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Although the Canynges Lodge No. 1388 had already sponsored two Lodges, (Whitson Lodge No. 2943 in 1902, and Redcliffe Lodge No. 5403 in 1922), its membership continued to grow, and in 1932, when it had grown to 127, it was thought desirable that consideration be given to the formation of a further daughter lodge.


The task of investigating the new formation was given to W.Bro. J.B.Burnell, a Past Master of Canynges Lodge.


At the time George V was King and the Prime Minister Ramsey MacDonald was leader of a coalition Parliament; the country was going through one of the worst depressions it had ever faced and it must have taken some considerable determination, if not faith, to carry through the formation of a new lodge in such times. To put things in context in January of that year Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany, the Golden Gate Bridge in San Fransisco was started, in February the Nazis had burnt the Reichstag building and in March the Dachau  concentration camp was opened.  


The name ‘Chatterton’ was chosen to commemorate the famous boy poet, Thomas Chatterton, and by so doing to continue the association of Canynges and Redcliffe Lodges with the church of St. Mary Redcliffe.


The Latin motto ‘Disce Mori ut Vivas’ (Learn to die so that you might live), was most appropriately adopted for the Lodge Banner and Crest.


There were 19 Founder Members of Chatterton Lodge, all of whom were members of Canynges Lodge.


W.Bro. J.B.Burnell, PM, 1388, Prov.J.G.D..

W.Bro. B.C.Eveleigh, PM, 1388 P.Pr.Asst.G.Purs.

W.Bro. L.W.Burnett, PM. 1388 P.Pr.J.G.D..

W.Bro. W.T.Syng, PM. 2390 P.Pr.G.Swd.Br. (Somerset)


Bro. F.Richardson                             Bro. P.W.Chapman

Bro. C.W.C.Wookey                          Bro. H.C.Hussey

Bro. I.J.Spencer                                Bro. H.T.Marsh

Bro. F,H,Lewis                                  Bro. R.E.Green

Bro. T.A.Stinchcombe                       Bro. C.Read

Bro. H.Peacock                                Bro. J.T.Hansford

Bro. C.R.H.Lord                                Bro. J.M.Evans

                                                       Bro. P.E.Gale



The proposed Lodge Name and other details submitted with the Petition having received official approval, a Warrant dated 2nd. November, 1932, was duly issued and the Consecration Ceremony was arranged for Tuesday, 17th. January 1933, at 5pm at Freemasons’ Hall, Park Street, Bristol.


There were 140 Brethren present at the Ceremony, which, although it could not be foreseen at the time, was to be the last Consecration of a Craft Lodge in the Province of Bristol for over 14 years until xxxxxx Lodge was consecrated in xxxx..


The Consecrating Officer was the Provincial Grand Master for Bristol, R.W.Bro. Sir Ernest H. Cook, D.Sc., J.P.




W.Bro. F.S.Philpott, P.A.G.D.C., D.P.G.M.,               as I.P.M

W.Bro. Dr. J.A.Nixon, Prov.S.G.W.,                           as S.W

W.Bro. G. Curgenven, Prov. J.G.W.,                          as J.W

W.Bro. Ven. Archdeacon W.Welchman, Pr.G.Ch.       as Chaplain

W.Bro. T.Goulding, Prov. G. Sec.,                             as Secretary

W.Bro. P.G.A.Smith, Prov.G.D.C.,                             as D.C

W.Bro. W.M.Irving, Prov. G.Purs.,                             as Inner Guard

W.Bro. R.G.Parminter, P.Pr.G.Org., was responsible for the musical arrangements.




The Chatterton Lodge was then duly Consecrated, Dedicated, and Constituted in accordance with antient ceremonial and custom, following which, the Worshipful Master Designate, W.Bro. J.B.Burnell, PM 1388, was installed, and proclaimed as Worshipful Master of the Lodge, by the Consecrating Officer, R.W.Bro. Sir Ernest H. Cook.


A short History of Thomas Chatterton, written by Sir Ernest Cook, had been printed and a copy given to all Brethren present at the Consecration. (see Appendix for the full text)


The final paragraphs on the last page are most meaningful and relevant:-

“The Chatterton Lodge comes into our Bristol Masonic family at a time when world-wide depression seems to exist, but it will be received with open arms. May its members ever remember the glorious associations associated with its name, and whenever they meet genuine and true distress, may they do their utmost to relieve that distress in the most effective and practical manner.


I hope that the establishment of a Chatterton Lodge among the Freemasons of Bristol will be a standing pledge that, in so far as lies in their power, the members of the Lodge will take care that no such terribly sad tragedy as that of the Boy Poet, can occur again. Let each one resolve that wise counsel and sympathy, which were what the lad most needed, shall be freely given, and that relief shall ease the physical pains from which he suffered.”


The Lodge was fortunate in having a number of essential items generously donated by the following Brethren almost immediately following the Consecration:-


The Lodge Banner

        W.Bro.J.B.Burnell, W.M

Two Bibles and a full set of Working Tools

           Canynges Lodge 1388

S.W’s Column & Gavel

         Bro.F.Richardson, S.W

J.W’s Column & Gavel

Bro.C.W.C.Wookey, J.W

D.C’s Wand


S.D’s Wand

              Bro.I.J.Spencer, S.D

J.D’s Wand

                 Bro.F.H.Lewis, J.W

Charity Box

W.Bro.H.Peacock, Almoner

Almoner’s Plate

 W.Bro.B.C.Eveleigh, Treasurer

Two bound copies of “The Life and Works of Thomas Chatterton

         Bro.R.E.Green, Steward

Three sets of “Questions and Answers” for the use of candidates

     Bro.R.E.Green, Steward

Honours Board

       Masters of  Sister Lodges

Music for opening and closing Hymns, later copyrighted.                     
W.Bro.C.W.Stear, P.Pr.G.Org.

(Elected Hon. Member)

The Warrant of the Lodge was suitable framed by Miss Syng, daughter of W.Bro. W.T.Syng.



Days of Meeting -

It was decided that the Lodge was to meet at 7.15pm, on the first Thursday of every month from October to June, inclusive.


Fees and Subscriptions -

Initiation Fee -                           15 guineas               (£15.75 in today’s money)

Joining Fee -                              6 guineas  (English Constitution)

Joining Fee -                              7 guineas  (Other Constitutions)

Re-joining Fee -                          5 guineas


The annual Subscription was 4 guineas, which covered all meals and drinks and also included the Installation Banquet. All fees included the current Quarters subscription. There was no charge for a limited number of Visitors.