Dudley Wright: Writer, Truthseeker & Freemason

by John Belton

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Dudley Wright (1868-1950) was an Englishman who took a universalist approach to the various great Truths of Life, he travelled though many religions in his life and wrote about them all, but was probably most at home with Islam. As a professional journalist he made his living where he could. In England as Assistant Editor of The Freemason and Masonic Editor of The Times of London – and through his friendship with Joseph Fort Newton, in the USA, writing for the fabled magazine The Builder and later The Master Mason. He was one of that group of great Masonic writers that graced the American scene, unconventional enough to write well, but eventually to disband after the economic crisis that followed the Wall Street Crash of 1929. Perhaps his boldest work was to edit Gould’s 1880s History of Freemasonry, and the six volume United States version of 1936 remains the most recent complete masonic history extant.

As the son of a carriage driver Wright was always going to find it hard to become part of the establishment of late Victorian society in England. Clearly he obtained a good education but it was his passion for words and the serial exploration of various beliefs that took him to Masonic writing for a living and eventually back to Islam for his belief. The book explores the life journey of Wright through the trail of his writings.

John Belton is a well-known British researcher into the history of Freemasonry, a member of Quatuor Coronati Research Lodge in London, and Fellow of the Philalethes Society and the Masonic Society in the United States. Author of The English Masonic Union of 1813: A Tale Ancient & Modern, his main interests are in the nineteenth and especially twentieth century, and for exploring those less travelled angles to (masonic) history that are often most fascinating. He lives in an eighteenth century stone cottage in the Peak District National Park in the north of England.