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Isaac van Teylingen

Isaac van Teylingen

The first time we find a lodge named l’Age d’Or (The Golden Age) mentioned is in 1756 when two visiting brethren, Marcus van Peene and Isaac van Teylingen, sign the attendance book of an Amsterdam lodge, La Bien Aimée, and mention lodge l’Age d’Or in Leiden as their lodge of origin.

Nevertheless this lodge was not represented at the constituting meeting of the Ancient and Honourable Society of Free and Accepted Masons within the Republic of the United Netherlands (as the Dutch Grand Lodge then styled itself) on December 26, 1756, when the Grandmastership of the Netherlands was ‘restored’.

The lodge protested vehemently of not being advised of the forming of a Grand Lodge. However, the lodge recognized the new Grandmaster and asked to be enrolled. In 1758 the lodge was accepted within the Dutch Grand Lodge and on July 29, 1758 the Lodge received a Warrant, wherein the petitioners were acknowledged to be ‘lawful and regular’ brother freemasons. This document has been splendidly preserved for reasons we will see below.

Noteworthy is that the aforementioned brother Isaac van Teylingen, on the day that l’Age d’Or was recognized as a lodge within the Dutch Grand Lodge, was elected Grand Treasurer. He must therefore have been no stranger to the members of the new Grand Lodge. In 1759 he is the Junior Grand Warden, in 1760 the Senior Grand Warden and in 1761 - at the age of 25 - he becomes Deputy Grand Master. This post he holds until 1798, when in the meeting of Grand Lodge of that year he is elected Grand Master National.


We may safely assume that most of the members of that first lodge named l’Age d’Or were students at the Leiden University, as were the members of the other Lodge working in Leiden in that period, lodge ‘La Vertu’ (no. 7 GEN). From the minutes of meetings of the latter lodge we learn that relationships between the two lodges seem to have been like those between playful rival student bodies.

However, after a few years the membership of l’Age d’Or, which tradition relates consisted of the poorer, Orangist student faction, dwindles. In 1770 the two lodges decide to unite and merge under the name ‘La Vertu’. Thus lodge l’Age d’Or as an independent body vanishes from sight and remains dormant for nearly two centuries.

The fate of the various possessions of the lodge is divers: the lodge seal became the seal of the merged lodge and until the present day this still is the official seal of lodge La Vertu. The Throne was donated to a newly founded lodge in Middelburg, ‘La Compagnie Durable’, while the jewels of the Lodge were donated to the newly-founded Lodge ‘Le Profond Silence’ in Kampen. (But not before it was confirmed that they were made of silverplated brass and not of real solid silver!) Sadly these juwels were lost and presumed to be destroyed during the second World War.

 The warrant was returned to the Grand Lodge and is now proudly displayed in the Cultural Masonic Centre ‘Prince Frederick’.

– continued –