"To preserve the reputation of the Fraternity unsullied must be your constant care."

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Women Freemasons in London, 1939

British Pathé is posting its archives of 75 years of newsreels on its website. It is a fascinating chronicle of news, sports, social history and entertainment between 1896 to 1970, and it is easy to get sucked into hours of strolling through its collection.

Below is a three minute clip from 1939 showing Mrs. Lily Seton Challen being installed as the Grand Master of the female Honourable Fraternity of Ancient Freemasons, as she receives her fellow lady Freemasons. The Honourable Fraternity of Ancient Freemasons was founded in 1913 and the first Grand Master was Mrs Elizabeth Boswell-Reid who held the office from 1913 to 1933. She was succeeded by her daughter Mrs Lily Seton Challen, seen in this footage. Click the photo.)


The Order first met in the venerable Dr. Samuel Johnson's library. Today it is located at 402 Finchley Road in London.

The Order of the Eastern Star, created by Rob Morris in the U.S. in 1850, was never approved as an acceptable appendant organization for women in England, and both Co-Masonry and female Freemasonry have been at work there since about 1902. The slightly older Order of Women Freemasons website is at www.owf.org.uk

Ed King has an excellent page that explains the subject of female Freemasonry here.

1 comment:

  1. There are two other clips in the Pathé archives about The Honourable Fraternity of Ancient Freemasons:



    The last one is the full (8 min.) recording of Lily Seton Challen's installation.

    In the newsreels there are 19 clips about freemasons.


PLEASE sign or otherwise identify yourself in your comment posts. I have been FLOODED for months with spam comments, and I've been forced to laboriously screen every post now. Anonymous postings on Masonic topics have the same status as cowans and eavesdroppers as far as I am concerned, and may be deleted if I don't recognize you or if I'm in a grumpy mood.