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Thomas Dunckerley and English Freemasonry

Updated with a new preface, this study provides a comprehensive biography of Thomas Dunckerley. An eighteenth-century success story, Dunckerley rose from obscurity to a twenty-year-long career in the Royal Navy, the centerpiece of which was the famous Siege of Quebec. Les mer
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Updated with a new preface, this study provides a comprehensive biography of Thomas Dunckerley. An eighteenth-century success story, Dunckerley rose from obscurity to a twenty-year-long career in the Royal Navy, the centerpiece of which was the famous Siege of Quebec. He retired from the navy to climb to the highest echelons of English Freemasonry, holding Grand Masterships and Provincial Grand Masterships across England and across Orders. He was a tender family man, an inspiring leader and heroic patriot. He also had a secret. When Dunckerley was in his forties, his mother left a deathbed confession of her seduction and adultery-and his illegitimacy. As Dunckerley revealed his mother's confession, his friends and Masonic colleagues were thunderstruck to discover he was not the son of a porter at Somerset House, but of the late King George II.


For his contemporaries and biographers, all good things in his later career seemed to flow from this revelation. His mother's confession was not Dunckerley's real secret, however. What he actually hid, even from his wife of fifty years, was that the confession, the seduction, the hidden royal birth were all lies-so well-crafted that even now, more than two hundred years after his death, they are still held as Masonic gospel.

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