Books available for viewing on-line relating to the Lodge of Nine Muses.
Why did Nine Muses receive the Freemasons Masonic 1780 Hall Medal?
The 1780 Hall Medal, of which there are now only five know to be in existence (three of which are in the possession of the Library and museum). 26 we issued to Lodges and 82 to individuals, or which Chevalier Ruspini (one of the founders of the Nine Muses) was in receipt of one. When the Grand Lodge of England first began to meet in 1717, various taverns and inns were used as meeting houses. However, as membership grew, the need for a permanent home for English freemasory became pressing and the first Freemasons' Hall was opened in Great Queen Street in 1776. It was followed by a second, larger hall in 1869, brought about by the need to accommodate a rapidly increasing membership. This hall was completely rebuilt between 1927 and 1933 as a memorial to those masons who had lost their lives in the First Wold War.
When the first Freemasons' Hall was completed, its costs had increased to more than double the original estimate. In 1779, to help relieve this deficit, Lodges and individuals were invited to make an interest free loan of £25 to Grand Lodge - to be repaid only when it could be afforded. In return, the lender would receive a commemorative medal which is now the 1780 Hall Medal.
The Lodge of Nine Muses qualified for this Masonic Hall Medal by lending the Premier or Moderns Grand Lodge of England £25 to help pay off the costs incurred by the building of the first Freemasons’ Hall in 1776. The medal was designed in 1780 (hence why it's called the 1780 Medal). Medals were actually struck and presented in 1781.
At the Installation meeting of the Nine Muses the Medal is presented to the Installed Master with these words (This is now technically incorrect due to history). "I now have much pleasure in placing about your neck our ancient Hall medal, which was presented to the Lodge in 1781, being one of the first Lodges, together with nine of its members, to subscribe to the repayment of the debt incurred in building the first Freemasons' Hall. Only seventeen Lodges remain whose Masters are entitled to wear it. In most, it is attached to their Masters' Jewel but our Lodge has always worn it pendent to a blue ribbon, owing to the special nature of our Jewels".
What is a Hall Stone Lodge?
At a special meeting of Grand Lodge in June 1919, the Grand Master, the Duke of Connaught, expressed a wish that a memorial be established to commemorate those brethren who had made the supreme sacrifice in the 1914 - 1918 war. It was agreed that this memorial should be a building of a central home for Freemasonry on a site to be selected in London.
The Masonic Million Memorial Fund was launched in September that year and brethren at home and overseas were invited to contribute to raise the £1m needed to finance the work. Contributions from individuals and Lodges were recognised by the reward of a commemorative Hall Stone Jewel.
The form of the jewel is symbolic for the side squares are inscribed the dates 1914-1918: four years of supreme sacrifice. In The centre is a winged figure, supporting a Temple, representing Peace. The jewel is suspended by the square and compasses, two of the great though Emblematic Lights in Freemasonry and is attached to a ribbon which is worn around the neck of the Worshipful Master as part of his Masonic clothing.
The wearing of the Jewel by the Master of a Lodge fulfills a double purpose.