The first mention of the Craft in Holland belongs properly to the history of Freemasonry in Austria. In 1731 Francis, Duke of Lorraine, later Emperor of Austria and Germany, was initiated by Doctor Desaguliers at a special Lodge at the Hague. The first regular Dutch Lodge was the Loge du Grand Maitre des Provinces Runies, Grand Masters Lodge of the Reunited Provinces, instituted at the Hague with Count Vincent de la Chapelle as Worshipful Master. Freemasonry in Holland was regarded with disfavor by the Government and suffered much persecution. On December 25, 1756, however, fourteen Lodges attended a Convention to constitute a Grand Lodge and two days later Baron Aerssen Beyeren was elected Grand Master. A separate Grand Lodge was formed by the Belgian Lodges in 1817 and between the two Grand Bodies there was some dissension. In 1835 a state of peace was at last attained under the leadership of Prince Frederick Wilhelm Karl of the Netherlands.
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