A petition was sent to Henry Price of Boston on February 5, 1735, by six Freemasons at Portsmouth who had been working for some time under Constitutions "both in print and manuscript." No Lodge had up till then been chartered in Portsmouth but they probably possessed a copy of the British Constitutions of 1723 and a set of older laws in manuscript. It is likely that meetings were held by these Brethren even before the establishment of the Grand Lodge in 1717. In 1787 a Convention of delegates from two or more Lodges was called to organize a Grand Lodge but it was not fully established until July 8, 1789. General John Sullivan was elected the first Grand Master and the name chosen for the new body was "The Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of the Ancient and Honorable Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons of the State of New Hampshire."
The General Grand King issued a Warrant to Saint Andrew's Chapter at Hanover on January 27, 1807. The Warrant was confirmed with others on June 7, 1816; at the Convocation of the General Grand Chapter of the United States. On the organization of the Grand Chapter of this State on June 10, 1819, the following officers were elected: Grand High Priest and Deputy Grand High Priest, John Harris and Thomas S. Bowles; Grand King, Henry Hutchinson; Grand Treasurer, John Davenport; Grand Secretary, Thomas W. Colby; Grand Chaplain, Thomas Beede; Grand Marshal, Timothy Kenrick; Grand Stewards, Companions Cady, Baker, Saxton, Pierce, and Grand Tyler, Jesse Corbett. The Grand Chapter was recognized by the General Grand Chapter at the Convocation held on September 9, 1819.
Tyrian Council of Royal Masters was established by four Brethren on August 5, 1815. It was visited about August 19, 1817, by Companion Jeremy L. Cross who conferred the Degree of Select Master upon several members of the Council. Tyrian, Guardian, Washington and Columbian Councils together formed a Grand Council for the State of New Hampshire on July 9, 1823. From 1835 to 1855, however, the work of the Royal and Select Masters in New Hampshire ceased owing to the Morgan turmoil.
A meeting to organize Trinity Encampment, No. 1, was held at Lebanon in March, 1824. Two other meetings were held on April 8 and 15 and the Charter was received on April 10. During the Morgan excitement the Encampment ceased work but was granted another Charter on September 19, 1853. Sir Henry Fowle on May 27, 1826, granted a Dispensation for a Grand Encampment. A meeting of delegates at Concord on June 13, 1826, elected officers and chose Sir John Harris of Hopkinton as Grand Master. A Constitution was adopted on June 14 and meetings were held regularly until interrupted by the Anti-Masonic movement- on Tuesday, June 12, 1860, delegates from five subordinate Commanderies, namely, De Witt Clinton, Trinity, Mount Horeb, North Star, and St. Paul, were present at a meeting to reorganize the Grand Commandery. A Warrant of Dispensation was granted on July 19 and, on August 22, 1860, in the presence of Benjamin B. French, Grand Master of the Grand Encampment, officers were duly elected and installed.
Two Charters were issued to the Ineffable Lodge of Perfection at Portsmouth, one on January 31, 1842, which was destroyed by fire in 1865, and a second on May 19, 1866. A second body of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, the Grand Council of Princes of Jerusalem at Portsmouth, was chartered June 25, 1845. On June 4, 1864, Charters were granted to the Saint George Chapter of Rose Croix and the Edward A. Raymond Consistory at Nashua.
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