703
Issued to brethren to form a Lodge in BALLYMONEY, Co. Antrim, 1 October 1789.

Grand Lodge of Ireland – Roll of Lodges, compiled by Bros. J.J. Nesbitt and William Scott for Bro F.C. Crossle – c. 1889.
Warrant issued 1 Oct. 1789 to Ballymoney, Co. Antrim to James Walker; Dan. McAllister and John McConlish.

From the Minutes of Grand Lodge
Lodge 703
1 October, 1789 – Ordered a Warrant to Brs. Jas. Walker, Danl. McAllister and Jno. McConlish to hold a Lodge in the town of Ballymoney, Co. Antrim.

Volume 3 of the extant Grand Lodge Registers record Jas. Walker; Danl. McAllister and Jno. McConlish registered 1 October, 1789. No registration of Master or Wardens.
A further 21 brethren registered up to 4 November, 1803.

Volume 4 of the Second Series Grand Lodge Register shows:-
Warrant No. 703 to Ballymoney, 1 October, 1789
Jas. Walker; Dan. McAllister and John McConlish registered 1 October, 1789
No indication as to Master or Wardens.
A total of 54 brethren either transcribed from a previous volume or registered here up to 26 October, 1822.

Warrant 703 was issued on the 1st October, 1789 to James Walker, Daniel McAllister and James McConlish. This lodge was immersed in the activities of 1798 and the Seton revolt. The warrant was compounded for arrears in 1812, suspended in 1824, restored in 1824 and finally cancelled on the 7th July, 1825. It is interesting to note that the brethren were still in touch with Grand Lodge up until 1828 trying to get their warrant back.
Ref. 83.

Crossle Vol. 4.p. 339. Vol. 5.p. 440. Vol. 7.p. 60, 135. Vol. 10.p. 160, 162.

At a Meeting of Lodges, Nos. 135, 240, 655, and 703, of Free and Accepted Masons, Assembled together at Ballymoney, in the county of Antrim, in Monday the 14th of January, 1793.
The following Resolutions were agreed to,
Resolved unanimously, That at a time when the attachment of some to the Constitution is doubtful, we are happy in this opportunity, thus publicly to avow our sincere and strong Affection for his MAJESTY's PERSON and INDEPENDENT GOVERNMENT of this KINGDOM; and our wishes that his Crown may descend in succession to his latest Posterity.
Resolved unanimously, That we conceive he best merits, the appellation of a good Citizen who supports the laws of his country, and endeavours to promote the peace and good order of the Community to which he belongs;  we will therefore support the Civil Magistrate in the execution of the laws of the land, collectively as well as individually, without respect to persons, regardless of religious distinctions, unsullied by any spirit of party and purely, from a with to maintain inviolate the INESTIMABLE BLESSINGS of our CONSTITUTION.
Resolved unanimously, That we shall be happy to meet and co-operate with any Lodge or Lodges of Free and Accepted Masons, who have by any public declaration shown, or shall hereafter show, a familiar attachment to the present CONSTITUTION, in order to pursue such measures as may be thought necessary to promote the peace and happiness of all his Majesty's Subjects in IRELAND.
Resolved unanimously, That united in sentiment as we are in love, we will carefully watch over the interests of our Brethren, and we will hold constant communication with each other for the common safety of all; and in case of danger will risk all we hold dear for our mutual safety.
Signed by Order of said Lodges,
William Henry, Sec. 135
William Rankin, Sec. 240
Hugh Magee, Sec. 655.
James Walker, Sec., 703.
BNL 22-25 January 1793.
NP. Vol. C.p. 194.

Expulsion of Members:-
`To Freemasons' - Whereas we, the Masters, Wardens, and Brethren of Lodges Nos. 240, 655, and 703, assembled on our Lodge-rooms in Ballymoney, have excluded Robert King, of Ballymoney aforesaid, from the benefits of Masonry, of which all concerned are hereby desired to take notice.
Given under our hands this 14th day of December, 1796.
Hugh Connolly, Master 240,
Daniel McAoanan, Master 655
James Walker, Master 703.
Northern Star 2 December, 1796.
Vol. 4.p. 339

BALLYMONEY
At a meeting of Lodges Nos. 240, 655 and 703, held in Ballymoney, the 9th day of October, 1797, the following Resolutions were unanimously adopted:-
Resolved - "That, at this critical period, when the Loyalty of many are called in question, that we come forward to assert our attachment to our beloved King and Constitution in the most unequivocal manner; that we will pay a due respect to our most excellent laws, and be vigilant in detecting all Conspiracies whatever."
Resolved - "That it is with the utmost concern and detestation that we have heard of divers attempts and constitutions formed for the purpose of assaulting our worthy Brother, George Hutchinson, Esq."
Resolved - "That we, as Masons, pledge ourselves collectively and individually to our Brother G. Hutchinson, that we will, to the utmost of our power, aid and assist him in the due execution of his office as a Magistrate, and that we will watch the disaffected in this part of the Country, not only from injuring him, but from associating together either to promote treasonable or seditious purposes."
Resolved - "That our unfeigned thanks be returned to our Brother Hutchinson, for his promptitude at all times, in assisting the Craft, and for his unremitting attention to the Peace and Good Order of this Country."
Resolved - "That the motto belonging to our Ancient Order, to wit "Fear God, Honour the King, and Love the Brotherhood", shall never be violated by us; and we call on all the Fraternity to Show the world what they have ever individually been, that id loyal and peaceable subjects.
Signed by Order,
Hugh Connolly, Master of No. 240;
John McKeesock, Master of No. 655;
James Walker, Master of No. 703.
BNL 20 October, 1797.
Vol. 10.p. 160-2

BALLYMONEY
We the Masters & Brethren and Wardens of Lodges Nos. 235, 240, 571, 703, 730, 779, 844, 940, 942 return their thanks to the Rev. Benjamin Mitchell for the excellent and well adapted sermon preached to them at his Meeting House on Monday the 24th June inst., being the Anniversary of St. John.
Signed by Order,
Robert Johnson, Sec. 703
Ballymoney June 24, 1805
N.B. We beg leave to return our thanks to the Delegated Free Masons met at Ballyeaston on the 25th May last for their worthy exertions in detecting Angus the Impostor.
BNL 2 July, 1805
Vol. 7.p. 135. & NP. Vol. D.p. 28.

Ballymoney:-
At a Meeting of the Representatives of the following Lodges of Free and Accepted Masons, viz.:- Nos. 229, 235, 240, 365, 380, 397, 408, 414, 424, 431, 432, 655, 700, 703, 730, 754, 779, 818, 829, 844, 851, 905, 940, 955, 969 - convened at Ballymoney, on Monday the 14th of April, 1806 - the Worshipful Alexander Simpson, of Lodge No. 235, in the Chair - the following Resolutions were unanimously passed and ordered to be transmitted, signed by our Chairman, to the Right Worshipful the Grand Lodge of Ireland.
1st Resolved, that on the Resolutions of the County Antrim Meeting, convened at Belfast on the 20th of January last, being laid before us, we do most highly approve of them, and are resolved to abide by them.
2nd. That the Resolutions of the County Down Meeting, convened at Dromore on Tuesday the 18th of February, 1806, being laid before us,  we do most highly approve of them, and are resolved to abide by them, and sincerely recommends it to all K.T's. and Royal Arch Masons in this Kingdom to do the same.
3rd. That it would be the Greatest satisfaction could be by the Right Worshipful the Grand Lodge afforded to us, if our Worthy Brother Irvin, Late Grand Secretary, would be restored to that Office, which he filled in the Grand Lodge, with high Honour to himself and great Satisfaction to us.
4th. That we would highly recommend to the Right Worshipful the Grand Lodge, that when a New Rule is moved for the Good of the Craft by them, that a statement of it would be sent to Country Lodges, that they might send their Memorials, according to their wishes to the Right Worshipful the Grand Lodge and a Majority of them should take place, and afterwards there could be no complaining.
5th. That we, having nothing more at heart that for the Good and Welfare of the Craft,  and the Support of our Mother Lodge.
6th. That a Memorial be now drawn up by us, conveying our Sentiments, together with a Copy of these Resolutions to the Right Honourable and Right Worshipful the Earl of Donoughmore, G.M. of the Free and Accepted Masons in Ireland.
Signed by Order,
Alexander Simpson.
"To the Right Honourable and Right Worshipful Richard, Earl of Donoughmore, Grand Master of the Free and Accepted Masons in Ireland, May it please your Lordship, the Memorial of the Representatives of 25 Masonic Lodges, confined at Ballymoney, on Monday, the 14th April, 1806.
Most Respectfully Sheweth,
That your Memorialists, with the greatest respect, perceive that the Grand Lodge of Ireland, has recently been harassed by the baneful Effects of Party Spirit, disgraceful to any Society, but particularly unbecoming the Craft which is founded on Love, and devoted to Charity.
It further appears to Memorialists that many of the ancient Regulations of our Institution have been charged, an old and confidential officer displaced, a new office created, with a large salary annexed; and also, that attempts have been made to control those higher Orders of Masonry, hitherto unknown to the Grand Lodge - and to levy extraordinary Dues for defraying the Expenses of these new and complex systems.
These Innovations have produced Division, and the Press has groaned beneath the cumbrous Weight of exaggerated Facts on the one part, and vindictive Caution on the other, both condescending to use impassioned Language, highly unbecoming the heads of an ancient, honourable, and enlightened Institution, who should live together in Unity.
Memorialists, actuated by the most fervent desires for the Welfare of the Order, are most respectfully of opinion that your Lordship's fostering hand, and your Lordship's ONLY, can cure these rankling wounds, which, if not speedily healed, may endanger the Masonic Constitution in Ireland.
Memorialists therefore look up to your Lordship for Redress, most earnestly praying that you will be pleased to use the well-known Influence of your Lordship's highly exalted Character and Station, to put a final Stop to these Dissension's - to restore Unanimity, Tranquillity, and Love amongst those who have the Superintendence of the Craft, and to rescind those novel and pernicious Innovation's which have a Tendency to irritate the Feelings not only of our Constituents, but also of the respectable Brethren throughout Ireland.
Signed by Order,
Alexander Simpson. Chairman to the Committee
Robert Johnson. Secretary
[The above is a copy of a printed Circular found amongst the papers of the late Rev. J. McNeece of Tullylish. F.C.]
Vol. 5.p. 440

Donated to the Lodge of Research No. 200 23 Nov. 1928
Lodge No. 703
On loan from Brother Dyson Atha, of Belfast:— Certificate issued 9 June, A.D. 1806, and of Super Excellent Masonry 3806, by Lodge No. 703, Ballymoney, Co. Antrim.  It is to the effect that Charles Hamill" was initiated into the Sublime Degrees of a Royal Arch super Excellent Mason, and subsequently dubb'd a Knight of the Most Ancient and Right Honorable order of Sir Knight Templars." Signed by Archibald Harford, H.P., James Hay, C.C., Archibald Baines, G.M., Robert Johnson, Secretary.  The Certificate is printed on parchment with red wax impression of a Royal Arch Seal attached to red ribbon.  Also black wax impression of K.T. seal attached to black ribbon.

Lodge worked the Royal Arch and Knight Templar Degrees in 1806 as is evidenced by a Certificate dated 6 June 1806, confirming that Charles Hamill "was initiated into the Sublime Degree of a Royal Arch Super Excellent Mason, and subsequently Dubb'd a Knight of the Most Ancient and Right Honourable Order of Sir Knight Templars."
The Certificate is printed on parchment with red wax impression of a Royal Arch Seal attached to red ribbon. Also black wax impression of a Knight Templar seal attached to a black ribbon.
Ref. 76. p. 169

BUSHMILLS
The following Masonic Lodges viz. Nos. 229, 235, 240, 380, 414, 703, 754, 818, 905, 910 & 955 return their sincere thanks to the Revd. Daniel McKee, for the very proper discourse delivered to them, on the 24th inst. from the following Text - Exodus 3rd Chap. & 3rd Verse.
Signed by Order,
John McFarland, Master of Lodge 414, Bushmills June 26th 1807
BNL 7 July, 1807
Vol. 7.p. 60

Compounded for arrears, May 1812 but restored on the 7th May on paying £2. 10s. 0d. [£2.50] in lieu of arrears to Grand Lodge.

List of contents of G.L. correspondence files
Warrant No. 703  Ballymoney, Co. Antrim
1.
24 June, 1822 – Note outlining the G.L. Account of the Lodge signed by the G.S. Wm. Graham and sent to Isaac Cochran, Master No. 703
2.
11 Oct. 1827 – Letter from Isaac Cochran appealing against the fines etc. against the Lodge.
3.
7 Feb. 1828 – Letter requesting to know the amount outstanding against the Lodge it appearing that the sum of £3. 5s. 0d is due – Isaac Cochran signs this letter
4.
6 May, 1828 – Further letter from the above noting that the Warrant will not be restored without the debts being cleared – requests debts waived.

Suspended, August 1824.

Restored, .. September 1824.

Grand Lodge of Ireland – Roll of Lodges, compiled by Bros. J.J. Nesbitt and William Scott for Bro F.C. Crossle – c. 1889.
“Warrant cancelled 7 July, 1825.” – Fifty-four brethren registered.

From the Minutes of Grand Lodge
Lodge 703
5 June, 1828 – Read the application of Isaac Cochran to have the Cancelled Lodge 703 revived without payment of the full fees for a new Warrant.  Ordered that 703 be restored on payment of the Dues of said Lodge. [Nothing appears to have come of this]

Series three Vol. 10 of the extant Grand Lodge Registers shows:-
Warrant No. 703
Nothing shown in this Volume

Series four Vol. 15, shown as Volume 4, or Vol. 16 shown as Volume 4a of the extant Grand Lodge Registers shows:-
Warrant No. 703
Nothing shown in this Volume


From 1880 the Grand Lodge Correspondence is unsorted and held in yearly boxes.
The following are extracts taken from these yearly boxes ignoring routine correspondence, for example letters enclosing G.L. Dues, requests for G.L. Certificates and Half-Yearly returns etc.  Included are some Royal Arch and H.K.T. Returns etc.
Up to 1939 G.L. replies are contained in “Letter Books” – from 1939 in the main the typed copy of the G.L. reply is attached to the Lodge letter etc.

Warrant No. 703
26 Feb., 1946 - Printed form of Memorial for a new warrant to meet at Ballynahinch, Co. Down and to have the title “Spa Lodge” – Memorial signed by twenty-five brethren from various Lodges and recommend Arthur J. Heanen (P.M. 1009) as first W.M.; Thomas J. Graham (439) as S.W. and Hutchinson P. Fishbourne (301) as J.W. and the Memorial was recommended by Lodges 301, 379 and 498 and the P.G.M. of Down. [G.S. letter 11 June, 1946 forwarding Warrant]

From the Minutes of the G.L. Board of G.P.
Lodge 703
22 May, 1946 - Read Memorial from various brethren praying for a warrant to establish a Lodge in Ballynahinch in the County of Down to be called the Spa.  Recommended.
G.M.L. 6 June, 1946 – Confirmed.

(A) Reissued to brethren in SPA, Ballynahinch, Co. Down,
7 June 1946.

Series five Vol. 20 shown as Vol. 5 of the extant Grand Lodge Registers shows:-
Warrant No. 703 to Ballynahinch, Co. Down as “Spa Lodge”, 7 June, 1946.
Arthur J. Heanen, Merchant (1009); Thomas J. Graham, Retired Army Officer (439) and Hutchinson P. Fishbourne, Cattle-trade (301) registered along with twenty-two others from various lodges, two marked “did not join” registered 7 June, 1946.
No indication as to Master or Wardens.
A total of 50 brethren registered up to 15 February, 1952.  In most cases the dates when the issue of certificates is shown, together with the occupation of the brother.

From the Minutes of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Down:-
Spa Road House,
Ballynahinch, Co. Down
2nd October, 1946.
An Occasional Communication of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Down was held  in Spa Road House, Ballynahinch, Co. Down on Wednesday 2nd October, 1946 at 5 o’clock p.m., for the purpose of Constituting and Dedicating the ‘Spa’ Masonic Lodge No. 703.
The Provincial Grand Master (R.W. Bro. Sir Harry Mulholland, Bart., DL .) Presided and was accompanied by the Provincial Deputy Grand Master (R.W. Bro. Sir William Robinson, JP.)
The following Provincial Grand Lodge Officers were in attendance:-
Prov. Grand Senior Warden V.W. Bro. H.J. Watterson
Prov. Grand Junior Warden V.W. Bro.  William Murray
Prov. Grand Secretary V.W. Bro. W.J. Price, JP.
Prov. Grand Chaplain W. Bro. Rev. Canon T. McCreight, MA. & Rev. John H. Carson, MA.
Prov. Senior Grand Deacon W. Bro. John Kerr
Prov. Junior Grand Deacon W. Bro. F. McC. Morrow
Prov. Grand Director of Ceremonies W. Bro. Peter McLean & Geo. T. Keily  
Prov. Grand Steward W. Bro. Herbert Megarry
Prov. Grand Organist W. Bro. James Shannon
Prov. Grand Inner Guard W. Bro. George C. Bell
Prov. Grand Sword Bearer W. Bro. Robert Bradshaw
Prov. Grand St. Bearer W. Bro. Frank Russell
Prov. Grand Masters St. B. W. Bro. Not Shown
Prov. Grand Asst. Secretary V.W. Bro. W.R. Cooper
Together with V.W. Bro. Robert Kerr and W. Bro. Sydney Hanna.
Apologies were received on behalf of:-
None shown.
Provincial Grand Lodge was opened in due form on the first degree.
Circular convening the meeting was read.
Grand Honours were accorded to the Provincial Grand Master under the direction of V.W. Bro. Peter McLean, Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies.
The Ceremony of Constituting and Dedicating ‘Spa’ Masonic Lodge No. 703 was carried out in accordance with Ancient Masonic Ritual.
The Provincial Grand Master having addressed the members of the new Lodge it was then declared at Labour.
The Provincial Grand Master Installed W. Bro. A.J. Heanen as Worshipful Master; the Officers of the Lodge were then Installed by the Worshipful Master.
The business of ‘Spa’ Masonic Lodge was then transacted.
The Provincial Grand Master re-occupied the Chair of Provincial Grand Lodge and other Officers resumed their places.
A vote of thanks was proposed, seconded and conveyed to the Provincial Grand Master and Officers of the Provincial Grand Lodge.
Provincial Grand Lodge was closed – Peace, Love and Harmony prevailing.
Afterwards the visiting Brethren were entertained to Dinner.
(Signed) H. Mulholland P.G.M.
William J. Price P.G. Secretary.
23 November,  1946.

Series six Vol. 23 of the extant Grand Lodge Registers shows:-
Warrant No. 703 to Ballynahinch, Co. Down as “Spa Lodge”
Register commences with the registration of William Martin, Clerk, registered 28 October, 1952
A total of 86 brethren registered up to 16 April, 1982.  In most cases the dates when the issue of certificates is shown, together with the occupation of the brother.

From 1984 the registration of members is held, in alphabetical order, in a computerised register by Grand Lodge, Freemasons’ Hall, 17 Molesworth Street, Dublin 2.  The Registration of the Worshipful Master, Wardens and Secretary of Lodges are held in separate Registers, the first Volume covering the period 1983 to 1994 inclusive and the second Volume covering from 1995 to date.

   ©  Data included with the kind permission of Rt. Wor. Bro. Keith Cochrane