The History of the Haberdashers' Aske's Lodge No:3362
The beginning of the Guilds
A possible claim could be made that it all started with King Alfred (848-899) and Edward the Confessor (1042-1066) as chronicles of those eras make
reference to the Guilds. But certainly by the 12th century Guilds were operating throughout Europe.
In London in the Chepe or Cheapside area the practitioners of haberdashery congregated and engaged in trading cloth of varying qualities including
'hapertas' a coarse cloth worn under a suit of armour.
By the end of the 14th century the Haberdashers' Livery Company was well established, and by the middle of the next century had been incorporated by
Letters Patent of Henry VI. This Company was, and still is, one of the Great Twelve of the early City Companies.
The educational charities of the Company were founded in the 17th century including that of Robert Aske, a wealthy raw silk merchant and Past Master
of the Company, who died early in 1689 and bequeathed £20,000 and the residue of his estate, about another £10,000 to buy land and establish an almshouse
or hospital and a school for 20 boys who were sons of poor freemen. 21 acres were bought at Hoxton and buildings erected, which were subsequently re-built
in 1824. In 1874 the buildings were enlarged to accommodate a further 200 boys and 200 girls. Thus the scene was set to educate two groups of boys and
two groups of girls, a pattern which still exists in essence to this day in and around London.
In 1898 the Hoxton site was sold to the London County Council and the schools were established at Westbere Road, Hampstead for 350 boys and at Acton for
In early 1961 Haberdashers' Aske's Boys School re-located to the former Aldenham Estate in Hertfordshire to be joined later on an adjacent site by the Girls School.
However, it was from the previous site at Westbere Road that the Haberdashers' Old Boys Lodge was founded.
The Lodge was sponsored by the Lewis Lodge No:1185 and there were 12 Founders:
||W. Bro W.H.Barker
PM Whittington Lodge No: 862
||W. Bro F M Bilby
PM King Harold Lodge No: 1327
(School staff 1878-1901)
||Bro A S K Scarf
Ewell Lodge No: 1857
Justinian Lodge No: 2694
||W. Bro E J G Smee
PM Ewell Lodge No:1857
||W. Bro S E Wavell
PM Whittington Lodge No: 862
||Bro E W Morris
Harringay Lodge No: 2763
||Bro H C Trent
Beech Lodge No: 2622
||Bro W C Brett
Whittington Lodge No: 862
(School relationship not known)
||Bro W Paddock
Baltic Lodge No: 3006
||Bro A W H Little
Guardian Lodge No: 2625
||Bro W A Lythaby
Whittington Lodge No: 862
(School relationship not known)
It is interesting to note that none of the Founders came from the sponsoring Lodge and that only one of the Founders was a member of the school staff.
It is also worth noting that the instigator of the Lodge Mr H F Brooks, a former scholar, was not at that time a Mason but he later went on to become
W. Master in 1914.
The date of the Warrant was the 25th February 1909 but the Lodge was Consecrated at Freemasons' hall on Monday 24th May 1909. The Consecrating Officer was
V.W. Bro Sir Edward Letchworth, Grand Secretary and he was assisted by five other senior Grand Officers:
||W. Bro H Passmore-Edwards PGD
||W. Bro J D Langton PGD
||V.W. Bro The Rev. The Dean of Bocking PGChaplain
||W. Bro J G Grenfell GDC
||W. Bro J Weaver PGStB
(W. Bro H Passmore-Edwards was the son of John Passmore-Edwards well known Victorian Philanthropist and also a Freemason)
There were 43 visiting Brethren at the Consecration including W. Bro H Sadler – Grand Tyler and the W. Master W. Bro J Austin, Secretary, W. Bro W T Keddell,
and Bro A J Bing of the Lewis Lodge.
The next meeting was held on the 19th June 1909 when the agenda included the Ballot for and Initiation of no less than 6 candidates. Amongst these was a
certain Mr Richard William Hinton BA, Headmaster of the Haberdashers' Aske's Hampstead School. To the compiler's knowledge Mr Hinton was one of only three
Headmasters who joined the Lodge, the others being Mr F J Kemp Initiated on 15th May 1920 and Mr Tom Taylor Initiated on the 15th April 1950.
The Lodge Crest was based on the badge and motto of the Haberdashers' Livery Company with the Lodge name surrounding the original Company Crest. It seems
odd but for the Summons for July, September and October 1919 a very different Crest was used. The reason for the sudden change and the
reversion to the original is not known. Perhaps it was a trial period or the secretary of the time flexing his muscles!
The Lodge progressed well after its Consecration and in 1913 had 31 members. The reason for mentioning 1913 is because of a very sad incident. Bro Hinton
(Headmaster) had been elected as W. Master but unfortunately died before he could be Installed into the Chair of the Lodge. The whole Lodge was invited to the
funeral wearing Masonic Mourning (Black or Dark attire) and white gloves. Sprigs of Acacia were to be provided.
During the Great War 1914-1918 the Lodge made little progress owing to the military age of many of its members and possible candidates. In December 1914 Bro
H F Brooks was installed as W. Master being the first Initiate of the Lodge to occupy that position.
Owing to action in the war the Lodge suffered the loss of two of its members Bros Lt J Maxwell Jnr and Capt C L Awbery MC.
After the war period the Lodge started to make progress and was better able to undertake its Masonic duties. These included becoming a Founding Lodge of the
Royal Masonic Hospital and later, one of its Vice Patrons.
The coming of age of the Lodge in May 1930 saw W. Bro H S Mays as W. Master and the sum of £441.1s.6d being donated to the Royal Masonic Hospital.
In April 1932 the Lodge sponsored a recommendation to Grand Lodge for the formation of a new Lodge which was consecrated on 29th June of that year under the
name of Amor Laboris Lodge No: 5352, the first Master being W. Bro H Norman a Past Master of 3362.
The Lodge continued to gain in strength and by 6th October 1945 there were 76 recorded members. The 21st February 1948 is a memorable date within the Lodge
it being the day Mr David Wolff was initiated into Freemasonry. W. Bro Wolff PJGD is now the senior member of the Lodge and continues to take an active role in
Lodge affairs and ceremonies. He has been the Master of the Lodge no less than 3 times, 1961, 1981 and 2001.
In 1949 the Lodge was called on once again to act as a sponsoring Lodge. This time for the Lodge of Faith for Duty No: 6853 whose foundation was with the Tottenham
Grammar School and, with whom Haberdashers' Lodge has had a close affinity.
The next important date in the historical calendar of the Lodge was the celebration of the Golden Jubilee meeting which was held on 26th May 1959 in the crypt of
Guildhall, London followed by dinner at Haberdashers' Hall. It is interesting to note that W. Bro Bill Brett (founding organist) now PAGDC , was still the Lodge
organist although he had not held the office continually having been W. Master in 1922. W. Bro Brett the last surving Founder had been invited to preside over the
Golden Jubilee meeting. He subsequently passed away in 1963. Of the present members of the Lodge the following attended the meeting: W. Bro D Wolff S.Deacon,
W. Bro G Franklin Steward and W. Bros Ernest Eng and Ken Lowe as members. In total 45 members attended together with 85 guests.
10 years later at the Diamond Jubilee the Lodge had no Grand Officers within its ranks and only 2 members with LGR. The Lodge still had 58 members on its books
but a decline in numbers had started.
In 1971 The Old Askean Lodge No: 6986 was formed with Haberdashers' Old Boys' Lodge being their Mother Lodge. The Old Askean's were former pupils and staff from
the Haberdashers' Aske's School at Hatcham in South London.
With little or no input from the school at Elstree, and numbers still declining it was decided in 1986 to 'open' the Lodge. This brought about a change of name
to the one in present use:
The 'Haberdashers' Aske's Lodge'. This brought in some new members but none working at the school until 1989 when W. Bro D Tremaine the School Staff Instructor
of the CCF became a Joining Member.
Being a small Lodge did not prevent good quality work and in the late 1990s several meetings of note took place. On Saturday the Lodge held its first ever meeting
at the school at Elstree. W. Bro K Lowe was Installed as W. Master (for the 3rd time) and a new Lodge Banner was dedicated with the Oration given by
V.W. Bro N Barker Cryer PGChaplain. On this occasion there were 20 Lodge members present and 33 guests. On the 4th September 1999 the Lodge was proud to host
the Federation of School Lodges, once again at Elstree. This proved to be a magnificent occasion with over 300 Freemasons attending. The weather was perfect
and there was only one general complaint, the bar ran out of beer! The school caterers provide an excellent dinner in the school dining room and rightly received
the acclamation of all present.
Installations were again held at the school in 2002 when Bro C Waterman was Installed and again in 2003 for W. Bro M Chaplin. Unfortunately this was the last time
the Lodge would meet at the school mainly because of logistical reason. However, the lodge held several successful ladies lunches there and these were very popular
and well attended.
When W. Bro Tremaine retired from the school in 2007 our last direct contact was lost and it is proving difficult to get any interest from the staff. However, the
Lodge never says die, and thanks to some very hard work by Bro Reuben Ayres, his son Jacob and W. Bro David Deverson, the Lodge now has its own web site which is being tied into
the Old Boys site and will, hopefully bring in some new candidates from the recent 'Old Boys'. At present the Lodge stands at some 30 members but we have at the
time of writing 2 Fellowcrafts and an Entered Apprentice, all Old Haberdashers. The Lodge also has a new secretary in the person of W. Bro P Youngman who has taken
over from W. Bro D Tremaine who has held that post for some 11 years. It also meant that he was then free to become the 100th W. Master of the Haberdashers'