R Ill Kt Pt MH Roalfe
Tabernacles Meeting in Northamptonshire and Huntingdonshire
|137||Sir Thomas Tresham Tabernacle||Kettering|
Information about the Order
Although the origins of the Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priests, or Order of Holy Wisdom, to give it its full title, are not known with any certainty, there is a doubtful claim that it existed in the late 17th Century. However, firmer evidence exists of its being worked in the 18th and 19th Centuries in England, Scotland, Ireland, Corfu, France and probably the United States and Canada.
The early history of this Christian Order is obscured by the fact that it was known by many other names including
- Order of Melchisedec
- Pillared Priest
- White Mason
- Order of Holy Wisdom
- Templar Ne Plus Ultra
The Order became moribund in the 19th Century, the last known working being in Lancashire. At the end of the Century however, a prominent Mason, Henry Hotham, who was, apparently, the last known Knight Templar Priest, revived the Order by creating a sufficient number of Knight Templar Priests in Newcastle to form a Tabernacle. As a consequence the first of the modern Tabernacles, Royal Kent, was formed. After a short period of control by the Allied Masonic Degrees in London, the Order became an independent body. It is administered by a Grand College located in York, England.
The development of the Order was very slow at first, but soon began to take on its now extensive international form, with the first New Zealand Tabernacles in 1930, 1942 and 1944 and Australia joining in a few years later.
Earlier, in 1931, Grand College had sponsored the setting up of the Order in the United States as an independent authority and to this day, this is the only other Grand College in the World.
Progress of the Order continued very slowly but steadily from 1951 for the next 10 years, but in the early 1960s, under dynamic new leadership, the pace of expansion increased, and has continued to this day, with the number of Tabernacles now exceeding 200, spread throughout England, Scotland, Wales, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa, the Bahamas, Hong Kong, Holland, Germany and Jamaica. .
The dress of the Order is a white mantle, a tunic as worn by Knights Templar, and a mitre. The KT mantle is permitted, but the white mantle preferred.
Admission to the Order is by invitation and Candidates must
- have been regularly installed Master in, and a subscribing member of, a regular Craft
- be a subscribing Royal Arch Mason
- be a subscribing Knight Templar
The Grand Superintendent for the East Midlands District 31 is R Ill Kt Pt MH Roalfe.