Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Massachusetts
Benjamin Hurd, Jr., was born in Charlestown, Massachusetts on February 1, 1750, the son of Benjamin Hurd (1719-1808) and Grace (Estabrook) Hurd (1721-1789). His wife was Mary (Stearns) Hurd (1754-1816).
He was by trade a leather dresser (a person who prepares, treats, or finishes a leather material or piece of equipment). He occasionally supplied his lodge with aprons and gloves. He later became a successful merchant in Charlestown and acquired sufficient money and prestige to have his portrait painted by the celebrated artist Gilbert Stuart.
Following the Masonic footsteps of his father, he was initiated on August 14, 1777, in St. Andrew's Lodge in Boston, passed on September 11, and raised on December 12; served as master in 1794.
Received the chapter degrees in St. Andrew's Chapter, Boston, March 20, 1789, and immediately was made secretary; became high priest in 1791, and held that position for seven years. Above is his rather unusual Mark. He was also a charter member of Boston Encampment, Knights Templar in March, 1806, his respectability being evidenced by the use of "Esq." after his signature.
Along with seven other Companions (including Thomas Smith Webb), he presided over a convention which met in Boston to plan the formation of a General Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons in the United States on October 24, 1797. At a subsequent meeting in Hartford, Connecticut in January 1798, consisting of representatives from chapters in New England and New York, what was in essence the General Grand Chapter was formed with Ephraim Kirby as High Priest and Hurd as his deputy.
In March 1798, the Grand Chapter of Massachusetts was formed with Hurd as its first Grand High Priest and he served as such for the next three years.
In 1806, at a regular convocation of the General Grand Chapter, only eight delegates were present. Kirby had died and Benjamin Hurd was elected the second general grand high priest in absentia. He served in that office from 1806-16. He was not present to preside at the convocation of 1816, nor did he appear at the 1819 meeting.
He died on May 5, 1821 and is interred in Phipps Street Burying Ground in Charlestown.
https://americanart.si.edu/artwork/benjamin-hurd-jr-38336Smithsonian American Art Museum
A recommendation should be in writing to the Grand Chapter office from the sponsoring Chapter with the endorsement from the District Deputy.
In order for Grand Chapter to grant these requests, a Companion must have served in the best interest of Royal Arch Masonry in Massachusetts, meritoriously, above and beyond the call of duty and in this manner for at least ten years, notwithstanding, his total years of membership. This medal was designed as an award for those who have given exceptional service to Capitular Masonry in Massachusetts and particularly, to their own Royal Arch Chapter.
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