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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Thomas Sandby, who designed the first Freemasons’ Hall and also the rebuilt Tavern
   A fascinating picture of the Tavern business at this time is given by the catalogue of the contents of the Tavern sold at auction over several days in January 1802, a copy of which is in the Library and Museum collection. All the furniture and utensils were sold, including the table and chairs from the card room, the carpets, curtains and mirrors from the “Glee Room” and quantities of mahogany tea trays, “oriental porcelain”, “Masonic glasses”, china dishes, bowls and silver plate.
    The sale also included quantities of what were described in the catalogue as “choice old wines” including more than 800 dozen bottles of “East India Madeira of Superior quality”. The “excellent old Port” was sold in lots of 10 dozen bottles at prices of around £25 per lot.
    In 1808 new tenants took over. Robert Christopher Sutton, William Thorn and John Jackson Cuff all had business experience. Thorn had been the head waiter at Canonbury House and Cuff had once been an apprentice to Richold and Mollard at the Tavern, but was at the time running a small eating-house in Drury Lane. Sutton owned the Highbury Barn Tavern and was able to provide capital.
    When Sutton and Thorn retired, Cuff took over the operation assisted by Hoggary, his chief clerk and Arnold, his head cellarman, both of whom seem to have participated in a profit-sharing scheme that meant that they each had an estate worth more than £1,000 when they died.
    His son John Cuff joined his father in the business in 1827 and John Jackson Cuff retired to run another inn, The Old Ship, at Brighton in 1834.
    On his retirement, his tradesmen held a dinner in his honour and presented him with a candelabra. When he died in November 1848, he left a fortune of more than £120,000 and his death was marked with a lengthy obituary in the Freemason’s Quarterly Review. The prosperity of the tavern under his stewardship is evidenced by the commissioning of plates and dishes printed with an image of the Tavern for use by diners.
    In the early 1850s Cuff’s former clerk, Thomas Bacon, a member of the Lodge of Regularity since 1832, who had been joint proprietor of the Tavern with John Cuff, became sole proprietor, but was soon replaced by William Watson, Thomas Coggin and Benjamin Banks.
    Their business similarly failed to prosper and more new tenants, Shrewsbury & Co (David Shrewsbury, James Thomas Cookney and George Goode Elkington), took over in 1856 at a lower rent.
    Shrewsbury and Elkington were both Northamptonshire Masons and had been members of Pomfret Lodge No 360 since 1837. When they moved to London, Shrewsbury joined the Lodge of Regularity (now No. 91) and Elkington joined Royal Somerset and Inverness Lodge No. 4 and later St John’s Lodge No. 167 in Hampstead.


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