History of Masonic Grand Lodges in North America

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This is a chronology of the formation of "regular" or "mainstream" Masonic Grand Lodges in North America, descending from the Premier Grand Lodge of England or its rival, the Antient Grand Lodge of England. A Grand Lodge (or "Grand Orient" as it is called in some jurisdictions elsewhere in the world) is the governing body that supervises "Craft" Freemasonry (also known as "Blue Lodge" Freemasonry) in a particular jurisdiction or geographical area.

Freemasonry Prior to 1717[edit]

Freemasonry (or Speculative Masonry) developed out of the guilds and associations of operative stonemasons, during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. By 1700, numerous Masonic lodges were in existence throughout England, Scotland and Ireland. Each lodge was considered independent unto itself, and there was no supervisory body that governed all of Freemasonry. This led to some confusion, as ritual variations developed and disputes as to the legitimacy of various lodges arose. In 1717 members of four lodges in London elected to form what they called a "Grand Lodge" to supervise the fraternity and grant charters to new lodges. Not all lodges, however, accepted the self-proclaimed authority of this Grand Lodge, and soon formed rival Grand Lodges of their own.

"Original" Grand Lodges formed by "Time Immemorial" Lodges[edit]

The following Grand Lodges were formed by pre-existing "Time Immemorial" lodges (lodges that predated the concept of having Grand Lodges to supervise and coordinate the craft, and thus were retained as having existed from "time immemorial").

Grand Lodges founded during the Colonial Era[edit]

Freemasonry spread from the British Isles during the Colonial Era. All of the "original" Grand Lodges began to issue charters to individual lodges in North America, but the two English Grand Lodges (the "Ancients" and the "Moderns") were the most prolific. Starting in 1730 The Grand Lodge of England (Moderns) began to issue Warrants for Provincial Grand Lodges in the colonies. Initially, these Warrants were issued to individuals, to act as deputies for the Grand Master in a given area for fixed periods of time, and some confusion resulted due to overlapping jurisdictions. To confuse matters further, with the formation of the Antient Grand Lodge, rival Provincial Grand Lodges were chartered under their jurisdiction.

  • Flag of Great Britain (1707–1800).svg "Coxe" Provincial Grand Lodge (Moderns) - 1730-1732 - by warrant issued to Daniel Coxe by GLE for two years - (Granted jurisdiction over New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania)[4]
  • Flag of Great Britain (1707–1800).svg Provincial Grand Lodge of New England (Moderns) - Est. 1733 by warrant given to Henry Price. The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts dates itself from the formation of this Provincial Grand Lodge.
  • Flag of Great Britain (1707–1800).svg Provincial Grand Lodge of South Carolina - Est. 1736[5]
  • Flag of Great Britain (1707–1800).svg Provincial Grand Lodge of New York (Moderns) - 1738-1780s - Warrants issued by GLE (Moderns) to Francis Goelet (1738–1753), to George Harrison (1753–1771), to Sir John Johnson (from 1771). As Johnson was a Loyalist during the American Revolution, he is believed to have taken his warrant with him when he fled to Canada, thus leaving the Moderns Lodges without a Provincial Grand Master.[4]
  • Provincial Grand Lodge for North America (Scotland) - Est. 1757 - By warrant issued to Colonel John Young.[6]
  • Flag of Great Britain (1707–1800).svg Provincial Grand Lodge of Canada - Est. 1759 (Became PGL of Lower Canada, i.e. Quebec, in 1792)[7]
  • Flag of Great Britain (1707–1800).svg Provincial Grand Lodge for Pennsylvania (Ancients) - Est. 1761 - By Warrant issued to William Ball.[8]
  • Flag of Great Britain (1707–1800).svg Provincial Grand Lodge of New York ("Athol Charter" - Ancients) - 1781-1784 - Although this PGL was Warranted by the "Ancients", the final Provincial Grand Master, Chancellor Robert R. Livingston (PGM: 1784-87), was actually the Master of a Lodge under the Jurisdiction of the Moderns, thus uniting the two branches of English Freemasonry in New York State. Livingston continued in office as the first Grand Master of the independent GL of NY.[4]
  • Flag of Great Britain (1707–1800).svg Provincial Grand Lodge of Upper Canada - Est. 1792[9]

Independent Grand Lodges[edit]

After the American Revolution and, again, after the incorporation of Canada, the various Provincial Grand Lodges in North America were closed, and the Lodges in each State or Province formed independent Grand Lodges. These in turn, chartered lodges in the territories in the West and North. As each new State or Province came into being, the lodges that had been chartered within its borders gathered together and formed new Grand Lodges.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b The United Grand Lodge of England - Home Page
  2. ^ Home Page Archived 2005-12-31 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ The Grand Lodge of Scotland
  4. ^ a b c Bicentennial Commemorative Volume of Holland Lodge No. 8, published by the Lodge, New York, 1988. pp 9-12
  5. ^ Grand Lodge of South Carolina Website
  6. ^ Coil, Henry Wilson; "Massachusetts", pg. 412; Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia; publ. 1961, 1996, Richmond Va.
  7. ^ a b Grande Loge du Québec - Grand Lodge of Québec
  8. ^ Coil, Henry Wilson; "America, Freemasonry into", pg. 33; Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia"; publ. 1961, 1996, Richmond Va.
  9. ^ a b Grand Lodge of Canada in the Province of Ontario, Freemasonry, Masonic, Masons
  10. ^ Grand Lodge of Virginia AF&AM
  11. ^ Welcome! | Grand Lodge F. & A. M. State of New York
  12. ^ The Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Pennsylvania
  13. ^ The Grand Lodge of Georgia F.& A.M
  14. ^ Grand Lodge of New Jersey > Official Page
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Mackey, Albert Gallatin,The History of Freemasonry, Vol. 6[permanent dead link], p. 1485 - Masonic History Co., NY, 1898
  16. ^ "Grand Lodge of Maryland". Archived from the original on 2007-06-09. Retrieved 2007-06-28.
  17. ^ Grand Lodge of A.F.& A. M. of North Carolina
  18. ^ Timeline Archived 2008-05-11 at the Wayback Machine from Grand Lodge of South Carolina website
  19. ^ The Grand Lodge of Connecticut A.F. & A.M. - Home
  20. ^ [1]
  21. ^ Home
  22. ^ Grand Lodge of Vermont F&AM
  23. ^ Grand Lodge of Kentucky Free & Accepted Masons
  24. ^ The Grand Lodge of Masons in Delaware
  25. ^ Grand Lodge Free & Accepted Masons of Ohio
  26. ^ Freemasons of the Grand Lodge of D.C.: Home
  27. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-07-02. Retrieved 2007-06-28.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  28. ^ Grand Lodge of TN - Masonic Lodges of Tennessee
  29. ^ "Indiana Freemasons Online". Archived from the original on 2007-02-23. Retrieved 2008-07-22.
  30. ^ The Official Web Page of THE Grand Lodge of Mississippi F. & A. M
  31. ^ Grand Lodge of Maine Web Sites
  32. ^ Grand Lodge of Missouri
  33. ^ Grand Lodge F & A M of Alabama
  34. ^ Jackson,Joseph Abram (Grand Historian of the Grand Lodge of Alabama from 1965-1970) Masonry in Alabama (published by the Grand Lodge)
  35. ^ "Michigan Masons". Archived from the original on 2013-09-29. Retrieved 2007-06-28.
  36. ^ "Grand Lodge of Florida". Archived from the original on 1997-10-07. Retrieved 2007-06-28.
  37. ^ Carter, James D.; Masonry in Texas, pg. 312-313; publ. 1955, Comm. on Masonic Educ. & Service, Grand Lodge of Texas, AF & AM, Waco Tx
  38. ^ Grand Lodge of Illinois, A.F. and A.M
  39. ^ Grand Lodge Free & Accepted Masons of Wisconsin
  40. ^ Home
  41. ^ Masons of California
  42. ^ Masonic Grand Lodge of Oregon
  43. ^ Grand Lodge of Minnesota
  44. ^ Grand Lodge Of Kansas
  45. ^ Grand Lodge Of Nebraska
  46. ^ Reno, Russel G. (2007). The Sesquicentennial History of the Grand Lodge of Nebraska 1857 to 2007. Richmond, Virginia: Macoy Publishing & Masonic Supply. ISBN 978-0-88053-199-3.
  47. ^ Most Worshipful Masonic Grand Lodge of Washington
  48. ^ Nevada Grand Lodge Website
  49. ^ West Virginia Grang Lodge
  50. ^ List of Lodges—Masonic. Pantagraph Printing and Stationery Company. 2018. p. 72.
  51. ^ Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia A.F. & A.M. - Welcome
  52. ^ Grand Lodge of Idaho - Ancient Free & Accepted Masons
  53. ^ Organization of Grand Lodge
  54. ^ The Grand Lodge of New Brunswick - Home
  55. ^ Freemasons of Utah
  56. ^ Grand Lodge A.F. & A.M. of Wyoming
  57. ^ [2][permanent dead link]
  58. ^ "Grand Lodge of Manitoba › Home". Archived from the original on 2007-06-25. Retrieved 2007-06-28.
  59. ^ PEI Masonic Family-Freemasonry on PEI
  60. ^ Page Title
  61. ^ Grand Lodge of Arizona Free and Accepted Masons
  62. ^ "Wayfarers Lodge #50 - History". Archived from the original on 2008-05-15. Retrieved 2008-03-14.
  63. ^ North Dakota Freemasonry
  64. ^ Grand Lodge of Alberta AF & AM
  65. ^ "masons.sk.ca". Archived from the original on 2007-07-02. Retrieved 2007-06-28.
  66. ^ Welcome To Alaska Mason.Org
  67. ^ The official website of the Grand Lodge of Free & Accepted Masons of the State of Hawaii
  68. ^ Grand Lodge of Newfoundland and Labrador