The world’s first Grand Lodge – looking back to where it all started
Three hundred years ago, in a room in a pub, history was made. Were it possible to travel in time, it would be fascinating to bring back the brethren who came together at the Goose and Gridiron alehouse in London on 24 June 1717, when they elected the first Grand Master and brought into being the first Grand Lodge in the world, writes John Hamill, Director of Special Projects for the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE).
According to James Anderson in the 1738 Constitutions of the Free-Masons, four lodges met at the alehouse in St Paul’s Churchyard. Named after the public houses where they usually met, the lodges were Goose and Gridiron Ale-house in St Paul’s Church-yard; the Crown Ale-house in Parker’s Lane off Drury Lane; the Apple-Tree Tavern in Charles Street, Covent Garden; and the Rummer and Grapes Tavern in Channel Row, Westminster.
Continue reading →
The Economist explains
What is freemasonry?
Misinformation and conspiracy abound. Is it a benign organization or one bent on subverting government?
Published Feb 27, 2018
The literature on freemasonry does not offer straightforward explanations. Is it benign or bent on subverting government? Is it a community of knowledge or of the occult? Such questions are not new. Since its development in the 18th century, freemasonry has drawn the ire of the Catholic church, right-wing politicians and, more recently, Britain’s Home Office. (Fearing that masons in the police and judiciary were giving preferential treatment to other masons, the Home Office between 1998 and 2009 required judicial appointees to disclose their membership.) Freemasonry can appear incomprehensible because it contains no coherent ideology or doctrine, and is defined instead by a commitment to universal brotherhood and self-improvement. Nor does a single governing body exist. It is made up of a loose network of groups, known as lodges, that fall under regional and national grand lodges. What, then, is freemasonry all about? Continue reading →
168 Years of Doylestown Lodge. Embossed in the center is a representation of the Plumb, a well-known Masonic symbol representing “integrity.” As a Mason, we are taught to stand tall and walk uprightly before God and Man. The ribbon is blue and white, and while the color blue is frequently associated with integrity, the combination of blue and white is also used to promote the ideas of knowledge and charity.
London Freemasons have donated £2 million pounds towards the ‘Your London, Your Helicopter’ campaign of London’s Air Ambulance. The aim of the second helicopter is to extend daylight flying hours, thus providing an even more effective emergency service to London. The second helicopter was launched on the 28th January 2016. Graham Hodgkin, CEO of London’s Air Ambulance, said “We are blown away by the generosity of London Freemasons which brings us significantly closer to our aim of having a second emergency medical helicopter up and running by this summer. For many years, London Freemasons have been regular supporters of our work and we thank all those Freemasons across the Metropolitan area who will be working tirelessly to raise the two million pounds.”
The Freemasons’ fund-raising campaign kicked off with the presentation of a cheque for £250,000 at Freemasons’ Hall on Thursday, 5th March 2015 to Neil Jeffers, Chief Pilot of LAA, by the then Metropolitan Grand Master, Russell J. Race, DL. Russell Race commented, “Freemasons both in London and all over the country have been donating to Air Ambulances for many years. We at the Metropolitan Grand Lodge of London are delighted however to have an opportunity to specifically assist in the provision of this vital second helicopter for London.”
This first installment was followed by a further £750,000, which was handed over by Sir Michael Snyder, the new Metropolitan Grand Master, on Thursday 5th November 2015.
On 22 March 2017, a terrorist attack took place in the vicinity of the Palace of Westminster in London, seat of the British Parliament. The attacker drove a car into pedestrians on the pavement along the south side of Westminster Bridge and Bridge Street, injuring more than 50 people, four of them fatally. The helicopters were deployed to airlift the injured to multiple hospitals.