Francis Clements Crossle, sixth son of Rev. Charles Crossle MA, rector of Kilclooney, Co. Armagh, was born on 17th March 1847. He took his medical degrees in the University of Dublin, practised for a short time in England, and in Tandragee, and in 1875 came to Newry.
He was initiated into Freemasonry on 4th March 1873 in Union Lodge No.105, Tandragee, affiliated to Lodge 77 November 1886, and was elected Honorary Member on 6th June 1898. He served as Worshipful Master in 1888.
An enthusiastic antiquary, genealogist and bibliophile, he was an authority on all matters relating to the town of Newry.
As a Mason, his labours were unceasing and his influence felt far beyond the confines of Newry. He served as Master of each of the Newry Lodges, was Founder and first Master of Francis Crossle Lodge No.83, constituted in Newry on 25th October 1907. He was Provincial Grand Secretary of the Province of Down from 1888 to 1901 and was Deputy Grand Master of the Province from 1901 until his death in 1910.
His collection of Masonic antiquities and historical notes, now in the care of the Lodge of Research No.CC, Dublin is an unfailing mine of information of priceless value to students of Freemasonry.
On 1st August 1898 Lodge 77 presented Dr Crossle with his Past Master's jewel, a historic and beautiful gold jewel suspended from a sky blue ribbon by three gold bars.
The top bar has the inscription "Presented by St. Patrick's Lodge ",
the centre bar has the inscription "To V.W. Bro. F.C. Crossle P.M. P.G.S. Down",
and the bottom bar has the inscription "No. 77".
The Compass and Square is a nicely engraved gold Past Master's Jewel with a floating "G". There are thirteen shamrocks engraved on the Compass and Square.
The only inscription on the reverse of the jewel is a date on the reverse of the bottom bar, namely, the "1st August 1898", the date of presentation.
The jewel is currently in the possession of a private collector. You can view his full collection on the Irish Masonic Jewels website which we would encourage you to visit. We are grateful to this website for giving permission to reproduce images of Dr Crossle's jewel.