But when did the idea of District Deputy Grand Masters first come about? Which Grand Lodge first instituted the position? The first mention of a position titled District Deputy Grand Master in the Grand Lodge of South Carolina can be found in the proceedings of a Quarterly Communication of that body on 3 December 1844.
At this Communication an amendment to the Constitution was adopted, dividing the State into five Districts, and placing over each a District Deputy Grand Master, who was to be either a member of the Grand Lodge, or a representative of one of the Lodges, and whose duty it was to visit the Lodges in his district, and to decide all appeals until the decision of the Grand Lodge could be obtained.[i]When Albert G. Mackey published The History of Freemasonry in South Carolina in 1861, this was his only mention of a position called District Deputy Grand Master. Though he does not explain why, Mackey went on to state that the District Deputies were never appointed and that the amendment was omitted in later revisions of the Constitution.[ii] Therefore, as late as 1861, the position did not exist within the Grand Lodge of South Carolina and this author does not currently know when the position was formally adopted.
Additional information from the readers concerning this subject will be welcomed.
[i] Mackey, Albert G., M.D., The History of Freemasonry in South Carolina. Columbia, S.C.: South Carolina Steam Power Press, 1861, p. 333.
[ii] Ibid, p. 334.