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WINSLOW LEWIS, JR., Grand Master

Abraham T. Lowe, Deputy Grand Master
William C. Plunkett, Senior Grand Warden
Samuel K. Hutchinson, Junior Grand Warden




Held at Masonic Temple, Boston

  • 03/14: V-560;
  • 06/13: V-566;
  • 09/12: V-574;
  • 12/12: V-585; (Annual Communication)

03/14 Agenda

  • V-561: Petition by Mount Zion Lodge to remove to Barre, approved; dues also to be remitted.
  • V-562: Invitation by Montgomery Lodge, Milford to attend St. John's Day on June 24; accepted.
  • V-564: Report that a delegation from the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania would visit Boston "on Masonic business" in March; Grand Master authorized to receive it.

06/13 Agenda

  • V-567ff: Resolutions concerning the prevention of acceptance of applications from previously-rejected candidates.
  • V-570: Resolution regarding the direction for the Committee on Charity.
  • V-570: Committee appointed to consider the expediency of setting aside an entire day for work and lectures.
    • 09/12: V-575; committee recommended a lodge of instruction at each Quarterly communication, in addition to the special one on 12/27.
  • V-571: Grand Master presented the "daguerrotype likeness" of Bro. Moses Thomas of New Bedford. Resolution of thanks to this elderly brother.

09/12 Agenda

  • V-578: Grand Secretary directed to send notifications of Quarterly Communications to Masters and Wardens, and (V-579) to receive certification of the names of Masters and Wardens within one week of their election.
  • V-579: Correspondence regarding conflict between Rt. Wor. Jeremiah Stone and King Hiram's Lodge; referred.
    • 12/12: V-588; reviewed, King Hiram's Lodge proceedings endorsed, recommendation for Bro. Stone to be expelled.
  • V-580: Grand Master's remarks at the redeposit of the plate in the State House Cornerstone be entered in the records of the Grand Lodge.
  • V-580: Grand Master authorized to "have such additions and alterations made to the regalia" for the celebration in Philadelphia on 09/26.

12/13 Agenda

  • V-587: Reception of Bro. Wha-hah-Goosh, President Chief of the "Seven United Nations".
  • V-590: Report of the Committee of Finance.
  • V-593: Report of the Committee of Charity.
  • V-595: Report of the Committee on the Library.
  • V-596: Final report of the Committee on Portraits; only Bigelow and Crane missing from the post-Union Grand Masters. Also obtained a portrait of John B. Hammatt. See Portraits summary page.)
  • V-599: Re-election of Grand Master Lewis (70 ballots) and other Grand Lodge officers elected.
  • V-601: Committee on Regalia appointed.
  • V-603: Committee on arrangements appointed.

Grand Constitutions Amendment Proposals

  • 09/12: V-577; Committee appointed to consider amendment to the Constitutions regarding presentation of standard Work.
    • 12/12: V-594; Committee recommended against adoption of this amdendment.
  • 12/12: V-598; Amendment to Part 1, Article 8, Section 10, requiring District Deputies to make their returns earlier; referred.

Lodge By-Law Changes

Necrologies and Memorials


Petitions for Charters

  • 09/12: V-579; Petition for Mount Hermon Lodge, U.D., Woburn, granted; they may consider under dispensation (V-580) until such a charter should be granted. (Dispensation 10/17/1854)
  • 12/12: V-586; Petition for Mount Horeb Lodge, U.D., West Harwich; referred.
    • 12/12: V-592; Charter granted. (Dispensation 11/08/1854)
  • 12/12: V-586; Petition for Putnam Lodge, U.D., East Cambridge; referred.
    • 12/12: V-601; Charter granted; lodge permitted to work under dispensation until the charter is ready. (Dispensation 12/14/1854)
  • 12/12: V-586; Petition for Germania Lodge, U.D., Boston; referred.
    • 12/12: V-588; By-Laws in German and English. Charter granted. (Dispensation 12/13/1854)
  • 12/12: V-586; Petition for [Benjamin] Franklin Lodge, U.D., West Dennis; referred.
    • 12/12: V-591; Charter granted under the name "Benjamin Franklin". (Dispensation 02/12/1855)

Petitions for Dispensation for Lodges

Petitions for Restoration of Charter

  • 12/12: V-587; Petition to restore St. Alban's Lodge, Wrentham, and to remove to Foxborough; referred.
    • 12/12: V-594; to be granted with the permission of the nearest lodge, at the discretion of the Grand Master.


  • 08/07: V-581; Laying of Corner Stone, Boston State House. Grand Master Lewis discovered the original plates deposited by Grand Master Revere in 1795. (See 1795 Cornerstone Laying for the original ceremony.)


(held at Masonic Temple, Boston, 12/27/1855)

  • V-606: Report of Trustees of the Temple.
  • V-607: Report of Trustees of the Grand Charity Fund.
  • V-609: Lodge of Instruction.
  • V-610: Installation of Grand Master Lewis, and other Grand Lodge officers.
  • V-612: Address of Grand Master Lewis.
  • V-612: Address of Rt. Wor. G. Washington Warren, a "philosophical analysis of the character and objects of the Institution."
  • V-615: Resolution to purchase regalia from the Grand Lodge of England.

The following description of the Feast in 1855 is taken from Moore's Freemason's Monthly, Vol. XV, No. 4, February 1856, Page 105:

For some years past the Grand Lodge of this State has annually set apart the 27th day of December, being the anniversary of St. John the Evangelist, for the practical exemplification of the work and the rehearsal of the Lectures of the degrees practiced in the Lodges under its jurisdiction and by its authority. For this purpose it yearly appoints two capable and experienced Brethren, who are styled Grand Lecturers, and who, under the Grand Master, are invested with ample authority to decide all questions that may arise in connection with the duties of their appointment. The wisdom of this arrangement has been tested by several years' experience, and has commended itself to the favor of the Brethren throughout the jurisdiction, by the direct influence it has had in producing a greater uniformity among the Lodges than would be otherwise attainable.

In accordance with the plan here indicated, and with ancient Masonic usage, the Grand Lodge assembled at the Masonic Temple in this city on the 27th December last, at nine o'clock in the morning, and was opened in ample form by the Grand Master, who, having announced the business of the day, directed the Grand Lecturers to assume their places and proceed with the duties of their appointment. The Senior Grand Lecturer, Brother William C. Martin, Past Master of St. John's Lodge, Boston, assisted by W. Brother Benj. F. Nourse, Past Master of Amicable Lodge, Cambridge, W. Brother Caleb Rand, Master of King Solomon's Lodge, Charlestown, and other Brethren of skill and ability, then organized and opened a Lodge in the first degree, in which the work and lecture of that degree were given. A Lodge in the second degree was then opened, and the ceremonies were performed as before. The Grand Lodge was then called to the refreshment, which, for the greater convenience of the Brethren from the country, it annually on this day causes to be provided in one of the spacious apartments of the Temple. In the afternoon, the labors of the day were resumed, and the work and lecture of the third degree were given; when the Grand Lodge was closed until six o'clock in the evening, then to meet for the installation of its officers for the ensuing year.

And thus closed the practical labors of the day, and with them the official duties of the Grand Lecturers for the past year. How well and ably those duties were performed, we need not say — certainly not for the information of any Brother who was present and witnessed them. The Hall was full to its greatest capacity, and it was the largest gathering of Brethren we have ever known to be present on any similar occasion ; and we are happy to add that the most entire attention was given to the business before them. They came to see and hear — to learn and improve themselves — and it would be singular indeed if many among the large number in attendance, did not return to their homes with warmer Masonic hearts, and wiser in the mystic workings of genuine Masonry. The skillful and experienced Brother who for many years has so ably filled the office of Senior Grand Lecturer, has rarely acquitted himself in his arduous duties more acceptably than on that occasion. He gave the lectures and work of the several degrees as they are approved and authorized to be given by the Grand Lodge whose official expositor he is. He gave them, too, almost literally as they have been practiced in this State for more than half a century — as they were originally received from the parent Grand Lodge of England, and as they were taught in this country by Thomas Smith Webb in the beginning of the present century.

It might be too much to say that he gave them literally as they were given by Webb; or that Webb gave them literally as he received them from Preston; for verbal differences will occur and changes creep in, even under the most careful watchfulness; but he gave them as nearly as they were originally introduced into this country, as "attentive ears and faithful breasts," with the aid of well-trained memories, are capable of retaining and transmitting, through a long scries of years, any matter of equal length, not subject of record. Would that so much could be said, with equal truth, of every Brother who assumes the duties of a teacher in Masonry! Unfortunately it cannot be. Innovations and changes are continually creeping into the work of the Lodges in different parts of the country. Itinerant Lecturers and traders in Masonic degrees, and other merchandize, have been and continue to be the greatest bane which genuine Masonry has ever been called to encounter. We have no sympathy with such men, nor confidence in their Masonic integrity. Nor have we with a new race just springing into life, who, assuming to be wiser than their fathers — wiser than all who have preceded them — too wise, it may be, for their day and generation — certainly too wise for Masonry — are distracting the young members of the Fraternity with their new discoveries,—breaking down the old landmarks and setting up new ones,— turning from the pure worship to that of idols and strange gods! Against all such radicalism it becomes every true Brother to set his face and raise his voice. We are friendly to progress—but not to that kind of progress which would change the forms, the ceremonies, or the teachings of Masonry. These must remain just as they are, or ancient Masonry ceases to be. And the greatest service any Brother who is dissatisfied with them as they are, can render the Institution, is, to lei it alone.

But to return to the immediate purpose of this article. In the evening the Grand Lodge was opened for the installation of its officers. As during the day, the large hall of the Grand Lodge was crowded with Brethren, among whom was the President Chief of the Seven United Nations, in his native Indian costume. The Grand Master was installed by the P. G. M. Simon W. Robinson, Esq., in an appropriate and impressive manner. The Grand Master then installed the remaining elective officers and his Deputy; after which the appointed officers were installed by the latter, and we have rarely seen the ceremony more fittingly and appropriately performed. The Grand Lodge being thus fully organized, the Grand Master arose and delivered the following interesting and able ADDRESS.

The Grand Master having resumed his seat, the W. Brother Hon. G. Washington Warren, of Charlestown, at the invitation of the Committee of Arrangements, delivered an appropriate, interesting and eloquent address on the character and purposes of the Institution, occupying about thirty minutes to the great acceptance of all present. And thus closed the duties and ceremonies of this time-honored festival in memory of the virtues of St. John the Evangelist, one of the two great Patrons of Freemasonry.


When more information is available, this will be updated with district information. (Note: There were 10 "reorganized" Districts in 1855, plus special areas for Nantucket and Provincetown.

  • DISTRICT 1: Hiram G. Clark, Boston, District Deputy Grand Master
  • DISTRICT 2: Isaac P. Seavey, Newburyport, District Deputy Grand Master
  • DISTRICT 3: Peter Lawson, Lowell, District Deputy Grand Master
  • DISTRICT 4: Jonathan Greenwood, Framingham, District Deputy Grand Master
  • DISTRICT 5: Albert Case, Hingham, District Deputy Grand Master
  • DISTRICT 6: Horace Chenery, Worcester, District Deputy Grand Master
  • DISTRICT 7: Lucien B. Keith, New Bedford, District Deputy Grand Master
  • DISTRICT 8: Sylvanus Baxter, Provincetown, District Deputy Grand Master
  • DISTRICT 9: W. Franklin Weston, Dalton, District Deputy Grand Master
  • DISTRICT 10: Charles Mattoon, Greenfield, District Deputy Grand Master
  • NANTUCKET: Benjamin Brown, Nantucket, Special Deputy for Nantucket
  • PROVINCETOWN: J.P. Johnson, Provincetown, Special Deputy for Provincetown

Note that District Grand Lecturers were appointed, as per the vote in Grand Lodge; the District Deputy Grand Masters were appointed, except for District 1 (Wor. William C. Martin).

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