The Founders of QC Lodge
The Warrant to establish Quatuor Coronati Lodge, No. 2076 (EC), was issued on 28 November 1884, but consecration was delayed until 12 January 1886, caused by Sir Charles Warren, the WM-designate, having been sent on a diplomatic and military mission to Bechuanaland (now Botswana).
The brief biographies below are based on those in the first volume of AQC.
One can sense the desire to formalise the study of Freemasonry from the Oration given at the consecration:
If the intellectual and cultured study of what Freemasonry is, has been, and may yet be, to ourselves and to the world is in any way promoted by our efforts, believing, as we do, that such a study, thoughtful and prudent, zealous yet discriminating, is essential to a proper understanding of masonic archaeology and masonic formulae, we shall indeed rejoice. For thus it may chance that we shall be enabled to rescue contemporary Freemasonry from the charge frequently brought against it, that it sacrifices an intellectual study of Freemasonry proper to the more pervading requirements of the social circle, and that it is too easily contented with a routine of ritual on the one hand, and the pleasing exercise of hospitality on the other. Whether these ideas and aims of ours are destined to be successful time alone can show.
AQC continues to be published annually more than 130 years later. One of QC’s first acts was to establish the Correspondence Circle, whose membership fee was then 10/6d per annum, a vast sum.
The Founders’ names appear in the following order:
Sir Charles Warren (1840-1927)
Born 1840; entered Her Majesty’s Service as a Lieutenant in the Royal Engineers in 1857; Captain, 1869. Conducted the Palestine Exploration 1867-70. In 1876 settled the boundary line of the Orange Free State and Griqualand West (now part of the South African Northern Cape Province). Gazetted CMG in 1877 and appointed Special Commissioner in the Northern Cape Province. Active service in the Griqua-Kaffir War and promoted Lieut.-Colonel in 1877. Administrator of Griqualand 1879; Surveying Instructor at Chatham 1881. Served in Egypt and recovered the bodies of Professor Palmer and his companions in 1882. In command of the Bechuanaland Expedition in 1884 and created GCMG 1885. Commanded at Suakim but recalled in 1886 to re-organise the London Police Force as Chief Commissioner. Author of Underground Jerusalem; The Temple or the Tomb; and numerous papers to learned societies.
William Henry Rylands (1847-1922)
Born 1847; Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries; Member of the Asiatic Societies of London and Paris; Secretary of the Society of Biblical Archaeology. Initiated in 1872 in Faith and Unanimity Lodge, No. 417, Dorchester; joined Lodge of Antiquity, No. 2, London, in 1881, and exalted in Chapter of St. James, No. 2, London, in 1882. Grand Steward, 1887. Author of Freemasonry in the xvii century in Warrington, Chester and many other works and contributions to the Masonic press, as well as papers on antiquarian matters.
Robert Freke Gould (1836-1915)
Commissioned in 1855 as Ensign, 86th Foot, then Lieut., 31st Foot. Served in the North China Campaign. Barrister, 1868. Initiated 1855 in the Royal Navy Lodge, No. 429 (now No. 621), Ramsgate. Member Friendship Lodge, No. 345 (now No. 278), Gibraltar; Inhabitants’ Lodge, No. 178 (now No. 153), Gibraltar; Meridian Lodge, 31st Foot, No. 1045 (now No. 743); St. Andrew’s-in-the-East, No. 313, Poona, (Grand Lodge of Scotland); Orion-in-the-West Lodge, No. 598 (now No. 415), Poona; Northern Lodge of China, No. 832 (now No. 570), Shanghai; WM in 1864; Royal Sussex Lodge, No. 735 (now No. 501), Shanghai; Moira Lodge, No. 92, London, WM in 1874-5. Exalted Melita Chapter, No. 437 (now No. 349), Malta; Scottish Chapter at Poona; Zion Chapter, No. 570, Shanghai; Moira Chapter, No. 92, London. PrSGW Andalusia and SGD England. Board of General Purposes 1876-83; Colonial Board 1876-9. Author of The Four Old Lodges; The Atholl Lodges; and The History of Freemasonry.
Adolphus F. A. Woodford (1821-1887)
Commissioned 1838, Ensign and Lieutenant, Coldstream Guards, retired in 1841. Matriculated at Durham 1842, BA and Licence of Theology 1847. Ordained Deacon 1846, curate of Whitburn,1846-7; ordained, 1847. Chaplain to Sir John Lowther, High Sheriff of Yorkshire, 1852. Initiated in Lodge of Friendship, No. 278, Gibraltar, 1842; member Marquis of Granby, No. 124, Durham, 1842; Philanthropic Lodge, No. 304, Leeds; and Lodge of Antiquity, No. 2, 1863. Exalted in Concord Chapter, No. 124, Durham, 1848; joined Philanthropic Chapter, No. 304, Leeds, 1863; and Chapter of St. James, No. 2, London, 1874. PrGCh, Durham, 1847; PrGCh, West Yorkshire, 1860; PrSGW, West Yorks., 1857. Grand Chaplain, 1863. Chairman of the West Yorkshire Charity Committee, 1859-70. Editor of The London Freemason and the Masonic Magazine, 1873-86; Defence of Freemasonry; The Sloane Manuscript; etc.
Sir Walter Besant (1836-1901)
MA Cambridge, Secretary to the Palestine Exploration Fund. He was initiated in Lodge of Harmony, No. 1143 (later, No. 841 and erased 1868), Port Louis, Mauritius, in 1862, and joined the Marquis of Dalhousie Lodge, No. 1159, London, in 1869, becoming WM in 1873. Author of The French Humorists; Early French Poetry; Life of Coligny; Life of Whittington; Rabelais; Readings in Rabelais; The History of Jerusalem from Jesus to Saladin; joint author with James Rice of the Golden Butterfly; and author of Children of Gibeon and other novels.
John Paul Rylands (1846-1923)
Born 1846, Barrister at Law, Northern Circuit, Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. Initiated in the Lodge of Faith and Unanimity, No. 417, Dorchester, in 1872; joined the Marquis of Lorne Lodge, No. 1354, Leigh, Lancashire, in 1879; and the Lodge of Lights, No. 148, Warrington, in 1880, where he served as JW the same year. Was exalted in Chapter of Elias Ashmole, No. 148, in 1880. The author of Account of the Holcroft Family; Arms in Warrington Church; Lancashire Inquisitions Post Mortem; Cheshire and Lancashire Funeral Certificates; Visitations of Cheshire; Visitation of Dorset 1623; Genealogies of the Families of Bate and Kirkland; Genealogies of the Families of Culcheth and Risley; and numerous pamphlets and articles on Heraldic and Genealogical subjects.
Sisson Cooper Pratt (1844-1919)
Major, Royal Artillery, PSC; Gold Medallist, RA Institution. Commissioned 1863; served in Bhootan Campaign of 1864-5, present at capture of Fort Dalimkote, Chumurchi and Nagoo, and recapture of the Bala Pass. Assistant Field Engineer to the Left Brigade, Dooar Field Force; three times mentioned in despatches. District Staff Officer to the South Western District during 1867-8; Staff College 1873; Instructor in Tactics and Professor of Military History at Sandhurst. Initiated in the Bayard Lodge, No. 1615, London, 1876, and subsequently joined the Kaisar-i-Hind and Moira Lodges. Author of Field Artillery, its organization and Tactics; Military Law, its Procedure and Practice; Precis of the Franco-German War; Notes on Field Artillery; The Strategic Defence of Egypt; The Egyptian Campaign of 1801; Notes on Military History.
William James Hughan (1841-1911)
Initiated in Lodge St. Aubyn, No. 954, Devonport, 1863; joined Phoenix Lodge, No. 331, Truro, in 1864, and Fortitude Lodge, No. 131, Truro, in 1866. Exalted in Glasgow Chapter, No. 50 (SC), in 1865, and joined Kilwinning Chapter, No. 80 (SC), Ayr, in 1868. Hon. Member of numerous home and foreign lodges and societies. Hon. SGW, Grand Lodge of Quebec. PSGW, Grand Lodge of Egypt, 1876. Grand Representative of the Grand Chapter of Pennsylvania, 1872. PPrGSec, Cornwall; PSGD, 1874. Editor of Devon and Cornwall Masonic Calendar, 1865-8; editor of Cornwall Masonic Directory, 1870-87, and author of Constitutions of the Freemasons, History of Freemasonry in York, Masonic Sketches, Old Charges of the British Freemasons, Memorials of the Masonic Union of December 1813, Numerical and Medallic Masonic Register, Origin of the English Rite of Freemasonry, and numerous pamphlets.
George William Speth (1847-1901)
Born 1847, initiated in 1872 in the Lodge of Unity, No. 183, London, WM in 1876. Exalted in Sir Francis Burdett Chapter, No. 1503, Twickenham, in 1883. Author of A History of the Lodge of Unity, No. 183, and Royal Freemasons; and a contributor to The Masonic Press of London and Philadelphia and Masonic Monthly.
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