This Warrant, dated 27th December 1737 and numbered 77, was issued by the Grand Lodge of Ireland to William Ponder, James Hollyman and John Ard, to hold a Lodge in the town of Newry. Under this Warrant the Lodge has continued to meet to the present day and it is now the oldest Lodge in Ulster.
"By the Right Worshipful, and Right Honourable Lord Viscount Tyrone, Grand Master of all the Lodges of Freemasons in the Kingdom of Ireland, the Rt Worshipful James Brenan M.D., Deputy Grand Master, the Worshipful Cornelius Callaghan Junr. Esqr. and John Putland Esqr., Grand Wardens.
Whereas our Trusty and Well-beloved Brothers Wm Ponder, Master, James Hollyman and John Ard, Wardens, have besought Us, that We would be pleased to erect a Lodge of Freemasons, in the Town of Newry in the County of Down, of such Persons, who by their Knowledge and Skill in Masonry, may contribute to the Well-Being and Advancement thereof. We therefore duly weighing the Premisses and nothing more at Heart, than the Prosperity and true Advancement of Masonry, and reposing special Trust and Confidence in our Trusty and Well-beloved Brothers, the said Wm Ponder, Master, James Hollyman & John Ard, Wardens.
Knowledge in Masonry, We are satisfied; Do, by these PRESENTS, of Our certain Knowledge, and meer Motion, Nominate, Create, Authorize, and Constitute the said Wm Ponder, James Hollyman & John Ard to be Master and Wardens of a Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons, to be held by them and their Successors lawfully admitted in the said Lodge, for ever. AND We do hereby Give and Grant unto the said Wm Ponder, Master, James Hollyman & John Ard, Wardens, and their Successors, full Power and lawful Authority from Time to Time to proceed to Election of a new Master and Wardens to make such Laws, Rules, and Orders, as they from Time to Time shall think Proper and Convenient for the Well-Being and Ordering of the said Lodge; reserving to Our Selves and Our Successors, Grand Masters or Grand Wardens of IRELAND, the sole Right of deciding all Differences which shall be brought by Appeal before Us and Our Successors, Grand Masters or Grand Wardens of IRELAND. In WITNESS whereof, We have hereunto set Our Hands and Seal of Office this 27th Day of December in the Year of our Lord God, 1737 and in the Year of Masonry, 5737."
John Pennell, Sec
The back of the Warrant was endorsed with the following text in 1806 by Deputy Grand Secretary Alexander Seton;
"A memorial for the Revival of this Warrant was presented in the Grand Lodge on Thursday the 5 of June, but from press of business could not be disposed of. I have this day recd. the fees Usual on a Revival and as the Warrant never was cancelled I think the Brn. will be justified in acting under it."
A. SETON, D.G. sty.
£7 13s. 6 1/2d. A.S.