Canon Rawnsley with Rupert Potter, father of Beatrix PotterPhoto:, jon patrick sage, jon sage, morelightinmasonry, freemasonry, masonic, jonpatricksage.com

Finally, Some “Real” History for the 300 Year Birthday Party!

Throughout the past several months, Freemasons the world over have been gearing up for the all-important Tercentenary Celebration of the founding of the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE). Somewhere in the middle of all of this, I began to feel as though we were celebrating ONLY the Institution, and not the many good men who have acted as the living stones that make up our Fraternity. Today, an article crossed the news feed that offered a bit of perspective into the lives of the Freemasons of yesteryear. 

In a posting at ITV News the Kendal Museum is planning an exhibition of prominent and local Freemasons in Westmoreland. The museum at Kendal was founded in 1796 and is fully accredited. In this way, they are able to offer what I imagine will be an expertly crafted exhibition of past Masons in the area and the exhibit will run from July 1 to September 30 of this year.

From my point of view, this will offer a “real world” view of not only the Freemasonic Fraternity and how it has grown- but also of the men who built communities like Kendal alongside and with Freemasonry. Certainly, a Lodge cannot exist without members, and these members husbands, fathers, sons, brothers… all of whom live in and amongst others in rural settings but also in towns and villages.




Prominent Freemasons of Kendal and the surrounding areas will be featured. The exhibit is called Into The Light. We hope that the presentation will shine a light on the pathway that our ancestors blazed for us, within and without Lodge.

Please visit it if you can. The complete story follows next:

“Kendal Museum to showcase Freemason exhibition

Canon Rawnsley with Rupert Potter, father of Beatrix Potter
Canon Rawnsley with Rupert Potter, father of Beatrix PotterPhoto:

An exhibition will be held at Kendal museum to celebrate the 300th anniversary of modern Freemasonry this year.

The exhibition, called Into The Light, will run from 1st July to 30th September.

A number of prominent members of society in Cumbria are known to have been part of the Freemasons, including William Heelis, Beatrix Potter’s husband, and Canon Hardwicke Drummond Rawnsley, co-founder of the National Trust, Church of England clergyman and local politician.

Canon Rawnsley, Beatrix Potter and an unnamed boy
Canon Rawnsley, Beatrix Potter and an unnamed boy

Organisers are also seeking descendants of freemasons in the region, including of Robert Hind, born in Kendal in 1766 who worked as a weaver. He joined Union Lodge number 129, Kendal in 1802.

The museum will be open from 10am to 4pm on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. Freemasons will also be in attendance to talk about the organisation from 11am to 3pm every Saturday from 3rd June onwards.”