Roman Eagle Conclave History
The Roman Eagle Conclave Number 178 was consecrated more than 80 years ago on the 18th of April 1934 in Bradford in the West Riding of Yorkshire. Bradford stands at a crossing point, the ‘Broad Ford’ from which it takes its name is originally a ford of a large stream where it was crossed by a Roman road running between Elslack near Skipton and Castleford.
Bradford’s prosperity rose from its woollen industry using rich local resources of water, coal and iron. A fulling mill existed in 1311 in Aldermanbury suggesting woolen manufacturing was already being carried out then as was the extraction of coal and iron. In King Henry the 8th time it is recorded that “Bradforde is a praty quik toune … it standeth much by clothing.”
It has always had its ‘ups and downs’, it suffered during the Civil War, as a Parliamentary stronghold it was besieged and sacked by the Royalists, reducing it to a third rate town for 50 years thereafter.
The manufacture of worsted woollen goods began to flourish in the early 18th century and the Industrial Revolution transformed its fortunes. The first steam powered worsted mill was built in 1798 and power looms introduced in 1825. In 1841 there were 38 worsted mills in Bradford town with another 70 in the borough. By 1831 it was estimated the two thirds of the country’s wool production took place here. The population in 1801 was 6,400 which grew to 104,000 by 1851 which caused serious social and environmental problems but as a result it became the birthplace of important legislation benefiting the whole country.
Bradford has, for over a hundred and fifty years, welcomed enterprising immigrants from all over the world to help develop its prosperity and it is now one of the most culturally diverse cities in Great Britain.
Our small, but perfectly formed, Roman Eagle Conclave meets twice a year in a fine Masonic Temple at the Grand Midland Hotel in the centre of the city, around the corner from that famous old Wool Exchange and opposite an excellent new shopping centre with a large secure car-park. We are within a short walking distance of two railway stations. Leeds Bradford International Airport is nearby also, if that is your preferred means of travel.
Do come and visit us, we currently meet twice a year on the second Wednesday of March and September, the Enthronement.”