Why The Name Hartington Lodge

The Hartington Lodge was granted its Warrant on 5th. December 1885 from the Most Worshipful Grand Master The Earl of Zetland and subsequently held its first Lodge meeting at ‘Mrs Huggins, the Kings Head Hotel on Monday 5th February 1866,’ as recorded in the Derbyshire Advertiser for that week.

The Provincial Grand Master at the time was Rt. Wor. Bro. Spencer Compton Cavendish. He was the eldest son of the 7th. Duke of Devonshire and took the title Marquess of Hartington in 1858 and that same year he was installed as Provincial Grand Master of Derbyshire.

There are no records in the minutes or correspondence prior to the Lodge being granted its Warrant, however the Provincial Grand Master – The Marquess of Hartington – must have given his permission for the Lodge to be titled ‘Hartington’

Recorded in the minutes of the meeting on 3rd. October 1866 is a letter from the Provincial Grand Master on behalf of the Grand Master concerning the standard of candidates being admitted to Lodges – interestingly it is signed

Yours fraternally, Hartington

and dated 6th. August 1866 from Devonshire House Piccadilly W. London.

What about the man from whom the Lodge took its name.

Spencer Compton Cavendish was born at Holker Hall Lower Holker near Cartmel in the Lake District on 23rd. July 1833. He was educated at Trinity College Cambridge and entered Parliament in 1857. He had a long and distinguished career as a politician and held various government posts including Lord of the Admiralty, Post Master General, Secretary of State for War, Secretary of State for India, Secretary of State for Ireland, and Lord President of the Council.

Queen Victoria invited him to form a Government in 1880 but he declined the opportunity of becoming Prime Minister. Six years later 1886/87 Queen Victoria asked him twice more to form a Government but again he declined.

On the death of his father in 1891 he became the 8th. Duke of Devonshire.

Marks of Cadency or otherwise called distinction or differences

The first principle of armory is that every coat of arms should be unique – one man one coat. The requirement that different male members of a family should amend their arms so that each may be identified is known as cadency. Our banner shows that on the shield above the bucks head is a ‘label of three points argent’ otherwise known as a brisure. This recognises that the Marquess of Hartington was the eldest son of the 7th. Duke of Devonshire. This brisure would be removed from his arms when he became the 8th. Duke of Devonshire


The Coronet of a Marquess shows two balls of silver, technically known as pearls and three strawberry leaves visible. Our Banner clearly shows these features.

The Square and Compass.

In the second and third degrees our ritual instructs us as to the operative and symbolic meaning of the Square and Compasses, however

Bernard E. Jones in his book ‘Freemasons Guide and Compendium’ says ‘It is when we combine the square with the compasses that we find the most significant emblem in freemasonry’ ‘The Chinese many centuries before Christ used this emblem to suggest order, regularity and propriety. Mencius (b.372 B. C.) taught that men should apply the square and compasses figuratively to their lives , if they would walk in the straight and even paths of wisdom, and keep themselves within the bounds of honour and virtue’

The Level.

Again in the second degree our ritual instructs us as to the operative and symbolic meaning of the level. In the extended version of the second degree working tools (not part of the Hartington ritual) the first part of the symbolic explanation starts by saying ‘We have all sprung from the same stock’ and the latter part of the symbolic explanation is very salutary ‘and that he who is placed on the lowest spoke of fortune’s wheel is equally entitled to our regard as he who has attained the highest’, and long,

may that be so.

The Lodge banner is therefore a unique part of our Lodge. It demonstrates individuality and association with the craft and acts as a permanent reminder to all our members from whence we came, the aims of our founders as represented by the masonic symbols and encourages consideration for future generations of their objectives.

He served as Provincial Grand Master for 50 years until his death in Cannes France on 24th. March 1908 aged 74 years.

Asquith described him in the House of Commons as ‘Almost the last survivor of our heroic age’ and paid tribute to his ‘simplicity of nature, sincerity of conviction, directedness of purpose, intuitive insight into practical conditions, quiet and inflexible courage and above all tranquil indifference to praise and blame’

He was initiated into Scientific Lodge whilst at University in December 1853 aged 21 years, and in 1858 he became the first Master of Beaureper Lodge No. 787. – Meeting at Belper.

Lodge Banners

It would appear that during the first few years the lodge had been meeting without a banner. The first mention of a banner appears in the Lodge minutes of 2nd. April 1873 when ‘Bro. Moore WM proposed and Bro. Hills seconded that a banner be supplied to the Lodge on the terms named in Bro. French’s letter’ Unfortunately the terms of Bro. French’s letter are unknown.

There are no records in the minutes of that year of when the banner was presented or displayed for the first time, however later that year

5th. November 1873 the Lodge was consecrated by the Deputy Provincial Grand Master Bro. H. C. Okeover. It could be presumed therefore that perhaps the first banner was displayed for the first time at the Consecration meeting as the financial accounts for the year end shows an expenditure item of ‘Banner and box £7.15s .6d’

This first banner served the lodge for 57 years and was replaced by a second banner in 1930 when the lodge minutes of 1st October 1930 record ‘The Wor. Master Bro. O. M. Bennett having presented a new banner to the Lodge Wor. Bro C. R. Dobson P. P. G. Reg. proposed that the thanks of the Lodge be extended to Wor. Bro. O. M. Bennett for his beautiful and valuable gift to the Lodge. This was seconded by Wor. Bro. E. E. Raby and carried unanimously’

The meeting of 6th. November 1935 records ‘The Wor. Master reported the death of Wor. Bro. Oliver Moore Bennett’ and at the meeting of 6th. January 1937 a minute records ‘The Secretary reported receipt of a cheque value £600 in payment of the bequest by the late Wor. Bro. O. M. Bennett’ to this day the interest from the Oliver Bennet Trust is for charitable purposes and it is at the discretion of the Wor. Master to determine which deserving cause.

£600 was a significant sum in those days for example, estate agents Innes and Sons of Becket Street Derby advertised a house for sale on the

9th. January 1937 ‘£495- Mickleover, well built modern residence, two reception, three bedrooms, open healthy situation.’ At todays prices this figure could well be £150,000 plus.

Banner Details

As mentioned earlier the Marquess of Hartington must have given his permission for the Lodge to bear his name and use the Cavendish Arms as its insignia.

The original arms are described as follows

‘Sable three bucks’ heads caboshed argent attired or, Crest a serpent nowed proper’ – Motto ‘Cavendo Tutus’

The Hartington Lodge Banner displays the ‘Sable three bucks’ heads caboshed (the head is represented affonte and removed behind the ears so that no part of the neck is visible)

Those arms were borne by Sir William Cavendish, second husband of Bess of Hardwick, and by her second son, Sir William Cavendish, created Baron Cavendish in 1605 and Earl of Devonshire in 1618. The fourth Earl was raised to Dukedom in 1694 whereupon the arms were added to as follows

‘Supporters on either side, a buck proper wreathed about the neck with a chaplet of roses alternately argent and azure’.

An impressive example of the Devonshire family arms can be seen above the main entrance to the magnificent Palladian stables at Chatsworth which shows life – size stag supporters with real antlers, again a photograph of which can be seen on the back of this programme.

The first time the full Coat of Arms for the 8th. Duke of Devonshire appears on our summons is for the Installation meeting of 7th. February 1912.It is a beautifully engraved print and coloured gold.

Shown below is the computer generated graphic which was drawn from the coat of arms displayed on the above summons and is used on our circulars today.

Prior to 1912 our summons displayed only the crest of the Cavendish family ‘A snake nowed proper’ (that is interlaced in a knot) as shown below. Snakes are emblems of wisdom safety or security and justice, thus linking the crest with the motto.

The Motto

Mottoes are brief phrases expressing some pious, loyal, moral sentiment, or some event in the family’s history and often playing on the name of the bearer as is the case of the motto of the Cavendish family displayed on their coat of arms and our banner.

Cavendo Tutus, ‘Safe through caution’ – Cavendish. -This motto clearly has masonic significance also.

Thanks go to Worshipful Brother Joseph Sim, for all the research he put into this work for the Banner Dedication.

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