Foreword

This article does not purport to be a full history of Brunswick Mark Lodge No.48 but rather an outline of some of the salient features surrounding its inception and subsequent development.

It is pleasing that the celebration of our 150th anniversary is being held jointly with St John No.50, as there has been a special relationship throughout those 150 years as is mentioned elsewhere in this booklet.

Brunswick Lodge of Mark Master Masons, No.48 , perhaps unfortunately appears to have been devoid of the sort of scandal which one finds in the ancient minutes of certain other Lodges. A possible exception to this is the fact that whilst some of our old records were destroyed in the Plymouth Blitz, others were thrown away by the widow of one of our past secretaries! Thus, in gleaning information the Lodges own records as well as those held at Provincial Grand Lodge have been particularly useful, but so too have been those uncovered by our own Worshipful Master, Worshipful Brother Norman Yarde, and Brother John Smerdon (Senior Warden) with invaluable assistance from Worshipful Brother Ray Taylor.

We hope that the contents of this booklet will be of interest and will stimulate the discovery of yet more material which may be incorporated into a fuller history of Brunswick Lodge of Mark Master Masons, No.48 in the not too distant future.

SESQUICENTENARY COMMITTEE

Worshipful Brother N.L. Yarde - Worshipful Master
Brother J.P. Smerdon - Senior Warden
Brother J.C. Leary - Treasurer
Worshipful Brother F.G.J. Hayden PAGDC, Secretary
Worshipful Brother B.E,W, Bowler PPrGJW, Director of Ceremonies
Very Worshipful Brother W. S. Daw PGJO, Almoner & Charity Steward
Worshipful Brother R.W. Huddy -Immediate Past Master.

On Tuesday 26th June 2010 a SESQUICENTENTIAL CELEBRATION was held jointly by Brunswick Mark Lodge No 48 and St John 50 Mark Lodge. whilst we have good reason to believe that such a joint cerebration is very unusual, perhaps even unprecedented, it is not the first time that these two Mark Lodges have acted in concert. For example on l8th January 1944 at a special meeting of Provincial Grand Mark Lodge to install Worshipful Brother Colonel C. B Spencer as Provincial Grand Master, included in the deputation of 8 Worshipful Masters were those of Brunswick 48 and St John 50. similarly in 1960 a joint centenary celebration was herd when Provincial Grand Mark Lodge met under the banners of these two Lodges and their respective worshipful Masters sat on the dais. it is therefore fitting that when provincial Grand Mark Lodge meets in September 2010 it will again be under the banners of these two Lodges to mark their 150th anniversaries.

In view of the above, the question which arises is "how and why did this conjunction of these two Lodges come about?". Brunswick Mark Lodge was founded in 1858 as is attested in the Devon and Cornwall Grand Lodge year book for 1872 - 1873. Both Lodges were presented with their warrants on 26th June 1860 at the meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge by Right Worshipful Brother Reverend Huyshe the Provincial Grand Master. In addition, the three Brunswick Petitioners, were all Past Masters of Brunswick Craft No 208. (now 159) (W.Bro. Edward Dennaford Initiated 2nd June 1855, Master 27th December 1858, W.Bro. Samuel Chapple Initiated 1st August 1855. Master 27th December 1859 and W.Bro. James Clase (Confectioner) Initiated 6th February 1850, Master 29th December 1856) were appointed respectively as Worshipful Master, Senior Warden and Junior Warden of Brunswick Mark and under this were "promoted into Mark Masonry under the banner of Friendship craft Lodge No 339 (now 202). Moreover, of the eight brethren who petitioned for the foundation of St Aubyn Mark Lodge No. 64, seven were from Brunswick No. 48

By a salutary piece of good fortune Brother John Smerdon (senior warden) whilst attending a recent meeting at St John 70 Craft Lodge, was both stunned and excited to hear the minutes of 5th June 1860 read out as follows:

Extract From the Minutes of Lodge St John, No 70 for 5th June 1860

The W. Bro Gover noticed, that on Tuesday the 26th instant, the Right Worshipful Brother Reverend John Huyshe would attend in this Lodge in the exalted Capacity of Provincial Grand Master of Mark Masons. As this Brother's remarks are embodied in the second leaf of the summons of Emergency for June 19th, a Copy is preserved in these Minutes.

The Worship Master fraternally submits the following information to the Brethren:-

The Prov. Grand Lodge will assemble at St George's Hall, Stonehouse, on Wednesday, the 27th June instant, at 12 o'clock (noon). A procession will be formed by the Craft, who will proceed to St. Pauls Chapel, where a sermon will be preached in aid of the Devon Educational Fund. The Brethren will return from the chapel to St. Georges Hall, where the business of the P G Lodge will be transacted, after which there will be a Masonic Banquet, particulars of which will be submitted to the Meeting, on Tuesday next.

The Provincial Grand Lodge of Mark Masons will be held at the St John's Masonic Hall, Courtenay street, on Tuesday, the 26th June, the day previous, at half-past One o'clock, when the Right Worshipful the Provincial Grand Master, the Rev. Brother John Huyshe will deliver the warrants of the Mark Lodges to Brunswick 185, and St. John, 83, and install the first Worshipful Masters. Such Brethren, as may be desirous, will be advanced to this Degree, by the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master. The fee will be one guinea, and the Brethren are requested to send their names to the Very Worshipful Brother Henry Maynard, as early as possible.

Immediately after the business of the Provincial Grand Master Lodge there will be a Collation at Mr Chubb's Commercial Hotel, Old Town Street - Tickets, including Waiters, 3 shillings 6 pence each. Brethren intending to be present will please send their names to W. Bro. J. B. Gover, Past Master, 42 Southside Street, on or before Friday, the 22nd instant.

All Mark Masons advanced before April, 1859, are privileged to recognition and admittance.

It should be noted that subsequent records prove that Brunswick l83 was used and came from the Craft Records 1832-1863, it then changed to No. I59, and the Mark Lodge was given the Number 48

It is instructive to see that the collation at Mr Chubb's commercial Hotel at Old Town Street cost 3 shillings 6 pence. In today's money this would equate to £I5.00 which is indicative of how important Mark Masonry was then to its members and what a high proportion of their salaries/wages was devoted to it.

MEMBERSHIP NUMBERS

Like most Lodges, whatever the degree, Brunswick's membership has fluctuated over the years. In the 1860's numbers averaged 20 when the Lodge started, in 1886 there were 45, in 1892 there were 65, this dropped to 25 during the 1st World War. After this period the Master in 1917 W Bro J.J. Squire with the help of the brethren took the numbers up to 90 in just 5 years! We are indebted to W.Bro J.J. Squire who became a leading figure in the Loge holding the position of chaplain and then Treasurer for 30 years. He held the rank of P.G,D, PPrGW. and it was his wish, which was approved, to became the Worshipful Master for the Centenary year 1960, when the Lodge commemorated this with a Thanksgiving Church Service, at the Church of the Ascension, Crownhill, Plymouth on Sunday, 12th-June 1960. sadly W.Bro. J.J. squire died before the end of his year in the chair on March 19th 1961.

His Son became Master of the Lodge in 1937 and was also the Lodge Treasurer for 5 years 1956 - 1962 when he suddenly died on the 10th December 1962. His Brother J.W. Squire who had been Master in 1941 became Treasurer in 1963. From there he acted as Secretary when W.Bro T Friend died in office and then went on to become Master again in 1972. Although blind, he was Charity Steward for many years, and died as a P.G.S.D. in 1995. The squire Family devoted nearly l00 years of service to the order. Figures fluctuated during the next 40 years and in 1966 there were 66 members, By 2010 we are once again back to the 20's. In that sense we have come full circle. It is interesting to note that in 1961 the Subscriptions were 20 shillings and in 1963 a notice of motion was given to raise them up 50% !! To 30 shillings, by I975 they were £5.00.

MEETING PLACES

During its history Brunswick Mark Lodge No.48 has held its meetings at various venues:

  • In 1858 the Masonic Hall at Caroline Place, Stonehouse and or Charity Lodge Rooms Union Street Plymouth, meeting on the 3rd Wednesday
  • In 1886 the Ebrington Masonic Hall Stonehouse, meeting on the 2nd Tuesday
  • ln 1911 the Mount Edgecumbe Masonic Hall, Stonehouse, meeting on the 3rd Tuesday
  • 1912 the Masonic Hall at Princess Square, meeting on the 3rd Tuesday
  • CIRCA 1953 at Sincerity Masonic Hall in Elliot Street, the 1st Monday.
  • 1966 to the present day, St Aubyn Masonic Hall, on the 2nd Wednesday.

MEMBERS OF DISTINCTION

Over the years Brunswick Mark Lodge has benefitted from the dedication and efforts of many distinguished Mark Masons. Whilst acknowledging that it is sometimes invidious to single I certain people out, it is on occasions such as this when we should salute some of those who have marked particularly well.

  • W.Bro. Samuel Chapple, the founding Senior Warden who served both as Provincial Director of Ceremonies and as Grand Director of Ceremonies in the '1860's
  • W. Bro. Jim Squire, who, between the world wars, achieved the rank of P.G.J.D. and served as Treasurer for 30 years.
  • W. Bro. Frank Short, for many years our Treasurer who became P.G.Std.B in 1985
  • W. Bro. Ray Taylor, appointed Pro.GJD, having been Secretary for over 20 years who achieved Grand Rank in 1986 and is now P.G.J.D.
  • V.W.Bro. Bill Daw, P.G.J.O. who was Provincial Treasurer in 1984 and a Grand Steward in 1988. Our Charity Steward since 1982
  • W.Bro. Joe Farmery BEM, an excellent Lodge D. C. who became P.G.Std.B in 1991
  • W.Bro. Fred Hayden, appointed Pro.G.S.W. in 2004 and now P.A.G.D.C, our Secretary for many years
  • W.Bro. David Pugh, Treasurer for many years and appointed Pro.G. Treasurer in 2000.

CONCLUSION

It is our fervent wish that the two Lodges will be holding a joint BICENTENARY meeting in June 2060. Of course that will require a campaign of recruitment and retention on a scale that was matched only in the early years of these Lodges' existence,