Lord Burnham memory|
The sympathetic obituary for Lord Burnham (MQ, Issue No. 13), who succeeded his elder brother as 6th Baron
in 1993, reminded me of the 1996 Annual Investiture in the Grand Temple.
As soon as he had been invested as a Senior Grand Deacon, Lord Burnham retired, and shortly afterwards returned wearing the regalia of a Past Grand Steward.
He had been appointed a Grand Steward the previous year, nominated by the Lodge of Antiquity No. 2. He conducted another brother and myself from my Mother Province (Yorkshire, North and East Ridings), both being promoted, to the
dais and back, quietly enquiring of each
of us from whence we came.
Even during such a brief acquaintance, his kindly disposition clearly manifested itself and made a lasting impression on me.
Bruce B. Hogg,
Red card facts
Reference to your correspondent Don McKenzie (MQ, Issue No. 13), it was
Ken Aston who was responsible for the
red and yellow card, not Sir Stanley Rous, who indeed worked closely with him.
Ken was my headmaster at Newbury Park School in Ilford, Essex and married
my mother’s cousin, Hilda.
I was too young to know of his Masonic connections, but have since realised that most of the family were connected with
the Craft, including my uncle, who told
me when I became a Mason in the 1970s.
Reasons for rebellion
I write regarding the article on Liverpool Rebels by David Harrison (MQ, Issue No. 13) in which he refers to the rebels creating the groundbreaking Magna Charter of Freemasonry.
The Wigan & District Association for Masonic Research has a copy in its library
and it was read in full at the annual Installation of the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge
of Free and Accepted Masons of England According to the Old Constitutions, the reformed Antients Grand Lodge.
The Magna Charter was a forthright condemnation of the United Grand Lodge, which was considered by many Masons outside London to have exceeded its
powers by trying to impose standard working on all Lodges.
Many were very protective that they
had as custom and practice worked other degrees under their Craft warrant, including the Mark and the Royal Arch, and many continued to do so after the Union.
The second Article of the Union stated that: “It is declared and pronounced, that Ancient Masonry consists of three degrees, and no more, viz. those of Entered Apprentice, the Fellow Craft and Master Mason, including the Supreme Order of
the Holy Royal Arch. But this article is not intended to prevent any Lodge or Chapter from holding a meeting of the degrees of
the Orders of Chivalry, according to the constitutions of the said Orders.”
Around 1818 the second paragraph i.e., “But this article etc.,” was removed from the Book of Constitutions, causing even more furore in the Provinces.
As regards Francis Astley, Provincial Grand Master of Lancashire, he was not neglectful of his duties. He was ill, and as
was the custom in those days, the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, Daniel Lynch, took more or less day-to-day control of
Astley was in constant touch with his Provincial Secretary, whom he sent to Liverpool to try and sort out the affair.
Due to problems between the Liverpool Masons and their colleagues in Wigan, the Grand Lodge moved to Wigan, and met there for the rest of its life.
The first Grand Master of the reformed Grand Lodge was a Barnsley Mason, George Woodcock, who had tried to get his Yorkshire brethren to support the rebellion, only to cause a split in his own Lodge.
Although appointed Grand Master, he never attended to be installed, yet went to the length of having his own personal Grand Master’s collar jewel made by a Sheffield jeweller, now in the possession of Barnsley Masonic Hall.
The rebellion was not totally in vain,
for it brought about changes in the Book
of Constitutions and some improvement
in communications between London and the Provinces.
The Lodge which survived and rejoined United Grand Lodge after 90 years of independence still meets in Wigan at
The Orwell at Wigan Pier.
Secretary, Wigan & District
Association for Masonic Research
US Masons in the UK
I thoroughly enjoyed the article on Masonry during wartime (MQ, Issue No. 13) and found the reference to Masonic Clubs on page 57 interesting.
I am a member and past President of the Croughton Square and Compass Club that meets in the Boat Inn at Stoke Bruerne, Northamptonshire. We are one of the two remaining Square and Compass clubs still
in existence in this country.
The clubs were founded when American servicemen, who were Freemasons, were
in Britain, but could not attend Lodges in the UK. In order to be able to meet with Brother Freemasons, the clubs were set up on American, mainly U S Air Force, bases and remained right through the Cold War.
During the Kennedy administration
they moved ‘off base’ and were held in local hostelries, where they flourished until the Americans started to wind down their operations in this country.
The Croughton Square and Compass Club is still flourishing and holds regular meeting every second Wednesday evening each month, the only criteria for membership is to be a regular Master Mason.
There is no ritual and the main item on the agenda after a superb meal is Masonic education, being a paper usually delivered by one of the members in a very convivial and relaxed atmosphere
A memorable day
On 7th May, at 11am, the master of Farnworth Lodge No. 5301, David Franklin, married his fiancé, Gillian, followed by a reception. At 6.30pm he and his new bride hosted the Ladies’ evening –
a unique occasion.
I do not understand the remarks of Rex Johnson in his letter (MQ, Issue No. 13)
in which he refers to the Lord Kitchener Lodge in Janpath, New Delhi.
The Lodge named after Kitchener in Delhi is The Kitchener Lodge No. 2998 EC. I was its Master in 1965 and I cannot agree with his comments. Both before and after India gained independence, it was a very strong Lodge, its members being English with a few Scots but no Indians.
I cannot believe there were four brethren sitting at the foot of the staircase drinking whisky, it would not have been tolerated. Prominent Lodge members included Lt.-General Sir Harold Williams, who would have been outraged at such behaviour.
When the Grand Lodge of India was formed in the 1960s, the Lodge opted to
stay in the UGLE, with strong support at
the time from the British High Commission staff and local English businessmen.
I retired from India in 1975 and have
lost touch with the Lodge, but I suppose
it still continues.
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