Thomas Smith Webb Chapter of Arch Research

The Grand Chapter of the State of New York, Royal Arch Masons has warranted the Thomas Smith Webb Chapter of Arch Research as the first Royal Arch Chapter to be solely devoted to Royal Arch research and scholarship.

The purpose of the Chapter is to encourage Royal Arch Masonic research and study by its members and others, to present findings and conclusions to the Chapter for discussion and interchange of judgment, to sponsor discussion and debate topics pertaining to Royal Arch Masonry.

The Chapter will meet annually during the Grand Convocation in Albany in March. Additional meetings are as called by the High Priest. The Chapter may meet throughout the State of New York. Please contact the Secretary if your Chapter is interested in hosting a TSW Chapter meeting.

Download TSW Chapter Information Brochure

Papers & Research Publications

  • 2011 includes the following papers: -Circumambulation (Piers Vaughan); -Dansville Bible (Bill Thomas); The Labyrinth (Walter Slodki); -RAM Centennial Commemorative Coin, 1898 (Bill Thomas); -Cedars Chapter, Beirut, Lebanon (Razmig Djinbachian); -Royal Arch & Irish Freemasonry (James Penny); -The Arch ...(George Lloyd Simpson); -The Hero's Journey (Tony Denny); -Truth, Which Is Zerubbabel (Jeffrey G. Burcham) Buy 2011 Transactions
  • 2010 Transactions includes the following papers: -Symbolism & Freemasonry As A Mystery School: Piers Vaughan -Jonathan Harrington – Patriot and Mason: Ronald M. Goldwyn -Scottish Royal Arch Masonry: Grant Macleod -The Mark Degree in Scotland: Grant Macleod -The Excellent Master Degree in Scotland: Grant Macleod Buy 2010 Transactions

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WANTED: Papers to be published

We are accepting papers now to be published in our Transactions. See Submissions Criteria for more information.

Who Was Thomas Smith Webb?

Thomas Smith Webb
Thomas Smith Webb
Thomas Smith Webb became a Mason in 1793. After he moved to Albany, NY he published his Freemason's Monitor and in 1797 was the High Priest of Temple Chapter. As such, he represented the Chapter in Boston, MA where plans to establish the Grand Chapter were being formulated.

Although Royal Arch Masonic Ritual had been systematized prior to his work, he made such alterations in the ritual which he felt necessary and published the esoteric portions of the work.

As a moving force in the creation of the Grand Chapter, he used its establishment to further influence the use and acceptance of his work, known as the Webb work.

Thus, Thomas Smith Webb is often recognized as the driving force in both the standardization of the Royal Arch Ritual and the creation of the Grand Chapter.

Therefore, it is only fitting that the Research Chapter of The Grand Chapter of the State of New York, Royal Arch Masons, carry his name.

Additional resources on Thomas Smith Webb are below.

The graphic above is the 1805 portrait of Thomas Smith Webb. The 1816 Frothingham Portrait is below. (Many thanks to Piers Vaughan and Jason Sheridan.)


Membership is by affiliation only. The Chapter does not confer degrees.

All Royal Arch Masons who are members, in good standing, of a Chapter in jurisdictions recognized by The Grand Chapter State of New York, Royal Arch Masons are eligible for membership. There are three classes of membership:

  1. Active Member - open to any Royal Arch Mason who is a member in good standing of a Chapter under the jurisdiction of the Grand Chapter State of New York.
  2. Corresponding Member - open to any Royal Arch Mason, or member of a Concordant Body recognized by The Grand Chapter State of New York, Royal Arch Masons. Individual Chapters, Grand Chapters and recognized Concordant bodies may petition for Corresponding Membership. Other Masonic Research bodies are also eligible for membership, including libraries.
  3. Fellowship - an honor conferred upon a Royal Arch Mason for outstanding achievement in Masonic research and publication.

The right to ballot and to hold office is vested in Active Members only.

Petition Fee is $10
Annual Dues are $20
First Year is $30 ($10 + $20)
DOWNLOAD A PETITION – fill out the petition online, then print it out and mail.


Past High Priests

Founder & Honorary High Priest RE Stephen A. Rubinstein
2002 RE John Mauk Hilliard
2003 RE John Mauk Hilliard
2004 ME Edmund D. Harrison
2005 RE William Zufall
2006 RE Mark L. Adler
2007 RE Mark L. Adler
2008 RE Jeffrey M. Williamson
2009 RE Kenneth Fischer
2010 VE James Stoll


Lodges & Chapters

  1. Anniversary Lodge of Research No. 175, Grand Lodge of New Hampshire
  2. Quatuor Coronati Lodge (UGLE)
  3. American Lodge of Research, Grand Lodge of New York
  4. New Jersey Lodge of Research
  5. Virginia Research Royal Arch Chapter No.1753 (rebuilding)

Research Groups

  1. Pietre-Stones Review
  2. AASR Northern Jurisdiction, Research Blog
  3. The Masonic Society
  4. The Rose Circle Research Foundation

Other Research Sites

  1. Livingston Masonic Library, Grand Lodge of New York
    1. Book Search
    2. Artifact Search
  2. Masonic Library and Museum Association

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