The Economic History Review

Freemasonry and business networking during the Victorian period

Volume 56 Issue 4
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Pages: 657-688Authors: Roger Burt
Published online: June 9, 2004DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-0289.2003.00265.x

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This article looks at the role of Freemasonry in socio-economic networking in Cornwall during the late nineteenth century. It demonstrates that, like many other fraternities, Masonry created efficient conduits for the exchange of business information and reinforced a pro-business culture. Particular attention is given to its role in facilitating the migration of Cornish miners and mine managers and in creating structures for national and international information flows. Masonry is shown to have the unusual potential to bridge wide occupational, social, and cultural divisions, and the sources for further, wider ranging research are indicated.