The 17 April 1843 minutes of Lodge 494 show their decision
not to pursue the matter:
That this Lodge do communicate to the Grand Lodge their sense of
the kind feeling they have received through the Secretary respecting the
Memorial presented praying to be allowed in future to call themselves
the Wellington Lodge and in consequence of the suggestions by him so
expressed they beg to withdraw said memorial.
It may have been the reluctance by members of the Lodge to
publicise these various communications that led to much confusion
of the Duke’s membership of the Craft. These were
added to following Wellington’s death on 14th September 1852.
In the Freemasons’ Quarterly magazine for 31 March 1854,
a Mr Walsh sent in a letter dated 6 March, referring to the various
fraternal tributes being paid to the memory of the late
Duke of Wellington. Mr Walsh stated that he had been writing
a book to be entitled Ancient Builders of the World and:
I was anxious to have the name and date of reception into
Freemasonry of every illustrious man…For this purpose, I wrote to
the Duke of Wellington, and the following is his reply:
London October 13, 1851
F M The Duke of Wellington presents his compliments to Mr
Walsh. He has received his letter of 7th ult. The Duke has no recollection
of having been admitted a Freemason. He has no knowledge of
Chetwood Crawley has correctly pointed out that the
Duke of Wellington was now in his 82nd year, and that his
blunt retort to an impertinent inquirer is much in character.
Credits and Bibliography:
Chetwood Crawley W J – Notes On Irish Freemasonry No VI, AQC LXV, 1902
Hayes, Rebecca – Librarian, Grand Lodge of Ireland, Dublin.
Longford, Elisabeth – Wellington, Abacus 2002.
Mainguy, Irene – Librarian, Grand Orient of France, Paris.
Slade, Sophie – Apsley House, The Wellington Museum, London.
Wellesley A R ed: Supplementary despatches and memoranda of Field Marshal Arthur Duke of Wellington, KG, London, 1858-72.
Below: "The Execution of Marshal Ney" by Jean Leon Gerome