|The Lodge took its rise from a meeting of various brethren held at the "Earl of Eglinton," situated in Bow, East London. It was resolved to
petition Grand Lodge to form a Lodge to be known as "The Doric," which was intended to embrace the neighbouring districts from Bow to
Mile End, the sponsoring Lodge being the Lodge of Stability No.217.
|It was customary at that time for Lodges to have a much more local function, prompted no doubt by the less swift (though sedate) systems
of travel and communication.
|In due course the Grand Secretary communicated to Brother Henry Bradley that the Grand Master had granted the petition, whereupon
Bros. Bradley, Hawkins, Scurr and Rule had a meeting on the 12th November 1862, at which the date of Consecration was fixed as the
The Consecration took place at the "Earl of Eglinton," Worshipful Brother R. D. Farmer, Grand Pursuivant, performing the Ceremony of
Consecration. Brother Henry Bradley was duly installed as the First Master, after which he appears to have initiated three candidates!
There were 37 Brethren present and 4 joining members, and it is to be regretted that after this lapse of time we must largely "take their
names as read."
The Banquet following the meeting was evidently up to the high standard that has always been associated with the name of this Lodge. We
are indebted to our first Secretary W.Bro. W. Rule for the information that our Brethren "spent an evening of unmitigated enjoyment," and
they must have well deserved it having disposed of a Consecration, Installation and three Initiates during one meeting!
Thus, with the foundation stone well and truly laid, the Doric Lodge came into being, under the number 1235, but this was shortly to be
changed to the present number 933 on the 9th September 1863, due to the re-organisation of the Lodge numbering system which was then
At the meeting of the 11th March 1863, our first Worshipful Master initiated four candidates; a ceremony we would find most interesting to
day. The Deacons' work must have been worthy of study. Following this meeting we find the first detailed record of "Cash Received"
£17-17-0, and we glean from the Minutes that the Fee for Initiation was then six guineas and that for Joining three guineas. This meeting
was to produce an important corner- stone within the structure of the Lodge, for it was resolved to hold a Lodge of Instruction every
Friday at 7.0 o'clock. It says much for this Lodge of Instruction and the fervency and zeal of the Preceptor and brethren that the majority of
the Officers duly rose to Mastership of the Lodge, and continued to render valuable service to the Craft throughout their Masonic career.
On the 6th January 1864 we discover the first recorded evidence of charity, when a needy brother was awarded the sum of ten shillings. A
very modest start indeed, but the first regular step had been taken, and since this date of course, many thousands of pounds have been
disbursed to the recognised Masonic charities and to brethren or their dependants in distress and various worthy causes having no direct
The meeting of 13th April 1864 brought forth the resolution to hold an Annual Banquet, and a Committee being appointed to arrange the
details, it was decided to organise a River Trip and Dinner, which seems to have proved a great success, for this annual event continued to
be enjoyed until 1897, when it was replaced by a Ladies' Festival.
For the first four years the Minutes were recorded in a rather irregular fashion, and it is a pity that much valuable detail of these early days
has been lost to posterity. However, at the meeting in March, 1866 Brother John Graves Stevens became a joining member of the Lodge,
and one month later was appointed Secretary, from which time the Minutes were compiled in a really business-like manner.
The year 1866 also saw the formation of a "Board of Examiners," which corresponds to our present General Purposes Committee. One of
their early duties was to find a more convenient meeting place, and the Earl of Zetland, the then M. W. Grand Master was petitioned for
assent to hold the meetings at the Masons' Hall Tavern, off Coleman Street, E.C. Unfortunately the Lodge had to vacate these premises
two years later due to building alterations, and they moved their venue to Anderton's Hotel, Fleet Street, where they continued to meet for
the next sixty years.
At the April meeting in 1868 it was resolved to increase the Initiation Fee to the then princely sum of eight guineas, possibly in an attempt to
swell the Lodge funds, which at this time were at a very low ebb, many members being in arrears! However, the pulse of Freemasonry
continued to beat strongly, for in March 1871 application was made to Grand Chapter to form a Royal Arch Chapter, and the Doric
Chapter (933) was consecrated a few months later.
In February 1867 we see the first donation to the Charities, a total sum of fifteen guineas being awarded to the Girls' Institution.
Brother Stevens went on to retire from this office after 10 years of valiant service, his presence having had a great influence on the orderly
working of the Lodge.
The March meeting in 1876 saw the initiation of a Mr. Arthur Calver, who was to become a most revered member, and who was to have a
profound effect upon the working and well ruling of the Lodge.
During 1876 and 1877 the Lodge finances appear to have suffered badly. December 1876 shows the Lodge Fund down to 18/8d, Grand
Lodge and Benevolent Accounts being down to 25/- and 10/- respectively. By October 1877 the Lodge was in debt to the Treasurer to
the amount of £13-13-1d, and the Minutes show that the Worshipful Master announced that no Festive Board could be provided that
evening as the Lodge Fund was overdrawn and the arrears of members amounted to over fifty pounds!
Worshipful Brother Stevens again took on the duty of Secretary of the Lodge in .1878, having in the meantime occupied the Master's chair.
On his retiring from the office of Secretary in 1879, he was given a hearty vote of thanks for his many years service. In this same year,
1879, our Daughter Lodge, Bromley St. Leonard No.1805 was Consecrated.
By December 1883, the Lodge Fund was still indebted to the Treasurer, this time to the amount of £14-12-3d, but things had improved in
other directions, the Grand Lodge Credit being £9-0-0d, and that of the Benevolent Fund £156-0-0d.
In November 1885 it was proposed again to increase the Initiation and Joining Fees.
W.Bro. T. Barnes resigned from the Office of Treasurer in January 1886, having served in this post since February 1873, and during this
period the Lodge was truly indebted to him in more ways than one! W.Bro. W. Wainwright was elected in his stead, and his election seems
to have coincided with the beginning of a new era of prosperity for the Lodge, for the Auditors' Report of December 1888 proudly states
that the balance of cash held by the Treasurer amounted to £188-15-1d.
The 9th March 1897 saw the Doric's first Ladies' Night; presiding was W .Bro. A. W. Goldswain, a notable public figure, and close
associate of His Majesty King Edward VII. Close to two hundred brethren and their partners enjoyed a most pleasant evening, and a very
high standard was set, which the Doric Lodge has been proud to maintain ever since.
During the latter part of 1888, the "Whitechapel Murders" were taking place and there have been attempts to link Freemasonry with the
exploits of "Jack the Ripper". The Doric Lodge was holding meetings in the area at the time of the first two murders, and some of the
Brethren, who were members of The Doric Lodge, were also members of a local vigilante committee. In particular, Bro. George Lusk, was
Chairman of "The Mile End Vigilance Committee", and received a package from "The Ripper" containing a letter and a human female
kidney. The letter read:
Mr Lusk Sir I send you half the kidne I took from one woman I prasarved for you. Tother piece I fried and ate it was very nise.
I may send you the bloody knif that took it out if you wate a whil longer.
Signed Catch me when you can Mister Lusk"
Other members of The Doric Lodge, with links to the murders, were Police Inspector Bro. Charles Digby and Bro. Arthur Duttfield, a cart
and van builder, in who's old yard, in Berner Street, the body of Elizabeth Stride was found!
Our only comment is that these coincidental, tenuous links do not prove that "Jack the Ripper" was a Freemason, or that his actions were in
any way connected with Freemasonry in general, or The Doric Lodge No. 933 in particular!
We are reminded of the Boer War, when at the November 1899 meeting a donation was made to the "Daily Telegraph" Fund for Widows
and Orphans of the Transvaal War.
W.Bro. Edward Kilburn (P.G.S.B. Eng.), (P.P.G.D. Essex), (L.G.R.) was initiated in November 1902. He was in due course to render
many valuable services to Freemasonry, being installed as Master in 1913, was Secretary from 1926 to 1945, a founder of many Lodges
and Preceptor of three Lodges of Instruction. His death on 18th February 1957 at the age of 90 was deeply felt by a vast number of
At the Golden Jubilee Meeting in 1912 W.Bro Calver gave an address on "Early Memories of the Doric Lodge."
On 12th November 1918, as the Doric Lodge had become a Full Patron of the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution, by way of its
contributions to the Charities, and as such, the W.M.was invested with the Collarette and Jewel, known as "The Grand Lodge Charity
Jewel" or "The Sussex Jewel", after its creator, HRH The Duke of Sussex, The Grand Master 1813-41, the W.M., and his successors,
being entitled to wear it in Open Lodge and when visiting other Lodges, for so long as the Lodge may survive.
Many brethren served with distinction during the first World War (1914- 1918) and the Lodge was to bear its burden of grief and anxiety
during these unhappy years, but the work of the Lodge still went on and the offices continued to be filled, often by brethren in uniform.
With the return to peace, the Lodge began to have a steady flow of initiates who were to become such well-known characters over the
years. Amongst them were W.Bro, William Duncumb (L.G.R.) and W.Bro. Ben Harrison (L.G.R., P.Z.) both initiated in 1920; both of
whom were to give valiant service.
Between 1920 and 1930 there came a rewarding influx of new members averaging about five or six per year. During this period W .Bro.
Roland Howe (L.G.R., P.Z.) was initiated (1926), Bro. Frank Brookes (1929) our popular organist for over 25 years, who has in no
small way contributed towards our Doric harmony.
W.Bro. Wilfred J. Russell (P.A.G.D.C. Eng.), (P.P.G.W. Essex) took his first regular step in 1931 and was to become a well known and
well loved figure; our Treasurer for the last nineteen years. It is hard to imagine the resources of the Lodge in more capable hands. His
selfless devotion to his Mother Lodge and other Lodges with which he became associated makes his distinctions well deserved. His Grand
Lodge honour was conferred in 1961, and was unusual in that it was acting rank.
1932 saw our second Daughter Lodge, Lodge of Happiness No. 5353, formed and Consecrated
The year 1937 was the 75th Anniversary of the Lodge and this occasion was appropriately celebrated at Anderton's Hotel, Fleet Street.
The meeting was very well attended, with a host of guests and many Grand Lodge Officers. The Assistant Secretary W.Bro prepared a
brochure. W. J. Ramsey (L.G.R.) to commemorate this landmark, and to give a history of the Lodge from its inception.
W .Bro. A. H. Clark, who was to become a significant member of Doric Lodge in later years, was admitted in due form on the 8th March,
1938 and was initiated by W.Bro. W. G. Wood.
The Lodge was informed on the 14th November 1938 that the Grand Secretary would be pleased to record the Doric as a Recorded
Lodge concerning the Masonic Million Memorial Fund.
At the October meeting of the same year the brethren had the pleasure of entertaining as their guest W.Bro. Montfort of the Doric Lodge
151, Melbourne, Australia.
The years 1939-1945 brought about certain changes necessitated by the war. The Lodge commenced to meet wearing dark morning dress
instead of the customary evening dress, and the popular Ladies' Festivals were suspended for the duration of hostilities. The Lodge now
meets in evening dress once a year for Installation meetings, and the Ladies' Nights have of course long since been resumed.
As from the 28th February 1939 the Lodge changed its venue to the "Great Eastern Hotel", Liverpool Street, reluctantly severing a sixty
years association with Anderton's Hotel due to the building being demolished upon expiration of lease.
Attendances naturally began to fall off, as the younger brethren were called away to sterner duties, but due to the enthusiasm of those who
were able to be present, the Lodge continued to meet and carry on the good work, and though it was reluctantly decided to dissolve the
Lodge of Instruction early in the war, as the bombing raids began to slacken off, by unanimous vote it was re-opened in October, 1943.
As a compensation for the loss of the Ladies' Festival during the war years, the Master's Lady was presented with a suitable gift.
Early in 1944 the Lodge mourned the sad loss of their ruling Master W .Bro. J. H. Roberts (L.G.R.). W.Bro. William Duncumb (I.P; M.)
served as acting Master for the rest of the Masonic year and was again installed in the chair on the 18th April 1944.
From 1942 until 1945 the Lodge met at the "Holborn Restaurant," then moved to its present home at Freemasons' Hall, Great Queen
Street, London W.C.2.
The end of hostilities saw the welcome return to the fold of those brethren who had been called away on war service, and once again
meetings were swelled by an increasing number of visitors, pleased to resume old friendships and partake of the cordial hospitality that has
always been a hallmark of the "Doric."
During the meeting of the 9th September, 1947 it was voted that the sum of twenty guineas be taken from the Lodge Funds to provide a
suitable gift as a small token of the magnificent services rendered by W .Bro. E. Kilburn (P.G.Std.B. Eng.), (P.P.G.D. Essex), (L.G.R.),
Secretary of the Lodge for twenty- one years. A small committee was elected to deal with this pleasing matter, and it was settled that the
gift should take the practical form of a cheque. This was later presented in Open Lodge together with an illuminated address, with loud
acclaim from the brethren.
At the October meeting, 1947 the Lodge was honoured by a distinguished visitor from overseas, W.Bro. G. A. Blair, who had been
commissioned by the Doric Lodge No.151, Melbourne, Australia, to present to the ruling Master W.Bro. R. J. Howe, a set of engraved
gavels made from various native woods as a sign of brotherly esteem and affection.
On the 13th September 1949, tragedy again struck at the heart of the Lodge as the brethren sorrowfully rose to pay Masonic tribute to the
memory of W .Bro. E. Harman, sadly stricken down so early during his year of office as Worshipful Master. Once more the Lodge had
reason to be grateful to its Past Masters, especially W .Bro. Minute, who stepped into the breach to ensure the smooth continuance of
Masonic business, until the next regular period of election.
At the Installation meeting in April 1951, W.Bro. Ben Harrison was invested as Treasurer due to W .Bro. W. Russell (who had acted in
this capacity for eight years) being installed as Master. During his year of office the Worshipful Master did not encroach too deeply upon
the resources of the Exchequer, for the following year he was once more entrusted with the care of the Lodge's finances!!
At the January meeting in 1956, the Secretary reported that two brethren who wished to remain anonymous had purchased and forwarded
to Grand Lodge Museum on behalf of the brethren of the Lodge, the gold Past Master's Jewel worn by the late W.Bro. Albert J. Dyer
(O.B.E.), (P.A.G.D.C.), an old and beloved member of the Lodge who had passed away on March 18th, 1955.
The Lodge sadly paid tribute on the 11th September 1956 to the memory of W.Bro. William Duncumb (L.G.R.) who had suddenly
passed away a few days before. He had for 9 years devotedly served the Lodge as Secretary, and the loss of this worthy mason cast an air
of gloom over the proceedings. W .Bro. A. H. Clark was invested as Secretary for the remainder of the year, and so capably was this post
filled that he was in due course officially appointed and thus continued for a further 26 years, 1956 to 1982.
It was voted on the 11th September 1956 that the Initiation Fee be increased to twenty-five guineas.
The 15th January 1957 was a happy occasion for the Lodge, for the brethren were unanimous in supporting a motion that a presentation be
made to W .Bro. Frederick White (L.G.R.) as a mark of esteem in recognition of fifty years meritorious service.
On the 21st April 1959, the Samaritan Fund of the Royal Masonic Hospital had an unexpected windfall resulting from a substantial cash
surplus from the Ladies' Festival. Brethren will recall that this was a most successful and well run evening, and Masters-to-be will by a little
research be able to arrive at the name of the Festival Secretary for this occasion with a view to re-election!
This pleasurable event was repeated on the 19th January 1960 when a presentation was made to W.Bro. E. G. Shotter (P.G.St.B. Eng.)
as an appreciation of half a century's devoted service to the Craft, not the least of these services being the collection of £3,540.00 for
The Installation Meeting in April 1962 saw much discussion concerning the Centenary Celebrations, one of the particularly pleasing details
being a motion that a total of two hundred guineas should be contributed to the four Masonic Charities.
The Emergency Meeting held on December 10th, 1962 to mark the centenary, was by all accounts a most prestigious affair. The Minutes
Book reports that in addition to the Officers and Brethren, there were present: The Rt. W.Bro. Sir Allan Adair, Asst. Grand Master, The
V. W.Bro. James W. Stubbs, Grand Secretary, W.Bro. Sir James Ritchie, S.G.D., W.Bro. J. Kemble, S.G.D., W.Bro, T. W. Howard
Dept., G.D.C., W.Bro. Rev. T.S. Nevill, A.G.Chap, W.Bro. T.C. Page, A.G.Supt.Wks., W.Bro. Rev. E.J.G. Bamett, P.A.G.Chap., and
121 other visiting brethren including a number of Grand Officers.
At the following meeting a resolution was passed recording the sincere appreciation and grateful thanks to W .Bro. A.H. Clark, for his
admirable and unstinted labour over many months in making arrangements for the centenary celebrations. "That this outstanding and historic
event was undoubtedly an unqualified success was due to his unsparing efforts". A Letter was received from the Grand Secretary giving
similar congratulations on the arrangements. Maj-Gen. Sir Allan Adair, the R. W. Asst. Grand Master was elected an Honorary Member
of the Doric which he in due time graciously accepted.
The Brethren stood to order to receive the R. W. Asst. Grand Master accompanied by his supporting Grand Officers. W .Bro. Oliver W.
Munden, D.C. read the Warrant of Constitution of the Lodge. The Centenary Warrant was then read by V. W .Bro. James W. Stubbs,
Grand Secretary. The R. W. Assistant Grand Master then presented the Centenary Warrant to the Worshipful Master. W.Bro. Rev. E.J.G.
Bamett, M.A., P.A.G.Chap. then delivered a most inspiring Masonic Oration.
In 1970, the L.O.I. moved from The Denmark Arms in East Ham, to its present home at The Eagle Hotel, Snaresbrook, E.11.
1980 saw a change in our dining arrangements in that it was the brethren's wish to leave the Connaught Rooms for pastures new. Suitable
arrangements were made for our accommodation at The White Hall Hotel in Bloomsbury Square, but were curtailed by their ceasing to
cater for Masonic functions. From there we made arrangements at the Kingsley Hotel, also in Bloomsbury, but after due trial it was
determined to return to The Connaught.
It is somewhat disappointing to record that since the centenary celebrations, the charted lines on the graph, show that membership steadily
decreased and although the enthusiasm of the members remained high, the fortunes of the Lodge declined. It would not be an exaggeration
to record that but for the efforts of our Grand Officer, assisted by a handful of P.M.s the Lodge may well have experienced serious
During the 1980s Freemasonry came under attack from various quarters, not least of which the religious bodies, and in particular the
General Synod of the Church of England. Such was the intensity of the pressure, that Grand Lodge saw fit to abandon its time honoured
defence of silence, and decided to attempt to dispel fears by entering into public debate, but to no avail. The General Synod actually went
so far as to accuse the Order of blasphemy - a charge strongly refuted by Grand Lodge, but the culmination of this criticism served to
speed the changes in our Ritual that the craft itself had advocated many years before.
This prompted the decision by the Doric to revise the ceremonies in accordance with Grand Lodge recommendations and to undertake the
reprinting of the revised Calver's Ritual book. Once again under the guidance of W .Bro. Clark, ably assisted by the Preceptor, Treasurer
and Secretary, the 26 Lodges working Calver's Ritual combined to ensure a successful outcome.
In January 1987, the first ceremony containing the revised Ritual was performed in Open Lodge - by, of course, W.Bro. A.H. Clark,
P.G.St.B, who sadly passed away on 6th April 1989, ending the decade on a sad note.
Parker's Restaurant of Kingsway, Holborn, became the regular venue for our Festive Board from September 1990 until 1997, when The
Kingsley Hotel (later renamed "The Thistle Hotel" in Bloomsbury Way, became the preferred venue for most of the Brethren, Parker's
providing for our January meetings only.
In 1994, The Doric Lodge of Instruction Meetings moved to The Royal Standard in Loughton, Essex, from The Eagle Hotel, Snaresbrook.
The decade ended on the sad loss of another of our distinguished Brethren, W.Bro. Sam Peat LGR. on January 14th 1999. This, combined
with the problems generally affecting most London Lodges, low membership numbers, low attendance and initiates hard to find, Doric's
moral was at a very low ebb. It was beginning to look as if the end may be in sight. After due discussion among the Brethren, it was
resolved to overcome our difficulties, and to see the millennium out with rekindle spirit and determination.
Taking advantage of the developing technology, by now most of our records were computerised. We were printing our own summonses
and communicating by e-mail whenever possible, so reducing costs.
Discussions about the possibility of amalgamating with another Lodge had taken place, and during our October Meeting of 2000, our
Daughter Lodge, Bromley St. Leonard, No.1805, represented by their Secretary, W.Bro. E.J.Williams, P.G.St.B. explained that, whist the
prospect of amalgamating with us had been considered, it could not be proposed until such time as the procedures for such action had been
finalised by Grand Lodge, so for the time being, we would all have to wait and see.
The traditional Christmas dinner for members of The Doric Lodge of Instruction, along with guests, who did not have to be members of
The Craft, was revived, and an annual newsletter called "The Doric Column" was circulated in time for Christmas. The feeling of reprieve
and revival generally abounded.
The new Millennium saw attendance begin to improve and we were attracting at least one Initiate a year, along with joining Brethren.
The April 2001, Installation meeting saw the "retirement" of W.Bros. Roy Peat, P.G.St.B. and Reg Macdonald, L.G.R., S.L.G.C.R.,
P.P.G.S.N., as Treasurer and Secretary respectively. As a mark of esteem from the Brethren of the Lodge, The Worshipful Master,
W.Bro. Bradley Grimwood presented them both with identical gifts, suitably inscribed to mark their long and distinguished service to the
Lodge, amounting to 37 years between them, 18 years and 19 years respectively.
When the Metropolitan Grand Lodge of London was Inaugurated on 1st October 2003, The Doric Lodge proudly became a "Founder
Lodge", the Worshipful Master, W.Bro. Peter Knowles, being present at the Historical Ceremony, representing The Doric Lodge.
Following this, at the Regular Lodge Meeting in January 2004, a "Founding Lodge" Jewel, as supplied by The Metropolitan Grand Lodge
of London, was presented to the Worshipful Master and attached to the Master's Collar, to be worn by succeeding masters for so long as
the Lodge shall survive.
Initiation fees were now £175.00, Subscriptions being £150.00 for Dining Members and £60.00 for Non-Dining Members.
March 2004 saw the return of a Ladies' Festival Weekend in Bournemouth, the first the Doric Lodge had held for some nine years. A
modest event with some thirty two couples in attendance, the highlight of the event having starting on the Saturday evening.
The self funding event concluded without financial loss and was judged a success.
This year also saw The Doric Lodge of Instruction move to "The Clydesdale", Loughton in February.
|This page was updated on 30th September 2009
In 2007 the venue for the Festive Board returned to "The New Connaught Rooms", after nearly 20 years, and now under new
management. The majority of the Brethren had felt that whilst there was little difference between the prices and service, as compared with
"The Bloomsbury Thistle", it not being so far to walk and a change of sceenery would be both welcome and beneficial.