After all there really are some things on which we are conservative, and it has been made painfully plain to all but the wilfully blind, that our connection with the Orange Institution is one of them.
Having followed the course of this debate from year to year, we must now retrace our steps. On 22nd December, 1877, No. 8 was issued to Patrick in exchange for No. 36; and on 14th December, 1878, the following resolution was passed. Resolved--"That all candidates from any other Society, seeking admission to a Knights of Malta Encampment, be dealt with as new candidates." The passing of this resolution which was obviously aimed at the Black chapter, was received by many of the rank and file of the Order with feelings of discontent, which resulted in the re-introduction of the question by the Grand Recorder at the next meeting of Grand Encampment, on 14th June, 1879. We take the following from the annual report:--
"The Recorder wished to call the attention of the Encampment
to the last motion that was passed in the December Convocation, in
regard to the admitting of candidates from any other Society--Black
Chapter, or others. The Imperial Grand master did not see why the
Black Chapter should have any more privilege than any other Society
seeing they were in no way connected with the Knights of Malta, nor
did they wish to be so; and that he would admit them on the qualifi-
cation of their being Orange and Purple men, and if they remained
in the Chapter they might do so. After which a motion ‘To endorse
the opinion of the Imperial Grand Master and receive no man unless
as a new candidate' was carried by a 61 ½ per cent majority."
At the Annual meeting of the Imperial Grand Encampment, 4th June, 1881, Sir Knight James Ledgerwood, M.E.G.C. of the Grand Encampment of Ireland, presided, and in reply to a question by the Commander of No. 12 Encampment, "whether they could retain Companions who had ceased to be members of the Orange Institution," it was distinctly stated ex cathedrâ that they could, the only restriction being that they must be sitting members in the Orange Order when initiated into the Order of Knights of Malta. We have not noticed the alteration of the law in this matter, but we presume that it must have been altered some time previous to the making of this statement. On 10th June, 1882, the ritual of opening and closing ceremonies now in use were adopted, and issued in sets of four printed on cardboard.
On 9th June, 1884, the Grand Recorder reported that leave had been granted to the Supreme Encampment of America, to create and establish in America an Order of Merit, designated "the Order of the Great Cross of Malta." This degree was finally adopted by the Imperial Parent Grand Encampment, on 13th June, 1885, and permission granted to the Grand Encampment of Ireland to adopt it on 12th June, 1886. It was at this meeting that the "Constitution" now in use was adopted, an event which in the then reduced state of the exchequer put the Grand Lodge into debt, and thereby considerably hampered their actions for some time. But it served the purpose of the then Grand Recorder, James Boyd, who was the agitator in chief of the Separation party, who, not content with their defeat in 1878, continued in season and out of season the agitation for separation from the Orange Institution. On 15th June, 1889, we have the final settlement of the American difficulty on the basis of an agreement quoted in our chapter on America. At this Convocation Sir George M'Leod was for the last time re-elected Grand Master, although absent from the Convocation owing to an indisposition which proved fatal, on 30th July, 2889. Of him we may truthfully say--
Tho' his body we've returned to the dust,
In spirit he lives--a spirit that's just;
It beams like a beacon in Grand Lodge still,
To guide the Sir Knight who would his place fill.
At this meeting an attempt was made to get an allowance in favour of candidates coming from the Black Chapter. Companion M'Savery, who introduced the subject, suggested "that some allowance should be given to those who had taken their degrees in another Order," when Companion T. H. Gilmour, moved "that the usual charge for degrees so obtained should be allowed." After a lengthy discussion the motion was defeated by a large majority, so that we are still compelled to receive men from the Black Chapter as new candidates.
At the annual Convocation of the Imperial Grand Encampment, held on 13th June, 1901, the Grand Recorder in his report re-introduced the question of separation from the Loyal Orange Institution. In justice to Companion James Boyd, who was Grand Recorder at the date of which we write, it should be stated that he was indefatigable in his advocacy of the cause he had espoused. In season and out of season he advocated it. In Grand Council, at Encampment meetings, and in chance meetings with Companions in the streets and elsewhere. His zeal for separation almost amounted to mania. In his introductory speech he put forward as a reason for separation, the declining state of the Order. We have already endeavoured to show that this decline was directly due to the previous attempt at separation, and as our figures are taken from the authorised reports, drawn up by this self-same James Boyd, it looks precious like creating the circumstances and then trotting them out as evidence in support of the proposed retrogression which had brought them into existence: but evidently that was thought insufficient to influence the Imperial Grand Encampment in favour of the change proposed, so the forced circumstances were backed up by a threat of resignation by Companion Boyd. This it was thought would force a crisis, and as the question had been narrowed down to a definite point, i.e, separation or resignation, the separatists reckoned on an easy victory; but alas! Alas! They were doomed to disappointment. The opposition was led by Sir Knight Companion James Ledgerwood, Grand Commander of the Irish Sir Knights, a man known and respected for the sterling honesty of purpose which at all times guides him in his deliberations. Even as an individual his words would have great weight in any matter relating to the Order, but when he speaks as the mouth-piece of the Irish Sir Knights, he commands, aye, and he receives, respect. On this occasion his words were few but, as is usual with him, they were weighty.--"I must take exception to that part (of the report) referring to the separation of the Order from the Orange Institution, as I cannot endorse that statement on behalf of the Irish Sir Knights." The result was that the discussion of the question of separation was delayed for twelve months. At the election of office-bearers Companion Boyd was prevailed upon to retain his office, which he did, "with the distinct understanding that should the Order not make more progress at home during the next year, and the separation question defeated, he would not only retire from office, but would be compelled on principle to sever his connection altogether, as he was not going to resist the inevitable."
Next year (11th June, 1892), that was met by counterthreat. In the report of the Grand Encampment of Ireland, we read, "We regret, however, that we cannot agree with the proposed alteration of the Constitution which you purpose discussing at your meeting on 11th inst.," and after discussing the pros. And cons., and our position relative to the change, the following resolution was adopted:--
The Grand Recorder carried out his threat in so far as resigning his office was concerned; but his principles had evidently underwent a change, and did not then "compel him to sever his connection altogether." No! He had other fish to fry, and his principles, such as they were, had to stand aside, or rather, suit themselves to circumstances; and we find him present at the next Annual Meeting of the Imperial Encampment (10th June, 1893), proposing the adoption of the report of the Grand Priory of the North of England, which asked "A permittance to take good sound Protestants into the Knights of Malta, without going through the Orange Order." We find him further proposing a motion of which he had given previous notice, "to the effect of replacing the Imperial Parent Grand Authority by the authority of a Triennial Council with immediate Universal Jurisdiction." On both these questions Sir Knight Boyd found one supporter, and one only--Sir Knight Robert Johnston. The report of the Imperial Grand Council for this year showed that No. 16 Encampment, Dundee, had been cancelled. We may state here that No. 16 favoured the separation question, and being defeated they thought to carry on their work independent of the Imperial Grand Encampment, with what result we will see by-and-bye.
In 1894 (9th June), we find England still pleading for permission, &c., and Dundee still obdurate, while the report of the Grand Encampment of Ireland appeared with the name of James Boyd, deleted form the list of honorary members; but worse was in store for him. The Acting Imperial Grand Master in giving an account of his work during the year said, "An item had mysteriously arisen affecting No. 6 Encampment (Workington), and involving himself in a most curious manner." When in due course the matter came before the Imperial Encampment, the Acting I.G.M.--Sir Knight W.G. Ingram--vacated the chair, which was taken (pro. tem.) By Sir Knight Robert Johnston. From the statements made, it appeared that No. 6 Encampment had obtained the last six of a set of twelve Degree Rituals from Companion Boyd, during his time of Recordership, and quite accidentally they wrote his successor seeking the other six. These twelve were obtained and sent out without the knowledge of any one in authority, and when Companion Boyd was brought to task, after alleging that he gave the first six to Companion Ingram, the Assistant Grand Master--which Companion Ingram denied--he failed to give any account of the said six, but admitted giving the other six to the English Encampment. Sir W. G. Ingram stated that if he had obtained the six his first step would have been to place them on the Council table; besides Companion Boyd said if the I.A.G.M. did not get the first six, he could not tell who did.
A motion expressing the confidence of the Imperial Grand Encampment in Companion Sir W. G. Ingram, and discrediting Companion Sir James Boyd, was carried unanimously. Thus terminated the connection between Companion James Boyd, Ex-Grand Recorder, and the Imperial Parent Grand Black Encampment of the Universe. We could have wished it had terminated otherwise, and we feel assured that his greatest enemy could not wish him more thoroughly discredited.
At the Annual Convocation of the Imperial Grand Encampment, 15th June, 1895, Companion Thomas H. Cox appeared as a representative, from Dundee, to crave the Imperial Encampment to take back under their care their Encampment No. 16. During the proceedings Companion Cox stated that they had been misled and deceived by the Ex-Grand Recorder--James Boyd--who had promised them that if they held out against the authority of the Imperial Grand Encampment he would do all he could to assist them, and would get No. 47 Encampment to join them. Companion Cox afterwards produced documentary evidence which fully bore out all he had stated. In due course the Encampment was re-opened, and the Sir Knights of Dundee, wiser by their experience, have proved worthy of the confidence reposed in them. During this year, The Rev. Sir Knight R. J. Campbell (for some time Grand Prelate) published a little pamphlet, entitled, "The Truth about Black Knighthood." We have a copy of this pamphlet before us while we write. It deals principally with the origin of the Black Chapter of Ireland, and the arrogance of its members towards the members of the original body, under the Imperial Grand Black Encampment of the Universe.
On 12th June, 1897, Sir William G. Ingram was elected Imperial Grand Master. As Assistant, he had long performed the duties of the office, and performed them in such a way as to deserve the honour now conferred on him. He still retains the office, and we may add, the confidence of those whose duty it is to work with him for the good of the Ancient Order, whose chief he is. His predecessor--Professor Thomas Macklin, Past Imperial Grand Master--died 16th March, 1898, and carried with him to the grave the love he had long enjoyed from his companions in the Black and his brethren in the Orange Institution.
At the above mentioned meeting, a motion which was sent up by No. 47 Encampment was put forward by Companion Sir Knight James Magilton:--
At some time during the preceding year (1896-97) the Grand Council granted a Charter to Sir Knight R. C. Stewart, Imperial Consol in America, to work the Great Cross Degree. This gave rise to some little difference between the Imperial Grand Encampment, and the Supreme Grand Encampment of America. Sir Knight Stewart was present in the Imperial Grand Encampment when the matter came up (12th June, 1897, and explained how it came about that he applied for and received a Charter to work the Order of the Great Cross in America; he also read a letter of interdict sent to him by Sir J. H. Earl, Supreme Grand Commander of America, threatening to suspend him if he did not give up the Order of the Great Cross, and return the Charter. The matter was left in the hands of the Council with full power, and as shown by the next annual report o the Supreme Grand Commandery of America they succeeded in putting matters right. They say--"We are happy to report that the Great Cross Priory, which was a sourse of great contention and threatened to disturb the peace and harmony of the Order, has been satisfactorily and harmoniously adjusted."
At a meeting of the Great Cross Priory held at Glasgow, 11th June, 1898, it was resolved in future to confer this Order on all our Red Cross Knights in good standing. It was further resolved to make a charge of one shilling initiation fee, and a per capita tax of one shilling per annum.
The year, 1899, brought a petition, sent through No. 10 Encampment, Greenock, by certain ex-members of the Encampment, for a Warrant to work in Silvertown, London. Warrant No. 13 was granted, and the Grand Recorder--Sir knight William Shirley--went to London, and duly installed the Encampment.
The year, 1900, gave us the financial discussion, which we have referred to at some length in our chapter on America; we therefore omit it here. The year, 1901, so far as it has gone, has given us nothing worthy of notice here, yet they have not been idle, the Council have been diligently engaged on the secret work of the Order, and we have good reason to anticipate that the result of their labours will be conducive to the future well-being of the order.
We will now say farewell to our readers, and close our labours with the following original lines:--
In later days our "Lord St. John,"
The foremost champion was
Of all brave Knights, who did espouse
The Reformation cause.
He scorned his haughty monarch's frown,
And at her feet laid down
The possessions of our Order,--
A tribute to the Crown.
Long may the name of "Sandilands,"
By Black Knights be revered,
First Protestant Grand Prior of
Our Knighthood; ever dear.
As Knights of Malta, and St. John;
Of Cyprus and of Rhodes,
We have a noble ancestry;
Our laws are ancient codes.
May "Christ our King and Covenant,"
The watchward ever be
Of all who follow in their train--
Is not that you and me?