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Birkhead, Matthew



A Freemason who owes his reputation to the fact that he was the author of the universally known Entered Apprentice's song, beginning:

Come let us prepare We Brothers that are. Met together on merry Occasion; Let's drink, laugh, and sing; Our wine has a spring. 'Tis a Health to an Accepted Mason.

This song first appeared in Read's Weekly Journal for December 1, 1722, and then was published in the Book of Constitutions in 1723, after the death of its author, which occurred on December 30, 1722.

Birkhead was a singer and actor at Drury Lane Theater in London, and was Master of Lodge V when Doctor Anderson was preparing his Constitutions, His funeral is thus described in Read's Weekly Journal for .January 12, 1723. "Mr. Birkhead was last Saturday night carried from his Lodgings in Which-street to be interred at St Clements Danes; the Pall was supported by six Free-Masons belonging to Drury-Lane Play-house; the other Members of that particular Lodge of which he was a Warden, with a vast number of other Accepted- Masons, followed two and two; both the Pall-bearers and others were in their white-aprons"

(see also Entered Apprentices's Song and Tune, Freemasons').

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