History of The Lodge of Connaught & Truth
history of the Lodge of Connaught & Truth can be
traced back as 1845. It started life out in life as the
Lodge of Truth, No. 521. The formation of the Lodge is
such a long time ago that it pre-dates many of the
current practices in Freemasonry. It has no "mother
lodge" as such as this was became a 19th century
concept. Rather, it was formed out of members from
Harmony Lodge No. 275 and Huddersfield Lodge No. 290 as
the following table demonstrates:
5th December, 1845
||W.M. of No.
365 in 1843
4th December, 1846, and again in December 1849.
||W.M. of No.
275 in 1845
||W.M. of No.
275 in 1841
||W.M. of No.
275 in 1846
||W.M. of No.
275 in 1849.
the following year of 1846 the Brethren of the
Lodge of Truth took part in a significant civil
event when they joined the brethren of the other
Lodges in the town (there would have been only
three at that point) to take part in the ceremony
of laying the foundation stone of Huddersfield
Station. Although extremely rare these days,
processions of Freemasons were common during this
period as they took on a ceremonial role similar
to their operative duties in laying of the
foundation stones of important buildings.
initial influx of joining members, membership
fell from thirty-three at the end of 1846 to
twelve at the end of 1850. In fact, on two
occasions in 1847-48 the Lodge was not opened
because of "the paucity of members
present". However help was at hand in the
form of Bro. John Sykes, of Huddersfield Lodge,
who had joined in April of the inaugural year,
and shortly afterwards took over the duties of
Secretary. He was installed as Master in December
1851, and was the Worshipful Master for the
remarkable year of 1852. During this year
there were 33 initiation, 29 passings and 23
raisings, and 3 joining members!
||Click here to view
the first ever minutes of the Lodge
|A full account of our early history
is given in the limited edition publication
"History of 100 Years of the Lodge of
Truth", written by H.L. Simpson in 1945.
This was scanned into a digital document by Bro.
Paul Moorhouse as part of a project to preserve
our history and make it available to a wider
audience. To view this PDF file please
select this hyperlink. (It's a 6MByte
file so it will take a while to download). In
1917 the a daughter Lodge was formed when The
Connaught Lodge was consecrated. This makes it a "Bicentenary Lodge" as it
was formed 200 years after the formation of Grand
Lodge in 1717. It was named after the Grand
Master at the time, the Duke of Connaught. In
2004 the two Lodges amalgamated to become the
Lodge of Connaught & Truth No. 521.
Huddersfield is a
small town in Yorkshire, situated below the
Pennines between Leeds and Manchester, and is
part of the Kirklees Metropolitan Council. It is
the birthplace of Rugby League (at the George
Hotel) as well as the home town for James Mason,
Harold Wilson, Lord Hanson, Roy Castle and Gordon
Kaye. During its time the Lodge has drawn in
membership from the town and surrounding
districts, and even further afield. Our most
prominent member was the Marquess of Ripon who
was M.P. for Huddersfield between 1853 and 1857.
He went on to become the Grand Master between
1870 and 1874. This is a unique part of our
heritage; the Lodge of Connaught & Truth is
the only Yorkshire Lodge to have a member who
went on to become a Grand Master.
||The Marquess of Ripon, one
of our better known Past Masters
members who have made outstanding contributions
to the community have included four Mayors: John
Varley, J.P. (1884-5), William Jessop
(1897-1917), John Holroyd (1908-9) and James
Woolven (1919-20). William Jessop was also a
founder of The Connaught Lodge.
Other past members
have included Frank Shaw, member of the
famous "Ben Shaw" family of pop
manufacturers and (though this requires further
verification), Thomas Broadbent who
founded his eponomous engineering company. Both
these businesses still exist in Huddersfield to
this day. Although we have had a number of
illustrious members of the local community,
Freemasonry is an ethical system based on
egailitarian principles. The Lodge of Connaught
& Truth has, therefore, been priviledged to
count amongst its ranks a greater number of
lesser known men, who were no less thought of.
Jessop, A Past Master of the Lodge of Truth and
Founder Member of The Connaught Lodge in his
original Lodge banner, presented on 7th May, 1852 by Bro.
William Kilner, First Worshipful
Master of the Lodge of Truth
James Kirk, Builder & Architect
of Fitzwilliam Street
On 17th May, 1853 George Frederick Samuel
Robinson, latterly known as the Marquess of Ripon and
recently elected Member of Parliament, joined the
burgeoning ranks of the Lodge at the age of 25 years.
After an intial plunge in numbers the brethren seemed to
have arrested the decline and members grew from an
all-time low of twelve in 1850, to eighty-six in 1860.
1845 the inaugural meeting of the Lodge took place in The
Rose & Crown Inn, Kirkgate on the site of what is now
the Mecca Bingo Hall. Exactly one year later the Lodge
moved to the White Hart Inn and then from 1850 to the
George Hotel. From 1851 to 1855 the Lodge returned to the
Rose & Crown Inn in a specially built room.
room, looking towards the East.
||The main room, looking
towards the West.
In 1855 the Lodge of Truth moved to its
present location on Fitzwilliam Street where it has
remained ever since. The Masonic Hall on Fitzwilliam
Street is a part of the architectural heritage of
Huddersfield. As well as being a Grade II listed
building, it is also the oldest surviving masonic
building in the region, being considered significant
enough to be included in the Reverend Cryer's book Masonic
Halls of the North of England.
rooms are shared with our daughter Lodge, The Connaught
Lodge No. 3800 which was consecrated in 1917 and our
sister Lodge, The Concord Lodge No. 4126 which was
consecrated in 1920. In addition there are two Royal Arch
Chapters which meet there (Perserverance & Truth),
along with Truth Mark, Truth Mariners, Prince of Wales
Chapter (Rose Croix) and Hope Preceptory (Knight's
Programme for the Centenary of the Building
In 1902 the main room was added on to the
back of the building, whilst the room upstairs was
converted into the Supper Room. In October of that year
Joseph Spratt painted the distinctive muriels on the wall
of the main room, followed by painting the panels in the
ante-room on the left-hand room of th entrance. More up
to date, in 2001 the main room was redecorated, along
with the railings and door at the front of the building.
On Friday 29th March, 2001 the Lodge
celebrated 150 years of continuous history.