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.