This information, which covers the years 1765 to 1828, was extracted from [Osborne 1901]. The book is inconsistant in one or two areas, though whether from inaccurate transcription or errors in the source records it is hard to tell. Note that I know no more of the art and mystery of freemasonry than is contained in this book.

The first lodge founded in Cornwall was No. 146 “Kings Arms”, Falmouth on 20 May 1751. West Penwith followed along shortly with No. 199 “Ship and Castle”, Penzance (founded 14 Jun 1755 but for which no records seem to survive) and No. 240 “Ship”, St. Ives. The early lodges were named after the Hotel or Public House in which they met, usually twice monthly in a private room.

No. 240 “Ship”, St. Ives

This was founded on 16 Jul 1765 when the officers were John KNILL (Worshipful Master), W. H. STEPHENS (Senior Warden), Thomas LANE (Junior Warden), TRENGROUSE (Secretary) and Nathanial HICKS (Treasurer), John EDWARDS and William HITCHENS (Enrolled Apprentice). No others than these seven were permitted to be elected Worshipful Master which ultimately caused the closure the lodge in 1780. The numbering of lodges was rather eratic, this one being, on occasions 360 (1769), 284 (1775) and 227 (1786). They met on the first and third Thursdays of each month and subscriptions began at 7/6 per quarter.

Highlights from later business, where names were mentioned, were:—

The highest attendance at any meeting was 11, average 5. Other brothers not recorded above were ? WESTON, James HEE, Timothy MAJOR, ? HINGSTONE, George BOZET, Thomas HICKES (brother of Nathaniel), Ephraim GEEN & Timothy JOSE. The property of the “Ship” was transfered to the No. 678 “True Friendship” at Crowan founded on 19 May 1815. The minutes for thise appear in the same book as the “Ship” and include Thomas LEAN as first Master

Druid’s Lodge No 176 “Love and Liberality”, Redruth

This organisation was a much more subtantial affair and, though it is some distance outside of West Penwith, had many members from there, especially after the lodges in Penzance and St. Ives disbanded. Founded before 1777, it had members from all of Cornwall and some even as far afield as London, Wales, the north of England and Norway(!) including seven French prisoners of war in 1791.

The following members from West Penwith are recorded:—

In the same way as above, the lodge number changed on occasions and it was also known as No. 113 “London Inn”, Redruth in 1790, No. 103 in 1803 and No. 127 in 1822.

A chapter of Royal Arch Masons (No. 79 “Love and Liberality” Redruth) was opened on 15 Jul 1791 and included in their number were

There was also a conclave of the Knights Templar of St. John of Jerusalem as a sub group of this lodge. It was founded on 19 Jun 1792 with John KNIGHT as Master and disbanded on his death in 1829. The knights included:—

The book contains a facsimile of the signature and Mason’s Mark of Richard PEARCE of Penzance.

June 9th 1819 Richard Pearce's signature and mason's mark