ISSUE 13, April 2005

Editorial
The Campbells are coming: At speed!
Travel: Warming to Iceland
Royal Masonic Family: The Six Masonic Sons of George III, Part II
Quarterly Communication: Address of the Pro Grand Master and: Report of the Board of General Purposes
The flying eye hospital
Beamish Museum: The million pound project
  Wigan Grand Lodge: The Liverpool rebels
Chelsea Lodge: That's entertainment
Re-enactment: The way we were and: The Russian connection
Community Service: Weathering the storm
Faith and Freemasonry: God and the Craft
Education: Researching Freemasonry on the Internet and: Masonic events
Freemasons Hall: Masons at War
Grand Charity: Report and grant list and: Support for Asian tsunami
Masonic Charities: Reports from the Masonic charities
Obituaries, Letters, Book reviews, Gardening

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Ernest Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, who was initiated by the Grand Master, Earl Moira
    Ernest Augustus, Duke of Cumberland
Born in 1771, Ernest Augustus became the black sheep of the family, which was no mean feat considering the reputation of most of his brothers. Initially things looked good for Ernest. He was tall, fit, handsome and destined to do great things in the Hanoverian cavalry, which he joined in 1791.
    By 1792 he was a Colonel in the Hanoverian Dragoons and eventually rose to the rank of Field Marshal. In 1793 he was wounded in action whilst fighting under the Duke of Yorkís command.
    At this point in his life everything was going well. The Earl of Moira, Acting Grand Master and another military Mason, initiated the Prince at a special Lodge in 1796 at the Earlís house. He was immediately made a Past Grand Master and joined Britannic Lodge two years later.
    In 1799 Parliament made him Duke of Cumberland when he married Princess Frederica of Mecklenberg-Strelitz. Unfortunately, from this point his reputation in Britain began to suffer a series of setbacks. Rumours began to circulate in the British press and society about the Duke.
    His sister, the unmarried Princess Sophia, had a child in 1800 and Cumberland was believed to be the father, when in fact it was General Thomas Garth, who later brought up the child. In 1810, one of Ernestís servants Sellis tried to kill the Duke with a sword, giving him a near fatal head wound, then committed suicide.
    Rumour had it that the Duke was either having an affair with Sellisí wife or with Sellis, but neither could be proven. He was accused of assaulting the wife of the Chancellor, Lord Lyndhurst, when in fact they had only argued about politics and, in 1829, Lord Graves killed himself when he was told Ernest was having an affair with his wife.
    This rumour was again untrue, but Ernestís character and actions did not endear him to the public. He preferred Hanover and made that quite obvious to everyone. In 1827 he became Grand Master of the Orange Order at a time when Parliament was condemning it for its bad effect on Irish politics. He opposed Catholic emancipation, even trying to form his own Tory government, but was defeated by the Whigs and the majority of the Tories led by Wellington.
    He lined up against the Reform Bills with the Tories in the House of Lords against his brother the Duke of Sussex, who was a Whig. Disgruntled, Ernest spent less and less time in England. He had joined Lodge Frederick of the White Horse (Hanover) in 1813 and became Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Hanover in 1828. In 1837, on the death of William IV, Ernest became King of Hanover, as Victoria was ineligible as a woman.
    True to form, Ernest scrapped Hanoverís liberal constitution and set about ruling the country as an absolute monarch. He died in 1851, handing the throne to his blind son George, who was deposed after 15 years when Hanover was annexed by Prussia.


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