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Sunday, January 02, 2011

Virginia's Fredericksburg Lodge No. 4


Fredericksburg Lodge No. 4 is one of the most historic lodges and one of the oldest in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and has existed since 1752. It is one of two Lodges to be considered “Time Immemorial” or "a time before legal history, and beyond legal memory", prior to its Scottish Charter of 1758. (Mother Kilwinning Lodge No. 0 in Scotland was the first and original Freemason's lodge.) On July 21, 1758, the Grand Lodge of Scotland issued a formal Charter for "The Lodge at Fredericksburgh", which is still in existence and in our possession to this day.

In the 1760’s, the Lodge at Fredericksburg granted charters to six other Lodges, as authorized by the Grand Lodge of Scotland. The first recorded conferral of the Royal Arch Degree in the New World in was in 1753, at Fredericksburg Lodge.


It was also in this lodge that George Washington was initiated, passed and raised, and the lodge has among its treasures the bible upon which Washington took his obligations.

Members of Fredericksburg Lodge who fought during the American Revolution included Washington, Hugh Mercer, George Weedon, William Woodford, Fielding Lewis, Thomas Posey, Gustavus Wallace, and 94 others. Strangely enough, the identity of the first Master of the lodge from 1752 is unknown, as his name seems to have been struck from the records of the meetings. It is believed that he was deemed a traitor during the War of American Revolution and his name was blotted out as a result.

Other valuable articles in the lodge's care include three hand-crafted Masonic "Warden’s chairs" from Colonial America, a punch bowl used by the Marquis de Lafayette in 1824 when he became an honorary member, and the original Gilbert Stewart painting of George Washington that appears on the US one dollar bill. Its building was constructed in 1816.

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for the article Brother Chris. There is great pride in the heritage that comes out of this lodge which belongs to all Freemasons.

    Fredericksburg is also a leader in Virginia Masonry when it comes to both education and community service. Go to our website is at www.masoniclodge4.org and take a look at both our Masonic past and future.

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  2. Did you know: The original idea to construct a memorial was first proposed in the 1850s by Fredericksburg Lodge No. 4, in Fredericksburg, Virginia but this plan did not begin to take form until in 1906 when on their own, Fredericksburg prepared to collect funds nation-wide in order to initiate the construction of such a memorial in Fredericksburg. However, they were ordered by the Grand Master of Virginia (MW Kemper) to cease this operation as it was not in their authority to do such. The succeeding Grand Master of Virginia (MW Quinn) in 1907 came from Fredericksburg Lodge and he focused this drive for a memorial at Grand Lodge level. Three years later, the Grand Lodge of Virginia called upon all the Grand Lodges within the United States to meet in Alexandria, VA on February 22, 1910 to discuss plans for the construction of the building we now know on top of Shooter's Hill. It was at this meeting of Grand Masters that the George Washington Masonic National Memorial Association was founded.

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