Past Minutes of the Stanhope Lodge

The stanhope lodge 1869 to 1889

Compiled and abbreviated by  W Bro Tudor Morgan SLGR

Summary of the Minutes between 1869 and 1889

July 17th 1869 saw the consecration and first business meeting for the Stanhope Lodge 1269. After the consecration ceremony conducted by W.Bro. William Watson, Past Master of the Globe Lodge No.23. who had been nominated to perform the ceremony by the M.W. the Grand Master the Earl of Zetland, W.Bro. Henry William Lindus was installed as the first Worshipful Master and the business of the Lodge began. There were 7 candidates for initiation read out consisting of 4 Gentlemen, a Draper, 2 wine merchants and a confectioner. There were also 6 joining members proposed as well.

The next meeting of the Lodge was an emergency meeting held just 10 days after the consecration on the 27th July where the joining member and the initiates read out at the first meeting were  balloted for and from what I can gather from the minutes 2 were initiated at the meeting. In the first year of the Lodge, 9 meetings were held of which 3 were emergency meetings. No wonder, as during that first year they initiated some 13 candidates and one must remember that in those days candidates were initiated, passed and raised at 3 consecutive meetings. During the first year, the fees for initiation also went up from 3.3s.0d to 5.5s.0d a massive rise in those days yet this seems not to have reduced the flow of candidates. The next year 1870 shows 4 new initiate while this shot up in 1871 to 11 again. Membership then settles down so that for the years between 1969 and 1889 109 new initiates came into the Stanhope Lodge an average of 5.5 per year. This slow down in the influx of new members removed the first two years need for emergency meetings one of which was held in the Month of August. 

In 1872 came the next big event for the Lodge. At the meeting held on the 14th May 1872, the WM rose and said that Pursuant to a motion given at the previous meeting that ' A Chapter be formed in connection with this Lodge  to be also called the Stanhope Chapter' This motion was dully passed and carried by the Brethren. The Stanhope Chapter is still in existence and its connection with the Lodge remains and there is a page which will be dedicated to its work on this web site.After a few years the need for emergency meetings died down and the business of the Lodge became much as it is now with initiations, passing's, raisings, Installation meetings, resignations. Not much different to what we se now. There is however still this one difference in that it was the norm for a candidate to be initiated, passed and raised at consecutive meetings. This led to one of the first initiates proposed at the consecration meeting becoming Worshipful master in 1874 just 5 years after he joined the lodge. His installation in the October of 1874 was as it is for all Lodges a milestone and while it was a quick passage for him, it seems many of his fellow initiates in the first year or did go on to the chair. The next initiate to become Master, number 16, was Henry Wood who was installed in 1875. 1877 saw a motion put to the Lodge that 'The Lodge request that the MWGM sanction the move of the Lodge to London to meet at the Curzon Hotel London'. This motion was passed by all members. This move however did not take place for what reason I cannot ascertain but the Lodge did move from Annerely to the Surrey Masonic Hall in Camberwell the motion being moved and passed after agreement had been given by the MWGM on may 16 1881 with the first meeting being held there on the 13th September 1881.

1879 saw the election and installation  of W Bro J Chas Ring a founder member as Master for the second time. This was due to the resignation of Bro Chesterton the SW. 1880 saw the passing to the Grand lodge above of our first Master W Bro Lindus who was at the time the Secretary of the Lodge He Passed to the Grand Lodge Above on the 31st January 1880 after what seems to have been a sudden illness. W Bro Lindus apart from being the first Master, had also served the Lodge as Treasurer as well as Secretary and as was noted in the minutes he would be very much missed by all. Letters of condolence had been received from other Lodges which were read out. 1880 saw the proposal for a Summer Banquet. As taken from the minutes - 'The WM J C Ring announced that he would be very pleased to make arrangements for a Summer Banquet and Ladies Festival to be held in July. He stated he would contribute 5 guineas  towards general expenses if the Lodge would grant a sum of 15 guineas for the same purpose' Two Brethren then proposed that ' conditionally upon the summer banquet taking place, the sum of 15 guineas be granted from Lodge funds and that the banquet in September be dispensed with in favor of the Summer Banquet'.  This motion was passed. 1880 seems to have been a busy year for new ideas as at the September meeting there was a proposition that the byelaws be amended so that 'any member permanently residing 15 miles from the place of the meeting, may be elected a country member, upon a proposition being made on his behalf, duly seconded and carried, and shall pay an annual fee of One Guinea only, in advance, at the March Meeting in every year after such election.; a Country Member attending any of the Banquets shall pay his proportion of the costs of the same'. This was carried unanimously.   At the election meeting that year there were it seems 3 candidates for WM. Bro Woodhams the SW, Bro Kingston JW and Bro Wood the Treasurer. Bro Woodham and Bro Kingston each recieved 4 votes and Bro Wood 3 votes. However as Bro Woodhams the SW was not present and it seems not yet given his consent re being elected, the WM decided to delay the actual result until later in the meeting to give the SW time to arrive. The Lodge was called Off and efforts made to contact Bro Woodhams which it seems failed. The Lodge was called back on and the WM then gave his casting vote for the J W Bro Kingston who was installed as Master on the 12th October 1880. Bro Woodhams resigned on the 12th April 1881.

The September meeting of 1881 mentions that as the lodge was moving to the Surrey Masonic Centre in Camberwell, much of the furniture of the Lodge was now not needed. The Secretary informed members that he had been in communication with the Penge Lodge 1815 with a view to dispensing towards them some of this unwanted furniture for a modest fee. This was approved by the members. While uncertain of what actually was sold. it seems that we were at that time in possession of, 3 Pedestals and Dias and sounding blocks and 3 Chairs, a 3rd degree sheet with Lantern?, 2 Deacons Wands with Silver emblems, 3 Mahogany candlesticks, 2 Wardens columns with globes, and many other items. During the next few years the Lodge settled down at Camberwell and continued to grow although still with a few resignations and unfortunate exclusions. 1882 sees the first time a book of constitutions and copy of the By-Laws being given to candidates on their initiation and that the WM should also receive the same on his installation to the Chair. Mention of the given out in Lodge of the Certificate appear and as the 1880's come to its close mention of the SW being endowed with a grant of 10 guineas for his being a Steward for the RMBI appear for the first time. The next 2 years sees each new SW of the Lodge take on the role of Steward for one of the Masonic Charities and that the Lodge vote a sum towards his List  for the next year 1883 its the Masonic Institution for Girls and later the Royal Masonic Institute for Aged Freemasons. 1885 saw a motion to form a Benevolent Fund defeated by2 votes to 6. 1887 A proposition from the W M GM regarding a Masonic celebration for the Queens Jubilee was discussed and at the election meeting. Bro Wicks the JW received 13 votes while the SW Bro de Fruis received 4 Votes. Bro Wicks was installed as Master at the next meeting . One very important proposition was made during the 80s and that was for the formation of a Stanhope Lodge of Instruction which was passed by all the members on the 12th November 1889

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