Our History

The earliest documentary evidence of Lincolnshire Masonry is shown in the Constitutions of 1738, with a Lodge held at the Saracens Head, in Lincoln.
This Lodge was Constituted on the 7th September 1730, and met on the first Tuesday of every month. It was Lodge No 73, and is sometimes refered to as “The Old Lodge at Lincoln”
The meetings at the Saracen’s Head continued until1736, the Lodge meetings were then apparently suspended with nothing being recorded until September 1742.
Unfortunately further details have been lost, and nothing further is known of the Lodge except that the number of the Lodge was changed to 63 in 1740, and again in 1755 to 38. It was then erased by Grand Lodge on the 17th  November 1760, because no representative had attended the quarterly meetings for a considerable time.
The brethren of that Lodge then moved up the hill, to the next Lodge in Lincoln according to records.
This was known as “Lincoln Above Hill in the Baily Wyke”, Lodge No 166, and was constituted on the 23rd December 1737.

This Lodge met at The Angel Inn, which was the chief inn above hill, and is said to have been erected by Sir Christopher Wren. The Inn was situated on land between two gateways formerly existing in the Eastgate area.

Unfortunately there are no records of either their proceedings or members, except to say that seventeen years later Grand Lodge erased it from the roll in 1754.
It is likely that the brethren of The Old Lodge, moved to the Lodge held in The Angel Inn, and on its demise either left freemasonry altogether, or found a Lodge in a nearby town.
The Lincoln Above Hill in the Baily Wyke”, Lodge was erased in 1754, and the “Old Lodge at Lincoln” suffered the same fate in 1760.
So there is a gap of thirty three years before we move to the formation of Witham Lodge.
There is very little preserved in the archive records of Grand Lodge, about the early founding history of Witham Lodge, and it is not recorded from where our Founders came. Unfortunately there is no petition in the Grand Lodge archives for Witham Lodge, and it is virtually certain that its formation would not have had the formal recommendation of another lodge.
The membership lists of the Lodge cannot take us back earlier than 3rd October, 1793 (the first entry in the Register of Admissions of the Witham Lodge).
Witham Lodge has traces in it lineage to The Old Grand Lodge at York, which ran from 1705 to around 1793. Part of the ritual we use has the Old York Workings within it; For the first fifty years, Witham Officers were invested on St. John the Baptist's Day (June 24th).    and the two older Lodges in Lincoln. Part of our ritual includes the Old York Workings (Our ritual there are some clues to be found in the book “A History of Freemasonry in Lincolnshire” by William Dixon.
On the 23rd September 1793 a warrant of constitution was granted by the Grand Lodge of England, to the founding brethren, authorising and empowering them and their regular successors to hold a lodge of free and accepted masons at The Rein Deer Inn in the City of Lincoln, as the Witham Lodge No 530.
As a consequence of the union of the two Grand Lodges on the 27th of December 1813, Witham Lodge became No 557.
Then during the general alterations in the numbers of Lodges between 1832 and 1863, Witham Lodge became No 374 in 1832, and then to its present No 297 in 1863.