Leicester’s Lodge of Research Installs distinguished Masonic historian as Master

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David Hughes

Professor David Hughes was initiated into Freemasonry in the Earl of Sussex Lodge No.2201 in 1981, and became its Master in the Lodge`s year 1988/89, its 101st year of existence. He received his first Provincial Appointment as PPGStB in the Province of Sussex in 1996. In that year he became a Leicestershire and Rutland Mason on joining Rothley Temple Lodge No.7801, and was Master of that Lodge in 2001. He was promoted to PPSGD in Leicestershire and Rutland in 2008. He is an honorary member of Holmes Lodge No.4656, and Castle of Leicester Lodge No.7767. He became a member of the Lodge of Research in 2005, having previously been a member of the Correspondence Circle.

With WBros Aubrey Newman and Donald Peacock he wrote the two volume history of the Craft and the “other orders” in this Province in 2010−2011, and also produced a booklet on the history of Freemasons` Hall, London Road, Leicester. He is currently part of the Library, Museum and Archives Team at Freemasons’ Hall.

Apart from his masonic research interests he is well known in the Province as an organist, playing for seven lodges and chapters on a regular basis and many others as “relief” organist. In addition he is much in demand as a masonic lecturer on subjects as diverse as the involvement of Past Provincial Grand Master Edward Holmes in the Green Bicycle Murder, and the chequered history of the Shirley family of Staunton Harold Hall in Leicestershire and Chartley Castle in Staffordshire, not least with regard to the intrigues surrounding the 9th Earl Ferrers and the strange life of the 10th Earl who was for forty years PGM of Leicestershire and Rutland.

After being Installed, the Master delivered his Inaugural Address entitled “The 9th Earl Ferrers: A Provincial Grand Master we might have had?” in a most entertaining and engaging manner. The Address considered the short, but eventful, life of Washington Shirley; who came from a distinguished Masonic background, but who was never far from controversy of a domestic nature, and whose son was to become Provincial Grand Master of Leicestershire and Rutland in due course.

The Address will be published in annual Transactions booklet of the Lodge of Research No.2429, which has been published every year since the Lodge was consecrated in 1892. These are available as a member of the Correspondence Circle which is open to every Master Mason of good standing. Please contact the Editor of the Transactions for further information.