I was honoured to be asked to present a talk on the York Grand Lodge at Criterion Chapter of Installed First Principals which meets at the Masonic Hall at Hoyle Court in Otley near Shipley in West Yorkshire. Hoyle Court is a Baroque Mansion – an architectural delight that was once the home of the Ambler family and is now the meeting place for a number of lodges and chapters.
My talk centred on how the Royal Arch was practiced as a fourth degree by York Grand Lodge from the 1770s, and the importance of the early reference to the Royal Arch being practiced by York Masons dating to 1744 by Dr Fifield Dassigny who wrote in his Serious and Impartial Enquiry into the Cause of the Present Decay of Free-Masonry in the Kingdom of Ireland, of how ‘a certain propagator of a false system some few years ago in this city who imposed upon several very worthy men under a pretence of being a Master of the Royal Arch, which he asserted he had brought with him from the city of York…’
The talk was indeed a topical one and was greatly received with over a hundred Companions attending. The chapter also hosted the meeting for the Bradford &District Royal Arch Council which works to promote the Royal Arch in the Province.