Centenary Meeting of The de Tabley Preceptory, No. 100

It’s not often that a Preceptory celebrates its Centenary meeting some 151 years after it was Consecrated but his was the unusual position that The de Tabley Preceptory found itself in on Wednesday 27 February.

The de Tabley Preceptory, or Encampment as it was then known, was consecrated on 15 April 1868 and named 'de Tabley' in celebration of the appointment of George Leicester, or Leicester-Warren, the 2nd. Baron de Tabley, as the Provincial Grand Master for Cheshire.

In 1873, as a result of falling numbers, the Preceptory moved to Altrincham where it continued to meet for a number of years. Membership remained low and in 1884 the Preceptory committee proposed to move to Crewe or elsewhere.

A year later there was a change of mind and the Preceptory remained in Altrincham, but numbers did not improve.

The Preceptory had made no Returns to Great Priory since 1881, and held no meetings at all after December 1886. Eight more years elapsed before anyone noticed, it seems, for it wasn’t until 1894 that Provincial Priory advised that as de Tabley had not complied with a Resolution of Great Priory, and not sent the required Returns, the Warrant was forfeit and must be surrendered.

Whether it was by accident, or intent, the Warrant could not be found and so was not returned as instructed. By a stroke of luck, it was re-discovered a year later in 1895, when The Great Sub-Prior, Lord Euston, came to Chester to Install the Hon. Alan de Tatton Egerton - soon to be Lord Egerton of Tatton, and who was already the Provincial Grand Master - as Provincial Prior. Discussions took place whereby the Resuscitation of de Tabley Preceptory found favour, ultimately resulting in Great Priory cancelling the forfeiture of the Warrant and waiving all unpaid fees.

On the 16 May 1896 the Resuscitation meeting took place at Altrincham Town Hall.

However, records could not be found in 1996 to support one-hundred years of continuous working and only recently did the requisite proofs come to light.

The Most Eminent and Supreme Grand Master, Paul Raymond Clement, G.C.T. was delighted to be present to join the Preceptory in the long-awaited celebrations. (Pictured left to right, the M.E. & S. Grand Master hands the Centenary Warrant to E.Kt. David Hinde, P.Gt.W. of R. in the company of R.E.Kt. Dr Anthony George Mathie, Provincial Prior for Cheshire and North Wales.)

Sesquicentenary of Ancient Ebor Preceptory, No. 101

The ancient city of York has a long and fascinating history so it made a particularly fitting venue to head to in celebration of the Sesquicentenary (150th Anniversary) of Ancient Ebor Preceptory, No. 101 on Thursday 14 February.

Having welcomed the Provincial Prior, Right Eminent Knight Paul Martyn Darley, BEM, K.C.T., and his team, the Eminent Preceptor, Eminent Knight Neil Webster, was pleased to receive the Very High and Right Eminent Great Seneschal, Malcolm Ernest Slater, OStJ, G.C.T., and offer him the Baton, which he was pleased to accept.

Following the reading of the original Warrant of 1868 the Knights present were treated to an excellent history of the Preceptory which took them on a gallop through the last 150 years of its working. The Chaplain then gave an Oration highlighting many key events that had occurred during the Preceptory’s existence. The Knights of the Preceptory were then arranged around the Sepulchre by Right Eminent Knight Timothy John Wheeler, K.C.T., Great Marshal, while the Sesquicentenary Warrant was read.

A pleasant surprise announcement came from the Very High and Right Eminent Great Seneschal who asked that Very Eminent Knight Eric Gordon Thompson be presented to him in order that he, on behalf of the Grand Master, could confer on him a field promotion to the rank of Past Second Great Constable, in recognition of his many years distinguished service to the Order since being Installed as a Knight of the Order in 1974.

This wasn’t the only surprise of the evening though as the Eminent Preceptor and the Provincial Prior made presentations to the Very High and Right Eminent Great Seneschal comprising cheques for the St John of Jerusalem Eye Hospital Group, one from the Preceptory for £1500.00 and a further 10 of £150.00 from each of the Preceptories in the Province. The Very High and Right Eminent Great Seneschal accepted them with gratitude and gave the Knights present a moving insight into his experiences of the work carried out by the Hospital.

After the meeting the Knights moved to the dining room to enjoy a meal and the Knightly conviviality these meetings generate, at which time the celebration cake was cut by the Provincial Prior, the Very High and Right Eminent Great Seneschal and the Eminent Preceptor (pictured left to right).

More information about the St John of Jerusalem Eye Hospital Group can be found here: St John of Jerusalem Eye Hospital Charity



M.E. & S.Kt. Paul R. Clement, G.C.T.
Grand Master

V.H. & R.E.Kt. Andrew C. Rainbow, G.C.T.
Great Seneschal


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