The Second Meeting - A Gala Outing

As many of the members of the Lodge of King Solomon’s Temple lived a great distance from Chester it was felt that a two-day programme would be arranged for the second meeting, Friday 7 April and Saturday 8 April 1911, which would also include the company of the ladies. Provision was made at the Blossoms Hotel to receive the guests for 2 days ‘at a reasonable rate’!

The weekend commenced with Lunch at the Blossoms at 12.30 pm and at 2.00 pm the party left by train from the General Station, Chester for Bebbington, en route for Port Sunlight where the guests were given a guided tour of the charming model village built by W. Bro. W.H. Lever for his workers in his nearby factory. At 3.30 pm they left Port Sunlight for Thornton Manor as the guests of W. Bro. and Mrs Lever where they enjoyed afternoon tea , before returning to Chester ready for dinner at the Blossoms at 7.45 pm. The W.M., W. Bro. R.F. Gould, stayed with the Lever’s at the Manor for the weekend.

Saturday 8 April started with breakfast at 9.00 am, and at 10.30 am, through the kindness of His Worship the Mayor, the party was given a conducted tour of the most interesting historical sites of Chester. These included: the Phoenix Tower, Pemberton’s Parlour (formerly known as Goblin’s Tower), Chester Castle, Water Tower and Roman Remains, the Roodee, the Old Dee Bridge and Chester Cathedral. At 1.00 pm lunch was served at the Blossom’s Hotel. This was followed at 2.00 pm. by an official reception for all members, visitors and ladies by the Mayor and Mayoress in Chester Town Hall.

During this second meeting of the Lodge, which took place at Hunter Street at 3.00 pm, the ladies were entertained in the Town Hall by the Lady Mayoress and at 4.00 pm they rejoined the brethren to listen to a lecture by W. Bro. A.J. Thompson, P.P.G.W. entitled ‘A Tour through Palestine with Special Reference to the Temple of King Solomon’. The lecture was illustrated by over 200 lantern slides during which several appropriate sacred songs were rendered by Bro. E. Robinson’s ‘famous Quartette’.

High tea was served at 5.30 pm followed at 6.30 pm by a social evening under the Presidency of W. Bro. W.H. Lever and Mrs Lever accompanied by the Mayor and Mayoress. Several ‘cinematograph films’ were shown during the evening by Bro. A.T. Wright and musical items were performed by Bro. E. Robinson’s ‘Quartette’, Bro. Walter Baker, Bro. R.T.W. Allen, Bro. J.F. Swift and several other artistes. Mrs Lever was presented with ‘a most beautiful album containing the signatures of the members and guests of the Lodge of King Solomon’s Temple No. 3464’ together with an illuminated address thanking her for her kindness and the interest she had shown in Freemasonry.

After ‘God Save The King’ had been sung the brethren and their ladies dispersed ‘at their own convenience’.

Afternoon tea for members and wives at Thornton Manor 7 April 1911

Afternoon tea for members and wives at Thornton Manor 7 April 1911

Lodge members, Visitors and Ladies outside Chester Town Hall 8 April 1911

Lodge members, Visitors and Ladies outside Chester Town Hall 8 April 1911

Illuminated Address to Mrs W. H. Lever

Illuminated Address to Mrs W. H. Lever

At this second meeting there were 37 members and 46 visitors present. The committee appointed to draw-up the Bye-Laws delivered their report which was as follows:

The Regular Meetings of this Lodge shall be held at Freemason’s Hall, Hunter Street, Chester, on the second Saturday in the months of April and October of each year, at 2 o’clock pm, or at such time the Worshipful Master may appoint.

At the Regular Meeting in April the Master and Treasurer for the ensuing year shall be elected by ballot and a Tyler elected by shew [sic] of hands.

The Master-Elect shall be Installed in the Chair of The Lodge at the Regular Meeting in October of each year, if the minute relating to his election be confirmed and shall then, and there invest and appoint the Officers.

The Annual Subscription shall be the sum of Ten Shillings and Sixpence, except in the case of the Officers of the Lodge, who shall pay the sum of One Guinea [£1.05] per annum. The Subscription shall be payable in
advance at the Regular Meeting in October of each year. Members in arrears shall not hold Office, Vote, or be eligible to sit upon any Committee of the Lodge.

The Fee for Initiation shall be Seven Guineas. The Joining Fee shall be Two Guineas, not including the cost of Registration from a Foreign Constitution.

The Permanent Secretary of the Lodge shall be exempt from the payment of subscription, as per Rule 235 of the Book of Constitution.

The Treasurer’s Accounts shall be audited by two members of the Lodge; who shall be elected at the Regular Meeting in April of each year.

A Permanent Committee consisting of the Master, Wardens and Past Masters of the Lodge, the Treasurer, the Secretary and two members of the Lodge elected at the Regular Meeting in April, shall have the superintendence of the property of the Lodge; shall enquire into the qualifications of candidates for Initiation, or Joining and consider any report on any matter that may be delegated to them or connected with the welfare of the Lodge. Three to form a Quorum.

The foregoing Bye-Laws were considered and adopted at the Regular Meeting held on Saturday 8 April 1911.

Lodge members 1911

Lodge members 8 April 1911

Lodge Bye-Laws 1911

Lodge Bye-Laws 1911

The wood at the top and bottom of the scroll containing the Bye-Laws is olive wood from Jerusalem presented by W. Bro. A.E. Mitchell.

A ballot for the Joining Members proposed at the previous meeting proved unanimously in favour. W. Bro. A.E. Coveney was elected Master for the ensuing year and the Treasurer and Tyler were re-elected.

The following 41 Brethren were proposed as Joining Members:

H.R.H. The Duke of Connaught, K.G., Most Worshipful Grand Master.
His Majesty King Frederick VIII of Denmark, Most Worshipful Grand Master of Denmark.
His Majesty King Gustav V of Sweden, Most Worshipful Grand Master of Sweden.
The President of the United States of America, Bro. William Howard Taft.

The Most Honourable the Marquess of Tullibardine, M.V.O., D.S.O., Most Worshipful Grand Master Mason of Scotland.
General T.J. Shryock, Most Worshipful Grand Master of Maryland.
M.W. Bro. Edward B. Paul, Most Worshipful Past Master of British Columbia.
M.W. Bro. W.B. Patton, Most Worshipful Past Grand Master of Minnesota.
R.W. Bro. The Right Honourable T.F. Halsey, Deputy Grand Master.
The Right Honourable Lord Egerton of Tatton, R.W. Provincial Grand Master of Cheshire.
The Right Honourable Field-Marshal Lord Wolseley, P.G.W.
General Sir Charles Warren, G.C.M.G., K.C.B., F.R.S.

Sir Edward Letchworth, Grand Secretary.
W.Bro. John Strachan, K.C., Past Grand Registrar.
R.W. Bro. T. Sherlock-Graham, District Grand Master of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.

It is assumed that the above were to be Honorary Members although this was not specifically stated in the Minutes; they were balloted for separately at the next meeting. Additionally the following brethren were proposed as Joining Members:

W. Bro. T. Stott, P.P.G.W. (Gentleman)
Bro. George Prince, (Gentleman)
Bro. J. Bateman Thompson
Bro. Charles E. Andrews, (Pilot)
Bro. C.H. Huckle, (Dental Surgeon)
W. Bro. James M. Lamberton, (Harrisburg, Pa. USA)
Bro. Frederick A. Parker, (Manager)
Bro. W. Lund, (Agent)
Bro. James Pilling, (Entertainer)
Bro. Stanley Palmer, (Accountant)
Bro. Harry Ball, (Musician)
Bro. Aaron Henry Lord, (Artiste)
W. Bro. Major R.C. Davies
W. Bro. Owen Jones, (Merchant)
Bro. George Anderson Truefitt, (Dental Surgeon)
Bro. Albert Brady, (‘Albert Felino’ Comedian)
W. Bro. W. May, (Forwarding Agent)
Bro. William Dalton, (Society Entertainer)
Bro. Reginald Hedley Sherbourne Roberts, (Art Student)
W. Bro. J.S. Warren, (School Master)
Bro. Charles Richard Whittle, (Comedian)
Bro. Frank Weston, (Theatrical Manager)
Bro. Thomas Joseph Edwards, (Ventriloquist)
W. Bro. S.J. Prevost, (Gentleman)
Bro. Thomas Gerrard, (Pilot)
Bro. George Royden, (Gentleman)

The Lodge was then ‘closed in time, form and harmony’.

Joining and Honorary members for this meeting for the second meeting

HRH The Duke of Connaught and Strathearn

H.R.H. THE DUKE OF CONNAUGHT AND STRATHEARN was born in 1850, the seventh child and third son of Queen Victoria. In 1879 he married Princess Louise, the daughter of Prince Frederick of Prussia. He was a career soldier and served in Montreal, India, Ireland, the Mediterranean and South Africa, attaining the rank of Field Marshal in 1902. The Duke was the Godfather of Queen Elizabeth II as well as being her great-great uncle.
He became the Grand Master in 1901 when his brother, who had been the Grand Master for 27 years, acceded to the Throne as King Edward VII and he became an Honorary Member of the Lodge of King Solomon’s Temple (3464) in 1911. The Duke was Grand Master until his death in 1942

A paragraph in the ‘Court Circular’ section of The Times stated:

‘The Duke of Connaught, Grand Master of the Order of Freemasonry in England, has become a member of the Lodge of King Solomon’s Temple which until its removal to Jerusalem, is holding its meetings in the Freemasons’ Hall, Chester.’

This announcement in The Times would seem to be a little premature – a good job that the ballot at the next meeting proved favourable!

KING FREDERICK VIII OF DENMARK (1843-1912) became King in 1906 on the death of his father King Christian IX. He was a liberal ruler but his reign was weakened by ill health. The royal families of Denmark, Norway, Belgium and Luxembourg are all descended from him. He was the Most Worshipful Grand Master of Denmark and proposed as an Honorary Member of the Lodge of King Solomon’s Temple (3464) on 8 April 1911

King Frederick VIII of Denmark

King Gustav V of Sweden

KING GUSTAV V OF SWEDEN (1858-1950) was the eldest son of King Oscar II and was King from 1907 until his death in 1950. He was the last Swedish King to intervene directly in the politics of the country (in 1914 on the disputes over defence budgets) and also the last to be Supreme Commander of the Swedish Armed Forces. During World War I he was considered to have German sympathies and in World War II he apparently attempted to convince Hitler to soften his persecution of the Jews. He was also noted for appealing to the Hungarian leader to save the Jews ‘in the name of humanity’. Appearing under the pseudonym of ‘Mr G’, he was a devoted tennis player and promoter of the sport – a game he became familiar with during a visit to Britain in 1876. He was the Most Worshipful Grand Master of Sweden and became an Honorary Member of the Lodge of King Solomon’s Temple (3464) in 1911

ALBERT BRADY, (stage name ALBERT FELINO) was known as a comedian/vaudeville artiste. In 1906/7 he appeared at the Theatre Royal, Edinburgh in The Forty Thieves and in 1921/22 he featured in Robinson Crusoe at the Theatre Royal Glasgow with Will Fyffe. He was a member of St. Clement’s Lodge, Aberdeen (688 Scotland) and at the age of 28 in 1905 he joined Chelsea Lodge (3098) where he was Worshipful Master in 1915. In 1911 he became a Joining Member of the Lodge of King Solomon’s Temple (3464).

William Howard Taft, 27th President of the United States of America, Honorary member of the Lodge of King Solomon's Temple 3464, Chester

WILLIAM HOWARD TAFT (1857-1930). Unlike other Presidents of the United States who were Freemasons, William Taft was unique by the fact that he was ‘Made a Mason at Sight’. This can only be done by a Grand Master of a Grand Lodge that allows it, by waiving the three degrees and by administering an obligation at one sitting after which the candidate must go on to petition for membership of a lodge. Within one month of his inauguration as President of the US he became a member of Kilwinning Lodge (356) in Cincinnati on 14 April 1909. In later life he said he regretted not having joined Masonry by the normal route but made it plain that it had not been of his own choosing but was due to circumstances over which he had no control.

On 8 April 1911 (whilst Republican President of the US) Taft was proposed as an Honorary Member of the Lodge of King Solomon’s Temple (3464) by W. Bro. Robert Freke Gould, W.M. and seconded by W. Bro. Sir William Hesketh Lever, Bart. A ballot took place on 21 October 1911 and proved unanimously in favour.

He was the 27th President of the US (1909-1913) and had previously served as Solicitor General, Governor General of the Philippines and Secretary of War although he was a great protagonist of peace. In 1921 he became Chief Justice and on his death he became the first President to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery. As he once got stuck in the bath at the White House a larger model had to be installed!

THOMAS JOSEPH EDWARDS (1879-1933) was known as the ‘Huntsman Ventriloquist’ because he usually wore hunting attire for his performances. He had been a circus performer/singer and was one of eight children of a ‘horse-keeper’ and reputed former jockey. His sister was Maude Edwards, also a ventriloquist whose ‘dummy’ was known as ‘the little stable boy’. Maude was managed by her brother, Tomas, who later became a successful theatrical manager. She, like Tom, toured the American Music Halls and on her return decided that he was taking too large a slice of her earnings and sued him in the High Court and won. A review of the Orpheum Theatre, Seattle, for 15 May 1911 stated:

Thomas Hoseph Edwards known as the

‘Other acts included … ventriloquist Tom Edwards. Inexplicably dressed as though he were part of an English hunting party, Edwards performed with a dummy in the likeness of a small boy, and at the end of the act pretended to put the child down for a night’s rest. According to Edgar H. Thomas, Edwards was apparently doing fine with his act until, “flushed with his success”, he attempted a line of comedy that pushed the boundaries of good taste …’

In 1910 he worked in a number of theatres in New York and in November 1924 he is reported as appearing at the London Coliseum. He was married to Alice Melville, also a ventriloquist and actress who was the grand-daughter of George Melville I, the founder of the dynasty of theatre owners and managers. Edwards was the manager of the Tom Edwards Vaudeville Company and was often billed as ‘Tom Edwards & “Curly” Ventriloquial Comedians’. Tom Edwards appeared in the first Royal Command Performance in 1912 and became a Joining Member of the Lodge of King Solomon’s Temple (3464) in 1911. He was initiated into Chelsea Lodge (3098) in 1908.

RT. HON. SIR T.F. HALSEY, BART., P.C. was appointed Deputy Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England in 1903. Sir Frederick was the first of four members of the Halsey family to lead the Province of Hertfordshire as Provincial Grand Master. He became an Honorary Member of the Lodge of King Solomon’s Temple (3464) in 1911.

SIR CHARLES WARREN, G.C.M.G., K.C.B., F.R.S. (1840-1927) was born in Bangor, North Wales. He was an officer in the Royal Engineers and in 1867 went to the Holy Land with the Palestine Exploration Fund where he conducted the first major excavations of Jerusalem. This project ushered in a new age of Biblical archaeology and Warren’s most significant discovery was a water shaft (Warren’s Shaft) and a series of tunnels underneath the Temple Mount. In 1886 he was appointed Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police and came under much criticism for not solving the ‘Jack the Ripper Case’. He was a very enthusiastic Freemason and was instrumental in the use of the underground quarries in Jerusalem for Masonic Festivals and Rituals long before there were any lodges there. Warren became an Honorary Member of the Lodge of King Solomon’s Temple (3464) in 1911.



CHARLES RICHARD WHITTLE (1874-1947) was a comedian/singer from Yorkshire. At the age of 10 he started working in a Bradford silk mill and later became a clog-iron maker and served an apprenticeship as a shoe-smith. By this time he was appearing in local public-house concerts earning 6 shillings a night with a pie for his supper. His next step up the ladder was at the City Varieties, Leeds in 1900 followed by work in minor London theatres.

His first on-stage song was entitled Why Hasn’t Daddy Come Home and in 1902 an article in the Chatham Observer recorded ‘Charles Whittle, versatile comedian, has some capital songs of a somewhat fresh order’. He went on to enjoy huge success with songs like Kelly from the Isle of Man, Put me Amongst the Girls and Let’s all go Down the Strand – Have a Banana, a song he bought from the writers Harry Castling and C.W. Murphy. In 1910, Scott and Mills wrote Fall in and Follow me for him. His recording career on the Regal and Corena labels ran from 1911 until 1916.

A correspondent writing in The Era on 7 July 1916 remarked:

‘Appearing at the Ealing Hippodrome, Charles Whittle is one of those amusing vocalists whose mere appearance at the footlights is the signal for an outburst of merriment. He is funny without effort, every line of his patter is really droll. In I’m Muggins the Juggins the artist is at his best, and some of his facial contortions are irresistibly comic.’

Many of his chorus songs were performed in top hat, suit and spats and at the first Royal Command Performance held at the Palace Theatre on 1 July 1912 Whittle was one of the artistes selected to appear in Variety’s Garden Party finale along with the great Harry Champion. He carried on performing into the 1920s and retired in 1930 aged 56, still living in Yorkshire where he appeared in local concerts, socials and charity events. In 1939, when George Black opened the Adelphi Theatre in the Strand the first show was a revue called Let’s all go Down the Strand and Charlie was asked to take part in it. This led to offers to appear in other London theatres and he eventually appeared on a BBC television programme in 1947.

He was initiated into Chelsea Lodge (3098) on 17 July 1908 and became a Joining Member of the Lodge of King Solomon’s Temple (3464) on 21 October 1911.

VISCOUNT GARNET JOSEPH WOLSELEY, KP, OM, GCB, GCMG, VD, PC, (1833-1913) was an Army officer who served in Burma, the Crimea, the Indian Mutiny, China, Canada and throughout Africa which included his brilliantly executed Ashanti campaign. From 1882 until 1890 he was Adjutant-General at the War Office after which he was given the command in Ireland. In 1894 he was appointed Field-Marshal and the next year was made Commander-in-Chief of the Forces. He was a frequent contributor to periodicals and also published The Decline and Fall of Napoleon (1895), The Life of John Churchill, Duke of Marlborough to the Accession of Queen Anne (1894) and The Story of a Soldier’s Life (1903). In recognition of his military succession an expression arose, ‘all Sir Garnet’, meaning that everything is in good order and he was the inspiration behind the celebrated Gilbert and Sullivan character ‘Major-General Stanley in The Pirates of Penzance who was ‘ … the very model of a modern Major-General’. He was a Past Grand Warden and was made an Honorary Member of the Lodge of King Solomon’s Temple (3464) in 1911.

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