History of the Lodge of Connaught & Truth No. 521
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 :
This took from 7
p.m. to 10-15 p.m., followed by an hour of harmony in the
There was a big attendance again at the February Lodge, when the Lodge managed the following business in one evening :-
The Minutes of the
Presentations are well worth a perusal, and are
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/-.
And here is the
reproduction of the copy of a most interesting letter
from the Deputy Provincial Grand Master :
Leeds, 13th Feb.,
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, Worshipful and
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 Lodge Meeting of
Friday, 5th March, 1852, was the kind of Meeting which a
writer of Lodge History likes to discover, because it
The Minutes started
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.
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
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 Zukya
To wind up the evening's work the Lodge recorded 7 more Propositions for new candidates for Initiation.
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
Then the Lodge
proceeded to carry out , before the 7 -15
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
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.
The next item,
because of its outstanding importance, is reproduced
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.
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
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
There was yet
another Meeting in this remarkable month of Mayan
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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 degreesin 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
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
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
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
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."