Frederick Margetson Rushmore

Frederick Margetson Rushmore

1932 — 1933

Frederick Margetson Rushmore was another Provincial Grand Master who was also a distinguished academic and Master of a College. He was Installed at a special meeting in the Guildhall, on 17th June 1932, by the Deputy Grand Master, Lord Cornwallis. The Cambridge Chronicle went to town on the occasion, publishing a four column report on the Installation of Rushmore and the Provincial Royal Arch Convocation. The attendance is given in full, with names grouped under their respective Lodges, and all the Officers appointed in Lodge and Chapter are fully detailed. The list of Apologies is also detailed, headed by the President of the Board of Benevolence, Sir Kynaston Studd. Who was to guess that the absent Sir Kynaston would be Installed himself in less than two years’ time? R.W.Bro. Rushmore was not long to enjoy the office of Provincial Grand Master. He was already ill on appointment and presided at but one Provincial Grand Lodge, in November of the same year. That same month Rushmore took the chair of his old lodge once again in order to Initiate his elder son. Alas, he did not see his boy Raised or the younger brother come to join INUL too, in due course. He died on the 17th June 1933, the very anniversary of his Installation.

Rushmore came up to St. Catharine’s in 1895 and was a Choral Exhibitioner, taking his BA in 1898 and his MA in 1902. He was serving as 2nd Master of the Perse School at that time, where he remained until he was elected a Fellow in 1907, then serving the College as Junior Bursar until 1918. From that office he was elevated to Senior Tutor and President before being made Master in 1927. He remained Master until he died. His name is honoured in St. Catharine’s for he restored the College fortunes, raised its prestige considerably and proved that union with King’s, which had been mooted as the only route to survival, was not necessary. His interests were, like many of the great College figures, much wider than the narrow fields of College, University and study. He was an active participant in City life, becoming an Alderman and serving as a JP for Cambridge for many years, while his Masonic interest covered Mark and Royal Ark, Knights Templar and Royal & Select Masters as well as the ‘Pure and Antient Masonry’ of Craft and Arch. It is a tragedy that he was never able to show his qualities as Provincial Grand Master for he had been an active and effective Grand Superintendent since 1927 and his contributions to the Craft were obviously appreciated in the Province. The talents that had made him a good schoolmaster and College administrator — he ‘never forgot a name or a face’ — made him an invaluable servant to Freemasonry. With Rushmore, the offices of PGM and Grand Superintendent are again held by one man and remain so from thenceforward.

Initiated in Isaac Newton in 1901, he became Master in 1906 and led the deputation that presented a testimonial to Caldwell that year. He was WM again in 1919-20 and in the chair of Alma Mater two years later. He became 1st Principal of Euclid Chapter in 1909 and again in 1918. His promotion was assured and he reached the office of Senior Grand Warden in the Province in 1911 and 2nd Provincial Grand Principal in 1919. Grand Lodge appointed him Senior Grand Deacon in 1922 and he became PGSoj the same year. Under Gray we find frequent reference to W.Bro. Rushmore in committee work or taking active role in Provincial Grand Lodge so it seems a natural progression to see, in November 1930 when Canon Gray and Percy Simpson were both too ill to attend, Rushmore is recorded as Acting Provincial Grand Master. The following year, in the convocation at Ely, he is recorded as Acting Deputy PGM, supporting Deputy Simpson. When Gray died, however, and Rushmore was appointed to the vacant office, he chose Rupert Hamblin-Smith to take over as Deputy that June and Percy F. Simpson, who had received his first Provincial appointment at the Installation of Col. Caldwell in 1891, retired after over forty years Provincial service. There was nothing untoward about it. Simpson himself knew that his health would not allow him to carry on. At the Isaac Newton meeting in May of 1932 Rushmore was present as Percy Simpson, the visiting Deputy, announced to the brethren the appointment of the new PGM. After congratulating Rushmore, Simpson went on to propose a vote of congratulation to Hamblin-Smith as well, on being named Deputy-designate.

At the sole Provincial meeting he actually chaired as PGM, at the Lion Hotel, Rushmore listened sympathetically to a proposal from E.W.R. ‘Pete’ Peterson, then WM of 859, that a Provincial Banner be procured. A sub-committee was appointed, with Peterson at its head, to look into the matter. He reported at a meeting on 1st June 1933 at the Lion that, after consideration, the committee recommended two Standards instead of a banner, pointing out that two Standard Bearers were always appointed. The suggestion was accepted, as was the recommendation that the arms of the City of Cambridge be upon one and the arms of the Isle of Ely upon the other. A resolution agreed this, subject to the necessary permissions being obtained and any requisite dues paid.

At this meeting the second significant change occurred. Following concern about an Income Tax demand funds belonging to the Province had already, in 1931, been invested with Lloyd’s Bank as a Provincial Benevolent Fund from which Provincial Grand Lodge could authorise disbursements. Now, notice of proposition was given by W.Bro. F J. Corbett of 441 that a Provincial Committee of Benevolence be set up to advise the Provincial Grand Master. Sadly, Rushmore was already very ill and died a few days later. In June the following year, with no history of service to this Province, Sir Kynaston Studd was Installed.

Extract from “Cambridgeshire Encompassed” by kind permission of W.Bro. Jim Whitehead