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Was Titanic inquiry scuppered by the Freemasons?

A new secret archive shows a high level of masonic involvement in the inquiry into the sinking of the Titanic

A secret archive containing the names of two million Freemasons has been made public for the first time on the genealogy site Ancestry which reveals extensive Masonic involvement in the controversial British investigation into the catastrophe.

It confirms that not only the judge who oversaw the British Wreck Commissioner’s inquiry into the disaster and leading investigators, but also even some of those who escaped censure were all Freemasons.

While a US Senate inquiry into the sinking savaged the White Star Line and singled out the British Board of Trade for blame for lax regulations which allowed the scandalously small number of lifeboats fitted on the ship, the UK investigation overseen by Lord Mersey avoided blaming the Board of Trade.

Lord Mersey himself – John Charles Bigham – was, the records show, a Freemason, initiated in 1881 at the Northern Bar Lodge in London.

Crucially, so too appears to have been the President of the Board of Trade Sydney Buxton, initiated at Limehouse in East London in 1888 where he was the local MP at the time.

The names of at least two of the inquiry’s five expert assessors – Prof John Harvard Biles, a specialist in naval architecture, and Edward Chaston, the senior engineer assessor – can also be found in the Masonic archive.

Meanwhile Lord Pirrie, who was not only chairman of the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast which built the Titanic but, crucially, also one of the directors of White Star’s parent company, also appears to have been a Freemason.