Other New York Grand Lodge Officers


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Other New York Grand Lodge Officers

Miscellaneous ‘first six’ Grand Line Officer

Compiled by R.’.W.’. Gary L. Heinmiller

Director, Onondaga and Oswego Masonic Districts Historical Societies (OMDHS)

For purposes of the present work, the ‘first six’ Grand Line Officers are the:

Grand Master

Deputy Grand Master

Senior Grand Warden

Junior Grand Warden



Most of the ‘first six’ Grand Lodge Officers, listed in the Proceedings went on to serve as Grand Master and their biographical sketches are therefore portrayed in the companion book (335 pages +), “Grand Master of the State of New York.”

The following sketches are for some of the other ‘first six’ Grand Lodge Officers who did NOT go on to become Grand Master and many of whom also had quite interesting lives. They are listed below in, more or less, the year in which they appeared in the Grand Line. Some of their names were somewhat ‘common’ so may or may not appear in this listing until some of them may be distinguished from the many other people who share their name.
Brother Birth-Death Year(s) NY Grand Lodge Office
Brownrigg, John Studholme (bef 1760-aft 1782) 1781-82 Senior Grand Warden

1783 Deputy Grand Master

When the Grand Lodge of England Convened in America

Yates, Peter Waldron (23 Aug 1747-1826) 1784-88 Senior Grand Warden

Pintard, John (18 May 1759-21 Jun 1844) 1791 Junior Grand Warden,

Astor, John Jacob (17 Jul 1763-29 Mar 1848) 1798-1800 Grand Treasurer

Van Rensselaer, Philip Schuyler (Apr 1766-25 Sep 1824) 1801-12 Junior Grand Warden

Brother of Grand Master Stephen Van Rensselaer (1825-29)

Colden, Cadwallader David (4 Apr 1769-7 Feb 1834) 1801-05, 1810-1919 Senior Grand Warden

The Patriot File, Unearthed

The Albany Masonic Lodge

Cocks, Robert (d. 1812) 1801-11 Grand Treasurer

Simson, Sampson (1780-7 Jan 1857) 1812-13, 1815 Grand Treasurer

Bogert, Cornelius (14 Aug 1775-11 Aug 1856) 1816-22 Grand Treasurer

1823-24 Grand Treasurer, City GL

Elias Hicks (25 Dec 1771 – 16 Apr 1844) 1817-1822 Grand Secretary

Foote, Elial Todd (1 May 1795-17 Nov 1877) 1825-26 Junior Grand Warden

Wadsworth, Ebenezer (19 Nov 1778-23 Sep 1863) 1825-26 Grand Secretary

Cozier, Ezra Starr (ca 1785-17 Aug 1832, age 47) 1825-32 Senior Grand Warden

Feltus, Rev. Henry James D.D., (25 Dec 1775-24 Aug 1828) 1827 Deputy Grand Master

Herring, James (12 Jan 1794-ca 10 Oct 1867) 1830-45 Grand Secretary

1846-58 Grand Secretary, Phillips GL

Barnum, Ezra Smith (21 Jun 1792-1877 or Feb 1878) 1844-48 Junior Grand Warden

Boyce, Gerardus (25 Nov 1795-30 Jun 1880) 1849-51 Grand Treasurer

Macoy, Robert (4 Oct 1815-9 Jan 1895) 1850 Grand Secretary, St. John's GL

1856-57 Deputy Grand Master

Austin, Dr. James M. (1813-2 Dec 1881) 1853-1880 Grand Secretary

Satterlee, Gregory (4 Nov 1822-14 Mar 1880) 1876-78 Grand Treasurer

Connor, Washington ‘Wash’ E. (b. ca 1851-aft 1929) 1885-86 Grand Marshal

1887-88 Grand Treasurer

Ide, Charles Elliot Jr. (31 May 1853- 9 Dec 1899, age 46) 1893-94 Junior Grand Warden

1895-98 Senior Grand Warden

Taylor, Theodore A. (b. 31 Jul 1850; d. aft 1926 1900-03 Grand Treasurer

Moore, Thomas Channing (1 Jun 1872-18 Nov 1931) 1925-26 Grand Treasurer

Barnewall, George A. (1888-14 Apr 1952) 1950-51 Deputy Grand Master

Bresee, Wilmer E. (8 May 1910-1997) 1962-64 Senior Grand Warden


When the Grand Lodge of England Convened in America

by Bro. Theodore Walton

The Master Mason - August 1925
NOT many are aware, I imagine, that the Grand Lodge of England once convened, for three hours, in America. It was during the War of the Revolution, too, which gives it an added significance. The story of it, briefly, is after this fashion, and is appropriate to recall just now when we are celebrating the 150th anniversary of the opening of the War of the Revolution.

In the British regiments ordered to America to suppress the rising rebellion of the Colonies there were many military lodges, owing, largely, to the activities of the "Ancient" Grand Lodge of England in its rivalry against the "Modern" Grand Lodge - the Great Schism, which extended from 1752 to 1813, being at its height. The military lodges, left their mark upon the Craft in this country, particularly in New York.

It was a part of the strategy of the leaders of the "Ancient" Grand Lodge to work in harmony with the Grand Lodges of Ireland and Scotland, the ritual and customs of the three Grand Lodges being very much alike - all three differing in some points from the premier Grand Lodge of London. As in Pennsylvania, so elsewhere, the "Ancients" soon had the upper hand in the struggle, due, let it be said to their credit, to the fact they were more democratic and kept close to the humanity of the great middle class in what Emerson later called "our middleclass country."

The question of "regularity," so vexing to Masons in the old country, did not trouble Colonial Masons at all. They saw no reason for avoiding Masonic fellowship with "Ancient" Brethren on that score, the less so when the "Ancient" Lodges were acknowledged as regular by the Grand Lodges of Ireland and Scotland. The last impediment to a free mingling of brethren made under the older dispensation with the members of the steadily increasing number of "Ancient" Lodges was removed when Sir John Johnson hied away to Canada and took his Provincial warrant with him. The field was left free to the "Ancients," and they were not slow to take it.

Accordingly, it was decided to form a Grand Lodge under the Ancient obedience. The leading lodge was No. 169 of "Ancient York Masons," which had been constituted as such while its regiment was located in Boston, July 13, 1771, under warrant from the Ancient Grand Lodge of England. On the evacuation of Boston, in 1776, the lodge followed the British army to New York, where it saw its opportunity of uniting several military lodges into a Provincial Grand Lodge.

TO THAT end a convention of lodges was called on January 23, 1781, attended by twenty-nine representatives of seven lodges. Past Master James McCuen, of Lodge No. 169, presided, and after the purposes of the gathering were explained, the convention organized a Grand Lodge "in ample form," electing James McCuen as temporary Grand Master. A permanent formation was agreed upon, and officers elected, as follows: The Rev. William Walter, of No. 169, Grand Master; John Studholme Brownrigg, of 441, Senior Grand Warden; the Rev. John Beardsley, of No. 210, junior Grand Warden. Information of the proceedings was sent to the Ancient Grand Lodge of London, with a request for authority to make the organization permanent.

On October 10, 1781, a dispensation was given for the constitution of a new military lodge, No. 215, to be held in the Second Regiment of Anspach-Bayreuth, which was stationed in New York. The lodge was constituted five months later by the inchoate Provincial Grand Lodge, who were empowered to represent the mother Grand Lodge on that occasion, "for three hours only." A record of the transaction was later made a part of the proceedings of the Grand Lodge in London, a certified copy of which was given by Bro. John W. Vrooman, Grand Master of Masons in New York, at the time of his visit to England in 1889. It is as follows:


At present in the Archives of the United Grand Lodge of England. Free Masons Hall - London.

"Grand Lodge open'd at 4 o'clock in the City of New York, North America on the 21 of February, An: Do: 1782, - An: Lap: 5782.

The R.'.W.'. & Revd Br. WM. WALTER, P.G.M. elect as D.G.M.

The R.'.W.'. BR., JOHN St BROWNING Esqe, P.S.G.W. elect as S.G.W.

The R.'.W.'. & Revd BR. JOHN BARKLEY, P.J.G.W. elect as J.G.W.

The R.'.W.'. BR. ISAAC CALLINS P.'.M.'. of 169 as Gd. Secy.


BR. CUNNINGHAM, Mr. of No. 169.


BR. MCEWEN do do
BR. COLLINS Mr. of No. 210
BR. COCK Mr. of No. 212
BR. DREW Mr. of No. 213
BR. FIFE S.W. do

Installed according to Ancient usage.


The Revd JOHN PHILLIP ERB. S. W. vice DAVID SCHOEP, absent.

GEORGE DOIG, J. W. vice FERD FORSTER, dead. All matters relative to this Constitution being complaited the Gd Officers aforesaid in the name of the Most Noble Prince John Duke of Athol G.M, proclaimed the New Lodge Duly constituted No. 215, registered in Grand Lodge Book, Volume 8, Letter H, to be held in the Second Reg't of Auspack Berauth.

Closed before 7 o'clock, adjourned to the Grand Lodge in London.

* N. B. The Revd WILLM WALTER was empower'd to act as D.G.Mr (for 3 hours only) by an authority from Win Dickey Esqe, DGM."


[L.S.] (Signed) SHADWELL H. CLERKE G. S.

IT IS only proper to add that in the autumn of 1782 the Provincial Grand Lodge was duly organized, by virtue of a warrant dated September 5, 1781, its transmission having been delayed, no doubt, by the war conditions. So runs the record of the only time the Grand Lodge of England was convened in America, and it is an item of interest, if nothing more, in the annals of the Craft in the New World - all acts made regular and a part of the common tradition of the Fraternity when the Great Schism was healed in the Lodge of Reconciliation in 18l3.


Lodge No. 169 saw that with so many other Lodges present a Grand Lodge might be started. Consequently it called a meeting to which a number of the other Lodges were invited. On January 23, 1781, the called Assembly met as a Grand Lodge " in ample form." Bro. McCuen (McEwen) presided. William 46 FREEMASONRY IN NEW YORK Walter was elected Grand Master by unanimous vote. For Wardens the Rev. John Beardsley, a native of Connecticut and a Yale man, and John Studholme Brownrigg, ensign of the 38th Regiment, were chosen. The London " Grand Lodge of Ancient York Masons," presided over by the Duke of Atholl, Grand Master, issued a Provincial Grand Lodge Warrant to Lodge No. 169 under date of September S, 1781. Since ocean travel was hazardous in those days, and they were willing to entrust the Warrant only to a ship sailing under convoy, it was not received in New York until late in 1782.

http://www.angelfire.com/realm/gotha/Part_h8.htm Williams-Wynn; m.11 Sep 1840 John Studholme Brownrigg (d.1 Apr 1889) Rev John Studholme Brownrigg (1841-); m.18 Jul 1870 Mary Jemima Selby-Lowndes (d.2 Mar 1917) Laura Verena Brownrigg (1873-); m.20 Jun 1900 John Matthew Knapp (1868-1924) Studholme Brownrigg (1843- ) Henry John Studholme Brownrigg (1882-1942); m. Amy Norah Kinehan Studholme Brownrigg, d.1971; m.1946 Deva Cayzer (b.22 Jan 1923) John Studholme Brownrigg, b.22 May 1961; m.1985 (div 2000) Sally Anne Jepson Louise Brownrigg, b.1988 Studholme Brownrigg, b.1990 Anne Studholme Brownrigg (7 May 1920-14 Oct 2002); m. John Earl Scotland
John Jacob Astor (17 Jul 1763-29 Mar 1848) 1798-1800 Grand Treasurer pg. 85 vol III

“Portrait Gallery of Prominent Freemasons,” 1892. Section III, page 85-86.

Bro. Astor was born in the village of Waldorf, in the Duchy of Baden, Germany, 17 Jul 1763. At the age of 16 he joined his brother George in London in the business of making musical instruments, and four years later (1783) embarked for Baltimore, taking a stock of instruments with him. These he exchanged in New York for furs, which he took to London and disposed of to great advantage. Thus encouraged he resolved to devote himself to the fur trade, and with this in view made himself acquainted with the various European markets and carefully studied the different kinds of furs. On returning to America he established himself in New York, which was henceforth his permanent place of residence. His enterprise and thrift soon enabled him to ship his furs in his own vessels, which brought back cargoes of foreign produce, thereby reaping a double profit. In sixteen years he had acquired a fortune of $250,000. Such was his diligence and so great were his talents for business that when his commerce covered the seas he was enabled to control the action of his shipmasters and supercargoes in the minutest details, and rarely if ever was he known to have erred either in judgment or in knowledge of the facts.

He conceived the vast scheme of connecting the fur trade with the Pacific by means of a line of trading posts extending from the Great Lakes along the Missouri and Columbia to the mouth of the latter river, where he founded Astoria in April 1811, to be used as a central depot, and then, by getting possession of one of the Sandwich Islands as a station, to supply China and the Indies with furs directly from the Pacific Coast. The disasters which befell two of the expeditions sent out to the Pacific for this purpose, and the desertion of one of the principal agents or partners in the enterprise, and his betrayal of Astor’s plans to the Northwest (British) Fur Company, prevented the success of the scheme.

Bro. Astor invested largely in real estate, erected numerous buildings, both public and private, and thus, from the almost unexampled rise in the value of this kind of property in New York during the first half of the century, added immensely to his rapidly increasing wealth.

Masonic Record:

1790 Made a Mason in Holland Lodge No. 8, New York City; Master in 1798

Jun 1798 Elected Grand Treasurer of the Grand Lodge, serving three years.

At his death on 29 Mar 1848, his property was estimated at not less than $20 million. Among his bequests were

$400,000 for the establishment of a library in New York,

$50,000 to his native village in Germany,

$30,000 to ‘The German Society of New York,’

$30,000 to ‘The Home for Aged Ladies,’

$5,000 each to ‘The Blind’ and ‘The Half-Orphan’ Asylums

$2,000 to the church in which he was a member.

Almost the whole of his property was left to his son, William B. Astor, who subsequently added nearly as much more to the endowment of the library, so that it was one of the most liberally endowed institutions of the kind on the American continent.


John Jacob Astor (born Johann Jakob or Johann Jacob Astor) (July 17, 1763March 29, 1848) was the first prominent member of the Astor family and the first millionaire in the United States. He was the creator of the first trust in America, from which he made his fortune in fur trading, real estate and opium..

At the time of his death in 1848, Astor was the wealthiest person in the United States, leaving an estate estimated to be worth at least 20 million dollars; worth $110 billion in 2007 US Dollars, making him the fourth wealthiest person in American history.

Astor was born in Walldorf, near Heidelberg in the old Palatinate which became part of Baden during the 19th century, Germany (currently in the Rhein-Neckar district). His father (Johann Jacob Astor) was a butcher. The son John Jacob Astor learned English in London while working for his brother, George Astor, manufacturing musical instruments.

Astor took advantage of the Jay Treaty between Great Britain and the United States in 1794 which opened new markets in Canada and the Great Lakes region. By 1800 he had amassed almost a quarter of a million dollars, and had become one of the leading figures in the fur trade. In 1800, following the example of the "Empress of China", the first American trading vessel to China, Astor traded furs, teas and sandalwood with Canton in China, and greatly benefited from it. The Embargo Act from Thomas Jefferson in 1807, however, disrupted his import/export business. With the permission of President Jefferson, Astor established the American Fur Company on April 6, 1808. He later formed subsidiaries: the Pacific Fur Company, and the Southwest Fur Company (in which Canadians had a part), in order to control fur trading in the Columbia River and Great Lakes area.

The Columbia River trading post at Fort Astoria (established in April 1811) was the first United States community on the Pacific coast. He financed the overland Astor Expedition in 1810-12 to reach the outpost. Members of the expedition were to discover South Pass through which hundreds of thousands settlers on the Oregon, California and Mormon trails passed through the Rocky Mountains.

His fur trading ventures were disrupted once again when the British captured his trading posts during the War of 1812, but rebounded in 1817 after the U.S. Congress passed a protectionist law that barred foreign traders from U.S. Territories. The American Fur Company once again came to dominate trading in the area around the Great Lakes. In 1822, Astor established the Astor House on Mackinac Island as headquarters for the reformed American Fur Company, making the island a metropolis of the fur trade. A lengthy description based on documents, diaries etc. was given by Washington Irving in his travelogue Astoria.

In 1802, Astor purchased what remained of a ninety-nine year lease from Aaron Burr for $62,500. At the time, Burr was serving as vice president under Thomas Jefferson and was desperately short on cash. The lease was to run until May 1, 1866. Astor began subdividing the land into nearly 250 lots and subleased them. His conditions were that the tenant could do whatever they wish with the lots for twenty-one years, after which they must renew the lease or Astor would take back the lot.

In the 1830s, John Jacob Astor figured that the next big boom would be in the build-up of New York, which would soon emerge as one of the world’s greatest cities. Astor withdrew from the American Fur Company, as well as all his other ventures, and invested all his proceeds on buying and developing large tracts of land, focusing solely on Manhattan real estate. Foreseeing the rapid growth northward on Manhattan Island, Astor purchased more and more land out beyond the current city limits. Astor rarely built on his land, and instead let others pay rent to use it.

After retiring from his business, Astor spent the rest of his life as a patron of culture. He supported the ornithologist John James Audubon, the poet/writer Edgar Allan Poe, and the presidential campaign of Henry Clay. At the time of his death in 1848, Astor was the wealthiest person in the United States, leaving an estate estimated to be worth at least 20 million dollars. In his will, he gave orders to build the Astor Library for the New York public (later consolidated with other libraries to form New York Public Library), as well as a poorhouse in his German hometown, Walldorf. As a symbol of the earliest fortunes in New York, John Jacob Astor is mentioned in Herman Melville's novella "Bartleby, the Scrivener".

Astor left the bulk of his fortune to his second son, William Backhouse Astor, Sr. His eldest son, John Jacob II, had a mental disability and therefore was ineligible to receive the inheritance, although the family continued to care for him. John Jacob Astor is interred in the Trinity Churchyard Cemetery in the New York City borough of Manhattan. The famous pair of marble lions that sit by the stairs of The New York Public Library at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street were originally named Leo Astor and Leo Lenox, after Astor and James Lenox, who founded the library. Then they were called Lord Astor and Lady Lenox (both lions are males), before being given the names Patience and Fortitude by Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia during the Great Depression.

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