Lever and Freemasonry

The relevance of Freemasonry to Port Sunlight is more significant than may be realized, thanks to William Hesketh Lever who later became Viscount Leverhulme.

Ceremonially cutting the sod in 1888 was the first physical action of creating his visionary concept of housing his employees and their families in the model village of Port Sunlight. Mr Lever was not a Freemason at that time. He was, however, already embracing the solid principles of social and moral virtues upon which the Order is founded. His philanthropic nature ensured every aspect of his employees and their families’ welfare was fully catered for.

The first Masonic Lodge in Port Sunlight was consecrated on 4th June 1902 and was named William Hesketh Lever Lodge in his honour. He was initiated into that Lodge on 8th July 1902 and became master in 1907. He was a founder member of the second lodge in Port Sunlight – Leverhulme Lodge, which was granted its warrant on 3rd May 1922. Viscount Leverhulme’s passion for Freemasonry was life-long, widespread and highly distinguished.

He was responsible for establishing what was to become the second largest museum of Masonic regalia in the world. This was housed in a large room in the basement of the Lady Lever Art Gallery until 2008 when it was put into storage.