Masonry in Richmond over 200 years

Masonry in the Richmond area actually started before Richmond existed with the soldiers of the 89thFoot Regiment who had a Craft Lodge warranted by the Grand Lodge of Ireland the Charter number being 863 and existing from 1798 to 1818.

The original warrant being lost when the regiment’s ship sank off the Dutch coast in 1805 a duplicate warrant was issued in 1806. This duplicate warrant was cancelled in 1818 as the Grand Lodge had not received dues since 1808.

This is the warrant that was used for the first three years by the Masons of Richmond for the first three years of the settlement. (1818,1819, and 1820) it seems that although the warrant was cancelled it was never returned.

In 1819 Right Worshipful Brother Charles Lennox, the fourth Duke of Richmond visited the village and was said to have found fault with the use of the old warrant by the brethren. By this time regular meetings were held at the Masonic Arms Tavern in Richmond.

Efforts to have the Charter legalized not being successful, they applied for and received from “The Grand Masonic Convention at Kingston” a Charter dated April 29th 1821, and so Richmond Lodge came into being.

In the early days, the lodge was prepared with whitewash and a brush, and charts on the floor covered with straw. At the appropriate time with the sweep of a foot the chart was exposed to view for use by the ritualist.

It was these brethren that laid the cornerstone of the first Anglican Church in Richmond in 1823, the brethren borrowing regalia from Stephen Burritt’s “Lodge on the Rideau” at Burritt’s rapids. This is seems to be the first cornerstone laid by masons in the Ottawa area.

Shortly after this the Brethren decided to buy a complete set of Collar Jewels, some which have been lost over the years, but several are still in use but Goodwood Lodge, these are stamped “Grand Lodge of Upper Canada”.

It would seem that Richmond Lodge met until the 1840’s. By 1845 The Brethren were only meeting intermittently being reluctant to give up until another meeting place became available.

Late in 1846 a new Lodge came into being in Kempville. First as Kempville 25 then later as Kempville 7, and now known as Mount Zion 28. With the new Lodge in Kempville the Richmond Lodge passed into darkness when the brethren started attending in Kempville. The Grand Masonic Convention, the authority under which Richmond Lodge existed had ceased to operate and the charter became non-operative.

In 1855 The Grand Lodge of Canada came into being, and while Richmond lodge had not existed for years, the brethren in Richmond were still busy. Many of which went into Ottawa at least once a month to attend Doric Lodge. Ed Reilly who ran the livery stable provided the transportation. These brethren of Doric Lodge (Bro. Rev. C.B. Pettit, Bro, John McElroy, Bro Edward Reilly, Bro. John Torney and Bro. Johnson Fenton) are responsible for the existence of the present Goodwood Lodge.

 There area a number of excerpts from Doric Lodges minutes relating to these brethren. The entry of the most significance being the one asking the officers of Doric Lodge to assist in establishing a Lodge in Richmond and to forward a petition to Grand Lodge. This was sanctioned unanimously.
 Dispensation to form Goodwood Lodge was dated September 29th 1863.

On November 4th 1863 Doric Lodge agreed to grant Goodwood Lodge whatever surplus furniture they possessed and thus came back to Richmond the contents of our early Lodge which had been given to help Doric in it’s early years. 

The first master of Goodwood Lodge was Rev C.B. Pettit the Rector of St. John’s Anglican Church in Richmond. The brother was a mainstay of the lodge for many years.

The second founder of Goodwood Lodge was Robert Lyon, the son of Captain George Lyon, an original settler in Richmond.  R.W.Bro.  Robert Lyon was DDGM in 1864 when Ottawa was part of the Central district.  He also was a member of Builders Lodge and was the one who presented the petition for Builders Lodge to Grand Lodge.  He was Mayor of Ottawa 1867 and a member of the first Ontario Legislature after confederation. 

Arthur Lyon the younger brother of Robert Lyon joined Goodwood 1864 at the age of 26 years. He moved to Shawville in 1867 and was a charter member and first worshipful master of Pontiac Lodge in Shawville.  He served four terms as DDGM for the Ottawa-Hull District. 

R.W.Bro.  R.H.Grant was master of Goodwood 1896 and 1897.  He later became a charter member of Hazeldean Lodge 517 when it was instituted in 1914.  In 1917 he was DDGM for Ottawa District. 

1918 the cornerstone for Goodwood Lodge was laid by Most Worshipful Bro. W.H. Wardhope.

In October 24th, 1941 a motion was made to change the night of the meeting from the Tuesday before the full moon, it was defeated and so the lodge continued to meet on the Tuesday before the full moon.

At a meeting on June 19, 1956, the brethren decided to replace the wood-burning furnace with a modern appliance. An oil space heater was purchased. June 11, 1957 at another meeting the heating problem apparently not satisfactorily resolved they decided to put in proper central heating. It would seem that the problem of heating and cooling the lodge is a chronic problem of the Lodge that some would claim has persisted for almost 100 years. I have to say I think we now have the problem licked however. 

For a more detailed history, please consult Freemasonry in Goodwood Lodge No. 159 A.F. & A.M GRC 1989 - 2014.

Another document worth looking at is a presentation on Artifacts in Goodwood Lodge