Rudyard Kipling

Masonic Biographies

Rudyard Kipling

Born: Saturday, 30 December 1865
Died: Saturday, 18 January 1936

Rudyard Kipling was a world-famous author, journalist, storyteller, poet, and Freemason who inspired and elevated the reputation of the Fraternity.

As Freemasons, Brothers are called to be the builders of Universal Religion. While a belief in God is required for initiation into the fraternity, each member is at liberty to assign Him whatever attributes they choose. In the ideal, Christians, Hindus, Jews, Muslims, etc. would happily work together to uplift humanity and improve the world. This ideal was the reality of Brother Rudyard Kipling – a world-famous author, journalist, storyteller, poet, and Freemason.

Born in 1865, Rudyard was blessed with nurturing and gifted parents. The family lived in Bombay, India until he was five, when they moved to Southsea, England. Returning to India after College, Kipling was thrilled to return to his childhood home and joined the editorial staff of the Civil and Military Gazette in Lahore. Frustrated by the confines of India's Caste system, Rudyard was drawn to Masonry which transcended caste rules. Freemasonry's dedication to Equality fascinated him, and he was eager to join an organization where all brothers could meet and work together as equals, putting aside the divisions of religion, politics, and social status. Thus, in 1885, Kipling was initiated into Freemasonry, receiving special dispensation to join at the age of twenty and a half. He joined the Hope and Perseverance Lodge, No. 782, in Lahore. He later wrote of his Masonic experience: "I was entered by a member of the Brahmo Samaj (a Hindu), passed by a Mohammedan, and raised by an Englishman. Our Tyler was an Indian Jew. We met, of course, on the level…"

Brother Rudyard's participation in Freemasonry was extensive, traveling and participating in Masonic work around the world. He received the Mark Degree in a Lahore Mark Lodge and later the Ark Mariner Degree. affiliated with a Craft Lodge in Allahabad, Bengal, became an honorary member of the Motherland Lodge, No. 3861 in London, became a member of Authors Lodge, No. 3456, and served as a founding member of the Lodge Builders of the Silent Cities, No. 4948. Brother Kipling eventually became Poet Laureate of the famous Canongate Kilwinning Lodge, No. 2 in Edinburgh. A writer of unparallel narrative skills, Rudyard's deep and loving affection for Freemasonry shone through and augmented his already brilliant writing, inspiring Masons and elevating the reputation of the Fraternity for generations to come.

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