ISSUE 13, April 2005

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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    The 34 brethren who signed the document were subsequently suspended by the UGLE, and Gage’s Lodge, No. 31, was erased. This action created further isolation for the suspended rebels as they were not allowed to visit any other Lodges, ultimately providing greater bonding between them.
    The dissent spread rapidly through Liverpool as certain Lodges began to support their fellow brethren. The Liverpool based Sea Captain’s Lodge No. 140 threatened to separate itself from the UGLE if Lodge No. 31 was not reinstated, and by the middle of 1822 a list of 65 brethren from Liverpool and Wigan were recorded as being suspended.
    On 2nd December 1822, a meeting was held at Lodge of Harmony No. 385, at the Magpie and Stump in Key Street, Liverpool. Lodge of Harmony, like Ancient Union Lodge, had belonged to the Antient Grand Lodge before the Union in 1813. This meeting had visitors from The Merchants’, Mariners’ and Ancient Union Lodges, local Liverpool Lodges which had certain members involved in the rebellion.
    The meeting revealed a Lodge in crisis as the Master and Wardens were appointed during an emergency meeting, and not elected or installed, as was the custom. The result of this particular gathering was the wish by all the members present to write a letter to the UGLE declaring the present state of the Lodge of Harmony.
    It seems that the Lodge decided against the rebellion and kept their distance, giving their support to the UGLE. Despite this show of loyalty, the Master at the time of the meeting was suspended in 1824 for 12 months, and another brother for seven years, for what was described as ‘un-Masonic conduct.’
    Broadhurst also opted out of the rebellion, and along with a number of rebels, presented an apology which brought them back into the fold. He rejoined the Merchants’ Lodge in 1824, but his payments ceased two years later, the experience of the rebellion and the subsequent fall-out perhaps affecting the camaraderie of the Lodge.
    Of the rebels representing the Ancient Union Lodge, only Thomas Berry remained to become an active member of the Grand Lodge at Wigan, attending its first meeting at the Shakespeare Tavern in 1823 and serving as secretary at the meeting of March 1825.
    Having been suspended during the rebellion, James turned his back on the rebels and conformed. He was not present at the Shakespeare Tavern at the formal opening of the rebel Grand Lodge in December 1823, and took no part in the Magna Charter of Freemasonry which outlined Masonic independence and recreated the ‘Antients’. The leader of the rebellion, Michael Gage, was to fall out with his fellow rebels and resigned from Wigan Grand Lodge in 1842.
    Although Broadhurst eventually left Masonry, several of his descendants, who also became Liverpool watchmakers, also became Freemasons, continuing a family tradition. He died in October 1851, and was buried at the Wesleyan Brunswick Chapel in Liverpool.
    The rebel Grand Lodge met only at Wigan from 1825, and its last remaining Lodge survived until 1913, a legacy as the longest secessionist Grand Lodge resounding into the early 20th century.

Beesley, E.B., 1920. The History of the Wigan Grand Lodge, Manchester Association for Masonic Research.
Harrison, D., 2002. Freemasonry, industry and charity: the local community and the working man, (Journal of the Institute for Volunteering Research, Vol. 5, No.1.)
Church records of St. Nicholas, Liverpool Library. Ref: 283NIC3/12.
Family papers of James Broadhurst, Private collection.
Gore’s Liverpool Trade Directory, 1825, Liverpool Library. Ref: H942.7215.
Minutes of the Ancient Union Lodge No. 203, 1795–1835.
Garston Masonic Hall, Liverpool. Not Listed.
Minutes of the Lodge of Harmony No. 220, 1822-1835.

Royal Arch apron of Wigan Grand Lodge

James Broadhurst naval document of 1795

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