Lodge History

Josiah Wedgwood Lodge was conceived and founded in 1887 by a group of eminent Masons of Portland Lodge Nº 637, the group being headed by W Bro Richard Tooth. The name was derived from the connection between Etruria where a Lodge had existed in the early 1800s and Josiah Wedgwood the Master Potter and founder of Etruria village.

The consecration of Josiah Wedgwood Lodge took place at the Weslyan School in Etruria on 30th August 1887. At the end of the consecration ceremony W Bro Richard Tooth was installed as the first Master of the Josiah Wedgwood Lodge Nº 2214. He was subsequently elected as Master the following year in 1888 and to mark the appreciation of the Brethren he was presented with a portrait of himself. In 1890 this portrait was loaned to Portland Lodge, the Mother Lodge but there is no record of it ever being returned! However there is on display at the Hanley Masonic Hall a walking-stick also presented to W Bro Tooth and his Past Master’s Jewel is entrusted to the incoming Master of Josiah Wedgwood Lodge at his Installation and worn by him during his year in office.

A Lodge of Instruction was founded by the Lodge in 1906 and in March 1907 the then Provincial Grand Master gave notice that he would attend a L of I to supervise the Instruction. The workings must have met with his approval for in 1909 the PGM intimated that the Emulation Working should be adopted throughout the Province. In November of the same year Josiah Wedgwood lodge sponsored a Lodge of Instruction Festival followed by a banquet at the Grand Hotel, Hanley. Josiah Wedgwood Lo I Nº 15 remains a recognised and affiliated Lodge of Instruction of which only three remain in Staffordshire.

On 27th February W Bro R Briggs of Boston Massachsetts presented the Lodge with a Punch Bowl and Ladle and Jug manufactured by Josiah Wedgwood and Sons Ltd as a mark of the high esteem he had for the names “Etruria” and Josiah Wedgwood. The Bowl was used continuously until 1978 by which time it had deteriorated to a poor condition, it was replaced by the present Punch Bowl presented to the Lodge by Mrs Marjorie Curzon, the widow of W Bro S R Curzon P Pr S G D. At the meeting prior to the Installation it is the Master Elect’s honour to charge the Bowl with Rum Punch and a toast to his health is drunk with vigour.

There is also a silver Loving Mug presented by W Bro Abraham Green of Royal Standard Lodge Nº 498.

All these items are on display at the Hanley Masonic Hall.

Along with Menturia Lodge, Josiah Wedgwood is a major share holder in Hanley Masonic Club Ltd and has had a long service of history to the H M C by providing several Chairmen, Secretaries and Board Members. The Lodge currently has two executive members on the Board and three other members.

Over the years many items of Lodge furniture have been generously provided. They include:A Volume of the Sacred Law, Warden’s Columns, Deacon’s Wands, Master and Warden’s Gavels, Reading Lectern and the Working Tools of the Three Degrees.

A curious fact, in 1899 a Mr Jacob Posey was proposed for Membership of by W Bro R Tooth. Jacob Posey was employed by Barnum and Baileys’ Circus. The proposal was seconded despite an objection that nothing was known of Mr Posey. Jacob Posey was initiated in January 1900, passed in February and raised in March. Grand Lodge had refused a request to have all three ceremonies on one night! His Grand Lodge Certificate was delivered to him in Vienna. He was excluded in 1908 for not paying his dues. Then in 1957, 57 years after his Initiation, a letter was received from Harry C Magee of Los Angeles enquiring if Mr Posey had indeed been initiated into Freemasonry. A further letter was then received, presumably after a positive response, asking if Bro Posey could be reinstated as a member of the Lodge, Bro Posey was at that time 94 years old.