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The authority granted by the Grand Master to a Brother to act as Provincial Grand Master was formerly called a deputation. Thus, in Anderson's Constitutions (second edition, 1738, page 191) it is said, "Lovel, Grand Master, granted a Deputation to Sir Edward Matthews to be Provincial Grand Master of Shropshire." It was also used in the sense in which Dispensation is now employed to denote the Grand Master's authority for opening a Lodge. In German Freemasonry, a deputation is a committee of one Lodge appointed to visit and confer with some other Lodge.

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