Page 26 - MFM August 2017
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The Goose and Gridiron

                                            Daniel Gardiner (3)
     It is possible that the Protestant Reformation, owing   Several operative masons that worked on St. Paul’s
    in no small measure to Martin Luther’s 1517 theses,  Cathedral would leave the job site and walk across
    had  gradually  contributed  to  the  increase  in  more  the courtyard to a tavern they frequented, known by
    austere churches, and less grand building schemes,  the name of the Goose and Gridiron.
    and  that,  coupled  with  the  decreasing  influence  of
    the guilds and companies meant that by the mid to
    late  1600’s,  skilled  masons  were  in  short  demand.
    Following  the  Great  Fire  of  London  in  1666,  Sir
    Christopher  Wren  was  commissioned  to  rebuild
    the iconic St. Paul’s Cathedral, and several smaller
    churches. One of the results of the Great Fire was
    a housing crisis, and a riotous population. Laborers
    were brought in from outside of London to work on
    rebuilding the city and the church.























                                                         Goose and Gridiron Tavern Sign, C. 1801, Museum of
                                                         London. Reproduction rights by license agreement
     St. Paul’s Cathedral, Circa 1896. The Goose and Gridiron   with the Museum of London.
     tavern was just to the bottom left.
                                                        The December 2011 copy of the Montana Masonic
     One  of  the  buildings  rebuilt  following  the  Great  news  (the  last  in  the  old  “newspaper”  format,  and
    Fire Was at the location of the hall of the London  available on our website, at www.grandlodgemontana.
    Musician’s  Company,  which,  like  the  London  org), carried an article on the destruction of the Goose
    Company  of  Masons,  had  a  history  going  back  and Gridiron tavern, originally published in 1894. It
    several  hundred  years.  This  particular  hall  had,  cites a book by one Ned Ward, A Vade Mecum for
    before  the  calamitous  fire,  used  the  arms  of  the  Malt Worms; this book contains much poetic verse on
    Musician’s Company: A Swan and Harp. This harp,  taverns, and, of the Goose and Gridiron, one couplet
    or  lyre,  was  the  instrument  of Apollo,  patron  god  runs  thus:  “Dutch  carvers  from  St.  Paul’s  adjacent
    of Music. When the new building was erected, the  dome/ Hither to we their whistles daily come. “Here
    owner utilized a sign satirizing its previous history,  is anecdotal evidence in a book written in 1713, of
    and the name of the sign has been associated with the  masons  working  on  St.  Paul’s  Cathedral  drinking
    building ever since: the Goose and Gridiron. Private  across the street, in view of the structure.
    ownership  of  an  entire  structure  for  a  Lodge  was
    rare, and they tended to meet in coffee houses and   Four  pre-existing  (“time  immemorial”)  Lodges  in
    taverns - locations which would rent to the public.  London met in 1716 and formed a Grand Lodge Pro
                                                       Tempore, agreeing to meet again June 24, 1717, at
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