Francis of Lorraine Lodge No. 6906


Meeting Place:

  • 47, St. Giles Street,
  • Norwich,
  • NR2 1JR

W.M: Stephen G. Clabburn, 3 Glenalmond, Norwich, NR4 6AG
Tel: 01603 508084 (Home) 07885 333726 (Mobile)

Secretary: Peter Leggett, 187, Wroxham Road, Sprowston, Norwich, NR7 8AG
Tel: 07831 513283 (Mobile)

Almoner: Derek Howell
Tel: 01603 451753

Next Master: Derek Howell
Tel: 01603 451753 (Home) 07889 736692 (Mobile)

Lodge meetings are held on the third Thursday of the month from October to April inclusive.

A Brief History of Lorraine Lodge No. 6906

Date of Warrant: 27th July 1949

On Tuesday 5th April 1949, in Union Lodge No. 52, W. Bro. F.R. Eaton, Deputy Prov. Grand Master moved: ‘That the Petition for a Warrant for a new Lodge to meet at Norwich and to be named “Francis of Lorraine” be approved and supported by this Lodge; and That in the event of a Warrant being granted, the new Lodge be permitted to use any furniture and ornaments belonging to this Lodge, except Collars and Jewels, until the new Lodge has been provided with its own, or until this permission is withdraw.’

In moving these propositions W. Bro Eaton said that he had been urging Founders, when selecting the name of a Lodge, to choose whenever appropriate, one that would commemorate some important event or prominent person connected with the history of the Province. He mentioned as examples Philip Broadfoot, Le Strange and Bowers, but particularly Martin Folkes Lodge No. 6622, commemorating Martin Folkes of Hillington who, in 1724, as Deputy Grand Master, constituted the Maids Head Lodge in Norwich, the earliest Lodge in Norwich of which any record remains.

He also mentioned that in the Minutes of the Maids Head Lodge it is recorded that in November 1731, Lord Lovel, afterwards Earl of Leicester, the then Grand Master, summoned the Master and Brethren of The Maids Head Lodge to hold a special Lodge at Houghton Hall for the purpose of raising to the Third Degree Francis, Duke of Lorraine, who had been made an Entered Apprentice and a Fellow Craft at the Hague, and who in 1745, became the Emperor Francis I. He added that it seemed appropriate under these circumstances that Union Lodge, the oldest Lodge now in the Province, should be the sponsor of this new Lodge.
The motion was carried.

At that time there were two Lodges in the Province using Stability Ritual – one at King’s Lynn and one at Great Yarmouth. The Deputy Prov. Grand Master was anxious that a similar Lodge should be founded in Norwich. So it was that, although Emulation Working was first recommended, it was later decided to adopt Stability Ritual. This Ritual was entirely new to the Officers but they applied themselves to it enthusiastically, assiduously and without complaint.

On the day of the Consecration of the Lodge and at the First Regular Meeting subsequently, the Stability Ritual was extensively used by: The Worshipful Master when investing his Officers

  • W. Bro G.R. Oswell, PPGW, DC of Philip Broadfoot Lodge
  • W. Bro E.W. Applegate, PPGW, IPM of St. Nicholas Lodge
  • W. Bro E.J. Robinson, Master of Philip Broadfoot Lodge
  • W. Bro E.C. Landamore, Prov SGW
  • W. Bro A.A. Adlington

This gesture on the part of the last two Brethren was particularly appreciated by the Founders.

From ‘Francis of Lorraine Twenty-five Years’ booklet (abridged)

Francis Stephen, Duke of Lorraine, was born on 8th December 1708, and was the eldest surviving son of Leopold Joseph, Duke of Lorraine and grandson of Charles of Lorraine, famous for his victory over the Turks.

In 1736 he married Maria Theresa, daughter of the Emperor Charles VI. On the death of his father-in-law in 1740 he was made co-Regent of Austria with Maria Theresa and in 1745 he was elected Holy Roman Emperor as Francis I. He died in 1765.

His Masonic career began in 1731 when he undertook a journey to England. At the Hague he became friendly with the English Ambassador, the famous Earl of Chesterfield, who incidentally is stated on the authority of Dermott to have been an Ancient Freemason. Whether Chesterfield was in any way responsible or not, at the beginning of June 1731, Francis was received into the Order at the Hague by Dr Desaguliers, whom the Grand Lodge of England sent from London for that purpose, with a special deputation of Brethren who, assisted by the Earl of Chesterfield and others, formed a Lodge for the Initiation. According to Anderson’s account given in 1738, Francis received both the degrees of Entered Apprentice and of Fellow Craft on this occasion.

His particular connection with Norfolk Freemasonry was formed during his stay in England later in 1731. In November of that year, accompanied by the Grand Master, Lord Lovel, he visited Houghton Hall, the seat of the famous Sir Robert Walpole, and there at an occasional Lodge was raised to the degree of Master Mason. This fact became well known all over Europe and for long enough it was the custom of many Lodges to drink the health of ‘Our Brother of Lorraine’.

In the era of Grand Lodges he was the first of all our royal Brethren to lay aside the sceptre for the trowel and join in our mysteries and, even if the circumstances of his high place prevented him from patronizing our mysteries to the full, we can with justice claim that he conferred upon the Freemasonry of England in general and of Norfolk in particular, a memorial ‘more lasting than brass’.