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Eylül 30, 2006, 05:56:02 öö
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Freemasonry in Battersea

A paper by Andrew Prescott of the Centre for Research into Freemasonry, University of Sheffield.

Freemasonry emerged in its modern form in Britain at the beginning of the eighteenth century. From the 1840s, it became a popular social activity of the respectable male middle class. The Shaftesbury Park Estate may have been built without pubs, but by 1882 the Shaftesbury Hall was being used as a masonic meeting place. Battersea is best remembered in masonic history as the home from 1853 to 1934 of the Royal Masonic Institution for Girls, a school established in 1788 for the daughters of freemasons, 'who from circumstances arising from the death, illness or misfortune of either or both parents, are reduced to a position requiring the benefits of the Institution'. The impressive gothic buildings of the R.M.I.G. stood on St John's Hill opposite Wandsworth Common, on the site of the present Peabody Estate. The opening in 1853 was marked by a public procession of Grand Lodge and a huge garden party was held in the grounds, attended by between three and four thousand visitors. By the 1930s, the school had outgrown these premises, and it was moved to a new site in Rickmansworth.

Education was a prominent theme in the development of freemasonry in Battersea. In 1894, some former students of Battersea Training College who were enthusiastic masons formed Sir Walter St Johns Lodge No. 2513. Sir Walter St Johns Lodge sponsored the creation in 1907 of a lodge for old boys of Sir Walter St John's Grammar School and Battersea Grammar School, Old Sinjins Lodge No. 3232. Old Sinjins was one of the first school lodges. One of its masters was the headmaster of Sinjuns and historian of Battersea, John George Taylor, and during his period of office a meeting of the lodge was held in the school's Great Hall. Old Sinjins Lodge held services at St Mary's church, and among the vicars of the church who were either members of the lodge or attended lodge meetings were Charles Maxwell, Henry Foster Pegg, Barzillai Beckerleg and Stephan Hopkinson. A lodge for old boys of Emanuel School was not established until 1933, but this lodge, Old Emanuel No. 5399, was to play an important part in the formation of the Federation of School Lodges, which was established at a meeting at the school in 1947.

The first masonic lodge to be formed in Battersea was the Wandsworth Lodge No. 1044, afterwards renamed the New Wandsworth Lodge, which was established in 1865 at the Freemasons' Hotel, near the Masonic Girls' School, but shortly afterwards moved to the Spreadeagle Hotel in Wandsworth. More closely associated with Battersea was Earl Spencer Lodge No. 1420, formed by members of the Battersea Vestry in 1872. The lodge met in various hotels in Battersea, but, after an attempt in 1894 to move to the Municipal Buildings on Lavender Hill was thwarted by socialist opposition, met at Stanley's Restaurant at 51-53 Lavender Gardens (now Jongleurs). Masters of the Earl Spencer Lodge included Peter Proctor Haythornthwaite, the conservative Mayor of Battersea from 1909-10. Masonic business was such that by 1923 Stanley's Restaurant had been renamed Stanley's Masonic Halls. Stanley's was to be the main centre of Battersea freemasonry until the 1950s. It was the first meeting place of Bolingbroke Lodge No. 2417, established in 1892. Bolingbroke Lodge organised a major commemoration of the end of the First World War at Battersea Town Hall in 1919, which was opened by a large masonic procession in which the Mayor and Aldermen of Battersea took part. Other lodges which met in Battersea included Mount Edgcumbe Lodge No. 1446, which met in the Old Swan, Battersea Church Road, from 1873-1881; Duke of Albany Lodge No. 1963, a lodge initially consisting chiefly of teachers which was formed in 1882, and met in the Shaftesbury Hall and afterwards at the Albert Palace; and Lavender Hill Lodge No. 3191, established in 1906.

Following the creation of the metropolitan borough councils in 1900, masonic lodges for council members and staff were formed in some boroughs. No such lodge was formed for Battersea Borough Council, possibly because Earl Spencer Lodge already performed this function. In Wandsworth, however, Wandsworth Borough Council Lodge No. 2979 was formed in 1903. A number of Mayors of Wandsworth served as masters of the lodge, and it was the custom for the mayor to attend the annual Ladies' Night Festival. The lodge attracted notoriety during the corruption scandal involving Sidney Sporle, former Labour leader of Wandsworth Council. Sporle was convicted in 1971 of accepting bribes from the notorious Newcastle politician and fixer, T. Dan Smith, and from contractors involved in the building of the Doddington Road estate. Even after police investigations began into Sporle, his Conservative opposite number, Ronald Ash, nominated him for membership of the South London Housing Consortium, which oversaw the letting of local authority housing contracts. Ash's own firm of builders' merchants had received a large contract from the consortium. Both Sporle and Ash, it turned out, were members of the Wandsworth Borough Council Lodge.

By this time, many of the masonic lodges which had begun in Battersea held their meetings in such central London facilities as Freemasons' Hall at Great Queen Street and Mark Masons' Hall in St James's Street. When Earl Spencer Lodge celebrated its centenary in 1972-3, no members of the lodge lived in Battersea and they had no idea why the lodge had been named after Earl Spencer. At the time of writing, no masonic lodges meet in Battersea, although the Old Sinjins Lodge holds its committee meetings in the former premises of Sir Walter St John's School in Battersea High Street, and the possibility of holding lodge meetings there in the future has been discussed.
- Sahsima ozel mesaj atmadan once Yonetim Hiyerarsisini izleyerek ilgili yoneticiler ile gorusunuz.
- Masonluk hakkinda ozel mesaj ile bilgi, yardim ve destek sunulmamaktadir.
- Sorunuz ve mesajiniz hangi konuda ise o konudan sorumlu gorevli yada yonetici ile gorusunuz. Sahsim, butun cabalarinizdan sonra gorusmeniz gereken en son kisi olmalidir.
- Sadece hicbir yoneticinin cozemedigi yada forumda asla yazamayacaginiz cok ozel ve onemli konularda sahsima basvurmalisiniz.
- Masonluk ve Masonlar hakkinda bilgi almak ve en onemlisi kisisel yardim konularinda tarafima dogrudan ozel mesaj gonderenler cezalandirilacaktir. Bu konular hakkinda gerekli aciklama forum kurallari ve uyelik sozlesmesinde yeterince acik belirtilmsitir.


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