I was very honoured to be featured in my local newspaper in regards to my published book The Transformation of Freemasonry (Arima Publishing) - the follow-on from the best selling The Genesis of Freemasonry (Lewis Masonic) - back in September 2010.
The article to the left was featured in the Warrington Guardian, and the photograph was actually taken in the Guardian office in Warrington, which is the old Dissenting Academy building, an 18th century educational centre which was supported by Freemasons from the Warrington based Lodge of Lights No. 148. Two Academy tutors; John Reinhold Forster and Jacob Bright, were members of the lodge, and a number of other Freemasons, such as French Revolutionary Jean Paul Marat and the radical free thinker Dr. Richard Price, became linked to the Academy. John Reinhold Forster left the Academy to accompany Captain Cook on his second voyage. The photograph was taken in the Academy boardroom next to the marble fireplace which is an original feature of the 18th century Academy building.
My second book The Transformation of Freemasonry discusses the influence of Freemasonry on the Warrington Academy and on the development of education and charity as a whole to the town. Another influential lodge is also discussed - the Oldham based Lodge of Friendship, which in a similar fashion to the Warrington based Lodge of Lights, supported local education and charity. The Lodge of Friendship openly supported the Oldham Lyceum in the 19th century, and like the Warrington based lodge, the Oldham lodge also supplied evidence for labouring men entering into Freemasonry in the early 19th century. The minutes of the lodge also mentioned the Peterloo Massacre of 1819, and an article in the Oldham Chronicle on the book can be seen here.