TEMPLE LODGE, ELIZABETH TOWN
Location: Elizabeth Town, New Jersey
Chartered By: Jeremy Gridley
Charter Date: 07/28/1762 I-78 for letter listed below
Precedence Date: 07/28/1762
Current Status: unknown; inactive by 1774.
HISTORICAL RECORD FROM NEW JERSEY
From the History of Freemasonry in Elizabeth, N.J., Page 5:
"There is no evidence that any Masonic Lodge was established in New Jersey prior to the granting of a Warrant by the Provincial Grand Master of New York to St. John's Lodge No. 1, of Newark, on May 13th, 1761; but there were, prior to that time, residing in Elizabethtown a number of Master Masons, doubtless made such, some before and others after their arrival here, either in European Lodges or in those working under the authority of the Provincial Grand Masters of Massachusetts, New York and Pennsylvania. In the year 1762 their number and their zeal for our ancient institution were such as to induce them to establish a Masonic Lodge in their midst; they accordingly applied for the requisite authority from the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, and at the celebration of the anniversary of St. John the Baptist Jue 24th, 1762, a deputation was granted to Jonathan Hampton, Esq., to constitute a Lodge by the name of Temple Lodge No. 1 in Elizabethtown, New Jersey. (Whitehead's Origin of Masonry, page XV.) The fact that they passed by the Grand Lodge of the neighboring State of New York and applied to the then distant Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, gives some foundation for the belief that a majority of the petitioners had been made Masons in Lodges working under the latter jurisdiction."
From New England Freemason, Vol. II, No. 2, Page 87:
Temple Lodge, of Elizabethtown, New Jersey.—In looking over a volume of the Records of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts recently, we met with a letter addressed to Jeremy Gridley, G. M., which contains an allusion to Daniel Cox. As everything relating to that Brother, no matter how trivial, is becoming interesting to Masonic students, we lay the letter before our readers, in the hope that it may throw some little light upon our history:
Elizabeth Town, July 28, 1762.
Jeremiah Gridley, Esq.
Right Worshipfull: —I had the honor of receiving both your letters by the Post. I cannot find that Mr. Daniel Cox had anything to do with the Province of Maryland. Upon discoursing with a Brother at Philadelphia about a year ago, he told that the Lodge at Anapolis, in Maryland, was held by a Warrant from Boston had many years ago. And upon the strictest Enquiry, I find that Mr Daniel Cox Died before 1754, the time you mention. Therefore, as you was pleased to say, that, if the Case was so, you would send me a Deputation immediately; and as you wrote nothing about a formality in obtaining it, I am desired by all those I have Communicated your Letter to, to Write immediately for a Deputation for myself to be the first Master of the Temple Lodge in Elizabeth Town, No. 1, if you think proper to give it that Name. We have had a Petition drawn to you to appoint a Deputy Grand Master of New Jersey. Pray, will it be proper, and agreeable to you, to grant such a Deputation?
If you Order a Deputation to be sent me, I hope it will be soon: and please to put it under Cover to Mr John Hunt, Post Master, in Elizabeth Town, and then it will be not only free of Postage, but Safe; unless our Parson (Chandler) should be in Boston, which I expect he is. Please also to say in your Letter what Charge there is attending the Warrant, and it shall punctually be sent by the Post, with the Thanks of the Lodge.—I am,
Sir, your most Obedient Servant and Brother,
I am well known by Gov. Bernard.
The petition was granted, and the Lodge was organized and did Masonic work, as is believed, although no record of its transactions has been preserved.
- Jonathan Hampton, 1762