1814 - Consolidation and Change
On the feast of St John the Evangelist, 27th December, 1813 - at the Freemasons Hall in Great Queen Street, London - two rival English Grand Lodges were united into a single body, known since as the United Grand Lodge of England. Of course, the meeting was held between Christmas and New Year - so it was not until the early months of 1814 and throughout that year and beyond, that the union could begin to be consolidated. It is thus appropriate that this Prestonian lecture, which runs throughout 2014, should take as its subject the 200th anniversary of this momentous event in English and indeed, worldwide Freemasonry.
This book traces events leading to the union and then to covers some of the changes that were effected in the short, and necessarily, the longer term thereafter. Change on the scale required could not possibly be achieved in but one year - hence, events beyond 1814 must be included. The story is presented through the perspective of three individuals, each of whom played an important role in the union. They were Frederick Augustus, Duke of Sussex - the first Grand Master, William White, the first Grand Secretary and Sir John Soane, the first Grand Superintendant of Works. Also included in this work is a summary of the events leading to the division in Grand Lodges.