Mrs. Aldworth

née Miss Elizabeth St. Leger

Among the treasures in Oriental-Martha’s Vineyard Lodge is a framed portrait of Mrs. Aldworth. In her youth as Miss Elizabeth St. Leger, she became the only (or best attested) woman ever obligated as a Mason. Associated with this portrait is (or was) a document telling how this engraving was passed down in the family of the donor.

Original portrait truncated

Modified portrait

Various copies of this image exist. Not all copies that may be viewed on the Internet are entirely faithful to the original. The one on the left above resembles ours, but has been cropped at the bottom; in that on the right she has been made to seem more youthful than her actual matronly age at the time the portrait was made, and various furnishings in the background have been idealized.

One copy is said to hang in the Masonic Temple in Atlanta, Georgia, according to this letter published in The New Age Magazine, July 1913 (p. 585):


An account of her true history was published in 1895 by Bro. Edward Conder in Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, the Transactions of the Quatuor Coronati Lodge No 2076, London, in an article titled “The Hon. Miss St. Leger and Freemasonry.” Bro. Conder tells us that the original painting was passed down to her descendants (Lady Castletown, Upper Ossary).

Created on ... October 03, 2008