Lodge History

The Founding of Stanley Wykeham Lodge No. 6599

The Lodge was sponsored by Paddock Wood Lodge No. 4291, which had been consecrated in 1921 by Colonel Fiennes Stanley Wykeham Cornwallis, Provincial Grand Master for Kent.

In the years following the First World War, men who missed the camaraderie of army life joined Freemasonry in great numbers, and Paddock Wood Lodge, which started with 25 Founders, grew rapidly and in 1924 it was decided that the time had come when they must either restrict their membership or build new premises. Up to then the Lodge had met in the Parochial Hall and dined in the club room of the Kent Arms (since re-named the John Brunt V.C.) or, if numbers were too great, in the Boys’ School.

Generous funding by members resulted in the Foundation Stone of Paddock Wood’s Masonic Hall being laid in 1925 by Colonel Cornwallis, who was raised to the peerage as Baron Cornwallis of Linton two years later. Membership of the Lodge steadily increased, boosted by an influx of ex-servicemen after the Second World War as had happened after the First. In 1947 serious consideration was given to the desirability of limiting membership. Instead, it was decided that the time was right to form a new Lodge, and 34 members offered themselves as founders.

The founders wanted to name the new Lodge ‘Cornwallis’ after Wykeham Stanley Cornwallis, the 2nd Lord Cornwallis, who had succeeded his late father in the title and as Provincial Grand Master for Kent in 1935. However, as no Lodge can be named after a living person, it was agreed to adopt the name ‘Stanley Wykeham’.

Consecration of the new Lodge, No. 6599 in the Register of the United Grand Lodge of England, took place in the Masonic Hall, Paddock Wood, on February 17th 1948. The Lord Cornwallis, Provincial Grand Master, presided at a meeting attended by 150 Brethren. All the ancient customs and proper ceremony having been observed the first Worshipful Master of the newly-consecrated Stanley Wykeham Lodge, Worshipful Brother Arthur Penn, was Installed in the Chair. The founding Senior Warden was Bro. Albert Norton, and the Junior Warden was Bro. Frederick Perkins.

Stanley Wykeham Lodge No. 6599 continues to prosper, celebrating its 50th Anniversary in 1998 and marking its 500th meeting in September 2018.

Stanley Wykeham Lodge No. 6599

Lord Fiennes Stanley Wykeham Cornwallis