The History Of St Peter's Lodge No. 419
The first meeting of the Lodge (then No. 607) took place on Monday 6 October 1834, so 2009 was its 175th Anniversary year. St Peter's is the 4th oldest extant Masonic Lodge in Staffordshire, and the oldest still meeting in the Masonic Hall, Wolverhampton. The Lodge was created at the instance of Noah's Ark Lodge, and the then Master of that Lodge, George Hilton, installed the first Master of St Peter's Lodge.
In December 1835 the members of St Peters Lodge presented a commemorative jewel to George Hilton, and this was returned to the Lodge in 1964 and remains in its possession. Each year it is traditionally presented to the Immediate Past Master.
The first Master of St Peter's Lodge was Christopher Taylor Darby, Chief Clerk at Wolverhampton's Cock Street Post Office. He presented the Lodge with a 1614 edition of the so-called "Breeches Bible", which still appears on the Master's pedestal today.
The Lodge originally met on Mondays but in 1852 this was changed to the Thursdays still used today (see Lodge Programme for details of the Lodge formal and social programme for the current calendar year). In 1863 the Lodge number was changed to its current 419.
The Lodge had membership difficulties in its early years but eventually prospered and in 1853 a former Master of the Lodge, Col. George Augustus Vernon, became Provincial Grand Master for Staffordshire. In the early years the Lodge generally met at the Star and Garter Hotel in Victoria Street, but in 1923 it moved to the new Masonic Temple in Darlington Street and to the present Masonic Hall when it was opened in 1964.
The Lodge celebrated its 1,500th meeting in 1993 and celebrated its 175th anniversary in October 2009. St Peter's is proud of the high standard of presentation of Masonic ritual for which it is renowned.