Addington Chapter of Royal Arch Masons

No. 1787

(Attached to the GRENVILLE LODGE, Buckingham)

Addington Chapter No.1787 received its Warrant on the 3rd November 1897 and was Consecrated on the 21st April 1898 at the Masonic Hall, Buckingham by E.Comp Rev Canon John Studholme Brownrigg, M.A. Grand.Superintendent .

In 38 years as Grand.Superintendent of Buckinghamshire John S. Brownrigg had consecrated 11 Chapters, the first being St Georges Chapter No. 840 at the Victoria Hotel, Wolverton on 7th  April 1874. Twenty-four years later in 1898 ten members of St Georges with addition of one relative from an Oxford Chapter, became the Founders of Addington Chapter – they were –

Z       Lord Addington,       H,  William Miles Myers, Clergyman,       J,  Richard Frederick Shillingford, Veterinary Surgeon,     Thomas Taylor,   John Williams, Banker,   Arthur A. Walford, Printer,   William John Gough, Hotel Keeper,   Charles Aaron Bennett, Wine Merchant,                  William Weston, Farmer,        William Walter Carlile, MP, Gentleman,    &  Miles William Myers, Apollo University Chapter No.357, Oxford.

The links between the Chapters is even stronger, because Scientific Lodge No.840 to which St Georges Chapter is attached, also sponsored Grenville Lodge No.1787 to which Addington Chapter is attached. Lord Addington, the first M.E.Z., gave the name of his title to this Chapter and his grandson, who was exalted into the Chapter in 1929 and later gave his permission for the Addington crest to be used on stationary and other Chapter items. Amongst the few Convocation circulars and papers of the period that have been preserved is a letter of appreciation to Lord and Lady Addington written by the Scribe Ezra William Bunker (at the request of the Chapter) and that Lord Addington’s permission had been recorded in the Minutes.

With regard to the venue of our meetings, the original meeting place was at The Masonic Hall, 26 High Street, Buckingham, now a Medical Group Practice which still bears the words ‘Masonic House’ on the fascia. In October 1911 the Convocations were moved to Yeomanry Hall, Hunter Street, now within the campus of Buckingham University.

A receipt found amongst the old papers written on Army Form C.348, Memorandum, dated 8.7.1915 and signed by C.W. Cole, Captain 3/1 Royal Bucks Hussars reads ‘Received the sum of fifteen shillings from Addington Chapter for the use of Yeomanry Hall. Was it for a night, week, month or a year? Apart from two periods from year 1911 Yeomanry Hall has been the home of this Chapter, thanks to Sir Ralph. During the Second World War Yeomanry Hall was requisitioned by the Ministry of Food and our convocations were held in the Woolpack Inn, Buckingham.        At the Convocation held 9th November 1916 the Principals were Z – E.Comp JH Webster, H – E.Comp  JF Colgrove,  and  J-E.Comp A A Walford, who was the Founding Scribe ‘E’, it was proposed  ‘To consider the advisability of adjourning the Chapter till after the war’ and approval was given to this proposition. The same First Principal who presided at that meeting, EComp J.H. Webster reconvened the Chapter on 11th October 1926, at Yeomanry Hall.   At that first meeting, after the adjournment, there were four Exaltees and two joining members. There were a further six Exaltees and one joining member at the next meeting on 11th November 1926.    EComp Major A.G.T. Smith of Oliver Chapter No.2812 Bletchley, who was the joining member that evening, later, became Grand Superintendent of Buckinghamshire serving from 1945 – 54.   After these exceptional meetings the pace of life seemed to return to normal with a small but steady flow of candidates.   E.Comp Howard Potts of the Castle Chapter of Harmony No.26 became a joining member on 25th November 1959 and he also served as Grand Superintendent, for the period 1960  – 1966.

On a day, over 70 years ago,27th March 1947 a Major Ralph Bruce Verney, an initiate of Wineslai Lodge No2435. was exalted into Royal Arch Masonry at Addington Chapter. Sir Ralph became First Principal of Addington in 1961, and whilst continuing to serve the Chapter, went on to serve the Province finally as Grand Superintendent from 1966 – 1991.

In this short history there is mention a few of the known names and events in the 100 years of Addington Chapter. Unfortunately, many of those Companions of earlier days have disappeared from our ken due to the loss of records, even the Chapter’s Charter sometime before 1961.

In the past 30 years, the Chapter has been honoured with 3 Grand Officers, E.Comp. Dennis Taylor, E.Comp. Tony Knight and E.Comp. Trevor Stubbings.

Also, Addington Chapter can boast that in its history four members have become Grand Superintendents.

Yeomanry Hall is undoubtedly one of the finest Temples in the Province with its oak panelling and displaying numerous ceremonial swords

The Chapter has maintained its own traditional Ritual, which is interesting for visitors to witness. Some may call it quirky!

Addington Chapter can look back with pride, honour its predecessors, and look forward to a resurgence of the desire of knowledge and companionship.

Thanks goes to E.Comp Alan Benkel for the initial research and preparation of this document.