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


Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Prestonian Lecturer John Wade in Indianapolis This Saturday 9/11

A last minute reminder to brethren in Indiana and surrounding states.

Brother John Wade, the Prestonian Lecturer for 2009 from England, will present his lecture, "‘Go and do thou likewise': English Masonic Processions from the 18th to the 20th Centuries"
this Saturday, September 11, 2010 at the Indianapolis Scottish Rite Cathedral.

Reception at 6PM, Lecture at 7PM, dinner to follow.

To register for dinner and the lecture, see the Grand Lodge website at:

$60 Lecture & Dinner, $25 Lecture Only or $35 Dinner Only

The Lecturer

Brother Dr. John Stephen Wade was born in Edinburgh in 1947, but moved to Leeds when his father was appointed lecturer at the university there. He was educated at High Storrs Grammar School Sheffield and the University of Durham where he read Classics. Following a 20 year career as a Classics teacher in Sheffield, during which time he wrote a thesis on Philip of Macedon for his MA dissertation, he transferred his Classics teaching to Further Education and then on to Higher Education at the University of Sheffield, where he finished his full-time career as Teaching Fellow in Latin and Greek. Having taken an early retirement in 2005, Bro. Wade continues to teach Latin to postgraduate students at the University, to assist in the Centre for Research into Freemasonry and Fraternity in the Humanities Research Institute, and has just successfully completed his doctoral thesis on the Latin writings of the Tudor martyrologist, John Foxe.

Bro. Wade was initiated into Fellowship Lodge No. 4069 in 1981 and exalted into Fellowship Royal Arch Chapter No. 4069 in 1985. He was installed as the Master of Fellowship Lodge in 1991 and was the founding Master of Amadeus Lodge No. 9359 in 1994. He is a Past Provincial Junior Grand Warden in both Yorkshire West Riding and Derbyshire, and a Past Provincial Grand Sojourner in the Royal Arch, as well as a Past Sovereign in the Rose Croix. In the Mark degree Bro. Wade has just been appointed acting Provincial Grand Registrar for the Mark Province of Derbyshire. A Past Sovereign in the Red Cross of Constantine, he is currently a Divisional Steward, as well as being an active member of a number of other orders. From 2003-2005 he was President of the Sheffield Masonic Study Circle. Having been elected a full member of Quatuor Coronati Lodge in 2005, he was appointed Secretary of the Lodge in November 2008

Brother Wade also manages to find time to be a member of lodges in Scotland, Ireland, Italy and the United States and to be the musical director of the Sheffield and District Masonic Choir which he founded in 1991.


Cost Options: $60 Lecture & Dinner, $25 Lecture Only or $35 Dinner Only (electronic option includes $3 processing fee)

Dinner Menu: Hors D’Oeuvre - Imported Cheese wedges with Grapes and Strawberries garnished with Dried Fruits, Marcona Almonds and Imported Crackers

Salad - Caesar Salad with fresh grated Parmesan Cheese

Entree - Boneless Breast of Chicken with Corn and Basil Relish, Herbed Mashed Potatoes,
Fresh Green Beans Amandine with Basil, Thomas’ Homemade Rolls with Butter

Dessert - Assortment of Seasonal Cheesecakes

His Lecture

‘Go and do thou likewise': English Masonic Processions from the 18th to the 20th Centuries.
(The Prestonian Lecture for 2009)

In this paper Brother John Wade looks at Masonic processions, which were a regular occurrence in many parts of England from the first quarter of the eighteenth century to the immediate pre-second world war period in the late 1930s. Very few have occurred in the last seventy-five years. He asks why we have retreated from public space during the last seventy-five years, and whether, perhaps, we have got nervous about the public perception of masons, or whether we are embarrassed about ourselves. The paper surveys public processions of masons over two centuries and examines the association of civic, ecclesiastical and Masonic bodies in public ceremonies of foundation stone laying, the dedication of completed buildings and other occasions for public thanksgiving. Bro. Wade suggests that as we move further into the twenty-first century, we need to be protagonistic about our civility and civil identity. For the man in the street we should be demonstrating that we have a civil association with the community, and that we are not a secret society or private members' club. Bro. Wade suggest that we explore the possibility for a return of some of these public activities. He considers that as far as our public image is concerned, we have lost that civil association that we have had for hundreds of years. Our forefathers among the leaders of both the civic and ecclesiastical authorities appreciated the symbolic importance of the presence of the masons on these major occasions for the community.

The History

The Prestonian Lectureship

William Preston (1742-1818), a very active Freemason at the end of the eighteenth and the beginning of the nineteenth centuries, developed an elaborate system of Masonic instruction, by means of catechetical lectures, which was practiced in association with the Lodge of Antiquity of which he was, at one time, Master.

At his death, he bequeathed to Grand Lodge the sum of £300, the interest from which was to be applied to some well informed Mason to deliver annually a Lecture on the First, Second or Third Degree of the Order of Masonry, according to the system practiced in the Lodge of Antiquity during Preston's Mastership.

With occasional intermissions, lectures on his method were accordingly delivered from 1820 until 1862, when the Lectureship was allowed to lapse. In 1924 it was revived, with certain modifications of the original scheme: the lecturer delivering a paper on a Masonic subject of his own selection.

The Prestonian Lecture is the only lecture held under the authority of the United Grand Lodge of England and, with the exception of the years 1940-46, regular appointments have been made annually since 1924 to the present day.

The Man

William Preston
By Trevor Stewart

William Preston was born in Edinburgh where his father was an attorney. He was well educated there. He came to London in 1760 and worked for one of the King's Printers. He was initiated into Freemasonry in 1763 in a newly constituted Antients' lodge, No. 111.

In the following year its members accepted a warrant (or charter) from the Moderns' Grand Lodge as Caledonian Lodge No. 325, which still exists at No. 134.

Preston was Master of several London lodges and in 1774 he visited the famous old Lodge of Antiquity, now No. 2, and he was immediately elected a joining member and also their Master! He also held an appointment as Deputy Secretary to the Moderns' Grand Lodge and as such he compiled an appendix to the Book of Constitutions in the 1776 edition.

Unfortunately, partly as a result of personal disputes, Preston and several others members of the Lodge of Antiquity fell foul of the Moderns' Grand Lodge when they appeared in public in 1777 wearing their Masonic regalia while returning from a church service. A complaint against them was investigated and in 1778 Preston was expelled after he claimed that the Lodge of Antiquity, since it was a ‘Time Immemorial' lodge that pre-dated the Grand Lodge, was not subject to the rule of the Grand Lodge.

On withdrawing this claim he was reinstated, but the majority of the members of the lodge expelled three members whereupon they were all expelled by the Grand Lodge. An ‘authority' was obtained from a rival Grand Lodge of York to establish yet another Grand Lodge, to be known as the Grand Lodge of England South of the River Trent. After a while Preston became Deputy Grand Master of that new Masonic body. It was never very active and ceased to exist in 1789. After that, all of the members of the old Antiquity Lodge who had been disqualified by the Moderns' Grand Lodge were admitted back into the fold and into the Lodge of Antiquity.

In 1772 Preston had published his book Illustrations of Masonry and it became enormously famous for 100 years, running through no less than seventeen editions. He also wrote his famous catechetical lectures of the three Craft Degrees and, with help from teams of fellow enthusiasts, he delivered them to lodges. He formed the Grand Chapter of Harodim to promote these texts.

He was buried in St Paul's Cathedral and one of his legacies instituted the Prestonian Lectures.

Coming from out of town?
Overnight Accomodations: Omni Severin Hotel, 40 West Jackson Place, Indianapolis, IN 46225. Call 1-800-THE-OMNI using the password Prestonian Lecture for the special rate of $99.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your comments will not appear immediately because I am forced to laboriously screen every post. I'm constantly bombarded with spam. Depending on the comments being made, anonymous postings on Masonic topics may be regarded with the same status as cowans and eavesdroppers, as far as I am concerned. If you post with an unknown or anonymous account, do not automatically expect to see your comment appear.