the creation of harmony


Our founder, Thomas Dunckerley, was purportedly a 'natural' son of King George II and hence occupied 'Grace and Favour' apartments at Hampton Court Palace. A prolific freemason, he became the Provincial Grand Master of nine Provinces, the Provincial Grand Superintendent of 18 Provinces, and the first Grand Master of The Masonic Knights Templar. He also established the first seaborne Masonic Lodge aboard HMS Vanguard in 1760.

Adjoining Hampton Court Palace was The Toy Inn, a Cromwellian hostelry catering for the palace guard, where Dunckerley decided to establish a new Lodge called The Lodge of Harmony on 2nd June 1785. A plaque fixed to the wall on the right-hand side of the main gate of Hampton Court Palace recording this event remains in situ.

For over two centuries our Lodge has had members of many nationalities from all walks of life providing a fascinating kaleidoscope of the evolution of both this Lodge – and freemasonry – during this period. But perhaps our most renowned is Professor Sir Arthur Sullivan who was later introduced by another member (his co-initiate Frederick Emes Clay) to a certain W. S. Gilbert; thus our Lodge may perhaps claim some recognition towards the creation of that world famous musical partnership.

Why The Lodge of ‘Harmony’?

We have no record of why Thomas Dunckerley decided on this name or if it was musically inspired although the Lodge's symbol or badge – being a Lyre – might suggest so, but most likely symbolically alludes to the fraternal 'harmony' that should always prevail within our Lodges. Notwithstanding, the ‘Harmony Song’ (origin unknown) is sung at every festive board.

Our motto 'Semper Idem' translated means 'Always the Same'.