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Junior Grand Warden, 1902



From Proceedings, Page 1929-26:

R.W. Brother Lawrence, son of M. W. Samuel Crocker Lawrence, was born in Charlestown, Mass., Nov. 5, 1856. He was graduated from the Boston Latin School in 1875, Harvard College in 1879, and from the Harvard Law School in 1882. Admitted to the Bar in 1883 he practiced the profession of law up to the time of his death. He was actively associated with his father in railroad interests particularly in connection with the Boston and Maine R. R. and allied corporations.

He gave much attention to public and political affairs both on the practical and theoretical side. He wrote many political articles, and was an authority on the history of government and politics. He was a life long member of the Republican party, beginning his official life as one of the Selectmen of the then town of Medford in 1888 and 1890. In 1891 and 1892 he represented Medford in the House of Representatives, and in 1893 and 1894 was Senator from what was then the First Middlesex District. He was a member of the Republican State Committee in 1891 and 1892, and was a delegate to the Republican National Convention of 1904 which nominated Theodore Roosevelt for the Presidency.

He was a member of many military, civic, and patriotic organizations. He was an active member and officer in the First Parish Unitarian Church of Medford.

In 1883 he married Miss Alice May Sears. He is survived by Mrs. Lawrence, two sons, two daughters, five grandsons, .and one granddaughter.

From a very early period of his life R.W. Brother Lawrence was an active and enthusiastic Freemason. He was initiated. in Mount Hermon Lodge January 3, 1878, passed February 7th, raised March 7th, and took membership April 4th. He was Worshipful Master of Mount Hermon Lodge in 1887 and 1888. He was appointed District Deputy Grand Master for the Sixth Masonic District by M.W. Henry Endicott for 1889, and by M.W. Samuel Wells for 1890. In 1902 he was Junior Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge. IIe was a charter member of Samuel Crocker Lawrence Lodge in 1920.

He was a Trustee of the Masonic Education and Charity Trust from 1912 to the close of his life.

In Capitular Masonry he was Past High Priest of Mystic Royal Arch Chapter, and Deputy Grand High Priest of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter. In Cryptic Masonry he was Illustrious Master of Medford Council, Grand Master of the Grand Council, and Treasurer of the Grand Council for many years preceding his death. He was a member and Past Commander of Boston Commandery. He was a member of the Scottish Rite bodies in Boston, and was coroneted Honorary Member of the Supreme Council 33° in 1896.

R.W. Brother Lawrence's life was one of great usefulness in many directions. His years weighed lightly upon him, and his lamented death as a result of an automobile accident, cutting him off as it did in the midst of varied activities, seemed as untimely as it was unfortunate. His wide contacts with life made him many friends both in and out of the Masonic Fraternity, and he leaves a vacancy which it would be difficult, if not impossible, to fill.


From New England Craftsman, Vol. XXIV, No. 4, December 1928, Page 73:

William B. Lawrence, one of the largest stockholders of the Boston & Maine Railroad, died Thursday afternoon, Dec. 18, at the Lawrence Memorial Hospital, Medford, from injuries received in a motor car accident.

He was born in Charlestown 71 years ago and was graduated by the Harvard Law School in 1879. He was a member of the committee which was to arrange the 50th reunion of the class next June. His father, Gen. Samuel C. Lawrence, was the largest individual stockholder of the Boston & Maine Railroad. The hospital in which Mr. Lawrence died yesterday was named for his father.

He was a 33d degree Mason and a member of Scottish Rite Masonic organizations in Medford and Boston. He was a trustee of the Lawrence Light Guard Veterans' Association, the Medford Sayings Bank, the Medford Historical Society and several other institutions. He was president of the Cape Cod Pilgrim Memorial Association, which controls the Pilgrim Monument at Plymouth.

He leaves a widow, who was Miss Alice M. Sears; two daughters, Mrs. Melville T. Nichols and Miss Ruth Lawrence, both of Medford; two sons. William B. Lawrence, Jr.. of Mt. Dora, Fla., and Samuel C. Lawrence of Savannah. Ga., and a sister, Mrs. George L. Batcheller of Boston. The funeral was held at the home. 30 Rural Avenue, Medford. Saturday afternoon, Dec. 15. The services were private.


From Proceedings, Page 1929-50:

In the passing of Right Worshipful Brother Lawrence the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts has lost a faithful and interested Brother, one who held Masonry dear to his heart, a constant attendant at its meetings and on its several Committees of which he was a member, and an enthusiastic supporter of its policies.

Right Worshipful Brother Lawrence was a man of upright character and one to whom a Brother could appeal with confidence that he would receive good advice or assistance, as the necessity demanded - an active man of affairs, highly regarded by his different associates, holding many responsible positions in civic, industrial, and Lodge activities.

He was the son of our late Most Worshipful Brother Samuel Crocker Lawrence, a descendant of an old New England family and representative of its best traditions. He was born in Charlestown, Massachusetts, on November 16, 1856, and attended the public schools of that place. He was graduated from the Boston Latin School in 1875; entered Harvard College and was graduated in the class of 1879, from thence attending the Harvard Law School, receiving his diploma from there in the year of 1882.

He was actively engaged in the practice of his profession as a lawyer for forty-five years, during which time he became connected with the Boston & Maine Railroad, which Corporation he served as Clerk of the Board, and if memory serves us correctly he was at one time a Director. In civic life his services were very highly esteemed.

He served his District as State Representative and Senator and was a member of the Republican State Committee, being the Delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1904 that nominated Theodore Roosevelt for President. He was a member of the Cape Cod Pilgrim Memorial Association, of which he was President. He was a member of the Massachusetts Bar Association and held office up to the time of his death as one of the Trustees of the Medford Savings Bank Corporation. He was also a member of the Veteran Association of the Lawrence Life Guards, of which he was a Trustee; also a member of the Medford Historical Society, the Middlesex Club and was in close association with active men in the affairs of the Boston & Maine Railroad, up to the time of his passing away. In all these activities his abilities were very highly appreciated, as was testified by the responsible positions which he occupied. At all times his advice was sought and valued in the business affairs of the Associations with which he was connected, in many of which he occupied a prominent position.

In Masonry he found his principal diversion from the duties of a very active life. He was a member and Past Master of Mount Hermon Lodge of Medford, and served the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Massachusetts as District Deputy Grand Master. In 1902 he was elected Junior Grand Warden. He was also High Priest of Mystic Chapter and in 1901 was Deputy Grand High Priest of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Massachusetts. In Council Masonry he was very active, serving his local Council as Illustrious Master in Medford. and serving the Grand Council as Most lllustrious Grand Master in 1901, 1902, and 1903. He was at the time of his death the Senior Past Grand Master.

He was also active in the Scottish Rite Bodies in the Valley of Boston and received. the 33rd Degree and Honorary Membership in the Supreme Council on September 15, 1896. He served for a great many years as a Trustee of the Masonic Education and Charity Trust, and was ready with advice and assistance when required, what he had to say being listened to as from one who spoke from deep experience and a keen interest in its affairs.

His death was caused by an accident which occurred on his returning home from a Masonic meeting. Leaving the Boston Temple in full health, he little expected, most probably, that this would be his last trip into the City of Boston, for on his way home in his automobile he met with an accident which caused his death three days later.

His passing came as a shock, for most of us were led to believe that he would recover very shortly from a bad shaking up and be with us once more. In fact it was only a couple of days before his passing that, when a friend of his called up the hospital to inquire as to his condition, Brother Lawrence answered the telephone himself, assuring the said friend that he was gaining rapidly and that within a very few days at the outside would be with us again, going about his life as usual.

His funeral took place at the Lawrence family residence at 30 Rural Avenue, Medford, and was largely attended by his Masonic Brethren and representatives of the different Associations of which he was a member. The flags on all the public buildings of Medford were at half mast. Reverend C. Dethlefs, Pastor of the First Parish Unitarian Church of Medford and Chaplain of the Samuel Crocker Lawrence Lodge, conducted the services, assisted by an instrumental trio and quartette. The honorary bearers were composed of the Brethren from the Mount Hermon Lodge of which he was a member.

If death were the sad event it has so often been pictured, then not only man but Nature would be perpetually clad in sable garments and the eyes should never cease from weeping. No life closes without sadness. Some tendrils of personal affection must be broken. but death is the common lot of man. Some surrender at the first shock of battle. Others only after long siege and trial, but it comes to all alike. The same inscrutable change; the same inevitable departure. To some of us who have passed the middle line of life and seem with hastening steps to near the western shores, this change appears more a resting place where the mind worried and perplexed with entangled questions, where the body enfeebled with numerous ills and wasted by disease, can find that peace and quiet otherwise unattainable.

Respectfully submitted,
William H. Emerson,
Edward L. Shinn,
William E. Scott,


From Proceedings of the Massachusetts Council of Deliberation AASR NMJ 1929, Page 45:


Illustrious Brother William Badger Lawrence was the son of Most Puissant Samuel C. Lawrence, former Commander-in-Chief of our Supreme Council and also Most Worshipful Past Grand Master of Masons in Massa�chusetts. His education was in the public schools of Charlestown, the Boston Latin School, and Harvard College, from which he was graduated in 1879, and three years later from the Law School. He was admitted to the Bar of Massachusetts in 1882.

He was continually in the active practice of his profession until his death, a large portion of his legal practice being in connection with the Boston & Maine Railroad, of which corporation he served for many years as Clerk of the Board of Directors. He served in the Legislature of Massachusetts in both Senate and House; for a time was a member of the Republican State Committee, and was a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1904 which nominated Theodore Roosevelt for President. His other most prominent civic activities were in connection with the Cape Cod Pilgrim Memorial Association, of which he was President; the Medford Savings Bank, of which he was trustee; the Veteran Association of the Lawrence Life Guards, of which he was a trustee; the Medford Historical Society; the Middlesex Club; and the Massachusetts Bar Association. In all these activities his abilities were highly appreciated.

He was a man of upright character who held the confidence of all who knew him.

Perhaps it was natural because of his father's Masonic activities that he also should have been much interested in the Fraternity. In any event, it was in Masonry that he found a field for activity apart from the other duties of a very busy life. He was a member and Past Master of Mount Hermon Lodge of Medford. In the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts ho served as District Deputy Grand Master, and later, in 1902, as Junior Warden. For many years prior to his death he was also one of the Trustees of the Masonic Education and Charity Trust. In the Capitular Rite he was High Priest of Mystic Chapter and in 1902 Deputy Grand High Priest of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Massachusetts. In Cryptic Masonry he was particularly active, not only serving his local council in Medford as Illustrious Master, but also in many offices in the Grand Council, being its Most Illustrious Grand Master in 1901, 1902 and 1903. On September 15, 1896, he was coronetted an Honorary Member of the Supreme Council, 33°, he being a life member of all the Scottish’ Rite Bodies in the Valley of Boston. He was a member of Boston Commandery, Knights Templars, No. 2, Boston, Mass., having been knighted June 10, 1880, and was its Commander from 1897 to 1899.

One evening in early part of last December he attended a Masonic meeting at the Temple in Boston and was in the best of health. On the way home in his automobile he met with an accident which, although it did not seem serious at first, caused his death three days later. While in the hospital he himself had talked with friends over the telephone, assuring them that within a very few days he would be out again going about life as usual, but the internal injuries were so serious that he speedily passed away.The funeral took place at the Lawrence residence in Medford and was largely attended by his Masonic brethren and representatives of the different associations of which he was a member. In so great esteem was he held in the community at Medford that flags on all the public buildings of that city wore at half mast during the day.He lived a kindly and serviceable life and has left a sweet memory.

Melvin M. Johnson,
Ernest B. Moore,
Dana J. Flanders,



From Proceedings, Page 1907-71:

On Saturday, Nov. 21, 1620, there came to anchor in what is
 now Provincetown harbor, a small vessel of one hundred and
eighty tons. She carried as passengers about, a hundred men,
women and children, — poor and in exile, but so loving God,
so brave to worship Him in the way they thought right, that they
 had knowingly chosen to risk death in a wilderness rather than
yield themselves to spiritual despotism. In her cabin, within
 sight of this Cape, and probably within this harbor, was signed
the document whose essential principle is the firm and enduring
basis of American constitutional government. For five weeks 
the Pilgrim Fathers lived here, making this harbor their base of
operations in finding a permanent location On this spot we
are to-day met together to lay, with Masonic ceremonies, the
corner-stone of a titling national memorial to that Mayflower
 Compact and the men who made it. But in the broader sense the Nation that pays this tribute is their grandest monument — and for that monument the Pilgrim Fathers themselves here laid the corner-stone.

History tells us of no Masons among them, but it is safe to say that no band of men ever more fully expressed in their own lives the Masonic tenets of Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth, or the four cardinal Masonic virtues of Temperance, Fortitude, Prudence and Justice. As these qualities were necessary to the earlier Masons to preserve their very existence, so they were necessary to the Pilgrims to preserve their State. In both eases these qualities were the elements of a great and uplifting human movement because they were in the character of the men who made it. The men who came together to form the Pilgrim congregation at Leyden were brave, prudent, temperate and just men, or they could never have become the advance guard of the great Puritan exodus from England in the Seventeenth Centenary. The men from whose union first came Masonry possessed and exemplified tliese virtues, or Masonry could never have been instituted. In laying this corner-stone the Masonry of to-day does more than exercise an honorable and long-cherished custom. It recognizes, with an uplifted heart, its essential kinship with those humble, sagacious, God-fearing founders of this American Republic.

We feel, too, that we of the present generation can do more to honor the Pilgrim Fathers even than to erect this seemingly imperishable memorial. The priceless heritage which this Nation — which every human being in this Nation, man, woman or child — has received from them, it is our highest duty to transmit in turn undiminished to our own descendants. The highest honor we can pay them is so to cherish the principles on which this Government was founded, that it will still stand for freedom, for justice and for equality of rights long after time shall have crumbled this granite monument to dust.

Here by the action of these men a government was established for the first time in history, by the consent of all the governed — a document drafted that unmistakably laid down the principle that men, merely as men, may. as of right, decide how and by whom they will be governed. Circumstances compelled them to draft and sign the Mayflower Compact, almost at a moment's notice, but the motive that Influenced thorn is of everlasting significance. In an essentially commercial age, when men are too often absorbed in the eager struggle for wealth ; when our industrial prosperity advances by leaps and bounds; when combinations of wealth so created wield unprecedented power — and vet when liberty is so taken for granted that many neglect political duty for private interest and think no shame of it, it cannot be too squarely emphasized that the Mayflower Compact came into being because the Pilgrim Fathers saw, and understood, and wisely feared the disaffection or selfish indifference of a very few among them.

Occasioned partly by the discontent and mutinous speeches that some of the strangers among them had let fall in the ship. - Bradford.

The Mayflower Compact was the result of a condition that confronted the Pilgrims after they had sighted the Cape, on which they had then no intention whatever of landing. The patent from which they expected to derive both place and protection directed their course toward the Hudson. South of the Cape they met with "dangerous shoals and roaring breakers" which turned them back, and in so doing changed them from an organized colony, acting under a regular patent, into a band of unauthorized adventurers. A few among them saw in this change a prospect of the individual license that has invariably proved the foe of genuine liberty. To control this incipient lawlessness the compact was hastily drafted. Hut it embodied ideas already matured in the minds of the Pilgrims. It was therefore in essence no hasty document. Its noble terseness here crystallized essential qualities that made -the Pilgrims unique among all the colonists who came to America, and allow us today to see in them also the first American expression of the principles cherished by Masonry.

Azel Adams states that only two of the Pilgrim company were over fifty years old, and only nine over forty. Their own records show that they chose the Mayflower company with a view to their qualifications as pioneers. - The Mayflower and her Log.

They were not only a brotherhood of religions enthusiasts — these Pilgrim Fathers; their religious fervor was of steel tempered by the common sense of British yeomanry. They were not only members of the
 Pilgrim most mutually helpful community of their time, but its picked members, young and stalwart, chosen to go before and prepare the way for others. They were not only Puritans; they were the extreme wing of Puritanism – the Separatists to whom Truth was all and admitted no compromise. They had the Fortitude that could be dismayed by no perils ; the Prudence that took no step without thoughtful examination; the Justice that tolerated other beliefs in an age when intolerance was by no means confined to established religion; the Templerance that more than once, in the long and anxious negotiations with the Merchant-Adventurers who financed their undertaking, saved it from shipwreck on the rocks of righteous indignation.

The unsuccessful colony sent out by Thomas Weston, one of the Merchant-Adventurers, in 1622. It settled not far from the Pilgrims but failed completely because of its lack of Pilgrim character.

There was a colony came to this coast two years after the founding of Plymouth whose unhappy fate shows what would have happened had not the Pilgrims been so rich in these truly Masonic virtues. United by a common purpose, fixed in the habit of referring all matters to the congregation as a whole, and of together asking the greater wisdom of God to guide the majority, they were moreover moving unconsciously toward the development of a thing then unnamed and unanalyzed — a government of, by and for the people.

The appearance of it much comforted us. - Mourt's Relation.

The shore on which a small party of the Pilgrims landed after signing the compact and electing the first New England government offered them a genuine hospitality. The weather was fair. Although the bare boughs of the Cape, then well wooded, presented what Governor Bradford afterward described as a " weather-beaten face," it was a week later before they tasted the bitterness of New England winter.

Mourt's Relation places the beginning of seriously cold weather November 29.

They went ashore to look about them and replenish their exhausted firewood. The first sound of Pilgrim life that New England heard was the sound of axes; the first touch of homely comfort that New England afforded them was the warmth of a wood fire; the first New England Sabbath was made more comfortable by the news brought back from this first journey into the New England woods that there were no hostile savages in the immediate neighborhood.

On the Monday following, the weather was warm enough to permit the Pilgrim women to do what must have been a pretty good-sized family washing in the fresh water pool since swallowed up by the ocean in front of Provincetown. It would seem safe to say, therefore, that the first Pilgrim woman landed on New England soil Monday, Nov. 23, 1620; that the place was Provincetown; and her purpose, there to begin the household cleanliness for which New England has ever since been famous. Tradition has unfortunately assigned to these Pilgrim Fathers — and Mothers—a grimness that is not home out by careful, sympathetic reading of their own records; and these brave women, companions of brave men, look up from their washing and smile at us to-day across nearly three centuries. Of the eighteen Pilgrim wives in this devoted company, fourteen had died before the first year of the colony was finished — a fact significant enough of the hardship, perils and dangers they so cheerfully underwent with their life companions.

See "Story of the Pilgrim Fathers", Arber.

The Mayflower lay five weeks in Provincetown harbor, entering the harbor November 21 and leaving it for Plymouth December 26. The first birth and the Brat deaths occurred here. These shores, no longer wooded, that first rang with the cheerful note of Pilgrim axes, heard also the feeble birth cry of their firstborn child, the weeping of mourners at their first burials. A wondering Indian, suspiciously listening where we now stand to do them honor, might have then heard for the first time the prophetic industry of Pilgrim hammers, or, afar off, the first report of a Pilgrim musket. Into the woods of this Cape marched their first tinned company under the sturdy captaincy of Miles Standish. Out of a primitive Indian storehouse on this Cape they dug, and afterward paid for, the corn that gave them seed for the first Pilgrim harvest. No hour of those five weeks, it may be fairly said, but had its meaning in their later history.

For here, too, they watched what were to them the wonders of this new laud — the whales playing clumsily in the harbor and the flocks of wild fowl whose number and fatness so greatly surprised the colonists — and talked together about the hopes and fears of their immediate future. There was enough to dishearten them. The interest of the Merchant-Adventurers, who had financed the undertaking, they now knew to be wholly commercial; little more help could be expected from them unless the business began to show a profit. The captain and crew of the Mayflower, whose altitude toward their passengers was just about what one would have expected from the average seaman of the period toward a poor and persecuted religious body, were anxious to get home anil not slow in showing it. Supplies were running short, sickness and death had made their appearance in the Pilgrim company. They had heard such things of Indian cruelty as "move the bowels of men to grate within them and make the weak to quake and tremble." Save for their faith in God and their unconquerable determination to found this colony to His glory, whatever way they looked the future frowned upon them. Save for I he kindred qualities that every Mason may be honored to recognize in these Pilgrim Fathers they could never have succeeded in planting an enduring colony.

The first expedition went on foot as far as the Pamet. The second started in the shallop and explored the neighborhood of the Pamet. The third reached Plymouth.

Three separate expeditions went out from the Mayflower and explored much of the Cape before finally settling upon Plymouth. Concerning these expeditions the Pilgrims have left us authentic information, – rich in material that illustrates the rugged worth, the fine humanity of these men whom we to-day celebrate; rich, too, in incidents that show their character and ideals to have been identical with those of Masonry. They found a supply of corn; the prudence that made them take it as seed for a future harvest is no more characteristic than the justice with which they agreed among themselves to pay the owners at the earliest opportunity. They sailed one afternoon out of Provincetown harbor in the clumsy little shallop they had brought on the Mayflower and the dashing spray froze on them till their garments were like coats of ice; yet the thing was necessary and a splendid fortitude upheld their spirits under their frozen garments. They came back to the Mayflower to find that death had been grimly busy in their absence, yet even in grief they practised a wise and necessary temperance. Exploring this Cape to find a dwelling place, what they sought above all was Truth. And the spirit in which they sought it was of Brotherly Love and mutual helpfulness.

"So we sent home {in the shallop} the weakest people." - Mourt's Relation; description of second expedition.

Thus in the silence of that November day, with winter settling over the unknown laud that was to be their home in the future, and over the gray, indifferent ocean that separated them, almost as irrevocably as death itself, from the land that had been their home in the past, they laid the corner-stone of American constitutional liberty, the first government in the world that derived its power from the consent of all the governed. For five weeks they called this spot "home -the word is not mine, but that of the Pilgrim historian.

To-day belongs to that time when the Pilgrim Fathers called this Cape "home." Of the first years of the colony their own Governor Bradford has well said: "As one smalle candle may light a thousand, so the light here kindled hath shown unto many, yea in some sorte to our whole nation, let the glorious name of Jehova have all the praise."

It has been unfortunate that the public mind should lose sight of their connection with the Cape, and it is therefore all the more an inspiring duty to lay the corner-stone of this monument. May it hereafter visualize, not only to those at home, but to the incoming thousands and tens of thousands, that first small immigration of a devoted hundred — the men who though sometimes troubled were undismayed; whose first thought in making a government was of justice and equality; whose first safeguard was to prevent the license that comes whenever a single man considers himself a law unto himself and independent of the just and equal rights of others. This danger, in one form or another, we shall probably have always with us. It is the penalty of extreme power that the man who wields it grows unconsciously to feel himself superior to the laws that govern the less powerful. It is the curse of extreme weakness that the man afflicted with it comes to believe in anarchy. The safety of the Pilgrim community lay iu the fact that every individual did his part for the good of all — and in this thought lies also the safety of the great nation in whose making they were so important a factor.

An American poet has expressed the eternal nature of a great and good man's influence in words that I cannot forbear applying to these Pilgrim Fathers:

"So when a great man dies
For years beyond our ken,
The light he leaves behind him lies
Upon the paths of men."

Distinguished Brothers