ISSUE 2, July 2002
Editorial
Brothers in endurance: Sir Ernest Shackleton
Travel: Florida
Jack the Ripper: Exploring the Masonic link
Quarterly Communication: Annual Investiture address by the Grand Master and Report of the Board of General Purposes and Report of the Library and Museum Trust
Masonic News: Order of Service to Masonry; Grand Lodge deficit; Alvin Coburn pioneer photographer; Royal Masonic Variety Show
   Royal Arch News: Concern over falling exaltations
Charity News: Masonic relief grants launched; New RMBI video; Help is at hand through the NMSF; RMBI challenges and change; Update on RMBI projects; RMBI resident Jessie is Britain's oldest person; Grand Charity grant to National Asthma Campaign; TalentAid
Masonic Homes: Proud and independent
Library and Museum news: Recent library acquisitions
Letters
Gardening
Book reviews

 Previous Page 
PLEASE USE THE LINKS ABOVE - OR ON THIS LINE - TO MOVE BETWEEN PAGES
 Next Page 









To bolster his Masonic conspiracy theory, Stephen Knight plays on the importance of Mitre Square, the site of the Eddowes' murder, which he calls 'The hallowed core of Freemasonic tradition'. He mentions five Lodges in his 'tradition'. First, Hirams Lodge, which met at the Crown for one meeting in 1797 and was erased in 1831. Second, he states the Lodge of Joppa met in the Mitre Square, but it actually met in Mitre Street in 1817 for one year. He also forgot to mention that the Lodge also met at the Ten Bells in 1803.
    It was the local watering hole of the prostitutes, and the Lodge met at Great Queen Street in 1888.
    Then he mentions Union Lodge, which drifted around Spitalfields from 1763 to 1802, but never met in Mitre Square, and Humber Lodge, which met in Hull - not exactly close.
    Finally, the last Lodge which he makes his trump card, Royal Alpha Lodge, of which he states Sir William Gull was a member did meet in Mitre Square in 1743 when it was called the Ionic Lodge of Prudence. It then removed in 1748 to Sun Milk Street, Honey Lane Market, then amalgamated with Alpha Lodge in 1822. Knight then informs us that the Lodge was close to Gull's house at 74 Brook Street, and that was way back in 1781. Gull was not born until 1812.
    Lastly, just to add to this collection of dismal research, Sir William Gull was not a Freemason. John Hamill, the then UGLE Librarian (and now Director of Communications), when replying to a paper on The Life and Times of Sir Charles Warren, states:
    "The Stephen Knight thesis is based upon the claim that the main protagonists, the Prime Minister Lord Salisbury, Sir James Anderson and Sir William Gull were all high-ranking Freemasons.

False Claim

"Knight knew his claim to be false for, in 1973, I received a phone call from him in the Library, in which he asked for confirmation of their membership. After a lengthy search I informed him that only Sir Charles Warren had been a Freemason. Regrettably, he chose to ignore this answer as it ruined his story. Sir Charles may not have been a good Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, but his conduct in no way merited the vilification he received at the hands of Mr Knight."
    There is, however, a Lodge that figures - if somewhat tentatively with respect to the Whitechapel murders Doric Lodge. In 1991, Ron Evans, a Freemason, produced a small booklet. The booklet gives an outline of what is known as the East London or Calver ritual.
    According to Evans, after the union of the two Grand Lodges (the Antients and the Moderns) in 1813, the Lodge of Reconciliation was formed to bring about a uniformity of practice in the Craft ceremonies. It would appear at this time no printed form of ritual would be allowed by the UGLE. Evans informs us that, by 1874, Clubs of Instruction had been formed with preceptors to teach the ritual, and that the UGLE was unaware that private payments were being paid to preceptors. He then suggests that a good preceptor could earn as much as 6d per head and, with a turnout of between 30 to 40 members, could earn as much as 10 to 15 shillings on a good night.
    One of these preceptors was Arthur Calver of the Doric Lodge, who appears to have been a pupil of Thomas John Barnes, a photographer based at 6 Bedford Place, Commercial Road in 1865. It is at this time that I found myself looking at the membership of Doric Lodge.
    I was able to borrow the Lodge minute books to look at the details of Thomas Barnes, when I came across a name that I recognised - George Lusk.
    George Lusk's part in the Whitechapel murders has been somewhat blown out of proportion by filmmakers, being depicted as a baton-wielding thug of a vigilante group. Nothing could be further from the truth. Lusk was initiated into Doric Lodge on 14 April 1882. He is recorded as a builder, and specialised in the restoration of music halls, and was the local churchwarden, and lived at 1 Alderney Road, Mile End.

 Previous Page 
PLEASE USE THE LINKS ABOVE - OR ON THIS LINE - TO MOVE BETWEEN PAGES
 Next Page