ISSUE 9, April 2004

The Duke of Wellington: A Brother in arms
Quarterly Communication: Address of the Grand Master and Report of the Board of General Purposes
Life with the Stars: Masons and famous people
Hall Stone Jewel: Cyril Spackman, designer
Travel: Jamaica
Grand Charity: Annual Report and Accounts
Masonic stamps: Masonry on stamps
Library & Museum of Freemasonry: Antients and Moderns go on-line
Masonic education: Events for Freemasons
Masonic charities: The continuing work
Bowel cancer: How the Grand Charity is helping
Royal Arch: Russia and Eastern Europe
Richard Eve: A former Grand Treasurer
Book reviews

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Featured Masons

The Duke of Wellington
Neal Arden
Elias Ashmole
Richard Eve
John Pine
Cyril Spackman


A further telling entry of his continued, even active, interest in Lodge affairs is his part purchase of an English Lottery Ticket on 16 February 1795 from the Lodge treasurer.
       The minutes for that date show that two English lottery tickets, the property of the only remaining seven regular Brethren of the Lodge, cost £45 10s 0d and:

…the members who subscribed and are entitled to benefit of the tickets purchased of part of their fifty pounds are…the Honorable A. Wesley…

The logical conclusion that Arthur had intentions to progress in the Craft is supported by Lord Combermere, Provincial Grand Master of Cheshire, at the death of Wellington. On 31 December 1852 the Freemasons’ Quarterly Magazine and Review reported verbatim Lord Combermere’s words, addressed to the Brethren of the Province on 27 October that year:
       Perhaps it is not generally known that he (the Duke of Wellington) was a mason; he was made in Ireland; and often when in Spain, where Masonry was prohibited, in conversation (with Lord Combermere), he regretted repeatedly how sorry he was his military duties had prevented him taking the active part his feelings dictated.
       In June 1794 Wellington left Cork for Ostend in command of a brigade for his first taste of active service, and resigned from the Lodge when he was posted to Austria and then to India in 1796.
       He returned to England in September 1805, and in April 1806 was elected MP for Rye in Sussex. He was later to represent Mitchell, Cornwall and Newport, Isle of Wight. A year later he joined the Duke of Portland’s Tory Government as Chief Secretary for Ireland.
       Meanwhile, his military career was reaching a peak. In 1808 he was made a Lieutenant General and was involved in the various military campaigns against Napoleon, known as the Peninsular War.
       Whilst stationed in Portugal in the autumn of 1809, an interesting episode provides an insight into his attitude toward Freemasonry. The Portuguese government, no doubt still under the influence of the several catholic Papal Bulls banning Freemasonry, had a natural political and religious distrust of Freemasons and other liberal bodies considered to be anti-clericals.


Below: Meeting of Wellington and Field Marshal Blucher on the evening of Waterloo at La Belle Alliance

Copyright Bonhams, London