Erasmus James Philipps
Founder of Freemasonry in Canada
Hon. John Doull
Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia
The name of Erasmus James Philipps is perpetuated in the Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia by the medallion which bears his name and which was instituted in 1921. In that year Grand Lodge decreed that a distinctive bronze medallion be struck to be awarded under proper safeguards to those who might render undoubted meritorious services to the Craft. This medallion bears on one side the seal of the Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia, and on the other side, the lamp of learning upon an open book, with the words "For meritorious service to Freemasonry." This medallion is awarded to Past Grand Masters and Past Grand Historians ex-officio, to distinguished brethren from other jurisdictions who have contributed materially to the Masonic history, literature or jurisprudence of British North America, and in special cases to those of other jurisdictions.
The object of this paper is to record among the historic documents of this Association for Masonic Research some of the facts of the life of this distinguished Mason who was born 250 years ago but whose name still lives as the founder of Nova Scotia Masonry.
THE PHILIPPS FAMILY
The Philipps family to which Col. Richard Philipps, Ensign Erasmus James Philipps and Rowland Philipps belonged has not only had an interesting connection with Nova Scotia but has also rendered noteworthy service in other parts of the Empire. The family was founded by Sir John Philipps of Cloggevraen, parish of St. Clare, Caermarthen and of Picton Castle, County of Pembroke, who was created a baronet, November 9th, 1621, died March 27th, 1629 and was buried at Slebeck, County Pembroke. He married Anne, daughter of Sir John Perot of Haroldston, Lord Deputy of Ireland and had three sons, Richard the eldest son and second baronet who succeeded him in 1629. Hugh, the second son married Anne, daughter of Roger Lord of Stackpole, England, and had several sons and daughters. Two of the sons are of interest to us: Col. Richard Philipps the second son, later governor of Nova Scotia and Capt. Erasmus Philipps, his fifth son.
Capt. Philipps was a post-captain in the Royal Navy and commander of H.M.S. "Blandford," lost with all hands off St. Jean de Luz, France, March 28th, 1719. His will was dated November 10th, 1718, and was probated June 23rd, 1719. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Thos. Parker of Bovington, in Devon, and his eldest son was Erasmus James Philipps, born in London, St. George's Day. April 23rd. 1705. and baptised at St. Martin's in the Fields, May 3rd, 1705. He was well educated and could speak French fluently on his arrival in Nova Scotia He entered the army at the age of sixteen.
ANNAPOLIS AND CANSO
The first record of Erasmus Philipps in Nova Scotia is to be found in the minutes of the Council of Annapolis for October 24th, 1726, where we read the Lieut.-Governor, "acquainted the Board that having received proposals from the Deputies of Minas and other places on the Bay, to take the oath of allegiance to the King, he had appointed with instructions Captain Joseph Bennett, and Ensign Erasmus James Philipps to proceed to those places and administer the oath to those Deputies." Owing to the prevalence of unfavorable weather they failed to reach the settlements there and the matter was postponed until the spring of 1727. The French at Minas and Beaubassin refused to take the oath saying that they would take no oaths except to the King of France. This refusal and others which followed it, were factors which contributed to the expulsion of the Acadians in 1755. Erasmus seems to have been a favorite nephew of the Governor and when the latter was home in England, kept the Governor fully informed as to what was going on in the colony. The correspondence is still preserved, each package being endorsed by the Governor with "Muss Philipps" (short for "Erasmus").
Erasmus was at Canso on October 26th, 1728 with the detachment of the Regiment there and wrote to his uncle, thanking him for writing on his behalf to Governor Armstrong, who had thereupon ordered him back to Annapolis. He wrote that he could not go direct and was obliged to go by way of New England "where soon after my arrival, I found a discretional letter from Governor Armstrong directed from Canso, either to go to England, stay at Boston or Canso or go to Annapolis." He relates that he was received at Annapolis by Armstrong with a great deal of outside friendship "on account of my translating a petition to you from the French inhabitants." After ten days stay he was ordered to go back to Canso. He reported "Lieut. Edwards is embarked on board Governor Armstrong's schooner, bound for Ireland with an order to recruit there."
"Governor Cosby is married to Mr. Winniett's eldest daughter."
He signs the letter "Your obedient nephew" and then in a postscript asks for his appointment to the vacant position of Naval Officer.
As a consequence of this correspondence we find the issue of a Commission dated at London, February 23rd, 1729, appointing Erasmus James Philipps to be Advocate for the Vice Admiralty Court in Nova Scotia, a position he held for the next twenty years.
THE GOVERNOR'S COUNCIL
The minutes of the Council of the Province, held at Annapolis Royal on December 7th, 1730, record that "His Excellency likewise acquainted ye Board that there not being Councillors enough upon ye spot to make up a Quorum he thought proper, with their advice to appoint Mr. Eras. Jas. Philipps a member thereof, who was sworn accordingly." He seems to have acted as Secretary of the Council from that date until July, 1731 when he went to England, returning in September, 1733, and continued a member of the Council until his death in 1760. As such he was the friend and associate of Edward Amherst; of Paul Mascarene, afterwards Lieutenant-Governor; of John Handfield; and of William Winniett, then the leading merchant of Annapolis, and of his son Joseph Winniett.
In November 1734 Philipps and thirty-five others including all the members of the Government in England and of the Council of the Province were made proprietors and patentees of some mines discovered in the Province, "Recompense of their many years Service at this Board."
Such a resolution in these days would be regarded with some suspicion and would be the subject of investigation, but none of the proprietors seem to have grown rich as a result of their action.
At this time, November, 1734, we find another letter among his uncle's correspondence endorsed, "Muss Philipps, 1734, Fort Major," dated Nov. 2, 1734. In this letter, Erasmus reported Armstrong and Cosby still at variance and that Cosby is still kept out of the Fort. Mr. Rennie tells me that you intend me for first vacancy of the staff commission in your Regiment."
In another letter from Mrs. Elizabeth Philipps, mother of Erasmus to her brother-in-law, the Governor, dated in 1736 from "1 Southampton St." she refers to the loss of two of his officers, and the twenty years service of her son "Muss," and asks the favor of his appointment.
On December 4, 1735, Erasmus wrote a long letter to his uncle explaining and justifying one by one the many incidents mentioned by the latter. From this letter it would appear that the nephew had been in England in 1734.
On August 30, 1736, a grant was made to Philipps (at that time Captain in the 40th Regiment) and 34 others of 50,000 acres of land "at Norwich, in the County of Norfolk, in Nova Scotia." This tract of land was situated at or near Chignecto, in what is now Cumberland County and was afterwards escheated and revested in the Crown in 1760. The following day, a similar grant was made to the same parties of 50,000 acres "in the Township of Harrington, in the County of Southampton." This tract was near the mouth of the River Avon and was also escheated to the Crown in 1760. (Murdoch, vol. 1, p. 519, 520.)
On September 3, 1736, Philipps wrote the Governor that "It is reported here (at Annapolis) that Mr. Shirreff is not to return to his place." In the file we also find a letter from Capt. William Shirreff to Brigadier Philipps, dated "Horse Guards, 9th June, 1737" in which he writes regarding the Commission for the Secretary to the Government of Nova Scotia, becoming vacant through the death of Cosby Philipps. He asks for the position for himself.
MASSACHUSETTS BAY AND NEW HAMPSHIRE
In February, 1737, the Board of Trade in London wrote Lieut.- Governor Armstrong directing him to appoint such of His Majesty's five eldest councillors as were residing in the province, as commissioners to settle the boundaries between Massachusetts Bay and New Hampshire. The appointment of Dr. Skene, Otho Hamilton, Wm. Shirreff and E. J. Philipps was made in July, 1737 and in July they embarked for Boston.
In the archives of New Hampshire under date of August 1st, 1737 there is a record to the effect that Dr. W. Skene, E. J. Philipps and Otho Hamilton of H. M. Council of Nova Scotia, met at Hampton, N.H. with four commissioners from Rhode Island to mark out and settle the boundaries between the province of Massachusetts Bay and the Colony of Rhode Island. Philipps, Skene and Hamilton were in Boston from August, 1737 to June, 1738. A later commission dated September 4, 1740, reappointed the same commissioners and several others for a similar purpose. He left Annapolis for New England in April, 1741 and was at Providence, Rhode Island until June, 1741.
In the Book of Grants at Halifax we find the record of a grant of two acres of land at Annapolis in 1738 to Fort Major Erasmus James Philipps.
His mother, already referred to, continued her correspondence with Col. Richards Philipps on behalf of "Muss" and on March 7, 1744-45, she wrote the former referring to her son's "behaviour in the late affair at Annapolis" and expressed hopes for his promotion.
HIS MARRIAGE AND FAMILY
In 1739, he married Ann or Anne, eldest daughter of John Dyson, Lieutenant of Artillery and storekeeper at Annapolis Royal, and Alice, his wife. Ann Philipps died at Annapolis and administration of her estate was granted September 9, 1780 to her daughter Ann Fenwick.
To this marriage were born four children:
- Ann (b. 1740) married January 2, 1764 Capt. Lieut. Robert Fenwick, R.A. He was son of Capt. John Fenwick, R.N. and arrived in Halifax 1758, on his way to the second siege of Louisbourg. He served at Annapolis, October 1758 to August 1766 and at Halifax during several periods afterwards. He later attained the rank of Colonel of Artillery. He served as Governor of Fort Needham, Barbados, and died in New York, May 23, 1779. His will dated at Boston, June 17, 1775, and a codicil dated June 1, 1776, were proved March 18, 1780. His widow died at Woolwich, England, October 11, 1785. Their children were:
- Robert George, Lieut. 16th Foot, born at Annapolis October 2, 1765. Died in Ireland 1788.
- William, born at Halifax, January 12, 1767, baptised at St. Paul's Church, Halifax. Later Col. R. Engineers and A.D.C. to H.R.H. the Duke of Kent. He married at Annapolis December 20, 1794, Ann, daughter of Lieut. Thomas Walker. He was guardian of his famous nephew Fenwick Williams, son of his wife's sister, Anna Maria and Col. Thomas Williams. Col. Fenwick died at Paris, February 6, 1817. His daughter Augusta Julie married August 9, 1828, Sir Wm. Winniett, Governor of Cape Coast Castle, Africa, who died 1865.
- Benjamin, born at Barbados, November 3, 1769, served as Major R.A. at Halifax from October 1804 until his death June 15, 1812. Four sons and two daughters. all born at Halifax.
- John Erasmus, born at Annapolis, April 30, 1741. Capt.-Lieut. 35th Regiment from 1758-66; Fort-Major at Annapolis in 1768. He died unmarried in New York, December, 1779. His will, no date, was proved September 9, 1780 by his sister Ann Fenwick.
- Elizabeth (b. ) married Capt. Horatio Gates, later a Major General in the American Revolutionary forces. Married at St. Paul's Church, Halifax. October 20 1754
- Dorothy died at Annapolis at the age of 12 years.
In the fall of 1746 when the government decided on the military occupation of Grand Pre and a detachment of 470 men of the Massachusetts forces was sent to that place under the command of Colonel Arthur Noble, Major Philipps and Edward How accompanied them as commissioner in charge of the administration of civil affairs and as commissary. The news of the occupation reached the French commander De Ramezay at Chignecto on January 8, 1747, and he at once decided on an attack. A force of 300 men under Coulon de Villiers marched overland reaching Grand Pre on February 11th and attacked the sleeping New England forces at night in a blinding snow storm. In this battle Col. Noble and his brother were killed and Edward How wounded and taken prisoner. The Massachusetts men suffered great losses and they were obliged to capitulate on honorable terms at daybreak.
After the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1749 we find Philipps among the claimants for compensation for losses sustained in consequence of the destruction of buildings torn down by the order of the Commander-in-Chief for the better defence of the place in the recent war. On July 19th, 1749 Philipps resigned his office as King's Advocate in the Court of Vice-Admiralty, giving as the reason that "it being impossible to attend to execute the Duty of the said office." He continued to live at Annapolis.
On 1st January, 1751, Governor Cornwallis issued a special commission to Philipps as Judge of Probate and Wills to prove the will of Edward How who had been treacherously murdered by the French and Indians at Chignecto in October, 1750. The document sets forth that it is done "by reason of the distance between Annapolis Royal and the said town of Halifax, the inclemency of the weather, and the difficulty of travelling through the country at this time would be attended with great inconvenience and danger to the person or persons on whom the proof of the said Will depends." In conclusion it required him "to transmit the original Will of the said Edward How together with this commission and your proceedings thereon to me at Halifax as soon as convenient may be."
From 1753-60 Philipps was commissary of Musters for the garrison at Annapolis.
In 1758 he was honored by a vote of thanks of the Council (probably the first of the kind in our history) for services rendered in 1757 in making prisoners of a number of French inhabitants who, having managed to avoid capture at the time of the expulsion of the Acadians, had formed a temporary settlement on the shores of St. Mary's Bay, Digby County.
On the retirement of Mascarene, Major Philipps became commander of the forces at Annapolis, in which capacity he acted until his death 1760.
In 1759, Philipps was named as grantee of several parcels of land in Annapolis County, namely:
25 acres, Goat Island (Bk. 4 p. 95) 100,000 acres, County of Granville (Bk. 4 p. 114) 1,700 acres, Annapolis (Bk. 3 p. 88) 5.700 acres. Annanolis River (Bk. 3 p. 94-98).
In 1759 Major Philipps was chosen a representative in the House of Assembly, for Annapolis County, Colonel Jonathan Hoar being his colleague. He took his seat on December 4th, 1759 but his legislative career was of short duration, as he died suddenly of apoplexy at Halifax on September 26, 1760, while on a visit to that town. Administration of his Estate was granted to his widow, February 11, 1764.
Major Philipps was undoubtedly an able, energetic and efficient officer, in both his military and civil employments and managed with judgment public affairs requiring the exercise of skill and tact, always acquitting himself with credit and success.
Efforts to discover a portrait of Major Philipps have so far proved fruitless, although there is some ground for believing that a small portrait believed to be his, hung over the desk of the late Sereno D. Nickerson, Grand Secretary of Massachusetts, in a frame which also enclosed the portrait of Henry Price. Search has been made in the ancestral home of his family in Wales, and also in Nova Scotia.
THE PHILIPPS FAMILY
Before referring to his Masonic career it will be of interest to refer to some of the noteworthy members of the Philips family in later venerations.
In Bath Abbey, England, are two tablets in memory of relatives of Governor and Major Philipps.
One near the east door reads:
To the Memory of
Sir Erasmus Philipps
of Picton Castle in the
County of Pembroke
Bart., Member of
Parliament for the
Town, and County of
Haverford - West
Who was Unfortunately
Drown'd in the River
Avon, near this City, by
a Fall from his Horse
October 1 5th, 1743
This Sir Erasmus Philipps was an economist and writer, the eldest son of Sir John, of Picton Castle, and Mary, daughter and heiress of Anthony Smith, an East Indies merchant. He matriculated at Pembroke College, Oxford, August 4, 1720 but did not graduate. He entered Lincoln's Inn 1721 and succeeded his father in 1736.
A second on the wall of the south transcript is apparently to the memory of the son of Lt. Col. Alex Cosby born at Annapolis Royal in 1730:
Near this Place
Are deposited the remains of
Philipps Cosby Esquire, Admiral of the Red
As a Naval Commander
He was distinguished by Native Valour
Professional Skill, and accumulated Experience
As a Man He united to the more enobling virtues
Of the Mind
The mild and enduring qualities
Of the Heart And continued to display them all
To the close of his venerable Life
Thus prepared by a long course of habitual Goodness
For his eternal Allotment
He died suddenly the 10th day of January, 1808
In the 78th year of his Age
His revered Name and honoured Character
His afflicted Widow erects
He entered the Royal Navy in 1745 and served as a lieutenant at Louisbourg in 1758. At Quebec in 1759 he was naval A.D.C. to Wolfe. Promoted Commander in 1760. In fight off Chesapeake Bay in 1779. Flag rank 1790.
Erasmus John Philipps was commissioned as an Ensign in the 45th Regiment, June 26, 1755 and Lieutenant, October 1st, 1755 and served with the Regiment at Louisbourg in 1756. He was promoted Captain in the 35th Regiment on March 28th, 1775, and was killed in action, January 3, 1777.
In Salisbury Cathedral is to be found a tablet to the memory of Rev. Sir James Erasmus Philipps, Baronet, Founder of St. Boniface College, Warminster, Honorary Canon of the Cathedral, who died in 1912. His son became Baron St. Davids in July, 1908.
Sir Charles Edward Gregg Philipps, formerly Fisher, created a Baronet in 1887; born in 1840, married in 1868 Mary Philipps, daughter and co-heiress of the late Rev. James Henry Alexander Philipps of Picton Castle, Pembrokeshire, a lineal descendant of the only daughter of Bulkeley Philipps, third son of Sir John, 4th Baronet.
The present Baronet is Sir John Erasmus Gwynne Alexander Philipps, 3rd Baronet
HIS MASONIC CAREER
Erasmus James Philipps was made a Mason in "The First Lodge" of Free and Accepted Masons in Boston, November 14, 1737 (o.s.) on the occasion of his first visit as a commissioner to settle the boundaries of Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
The minutes of that meeting also record the admission of William Sheriff who was evidently already a Mason. Philipps seems to have remained in Boston until the following June, although we find Sheriff at Annapolis in January 1738.
In the Boston Gazette of March 13, 1738, we find the following paragraph:
"We are inform'd, that Major Philipps is appointed Provincial Grand Master over the Free and Accepted Masons, in the Province of Nova Scotia, and that a Deputation is getting ready for that purpose."
Philipps returned to Annapolis Royal in June, 1738; there he established a lodge which, so far as present information goes, was the first Masonic lodge established in what is now the Dominion of Canada, and which was the fifth in order of precedence of lodges chartered from Massachusetts. It was called Annapolis Royal Lodge and Philipps was its first Master.
The present Annapolis Royal Lodge No. 33, G.R.N.S. had, until the loss of the Cunningham building by fire in 1885, a copy of Anderson's Book of Constitutions, first published in 1723, and reprinted by Benjamin Franklin at Philadelphia in 1734. On the first fly-leaf of this copy were the words, "Presented to the Old Lodge by Grand Master, E. J. Philipps."
Philipps returned to his duties as boundary commissioner in the following April, and we find him present at a meeting of the First Lodge in Boston on April 11, 1739, when he appears as "Rt. Wpfull Brer. Erasmus Jas. Philipps, G.M. De Nov. Scot." He was again present on May 9th, November 28, and December 26, 1739.
The second boundary commission issued to Philipps and others in 1740, convened at Providence in April, 1741 and continued in session until June 30, when it adjourned to September 4th. The records of the First Lodge for August 12th, 1741, show the following entry:
"Bro. E. Philipps pd 20 Quarterage Bro. Sheriff pd 20 as memrs."
On June 12, 1750 the Hon. Edward Cornwallis and others at Halifax petitioned Erasmus James Philipps as P.G.M. for a warrant or Deputation to establish a lodge at Halifax. The warrant was received and the first meeting held July 19, 1750, Cornwallis being the first Master.
The records of the St. John's Grand Lodge of Massachusetts have the following entry under date of December 24th, 1740 (sic):
"Omitted in place, That Our Rt. Worsh'l. Grand Master Mr. Price granted a Deputation at ye Petition of sundry Brethren at Annapolis in Nova Scotia to hold a Lodge there, and appointed Major Erasmus James Philipps, D.G.M., who has since at ye Request of sundry Brethren at Halifax granted a constitution to hold a Lodge there and appointed the Rt. Worsh'l. His Excellency Edward Cornwallis, Esq., their First Master."
This entry in the Grand Lodge minutes was evidently made about 1750 when Hon. Edward Cornwallis and others at Halifax (founded in 1749) petitioned Philipps for a warrant and was probably based on information given by Lord Colvill who was initiated in Haliax in July, 1750 and afterwards went to Boston in October, 1750, joining the St. John's Grand Lodge and the First Lodge.
On December 27, 1757, a Grand Warrant, signed by the Earl of Blesington, G.M. of the "Ancients," was issued to Philipps, constituting him "Provincial Grand Master of Nova Scotia and the territories thereunto belonging."
On his death in 1760 Major Philipps was succeeded in his position of P.G.M. by the Hon. Jonathan Belcher, Lieut. Governor of the Province.
By the death of Major Philipps, Nova Scotia Freemasonry lost its founder and first great figure. While Masonry cannot be said to have flourished under his regime we must remember the period and times in which he lived, days when the Province was struggling into existence as a British colony. When the difficulties of these early pioneer times are considered we may wonder that Masonry was ever thought of. The twenty or more years of the Provincial Grand Mastership of Major Philipps may not have been remarkable for the wide dissemination of Masonic principles and philosophy, but the work then begun is still going on though Major Philipps is now only a name to the present generation.
To Philipps belongs the credit for the great achievement of establishing Freemasonry in Nova Scotia. The lodge organized by him at Annapolis in 1738 was the first regular lodge on Canadian soil.
In order further to commemorate the eminent services rendered by Major Philipps, the Grand Lodge in cooperation with all the Grand Lodges of Canada and the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts carried through a great celebration in July, 1938, commemorating the Two Hundredth Anniversary of the establishment in 1738 of the first lodge on Canadian soil.
This celebration which extended across Canada, began in Halifax on July 10th, 1938, and the four days program in Nova Scotia included an emergent meeting of the Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia when a large number of distinguished visitors was welcomed, representing all Canadian jurisdictions, nineteen United States Grand Lodges and the three Grand Lodges in the British Isles. At this meeting the Erasmus James Philipps Medallion was presented to forty distinguished visitors all of Most Worshipful rank.
Following the Grand Lodge meeting, the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts presented and dedicated with impressive ceremonies a beautiful granite monument, to mark the grave of Major Erasmus James Philipps in St. Paul's Cemetery. For the first time in our history the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts was formally opened on Canadian soil by M. W. Bro. Joseph Earl Perry assisted by M. W. Bro. M. M. Johnson, P.G.M. and other distinguished Massachusetts Craftsmen. This monument is a perfect ashlar of Nova Scotia granite, each edge measuring 27 inches, the ashlar standing on three steps also of granite.
The inscriptions on three of the four sides of the Monument read as follows:
ERASMUS JAMES PHILIPPS
Born April 23, 1705
Major in Philipps' (Fortieth) Regiment of Foot
Member of the House of Assembly Annapolis County 1759-1760
Died in Halifax, September 26, 1760
Buried in Saint Paul's Cemetery.
Initiated in the First Lodge, Boston, Massachusetts
November 14, 1737
In June 1738 he became the Founder and Master of the first
Masonic lodge on Canadian soil
at Annapolis Royal, N.S.
Appointed in March 1738 by Henry Price, Provincial Grand Master for North Americas
as Provincial Grand Master over Free and Accepted Masons in Nova Scotia.
Provincial Grand Master of the first Provincial Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia 1757-60.
Erected by the M. W. Grand Lodge of A.F. & A.M. of Massachusetts.
Joseph Earl Perry, Grand Master.
Later, on July 12th, a tablet commemorating the founding of the first lodge on Canadian soil at Annapolis Royal was unveiled by General Sir Francis J. Davies, K.C.B., K.C.NT.O., Deputy Grand Master of England. This tablet since placed on the wall of the Museum in Fort Anne, Annapolis Royal, bears the following inscription:
MAJOR ERASMUS JAMES PHILIPPS
Founder of the first Masonic Lodge in Canada
at Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia
FIRST PROVINCIAL GRAND MASTER
Erected by the Grand Lodge of A.F. & A.M. of Nova Scotia 1938.
On this occasion an historical paper on "Maj or Erasmus James Philipps and Freemasonry at Annapolis Royal" was read by Frederick W. Harris, P.M. of Annapolis Royal Lodge, No. 33, G.R.N.S.
General Hist. of Freemasonry by Em. Rebold, 2nd Edit., by J. F. Brennan, 1875, p. 360.
N. S. Archives, vol. i (1869), vol. ii (1900) Annapolis Royal Letter-books, 1713-41. vol. iii (1908) Ann. Royal Council Minutes, 1720-36.
History of Annapolis County; Calnek and Savary.
The Record of the Services of the Fortieth Regiment; by Capt. R. H. R. Smythies, 1891.
Burke's Peerage and Baronetage.
The Beginnings of Freemasonry in America; by M. M. Johnson, pp. 185, 195-201.
History of Freemasonry in Canada; Robertson, vol. i, pp. 140-152.
Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, 1733-92, p. 7; 1891, p. 24-30. St. John's Lodge, Boston, 1733-1916; by H. N. Shepard.
Minutes of First Lodge, Boston, 1733-50.
Transactions of the N. S. Lodge of Research, March, 1916, vol. i. "Henry Price, Robert Comins and Erasmus James Philipps" by R. V. Harris.
The Square, Vancouver, August 1924. "The First Canadian Freemason" by Bro. R. L. Reid.
"How Civilization and Freemasonry Came to Canada" by Leonard Morris, "The Square" October 1924.
Murdoch's History of Nova Scotia, vols. 1, 2, 3.
Correspondence with Col. Geo. C. Fenwick, Lord St. Davids, Judge A. W. Savary, J. Ross Robertson.
Major Erasmus James Philipps & Freemasonry at Annapolis Royal, by Frederick W. Harris, July 1938.
New England Freemason, vol. ii, p. 168, reprint of article from Masonic Magazine, London, Oct. 1873 by Jacob Norton in "History of Freemasonry in Nova Scotia."
American Tyler, Dec. 23, 1893. Masonic Review, 1896.
Mass. Proceedings 1871, p. 297, 307.