Founder Members


All of the Founder Members of Preston Guild Lodge No4408 were from the Lodge of Unanimity No 113. Indeed, all except one was originally initiated into Unanimity.

Then, as now, the composition of the Lodge encompassed a diverse, rich and wide spectrum of occupations and backgrounds. The lodge was true to the equality shared in Freemasonry. That said, because of their different profiles, it has been easier to find information on some members more than others.

The history is presented in order of Masonic status at the time of Consecration.

William Edward Ord

Our first Master at the Consecration of the Lodge was embedded into the fabric of Preston. As a Mason he was a Junior Grand Deacon of the United Lodge of England and at the time of his installation as first Master he was, uniquely, a recently appointed Assistant Provincial Grand Master in the Province of West Lancashire. Will Ord was a Past Master of the Lodge of Unanimity and a Founder Member of Commercial Travellers Lodge No 3493 in December 1910. Fate determined that Commercial Travellers would amalgamate with Preston Guild in 2004.

Will Ord had served as the Mayor of Preston twice in 1906-07 and 1907-08.

For 28 years, he was also the Chairman of Preston North End Football Club presiding over their transition into a professional club. He also founded a Cycling Club in Doncaster in his youth and then became a member of Preston Cycling Club on his return to the town. That club went on to found Longridge Golf Club with Will as President.

A lifetime bachelor, Will Ord was a prominent businessman and merchant managing Satterthwaite’s Leather Company in Preston.

Will Ord was the driving force behind Preston Guild Lodge participating in the Masonic Million Memorial Fund to become the first of just two Preston Lodges to become Hall Stone Lodges. (More about that in the Hall Stone Jewel Section) Sadly he passed away in 1924, the year before the lodge was awarded the Hall Stone Jewel. 

James Edward Adkins

James Adkins was our second Worshipful Master taking over from Will Ord at the Regular Installation in November 1922. He had previously been Master of the Lodge of Unanimity.

He was a Professional Organist and Musician and Fellow of the Royal College of Organists.  Although a Past Provincial Grand Organist in the Province of West Lancashire, he was not the regular organist of Preston Guild Lodge save for playing at the Consecration Meeting.

From the age of 23, when he was also made a Mason, he had been appointed as the Organist at Preston Parish Church. 

He was also a conductor of the Preston Operatic Society. James was a composer of music and his work had an international audience. Through the Archivist at Stanier & Bell Ltd we have been able to acquire some of his work. James had the honour of playing the organ for the 1922 Guild Mayors Church Service to start the Guild Celebrations

John Hunt

John Hunt was a Past Master of the Lodge of Unanimity and a Past Provincial Grand Deacon in the Province of West Lancashire at the time of our consecration.

He was a Jeweller and Silversmith based on Fishergate in Preston. His silver work features distinctive Lions Heads where legs were attached to jugs and bowls. Examples of his work are rare and quite valuable. The image below is of a silver cream jug and sugar bowl from 1908. As well as the hallmarks, each is stamped with JOHN HUNT PRESTON. John designed both the Founder Members Jewel, seen above, and Past Masters Jewels for Preston Guild Lodge.

John served as the Mayor of Preston in 1926 -1927.

Maintaining a masonic link to the building, he served as Chairman of the Harris Museum and Library Committee. He was also the Chief Magistrate of Preston. John passed away in 1928 having served his town and lodge with honour.

Sugar Bowl and Cream Jug made by John Hunt

Henry Heaton

At our consecration Henry Heaton was also a Past Master of the Lodge of Unanimity and a Past Provincial Grand Deacon of the Province of West Lancashire. Henry was the first Director of Ceremonies serving from 1922 – 24. By profession he was a Land Surveyor.

Henry Alty

Another Founder who was a Past Master of the Lodge of Unanimity and a Past Provincial Grand Deacon of the Province of West Lancashire. 

Henry certainly left a huge footprint not only on the Lodge but on Preston too.

He served the Lodge as Assistant Director of Ceremonies from 1922 -24 and then took over as Director of Ceremonies from 1924 – 31.

Henry also served as the Group Representative from 1922 – 31.

At the time he was made a mason in 1899, Henry Alty was recorded as a Brick Manufacturer. He was quite an entrepreneur. He bought a boat to transport his bricks from the works to all points where they could be used. He was a prolific builder using his own bricks.

His company has grown and remains in the family today as a Builders Merchants based at Much Hoole and Chorley. Their vehicles are regularly seen in Preston and beyond.

The Founder Members Jewel at the start of this history was presented to the Lodge by Henry’s Grandson W Bro Ralph Whitehead when Master of Olympia Lodge.

Edward Cookson

Edward was a Past Master of the Lodge of Unanimity at the consecration of Preston Guild Lodge. 

He served the Lodge as Assistant Director of Ceremonies from 1924 – 1931 and then continued as Director of Ceremonies until 1937. 

By trade Edward Cookson was a Master Baker. As a father of seven children, Freemasonry must have been a respite for him.

Arnold James Thomas Ellison

Another Past Master of the Lodge of Unanimity at our consecration. He was Assistant Director of Ceremonies for Preston Guild Lodge from 1924. Thomas was an Architect and Surveyor by profession.  He was a well-known member of the local Conservative Party and served on the Fulwood Urban District Council. Sadly, Thomas passed away suddenly in 1926.

Henry Charnock

Harry Charnock became the Worshipful Master of the Lodge in 1924. By profession he was a Dentist.

James Harry Lees

James was Secretary of the Lodge during its Founding stages. By profession he was an Estate Agent.

Eli Calvert

It could be said that Eli threw his heart and soul into Preston Guild Lodge. He was another Past Master of the Lodge of Unanimity. Eli took over as Lodge Secretary after the consecration in 1922 and served till 1927. 

He became Treasurer of Lodge Treasurer between 1928 and 1931. Eli then became the Assistant Director of Ceremonies from 1931 – 37 taking over as Director of Ceremonies until 1941. From 1937 – 39 and again 1949 – 50 he served as Lodge Chaplain. 

Eli was also the Preston Group Representative from 1931 -48. By trade he was a Draper. He had one daughter, Clara Nancy.

Eli was the last Founder Member to Pass to the Grand Lodge above in August 1957 at the age of 84. The Worshipful Master commented “W Bro Calvert was one who never seemed to grow old, for he always displayed the spirit of youth and of cheerfulness.”

Fred Howard

Fred worked as a Civil Servant with the Post Office. He too had served as Master of the Lodge of Unanimity.

Augustine Augustus Dallman

When made a Mason he was described a “Clerk in Holy Orders.” Rev Dallman served two Preston Churches; St Peters as Curate then as Vicar of St Luke’s. His background was quite interesting. He attended the St Bees Theological College. This college was opened in 1816 to provide an opportunity for those unable to afford a university route into the clergy. 

Augustine was a Provincial Assistant Grand Chaplain in the Province of West Lancashire. He became Worshipful Master in 1923. From 1925 until 1936, when he passed away, Augustine was quite rightly the Chaplain of the Lodge.

Christopher Miller

1922 was a very busy year for Chris. In addition to planning for the consecration of Preston Guld Lodge, he was deeply involved in the work behind the 1922 Preston Guild Celebrations. He served on The Preston Guild General Trades Procession council representing the Master Carters’ Association. 

He was a member of the Guild Executive Committee a Marshall for the procession as well as serving on the Regulations and Band sub committees.

Chris became the Worshipful Master in 1926. He was the first Master to have the Hall Stone Jewel conferred on him at a Lodge Installation. 

His post installation portrait is the epitome of a Preston Guld Founder. The Hall Stone Jewel is attached to the collarette around his neck. On his breast he is wearing his personal Hall Stone Jewel and Founder Members Jewel. 

Chris later served as Lodge Secretary from 1927 -31 and then took on the role of Treasurer of the lodge from 1931 – 33. On the Petition to create the lodge, his occupation was recorded as a Carting Contractor. He worked in the family haulage business, Chris Miller Limited that dated back to 1827. That business continued into the 21st Century. He had the joy of being joined in Freemasonry by his two sons John and Arthur. Both became Masters of the Lodge. John first in 1952 who then installed his brother in 1953. Arthur’s son Chris also became a mason with the Preston Lodge of Stanley and became Master in his own right there.

Gilbert Starkie

The last Founder Member to have served as Master of the Lodge of Unanimity. Gilbert served as the Lodge Treasurer from 1922 – 29.

He was a Wire Manufacturer and Merchant in the family business of James Starkie and Sons, Preston’s second oldest family firm. He was one of five brothers and known to his family as Bert. The footprint of this business remains and the Wire Mill survives on Church Street as the Cotton Court Business Centre. 

As with Henry Alty and Chris Miller, the family business has continued into the 21st Century. James Starkie and Sons Limited still trades as Metal Merchants operating from Goosnargh. A wrought iron temple created for the 1902 Preston Guld is now preserved in the grounds of Gibbon Bridge Hotel at Chipping.

Paul Pattinson Danson

Paul became our Worshipful Master in 1927. Seen here in his youth. 

His occupation was recorded as a Company Secretary.

Frederick Dodgson

Originally a Freemason from the Scottish Constitution, his English Constitution Grand Lodge Certificate is dated 30th September 1919 when he became a joining member of Unanimity. In 1928, Fred was the last of the Founder Members to become Worshipful Master of Preston Guild Lodge. His occupation is recorded as a Bank Clerk.

Samuel Oliver

Samuel became our Worshipful Master in 1925. He then served the Lodge as Charity Steward from 1928 – 34. He was appointed as Provincial Senior Grand Deacon in the Province of West Lancashire in 1932. Samuel was the proprietor of a Turkish Baths in Blackpool though lived in Preston.

The Hall Stone Jewel

Samuel had the great honour of attending United Grand Lodge in December 1925 to receive, on the behalf of the Lodge, the Hall Stone Jewel that has been worn by every Master since. 

This Jewel was conferred upon the Lodge by The Most Worshipful Grand Master, Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathern. It was placed on Samuel by The Pro Grand Master Lord Ampthill.


W Bro Geoff Cuthill

Suzanne Cameron, Preston Marina

Anne Price, Henry Alty Limited

Jim Starkie, James Starkie and Sons Limited

Diocese of Blackburn

Diocese of Manchester

Manchester Central Library

Royal College of Organists

Lancashire Archives

Lodge Archives

Lanes Masonic Records

Stainer & Bell Ltd

Red Rose Collections

Preston Historical Society

Ancestry UK