Born in London, England, January 12, 1794; died in France, October 8, 1867; buried in Greenwood Cemetery, New York, October 27, 1867. The family emigrated to America in 1805. James Herring was initiated in Solomon's Lodge, Somerville, New Jersey, in 1816. He was Master of Clinton Lodge, New York City, in 1827, 1828, 1832, and 1834, a period when the anti-Masonic spirit was in its zenith. He, with the remaining members of Clinton Lodge, united with Saint John's, No. 1, and met in union December 18, 1834. He instituted the formation of the Lodge of Strict Observance, which was constituted by Grand Lodge, December 27, 1843, Right Worshipful Brother Herring being the Master, with which Lodge he remained until his death. On September 3, 1528, he was appointed Assistant Grand Secretary, and on June 3, 1829, was elected Grand Secretary, which office he retained until 1846. He sided with the Phillips or Herring Grand Body at the split in Grand Lodge on June 5, 1849, and remained its Grand Secretary until 1858, when, in June, the two Grand Lodges were fused. He was a delegate to the Convention of Grand Lodges held in Washington on March 7, 1842.
Brother Herring delivered the oration, on August 25, 1847, in Saint John's Lodge, in commemoration of the Most Worshipful Grand Masters, Morgan Leavis and Alex. H. Robertson, and other eminent Freemasons, on the occasion of the First Lodge of Sorrow held in America in the English language. He was exalted in Jerusalem Chapter, No. 8, Royal Arch Masons, New York City, January 5, 1817, dubbed a Knight Templar in Columbian Commandery, No. 1, New York, and was received a Sovereign Grand Inspector General, Thirty-third Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. Brother Herring was a Past High Priest and Past Grand Secretary of the General Grand Chapter of the United States, Past Grand Master of the Grand Encampment of the United States, and Past Grand Representative of the Orients of Brazil and France. Grand Historian Ossian Lang on page 126, History of Freemasonry in the State of New York, 1922, says "James Herring proved a tower of strength in the trying days. His untiring zeal and masterly management did much to pilot the Grand Lodge through the night of storm."
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