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Preston Illustrations of Masonry- Book 4 The History of Masonry in England

Section 1 - Masonry Introduced into England

Section 2 - Masonry in England under St. Austin, King Alfred, Athelstane and the Knights Templars

Section 3 -History of Masonry in England, during the Reigns of Edward I to Henry VI.

Section 4 - History of Masonry in the South of England from 1471 to 1567

Section 5 - Progress of Masonry in the South of England from the Reign of Elizabeth to the Fire of London in 1666.

Section 6 - The History of Masonry in England from the Fire of London, to the Accession of George I.

Section 7 - History of the Revival of Masonry in the South of England

Section 8 - History of Masonry from its Revival in the South of England till the Death of King George I

Section 9 - History of Masonry in England during the Reign of King George II

Section 10 - History of Masonry in the South of England from the Accession of George III, to the end of the year 1779.

Section 11 - History of the most remarkable Events in the Society from 1779 to 1791 inclusive

Section 12 - History of Masonry from the Installation of the Prince of Wales as Grand Master, to the Grand Feast in 1795 inclusive.

Section. 9 - History of Masonry in England during the Reign of King George II

The first Grand Lodge after the accession of George II, to the throne was held at the Devil Tavern, Temple-bar, on the 24th of June 1727; at which were present, the earl of Inchquin, Grand Master, his officers, and the Masters and Wardens of forty lodges. At this meeting it was resolved to extend the privilege of voting in Grand Lodge to Past Grand Wardens; that privilege having been heretofore restricted to Past Grand Masters, by resolution of 21st November 1724; and to Past Deputies, by another resolution of 28th February 1726.

The Grand Master having been obliged to take a journey into Ireland before the expiration of his office, his lordship transmitted a letter to William Cowper Esq. his Deputy, requesting him to convene a Grand Lodge for the purpose of nominating  lord Colerane Grand Master for the ensuing year. A Grand Lodge was accordingly convened on the 19th of December 1727, when his lordship was regularly proposed Grand Master elect, and being unanimously approved, on the 27th of the same month was duly invested with the ensigns of his high office at a grand feast at Mercers'-hall in the presence of a numerous company of his brethren. His lordship attended two communications during his mastership and seemed to pay considerable attention to the duties of his office. He constituted several new lodges and granted a deputation to hold a lodge in St Bernard's Street in Madrid. At the last Grand Lodge under his lordship's auspices, Dr Desaguliers moved, that the ancient office of Stewards might be revived, to assist the Grand Wardens in preparing the feast; when it was agreed that their appointment should be annual, and the number restricted to twelve.

Lord Kingston succeed lord Colerane, and was invested with the ensigns of his high office on the 27th of December 1728, at a grand feast held a Mercer's-hall. his lordship's zeal and attachment for the fraternity were very conspicuous, not only by his regular attendance on the communications, but by his generous present to the Grand Lodge, of a curious pedestal, a rich cushion with gold knobs and fringes, a velvet bag, and a new jewel set in gold for the use of the Secretary. during his lordship's administration, the Society flourished at home and abroad. Many lodges were constituted and among the rest, deputation was granted to George Pomfret Esq, authorising him to open a new lodge at Bengal. This gentlemen first introduced masonry into the English settlement in India, where it has since made such rapid progress, that, with these few years, upwards of fifty lodges, have been constituted there, eleven of which are now held in Bengal. The annual remittances to the charity and public funds of the Society from this and other factories of the East India Company amount to a considerable sum.

At the Grand Lodge held a Devil Tavern on the 27th of December 1729, Natheniel Blackerby Esq, the Deputy Grand Master, being in the chair, in the absence of lord Kingston, produced a letter from his lordship, authorising him to propose the duke of Norfolk Grand Master for the ensuing year. This nomination meeting with general approbation, the usual compliments were paid to his grace, and he was saluted Grand Master elect. At an assembly and feast at Merchant-taylors'-hall on the 29th of January following his grace was duly installed, according to ancient form, in the presence of a numerous and brilliant company of masons. His grace's absence in Italy soon after his election, prevented him from attending more than one communication during his mastership; but the business of the Society was diligently executed by Mr Blackerly his Deputy, on whom the whole management had devolved. Among other signal proofs of his grace's attachment to the Society, he transmitted from Venice to England the following noble patents for the use of the Grand Lodge: 

1. Twenty pounds to the charity.

2. A Large folio book, of the finest writing paper, for the records of Grand Lodge, richly bound in Turkey and gilt, with a curious frontispiece in vellum, containing the arms of Norfolk, amply displayed, and a Latin inscription of the family titles, with the arms of masonry emblazoned.

3. A sword of state for the Grand Master, being the old trusty sword of Gustavus Adolphus king of Sweden, which was  next wore by his brave successor in ware Bernard duke of Saxe-Weimar, with both their names on the blade, and further enriched with the arms of Norfolk in silver on the scabbard. For these presents his grace was voted the public thanks of the Society.

It is not surprising that masonry should flourish under so respectable a banner. His grace appointed a Provincial Grand Lodge at New Jersey in America. A provincial patent  was also made out under his auspices for Bengal. From this period we may date the commencement of the consequence and reputation of the Society in Europe; as daily application were made for establishing new lodges, and the most respectable character of the age desired their names to be enrolled in our records.

The duke of Norfolk was succeeded by lord Lovel, afterwards earl of Leicester, who was installed at Merchers'-hall on the 29th of March 1731. His lordship being at the time much indisposed with an ague, was obliged to withdraw soon after his installation. Lord Colerane, however, acted a proxy during the feast. On the 14th of May, the first Grand Lodge after lord Lovel's election was held at the Rose Tavern in Mary-le-bone, when it was voted that in future all past Grand MAsters and their deputies shall be admitted members of the quarterly Committees of Charity, and that eevry committee shall have power to vote five pounds for the relief of any distressed mason; but no larger sum, without the consent of the Grand Lodge in Communication being first had and obtained. This resolution is still in force.

During the presidency of lord Lovel, the nobility made a point of honouring the GRand Lodge with their presence. The dukes of Norfolk and Richmond, the earl of Inchiquin, and lords Colrane and Montagu, with several other persons of distinction, seldom failed to give their attendance; and though the subscriptions from the lodges were inconsiderable, the Society was enabled to relieve many worthy objects with small sums. As an encouragement to gentlemen to accept the office of steward, it was ordered that in future each Steward should have the privilege of nominating his successor at every annual grand feast. the most remarkable event of lord Lovel's administration, was the initiation of Francis duke of Lorraine, afterward emperor of Germany.  by virtue of a deputation from his lordship, a lodge was held at the Hague, where his highness was received into the frist two degrees of masonry. At this lodge, Phillip Stanhope earl of Chesterfield, then ambassador there, presided; Mr Strickland, esq, acted as Deputy, and Mr Benjamin Hadley with a Dutch brother as Wardens. His highness coming to England in the same year, was advanced to the third degree at an occasional lodge convened for the purpose at Houghton-hall in Norfolk, the seat of sir Robert Walpole; as was also Thomas Pelham, duke of Newcastle.

The Society being now in a very flourishing state, deputations were granted from England, for establishing lodges in Russia and Spain.

Lord Viscount Montagu was installed Grand Master at an assembly and feast at Merchant-Taylors'-hall on the 19th April 1732. Among the distinguished personages present on that Occasion were the dukes of Montagu and Richmond; the earl of Strathmore; and lords Colerane, Teynham and Carpetner; sir Francis Drake and sir William Keith barts. and above  four hundred other brethren. At this meeting it was first proposed to have a  country feast and agreed that the brethren should dine  together at Hampstead on the 24th June, for the purpose cards of invitation were sent to several of the nobility. On the day appointed, the Grand Master and his Officers, the dukes of Norfolk and Richmond, earl of Strathmore, lord Carpenter and Teynham, and above a hundred other brethren, met at the Spikes at Hampstead, where an elegant dinner was provided. Soon after the dinner, the Grand Master resigned the chair to Lord Teynham, and from that time till the expiration of his office never attended another meeting of the Society. His lordship granted a deputation for constituting a lodge a Valenciennes in French Flanders, and another for opening a new lodge at the Hotel de Buffy in Paris. Several other lodges were also constituted under his lordship's auspices; but the Society was particularly indebted to Thomas Barton esq. the Deputy Grand Master, who was very attentive to the duties of his office, and carefully superintended the government of the craft.

The earl of Stratmore succeeded lord Montagu in the office of Grand Master, and being in Scotland at the time, was installed by proxy at an assembly at Mercers'-hall on the 7th of June 1733. On the 13th December, a Grand Lodge was held at the devil tavern, at which his lordship and his officers, the earl of Crawford, sir Robert Mansel, a number of Past Grand Officers, and the Masters and Wardens of fifty-three lodges were present. Several regulations were  confirmed at this meeting respecting the Committee of Charity; and it was determined, that al complaints, in future to be brought before the Grand Lodge, previously be examined by the Committee, and from thence referred to the next Communication.

The history of the Society at this period afford no remarkable incident to record. Some considerable donations were collected, and distributed among distressed masons, to encourage the settlement of a new colony which had been just established in Georgia in 'America. Lord Strathmore showed every attention to the duties of his office, and regularly attended the meetings of Grand Lodge; under his auspices the Society flourished at home and aboard, and many genteel presents were received from the East Indies. Elven German masons applied for authority to open a new lodge in Hamburgh under the patronage of the Grand Lodge of England, for which purpose his lordship was pleased to grant a deputation; and soon after, several other lodges were constituted in Holland under the English banner.

The earl of Strathmore was succeeded by the earl of Crawford, who was installed at Mercers'-hall on the 30th March 1734. Public affairs attracting his lordship's attention, the Communications during his administation were neglected. After eleven months vacatioln, however, a Grand Lodge was convened, at which his lordship attended and apologized for his long absence. To atone for past omission, he commanded two communcations to be held in little more than six weeks. The dukes of Richmond and Buccleugh, the earl of Balcarras, lord Weymouth, and other eminent persons, honoured the GRand Lodge with their presence during the earl of Crawford's presidency.

The most remarkable proceedings of the Society at this period related to a new edition of the Book of Consititutions, which brother James Anderson was ordered to prepare for the press; and which made its appearance in January 1738, considerably enlarged and improved.

Among the new regulation which took place under the administration of lord Crawford, was the following; That if any lodge with the bills of mortality shall cease to meet during twelve calendar months, the said lodge shall be erased out of the list, and if re-instated, shall lose its former rank. Some additional privileges were granted to the Stewards, in consequence of an application for that purpose; and to encourage gentlemen to serve the office, it was agreed, that in future all Grand Officers, the Grand Master excepted, shall be elected out of that body. A few resolutions also passed respecting illegal conventions of masons, at which it was reported many persons had been initiated into masonry on small and unworthy considerations. 

The earl of Crawford seems to have made the first encroachment on the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge in the city of York, by constituting two lodges within their district; and by granting, without their consent, three deputations, one for Lancashire, a second for Durham, and a third for Northumberland. This circumstance the Grand Lodge of York highly resented, and ever after viewed the proceeding of the brethren in the metropolis with a jealous eye. All friendly intercourse ceased, and the York masons from that moment considered their interest distinct from the masons under the Grand Lodge in London.

[In confirmation of the above fact, I shall here insert a paragraph copied from the Book of Constitutions published in 1738. After inserting a list of Provincial Grand Masters appointed for different places abroad, it is thus expressed: "All these foreign lodges are under the patronage of our Grand Master of England; but the old lodge at York city, and the lodges of Scotland, Ireland, France and Italy, affecting independency, are under their own Grand Masters; though they have the same constitutions, charges, regulations etc for substance with their brethren in England, and are equally zealous for the Augustan stile, and the secrets of the ancient and honourable fraternity" Book of Constitutions 1738, p195]

Lord Weymouth succeed the earl of Crawford, and was installed at Mercers'-hall on the 17th April 1735, in presence of the dukes of Richmond and Athol; the earls of Crawford, Winchelsea, Balcarras, Wemys and Loudon; the marquis of Beamont; lords Catheart and Vere Bertie; sir Cecil Wray and sir Edward Mansel barts. and a splendid company of other brethren. Several lodges were constituted during lord Weymouth's presidency; and among the rest the Stewards' Lodges. His lordship granted a deputation to hold a lodge at the seat of the duke of Richmond at Aubigny in France; and, under his patronage masonry extended considerably in foreign countries. He issued warrants to open a new lodge at Lisbon, and another at Savannah in Georgia; and, by his special appointment, provincial patents were made out for South America, and Gambay in West Africa.

Lord Weymouth never honoured any of the Communications with his presence during his presidency; but this amission was less noticed on account of the vigilance and attention of his Deputy, John Ward, esq. after lord viscount Dudley and Ward, who applied with the utmost anxiety to every business which concerned the interest and well-being of the Society.

One circumstance occurred while lord Weymouth was Grand Master; of which it may be necessary to take notice. The twelve Stewards, with sir Robert Lawley, Master of the Stewards' Lodge, at their head, appeared for the first time in their new badges at a Grand Lodge held at the Devil Tavern on the 11th of December 1735. On this occasion they were not permitted to vote as individuals; but it being afterwards proposed that they should enjoy this privilege, and that the Stewards' Lodge should in future be represented in Grand Lodge by twelve members, many lodges objected to the measure as an encroachment on the privilege of every lodge which had been previously constituted. When the motion was put up for confirmation, such a disturbance ensued, that the Grand Lodge was obliged to be closed before the sentiments of the brethren could be collected on the subject. Of late years the punctilio has been waved, and the twelve Stewards are now permitted to vote in every Communication as individuals.

[It was not till the year 1770 that this privilege was strictly warranted; when, at a Grand lodge, on the 7th February, at the Crown and Anchor tavern in the Strand, the following resolution passed: "As the right of the Members of the Steward's Lodge in general to attend the Committee of Charity appears doubtful, no mention of such right being made in the laws of the Society, the Grand Lodge are of opinion, that they have no general right to attend; but it is hereby resolved, that the Steward's Lodge be allowed the privilege of sending a number of brethren, equal to any four lodges, to every future Committee of Charity; and that, as the Master of each private lodge only has the right to attend, to make a proper distinction between the Steward's lodge and the other lodges, that the Master and three other members of that lodge be permitted to attend at every succeeding Committee on behalf of the said Lodge." This resolution, however, was declared not to intended to deprive any lodge which had been previously constituted, of its regular rank and precedence. Notwithstanding this express provision, a privilege has been lately granted to the Steward's Lodge, of taking precedence of the other lodges; a measure incompatible with the constitutions and which can never be sanction by the rules of the Society. This privilege is said to have been irregularly obtained, and therefore several Lodges have entered protests against it in their private books; which, in due course, may have an effect, and probably induce a re-investigation of the subject.]

The earl of Louden succeeded lord Weymouth, and was installed Grand Master at Fishmongers'-hall on the 15th of April 1736. The dukes of Richmond; the earls of Albermarle and Crawford, lords Harcout Erksine and Southwell; Mr Anstis garter king at arms, Mr Brady lion king of arms, and a numerous company of other brethren, were present on the occasion. His lordship constituted several lodges and granted three provincial deputation during his presidency, viz, one for New England, another for South Carolina, and a third for Cape Coast Castle in Africa.

The earl of Darnley was elected Grand Master, and duly installed at Fishmonger's-hall on the 28th of April 1737, in presence of the duke of Richmond, the earls of Crawford and Wemsys, lord Gray, and many ohter respectable brethren. The most remarkable event of the his lordship's administration, was the imitation of the late Frederick prince of Wales, his present majesty's father, at an occasional lodge convened for the purpose at the palace of Kew, over which Dr Desaguliers presided as Master. Lord Baltimore, col. Lumley, the hon. major Madden, and several other brethren, were present. His royal highness was advanced to the second degree at the same lodge; and at another lodge. convened at the same place soon after, raised to the degree of a master mason.

There cannot be a better proof of the flourishing state of the Society at this time, than by adverting to the respectable appearence of the brethren in Grand Lodge, at which that Grand Master never failed to attend. Upwards of sixty lodges were represented  at every Communication during Lord Darnley's administration, and more Provincial patents were issued by him, than by any of his predecessors. Deputations were granted for Montserrat, Geneva, the Circle of Upper Saxony, the Coast of Africa, New York, and the Islands of America.

[At this time the authority granted by patent to a Provincial Grand Master was limited to one year from his first public appearance in that character within his province; and if, at the expiration of that period, a new election by the lodges under his jurisdiction did not take place, subject to the approbation of the Grand Master, the patent was no longer valid.  Hence we find, within the course of a few years, different appointments to the same station; but the office is now permanent, and the sole appointment of the Grand Master.]

The marquis of Carnarvon, afterwards duke of Chanos, succeeded lord Darnley in the office of Grand Master, and was duly invested and congratulated at an assembly and feast held at Fishmonger's-hall on the 27th of April 1738. At this assembly, the duke of Richmond; the earls of Inchiquin, Loudon and Kintore; lords Colerane and Gray; and a numerous company of other brethren, were present.

The marquis showed every attention to the Society during his presidency, and in testimony of his esteem, presented to the Grand Lodge a gold jewel for the use of the Secretary; the device, two cross pens in a knot; the knot and points of the pens being curiously enameled. Two deputations for the office Provincial Grand Master were granted by his lordship; one for the Caribbee Islands and the other for the West Riding of Yorkshire. This latter appointment was considered as another encroachment on the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of York, and so widened the original breach between the brethren in the North and the South of England, that from thenceforward all future correspondence between the Grand Lodges totally ceased.

On the 15th of August 1738, Frederick the Great. afterwards king of Prussia, was initiated into masonry, in a lodge in Brunswick, under the Scots constitution, being at that time Prince Royal. So highly did he approve of the initiation, that, on his accession to the throne, he commanded a Grand Lodge to be formed at Berlin, and for that purpose obtained a patent from Edinburgh. Thus was masonry regularly established in Prussia, and under that sanction it has flourished there ever since. His majesty's attachment to the Society soon induced him to establish several new regulations for the advantage of the fraternity; and among others he ordained,

1. That no person should be made a mason, unless his character was unimpeachable and his manner of living and profession respectable.

2. That every member should pay 25 rix-dollars (or 4 pounds 3 shillings) for the first degree; 50 rix-dollars (or 8 pounds 6 shillings ) on his being initiated into the second degree; and 100 rix-dollars (or 16 pounds 12 shillings)  on his being made a master-mason. 

3. That he should remain at least three months in each degree; and that every sun received should be divided by the Grand Treasurer into three parts: one to defray the expenses of the lodge; another to be applied to the relief of distressed brethren; and the third to be allotted to the poor in general.

No other remarkable occurrence is recorded to have happened during the administration of the marquis of Carnarvon, except a proposition for establishing a plan to appropriate a portion of the charity to place out the sons of masons apprentices, which, after a long debate in Grand Lodge, was rejected.

Some disagreeable altercations arose in the Society about this period. A number of dissatisfied brethren separated themselves from the regular lodges, and held meetings in different places for the purpose of initiating persons into masonry, contrary to the laws of the Grand Lodge. These seceding brethren taking advantage of the breach which had been made in the friendly intercourse between the Grand Lodges of London and York, on being censured for their conduct, immediately assumed, without authority, the character of York masons. The measures adopted to check them stopped their progress for some time; till, taking advantage of the general murmur spread abroad on account of innovations that had been introduced, and which seemed to authorize an omission of, and a variation in the ancient ceremonies, they rose again into notice. This imprudent measure of the regular lodges offended many old masons; but, through the mediation of John Ward esq. afterwards lord viscount Dudley and Ward, matters were accommodated, and the brethren seemingly reconciled. This, however, proved only a temporary suspension of hostilities, for the same soon broke out anew, and gave rise to commotions, which afterward materially interrupted the peace of the Society. 

Lord Raymond succeeded the marquis of Carnarvon in May 1739, and under his lordship's auspices the lodges were numerous and respectable. Notwithstanding the flourishing state of the Society, irregularities continued to prevail, and several worthy brethren, still adverse to the encroachments on the established system of the institution, were highly disgusted at the proceeding of the regular lodges. Complaints were preferred at every succeeding committee, and the communications fully employed in adjusting differences and reconciling animosities. More sessions taking place, it became necessary to pass votes of censure on the mist refractory and to enact laws to discourage irregular associations of the fraternity. this brought the power of the Grand Lodge in question; and in opposition to the laws which had been established in that assembly, lodges were formed with any legal warrant, and persons initiated into masonry for small and unworthy considerations. To disappoint the views of these deluded brethren, and to distinguish the persons initiated  by them the Grand Lodge readily acquiesced in the imprudent measures which the regular masons had adopted, measures which even the urgency of the case could not warrant. Though this had the intended effect effect, it gave rise to a new subterfuge. The brethren who had seceded from the regular lodges immediately announced independency, and assumed the appellation of ancient masons. They propagated an opinion, that the ancient tenets and practices of masonry were preserved by them; and that the regular lodges, being composed of modern masons, had adopted new plans, and were not to be considered as acting under the old establishment. To counteract the regulations of the Grand Lodge, they instituted a new Grand Lodge in London, professedly on the ancient system, and under that assumed banner constituted several new lodges. There irregular proceeding they pretended to justify under feigned sanction of the Ancient York Constitution, and many gentlemen of reputation were introduced among them, so that their lodges daily increased. Without authority for the Grand Lodge of York, or form any other established power of masonry, ther persevered in the measures they had adopted, formed committees, held communications, and appointed annual feasts. Under the false appellation of the York banner, they gained the countenance of the Scotch and Irish masons, who, placing implicit confidence in the representations made to them, heartily joined in condemning the measures of the regular lodges in London, as tending, in their opinion, to introduce novelties into the Society, and to subvert the original plan of the institution. The irregular masons in London, having acquired an establishment, noblemen of both kingdoms honoured them with their patronage for some time, and many respectable names and lodges were added to this list. Of late years the fallacy has been detected, and they have not been so successful; several of their best members have renounced their banner and come under the patronage of the Grand Lodge of England. It is much to be wished, in that a general union among all the masons in the kingdom could effected, and we are happy to hear that such a measure is likely soon to accomplished, through the mediation of a Royal Brother at present abroad.

During the presidency of lord Raymond, no considerable addition was made to the list of lodges and communications were seldom honoured with the company of the nobility. His lordship granted only one deputation for a provincial Grand Master during his presidency, viz: for Savoy and Piedmont.

The earl of Kintore succeeded lord Raymond in April 1740 and, in imitation of his predecessor, continued to discourage irregularities. His lordship appointed several provincials: particularly, one for Russia; one for Hamburgh and the the Circle of Lower Saxony; one for the West Riding of York, in the room of William Horton esq. deceased; and one for the island of Barbadoes.

The earl of Morton was elected on the 19th of March following, and installed with great solemnity the same day at Haberdashers'-hall, in preference of a respectable company of the nobility, foreign ambassadors, and others. Several seasonable laws were passed during this lordship's mastership, and some regulations made concerning procession and other ceremonies. His lordship presented a staff of office to the Treasurer, of neat workmanship, blue and tip't with gold; and the Grand Lodge resolved, that this officer should be annually elected, and, with the Secretary and Sword-beaker, be permitted to rank in future as a member of Grand Lodge. A large cornelian seal, with the arms of masonry, set in gold, was presented to the Society, at this time, by brother Vaughan, the Senior Grand Warden; and William Vaughan esq. was appointed by his lordship, Provincial Grand Master for North Wales.

Lord Ward succeeded the earl of Morton in April 1742. His lordship was well acquainted with the nature and government of the Society having served every office from the Secretary in a private lodge to that of Grand Master. His lordship lost no time in applying effectual remedies to reconcile the animosities which prevailed; he recommended to his officers, vigilance and care in their different departments; and by the his own conduct, set a noble example how the dignity of the Society ought to be supported. Many lodges, which were in a declining state, by his advice, coalesced with other in better circumstances; some, which had been negligent in their attendance on the Communications, after proper admonitions were restored to favour; and others, which persevered in their contumacy, were erased out of the list. Thus his lordship manifested his regard for the interests of the Society, while his lenity and forbearance were universally admired.

The unanimity and harmony of the lodges seemed to be perfectly restored under his lordship's administration. The free-masons at Antigua built a large hall in that island for their meetings, and applied to the Grand Lodge for liberty to be styled the Great Lodge of St John's in Antigua, which favour was granted to them in April 1744.

Lord Ward continued two years at the head of the fraternity, during which time he constituted, many lodges, and appointed several Provincial Grand Masters; viz. one for Lancaster, one for North America, and three for the island of Jamaica. he was succeeded by the earl of Strathmore, during whose administration, being absent the whole time, the care and management of the Society devolved on the other Grand Officers, who carefully studied the general good of the fraternity. His lordship appointed a Provincial Grand Master for the island of Bermuda.

Lord Cranstoun was elected Grand Master in April 1745, and presided over the fraternity with great reputation two years. under his auspices masonry flourished, several new lodges were constituted, and one Provincial Grand Master was appointed for Cape Breton and Louisburg. By a resolution of the Grand Lodge at this time it was order, that public procession on feast-days should be discontinued; occasioned by some mock processions, which a few disgusted brethren had formed, in order to burlesque those public appearances.

Lord Byron succeeded lord Cranstoun, and was installed at Drapers'-hall on the 30th of April 1747. The laws of the Committee of Charity were, by his lordship's order, revised, printed, and distributed among lodges, and a handsome, contribution to the general charity was received from the lodge at Gibraltar. During five years that is lordship presided  over the fraternity. no diligence was spared to preserve the privileges of masonry inviolate, to redress grievances, and to relieve distress. When business required his lordship's attendance in country, Fotherly Baker esq. his Deputy and Secretary Revis, were particularly attentive to the business  of the Society. the former was distinguished by his knowledge of the laws and regulations; the latter, by his long and faithful services. under the auspices of lord Byron, provincial patnets were issued for Denmark amd Norway, Pennsylvania, Minorca, and New York.

On the 20th March, 1752, lord Carysfort accepted the office of Grand Master. The good effects of his lordship's application to the real interests of the fraternity soon became visible, by the great increase of the public fund. No Grand Officer ever took more pains to preserve, or was more attentive to recommend, order and decorum. He was ready, on all occasions, to visit the lodges in person, and to promote harmony among the members. Dr. Manningham, his Deputy, was no less vigilant in the execution of his duty. He constantly visited the lodges in his lordship's absence, and used every endeavour to cement union among the brethren. The whole proceedings of this active officer were conducted with prudence, and his candor and affability gained him universal esteem. The Grand Master's attachment to the Society was so obvious, that the brethren, in testimony of their gratitude for his lordship's great services, re-elected him on the 3d of April 1753; and during his presidency, provincial patents were issued for Gibraltar, the Bahama Islands, New York, Guernsey, Jersey, Alderney, Sark, and Mann; also for Cornwall, and the counties of Worcester, Gloucester, Salop, Monmouth, and Hereford.

The marquis of Carnarvon (afterward duke of Chandos) succeeded lord Carysfort in March 1754. He began his administration by ordering the Book of Constitutions to be reprinted, under the inspection of a committee, consisting of the Grand Officers, and some other respectable brethren. The Grand Master's zeal and attention to the true interests of the Society were shewn on every occasion. He presented to the Grand Lodge, a large silver jewel, gilt, for the use of the Treasurer, being cross keys in a knot, enamelled with blue; and gave several other proofs of his attachment.

Soon after the election of the marquis of Carnarvon, the Grand Lodge took into consideration a complaint against certain brethren, for assembling, without any legal authority, under the denomination of ancient masons; who, as such, considered themselves independent of the Society, and not subject to the laws of Grand Lodge, or to the control of the Grand Master. Dr. Manningham, the Deputy Grand Master, pointed out the necessity of discouraging their meetings, as being contrary to the laws of the Society, and openly subversive of the allegiance due to the Grand Master. On this representation the Grand Lodge resolved, that the meeting of any brethren under the denomination of masons, other than as brethren of the ancient and honourable Society of Free and Accepted Masons established upon the universal system, is inconsistent with the honour and interest of the craft, and a high insult on the Grand Master and the whole body of masons. In consequence of this resolution, fourteen brethren, who were members of a lodge held at the Ben Jonson's head in Pelham-street, Spitalfields, were expelled the Society, and that lodge was ordered to be erased out of the list.

No preceding Grand Master granted so many provincial deputations as the marquis of Carnarvon; in less than two years the following patents were issued; 

1. for South Carolina; 
2. for South Wales; 
3. for Antigua; 
4. for all North America where no former provincial was appointed; 
5. for Barbadoes, and all other his majesty's islands to the windward of Guadaloupe; 
6. for St. Eustatius, Cuba, and St. Martin's, Dutch Caribbean islands in America; 
7. for Scilly, and the adjacent islands; 
8. for all his majesty's dominions in Germany, with a power to chuse their successors; and 
9. for the County Palatine of Chester, and the City and County of Chester. 

The greater part of these appointments appear to have been mere honorary grants in favour of individuals, few of them having been attended with advantage to the Society.

The marquis of Carnarvon continued to preside over the fraternity till the 18th of May 1757, when he was succeeded by lord Aberdour; during whose mastership the Grand Lodge voted, among other charities, the sum of fifty pounds to be sent to Germany, to be distributed among such of the soldiers as were masons in prince Ferdinand's army, whether English, Hanoverians, or Hessians. This sum was soon after remitted to general Kingsley for the intended purpose.

Such was the state of masonry during the reign of George II. On the 5th of October 1760, his majesty expired at his palace at Kensington, in the 77th year of his age, and the 34th of his reign. It may be truly said, that this period was the golden aera of masonry in England; the sciences were cultivated and improved, the royal art was diligently propagated, and true architecture clearly understood; the fraternity were honoured and esteemed; the lodges patronised by exalted characters; and charity, humanity, and benevolence, were the distinguishing characteristics of masons.

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