The Lodge was consecrated on Monday 25th April 1881
Other events in April 1881 (source Wikipedia)
3rd April – census in the United Kingdom. Two-thirds of the
population is urbanised, one-seventh live in London.
5th April – the Treaty of Pretoria gives the Boers self-government in the Transvaal under a theoretical British oversight.
9th April – Old Carthusians F.C. beat Old Etonians 3-0 in the F.A. Cup final at The Oval, the last time it will be played between two amateur sides.
18th April – The Natural History Museum is opened in London.
19th April – Robert Cecil, Marquis of Salisbury, becomes the
Conservative leader in the House of Lords following the death of
27th April – British troops leave Afghanistan.
Below is an excerpt from the Wellesley Lodge Centenary History by
C. A. Cox (The full document is available upon request)
Our Lodge was sponsored by the Union Lodge (now “Reading Lodge of Union) no. 414 at a meeting of that Lodge on 21st December 1880, the Provincial Grand Secretary called the attention of the members to a petition from the promoters of a new Lodge to be called “Wellesley”, at Wellington College (the name Crowthorne was not yet then in
general use), for a Warrant of Constitution from Grand Lodge. It was unanimously decided to recommend the same, and it was signed by the W.M. W. Bro. S. Bradley, the S.W. Bro. C. Stephens, and the J.W.
W. Bro. R.C. Mount, P.M. The petitioners were:-
Samuel Gerrard Kichhoffer, of the Isaac Newton University Lodge
No. 859, Cambridge & P.M. of Alma Mater Lodge No. 1492
William Charles Golding of the Apollo University Lodge No. 357,
Capt. Charles Cooper King, of Albert Edward Lodge No. 1714
Camberley, & previously of Zetland Lodge No. 525 Hong Kong & Yokohama Lodge No. 1092.
Dr. James Russell, M. D., of St. Machar’s Lodge, no.54, Aberdeen.
William Timothy Buttery, of New Forest Lodge no. 319, Lymington.
Raymond Tucker, of the Duke of Bedford’s Lodge, No 282, Tavistock.
Walter Llewellyn Nash, of Sherborne Lodge, No. 702, Stroud, and P. M. of Union Lodge, No.414, Reading.
Francis James Ferguson, S.D. of Union Lodge, No.414.
W. Bro. Kirchhoffer, who was clearly the “founding father” and almost the “patron saint” of Wellesley Lodge, was an Army Tutor at
Yateley Grange, which was presumably some sort of
“cramming” establishment, either for the Royal Military
College, Sandhurst or the Staff College, or both. Capt. Cooper King was an officer at Sandhurst. Dr Russell was a medical
practitioner in Sandhurst village, W.T. Buttery was a steward at
Wellington College, where Raymond Tucker was art master,
& F.J. Ferguson was a wine merchant in Reading.
The other two petitioners, W.C. Golding and
W.L. Nash gave their occupations as “None”.
Although the petition is recommended and signed by the Master (Samuel Bradley) and the two Wardens (Charles Stephens and RC. Mount) of the Union Lodge, no.414, only two of the petitioners were actually members of that Lodge. W.L. Nash was a joining member and a past master, while F.J. Ferguson was Senior Deacon. There is no date mentioned anywhere on the petition itself, but the letter accompanying it, from the Provincial Grand Secretary of Berks and Bucks (W. Bro. Robert Bradley) to the Grand Secretary (W. Bro. Col. Shadwell H. Gierke, P.G.D.) is dated 31st December 1880.
It states that “The petitioners are as you will see by their description men of good standing and education, the lodge will be a creditable one and supply a want, there being none in the province nearer than Reading, 10 miles off.” In view of the transport facilities in those days
this was clearly an important consideration, and the choice of what was then called the “Wellington College Hotel, near Sandhurst”, across the road from ‘Wellington College Station”, was a very suitable one for the type of member for whom the Lodge was primarily intended. These were officers (past and present) of the Army andNavy, members of the Universities, and gentlemen connected with the Liberal professions”, with an eye to the theR.M.C. Sandhurst, Broadmoor, the Staff College, Camberley, and Wellington College. The petitioners were well chosen to fit this pattern – one Cambridgeman, one Oxford man, one army officer, one doctor, two members of Wellington College staff, a second “gentleman”, and a wine merchant.
The Warrant of the Lodge is dated 19th March 1881, and the Consecration ceremony took place on Monday 25th April. It was carried out by the Deputy Provincial Grand Master of Berks and Bucks, V.W. Bro. the Rev. J.Studholme Brownrigg, assisted by W .Bro. R. Bradley, Provincial Grand Secretary, who acted as I.P.M., W.Bro. W.Ferguson W.M. of Greyfriars Lodge, no.1101, as Senior Warden, and W.Bro. Capt. P. Montagu, P.P.G.S.B. (Dorset)as Junior Warden. In addition to six of the petitioners (Capt. Cooper King and W. L. Nash were not present), there was one visitor, Bro. W.J. James of Greyfriars Lodge. W.Bro.S.G. Kirchhoffer was installed as the first master, and he then appointed Capt. Cooper King as Senior Warden, W. Golding as Junior Warden, W.T. Butteryas Secretary, Raymond Tucker as Senior Deacon, Dr James Russell as Junior Deacon, F.J. Ferguson as InnerGuard. W.L Nash was elected Treasurer. The entire proceedings had lasted just 1 ¼-hours.
A report in the Freemason’s Chronicle for 25th June 1881 on the Provincial Grand Lodge of Berks and Bucks, held at Aylesbury on the previous Monday, states that during the foregoing twelve month s two consecrations had been carried out by the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, those of St. Hilda and Wellesley Lodges. It also mentions that neither lodge was in fact represented at that meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge, and that a fine should therefore have been exacted, but that bearing mind the “extreme youth of these defaulters” the fines were remitted. The number of Wellesley members is given as 18.