History of Anchor Chapter

During May of 1906, the first written evidence regarding the formation of a Holy Royal Arch Chapter of Jerusalem in Northallerton is attributed to an informal meeting held after supper by Brethren of Anchor Lodge. At this meeting there prevailed a strong desire on the part of the Companion Brethren that a Chapter should be formed.

Notices having been sent to all Companions resident in the Northallerton and Bedale District asking to meet at 7.0pm on the 31st May 1906 at the Anchor Lodge Committee Room. At this meeting it was decided that a Royal Arch Chapter be formed and attached to Anchor Lodge 1337

It was decided that dates of the regular convocations of the Chapter be held on the fourth Friday of the months of January, April, July & October.
The Worshipful Master and brethren present at the June 1906 meeting of Anchor Lodge resolved by a majority that the petition “praying that a Charter of Constitution be granted to a Chapter to be attached to the Anchor Lodge 1337 Northallerton to be called the Anchor Chapter 1337”.

A further meeting was held on the 14th August 1906 to consider matters relating to the formation of the Anchor Chapter. Comp Tweedy informed the meeting that the Charter Constituting the Anchor Chapter of Royal Arch Masonry had been signed.
Comp Tweedy also informed those present that he had received estimates for the cost of supplying the necessary Chapter furniture as well as an offer from Macdonald Chapter to sell their furniture. But as the price was not named it was resolved that Comp Tweedy communicate again with Macdonald Chapter and negotiate the lowest possible price they were prepared to take.

Those present at the above meeting agreed that the following Companions to appointed to the following offices:-

  • Most Excellent Companion C Tweedy – Z
  • Excellent Companion H Wilmot – H
  • Excellent Companion J Horsfall – J
  • Companion WH Potts – Scribe E
  • Companion J Swinbank – Scribe N
  • Companion H Fairburn – Principal Sojourner
  • Companion JH Naylor – 1st Assistant Sojourner
  • Companion H Clidero – 2nd Assistant Sojourner
  • Companion GH Lewis – Treasurer

The appointment of the Janitor was left to a subsequent meeting.
At a meeting of the founders on the 27th August 1906 it was announced that the Consecration Ceremony would take place on the 20th September 1906. The result of discussions with Macdonald Chapter it was agreed to pay the sum of £21.00 for their Chapter furniture.

Anchor Chapter 1337, was solemnly constituted on Thursday 20th September 1906 by Colonel the Right Hon Lord Bolton, Most Excellent Grand Superintendent of the North and East Ridings of Yorkshire. The ceremony took place at 2.0pm in the Masonic Hall, Northallerton. (A Collation was provided at the Golden Lion Hotel, Northallerton at the conclusion of the business for 3/6 each.)

After the ceremony of consecration, the founders were called upon to stand around the pedestal whilst an anthem was sung and an oration was given at the request of the Grand Superintendent, followed by the Patriachal Benediction after which Provincial Grand Chapter was closed. Chapter business followed with the installation of the three principals and the investiture of the Officers.
After expressions of hearty good wishes from those present and the exodium having been given the chapter closed in peace and harmony at 4.30pm.

The first meeting of Anchor chapter took place on the 5th October 1906, an emergency meeting, at which three brethren were balloted and exalted. A single exaltation followed by a double ceremony.

The first regular convocation of the newly formed Chapter took place on the 26th October 1906 at which Bro T Place – Timber Merchant was exalted. (Bro Place was a relative of the late W Bro Rodney Place of Anchor Lodge). At this meeting letters of appreciation were read and exchanged regarding the Constitution of the Chapter on the 20th September 1906.

On the 21st February 1907 an emergency meeting was convened to appoint a 3rd Principal owing to the resignation of E Companion Horsfall under rule 66, being unable to attend and fulfil his duties in the foreseeable future. At the regular convocation held on the 26th July 1907, in attendance was the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent, The Right Honourable Lord Bolton who graciously agreed to present founder jewels to the founders of Anchor Chapter. In the minutes of this meeting thanks were recorded to E Comp Tweedy for the gift of Bases, Standards, Brass Rods & Curtains on the landing used as a screen to keep the passage between the preparing rooms and the Chapter Private – presented on the 26th October 1906.

To Comp Potts – for the volume of the sacred law – presented on the 26th October 1906 and to Ex Comp Wilmot – for the Catenarian Arch – presented on the 26th July 1907. At this meeting a special dispensation was read, allowing the Third Principal, E Comp J Swinbank, who held the position for a period of eight instead of the prescribed twelve months, authorising him to be installed as second principal.

An emergency convocation was called to exalt the above named Bro Burton.
The summons of the 29th July 1910 records the death of King Edward VII “Protector of our Order” and that the Chapter will be mourning until November of that year.
No summons 27 Oct 1911, 26 Jan 1912, 26 April 1912, 26 July 1912, 25 Oct 1912, 31 Jan 1913, 25 April 1913, 25 July 1913, Summons re-appeared on the 31st October 1913.

A convocation was summoned for Friday 29th January 1915 but as only three companions were present no meeting was held. The convocation of 30th July 1915 “decided that owing to the exigencies of the present National Crisis, the Officers for the year 1914-15 should be re-elected for the year 1915-16”.
The meeting of 29th October 1915 records “There is no power given by Royal Arch regulations to grant a continuance in the chair of Z for more than three years. E Comp Wilmot had already served the Chapter in this position for the last years.

Only four companions turned up for the convocation to be held on the 28th January 1916. A similar situation arose on the 28th April 1916 when only two companions were present. Companions were again summoned on the 28th July 1916 but no convocation was held. Again on the 27th October 1916 only four companions attended, no convocation was held. At the regular convocation held on the 27th April 1917, the minutes of the convocation held 29th October 1915 were confirmed.

At the convocation held on the 25th February 1921, after being elected Honourable member, E Comp S Clarkson presented to the chapter the censer with stand for use at future ceremonies. At the 28th April 1928 convocation it was resolved that a larger board for the names of the founders and principals be procured. At the meeting held on the 28th July 1928 the purchase of an honours board was approved, “Best Australia Oak, stained and polished with illuminated pediment at a cost of £16.19.0.”

The summons for the meeting held on the 27th October 1922 made reference to the death of Lord Bolton, late Provincial Grand Superintendent. Also at this meeting it was decided to hold the regular convocation on the last Friday of September, November, January, March & May. At the Regular Convocation of the 27th January 1928, a Steward expressed difficulty in making suitable dining arrangements. The suggestion was made that a printed post card could be included with the summons in order that the companions could state whether or not they wish to stay for a meal.

At the meeting held on the 27t h September 1929 it was agreed that the 12 small and 5 large banners be renovated by Messrs Toye & Co Ltd at a cost of £4.4.0.
As far back as January 1932 the MEZ initiated a discussion on what “further can be done to interest the Companions in the Chapter”. No recommendations or ideas were recorded. Again at the permanent committee of the 7th October 1933, the question of recruiting more members was reported thus “as the means to be employed to infuse more interest in the Chapter” Again no thoughts or recommendations were recorded.

On the 23rd March 1934, it was interesting to read that at the exaltation of Bro Charles Manging, Dep Chief Constable, it was proposed and seconded that the ballot be dispensed with. As result of the death of King George V, First Grand Principal, the Chapter was in mourning for three months as from 21st January 1936.
The convocation held on the 25th March 1938, must have been an occasion not to be missed. Much discussion took place regarding the tone of a letter received from Anchor Lodge referring to the increase in rent and un-masonic language in which the letter was written.

At the meeting held on the 29th November 1940 in attendance was the Provincial Grand Haggai who urged the Companions not, withstanding the present difficulties, to let the Chapter disappear. Very little direct reference has been made in the minutes, to the War raging in Europe, but on the 28th March 1941 the Treasurer, owing to his military duties was unable to carry out his normal duties. At the Installation meeting held 28th November 1941 the proposition to close down the Chapter and hand back its Charter was deferred after the Provincial Haggai addressed the Companions, and he had a further opportunity to address Anchor Lodge. Between the period 28th November 1941 and 25th January 1946 no record of any convocation being held have been recorded.

On Sat 19th May 1951 Provincial Grand Chapter, was held at Allertonshire School, Northallerton. At the 28th Sept 1951 meeting the purchase of a Second Honours board was approved. At the convocation held on 25th Jan 1952 death of George VI was recorded. On the 28th May 1956 the Chapter celebrated its 50th Anniversary in the recently acquired new premises. At the 29th January 1965 convocation it was recorded that a ‘new wilton carpet’ to be obtained. At the convocation held on 24th September 1976 an appeal was made for donations to cover the cost of replacing the banners.
At the meeting held on 3rd December 1976, E Comp Los of Beverley offered to make new banners for the cost of the materials only. They were, after 2000 hours of work, dedicated at the meeting held on the 31st March 1978.

On the 25th November 1988 E Comp Walter Rand stood down after 19yrs as Scribe E. Warm tributes being recorded. After several aborted attempts, a new honours board was in place by the 24th September1999 at the cost of £737.50. At the convocation held on the 31st March 2000 the MEZ was pleased to inform the companions of the anonymous donation of seven new stewards jewels. At the same meeting it was agreed the Chapter purchase seven new stewards collars and also the purchase of the five Platonic Bodies.

Not quite Chapter affairs but a pedal organ presented by Bro Chas Tweedy in 1893, was discovered in an antiques shop in Rochdale and returned to the Lodge. (Bro Chas Tweedy was the first Zerubbabel to be installed in our Chapter.)
On the 30th March 2001, for the first time, printed minutes were distributed with the summons. On the 1st April 2005 E Comp Walter Rand celebrated 50 years of Royal Arch Masonry.

On the 22nd September 2006 the Chapter celebrated its Centenary. The meeting was a Provincial Convocation attended by the MEG Superintendent, his Deputy, the 2nd and 3rd Provincial Grand Principals plus several team members. Conscious that the Chapter was unable to produce evidence of continuous convocations during the period 1942-1946 the MEG Superintendent, E Comp Donald Edward Davinson, presented the Chapter with a Provincial Certificate in recognition of our one hundred years existence.