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North Munster Masonic Centre,
Castle Street,
King's Island,
Limerick.

The Mariencourt Cup

Warrant No 952 was issued on the 2nd August 1804 to Limerick Brethren who founded the Rising Sun Lodge. Although this Lodge would only be existence some seventeen years, it would achieve everlasting fame in its participation with Eden Lodge No 73 in sending of letters of thanks to Capt Louis Mariencourt  for his outstanding Masonic behaviour in the field of battle.

The original victim in this story was Capt Joseph Webb, whose schooner "The United Sisters" of Poole was captured by "Le Furet" captained by Louis Mariencourt* on 12 November 1812. As this action was taking place a sloop "The Three Friends" of Youghal came on the scene and was quickly captured as well.

Photograph of Marencourt CupWhen its captain, Bro James Campbell of Antient Union No 13, came on board, he was instantly recognised by Capt Mariencourt as a Brother Mason, and his ship was returned to him. After some further negotiation Bro Mariencourt also agreed to release Capt Webb on receipt of a signed undertaking to seek the release of a Bro Joseph Gantier, a French sailor then being held on a prison ship "The Crown Prince" at Chatham, and if he failed to do so within a year, Capt Webb should make his own way to France and surrender his parole to the French military.

However the fortunes of war would swiftly change and Capt Mariencourt was himself captured by a Capt J.C. Crawford of the British frigate "Modeste", and as we now know Capt Mariencourt was indeed eventually released by the British and returned to France.

The Brethren in Antient Union Lodge No 13 do not appear to have minuted their meeting of the 11th March 1813, when the decision was taken to commission a silver cup, to the value of 100, which along with a suitable address would be forwarded on to Capt Mariencourt. The cup was made by James Scott, 13 Trinity Street, Dublin who had silver assayed in Dublin from 1800-1825.  It was duly dispatched to France, the Brethren having learned of Captain Mariencourt's release. The whole matter was very carefully recorded in the Limerick Chronicle and Rt Wor. Bro. Michael Furnell, who later became the first Provincial Grand Master of North Munster, was able to use these notices and write a retrospective minute in the books of Lodge 13 on the 24 February 1844.

Sadly in the meantime Bro. Mariencourt had died in North Africa and never received his cup. Seven years later it was eventually returned to  Lodge 13 in Limerick where it has been carefully preserved ever since.

Special celebrations were held in 2013 at the Installation Festive Board of Antient Union Lodge 13 to mark the bi-centenary of the dedication of the famous Cup.

For a full and detailed account carefully researched and recorded in Volume XVIII of the Ars Quatuor Coronatorum Journal of 1905 please click here. (5.46mb file)

*Mariencourt, Marincourt or Marencourt, opinions differ as to the spelling but as the engraving on the Cup is Mariencourt, that is what is used here.

 


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