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Drake, Francis

Francis Drake, M.D., F.R.S., a celebrated antiquary and historian, was initiated in the city of York in 1725, and, as Hughan says, "soon made his name felt in Masonry." His promotion was rapid; for in the same year he was chosen Junior Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge of York, and in 1726 delivered an address, which was published with the following title: A Speech delivered to the Worshipful and Ancient Society of Free and Accepted Masons, at a Grand Lodge held at Merchants' Hall, in the city of York, on St. John's Day, December the 27th, 1726. The Right Worshipful Charles Bathurst, Esq., Grand Master. By the Junior Grand Warden. Olim meminisse Juvabit. York.

The Latin expression here is quoted from the Poet Vergil, recalling the joys of other times. The address was published in York without any date, but probably in 1727, and reprinted in London in 1729 and 1734. It has often been reproduced since and can be found in Hughan's Masonic Sketches and Reprints. In this work Brother Drake makes the important statement that the first Grand Lodge in England was held at York; and that while it recognizes the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge in London as Grand Master of England, it claims that its own Grand Master is Grand Master of all England. The speech is also important for containing a very early reference to the three Degrees of Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason.

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