Hertford Lodge

Lodge Number: 403
Consecration: 8 September 1829
Meeting Place: Mayflower Place – Hertingfordbury
Meeting Dates: 4th Thursday January (Installation)
4th Thursday February
4th Thursday March
4th Thursday April
4th Thursday September
4th Thursday November

The Lodge’s Warrant, dated 31st August 1829, was granted by Prince Augustus Frederick of Brunswick Lunenburg, Duke of Sussex, Grand Master.

The Inaugural Lodge was conducted in September 1829 by a team of Consecration Officers, led by W. Bro John Bott PGD at the Salisbury Arms, which still exists to this day. The Lodge’s number was ‘849’, changed to ‘578’ in 1832 and finally ‘403’ in 1863. It is the oldest existing Lodge in Hertfordshire. The first Worshipful Master was W. Bro Francis Crew. The Lodge met at the Shire Hall, Hertford from 1831 to 1984 when it transferred to the Mayflower, Hertingfordbury. The Lodge Emblem is the “seale of the Borough Towne of Hertforde”, without the surrounding legend. A Hart is depicted, standing in a river with a patee fitchee between the horns and a triple-towered castle, possibly Hertford on the right and to the left a tree.

In the early days, many national and local notabilities were Initiates of the Lodge, Amongst them were; the Marquess of Salisbury, MP, PGM (Herts) (1831-44), DGM (1841-44); Viscount Ingestre MP (1830-39); the Hon Thomas Dimsdale; W Bro C E Keyser PGM (Herts),(1924-30); Dr. W Lloyd Thomas PGSec DPGM (1844-53); Sir W Farquhar; Stephen Austin (1829~1892); Baron Dimsdale MP; the Hon W F Cowper; Abel Smith MP and Robert Dimsdale MP who were initiated together on September 26th, 1871; John Currie MP 1832; W Bro D B Hagger, who was Master of the Lodge on no less than five times from 1848 to 1864.

Many streets and public houses in Hertford are named after past Members of the Lodge; notably, Salisbury, Dimsdale, Currie, Cowper, Farquhar, etc. A famous occasion in the history of the Lodge is of the Jubilee Celebration in 1879 when one of the Lodge’s first Initiates, in 1829, W Bro Stephen Austin, one of the Founders of Haileybury College, took the Chair in his fiftieth year of Lodge membership. Amongst others as guests was the RW Bro T F Halsey, MP, Provincial Grand Master, who proposed the Toast to the Hertford Lodge.