1737, April 4, Philadelphia.
Entries in L. B. indicate a meeting.
1737, April 13, Boston.
Meeting of the First Lodge. Samuel Stone of Salem made.
R. M S.
1737, April 20, Boston.
The Commission of Provincial Grand Master Thomlinson arrives in Boston.
1 Mass. 5.
1914 Mass. 262.
1736, December 7, supra.
Robert Tomlinson (alias Thomlinson).
Provincial Grand Master for New England from April 20, 1737 to July 16, 1740.
Of Tomlinson's birth and early life we know nothing. His religious activities, his business career, and his wife's family name would indicate that he came from Antigua. The first we know of him is that he was married March 2, 1730, to Elizabeth Gerot (or Gerret) by the Rev. Timothy Cutler, D.D., Rector of Christ Church, Boston. Neither the birth nor baptismal records show children having come to their home, and there is nothing in the   scanty records of the probate of his estate to indicate that either a widow or child survived him. October 29, 1734 (Suffolk Registry of Deeds, book 49, page 174) he purchased a three-eighths interest in two lots of land on the shore with a wharf. This property was located in Boston on the Charles River, not far from tile present site of the Massachusetts General Hospital. The wharf went into decay, for there being no clear channel the larger vessels could not be accommodated at it. Later the building of the West Boston Bridge and the closer connection with Cambridge and the inland towns brought this region into a new prominence for development, though then we find another the owner of the whole property.
Tomlinson was made a Mason on January 13, 1735, in the First Lodge in Boston and was later accepted in the Masters Lodge, although he was not raised here. He was chosen Master of the First Lodge in Boston on St. John the Baptist's Day, 1736, and at the Festival of St. John the Evangelist was appointed Deputy Grand Master by Henry Price, being succeeded by Thomas Oxnard as Master of the Lodge. His commission as Provincial Grand Master from the Earl of Loudoun, etc., Grand Master of the Free and Accepted Masons of England, dated December 7, 1736, was received here by Tomlinson on April 20, 1737, and in June he celebrated the Festival of St. John the Baptist.
During 1738 Tomlinson went to England by way of Antigua "where finding some old Boston Masons went to Work and made the Governour and sundry other Gentlemen of Distinction Masons, whereby from Our Lodge sprung Masonry in the West Indies." (This extract from the Massachusetts records is possibly in part  in error. He undoubtedly founded a new Lodge in Antigua as related but it is believed that in Antigua, Parham Lodge was constituted January 31, 1737; Court House Lodge November 22, 1738; Baker's Lodge March 14, 1738/9; and another Lodge at St. John not long after.) He attended the meeting of the Grand Lodge of England held at the Devil Tavern near Temple Bar on Wednesday, January 31, 1738/9, q.v.
In May, 1739, Tomlinson returned to Boston and holding a Grand Lodge received the congratulations of the Brethren in Due Form.
On December 27th of that year Tomlinson appointed Thomas Oxnard as Deputy Grand Master, and we find the official minute in the Massachusetts record book,
"Nothing further Remarkable Occur'd this Year, only the Craft Continued flourishing."
Shortly thereafter Tomlinson returned to Antigua, where he soon died. The burial register of St. John's, Antigua, contains the following entry, viz.: "1740 July 16 Robert Tomlinson, Merchant, from Boston."
Benjamin Hallowell, a prominent member of the Fraternity who rose to the rank of Depury Grand Master, evidently was very closely associated with Tomlinson and had reason to believe that on July 15, 1740, at Antigua, Tomlinson had made his will. This will was lost and has never been found, although strenuous exertions were made to discover it, various persons being carefully examined who were suspected of having sequestered it. In September, October, and November, 1740, Hallowell caused the following advertisement to be published in several issues of the Boston Evening  Post, the New England Weekly Journal, and the Boston Weekly Post Boy:
"WHEREAS: Robert Tomlinson, late of
Boston, Merchant, at the Island of Antigua, on the l 5th of July
last made his Will, touching his estate in the West Indies, and
thereby directed the Executors of that will (after payment of
his debts and Funeral expenses and other disbursements), to transmit
the Remainder of his estate to me, Benjamin Hallowell, of Boston,
to be disposed of as his Will there (in Boston) directs; and the
said Robert soon after died, but his Will last mentioned has not
yet been found : These therefore, are earnestly to desire to such
persons (if any such there be) as hath in his possession that
Will, by the said Testator declared to be in Boston, to carry
the same to the Hon. the Judge of the Probate of Wills for the
County of Suffolk, or to the Registers Office, or to give me notice
thereof, that so the Will of the deceased Gentleman may be lawfully
proved, and afterwards fulfilled.
Brother Hallowell's appointment as Administrator is still on file in the Suffolk Probate office, though there are no records of inventory, account, or distribution of the estate. The following is the advertisement in three successive issues of the Boston News Letter, beginning December 4, 1740, of Benjamin Hallowell as Administrator of the estate:
"All Persons indebted to the Estate of Robert Thomlinson, late of Boston, Merchant, deceased, are desired forthwith to pay their respective Debts to Benjamin Hallowell of said Boston, Administrator on said Estate, without further Notification than this Advertisement; and such as have any Demands on said Estate, are also  desired speedily to bring in their Accounts to the said Administrator, in order to a Settlement."
I have recently discovered Brother Tomlinson's will. It was made in London, April 11, 1739, while he was on his last visit there. The following is extracted from the Principal Registry of the Probate, Divorce and Admiralty Division of the High Court of Justice in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury.
I, ROBERT THOMLINSON of Boston in New England in America Merchant. (to make and declare this to be my last Will and Testament and do hereby revoke all other Wills by me heretofore made First my Will is that all my just debts be fully paid and satisfied Also I give all the rest and residue of my estate after my debts are paid to my brother Richard Thomlinson my sister Isabel Robinson and sister Catherine Robinson to be equally divided amongst them share and share alike In WITNESS whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal the eleventh day of April in the year of our Lord 1739.
Robt THOMLINSON (LS) - Sealed published and declared in the presence of - Robt YORK-M. ROBINSON. -
Administration (with Will)
granted 29th January 1740 Fos 4 HJT.
On the Twenty-ninth day of January in the Year of our Lord one Thousand and fforty (1) Administration with the Will annexed of the Goods Chattles and Credits of Robert Thomlinson late of Boston in New England in America Batchelor (2) deceased was granted to Richard Thomlinson the natural and lawfull Brother of the said deceased and one of the Residuary Legatees named in
(1 Old Style. This would be 1741, New Style. It is the January following his death (July, 1740).
(2 He was a widower, not a bachelor.
 the said Will (for that no Executor is named therein) being first sworn duly to administer the same.
The most careful search has so far failed to bring to light any portrait of Brother Tomlinson.
1737, April 24, Boston.
Meeting of the First Lodge. Brother Richard Wolfe admitted.
1737, April 25, Boston.
The Boston Gazette contains the following item of news, viz.
"That the Order of Free Mafons, eftablifhed long fince in England, has become lately much in Vogue at Paris, there being great ftriving to be admitted, even at the Expence of ten Louis d'Ors; 18 or 20 Perfons of great Diftinction have been lately created Mafons, amongft whom was the Marfhal d'Eftrees; and five Lodges are already eftablifhed, which makes fo great a Noife, and gives fo much Offence to People ignorant of their Mifteries, that it's expected they will fpeedily be fupprefs'd as they have been in Holland."
1737, After April 28, and before April 27, 1738.
The Earl of Darnley, Grand Master of England,
issued a Deputation to Captain William Douglas, as Provincial
Grand Master on the coast of Africa and in the Islands of America;
excepting such places where a Provincial Grand Master is already
deputed. He also  issued one to James Watson, Esq., as Provincial
Grand Master for Montserrat.
Preston (Portsmouth, 1804) 187.
Entick (1756 Ed.) 333.
Anderson (1738 Ed.) 195.
P.C. (2nd London Ed.) 116.
1737, May 3, Philadephia
Entries in L. B. indicate meeting.
1737, May 11, Boston.
Meeting of the First Lodge. Alexander French made and Brother John Maxwell admitted. P. L,.
1737, May 12, Philadelphia.
The Pennsylvinia Gazette has an account of the election of the Grand Master of Scotland.
1737, May 26, Charleston, S. C.
"The Recruiting Officer" was acted at Charleston for the entertainment of the Fraternity "who came to the play-house . . . in the usual manner." The Entered Apprentice's and Master's songs were sung, the Masons in the Pit joining in the chorus. "After the play, the Masons returned to the Lodge at Mr. Shepheard's in the same order observed in coming to the play-house."
South Carolina Gazette for May 28, 1737.
This is the first reported Masonic procession in America, though it does not appear that any regalia was worn.
 1737, June 2, Philadelphia.
The Pennsylvania Gazette has an account of a Masonic funeral in London.
1737, June 6, Philadelphia.
L. B. charges the entrance fees of Dr. Thomas Cadwalader, Michael Cario, William Deering, Thomas Esdaile, David Humphrey, John Jones, and Henry Lewis.
1737, June 8, Boston.
Meeting of the First Lodge. Captain Edward Clerke (Clarke) of New York and Albert Dennie made.
1737, June 9, Boston.
The Boston Weekly News Letter has the following curious item:
"The Humour of entring into the Society cal'd Free Mafons, runs fo high in France that there are no lefs than nine Lodges conftituted in Paris, a vaft many young Noblemen are become Members of the Order, particularly the Prince of Conti, and even the Minifter for the Marine Affairs, as well as feveral General Officers and two Bifhops. The Ladies pufh forward for an inftitution of this Kind, in order for an engraftment but the Princefs of Carignan is the only Woman yet discovered that can fteep (sic) a secret, fo that the Female Mafonry, it's thought, will fall to the Ground. - juft now we have Advice that Monfieur Blarer the noted Flute Player, and Monfieur Leclainlee, the famous Fidler, with feveral other Men of Science, and Poets of all Sizes were admitted Members, but as the old Cure of St. Sulpice the Great Pro ector (sic), and Father  Tournemin the celebrated preacher and Jesuit, were going to initiate themfelves, out comes an Order from the King, like a Thunderbolt, and throws down the Babel Building."
1737, June 16, Philadelphia.
The Pennsylvania Gazette publishes an item copied in the Boston Evening Post of June 27, 1737, the New England Weekly Journal of June 28, 1737, and the Boston Weekly News Letter of June 30, 1737. It is as follows:
"Philadelphia, June 16.
We hear, that Monday night laft, fome People pretending to be Free Mafons, got together in the Cellar, with a young Man who was defirous of being made one, and in the Ceremony, 'tis faid, they threw fome burning Spirits on him, which burnt him fo that he was obliged to take to his bed, and died this Morning."
Immediately after this event there was published as an advertisement in the Pemmsylvania Gazette and the American Weekly Mercury the following:
Penn'a, SS., Hopkinson, Grand Master.
Whereas, fome ill-difposed Perfons in this City affuming the Name of Free-Mafons, have for some years paft impofed upon feveral well-meaning People, who defirous of becoming true Brethren, perfuading them, after they had performed certain ridiculous Ceremonies, that they were really become Free-Mafons, and have lately, under the Pretence of making a Young Man a Mafon, caused his Death, as 'tis faid, by Purging, Vomiting, Burning, and the Terror of certain horrid and diabolical rites : It is thought proper, for preventing fuch  Impofitions for the future, and to avoid any unjust Afperfions that may be thrown on the Anteing and Honourable Fraternity on this Account, either in this city or any other Part of the World, to publifh this Advertifement, declaring the Abhorance of all true Brethren to Inch Practices in general, and their Innocence of this Fact in particular: and that the Perfons concerned in this wicked Action are not of our Society, nor of any Society of Free and Accepted Mafons, to our knowledge or Belief.
Signed in Behalf of all the Members of St.
John's Lodge, at Philad'a the 16th day of June, 1737.
Thomas Hopkinfon, Grand Mafter.
Will. Plumftead, Deputy Mafter.
Joseph Shippent } Grand Warden
Henry Prat }
The attestation of this document tends to confirm what has been hinted above, to the effect that there was up to this date but one Lodge in Philadelphia and also that the Lodge and the Grand Lodge there were one and the same.
1737, June 23, Philadelphia.
The Pennsylvania Gazette publishes the result of the coroner's inquest on the matter referred to under 1737, .June 16, supra, to the effect that the throwing of the spirits was accidental.
See also Boston Weekly News Letter for July 7, 1737.
1737, June 24, Boston.
The Boston Gazette for June 27, 1737, publishes the following account of the Festival on this day:
 "Friday laft being the Feaft
of St. John the Baptift, the annual Meeting of the Free and Accepted
Mafons, they accordingly met. The right worfhipful Mr. Robert
Thomlinfon G. M. nominated and appointed his grand Officers for
the Year enfuing, viz Mr. Hugh McDaniel D.G.M. Mr. Thomas Moffatt,
(Doctor of Medicines) S.G.W. Mr. John Osborne J.G.W. Mr. Benjamin
Hallowell, G.T. Mr. Francis Beteillie (Beteilhe) G.S. after which
the Society attended the G.M. in Proceffion to his Excellency
Governour Belcher, & from thence the Governour was attended
by the G.M. and the Brotherhood to the Royal Exchange Tavern in
King-Street, where they had an elegant Entertainment. It being
the firft Proceffion in America, they appeared in the proper Badges
of their Order, fome Gold, the reft Silver. The Proceffion was
clofed by the Grand Wardens."
1 Mass. 6.
This item was copied in the St. James Evening Post, London, for August 20, 1737.
1 Mass. 470.
This was perhaps the first American procession of a Lodge as such in regalia.
But see 1737, May 26, supra.
William Plumstead was chosen Grand Master of Pennsylvania at a Grand Lodge held at the Indian King. Pennsylvania Gazette for June 30, 1737. Boston Weekly News Letter for July 14, 1737, q.v.
William Plumstead was a son of Clement Plumstead, Provincial Councillor, and was born in Philadelphia,
 November 7, 1708. In 1724, he was taken abroad by his father. He became a Common Councilman of the City in 1739, and upon his return from a voyage to England in 1741, was suggested for the Provincial Council. He was chosen Register of Wills in 1735; 1748, Alderman; 1750, Judge of the Orphans' Court; 1754, Mayor of the City, and 1764, President Judge of the Court of Quarter Sessions. He was chosen Senior Grand Warden in 1735; Deputy Grand Master in 1736; Grand Master in 1737; and Grand Treasurer in 1755. He renounced Quakerism, and became an Episcopalian, and was one of the founders of the St. Peter's Church at Third and Pine Streets, Philadelphia. He died, August 10, 1765, and was buried in St. Peter's churchyard.
1 O.M.L.P. 40.
1737, June 27, Boston.
The Boston Evening Post publishes the item referred to under 1737, June 16, supra.
1737, June 28, Boston.
The New England Weekly Journal publishes the item referred to under 1737, June 16, supra.
1737, June 30, Boston.
The Boston Weekly News Letter publishes the item referred to under 1737, June 16, supra.
1737, July 2, Charleston, S. C.
The South Carolina Gazette announces the arrival at Charleston of the "Free-Mason," from Providence, referring to it as a sloop.
 1737, July 4, Boston.
The Boston Gazette publishes the following item of news from London:
"April 26. Yefterday at Noon the Earl
of Darnley Grand Mafter elect of the Antient and Honourable Society
of Free Mafons in a Chariot drawn by fix fine Horfes, attended
with upwards of an hundred Coaches & Chariots, went from his
Lordship's Houfe in Pall-Mall, where the Company Breakfafted,
which coft his Lordfhip two hundred Pounds, and then proceeded
thro' the City to Fifhmonger's Hall, where a Grand Entertainment
was provided : There were three Pair of Kettle Drums, fix Trumpets,
and eight French Horns, properly difpos'd in the Proceffion."
1737, July 11, Boston.
The Boston Evening Post publishes the following extract of a private letter from Paris:
"The Court has taken fuch Offence at the vaft and fudden Increafe of the Society of Free Mafons, that the King has forbid their Meeting at any of their Lodges, and looks with an indifferent eye on thofe who have been forward in entering into a Society, that even the States of Holland would not fuffer amongft them."
1737, July 14, Boston.
The Boston Weekly News Letter publishes the following item quoted from the Pennsylvania Gazette of June 30, 1737:
"Friday laft was held, art the Indian
King in this City, a Grand Lodge of the Free and Accepted Mafons;
when  William Plumstead was unanimously chofen Grand Mafter
of this Province, for the Year enfuing; who appointed Jofeph Shippen,
jun. to be his Deputy, and Meffrs Henry Prat, and Philip Syng,
were nominated and chofen Grand Wardens."
1737, July 21, Charleston, S. C.
The South Carolina Gazette publishes the following:
"Last Thurfday, (21st July, 1737), John Hammerton, Efq., Receiver General of his Majefty's Quitrents, Secretary and one of his Majefty's Honourable Council, who has been the firft Mafter of the Lodge of the Ancient and Honourable Society of Free Mafons in this place, and intending to embark on board the ship Molly Galley, John Caruthers, Mafter, for London, at a Lodge held that evening, refigned his office, for the true and faithful difcharge of which he received the thanks of the whole Society, who were 30 in number. James Graeme, Efq., was then unanimoufly chofen Mafter in his room, and having been duly inftalled into that office with the ulual ceremonies, was pleafed to chufe and appoint James Wright, Efq., who was Junior Warden, to be Senior Warden, and Maurice Lewis, Efq., Junior Warden."
Concerning the new Master, shortly to become Provincial Grand Master, Brother Mackey in his "History of Freemasonry in South Carolina" says:
"James Graeme, who was an attorney
at law, held, at the time of his appointment as Master of the
new Lodge, the position of Commissioner of the Market. Afterwards
he was appointed a Lieutenant in the Second Company of Militia,
which was enrolled in November, 1738, for the defence of the Province
against an anticipated  attack of the Spaniards of Florida.
Subsequently he was a Representative from Charleston in the Commons
House of Assembly and finally received from the Crown the appointments
of Chief Justice of the Province, Judge of the Court of Admiralty,
and a seat in his Majesty's Council, offices which he held until
his death, which took place on Saturday, 29th of August, 1752.
S. Car. Gazette, 1st Sept. 1752."
James Wright, afterwards Senior Warden, Master and Provincial Grand Master, will be referred to hereafter.
Maurice Lewis was the progenitor of a large family, many of whose members have held elevated positions in South Carolina. He himself was, in 1738, appointed one of the Commissioners to build up the curtain line before Charleston Bay.
The Pennsylvania Gazette copies from the Boston Gazette the item referred to under 1737, July 4, supra.
1737, July 27, Boston.
Meeting of the First Lodge. Thomas Pearson made.
1737, August 10, Philadelphia.
Franklin charges the Lodge at Brother Hubard's for "Freight of limes, 3.0."
It is surmised that the Lodge put these limes to a use which would be unlawful in the United States today.
 1737, August 18, Charleston, S. C.
The South Carolina Gazette for Saturday, the 20th of August, 1737, contains the following important paragraph:
"On Thurfday night laft, (18th of August,) at the Solomon's Lodge in Charles-Town, a Deputation from the Right Worfhipful and Right Honourable John, Earl of Loudoun, conftituting and appointing a Provincial Grand Mafter of South Carolina, was read, when James Graeme, Efq., the prefent Grand Mafter of the faid Province, propofed James Wright, Efq., to be Mafter of the Solomon's Lodge, which was unanimoufly agreed to by the Lodge."
In this news item the Lodge, for the first time is referred to as "Solomon's Lodge."
1737, August 24, Boston.
Meeting of the First Lodge. Brother Richard Wolfe
1737, September 12, Boston.
The Boston Evening Post quotes "From the Political State for May, 1737," the following item:
"The 28th Inftant at Noon the Society of Free Mafons, went with uncommon Splendor from the Houfe of their Grand Mafter the Earl of Darnley, in Pall Mall, to Fifhmonger's Hall; his Lordfhip appeared on this Occafion in a Superb Chariot drown by fix fine Grey Horfes, Kettle Drums, French Horns, Trumpets, were properly difpofed in the Proceffion which confifted of above a hundred Coaches and Chariots, all filled with Perfons of Eminence, and the Breakfaft at his  Lordfhip's Houfe coft upwards of Two Hundred Pounds, all which are undeniable Marks of the Wealth and Wifdom of the prefent Age!"
1737, October 12, Boston.
Meeting of the First Lodge. Brother Nathaniel Derby admitted.
1737, October 24. Boston.
The Boston Evening Post under the heading of "London, August 5" publishes the following two items among others, viz:
"It feems they refolv'd at Paris to go thro' Stitch with the Free Mafons: The Lientenant General of the Police fent to an Englifhman's Lodging in the Hotel de Bourgogne, Fauxbourge St. Germain, and his Meffengers brought away not only the Utenfils, Figures, &c. belonging to the Free Mafons, but alfo the Statutes of their Order, and every thing that feem'd to have any Relation to it. In the Year 1734 the French Miniftry would have confider'd better of the Matter before they infulted an Englifh Free Mafon, for fear of ruffing the P-of B-; but Adieu Panniers, Vendanges: font faites."
"We hear that a Deputation from the
Society of Free and Accepted Mafons of this Kingdom is to be fent
to Germany, to congratulate (a Royal Brother) the Duke of Lorrain
on his Acceffion to the Dutchy of Tufcany."
1737, October 26, Boston.
Meeting of the First Lodge. Andrew Hill made and Brother John Waghorn admitted.
 1737, November 9, Boston.
Meeting of the First Lodge. John Tucker and Peter Buckley made, and Brother John Saint admitted.
1737, November 11, Boston.
Meeting of the First Lodge. Joseph Smith made. P.L.
1737, November 14, Boston.
Meeting of the First Lodge. Erasmus James Phillips made, and Brother J. Sheriff admitted.
1737, November 15, New York.
Capt. Richard Riggs was this day appointed Provincial Grand Master for New York by the Earl of Darnley, Grand Master of England. It is believed that he authorized the formation of one Lodge before September 24, 1739, because in the New York Gazette for that date is a notice of its meeting.
Anderson (1738 Ed.) 195.
Entick (1756 Ed.) 333.
P.C. (2nd English Ed.) 116.
S. & H. 255.
IV Gould 414.
1737, November 28, Boston.
The Boston Evening Post contains a notice of the meeting of Lodge No. 9, in London, on September 21, 1737.
 New York
Article in New York Gazette on the "New and unusual sect or society of persons of late appeared in our native country and at last has extended to these parts of America" and complaining that "this society, called Freemasons, meet with their doors shut and a guard at the outside." It will be noted that this was just after Provincial Grand Master Riggs' appointment but before news of the appointment could have reached New York. Captain Riggs arrived in New York some months later (May 21, 1738).
1737, December 1, Philadelphia.
The Pennsylvania Gazette reports the appointment of a Provincial Grand Master for the Leeward group of the West India Islands.
1737, December 5, Boston.
The Boston Gazette contains the following advertisement concerning the Pro. G. M.:
"Mr. Robert Thomlinfon being bound
fpeedily for England, defires all Perfons that have any Demands
on him forthwith to apply for Payment; and alfo Requefts thofe
Indebted to him not to delay the fame."
cember 8, Charleston, S. C.
The South Carolina Gazette announces the arrival of the "Free Mason" from New York.
1737, December 12, Boston.
The advertisement of December 5 (q.v.) is repeated.
 1737, December 14, Boston.
Meeting of the First Lodge. Stephen Deblois made. P.L.
1737, December 19, Boston.
The advertisement of December 5 (q.v.) is repeated.
1737, December 27, Boston.
The Festival is celebrated and shortly thereafter Provincial Grand Master Thomlinson leaves for England by way of Antigua.
1 Mass. 6.
Charleston, S. C.
The S. C. Gazette for December 29, 1737, says:
"On Tuefday laft, being St. John's day, all the members of the Ancient and Honourable Society of Free and Accepted Mafons in this place met at Mr. Seaman's, Mafter of Solomon's Lodge, from whence they proceeded, all properly clothed, under the found of French horns, to wait on James Graeme, Efq., Provincial Grand Mafter, at his houfe in Broad Street, where they were received by all the members of the Grand Lodge. After a fhort ftay there, they all went in proceffion and with the enfigns of their Order into the Court-Room at Mr. Charles Shepheard's houfe, making a very grand fhow. Here, to a numerous audience of Ladies and Gentlemen, who were admitted by tickets, the Grand Mafter made a very elegant fpeech in praife of Mafonry, which we hear was univerfally applauded. Then the Grand Lodge withdrew in order to proceed to the election of a Grand Mafter for the ensuing year, when James Graeme, Efq., was unanimoufly re-chofen Grand Mafter, who appointed James Wright, Efq., Deputy Grand Mafter, Maurice Lewis, Esq., Senior Grand Warden, John Crookfhanks, Efq., Junior Grand Warden, James  Mitchie, Efq., Grand Treafurer, and James Gordon, Efq., Grand Secretary.
The fame day Mr. James Crokatt was unanimously chofen Mafter of Solomon's Lodge."
James Crokatt was evidently a citizen of some distinction for the succeeding June he was appointed "one of His Majesty's Honourable Council."
1737/8, January 24, New York.
Gould states that the earliest Lodge in New York "of which any record has been preserved was in full working order, and had probably existed for some time" before this day. IV Gould 260.
1737/8, January 25, Boston.
Meeting of the First Lodge. James Carrel Tabbs and Thomas Walker made and Brother John Hutchinson admitted.
1737/8, January 26, Charleston, S. C.
In the South Carolina Gazette for this day we find the following important record:
"We hear that at Mr. William Flud's, at the fign of the Harp and Crown, is held a Lodge of the Ancient and Honourable Society of Free and Accepted Mafons, belonging to the Lodge of St. John. Dr. Newman Ogle thorpe being chofen Mafter."
Mackey's "History of Freemasonry in South Carolina" comments interestingly upon this item of news as follows:
 "Perfectly to understand the
character of this Lodge, it will be necessary to refer to the
history of Masonry in another part of the Continent. In the year
1733, Viscount Montacute, then Grand Master of England, granted
a Warrant, or more properly a Deputation, appointing Henry Price,
of Boston, Provincial Grand Master of North America. Under this
authority he opened a Provincial Grand Lodge in Boston on the
30th of July, 1733, and appointed his Deputy and Wardens. The
Grand Lodge thus organized, assumed and was recognized by the
appellation of 'St. John's Grand Lodge,' and proceeded to grant
Warrants for instituting regular Lodges in various parts of North
America. Webb,(1) from whom this account is taken, mentions South
Carolina as one of the places in which these new Lodges were instituted.
But until I met with the paragraph above cited from the Carolina
Gazette I had found no other account of the Lodge instituted in
South Carolina by St. John's Grand Lodge of Boston, than the mere
announcement in Webb's Monitor that such a Lodge had been constituted.
There is, however, no longer any doubt that the Lodge said to
have been held in 1738 in Charlestown, at 'the Harp and Crown,'
received its warrant from St. John's Grand Lodge of Boston, and
hence the journalist calls it a 'Lodge of St. John.' The phraseology
of the paragraph seems to indicate that it had an existence anterior
to the date of the notice. It was probably organized late in the
year 1737, and was thus the second Lodge established in the Province.
But as its Constitution was manifestly an interference with the
prerogatives and jurisdiction of the Provincial Grand Lodge, it
must have been soon abandoned, and hence it is that we find no
further account of it in the subsequent Masonic proceedings of
See page 146.
(1 Webb's Monitor, Ed. 1808, p. 299.)
1737/8, January 31, Antigua.
Lodge Constituted at Parham, Antigua, first given in  the Official English List for 1740, appearing as No., 154. P.C. (2nd Eng. Ed.) 378. Entick (1756 Ed.) 337.
1737/8, February 13. Boston.
The Boston Evening Post copies from the London Magazine an article reading as follows:
"This Writer fuppofes, that this Fraternity might as well be call'd the Society of Carpenters, Joiners, Chimney-Sweepers, or Rat-Catchers, as Mafons; and endeavours to prove this parodoxical Truth, That the Mafons are no Mafons.
Agatharcbus the Athenian, Archimedes, Virtruvius, &c as well as the later Architects and Mathematicians, have deliver'd their Knowledge in this Science freely, generally and publickly. How then can this be the Art, that is kept fecret in the Breafts of the Members of the modern Lodges? as the Constitution Book affects, that altho' this Society is poffefs'd of many Arts (curious ones, no doubt) yet do they dwell fecurely in the Breafts of the Brethren.
Nor does it appear by their Performances, that they are taught in the Lodges to hew, mould ftone, lay a Level, or raife a Perpendicular. How then can they be faid to be Mafons? Is a Drawer a Mafon, becaufe he keeps his Reckoning fquare? Or a Tinker, becaufe he rings his Kettle by Rule? If a Lawyer can compofe his Caufe, or a Bookfetter erect monumental Volumes; if a Porter ftand ftrong as a Coloffus, and an Apothecary can temper his electuarial Mortars and Cements, to new-frame, and, as it were, rebuild our animate edifices: Yet cannot I perceive the leaft Tincture of Vitruvifm, Euclidifm, or Burl ingtonism in any of thefe.
Laftly, if the Art of Mafonry be really and truly  vefted in this Society, how comes it to pafs, that the Brethren build no better than fome of the monied Gentry among the Grubs, who, I own, feldom build any Thing but Caftles in the Air?
Having thus shewn what they arc not, let
us confider what they are, and from whence the Word Mafon, as
applied to this Club, may be corrupted. The Society I allow to
be a very antient one; and, I believe, they will not thank me
for acknowledging, that fuch a ftrange Society may have been even
as old as Chaucer; in whofe Dayes the Word mafe was ufed to fignify
a Whim, or Fancy; And what could be more natural, than to diftinguifh
a Society by this Name, which hath fo many peculiar whimfical
Oddities? Doubt not then candid Bavy that the Word Mafon is a
corruption of this Mafe; Which will appear ftill more probable,
if thou wilt take a Ride or Walk to Devonshire; where, to this
Day they call any Perfon whom they imagine to be mad, a Mafe,
or Maze, Man or Woman. Some wicked Perfons, I know, would derive
this Name from the popifh Mafe, which, I own is of very intricate
Nature: Yet muft I reject fuch a malevolent Suppofition, if it
was only becaufe so many zealous Protestants, nay even Jews, the
conftant Enemies to Tranfubftantiation, are accepted Brethren.
A. H. F. G. S."
1737/8, February 14, Philadelphia.
The Philadelphia Gazette publishes an account of the trial of those concerned in the mock initiation in Philadelphia which is copied in part in the Boston Evening Post for March 6th, infra (q.v.), the New England Weekly Journal for March 7th, and the Boston Weekly News Letter for March 9th.
The American Weekly Mercury published February 14th, at Philadelphia starts an anti-Masonic campaign  by a letter based upon the events of the trial. Franklin in the Gazette of the same date (though issued the next day) replies.
Bradford in the Mercury is so bitter that he even refers to a band of negro thieves as a Lodge of Free Masons, and, utterly without foundation, accuses Franklin of conniving in the mock initiation.
1737/8, February 21, Philadelphia.
The Pennsylvania Gazette publishes an account of a Masonic Celebration in Charleston, S. C., and a notice of a Lodge in New York.
In the American Weekly Mercury is a rejoinder to Franklin's reply of February 14th.
1737/8, February 23. Boston.
The Boston Weekly News Letter publishes the following in an extract of a letter from Paris repeated from London under date of October 5, 1737, viz.:
"You have no doubt the Account of an
Act of arbitrary Power of a very high Strain, I mean the forcing
open the Doors of the French Free Mafons Lodge here by the Lieutenant-General
of Police. Various are the Difcourfes upon this Occafion: Some
fay that the Inquifition of Florence has tortur'd out Confeffions
from the Brethren of the Order imprifon'd fome Weeks ago in that
City, and fent our Court an Account of their Difcoveries; but
whether there is any Truth or not in this Report, the Clergy here
have decided open War againft all Free-Mafonry, and upon this
Declaration of the Clergy, the People look upon all Free-Mafons
to be rank Hereticks, and dangerous to common Society. But, not
to lay any Strefs on thefe Opinions, the Free-Mafons  were
doubtlefs a Parcel of Madmen, to think of eftablifhing Lodges
under an arbitrary Government, efpecially in any Country where
there is an Inquifition or a Baftile."
1737/8, March 6, Boston.
The Boston Evening Post quotes from the Pennsylvania Gazette the article referred to under date of February 14, 1737/8, supra, as follows:
"Philadelphia, Feb. 7. On Wednefday laft, at the Court of Oyer and Terminer then fitting here, came on the Trial of Evan Jones, Chymift, for being a Principal concern'd in the death of D. R. a young Man who had been his Apprentice, and was but juft free, in June laft. The Trial began at Nine o'Clock in the Forenoon, and lafted till almoft Two next Morning. The Jury found him guilty of Manflaughter, and he was accordingly burnt in the Hand, and order'd to find sufficient Security for his good Behaviour. There was the greateft Throng of People to hear the Trial, that perhaps ever appear'd at any Trial in this Province. By the Evidence, fome of whom were deeply concern'd in the Affair, it appear'd, That the Deceafed, having made known to his Mafter his Defires of being a Free-Mafon, he and fome of his Affociates, contriv'd to make themfelves Mirth, by impofing on the young Fellow, and making him believe that they were Free-Mafons: The unwary young Man was too foon prevail'd with to believe them, fuffer'd fuch Impofitions (befide that of his Treating them) as at length terminated in his Death. He was perfuaded to repeat, after one of the Company, what was call'd an Oath of Secrecy, but as vile, ftupid, and prophane (to fay no worfe of it) as ever was invented; after which, he being Blindfold, they gave him Phyfick to Drink; and then led him to, and made him Kifs, the bare Pofteriors of one of their Company. After all this, viz, on  the 13th of June, at Evening, the Company, who call'd themfelves a Lodge, met again, at Dr. Jone's, in order, as the Deceafed was made to believe, to make him a compleat Free-Mafon. After Supper, the Company retir'd to the Cellar, and then this unhappy Perfon was led down blindfold to them, and there unveil'd: They had prepar'd a Pan of burning Spirits, with Raifins at the Bottom, and were ftanding round, clipping in their Hands for the Raifins, and flirting the Flames about. This was call'd Snap-Dragon. One of the Company was wrap'd in a Hide to represent the Devil, which, with the ftrange Countenances that the Light of the burning Spirits caus'd, made Things there look ghaftly, frightful, devilifh. However, this it seems did not terrify him as was expected, and lie had not been long in the Cellar, when the whole Pan of burning Spirits was thrown on him, at which lie cry'd out, Mafter, I'm kill'd, I'm kill'd; and, notwithstanding they immediately ftrove to extinguifh the Flames, he was fcorch'd to that Degree that he died on the 16th of the fame Month, in a miferable Manner. It was fworn, that the Doctor was the Perfon who flung or fpilt the Liquor; but no premeditated Malice could be proved, fo he came off with only burning in the Hand, as before related.
And on Thurfday F-R-g-n, Attorney at Law, and E-W- Taylor, were tried for being prefent at, and concern'd in, the faid Affair. The former was found Guilty of Manflaughter, but was pardon'd. The other the Jury acquitted."
See also Boston Weekly News Letter for March 16, 1737/8.
1737/8, March 7, Boston.
The New England Weekly Journal publishes the account quoted under 1737/8, March 6, supra. P-t.
 1737/8, March 9, Boston.
The Boston Weekly Ncws Letter publishes the account last referred to.
1737/8, March 13, Boston-Nova Scotia.
The Boston Gazette publishes the following paragraph :
"We are inform'd That Major Phillips is Appointed Provincial Grand Mafter over the Free and Accepted Mafons, in the Province of Nova Scotia, and that a Deputation is getting ready for that purpofe."
See 1739, April 11, infra.
It has been heretofore thought that the above appointment was made about 1740.
Erasmus James Phillips.
Erasmus James Philipps (Phillips), the first Provincial Grand Master of Nova Scotia, was a nephew of Col. Richard Philipps, Governor of Nova Scotia from 1716 to 1749, being a son of his brother Erasmus, and was born April 23, 1705. The father, Erasmus, was the Captain of the "Blandford," a frigate lost with all hands in March, 1719.
Erasmus James entered the 40th regiment of Foot when a young man and was successively ensign, lieutenant, captain and major. This regiment, known as "the Fighting Fortieth," was organized at Annapolis on August 25, 1717 (its first Colonel being Col. Richard Philipps) and garrisoned the fort from that year until 1755 and probably till 1758, when it formed part of the expedition against Louisburg.
 While an ensign in 1726, Philipps was selected by the acting governor, with Captain Joseph Bennett of the same regiment, to accompany the French deputies to Minas to tender oaths of allegiance to the habitans in that district. Owing to the prevalence of unfavourable weather they failed to reach the settlements there and the matter was postponed to a future day.
On February 23rd, 1729, he was appointed Advocate of the Vice-Admiralty of the Province of Nova Scotia or Acadia by the British Government, a position which he held until July, 1749.
The minutes of the Council of the Province, held at Annapolis Royal on December 7th, 1730, record that "His Excellency likewise acquainted ye Board that there not being Councillors enough upon ye spot to make up a Quorum lie thought proper, with their advice to appoint Mr. Eras. Jas. Philipps a member thereof, who was sworn accordingly." He seems to have acted as Secretary of the Council for several months, and continued a member of the Council until his death in 1760.
In November, 1734, Philipps and thirty-five others, including all the members of the Government in England and of the Council of the Province, were made proprietors and patentees of some. mines discovered in the Province, "as a Recompense of their many years Service at this Board." Such a resolution in these days would be regarded with some suspicion and would be the subject of investigation, but none of the proprietors seem to have grown rich as a result of their action.
In August, 1736, a grant was made to Philipps (at that time Captain in the 40th Regiment) and others of 50,000 acres of land "at Norwich, in the County of Norfolk, in Nova Scotia." This tract of land was  situated at or near Chignecto, in what is now Cumberland County and was afterwards eschcated and revested in the Crown in 1760.
In the archives of New Hampshire under date of August 1st, 1737, there is a record to the effect that Dr. W. Skene, E. J. Philipps and Otho Hamilton of H. M. Council of Nova Scotia, met at Hampton, N. H., with four commissioners from Rhode Island to mark out and settle the boundaries between the Province of Massachusetts Bay and the Colony of Rhode Island. He was in Boston from August, 1737, to June, 1738. A later commission, dated September 4, 1740, reappointed the same commissioners and several others for a similar purpose. He left Annapolis for New England in April, 1741, and was at Providence, Rhode Island, until June, 1741.
About 1740 he married Ann, eldest daughter of John Dyson and Alice his wife, by whom he had four children, Ann, who married Col. Robert Fenwick, R. A.; John Erasmus, born at Annapolis, April 30, 1741, Capt. 35th Regiment, died at New York, December, 1776; Elizabeth, who married Capt. Horatio Gates; and Dorothy, unmarried.
In the fall of 1746, the government decided on the military occupation of Grand Pre and a detachment of 470 men of the Massachusetts forces was sent to that place, disembarking on the day before Christmas day, where they were quartered on the inhabitants. The force was under the command of Colonel Arthur Noble and Major Philipps, and Edward How accompanied them as commissioner in charge of the administration of civil affairs and as commissary. The news of the occupation reached the French commander De Ramezay at  Chignecto on January 8, 1747, and he at once decided on an attack. A force of 300 men under Coulon de Villiers marched overland, reaching Grand Pre on February 11th, and attacked the sleeping New England forces at night in a blinding snow storm. The battle which followed was perhaps the most stubbornly contested fight in the history of Acadia. Colonel Noble and his brother were killed, Edward How was wounded and taken prisoner and after several hours' resistance during which the Massachusetts men fought in their shirts in hand-to-hand conflicts in the snow storm, with great losses, they capitulated on honourable terms at daybreak. They were allowed to march out of the village with the honours of war and permitted to retire to Annapolis, on making a declaration not to bear arms against the French for six months.
After the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1749 we find Philipps among the claimants for compensation for losses sustained in consequence of the destruction of buildings torn down by the order of the Commander-inChief for the better defence of the place in the recent war. In the same year, 1749, Major Philipps resigned his office as King's Advocate in the Court of Vice-Admiralty, giving as the reason that "it would henceforth be impossible for him to attend and execute the duties of said office." He continued to live, however, at Annapolis.
On the 1st January, 1751, Governor Cornwallis issued a special commission to Mr. Philipps as Judge of Probate and Wills to prove the will of Edward How, who had been treacherously murdered by the French and Indians at Chignecto in October, 1750. The document sets forth that it is done "by reason of the distance  between Annapolis Royal and the said town of Halifax, the inclemency of the weather and the difficulty of travelling through the country at this time would be attended with great inconvenience and danger to the person or persons on whom the proof of the said Will depends." In conclusion it required him "to transmit the original Will of the said Edward How together with this Commission and your proceedings thereon to me at Halifax as soon as convenient may be."
From 1753-60 Philipps was Commissary of
Musters for the garrison at Annapolis.
In 1758 he was honoured by a vote of thanks of the Council for services rendered in 1757 in making prisoners of a number of French habitans who having managed to avoid capture at the time of the expulsion of the Acadians had formed a temporary settlement on the shores of St. Mary's Bay, Digby County.
On the retirement of Mascarene, Major Philipps became commander of the forces at Annapolis, in which capacity he acted until his death, 1760.
In 1759 Major Philipps was chosen a representative in the House of Assembly, for Annapolis County, Colonel Jonathan Hoar being his colleague, but his legislative career was of short duration, as he died suddenly of apoplexy at Halifax in 1760, while on a visit to that town.
Major Philipps was undoubtedly an able, energetic and efficient officer, in both his military and civil employments and managed with judgment public affairs requiring the exercise of skill and tact, always acquitting himself with credit and success.
Erasmus James Philipps, along with J. Sheriff, was made a Mason in The First Lodge at Boston, November  14, 1737, on the occasion of his first visit as a commissioner to settle the boundaries of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The records of this lodge also show his presence at meetings held on April 11, May 9, November 28, December 26, 1739, and August 12, 1741. In the minutes of April, 1739, he appears as "Rt. Wpfull Bro'r Erasmus James Philipps, G. M. de Nov. Scot."
On his return to Annapolis in 1738 he established a lodge there which it is said was called the Annapolis Royal Lodge and Philipps was its first W. M.
On June 12, 1750, the Hon. Edward Cornwallis and others at Halifax petitioned Erasmus James Philipps as Pro. G. M. for a warrant or deputation to establish a lodge at Halifax. The warrant was received and the first meeting held July 19, 1750, Cornwallis being the first Master.
On March 18, 17.51, the second lodge was formed at Halifax.
On Dec. 27, 17-57, a Grand Warrant, signed by the Earl of Blessington, C. M. of the "Antients" was issued to Philipps, probably without any request on his part, constituting him "Provincial Grand Master of Novia Scotia and the territories thereunto belonging." This warrant was probably never acted upon, as Philipps' original authority, that of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, was the authority of the "Modern" Grand Lodge of England. The warrant from the "Antients" was written by Lawrence Dermott, Grand Secretary, and neither it nor two lodge warrants accompanying it were ever acted upon by Philipps or any one else, but lay dormant until 1784 when the Provincial Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia was formed.
On his death in 1760 Major Philipps was succeeded in his position of Pro. G. M. by the Hon. Jonathan Belcher, Lieut. Governor of the province.
Major Philipps was thus the founder and
first great figure of Freemasonry, not only in Nova Scotia, but
in all of Canada.
1 Nova Scotia Lodge of Research 44.
1 Mass. 7.
Ross's History of Freemasonry in Nova Scotia, 19.
IV Gould 331.
1 Robertson's History of Freemasonry in Canada, 140-152.
There is a tradition of a Lodge at Georgetown,
Md., during this year, but without any supporting evidence.
IV Gould 262.
It may be interesting to note in this connection
that during this year Provincial Grand Master Henry Price's portrait,
the original of which has been destroyed by fire, although copies
are preserved, was painted.
1871 Mass. 285, 295.
Some time during this year Provincial Grand
Master Thomlinson while at Antigua found some old Boston Masons
and went to work, making the Governor and sundry other gentlemen
of distinction Masons.
I Mass. 6.
See page 117.
 Cape Breton, Louisburg and West Indies.
There is a record in a registry book of the Grand Lodge of England, that in 1737 William Douglas, Commander of H.M.S. Falmouth, was appointed Provincial Grand Master for the coast of Africa and the islands of America, and Cast. Robert Coming (Commons; Cumin's) for Cape Breton and Louisburg. What was meant by the islands of America was, of course, the West Indies, where Commander Douglas touched now and then in the discharge of his naval activities.
See closing items of Chapters XII and.XX.
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