Ebdon, Peter (1970- ) – Born in London, Peter Ebdon is a professional snooker player and former world champion (2002), renowned for his remarkably focused, determined and accurate style of play.
The son of Queen Victoria, King Edward VII staunchly supported and advanced Masonry during his short reign.
King Edward VII – Albert Edward Wittin (1841-1910) – The son of Queen Victoria, formerly the Prince of Wales and subsequently King of the United Kingdom and the Colonies (1901-1910), during his reign he helped to modernise the Royal Navy and improve the medical facilities of the British Army. King Edward was the first and only monarch of the House of Saxe-Coburg. (His son, King George V, prudently renamed this prior to war with Germany in World War I to become the House of Windsor!)
An active Freemason throughout his life, when Edward, as the Prince of Wales, was installed as Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) (see Lodges and Links) in 1874, he gave great impetus to the fraternity. The Prince was a great supporter of and publicist for Freemasonry. As Grand Master, he regularly appeared in public, both at home and on his tours abroad, laying the foundation stones of public buildings, bridges, dockyards and churches with all due Masonic ceremonial. His presence ensured publicity, and reports of Masonic meetings (at all levels) appeared regularly in the national and local press. Under his patronage Freemasonry was constantly in the public eye and Freemasons became known in their local communities. From 637 in 1814, the Grand Lodge had grown to 2,850 lodges when the Prince resigned the Grand Mastership on becoming King in 1901. Edward VII was a vigorous contributor to the world’s largest fraternity.
King Edward VIII was infamously known as the king who abdicated his throne for the love of American divorcee, Mrs Wallis Simpson.
King Edward VIII – Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David; later The Duke of Windsor (1894-1972) – The controversial King of Great Britain and Ireland who, in 1936, famously abdicated the throne, less than one-year after becoming monarch, in order to marry the woman he loved, American Mrs Wallis Simpson, a divorcee.
After his abdication, he was created Duke of Windsor and, in 1937, toured Nazi Germany where he and Mrs Simpson met Adolph Hitler. During the Second World War, he was at first stationed with the British Military Mission to France but, after accusations that he held pro-Nazi sympathies, was moved to the Bahamas as Governor. After the war, he was never given another official appointment and spent the remainder of his life in retirement. King Edward VII was a member of Household Brigade Lodge, No. 2614.
Prince Edward, the Duke of Kent has been Grand Master of the UGLE since 1967.
Photograph: Copyright © Alan Warren.
Prince Edward – Edward George Nicholas Paul Patrick – Field Marshall, HRH The Duke of Kent (1935- ) – Prince Edward, the Duke of Kent, is the current Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE). The Duke of Kent carries out royal duties on behalf of his first cousin, Queen Elizabeth II. He is perhaps best known as President of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, presenting the trophies to the winner and runner-up at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships. He was also the United Kingdom’s Special Representative for International Trade and Investment, retiring in 2001.
Gustave Eiffel is best known for his world famous tower, built for the 1889 Universal Exposition in Paris.
Eiffel, Gustave (1832-1923) – Designer and architect of the famous tower that bears his name, the ‘Eiffel Tower’ has become both a global icon of France and one of the most recognizable structures in the world. Built as the entrance to the World’s Fair of 1889, the tower has recently undergone refurbishment, and its huge lightshow, to help save energy (and the planet), is now partly powered by hundreds of solar panels. Eiffel was also responsible for designing the internal steel work that supports The Statue of Liberty in New York City.
Eisele, Donn Fulton (1930 – 1987) Donn Eisele was born in Columbus, Ohio. Having joined the USAF in 1952, he graduated from the Air Force Institute of Technology at Wright Patterson AFB, Ohio in 1960 with an MSc in Aeronautics, and became a project engineer and test pilot at the Air Force Special Weapons Center in New Mexico.
TWO OF THE APOLLO 7 CREW: DONN EISELE*, WALLY SCHIRRA* AND WALTER CUNNINGHAM, WERE FREEMASONS.
Selected in October 1963 to begin training with NASA’s third group of astronauts, by 1968 Eisele found himself in the Command Module Pilot’s seat for the manned test flight of the Apollo 7 spacecraft, with Walter Cunningham as Lunar Module Pilot, and Wally Schirra (see M to Z below) as the mission commander. This crew spent 11 days in space and tested transposition, manoeuvring, docking and lunar orbit rendezvous techniques with their Saturn 1B launch vehicle in advance of the intended moon landing. Eisele was effectively the navigator and, on 22nd October 1968 after travelling 7,250,000km, the Apollo 7 space capsule splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean just 480 metres from its predicted target!
Colonel Eisele was a member of Luther B. Turner Lodge No. 732 in Columbus, Ohio, USA.
Earl of Elgin (1924- ) (See Bruce, Andrew Douglas Alexander Thomas above.)
Ellington, Edward Kennedy ‘Duke’ (1899-1974) – As a jazz composer, orchestrator, bandleader, and jazz pianist, Duke Ellington is widely considered to be the greatest composer in the history of jazz music and one of the greatest musicians of the 20th Century. He performed with many “greats” including Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong and between 1959 and 1999, won 12 Grammy® Awards, three posthumously. At his funeral Ella Fitzgerald said, “It’s a very sad day. A genius has passed.” Ellington was a member of Social Lodge No.1, Washington, DC. King of the Isle of Man TT circuit, Joey Dunlop was a racing legend, dedicated Freemason and carer for the less fortunate.
Ellison-Macartney, Sir William Grey (1852-1924) Ellison-Macartney was born as William Grey Ellison in Dublin, Ireland, the son of John William Ellison, the Conservative MP for Tyrone in the British House of Commons. His father changed the family surname to Ellison-Macartney in 1859, as a condition of an inheritance from a maternal uncle.
Educated at Eton and Exeter College, Oxford, he took an early interest in law and politics, and was called to the Bar in 1878. He was an ardent supporter of Irish Unionism, and became grand secretary of the Orange Institution in Ireland. In 1897 he married Ettie Myers Scott, who was the sister of Freemason, Captain Robert Falcon Scott (see below), the Antarctic explorer. In December 1912 he was knighted, and posted to serve as the Governor of Tasmania (1913-1917) and later as Governor of Western Australia (1917-1920). Ellison-Macartney was an experienced and very active Freemason and served as Grand Master of both the Hobart and the Perth Masonic lodges during his respective terms.
Ellsworth, Oliver (1745-1807) – Relatively unknown outside America, Oliver Ellsworth was the Freemason responsible for the term “United States” appearing in the Constitution. He was the third Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court and U.S. Envoy Extraordinary to the Court of France (1799-1800).
Ervin Jr. Samuel James ‘Sam’ (1896-1985) – Sam Ervin was a U.S. Senator from North Carolina; he became a liberal hero for his support of civil liberties. During the ‘Watergate Scandal’, he led the Watergate Committee (1972-1974) at the end of the Nixon administration, and was widely praised for his fair-handed behaviour.
Faber, John Eberhard (1822-1879) – Few persons in the world have NOT at one time held in their hand a product from the famous Faber Pencil Company of which Eberhard Faber was the head. Faber was a member of Chancellor Walworth Lodge No.271, New York.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (the Oscars©), owes its existence to Douglas Fairbanks Sr.
Archbishop Geoffrey Fisher was the President of the World Council of Churches from 1946 to 1954.
Fairbanks Senior, Douglas (Real name: Douglas Elton Thomas Ullman) (1883-1939) – Actor, screenwriter, director and producer, early American silent film actor, Douglas Fairbanks wowed the ladies with his athletic prowess in swashbuckling adventures such as ‘The Mark of Zorro’ (1920), ‘Robin Hood’ (1922) and ‘The Thief of Bagdad’ (1924). A consummate businessman, Fairbanks founded the United Artists motion picture studio with Charlie Chaplin in 1919 and The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Oscars®), hosting the first Oscar® ceremony in 1929. Douglas Fairbanks Sr. was a Freemason in Beverley Hills Lodge No.528.
Fields, William Claude ‘W.C.’ (Real name: William Claude Dukenfield) (1880-1946) – W.C. Fields was an iconic American comedian and actor known for his raspy voice, bulbous nose, and sardonic disposition. His films include ‘My Little Chickadee’ (1940) and ‘Never Give a Sucker an Even Break’ (1941). Fields belonged to E. Coppee Mitchell Lodge No.605, Philadelphia.
Fisher, Archbishop Geoffrey (1887-1972) – An English churchman and the 99th Archbishop of Canterbury, Fisher became Bishop of London in 1939, and Archbishop of Canterbury in 1945, prior to which he had been an active Freemason. Fisher was a distinguished pastor and administrator, helping to reorganize the work of the Church of England after World War II. As President of the World Council of Churches (1946- 54), he was a vigorous proponent of ecumenism.
Augustus FitzGerald, 3rd Duke of Leinster, held the office of Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Ireland for an impressive 61 years (1813-1874)
FitzGerald, Augustus Frederick – 3rd Duke of Leinster, PC, PC (Ire)(1791-1874)– Educated at Eton College and Oxford University, and styled Marquess of Kildare from birth until 1804, Augustus FitzGerald was a nobleman, an Irish peer and a staunch Freemason.
FitzGerald (aka Leinster) was the eldest surviving son of William FitzGerald, 2nd Duke of Leinster and his wife, Emilia. He inherited his father’s dukedom in 1804. On 16 June 1818, the 3rd Duke of Leinster married Lady Charlotte Augusta Stanhope (15 February 1793 – 15 February 1859), the third daughter of Charles Stanhope, 3rd Earl of Harrington. They had four children.
In 1813, Leinster was elected to be Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Ireland (the highest rank in Irish Freemasonry), a position he held until his death in 1874 – an astounding 61 years. During this time he was responsible for the setting up of many new Freemasons’ Lodges the length and breadth of Ireland. The Duke was appointed Custos Rotulorum of Kildare in 1819, and the County’s Lord Lieutenant in 1831, holding both posts for life. Leinster was Lord High Constable of Ireland at the coronations of King William IV (SEE WILLIAM IV IN M-Z IN THIS SITE SEGMENT) and Queen Victoria. He was a Commissioner of National Education for Ireland from 1836 to 1841.
Augustus FitzGerald was born and died in Carton House, County Kildare.
Penicillin inventor, Sir Alexander Fleming receives the Nobel Prize in 1945.
Fleming, Sir Alexander (1881-1955) – Alexander Fleming was a Scottish-born biologist and pharmacologist. In 1928, he discovered penicillin, a drug which was to save thousands of lives in World War II and millions around the world thereafter. He shared a Nobel Prize, in 1945, for this world health changing achievement. A busy Freemason when time allowed, Fleming was a member of the London Scottish Rifles Lodge No. 2310.
Fletcher, Cyril (1913-2005) – Fletcher was an English comedian, actor and comic poetry reader especially of ‘Odd Odes’. In the UK he was probably most famous for his appearances with veteran British television presenter Esther Rantzen in the long running TV programme ‘That’s Life!’
Foelsche, Paul Heinrich Matthias (1831-1914) – Having served as a soldier in the German army, Paul Foelsche arrived in South Australia from Moorburg, Germany on 26 October 1854. Failing as a gold prospector, he joined the police force there in 1856. His was posted to Strathalbyn in 1858, where he was successful in his career, married (1860) and became a Freemason. In 1869, aged 39, Foelsche was promoted to Inspector at a salary of £230 a year and asked to form the Port Darwin Police Service, thus becoming the first police inspector of Australia’s Northwest Territories. Foelsche was a keen anthropologist and photographer, a skill which allowed him to record much of north Australia’s aborigine people and settlements, its scenery, the gold fields and European settlers, thus creating an invaluable historical archive for that period. His work was exhibited abroad, further popularising Australia. Foelsche founded Port Darwin’s first Freemasons’ lodge, Lodge No.41 in May 1869.
Ford, Gerald Rudolph (1913-2006) – The 38th President of the United States, Ford was a 25-year Congressman and Minority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives. He was appointed Vice-President of the U.S. in the wake of the Spiro Agnew scandal and, when President Richard Nixon resigned in 1974, he became President. Gerald Ford was initiated into Freemasonry on 30 September 1949 within the Temple of Malta Lodge No.465, Grand Rapids, Michigan. He was made a courtesy Master Mason of Columbia Lodge No.3, Washington, D.C. on 18 May 1951. He later said in 1975, “When I took my obligation as a Master Mason (incidentally, with my three younger brothers), I recalled the value my own father attached to that Order. But I had no idea that I would ever be added to the company of the Father of our Country [George Washington] and 12 other members of the Order who also served as Presidents of the United States.”
Ford, Gwylly Samuel Newton ‘Glenn’ (1916-2006) – Glenn Ford was a Canadian-born actor from Hollywood’s “Golden Era” and enjoyed a career that spanned seven decades. Despite his versatility, Ford was best known for playing ordinary men in unusual circumstances. In his time Glenn Ford was a member of two Californian Lodges; Palisades Lodge No. 637 and Riviera Lodge No. 780.
Ford, Henry (1863-1947) – Henry Ford was from Irish and Belgian decent. Following a few false starts, he founded the Ford Motor Company in 1903 and introduced large scale assembly-line production, thereby creating the first widely available, lightweight and affordable motor car, the Model T. This vehicle was introduced on 1 October 1908 and by the end of production in 1927, 15,007,034 had been produced. Of his mass production ethos, Ford wrote in his biography, “A customer can have the car painted any colour he wants so long as it’s black.”
Franklin, Benjamin ‘Ben’ (1706-1790) – The most famous American printer (he published the first book to come off the press in the American colonies – ‘Anderson’s Constitutions’ of 1723), Ben Franklin was an author, diplomat, philosopher and scientist whose contributions to the American Revolution (1775-1783) and the newly formed federal government that followed, rank him among that country’s greatest statesmen. Franklin was a long time friend of Freemason Erasmus Darwin (see above), the grandfather of Charles Darwin.
Franklin held the Masonic title of Grand Master of Pennsylvania, and was one of the 13 Freemasons that signed the American Constitution. In February 1731, Benjamin Franklin was recorded as being a member of St. John’s Lodge, Philadelphia.
Franco y Bahamonde Salgado Pardo de Andrade, Ramón (1896-1938) – Ramón Franco was a pioneer aviator and Spanish politician; he was also the brother of dictator, General Francisco Franco (1892-1975). As Commander of Aviation, Ramón received the Aerial Medial for his valiant action in the Morocco conflict. Ramón was one of the Masons who ‘blackballed’ and therefore refused the initiation of General Franco into Freemasonry.
Even in death, Frederick the Great was the man of whom Napoleon stated, “If this man were still alive, I would not be here.”
Frederick II ‘The Great’ (1712-1786) – As King of Prussia from 1772 until 1786, Frederick II was an effective military commander, but he was also a music composer, patron of literature, the arts and institutor of many social reforms. Frederick also aspired to be a Platonic philosopher king like the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius. He joined the Freemasons in 1738 and stood close to the French Enlightenment, admiring above all its greatest thinker, Voltaire (see below), with whom he corresponded frequently. Visiting Frederick’s tomb in 1807, Napoleon, commenting to his officers on Frederick’s military skills said, “Gentlemen, if this man was sill alive, I would not be here.”
French, John Denton Pinkstone – Field Marshal, 1st Earl of Ypres (1852-1925) – Known as The Viscount French between 1916 and 1922, John French was the Anglo- Irish officer who served as the first Commander-in-Chief of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) in World War I. His response to the early German advances proved to be muddled and he was replaced in December 1915 by Douglas Haig (see below).
Famous for his role as Rhett Butler in the 1939 film ‘Gone With The Wind’, Clark Gable served as a B-17’s rear gunner in WWII.
Gable, Clark (1901-1960) – Gable was the actor who played opposite nearly every major female star during the 1930’s. He is perhaps best remembered for his 1939 role as ‘Rhett Butler’ in ‘Gone with the Wind’, though he had received an Oscar® for Best Actor in the Best Movie of 1934, ‘It Happened One Night’. During the Second World War his wife, actress Carole Lombard, was assisting with the U.S. war effort and, while performing that duty in 1942, was killed in an air crash. Gable was devastated and pledged to do his duty also. To that end, Gable joined the USAF and flew as an air gunner in Boeing B-17 ‘Flying Fortresses’ from RAF Polebrook in England. He was linked with the U.S. 1st Motion Picture Unit, together they made wartime recruitment films. Gable attended the Beverly Hills Lodge No.528, California.
Garfield, James Abram (1831-1881) – The 20th President of the United States, James Garfield was assassinated in 1881. His death was the cause of considerable mourning in the U.S.A. not least because it had been carried out by an unemployed loner with no political motive other than to achieve some perverse ‘fame’. Garfield was initiated into Magnolia Lodge No.20 in Columbus, Ohio and raised to the third degree in Columbus Lodge No.30 in 1864. He was exalted in Columbus Royal Arch Chapter and became a Knight Templar in 1866. In 1872 Garfield also gained a 14th degree in the Scottish Rite.
Garibaldi, Giuseppi (1807-1882) – Garibaldi’s popularity, his skill at rousing the common people, and his military exploits are all credited with making the unification of Italy possible. He also served as a global exemplar of mid-nineteenth century revolutionary nationalism and liberalism. Giuseppi Garibaldi is considered an Italian national hero.
Poet Alexander Pope assured Garrick’s fame saying, “…that young man never had his equal and he never will have a rival.”
Painting: © Liverpool Art Gallery
Garrick, David (1717-1779) – An English actor, playwright, theatre manager and producer, David Garrick influenced nearly all aspects of theatrical practice throughout the mid-eighteenth century. He was a pupil and friend of Dr Samuel Johnson. For its time, Garrick’s ‘realistic’ style of acting was revolutionary. London’s Garrick Theatre (and several others in England) is named in his honour.
Gates, John (1855-1903) – Known as “Bet-a-million” Gates, he founded the Texaco Oil Company and popularized the use of barbed wire.
Largely misunderstood, Gatling thought that his invention would put an end to war, or at least see fewer soldiers on a battlefield.
Gatling, Richard Jordan (1818-1903) – In 1861, engineer Richard Gatling invented his now famous ‘Gatling Gun’, the world’s first practical machine gun. The principles of his rotating, multi-barrelled weapon are still in use today in the guise of the fearsome, air portable, armour-piercing 30mm GAU-8A and the navy’s M61A1 Vulcan close-in weapon system, that can fire an unbelievable 100 rounds of 20mm ammunition per second! Gatling also invented a steam plough and numerous machines to sow seeds and to improve the lives of farmers. During WWII, in 1943, the U.S. Navy named a destroyer in his honour.
As Prince Regent, King George IV presided over the Allies’ victory in the Napoleonic Wars.
King George IV – George Augustus Frederick (1762-1830) – George IV became King of Hanover and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on the death of his father, George III, on 29 January 1820 until his own death ten years later. From 1811 until his accession, he served as Prince Regent during his father’s fight with, and relapse into, mental illness.
George IV led an extravagant lifestyle that contributed to the fashions of the British Regency. He was a patron of new forms of leisure, style and taste. He commissioned John Nash to build the Royal Pavilion in Brighton and remodel Buckingham Palace, and ordered Sir Jeffry Wyatville to rebuild Windsor Castle. He was instrumental in the foundation of the National Gallery in London and King’s College London.
On the abdication of his brother, George VI served throughout WWII as King of England and the nations of the Commonwealth.
King George VI – Albert Frederick Arthur George (1895-1952) – Prince Albert became King of the United Kingdom during World War II and one of the most historically famous Freemasons in England (See the separate and more expansive article ‘The King and the Craft’ on this web site.), Prince Albert took the regal name “King George VI” unexpectedly in 1936 when his elder brother, King Edward VIII, abdicated his throne.
During the First World War, Prince Albert had served in the Royal Navy and, in 1923, married Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother), and they had two daughters, Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret.
The 1930’s were a time of global turmoil and world events greatly altered the position of the monarchy during his reign. Three years after his accession, his realms (excluding the Irish Free State), were at war with Germany, and in the next two years, war with Italy and the Empire of Japan followed. Though the UK and its allies were ultimately victorious, the United States and the Soviet Union rose as pre-eminent world powers while, with its economy in irrecoverable ruins as the result of fighting for freedom in two World Wars, the British Empire declined. With the independence of India and Pakistan in 1947, and the foundation of the Republic of Ireland in 1949, King George’s reign saw the acceleration of the break-up of the Empire and its transition into the Commonwealth of Nations.
King George VI was initiated into Navy Lodge, No. 2612 in December 1919 and stated that he had always wanted to become a Freemason. Navy Lodge had been founded by his Grandfather, King Edward VII.
Gibbon, Edward (1737-1794) – Gibbon was the author best recognised for writing the classic ‘The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire’, an epic of six volumes. Penned between 1776 and 1788, the work is known for the quality and irony of its prose.
Gilbert, Sir William Schwenck (1836-1911) – W. S. Gilbert was the British playwright and librettist, poet and illustrator best known for a series of, what have become world famous, comic operas including ‘H.M.S. Pinafore’, ‘The Pirates of Penzance’ and also ‘The Mikado’, written together with musical genius Sir Arthur Sullivan (see Sullivan below).
Gillette, King Camp (1855-1932) – A universally famous American businessman, inventor and manufacturer, Gillette is credited with developing the safety razor and founded the Gillette Safety Razor Company in 1902.
Glenn, John Herschel (1921- ) – The first American astronaut to orbit the earth in a spacecraft in 1962, John Glenn became a U.S. Senator from Ohio from 1974 through 1998 and, in November 1998, returned to space 36 years after his original journey, thus becoming the oldest astronaut ever.
Glenn is a member of Concord Lodge No.688, Concord, Ohio.
Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von (1749-1832) A German writer and polymath, Goethe is considered by many to be the most important writer in the German language, and one of the more important thinkers in Western culture. His works span the fields of poetry, drama, literature, theology, philosophy, and science. His magnum opus, a peak of world literature, is the drama ‘Faust’. Goethe’s other well-known literary works include his numerous poems, the ‘Bildungsroman Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship’, and the epistolary novel ‘The Sorrows of Young Werther.’ Goethe’s influence spread across Europe and, for the next century, his works were a major source of inspiration in music, drama, poetry and philosophy. Goethe was a Freemason in Lodge Amelie in Weimar.
Gold, Sir Arthur Abraham (1917-2002) – Knighted in 1984, Arthur Gold was the UK’s patriarch of athletics. An administrator and pioneer campaigner against performance enhancing drugs, Gold also led the British athletics team in three Olympic Games, 1968; 1972 and 1976.
Goldwater, Barry Morris (1909-1998) – Of Anglo-Jewish ancestry, Barry Goldwater was an American politician and a conservative Republican. A five term Senator from Arizona, he unsuccessfully ran for president in 1964. Brother Goldwater was responsible for urging President Richard Nixon to resign following the scandal of ‘Watergate’ in 1974, to save further embarrassment. While serving as chairman of both the Senate Intelligence Committee, and the Armed Services Committee, Goldwater retired in 1987.
Grey, Sir George, KCB (1812 – 1898) George Grey was born in Lisbon, Portugal, just days after his father was killed in action at the savage Battle of Badajoz, Spain. Educated in Guildford, Surrey, he became a soldier, explorer, Governor of South Australia, Governor of New Zealand, Governor of Cape Colony (South Africa), and the Premier of New Zealand. A firm but caring individual, and an Anglican, George Grey was one of the most influential figures in the settling of New Zealand during the latter half of the 19th century. He was Governor of New Zealand twice between 1845 and 1868 and, although he had to acquiesce to the wishes of the British Government, Grey attempted to be as reasonable as possible to the Māori people, frequently flaunting the ‘rules’ in favour of the Māori’s. He learned to speak Māori and closely studied their culture and beliefs. Indeed, on his death, Grey’s collected papers proved to be the largest single repository of Māori-language manuscripts. In 1850, he presented land to found Auckland Grammar School for both settlers’ and Māori children. In 1876 he became a MP, representing both Auckland and Thames between 1876 and 1895 and, from 1877 to 1879, was New Zealand’s 11th Prime Minister. Ill-health forced his return to England in 1894 and he never returned to NZ.
Greenwood, Ronald ‘Ron’ (1921-2006). Lancashire-born Ron Greenwood played football for Brentford, Chelsea and Fulham in the 1950’s, but gained fame for his successful management of West Ham United between 1961 and 1974 where he oversaw the development of such footballing greats as Bobby Moore, Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters. Finally from 1977 to 1982 managed England’s national team to considerable success. Ron Greenwood was initiated into the Lodge of Proven Fellowship, London in 1956.
Griffin, John Francis Thomas ‘Frank’ (1946- ) – Born in Avoca, County Wicklow, in the very rural south east of the country, quintessential Irishman Frank Griffin is Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. In 2010 he was awarded the Royal Society of New Zealand’s Pickering Medal for 30 years’ research into diseases in large animals and “the practical application of technology”. His work is estimated to have saved the New Zealand deer industry up to NZ$90,000,000 ($69.5 million U.S. dollars). Frank Griffin is a very active member of Lodge St. Patrick No.468, I.C. in New Zealand and the Provincial Assistant Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Ireland.
Sadly killed during a pre-launch test of the Apollo 1 mission, American Gus Grissom was a pioneer astronaut.
Grissom, Virgil Ivan ‘Gus’ (1926-1967) – Gus Grissom was a pioneer astronaut and made the second crewed U.S. spaceflight (see John Glenn above). An active Freemason, Grissom was killed in a launch pad fire at Cape Canaveral, Florida, while testing the Apollo 1 space capsule in 1967. The tragedy, however, led to many vital best practise changes that finally paved the way for the successful Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969. (See Buzz Aldrin above.)
Grissom was an active Mason and attended Mitchell Lodge No.228, Mitchell, Indiana.
Guillotin, Joseph-Ignace (1738-1814) – Guillotin, a physician and French revolutionary, advocated a “more humane method of death” for condemned prisoners. The now infamous contraption he invented for the purpose forever bears his name, ‘The Guillotine’.
Haig, Douglas – Field Marshal, 1st Earl Haig (1861-1928) – Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, Douglas Haig was the senior commander of British forces (1915-1918) at the Battle of the Somme, the Third Battle of Ypres and the Hundred Day Offensive that, eventually, led to the armistice with Germany on the 11th November 1918, but only at the cost of hundreds of thousands of Allied casualties. Haig was a founder of the Royal British Legion charity.
F W ‘Freddo’ Haise was enrolled into the Astronaut’s Hall of Fame.
Haise Jr., Fred Wallace (1930- ) Bill Paxton played one of the leads in the movie docu-drama of a space journey whose raison d’etre was to land on, and explore more of, the moon’s surface. The fact that this mission did not happen could be looked upon as failure but, even today it must be admitted, that returning alive from space in a badly damaged spacecraft ought to be thought of as not merely a success – but a miracle, and Fred Haise would know, as he was a pilot aboard the ill-fated Apollo 13.
Born in Biloxi, Mississippi, Fred Haise was a natural engineer. He graduated in aeronautical engineering in 1959, later progressing to become the Aerospace Research Pilot School’s top graduate in the subject. He became a pilot of NASA’s Flight Research Center at Edwards AFB in California and, in 1969; his talents were properly recognised when he was slated to be the Lunar Module pilot for Apollo 13.
At 13:13pm, 11th April 1970, Boeing’s mighty Saturn V rocket blasted off and the Apollo 13 operation was underway. All seemed well until, 55 hours into the flight, an explosion in the cryogenic oxygen system threatened the space capsule and all on-board. The next 88 hours became a tense and terrifying test of human ingenuity as the crew of Haise, Jack Swigert and Jim Lovell (commander) fought to save their lives by converting their lunar module “Aquarius” into a ‘space lifeboat’. Their multitudinous efforts to survive lack of power, intense cold, water shortage, and to clean poisonous carbon dioxide from their air supply, succeeded and, just after 6pm on 17th April 1970, the crippled craft splashed down into the South Pacific Ocean.
An ex-US Marine Corps fighter pilot, Haise went on to be a test pilot within the Space Shuttle Orbiter Project and a technical adviser on that programme. He left NASA in 1979 and joined Grumman Aerospace as an executive until his retirement in 1996.
Hamilton, James – 1st Duke of Abercorn, KG, PC. (1811-1885) – Born in Mayfair, London, on 21 January 1811, James Hamilton was a British Conservative politician and statesman, who twice served as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, and as the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Ireland (1874-1885).
At the early age of 35, he was appointed Groom of the Stole to Prince Albert in 1846 and remained a prominent figure in the royal court of Queen Victoria for the next 20-years.
Through his son, the 2nd Duke of Abercorn, James Hamilton Senior was the great-great-great grandfather of Diana, Princess of Wales. The Times newspaper noted in 1860 that Hamilton was one of only three noblemen to hold peerages in all three Kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland.
Hamilton, James – 2nd Duke of Abercorn, KG, CB, PC (Ire) (1838-1913) – The first son of James Hamilton, 1st Duke of Abercorn, James Hamilton was a British nobleman, Conservative politician and diplomat.
After graduating like his father, from Christ Church, Oxford where he gained a B.A., Hamilton entered Parliament as MP for Donegal in 1860 and represented that constituency for 20 years. Dissatisfied with his performance at university, he re-entered Oxford and in 1865 emerged with a M.A. Later that same year he was sent on a diplomatic mission to Denmark.
Subsequent to this he held several positions of high rank within the royal court of Queen Victoria, including Lord Lieutenant of County Donegal and Groom of the Stole. Victoria’s reign lasted 63 years and she passed away in 1901, whereupon Hamilton was appointed by King Edward VII (SEE EDWARD VII ELSEWHERE WITHIN THIS SECTION) to lead a special diplomatic mission to the governments of Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Russia, Germany and Saxony, to announce the King’s accession.
Like his father, Hamilton was a committed Freemason and, in 1886, he was elected to be the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Ireland – the highest Masonic rank in the Irish Constitution – and remained Grand Master until his death from pneumonia in 1913.
Directly or indirectly as the 2nd Duke of Abercorn, James Hamilton could have had a major influence on the development of this lodge, Lodge St. Patrick No. 468. This was due to the fact that in May 1891, it was seriously considered as to whether it would not be a noble gesture to rename Lodge St. Patrick, Abercorn Lodge No. 468 in deference to the 2nd Duke of Abercorn, who was, as mentioned previously, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Ireland, and also in honour of his father, the 1st Duke of Abercorn, who had immediately preceded him as Grand Master, dying in 1885. (SEE ALSO JAMES HAMILTON, 1ST DUKE OF ABERCORN.) Considerable discussion resulted in the Lodge Committee deciding that the name of Saint Patrick was more easily identifiable by, and lay closer to the heart of, any Irishman than that of any mortal soul, thus “Lodge St. Patrick” it has remained to this day.
Harding, Warren Gamaliel (1865-1923) – 29th President of the United States, Harding was the first incumbent U.S. Senator and newspaper editor to be elected President, but his tenure is generally considered to have been a failure. Harding was initiated into Freemasonry in Marion Lodge No.70, Marion, Ohio on 28 June 1901 but received no other degree until after he became President, becoming a Master Mason on 27 August 1920. He received Royal Arch degrees in the Marion Chapter No.62 in 1921.
Hardy, Oliver (1892-1957) – Legendary American comedian and actor, Oliver Hardy was famous for the slapstick abuse he inflicted upon his partner, English-born Stan Laurel, the other equally legendary half of the Laurel and Hardy duo. Oliver Hardy was a Freemason in Solomon Lodge No. 20, Florida.
Haydn, Franz Joseph (1732-1809) – This prolific Austrian composer is known as “the Father of the Symphony” and Haydn’s visits to England in later life generated the ‘Surprise’; ‘Military’; ‘Drum Roll’ and ‘London’ symphonies.
Henson, Matthew Alexander (1866-1955) – This African-American explorer was the sole companion of Admiral Robert Peary (see Peary below) during Peary’s expedition to discover the geographic North Pole in 1909 and, in 1912, Henson wrote the book ‘A Negro Explorer at the North Pole’. Henson was honoured by The White House before his death. (Related: see also James Hoban below.)
Hoban, James (ca.1758-1831) – Born in Cuffesgrange, County Kilkenny, this Irish trained architect, having emigrated to the U.S.A., designed and supervised the construction of ‘The White House’ in Washington, DC (1793-1801). Brother Hoban also supervised the iconic building’s renovation between 1815 and 1829. James Hoban was also the first Master of Federal Lodge No. 1, District of Columbia, a later member of which was J. Edgar Hoover.
Hogarth, William (1685-1764) – William Hogarth was a masterful English painter, printmaker, pictorial satirist, social critic, and editorial cartoonist whose art helped foster social reforms. Hogarth has been credited with pioneering western ‘sequential art’. His work ranged from realistic portraiture to comic strip-like series of pictures called “modern moral subjects”. Knowledge of his work is so pervasive that satirical political illustrations in this style are often referred to as “Hogarthian”.
Hoover, Frank (1883-1954) – Frank Hoover was the creator of possibly the most famous brand of vacuum cleaners in the world that are named after him.
The first and foremost of the ‘G-men’, founder of the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover.
Hoover, John Edgar (1895-1972) – The first director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) (1924-1972), J. Edgar Hoover is remembered for fighting organised crime during the Prohibition era (1919-1933) and for pursuing a vigorous anti-Communist campaign following the Second World War, an era in which international espionage reached an apogee.
Following the death of President Warren Harding (see above), Hoover was appointed the 6th director of the Bureau of Investigation in 1924, by President Calvin Coolidge. Hoover was instrumental in developing the Bureau into the F.B.I. (Federal Bureau of Investigation) in 1935, and where Hoover remained until his death in 1972. He built the FBI into a large and efficient crime-fighting agency, by instituting a number of modern innovations to police technology, such as a centralized fingerprint file and forensic laboratories.
Late in life, and after his death, Hoover became an increasingly controversial figure. His critics have accused him of exceeding the jurisdiction of the FBI and collecting evidence using illegal methods. It is because of Hoover’s long and controversial tenure that FBI directors are now limited to 10-year terms. Nevertheless, Hoover had a hand in the removal from society of many n’er-do-wells, such as murderer John Dillinger (Shot dead resisting arrest in 1934.) and kidnapper ‘Machine Gun’ Kelly. (Imprisoned for life in 1933.)
J. Edgar Hoover attended Federal Lodge No.1, Washington D.C.
Still competing at the highest level in NASCAR, American racing driver Sam Hornish Jr.
Hornish, Jr., Samuel Jon (1979- ) – A racing driver, Sam Hornish Junior was the youngest champion of a major North American open-wheel series in modern racing history. In 2001, he led the Indy Northern Light Series from start to finish. He is still active in NASCAR racing in the U.S.A. Sam Hornish Jr. is a serving member of Omega Lodge No. 564, in the town of Defiance, USA, where he was raised to the 3rd Degree on 10th January 2001.
Houdini, Harry (Real name: Erik Weisz) (1874-1926) – Born in Budapest, Hungary, Harry Houdini has been recognised as THE premiere American magician and escapologist of the early 20th Century, known for his escapes from chains, handcuffs, straitjackets and padlocked, water-filled containers. He was also a sceptic who set out to expose frauds purporting to be supernatural phenomena.
Harry Houdini was immensely proud of his Masonic affiliations and became a Shriner just before his untimely death at the age of 52 from peritonitis. Harry Houdini was initiated into Freemasonry on 21st August 1923 in St. Cecile Lodge No. 568, New York.
Houston, Samuel ‘Sam’ (1793-1863) – Of Scottish-Irish decent, Sam Houston was a soldier, politician and statesman and, such was his fame, that he became the first President of the Republic of Texas, even though his candidacy had been announced only 12 days previously! Later he served a second term. When Texas was admitted to the Union, he served as U.S. senator and governor.
The sacrifice of other Freemasons at the ‘Siege of the Alamo’ in February-March 1836, and the news of their brutal deaths, caused many men to rally to Houston’s camp. This influx, and the time bought by the defenders of ‘The Alamo’, enabled him to organise an army to rout General Antonio López de Santa Anna’s (Mexico’s President/dictator) army at the ‘Battle of San Jacinto’ on 21 April 1836. (See Bowie, Crocket and Travis.) Years later, in 1861, this ex-soldier strongly advised the South not to go to war with the North, as to so do could only end in bloody defeat for the South – sadly Houston was ignored.
A staunch Freemason, near the end of his life Houston transferred his previous Masonic membership to Forrest Lodge No.19 near his home in Huntsville, Texas.
Howley, William (1766-1848) – As 90th Archbishop of Canterbury, and head of the worldwide Anglican Communion, William Howley presided over the coronation of King William IV and Queen Adelaide in 1831. Six years later, at 5 a.m. on 20 June 1837 and accompanied by the Lord Chamberlain, the Marquis Conyngham, Archbishop Howley went to Kensington Palace to inform Princess Victoria that she was now Queen of the UK of Great Britain & Ireland.
Howley was an active Freemason from the age of 25, having joined the Royal York Lodge in Bristol on 21 December 1791. He served his lodge faithfully until his elevation to the episcopate took him to London.
Hutton, Sir Leonard ‘Len’ (1916-1990) – Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack credits Len Hutton with being “one of the greatest batsmen in the history of the sport” and, with 40,140 runs made in First Class Cricket for an average of 55.51, few could argue. His England debut came in 1937 against New Zealand, but it was against Australia in 1938 that Hutton really shone, creating a World Record of 364 runs in a Test match. His record stood for nearly 20 years, only bettered by Garfield Sobers. In the years immediately following the war, Hutton was the mainstay of the English Test team’s batting.
In 1952, Len Hutton became the first professional cricketer of the 20th Century to captain England in a Test match and, under his guidance, England won the Ashes in 1953 for the first time in 19 years.
Worn out by the demands of his role, Hutton retired from all cricket in 1955. Fittingly his last Test was against New Zealand, his career having come full circle. He was knighted for his contributions to cricket in 1956 and went on to be a Test selector, a journalist and broadcaster. He also took up a lengthy career as a representative for an engineering firm, Fenner’s.
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- KING SOLOMON’S TEMPLE – The origin of Freemasonry as an organized institution to the Temple of Solomon
- DETROIT MASONIC TEMPLE – The world’s largest Masonic temple was saved by the White Stripes.
- PHOTOS: Freemasons ‘storm’ funeral to bid member K.B Asante farewell
- The decline of men, and what Freemasons need to do about it?
- Freemasonry & The Knights Templar: the separate fraternity inspired by founding support from Templar chivalry