Royal Arch Mason Jewel
Brother Dudley Trow circa 1820
is a rare sterling silver Royal Arch Mason Masonic medal made about
1820. It is inscribed in script on the front "Dudley
Trow" and "Gilboa Lodge No. 210",
and has the feather script letters "K S H T W S S
T" clockwise around the center. Lacking a mark, it is
difficult to identify the maker conclusively, but there is a good chance an educated guess
can be made with the clues we have. There were two Dudley Trows,
father and son, that are reasonable possibilities as the jewel's owner.
Dudley Sr was born about 1770 in Beverley MA, son of John and Hannah (Dodge)
Trow. He married Annis Johnson in Andover MA on 12 Dec 1797. Dudley Jr. was
born 3 Jan 1799 in the same town. Junior appears, from the records, to
have lived his life in Andover;
Senior moved later in life to Haverhill. If either is the right Trow (and I
favour the father, given the dating indicated by the engraving on the jewel),
then there is an interesting family connection to the Andover silversmith,
Robert Swan. He was first cousin to Dudley Sr's sister-in-law, Martha (Swan)
Trow. Swan was very active in land transactions, was allowed the title of
Yoeman, and was known for his buckle making and engraving. I have found
nothing to indicate an association with Freemasonry, but it would not be
unlikely. If, on the other hand, the jewel is later in date (c 1820),
there is the possibility the maker was Barnabas Dodge Haskell of Haverhill.
He was the great nephew of Dudley's mother, Hannah (Dodge) Trow.
This medal has its original yellow ribbon
still attached and came in the original tooled leather case. It measures
3 1/2 inches tall and 2 1/16 inches wide.
A special "Thanks" to Wm Erik Voss
who sent us the description of this beautiful jewel. Even though
he is not a Freemason, he has an interest in its history and arcana from his
grandfather, who was a founding member and Master of Laurel Lodge 1057,
Chicago in 1918.