Green Room Lodge was formed by, and was originally
for the sole benefit of, members of the Green Room Club –
a gentleman’s club for members of the dramatic, literary,
artistic and liberal professions. The Lodge was consecrated on
1 May 1903 and its members over the years have included Sir
Donald Wolfit, the comic actor Ronald Shiner, and Anthony
Huntly-Gordon, who was for 21 years company and stagemanager
to the Agatha Christie thriller The Mousetrap at the
Ambassador’s Theatre. The Lodge summons depicts quite
clearly its roots in theatre and the arts.
Savage Club Lodge No. 2190 was another Lodge formed
principally for members associated professionally with literature,
art, drama, music and science, and included many members
of the theatrical profession.
The Lodge was instigated by the Prince of Wales (later
Edward VII), who as a guest of honour at a Savage Club
dinner enquired if the club had a Lodge attached to it. On
finding out that there was not, he suggested that one should be
formed, and the Lodge was consecrated on 18 January 1887.
There have been many distinguished members in this
Lodge, which include Sir Henry Irving, one of its founders,
William S. Penley, and Edward Terry, Sir Augustus Harris
and, more recently Arnold Ridley, actor and playwright,
who is probably best known for his portrayal of Godfrey
in the television series Dad’s Army.
Sir Henry Irving was born John Henry Brodribb in 1838
and was the first of his profession to be knighted for services
to the stage. He was a leading actor of his day. In 1878 he
became manager of the Lyceum Theatre where he produced
over 40 plays. As a Freemason he was initiated into Jerusalem
Lodge No. 197 on 27 April 1877, was a founder of Savage
Club Lodge No. 2190 and was also a member of St. Martin’s
Lodge No, 2455.
Sir Augustus Harris, an impresario, was initiated into Lodge
St. Clair No. 349, Edinburgh in 1875. He was a founder of
Drury Lane Lodge No. 2127 (which meets at the Drury lane
Theatre), London and St. Martin’s Lodge No. 2455, London
and was appointed Grand Treasurer in 1890.
Theatrical links have continued into the 20th century.
Sir Donald Wolfit, who was known for his portrayals of
King Lear and Tamburlaine, was initiated on 26 January
1937 into Newton Lodge No. 1661, which meets in Newarkupon-
He joined London Nottinghamshire Lodge No. 5133,
London in 1953 and joined Green Room Lodge No. 2957
in 1955, becoming Master in 1965. He was also a Grand
Officer, being Past Grand Deacon in 1967. He died in 1968 in
the Royal Masonic Hospital.
Peter Sellers and Bob Monkhouse (both Chelsea Lodge
No. 3098) will be names familiar to many as will current
member, Jim Davidson. There are probably many more
in this long tradition of links with the theatre “waiting in
Jewel of the Lodge of Asaph No. 1319
Jewel of Drury Lane Lodge No. 2127