Dr. Jennifer Lambert Tracey

BA (ANU), M App.Sc. (UC), Ph.D. (UC) MPHA (Qld.)

Archaeologist ~ Historian ~ Heritage Consultant

For centuries the practise of Freemasonry, dominated by a complex tradition of rituals and symbolism, has been obscured from public scrutiny. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Masonic lodges were established throughout the British Empire under the auspices of the grand lodges of England, Ireland and Scotland. This vast fraternal network provided commercial opportunities and personal camaraderie for members based on the principles of discipline and benevolence. The strength of this 'network' lay in its entrenchment within the British Military. Warrants issued by the grand lodges enabled regiments to conduct their lodge meetings and assist in the establishment of new lodges wherever they were stationed.


In New South Wales, Freemasonry's transition from those military lodges to the establishment of the Colony's first 'stationary' lodge occurred in 1820. Those within the Masonic network dominated colonial administrative and military positions and favoured the commercial and pastoral endeavours of those within the fraternity. The subsequent growth of the Masonic movement and the influence of its members proved to be an integral part of commercial and pastoral expansion. Extensive land holdings, work contracts and commissions were granted to Freemasons, particularly during the Macquarie era.


Preferential treatment of convicts who were Freemasons has also been identified within the broader framework of the colonial administrative system. An example is the consideration shown to Samuel Clayton, an Irish convict engraver and silversmith who instigated the establishment of the first Masonic lodge in New South Wales. Investigation into Clayton's activities gives an understanding of how Freemasonry developed within the penal environment. It also shows that he was linked to significant events in New South Wales history including the design and engraving of the Colony's first bank notes. The later pastoral endeavours of both Samuel Clayton and his son Benjamin at Baltinglass, near Gunning, are considered with regard to those within Masonic network, including noted Hume family, acquiring and maintaining extensive land holdings, including rich grazing lands along the Lachlan River.








Awarded the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). The degree was conferred by the University of Canberra, for the thesis titled:  Masonic Influence in the Settlement, Pastoral and Commercial Development of the Colony of New South Wales: 1788 - 1860.


Bibliographic Reference

Lambert Tracey, J., 2007. Masonic Influence in the Settlement, Pastoral and Commercial Development of the Colony of New South Wales: 1788 - 1860. (unpub) Degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD),the University of Canberra, Canberra.