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The original Act of Incorporation is found on Page III-115 of the Proceedings, and was passed by the Senate and House of Representatives (General Court) of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on June 16, 1817. At the September 8, 1817 Quarterly Communications, Grand Master Francis J. Oliver was nominated to be Moderator of the Corporation.

The Act of Incorporation was surrendered on December 27, 1833, after the Legislature refused to extend the amount of real property the Corporation was permitted to hold. Grand Master John Abbot surrendered the "corporate powers" of the Grand Lodge, but "relinquished none of its Masonic attributes or prerogatives", returning the organization to a private charitable association.


In the Year of our Lord One thousand eight hundred and seventeen, An Act to incorporate the Master, Wardens, and Members of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts.

  • Section 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, That Francis J. Oliver and his Associates, and their Successors be, and they hereby are incorporated and made a body politic, by the name of The Master, Wardens and Members of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, with the power to have a common seal, to sue, and be sued, to make and ordain from time to time, Bye Laws, rules and regulations for the government and management of the Corporation, provided the same be not repugnant to the Constitution and Laws of this Commonwealth; and that they have all the privileges usually given by acts of incorporation in Charitable Societies.
  • Section 2. Be it further enacted, that the said Corporation may take by purchase, gift, grant, or otherwise, and hold Real Estate, not exceeding the value of Twenty Thousand Dollars, and Personal Estate, not exceeding the value of Sixty Thousand Dollars for Charitable uses.
  • Section 3. Be it further enacted, that Francis J. Oliver be, and he is further authorized to call the first meeting of said Corporation by advertisement in two of the newspapers printed in Boston, three weeks previous thereto, and appoint the time and place thereof; at which meeting the mode of calling future meetings shall be regulated.
  • Section 4. Be it further enacted, That this act may be amended, revised or terminated, at the pleasure of the Legislature.

In the House of Representatives, June 16, 1817, This Bill having three several readings passed to be enacted.

Timothy Bigelow, Speaker.

In Senate, June 16, 1817, This Bill, having had two several readings, passed to be enacted.

John Phillips, President.

Approved, J. Brooks.

A True Copy, Attest, Alden Bradford, Secretary of the Commonwealth.