En: The first german masonic lodge „Absalom zu den drei Nesseln“

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The very first master mason of an german masonic lodge 1737 : "Société des acceptés macons libres de la Ville de Hambourg" Georg Wilhelm Ludwig von Oberg. Oil on canvas. Painted by Jens Rusch

The first German masonic lodge „Absalom zu den drei Nesseln“

Anja Stephanie Schmitz

The lodge „Absalom zu den drei Nesseln“ [Absalom to the three nettles] in Hamburg is the oldest german masonic lodge. It came into being on December 6th 1737. The lodge was founded at the „Taverne d'Angleterre“ at Grosse Baeckerstraße, owned by innkeeper Jens Arbien. A young officer, the later Prussian mint-master Charles Sarry, Baron Georg Wilhelm von Oberg, municipal physician Peter Carpser and the scholar Peter Stueven were sitting together at the tavern's wooden table to pursue in Germany what had begun twenty years earlier in London – influenced by European enlightenment.

The development of the lodge's name was lively: According to the text of the foundation record the founders established the „Heilige Loge des heiligen Johannes“ [Holy lodge of St. John]. On December 14th the proceedings bore the heading „La loge de Hambourg“ [Lodge of Hamburg]. It is unknown why the brothers resigned the lodge's original name only a few days after its foundation. Their second Worshipful Master of the lodge (Luttman, the successor of Baron von Oberg) had the name „Traubenbuendel“ [Bunch of grapes] registered at the Grand Lodge of England but this name did not appear in the proceedings. In 1887, at the 150th anniversary of the lodge „Absalom“, the name „Traubenbuendel“ was still known among the brothers but finally fell into oblivion.