Sir Knight William Buckle PUNSHON
1872 - 1877
For nearly two Centuries, Knights installed into the Royal Kent Preceptory have taken their Obligation on the Punshon Book of the Holy Gospels.
The photographs show the cover of the book and the inner pages, inscribed:
"To the Royal Kent Encampment with Fraternal regards. Wm Punshon. December 15th 1822. No 44 Newcastle upon Tyne"
Punshon was born in 1791, the illegitimate son of Nathaniel Punshon of Killingworth, who was for many years the High Sheriff of the town.
Originally taking the name "William Buckle", following Nathaniel's death in January 1818 he sought to use the Punshon family name in addition to his own forename and surname.
William petitioned His Majesty the King for permission to use the name and arms of the Punshon family and this was granted by Royal Warrant on 27th December 1821 and recorded in the London Gazette on 21st October 1823.
Initiated in Newcastle upon Tyne Lodge in 1814, he seems never to have been Master of the Lodge but went on to be "the Grand Old Man" of northern Freemasonry
Installed into the Royal Kent Encampment on 5th January 1815 ..... he remained a Knight for the next 62 years!
It was customary at that time for a Knight of especial competence to stay as Commander (something of an honorary role) for many years and it was not until 1840 that Punshon was appointed Deputy Commander (who was the de facto head of the Encampment).
In 1859 he was honoured by appointment to Grand Sword Bearer in the Grand Conclave.
Provincial Sub-Prior from 1867 - 1873
Following the death of Ogle in 1871 Punshon took on the mantle of Prior with minimal ceremony but it was not until 1873 that he was formally installed as Provincial Prior by E Kt C.J. Banister, at that time a senior member of the Royal Kent Encampment and, presumably, a senior Knight in Grand Conclave. Rather unusually, Banister was then appointed Sub-Prior by the very man he had just installed as Prior!
Provincial Prior from 1873 - 1877
KNIGHT TEMPLAR PRIESTS
Installed into Royal Kent Tabernacle T.I. on 24th January 1864
Died on 22nd November 1877 at the age of 86 years.