Bro. Ralph Fletcher
Col. Ralph Fletcher JP of Bolton was the first Right Worshipful Deputy Grand Master of The Grand Orange Lodge of England.
Born in 1757 to John and Mary Fletcher a devoted Anglican family with several coalmines in Atherton and members of the Bolton Church and King club. Ralph was a loyal servant to the Crown, and served as a Colonel in the Bolton Volunteers for 25 years, he was also one of His Majesty's Justices of the Peace for the county palatine of Lancaster and as a leading Magistrate.
Ralph was often asked to preside over events such as a party held to celebrate King William III Prince of Orange birthday which was held at the Kings Head Inn in the Old Shambles, Manchester in November 1819, he regularly took part in parades and was proud to be a founding member of the Grand Orange Lodge of England, it was noted that when the Grand Lodge of England's request to take part in the Coronation Parade of King William IV was declined Ralph decided to hold parades, he personally led hundreds of Orangemen on parades in Chowbent, Heywood, Middleton, Burnley, Mottram, Stockport, Ashton-under-Lyne, Bury, Rochdale and Bolton.
Bro. Fletcher also served as Grand Treasurer and married Jane Grundy having seven children (3 boys, 4 girls), one of his son's John Fletcher was also an Orangeman and served on the Grand Committee.