The Formation of a Supreme Grand Chapter in England was delayed from 1813 until 1817 but any detailed reasons for this delay are unknown. A short excerpt from a letter in the archives of the Library and Museum of Freemasonry in London gives a few hints. It was sent by William White the Grand Recorder of the Grand Chapter to Alexander Deuchar in Edinburgh and it dated 7th September 1816


As William White says in his letter addressed to Alexander Deuchar in Edinburgh ‘circumstances however have occured in this country, to prevent our proceeding with the arrangements…..   …..but as the difficulties which existed, are in great measure removed, it is the intention of His Royal Highness (The Duke of Suuex) very shortly….. But you can read the letter because it is written in a good hand.

There was also it seems an idea to form a National Grand Chapter. An interesting idea but one which came to nothing in the end and I am sure all the Companions in Scotland to this day are grateful to have been able to continue working the degree of Excellent Master (The Passing the Veils ceremony) and to continue to make the symbolic journey from Babylon to Jerusalem.

But in three pages of letter William White fails to give clear reasons for the delay in forming a Supreme Grand Chapter in England  in 1813 – the date of the Union of the two Craft Grand Lodges. Sometimes trying to get a grip on just what happened in the past can prove very elusive indeed!