Brief History of Freemasonry in Barbados

Continuation of Freemasonry - Part I - Part VI - Part VIII

Freemasonry has had a long rich history in Barbados, and it will continue to play a major role in the life of the island. I expect that many candidates in the upcoming elections will be Freemasons. Freemasonry has many influential men in its ranks, both here and abroad. These men will continue to contribute to the administration of the island. The international nature of this organization may get additional exposure for tourism, attract foreign investors and allow better access to international finance. In short, a clear understanding of Freemasonry is essential to anyone wishing to comprehend the Barbadian power structure.

Here are some varied links dealing with the local history of the Masons:

  • District Grand Lodge of Barbados
    “The Provincial Grand Lodge of Barbados was founded in the year 1740 (overseas Provinces became known as Districts from 1866). This was the same year in which Alexander Irvine introduced Freemasonry to Barbados under the name of St. Michael’s Lodge No. 186 (Moderns Grand Lodge).”
  • Freemasonry…. By Dan Byrnes
    “By 1738, according to Hamill, English Freemasonry had appeared in the West Indies and Caribbean, with a grand master being appointed and a lodge set up in Antigua in 1738. Barbados was organised in 1740. A Lodge was set up in Jamaica in 1739, and the Craft had its greatest success in Jamaica. By 1738-39, as Anderson’s and other writings show, the London Grand Lodge was exercising a “judicial” control over provincial lodges in England as well as lodges abroad.”
    “A Lodge, Albion, was opened at Bridgetown, Barbados, in 1790 by the “Ancient” and it remained in existence although three others warranted by the same authority’ soon ceased work. Other Lodges were chartered in the Islands by the Grand Lodges of England, Holland, France, Pennsylvania, etc.”
  • Restoring the Temple of Vision: Cabalistic Freemasonry and Stuart Culture
    By Marsha Keith Schuchard”This book uncovers the early Jewish, Scottish, and Stuart sources of “ancient” Cabalistic Freemasonry that flourished in “Icossais
    lodges in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.” This book further claims on page 548 that the first Jews in English America were Freemasons from Barbados!
  • Prince Hall, Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania
    “81. Who was Prince Hall?
    It is recorded that he was born in Barbados, British West Indies. He came to Boston, became the leader of the free African-Americans of that city, and was an ordained minister.
    82. Did these African-American Masons have a Lodge of their own?
    On September 29, 1784, the Grand Lodge of England issued a Charter for African Lodge No. 459 of Boston. It was instrumental in forming the first African-American Grand Lodge in the United States.”
  • Barbados DGL Prince Hall page.

Related topic: article on History of Freemasonry in Jamaica by District Grand Master of Jamaica & the Cayman Islands (BC)