The Builder Magazine
May 1925 - Volume XI - Number 5
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Foreword - By R. W. BRO. SIR ALFRED ROBBINS, P. G. W.
United Grand Lodge of England: A Retrospect, 1717-1813 - BY BRO. GILBERT W.
DAYNES, Associate Editor, England
Constitutions of 1723 - By W. BRO. LIONEL VIBERT
Royalty and Their Patronage of the Craft - By W. BRO. J. WALTER HOBBS, P.M.,
L.R., P. Z., ETC.
Stat" - A Sketch of the History of the Grand Lodge of Ireland - By BRO. JOHN
HERON LEPPER, W.M., Quatuor Coronati Lodge, No. 2076, England
Masonic Benevolence Between 1717 and 1813 - By W.BRO. MAURICE BEACHCROFT,
M.A., O.B.E., P.G.D. (England)
EARLY MASONIC PRAYER
Charles Edward Stuart, G. M. - BY W.BRO. J. E. SHUM TUCKETT, P.M. QUATUOR
Grand Lodge of Scotland, and Its History to 1813 - By W. BRO. F.J.W. CROWE, F.
R. Hist. Soc.
Evolution of English Lodge-Boards - By W.BRO. REV. W. W. COVEY-CRUMP, P.M.,
Arch Masonry Prior to the Union of 1813 - By BRO.JOHN STOKES, M.A., M.D.
NELSON A FREEMASON?
GREAT AIM OF MASONRY
Concerning the Plan and Purpose of This Special Issue - By BRO. GILBERT W.
DAYNES, Associate Editor for England
MASONIC CLOTHING, 1717 TO 1731
ENTERED APPRENTICE'S CHARGE IN 1735
T. DESAGULIERS AND THE DUKE OF MONTAGU, 1734
W. BRO. SIR ALFRED ROBBINS, P. G. W.
PBESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF GENERAL PURPOSES, UNITED GRAND LODGE OF ENGLAND
a keen pleasure to be asked to give an introductory word to a Masonic literary
experiment, which should do much to promote among American and English
Freemasons a more complete comprehension of each other's point of View. The
pleasure is the keener when the effort to be thus foreworded--and thereby
forwarded--is the product of some of the most skilled and alert of English
living students of Masonry. In these times, among the ripest of our thinkers,
Masonic study is no longer a matter of phantasm and fantasy, of vague
imaginings with vain embroidery. It is a systematic endeavor to find what are
the true origins of the wonderful system which today is world-wide in
influence and enthusiasm, and to trace its development from small beginnings
to the vast organization we now see.
Masonry, we have been assured from our earliest moments within thc Craft, is a
progressive science; and this is a truth accustomed to be lost sight of by
those who act as if, at some undefined moment in its history, its growth was
suddenly arrested, its development sharply checked, and certain new Tables of
the Law were enacted which it were heretical to doubt and iniquitous to
disobey. Those who read the series of articles here brought together by
Masonic authors of differing powers and points of view, but all at one in the
simple design of seeking the true inwardness of things, will perceive why the
best instructed English Mason of today does not accept a claim for
infallibility coming from whatever quarter it may. They will see why that
Mason declines to accept as infallible the statements of James Anderson, of
William Preston, or of George Oliver, to take the three most prominent among
early English Masonic authorities. They will realize how much more we know of
what Freemasonry truly is if we allow our minds the same freedom of judgment,
based upon constantly increasing knowledge, we claim in other relations of
"Wisdom is before him that hath understanding." So says the sage in Holy Writ;
and it enjoins that we shall seek not only to gather knowledge but to exercise
our intellect towards its fullest comprehension. The descendants of Hiram
should resemble that early Grand Master himself in being "filled with wisdom
and understanding"--not alone possessed of facts but the facility to apply
them. The cardinal weakness of some of the earliest popular Masonic writers
was that, when unpossessed of facts, they were fullest of facility. At the
time they were most precise, they were often most erroneous; and, if Masonry
is to hold an unchallenged position among the learned and the thoughtful, it
must resolutely set its face against continuing to accept fancies, however
venerable, when it can rest on a sure basis of fact. Our Craft, so far from
standing to lose by stripping itself of the accretions derived from an
uncritical age, will be the stronger and the purer for depending on clearly
revealed and attested truth.
"Understanding !" This is the word to be given to every brother, wherever
dispersed over the face of earth and water, as his guide in Masonic work. And
it should be given in its varied meaning, as applied to intellectual and
fraternal conditions alike. In the first variant, it enjoins an effort to
derive lasting wisdom from acquired knowledge. In the second, it implies an
endeavor to secure a closer comprehension of the point of view of brethren
other than ourselves. The series of papers now presented will materially
assist in both directions. They furnish in small compass and effective form a
striking body of information concerning the development of the Craft, its
ideals, and its ideas during the opening century of its organization as a
great social power. In the very process lines of divergence were initiated
acquaintance with which clears the path for comprehension of the others'
latter is the main phase on which I desire at the moment to dwell. It has been
my great good fortune to be the bearer from the Masons of England to their
brethren of the United States the expression not only of heartfelt wish for a
continuance and growth of the friendly spirit that has always prevailed
between them, but of keen desire for the promotion by more full, free, and
frequent intercourse of a thorough understanding. This, I am convinced, will
best be secured by a closer study of each other's problems, unfettered by
prepossessions, and unshackled by humble submission to traditional observance.
The American Mason, visiting an English lodge for the first time, is apt to
criticize what to him appears a lack of the ornate and the oratorical. The
English Mason, in his earliest experience of American working, is as prone to
condemn the presence of drama in a developed degree. Neither realizes that
both phases have sprung from the same stock, deriving their original nurture
from the like root, and branching in somewhat divergent, but never entirely
different, directions because, at the outset, of local and sometimes national
conditions. It should be the object of the studious Mason to show what these
were, and to insist on the great and lasting truth that what in Freemasonry,
as in daily life, we must always insist on is, "In essentials, unity; in
non-essentials, variety; in all things, charity." Given an open mind and a
good heart, we shall all come with closeness together. Let American and
English brethren alike, be like Hiram, "filled with wisdom and understanding,"
and they will carry with them the whole Masonic world.
United Grand Lodge of England: A Retrospect, 1717-1813
BRO. GILBERT W. DAYNES, Associate Editor, England
June 24, 1723, when William Cowper--Clerk of the Parliaments, and a member of
the Horn Lodge, Westminster--was appointed Secretary, we have the records of
the Grand Lodge of England in unbroken sequence to the present day. These
records give no hint of any earlier minutes, now missing. Except for some
contemporary newspaper notices we are entirely dependent upon Dr. James
Anderson for an account of the first six years of the premier Grand Lodge of
the World, an account published in the Second Edition of the Book of
Constitutions in 1738. Unfortunately Dr. Anderson's capacity as an historian
has been impugned frequently, and, where independent evidence has been
forthcoming, many statements made by him have been proved to be inaccurate.
However, it must also be remembered that some of the Grand Officers, who
participated in these early events, must have perused and passed the account.
Anderson tells us that the members of four lodges, then existing in London,
"and some old Brothers," constituted themselves into a Grand Lodge, at an
unknown date, prior to June 24, 1717, when, at an Assembly and Feast held at
the Goose and Gridiron Alehouse, St. Paul's Churchyard, the brethren then
present "by a Majority of Hands elected Mr. Anthony Sayer, Gentleman, Grand
Master of Masons."
first Grand Master was succeeded by George Payne in 1718, who in turn was
replaced by Dr. J.T. Desaguliers in 1719. The latter is said to have revived
"the old regular and peculiar Toasts or Healths of the Free Masons." On June
24, 1720, George Payne, who was responsible for framing early Regulations for
the Craft, was elected Grand Master for a second time. On June 24, 1721, John,
Duke of Montagu, became Grand Master, and, for the first time, a Deputy Grand
Master was appointed in addition to the two Grand Wardens. Ever since this
election either nobility or royalty have reigned over the premier Grand Lodge,
and, later, the United Grand Lodge of England. In 1723, James Anderson
published the First Edition of the Book of Constitutions; but not a word
appeared therein as to the formation, and the first six years' working, of the
Grand Lodge. In June, 1722, Philip, Duke of Wharton, was elected Grand Master
Anderson would have us believe that the election was whoily irregular, and
that no Deputy Grand Master was appointed, until the Duke of Montagu called a
special meeting of Grand Lodge, in January, 1723, to put matters right.
Contemporary newspaper paragraphs, however, negative these assertions, and one
paper states that Dr. Desaguliers was appointed D.G.M. at the June meeting.
the MS. list of "Regular Constituted Lodges," in the first Minute Book of
Grand Lodge, commenced on Nov. 25, 1723, we know that there were, early in
1724, fifty-two lodges on the roll. The names of 731 brethren are given in
respect of thirty-six of these lodges; so we may, perhaps, assume that there
were then about one thousand members in the lodges owning allegiance to Grand
Lodge. On Feb. 19, 1724, a Regulation was passed, "that no Brother belong to
more than one Lodge at one time within the Bills of Mortality." This
resolution., however, soon became a dead letter. The new Grand Lodge, at its
inception, certainly never intended to exercise authority over lodges outside
London, and, in the 1723 Book of Constitutions, there are also indications
that its scope had not, at that date, been enlarged. However, in the list of
lodges of 1723, we find that lodges had been constituted at Edgware, Acton,
and Richmond. During 1724 the process of extension is in active operation, and
nine lodges in different parts of England a constituted under the authority of
Grand Lodge Bristol, Bath, and Norwich leading the way. By April, 1729, this
extension is still further developed, and lodges at Madrid, Gibraltar, and
Fort William, Calcutta have been constituted. During the next decade lodges
are being planted in the New World, and in many parts of Europe not under the
LISTS ARE DESCRIBED
enable brethren to know where the regular, constituted lodges met, and when,
Engraved Lists of the Lodges, giving the necessary details, were published
from time to time. The earliest known list was issued in 1724. On Dec. 27,
1727, Grand Lodge ordered "that it be referr'd to the succeeding Grand Master,
Deputy Grand Master, and Grand Wardens, to inquire into the Precedency of the
several Lodges, and to make Report thereof at the next Quarterly Communication
in order that the same may be finally settled and ent'red accordingly." In the
Engraved List for 1729, the lodges, for the first time, appeared numbered, and
in order of seniority. Re-numbering the lodges took place on five further
occasions during the eighteenth century. For many years the Engraved Lists
were published annually, and even oftener, but in 1775 they were replaced by
The Freemasons' Calendar, which has been published yearly ever since, being
now known as The Masonic Year Book.
GENERAL CHARITY IS ORGANIZED
first act of charity mentioned in Grand Lodge minutes was a collection of
28-17-6 pounds on Feb. 19, 1724, on behalf of Henry Prichard, "that he should
not be a sufferer." On Nov. 21, 1724, the Earl of Dalkeith recommended the
creation of "a Generall Charity." In due course a treasurer was appointed, and
also a committee to regulate such charity. It was not, however, until Nov. 25,
1729, that the first contributions-9-8-6 pounds in all--were received. To
augment the "General Charity" it was resolved by Grand Lodge on Dec. 27, 1729,
"that for the future every Lodge of Masons, that shall be Constituted by the
Grand Master or by his Authority shall pay the Sum of two Guineas towards the
Charity upon their being Constituted." Previously no fee had, apparently, been
charged. This fee has been retained ever since, but the amount of it has been
altered from time to time.
Committee of Charity--now known as the Board of Benevolence--was enlarged in
1730, and again in 1733, when it was agreed by Grand Lodge "that all such
Business which cannot conveniently be despatched by the Quarterly
Communication shall be referred to the Committee of Charity." It thus became
in effect a Committee of General Purposes.
ANNUAL FEAST WAS MAINTAINED
Annual Feast and Assembly seems to have been a recognized function, in
connection with the Grand Lodge, from its formation. At first held in one of
the taverns it was, in 1721, removed to the hall of one of the city companies.
This change necessitated stewards, but we learn from Dr. Anderson that "the
Grand Officers not finding a proper Number of Stewards, our Brother Mr. Josiah
Villeneau, Upholder in the Burrough of Southwark, generously undertook the
whole himself, attended by some Waiters." We next hear of stewards at the
Feast on June 24, 1723, Anderson naming six brethren as having served in that
capacity. In 1724 Anderson says that there were twelve stewards, but the Grand
Lodge Minutes do not state the number. On Dec. 27, 1725, the arrangements were
in the hands of John James Heidegger, and at the two following Feasts, Edward
Lambert--a celebrated confectioner--acted in the same capacity. On Nov. 26,
1728, on the motion of Dr. J.T. Desaguliers, the office of steward was
revived, and twelve brethren offered their services. By 1732 the twelve
serving stewards had acquired the right to nominate their successors. They
were also permitted to have their jewels pendant to red ribbons, and their
Aprons lined with red silk. In 1735 Grand Lodge resolved that all the Grand
Officers, except the G. M., should from thenceforth be selected from the
stewards and the stewards also received further privileges in connection with
attendance at Grand Lodge. The stewards were given permission to have a lodge,
composed of those who were serving, or had served, the office of Grand
Steward, and this lodge was constituted on June 25, 1735, at The Shakespeare's
Head, Covent Garden, London. On April 18, 1792, the Steward's Lodge was placed
at the head of the roll, by order of Grand Lodge, without a number.
popularity of the Craft grew, so did the curiosity of the uninitiated. In
1724, to gratify this curiosity, the so-called "exposures" begin to appear,
both in newspaper and in book form. In 1730, two exposures were published,
which attracted the attention of Grand Lodge. On Aug. 28, Dr. Desaguliers,
referring to the Mystery of Free Masonry, printed in the Daily Journal for
Aug. 15, "recommended several things to the Consideration of the Grand Lodge .
. . for preventing any false Brethren being admitted into regular Lodges and
such as call themselves Honorary Masons." Nathaniel Blackerby, D. G. M., also,
"proposed several Rules to the Grand Lodge to be observed in their respective
Lodges for their Security against all open and Secret Enemies of the Craft."
On Dec. 15, the D. G. M. referred to Masonry Dissected, published by Samuel
Prichard, the previous October, and characterized it as "a foolish thing not
to be regarded." But the Grand Lodge minutes further state, that "in order to
prevent the Lodges being imposed upon by false Brethren or Imposters: Proposed
till otherwise ordered by the Grand Lodge, that no Person whatsoever should be
admitted into Lodges unless some Member of the Lodge then present would vouch
for such visiting Brother being a regular Mason." In the opinion of many
Masons some of the recommendations, which were adopted this year, had relation
to the Ritual, and being of an esoteric character, were not committed to
writing. Four years later, William Smith published The Free-Mason's Pocket
Companion, first in London, and, shortly afterwards, in Dublin. In his Preface
he has this rather significant passage:
need not say more in relation to the Book itself, but must here beg leave to
exhort the Brotherhood, that avoiding all Innovations they adhere strictly to
the antient Practices of the Order."
this merely a warning, or did it refer to something, which was then happening,
or, perhaps, had happened, within the Craft? William Smith was certainly not
the spokesman of the Grand Lodge, because we are told by Grand Lodge minutes,
that, on Feb. 24, 1735, Dr. Anderson having "represented that one William
Smith said to be a Mason, had without his privity or Consent pyrated a
considerable part of the Constitution of Masonry aforesaid to the prejudice of
the said Br. Anderson it being his Sole Property," Grand Lodge resolved, "that
every Master and Warden present shall do all in their Power to discountenance
so unfair a Practice, and prevent the said Smith's Books being bought by any
Members of their respective Lodges." It may be mentioned that Dr. Anderson
brought out a Second Edition of the Book of Constitutions in 1738, and that
further editions of the work were published in 1756, 1767, and 1784.
GRAND LODGE WAS FORMED
Between 1730 and 1740 we perceive indications of the beginning of what turned
out to be, perhaps, the most important event of the century, viz., the rise of
the Grand Lodge of the Antients. From Anderson's Constitutions, and the
records of Grand Lodge, we have evidence from which we may gather that, from
the first days of the Grand Lodge there were in existence lodges quite
independent of the new organization, and on that account considered irregular,
because they never would accept a constitution from their hands. Many reasons
would keep these lodges from joining the Grand Lodge, the influx of society
into Freemasonry, and the extension of the ceremonies being probably not the
time went on these old brethren, finding the breach widening, doubtless
continued their own independent lodges, and made their friends and relations
Masons in them. The references to irregular lodges, appearing in the Grand
Lodge minutes, may relate to lodges such as these. It is also apparent that
Irishmen --mostly of the artizan class--coming over to England during this
period, would find the atmosphere of these independent lodges far more
congenial than the more refined lodges, constituted by Grand Lodge, especially
if they found altered ceremonies being practiced in these latter lodges. It
only wanted some such circumstance as happened on Dec. 11, 1735, to
consolidate this position. On this date we learn, from Grand Lodge minutes,
"Notice being given to the Grand Lodge that the Master and Wardens of a Lodge
from Ireland attended without, desiring to be admitted, by virtue of a
Deputation from the Lord Kingston present G. Master of Ireland. But it
appearing there was no particular Recommendation from his Lord'p in this
affair their Request could not be comply'd with, unless they would accept of a
new Constitution here."
this meeting, it is interesting to note, George Payne was acting as G. M. in
the absence of Lord Weymouth, while Dr. Anderson and Jacob Lamball were Grand
Wardens, pro tempore. There were also present the Masters and Wardens of
fifty-seven lodges, of which all but one met in London. Anderson was no lover
of Irish Masons; the Irish Grand Lodge had copied extensively from his
Constitutions in 1730, and William Smith--probably an Irish Mason--had also
pirated portions. Jacob Lamball was one of the old Masons who had, in 1717,
thrown in his lot with the Grand Lodge. Hence the Irishmen received little
consideration. The offer of an English Constitution does, I think, show that
the Irishmen were no mere visitors to London, but had come to stay. Given the
cold shoulder by their English brethren, it is at least probable that this
lodge became the center of union of Irish Masons coming to London.
course of time other independent lodges would naturally come into existence in
London with a strong Irish membership. In 1745 Ireland actually warranted a
lodge at Norwich but, beyond the names of the seven founders, nothing is known
concerning it. Thanks to the researches of Bro. Henry Sadler, we can now state
with confidence that it was from these independent lodges that the Grand Lodge
of Antients emerged.
beginnings of this Grand Lodge were small indeed. From their records it would
appear that in July, 1751, when the decision to form a Grand Lodge was
reached, there were not more than six lodges, with a total membership not
exceeding eighty to come under its authority. In February, 1752, Laurence
Dermott was appointed Grand Secretary, and to his enthusiasm and great
organizing capacity is mainly due the success of that body.
Grand Lodge gathered weight as the years rolled on. It was responsible for the
warrants of the majority of the Military Lodges, and, consequently, sent
Freemasonry into many different parts of the world. This Grand Lodge was in
fraternal communication with the Grand Lodges of Scotland and Ireland. By the
skill and ability of its rulers it became, in course of time a power equal to
that of the premier Grand Lodge, and was thus enabled, when the opportune time
arose, to negotiate a union on equal, if not advantageous, terms.
the eighteenth century there were, in addition to the two Grand Lodges already
dealt with, three other Grand Lodges in England, viz., The Grand Lodge of All
England, with its headquarters at York; The Grand Lodge of All England South
of the River Trent, the effort of William Preston; and The Supreme Grand Lodge
of Scottish Masons in London, discovered by Bro. Sadler. None of these Grand
Lodges gave any great uneasiness to the premier Grand Lodge, nor did they in
any way affect the Masonic events of the period. They had all disappeared by
the end of the eighteenth century, and we may therefore pass them by.
ATTEMPTS WERE MADE TO INCORPORATE GRAND LODGE
must now return to the doings of the premier Grand Lodge. It was fully alive
to the growing power of the Grand Lodge of the Antients, and did its utmost to
organize and increase the power of its own Body. In October, 1768, the Duke of
Beaufort, G. M., formed a plan to have the Society incorporated. This appears
to have been a blow aimed at the rival body, and was so regarded by them. As
we shall see it miscarried as did most efforts in that direction.
1769, the Grand Lodge agreed to the project of its G. M. and, the proposed
Charter of Incorporation being drawn up, copies were circulated in favor of
incorporation, only forty three being opposed to it, amongst which were to be
numbered the Stewards, Royal, and Caledonian Lodges. The two former
memorialized Grand Lodge to discontinue its project, but the Caledonian Lodge
went further, and actually entered a caveat against it in the office of the
Attorney General. Only a public apology prevented this lodge from being erased
for this offense. Eventually, however, the minority won for in 1741, in
consequence of the vigorous opposition in Parliament, in which "Antient"
brethren participated, the consideration of the bill was postponed sine die
upon the motion of the D. G. M., the Hon. Charles Dillon.
LODGE ACQUIRES A HOME
Contemporaneously with the attempted incorporation anotherand more successful
effort was launched. The desire for a public hall resulted in Grand Lodge
considering, in October 1768, "the most effectual means to raise a fund for
defraying the expenses of building a Hall." By the end of 1774 premises in
Great Queen Street were purchased, and the foundation stone of the new hall
was laid on May 1, 1775. On May 23, 1776, the hall being completed, it was
duly opened and dedicated in solemn form to Masonry, Virtue, Universal
Charity, and Benevolence. In 1788, it was resolved to pull down and rebuild
Freemason's Tavern, and as a consequence the Grand I.odge became heavily in
debt. Many methods were adopted to raise funds, and inducements were offered
to those who either gave to Grand Lodge, or forgave loans made to them. At the
end of the century a special annual fee of 2/per member, throughout the Craft,
was levied, and remained in force until 1810.
December meeting in 1797 of the Grand Lodge of the Antients, a motion was
proposed unsuccessfully "that a Committee be appointed by the R. W. Grand
Lodge to meet one that may be appointed by the Grand Lodge of Modern Masons
and with them to effect a Union." The beginning of the nineteenth century saw
further, but unsuccessful, negotiations.
1804 an address to his Grace the Duke of Atholl, on the subject of a union
between the two rival bodies, was printed, but nothing came of it at that
time. Negotiations then languished, but were resumed in 1809. On April 12, of
that year, the premier Grand Lodge resolved that the necessity no longer
existing, the several lodges be enjoined "to revert to the ancient Land Marks
of the Society." The next important step was the issue of a warrant, dated
Oct. 26, 1809, by the Earl of Moira, Acting Grand Master, to the seven Grand
Officers of the year, and eight other brethren forming them into a
lodge-afterwards known as the Special Lodge of Promulgation--"for the purpose
of Promulgating the Ancient Land Marks of the Society, and instructing the
Craft in all such matters and forms as may be necessary to be known by them."
The warrant was only to continue in force until Dec. 31, 1810, a date
subsequently twice extended, and finally fixed at March 31, 1811.
lodge commenced its deliberations on Nov. 21, 1809. They held it to be their
duty "first to ascertain what were the Ancient Land Marks and the Ancient
practice, and then to communicate them to the Craft at large." All the forms
and ceremonies of the Three Degrees, and the Installation Ceremony, were
carefully gone through and approved; and it is clear that the outcome of their
deliberations was largely in favor of the so-called Antient Masons. Amongst
other things, the lodge resolved, on Oct. 18, 1810, that, "the Ceremony of the
Installation of Masters of Lodges is one of the two Landmarks of the Craft and
ought to be preserved." Bro. W. B. Hextall has pointed out that the word "two"
in the minutes must have been sheer blundering. Either the scribe added this
word to the original resolution, or wrote that word for the word "true." The
lodge also decided that, "Deacons (being proved on due investigation to be not
only Ancient but useful and necessary Officers) be recommended."
UNION IS CONSUMMATED
Concurrently with the deliberations of the Special Lodge of Promulgation, the
Grand Lodge of the Antients appointed, in December, 1809 a committee to
consider and adopt measures for accomplishing a Masonic Union. This committee
duly reported to its Grand Lodge and, in March, 1810, that Body resolved "that
a Masonic Union on principles equal and honorable to both Grand Lodges and
preserving inviolate the landmarks of the antient Craft would in the opinion
of this Grand Lodge be expedient and advantageous to both."
was forwarded to the premier Grand Lodge and, on April 10, 1810, they passed a
resolution, "that this Grand Lodge welcomes with unfeigned cordiality the
desire expressed by the Grand Lodge under his Grace the Duke of Atholl for a
Union." They also appointed the original members of the Special Lodge of
Promulgation to be a "Committee to negotiate the desirable arrangement." A
committee of the Grand Lodge of the Antients was also appointed to confer with
that committee, and the Articles of Union signed at Kensington Palace on Nov.
25, 1813, and duly ratified on the first of December following, was the
result. These articles provided (inter alia) for the union of the two Grand
Lodges, for the re-numbering of the lodges; the degrees to be recognized; that
Past Masters should become members of Grand Lodge; and that a Lodge of
Reconciliation should be warranted to deal with the forms and ceremonies to be
Lodge of Reconciliation was to be formed by each Grand Master appointing "nine
worthy and expert Master Masons, or Past Masters, of their respective
Fraternities." The Grand Master of the premier Grand Lodge issued a warrant
for the nine brethren to form a lodge under the name of the Lodge of
Reconciliation. There was, apparently, no warrant issued by the Grand Lodge of
the Antients to their nine brethren, who were brought into being by special
dispensation. The first meeting, a joint one, took place on Dec. 10, 1813, and
further meetings were held by each body prior to the 27th. Their work
consisted in re-obligating brethren in preparation for the Union. The work of
the Lodge of Reconciliation subsequent to the Union lies outside the scope of
this article. The lodge continued in existence until 1816, and it well known
that their labors contributed, very largely, to developing the ritual into the
form we now use in our lodges in England today.
Dec. 27, 1813, both Grand Lodges met at Freemasons' Hall, Great Queen Street,
London. In this solemn Act of Union the members of the two Grand Lodges were
intermingled. so as to show the Union into one single society. The Grand
Master of both Grand Lodges were present, and on the proposition of H. R. H.
the Duke of Sussex was unanimously, and with great acclamation, elected Grand
Master of the
GRAND LODGE OF ANCIENT FREEMASONS OF ENGLAND.
Constitutions of 1723
BRO. LIONEL VIBERT
QUATUOR CORONATI LODGE, NO. 2076; EDITOR "MISCELLANEA LATOMORUM, England
was evident very early in the career of the first Grand Lodge that there would
have to be something in the nature of Regulations to deal with such matters as
the election of the Grand Master and the conduct of the Annual Grand Feast;
and it appears also to be the case that, as early as 1721, Grand Lodge
proposed to retain in its own hands the privilege of conferring the degree
known as the Master's Part, which was at that time the only degree practiced
beyond that of Acceptance, or Admission. It being the recognized custom, at
the time, that no one could be Master of a lodge who had not taken this
degree, that conferred the rank of both Fellow and Master, it is obvious that
this restriction operated to give Grand Lodge a large measure of control over
the mastership of the lodges. Further, in 1721, it became apparent that
another new departure was inevitable. The Four Old Lodges, that alone
constituted Grand Lodge, were quite insufficient to cope with the numbers that
now came into the Order, and some provision was clearly necessary to meet the
requirements of the new brethren. What seems to have happened is that Grand
Lodge formally took power to constitute new lodges, and ordered that all such
lodges, to be regular, must have themselves constituted in accordance with the
form prescribed by the central authority, the essential feature of which would
seem to have been that they were enrolled in a list maintained in London, and
their names were notified to all existing lodges. There is good reason to
believe that the rules on this subject were first promulgated by Grand Master
Payne, in 1721.
HISTORY OF MASONRY IS RE-WRITTEN
in harmony with the spirit that animated the new body, that it now began to be
felt that the old documents of the Craft were no longer suited to the of
laws--the Old Charges--which had for a long time been in great measure
obsolete, and had accordingly been ignored by the Masons, whenever they had
occasion to frame regulations in their trade corporations. They had also
preserved an elaborate legendary history, that could no longer be seriously
maintained as a satisfactory account of the origin of the Craft. Accordingly
when the suggestion was made that the new authority should have a new history
written for it, it was readily adopted, and the offer of Mr. James Anderson-he
became Dr. Anderson at a later date-to write this history appears to have been
accepted by Grand Lodge in September, 1721.
period was unfortunate. The history of the Craft, as we now recognize, is
bound up with the development of Gothic architecture, and with the trade gild
system of mediaeval England. The first quarter of the eighteenth century was a
time when it was fashionable to despise the indigenous Gothic as barbarous,
and to exalt the Renascence art of Bramante and Palladio at its expense.
Anderson was not of that robust order of intellects that maintains opinions
running counter to those generally held, and accordingly his attitude was that
England, under the stuarts and Hanoverians, had at last returned to the right
way and the true Art of Masonry.
Traditional History traced Masonry, or Geometry, back to the children of
Lamech, and brought it down from them to David and Solomon; curious craftsmen
then disseminated the knowledge and brought it to France and England. In
France, Charles Martel was the patron and protector of the Masons; in England,
it was established by St. Alban first, and after by Athelstan and Edwin. No
attempt had as yet been made to fill in the gaps in this narrative, which
remained as it had been written some time early in the sixteenth century, that
text itself being a revision of a much earlier account. Anderson adopted an
entirely different scheme. He traced the art to Cain, who first built a city,
having been instructed in Geometry by Adam. Then, after Grand Master Noah, we
come to the Temple, which is described at great length, and from it all
civilized architecture is derived. He traces the progress of the science,
through Greece and Italy, to its culmination in Rome, in what he calls the
Glorious Augustan Style. In Britain, after the Romans, all knowledge of the
true art is lost, for Gothic is merely a barbarous substitute for it, and it
is reserved for the House of stuart to restore the knowledge of it, which was
done when James I introduced Renascence architecture into this country.
Subsequent monarchs have encouraged the art by their bright example, in
building Hampton Court, and so on, until the days of his Majesty King George,
who laid the foundation of the church of St. Martin's in the existing
conditions. They had furnished it with a code Fields.
constructing this account of the Craft Anderson relied, almost exclusively, on
his general knowledge, and made very little use even of such documents
relating to the Masons themselves as were available at the time. Still less
did he make any sort of independent inquiry. He was content to link up his
Hanoverian Grand Lodge with Scotland and Rome, and to treat everything that
was not due to one or the other of these influences as merely English
MATTER IS ADDED
history was completed during the mastership of Montagu, to whom the concluding
paragraph refers; and the Dedication suggests that it was read by Montagu and
approved by him. But it was not at once printed. The Craft had its traditional
Rules, the Old Charges, and the new Grand Lodge had its own Regulations,
introduced by Payne in 1721, and apparently it was decided that these should
be embodied in the work as published, the task of preparing them for
publication being also entrusted to Anderson, who possibly had for this part
of his labors the assistance of brethren specially conversant with the facts.
Current opinion, as we see from various allusions in contemporary literature,
associated Desaguliers in particular, not only with this part of the work, but
also with the History, it being suggested (somewhat uncharitably perhaps) that
a note therein which indicates a knowledge of Hebrew could not have been
written by Anderson without assistance. In any case, Anderson proceeded to
embody in his work a set of Charges, thirty-nine Regulations, the Manner of
Constituting a New Lodge, and a selection of poems and songs.
Charges were six in number, and were in fact a complete restatement of
precepts to be found in the old texts, with some added material. They have
been preserved to our own day with certain verbal modifications. The
Regulations, as Anderson has himself stated in the heading to them, were a
restatement of Payne's original rules, and it is not possible to disentangle
the new from the old in them; but it is obvious that they contain a great deal
that was never put forward by Payne. Indeed, they are not even a statement of
the law as it stood at the time, but are rather a draft of what Anderson
considered it should be; for instance, they provide for a Treasurer, but this
officer was not appointed for many years. They make elaborate provisions as to
the election of the Grand Master, which never were the law, and they enact
provisions with regard to the Annual Feast, which were independently
promulgated some years later, the fact that Anderson had included them in his
Regulations being ignored.
then was the First Book of Constitutions: a History, written in the taste of
the time; a set of six so-called Ancient Charges, which were in fact a modern
arrangement based on passages in the old texts; a code of Regulations
corresponding to nothing that existed in practice; directions for the ceremony
of constituting a new lodge, which were probably official and genuine; and a
set of songs and poems of which one, the Enter'd Apprentice Song, has alone
survived. The work was Anderson's private property, although it took rank as
an official publication with the general public. From this book has come down
the whole series of Constitutions, Ahiman Rezons, or whatever they may be
styled, that have been issued by Grand Lodges all over the world, but the
original model has of necessity been much varied in the course of time. The
developments beyond the United Kingdom lie outside the scope of this article.
VALUE AS CONTEMPORARY EVIDENCE
contemporary document the Constitutions of 1723 afford us a certain amount of
information as to the condition of affairs in the Craft at this period, but
not so much as we would like; far from it. In this respect the most important
contribution is a list of lodges, distinguished by numbers merely, which is
appended to what is called the Approbation. The work was submitted for the
approval of Grand Lodge, in manuscript, in December, or late in November,
1722, and was then ordered to be printed; and a formal and very long
Approbation was drawn up, possibly by Anderson himself, which was signed by
the Masters and Wardens of twenty lodges--in two cases the signature of the
Master has not been obtained. This is a valuable list of names. A year later,
in November, 1723, the Grand Secretary compiled a list of lodges with names of
their members in many cases, which is still on record in the first Minute Book
of Grand Lodge.
this and other sources, it appears that in December, 1722, there were at least
twenty-three lodges in existence, so that three were not represented at the
meeting of Grand Lodge at which the Approbation was signed. But no conclusion
can be drawn from this circumstance. At the same time, from the actual minutes
it is apparent that, when the brethren had had time to study Anderson's
Charges and Regulations, many of them were very far from approving the way in
which he had carried out the work entrusted to him. The publication being,
however, a private venture, the most they could do was to prevent any
resolution being recorded approving of his version of the Regulations, or
confirming it; and this was what actually happened at the next meeting of
Grand Lodge after the publication, when a resolution to that effect had to be
withdrawn, and one was submitted that it was in the power of no person to make
any innovation in the Body of Masonry without the consent of the Annual
Meeting of Grand Lodge. Anderson seems to have realized that he had not earned
the esteem of the brethren, for he did not appear again in Grand Lodge for
some seven years.
work also enables us to reconstruct the actual history of the events of 1722,
as to which Anderson in his second edition in 1738 put forward a very
inaccurate story. The Grand Master from June, 1722, to June, 1723, was Philip,
Duke of Wharton, a nobleman of a most unstable and eccentric disposition, who
quitted England in 1725, a discredited Jacobite, and after wandering about the
continent died in a Spanish monastery in the utmost indigence and misery in
May, 1731. In 1723 he had had a serious difference with the Grand Lodge, which
refused to allow itself to be turned into a Jacobite political organization
for his benefit, and he revenged himself by founding a rival society, styled
the Gormogons, which professed to impart the secret wisdom of the Chinese, and
assured all concerned that the Freemasons were a set of charlatans and
humbugs. The Society collapsed as soon as his influence had been withdrawn.
Accordingly, while in 1723 during his Grand-Mastership his name was given due
prominence in the Constitutions, the position of affairs was very different in
1738. Anderson now alleged that Wharton, instead of succeeding to the office
in the regular course in June, 1722, had got himself irregularly elected by a
small clique, and was only allowed to hold office at all through the
generosity of Montagu, who in January, 1723, recognized his authority, and
permitted him to complete his year of office with his own Deputy and Wardens.
That Wharton had been Grand Master could not well be denied, but it was now
made to appear that he seized the office by fraud, and only held it by
Montagu's good will. The whole story is a fabrication; the Constitutions of
1723 show conclusively that Wharton was Grand Master in his own right, with
the approval of at least twenty lodges out of twenty-three in December, 1722,
and was then busy constituting new lodges, and the contemporary references in
the newspapers show that he was not merely elected in June, 1722, but was
chosen by a unanimous vote.
MASTERS IN GRAND LODGE BECOMES OBSOLETE
learn, from the official Minutes, that the direction of Grand Lodge, which
appears in the Regulations, that the superior Degree, the Master's Part, was
only to be conferred in Grand Lodge, was abrogated in November, 1725. It is
obvious that as soon as there were lodges all over England--and the Craft had
begun to spread to the country in the previous year--this restriction was
unworkable. It is most probable that the restriction was in fact never
observed. It would almost appear as though Payne, at the same time that he
regularized the formation of new lodges in 1721, thought it wise to institute
this check on their activities; but that the old lodges were not willing to
allow what had been their time immemorial privilege to be thus taken from
them, and that the Regulation was in fact a dead letter. This may indeed be
the explanation of the introduction of the intermediate degree of the
Fellowcraft, which was arrived at, not by interfering with the Master's Part,
but by splitting up the Acceptance. By this means a Brother became a Fellow,
and so technically eligible to be the Master of a lodge; and Grand Lodge's
position being thus turned as it were, the abrogation of the Regulation was
bound to follow sooner or later. The custom which makes it necessary that the
Master should have taken the Third Degree is a development of later date.
are very few hints of Ritual in the book. We have a prescribed form of words
for the ceremony of constituting a new lodge; we have the definite statement
that there were only two degrees, the Admission, and the Master's Part, which
conferred the rank of Fellow and Master; and we have a long note in the
History on the name Hiram Abif. This indicates that the name itself was not
regarded as secret--although it does appear that it had been so considered in
earlier times--and also shows, as we should expect, that it had a particular
significance for the Craft. It was also a name which, outside the Craft, would
at this time be unknown to the general public, as it had disappeared from our
Bibles by 1550, or so. Accordingly, it was presumably because it had been
preserved in the lodges themselves, without its exact meaning being
understood, that a note was now deemed appropriate. It cannot be said that
there is anywhere in the work a specific reference to any other degree,
although there are several hints of mystery introduced, and at the end there
occurs the phrase "the whole body resembles a well-built Arch."
same way as the original restrictions as to conferring the higher degree had
to go by the board, so the form of constituting a new lodge had to be modified
when lodges had come into existence far away from the metropolis. Originally,
the ceremony was to be conducted by the Grand Master or his Deputy in person;
later the duty was delegated to a deputy appointed ad hoc, in the locality;
and eventually the formalities were exchanged for the issue of a written
certificate--the Warrant of today--the ceremony being carried out by the
Provincial authorities. The Provincial system, which is peculiar to this
country, is in its development closely connected with the constituting of new
1738 Anderson brought out his second edition. In this he re-wrote the History
in such a fashion that Gould was driven to suggest that he was either failing
in his wits, or deliberately hoaxing the Grand Lodge. But it was an uncritical
age, and this extraordinary account of our origin and early history, was
solemnly reprinted for a century and more by Preston, Oliver and others, and
is not without its admirers today. It ceased to appear as part of the
Constitutions after the Union. In 1738 Anderson also re-issued his original
Regulations, but he added to them a confused jumble of alleged amendments and
explanations, which made the whole thing unintelligible. In the next edition,
that of 1756, the Regulations were entirely recast. They were again revised in
1815 and still again in 1882, when they took the form they have today,
although since then various small amendments have been made. Throughout all
these changes a certain amount of Anderson's wording has persisted, and can
still be traced, in the earlier Regulations of our modern official
Constitutions. The Six Charges stand today very nearly as he wrote them in
influence of this work on the Craft ever since its original publication, just
over two hundred years ago, is difficult to estimate; but with all its faults
it must always be one of the most important possessions of Freemasons.
Royalty and Their Patronage of the Craft
BRO. J. WALTER HOBBS, P.M., L.R., P. Z., ETC.
LITERARY EDITOR "MASONIC RECORD," England
Kings, Dukes and Lords,
laid by their Swords,
myst'ry to put a good grace on;
ne'er been ashamed
hear themselves nam'd
Free and an Accepted Mason.
sang the late Bro. Matthew Birkhead in 1722 in a song which is still heard
among the English Craft in many places, at the toast of the health of an
initiate. Bro. Birkhead sang of a time when the association of Royalty with
the English Craft was but a tradition, or perchance something less, for his
knowledge of the past history of the old Craft could not have been great even
if derived from some old brother or from a copy of the Old Charges. The
magician's wand of fanciful history it is true was being waved around by that
master of the imaginative art, Dr. Anderson, but whether Bro. Birkhead (who is
named in the 1723 Constitutions as Master of a lodge, and in the heading to
the song as "our deceas'd Brother") knew of Anderson's work and realized the
extent to which that brother had unwarrantably called in the great ones of the
earth as Grand Masters or not it would not much matter. It was still tradition
as I have said, and in cases the facts do not justify the assertions even on
the ground of probability.
Old Charges as we know them refer, it is true, to royal personages as
supporters of the Craft, as having loved Masons well, given them a Charge, and
called Assemblies. The historical value of these statements is mostly nil, the
traditional value very little more. Some support can be obtained by inference
for statements here and there but the Masonic historian who treats the subject
as definitely proved, has a good deal to learn.
then shall I begin? Excursions in the realm of imagination are barred and if
they were not I should not travel that way. To lose oneself in a maze of
Continental Masonic degrees and their royal patrons would be valueless because
this article is written for the purposes of a British number in order to
afford readers of THE BUILDER sufficiently interesting and conclusively proved
material in regard to the members of the royal ruling houses in England
subsequent to the origination of the Mother Grand Lodge of the World in 1717.
The ideas of the founders of this organization may not be clearly understood
now, for the period of the early growth and limited operations of the
reorganized Craft is one still calling for much patient research and care. It
can, however, be accepted that although there is nothing to show that Payne,
Desaguliers and Anderson had anything to do with the origination of Grand
Lodge--yet it was hoped by some one to get a nobleman to become Grand Master.
This eventuated in 1721 with the installation of John, Duke of Montagu, since
which time noblemen, or Princes of the Blood Royal, have continuously
succeeded to that high office or have been members of the Craft.
shall then proceed to enumerate the Royal Patrons of the Craft, meaning
thereby the Blue, or Symbolic, Masonry.
H.R.H. FREDERICK PRINCE OF WALES, 1737
Grand Lodge of England had enjoyed the presence of noble Grand Masters for
nearly twenty years before any scion of the reigning family became a member of
the Craft. The first to do so was Frederick Lewis, Prince of Wales, the eldest
son of H. M. King George II. The record of his initiation and of his
proceeding to the subsequent degrees is contained in Anderson's Constitutions
of 1738. The initiation took place on Nov. 5, 1737, at an occasional lodge
held in the Palace at Kew, near Richmond, Surrey. The Master of this lodge was
the Rev. Dr. J. T. Desaguliers, a Past Grand Master, with other brethren
present, including the Rt. Hon. Charles Calvert, Sixth Baron Baltimore.
Anderson goes on to say, the lodge being formed and held, H. R. H. "was in the
usual manner introduced and made an Enter'd Prentice and Fellow Craft." He
continues that "our said Royal Brother was made a Master Mason by the same
Lodge that assembled there for that purpose." Whether this was at the same
time, so that our Royal Brother was Initiated, Passed and Raised on the same
day may be open to doubt, but the practice of the two first degrees being
conferred on the same occasion was not unusual, without regard to the rank of
the candidate. That the "usual manner" is mentioned bears this out, and
further indicates as incorrect what is sometimes assumed to be the case with
royal brethren, that the usual formalities and procedure are not adopted but
waived in their favor. That the Prince took more than a superficial interest
in the Craft is clear for the 1738 Book of Constitutions was dedicated to him
(and he is there described as a Master Mason and Master of a Lodge) and
actually presented to him by Anderson in 1739 at a private audience on the
introduction of the Marquis of Carnavon, the then Grand Master, who was in the
minutes of Grand Lodge, April 6, 1738, described as a "Gentleman of the
Bedchamber to our Brother His Royal Highness, Frederick, Prince of Wales." Our
royal brother died in 1751 and his activity in the Craft is not further known,
but that the Craft was not regarded with disfavor by his family is clear, for
no less than three of his sons, viz., the Dukes of York, Gloucester and
Cumberland became members of it, the latter becoming Grand Master in 1782, as
will be seen later. The eldest son of this Prince became King George III, but
he was not a member of the Craft.
H.R.H. WILLIAM AUGUSTUS DUKE OF CUMBERLAND, 1743
brother of Frederick, Prince of Wales, being the second son of King George II.
He is said in Multa Paucis to have been initiated in 1743 in Belgium, but
although Gould refers to this there is but little to support the statement.
The Duke was a notable soldier and commanded the English troops in the Low
Countries at the battle of Fontenoy in 1745. Of his other military exploits
nothing need be said here.
H.R.H. EDWARD AUGUSTUS DUKE OF YORK, 1765
Prince was son of the above named Prince of Wales and brother to King George
III. He was initiated at Berlin on July 27, 1765, in a French speaking lodge
there, which, after the Duke's admission adopted the name of the "Royal York
Lodge of Friendship," and obtained a warrant from the Grand Lodge of England
under which it worked, and to which Constitution it remained subject, until
its cessation many years afterwards. The Duke was patron of the lodge. The
Duke of York was present in the following year when his brother the Duke of
Gloucester was initiated in the New Lodge at the Horn, Westminster, No. 313,
of which lodge he himself became an honorary member. He was appointed Past
Grand Master, as became customary until the present generation.
H.R.H. WILLIAM HENRY DUKE OF GLOUCESTER, 1766
brother to the Duke of York (No. 3) and the Duke of Cumberland (No. 5) and to
King George II. He was initiated on Feb. 16, 1766, at an occasional lodge held
at the Horn Tavern, Westminster, being the New Lodge, No. 313 (as
distinguished from the Old Lodge also held there). The then Grand Master, Lord
Blayney, was in the chair as Master and the Duke proceeded to all three
degrees on that occasion. Report being made (as in all cases of Royal Masons)
of the admission of the Prince into the Craft to Grand Lodge, he was appointed
a Past Grand Master in 1767. He became an honorary member of the New Lodge,
which was afterwards called the Royal Lodge, and attended some of its
H.R.H. HENRY FREDERICK DUKE OF CUMBERLAND, 1767; G.M., 1782-90
Prince was also brother to the last two named, and the third of the sons of
the first royal Freemason (No. 1). The Duke was initiated on Feb. 9, 1767, at
an occasional (or emergency) lodge at the Thatched House Tavern, St. James's,
the home of the Royal Lodge, No. 313, already mentioned, and was passed and
raised on the same occasion. Upon the usual report to Grand Lodge he was
appointed Past Grand Master. The activities of the Duke of Cumberland were
very considerable, for in 1782 he was elected Grand Master of the Craft. It
may be noted that this is the date given in the official Year Book issued by
Grand Lodge, but Gould in his History gives 1783, the point is however not of
importance as election and installation may explain the difference. He filled
this office until his death in 1790. It was with his support and patronage
that the great Institution for Girls, as it is today, was founded; and as
indicating the Grand Master's interest it may be noted that it was then called
the Royal Cumberland Freemasons' School, and the Duchess took a personal
interest in the management and in the scholars. It is a provision of the
English Constitution that where the Grand Master is a Prince of the Blood
Royal there should be an Acting Grand Master--who must be a Peer of the Realm
(now called Pro Grand Master), and in the present instance the Earl of
Effingham so acted from 1782 to 1789, when he died.
H.R.H. WILLIAM HENRY DUKE OF CLARENCE, 1786 (AFTERWARDS, KING WILLIAM IV)
Prince was third son of King George III and the first of six of them who
became Freemasons. He was initiated on March 9, 1786, in the Prince George
Lodge, No. 86, meeting at Plymouth. The Duke followed the naval profession and
was ultimately Lord High Admiral so that his initiation in a naval port may be
regarded as a professional act. His reception into the Craft was not announced
to Grand Lodge until the following year and until after that of his eldest
brother, George, Prince of Wales (No. 7). This Duke was, as customarily,
appointed Past Grand Master. He was installed as Master of the Prince of
Wales' Lodge on Feb. 22, 1822, and so remained until 1830. This lodge was
formed in honor of the Prince of Wales as noted under (No. 7). In 1830 the
Duke succeeded to the throne on the death of his brother, King George IV, and
so became Patron of the Craft. The active interest in the Craft of necessity
ceases in the case of monarchs.
H.R.H. GEORGE PRINCE OF WALES, 1787; G.M., 1790-1813 (AFTERWARDS KING GEORGE
the eldest son of King George III and was initiated at a Special Lodge held
for the purpose on Feb. 6, 1787, at the Star and Garter, Pall Mall. The news
was communicated to Grand Lodge the next day by the Grand Master, the Duke of
Cumberland (No. 5), and a resolution of appreciation of the honor conferred on
the Society by the Prince's initiation was passed and the Prince was appointed
a place in Grand Lodge next to and on the right of the Grand Master. On the
death of the Duke of Cumberland in 1790 he was elected Grand Master and was
installed as such in 1792. The Prince of Wales' Lodge was founded in his honor
in 1787 (now No. 259), of which the Prince was Master from 1787 to 1820, the
year in which he succeeded to the throne. Prior to this he was, owing to his
father's ill-health, Prince Regent from 1811 to 1820, and in the year 1813
resigned as Grand Master but remained as Patron of the Craft. He was also
Grand Master and Grand Patron of the Grand Lodge of Scotland.
H.R.H. FREDERICK DUKE OF YORK, 1787
second son of George III and was the third of the sons who became a member of
the Craft. He was initiated in the Britannic Lodge, No. 29, on Nov. 21, 1787,
and appointed a Past Grand Master. The Duke is known to have attended various
Masonic functions and Grand Lodge. He was Master of the Prince of Wales'
Lodge, 1823 to 1827. He died in the latter year.
H.R.H. EDWARD DUKE OF KENT, 1790
was the fourth son of George III and the fourth of such sons to be received
into the Craft. He was initiated in the Union Lodge of Geneva on some date not
discovered, but the fact of the Duke's initiation was announced in Grand Lodge
on Feb. 10, 1790. He was appointed a Past Grand Master of Grand Lodge and
later was District Grand Master for "Gibraltar and the Province of Andalusia
in Old Spain" from 1790 to 1801. It is here needful to specify that this was
the Grand Lodge of 1717 (Moderns), for this Royal Brother was one to whom the
Craft was indebted for facilitating the Union of the Grand Lodges. His
influence no doubt largely predominated with the Ancients for on the
resignation of their Grand Master, John, fourth Duke of Atholl, this Royal
Prince was admitted an Ancient Mason and elected as such in his place for the
purpose of giving effect to the Union, as appears in the records thereof and
Hughan's Memorials of the Union. (It may be mentioned here that many
descendants of this Prince, through his only child, Princess, afterwards Queen
victoria of revered memory, became members of the Craft.)
H.R.H. PRINCE WILLIAM DUKE OF GLOUCESTER, 1795
Prince was a son of H.R.H. Prince William Henry, Duke of Gloucester (No. 4
above), and nephew of King George III, one of whose daughters he married. He
was initiated in the Britannic Lodge, No. 29, on May 12, 1795, and being a
Prince of the Blood Royal was accorded the privilege of a Past Grand Master.
He took part in Masonic functions--attended the Grand Festival, and so on. In
the case of several of these royal personages one must always remember that
they were necessarily over-shadowed by the Prince of Wales, the virtual head
of the family, being also at the head of the Craft, so that their activities
were restricted or the record of them not so elaborate.
H.R.H. ERNEST AUGUSTUS DUKE OF CUMBERLAND, 1796 (AFTERWARDS KING OF HANOVER)
Prince was the fifth son of King George III and also the fifth of the family
to become a Freemason. He was initiated on May 11, 1796, in the house of that
great Freemason, the Earl of Moira (afterwards Marquis of Hastings) who was
then Acting Grand Master having been appointed as such in the place of the
Earl of Effingham who died in 1789. He, too, was appointed a Past Grand
Master. He succeeded as King of Hanover owing to that title being relinquished
by his elder brothers and not passing by reason of the Salic Law to Queen
H.R.H. AUGUSTUS FREDERICK DUKE OF SUSSEX, 1798; DEP. G.M., 1812; G.M.,
the sixth son of King George III and the last of the six brothers who were
members of the Craft, and was no doubt the most active Grand Master the Craft
had ever seen.
initiated in the Royal York Lodge of Friendship in Berlin in the year 1798 (a
reference to this lodge will be found under the name (No. 3) Edward Augustus
Duke of York 1765). He was appointed a Past Grand Master in 1805. On Feb. 12,
1812, he was appointed as Deputy G. M., and in 1813 he was elected Grand
Master in the place of the Prince of Wales, who had been Prince Regent from
1811 but now resigned. This office of Grand Master the Duke of Sussex held at
the Union and was G. M. of the United Grand Lodge until 1843. He was Master of
the Prince of Wales' Lodge from 1831 to 1843, the year of his death.
would be a long story to tell of all the Duke of Sussex did as Grand Master
and the effect of his actions. Some may not bear the construction now put upon
them; some may be too lightly regarded now; but at any rate he filled a
difficult position, for after having had a share in the Union of the Grand
Lodge he had to rule over the new organization and deal with a period of
transition, the difficulties of which the Masonic historian has not yet fully
dealt with. One can see in Freemasons' Hall, London, the statue of the Duke
placed there by the Craft in 1846 as a token of their esteem and in the
Library can be seen the magnificent piece of plate presented to the Duke in
1838 on completing his twenty-fifth year of office as Grand Master. He died on
April 21, 1843, and there being then no Royal Prince a Freemason, the Earl of
Zetland was elected G. M.
beyond the scope of this article to tell of the Masonic doings of those Royal
Freemasons who have been initiated into the Craft since the Union of 1813. It
may, however, be permissible to say that there are at present four members of
the Royal Family within the ranks of Freemasonry. The manifold and great
services of our revered Grand Master, H.R.H. the Duke of Connaught, are too
well known to need repetition. The other Royal Freemasons, viz., H.R.H. the
Prince of Wales, H.R.H. the Duke of York, and H.R.H. Prince Arthur of
Connaught, have all recently been selected by the Grand Master to rule over
Masonic Provinces in England, and, from personal knowledge, I should like to
add that these royal appointments to Provincial Grand Masterships are no mere
titular honors, honorific though they be, but they entail a good deal of
actual work. The three last named royal brethren are deeply imbued with the
dignity and high importance of the Craft, and are active in their duties, and
in their practice of Masonry and its ceremonial, and, in words of old time
commendation, they are "worthy Masons all."
in the English Constitution the association of females as members of the Craft
has never been permitted or allowed, yet the patronage of exalted ladies, and
indeed of ladies of every rank, to the great Masonic Charities has always been
welcome. Notable examples of this may be found in the patronage to the Girls'
School of the Duchess of Cumberland and of Queen Adelaide (wife of King
William IV), besides Queen Victoria, Queen Alexandra and Queen Mary in more
recent years. Also this reference to royal ladies would not be complete
without mention of Princess Mary, daughter of King George III, who married a
Freemason (see No. 10 above), as also did Princess Mary, daughter of King
George V, within the last few years.
Neither time nor space permit of a reference to the Capitular and other
degrees to which our royal brethren have extended their patronage.
final word, as an historian and student of the progress of the Craft, as well
as a personal observer of persons, actions and doings in the Craft of today, I
am persuaded that the advantage to the Craft Universal of the membership of
the royal brethren to whom I have referred and of those who have joined the
brotherhood since the Union of 1813, is great and permanent, and has always
tended to enhance the dignity and prestige of the Craft, and the importance
and value of its imperishable principles and tenets.
Stat" - A Sketch of the History of the Grand Lodge of Ireland
BRO. JOHN HERON LEPPER, W.M., Quatuor Coronati Lodge, No. 2076, England
eastern seaports of Ireland having been constantly affected by English
influence from the year 1173, when Henry II granted the City of Dublin to the
subjects of his City of Bristol to inhabit, it is not surprising to discover
traces of phenomena identical with those that preceded the establishment
Freemasonry as a social institution in England, also appearing in the smaller
island. Thus we find the Gilds of Dublin as late as 1541 indulging in annual
Corpus Christi plays (Note 1), the term "Freemason" occurring on monuments at
the beginning of the seventeenth century, the Masonic Ritual a subject for the
mirth of the uninitiated by 1688 (Note 2), and, apparently, Speculative lodges
established in country districts, remote from any town, prior to the accession
of George I (Note 3).
therefore, the Freemasons of London and Westminster decided, in 1717, to form
a central body to regulate their general interests, much as the Independent
States of America evolved their Federation in 1788, it might be expected that
the idea would cross the sea and be copied by the Freemasons of Ireland: and
so it happened.
GENESIS OF THE IRISH GRAND LODGE
impossible to say, in default of early official MS. records, the exact date at
which a Grand Lodge was first established in Dublin. That such a body was in
existence in 1725 is certain, thanks to a long and curious account given in a
Dublin newspaper (Note 4). From this we learn that about one hundred brethren
belonging to the six lodges of "Gentlemen Freemasons who are under the
Jurisdiction of the Grand Master" assembled at 11 a.m. on June 24, at the
Yellow Lion in Werburgh Street, and proceeded in coaches to the King's Inns
(Note 5), wearing "Aprons, White Gloves, and other parts of the Distinguishing
Dress of that Worshipful Order."
a procession round the great hall of the Inns "with many important
ceremonies," the Grand Lodge "retired to the Room prepared for them, where
after performing the Mystical Ceremonies of the Grand Lodge which are held so
sacred, that they must not be discovered to a Private Brother; they proceeded
to the Election of a new Grand Master &c." The election resulted in the Earl
of Rosse being declared G.M., Sir Thomas Prendergast and Mark Morgan, Esq.,
Grand Wardens, and the G. M. was pleased to appoint Humphrey Butler, Esq., his
Deputy. The G.M. was then conducted to his place, and invested with the jewel
of his office, a gold trowel hung on a black ribbon; after the brethren all
dined together sumptuously, and later attended a play in full Masonic costume
is the earliest account we have of the meeting Grand Lodge in Dublin, and
though apparently it had then been in existence for some time, it cannot have
contemplated any authority over lodges remote from the metropolis, because, in
the following year, a similar body was established in Cork City, and assumed
the style of the Grand Lodge of Munster, having as its Grand Master, the Hon.
James O'Brien, and as Deputy G. M., Springett Penn. Both these Masons were
members of English lodges (Note 7).
more famous Irish Freemason of the day, who also had received his degrees in
an English lodge, was James, fourth Lord Kingston. In 1728 he had been elected
and served as G. M. of England; and, in 1730 (Note 8), became G.M. of Ireland;
and in August, 1731, G.M. of Munster. His tenure of the dual office in Ireland
apparently led to the fusion of the two Grand Lodges into one that since that
date has been truly national (Note 9).
Kingston's tenancy of these three chairs in Masonry is important, as showing
that at this date the Ritual innovations, that afterwards led to estrangement
between the Masonic jurisdictions of England and Ireland, cannot yet have come
into being. His tenures of office should also serve to remind Irish Masons
that while the existent Irish Rite is probably the most unaltered version
extant of early eighteenth century Masonic Ritual, yet its well-head was no
other than the primitive English Rite, as practiced before 1730, possibly with
a few additions of Anglo-Irish phrases or ceremonies--distinctions without any
some time during 1731, the Grand Lodge of Ireland determined to bind closer to
the central authority all the lodges in Ireland that would acknowledge its
supremacy, by issuing to them a document that should be the warrant for their
Masonic proceedings; and accordingly on Feb. 7, 1732 (N.S.), the first of
these authorizations to hold a lodge and make Masons were issued. This was a
purely Irish invention that was copied later by the Grand Lodge of the
Antients in England, and later still by the Grand Lodge of the Moderns, the
title willingly assumed in the eighteenth century by the Mother of all Grand
Lodges. It is by no means certain that every existing lodge in Ireland applied
at once for one of these new warrants (Note 10). In fact, the evidence tends
to show that a good many, particularly in remote parts of the country, were
content to go on working in the "time immemorial" manner; but these
recalcitrants were not treated as regular Masons by those who adhered to the
Grand Lodge, and in time they died out (Note 11).
effect produced by the issue of these warrants was universal, not merely
local. It was some time before the law crystallized that a warrant should be
anchored to one place, and at first the idea prevailed that any band of Masons
possessing one of these charters was legally entitled to make initiates
wherever it took the warrant. This procedure was checked by a new law made
June 24, 1741 (Note 12), but in the beginning the Grand Lodge seems tacitly to
have assented to the practice, particularly as it had issued warrants as early
as 1732 to military lodges, enabling them to hold regular meetings all over
the inhabitable globe. The great spread of Masonry in the American Colonies is
attributable in a great part, no doubt, to this practice. But the influence of
the Grand Lodge of Ireland on America did not end with this: the fact that the
native American lodges would naturally be impressed by the working they
observed under the ambulatory Irish warrants, during a period when the only
ambulatory warrants were Irish, led them to mistrust those alterations in the
Ritual that the Grand Lodge of the Moderns saw fit to adopt for well nigh
eighty years. The enormous emigration from Ireland to America during the
eighteenth century also helped to cement the Masonic ties between the two
countries; indeed, it is quite likely that some of the earliest Irish warrants
whose original bailiwicks and ultimate resting places are unknown may have
helped to lay the foundations of those great Masonic Constitutions whose
extent and vitality seem so marvelous to us today.
STRENGTH OF THE IRISH JURISDICTION
are to measure the growth of the Grand Lodge of Ireland during the eighteenth
century by the number of warrants it issued, we find that it increased from 36
lodges in 1734 to 195 in June, 1749; by 1758 the number had risen to 300; by
the end of 1782 it was 610; and in 1804, when Downes' famous list was
published, the Grand Lodge of Ireland had well over 700 lodges on its roll.
But at none of these periods could those numbers be taken au pied de la lettre,
for there were always some lodges either moribund or dormant, as an analysis
of the lists would show, did space permit. During the nineteenth century the
number of lodges varied, the high water mark being reached in 1815 when 1020
subordinate lodges were in official existence. The number at present working
members of the Grand Lodge at its formation consisted of the Grand Master; his
Deputy, whom he nominated; the Grand Wardens, elected by Grand Lodge; all Past
Grand Officers; and all Masters and Wardens of subordinate lodges. In 1749 the
Grand Master's Lodge was formed, and all Master Masons raised therein were
given the privilege of sitting and voting in Grand Lodge. This privilege
continued down to 1837, when it was rescinded and extended instead to all
properly certificated Past Masters. The number of the Grand Officers has been
increased from time to time, and at present includes the representatives of
all foreign Grand Lodges with whom fraternal communication exists, an
excellent tribute paid to the universality of the Craft, and a constant
reminder that our Masonic duties and interests are not bounded by the limits
of any one particular Constitution.
does not permit the inclusion of much detail about such important matters as
the development of the Irish Masonic charitable organizations and the
evolution of Masonic jurisprudence. But both must be mentioned. In regard to
the former, it will be enough to say that the first successful attempt to deal
on an adequate scale by the children of deceased brethren dates from 1792. In
that year the liberality and energy of some members of Royal Arch Lodge, No.
190, Dublin (1749-1815), launched the Masonic Female Orphan School, whose
record since then has been one of increasing success and blessing. It has been
followed by the Masonic Orphan Boys' School (1867), and by such splendidly
administered pieces of provincial emulation as the Belfast Masonic Charity and
Widows' Funds, and the Down Masonic Widows' Fund.
matter of the evolution of Masonic jurisprudence, the most interesting
development took place as early as 1768, when the Grand Lodge created an
Inspection Committee to decide upon the eligibility of candidates for
Freemasonry in the metropolitan district. Since that year no man has been
initiated in a Dublin lodge till his name has been approved by the Grand Lodge
Committee, and the same provision has since been adopted in other important
Masonic provinces in Ireland. This is, of course, not an infallible method of
securing the admission of none but worthy men, but it does tend to exclude
undesirable members and is yet another way in which the Grand Lodge of Ireland
has set a good example.
minutiae of changes that have accumulated during almost, perhaps quite, two
centuries of government, while they would loom largely in a complete history,
must be discarded in a short sketch; but mention should be made that since
1829 the Royal Arch Degree has had a central governing body of its own, known
as the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Ireland; since 1836 the Knights Templar
have been ruled by a supreme body now known as the Grand Preceptory; and since
1826 the Supreme Council of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite has
exercised jurisdiction over all degrees in its system superior to the Craft
degrees. Prior to these respective dates those Orders, and many other Masonic
degrees as well, were conferred in the Craft lodges at the convenience and
free will of the members.
its long life the authority of the Grand Lodge of Ireland has only once been
seriously threatened by internal schism (Note 13). This took place in the
period 1806-1813, when a number of Ulster lodges, deceived by the
misrepresentations of Alexander Seton, a former Deputy Grand Secretary, who
had been dismissed from his office for misconduct, attempted to secede and
form a Grand Lodge for the province of Ulster (Note 14).
due entirely to the tact and disinterested efforts of the reigning Grand
Master, Richard, second Earl of Donoughmore, that the better class Masons who
supported the movement at the outset, because of certain undoubted grievances,
returned to their natural allegiance within a very short time; while those who
persisted in following Seton only involved themselves and their lodges in
disrepute, not merely at home but also all over the Masonic world. The Grand
Lodge of Ireland emerged from a severe inter-necine war, if not stronger in
numbers, stronger in having vindicated its authority without compromising its
dignity, and within a few years all the rebel lodges had either submitted, or
become extinct, or if they continued to drag out an estranged existence were
regarded with abhorrence as clandestine Masons.
student of this unhappy event one thing stands out enshrined, the truly
Masonic spirit of the Grand Master, a broad-minded, warm-hearted man, who
thoroughly deserved the tribute addressed to him by his Irish brethren when in
1813 he retired from office, at his own request:
lordship's services to this institution will long live in the grateful
remembrance of a Society whose principles ensure its duration, and who will
ever rank the name of Donoughmore among those that are dearest to Masonry and
these words were no mere empty compliment was shown exactly one hundred years
later, when 2,000 Irish Masons assembled in Grand Lodge to acclaim as their
new Grand Master, another Earl of Donoughmore, who since then has amply proved
that he has inherited not the honors and name only, but also the ability of
his great ancestor to maintain the dignity of his office and be a trusted and
beloved leader in time of stress.
influence of the Grand Lodge of Ireland on new, independent Masonic
Constitutions has been large, out of all proportion to the home territory it
governs, a fact that has never, in default of an official history, been
adequately realized by the Craft generally. Allusion has already been made to
its work in the U.S.A. In Canada, too, Irish lodges were early at work as well
as in the British West Indies; Masons in Portugal, Peru, Brazil have worn our
colors; the very first lodge held in Australia met under an Irish warrant No.
227 held in the old 46th Regiment; and in that Commonwealth as well as in New
Zealand, Africa and India, some lodges still retain their allegiance to the
old Irish Constitution. Let me add, that the Grand Lodge of Ireland never
places any obstacle in the way of one of its lodges wishing to sever
connection with the Mother Constitution to join a newly-formed Grand lodge in
the country where it is situated; and provided the new Constitution conform to
the ancient standards it is assured of immediate recognition and brotherly
cooperation from the Grand Lodge of Ireland, which is swift to welcome the
appearance of a new star in the banner of the Masonic Federation of the World.
MASONIC CELEBRITIES AND SCHOLARS
Throughout a history of two centuries it is but to be expected that the Grand
Lodge of Ireland should be able to show with pride many distinguished names on
her rolls, but of all on the list possibly none exerted more lasting effect
upon the Freemasonry of his generation, aye, and of future generations, than
that stickler for orthodoxy in matters of the Craft, the inspired
journeyman-painter Laurence Dermott. His story has been well and fully told by
divers scholars (Note 15) but no reference to the Irish Grand Lodge would be
complete without mention of the brother who was initiated in Lodge No. 26 in
1740, became its Master in 1746, and departed to England to become the most
notable figure in eighteenth century Masonry, as poet, controversialist, and
restorer of the old landmarks --to say nothing of his being the inventor of a
term, which I understand to be very bad Hebrew, Ahiman Rezon, which like a
javelin of flame flew from him with such impetus as even to cross the Atlantic
and to be adopted for long enough as a symbol by those who prided themselves
upon preserving the old traditions of the Craft (Note 16).
Laurence Dermott is the more noteworthy, because the Grand Lodge of Ireland
has not produced a great number of historians or writers who have added to our
knowledge. Vallancey and O'Brien (of the Round Towers), however, are still
occasionally quoted by those who have never learned caution, and there have
been several deservedly respected names in our own times. Some like Twiss,
John Robinson, Tait, and Redfern Kelly are still with us; others, alas, are no
longer here to teach us, such as F. C. Crossle, Westropp, and the Master Mason
of them all, the late Dr. Chetwode Crawley, some time Grand Treasurer, a
scholar so meticulous, whose work was so comprehensive that those who come
after him seeking to pursue some line of research often find themselves only
plowing a furrow that has already been broken by his industry. That there is
still something to be added to the work he accomplished is merely another way
of saying that the progress of knowledge never stands still, but his followers
and emulators may well despair of ever hoping to surmount his total of
achievement. It may have been some satisfaction to his last years to see the
formation in Dublin of the Lodge of Research, No. 200, pledged to continue the
labors wherein he took such an interest, and though it may seem too much to
hope that this body will ever produce another scholar to compare with the one
that is gone, still it has already proved a focussing point for those Masons
who bend their energies towards finding more light for the present from the
lessons of-the past. With no mean aim, this lodge contemplates, indeed the
project is in process of realization, the compiling of a reliable history of
the Grand Lodge of Ireland, a book that is badly needed, never having been
attempted; and I hope that the present short and imperfect sketch has shown
that the history of that Grand Lodge has not been without interest, as
assuredly, it has not been without honor.
1. Vide Harris' Dublin, 1766, p. 142 et seq.
2. Vide Crawley's Introduction to Sadler's Masonic Reprints and Revelations.
3. Vide Articles on Mrs. Aldworth A.Q.C. VIII-16, 63.
4. The Dublin Weekly Journal NO 13, Saturday, June 26, 1726.
5. The Irish equivalent of the London Inns of Court.
6. The short report of this event, inserted in the London Journal, July, 1725,
is quoted by Gould History of Freemasonry, III, 34.
7. It was natural for Springett Penn to hold high office in the Craft in
Ireland where he had large estates; but his appearance in this character is
even more interesting on account of the close Masonic communication that
afterwards existed between the Grand Lodges of Ireland and Pennsylvania, which
state was largely colonized by emigrants from Ireland.
8. Ed. Spratt Constitutions, Dublin, 1751, page 121.
9. Lord Kingston, while still the Hon. Jas. King. was initiated on June 8,
1726, in a lodge held at the Swan & Rummer in Finch Lane, London, Dr.
Desaguliers, D. G. M. of England, attending to confer the ceremony. For
Kingston's activities when G. M. of England, vide Minutes of the G.L. England,
etc.. by W. J. Songhurst, London. 1913; p. 37 et seq.
10. In the course of the year 1732 the following advertisement appeared
several times in the Dublin newspapers: "Whereas there are Several Lodges of
Free-Masons congregated in several Towns in this Kingdom, without a Warrant
under the Hand and Seal of the Right Honourable the Lord Viscount Netterville,
Grand Master of all Ireland. .. . It is therefore Ordered that all such Lodges
do apply to the Secretary Mr. John Pennell in St. Patrick St.. Dublin, and
take out true and perfect Warrants and be enroll'd in the Grand Lodge Book, or
they will not be deem'd true and perfect Lodges." (Faulkner's Dublin Journal:
Sat. Dec. 30, 1732--Tues. Jan. 2, 1732/3.)
11. Right up to the beginning of the nineteenth century we come across the
terms "Clandestine" and "Hedge Masons" applied to these bodies by the regular
Masons: instances of the "re-making" a non-regular brother who conformed are
12. Vide Dassigny's Serious and Impartial Enquiry, 1744, page 48.
13. In 1740 an attempt seems to have been made to form a rival Grand Lodge
which proved abortive in its very conception.
14. The authorities on this subject are F. C. Crossle, Henry Sadler, and, of
course, Dr. Chetwode Crawley. Some fresh information collected from the
records of disaffected lodges is also given in a paper by the present writer,
read before Quatuor Coronati Lodge, No. 2076 (E.C.), on St. John's Day, 1922.
15. Notably Bywater and Sadler.
16. Attention must also be called, if only in a footnote, to services rendered
by such Masons as John Fowler in the metropolisMichael Furnell in Munster; and
Archdeacon Mant in Ulster.
Masonic Benevolence Between 1717 and 1813
W.BRO. MAURICE BEACHCROFT, M.A., O.B.E., P.G.D. (England), Patron and
Secretary of the Royal Masonic Institute for Girls, England
beginnings of Masonic benevolence are, like most beginnings, involved in much
obscurity. The early days of modern Speculative Freemasonry would appear to
have been characterized rather by good fellowship and conviviality than by any
exercise of charity, although the idea of some special bond of "brotherhood"
between the members dates back as far as the words go.
is a fine phrase in the last section of the "Ancient Charges," as we know them
today, enjoining a Mason to "cultivate Brotherly Love, the foundation and
copestone, the cement and glory of this Ancient Fraternity." This is an
obvious expression of some higher ideal than that of mere good fellowship; and
it is interesting to find it appearing for the first time in Anderson's
Constitutions of 1723.
GENERAL FUND OF CHARITY RECOMMENDED TO GRAND LODGE
nobler spirit was abroad just then; if indeed we are not tracing the working
of one individual influence, at work behind the scenes; for, in the year 1724,
we find these higher ideals taking a form and practical expression of their
Nov. 21 in that year, Grand Lodge was petitioned for relief by the first Grand
Master of the Order, Bro. Anthony Sayer, who had fallen upon evil times; and,
at the same meeting, the Earl of Dalkeith, who was then "Immediate" Past Grand
Master, recommended that a monthly collection, for the purpose of providing a
relief fund, should be made in each lodge, "according to the quality and
number of the said lodge, and put into a joynt stock."
fund was known thereafter as the "Generall Bank of Charity," and, on March 17,
1725, a committee was appointed to consider the best means of regulating it.
November of that year this committee reported, and, among other suggestions,
advised that contributions should be voluntary and should be paid quarterly.
recommended that no more than 3 pounds should be given to any brother without
the consent of Grand Lodge; that such sums should be disbursed by a standing
committee of seven, and that a treasurer, nominated by the Grand Master, and
approved by Grand Lodge, should be appointed in due course.
not until June 24, 1727, that the committee and treasurer were appointed, and
there is a touch of sorry humor in a minute of March 27, 1729, to the effect
that "the Deputy Grand Master rose up and acquainted the brethren that,
although he had been appointed treasurer of the charity two years before, he
was extremely concerned that, in so long a time, he had not received one
shilling from the lodges or from any brother."
However, in November, 1729, the first list of contributions appears on the
minutes, and, in December of the same year, a motion was duly carried that
every newly constituted lodge should contribute two guineas to the fund.
that meeting a very respectable list of contributions was received; and
thenceforth the fund took on a more permanent and settled aspect.
CHARITY IS DISPERSED BY KNOWLEDGE
April, 1730, the "Infirmary at Westminster" offered to take care of "any poor
brother, who might happen to be disabled, by broken limbs, etc., from
following his employment, which often happens amongst working Masons"; and it
was thereupon decided that five guineas be paid annually to the Infirmary by
this Grand Lodge Bro. Anthony Sayer put forward a further petition for relief;
and, after some discussion as to the amount, a sum of 15 pounds was voted to
him. Later, the committee was strengthened by the addition of twelve "Masters
of Lodges," and was authorized to give relief, without recourse to Grand
Lodge, up to an amount of 5 pounds; while, in 1732, the number of Masters on
the committee was increased to twenty, in addition to all Past Grand Officers.
lingered over these early days, because they saw the laying of those
foundations, upon which, in after years, so noble a superstructure was to be
raised; but it is necessary to pass rapidly over a long period, which saw no
change, save the slow growth of the fund and slight alterations in the detail
of its administration. It is, however, worth while recording the petition, on
Dec. 12, 1739, of one "Thomas Crudeli, a prisoner in the Inquisition in
Florence on account of Masonry," which was warmly recommended by Lord Raymond,
then Grand Master, and which resulted in a grant of 21 pounds being authorized
for the relief of the petitioner.
FOR GIRLS IS FOUNDED
slow degrees, through the passing years, it must have become evident to the
more thoughtful brethren that even the "Generall Bank of Charity" was not
fully realizing the high ideals of their profession.
benevolence extended only to themselves; and it may well have seemed to some
of them that Brotherly Love, which they had expressed to be the "Foundation
and Copestone" of their Fraternity, should have led at least to some care and
help for the fatherless children of a departed brother, if not to the relief
of his widow or other dependents.
to be many years before the widow's claims were recognized, but in the year
1788 a determined effort began, with the object of providing maintenance and
education for the orphaned daughters of a Mason.
language of the earliest known list of subscribers (March, 1788), the object
of the promoters of this scheme was "to preserve the female offspring of
indigent Freemasons from the dangers and misfortunes to which their distressed
situation may expose them," and, on March 25, 1788, there was founded the
institution now known as the Royal Masonic Institution for Girls.
at first called "The Royal Cumberland Freemasons' School," by permission of
the original Patron, H.R.H., the Duke of Cumberland, K. G., who was at that
time Grand Master of the "Moderns"; H.R.H. the Duchess of Cumberland being the
Chevalier Bartholomew Ruspini, Grand Sword Bearer of England from 1792 until
his death in 1813, a famous surgeon dentist of his day, and a prominent figure
in Masonic and philanthropic circles in London, was the originator of the
scheme and the moving spirit in all the preliminary negotiations.
addition to possessing a large number of influential friends, he enjoyed the
patronage of Royalty, and was thus able to achieve a task which, at that time,
might well have seemed impossible of accomplishment.
very year in which the scheme was inaugurated, the funds were collected, a
printed list of subscribers was issued, premises were actually taken
furnished, and, at a Quarterly Court held on Jan. 8, 1789--so far had the
efficient organization of the school progressed--the treasurer announced that
the fifteen children approved in the preceding November had been conducted to
the school and delivered into the charge of the Matron.
quite exceptional difficulties were met by the founder and his enthusiastic
helpers--such as the objection of their Royal Patroness to the first premises
taken for the purpose of housing the children--with which there is no need to
concern ourselves in detail; but, had there been no such unusual episodes, the
success of the effort made could hardly have been more remarkable.
early brethren had set themselves to find subscribers towards an entirely new
conception, to overcome the prejudice which undoubtedly existed at that
time--however foolish it may seem to us now--against using Masonic funds for
the advantage of the female sex; to raise what, for those days, was a very
considerable sum of money; to appoint committees, treasurer, secretary,
collector and matron, and to devise and promulgate an organization for the
charity and a code of rules for the school itself.
had to accomplish all these things without any real precedent to guide them,
and in the face of an opposition which was by no means to be despised. And
yet, in the short space of eleven months, their success was not only complete
in every particular, but, as time has abundantly proved, it was laid
four-square upon a permanent foundation of careful forethought, that has
lasted to our own time.
the earliest benefactors of the Institution may be mentioned the Lodge of
Antiquity, No. 2, the Shakespear Lodge, No. 99, and the Caledonian Lodge, No.
134; while, among the individual brethren of that time who supported Bro.
Ruspini in the struggling days of the infant charity, are to be found names
famous in the history of the Craft, foremost of whom are Brothers Dunckerley,
James Heseltine, Galloway, and Forsteen.
Quarterly Court on Jan. 12, 1792, a committee of five was appointed to prepare
a memorial to the Grand Lodge "to solicit their interference on behalf of this
Institution, and to request that they will pass a law that all candidates for
Masonry, at the time of their initiation, shall pay five shillings, to be
applied to the separate use of this charity."
proposal appears to have been favorably received by Grand Lodge, although it
was not at first adopted as a general law, owing to doubts of the power of
Grand Lodge to "impose a tax" for the benefit of an independent institution.
In later years, however, we find it in full force; and the annual subscription
of 150 pounds now paid to the Institution by Grand Lodge is a composition of
this ancient levy.
first home of the Institution was in Somers Place East on the North Side of
Euston Road, and close to the present site of St. Pancras Station. In 1795,
having outgrown these premises, the Institution was moved to St. George's
Fields, a lease being obtained from the corporation of the City of London, and
premises erected on land described in the minute book as "on the north side of
the High Road leading from the obelisk to Westminster Bridge Road."
number of children was increased to thirty, and in 1802 to sixty, at which
figure it remained until the year 1816, which falls outside the scope of this
Dec. 14, 1813, Bro. Ruspini, the founder, passed away at the age of
eighty-three, having enjoyed, to the end of his long life, the respect and
affection of all around him. Some years after his death, two of his own
grandchildren were educated in the school which he had founded.
R.M.I. FOR BOYS FOUNDED
this time, however, in 1798, ten years after the foundation of the Girls'
School, a number of brethren belonging to the "Ancient" or "Atholl"
Constitution had inaugurated a scheme for the education of the sons of Masons,
which is now known as the Royal Masonic Institution for Boys.
minute books for the first fourteen years of this Institution's life have been
lost, and only the simplest outline of its early history can now be traced,
while little is known of the actual personality of the founders.
first foundation, in 1798, appears, however, to have been due to the efforts
of brethren belonging to the United Mariners' Lodge, No. 23, under the
"Ancient" Constitution. The actual originator of the idea being Bro. William
Burwood, the treasurer of the lodge.
the other members and supporters was Bro. Columbine Daniel, a well known Mason
of the day, who, however, was shortly afterwards, in 1801, "excluded" by the
Ancient Grand Lodge for alleged Masonic irregularities. We know nothing more
of this dispute, and, indeed, are concerned only to note that Bro. Daniel's
practical charity was not to be so easily quenched. He was, as it happened,
also a member of the Royal Naval Lodge, No. 57, which held a warrant from the
"Modern" Grand Lodge, and, having enlisted their support, founded in 1808 a
"Boys' Charity," very much on the lines of Bro. Burwood's scheme of 1798.
Chevalier Ruspini, Institutor (as he preferred to be called) of the Girls'
School, appears as one of the trustees of the funds.
Meanwhile, in 1805, Bro. Burwood had become bankrupt, and, on the proposal of
Bro. Robert Leslie, Grand Secretary, the "Ancient" Grand Lodge appears to have
taken the charity founded in 1798 under its protection. At all events, the
contributions of Grand Lodge thereto, up to the year 1813, amounted to over
1270 pounds, which, at that time, was regarded as a very large sum of money.
1816 Bro. Daniel was restored to his Masonic rights and privileges; and in
1817 the two Boys' Schemes were happily amalgamated.
schemes had, from the first, been devised upon an "educational" basis, for
there was no residential school, and the charity possessed none until 1865.
Indeed, having regard to the disasters which befell the two courageous
founders, it is remarkable only that they were able to persist in their
beneficent efforts and to achieve so great a measure of success.
actual start had been made with six boys in 1798, which number was increased
to thirty-six in 1810, the jubilee year of King George III. There were, in
that year, thirty-four subscribing lodges; while in 1812 there were fifty boys
receiving grants and twenty more on the waiting list.
"Ancient" Grand Lodge had, in the latter year, authorized a levy of 5/from
every London lodge and 2/6 from every Provincial Lodge upon the registration
of each newly-made Mason, as had already been done in the case of the Girls'
School; and this levy was continued after the Union in 1813, until, as already
mentioned, it was finally commuted by the fixed annual grant of 150 pounds,
which is still paid by Grand Lodge to each of the senior Masonic Institutions.
this point we reach the end of the period under review; and, remarkable as
were these beginnings, we may yet perhaps wonder at the far greater harvests
that, from those early sowings, have been gathered in our own day.
DEVELOPMENTS IN "THE MASONIC CHARITIES"
Nobody, in 1813, could have foreseen the successive removals and enlargements
of the Girls' School, culminating, so far, in the building of their beautiful
home at Clapham and the opening of the Junior School at Weybridge, which is
today undergoing very extensive alteration and enlargement.
than a hundred years were to elapse before the opening of the magnificent
Boys' Schools at Bushey, whose extension, by the addition of a great Junior
School for smaller boys, is now commencing; and even the first of the great
advances after the Union, the, foundation of the Royal Masonic Benevolent
Institution, with its brotherly care for old Masons or their widows, and its
fine building at Croydon, did not take place for over thirty years.
recently of all has come the Freemasons' Hospital and Nursing Home, the
youngest of all Masonic charities, founded in 1919.
the Fund of Benevolence, which has taken the place of the "Generall Bank of
Charity," and is directly controlled by Grand Lodge, administers relief to the
extent of over 30,000 pounds a year; while the three great Institutions are
educating considerably more than 2000 girls and boys, nearly 10,000 children
having passed through their hands since their foundation. Their schools are
among the finest in the country.
Benevolent Institution, for its part, is assisting with its grants some 1600
old Masons or widows in the evening of their days.
contributions of the English Craft to these three in recent years has amounted
to an average of over 300,000 pounds a year.
firmly were the foundations laid; so truly have the builders labored; that we
may look back very proudly to the early days of Masonic charity; and may look
forward also, with a firm but humble confidence, to the days which are yet to
ancient brethren of the Mystic tie were builders--Masons in all ages have been
builders--and we will not be worthy of our glorious traditions unless we are
builders attempting to reconstruct out of the bewilderment of confusion of
today a higher civilization of tomorrow, which shall be a structure of
symmetry and strength characterized by stability, utility and beauty, whose
fabric shall be fashioned through law, labor and love. --Frederick S. Selmood,
photograph shown herewith depicts an old Mason-Apron of considerable beauty.
This Apron - partly engraved and partly hand-painted - is of velvet, backed
with silk, and is approximately 24 inches by 30 inches. It is rounded at the
two bottom corners. It has a semi-circular flap, two tassels (an uncommon
feature in Aprons prior to 1813), and at either top corner are narrow ribbons
to tie round the waist. Both the flap and the Apron itself are edged with
embroidery, and the border of flowers not only gives a charm to the design,
but adds interest on account of its rarity.
flap, in the center, is a group, which, comprising a female with three
children, denotes Charity. On the left hand side of this group, as you look at
the Apron, there are depicted a half moon, with a human face looking towards
the group, and below, three candlesticks, representing the three Lesser
Lights. On the other side of the group are seven six-pointed stars, arranged
hexagonally with one in the center, and below a beehive with three groups of
bees close to it.
Apron, on the left hand side, stands a female figure resting against an
anchor, representing Hope; while balancing it on the other side is another
female figure with a cross clasped in both hands, representing Faith. Between
these figures, and nearly level with their heads, is "the All-seeing Eye,"
over which is inscribed in a curve the words "Sit Lux et Lux Fuit." Beneath,
and in the center of the Apron, is a large V. S. L. open at II Chronicles,
Chaps. 2 and 3. On the V. S. L. are the Square and Compasses in the second
position, the points of the compasses and the angle of the square being
towards the top. Rising from behind the Book is the "Sun in Splendour," with a
human face, visible only from the eyes upwards. Springing from behind the sun,
and inclined to the left, is a ladder of which four rungs only are to be seen.
Projecting from behind the left side of the V. S. L. are two columns, partly
visible, the upper one fluted and the lower one plain. Similarly placed on the
other side of the V.S.L. are a Plumb-rule, twenty-four inch Gauge and Level.
Below the two columns is a perfect ashlar, and below the working tools is a
very irregular lump of stone, presumably the rough ashlar. Below the V. S. L.
is a double triangle in which is written "H. S. from M.A.S."
form of some of the symbols and the grouping of others, correspond very
closely with those on Aprons known to have been engraved by Bro. William Hixon,
of No. 13 Bridges Street, Covent Garden, London, in 1794. It may therefore,
perhaps, be inferred that the Apron now described emanated from the same
engraver about the date mentioned or a little later.
Apron is now the property of W. Bro. W. G. Dickenson, Broomwood House, Bath,
who has very kindly consented to its publication.
EARLY MASONIC PRAYER
time of the formation of the Grand Lodge, in 1717, the Invocation of the
Trinity, with which all the copies of the Old Charges commenced, was doubtless
used as the opening prayer by lodges. In the editions of Ahiman Rezon, the
Book of Constitutions published by the "Antients" Grand Lodge, this Invocation
is printed under the heading "A Prayer that was used amongst the Primitive
Grand Lodge grew in strength, and the Old Charges were replaced by Anderson's
Book of Constitutions, other forms of prayer seem to have come into use.
Anderson gives no prayer, but then, as a Presbyterian minister, he could not
have recommended any set form of words doing violence to his convictions.
Ireland supplies the earliest form of Masonic prayer that can be dated. This
prayer will be found in the Book of Constitutions, published by John Pennell,
in Dublin, in 1730. It comes after the Charges of a Freemason, and before the
General Regulations. It is headed, "A Prayer to be said at the opening of a
Lodge, or making of a Brother." It reads as follows:
Holy and Glorious LORD GOD, thou great Architect of Heaven and Earth, who art
the Giver of all good Gifts and Graces; and hast promis'd that where two or
three are gathered together in thy Name, thou wilt be in the Midst of them; in
thy Name we assemble and meet together, most humbly beseeching thee to bless
us in all our Undertakings, to give us thy Holy Spirit, to enlighten our Minds
with Wisdom and Understanding, that we may know, and serve thee aright, that
all our Doings may tend to thy Glory, and the Salvation of our Souls.
we beseech thee, O LORD GOD, to bless this our present Undertaking, and grant
that this, our new Brother, may dedicate his Life to thy Service. and be a
true and faithful Brother among us, endue him with Divine Wisdom, that he may,
with the Secrets of Masonry, be able to unfold the Mysteries of Godliness and
Christianity. This we humbly beg in the Name and for the Sake of JESUS CHRIST
our LORD and SAVIOUR. AMEN."
is a marginal note that the second paragraph was "To be added when any Man is
Masonry passes under two denominations--Operative and Speculative. By the
former, we allude to a proper application of the useful rules of architecture,
whence a structure derives figure, strength, and beauty; and whence results a
due proportion and a just correspondence in all its parts. By the latter, we
learn to govern the passions, act upon the square, keep a tongue of good
report, maintain secrecy, and practise charity.
Speculative Masonry is so far interwoven with religion, as to lay us under the
strongest obligations to pay that rational homage to the Deity, which at once
constitutes our duty and our happiness. It leads the contemplative to view
with reverence and admiration the glorious works of creation, and inspires
them with the most exalted ideas of the perfections of the divine Creator.
Operative Masonry furnishes us with dwellings, and convenient shelter from the
inclemencies of seasons, and while it displays the effects of human wisdom, as
well in the choice as in the arrangement of the materials of which an edifice
is composed, it demonstrates that a fund of science and industry is implanted
for man, for the best, most salutary, and beneficent purposes. --Wm. Preston.
Charles Edward Stuart, G. M.
W.BRO. J. E. SHUM TUCKETT,
QUATUOR CORONATI LODGE, NO. 2076, A.G. SWORD B. ENGLAND; P.G.STAND. B. (R. A.)
ONE-HALF of the twenty-two independent Masonic references to Prince Charles
were made openly before his death (1788), nevertheless all are generally
regarded as spurious, and it is constantly affirmed that Charles himself
denied any membership of our Order. But it cannot be supposed that an
organization which made public use of his name during his lifetime did so
without his knowledge. As space is limited some only of the references can
here be considered.
ALLEGED REPUDIATION, 1776-7
following pronouncements have caused widespread belief in this fable:
1777 von Wachter sought him out in Italy, when the Prince, to his dismay,
declared he not only was not G. M. and knew nothing about it, but that he was
not even a Freemason." (Gould, Note 1.)
". . .
put no trust whatever in accounts connecting the Stuarts with Freemasonry. We
have it in the Young Pretenders own written and verbal statements that they
are absolutely baseless, pure inventions." (Speth, Note 2.)
"Prince Charles Edward never had any connection with Freemasonry. This we know
on his own authority. . ." (Chetwode Crawley, Note 3.)
Gould's authority is Allgemeines Handbuch der Freimaurerei s. v. Stuart, Karl
Edward, but neither Bro. Dring nor I can find it, and it is not in Wolfstieg's
Bibliography. ( Note 4. )
are three accounts of Wachter's visit to Italy in 1776-7, and it is
instructive to compare them. In the first, written six years after the alleged
visit (1782), by de Langes, an eminent Freemason acquainted with Wachter, the
Pretender is not even mentioned. (Note 5.) The second by Robinson (1797),
twenty-one years after, suggests that "great secrets" were obtainable from the
Pretender's secretary, but does not refer to the Prince himself. (Note 6.) The
third, Findel (1865), makes Wachter interview the Prince and asserts that:
"the Pretender knew nothing of the Order of Knights Templar nor was he a
Freemason." (Note 7.) The tradition of the denial apparently grew out
1882 it is asserted that a Handbuch (which we cannot find) of unknown date,
asserted that in 1777 Wachter (of indifferent character) asserted that Charles
asserted that he was not a Freemason. There is no reason to believe either
that Wachter ever interviewed the Prince, or that the latter ever made the
statement imputed to him.
"written" statements, the only document of the kind is a letter, Sept. 25,
1780, in reply to the G. M. of Sweden (Duke of Sudermannia) who desired to
control the Strict Observance. Prince Charles wrote: "the complete obscurity
in which I am relating to your mysteries, prevents me from replying more fully
until I myself am further enlightened." (Note 8.)
Swedish Freemasonry was peculiar, based upon a theory of Templar descent, and
it was knowledge of this peculiar Swedish System which Charles denied Reumont
states that in 1783 the Prince did consider himself hereditary G. M. of
THE CHARTRES MS. (NOTE 9), 1776
fortunate discovery pours a flood of light upon a vexed question, and affords
proof that a strong Masonic organization was instituted and worked under the
Prince's name. Bro. Dring kindly allowed me to make a transcript, and to
certain features I now dircct special attention.
MS. was compiled by the secretary, the formation in 1776 of a new lodge at
Chartres, under Clermont's Grande Loge Anglaise de France, dite de la
Constance, for his own private use and evidently not for publication. Its
statements may therefore be accepted as the truth as known to the writer. Five
of the seven degrees recognized by the Mother Lodge were to be worked, the
Fifth Degree being L'Ecossois. The warrant was issued by Beauchaine "by virtue
of the powers conferred upon us by the Jacobite Grand Lodge of St. John of
London, styled of the-Chevalier," but the "Orient of London" is stated to be
"en France." At an initiation the W.M. of the lodge is to say: "We, Grand
Master of this Lodge, by virtue of the powers conferred upon us by the Very
Venerable and Very Dear and Very Worshipful Grand Master CHARLES EDWARD
STUART, King of Scotland and Ireland . . ." (Note 10.)
Beauchaine issued the Langeron Certificate (1758) in the name of "Prince
Charles Stuard Edouard Legitime Roy . . .", and the Candy Certificate (1778)
was "DE LOTORITE. CHARLE-EDOUARD. G. M. D. ANGLA." (Note 11.)
MS. concludes with an "Alphabetical List of (66) Lodges under the Jurisdiction
of La Constance," with names of the Masters, and (in fifteen cases) dates of
constitution, the earliest being 1746. La Constance was a "Mother-Lodge"
before it became a Grand Lodge (1747). Arras is undated.
1762-5 Pasqually showed to members of the Bordeaux Lodge Francaise a warrant
granted to him by Prince Charles. (Note 12.) In 1764 Pasqually was arrested by
the Bordeaux police for "molesting" the Loge L'Anglaise there. (Note 13.) The
Chartres MS. list cites two Bordeaux lodges, one dated 1756. Also a Toulouse
Lodge, dated 1756. Prince Charles traditionally established the "Faithful
Scots" there, 1747 or 1751, on account of Sir Samuel (?) Lockhardt (Note 14.)
Marquis De Gages, "G.I. of Red Lodges under the Prince of Clermont and Prince
Charles Edward," founded (1767-70) a Chapter R.C. at Mons, and signed
documents as "G.M. of Blue and Red Lodges under the Prince of Clermont and
Edward." (Note 15.) The Chartres Lodge was a Clermont-Charles Edward
(1805c) notices a degree, "Ecossois de la Loge du Prince Edouard, G. M." (Note
names which occur in the Chartres MS. twelve or more are otherwise known in
French Freeasonry of the time.
THE LONGNOR (OR LICHFIELD) WARRANT, 1745
1869 in Notes and Queries, Fourth Series, it is stated that:
". . .
the original warrant of the Derbyshire Lodge of Ancient Freemasons whose
headquarters are at Longnor, was signed by Charles Edward as Grand Master,
while at Derby, in 1745. (Note 17.)
". . .
at the Union in 1813 it was exchanged for an English warrant . . . the Lodge
of Reconciliation was held in London in 1813, of which my informant, Mr.
Millward of Longnor, was a member." (Note 18.)
writer, John Sleigh of Thornbridge, Bakewell, Derbyshire, author of a History
of Leek, was a frequent contributor to Notes and Queries. John Millward
(1790-1878, initiated about 1810) was prominent in Masonry and public affairs
of the locality, a member of the Lodge of Unity at Longnor, and first Master
of the Phoenix Lodge of St. Ann, its successor there. He attended the Lodge of
Reconciliation five times. His father, born in 1767, was also a Freemason. (
Note 19. )
Charles passed the night, Dec. 3, at Leek, eight miles southwest of Longnor,
and reached Derby at dusk on Dec. 4, retiring at once to sleep at Exeter
House. Commencing at 8 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 5, the Council which decided to
abandon the march on London was after some hours adjourned until evening. The
retreat commenced early on Dec. 6, but Charles did not leave until 9 a.m.
There was, therefore abundant opportunity to sign a document presented to him
at Derby for the purpose.
is six miles north and Derby twenty-four miles southeast of Longnor. Lichfield
is thirty-five miles south of Longnor and about twenty-four miles southwest of
Plot (Note 20) is witness that Freemasonry was very prevalent in the "moorelands"
of Staffordshire in 1686, and this popularity can hardly have died out by the
middle of the eighteenth century. If, however, there were any lodges in the
Longnor-Lichfield district in 1745, they were independent of the Grand Lodge
at London. (Note 21.)
1784 a lodge at the Scales, Market Lane, Lichfield, received a warrant with
number 224 from the G.L. Antients, but there was a dispute about the number,
220 being claimed. The lodge had clearly existed before, and a previous page
in the Antients Register had been headed, "220. The Sign of the Scales in
Market Lane or elsewhere, Lichfield, Staffordshire," but no entries had been
made, and subsequently a slip of paper was pasted over the heading and the
page used for another (1786) lodge. Except that sixteen members were
registered Dec. 29, 1786, No. 224 (the Scales) gave no sign of life. What
really happened was that the lodge went over bodily to the opposition party (
Note 22), the Moderns. Accordingly we find that twelve of the sixteen Scales
brethren were (June 24, 1787) warranted by the G. L. Moderns as No. 502, the
Lodge of Unity, Three Crowns Inn, Bread Market Street, Lichfield. In 1792 its
number was 411 and it lasted until 1809 or 1810. In 1811, Warrant number 411,
and lodge property, passed by purchase to brethren at Longnor, where the Lodge
of Unity (number changed to 492 in 1814) remained at work until its erasure on
June 3, 1829. ( Note 23. )
1810 the G. L. Antients warranted a lodge as No. 165 at the King's Head Inn,
Market Place, Buxton, Derbyshire, but there was no connection with an earlier
No. 165 in London which returned its warrant to Grand Lodge in 1770. The
Buxton lodge received a new warrant with the old number 165, and in 1811 took
the name "Derbyshire Lodge." Through the influence of Bro. Millward, it was
removed in 1840 (Note 24) (with permission) from Buxton to Longnor, and met at
the Crewe and Harpur Arms in Market Square until its erasure March 7, 1866.
Its number was altered in 1814 to 201, and subsequently to 143 and 122.
reaching Longnor the Derbyshire Lodge became the possessor of the properties
belonging to the Lodge of Unity, erased in 1829, and these properties passed
on to the Phoenix Lodge of St. Ann, No. 1235, consecrated at Buxton in 1869
and still flourishing. ( Note 25. )
clear from these records that if Prince Charles did sign a warrant at Derby in
1745 it could not have been the "original warrant" of the Derbyshire Lodge as
stated by Mr. Sleigh. I suggest that it was an old warrant then (in 1869, when
Mr. Sleigh wrote) amongst the possessions of the Phoenix Lodge at Buxton,
inherited in 1868-9 from the defunct Derbyshire Lodge at Longnor.
the warrant was not the warrant "of" but one belonging "to" the Derbyshire
Lodge would appear from the history of these "properties," which is as follows
at Buxton, property of Phoenix Lodge. 1840 at Longnor, property of Derbyshire
Lodge. 1811 at Longnor, property of Lodge of Unity. 1787 at Lichfield,
property of Lodge of Unity.
May, 1811, Bro. Edwards of Lichfield wrote to Bro. Horobin (the purchaser)
apologizing for having sent a "York" warrant by mistake and forwarding the
real warrant under which the lodge worked. (Note 26.) Possibly this obsolete
"York" warrant was the one now in question.
Unity brethren at Lichfield were of course the possessors of the properties of
the abandoned Scales Lodge, and the Scales brethren were clearly a Masonic
unit before they sought "regularization" from the Antients. (Note 27.) Amongst
the "properties" noted in the inventory at the time when they were sold by
Lichfield to Longnor is a "Transparency of the Sun and Prince Wales' Bohemia
Plume of Feathers, white and gold; richly done." (Note 28.) A suggestive item
which would have served nicely to decorate the Lodge in honor of Prince
Jacobites at Lichfield were strong, but they were vigilantly watched by the
Bailiffs and Justices, also the Duke of Cumberland made his headquarters there
for a time. (Note 29.)
there is any truth in the story--and it is quite likely--it was a Lichfield
(not Longnor) document which Prince Charles signed at Derby on Thursday or
Friday, Dec. 5 or 6, 1745.
THE ARRAS CHARTER, 1745-7
According to Thory: (Note 30.)
chapitre ecossais jacobite y (i. e. at Arras) avait ete constitue en 1745, par
une chartre signee de la main de Charles Edouard Stuard, roi d'Angleterre.
Cette constitution qu' on nous a montree dans un voyage que nous fimes, a
Arras en 1786, porte avec elle tous les caracteres de l'authenticite. Nous
devons cette communication a M. Delecourt qui a eu la complaisance de nous en
donner une copie certifiee."
184 the text is given in full:
d'institution du Chapitre primordial de Rose-Croix Jacobite d'Arras.
Charles Edouard Stuard, roi d'Angleterre, de France d'Ecosse et d'Irlande, et
en cette qualite Subst. G. M. du Chapitre de H. connu sous le titre de chev.
de l'Aigle du Pelican, et depuis nos malheurs et nos infortunes, sous celui de
Rose-Croix; voulant temoigner aux Macons Artesiens combien nous sommes
reconnaissans envers eux des preuves de bienfaisance qu'ils nous ont
prodiguees, avec les officiers de la garnison de la ville d'Arras, et de leur
attachement a notre personne, pendant le sejour de six mois que nous avons
fait en cette ville. Nous avons en leur faveur, cree et erige, creons et
erigeons, par la presente bulle, en ladite ville d'Arras un S. Chapitre
primordial de Rose-Croix, sous le titre distinctif d'Ecosse Jacobite, que sera
regi et gouverne par les chevaliers Langneau et de Robespierre . . . J. B.
Lucet notre tapissier . . . signe de notre main . . . le jeudi 15e jour du 2e
mois, l'an de l'incarnation 5747. "Signe, Charles Edouard Stuard De par le Roi,
signe lorde de Berkeley, Secretaire."
Dring's reasons for discarding Jouaust's (1865) versions (Note 31) of the text
are sound. (Note 32.) Kloss (Note 33) refers to the Charter and supplies a
date not given in the other accounts. Gould (Note 34) fuses the comments of
Kloss, Thory and Jouaust, and adds:
will be sufficient to point out that Charles Edward did not call himself
'King' during his father's lifetime, or pretender at any time. The use of the
latter term indeed he very naturally left to others. Moreover no historian has
yet shown that he ever was in Arras, where, according to this legend he
remained for a period of six months." (Note 35.)
tradition is then that a R.C. Chapter of H.R.D.M. was constituted at Arras in
1745, and possessed document with the autograph signature of the Young
Pretender. In 1786 Thory, a reputable and scholarly man, saw this and judged
document and signature authentic, and he printed it in 1812 from a certified
copy supplied for the purpose. It is not claimed that the Prince was present
when the Chapter was constituted or inaugurated in 1745, or that his signature
was affixed in that year, or that he was in Arras when he signed.
"2e mois" must mean either February or April. The "15e jour" must mean either
15th New Style or 15th Old Style. The 26th February N.S. (Monday) and the 15th
April N.S. (Sunday) are ruled out, not being Thursdays. The 15th February N.S.,
26th April N.S. were both Thursdays and are therefore possible. Prince Charles
was in Paris in January, 1747, until the last week when he started for Madrid.
He halted at Lyons and was at Avignon on Feb. 9; Madrid, March 2; Guadalaxara,
March 6 to 14. Back in Paris March 26 to April 29. On April 26 N. S., 1747, he
was in Paris, and I think that is the date (also place) of the signature--if
spelling "Stuard" is frequently met with in Jacobite papers of the period.
not believe that in the original document "Roi" followed the Prince's name,
but either "R" or more probably "P. R.," meaning Regent or Prince Regent. The
transcribers, not understanding, supplied their own interpretations. Delecourt
put "Roi" and Jouaust's man made it "pretendant roi," which supports my
suggestion that the original had "P. R." In view of the attempt at a Stuart
Restoration planned for 1744 the Old Pretender (Dec. 23, 1743) issued a patent
conferring full powers as Regent of the British Isles on his son, and the
letters "P. R." generally follow the Prince's name in subsequent official
King of Scotland is hereditary and perpetual Grand Master of the Royal Order
of Scotland and Grand Chapter of H.R.D.M. Consequently the expression in the
text, "en cette qualite Subst. G.M. du Chapitre de H," which would be
absolutely wrong if it followed "roi," is strikingly correct if it came after
"R." or "P. R.," for the Regent would naturally the substitute Grand Master.
not stated that the six months' sojourn in Arras were during either 1745 or
1747. Charles nominally lodged at Gravelines (about fifty miles from Arras)
from February to "towards winter" of the year 1744. (Note 36.) During that
time he made several visits to Paris, also "occasional" visits to Frankfort.
(Note 37.) Arras is on the routes from Gravelines to Paris and Frankfort so
that Charles must have passed through Arras many times. Much of the time while
officially in seclusion in the dull little fishing town was probably spent in
Arras, only fifty miles distant, the Capital of Artois, a very important civil
and military center with a large garrison and plenty of society.
names Lucet and Robespierre are known to have been authentic Arras names at
the time. The Chartres MS. of 1776 supplies independent evidence that a Bro.
Lucet was Master of a lodge at Arras in 1776. The Revolution Robespierre was
born at Arras (1758), and his father (avocat au conseil d'Artois) and
grandfather dwelt there.
de Berkley" is likely to have been the secretary, but there is a younger son
who may have been so employed. Is "Berkley" a transcriber's error for "Balhaldy"
or "Bohaldy" ? Drummond (MacGregor) of Balhaldy, Balhaldie, or Bohaldy, was
the agent sent by the Old Pretender to arrange the visit of Prince Charles and
to negotiate for the support ot the French King in the intended expedition to
Britain. He was in constant attendance on Prince Charles during the sojourn at
Gravelines and in close touch with him afterwards. He was a Freemason, a
member of the Lodge Dunblane St. John, and (according to Murray Lyon) the
Expedition of 1745 was the result of his "misleading representations." (Note
38.) Highland chieftains were commonly styled "Lords" on the Continent at this
Although the demonstration of its authenticity is not complete, there is no
valid reason for rejecting the Arras Charter.
TEMPLAR GRAND-MASTERSHIP OF PRINCE CHARLES, 1745
the Prince was still a boy there was a form of "Templary" at work in
Continental Masonry, largely or entirely in the hands of British (principally
Scottish) Jacobite exiles. This "Order of the Temple" was not necessarily
pledged to the Stuart Cause (as Greeven--Note 39--maintains) but it would
naturally appeal to Prince Charles when he arrived in Paris in 1744.
1764 von Hund claimed to have been received into the Order at Paris in 1743,
in the presence of Lords Kilmarnock and Clifford, and that he received a
Patent as a Prov. G. M. Also that "subsequently" he was presented to Prince
Charles whom he took to be G. M. of the Order but was not certain (Note 40.)
Dr. Begemann attempts (but fails) to prove the story an imposture. (Note 41.)
The only questions which concern us are, first, was Hund admitted? Secondly,
did Charles "subsequently" interview von Hund? And thirdly, was Charles Grand
Master? Begemann's contention that Kilmarnock, being G. M. of Freemasons in
Scotland 1742-3, could not have been in Paris in 1743 is nonsense--there was
much secret crossing to and from France by Jacobites about 1741-5. Hund left
Paris in September, 1743, and Charles arrived Janary, 1744,-therefore (says
Begemann) the interview never happened. But Hund did not say that they met in
Paris or when they met except that it was "subsequently" to his own reception
as a Templar. That Charles was G. M. when Hund met him is not claimed.
Begemann considers that he has proved that the traitional Templar Chapter at
Holyrood in September, 1745, never lld have happened. I consider that I have
shown that gemann is mistaken. (Note 42.) The tradition, however tirely lacks
contemporary supporting evidence. If true rince Charles entered the Order and
became G. M. at Edinurgh, Sept. 24, 1745.
the Templar Mastership does not wholly depend upon the Edinburgh tradition. In
1780 the Duke of Sudermannia wishing to unite the conflicting Templar claims
of Sweden and the Strict Observance, consulted Prince Charles. This certainly
looks as if that Prince was a supreme authority. In the winter of 1783
Gustavus III visited Charles at Florence and (according to Reumont, the
biographer of Charles' wife) was by him appointed his coadjutor and successor
in the Grand Mastership of the Temple. (Note 43.)
Gould. History, III, 110 and Concise History; 1903, 323.
Hughan. Jacobite Lodge at Rome1910, 27.
A.Q.C. XXVI, 70.
Dring in Treasury of Masonic Thought; 1924, 80.
A.Q.C. XXX, 166.
Robinson. Proofs of a Conspiracy; 1797, 77.
Findel. History; 1865. English Ed. 1868, 285.
von Reumont. Die Grafin von Albany; 1860, 1,239; so Findel. History; 1869,
H. Dring in Treasury of Masonic Thought; 1924, 71.
The omission of England is presumably an excusable error by the Secretary when
transcribing the Warrant.
A. Q. C. XV, 95, 97; also XXXIII, 96.
ib. XIX, 148.
ib. XII, 7.
Kenning's Cyclopaedia; 1878, 76, 185; and Findel. History, 213.
Goblet D'Alviella. Consts. A. & A. S. R. pour la Begique; 1910, 10 and 11.
Kenning's Cyclopaedia. 183.
N. and Q. IV, Series III, 533.
ib. IV, 66.
A.Q.C. XXIII, 94, 267, 295, 305. S. Taylor. History of Freemasonry in.
Robert Plot, Natural History of Staffordshire; 1686, VIII, 16. "Here I found
persons of the most eminent quality, that did not disdain to be of this
At Derby there was one lodge warranted 1732.
Bro. Wonnacott G. I,. kindly supplied me with the lists others from the
Records (Antients and Moderns).
John Lane, Masonic Records; 1895, 156, 158, 214.
Lane (p. 131) says the removal was in 1842, but 1840 is correct. See Taylor,
Taylor, p. 35.
ib. p. 14.
Gould, The Atholl Lodges; 1879, 42. "220 (earliest Lodge. Not known)."
Harwood, History of Cathedeal and City of Lichfield under dates 1743 and 1745.
C. A. Thory, Histoire de la Fondation du Grand Orient de France; 1812, pp. 63
Jouaust. History du Grand Orient de France; 1865, p. 84.
E. H. Dring in Treasury of Masonic Thought; 1924, 73.
T. G. Koss, Geschichte der Freimaurerei in Frankreich; 1852, I, 257.
R. F. Gould, History of Freemasonry, III 158.
There are very similar comments by Hughan and Speth in Hughan's Jacobite Lodge
at Rome, 27-8. The French word "pretendant" means simply "claimant" and was
used by Jacobites in that sense.
C. L. Klose, Memoirs of Prince Charles Stuart; 1845,
J. F. Bell, Memoirs of John Murray of Broughton; 1898, pp. 385-8.
D. Murray Lyon, History of L. of Edinburgh; 1900, 442.
Greeven, Templar Movement in Masonry; 1899, 37.
Gould, History, III, 101.
A.Q.C. XXVI, 66.
ib. XXXIII, 40.
A. von Reumont, Die Grafin von Albany; 1860, I, 239; Findel, 212.
Grand Lodge of Scotland, and Its History to 1813
BRO. F.J.W. CROWE, F. R. Hist. Soc.
P.A.G.D.C. ENGLAND; P.S.G.W. IOWA; P.M. QUATUOR CORONATI LODGE, No. 2076; HON.
MEM. "MARY'S CHAPEL," No. 1, EDINBURGH; ST. ANDREW'S CHAPTER, No. 69, GLASGOW;
ETC., ETC.; England
SCOTLAND stands unrivalled in its possession of the oldest known records of
our Craft, as well as in the antiquity of still-existing lodges. There may
have been co-existent lodges in England and Ireland. There certainly were in
the seventeenth century, but, with one or two exceptions, notably the Lodge of
Antiquity in London, they ceased to exist before the premier Grand Lodge of
the world was formed in London, in 1717. The oldest preserved lodge minute in
the world is in the first minute book of the "Lodge of Edinburgh, No. 1
(Mary's Chapel) ," and runs thus:
"Ultimo July 1599
qlk day George Patoun maissoun grenttit & confessit that he had offendit agane
the dekin & mrs for placeing of ane cowane to wirk at ane chymnay heid for tua
dayis and ane half day, for the qlk offenss he submittit him self in the dekin
& mrs guds willis for qt vnlaw they pless to lay to his charge, and thay
having respect to the said Georges humill submissioun & of his estait they
remittit him the said offenss Providing alwayis that gif ather he [or] ony
vther brother comitt the lyke offenss heirefter that the law sall strvke vpoun
thame indiscreta wtout exceptioun of personis. This wes done in prcs of Paull
Maissoun dekin, Thoas Weir warden, Thoas Watt, Johne Broun, Henrie Tailzefeir,
the said George Patoun, & Adam Walkar.
est Adamus Gibsone norius.
Warden's Mark is also appended.]
same year 1599, and dated Dec. 28, a Code was written and placed in the
charterchest of Eglington Castle, which throws further light on the antiquity
of Scottish Masonry. The Code is concerned with the choice of wardens of
lodges, and other matters of business routine, and is too long to quote in
full here, but the third "Item" is of special interest:
it is thocht neidfull and expedient be my lord warden generall, that Edinburgh
salbe in all tyme cuming, as of befoir the first and principal lodge in
Scotland; and that Kilwynning be the secund ludge, as of befoir is notourlie
manifest in our awld antient writtis; and that Stirueling salbe the thrid
ludge conforme to the auld privileges thairof."
then we have three lodges, which were very old in 1599, Edinburgh having still
its minutes from that year, and Mother Kilwinning from Dec. 20, 1642, whilst a
fourth lodge, "St. John's, Melrose," has them from 1674. In some curious way a
firm belief had got abroad, and indeed is still held locally, that Mother
Kilwinning is the oldest Scottish lodge, but the foregoing extract clearly
proves the seniority of Edinburgh; and had it been known in 1815 the No. 0 of
Kilwinning and the No. 1 of Edinburgh would have been reversed. The MS. quoted
from was, however, only discovered in 1861.
Grand Lodge of Scotland also possesses two other MSS. of 1600 and circa 1628
respectively, known as the "St. Clair Charters." The first is signed by
William Schaw, and the second was granted by the "Free Masons and Hammermen of
Scotland" to Sir William St. Clair of Rosslyn, giving him jurisdiction over
the Craftsmen. The first is also signed by the representatives of the lodges
at Edinburgh, S. Andros, Hadingtoun, Achiesones Heavin and Dumfermling; and
the latter by those of the lodges at Edinburgh, Dundie, Glasgow, Stirlinge and
Dumfermlinge. Here then are eight lodges of the early seventeenth century
named, in addition to Kilwinning and Melrose. Other lodges are Canongate
Kilwinning, an offshoot of Mother Kilwinning, in 1677; Aberdeen, No. 1 tris,
before 1670; Scoon and Perth, No. 3, before 1657; Glasgow St. John, No. 3 bis,
before 1620; Canongate and Leith, 1688; Old Kilwinning St. John, Inverness,
1678; Hamilton Kilwinning, 1695; and Dunblane St. John, before 1695. No
country in the world can show such a list of existing lodges. They were of
course independent, and nobody seems to have assumed any general authority
until Mother Kilwinning, which had been dormant from 1697, but resuscitated in
1704, began to issue warrants or charters; and between 1729 and 1803 it
granted 26 in Scotland, two in America, one in Ireland and one in the West
FORMATION OF GRAND LODGE
Meanwhile England had formed the first Grand Lodge of the world in 1717, and
Ireland had followed suit in 1729, so the Scottish brethren began to consider
whether it would not be wise to follow their example. The earliest record of
their procedure is found in the minutes of the Lodge of Canongate Kilwinning,
dated Sept. 29, 1735, when a committee was appointed to "frame proposals to be
laid before the several Lodges in order to the chusing of a Grand Master for
Scotland." By a curious coincidence they followed the example of England, in
that the four lodges in or about the capital city took the lead, namely, the
"Lodge of Edinburgh," "Kilwinning Scots Arms," "Canongate Kilwinning," and
"Little Kilwinning." The first minute of their meetings is not found until the
following year, though doubtless they had not been idle all this time. It is
Maries Chapell the 25th day of November 1737. Thomas Mylne, Master; Samwell
Neilson, warden..The which day the brethren took to their serious
consideration a printed circular letter with printed coppies of proposalls and
regulations sent to them by the Masters and Wardens of this and the other
three Lodges in and about Edr., viz., Kilwinning Scots Armes, Canongate
Kilwinning, and Leith Kilwinning (with whom the present Master and Warden of
this Lodge had been formerly appointed to concurr), signifieing their
intention, for the promoting of Masonry in generall, to make choise of a Grand
Master with two Grand Wardens over all the regular Mason Lodges in Scotland,
and inviting the brethren of this Lodge to concurr with them in so good and
great designe-which papers being publickly read and considered by the brethren
of this Lodge then present they unanimously agreed thereto, and nominated and
appointed Thomas Mylne, mason burges of Edr., their present Worshipfull
Master, Samwell Neilson, mason, their present Senior Warden, and Charles Mack,
mason their, to be their Junior Warden, to represent the Lodge of Maries
Chapell att the said Grand Ellection upon Tewsday the thretty day of November
instant. And appointed them to vote or ballot for the Right Honourable the
Earle of Home, their honourable and worshipfull brother, to be Grand Master in
Scotland for the ensuing year; and to vote or ballot for such other
worshipfull brethren for Deputy Master, Grand Wardens, Treasurer, and other
office bearers as they should judge most deserving of these honble. offices;
and appointed the Clerk to make out their commission accordingly. THO. MYLNE.
SAML. NEILSON. RO. ALISON."
resolution as to the Grand Master was, however, not carried out for the
following reason: From the time of the granting of the previously mentioned
"St. Clair Charters" the head of that family had claimed to hold the
hereditary office of Grand Master of the Masons of Scotland; that is to say,
of the Operative Masons. On May 18, 1736, William St. Clair, of that ilk, was
initiated in the Canongate Kilwinning Lodge, passed on June 2, and raised on
Nov. 22. On Nov. 24, of his own accord, he offered the brethren in writing his
renunciation, for himself and his heirs forever, of his "right, claim and
pretence" to the Hereditary Grand Mastership of the Masons of Scotland.
meeting to decide the Grand Mastership was held on Nov. 30, and the brethren
were so pleased with his zeal and disinterestedness that they elected him
first Grand Master in spite of the previous resolution. It must be confessed
that his claim to rule Speculative Masonry was imaginary, but there is no
reason to doubt his entire good faith, and he justified his appointment.
Invitations were sent to over one hundred Scottish lodges to attend and take
part in this first General Assembly, but only thirty-three attended; and to
avoid jealousy they were placed on the roll in the order in which they
happened to enter the hall. The lodges thus placed were:
Chappell, Kilwinning, Canongate Kilwinning, Kilwinning Scots Arms Kilwinning
Leith Kilwinning Glasgow, Coupar of Fyfe, Linlithgow Dumfermling, Dundee
Dalkeith, Aitcheson's Haven, Selkirg, Strathaven Hamilton, Dunse, Kirkcaldie,
Journeymen Massones of Edinburgh Kirkintillock Biggar, Sanquhar, Peebles
Glasgow St. Mungo's, Greenock Fallkirk, Aberdeen, Innverness, Mariaburgh
Lessmahaggow, Canongate and Leith and Leith, Saint Brides at Douglas, and
Canongate, Lanark, Monross.
the election of William St. Clair as Grand Master, Captain John Young of the
Kilwinning Scots Arms was elected Depute Grand Master; Sir William Baillie of
Lamington, Canongate Kilwinning, Senior Grand Warden; Sir Alexander Hope of
Kerse, Scots Arms, Junior Grand Warden; Dr. John Moncrief, of Kilwinning Leith,
Grand Treasurer; John Macdougall of the Exchequer, Scots Arms, Grand
Secretary; and Robert Alison, Writer, of Mary's Chapel, Grand Clerk.
would have seemed likely that once the Grand Lodge was so successfully
inaugurated the remaining lodges would almost certainly have come into the
fold with few exceptions, as had been the case in England. Such, however, was
not the case with the sturdy Scottish brethren. Many lodges remained
independent, and various disputes arose from time to time. Amongst other
happenings, Mother Kilwinning Lodge seceded in 1774, because it was placed
second to Edinburgh on the roll of lodges. It had never entirely given up its
practice of granting charters for new lodges, though by what authority of
inherent right did not appear, and on resuming independence it still more
widely exercised the use, and Grand Lodge made no serious protest.
Matters continued thus until 1807, when a concordat was arrived at. Kilwinning
agreed to renounce all rights to grant charters, and to come into the Grand
Lodge with all its daughter lodges, the latter receiving charters of
confirmation, and being placed on the roll according to their respective dates
of origin. Kilwinning was to be placed at the head of the roll as "Mother
Kilwinning" without a number, and so the strife was healed. At this time the
Schaw Statutes of 1599 had not, we must remember, yet been discovered.
lodge of "St. John's Melrose" also remained independent until as recently as
1891, and granted at least three charters to daughter lodges. Its earliest
minute is dated 1674, and it is now on the roll as No. 1 bis.
serious difficulty arose in 1808, when, owing to political disputes having
been introduced most improperly into Masonry, certain office bearers and
members of Mary's Chapel, Canongate, St. Andrew's, and St. David's Lodges were
expelled from Masonry by Grand Lodge. The seceders, numbering about 400,
organized themselves into a body termed "The Associated Lodges seceding from
the present Grand Lodge of Scotland," and they appointed the Master of Mary's
Chapel as Grand Master. Masonic influence failed to heal the breach, and the
matter was brought before the civil courts, which decided in favor of the
"Associated Lodges." Having gained their victory, they did nol;, however,
abuse it; and finally, in 1813, they expressed their regrets and requested to
be received again by Grand Lodge. This was happily effected, and from that
time to the present the history of the Grand Lodge of Scotland records nothing
but peace, progress and prosperity, worthy of its unique history and
PECULIARITIES AS TO CLOTHING, ETC.
conclusion, I may draw attention to two peculiarities of the usage of the
Grand Lodge of Scotland. First, as to clothing. The color of Grand and
Provincial Grand Lodge clothing is thistle green, doubtless from the color of
the mantle and ribbon of the national great order of knighthood, "The
Thistle," and sashes are worn as well as collars in those bodies, and in
daughter lodges. Then each lodge has its own color for apron, collar and
sashblue, red, green, yellow, tartan, or any combination of these at pleasure,
a peculiarity shared only, as far as I know, with the Grand Orient of the
Netherlands. This latter is the more curious as its Masonry originated from
England, which has never varied from blue except for stewards.
other peculiarity I refer to is the appointment of "Proxy Masters and Wardens"
to attend Grand and Provincial Grand Lodges, who attend for the actual
officers, so that every lodge may be fully represented. This seems a very
Evolution of English Lodge-Boards
W.BRO. REV. W. W. COVEY-CRUMP, P.M., P.Z., ETC. J.W. of the Quatuor Coronati
Lodge, 2076, London, England
ALTHOUGH the ordinary lodge appurtenances known nowadays to English Freemasons
as "Tracing Boards" have not a corresponding status in American lodges, they
are at all events sufficiently familiar to Masonic students to need but few
remarks by way of introduction. Every English lodge room is furnished with
three conventional pictures-each being peculiar to one of the degrees--and
upon them are depicted certain objects and emblems so allocated and arranged
as to exhibit the symbolical teaching inculcated in each particular degree.
Moreover, certain formal "Explanations" of these Tracing Boards are comprised
in the English Ritual, and are recited occasionally for the enlightenment of
newly-admitted candidates. I say "occasionally" because truth compels an
admission that opportunities of hearing these "Explanations" are now by no
means as frequent as they were a few years ago--a neglect
much-to-be-regretted, for it leaves many brethren very ill-informed as to the
significance of degrees which they have received, because they have thus been
deprived of what was formerly a valuable medium for imparting that
set of three designs, constituting the Tracing Boards exhibited in English
lodges, is however not standardized. No uniform size or pattern has ever been
specified or endorsed by the authority of the Grand Lodge, at all events since
the Union in 1813. But the variations are, and have always been, merely in
trivial details; in their essential features the designs follow certain
recognized rules, and their little differences only serve to enhance their
interest. But of far greater interest to the student is the problem of their
past evolution. It is a problem by no means readily solved; for eighteenth
century specimens are now very rare, and documentary allusions to them during
that period seldom (if ever) define pictorial details upon them.
"DRAWING THE LODGE"
Tracing Boards could not have developed from a tracing board such as would
have been used by a Mediaeval architect, though they have assumed its name.
Thanks to the researches of Bros. C. H. Breed, E. D. Dring and others, we can
now safely assert that the designs originated in sundry crude geometrical
diagrams, which, in the Freemasonry prevailing in England during the early
part of the eighteenth century, were usually drawn (with chalk, charcoal or
similar substances) upon the tavern floor when a candidate was to be
initiated. The task of thus "drawing the lodge", as it was termed, being
regarded as a rather menial operation, was frequently delegated to one of the
inferior officers; but the duty of erasing the diagram when the ceremony ended
usually devolved upon the newly entered Apprentice. Whether it was rigidly
imposed if that novice chanced to be a person of high social position is
highly problematical, for a deputy would frequently be securable by a
gratuity, and certainly the mop and pail never obtained recognition among the
working tools of a Freemason. But, even as early as 1733, the records of the
King's Arms Lodge (now No. 28 E. C.) at London show an order for "a proper
delineation on canvas" to be made for use at initiations in that lodge, and
evidence of the same change being made soon afterwards in other lodges could
easily be adduced. The adoption of a permanent delineation of certain outlines
(like that shown in Three Distinct Knocks, 1760), together with such symbols
as the sun, moon and Blazing Star, upon a sheet of linen or canvas--which
could be displayed upon the floor when required, and at other times be folded
or rolled up and stored away--formed a substitute so convenient and obviously
preferable that the primitive method rapidly fell into general desuetude after
LODGE BOARD EMERGES
as has yet been ascertained, the use of these "floor-cloths" was primarily
intended merely for the First Degree; but emblems associated with superior
degrees were soon added, and thus the diagram became a pictorial design
desirable for use upon all occasions of Masonic business, because it naturally
added dignity to the proceedings. Various appellations were given to the new
appurtenance, especially when in many instances it developed into a framed
canvas or a wooden panel, but gradually the terms "tresselboard" and
"Lodge-Board" predominated, and the latter became familiarly abbreviated to
Meanwhile another and more potent influence had also been at work. The idea
that the design which had thus been formulated should, and in fact did,
represent "the Lodge" became definite. Not in the sense that it represented
any individual lodge (still less that it represented any individual lodge
room), but that it represented the entire Masonic Fraternity whenever and
wherever assembled to expatiate on the mysteries of the Craft. Very soon the
two pillars whose prototypes were connected with Solomon's Temple became three
columns respectively symbolizing Wisdom, Strength and Beauty; the mosaic
pavement (subsequently conventionalized as a series of checkered squares), the
tassels and broached-thurnel were introduced; and all these details were
symbolically interpreted in the catechetical "Lectures" which then formed an
invariable adjunct to the convivial proceedings of our lodges. Furthermore,
the growth of the directive power of the Grand Lodges naturally tended to
foster a uniform system of such interpretation, and this led to certain
emblems and symbols becoming exclusively connected with each particular
degree, even as to some extent (though less definitely) they may have been all
CONTEMPORARY EVIDENCE ADDUCED
all this was a process of unnoticed evolution. The exact era when the diagrams
first became a series, consisting of two or three, is as yet undetermined; but
in a well-known contemporary cartoon of the "Scald Miserables" travesty, in
1742, the two huge standards which are there being borne in the procession
seem intended to caricature two Lodge-Boards, separately used in consecutive
degrees at that time; although it by no means follows that the emblems and
general scheme as depicted on those standards were identical with those
appertaining to the genuine degrees of Freemasonry. Further confirmation of
the inference is also furnished by certain illustrations given in the Francs-Macons
Trahi published at Paris in 1745; and therefore we may fairly say that two or
three different designs, connected severally with different degrees, came into
common use soon after 1740. Bro. Dring's view is (I believe) that whereas the
lodges under the so-called "Moderns" jurisdiction usually preferred to have
separate cloths or boards, differing according to the degree which was being
worked, those lodges which avowed allegiance to the "Antients" used only one
and the same for all three degrees. Moreover he surmised that, whilst the
"Moderns" usually delineated the whole of their symbols on their various
diagrams, the "Antients" clung to the simpler plan of having a diagram which
could convey no coherent idea to uninitiated persons, because it would only
become intelligible when certain additional tools, jewels and emblems (or
miniatures of them) were suitably arranged upon it as occasion required. In
fact, this latter method still survives as a custom in a few old lodges in the
west of England.
foregoing connection need I say that many of us would fain learn how and when
the Middle Chamber and the sanctum sanctorum of Solomon's Temple at Jerusalem
were adopted as central features in the diagrams of the superior degrees? But
the available evidence is too scanty for that, and the subject too complicated
to be summarized as an incidental detail of the present article. Nor would a
digression be profitable here to review any profound aspects of Masonic
symbolism--such as were illustrated on the Tracing-Boards--upon an intelligent
apprehension of which every brother must have relied to derive that spiritual
inspiration and moral power which are essential to every participant in our
Mysteries. That Freemasons then were as fully conscious of all such important
matters as we ourselves are today can scarcely be disputed, but we can only
notice them en passant as side issues to our present subject.
main point is that long before the nineteenth century certain symbols had
gradually become restricted in England to certain degrees, and consequently
they were displayed either on three separate diagrams or else on three
separate compartments of the same cloth or board. A few symbols--such as
Aaron's rod and Amalthea's horn, the bee-hive and the scythe--had meanwhile
fallen into disfavor and become generally discarded; whilst one or two new
ones were added or (as in the case of the broached-thurnel) acquired new
DESIGNERS OF LODGE BOARDS
the grouping, or arrangement in which the various components are usually
exhibited, the Craft is indebted chiefly to three London brethren; who, during
many years, devoted much insight and artistic genius to the designing of many
cloths and boards for individual lodges. Of these Masonic worthies the first
was a Bro. Jacobs, concerning whom unfortunately nothing is now known beyond
the fact that about the year 1800 he was living near Hatton Gardens (London),
and produced several good designs: in which, however, the anachronistic
substitution of a coffin was a regrettable evidence of his originality. In
this (as in sundry other peculiarities) he was copied by his contemporary
Josiah Bowring, then residing in the district known as Moorfields (London). He
was initiated in 1795, and for many years was a prominent member of the
"Strong Man Lodge" (now No. 45, E. C.), of which he became Master in 1821.
Numerous examples of Bowring's skill are still extant--distinguishable usually
by having a key suspended from the ladder. He died, apparently in somewhat
reduced circumstances, about the end of 1831. The third of the artistic trio
was John Harris, who was initiated in the "Lodge of Good Intent" (now defunct)
in 1818, and survived until 1873. In regard to these three brethren it is not
too much to say that the fixation (and one might almost say standardization)
of the diagrams has resulted from a unanimous acceptance and perpetuation of
their ideas. Truly indeed they were masters, whose designs have better enabled
their English brethren to carry on the structure with order and propriety.
Possibly something superior may some day displace them from favor, but
hitherto they have had no serious rivals and are now regarded under the
English Constitution as adjuncts almost as venerable and unalterable as
Landmarks of the Order.
Arch Masonry Prior to the Union of 1813
BRO.JOHN STOKES, M.A., M.D.,
ASSISTANT GRAND SOJOURNER, R.A., England; SENIOR WARDEN, QUATUOR CORONATI
LODGE, NO. 2076, England
whole history of the Craft there is nothing more puzzling than the mysterious
origin of the Royal Arch Degree. Two circumstances have contributed to this
somewhat nebulous condition of affairs. The first is, that those who did know
something definite as to its inception have left no record of their knowledge;
the other, that those who did write concerning this degree in the early years
of the last century knew very little about it, but were tolerably certain that
what they did not know about it--and incidentally about all other Masonic
questions--was not worth knowing. The subject was approached very much after
the manner of the learned gentleman, presumably of Teutonic descent, who had
occasion to describe a camel. He had never seen a camel, and had not the
remotest idea of what it resembled, so he proceeded to evolve a camel out of
the depths of his imagination, with somewhat surprising results.
like manner, the evolution of Royal Arch Masonry was attributed to various
sources, with which in reality it had nothing whatever to do, nor even the
smallest kind of relation. The ipse dixit of these people was laid down in
such an authoritative style and with such a wealth of quotation from numerous
writers, that it would have taken a bold man to doubt their assertions, or
attempt to refute their conclusions. When, however, the origin of the degree
was looked into by examining the original minutes of the Grand and private
lodges and chapters, it became obvious that the method of writing history by
means of a travel into the realms of phantasy was not the best way to arrive
at the truth of the matter. It was also evident that the assertions of these
soi disant historians were founded, not on the sure ground of fact, but merely
on more or less intelligent surmise. It was assumed that the degree ought to
have arisen in a certain way, and therefore did arise in that way. This
attitude of mind is fatal to research, but is very easy to pursue. A theory,
more or less probable, is first brought forward, and then the facts, or such
of them as may appear the most suitable, are so arranged that they fit in with
theory. Such methods must have a chaotic effect on the mind of the genuine
seeker after knowledge.
Perhaps it will be best to deal first with the exploded notions of the older
writers, and then to give a summary of what we really know, leaving the domain
of conjecture, which is all very well in its proper place, to those who prefer
that method of resolving a vexed question.
“CHEVALIER RAMSAY THEORY" EXPLODED
dear and most elusive friend, the Chevalier Ramsay--who may or may not have
been a Freemason for there is no certainty one way or another-was given the
credit at one time. He must have been a most remarkable man if he did even a
tenth part of the things attributed to him. He was, at one period, tutor to
the Stuart royal children and led a rather variegated career, devoting his
life to the restoration of the Stuart family on the throne of England, in
which enterprise he failed, as did all those who tried to help that
unfortunate and decadent dynasty. He seems to have turned his attention to any
and every quarter from which assistance, however vague and unlikely, might
perchance come to help his designs. And what so likely as from the world-wide
organization of the Masonic order, then the fashionable cult of the French
aristocracy, and their imitators everywhere? With this end and aim in view he
is credited with the invention of all sorts of Masonic and other degrees.
There is no definite proof that he did anything of the kind. The whole story
is of that delightfully indefinite type, that is so undeniably charming but so
demonstrably unreal. At any rate his precise schemes came to nothing, the
house of Hanover remained firm on the throne; also, so far as we know,
Freemasonry went on as usual. On March 21, 1737, Ramsay wrote a Masonic
oration, to be given before the Grand Lodge at Paris, or before some ordinary
lodge, in which various Masonic degrees are mentioned. The speech was
certainly not read at this or any other lodge. It is not certain that Ramsay
wrote this or any other Masonic oration; all that we know is that he was said
to have done so. From this feeble source comes all the theoretical implication
of Ramsay as a sort of arch conspirator, bringing all sorts of innovations
into the Masonic fold.
OLIVER IS UNRELIABLE
Hughan in his Origin of the English Rite (1909 Ed pp. 81, sqq.), says: "Dr.
Oliver (Origin of the English Royal Arch, p. 39) asserts that the Chevalier
Ramsay 'visited London at the very period in question, for the purpose of
introducing his new degrees into English Masonry; and his schemes being
rejected by the Constitutional Grand Lodge, nothing appears more likely than
that he would throw himself into the hands of the schismatics.... It is
therefore extremely probable that Ramsay was concerned in the fabrication of
the English degree.' I demur entirely to such statements for many and
sufficient reasons. There is not a tittle of proof that Ramsay's 'inventions'
were either entertained or rejected by the Grand Lodge of England, by its
rival of the 'Athol Masons', or by any other Masonic body in Great Britain and
Ireland; added to which he had 'joined the majority' some three years, at
least prior to the period of Dermott's exaltation as a Royal Arch Mason, and
the 'Atholl Grand Lodge' had no existence until some seven years or more after
Ramsay's decease. I am entirely of the opinion that if the Chevalier 'did
visit any part of England or Ireland about 1740, it was not for Masonic, but
political purposes'but as to that, the necessary information being lacking, we
need not speculate."
Rev. Dr. Oliver was a very estimable man and a most voluminous writer. As a
pillar of the Church of England as by Law Established, he really ought to have
been more careful about making statements without proof; and though, as Sydney
Smith said of a preacher in the pulpit that he was "three feet above
contradiction, "yet the learned Doctor so frequently contradicts himself, that
we are saved the necessity of doing it for him. All the same we are left
uncertain to what extent he expects us to believe in him, and to what extent
he himself believed in his own statements.
THEORIES ARE NOT PROVIDED
R. F. Gould in his History of Freemasonry (Vol. II, p. 457) tries to prove
that the degree of the Royal Arch had its inception in the "Scots" degrees,
which sprang up in all parts of France about 1740. At this period, France was
full of English and Scottish adherents to the Stuart cause, who, finding the
climate of their own land somewhat unhealthy, crossed the Channel to plot and
counterplot for the Stuarts. Many of these were, or became Roman Catholics,
and it is doubtful if these men could conscientiously join the Masonic Order.
Gould does his best with a rather poor case, but does not prove anything.
Findel's History of Freemasonry, p. 182, it is asserted that: "The Royal Arch
Degree is in its essential elements decidedly French in its origin, but
received a somewhat different form in England, with additions from the higher
degrees then flourishing on the Continent." Here again we meet with a
statement given ex cathedra but without the slightest attempt at proof. What
we should like to have is chapter and verse for these assertions. If merely a
guess, it would be better to say so and leave it at that.
however, goes one better than the others, for he gives a definite date. He
says that Royal Arch Masonry was introduced into England in the year 1774, and
then goes on to say that the English first became acquainted with the degree
during the Austrian War of Succession between the years 1741 and 1742. Here,
fortunately, we have something definite to deal with. We know the movements of
the English troops during that inconclusive campaign, in which Frederick the
Great got what he wanted, and the rest, including England, added to their
national debt. Some 16,000 English troops were stationed in Holland, but none
were actually engaged with the forces of Maria Theresa. We cannot say that no
Englishmen were in Austria or in its neighborhood during this period, but the
whole tale sounds improbable on the face of it. In any case, why did these
people, who got the degree in 1741 or 1742, wait until 1774 before bringing
the degree into England? One other point may be mentioned, viz., we know the
Royal Arch to have been here before that date.
will be noticed that all these authorities ascribe the "invention" of the
degree to foreign sources, preferably to France. We have got so accustomed to
things being attributed to any origin rather than an English one, that this is
not a matter of surprise; but, if the degree was invented somewhere, is it not
possible that this effete and downtrodden country might have been capable of
giving birth to someone equal to the task?
FACTS OF R.A. MASONRY
now leave these fascinating realms of conjecture, these wild and extravagant
hypotheses without a scintilla of proof, and put down what we really can vouch
a writer whose statements are always supported by adequate documentary
evidence, who never made an assertion without first thinking what it meant,
and whose judgment was of the highest judicial order, says:
probable that Royal Arch Masonry was the first ceremony associated with the
Craft Degree, though before minutes relating to the Royal Arch are met with,
there are records of other extra degrees; but references to the former of
1743-4 place it in the position of being one of the earliest known of the
additional Ceremonies." (Origin of the English Rite, p. 73.)
date of the appearance of the Royal Arch may therefore be taken as somewhere
about the year 1740 It may have been worked before that date, but documentary
evidence, referring to it as being well-know after that date, is becoming more
and more established, as the old records are brought to light.
first mention of the degree in contemporary literature is in that interesting
work entitled, A Serious and Impartial Enquiry to the Cause of the Present
Decay of Free-Masonry in the Kingdom of Ireland, written by Fifield Dassigny,
M. D., and published in Dublin in 1744. This book was lost sight of until Bro
Hughan, in 1867, discovered a copy, now in the Library of the Grand Lodge of
Iowa, U. S. A. Another cop was found subsequently, which is in the Library of
West Yorkshire. In this work Dassigny specifically alludes to the Royal Arch
Degree as being worked in various cities. Dermott quotes from it on several
occasions, e. g., Ahiman Rezon, first edition, 1756.
RECORDS FROM THE UNITED STATES
the point of view of continuity of working, our American brethren can justly
congratulate themselves, for the Chapter of Jerusalem, No. 3, of the city of
Philadelphia has gone on working the degree from 1758 up to the present time,
truly a proud position to occupy! The earliest minute so far traced of the
conferring of the Royal Arch Ceremony is also to be found in the U. S. A.,
where in an irregular lodge, held at Fredericksburg, in Virginia, on Dec. 22,
1753, several brethren were "Raised to the Degree of Royall Arch Mason ."
ANTIENTS ADVOCATE R.A. MASONRY
great protagonist of the Royal Arch was Laurence Dermott, who lost no
opportunity, in season and out of season, of advocating the claims of the
degree to be an essential and necessary part of Freemasonry. Dermott was
initiated in Ireland in 1740, and was Master of Lodge 26, Dublin, in 1746, the
same year he became a Royal Arch Mason. In 1748 he came to London, and in 1752
he became Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of "Atholl" Masons generally
known as the "Antients." His capacity for work must have been simply
wonderful; he was, at the beginning of his career, a journeyman painter,
working twelve hours a day at his trade. After his day's work at this, he did
his work as Grand Secretary. He wrote innumerable letters, and was always in
the wars with: somebody, either in his own or in the opposite section. If
quarrelsomeness is a characteristic of the Irish race, as we are sometimes led
to believe, then Dermott must have had a double allowance of this interesting
trait. His correspondence is rather more forcible than polite, and in general,
it may be said that he used the mailed fist, carefully and even ostentatiously
discarding the velvet glove. To his powerful advocacy is undoubtedly due the
rapid advance of what he firmly believed to be "the root, heart and marrow of
Masonry." He died in 1791, and did not therefore live to see the fruition of
his fondest hopes; but before his decease it was obvious that his ideas had
gained the ascendancy, and that it was only a question of a few years for them
MODERNS" AND R. A. MASONRY
only with great difficulty that the regular Grand Lodge (Moderns) could be
brought to take any notice of the Royal Arch Degree. On the other hand, the
degree was worked extensively by the "Regular" Masons in spite of the frowns
of those in authority. At the present day, the same condition exists in the
Grand Lodge of Scotland, which refuses any form of recognition to the Royal
Arch Degree, though this lack of recognition does not prevent the successful
working of the degree in that country.
England, successive Grand Secretaries poured cold water on the degree, and
from time to time issued such dicta as "Our Society is neither Arch, Royal
Arch, or Ancient." The inexorable course of events, however, compelled a
decided change from this attitude of aloofness, culminating in the final
acceptation of the degree in the Articles of Union between the two Grand
Lodges of Freemasons of England proposed on Nov. 25, 1813, and ratified on
Dec. 1, 1813:
CLAUSE 2 OF THESE ARTICLES
declared and pronounced that pure Ancient Masonry consists of three degrees
and no more, viz., those of the Entered Apprentice, the Fellow Craft, and the
Master Mason, including the Supreme Order of the Holy Royal Arch. But this
Article is not intended to prevent any Lodge or Chapter from holding a Meeting
in any of the degrees of the Orders of Chivalry according to the Constitutions
of the said Orders."
was given to the Supreme Order of the Holy Royal Arch that alliance with the
Craft, which Dermott had spent the greater part of his life to secure.
NELSON A FREEMASON?
question of whether Admiral Viscount Nelson was a Freemason is one that has
puzzled many a Mason in recent years. There are various pieces of evidence in
existence, none of them conclusive, but all pointing to the answer to the
question being in the affirmative.
Masonic Hall, Reading, Berkshire, there is a framed print with the
representation of a banner carried at Lord Nel:;on's funeral. The banner bears
the following inscription:
"'England expects every man to do his duty.'
HORATIO VISCOUNT NELSON
fell in the moment of
rejoice with our Country but mourn our Brother."
is a description to the print, which is as follows:
“Banner carried by the York Lodge, 256, at Lord Nelson’s Funeral, on the
occasion of which the Rev. J. Parker, Chaplain, was commanded to preach a
Sermon at St. Helen's Church, York, Dec. 11th, 1805."
is, also, belonging to the Lodge of Friendship, No. 100, at Great Yarmouth,
Norfolk, an oblong polished block of white marble about the size of a large
brick, originally intended for use as a perfect ashler. On one of the long
sides of this block there is an inscription commemorating the constitution of
the Lodge of United Friends, No. 564, on Friday, Aug. 11, 1797, and on the
opposite side the following has been cut:
Memory of Bror. Vt. NELSON
Nile, and of Burnham Thorpe, in Norfolk
lost his life in the arms of Victory
Combin'd Fleets of France and Spain
Cape Trafalgar, Oct. 21, 1805.
Proposed by Bror. John Cutlove."
minute books of the Lodge of United Friends, of the required period, have
unfortunately disappeared and no evidence has as yet been forthcoming to show
whether Lord Nelson was initiated in, or became a member of, the Lodge of
United Friends. Lord Nelson visited Great Yarmouth on several occasions. He
landed at Great Yarmouth on Nov. 6, 1800, and again on March 2, 1801. On the
latter occasion Nelson became a member of the Society of Gregorians, as in
Perlustration of Yarmouth we are told that "Nelson also addressed a Letter
from Yarmouth Roads to Mr. Pillans, Grand-Master of the Ancient Order of
Gregorians' at Norwich, with thanks for his election into that Society." As
Bro. Hamon LeStrange in his History of Freemasonry in Norfolk rightly points
out, "it is at all events extremely unlikely that, in a place where Nelson was
so well known as he was at Yarmouth, the Members of the Lodge would have dared
to place on the stone commemorative of their own constitution an inscription
claiming him as a Brother, which, if untrue, would have exposed them to
ridicule and contradiction from many who knew the facts."
is also evidence, from a Norwich source, that Nelson had in his possession a
round black papier-mache snuff-box, with gilt Masonic emblems on the lid,
which he presented to one John Hareourt.
27, 1801, a lodge was constituted and consecrated at Batley, in Yorkshire,
under the name of "I,ord Nelson of the Nile Lodge." The following year a lodge
was warranted at Caldwell Manor, Montreal, Canada, under the name of "Nelson
also be noted that there is, in the Grand Lodge Museum, Great Queen Street,
London, two specimens of a silver medal known as the "Nelsonic Crimson Oakes
Medal." There is no evidence as to the meaning of "Nelsonic Crimson Oakes,"
and it is doubtful whether it was in any way Masonic, although bearing many
Freemasons' Quarterly Review for 1839, a writer makes the assertion that Lord
Nelson, and his servant, Tom Allen, were Freemasons, but unfortunately gives
neither authority for his statement nor any reference to the source of his
registers at Grand Lodge have been searched without result, but it is well
known that at that period there are many omissions from these registers which
render them tantalizingly incomplete.
is the sum total of our present stock of knowledge, but it is to be hoped that
fresh items may one day be forthcoming, which will turn the strong presumption
that Nelson was a Freemason into a positive historical fact.
GREAT AIM OF MASONRY
who partake of one common nature, ought to be actuated by the same motives and
interests. Hence, to soothe the unhappy, by sympathizing with their
misfortunes, and to restore peace and tranquility to agitated spirits,
constitute the general and great ends of the Masonic system. This humane this
generous disposition fires the breast with manly feelings and enlivens the
spirit of compassion, which is the glory of the human frame. and which not
only rivals. but outshines, every other pleasure the mind is capable of
enjoying – Preston’s Illustrations of Masonry, 12th Edition, 1812.
Concerning the Plan and Purpose of This Special Issue
BRO. GILBERT W. DAYNES, Associate Editor for England
in the seats of the mighty has its enjoyment for some, but for the majority
the responsibilities of the position far outweigh its pleasures. I am no
exception to the majority, and readers of THE BUILDER need, therefore, have no
false conception as to my feelings during the brief period I have been
occupying the chair of its Editor-in-Chief. Being only an Apprentice
attempting the work of a Master of the Craft, I entered upon my task with
considerable fear and trepidation.
first consideration was as to the composition of this special number, which
was to deal with Freemasonry in England, Scotland and Ireland, to the
exclusion of all other parts of the world. Even this limitation seemed too
wide for adequate treatment, and therefore I further restricted the scope of
the articles, to appear in this number, to one particular period of Craft
history. The period selected opens with the formation of the Premier Grand
Lodge of the world in 1717, and closes with the harmonious union of the two
Grand Lodges existing in England in 1813. During those ninety-seven years much
happened in Freemasonry in the British Isles. Episodes of intense interest,
phases of great moment, and decisions of vital concern, pass as in a
kaleidoscope before the eyes of the Masonic student.
beginnings of Grand Lodge were microscopical compared with its present state
of organization and efficiency. These beginnings are shrouded in mystery, and
there are no contemporary records of its doings until several years after its
formation. Early in this period the ranks of Freemasonry were augmented by all
conditions of society; and nobility, men of letters, clergy, soldiers and
sailors, join the body. At a later period, Royalty are made Masons; and from
1737 to the present day the Fraternity has not been without one or more within
its ranks. Also, throughout this period, the continued progress of the
Institution may be clearly traced; and from the few independent lodges,
meeting in different parts of England and Scotland, gradually grew up those
Grand Bodies now governing Freemasonry in England, Scotland and Ireland.
of these Grand Lodges had its troubles, trials and difficulties, in
surmounting which consolidation and strength was gradually acquired and
retained. In England, for over half a century, Freemasonry was split into
different factions, and a considerable amount of bitterness existed between
the several parties. In course of time, through the efforts of many true and
far-sighted Freemasons, this rancour was assuaged and, in 1813, a Union was
consummated, which will, I trust, never be broken. Foremost in these endeavors
were those two royal brothers, whose names will ever be enshrined upon the
tablets of the Brotherhood. The United Grand Lodge of England, which emerged
from the furnace of controversy and suspicion, was well-tempered and strong;
and the century, which has passed since the Union, has been one of constant
has been no attempt to set forth a complete story of the Craft during the
special period selected; to have done so would have required very many
numbers. A few salient and interesting features have been selected for general
treatment, aiming at a bird's-eye view of those far-off times. It has been
impossible to give chapter and verse on every occasion, but nevertheless all
statements and quotations have been carefully verified and checked.
yielded tot he request of our Editor-in-Chief to prepare and edit this special
number, I did so well knowing the kindly spirit which permeates Freemasonry
throughout the Universe, and the consequent indulgence that would be extended
to me for any shortcomings in my work. This knowledge has been of great help
to me; but of even greater assistance has been the knowledge that the quality
of the articles I have secured for this number must more than compensate for
any leek of experience on my part. The truly fraternal spirit with which
English brethren have complied with my request for material has lightened my
task, and made my work as Editor unexpectedly pleasant. The table of contents
will show, in no doubtful measure, how easy my task became when such eminent
Masonic students, as those whose names appear on that page, came to my aid and
contributed of their best. I know I shall but be voicing the opinions of every
reader of THE BUILDERS when I say that our most cordial thanks are due to
those English Masons who have so generously written in this number for the
instruction and enjoyment of their overseas brethren.
would be quite invidious for me to mention the different articles separately.
Each one deals with a subject, which the writer has made his own, and upon
which he can speak and write authoritatively. One name, however, must be
specially mentioned; I allude of course to R. W. Bro. Sir Alfred Robbins. To
him I tender my sincere thanks for the Foreword he has contributed to this
special number. No Mason has the wellbeing and prosperity of the Fraternity
more at heart; and his recent Masonic tour throughout parts of the U. S. A.
has been hailed with the warmest approbation by all thinking Masons on both
sides of the Atlantic. Fresh evidence is daily forthcoming, demonstrating that
the efforts of Sir Alfred Robbins during his tour are bearing fruit, and that
the result of his mission must be a better and fuller understanding between
English and American Freemasons.
more that is known on one side of the Atlantic about the peculiar factors
governing Freemasonry upon the opposite side, the better for the Craft as a
universal brotherhood. Hence the great value of English Masons contributing
articles to American Masonic papers and vice versa. At present, I am afraid,
much too little is known in England as to the problems confronting American
Masons, and the viewpoints from which different aspects of Freemasonry are
regarded. I have no doubt that time will soon alter this, especially when
Masonic writers from the U. S. A. fully realize the fact, and contribute more
freely to the English Masonic periodicals. An interchange of special numbers,
or supplements, between English and American Masonic papers would, I am sure,
be of considerable value, and materially help to consolidate what was so ably
begun by Sir Alfred Robbins last year. May I therefore, in concluding this
short editorial, express the hope that this special number is but the first of
many fraternal interchanges of views, which will from time to time take place
between Masonic writers both of England and America.
Charity is the chief of every social virtue, and the distinguishing
characteristic of Masons. This virtue includes a supreme degree of love to the
Great Creator and Governor of the Universe, and an unlimited affection to the
beings of his creation, of all characters and of every denomination. This last
duty is forcibly inculcated by the example of the Deity himslef, who liberally
dispenses his beneficence to unnumbered worlds.
MASONIC CLOTHING, 1717 TO 1731
can be little doubt that, when the premier Grand Lodge was founded in 1717,
Masonic clothing consisted only of the Apron and white gloves. In support of
this statement we have the portrait of the first Grand Master - Anthony Sayer
- drawn by Highmore, and engraved by Faber, both Freemasons, in which an
Apron is shown but no collar or jewel. Also, in the frontispiece to the first
edition of the Book of Constitutions, published in 1723, Aprons and gloves are
depicted, but no other Masonic regalia. From various newspaper announcements,
commencing from 1721, we learn that the Apron was a leather one and that white
gloves were worn. For instance, one such announcement states that certain
gentlemen who had been made Masons "have accordingly been invested with the
Leathern Apron, one of the Ensigns of the Society." Another announcement, in
March, 1724, states that certain gentlemen "were accepted Freemasons, and went
home in their Leather Aprons and Gloves."
for the record in Grand Lodge minutes, that on Feb. 27, 1727, the Deputy Grand
Master and the Grand Wardens were "vested with the Several Badges belonging to
their Office" - a phrase which is a little ambiguous - the first definite
information in the minute book that collars and jewels had come into use, to
distinguish the officers of the lodge, and presumably also of the Grand Lodge,
occurs on June 24, 1727. At the Quarterly Communication of Grand Lodge, held
that day, it was
"RESOLVED NEM CON that in all private Lodges and Quarterly Communications and
Generall Meetings the Mars and Wardens do wear the Jewells of Masonry hanging
to a White Ribbon (Vizt.) That the Mar wear the square, the Senr. Warden the
Levell and the Junr. Warden the Plumb rule."
some date prior to 1731 the Grand Officers must have commenced to line their
Aprons with blue silk. It was clearly not a new idea when, on March 17, 1731,
Grand Lodge passed certain resolutions as to the clothing to be worn by the
Grand Officers, the Stewards, etc. In the minutes of this meeting we find
Desagulier taking Notice of some Irregularities in wearing the Marks of
Distinction which have been allowed by Former Grand Lodges. Proposed:
none but the Grand Master, his Deputy and Wardens shall wear their Jewels in
Gold or Gilt pendant to blue Ribbons about their Necks and white Leather
Aprons lined with blue Silk.
all those who have served any of the three Grand Offices shall wear the like
Aprons lined with blue Silk in all Lodges and assemblies of Masons when they
those Brethren that are Stewards shall wear their aprons lined with red Silk
and their proper Jewels pendant to red Ribbons.
all those who have served the Office of Steward be at Liberty to wear Aprons
lined with red Silk and not otherwise.
all Masters and Wardens of Lodges may wear their Aprons lined with White Silk
and their respective Jewels with plain White Ribbons but of no other Colour
Deputy Grand Master accordingly put the Question whether the above Regulation
should be agreed to.
it was carried in the affirmative Nemine con."
words "lined with blue" evidently meant "lined and turned over blue," because,
in the Rawlinson MSS., at the Bodleian Library, at Oxford, there is preserved
an “order for Aprons at the Constitution of the Lodge at the Prince of
Orange’s Head, in Mill Street Southwark, given by Thos. Batson, Esq., D. G.
M." The document, which is of date 1734, reads as follows:
Grand Masters aprons lined with Garter Blue Silk and turn'd over two inches
with white silk strings. Two Deputy Grand Masters Aprons turned over an inch &
1/2 ditto. One apron lined with the deepest yellow silk for the Grand Master's
interesting order thus adds to our knowledge concerning Grand Lodge clothing
of the period under review, as well as telling us of the special apron then
worn by the Grand Sword Bearer. At that date, it must be remembered, this
officer was not an officer of the Grand Lodge.
ENTERED APPRENTICE'S CHARGE IN 1735
latter part of 1734, and the beginning of 1735, William Smith published The
Free Mason's Pocket Companion both in London and Dublin. It was published in
London without the authority of the Grand Lodge of England, and at the
Quarterly Communication of the Grand Lodge held on Feb 24, 1735, it was
"Resolved and Ordered that every Master and Warden present shall do all in
their power to .... prevent the said Smith's books being bought by any members
of their respective Lodges." In Ireland, on the contrary, the book had the
approbation of the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Ireland and his Grand
this Pocket Companion, and being the only absolutely novel section of that
work, there is to be found "A short CHARGE to be given to new admitted
Brethren." It is worded as follows:
are now admitted by the unanimous Consent of our Lodge, a Fellow of our most
Antient and Honourable Society; Antient, as having subsisted from Times
immemorial, and Honourable, as tending in every Particular to render a Man so
that will be but conformable to its glorious Precepts. The greatest Monarchs
in all Ages, as well of Asia and Africa as of Europe, have been encouragers of
the Royal Art; and many of them have presided as Grand-Masters over the Masons
in their respective Territories, not thinking it any lessening to their
Imperial Dignities to level themselves with their Brethren in MASONRY, and to
act as they did.
World's great Architect is our Supreme Master, and the unerring Rule he has
given us, is that by which we Work.
Religious Disputes are never suffered in the Lodge; for a Masons, we only
pursue the universal Religion, or the Religion of Nature. This is the Cement
which unites Men of the most different Principles in one sacred Band, and
brings together those who were the most distant from one another.
are three general Heads of Duty, which MASONS ought always to inculcate, viz.:
to God, our Neighbours, and Ourselves.
God, in never mentioning his Name but with that Reverential Awe which becomes
a Creature to bear to his Creator and to look upon Him always as the Summum
Bonum which we came into the World to enjoy; and according to that View to
regulate all our Pursuits.
Neighbours, in acting upon the Square, or doing as we would be done by.
Ourselves, in avoiding all Intemperances and Excesses, whereby we may be
rendered incapable of following our Work; or led into Behaviour unbecoming our
laudable Profession, and in always keeping within due Bounds, and free from
State, a MASON is to behave as a peaceable and dutiful Subject, conforming
chearfully to the Government under which he lives.
to pay a due Deference to his Superiors, and from his Inferiors he is rather
to receive Honour with some Reluctance, than to extort it.
to be a Man of Benevolene and Charity, not sitting down contented while his
Fellow Creatures, but much more his Brethren, are in want, when it is in his
Power (without prejudicing himself or Family) to relieve them.
Lodge he is to behave with all due Decorum, lest the Beauty and Harmony
thereof should be disturbed or broke.
to be obedient to the Master and presiding Officers, and to apply himself
closely to the Business of MASONRY, that he may sooner become a Proficient
therein, both for his own Credit, and for that of the Lodge.
not to neglect his own necessary Avocations for the sake of MASONRY, nor to
involve himself in Quarrels with those who through Ignorance may speak evil
of, or ridicule it.
to be a Lover of the Arts and Sciences, and to take all Opportunities of
improving himself therein.
recommends a Friend to be made a Mason, he must vouch him to be such as he
really believes will conform to the aforesaid Duties, lest by his Misconduct
at any Time the Lodge should pass under some evil Imputations. Nothing can
prove more shocking to all faithful MASONS, than to see any of their Brethren
profane or break through the sacred Rules of their Order, and such as can do
it they wish had never been admitted.
sure, as stated by Bro. Chetwode Crawley, "every brother will hail as old and
firm friends the brief and pithy clauses on which the Grand Lodge of Ireland
was the first to bestow official sanction."
man among you seem to be religious and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth
his own heart, this man's religion is vain.
T. DESAGULIERS AND THE DUKE OF MONTAGU, 1734
Dec. 27, 1734, Mick Broughton, writing to the Duke of Richmond from Ditton.
where he was staying with the Duke of Montagu, says that “some great Mason is
wanting to initiate Bob Webber." The great Mason, here referred to, is Dr. J.
T. Desaguliers, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of England for 1719; and Bob
Webber was a Minor Canon of Winchester Cathedral. On New Year's Day Mick
Broughton writes a further letter to the Duke of Richmond, and tells him of
the initiation and of another ceremony, which some have conjectured to have
been the forerunner of the Holy Royal Arch Degree of later years. The letter
is as follows:
New Years Day, 1734-5.
am sorry the weather has not been kinder for your Sport; bad as it is, it has
not hindered ours, without doors or within: Rowing every day to old Windsor or
Dachett, and within, Hollis and Desaguliers (who came hither on his Crutches
on Saturday, and able to go without them in 24 hours) have been
super-excellent in their different ways, and often at one anothers. We have
been entertaining sometimes with scenes out of Don Sebastian, Tamerlane, Love
for Love, &c.; the Chief Actors Desaguliers, St. John, Bodens and Webber.
Mick, having a bad memory, excus'd himself from Acting, and Seated, Solus,
upon a large Sopha, Represented
give Caesar his Due, this Jest was Spoken by the Master of the House. On
Sunday night at a Lodge in the Library, St. John, Albemarle, and Russell made
chapters, and Bob Admitted Apprentice; the Dr. being very hardly persuaded to
the Latter, by reason of Bob's tender years and want of Aprons. My being out
of this Farce likewise, excludes me the Honour of styling myself Brother, must
therefore be contented to subscribe myself
Dear Lord Duke
Grace's Most Devoted
regard to what is meant to be conveyed by the phrase "made chapters," Bro. W.
J. Songhurst has said:
readily admit that there is nothing in Broughton's letter which shows
distinctly that any secrets such as are confined to the Royal Arch, were then
conferred on the three Candidates, but the verbiage is very suggestive, and I
consider that the facts as recorded should be kept prominently in mind, as
they may form an important link if we should be so fortunate as to discover
other evidence of a more precise character." ( See A. Q. C., Vol. XXX, pp. 176
review of The Little Masonic Library published in THE BUILDER, March, 1925,
page 92, it was stated of the first volume in the list, Anderson's
Constitutions, with introduction by Bro. Lionel Vibert, that it was "the same
fac-simile reprint that in another edition sells for $7.50." This was an
error, made inadvertently, and very much regretted. The two books are not the
same. By way of correction, and to make amends for the unintentional
misrepresentation of the facts, we are happy to reproduce here a letter
recently received from Bro. Vibert:
page 92 of your March issue, in the Library you state that the first volume of
The Little Library is the same fac-simile reprint that in another edition
sells for $7.50.
ask you to correct this assertion in your next number. The fac-simile you
refer to, that put out by Pressers Quaritch, is a fac-simile, being the exact
counterpart of the original. The Little Library publication is a quarter the
size. The introduction to the true fac-simile is entirely different from the
article that has been prefaced to the reproduction by The Little Library,
being much fuller and containing the results of later researches.
Faithfully and fraternally yours,
Marline, Lansdowne, Bath, England.
matters not how a man dies, but how he lives - Dr. Johnson
great aim of life is not knowledge but action. - Hexley.
of care does more harm than want of knowledge. - Victor Hugo.
not the whole of life to live, nor all of death to die. - Montgomery.
Through the pass of "By-and-by" you get to the valley of never. - Geo. Eliot.
fight evil thoughts with good actions. - Vachell.
better to strive and fail than never to strive at all. – W. Raleigh.