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James Asperne (1737–1820)

Photo credit: Museum of Freemasonry

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In this portrait the Freemason James Asperne (1737–1820) is wearing the distinctive red apron of a grand steward. In the eighteenth century, grand stewards were appointed to organise a feast for the Grand Lodge of England, one of two governing bodies of Freemasonry at this time, which they were required to pay for themselves. They still operate today, assisting with the meeting and dining arrangements of the United Grand Lodge of England, the governing body of Freemasonry in England and Wales. Asperne is also wearing the collar of a master, or ruler, of a lodge, whose emblem is the set square. He was appointed Grand Steward in 1813. Later that same year the two grand lodges operating in England and Wales came together to form the United Grand Lodge of England.

Museum of Freemasonry



James Asperne (1737–1820)




oil on canvas


H 120 x W 94.5 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

purchased at Caelt Gallery by the United Grand Lodge of England, 1970

Work type


Inscription description

JAMES ASPERNE (1757-1820) Bookseller. Past Master, St. Peter's Lodge, No. 29, 1795, Honorary Member, Lodge of Antiquity, No. 1 (now No. 2) 1795. Grand Steward, 1813. By Samuel Drummond, A.R.A., 1813'


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Normally on display at

Museum of Freemasonry

Freemasons' Hall, 60 Great Queen Street, London, Greater London WC2B 5AZ England

This venue is open to the public. Not all artworks are on display. If you want to see a particular artwork, please contact the venue.
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