Brother Irving: Sir Henry Irving and Freemasonry by Andrew Prescott

Among the ‘big’ red-letter days for Charles Pooter, the Holloway city clerk whose daily life is recorded in George and Weedon Grossmith’s Diary of a Nobody, was a ball at the Mansion House. Imagining that he and his wife would be mixing with the most elevated society, Pooter was astonished to meet at the Mansion House his local ironmonger, Farmerson. Pooter was even more amazed when o ne of the sheriffs, in full Court costume, slapped Farmerson on the back and hailed him as an old friend, and asked him to dine with him at his lodge.  Pooter could not believe his eyes: ‘to think that a man who mends our scraper should know any member of the aristocracy.’ Pooter failed to grasp that Farmerson was a freemason. He bought the Blackfriars Bi-weekly News to read the report of the ball: ‘disappointed to find our names omitted, though Farmerson  is in plainly enough with M.L.L. after it, whatever it may mean.’ M.L.L is not a standard masonic abbreviation, but presumably meant that Farmerson was the master of a lodge.

George Grossmith was himself a freemason,(1) and uses Pooter’s ignorance of freemasonry to emphasise the shallowness of Pooter’s social pretensions and his outmoded lower middle-class outlook. For Grossmith, freemasonry broke down fusty social distinctions and gave social prestige. A similar outlook is apparent in another Victorian comic classic which also began life in the pages of Punch, Mrs Caudle’s Curtain Lectures by Douglas Jerrold, who was also a freemason.(2) The Curtain Lectures are bedtime monologues directed at Job Caudle, the quintessential hen-pecked husband, by his petty-minded and obsessive wife. Mr Caudle’s initiation as a freemason provokes the customary torrent from his wife: ‘It isn’t the secret I care about: it’s the slight, Mr Caudle; it’s the studied insult that a man pays to his wife, when he thinks of going through the world keeping something to himself which he won’t let her know … a woman ought to be allowed a divorce when a man becomes a mason: when he’s got a sort of corner-cupboard in his heart – a secret place in his mind – that his poor wife isn’t allowed to rummage’. Again, for Jerrold, the joke is not Mr Caudle going through an absurd ceremony, but rather Mrs Caudle’s curiosity about an event which was commonplace for the Victorian middle-class male, and which offered Caudle the prospect of some quiet evenings out.

This is the milieu in which we should interpret Sir Henry Irving’s career as a freemason. The experiences of both Charles Pooter and Job Caudle indicate how Victorian perceptions of freemasonry were very different to modern ones. One of the engines behind the development of Victorian middle class culture was the multiplicity of clubs and societies in both London and the provinces. One of the largest and most influential of these was freemasonry. Mainstream craft freemasonry in England was governed by the United Grand Lodge, a descendant of the first Grand Lodge established in London in 1717. Victoria’s reign saw an astonishing boom in freemasonry. In 1840, there were just over a hundred lodges in London and 340 in the provinces. By 1894, the number of London lodges alone had increased to 382, and the provincial lodges showed a similarly large increase. There were also English masonic lodges throughout the Empire, and by 1894 there were altogether 2543 lodges on the register of United Grand Lodge.(3)

The growing social prestige of freemasonry in the second half of the nineteenth century was expressed in many ways. The imposing headquarters of English freemasonry at Freemasons’ Hall in Great Queen Street in London was rebuilt and extended in 1864, and lodges in provincial cities also built opulent masonic halls. Many members of the aristocracy held office under United Grand Lodge, and United Grand Lodge renewed the connection with royalty established by such earlier Grand Masters as George IV and his brother the Duke of Sussex. Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, was initiated as a freemason in Stockholm by the King of Sweden in 1868. On the resignation in 1874 of the Marquess of Ripon as Grand Master following his conversion to Roman Catholicism, the Prince of Wales became Grand Master, serving until his accession to the throne. The Prince’s initiation encouraged some of his brothers to follow suit. Arthur, Duke of Connaught, was initiated by the Prince of Wales in 1874 while he was master of the Prince of Wales’s Lodge No. 259, and Leopold, Duke of Albany, became freemason in the same year in the Apollo University Lodge No. 357 at Oxford.(4)

The involvement of the Prince of Wales and other members of the royal family in freemasonry was no secret. Freemasons all over the country frequently performed public ceremonies for the laying of foundation stones such as churches, theatres and hospitals; in 1877, for example, Lord Leigh as Provincial Grand Master of Warwickshire laid the foundation stone of the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre at Stratford-upon-Avon with masonic honours.(5) In these ceremonies, freemasons paraded publicly in their regalia. The Prince of Wales appeared in public in his masonic regalia when he laid, inter alia, the foundation stones of Truro Cathedral in 1880 and the York Institute in 1883.(6) These ceremonies were reported with great enthusiasm by the growing number of masonic periodicals and newspapers. A weekly newspaper, The Freemason, was begun in 1869, and was joined by others such as The Freemason’s Chronicle, launched in 1875. These masonic newspapers, which carried detailed reports of lodge meetings and articles on prominent figures in freemasonry, were sold on public news stands. Victorian freemasonry was not so much a secret society but more a society with secrets. Membership itself was not secret, although, in common with other Victorian clubs, freemasonry tended to regard membership as a private matter. The secret consisted rather in the details of the ritual—the information which Mrs Caudle was so anxious to prise from her husband.

Biographies of Victorian worthies frequently list their masonic honours with other social attainments, and in reporting details of Sir Henry Irving’s involvement with freemasonry in his Life of Irving, Austin Brereton was following these precedents in order to emphasise Irving’s respectability.(7) The information given by Brereton is confirmed by the register of membership held by the United Grand Lodge of England and available for consultation at the Library and Museum of Freemasonry. There are three degrees in craft freemasonry: entered apprentice; fellow craft; and master mason. Irving was initiated and became an entered apprentice in the Jerusalem Lodge No. 197, which met at Freemasons’ Hall in London, on 27 April 1877. Irving was initiated by the master of the lodge, the organist Sir William Cusins. However, it was some years before Irving passed to the next degree of fellow craft. This occurred at a meeting of the Jerusalem Lodge on 24 November 1882. Irving was finally raised to the status of master mason on 12 January 1883. He continued to subscribe to the Jerusalem Lodge for the rest of his life. Irving had been a member of the Savage Club since 1871,(8) and when it was proposed in 1887 that a masonic lodge should be formed to be connected with the club and dining on its premises, Irving was among those who signed the petition for the lodge and was its first treasurer. Although Irving served as treasurer for just one year, he continued as a member of the Savage Club Lodge No. 2190 until his death. In 1893, Irving also joined the St Martin’s Lodge No. 2455, being elected an honorary member of the lodge in 1904. Irving was a supporter of masonic charities, making regular donations to the two masonic schools and to the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution.

All this may seem to suggest that Irving was an enthusiastic freemason, but in fact, while he warmly supported freemasonry, he never took a very active part in it. He never served as master of a lodge and never attended Grand Lodge, the parliament of English freemasonry. He never joined the Royal Arch, an order described as the completion of freemasonry and which United Grand Lodge encouraged its members to join. Neither was he involved in any of the additional degrees which, although administered separately and not formally recognised by United Grand Lodge, were open only to master masons and were very popular in the late nineteenth century. It would be wrong to suggest that Irving did not value his membership of freemasonry—there is every indication that he did—but he did not undertake the sorts of offices or achieve the honours which most enthusiastic English freemasons of the period took for granted. This was presumably because Irving had little spare time to devote to his freemasonry. In this Irving contrasts with other leading freemasons in the theatrical world at that time, such as Edward Terry and Augustus Harris, who were ardent in their promotion of freemasonry and held many different offices.

The difficulty which Irving found in pursuing freemasonry is evident from the long gap between his initiation and his passing to fellow craft. Many men initiated into freemasonry never proceed to the next degree, thus effectively becoming lapsed masons. This happened for example with the artist and cartoonist Phil May, who was initiated in the Savage Club Lodge in 1895, but never pursued his masonic career further.(9)  There could be many reasons for failure to proceed to the fellow craft degree: lack of time to learn the ritual, feeling socially ill at ease with the lodge, or distaste for the ritual. The Jerusalem Lodge in which Irving had been initiated was one of London’s oldest and most prestigious. It had been founded in 1771 and was one of the nineteen ‘red apron’ lodges which were entitled to nominate one of their members as Grand Steward. Jerusalem Lodge was the first private masonic lodge in England which the Prince of Wales visited after becoming a mason. The membership of the lodge was dominated by civil engineers and architects, including Sir Charles Hutton Gregory, President of the Institution of Civil Engineers, Charles Barry, the eldest son of the architect of the Palace of Westminster and a distinguished architect in his own right, John Whichchord, President of the Royal Institution of British Architects, and the general managers of the Midland Railway and the London and North Western Railway.(10) However, the membership was not limited to these professions; the actor and singer John Pritt Harley had been initiated in the lodge in 1818.(11) In accepting an invitation to join this lodge, Irving must have been conscious of the social prestige it conferred, but as Irving’s celebrity increased, it must have been embarassing for the lodge that Irving had not proceeded to the next degree.

The initiative in encouraging Irving to take the next step in freemasonry seems to have been a royal one. On 2 December 1882, The Freemason carried the following report:

‘Jerusalem Lodge No. 197.

This lodge met on Friday week, at Freemasons’ Hall, and was graced by the presence of HRH the Duke of Albany, Past Grand Senior Warden of England and Provincial Grand Master of Oxfordshire. Dr Arnold Royle was in attendance on his Royal Highness. The lodge was presided over by Bro. E. Letchworth, Worshipful Master [who afterwards became Grand Secretary] …

The principal business of the evening was the ceremony of passing Bro. John Henry Brodribb Irving, the celebrated actor, to the second or Fellow Craft degree. Bro. Irving, although having, it is stated, been a freemason for some years, has not hitherto prosecuted the science, but has remained in the initiative stage of an entered apprentice…’(12)

The report went on to list the many high-ranking freemasons who were present on this occasion. The reason why Irving had failed previously to pursue his freemasonry is made evident by the conclusion of the report which notes that ‘The brethren subsequently dined together, but his Royal Highness left previously, as did Bro. Irving in consequence of his professional engagements’.

Savage Club House Dinner
Savage Club House Dinner

The Savage Club had been founded in 1857 by a ‘little band of authors, journalists and artists’ to provide an informal but private venue for members of London’s Bohemia.(13) The origins of the club’s name are mysterious; possibly it was an allusion to Richard Savage, but the club’s literature was permeated by punning references to American Indians and Aborigines. Irving became a member in 1871. In 1882, the Prince of Wales became an honorary member of the club and, appreciating its informal atmosphere, took a great interest in the affairs of the club.(14) The Prince suggested that a good addition to the facilities at the club would be a masonic lodge. on 3 December 1886, Thomas Catling, the editor of Lloyd’s News, wrote to the Grand Secretary of United Grand Lodge as follows:

A long cherished idea on the part of many members of the Savage Club has at length received an amount of support which justifies the accompanying application to the Most Worshipful Grand Master for a warrant for a new lodge. The Savage Club, which is “instituted for the association of gentlemen connected professionally with literature, art, the drama, or science”, now consists of 400 members, fully one-fourth of whom are masons, though many it is found are not at the present time subscribing members. From the interest evinced in the proposal there is a confident belief that if the new lodge is founded it will draw the majority of the masons in the club more closely together, and at the same time be the means of adding to the strength and prosperity of the craft by increasing its members. The petitioners are all “Savages”, but they do not bind themselves to admit none save their own members, though it will be their aim and endeavour to keep as close as possible to the principles which govern the elections to the Savage Club.’(15)

Enclosed with the letter was a formal petition to the Grand Master for the formation of the new lodge. The signatories were Sir Francis Wyatt Truscott, President of the Society of Artists, who was to be first master of the new lodge, Sir John Somers Vine, the club’s secretary, who was to be the first senior warden, Lord Dunraven (Viscount Adair), then Provincial Grand Master of Oxfordshire, Catling, W. E. Chapman, Thomas Burnside and Archibald Neill, all described as journalists, another literary gentleman, John Paige, John Maclean, an actor, Raymond Tucker, an artist, and Irving. Evidently Catling had been busy lobbying members of the Savage Club who were masons to assemble as imposing group of petitioners as possible. He had asked Lord Dunraven not only to support the petition but to agree if possible to take office in the new lodge. Dunraven had agreed to sign the petition, but could not take office. Irving was not sufficiently experienced as a mason to take one of the more senior offices in the lodge, but agreed to act as treasurer of the new lodge.

The Savage Club Lodge was consecrated at Freemasons’ Hall on 18 January 1887, and Irving was invested as Treasurer of the new lodge. The lengthy report of the consecration in The Freemason refers to Irving’s presence but does not mention any speech by him.(16) The Savage Club Lodge was enormously successful. In its first year, eleven meetings were held, and in the following year another ten. By the end of 1890, membership of the lodge had risen to 124.(17) Many new masons had been initiated in the lodge and then passed through the various degrees in lengthy and elaborate rituals, and it was the working of these rituals which accounted for the large number of meetings. The club invited the Prince of Wales to become an honorary member,(18) but although he refused this honour, he presented to the club a gavel for use in lodge meetings which had been used by the Queen when laying the foundation stone of the Imperial Institute at South Kensington.(19) Irving must have found the responsibilities of the Treasurership of this enthusiastic young lodge very burdensome, and at the earliest opportunity, after just a year, he gave up this office in favour of his fellow actor Edward Terry.(20)

Edward Terry’s enthusiasm as a freemason forms a marked contrast to Irving. Terry was the Director of Ceremonies of the Savage Club Lodge, marshalling its ceremonies with great enthusiasm and panache. The report of the installation meeting of the lodge’s new master in 1888 describes how Terry, ‘ablaze with jewels’,  led an imposing procession of high-ranking Grand Officers.(21) Terry also led the way in the entertainments at the banquet which followed the meeting, before rushing off to perform on the stage. In 1891, Terry was one of the prime movers behind the establishment of a Royal Arch Chapter attached to the Savage Club Lodge, and served as the First Zerubbabel, a principal officer of the chapter. Terry eventually achieved national office as Grand Treasurer. Terry’s enormous enthusiasm for freemasonry is evident from the resume of his masonic career published in The Freemason following his death in 1912:(22)

‘His first appearance in London was at the Surrey Theatre, in 1867, but his great success came when he first appeared in Belfast. In 1868 he appeared at the Lyceum Theatre, and in the same year was initiated into Masonry in the Royal Union Lodge, No. 382, at Uxbridge. He became Master of the Asaph Lodge, No. 1319, in 1877, and, as a member of the St. Alban’s Lodge, No. 29, of which he was a past Master, represented the Lodge on the Board of Grand Stewards for 1885. He was a founder of the Savage Club Lodge, No. 2190 [This was not actually the case; the founders of the Savage Club Lodge are noted above, Terry joining the lodge in 1887], and succeeded Bro. Henry Irving as Treasurer in 1888. He was also founder and First Master of the Edward Terry Lodge, No. 2722. In 1889 he was nominated for the Grand Treasurer of England, and a vigorous contest was waged, his opponent being the late Bro. George Everett. the election resulted in a victory for Bro. Terry, by 841 votes to 617. He was P.Z. of the Asaph Chapter; perfected in the Rose Croix, 18º, in the A. and A. Rite, being a Member of the Palestine Chapter, No. 29. For some years he was a member of the Board of General Purposes, and served numerous Stewardships for the Charities, qualifying as a Patron for each of the three Institutions’.  

By contrast, Irving seems not to have attended meetings of the Savage Club Lodge very often. Very characteristic is the note he sent on the installation of Thomas Catling as Master in 1889: ‘Dear Bro. Catling, It would have been a delight to me to be present at the installation today, did not the exacting character of my present work compel me to forgo a pleasure of such a kind…’(23)The contrast between Irving’s involvement in freemasonry and that of Edward Terry is evident from the theatrical column of The Freemason. While news about Terry’s activities appeared almost weekly in The Freemason, and suggests that Terry was assiduously forwarding information to George Kenning, the newspaper’s publisher, reports about ‘Bro. Henry Irving’ appeared much less frequently, and seem to have been taken from the general newspapers.(24)Nevertheless, Irving’s name and prestige could still be useful. It was invoked by the Scribe Ezra (Secretary) of the Savage Club Lodge Chapter when trying to straighten out a confusion over the use of a stage name on a masonic certificate:

‘With respect to Bro. Rosenthal, he is in the same position as Mr Irving and 99/100ths of the professional members of the order. His name is Metcalfe, but upon adopting the stage as a profession (some 40 years ago) he called himself ‘Rosenthal’, and has been known ever since as ‘Rosenthal’, and I presume will continue to be so as long as he lives.’(25)

Another person whose name frequently appeared in the theatrical column of The Freemason and whose masonic career again contrasts with that of Irving was Augustus Harris, the manager of the Drury Lane Theatre.(26) Harris was initiated as a freemason in Edinburgh at a special meeting of the St Clare Lodge on 6 March 1875, passing through all three degrees in a single night. This was shortly before he set out on a disastrous concert tour of Norway, and the kindness shown to him and his destitute company by Norwegian freemasons confirmed him in his strong attachment to freemasonry.  In the autumn of 1885, Harris conceived the idea of forming a lodge which would meet in a specially furnished masonic temple within the Drury Lane Threatre itself. The lodge was consecrated on 25 January 1886 as Drury Lane Lodge No. 2127. Among the founders were Lord Londesborough, Senior Grand Warden of United Grand Lodge, who was the first master, Sir John Gorst, the Solicitor General, General (then Colonel) Kitchener, Admiral Sir Edward Inglefield, the Arctic explorer, and J. S. Fleming, the Treasurer at Drury Lane, as well as actors and authors such as Henry Neville, Charles Warner, Thomas Thorne and J. H. Clynds. Among those who joined the lodge were Charles Wyndham, Lord Alfred Paget, James Fernandez, Lionel Brough, Harry Nicholls and Charles Harris, the manager of the Gaiety Theatre. In March 1887, The Freemason reported that ‘Bro. Beerbohm Tree was initiated into the mysteries of the craft at the last meeting of the Drury Lane Lodge’.(27~) Harris himself eventually became Grand Treasurer of United Grand Lodge. The Drury Lane lodge still meets in the temple room which Harris so sumptuously fitted out in the Theatre Royal.

It is telling that Irving never joined the Drury Lane Lodge. The third lodge which he joined, St Martin’s Lodge No. 2455, was founded in 1893. One of the largest sources of recruits for freemasonry at the end of the nineteenth century were professional officers attached to the vestries, school boards and councils. This led to the establishment in London of a number of lodges closely associated with local government. The St Martin’s Lodge was closely connected with the Vestry of St Martin in the Fields. The Founding Master declared at the consecration of the lodge reported :

‘that our venerable Vicar,The Rev. Mr Kitto, was one of the first to undertake to be an initiate, and among the founders we comprise the two Churchwardens, and, with one exception, the whole of the petitioning members are either members of the Vestry, Board of Overseers, or Guardians. Practically the whole of the parochial part of the parish are taking an interest in the lodge…’(28)

As one of the celebrities most closely associated with this area of London, Irving would naturally have welcomed and encouraged the establishment of this lodge, but again did not take a very active part in it. Indeed, the reports on Irving’s masonic career in the masonic press at his death generally do not mention his membership of this lodge.

Irving supported freemasonry, and thought that it did good, but the pattern of his masonic career makes it clear that he never had the time to become an active freemason in the way that Terry or Harris did. This makes the argument by John Pick and Robert Protherough in First Knight that Irving was in some way involved in masonic concealment of the true identity of Jack the Ripper very unlikely. Irving was simply too far detached from the counsels of English freemasonry to have taken the role that Pick and Protherough ascribe to him. Moreover, the theory, first put forward by Stephen Knight, that the Ripper killings were undertaken by freemasons in order to keep secret the clandestine marriage of Prince Albert Victor, has now been discredited. A recent authoritative discussion in History Today of the various theories on the Ripper killings concluded that: ‘The “Masonic link” is of like ilk to the “Popish Plot” and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and belongs in the same dustbin’.(29) Knight’s theory depended on the assumption that such figures as the Marquess of Salisbury, Sir William Gull and Sir Robert Anderson were freemasons, but in fact none of these gentlemen were.(30) Above all, even on Knight’s own analysis, Irving could never have been linked with the alleged cover-up, since Knight connects this with the Royal Arch, and, as has been seen, Irving was never a member of this masonic order.

Irving’s distant relationship with freemasonry is apparent in the notices of his death which appeared in the masonic press in 1905. Here is the report from The Freemason:
‘Probably to the younger generation of Masons, the fact of the connection with the Craft of the world’s greatest tragedian—the late Sir Henry Irving—whose passing away has held spell-bound the English-speaking world during the past week, will be news. ‘Tis not the province of the Masonic raconteur to descant on the qualities of that great genius, who has done so much to make happier and brighter the minds of the people; but it rejoices those who are left lamenting to remember that amidst the strenuousness of his exalted career the late Bro. Sir Henry Irving did not hesitate to take part, with many more of name and fame, in the spread of the principles and tenets of Freemasonry. Beloved as a Bohemian, as a friend of the distressed, a loving imitator of all that was highest and noblest in our nature, and the Masonic world will utter its vale over his grave.’(31)

It would be tempting to argue that Irving used freemasonry as part of his campaign to enhance the social and cultural status of the actor. But Irving evidently only resumed his masonic career to become a fellow craft by royal request, at a time when he was already a national celebrity. Senior freemasons such as the Duke of Albany and Edward Letchworth realised that freemasonry would itself gain social lustre by securing the support of Irving, and encouraged him to proceed to the second and third degrees. Irving’s active involvement in freemasonry was always, however, limited by ‘the exacting character of my present work’.

The masonic press joined in the national mourning for Irving. The Masonic Illustrated carried a full-page portrait of him, while The Freemason  carried the following memorial verse by Charles Forshaw, an amateur poet,littérateur and dentist from Bradford:(32)


‘The Last Act

In Memoriam

Bro. Sir Henry Irving LL.D., Litt. D., Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature

Draw down the curtain for the act is o’er –

The last great tragic act that comes to all;

And it is meet, though Nations wide deplore

That thus he answered to the Prompter’s call!

The play is finished – a more perfect play

Was never staged on this terrestial sphere;

The scene – unparalleled in realms of day,

In its completeness was without compeer!

Great is the drama of all Human Life-

Sorrow and laughter, sin, and shame and tears;

Trials and troubles, suffering and strife,

Hope, doubt and longing, certainty and fears;

We felt all these when by his potent mien

He showed them to us as they should be seen!’


[1] He acted as steward in raising money for the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution.

[2] The Freemasons Magazine and Monthly Mirror 3 (1857), pp. 604-5. Jerrold was initiated in the Bank of England Lodge No. 329 in November 1831, and continued a member until June 1836. He joined the Lodge of Concord No. 49 in March 1838 and apparently left it in December 1844.

[3] Figures based on John Lane, Masonic Records 1717-1894  (London: United Grand Lodge, 1895), and S. Pope, ‘The Development of Freemasonry in England and Wales’, Ars Quatuor Coronatorum 68 (1956), pp. 129-31.

[4] Grand Lodge 1717-1967 (Oxford: Oxford University Press), p. 277; The Freemason, 15 September 1877, p. 377.

[5] The foundation stone of the present theatre at Stratford was also laid with masonic honours by the Pro Grand Master Lord Ampthill in 1929 in a ceremony which was broadcast on the BBC: The Freemason, 6 July 1929, pp. 13, 16.

[6] The Freemason, 29 May 1880, pp. 238-41; 21 July 1883, pp. 370-2.

[7] Austin Brereton, The Life of Henry Irving (London: Longmans, Green and Co., 1908), 1, p. 234.

[8] Brereton, op. cit., 2, p. 161; Watson, op. cit., p. 54.

[9] John Hargreaves, Savage Club Lodge Centenary Meeting 1887-1987: One Hundredth Anniversary (London, 1987), p. 8

[10] Alan Moncrieff, Jerusalem Lodge No. 197 History and Record (London, 1960).

[11] Ibid., p. 131. Harley was described as a ‘comedian’ in the records of the lodge, and the same epithet was used for Irving. P. G. Wodehouse was later a member of this lodge.

[12] The Freemason, 2 December 1882, p. 673.

[13] Aaron Watson, The Savage Club (London: Fisher Unwin, 1907).

[14] Ibid., pp. 167-80.

[15] Library and Museum of Freemasonry, petitions.

[16] The Freemason, 22 January 1887, pp. 38-9.

[17] The Freemason, 11 February 1888, pp. 77-8.

[18] Library and Museum of Freemasonry, lodge file for Savage Club Lodge.

[19] Hargreaves, op. cit., p. 7.

[20] Unfortunately, all the accounts of the Savage Club lodge were lost when the Treasurer’s Chambers at 1, King’s Bench Walk, were destroyed by fire during an enemy raid on 12 May 1941: Library and Museum of Freemasonry, lodge file for Savage Club lodge. Subsequent members of this lodge included the actors Brandon Thomas, Robert Atkins and Arnold Ridley (of Dad’s Army fame), the artists Sir William Hutchinson and James Gunn, the entertainer Richard Winthrop (‘Bud Flanagan’), the novelist Alex Waugh and the television cook Philip Harben: Hargeaves, op. cit.

[21] The Freemason, 11 February 1888, pp. 77-8.

[22] The Freemason, 6 April 1912, p. 656.

[23] The Freemason, 9 February 1889, p. 75.

[24] For example, The Freemason, 30 June 1888, p. 344; 7 July 1888, p. 357;

[25] Library and Museum of Freemasonry, chapter returns, Savage Club Chapter (6 July 1894).

[26] On Harris and the Drury Lane Lodge, see A. M. Broadley, The Craft, The Drama and Drury Lane (London, 1887).

[27] The Freemason, 26 March 1887, p. 176.

[28] The Freemason, 28 January 1893, p. 39.

[29] William D. Rubinstein, ‘The Hunt for Jack the Ripper’, History Today 50.5 (May 2000), p. 14. Knight quotes extensively from the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

[30] Stephen Knight, Jack the Ripper: The Final Solution (London: Harrap, 1984). An annotation by John Hamill, former Librariand and Curator of United Grand Lodge, on the copy of Knight’s book in the Library and Museum of Freemasonry reads: ‘This volume is to be treated with caution. The Marquess of Salisbury, Sir William Gull and Sir Robert Anderson were not freemasons. The masonic information has been largely culled from “exposures”. In particular, the Royal Arch “oath” has been taken from an American early nineteenth century exposure and has never applied in England’.

[31] The Freemason, 21 October 1905, p. 581.

[32] The Freemason, 21 October 1905, p. 579.

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