Symposium marking 200 years of UGLE

The Lodge of Research marked the 200th anniversary of the formation of the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) by organising a Symposium and dinner on the occasion of the regular meeting of the Lodge held on the 27th of January 2014.

The day commenced with the arrival of many visitors both Masonic and Non-Masonic. the visitors were received by members of the Derek Buswell lodge of Provincial grand stewards who helped them to feel at home. some of the visitors had travelled considerable distances. guests included eminent masonic studies researchers as well as many Freemasons from other Provinces throughout the country.

96 sat down to a Buffet Lunch, and after lunch at 1.30. p.m., all assembled in the Holmes Lodge Room, which had been set in theatre style. They were welcomed by the Provincial Grand Master, the Worshipful Master W Bro. Michael Robinson the and W Bro. Aubrey Newman who informed them of the background to the Symposium.

There were 13 papers delivered by prominent Masonic Historians from across the Country. All the papers related to the formation of the UGLE in December 1813, and to the reasons for the need to unite the opposing two Grand Lodges which had emerged over the preceding 100 years. W Bro. Aubrey Newman concluded the Symposium by saying that all the papers had been of great interest to Masonic researchers, and that in addition he felt that they had posed even more questions for further research.

The Lodge of Research No.2429 was opened by the Worshipful Master Michael A. Robinson at 6.00 p.m.

The Provincial Grand Master RW Bro. David V Hagger was received into the Lodge in due form, accompanied by his team of Provincial Officers. The Worshipful Master welcomed the PGM and thanked him for his support in celebrating the formation of the United Grand Lodge.

The Assistant Grand Master – RW Bro. David K Williamson was then also received into the Lodge in due form. The Worshipful Master welcomed the Assistant Grand Master and thanked him for giving the Lodge so much of his valuable time in helping the Lodge to celebrate the Union.

After the formal business the Lodge was closed and the Worshipful Master received a number of Non-Masonic guests-

  • Andrew Prescott a prominent Masonic researcher,
  • the researchers from Italia and the Iberian Centre for Masonic research,
  • Phillipa Faulks (editor of Lewis Publishing).

Representatives from the two oldest Lodges in the Province were admitted and assembled in the North and South. The Worshipful Master explained that the entry of the two Lodges, the Knights of Malta Lodge (50), which had operated in the 18th century under the Grand Lodge of the Ancients, and the St. John’s Lodge (279) which operated under the Grand Lodge of the Moderns, was symbolical of the division which had existed before the Union. The Worshipful Master invited the Brethren of both Lodges to cross the floor and to shake hands symbolical of the Union of the two Grand Lodges.

A representative of each explained from the minutes of their Lodges, the difference which the Union had made, while W Bro. Aubrey Newman dealt with its impact upon the Province.

The PGM then addressed the meeting congratulating the Lodge on their efforts in organising such a prestigious event to celebrate and commemorate the formation of the United Grand Lodge.

The Assistant Grand Master added to the comments of the Provincial Grand Master and said that in 2017 the Grand Lodge would be inviting Lodges across the country to celebrate and commemorate the formation of the first Grand Lodge in London in 1717.

The celebrations were concluded when 115 of those attending enjoyed a White Table dinner in the Oliver

Dining room. During the evening all were entertained by W Bros. Philip Dodd, Jonathan Varley, and David Hughes to a short piece of Mozart and a short ode which had been written and performed at the formal Act of Union in December 1813

The Lodge of Research would like to thank Lewis Masonic for its sponsorship and all those who had supported them by attending what must be considered to have been a feast of Masonic knowledge and fraternal friendship.