Ancient Free & Accepted Masons
Established June 7, 1806
On June 7, 1806, a charter was granted to Washington Lodge No. 1 by Grand Master Gunning Bedford, Jr., naming Thomas Stockton - Worshipful Master, John Hedrick - Senior Warden, and Archibald Hamilton - Junior Warden. This marked the formation of the Grand Lodge of Delaware with the assistance of three other lodges meeting in New Castle, Newark, and Laurel.
The first lodge to be chartered at Christiana Ferry (Wilmington) was Lodge No. 14 by the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania on December 27, 1769, with Hugh McConnell - Worshipful Master, Jonathan Jordan - Senior Warden, and Joseph McGarraugh - Junior Warden. This lodge appears to have met primarily in the homes of several of its members. On September 25, 1786, the Independent Grand Lodge of Pennsylavania was established replacing the Provincial Grand Lodge, which had previously operated under the authority of Great Britain. At about this period Lodge No. 14 was experiencing dissentions among its members as it appealed to the Grand Master of Pennsylvania to take steps for quieting the discord.
On January 15, 1789, Lodge No. 14 was issued its new warrant by the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania naming Patrick Murdock - Worshipful Master, David Bush - Senior Warden, and Jonas Alrich - Junior Warden. Later the same year a Brother Rutherford petitioned the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania to command the Worshipful Master of Lodge No. 14 to return the jewels he had loaned them about twenty years earlier and for which he had not been compensated. The Worshipful Master of Lodge No. 14 responded that the jewels were lent to another lodge in Delaware which was then extinct and they felt no responsibility in the matter. The warrant of Lodge No. 14 was finally vacated September 15, 1806, for unmasonic proceedings in the establishment of the pretended Grand Lodge of Delaware.
There can be little doubt that the formation of the Grand Lodge of Delaware was largely through the concentrated efforts of the brethren of Lodge No. 14 as five of the eight charter Grand Lodge officers were members of this Lodge. By the same token it was probably their Junior Warden Archibald Hamilton who incurred the wrath of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania when he informed them of Delaware's actions rather than intentions. It also did not help matters that Lodge No. 14 had only filed returns until 1784 and the only payment had been in 1781, during their entire 37-year association with the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania. The final indignation came when Brother Hamilton offered to settle their account for the sum of $50 as the only terms he was authorized to make.
Finally on December 16, 1811, the said Grand Lodge of Delaware was duly recognized by the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, thus gaining recognition throughout the world. By the time Lodge No. 5 of Middletown withdrew from the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania to join the Grand Lodge of Delaware on January 15, 1816, three out of four of Delaware's earliest Grand Masters had been members of Washington No. 1: Gunning Bedford, Jr., Edward Roche and John Sellars, and the original four lodges had increased to nine with a total membership of 291 or a gain of 250% during the first ten years. Thus, Washington Lodge continues to project its Masonic image as it has from our earliest beginnings.
Grand Lodge Calendar
|2016 Foulk Road
Wilmington, Delaware 19810
2002-2020 Grand Lodge of Delaware. All Rights Reserved.