Royal & Select Masters

The Grand Council of the Order of Royal and Select Masters of England and Wales
and its Districts and Councils Overseas


RSM Jones 300The Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters of England and Wales and its Districts and Councils Overseas was formally constituted on 29 July 1873 by four Councils chartered just two years earlier by the Grand Council of New York.

They organised themselves into a Sovereign body under the Patronage of the Rev. Canon G.R. Portal, a Past Grand Master of Mark Master Masons, who was Installed as the Grand Master of the Order. By the turn of the century there were twenty seven Councils and a similar number Consecrated by the end of the second world war. The Order then grew rapidly with the number on the Roll at the end of 2013 being over 250 Councils.

The Degrees in the Order - four in total - are often referred to as the 'Cryptic Degrees', and the Order sometimes as 'Cryptic'. The ceremonies complete the Solomonic legend as they prove the essential link between the Degrees of Mark Mason, the Raising in Craft, and The Royal Arch.

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Royal & Select Masters

New District Grand Master for R.S.M. Surrey

RSM Surrey


In March 2014 Right Illustrious Companion David John Blackburn was installed into charge of the Royal and Select Masters District of Surrey – only the third District Grand Master since the District was Constituted in 1994, having formerly been part of Middlesex and Surrey.

He was Admitted into the Order in July 2005, in Waverley Council No. 205 and now is a member of the Order’s Executive Committee.

During the past ten years, R.Ill.Comp. David has carried out the duties of his office with dignity and confidence and has furthered relations between the District and the Order’s headquarters at Mark Masons’ Hall, in London.

As he approaches the tenth anniversary of his installation, he has indicated that he feels it is now time to step aside in favour of a successor and, on behalf of Grand Council, we want to thank him for all that he has done for Cryptic Masonry during his time in charge of the District.

Because of R.Ill.Comp. David’s upcoming retirement, the Grand Master has been considering the appointment of a successor and I am very pleased to inform you that Ill.Comp. William Agnew Caughie, G.Swd.B., has accepted the invitation to be your next District Grand Master.

Ill.Comp. Caughie is well known to you and needs no introduction, and I am sure you will join me in congratulating him on his forthcoming preferment. His installation will take place on Saturday, 23 March 2024 and R.Ill.Comp. David will retire at midnight on Sunday, 10 March 2024.


M.Ill.Comp. Kessick J. Jones
Grand Master

R.Ill.Comp. His Hon Ian D. G. Alexander, KC
Deputy Grand Master

R.Ill.Comp. Paul A. Norman
Grand Principal Conductor of the Work