A | B |
C | D |
E | F |
G | H |
I | J |
K | L |
O | P |
Q | R |
S | T |
U | V |
W | X |
Y | Z
The twenty-fifth letter of the
English alphabet derived from the Greek T. One of the symbols of Pythagoras
was the Greek letter Upsilon, T. for which, on account of the similarity of
shape, the Romans adopted the letter Y of their own alphabet. Pythagoras said
that the two horns of the letter symbolized the two different paths of virtue
and vice, the right branch leading to the former and the left to the latter.
It was therefore called Litera Pythagorae, the Letter of Pythagoras.
Thus the Roman poet Martial says, in one of his epigrams: Litera Pythagorae,
discrimine secta bicorni, Humanae vitae speciem pracferre videtur.
The letter of Pythagoras,
parted by its two-branched division, appears to exhibit the image of human
The name of a class of
demigods in Hindu mythology, whose care is to attend on Kuvera, the god of
riches, and see to his garden and treasures.
A word said to have been used
by the Templars in the adoration of the Baphomet, and derived from the
The Sanskrit, Yama, meaning a
twin. According to the Hindu mythology, the judge and ruler of the departed;
the Hindu Pluto, or king of the infernal regions; originally conceived of as
one of the first pair from whom the human race is descended, and the
beneficent sovereign of his descendants in the abodes of the blest; later, a
terrible deity, the tormentor of the wicked. He is represented of a green
color, with red garments, having a crown on his head, his eyes inflamed, and
sitting on a buffalo, with a club in his hand.
Born in Westmorland, England,
April 17, 1833, died March 20, 1913, and was long identified actively with
Freemasonry in Manchaster but connected with Masonic Bodies in all parts of
the world. He was initiated on October 25, 1854, in Integrity Lodge No. 189,
later No. 163, at twenty-one years of age. He contributed an article on
Military Masons in 1858 to the Freemason's Magazine and Masonic Mirror.
Thereafter he was a frequent writer on Masonic matters to the publications of
the Craft. His book, The Arcane Schools, a Review of Their Origin and
Antiquity, with a general history of Freemasonry and its relation to the
theosophic, scientific and philosophic matters, was published in 1909 after
some ten years' labor, as the preface tells us, and is a book of 566 pages
dealing with the traces of a speculative system from the ancient days.
YATES, GILES FONDA
"The task of writing a sketch
of the life of Giles Fonda Yates is accompanied with a feeling of melancholy,"
says Doctor Mackey, " because it brings to my mind the recollections of years,
now passed forever, in which I enjoyed the intimate friendship of that amiable
man and zealous Freemason and scholar. His gentle mien won the love, his
virtuous life the esteem, and his profound but unobtrusive scholarship the
respect of all who knew him."
Giles Fonda Yates was born in
1796, in what was then the village of Schenectady, in the State of New York.
After acquiring at the ordinary schools of the period a preliminary liberal
education, he entered Union College, and graduated with distinction, receiving
in due time the Degree of Master of Arts. He subsequently commenced the study
of the law, and, having been admitted to the bar, was, while yet young,
appointed Judge of Probate in Schenectady, the duties of which office he
discharged with great ability and fidelity.
Being blessed with a
sufficient competency of the World's goods (although in the latter years of
his life he became poor), Brother Yates did not find it necessary to pursue
the practice of the legal profession as a source of livelihood. At an early
period he was attracted, by the bent of his mind, to the study not only of
general literature, but especially to that of archeology, philosophy, and the
occult sciences, of all of which he became an ardent investigator.
These studies led him
naturally to the Masonic Institution, into which he was initiated in the year
1817, receiving the Degrees of Symbolic Freemasonry in Saint George's Lodge,
No. 6, at Schenectady, New York.
In 1821 he affiliated with
Morton Lodge, No. 87, of the same place, and was shortly afterward elected its
Senior Warden. Returning subsequently to the Lodge of his adoption, he was
chosen as its Master in 1844. He had in the meantime been admitted into a
Chapter of the Royal Arch and an Encampment of Knights Templar; but his
predilections being for Scottish Freemasonry, he paid little attention to
these high Degrees of the American Rite.
He held several important
positions in the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, being elected Sovereign
Grand Commander of the Supreme Council in 1851, but soon resigned. He died
December 13, 1859. A fine address by Brother Yates, an exposition of the laws,
objects, and the history of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, is in
Doctor Mackey's revised History of Freemasonry (volume vi, pages 1888-1905).
A significant word in the
advanced Degrees. The French rituals explain it as meanings the passage of the
River, and refer it to the crossing of the River Euphrates by the liberated
Jewish captives on their return from Babylon to Jerusalem to rebuild the
Temple. It is, in its present form, a corruption of the Hebrew sentence,
yavaru hamaim, which signifies they drill cross, or pass over, the avers,"
alluding to the streams lying between Babylon and Jerusalem, of which the
Euphrates was the most important.
The same as the Year of the
World, which see.
YEAR OF FREEMASONRY
Sometimes used as synonymous
with Year of Light. In the eighteenth century, it was, in fact, the more
YEAR OF LIGHT
Anno Lewis, in the Year of
Light, is the epoch used in Masonic documents of the Symbolic Degrees. This
era is calculated from the creation of the world, and is obtained by adding
four thousand to the current year, on the supposition that Christ was born
four thousand years after the creation of the world. But the chronology of
Archbishop Ussher, which has been adopted as the Bible chronology in the
authorized version, places the birth of Christ in the year 4004 after the
According to this calculation,
the Masonic date for the "year of light" is four years short of the true date,
and the year of the Lord 1874, which in Masonic documents is 5874, should
correctly be 5878. The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite Freemasons in the
beginning of the nineteenth century used this Ussherian era, and the Supreme
Council at Charleston dated its first circular, issued in 1802, as 5806.
Dalcho (Ahiman Rezom, second edition, page 37) says: "If Masons are determined
to fix the origin of their Order at the Xirrie of the erection, they should
agree among themselves at what time before Christ to place that epoch." At
that agreement they have now arrived. Whatever differences may have once
existed, there is now a general consent to adopt the theory that the world was
created 4000 B.C. The error is too unimportant, and the practice too
universal, to expect that it will ever be corrected.
H. P. Smith (Hasting's
Dictionary of the Bible), we may here point out in a paragraph to support
Doctor Mackey, says that our appreciation of the Bible does not depend upon
the accuracy of its dates. This authority considers that in general, the
picture it provides of the sequence of events from the time of Judges down to
the Fall of Jerusalem is correct. More recently there has been welcome light
on the dates of certain biblical events from the inscriptions in Assyria and
These Empires had made great
advances in astronomy and consequently in the regulation of the calendar. They
had a reckoning of time which secured accuracy for their records of history.
Lists have come down to us in fragments, but by them scholars have corrected
some of the dates in Hebrew history. The reference already made to the work of
Archbishop Ussher has been checked by these later studies and most of the
figures, it is now accepted, are too high for the early period. Probably some
of the early writers were influenced by a theory which they had formed or
which had come to them through tradition and those tendencies show certain
repetitions in the records which are, in these modern days, not so convincing
Noowhouek (Constitutions 1784,
page 5), speaking of the necessity of adding the four years to make a correct
date, says: "But this being a Degree of accuracy that Masons in general do not
attend to, we must, after this intimation, still follow the vulgar mode of
computation to be intelligible." As to the meaning of the expression, it is by
no means to be supposed that Freemasons, now, intend by such a date to assume
that their Order is as old as the creation. It is simply used as expressive of
reverence for that physical light which was created by the fiat of the Grand
Architect, and which is adopted as the type of the intellectual light of
Freemasonry. The phrase is altogether symbolic.
YEAR OF THE DEPOSITED
An era adopted by Royal and
Select Masters, and refers to the time when certain important secrets were
deposited in the first Temple (see Anl to Depositionis).
YEAR OF THE DISCOVERY
An era adopted by Royal Arch
Masons, and refers to the time when certain secrets were made known to the
Craft at the building of the second Temple (see Anno Inventionis).
YEAR OF THE ORDER
The date used in documents
connected with Masonic Templarism. It refers to the establishment of the Order
of Knights Templar in the year 1118 (see Anno Ordinis).
YEAR OF THE WORLD
This is the era adopted by the
Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite and is borrowed from the Jewish
computation. The Jews formerly used the era of contracts, dated from the first
conquests of Seleucus Nicator in Syria. But since the fifteenth century they
have counted from the creation, which they suppose to have taken place in
September, 3760, before Christ (see Anno Mundi).
YEAS AND NAYS
The rule existing in all
parliamentary Bodies that a vote may be called for by fleas and nays, so that
the vote of each member may be known and recorded, does not apply to Masonic
Lodges. Indeed, any such proceeding ought to be unnecessary.
The vote by yeas and nays is
so taken in a representative Body that the members may be held responsible to
their constituents. But in a Lodge, each member is wholly independent of any
responsibility, except to his own conscience. To call for the yeas and nays
being then repugnant to the principles which govern Lodges, to call for them
would be out of order, and such a call could not be entertained by the
presiding officer. But in a Grand Lodge the responsibility of the members to a
constituency does exist, and there it is very usual to call for a vote by
Lodges, when the vote of every member is recorded. Although the mode of
calling for the vote is different, the vote by Lodges is actually the same as
a vote by yeas and nays, and may be demanded by any member.
An old Hermetic Degree, which
Thory says was given in some secret societies in Germany.
Of all the colors, yellow
seems to be the least important and the least general in Masonic symbolism. In
other institutions it would have the same insignificance, were it not that it
has been adopted as the representative of the sun, and of the noble metal
gold. Thus, in colored blazonry, the small dots by which the gold in an
engraved coat of arms is designated, are replaced by the yellow color. La
Colombiere, a French heraldic writer, says (Science Heroique, page 30) in
remarking on the connection between gold and yellow, that as yellow, which is
derived from the sun, is the most exalted of colors, so gold is the most noble
Portal (Des Couleurs
Symboliques, page 64) says that the sun, gold, and yellow are not synonymous,
but mark different Degrees which it is difficult to define. The natural sun
was the symbol of the spiritual sun, gold represented the natural sun,.and
yellow was the emblem of gold. But it is evident that yellow derives all its
significance as a symbolic color from its connection with the hue of the rays
of the sun and the metal gold. Among the ancients, the Divine Light or Wisdom
was represented by yellow, as the Divine Heat or Power was by red. And this
appears to be about the whole of the ancient symbolism of this color.
In the old instructions of the
Scottish and Hermetic Degree of Knight of the Sun, yellow was the symbol of
Wisdom darting its rays, like the yellow beams of the morning, to enlighten a
waking world. In the Prince of Jerusalem, it was also formerly the
characteristic color, perhaps with the same meaning, in reference to the
elevated position that Degree occupied in the Rite of Perfection, and
afterward in the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. Years ago, yellow was the
characteristic color of the Mark Master's Degree, derived, perhaps, from the
color of the Princes of Jerusalem, who originally issued charters for Mark
Lodges; for it does not seem to have possessed any symbolic meaning. In fact,
as has been already intimated, all the symbolism of yellow must be referred to
and explained by the symbolism of gold 2th of the sun, of which it is simply
YELLOW CAPS SOCIETY
The name of a society said to
have been founded by Ling-Ti, in China, in the eleventh century.
Prichard says that in the
early part of the eighteenth century the following formed a part of the
Have you seen your Master to-day?
How was he Clothed?
In a yellow jacket and a blue pair of breeches.
And he explains it by saying that "the yellow jacket is the compasses, and the
blue breeches the steel points."
Krause (Kunsturkunden ii, page
78) remarks on this subject that this sportive comparison given by Prichard is
altogether in the puerile spirit of the peculiar interrogatories which are
found among many other crafts, and is without doubt genuine as originating in
the working Lodges. Prichard's explanation is natural, and Krause's remark
correct. But it is vain to attempt to elevate the idea by attaching to it a
symbolism of gold and azure—the blue sky and the meridian sun. No such
thought, in Doctor Mackey's opinion, entered into the minds of the illiterate
Operatives with whom the question and answer originated.
He was one of the Magistri
Operis, or Masters of the Work, in the reign of Edward III, for whom he
constructed several public edifices. Doctor Anderson says that he is called,
"in the Old Records, the King's Freemason," (Constitution, 1735, page 70); but
his name does not occur in any of the old manuscript Constitutions that are
Pertaining to the era of
Yezdegerd, the last Sassanian monarch of Persia, who was overthrown by the
Mohammedans. The era is still used by the Parsees, and began 16th of June, 632
One of a sect bordering on the
Euphrates, whose religious worship mixes up the Devil with some of the
doctrines of the Magi, Mohammedans, and Christians.
The name given in Seandinavian
mythology to the greatest and most sacred of all trees, which was conceived as
binding together heavens earth, and hell. It is an ash, whose branches spread
over all the world, and reach above the heavens. It sends out three roots in
as many different directions: one to the Asa-gods in heaven, another to the
Frostgiants, the third to the under-world. Under each root springs a wonderful
fountain, endowed with marvelous virtues. From the tree itself springs a
honey-dew. The serpent, Nithhoggr, lies at the under-world fountain and gnaws
the root of Ygdrasil; the squirrel, Ratatoskr, runs up and down, and tries to
breed strife between the serpent and the eagle, which sits aloft. Doctor
Oliver (Signs and Symbols, page 155) considers it to have been the Theological
Ladder of the Gothic Mysteries.
Godfrey Higgins (Anacalypsis
ii, page 17) cites the Abbé Bazin as saying that this was the name esteemed
most sacred among the ancient Egyptians. Clement of Alexandria asserts, in his
Stromata, that all those who entered into the Temple of Serapis were obliged
to wear conspicuously on their persons the name I-ha-ho, which he says
signifies the Eternal God. The resemblance to the Tetragrammaton is apparent.
The Hebrew letter Is,
equivalent in sound to I or Y. It is the initial letter of the word Jehovah,
the Tetragrammaton, and hence was peculiarly sacred among the Talmudists.
Basnage (book iii, chapter 13), while treating of the mysteries of the name
Jehovah among the Jews, says of this letter: The yod in Jehovah is one of
those things which eye hath not seen, but which has been concealed from all
mankind. Its essence and matter are incomprehensible ; it is not lawful so
much as to meditate upon it.
Man may lawfully revolve his
thoughts from one end of the heavens to the other, but he cannot approach that
inaccessible light, that primitive existence, contained in the letter yod and
indeed the masters call the letter thought or idea, and prescribe no bounds to
its efficacy. It was this letter which, flowing from the primitive light, gave
being to emanations. It wearied itself by the way, but assumed a new vigor by
the sense of the letter t which makes the second letter of the Ineffable Name.
In Symbolic Freemasonry, the
god has been replaced by the letter G. But in the advanced Degrees it is
retained, and within a triangle, as in the illustration, constitutes the
symbol of the Deity.
Among the Orientalists, the
yoni was the female symbol corresponding to the lingam, or male principle. The
lingam and yoni of the East assumed the names of Phallus and Cteis among the
This document, which is also
called the Krause Manuscript, purports to be the Constitutions adopted by the
General Assembly of Freemasons that was held at York in 926 (see York Legend).
No original manuscript copy of it can be found, but a German translation from
a Latin version was published, for the first time, by Krause in the drei
attested Kunsturkunden der Freimaurer bruderschaft, the Three Oldest Craft
Records of the Masonic Brotherhood.
It will be found in the third
edition of that work (volume ui, pages 58-101). Krause's account of it is,
that it was translated from the original, which is said, in a certificate
dated January 4, 1806, and signed Stonehouse, to have been written on
parchment in the ancient language of the country and preserved at the City of
York, "apud Rev. summam societatem architectonicam," which Woodford translates
"an Architectural Society," but which is evidently meant for the "Grand
Lodge." From this Latin translation a German version was made in 1808 by
Brother Schneider of Altenberg, the correctness of which, having been examined
by three linguists, is certified by Carl Erdmann Weller, Secretary of the
Government Tribunal of Saxony.
And it is this certified
German translation that has been published by Krause in his Kunsturkunden. An
English version was inserted by Brother Hughan in his Old Charges of British
The document consists, like
all the old manuscripts, of an introductory invocation, a history of
architecture or the Legend of the Craft, and the General Statutes or Charges;
but several of the Charges differ from those in the other Constitutions. There
is, however, a general resemblance sufficient to indicate a common origin. The
appearance of this document gave rise in Germany to discussions as to its
authenticity. Krause, Schneider, Fessler, and many other distinguished
Freemasons, believed it to be genuine; while Kloss denied it, and contended
that the Latin translation which was certified by Stonehouse had been prepared
before 1806, and that in preparing it, an ancient manuscript had been
remodeled on the basis of the 1738 edition of Anderson's Constitutions,
because the term Noachida is employed in both, but is found nowhere else.
At length, in 1864, Brother
Findel was sent by the "Society of German Masons" to England to discover the
original. His report of his journey was that it was negative in its results;
no such document was to be found in the archives of the old Lodge at York, and
no such person as Stonehouse was known in that city. These two facts, to which
may be added the further arguments that no mention i9 made of it in the Fabric
Rolls of York Minster, published by the Surtees Society, nor in the inventory
of the Grand Lodge of York which was extant in 1777, nor by Drake in his
speech delivered before the Grand Lodge in 1726, and a few other reasons, have
led Findel to agree with Kloss that the document is not a genuine York
Charter. Such, too, is the general opinion of English Masonic scholars (see
Gould's History of Freemasonry, volume I, pages 499-6). There can be little
doubt that the General Assembly at York, In 926, did frame a body of laws or
Constitutions ut there is almost as little doubt that they are not represented
by the Stonehouse or Krause document (see York Masons and York Legend).
YORK, EDWARD AUGUSTUS, DUKE OF
Initiated Freemason in 1766
YORK, FREDERICK, DUKE OF
Initiated a Freemason in
Britannia Lodge, London, November 21, 1787. A commemorative Masonic token was
issued in 1795; the Duke of York having been installed Worshipful Master of
the Prince of Wales Lodge, March 22, 1793.
YORK GRAND LODGE
Brother Woodford says this is
a short title for "The Grand Lodge of all England," held at York, which was
formed from an old Lodge, in 1725, at work evidently during the seventeenth
century and probably much earls. The annual assembly was held in the City of
York by the Freemasons for centuries, and is so acknowledged virtually by all
the manuscripts from the fourteenth century. A list of Master Masons of the
York Minster, during its erection, is preserved, of the fourteenth century;
and legend and actual history agree in the fact that York was the home of the
Mason-Craft until modern times—the Charter of Prince Edwin Deing one of the
The Grand Lodge press served
its position in the north of England until 1792, when it finally died out, it
having constituted other Lodges, and a "Grand Lodge, south of the Trent" at
London. All of the York Lodges Succumbed on the decease of their Mother Grand
Lodge. There has not been a representative of the Ancient York strand Lodge
anywhere whatever throughout the nineteenth century.
It was long believed that the
word "yeomen" was the contraction of two Anglo-Saxon words meaning "young
men"; it is now agreed that the word is more likely to have been derived from
a term in the early Teutonic languages which meant "the district," "the local
country." There are references to yeomen gilds in a large number of Medieval
records and polychronicons, but in no instance does the context make clear
what they were.
A number of Masonic writers
have proposed the theory that they were gilds of Apprentices, or of new
Fellows of the Craft before Setting up as Masters, or of Fellows while
spending one or two years traveling abroad after having graduated from
apprenticeship, but there is nowhere evidence for the theory, and it does not
harmonize with other uses of the word.
In the typical Medieval manor
the lord lived in a house, set in grounds of its own, on a hill or other high
ground if any was available; his cotters, serfs, villeins with their families
lived in a village of huts and cottages at its foot, each with its garden
patch. If one of these later became a free man and was able to own his own
place, he was called a yeoman—an independent small farmer.
When in the reign of Henry VII
a national militia of volunteers was formed it was so largely recruited from
among these small freemen that the soldiers were called yeomen. In the course
of time they came to form a class between merchants and lords on the one side,
and farm laborers and craftsmen on the other.
York, the county seat of
Yorkshire, lying 88 miles north of London, with a population in 1930 of about
85,000, is one of the oldest cities in England, and one of the most famous
cities in the world. Next after London itself, Speculative Freemasonry's
mother city, it is also the great Masonic city. (See Vol. II, p. 1129). The
Britons had a town on its site before the Roman occupation; the Romans
themselves established a barracks there, and later organized the town and its
environs as a colonial or municipality. It was for years the home of King
Athelstan. When its Paulinus was made Archbishop in 627 A.D., it became the
seat of an Archbishopric which ever since has ranked second in importance only
Alcuin of York was selected by
Charlemagne as the teacher of himself and his sons (about 800 A.D.) because
the cloister school of which Alcuin was head was so renowned, and because York
itself was the Oxford of that day, and scarcely less known on the Continent
than in England itself. The War of the Roses, "England' a most terrible war,"
was fought between Yorkists and Lancastrians. It also had for some two
centuries a primacy in the fine arts, and more Gothic architecture was crowded
into its limits than in any other center; its Minster is one of the sublimest
structures ever built anywhere, or for any purpose. Its fame as a Masonic city
rests on many foundations:
1. A Bishop of York attended
the Council of Arles in 314 A.D., and the Council Records indicate that he was
given precedence over the Bishop of London; such a Bishop must have had a
Bishop's church, or cathedral, and it is likely therefore that York began to
be a center of architecture and of its sister arts and attendant skilled
crafts as early as the Fourth Century.
2. Had Athelstan's name never
been mentioned in the Old Charges he would have a large place in Masonic
history because he was a King of Operative Freemasonry as well as King of
England (see page 1172). York was Athelstan's home. He built or rebuilt many
structures there, and it is probable that the city already had its guildhall,
and very probably what later would be caned a City Company of Masons. Also, he
built and rebuilt much in London, and was so interested in the work per60nally
that rules and regulations for craftsmen bulked large in his laws and edicts.
Also, he was a city builder, a role to which even kings are seldom admitted,
for while Exeter had been a Welsh City before him, he moved the Welsh out and
in their place built a new city according to a plan of his own. When the Old
Charoes attribute to Athelstan a great interest in Freemasonry and a great
love for Freemasons they do not exaggerate- indeed, they fall short of the
whole truth because apparently the author of the Old Charges knew nothing of
Athelstan's work outside of York.
3. In one version of the Old
Charges it is stated that at an Assembly of Freemasons in York in 926 A.D.,
Athelstan gave the Craft a Royal Charter, a document which carried in itself a
higher authority than one issued by either the Church or any lord of lesser
degree or any city; the other versions of the Old Charges say that Athelstan
had been titular head of the Fraternity of Freemasons, but had made over his
title and prerogatives to a son, Prince Edwin. Historians question this
tradition bed cause, first, it is unsupported by contemporary records; second,
because no trace of a son of Athelstan named Prince Edwin has ever been found;
third, no trace of the Charter itself, either in a copy or in quotation, has
been discovered, although it is reasonable to think that the Freemasons would
have preserved many copies of a document so important to themselves.
Gould questioned the tradition
because he did not believe that General Assemblies of the Craft had ever been
held, but his argument is dubious because if the Craft had not held assemblies
a number of kings would not have issued edicts to prohibit them (see in this
Volume, under Wycliff it is dubious in the case of Athelstan also because
Gould apparently did not know what was insane by an 'assembly."
It is possible to reinterpret
the whole problem of the Assembly at York and o! the Royal Charter said to
have been granted there, and to do so without stretching the evidence.
Athelstan himself (and not through an agent) was a direct employer of
Freemasons at York, at London, at Exeter, and doubtless elsewhere; that which
was a written contract at the time may have come to be thought of as a charter
Also, as stated above,
Athelstan himself drew up rules and regulations for the Freemasons, and
incorporated them in h s written laws- in so doing, and also while acting as
an employer, both his own laws and contracts would specifically approve, at
least by implication, the Freemasons' own rules and regulations. If these
reasonings be sound, the tradition of a Charter granted by Athelstan becomes
true in substance if not true in form and for the Freemasons had the same
4. As explained in a number of
articles in this Volume. the first permanent Lodges were established about
1350 A.D. According to both civil and ecclesiastical law at the time such a
body had to have a charter; it also had "to make returns," that is, to report
their rules and regulations and their membership to the civil authorities. It
is reasonable to believe that the Old Charges were written partly for each of
If it be objected that the Old
Charges are not a charter, but only the claim that Athelstan had already
granted them a Royal Charter long before, the fact only proves that the
Freemasons themselves in 1350 A.D. relieved literally in the "York tradition"
but what id in th s connection far more important (Gould and Mackey both
overlooked that importance), the chit authorities themselves believed it, and
permitted the permanent Lodges to continue to work under the Old Charges. Had
those civil authorities disbelieved it, they would have rejected the Old
Charges and compelled the Lodges to seek civil charters.
Belief in the York tradition,
and for whatever it may be worth, rests not on a modern theory about a
supposed event a thousand years ago, but on a belief held by both Freemasons
and civil authorities in the Fourteenth Century. The latter were four
centuries removed from Athelstan, but that was not then as wide a gap in time
as it would be now (when change is at least fifty times as rapid) because in
the Middle Ages written official documents were preserved with great care; and
th s is especially true of York, as readers of Sir Francis Drake have
5. There was a Lodge in York,
no doubt of a predominantly Speculative membership, before the Grand Lodge was
erected in London in 1717; how old it was there is no way of discovering, but
it is on record as early as 1713 A.D. According to its own Minutes it was
sometimes called a Local Lodge, and sometimes a General Lodge —by this later
term it was probably meant that it had set up daughter Lodges. In 1725 A.D.
this Lodge turned itself into a Grand Lodge, elected a Grand Master, and took
the title "Grand Lodge of All England."
In the following year its
Junior Grand Warden, Sir Francis Drake, delivered an address to his Grand
Lodge which ever since has belonged among the great Masonic orations. In that
address he makes it clear that though their Grand Lodge was new, Freemasonry
in York was very old. It was to this Grand Lodge that William Preston turned
when he set up his "Grand Lodge of England south of the River Trent." Lodges
under both these authorities were absorbed by the Grand Lodge at London-
nothing is heard of the Grand Lodge of All England after the 1790'8.
6. When a group of London
Lodges set up in 1751 A.D. that Grand Lodge which everywhere was to become
famous as the Ancient Grand Lodge, its appeal to English Masons who already
had two Grand Lodges was based on its claim to recover and to preserve "the
Ancient Customs;" these customs it attributed to York, and therefore it often
cared itself, or was caned by others, the York Grand Lodge.
The appellation was both
unhistorical and unofficial; it was popular, however, and from it the name
"York" passed into general use. Canadians of the Ancient Craft Lodges caned
themselves York Masons, and from them the Phrase spread to the United States,
where in popular usage the three degrees and the Mark and Royal Arch Degrees
are caned "The York Rite" (including also, at times, Knight Templarism). The
usage is incorrect but since it serves the purpose of roughly indicating the
ladder of Degrees from Apprentice to Knight Templar, and the distinguishes
that hemisphere of the Fraternity from the Scottish Rite, it will doubtless
continue in use through an indefinite future, and thus help to preserve the
fame of the name of York.
NOTE. Both R. F. Gould and Wm.
J. Hughan stigmatized this use of "York" as an "Americanism. " How could it
have been when it originated in York itself, in the London Grand Lodge of
1751, A.D., and came to the American Colonies via Canada? Moreover it is only
in popular and uncritical usage that "York Rite" is employed here; the
doctrine that Freemasonry originated in York has not been officially adopted.
Even if it were, the usage would be still less an "Americanism" because it
would be based on the Old Charges. Chapters on the York and on the Grand Lodge
of All England will be found in the Ketones by Gould and by Mackey.
The great work on York is the
one entitled Eboracum, a thick tome of amazing erudition, written by the
above-mentioned Bro. and Dr. Sir Francis Drake (not the explorer). It is a
huge volume in fine print, al-most suffocatingly packed with facts. Any
beginning Masonic researcher could look far for a better specialty it is a
mine for Masonic essayists: in it countless old customs and symbols preserved
in Freemasonry appear in the form of records or minutes made at the time of
their use—there are at least fifty such records of the usages of Maundy
Thursday. (The writer of these lines belongs to what possibly may be America's
smallest club, its members consist of those who have read Eboracum! Any Master
Mason who reads that volume is qualified.)
The City of York, in the North
of England, is celebrated for its traditional connection with Freemasonry in
that kingdom. No topic in the history of Freemasonry has so much engaged the
attention of modern Masonic Scholars, or given occasion to more discussion,
than the alleged facts of the existence of Freemasonry in the tenth century at
the City of York as a prominent point, of the calling of a Congregation of the
Craft there in the year 926, of the organization of a General Assembly and the
adoption of a Constitution.
During the whole of the
eighteenth and the greater part of the nineteenth century, the Fraternity in
general have accepted all of these statements as genuine portions of authentic
history; and the adversaries of the Order have, with the same want of
discrimination, rejected them all as myths; while a few earnest seekers for
truth have been at a loss to determine what part was historical and what part
More recently, the discovery
of many old manuscripts directed the labors of such Scholars as Hughan,
Woodford, Lyon, and others, to the critical examination of the early history
of Freemasonry, and that of York has particularly engaged their attention. For
a thorough comprehension of the true merits of this question, it will be
necessary that the student should first acquaint himself with what was, until
recently, the recognized theory as to the origin of Freemasonry at York, and
then that he should examine the newer hypotheses advanced by the writers of
the present day.
In other words, he must read
both the tradition and the history. In pursuance of this plan, we propose to
commence with the legends of York Freemasonry, as found in the old manuscript
Constitutions, and then proceed to a review of what has been the result of
recent investigations. It may be premised that, of all those who have
Subjected these legends to the crucible of historical criticism, Brother
William James Hughan of Cornwall, in England, must unhesitatingly be
acknowledged as Facile Pr7nceps, the ablest, the most laborious, and the most
trustworthy investigator. He was the first and the most successful remover of
the cloud of tradition which so long had obscured the sunlight of history.
The legend which connects the
origin of English Freemasonry at York in 926 is sometimes called the York
Legend, sometimes the Athelstane Legend, because the General Assembly, said to
have been held there, occurred during the reign of that king; and sometimes
the Edunn Legend, because that Prince is supposed to have been at the head of
the Craft, and to have convoked them together to form a Constitution. The
earliest extant of the old manuscript Constitution's is the ancient poem
commonly known as the Halliwell or Regius Manuscript and the date of which is
conjectured, on good grounds, to be about the year 1390. In that work we find
the following version of the legend:
Thys craft com ynto Englond as
y yow say
Yn tyme of good kynge Adelstonus' day
He made tho bothe halle and eke bowre
And hye templus of gret honowre
To sportyn him yn bothe day and nygth,
An to worsehepe hys God with alle hys mygth.
Thys goode lorde loved thys craft ful wel
And purposud to strengthyn hyt every del,
For dyvers defawtys that yn the erayft he fonde
He sende aboute ynto the londe
After alle the masonus of the crafte
To come to hym ful evene strayfte
For to amende these defautys alle
By good eonsel gef hyt mytgth fallen
A semblé thenne he cowthe let
Of dyvers lordis yn here state
Dukys, erlys, and barnes also,
Knygthys, sqwyers and mony mo
And the grete burges of that syté,
They were ther alle yn here degré
These were there uehon algate
To ordeyne for these masonus astate
Ther they sowgton bv here wytte
How they myghthyn governe hytte:
Fyftene artyeulus they there sowgton,
And fyftene poylltys there they wrogton.
For the benefit of those who
are not familiar with this archaic style, the passage is translated into
This craft came into England,
as I tell you, in the time of good king Athelstan's reign; he made then both
hall, and also bower and lofty temples of great honor, to take his recreation
in both day and night and to worship his God with all his might. This good
lord loved this craft full well, and purposed to strengthen it in every part
on account of various defects that he discovered in the craft. He sent about
into all the land, after all the masons of the craft, to come straight to him,
to amend all these defects by good counsel, if it might so happen. He then
permitted an assembly to be made of divers lords in their rank, dukes, earls,
and barons, also knights, squires, and many more, and the great burgesses of
that city, they were all there in their degree; these were there, each one in
every way to make laws for the estate of these masons. There they sought by
their wisdom how they might govern it; there they found out fifteen articles,
and there they made fifteen points.
The next document in which we
find this legend recited is that known as the Cooke Manuscript, whose date is
placed at 1490. The details are here much more full than those contained in
the Halliwell Manuscript. The passage referring to the legend is as follows:
And after that was a worthy
kynge in Englond, that was callyd Athelstone, and his yongest son lovyd well
the seiens of Gemetry, and he wyst well that hand craft had the praetyke of
the seiens of Gemetry so well as masons; wherefore he drew him to eonsell and
lernyd [the] practyke of that scions to his speculatyf. For of speculatyfe he
was a master, and he lovyd well masonry and masons. And he bicome a mason
hymselfe. And he gaf hem [gave theml charges and names as it is now usyd in
Englond and in other countries. And he ordevned that they sehulde have
resonabull pay. And purehesed [obtained] a fre patent of the kyng that they
sehulde make a sembly when thei sawe resonably tvme a [to] eum togedir to her
[their] eounsell of the whiehe charges, manors & semble as is write and taught
in the boke of our charges wherefor I leve hit at this tyme.
This much is contained in the
manuscript from lines 611 to 642. Subsequently, in lines 688-719, which appear
to hasc been taken from what is above called the Boke of Charges, the legend
is repeated in these words: In this manner was the forsayde art begunne in the
land of Egypt bi the forsayd maister Euglat (Euelid), & so, it went fro lond
to londe and fro kyngdome to kyngdome. After that, many yeris, in the tyme of
Kyng Atdhelstone, whiche was sum tyme kynge of Englande, bi his counsell and
other gret lordys of the land bi comin (common) assent for grete defaut y-fennde
(found) among masons thei ordeyned a certayne reule amongys hem (them). on
(one) tyme of the yere or in iii yere, as nede were to the kyng and gret
lordys of the londe and all the eomente (community), fro provynce to provynce
and fro countre to countre congregations scholde be made by maisters, of all
maimers masons and felaus in the forsayd art. And so at such congregations
they that be made masters schold be examined of the articulls after written, &
be ransacked (thoroughly examined) whether thei be abull and kunnyng (able and
skilful) to the profyte of the lordys hem to serve (to serve theru), and to
the honor of the forsayd art.
Seventy years later, in 1560,
the Lansdowne Manuscript was written, and in it we find the legend still
further developed, and Prince Edwin for the first time introduced by name.
That manuscript reads thus: Soon after the Decease of St. Albones, there came
Diverse Wars into England out of Diverse Nations, so that the good rule of
Masons was dishired (disturbed) and put down lentil the tonne of King Adilston.
In his time there was a worthy King in England, that brought this Land into
good rest, and he built many great works and buildings therefore he loved well
Masons, for he had a sone called Edwin, the which Loved Masons much more than
his Father did, and he was so practiced in Geometry, that he delighted much to
come and talk with Masons and to learn of them the Craft. And after, for the
love he had to Masons and to the Craft, he was made Mason at Windsor, and he
got of the King, his Fathers a Charter and commission once every year to have
Assembly, within the Realm where they would within England, and to correct
within themselves Faults it Trespasses that were done ads touching the Craft,
and he held them an Assembly, and there he made Masons and gave them Charges,
and taught them the Manners and Commands the same to be kept ever afterwards.
And tootle them the Charter and commission to keep their Assembly. and
Ordained that it should he renewed from King to King, and when the Assembly
were gathered together he made a cry, that 311 old Masons or Young, that had
any Writings or Understanding of the charges and manners that were made before
their Kings, wheresoever they were made Masons, that they should shew them
forth, there were found some in French, some in Greek, some in Hebrew, and
some in English, and some in other Languages, and when they were read and over
seen well the intent of them was understood to be alone, and then he caused a
Book to he made thereof how this worthy Craft of Masonic was first founded,
and he himself commanded, and also then caused. that it should be read at any
time when it should happen any Mason or Masons to be made to give him or them
their Charges, and from that, until this Day, Manners of Masons have been kept
in this manner and found, as well as Men might Govern it, and Furthermore at
diverse Assemblies have been put and Ordained diverse Charges by the best
advice of Masters and Fellows.
All the subsequent manuscripts
contain the legend substantially as it is in the Lansdowne; and most of them
appear to be mere copies of it, or, most probably of some original one of
which both they and it are copies.
In 1793 Doctor Anderson
published the first edition of the Book of Constitutions, in which the history
of the Fraternity of Freemasons is, he Save, "collected from their general
records and their faithful traditions of many ages." He gives the legend
taken, as he says, from "a certain record of freemasons written in the reign
of King Edward IV," which manuscript, Preston asserts, "is said to have been
in the possession or the famous Elias Ashmole."
As the old manuscripts were
generally inaccessible to the Fraternity, and, indeed, until comparatively
recently but few of them have been discovered, it is to the publication of the
legend by Anderson, and subsequently by Preston, that we are to attribute its
general adoption by the Craft for more than a century and a half.
Tile form of the legend, as
given by Anderson in his first edition, varies slightly from that in his
second. In the former, he places the date of the occurrence at 930; in his
second, at 926: in the forth, he styles the Congregation at York a General
Lodge; in his second, a Grand Lodge. Now, as the modern and universally
accepted form of the legend agrees in both respects with the latter statement,
and not with the former, it must be concluded that the second edition, and the
subsequent ones by Entick and Noorthouck, who only repeat Anderson, furnished
the form of the legend as now popular.
In the second edition of the
Constitutions (page 63), published in 1738, Anderson gives the legend in the
In all the Old Constitutions
it is written to this purpose, viz.:
That though the Ancient
records of the Brotherhood in England were most of them destroyed or lost in
the war with the Danes, who burnt the Monasteries where the Records were kept-
yet King Athelstan (the Grandson of King Alfred), the first anointed King of
England who translated the Holy Bible into the Saxon language when he had
brought the land into rest and peace, built many great works, and encouraged
many Masons from France and elsewhere, whom he appointed overseers thereof:
they brought with them the Charges and Regulations of the foreign Lodges, and
prevailed with the King to increase the wages.
That Prince Edwin, the King's
Brother, being taught Geometry and Masonry, for the love he had to the said
Craft, and to the honorable principles whereon it is grounded, purchased a
Free Charter of King Athelstan his Brother, for the Free Masons having among
themselves a Connection or a power and freedom to regulate themselves to amend
what might happen amiss and to hold an yearly Communication in a General
That accordingly Prince Edwin
summoned all the Free and Accepted Masons in the Realm, to meet him in the
Congregation at York, who came and formed the Grand Lodge under him as their
Grand Master, AD. 926.
That they brought with them
many old Writings and Records of the Craft, some in Greek, some in Latin some
in French, and other languages; and from the contents thereof, they framed the
Constitutions of the English Lodges, and made a Law for themselves, to
preserve and observe the same in all Time coming, etc., etc., etc.
Preston accepted the legend,
and gave it in his second edition (page 198) in the following words:
Edward died in 924, and was
succeeded by Athelstane his son, who appointed his brother Edwin patron of the
Masons. This prince procured a Charter from Athelstane empowering them to meet
annually in communication at York. In this city, the first Grand Lodge of
England was formed in 926 at which Edwin presided as Grand Master. Here many
did writings were produced in Greek, Latin, and other languages, from which it
is said the Constitutions of the English Lodge have been extracted.
Such is the York Legend, as it
has been accepted by the Craft, contained in all the old manuscripts from at
least the end of the fourteenth century to the present day; officially
sanctioned by Anderson, the historiographer of the Grand Lodge in 1723, and
repeated by Preston, by Oliver, and by almost all succeeding Masonic writers.
Only recently has anyone thought of doubting its authenticity; and now the
important question in Masonic literature is whether X it is a myth or a
history—whether it is all or in any part fiction or truth—and if so, what
portion belongs to the former and what to the latter category. In coming to a
conclusion on this subject, the question necessarily divides itself into three
1. Was there an Assembly of
Freemasons held in or about the year 926, at York, under the patronage or by
the permission of King Athelstan? There is nothing in the personal character
or the political conduct of Athelstan that forbids such a possibility or even
probability. He was liberal in his ideal, like his grandfather the great
Alfred; he was a promoter of civilization; he patronized learning, built many
churches and monasteries, encouraged the translation of the Scriptures, and
gave charters to many operative companies. In his reign, the faith-giklan,
free gilds or sodalities, were incorporated by law. There is, therefore,
nothing improbable in supposing that he extended his protection to the
The uninterrupted existence
for several centuries of a tradition that such an Assembly was held, requires
that those who deny it should furnish some more Satisfactory reason for their
opinion than has yet been produced. Incredulity," says Voltaire, "is the
foundation of history." But it must be confessed that, while an excess of
credulity often mistakes fable for reality, an obstinacy of incredulity as
frequently leads to the rejection of truth as fiction.
The Reverend Brother Moodford,
in an essay on ache connection of forts with, the History of Freemasonry in
England, inserted in Brother Hughan's Unpublished Records of the Craft, has
critically discussed this subject, and comes to this conclusion: "I see no
reason, therefore, to reject so old a tradition, that under Athelstan the
Operative Masons obtained his patronage, and met in General Assembly." To that
verdict Doctor Mackey subscribed.
2. Was Edwin, the brother of
Athelstan, the person who convoked that Assembly? This question has already
been discussed in the article Edwin, where the suggestion is made that the
Edwin alluded to in the legend was not the son or brother of Athelstan, but
Edwin, King of Northumbria Francis Drake, in his speech before the Grand Lodge
of York in 1726, was, Doctor Mackey believed, the first who publicly aadvanced
this opinion; but he does so in a way that shows that the view must have been
generally accepted by his auditors, and not advanced by him as something new.
He says: "You know we can boast that the first Grand Lodge ever held in
England was held in this city, where Edwin, the first Christian King of
Northumbria, about the six hundredth year after Christ, and who laid the
foundation of our Cathedral, sat as Grand Master."
Edwin, who was born in 586,
ascended the throne in 617, and died in 633. He was pre-eminent, among the
Anglo-Saxon Kings who were his contemporaries, for military genius and
statesmanship. So inflexible was his administration of justice, that it was
said that in his reign a woman or child might carry everywhere a purse of gold
without danger of robbery—high commendation in those days of almost unbridled
The chief event of the reign
of Edwin was the introduction of Christianity into the kingdom of Northumbria.
Previous to his reign, the northern metropolis of the Church had been placed
at York, and the King patronized Paulinus the Bishop, giving him a house and
other possessions in that city. The only objection to this theory is its date,
which is three hundred years before the reign of Athelstan and the supposed
meeting at York in 926.
3. Are the Constitutions which
were adopted by that General Assembly now extant? It is not to be doubted,
that if a General Assembly was held, it must have adopted Constitutions or
regulations for the government of the Craft. Such would mainly be the object
of the meeting. But there is no sufficient evidence that the Regulations now
called the York Constitutions or the Gothic Constitutions, are those that were
adopted in 926. It is more probable that the original document and all genuine
copies of it are lost, and that it formed the type from which all the more
modern manuscript Constitutions have been formed. There is the strongest
internal evidence that all the manuscripts, from the Hallfwell to the
PapltJorth, have a common original, from which they were copied with more or
less accuracy, or on which they were framed with more or less modification.
And this original Doctor Mackey supposed to be the Constitutions which must
have been adopted at the General Assembly at York.
The theory, then, which Doctor
Mackey in preparing this article concluded may safely be advanced on this
subject, and which in his judgment must be maintained until there are better
reasons than we now have to reject it, is, that about the year 926 a General
Assembly of Freemasons was held at York, under the patronage of Edwin, brother
of Athelstan, at which Assembly a code of laws was adopted, which became the
basis on which all subsequent Masonic Constitutions were framed.
Originally there were six
manuscripts elf the Old Constitutions bearing this title, because they were
deposited in the Archives of the now extinct Grand Lodge of All England, whose
seat was at the City of York. But the manuscript No. 3 became missing,
although it is mentioned in the inventory made at York in 1779. Nos. 2, 4, and
5 came into possession of the York Lodge. Brother Hughan discovered Nos. 2 and
6 in the Archives of the Grand Lodge of England, at London. The dates of these
manuscripts, which do not correspond with the number of their titles, are as
follows: No. l has the date of 1600; No. 2, 1704; No.3, 1630; No. 4,1693; No.
5, is undated, but is supposed to be about 1670, and No. 6 also is undated,
but is considered to be about 1680.
Of these manuscripts all but
No. 3 have been published by the late Brother W. J. Hughan in his Ancient York
Masonic Rolls, 1894. Brother Hughan deems No. 4 of some importance because it
contains the following sentence:
"The one of the elders taking
the Booke, and that See or shee that is to be made mason shall lay their hands
thereon, and the charge shall bee given." This, he thought, affords some
presumption that women were admitted as members of the old Masonic Gilds,
although he admits that we possess no other evidence confirmatory or this
The truth is, that the
sentence was a translation of the same clause written in other Old
constitutions in Latin. In the York Manuscript, No. 1, the sentence is thus: "Tunc
unus ex senioribus teneat librum et ille vel illi," etc., that is, "he or
they." The writer of No. 4 copied, most probably, from No. 1, and his
translation of "hee or sheen from "ille vel illi," instead of "he or they,"
was either the result of ignorance in mistaking illi, they, for illa, she, or
of carelessness in writing shee for they.
It is evident that the charges
thus to be sworn to, and which immediately follow, were of such a nature as
made most of them physically impossible for women to perform; nor are females
alluded to in any other of the manuscripts. All Freemasons there are Fellows,
and are so to be addressed. There are two other York Manuscripts of the
Operative Masons, which have been published in the Fabric Rolls of York
Minster, an invaluable work, edited by the Rev. James Raine, and issued under
the patronage and at the expense of the Surtees Society.
The reference to these words
by Laurence Dermott, Brother W. J. Chetwode Crawley has pointed out, is really
to Prince Edwin at York and those associated with him in the meeting said to
have been there. In Caementaria Hibernica (Fasciculus ii) Brother Crawley goes
on to say: In these passages Laurence Dermott, whose accuracy might well be
imitated by his crities, makes a point of employing the compound word,
York-Masons, thus indieating that the expression was to be taken in its
ethical not in its geographical sense.
This distinctive meaning was
clearly understood by the Antients, and studiously maintained after Dermott's
death. In the circular March 2 1802, here mentioned, we find "York-Masons"
distinguished by inverted commas; a typographical expedient of similar import.
See Ahiman Rezon, London, 1807
(page 127) and Ahiman Rezon, 1764 (page 87).
This is the oldest of all the
Rites, and consisted originally of only three Degrees:
1. Entered Apprentice
2. Fellow Craft
3. Master Mason
The last included a part which contained the True Word, but which in Brother
Mackey's opinion was disrupted from it by Dunckerley in the latter part of the
eighteenth century, and has never been restored. The Rite in its purity does
not now exist Id anywhere. The nearest approach to it is the Saint w John's
Freemasonry of Scotland, but the Master's Degree of the Grand Lodge of
Scotland is not the Master's Degree of the York Rite.
When Dunckerley dismembered
the Third Degree, as Brother Mackey believed, he destroyed the identity of the
Rite. In 1813, it was apparently recognized by the United Grand Lodge of
England, when it defined the "pure Ancient Masonry to consist of three
degrees, and no more: namely, those of the Entered Apprentice, the Fellow
Craft, and the Master Mason, including the Supreme Order of the Holy Royal
Arch" Had Grand Lodge abolished the Royal Arch Degree, which was then
practiced as an independent Order in England, and reincorporated its secrets
in the Degree of Master Mason, the York Rite would have been revived. But by
recognizing the Royal Arch as a separate Degree, and retaining the Master's
Degree in its mutilated form, they to that extent repudiated the York Rite.
In the United States it has
been the almost universal usage to call the Freemasonry there practiced the
York Rite. But Brother Mackey believed it has no better claim to this
designation than it has to be called the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite,
or the French Rite, or the Rite of Schröder. It has no pretensions to the York
Rite. Of its first three Degrees, the Master's is the mutilated one which took
the Freemasonry of England out of the York Rite, and it has added to these
three Degrees six others which were never known to the Ancient York Rite, or
that which was practiced in England, in the earlier half of the eighteenth
century, by the legitimate Grand Lodge.
"In all my writings," asserts
Doctor Mackey, "for years past, I have ventured to distinguish the Masonry
practiced in the United States, consisting of nine Degrees, as the American
Rite, a title to which it is clearly and justly entitled, as the system is
peculiar to America, and is practiced in no other country." Brother Hughan,
speaking of the York Rite (Unpublished Records of the Craft, page 148) says
"there is no such Rite, and what it was no one now knows." Doctor Mackey
thought that this declaration was too sweeping in its language. Brother Hughan
was correct, as Doctor Mackey frankly admits, in saying that there is at this
time no such Rite. Doctor Mackey proceeds, I have just described its
decadence; but he is wrong in asserting that we are now ignorant of its
character. In using the title, there is no reference to the Grand Lodge of all
England, which met for some years during the last century, but rather to the
York legend, and to the hypothesis that York was the cradle of English
The York Rite was that Rite
which was most probably organized or modified at the Revival in 1717, and
practiced for fifty years by the Constitutional Grand Lodge of England. It
consisted of only the three Symbolic Degrees, the last one, or the Master's,
containing within itself the secrets now transferred to the Royal Arch. This
Rite was carried in its purity to France in 1725, and into America at a later
period. About the middle of the eighteenth century the Continental Freemasons,
and about the end of it the Americans, began to superimpose upon it those high
Degrees which, with the necessary mutilation of the Third, have given rise to
numerous other Rites. But the Ancient York Rite though no longer cultivated,
must remain on the records of history as the oldest and purest of all the
or YUGA. One of the ages,
according to Hindu mythology, into which the Hindus divide the duration or
existence of the world.