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History of the Lodge of Connaught & Truth No. 521

Chapter II
The Year 1852 - A Remarkable Year

Rose & Crown Inn — Presentation of Chairs — Holmfirth Flood — Amazing Amount of Business per Month — Lodge Banner presented — Initiation of Minor — New Room at Rose & Crown — 33 Candidates — Address to W.M.

A separate chapter is needed to recount the facts and incidents of this outstandingly busy year. The new Master started off with an Emergency Lodge within 11 days and transacted the following business :

Ballot to rectify a former irregularity.
A Passing, and
Two Initiations.

This took from 7 p.m. to 10-15 p.m., followed by an hour of harmony in the Commercial Room.

There was a big attendance again at the February Lodge, when the Lodge managed the following business in one evening :-

A Raising.
2 Passings.
Production of New Lodge Seal.
3 Presentations of Chairs (WM) (SW) (JW).
Propositions for 9 new Members.

The Minutes of the Presentations are well worth a perusal, and are reproduced here.

Extract from Minutes, 6th February, 1852.

The W. Master, who had been instigated to the act, by his zealous and generous Senior Warden (Br. Robinson), then presented the Lodge with an Elegant and Splendid Masonic Chair, for the W.M. of the time being of the "Lodge of Truth," in which act he had been generously joined by the following Brethren, Br. John Sykes £2, W.M. Br. George Reid 10/-, Br. Geo. Thos. Wright 10/- Br. Walter Bradley 10/-, Br. Richd. Dransfield 10/-, Br. M. Kemp 5/-, Br. Henry Baines 5/-.
Br. Thos. Robinson, The Senior Warden, then very modestly expressed his great pleasure in presenting the "Lodge of Truth," with a Similar Chair for the Senior Warden feeling alike proud of all the other Furniture of the Lodge.
Br. Past Master Johnson, then in a similar and kind manner presented the Lodge with the 3rd Superb Chair for the J. Warden assuring the Brethren of his equal interest in everything which tended to the welfare of the "Lodge of Truth."

And here is the reproduction of the copy of a most interesting letter from the Deputy Provincial Grand Master :—

Leeds, 13th Feb., 1852.
John Sykes, Esq. W.M.
Worshipful Sir and Brother,

I duly recd. your favour with the impression of your intended Lodge Seal, and I commend yr. attention to the Constitutions, approve of the Design of your seal, and give you credit for your good taste as the Designer of it. I am rejoiced to hear of the progress which the Lodge of Truth is making and I trust it will go on increasing in strength, and maintaining its respectability, until it becomes a great and flourishing Lodge, but be mindful not to multiply for the sake of the multiple, for already we have too many, who are only Masons in name.
I am right glad to find that you have been attentive to your Instructions, have gained great Masonic Knowledge, and have proved yourself worthy to take yr. Degree in the Craft, and it gives me great pleasure to learn that your Brethren rally round their Master, and have proved their Masonic Zeal for the Craft by the Spirited presentation to the Lodge, of the three Splendid Chairs, to which you refer.—This is well —this is good—this is cheering to dwell on, and I beg of you to accept of my hearty congratulations, and request you will present them to your Brethren. I was pleased to observe among the noble minded Contributors to their unfortunate Fellow Creatures, who have suffered by the appalling Catastrophe at HOLMFIRTH, "the W.M. for the LODGE of TRUTH," this is as it ought to be and speaks something like practical Masonry and my heart was gladdened to see the honor of the Fraternity thus exhibited in a truly Righteous cause: and may you have the reward which good Works are sure to bring to the doer of them, and with fraternal regards.

I am, Worshipful and Dear Sir,
Yours very truly,

The Local Brethren will be particularly interested to read the reference to the Holmfirth Flood Catastrophe, which was so forcibly brought back to our minds anew last year (1944) when yet another flood disaster occurred in the same locality, following a cloudburst: and once again the Freemasons contributed towards the Holmfirth Relief Fund:
the writer of this history, acting in his capacity as Secretary of the Huddersfield and District Installed Masters' Association, had to record details of the discussion and reference to the Deputy Provincial Grand Master for sanction for the local Lodges to help, and once again—like his predecessor of nearly 100 years ago-- the Deputy Provincial Grand Master gave his blessing to the course proposed.

The Lodge Meeting of Friday, 5th March, 1852, was the kind of Meeting which a writer of Lodge History likes to discover, because it
contained so many special features, including the letter from the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, quoted above.

The Minutes started by saying
"The Lodge was opened in ample Form at 4 p.m. having been c alled by Summons so early owing to great pressure of business."

The Brethren continued their work for six hours until 10 p.m.. and adjourned until 6-30 p.m. on the Monday, the 8th March, 1852; and following that they held an Emergency Lodge, on the 18th March, to carry through a remaining Initiation.

Other correspondence at this Meeting included letters from Grand Lodge and Provincial Grand Lodge regarding Certificates, and the checking up of names for the Returns.

The next Minute stated
"The Worshipful Master produced two very neat and proper Receipt Books printed and ruled purposely for the "Lodge of Truth" for the "Royal Benevolent Annuity Fund"—kindly
presented by Bro. P. M. Josh. Brook."
(Bro. Brook was a local stationer.)

Then there were NINE ballots, 8 elected and 1 rejected.

Next came a Passing, followed by a Raising, and then back to the First Degree for an Initiation. At that stage the Lodge adjourned for 20 minutes "that the Brethren might take refreshment ." On resuming, 4 candidates were Initiated. Next, a donation of £5 5s. was voted to the Holmfirth Fund, and another resolution passed, viz:

"That the sum of ten shillings be given to Bro. Antamhaet Zuky—a refugee."

To wind up the evening's work the Lodge recorded 7 more Propositions for new candidates for Initiation.

Business continued at the same brisk pace; April was a repetition of March. The Lodge of April 2nd, 1852, met at 3-30 p.m. After 4 hours' work the Lodge went from "Labour to Refreshment" for a break of 20 minutes, and continued its labours until 9-45 p.m., when business was adjourned until the following Monday, to dispose of the unfinished items.
At this Lodge also there were interesting letters. It had apparently been arranged to hold a Banquet on the 14th April "when his Lordship purposes being present." (Presumably this referred to the Right Honorable The Earl of Mexborough, Provincial Grand Master.) Members of the Lodge made special petition or application for two nominated candidates, a Mr. Henry Brook and a Mr. Charles Eastwood, the special reason being their strong desire to attend the Banquet on the 14th April. Approval was given; Mr. Brook was elected and initiated at that Meeting; and Mr. Eastwood was elected, but his initiation was carried forward and completed at the adjournment on the Monday.

Then the Lodge proceeded to carry out , before the 7 -15
adjournment for refreshment, business which in these days would take 5or 6 months to complete, viz :-

1 Ballot (rejected),
5 separate Ballots followed by 5 Initiations,
4 Ballots (elected)—Initiations later, and, after the adjournment for refreshment, a Passing, and other Lodge business.

Each succeeding month seemed to vie with its predecessor. The month of May was certainly a "merry" one; it contains items which really must be mentioned.

An even earlier start was made for the 7th May, 1852, Meeting, which opened at 2-30 p.m. owing to great weight of business; there was a short interval for refreshments, and again an adjournment at 10 p.m. until the following Monday. There seemed to be no attempt at turning out this "mass production" by "multiple ceremonies"; each part of the work was separately dealt with, and the Lodge moved "up" and "down" and "down" and "up" to suit the particular item of business, as the following précis
will show :—

The business commenced with a special letter, this time to nominate a Mr. John Kirk for a quick initiation, the reason being a strong desire on his part to be present at the forthcoming opening and dedication of a new Lodge Room (in July) , he being at the same time both Architect and Builder.

Up to the 2° and 3°, when 4 Fellowcrafts were separately raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason.
Closed in 3° and 2° for Test Questions from 1° to 2°.
Opened in 2° for 3 separate Passings.
Four Raisings and three Passings (all separate) was not "bad going," and no doubt the Brethren would welcome the short break when called from Labour to Refreshment.
Back to labour again, for another Passing.
Back to the 1° for more Test Questions and up to the 2° for three more Passings.
Closed in the 2°. Then Mr. John Kirk was balloted for, unanimously elected and regularly Initiated. Another initiation followed.

The next item, because of its outstanding importance, is reproduced verbatim :-
"The Worshipful Master in a very judicious and admirable speech presented the Lodge of Truth with a magnificent BANNER, on behalf of Bro. P. M. SCHLESINGER. Bro. P. M. Johnson proposed and Bro. P. M. Tatham seconded "That a vote of thanks be given to Bro. P. M. Schlesinger for his very munificent gift to The Lodge of Truth of a Banner so exquisitely beautiful." (This is referred to further and in more detail in Chapter VIII.)

This was followed by another presentation, viz : a copy of the By-Laws beautifully bound in masonic binding as a companion to the Book of Constitutions.
To finish off, up to the adjournment at 10 p.m., there were 3 propositions, 2 for Initiation and 1 for Joining.

The writer's pen can hardly travel fast enough to put on record the special items of this month, for the adjourned Meeting on the Monday refused to be dull or ordinary. The Treasurer, Worshipful Master, Past Masters and Committee were "empowered to lend the sum of One Hundred Pounds on full and sufficient security to Bro. G. Reid at no less Interest than five per cent. per annum."

(As Bro. Geo. Reid was the Landlord of the Rose & Crown it was probably to help towards the expense of the new room planned to be added.)

The Lodge was opened to the 2°, "and the 2° Tracing Board was beautifully illustrated by the Worshipful Master."

Finally, in the 1°, the Committee were authorised to purchase some Tracing Boards.

There was yet another Meeting in this remarkable month of May—an Emergency Lodge on the 26th May, 1852, with over 30 Brethren present; and well there might be, because there was a unique happening, namel y, the Initiation (by Dispensation and Licence) of a young gentleman not of the full age of 21 years (viz: 20 years and eight months). Before the year 1852 was out, 5 of the Initiates of 1852 had emigrated to Australia; this young gentleman and his brother were two of them. They were Mr. Tom Learoyd (elder brother) and Mr. Joe Learoyd (younger brother), Manufacturers of Huddersfield, and sons of a Mason; special application was made, because they intended leaving England in the course of the next month.

Here is the copy of the Dispensation, as recorded in the Minute Book :-

May 21st 1852.

Copy of Dispensation.

To the Worshipful Master, Officers and Brethren of the Lodge of Truth No. 763.

I, Charles Lee, Deputy Provincial Grand Master, acting under the Patent and Authority of the Right Honorable the Earl of Mexborough, Right Worshipful Grand Master of West Yorkshire, Send Greeting, and Whereas it hath been Certified unto me by Memorial dated the nineteenth day of this present Month of May bearing the Signature of John Sykes Worshipful Master of the Lodge of Truth No. 763 That Joe Learoyd is solicitous to become a Member of the Antient and Honorable Fraternity of Freemasonry but that the said Joe Learoyd is now of the Age of Twenty Years and Eight Months, is the son of a Freemason and is the Brother of a Freemason and is about to take his departure for Australia in the course of a few weeks and the said Worshipful Brother Sykes therefore prays that a dispensation may be granted on behalf of the said Joe Learoyd, to authorize his Initiation into the Mystic Art, notwithstanding that he hath not yet attained the full Age of Twentyone Years as required by the Constitutions of the Craft, therefore "Know Ye by Virtue of the power delegated to me, I do Hereby grant such License and Dispensation so prayed and do hereby render the Initiation of the said Joe Learoyd right and Legal, and may he prove himself a Worthy Brother Mason and in after days become a Shining Light in Masonry and Shed Lustre on his Mother Lodge.

Given at Leeds this twenty first day of May
A.D. 1852.
A.L. 5852.

June followed, with its fair share of the quota of Ceremonies and other business, including an Initiation, three Passings (two of them in "multiple ceremony" ) and seven separate Raisings, all in one evening; the reception of two more Joining Members, and the presentation of a long and beautiful letter, written in the most felicitous terms and well chosen language, addressed to Bro. Schlesinger, who had presented the Lodge with its Banner, expressing the respectful, affectionate and grateful feelings towards him as a Past Master and Pioneer of the Lodge. (This letter is reproduced in full in Chapter VIII dealing with The Lodge Banner.)

At the same Meeting presentations were made of Jewels for the Steward and for the Organist . Comments on that Meeting should not be left without recording here an
interesting point that one of the Joining Members, Bro. Howell, was a member not only of The Lodge of Harmony, No. 312 (Huddersfield), but also of The Lodge of Harmony, No. 317 (Richmond).

The month of July, 1852, saw the new Lodge Room at the Rose & Crown ready for occupation. Bro. John Kirk, the Architect and Builder, for whom special permission was given for a quick Initiation, managed it just in time. He was Initiated in May, Passed in June, and Raised on the 2nd July (except for the explanation of the Tracing
Board). Three days later, on the 5th July, "the Lodge assembled for the first time in the new Hall."

It must have been an appropriate and proud moment for Bro. Kirk, as the first business was the completion of his 3rd Ceremony, by receiving the address on the explanation and history of the 3° Tracing Board; the concluding Minute shows how the Members made "friends" with the new Hall, but kept the "old":--

"The Lodge was closed in Peace and Harmony at 8 -45 p.m ., when the Brethren retired i nto t he old Lodge Room, partook of an excellent supper, afterwards returned to the new
Hall, when the Brethren appeared to enjoy the Harmony and conviviality of the evening."

There now appear in the Minute Book two entries, which are reproduced below, concerning the DEDICATION of the new Hall, namely :--

"Lodge of Truth 763.

Wednesday, 7th July, 1852.

The Lodge met in due Form in obedience to the P.G. Circular opened in the three degrees, after which The P.L. entered in due Form, the Officers taking their respective places the D.P.G.M. declared the P.L. adjourned to Wednesday, the 21st instant at 10-30 a.m. The P.L. retired and the Officers of this Lodge closed the same in the three degrees—in peace.

"Lodge of Truth 763.

Wednesday, July 21, 1852.

The Officers and Brethren of this Lodge met at 10-30 opened the Lodge in the three degrees. The P.G. Lodge entered in due Form, took their respective positions Transacted the Provincial Business, Dedicated the New Hall in pure Masonic Form, and then retired. The Officers of this Lodge returned to their Places and closed the Lodge in the third and in the second degrees, The W.M. then declared the Lodge adjourned to a future evening for further Business the Bretheren met accordingly and closed the Lodge finally."

Reference to the occasion of the visit by Provincial Grand Lodge on the 21st July, 1852, is made in the Opening Chapter, but it will be observed that the above Minute from the Lodge of Truth records uses only the word "DEDICATION" and makes no mention of "CONSECRATION."

There is no record of the Provincial Banquet, but subsequent Minutes reveal a purchase of music for the musical Brethren to the amount of 30/- and payment of their dinner tickets at the Provincial Banquet; also a note of thanks for "the loan of a statuette of King Solomon for the occasion of the Provincial Banquet."

Ceremonies of all Degrees continued at a brisk pace. Apparently the big influx of Members brought with it problems for dispensing instruction, for in October we read that
" A very animated discussion arose amongst the Brethren respecting the appointment of a night weekly for the purpose of instruction." Monday evening was set apart, and a Committee "formed to prepare Rules for the guidance and government of such Instruction Meeting."

This momentous year was drawing to its close and the question of handling the fees and subscriptions of so many new Members must have been worrying the minds of some of the Brethren, for the Minutes of the Election Night record that Bro. Thewlis was elected Treasurer by acclamation. This was the final Lodge night for Bro . John Sykes , the Worshipful Master, who had had such a busy year. How many Worshipful Masters can say "During my year, I had 33 Initiations, 29 Passings and 23 Raisings, and 3 Joining Members" ?

It is not surprising, therefore, to find the following Address recorded in the Minute Book : -

To Brother John Sykes Worshipful
Master of the Lodge of Truth No. 763 for the
Year of our Lord 1852.

Worshipful Master, Impressed with the fact that your presidency over us in this Lodge is about to cease, allow us who have had the honor of being initiated into Freemasonry by you to offer this our humble address expressive of our gratitude for your kindness our appreciation of your Talents and of the energy displayed in promoting our instruction and the good of the Lodge generally.

We feel convinced, Worshipful Sir, that to your energy ability and firmness in discharging the responsible and important duties which have devolved upon you is to be mainly ascribed the increase and increasing prosperity of the Lodge of Truth more particularly when compared with the period when you were so auspiciously elected its Master. We are wishful to make our appreciation of your valuable services and for this purpose beg your acceptance of this PAST MASTER'S JEWEL which we sincerely hope you will long be spared to wear in this our Lodge. Trusting you will still continue to guide us by your Counsel and stimulate us by your example. We again offer you our deepest sense of respect
and esteem.


Walter Bradley Wm.

Cross Marsh Thomas
Kenyon Benj. Brown
Dan Sykes
Robert Wilman
Joe Wood
Thomas Kitson Potter
Joseph Green Eltoft
Joseph Walker
Joseph Sykes James
Radcliffe Robert
Skilbeck William G.
Joe Webb Tempest
Alfred Palmer
J. F. Holmes
Richd. Hy. Robinson
Ahm. Hopkinson

Joseph William Lister
Fred Holroyd
Thos. A. Bottomley
Hervey Brook Charles
Eastwood John Oakes
Edwin Sykes
John 'Kirk
Robert Hallas
The following are the names of
the Brethren who have been
initiated by you and have since

gone to Australia
Richd. Dransfield
Joe Dransfield
Tom Learoyd
Joe Learoyd
C. J. Johnson

This Address, "signed by 33 Brethren, was presented to the Worshipful Master and audibly read by Bro. Marsh, at the same time presenting the Worshipful Master with a very chaste Past Master's Jewel for his valuable services for the past year."

It is quite likely that W. Bro. W. Smith of The Huddersfield Lodge, to whom references have been made previously, attended frequently and assisted the Lodge at the Ceremonies, and as Prompter and Instructor, for one of the last acts of Bro. Sykes as Worshipful Master, or, perhaps more correctly, one of his first duties as I.P.M., was to present to "Bro. P.M. W. Smith of The Huddersfield Lodge, No. 365, with a beautiful portrait of himself by Bro. Young for the many valuable services he has rendered to The Lodge of Truth."