Establishment and Warrant of the Lodge :-
York Lodge No. 236 is the oldest surviving Freemasons Lodge in the City of York.
Our Warrant is dated 7th July 1777, issued by the Provincial Grand Lodge of Yorkshire, and is signed
by Sir Thomas Tancred Bart, who was the Provincial Grand Master ‘for the County of York’.
The Lodge was originally established under the name of Union Lodge, with the first meeting being held at 9.00pm at Lockwood’s Coffee House on Brigate in York. The name of the Lodge was later changed to York Lodge in Feb 1870.
Founding Members :-
The Lodge’s founder members were :-
Joseph JONES, the first Worshipful Master, who was a Plane maker,
Thomas DENTON, the first Senior Warden, who was a Bookseller,
John STEPHENSON, the first Junior Warden, who was a Mariner,
William THOMPSON, the first Secretary, who was a Whip Maker,
John PRESTON, a Musical Instrument Maker,
William WALKER, a Farmer, and
John STOW, a Mariner.
At the first meeting of the Lodge, a further 4 members were initiated, Alexander SMITH, Thomas RICHARDSON, George LAWTON, and Christopher LOCKWOOD, being the proprietor of Lockwood’s Coffee House.
Early Meeting Places :-
In its early years the Lodge had no permanent meeting place, and had to change its meeting venues on a number of occasions until its current permanent home was established at Duncombe Place Masonic Hall in 1863, where it has been meeting ever since.
During its long history its various meeting places, all in York were :-
Daughter lodges :-
The Lodge has had the privilege over the years of sponsoring a number of new “daughter lodges” as follows :-
Lodge of St Germain 566 Selby Established 1850
Camalodunum Lodge 660 Malton Established 1856
Meridian Lodge 9597 York Established 1996
In January 1870 a Memorial was sent to the Grand Master to request a change of name of the Lodge from “Union” to “York”, with the request being supported by a number of arguments, amongst which included :-
“That it should be more closely connected with that of our Ancient City, and with the Masonic glory with which it is associated”.
“The importance of York, as having a prominent place in the “History of English Freemasonry”: The Charges and Regulations it has formed under the title of the “York Constitutions”; and the present appellation still given to those working under them, of “Ancient York Mason”, entitle us to your consideration to make the required change”.
The Grand Master, the Rt. Hon. the Earl of Zetland was pleased to accede to the request on the 7th February 1870, and first meeting held under the new name was held on the 21st February 1870.
In the early years of Freemasonry, the United Grand Lodge of England often undertook “closing up” of lodge numbers, to reflect the numerous changes in lodges, and over the years the lodge has had 7 numbers, the last change being made in 1863, prior to the change of name from Union Lodge to York Lodge in 1870, so “York Lodge” has only ever had the number 236.
On the occasion of the Lodge’s Centenary celebrations in 1877, a warrant was received
The Worshipful Master at that time was Bro. William Cowling, and he was supported by The Earl of Zetland, the Provincial Grand Master, and W.Bro. T.W. Tew, Deputy Provincial Grand Master of Yorkshire West Riding.
In view of the numbers of members & visitors attending, the Banquet was held in the De Grey Rooms in St Leonard’s place instead of the Lodge Banqueting Room.
The previous day a Silver Loving Cup was presented to the Lodge, with 100 members of the Lodge having subscribed to its purchase, and their names were engraved on the Cup. The Cup is still a proud possession of the Lodge, and is used at the Installation Banquet of each newly installed Master to this day.
On the occasion of the Lodges Bi-
“To the memory of
Bro. Stanley Ernest Howe, PPSGD
Initiated into York Lodge No. 236 19th April 1948
Elected Tyler of York Lodge No. 236 17th April 1950
Served as Tyler for over 40 years until his
Death on 16th November 1991
Remembered with affection by all the
Members of the Craft.”
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