Freemasonry - The Ancient Royal Arch Chapter of Strict Benevolence  
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Chapter History
Centenary Jewel

Iron Bridge


Freemasonry - Michael Scarth
Freemasonry - John George Lambton
Freemasonry - George Garbutt
Freemasonry - Dr. Tipping Brown
Freemasonry - Dr. William Reid Clanny
Freemasonry - Sir Hedworth Williamson
Freemasonry - Sir Ralph Milbanke
Freemasonry - Sir Cuthbert Sharp

Freemasonry - Sunderland Parish
Freemasonry - Sunderland Orphanage
Freemasonry - Exchange Building
Freemasonry - Pemberton Main

Freemasonry - United Grand Lodge of England - Coat of Arms
Approved by the
United Grand Lodge of England

Last Update
6th February 2008






Bright Future

The future of Chapter of Strict Benevolence, in the medium term, looks quite bright as we continue to attract candidates for exaltation as well as a good influx of knowledgeable joining members.

Changes are planned for our ceremonies and ritual and we are in the process of making the necessary adaptations to best suit our needs as an individual Chapter together with certain mandatory changes required by Supreme Grand Chapter.

Like many other Chapters and Lodges we produce our own summonses, minutes and records by computer and this website confirms that we can now proclaim to everyone, including potential 21st Century candidates that we are indeed embracing this 21st Century technology!

Flat screen technology for computers and televisions is gaining ground rapidly and it may have great benefit in temples if used to inform and to display in a decorous manner:-

e.g. in a candidate interview room or where guests may be assembled, such items as the Lodge Warrant, List of Officers of the Lodge, the history of the lodge and possibly a portion of the charitable side of our organisation could all be displayed on a flat screen and perused at leisure.

Strict Benevolence Research

What's in a name?

Many brethren ask where this chapter derived its rather unusual name back in 1797!!

Recent research into the archives of Grand Lodge shows that a Lodge of Strict Benevolence No 553A was formed in 1796 and met in the Maids Head, Tuesday Market Place, Kings Lynn but lapsed after about 5 years of existence.

Interestingly of the 24 members who joined in the first year 7 were east coast mariners and in 1799 William Taylor, a mariner from Blyth and George Booth, a 32 year old mariner from Sunderland joined the lodge.

A later and younger George Booth of Sunderland joined Chapter of Strict Benevolence and it is worthy of note that Michael Scarth was a partner in two rope making enterprises and his product would undoubtedly have been transported by ship to Norfolk.

Tim Lambert in his 'Short History of Sunderland' notes that Robert Bowes of Sunderland and John Smith of Kings Lynn started making salt at Panns Field, Sunderland using large iron panns in which to evaporate sea water. This was started by them in the middle of the 16th century following on from a tradition started many years earlier.
They also exported coal to East Anglia.

Undoubtedly, sea-going trade between the two counties was well established as well as personal contacts.

Indeed is it likely that two separate groups of men would choose such an unusual name for their societies almost at the same time?

As a by product of this work we now have the names and details of the first 70 members who joined the Chapter between 1797 and 1812.

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