A Brief History of the Masonic Province of Surrey.
An article prepared by Very Worshipful Bro M Yalden Past Deputy Provincial Grand Master for Surrey.
The earliest record of a Lodge meeting in Surrey dates back to 1723 at the Kings Arms in Wandsworth (formerly in Surrey).
The first Grand Master for Surrey was Thomas Parker (1725 – 1792) who was installed in 1772 by one Thomas Dunckerley.
Parker became the Grand Master of Surrey more than thirty years before 1813 when Provincial Grand Lodges were formally constituted and served for 20 years.
Both Parker and his successor, James Meyrick (1795-1818), are likely to have held unofficial meetings of a Provincial Grand Lodge in Surrey.
Parker was a Solicitor and Parliamentary Agent to Lord Spencer.
The first official Provincial Grand Lodge for Surrey was constituted in 1837 under Lord Frederick John, the 5th Baron Monson, Surrey’s third Provincial Grand Master (from 1836-1841).
A more recent and significant piece of Surrey Masonic History relates to the Lodge of Friendship and Harmony which was founded in 1886 and still meets at Godalming.
Friendship and Harmony has the unique distinction of having had a reigning Monarch (and Past Grand Master) as one of its members:
HRH The Prince of Wales (latterly the Duke of Windsor), who was Provincial Grand Master of Surrey from 1924-1936.
HRH became a member of that Lodge in 1924, was installed as its Master in 1935 when he also succeeded to the Throne.
He was King Edward VIII and Master of the Lodge up to the point of his abdication in 1936.
Whilst not every Lodge in Surrey can boast such an illustrious forbear, each and every Surrey Lodge does have its own, unique and very personal history which continues to be written, year on year, by the addition of new Members.
From those early beginnings the Province of Surrey now comprises more than 250 individual Masonic Lodges, and we now have our 19th Provincial Grand Master, in the person of Right Worshipful Bro Ian Michael Chandler.
The Provincial Grand Lodge of Surrey was Consecrated in 1837.