The North Carolina Mason

September/October 2021

North Carolina Mason

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By Matthew Robbins Grand Lodge Outreach Coordinator/ Administrative Assistant is year marks the 250th anni- versary of the founding of the Provincial Grand Lodge of North Carolina by the Premier Grand Lodge of England. e Provincial Grand Lodge of North Carolina was founded Jan. 14, 1771, and was the precursor to our modern Grand Lodge. Henry Somerset, the 5th Duke of Beaufort and also Grand Master of England (now the United Grand Lodge of England), deputized Joseph Mont- fort of Halifax as the first and only Provincial Grand Master of and for America. e history of the fraternity in North Carolina has been partially revealed through Grand Lodge proceedings, historic minutes and fraternal correspondence. Several lodges were already working in the state before Mont- fort received his commission. ese lodges were Saint John's in Wilm- ington, Union Lodge in Fayetteville, Crown Point in Pitt County, Buffalo (later Blandford-Bute Lodge) in Bute (now Warren) County, Old Cone in Salisbury, Royal White Hart in Elk Marsh in Halifax County, and Saint John's in New Bern. Montfort's role as Provincial Grand Master was to consolidate lodges into a working jurisdiction as well as to charter new lodges, although he may not have been aware of all lodges already present in his immediate environs since they were chartered from other Grand Jurisdictions. Halifax was Montfort's home- town, so naturally his home lodge was the first to be made regular. He rechartered Royal White Hart and obtained a new English roll number, 413. e lodge became the new Provincial Grand Lodge's de facto number one. Several lodges followed: 1772 - Saint John's No. 2, New Bern 1772 - Saint John's No. 3, Kings Town (now Kinston) 1772 - Royal Edwin No. 4, Windsor c. 1773 - Dornoch (pronounced "door- knock") No. 5, Bute (now Warren) Co., 1774 - UNKNOWN lodge no. 6 1775 - Cabin Point Royal Arch No. 7, Cabin Point, Surry Co., VA 1775 - Royal William No. 8, Winton 1775 - Unanimity No. 9, Edenton e lodge in Edenton was the final lodge Montfort chartered before he died on March 25, 1776. e American Revolution proved a tumultuous time for the lodges in the state, but never- theless, brotherly love prevailed. e first attempt to restore the Grand Lodge after Mont- fort's death failed due to lack of a quorum. e second attempt came in a petition from New Bern, requesting that the remaining extant lodges convene in Tarborough, now Tarboro, to elect a new Grand Master. is letter was sent to every lodge mentioned above, save Crown Point, Page 6 The North Carolina Mason September/October 2021 ■ see 250th, page 7 We're 250 years old!! Provincial Grand Lodge of North Carolina founded in 1771

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