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History of the Lodge of Connaught & Truth No. 521

Chapter IX
The By-Laws of the Lodge

Chronological Record — Formation — Segregation of Benevolent Fund — "Tinmoney"
— Revisions and Alterations — Manuscript Book 1892 by Bro. J. Lewis
Sykes — Declaration and Acceptance by Members — Scale of Fees and Subscriptions.
THE FOLLOWING summary gives a chronological record of the History of
the By-Laws, the date given in each case being the date of the confirmatory
minute of the approval of the By- Laws or alterations thereto : -
FIRST BY-LAWS 2nd January, 1846.
SECOND BY-LAWS 20th November, 1855.
THIRD BY-LAWS 6th August, 1870.
Alteration 20th January, 1887.
FOURTH BY-LAWS 4th November, 1892.
Alteration to Fees and
Subscription 2nd August, 1918.
Alteration to Fees 7th November, 1919.
Alteration to Subscription 6th July, 1934.
Alteration re ballot and
number of black balls 7th March, 1941.
FIFTH BY-LAWS 5th September, 1941.
As the reader will have noticed, the first By-Laws of the Lodge
were drafted by a Committee formed from the Founder Members, and this
first set of By-Laws was read, approved and adopted at the second regular
meeting of the Lodge on 2nd January, 1846, and these held good for close on 10
years, a revised set being approved on the 20th November, 1855, and this latter set
of By-Laws is fully recorded in manuscript in the Minute Book for that date.
There is also recorded in the Minutes of that Meeting a copy of a letter dated
9th November, 1855, from the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, W. Bro.
Charles Lee, which is reproduced here :—
The following letter received by Bro. P. M. Wright from the R.W.D.P.G.M. Bro. Chas.
Lee was read to the Brethren.
Leeds 9 Nov. 18i5.
Worshipful and Dear Sir,
I have examined the draught of your Bye-Laws and find no objection thereto and all that
is necessary to be done, is to separate your Bye-Laws relative to what you term your
Benevolent Fund, from the Bye-Laws which relate to the Craft, for with Benefit Funds and Sick
Club the Grand Lodge of England doth not interfere, they are appendages to a Lodge over which
the Grand Lodge has no control and of which it doth not take cognizance, and as regards the
application or misapplication of the Funds thereof the Grand Lodge will not interfere, and hence it
becomes necessary that they be distinct and separate from the Bye-Laws relating io the
Government and well being of the Craft.
You can retain your Bye-Laws relating to your Benevolent Fund and regulate them according to
the pleasure of your Lodge, but they form no part of the Bye-Laws of the Fraternity. Benevolent Funds
may be established in Lodges for the purpose of granting aid to Brethren in distress, but such Fund ceases
to be a Benevolent Fund when the Contributors thereto are expectant to receive the value of their
contributions in case they may require it, in sickness or infirmity and your Fund is to be exclusively
confined to the Contributors thereto.
I think you ought to throw open your Lodge to parties who may wish to be in our Fraternity
but who do not think it needful to become members of your Benefit Society and perhaps few if any would
object to become participatory thereof, but the option ought to be allowed and hence I would suggest
that your kth Law should provide that such members as do not think proper to become members of your
Benevolent Society should pay 1/- per month and make a separate Law that all members of your
Benevolent Association shall pay 1/6 per month.
With good wishes,
I am, my dear Sir and Brother, Yours
most truly,
The sound advice and recommendations contained in that most
interesting letter were duly acted upon, as there are evidences in the
Minute Book of Law No. 4 in its original form, and with the latter part
relating to Benevolence ruled out.
Until that line of demarcation was drawn, that is, during the
first 10 years, it would appear that the By-Laws and Contributions were
serving a dual purpose including Benevolence. One of the Resolutions
at the time of founding the Lodge, passed at the inaugural meeting at
The Rose and Crown on 14th November, 1845, read as follows :---
" T h a t t h e C o n t r i bu t i o n s o f t h e Lo d ge b e 2 / 6 p e r
m o n t h , sixpence to be received back by the member if
present, in r e f r e s h m e n t . T h e r e s i d u e t o b e
a p p r o p r i a t e d t o t h e general objects of masonry
including a Benevolent Fund."
In the revised Law No. 4 in 1855 the Contribution remained the
same, viz. 2/6 per month, and the sixpence return for refreshment, if
present, conti nued, but t he new Law provi ded for the residue to be
devoted to the objects of the Institution and to defraying the general
Some s eparat e and distinct provi sions were m ade at t he
Meeting in November, 1855, for benefits to be paid to members, during
the time they were unable to follow their ordinary profession or business
by sickness or bodily infirmity, subject to certain conditions which were
laid down.
It may be interesting to record that the Fees provided for in
the November, 1855, By-Laws were :—
f s. d.
Proposition 1 1 0
Initiation, Passing and Raising in-cluding
Grand Lodge Certificate and Register Fees
4 14 6
Proposition 1 1 0
For Joining 2 2 0
Those By-Laws served for close on 15 years, and they were again
revised on the 6th August, 1870.
Specimen Page of Manuscript By-Laws (1892).
After about 17-20 years there were repeated evidences of a
d e s i r e o n b e h a l f o f t h e B r e t h r e n t o i m p r o v e t h e B y - La w s . A
Committee set up in 1887 made a report, and in 1890 it was decided that
the By-Laws be revised, but all the formalities were not carried out until
later. In February, 1891, a final decision was reached on a matter
which had been raised several times from 1883 to 1891, for a revision of
the By-Law relating to "Tin-money"—the amount returned for
refreshments, and this was the end of that arrangement. The revision of
the By-Laws was approved in March, 1891, but when the copy was
submitted to Provincial Grand Lodge, they asked for t he production
of the Ori gi nal B y-Laws. Thes e previous By-Laws, instead of being in
a Book, had been framed and hung on the wall of the Lodge Room. This
was not only "against the wall," but against the Regulations; and, after
proper Minutes and confirmation, a Book was duly written up, and was
forwarded to the Provincial Grand Master on Gth January, 1893,
containing the By-Laws as re-drawn and passed at the Lodge on 4th
November, 1892.
The following is an extract from the Minutes of that Meeting:
"That the existing By-Laws of this Lodge be abrogated and the
proposed By-Laws as submitted to and approved by this Meeti ng
be adopt ed and t hat such adopted B y-Laws be writtten in a
suitable book to be provided for that purpose and after
confi rm ati on at a s ubs equent R egul ar Lodge Meeting
forwarded to the R. W. Provincial Grand Master for his
A suitable book was provided for that purpose. To say that the By-
Laws were suitably written therein would not be doing justice to a
wonderful piece of caligraphy. This will be appreciated when it is
pointed out that the Secretary at that time was Bro. John Lewis S ykes ,
promi nent Soli cit or i n t hi s Town; and t hi s wel l -bound book of
super-qualit y paper is spaced, written, engross ed and engraved as
only Lawyers can ; it is a joy to handle such a book, and a delight to
see such penmanship. The book was so planned and designed to leave
space for subsequent revision of the By-Laws, and will still last for many
ye ars, though one doubts whether any subsequent secretary will ever
emulate successfully the excellent example of the erudite of 1892.
There appears at the end of the 1892 By-Laws, and after each
recorded Alteration or Revision of the By-Laws, a Section for the
Signatures of the members, headed and ruled as follows :-
"We the undersigned being members of the Lodge of Truth No. 521 of Ancient Free and
Accepted Masons duly constituted under the Grand Lodge of England have hereunto subscribed
our names in token of our acceptance of the foregoing By-Laws which we individually and
collectively pledge ourselves to abide by support and maintain as in duty bound the same
having been approved in open Lodge sanctioned by the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand
Master of West Yorkshire and confirmed by the Most Worshipful Grand Master of England.
No. Name Residence Occupation Rank in
Date of Initiation
or Joining
Declaration and Acceptance Page of By-Laws.
Such a record with the names, addresses, occupation and date of
initiation or admission and the signatures (with a "miss" here and
there)—of every subscribing member living on 8th November, 1892, or
admitted since, is invaluable to any historian, and a priceless archive
of the Lodge.
It is of passing local interest to observe that this beautiful
record of the Secretary of 1892, when sent up to the Province for
certification, was countersigned by the Provincial Grand Registrar of that
year, who was another of Huddersfield's eminent lawyers, W. Bro. William
Ramsden (afterwards Sir William Ramsden) of The Lodge of Peace, No.
119; and again in 1918, when the book was once more submitted to the
Province for a Certificate approving certain alterations to the By-Laws,
the Certificate was countersigned by yet another Huddersfield lawyer
as Provincial Grand Registrar, this time W. Bro. A. W. Denton, of the
Lodge of Harmony, No. 275, (who incidentally was one of the
Sponsors into Freemasonry of the writer of this History) ; the
Deput y Provincial Grand Master who signed the Certificate was
none other but Huddersfield's own Sir William Pick Rayn or, whose
characteristic signature adds further Huddersfield adornment to this
beautiful book.
The By-Laws dated 1892 served the Lodge for well-nigh 50 years,
apart from some specific alterations to the amounts of Fees and
Subscriptions. Not until 1941 were the By-Laws again revised; this set,
the fifth, is now in use.
The following tabie shows the variations in Fees and Subscriptions
Initiation Joining
Fee. Fee. Subscription.
(including Proposition Fee).
2nd January, 1846, 4 14 6 2 2 0 2/6 a month.
20th November, 1855, 5 15 6 3 3 0 2/6 a month.
4th November, 1892, 10 10 0 5 5 0 3/- a month.
2nd August, 1918, 12 12 0 6 6 0 2 2 0 p.a.
7th November, 1919, 21 0 0 10 10 0 2 2 0 p.a.
6th July, 1934, 3 3 0 p.a.
5th September, 1941, 21 0 0 10 10 0 3 3 0 p.a.