George Frederick Samuel Robinson, 1st Marquess of Ripon by George Frederic Watts

The Warrant of Scarborough Lodge No. 1214 was signed on February 20th 1868 by the Rt. Hon. the Earl de Grey and Ripon, Deputy Grand Master on behalf of the Grand Master the M. W. Bro. The Earl of Zetland.

The petition for a new Lodge had been recommended by the Worshipful Master and Officers of the Nelson of the Nile Lodge No. 264 Batley and the Worshipful Master and Officers of Amphibious Lodge No. 258, Heckmondwike.

The founders were Rev. Joseph Senior L.L.D. Master of Batley Grammar School 1832-1851 a Past Master of Three Grand Principles No. 208 Dewsbury and Nelson of the Nile, Batley 264 Richard Pepper No. 258 Amphibious Joseph Blackburn 264 Nelson of the Nile Benj. Whitaker 264 Nelson of the Nile William Coates 264 Nelson of the Nile William Bairstow 264 Nelson of the Nile George Wrigley 971 Trafalgar Wm. Colbeck Dyson 971 and John Bagshaw.

Station Hotel

The Lodge was consecrated at the Station Hotel, Soothill, Batley, on Thursday 2lst May 1868 by Wor. Bro. Bentley Shaw G.S.D. Deputy Provincial Grand Master; the Oration was delivered by W. Bro. Rev. G. G. Lawrence, MA. P.G. Chaplain. W.Bro. Richard Pepper, a Past Master of Amphibious Lodge No. 258, was installed as first Worshipful Master of the Lodge by Wor. Bro. James Peace, P.P.G.J.W.

The Worshipful Master then invested the following Officers 

Senior Warden: Bro. Joseph Blackburn
Junior Warden: Bro. Benj. Whitaker
Senior Deacon: Bro. George Wrigley
Junior Deacon: Bro. Wm. Coates
Secretary, Bro. W. C. Dyson

Initiates of the first year were

Mr. Joseph Hepplethwaite, Bank Cashier
Mr. Edmund Hemingway, Bank Manager
Mr. George Jubb, Woollen Manufacturer
Capt. W. H. Colbeck, Woollen Manufacturer
Mr. Joseph Sheard, Woollen Manufacturer
Mr. Francis Marchant Roper, Cloth Drawer

Bro. Dr. George Stockwell St. John's Lodge, Stow, Scotland, was the first joining member.

Bro.John Simon, Sergeant-at-law and a member of the Lodge of Good Report 130 London and who represented Dewsbury and Batley in Parliament, was elected a member of Scarborough Lodge on 14th April 1870.

Four months later on the occasion of his first visit, a banquet was held in his honour.

In 1874 a warrant was granted to hold a Royal Arch Chapter in connection with this Lodge.

In December 1874 it was decided unanimously to remove the Lodge from the Station Hotel to the Wilton Arms.

Bro. J Sheard presented to the Lodge on 16th February 1875

Scarbrough Lodge logo copy

"A very handsome banner bearing the Scarboro' Arms as the Standard of the Lodge"

How the Lodge was named Scarborough Lodge has not been established. The device on our banner is only the Crest of the "Arms of the Earls of Scarborough" Could it be that the founders, when discussing the possibility of a new Lodge, met in a hostelry of that name in the district?

1881 Census, Scarborough Hall

Eager to have more settled premises the Lodge decided to build and the committee was recommended to purchase a site in Caledonia Road, from Bro. Bagshaw at fivepence per yard. Scarborough Hall was built on the site and the Lodge occupied the new premises on 27th March, 1877, but from then to 1885 encountered many difficulties, as from the excessive losses through removals and other causes, the number of members had been reduced to such a point that contributions were inadequate to meet expenses.

The Provincial Grand Master (Rt. Wor. Bro. Thos. W. Tew) "heard with profound regret that Scarborough Lodge, owing to reduced membership was obliged to retire from it's splendid hall and premises," so in January, 1886, again returned to the Station Hotel.

Provincial Grand Lodge met at Batley Town Hall for the October meeting in 1879 under the Scarborough Lodge Banner, in the presence of a large number of Provincial brethren. The Lodge has also on several occasions in company with other local Lodges, entertained Provincial Grand Lodge and the Charity Committee.

Early in 1892, differences with the management at the Station Hotel, caused the lodge to get other premises. Provincial Grand Lodge sanctioned the meetings being held at Bank Chambers, Batley, kindly offered by Bro. Coates and from March 1892, there carried on it's business. A change in management at the Station Hotel led to the lodge resuming it's business there again on 17th July, 1894.

Steadily the membership increased and in the spring of 1905, a committee was appointed to arrange more suitable rooms. In 1906 the Committee reported on the proposed new Lodge rooms and on the 30th October, 1906, was authorised to take such action as considered necessary to have alterations carried out.

Blenheim House 1

Masonic Hall, Station Road, was leased, the first ceremony being the Installation on 18th December, 1906. The Lodge carried on happily there for a number of years, membership steadily increasing. It became apparent that larger and more settled accommodation was necessary. Many possibilities were explored, conferences held, plans discussed until on 21st July 1925, the Lodge authorised the purchase of Blenheim House, from Mr John Joseph Jubb and the freehold from Mr David Stubley J. P. Structural alterations were carried out, central heating installed, decorated, furnished and ready for a social gathering of brethren and their ladies in November of that year.

Wor. Bro. James Oldroyd was invited to unlock the door of the new Temple on 15th December, 1925. 

Wor. Bro. G Whitehead read a portion of Scripture, then followed the first regular Lodge.

Wor. Bro. H Peate, Worshipful Master, conducted the ceremony.

Tuesday, 15th May 1928, the lodge celebrated it's Diamond Jubilee, this was indeed a very happy occasion. It is interesting to record that Wor. Bro. John Barker of Mirfield Lodge who was present at the Consecration Ceremony in 1868, was also an honoured guest at the Diamond Jubilee Celebration.

At the annual general meeting on February, 1937 and March 1938 the question of enlarging the dining room was discussed and after full enquiry, the lodge committee at a general meeting held on 27th June 1938, was empowered to proceed with the extension. Building work commenced in October and completed in March 1939.

During the second world war, the lodge carried on it's usual Masonic business, but from November 1941 to February 1944, met on Saturday afternoons during the blackout period.

For some time, Past Masters had been concerned about the variations which had crept into the ritual during the passing of the years. After discussion it was resolved a sub committee consisting of the Wor. Master, Wor Bros. Chadwick, Blackburn and Holloway, endeavour to bring the ritual into line according to the "Old Scarborough Working" and submit their findings when completed.

The work of the sub committee was reported upon at a meeting held on 30th May 1949, which meant a complete return to the ritual practised in the early days of the lodge, with the addition of a longer rendering of the working tools of the 2nd degree and a short section of the 3rd degree. Wor. Bro. Holloway prepared several books for guidance. The brethren confirmed the changes at a later meeting. Reference must be made to several excellent masons who have given unselfish service to the lodge.

Bro. Taylor Ineson who was Tyler from 1871 to 1920, received provincial honours, P.P.G. Tyler, to mark the celebration of his Masonic Jubilee. Thereafter the office of Tyler has been progressive from Senior Steward.

Wor. Bro. James Oldroyd had unbroken membership for 58 years, held various offices, was Chaplain for 13 years.

Wor. Bro. E. Hemmingway, Treasurer 10 years, Charity Member 6 years.

Wor. Bro. Harry Chadwick, Treasurer for 20 years, made an honorary member in 1938.

Wor. Bro. Frank Fowler, Secretary from 1939 to 1949 inclusive, Treasurer 1953 to 1955, he has again been secretary since 1965.

Wor. Bro. W. H. Croft has been Treasurer for the past 10 years.

The Lodge is very appreciative of such devoted service.

The purchase price of Blenheim House together with the freehold and alterations in 1925 was £4,090. 14s. The dining room extension in 1939 cost £1,486. No repairs could be carried out during the war, when permission was given at a later date, this cost was £1,187. Bro. Rev. J. W. Cassels initiated a member of this lodge 21st March 1872, was Provincial Grand Chaplain in 1876.

"The Emblems of Morality" presented by Wor. Bro. G Stockwell in 1875 are still in use in certain of our lodge ceremonies.

Wor. Bro. W. Naylor presented a new case of working tools in 1926.

Scarborough Lodge's first Grand Lodge Officer was appointed in 1941 when Wor. Bro. Rayner Roberts received the rank of Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies.

Wor. Bro. Frederick Watkinson. J. P. P.P.G.D. has been Chairman of the Dewsbury, Batley and Mirfield Hospital Management Committee since the inception of the National Health Service in 1948 and for a number of years has also been Chairman of the Finance Committee of the Regional Hospital Board, had the honour of being decorated with the O.B.E. by her Majesty the Queen in 1965

Howley Lodge, No 5012 became tenants of the lodge in 1934 and Trafalgar Lodge, No 971 in 1963.

Many generous brethren have from time to time contributed to the funds of the lodge and made additions to furniture and furnishings. Particular reference must be made to Wor. Bro. Holloway, for the Rosewood and Ivory Gavel for the Worshipful Masters Pedestal and also for a case of Tracing Boards, which he painted himself with such skill and patience and are used in all lodge ceremonies.

The present lodge banner was presented by the late Wor. Bro. Tom Watkinson Wor. Bro. Fred Watkinson and Bro. Ernest Watkinson to replace the original, which was very tatty.

Wor. Bro. W. H. Croft presented the collars and cuffs, which the Worshipful Master and Wardens wear.

Centuary jewel

Improvements have been gradually carried out at Blenheim House, very noticeable is the enlargement of the car park. The attractive looking cottage or lodge, inside the grounds on the right of the entrance gates was pulled down, tree's and shrubbery, etc, removed, which has more than doubled the parking space.

Commencing on 1st January, 1967, a Masonic hall trust was formed, equal shares being held by the three lodges using the premises, namely Scarborough Lodge No 1214, Howley Lodge No 5012 and Trafalgar Lodge 971 

It is exactly 100 years ago by the date since the lodge was consecrated, much more might be written in regard to work done by members, for the craft and Royal Arch Masonry during that period. May the lodge continue to prosper and happily carry on it's useful Masonic work throughout the second century.

2014 © Scarborough Lodge № 1214