Freemasonry has a very long, complex. and rich History. Much of it remains shrouded in mystery to this day. Researching into the History of Freemasonry is a favourite pass-time of several Freemasons. If you are interested, the official website of the United Grand Lodge of England is a great starting point.
But what about Leeds? What are the origins of Freemasorny in Leeds? When was the first time someone could hope to become a Freemason in Leeds?
The origins of Leeds Freemasonry
The earliest records of a Lodge in Leeds go back to 1721, a mere four years after the foundation of the Grand Lodge of London & Westminster, which would eventually become the United Grand Lodge of England.
However, we would need to wait until 1754 for the first “warranted” Lodge to appear in Leeds (the previous one never received the “rubber stamp” from the Grand Lodge). This first warranted lodge was named Parrot Lodge No 243. The name of the lodge wasn’t the result of intense deliberation, it was simply where the lodge met – the Parrot Inn (taking the name of the meeting place was the established custom of the era). Sadly, the lodge ceased activities in 1776.
In 1761 the Golden Lion Lodge No 258 received its Warrant to meet in Leeds. Its original name was A Masters Lodge. It met until 1786.
Beyond those pioneering lodges, there is one that is particularly crucial to our own History. Our great-great-great-grandmother lodge was founded in 1788 under the name Royal Yorkshire Lodge No 265. This lodge is still in activity today (Keighley), and is one of the oldest surviving lodges in all of Yorkshire.
Aurora Lodge was founded in 1920, on Great George Street in central Leeds. Read more on our History.