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When Captain William Douglas landed at Port Royal in 1738 he had a roving warrant to promote Freemasonry wherever he went. Within a year the Mother Lodge of Kingston was formed, and three years later the first Provincial Grand Master of Jamaica was appointed.
Volume One of this two part series is a character-driven narrative of the Freemasons who made up the membership of the Jamaican Lodges under the English Constitution from 1739 to 1880. They came from varied backgrounds – merchants, mariners, planters, actors, clerics, printers and storekeepers to name but a few, and over time reflected the changing social landscape in Jamaica. By 1843 the Freemasons’ Quarterly Magazine could write that one Kingston lodge with a membership ‘being over 90’ comprised ‘Christians, Jews and persons of colour; and it is delightful to witness the general harmony that exists.’