ISSUE 23, October 2007

Editorial
Quarterly Communication: Speech of the Pro Grand Master : Quarterly Communication
Grand Secretary: Exciting times ahead
Historic: Telford - Mason extraordinary
Travel: Cruising round Sicily
Samaritan: Helping the distressed
Younger Masons: The common bond
Jersey: Local Masons guard the Duke
   Classic car run: Down memory lane
International: Joseph Brant - a Masonic legend
Universities Scheme: The way ahead
Grand Chancellor: The importance of external relations
Education: Events : Understanding the symbols of the craft
Specialist Lodges: Australia link
Royal Arch: Why join the Royal Arch?
Lbrary & Museum: Major award for Library & Museum
MQ Signs off
Masonic Charities: Grand Charity : NMSF : RMBI : RMTGB
Letters, Book reviews, Gardening

 Previous Page 
PLEASE USE THE LINKS ABOVE - OR ON THIS LINE - TO MOVE BETWEEN PAGES
 Next Page 









In all, Telford attended Salopian Lodge 66 times and his last recorded attendance is on 4 December, 1792. His work commitments were probably the reason for him not continuing in the Lodge, as those that knew him at the time describe him in the modern idiom as a workaholic. This is also the reason given why he never married. There is no record in any of the books in possession of Salopian Lodge when Telford either resigned or ceased to be a member. At the rear of the second minute book, dated 1798 to 1827, there is a list of members, giving the dates of initiation, passing, raising, joining and resignation. The entry in the resignation column for Telford is blank. However, it is extremely unlikely that he was still a member of the Lodge at this time.
     There is also no indication in any of the records of Salopian Lodge as to when or where Telford was initiated, or of which Lodge he was a member at the time of joining. In a letter to Andrew Little of Langholm, dated 1 February, 1786 Telford writes:
     I am taking a great delight in Freemasonry, and am about to have a Lodge room at the George Inn fitted up to my own plans, and under my direction.
     No doubt this was the reason for Templeton commenting in his history that Telford was probably initiated in Portsmouth around 1785 when he was working on buildings in the dockyards.
     From my research of Phoenix Lodge No. 257, the oldest extant Lodge in the city, Telford was initiated on 17 December, 1784 in Lodge of Antiquity (then) No. 18, meeting at the Three Tuns in Portsmouth. This Lodge was erased in 1838. On 20 May, 1786 he became a founder member of Phoenix Lodge meeting in the Lodge room he had constructed at the George Inn.
     Telford is remembered for his innovative design of bridges, roads and canals. Between 1790 and 1795 he constructed no less than 40 road bridges in Shropshire alone. This period saw him move away from the architectural career he had planned for himself to the new profession of civil engineering.
     His appointment as engineer and architect to the Ellesmere Canal Company, formed to connect the rivers Mersey and Dee with the Severn at Shrewsbury, and his solution to the two major obstacles in its construction the valleys of the rivers Dee and Ceriog. These solutions were the great aqueducts at Pont Cysyllte and Chirk.
     Not yet 40, Telford had secured for himself a national reputation as the head of his profession as a civil engineer. He had gathered around him a small select company: Matthew Davidson, his friend and fellow Master Mason and William Hazledine, the iron master, a fellow member of Salopian Lodge.
     Following the crushing of the Jacobite rebellion at the Battle of Culloden in 1745 nothing had been done by the central government in London to assist the Scottish people to move into the Industrial Revolution. Telford was instructed by the Treasury to proceed with a survey and report on the subject of Highland communication. His plans were bold.
     In Scotland over one thousand bridges were built, one thousand miles of road constructed and a water passageway of some 113 miles through the heart of the country was opened up to shipping.

Engineering print of a toll house on the Holyhead Road



 Previous Page 
PLEASE USE THE LINKS ABOVE - OR ON THIS LINE - TO MOVE BETWEEN PAGES
 Next Page