The Navy Lodge
on the Registers of the United Grand
Lodge of England and the Metropolitan Grand Lodge of London
The inspiration to form a new lodge came from Admiral Sir Albert Hastings Markham, a member of Phoenix Lodge No. 257 in Portsmouth. He, along with a number of brethren living and working in London, found it most inconvenient to travel to Portsmouth for lodge meetings. At that time there were two naval lodges in existence, Royal Naval Lodge No. 59 founded in 1739 and meeting in London, but which had for many years lost its connection with the Royal Navy. The other was Royal Navy Lodge No. 429 founded in 1838 meeting at Ramsgate and whose members were almost entirely naval ratings.
Markham established an informal committee to consider the question of founding a London based naval lodge. Those who supported the notion were naval and marine officers and Admiralty officials, almost all of whom were members of either Phoenix Lodge (Portsmouth), of St. John and St. Paul Lodge (Malta) or of the Royal Naval College Lodge (Greenwich). The committee concluded that there was sufficient merit and support to form such a lodge and a petition was drawn up. Of the sixty-six Founding members, eight were Past Masters of these three lodges and some twenty per cent were higher Civil Servants of the Admiralty. The sponsoring lodge was Studholme Lodge No. 1591, now known after various amalgamations as United Studholme Alliance Lodge No. 1591.
On 20 March 1896 a reply was received saying that MW The Grand Master acceded to the request for the foundation of the Navy Lodge, its number to be 2612. According to Admiral Colville 'It was entirely owing to Admiral Markham that HRH The Prince of Wales, with his love for the Navy, honoured the Lodge by at once becoming its Master'. This fact is commemorated by the Prince of Wales's feathers adorning the Past Masters' Jewel. The Navy Lodge was consecrated on Friday 12 June 1896 at Freemasons' Hall. This Lodge is for the use of Brethren connected with the Naval Services, i.e., Commissioned Officers of the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Royal Naval Reserves, and Commonwealth Navies, both on the Active and Retired Lists, as well as Officers of those services who have resigned their commission for a reason other than that of misconduct, and the higher officials at the Admiralty, present and past.
For the serving officer, the Lodge has the advantage of being able to pursue
Masonic advancement through belonging to an understanding Lodge when, at the very last moment, he has to dash off to the other end of the earth. It has also been known for the Master to sail off to the Falklands half-way through his year or run his Lodge when stationed the wrong side of the Atlantic.
The Lodge prides itself on being the premier Naval Lodge in the world, with an unparalleled history that encompasses four monarchs (HM Kings Edward VII, Edward VIII, George VI and George II of the Hellenes) and other members of the Royal Family (HRH Prince George, Duke of Kent; HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh); three winners of the Victoria Cross; more Admirals, Generals, Vice-Admirals and Senior officers to mention; as well as notables such as Shackleton, Scott of the Antarctic and many more.
Navy Lodge meets in Freemasons' Hall, Great Queen Street, London on the first Friday in January, March, May, October and December; the Installation Ceremony for the incoming Master takes place at the December meeting.
Enquiries from qualified Brethren about visiting the
Lodge, or from those gentlemen who may wish to be considered for membership, may be made
c/o 32 Beacon Way, Rickmansworth, Herts, WD3 7PE. Alternatively electronic and informal contact may be made to the author at email@example.com.
The Navy Lodge History, now in its 3rd edition, is also available for sale via the same contact above. This 135 page paperback includes full colour illustrations as well as a full listing of every member from consecration until 2017.
ISBN 978-1-62620-089-0 Price is just £10 plus P&P. All profits go to charity.