SEVEN UNRECORDED MASONIC PAMPHLETS, TWO PUBLISHED IN CALCUTTA

By-Laws of Lodge “Industry and Perseverance,” No. 190.

Calcutta, T. Black & Co., 1879

[bound with:]
The Bye-Laws of Lodge “Sandeman,” at Dum-Dum, near Calcutta, in Bengal, No. 1374 of England, together with a copy of the Lodge Warrant and an Appendix, containing a List of the Founders and first Office Bearers… Calcutta, T. Black & Co., 1876.

[and:]
[FREEMASONS, Great Priory.] Report of the Proceedings of the Great Priory, holden on the 11th December, 1874. [London,] ‘Issued by Authority, for the exclusive Use of the Members of the Order,’ 1874.

[and:]
Report of the Proceedings of the Great Priory, holden on the 10th December, 1875. [London,] ‘Issued by Authority, for the exclusive Use of the Members of the Order,’ 1875.

[and:]
Calendar of the Great Priory… [London,] ‘Issued by Authority, for the exclusive Use of the Members of the Order,’ 1877.

[and:]
National Great Priory, 14th December, 1877: Agenda Paper. [S.l., s.n. 1877.]

[within:]
Calendar of the Great Priory… [London,] ‘Issued by Authority, for the exclusive Use of the Members of the Order,’ 1878.

Seven pamphlets, 8vo, pp. [2], 33, [1]; [4], 10, with folding printed Lodge Warrant for the foundation of a lodge in Bengal; 27, [1]; 11, [1], with printed slip; 38; 5, [1]; 16, 17-40; foxed in places, short marginal tears repaired to 3 leaves in one pamphlet, but very good copies bound as one in contemporary green half polished roan with cloth sides, spine gilt in compartments, gilt red morocco lettering-pieces in three, masonic tool (book and dividers) in others, top-edge gilt, publishers’ blue printed wrappers bound in (of which 4 printed in gilt); somewhat scuffed; provenance: Reverend Frederick Walter Robberds (ink ownership inscriptions to first pamphlet, extensive annotations in red and blue); – Cooper (pencil ownership inscription to 6th pamphlet, pencil annotations); – Charlesworth Masonic Library (upper board lettered in gilt, printed shelf-mark label to front pastedown.

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Seven apparently unrecorded pamphlets documenting the meetings and by-laws of freemasons in the 1870s, two with substantial annotations. Covering every year from 1874 to 1879, the works relate to gatherings of lodges within the Grand Lodge of England, both ‘Great Priory’ meetings in London and those of two regional lodges founded in British India.

The present set has a fine masonic provenance, with detailed annotations showing thorough involvement with the order, including one pamphlet extensively marked by Reverend Frederick Walter Robberds († 1898), listed as a Deputy District Grand Master in Bengal. The volume, gathered and bound in the late nineteenth century, then passed into the collection of the Charlesworth Masonic Library, with their gilt lettering on the upper board.

All seven pamphlets are exceptionally rare, with no copies traced on OCLC nor on Copac. The John Rylands Library holds a Report of the Proceedings of the Great Priory for 1872 and four titles of Calendar of the Great Priory from the mid twentieth century, while a small number of later issues (mostly twentieth-century) are held by other institutions. No record of the two Indian imprints could be found.

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