Extract from the Bi-Centenary History of the Union Lodge – 1963 – page 42-43
On the 27th December, 1813, the union of the two Grand Lodges, the Moderns and the Ancients, had taken place and there had been formed, in accordance with the Articles of the Union, the Lodge of Reconciliation whose aim was to bring about a unity of procedure, ceremonial and ritual acceptable to the English Craft, and which would meet with the approval of Grand Lodge.
The Lodge of Reconciliation finished its work and closed in 1816; its Masonic instruction had been imparted to those who attended its meetings, or to Lodges by receiving visits from its members; no countenance was given to written or printed copies of proceedings.
In the immediate years after, it is obvious that there were still many variations in the workings of different Lodges although essential features were preserved. A particular working that emerged, and one highly regarded by the Craft, was that taught by the Stability Lodge of Instruction founded in 1817 (under the sanction of the Stability Lodge, now No. 217). The list of the members of that Lodge show the following brethren of the Union Lodge as being at one time members of it, namely, D. Waghorn – 20th February 1818, R. Harty – 15th May, 1818, R. Neill – 30th January 1824, R. Ovenden – 4th October 1833, and W. B. Atkinson – 9th March 1849. It is to be noted that Brother Waghorn was Master of the Union Lodge in the years 1817 and 1818, and Brother Atkinson in 1852 and 1853. Doubtless their reason for seeking instruction in this form of working was that it may have more particularly conformed to that with which they had been accustomed, and also that they were anxious to establish a firm basis of procedure in their Lodge which was then at the commencement of a new chapter in its history. At the same time one might wonder how it was possible for those brethren to travel to London to attend meetings, but the fact of Brothers Waghorn and Harty and others besides, being seafaring men by calling, enabled them to overcome the costly and limited means of transport available in those days. It is quite probable that they may have used the Hoy which plied between Margate and London twice weekly.
The Union Lodge working of today is commonly referred to as “according to Brother Muggeridge.” The name of Muggeridge has been associated with the Stability Lodge of Instruction over a long period, particularly in regard to the teaching of its ritual. The foregoing facts, as a whole, are sufficient to show how a form of Stability working found its way to Margate, and thence to other parts of Thanet.
Extract from Masonic Ritual – Described, Compared and Explained – by J. Walter Hobbs – pub. 1923
Authority of Workings now current.
The multiplicity of Systems of Ritual, or working as more conveniently called for our purpose prevents a consideration of them all. Those chiefly in use or demand comprise Emulation, Stability, West-end, Oxford, Logic, West London, North London, Metropolitan, and so on. For the purposes of the present discussion I have selected the first five and do so not with any intention of placing them in any position of superiority or validity, but rather in the place they appear to occupy by age, general usage, and acceptance. The pride of place from the point of view of age must be awarded to STABILITY.
The Stability Lodge of Instruction was formed in the year 1817, and its founders were largely Ancients, Brethren who had occupied a prominent place in the Lodge of Reconciliation, viz.: Bros. Philip Broadfoot, the first Preceptor, James McCann and Thomas Satterly. It is claimed, and no doubt with truth, that these Brethren taught the forms and ceremonies they learnt, or assisted in forming at the Lodge of Reconciliation at which they were very assiduous in attendance. In all eight members of that Lodge joined the Lodge of Instruction at various times, including the Rev. Dr. Hemming who was the Master of that Lodge.
The succession of Preceptors from the first meeting to the present day has been continuous and included Bro. Peter Thomson, joined 1817, Preceptor with Broadfoot 1817-35, then sole Preceptor till 1851. Henry Muggeridge, joined 1839, Preceptor 1851-85. Eustace Anderson, joined 1880, acting Preceptor for a short time prior to the retirement of Muggeridge, and thereafter till 1900 – succeeded by the present Preceptor, W.Bro. F. W. Golby, P.A.G.D.C., joined 1895. This Lodge of Instruction has, therefore, been in active and continuous existence and work for over 105 years under the sanction of the same Lodge, the Lodge of Stability, No. 217. During this period four Preceptors carry the working back to the founding of the Lodge of Instruction and it is claimed that throughout the work has been, and is, the actual working settled by the Lodge of Reconciliation and approved by Grand Lodge in 1816. Bro. Golby has admirably stated the history and claims of his Lodge of Instruction in “A Century of Masonic Working” (1921), otherwise referred to as “A Century of Stability.”