Page 9 - Montana Freemason Feb 13
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Montana Freemason               February 2013                        Volume 86 Number 1

Several operative masons that worked on St. Paul's
Cathedral would leave the job site and walk across the
courtyard to a tavern they frequented, known by the
name of the Goose and Gridiron. The December, 2011
copy of the Montana Masonic news (the last in the old
"newspaper" format, and available on our website, at, carried an article on
the destruction of the Goose and Gridiron tavern,
originally published in 1894. It cites a book by one
Ned Ward, A Vade Mecum for Malt Worms; this book
contains much poetic verse on taverns, and, of the
Goose and Gridiron, one couplet runs thus: "Dutch
carvers from St. Paul's adjacent dome/ Hither to we
their whistles daily come." Here is anecdotal evidence
in a book written in 1713, of masons working on St.
Paul's Cathedral drinking across the street, in view of
the structure.

  Four pre-existing ("time immemorial") Lodges
in London met in 1716 and formed a Grand Lodge
Pro Tempore, agreeing to meet again June 24, 1717,
at the Goose and Gridiron in St. Paul's Churchyard,
where one of the four lodges had been meeting for
many years already. The formation of that Grand
Lodge, which elected Anthony Sayer their first Grand
Master in that building, sparked what is known as the
"Revival of 1717," which was, to the best of modern
scholarship, actually a new organization adopting the
remnants of the old lodges.

                                Meeting in a room on the
                                second floor of the Goose
                                and Gridiron tavern, pictured
                                to the right, the assembled
                                Masons met to decide on their
                                new Grand Master. James                   is is the Goose and Gridiron shortly before
                                Anderson, in his Constitutions       demolition. anks go to Bro. Bernard Williamson,
                                of Freemasonry, writes of the        a Freemason in England who, while an Entered
                                event: "Before Dinner, the           Apprentice of only one month, while on vacation
                                oldest Master Mason (now             discovered the photograph and brought it to the
                                    the Master of a Lodge) in   the  attention of the United Grand Lodge of England, for
ChAanitrh, opnryopSoayseerd  a  List of proper Candidates; and  the  sharing the picture, and the story of its discovery via
Brethren by a Majority of Hands elected Mr. Anthony                  video conference call. It is the only known photograph
Sayer, Gentleman, Grand Master of Masons, who,                       of the building in which the premier Grand Lodge of
being forwith invested with the badeges of Office and                1717 was formed.
Power by the said oldest Master, and install'd, was
duly congratulated by the Assembly who pay'd him                       June 24, 2017, marks the 300 year anniversary of
the Homage.”                                                         modern Freemasonry. So far as is known, the pictures
                                                                     of the actual Goose and Gridiron sign on the cover, and
                                                                     building itself above, have never been published in the
                                                                     United States.

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