Past Minutes of the Stanhope Lodge

The stanhope lodge

The stanhope lodge in 1910 - 1929

Compiled and abbreviated by  W Bro Tudor Morgan SLGR

1910 and The Lodge was still meeting during the months of September (elections) October (Installation), November, February March and April. and the last meeting in 1909 on the 2nd November had nothing to do.  This was also the case for the February meeting where the question of removing the Lodge from the Surrey Masonic Hall in Camberwell was raised. This from what I can see was to move the Lodge to amore central position in the West End. The March meeting saw also a rehearsal for the 1st Degree. The future of the Lodge was under discussion and an entry in the minute book for the meeting held on 5th April states that " Owing to the Lodge having made little progress lately, the opinion has been expressed by several members that steps should be made to move". it seems that while a discussion had happened no one had looked for a new place so a few of the brethren were charged to make enquiries.

The September meeting was marked by the Lodge showing its sorrow and respect for the passing of His Late Most Gracious Majesty, King Edward VII with Black Rosettes and morning to last for 6 months from his death on the 9th May. Again the question of the Lodge moving was the only topic after the elections. However it seems a decision was made at a proposal and notice of Motion was made by the required number of members for the Lodge to move from Camberwell to the Hotel Cecil. This was to be discussed at the November meeting. This would also mean a one of charge of 5.00 which the members agreed to The accounts again showed wine to the tune of 16.18s.4d Membership stood at 44. W Bro Stanley Loftus was installed as Master on October 1910 by the Installing Master W Bro H Pryor. The motion to move to the hotel Cecil while on the agenda was not actually recorded as discussed as it was to come up at the next meeting. The November meeting took place on the 1st November 1910 and included a ballot and initiation of a Mr Thomas Henry Fleet an Engineer. The first initiate for over a year The motion to move the Lodge after much discussion was passed. The first meeting at the Cecil was to be the 2nd Tuesday in February 1911. The February meeting in 1911 was indeed at the Cecil Hotel and it seems the move had proved an immediate success with 2 candidates for initiation balloted for and initiated and the Passing of Bro Fleet. One of the candidates was the son of W Bro Childs a Past Master of the Lodge. The March meeting was also full with all three degree being performed. From languishing in the desert with respect to candidates another two had appeared so Bro Fleet was raised, Bros Scott and Childs passed and Mr.'s Libby and Martin were initiated. The meeting started at 5pm and the banquet was due to commence at 7pm. April 1911 was a quiet meeting starting at 5.30pm with only a passing and a Raising to perform. Dining again at 7pm but September 1911 again saw an initiation as well as a triple raising with the elections so a 5pm start was required. However the next meeting October 1911, which was the installation meeting started at the early hour of 4.30pm as apart from the Installation they also had a double initiation. The initiation was set to start at 4.30pm  and the installation  of W Bro H Drew at 5pm. Lodge membership had risen to 50 by then. The November meeting saw the sum of 10.10s.0d was placed on the masters list for the R.M.B.I. During the next two years 1912 and 1913 the sudden incoming of initiates slowed so that the Lodge had settled down into a pattern of one or two initiates, then seeing them initiated, passed and raised where possible at the following meetings so it took a year at most to be made a Master Mason. The Lodge was still putting suitable candidates forward for LR (LGR) and these candidates had been receiving them it seems without fail. with resignations and initiations running about equal the membership of the lodge remained around the 50 mark. It seems that the annual dues were still set at 3.3s.0p and meetings started about 5pm most times. the Numbers present ranged from the low twenties to mid thirties during this period with and averaged of 8 guests per meeting. October 1913 and W Bro Crome installed W Bro Thomas William Sloman into the chair. Bro Sloman was to be a founder member of our first Daughter Lodge Good Hope in 1926. During his time the Lodge kept moving forward and when he handed over the Lodge to W Bro Joeseph Withers the country in 1914, was at War.

At the Installation meeing in 1914, the Lodge  agreed  to donate to the Prince of Wales National Relief Fund. During the next years it was able to continue donating to the war effort as well as the R.M.B.I and took in over 10 new Masons. The dining fee was raised from 10/6 to 15/s while the dining fee for the installation was a massive 21/s . The summons for the first time shows that the Stanhope Lodge of Instruction Number 2 would meet at the "Essex Head" pub every Wedensday form 6.30pm. Perhaps that is why we have a letter from the Owner of the Fox & Hounds pub, Upper Richmond Road, Putney dated the 13th October 2015 stating that the Stanhope Lodge of Instruction does not meet there. He does say he has only been there for three years. So where the Stanhope Lodge of Instruction No 1 went to no one knows. I presume an enquiry had been made regarding any instruments etc that may have been left there. How this suddenly  happened is a mystery as one would presume they did have an LOI during the periods before. or then again perhaps not due to the War. In 1915  W Bro Archer Smith resigned as Treasurer after many years of faithful service. In October 2016Lodge membership was at 48  and remained as such for a few more years. The Lodge now instead of wine had 464 cigars at a total cost of 8.16s.4d The Lodge in 1917 had to move suddenly as the Hotel Cecil had been taken over by the War Office. They moved to the Princes Hotel, St James' in Piccadilly using a dispensation for a few meetings before voting to remain there. At this meeting we had a joining member from the Scottish Constitution as well as an Initiate.  In 1918 The Lodge agreed to purchased a 50 war bond. Initiates still came into the Lodge and at the September meeting in 1917  Cigars appeared. the amount allowed was 19/s. some 8 of cigars had gone up in smoke. This year 1918 saw an emergency meeting arranged for June 26th to Initiate 2nd Lieut Albert Frederick Trevor Huggins. This meeting was held at the "Cafe Monico" in Regents Street and was arranged no doubt as he was a serving officer and would be shortly posted abroad. This was followed on  July 30th by another emergency meeting this time back at the Princes Hotel, to Initiate 2nd Lieut Walter Percy Down again due to the war.  It seems that the "Cafe Monico" was a success as the Lodge proposed to move there. The accounts presented for the October meeting 1918 showed that cigars now stood at 6.5s.0d. Membership was now 56. At the November Meeting 1918, the proposition to move was withdrawn and the Lodge remained at the Princes Hotel. February 1918 saw a re-joining member Bro Fred Warren  and a passing and raising  conducted. and ay the nest meeting two more joiners and two initiates came in. Oh there was a passing as well. By the November 1919 Installation meeting Lodge membership had risen to 68 through joiners and initiates.

It can be seen that at this time the Lodge seemed to be again growing and in March 1920 there is on the summons a notice for the Initiation fee to rise to 15.`15s.0d this sum to include registration and Grand Lodge Certificate. The range of occupations for membership was wide and where now the term "Gentleman" had disappeared we see Head Masters, Custom Officers , Clerks, solicitors indeed from any walk in life. Membership in September 1920 was 77 and that meeting was for some reason suddenly moved to the Cannon Street Hotel. We then had the October meeting at the Hotel Cecil and indeed in November we returned full time to that venue. It is nice to also see how many family's are also involved with 6 sets of father and sons on the membership list. November 1920 saw some changes to our bye-laws as well to confirm the move and new charges and fees for Initiation. In October 1921 in recognition of his services to the Lodge W Bro J Arthur Smith, the first recipient of London Rank and a long time treasurer was conferred with Honorary Membership of the Lodge. At the November 1921 meeting, the issue of a Ladies festival and its cost came up with a motion for the Lodge or committee to discuss the costs and of ways to defray that cost for the Worshipful Master. This was by now with Lodge membership rising and the state of the economy of importance to sort out. Still there were members coming in and by the September meeting accounts it seems all the cigars had gone and we can see that by that September in 1922 we had 94 members. The summonses changed about then and on the October Summons we see mentioned the LOI had moved and that the Stanhope Chapter was now meeting at the Hotel Cecil as well. W Bro John Edwin Reed had been installed as Worshipful Master. A new  Secretary was also in place. from 1921 into 23 it was usual for all three degrees to be conducted due to the large intake of candidates. something that must have been a nightmare for the DC and Sec. For the Master it meant learning all three degree but he did not necessarily deliver all three at any one meeting. There were like today, members willing to assist.  In November 1922 at the installation an Illuminated Address was given to the departing Secretary W Bro Kestin in recognition of his service to the Lodge. These are now not seen but the Lodge does have a copy of what one looked like. In 1923 on the 29th May, an emergency meeting was held. The dispensation recorded the fact that not only was it an Emergency meeting but that at that meeting 4 candidates were to be initiated at the one time. The meeting also saw a double passing and a double Raising as well. To cap the year off in respect to dispensations, in July another emergency meeting had  two dispensations sought. These were first to Pass four candidates and the second to Raise four candidates all at the same meeting.. Luckily for them there was not also an Initiation. The September meeting saw again a double Raising, a double Passing and a double Initiation. From the records during the period Oct 1922 to October 1924 some 21 1st degrees, 22 2nd degrees and 26 3rd degrees  conferred over 12 regular and 4 emergency meetings including one held in Windsor. Just pleased I was not Secretary at that time. There were as well, joining members, who I have not included in the numbers but some 6 came in.  During this year, 1924 a motion was passed that the Lodge would Endeavour to qualify to be a Hall Stone Lodge by each member donating 10 guineas to the fund. The lodge continued to be charitable giving to many good caused such as the Freemasons' Hospital, Japan Relief Fund as well as donations to something called the South London Election Fund. Looking back, this seems to have been given something every year since 1902. What it is or was I have no idea. There was also a grant to a Widow of 5. W Bro Drew was made an Honorary Member in recognition of his long service as Treasurer. Cigars appear again on the accounts. for the next few years double degrees and double degree meetings were the norm. Donations continued to the R.M.B.I, the Hospital and the two Institutes for Girls and fore Boys. The Stanhope chapter had a constant place on the summons as well. An Emergency meeting was arranged to be held at Windsor again on the 6th June and the agenda states there would be a double raising and double passing. a further comments says ' For those who have previously booked the necessary accommodation, the journey to Windsor will be made by Charabanc and River Launch, and Dinner will be served on the Launch in the evening'  Must have been an interesting meeting. November 1925 saw a big change to our bye-laws wherein mention is made of a fee to the Organist if not a member. During this period of the 20's the Lodge had received a letter from the then Earls of Stanhope requesting we refrain from using their families coat of Arms on our stationary and PM jewels. We have no idea why we were using their Arms but presume that at our inception permission had been sought and obtained. We therefore had to refrain from using it and at the November meeting in 1926,  a motion was past to use a design by W Bro Haines was adopted by the Lodge and that the design had the approval of Grand Lodge. This was past. That design is the one used now by the Lodge. Only one of the original PMs jewels is now in the possession of the Lodge. Also at that meeting, was a motion passed that a new lodge be formed, a Daughter Lodge to be called 'Good Hope'. As an  example of the numbers at a meeting during this busy period, for this meeting, some 60 members and 45 visitors attended. The Lodge began to use the new Lodge Logo on its summonses  which practice has remained until this day. The Lodge was still at the Hotel Cecil and at the meeting held on the 9th of November the first record of our members being presented with the Mason Million Memorable Jewel was mentioned. These jewels were given out at each meeting for those who had donates 10 guineas to the fund to build the present Freemasons' Hall. Notice was given in the April Summons for those wishing to attend the laying of the Foundation Stone by the then MW Grand Master with details of the tickets available. Only those who had received the Jewel were permitted to attend. As was common practice for the Lodge, the surplus from main accounts was transferred to the Benevolent Fund as sum of 56. The Lodge was still conducting two or three degrees each meeting with evening dress being worn. In May 1928 there was again the trip to Windsor. This seemed to be a type of weekend away for the members and could have been used as a Ladies festival or even White Table type of meeting. The accounts over this period are quite interesting as they show such expenses apart fro dining and Grand Lodge fees costs for Waiters 5.10s.0d, Cigars 50 (again), Music 31 and for the Windsor trip 38.4s.0d. 1928 saw W Bro George Hobdell as Master.  By February 1929 some 62 members had received their MMM fund Jewel. The Lodge donated 50 to the widow of a Bro Tom Wood who had died suddenly and left her in  distressed circumstances. Towards the end of 1929, a notice was circulated by Grand Lodge warning of a Quasi-Masonic body called the Grand Lodge of Great Britian. At the October 1929 meeting W Bro George Crome was installed as Master.

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