ISSUE 18, July 2006
Editorial
Archbishop Fisher: A Godly man and a Brother
Travel: The train takes the strain
Quarterly Communication: Annual Investiture speech by the Grand Master and Speech of the Pro Grand Master and Report of the Board of General Purposes
Supreme Grand Chapter: Speech by the First Grand Principal and Report of the Committee of General Purposes Grand Lodge of New York: Speech by the Pro Grand Master
   Specialist Lodges: Keeping their eyes on the ball
Education: Planning ahead for the Chair and Events and New premises for Masonic research
Royal Opera House: A right Royal occasion
Royal opening: Beamish Museum
Digital records: Saving our past for the future
Library & Museum: The hall in the garden
Queen's Birthday: Masons played a prominent part
International: A Mason and the Foreign Legion
Masonic Charities: Grand Charity and NMSF and RMBI and RMTGB
Letters, Book reviews, Gardening

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The splendid new building which houses the Centre for Research Into Freemasonry

The University of Sheffield’s Centre for Research into Freemasonry (CRF) has now moved into its magnificent new premises, and during May two landmark events were held launching the new facilities which were addressed by leading international scholars and attended by large and enthusiastic audiences.
    The CRF forms part of the University’s award-winning Humanities Research Institute (HRI). To provide expanded facilities for the HRI, a beautiful early Victorian house, formerly the vicarage of St James’s Church, Sheffield, has been carefully restored.
    Thanks to a munificent donation by the Liafail Foundation, a striking new extension has been added which incorporates new offices for the CRF, space for visiting scholars, a digitisation suite, and state-ofthe- art lecture and seminar facilities. The extension has Sheffield’s first ‘green roof’.
    These new facilities have been named the Douglas Knoop Centre, after the Professor of Economics at the University from 1920 to 1948. Knoop was initiated in University Lodge No. 3911 at Sheffield in 1921 and was Master of Quatuor Coronati Lodge No. 2076, the oldest Lodge of Masonic research.
    With his colleagues G. P. Jones and Douglas Hamer, Knoop produced the largest single body of academic research into Freemasonry so far undertaken at a British University.
    The inaugural conference of the CRF in the Douglas Knoop Centre was held on 3 May 2006. Delegates were welcomed by Professor Robert Boucher, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield, and Professor David Shepherd, Director of Arts and Humanities Research.
    Both Professor Boucher and Professor Shepherd expressed their enthusiasm for the work of the CRF and their hope that the new premises will provide a platform for continued expansion of its activities and that the developing research and teaching agenda of the CRF will embrace other forms of fraternal organisation as well as Freemasonry.
    Professor Andrew Prescott, Director of the CRF, discussed the contribution of Douglas Knoop to the study of Freemasonry.
    Since 2003, the Supreme Grand Chapter has joined the United Grand Lodge in financing the CRF, and the importance of the Royal Arch as a field of investigation was eloquently described by Richard Crane of Quatuor Coronati Lodge, a former Prestonian lecturer.
    In the afternoon, the conference was addressed by three of the most outstanding scholars working on the history of Freemasonry. Professor David Stevenson of St Andrew’s University gave an enthralling overview of the history of Scottish Freemasonry. Professor Ton van de Sande, Chair of Freemasonry as an Intellectual Current and Socio-cultural European Phenomenon at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands, entertainingly discussed the issues affecting scholarly investigation of Freemasonry.
    The day concluded with a fascinating lecture by Professor Margaret Jacob of the University of California at Los Angeles.
    Professor Jacob used the records of a Lodge in Bordeaux, recently discovered in the archives returned from Moscow to Paris, to illustrate how Freemasonry contributed to the emergence of a more cosmopolitan society in the 18th century.
    Professor Jacob’s lecture was given in memory of Sam Allen, a keen Freemason from Clacton-on-Sea, and friends of Sam made a generous contribution towards the costs of the lecture.
    On 26 May 2006, the new HRI building was formally opened by Professor Phillip Esler, Chief Executive of the Arts and Humanities Research Council. The senior director of the Liafail Foundation unveiled a plaque honouring Douglas Knoop and commemorating the Foundation’s gift.
    There were various displays on the work of the CRF, including an exhibition of beautiful aprons, jewels and books kindly lent by the Hallamshire College Library. Among the books from the Hallamshire College Library on display were many with personal connections with Knoop.


Delegates at the opening of the new centre



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