Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Of the Grand Stewards

A Treatise on the Constitutional Laws, Usages And Landmarks of Freemasonry
by Dr.Albert Gallatin Mackey, 1856

The first mention that is made of Stewards is in the Old Regulations, adopted in 1721. Previous to that time, the arrangements of the Grand Feast were placed in the hands of the Grand Wardens; and it was to relieve them of this labor that the regulation was adopted, authorizing the Grand Master, or his Deputy, to appoint a certain number of Stewards, who were to act in concert with the Grand Wardens. In 1728, it was ordered that the number of Stewards to be appointed should be twelve. In 1731, a regulation was adopted, permitting the Grand Stewards to appoint their successors. And, in 1735, the Grand Lodge ordered, that, "in consideration of their past service and future usefulness," they should be constituted a Lodge of Masters, to be called the Stewards' Lodge, which should have a registry in the Grand Lodge list and exercise the privilege of sending twelve representatives. This was the origin of that body now known in the Constitutions of the Grand Lodges of England and New York, [ It was abolished in New York in 1854.] as the Grand Stewards' Lodge, although it has been very extensively modified in its organization. In New York, it is now no more than a Standing Committee of the Grand Lodge; and in England, although it is regularly constituted, as a Lodge of Master Masons, it is by a special regulation deprived of all power of entering, passing, or raising Masons. In other jurisdictions, the office of Grand Stewards is still preserved, but their functions are confined to their original purpose of preparing and superintending the Grand Feast.

The appointment of the Grand Stewards should be most appropriately vested in the Junior Grand Warden.

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