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Lodge of True Friendship
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE LODGEThe Lodge was constituted (but not yet consecrated) in 1766 and the early members all seem to be members of Strong Lodge No.45 of London.
Initially, we met in Tower Hill, London and then at various pubs throughout London and Essex until settling in Rochford in 1801. The Lodge met at a good number of the pubs in Rochford "at or on the night of the full moon" to make it easier for members to stagger home at night.
As the membership grew, the Lodge met at various pubs and hotels throughout Rochford and Southend. We moved to Rochford Masonic Hall (formerly the Rochford Court House) in 1981 when the local GP, Dr F.W. Fisher was our Master. He has been the Lodge Organist ever since.
The Lodge history is peppered with stories of smuggling, preparation for various wars and celebrations including a time in 1847 when the Lodge was called off for celebrations with the ladies and was not formally closed until 5.00 a.m. the next morning.
The Lodge was formed as Lodge number 380 in 1766 and changed numbers seven times before being allocated No.160 in 1863. Until 1922 there were twelve regular Meetings each year but a current "year" consists of seven regular Meetings.
The Lodge is fortunate to be supported by a strong L of I which often has 20 attendees on a Thursday evening.
And long may it continue!
In 2006 Chapter of True Friendship was Conecreated.
J.P. Smoothy PGStdB (2011)
For further information click on the blue heading above for interesting Returns made as a result of the Unlawful Societies Act of 1799 , the Essex Oaths Project and in particular examples of the Lodges's returns.
More details can be had from W Bro John
Rochford goes back to the prehistoric times and many artefacts from the Bronze and Iron Ages have been found locally.
Its not true to say that they can still be seen congregating in the bar!
We are looking for details of Banners which can be displayed on this site.
Some details of the early years of the Trinity Lodge. (Large PDF file. please be patient.)
Origins of the Centre.
The Old Court House was erected in 1859 at a cost of £3000, on the site of two small cottages, one of which was part of 26, next door.
One of the founders of Trinity Lodge No. 1734 (and its second Master) was John Allen, a local carpenter who made the last Whispering Post in Rochford (still standing in a garden of a house in Kings Hill). He was initiated into True Friendship 160 as a possible, in the running of the Centre.
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