Founders of Abbey Lodge 2529

Click on the Founder’s name to view their biography.

John William Forrest, 37, Worshipful Master – 1
Le Gendre Nicholas Starkie, 32, I.P.M. – 2
Richard Thompson, 345, Senior Warden – 3 Thomas Longworth, 39, Junior Warden – 4
Revd. John Alfred Latham, 1504, Chaplain – 5 Arthur Longworth, 269, Treasurer – 6
Jonathan Nowell Withers, 1504, Secretary – 7 Louis Greenhalgh Mitchell, 369, Senior Deacon – 8
John Robinson Thompson, 1504, Junior Deacon – 9 William Bear Jnr., 1504, Director of Ceremonies – 10
Alfred Miall Hanson, 1504, Organist – 11 Thomas Herbert Thompson, 1504, Inner Guard – 12
Alfred Birtwistle, 1504, Steward – 13 John Hargreaves, 1504, Tyler – 14
26th September 1894
Key to Lodges
St. George’s Lodge of Harmony N⁰. 32, Liverpool To find out more about these Lodges click the name
Anchor and Hope Lodge N⁰. 37, Bolton
Lodge of Friendship N⁰. 39, Manchester
Lodge of Fidelity N⁰. 269, Blackburn
Lodge of Perseverance N⁰. 345, Blackburn
Limestone Rock Lodge N⁰. 369, Clitheroe
Red Rose of Lancaster Lodge N⁰. 1504, Padiham (Mother Lodge) Closed May 2018

All but two above were members of the Union Club, Whalley but not all were Freemasons at the time the idea to form a Lodge was conceived.

Whilst Colonel Starkie and William Bear were founding members of the Red Rose of Lancaster Lodge No. 1504 in 1875 at Padiham they were joined by two of Richard Thompson‘s sons in early 1893 (see below).

John R. and Thomas H. Thompson may well have chosen to enter Freemasonry in Padiham rather than their father’s Blackburn-based Lodge of Perseverance, No. 345 as they had business concerns in Padiham and would know many of the members. Also, the Lodge of Perseverance was popular at the time and they would have a long wait to be initiated.

With William Bear the Worshipful Master of 1504 and the Thompson brothers now members of 1504 a plan was developed to initiate other Union Club members and two gentlemen who had expressed an interest in forming a Whalley Masonic Lodge. This was achieved in early 1894 by initiating several candidates on the same evening during ceremonies at Red Rose of Lancaster Lodge, Padiham.

The table below taken from the Red Rose of Lancaster Lodge records held at the Museum of Freemasonry, London shows the Initiation dates of 7 gentlemen who eventually founded Abbey Lodge.