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RUDYARD KIPLING, FREEMASON
RUDYARD KIPLING NOTES
KIPLING AND FREEMASONRY
KIPLING’s POETRY
MASONIC BIOGRAPHIES
INDEX OF PAPERS
BIOGRAPHIES
For more information, refer to the Short Talk Bulletin Vol. XLII, October 1964 No.10 from the Masonic Service Association, 700-10th Street N.W. Washington D.C. USA
.
Joseph Rudyard
Kipling
[Rudyard Kipling]

Born in Bombay India, December 30,1865, Rudyard Kipling was educated in England. He received his learning at United Services College at Westward Ho, North Devon. By 1880, he returned to Lahore, India where he began writing as a sub-editor for "The Civil and Military Gazette". He was just seventeen.
In 1892, he married an American, Caroline Starr Balestier with whom he became acquainted with notable American authors of the day. He received an honourary degree from Oxford University in 1907 along with one of his contemporaries, Mark Twain. During the same year he was granted the Nobel prize for literature, the first British writer so honoured.
Rudyard Kipling was also a Freemason. His writing contain many allusions and references to the Masonic experience. He was made a Freemason at Hope and Perseverance Lodge No. 782 at Lahore Punjab, India on April 5, 1886. It was an English Constitution Lodge. His work required special dispensation, because he was only twenty years, two months old at the time. The Minutes of his raising are actually entered in the Minute Book in Kipling's own handwriting, he having acted as Secretary to the meeting at which he was raised.1
A few months later, he delivered a lecture to his Brethren on the "Origin of the Craft First Degree."2
He advanced in the Mark Degree in Fidelity Mark Lodge on April 12, 1887 and was elevated in Mt. Ararat Mark Mariners Lodge at Lahore on the same day. He attended an Installation meeting of Independence with Philanthropy Lodge No. 391 at Allahabad, Bengal on December 22, 1887. On March 4, 1889, he demitted from his Craft Lodge and resigned from his other Lodges three months later on June 30, 1889.
Returning to England, he was offered an honorary membership with Author’s lodge No. 3456 sometime after its founding in 1910 and with Motherland Lodge No. 3861, London, in 1918. There is no record of him attending either of these Lodges. He was a Founding Member of Builders of the Silent Cities Lodge No. 12, retaining his membership until his death. In 1905, Canongate-Kilwinning Lodge No. 2, Edinburgh, Scotland chose him as poet laureate as they had a previous Brother, Robert Burns. The Philalethes Research Society in North America also lists him as an honourary member although there is no record of any attendence, correspondence or submission of research papers. Kipling joined the Quatuor Coronati Correspondence Circle in May, 1918, remaining a member until his death. Although he paid his dues promptly, there is no record of his attending a meeting. On November 17, 1924 he is recorded as attending Rosemary Lodge No. 2851 E.C., giving his Lodge as Motherland No. 3861.
In 1925, he wrote in the London Times, "I was Secretary for some years of Hope and Perseverance Lodge No. 782, E.C. Lahore which included Brethren of at least four creeds. I was entered by a member of Bramo Somaj, a Hindu; passed by a Mohammedan, and raised by an Englishman. Our Tyler was an Indian Jew. We met, of course, on the level, and the only difference anyone would notice was that at our banquets, some of the Brethren, who were debarred by caste from eating food not ceremonially prepared, sat over empty plates." The Lodge minutes prove the details of his Entry to be wrong and those of Passing are probably wrong also.3

1.A few examples of his poetry can be found at freemasonry.bcy.ca/biography/kipling_r/kipling.html
2.The Minutes of his raising are actually entered in the Minute Book in Kipling's own handwriting, he having acted as Secretary to the meeting at which he was raised — perhaps a unique position. "It is perhaps typical of Kipling that within a few months of his Raising he gave a Lecture in his Mother Lodge on the "Origin of the Craft First Degree", and four months later he lectured again on "Popular Views on Freemasonry". (The first Lecture was on 4 April 1887; the second on 4 July 1887.)" What a great pity that the texts of both talks have disappeared.' 'He was recorded as Secretary, duly elected, at a regular meeting on 10 January 1887.' Harry Carr, "Kipling and the Craft." Ars Quatuor Coronatorum. vol. 77, London: 1964. pp. 213-253, citing a transcription of lodge minutes and notes by W. L. Murray-Brooks. p. 235. Also see: vol. 77, pp. 207-8. [This webpage originally, and incorrectly, reported that he recorded his own initiation. Corrected 2014/01/17.]
3.'...it seems very likely that the "...Hindu and ...Mohammedan..." were either the results of faulty memory or the creatures of a fertile imagination.' Harry Carr, "Kipling and the Craft." Ars Quatuor Coronatorum. vol. 77, London: 1964. pp. 213-253. Also see: vol. 77, pp. 207-8.
Also see: "Square and compass joins east and west, Rudyard Kipling Tells of Experience in Cosmopolitan Masonic Lodge" (Special Cable to The Globe and The New York Times. Copyright 1925.) London, Jan. 16—Rudyard Kipling has just surprised his friends by claiming a unique accomplishment in Masonry. "I was Secretary for some years of the Lodge of Hope and Perseverance No. 782, E.C. (Lahore English Constitution) which included brethren of at least four creeds. I was entered by a member of Brahmo Somaj, a Hindu, passed by a Mohammedan, and raised by an Englishman. Our tyler was an Indian Jew. We met, of course, on a [sic] level, and the only difference anyone would notice was that at our banquets, some brethren, who were debarred by caste rules from eating food not ceremoniously prepared, sat over empty plates."

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