Civil Charter Of The Grand Lodge
At the General Assembly of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations begun and holden at Newport within and for said State on the first Wednesday of May in the year of our Lord One Thousand Eight Hundred and Twelve and of Independence the Thirty Sixth.
AN ACT to incorporate the Grand Master, Deputy Grand Master, Grand Wardens and members of the Grand Lodge of the most ancient and honorable society of Free and Accepted Masons of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.
WHEREAS, Jabez Bowen, Ephram Bowen Jun’r, Thomas S. Webb, Amos Maine Atwell, Christopher Rhodes, William Wilkinson, John Holroyd, John Carlile, Samuel Jackson the 2d, Israel Amsbury, Ebenezer Johnson, James Mason, Philip Peck, Benjamin Hall, Walter Humphrey, Peter Grinnell, Nehemiah Dodge, Silvester Child Jun’r, Samuel Randall, Charles Wheaton, William Carr, John Davis, Joseph Tillinghast, Peleg Rhodes, Seth Peck, Alexander V. Griswold, Christopher Dexter, David Sayles, Richard Anthony, James Perry, Benjamin B. Mumford, John A. Shaw, Allen Wardell, Ahab Read, Ebenezer Tyler, and Howland Greene, styling themselves officers and members of the Grand Lodge of the most Ancient and Honourable Society of Free and Accepted Masons for the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations have in their Petition to this General Assembly set forth that said Grand Lodge has been established a number of years: That the principles and regulations of their Institution are calculated to promote the social Virtues and to provide for the Relief of the indigent and distressed: That they inculcate a strict conformity to the Laws and respect to the constituted authorities of the State: That the funds they have been enabled to obtain, have been appropriated (except such parts as have been wanted for necessary expenses, for the relief of Poor and distressed Brethren and their Families: And that they may the better advance the purposes of the Institution, are desirous of obtaining the aid and Authority of the Legislature and have prayed that they may be erected and made a body politic and corporate, for the purpose of securing such funds as they now do, or may from time to time hereafter possess:
Be it therefore enacted by this General Assembly, and by the Authority thereof it is hereby enacted. That the aforesaid Petitioners and such others as now are or may hereafter by them be admitted members of the said Society, be and they are hereby constituted, erected and made a body politic and corporate, to subsist at all times forever hereafter, in deed and in name by the name of the Grand Lodge of the Most Ancient and Honourable Society of Free and Accepted Masons for the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations; and by that name shall and may have perpetual succession, and be persons able and capable in Law to have, hold, receive and enjoy lands, tenements, hereditaments and Rents, in fee simple, or for term or Life, Lives, years or otherwise, not exceeding in value the sum of Twenty Thousand Dollars: and also goods and chattels and all other things, of what nature, kind and quality soever; and also to give, grant, let, sell, or assign the same lands, tenements, hereditaments goods and chattels, and to do and execute all other things about the same; and also that they and their successors, by the name aforesaid, be forever hereafter capable and liable to sue and be sued, plead and be impleaded, answer and be answered unto defend and be defended against in all or any of the Courts of Law or otherwise, by any of the Judges, Justices, or other persons whomsoever, in all manner of actions, complaints or pleas whatsoever; and that it shall and may be lawful to and for them and their successors, forever, hereafter, to have one common seal for their use and the same at their will and pleasure to change and alter.
And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That it shall and may be lawful for the said Petitioners and their successors to choose the Grand Master, Deputy Grand Master, Grand Wardens, Grand Treasurer, Grand Secretary, and such other officers as they may deem proper and for such length of time as they have or may hereafter determine, and to make such laws and regulations for the well governing, the said Grand Master, Deputy Grand Master, Grand Wardens and members as they shall deem necessary, provided they are not repugnant to the laws of the State.
And be it further enacted, That Silvester Child Jun’r be the First Grand Master, Thomas S. Webb the first Deputy Grand Master, Amos Maine Atwell the first Grand Senior Warden, Christopher Rhodes the first Grand Junior Warden, William Wilkinson the first Grand Treasurer and John Holroyd the first Grand Secretary, to continue for such length of time as has been heretofore customary with said Society.
In Testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the Seal of Said State to be affixed at Providence the Twenty Second Day of June in the year of our Lord one Thousand Eight Hundred and Twelve and of Independence the Thirty Sixth.
|By his Excellency’s
Samuel Eddy, Secry.
Surrendered vote of Grand Lodge, March 17, 1834.
Joseph S. Cooke, Grand Master.
I hereby certify that the foregoing Civil Charter is a true copy from the original Civil Charter granted the Grand Lodge by the General Assembly in 1812, returned by the vote of the Grand Lodge in 1834, and restored in accordance with the following enactment of the General Assembly: said act being engrossed upon the margin of the original charter.
State of Rhode Island
January Session 1861 A
Upon the petition of Oliver Johnson, a committee appointed by the Grand Lodge of ancient, free and accepted Masons of the State of Rhode Island, praying that the Charter of said Grand Lodge, heretofore surrendered by them and accepted by the General Assembly, be returned to said Grand Lodge.
Voted and Resolved, by this General Assembly, that the prayer of said petition, be; and the same is hereby granted; and that the Secretary of State be and hereby is ordered to return said Charter to the said Grand Lodge, and that said Grand Lodge by virtue of this resolution, have and possess all the rights and privileges granted to them by the terms of said charter, in the same manner and to the same extent as they had and enjoyed before said charter was surrendered by them and accepted by the General Assembly. It is further voted and resolved, that so much of the resolution in relation to Masonic Charters passed at the May session of the Gen. Assembly a.d. 1834 as relates to said lodge, be and the same is hereby repealed. In testimony whereof, I have hereto set my hand and affixed the seal of the State this 4th April a.d. 1861.
|John R. Bartlett,
Secretary of State
Amendment to Civil Charter
ACTS AND RESOLVES
Passed by the
STATE OF RHODE ISLAND AND PROVIDENCE
JANUARY SESSION, A.D. 1929
An Act authorizing the Grand Lodge of the Most Ancient and Honourable Society of Free and Accepted Masons for the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations to hold property to an amount not exceeding One Million Five Hundred Thousand Dollars.
It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:
Section 1. The Grand Lodge of the Most Ancient and Honourable Society of Free and Accepted Masons for the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations is hereby authorized to hold property to an amount not exceeding one million five hundred thousand dollars; and this act shall amend an act passed at the May session, 1812, entitled “An act to incorporate the Grand Master, Deputy Grand Master, Grand Wardens and Members of the Grand Lodge of the Most Ancient and Honourable Society of Free and Accepted Masons for the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations,” as repealed and charter forfeited by an act passed at the January session, 1834; and charter restored by resolution No. 17, passed at the January session, 1861.
Section 2. This act shall take effect upon its passage, and all acts and parts of acts inconsistent herewith are hereby repealed.