The Province consists of 44 Mark Lodges and 22 Royal Ark Mariner Lodges, which enjoy a total membership of over 1200 Mark Masons. The Lodges are distributed throughout an area which stretches from Ripon in the North to Sheffield in the South and from Goole in the East to Barnoldswick in the West, meeting in 39 locations.
Formation of the Province
The Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons was formed in 1856, with Lord Leigh as Grand Master. In 1857, it was announced that the Grand Master “was very desirous, in all cases where three Lodges should be established in connection with this Grand Lodge in any county, to organize such Lodges into a Province, and appoint over them a G.M. who should be known to him to be welcome to the Brethren he would have to superintend.”
Lord Leigh constituted the first eight Mark Provinces in June 1857; by 1876, there were 14. The Province of West Yorkshire was inaugurated in Halifax on Wednesday 2nd August 1871, at a meeting of Fearnley Lodge No. 58, held at the Freemasons’ Hall, St. John’s Place, Halifax. There were six lodges on the roll: Prince Edward No. 14, Britannia No. 53, Fearnley No. 58, Integrity No. 110, Copley No. 111 and Portal No. 127.
Our first Provincial Grand Master was 50 year old land agent Thomas Perkinton, of Halifax, who had been initiated into the Lodge of Probity No. 61 in 1847. Perkinton was advanced into Fearnley Mark Lodge in 1864, and became worshipful master in 1868; by 1871, he was Past Grand Senior Overseer. Perkinton was installed as P.G.M. by R. W. Bro. William Romaine Callender Jr., P.G.M. for Lancashire, and served until 1877.