Men Behind The Mystery

Oscar Wilde

Brother Wilde was born in Dublin, Ireland on October 18, 1854. A literary prodigy at a young age, Wilde won the highest honour awarded by receiving the Royal School Scholarship at Trinity College. Soon after enrolling in Trinity College, he was admitted to the Magdalen College in Oxford and moved his life and career to England.

At Oxford, Wilde was a popular student admired by his peers. It was one of his most privileged friends at the time, Prince Leopold, the sixth son of Queen Victoria, that would incite his interest in Freemasonry. Brother Leopold was already an active Freemason at the time and encouraged Wilde to join the university’s prestigious lodge, Apollo University Lodge No. 357. The Apollo Lodge holds the same esteem to this day.

Brother Wilde’s interest in Freemasonry was also likely a result of his father, Sir Wiliam Robert Wills Wilde, who had been an active Mason in Ireland.

Wilde was proposed to the Apollo University Lodge on February 16, 1875 and was initiated soon after on February 23. 
Being under age Oscar was initiated by special dispensation, this is because the Oxford and Cambridge University Lodges, Apollo University and Isaac Newton respectively, enjoy blanket dispensation to initiate candidates under the age of 21.

In 1876, Wilde joined a second lodge, the Churchill Lodge No. 478 and became a Junior Deacon in 1877. Unfortunately, his Masonic journey ended following his four years in school where he separated himself from Roman Catholicism and active participation in Freemasonry. He was dropped from Apollo University Lodge in 1878 for “non-payment of dues” (NPD) and was similarly removed from the Churchill Lodge in 1883.

While his participation in Freemasonry may have been short lived, much of his life’s work and philosophies share similarities with the values and interests of Freemasons.
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