Page images

by the right honourable and most worshipful An. thony, Lord Viscount Montague, grand master of masons in England, dated the 30th of April, 1733, appointing the right worshipful Henry Price grand master in North America, with full power and authority to appoint his deputy, and other masonic officers necessary for forming a grand lodge; and also to constitute lodges of free and accepted ma. sons, as often as occasion should require.

In consequence of this commission, the grand master opened a grand lodge in Boston,* on the 30th of July, 1733, in due form, and appointed the right worshipful Andrew Belcher deputy grand master, the worshipful Thomas Kennelly and John Quann, grand wardens.

The grand lodge, being thus organized, under the designation of St. John's Grand Lodge, proceeded to grant warrants for instituting regular lodges in various parts of America; and from this grand lodge, originated the first lodges in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New-Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, North-Carolina, South-Carolina, Barbadoes, Antigua, Newfoundland, Louisburgh, Nova Scotia, Quebec, Surinam and St. Christopher's.

* Sometimes called “The Grand Lodge of Modern Mosons."



In 1775, hostilities commenced between GreatBritain and America. Boston became a garrison, and was abandoned by many of its former inhabitants. The regular meetings of the grand lodg

were terminated, and the brethren of St. John's Grand Lodge held no assembly until after the re-establishment of peace.

There was at that time also a grand lodge holden at Boston, upon the ancient establishment, under the designation of The Massachusetts Grand Lodge,” which originated as follows:

In 1755, a number of brethren residing in Boston, who were ancient masons, in consequence of a petition to the grand lodge of Scotland, received a deputation, dated Nov. 30th, 1756, from Sholto Charles Douglas, Lord Aberdour, then grånd master, constituting them a regular lodge, under the title of St. Andrew's Lodge, No, 82, to be holden at Boston.

This establishment was discouraged and oppos. ed by the St. John's grand lodge, who thought their privileges infringed by the grand lodge of Scotland ; they therefore refused to have any intercourse with St. Andrew's lodge, for several years.

The prosperous state of St. Andrew's lodge soon led its members to make great exertions for the establishment of an ancient grand lodge in

America, which was soon effected in Boston, by the assistance of travelling lodges, belonging to the British army, who were stationed there.

Dec. 27, 1769. The festival of the Evangelist was celebrated in due form. When the brethren were assembled, a commission from the right honourable and most worshipful George, Earl of Dalhouse, grand master of masons in Scotland, dated the 30th of May, 1769, appointing Joseph Warren to be grand master of masons in Boston, and within one hundred miles of the same, was read, and he was, according to ancient usage, du. ly installed into that office. The grand master then appointed and installed the other grand officers, and the grand lodge was at this time completely organized.

Between this period and the year 1791, this grand lodge granted warrants of constitution for lodges to be holden in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Vermont and New-York.

In the year 1773, a commission was received from the right honourable and most worshipful Patrick, Earl of Dumfries, grand master of masons in Scotland, dated March 3, 1772, appointing the right worshipful Joseph Warren, Esqgrand master of masons for the Continent of America,


In 1775, the meetings of the grand lodge were suspended, by the town of Boston becoming a garrison.

At the battle of Bunker's hill, on the 17th of June, this year, masonry and the grand lodge met with a heavy loss, in the death of grand master Warren, who was slain contending for the liberties of his country.

Soon after the evacuation of Boston by the British army, and previous to any regular communication, the brethren, influenced by a pious regard to the memory of the late grand master, were induced to search for his body, which had been rudely and indiscriminately buried in the field of slaughter. They accordingly repaired to the place, and, by direction of a person who was on the ground at the time of his burial, a spot was found where the earth had been recently turned up. Upon removing the turf, and opening the grave, which was on the brow of a hill, and adjacent to a small cluster of sprigs, the remains were discovered, in a mangled condition, but were easily ascertained ;* and, being decently raised, were conveyed to the state-house in Boston; from whence, by a large and respectable number of brethren, with the late grand officers, attending in procesa

By an artificial tooth.

sion, they were carried to the Stone Chapel, where an animated eulogium was delivered by brother Perez Morton. The body was then deposited in the silent vault, “ without a sculptured stone to mark the spot ; but, as the whole earth is the se. pulchre of illustrious men, his fame, his glorious actions, are engraven on the tablet of universal re: membrance; and will survive marble monuments, or local inscriptions."

1777, March 8. The brethren, who had been dispersed in consequence of the war, being now generally collected, they assembled to take into consideration the state of masonry. Being deprived of their chief by the melancholy death of their grand master, as before mentioned, after due consideration, they proceeded to the formation of a grand lodge, and elected and installed the most worshipful Joseph Webb, their grand master.

1783, January 3. A committee was appointed to draught resolutions explanatory of the power and authority of this grand lodge. On the 24th of June following, the committee reported as follows, viz.

The committee appointed to take into consideration the conduct of those brethren who assume the powers and prerogatives of a grand lodge, on the ancient establishment in this place, and examine the extent of their authority and jurisdic

« PreviousContinue »