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Royal Somerset House and Inverness Lodge

One of the four old Lodges establishing the Grand Lodge of England in 1717. Doctor Anderson states that this Lodge met at the "Rummer and Grapes Tavern, in Channel Row, Westminster." The date of its origin is unknown but in 1723 a List of Lodges appeared which gave the name of this Lodge as "Horn Tavern," Westminster. At that time, according to the Grand Lodge records, it was probably the largest and most aristocratic of all English Masonic Lodges. It became designated as No. 3 in 1729 and in 1740 it was known as No. 2. It was erased from the Grand Lodge List on April 3, 1747, the reason being given as "not attending according to the order of the last Quarterly communication.

It was restored, however, in 1751 and in 1767 it officially took the name of "Old Horn Lodge." It united with and took the name of the Somerset House Lodge" in 1774 which was then known as No. 279, becoming then No. 4. This Lodge had been established in 1762 by Dunckerley on board the English ship P7once, being removed from there to the ship known as Guadeloupe and from there to Somerset House. The new combination known as the Somerset House Lodge absorbed the Royal Inverness Lodge November 25, 1828, which had been known as No. 648 and which had been the first Lodge warranted by the United Grand Lodge of England and named after the then Grand Master, the Duke of Sussex, who had officiated at the consecration February 2, 1815, when the Lodge was first instituted at the Freemasons Tavern. After November 25, 1828, the united Lodges were styled the "Royal Somerset House and Inverness Lodge No. 4, of Time Immemorial Constitution."

This Lodge is the holder of the Freemasons Hall Medal as well as a special Medal granted in 1858 bearing the arms of Scotland with a reference to the King's son. This is surmounted by the Coronet of a Prince of the Blood Royal borne by the Duke of Sussex. On the reverse side the inscription appears, "Immemorial Constitution. United with the Old Horn Lodge, No. 2, January 10, 1774." On the rim the following is engraved: "Royal Inverness Lodge, No. 648. The First Lodge consecrated under the United Grand Lodge by Right Worshipful His Royal Highness the Duke of Sussex, 1814" (see also An Introduction to the History of the Royal Somerset House and Inverness Lodge; Rev. Arnold Whitaker Oxford, published at London in 1928).

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