The preliminary meeting to erect a new lodge under the Irish Constitution in Queensland took place on 28 May 1864 which was attended by the following brethren: Thomas Vokes Dudgeon, Alexander Wilson, George Wilkinson, David Elliott and William Higginson. Thomas Vokes Dudgeon was voted to the chair and Bro Higginson was appointed Acting-Secretary.

The following resolutions were carried:

  • To apply to the P[rovincial] G[rand] Lodge of NSW for a dispensation to open a New Lodge
  • That Thomas Vokes Dudgeon be the first Master; Bro Alexander Wilson the first Senior Warden; Bro George Wilkinson, the first Junior Warden; Bro David Elliott the first Senior Deacon; Bro Frederick Perry the first Junior Deacon; and Bro Wm G. Higginson, the first Inner Guard.
  • That this lodge be called the “Duke of Leinster”.
  • That Bro Shaw be requested to act as Past Master.
  • That the Secretary be instructed to write an application to the P[rovincial] Grand Lodge Sydney IC for a Dispensation, and forward it to the WM of the St Patrick’s Lodge and request him to support the same.
  • That the Affiliation Fee for Joining Members be £2-2-0.
  • That the Lodge shall hold its regular meetings on the Wednesday before the full moon in each month.    

Aftermath of the Great Fire of Brisbane – Queen Street


The dispensation was duly granted and the first installation took place on the Festival of St John the Baptist, Friday 24 June 1864.

The first meeting place of the Lodge is not known with absolute certainty; however the minute book states that it “met at the Hall”. “The Hall” or more commonly referred to in Masonic references as “the Queen Street Masonic Hall” was the colloquial name for a rented room above James Warry’s grocery store in Queen Street, located opposite the present day General Post Office, which was permanently rented to Masonic lodges of the day. James Warry was a member of North Australian Lodge No.1098 EC.

The first minute in the old minute book of the Lodge starts out:

At high twelve the brethren of the new Lodge met at the Hall, and assisted the brethren of the St Patrick’s Lodge to open in the third degree and under the Warrant of the Duke of Leinster Lodge granted by the P[rovincial] G[rand] Master at Sydney. Brother Shaw, WM of the St Patrick’s Lodge presided – The Roll having been called, the brethren below the degree of P M were allowed to retire, when Bro. T.V. Dudgeon was duly installed Worshipful Master according to ancient custom after which, being readmitted, he proceeded to install the following Officers:

Senior Warden Bro Alexander Wilson
Junior Warden Bro George Wilkinson
Senior Deacon Bro David Elliott
Junior Deacon Bro Frederick Perry
Inner Guard Bro William Higginson

The Lodge was then called down to the first degree and closed in peace love and harmony at 3 o’clock pm.


Charlotte Street, Brisbane, during the 1864 flood


The new lodge started its life with only eight members and the only member from an Irish Lodge was Thomas Vokes Dudgeon – the Worshipful Master – most of the others were from North Australian Lodge No.1098 EC. In its first year of operation it added another twenty-two members to its roll.

Foundation Members

Thomas Vokes Dudgeon
Bro Alexander Wilson
Bro George Wilkinson
Bro David Elliott
Bro Frederick Perry
Bro William Higginson
Bro John Simmons
Bro Thomas Bird


It is interesting to note that the first meetings of the Lodge were set down to occur on the Wednesday before full moon in each month. This was before the days of streetlights, strong portable lamps and electric torches and was no doubt meant to afford the best natural light for members to travel to lodge meetings at night. In 1872 the Lodge resolved to meet on the third Wednesday of each month and has continued to do to the present day.

Thomas Vokes Dudgeon was an officer in the Queensland Customs Department, the Foundation Senior Warden and Master Elect of The St Patrick’s Lodge of Queensland No 279 IC, and due to be installed at the July meeting of the Lodge. In 1856, before he came to Queensland, he was the Secretary and a Past Master of Australian Social Lodge No.260 IC – the first lodge inaugurated on Australian soil in 1820.

In those early days of sailing ships and due to the tyranny of distance and also to the tardy attention given to correspondence by the Grand Lodge of Ireland, the Warrant for the Lodge was slow in coming. The best estimate that can be made of its arrival, because no mention is made in the minute book, is the sudden appearance of the Warrant number 283 on the minutes of the Lodge dated 24 September 1865. The Warrant is dated 19 June 1865 and the time for transit from Ireland in those days would justify its arrival in late September. It is interesting to note that the Duke of Leinster in Queensland was the third lodge to work under the Warrant No. 283 of the Irish Constitution and the second Duke of Leinster Lodge to do so. It would be interesting to know if the forefathers were aware of this coincidence.

When the Grand Lodge of Queensland was formed in 1904 our Warrant No. 283 IC was duly cancelled. The Duke of Leinster Lodge was then registered No. 3 QC on the roll of the Sovereign Grand Lodge of Queensland.

On 27 April 1921 the United Grand Lodge of Queensland was erected and all but three lodges in the State of Queensland united under its banner. Lodges were numbered in a chronological order in accordance with their date of consecration and the Duke of Leinster became No. 8 UGLQ.


The Duke of Leinster was the seventh lodge to be consecrated in Queensland if we acknowledge North Australian Lodge (1098 EC) No.1 UGLQ to be the first. Why then, you may ask, is the Duke numbered eight on the register of the United Grand Lodge of Queensland?

The short story is that at the time of the constitution of the Sovereign Grand Lodge of Queensland in 1904, St Andrew No. 435 Scottish Constitution had resolved by a virtual unanimous vote to become one of the Scottish lodges joining in the founding of the Grand Lodge of Queensland, and were to return their Warrant for cancellation – St Andrew Lodge then became No. 2 QC; however, several recalcitrant brethren of the old St Andrew No. 435 SC Lodge seized the Warrant and in time revived the old St Andrew Lodge No. 435 SC so that there was now two St Andrew lodges working and both claiming the same birth date. In 1922, when numbering lodges in order of their date of consecration, the UGLQ encountered difficulties when the two lodges, St Andrew No.435 SC and St Andrew No. 2 QC both claimed their date of origin as 27 May 1864. After carefully considering the matter the Board of General Purposes resolved that: Grand Lodge give No. 6 and the name St Andrew to the lodge bearing that name and at the date of Union being known as St Andrew No. 435 SC – The St Andrew Lodge No. 2 QC to be numbered No. 7 and requested to change its name. Thus St Andrew’s Cross Lodge No. 7 came into being and the Duke was numbered eight.