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Origins of the Orange Order in England

The first recorded Orange Lodges within the UK mainland was in 1798 and functioned under the auspices of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, these Orangemen were British Army Units that had been dispatched from Lancashire, Manchester and Salford to aid Protestant Yeomanry.

In 1798, following civil unrest in Ireland, rebellion broke out. British Army units were dispatched to aid Protestant Yeomanry in the quelling of the uprising. In the ranks of the Yeomanry were many Orangemen, as they were loyal subjects to the crown. It was in these circumstances that English soldiers came into contact with Orange Lodges and soon began to join them. 

The troops returned to England on 23rd November 1798, the rebellion having been crushed, the troops continued to actively meet as Lodges. The 1st Regiment of Lancashire Militia met as Loyal Orange Lodge No.220 and the 2nd Battalion Manchester and Salford Volunteers met as Loyal Orange Lodge No.1128. Other regiments returning around this time thought to also carry warrants was Lord Wilton's Lancashire Volunteers and Sir Watkin Williams Wynne's Ancient Britons.

In Lancashire the Orange Lodges soon spread to other regiments in local towns such as Bolton, Bury, Oldham, Wigan and Rochdale. These Lodges continued to function under the auspices of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland until the 12th July parade in Manchester in 1807, where the parade was violently attacked by Irish Catholics in Manchester, these violent exchanges followed a service held by the Orangemen at Manchester Collegiate Church (now Manchester Cathedral) and the Orangemen defended themselves until the army were called in the help bring fighting to a stop.

The battle is now seen in England as the founding moment of the Grand Lodge of England, it's Battle of the Diamond if you will, it created the desire within the Orangemen to be more organised and have better and quicker communications, so following the aftermath of the 12th July 1807 it was decided the a County Grand Lodge would be established, and in 1808 the first Grand Lodge of England sessions were held in the Star Hotel in Manchester.

The first Most Worshipful Grand Master of The Grand Orange Lodge of England was Col. Samuel Taylor of Moston, Manchester.

The first Right Worshipful Deputy Grand Master of The Grand Orange Lodge of England was Col. Ralph Fletcher of Bolton.

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