Prince Rose Croix

Chapter of Prince Rose Croix Masons, No. 1, Cork

Constituted 1838
(Joint-Third Oldest in the Irish Constitution)

Meets at 27, Tuckey Street, Cork
Fourth Tuesday of January, March, September and November, at 8.00 pm

Chapter Contact:

On 6th November 1838, the Cork Constitution carried an article under the heading ‘Masonic Order – Royal Chapter of Prince Masons’ which stated –

A warrant has been granted constituting a Chapter of the above order to be held in this City, the first ever granted in Ireland.

At this time the warrant was attached to that of First Lodge of Ireland. Later that month, on 14th November 1838, the Chapter was constituted under the direction of the ubiquitous John Fowler in the Imperial Hotel, Pembroke Street, Cork. The three members present were Andrew Nugent, Thomas Hewitt and Eustace Harris, together with John Fowler. The main business seems to have been the exaltation of a new member – James Morgan, as no mention of the constitution appears in the minutes.

In the past, Chapter membership comprised mainly of legal and medical brethren, as well as those from other professions and some trades. Some prominent members included The Rt. Hon. James Francis, 4th Earl of Bandon, K.P.; Lord Barrymore (formerly The Hon. A.H. Smith-Barry M.P.); Sir William Chatterton, Bart.; Sir John Benson; Anderson Cooper; A.F. Sharman-Crawford; and Charles Lane.

Attendance at Chapter meetings was taken seriously and several members were fined for absence. On 6th October 1852, W.L. Tooker was fined ‘a dish of Turtle for non-attendance’.

In 1863 Thomas Hewitt presented the Chapter with the Jewel worn by Mrs. Elizabeth Aldworth. This Jewel is currently on display in the museum at Tuckey Street, in a specially constructed cabinet as laid down in the original ‘Deed of Gift’.

The Chapter has maintained a continuous series of ‘Golden Books’ since its 1838 foundation and today is the only Chapter in the Irish Constitution to continue to do so. These three large hand-bound volumes contain a hand-painted illustration of each member’s armorial crest (coat of arms), together with details of his Masonic history in calligraphy. Nowadays, both arms and script are computer generated.

In the Lodge Room, each Chapter member is allocated a stall over which his armorial banner hangs, while his stall plate – containing his crest, Masonic title and date of installation in miniature – is mounted centrally behind him. These Oak Stalls originally comprised the choir and chapter stalls of Old St. Fin Barres Cathedral and are over three hundred years old. They were purchased on 30th April 1864 by Chapter brethren for the sum of £30 (plus removal and fitting of £20), and installed in Tuckey Street later that year.

The Lodge Room with its many Banners is considered to be one of the most spectacular in the Irish Constitution and is held in fond affection by many masons, locals and visitors alike. A warm and fraternal welcome is assured.