Wednesday, 3 October 2012

The Colenso family and Freemasonry.

Penzance Masonic Temple.
William Colenson listed as master in 1886
The Colenso family of West Cornwall has a long connection with traditions and practices of Freemasonry.  The first record of any member of the family joining the fraternity is in 1809 when Samuel May Colenso joined the Druids lodge of Redruth which at the time was meeting at the London Inn Redruth.  At the time Penzance, Sameul's home town, had no masonic Lodge, the Lodge of St John the Baptist that had met in the Star and Ship and Ship and Castle (now the Union Hotel) being extinguished in 1777.  It is likely that Samuel joined the Mount Sinai Lodge that was formed in 1813 in Penzance. In the Penzance Masonic hall in Penzance today exists a list of past masters of the Mount Sinai Lodge.  On the long list there is a reference to a William Colenso and a later a Richard Colenso being master.  The William Colenso in question was the very same William who was Mayor of Penzance in 1902 and Grandson of Samuel May.  William was well known figure in Cornish masonry and a leading figure in the odd-fellows movement, which at the time was a major provider of health care throughout Britain.  It is an curious and interesting fact that the current Penzance Masonic hall was prior to its current use, a odd-fellows hall.  Did William have a role in moving the towns masonic business to its current address?  The Richard Colenso listed can only be William's brother who was also a leading figure in the town at the time.  Interestingly at least one of Samuel May Colenso's direct descendants is a member of a Penzance masonic lodge today.
William Colenso's book of constitutions.

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