Here are three articles by W Bro Terry Fisher, (currently the Humber Lodge Librarian) with early Masonic history briefly explained, the beginnings of the Humber Lodge, the connection of the Lodge to the Duke of Atholl, and a newspaper article from the late 19th Century. Then follows "A Brief History of the Humber Lodge of Freemasons No 57" written for the bicentenary celebrations by W Bro Michael Phillips PPJGS, with a preface by the then Worshipful Master, W Bro Sergei Bylov.
One of the earliest records of Freemasonry in England is contained in the diary of Elias Ashmole, the Antiquarian (Ashmolean Museum, Oxford), wherein under the date October 16th, A.D. 1646, is written: "I was made a Freemason at Warrington in Lancashire".
The First Grand Lodge of England was formed in A.D. 1717, but owing to differences of opinion a rival Grand Lodge was formed in A.D. 1751, thereafter calling themselves the "Ancients" and the original Grand Lodge the "Moderns".
1756 Warrant of Constitution
Old Humber Lodge Room
A warrant of Constitution, Numbered 53 (picture above), was issued to a Lodge in Liverpool by the Duke of Atholl, Grand Master of the "Ancients", May 19th A.D. 1756.
This Lodge apparently lapsed, and the warrant was used in 1775 by another Lodge in Liverpool. However, this Lodge was eventually suspended, and in 1809 this warrant was transferred (by endorsement) to Hull, to a Lodge known as the "Ancient Knight Templars", whose meetings were held at the Fleece Inn in the Market Place.
On 2nd July 1810 the name of the Lodge was changed to that of the principle river in the area, the "Humber".
In 1813, the Two Grand Lodges, the "Ancients" and the "Moderns" became united under the title of the United Grand Lodge of England; the Humber Lodge became No. 73 on the Register therof, and was so recorded until 1832 when, upon a renumbering of the Lodges under the Constitution, it was reduced to No. 65. In and in 1863 this was again reduced to No. 57, which number it still retains. Humber Lodge bears the lowest number in the Province of Yorkshire North and East Ridings. In1938 it was one of the largest private lodges with a subscribing membership of 286.
William Crow Lieut. RN - Humber 57 WM 1825 and 1830 and 1831
Thomas Feetam - Humber 57 WM 1827 and 1850
The Installation meetings of the Humber Lodge were originally held on St. John the Baptist's Day, June 24th, but since 1843, the Installation has been held on the Festival of St. John the Evangelist, December 27th. The two festivals represent the summer and winter solstices. However in later years, the Humber Lodge has shared a Lodge building with other Lodges and the Installation meeting is now held on the 2nd Tuesday in December.
[The photographs on this page were extracted from the History of the Humber Lodge book
and the text above derives from the Humber Ritual book.]
The picture of the Lodge Room (above) is the Humber Lodge room in Osbourne Street\Anne Street, Hull, here photographed before it was destroyed by enemy action on the night of 7/8th May A.D.1941. The temple was destroyed but the most important of the few artefacts which survived, was the original ‘Warrant’ which hung on the only surviving wall of the destroyed building.
Jeremiah Stark - Humber 57 WM 1838
John P. Bell MD - Humber 57 WM 1842 and 1843
William Tenneyman - Worshipful Master in the year 1871
[Above notes by W Bro Terry Fisher]
The Humber Lodge is proud to be an 'Atholl' Lodge.
On 17th July 1751, about 80 mainly Irish freemasons from 6 Lodges, disillusioned by the way freemasonry was becoming modernised, met in Committee at the tavern to consider setting up a rival Grand Lodge. The meeting was soon followed by the founding of the Grand Lodge of England according to the Old Institution.
The new body immediatley began accusing the old Grand Lodge (formed in 1717, and dubbed the Moderns) of introducing innovations and claiming that only themselves preserved the Craft's old customs.
The significant impact on British Freemasonry by the more progressive Grand Lodge of the Antients was enhanced by the arrival in London during 1748 of Laurence Dermott, a journeyman painter by trade. He had learned his freemasonry in Lodge No.26 of the Irish Constitution where, apart from other offices, he had been Secretary, and in 1746 became Right Worshipful Master.
Dermott became the Secretary of the Antients and his career in London was extremely successful. The inevitable improvement in his social status was largely due to his untiring energy. He never pretended to be scholastic, but he cultivated his mind and acquired knowledge of languages and of literature and history. His notable achievement being the writing of the Constitutions of the Antients, "AHIMAN REZON" (faithful brother secretary) which became the foundation of many other Constitutions, some still in use today. In the Americas his Constitutions were adopted by Masons who formed the Grand Lodges of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, New York and the Canadian Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia.
Dermott soon realised that to give his Grand Lodge the needed status, it was imperative to have a figurehead in much the same way as enjoyed by the older Grand Lodge, and he persuaded a number of Brethren who had the required social standing to help. Among these were the 3rd and 4th Dukes of Atholl who were to serve the Antients so long and so well.
John, the 3rd Duke of Atholl, was elected Grand Master Mason of Scotland on 30th November 1773 and, as he had already been installed as Grand Master of the Antients in 1771, was in the unique position of holding two Grand Masterships in the same year. It was his influence upon the Order that brought about the title of 'Atholl' Masons.
His death in 1774 caused much concern as it was not easy for the Antients to find somebody of eminence to give his name and time to a voluntary Order. Fortunately John left a son who inherited his title in 1775. Being only 19 years old and not a Freemason, he immediately applied to the Grand Master's Lodge No.1 and was initiated there on 25th February 1775. As a matter of urgency the three degrees were conferred upon him at the same time! At the same meeting he was also installed as Master of the Lodge! At the next meeting of Grand Lodge he was proposed as Grand Master of the Antients and was installed as such on 25th March 1775.
Over the years many Freemasons on both sides worked diligently to remove the misunderstandings and enmity between the rival Grand Lodges, but none more so that the 3rd and 4th Dukes of Atholl, in the desire for a Union, which happily took place in 1813.
[Above notes by W Bro Terry Fisher]
Local newspaper article from the 19th Century
THE 60th ANNIVERSARY MASONIC
BANQUET IN HULL
Hull Daily Mail dated Tuesday 10th May 1887
It is likely that Bro Benjamin Hudson's portrait of J P Bell was lost when Osbourne Street was bombed. However, he is here depicted in his Grand Superintendent's (Chapter) regalia, painted by the same artist. This portrait hangs in the bar area of the Lodge at Dagger Lane.
[Addendum and photograph by W Bro J R Wheeldon]
Humber Lodge No. 57 of Ancient,
Free and Accepted Masons
Compiled by W. Bro. Michael J. Phillips PPJGS
PREFACE by the WORSHIPFUL MASTER
This booklet has been prepared as a brief history of the Humber Lodge No 57 to mark the bicentenary of its formation. It concentrates on the first 100 years of the Lodge which were at times very turbulent but by the work and integrity of its members has survived and flourished and is held in high esteem by its members and sister lodges.
The Humber Lodge is unique in the country. The warrant, number 53 was issued in 1756 but the early history is unknown. It was re-issued in 1775 and had a difficult but interesting number of years before it was re-issued again in 1809. The warrant also had several changes to its number – issued as No 53 in 1756; changed to No 73 in 1813; changed again in 1833 to No 65 and lastly in 1863 to No 57. The Lodge therefore holds a warrant issued and reissued three times and having had four different numbers.
It has been found possible le in this volume to pay tribute to many past and present members who have contributed to the good and welfare of the Lodge, but it has to be acknowledged that without their care and devotion these bi-centenary celebrations would not be taking place.
The members of the Humber Lodge are proud and grateful for the solid foundation on which the Lodge now stands and hope the future will prove as illustrious as its past.
10th March 2009
From the original Warrant of Constitution, 17th April 1775:
ATHOLL, Grand Master
WM. TINDALL, S.G.W. LAW DERMOTT, D.G.M.
NO. 53. THOS. CARTER, J.G.W.
To all whom it may Concern:
WE the GRAND LODGE of the most Ancient and Honourable Fraternity of FREE AND ACCEPTED MASONS, according to the old Constitutions, granted by His Royal Highness PRINCE EDWIN,at York, A.D.926, and in the year of Masonry 4926, in ample Form assembled, viz., the Right Worshipful and Most Noble PRINCE JOHN, Duke, Marquis, and Earl of Atholl ; Marquis of Tullibardine ; Earl of Strathsay and Strathardle; Viscount of Ballquiden, Glenalmond, and Glenlyon ; Lord Murray, Belveny, and Gask; Heretable Captain and Constable of the Castle of Kincleaven; Hereditary Keeper of the Palace of Falkland; and in that part of GREAT BRITAIN called ENGLAND, and MASONICAL JURISDICTION hereunto belonging, GRAND MASTER of MASONS: The R. W. Lawrence Dermott, Esq., D.G.M., the R. W. William Tindall, Esq., S.G.W., and the R.W. Thomas Carter, Esq., J.G.W., with the approbation and consent of the Warranted Lodges held within the Cities and suburbs of London and Westminster, do hereby authorise and impower our Trusty and Well-beloved Brethren, viz: the Worshipful Patrick Vaughon, one of our Master Masons; the Worshipful Edward Ledward, his Senior Warden; and the Worshipful Thomas Griffiths, his Junior Warden, to form and hold a LODGE of FREE and ACCEPTED MASONS aforesaid, at the Buck and Dog, in Strand Street (or elsewhere) in the Town of Liverpool, in the County of Lancaster, upon the first and third Monday of each Calendar Month, and on all seasonable Times and lawful Occasions; and in the said Lodge, when duly congregated, to admit and make Free Masons, according to the most ancient and honourable custom of the Royal Craft, in all Ages and Nations throughout the known world: and We do hereby farther authorise and empower our said trusty and wellbeloved Brethren, Patrick Vaughan, Edward Ledward, and Thomas Griffiths, with the consent of the Members of their Lodge, to nominate, chuse, and install their Successors, to whom they shall deliver this Warrant, and invest them with their Powers and Dignities, as Freemasons, etc. And such Successors shall in like manner nominate, chuse, and install their Successors, etc., etc., etc., such Installations to be upon (or near) every St. John's Day during the continuance of this Lodge for ever. Providing the above-named Brethren and all their Successors always pay due respect to this Right Worshipful Grand Lodge: otherwise this Warrant to be of no force nor virtue.
Given under our Hands and the Seal of our Grand Lodge, in LONDON, this Seventeenth Day of April, in the Year of our Lord, 1775, and in the Year of Masonry, 5775.
WILLIAM DICKEY, Grand Secretary.
A Brief History of the Humber Lodge of Freemasons No 57 1809-1909
In 1809 prior to the unification of the Ancient and Modern Lodges, Hull boasted four Lodges two of which held warrants from the Modern Grand Lodge – the Rodney Lodge No 436 and the Minerva Lodge No 467, and two which held warrants from the Ancient Grand Lodge both of which were Military Lodges, the 2nd Royal Lancashire Lodge No 120 and the Cumberland Regiment of Militia No 215.
These military Lodges accepted civilian members from wherever they were garrisoned, but as these were travelling or moveable Lodges, the civilian members had no guaranteed Masonic future in the event of the Lodges moving from Hull, and as the Lodges under the two Grand Lodges did not recognise or associate with each other, the civilian members were in an even more precarious position.
So it was that with the support of the Masters of the two military lodges and of the commanding officers of the garrison, ten members petitioned the Grand Master of the Ancients for a warrant to be issued so that Ancient Freemasonry could be continued in the town.
The ten petitioners were Thomas Larard, a watchmaker, Denton Northgraves, also a watchmaker, Thomas Brown, a publican, Joseph Levy, another watchmaker, Thomas Johnson, a stationer, Samuel Abrams, a jeweller, Thomas West, a merchant, Israel Shacklock, a shoemaker, Andrew McLaren, a publican, and George Larkin whose occupation is not recorded.
A quotation from the petition reads as follows: "As it is uncertain how soon the two Lodges to which we are at present members of, may be moved from Hull, and unless we get a Lodge established in the town before the two regiments are called away, we shall be totally deprived of the benefits arising from the Ancient Order of Freemasonry, especially as we denied hitherto the Modern Masons admittance amongst us, and we must naturally expect they in turn will prohibit any of us visiting them. We therefore humbly crave, that if it meets your Graces approbation to indulge us with one as soon as it may be convenient to your Grace to order the same."
Across the margin of the petition is written "Let the petitioners have the Warrant No. 53 lately held in Liverpool be transferred to them on February 24th, 1809."
And so, by the stroke of a pen history was made, and the Ancient Knight Templar's Lodge No 53 was legally transferred by name and number to continue its existence, meeting at the Fleece Inn, Market Place in Hull.
The early history of the warrant is uncertain as a Warrant of Constitution No 53 was issued by the Duke of Atholl, Grand Master of the Ancients bearing the date May 19th 1756 but its destination and subsequent history is unknown.
In 1775, the warrant was re-issued to the Knights Templar's No 53, authorising the holding of a Lodge at the "Buck and Dog" tavern in Strand Street Liverpool under the title of the Ancient Lodge.
In those days, at least in Liverpool, Ancient and Modern Lodges did not frequent each other and visiting was not common but it would appear that the Knights Templar's Lodge did not encourage visitors from any Lodge, and this caused much friction with the many Lodges in the Liverpool area. Several complaints were made to Grand Lodge with little effect on the stance of the Lodge. It is reported that the Mayor of Liverpool, who it seems had more influence in those days, than in modern times, forbade the holding of Knights Templar Lodge meetings. It was further reported, that after the prohibition had been lifted, and a meeting had taken place, three of the brethren, in an inebriated state, broke into a nearby warehouse. Their names are not recorded but they were arrested, taken before the local assizes, and transported. A happy note could be drawn from this since several Australian Lodges may be able to trace their history back to the Lodge and the warrant that the Humber Lodge now holds.
Complaints from several Liverpool Lodges continued to arrive at Grand Lodge and reached such a level that they could no longer be ignored. In 1807 a committee of Grand Lodge was called at which the complaints were heard, and the Knights Templar's Lodge given an opportunity to defend themselves. The complaints were found to have merit and the Grand Lodge ordered that the warrant be surrendered. The warrant remained dormant until 1809 when it was re-issued to a newly formed Lodge in Hull.
The newly formed Lodge held its first meeting on the 16th March 1809 with Bro William White having the honour of being the first Worshipful Master. The Lodge maintained the original name, Ancient Knight Templar's but on July 2nd 1810 renamed itself Humber Lodge.
Many quaint entries can be found in the minute book of this period. On February 6th 1811 it was resolved that any of the brethren whispering during the time the Lodge was in labour should be fined 2/6d. On January 5th 1812 it was decided that every member should pay 1/- a year for coals. The officers, although exempt from dues during their periods of office, were fined 2/6d when absent from a meeting, and 1/- if late for the start of proceedings.
The minutes of 2nd February 1814 record the communication of the United Grand Lodge announcing that all jealousy and ill feeling had been set aside and that the Duke of Sussex at its head would, by prudent and wise legislation, encourage and watch over the interests of the whole of the craft.
It was on the unification of the Ancient and Moderns into the United Grand Lodge that the Humber Lodge saw its first number change. This came about because each Grand Lodge had similar numbers i.e. 1, 2, 3 etc. To resolve this problem, No 1 in one Grand Lodge retained that number, but No 1 in the other Grand Lodge became No 2; whilst No 2 in the first Grand Lodge became No 3 and so forth, resulting in Humber becoming No 73.
It seems that the first few years of the Lodge were years of steady progress but from July 1819 to November 1820 no minutes were recorded, and it seems the Lodge was in a poor state. On 31st July 1819, another meeting was called when only four brethren attended, and it was decided that the furniture of the Lodge be sold in order to liquidate its debts. The sale duly took place and the sum of £61.12s.2d was raised. The only items not sold were the warrant, jewels and some clothing, which owing to a financial dispute between the Treasurer and the Lodge were taken possession of by him.
During the next fifteen months or so we can only assume that the Humber Lodge ceased to meet and it is impossible to trace anything connected with it until November 8th 1820 when it is recorded that a meeting was held, and six brethren resolved that the Lodge should meet on the first Wednesday of every month until further notice. This and a further meeting on 12th January 1821 were certainly unconstitutional as the warrant was still in the hands of the former Treasurer. It was not until 22nd November 1822 that an attempt was made to adjust the differences existing between the former Treasurer and the Lodge.
After somewhat unmasonic conduct the warrant was recovered by the Lodge much to the dismay of the Treasurer, who appealed to the P.G.M. Lord Dundas who on being placed in possession of the full facts suspended the warrant. The suspension remained in force until 27th October 1823 when the Lodge was again officially permitted to meet and work as a Masonic Lodge. Although the warrant was suspended it appears that the Lodge continued to meet and on 22nd June 1823 Bro. Richard Smithson was installed as the W.M.
Two dates stand out in the year 1824 and they may be taken as the inauguration of a more prosperous and certainly more Masonic era. On 6th October Lieut. Crow joined the Lodge and on 3rd November he was joined by Thomas Feetam. Both were accepted as joining members from the Minerva Lodge No 467, where a split had occurred between its members. In the same year, the Rodney Lodge No 436 disbanded and nearly the whole of the membership joined the Humber Lodge. On 19th January 1825, our minutes record the fact that articles were purchased from the Rodney Lodge to the value of £15. 6s. 11d.
On 28th March 1827, a building plot was purchased in Osborne Street for the sum of £204. 16s. 0d. and on 19th April a tender of £340. 7s. 2d. for the erection of a Lodge building was accepted. On 7th May the foundation stone was laid following a procession and with full Masonic rite by Bro. R.M. Beverley, Grand Superintendent, D.P.G.M. The official opening of the new building took place on 3rd October the same year.
On 15th January 1833 a communication was received from Grand Lodge dated 5th September 1832 which read:
"Resolved that all Lodges on the Record of the Grand Lodge be brought forward in Regular Succession by filling up the numbers which are vacant, caused by the Erasure of Lodges at various times. Worshipful Master, we are directed to acquaint you that in consequence of the number of the existing lodges being brought forward in confirmity (sic) with the preceding resolution, the number of your Lodge upon the Register of the Grand Lodge will in future be number 65.”
Another date that could cause confusion is 19th May 1856 when a Centenary Festival of the Number Lodge Warrant was held, this being the actual centenary of the date of the warrant.
On 21st July 1863, a further letter was received from Grand Lodge, dated 6th July and read as follows:
"Worshipful Master, The Grand Lodge having resolved that the numbers of all Lodges on the register shall all be brought forward in Regular Succession by the filling up of those numbers which have become vacant whether by the voluntary surrender of the warrant, or by the Erasure of the Lodge. I have the honour to inform you that your Lodge which has hitherto been known and distinguished as number 65 will henceforth stand on the Register of the Grand Lodge as number 57 and this latter number you are to refer to in all returns and communications addressed to the Grand Lodge."
On 24th October 1864 another procession and ceremony was held to commemorate the laying of a foundation stone to the extension of the original building, which included a banqueting room, kitchens, office and resident accommodation for the Tyler. The consecration of the new building was held on 11th December 1865 by Bro. George Marwood D.P.G.M. according to Masonic Custom and Ceremonial.
On 21st August 1877, the W.M. announced that Grand Lodge had granted a warrant certifying that the Humber Lodge had been established 100 years and granting permission for all members to wear a Centenary Jewel.
Over the next few years, the Lodge continued to prosper, and held meetings twice a month. Additional property adjoining the Lodge premises was purchased and the Lodge extended. The Lodge appeared to be on a very firm financial footing as the minutes record several presentations each year to members in appreciation of work done for the Lodge.
The Lodge continued to prosper during the early part of the twentieth century with the annual returns on 27th December 1938 showing a membership of 286.
A new minute book was started on the 17th April 1941 when a Mr. Victor Thomas Garreth was initiated. The next minutes refer to a meeting held on 7th May 1941, which was the 147th anniversary of the laying of the foundation stone of the Lodge building in Osborne Street. No ceremony was enacted on this occasion.
The next entry in the minute book reads as follows.
During the night of the 7th May 1941, the city was heavily bombed by German airplanes and the lodge premises was struck by a high explosive bomb and severely damaged. The following night the enemy again, raided the city and the lodge buildings together with the whole of the valuable and treasured contents with the exception of the warrant, were destroyed by an incendiary bomb. The warrant was rescued at considerable personal risk by the steward Bro. Alfred Pickersgill.
The minute book for the preceding twelve years was also lost.
The next meeting of the Humber Lodge was held at the Masonic Hall Dagger Lane on 17th July 1941 and with the exception of one meeting, continued there by the consent of the Minerva Lodge until the 21st of May 1942.
From the 18th June 1942 meetings were held at the Central Masonic Hall Park Street twice a month, but at the meeting on 2nd May 1945 it was agreed that after cessation of hostilities, the Lodge should construct a new building for which funds were available, and contributions for furnishings would be sought from members. The Lodge continued to meet at Park Street until 4th May 1949.
Early that year premises were purchased at Wellington Lane, Beverley Road. These premises were dedicated by the P.G.M. the Most Hon.The Marquis of Zetland on Saturday 7th May 1949, and the first meeting at the new premises was held on the 19th May 1949.
Ten years later it was discovered that the building needed major structural repairs, which the Lodge could not afford, and as no other Lodges wished to use the premises it was decided to sell the building.
From the 7th January 1960 the Lodge met at the Central Masonic Hall Park Street and the sale of the Wellington Lane premises were eventually completed in May 1961.
In 1970 the Lodge purchased premises in Park Street, with the intention of building a Masonic Centre for all the Lodges to meet. Plans were drawn up and meetings held with all the other Hull Lodges to discuss the idea, but agreement could not be reached and the premises were eventually sold.
The Lodge continued to meet at Park Street until 12th April 1988, when the Lodge re-located to its present home at Dagger Lane.
 1/- = one shilling, which equates in decimal currency to 5p. 2/6 (or half a crown) equates to 12½ p.
 About £61.61.
 About £16.35.
 £204.80 and £340.36.
Many thanks to the Lodge Librarian, W Bro Terry Fisher, for making this information available for the website.
This page and its content has not been approved by the United Grand Lodge of England