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Robert Keyworth, Grand Master, 1840-41 and 1843

Brother Keyworth was born in 1795, and died February 18, 1856, and from the age of twenty-five until his passing away was an interested, active, and valued member of the local Fraternity, and while failing health in his later years prevented his participation in the affairs of his subordinate lodge he was rarely absent from a meeting of the Grand Lodge. His unfaltering fidelity to the Craft and zealous discharge of his duties during the period when Masonry was perhaps at its lowest ebb undoubtedly contributed in no small degree to the rehabilitation of the Order in the District.

Throughout his long and busy career he was a leader among his associates in every walk of life and was universally revered and respected. He was a watchmaker and jeweler, doing business on Pennsylvania Avenue, west of Ninth Street, was a citizen of prominence, and participated in all the progressive movements of the day.

He was also for many years interested in the local military and held a commission as Major in the 1st Regt, D. C. Vols., which organization, at his death, passed appropriate resolutions and desired to parade at the funeral but refrained in deference to the wishes of his family.

The interment, which was attended by an unusual concourse, was at Congressional Cemetery and under the direction of the Grand Lodge.

Brother Keyworth was initiated in Lebanon Lodge, March 3, 1820; passed March 17, 1820; raised October 6, 1820; was Junior Warden in 1837; Senior Warden, 1835 and 1838, and Master, 1831, '32, '39, '40, '44-'47. He was made an honorary member of his lodge April 7, 1848.

In the Grand Lodge he served as Grand Treasurer during the years 1838 and 1839, and Grand Master, as shown above.

As a Capitular Mason he was also active and was a charter member of Columbia R. A. Chapter, No. 15 (now No. 1), attended its first meeting, January 15, 1840, and served that body as its first High Priest.

AHGP District of Columbia

Source: History of the Grand Lodge and Freemasonry in the District of Columbia, compiled by W. Brother Kenton N. Harper, 1911.

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