Lodge History

Our History

The history of the Lodge and of freemasonry in Halifax is amply covered in “The Lodge of Probity No. 61 1738-1938” by T. W. Hanson, a well-known local historian which is available in the local reference library or by arrangement with the Lodge. (Members may purchase a copy) The Lodge was founded in 1738 and it has enjoyed continuous existence since then, it is the oldest Lodge in Yorkshire as well as the West Riding, being born out of the expansion of freemasonry following the foundation of Grand Lodge in 1717.

The Lodge is very proud of its long history and most carefully guards its ancient traditions. From the early days the Lodge met in public houses, notably the Bulls Head, Union Cross, and the Old Cock. In 1874 the Lodge of Probity in conjunction with St. James’s Lodge No. 448 opened the Freemasons’ Hall at St. Johns Place. This was purpose built and the Lodge met here until 1988, when the present facilities at Southwood were purchased. The magnificent façade of the Freemasons’ Hall at St. Johns Place is preserved intact within the replacement HBOS buildings, and can be viewed from outside and is well worth a visit. It is floodlit at night.



This lady’s brooch is worn by the wife of the Worshipful Master on masonic social occasions.  Presently it is held by Pamela, wife of W. Bro Ian Firth, master in the chair.

If resurfaced after being “missing” for a few years, and is a beautiful part of the lodge’s treasure.
The Clerestory Window above this tablet was placed in the Halifax Minster Church of St. John the Baptist in December 1886 by the Brethren of the Lodge of Probity No 61 in token of their fraternal and affectionate regard.


The inscription reads: To the Glory of God and to the cherished memory of Brother Sir Henry Edwards Bart CBDL of Pye Nest Past Provincial Grand Master of West Yorkshire Freemasons and Past Master of the Lodge of Probity No 61