HISTORY OF PROVINCIAL GRAND LODGE
The foundation of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Londonderry and Donegal evolved out of persistent submissions to Grand Lodge from as early as April 1843. A Memorial for a P.G.L. of Derry, followed by one for the counties of Derry, Donegal, Tyrone and Fermanagh and finally the successful one from 18 Lodges meeting in Londonderry and Donegal was received on 7th May 1846. On the 4th June 1846 Lodges 633 and 640 signified their support and Grand Lodge finally recommended the appointment of Sir James Stewart, Bart as Provincial Grand Master. Thus the Provincial Grand Lodge of Londonderry and Donegal was at last under way.
The Senior Officers at that time were as follows:
Provincial Grand Master
Provincial Deputy Grand Master
Provincial Grand Treasurer
Provincila Grand Secretary
From a list of the Provincial Grand Lodges founded since 1834, and the dates when some became defunct or amalgamated to form a different body, we can ascertain that the Province of Londonderry and Donegal can rightly claim to be the oldest Provincial Grand Lodge in Northern Ireland, and the third oldest in Ireland, with continuous working from 1846.
On 2nd April 1868 Grand Lodge approved a report on the arrangements for the Masonic Provinces of Ireland and strangely enough the town of Magherafelt came under the control of the P.G.L. of Antrim. It wasn't until almost 20 years later on 10th June 1887 that this anomaly was rectified when Lodge 211 received a Licence from the P.G.L. of Antrim permitting the Lodge to be transferred to the Provincial Grand Lodge of Londonderry and Donegal.
The Provincial Grand Lodge now has 50 Lodges, 47 of which meet in towns or cities within the Province of Londonderry and Donegal and the remaining 3 Lodges meet in County Tyrone.
These Lodges meet in Halls in Aghadowey, Ballybofey, Ballyronan, Bellaghy, Campsie, Castlerock, Curran, Coleraine, Donegal Town, Donemana, Garvagh, Kilrea, Letterkenny, Limavady, Londonderry, Maghera, Magherafelt, Moneymore, Moville, Ramelton, Tobermore, Portstewart, Raphoe, St. Johnston, Strabane and Stranorlar.
Sir James Stewart, Bart 1846-1879
Alexander Grant 1846-1856
Jonathan M. Scott 1846-1847
James McMurray 1846-1850