The Grand Lodge of England was formed, as the first Grand Lodge in the world, by the coming together of four London Lodges at the Goose and Gridiron Tavern, St. Paul's Churchyard (left), on 24th June 1717. They elected Anthony Sayer, Gentleman, (above) as the first Grand Master and resolved to meet annually at a Grand Feast.
The lodges began to attract men of intellect, notably Dr. John Theophilus Desaguliers (Grand Master 1719) and other members of the Royal Society and the aristocracy, (John 2nd Duke of Montagu, the first noble Grand Master 1721) who changed the Grand Lodge from a simple Feast to a regulatory body.
By 1730 the Grand Lodge had published its Constitutions (1723); begun to keep official Minutes (1723); issued an annual engraved List of Regular Lodges(1723); set up a Charity Committee and Central Charity Fund (1727); held authority over seventy four Lodges in England and Wales, and had begun to export the Craft abroad by issuing deputations to form lodges in Gibraltar and India.
Development at home was aided by the appointment by patent of Provincial Grand Masters to represent the Grand Master in the Counties. The success of the premier Grand Lodge was crowned in 1782 by the installation of HRH Henry Frederick, Duke of Cumberland as Grand Master.