I was pleased to see the comment on Rule
157 in your editorial (MQ, Issue No. 16),
as my stepson, Christopher Hanson, was
initiated into Old Pocklingtonian Lodge
No. 7867 on 5 November 2005, by
dispensation under this rule, having
become 18 on 7 May 2005.
He was therefore 18 and a half years old
when initiated. He had been determined for
some five years to join the Craft at the earliest
opportunity, and has made every effort to
attend Lodge socials since he was 10.
He has been very proud to let his friends
know of his involvement, and hopes that
some of them will follow his lead. He has
already made several visits and was looking
forward to being passed in Mitre York Lodge
No. 7321, my Mother Lodge, on 1 February.
Nelson Stone’s home
The October 2005 issue of MQ contained
an error about the ownership of the Nelson
Stone. United Friends Lodge No. 313 was
founded on 20 June 1797, the warrant was
issued on 26 June and it was consecrated
on 11 August in Great Yarmouth.
The names of the first Principal Officers
were engraved thereon, but the name of
the first Master, Samuel Fromow, was later
chiselled out. No-one knows why!
The original number of the Lodge was
564. In 1814 it was 585, in 1832 it became
392 and in 1863 changed to 313. The Lodge
fell into abeyance between 1853 and 1860
and again between 1871 and 1881.
Friendship Lodge No. 100 (formerly
No. 117) did not come to Yarmouth until
1842, having been consecrated at Norwich
in 1752. United Friends can therefore justly
claim to be oldest Great Yarmouth Lodge.
On the death of Lord Nelson, Bro
Cutlove cut the inscription on the stone,
which came into the possession of Friendship
Lodge, presumably during one of the
times when United Friends Lodge was
in abeyance and a number of brethren
joined Friendship Lodge.
To quote from W Bro Teasdel’s history
of the Lodge: “Thanks to the tact and
diplomacy of Bro. Westmacott, Master of
United Friends in 1912, and then Mayor of
the Borough, and the goodwill and Masonic
feeling of the Master of Friendship, Bro.
Benjamin Charles Child, the ‘Nelson Stone’
was graciously restored to its original home.”
It is now proudly displayed at every
meeting by the Senior Warden’s hutch.
Your vignette on Sir Bernard Spilsbury (MQ,
Issue No. 16) was most interesting. However,
whilst the details of his Masonic career and
achievements may be authentic, your analysis
of his contribution to facilitating the
acceptance of science-based evidence in
the detection of crime and the administration
of justice is unjustly flattering.
Since his death in 1947 at least three major
works have been published about his life and
work: Bernard Spilsbury – His Life and Cases
by Browne and Tullett, The Father of Forensics
by Colin Evans and The New Murders Who’s
Who, Harrop Books, London.
From these Sir Bernard emerges as a
somewhat severe, uncompromising and
dogmatic man with a dangerous conviction
in the infallibility of his own views.
Even in the later years of his life, several
members of the judiciary were expressing
disquiet, not only because of his patronising
and haughty attitude in the witness box,
but also with regard to the reliability of
Indeed, recent researches have suggested
that his inflexible dogmatism led to several
miscarriages of justice.
Further to the observations of Benjamin
Wiles (MQ Letters, Issue 16) regarding the
Nelson medal, he depicted that it could be
more of a maritime than a Masonic medal.
May I suggest that it is both?
The medal shows a number of maritime
symbols as well as Masonic ones. However,
the symbols at the very bottom of the medal
are of a rainbow over the Ark on water.
That suggests that the medal may
originate to the Maritime Degree of the
Royal Ark Mariners, and together with
the inscription around its circumference –
Nelsonic Crimson Oakes: Commenced
Jan 19 1808 – was no doubt struck to
celebrate this event. Is, or was, Crimson
Oakes a RAM Lodge?
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