The masonic connections of |
Sir Guy Carleton, Baron Dorchester
Guy Carleton, born in Strabane in northern Ireland on 3 September, 1724, was one of the greatest historical figures of the eighteenth century.
His principal roles were (i) Quartermaster-General under James Wolfe in the Battle of the Plains of Abraham in 1759 (ii) as Lieutenant Governor and later as Governor-in-Chief of Québec from 1766 to 1778 during which in the course of a four year absence in England, 1770-74, he played the key role in the passing of the Québec Act of 1774 which conciliated the French Canadians with the British by guaranteeing their civil and religious rights, and, upon his return to Canada he played yet another vital role in helping to repel the American Revolutionary Armys invasion of Canada 1775-76 (iii) as Commander-in-Chief of the British forces in North America 1782-83 when he was in charge of the evacuation of New York in 1783 by the British troops and Loyalists and (iv) as Governor-in-Chief of British North America 1786-96 when he promoted the Constitution Act of 1791 which helped develop representative institutions in Canada.
Three distinguished masonic historians, John Hamilton Graham, Albert Galatin Mackey and Robert Freke Gould, have stated that Carleton was in 1786 appointed Provincial Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Québec which had been established by the Grand Lodge of England in 17591 and Graham states that "Col. Sir Guy Carleton (afterwards Lord Dorchester), Captain General and Governor in Chief of the Province of Québec was appointed 'provisionally' says Bro. Gould by the Earl of Effingham, 'Acting' Grand Master for H.R.H. the Duke of Cumberland G.M."2
These statements were patently inaccurate in that Carleton has been confused by these eminent historians with Christopher Carleton, his nephew and brother-in-law to whom I shall later refer further.
There appears to be no evidence that Carleton was in fact a member of the Craft but he is masonically immortalized in having a number of lodges named after him, and he was also so closely involved with a
number of prominent freemasons, some as members of his family, some as friends, and yet others as foes, that it is considered worthwhile to try and construct a masonic picture with Carleton in the centre of its frame and especially by providing an opportunity to glimpse the masonic backgrounds of a diverse group of most interesting brethren.
In this regard it is perhaps appropriate to first consider the masonic members of his family.
In 1770, Carleton whilst Governor of Québec, sailed for England to confer with the British authorities.3
In the summer of 1771, Carleton went to dinner in London with three children of his deceased friend and army comrade the Second Earl of Effingham. These were the third Earl of Effingham and his two sisters, Lady Anne and Lady Maria. This ultimately resulted in Carletons marriage to Lady Maria in May 1772.4
From 1782 until 1789, Carletons brother-in-law, Thomas, 3rd Earl of Effingham, served as Acting Grand Master of the Premier Grand Lodge of Englandhe died in 17915.
One of the most interesting events in Effinghams tenure as Acting Grand Master was that in 1784 Prince Hall wrote to a Brother Moody in London seeking his help in applying for a warrant for his "African Lodge No. 1" from "His Royal Highness the Duke of Cumberland, Grand Master, The Grand Wardens", etc..
The Petition was successful and the Grand Lodge of England (Moderns) issued a warrant to African Lodge No. 459 on 20 September, 1784.6 Since it was the Grand Masters practice to leave the signing of warrants to Effingham it can safely be assumed that Effinghams signature appears on that warrant.
Carleton, as Governor of Québec, achieved a remarkable diplomatic feat in reconciling the 360 English Protestant settlers with the 150,000 French Canadian Catholics, and it was his vigorous support of the French settlors' rights which led to the passing of the Québec Bill in 1774it is noteworthy that when the Bill passed the House of Lords by 26 to 7 that Effingham was one of the seven who voted against it.7
The following year, 1775, Effingham made a speech to the House of Lords to the effect that, as an Englishman, he could not fight the residents of the thirteen colonies in America who had risen in rebellion against England and that he was resigning from the army.8
However, Effinghams political differences with Carleton do not appear to have impaired their personal relationship because on 5 May, 1788, Effingham, as Acting Grand Master, signed the warrant of Dorchester Lodge of the Registry of Canada No. 12 to be held at Vergennes in the State of Vermont.9 (I shall further refer to this later.)
Effinghams other sister Lady Anne had married Christopher Carleton, the son of Carletons oldest brother, William Carleton.1O
Thus Christopher Carleton was both Carletons nephew and brother-in-law. (Carletons father was also named Christopher.)11 Christopher Carleton was an active freemason.
In December 1768, the signature of "Chr. Carleton" is appended as J:G:W: to the warrant of Lodge No. 5 Québec, issued by John Collins, Provincial Grand Master of the Provincial Grand lodge of Québec and on 16th January 1769 his signature was similarly appended as J:G:W: to the warrant of Lodge No. 6 Québec, issued by Provincial Grand Master Collins to "Lieut. Colonel Dudley Ackland, Lieut. Christopher Carleton, Ensign Samuel Tenison Willoe, etc." as "Deputy Master and Wardens of the Provincial Grand Masters Own Select Lodge...."12
At this time Christopher Carleton was not married because in the summer of 1771, when Carleton dined in London with Effingham and his sisters, his first fancy was for Lady Anne.
At all events, in 1777 Carleton resigned as Governor of Québec in the heat of his dispute with Lord Germain (of which more hereafter) and in July 1777 he set sail with his wife for England, leaving behind him in Québec his brother, Lieutenant-Colonel Carleton, and his sister-in-law Lady Anne Carleton and her husband Christopher Carleton, now a Major.13
In 1786 Hon. John Collins resigned as Provincial Grand Master of Québec and on 3 July, 1786 Christopher Carleton, now a Colonel, was appointed by his brother-in-law, Acting Grand Master, Lord Effingham, to be Provincial Grand Master in his place. His tenure was extremely short because he died in the same year.14
It is most unfortunate that Graham, Mackey and Gould have confused Carleton with his relative so that most masonic historians to this day believe Carleton was Provincial Grand Master of Québec.
Christophers death leads us immediately to the appointment of Carletons greatest masonic friend, Sir John Johnson, BT as Provincial Grand Master of Québec in succession to Christopher on 5 May, 1788.15
Sir John Johnson was the son of Irish born Sir William Johnson, Superintendent of Indian Affairs in the Mohawk Valley, New York who in 1766 was the Charter Master of St. Patricks Lodge now No. 4.l6
Sir John Johnson was appointed Provincial Grand Master of New York in 1767 and was formally installed in 1771. He was a staunch loyalist and devoted his efforts to the British cause.l7
His appointment as Provincial Grand Master of New York lasted from 1767 to 1775 when he fled the revolutionary forces to save his life.
Prior to Johnsons appointment as Provincial Grand Master of Québec in 1788, Carleton had on 21 August, 1786 been elevated to the peerage by King George III and in October 1786 had arrived in Québec from England to take up his new appointment of Governor in Chief of all British possessions on the mainland of North America18 (which followed on his appointment as Commander in Chief of the British forces in North America in 1782 and his charge of the evacuation of New York by the British troops and the loyalists in 1783 when independence was conceded by Britain to the colonists).
Sir John Johnson was responsible for the naming of the Dorchester Lodge, Vergennes, Vermont in honour of his friend and it will be recalled that Acting Grand Master Effingham had granted its warrant on 5 May 1788.
The warrant was then signed and sealed by Sir John Johnson as Provincial Grand Master of Québec on 3 September, 1791 and this delay has apparently created confusion in the minds of various masonic writers in Canada and Vermont who mistakenly state the warrant was issued by Sir John on 5 May, 1791.19 The significance of this error is that Dorchester was in Canada in May 1791 but had sailed for England in August 1791.20
However, Vermont had been created an independent republic in January 1777 first as New Connecticut, then as Vermont, and the Vermonters remained independent until they joined the Union on 4 March, 1791 as the 14th state. Ths raises the interesting question as to why Vermont would accept the masonic jurisdiction of England at this particular time.
For the answer I am indebted to W. Bro. James P. W. Goss, the Grand Historian of the Grand Lodge of Vermont who has provided me with a great deal of information on the historical background leading up to the formation of the Dorchester Lodge. Bro. Goss has pointed out that there is a paucity of written records which can definitely answer the question. The most probable explanation is that which is set forth in Grahams Outlines of the History of Freemasonry in the Province of Québec as follows:- "During the three last years of the Revolutionary War 1780-83 almost every conceivable inducement was proffered by (and through) General Frederick Haldimand, Governor of Canada, and others to persuade the separate, free and independent State of Vermont' to become a 'Crown Colony', nor was the hope that such could be accomplished wholly abandoned during the first five years (1786-91) of the governship of the astute and politic Dorchester; and being the intimate friend of the Governor, who was known to be desirous of cultivating neighbourly relations with the United States, R. W. Brother Sir John Johnson, as Provincial Grand Master, would not on that account even have been likely to do otherwise than cheerfully grant the petition of the Vermont brethren for a warrant to establish a new lodge to bear the honoured name of 'Dorchester' two (six) months even after Vermont had become a federal state and well knowing it was 'unoccupied masonic territory."21
Graham also points out that Dorchester was well and favourably known to some of the petitioners for the warrant including the Hon. Thomas Chittenden and the Hon. Moses Robinson, successive Governors of Vermont. Dorchester Lodge was in fact the third lodge chartered in Vermont; the Grand Lodge of Vermont was organized in 1794 and on 13 October, 1795 the Canadian charter of Dorchester Lodge was surrendered to the Grand Lodge of Vermont and received from it a new charter dated 12 October, 1795 in which it was assigned third place in the Vermont register, in accordance with the relative date of its original charter. In 1841 the Vermont lodges were re-numbered and the charters of Lodges 1 and 2 having been respectively surrendered and become extinct, Dorchester Lodge was assigned first place and still holds that honourable position and it still meets at Vergenne.22
On 20 July, 1792, Dorchester Lodge (currently No. 4, Québec) was consecrated in St. Johns, Québec. W Bro. K. W. Aldridge, Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Québec has informed me that St. Johns had previously been known as St. Johns - Dorchester.
W. Bro. Aldridge throws out an attractive suggestion that Sir John Johnson may have named the lodge after his friend with an additional inducement to revive interest in the former place name.23
At this stage it is opportune to consider several lodges named Carleton, one of which was not named after Sir Guy, two which definitely were, and some which may or may not have been.
I refer firstly to Carleton Lodge 4582, London, whose secretary, W. Bro. Cyril Porter, informs me that the petition dated 14 September, 1923 for the formation of the lodge stated "We would suggest taking the name of Carleton for the Lodge that being the ancient name of the District in S.E. London now known as Old Charlton."24 This undoubtedly rules out Sir Guy.
Secondly there is Carleton Lodge No. 231, Portadown, Northern Ireland, I.C. whose name and location prima facie raises the implication it was named after Sir Guy. However, no hard evidence has been elicited to substantiate this implication.
When Lodge 231 was warranted on 3 June, 1879 by the Grand Lodge of Ireland it was not originally known as Carleton Lodge and the application to that Grand Lodge for a warrant did not ask for either a particular number nor a particular name and it appears that the warrant of No. 231 assigned to this new lodge in Portadown was assigned by chance in that a Warrant No. 231 which had been issued to St. Johns Lodge, Hamilton, Ontario on 2nd July, 1852 had been returned to Dublin on 14 June, 1858 the lodge having joined the G.L. of Canada.
At all events it is not known when the Portadown Lodge adopted the name "Carleton" and it is only known that this name was in use by the close of the first decade of this century.25
The secretary of the lodge has informed me that it is not known why the lodge was called "Carleton" or when it was first so called and apparently the early minute books of the lodge are missing.
What adds to the mystery is that Warrant No. 231 was originally issued on 1 April, 1752 to the 7th Foot, (Royal Fusilliers) as a regimental warrant and held by that regiment until its erasure on 5 November, 1801.26
Carleton had associations with the 7th Foot at one of the most critical periods in his career in 1775 when after the outbreak of the American Revolution an invasion of Canada was launched in which Montréal was captured and Carleton was forced by General Reichard Montgomerys forces to escape to Québec disguised as a peasant. It was during these hostilities that Carleton was accompanied by most of the 7th Foot.27
It is also noteworthy that at this period the 7th Foot was commanded by Col. R. Prescott28 who, as General Robert Prescott succeeded Dorchester in 1796 as Governor-in-Chief when Dorchester finally sailed from Canada for England for the last time.29
It therefore may possibly be that some member of Lodge 231 discovered at some time after 1879 that the warrant had belonged to the 7th Foot, that Carleton had significant associations with the regiment and that this led to the lodge being named 'Carleton'this of course is purely speculative and it can only be hoped that further light can one day be shed on this mystery.
Thirdly there is Carleton Lodge No. 9134 which was consecrated on 22 March, 1985 in Freeport, Grand Bahama with R. W. Bro. Alan Fletcher Ferris, Provincial Grand Master, West Lancashire as Consecrating Officer assisted by myself and several of my senior District Grand Lodge officers. The consecration marked the 200th anniversary of Sir Guys efforts to settle loyalists in The Bahamas upon peace being declared in 1783 after which thousands of loyalists, black and white, emigrated to The Bahamas and many of them established a settlement in the Island of Abaco in a location which they named Carleton for him. The settlement was later abandoned in the course of a dispute amongst the settlers; the modern resort of Treasure Cay more or less marks its location.3O Since the lodge was the first intended to meet in the Island of Abaco it was primarily named after the settlement of Carleton and therefore only indirectly after Carleton himself but his portrait adorns the lodges temple.30A
There is also Carleton Lodge No. 465 in Calp, Ontario which I understand is named after Sir Guy.
Incidentally, there is a Carleton Royal Arch Chapter formed in St. John, New Brunswick in 1805 which might possibly be named after Carleton in that a settlement in St. John County, New Brunswick, on the site of an earlier settlement of Menagouche and Conway, was named in 1784 in honour of Sir Guy Carleton and presumably prior to the appointment on August 16, 1784 of Sir Guys younger brother Thomas Carleton as first Governor of New Brunswick.31
I now come to a friend of Carletons who was originally a foe and I refer to the notorious Bro. Benedict Arnold, who is regarded by the Americans as a traitor of the worst kind, and there can be no doubt that from an objective standpoint he certainly was.
It is not clear when Bro. Arnold became a freemason but he either joined or was initiated in Hiram Lodge No. 1 in New Haven.32
After General Montgomery had captured St. Jean and Montréal in September 1775, General George Washington approved a plan for Colonel Benedict Arnold to lead a second military expedition with the objective of capturing Québec in conjuriction with Montgomerythis led to Montgomery being killed and Arnold suffering a bad leg wound. Carleton had captured 426 prisoners and sent one of them, Major Meigs, with a letter to Arnold under a flag of truce offering that if Arnold would transmit the prisoners 'baggage' to Québec, Carleton would see this was distributed to its owners. Arnold, having commented the prisoners were being well treated by Carleton, complied and he sent the prisoners clothing and personal effects to Carleton for them on 10 January, 1776.33
Carletons subsequent battle with Arnold was The Naval Battle of Valcour Island in which he vanquished Arnold (now a General).34
In 1780 Arnold entered into secret negotiations with the British General, Sir Henry Clinton, to turn West Point and the Hudson Valley over to British hands, offered to join the British and asked for monetary compensation to which Clinton agreed. Clinton sent Major John Andre to see Arnold to settle the details but Andre was captured by the Americans; Arnold had meanwhile escaped and the Americas offered to exchange Andre for him but the offer was declined and Andre was hanged as a spy.35
Incidentally, Andre, an artist and poet, had purchased a lieutenancy in the 7th Foot in 1771 and joined the regiment in Québec in the fall of 1774. In 1775 Carleton had sent him with a number of veterans of the 7th Foot to St. Jean as part of his unsuccessful plan to defend Montréal against Montgomery.36
Meanwhile, Arnold had arrived in England with the rank of Brigadier General and it seems ironic that in the winter of 1782, when Arnold made his appearance at Court, he was "ushered into the Royal presence on the arm of Sir Guy Carleton."37
I now propose to deal with four freemasons who were foes of Carleton viz. (i) General Richard Montgomery; (ii) General George Washington; (iii) General Sir John Graves Simcoe; and (iv) Carletons bitterest foe by far, Lord George Sackville, later Lord Germain.
In the Scottish Rite Journal of August 1990 there is an interesting and comprehensive article on General Richard Montgomery by Ill. Bro. J. Kenneth Gibala 32° (who chronicles Montgomerys birth on 2 December, 1738 near Dublin, Ireland, his 16 years service in the British Armys 17th Foot Regiment in which he became a freemason in their military lodge (which, though not specified by Bro. Gibala, was Lodge 136 warranted by the Grand Lodge of Ireland on 24 June, 1743 and erased 5 November, 1801),38 his military service with the British forces in the capture of Louisbourg on the Island of Nova Scotia in 1758, his return to England in 1763, his emigration to New York in 1772 and his appointment by George Washington as Brigadier General in the American forces in June 1775 and his death on 30 December, 1775 by cannon fire in the attack on Québec. Brother Gibala goes on to state that he was buried three nights later by the civilians of the town and that Guy Carleton "permitted neither military nor Masonic services for Montgomery". Since I was in possession of a somewhat different version of what occurred I asked Brother Gibala to give me the sources for his statements.39
In a very full reply to my enquiry Bro. Gibala kindly went to great lengths to provide me with two versions of the burial, one by A. L. Todd40 and the other written in 1975 by James Case, a prominent masonic historian.
In Todds account Carleton was unwilling to treat Montgomery in death with the dignity of a fellow officer and it was left to Lieutenant Governor Cramahé to bury Montgomery like a Christian gentlemanon the night of 3 January with Cramahé and a handful of Québec citizens present there was a quiet graveside ceremony held by torchlight in a garden in the Upper Town"no honors of war, no procession, no public signs of respect"an English gentleman wrote in his diary "a genteel coffin is ordered by Lieutenant Governor for the interment of Mr. Montgomery...." Todd goes on to say that at the request of General Benedict Arnold, Carleton sent Montgomerys pocket watch by a messenger for eventual return to the dead generals family.
James Cases version, after recounting how Montgomery was killed, goes on to state "the design of a former brother in Arms in the British Garrison (who knew him as a Brother Mason) to give him a Masonic funeral, was frustrated by the unseemly haste of the Provost Marshals burial detail...."41
Reynolds account42 points out that thirteen years before Montgomerys death, at the siege of Havana, "Montgomery had been a Captain in one Regiment and Carleton a Colonel in another. The two may or may not have met, but Carleton must have been aware of Montgomerys career. Here at Québec, lay a former officer of the British Army... at the time of his death... a rebel fighting his former Comrades. To Carleton, Montgomery must have seemed a most reprehensible turncoat."
"Nonetheless, Carleton asked his Chief of Engineers, James Thompson, to have a "genteel coffin" prepared. At sundown on 4 January, a burial service was conducted by the military chaplain, with Thompson and five other attending. Several weeks later, Mrs. Montgomery wrote Carleton asking if she could have her husbands watch and seal, Carleton acquiesced. The watch and seal, addressed to her, were sent via a flag of truce of the American encampment."43 If Codman as cited by Reynolds is accurate, then Carleton was not as antagonistic towards Montgomery as our American brethren seem to believe.
Another of Carletons military foes was George Washington, who, as virtually everybody knows, was an active freemason.44
On May 6, 1782, Carleton had landed in New York City to replace Sir Henry Clinton as Commander-in chief of the British forces in North America and was designated "for restoring peace and granting pardon to the revolted provinces in America."45 Shortly thereafter he entered into a bitter dispute and acrimonious correspondence with Washington over the hanging of an American Captain, John Huddy by Richard Lippincott, a Loyalist leader who Washington wanted to be turned over for trial for murder - Carleton refused but court-martialled Lippincott who was unjustly acquitted, and Washington displayed considerable tact and diplomacy by letting the matter drop.
Another dispute then ensued over a proposed exchange of prisoners with no agreement reached. Washington then wrote Carleton demanding payments for the prisoners' food, threatening "disagreeable measures" if his demands were not met. Carleton vociferously refused and once more Washington gracefully withdrew. Shortly afterwards Prime Minister Lord Shelbourne instructed Carleton that the Americans were to be granted independence immediately and unconditionally, and Carleton so informed Washington and on 5 April, 1783, Secretary of State for the Colonies, Thomas Townsend, informed Carleton that articles of peace had been signed in Paris. Carleton and Washington each immediately declared a cessation of hostilities.
Washington suggested a conference between himself and Carleton to arrange for an orderly withdrawal of all British troops. Carleton agreed and on 6 May, 1783 they met at Tappan, a town on the Hudson River some twenty-five miles from New York and an animated discussion ensued with disagreement over runaway slaves who had joined the British army and whom Carleton flatly refused to give back to their former owners. Their differences of opinion did not preclude Washington from acting as a gracious host by serving an elaborate dinner, and the following day Washington and his aides were in turn guests on board the frigate in which Carleton had sailed up the Hudson although Carleton was ill and could only shake hands with Washington to say goodbye.
After further correspondence with Washington on the slaves, the withdrawal of troops, and Carletons organization of the emigration of some 30,000 loyalists, Carleton left New York on 25 November, 1783 followed by Washingtons entry into the city. The confrontations of these two historic stalwarts was ended.
Another of Carletons foes was Brother John Graves Simcoe, a notable soldier and statesman who had been initiated into Union Lodge No. 307 in Exeter (now known as St. John of Devonshire). In 1783 Carleton had made a charge which Simcoe termed "unjust, humiliating and disgraceful" against the Queens Rangers of "plundering and marauding on Long Island during the War of Revolution, a charge which Nelson King, MPS, in an article "John Graves Simcoe, Statesman, Soldier and Freemason" published in The Philalethes46 says was without foundation, and according to King the friction continued between them after Carleton as Lord Dorchester had been appointed Governor General and Simcoe had been appointed Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada in 1791, and ultimately their mutual dislike led to the resignation of both in 1796 in the usual form of "leave of absence".
The highest ranking freemason Carleton was to encounter in his career was Lord George Sackville, later Lord Germain, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Ireland 1751 and 1752, who, as already mentioned, was Carletons most bitter foe.
Lord George, born in London in 1716, was the third son of the Duke of Dorsett who was appointed to be Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in 1731.47 Accompanying his father to Dublin, Lord George entered Trinity College, Dublin and was called to the Irish Bar in 1734. He lived in Ireland for several years, becoming commissioned as Captain in the Carabiniers (6th Dragoon Guards), then on the Irish Establishment, in 1737. In 1740 he was promoted to be Lieutenant Colonel of Braggs Regiment 28th Foot and was severely wounded in the Battle of Fontenoy on 11 May, 1745.48 In 1746 he was promoted to the Colonelcy of the 20th Foot. In December 1748 the Grand Lodge of Ireland issued Warrant No. 63 to Lord George Sackville as Master and Lieut-Colonel Edward Cornwallis and Captain Milburne as Wardens. (Cornwallis left the 20th Foot in March 1750 to become Governor of Nova Scotia "where his zeal for Freemasonry made itself felt").49
In 1751-1755 his father the Duke of Dorsett was appointed Lord Lieutenant of Ireland a second time and Lord George came over with him as Chief Secretary of Ireland, and became a member of the Privy Council and Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Ireland (during which he was invited in 1752 by Laurence Dermott and his colleagues to become Grand Master of the Antients in England, but this never took place50). In 1752 James Wolfe had become a Lieutenant Colonel in Sackvilles old Regiment, the 20th Foot, and, having become a close friend of Carleton, proposed him as a military tutor for the Duke of Richmonds eldest son.51
Transferred to the cavalry in 1755, Lord George was promoted to the rank of Major General and in 1758, in the badly managed attack on St. Malo, suffered his first major defeat. From October 1758 he commanded a British contingent of the allied army in Germany but at the Battle of Minden on 1 August, 1759, when he was Commander in chief of the British forces in Germany, he disregarded repeated orders by the allied commander, Ferdinand, Duke of Brunswick, to exploit the success of the rout of the French cavalry by the British forces and Hanoverian infantry; for this he was court-martialled, convicted of disobedience, adjudged "unfit to serve his Majesty in any military capacity whatever" and cashiered, and was referred to by many afterwards as the "Coward of Minden".52
It is ironic that his former regiment, the 20th Foot, fought in the British line at Minden and "were heavily engaged and suffered great losses, but their discipline, bravery, and devoted gallantry, it is said were never excelled in the long annals of British service."53
It is even more ironic that the regiment was dubbed "the heroes of Minden" for their victory and the name Minden was added to their colours and the lodge which henceforth became known as Minden Lodge No. 6354 in contrast to the derisive epithet bestowed on its founding Master.
However, in 1765, he was, as a statesman, restored to favour and in 1769 he inherited the estate in Northamptonshire of his friend, Lady Betty Germain, and adopted the surname of Germain.
In 1775 he was appointed Colonial Secretary in Lord Norths administration and was the minister responsible for the general conduct of the war against the American colonists and was considered largely to blame for the surrender of Gen. John Burgoynes British army at Saratoga, N.Y. in October 1777.
Shortly after Germains appointment in November 1775, a bitter feud developed between him and Carleton.55 It will be recalled that in October 1775 Carleton as Governor of Québec had defeated Arnold in the battle for Valcour Island and had successfčlly repulsed the attack on Québec. Carleton, masking his distaste of Germains reputation as the Coward of Minden, wrote him a report in May 1776 in respectful terms of the battle56 but Germain on his part unsuccessfully opposed Carletons being created a Knight of the Bath.
On 1 June 1776 Lieut-Colonel Gabriel Christie, a friend of Germain, and his supporter at the Minden court-martial, arrived in Québec to be Quartermaster-General of the army in Canadathis had been arranged between them. However, a few weeks previously, Carleton, unknown to Germain, had appointed his younger brother Thomas to the post. Carleton wrote Germain that he would not discharge his brother to accept Christie without the Kings approvalthe King upheld his Commander-in-Chief in Canada. This altercation was followed by continual wrangling over the appointment of judges, and then they contested the conduct of the war.
The Cabinet had decided that Québec was to be the jumping-off point for an invasion of the American colonies directed at Albany, New York and Germain persuaded the Cabinet to nominate Major-General John Burgoyne, who was serving under Carleton, to lead the attack. Having succeeded in this, in February 1777 Germain tried to have Carleton replaced as Governor of Québec but the King put a stop to this. Germains correspondence with Carleton intensified the bad feelings when he accused Carleton of failing to capture TiconderogaCarleton accused Germain of trying to have him removed from office. Ultimately Carleton resigned but had to stay on as Governor until the arrival of his successor which did not occur until 1778. Meanwhile, Burgoyne had surrendered at Saratoga and historians differ as to whether or not this was due to Carletons deliberate failure to support him with relief troops as a move to discredit Germain. In England, Burgoyne was accused of responsibility but was defended by Carleton who gave evidence on his behalf in London in 1779 before a parliamentary committee of inquiry.57
Carleton stayed on in England for over three years. Following Washingtons victory over General Charles Cornwallis in 1781 much of the blame rightly or wrongly fell upon the Commander-in-Chief, General Henry Clinton, and on 15 December, 1781 the King wrote to Germain suggesting the appointment of Carleton as his replacement and urging a reconciliation between them as being in the best interests of the country but Germain would not agree.
On 24 December the King wrote Lord North, "Undoubtedly, if Sir Guy Carleton can be persuaded to go to America, he is in every way best suited for the service. He and Lord Germain are incompatible. Lord George is certainly not unwilling to retire if he gets his object which is a peerage."58
On February 22, 1782 Carleton was appointed to replace Clinton, Germain simultaneously resigning and created a peer in his own right as Baron Bolebroke and Viscount Sackville of Drayton. He died a few years later in 1785.
Having dealt at length with the personalities associated with Carleton who were also freemasons it only remains to set forth particulars of the masonic lodges attached to the various regiments in which Carleton served or was otherwise closely associated.59
In 1742 Carleton was commissioned an ensign in the 25th Regiment of Foot60 which held the Irish warrant of Lodge No. 92 originally issued between October and December 1738.
Carletons association as tutor in 1752 to the Duke of Richmonds son, a Captain in the 20th Foot (with Lodge No. 63 attached) has already been noted.
In 1759 Carleton, with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, served as Quartermaster-General under General James Wolfe and played an active part in the Battle of the Plains of Abraham on September 13th when he was wounded in the head and both Wolfe and his opponent Montcalm were killed. Wolfe, who had made his will at sea en route to Québec, bequeathed £1,000 and all his books and papers to Carleton.6OA
A very full account of the battle is given in the 1921 transactions of the Irish Lodge of Research CC61 and it should be noted that the 47th Foot, the featured Regiment of this article, bore the nickname of "Wolfes Own" but not because Wolfe had served in the corps; the soubriquet was probably gained at the siege of Louisberg where the 47th served under Wolfe.62
At all events it is noteworthy that in 1773, the Earl of Chatham, a former Prime Minister who had won the Seven Years War, purchased for his eldest son, John Pitt, seventeen years old, a Lieutenancy in the 47th Foot and he wrote to Carleton, then Honorary Colonel of the Regiment, and asked if John Pitt could serve on his staff, to which Carleton assented.63 The 47th Foot has a distinguished masonic history, its lodge, No. 192 on the Irish registry, having provided three Provincial Grand Masters to the Provincial Grand Lodge of Québec. Instituted in the winter of 1759-60, its first Provincial Grand Master was Lieutenant John Price Guinnett;64 followed by Bro. Milbourne West and Lieut. Turner.65
It should also be noted that the article on the 47th Foot, which chronicles its movements in detail states that after its decimation fighting under Burgoyne at Saratoga in 1777, the skeleton of the regiment returned to England in 1781 and after being sent to Lancashire to recruit it went once more to the American station in 1790 where it remained until 1806.66
What the article omitted to mention was that from 1790 for at least ten years the regiment was stationed in Nassau, Bahamas where its Lodge No. 192 was most active.67
The only other regiment I can find with a masonic lodge attached and in which Carleton served is the 72nd Foot (Seaforth Highlanders) in which the Duke of Richmond, who had been made Colonel of the regiment in 1758, made Carleton a Lieutenant Colonel some months after his appointment.68
The following year, 1759, this regiment received a warrant from the Ancient Grand Lodge (1751-1813).69
As already mentioned, I have found no evidence that Carleton was a freemasonif he was, he would in all likelihood have been initiated in a lodge attached to one of his regiments, but unfortunately the records of regimental lodges are woefully incomplete for various reasons.
It is to be hoped therefore, that if any evidence exists as to whether he was or was not a member of the order that this paper will help to flush it out70; at all events even if he was not a freemason, the ideals and standards by which he lived; his friendship with the French Canadians, so different in religion and way of life; his consideration for the welfare of his prisoners, the runaway slaves; his reluctance and refusal to use native tribes against the revolutionaries because of what he felt were their savage methods of warefare; his devotion to his wife and familyall evince qualities which are compatible with the highest standards of Freemasonry and I hope I have justified his entitlement to a place in its annals.
First published in booklet form in June 1993, this paper is reproduced with the permission of its author, RW Bro. Ralph D. Seligman QC, Past District Grand Master, Bahamas and Turks, English Constitution (1993), and Past Provincial Grand Master of Bermuda, Irish Constitution.