Philadelphia, June 23, A.D. 1858, A.Dep. 2858

A number of Royal Arch Masons connected with Philadelphia Commandery No. 2 and St. John’s Commandery, No. 4, of Knights Templar, both meeting in Philadelphia, who had been for a series of years desirous of acquiring the Degrees of Royal and Select Master Masons, so intimately connected with Royal Arch Masonry and explanatory of many of its mysteries, which the inquiring mind will find absolutely necessary to understand properly, and also considered by competent authority to be the summit and perfection of Ancient Craft Masonry, made application this day in due form to the Grand Council of Royal and Select Master Masons of the State of Pennsylvania, for a Warrant or Dispensation for a Council to be held in this city.

The Grand Council held a Special Assembly at eight o’clock, A. M. on June 24, 1858, and granted a Warrant for a new Council to be held at Philadelphia. 

The first meeting of the new Council was held on June 30, 1858 with Illustrious Companion E. H. Turner of Altoona Council, No. 9, acting as Thrice Illustrious Master, the other chairs being filled by members of the new Council. 

A resolution was unanimously adopted that the name of the new Council should be “Philadelphia Council, No. 11, Royal and Select Master Masons.” 


Philadelphia Council No. 11, has furnished the Charter members for five new Councils, three in Pennsylvania and two in New Jersey. The first offspring was Gebal Council, of Trenton, New Jersey, which started under dispensation of the Grand Council of Pennsylvania, March 15, 1860. followed by Van Hook Council, of Camden, in the same State. A number of members withdrew in March 1864, to form Pomp Council, at Easton, Pa., which began its labors May 14, 1864. The next to branch out was several members at West Chester Pa., who formed King Solomon Council there on November 25, 1864, which however was not successful and surrendered its warrant March 8, 1872. And last but not least is Joppa Council of this city, which was constituted Feb. 27, 1906, for which Philadelphia Council furnished 54 Charter members. We are justly proud of our latest offspring which in a little over two years has grown from 54 to 200 members. The fact that we have a young and enthusiastic competitor has acted as an incentive, and Cryptic Masonry was never as active or prosperous here as it is today. Let this spirit of generous Fraternal rivalry continue for there is good material in this city for at least a half dozen successful Councils.

[Taken from 50th Anniversary book]