Facts, Fiction and Famous Freemasons

Famous Coventry Freemaons

Colonel William Fitzthomas Wyley – Alderman of Coventry 1911

Colonel Wyley was a chemist and was involved with his family’s wholesale drug company. He was interested in public health, motoring and art. Colonel Wyley owned the Charterhouse from 1889 which he later bequeathed to the city on his death in 1940.

Colonel Wyley was a founding member of St Johns Lodge 2811. On 12 January 1918 St George’s Lodge was consecrated by Col Wyley, Deputy Provincial Grand Master in Charge. During the meeting a telegram came from Grand Lodge announcing that Col Wyley had been appointed as Provincial Grand Master. He was installed on 17 April 1918


Charles Lisle Carr – Bishop of Coventry 1922 – 1931

The Bi-Centenary of the Province in 1928 was celebrated over two days. On 13 May a service was held in St Mary’s Church, Warwick, conducted by W Bro the Rt Rev C L Carr, the Bishop of Coventry, and in attendance were the Provincial Grand Master Col Wyley and the Pro Grand Master Lord Ampthill. Brethren walked in procession to the Church in full regalia and afterwards were entertained to tea in the grounds of Warwick Castle.

W Bro the Rt Rev C L Car

Siegfried Bettmann

Siegfried Bettmann was a bicycle, motorcycle and car manufacturer and initiator of the Triumph Motorcycle Company. In 1914 he established the Annie Bettmann Foundation to help young people start businesses. Triumph became one of the most famous motorcycle trade-names of the world.

Siegfried Bettmann’s success enabled him to become President of the Coventry Liberal Association. A Freemason and founder member of Coventry’s Chamber of Commerce, he was also a Justice of the Peace and in 1913 became Mayor of Coventry, the first non-British subject to have the position.
His German origins resulted in him being removed from this position on the beginning of the First World War.
In 1914 Siegfried Bettmann founded the Annie Bettmann Foundation with his wife to help young Coventry men and women between the ages of eighteen and forty who wished to start a business. Preference was given to ex-servicemen and the fund, which is still in existence, was extended subsequently to include grants for further education. Bettmann also commissioned a memorial for the 66 employees of the Triumph company killed in action during the First World War, built in Coventry’s London Road cemetery in 1921.
The Triumph Motorcycle Company became one of the most famous motorcycle marques of the world and Bettmann retained an association with the company until his death. Siegfried Bettmann died on 23 September 1951 at his home “Elm Bank”, Stoke Park, Coventry.

Siegfried Bettmann


King George IV (1762 – 1830)
King William IV (1765 – 1837)
King Edward VII (1841 – 1910)
King Edward VIII (1894 – 1972)
King George VI (1895 – 1952)


Sir Richard Burton (1821 – 1890)
Capt Robert Falcon Scott, RN (1868 – 1912)
Sir Ernest Shackleton (1874 – 1922)


Alexander Pope (1688 – 1744)
Edward Gibbon (1734 – 1794)
Richard Brinsley Sheridan (1751 – 1816)
Robbie Burns (1759 – 1796)
Sir Walter Scott (1771 – 1832)
Anthony Trollope (1815 – 1882)
Sir William S. Gilbert (1836 – 1911)
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859 – 1930)
Rudyard Kipling (1865 – 1936)