Devonshire Provincial Mark Lodge


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Part 1

History

THOMAS DUNCKERLEY

Mary Dunckerley gave birth to Thomas on 23 October 1724. Mary’s husband was absent from the marital home on a mission for the Duke of Devonshire from November, 1723 to the following May, during this period she met on five occasions with The Prince of Wales (later King George II). On Mary’s death bed she confessed to a neighbour that King was the father of her son, unfortunately Thomas did not learn of this, until after the Kings death. Papers in the Royal Archives at Windsor Castle show that Dunckerley received a pension from King George III of £200 per year until 1782, which was paid from a private account in quarterly instalments of £50. In 1782 the Civil List was introduced and curtailed the King’s expenditure and Dunckerley’s pension was halved to £100, which was paid bythe Prince of Wales (later King George IV).

At the tender age of 10 he ran way from school and joined the Royal Navy where he served as a Gunner and Teacher until his retirement in May 1767. While on leave in Plymouth in January, 1754 Dunckerley visited Portsmouth and was Initiated, Passed and Raised into The Three Tuns Lodge. On returning to Plymouth he joined the Pope’s Head Tavern Lodge No 203, in Looe Street and the Masons Arms Tavern Lodge No 129 which met at Pembroke Street, Plymouth Dock (now Devonport).

In 1755 the First Plymouth Division of the Royal Marines was being formed. Many of the Officers and N.C.O.s were known to Dunckerley as Freemasons and he induced them to apply for a Warrant to form a new Lodge which would be called “The Marine Lodge” it was opened in January 1759. It has successively held the numbers 195, 159, 160,140,170 and 122 before receiving its present number of 105 in 1863 and the name changed in 1780 to Fortitude.

In 1769 Dunckerley was again in Portsmouth and the minutes of the first meeting of the Royal Arch Chapter of Friendship record that Dunckerly was present and “having lately received his Mark, he made the brethren Mark Masons and Mark Masters. It is not known how or where Thomas Dunckerley "received the Mark". He became Grand Masterof, Hampshire 1767, Isle of Wight 1772, Essex 1776, Dorset, 1777, Wiltshire 1777, Gloucestershire 1784, Somerset 1784, City and County of Bristol 1786, Herefordshire 1790 and in 1794 he was made the Grand Commander of the Royal Ark Mariners. It is not surprising that the Mark ceremony became more popular in the South West. The concepts of the Mason's Mark, the entitlement to a Mason's wages, the method of approving and disapproving a Mason's work, and the importance of the keystone within the arch developed from this time. The question is did Dunckerly introduce the Mark degree to Plymouth? The most likely answer is that he was made a Mark Mason in Plymouth. It has been claimed that Duunckerly was responsible for writing one of the Mark rituals used in Devonshire long before the creation of the Mark Grand Lodge

DEVON IN PRE-GRAND LODGE DAYS


Why was Devonshire chosen as one of the first eight Mark Provinces? The obvious, and probably the correct answer is that Mark Degree had been operated for many years locally, first under the aegis of Craft Lodges and Royal Arch Chapters, and then as groups after the union of the two rival Craft factions, the Antients (or Athols)‘and the Moderns, into the present United Grand Lodge.

Friendship Lodge of Mark Masters No. 16 (Time Immemorial) which meet at St Budeaux, Plymouth has minute books which record their meetings as an Independent Mark body from the 31 March, 1817. They were, therefore, operating at least 40 years before the creation of Mark Grand Lodge. From March 1817 and their Warrant of Conformation October, 1862. The minute books record no less than 209 brethren were advanced to the Degree of Mark Master Mason. Certificates were issued by the Lodge to the members from 11 July, 1822 and signed by the Lodge Overseers. The proceedings of the Lodge were recorded and its affairs administered efficiency and the brethren certainly kept the torch of Mark Masonry alight in the uncertain period between the union of the two Craft Grand Lodges and the setting up of Mark Grand Lodge.

The candidates they advanced, or as they termed it “promoted” not confined to Friendship Craft Lodge. They came from, among others, the Craft Lodges of Bedford (Tavistock), Brunswick, Fortitude and Sincerity.

The discovery of “The Sidmouth Stone” proves that the Craft Lodge of Perseverance No. 164, now at Sidmouth but then at Plymouth, had worked a form of Mark Degree from 1813 or before. The letters A and L on the stone most likely stood for Antients Lodges

A minute book dating from September, 1862, belonging to St. John Mark Lodge No. 50 gives a list of members preceded by the dates of their advancements. These include: 1825, John Brewer, 1836, Jenkin Thomas; 1833, Francis Peter Holmes, 1854, Batten Gayer and 1856 John Du Pre.

John Brewer was Worshipful Master of Fidelity Craft Lodge in 1822, joined St. John Craft Lodge No 83 (now No. 70) when it moved from Exeter to Plymouth in 1828, and was its secretary for 40 years. Both these Craft Lodges were Warranted by the Antients or Athols Grand Lodge which suggests that’ the Mark was extensively practiced under their banners. Brewer was a very keen Mark Mason; he was probably the first secretary of St. John Mark Lodge.

THE FIRST PROVINCIAL GRAND MASTER


On the 23rd June 1856 the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons of England and Wales and its Districts and Lodges Overseas were formed. The first Grand Master was the Right Worshipful Brother Lord Leigh of Stoneleigh in Warwickshire. 12 months later the Grand Lodge had constituted six new Mark Lodges, and these included, Fortescue No. 9, (South Molton) on the 18th, June, 1857, and St. George No. 15, (Exeter) on the 15th. October, 1857.

It was this prevision which led Lord Leigh to announce in the June of 1857, only a year after the establishment of Grand Lodge, that he proposed constituting eight provinces to aid administration and control over lodges, among these was the Province of Devonshire. While the other seven original Provinces were Hampshire and Berkshire, Wiltshire, Kent, Surrey, South Wales, South Australia and China, have changed their geographical areas and titles, the Province of’ Devonshire remains unaltered and is now recognised by Grand Lodge and Provinces and Districts throughout the world as the premier Province.

The Grand Master realised that the success of the Mark degree would depend on its leaders and there is no doubt that it was only after careful thought that he invited the Rev. John Huyshe to become the first Provincial Grand Master of Mark Masons of Devonshire. If ever a man was handpicked it was Brother Huyshe, M.A., J.P., F.R.HDSO, F.Z.A, etc, the Rector of a small and relatively unknown country parish of Clyst Hydon. He was a great scholar, with an Oxford University First in Mathematics, the author of a treatise on logic, but perhaps most important of’ all, an established Freemason and a popular and beloved figure in Devonshire Masonic circles.

He had been initiated into Apollo University Lodge No. 711, at Oxford in 1822 when aged 22. Since that time he had served as Worshipful Master of’ St. John the Baptist Lodge No, 39, in Exeter and had become a subscribing member of five other lodges, The Royal Somerset House and Inverness No. 4, London, where he probably met Lord Leigh; St.George No. 112, Exeter; Fidelity No. 230 Devonport, Union No. 444 and Semper Fidelis No. 1254, Exeter.

October, 13 1857, he was advanced into Fortescue Mark Lodge No. 9, at their second meeting. Two months later the Grand Master granted his Patent of Appointment as the Provincial Grand Master of Devonshire, R.W. Bro. John Huyshe continued as Provincial Grand Master until 1873, seven years before his death. With this office he combined those of Provincial Grand Master of the Craft from 1866 and of Grand Superintendent of the Royal Arch from 1859.

THE SIDMOUTH STONE” MYSTERY


The discovery of “he Sidmouth Stone” was one of the most mystifying yet exciting Mark finds ever made in the Province, for although it left the experts baffled, it helps to establish that the Mark Degree, in one form or another, was practised in Devonshire before the formation of’ Mark Grand Lodge. Although the Stone is permanently on view on the South wall of the Lodge room which is shared at Sidmouth Masonic Hall by Perseverance Mark Lodge No 822 and the Craft Lodge No 164 it is often overlooked by visitors

The lettering on the Stone makes it of definite Mark significance but because of it: age it obviously; has had no connection with
Perseverance Mark Lodge which was not consecrated until 1926

The bulk of the Stone: is painted a stone colour and appears to have been cut out of a slab of’ Portland or some other similar stone. It is rectangular in shape, 10 inches by ‘10 inches square and two inches in greatest thickness, with the design arrange as a diamond.. The bulk of’ the slab is 1¾ inches in thickness and the additional thickness of the Circle and Volume of the Sacred Law, which are raised in relief, is another ¼ inch. The Circle is 9¾ inches in outside diameter and 1½ inches in width. The Circle is painted blue and on the Circle are incised the letters H.T.W.S.S.T.K.S. in capitals an inch in height and gilded. Midway between each letter is an incised and gilded full stop a quarter inch in diameter.

In the centre of the Circle is a representation of the Volume of the Sacred Law in relief and lying open.The edges of the leaves are gilded. Placed on the face of the Book are the Square and Compasses, also gilded, and indicating the Fellow Craft Degree.

Between the V.S.L. and the Circle are the letters A: and L and No 268 all incised and gilded. A vital clue to the Origin of the Stone is the “268”, that being the number allocated to Perseverance Craft Lodge in 1814 when the Lodge met at Stonehouse, Plymouth. As the Lodge was again re-numbered in 1832 to 190 before receiving its present number of 164, it suggests that the Stone was made and used sometime in the 18 years up to 1832.

During the period from 1814 Perseverance Craft Lodge operated successively at four inns in Stonehouse and Devonport, then the York Hotel, Manchester Street, Exmouth the New Commercial Inn, Sidmouth, the London Hotel, Fore Street, Sidmouth and then at its final resting place, the Masonic Hall in the High Street. The Stone must have been taken from place to place and from one end of the Province to the other, and carefully packed and looked, after for it is in excellent condition.

Bro.Richard Pasamore, of Perseverance Craft Lodge found it at an oddments sale of furniture belonging to a Mr Samuel Chick of Sidmouth in 1383. Although not a Freemason, Mr Chick was an archaeologist and perhaps this accounted for his possession of the Stone. Not realizing its true significance, Brother Passmore left stone in his workshop for some years and then took it to the newly erected Sidmouth Masonic Hall in 1890 where it rested on a shelf outside the Lodge room for almost 40 years.

It eventually aroused the interest of BroJ.H.R. Wotton, who was Worshipfu1 Master of the Mark Lodge in 1935 and also Secretary of the Craft Lodge, and his inquiries revealed the following details.

Before the formation of the United Grand Lodge (Craft) in 1813 Perseverance was aligned with the Antient (Athol) Mason s who favoured the practise of subsidiary Degrees such as the Mark and Royal Ark Mariner Degrees in their Lodges. The diamond shape of the Stone was the cause for much speculation being so different from the “curiously wrought” keystone of our present ceremonies. It could not, therefore, have served the same purpose.

W.Bro. T.H. Andrew who became the Deputy Provincial Grand Master in 1927, was inclined to the opinion that the Stone may have represented “the Stone which the builders rejected, possessing merits to them unknown, which ultimately became the HEADSTONE of the Corner, or, as it is designated on the old Tracing Boards the Caput Anguli”

SOME FAMOUS DEVON MASONS


William James Hughan was one of the first initiates, in St. Aubyn Craft Lodge No. 954 on14th July, 1863 and was Advanced at the first regular meeting of St. Aubyn Mark Lodge No. 64 on the 26th October 1863. He was then 22 years of age, and for the next 48 years pursued a course of Masonic research for which he had no predecessors and in which he has never been surpassed.

In the August of 1864 he went to live in Truro and joined two Craft lodges: Phoenix Lodge of Honour and Prudence No 331 and Fortitude No 131 and was twice Master of the latter.

Mark Masonry in the Province of Cornwall owes its thriving strength to the foundations laid by Hughan. One of his first steps on arriving in Truro was to persuade W. Bro. Thomas Chirgwin the Craft Provincial Junior Warden, to be advanced. The ceremony took place in St. Aubyn Mark Lodge at Devonport on the 27th. March, 1865. Hughan had taken his clearance the previous September, but Chirgwin was proposed by J.R.H. Spry and seconded by P.B. Clemens, two of the Lodge’s founders, Hughan did not attend.

A few weeks later Hughan and Chirgwin petitioned Mark Grand Lodge and were granted on the 4 May, 1865, a Warrant to form a Mark Lodge named after the Craft Lodge of Fortitude. Hughan was the first Master, Chirgwin the Senior Warden, Bro. Elliott, Junior Warden and Bro. Willyams, Master Overseer. In addition to these four founders 11 Brethren of St Aybyn Lodge made the journey from Devonport to Truro for the first meeting on the 18 May, 1865, when W. Bro. Samuel Chapple Installed Hughan into the Masters chair. By the time W. Bro. Hughan had completed his term as Master in May, 1866; he had advanced 70 candidates and was instrumental in the creation of Mark Lodges at Hayle and Falmouth. After the formation of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Cornwall in 1867, he was appointed the first Provincial Grand Secretary and in this capacity did much to establish lasting fraternal relationship between Devon and Cornwall.

Thomas Chirgwin served as Deputy Provincial Grand Master of Cornwall from1879 to 1894 and Bro. Willyams was the grandfather of Colonel E.N. Willyams who was the Provincial Grand Master of Cornwall from 1938 to 1956

W. Bro. Samuel Chapple who Installed Hughan was an accountant by profession and lived in Kepple Terrace, Stoke, Plymouth, being advanced into Friendship Independent Mark Lodge in February, 1856. He was the first Master of St Aubyn Lodge No 64, and the founder Senior Warden of Brunswick Mark Lodge No 48, also an active member of Charity Mark No 76. Eventually being appointed Provincial Grand Registrar and Director of Ceremonies of Devonshire and in 1862; he served as the Director of Ceremonies in Mark Grand Lodge.

W. Bro. John Lane was born at Torquay in 1843 and was initiated in Jordan Craft Lodge No 1402, (Torquay) in September 1878 and was Worshipful Master 3 years later. He was advanced into Devon Mark Lodge No 215 (Newton Abbot) on the 14 March 1881; but never occupied the chair of that Lodge he was invested as Master Overseer in March, 1883, being an enthusiastic Mark Mason he became a founder and the first Worshipful Master of Jordan No 319 Mark Lodge (Torquay) and on vacating the chair, became the Secretary. W. Bro. Lane was the Provincial Grand Master Overseer in 1884 and the Senior Warden in 1894. His first Grand rank was Grand Steward and subsequent promotions were to Past Grand Senior Overseer and not long before his death in December 1899 to Past Grand Senior Warden. John Lane was Elevated to the Royal Ark Mariner Degree in Sincerity Lodge No 34, Plymouth, in 1880 and eight years later he became a founder and the first Worshipful Commander of Jordan Lodge No 319, subsequently serving as Scribe for many years.


W.Bro. John Olver, who with Brother’s J. S, Sanders and W. Harris, founded Devon Mark Lodge No 215 (Newton Abbot) in 1878; and assisted with Consecration of Benevolent Lodge No 316 at Teignmouth. He was extremely active in the Mark Degree up until his death in 1917.

W.Bro. Bruce Oliver Past Grand Overseer was another prominent Mark Mason from Devonshire,. He was Worshipful Master of Fortescue Mark No 9 in 1950 and his Masonic research brought him the great distinction of being selected as a Prestonian Lecturer. His paper was entitled “The Freemason’s Education”. An Architect and surveyor by profession, he was Mayor of Barnstaple in 1931; the Freedom of the Borough was conferred on him in 1973; shortly before his death in July 1976; at the age of 93.


THE SECOND PROVINCIAL GRAND MASTER

By the end of 1872, 15 years after the formation of the Province, Mark Masonry was expanding Fourteen Lodges had been warranted and it was probably the burden of work and travelling this involved, together with his commitments as Provincial Grand Master in the Craft, with its 42 Lodges, and as the Provincial head of the seven Royal Arch Chapters, which made the R.W. Bro. the RevJohn Huyshe decide to retire as the Provincial Grand Master of the Mark. He was also 72 years of age and his health was declining.

There were, at this time, 156 active Lodges under the control of Mark Grand Lodge, including the following in Devon; Fortescue No 9, St. George No 15, Friendship No 16, Russell No 23, Sincerity No 35, the original Pleiades No 26, Brunswick No 48, St. John No50, St Aubyn No 64, Fortitude No 66, Charity No 76, Huyshe No 91, Metham No96 and Hawton No 100.

Pleiades Lodge was at Totnes where a Mark Lodge had been War ranted in 1859, but soon afterwards the Warrant, furniture and other property were destroyed by fire and the Lodge ceased to meet. In 1867 application was made, and on the recommendation of the Provincial Grand Master, a Warrant was issued to replace the one destroyed.After a number of years this Lodge ceased to function and it was not until June, 1918, that the present Pleiades Lodge No. 675 was consecrated at the Provincial Grand Lodge held at Newton Abbot.

Permission was granted in 1891 for the name of Huyshe Lodge to be changed to its present Fidelity-Huyshe.

On the 1st. January, 1873, the Grand Master, the Rev, Canon G, R. Portal, appointed Colonel John Tanner Davy as the Provincial Grand Master. At this particular time he was again the Worshipful Master of Fortescue Lodge, having occupied the Chair in 1861-64.

The death R. W. Bro. Colonel J.T. Davy on 19 April 1887 came as a great shock to the 455 members of the 17 Lodges in the Province. His grave can be found Rose Ash Church cemetery and is surrounded by low decorative iron railings has a granite cross on a treble plinth and a cross of’ ever green box. R. W.Bro.Tanner Davy was 67 years of’ age.

Within the church on the North wall there is a mounted brass tablet bears this inscription:


In Fraternal Memory of John Tanner Davy, JP (Lieut. Col, First Devon Militia).
Fourteen years Provincial Grand Mark Master Mason of’ Devonshire
Who was called to rest 19 April, A.D.1887 A.L. 5887.
A tribute of sincere respect and affectionate esteem erected by the
Mark Master Masons of Devonshire.
To him that overcometh will I give a white stone and in this stone a new name written which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth.
Rev.XI 17

Upon this tablet is a white marble keystone bearing the mark Arrow pointing towards Heaven.


After the death of’ the R.W. Brother Tanner Davy the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, the V.W. Bro. Charles Spence Bate, took charge until his death in July, 1889. He had extensive Mark experience, having been advanced in Friendship Lodge under the old working and although he was active in Sincerity Mark Lodge No 35, he retained affection for No. 16.

His death meant that when Provincial Grand Lodge met at the Bedford Hotel, Tavistock, on the 23rd. October, 1889, under the banner of Russell Lodge, Na. 23, the two most important offices were vacant.

In accordance with the Book of Constitutions the senior Provincial officer, the V.W. Bro the Rev. Dr. W.W. Lemon, Provincial Grand Senior Warden, also of Sincerity Lodge, succeeded as temporary ruler and filled the office for some months. He had as his Deputy the V.W. Bro. John Lane, of Jordan Lodge No. 319.

Dr. Lemon’s enthusiasm for Freemasonry took him through several Degrees to the 31st. In the Mark he became Grand Chaplain and was the Chaplain of several Devon Lodges including Sincerity, St. Aubyn and Metham and also of Provincial Grand Lodge. He was fond of’ the sea and boating and many of his letters were addressed from a Plymouth yachting club.

The most important item on the agenda of the Provincial Grand Lodge held at Tavistock in 1839 was: “To recommend a brother or brethren to the M.W. Grand Master for the office of Provincial Grand Master of Devonshire”,

The name of W. Bro. George Sidney Strode Lowe, the Provincial Grand Master Overseer, was submitted. The Grand Secretary acknowledged receipt of the letter recommending him, but for a reason not revealed he was not appointed. It could have been due to his age, he was just 28, or to the fact that he had been advanced only five years.

THE THIRD AND FOURTH PROVINCIAL GRAND MASTERS


The next meeting was held at the Rougemont Hotel, Exeter, on the 28th. May, 1890 and Sir Henry Stafford Northcote, G.C.I.E., C.B. (in 1900 he became Lord Northcote) was installed and he appointed W. Bro. Strode Lowe as the Deputy Provincial Grand Master.

After the V.W.Bro the Rev. Dr. Lemon opened the meeting he was informed that the R.W Bro. the Earl of Euston, P.G.W, President of the Board of General Purposes of Grand Mark Lodge, requested admission.

The Earl, who was accompanied by W. Bro. F. Richardson, Grand Registrar; R.W. Bro, C.F. Matier, P.G.W, Grand Secretary; W. Bro. Henry Stocker, Grand Junior Deacon (the Provincial: Grand Secretary and a member of St. George No. 15) and the V.W. Bro. Robert Berridge, P.G.M.O the Grand Director of Ceremonies, were received by a deputation and saluted.

The Earl, as the Installing Master, assumed the throne and was informed that the Worshipful Provincial Grand Master designate was in attendance and requested to be installed.

The Provincial Grand Master designate was introduced in due form. The Patent of Appointment (Appendix B) issued by the Most Worshipful the Grand Master (H.R.H. the Prince of Wales who in 1901 became King Edward VII was :read by the Provincial Grand Secretary and Sir Henry was inducted and installed and duly saluted as the Provincial Grand Master of Devonshire.

The Provincial Grand Master said that as W. Bro. Strode Lowe was unavoidably absent he would be invested and inducted at a special meeting.

This meeting was held on the 7th. November, 1890, under the banner of Temple (now St. John) Lodge No.50, of which W. Brother Strode Lowe was a member.

He was proclaimed and heartily greeted by the brethren. He was destined to serve as the Deputy Provincial Grand Master until 1904 when he succeeded Lord Northcote and served the Province untiringly until he retired for health reasons in 1943

Born in Exeter Lord Northcote was a Master of Arts, Merton College, Oxford. He started his career in the Foreign Office as a clerk and eventually became Financial Secretary to the War

Office, Surveyor General of Ordnance, Governor of Bombay from 1900 to 1903, Governor General of Australia from 1903 to 1908 and the Member of Parliament for Exeter from 1880 to 1899. He was the second son of the first Earl of Iddesleigh. He was created a baronet in 1387 and in 1900 became Barn Northcote of Exeter.

By 1890 there were 482 Mark Master Masons in Devonshire and there were two new Lodges, De La Pole No. 372, Seaton which had 21 members and St. George No. 383, Plymouth, with a membership of 29. Altogether there were 19 Lodges.

Early in the year 1900 the R.W. Bro. Sir Stafford Northcote was appointed Governor of Bombay and in a letter he sent to each Worshipful Master in the Province he wrote:
"In compliance with the expressed wishes of many distinguished Brethren in Mark Masonry, it will afford me great pleasure to continue to hold the office of Provincial Grand Master. During my temporary absence I have committed the charge of the Province to our much respected Deputy Provincial Grand Master
W. Bro, G.S. Strode, to whom I feel sure you will give your loyal support. I wish to express to the Mark Master Masons of Devonshire my grateful acknowledgments for the kindness that they have shown to me during the ten years I have presided over them, and my hearty thanks for the courtesy that I have experienced at their hands."


Lord Northcote was also the Craft Provincial Grand Master for seven years from 1896

W. Brother Strode Lowe was the eldest son of Admiral Arthur Lowe. He was granted by royal licence the surname of Strode in place of Lowe in 1897, with permission to use the arms of Strode and Lowe Quarterly. Eventually he moved from Stoke, Devonport to reside at the ancestral home at Newnham Park, Plympton.

He entered Freemasonry through St. Maurice Lodge No. 1855 in 1883 and was advanced into Temple (now St. John) Lodge on the 6th. June, 1884 and among the offices he occupied were those of Director of Ceremonies, Standard Bearer and Inner Guard. He was installed as. Worshipful Master in October, 1890 He remained a subscriber of the Lodge for 66 years, and was one of the founders of Sir Francis Drake Lodge No. 617.

In 1905, W. Bro. Strode, now Major G.S, Strode Strode was installed as Provincial Grand Master and he began a reign that spanned almost four decades. He appointed as his Deputy W. Bro. Matthew Fortescue, who was Worshipful Master of Devon Lodge No 215, in 1896.

During R.W. Brother Strode's first year in office 52 brethren were advanced in the Province bringing the number of subscribing members to 623.

This made an encouraging report to present to the Provincial Grand Lodge held at the Freemasons' Hall, Exeter, under the banner of St. George No 15 on the 28th. June,

Prior to the opening of Provincial Grand Lodge at Paignton on the 18th July, 1906, the Torbay Lodge No 586 was consecrated by the Provincial Grand Master assisted by his officers The Provincial meeting was held under the banner of the new Lodge.

A proposition, carried with acclamation, recommended to the Grand Master that Major Strode be reappointed as Provincial Grand Master for a further term or three years. Proposing it, W Bro. Matthew Fortescue alluded to the excellent work that had been done by the Provincial Grand Master and to the respect and high esteem in which he was held by the Province, collectively and individually

At the 1907 Provincial meeting held at Plymouth, Major Strode extended a hearty welcome "to the distinguished visitors from Cornwall" and he expressed the hope that brethren from the sister Province would attend future meetings in increased numbers. This was one of the first exchanges of a fraternal visit which still continued to this day.

A "marked improvement" in Mark Masonry was indicated by the reports made at Provincial Grand Lodge meeting at Tiverton in 1909. During the year there had been 80 advancements and nine joining members, although the number in arrears, at this particular period, was about the same.







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