About the Chapter
The Thomas Smith Webb Chapter of Research was warranted on August 2, 2002, by the Grand Chapter, State of New York, Royal Arch Masons. It is the first such chapter so authorized.
The purpose of the Chapter is to encourage Royal Arch Masonic Research and study by its members and others, to present findings and conclusions to the Chapter for discussion and interchange, and to promote the discussion and debate of topics pertinent to Royal Arch Masonry
Membership is by affiliation only. The Chapter does not confer degrees.
All Royal Arch Masons who are members, in good standing, of a Chapter in jurisdictions recognized by The Grand Chapter State of New York, Royal Arch Masons are eligible for membership. There are three classes of membership:
Active Member – open to any Royal Arch Mason who is a member in good standing of a Chapter under the jurisdiction of the Grand Chapter State of New York.
Corresponding Member – open to any Royal Arch Mason, or member of a Concordant Body recognized by The Grand Chapter State of New York, Royal Arch Masons. Individual Chapters, Grand Chapters and recognized Concordant bodies may petition for Corresponding Membership. Other Masonic Research bodies are also eligible for membership, including libraries.
Fellowship – an honor conferred upon a Royal Arch Mason for outstanding achievement in Masonic research and publication.
The right to ballot and to hold office is vested in Active Members only.
Petition Fee is $25, which includes the first year’s dues
Annual Dues are $20
About Thomas Smith Web
Educated in Massachusetts, Thomas Smith Webb was either a bookbinder or printer whose trade first took him to New Hampshire and then to Albany, New York. He later relocated to Providence, Rhode Island to engage in wallpaper manufacturing and then retired to Boston in 1815.
In 1790, Webb became a Mason in Rising Sun Lodge, Keene, New Hampshire. After he moved to Albany, NY, he published the “Freemason’s Monitor”, and in 1797 was the High Priest of the Temple Chapter. As such, he represented the Chapter in Boston, where plans to establish the Grand Chapter were being formulated.
Although Royal Arch Masonic Ritual had been systematized prior to his work, he made such alterations in the ritual which he felt necessary and published the exoteric portions of the work. As a moving force in the creation of the Grand Chapter, he used its establishment to further influence the use and acceptance of his work, known as the Webb work. In general, it may be said that few if any brethren have had a greater influence on the Craft in this country.
His labors have stood the acid test of time, a fact attested to by the well-nigh universal use of exoteric work first to be brought to American Freemasonic eyes through the justly famous Webb Monitor.
Thus, Thomas Smith Webb is often recognized as the driving force in both the standardization of the Royal Arch Ritual and the creation of the Grand Chapter. It is only fitting that the Research Chapter in the Grand Chapter, State of New York, Royal Arch Masons, carry his name.
*Excerpts from Masonic Service Association, Short Talk Bulletin June 1938, No. 54.