Early Minutes - BRUNSWICK LODGE NO 159

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Early Minutes

Lodge History


Installation day from 1802 to 1820 was held twice a year on St Johns day the 27th December and 24th June. In 1815 the Grand Lodge issued a new Book of Constitutions,  but it was not until 4th January, 1819, that Brunswick Lodge applied for a copy. The resolution to elect Officers for twelve months took place at this period, page 77 of the new Book of Constitutions directs that” The Master, who must have previously  been appointed and served as Warden of some Warranted Lodge, shall be annually elected by ballot; and at the next Lodge, when the Minutes are confirmed, he shall be installed in the Chair, according to Ancient usage, he shall appoint his Wardens, etc.” Previously he was elected by a show of hands and forthwith he occupied the Chair.

The Installation from 1820 reverted to once a year on St Johns day 27 December and in 1885 it changed to the second Wednesday in December. In 1937 it changed yet again to the first Wednesday in December also in that year the Lodge  name changed from Lodge Brunswick 159 to Brunswick Lodge 159. No reason is given for this in the minutes.

St John’s Days have no particular connection with masonry or architecture. There seems good ground for assuming that the two Saint’s days were originally days of heathen rejoicing, being the summer and winter solstices.

In the early days of the Lodge it was common practice to Initiate a candidate and about one or two weeks later Pass and Raise him on the same night. (Bro. T. Mc Laugton was Initiated March 3,1806, Past & Raised on March 17,1806).

Monday October 13, 1806, George Tanton forfeited 5/- for not filling the Office of Worshipful Master, as he thinks himself not efficient to the task of Master of the Lodge. Pike was recommended to fill the office.

Total members of the lodge as of July 1809 were 63 paying monthly dues of one shilling and six pence and Initiation fees of three guineas.

Proceedings dated October 31, 1810 at Hotel Kingsand. for the purpose of Consecrating & Installing the Officers of Lodge 320 (which is now Lodge of Fidelity No 230) The Installing Master W. Bro. Duncan Ross W. M of 208 & was assisted  by the following officer of his Lodge Senior Warden Bro. John Dake acting Senior Grand Deacon, Junior Warden Bro. William Litstone acting as Treasurer & Secretary Bro. Joseph Papps acting as Secretary also present were Brothers Thomas Berry, Terrance  McLaughton, Robert Greet, Samuel Balsom, Nicholas Davey, Mathias Watt, John Thomas Addicott, George Robinson & William Nutcher.

The following Brothers from 208 were installed as Officers of the new Lodge Thomas Berry, Worshipful Master, Terrance McLaughton, Senior Warden Robert Greet, Senior Deacon, Samuel Balsom, Treasurer, members Nicholas Davey, Mathias  Watt & John Thomas Addicott.

Before 1820 Military Lodges, possessed an Ark in the form of a wooden box which travelled with the Regiment and contained the warrant, jewels, etc of the Lodge. Ark being a common old time word for cupboard

Proceedings of Lodge 260 held at the Military Arms, Plymouth Dock 5, July 1819. The Lodge Opened on the third degree of  Masonry. It was proposed and unanimously agreed that each and every visiting Brother should Subscribe to  the ark for the first and every Visit 1 Shilling and 6 Pence whether on Emergency or Stated Lodge Night. The Lodge closed in harmony at 10 o’clock.
Visiting Brothers
Bro. Lodge 339 WM. Nicholas Westlake
Bro. Ball 339 SW. Joseph Williams
Bro. Rule 577 JW. Thomas Packard.
Money contained in the Ark was recorded on:
September 6, 1819 page 139 Ark box contains £4-12-0,
October 4th, 1819 page 140 Ark box contains £5-15-7,
November 1st , 1819 Page 141 Ark box contains £6-3-5

O n the 24th, June 1844 W. Bro. M. Chapman presented the Lodge with a Banner.

On the 27th, December 1845 the SW. Peter E. Rowe presented the Lodge with a beautiful model of a Prefect Ashlar

The early years of the Lodge history were certainly turbulent to say the least, as the Lodge hall was usually situated at Local Inns, you can easily see how heated discussions developed during the latter stages of the evenings.  Minutes dated March 5th, 1845 record the resignation of the W. Master. A Narracott, IPM, Senior and Junior Wardens, Treasurer, Secretary, Senior Deacon and two Past Master’s due to the conduct of certain members. After settling their differences  they rejoined the Lodge on April 7th, 1845 when W. Bro. Narracott was reinvested with his collar by W. Bro. Maynard.

Minutes dated March 2nd, 1853. Brother Narracott the Treasurer gave notice that at the next Lodge night he would move the following motions.
1. That the furniture and all other properties of this Lodge , be, and are hereby presented to Brothers Maynard and Russell, Past Masters.
2. That the residue of monies of this Lodge after payment of all dues and demands to which we are justly liable be paid by the Treasurer to the Funds for the Asylum of the aged and decayed Freemasons.
3. That this Lodge be dissolved.

inute dated April 6th, 1853 the resolution to dissolve the Lodge was put and carried with three discontent brethren voting against it. Brothers C. Jackson and J. Mackay spoke against the motion, the last named brother required the secretary  to take notice of the same. The Lodge was dissolved and the warrant returned to Freemasons Hall, London.

A petition dated the August 13th, 1853 and signed by the Worshipful
Master, the Wardens, five Past Masters and other Brethren of the Lodge was presented to Most Worshipful Grand Master, stating that the resolutions dated April 6th, 1853 were passed on under erroneous impressions and by no means with any intention of acting  illegally and therefore praying the M W, Grand Master to restore to them the said Warrant and books.

The Grand Master acceded to the request upon the full understanding that all those Brethren who were members of Lodge at the period when the Warrant was sent to London are to be at liberty to continue and still to be considered  members. The Warrant and books are now returned to the W. Master, upon the said conditions and understanding. By Command of the Right Honourable The Earl of Zetland
Most Worshipful Grand Master
Freemasons Hall London
15th, October 1853
Signed William H. White,
Grand Secretary.

A regular Lodge meeting was held on November 8th, 1853 and from that date the Lodge, has as our motto states, ‘Risen with Increased Splendour’.

An incident in Brunswick Lodge led to United Grand Lodge being specially convened on Wednesday 11 May 1853. The Grand Master, the Right Hon the Earl of Zetland, conducted the meeting and among the distinguished masons present  were the Earl of Yarborough, The Provincial Grand Master of Devonshire who was then the Earl of Fortescue and the Past Grand Masters of Dorset and Surrey.

The summons for convening the meeting referred to an appeal by Brother Charles Jackson of Brunswick Lodge against the judgement pronounced by the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master of Devonshire in the matter of his complaint  against certain proceedings of W.Bro. H. Hyman, Worshipful Master of Brunswick Lodge in which he stated the new Master displayed an intolerance of spirit and unjust and uncalled for exercise of arbitrary power at a committee meeting on the 8th, January  1851 when it was to be decided where the annual festival banquet should be held. The Provincial Grand Master’s decision was upheld and Brother C. Jackson’s appeal was dismissed.

Lodge Minutes date January 4th, 1854.Proposed by Bro. John Mackay and seconded by Bro. William Clark, that a Lodge summons should be printed in future.

Minutes Dated March 4th,1857. Lodge of Instruction to be held on the third Wednesday of each month in accordance with the constitution, was carried unanimously.

In 1863 saw the Consecration of our second daughter Lodge St Aubyn No 954.

Minutes Dated Sept 7th,1864. The W.M. gave notice he would apply for a warrant to work the Royal Arch degree in connection with the craft.

Consecration of our third daughter Lodge Huyshe No 1099, took place in 1866

Memorial Stone of Brunswick Lodge was laid W. Bro. Richard Lose on 12th July 1879. The Temple was built by W. Bro. Anthony Lethbridge in Hobart Street, Stonehouse and was used by the Lodge until 1908. It was called ‘Ebrington  Masonic Temple’ so named after the Provincial Grand Master of Devonshire R. W. Bro. Lord Ebrington.

Minutes August 6th,1879. Brother Lethbridge gave a Masonic Jug to the Worshipful Master, a present from his brother Captain Lethbridge. Which was broken during the move to St Aubyn Masonic Hall. It has now been fully restored  by Mrs Rowe and was presented to the Lodge by her son W. Bro. G. S. Rowe PPrADC, on the 4th July 2001.

A special Provincial Grand Lodge of Devonshire was held on Tuesday 6th, January 1880 at Ebrington Masonic Temple. The occasion was the Consecration of our daughter Lodge, ‘Ebrington No 1847’ The ceremony was  performed by the Provincial Grand Master of Devonshire R. W. Bro. Lord Ebrington, it being his first official duty since becoming Provincial Grand Master in August 1879. For the ceremony of Consecration the following W. Brothers of Brunswick Lodge were  installed as Master, Richard Lose, Senior Warden, John Henry Stephens and Junior Warden Francis Litteton. The first Worshipful Master of the Lodge was W. Bro. Richard Lose “Master of Brunswick Lodge in 1863”

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