Charles Roads

Worshipful Master 1838

Charles Roads was one of the longest serving members of Royal Jubilee Lodge, being a subscribing or honorary member for over 65 years.

Charles was born in Norduck, near Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire in 1811 and lived to the grand age of 91 years. It is not entirely clear when he moved to the London area but records show him living in and around Lambeth for the last 40 years of his life. However, given that he was initiated into the lodge on 9th February 1836 and married his wife Mary Prier in 1847 in Southwark, he probably made the move much either. The couple had 5 children.

Charles is variously described as an Oilman (1861 and 1871), a Tallow Chandler (1881) and a Merchant (1901).

Although Charles did not join freemasonry until 1836, he was installed as Worshipful Master in 1838. Today such a short timescale would be considered highly unlikely, but it is clear from the records that it was not so rare in the 19th century. The minutes of the meeting of 12th February 1839 include a vote of thanks for his services as Worshipful Master, the first such resolution recorded.

Ch’ien Lung Punch Bowl circa 1780

A few years later in 1843 Charles presented a Punch Bowl to the lodge. The lodge deposited it with the Library and Museum of Freemasonry, Great Queen Street, where it is still held.

Charles’ other major contribution to the lodge was his term as Treasurer from 1852 until 1862 when ill-health forced him to resign. He was however, subsequently awarded Honorary membership.

Charles died in Offerton Road, Clapham, his long term home, in December 1902. He was buried in Norwood Cemetary on 22nd December of that year.

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