Hardwick Lodge 2373 is the
second oldest Lodge meeting in
Chesterfield, having been consecrated on the 18th March 1891.
At that date the 7th Duke of
Devonshire, William Cavendish, was the Provincial Grand Master. The first Worshipful Master, William
Jeudwine, was the Duke’s Agent, having responsibility for the running of
the Chatsworth Estate. Since
Hardwick Hall was more actively used at that period than Chatsworth
House, it is fair to assume that this is the reason the lodge was so named.
The original Lodge banner bears the Arms of the Cavendish family and
their motto ‘Cavendo Tutus’, roughly translated as ‘Safety by Caution’.
It now hangs in the west of the temple and is too
delicate to handle, being protected by a glass cover. A new banner was
commissioned in 1998 to enable the Lodge to participate in the
procession at the Annual Meeting of Provisional Grand Lodge.
The first meeting of
Hardwick Lodge was held at the Star Hotel, Chesterfield, and subsequent
meetings were held next door at the Angel Inn. Unfortunately neither of these premises remains
today. In 1903 the Masonic Club was formed, which met at the East
Derbyshire Club, Saltergate. This later became Chesterfield Masonic Hall
and Hardwick Lodge has met there ever since.
Meetings are held at
6.30pm on the second Wednesday of the month, except June, July and
August when there are no meetings.
Our ritual is highly
individual having many similarities to the Old Scottish Working.
Hardwick Lodge members take a great deal of pride in the high standard of ritual displayed in the
ceremonies. Unusually, until recently, only one copy of the ritual
existed, which was always kept by the Worshipful Master, who passed it
on to his successor. The only way the members were able to acquire knowledge was by attending the practices.
Even today no copies of the ritual are ever used during the ceremonies.
A particular feature of
the Installation ceremony is its musical content, which greatly enhances
the atmosphere of the occasion. The Festive Boards are enriched by supplementing the toasts
with song and the unique ‘Chesterfield Flutter’, a tradition not to be missed.
Hardwick Lodge membership
has been over 60 and is the largest Craft Lodge in Chesterfield, with an active enthusiastic membership from very varied backgrounds. Visitors are always made most welcome.