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The Royal Arch

In East Kent

Complete your journey in Freemasonry
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About The Royal Arch

inside grand lodge

In England and Wales there is an indissoluble link between Craft Freemasonry and the Royal Arch, with the Royal Arch being considered the completion of a Freemasons journey in “pure antient masonry”.


Chapter Regalia Apron

As with Craft Freemasonry, there is debate as to the origins of the Royal Arch, not helped by the paucity of surviving evidence. From what evidence there is, we know that the Royal Arch was known in London, York and Dublin by the late 1730s. From extant Lodge Minute Books of the 1750s we know that the Royal Arch was being worked within Craft Lodges under both the Premier and the Ancient’s’ Grand Lodges in England, and in Lodges under the Grand Lodges of Ireland and Scotland. The current Supreme Grand Chapter in England dates from the reorganisation of the Craft after the Union of the two Grand Lodges in 1813.

Connections between the Royal Family and the Royal Arch in England began in 1772, when HRH Henry Frederick, Duke of Cumberland (brother to King George III) became a member. In 1774, he was elected Grand Patron of the Royal Arch – a portrait of him in his robes for that office still hangs in Freemasons’ Hall. In 1776, he was elected First Grand Principal and held that office until 1785. On his death, in 1790, he was succeeded as Grand Patron by his nephew HRH William, Duke of Clarence (later HM King William IV).

Further information on the history of the Order and Supreme Grand Chapter can be found on Solomon, UGLE’s online learning resource, which supports individual members of the Craft and Royal Arch as they progress.

How to join the Royal Arch

picture of the Officers processing into the Royal Arch Convocation

The prime qualification for admission into the Royal Arch is to be a Master Mason, of at least four weeks standing, in a Lodge under the United Grand Lodge of England, or a Lodge under a Grand Lodge recognised by it.

If you would like to join the Royal Arch, each lodge has a Chapter Liasson officer, they will be able to start the process and give you all the information you need. If not, get in touch via the button below and we will help you take the next step in Masonry.

The Royal Arch