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Chartered on October 29, 1787 by the Grand Lodge of Virginia. The brethren of

Richmond Randolph No.19 has been meeting in our home Masons' Hall, the oldest masonic lodge building in America, for almost two and a half centuries. 


Richmond Randolph No.19 (RR19) was chartered on October 29, 1787 at the annual meeting of Grand Lodge of Virginia being held at the newly completed Mason's Hall. Our lodge and its members are intertwined with early history of Virginia freemasonry, of the United States and of the City of Richmond. Almost two and a half centuries later, we are still meeting in the same place where we began in the oldest continuously occupied masonic lodge building in America! 

The three men primarily responsible for our charter were William Waddill, John Dixon Sr. and Col. David Lambert who became our first lodge Master, Senior and Junior Wardens respectively. Waddill, an accomplished silversmith, was a Past Master of the Williamsburg Lodge No.6 and helped organize the Grand Lodge of Virginia in 1777. It was Waddill who summoned the other Virginia lodges to convene in Williamsburg and it was Waddill who would nominate the first Grand Master of Virginia Masons. He would be No.19's first Worshipful Master. John Dixon, Sr. would be our first Senior Warden. Dixon had been the Mayor of Williamsburg at the outbreak of the Revolutionary War and publisher of the Virginia Gazette. He operated the print shop and post office on Duke of Gloucester Street in Williamsburg and was appointed Virginia's Postmaster by Benjamin Franklin. In July of 1776, Dixon's Virginia Gazette had been the first publication outside of Philadelphia to publish the full text of the Declaration of Independence. Col. David Lambert, the third member of the Masonic trio applying for No. 19's charter was an original and long serving member of the the Common Hall, Richmond's governing body at the time (precursor to today's city council). Col. Lambert was also Commander of the Richmond City Regiment, charged with protecting its citizens. These efforts to gain 19's charter were assisted and endorsed by John McCall, Master of Richmond No.10 of which Waddill and Lambert had also been members.  

These men came to Richmond with many from Virginia's colonial capital of Williamsburg and other parts of the state when Governor Thomas Jefferson designated Richmond as the new capital city in 1780 in the midst of the Revolutionary War. The first lodge in Richmond was what is now Richmond Lodge No.10 (originally No.13), which was chartered in a 1780 Grand Lodge meeting at Williamsburg's famous Raleigh Tavern. The Grand Lodge itself would also move to Richmond in 1784 and hold its first meeting in a schoolhouse adjacent to where Masons' Hall now stands at Franklin and 18th Streets in Shockoe Bottom.


The following year in 1785, the cornerstone was laid for Masons' Hall to become the home of both No.10 and the Grand Lodge of Virginia. Masons' Hall would be on land acquired from Brother Gabriel Galt who operated City Tavern located on the Main Street side of the same square block and a center of community activity. Galt had been one of the charter members of Richmond Lodge No.10 (and later No.19) and just a few years earlier had found his tavern commandeered by the notorious traitor Benedict Arnold, who used it as his headquarters while raiding and burning Richmond during the Revolutionary War. 

Upon the completion of Masons' Hall in 1787, Richmond Randolph No.19 would be formed by members of No.10 and the lodges would share the third floor lodge room, now regarded as America's oldest Masonic lodge room. The lodge was named for Edmund Randolph, who was both the Grand Master of Virginia Masons and the Governor of Virginia when the application was received during the annual Grand Communication at Masons' Hall.  Randolph had also played major role in bringing Masons' Hall to fruition. A decade prior to the laying of the cornerstone at Masons' Hall, Randolph was George Washington's aide-de-camp in 1785 at the beginning of the American Revolution, serving during the Siege of Boston. His service would be short when he was called home to handle his uncle Peyton Randolph's affairs after he unexpectedly passed while serving as the 1st President of the Continental Congress.


Payton Randolph had also been the last Provincial Grand Master of Masons in Virginia when it was still under the United Grand Lodge of England. While back in Virginia, Edmund Randolph would follow in his uncle's footsteps and preside over the 4th Virginia Convention, serve as Mayor of Williamsburg and eventually become one of Virginia's delegates at the Continental Congress in Philadelphia. Considered a Founding Father of the United States, Randolph would again serve George Washington in his first cabinet, becoming the 1st Attorney General of the United States and 2nd Secretary of State. Richmond Randolph No.19 is proud to carry his name and honor his legacy of leadership. 


Another early influencer of bringing Masons' Hall to fruition and, like his mentor Edmund Randolph, a member of Richmond Lodge No.10 was John Marshall who served as an original trustee of the building and galvanized the brethren to complete the project after running into unexpected delays due to a major fire that ravaged Richmond in early 1787. Marshall would gain his first judicial experience presiding over the city's Hustings Court (precursor to the general district court) held at Masons' Hall, where he also maintained his law office. He would go on serve as Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court for 34 of the our country's formative years and is known to history as the "Great Chief Justice".

In the early nineteenth century Richmond Randolph No.19 would grow with the bourgeoning capital city and would share Mason's Hall with not only the Grand Lodge and Richmond No.10 but also with St. John's No.36 and Richmond Royal Arch Chapter No.36. The building would be Virginia masonic hub as well a a center for social, religious and civic meetings as well as art exhibits and theatrical performances, including one of the final performances of Edgar Allen Poe's mother Eliza Poe prior to her untimely death. During that time the lodge would also navigate through the War of 1812 when it found its confines converted into a hospital for Virginia's wounded militia following the Battle of Bladensburg outside of Washington, DC.


A major and still much talked about event was when the lodge would have the honor of hosting the Marquee de Lafayette in October of 1824. The legendary Revolutionary War hero had been dispatched by Washington four decade earlier to Virginia in response to Benedict Arnold's sacking of Richmond was made an honorary member and the lodge's Master for the day during his celebrated return to the city. Lafayette's escort to Masons' Hall included a young Edgar Allen Poe, a member of the junior honor guard who had been raised in Richmond following his mother's death. A grand banquette was later held where Chief Justice John Marshall would have the honor of raising a toast in his honor.  A decade later in 1834, Richmond Randolph No.19 would have the honor of performing the Masonic funeral rites for Chief Justice John Marshall at nearby Shockoe Hill Cemetery. The Liberty Bell in Philadelphia received its famous crack upon his death when it tolled while the country mourned his passing.


Masons' Hall would continue to maintain its place as a prominent Richmond landmark and Richmond Randolph's No.19's member would continue to be prominent citizens of the city prior to the Civil War. Its stature is exemplified in 1860 when a future King paid it a visit. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert's eldest son, the Prince of Wales would tour our lodge room and the confines of Masons' Hall during his visit to Richmond in 1860, part of his tour of North America. The Prince would succeed his mother and become King Edward VII, King of the United Kingdom and Emperor of India. He had become an highly active Freemason following his visit and held prominent titles and lodge memberships in England, Scotland and Ireland. Upon assuming the throne in add-on to his titles as King and Emperor he also took on the title "Protector of The Craft".  


During the Civil War the lodge and building swelled with visitors as the population of the city surged after being designated the Capital of the Confederate States. Meetings continued to be held and RR19's John Dove, serving as Grand Secretary maintained active correspondence with Grand Lodge's in the North throughout the hostilities. When Richmond finally fell in April of 1865, Masons' Hall was spared from the raging Confederate evacuation fires and looters on the orders of Union General Godfrey Weitzel and Major Atherton H. Stevens, sympathetic Northern Freemason who understood the building's historic importance. Just a few days later Abraham Lincoln would pass nearby as he walked from the James River through Richmond on his way to the White House of the Confederacy. The lodge's treasury was suddenly worthless as No.19, like the country, began the process of healing. That process began shortly after the fall of the city which records indicating members sitting in lodge with Union soldiers from Massachusetts in perfect harmony. A Union officer's saber was left behind at Masons' Hall and remains here to this day.  

Following the Civil War, the 1870's started out the Grand Lodge of Virginia moved out of Mason's Hall and west to the new St. Alban's Hall at 3rd and W. Main Streets. Masons' Hall would receive extensive renovations in 1872 and in 1878 Richmond Randolph No.19 became the sole occupant of what is now America's oldest continuously used Masonic lodge room in America's oldest continuous Masonic lodge building after Richmond No.10 followed the Grand Lodge west to St. Albans Hall. Well into the twentieth century the lodge remained strong and Masons' Hall was a well known landmark and major point of interest for citizens and for those visiting the city. As in most cities nationwide Richmond's city core went into decline during the later half of the century and both our lodge and its historic confines went into decline.

For more than two centuries since its founding Richmond Randolph No.19 has included on its membership rolls and visitor's list some of the most influential men in Richmond and Virginia Masonic history and our home Masons' Hall has hosted men "who's fame was not confined to one hemisphere". Our lodge continues to thrive and meet where we began in our historic landmark home, Masons' HallRichmonders are once again taking notice of Masons' Hall with recent press dubbing our ancient edifice as "the most sparkling building in Shockoe Bottom".

Now, as Richmond and our Shockoe Bottom neighborhood experiences a tremendous twenty-first century revival and population surge, the lodge has equally experienced its own revival. Through the hard work of those dedicated brethren who literally kept the candles in the lodge room burning for all these years and the roof over our head, Richmond Randolph No.19 is now rapidly growing, rising and thriving with a diverse membership that includes members that were born up the street, around the country and and across the sea. Brothers that continue RR19's positive influence on our members, their families and our community.


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William Waddill, 1787–1789 

Jacob Ege, 1789–1793 

John K. Read, 1793–1795 

Jacob Ege, 1795–1795 

Meyer Cohen, 1795–1796 

John Dixon, 1796–1797 

Most Wor. William H. Fitzwhylsonn, 1797–1799

Eldridge Harris, 1799–180 

Leighton Wood, 1800–1801 

Humphrey Dabney, 1801– 1802 

Most Wor. William H. Fitzwhylsonn 1802–1804

Most Wor. Solomon Jacobs, 1804–1807 

William D. Wren 1807–1808 

Most Wor. William H. Fitzwhylsonn 1808–1809

Thomas Diddep, 1809–1810 

William D. Wren 1810–1811 

Most Wor. William H. Fitzwhylsonn 1811–1819 

Joseph A. Myers, 1819–1819 

George Cabell, 1819–1820 

John Dove, 1820–1821 

George Cabell, 1821–1822 

John G. Williams, 1822–1823 

Blair Bolling, 1823–1824

Richard A. Carrington, 1824–1826 

John G. Williams, 1826–1828 

John A. Carrington, 1828–1830 

Joseph A. Myers, 1830–1832 

William F. Lee, 1832–1834 

John Dove, 1834–1836 

Richard O. Haskins, 1836–1840 

Thomas U. Dudley, 1840–1841 

Edward S. Gay, 1841–1841 

Most Wor. James Evans, 1841–1844 

Thomas Tyrer, 1844–1845 

John McConnell, 1845–1847 

John Dove, 1847–1848, 1848–1849, 1849–1850 

William B. Isaacs, 1850–1853 

William C. Tompkins, 1853–1854 

John C. Page, Jr., 1854–1856 

John Poe, Jr., 1856–1858 

John W. Bransford1858–1859 

William T. Allen, 1859–1862 

Robert T. Reynolds, 1862–1864 

John Latouche, 1864–1866 

Julius A. Hobson, 1866–1868 

James R. Dowell, 1868–1871

Norton R. Savage, 1871–1873 

William Hall Crew, 1873–1875 

George F. Keesee, 1875–1877 

Charles P. Rady1877–1879 

R. H. Duesberry, 1879–1881 

Benjamin F. Howard, 1881–1883 

R. C. Fletcher, 1883–1885 

Charles A. West, 1885–1886

James H. Allen, 1886–1887

Judson Cunningham, 1887–1889

John E. Epps, 1889–1891 

Edward E. Richardson, 1891–1893

H.F.W. Southern, 1893–1894

Charles W. Ragland, 1894–1895

N. Thomas Mosby, 1895–1897

Berkley Goode, 1897–1899

Richard N. Goode, 1899–1901

T. Nelson Durvin, 1901–1903

Alvoy K. Vest, 1903–1905 

William A. Clarke, Jr. 1905–1907

John B. Welsh, 1907–1909

Charles P. Eldridge, 1909–1911

William A. James, 1911–1913

D. Seva Richardson, 1913–1915

George B. Davis, Jr., 1915–1916

Marcus W. Estes, 1916–1917

John Taylor, 1917–1919 

William E. Sullivan, 1919–1920

R.N. Rackett, 1920–1921 

Joseph E. Robinson, 1921–1922

Andrew J. Watkins, 1922–1924

William Newsome, Jr., 1924–1925

Clifton J. Green, 1925–1926

Montie J. DeWitt, 1926–1927

Alan B. Clarke, 1927–1928

Ernest B. Smith, 1928–1929

John S. McGehee, 1929–1930

Wilbur Applewhite, 1930–1931

Allen M. Mills, 1931–1932

Andrew J. Watkins, 1932–1934

John W. Waters, 1934–1935

Garland H. James, 1935–1936

Emmett B. Atkinson, 1936–1937

Stuart L. Billups, 1937 

Walter A. Jewell, 1938 

Lewis P. Tyler, 1939 

Gordon L. Perkins, 1940 

Wyatt Smith, 1942 

Fred C. Mullin Jr., 1942 

Edward S. Trainham, 1943

James B. Hare, Jr., 1944 

Lewis P. Hamlett, 1945 

John R. Overbey, 1946 

Paul J. Welch, 1947 

Aubrey H. Burrow, 1948 

Harvey M. Cloud, 1949 

W. Earle Binns, 1950 

Milton C. Rose, 1951 

Henry H. Phillips, Jr., 1952

William L. Walker, 1953

Charles E. Winder, Jr., 1954

Most Wor. L. Douglas Delano, 1955 

Norman R. Cox, 1956 

Harry E. Tucker, 1957 

Robert L. Smith, 1958 

William T. Teachey, 1959 

R. Milton Hobson, 1960 

Winfred D. Williams, 1961

Ernest Maynard Overbey, 1962

Charles B. Tingle, 1963 

C. Calvin Huffman, 1964 

Thomas Lewis Royall, 1965

McClellan W. Burgess, 1966

Horace H. Williams, 1967 

Lindsey F. Usry, 1968 

Ernest E. Berry, Jr., 1969 

Albert L. Winstead, 1970 

Robert G. Bedell, 1971 

Howard R. McDowell, 1973

Wilbert Patton Jr., 1974 

William Walter Gayle, Jr., 1975

Frank H. Abernathy, Jr., 1976

Jacob V. Bowen, 1977 

William E. Thompson, 1978

Paul David Huffman, 1979

Jesse McKinley Beasley, 1980

Warren W. Slate, 1981, 1982

Morris Mayer Edison, 1983

George Washington Martin, 1984

A.C. Ellington II, 1985

William D. Rice, 1986 

Charles Lenwood Sale, Jr., 1987

Lothar A. Bernhard, 1988 

Ernest E. Berry, Jr., 1989 

James Walker Burton, 1990 

Charles E. Winder Jr., 1991, 1992

Charles Lenwood Sale, Jr., 1993, 1994

Larry Johnnie Dixon, 1995 

William Troy Bailey, 1996 

Anthony Charles Pearce, 1997

William Sherwood Bailey, 1998

Marc Daniel Graham, 1999 

Gordon Hector Sprigg, Jr., 2000

William Sherwood Bailey, 2001 

William Troy Bailey, 2002 

Joseph Payne Gardner, 2003 

William Sherwood Bailey, 2004

Barrye Lane Absher, 2005 

Thomas Edward Breeden, 2006

Wade Vestal Evans, Jr., 2007 

Edward Keith Winder, 2008

Charles Thomas Sykes, 2009 

William B. Heltzel, 2010 

James H. Duke, 2011 

Paul Alexander Dierickx, 2012, 2013 

Lee Oppenheim, 2014 

Michael Joyner, 2015, 2016

Preston C. Vanderpool, 2017

Charles W. Hundley, 2018

Donald A. K. Cunningham, Jr., 2019

Donald F. Moro, Jr., 2020

Jacob A. Crocker, 2021

Chandos J. Carrow, 2022

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