WHO WAS WILLIAM BROWN HEXTALL?
William Brown Hextall was initiated into the Hartington Lodge on lst October, 1873 and was Master in 1880; he was appointed Prov. S.G.W. in 1881.
Bro. Hextall was well-versed in Masonic History and in two places in his Craft Masonry in Derbyshire, Trevelyan Lee acknowledges his help with information. He was generous materially too; a gift of a portrait of Bro. Percy Wallis, Chairman for some years of the Charity Committee was gratefully accepted by the Prov. G.L. at its meeting in December, 1906. He was equally generous to the Hartington Lodge; in October 1901 he presented Master and Wardens Collars and in February 1916 on the fiftieth anniversary of the Lodge, he presented to the Worshipful Master a jewel to be worn by him and his successors in office in the Hartington Lodge. The jewel was then a hundred years old, and is thus described in the Transactions of the Lodge of Research No. 2429 at which Lodge it was exhibited in September 1905: “A composite jewel, composed of a five-pointed star, irradiated, enclosing a circle, triangle and G, from which hangs a WM square. The jewel is metal gilt set with marcasite, which is a species of iron pyrites. This form of jewel is very uncommon and dates back probably to 1835.”
No specimen of marcasite as used for Masonic jewels is included in the collection at Freemasons Hall Museum.
William Brown Hextall, the son of William Hextall of Ashby-de-la-Zouch, was born on the 6th 0ctober, 1847. From 1869 to 1882 he practiced as a solicitor in Derby. He entered Inner Temple in 1883 and was lecturer’s prizeman in Common Law in 1884, the year he was called to the Bar. He worked in the Midland Circuit.
Bro. Hextall was a PM of the Quatuor Coronati Lodge, No. 2076, and a Past Grand Deacon of Grand Lodge.
The Hextall Jewel – worn by The Worshipful Master of Hartington Lodge 1085, on all Masonic occasions.
William Brown Hextall
With thanks to W. Bro. John Morrisen and United Grand Lodge of England, Library and Museum