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MASONIC BIOGRAPHIES
FAMOUS FREEMASONS

Richard Parsons 1st Earl of Rosse
[Richard Parsons 1st Earl of Rosse]
January 1702 - June 26, 1741
All official records of the Grand Lodge of Ireland prior to 1760, and all minute books prior to 1780, have been lost,1 so while Rosse is the first recorded Grand Master of Ireland, whether he was the first is a matter of conjecture.2 The belief that he was Grand Master in 1725 and again in 1730 is reliant on newspaper accounts of the day.
Little is known of the life of Richard Parsons, and much of that is hearsay.3 It is telling that a two-and-a-half page biography in the History of the Grand Lodge of Ireland contains only several lines on his birth, death, education and marriage—the balance taken up with notes on his family.4
Variously described as either a profligate, gamester and rioter, or as a man of "humour and frolic",5 Parsons' name is closely identified with the Dublin Hell-Fire Club.
Grand Master: 1725, 1730
Grand Lodge of Ireland

Source: History of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Ireland, John Heron Lepper and Philip Crossle. vol i. Dublin : Lodge of Research. CC , 1925 542p. p. 130-132. Portrait: from a painting in the possession of the Earl of Rosse, plate facing p. 130.

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