Introduction and History
Malvern has been a popular watering place or spa since the middle of the eighteenth century. During the first half of the century, there were several lodges meeting in the nearby city of Worcester, however there was no lodge in Malvern itself.
Between 1846 and 1865 in particular, the number of “Malvern” freemasons attending the Worcester lodges increased, and in 1867 a group of members from the Semper Fidelis Lodge (number 529) met and decided to form a Lodge in their hometown of Malvern.
The Royds Lodge No. 1204 was consecrated in December 1867 and took as its name from the then Head of Worcestershire Freemasonry, Albert Hudson Royds. The Lodge has deep roots in the local community and continues to have a close affinity with the town of Malvern the people who live and work in the area.
Find out more about Albert Hudson Royds and the History of our founding here.
Equality is a fundamental tenet of Freemasonry, and we accept members from a wide range of diverse backgrounds regardless of age, race, religion, sexuality or otherwise. Every member is given ongoing support as they pursue whatever goals they have set themselves.
Charity is the beating heart of Freemasonry and every mason in the lodge is encouraged to become, or continue to be, useful and active members of the local community.
The Royds Lodge Seal
The Royds Lodge seal, designed by R. Woof in conjunction with A. Brown, was approved by the Lodge at its meeting on the 14th July 1870. Woof had been Master of the Worcester Lodge No. 280 in 1861-62 and was Town Clerk of Worcester. He was a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and wrote extensively.
The seal, as shown on the left, was designed to incorporate features from the ancient seals of Little and Great Malvern Priories. The triple canopy (A) forms part of a seal of Little Malvern Priory, while St Michael with open wings (B) forms part of a seal of Great Malvern Priory. At the bottom of the seal is a Lancastrian red rose (C), a reference to Albert Hudson Royds’ connection with that county and province.
On the original Great Malvern Priory seal, St Michael bears a crown. However, on The Royds Lodge seal, Woof substituted the crown with the Arms of the Grand Lodge of the Moderns. This is difficult to understand, as the United Grand Lodge of England had been formed in 1813, long before The Royds Lodge seal was designed and approved.
There is no doubt that St Michael is bearing the chevron, with the compasses and the three castles of the Grand Lodge of the Moderns. One theory as to why the Arms of the Grand Lodge of the Moderns features on The Royds Lodge seal suggests that the castles have a connection with the City of Worcester Arms, and thence with the Mother Lodge, the Lodge of Semper Fidelis No. 529. This theory, however, must be considered tenuous.
The early style of The Royds Lodge Past Master’s jewel, above right right, is closely related to the seal. The only changes in design have been the substitution of the chevron by the square (D) and the lower castle by a depiction of Euclid’s 47th proposition (E).
The seal is seen at its best on The Royds Lodge banner (left), which hangs in Malvern Masonic Hall. This banner was embroidered by Miss Gwen Forster for the Lodge centenary, held in 1967.