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Gridley, Jeremy

Born March 10, 1701/2, Boston, Massachusetts, graduated from Harvard, 1725. taught school, on June 28, 1728, given Degree of Master of Arts by Harvard, in 1731 founded the Weekly Rehearsal, early Boston newspaper. Past Grand Master Isaiah Thomas (History of Printing, volume I, page 3 7, 1810 edition) says the Weekly Rehearsal "was carried on at the expense of some gentlemen who formed themselves into a political or literary club and wrote for it. At the head of this club was the late celebrated Jeremy Gridley who was the real editor of the paper." This, the first newspaper or magazine published in America having substantial claim to literary merit, secured this reputation largely from Brother Gridley's masterly contributions.

Practically a complete volume of this paper is on file with the American Antiquarian Society at Worcester, Massachusetts. Gridley severed his connection with the Meekly Rehearsal April, 1733, and until June 10, 1742, practiced law and on this date was chosen Attorney General by both Houses of Assembly. April 13, 1748 Gridley was proposed to the First Lodge by Past Grand Master Henry Price, elected April 27, and made May 11. December 7, 1750, he was Raised in the Masters Lodge. At that time few progressed beyond the grade of Entered Apprentice. Gridley became a member of the First Lodge January 24, 1753.

He was elected Junior Warden, Masters Lodge, December 1, 1752, and Senior Warden July 6, 1753. here tired from office in the Masters Lodge December 7, 1753, and received unanimous election as Master of the First Lodge, December 6, 1753. On October 1, 1755, Jeremy Gridley was appointed Grand Master of Masons in North America. The Boston Marine Society, formerly the Fellowship Club, on February 26, 1754, in acknowledgment of his services, voted him the "freedom of the society for life." Prior to May 19, 1755, Brother Gridley moved to Brookline and on May 25, 1767, he was appointed Kinffl's Attorney General. From 1767 his health failed and the last time he presided over Grand Lodge was January 23, 1767. His death occulted September 10, 1767, when he was Grand Master of Masons, Attorney General for the Province of Massachusetts Bay, a member of the Great and General Court of the Province and a Justice, Colonel of the First Regiment of Militia, President of the Marine Society, Selectman and Assessor of Brookline. The following was written in memory of Brother Gridley by James Otis, an eminent lawyer, raised in the Masters Lodge OD January 4, 1754:

Of Parts and Learning, Wit and Worth possess'd Gridley shone forth conspicuous o'er the rest: In native Powers robust, and smit with Fame. The Genius brighten d and the Spark took Flame Nature and Science wove the laurel Crown, Ambitious, each alike, conferr'd Renown. High in the Dignity and Strength of Thought, The Maze of Knowledge sedulous he sought, With Mind Superior Studied and retain'd. And Life and Property by Law Sustain'd. Generous and free. his lib'ral Hand he spread Th' Oppress'd relieved, and for the Seedy Plead Awake to Friendship, with the ties of Mood His Heart expanded and his Soul o'erflow'd. Social in Converse. in the Senate brave. Gay e en in Dignity, with Wisdom grave; Long to his country and to Courts endear'd The Judges honor'd and the Bar rever'd. Rest! Peaceful Shade! innoxious as they Walk May slander babble and may censure talk, Ne'er on thy Mem'ry east a Blot But human Frailties in thy Worth forgot

(See Beginnings of Freemasonry in America, 1924, pages 119, 326 47, also Grand Master's address, both by Brother Melvin M. Johnson, Proceedings, Massachusetts, 1916, pages 309- 530.)

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