Dartmouth Chapter No 662
Royal Arch Masonry was first established in Staffordshire on 1 January 1834 with the Consecration of the Chapter of Fortitude No. 427 at the Three Tuns Inn in Stafford. The degree had varying popularity over the next 60 years but during the early part of the 1890’s, coinciding with the appointment of Lt. Col. John Allen Bindley as M.E. Grand Superintendent in 1893, there appears to have been an upsurge in the popularity of the Royal Arch Degree.
It was obviously decided by the local Masons that a Royal Arch Chapter was needed in, or close to, West Bromwich and Dartmouth Lodge No.662 being the oldest then meeting at Edward Street it seemed logical that a new Chapter should be attached to it.
Noah’s Ark Lodge No. 347 is in fact an older Lodge and met close by but, for reasons which are now shrouded in the mists of time, their Brethren failed to grasp the opportunity to form at Chapter at West Bromwich.
The minutes of the meeting of Dartmouth Lodge held on 15th May 1895 record “…that the petition for Dartmouth Royal Arch Chapter had been granted and that Grand Chapter had decided to consecrate some time in June. W. Bro. Caddick asked for the loan of certain of the Lodge appointments for use at the consecration and until possessed by the Chapter, which was unanimously granted.”
The Consecration took place at the Masonic Hall, Edward Street, West Bromwich and the first Principals were E.Comp. Alfred Caddick, P.Z. 482, as Z; E.Comp. E.W.W. Heelis, P.Z. 482, as H and E.Comp. George W. Salter, P.Z. 482, as J. The first Scribe E. of the Chapter was E.Comp. Heywood Hartland.
Since that time the Chapter has continued to meet regularly with only small variations to meeting dates caused by the Second World War and its present members continue to enjoy good fellowship within the Order.