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History of the Lodge of Connaught & Truth No. 521

Chapter III
The Years 1853 and 1854

Soirée in Masonic Clothing — Lord Goderich's Proposal and Ceremonies — Infidel Lecture -- Proposals for new Building and Removal.

THE YEAR 1853, though not quite as "productive" as the previous year of new Members, did well by comparison by Initiating 20 new Members, Passing 18, and Raising 22, a total of 60 Ceremonies : it had also its extra-special items.

Early in the year more evidence is seen of the close collaboration of the three Lodges in the Town, first, in a Vote of Thanks recorded to Bro. Lister, the Worshipful Master of The Lodge of Harmony, for the very efficient manner he had conducted the Business of the Chair at a Truth Lodge night in February; secondly, in the same month, the Worshipful Masters, Officers and Brethren, collectively and individually, of the Huddersfield Lodge and The Lodge of Truth, applied for a Dispensation, to hold a Ball or Soirée for Masons only, to appear in Masonic Clothing, and that the proceeds, after paying the necessary expenses, should go to the Building Fund of the Orphans Boys' School. This was very readily agreed to by the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, as will be seen from the copy Dispensation below :--

CHARLES LEE, Deputy Provincial Grand Master, acting under the patent and authority of the Right Honble. the Earl of Mexborough, Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master of West Yorkshire SEND GREETING to the Worshipful Masters, Officers and Brethren collectively and individually of the Huddersfield Lodge, No. 365 and the Lodge Truth, No. 763 conjointly, AND WHEREAS it hath been notified unto me by a memorial dated the 19th of this present month of February, and bearing the signatures respectively of Alfred Smith, W.M., of the Huddersfield Lodge, No. 365, and Bro. Jno. Sykes, P.M., (pro W.M. in his absence by his command) of the Truth Lodge, No. 763, that the Brethren of the said Lodges acting together in Brotherly Communion and with unity of purpose are minded to have a Masonic Soiree, confined to Freemasons and the Ladies, on Wednesday, the 9th of March next, in the Freemason's Hall, in Kirkgate, Huddersfield and have resolved that the proceeds of such Soirée shall be devoted to the "Fund for Building a School for the Orphan Boys of Freemasons.- NOW KNOW YE that I am well pleased to behold Brethren acting together in unity; I am glad to observe the Brethren paying to the Ladies the attention so justly due to them, and I rejoice that the proceeds accruing are to be devoted to Charity and that a most noble and Masonic Charity,and I do hereby grant License and Dispensation unto the said Brethren of the said Lodges, and to all other Masonic Brethren of other Lodges who may think fit to attend the said Masonic Soiree to be and appear in Masonic Clothing and Costume on the occasion, at the time, and in the Hall, severally before-named, and I exhort the Brethren to show how beautiful is TRUE Masonry, for from it springs nothing but that which is good, kind, amicable, courteous, generous, benevolent, and let the Ladies receive from the Brethren those polite attentions which become all men, and we,ll become the Free and Accepted Masons, and let Peace and Harmony reign throughout your ranks. Given at Leeds this 21st day of Febry. A.L. 5853, A.D. 1853.CHARLES LEE, D.P.G.M.

A Minute in May states" That the sum of 2/6 he paid towards the expense of dispensation granted for the late Soiree,"so it looks as if Huddersfield Lodge and The Lodge of Truth organised this on a strictly "50-50" basis.

This was the commencement of a series of functions of this nature, often repeated in later years, resulting in substantial sums of money being raised for the benefit of Masonic Charities.On this occasion, only the Huddersfield Lodge, and not The Lodge of Harmony, joined with The Lodge of Truth; and although The Lodge ofHarmony did, on occasions about that time, participate in such activities, it was then—and has continued throughout its history to be—the exception rather than the rule.

A few months later, in April, 1853, there is recorded vet another very interesting letter in the Minute Book, which is thought worthy of reproduction :—

April 28th 1853.

To Thos. Robinson Esqr.
Worshipful! Sir and Brother,
We the undersigned being Members of the Lodge of Truth No. 763 held at the Freemasons Hall, Kirkgate, Huddersfield, hereby nominate George Frederick Samuel
Robinson commonly called VISCOUNT GODERICH, Member of Parliament, residing at No. 5 Whitehall Yard, London, aged 25 years, as a Candidate for Freemasonry, and we
affectionately request that you will cause his Lordship's name to be inserted in the next summons for the regular Lodge Meeting of Friday the sixth of May, and issued seven
days previous to such meeting as in accordance with Constitutions Page 85 Section 2.

The reason why this Emergency is urged is that his Lordship cannot leave his Parliamentary duties for a longer Period than during his next visit to Huddersfield, about
that time, and having long contemplated joining our honorable fraternity, his Lordship has evinced a strong desire to become a Member of the Lodge of Truth, as expressed in a
letter from his Lordship to Br. Sykes, P.M. dated London April 27th 1853.

We are Worshipl. Sir and Brother,
Yours very faithfully and fraternally,
John Sykes, P.M.
Thos. R. Tatham, P.M.
Titus Thewlis, P.P.G.S.B. and P.M.
Michael Kemp, P.J.W.
Thomas Abbey Bottomley, M.C.
G. T. Wright, S.W.
Wm. Cross Marsh, J. \V.
Walter Bradley, S.D.
William Hewitt Shepherd, Secy.

Lord Goderich (afterwards more familiarly known to the Brethren as The Marquis of Ripon) was duly balloted for and unanimously elected on the 6th May, 1853. Lord Goderich was Member of Parliament for Huddersfield at that time, and quite young--only 25 years of age. The honour of Initiating this distinguished gentleman at an Emergency Lodge on the 17th May, 1853, fell to the lot of W. Bro. J. T. V. Hardy, who was a Past Master of Fortitude and Old Cumberland Lodge, No. 12, before coming to the Lodge of Harmony in 1852, and who
became a Joining Member of The Lodge of Truth only three months before, in February, 1853. W. Bro. Hardy was the Head of the Huddersfield College, a man of literary attainment, and apparently wellskilled in the noble order, because his name often occurs in the Minutes, especially during 1853-1857, giving explanations of all three Tracing Boards and other Masonic work. As a matter of fact, he figured again at the Passing of Lord Goderich on 12th October, 1853, and "gave a full and beautiful illustration of the Second Tracing Board."

The Minutes do not reveal who took part in His Lordship's Raising Ceremony on 25th November, 1853, but it is most interesting to observe that when Lord Goderich reached the Chair, which he did in a very short time, viz., on 1st June, 1855, it was once more W. Bro. J. T. V. Hardy who had the honour of Installing him as Master of The Lodge. There is nothing to
show why this Installation Ceremony was deferred from December, 1854, to June, 1855: perhaps Lord Goderich was away on Parliamentary duty: although the new Master was not Installed in December, 1854, all the other Officers were in fact then appointed and invested. It is important to note this, because they were also charged to work as a Committee, to make all
the necessary arrangements for the laying of the Corner Stone of the new Masonic Hall in Fitzwilliam Street on the day of the Festival of St. John, and to arrange for a dinner to be held to celebrate both events.

Thus it will be seen that Lord Goderich became actively interested in the Lodge at a most important point in its history. Although the Foundation Stone was laid in the period between his
election as Master and his Installation, the actual removal from The Rose & Crown Hotel to the new Hall in Fitzwilliam Street took place (on 5th October, 1855) during his year of Mastership. Before proceeding to that new Chapter in the Lodge's history, the decision to move, as recorded in the Minutes, should be noted. There is no precise reason given for this removal, but inferences can be drawn from a perusal of some of the Minutes. 7th October, 1853.

"The Worshipful Master with great pleasure informed the Brethren that, in conjunction with Past Masters Sykes and Johnson and others they had had an interview with Bro. Reid,on the subject of his having let his room for an improper purpose at the close of which Bro. Reid consented that such arrangement should be set aside."It was also moved and seconded
"That the best thanks of the Lodge are due and are hereby presented to those Brethren who so promptly came forward to prevent the room being desecrated by Infidel Lectures."Carried unanimously."

It is pleasing to note the unanimous decision of the Brethren at this attempted desecration of their Temple, and it apparently caused the Brethren seriously to think of moving. The Brethren of The Lodge of Harmony were apparently in full sympathy, and offered the Lodge of Truth shelter and accommodation, for it was moved and seconded and also
carried unanimously "that a vote of this Lodge be given to the Worshipful Master and Brethren of the Lodge of Harmony for kindly promising us the use of their room in case of emergency."
25th November, 1853. "That the Worshipful Master do call a Lodge of Emergency for the purpose agreeable to Constitution Clause I Page 94 of deciding the question of removing the Lodge, and to take the sense of the Brethren with respect to the new Hall offered to the Lodge on lease at a moderate rental and for our exclusive use. "

That looks as if the Landlord of the Rose & Crown had repented of his error in attempting to let the room for an improper purpose, and, being desirous of retaining The Lodge of Truth as Tenants, was offering them new terms for exclusive use.

2nd December, 1853.
A Sub-Committee of seven was appointed to enquire into all the circumstances, and report on the 9th December. This report was apparently presented, probably verbally, for the Minutes say : -

9th December, 1853.
"The Brethren indulged in a very lengthened discussion on the subject of removing the Lodge, the general opinion being that the proposition for removal be not withdrawn until an agreement be
drawn up, submitted to the Lodge, and if found satisfactory the same to be signed, sealed and delivered."

6th January, 1854.
"That the agreement to be drawn up by Bro. P.M. Robinson shall not be submitted to the Lodge later than the next Lodge Meeting, February 3rd." But there was no record of its production at the next Lodge Meeting. Perhaps the Brethren had their troubles temporarily diverted, for just at that time another Soirée was held, this time by all three Lodges, including The
Lodge of Harmony. The Brethren were also collecting for an Organ Fund, which resulted in an organ being purchased.

It seems that the meetings at the Rose & Crown continued the even tenor of their ways for a few months at any rate, but, whether it was on the old terms or on new terms, there is nothing to say. In August, however, this resolution appeared :--

6th August, 1854.
"That the Surplus and Benevolent Fund of The Lodge be invested in the hands of Trustees for the purpose of building a new Masonic Hall . " Unanimously .

So the determination to move was still there, and there is a suggestion that the Brethren believed that "where there's a will there's a way."

4th September, 1854.
"That the acting Master and the Remaining P.Ms. of this Lodge form the Trustees for the building of the new Masonic Hall." The acting Master was W. Bro. G. T. Wright, who was officiating in the absence of Lord Goderich.

6th October, 1854.
"That the Worshipful Master, Bro. P.M. Robinson and Bro, P.M. Thewlis be the three whose names shall be inscribed upon the Lease for the new Hall ." Unanimous .
(This is taken to refer to the Lease of the ground for the New Hall in Fitzwilliam Street). "That the decision of laying of the First Stone of the new Hall be left to the whole Lodge."
Obviously plans were now well ahead.

After so many unanimous resolutions on these important questions it is somewhat surprising to find some slight difference of opinion.

3rd November, 1854.
"Proposed that the other two Lodges in the Town be invited to attend and assist us in laying the foundation stone of the new Masonic Hall, the Brethren to appear in plain clothing."
"Amendment -That the Worshipful Master apply for a dispensation from the Provincial Grand Master to lay the foundation stone of new Hall in masonic costume and that the Provincial
Grand Master be invited to attend and lay the foundation stone."

The amendment was carried, there being four dissentients, and a Building Committee was appointed to make all the necessary arrangements. By Installation Night, 4th December, 1851, it was decided that the Corner Stone be laid on the day of the Festival of St. John. The recorded report of that Committee, as appearing in the Minutes, is reproduced at the beginning
of the next Chapter of this History. After the Ceremony, the Brethren adjourned to their Lodge room at the Rose & Crown, and celebrated the Festival of St. John.A period of ten months elapsed between the laying of the Stone and the occupation of the premises for the first Meeting in the new Hall. The necessary legal notice to quit the Rose & Crown was decided upon at the Lodge Meeting held 5th January, 1855.

It was during this period, viz., on 14th May, 1855, that W. Bro. W. Smith, P.M. of the Huddersfield Lodge, to whom references have been made earlier in this History, was made an Honorary Member of The Lodge. In July, 1855, the Landlord of the Rose & Crown (Bro. Reid) had a grievance. A letter was read from him "complaining that the money which he advanced to prevent Mr. Holyoak from delivering an Infidel Lecture in his room had only been partially advanced to him, when it was proposed that the question be adjourned 6 months." Unanimous."
Before the expiration of that six months' period The Lodge had left the Rose & Crown, but there was a Resolution in August that "the difference if any be adjusted between Bro. Reid and

The Brethren were a little apprehensive of damage to their property; it was unanimously decided to move the organ away from the Rose & Crown at once to a room kindly offered by one of the Brethren. The Worshipful Master, Bro. Lord Goderich, was away in Scotland at the time of the removal of The Lodge to Fitzwilliam Street, but the Deputy Provincial Grand Master "allowed a dispensation of his presence when the motion for removal is made," and the Worshipful Master sent a cheque towards the Building of the new Hall; and on Friday, the 5th
October, 1855, the Lodge held its first Regular Lodge Meeting in the new Premises.

Freemasons' Hall, Fitzwilliam Street.