- 1 UNITY LODGE
- 1.1 NOTES
- 1.2 YEARS
- 1.3 HISTORY
- 1.4 OTHER BROTHERS
- 1.5 DISTRICTS
- 1.6 LINKS
Chartered by Massachusetts Grand Lodge.
Chartered By: Joseph Webb
Charter Date: 03/05/1779 I-271
Precedence Date: 03/05/1779
Current Status: unknown; no record after 1833; historical notes 1924-206, 1939-276.
JANUARY 1875 EXTRACTS
This material appeared in New England Freemason, Vol. I, No. 1, January 1875, Page 4 and after; they were presented by Past Grand Master John T. Heard as a part of the installation of John T. Heard Lodge in January 1875.
MASSACHUSETTS GRAND LODGE
- March 5, 1779. Joseph Webb, Esq., G M., presiding. The Petition presented from William McKean, Thomas Dodge and others, praying for liberty to hold a Lodge at Ipswich—read and deferred to adjournment. Bro. Webb was elected G. M. March 8, 1777; was Colonel of the 6th Regiment of the Massachusetts Militia, stationed at West Point during the war.
- March 9, 1779. Joseph Webb, Esq., G. M., presiding. Committee on the Petition of McKean and others report that they think it for the advantage of Masonry their prayer should be granted. (Charters were at this time £30, but not probably in hard money.)
- Voted, That the Petition of William McKean and others be granted.
- September 3, 1779. Joseph Webb, Esq., G. M., in the chair. Bro. McKean, Master of Unity Lodge, at Ipswich, presented a return of the Officers and members:
- William McKean, Master
- Thomas Dodge, S. W.
- Samuel Eveleth, J. W
- Joshua Fisher, Sec'y
- Nathaniel Wade, S. D.
- Ishmael Reves, J. D.
- Thomas Hodgkins, Steward.
- Thomas McFagan, James Perkins, Aaron Stanford, Jabez Farley, Wallace Rust, Daniel Low, Daniel Giddins, William Chandler, Jr., William Dodge, William Dennis, John Graves, Tyler.
- June 2, 1780. Joseph Webb, Esq., G. M., presiding. This Grand Lodge received a letter from Unity Lodge, inclosing one hundred pounds for the late Grand Master Dr. Warren's children The same being read, thereupon,
- Voted, That the Treasurer write to said Lodge, and return them the thanks of the Grand Lodge for the same. No similar act by any other Lodge is recorded. It is probable that the gift was in the depreciated currency of the period.
- "January 12, 1781. Joseph Webb, Esq., G. M., presiding. Among those present was James Swan, Esq., Proxy for Unity Lodge.
- December 24, 1782. Joseph Webb, Esq., G. M., presiding. The Grand Master presented a report of Brother Greenough on the constitution of Unity, Essex and Amity Lodges.
- March 2, 1787. R. W. John Lowell, D. G. M. in the chair. A letter was received and read from John Cutler, S. G. W., and from Unity Lodge.
- June 6, 1788. Dr. John Warren, G. M., in chair. On motion, voted unanimously, that Essex, Amity, United States, Unity, St. Peters and Tyrian Lodges be erased from the Grand Lodge books, agreeably to the Resolution of the last Quarterly Communication.
- Voted unanimously, That there be a committee of three Brothers (Edwards, Dexter and Scollay were chosen) to write to the several Lodges, and inform them that they are accordingly erased from the Grand Lodge books.
- Voted unanimously, That the further consideration of the delinquent Lodges be referred to the next meeting of the Grand Lodge.
GRAND LODGE OF MASSACHUSETTS
- December 10, 1792. John Cutler, Esq., G. M. in the chair. In a list of Lodges then 'in commission,' Unity stands fourteenth in rank as to seniority.
- September 9, 1793. John Cutler, Esq., G. M., in the chair. Voted, That the Secretary of this Lodge write to the Rev. Mr. Bentley respecting his business with the Lodges at Newburyport and Ipswich, and to request him to make Report of his doings thereon at the next Quarterly Communication.
- September 8, 1794. John Cutler, Esq., G. M., in the chair. Another letter from Worshipful Nathaniel Wade, Master of the Unity Lodge, in Ipswich, was received and read, wherein they return their thanks for the book of Constitutions presented them through the channel of Brother Bentley, &c, which was also directed to be put on file.
- March 9, 1795. Paul Revere, Esq,, G. M , in the chair. Voted. That the Most Worshipful Grand Master be requested to direct the Grand Secretary to write to Bro. Bentley for information respecting the doings of the Lodge at Ipswich.
- September 12, 1796. Paul Revere, Esq., G. M., in the chair. A letter received from Rev. Brother Bentley, inclosing one from Brother Nathaniel Wade, Master of Unity Lodge, and referred over to this meeting, was read and, Voted. That they lie over to the next Quarterly Communication of the Grand Lodge.
- December 12, 1796. Paul Revere, Esq., G. M., in the chair. A letter received from Nathaniel Wade, Master of Unity Lodge, held in Ipswich, was read and, Voted, That said letter be recorded in the Grand Lodge book of Records:
Ipswich, September 10, 1796.
Worshipful and Dear Brother:—The members of Unity Lodge met the last evening upon the subject of recognizing the Massachusetts Grand Lodge, and voted unanimously to come under this Jurisdiction.
I am directed through your medium to make the necessary communication to the Grand Lodge upon the subject.
I am Sir, with great respect and esteem, Yours, Nathaniel Wade.
[Brother Wade was a Colonel in the army of the Revolution, and enjoyed the confidence of Washington in a marked degree.]
- December 12, 1803. Isaiah Thomas, Esq., G. M., in the chair. A letter was received through the Right Worshipful Brother Jonathan Gage, from Unity Lodge, at Ipswich, setting forth their deranged situation and inability to comply with the requisitions of the Grand Lodge, and requesting a remission of their dues, but desiring to retain their Charter until the ensuing Spring, in hopes to obtain an addition of such and so many members as shall enable them still to supoort their Charter; which request was ordered to lie over accord¬ ingly until the time prescribed.
- September 10, 1804. Isaiah Thomas, Esq., G. M., in the chair. By a list of Lodges reported, it appears that Unity Lodge was the twelfth in rank, and that its Charter was dated March 8, 1779.
- December 10, 1804. Isaiah Thomas, Esq., in the chair. A Petition was presented by the R. W. Jonathan Gage, D. D. G. M. for the Second Masonic District, from the surviving members of Unity Lodge, at Ipswich, in said District, and read. The Petition set forth the deranged situation of said Lodge, by reason of the very small number of which that Lodge at present consists, owing to a variety of causes, and the impoverished state of their funds, and consequent inability to pay the sums now due from said Lodge to the Grand Lodge; and praying to be released from paying said sums; and to have leave to retain their Charter, and make an attempt to revive said Lodge and place it on a respectable footing, &c; there being now a fair prospect of success should they have their petition granted; and that it should be their duty, and it would be their desire, in future strictly to conform to all the rules and regulations of the Grand Lodge, and to exert themselves to do what shall be most honorable to the Craft.
- Voted, That a committee be chosen to consider said Petition, and report this evening.
- The committee reported : "That the arrearages of Unity Lodge be remitted to the present date, on condition that the said Lodge is regularly organized before and is duly represented in Grand Lodge at the Quarterly Communication in June next."
- December 10, 1810. Dr. Josiah Bartlett, G. M., presiding. A letter was read from Unity Lodge, at Ipswich, representing the im¬ poverished state of their funds, and for a remission of quarterage for several years past.
- On motion, Voted, That the prayer of the petitioners cannot be granted.
- December 27, 1824. John Abbot, Esq., G. M., in the chair. Among proxies admitted was Thomas Lord, of Boston, for Unity Lodge.'"
FEBRUARY 1825 OFFICER LIST
Officer list from Masonic Mirror, February 12, 1825, in the Cambridge Masonic Temple collection:
- Timothy Souther, Worshipful Master
- W. Samuel Day, Senior Warden
- John F. Gardner, Junior Warden
- Nehemiah Brown, Treasurer
- Temple Cutler, Secretary
- Isaac A. Smith, Senior Deacon
- Amos Story, Junior Deacon
- Aaron Jewett, Senior Steward
- Lewis Titcomb, Junior Steward
- Nathaniel Treadwell, Marshal
- Moses Jewer, Tyler.
ø Charter surrendered 06/11/1834
FROM 75TH ANNIVERSARY OF JOHN T. HEARD LODGE, SEPTEMBER 1939
From Proceedings, Page 1939-276:
On March 5, 1779, William McKean, Thomas Dodge, and others had petitioned the Massachusetts Grand Lodge praying liberty to hold a Lodge in Ipswich. The petition having been granted, Unity Lodge was established with William McKean as its Master and Nathaniel Wade, friend of Washington, Colonel in the Continental Army and forbear of two of John T. Heard's Masters, among its officers. During its early period Unity Lodge flourished, as did most of the Masonic Lodges of the same period, and its members contributed much to the promotion of the American Revolution. So prosperous was the Lodge in its early days, in fact, that it contributed one hundred pounds to the children of late Grand Master Joseph Warren. Even though it is probable that this gift was in the depreciated currency of the period, no other similar gift by other Lodges is known. Among the list of Lodges in commission in Massachusetts in 1792, Unity Lodge stood fourteenth in rank.
Gradually, from that time, however, the Lodge seemed to be oppressed intermittently with financial difficulties. Five times in the next thirty years the Lodge petitioned for remission of its Grand Lodge Dues, though the request was not always granted. Finally, at an indeterminate date, between 1830 and 1833 Unity Lodge passed unobtrusively out of existence.
FROM CENTENARY OF JOHN T. HEARD LODGE, SEPTEMBER 1964
From Proceedings, Page 1964-236:
. . . the beginning of Ipswich Masonry, which dates back to March 5, 1779 when William McKean, Thomas Dodge and others petitioned the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, praying liberty to hold a lodge in Ipswich. Such petition was granted and Unity Lodge established with William McKean as its Master and Nathaniel Wade, a friend of Washington, Colonel in the Continental Army and forbear of two of John T. Heard's masters, among its officers. During this early period, Unity Lodge flourished, and its members contributed much to the promotion of the American Revolution. Among the list of lodges in commission in Massachusetts in 1792, Unity Lodge was fourteenth in rank. The period after the Revolution was a time of great hardship, causing Unity Lodge to run into financial difficulties, and finally, at an indeterminate date, between 1830 and 1833, Unity Lodge passed out of existence. All of its records were later destroyed in the Temple fire of 1864. In 1934 a Unity Lodge diploma which had been presented to Brother Moses Jewett in 1817 was presented to the Lodge and is presently stored in one of the outer apartments.
- Joshua Fisher, Memorial