The following are extracts from the Orange Oath and Rules, 1834 (From Parliamentary Papers , XV. 440-I, Report from the Select Committee appointed to inquire into the nature, character, extent and tendency of Orange lodges, Appendix 3, in E. R. Norman, Anti-Catholicism in Victorian England (Barnes and Noble, 1968), pp.140-143.
Although as a precautionary measure the British government condemned the Order in 1836, it continued to flourish.
RULES OF SOCIETY, 1834.
Laws and Ordinances of the Orange Institution of Ireland.
Grand Master, His Royal Highness Prince Ernest Augustus,
Duke of Cumberland, Earl of Armagh, K.G. &c. &c.
Prelate, The Right Rev. the Lord Bishop of Salisbury.
Declaration of an Orangeman.
'I, A.B., do so solemnly and voluntarily declare, that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to His Majesty the King; and that I will to the utmost of my power support and maintain the laws and constitution of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, as established by William the Third of glorious memory, and the succession to the throne in his Majesty's illustrious House, being Protestant.
'I do declare that I am not, nor ever was, a Roman-Catholic or Papist; that I was not, am not, or ever will be, a member of the society called "United Irishmen" , nor any other society or body of men, who are enemies to his Majesty, or the glorious constitution of these realms; and that I never took the oath to that or any other treasonable society.
'I declare that I will, as far as in my power lies; assist the magistrates and civil authorities of these kingdoms in the lawful execution of their official duties, when called upon. That I will be true and faithful to every brother Orangeman in all just actions; that I will not wrong, or know him to be wronged or injured, without giving due notice thereof, if in my power. And I solemnly declare that I will always conceal, and never will reveal either part or parts of what is now to privately communicated to me, unless to a brother Orangeman, knowing him to be so by strict trial and due examination; or from the word of a brother Orangeman, or until I shall be authorized so to do by the proper authorities of the Orange Institution. That I will not write it, indite it, cut carve, stain, stamp, or engrave it, or cause it to be done, lest any part thereof might be known. And lastly, I do declare that I have not, to my knowledge or belief, been proposed or rejected in, or expelled from any other Orange Lodge.
Orange Institution of Ireland
This institution is formed by persons desiring, to the utmost of their power, to support and defend His Majesty King William the IV., the Protestant religion, the laws of the country, the succession to the throne in his Majesty's illustrious House, being Protestants, as well as for the defence of their own persons and property, and the maintenance of the public peace; and for these purposes the members hold themselves obliged, when called upon, to be at all times ready to assist the civil and military powers in the just and lawful discharge of their duty. They associate also in honour of King William III. Prince of Orange, whose name they will perpetually bear, as supporters of his glorious memory, and the true religion by law established in this United Kingdom.
This is exclusively a Protestant Association; yet detesting an intolerant spirit, it admits no persons into its brotherhood who are not well known to be incapable of persecuting, injuring or upbraiding any one on account of his religious opinion: its principle is, to aid and assist loyal subjects of every religious persuasion, by protecting them from violence and oppression.
An Orangeman should have a sincere love and veneration for his Almighty Maker, a firm and steadfast faith in the Saviour of the world, convinced that he is the only Mediator between a sinful creature and an offended Creator. His disposition should be humane and compassionate; his behaviour kind and courteous. He should love rational and improving society, faithfully regard the Protestant religion, and sincerely desire to propagate its doctrine and precepts. He should have a hatred to cursing and swearing, and taking the name of God in vain; and he should use all opportunities of discouraging those shameful practices. Wisdom and prudence should guide his action; temperance and sobriety, honesty and integrity direct his conduct; and the honour and glory of his King and country, should be the motives of his exertions.
1. The Orange Institution consists of an unlimited number of brethren, whose admission is not regulated by any other test than those of their religion, character and principles.
2. No person who at any time has been a Roman-catholic can be admitted into the institution, except by special application to the grand lodge, or grand committee, accompanied by certificates and testimonials, transmitted through the grand secretary of his county, which shall be so perfectly satisfactory as to produce an unanimous vote on the occasion.
- The Orange Lodge
- A Reader Objects
- The Protestant Heritage
- Anti-Catholicism in Victorian Britain: A Bibliography
Last modified 1998