Thursday, 29 November 2012

The Liverpool Masonic Rebellion

The Liverpool Masonic Rebellion of 1823 was partly a result of the changes that the new United Grand Lodge of England had made after the union of 1813, and was partly a result of the social changes which were happening at the time; the north-west of England becoming heavily industrialised, with growing radicalism and protests such as the Peterloo massacre, all occurring during this crucial period of social upheaval. The leaders of the lodges involved in the rebellion, were radical, charismatic, and powered a heady concoction of anger and ego, they led there lodges head first into a rebellion which would change the Masonic landscape in England for ever. Lodges such as the Merchants lodge, which had been founded by such local dignitaries as Thomas Golightly, a powerful Liverpool merchant and politician, led the way in the rebellion, which was to eventually create the Grand Lodge of Wigan, a seperate Grand Lodge which lasted until 1913.

The book is now available from Arima publishing and Lewis Masonic, or can be found on Amazon

Saturday, 3 November 2012

David Harrison will be giving a talk at the Sincerity Lodge No. 3677, Bryn Masonic Hall, Wigan, Lancs.

David Harrison will be giving a talk on the Wigan Grand Lodge at the Sincerity Lodge No. 3677, at Bryn Masonic Hall, Wigan, Lancs, on Monday, the 28th of January, 2013. The Sincerity Lodge was the last surviving lodge under the Wigan Grand Lodge and re-joined the United Grand Lodge of England in 1913, the talk by Harrison being one of a number of events in celebration of 100 years since the lodge re-joined. Signed copies of Harrison's book on the Liverpool Masonic Rebellion and the Wigan Grand Lodge, which has recently been published by Arima Publishing, will be available at the talk. For more information on the talk please contact the author. The book is also available from the publishers website and on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

David Harrison to appear at the Massachusetts Lodge of Research

Taken from the Massachusetts Research Lodge website: Masonic History Day featuring Dr. David Harrison Saturday, May 18, 2012. About Dr. Harrison: Dr. David Harrison has written many articles and papers on the history of Freemasonry for a number of magazines and journals. He has worked as a history lecturer for over twelve years appearing at numerous conferences, and he has researched the complex and hidden history of English Freemasonry for his PhD at the University of Liverpool. His PhD was awarded in 2008, and was published in 2009 as a book by Lewis Masonic entitled 'The Genesis of Freemasonry'. Harrison has also appeared on various radio programs including the BBC and was a guest on the contraversial 'On The Level' program which featured on Sky TV, discussing his works. His follow up book 'The Transformation of Freemasonry' was published in September 2010 to great aclaim, and his third book 'The Liverpool Masonic Rebellion' was published in September 2012 by Arima Publishing. About the event: To be held at the Grand Lodge building, 18 Washington St., Dorchester, MA This will be 3 events in 1: The morning with be a special communication of the Massachusetts Lodge of Research. Dr. Harrison will be the featured speaker. After lunch Dr. Harrison will conduct a special training on Masonic research. This will be restricted to 35 participants and will be at a cost of $35. In the evening we will hold a Festive Board in honor of Dr. Harrison. Tickets will be restricted to 75 participants at a cost of $50 each. Details can be found at the website:

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Masonic Rebellion 1823

Why write a book on a Masonic Rebellion that took place in 1823? Well, it was a major event that ultimately had an effect on the Craft in England. The rebellion was led by a group of Freemasons in the north west of England who made a stand for what they thought was a just cause; the ritual was being changed by Masons in London, lodges were being charged extra fees to pay for the rebuilding of Freemason's Hall in London, and the administration of the new United Grand Lodge was being changed. The Antients Grand Lodge and the Moderns Grand Lodge had come together in 1813, and under the leadership of the Duke of Sussex, things had started to change. Many lodges throughout England and Wales accepted the changes, but areas such as Lancashire resisted. Liverpool took the lead in the rebellion, and was soon joined by lodges in nearby Wigan.

Liverpool was a thriving port at the period, and had links to outlining towns through the cotton industry; towns such as Wigan, Warrington and Manchester being 'mill towns', heavily dependent on Liverpool's cotton trade. Thus Lancashire was the heartland of England's industry, it was a large county, and it was undergoing a change culturally as people flocked to the mill towns for work in the factories. Before the advent of the railways, it took around a week to travel down to London on the rough dirt tracks that made up England's road network, and Liverpool was a wealthy port, and thought of itself as a rival to London. Freemasonry was an important society to the up-and-coming merchants and tradesmen, and certain Freemasons of Liverpool and Wigan passionately opposed the changes being made to their society. The book gives an intricate account of the story of the rebellion, and its importance socially and culturally to the north west of England and the Craft as a whole. The book published by Arima is now available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Monday, 1 October 2012

New book out soon

The eagerly awaited new book by Masonic historian David Harrison is due out soon - 'The Liverpool Masonic Rebellion and the Wigan Grand Lodge' will be available from the publishers website or through all good book outlets incuding Amazon. Information on the author can be found on facebook and twitter

Thursday, 6 September 2012

New feature regarding the new book in The Square

The new edition of The Square - England's leading Masonic Magazine published by Lewis Masonic, features my new book - The Liverpool Masonic Rebellion on the cover. The magazine has a snippet of the new book, pictures of rare documents concerning the rebellion and a review of the book. The new book will be published in a few weeks, and the magazine can be purchased from the Lewis Masonic website:

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

The Last Rebellion - the new book out soon

My new book 'The Last Rebellion: The Liverpool Masonic Rebellion and the Wigan Grand Lodge' is due out within the month, I'll be posting up details of events I'll be doing to support the launch of the book; I've got a number of talks planned, signings and appearances. I'll also be posting up pictures from the book and publishing snippets of the story. This post takes a look at two of the leaders of the Rebellion; Michael Alexander Gage and James Broadhurst, who were renowned in their own right.
Michael Alexander Gage was a leading Liverpool engineer and cartographer, and here is his map of Liverpool from 1836, the plan being one of the most acurate plans of Liverpool at the time
James Broadhurst was a war hero, having served on Nelson's flagship for a time. He had fought at the battle of Cape St. Vincent and served for a time on the San Jose. The print here celebrates the surrender of the ship to Nelson.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

I have my third book published in September entitled The Last Masonic Rebellion: The Liverpool Masonic Rebellion and the Wigan Grand Lodge. Being a Masonic historian, I have long been fascinated with this tale of rebellion and revolt set against the back drop of the radicalism of early nineteenth century industrial England, and this new book reveals the rise and fall of this enigmatic rebel Grand Lodge. The Wigan Grand Lodge broke away from the United Grand Lodge in 1823, and reformed the 'Antient' Grand Lodge; embracing the older ideas of Freemasonry, using a more 'Antient' ritual and older symbols. The book will also give an insight into the leaders of the rebellion, and will examine the mysterious 'Magna Charta of Masonic Freedom'. I will be having a pre-launch for the book at Pemberton Masonic Hall in Wigan, Lancashire, on Sunday, 10th of June, which will be hosting an open day between 10am and 2pm. I will be on hand to show people the artefacts of the Wigan Grand Lodge and will be giving information about the new book, as well as signing copies of my previous two books.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

The Transformation of Freemasonry now available at Letchworths

My second book The Transformation of Freemasonry is now available at Letchworths Masonic store, you can either purchase at the store or online:

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

New article by Dr. David Harrison in Knight Templar Magazine

Dr. David Harrison has a new article on the Knights Templar and the Welsh Princes in this months edition of the US based Knight Templar magazine. The article has already received positive feedback, and another follow-on article will appear in a later edition of the magazine. Here's the website:

Friday, 20 January 2012

New paper published in the renowned Scottish Rite Transactions Journal 'Heredom' - a new insight into the origins of Freemasonry

Dr David Harrison has had a new paper published in Volume 19 (2011) of the Transactions of the Scottish Rite Research Society Journal 'Heredom' entitled 'The Lymm Freemasons: Insight into Transition-Era Freemasonry'. The paper examines new evidence for the transitional period of Freemasonry in the seventeenth century when the society was moving from operative - speculative. Here is the website for further information: