In the spotlight
Opening in June, the Library and Museum’s latest exhibition looks at the longstanding links between Freemasonry and entertainment
The association between Freemasonry and the entertainment profession during the Victorian period is well known. The connection was embodied by men such as Sir Augustus Harris (1852-1896), actor and theatrical impresario, lodge founder and Grand Treasurer.
He and his circle of theatrical figures feature in a revealing press cartoon from 1891 (above).
Harris was particularly associated with the Drury Lane Theatre, where he staged elaborate pantomimes. He was a founder of Drury Lane Lodge, No. 2127, in 1885, which met in the theatre itself. After his death in 1896 at the age of 44, his wife married Edward O’Connor Terry, another actor, theatre proprietor and Freemason. Terry’s initials are shown entwined on the founder’s jewel for the lodge that was formed in 1898 and named after him.
Terry was a Past Master of Lodge of Asaph, No. 1319, which formed in 1870 and met in the afternoons to permit its membership of musicians and actors to continue with their regular jobs in orchestras and theatre in the evenings.
Spotlight: Freemasons and Entertainment
The exhibition runs from 8 June 2015 to 13 February 2016, Monday–Friday, 10am–5pm.
Admission is free