M.W. William Judd – 1791-1797

William Judd

When Pierpont Edwards retired from the position of Grand Master, it was but natural that William Judd who had been Deputy Grand Master during Edwards’ term of office should be selected as his successor. Born in Farmington, July 20, 1743, the great great grandson of Thomas Judd who came from England in 1633, William Judd was graduated from Yale in 1763. In 1765 he was admitted to the bar and in the same year married Elizabeth Mix.

At the outbreak of the Revolution, he immediately became active in a military way, eventually becoming a captain. American Union Lodge made him a Master Mason May 5, 1779, and in it, he served as secretary. Frederick Lodge, then situated in Farmington, chose him as its first Master and he was so named in the charter which was obtained from Massachusetts in 1787. This office he held for two years.

In the meetings held at various times after 1783 for the purpose of organizing a Grand Lodge, Judd was present and at the final organization meeting July 1789, he was chosen Deputy Grand Master. Elected Grand Master in May 1791, he served until May 16, 1798. During his term, the old charters were surrendered to the Grand Lodge by the Constituent Lodges and new ones issued with the present numbers. Masonry grew rapidly and spread all over the state. Of the thirty Lodges whose charters were signed by Judd as Grand Master twenty-five are still in existence. –

William Judd was a popular man in his community and state. He was much employed in public matters and for years before his death was a conspicuous and leading man in the policies of the state. He was a member of the Toleraation Party and of the Order of Cincinnati. He was chairman of the convention of citizens which had for its object to agitate for a new state constitution. It is said that criticism on the part of his fellow lawyers of his attitude in the latter matter hurt him grievously and contributed to his death November 13, 1804.

Unfortunately, the Grand Lodge to date has been unable to secure a likeness of this, its second Grand Master.