JOHN CUTLER 1723-1805
FROM TROWEL, 1995
From TROWEL, Winter 1995, Page 28:
John Cutler's ancestor came from Holland, a cultured gentleman named Johannes Demesmaker (in English, John Cutler). Educated as a physician, he settled in Hingham and served with distinction as a surgeon in King Philip's War. On January 4, 1647. he married Mary Cowell of Boston, where he moved about 1694. There he lived in a mansion on Marlborough Street, now Washington, near the Old South Meeting House , and died in the winter of 1717.
His son, John Cutler, Jr.. inherited his home and practice, having been educated in England and Holland. As well as being a skilled physician, he was active in philanthropic and charitable work. Upon the death of his brother, David, he adopted his brother's son. then five years old, since he had no children of his own. This child is the John Cutler who was to become the first Grand Master of the present Grand Lodge.
Apprenticed as a youth to a brass founder, he later established a business on Hawley Street at the back of the Cutler grounds. Excelling in musical and mechanical ability, he played the organ at Trinity Church and at age 23 built a pianoforte which appears in a portrait of him. On November 27, 1750, he married Mary Clark. When the mansion burned, he moved to Cornhill where he was living at the time of the Revolutionary War.
John Cutler's views concerning the situation in Boston were similar to those of John Rowe (see TROWEL, Fall, 1995). While not a member of the "mechanics of Boston," he did entertain the patriots in his home, and was enthusiastic for their cause. Yet he maintained a neutral position, on other occasions entertaining British officers as well.
The citizens of Boston had great respect for Cutler's integrity, and he always enjoyed the prestige of being connected to one of Boston's best families. One of his daughters married Captain Samuel Dunn, who was to become one of our later Grand Masters, while one of his sons became High Sheriff of Norfolk County.
John Cutler was initiated and passed in the Second Lodge in 1761. and raised in the Master's Lodge on July 3rd of that year. He served as W. M. of Second Lodge from 1764-1766 and of Master's Lodge from 1767-1770. He was Junior Grand Warden in 1767, Senior Grand Warden in 1768, 1779 and 1787, Deputy Grand Master in 1792 and Grand Master from 1792-1794.
The full title of the United Grand Lodge as designated by the third article of the new constitution was "The Grand Lodge of the Most Ancient and Honourable Society of Free and Accepted Masons for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts," while the title "M. W.," used previously only by Massachusetts Grand Lodge, was adopted for the G. M. of the United" Grand Lodge. M. W. Bro. Cutler's active leadership was responsible for the immediate and sustained enthusiasm of this new venture in Freemasonry.
The first request for a Charter, on June 1, 1792, came from Wiscasset. part of Massachusetts until Maine became a state in 1820. This request named James Eveleth, raised in St. Andrew's Lodge, Boston, as first Master. The Charter was granted and the name Lincoln Lodge assigned. The first Lodge constituted locally was Essex Lodge of Salem. June 8. 1792, with R. W. Bro. Joseph Hiller as first Master.
The visitation to constituent Lodges by the M. W. Grand Master, started in Massachusetts Grand Lodge, was continued by the United Grand Lodge. Appropriately, the first Lodge visited was St. John's Lodge, the oldest "Regular Lodge" in the country.
M .W. Bro. Cutler's strong personality, intellectual culture and fair and impartial treatment of all made him a leader among his Brethren. His original portrait in Grand Lodge was destroyed in the fire of 1864 and the portrait presently on display, painted from one done in 1748 by Greenwood, probably does not do him justice.
Better and fuller regulations were early aims of this Grand Lodge, each person initiated to be reported and three shillings paid for each to establish a "Fund for Charity." Another innovation was a new form of Charter for the constitution of future Lodges.
Seven new Lodges were chartered during the term of M. W. John Cutler. Several more would have been constituted except for the restriction on Boston Lodges. After leaving office John Cutler had increasing periods of sickness which finally led to his death.
Cutler's Masonic funeral was held on October 31, 1805. Great numbers of Brethren marched to his home, then proceeded with the hearse and the family in carriages through many of the streets of Boston. After arriving at Trinity Church where the Brethren formed an escort for the casket and the family, the procession filed into the church.
After the service by the clergy of the church, each Brother came forward and deposited his sprig of evergreen. A concluding prayer by the attending Grand Chaplain, Rev. Bro. Murray, ended the service. Later, the body was buried beneath the church. Thousands of spectators had witnessed the procession and business in general was suspended.
FROM TROWEL, 2010
From TROWEL, Fall 2010, Page 8:
by Walter H. Hunt.
On Thursday, October 31, 1805, a solemn procession moved through the streets of Boston to the sound of a funeral dirge. Led by Grand Pursuivants with black rods, followed by Tylers and Stewards, Deacons and Wardens, members of Grand Lodge and of Saint John’s Lodge, and finally the oldest Past Officer bearing a purple cushion covered with black crepe holding the golden urn with the lock of George Washington’s hair marching in front of Grand Master Isaiah Thomas, the Masons of Boston made their way from Trinity Church to the house of the late John Cutler.
Joining with the family of the deceased and the pall holders escorting Brother Cutler’s remains, the procession – now including “a large number of carriages” – made its way along the streets of Boston to Trinity Church. As the Brethren parted to right and left, the remains of Brother Cutler were escorted into the house of worship where he had prayed and played the organ for so many years. A great number of Bostonians, including many members of the Craft, paid their final respects to the man who had been so instrumental in the union of the Grand Lodges a decade and a half before. It was a fitting end to a Masonic career that had spanned half a century, during which remarkable change and almost unthinkable growth had occurred in the Masonic world.
John Cutler is less renowned than his immediate successor, Paul Revere, but he was accorded the greatest respect during his lifetime, and his funeral – the first such spectacle for a departed Grand Master of Massachusetts since the memorial for Joseph Warren, who fell at Bunker Hill in 1775 – was singular enough to be recorded in exacting detail by Grand Secretary John Proctor in the Proceedings of the Grand Lodge for 1805 starting on Page II-295. Though he does not occupy as prominent a place as Revere or Warren in the pantheon of Boston’s patriots, he was certainly a luminary in Masonic circles.
Cutler was born in 1723, the adopted son of a physician of the same name, whose father had emigrated to Plymouth Colony in 1647. The death of his birth father at age five left his family destitute, but after being adopted the young man was apprenticed to a brass-founder, and ultimately was established in a shop on Hawley Street in Boston, in the rear of the old Cutler mansion. He was active in Trinity Church, where he played the organ with great skill; his musical knowledge and ability as a craftsman is evident even in the portrait above, which shows him as a young man of 23 standing before a pianoforte he built himself.
From the outset of his Masonic career he was recognized as a “bright Mason”. He was made a Master Mason in 1761, and by 1764 was installed as the Worshipful Master of the Second Lodge; three years later he assumed the chair of the Master’s Lodge, the only Lodge empowered to make Master Masons. From 1767 onward, he filled a number of important offices in St. John’s Grand Lodge, and worked diligently as a member of the committee empowered to effect a merger with the Massachusetts Grand Lodge, which had held its own charter from the Grand Lodge of Scotland from 1769 onward. This effort took nearly five years – from the appointment in 1787 to the final merger in March of 1792 – and John Cutler served as its Chairman. When the arrangements were complete, the two Grand Lodges at last met together and elected Cutler as the first Grand Master of the united Grand Lodge.
Grand Master John Cutler presided over the establishment of many of the customs and traditions enshrined in our Grand Lodge to the present day. In April 1792 he issued an edict that designated quarterly Communications; during his first year, a committee wrote the first Massachusetts Book of Constitutions. In September 1794 he wrote to the Grand Lodge of Rhode Island indicating that the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts would not issue Charters in geographical areas where another Grand Lodge had jurisdiction. These legacies set the tone for Masonic procedure, custom and jurisprudence for the two centuries to follow.
During Cutler’s administration, he granted eight additional lodge Charters, six in Massachusetts proper (three of which still meet: Old Colony in Hanover, Morning Star in Worcester, and Republican in Greenfield) and two in what is now the State of Maine (both of which still meet: Hancock #4 in Castine, and Lincoln #3 in Wiscasset). While this number is far exceeded by the large number of charters issued by his successor Paul Revere, the holders of the “Cutler charters” were strong supporters of our early united Grand Lodge.
After his term as Grand Master, Brother Cutler served on many committees and participated in numerous activities in Grand Lodge and elsewhere in the craft. In January 1800, he was one of the six pall supporters that escorted the Golden Urn during the Funeral Obsequies for George Washington, officiated by Grand Master Samuel Dunn; this was nearly the last occasion on which he was recorded as present for a Grand Lodge communication.
As with many distinguished brethren, John Cutler was honored by having a lodge named for him. John Cutler Lodge was constituted in September 1859 in Abington; this lodge, now meeting at the Tri-Town Masonic building in East Bridgewater, recently celebrated its 150th anniversary, and continues to honor this “bright Mason” who did so much for the Craft in Massachusetts.
The Proceedings record a letter from John Cutler’s family, written a few days after the funeral service in November 1805. His son and son-in-law wrote: “Deeply impressed with a sense of gratitude for the respectful attention you were pleased to bestow . . . the family of the deceased beg leave to return their most sincere and unfeigned thanks for this honorable testimony of respect and affection for their late parent . . . they feel particularly indebted for the early attention paid . . . being well acquainted with the affectionate, respectful and sincere regards the deceased bore towards the Fraternity.” Their words certainly echo the sentiments of many contemporaries of this distinguished Past Grand Master.
From Moore's Freemason's Monthly, Vol. XVI, No. 7, May 1857, Page 193:
The death of Gen. Warren, in 1775, left the "Massachusetts Grand Lodge" without a Grand Master; and there was no Past Grand Officer of corresponding rank, whom the Brethren could call to the vacant Chair. This circumstance seems to have caused some embarrassment among the surviving officers, and to have given rise to some doubt as to their legal ability to continue the organization. The Order in the Colony was then in its infancy, and the laws which govern its proceedings were not probably so well understood, or at least not so generally known, on this side of the Atlantic ocean, as they are at the present time.
During the siege, or the occupancy of Boston by the British, — in the year succeeding the battle of Bunker Hill, — the meetings of the Massachusetts Grand Lodge were suspended (from March 3, 1775, to Dec. 27, 1776.) On the 27th Dec. 1776, — the British having retired from the town, and "several of the dispersed Brethren returned," — the Deputy Grand Master assembled the Grand Lodge at Freemasons' Hall, in the Green Dragon Tavern, and "celebrated the day with decent economy and temperate joy." But "how to convene the Grand Lodge with regularity," for the transaction of business, was made a serious question" ; as, in the opinion of many of the Brethren, "the commission of the Grand Master had died with him, and the Deputy had no power independent of his nomination and appointment." It was even suggested, "that not only the Grand Lodge, but all the particular Lodges under its jurisdiction, must cease to assemble."
Entertaining such views of the Masonic economy, and of their powers and duties as a Grand Lodge, it is not surprising that the Brethren should have felt themselves greatly embarrassed by the peculiar circumstances in which they were placed by the death of their beloved Grand Master. We apprehend, however, that they did not take so comprehensive, nor favorable a view of their own constitutional and inherent powers, as was demanded by their necessities and authorized by the conditions of their case. They were unquestionably a Grand Lodge, de jure. As such, they were originally organized and acknowledged by the requisite number of subordinate Lodges, acting under authority emanating, on their petition, directly from the G. Lodge of Scotland. That Grand Lodge had, indeed, reserved to itself, as its prerogative, the right to commission the Brother whom they then had, or might, thereafter, as occasion should require, choose to elect to preside over them as Grand Master. Beyond this, and a merely nominal recognition of a superior, they were, for all necessary purposes, an independent Grand Lodge, invested with power to perpetuate its own existence, until, at least, the present vacancy could be filled by the competent authority. Of this they would not probably have entertained any doubt, had there been a Past Grand Master whom they could have called to the chair of the Grand Lodge. For a precedent, they had the proceedings of their sister Grand Lodge, under precisely similar circumstances. The M. W. Thos. Oxnard, Grand Master of the St. John's Grand Lodge, (Boston), died on the 26th June, 1754. On the 12th July following, the Rt. W. Benj. Hallowell, D. G. M., assembled the Grand Lodge and "appointed Bro. Chas. Pelham and Bro, Jos. Gardner, to wait upon the R. W. Bro. Henry Price, (P. G. M.), to resume his office as Grand Master." There were several other precedents of this kind.
But the difficulty was finally overcome, and the Grand Lodge was assembled by the Deputy Grand Master Webb, on the 14th February, 1777, when the following vote was unanimously adopted :—
"Voted, That the Deputy Grand Master send summonses to all the Masters and Wardens of Lodges under this jurisdiction, to assemble here on the 7th March, in order to consult upon, and to elect a Grand Master for this State, in room of our late worthy Grand Master Warren, deceased."
The chief considerations which led to the adoption of this vote, were — first, "That the political head of this country had destroyed all connection and correspondence between the subjects of these States and the country from which the Grand Lodge originally derived its commissioned authority ;" and, secondly, That "the principles of the Craft inculcate on its professors, submission to the commands of the civil authority of the country in which they reside." (Vide report adopted in Grand Lodge, June 24, 1763.) In other words, the independence of the country had been declared, and its national sovereignty asserted. To have continued longer subordinate to a foreign jurisdiction, would have been neither prudent nor consistent with the popular sentiment of the day. The time had fully come, and the legal right to separate from the parent body was indisputable. The act had the sanction of precedence, and was demanded by patriotism and self-respect. While the Colonies remained dependencies of the British crown, so long the Grand Lodges of Great Britain might rightfully hold a jurisdictional supremacy over them. But having become politically independent, the foreign Masonic authority was in a position to be terminated at pleasure. The "Massachusetts Grand Lodge" was the first to assert its natural and legal rights in this respect. On the 8th March 1777, it declared itself an independent Grand Lodge, and elected the M. W. Joseph Webb, Esq., its Grand Master. As such, it continued in active operation until 1792, when it ceased to exist as a distinct organization.
The "St. John's Grand Lodge" continued to hold its appointed communications, without interruption, from the year 1733 to the 27th Dec. 1775, when they were suspended, in consequence of the war and the general dispersion which seems to have taken place among the Brethren. From this time, it does not appear that any meeting was held until the 4th of August 1787, — though the members were called together, at the house of Bro. Samuel Dunn, on the 17th of the preceding February, to attend the funeral of the Grand Master, M. W. John Rowe. (Bro. Rowe was commissioned by the Duke of Beaufort, in 1768.) At the August meeting, it was resolved to reorganize the Grand Lodge; and a committee was appointed "to write a circular letter to all the Lodges under the jurisdiction, requiring their attendance at the Grand Lodge, to assist in choosing Grand Officers." It does not appear, however, that any such meeting was convened until July 29, 1790, (the R. W. John Cutler, S. G. W. presiding); when, "it having pleased Almighty God, in his wisdom, to take hence the R. W. Grand Master and many other of the Grand Officers of the Lodge," and the "Brethren present taking the same into their serious consideration, voted, unanimously, to proceed to the choice of new Grand Officers." The elections took place forthwith, and the Grand Lodge was reorganized for business. The name of the Grand Master elected does not appear in the record. We however find the R. W. John Cutler presiding in that capacity, at the ensuing meeting, held on the 25th Nov., 1791. And this brings us to the closing scene of the existence of this Grand Lodge, as a separate and distinct organization, and also to the third great epoch in the history of Masonry in Massachusetts; namely, the Union of the " Massachusetts" and "St. John's" Grand Lodges. And as the proceedings had on that occasion, have never been given to the Masonic public, with much clearness of detail, and as they form an important chapter in the history of Masonry in this country, we shall offer no apology for introducing them into this sketch.
To the "Massachusetts Grand Lodge" belongs the high honor of taking the incipient step in this important measure. Though the youngest of the two, it was in a position to justify it in making the first advance. It had nobly maintained itself throughout the whole of the trying scenes of the revolutionary war, and was then strong and prosperous. Its organization was complete, and the number of active Lodges on its roll, equalled, at least, and probably exceeded, the number on the register of its elder sister; which had fallen before the adverse circumstances of the times, and from the effects of which it had but imperfectly recovered. The first decided movement towards a Union of the two bodies, was the passing of the following vote, by the Massachusetts Grand Lodge, on the 2d of March, 1787. It will be noticed that this was the first meeting after the death of M. W. Bro Rowe; and, consequently, when the other Grand Lodge was without a Grand Master. That body had not, indeed, yet determined what course it was proper to pursue, with reference to their connection with the Grand Lodge of England. The time was therefore judiciously chosen.
"Motioned, That a committee be appointed to confer with the other Grand Lodge, in order, if possible, to obtain a union among Masons, respecting the choice of a Grand Master.
"Voted unanimously, and Bros. John Warren (Brother of the late Gen. Joseph Warren), Paul Revere, Josiah Bartlett, Thomas Edwards and William Scollay, were appointed and ordered to report at the adjournment," on the first Friday in April.
On the 6th April, the Grand Lodge met, "by especial summons, at the Bunch of Grapes, State Street," when the following resolution was adopted:
"Upon motion, to perfect a plan of union between the two Grand Lodges, as no official accounts were received from said Lodges, this Grand Lodge came to the following resolution — That a new committee, consisting of seven, be appointed to act in conjunction with the other committee,§ who were to form a plan of union between the two Grand Lodges, and that said committee write to the several Lodges holding under this jurisdiction, to obtain their sentiments upon the subject, by proxy or otherwise, and report at the next quarterly communication." The committee consisted of Bros. Lowell, Edwards, Bartlett, Dexter, Scollay, Hayes, and Whipple.
- By "the Lodges" is meant, doubtless, the Lodges under the jurisdiction, whose opinions had probably been asked by the former committee.
- The committee described had probably been appointed by the St. John's Grand Lodge, though the fact does not appear upon the records, which are at this time unfortunately defective, is this and some other respects, though generally full and satisfactory.
Here the matter seems to have rested, until the 5th of December 1791, when it was revived by the Grand Lodge, by the adoption of the following vote:—
"Voted, That a committee of seven be appointed, agreeably to the spirit of a vote of the Grand Lodge passed at a former meeting, (March 2, 1787), to confer with the officers of St. John's Grand Lodge upon the subject of a complete Masonic Union throughout this Commonwealth, and that said committee report as soon as may be convenient. Committee — Brothers M. M. Hays, John Warren, Paul Revere, Josiah Bartlett, William Scollay, John Lowell and Joseph Laughton."
The labors of this committee were crowned with success. The conference contemplated by the foregoing vote was had ; and on the 18th January 1792, a "Special Grand Lodge of St. John was called at Bro. Colman's" — R. W. John Cutler in the chair. It was then
"Voted, That a committee of seven be chosen to confer with the committee from Massachusetts Grand Lodge and promote the proposed Union; provided it can be done on true Masonic principles, and that John Cutler, Samuel Parkman, Mungo Mackay, Samuel Dunn, John Foster Williams, Thomas Dennie and William Shaw, be the committee."
This committee, in pursuance of the great purpose of their appointment, met "at the house of Brother Samuel Parkman, Feb. 10, 1792, — all the members being present." The following is given as the result of their deliberations :—
"The committee, taking into consideration the present deranged state of Masonry in this Commonwealth, occasioned by the death of many of the Grand Officers, and neglecting for many years to appoint others in their room, and also taking into their consideration the proposal from the Massachusetts Grand Lodge, to confer with us, on the propriety of a perfect Union of the two Lodges : The committee having duly debated the subject—
- "Voted, That such a Union would be for the benefit of Masonry in general, and for the happiness of the Lodges in this Commonwealth, in particular.
- "Voted, To meet the aforesaid committee from the Massachusetts Grand Lodge, as soon as convenient, to consult and agree on the most suitable mode of Union, being perfectly satisfied from examining the book of our Constitutions, that we have full power and right to agree to such Union, and when united, to proceed to the choice of all officers necessary to rule the Lodge."
This committee learned from the historical parts of the Constitutions, that in France, Germany, and other parts of the Continent, where Masonry was originally established by the Grand Lodge of England, the Lodges had, at different times, assumed an elective supremacy, and organized independent Grand Lodges; predicating their action on national sovereignty — as the Massachusetts Grand Lodge had recently done.
The joint committee having agreed upon the terms of the Union, and the manner of proceeding, the St. John's Grand Lodge was assembled at the Bunch of Grape's Tavern, on the 2d of March, when the committee of that body submitted the following report:—
"The committee appointed by this Lodge to confer with a committee of the Massachusetts Grand Lodge on the principles of a perfect Union of the two Lodges,
"Report, That having had several meetings on the subject, have agreed that the proposed Union take place as soon as convenient, and when united, to proceed to the choice of Grand Officers for the present year; and that the choice may be made with that perfect harmony which has ever prevailed in the Lodges, it is recommended to the respective Lodges to appoint Electors from each Lodge, at a meeting which shall be had for that purpose, and those Electors shall appoint the first Grand Officers.
The joint committee have, in pursuance of the trust reposed in them, proceeded to draft a number of rules and regulations for the government of the Lodge, which they recommend to the deliberation of the Lodge. (We have given these regulations at the close of this sketch, presuming they would be interesting to the reader, as being the first law adopted ; for the government of the United Grand Lodge.)
"All of which being read by the Secretary, it was unanimously — Voted, To accept the report of the committee, and that a Special Grand Lodge be held at this place, on Monday next, to carry the same into effect."
On the 5th of March following, the two Grand Lodges assembled for the final consummation of the Union. The Massachusetts Grand Lodge met at Concert Hall, — the R. W. Paul Revere, D. G. M., in the chair. "A Constitution and laws," says the record, for associating the St. John's and the Massachusetts Grand Lodges, as unanimously agreed to by their joint-committee, and accepted by St. John's Grand Lodge, were read and deliberately considered; when the question, whether the said Constitution shall be accepted, was called for, and it passed unanimously in the affirmative." It was then
"Voted, That Brothers Warren, Scollay and Lowell, be a committee to prepare a list ol candidates for officers of the Grand Lodge, and also a list of seven Electors, agreeable to the Constitution."
This committee reported the following names, and their report was adopted :—
- R. W. John Cutler, Grand Master.
- Josiah Bartlett, S. G. Warden.
- Samuel Dunn, J. G. Warden.
- Samuel Parkman, G. Treasurer.
- Joseph Laughton, G. Secretary.
- For Electors.—Brothers Revere, Dexter, Little, Bradford, Swan, Lowell and Scollay.
A committee was next appointed, (consisting of Bros. Bartlett, Scollay and Bradford, "to wait upon St. John's Grand Lodge, now sitting at the Bunch of Grapes, and inform them that this Grand Lodge have unanimously accepted the Constitution, and having taken the necessary steps, they are now ready to proceed to the choice of Grand Master, G. Wardens, G. Treasurer, and Grand Secretary."
During these transactions by the Massachusetts Grand Lodge, the St. John's Grand Lodge was in session at the Bunch of Grape's Tavern — R. W. John Cutler, D.G.M., in the Chair. Having dispatched some preliminary and unimportant business, it proceeded to the choice of the following Brethren, as candidates for officers of the United Grand Lodge:
- R.W. John Cutler, Grand Master.
- James Jackson, S. G. Warden.
- Samuel Dunn, J. G. Warden.
- Samuel Parkman, G. Treasurer.
- Thomas Farrington, G. Secretary.
- For Electors. — Brothers Samuel Dunn, Jas. Jackson, Samuel Barrett, William Shaw, Thos. Farrington, Thos. Dennie and Job Prince.
At this stage of the proceedings, the committee of the Massachusetts Grand Lodge, were introduced, and informed the Grand Lodge that the body they represented, had "completed their business, and their Electors were in waiting to join in Convention, to choose officers for the (United) Grand Lodge." The committee then withdrew, and the electors were ordered to proceed with the important business of their appointment.
The Brethren who met in Convention were — Paul Revere, (Chairman), Samuel Barrett, James Jackson, Samuel Dunn, Job Prince, Thomas Dennie, Wm. Shaw, Thomas Farrington, John Lowell, Aaron Dexter, Wm. Scollay, Samuel Bradford, Wm. Little and Caleb Swan; "who, having examined the lists of candidates, unanimously made choice of the following Brethren, as the first officers of the Grand Lodge of the Most Ancient and Honorable Society of Free and Accepted Masons, for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts :—
- R. W. John Cutler, G. Master.
- Josiah Bartlett, S. G. Warden.
- Mungo Mackay, J. G. Warden.
- Samuel Parkman, G. Treasurer.
- Thomas Farrington, G. Secretary.
The Convention then rose, and the members having reported the result of their doings to their respective constituencies, the "Massachusetts Grand Lodge," after the transaction of some necessary private business, was dissolved, and the St. John's Grand Lodge was "closed in due form."
On the 19th of the same month, the St. John's Grand Lodge was again assembled, "for the special purpose of Installing the Grand Master elect, and establishing the Grand Lodge of the Most Ancient and Honorable Society of Free and Accepted Masons, for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts." The R. W. John Warren, (P. G. M. of the late Mass. G. L.) presided on the occasion, and having announced the business of the meeting, a committee was appointed to introduce the officers elect into the Grand Lodge. The records relative to the Union, and the regulations agreed upon, were then read, and the Rev. Brother Walter addressed the Throne of Grace, in an appropriate and fervent prayer. The R. W. John Warren then installed the new Grand Master, "in ample form ; and after an animated address, calculated for the happy event, placed him in the Chair of Solomon." The Grand Master selected the R. W. John Lowell, Esq., for his Deputy, and announced the other necessary officers. Having finished the installation services, he delivered a Charge on the principles of Masonry, "in which his knowledge of the Craft was eminently displayed." A procession was then formed, "and the Brethren, in their proper order, paid the usual salutes and congratulations." After which, "an eloquent address was delivered by the Rev. Brother Walter," and the Grand Lodge was "closed in ample form."
Thus was the Union of the two Grand Lodges in Massachusetts, begun and perfected in the true spirit of Brotherly-Love. And over the bodies thus happily united and formed, the distinguished Brother, whose name we have placed at the head of this article, was honored in being called to preside, as the First Grand Master.
Mr. Cutler was born in Boston in the year 1723. Having been well educated at the public schools of the town, he was apprenticed, at the usual age, to learn the trade of a Brass Founder; which business he subsequently carried on at No. 39 Marlboro' street, now a part of Washington street. At the beginning of the revolutionary war, he resided in Cornhill, near the "Indian Queen Tavern;" and during the seige of Boston, his house was the resort of many of the British officers, — a circumstance that would seem to justify the inference, that he did not sympathize very warmly with the patriot-cause. Hence the reason, probably, why his name does not appear in any of those bold movements in which the "Mechanics of Boston" at that day so eminently distinguished themselves. His political opinions, however, whatever they may have been, seem not to have affected his social position, or impaired the confidence of his townsmen in his integrity. His position through life was that of high respectability. He had several daughters, one of whom married his friend and Brother, Capt. Samuel Dunn, who was Junior Grand Warden during the time he filled the Grand Master's Chair in 1791, and who in 1800, was elected to the Grand Mastership. He also had two sons, James and Benjamin, — the latter of whom was at one time High Sheriff of Norfolk County. Many of their descendants are among the most respectable of our citizens. He died, after a lingering confinement, at his residence in Marlboro' street, on Saturday, Oct. 26th, 1805, and was buried under Trinity Church (of which he was a member), on the following Thursday.
- 06/11/1792 Essex, Salem (endorsed)
- 06/01/1792 Lincoln, Wiscasset (Me.)
- 12/10/1792 Old Colony, Hanover
- 12/10/1792 Federal, Blandford
- 06/11/1793 Morning Star, Worcester
- 06/09/1794 Franklin, Cheshire
- 06/09/1794 Hancock, Penobscot (Me.)