Royal and Select Masters

Pass Through the Cryptic Degrees

Are you a Thrice Illustrious Master? 

The Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters of England and Wales and its Districts and Councils Overseas was formally constituted on 29 July 1873 by four Councils chartered just two years earlier by the Grand Council of New York.

More Information

They organised themselves into a Sovereign body under the Patronage of the Rev. Canon G.R. Portal, a Past Grand Master of Mark Master Masons, who was Installed as the Grand Master of the Order. By the turn of the century there were twenty seven Councils and a similar number Consecrated by the end of the second world war. The Order then grew rapidly with the number on the Roll at the end of 2013 being over 250 Councils.

The Degrees in the Order – four in total – are often referred to as the ‘Cryptic Degrees’, and the Order sometimes as ‘Cryptic’. The ceremonies complete the Solomonic legend as they prove the essential link between the Degrees of Mark Mason, the Raising in Craft, and The Royal Arch.


Royal Arch Chapter

Mark Master Mason

District Grand Master

R. Ill. Comp. John Harvey

Province of Northumberland


Get In Touch

To find out more about the order, contact should be made with the District Grand Recorder.

Numerical List of Councils

Council Number Venue
Royal Kent “A” TI Falmouth House, Hexham Road, Throckley, NE15 9DX
Northumbria 160 Masonic Hall, Hartford Road East, Bedlington, NE22 6HU
Priors Haven 173 Freemasons’ Hall, Albion Road, North Shields, NE30 2RQ
Wudcestre 190 Masonic Hall, John Street, Ashington, NE63 0SE
Hexhamshire 193 Masonic Hall, Westfield Terrace, Hexham, NE46 3DJ