~ THE MASONIC TEMPLE ~
38 ST. PETER'S STREET, CANTERBURY
Built in 1880
"The Masonic Temple" taken by H.B. Collis, from my old Canterbury book c.1902
1795 - George Prentis, Builder, Canterbury, Kent..... No. of Lodge 341
Subscribing Brethren Approving the Plan, July 1, 1795 - Mr. Venner, Canterbury, Kent, Prov. Gr. Record Keeper, Mr. John Chevell, Canterbury, Kent, Prov. Gr. Treasurer
It has been proved that the celebrated John Locke's letter on finding a MS. in the Bodleian library, although repeated over and over again in Masonic books, is a clumsy, and impudent forgery, no such manuscript ever having been deposited in those walls; therefore I would ask some Canterbury Mason to verify us of the existence of the following document cited by Preston, p. 151 of the edition of 1821 where, in a foot note, he states - "The Latin Register of William Molart, Prior of Canterbury, in manuscript, page 88, entitled, "Liberation generalils Domini Gulielmi Prioris Ecclesice, erga, Festum Natalis Domin 1429, informs us that in the year 1429, during the minority of this prince (Henry VI.) a respectable Lodge was held at Canterbury, under the patronage of Henry Chicheley, the archbishop; at which were present Thomas Stapylton, the Master; John Morris, custos de la loge lathomorum, or Warden of the Lodge of Masons; with fifteen Fellow-crafts, and three Entered Apprentices; all of whom are particularly named."
Such is Preston's account; but it would be much more satisfactory if some Canterbury antiquary would seek this register and when found give us the original Latin, contractions and all, so that we might reasonably be able to say there is a record of the operative Craft which shews the Masons had certain peculiarities in common with our brotherhood. D.D. Oxon. The Freemasons' quarterly Dec. 31, 1859
In the year 1802 W. Finch, of Canterbury, well known to the Craft as a dealer in Masonry, published A Masonic Treatise with an Elucidation on the Religious and Moral Beauties of Freemasonry, Ziydrjxyjxyjpix, Zgjista, Wxstjin, &c., R.A., A.M., R.C., K.T., M.P., &c., for the use of Lodges and Brothers in General. Dedicated by Permission to William Perfect, Esq., Provincial Grand Master for the County of Kent. By W. Finch, Canterbury (Second Edition, with many Valuable Additions). A List of Subscribers, with an Explanation to this and The other Plates, is given in the Book of Elucidations on the Plates. Please to observe that every Book has here on the Title Page, ty Qxzf, and Oivjjxg Qvwgzjpix. Wanted a key to the cypher in which a great portion of these two books are printed. NZGGSVD YLLPV. The Freemasons' quarterly Dec. 31, 1859
October 15, 1870 - The Freemasons' Quarterly
Kent, Canterbury - United Industrious Lodge (No. 31) - The first meeting of the Brethren of this Lodge after the summer vacation was held at the Lodge Room in High Street, on Thursday last, The Lodge was attended by a large number of its members, and among the visitors were some of the officers of the 19th Hussars at present stationed in our barracks, and some of the brethren of the Ashford Lodge. After the minutes of the previous Lodge had been read and confirmed, Bro. John R. Hall was installed as W.M. for the ensuing year in a very impressive manner, according to ancient custom by Bro. John Hemery, P.M. in the presence of a Board of Installed Masters, numbering thirteen members among whom were several past and present Provincial Grand Officers, including the P.G. Treas., Bro. Thorpe. After the ceremony the Lodge was resumed in the first degree, when Bros. Austen, Gardner, W. Davey, J. G. Hall, R. Strand, H.M. Bigglestone, and W. F. Pringuer, were appointed S.W., J.W., S.D., J.D., I.G., and Tyler respectively. Some other business was transacted, and the Lodge was then closed in due form with solemn prayer. The customary annual banquet, which was well served up, took place it the evening at Bro. Coppin's Rose Hotel, when the usual loyal and Masonic toasts were given from the Chair, and duly honoured by the Brethren present. The toasts of the Prov. G.M. and his officers was responded to by Bro. Thorpe, who expressed himself much pleased with the manner in which the working of the Lodge was conducted, and the cordial reception they had met with. That of the W.M. was given by Bro. Callaway in a truly fraternal manner, and in responding the W.M. said that he was a very young mason, four and a half years only having elapsed since his initiation; yet, with the aid of those old members of the Lodge, Bros. Delmar, and Pout, who were always ready to give their kind assistance and advice, he trusted he should be able to direct and rule the Lodge in such a manner, that when his year of office should have expired, the brethren would have no reason to regret the high honour they had paid him in electing him to the chair of such a well-known Lodge as that of the "United and Industrious" (No. 31). Some other toasts having been given, and responded to, the W.M. vacated the chair, and the party broke up.
1870 - St. Augustine's Lodge, Canterbury No. 972 & United Industrious Lodge, Canterbury, No. 31
"The Domesday Book mentions two Gilds in Canterbury, and a Gild Hall in Dover."
"The Masonic Temple is situated in St. Peter's Street, Canterbury; the foundation stone was laid on the 4th March, 1880, by the Mayor of Canterbury; it was built by John E. Wiltshier, from designs by John Green Hall; it is 41 feet long by 24 feet wide and is admirably adapted for it's purpose. The following lodges and chapters hold their meetings in it: The United Industrious Lodge, No. 31; the St. Augustine Lodge, No. 972; the Bertha Chapter (Royal Arch), No. 31; the Saint Martin-Mark Master Mason Lodge, No. 262; the Ethelbert Chapter, Rose Croix and the Black Prince Preceptory."
Kelly's Directory of Kent, 1882
Freemason's in front of the Cathedral - date?? (detail below)
"These commodious premises are situate at 38, St. Peter's street. The corner-stone of the Temple was laid on 4th March 1880, and the consecration and dedication took place on 22nd June, 1880. The accomodation here affords ample convenience for the different lodges connected with the city, and for the Masonic brethren of the neighbourhood."
Brothers of the Lodges
Herbert Letts - 43 St. George's Street, Canterbury. 31, 31. October, 1889 (born Surrey) *unmarried, Wine merchant
Albert Henry Pilcher - 2 Victoria Terrace, Wincheap, Canterbury. 972, 31. October , 1889 (born Canterbury) *Accountant, married 1884 to Fanny Miskin
Horatio Ward, Canterbury, Kent. 31, 586, 662, 1112, P.M., 586, 662, 1273, 2099, P.Z., P. Pr. G..W., Pr.G.J. (R.A.), Kent; P.Pr.G.W., P.Pr.G.H. (R.A.), Wilts., P.Pr.G.Sc.N., Dorset. October, 1889 (born Ringwood, Hampshire) *Hotel Prorietor of the Fountain Hotel - St. Margaret's Street with wife Caroline
Abbey Wood, 968; Beckenham, 325, 558; Belvedere, 185, 450; Bexley, 532:
Canterbury, 580, 730, 921
Erith, 415; Faversham, 28, 589; Margate, 1d, 845, 931; Whitstable, 104, 799, 969
"The following Lodges and Chapters hold their meetings here. The United Industrious Lodge, No. 31, the St. Augustine's Lodge, No. 972, the Royal Military Lodge, No. 449, the Bertha Chapter (Royal Arch) No. 31, the St. Martin's Mark Mason Lodge, No. 262, the Ethelbert Chapter Rose Croix, No. 82, the Black Prince Preceptory, and the Invicta Council No. 14."
From my old canterbury book c. 1903
1913 - The following lodges and chapters hold their meetings here:
The United and Industrious Lodge, No. 31
The St. Augustine Lodge, No. 972
The Royal Military Lodge, No. 1449
The Berth Chapter (Royal Arch.), No. 31
The Saint Martin Mark Master Mason Lodge, No. 262
The Ethelbert Chapter, Rose Croix, No. 82
The Black Prince Preceptory
Invicta Council, No. 14
Also here.... Kent Masonic Library and Musuem - 1946
1882 - Robert Ewell, hall keeper
1903 - William Halward, hall keeper
1913 - Jas. Tomlin, hall keeper
1917 - R. Tomalin, caretaker
© T. Machado 2007