Constantinople, Knight Of
In the year 1864 Brother F. G. Irwin, a distinguished Freemason, lived at Devonport, England. He became a welcome visitor to, and subsequently a member of the then recently established Lodge, Saint Aubyn, No. 954. Among other Masonic acquirements he had authority to establish the Order of the Knights of Constantinople. It was found that other authority to establish this Order did not exist in England, although it had been conferred on a few individual by Brother Irwin, and according to the usages of the Fraternity, those who first established an Order became the ruling power. The ground being thus clear, the authority of Brother Irwin, Past Junior Warden of the Province of Andalusia, Past Grand Master Overseer of Mark Masonry in England, First Grand standard Bearer of Knights Templar in England, and past Most Wise Sovereign Rose Croix, &c., was brought into operation. He accordingly presided over a meeting of Freemasons in the Saint Aubyn Lodge, No. 954, at Morice Town, Devonport, on January 18, 1865, and after intrusting them with the secrets of the Order and elevating to the honor of Knighthood, appointed the following Brethren as Officers of the First or Saint Aubyn Council of Knights of Constantinople, namely : Samuel Chapple, Horace Byron Kent, John R. H. Spry, Vincent Bird, Philip B. Clemens.
At this meeting several prominent Freemasons were admitted, Brother Shuttleworth, Thirty.- third Degree, the Grand Vice-Chancellor of the Knights Templar of England, being among the number. At the February meeting several active Freemasons were admitted, amongst them Brother W. J. Hughan, initiated in Lodge No. 954, and who later attained world-wide Masonic fame. At the January meeting, 1866, a Warrant was granted to certain distinguished Freemasons in Cornwall to open a Council at Truro, the Fortitude, Brother W. J. Hughan to be first Illustrious Sovereign, and a number of Cornish Freemasons were enlisted. The Saint Aubyn Council of the Knights of Constantinople developed into a Grand Council of Sovereigns of the Order and exercised such functions as organizing subordinate bodies. It became afflicted and a part of the organization at Mark Masons Hall, England, the Grand Council of the Allied Degrees. The Order of Knights of Constantinople is of a Christian character, associated in legend with the Emperor Constantine, and teaches the lesson of universal equality The jewel of the organization is a Cross surmounted by a Crescent.
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