Æsculapius Lodge was consecrated at the Café Royal, Regent Street, on Friday 2nd October 1891, by the then Grand Secretary, Bro. Col. Shadwell H. Clarke. The purpose of the new lodge was then, as now, for the convenience of members of the medical profession in London. The first Master was Bro. Brindley James, a Past Master of Ivy Lodge 1441, which had sponsored the formation of the lodge.
The Lodge has never been specifically attached to a Hospital, but there was soon an influx of Guy’s men, and the Lodge has ever since been associated with graduates and members of staff of that institution. It should be noted that in the 1890’s, again as now, qualified Dentists were regarded as medical men, and the Lodge has always had a significant number of toothmongers.
In recent years, the Lodge amalgamated with the Lodges of King’s College Hospital, and St. George’s Hospital (Lanesborough). A proposition to admit Lewises of the Lodge, although not medically qualified, was passed in the 2000’s, and we have also admitted some members of paramedical and legal professions, but still remain predominantly medical.
We have had many distinguished members, but perhaps the most famous was Sir Frederick Gowland Hopkins, who received a Nobel Prize for his work on vitamins.
We were Founder Members of Metropolitan Grand Lodge in 2005, and of the Association of Medical, University & Legal Lodges (AMULL). The Lodge is a member of the UGLE Universities Scheme, but will only accept students of medicine or dentistry.