I have read many articles stating that lodge 459 has the last English Warrant left in the USA. This isn’t true, Lodge 403 still has their warrant, they currently work as Lodge #2 under the Grand Lodge of North Carolina AFAM.
Similar founding History with Lodge 459.
This lodge states that it received the right to assemble as masons from “C. Harnet Grand Master of masons in Wilmington NC” Nov 1st 1764. There wasn’t a PGM in Wilmington at that time, C. Harnet was just a Worshipful Master, he later became a PGM of Virginia.
This right to assemble was only recorded in the records of Lodge 403 and not in Wilmington’s archives or that of England. Once they receive their warrant from English then you start seeing correspondence between England and 403. Infact the Worshipful Master of 403 became the Pro Grand Master of All America in 1771, his PGM-ship is recorded in the English Records, his name was J. Montfort. He issued at least 8 provincial warrants in NC and VA. He labeled his daughter lodges as “No. 2 - 8” and didn’t have them request English Warrants.
Did he over step his bounds by issuing a Warrant?
I don’t think so, The Grand lodge of England before the Union with the Ancients, accepted many independent lodges as long as they conformed to the landmarks of masonry and most importantly paid their dues. Once a warrant was issued, it states that the master promises to make masons in a regular form, submit returns / bylaws, and to state what is to be purpose of obtaining a warrant.