On the cover 200 years of Rectitude
In March 1812, Luddites were attacking cotton mills in Lancashire; Lord Byron was paying court to Lady Caroline Lamb and British and Portugese troops under Wellington were besieging the Spanish town of Badajoz during the Peninsular War.
It was also around that the time that The Lodge of Rectitude was authorised under an assigned warrant.
On 30th March 2012 the Lodge cel- ebrated its bi-centenary and received the honour of sharing the auspicious day with the attendence of the Assistant Grand Master RW Bro David Williamson and the Provincial Grand Master RW Bro Francis Wakem. Many guests were in attendance including the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent W Bro David Blanchard, the Assistant Grand Secretary VW Bro Graham Redman and the Provincial Grand Master for Somerset, RW Bro Stuart Hadler.
Pickwick Corsham Box
The Lodge Bye-laws state ‘membership of the Lodge shall be limited to sixty in number and as far as practicable be recruited equally from Brethren whose Lodges meet in the Provinces of Wiltshire and Somerset.’ Another interesting tradition is that at the Installation in May, the new Master provides strawberries and cream at dinner – waistlines permitting!
Chronological History Early ‘Nomadic’ years - A Lodge was constituted at Norwich, in 1724, which met at the Maid’s Head Inn. Numbered 30 in 1729; 1736 met at the Three Tuns Inn. Renumbered 27 in 1740. 1745 met at the Angel Tavern. 1755 met again, at the Maid’s Head Inn, when renumbered 19; 1756 met again at the Angel Inn, adopting its name. 1758 returning to the Three Tuns Inn, adopting its name; 1762 met at the Thatched House Inn, adopting its name; 1778 met at the White Swan Inn, adopting its name. Renumbered 17 in 1780 and again renumbered 16 in 1792. This Lodge was erased 10 February 1809.
Later ‘Nomadic’ years - The Lodge of Rectitude was authorised, under the assigned Warrant of Lodge number 16, dated 12th February 1812, meeting at the Crown Inn, Westbury, as number 632. 1814 was renumbered 639. 1817 met at the King’s Arms, Melksham. 1822 met at the New Crown Inn, Melksham. 1825 met at the Bear Inn, Melksham. May 1827, met in members home when it resolved to return to the King’s Arms Inn, Melksham for the June 1827 meeting. 1829 met at the Queen’s Head Inn, Box.
The Brethren received a most informative presentation of the Lodge history from the Lodge Chaplin, W Bro Maurice Palfrey and an Oration from the Grand Chaplin, VW Bro Dr John Railton.
The Provincial Grand Master for Wiltshire, Francis Wakem made reference to the Founders when he said “The Founders of this Lodge could not in their wildest imaginings have thought that 200 years later not only would the Lodge have survived but that just short of 200 brethren would join together to celebrate this wonderful anniversary” – he went on to say “Freemasonry has thrived for centuries because it adapts while
staying true to its principles” Melksham
“The Lodge of Rectitude is a small Lodge, but it has a big heart, which beats strongly through the tenacity and interest of like minded men, uniting to maintain and uphold those three great but simple ideals – Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth or to use the words I prefer, which accurately describe what we are all about – Live Well, Laugh Often and Love Much or to be explicit - respecting everyone, looking after others and being honest.”
The Worshipful Master, WBro K R S Surry PPr JGW presented a cheque to the Provincial Grand Master for Wiltshire, RW Bro F Wakem QPM for £1500 towards the 2017 Festival.
1832 met at the Bear Inn, Box, when renumbered 420; June 1839 met at the King’s Head, Monkton Farley; returning to the Queen’s Head Inn, Box, in May 1856. August 1859, held emergency meeting at Chippenham, when it was recommended that the Lodge meet at the Methuen Arms (Hotel), Cor- sham.
The Lodge has met at the Methuen Arms Hotel, Corsham, continuously since May 1860. Was fi nally renumbered 335 in 1863.
The ‘Settled’ years
The Lodge celebrated its Centenary in 1912, meeting at ‘Methuen Hall, Corsham’.
1931 and again in 1932, by dispensation, held the Installation meetings, at the Town hall, Corsham. May 1935, by dispensation, for the election meeting, met at the Northy Arms, Box. June 1935, by dispensation, the Installation meeting was held, at The Picture Gallery, Corsham Court, by the ‘kindness of Lord Methuen’, dining in a marquee erected on his lawn. July 1977, an emergency meeting was held at the Masonic Hall, Pickwick, to determine continuing meeting at the Methuen Arms, the outcome of which was to remain there, and ‘to explore the situation in increasing the comfort in Masonic and other senses at the Methuen Arms’. The Installation meet- ing in 1991 was held at the Masonic Hall, Pickwick; then, again during 2010 whilst the Methuen Arms Hotel was being refurbished.
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