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Charles Radcliffe, titular Earl of Derwentwater, which title he assumed on the death of the unmarried son of his brother, James Radcliffe, Earl of Derwentwater, who was executed for rebellion in 1716, in London, was the first Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of France, to which office he was elected on the organization of the Grand Lodge in 1725. Charles Radcliffe was arrested with his brother, Lord Derwentwater, in 1715, for having taken part in the rebellion of that year to restore the house of Stuart to the throne. Both were convicted of treason, and the Earl suffered death, but his brother Charles made his escape to France, and thence to Rome, where he received a trifling pension from the Pretender.

After a residence at Rome of some few years, he went to Paris, where, with the Chevalier Maskelyne, Heguetty, and some other Englishmen, he established a Lodge in the Rue des Boucheries, which was followed by the organization of several others, and Radcliffe who had taken the title of Earl of Derwentwater on the death of his youthful nephew, the son of the last Earl, was elected Grand Master. Leaving France for a time, in 1736 he was succeeded in the Grand Mastership by Lord Harnouester.

So far we follow Brother Mackey but Brother Hawkins adds the substance of this paragraph: Such is the statement usually made, but R. F. Gould, in his Concise History of Freemasonry, suggests that Harnouester is a corruption of Darwentwater and that the two persons are identical, the Earl of Derwentmater being really elected Grand Master in 1736.

Radcliffe made many visits to England after that time in unsuccessful pursuit of a pardon. Finally, on the attempt of the young Pretender to excite a rebellion in 1745, he sailed from France to join him, and the vessel in which he had embarked having been captured by an English cruiser, he was carried to London and beheaded on December 8, 1746.

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