ISSUE 11, October 2004
Elias Ashmole: Masonic Icon
Travel: The magical beauty of Scotland
Honoured: By the Glovers' livery company
The Theatre: Strong links between Craft and stage
Quarterly Communication: Address of the Pro Grand Master and, Report of the Board of General Purposes
Mauritius: Fascinating Masonic history
Rochester Cathedral: Kent Masons' magnificent fresco
Clerkenwell: 25 years of Masonry
  Bravery award: One Mason's heroism is honoured
Christmas shopping: What to buy in London's West End
High flight: Helping terminally ill children
Jewels of the Craft: An essential part of Masonry
Library & Museum: John Pine exhibition and Library & Museum Trust report
Masonic education: Events for Masons; Quatuor Coronati Lodge; Mentors for new Masons
Charities: Masons provide emergency aid for flood victims; Charity news; Demelza gives voice
Letters, Book reviews, Gardening

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There are many examples of actors and playwrights as Freemasons, including David Garrick in the 18th century and Douglas Jerrold in the 1830s and 1840s.
    But it is not until 1870 that the first Lodge was formed primarily for members of the musical and theatrical professions. This was Lodge of Asaph No. 1319, which was consecrated on 7 November 1870 at Freemasons’ Hall, Great Queen Street, London.
    The Lodge petition showed why such a Lodge was needed:

“many Masons belonging to the Musical, and Theatrical professions, are unable to attend a Lodge, in consequence of professional duties requiring their services at the time Masonic meeting are usually held…”.

The formation of this Lodge also reflected the tremendous growth in the numbers employed in these professions as urban populations supported an increasing number of theatres and music halls.
    One of the most distinguished members of Lodge of Asaph was Edward O’Connor Terry. Born in 1844, Terry began as a comedian at the Strand Theatre and later owned a theatre in the Strand (now demolished). He was a prominent Freemason, being initiated on 20 January 1868 into Royal Union Lodge No. 382, which met in Uxbridge.
    He then joined Lodge of Asaph No. 1319 in 1871 and became its Master in 1877. He was a founder of Edward Terry Lodge No. 2722, named in his honour, and Bohemian Lodge No. 3294, which met in Birkenhead (of which Harry Lauder was also a member). He was Grand Treasurer in 1889.
    William Sydney Penley, another member of Lodge of Asaph, was best known for his role as ‘Charley’s Aunt’ in the famous comedy of the same name. He also became a theatre owner and rebuilt the old Novelty Theatre, reopening it as the Great Queen Street Theatre, in 1900. (This building was destroyed in the 1939-1945 war)
    A very active Freemason, Penley was a member and founder of many Lodges including Yorick, Green Room and Lyric, all were formed by members of the theatrical profession. He was also Grand Treasurer (in 1903).

Silk playbill for a special performance by the Liverpool Dramatic Lodge No. 1609

Bucks jewel: spectacular membership jewel for the 18th century Noble Order of the Bucks who supported benefit performances

Unusual wigwam-shaped Lodge summons for Savage Club No. 2190