The Independent Magazine for Freemasons
By: Aubrey Newman, David Hughes and Don Peacock
This book could almost have been called Freemasonry in Leicestershire – The Sequel! The three co-authors did a first class job in producing in 2010 the first volume, A History of the Masonic Province of Leicestershire and Rutland, which concentrated on the history and development of the Craft in the Province. All too often Provincial histories only cover the Craft, and, if anything, as an afterthought may include a small section on the other Orders, not least the Royal Arch. These three authors are to be congratulated on their wisdom and foresight in not producing a paragraph or two in the original volume, but rather waiting, researching and producing this complementary book which runs to over 150 pages.
The book is systematic in its layout, clearly written and well illustrated. Wherever possible the maximum amount of information is given not only about the individual Orders but also the units that go to make up those Orders. I am amazed by the amount of detail the authors have managed to pack into the space available.
The volume charts the story of the development and progress made by the various Orders and degrees. It examines the influence that individual Provincial Grand Masters of the Craft have had on growth; depending whether they were supportive or downright hostile. It also reflects on other factors such as the availability of suitable meeting places.
The book includes a most informative pull-out sheet detailing most of the principal orders beyond the Craft, which helps to clarify to Craft members and members of other Orders alike the breadth of Freemasonry that is available in the Province.
In my own mind I am sure that there will be further editions of this book. However hard the authors have tried there are still gaps that need to be filled. My hope is that members of the various Orders, when they have had the opportunity of reading this book and of seeing what has already been achieved, will be encouraged and inspired to look back amongst their records and help fill in some of those gaps.
Through the history of Leicestershire and Rutland we have a mirror of what has taken place elsewhere. This book should appeal not only to the members within the Province but also to members of Orders beyond the Craft in this country and worldwide.
Publisher: Anchorprint Group
ISBN: 1978 0 907540 57 8