James Lawrence English, an original petitioner of Sacramento Lodge, was born in Philadelphia, Pa., June 5, 1813. Prior to his coming to Sacramento, his Masonic Blue Lodge membership was held in Relief Lodge No. 105 of Georgetown, Pettis County, Mo. The dates of his initiation, passing and raising are unknown to the Grand Lodge of Missouri, but we are informed that he was Secretary of Relief Lodge No. 105, now non-existent, during the year 1850. On February 7, 1853, he dimitted from Relief Lodge and in July 1853 being a resident of Sacramento, California, he assisted in organizing Sacramento Lodge of California. He served as Master of the Lodge for three consecutive years, 1853, 1854, and 1855. A lawyer by profession, shortly after his arrival in Sacramento, he became associated with Col. Philip Leget Edwards (also an original petitioner of Sacramento Lodge) in the law firm of Edwards and English. On April 2, 1855 he was elected Mayor of Sacramento through no efforts of his own, he being absent from the city at the time. Much against his inclinations, he was persuaded to serve for one year. Having had the office thrust upon him, he whole-heartedly met the call to public service and his administration was one of unusual prosperity for the city. His service to the State started on Feb. 13, 1857, with his appointment by Gov. Neely Johnson to the office of State Treasurer, succeeding Henry Bates who resigned. Bro. English was elected to the office at the following general election in Sept. to complete the unexpired term ending in Jan. 1858. Records show frequent mention of him as nominee for Governor. Great distinction was conferred when he was elected "from the floor" to the exalted office of Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons of the State of California. This rare Masonic event marked the morning session of Sat., May 18, 1861, during the twelfth annual communication of Grand Lodge held at Sacramento. He served as Grand Master from May 1861 to May 1862. He also served as Grand High Priest of Royal Arch Masons and as Grand Commander of Knights Templar. Brother English passed away in Sacramento on May 29, 1889 at the age of 76. On instruction of Grand Master Morris Estee of Napa (former member of Sacramento Lodge No. 40), Past Grand Master Edmund Clement Atkinson (Past Master of Sacramento Lodge No. 40) convened Grand Lodge in Sacramento for the purpose of conducting the funeral services of Brother English.



Transcribed by Sally Kaleta.

Proofread by Betty Vickroy.

2007 Sally Kaleta.





Sacramento County