© Province of West Yorkshire KT - 2011
History of the Preceptory
This history was compiled by E.Kt. A. H. Lever, P.Gt.A.-de-C. in December, 2006.
The front page of the original summons in 1925
Temple Preceptory No. 235. The First 75 Years.
Temple Preceptory was founded in 1925 by 24 members of Salamanca Preceptory, No. 21, and was consecrated on 28th March, 1925, by the Provincial Prior, V.E.Kt. John Barker, K.C.T. at the Freemasons’ Hall, Halifax.
The Provincial Sub-Prior, E.Kt. Richard Gill, J.P., carried out the Inauguration of E.Kt. Clifford Ramsden, Provincial Chancellor, as the first Eminent Preceptor. The new Eminent Preceptor in turn appointed 16 members of Salamanca Preceptory to act as Officers in the new Preceptory for whom a set of Founders' Jewels was purchased. Three Jewels survive, one of which is an Eminent Preceptor's jewel, presented by E.Kt. Ramsden. It is no longer used as it was badly damaged some years ago.
E.Kt. Clifford Ramsden, P.G.M.B.B., Prov. Chancellor
Kt. Clement Vernon Wright
Kt. Archibald Nadauld Brushfield.
Kt. Albert Ernest Thompson
The first Candidate, Comp Fred Fearnley, was Installed as a Knight on 18th June, 1925.
The Muster roll in that first year had 34 names on it, plus two Honorary Founders. Numbers steadily increased and by 1932, 50 members were on the Roll, a number that was maintained for the next 20 years. As well as sharing accommodation at Halifax, the two Preceptories shared equipment, and when in October 1929, E. Kt. Ramsden, by now Prov. Sub-Prior, presented the 15th Century Plate for the Altar to Temple Preceptory, he specified that it should be used jointly with Salamanca Preceptory. This arrangement was terminated when Temple moved to Barnsley in 1988.
In 1937, the Altar Rails were purchased for £17-15s-0p, and dedicated by V. E. Kt. Clifford Ramsden, by now the Provincial Prior.
The meeting on October 19th 1939, the first after the outbreak of the Second World War, was a short one. The Eminent Preceptor wrote a short addition to the minutes, which said, "Those present silently renewed the Ancient Vows of our Order, but with a broader sense of their meaning. Each Knight being devoutly prepared to draw his sword to challenge and fight against "the evil things" that threatened civilisation and the well-being of humanity. Having faith in our cause and undaunted fortitiude, determined to prosecute the warfare, while prepared to extend mercy even where justice has sealed the fate of all of the evil ones."
During the war, from October 1939 to December 1945, 10 new Knights were installed, so ensuring the continuance of Temple Preceptory despite the difficulties.
In the subsequent years the Preceptory acquired some equipment it could call its own, notably two swords and two banners B. and V.B.
In 1987, the Masonic Hall at Halifax was sold, and after careful consideration, Temple Preceptory moved to he Masonic Hall, Cockerham Lane, Barnsley, where it was received with enthusiasm.
As some of the equipment had already been dedicated at Halifax, a ceremony of re-dedication was devised and conducted by the Provincial Prelate, Rev. Terry Collins. As he said, "the service had no authority other than the divine authority of an ordained priest". The first two Knights to be elected and installed at this meeting were Comp. Ron. Ramsay and Comp Melvin Penty, the Chairman and Secretary respectively of the Cockerham Masonic Management Committee, so beginning the recruitment of Companions from Barnsley into the Order.
Unfortunately, of the first three Preceptors from Barnsley, two became seriously ill during their year of office, and subsequently died, E. Kt. Penty in 1992 and E. Kt. Oxley in 1997, both of them young men. This had a dampening effect on the Preceptory, and its progression, but the strain was taken with their usual fortitude by the longer serving Eminent Knights from the Halifax era, and visiting brother Knights.
When Temple Preceptory moved to Barnsley, it was no longer convenient to use the equipment shared with Salamanca Preceptory, but generous members have presented all that is now in use, and we no longer require to borrow equipment.
The younger age of the more recent members provides a strong base on which to continue the consolidation of Knight Templary in this part of the Province of West Yorkshire.
In 2005, the Preceptory was host to the Provincial Priory’s Annual meeting. There is no record of the previous occasions when this happened.
Occasionally the minutes give hints about things not openly stated. The only reference to the Malta ceremony is in June 1951. It refers to the usual practice of the Malta degree being conferred by members of Salamanca Preceptory, immediately after the Temple Preceptory meeting.
The first reference to meetings of Great Priory is in the minute of December 1951. The first minute of a Malta meeting held under the Temple banner is dated 17th April 1975 at Halifax.
In 1959, a call for volunteers for the Prior’s Bodyguard was recorded. Only those Knights below the rank of Herald and above 5 ft 10 inches in height could apply.
In February 1960 an extraordinary meeting was held to discuss the apathy of the members, finance, methods of increasing interest in the Order and the lack of candidates. A decision was taken to fund commitments from the Alms Account, to be repaid later. It was also agreed to discuss increasing the subscription. In April that year, the Alms Account was repaid from “the newly discovered Contingency Account”. Thirty six members were present at this meeting, and £1. 10s. 0p. was collected for the Alms account! As was the practice at that time, this amount was shared with Salamanca Preceptory.
Decimalisation of the coinage in 1971 caused some confusion. The Subscription was stated to be £2.5.0 (crossed out); £2.50 and finally £2-10-0.
In September 1972, three members resigned, and the Sub-Prior suggested a meeting to discuss the problem. Four joining members were recruited at the next two meetings. Notice was given at the meeting of a proposition to move the meeting place to Brighouse, but it was not proceeded with. Why such a move was proposed is not revealed.
Inventory of Preceptory Furniture.
1. The Warrant, framed in oak, granted in 1926
2. The Preceptor’s Baton The inscription reads “Presented to Temple Preceptory by Em .Kt., Ramsden in 1927”
3. Brass Alm Plate, presented by E.Kt.Clifford Ramsden, the Provincial Sub-Prior in October 1929. According to the British Museum, to whom reference was made, it is typical of the plates made in Augsburg, Southern Germany between the years 1400 to 1520 AD.
4. Altar rails , 8 posts and 6 ropes, all having brass fittings, purchased October 1937 at a cost of £17-15s. Dedicated by R.Em. Kt Clifford Ramsden. Re-polished and repaired in 1988
5. Sword, decorated with insignia of the Supreme Grand Master . Presented by Kt. G.W.Greatorex.
6. Two-handed sword, presented by E.Kt. J.H.Littlewood.
7. Two Standards, (B) and (VB), presented jointly by E.Kt.A.B. Gledhill and Kt J.H.Littlewood, (Preceptor Elect) in 1976. Consecrated by E.Kt W Craven and E.Kt.Peter Spivey, the Provincial Sub-Prior and Provincial Prelate, respectively, acting as consecrating officers.
8. Silver Chalice, presented by E.Kt. Bernard Crisp as a farewell gift prior to his departure to New Zealand
9. Crucifix, from the Masonic Hall, Halifax. Repaired and reassembled 1988
10. Lamb, Cock and Dove in brass. Presented jointly by E.Kts.D. Jagger, J .Norcliffe and H. Willshaw.
11. Marble Cube made and presented by E.Kt.E.V.Laycock.
12. Oak Delta made and presented by E.Kt.T.A.Lazenby, 1988.
13. Twelve candlesticks in brass, designed, made and presented by E.Kt E.V.Laycock.
14. Pilgrim’s Staff, presented by E.Kt. Findlay, 1988
15. Altar Flower vases in brass, purchased in 1988.
16. Altar Candlesticks-brass- presented by Kt. L. Sykes.
17. Altar Cross-brass-presented by E.Kt.A.B.Gledhill in 1988.
18. Flowers for altar vases provided by E.Kt. J.H.Littlewood.
19. Second set of altar flowers provided by E.Kt. J.Norcliffe.
20. Altar cloth and Sepulchre cloth provided by E.Kt. J.H. Littlewood.. (E.Kts Patterson,Walkden and McGuire defrayed the cost of making up.)
21. Two Swords, unmarked, transferred from Halifax.
22. Two Volumes of the Sactred Law presented by E.Kt. A.B. Gledhill
23. Skull and cross-bones presented by V.E.Kt.D.A.C.Herridge.
24. Breast-plate and shield on permanent loan from De Furnival Preceptory No.66. (Both items had been dedicated and used at the inception of that Preceptory in 1861.
25. Helmet, steel.
26. Candlesnuffer and taper presented by E.Kt. P. Findlay.
27. Dagger presented by E.Kt. G. Hardcastle in 1988.
28. Pilgrim’s cloak, transferred from Halifax.
29. Pilgrim’s cloak, presented by de Furnival Preceptory.
30. Metal Document Box. Presented by E.Kt.T.A. Lazenby
31. Wooden Equipment box. Presented by E.Kt.T.A.Lazenby.
32. Small wooden store cupboard. Presented by E.Kt.J.P.Walkden.
33. Timber fittings for the construction of the Altar, made and presented by E.Kt.T.A.Lazenby
34. Hymn cards, purchased in 1988.
35. Brass Altar Cross, made and donated by Kt. Ernest Makin of St Germans Preceptory,No. 498. Consecrated By Kt. Kenneth Law, Provincial Prelate.
36. Preceptory Banner, made and presented by E.Kt. Jack Palin, P. Gt.A-de-C, Craven Preceptory, No. 390. Consecrated by Kt. K. Law, Prov. Prel.
37. Cabinet for storage of banner produced and presented by E.Kt. D.Robinson,P.P.A-de-C.
38. Banner poles for Preceptory Banner made and presented by E. Kt. T.A.Lazenby.
39. Helmet - made and presented by E.Kt. E.V.Laycock.
Knight’s helmet. Made and presented by E.Kt. E.V.Laycock.
In 2005, E. Kts Alan Smith and Keith McDowell, and Kt. Peter Firth designed and made portable stands for the sepulchre and supports for the shield and breastplate in time for the Provincial Prio ry’s Annual Meeting, for which the Preceptory was acting the host.
The Banner of the Preceptory designed, made and presented by Em.Kt.Jack Pailin of Craven Preceptory No. 390 on 18th October 1980. (goes here)
Description of a Twelfth Century Jewel
The Jewel depicted is that of an ancient Knight Templar Jewel which was in use in the order in the Twelfth Century. For centuries it has been in the Church of Bretevennez, Brittany, which was built by and belonged to the Order. The Church contains numerous symbols, tombs, and decorations whereby its connection with Knight Templary is demonstrated beyond dispute. At the time when the Church was erected, Brittany was an English possession The Church is now included in a list of ancient buildings by the Societe Royale des Antiquare de France. A reference to the Jewel will be found in the preface to Addison’s “History of the Temple”, published in 1841.
It has been held from the earliest days that the Order was closely attached to Freemasonry, but there are many who state that there is no evidence to warrant such an assertion. A description of the Jewel goes some way to prove that the Knights Templar had some connection with the Craft.
The decoration of the Jewel consists of a medallion which was worn suspended from the neck by a triple chain. The front of the Jewel is made up of a circle within which are two equilateral triangles, forming a six-pointed star: inside is another circle forming a double circle, and in the centre is a cross in patée. The other side of the Jewel is similar, with the exception that in the centre is an Agnus Dei, or Lamb of the Order (St. John) - depicted on the front of the original summons, and on the front page of this history. The double circle and triangles require no explanation, except to remind members of the Order that to the Knights Templar of old, the triangle was the symbol of Perfection of Life, Harmony of Nature and the Eternal Trinity. It will be observed that the Cross is not the conventional one worn by the majority of the Knights, but a Grand Cross, denoting that it was made for some special function or person. This latter contention is substantiated by the placing of the Agnus Dei, or Lamb of St. John.(Patron of the Order) on the reverse centre, for this denotes the rank of the member entitled to wear it. Such a person was a Grand Officer, whose rank would be equal to that of an Archbishop in the Roman Catholic Church, to which Church the Order then held allegiance.
Some Personal Histories
E.Kt. Clifford Ramsden. The Founding Preceptor, became Provincial Sub-Prior in 1937.
E.Kt. George North. Great Priory Officer. E.P. 1940. The self-appointed Guard for many years. He was the undisputed officer in charge of the dining arrangements.
E.Kt. Frederick Lord Halstead. A joining member from Prince Edward Preceptory at Bottoms, Eastwood. He was very active in many other orders and reached senior rank in them all. He did not drive and was therefore unable to attend when the Preceptory moved to Barnsley.
E.Kt. Joseph Northcliffe. Prov Vice-chancellor. E.P.1977. An excellent ritualist who, as a young man, had a very bad stutter. He credited church choir singing and freemasonry with helping him overcome the problem.
E.Kt. Thomas Lazenby. P.P.2nd.Const. E.P. 1982. He was the Registrar of the Preceptory when it moved to Barnsley. He constructed much of the equipment e.g. the altar, the triangle for the candles, and the tables for the Malta ceremony. In his later years he and his w ife set up a business making pickles and sausages. He established a flourishing trade selling his products to his brethren after the festive board. The sausage business is now part of Cranswick, Plc.
E.Kt. Nickolas Korol. P.P.2nd Const.E.P. 1983. Nickolas was born in Russia and lived through the revolution. He was always polite, soft spoken and gentlemanly. He and his family were sentenced to eight years re-education in Siberia. (He said he was more interested in girls than in political education.) They were separated, but Nick escaped. He located his mother and tried to persuade her to come with him, but she refused. He made his way into Persia, now Iran. He fought with the Eighth Army in North Africa in WW2, where he was severely wounded. He was transferred to a military hospital in Glasgow, where he recovered. After the war ended, he continued his education in Glasgow and Yorkshire, and he was eventually employed as a technical translator/interpreter for the Safety in Mines Research Establishment in Sheffield.
He was present at an exhibition in Moscow when the Russian President Kruschev visited it. Kruschev congratulated him on his fluent Russian. When he learned of Nickolas’ history, Kruschev arranged for Nickolas’ mother to attend the exhibition for a re-union. Nickolas died in Shrewsbury in 1992 where he had spent the last four years of his life.
E.Kt. Ted Laycock, P.Gt Ward. Reg., a joining member from Hope Preceptory, No.4. He was responsible for much of the brass work used in the Preceptory.
V.E.Kt. Arnold Gledhill, P.Gt.Reg. He was a joining member from Hope Preceptory, No.4 and St. Germain’s Preceptory in the Isle of Man. He was an excellent organist. During WW2, he was a paratrooper, and took part in the battle for Arnhem. He always attended the annual re-unions of the battle until failing health prevented it.
Kt. Fred Marsden Whiteley
Kt. Henry Charles Aked
Kt. Frederick Walker
Kt. Joseph Herbert Fearnley
Kt. Charles William Ibberson
Kt. Edgar Isles
Kt. Lewis Esdon
Kt. Leonard Shepherd
Kt. David Wadsworth Smith
Kt. John Esdon Henderson
Kt. Ernest Fearnley
Kt. Percy Turner Singleton
E.Kt. George Normanton, P.P.2nd Const.
E.Kt. James Edward Horsfall, P.P.Registrar
E.Kt. James Proude, P.P.Registrar
E.Kt. Joseph Arthur Worsnop, J.P., P.P.Registrar
E.Kt. Clifford Ramsden, J.P., P.G.M.B.B., Prov. Chancellor
E.Kt. Francis Baildon Watson, Prov. Herald
E.Kt. Henry Arthur Roberts, E.P.
Kt. Clement Vernon Wright
Kt. Archibald Nadauld Brushfield
Kt. Fred Greenwood
Kt. Albert Ernest Thompson
Kt. Frank King
1925 Cllifford Ramsden
1926 Clement Vernon Wright
1927 Archibald Naudald Brushfield
1928 Fred Greenwood
1929 Albert Edward Thompson
1930 Henry Charles Aked
1931 Frederick Walker
1932 Joseph Herbert Fearnley
1933 Charles William Ibberson
1934 Lewis Esdon
1935 Edgar Isles
1936 Percy Turner Singleton
1937 Edwin Beresford
1938 Harry Smith
1939 Harold Francis White
1940 Saville Lees
1941 Fred Bentley
1942 Harold Lee
1943 Frank Crossley Whittaker
1944 Walter Beacham
1945 Albert Edward Thompson
1946 Harold Pickles
1947 Arthur Leslie Platts
1948 Herbert Sowden Moss
1949 Herbert Harry Walker
1950 George North
1951 Donald Greenwood
1952 Rev. Cyril Cashmore
1953 Jim Arthur Thorp
1954 Frank Pickles
List of Preceptors
1955 Heyland Beaufort Jones
1956 John Linley Peel
1957 Harold Pickles
1958 Leslie Firth
1959 Donald Greenwood
1960 Sidney Richard Binns
1961 Raymond Milnes
1962 Albert Whitaker
1963 Arthur Oakes
1964 Heyland Beaufort Jones
1965 R. Reed
1969 G.Crabtree, B.E.M.
1970 Brian Walker
1971 Brian Walker
1972 Rev. D.E.Thomas
1977 Joe Norcliffe
1978 Harry Edward Willshaw
1979 Edward Vivian Laycock
1982 Thos. A.Lazenby
1983 Nicholas Korol
1984 Peter Blackburn
1985 Brian A. Maguire
1986 William F. Paterson
1987 William F. Paterson
1988 Jas. H. Littlewood
1989 Jas. H. Littlewood
1990 George Cartwright, D.F.C.
1991 Malcolm Penty
1992 Ronald Ramsay
1993 Anthony H. Lever
1994 Gerald R. Wilde
1995 Denis Holling
1996 Michael J. Oxley
1997 Alan Smith
1998 Keith MacDowell
1999 Keith MacDowell
2000 Frank Johnston
2001 Frank Johnston
2002 Anthony N. Pick
2003 David W. Allen
2004 David W. Allen
2005 Keith McDowell
2006 David Pendriss
2007 Raymond C. Johnson
2008 Peter Firth
2009 David D. Cunningham
2010 Eric W. Bowring
2011 Geoffrey A. Pilley
2012 Geoffrey A. Pilley
2013 Haydn R. Whorton
2014 Eric Turner