Most Venerable Samuel B. Furbish, Sovereign Grand Master of the Sovereign College Allied Masonic and Christian Degrees

Most Venerable Samuel B. Furbish

By Ven. David S. H. Lindez, PSM, KCRBE
Cushite Council AMD No. 474

Samuel B. Furbish (1874-1936) was a banker and accomplished businessman.  Furbish served as Director of Richmond Water Works, Director of the Union National Bank and Managing Director of the Eastern Maine Railroad.  Furbish also served as Treasurer and Trustee of Bowdoin College.  He was the son of John and Maria nee Day Furbish.  As an undergrad, Furbish pledged the DELTA UPSILON Fraternity, which he supported with his time and money long after leaving school.  After graduating from Amherst College in 1898, he would go on to spend two years at Harvard Law before marrying his high school girlfriend, Edith M. Williams in Brunswick Maine on Friday, July 3rd, 1903. 
His father John Furbish was Master of United Lodge from 1869 to 1971, and Samuel would follow in his Father’s footsteps as Master from 1910 to 1911.  He served in the year 1919 as the Most Excellent Grand High Priest of the Grand Chapter of Maine Royal Arch Masons and in1929 as Most Illustrious Grand Master of the Grand Council of Maine Royal & Select Masters in the Cryptic Rite.  He held the 32nd degree in the Scottish Rite Northern Masonic Jurisdiction.  He was also a member of the Knights of Pythias, Odd Fellows and Red Men lodges in his hometown of Brunswick, Maine.
Furbish was elected in 1922 to the office of Sovereign Grand Master at the Stated Annual Convocation of the Sovereign College of the Allied Masonic and Christian Degrees for America, held in Masons' Hall in Norway, Maine.  Albro E. Chase had passed away in his home in Portland, Maine on Septemeber 8, 1921 while serving as Sovereign Grand Master, and the Deputy Grand Master, Charles A. Nesbitt of Richmond, Virginia, declined to advance in office to succeed Chase on account of the great distance involved in attending grand session since the Sovereign College had been moved from Virginia to Maine.  From 1922 to 1923, Furbish served as Sovereign Grand Master of the of the Sovereign College Allied Masonic and Christian Degrees, which included custodianship of the Royal Ark Mariner, the Order of the Secret Monitor[1], the Babylonish Pass, the Great High Priest, Saint Lawrence the Martyr, Tylers of Solomon, Knight of Constantinople, Holy and Blessed Order of Wisdom, the Trinitarian Knight of St. John of Patmos and others.  As Sovereign Grand Master, he also was in charge of bestowing the high honors of Doctor in Masonic Law (awarded to W. O. English and Henry Burleigh Latham Overend), Doctor in Masonic Theology (notably awarded to Fred F Carmichael), Doctor of Universal Masonry (an honor held by only half a dozen Masons in the history of the craft[2]), and Doctor in Masonic Letters, (notably awarded to one Charles Fitzgerald Matier, now well known for his role in helping bring the Scottish Masonic Rosicrucian College to the United States and his legacy as Supreme Magus of the Rosicrucian Society in Scotia). 
During the Depression in Maine, the Grand Lecturer Right Worshipful Brother Samuel B. Furbish was voted into the office of Deputy Grand Master. Sadly, he succumbed to illness a few months later, and he was unable to complete his term or carry on to the office of Grand Master of Masons in Maine. Furbish spent his last four weeks of life in a hospital bed at the Deaconess hospital in Boston where he died.  He was survived at the time by his wife, two brothers and one sister. His funeral rites were presided over by the Grand Lodge of Maine, and the contents of his extensive Masonic Library was donated to the Grand Lodge in his memory as the "Samuel B. Furbish Memorial Library."

[1] Furbish was initially initiated into the OSM for a fee of five dollars and in the presence of the Right Honorable Earl of Euston on St Paul's Day in 1893, by the Most Venerable Hartley Carmichael himself.  Furbish was required to present his patent reflecting his Masonic eligibility as a being in possession of the Royal Ark Mariner
[2] One such Mason was none other than the Sovereign Grand Commander of the Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite for the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction of the Unites States of America, the Illustrious William James Hughan.