Martin Folkes, DGM

See ‘Martin Folkes, PRS

Martin Folkes was integral to Freemasonry’s development in the 1720s and supportive of the Duke of Richmond, a close friend, and of Desaguliers, Payne and the inner core within Grand Lodge.

Folkes’ relationship with Desaguliers dated from 1714 when both were elected to the Royal Society, and their mining of friends and colleagues offers a parallel to the social and professional networking activities of William Cowper, Nathaniel Blackerby and George Payne on the Middlesex and Westminster magistrates benches. Jointly with the Duke of Richmond and Desaguliers, Folkes proposed at least 11 Freemasons as Fellows of the Royal Society. It is also significant that there were 10 FRSs who were members of Martin Folkes’ lodge at the Bedford Head Tavern in Covent Garden, a quarter of the 40 members.