The Loyal Orange Institution is a world-wide Brotherhood that exists for the establishment and preservation of Civil and Religious Liberty and the Protestant religion. The Loyal Orange Institution of England is a sovereign and autonomous unit of this Brotherhood.
The Institution is composed of Protestants, united and resolved to the utmost of their power to support and defend the rightful Sovereign, the Protestant religion in Church and State, the Laws of the Realm, the Legislative Union, and the succession to the Throne in the House of Windsor, BEING PROTESTANT; and united, further, for the defence of their own persons and properties, and the maintenance of the public peace. It is exclusively an association of those who are attached to the principles of the Reformation, and will not admit to its Brotherhood persons whom an intolerant spirit leads to persecute, injure, or upbraid a man on account of his religious opinions. They associate also in honour of KING WILLIAM III, Prince of Orange, whose name they bear, as supporters of his glorious memory.
Qualifications of an Orangeman
An Orangeman should be a Protestant in reality and truth, not merely by profession or education; and should be distinguished by sincere love and veneration for his Almighty Creator, steadfast faith in the Saviour of the World, the only Mediator between God and men; humble reliance on the guidance and purifying power of the Holy Spirit; and the constant practice of truth and justice, brotherly kindness and charity, loyalty and obedience to the laws. He should, moreover, be in conduct wise and prudent, honest and temperate; in disposition gentle and compassionate; in behaviour kind and courteous; cultivating the society of the good, and avoiding the society of the evil.
He should honour and study the Holy Scriptures, making them the rule of his belief and life; uphold and defend, by all legitimate means, the Protestant Faith in Church and State; protest against and oppose the erroneous and dangerous doctrines and practices of the Church of Rome; and resist the power, ascendancy, encroachments, and extension of that Church. He should also, by all lawful means, co-operate with true Protestants in preventing or removing, in and from the Established and other Protestant churches all changes, ceremonies, practices, and ornaments savouring of or resembling the Church of Rome, or inconsistent with Reformation principles. He should oppose the ascendancy and oppressions of non-Christian religions and by prayer and witness seek to lead their members from spiritual darkness into the light of Christ. He should, further, duly observe the Sabbath Day and regularly attend public worship; and should, by his general converse, indicate his veneration for the Name of God, and abhorrence of profane and indecent language. In short, the Glory of God and love of man, the honour of his Protestant Sovereign, and the good of his country, should be the principles and motives of a true Orangeman’s life and actions.
Orangeism has many roots, which include the “Christian Unions” which came into being among continental Protestants during the Thirty Years War; the Scottish Covenanters who were persecuted for their faith by Charles II and James II and VII; and the Whig exclusionists in England.
The first Orange Association was founded by King William III at Exeter Cathedral in November 1688, shortly after the arrival of the Prince of Orange with his followers from Torbay. During the eighteenth century, the spirit of Orangeism was kept alive by a number of Clubs and Societies which were founded to keep alive the memory of King William III, his great achievements, and the principles for which he contended. These included the Kit-Cat Club, the Loyal and Friendly Society of the Orange and the Blew (sic), and various Revolution Clubs, named after the Glorious Revolution of 1688 which brought to the Throne William of Orange and his wife Mary.
Orange societies existed in Ireland from 1688, and it was there, in the 1790’s, that Orangemen adopted the lodge system. They then went on to play a major part in the suppression of the rebellion of the United Irishmen. British Army regiments who were serving in Ireland at this time were so impressed by the courage and loyalty of the Orangemen that they formed lodges in their own regiments. When the regiments returned to England they took their lodges with them. Even when the regiments disbanded, the demobilised soldiers carried on their lodges and civilians began to join also, attracted by the principles of Protestantism and patriotism. Lodges proliferated and, in 1808 the Grand Orange Lodge of England was formed in Manchester with Colonel Samuel Taylor of Moston as the first Grand Master. The number of lodges continued to grow, and the movement attracted the support of the Hanoverian princes.
Frederick, Duke of York, was Grand Master for a time, followed in 1827 by his brother Ernest, Duke of Cumberland.
In the 1830’s the Orange Institution was subject to a campaign of monstrous lies, which inferred that lodges in the British Army would carry out a coup d’etat to put Cumberland on the throne instead of his young niece Victoria. Cumberland dissolved the Grand Lodge in 1836. It was thought that this would be the death-knell for Orangeism, but the true vitality of the movement lay in the local lodges, most of who stubbornly resolved to carry on.
The Loyal Orange Institution of Great Britain continued in existence, with its main support in Liverpool. With the election of Edward Harper to the position of Grand Master in the 1850’s, the Institution grew rapidly in strength and increased its geographical spread.
Another Orange body had come into existence amidst the confusion of 1836. This was the Grand Protestant Confederation, founded by J.W.Sylvester in Huddersfield in 1836. It changed its name to the Grand Protestant Association of Loyal Orangemen, and from 1844 had the Earl of Enniskillen as Grand Master.
In 1876, the two societies merged to form the Loyal Orange Institution of England,
which is the body that, to this day, is the authentic representative of Orangeism in England. From this time until the Great War the Orange Order held a position of influence in the nation. It enjoyed a high quality of leadership at both national and local level, but more importantly it upheld values which were cherished by a large proportion of their fellow-countrymen and women. Members of Parliament of both houses, clergymen, and senior figures in both the army and the navy were members.
During the Great War of 1914-18 the Orange Institution made a supreme effort to support the cause of the British Empire and the democratic and progressive principles for which it stood. There was also a recognition of the spiritual needs of those who risked their lives in this cause. Millions of Bibles and tracts were supplied to the servicemen. Orangemen served in the forces in large numbers, often being the most enthusiastic volunteers. They won many decorations, including the Victoria Cross. There was a lodge in the Hawke Battalion of Royal Marines who were sent to defend the Belgian fortress of Antwerp in 1914. When they had to retreat into the neutral Netherlands they were interned for the rest of the War, and carried on holding lodge meetings in the internment camp. When ships like the Hampshire were sunk, the Orange lodges which existed among the ship’s crew were wiped out to a man.
After 1918, the Orange Institution had to exist in a very different world. The decline of the churches, a mood of cynicism, and the emergence of class conflict, were inimical to Orangeism. There was also the onset of economic decline in some of the Institution’s heartlands. Docks, shipyards, coalfields, steel mills, and the like all began a decline that continues to this day.
The Orange Institution Today
The task facing Orangemen and women in England today is to uphold what we feel to be eternal truths, even amidst a population that seems to become ever more secular and materialistic. Supremely, this means the promotion of the Protestant faith, which is nothing more nor less than the Christian faith as revealed in the Bible, free from later additions and distortions. We stand against the liberalising and ecumenical downgrade that afflicts much of professing Christianity today.
We are not merely pietistic, but attempt to put our Protestantism into practice through active citizenship. We believe that the British constitution has safeguarded civil and religious liberty, and we oppose any attempt to subvert it. We hold that the monarchy has proved to be an indispensable part of our constitution and we wish to retain it. This will, however, require that those who occupy the Throne show a proper understanding of the obligations to which they have been born. It also requires that all those items of legislation that govern the succession to the Throne are understood and appreciated for the constitutional bulwark that they are.
The Orange Institution believes in the maintenance of the United Kingdom. This belief was manifest in the huge pro-Union demonstration in Edinburgh at the time of the recent referendum on Scottish independence. This was organized by the Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland and enthusiastically supported by members from England and Ireland.
Orange Lodges exist in the following locations within England, -
Liverpool; Bootle; Skelmersdale; Chester; Wrexham; Winsford; Ormskirk; Runcorn; Birkenhead; Burnley; Preston; Bolton; Blackburn; Blackpool; Manchester; Stockport; Kendal; Whitehaven; Malton; Leeds; Doncaster; Sheffield; Hebburn-on-Tyne; Northallerton; Scarborough; Leicester; Walsall; Coventry; Banbury; Corby; Luton; Bedford; London; Rayleigh; Harlow; Gillingham; Bristol; Plymouth; Cardiff; Portsmouth; Southampton; Oxford; Ash; Lewes.
If you have any information regarding the history of the Orange Institution or require further information please feel free to contact us at;
Grand Secretary (G.O.L.E.)
Liverpool Provincial Headquarters
108 Everton Road
Email [email protected]