1859 to 1959
As compiled by W. Bro. H.G. Loyns, P.Pr.D.G.Reg.
A brief survey of the earliest recorded Lodges that met in Deal forms a suitable introduction to a history of the Wellington Lodge.
The oldest regularly constituted Lodge in Deal was the Royal Navy, which met here in 1764. Amongst its members were prominent Navel Officers of the period, Pilots and Lifeboat men. In 1803 the Provincial Anniversary Meeting was held in Deal under the banner of this Lodge. The next Lodge of which we have any knowledge was the Fraternal Lodge, which originally met at Greenwich. It met in the Assembly Rooms in Lower Street (now High Street) from 1803 to 1822, when it was erased from the Roll of Lodges.
From 1812 to 1838, when it was erased, the Union Lodge met at the Sandown Castle Inn. This Lodge, which was under the authority of the Grand Lodge of the Ancients, was numbered 29. At the union of the two Grand Lodges in 1813, it became No 39. It seems probable that it was from this Lodge that the Wellington stemmed twenty-one years later.
Our Lodge was named after Arthur Wellesley, first Duke of Wellington, who spent the later years of his life in residence at Walmer Castle in his position as Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports. During this period he took an active interest in the affairs of Deal, Walmer, and the neighbouring district. The founders of the Lodge arranged for the Consecration Ceremony to take place on 18th June 1859, on the anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, the Duke of Wellington’s greatest victory and an event no doubt remembered by some of our original members.
The sponsoring Lodge of the Wellington was the Union Lodge, Margate, then No 149 and now No 127. There were twenty-five Promoters of the Lodge, of whom nineteen were Pilots. Among the earliest members there were some of trades and professions, which were no doubt connected with the Dockyard, then situated at Deal, such as Ship Agents, Interpreter, and a Translator of Languages. Among the earliest Joining Members were a number of Army Officers, including a Colonel from the Regiment of Foot, now the Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment, which was at that time stationed in the Barracks at Walmer. The majority of the Founders came from the Union Lodge, Margate, of which Lodge the first Master was a member, the Peace and Harmony Lodge, Dover, then No 235, to which the Senior Warden belonged, and the Royal Navy Lodge, Ramsgate, then No 621, from which the Junior Warden came.
The earliest records that we have are of a number of meetings held in 1859 at the Walmer Castle Inn. This is not the hotel now known by this name, but was a Coaching Inn situated at the junction of South Street and High Street on the site now occupied by the premises of Lloyd’s Bank. There were thirteen Brethren present at these meetings. The first recorded meeting was held on 14th February 1859. Presumably an earlier meeting had been held, as there is reference to adopting the minutes, but we have no record of this. At this meeting it was agreed that the Lodge should meet at the Walmer Castle Inn and that W.Bro E.C. Hayward, P.M. 149, PPrSGD, who became the first Master, should endeavour to procure the transfer of the Warrant of the Lodge of Harmony, Faversham, to Deal, and to purchase the furniture, this Lodge being in abeyance at that period. Failing this, it was agreed that W.Bro Hayward ascertain the cost of procuring a Warrant and securing furniture for a new Lodge.
At a further meeting held on 28th February, W.Bro Hayward reported that he had been unsuccessful in his application to obtain the Warrant of the Lodge of Harmony, and it was agreed to petition the Most Worshipful the Grand Master, the Earl of Zetland, K.G., to grant a Warrant for a new Lodge. The question of the name of the proposed Lodge was debated, the suggestions being either “Wellington” or “United Services”. As we know, the former was adopted. It was also agreed that the Lodge should meet on the second and last Thursdays in every month throughout the year, and the proposed Officers of the Lodge were elected.
The next meeting recorded was held on 2nd May, when the grant of the Warrant had been approved and the Byelaws, as approved by the R.W.Bro the Provincial Grand Master, were read to the Brethren.
This meeting agreed that R.W.Bro Charles Purton Cooper, Q.C., Provincial Grand Master of Kent, and R.W.Bro Sir James Fergusson, Bart., Provincial Grand Master of Ayrshire, be elected Honorary Members of the Lodge.
The Minutes of several further meetings provide particulars of the arrangements made for the consecration ceremony. Among the documents preserved by the Lodge are the Provincial Grand Master’s dispensation permitting the consecration to be held in the Assembly Rooms in Lower Street, and for the Brethren to walk in procession clothed in Masonic Regalia, headed by a brass band, from the Walmer Castle Inn to the place of consecration. The records inform us that the band played “The Freemasons Festival March”
The copy of a letter dated 11th June 1859, addressed to Capt. Noble, R.N., Superintendent of the Pilots at Dover, is of interest. This requests that twenty Pilots may have their duties so arranged as to enable them to attend the consecration. The following is an account of the consecration and banquet taken from the records that are in the possession of the Grand Lodge Library: –
CONSECRATION OF THE WELLINGTON LODGE, DEAL, No. 1086
The Wellington Lodge, for which a warrant or charter of constitution had been obtained, was opened on Saturday, June 18th, 1859. The Brethren met at the Walmer Castle Hotel, and proceeded thence in procession to the Assembly Rooms, where the ceremony of opening and consecration of the Lodge was fixed to take place, under a dispensation from the R.W. the Prov G.M. of Kent, instead of at the Walmer Castle named in the warrant.
The Lodge was opened by Bro Stephen Barton Wilson, PGM, the officer appointed by the Grand Master for that purpose, in the presence of R.W. Bro Charles Purton Cooper; PrGM, Bro Harvey Boys, Pr SGW, as DPrGM; Bro T. Hallowes, PPrSGW; Bro G.O. Phipps, PPrSGW; Bro B. Jones, PPrJGW; Bro Saunders, PrGTreas; Bro Chas. Isaacs, PrGSec; Bro S. Beeching, PrGDC; and several other Provincial Grand Officers; Bro Edwin Ransford, PrGOrganist; Bro Sir Jas. Fergusson, PrGM for Ayrdhire; Bro Hyde Pullen, DPrGM, Isle of Wight; Bro Major Burney, and several Brethren of the different Lodges in the Province.
The charter or warrant of constitution from the Grand Lodge of England was read by the PrGSec; also the authority of the RW Bro the PrGM for the opening and consecrating the Lodge at the Assembly Rooms instead of the house named in the warrant, and the consecration ceremony was then proceeded with. The Director of Ceremonies presented Bro E.C. Hayward, PM149, PPrSGD, the first Master named in the warrant.
The installing master enquired if the Brethren approved of the officers nominated to preside over them and this being signified in due form, an oration written for the occasion was delivered by Bro Hyde Pullen, who officiated as Grand Chaplain, in a very impressive manner, and was listened to with marked attention.
The Lodge was next consecrated with the accustomed ceremonies.
The new Master was then examined, and found to be well skilled in our noble science, and duly instructed in the mysteries of the Craft; and being vouched for as an Installed Master, was regularly inducted into the chair, and after receiving due honours and making his acknowledgements, proceeded to appoint and invest his officers as follows: –
Bros J.S. Pembroke, SW; J.E. Apps, JW; H.D. Reynolds, See; J. Holmes, SD; S.W. West, SD; T.D. Norris, DC; R. Rogers and S. Norris, Stwds; J. Newton, IG; Bros J. Ralph who was elected Treasurer, and J. Payne, Tyler, were also invested.
Propositions were made for several candidates, both for initiation and joining. A vote of thanks was recorded in the minutes of the Lodge to Bro S.B. Wilson for the excellent and effective manner in which he had conducted the ceremony of consecration of the Wellington Lodge, and he was requested to become an honorary member. The Lodge was then closed in due form.
The Brethren adjourned to the Town Hall in the same order of procession to the banquet, at which the RWBro C.P. Cooper, PGM, presided, but was compelled immediately afterwards to leave for London. Bro Harvey Boys, PPrSGW, then took the chair, and disposed of the usual loyal and Masonic toasts. In reply to that of the Grand Officers of England, Bro S.E. Wilson said it could not but be gratifying to any officer to have his name associated with that of the DGM, and his name having been mentioned on that occasion, it became his duty to say a few words with respect to Lord Pamure, whose zeal and ability entitled him to the esteem of the Brethren. With respect to himself as Consecrating Officer, and the instrument of adding another Lodge to the Province, they were indebted for that to the selection of the PGM, who, he was proud to say, conducted the business of his Province to the satisfaction of the Brethren generally. A circumstance had occurred which he felt compelled to refer to, that of having been proposed and accepted as a member of the Lodge. He begged to assure them he fully appreciated the compliment, and should consider himself called upon to advance the prosperity of the Lodge, and trusted he should ere long see it second to none in the Province in carrying out the great principles of Freemasonry.
The health of the PGM was then proposed by Bro Harvey Boys, who dilated on the many excellent qualities of Bro Cooper. Bro Boys then proposed the Grand Masters of Scotland and Ireland, and Bro Sir James Fergusson, PGM for Ayrshire, in reply, expressed his extreme gratification in having been present at the interesting ceremony of the day, which has been so ably conducted, and trusted he should have other opportunities of attending the meetings of the Wellington Lodge. He asked for permission to propose the health of the Brother then presiding over them. Bro Harvey Boys suitably replied and proposed the health of the Master of the Wellington Lodge, who replied in neat and brief terms. In proposing the Visitors, Bro Boys especially mentioned Bro Hyde Pullen, who he was much pleased to see present, that worthy Brother having conferred on himself the degree of MM and whose merits as a Mason had placed him in the high position he then held. Bro Pullen, in responding to the toast in suitable terms, asked permission to propose the Prov. Grand Officers of Kent, coupling with the toast Bro Charles Isaacs, PrGSec, of whose industry and application to the duties of his office every Brother was sensible. Bro Isaacs briefly replied.
Bro Hyde Pullen, before the closing toast was proposed, desired permission to give one which never ought to be omitted at a Masonic meeting, which was “Success to the glorious Institutions which dispensed relief and assistance to the Aged, the Widow, and the Ophans,” and then made an earnest appeal to the Brethren of the Wellington Lodge to make their Lodge and themselves individually life governors of the Institutions as speedily as possible, and that one of their members should be deputed to act as Steward at the next festival of the Benevolent Institution.
The forcible appeal of Bro Pullen had the desired effect, for the members promised him that the Charities should have the support of the Lodge, and, they hoped, of every individual member. Several other toasts were then given, and a concluding glass to all poor and distressed Masons finished the proceedings. The furniture and paraphernalia of the Lodge were all new, and the arrangements most complete, reflecting the highest credit on the Master and Brethren of the Lodge.
There were nearly one hundred Brethren present. The Lodge furniture was supplied by Bro J. White of Ramsgate, at an estimated cost of £45 to £50, the final amount paid being £61. The Officers’ jewels were supplied by Bro A.D. Loewenstark, of London, a member of the Wellington Lodge No 805, London.
The first regular meeting of the Lodge was held on 14th July 1859, when four Brethren were initiated, among whom is the name of Bro Frederick Thomas Hulke, the doctor who attended the Duke of Wellington in his last and fatal illness at Wahner Castle, and the first of three generations of this medical family to become members of the Lodge, the last of whom was W.Bro Dr Frederick
Malcohn Stirling I-Iulke, who died six months after his Installation in the Chair in 1927. This meeting appointed a Tyler, whose remuneration was to be 2/6 per meeting, later increased by one penny per head of all members present at the table meeting after the Lodge was closed. In addition to his usual duties, he collected the members’ subscriptions, which were payable quarterly; for this he received 5% commission on all money collected. The Tyler was also paid to attend the meetings of Provincial Grand Lodge to represent the Lodge.
In 1863 the Lodge removed its place of meeting to the Black Horse Hotel, in High Street. It is interesting to note that after the Masonic Hall in Sondes Road was requisitioned by the Army during the 1939-45 war the Lodge held meetings once again at this Hotel. It is believed that the Walmer Castle Inn was burned down at this time, although exhaustive enquiries have failed to produce documentary evidence of this fact. If this is the case it would account for the change of meeting place, and might also account for the loss of the Lodge’s first Minute Book, which may have been kept on these premises.
In 1863, at the re-numbering of the Lodge by Grand Lodge, the Wellington Lodge obtained its present number 784.
In 1865 the place of meeting was again changed, on this occasion to the Public Rooms in Park Street, where the Lodge remained until the erection of the Masonic Hall in 1910
In 1869 a box of Masonic Tools was purchased for the sum of five shillings, and a further sum of seven shillings Was paid to a local tradesman for polishing them. Numerous references are found in the Account Book to the relief of distressed Masons from overseas, Scotland, and Ireland, presumably seaman, Deal at that period being an important anchorage for sailing vessels. One item, in 1872, records relief to a distressed Brother and his family, who were French refugees. In October 1873, there are references to the Annual Michaelmas Goose Supper, held at the Rose Hotel.
The Minutes of 1875 record a membership of fifty- four subscribing and three honorary members.
In 1876 it was recommended that Jewels be presented to the Past Masters if Lodge funds permitted. In this year the Lodge became a Life Governor of the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution.
On 9th May 1876, the Lodge invited the PGM, R.W.Bro Viscount Hclmsdale, to hold the Annual
Provincial Meeting under its banner. The invitation was accepted, and the meeting was held on 12th July. The following are the details, of the arrangements made on this occasion: –
Breakfast at the Royal Hotel 10.00am
Lodge at the Old Assembly Rooms. 12.00noon
Service at St. George’s Church… 1.30pm
Banquet at the Public Rooms, Park Street… 4.00pm
On 12th February .1885, the death occurred of the WM before the first meeting after his installation.
In January 1902, the Lodge passed a resolution expressing its condolences to the M.W. the Grand Master, the Prince of Wales, on the death of Queen Victoria, and its congratulations to him on ascending the throne as King Edward VII.
On 12 th September 1908, the Provincial Charity Committee met at Deal, R.W.Bro the PGM, Col Cornwallis, PGW, presiding. The meeting was held in the Council Chamber by permission of H.W. the Mayor of Deal. On 25 th March 1909, the Lodge discussed the proposal to build a Masonic Hall in Sondes Road for the combined use of all Craft Lodges, Chapters, and the Mark and Royal Ark Mariners Lodge meeting in Deal. At a further meeting the plans and particulars of the management of the proposed building were considered. Arrangements were made to lay the Foundation Stone of the building by the PGM of Middx, R.W.Bro Lord George Francis Hamilton, G.C.S.I., and the PGM of Kent, R.W.Bro Col Cornwallis, with full Masonic ceremony. This ceremony had to be cancelled owing to the death of H.M. King Edward VII. The stone was eventually laid by Lord George Hamilton, in the presence of the Honorary Architect Bro Crowther, the builder Bro Travers, and the Trustees of the Hall representing the Lodges.
On 12th May 1910, a vote of condolence was passed to the Prince of Wales on the death of King Edward VII, and congratulations to King George V on his accession. In April 1910, the Lodge acquired a new banner in place of the old, which was unfit for further use. This new banner was damaged during the war of 1939-45, and was repaired by the wives of some of the members and is still in use.
On 27th September 1910, an emergency meeting was held to open the new Masonic Temple. On this occasion the Offices of the Lodge were tilled by the following: –
WM WBro W. Court WM 784
IPM WBRo A. Mason PM 784, Sec3452
SW Wbro R.J. Carpenter WM 1096
JW WBro A.C. Brown PM 784, WM 3452
Chaplain WBro Rev R. PattersonPM 784, JW 3452
Treasurer WBro F.A. Powell PM23, PGStB, Charity Rep 3452
Secretary WBro J.S. Huntly PM & Sec 1096
SD Bro T.W. Brown SW 784
JD Bro J. Franklin SW 1096
DC WBro H.T. Pain PM & Sec 784
ADC WBro T. Bent PM & Charity Rep 784
Organist WBro J. Jefferson Treasurer 1096
Asst Organist WBro J.W. Minter IPM 1096
IG Bro G. Goslett JW 1096
Stewards Bro J. Wallet 784
Bro A. Wheeler 784
Bro R. Bird 784
Bro W.H. Wyborn 1096
Tylers Bro L.R. Norman
Bro W. Bowles PM 1096
In October 1911, the Lodge invited R.W.Bro Col Cornwallis, PGW, the Provincial Grand Master, to again hold the Annual Provincial Grand Lodge Meeting under its Banner, and on 19th June 1912, the meeting took place in Deal. The arrangements made on this occasion were: Lodge at the Theatre Royal,
King Street, Deal 12.45 pm
Service at St. George’s Church 2.30 pm
Banquet at the Stanhope Hall, Stanhope Road 4.00 pm
In May 1912, the Lodge sent a subscription to the Titanic Relief Fund.
On 13th March 1913, the Lodge agreed to support the appeal of Grand Lodge to subscribe to a fund to purchase a unique collection of old certificates and warrants for the Museum of Grand Lodge.
On 9th October 1913, the Lodge agreed to form a Benevolent Association.
In October 1914, the Lodge subscribed Ten Guineas to the War Distress Fund.
In October 1914, the Lodge received Fraternal greetings from the Wellington Lodge No 1521, New Zealand.
On 13th May 1915, the Lodge voted a subscription to the fund for the relief of Belgian refugees in Deal.
On 12th October 1916, Bro Raymond S. Tanner, ID, was killed in action. The Lodge agreed that his photograph and letters of appreciation of his conduct on the field of battle, received Rom his Colonel and his Captain, be framed and hung in the ante-room of the Temple.
On 14th December 1916, the Lodge answered the appeal for funds for the Freemasons’ Hospital and Nursing Home.
During the years of war 1914-18, the Lodge conferred the 2 nd and 3 rd Degrees on numerous Service personnel by request of other Lodges.
On 27th February 1919, the Lodge made a donation towards the Dover Patrol Memorial Fund, and in April of the same year a donation towards the building fund of the Deal and Walmer War Memorial Hospital.
On 24th April 1919, the Lodge received an official visit from the Deputy PGM, W.Bro John White, PGW.
In 1922 the Lodge made a donation to the Provincial Library and Museum Fund.
In the following year, 1923, the Lodge became a founding member of the new Royal Masonic Hospital.
On 24th January 1923, the Permanent Committee of the Lodge was formed, and it was decided that this committee should approve the applications of all candidates for Initiation.
On 11th October 1924, the Lodge voted a donation towards the Masonic Million Memorial Fund for the building of Freemasons’ Hall, Great Queen Street, London.
On 25th March 1926, R.W.Bro Col Cornwallis, PGW, honoured the Lodge with his presence and on that occasion presented to WBro H.T. Pain, PPrJGW, on behalf of the Brethren of the Lodge, an engraved silver salver to mark the occasion of his twenty-first year as Secretary of the Wellington Lodge.
On 13lh May 1926, the Lodge, after long consideration, agreed to relinquish the Dispensation from Grand Lodge, whereby the meetings had been held fortnightly, and in future to meet monthly on the second Thursday in the months of October to May inclusive, there to be one Junior Lodge of Instruction and one for Officers in each of these months.
On 9th May 1929, W.Bro A.S. Hobbs, PAGDC, PrGSec, attended the Lodge and presented W.Bro H.T. Pain with his regalia of PGStB on behalf of eighty Brethren of the Lodge who had subscribed to purchase this.
In 1931 the Table meetings after the closing of the Lodge were discontinued, and their place was taken by a Lodge Supper.
In 1932 the first Ladies’ Festival was held.
The war years of 1939-45. The Lodge held no meetings in the autumn of 1939, but in January 1940, the WM was duly installed. No further meetings were held, however, between May 1940 and January 1941. The Masonic Hall having been requisitioned, two meetings were held at the Black Horse Hotel. The Lodge then obtained a dispensation to meet at the hall of WBro Little’s premises in Queen Street, and continued to meet there until this building was destroyed by enemy action in August 1942. The Lodge then united with the Lord Warden Lodge No 1096, and meetings were held under the joint banners of the two Lodges at the Manor House, Upper Deal, the installation meetings being held in the Parish Hall of St. Leonard’s, Deal. During this period the meetings were held on the second Wednesdays in the usual months for meetings
On 17th May 1945, the Lodge returned to the Masonic Hall. On this occasion the Chaplain offered a prayer of thanksgiving for the restoration of peace, and the National Anthem was sung.
On 9th February 1950, WBro Cavell delivered a paper which he had written entitled “The Impact of World War II on the Wellington Lodge.”
On 13th April 1950, the Lodge received a visit from the WM and Officers of the Wellington Lodge No 311 Rye, Province of Sussex, and the W.M. and Officers of the Wellington Lodge No 784 paid a return visit to Rye in the autumn.
On 12th October 1950, the Lodge became a Vice-Patron Lodge of the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution.
On 9th November 1950, prior to the opening of the Lodge, the Chaplain dedicated a case of tracing boards, which had been subscribed for by the Brethren as a memorial to the late WBro H.T. Pain who had been Secretary of the Wellington Lodge for forty years.
On 10th April 1952, this being the centenary year of the death of the first Duke of Wellington, which occurred at Walmer Castle on 14th September 1952, W.Bro Sydney Pope, PGStB, the Provincial Librarian, read a paper entitled “A Mason who left his mark on the history of his Country.”
No mention has been made in these records of the Lodge’s support of our Charitable Institutions. In the early days it was customary for the WM to become a Steward during his year of office, frequently being joined by other Brethren. In later times the Lodge has always supported the PGM when presiding at festivals. It is also recorded that in the early years of its existence the Lodge at almost all of its meetings gave relief to distressed Brethren and their dependents in Deal. As in many other Lodges, variations of working have been introduced during the past century These have now become the established customs of the Wellington Lodge, and succeeding Preceptors of the Lodge of Instruction and Directors of Ceremonies have carefully guarded against their omission. Perhaps in recollection of our many Founders who were in the Pilot service the Brethren sing the first verse of the Seamen’s Hymn, “Eternal Father, Strong to Save,” before the Closing Ode at the conclusion of the meetings. The present Officers of the Lodge, and those who will succeed them, may be relied upon to transmit these customs to the generations to follow, and our hope is that present and future members will continue to fully and faithfully uphold the principles and tenets of Freemasonry as our Brethren have done during the past hundred years.