A Brief Historical Introduction to Freemasonry in Hertfordshire
It has been written long ago that St.Alban introduced Freemasonry into Britain in when he formed the first Lodge in AD 287. However, in Hertfordshire there were three Lodges founded in the eighteenth century, the oldest being The Red Rampant Lyon No.181 a name that has recently been resurrected in the Province. None of these three Lodges survived for very long.
The Province was officially formed when William Forsteen received his patent as Provincial Grand Master on 24th March 1797 although he had no Lodges to govern. The first Lodge was constituted in 1829 and the Province slowly grew under the next three Provincial Grand Masters to a total of just eight. Then Sir Thomas Frederick Halsey became Provincial Grand Master an office he held for no less than fifty years by which time the Province had forty-one Lodges.
The son of Sir Thomas Frederick Halsey, Admiral Sir Lionel Halsey who ruled the Province for nineteen years, actually consecrated more Lodges in that time than his father did in fifty.
Currently there are one hundred and ninety Lodges meeting in eleven Masonic Centres as well as other venues.
Much more could be written here about Individual Provincial Grand Masters and Lodges, but it is suggested that reference is made to two books ‘History of Freemasonry in Hertfordshire’ by G.B.Abbott and ‘Happy Hertfordshire 1797-1997, both of which can be researched at the Provincial Museum and Library at Fleet House in St.Albans.