Chapter of Fortitude No. 43 - Bob Russell Preface

This is the story of the Chapter of Fortitude, No. 43, which is the eighth oldest Chapter under the English Constitution. It was founded in the years before the French Revolution and has flourished through many decades when its members were enthusiastic and full of vitality and imagination. But before it has been composed of men, and men are only human, there have been some disappointing years when apathy from within, and antagonism from without, were apparent. As a result there were two intervals in the Chapters history when it was dormant.

Other factors may have contributed to the difficulties when the strength of the Chapter declined.

It is impossible to consider the fortunes of the Chapter and its members in isolation from the life of the times. In trying to piece together the story of the Chapter I have made many references to the development of Birmingham for, in the main, the members have been citizens of Birmingham.

Some of the major European and World  events, which have occurred during the virtual two centuries of the Chapters history, had a profound effect on the prosperity of the Country and the Midlands.

To help the reader gain a comprehensive picture of our former Companions I have made mention of some of these historic events for there can be little doubt that the members of the chapter were affected by them in one way or another. We can assume that the Companions discussed the news of the day and its implications when they were at dinner.

The illustrations in the book are also meant to help stimulate the reader’s imagination and to help towards and understanding of the varying circumstances and background to the story of the Companions of the Chapter.




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