Past Minutes of the Stanhope Lodge

The stanhope lodge in 1890 -1909

Compiled and abbreviated by  W Bro Tudor Morgan SLGR



1890 to 1909

The start of the 1890 saw W Bro Waller in the chair and the continued growth of the Lodge with some 27 candidates being initiated between 1890 and 1895. It seems that at this time the Lodge continued to complete all three degree in one meeting when required and the move to Surrey Masonic Centre, Camberwell New Road, seems to be going well. It was in 1890 that the Earl of Carnarvon the MW PProGM died and his passing was mourned with all decorum and the wearing of Black rosettes on the Aprons.

October 1892 saw the Lodge opened in the First degree and the minutes of the last meeting were read. The report of the Audit committee was taken, and the accounts received and adopted. A ballot for a  Mr Michael Vyne Trelraven an Architect was conducted which proved in his favour and as he was present (waiting outside no doubt) he was initiated there and then into the lodge. Bros Corke, Mills and Silber candidates to be passed to the 2nd degree being present were entrusted and retired.  The Lodge was opened in the 2nd degree. Bros Corke, Mills and Sibler re-entered and were passed to the degree of a fellowcraft. Bros Childs and Jarvis being present and candidates for Raising were entrusted and retired. The Lodge was opened in the 3rd Degree. At the request of the WM, W Bro Oldfield took the chair and Bros Childs and Jarvis were raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason. The Lodge was resumed in the Second. W Bro H Wood took the Chair and acting as Installing Master, obligated Bro S P Wilkinson the JW as Master Elect. The Lodge was opened in the 3rd Degree and all below the rank of installed Master retired. A Board of Installed masters was opened, and Bro Wilkinson was installed in the Chair of King Solomon according to ancient custom.  The BOIM was closed and the salutes given in the three degrees. The Lodge being resumed in each degree. The Addresses were given Officers appointed and invested. The WM and past Masters then proposed that a Secretaries Jewel be presented to Bro H Wood in recognition of his services to the Lodge over the 14 year period he had occupied that position. There was one resignation with a request that the Secretary write to the brother and ask for the fees for last year to be paid up first. A Certificate was given out to Bro A C Clout and a proposition for an initiate was received. The meeting ended and they all went off to dine. (Eds Note. this meeting started at 4.30pm and they were due to dine at 7pm). November 1892 saw the Lodges past Organist, Bro Seymour Smith, being given an Illuminated Address in Vellum, glazed and framed in solid Oak and an Organist Jewel specially designed for the occasion. Bro Smith explained his sorrow at the circumstances that had led to him having to resign from the Lodge thus terminating a connection of over twenty four years. Bro Smith thank all present and retired. (Eds Note, we have no record of what the address would have said but from the one given to Chas Ring later, we do have an idea of the format) A Ballot was taken for a Mr J E Bunkley who being in attendance was initiated in Freemasonry Bros Corke was raised to the sublime degree of a MM. They then presented Bro Wood with his Secretaries Jewel. A Candidate for initiation was read out. The accounts for 1893 show that a sum of £22. 2s 5d had been spent on wine and cigars and again at the October meeting they had three degree and an Installation. The Lodge continued its support for the RMBI and again donated Ten Guineas to that organization.  From the Records of 1884 it seems that around this time they had a Hon Sec. Not sure how or why that came about. In 1894 Bro Henry Wood went into the Chair for the Second time. and a Bro Sloman was the IG. Bro Sloman was later to be an instigator in the formation of one of our Daughter Lodges Good Hope. At the End of the year Bro Wood returned to his previous duties as Secretary so perhaps that was why there was a Hon Sec for just the one year. At that installation meeting 5 brethren were struck off for being 2 years in arrears of dues. 1895 saw three candidates balloted for at one meeting and it looks as if all three came in as well. 1895 also saw the first printed accounts and also a members list appears. This shows that W Bro Jas Ring was the sole surviving founder still attending the Lodge and there were 37 members who paid subscriptions totalling £155. 17s. 6d a membership fee per member of less than £5.00per head

In 1902/3 due to changes in the Licensing act, Lodges were required to be registered as a “CLUB”. This may have been due to how the festive boards were financed and run using a stock of wine and Cigars purchased by the Lodge and kept by the Lodge rather than have to pay the high prices charged by the proprietors of where they dined. Also, in that year Lodges were banned from publishing the proceedings of the Lodge in the Press. In October 1904 the Lodge met at the Surrey Masonic Hall, Camberwell New Road at 5pm precisely. They then Passed a Bro A Crome who had been initiated at the previous meeting, before the investiture as Master of Bro Thomas W Standivan the Senior Warden. It should be noted that at this time the working tools in each degree were presented during the installation. The investment of the Treasurer and Tyler plus the other officers of the Lodge then took place. They received a report from the Audit Committee before the Lodge was closed and they dined at 7pm.  A meeting of just two hours duration.100 years ago a proposition was put to the Lodge that Bro Alfred Beesley Campbell of the Selwyn Lodge 1901 be appointed as an Honorary Member and Organist of the Lodge. This was of course on the understanding that the Honorary part only continued while he was the Organist of the Lodge. At 5.30pm on Tuesday 11th September 1906, 34 members and guests saw the W M Josiah Withers passed his son Bro Joseph Withers to the degree of a FC. It seems that they also delivered the first-degree charge as well but to whom I am unsure. September in those days was the meeting when elections took place and at this meeting W Bro J Archer Smith our first member to receive LR (now LGR) was re-elected Treasurer and Bro John Ring elected WM. His father, W Bro Chas Ring a Founder was at the meeting a proud day for him no doubt. The fact that they elected the Treasurer first can be seen as an indication of the importance of that office. 5 Lodge members received their Grand Lodge Certificates. A proposition for an initiate was given for a Mr George Lankester aged 29 a Government Official living in Kingston. October in 1906 was the Installation meeting and this meeting would see Bro John Ring the son of   Bro Chas Ring a founder being installed as Master. The lodge was due to meet at 4.45pm punctually with the Installation due to start at 5.30p as on the Agenda they had a Passing, Bro George Lankester, and Raising, Bro Joseph Withers, as well.  65 members and visitors attended the meeting held at the Surrey Masonic Centre and from the minutes it seems they Opened in the 1st and got Bro Lankester to answer his questions. Then opened in the 2nd and got Bro Withers to do his. They then opened in the 3rd, and Raised Bro Withers, resumed in the 2nd to obligate the ME, back up to the 3rd and Board of Installed Masters, Installed the new Master and continued the installation, perambulations down to the 1st before resuming in the 2nd to Pass Bro Lankester then back down to the 1st to appoint officers have the addresses and reports before closing the meeting.  Nonstop action all the way.

April 1906 with The meeting was held at the Surrey Masonic Hall, Camberwell New Road on the 10th and was for a Ballot and Initiation . 20 members and 4 guests attended, and the meeting started at 5. 30pm.The Lodge was opened in all three degree and then resumed in the first for the initiation of Mr Joseph Withers aged 27 an Electro and Stereotyper living in Clapham. He had been proposed by the WM of the day W Bro Josiah Withers, perhaps his Father. There had been a previous meeting to this one in the March when 4 brethren were raised to the degree of a MM,  they had been initiated in November 1905, passed February 1906 , so it seems in those days there was no restriction on the number of candidates for any of the degrees at one time as there is now.  A Grand Lodge Certificate was presented to Bro G Sleigh. The annual Sub was £ 3. 3s. 0d.  The Lodge had 50 members at that time one of whom, W Bro Chas Ring was a founder. February 1907 was to be a double initiation, but one candidate could not make it. He was initiated at the next meeting in March when a passing was also completed 4 resignations over these two meetings. April 1907 saw a 2nd and third and the. The election meeting in September also had a 3rd. It was at this meeting that the byelaws were read something they did seem to do on occasion. October was the installation meeting and the accounts showed that the Lodge had wine etc on account to the value of £24.11s.1p. There also seemed to be a combined event held where members of the Lodge and Chapter got together for a social evening. W Bro George F Young was installed as WM

Feb 1908 was an initiation and a Grand Lodge certificate was presented and a proposition for a new member made who was balloted for an initiated at the next meeting in March. Interestingly, at the back of this minute book, there are many additions relating to the Lodge having a License. From the accounts we can see that the Lodge had a “stock” of wine, I also believe there may have been snuff and cigars somewhere as well, so we had to under the 1902 Licensing act, be Licensed as a club. April was a passing while September was the election meeting and again the bye laws were read. 1908 ended sadly with the death of the last surviving Founder of the Lodge W Bro Chas Ring. He had served the Lodge twice as Worshipful Master and his passing was felt by all in the Lodge. The Lodge had at this point 55 members.  1909 saw W Bro Albert Chisman in the chair. Lodge affaires again seemed up and down with resignations and membership dropped to 51. The Lodge also voted to pay towards the Funeral expenses of a Bro D B Jones a past member of the Lodge who did not have any immediate family. It was at the installation meeting that a motion was made that a "Charity Box" be presented to the Lodge which was done at a subsequent meeting. W Bro Henry Prior was now in the chair. There was still wine on the accounts listed as an asset to the amount of £13.9s.1p. It would be interesting to know just how many bottles that was.

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