When the Loughborough Hoard of Masonic artefacts were discovered behind a panel in the storeroom at Loughborough Masonic Hall in September 2017, they were found to contain many handwritten lectures by Frederick Fleeman, who had been Master of Howe and Charnwood Lodge, No.1007, in 1916, Founder and Primus Master of Beacon Lodge, No.5208, in 1930 and Master of The Lodge of Research, No.2429, in 1940.
The earliest paper was written in 1911 and delivered to the Howe and Charnwood Lodge of Instruction in February 1911 and the last was his Inaugural Address to the Lodge of Research just three months before his death.
Many of these papers had never been printed; indeed the 1939 History of Howe and Charnwood Lodge was only known to have existed from the Lodge Minute Book. Similarly, his paper on the Rancliffe Lodge, No.608, which is a development of the chapter in his 1919 book on Freemasonry in Loughborough, was not known to have been written. (His 1919 book, The History of Freemasonry in Loughborough is not included, although the final proofs were among the artefacts.)
The e-book, which can be accessed via the Lodge of Research, No.2429 website, brings together all the known papers he wrote and include some fascinating facts. His histories of the early days of Freemasonry in Loughborough are of great interest, including a reference which shows a direct family link between one member of the Craft, a previous Provincial Grand Master of Leicestershire, and H. M. Queen Elizabeth ll.
David Sharpe, Editor Transactions of the Lodge of Research, No.2429, has now brought together all the known papers that Fleeman wrote for the first time in ‘The Fleeman Papers’ which can be read online at the page dedicated to the Fleeman papers on the Lodge of Research No.2429 website.
Picture: Frederick Fleeman