Chapter of Fortitude No. 43 - Consecrating a Canal Tunnel

In a Birmingham newspaper of 1796, the following paragraph occurs – “Freemasonry. Was holden in the Worcester and Birmingham Canal, a Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons, Knights Templars, MSA., &c., &c., who having assembled in ample form at Birmingham proceeded on the Worcester and Birmingham Canal in an elegant barge, accompanied by martial music, to King’s Norton, and disembarking at the east of the tunnel, took a survey over the summit of the hill through which this subterraneous passage is excavating to the western entrance of it. The magnificence and wonderful appearance of the arch (which for near 500 yards in length was most brilliantly illuminated) has an amazing effect, and struck the Companions with a solemn and reverential awe. The reverberation of sounds from a bugle horn, which continued upwards of twenty-five seconds, resembled at first a loud clap of thunder, but gradually softened to the most harmonious sounds such as words cannot describe. The consecration of this stupendous arch by the Royal-Arch Chapter of Fortitude, who piously dedicated it to Solomon, King of Israel, was solemn and awful. A description of the arch and the names of the artists present, will be engraved in stone and fixed in the arch, in commemoration of the original G.C. The chapter being closed, the brethren returned in the barge to King’s Norton, and forming themselves in order, disembarked , and walked in procession to the Navigation Inn there, where an elegant dinner was provided, and the day spent in harmony.”          AMANUENSIS.

Shown here is a picture of the article published in that newspaper all those years ago the words of which do not not lend themselves to being easily read in that true form.

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