antilles, lodges
connected with different European Grand Bodies existed in the same localities. This
state of affairs necessarily induced a convict of jurisdiction. Rebold says:
"After Holland had become incorporated with the French Empire (July, 1810), the
Grand Orient of France assumed the control of all the Dutch Lodges which then
existed, with the exception of those of the Indies. which remained under the obedience
which had created them, and which carried on the title of Grand Lodge of the United
Provinces of the Low Countries."
Likewise the Provincial Grand Lodge of Bengal, in British India, was more than once
independent in fact, if not in name, and its archives must be examined for Hindostanee
Freemasonry or else nothing would be known of lodges the names of which do not
appear upon the rolls of those European Grand Bodies under which Findel avers they
George Pomfret was authorized in 1728 by the Grand Lodge of England "to open a new
Lodge in Bengal." This lodge was established in 1730 by Captain Ralph Farwinter, the
successor of Pomfret, as "Provincial Grand Master of India." This lodge is described as
No. 72, Bengal, and is distinguished by the arms of the Company in the Engraved Lists.
James Dawson, Zech Gee, and Roger Drake, in order, succeeded Captain Farwinter.
Drake was Governor of Calcutta, but escaped the horrors of the Black Hole in 1756 by
flying to the ships. He returned with Clive, but does not appear to have resumed his
At the period in question it was the custom in Bengal "to elect the Prov. G. M. annually
by the majority of the voices of the members then present, from among those who had
passed through the different offices of the (Prov.) Grand Lodge, who had served as
Dep. Prov. G. M."
Under this practice Samuel Middleton was elected in 1767 and confirmed October 31,
1768. But a few years previously Earl Ferrers had granted a roving commission to
"John Bluvitt, commander of the Admiral Watson Indiaman for East India, where no
other Provincial is to be found." The annual election referred to was confirmed by the
Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of England without its being thought an infringement
upon his prerogative. But the dispensation confirming Middleton's election was
regarded as abrogating annual elections. He held office until his death in 1775.
The records of the Bengal Grand Lodge only extend back to 1774. But prior to this date
other lodges were formed. A second one, of whom nothing, save its existence, is
known, arose and seven members of this organized a lodge April 16, 1740, and on
petition the Grand Lodge of England ordered "the said Lodge to be enrolled (as
requested) in the lists of regular lodges, agreeable to the date of their Constitution."
Other lodges were formed at Chandernagore, Calcutta, Patna, and Burdwan, the
names of only some of which are preserved, but the numbers given them show that
others must have existed.
In 1774 there were only three lodges in Calcutta. Besides these and the lodges at the
other places mentioned, there were lodges at Dacca, Moorshedabad, and "at some
military stations or with army brigades."
"The Grand Lodge of Solomon at Chinsura," which was under Holland, worked in
harmony with the Provincial Grand Lodge under England, visits being interchanged and
officials of both engaging in the same ceremonies.
"In 1775, February 15, the Prov. Grand Lodge, 'taking into consideration the propriety
of preserving concord and unanimity, recommend it to the Brethren who call
themselves "Scott and Elect" that they do lay aside the wearing of red ribbons, or any
other marks of distinction, but such as are proper to the Three Degrees, or to the Grand
Lodge as such, 'a request, we are told, which was cheerfully complied with."
Upon the death of Middleton in 1776, Charles Stafford Pleydell was elected in his
stead. Under Philip Milner Dacres, the successor of Stafford, the Prov. Grand Lodge of
Bengal assembled for the last time January 25, 1781.
The war in the Carnatic, which nearly swept Masonry out of India, had much to do with
"Industry and Perseverance" of the lodges in Calcutta, "where alone in Bengal Masonry
may be said to have existed," may be said to be the only one which survived with a
However, the Provincial Grand Lodge was re-opened July 18, 1785, under George
Williamson, a former Deputy P.G.M., under a patent from England appointing him
Acting P.G.M., and authorizing a meeting for election of Grand Master.
Upon an election November 14th, Edward Fenwick, former Grand Warden, was
elected, receiving six votes, while Williamson received four. The former was installed
March 17, 1786, though under his patent Williamson was clearly entitled to hold his
acting appointment until the confirmation from London of the election of Fenwick.
This led to trouble. Williamson was sustained by the Grand Lodge of England, but the
Prov. Grand Lodge maintained its position and, despite protests, Fenwick continued in
the duties of his office and his election was confirmed May 5, 1788.
A letter of February 6, 1788, from the Prov. Grand Lodge to Grand Secretary White
contains the following:
"An interesting account of the state of Masonry in Bengal appears in a letter of
February 6, 1788, from the Prov. Grand Lodge to Grand Secretary White, from which I
extract the following:
"'We earnestly wish to see the whole number of Lodges which existed in 1773 or 1774
reestablished. But the Subordinates at Patna, Burdwan, Dacca, and Moorshedabad
now consist of such small societies, and these so liable to change, that we must
confess it rather to be our wish than our hope to see Lodges established at any of
"At this assembly, the Wardens of Lodge 'Star in the East' said their meetings had been
interrupted, because, in the absence of the Prov. Grand Lodge, no new Master could
be installed. Williamson, however, ordered them to proceed with the election of a new
Master, and engaged to convene a Prov. Grand Lodge for his installation.
"A letter from G. Sec. White, dated March 24, 1787 - continuing to Williamson the
powers specified in his patent of 1784 - was read in the Prov. Grand Lodge on August
27 of that year. In the discussion which ensued, the Master of Lodge Star in the East
observed: . . . 'Mr. Williamson, whose affairs have long been in a most anxious
situation - who has been obliged, for a long time past, to live under a foreign jurisdiction
- who now cannot come to Calcutta, but on a Sunday, or, if he comes on any other day,
is obliged to conceal himself during the day time, and to be extremely cautious how he
goes even when it is dark!'
"The patent, however, did not arrive in India until March 4, 1789.
"'With respect to the Brigades, they have been divided into six of Infantry and three of
Artillery. This regulation has lessened the number of officers in each, and they will be
more liable to removals than formerly. The first circumstance must be a great
discouragement to the formation of Lodges in the Brigades, and the second would
sometimes expose such Lodges to the risk of being annihilated. However, we shall give
all encouragement to the making of applications, and all the support we possibly can to
such Lodges as may be constituted.'
"A grand ball and supper was given by the Prov. Grand Lodge, January 14, 1789, to
which invitations were sent, not only to residents in Calcutta, but also to 'Bro. Titsingh,
Governor of Chinsurah, and other Masons of that Colony; to Bro. Bretel, and the other
Masons of Chandernagore; and also to the Masons of Serampore, and to the Sisters of
these Colonies, according to what has been customary on such occasions formerly.'
"In 1790 - December 27 - Fenwick resigned; and on the same day the Hon. Charles
Stuart was elected and installed as his successor. The latter, however - owing to the
government of the country devolving upon him in consequence of the absence of Lord
Cornwallis from Calcutta - appointed Richard Comyns Birch 'Acting Prov. G. M. of
"The Lodges in the Presidency are thus described in the Freemasons' Calendar for
Star in the East, Calcutta, 1st Lodge of Bengal 1740
Lodge of Industry and Perseverance, Calcutta,
2d Lodge of Bengal 1761
Lodge of Unanimity, Calcutta, 3d Lodge of Bengal 1772
Anchor and Hope, Calcutta, 6th Lodge of Bengal 1773
Lodge of Humility with Fortitude, Calcutta,
5th Lodge of Bengal 1773
Lodge of True Friendship, with the 3d Brigade,
4th Lodge of Bengal 1775
At Futty Ghur, Bengal 1786
Lodge of the North Star, Fredericksnagore,
7th Lodge of Bengal 1789
At Chunar, in the East Indies, 8th Lodge of Bengal 1793
Lodge of Mars, Cawnpore, 9th Lodge of Bengal 1793"
There was also another lodge, the Marine Lodge, Calcutta, and a Stewards' Lodge
under the Grand Lodge of England.
From the first two lodges of the above list the officers of the Prov. Grand Lodge had
always been selected, which induced resentment upon the part of the other lodges.
This feeling brought about a general defection from the Prov. Grand Lodge of Bengal
and by consequence from the Grand Lodge of England. An ephemeral lodge - No. 146
- under the Atholl (or Ancient) Grand Lodge was established at Calcutta in 1767, but no
others were founded until later.
"The Lodges 'True Friendship' and 'Humility with Fortitude' were the first who
transferred their allegiance, the former becoming No. 315, or No. 1 of Bengal, Dec. 27,
1797; and the latter, No. 317, or No. 2 of Bengal, April 11, 1798. The 'Marine Lodge'
followed their example, and obtained a similar warrant - No. 323 - March 4, 1801.
Meanwhile, Lodge 'Star in the East' fell into abeyance, and 'Industry and Perseverance'
was on the point of closing also. One meeting only was held in each of the years 1802,
1803, and 1804, after which, for a long period, there were no more. Lodge 'Anchor and
Hope' obtained an Atholl warrant as No. 325 - Oct. 11, 1801. Little is known of Lodge
'Unanimity,' which, though carried forward at the union (1813), must have died out at
least several years before.
"During the ten or eleven years that intervened between the obliteration of the Prov.
Grand Lodge and its re-establishment in 1813, Masonry in Calcutta was represented
almost exclusively by the Lodges which had seceded from the (older) Grand Lodge of
"On St. John's Day (in Christmas), 1809, the Lodges, True Friendship, Humility with
Fortitude, Marine, No. 338 (Ancients) in the 14th Foot, and the 'Dispensation Lodge,'
working under a warrant granted by No. 338, walked in procession to St. John's
Church, where a Masonic sermon was delivered by the Rev. Dr. James Ward.
"Happily, Lodges Star in the East, and Industry and Perseverance, were revived in
1812, and on December 22 of that yeas; accompanied by the 'Officers' Lodge,' No. 347
in the 14th Foot, and Humility with Fortitude, also walked in procession to the same
church, and benefited by a like sermon from Dr. Ward.
"On October 4, 1813, the Earl of Moira - who had been appointed Acting Grand Master
of India - arrived in Calcutta. The first Masonic act of the Governor-General was to
constitute a new Lodge in that city - the Moira, Freedom and Fidelity - November 8, and
his second, to re-establish the Prov. Grand Lodge of Bengal under the Hon. Archibald
Upon the union of the two Grand Lodges, the "Atholl" lodges, three in number, at
Calcutta came under the jurisdiction of the Prov. Grand Lodge.
Two others of the secession are not mentioned in the records of the Province, 1814-40.
"At the period of this fusion, there were the following Lodges under the old sanction:
The Stewards, Star in the East, Industry and Perseverance, and Sincere Friendship
(Chunar). Of these Lodges, the first never held a London warrant, and the last was
struck off the roll inadvertently at the Union. There were also then in existence the
Moira Lodge, and three others, constituted since the revival of the Prov. Grand Lodge,
the names of which head the following table of Lodges erected during the period 813 -
Moira, Calcutta, November 13, 1813,
Oriental Star, Noacollee, April 21, 1814.
Aurora, Calcutta, June 23, 1814.
Courage with Humanity, Dum Dum, July 12, 1814.
Northern Star, Barrackpore, July 18, 1816.
Sincerity, Cawnpore, January 8, 1819.
Hasting Lodge of Amity and Independence, Allahabad, April 9, 1821.
United Lodge of Friendship, Cawnpore, June 13, 1821.
Humanity with Courage, Prince of Wales' Island, July, 1822.
Amity, St. John's, Poona (Deccan), January 30, 1824.
Kilwinning in the West, Nusseerabed, October 20, 1824.
Larkins' Lodge of Union and Brotherly Love, Dinapore, October 20, 1824
lndependence with Philanthropy, Allahabad, October 26, 1825.
South-Eastern Star of Light and Victory, Arracan, October 26, 1825.
Tuscan, Malacca, October 26, 1825.
Royal George, Bombay, December 9, 1825.
Union and Perseverance, Agra, October 23, 1826.
Kilwinning in the East, Calcutta, December 23, 1826.
"Out of these eighteen Lodges, however, only seven - Nos. 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 13, and 18
above - secured a footing on the roll of the Grand Lodge of England, and it is not a little
curious that of the two now alone surviving, Courage with Humanity (1814), and
Independence with Philanthropy (1825), which were placed on the general list in the
same year (1828) in juxtaposition, the latter bears the earlier number, and has the
The Duke of Sussex empowered Earl Moira, whose sway extended over India, to
appoint Provincial Grand Masters, as if appointed by himself.
Acting Prov. G. M. Seton, leaving India in 1817, the Governor General, Marquis of
Hastings, selected Hon. C. Stuart to succeed him, but he does not appear to have
qualified. So Hon. C. R Lindsay was appointed by Marquis of Hastings, Prov. G. M.
January 17, 1818, and by the Deputy G. M. of India January 13, 1819.
November 30, 1818, request was made to the Grand Master of India by eight persons
for permission to meet as a lodge at St. Andrew, to make the Hon. Mountstuart
Elphinstone a Mason and also to install him, when made, as deacon. No record of any
reply has been kept.
John Pascal Larkins succeeded Lindsay as D.G.M. of India and Prov. G. M. of Bengal
December 24, 1819. He returned to Europe in 1826, and until 1840 the Craft in Bengal
was ruled by a Deputy in Calcutta. From this resulted the overthrow of all order and
"The Lodges in Bengal made their returns regularly, and forwarded their dues
punctually, to the Prov. Grand Lodge; but as no steps were taken for the transmission
of these returns and dues to their destination, the Grand Lodge of England ceased to
notice or regard the tributary Lodges of Bengal. On the submission of a motion for
inquiry - March 22, 1828 - the Deputy Prov. G.M. 'felt himself constrained to resign his
chair on the spot, and the Grand Wardens also tendered their resignations.'
"This led, at the instance of Lodge Aurora, to the formation of a representative body,
styled the Lodge of Delegates, who were charged with the duty of preparing a memorial
to the Grand Lodge of England, which, bearing date August 22, 1828, was sent to the
Duke of Sussex, signed by the Masters and Wardens of the following Lodges: True
Friendship, Humility with Fortitude, Marine, Aurora, Courage with Humanity, and
Kilwinning in the East.
"To this no reply was vouchsafed. The letters of the Lodges in Bengal remained
unanswered, and their requests unheeded. The usual certificates for brethren made in
the country were withheld, notwithstanding that the established dues were regularly
remitted; and applications for warrants were also unnoticed, though they were
accompanied by the proper fees. This state of affairs continued antil 1834, when the
question of separation from the Grand Lodge of England was gravely and formally
mooted in the Lodges. Overtures for a reconciliation at length came in the shape of
certificates for brethren who had by this time grown gray in Masonry. Answers to letters
written long ago were also received; but the most important concession made by the
Grand Lodge of England was the constitution of the first District Grand Lodge of Bengal
- under Dr. John Grant - which held its first meeting, February 28, 1840."
"In 1834 some Masons at Delhi applied to their brethren at Meerut for an acting
constitution of this kind, which might serve their purpose until the receipt of a warrant
from the Grand Lodge of England. At the latter station there were two Lodges, one of
which, however, was itself working under dispensation, and could not therefore
dispense grace to another. The other belonged to the 26th Foot, No. 26, under the
Grand Lodge of Ireland. This Lodge declined giving a dispensation, for the somewhat
Irish reason that the Cameronian Lodge had already granted one to another Lodge, of
the propriety of which act they had great doubt; and that until an answer had been
received from Ireland they could not commit a second act of doubtful legality! The
custom, however, was a very old one. In 1759, Lodge No. 74, I.R., in the 1st Foot (2d
Batt.), granted an exact copy of its warrant - dated October 26, 1737 - to some brethren
at Albany, to work under until they received a separate charter from Ireland. This was
changed - February 21, 1765 - for a warrant from George Harrison, English Prov. G.M.
of New York; and the Lodge - Mount Vernon - is now No. 3 on the roll of the Grand
Lodge of that State." (1)
In the British Army the Grand Lodge of Ireland has been the favorite of Grand Bodies,
and yet only one stationary lodge has been erected in India under its jurisdiction. This
was in 1837 at Kurnaul, but it seems to have lived only one year. At Bombay, in 1862,
an attempt was made to organize another lodge. But the attempt failed, as the Grand
Lodge of Ireland refused a warrant on the ground that there were already two
jurisdictions in India, the English and Scotch.
(1) Cf Barker. "Early Hist. of the Grand Lodge of New York," preface, p. xviii
"In the decennial periods 1840 - 50 and 1850 - 60 there were in each instance 12
additions to the roll. In 1860 - 70 the new Lodges amounted to 19, and in 1870 - 85 to
38. These figures are confined to the English Lodges, but extend over the area now
occupied in part by the District Grand Lodges of Burmah and the Punjaub, both of
which were carved out of the territory previously comprised within the Province of
Bengal in 1868. The following statistics show the number of Lodges existing - January
1, 1886 - in the various states and districts which until 1868 were subject to the
Masonic government of Bengal: under the Grand Lodge of England - Bengal (D.G.L.),
39; British Burmah (D.G.L.), 7; and Punjaub (D.G.L.), 24. Under the Grand Lodge of
Scotland, II - the earliest of which, St. David (originally Kilwinning) in the East, No. 371,
Calcutta, was constituted February 5, 1849.
"The Dutch Lodges in Hindostan have passed out of existence, but with regard to
these, and also to certain other Lodges established by the Grand Lodge of Holland in
various places beyond the seas, the materials for an exhaustive list are not available to
At this place in 1752 was established the earliest lodge in Southern India. In 1765 three
others were formed at the same station. Captain Edmund Pascal was appointed
Provincial Grand Master for Madras and its Dependencies, about 1756. In the following
year a fifth lodge was erected at Fort St. George. The other English settlements in India
were dominated by this presidency for a short period, and the Carnatic figures largely
in Indian Masonic history during the latter half of the 18th century owing to the
continuous wars with the French, and afterward with Hyder Ali and his son.
"In 1768 a lodge - No. 152 - was established by the Atholl (or Ancient) Grand Lodge of
England at Fort St. George; and in 1773 one by the Grand Lodge of Holland at
Negapatam. The next event of importance was the initiation, in 1776, of Umdat-Umara,
eldest son of the Nabob of Arcot, at Trichinopoly, who in his reply to the congratulations
of the Grand Lodge of England, stated 'he considered the title of an English Mason as
one of the most honorable he possessed."'
A Provincial Grand Lodge under the Atholl sanction was established at Fort St. George
in 1781, " but the dissensions in the settlements had so rent asunder every link of
social life, that even the fraternal bond of Masonry has been annihilated in the general
Under Brigadier-General Horn, "Prov. G.M. for the Coast of Coromandel, the
Presidency of Madras and parts adjacent," the union of the Brethren in Southern India
All the older lodges at this time seem to have been extinct; but there was established at
Arcot in 1786 the C.M.L. The following year Lodge No. 152 tendered its allegiance to
General Horn and joined one of the lodges under that officer.
Of these, four were added to the roll in 1787. Nos. 510 - 513 - Perfect Harmony, St.
Thomas Mount; Social Friendship, Madras; Trichinopoly; and Social Friendship, St.
Thomas Mount - and styled Nos. 3, 4, 5, and 6, Coast of Coromandel. Two other lodges
were also established in the same year, the Stewards and Perfect Unanimity, which,
according to the loose practice of those days, were given the places on the list of the
two earliest Madras lodges, and became (in 1790) Nos. 102 and 233 respectively.
A lodge of happy nomenclature - La Fraternite Cosmopolite - was constituted at
Pondicherry in 1786 by the Grand Orient of France, and a second - Les Navigateurs
Reunis - 1790.
In the latter year - July 5th - John Chamier received a similar patent, as Prov. G.M., to
that previously held by General Horn, and was succeeded by Terence Gahagan, 1806,
and Herbert Compton, 1812. During this period four lodges were added to the roll -
Solid Friendship, Trichinopoly, 1790; Unity, Peace and Concord, 1798; St. Andrew's
Union, 19th Foot, 1802; and Philanthropists, in the Scotch Brigade (94th Foot), 1802, at
Madras. These lodges were numbered 572, 574, 590, and 591 on the general, and 7,
9, 10, and 11 (Coast of Coromandel) on the local, lists respectively.
After the union the Province was ruled by Dr. Richard Jebb, 1814; George Lys, 1820;
and in 1825 by Compton once more. The name of this worthy only disappears from the
Freemasons' Calendar in 1842, and with it the provincial title, "Coast of Coromandel" -
exchanged for "Madras," over which Lord Elphinstone had been appointed Prov. G.M.
Within this period - 1814 - 42 - numerous Lodges were warranted locally, as in Bengal;
but thirteen only - of which seven were in Madras itself - secured places on the London
Eighteen English lodges have since been established in the Presidency, and there are
at present in existence twenty lodges on the register of England and two on that of
Scotland - both erected in 1875 - but the introduction of Scottish lodges into India will
be referred to in the ensuing section.
The French lodge of Pondicherry - La Fraternite Cosmopolite - was revived (or a new
one established under the old title) in 1821. Another - L'Union Indienne - was erected
at the same station in 1851. At the present date, however, there exist throughout India
and its dependencies no other lodges than those under the Grand Lodges of England
and Scotland respectively.
During the 18th century there were established in this Presidency a lodge at Bombay in
1758, and one at Surat in 1798, which were carried on in the lists until 1813, but
disappear at the union. Jas. Todd was appointed in 1763 Provincial Grand Master, and
his name only drops out of the Freemasons' Calendar in 1799. The 78th foot, a
regiment under Sir Arthur Wellesley in Mahratta war, and which took part in the
decisive victory of Assaye, received an Atholl Warrant in 1801. A lodge at Poona was
established in 1818. No more were established in the Presidency until 1822, when the
Benevolent Lodge, Bombay, was placed on the lists. In the Bombay Artillery in 1823
there was "installed" at Poona a military lodge as No. 15 - Orion in the West - Coast of
Coromandel, November 15th. The Proceedings of this lodge show that members "were
examined in the Third Degree T.D. and passed into the chair of the Fourth Degree" -
paying a fee of three gold mohurs.
"Among the Masons about this time in Bombay were thirteen non-commissioned
officers who were too poor to establish a lodge of their own, and too modest to seek
admittance in what was considered an aristocratic lodge. They met, however, monthly
in the guard-room over the Apollo Gate, for mutual instruction in Masonry. This coming
to the knowledge of the Benevolent Lodge, the thirteen were elected honorary
members of No. 746, for which they returned heartfelt thanks. At their first attendance,
when the lodge work was over, and the Brethren adjourned to the banquet, the thirteen
were informed that refreshments awaited them downstairs. Revolting at the distinction
thus made among Masons, they one and all left the place. The next morning they were
sent for by their commanding officer, who was also one of the officers of the lodge, and
asked to explain their conduct. One of the party - Mr. W. Willis (by whom this anecdote
was first related to me) - told him that as Masons they were bound to meet on the level
and part on the square, but as this fundamental principle was not practiced in No. 746,
of which they had been elected honorary mernbers, they could not partake of their
hospitality. The astonished Colonel uttered not a word, but waived his hand for them to
retire. Ever after this, the Benevolent Lodge - including the thirteen - met on the level,
both in lodge and at the banquet-table." (1)
Burnes, in 1836, may be best described, in ecclesiastical phrase, as a Prov. G.M. "in
partibus infidelium," for whatever lodges then existed throughout the length and
breadth of India were strangers to Scottish Masonry. But the times were propitious.
There was no English Provincial Grand Lodge of Bombay; and under the Chevalier
Burnes, who had been bountifully endowed by nature with the qualities requisite for
Masonic administration. " Scottish Masonry presented such attractions, that the strange
sight was witnessed of English Masons deserting their Mother Lodges to such an
extent that these fell into abeyance, in order that they might give their support to lodges
newly constituted by the Grand Lodge of Scotland. In one case, indeed, a lodge -
Perseverance - under England went over bodily to the enemy, with its name, jewels,
furniture, and belongings, and the charge was accepted by Scotland."
"From this period, therefore, Scottish Masonry flourished, and English Masonry
declined, the latter finally becoming quite dormant until the year 1848, when a lodge,
St. George, No. 807 on the roll of the Grand Lodge of England, was again formed at
Bombay, and for some years was the solitary representative of English Masonry in the
Rising Star, No. 413, was established by Burnes at Bombay, for the admission of
natives - a beautiful medal, cut by Wyon, was
(1) Gould's "Hist" vol. vi p. 354, note 2.
(2) Ibid., vol. vi., p. 335
struck in consequence - No. 414, St. Andrew in the East, at Poona was formed by him.
Nos. 421, Hope, Kurrachee, and 422, Perseverance, Bombay, 1847, followed.
In 1824 there was established at Poona a second lodge which, however, has passed
out of existence and left no trace thereof. The civilian element of the military lodge at
Poona, No. 15, seceded in 1825 and, also at Poona, formed a lodge, 802, the Lodge of
Hope. At this point Lodge 15, unrecognized at home, aided in the secession of some of
its members who obtained a Warrant, on the recommendation of the parent lodge, from
the Grand Lodge of England.
In 1828, Perseverance, No. 818, was erected at Bombay. No notification of the
existence of Orion in the west had been received by the Grand Lodge of England, nor
had any fees been paid, though regularly paid to the Provincial Grand Lodge of the
Coast of Coromandel, though this was not ascertained until 1830. Also it was
ascertained that the Prov. G.M. of the Coast of Coromandel had gone beyond his
powers in permitting the erection of a lodge at Bombay, though ultimately there was
granted from England July 19, 1833, a new Warrant, No. 598.
As yet there had been no invasion of the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of England;
but the Grand Lodge of Scotland, in 1836, appointed Dr. Jas. Burnes Prov. G. M. of
Western India and its Dependencies. But not until January 1, 1838, was a Prov. Grand
Lodge formed. Subsequently there was erected in Eastern India a second Scottish
Province. This was absorbed within the jurisdiction of Dr. Burnes on the retirement of
the Marquis of Tweeddale, who became Prov. G.M. for all India, in 1846, with the
proviso, however, that any future subdivisionof the Presidencies was not to be
restrained by this appointment.
After this, in Bengal, Scottish lodges were established - Kilwinning in the East,
Calcutta, 1849; and in Arabia Felix, Aden, 1850. At the beginning of 1886, from the
Grand Lodge of Scotland, there had been received charters by nineteen lodges under
Bombay, eleven under Bengal, two under Madras, and one in Afghanistan - thirtythree
lodges in all.
In 1849, Burnes, leaving India, was succeeded in Western India only by a Prov. G. M.
However, Captain Henry Morland became Prov. G. M. of Hindustan in 1874, and
subsequently became Grand Master of All Scottish Freemasonry in India.
Of the lodges under the Grand Lodge of England, St. George, erected in 1848, was the
only representative of its class for ten years. However, "Concord" and "Union" were
established at Bombay and Currachee respectively, in 1858. From its dormancy, "Orion
in the West " aroused a year later. A Provincial Grand Lodge was established in 1861,
and other subordinate lodges were subsequently chartered.
At first Freemasonry did not take any real root among the native population of India.
"Umdat-ul-Umara, son of the Nabob of Arcot, was admitted a member of the Society, in
1776. The princess Keyralla Khan (of the Mysore family) and Shadad Khan (ex-Ameer
of Scinde) joined, or were made Masons in, the lodge of "True Friendship" in 1842 and
1850 respectively; and in 1861 the Maharajahs Duleep and Kundeer Sing were initiated
in lodges "Star of the East" and "Hope and Perseverance" - the last-named personage
at Lahore, and the other three in Calcutta.
A By-law of the Prov. Grand Lodge of Bengal, forbidding the entry of Asiatics without
the permission of the P.G.M., was in force until May 12, 1871; and there was at least a
popular belief in existence so late as 1860, that Hindus were ineligible for initiation.
The Parsees of Western India were the first of the native races who evinced any real
interest in the institution, and are to be congratulated on the recent election (1886) of
one of their number - Mr. Cama - to the high position of Treasurer of the Grand Lodge
In 1876 a Scottish lodge, No. 587, "Islam" - presumably for the association of
Mohammedans - was erected at Bombay. The extent to which Freemasonry is now
practiced by the Hindus - who form 73 1/2 per cent. of the total population of India - I
am unable to determine. The first of this class of religionists to fill the chair of a lodge
was Mr. Dutt, whose election in 1874 may not have been without influence in the
diffusion of Masonic light.
The Indian Freemasons' friend, a publication of rare merit, was set on foot at Calcutta
in 1855, but was short-lived. A new or second series was commenced in May, 1861,
and lasted to the end of 1867. In Bombay, the Masonic Record of Western India enjoys
an extensive circulation, and is very ably conducted.
East India Islands.
Ceylon. - This, for convenience, is grouped under the heading "East India" and in these
islands the Grand Lodge of Orient established Masonry. In 1771 Fidelity was erected at
Colombo; in 1773 Sincerity at Point de Galle; in 1794 Union, another at Colombo.
When the British possessed themselves of the Dutch settlements on the Island, it was
annexed to the Presidency of Madras, but in 1801 was formed into a separate crown
colony. The Grand Lodge of Scotland granted a Charter February 9, 1801, to the 51st
Regiment, stationed at Colombo, for the Orient Lodge. There were also formed on the
islands two other lodges under Atholl (or Ancient). In 1810 Sir AlexanderJohnston was
appointed Prov. G.M. by the Grand Lodge of England, though his name disappears
from the lists before 1838. However, greater activity was displayed under other
jurisdictions. At Colombo, in 1821, an Irish lodge was erected, and in 1822, a French
one under the G.O. In 1832 there was revived the latter, or there was formed a new
lodge of the same name.
There was established at Bencoolen, in 1765, an English lodge, and in 1772 and 1796,
at Fort Marlborough, two others. Until 1813 these appeared in the lists, but the
"Marlboro," which ultimately became No. 242, was carried forward at the union but was
erased March 5, 1862, having omitted to make any returns for several years. Under
John Macdonald, in 1793, Sumatra was erected into an English Province, and he was
succeeded by H.R. Lewis, as Prov. G. M., December 10, 1821, but continued to hold
office until his death in 1877, there having been in existence at the date of his original
appointment one lodge, and none at all for fifteen years preceding his decease.
The Grand Lodge of Holland constituted a lodge - Star in the East - into this island in
1769. There are no precise records, but it is known that others sprung up in the Capitol
and larger towns. In 1771 there was erected at Batavia a second lodge, and at Sama
rang in 1801, and at Sourabaya, 1809, charters were granted. In 1886 there were eight
lodges in Java.
There was erected at Macassar, in 1883, under the Grand Lodge of Holland, one lodge
- Arbeid Adelt.
An English lodge - Elopura - was established in North Borneo, in 1885, at the station of
the same name.
In 1886 there were four lodges in existence in these islands, one under the National
Grand Orient, and three under the Grand Lodge of Spain. The latter form a Province,
and are subject to a Provincial Superintendent.
"Thory informs us that Askeri-Khan, ambassador of the Shah at Paris, and who was
himself admitted into Masonry in that city - November 24, 1808 - took counsel with his
French Brethren respecting the foundation of a lodge at Ispahan. Whether this project
was ever carried into effect it is impossible to say, but two years later we find another
Persian - also an ambassador - figuring in Masonic history. On June 15, 1810, " His
Excellency Mirza Abul Hassan Khan" was granted the rank of Past Grand Master of the
Grand Lodge of England. This personage - the Minister accredited from the Court of
Persia to that of Great Britain - in addition to having been a great traveler both in
Hindustan and Arabia, had also performed his devotions at Mecca. In the course of his
journey from Teheran he passed through Georgia, Armenia, and Antolia. At
Constantinople he embarked in a British man-of-war, and reached England in
"Sir Gore Ousely, Bart., whowas selected to attend upon the Mirza 'as Mehmander - an
officer of distinction, whose duty it is to receive and entertain foreign princes and other
illustrious personages' - in the following year (1810) received the appointment of
ambassador to the Shah of Persia, and was also granted an English patent as
Provincial G.M. for that country. No lodges, however, were established in Persia at any
time by the Grand Lodge of England, nor - so far as the evidence extends - by any
other external authority. The Mirza Abul Hassan Khan was made a Mason by Lord
Moira in 1810. The extent of his services to the Craft we must leave undecided; but it
was stated somewhat recently in the Masonic journals, on the authority of a Persian
military officer then pursuing his studies in Berlin, that nearly all the members of the
Court of Teheran are Brethren of our Society."
The Straits Settlements.
The Duke of Atholl established Neptune Lodge, No. 344, at Penang (or Prince of Wales
Island) by Warrant September 6, 1809, which became extinct in 1819. Three years
subsequently a military lodge - Humanity with Courage - was warranted from Bengal.
This body, however, having become irregular by the initiation of civilians, the Duke of
Sussex renewed the Charter of the Atholl Lodge, which, having flourished for a time,
eventually fell into decay, and was erased, together with another lodge "Neptune" also
at Penang - erected in 1850 - No. 846 on the English roll, March 5, 1862. The only
lodge now existing in this settlement is No. 1555, warranted by the Grand Lodge of
England in 1875.
In Malacca, a lodge was formed under the Prov. Grand Lodge of Bengal in 1825, which
never secured a place on the general list. In Singapore, English lodges were
established in 1845, 1858, and 1867, named Zetland in the East, Fidelity, and St.
George, Nos. 748, 1042, and 1152 respectively. Of these the first and last survive, and,
together with the lodge at Penang, compose the province of the Eastern Archipelago, of
which Mr. W. H. Read was appointed the first Prov. G. M. in 1858.
In this French dependency, a lodge - Le Reveil de Orient - was established by Warrant
of the Grand Orient of France, October 22, 1868.
During the last century two lodges of foreign origin were constituted in the Celestial
Empire - the lodge of 'Amity," No. 407, under an English, and "Elizabeth" under a
Swedish, Warrant. The former was erected in 1767, the latter in 1788; and in each case
the place of assembly was Canton. The English lodge was not carried forward at the
union (1813), and " Elizabeth," as we are informed by the Grand Secretary of Sweden,
came to an end in 1812.
The next lodge erected on Chinese soil was the Royal Sussex, No. 735, at Canton, for
which a Warrant was granted by the United G.L. of England in 1844. A second Zetland,
No. 768 - was established at Hong-Kong under the same sanction, in 1846; and a third
- Northern Lodge of China - at Shanghai, in 1849. No further increase of Lodges took
place until 1864, in which year two were added to the English roll, at Hong-Kong and
Shanghai respectively; and one each at the latter port under the Grand Lodges of
Scotland and Massachusetts. The progress of the craft in the "Middle Kingdom" has
since been marked, but uneventful, though as yet Freemasonry has failed to diffuse its
light beyond the British Colony of Hong-Kong, and the various ports of the mainland
opened up by treaty to the merchants of foreign powers. Mr. Samuel Rawson was
appointed by Lord Zetland Prov. G.M. for China in 1847; and a second Province was
carved out of the old one in 1877, by the appointment of Mr. Cornelius Thorne as
District G.M. for northern China.
In 1886 there were in existence at Victoria (Hong-Kong) and the Chinese treaty-ports
thirteen English, one American, and four Scottish Lodges; and with a solitary exception-
- No. 1217, at Ningpo, formed in 1868, under the Grand Lodge of England, but now
extinct - all the lodges erected in China or Hong-Kong since the revival of Masonry in
the Far East (1844) were still active, and can therefore be traced in the calendars of
current date by those desirous of further information respecting them.
"English Lodges bearing the following numbers were erected at Yokohama - 1092 and
1263 - in 1866 and 1869; at Yedo (now extinct) - 1344- in 1870; at Kobe - 140I - in
1872; and at Tokio - 2015 - in 1883. These are subject to a Prov. G.M., who was
appointed in 1873.
"There are also three lodges under the Grand Lodge of Scotland - Nos. 498, 640, and
7I0 - at Kobe, Yokohama, and Nagasaki."
Prior to the acquisition of this colony by Great Britain, two Dutch lodges had been
erected at Cape Town, in 1772 and 1802, respectively. While these survived, several
other lodges under the same jurisdiction passed away without leaving any trace of their
Afterward the Grand Lodge of England, established at the capital lodges in 1811 and
1812 - the "British," No. 629 under the old sanction, in the former year; and the "Cape
of Good Hope" Lodge under an Atholl Warrant in the Tenth Battalion of the Royal
The first band of English settlers arrived in 1820, and in the following year a second
stationary lodge, under the United Grand Lodge of England - Hope, No. 727 - was
erected at Cape Town, where, also, a lodge bearing the same name, under the G.O. of
France, sprang up, November 10, 1824. A third English lodge, Albany, No. 817, was
established at Grahamstown in 1828. "The Dutch lodges received the English Brethren
with open arms, and with great satisfaction. When English Masonry had increased, and
it was considered right to form a Provincial Grand Lodge, the Brother selected for the
office of Prov. G.M. was the Deputy G.M. Of the Netherlands, who continued till his
death to hold the two appointments." This must have been Sir John Truter, who
received an English patent in 1829; for although an earlier Prov. G.M. under England,
Richard Blake, had been appointed in 1801, the words quoted above will not apply to
the latter. Between 1828 and 1850 there was no augmentation of the lodges; but in the
latter year a revival set in, and during the decade immediately ensuing, 1851-60, six
were warranted by the Grand Lodge of England.
In 1860, to the jurisdictions already existing (those of Holland and England), was added
that of Scotland, under the Grand Lodge of which country a lodge, Southern Cross, No.
398, was erected at Cape Town. Shortly afterward, in a single year (1863), two Dutch
lodges were established in Cape Colony, and one at Bloemfontein, in the Orange Free
State. This period coincides with the appointment, after an interregnum, of the Hon.
Richard Southy as Prov. G.M. under the G.L. of England; and it will be convenient if I
here proceed to describe seriatim the progress of Masonry under the three competing
jurisdictions. Commencing with that of England between the date to which the statistics
were last given (1860) down to the close of 1885, sixty-two lodges were added to the
roll. The number at present existing in South Africa, as shown by the official calendar of
current date, is fifty-four, viz.: Eastern Division, twenty-four; Western Division, eight;
Natal, eleven; and eleven not subject to any provincial authority, some of which were
formerly under the District Grand Lodge of Griqualand (now abolished), and two, No.
1022, at Bloemfontein (Orange Free State), and 1747, at Pretoria (Transvaal), are
situate in foreign territory. Within the same period (1860-85) twelve lodges have been
established under the Grand Lodge of Scotland, and now compose a Masonic District
(or Province). The Dutch Masonic Calendar for 1886 shows twenty four lodges as
existing in South Africa. Of these, as already related, two were erected before 1803,
and three in 1863. The latest on the present list dates from 1884. These lodges are
distributed throughout the British possessions, and the different Boer Republics, as
follows, viz. .- In British South Africa, sixteen; in the Orange Free State, four; and in the
Transvaal, four; and at the head of all is a Deputy National G.M., Mr. J.H. Hofmeisr, at
Between the English and Dutch Masons at the Cape, there have always been the most
friendly relations. In 1863 the D.G.L. under England was re-erected, and there assisted
at its re-inauguration the Deputy G.M. under the Grand Lodge of the Netherlands. And
the Dutch Fraternity placed their Masonic Hall at the disposal of the English Brethren.
For a long time it was the custom on St. John's Day for the English and Dutch Masons
to assemble at different hours of the day so that the Brethren might be present at both
meetings. On June 5, 1867, there was stated at a communication of the Grand Lodge
of England that "recently an objection has been raised by some of the younger English
Masons against the establishment of some new Lodges lately formed by the Dutch, on
the ground that the Convention of 1770 prohibits their doing so, the Cape now being an
English possession, and having been so since the early part of the present century. In
this view, the District Grand Lodge does not seem to participate. That body is anxious
that the amicable relations that have so long subsisted between the English and Dutch
Masons should continue. After setting the foregoing facts before the Grand Lodge, the
Grand Registrar expressed an opinion that whatever might have been the intention of
the Convention of 1770, it had not been acted on in the Cape Colony, but that the G.M.
of England, by appointing the Deputy G.M. of the Netherlands to be his Prov. G.M.
Over English Lodges, virtually recognized the Dutch Lodges. It must be taken for
granted that both the contracting parties have tacitly consented that it should not apply
to the Cape. He was of opinion that as both parties seem to have considered that the
Cape was neutral ground, and the existence of two Grand Lodges having been allowed
to continue side by side, it would be for the benefit of the Brethren in that Colony, that
as they have gone on working as friends and brothers, they should continue to do so."
A resolution embodying the foregoing was then put and unanimously adopted.
New South Wales.
The Lodge of Social and Military Virtues - No. 227 on the roll of the Grand Lodge of
Ireland - attached to the 46th Foot in 1752, after undergoing many vicissitudes, was at
work in the same regiment at Sydney in 1816. This paved the way for the establishment
of stationary lodges, and Irish warrants were issued to Nos. 260, Australian Social, in
1820, and 266, Leinster, in 1824. The third (strictly colonial) lodge, No. 820, Australia,
was erected by the Grand Lodge of England in 1828. The last named, as well as the
Irish lodges, met at Sydney, the capital. The first established in any other part of the
Colony was No. 668, St. John, constituted at Paramatta in 1838, and the second, No.
697, the Lodge of Australia Felix, at Melbourne - then included in the government of
New South Wales - 1841. An Irish lodge - No. 275 - was erected at Windsor in 1843,
and in the same year, No. 408, Australasian Kilwinning, at Melbourne, received a
Charter from the Grand Lodge of Scotland.
During the two decennial periods ensuing, there were issued in the Colony twenty-one
English, eight Scottish, and two Irish lodges. Between 1864-85 there were added forty-
seven English, forty-one Scottish, and four Irish lodges. Up to 1886 there were seventy-
four English, one Irish, and fifty Scottish active lodges. In 1839 an English Provincial
Grand Master was appointed, and one for the Grand Lodge of Scotland in 1855, and
that of Ireland in 1858.
"While the question of separation from the Mother Grand Lodges was first formerly
mooted in Victoria, still for some years, at least, there had existed in Sydney a body
styling itself 'the Grand Lodge of New South Wales,' formed from the great majority of a
regular lodge - St. Andrew's. It affected to make, pass, and raise Masons, grant
charters, and issue certificates.'
"On December 3d, 1877, the representatives of twelve or (at most) thirteen Scottish
and Irish lodges met at Sydney, and established another Grand Lodge of New South
Wales, to which, however, the preexisting body of the same name eventually made
submission, and accepted an ordinary Lodge Warrant at its hands. At this time (1877)
there were eighty-six regular Lodges in the Colony; English, forty-seven; Scottish,
thirty; and Irish, nine. The thirteen lodges which thus assumed to control the dissenting
majority of seventy-three, sheltered themselves under a perverted principle of Masonic
law - applied to a wholly illusory state of facts. This was, that any three lodges in a
territory 'Masonically unoccupied' - the three jurisdictions already existing being thus
coolly and quietly ignored - could form themselves into a Grand Lodge, and that when
so formed, the remaining lodges - averse to the movement - were they one hundred or
one thousand in number, would be irregular!"
Mr. Jas. F. Farnell, appointed Prov. G.M. under the Grand Lodge of Ireland, 1869, was
a leader in this movement. The flag of independence was first raised by the Irish
lodges. While there were great disadvantages in having the Australian lodges working
under warrants from distant Grand Lodges, still there were reasons not entirely
sentimental, which raised an opposition to separation from the earlier existing Grand
Lodges. Whenever matters are in proper condition for the erection of an Independent
Grand Lodge, the matter will happily culminate, and a large majority of the lodges and
brethren interested will unite therewith. Should, however, the movement be premature,
the outcome of the agitation will largely depend upon the character and influence of the
leaders, or what is the same thing, upon the extent of the following.
Mr. Farnell for twenty years was a member of the parliament of New South Wales, and
was also Prime Minister, but does not seem to have had great influence as a Mason.
The Irish Province of New South Wales had its affairs in great confusion when he was
elected Grand Master. And not the smallest of the motives which weighed with his
supporters - Scotch as well as Irish - seems to have been the disinclination to be taxed
by (or remit fees to) the mother countries.
The new organization, at the close of 1885, had been recognized as the only regular
governing Masonic body in the Colony of thirty-eight Grand Lodges, chiefly, however,
American. There seems, indeed, in the United States a decided inclination to regard
each uprising of the lodges in a British colony as a tribute to the efficacy of a certain
doctrine which has been laid down by Dr. Mackey with regard to the formation of Grand
Lodges. But those American jurisdictions which have lent a willing ear to the specious
representations of the Grand Lodge of New South Wales are now running the gauntlet
of intelligent criticism, and the several committees by whom they have been
hoodwinked or misled, may read with profit some of the reports on correspondence in
the larger States, notably, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and New York, where the
unaccountable delusion into which so many Grand Lodges have fallen is discussed
with equal candor and ability. It is almost needless to say that a Grand Lodge thus
constituted by a small minority of the lodges in New South Wales, has been refused
recognition by the Grand Lodges of the British Islands.
The lodges of Australia Felix and of Australasia (now Nos. 474 and 530) were
established at Melbourne by the Grand Lodge of England in 1841 and 1846
respectively. Scottish Masonry obtained a footing in the same city - with "Australasian
Kilwinning"--in 1843; and an Irish lodge - Hiram, No. 349 - was also chartered there in
1847. In the same year a third English, apparently the fifth Victorian, lodge - Unity and
Prudence, No. 801 - was constituted at Geelong. After this the Craft advanced in
prosperity by leaps and bounds. Thirty-six English lodges were added to the list
between 1847 and the close of 1862; twenty-eight during the ensuing thirteen years,
and twenty within the decennial period commencing January 1, 1876. During
corresponding intervals of time, the Irish warrants granted in the colony were
respectively twelve, seven, and three; and the Scottish, three each in the first two
periods, and two in the last.
The first Provincial G. M. of Victoria (or Australia Felix) was the Hon. J. E. Murray. The
date of his appointment by the Grand Lodge of Scotland has not been recorded, but he
was succeeded by Mr. J. H. Ross, August 3, 1846. The present District G.M. is Sir W.J.
Clarke, who received his Scottish patent in 1883 English and Irish Provinces were
established in 1855 and 1856 respectively, and the following has been the succession
of English Provincial (now District) Grand Masters: Captain (now Major General Sir
Andrew) Clarke, 1855; Captain F.C. Standish, 1861; and Sir W.J. Clarke, 1883. The
rulers of the Irish Province have been Mr. J.T. Smith, 1856-79; and from 1880, Sir W.J.
The lodges now at work under the three jurisdictions, all of which, however, are in a
manner united under a single Provincial G.M., are: English, ninety-one; Irish,
seventeen; and Scottish, twelve (including one in Levuka, Fiji).
The idea of forming an independent Grand Lodge of Victoria seems to have been first
launched in 1863, and after encountering the opposition of the Earl of Zetland, was
debated - March 2, 1864 - in the Grand Lodge of England, by which body a resolution
was passed declaring its "strong disapprobation" of the contemplated secession. It was
observed in priecient terms by the late John Havers, that "every new Grand Lodge was
the forerunner of new and conflicting degrees. It was a stone pulled away from the
foundations of Masonry, and opened another door for inroads and innovations; " and
he exhorted the Brethren in Victoria to "remember that union was strength, and
universality one of the watchwords of Masonry."
In 1876 the agitation for a local Grand Lodge was renewed, but again slumbered until
1883, when the scheme was fairly carried into effect by an insignificant minority of the
In the latter year a meeting was held, and a Masonic Union of Victoria formed, April 27.
At this time there were seventy English, fifteen Irish, and ten Scottish lodges in the
colony - total, ninety-five. On June 19th certain delegates met, and the adhesion of
eighteen lodges - twelve Irish, five Scottish, and one English, to the cause was
announced. But the number has since been reduced by the subtraction of the English
lodge and one other, which were erroneously named in the proceedings. By this
invention it was resolved "that the date of founding the Grand Lodge of Victoria should
be July 2, 1883." Thus we find sixteen lodges, with an estimated membership of about
eight hundred and forty, calmly transforming themselves into the governing body of a
territory containing ninety-five lodges, and a membership of five thousand!
This organization has a following of about twenty subordinate lodges; and as the
proceedings of some Grand Lodges baffle all reasonable conjecture, it will occasion no
surprise to learn that by seventeen of these bodies the titular "Grand Lodge of Victoria"
had been duly recognized at the close of 1885, as the supreme Masonic authority in
this Australian colony. At the same date Mr. Coppin entered upon the second year of
his Grand Mastership, having been installed - November 4th - in the presence of the
Grand Masters of New South Wales and South Australia.
Meanwhile, however, the English, Irish, and Scottish lodges, which have remained true
to their former allegiance, are united in a solid phalanx under a single Provincial (or
District) G.M. - Sir W. J. Clarke; and should the day arrive when independence is
constitutionally asserted by the century and more of lodges which obey this common
chief, those bodies by whom the soi-disant Grand Lodge has been accorded
recognition, will find themselves confronted by an interesting problem, not unlike that
propounded with so much dramatic effect by the late Mr. Sothern in the role of Lord
Dundreary, viz., "Whether it is the dog that wags its tail, or the tail that wags the dog?"
The South Australian Lodge of Friendship, Adelaide, No. 613 (and later, No. 423), on
the roll of the Grand Lodge of England, was constituted at the British metropolis in
1834. The founders were all in London at the time, and two persons - afterward Sir
John Morphett, President of the Legislative Council, and Sir D. R. Hansen, Chief
Justice of the colony, were initiated. A second English lodge was established at
Adelaide in 1844, and in the same year, also at the capital, a Scottish one.
In 1855 the first Irish Charter was received in the colony, and in 1883 the total number
of lodges formed in South Australia was as follows: English, twenty active, one extinct;
Irish, seven active, three extinct; and Scottish, six, all active.
The initiative in forming a Province was taken by Scotland in 1846, a step followed by
England in 1848, and Ireland in 1860.
In 1883 there were premonitory symptoms that the lamentable examples set by a
minority of the lodges in the adjacent colonies of New South Wales and Victoria, in
usurping the authority and honor which should belong to the majority, would be
followed in South Australia. The imminence of this danger induced Mr. H. M. Addison to
form a Masonic Union, whose labors resulted - April 16, 1884 - in a convention of
eighty-five delegates, representing twenty-eight lodges, by whom the Grand Lodge of
South Australia was established. The proceedings of the executive committee of the
Masonic Union, which were characterized throughout by the most scrupulous regularity,
were crowned by an unprecedented unanimity of feeling on the part of the lodges. A
resolution in favor of independence was carried nem. con. in eighteen English, four
Irish, and six Scottish lodges, and with a single dissentient in one English, and with two
dissentients in one Irish, lodge; while in the sole remaining lodge under England, and in
the "Mostyn" under Ireland, a majority of the members joined the Union. Thus, in effect,
out of a grand total of thirty-three lodges under the three British jurisdictions, only a
single lodge - No. 363 - Duke of Leinster (I.), has adhered to its former allegiance. The
new Grand Lodge (besides the usual indiscriminate recognition of American Grand
Bodies) has been admitted to fraternal relations with the Grand Lodges of England,
Ireland, and Scotland. The privilege, however, accorded by the last named in August,
1885, was cancelled in the November following; a proceeding, there is every reason to
believe, arising out of the inconsistent action of the colonial Grand Lodge in
recognizing the authority of the Grand Lodge of New South Wales the irregular
establishment of which, it was declared by Mr. Addison, at the formation of the Masonic
Union in Adelaide, July 30, 1883, would, if initiated, " bring Masonry in South Australia
into disrepute throughout the world."
The Hon. S. J. Way, Chief Justice of the Colony, and Mr. J. H. Cunningham, formerly
District Grand Secretary (E.), have been Grand Master and Grand Secretary
respectively, since the foundation of the Grand Lodge. The subordinate lodges are
thirty-six in number, with a total membership of two thousand two hundred and seventy-
The North Australian Lodge was established at Brisbane by the Grand Lodge of
England in 1859, and two others under Irish and Scottish warrants respectively, were
constituted at the same town in 1864.
Each jurisdiction is represented by a Provincial (or District) G. M., and the number of
lodges is as follows: English, twenty-six active, two extinct; Irish, eleven active, three
extinct; and Scottish, twelve, all active.
Eight lodges in all have been formed in this colony, the first of which - St. John, No. 712
- was erected at Perth in 1842. Seven of these survive, and being included in no
Province, report direct to the Grand Lodge of England, which in this solitary instance
has not suffered from the exercise of concurrent jurisdiction by other Grand Bodies.
Lodges under the Grand Lodge of Ireland were established at Hobart Town in 1823,
1829, 1833, and 1834, but the three earliest of the series are now extinct. A fourth
lodge under the same sanction was constituted at Launceston in 1843, and it was not
until 1846 that English Masonry obtained a footing on the island. In that year
Tasmanian Union, No. 781, was formed at Hobart Town, and a second English lodge -
Hope - sprang up (in the first instance under a dispensation from Sydney) in 1852. In
the following year the Rev. R. K. Ewing became the Master of the latter, and in 1856
the lodges of Faith and Charity were carved out of it - Mr. Ewing then becoming, on
their joint petition, Prov. G.M. The other English lodge - Tasmanian Union - objecting to
these proceedings, as having been carried on clandestinely, was suspended by the
Prov. G.M., and remained closed for nine months. The strife thus engendered nearly
put an end to English Masonry in Launceston. Lodge faith became dormant, Charity
was voluntarily wound up, and even in Hope the light almost went out. Soon, however,
there was a revival, and in 1876 the Grand Lodge of Scotland also began to charter
lodges on the island, where there are now four in existence under its jurisdiction. These
are included in the Province of New South Wales. The Grand Lodges of England and
Ireland have each a roll of seven lodges on the island, one under the former body, and
four under the latter, having surrendered their charters. The English Prov. Grand Lodge
died a natural death on the removal of Mr. Ewing to Victoria, but a new one was
established under Mr. W.S. Hammond in 1875. The Irish lodges were constituted into a
Province in 1884.
The first lodge in the Colony - Francaise Primitive Antipodienne - was founded at
Akaroa bythe Supreme Council of France, August 29, 1843; the second - Ara - at
Auckland, by the Grand Lodge of Ireland in 1844; and the third - New Zealand Pacific -
by the Grand Lodge of England in 1845. No further charters were issued until 1852,
when English lodges were established in Lyttelton, and Christchurch, whilst others
sprang up at New Plymouth and Auckland in 1856, at Wanganui in 1857, and at Nelson
and Kaiapoi in 1858. In the latter year an Irish lodge (the second in the Colony) was
formed at Napier, and in 1860 an English one at Dunedin - where also the first Scottish
lodge was erected in 1861. After this the diffusion of Masonry throughout New Zealand
became so general, that I must content myself with giving the barest statistics, which,
for convenience sake, will be classified so as to harmonize as far as possible with the
Provincial systems of the three competing jurisdictions. Between 1860 and 1875 there
were warranted in the Colony twenty-five English, eight Irish, and twenty-one Scottish
lodges; while in the ten years ending January 1, 1886, the numbers were respectively
forty-seven, seven, and thirty-two.
The lodges in New Zealand are usually classified according to the Masonic Provinces
of which they form a part. Of the latter there are five English and three Scottish, of late
years dominated Districts, in order to distinguish them from bodies of a like character in
Great Britain; and one Irish, to which the more familiar title of Provincial Grand Lodge is
still applied. These preliminaries it will be necessary to bear in mind, because the
arrangement which seems to me the simplest and best, is to group the lodges
according to their positions on the map, which in the present case will correspond very
closely with the territorial classification, or division into Districts, by the Grand Lodge of
Auckland District. - The District (or Provincial) Grand Masters are Mr. G.S. Graham
(E.), Sir F. Whitaker (S.), and Mr. G.P. Pierce (I.); whilst the number of lodges under
the several jurisdictions is eighteen under the G.L. of England, and six each under
those of Scotland and Ireland, that is, if taken according to locality, for all the Scottish
lodges on the North Island are comprised within the Auckland District, and the whole of
the Irish lodges in both islands within the Auckland Province.
Wellington District. - The only D.G.M. is Mr. C.J. Toxward (E.); and the number of
lodges is respectively eighteen (E.), eight (S.), and four (I).
Middle, or South, Island.
Canterbury District. - The D.G.M.'s are Mr. Henry Thomson (E.) and the Rev. James
Hill (S.), who rule over nineteen and nine lodges respectively. The seat of government
is at Christchurch, where there is also an Irish lodge, the only one in the District.
Otovgo and Southland District. - Mr. T.S. Graham presides over one D.G.L. (E.), and
Mr. G.W. Harvey over the other (S.). There are fourteen lodges in each District, i.e.,
according to the local arrangement, for the Scottish D.G.L. (of which there are only two
in the South Island) exercises authority beyond the territorial limits of Otago and
Southland. The total number of lodges on its roll is twenty-one, and doubtless Otago
has derived much of its importance as a Scottish Masonic center, from the fact of
having been originally founded by an association connected with the Free Church of
Scotland. At Dunedin and Invercargill there is in each case an Irish lodge.
Westland District. - The only D.G.M. is Mr. John Bevan (E.), who rules over six lodges;
and there are three others (S.) which are comprised within the D.G.L. of Otago and
Southland at Dunedin.
Marlborough and Nelson District. - These provinces of the Colony are exempt from any
local Masonic jurisdiction, under the Grand Lodge of England, which is represented by
five lodges. There is also a Scottish lodge (at Blenheim), which is subject to the D.G.L.
of Otago and Southland.
Although the various islands and archipelagoes have been treated as far as possible in
connection with the continents with which they are ordinarily associated, there are
some few of these, lying as it were in mid-ocean, that must be separately dealt with,
and their consideration will bring this chapter to a close.
New Caledonia. - This island was taken possession of by France in 1854, and has
been used for some years as a penal settlement. At Noumea, the chief town and the
seat of government, there are two lodges, L'Union Caledonienne, and No. 1864,
Western Polynesia. The former was established by the Grand Orient of France in 1868,
and the latter (which is included in the Masonic Province of New South Wales) by the
Grand Lodge of England in 1880.
Fiji Islands. - The formation of a lodge - Polynesia - at Levuka, with the assent of the
native king, was announced to the Masonic world in a circular dated March 12, 1872.
The Islands were annexed to Britain in 1874, and on February 1, 1875, a Scottish
Charter - No. 562 - was granted to a lodge bearing the same name and meeting at the
same place as the self-constituted body of 1872. This is comprised in the Masonic
Province of Victoria. A second British lodge - No. 1931, Suva na Viti Levu - was
established in the archipelago by the Grand Lodge of England in 1881.
Society Islands. - Masonry was introduced into Papeete, the chief town of Tahiti (or
Otaheiti), the largest of the Society group, by the Grand Orient of France in 1834. A
Chapter - L'Oceanie Francaise - was established in that year, and a lodge of the same
name in 1842.
The labors of these bodies were intermittent, the latter having been galvanized into
fresh life in 1850, and the former in 1857. Both lodge and chapter are now extinct.
Marquesas Islands. - A lodge, which has long since ceased to exist - L'Amitie - was
established at Nukahiva by the Grand Orient of France in 1850.
Sandwich or Hawaiian Islands. - In 1875 there were three lodges in this group, and
more recent statistics show no increase in the number: Le Progres de l'Oceanie,
erected by Warrant of the Supreme Council of France in 1850; and the Hawaiian and
Wailukee lodges, under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of California. The last
named is Maui; the others meet at Honolulu, the capital, where they occupy a hall in
common. The earliest of the two American lodges (Hawaiian) was formed in 1852.
These three lodges are composed of natives, Americans, Englishmen, and Germans,
between whom the most friendly relations subsist. King Kalakaua was an active
member of Le Progres de l'Oceanie, and also his brother, William Pitt Leleihoku, of the
Hawaiian Lodge. The former, who has visited many foreign countries, also evinced the
same interest in Masonry while on his travels. On January 7, 1874, he was entertained
by lodge Columbian of Boston (U.S.A.), and on May 22, 1881, by the National Grand
Lodge of Egypt. By the latter body the king was elected an Honorary Grand Master,
and afterward delivered a lengthy oration, in which he expressed his belief in Egypt
being the cradle both of Operative and Speculative masonry, and thus may be said to
have fully reciprocated the compliment which had been paid him by the meeting.
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