ISSUE 21, April 2007
Historic: Philanthropist and scientist: Sir Henry Wellcome
Travel: In Darwin's footsteps
Grand Secretary: Interview with Nigel Brown
Quarterly Communication: Speech by the Pro Grand Master and Report of the Board of General Purposes
Faith and Freemasonry: A Salvationist and the Craft
Young Mason: Keep up the tradition
Freemasons' Hall: Refurbishment
Ladies Groups: Cheshire Ladies Circle
   Library and Museum: Masonry and music - the role of the organ
Specialist Lodge: A new Lodge for showmen is consecrated
Serving the community: Two Masons win major rescue awards
Spain: How a Cleveland Mason found his Spanish roots
Wales: Welsh Mason lands national sporting award
Hospices: The Craft's historic links with hospices
Ancient Craft: Herefordshire's ancient boat builder
Education: Forthcoming events and Andrew Prescott and Own free will and accord and First Universities Scheme Initiate
Masonic Charities: Latest from the four main Masonic charities
Letters, Book reviews, Gardening

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I would like to add to some of the issues raised by Terence Waters and refer to the article by Tony Harvey (MQ, Issue No. 20). Modern life has changed, but whether for the better I cannot answer.
    Freemasonry is that overriding light that does not change, but it has to innovate: “innovation through tradition” is the key to survival and success.
    Whilst some practices are not always conducive to everyday life, for instance, commencement of many meetings at 5pm, others that might seem old fashioned are part of our tradition.
    They make us feel we are part of history, maintaining the ethos of what they created hundreds of years ago. The successive cutting of tradition and making things easier is not wrong, so long as we do not downgrade it to lose the challenges and uniqueness of the Order. We all enjoy Freemasonry, but some changes need more consideration.
    In every Province, younger and newer Brethren exist, and an understanding of their thoughts and views should be sought directly by the working parties who advise the Rulers.
    Tony Harvey’s article on Scouting and Freemasonry highlights that if Lodges form local links with young men, collaborating with them in their journey through Scouting, they hopefully will see the support and comradeship that Freemasonry brings.
    They will then have a desire to become part of the Masonic brotherhood. Furthermore, with this in mind, the ladies in Scouting would have a fuller understanding of what Freemasonry is, with a view to family life, the commitments, the enjoyment and support to be had.
    Helping and supporting young people from an early age can benefit both organisations in a constantly changing world of ethics and values.
    John Hoeffler
    Hutton, Essex

Breeches Bibles
    I found Peter Coward’s article (MQ, Issue No. 20) about the Breeches Bible in the possession of Lodge of Affability No. 317, most informative. It is not, however, the only example of the Geneva Bible in use in the English Constitution.
    My Lodge, Good Report No.136, uses one, a 1585 edition printed in London by Christopher Barker. It might be the bible on which the Lodge was consecrated in 1765, but this cannot be confirmed. It has been rebound in recent years and is in remarkably good condition considering its regular use in the past. It is now brought out once a year for our Installation meeting.
    Richard Sharp

I read Bro Coward's article on their Lodge's Breeches Bible with great interest. It was in a similar manner that I discovered our old Lodge bible - by scouring the bottom of the Lodge box - and it also appears to be a Breeches Bible.
    It appears that our Bible was presented to our Lodge at our consecration in 1789. Our Breeches Bible is in perfect condition and was published in 1598. More information can be found at our Lodge web site at
    Simon Marner
    Archivist. Lion And Lamb Lodge No 192

… there is a Breeches Bible in the possession of my Mother Lodge, the Lodge of Edinburgh (Mary’s Chapel) No.1 (SC), the oldest Lodge in the world, with written records dating back continuously to 1599, more or less the period when the English translation was coming into existence.
    However, the Lodge has not had it for as long as that, but I believe it was acquired, as a gift, in the middle of the19th century.
    Richard A. Savours,

… St Peter’s No. 419, which meets in Wolverhampton – also has a Breeches Bible, which is in regular use. It is a 1614 edition and was presented to the Lodge by its first Master in 1834. I know that Wulfruna Preceptor No. 79 also has a Breeches Bible.
    Guy Lawton
    Shrewsbury, Shropshire

… To my knowledge, two Lodges in Norwich use the Breeches Bible – Union Lodge No. 52 and Mancroft Lodge No. 6074. Union Lodge was consecrated on 24 June 1736, and for some reason was offered for sale in London.
    It was purchased by Lord Amherst of Hackney, a Past Master of the Lodge, who presented it back to the Lodge on 2 November 1897. Half the title page, including the date, is torn out, but it is known to have been printed by the deputies of Christopher Barker, printer to the Queen in 1597.
    David Stott
    King’s Lynn, Norfolk

… Alexander Burnett Brown Lodge No. 6133, Province of Middlesex, owned a Breeches Bible, but the Lodge closed in 2000.
    At closure, the Bible, together with other family items, was returned to Alexander Burnett Brown’s grandson, W Bro Anthony Burnett Brown, who died in 2002.
    David A Walters

… Lodge of Unity No. 386, which meets at Wareham in Dorset, has used a Breeches Bible since it received its Warrant in 1827.
    At the time, Scientific Lodge of Crewkerne, Somerset, was about to surrender its Warrant, and the bible – dated 1585 – was offered to the founders of Lodge of Unity.
    Robert Seward
    Poole, Dorset

… Mancroft Lodge No. 6074 also has a Breeches Bible. The Lodge was consecrated on 24 May 1945 by the then Bishop of Norwich, Rt. Revd. Percy Mark Herbert, Provincial Grand Master for Norfolk.
    The Deputy Provincial Grand Master, Frederic Ray Eaton, assisted at the ceremony, and presented the Bible, and it is so inscribed. It is used at each Installation of a Master, although not at the regular meetings. It was printed in 1611 and contains within the leather cover the signed Roll of Masters.
    Geoffrey Woolsey-Brown

… The University of Manchester Mark Lodge No. 1001 has a Breeches Bible, presented at its foundation in 1944 by Bryan Cary, its first secretary. It was printed in 1599, bound with a 1664 Book of Common Prayer and a psalter.
    John Walters
    Secretary, University of Manchester Mark Lodge

… A Breeches Bible, of exactly the same edition as that of Affability Lodge, is still in regular use in Carshalton Lodge No. 4429. It was presented to the Lodge at its consecration in 1922 by our first joining member, Edmund Hunt Dring, a Past Master of Quatuor Coronati Lodge No. 2076.
    James Edgar Taylor
    Epsom, Surrey

… Lodge of Harmony No. 133 also possesses a Breeches Bible, which appears to have been in constant use since well before 1829. In the late 1970s Sotheby's valued it at £20 for insurance purposes.
    A R Thornhill
    Faversham, Kent

… Pilgrims Lodge No. 772 has a Breeches Bible on which every Master has sealed his Obligation since 1859. The only clue to the date is that pencilled above the printing: "Date 1603".
    Hubert Baker
    Glastonbury, Somerset

Left: The Lodge of Affability reference in the Geneva Bible
Above: The famous ‘breeches’ passage in Genesis III, Verse 7

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