ISSUE 9, April 2004

The Duke of Wellington: A Brother in arms
Quarterly Communication: Address of the Grand Master and Report of the Board of General Purposes
Life with the Stars: Masons and famous people
Hall Stone Jewel: Cyril Spackman, designer
Travel: Jamaica
Grand Charity: Annual Report and Accounts
Masonic stamps: Masonry on stamps
Library & Museum of Freemasonry: Antients and Moderns go on-line
Masonic education: Events for Freemasons
Masonic charities: The continuing work
Bowel cancer: How the Grand Charity is helping
Royal Arch: Russia and Eastern Europe
Richard Eve: A former Grand Treasurer
Book reviews

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Featured Masons

The Duke of Wellington
Neal Arden
Elias Ashmole
Richard Eve
John Pine
Cyril Spackman


Freemasonry prospered in Portugal, not least since several of Napoleon’s officers were active in the Craft, including Marshals Lannes, Junot and Ney.
       Troops under Wellington held a Masonic meeting in Lisbon, following which they walked in procession and full regalia through the streets of the city. The Masons were stoned and only narrowly escaped being shot at, which was an embarrassment to the Duke, then acting as Marshal General of the Portuguese Army.
       In an attempt to diffuse the tension, and in typical awareness of the sentiments of the local populace, Wellington issued a General Order dated 5 January 1810 addressed to his officers, requiring them to refrain from overt Masonic activity:
       an amusement which, however innocent in itself and allowed by the law of Great Britain, is a violation of the law of this [Portugal] Country, and very disagreeable to the people.
       Five years later Wellington was again to come face to face with his Masonic reputation. Marshal Michel Ney, who met his end during the ‘White Terror’ as a traitor, executed by a firing squad on 7 December 1815 in a Paris public park, recognised Wellington as a Masonic brother.
       In a document now apparently lost between Apsley House and the Southampton University archives, Marshal Ney appealed to Wellington ‘as a Brother’ to help save his life, but Wellington was not in a position to intervene.
     A political cartoon called
"A Wellington Boot - or
the Head of the Armye"

© Stapleton Collection UK / Bridgeman Art Library
       Ney had been initiated in Le Trinosophes Lodge No. 494 in Paris under the Grand Orient of France in 1826, and a legend has persisted that the ‘Bravest of the Brave’, as he had been referred to by Napoleon, escaped execution with the help of French Freemasons and the Duke of Wellington.
       The legend is perpetrated by the inscription on Peter Stuart Ney's tomb in the Third Creek Presbyterian Church in rural Rowan County, North Carolina, USA:
       In memory of Peter Stuart Ney, a native of France and soldier of the French Revolution under Napoleon Bonaparte, who departed this life Dec. 15, 1846, aged 77 years.
       Peter Stuart Ney, a schoolmaster, was buried there in 1846. His last words on his deathbed are reported to have been:
       By all that is holy, I am Marshal Ney of France.