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Loge Anglaise

An English Lodge, No 204 organized in the south of France, 1730, and still active. Some merchant captains in the course of their trade put into Bordeaux and founded this Lodge Sunday, April 27, 1732, under the Grand Lodge of England. In those days three Master Masons assembled for the express purpose could constitute a Lodge without Grand Lodge Warrant.

The Minutes of the first meeting show Martin Kelly, Master, and Nicolas Staunton and Jonathan Robinson the Wardens. Two candidates were present, one being James Bradshaw. The Lodge met on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday of the same week and at the latter meeting Nicolas Staunton was elected Master. Brother Kelly had Initiated five and Raised four to the Third Degree. Brother Staunton was installed May 2 and by May 6 he Initiated two and Raised two others. On May 6 James Bradshaw was elected Master. During the first year seventeen members were enrolled, only one French. English was used in the Minutes the first eleven years. From September 8,1743, onward, French became the language of the Lodge and, except for short periods during its first few years and fifteen months during the Reign of Terror, the Lodge has met regularly. With the ads approval of the Grand Lodge of England the early Lodge granted Constitutions to various Lodges in France and abroad.

Of interest is a record in the Minutes of August 2, 1746, that admittance was refused three initiates on the ground that they were "players of instruments in the theater." February 11, 1749, they decided that "no Jew shall ever be admitted a member in this Lodge." On March 25, 1781, Brother La Pauze, a Roman Catholic priest and Cur of the Parish of Saint Pierre, is recorded as Master of the Lodge. In April, 1766, the Lodge received a Warrant from the Grand Lodge of England specifically confirming the proceedings from the time of its inception in 1732. In 1766 the Grand Lodge of France issued an edict stating that all Lodges in France not accepting its Jurisdiction would be irregular. At the intercession of the Grand Lodge of England in behalf of the Loge Anglaise an exception was made in its case. In 1767 the Loge Anglaise appears as N. o. 363 on the List of Lodges of the Grand Lodge of England but is omitted from the list of 1774 and therefore negotiations begun with the Grand Orient for a formal Warrant, of December 12, 1780, the Lodge giving up its right to found other Lodges in France but retaining friendly relations with England. The Grand Orient issued a Warrant, January 6, 1783, to seventeen Brethren who had resigned, forming the new La T'raie AnS7laise, the True English, and the Loge Anglaise had itself restored on the list of the Grand Lodge of England as No. 240 in 1785. August 31, 1790, this Lodge with four other French Lodges agreed to no longer recognize the authority of the Grand Orient of France. In 1793 the name was changed to Lodge No. 240 'Egalit (called Equality) but the old title was resumed in 1795. In 1802 a renumbering of Lodges under the Grand Lodge of England put the Loge Anglaise as No. 204 on the Register. The Loge Anglaise agreeably to the Grand Orient of France, September 7, 1803, and the Grand Lodge of England, with three other Lodges formed a Provincial Grand Lodge, February 21, 1804. New by-laws, June 7, 1816, specified that the Lodge was under "Joint protection of the Grand Orients of England and France." May 16, 1818, the Grand Secretary of England wrote the Loge Anglaise that all connection with the Grand Lodge had ceased since 1786.

The Lodge protested and remained independent. Brother John Lane says in Masonic Records that the Lodge was on the English Register until 1813. After considerable time the Lodge again associated with the Grand Orient of France, maintaining always the custom of toasting the Grand Lodge of England at banquets. In 1869 an amendment to Article 1, Constitution of the Grand Orient, came up for decision.

This Article stated that "The principles on which Freemasonry is founded are the existence of God, the immortality of the soul, and the solidarity of the human race.' An amendment was defeated thanks to the effort made by the Loge Anglaise, but the matter again came up, 1876, and the Lodge was helpless to prevent the adoption of the amendment by the General Assembly and relations were severed. January 7, 1913, the Lodge passed a vote of disapproval of the Grand Orient, and with the Lodge CentRre des Amis undertook to form the new Grand Loge Nationale pour la France (see Loge Anglaise, by Edmund Heisch, London, 1917; also Transactions Authors Lodge, London, volume 2, and the English Lodge at Bordeaux G. W. Speth, a paper read in Quatuor Coronati Lodge, 1899).

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