Hertfordshire Genealogy

Answers to Questions


LANE (Freemasons), Berkhamsted, 1845-1922

August, 2012





Michael GRAY (rhondamikegray @t yahoo.com.au) writes from Australia and asks: Could you please advise how I can purchase a copy of book written about Berkhampstead Lodge 504, as I believe this book has information on the LANE family. John Edward LANE (1808-1889) was my maternal great grandfather and was a Worshipful Master of Berkhampstead Lodge 504 in 1850.

Booklets like this can be very hard to locate as they were privately printed and circulated, with short print runs. Often even the copyright libraries and local records offices don't have a copy. For instance a search using COPAC for Berkhampstead Lodge 504 showed that a search of over 70 UK and Irish academic, national and specialist library catalogues failed to come up with a single copy of Berkhampstead Lodge 504. A search of the Hertfordshire Public Libraries Catalogue also drew a blank. A search on Google only comes up with the page describing the book on this web site or links referring to that page.


It is clearly a rare and hard to find booklet and if you want a personal copy it could involve approaching shops which specialise in Freemasonry - with no certainty of success. If you want detailed information on the Lane family's involvement in Freemasonry your best bet could be to approach the current Hertfordshire Lodge as there may well be more detailed records - which are only briefly referred to in the booklet - and it may be that the current local lodge (which I think meets in Berkhamsted School) had records for Lodge 504. They might also know where there are spare copies - but don't hold your breath.


I reproduce the section on the Lane Family, together with John Edward Lane's portrait, below:


The Lane Family

The simplest way of explaining the Lane connection is by a genealogical tree.

J. E. Lane and his descendants were the well-known nurserymen- the business being founded by his father-while Hervey Lane owned the King's Arms Hotel. The tree shows that of the six who were members, five passed through the Chair, and the three oldest between them held other offices over a period of sixty years.

John Edward Lane, initiated after the Consecration Ceremony in 1845, was the staunchest of all the early supporters of the Lodge, and the one who maintained his active connection with it far longer than any other. At a time when the Master of Ceremonies seemed to rank below the Inner Guard he held the office for three years before reaching the Chair in 1850. He was Treasurer for thirty-two years, starting inauspiciously as he was unable to get any information or balance from his predecessor in the post. The respect in which he was held is proved by the fact that he was the first member whose portrait the Lodge wished to possess. A photograph in Bro. Bullock's album rather supports the family tradition that he was something of a martinet. His younger brother, Hervey, had quite a short connection, and it has not been possible to discover why he dropped out from meetings for nine years before resigning. His Installation in 1853 into the Chair was postponed, owing to his illness, from January to April, but he never presided during his year of office, nor did he attend again before his resignation in 1862. He acquired the King's Arms Hotel in 1857 and is mentioned as its host once. The Mrs. Lane, referred to in the minutes of 1885 as its proprietress, was the second wife of his elder brother.

Henry G. Lane's masonic career, though short, was active, and the Lodge obviously owed much to his efforts as Secretary in the thin years of the Sixties, as the presentation to him of a piece of plate shortly before his death witnesses. His younger brother, F. Quincey, who succeeded his father as Treasurer (between them they covered fifty years in that office), was a striking figure with a large, rather unkempt, beard and piercing eyes. Of his four sons who became masons, (three in this Lodge), the eldest, Frederick, died young, Colonel Henry Lane serving for many years abroad was initiated in India and never joined No. 504, while the two youngest were initiated together shortly before their father's death.


John Edward Lane, Berkhamsted

W. Bro. J. E. Lane, P.P.G.P.

W.M. 1850,  Treasurer, 1857-89

[click on picture for large image]


Picture and Text from

Berkhampstead Lodge 504, 1845-1945


Note that Berkhampstead is the old spelling of what is now called Berkhamsted.

If you can add to the information given above tell me.

August 2012   Page created