David Garrick - definitely not a freemason
Written by Yasha on December 19, 2011<</em>>!!

David Garrick (1717-1779). - born in Hereford, England of Huguenot descent Garrick came to London in the 1730s accompanying his friend Samuel Johnson. It is generally accepted that he was the greatest actor in the history of the English theatre. Garrick very quickly made a name for himself by acting in Richard III in October 1741 and he never looked back. He became the co-manager of Drury Lane Theatre in 1747. He retired to Hampton in 1776 a very wealthy man indeed and died peacefully three years later.

There have been persistent and erroneous reports of David Garricks' involvement with Freemasonry and his membership of the St. Paul's Lodge No. 194 chartered in 1790. The error is already manifest in that very date, as by the time the Lodge was chartered, Garrick had already been dead for over a decade. The persistent error of his Masonic membership emanates from a gift of an enamel snuff box made to St Paul's Lodge in February 1848 by Brother Alex Kirkaldy of the Palatine Lodge, No. 114, which had originally belonged to David Garrick and had been bequeathed by his widow to one Stephen Kemble. Unfortunately, the Secretary of the Lodge, in the minutes of February 1848, chose to record this presentation with the following unwarranted comment: 'This precious relic originally belonged to that eminent Tragedian & Brother Mason Garrick'. This item from the minutes was again quoted in the History of St Paul's Lodge, No 194 - 1770-1926 by Bro C Edgar Thomas published in 1926 and has been perpetrated ever since. As an interesting note, the error of Garrick's membership of the Craft and his involvement with St Paul's Lodge was compounded after the theft of the original enamel snuff box in 1889. It was replaced with a silver snuff box, still in use today, which has the misleading inscription inside the lid reading: '. . . this snuff box replaces the one presented to the lodge by Bro. David Garrick . . . "

There is no evidence whatsoever to suggest that David Garrick was ever a member of the Craft.


by W. Bro. Yasha Beresiner
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