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African Lodge of Boston operated a MARK and PAST MASTER Lodge between 1816 and 1821


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Discovered in the archives of African Lodge of Boston, dated between the years of 1816-1821, were the bylaws of a Mark and Paster Master Lodge under the designation of "Mark and Past Masters Lodge of Boston", this Lodge operated under the charter of African Lodge No. 459.

This is the first documented instance of a body (other than symbolic) operated among members of African Lodge.

We know this to be a bona fide Mark and Past Master Lodge based on Article 6, which stated:

"Every MASTER MASON desirous of obtaining the DEGREES OF MARK AND PAST MASTER must make APPLICATION to the Master or Wardens...."


One had to be a Master Mason to receive the degrees of Mark and Past Master. This provides further evidence that the Past Master degree was VIRTUAL, because it was conferred on Master Masons, and not just the Masters of the Lodge.

From where they received these degrees is not known, but research has provided that members of the Royal Arch from around Boston were visiting African Lodge during this period. It is quite possible that the degrees were conferred on them by Mark and Past Masters of the "mainstream" Lodges in Boston.

Another great discover regarding the origins of the Royal Arch among members of African Lodge of Boston.


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