Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes

From Kook Science

Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes
Motto Nemo Mortalium Omnibus Horis Sapit
("No mortal is wise at all hours.")
Formation Late 18th century
(or) August 1822
Purpose/focus Fraternal Social Order
Headquarters England
Founders George Cooper Murray
(or) Joseph Lisle
A comic portrayal of the Buffalo initiation rite (by R. Cruikshank, 1871, for Pierce Egan's "Finish to the Adventures of Tom, Jerry, and Logic")

The Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes (R.A.O.B.) is an English fraternal order, generally believed to have been founded by Joseph Lisle, William Sinnett, and others involved with the theatre at London, England in 1822, though it has also been claimed that Buffaloism was founded by George Cooper Murray in the late 18th century.[1] In the former case, the name said to be inspired by a then-popular ballad "We'll Chase the Buffalo,"[2] with an initiation rite veering into the realm of the burlesque; in the latter, the origins of the Buffalo name is attributed to a mistranslation of Harpocrates (the founding lodge) as "son of the bull or buffalo."[1]


The modern ROAB is organised into local Minor Lodges, these under the leadership of the Worthy Primo and their officers, the City Marshall, City Secretary, City Treasurer, City Chamberlain, City Tyler, City Constable, City Registrar, City Minstrel, City Waiter, Alderman of Benevolence, and Trustees; and these local Lodges are under the jurisdiction of Provincial Grand Lodges, and, ultimately, the Grand Lodge.

In the ritual work of the order, an individual Buff moves through four degrees: Brother (Kangaroo); Certified Primo; Knight of Order of Merit (Knight Sir); and Roll of Honour (Right Honourable).


Foundation of the Buffaloes

by George Cooper Murray

by Joe Lisle, et al.

20th Century Buffaloes


  1. 1.0 1.1 Ellis, Charles Edward (1910), "Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes", An Authentic History of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, p. 13-19, "The Grand Arch Primo, who founded Buffaloism in the latter part of the 17th century, was George Cooper Murray, or rather this name is a hidden key containing his name, which only the initiated in that order may know[...] The first Buffalo lodge established in London was called the Harpocrates Lodge, which means the son of the bull or buffalo." 
  2. Egan, Pierce (1888), Hindley, Charles, ed., The True History of Tom and Jerry; or, the Day and Night Sciences, of Life in London from the Start to the Finish!, London: Charles Hindley, p. 162-163,;view=1up;seq=208, "Buffs — Buffaloes — and Buffaloism. — A society held at the Harp Tavern in Great Russell Street, opposite Drury Lane Theatre, and was first established in August, 1822, by an eccentric young man of the name of Joseph Lisle, an artist, in conjunction with Mr. W. Sinnett, a comedian, to perpetuate, according to their ideas upon the subject, of that hitherto neglected ballad of "We'll chase the BUFFALO!""