Hon. George Carpenter, GW

Colonel George Carpenter (c.1695-1749), succeeded as 2nd Baron Carpenter of Killaghy in 1732. He served as Whig MP for Morpeth (1717-27) and as a London magistrate, appointed in 1715 and sitting for some 30 years. Carpenter was pro-Hanoverian in his politics as was his father, also George (1657-1732), who had been nominated as Ambassador to Vienna but following the 1715 Rising was instead appointed to command British forces in northern England against the Jacobites. Made commander-in-chief in Scotland in 1716, he sat as MP for Whitchurch (1715–22) and then Westminster (1722–27).

Carpenter held rank in his father’s regiment, the 3rd The King’s Own Hussars, and later purchased a lieutenant colonelcy in the 1st Foot Guards followed by a lieutenant colonelcy in the army’s most senior regiment, the 1st Life Guards, of which the Duke of Montagu was colonel from 1715-21.

An avid freemason, Carpenter was a member of three London lodges: the Horn Tavern; Martin Folkes’s Bedford Head Lodge in Covent Garden; and Lodge No. 63, subsequently St George’s and Corner Stone Lodge, No. 5. He was appointed a Grand Warden in 1729, serving two years under Nathaniel Blackerby, then Deputy Grand Master. Like Blackerby, Carpenter was a member of the Council of the Georgia Society – the Trustees for the Georgia colony – serving from 1732. London freemasons funded around a tenth of the initial cost of establishing Britain’s thirteenth American colony, mainly through lodge collections. Carpenter’s fellow Grand Warden, Thomas Batson, George Payne’s brother-in-law and another member of the Horn, steered the fundraising process through Grand Lodge:

Then the Deputy Grand Master opened to the Lodge the Affairs of Planting the new Colony of Georgia in America … and informed the Grand Lodge that the Trustees had [awarded] to Nathaniel Blackerby Esq. and to himself Commissions under their Common Seal to collect the Charity of this Society towards establishing the Trustees to send distressed Brethren to Georgia where they may be comfortably provided for.

Proposed: that it be strenuously recommended by Masters and Wardens of regular lodges to make a generous collection among all their members for that purpose.

Which being seconded by Br Rogers Holland Esq. (one of the said Trustees) who opened the Nature of the Settlement), and by Sir William Keith Bt., who was many years Governor of Pennsylvania, by Dr Desaguliers, Lord Southwell, Br. Blackerby and many other worthy brethren, it was recommended accordingly.

In common with some twenty other members of the Horn Tavern, Carpenter was a Fellow of the Royal Society, proposed in 1729 by Desaguliers, Folkes and Hans Sloane, the Society’s Secretary and later President.