James Wilson (Orangeman)

James Wilson (Orangeman)

James Wilson was the founder of the Orange Institution, also known as the Orange Order.

After a disturbance in Benburb on June 24, 1794, in which Protestant homes were attacked, Wilson appealed to the Freemasons, of which he was a member,"James Wilson was probably the most influential of the founding fathers of Orangeism and was an ardent Freemason. Respected Orange historian R.M. Sibbett records, 'Wilson was a member of the Society of Freemasons, which fully qualified him for establishing a new Order of a secret character.' [http://www.nireland.com/evangelicaltruth/orange.html The Orange Order] , from the Evangelical Truth website] to organise themselves in defence of the Protestant population.

The Masons refused, so an indignant Wilson left them and prophesied that he "would light a star...which would eclipse them forever". He had already organised the "Orange Boys" at the Dyan in County Tyrone in 1792, as is evidenced by the notice in "The News Letter" on February 1, 1793 which referred to a meeting of the 138 members of the Orange Boys held on January 22, 1793. The three main founders were James Wilson, Daniel Winter and James Sloan."James Wilson and James Sloan, who along with 'Diamond' Dan Winter, issued the first Orange lodge warrants from Sloan's Loughgall inn, were masons." [http://homepages.iol.ie/~fagann/1798/orange.htm The Men of no Popery, The Origins Of The Orange Order] , by Jim Smyth, from History Ireland Vol 3 No 3 Autumn 1995 ] It was named to commemorate the victory of the Protestant William of Orange over his father-in-law the Catholic King James II at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690 during the Glorious Revolution.

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