History

LODGE OF GOOD FELLOWSHIP NO. 276

 

 

Although the present Warrant of the Lodge of Good Fellowship is dated 1st. December 1789 there is ample evidence of the existence of the Lodge prior to that date, but unfortunately the records have been lost.

 

The earliest entry in the existing Minute Books is dated 12th March 1770, when the Lodge was known as the "Saracen's Head" Lodge, but the inscription on the very handsome Worshipful Masters pedestal shows it to be "the gift of our Brother Lord Waltham" in 1769 and the perfect Ashlar bears the inscription that it was "the gift of our Brother Chalmers" in the same year, indicating the existence of a Lodge prior to that date. Its origin, however, is shrouded in mystery but there can be no doubt that it is a very ancient Lodge and a perusal of the Minute Books reveals many details of great interest. Extracts were entered into a book by the then Secretary, W. Bro. Dr. E. Shedd, in_1898 and continued by W. Bro. F. W. B. Stocker.

 

On 3rd December 1789, the following entry appears:-

"A Dispensation having been previously obtained from the Provincial Grand Master, Thomas Dunckerley Esq., to establish a Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons at Chelmsford in Essex, it was opened in due form agreeable to the Constitutions of the Grand Lodge of England, after which the Master went through the Entered Apprentices'  Lecture and closed the Lodge in due form."

 

There appears to be no record to show when or how the Warrant was eventually presented to or received by the Master. It was obviously antedated when it was issued because it bears the date 1st December 1789; two days before the first meeting of the Lodge; and it names Bro. William Lowe as the first Master although Bro. G. Letts held that honored position. Bro. Letts was the Tyler of the old "Saracen's Head" Lodge and seems to have taken a very active part in the establishment of the Lodge of Good Fellowship. It may have been because the first Master, W. Bro. Letts, had been the Tyler of the Lodge of Perfect Friendship that he had possession of all the books as well as the furniture of that Lodge.

 

It is of interest to know that although the actual name of the Lodge was "Perfect Friendship" it is ref erred to in the Minute Book as the "Saracen's Head" Lodge due to the fact that it met at that Inn. Prior to 1729 lodges were not numbered but were always known in association with the Inn where they met; the signs of the houses being the only distinctive  marks  of identification.

 

On 10th April 1782 the Lodge of Perfect Friendship, then numbered 200 was erased from the Books of Grand Lodge; there having been no meeting of its members for over five years.

 

When the Lodge of Perfect Friendship ceased to function, there were sums of money due to the Tyler, Bro. George Letts, and to certain other persons. These debts were discharged at the first meeting of the Lodge of Good Fellowship in consideration, presumably, of the transfer to the new lodge of the furniture and other regalia of the lodge then defunct.

 

The connection between the Lodge of Perfect Friendship, otherwise known as the "Saracen's Head" Lodge, and our own Lodge was very close although they were nevertheless two distinct lodges. One wonders why the name of our Lodge did not follow that of the old one or the name by which the old one was commonly known. Perhaps the founders de sired a name which was similar to and yet not exactly the same as that of the former Lodge and so changed the adjective "Perfect" to "Good”.

Such were the local masonic circumstances under which our Lodge was constituted.

 

When the Warrant was issued the Lodge was numbered 553 but in 1793 it was changed to 462. At the time of the Union of the Moderns with the Ancients it was renumbered to 578; 21 years later it became 343 and finally m 1863 it was assigned its present number of 276.

 

Its places of meeting appear to have changed nine times. For the first ten years it met at the "Saracen's Head" with one exception when the Lodge met at the "Black Boy", which was situated in Springfield Road next to Grays Brewery and was demolished during the recent redevelopment of that area. For a short time it met at the "Windmill Inn·· and the "White Hart" and then moved back to the ''Saracen's Head" from 1799 to 1813. It then moved to the "Crane Court Assembly Rooms", which were adjacent to the "Saracen's Head", until the period of the Great War when in 1917 the Lodge began to meet at the "Shire Hall". Finally, Freemasons' Hall was built in Rainsford Road, Chelmsford in 1930 and the Lodge has met in the Temple there ever since.

 

In consequence of the Union on 21st July 1815, the Lodge was opened according to Union Regulations and the Obligation was administered to all of the Brethren present. A letter was written to the Provincial Grand Master, William Wix, Esq., as to convening a meeting of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Essex "as being the only means of reviving and promoting the prosperity of the Fraternity," the Lodges in Essex being at that time very much in decay. On 9th December 1815 the Meeting was held with the Provincial Grand Master in the Chair, when it was resolved that every subscribing member should pay to the Provincial Grand Treasurer the sum of sixpence per quarter or two shillings per annum also a sum of five shillings was to be paid for every Initiate and one shilling for every Joining Member.

In 1812 the Lodge appears to have had great influence and power in the appointment of the Deputy Provincial Grand Master and in 1827 it evidently had the privilege of selecting both the Provincial and Deputy Provincial Grand Master. One member, W. Bro. W. P. Honeywood , M.P., held the position of Provincial Grand Master from 1824 to 1836 and three members held the position of Deputy Grand Master, viz., W. Bro. R. Cook, M.D., from 1793 to 1828; W. Bro. Capt. S. J. Skinner from 1851 to 1867 and W. Bro. A. Meggy, P.M., P.P.G.D., from 1867 to 1875. Prior to the new rule under which the Provincial Grand Treasurer is elected annually, our late Bro. A. Meggy held the office in 1855, Bro. J. Barton from 1863 to 1878 and Bro. A. Durrant from 1879 to 1889.

 

The Lodge has had, in times gone by, some customs peculiar to itself as regards banquets etc. It was customary at one time, on St. John the Baptist's Day, to have a Public dinner, at which a boar's head was cooked and brought on in state by boys clad in white surplices. This custom is now continued at our Installation Meetings when the boars· head is carried in by the chef of the County Hotel. Many years ago the Installation Festival was preceded by a rabbit pie luncheon, which was followed by the Installation Ceremony and a banquet in the evening. There was also a Lodge Oyster Supper in November and this custom survived until the 1920s. As regards the ordinary Lodge dinners the following entry appears in the -Minutes of the Lodge in 1927:-

 

--it was resolved that the Quarterly Dinner consist of a plain joint and pudding with a pint of ale and a pint of wine and dinner on the table at 5 p.m."

 

Evidently times were not as strenuous in those days as they are now, when it is found to be difficult for Brethren to attend Lodge before 5.30 p.m. No doubt they would be pleased. In these days of high prices, to obtain such a meal for five shillings including ale and wine.

 

On 25th February 1847. The Initiation fee was fixed at five guineas and continued at this figure for 56 years when it was raised to seven guineas in 1903 and continued at this figure for a further 16 years when it was raised to twelve guineas. It is now £35.00, so has not kept up with inflation.

 

In the Minute Book commenced in 1874, when the Lodge met at the "White Hart," there are several entries of interest.

 

At the June Meeting there was no business. The Lodge was opened, the Minutes read and the Lodge closed "until the Thursday on or before the full moon in October."

 

In November it was resolved that free Banquet tickets with special invitations be forwarded to the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master, the Provincial Secretary, Provincial Treasurer and to the Worshipful Master of every Lodge in the Province.

 

It was resolved that application be made to the Magistrates of the Chelmsford Bench for the use of the usual rooms in the Shire Hall for the Annual Meeting of the Lodge.

 

At the Meeting in February 1875 the following letter, from the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master, was read stating that he wished to appoint a deputy as Lodges had become  so numerous:-

 

"To the Worshipful Master of the Lodge of Good Fellowship No. 276, White Hart, Chelmsford, Essex.

 

Sir Brother,

 

Owing to my long and serious illness the subject of the appointment of a Deputy Provincial Grand Master has weighed upon my mind for some time past.

 

The Lodges have become so numerous and involve so much correspondence and reference that I cannot to my satisfaction attend to those minor details which more properly belong to an efficient Deputy and as it very important that he should be within my constant reach I have determined to appoint a Brother to whom I can always have access.

 

I offered the office to my relative, Brother Matthew Edward Clark, who is in constant communication with me both in Essex and London and whose position as Past Master of one of our first Lodges combined with a thorough knowledge of Masonry satisfied me that he will be able to pay the attention to its interest most essential in a Province so widely scattered and necessarily imposing very onerous duties.

 

Brother Clark has acceded to my request and I trust and believe that the appointment will conduce to the convenience and prosperity of the Province.

 

I comment Brother Clark to you, confident that you will extend towards him the same kind felling that has been accorded to his predecessors.

 

I am thankful to say that I am slowly progressing towards recovery and with my best wishes. Believe me.

Always faithfully and fraternally yours,

Robert John Bagshaw,

P.G.M. Essex."

 

In the Minutes dated 30th January 1890, the correspondence regarding the Centenary Warrant is recorded.

 

The following letter, dated 18th December 1889, from the Grand Secretary was received:-

 

"Dear Sir and Brother,

 

In reply to yours of the 14th. inst., I have to inform you that a written application must be made for a Centenary Warrant setting forth the grounds upon which the application is made.

 

In 1809 a remittance was made by your Lodge to Grand Lodge, but no further remittance appears to have been made until 1817 when £1.2.0. Was paid for the Benevolence of members.

 

It will be necessary when you make your application to send it with the Minute Book of the period 1809 to 1819 to show that the Lodge has been in continuous working for the 100 years, see page 141 Book of Constitutions.

 

Yours fraternally,

S.H. Clarke, Col.

Grand Secretary. "

 

The Worshipful Master replied as follows: ­

 

“Dear Sir and Brother.

 

As the Worshipful Master of the Lodge of Good Fellowship No. 276 and on behalf of the brethren I hereby apply to Grand Lodge to grant the permission necessary to enable the members of 276 to wear the Centenary Jewel.

The charter under which we work is dated 1st December 1789. From your letter of 18th December 1889 I gather that you are satisfied of the continuous working of the Lodge except from 1809 to 1819. I now hand to you the Minute Book of 276 to show that the duties of the Lodge were faithfully performed and duly recorded during that period.

 

Yours fraternally,

T.R. Jarvis,

WM 276."

 

Reply dated 6th January 1890:­

 

"Dear Sir and Brother,

 

Though the Minute Book of Lodge left here by you, records the meetings of the Lodge from 1809 to 1817 there is a blank from 1817 to 1819 and no records of any meetings from April 1820 until May 1824.

 

From the Books of the Grand Lodge it however appears that the Lodge paid the contributions of its members, from 1820 to 1823 , and there is no break in the Annual contributions in the Register book of Grand Lodge from the "Union" to 1826 and subsequently.

 

The Lodge must consequently be considered to have continued its existence as a Lodge during the period referred to.

 

The M. W. Grand Master has, therefore, been pleased to accede to the prayer of  your  Memorial and  to grant  a  Centenary  Warrant  to  the Lodge of  Good Fellowship No. 276 Chelmsford in accordance with Article in Page 141 Book of Constitutions.

 

Yours fraternally,

S.H. Clarke, Col.

Grand Secretary. "

 

W.Bro J. P. Lewin then proposed and W.Bro. C. Williams seconded "That the Worshipful Master be empowered to receive the Centenary Warrant when signed and ready and that our Brother Treasurer provide from the Lodge Funds a cheque value five guineas, the amount due to Grand Lodge for the Warrant." This proposition was carried unanimously.

 

Bro. F.H. Meggy proposed and W.Bro. A.G. Maskell seconded "That the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master and the Deputy Provincial Grand Master be invited to attend our Lodge in order to present the Centenary Warrant and Jewels." This was likewise carried unanimously.

 

The Worshipful Master undertook to communicate with Lord Brooke as soon as the Centenary Warrant should be received.

 

The Centenary Meeting was held at the Corn Exchange on 3rd April 1890, attended by fourteen members and twelve visitors.

 

The Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master having taken the Chair, the Worshipful Master W.Bro. T. R. Jarvis handed his Lordship the Centenary Warrant just granted to the Lodge by H.R.H., the Grand Master, the Prince of Wales and his Lordship thereupon formally presented it to the Lodge and expressed the very great pleasure it gave him to be present on such an interesting occasion.

 

The brethren who had ordered Centenary Jewels were then presented to the Provincial Grand Master and he handed to them their respective Jewels expressing his desire that they may be spared to wear such an honorable decoration.

 

The Banquet which followed cost fifteen shillings each including Wines!

 

I am pleased to report that we did not have any problem in obtaining a Bicentenary Warrant, but we had to forward to Grand Lodge a copy of our Centenary Warrant and a cheque for £105 .00.

 

During the Great War the Lodge endeavored to be worthy of its name and welcomed and entertained all branches and ranks of H.M. Forces who were Freemasons. During the course of the war ninety-nine Military masons visited the Lodge. Two members of H.M. Forces were initiated and one passed and raised at the request of his Lodge.

 

In 1914 the Lodge finances were not very satisfactory. The Committee carefully considered the position and on 2nd April reported to the Lodge:-

 

"For some years past the expenditure has been in excess of the income by about£ 10.0.0. Per annum and we are strongly of the opinion that immediate steps should be taken to ensure that the annual expenditure is kept well within the assured income of the Lodge.

 

The Landlord has now agreed not to charge the amount of £ 1.5. 0 hitherto paid for the use of the organ.

 

Another item is the hire of the piano and this will not· occur again as Bro. Haylock has kindly consented to grant the Lodge the use of his piano at the Lodge suppers. An offer which was accepted with thanks.

 

The Installation Banquet is a serious matter as the amount charged has not covered the expenses and last December a sum of £29.4.9. Was paid from Lodge funds.

 

The future charges will be Members 12/6each, Visitors 15/- each and the price paid to the Caterer (exclusive of wine) to be reduced from 7/6 to 6/-, the Menu to be adjusted accordingly. It is also suggested that a cheaper brand of Champagne be provided."

 

At the September Meeting in 1914 the following Telegram dated 16th August 1914 from Sir Frederick Ponsonby was read:-

 

"You will have seen in the newspapers that the Prince of Wales is raising a Natural Relief Fund to alleviate the acute distress which must inevitably arise on the account of the war. Your Masonic Lodge has been suggested by the Committee to His Royal Highness as a body from whom a subscription may be expected.

 

I am directed by His Royal Highness's Committee to express a hope that the Fund will receive a subscription from your Lodge during the next few days."

 

It was resolved that five guineas be subscribed from Lodge Funds.

 

In January 1915 there was an appeal for the Relief of Belgian Victims of the War and a sum of two guineas was subscribed from Lodge Funds.

 

At this time the "Saracen's Head" Hotel was now occupied by the Military and the Lodge Suppers were suspended. However in October 1915 it was resolved that the usual Oyster Supper be held after the November Meeting.

 

The Secretary read a letter dated 30th October 1915 from Sir E. Letchworth, Grand Secretary, submitting a letter from W.Bro Percy B. Hull who was interned in the Civilian Camp at Ruhleben, near Berlin, appealing for relief on behalf of some of our English brethren who were confined there with him "and are in reduced circumstances". The sum of one guinea was subscribed from Lodge Funds.

 

In November 1917, Bro. Stamp Wortley announced his intention of presenting a proper organ for the Lodge now that it was decided to return to Shire Hall for our Meetings. W.Bro. J. R. J. Roynon presented to the Lodge a complete set of Working Tools in a case.

 

In 1921 it was suggested that a Ladies' Night be held and a circular was sent to all members to ascertain their views. Only twenty-one replies were received agreeing to support the event out of a total of eighty-eight members. It was resolved to take no further action.

 

The first Ladies' Night was held on 21st February 1931, at the County Hotel, when between ninety and one hundred were present. It was a great success and the profit was £2.0.8.

 

On 9th November 1921 a Notice of Motion was given as follows:-

 

"That a Fund be established to be known as the 'The Lodge of Good Fellowship Masonic Hall Fund.' That donations be invited from the brethren for the purpose of providing a Masonic Hall in Chelmsford."

 

This was again discussed at a meeting on 16th December and it was recommended that the following proposal should be adopted:-

 

"A scheme for the erection of a Masonic Hall with lock-up shops attached on a central site in the Borough has been prepared with plans and an approximate estimate of the Committee recommend that the same be referred to a special Committee and report to the Lodge in due course."

 

In September 1929 the Secretary was requested to obtain an outline of the proposed scheme, giving full details. In November the Lodge approved the scheme for a Masonic Hall in Rainsford Road, Chelmsford, details of which were in a printed circular dated 28th August 1929. Subject to Springfield Lodge No. 3183 approving the scheme and giving it sufficient financial support, a limited company was formed called 'Chelmsford Masonic Hall Limited’ with a nominal capital of 3500 shares of £1 each.

 

The first meeting was held on 6th November 1930 and the Dispensation from the R.W. Provincial Grand Master was read.

 

The first mention of a Lodge of Instruction is found in the Minutes on 16th November 1809 when it was to be held once a fortnight at Bro. Durrant's and later when a Lodge of Emergency was held at the "White Horse" on 5th December 1812. It was proposed to hold a Lodge of Instruction monthly on a Sunday evening.

 

There is no further mention until 21st April 1831, when it was resolved that application be made to Grand Lodge to hold Lodges of Instruction. Again it appears that the formation of a Lodge of Instruction finally took place on 28th January 1904, when W.Bro.F. W. B. Stocker, P.M., P.P.G.D., was its first Secretary. The subscription was not to exceed four shillings per annum.

 

This Lodge is still in existence and is doing useful work in the instruction of the Brethren. It is well supported by all of the Officers and enthusiastic brethren.

 

The Lodge of Instruction has held a Summer Dance for some years past in aid of our Charities. Since 1981, under the guidance of W.Bro. W. C. Brunning and his Committee with the assistance of their Ladies, the evenings have become very popular and are always a 'sell-out'. Over £4500.00 has been raised to date.

 

It is now the usual practice for the retiring Master to install his successor, but this far was from the case in days gone by. From 1848 to 1874, the Worshipful Master was always installed by W.Bro. Peter Matthews of the Enoch Lodge No.11, who was paid one guinea on each occasion for his services. From 1875 to 1891 the Installation Ceremony was performed by either the Provincial Grand Chaplain, the deputy Provincial Grand Master or by prominent Brethren from other Lodges. Many years ago it was considered immaterial whether or not the Worshipful Master knew the Ritual; he went into the Chair by seniority and if he could not do the work someone else did it for him. It is a matter for congratulation that a far different state of things obtains at the present time as all the Officers know their work and are anxious to do it properly.

Frederick Thomas Cramphorn 1874-1958

W.Bro. Cramphorn commenced his Masonic career on Thursday 22nd December 1904. An extract from the Lodge Summons of that date reads as follows:-

"Lodge of Good Fellowship. Crane Court. The 114th Anniversary of the Lodge and Installation of the Worshipful Master Thursday 22nd December 1904 at 3pm.

 

Item 1.  Lodge to be opened and Minutes of last Lodge Meeting confirmed.

 

Item 2. To examine, and if he be found proficient, to pass to the Second Degree Bro. Edwin Durham.

 

Item 3. The Installation of the Worshipful Master Elect, who will afterwards appoint and invest his Officers. (The Master Elect being Bro. Octavius Christian Cramphorn, father of Frederick Cramphorn).

 

Item 4. To ballot for, and if approved, Initiate Mr. Frederick Thomas Cramphorn, B.A., 30 years, of 15 Blantyre Terrace, Edinburgh. Proposed by W.Bro. Fred Spalding, P.M., and seconded by W.Bro Robert Cook, P.M., P.P.S.G.D."

It would appear from subsequent Summonses that W.Bro. F. T. Cramphorn was unable to attend for several months. The Summons for Thursday 19th January 1905 had an item on the Agenda "To examine, and if found proficient, to pass to the Second Degree Bro. F. T. Cramphorn"/ This item appeared on the Summons dated 16th February and again on the Summonses dated 16th March and 13th April and it was at that Meeting that he was duly passed to the Degree of a Fellow craft.

The following month of May, on Thursday 18th, one item on the Agenda read "To examine, and if found proficient, to raise to the Sublime Degree of a Master Mason Bro.

F. T. Cramphorn." Apparently he was unable to attend this Meeting and he was finally raised on 27th July 1905.

After passing through the various Offices Br. Cramphorn reached the Chair of the Lodge on 6th December 1917, the Installing Master being W.Bro. F. J. French.

A dispensation was necessary for that Meeting as the Lodge had moved from Crane Court to the Shire Hall.

Several items of interest are recorded in the Minutes of that Meeting. The Worshipful Master called attention to the handsome organ presented by W.Bro. Stamp Wortley. W.Bro. Roynon presented the Lodge with a box of Working Tools. Hearty congratulations were conveyed to the Treasurer, W.Bro. Jesse Gowers upon being appointed Mayor of Chelmsford.

Another item of interest which occurred during his year as Worshipful Master was the announcement that the Provincial Grand Master, Colonel Lockwood, had been elevated to the Peerage and had chosen the title of Lord Lambourne. A circular was received from Provincial Grand Lodge stating that a presentation would be made to him. Lord Lambourne had been consulted on the subject and the Board of General Purposes found that a silver gilt representation of his crest "A Ship in Full Sail" would be acceptable. This was put in hand and the cost of approximately £200.0.0. was defrayed by the Lodges, contributing not less than one shilling per head supplemented by individual donations. The Lodge contributed four guineas. After Lord Lambourne's death the ship found a haven in the Masonic Hall at Chelmsford and is still the source of attraction to many visitors.

It will be noticed that W.Bro. Cramphorn's first Mastership of the Lodge occurred during the period of the First World War and the Festivities after the Lodge were somewhat restricted by food rationing. We find W.Bro. Cramphorn again undertaking the duties of Master during the Second World War in 1944.

W.Bro. Cramphorn, who was a great authority on Masonic History, gathered together a very interesting collection of Masonic Books, Jewels and Regalia which was housed at the Masonic Hall, Chelmsford. Unfortunately after his retirement to Frinton this interesting collection was dispersed and only a few remnants remain.

W.Bro. Cramphorn, who was a Grand Lodge Officer and a Provincial Grand Lodge Officer, was made an Honorary Member of this Lodge in 1952 in recognition of the valuable services rendered to the Lodge. After a short illness he passed to the Grand Lodge above on 22nd March 1958.

It would seem appropriate to sum up his life with the following words taken from the Volume of the Sacred Law:-

“I have fought to good fight,

I have finished the course,

I have kept the faith."

The Bye-Laws of 1906 make interesting reading:-

"The regular Meetings of the Lodge shall be held at the Assembly Rooms, Crane Court, Chelmsford, on the Thursday on or before the full moon except June, July and August at Seven o'clock in the evening, unless it be expedient for the extra amount of business to summon for one hour earlier. Lodges of Emergency may be called at any time by the Worshipful Master, when it shall appear to him desirable in the interest of the Lodge, but at such Lodges of Emergency no business but that named in the Summons can be entered on.

Every Candidate for Initiation must be proposed and seconded on a form provided for the purpose, and the proposal together with a deposit of one guinea forwarded to the Secretary, to be submitted to the General Purposes Committee.iff not approved by them it may be withdrawn and the deposit returned.

Should the Candidate not present himself for Initiation within three Lodge Meetings after approval by ballot, the deposit shall be forfeited unless a satisfactory reason be give. On the Initiation being completed the Proposer's deposit shall be refunded to him."

"Emergency Meeting - 21st June 1906 - To consider and if approved, recommend to the M. W. The Grand Master a petition for a Warrant to establish a new Lodge in the precincts of the Parish of Springfield, Essex to be called the Springfield Lodge or some other classical name in harmony with the sentiments of the Founders."

The Minutes of 5th December 1929 recorded the following item: ­

"Dedication of Banner

 

The D. C. W.Bro. W. J. Slipper, P. M., P.A.G.D.C., Prov. G.D.C. having received permission from the Master, a Deputation was then formed to proceed to the Ante-room for the purpose of bringing into the Lodge a most handsome Banner which was being presented by W.Bro. Albert Frederick White, I.P.M., to the Lodge, in order to replace the old Banner which was beyond repair.

 

The Deputation having re-entered the Lodge in procession was met at the Door by W.Bro. Revd. Canon F. S. Paynter. P.A.G.Chap., P.P.G.Chap., Chaplain and led by the D.C., advanced up the centre of the Lodge when the Banner was uncovered. W.Bro. Herbert J. Goodwin, P.A.G.D.C., P.P.G.W., Prov. Grand Secretary, then on behalf of the Donor formally presented the Banner and asked the Master to accept same in the name of the Lodge. The Master having replied in suitable terms descended to the Floor of the Lodge and having received the Banner called upon the Chaplain to dedicate it.

 

The Dedication Ceremony commenced with the reading of a passage of the Sacred Law taken from 11 Corinthians 2. this being followed by a Prayer. A Short Address was then given by the Chaplain on the meaning and purpose of the Banner and the Lessons it should teach.

 

The Dedication Prayer followed after which the Master received the Banner and placed it in position by the Chair and turned it towards the Lodge, and then resumed his place.

 

The Ceremony concluded with the whole Lodge singing the Hymn of Praise.

 

The musical portions of this ceremony were rendered by W.Bro.  H. A. Parker,

P.P.G. Organist.

 

The Banner worked at The Chelmsford School of Arts by Mrs. A. F. White, wife of W.Bro. A. F. White (the Donor), is executed on rich ribbed silk of light blue Craft colour woven by Messrs. Warner of Braintree.

 

The central feature is a Roundel containing the Arms of Chelmsford - The Stone Bridge of Moulsham being the Chief Charge - below that are two bars wavy-azure which typify the ford over the Chelmer which existed before the bridge came into being in the reign of King John - in Chief are the Lions (azure) of the Mildmays and the Croziers of the Bishop of London, both of whom were Lords of the Major of Chelmsford. The motto 'Many Minds One Heart' was embroidered on a label as being applicable to the Masonic principles of the Lodge of Good Fellowship.

 

This Roundel is supported by a demi-wreath of Bars of Corn and Acacia and on an applied label is the embroidered inscription that the Banner was presented by W.Bro. White, Master 1928-29.

 

Enclosed within the embroidered Wreath at the bottom are the Square and Compasses.

 

The Banner is edged with rich silk cord of golden colour and finished on a wandyked edge with a fringe of the same coloured silk.

 

The Pole has a solid Brass Fleur-de-Lys finial."

 

In 1921 the Committee was requested to consider an application from Bro. T. B. Davenport, a former member of the Lodge who had been excluded some years earlier for non-payment of subscription, enclosing a cheque for £10.0.0. and asking to be furnished with a clearance certificate in order to enable him to join a Lodge at Vulcan, Alberta.

It appears that at the time of Bro. Davenport's exclusion he was in somewhat straitened financial circumstances but was now doing very well. The amount due from him at the time of his exclusion was £4.10.0., being three years subscription "and your Committee recommend that he be granted a clearance certificate and that the balance of £10.0.0. remitted by him be paid to the Benevolence Fund Account".

On 21st April 1921 the Lodge applied for a Special Dispensation from the Provincial Grand Master to Initiate four Candidates on the same day; since the Constitutions of Grand Lodge provide that no Lodge shall Initiate more than two Candidates on the same day.  The Candidates were:-

Mr. Oliver George Iliffe - Dentist Mr.

Hugh Wright - Butcher

Mr. Alfred Fred Johns, M.C. - Accountant

Mr. Fred Anstead Browne - Architect

At the Installation Meeting on 13th December 1924, W.Bro. F. W. B. Stocker, P.P.G.D., was congratulated on the attainment of his twenty-first year as a Past Master of the Lodge and to express its deep sense of obligation to him for his valuable services as Secretary for the past thirteen years and asked him to accept a gift from the brethren in recognition of his services and as a token of their fraternal regard and esteem. The Worshipful Master then presented him with a gift consisting of an 18 ct. gold Fountain Pen and Pencil in a leather case and a cheque as a token of the appreciation of the brethren of his services to the Lodge. He continued as Secretary until 1928 although he had had a serious operation in the Royal Masonic Hospital in October 1927 and the last Meeting he attended was in September 1927. W.Bro. C. W. Haywood was Acting Secretary until 1929 when W.Bro. J. Guest was appointed Secretary. I am pleased to report that the Lodge looked after W.Bro. Stocker's two daughters until they died in 1985 and 1987.

 

       

   
   

 

   
   

In October 1938 the Lodge Committee approved ''that a sum not exceeding £10.0.0. per annum be given to the Worshipful Master to assist him to provide musical entertainment at the festive board". It was also suggested ''that the number of Lodge Meetings should be reduced from nine to six". They felt that these matters would have a distinct bearing on the attendance at Lodge Meetings. This proposition was first made in 1927 and at that time it was resolved that no alteration be made.

 

 

With regard to refreshments after Lodge it was resolved that "the Worshipful Master

and the Secretary to interview the Manager of the County Hotel and arrange that meals (other than at Installation Meetings) shall not cost more than 3/3 (inclusive of tips to the waiters) and that the total cost to members (inclusive of liquid refreshments) should not be more than 6/-.

In 1939, at the outbreak of War, the following letter was received from the Grand Secretary:-

"4th September 1939

Dear Sir and Brother,

Having regard to the Emergency Orders of H.M. Government I am to inform you that until further notice all Masonic Meetings are to be suspended.

It is hoped that this may only be a temporary measure, as it is fully appreciated that it is desirable that when possible, the Brethren should have the opportunity of meeting.

Further instructions will be issued at a later date. Yours fraternally,

S. A. White,

Grand Secretary."

 

       

   
   

 

   
   

These instructions were not long in coming as on 27th September the Provincial Secretary forwarded a long printed letter from the Grand Secretary permitting the resumption of Meetings but subject to special conditions called for by the circumstances as follows:-

 

 

The Meetings to be held as early in the day as to suit the convenience of the brethren and the proceedings to be as brief as possible, but this does not mean that there should be any detraction from the beauty and solemnity of the Ceremonies.  The after proceedings where held, to be brief and simple.

The 276 Lodge Committee recommended that the subscription of serving brethren be reduced to 10/6 per annum for the period of the war.

The Committee also recommended that sandwiches and beer be provided after the Meetings for those desirous of partaking of them.

During the war years several Lectures were given and occasionally members of other Lodges were passed and raised. W.Bro. A. E. Wiseman, P.M. of Integrity Lodge No. 5149readinteresting papers on 'The Masonic Apron' and 'The Carpet of the Lodge'. A member of Coronation Lodge No. 2898, Bro. H. Lloyd, was raised in April 1941.

When the war in Europe was over, at a Meeting called by the Worshipful Master of 276, it was decided to organise a Masonic Service at the Chelmsford Cathedral in commemoration of the end of the War. This Service was held on 26th June 1945 at 5p.m. The Offerings were donated to the Royal Masonic Hospital.   ·

Just after the War, when food rationing was still very much in existence, three lots of food parcels were received from Riccarton Lodge No. 276 of the New Zealand Constitution. As a token of thanks the Lodge purchased an oak Broken Column Charity Box, which duly reached New Zealand. The Secretary wrote to say that it was very much admired and will be a visible and continual reminder of our Brethren in the Homeland. The present Secretary of the Lodge is W.Bro. R. H. Burns of 17 Ashcroft Place, Burnside, Christchurch and any visitor will be most welcome.

The Lodge lost a true Mason with the death of Bro. J. P. Fairhurst, who was killed in a motor accident on 16th June 1946 when returning with the Worshipful Master, W.Bro. J. H. Steele, from a visit to the Lodge of Good Fellowship in Preston. In September 1949 the Lodge supported a petition to the Royal Masonic School for Girls for the admittance to the School of his only daughter and W.Bro. Steele was appointed to act as the child's guardian. The daughter duly qualified as a Doctor of Medicine and is now in America. Mrs. Fairhurst is now in a Nursing Home and has been looked after by our Lodge Almoners since the unfortunate accident.

On 3rd January 1952, a Special Meeting was held for the purpose of celebrating the 21st Anniversary of the 'Dedication of the Masonic Temple in Rainsford Road for Craft Masonry'. W.Bro. Stamp Wortley gave an Address explaining the details in connection with the erection, finance and management of the Temple. W.Bro. Cramphorn gave an interesting Oration on Masonic Temples.

In recognition of their services to Freemasonry in general and to the Lodge in particular W.Bro. F. T. Cramphorn, P.A.G.D.C., P.P.G.W. and W.Bro. W. Dines, P.P.A.G.D.C., were appointed Honorary Members of the Lodge in March 1953.

The Lodge qualified, on 1st March 1954, as a Patron Lodge of the Royal l Masonic Hospital having paid over from Lodge Funds £105.0.0. since 29th March 1929, the date of the opening of the Appeal for the Hospital. A Certificate of Patronage was received.

In February 1954 a contribution of twenty guineas was made from the Lodge Benevolent Fund to the Provincial Grand Master's Appeal for repairing the damage to the Masonic Hall at Harwich, caused by the floods in 1953.

New Lodges           

In September 1929 the petition for a new Lodge to be named Integrity Lodge No. 5149, to be formed from the existing Lodge of Good Fellowship and Springfield Lodge, was read in open Lodge and approved. It was then signed by the Worshipful Master and the Senior and Junior Wardens.

A letter was read from Bro. Harry Hoy stating that it was proposed to form a new Lodge in Chelmsford, giving the names of the proposed Founders and asking if the Lodge would sponsor the petition. The Committee having considered the same and as the majority of the proposed Founders were unknown to the Brethren, they could not recommend that the Lodge of Good Fellowship undertake the responsibility.

The lngatestone Lodge No. 5167 was consecrated on 24th March 1930, Bro. Hoy being a founder member and the Lodge of Good Fellowship being the sponsoring Lodge.

The Old Chelmsfordian Lodge No. 5499, sponsored by the Lodge of Good Fellowship, was consecrated at Freemason's Hall, Chelmsford on 13th October 1934.

In September 1937 the Committee considered a letter from W.Bro. G. E. Sankey of Good Easter asking the Committee to recommend the Lodge of Good Fellowship to sponsor a petition for the resuscitation of the Lodge of Harmony and Industry, once held at Writtle arid erased in 1828. The Committee replied that they were unanimous in their decision that they were unable to recommend the Lodge of Good Fellowship to sponsor the petition as they were not convinced that there was a need for a further Lodge in the neighborhood at that time.

 

       

   
   

 

   
   

In March 1948 it was proposed to convene a Meeting regarding the formation of an additional Lodge in Chelmsford. This was to become the East Saxon Lodge No. 7053. A petition to Grand Lodge to establish the new Lodge at Freemason's Hall, Chelmsford was approved on 5th October 1950. This was proposed by W. Bro. L. A. Cozens and seconded by W.Bro.  G. H. Durgan.

 

A petition to Grand Lodge for a Warrant to establish a new Lodge at the Masonic Hall, Malden under the name of Daen lngas No. 7951 was approved on 21st September 1963. This was proposed by W.Bro. C. Bousfield and seconded by W.Bro. S. G. Sweet.

An invitation from the Liberty of Havering Lodge No. 1437 for the Worshipful Master and the Secretary to attend their Centenary Meeting on 30th June 1973, as one of the Sponsoring Lodges.

Other Lodges sponsored by the Lodge of Good Fellowship are: ­ Lodge of Saint Peter No. 1024 Warrant granted in 1864.

Lodge of Saint Mary No. 1312 - Warrant granted in 1870.

The Lodge has received a number of useful gifts:

W.Bro. F. T. Cramphorn presented an Oak Charity Box, with columns, in 1955.

W.Bro. H. Gard, P.P.G.J.W., presented three Candle Snuffers surmounted with the appropriate emblems.

W.Bro. S. T. Knight, P.P.J.G.D., presented an Oak Ballot Box, which he had made.

In the Accounts can be seen an item entitled the "J. R. Reydon Fund". .W .Bro. J. R. Reydon, who was Worshipful Master of the Lodge in 1915, left a legacy to each of the Lodges of which he was a member. The proceeds to be used to defray the cost of producing an annual list of member’s names and addresses and any balance of income to go annually to the Lodge Benevolent Fund.   

For the Boys Festival in 1985 the final figure donated by the Lodge was £15,249.00, which was the third highest amount in this area of the Province. Our Charity Steward, W.Bro. P. J. Jater, P.P.A.G.D.C., is to be congratulated on his efforts to collect by many methods from the members.

No History of the Lodge would be complete without a special mention of two brethren who did so much for the Lodge in the post war years.

 

       

   
   

 

   
   

W.Bro. C. Bousfield, P.G.Std.B., P.P.G.W., was initiated into this Lodge in January 1932 and became Worshipful Mater in 1938. He was Secretary of the Lodge from December 1955 to July 1974, when he died after a short illness. He was also Secretary of the Lodge of Instruction from October 1951 to April 1972.

 

W.Bro. S. G. Sweet, P.G.Std.B., P.P.G.W., was initiated into this Lodge in October 1933and was Worshipful Master in 1942 and 1959. He was Treasurer of the Lodge from 1945 to 1970. He was also Secretary of the Lodge of Instruction from December 1942 to October 1951 and was the Preceptor from April 1952 to April 1969.

Our longest serving member is Bro. Hugh Luckin-Smith who was initiated on 6th May 1920by W.Bro.W. G. Webber. He was also a founder member of the Old Chelmsfordian Lodge. He is now in his ninety-ninth year and still takes a great interest in the Lodge.

Our youngest member is Bro. I. R. F. Gager who was initiated on 7th May 1987, one month after his twenty-first birthday, by his father W. Bro. 0. R. G ager , P .P .A.G .D .C.,P. P.G .Sojr .

The membership of the Lodge is now 73 and one honorary member, but has fluctuated since the War. In the past few years our numbers have increased gradually, due to the many Joining Members, and our Initiates, to whom we are most grateful, and we hope that they enjoy their Masonry with this Lodge.

 

 

Researched & written by W.Bro. G. G. B. GUNN, P.P.A.G.Supt.Wks.

 

POSTSCRIPT

During the 200 years that the Lodge of Good Fellowship has steadfastly pursued its Masonic aims the world outside has experienced dramatic changes and witnessed many major events.

The Lodge was consecrated in 1789 whilst George Ill was on the throne and William Pitt, the younger, was Prime Minister.

The people of Chelmsford had recently witnessed the public execution of a murderer. Further afield, only a few months earlier, the Bastille in Paris had been stormed and the French Revolution was soon to begin. The American War of Independence was in full progress, with George Washington as President. The first 1,000 of 120,000 convicts had been transported to Australia only a year before, a common practice that was to continue until 1852. Tsar Alexander I reined in Russia.

The following is a catalogue of events which took place during the Lodges History:

The Napoleonic Wars (1798-1815). Horatio Nelson became famous with his victories over the French fleets at the Battle of the Nile (1798), the Battle of Copenhagen (1801) and the Battle of Trafalgar (1805), in which he was killed. The Duke of Wellington defeated Napolean at Waterloo in 1815, t s ending the war.

Queen Victoria's 64 years reign began in 1837.

The Great Exhibition took place in Hyde Park in 1851.

The Crimean War (1854-56). Renowned for the fatal Charge of the Light Brigade at the Battle of Ballaclava. Tsar Alexander II made peace after the fall of Sebastopol.

The Indian Mutiny (1857-59).

Henry Stanley found David Livingstone at Lake Tanganyika in Africa in 1871.

Horatio Kitchener (1850-1916) became famous for his victory at Omdurman in 1898 and for the recapture of Khartoum and the Sudan.

The Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902). The War is particularly remembered for the sieges of Ladysmith and Mafeking, the latter garrison being under the command of Colonel Robert Baden-Powell.

Women's Suffrage (1903 -18).

The First World War (1914-18).

The Russian Revolution (1917).

The Spanish Civil War {1936-39).

The Second World War (1939-45). A war which brought Winston Churchill to supreme power in 1940 and marked him as one of the greatest prime ministers in our history. It also brought about the demise of Adolf Hitler.

The Berlin Blockade (1948-49). The Korean War (1950-53).

The Falklands War (1982).

During the 200 years that the Lodge has been in existence eight more monarchs have reigned since George Ill and 57 prime ministers have been elected since William Pitt the younger.

The Lodge has survived and flourished for two hundred years, it is strong and flourishing today and looks forward to whatever challenges the future may bring with confidence and enthusiasm.

 

Postscript researched & written by W.Bro. R. D. KNOTT, P.P.G.Stwd.

 

 

Post, Postscript,

 

35 years on and a lot has happened,

 

Fall of the Berlin Wall; the Wall completely cut off (by land) West Berlin from surrounding East Germany and from East Berlin until government officials opened it in November 1989. Closely followed by the German reunification - 1990.

 

President F. W. de Klerk released Bro. Nelson Mandela from prison in 1990 after 27 years.


Collapse of the Soviet Union - On December 25, 1991, the Soviet hammer and sickle flag lowered for the last time over the Kremlin, thereafter replaced by the Russian tricolor.


Operation Desert Storm, popularly known as the first Gulf War, was the successful U.S.-Allied response to Iraq's attempt to overwhelm neighboring Kuwait. Kuwait's liberation in 1991 brought to the battlefield a new era of military technology.

 

Bro. Nelson Mandela and de Klerk negotiated an end to apartheid and organized the 1994 multiracial general election in which Mandela led the ANC to victory and became President.


In 1842, the Chinese emperor ceded Hong Kong Island to the British bringing an end to the first Opium War. In 1997 Britain transfer Hong Kong sovereignty back to China.

On September 11, 2001, 19 militants associated with the Islamic extremist group al-Qaeda hijacked four airliners and carried out suicide attacks against targets in the United States.

 

The Large Hadron Collider at Cern is switched on in 2008; it has to be switched off just days later due to a fault.

 

The last veteran who served in the trenches was Harry (Tommy) Patch who died on 25 July 2009, aged 111, The last veteran who served in combat was Claude Choules. He served in the British Royal Navy (and later the Royal Australian Navy) and died 5 May 2011, aged 110. The last living veteran of World War I (28 July 1914 – 11 November 1918) was Florence Green. She was a British woman who served in the Allied armed forces, and who died on 4 February 2012, aged 110. Lest we Forget

 

14 Mar 2012 - Chelmsford has been awarded city status as part of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

 

Post, Postscript researched & written by Bro. G. Forder