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Adolphus Frederick Alexander Woodford passes away

Today in Masonic History Adolphus Frederick Alexander Woodford passes away in 1887.

Adolphus Frederick Alexander Woodford was a British clergyman.

Woodford was born on July 9th, 1821. In 1838 he became a lieutenant in his father's regiment the Coldstream Guards. He would serve in the unit for three years. Prior to 1842, he was living in Gibraltor where his father was Governor-General. He would leave Gibraltar in 1842 to attend the University of Durham where he studied Theology. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts 1846 and Licentiate of Theology, in 1847.

Woodford began his masonic career in 1842. He received all three degrees in his father's lodge Lodge of Friendship No. 345. While attending Durham he joined Marquis of Granby Lodge No. 146 where he served as Worshipful Master for two years, 1846 and 1847. In 1847 he was appointed the provincial Grand Chaplain for the County of Durham.

In 1847, Woodford was ordained a Priest and became the Rector of St. Mary's Church in Swillington, West Yorkshire. Despite the travel, he continued on with his duties as provincial Grand Chaplain, commuting between the two counties.

In 1854, Woodford affiliated with Philanthropic Lodge No. 382 in West Yorkshire. The following year he was named the Provincial Grand Chaplain of West Yorkshire. He was also Worshipful Master of Philanthropic Lodge in 1856 and 1858. He would also re-write Philanthropic Lodge's ritual, at the time there was not a standard ritual in use throughout the Grand Lodge of England. His version of the ritual was passed down to several other lodges as well.

In 1863, Woodford joined the Lodge of Antiquity in London, England. Later that same year he became the Grand Chaplain for the United Grand Lodge of England. His duties would have him traveling around England to see the consecrating of many new lodges. This was on top of his duties as the Rector of Swillington. It was also around this time that he began contributing articles on masonic history, initially on the old York lodges. In 1872, he resigned his duties as Rector of Swillington to move to London and take up masonic publishing full time.

Once in London, Woodford began writing and researching masonic history. He became the editor of the Freemason and the Masonic Magazine. He also compiled Kenning's Masonic Cyclopedia. In 1879, he used his position as editor of the Freemason to write an editorial in opposition to the plan of the United Grand Lodge of England to enforce uniformity in the ritual.

Toward the end of his life he collaborated with other masons in their research. He was one of the founders of the first research lodge Quatour Coronati. As acting immediate past master, he guided the lodge through it's first two years and presided when Charles Warren was frequently absent due to his job as Metropolitan Commissioner of Police.

Woodford passed away on December 23rd, 1887. He passed away from septicemia due to an injury on his foot.

At the time of his passing Woodford would leave behind a manuscript which would lead to the formation of the Order of the Golden Dawn.