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Hyde Preceptory and Priory No 98

Warrant dated 1st October 1867, Meets at Wimborne Masonic Hall, Howards Lane Wareham, BH20 4HU on the first Tuesday in January, April (Installation), July (Malta) and October.

Parking: Howard’s Lane (opposite)


Hyde Encampment was consecrated at the Bull Hotel. Bridport on 22nd November 1867 by the Provincial Grand Commander. Charles Vigne, assisted by the Grand Commanders of Worcestershire and Suffolk.

Of the nine Founders, seven were members of All Souls' and two of Holy Cross Encampments. Four of the nine, including the first Commander, were members of the Gundry family who lived at The Hyde, just off the main road to the east of Bridport and this is the probable origin of the name.

The first few years in the life of the Encampment were difficult. Three of the founders attended rarely or not at all and the Preceptory could not muster enough members to hold their first regular meeting, in January 1868. Recruitment was poor, there being no Royal Arch Chapter in Bridport until 1870. Meetings were often not held in accordance with the Warrant and, despite a call for more support by the Provincial Grand Commander in 1872, sometimes only two or three members attended.

The Preceptory fell into abeyance, except for one emergency meeting in 1883. between 1879 and 1886 by which time only two members remained, both Founders. John Montagu continued to pay the Great Priory dues and all other expenses during this time to retain the Warrant.

In March 1886 three members of All Souls' joined, two of them resident in the Wimborne area, and Great Priory was subsequently petitioned to move the Warrant to Wimborne where several more members of All Souls' then joined, thereby saving the Preceptory from erasure. This was recognised in a resolution of 1888 which allowed members of All Souls' to join without a ballot.

Two years later Sir Kt Mortimer Heath was Installed as Preceptor for the second time, uniquely by the Provincial Prior of North and East Yorkshire, and presented the Preceptor's Baton still in use today. At the same meeting the 18ct gold Past Preceptors jewel, still used to invest the Past Preceptor every year, was presented on behalf of Sir Kt Whadcott.

Members of Hyde who wished to progress to the Order of Malta did so in All Souls' Priory from 1870, until Hyde Priory of Malta was first opened in 1906.

Hyde Preceptory and Priory worked at Wimborne until October 1967. then moved to Poole where it remained before relocating to Wareham in January 2011.