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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    Perhaps, like his fellow tradesmen, after surviving through the Napoleonic Wars, Broadhurst sought the equality and freedom of speech for which he had fought, which was perhaps the initial attraction to a society which, he felt, held those qualities.
    At a Provincial Grand Lodge meeting at Manchester in October 1818, a resolution was passed which declared that any Lodge whose membership was reduced to less than seven, should not be considered ‘regular’ and the Warrant be declared void.
    This resolution was used by Gage as a bureaucratic move to complain about the UGLE, and sent shock waves through the Liverpool Lodges, some of whom, such as the Ancient Union Lodge, was an old ‘Antient’ Lodge which had at the time only ten members. The Ancient Union Lodge held an emergency meeting prior to the Provincial Grand Lodge meeting, and sent a brother to attend to keep an eye on proceedings.
    Many Lodges at this time had suffered a decline due to the impact of the Combination Acts 1799-1800 – which outlawed associations of workers against employers – and the majority of Liverpool Lodges, some suffering more than others from low attendance, bonded together.
    This led to some Freemasons, such as Broadhurst, joining other Lodges, a move which ensured the survival of the struggling Lodge. The decisive meeting at the Castle Inn, Liverpool, in November 1821, set the scene for rebellion.
    A document was drafted with 34 signatures, including Gage and Broadhurst, outlining the dissatisfaction felt by the rebels. This move followed the drafting of a letter, which had been addressed to the Duke of Sussex personally almost two years previous. The letter was extremely direct and revealed the anger felt by the rebels, complaining how certain ‘Modern’ practices were being enforced and how new rules concerning the Royal Arch conflicted with traditional practices.
    During this period, certain local Lodges had their own slightly different practices, and hampered by the neglect of the Provincial Grand Master within the rebellious areas of Liverpool and Wigan, the rebels grew extremely sensitive to the transition of the Union of the ‘Antient’ and ‘Modern’ practices.
    In a letter to the Duke of Sussex, the rebels refer to an incident in Bath, where petitions for Royal Arch Chapters were dismissed by the Grand Chapter because it was “not desirable to make the Number of Chapters in any place equal to the Number of Lodges.”
    The rebels seized upon this example, indicating that they saw the Royal Arch as part of Craft Masonry, and the rejection of the petitions was an abuse of power. The Duke of Sussex, however, did not reply to the letter, which intensified the anger of the rebels and culminated in the November 1821 meeting.
    Broadhurst was Master of Ancient Union Lodge in 1821, and along with William Walker, John Pilling and Thomas Berry, represented their Lodge in the rebellion, adding their signatures to the Castle Inn document.
   





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Wigan certificate of James Broadhurst, Wigan copperplate Summons and Wigan Grand Lodge Seal



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