|The Grand Lodge
and Honorable Society
Free and Accepted Masons
State of Rhode Island
and Providence Plantations
FREEMASONRY IN RHODE ISLAND AND THE FOUNDING OF THE GRAND LODGE
Thomas Oxnard - Provincial Grand Master of New England and Grand Master of Massachusetts - granted the petition for the constitution of St. John’s Lodge of Newport, December 27, 1749, the first in the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. Brother Caleb Phillips was appointed first Master of the Lodge. According to tradition, the meetings were held during the early period of its history, in the “Council Chamber” of the “Old State House” (and now used as a Court House) which on this account hold special claim to the regard of the Fraternity in Rhode Island.
The institution of the Lodge in Newport very naturally created an ambition for one in Providence and this hope firmly and steadily grew to its fulfillment on February 17, 1757, when St. Johns Lodge of Providence was organized, the Charter for such organization bears the date of January 18, 1757 and was issued by Jeremy Gridley, the Provincial Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts.
The formation of the Lodge in Providence added enlivened strength to the feeble progress of the Newport body and the two mutually labored for the upbuilding of the Craft until 1765 when the Newport Lodge lost its Charter, which was not revived until 1790, while the Providence body became dormant from 1769 to 1778.
Freemasonry in Rhode Island
"We represent a fraternity which believes in justice and truth and honorable action in your community - Men who are endeavoring to be better citizens [and] to make a great country greater. This is the only institution in the world where we can meet on the level all sorts of people who want to live rightly." ~ Harry S. Truman
Spotlight on Freemasonry is produced by many Rhode Island Master Masons who volunteer their time to write and produce these programs and to make up the studio production crew. Our plan is to release two new shows per month. The programs are produced in the studios of PEG-TV in Cranston, Rhode Island.
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