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Location: Billerica

Chartered By: John Abbot

Charter Date: 06/14/1826 IV-16

Precedence Date: 06/14/1826

Current Status: unknown; last communication 1828.


  • Zadock Howe, 1826-1830


  • Petition For Charter: 1826


  • 1829 (Report on delinquency, IV-170)
  • 1830 (Report on delinquency, IV-206)

ø Charter surrendered 06/11/1834

  • 1872 (Remarks on the lodge in the address by Past Grand Master Gardner at the dedication of the Lowell Temple):
    • [Clinton Lodge was chartered at Billerica, June 14th, 1826, and on Wednesday, 26th of July, was "publicly installed" in the Congregational Meeting-House in that town, by District Deputy Grand Master William Whiting. The procession, in which appeared Pentucket Lodge, was escorted to the Meeting-House, by the Billerica Light Infantry. A stage was erected in front of the pulpit, which, with the galleries, were decorated with evergreen. Rev. Barnard Whitman, of Waltham, delivered an oration. A dinner was provided at Hoit's Hotel. Dr. Zadoc Howe was the Master, and the late Marshall Preston, for many years Assistant Clerk of the Courts for this County, was Secretary.
  • 1940 (Remarks on the lodge in the 75th Anniversary history of Thomas Talbot Lodge, 1940-3):
    • "There are no records of any lodge in Billerica until a Charter was issued to Dr. Zadock Howe and others on June 14, 1826. This lodge was named Clinton Lodge in honor of Governor DeWitt Clinton of New York. In the latter part of 1826 a strong anti-masonic feeling swept the country and many lodges dosed their doors. The building in which Clinton Lodge held its meetings, situated on Bosto Road opposite the present location of the Central Fire Station, together with its jewels, furniture, etc. was completely destroyed by fire in 1828. The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts received no records of Clinton Lodge after 1828. Dr. Howe and members of Clinton Lodge were threatened with bodily injury by anti-masons if they did not cease masonic activities."



From Masonic Mirror and Mechanics' Intelligencer, Vol. III, No. 28, July 1827, Page 218:

Festival of St. John. - On Monday, 25th, in Billerica, Clinton Lodge, assisted by Concord and Mount Horeb Chapters, and Pentucket and Hiram Lodges, celebrated the Nativity of St. John the Baptist, with appropriate services. The beauty of the day contributed not less than the harmony and good feeling of the fraternity to the pleasantness of the meeting. The concourse of people to witness the exercises was respectable.

The procession was formed at 11 o'clock, and escorted to the meeting-house by the Billerica Light Infantry, under Capt. Crosby, where an appropriate address was delivered by Rev. Paul Dean, of Boston (see below).

The services were all interesting, and stamped with intellectual and moral beauty.

After the dinner was finished and the cloth removed, the following volunteer Sentiments were given.

  • Br. Howe. - The Orator of the Day; Eloquent, appropriate , "a word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver."
  • By the Orator. - Christianity and Freemasonry. Twin cherubim, that preside in glory over the administration of Charity and Mercy.
  • By Br. Whiting. - The Plains of Massachusetts. - The glorious trestleboard on which was drawn by the heroes of '76 those masterly designs from which was reared the Royal Arch of our National Independence.
  • By Br. Keyes. - Freemasonry. - Its laws are founded upon reason and equality; its principles, Benevolence and Brotherly Love. - May they ever be illustrated and defended by Wisdom and correct principles.
  • By Br. Shattuck, in allusion to the Rev. Orator. - The Cloud without Water. Though highly charged with thunder, it has passed o'er the Masonic hemisphere without any thing but noise.
  • By Br. Mather. - The true principles of Masonry. - May we all cultivate the virtues of him whose birth we this day celebrate.
  • By Br. Metcalf. - His Excellency DeWitt Clinton. - A man for whom his fellow citizens deservedly cherish a lofty veneration, for his devotion to their prosperity, his meritorious public services, and his generous zeal for the diffusion of knowledge and virtue.
  • By Bro. Augustus. - The Fair Sex. - The Lily-work, the Net-work, and Pomegranate of our land. - May they soon be seen to adorn those capitals, and be the capital ornaments of those living pillars, Old Bachelors.
  • By Br. Moore. - Faith, Hope, Charity: May the first be shown by our works through time; the second meet fruition in eternity; and the third flourish through both.
  • By Br. Appleton. - The enemies of Freemasonry. - May they have "More Light".
  • By Br. Bowers. - The Masonic Temple. - Its foundation is the Rock of Ages; its plan universal Benevolence; - May the work prosper until the roughest stones in the quarry shall adorn it.
  • By Br. Merrill. - Freemasonry. - Amalgamated with the best interests of mankind.

From Masonic Mirror and Mechanics' Intelligencer, Vol. III, No. 33, August 1827, Page 257:

The return of this day, the anniversary of St. John the Baptist, has ever been interesting to masons and Christians throughout the world; but never more so than at this moment. It reminds us of the moral and intellectual wilderness which was aroused from the slumbers of darkness and superstition by the Herald of light and truth, and was made to blossom beneath the effulgent beams of the sun of righteousness. It calls back time when flocking multitudes pressed to the flowing waters of Jordan, to be than its cleansing Stream, and to see and adore him whom the heavens there announced as the glorious Redeemer of suffering humanity. It also suggests to us the silent but rapid flight of time, which is carrying us all to "that undiscovered country from whose bourne no traveler returns," and beneath whose noiseless march the empires of the earth are fast crumbling in undistinguished ruin.

Since our last anniversary, an important page in the book of Providence has been opened to us, and another chapter recorded in the history of masonry, and of the world. Garlands of joy have crowned many a wise and virtuous youth, and the weeds of lamentation and sorrow fallen over many a fair countenance. Some have advanced in the path of the just, which is brightening into perfect day – and others have forsaken the illuminated sphere of light shades of darkness and disgrace.

Some of the leading sentiments of the Fraternity, which for their authority and happy influence on the hearts and conduct of mankind, are worthy of the high respect and the devout consideration of this assembly, and the world.

  1. The being of a Supreme Architect, Ruler, and Guardian of the Universe; perfect in all his attributes, and worthy of the love and service of all intelligences, – rules by the right of having created and preserved, and by the power and the disposition to protect and blessed forever those whom he governs. His all-seeing eye watches over us, and his all-bountiful hand ministers to the comfort and happiness of his vast creation. He is justly endeared to his creatures by his goodness; and inspires their confidence in his providence by the equity and benignity of its administrations.
  2. The unity and divine origin of man. Though dispersed over the globe, distinguished by color, divided into tribes and nations, separated by laws, religion and habits; yet God hath made all of one blood, and given to each the same aversion to pay, the same desire for happiness, with the same right to avoid the one, and to acquire the other. Hence they are all God's family, and brothers to each other, having substantially mutual dependence, mutual wants, and mutual pleasures. Thus society as well as man is of divine origin, and its great duties of justice, benevolence, and temperance, are of universal obligation, founded in the common nature of man, and sanctioned by the will of God.
  3. From this universal brotherhood of human nature, Masons have always inferred that all men are bound to be helpers of each other's joy, and to practice universal charity in the relief of each others' sufferings and woes; and, therefore, that no difference of language, politics or religion ought ever to be allowed to exclude one part of the human race from the sympathies and kind offices of the other. We admit that the formation of smaller associations within the greater is conducive to human happiness – as nations in the world – states in a nation – districts and cities in a state – and families in a city: – each being under special obligations to their own members or households. For similar reasons men may associate themselves with God, the propagation of truth, the cultivation of social virtue, and the diffusion of charity. – But none of these can absorb them from the previous obligations of universal virtue; – and hence, the pride and selfishness that excludes in the bigotry and superstition that anathematizes any part of the human race, are flagrant violations of the order and the laws of heaven; while the charity that the holds of brother in a phone, and welcomes the stranger and the child of adversity to the sympathy that feels, and the active benevolence that relieves misfortune, is both godlike and divine.
  4. Masons totally disregard the selfish, proud, imaginary and hurtful distinctions of birth, wealth, and office, so much regarded among men and by the fashion of the world. At the threshold of our assembly the ruler and judge lay off their robes of office and mingle with their subjects – the priest and the Levite lay aside their sacerdotal distinctions – the Jew, the Pagan and the Christian – the rich and the poor, the young man and the father of venerable age, all meet as on consecrated and equal ground, and hail each other as brothers. – Here peace, and concord, and disinterested friendship, unite all hearts as by a holy enchantment. Here the listening ear, the diligent hand, the faithful tongue, the warm heart, the sympathetic spirit, are honored. Here order is perfect, and founded only on personal merit. Here nothing can degrade but sloth, ignorance, and vice. With us the true nobility of man is active virtue and intellectual worth: and such nobility we all strive to gain, by eating each other, and by doing good to the world. Death will soon sweep to one common grave, crowns and diadems and miters – robes of state, wreaths of honor, and every worldly distinction; but wisdom, and virtue, and goodness, will fit us to be kings and priests unto God – to walk with the King of Kings in white, and amid the angels in heaven to wear immortal and deathless crowns of glory.

The objects of the society founded on such principles as these are readily seen, and need but be seen to be respected by every good man and by all the friends of religion and humanity.

We associate, form Lodges and Chapters, and engage in the duties and studies of Masonry for the purpose of correcting our own vices, subduing our own passions to the dominion of truth and reason, and of expanding and improving our understandings by the acquisition of useful knowledge and sublime wisdom: – that we may check the selfish propensities of our nature, overcome the allurements to ambition, and inspire our hearts with the ennobling sentiments of divine benevolence; and thus to cherish and cultivate the social virtues, and extend the feelings of sympathy and kindness for our fellow travelers to eternity: – that we may smooth the rugged path of life along the veil of tears through this world of sorrow and grief, by deeds of charity and offices of kindness to the unfortunate and worthy poor, by gentle and friendly advice and counsel to the erring, and by attentive and soothing visits to the house of sickness and the prison of distress: – that we may provide for and relieve the cries of the desolate widow, and her suffering orphans: – that we may give a staff to the aged, and furnish the young with a guide to usefulness and happiness, – offer the stranger home, and the wounded the balm of healing, – wrest from the hand of the assassin his bloody knife, – from the savage his weapons of death, and snatch the despairing brother from the awful hands of the infuriate pirate: – and thus establish on earth the glorious empire of charity and happiness and fit ourselves as living stones for the temple of God.

In pursuing this laudable object of our institution, we take the holy Scriptures as our infallible guide, and leave the glory of masonry at the feet of revelation. Perhaps it may be asked by some, if revelation be superior to masonry, why do you not abandon masonry as useless? If it be so asked, with this be our answer: for reasons similar to those why God does not destroy the moon and stars because the sun is greater and more useful than they are – and why we should not abandon domestic society because national is greater and more important. Will anyone question that the public interest is to be regarded above the interest of an individual? Surely not – but will you therefore wholly abandon the good of individuals?

It is not the object of Christianity to destroy the kingdoms of the world, or the institutions which were in existence previous to its revelation, ( except those which are subversive of its influence,) but to perfect them; that they may also subserve the will and the glory of God.

We also regard to the institution of civil society as of divine origin, and as having divine authority in all that relates to its preservation and prosperity, but not to suppress what does it no harm, and jeopardizes none of its interests. Masons are, therefore, from principle, peaceable and loyal subjects to the government under which they may chance to live. But at the same time, they would not feel it to be their duty to abandon their ancient and peaceful society at the nod of any tyrant, temporal or spiritual.

Again, we deem the sexes to be equals and consider woman to be formed and designed by the God of nature to be the companion of man, the partner of his joys and sorrows, the Shearer and help her of his domestic happiness; but not the slave of his power, selfishness, or his lusts. To him she is the gift of heaven. He protects her person and her reputation, cherishes her virtue, and reciprocates her kindness. To her faithful care he commits his home, his reputation, his property, and the instruction and nurturing of his children for usefulness and happiness. To her he looks as to the friend that will remain when the world forsakes him – sympathize in his misfortune, gently soothe his afflictions, render him numberless and kind attentions when cast on the bed of sickness, and with the vigilance of an angel, watch over his person, interest and happiness. His strength and fortitude will excite her confidence, his love maker cheerful and happy, and his labor in enterprise supply her the good things of life, satisfy her children with print. While her intelligent conversation will cheer his heart and enlighten his mind, her company polish and refine his manners, and her virtue make his home the delightful abode of peace and joy.

Surely that which is thus friendly to religion, to the state, and to domestic felicity, and is founded on such sublime, pure and liberal principles, will never fail to have the favor of heaven, the prayers of Saints, and the respectful regards of every friend to virtue and happiness.

For these reasons, we love masonry, and the brethren that cherish its principles and practice its virtues; and congratulate the faithful, the widow, the orphan, and the stranger, that it hath been handed down to us from the remotest antiquity, a sacred relic of its wisdom and benevolence; and that we have such reason to believe that it will continue to prosper and to shed its mild and radiant light on the pathway of man, till the earth shall be exchanged for heaven.

In this delineation of its principles, its objects, and its practices, I have had a sacred regard to truth – but yet I am sensible that the world can charge of their correctness only by our conduct and of the value of the institution only by its fruits is displayed in the lives of its members therefore, my brethren, they we so let our light shine before men that they shall see our good works, and be constrained to respect and bless the fraternity.

To the members of the fraternity here assembled – Companions and Brethren – I hail you most cordially, as the faithful children of the great Masonic family, and the friends of order, benevolence, and unlimited happiness among men. I congratulate you on the long and unwearied care of a benign Providence, which hath so long preserved our excellent and friendly society, and blessed and prospered its widely diversified subjects – and on the present prosperous and flourishing state of the fraternity through so many kingdoms and regions of the earth, but especially in this favored land of light and liberty. And truly do I rejoice with you on the return of this interesting anniversary with all its pleasing associations, and its sacred recollections.

How many thousands are this day, and this moment, assembled listening with rapture to the eloquent description of the Masonic and Christian virtues of John the Baptist – catching their inspiration and commemorating their purity and their worth by solemn acts of devotion.

How many offerings of gratitude are sending to the ever bountiful Author of goodness, for the prosperity and increasing influence of the sublime and heavenly doctrines of this "burning and shining light", in subduing the passions, enlightening the minds and spiritualizing the affections of Christian men, and Christian Masons – in softening the hardness of the human heart, distilling the gifts of charity and mercy on the poor and the old cheering hopes of heaven upon the dying..

How many prayers are going up like holy incense before the throne of mercy, that the truth may prevail, the charity and good will may abound, and that our holy and philanthropic institution may long be preserved in its purity, and shed its light and its blessings on the weary travelers, along the scale of tears, till the world should be filled with the glory of the Lord.

Let us here, in the Temple of the Most High, contemplate the mild and heavenly virtues of our Christian patron, till we feel our hearts transformed into their lovely image. Let us endeavor here to renew our attachment to genuine masonry and true religion, our friendship and love to each other, and our veneration for those worthies who laid deep the foundations of our order, and opened on earth the fountains of charity for the poor and afflicted. Oh! Let us here resolve to defend the inheritance left us by our fathers, and by good works to beautify the temple reared by their wisdom. And uniting the wisdom of the serpent with the gentleness of the dove, may we card will the door of our lips, and the entrance of our tabernacle; then shall all our lodges and chapters be the sanctuaries of peace and love.

I should do wrong to feelings of my own heart, and I am sure I should also do injustice to the feelings the fraternity, did I not here knowledge to distinguish liberality of heart and sentiment in the society, the church, and their much respected pastor, which is led them not only to throw open the doors of their house of worship, but also to attend, and share in the solemn services of this, which to us, is so interesting and occasion. May this place be as Mount Zion; may he may heave administers here see the glory of God, and they who worship here feel the gentle refreshing of the descending dews of heavenly grace, and taste the blessing of the Lord, even life forever more. long may they prosper, be united and happy. And when the sons of light, and the redeemed of the Lord, shall meet in the heavenly Temple of eternal glory, then, oh! Then may this congregation and their shepherd, assemble in the midst thereof, to witness the glory, and share with them the felicity of heaven.

The Choir, who have with so much taste and skill, and to such acceptance, performed the part assigned them in the services of the day, will accept the assurance of our respect, and our best wishes for their long continued health and usefulness; – and that having felt the saving power of divine grace, awoke in many hearts the inspirations of virtue and devotion, they may, at last, singing sweet immortal strains deathless glory of the Light and Savior of the world, and share with Saints the paradise of God.


1826: District 5


Massachusetts Lodges