TheNorthernLight

/February2008

7

thisprocession,butinsteadplannedapublicfu-
neralprocessiononFeb.11,1800,andinvitedall
lodgesunderitsjurisdictiontojoinin.

TheGrandLodgecollectionincludesanapron

thoughttohavebeenworninthatprocession.
Madefromwhiteleather,itistrimmedwithblack
cottonlace.Writteninblackacrossthebodyof
theapronis“MementoMori.”Handwriting
undertheflapsuggeststhatWilliamO’Brien(b.
1753)woretheapron.O’Brienwasamemberof

Marblehead’sPhilanthropicLodge,whichre-
solvedonJan.1,1800,to“wearblackcrape(sic)
withblueribbonontheleftarmfor30days,asa
badgeofmourningforthedeceaseofourillustri-
ousBrotherGeorgeWashington.”

Theprocession,composedofal-

most1,600Brethren,beganat
theOldStateHouseandmoved
totheOldSouthMeeting
HousewhereBrotherTimothy
Bigelowdeliveredaeulogyand
thegroupprayedandsang
hymns.

Theprocessionincludedrep-

resentativeofficersfromMas-
sachusettslodgesandchapters,
“threetimesthreeSonsofMa-
sonsaboutelevenyearsofage,
bearingsprigsofcassia,”nine
daughtersofMasons,“each
bearingabasketofflowers,”a
“fullbandofmusic,”andthe
goldenurnmadebyPaul
Revere,whichcontaineda
lockofhairfromWashing-
ton(stillinthecollectionofthe

GrandLodgeofMassachusettstoday).

EvengranderthantheWashingtonfuneral

processionwastheJune1825paradetoBunker
HillwiththeMarquisdeLafayettetolaythecor-
nerstonefortheBunkerHillmonument.

Onceagain,Boston’sMasonsplayedaleading

roleandwerementionedprominentlyintheorder
ofprocessionthatwasprintedinthenewspaper.
Priortotheprocession,Lafayettecametoaspe-
cialgatheringoftheGrandLodgetobeintro-
ducedtotheassembledBrethren.

TheMasonsmarchedtotheCommon,where

theyjoinedthecivicprocessionincludingrepre-
sentativesfromthemilitaryandfromtheBunker
HillMonumentAssociation,aswellasprominent
politicalandcivicfiguressuchasthegovernorof
Massachusetts,theU.S.secretaryofwar,senators
andrepresentatives,andabout40survivorsofthe
BattleofBunkerHill.

TheMasonserecteda“loftytriumphalarch”

nearthelocationofthecornerstone,whichwas
inscribed“TheArtspayhomagetovalor,”and
underwhichtheFreemasonsmarchedbeforebe-
ginningthetraditionalcornerstone-layingcere-
mony.

TheBrethrencarriedtheirtoolswiththem;the

processionlistincludesbanners,silvervesselswith
wineandoil,agoldenvesselwithcorn,three
burningtapers,theBibleandtheBookofConsti-
tutions.

TheProceedingsoftheGrandLodgeofMas-

sachusettsrecountthat“alargeproportionof
MasterMasonswereclothedwithplainwhite
apronswhiteglovesandbluesashes.”TheGrand
Lodgecollectionalsoincludesasilkribbonbadge

fromthatdayand

undoubtedly,some

ofthemenalso

pinnedoneofthese

totheirchests.

Theimportanceofthe

occasionwasnotloston

anyofBoston’sresi-

dents.Oneofthelocal

newspapersbeganits

coverageoftheBunker

Layingthecor-
nerstoneatthe
WilliamsBuild-
ing,Masonic
Home,Charlton,
MA,1923,
Loanedbythe
GrandLodgeof
Masonsin
Massachusetts.

Masonicapron
worninWashington
funeralprocession,
ca.1800,loanedby
theGrandLodge
ofMasonsin
Massachusetts,
photographby
DavidBohl.