This information, which covers the years 1765 to 1828, was
extracted from [Osborne 1901].
The book is inconsistant in one or two areas, though whether from
inaccurate transcription or errors in the source records it is
hard to tell. Note that I know no more of the art and mystery of
freemasonry than is contained in this book.
The first lodge founded in Cornwall was No. 146 “Kings
Arms”, Falmouth on 20 May 1751. West Penwith followed along
shortly with No. 199 “Ship and Castle”, Penzance
(founded 14 Jun 1755 but for which no records seem to survive)
and No. 240 “Ship”, St. Ives. The early lodges were
named after the Hotel or Public House in which they met, usually
twice monthly in a private room.
No. 240 “Ship”, St. Ives
This was founded on 16 Jul 1765 when the officers were John
KNILL (Worshipful Master), W. H. STEPHENS (Senior Warden), Thomas
LANE (Junior Warden), TRENGROUSE (Secretary) and Nathanial HICKS
(Treasurer), John EDWARDS and William HITCHENS (Enrolled
Apprentice). No others than these seven were permitted to be
elected Worshipful Master which ultimately caused the closure the
lodge in 1780. The numbering of lodges was rather eratic, this
one being, on occasions 360 (1769), 284 (1775) and 227 (1786).
They met on the first and third Thursdays of each month and
subscriptions began at 7/6 per quarter.
Highlights from later business, where names were mentioned,
- 30 Jul 1765 Henry HOLMES elected Enrolled Apprentice (EA)
- 17 Feb 1767 W. H. STEPHENS elected Master and the other
officers rotated around
- 3 Mar 1767 Nathanial HICKES and Francis JAMES elected EA.
[as forenames are rarely used in the records it is not certain,
but probable, that this HICKES is the same as the founder
- 17 Apr 1767 Timothy MAJOR elected EA.
- 4 Aug 1767 Thomas LANE elected Master, Nicholas WALLIS (of
full age on enquiry) elected EA. A joint procession was held
with the “Star”, formerly the “Ship and
Castle” of Penzance on St. John’s day. Sir. John
St. AUBYN gave the lodge ten guineas towards furniture for the
- 20 Oct 1767 Capt. Samuel GEEN, jr. elected EA.
- 3 Nov 1767 Visitors P. CHOEN and George PAPPS. John
KINGSTONE, Thomas SLADE & Christopher WALLIS elected
- 14 Oct 1768 Bros. RICHARDS & RICHARDSON appear in the
- 1 Nov 1768 Robert BROWN & John GEEN made EA.
- 27 Dec 1768 TRENGROUSE elected Master.
- 2 May 1769 lodge number changed (this being the same as 240
- 1 Jan 1771 Timothy GOLDSMITH elected EA.
- 3 Mar 1771 TRENGROUSE died.
- 2 Apr 1771 no meeting on account of the marriage of Bro.
HICKS eldest daughter.
- 19 Mar 1771 John KNILL elected Master.
- 3 Mar 1772 Visitor Isaac BENJAMIN. Dues reduced to 2/6 per
quarter. Application by Mrs. BONET, widow of Bro. Rinc BONET
- 10 Mar 1775 relief granted to Bro. JONES.
- 24 Oct 1775 relief granted to Bro. S— P— &
family. (if it is any help in identifying this man, the papers
indicate that he had a son, Charles, who was the cause of the
family’s financial problems. He was not a member of the
lodge.) Bro. James WALLIS also mentioned in
- 3 Jul 1776 Bro. T. ALLEN mentioned in correspondance.
- 17 Jun 1777 John EDWARDS was by this time Master.
- 27 Dec 1777 W H STEPHENS elected Master.
- 5 May 1778 Henry HOLMES Jnr. elected EA.
- 15 Aug 1778 funeral of Henry HOLMES Snr. attended.
- 16 Mar 1779 William WORTH secretary.
- 20 Apr 1779 Nathanial HICKS elected Master.
- 4 Jan 1780 Bros. MORGAN, Andrew STEVENS & Richard
JENKIN(S) mentioned for the first time. Alexander JAMES
elected. This was the meeting in which discsent was recorded
about the constitution, Francis STEPHENS refusing to attend.
Others followed suit.
- 18 Jan 1780 the disturbance continued and an election of
Master failed. It was clear that the root of the problem was
the inflexibility of the bylaws disallowing any but the founder
members becoming Master, also the absence of John KNILL on
government business in London for some years.
- 3 Oct 1780 summonses issued to all members to attend next
meeting. This was the last recorded meeting.
- 4 Sep 1794 relief paid to Bro. FISHER Snr. though how this
was arranged or who by is not clear.
The highest attendance at any meeting was 11, average 5. Other
brothers not recorded above were ? WESTON, James HEE, Timothy
MAJOR, ? HINGSTONE, George BOZET, Thomas HICKES (brother of
Nathaniel), Ephraim GEEN & Timothy JOSE. The property of the
“Ship” was transfered to the No. 678 “True
Friendship” at Crowan founded on 19 May 1815. The minutes
for thise appear in the same book as the “Ship” and
include Thomas LEAN as first Master
Druid’s Lodge No 176 “Love and Liberality”,
This organisation was a much more subtantial affair and,
though it is some distance outside of West Penwith, had many
members from there, especially after the lodges in Penzance and
St. Ives disbanded. Founded before 1777, it had members from all
of Cornwall and some even as far afield as London, Wales, the
north of England and Norway(!) including seven French prisoners
of war in 1791.
The following members from West Penwith are
- 5. Thomas HALSE (1 Dec 1768, merchant of Penzance aged
- 23. Thomas WALLIS (6 Nov 1777 St. Ives)
- 73. Lemon HART (1 May 1798, merchant of Penzance aged
- 97. Joseph HOCKING (7 Apr 1801, innkeeper of St. Ives aged
- 98. Francis ADAMS (1 May 1801, ships carpenter of St. Ives
- 100. Robert WALKER (2 Jun 1801, excise officer of St. Ives
- 105. John HOSKING (4 Jan 1803, gentleman of Penzance, aged
- 107. Jacob HART (5 Apr 1803, merchant of Penzance aged
- 108. Thomas MERCER (16 Jan 1804, gentleman of St. Ives aged
- 137. Lemon WOLFE (13 Aug 1806, merchant of Penzance aged
- 156. Thomas FRY/TRY (1 Dec 1807, mariner of St. Ives aged
- 161. Richard BRANWELL (4 Oct 1808, merchant of Penzance
- 163. Samuel WILLIAMS (1 Nov 1808, mariner of Penzance aged
- 164. James HICHENS (1 Nov 1808, mariner of Penzance aged
- 168. James MATTHEWS (10 Oct 1809, sailmaker of Penzance
- 169. Moses ISAAC (10 Oct 1809, gentlemen of Penzance aged
- 171. Richard HOLMES (10 Oct 1809, shipwright of Penzance
- 172. Samuel COLENSO (3 Dec 1809, saddler of Penzance)
- 176. John TREGERTHEN (2 Apr 1811, brewer of Lelant aged
- 177. Arthur BERRYMAN (2 Apr 1811, ropemaker of St. Ives
- 178. John MAJOR (2 Apr 1811, sailmaker of St. Ives aged
- 194. William THOMAS (2 Feb 1813, ropemaker of St. Ives aged
In the same way as above, the lodge number changed on
occasions and it was also known as No. 113 “London
Inn”, Redruth in 1790, No. 103 in 1803 and No. 127 in
A chapter of Royal Arch Masons (No. 79 “Love and
Liberality” Redruth) was opened on 15 Jul 1791 and included
in their number were
- 42. Lemon HART (24 Jul 1805, merchant of Penzance aged
- 44. Jacob HART (17 Sep 1805, merchant of Penzance aged
- 52. William CUNDY (28 Jul 1807, mariner of St. Ives aged
- 81. John TREGERTHEN (11 Jun 1811, brewer of Lelant aged
- 99. Richard PEARCE (12 Aug 1818, merchant of Penzance aged
- 100. Richard EDMONDS (28 Apr 1819, attorney at law of
Penzance aged 44)
- 103. Lemon WOLFE (15 Aug 1821, merchant of Penzance aged
- 107. Thomas BRANWELL (16 Aug 1826, attorney at law of
Penzance aged 25)
There was also a conclave of the Knights Templar of St. John
of Jerusalem as a sub group of this lodge. It was founded on 19
Jun 1792 with John KNIGHT as Master and disbanded on his death in
1829. The knights included:—
- 9. Philip TREVENA (19 Jun 1792, gentleman of St. Ives aged
- 66. Richard PEARCE (10 Mar 1819, merchant of Penzance aged
- 71. Thomas BRANWELL (14 Aug 1827, solicitor of Penzance
The book contains a facsimile of the signature and
Mason’s Mark of Richard PEARCE of Penzance.