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DUKE OF WELLINGTON
MASONIC BIOGRAPHIES
FAMOUS FREEMASONS
Wellington on Freemasonry
In 1838 the members of a lodge in Dublin wished to call themselves the Wellington Lodge, and their master, Mr Carleton, wrote to Wellington to ask his permission to do this.
Wellington replied to Carleton in the third person but in his own hand. 'The Duke of Wellington presents his compliments to Mr Carleton. He perfectly recollects that he was admitted to the lowest grade of Free Masonry in a lodge which was formed at Trim in the County of Meath. He has never since attended a lodge of Free Masons.' In view of this, to call a Freemason’s lodge by his name 'would be a rediculous assumption of the reputation of being attached to Free Masonry, in addition to being a misrepresentation'. So he hoped that the lodge would not be named after him.
Wellington was aged 69 when he wrote this letter. Thirteen years later, in the last year of his life, he went even further in repudiating Freemasonry in a letter to Mr J. Walsh, who wrote to him about his connection with the Freemasons. On 13 October 1851 he replied: 'Field Marshal the Duke of Wellington presents his compliments to Mr Walsh. He has received his letter of 7th ult. The Duke has no recollection of having been admitted a Freemason. He has no knowledge of that association.'

Wellington to Carleton, 13 August, 1838; Wellington to Walsh, 13 October, 1851; Walsh to Freemason’s Quarterly Magazine, 6 March, 1854 (in Crawley, 'The Hon. A. Wesley and the Lodge at Trim' (AQC, xv. pp. 108-24) Found in The Freemasons, Jasper Ridley. London : Robinson, 1999. ISBN: 1-84119-238-4 p. 161.

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