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History Resources by Ray Sheppard

Bye Laws of Antient Lodge No.56c

The History of this Warrant No. 56 Antient dates back to 3rd November 1756, see Lanes Book page 76.

56 (a) 3rd Nov. 1756 (Place unknown), Manchester.

  • Cancelled 7th June 1775, for divers misdemeanours, and issued to some Members of No. 171 Antients.

56 (b) 7th June 1775. (Place unknown), Manchester.

  • “Warrant of 144 and 56 cancelled, and agreed that the Brethren of No. 171 should have a renewal of No. 56”. Grand Lodge Provincial 7 th June 1775.
  • Cal . For 1800 states, “Eagle, Salford, near Manchester (cancelled by order of the Grand Lodge 1792).”

56 (c) 16th May 1803. Standard Tavern, Old Churchyard, Manchester.

  • York Minster, Deansgrave, Manchester 1805
  • Phoenix , Salford, Lancashire 1805.
  • Flower Pot, Red Banks, Salford, 1806.

Lapsed about 1809, but kept in Ahiman Rezon List of 1813.

Seven Page Letter from 56 (c) Ant. Giving details of formation of the Lodge with its Bye-Laws. Note in the front page there seem to be a dispute with a Brother James Irwin.

It reads as follows:

Manchester 11 th July 1803

Rt. Worshipfull Sir & Br.


We take the liberty of thus addressing you

Letting you known that some people in Manchester

Finds themselves very much aggrieved concerning

Our Warrant 56 and all on Acct. of not applying

To them for Certify as although we being regular

Assembled members of No. 297 In particular

James Irwin (who assumes the

Arbitrary & presumptions authority over all

The Lodges in Manchester) Called an unligal

Meeting the day before the Installation under

The No. 39 unknown to the Master who

When he Came to know found himself very

Much offended at Jas. Irwin’s misconduct

& would not

Countenance the meeting on any pretence whatever, also the

Majority of the meeting was very mush grived at being

Called there knowning our authority & our

Actions to be Just & legal. 

In consequence of which we have  

inclosed a true

Copy of our Bye Laws for your inspection in

hopes they will meet your approbation,

and you will please write soon as possible a letter to us for our

Confirmation which we will acquaint the

Different Lodge with. 


Rt. Worshl,

Sir the Officers at our installation being appoint

A Grand Lodge was opened at 5 O’clock on

Monday evening on 4 th inst.

Under Sanction & Warrant 297 &

Closed at 7 Oclock same evening when

Brs George McCarmick James Ruddock S.W. (XXXXX) of 289

== William Rice Wppl. Master of 298 J.W.

== John McClelland 289 S.D. James O’Hare J.W. of 275 J.D. Henry Flavile S.W. 287 & John Tomlinson of 297 Secy.


Page 2 (Start of the Bye Laws).


~ ~ Bye Laws ~ ~

Rules Orders & Regulations to be Observed by the

Brethren of Lodge No. 56…



Rule 1 st. Resolved that this Lodge shall meet on the first

Monday of every Month in order to Act & transact

Such Businefs as seems meet to them for the

Will-being & Honour of the Ancient Craft at the

House of Mr. SHAW, & every Member shall pay

One Shilling towards the night Expence….


Rule 2 nd. Resolved, that No Candidate will be admitted here

That three Black Beans is against him if two

A Proper reason given…..


Rule 3 rd. Resolved, that every Brother of this Lodge shall

Pay three Shillings every St. John’s Day & every Br.

Absent that day shall pay the same expence

Except Sickness Confinement Or five Miles

From the Lodge room….


Rule 4 th. Resolved, that no Br. will be chosen by Singnority

To Preside as Master or any other office in this

Lodge except he merits it….


Rule 5 th. Resolved, that every Br. Belonging to this Lodge

Must Appear (on all regular Lodge nights) as Clean

& decent as his circumstances will allow, with a white

Handkerchief round his Neck & either the addition

Of a Apron or Ribband in his Breast that is worn

By ancient Masons but at no other time until

Furthered Orders…..


(page 3)


Rule 6 th. Resolved, that if any Br., of this Lodge shall Curse

or swear or Sing any Prophane song or give any insult

intendedly to ANY other Br., so that he or they by

misconduct might rndeavour to disturb the Harmony

of our meetings for every such offence shall forfict

sixpence or leave the Room at the request of the Master.


Rule 7 th. Resolved, that if any Br., shall come in our regular

Lodge nights or any other meeting Disguised in Liquor

shall for the first offence forfeit 6d., & every other 1/-d.


Rule 8 th. Resolved, that any Br., absent on our regular ~

meeting nights without him on his next meeting

Night afsining a proper reason shall for every such

offence forfeit one Shilling….


Rule 9 th. Resolved, that if any subscribing Br., of this Lodge

should be rendered incapable of supporting himself &

family by sicknefs or any Complaint, so thar the same

does not appear to have come by luxury or evil

living each subscribing Br., of this Lodge shall pay

the sum of 6d per week into the hand of whoever may

be appointed so long as the Distrefs’d Br., or Brs., may

Continue in their Illnefs & two Brs., shall be appointed

to examine & enquire into the distrefs’d Brothers

situation and draw from this subsription a necefsary

allowance to be delivered to the Distrefs’d Br., weekly

while in sicknefs a regular Acct., of which must

be delivered into the Lodge every St. John’s Day…


Rule 10 th Resolved that if any Br., of this Lodge should die

while he is a subscribing member, that every Br.,

shall attend him to the place of Interement with an

apron Sholder Scarf of Linnen & white Gloves this

rule to be at the pleasure of this Lodge….


Page 4.


Rule 11 th. Resolved, that any Br., wishing to Join this

Lodge cannot be admitted on any Acct., whatever without

A Just Certificate from the place he was made in or a

Renewal from another…..


Rule 12 th. Resolved, that any Br., wishing to join this Lodge

by Certificate (and be found worthy) shall pay the sum

of 10/6d., Sert., (immediately with his Certificate) to the

fund & pay for his Register & Tylers dues….


Rule 13 th. Resolved, that if any Br., should redicule any

Other Br., in Regard of Religion trade or Occupation

he shall be fined in five Shillings and not be

admitted to sit in the Lodge until he first pays

the fine & makes an Humble submifsion for his

former transgrefsion, all fines to be put to the fund

for Relief of Distrefs’d Brothers….


Rule 14 th. Resolved, that no Modern mason or any other

Subsriber there to will be admitted to enter this

Lodge on any Pretence whatever, & futher that no

member of the Lodge shall be allowed to visit any

modern Lodge on any Acct., under no lefs Penalty

than being fined 10/6d and deprived of three nights

and then to at the pleasure of this Lodge whither

he or they receives admittance or not, by so doing

the Better to enable the Ancient Craft from

being adultered by the Modering & also every

Visiting Br., shall Pay one Shilling towards

the nights Expence…


Page 5.


Rule 16 th. Resolved that every Br., that is made in this

Lodge shall pay the sum of three pounds three shillings

sterling for his admifsion & pay for his Register &

Tylers dues, & also any two Brs., that has any

debates that require a Committee, it is to be tried

by a Committee of our own Members and them

that is the Occasion of the Committee shall Defray ¼ expence.


Rule 17 th, Resolved, that if any member belonging to

this Lodge shall devilge any Secret given him from

the Chair to any person not belonging to this Lodge

for the 1 st offence shall be fined in 2/6d, and will not be

admitted to sit in the Lodge until he first pays

the fine, & makes an Humb., Submifsion for his former

transgrefsion, & if found guilty a Second time fined

in 5/-d & third time to be Excluded & Reported

to the Grand Lodge. ~~~~~


Rule 18 th Resolved that no Candidate will be admitted

of in this Lodge until he is some time on

report so long as the Master & rest of the Officers

think Proper so that proper enquiry may be made

into his Morals & Character & no Report will

be accepted of in this Lodge until paying the

sum of 10/6d = for the same & if found worthy by

the Brethren & not appear the money is forfeited

but if Rejected the money is Returned, & futher

in Cause of any Emergency every Visting Br., shall

pay one Shilling towards the nights Expences…


Rule 19 th. Resolved, by the Brn., of the Lodge that there

is no Drink to be drunk to the Expence of this

Lodge on a Regular meeting Night or any other time

unlefs orders from the Chair & also that there is no

member of the Lodge can have either Vote or Voice

whatever that is three nights in Debt.~~~


Page 5.


Rule 20 th. Resolved, by the Brn., of the Lodge that if

any member causes any disturbance going

home from the Lodge shall be (for the first offence)

fined in 1/-, second time 3/- and third time to be

excluded from every benefit arising from –

Ancient Masonry - - - -


Rule 21 st. Resolved, that every subscribing member

of this Lodge shall Pay the sum of 6d per

quarter, to purchase a pew or pews in Church

or Chapple so that they may the more –

Comfortable & Regularly accommodate –

Themselves in their Respective Places of

Worship on the Sabbath Day ~ ~


John Green Secy.

Page 6.

Rt W’ppl., Sir


we have given you a Copy of the Transaction

to Shew our Actions in every particular

Corrosponded with Your Directiond in hopes

You will write to the satisfactions as our

Actions shall be always According to Your

Directions – We Remain Rt., Wppl. Sir

Your Obed. Friend & Br.,

Walter Dillon Master


John Green Secy.


You will Please direct for John Green

Care of Mr. William Shaw Ring of Bells

Old Church Yard Manchester

Lodge No. 56


(c) Ray Sheppard


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