(pages 111-119 of the full report)
Evidence of the Revd James Harris
to the Select Committee on Orange Institutions in Great Britain & the Colonies, 20 August 1835
In the early decades of the 19th century the 'Catholic question'
- which, in political terms, was 'what concessions could be made to reduce violence in Ireland without
producing a Protestant backlash in England?' - triggered a curious
alliance between working men (particularly in Lancashire) and
ultra-Tory nobility, aristocracy and clergy, with Orange lodges
straddling the social divides. A relatively obscure network of northern
drinking clubs became caught up with a wider national agenda of
defending property, the status quo and the established church. (This is
explored in Frank Neal Sectarian Violence 1988; see also Mervyn Jess The Orange Order 2007). In the wake of the rather different disturbances of the French Revolution, the 1797 Unlawful Oaths Act
had outlawed secret societies and and oath-taking (and was used for the
transportation of the Tolpuddle Martyrs: see below). Orange
lodges, modelled on the Irish pattern as well as freemasonry, with rules
and regulations, secret passwords and oaths, were increasingly regarded
as hotbeds of conspiracy, with particular concern about lodges among
the military, which were eventually proscribed.
The English Grand Lodge of the Loyal Orange Institution
was established in Manchester in 1808 (where there had been a riot the
previous year). Under the influence of Lord Kenyon, who joined in 1815,
seeing the movement as a means of resisting Catholic emancipation, its
centre of operations moved to London when he persuaded the Duke of York
to became the Grand Master in 1821, but he resigned soon after because
of legal opinion on the legality of the lodges. In 1828 the Duke of Cumberland
(Ernest Augustus, George III's fifth son) took over - he was a
controversial figure, regarded as a threat to, and possible usurper of,
the British throne until he became King of Hanover).
As an Irishman,
James Harris would have been aware of the complex dimensions of
'Orangeism', in Ireland and in England - and the illegality at that
time of its lodges in Ireland - but claimed that his involvement was
primarily 'constitutional' (in other words, defending Protestantism:
particularly, no doubt, in the wake of the Catholic emancipation
provisions of 1829, to which the movement was opposed) rather than
'political', though this may seem a naïve distinction. He stresses that
he came voluntarily to give evidence to the Committee, as a 'deputy
grand chaplain' (the Bishop of Salisbury
was the grand chaplain) at the suggestion of Mr Chetwoode Eustace
Chetwoode, the secretary - who was the next to be examined by the
Committee. (Chetwoode, described as an easy-going Irishman, was subsequently denounced to the Order as a closet papist, and an investigation undertaken.) Yet many of Harris' answers are evasive and unconvincing -
though perhaps no more so than of those who appear before parliamentary
committees today! He temporised; he claimed ignorance of
documents and reports (though it is true that, as the Committee showed,
record-keeping and formal communication was indeed poor), and when
challenged on his attendance record pleaded the loss of his wife and
family (which was also true - he gave up the Portman Square chapel,
close to Lord Kenyon's house). He was clearly aware of
the dubiety of military lodges, and attempted to defend the Duke of
Cumberland's stance on this.
Strangest is his involvement with, and answers to questions about, the 'Britannic Association'.
Also known as the 'Royal' or 'Grand' Britannic Association, or even the
'Royal Britannic Association of Knights of Israel', this was a small
network established in Manchester in 1822, and was one of the 'Black' Orders,
initially repudiated by the Orange community - another of the same
period being the so-called 'Protestant Knights of Malta', principally in Scotland.
Brethren were apparently initiated to Orders
in the Degrees of Scarlet, Royal Arch, Blue, White, Gold, Black,
Knights Templar and Mediterranean Pass within the realm of Great Britain.
('Orange' degrees were only two - orange and purple.) Harris' answers
to the questions as to why he joined this grouping, since he claimed
its principles were identical to those of 'Orangeism', hint at
undisclosed disagreements - It is painful for me to give the reasons; I think it would be unpleasant to us both, as gentlemen ... it
is more out of delicacy ... than from any thing
else that I should wish not to answer his question; it was for high
constitutional principles that I joined this society (2521 & 2522). What exactly lay behind this?
The Reverend JAMES HARRIS A.M., called in; and Examined.
2292. Are you a clergyman of the Church of England? — Yes.
2293. Are you a member of the Loyal Orange Institution? — I am.
2204. How long have you been a member? — These ten or twelve years.
2295. Where were you first made? — At my Lord Kenyon's house here in town.
2296. Were you admitted as a member of the grand lodge? — Yes.
2297. Were you first made there? — Yes.
2298. You are aware of the code of the rules and regulations? — Yes, I am, of course.
2299. Were you made according to the ritual which now exists? — Yes, I believe it was pretty much the same.
2300. Were you admitted in the form
there prescribed, carrying a Bible in one hand, and the rules and
regulations in another, with two sponsors to answer for what was read? — Yes, I think it was so.
2301. Did you take any oath upon that occasion? — I think I did.
2302. Do you recollect how many you took? — I cannot exactly say, but they are in the printed regulations; whatever is there I went through.
2303. You are aware that the rules and regulations have been changed of late? — Yes, I am.
2304. Were you admitted agreeably to the rules and regulations of 1826? — No, I was admitted in 1824 or 1825, the regulations of 1826 did not come into effect till 1827 or 1828; I think so.
2305. Was not there what is called the Orangeman's oath taken upon that occasion? — There was.
2306. Has that oath been discontinued? — Oh yes, ever since the new regulations.
2307. Do you belong to any other lodge than the grand lodge? — I do.
2308.The Committee are to understand you were first made in the grand lodge? — Distinctly.
2309. Is not it required by the regulations that every member shall be made in a private lodge first? — I believe not as respects clergymen.
2310. Is there any exception to the admission of clergymen? —
I should think there is not, on account of my being made in the grand lodge
myself, but it is necessary to become a member of some lodge immediately,
and I was admitted into a private lodge afterwards.
2311. Have you seen any other clergymen admitted? — Yes, but whether they belonged to other lodges or not I cannot say.
2312. Are you one of the chaplains of the grand lodge? — Yes, one of the grand chaplains.
2313. Have you been in the habit of attending the meetings of the grand lodge? — Yes.
2314. Who has been in the chair? — The Duke of Cumberland always.
2315. Has Lord Kenyon ever been in the chair when you have been there? — I think not.
2316. Does Lord Kenyon generally attend? — Always in the vice chair.
2317. Do you receive a circular or report of the proceedings of each grand lodge? — Yes.
2318. Have you ever belonged to the grand committee who prepared a report for the grand lodge? —
I rather think that I belonged to that committee, from the situation I
held in the grand lodge, but I never have attended that committee.
2319. Do you mean to say that the grand functionaries of the lodge are members ex officio of the committee? — I believe they have a right to attend any committee if they choose.
2320. Have you heard the report of the grand committee generally read in the grand lodge? — Yes.
2321. Is the business conducted in a regular manner by resolutions being proposed and seconded and carried? — Yes.
2322. Who officiates there to take the minutes? — The grand secretary.
2323. Who is he? — Mr Chetwoode was when I was first made, since that Colonel Fairman.
2324. In his absence? — I never have attended any lodge when one of those gentlemen was not present.
2325. Having attended a number of
lodges, when you received a report purporting to be a correct and
faithful account of what has passed, have you ever examined it to see
how far the proceedings were carefully entered? — I cannot say that I have; I sometimes looked at it, but never looked at it very accurately.
2326. If there had been any errors, do you think you should have noticed them? — Yes, I think I should, and I have noticed errors.
2327. Have you pointed out those errors to the grand master? — On one occasion particularly, which respects myself, I did.
2328. Was it an erroneous entry, or erroneously worded? — It was a resolution affecting myself, which was entirely omitted, and which I complained of afterwards.
2329. Is there only occasional error, or frequent? — That
I cannot take upon myself to say; but I know there have been cases in
the report which I do not recollect having taken place.
2330. Are you in the habit of taking notes? — Never.
2331. How many months elapse after the meeting before you receive the printed report? — I should suppose six weeks or two months, in which time it is generally out.
2332. Did you receive the report of the grand lodge on the 4th of June? —
No, I did not; I do not know whether it is out; I have been in consequence
of some family afflictions away; I have not been at the last meeting; I
have been out of the country.
2333. Who was the grand chaplain of the order? — The Bishop of Salisbury.
2334. Have you ever been present at the lodge when he was present? — Never.
2335. Was he appointed before you were a member, or since? — Before I was a member.
2336. Has he ever officiated as far as you know? — Never to my knowledge.
2337. What are his duties? —
I believe if he was present he would take upon him that duty which the
senior chaplain does, of reading the prayers which appear in the rules
at the opening and concluding of the lodge.
2338. There is a prayer for opening the meetings in page 36 of the new
rules and regulations beginning "Gracious and Almighty God"; is that the
prayer you allude to? — Yes, and there is another at the closing of the lodge.
2339. Is it an invariable rule that the prayers are read? — Always.
2340. Do you consider yourself as a member of the grand lodge bound by those rules and regulations? — Certainly.
2341. Are you aware what is the pass word now? — Yes.
2342. And the sign? — Yes.
2343. Are you at liberty to state them? — I should not feel that I am.
2344. At the time you became a member you were sworn to secresy [sic]? —
Yes, but since then I have received the new signs and pass-words without
any oath, but at the same time I feel conscientiously bound to keep them
to myself, except communicating them to a brother Orangeman.
2345. Is it in consequence of the oath you have taken, or of any existing rule or regulation? —
I should say both, because I look back to that oath as binding me, and
though not bound to secresy [sic] by the new regulations, I still feel
conscientiously restrained from promulgating them.
2346. Have you ever been in Ireland? — Yes, I am an Irishman.
2347. Are you able to make your way into an Orange lodge in Ireland? — I should suppose so, but I never have been in a lodge in Ireland.
2348. Have you never been there since you were made? — Yes, but I never attended any meeting of a lodge.
2349. Have you visited any lodge in any part of Great Britain? — Several in London, but nowhere else.
2350. Have you been admitted by sign and pass-word or by your certificate? —
Always by signs or pass-words; I never produced a certificate, but I am I
believe, pretty well known to belong to the order by the masters of
those lodges which I visited, they having met me in the grand lodge.
2351. Are you master of any lodge yourself? — No.
2352. Are there many clergymen belonging to the institution? — A good number.
2353. Are there any dissenters you know of? — None.
2354. Are dissenters excluded? — I cannot well answer that question, but in my opinion they are.
2355. Have you attended public meetings of societies in different parts of the country for literary and other purposes? — Yes, I have, several, on religious matters especially.
2356. Are the proceedings of the grand lodge conducted with equal decorum and propriety as such meetings you have attended? — Perfectly; I should say more so, because we have not the numerous assemblages we have at those meetings.
2357. The meeting is quiet, and every thing which passes is known to every member that is present? — Certainly.
2358. Have you been present before the lodge was formed, when the members met in the adjoining room? — I have.
2359. Have you invariably seen the mace carried before His Royal Highness in presiding to hold a lodge? — Invariably.
2360. Are the members who meet decorated with any order or a regalia? — They are.
2361. What do they consist of? — They wear orange ribands.
2362. Any medallion? — Some have medals, others have not.
2363. When the lodge is broken up after prayers, is the mace carried out before His Royal Highness? — Yes.
2364. After that the lodge is supposed to be at an end? — Yes, His Royal Highness always closes the lodge; after the prayers are over he goes into the adjoining room.
2365. Does Lord Kenyon, as grand master for England, pay attention and take an active part in the proceedings of meetings? — Very much so.
2366. Have you ever been at Lord Kenyon's on any meeting connected with the institution, exclusive of the meetings of the lodge? — Never.
2367. Have you ever known the grand lodge meet any where but at Lord Kenyon's? — Never;
I beg leave to say it is in consequence of Mr. Chetwoode's communication
I came here to give all the information in my power; he stated, that the
Committee had expressed a wish to examine one of the deputy grand
chaplains, and he begged I would attend; and I also wish to state one
fact as connected with His Royal Highness, which I think it my duty to
do. I was present on one occasion when an application was made by a
military gentleman for a warrant, which application His Royal Highness
distinctly refused in his own warm and impassioned manner; he said, "it
was an infringement on the orders of the Horse Guards, and that he would
not attend to it for a moment."
2368. Was that for a warrant to hold a lodge? — Yes.
2369. Do you recollect on what occasion that was? — I cannot charge my memory as to the precise date.
2370. Do you recollect in what year it was? — It is two or three years ago;
I think it was in 1833, but I do not like to speak positively.
2371. Was that recommended by the committee? —
No, in the usual course of business; such application, to the best of my
recollection, was made through the deputy grand secretary, on its being
intimated that it had connexion with military matters; His Royal
Highness at once negatived the application.
2372. You say it was proposed in the usual way; are the Committee to
understand that whenever it was proposed to grant a new warrant for
holding a lodge, it was proposed by the secretary in open meeting, so
that every one might know what was done? — Yes, distinctly; such application always went through the grand secretary to the grand master.
2373. You think no such application could be made you being present without your hearing it? — I am certain it could not be if I was attentive to what was going on.
2374. Are you aware of the manner in which the business of the meeting is prepared, and by whom? —
It is always prepared by the secretary, and he, I presume, shows it to
Lord Kenyon previous to its coming before His Royal Highness, and the
deputy grand secretary supervises it, and then in the lodge it is handed
to His Royal Highness and made known to all the meeting, or read by the
secretary to His Royal Highness; this is as to the business of the day
which is to come before the lodge.
2375. Supposing it carried or rejected, does His Royal Highness sign the same, or what process takes place? —
Whenever I have been there and a motion has been put on any matter, it
is carried as in other cases by holding up the hands, if not it is
2376. Was this application for a warrant for a military man, stated to be for an officer or a private? — I should say not a private distinctly; I should rather think it was a non-commissioned officer.
2377. Do you recollect whether any observation passed, whether it was for the militia or the army of the line? — No, there was no such observation, to the best of my recollection.
2378. Was it for a corps abroad or at home? — I think abroad.
2379. Did any conversation take place in the lodge on that occasion, or
in what manner did His Royal Highness state his objection, after the
secretary had read the proposal to grant the warrant? — His
Royal Highness's manner, as the Committee are aware is rather
impassioned and vehement, and he at once negatived the proposition, and
appealed to Lord Kenyon, and said, "Kenyon, is not that right?"
2380. Are the Committee to understand that no warrant could be issued,
you being present and the proposition being made, without your hearing it? — Distinctly not.
2381. Upon this occasion you say it was loudly objected to? — It was negatived at once by His Royal Highness, and not put to the meeting.
2382. The application you say was made by a military man? — It was made from a military man, through the secretary, to the best of my recollection.
2383. The Duke of Cumberland's refusal of that application would appear of course upon the circular? —
It ought to have done so, I think, or whether it was taken as not matter
of business, being at once negatived by His Royal Highness, I cannot say.
2384. You received a circular afterwards containing the proceedings of that meeting? — Yes, I did.
2385. You do not recollect observing whether that circumstance of the Duke's refusing the application was noticed or not? — No, I cannot say.
2386. What was the application for? — For a warrant from a military person, of course, to open a lodge, I should say, in a regiment; that is my presumption.
2387. Was any reference made to this circumstance afterwards in the proceedings of the society? —
No, I do not remember any; but my attention was particularly called to it,
from my being ignorant that any regulation existed previously against
the opening of a lodge in a regiment. On this passing, I asked the person
sitting next me why so?
2388. How often do you attend the grand lodge? — I attend it very frequently.
2389. Your name does not appear on the circulars before the committee, except on one occasion? — I have attended a dozen at least.
2390. When was the last you attended? — I think I attended the June meeting this time twelvemonth.
2391. Your name does not appear among those present in June 1834? —
I am certain I have been at the lodge within the last two years. If my
name is not entered in June 1834, of course I was not there. I have
attended within the last year.
2392. Your name is not entered as having attended the meeting of the 18th of April 1834? — No, I see it is not.
2393. You do not appear to have attended on the 4th of June 1833? — No.
2394. In February 1834 your name does not appear in the list of those who attended? — No.
2395. In February 1833 your name does not appear? — No.
2396. Nor the 4th of June 1832? — No.
2397. Nor the 18th of April 1832? — No.
2398. From the year 1832 up to the present period, you do not appear to have attended, except on one occasion? — I know I have attended the lodge within the last, I would say, 12 months; within the last year and a half unquestionably.
2399. Your name appears to be entered on the 16th of April 1833? —
I would not say I have attended since that; I have had heavy family
domestic afflictions the last two or three years which prevented
my being so much in attendance as I had been previously; before that I
had been a regular attendant.
2400. Can you point out the date on which you say there is that error to which you refer? — I have already said it was some time in the year 1833.
2401. Does it appear you attended any meeting in 1833? — I cannot say; I
recollect a circumstance which made a particular impression upon me at
2402. You have attended here without being served with any summons from the Chairman? —
I attended in consequence of hearing there was a wish to examine one of
the deputy grand chaplains, which was communicated to me by Mr. Chetwoode.
2403. You received no summons to attend this Committee as a witness? —
No, but Mr. Chetwoode told me there was a wish expressed by the Committee
to examine one of the deputy grand chaplains and asked me whether I was
willing to attend; and I said yes, because I should be happy to give
every information in my power to the Committee.
2404. You have stated a fact ,but the date you do not give, nor the name of the individual, for whom the warrant was applied for? — No, it was Hayes or Hames, or some such name, but I could not put that forward as a distinct fact.
2405. You cannot refer the Committee to any record of the proceedings which you say took place? — No.
2406. Do you refer the Committee to any document for the purpose of
showing that His Royal Highness remonstrated upon that occasion? — No; I have before said that I cannot say whether it would come within the business of the day or not.
2407. You refer to the circulars for information of what passed at the meeting? — I should say it is probable it will be found there.
2408. The Committee have shown you the circulars, and the only one by
which it appears you have attended since 1832; will you show in this
collection of circulars any reference to the transaction? —
I do not say there is any such, but I should suppose that circumstance
would have been mentioned in the circular. 2409. Did you receive a
circular? — The circulars are sent to me; sometimes I get them, frequently I
2410. Have you read the circular relating to the only meeting
which you appear to have attended for the last three years? — I cannot say.
2411. Do you see the name of William Keith entered as a proxy for the
1st Royal Dragoons; a mention of him as having attended that very
meeting at which you appear to have been present? — I do not recollect any
thing about that circumstance.
2412. You appear to have been present on
the 16th of April 1833; upon that occasion William Keith, whose name is
printed in large Roman characters, appears to have attended as a proxy
for the 1st Dragoon Regiment, warrant 269? — I dare say he attended; there
are a great many who come from the country who attend, and I know not
who are the persons or their business, unless there is something special
or particular to be attended to.
2413. How would you reconcile the attendance of a person as the
representative of a military lodge in the presence of the Duke of
Cumberland, and that inserted in the circular distributed among the
public functionaries of the Orange institution, with the statement of
His Royal Highness that he did not wish Orange lodges should exist in
the army? —
It appears to be at variance certainly; but I state the fact as it
occurred; I think it very probable that before His Royal Highness came
to fill the situation he fills there were Orange lodges, and I do not
know whether it was in his power to withdraw them.
2414. You have not seen the letter from His Royal Highness to the
chairman of the Irish Orange Lodge Committee, that he was prepared to
annul the Irish warrants? — Yes.
2415. Is it not one of the rules that the grand master is absolute and uncontrolled? — Yes.
2416. Are you a beneficed clergyman? — No, I had a chapel in Baker-street, Portman-square; but having lost my wife and family, I have parted with that.
2417. Did you take your degree at Trinity College Dublin? — I took my bachelor's degree at Trinity College and had an aliundem degree at Cambridge.
2418. You are personally acquainted with the Duke of Cumberland? — I have that honour.
2419. Have you recently seen him? — Within the last three months.
2420. You had no personal intercourse with him on this subject? — No.
2421. There appear to have been other clergymen in attendance on this occasion? — Yes.
2422. Have you ever attended an Orange lodge in Ireland? — Never.
2423. What number of Orangemen do you suppose there are in the Metropolis? — That I do not know from my own individual knowledge.
2424. Have you been in the habit of attending the lodges in London? — I have attended my own lodge, No. 206.
2425. Where is that held? — In the City.
2426. Do you attend every meeting? — No I am a very bad member.
2427. What is the number of members of that lodge? — I cannot tell you.
2428. Have you ever seen soldiers in it? — Never in that lodge.
2429. Have you in any lodge? — I have.
2430. Where? — In London.
2431. In what lodge? — I would rather not answer that question.
2432. The Committee feel that they must press that question? — When
I said I had seen soldiers in an Orange lodge it is not exactly in an
Orange lodge,. but in a society growing out of Orangeism, that is in the
2433. Is that an off-shoot of Orangeism? — I would say it is an older society than Orangeism, but has been but lately revived.
2434. Where is the Britannic Society held? —
I attended the last it was held in St Giles's; I think it was in
Stacey-street; I think that is the name; I can get the information
from a person outside, Mr. Chetwoode.
2435. Is Chetwoode a member of the Britannic Society? — He is.
2436. Is Fairman? — No, not that I know of.
2437. What was the place in St Giles's a public house? — Yes.
2438. What is the sign of it? — The Phœnix.
2439. What is the Britannic Society? — I do not know how to answer that question.
2440. Are you a member yourself? — I am;
it is a society which is called the Loyal Britannic Society; you may
judge of the feelings of the persons that constitute it, when I state
that it is very similar to that of Orangeism; I think that will satisfy
the Committee, without any further particulars.
2441. When were you admitted into that society? —
I was admitted into that society, I should say, some time this year; the
beginning of this year or the latter end of last year; it is not 12
months since I became a member of that society.
2442. Have you been in any other lodge than the one you belong to? — No, no
other lodge of that society.
2443. Do you know where any others are? — No, not
in London; I know there are several in the country.
2444. What is the name
of the master? — A person named Catchpole.
2445. Is that Charles Catchpole? —
2446. Where does Catchpole reside? — I do not know.
2447. Do they meet at
Catchpole's house? — No.
2448. What is the sign of the house? — The Phœnix.
2449. When did you attend last? — I should say about four months ago.
How many were present at the lodge? — I should say from 16 to 20.
were you initiated? — Within the twelvemonth.
2452. How often have you
attended since your initiation? — About four times.
2453. You have attended
four times within the last year, in a public house, and are not able to
state what the sign of the house is? — Mr. Chetwoode who is more informed
upon these matters will give more information, I have no doubt.
you go in company with any person? — I went twice with Mr. Chetwoode; he
dined at my house, and we went together.
2455. Did you go by yourself at
all? — I believe once.
2456. How could you find your way to the house, if you
did not know the street? — I knew the street, though I am not certain of
the name of the street.
2457. Were there any rules or regulations? — There
2458. Were they printed? — No, not printed; I was one of those who drew
up some rules and regulations for them.
2459. Were you the founder of it? — No, it was one of the oldest societies in England.
2460. What are the
objects? — The objects are what are generally or commonly understood by constitutional, supporting Church and State, speaking in
the common parlance of the day.
2461. Have you any forms like those in
the Orange Institution? — There are forms of admission.
2462. Do you take an
oath like that at entering the Orange Institution? — You do in entering
2463. You take an oath on entering the Britannic
Society? — We do, I believe; this society is perfectly unknown to His Royal
2464. You stated that the objects were the same with those of
the Orange Society? — They were pretty similar; it is a society very
prevalent in Ireland, much more so than Orangeism.
2465. Does Mr Chetwoode
hold any situation in it? — I think he does.
2466. What? — I believe he is
what is called one of the wardens; that he is the junior warden of the
2467. Have you a copy of the rules? — I do not know that they are
2468. Have you ever read them? — I helped to draw them up.
Are you the only clergyman who attend that lodge? — I believe I am.
Are you its chaplain? — I am.
2471. What was the oath taken? — I cannot tell; I
will tell you, in general terms, it was not to divulge the secrets of the
institution, nor to give the signs or pass-words, except to a brother.
2472. Are you aware that it is against the law to take an oath on
entering any society? — I was not.
2473. You did not know that? — No.
not you know that the Dorsetshire labourers were transported for
administering unlawful oaths? — Yes, but the oaths are very different, I
2475. They were transported for having administered an oath, and
belonging to an illegal society? — The purposes of that society were
illegal; the purposes of ours, I apprehend, are quite the reverse.
was at this place you saw soldiers? — I saw a soldier there.
2477. Did he
come more than once? — Never.
2478. Was he in his regimentals? — He was.
Was he initiated? — Not in my presence; I believe he belonged to the
society before I did.
2480. Was he in the Guards? — He was.
2481. What is his
name? — I do not know.
2482. In which regiment of the Guards? — That I cannot
2483. Have you a list of the members of that lodge? — No.
2484. How many
are there in it? — Indeed I cannot tell.
2485. Are there 20? — I should suppose
there are from 14 to 20.
2486. Will you give the names of the officers
of the lodge Mr. Catchpole is the master? — He is.
2487. Who is the secretary? —
I think Brother Thompson acted as secretary, whom you have examined, who
is the master of my Orange lodge.
2488. He is secretary of the Britannic
Society? — I think he was; but I have since heard that he has withdrawn
himself from the Britannic Society altogether.
2489. Who is treasurer? — I
am sure I do not know; I believe our funds were so low there was no
necessity for a gentleman in that capacity.
2490. Who were the other
officers of the society? — There is Chetwoode and Thompson, and I think a
man of the name of Clarke.
2491. John Clarke? — I do not know his christian
name; he did belong to the Orange Society, and I believe was expelled
2492. How many lodges of the Britannic Society are there in
London? — I believe but the one.
2493. You say there are many lodges of that
society in Ireland? — So I have heard.
2494. Are those lodges called the
Britannic lodges? — No, not that I know of; they are called the Britannic
2495. Is there a grand lodge belonging to the society? — This I
believe is what is the grand lodge of that society.
2496. In fact you are
the grand chaplain to the order? — Distinctly so, if there is a grand
chaplain at all.
2497. You are deputy grand chaplain of the Orange
Society and grand chaplain of the Britannic Society? — Yes.
2498. Does your lodge hold communications with Ireland? — I do know
that it does.
2499. Do you believe it? — I do not believe we ever had a
communication from Ireland; we have had men from Ireland who have come
to attend the meetings, and have given us reports of what was doing in
Ireland; not official reports.
2500. Not written reports? — No, merely verbal
reports of what that society was doing in Ireland.
2501. Is there more
than one lodge in existence in London of this society? — I believe but the
2502. In what part of the country are there lodges established? —
There is one in Cambridge; I am not certain of a Britannic Society
existing in Cambridge; and another in Portsmouth I think.
2503. Is it a
lodge in the town or the university of Cambridge? — It is in the town if
at all; there is no lodge in the university that I know of.
2504. Have you
ever visited the lodge at Cambridge? — No.
2505. Have you ever been present
at any lodge except that one in St Giles's? — No.
2506. Will you mention any
places where there are lodges? — I know of none but at Portsmouth; I know
we issued warrants to one or two persons to hold lodges in the country.
2507. Who is the grand master? — We have not filled up that office.
is the deputy grand master? — I think it is Mr. Catchpole.
2509. Who granted
the warrant to hold the lodges? — It was Catchpole, as master of that lodge;
Catchpole was master when I was initiated, and he still continues or did
continue at my last attendance; but I cannot say whether he was the
deputy grand master or not.
2510. Have you ever seen a warrant? — I have.
2511. Have you one in your possession? — No.
2512. How many names are there
attached to the warrant? — I cannot answer that particularly.
than one? — Yes, I should say the master's name and the secretary's name.
2514. What is the authority given by the warrant? — Merely to open a lodge
or hold a lodge, under the authority of the grand lodge, similar in
principles and feelings to the grand lodge.
2515. Is there reference made
to the Orange Institution in the warrant? — None whatever.
2516. Have you
different signs and pass-words in the Britannic Society from the Orange? —
2517. Is every member of the Britannic Lodge to which you are
attached as grand chaplain a member of the Orange Lodge? — Yes, he must be
or have been an Orangeman; in other words, no man is admissible into the
society unless he has been an Orangeman.
2518. It is thus connected with
the Orange Society? — No, it has no connexion with it, though it refers to
2519. Will you have the goodness to state the particulars of the
oath you took a twelvemonth ago? — I did so before, in general terms; merely
to keep secret the signs and pass-words, and not to communicate the
business transacted in that lodge to any one but to a brother.
is the motive for forming a society called the Britannic, consisting
entirely of men who are or have been Orangemen, when the Orange Society
already exists for the purposes contemplated by the Orange Society? — I
cannot tell; I cannot answer that question.
2521. What was your reason for
entering the society? — It is painful for me to give the reasons; I think
it would be unpleasant to us both, as gentlemen. I put it to the
honourable Member, Mr. Sheil, whether he will press my answer under these
2522. What are the motives of others? — I cannot take upon me to
say what are the motives of any other person, but as regards myself it
is more out of delicacy to the honourable Member than from any thing
else that I should wish not to answer his question; it was for high
constitutional principles that I joined this society.
the purpose of upholding the Church of England? — Yes what is well
understood by high constitutional principles, in the common acceptation
of the word.
2524. Did you not think the Orange Society was adequate to
the purpose? — I thought I might very well join other societies.
you belong to other societies? — Yes I belong to the society of Freemasons,
and that of the Friendly Brothers, both of which societies the
honourable Member must be acquainted with, as being an Irishman; the
Friendly Brothers is very similar, in all its characters and principles,
to those I have been examined on.
2526. Do you belong to any other
societies? — No, and I am a very bad member of those I do belong to.
When the Britannic Lodge meets, do you read a prayer? — Yes.
2528. Have you a
list of the lodges of the Britannic Society? — I have not; I do not know
that there is any list of them.
2529. How do you correspond with the
different lodges without a list? — This is a revival of an old institution;
and this, which is the grand lodge of the society, has not been long in
existence, not above nine months at most; it was only nine months since I
2530. When you saw a soldier at the meeting did you make an
observation upon the subject? — No.
2531. Are there many soldiers members of
that society? — I do not know, except having seen that one soldier there.
2532. Are you aware of any lodges of the Britannic Association in
Lancashire? — No, I am not. I beg to say that I attended the Orange Society
last, on the 16th of February 1835 last, this year.
to Trinity Episcopal Chapel
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