Royal Sussex Chapter 53

Meets at – The Masonic Hall, Old Orchard Street, BathBA1 1JU at 18:30
on the third Monday. Months –January, March & October.

HRH Prince Augustus Frederick
The Duke of Sussex

Consecrated 29th October 1818Meets at the Masonic Hall, Old Orchard Street, Bath. By the mid eighteenth century there were two rival Grand Lodges, one, familiarly known as the Moderns, which regarded the Royal Arch ceremony as unnecessary and completely separate from the Craft Degree. The other, the Ancients, regarded it as an essential part of Craft working.   These two Grand Lodges were at odds until their unification as the United Grand Lodge of England in 1813. It was H R H Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex, the sixth son of King George III whose efforts resulted in the reconciliation and union of the Ancients and Moderns. It then took them another four years to agree to the workings of Supreme Grand Chapter

Before the establishment of the Royal Sussex Chapter in 1818, Royal Sussex Lodge was making Royal Arch Masons at its meetings under the authority of the Ancients Grand Lodge. This should have come to an end in 1813, when each Chapter had to declare an attachment to a Craft Lodge, have the same   Number, but not necessarily the same name. For nearly four years, until the Grand Chapter was constituted in 1817 there was a break in administration leading to much confusion. Royal Sussex Lodge found its self in a state of limbo and continued to confer the degree as before.

During this period it was often the case that candidates for the Royal Arch went through a ceremony called passing the chair. The Lodge went through the process of making him a Past Master to qualify him for membership of the Royal Arch. This practice continued for several years and ended in 1823 when the qualification was reduced to being a Master Mason of twelve months standing. The Royal Sussex Chapter in Bath and the Chapter of Sincerity at Taunton were amongst the first batch of new Chapters recognized by this new Supreme Grand Chapter in 1818, but authorization was delayed until a new Grand Chapter Seal could be made. The Duke of Sussex died still in office in 1843 and his name graces this important Chapter.  

In 2015 the place that Royal Sussex Chapter had played in the foundation of The Provincial Grand Chapter of Somerset was formally acknowledged when at an Especial Convocation held at the Webbington Hotel, the Chapter was presented with a commemorative Banner by the Grand Superintendent, E Comp D John Bennett. Royal Sussex Chapter may be one of the smaller Chapters in the Province of Somerset but over the years it has contributed a great deal to the Province and with a history of over two hundred years it continues to contribute to the life of both the Province of Somerset and the Bath Masonic Hall.

Royal Sussex Chapter
250th Commemorative Banner

If you would like to find out more about the Royal Sussex Chapter email 📧 Scribe -E- John Nicholson

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