- Elizabeth Aldworth
Mrs. Elizabeth Aldworth (1693-1773), known as "the Lady Freemason".
Born the Hon. Elizabeth St. Leger, daughter of
Viscount Doneraileof Doneraile Court, County Cork, Ireland, she was married in 1713 to Richard Aldworth, Esq.
From a narrative published by the family in 1811 it appears that, upon secretly observing the first two degrees of a lodge at labour in her father's home, she was discovered and, after discussion, initiated in the Entered Apprentice and Fellow Craft Degree. A champion of
Freemasonry, Mrs. Aldworth died in 1773.
While generally looked upon as an "irregular" Freemason by the Masonic community Mrs. Aldworth has long been observed and even championed in some cases by some lodges, especially those practising a Co-Masonic policy toward their members.
Mrs. Aldworth's regalia is on display at the Masonic Hall, 27 Tuckey Street, Cork City, Ireland where a large portion of the Masonic artefacts in the Dining Room are set aside in her honour. In use in the Lodge room to date is the chair with overhear canopy Mrs. Aldworth is reputed to have used in Masonic Tenure.
* "The Hon. Miss St. Leger and Freemasonry". Ars Quatuor Coronatorum vol viii (1895) pp. 16-23, 53-6. vol. xviii (1905) pp. 46
* [http://freemasonry.bcy.ca/aqc/aldworth.html The Hon. Miss St. Leger and Freemasonry By Bro. Edward Conder.]
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