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The History of KY Royal Arch Masonry


In Kentucky, a number of Companions of the Royal Arch in Lexington petitioned the Grand Lodge for permission to establish a chapter on November 22, 1814. This permission was granted and Royal Arch Chapter No. 1 was established to confer the degrees of Mark Master, Past Master, Most Excellent Master, and Royal Arch.

Then on October 16,1816, Thomas Smith Webb, Deputy General Grand High Priest of the General Grand Chapter, granted 'charters for chapters at Lexington, Frankfort, and Shelbyville. That year also the Grand Lodge gave permission for chapters working under Warrants 1, 4, and 5 (Lexington, Frankfort and Shelbyville) to organize a Grand Chapter, with no further chapters to be permitted except by recommendation of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter and the authorization of the Grand Lodge.

In consequence, a convention of delegates from the three named chapters met at Frankfort December 4, 1817, and resolved that since the constitutional requirements of the General Grand Royal Arch Constitution had been met by these three Royal Arch chapters in Kentucky, that a Grand Chapter be formed for the state. The following officers were elected:

  • James Moore, Grand High Priest

  • John Willett, Deputy Grand High Priest

  • George M. Bibb, Grand King

  • Wm. G. Hunt, Grand Scribe

  • Charles S. Todd, Grand Secretary

  • Wingfield Bullock, Grand Treasurer

  • Caleb W. Cloud, Grand Chaplain

  • Samuel Woodson, Grand Marshal

On January 3, 1818, the Grand Chapter again met at Frankfort and read letters from Dewitt Clinton, General Grand High Priest, and Thomas Smith Webb, Deputy General Grand High Priest, approving the organization of the Grand Chapter. At this meeting charters were issued for chapters at Danville and Louisville and chapters were numbered. 123 members were reported. Since that time Royal Arch Chapters have been established in most of the larger and some of the smaller towns of Kentucky. As of June 30, 1978, there were seventy-five chapters and 12,743 members.


[Taken from Kentucky Freemasonry 1788-1978, by Charles Snow Guthrie,32 KCCH, Grand Lodge of Kentucky, 1981]


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