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ALAVA, MIGUEL RICARDO DE,
Famous Spanish General, Aide-de-Camp under the Duke of Wellington and in 1814 imprisoned for being a Freemason.
See Saint Alban.
(Canada). The Grand Lodge of Manitoba had jurisdiction over the Lodges in the Northwest Territories of Canada but the division of these into Provinces, on September 1, 1905, influenced Medicine Hat Lodge, No. 31, to invoke the oldest Masonic Body, Bow River Lodge, No. 28, to call a preliminary Convention at Calgary on May 25, 1905.
This was followed by another meeting on October 12, 1905, when seventeen lodges were represented by seventy-nine delegates, the Grand Lodge of Alberta was duly organized, and Brother Dr. George MacDonald elected Grand Master and was installed by Grand Master W. G. Scott of the Grand Lodge of Manitoba.
A scholastic philosopher of the Middle Ages, of great learning, but who had among the vulgar the reputation of being a magician.
He was born at Lauingen, Swabia, in 1205, of an illustrious family, his subtitle being that of Count of Bollstadt. He studied at Padua, and in 1223 entered the Order of the Dominicans. In 1249 he became head-master of the sehool at Cologne. In 1260 Pope Alexander VI conferred upon him the bishopric of Ratisbon. In 1262 he resigned the episcopate and returned to Cologne, and, devoting himself to philosophie pursuits for the remainder of his life, died there in 1280. His writings were very voluminous, the edition published at Lyons, in 1651, amounting to twenty-one large folio volumes.
Albertus Magnus has been connected with the Operative Freemasonry of the Middle Ages because he has been supposed by many to have been the real inventor of the German Gothic style of architecture.
Heideloff, in his Bauhhutte des Mittelalters, says that "he recalled into life the symbolic language of the ancients, which had so long lain dormant, and adapted it to suit architectural forms. " The Freemasons were said to have accepted his instructions, with a system of symbols which was secretly communicated only to the members of their own body, and served even as a medium of intercommunication. He is asserted to have designed the pian for the construction of the cathedral of cologne, and to have altered the Constitution of the Freemasons, and to have given to them a new set of laws.
ALBRECHT, HEINRICH CHRISTOPH.
A German author,who published at Hamburg, in 1792, the first and only part of a work entitled Materialen zu einer kritischen Geschichte der Freimaurerei, meaning Collections towards a Critical History of Freemasonry.
Kloss says that this was one of the first attempts at a clear and rational history of the Order. Unfortunately, the author never completed his task, and only the first part of the work ever appeared. Albrecht was the author also of another work entitled Geheime Geschichte eines Rosenkreuzers, or Secret History of a Rosicrucian, and of a series of papers which appeared in the Berlin Archive der Zeit, containing Notices of Freemasonry in the first half of the Sizteenth Century.
Albrecht adopted the theory first advanced by the Abb‚ Grandidier, that Freemasonry owes its origin to the Steinmetzen of Germany (see Stone-masons of the Middle Ages ).
The Neo-Platonicians introduced at an early period of the Christian era an apparentiy new science, which they called .............…, or the Sacred Science, which materially influenced the subsequent condition of the arts and sciences. In the fifth century arose, as the name of the science, alchemia, derived from the Arabic definite article al being added to chemia, a Greek word used in Diocletian's decree against Egyptian works treating of the ...... or transmutation of metals; the word seems simply to mean "the Egyptian Art," ......, or the land of black earth, being the Egyptian name for Egypt, and Julius Firmicius, in a work On the Influence of the Stars upon the Fate of Man, uses the phrase scientia alchemiac. From this time the study" Of alchemy was openly followed. In the Middle Ages, and up to the end of the seventeenth century, it was an important science, studied by some of the most distinguished philosophers, such as Avicenna, Albertus Magnus, Raymond Lulli, Roger Bacon, Elias Ashmole, and many others. Alchemy has also been called the Hermetic Philosophy, because it is said to have been first taught in Egypt by Hermes Trismegistus.
Alchemists are those who practised the art or science of alchemy, the pioneer chemistry of the Middle Ages, either alone or in a group with others seeking the transmutation of base metals into gold the elixir of life, etc, The word alchemy is evidently from the same root as chemistry and is related to Khem, the name of the Egyptian god of curative herbs. The Greeks called Egypt Chemita and in the ancient Egyptian, according to Plutarch, the country was called Khem-t because of the black color of the soil but the standard Dictionary prefers the first of these explanations. An Egyptian priest, Hermes Trismegistus, the Thrice-greatest Hermes, supposd to have lived about 2000 B.c., was one of the first to practise alchemy. Although our accounts of him are of a purely legendary character; so closely has the name of alchemy been connected with him that it became generally referred to as the Hermetic Art,
Toward the end of the eighth eentury. we have another famous alchemist, Geber, who wrote many books and treatises in Latin on the transmutation of metals and kindred subjects, setting forth many of the formulas, as well as the scientific, mystical and philosophical aspects of the art at that early period.
In the tenth century there was an Arabian medical philosopher named Rhazes or Rhasis, who numbered among his writings one, The Establishment of Alchemy, which caused him great misfortune. It is said that he presented a copy of this work to his prince, who immediately demanded that he verify some of his experiments. Failing in this, he was struck across the face with a whip so vioiently by the prince that he was blinded. During the next three or four centuries alchemy was studied by the scientists or chemists, as they are called today, and to them must be eredited the development of scienee such as it was until the Middle Ages. Unfortunately, the mystieal terms in which the art was clothed, the great secrecy in which all knowledge was kept and the esoteric quality of the teaeding made it a natural prey of the charlatans, quacks, necromancers and fortune-tellers who thrived upon the ignorance and superstition of the people. There are on record several instances of these adepts being put to death as a result of their inability to demonstrate certain claims made by them. Many sincere and learned scientific men came under the ban owing to the disrepute into which the art had failen and their work had to be done in secret to avoid punishment and death. J. E. Mercer in his Alchenly says that Marie Ziglerin was bumed to death by Duke Julius of Brunswick in 1575. David Benther killed himself in fear of the anger of the Elector Augustus of Saxony. In 1590 the Elector of Bavaria had Bragadino hanged and the Margrave of Bayreuth caused a like fate to befall Wiliiam de Krohnemann.
A well-know'n example of the use to which alchemy was put was the case of Cagliostro. Kings and rulers retained alchemists in their employ, consulting them as to future events and often basing their campaigns upon the prophecies of their wise men. It was when these prophecies turned out contrary to expectations that the rulers took their revenge by condemning their counselors to death or imprisonment
The first man of record to put alchemy to medical use was Paracelsus, probably born near Zurich, in 1493 and dying in 1541. He became a great teacher of medicine and has been proclaimed by the Encyclopaedia Britannica as ''the pioneer of modern chemists and the prophet of a revolution in science. " Many new and powerful drugs were produced in his laboratory among which was laudanum. He was in great disfavor with the medical men of his time, he having done much to destroy many of the traditions and errors practised by them, After his death a score of alchemists claimed the power of euring bodily ailments by the mystical powers of the philosopher's Stone, health and long life being among the benefits supposed to be derived from the art. Thory says that there was a society of alchemists at The Hague in 1622 which called itself Rose Croiz. It is claimed that Rosenkreutz founded the Order in 1459 with the ordinance that its existence should be kept a secret for two hundred years. Another organization of alchemists was known to have been in existence in 1790 in Westphalia, the Hermetic Society, which continued to flourish until about 1819. During the Middle Ages alchemy came in for the attention and study at least of many of the foremost men of the time. Raymond .
Lully, Roger Bacon, Albertus Magnus and Thomas Aquinas made it the subject of many of their writings and it was not until the middle of the fifteenth century that the science as practised by the earlier artificers was relegated to the past. At that time an alchemical center was established in England at Oxford, Robert Boyle organizing a class for experiment and research. Such men as Elias Ashmole and Sir Isaac Newton assisted in the project and John Locke and Christopher Wren were among the pupils. A renowned Rosicrucian chemist was brought over from Strasburg. As a result of this determined and consistent work a new understanding of chemistry and physics was developed, marking the beginning of the modern science as it is known today
. For a more detailed account see J. E. Mercer's Alchemy, M. M. Pattison Muir"s The Story of Alchemy and Lewis Spence's An Encyclopaedia of Occultism.
Astrology and the magic arts are usually associated with alchemy but we may fairly look upon it as having had a wider scientific scope. Indeed alchemy was the pioneer of our modern systematic chemistry. The alchemists of old sought by observation and experiment, by research and reflection, to gain the secret of nature's operations. Their early dreams were ambitious but not idle of a discovery of the means to change base metals into gold, and the concoction of an elixir to cure all diseases and overcome death.
From these hopes have come less revolutionary results but the gains have nevertheless been wondrously beneficial. Even the language of the ancient alchemists persists with a curious tenacity. They applied moral qualities, virtues and vices, to things of nature and today we still speak of noble and base metals, of gases perfect and imperfect, of good and bad electrical conductors, and so on. A meed of gratitude is due from us to these laborers who trod a thorny path in their zealous studies of physical forces. Against the prevailing superstitions, the lack of ready communications with other investigators and of a complete practical working knowledge of recent or remote discoveries, these hardy students laid the foundation for later conquests.
Fraud was tempting, fakers were easily made, yet honesty and fervor was manifest in so much of what was accomplished that we owe a distinct debt to the alchemists. Poor they were, yet rich, for as Alexander Pope says of them and their successors in his Essay on Man (ii, line 269) : "The starving chemist in his golden views, supremelyy blest.''
Freemasonry and alchemy have sought the same results (the lesson of Divine Truth and the doctrine of immortal life), and they have both sought it by the same method of symbolism. It is not, therefore, strange that in the eighteenth century, and perhaps before, we find an incorporation of much of the science of alchemy into that of Freemasonry. Hermetic Rites and Hermetic Degrees were common, and their relics are still to be found existing in degrees which do not absolutely trace their origin to alchemy, but which show some of its traces in their rituals.
The Twentyeighth Degree of the Scottish Rite, or the Knight of the Sun, is entirely a Hermetic study, and claims its parentage in the title of Adept of'Masonry, by which it is sometimes known.
ALDWORTH, HON. MRS.
This lady, who is well known as the Lady Freemason, was the Hon.Elizabeth St. Leger, daughter of Lord Doneraile of Doneraile Court, County Cork, Ireland. She was born in 1693, and married in 1713 to Richard Aidworth, Esq., of Newmarket Court, County Cork.
There appears to be no doubt that while a girl she received the First and Second Degrees of Freemasonry in Ireland, but of the actual circumstances of her initiation several diferent accounts have been given. Of these the most authentic appears to be one issued at Cork, with the authority of the famiiy, in 1811, and afterward republished in London. From this narrative it appears that her father, Viscount Doneraile, together with bis sons and a few friends, was accustomed to open a Lodge and carry on the ordinary ceremonies at Doneraile Court, and it was during one of these meetings that the occurrence took place which is thus related:
"It happened on this particular occasion that the Lodge was held in a room separated from another, as is often the case, by stud and brickwork. The young lady, being giddy and thoughtless, and determined to gratify her curiosity, made her arrangements accordingly, and, with a pair of scissors (as she herself related to the mother of our informant), removed a portion of a brick from the wall, and placed herself so as to command a full view of everything which occurred in the next room ; so placed, she witnessed the first two degrees in Freemasonry, which was the extent of the proceedings of the Lodge on that night.
Becoming aware, from what she heard, that the Brethren were about to separate, for the first time she felt tremblingly alive to the awkwardness and danger of her situation, and began to consider how she could retire without observation. She became nervous and agitated, and nearly fainted, but so far recovered herself as to be fully aware of the necessity of withdrawing as quiekly as possible; in the act of doing so, being in the dark, she stumbled against and overthrew something, said to be a chair or some ornamental piece of furniture.
"The crash was loud ; and the Tiler, who was on the lobby or landing on which the doors both of the Lodge room and that where the Honorable Miss St. Leger was, opened, gave the alarm, burst open the door and, with a light in one hand and a drawn sword in the other, appeared to the now terrified and fainting Lady. He was soon joined by the members of the Lodge present, and luckily; for it is asserted that but for the prompt appearance of her brother, Lord Doneraile, and other steady members, her life would have fallen a sacrifice to what was then esteemed her crime. The first care of his Lordship was to resuscitate the unfortunate Lady without alarming the house, and endeavor to learn from her an explanation of what had occurred; having done so, many of the members being furious at the transaction, she was placed under guard of the Tiler and a member, in the room where she was found. The members reassembled and deliberated as to what, under the circumstanees, was to be done, and over two long hours she could hear the angry discussion and her death deliberately proposed and seconded.
"At length the good sense of the majority succeeded in calming, in some measure, the angry and irritated feellngs of the rest of the members, when, after much had been said and many. things proposed, it was resolved to give her the option of submitting to the Masonic ordeal to the extent she had witnessed (Fellow Craft), and if she refused, the brethren were again to consult. Being waited on to decide, Miss St. Leger, exhausted and terrified by the storminess of the debate, which she could not avoid partially hearing, and yet, notwithstanding all, with a secret pleasure, gladly and unhesitatingly accepted the offer.
She was accordingly initiated."
The above reference to Lord Doneraile, her brother, is a mistake ; her father, the first Lord Doneraile, was then alive. He did not die until 1727, when his daughter had been married for fourteen years.
A very difierent account is given in the Freemason's Quarterly Review for 1839 (page 322 ), being reprinted from the Cork Standard of May. 29, 1839.
According to this story Mirs. Aidworth was seised with curiosity about the mysteries of Freemasonry and set herself to discover them ; so she made friends with the landlady of an inn in Cork in which a Lodge used to meet, and with her connivance was concealed in a clockcase which was placed in the Lodge room; however, she was unable to endure the discomfort of her confinement in such narrow quarters and betrayed herself by a scream, on which she was discovered by the members of the Lodge and then and there initiated.
It will be observed that according to this version the lady. was already married before she was initiated.
The story is said to be supported by the testimony of two members of Lodge 71, at Cork, in which Lodge the initiation is said to have taken place. However, this can hardly be correct, for that Lodge did not meet at Cork until 1777, whereas, Mrs. Aidworth died in1773.
If, however, the commoner version of the story is preferred, according to which Miss St. Leger was initiated as a young girl, then the occurrence must have taken place before her marriage in 1713, and therefore before the establishment of Grand Lodges and the introduction of warranted and numbered Lodges, and it is therefore a proof of the existence of at least one Lodge of Speculative Freemasons in Ireland at an early period.
After her marriage Mrs. AIdworth seems to have kept up her connection with the Craft, for her portrait in Masonic clothing, her apron and jewels, are still in existence, and her name occurs among the subscribers to Dassigny's Enquiry of 1744, her name being the second on the list and immediateil following that of the Grand Master of Ireland, the accompanying names all being brethren ; and it has even been stated that she presided as Master of her Lodge.
The storyy has been fully discussed by Brothers Conder, Crawley, and others in the eighth volume (1895) of the Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, of Quatuor Coronati Lodge of London, to which the curious are referred for further information.
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