Further notes on the

"Antient" Lodge No39 

                                Paul Ridgway 

Paul Ridgway (web).jpg

Further Notes on the







For my paper I do not think it will be amiss to continue the history of Lodge No. 39, the predecessor of the Lodge of Friendship, No. 44, Manchester; but, remembering a remark made when I gave the first portion "What about-the world outside Masonry?" I now wonder whether it is not a disadvantage to confine our researches to Masonry pure and simple. With your permission, therefore, I propose to give you some idea of the times in Manchester apart from Masonry, so as to find what effect they had on the Craft.

Our period commences about the year 1783, which marks the time when Cotton was about to emerge from the chrysalis stage (and we must not forget that it was Cotton that made Manchester). Up to this time, the Textile trade had confined itself mainly to manufacturing fabrics from coarse yarns, the warp being either wool or linen; as a matter of fact, until 1770 the manufacture of " all cotton " goods was prohibited. The finer fabrics came from abroad, and it may surprise many to learn that fine cotton goods and fine cotton yarns were imported in large quantities from India through the East India Company. Dacca, selected about 1610 as the seat of the Mohammedan government of Bengal, was at this time famous for its manufacture of fine cotton yarns and muslins ; later, a firm of Manchester spinners selected this name as part of its title (Dacca Twist Co.), presumably because of its manufacture of fine yarns.

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In 1780, only about seven million lbs. of cotton were imported into this country; and this amount increased to 31 million lbs. in 1790: 56 million lbs. in 1800 and 90 million lbs. in 1820. Similarly, the exports of cotton goods were in 1780, £355,000, in 1790 £1,662,000, in 1800 £5,406,000 and in 1820 £20,000,000. It is also interesting to note that the United States of America came into the picture as a cotton-growing country about this time. Up to the close of the 17th century, cotton to the amount of 2,000,000 lbs. was annually imported mainly from the Levant and the islands of the Mediterranean, but during the following century the European West Indian Colonies, together with South America, became the chief suppliers ; in turn, they were supplanted by the U.S.A., which, while sending only 64 bales to Liverpool in 1791, sent 25,814 to. London and Liverpool in 1799, and in 1806 upwards of 100,000 to Liverpool alone. In terms of weight, Bruton tells us that, in 1795, they sent 5¼ million lbs. and 90 million lbs. in 1820. Up to the time when the West Indian Colonies and South America became the chief source of supply, cotton was mainly imported through London, and that port did not lose its position to Liverpool until after the U.S.A. had developed its cotton crop. The invention of the cotton " gin" by Eli Whitney in 1792 in the States was also a factor in the rapid advance that country made as exporters, this machine increasing the output of cleaned cotton tenfold.

Having given a brief survey of the sources of supply of the raw material, let us try to discover the reason for the phenomenal increase in consumption. The inventions of Hargreaves and Arkwright had made wonderful improvements in spinning possible, even though they only enabled the coarser counts to be produced, but, about 1778, Samuel Crompton invented his machine, which combined and improved on the best features of

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Hargreaves' and Arkwright's machines. The name given to this offspring was the " Mule," a name which, despite the many improvements made since, is still used to-day. Crompton first made the machine for his own use as a weaver, but finding he could obtain as much as 14/- a lb. for 40s yarn and 25/- for 60s, he later devoted himself solely to spinning. Owing, however, to difficulties in keeping the invention secret, Crompton, after consulting several business men and being promised a subscription of at least £200, decided to give publicity to the machine; he was badly let down, and received very much less than the amount promised. As to the machine itself, it says much for its excellence when a writer in 1822 (James Butterworth), said that a lb. of cotton had been spun on the " mule " into 350 hanks of 840 yards each.

The first cotton mill was erected in Miller's Lane in 1783, where yarn was spun on Arkwright's machine. The first mill to confine itself to mule spinning is said to be Peter Drinkwater's in 1790, and it is reported to have been driven by the first steam engine to be introduced into Manchester (made by Boulton & Watt). From this, it is evident that the factory system, so far as the cotton industry is concerned, commenced with spinning. We are told in Scholes's Directory of 1794 that " The population of the town may be further calculated from the great number of cotton factories within its boundaries wherein it is thought that 20,000 men, women and children are employed in the mere branches of preparing warp and weft. If to these be added the many hands applied to weaving, etc., etc., beside all the more general mechanics, as well as householders, domestic servants, etc., Manchester may be ranked as the most populous market town in Gt. Britain." The Directory also states " The banks of the rivers and brooks about the town afford excellent situations for the dye-houses employed for a

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multitude of fabrics and the manufacture and finishing of hats is carried on to an extent of great importance."

Machine makers, as we know them to-day, were not in existence prior to 1790, each spinner making his own, or having them made by a carpenter or woodworker; indeed, up to this time, machine making was the business of workers in wood rather than workers in iron. It was almost impossible for anyone to commence spinning with the new machinery without first making it.  In this connection, it is interesting to know that a member of the "Antient " Lodge which was a forerunner of the Lodge of Friendship- Nicholas Parkinson- collaborated with John Kay. Parkinson was a carpenter. James Butterworth, the writer, states that he was with Kay, taking instructions for making the Fly Shuttle, when Kay escaped from an infuriated mob who, under the false idea that his invention would be the ruin of the trade, determined to silence the inventor.

The first firm to blossom forth as makers of spinning machinery was Dobson and Rothwell (now Dobson & Barlow, Ltd.) of Bolton, who commenced in 1790; they had not the field to themselves for long, for Dr. Aikin informs us in 1795 that "A considerable iron foundry is established in Salford in which are cast most of the articles wanted in Manchester and its neighbourhood, consisting of large cast wheels for the cotton machinery; cylinders, boilers and pipes for steam engines; cast ovens and grates of all sizes. This works belongs to Bateman & Sherratt (now Mather & Platt, Ltd.) The latter is a very able engineer who has improved upon and brought the steam engine to great perfection."

So far, nothing has been said about weaving; yet the improvements in yarns consequent on the inventions of Hargreaves, Arkwright and Crompton (especially the

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last, whose fine yarns could be used for warp), led to the disappearance of wool and linen warps, so that, from about 1790, cotton was almost solely used in this district. It can easily be imagined that there arose a demand for the new cloths which could not be satisfied by the existing looms; wherever possible, therefore, old buildings were adapted and looms installed. When this source was exhausted, new weavers' cottages, with loom shops on the top storey, arose in every direction, and, about this time the power loom made its appearance. In the outlying districts, farmers took up the additional occupation of weaving, for, as one writer says: "A number of small proprietors have been introduced whose chief subsistence depends on manufactures, but who have purchased land around their houses which they cultivate by way of convenience and variety."

From the foregoing, it does not require a great deal of imagination to gather that some method of distributing the yarn and collecting the woven cloth was required. Those workpeople within easy reach of an employer would fetch their own yarns, and, after working upon them, would return the woven cloth ; but in the case of workers outside the area, the yarns, etc., wanted by the weaver, were delivered by agents who travelled for wholesale houses, and who also collected the woven product ; this was called the "putting-out " system.

The distributing (yarn) and collecting (cloth) centre was Manchester, and the products of all the outlying districts came to this centre, where they were further processed. Weavers, fustian cutters, calenderers, dyers and whistlers or crofters (bleachers) were common enough occupations of the brethren of those days; their callings would seem to be perpetuated to-day, for, if the Shambles was the place where butchers slaughtered their cattle, and Windmill Street the place of the Wind-

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mill, it is not unreasonable to suppose that Calender Street was the place of the calenderers and Nicholas (Nicholls in 1793), Walkers and other Crofts, of bleach-crofts.

With trade expanding, it was natural that some " body " should be formed to look after its interests, and, in 1794, the predecessor of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce, i.e., the Commercial Society, was founded, and a new Exchange commenced in 1806 to replace the one pulled down in 1792. Imports and exports were, owing to the condition of war which prevailed during a great part of the period, transported at great risk, and the convoy system, about which we hear so much to-day, was in force, involving serious delays through vessels having to wait for escorts and sail in groups.

And now a word about the place where all this industry was carried on. What of Manchester! Manchester, which grew from a small country town to one having a population of 22,000 in 1770, 70,000 in 1800 and 200,000 in 1830; a town under a Lord of the Manor, whose Charter was granted in 1301, and extended until 1846, when the rights were purchased by the Corporation for £200,000; a town without Parliamentary representation, for it was not until after the passing of the Reform Act of 1832 that Manchester (and Salford) was represented in Parliament; a town governed by a Court Leet until 1792, when a big improvement in the policing and administration of Manchester and Salford was initiated by an Act of Parliament which was obtained for the purpose of " lighting, watching and cleansing " the towns, thus supplementing an earlier Act of 1765 (it was not until 1829 that separate bodies were, by Act of Parliament, constituted for the two towns).

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In connection with lighting, Scholes's Directory of 1794 informs us that "the streets are about 600 and the town well lighted every night by 2,000 lamps and guarded by nearly 200 watchmen." Aiken tells us that the new streets built within a few years of 1795 had nearly doubled the size of the town. From other records it would appear that the Court Leet was reluctant to give up, for, in 1795, that body appointed John Shaw (whose memory is perpetuated by the John Shaw Club) to be Market looker for fish and flesh, Mastiff muzzier and Market looker for the assize of bread.

It is evident that the town was growing too quickly and, in so doing, many mistakes were made, especially in housing and sanitation ; as Bruton says : " most of the congested districts had no common sewer and the streets which were narrow, unpaved and worn into deep ruts, became the common receptacle for mud, refuse and filth. The houses were often 'back to back ' structures, uncleanly, ill-ventilated and damp. Conveniences were communal and often inaccessible from filth.' " Still, we cannot be too critical, for the town was suffering from growing pains, and to-day we have the advantage of a century and a half's experience. We can smile when we read that, in 1857 " of all the toiling portions of the city, the district of Hulme is the most gratifying."

Also remember that back-scratchers were not un-known and that baths were not installed in Buckingham Palace when Queen Victoria ascended the throne. Perhaps the worst of the growing pains was the drafting of children from the workhouses to toil in the mills, some being as young as six years of age. Joseph Brotherton tells us that, in 1815, the hours on an average were 78 and 79 a week. Yet, on the question of the Factory Acts, Cobden and Bright were, for a long while, against legislation which interfered between employer and employed.

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The water supply of the town was, up to 1808, obtained mainly from springs in the vicinity of Fountain Street and Spring Gardens which were piped to a conduit in Market Place, and also from water pumped from the rivers to pits in Shudehill and the pond in front of the Infirmary; ultimately, however, the Stone Pipe Co. obtained Parliamentary sanction to control the water supply, a source of much dissatisfaction for many years. Gas was first used in a Salford mill in 1805, and two years later in Manchester; to Salford belongs the honour of being the first town in the world to adopt gas for street lighting.

The Cross, Stocks and Pillory were still standing in Market Place until 1815, when, in consequence of the large amount of traffic and consequent congestion, they were taken down.

The town was, however, very small in comparison with the Manchester we now know, for, on the site of the Midland Hotel stood Mr. Cooper's cottage (Cooper Street perpetuates his memory), with its tastefully arranged gardens and its fishpools and strawberry beds; all enclosed by a high wall; nearby stood, as late as 1811, a windmill on ground now occupied by Central Station. Yet not all the buildings were "lath and plaster," for the Portico Library, not far away, was opened in 1805 at a cost of £7,000; it is still in use. The present Art Gallery was erected in 1823 as the Royal Institution. The religious teaching in the two towns in 1795 was, according to Aitken, looked after by the clergy of twelve churches and chapels of the establishment and almost as many more for the different sects of dissenters, and the Directory of 1797 tells us there were some 270 Inns and Taverns, and 25 Victuallers.

Such, Brethren, is a brief survey of the history of Manchester and its trade from approximately 1780 to 1820.

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Let us now consider the further history of "Antient" Lodge No. 39.

My previous paper in Vol. XXII of the "Transactions of this Association contained an account of a Lodge meeting held on November 1, 1780, concluding with the entry :—

United and joyned to No. 196 for the further Transaction Look in the Lodge Book of No. 196, and the extract all Sat under 39 and sent No. 196 up to London where it now remains till Called for.

In his History of the Lodge of Antiquity, No. 146, Bolton (formerly No. 196 "Antient") W. Bro. Norman Rogers says that no records of the Lodge now exist before January, 1786, and also that it is stated in Grand Lodge records that the Warrant of No. 196 was re-issued on the 17th January, 1786. In Wheeler's " Manchester Chronicle" of Saturday, January 28th, 1786, there is a reference to the constitution in Manchester (or rather the re-constitution) of the Lodge of Antiquity, No. 196, by the "Antient" Lodge No. 39 (See Transactions, M.A.M.R., Vol. XV. (page 232). This is definite evidence that the Warrant was " Called for."

In the List of Members of Lodge 39 on pages 190-4 of the 2nd Minute Book are entries of admission for each year from 1779 to 1790, on pages 47 to 50 for the years to 1810, and on pages 17 and 18, those up to 1815, but this does not mean that the Lodge was continuously active as an "Antient" Lodge during this period. As I shall show at a later stage, the Lodge "went Modern" on September 28th, 1788.

After a lapse from 1st November, 1780, the minutes are resumed on April 5th, 1784, on page 101 of the 2nd Minute Book with an entry of four lines. The next entry

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on April 28th, 1784, is of an Emergency meeting, where the brethren are "ordered" to meet on April 30th at 3 o'clock to proceed to the Funeral of Bror. Bramyrrhe." This Bro. was Master of Lodge 39 in 1758 and 1766, and W. Bro. Rogers supplies further particulars showing that he was the first Master of Lodge No. 171, which was "constituted by Antient Lodge No. 39 as an Antient Grand Lodge opened for 3 hours in Manchester." This Lodge No. 171 is still working as Prince Edwin Lodge, No. 128, Bury. Its warrant is dated 11th November, 1771, and issued to Alex. Bremmyrrhe, Richard Hunt and Laurence Bryn to meet at the Prince George, Hanging Ditch, Manchester ; it was cancelled on 5th June, 1793, and re-issued under the same number on 11th November, 1803, to Nathaniel Davenport, James Nuttall and James Eastwood, to meet at the Bridge Inn, Bolton Street, Bury. (This supplements Bro. S. L. Coulthurst's note on p. 235 Vol. XV. M.A.M.R.)

In a paper of this description, it is impossible to give details of each meeting; items of more than ordinary interest are, therefore, selected for our purpose, such as the following:

1785, Jan. 25        Agreed that no one should upon any occasion whatever be                                   Enter'd before he has been regularly reported One Month.

         May 11        Emergency. After enquiring into the conduct of two brethren it                             was agreed on by Ballot that they should for ever be excluded                              and reported to the Grand Lodge not being worthy to sit in any                             Society Whatever.

        June 27        Present the Worshipful Master of No. 39 & Officers, etc., etc.,                               and the Worshipful Master of No. 211 and Officers, etc.,

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                            etc., a Military Lodge belonging to the the King's Own                                          Regiment of Dragoons.

                                Open'd at 12 Dinner at 2, immediately after Dinner install'd                              Bror. Hardman in the Chair for the present 6. months. Clos'd                                at Nine with good Harmony.

     July 19            Agreed to 2 new rules and some few members who do not                                   attend to have their names Dormant till such times they have                               Clear'd.

     This had a salutary effect, for on:

     Oct. 3              Bror. Leahy sent in his name to be admitted when it was                                     agreed he should when Clear of the Books accordingly pay'd                                 off & was admitted.

     Dec. 5             This entry requires careful consideration :

                           Present the Worshipful. Master, Senr. & Junr. Wardens absent.

                           Open'd the Lodge at 6 O'Clock when it was agreed that the S.                               & J. Wardens had no right to Stand Candidates for the Chair,                                being absent when Bror. Barlow was Chose Master, Bror.                                      Parker Senr. Warden, Bror. John Conolly junr.Warden, Bror.                                    McAvoy Senr. Deacon, Bror. Francis Schoray Junr. Deacon,                                    Bror. Ashley Treasurer and Bror. John Watson agreed to sit the                             ensuing 6 months as Master on Conditions Bror. John Barlow                               would continue as Secretary, Bror. James Higginson Tyler.                                         Clos'd the Lodge at nine with good Harmony.

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      Dec. 29           Bror. John Watson was install'd Master, Bror. John Parker Senr                              Warden R Bror. John Conollv Junr. Warden.

1786, Jan. 2          Agreed to meet every Tuesday on or before the full Moon.

        Mar. 14         A charge laid against Bror. Conolly for violating his O.B. when                                in Lycior at Mr. Goodalls the Fleece in the Shambles in the                                    Presence of Bror. Harpur (and a deal of Company that were                                 no Masons) when he had a severe Reprimand from the Lodge                              and a majority against him for Resigning his Office (Junr.                                      Warden) & Bror. McAvoy Chose in his Place.

     April 11            Admitted several Apprentices from Lodge No. 196 Bolton. A                                  Lecture in the Craft by Bror. Robinson of No. 196.

            23            To write to the Grand to enquire whether No. 171 in Salfard                                 has Remitted their Dues &c. or Registered any of their                                         Members or whether we are to consider them as Legal Masons                             & a Charge against Bror. Conolly by Bror. McAvoy for Assault.

      May 16          The Charge against Bror. Conolly by Bror. McAvoy was justly                                  and fairly stated and Bror. Conolly was excluded, not being fit                               to sit in a Brotherly Society.

      June 21          This is an account of the Constitution of Lodge 235 at Wigan—                             now known as the Lodge of Antiquity, No. 178 by Lodge No.                                 39, in conjunction with Lodge No. 196, of which the following                               is an exact copy:-

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                                                 Copy of Transactions at the Constitution of                                                         Lodge No. 235 held at the Queens Head Wigan.                                                   Sent to London. On Account of a Deputation                                                       Receiv'd from the Grand Lodge the Officers &c.                                                   belonging to our Body No. 39 went to Wigan                                                       the 21st Inst. in order to Constitute a Lodge                                                       there No. 235 which was done in Ancient Form                                                   as under - having first produc'd our authority                                                       for opening a Grand Lodge.

                                                 Grand Lodge Open'd at twelve O'Clock Noon.

      Members from No. 39                                          Members from No. 196

Bror. John Watson    R.W.G.M                          Bror. Gilbert Robinson   D.G.M

Bror. John Parker         S.G.W                                  Proxy for James Taylor

Bror. McAvoy               J.G.W                           Bror. Thos. Clarke             S.W

Bror. James Ashley         G.T                            Bror. Pete Bentley           J.W.

Bror. John Barlow           G.S                            Bror. Charles Aldcroft     Secy

Bror. John Hardman     G.P.M                            Bror. Nicholas Thompson

Bror. John Beswick                                          Bror. lames Robinson

Bror. James Higginson                                      Bror. Jonn. Platt

Bror. James Butterworth                                  Bror. Hugh Woods

Bror. Richd. Bayliffe                                         Bror. Will Morris

Bror. Geo. Willcock                                          Bror. John Thornley

Bror. Josh. Wallington                                      Bror. Will Lythgoe

Bror. lames Greenhalgh                                    Bror. Isaac Pendlebury

       Formerly a Member of No. 39                         Bror, James Ashton

                                                                         formerly a Member of No. 171,

                                               the Grand Lodge being open'd and none but                                                       Past Masters Present proceded to the                                                                 Constitution of Lodge No. 235 & Installation of                                                     Officers when on Acct. of Bror. Doncasters                                                          Indisposition Bror. Will Rogers from Lodge No.                                                     was install'd Master during Bror. Doncasters                                                        absence. Bror. Will Bradley from Lodge No. 39                                                     Do. S. Warden during Do.

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                                               Bror. Thos. Walker from Lodge No.

                                                                                    Do. J. Do. during Do.

                                               Bror. Richd. Holmes

                                                                                    Treasurer & Secretary

                                               Bror. Francis Sheridan from Lodge No.

                                               Bror. John Gallaspie from Lodge No.

                                               Bror. James Mort from Lodge No.

                                               Bror. Patrick Kennedy from Lodge No.

                                               Call'd to Refreshment at One after going through                                                 the Ancient form of toasting the Grand Master                                                     the Earl of Antrim & the Rest of the Grand                                                           Officers and different Lodges Present.

                                               Call'd to Labour at Two and Clos'd the Grand                                                       Lodge at three with good harmony. Lodge                                                           open'd at five under the Warrant No. 235.

                                               Chair'd the new Install'd Master and the Rest of                                                   the Officers.

                                               Call'd to Refreshment at Six and to Labour at                                                       Eight & Clos'd immediately.

(Note : In W. Bro. N. Rogers' "History of the Lodge of Antiquity, No. 14 formerly No. 196"—he completes the missing Lodge Nos. of Will Rogers, No. 53, and Thos. Walker, No. 33, Scotland, but Thos. Doncaster cannot be traced as having been a member of No. 39, as is stated in the minutes of No. 196 "Ancient".

   Thos. Doncaster, who afterwards took the Chair of this Wigan Lodge, was a man of property; he was Mayor of Wigan on several occasions).

                      1786, Sep. 5       No Lodge open'd on Acct. of the Room being                                                       Down.- But the Lodge met again on 3rd October.

 "ANTIENT" LODGE, No. 39, MANCHESTER.                                                  15

          Dec. 5               An account of the Beloting, of officers when Bror. Ashley                                      was chose Master, but there is no record of an Installation.

1787  Mar. 13              Lodge of Imargancy. It was agreed that Brors. Greenhalgh                                    and Hamilton are to go free of all Expences for Doing the                                    Business of Tilar and Lecturing and liver-ing out of                                              Summonses.

    The Dues. were also advanced from 8d. to 1/- per month, 8d. to the Box and 4d. spent. Also visiting mem¬bers shall pay- sixpence p. night to be spent and. Brethren of this Lodge shall pay 6d. or visiting any Neighbouring Lodge.

       Aug. 22                A Night of Emergency when Bror. Bailiffe, J. Warden,                                          being absent and not sending his key we could not open                                      the Box, read a letter which is to go with the returns to                                        the Grand Lodge which was agreed to and signed.

      A copy of this letter is written in the Minute Book, and is dated 20 August, 1787. After giving information about the returns and payments, in concludes with a postcript which had a vital effect on the future of the

Lodge. It is:               

                                   P.S. We are inform'd that the Masons under the Ancient                                       and Modern Constitutions visit each other in London &                                         every other Town in England except here, and for our                                         information beg your opinion upon the following                                                 Questions :-

                                   1st  Can a Mason under the Modern Constitution visit us.

                                   2d  Can an Ancient Mason who has been lawfully dealt                                              with under our Constituition

16                                                     "ANTIENT" LODGE, No. 39, MANCHESTER

                                     visit us after he has joined the Modern.

                                   3rd Can a Body of Masons be considered as Ancient who                                        have been Dealt with and work according to Ancient                                            form if the meet under a Modern Warrant.

                      The letter is signed by John Hardman, Secretary.

         Dec. 27                   Contains an account of the Installation of Bror. Fras.                                           Schorey.

1788, June 28                  This entry is an account of what proved to be the last                                          Installation of the original Lodge No. 39, and it is,                                                therefore, given in full:-


                                      St. John's Day, June 28th, 1788.

                                      Met and open'd at 1 O'Clock, call'd to refreshment at 2                                        O'Clock, dined and call'd to Labour at 3 O'Clock and                                            immediately proceeded to the Installation of the                                                  officers to serve the ensuing 6 months Viz.

                                      Jams Leake Master

                                      Richard Bailiffe S.W.

                                      Geo. Wilicock J.W.

                                      Jams. Butterworth S.D.

                                      John Jones J.D.

                                      John Watson Treasurer

                                      John Hardman Secretary

                                      J. I. Hamilton     }

                                      Jams Greenhall  }Tylers

                                     after which we immediately toasted the Officers &                                               Members of the Grand Lodge of England in the usual                                           form and then the Visiting Brethren and a Number of                                           other Loyall and Constitutional Toasts,

"ANTIENT" LODGE, No. 39, MANCHESTER                                                     17


                                     at 6 o'Clock the Members of No. 171. visited us who we                                       toasted in their own No.—and sent several Brors. to                                             return their visit—the Whole of the day was spent in the                                       greatest order and decorum —and after calling to                                               Labour at 9 o'Clock, closed the Lodge When every one                                         departed to where their own Seperate Fancy led them.


         June 23                 A Night of Emergency open'd at 7 o'Clock agreed that                                         Bror. Nicholas Parkinson Deceased should have two                                             Guineas given to his friends to Defray the Expences of                                         his funeral and the Brors. inclin'd to attend the funeral                                         to Meet at 12 o'Clock on Wednesday next to accompany                                      his Corps out of Town or to Bury as they may be inclined.

        (This is the Nicholas Parkinson who, as stated earlier, collaborated with John            Kay of Bury, the inventor of the Fly Shuttle).

          Sep. 28                On this date there is an account of the proceedings                                            when the Lodge turned "Modern"; it is, in fact, an                                                 account of the Constitution of Lodge 534 by 5 members                                      who had been made "Modern" Masons in St. John's                                              Lodge.

                                          In the Cash Accounts there is an item "Sept 28. By                                         Cash paid Making of 5 Members Modern at St. John                                             Lodge at Fleece p. Br. Leake £2 10. 0."

I consider the Minutes so important that a full transcription is given.

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1788, Sept. 28   Met at 5 o'Clock, open'd at 6 o'Clock in the Modern form by

                        Virtue of a dispensation.

                                      Granted to Brs.         Jams• Leake Masr

                                                                     John Barlow S.W.

                        N.B. these five            John Hardman J.W.

                        Brs. registered by        Joseph Seddon

                        St. John's Lodge.         John Burgess


                        by John Allen Esq.. provincial Grand Master of this County by                                Authority from his Royall Highness the Duke of Cumber

                        land R.W.G. Masr. of England the above Brethren having been                              previously initiated under said Constitution at the Lodge of St.                              John held at Fleece Tavern Manchesr. and imediately proceeded                            to the Initiation of the following Brs. under & by Virtue of said                              Dispensation. Viz.

                        Brs. John Ignatius Hamilton

                        John Beswick & John Watson

                        Jams. Ashley             Jams Wooller

                        Geo. Willcock                          Sheffield

                        Richard Bailiffe          Alexr Getty

                        Samuel Horrocks       Iniskilin Lodge

                        Jams Greenhall

                        John Jones

                        Edward Roden

                        Wm. Garnett

                        Geo. Williamson

                        Thos. Barlow

                        Jams. Cooper

                        Charles Evans from Macclesfield

                        Chas. Downes

                        Jams Butterworth

                 N.B. these 19 Brs. registered and Money paid 5/- each to provincial                       Grand Master at Bull Head 29 Sept 1788.

 "ANTIENT" LODGE, No. 39, MANCIIESTER                                             19

                                               after the initiation of the foregoing 19                                                           Members call'd to refreshment and after                                                       Toasting our Brors. & Lodge of St. John                                                       several of whom attendended on the                                                           Occasion the Lodge was closed with good                                                     harmony & decorum.

Monday Morning.

1788, Sept. 29                          Met and open'd the Lodge 8 o'Clock and after                                        arranging the procession clos'd the Lodge                                                     and proceeded in due order to Bull head                                                       where the Officers attended the Convention                                                 of the provincial Grand Masr. of this County                                                   from whom they had instructions given how                                                 to Conduct the Members in the procession                                                    . . . . .  The following Brethren joined it to                                                   St. John's Church

Jams' Leake Masr                    John Jones

John Barlow S.W.                    Edward Roden

John Hardman J.W.                 William Garnett

Joseph Seddon                        Thos. Barlow

John Burgess                          Jams. Cooper

John Beswick                          Chas. Evans

Jams. Ashley                           Charles Downes

John Watson Treasr                 Jams. Butterworth

Geo. Williamson Secretary        Jams. Wooller

Geo. Willcock                          Alexr Getty

Richard Bailiffe                        John I. Hamilton

Samuel Horrocks                                          Tyler

Jams. Greenhall

                                                  and returning in due order to Bull head                                                        proceeded to the Lodge room and after                                                        dinner open'd the Lodge; when a Number                                                    of Masonical Toasts where given, and the                                                    remainder of the Evening spent as

20                                               "ANTIENT" LODGE, No. 39, MANCHESTER

                                                  became the Members of the Society & the                                                    Brethren parted in good order & harmony.

        In Vol. XV. M.A.M.R. pp. 232/6 there is a full description of the procession which was evidently a "red letter" occasion. It is a pity the account is too long to be given in this paper.

       With regard to the Iniskilin Lodge, W. Bro. J. Heron Lepper suggests this was No. 528 I.C. held in the 27th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers from 1787 till 1798, when the Warrant was lost in battle and the Lodge became extinct.

       This, Brethren, is the demise of the Original Lodge No. 39 "Antient" and the birth of Lodge No. 534, now the Lodge of Union, No. 268, Ashton-u-Lyne. For proof that this was Lodge 534, the following copy of a letter sent to the Grand Secretary on April 2nd, 1790, is given :—

        Having been made choice of to serve as Secret'y To Lodge of Union No.          534 I have the honor to transmit you the returns of the officers which            were made choice of, and installed last St. John day. &c., &c.

                                                                        W. Becket, Secry.

        N.B. There was a regular return annexed to this Letter accounting for all          the proceedings of the Lodge since 28th Sepr., 1788.

The numbers of the Lodge of Union have been as follows

                                          534         1788

                                          443         1792

                                          507         1814

                                          335         1832

                                          268         1863 to date.

"ANTIENT" LODGE No. 39, MANCHESTER                                                21

And now to continue the History of Lodge No. 39; in a Short History, published in 1901, W. Bro. Nathan Heywood states:-

         The Lodge forwarded its returns to the Athol Grand Lodge up to the               6th  December, 1786, and for reasons now unknown, the Lodge ceased           to make a report until 1803.

The reason is now to be seen, for the Lodge had formed itself into a "Modern" Lodge and was making its returns to the "Modern" Grand Lodge. W. Bro. Heywood further goes on:-

          In the records of the Athol Grand Lodge the warrant is entered as                  cancelled on the 5th June, 1793, and on the 4th March, 1795, the                  warrant was revived and granted to Bro. Watson and others late of                No.39, Queen's Head, Old Church Yard.

Bro. John Lane, in his "Masonic Records" states that this grant was cancelled shortly afterwards. Bro. Watson. was one of the brethren initiated in the "Modern" Lodge, No. 534, on the 28th September, 1788.

   A further quotation from Bro. Heywood's History is as follows :

           Some years afterwards a petition was presented on the 8th Feby,,                  1803, signed by seven regular registered Master Masons to revive the              Warrant No. 39. This Warrant was that of the 4th March, 1795. The                prayer of the petition was granted and bears these endorsements :—

                   No. 39 Renewal, 23rd February, 1803, first Monday, ' Horse                           Shoes,' Old Shambles, Manchester, entd. G. Fo. 7 and 10; and

                   Petition for the Revival of No. 39. 2 Gs. recd. 23rd Feb., 1803.

22                                             "ANTIENT" LODGE, No. 39, MANCHESTER

         The Act of 1799 which was in force would have made the granting of             a new warrant a matter of some difficulty.

The Act of 1799 was passed for the Suppression of Seditious Societies, by which it was enacted that all societies whose members were required to take any oath not authorised by law should be deemed unlawful combinations and their members liable to penalties.

    There are no books containing the minutes of Lodge No. 39 for the period between 1788 and 1803, and the first entry in the 1803 Minute Book (which is bound in vellum and measures only 8" X 61" X 4" thick) commences with:-


        Worshipful Lodge No. 39 Ancient.

        Revived and Installed March 16th 1803.

                               And of Masonry   5803.

        The Worshipful William McCormick Master

        John McAllister                     Senr. Warden

        William Barnand                   Junr. Warden

        Hugh Carol                          Senr. Deacon

        James Wood                        Junr. Deacon

        Hugh Craven                        Treasurer

        Nathan Burton                      Secretary

        James Riddle                        Tyler

        The book, though small, is a mine of information. Disputes between brethren, whether belonging to this or other Lodges, are meticulously set down, and instances are recorded where representatives of several Lodges are appointed to "try" disputants, extracts from the minutes being given later.

       That the charitable side was not neglected is evidenced by the countless number of entries of relief being given — the sums ranging from 1/- to 6/- — and it should be stated that the recipients were, more often than

"ANTIENT- LODGE, No. 39, MANCHESTER                                              23

not, visitors. Mention is also made of the degree of a Chair Master or past Master, the Royal Arch, Sir Knights Templar, Mediterranean Pass and Knights of Malta.

         As the Lodge did not receive its name, the Lodge of Friendship, until 1814, we find such headings as "Union Lodge 39," and "White Hart Lodge 39." The third entry in the minute book is on:

1803, July 4                     and refers to Bro. Wm. McCormick, the first                                                W.M.,who was reproved from the Chair for being                                        intoxicated and in his reply said his "Br. Members                                        was a parcel of Schoolboys and would, not be                                              reproved by them swore he would be Damnd in                                          an open Lodge if he would not have his Money.                                          And the last word he said going out of the Lodge                                        Room was Dam but was not explained."

Bro. McCormick again applied for membership on December 27th the following year, but "when balloted for there was found against him 7 Black Bones." He, however, eventually made his peace with the Lodge, for he again joined on April 6th, 1812, the minutes simply stating "When Brother McCormick joined."

       The Lodge seems to have been careful to collect the dues (10/6) when a candidate was "reported," but not quite so careful later on. Ceremonies were conducted expeditiously, and in the following extracts from the minutes, instances are give of this, as well as other interesting items.

1803, Sept. 9                   Bro. Robt. Forsyth Reported Br. James Little and                                          ped the Dues of the Seame 0. 10. 6 and Lickweys                                        semetime Reported Br. Gilbert Little and ped                                              Dues of the 0. 10. 6.

24                                              "ANTIENT" LODGE, No. 39, MANCHESTER

          Sept 21                  Bros. Gilbert and James Little were made entered                                         apprentices and "ped" £1. 1. 0.

         Sept. 26                  The same two brethren "being soldiers" received                                         the Degree of Fellowcraft and "ped dues of                                                 seame £2 2s." They also paid 14/- for                                                         Registering and "tiler." At the same meeting                                               Brors. Wm. Marshall and Leonard Duncan were                                           made Fellow Crafts and all four received the                                               "Degre of Master Mason." There is no record of                                            any dues being paid by the last mentioned until                                         Dec. 5th.

         Oct. 3                       Br. Joseph Anderson and Br. John Cropper                                                  underwent the Degres of a Felle Craft and                                                 Lickwies that Digre of Master Mason and pd. the                                         Dues of the Seame—£5 5s. Od.

         Nov. 26                   The Certificates of Brors. James and Gilbert Little                                         were sent on to them.

        Dec. 27                    The cost of the installation makes interesting                                               reading and gives some idea of the value of                                                 money in those days :

                                       Dinner for 16 members       £1. 12.  0

                                       Drink money                      £1.  2.  11

                                       Servant                                    5.  0

                                       Bro. Riddell for tyling from                                 

                                       16th March to 27th Dec:            9.  0

1804, Jan. 23                   The Lodge was called together upon the business                                        of Br. Thomas Meeke concerning his bad conduct                                        on Sant Jons Day and further he went to other                                            Lodges and took away the Butey and harmony of                                        this Lodge No. 39." A Committee of 6 was                                                  appointed, and they decided that "if he will                                                  Revoke Everything he had sead

 "ANTIENT" LODGE, No. 39, MANCHESTER                                             25

                                      Deragatery to the carector of the Members of this                                        Lodge No. 39 and Exprece his Sorrow . . . .                                                Marcey Shall be Extended to him and if not he                                            shall be tried by the Masters of 7 different Lodges                                        of this town.

    As no further mention was made, it would appear that Bro. Meeke did "Revoke everything."

        July 2                      A compact was made between Lodges 39, 56,                                            289 and 297 that they should Mutually support                                            each other in Case of Death in proportion to the                                          Numbers of Each Lodge.

        July 9                     The officers Met and Sent Returns of all                                                      Subscribing Members.

      This is interesting because the actual "Return" is in possession of the Lodge, having been sent back with certain observations written thereon.

        Aug. 6                     Four brethren received the Degre of A Chear                                              Master or past Master.

        Sep. 27                   Bros. Joseph Anderson, W. Marshall, A. Paine, L.                                          Duncan, J. Cropper, B. Willcock and S.                                                        Ramsbottom Recd. the Degree of Royal Arch                                              Masons.

        This is the first intimation of the Degree being worked.

         Oct. 1                     Paid to the Stewarts Lodge 6/6.

     The Steward's Lodge is mentioned several times in the minutes.

 1805, Feb. 4                   On a Motion being made by the Secry Whether                                            any of the Subscribers who purchas'd the Warrant                                        Should receive any of their Monay or not, it was                                          unanimously

26                                            “ ANTIENT" LODGE, No. 39, 'MANCHESTER

                                       agreed that no money should be paid until! the                                           Lodge be Cloth'd with everything Nessary.

         Sept. 2                    The behaviour of Bror Robt McClatchey was                                                 Taken into Consideration on the preceding Lodge                                         night and was highly disapproved by the body at                                         Large but in consideration of his humble                                                     Submittion and a promise of his future Good                                               behaviour the Lodge has thought propper to                                               continue him on Tryal until next Saint Johns day.

    On the same page is an entry dated Dec. 27th to the effect that "his former fault is forgiven."

        1806, Feb. 3             Taken from Chest for Stuards Lodge £0. 8. 0.

                June 24            St. John's Day :

                                      The Master Wardens and all Members met                                                  together in the usual manner and Cellebrated the                                        day with A Dinner A Glass and A Song.

                                             (This is the full entry)

                Nov. 3             Admitted Bror. John Murphy by Certificate from                                          Lodge No. 902 Ireland and paid 0. 5. 0.

               Dec. 29            It was Unanimously agreed that Br. Robt.                                                    Ruddock should step forward on the first Monday                                        of Feby, next & clear off all Accts. he is indebted                                          to this Lodge or in neglect thereof to suffer as the                                        Laws of Masonry in such cases shall direct.

      1807,   Jan, 5            Paid Lodge No. 56 on Acct. the funeral of one of                                          their members £1. 2. 10.

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                                          The monthly dues were advanced to 1/6 for the purpose of                                                    Defraying the Debt this Lodge at present is lying under. Also on our                                            next quarterly night being 3rd Monday in March to omit having a                                                  supper the more to enable this Lodge to get clear of all demands &                                              more particularly to obtain a Chest.

                 Mch. 16          Eight brethren received the degree of Royal Arch and four brethren                                              that of "Sir Knights Templar."

                 Oct. 5             It was proposed removing to a more convenient house it was                                                      unanimously agreed upon without decenting voice that we should                                                remove to Samuel Weirs Bay Mutton Cock pit Hill.

               Nov. 30            Bror. Samuel Weir and Bror. George Moore was regularly entered and                                          each recd. the degrees of Fellow Crafts.

               Dec. 18            Pinned to the page is a receipt for £1:1.9½ towards a contribution for                                         the Berrying of Henry Pleven Belonging to No. 297.

      1808, June 24            Henry, Barnet Tracey was intered in the first degree of Masonry.

                      25            Being an Emmerjancy Bror. Henry Barnet Tracey recd. the degrees of                                         fellow Craft and Likewise the Sublime degree of Master Mason as being                                       A Traveler and paid the dues thereof.

                Aug. 4            Being a Lodge of lmergency, when it was proposed & Agreed to                                                   Unanimously By the Members present that our worthy Brother James                                           Riddle was to receive one pound Sterling out of the Box towards                                                 Supporting himself in his old Age.

28                                                                            “ANTIENT" LODGE. No. 39, MANCHESTER 

(This account is recorded at the back of the book and the names of eleven members attending are given. It is the only mention made of the W.M., Bro. Davis, during his Mastership.)

        1809, Aug. 7            Br. Jno. White & Br. Wm. M'Clure advanced in unMasonick conduct                                              such as does not become any Mason. We alledge they must both give                                          satisfaction to the W.M. and rest of the Brethren of Lodge No. 39                                                before either of them can claim any benefits of the Ancient Craft.

                Sept. 4            Allow'd Bror. Parr as p'd Expenses removing chest from Bay Mutton                                              0. 3. 10.

        1809, Sept. 24         Bror. John Mountstephens paid one Shilling for Transfer from 296 to 39.

                 Dec. 4            Br. Jas. Wherry Lodg'd his Certificate and paid 0. 2. 6 Transferred from                                        Lodge No. 289.

         1810, Feb. 5          This is the first time the new home of the Lodge—White Hart—is                                                 mentioned. The Lodge was opened in the 3rd Degree and Brother                                               Robert Wright . . . . having been found to have made due progress

                                     was raised to the sublime degree of Master. The Lodge was then closed                                       and opened in the 1st when three candidates "received severally the                                           Entered Apprentice degree."


                                     Paid towards the Expence of the Funeral of the late Br. Patten of Lodge                                       289 £1 6s. 3d.

                                     Bro. Wm. Parr and John Porter pass'd the Chair previous to their                                                 admission of thir place of office.

"ANTIENT" LODGE, No. 39, MANCHESTER.                                                                         29

        The above is a very curious item, as their offices were: Bro. Parr, Senior  Warden; Bro. Porter, Treasurer.

         1811, Feb. 25         Br. Serjant Keer Lodg'd his Certificate Grand M.M. from Lodge 230                                                Dated the 17th day of October, 1807, pd. for Lodging Five Shillings.

                  Mar. 31         An investigation regarding a dispute out of a business transaction                                                between Br. John McAlister and Br. Alexdr. McCalley was made by the                                          W.M's. of Lodges 62, 278, 289 and 297, with the result that "Br.                                                  McAlister is suspended. Visiting any Ancient Mason Lodge untill the                                              Twenty Seventh of December One Thousand Eight Hundred and                                                  Eleven."

                                      Received from Lodge 297 the sum of one pound four shillings and eight                                        pence towards the funeral of Brother Briggs. Paid to Mrs. Briggs for                                              297 £1. 4. 8.

        1812, Mar. 10          Being Quarterly night Bror, Geo. Smith Bancroft past the Chair and                                              rec'd the Sublime degree of Holy Royal Arch Excellent and Super                                                  Excellent with Brors. Wm. Parr, Wm. Rosterne, John Martin, John                                                Hardacre the night was spent in perfect Harmony to the satisfaction of                                        the Worshipful Master Wm. Bernard.

         1812, June 24         St. John's Day :

                                     That from this date any mention whatsoever made of Circumstances                                           relating to Bror. Scy. Brenand, affairs, are & shall be subject to a                                                 penalty nam'd by the Majority present & (all not agreeable hereto to be                                       discharged the room.)

30                                                                "ANTIENT" LODGE, No. 39, MANCHESTER


               This is followed by a list of the Officers Installed and

               by :

                           (Lodge Night succeeding the above, July 4th. Met as usual all the                                   above Officers present and the Evening spent in true Friendship,                                     relieved a Brother with 6/- & made regulations for Returns to the Grand.)

                         N.B. the relief paid by Br. Clark treasurer Of Stewards Lodge.

       Aug. 24       Emergency. Br. Ed. Roberts declared off on a/c. of his leaving the                                     Kingdom---received his original Certificate and a Certificate from our                                 Lodge 39 in addition, after paying 11/- 5/- in dues 5/- for the Lodging                               his Certificate.

           (Is it possible that the remaining 1/- was for the Tyler ?)

        Sept. 7       The Stewards' Lodge is again mentioned : . . . . the dues regularly                                   collected, a List of subscribing Members given to Br. McAllister for the                               Service of the Stewards Lodge A. Seaman wishing to Visit was examined                           & denied as being an Imposter.

         Sept. 21    Brothers Jno. Smith, Robt. Wolstencroft, Jno. Greenhalgh, William                                     Benson and Richd. Reed received the degrees of Excellent, Super                                     excellent, holy, Royal Arch Masons.

            Oct. 5     Paid Mrs. Briggs 1. 10. 3 on a/c. of an original Debt.

    (This may have been due from the Lodge, or be part of the funeral expenses, as she            was paid £1. 4. 8 on 27 May, 1811 for Lodge No. 297.)

"ANTIENT" LODGE, No. 39, MANCHESTER.                                                                31

            Nov. 2     James McCormick was reported (paying his 10/6) by Brothers Wm.                                  McCormick and Jno. O'Neill. Bro. Rd. Morris raised after paying 11/- the                            Bailee. of his (3 Guineas.) Joseph Kirkman made an apprentice after                                paying 10/6 . . . Mathew Walton reported by Br. Wolstencroft who has                              paid on his a/c (being a soldier in the 23rd Dragoons) Two Guineas.

   1812, Nov. 3     Mathew Walton was entered and crafted. (By Bro. Cropper.)

            Nov. 5     Mathew Walton was raised to the Degree of a Master Mason and paid                              the dues of the same.

            Nov. 15   The Sir Knights Templars met at six o'Clock the incampment opened at                            Seven when Brothers Wolstencroft Williamson Smith Hardman Reed                                  Martin & Parr were dubb'd Knights Templars rec'd the Mideteranian                                  pass and were Dubb'd Knights of Malta."

                          Present John McClelland, Robert For-syth, Wm. McCormick, Thomas                                  Hodgen, James Surman, John M'Allister, John Cropper, Leonard                                        Duncan, Geo. Kerr, John O'Neil."

   (This is one of the few entries regarding the Knights Templar and the first time Br. John       McClelland's name has been mentioned, though both Bros. Nathan Heywood and C.          W. Sutton have stated that his name appears among the members of the Lodge                in 1803.)

           Dec. 10    The entry of this date records a further meeting of the Sir Knights                                    Templar when Brothers Wm. Benson and Wm. Rawson

32                                                                "ANTIENT" LODGE, No. 39, MANCHESTER.

                         received the three degrees mentioned in the last minute (Nov. 15.)  


      This is the last entry in the book.

      The next Minute Book, which is as large as the previous one is small, measures 16½ X 11¼ X 1¼.; it commences with a List of the Subscribing Members of Lodge No. 39, March 16th, 1803, but this cannot be taken as evidence that they were all members on that date, as the major part of the 74 whose names are given were initiated during the next 9 years ; included are the names of Bro. John McClelland, who we are afterwards told was "exalted in the Duke of Athols Lodge Late No. 289," and Bro. John O'Neil, who was a founder of the present Lodge of St. John's No. 221, Bolton.

        The first entry is very laconic:

         1813, July 5     Being regular Lodge Night all Officers present, when the Evening                                     was spent in harmony and all parted in Brotherly love. Dues                                             received 11/-.

                 Oct. 24   Emergency (Sunday) When Br. Cropper reported Jno. Pierce who                                     was entered & crafted paying the whole of his Initiation

                               Money 3. 3. 0  & an order also for a Book entitled Ahiman Rezon, a                                   new Edition price 10/6.

                        26   Another Emergency, at which Bro. Pierce was raised, When also (as                                 per Invioce) £7 was paid for a Pair of Globes to Mr. Vittore Zanetti.

                 Dec. 6     Paid Bro. Mouncey for Bible 1. 1. 0.

                        27    St. John's Day. There is no account of the Installation, apart from                                   the following: Paid Mrs. Briggs 4. 7. 6 for 35 dinners at 2/6 each 5/-                                 paid to servants 3/- for oil.

"ANTIENT" LODGE, No. 39, MANCHESTER                                                                33

        May we infer from this that the 2/6 per head included liquid refreshment ?

         1814, Jan. 3      10/- paid to Br. Thomas Brierley for the Bible Cushion . . . . paid                                       Mrs. Briggs 2. 10. 0 which she advanced on a/c. of the Pedestal.

         From the last four entries we have evidence that steps were being taken to furnish             the Lodge.

         It would be wrong to assume that Initiations were carried out without due enquiry             into the merits of the applicant, for at a meeting on :—


                   Feb. 7    the report .of Geo. Duncroft (which was received last Friday                                            fortnight with 1. 1. 0 sanctioned by Br. Forsyth) was read when an                                  Enquiry was entered into & he was found unfit.  of Course his                                          Money returned.

          Yes ! but not until Sept. 19th!


                   March 7  The first mention of the new No. 59, which is entered as 39/59.                                      The Lodge again re-paid a debt to Mrs. Briggs 25/4 advanced on                                       a/c. of Stewards Lodge.

                   April 17   Emergency (Sunday the Members being met agreeable to                                               Summons, to try the W. Br. Jno. Martin for his Conduct in allowing                                   the Seal of this Lodge being affixed to a Petition (in behalf of one                                     Jas. Ashworth under Condemnation) to his Grace the Duke of                                           Sussex G.M. thro the Persuasion of Br. Murphy of 296 when by the                                   majority of those present he was declared incapable of filling the                                     Chair & according'y deposed. Afterwards Brs. Cropper & Rawson                                     were put up as Candidates for the Chair, when the former was                                         elected & duly installed

34                                                                 "ANTIENT" LODGE, No. 39, MANCHESTER.


                       May 2    Br Robt. Kerr having been absent a Number of Years at Sea

                                    in his Majesty's Service leav'g 6/- in . Arreears has this Night                                            discharged the same & unanmimously elected in (by ballot) a                                          Member on the books  p'd our share 1. 1. 6 towards the funeral                                      money of Br. Mallon's Wife of late 275 p'd Br. C. Connor                                                  Treasurer of the Stewards Lodge 19/6 being the Share we are                                          chargeable with.

                        June 6    6/- paid to Br. Lynch Deputy Provincial G.M. for Expenses of                                           Towns Procession.

                                     Bro. W. Rawson was elected W.M. on this date, but on:


                       June 26   In consideration of Jos'h Kirkman and William Rawson . . .                                               having been charged with violating the Laws of Masonry and                                           their Country the following Brethren in Consequence thereof                                           were appointed to the annexed Offices Viz.

                                     Br. Jno. Martin W. Master Br. Jno. Smith Junr. Warden.

         A record which, in view of the minute of April 17th seems strange.


         This entry throws a little more light on the Stewards' Lodge :—

                                      Sunday Br. Martin, Kerr & Bancroft met for taking the Names &                                        Number of the Members of this Lodge returnable to the                                                  Stewards Lodge books, which were 32 when 16/- for the said                                          Names was given by our Treasurer G. Kerr & 2/- for

"ANTIENT" LODGE No. 39, MANCHESTER.                                                                35

                                       expences in taking & attending with same being regular                                                   allowance on those occassions:

                         Aug. 1     Paid Br. Woolstencroft 3. 12. 0 for 4 doz. of Lambs Skins &                                             7d. for postage of Letter to him at Chester also 4/8 for 1 lb.                                             Tobacco & 2/6 for a pair of Snuffers.

      The next record is an account of the Lodge of Reconciliation held between the "Ancient" and "Modern" Lodges in Manchester, and is given in full :  


                1814, Aug. 2      Minutes of Transactions, of the Lodge of Reconciliation of                                                both Fraternities of Free Masons of this Town congregated                                              and held this day in the Room of the Lodge of Integrity                                                  267(272) at the Talbot Inn Market Street Manchester copied                                            from the original documents.

                                                    August 2d 1814  Talbot Inn Market St. Manchester.


                                         At a meeting of the Fraternities of Free masons of the Old &                                           new Systems - A Lodge of Reconciliation was held Present                                               (on  the part of the old System)—

                                 WM.               Jno. McClelland of Lodge 59 (39)  In the Chair

                                 S.W.                Terence Devine             85(62)

                                J.W.                Jno. Wyche        250 (201)                         

                                S.D.                 Jno. Macquire              346 (275)

                                J.D.                  Willm. Tuft                  366 (289)

                                Secy.               Barny. Kavanagh          347 (275)

36                                                                "ANTIENT" LODGE, No. 39, MANCHESTER


                                Treasr. Patrick Murphy  377(296)

                                P.M.       Henry Day     351(278)        

                                Tyler     Daniel Macquire   347(275)


                               Also Brs. Jno. Tute of 366(289) — James Hale (378)—

                               & Jno. Martin —59(59)

                               Opened in the first, second, and third, Degree of Masonry.


                               August 2. 1814.  Lodge of Integrity 267(212)


                               The Lodge was opened in due form, On the first, second, and third,                                 degree of Masonry, for the purpose of forming a Lodge of                                               Reconciliation between the two Fraternities.

                              Present Brs. (on the part of the new System)

                              Bent            Of Lodge No. 599(580)             W.M.

                              Chew                              267(212)               S.W.

                              Bosleur                           599(580)               J.W.

                              Booth                              507(443)               S.D.

                              Bentley                          507(443)               J.D.

                              Pidgeon                         267(212)               Secy.

                              Mcllowall       „              599(580)               Asst. do.

                              Brs, Musgrove, Lynch & Hazlehurst—Tylers.

“ANTIENT" LODGE, No. 39, MANCHESTER                                                               37

                              A message being sent by the W.M. Jno. Bent requesting the                                            attendance of the Lodge of ancient Masons which had previously                                      been opened in an adjoining room, the following Brs. presented                                      themselves as such as is mentioned before.

                              The two W.Ms having exchanged the O.B's, as is used by both                                        fraternities to the Satisfaction of all the Brethren pres-ent, likewise                                   the usual forms &c. of each —An O.B. of Reconciliation was given                                    by  the two W.M's repeated by the whole of the Brethren &                                              accepted as an Act of Union according to the Instructions from the                                  United Grand Lodge of Ancient Free Masons of England.

                              On the motion of Bro. Pidgeon, which was seconded by Br. Chew                                    that the thanks of the Lodge of Integrity be given to the Brethren                                    forming the above Lodge, for their ready and punctual attendance                                    for the purpose above specified, which was carried Unanimously,                                      and as unanimously carried were the thanks of the above Lodge to                                  the Lodge of Integrity. The thanks of the Lodge of Reconciliation was                                unanimously voted to Br. Bent W.M. for his impartial and upright                                      Conduct this evening.

          B. Kavanagh           Joint      Jno. McClelland W.M.

          Chas. Pidgeon        Secys     Jno. Bent, W.M.

       1814, Aug. 7    The O.B. of reconciliation mentioned in the Minutes of the                                               Transactions at Talbot inn was this day administered

38                                                                "ANTIENT" LODGE, No. 39, MANCHESTER.

                                 to the Members present, in the Manner as given, and received, at                                     the place above mentioned.

                 Aug. 14     Last tuesday Night was paid to Laurence Fulham and Daniel                                             Murphy 18.16.6 for making & compleating with trimmings &c. 4                                       doz. Aprons and Silk Hangings for Jewels.

          It would appear that the aprons were especially required for a procession which                took place on August 19th, as the following entry shows :

                 Sept. 5       Br. Smelt paid 4/- for his dinner on the day of procession (Aug.                                        19th).

          No other mention is made of the procession. The aprons were sold to the Brethren            for 8/7½ each, which seems to be below cost.

Sept. 5  1.5.0 paid to our late Br. N. Sutcliffe's Widow as part of his funeral money.

19  A Royal Arch Chapter was held and Bros. Thos. Mounsey and Samuel Cohen of 52 Dundee, Scotland, were : Initiated into that Order. Also : 1.1.0 returned to Geo. Duncroft which he deposited at the time of his report.

Oct. 3 Br. Sam. Cohen of No. 52, Dundee, Scotland wishing to become a subscribing Member of this Lodge was balloted for and unanimously admitted accordingly he lodged his grand Lodge Certificate paying 10/6 . . . . 2.11.0 pd (as the balance) for Br. N. Sutcliffe's funeral.

Nov. 7  R.W.M. Jno. Martin having signified to the Lodge that all the Lodges in Town

"ANTIENT" LODGE No. 39, MANCHESTER                                                                     39


had withdrew their Aid from the fund for Intering deceased Brs. it was unanimously carried that in future No. 59 should inter their own deceased Brs. till such time a general Regulation takes place upon that point.

17    Paid Br. Jno. Bent 19/- for Sojourners fund.

(This is the Bro. Bent of Lodge 599).

Dec. 5   Opened upon the Degree of an Apprentice according to the System of the Grand Lodge of Reconciliation Br. Jas. Hall of

Lodge No    acting as Assistant Master with our W.M. Jno. Martin . . . Br. Joseph Givins was elected W.M.

Dec. 12    Brs. Jos. Givins, Jos. Johnson, Wm. Armitage, Wm. Bridge & Wm. Gould have paid 12/- each for their being registered on the books of Grand Lodge which was accordingly sent up, they paying equal shares of postage.

To-day, this would seem strange, as Bro. Givins joined the Lodge on 6th April, 1807. Would he have registered if he had not been elected W.M.?

Dec. 26  There are no particulars of the Ceremony of Installation which took place this day.

1815, Jan. 2 The Certificates of Wm. Rawson. & Jos. Kirkman were by unanimous consent committed to the flames.

(See minute of June 26th).

the Sick Fund established by a unanimous Vote for which Purpose the Monthly dues are advanced to eighteen pence & One Guinea from each Initiation appropriated

40                                                                      "ANTIENT" LODGE, No. 39, MANCHESTER.

to the same, no Relief to arise therefrom till after the expiration of Six Mos.

Feb. 6   Bro. Morris was deprived of the Benefits of Masonry till next St. John's Day & the same be communicated to the Lodges of the Town.                

Mar. 6   3/- advanced by the Lodge on a/c. of the Priestly Order.

This is the first reference to the Order of the Royal Arch Knight Templar Priests.

1.0.0 Given for the Support of Br. Thos. McNivens children.

Apl. 2 A return was wrote of the Members of this Lodge being 44 and 22/- given the W.M. and 5/- his 'expellees for attending the Provincial Lodge with the same for the use of the Sojourners fund.

Aug. 7  Br. Hobbs was relieved by Unanimous Consent of the Brs. present with if from the Lodge & Subscription of 5/2i by the Brs. (extra) on a/c. of his present Affliction of body & his family's. 9/- for a bottle of brandy in Concert with one given by Mrs. Taylor for the dissatisfac-tion she gave in getting up St. John's Dinner when a severe reprimand was given her touching the dinner.

Oct. 2 Given to Br. Richd. Butterfield on a/c. of the Tylers Coat &c. .5.0.0.

Nov. 6  Paid Butterfield on a/c of Tylers Coat 6.0.0.

(In the List of Members of 1816, Rd. Butterfield appears as a Tailor residing at 17, Hanover St.)   

"ANTIENT" LODGE, No. 39, MANCHESTER.                                                                     41

1816, Jan. 1 44 Members returned to the provincial Lodge at 6d. each for the Sojourner's fund i.e. 22/- & 5/- given to the W.M. for his Expenses to the same.

Feby. 5 A Standing Committee to be in power 3 three months to determine Cases that might interrupt the Harmony of the Lodge Room was unanimously agreed to.

18 The Lodge was duly opened on the 4th degree. of Masonry (Past Master,) and after several brethren had "past the Chair," a Holy Royal Arch Chapter was opened.

Mar. 4 In Addition to the Committee apointed for the purposes named in the Transactions of July 5 the Secy Br. G. S. Bancroft & Br. Jossh Johnston were nominated when it was agreed that the aforesaid Committee should meet every Sunday Evening at 6- ½ past 6 finable the Lodge allowing the same 6d. each for Expellees till the Sick fund be permanently established.

That the Committee diligently pursued their task is evidenced by the following "Bye-Laws & Benefit Articles" and it is a great pity they were not actuarily sound :-

Bye-Laws & Benefit Articles.

Much Inconvenience having arisen for the want of a regular, revised Code of Bye-Laws-for the better Government of this Lodge, it was thought essentially necessary to appoint the following Committee to prepare and regulate the same, including therein, the requisite Articles,

42                                                                     "ANTIENT" LODGE, No, 39, MANCHESTER

for the Establishment & conducting of, a sick or benefit fund.

Brs. G. S. Bancroft

  „     Jos. Johnston

  „     Jno. McAllister

                  „     Samuel Shore

 „    James Sirman

 „    Alex'r Sinclair

 ,,    Robt. Parkinson

It has always been a standing Maxim, that no Government, can support itself, without Love and Unity amongst the several members thereof—the same stand good in civil Societies in general          Experience shows that Mankind uniting themselves into civil Societies has been of great Advantage to them in their several Capacities-¬ We, therefore, as Members of the Lodge of Friendship No. 59 have thought fit to unite OURSELVES, in brotherly Love and Friendship to maintain and support the following Bye-Laws and Benefit Articles.

John. Chap 1st Verse 9th              

He that saith he is in the Light, and hateth his

Brother is in Darkness even until now.

John Chap 4th Verse 21st

And this Commandment have we from him, that he,

who loveth God, loveth his Brother also.               


That the Books of Constitutions and Laws of the

Grand Lodge shall be strenuously and punctually obeyed.


For every Offence committed against the same, and       

the fines or punishments enjoined thereto, not being duly           

enforced, the W.M. shall be deemed culpable of Negligence, and for every such Offence fined 1/-.            

"ANTIENT" LODGE No. 39, MANCHESTER.                                                                     43


That from and after the Date hereof, the terms of Initiation into the Three Degrees of Masonry shall be 3. 3. 0 and 10/6 extra, for Registery upon the Books of the Grand Lodge, to be paid prior to their receiving the third Step, or, a satisfactory Guarantee given, 1. 1. 0 of which shall be solely dedicated to the Use of the Benefit Fund.


Every Brother reviving the Holy Royal Arch in this Lodge shall pay the sum of 1. 1. 0,  10/6 of which shall be put apart for the same Fund, every Brother attending the Chapter (he not being a Candidate) shall pay 6d. towards defraying the Expences incured during the meeting.


Any Brother desiring to deposit his Certificate, and become a Member of this Lodge, shall pay the sum of 1. 1. 0 (10/6 of which shall be given to the benefit fund) besides the Costs of his Transfer on the Books of the Grand Lodge & 1/6 monthly for dues and 12 months after such Deposit become a free Member and eligible to all Benefits.


A separate and distinct Book and Box independant of those of the Lodge, shall be appropriated for the sole Use of the Benefit or sick fund.


That a Secretary be appointed for the Department of the Sick Establishment (who shall be that of the Lodge) to write Summons to the Officers who visit the Sick, and sign all Orders upon the Treasurer (who shall be of the Lodge also) for payment, to whom also all Notices from Brothers when Sick shall be addressed, and Information sent him at the time of their Recovery.

 44                                                                    "ANTIENT" LODGE, No. 39, MANCHESTER  



Two Stewards shall every three Months be appointed by the W.M. in Rotation as they stand on the Lodge Book (they not being already Officers of the Lodge) to visit, and pay, during that term such as are sick.


That every Brother, declining to fulfill the Office of Steward when appointed by the W.M. shall forfeit the Sum of 2/6 and another nominated who will fill that Situation in his Stead.


That the Limits of the Stewards Visitations extend to the undermentioned places and proportionately distant. Viz Cheetham Hill to the first Toll Bar. Oldham Road to the White Hart. Ardwick, to the Shakspear. Deansgate, Barracks. Salford, Windsor Bridge.


The Stewards shall visit weekly, the sick Brs.  within the Limits before specified, or, on Neglect thereof finable 2/6 unless sick or any other reasonable cause, in which Case he shall give written Notice thereof to the Secy. and then his Br. Steward shall officiate for him till the Cause of Obstruction of his duty be removed.


The visiting Stewards arc not bound to attend any diseased Br. residing out of the Limits before mentioned but from such as do, a Certificate will be required monthly from his Physician, Surgeon or Minister of the parish or Township wherein he dwells, specifying the Nature of his Indisposition, with his improvement or Non-Improvement of Health (post paid) taking Care always that directions be inserted therein, where the person or persons reside who sign the same, addressing such Certificate to the Secretary. After acting as

"ANTIENT" LODGE No. 39, MANCHESTER.                                                                    45

prescribed by this Article, he shall be entitled to the Benefits of the fund but not otherwise. And all expellees incured by the sending or remitting of his money shall be defrayed by himself.


The visiting Stewards shall fetch and receive a weekly account from the Secy. of the number of Sick, with their Residences together with an Order for the Sum or Sums of money requisite each week for the pay¬ment of such upon the Landlord of the house where the Lodge may sit, who shall be reimbursed by the Treasurer each monthly Night on the production & presentation of such Secretary's Orders              for these and other Services the Secy shall annually receive the Sum of 1. 1. 0 in Addition to the 2. 2. 0 formerly received.


Every free Br. through Affliction of Body being incapable to follow his Employ shall receive 5/- weekly, providing the fund amounts to £30 and for every £10 Augmentation above the aforsaid thirty pounds an increase of 1/- per week shall be allowed. In Case of death, though the fund should not amount to the sum before mentioned 6-6-0 shall invariably be given for the interment of a Br. or his wife deducting therefrom his arrears (if any.)


Any Br. joining this Lodge having any Infirmity of Body which may render him unable to follow his daily Occupation or above the age of 45 cannot be admitted as eligible to the Benefits of the Sick fund.


Though we ought invariably to build on the faith of a Mason, yet it is much to be regretted that Instances have occassionly happened when proffessors therof have

 46                                                                   “ANTIENT" LODGE, No. 39, MANCHESTER

thrown a Blemish thereon by acting contrary to its dictates and the Rules of Morality - having this in View, it is agreed that the Lodge shall annually pay a Subscription of £2-2-0 to the Infirmary of this Town, this Subscription to such a laudable Institution is not only a fulfillment of Masonic duty, but also Advantages will accrue therefrom, Viz. It will have the Command of a certain Number of Reccommends, which the W.M. may give to such Br. or Brs. Labouring under Affliction and thereby gain him or they medical Aid - And again in Cases where Suspicion may arise the W.M. may chuse his own attending physcian belonging to the above Institution, for the purpose of investigating into the Reality or Sincerity of such Affliction.


Any Br. or Member changing his place of Residence he shall inform the Secretary thereof, on, or before the monthly Night following in writing or be fined 6d. for each Neglect.


That the W.M., S.W., and J.W., shall be at the Lodge. exactly at the time appointed from the Chair the Lodge Night preceding, or their Key or Keys be sent and produced by a trusty Brother of the Lodge by such time, or forfeit as follows, the W.M. 1/- the other officers 6d. each and further, they shall open the Lodge by ½ past 7 at farthest. In Case of the Absence of the W.M. the past Master shall officiate for him, if both absent the S.W. and so on. And every member coming to the Lodge after the same is opened to be fined 2d.


That on every St. John's day the Secretary shall read up the Monies received and paid during the last 6 months together with the Names of such Brethren who are, and

 "ANTIENT" LODGE No. 39, MANCHESTER.                                                                    47

have been, during such time upon the Sick List after which if it appears that any money can with propriety be spared, after reserving the necessary Sums payable to the Grand &c. the W.M. shall be empowered to make a Transfer of all or part thereof (as he may think fit) to the Augmentation of the Benefit fund.


Any Br. not being entitled to the privileges of the benefit fund to pay only 1/- monthly for dues.


Any Br. recommending a person, who may through such recommendation be initiated into, or join this Lodge, and afterwards prove to be unsound and infirm in body, such Br. or Brs. knowing the same at the time of their recommending him, shall be deprived of all and every Benefit arising from the sick fund.

The Committee having prepared the foregoing Bye-Laws and Benefit Articles, the same were read up by the Secy. in open Lodge on Monday, April 1st, 1816 when the W.M., Officers, and Members present were pleased to approve, ratify and confirm the same.

G. S. Bancroft, Secy.                                     Joseph Givins, W.M.

April 1   P'd. Br. Jos. Givins 2/- for swearing at the New Bailey (March 18th) to the Members of the Lodge and 1/4 for powder and a Qrt. of beer.          8/- p'd Br. Jos.Givins which he advanced for the purchase of a Pistol (March 17.)

The pistol and powder were used when the Cand. had the blessing of light restored to him.

The resolution agreed to on Nov. 7th, 1814, was carried into effect for on:-

48                                                                     "ANTIENT" LODGE, No. 39, MANCHESTER.

May 27 Sunday the Brs. met for the Interment of Br. Francis Moreton aged 44 in the Lodges Grave at Cheetham Hill. Mrs. Moreton was paid 3. 1. 101-d which with the Arrears of Br. Moreton 1. 2. 1.1, made 4. 4. 0 the funeral money. 2/6 given Br. Chas. Pidgeon P.S. for the dispensation for a procession at the funeral 5/- as customary given from the Chest in addition to the 1/- per member for defraying the Expences of the day. 2/6 given to the Tyler for serving Notices for the funeral.

The grave is in St. Mark's Churchyard, Cheetham Hill, and the Rector the Rev. A. G. Sharpies, has given the following particulars of the entry in the Register:

Entry 704, Vol. 1. Francis Murry Morton of Hanover Street, Manchester, buried on 26th May, 1816. Age, 44 years. Service conducted by Samuel

Booth, Curate.

 The situation of the grave is not known.

           In addition to the minute of March 6th, 1815, there is another mention of the Royal Arch. Knights Templar Priests, viz.:

1816, Aug. 5 Brs. Jos. Givins & Jos. Whalton were reported for the priestly Order also Brs. Rt. Parkinson, Jos. Whalton, Jno. Maguire & Wm. Gould were reported for the Black to be given on Sunday Aug. 11 ½ past two.

At the end of the book is a copy of a "Black" Certificate which was evidently issued by the Lodge and reads as follows :—

Lodge No. 39 Ancient.

In the Name of the Most Holy Glorious and

Undivided Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

 "ANTIENT" LODGE No. 39, MANCHESTER.                                                                   49

We, the Captain General, Grand Marshall and High Priest, of the Grand Encampment and Assembly of Sir Knight Templars, Knights of Malta and of the Mediterranean Pass, held under Sanction of the above Warrant on Registry of the Ancient Grand Lodge of England. Do hereby certify, that our trusty and well beloved Brother . . . . . . .  has been by Us initiated into these most Glorious and holy Orders, the true and Faithful Soldier of our Lord Jesus Christ, He having with great Skill Fortitude and Valour justly supported the amazing Trials attending his Initiation, and as such We him recommend to all true and faithful Sir Knights of the above Orders in the Universe.

Given under our hands and Seals of our Encampment at Manchester this . . . day              Anno Domini . . . and of

Masonry . . . . .              


Ribbon & Seal                                                 C.G.

of Lodge.                                                          G.M.


W. Bro. J. Heron Lepper informs me that the "Black" was the name current in Ireland for the Kt. Templar Degree and all that appertained to it.

There we must leave these notes on the Lodge of Friendship with the hope that they will be continued in a later paper.

One has gained in this most interesting study, a deep insight into the character of its members. They were zealous of their rights, even to the point of severing their connection with the Athol Grand Lodge, jealous of the good name of the Lodge, as is shown by the many occa-

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sions on which Brethren had to undergo trial by the Lodge for misdemeanour, and jealous of the good name of its members as individuals, as we have seen by the many times in which the Lodge has arbitrated in conjunction with others, between a member and one of another Lodge. Its members were not niggardly in dispensing Charity, and paid every respect at the passing of a Brother.

The number of Irish names amongst the members suggest that they were attracted to the "Ancients" on account of Laurence Dermott, also as W. Bro. Rogers points out in his 200 years of Freemasonry in Bolton, salesmen from Belfast came offering linen warps which were made into Fustians when wefted with cotton or wool. I think, however, there is another reason which is suggested by the Occupation of these brethren. The majority were weavers and hand-loom weaving was a great craft and a skilled craft in Ulster and for that matter still is; what more likely than that these men hearing of the Eldorado came over with their looms and carried on their craft here, they would be their own masters and must not he confounded with the great influx of the Irish who came over to work in the factories.

We have seen that the Lodge issued its own Certificate in a higher Degree, did it also issue its own Craft Certificates? The entries on December 5, 1803, August 24, 1812, and December 12, 1814, would suggest it did.

 “ANTIENT" LODGE No. 39, MANCHESTER.                                                                    51

       The W. Masters of the Lodge during the period under review were :-


      Year          June                            December

      1783                                       James Pilling

      1784     James Cooper              John Ignatious Hamilton

      1785     John Hardman             John Watson

      1786     John Parker                 Jams Ashley

      1787     Will McAvoy                 Fras Schorey

      1788     Jams Leake

      1803     Revived 16th March      William McCormick

      1803     Richard Bamber           Richard Bamber

      1804     Hugh Carroll                Hugh Carroll

      1805     John Cropper               John Cropper

      1806     John Cropper               Wm. Marshall

      1807     Wm. Marshall

      1808     Robt. Davis                 John Cropper

      1809     John Cropper              John Cropper

      1810     John cropper              Terrance Brennan

      1811     Wm. Parr                   Wm. Bernard

      1812     Rt. Forsyth                 No record

      1813     Rt. Forsyth                 Jno. Martin to April 1814

                                                  John Cropper to June 1814

      1814     Jno. Martin                Joseph Givins

      1815     Joseph Givins

      1816     Joseph Givins


Scanned & uploaded by John Winstanley June 2020