The Origins of Freemasonry and

The stanhope lodge

by W Bro Stanley Tuckman PAGDC

The Stanhope Lodge - The early years

The Stanhope Lodge, was consecrated at the Thicket Hotel, Anerley, London SE2O on 17th July 1869. The Consecrating Officer was W.Bro. William Watson, Past Master of the Globe Lodge No.23. He was nominated to perform the ceremony by the M.W. the Grand Master the Earl of Zetland. The six petitioners for the formation of the Lodge were Bros. H.W. Lindus, W.P. Clifford, J. Kench, J. Hart, J.W. Luesam, and J.C. King. After completion of the ceremony W.Bro. Henry William Lindus was installed as the first Worshipful Master.  There is no record of any reason for the naming of the Lodge as ‘Stanhope’, but it is fairly certain that it was done with the approval of the noble house of Stanhope, as the Arms of that family were used as the Lodge crest for the first 54 years. In 1923 a letter was received from the then Earl of Stanhope saying that he was unable to permit his family Crest or Armorial Bearings to be used by the Lodge in the future, as he was unable to trace any connection between his family and the Stanhope Lodge. This necessitated a new badge for the Lodge which was designed by one of its Past Masters W.Bro. Charles Allpress Haines. He used as his inspiration an ingenious combination of the builders tripod or stand with an anchor. The latter symbol is to be found in early tracing boards as one of the ‘three graces’. Sometimes these were represented by three maidens, representing Faith, Hope and Charity, but in later versions the maidens were substituted by a Crucifix, an Anchor and a Chalice, hence the allusion towards Hope. On the night of the Consecration 4 Joining members and 9 Initiates were proposed. The Secretary W.Bro. John Hart, also acted as Senior Deacon, but a Treasurer was not appointed until three months later. Most of the business of the early meetings was taken up by Initiations and admitting Joining members. The minutes were rather badly written and were never signed on confirmation. In October 1869, three degrees were worked on the same evening, and it was during that meeting that it was agreed to form the Stanhope Lodge of Instruction. Following his first year as Master, W.Bro. Lindus became both Secretary and Treasurer,   and he retained the office of Secretary for a period of nine year’s. On 14th May 1872 a Resolution was passed to form the Stanhope Chapter No. 1269. The first ten years of the Lodge were somewhat turbulent with many initiations, exclusions and resignations. it was the practice in the early days for the lodge to call off and go to refreshment for a few hours, and then return to call on for the purpose of closing. It was quite common practice in those days to initiate three candidates in the same evening and on one occasion in December 1883, to initiate four. On 31st January 1880, Henry Lindus, the first Master and whilst still Secretary,  died. He was succeeded as Secretary by W.Bro. Henry Wood who then filled the office for seventeen years. A Secretary’s Jewel was presented to Bro.Wood in 1892  in recognition of his services to the Lodge and to commemorate his Investiture for the fourteenth time as Secretary. W.Bro. John Archer Smith was elected as Treasurer on 10th September 1889 and was re-elected to that office for the next 27 years. His service to the Lodge was later to be recognised by the Grand Master in 1908.

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