Royal Preston Lodge No.333 is one of the oldest Lodges within the Preston Group having been founded in 1811. It is thought that the prime sponsor for Royal Preston Lodge was Amity Lodge, founded in 1767, with three of its members being founders of Royal Preston Lodge. One of these founders was John Rudd, a clergyman, who became the first Worshipful Master of the Lodge.
The warrant of the Lodge was issued under the name of Royal Preston Lodge No.628 on June 15th 1811 and the Bull Hotel, Preston, was selected as the meeting place. The Lodge number was changed to No.636 in 1813, then to No.418 in 1832 and finally in 1863 the Lodge took on its present identification of No.333. Commencing with very few Members the Lodge made great progress over the coming years and at one time comprised the elite of the town of Preston, and ranked as an important Lodge, at least socially amongst the principal inhabitants of the town. Many of the past members will be recognised by students of the history of Preston for example Samuel Horrocks, Thomas Miller, John Bairstow, Richard Addison.
As mentioned above the Lodge first met in the Bull Inn, Preston and then moved several times before returning to the Bull & Royal and then finally to the Masonic Hall, Saul St Preston in 1973 where we currently meet.
As Freemasonry grew in Preston, further Lodges were created and Royal Preston Lodge sponsored five new Lodges between the period 1910 and 1946, the last being Preston Temple Lodge. In 2004 it was agreed that Royal Preston Lodge would amalgamate with Preston Temple Lodge with the amalgamation being completed in March 2005.
The Lodge has several artefacts from years gone by including a silver trowel, engraved with the name Royal Preston lodge, hallmarked 1811 and believed to have been presented at the inauguration of the Lodge.
A gilded crown sits on top of the Worshipful Master’s chair and bears the inscription “This crown was used at the Town Hall, Liverpool, in October 1851, when Queen Victoria and Prince Albert visited the town”
The Gilded Crown Reverse of the Crown
Crown sitting on top of the Worshipful Masters Chair
In 1924, Bro. Campbell of Preston Lodge, No. 148, Victoria, Australia, was present as a visitor and brought a gift from his Lodge of a gavel and a box made by members of his Lodge.
Gavel used by the Worshipful Master
As with all Lodges Royal Preston has its own unique banner with an early version of our banner having being carried in Preston Guild processions; a report of 1822 stated that the Lodge took part in the Guild procession, the brethren wearing tri-corner gats, swallow-tailed coats, knee britches and silver buckled shoes.
Also the Bible belonging to the Lodge originates to our very early days being dated 1806.
The Lodge celebrated its Centenary on Friday, July 21st 1911 at the Bull and Royal Hotel, Preston and the Bicentenary on 16th May 2011 at the Masonic Hall, Saul St, Preston. Both occasions were marked with a banquet attended by many distinguished Masons.
The Lodge is very proud of its history and a number of books having been written on the history of the Lodge. The latest history of Royal Preston Lodge No.333 was completed for the Lodge bicentenary celebrated on 16 May 2011 and is an amalgamation of previous books. Please do contact us if you would like to learn more about the history of one of the oldest Lodges in Preston.