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Freemasonry in Kingston upon Hull

Becoming a Freemason in Kingston upon Hull

Becoming a Freemason

The first meetings of the Antients, as they came to be known, are also missing, but these span only a few months instead of the six years of silence from the older institution. On 5 February 1752 Laurence Dermott became Grand Secretary, and proper minutes ensued. Although these have still to be published, they have been extensively mined by masonic writers, particularly Bywater's biography of Dermott, which draws verbatim from the minutes. Dermott's style is quirky, occasionally obtuse, and often full of dry humour. Discipline is a frequent subject, collecting dues from delinquent lodges, and the "leg of mutton" masons who admitted men to the Holy Royal Arch for the price of such a meal without the least idea what the actual ritual was, and claimed to teach a masonic technique for becoming invisible. The conflict between the two Grand Lodges, while obvious from other contemporary sources, is largely absent from both sets of minutes.

Other Masonic documents

Fabric Rolls of York Minster

Records of the operative lodge at York Minster are included in the rolls relating to the 'fabric' (the building material) of the construction, starting with an undated entry from about 1350–1360, and ending in 1639. Written mainly in Latin until the Reformation, they comprise accounts, letters, and other documents relating to the building and maintenance of the church.

Statutes of Ratisbon

The Statutes de Ratisbon were first formulated on 25 April 1459 as the rules of the German stonemasons, when the masters of the operative lodges met at Ratisbon (now Regensburg). They elected the master of works of Strasbourg Cathedral as their perpetual presiding officer. Strasbourg was already recognised as the Haupthütte, or Grand Lodge of German masons. The General Assembly was held again in 1464 and 1469, and the statutes and society were approved by the Emperor Maximilian in 1498. The final form of the statutes regulated the activity of master masons (Meister), with an appendix of rules for companions or fellows (Gesellen), and apprentices (Diener). These regulations were used for over a century as the Strasbourg lodge operated as a court for the settlement of building disputes. This ended in abuse of power, and the Magistrates removed the privilege in 1620. Strasbourg was annexed by France in 1681, and its rule over German operative lodges interdicted at the beginning of the 18th century. While there seems little likelihood that the code affected the emergence of German speculative lodges in the 18th century, they may have had some influence on a few of the English "charges".

Other German ordinances are found in the Cologne records (1396-1800), the Torgau ordinances of 1462, and the Strasbourg Brother-book of 1563. The Cologne guild comprised both stonemasons and carpenters, and was repeatedly referred to as the Fraternity of St. John the Baptist.

Schaw Statutes

William Schaw was master of works to King James VI of Scotland, and was also the general warden of all the lodges of Scottish stonemasons. This meant he was in charge of the erection, repair and maintenance of all government buildings, and also the running of what was already a fraternity of masons, who ensured that all building work was undertaken by properly qualified persons, and also provided for their own sick and the widows of their members. Schaw formalised the working of the lodges in two sets of statutes, set down on 28 December 1598 and 1599. Many now see these as the beginnings of modern Freemasonry. Robert Cooper, the archivist and writer, goes so far as to call Schaw the Father of Freemasonry.

The Schaw Statutes were issued from Edinburgh, where Schaw seems to have met with representatives of lodges from central and eastern Scotland to formulate these regulatory principles. The 1598 Statute enjoined masons to be true to one another, and live charitably together as becomes sworn brothers and companions of the craft. This shows that there was already an oath involved, and invoked the legal definition of a brother as one to whom another was bound by oath. There followed directives as to the regulation of the craft, and provisions for the masters of every lodge to elect a warden to have charge of the lodge every year, and that the choice be approved by the Warden General. An apprentice had to serve seven years before being received into a lodge, and a further seven before becoming a fellow in craft, unless by consent of the masters, deacons and wardens, and after examination. The term Entered Apprentice is used for an apprentice who has been admitted to the lodge. The document was circulated to every lodge in Scotland, which caused some degree of upset in Kilwinning. The lodge in Kilwinning claimed to be the oldest lodge in Scotland, and was insulted not to have been represented. They sent Archibald Barclay to a further meeting in 1599, from which issued the second Statute, again on 28 December. In an attempt to paper over the crack created by the first meeting, Edinburgh was declared the first and principle lodge, Kilwinning the second and head lodge. Stirling came third. Kilwinning was given charge of the West of Scotland, and charged to examine their masons in "the art of memory", with fines prescribed for failure. What is being remembered is unspecified, but evidently known to all the masons present. Schaw also insisted that each lodge employ a notary, which resulted in the Scottish lodges starting to keep minutes. The document ends by thanking Archibald Barclay, and looking forward to obtaining the King's warrant for the statutes. Kilwinning, far from being appeased, took no further part in the dealings of Schaw's lodges.

Prince Hall Freemasonry exists because of the refusal of early American lodges to admit African Americans. In 1775, an African American named Prince Hall, along with 14 other African-American men, was initiated into a British military lodge with a warrant from the Grand Lodge of Ireland, having failed to obtain admission from the other lodges in Boston. When the British military Lodge left North America after the end of the Revolution, those 15 men were given the authority to meet as a Lodge, but not to initiate Masons. In 1784, these individuals obtained a Warrant from the Premier Grand Lodge of England (GLE) and formed African Lodge, Number 459. When the UGLE was formed in 1813, all U.S.-based Lodges were stricken from their rolls – largely because of the War of 1812. Thus, separated from both UGLE and any concordantly recognised U.S. Grand Lodge, African Lodge retitled itself as the African Lodge, Number 1 – and became a de facto Grand Lodge. (This lodge is not to be confused with the various Grand Lodges in Africa.) As with the rest of U.S. Freemasonry, Prince Hall Freemasonry soon grew and organised on a Grand Lodge system for each state.

Widespread racial segregation in 19th- and early 20th-century North America made it difficult for African Americans to join Lodges outside of Prince Hall jurisdictions – and impossible for inter-jurisdiction recognition between the parallel U.S. Masonic authorities. By the 1980s, such discrimination was a thing of the past. Today most U.S. Grand Lodges recognise their Prince Hall counterparts, and the authorities of both traditions are working towards full recognition. The United Grand Lodge of England has no problem with recognising Prince Hall Grand Lodges. While celebrating their heritage as lodges of African-Americans, Prince Hall is open to all men regardless of race or religion.

Emergence of Continental Freemasonry

Masonic initiation, Paris, 1745

Masonic initiation, Paris, 1745

English Freemasonry spread to France in the 1720s, first as lodges of expatriates and exiled Jacobites, and then as distinctively French lodges that still follow the ritual of the Moderns. From France and England, Freemasonry spread to most of Continental Europe during the course of the 18th century. The Grande Loge de France formed under the Grand Mastership of the Duke of Clermont, who exercised only nominal authority. His successor, the Duke of Orléans, reconstituted the central body as the Grand Orient de France in 1773. Briefly eclipsed during the French Revolution, French Freemasonry continued to grow in the next century, at first under the leadership of Alexandre Francois Auguste de Grasse, Comte de Grassy-Tilly. A career Army officer, he lived with his family in Charleston, South Carolina from 1793 to the early 1800s, after leaving Saint-Domingue, now Haiti, during the years of the Haitian Revolution.

The ritual form on which the Grand Orient of France was based was abolished in England in the events leading to the formation of the United Grand Lodge of England in 1813. However the two jurisdictions continued in amity, or mutual recognition, until events of the 1860s and 1870s drove a seemingly permanent wedge between them. In 1868 the Supreme Council of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of the State of Louisiana appeared in the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Louisiana, recognised by the Grand Orient de France, but regarded by the older body as an invasion of their jurisdiction. The new Scottish Rite body admitted blacks. The resolution of the Grand Orient the following year that neither colour, race, nor religion could disqualify a man from Masonry prompted the Grand Lodge to withdraw recognition, and it persuaded other American Grand Lodges to do the same.

A dispute during the Lausanne Congress of Supreme Councils of 1875 prompted the Grand Orient de France to commission a report by a Protestant pastor, which concluded that, as Freemasonry was not a religion, it should not require a religious belief. The new constitutions read, "Its principles are absolute liberty of conscience and human solidarity", the existence of God and the immortality of the soul being struck out. It is possible that the immediate objections of the United Grand Lodge of England were at least partly motivated by the political tension between France and Britain at the time. The result was the withdrawal of recognition of the Grand Orient of France by the United Grand Lodge of England, a situation that continues today.

Not all French lodges agreed with the new wording. In 1894, lodges favouring the compulsory recognition of the Great Architect of the Universe formed the Grande Loge de France. In 1913, the United Grand Lodge of England recognised a new Grand Lodge of Regular Freemasons, a Grand Lodge that follows a similar rite to Anglo-American Freemasonry with a mandatory belief in a deity.

The early history of Grand Lodge is uncertain, since no minutes were taken until 1723. It is known that the four lodges mentioned above held an assembly at the Goose and Gridiron, in St Paul's Churchyard, on, 24 June 1717 (the Feast of St John the Baptist). They agreed to restore their "Quarterly Communications", four meetings a year for the transaction of masonic business, and an annual assembly to elect the next Grand Master. At this meeting, they elected Anthony Sayer, Master of the lodge at the Apple Tree, of whom little else is known, and the Grand Lodge of London and Westminster was born. At this stage, it is unlikely that they saw themselves as anything more than an association of London lodges. This perception was to change very rapidly.

The next year, George Payne became Grand Master. He was a career civil servant with the commissioners of taxes. In 1719, they elected John Theophilus Desaguliers, a clergyman, an eminent scientist, and a Fellow of the Royal Society. The last commoner to serve as Grand Master was George Payne in his second term of office in 1720/21, when he wrote The General Regulations of a Free Mason [sic] which were later incorporated in Anderson's Constitutions. Thereafter, in what appears to be a deliberate attempt to raise the profile of the organisation, all the Grand Masters have been members of the nobility.

Desaguliers is often described as the "father" of modern Freemasonry. It was Desaguliers who inscribed the dedication to Anderson's Constitutions, headed the committee which directed and approved them, and supplied the "Gothic Constitutions" from which they were formed. Although he only served one term as Grand Master, he was twice Deputy Grand Master under figurehead Grand Masters, and at other times behaved as if he was Grand Master, forming irregular lodges to conduct initiations. It seems to have been Desaguliers who insisted that ritual be remembered rather than written down, leading to a dearth of material on the development of English ritual until after the formation of United Grand Lodge.

Kingston upon Hull, usually abbreviated to Hull, is a port city and unitary authority in the East Riding of Yorkshire, England. It lies upon the River Hull at its confluence with the Humber Estuary, 25 miles (40 km) inland from the North Sea, 50 miles (80 km) east of Leeds, 34 miles (55 km) south-east of York and 54 miles (87 km) north-east of Sheffield. With a population of 259,778 (mid-2019 est.), Hull is the fourth-largest city in the Yorkshire and the Humber region.

The town of Wyke on Hull was founded late in the 12th century by the monks of Meaux Abbey as a port from which to export their wool. Renamed Kings-town upon Hull in 1299, Hull had been a market town, military supply port, trading hub, fishing and whaling centre and industrial metropolis. Hull was an early theatre of battle in the English Civil Wars. Its 18th-century Member of Parliament, William Wilberforce, took a prominent part in the abolition of the slave trade in Britain. After suffering heavy damage in the Second World War (the "Hull Blitz"), Hull weathered a period of post-industrial decline, gaining unfavourable results on measures of social deprivation, education and policing. In the early 21st century spending boom before the late 2000s recession the city saw large amounts of new retail, commercial, housing and public service construction spending. Tourist attractions include The Hull People's Memorial, the historic Old Town and Museum Quarter, marina and The Deep aquarium. Rugby league football teams include clubs Hull F.C. and Hull Kingston Rovers. The city's association football clubs are Hull City (EFL League One) and non-league Hull United. Hull University was founded in 1927 and now enrols more than 16,000 students. In 2017, Hull was the UK City of Culture and hosted the Turner Prize at its Ferens Art Gallery.

Kingston upon Hull is on the northern bank of the Humber Estuary. The city centre is west of the River Hull and close to the Humber. The city is built upon alluvial and glacial deposits which overlie chalk rocks but the underlying chalk has no influence on the topography. The land within the city is generally very flat and is only 2 to 4 metres (6.5 to 13 ft) above sea level. Because of the relative flatness of the site there are few physical constraints upon building and many open areas are the subject of pressures to build. The parishes of Drypool, Marfleet, Sculcoates, and most of Sutton parish, were absorbed within the borough of Hull in the 19th and 20th centuries. Much of their area has been built over, and socially and economically they have long been inseparable from the city. Only Sutton retained a recognisable village centre in the late 20th century, but on the south and east the advancing suburbs had already reached it. The four villages were, nevertheless, distinct communities, of a largely rural character, until their absorption in the borough—Drypool and Sculcoates in 1837, Marfleet in 1882, and Sutton in 1929. The current boundaries of the city are tightly drawn and exclude many of the metropolitan area's nearby villages, of which Cottingham is the largest. The city is surrounded by the rural East Riding of Yorkshire.

The expansion of Kingston upon Hull : Some areas of Hull lie on reclaimed land at or below sea level. The Hull Tidal Surge Barrier is at the point where the River Hull joins the Humber Estuary and is lowered at times when unusually high tides are expected. It is used between 8 and 12 times per year and protects the homes of approximately 10,000 people from flooding. Due to its low level, Hull is expected to be at increasing levels of risk from flooding due to global warming. Many areas of Hull were flooded during the June 2007 United Kingdom floods, with 8,600 homes and 1,300 businesses affected. Historically, Hull has been affected by tidal and storm flooding from the Humber; the last serious floods were in the 1950s, in 1953, 1954 and the winter of 1959. At around 00:56 GMT on 27 February 2008, Hull was 30 miles (48 km) north of the epicentre of an earthquake measuring 5.3 on the Richter Scale which lasted for nearly 10 seconds. This was an unusually large earthquake for this part of the world. Another notable quake occurred early in the morning of 10 June 2018.

Becoming a Freemason in United Kingdom

Becoming a Freemason in England

Region          Yorkshire and the Humber

Ceremonial county East Riding of Yorkshire

Founded       12th century

City status     1897

Administrative headquarters        • Guildhall


 • Type           Unitary authority

 • Body           Hull City Council

 • Leadership            Leader and cabinet

 • Executive  Labour

 • Lord Mayor            Lynn Petrini (L)

 • Council Leader    Steve Brady (L)

 • Chief Executive   Matt Jukes


 • Land           27.59 sq mi (71.5 km2)

Population (mid-2019 est.)

 • City 259,778 (Ranked 64th)

 • Rank          (Ranked 64th)

 • Density      9,030/sq mi (3,486/km2)

 • Urban         573,300 (LUZ)

 • Ethnicity

(2011 Census)         89.7% White British

0.3% White Irish

4.1% Other White

1.1% S. Asian

1.2% Black

1.3% Mixed Race

2.3% Chinese and other (0.8% Chinese)

Demonym(s) Hullensian

Time zone     UTC+0 (Greenwich Mean Time)

 • Summer (DST)     UTC+1 (British Summer Time)

Postcode Area        


Dialling codes          01482

ISO 3166-2   GB-KHL

ONS code     00FA (ONS)

E06000010 (GSS)

NUTS 3         UKE11

Primary airport         Humberside Airport (Outside of Kingston upon Hull)

Councillors   57


List of MPs