Where it all started…

The first action relating to the establishment of this Lodge as shown by the Records of the Grand Lodge, was taken November 28, 1808. At a meeting of the Grand Lodge held on that date a petition was received from a number of Master Masons residing in the town of Coventry, asking for a Dispensation to authorize them to form and open a Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons in said town. It is stated in the Records of Grand Lodge that such petition was accompanied by two certificates, signed by the respective secretaries of St John’s Lodge, Providence,  and Harmony Lodge, Pawtuxet signifying that these bodies had approved the petition. The Grand Master was authorized to give a letter of Dispensation, in accordance with the prayer of the petitioners. At the session of Grand Lodge, held June 26, 1809, the Dispensation which had been granted for holding a Lodge at Coventry by the name of Manchester Lodge, was extended for one year and Richard Anthony,  Joseph Rice and William Anthony were continued as the first three officers for the same time. Sylvester Knight was Secretary at that time, Elisha Whitman Treasurer, and Reuben Whitman Tyler. At the annual session of Grand Lodge, held June 25, 1810, the Dispensation of Manchester Lodge No 12, Coventry,  was continued for another year. A Charter was authorized, however, and being duly issued, the Lodge was constituted October 3, 1810. The Charter bears date of October 4, 1810, the following named brethren being members: Richard Anthony, Joseph Rice, William Anthony, Benjamin Clarke, John McGregor, Stephen G. Williams, John White and William Hall.
The services of constituting the new Lodge were conducted by Ephraim Bowen, Jr., acting as Grand Master. The Rev. Bro. Curtis delivered an address in the Meeting House of the place. The officers of the Lodge at that date were the following: Richard Anthony, Master; Joseph Rice, Senior Warden; William Anthony, Junior Warden; Elisha Whitman, Treasurer; Sylvester Knight, Secretary; John Greene, Senior Deacon; Resolved Slack, Junior Deacon; Preserved Fish, Tyler. Manchester Lodge has never imposed any dues upon its members and still the finances of the Lodge have been kept in a very satisfactory condition. In the years 1828 to 1851 no work was done, but the regular communications were held, and the Lodge maintained its identity. The roll of Masters of the Lodge is as follows: Richard Anthony, 1808-10; Sylvester Knight, 1811; Richard Anthony, 1812; John Greene, 1813-14; William Anthony, 1815; John Baldwin, 1816; Sylvester Knight, 1817-23; Hollis K. Jenks, 1824-27; Oliver Johnson, 1828-30; Charles E. Dunham, 1831-32; Whipple A. Arnold, 1833-34; John Allen, 1835-44; Caleb Kilton, 1845-47; William B. Merrill, 1848-52; Whipple A. Arnold, 1853-58; Thos Siddell, 1859; Moses Fifield, 1860-63; Dwight R. Adams, 1864-65; Albert C. Dedrick, 1866-67; Andrew Potter, 1868-70; Albert D. Remington, 1871; Harvey S. Bartlett, 1872-74; George L. Card, 1875; Dexter B. Potter, 1876-77; Elihu R. Shippee, 1878; Henry D. Heydon, 1879-80; Elihu R. Shippee, 1881; John M. Knight, 1882-83; Eugene F. Warner, 1884-85; George H. Bradley, 1886; Byron A. Northup, 1887-88; John Vinsor, 1889-90. 
During the 82 years of the existence of the Lodge, but 28 have occupied the Master’s chair.  The roll of the membership aggregated 320 names. The active membership, as reported in 1891, was 113.  Manchester Lodge is the mother of Hamilton Lodge No.15; Warwick Lodge No.16; and Ionic Lodge No.28.  

All that is essential for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. -Edmund Burke

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