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Benevolence, Fund Of

This Fund was established in 1727 by the Grand Lodge of England under the management of a Committee of seven members, to whom twelve more were added in 1730.

It was originally supported by voluntary contributions from the various Lodges, and intended for the relief of distressed Brethren recommended by the contributing Lodges. The Committee was called the Committee of Charity. The Fund is now derived partly from the fees of honor payable by Grand Officers, and the fees for dispensations, and partly from an annual payment of four shillings from each London Freemason and of two shillings from each country Freemason; it is administered by the Board of Benevolence, which consists of all the present and past Grand Officers, all actual Masters of Lodges and twelve Past Masters.

The Fund is solely devoted to charity,, and large sums of money are every year voted and paid to petitioners. In the United States of America there are several similar organizations known as Boards of Relief (see Relief, Board of).

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