ISSUE 22, July 2007
Editorial
Quarterly Communication: Speech of the Grand Master : Address of the Pro Grand Master : Report of the Board of General Purposes
Historic: Architect to a King
Young Masons: Value of a warm welcome
Faith and Freemasonry: The twin supports
Supreme Grand Chapter: Speech of the Pro 1st Grand Principal and Report of the Committee of General Purposes
The Grand Secretary: Notes
   Travel: In the footsteps of the pharaohs
Inventor: Voice of the people
Human Rights Court Judgement: Landmark victory for Masons
International Conference: Masonic history unveiled
The Grand Chancellor: Special overseas role
Specialist Lodge: Prior Rahere and his legacy
Public Service: Serving the famous
Education: Events : Importance of the cable tow
Lbrary & Museum: Fraternal art
Masonic Charities: RMTGB : Grand Charity : RMBI : NMSF
Letters, Book reviews, Gardening

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Top
The Dome Room at the Soane Museum in Lincoln’s Inn Fields

Bottom
The Picture Room, which contains the Hogarth prints

Photos: Martin Charles
    The two properties were placed in auction on 23 June 1814 and bid for and purchased on behalf of Grand Lodge by Soane, for less than one-third of the original price.
    Furthermore, the payment for the acquisition was made by Soane personally, who began to finance Grand Lodge.
    At one stage Soane was convinced that he would not be paid at all for the work. These were no mean sums of money and it took until 1820 for Grand Lodge to disburse their debts to him in full – far longer than it should have done.
    In 1833, John Soane bequeathed to the nation, by a private Act of Paliament, his house at 13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields in central London which contained his museum and library. He had made extensions to his home during a period of 30 years since 1794, having purchased the two adjoining properties.
    This allowed him to fulfil, in practice, architectural concepts with which he wanted to experiment, whilst allowing for the housing of his vast and growing collection of classical antiquities and architectural paraphernalia salvaged from historical sites, all objects worthy of the British Museum.
    They are on view today at his museum: a sarcophagus of Seti I, Pharaoh of Egypt of c.1294 BC, dramatically situated beneath the dome; Roman bronzes from Pompeii from 79 AD; several Canalettos and a collection of paintings by Hogarth, including An Election which came directly from Hogarth’s family through the estate of David Garrick, among many other fascinating objects and paintings.
    The culmination of his achievements are reflected in the knighthood he received in 1831 and the special gold medal presentation made to him, three years after his retirement in 1835, by his colleagues in the newly founded Royal Institute of British Architects.     Grand Lodge presented him with a Certificate of Thanks in March 1832, signed by the two Grand Secretaries. In the same year, he commissioned John Jackson to paint a full length portrait of himself in full Masonic regalia as Grand Superintendent of Works. The painting hangs prominently today in the Picture Room of the John Soane Museum.
    On 20 January 1837 Sir John Soane, now 84 years old, died, and was buried in the churchyard of St. Pancras Old Church in the vault which he himself had designed for his wife and himself in anticipation of their inevitable mortality.
    The design of the vault was a direct influence on Giles Gilbert Scott’s (1880–1960) design for the red telephone box of 1926 – a permanent and visual tribute to a long and distinguished professional and Masonic career.

Credits and Bibliography
My sincerest thanks to Bruce Hogg for his kind skilled improvements to my written words. Also John Bhone, whose unpublished article submitted to QC’s London Education Initiative in June 2002 has been of assistance.
Burford, Douglas, The Ark of the Masonic Covenant, AQC 105 (1992).
Stroud, Dorothy, Sir John Soane, Architect, De la Mare, 1996.
Taylor, John E., Sir John Soane: Architect and Freemason, AQC 95 (1982).
Thornton, Peter and Dorey, Helen, Sir John Soane’s Museum, Laurence King, 1992.



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