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ACADEMIE DES IILLUMINES D'AVIGNON,
Academie des Illumines d'Avignon
Academie of ancients or of secrets
Academie of sages
Academie of secrets
Academie of sublime Masters of the luminous ring
Academie of true Masons
The Fourth Degree of the Rectified Rose Croix of Schroeder who founded a Rite by this name.
ACADEMY OF ANCIENTS OR OF SECRETS.
The French name is Académie des Secrets. A society instituted at Warsaw, in 1767, by M. Thoim de Salverte, and founded on the principles of another which bore the same name, and which is said to have been established at Rome, about the end of the sixteenth century, by John Baptiste Porta. The object of the institution was the advancement of the natural sciences and their application to the occult philosophy.
ACADEMY OF SAGES.
An order which existed in Sweden in 1770, deriving its origin from one credited with being founded in London by Elias Ashmole, on the doctrines of the New Àtlantis of Bacon. A few similar societies were subsequently founded in Russia and France, one especially noted by Thory in his book, Acta Latomorum, as having been established in 1776 by the Mother Lodge of Avignon.
ACADEMY OF SECRETS.
See Academy of Ancients.
ACADEMY OF SUBLIME MASTERS OF THE LUMINOUS RING.
The French name of this society is Académie des Sublimes Maîtres de l'Anneau Lumineux. Founded in France, in 1780, by Baron Blaerfindy, one of the Grand Officers of the Philosophie Scotch Rite. The Academy of the Luminous Ring was dedicated to the philosophy of Pythagoras, and was divided into three Degrees.
The first and second were principally occupied with the history of Freemasonry, and the last with the dogmas of the Pythagorean school, and their application to the highest grades of science. The historieal hypothesis which was sought to be developed in this Academy was that Pythagoras was the founder of Freemasonry.
ACADEMY OF TRUE MASONS.
The French name of the society is Académie des Vraies Maçons. Founded at.Montpelier, in France, by Dom Pernetty in 1778, and occupied with instructions in Hermetic Science, which were developed in six Degrees, namely :
2. The True Mason in the Right Way;
3. Knight of the Golden Key;
4. Knight of Iris;
5. Knight of the Argonauts;
6. Knight of the Golden Fleece.
The Degrees thus conferred constituted the Philosophic Scotch Rite, which was the system adopted by the Academy. It afterward changed its name to that of Russo-Swedish Academy, which circumstance leads Thory to believe that it was connected with the Alchemical Chapters which at that time existed in Russia and Sweden. The entirely Hermetic character of the Academy of True Masons may readily be perceived in a few paragraphs cited by Clavel (page 172, third edition, 1s44 ), from a discourse by Goyer de Jumilly at the; installation of an Academy in Martinique. "To seize," says the orator, "the graver of Hermes to engrave the doctrines of natural philosophy on your columns; to call Flamel the Philalete, the Cosmopolite, and our other masters to my aid for the purpose of unveiling the mysterious principles of the occult sciences,-these, Illustrious Knights, appear to be the duties imposed on me by the ceremony of your installation. The fountain of count Trevisan, the pontifical water, the peacock's tail, are phenomena with which you are familiar."
Founded in 1480 by Marsilius Ficinus, at Florence, under the patronage of Lorenzo de Medicis. This organization is said by the Freemasons of Tuscany to have been a secret society, and is supposed to have had a Masonic character, because in the hall where its members held their meetings, and which Doctor Mackey reported was remaining in his time, many Masonic symbols are to be found. Clavel (page 65, third edition, 1844) supposes it to have been a society founded by some of the honorary members and patrons of the Fraternity of Freemasons who existed in the Middle Ages, and who, having abandoned the material design of the Institution, confined themselves to its mystic character. If his suggestion be correct, this is one of the earliest instances of the separation of Speculative from Operative Masonry.
A plant, deseribed by Dioseorides, a Greek physician and botanist of the first century,. with broad, flexible, prickly leaves, which perish in the winter and sprout again at the return of spring. Found in the Grecian islands on the borders of cultivated fields or gardens, it is common in moist, rocky situations. It is memorable for the tradition which assigns to it the origin of the foliage carved on the capitals or upper parts of Corinthian and Composite columns. Hence, in architecture, that part of the Corinthian capital is called the Acanthus which is situated below the abaeus or slab at the top, and which, having the form of a vase or bell, is surrounded by two rows of leaves of the acanthus plant.
Callimachus, who invented this ornament, is said to have had the idea suggested to him by the following incident: A Corinthian maiden who was betrothed, fell ill, and died just before the appointed time of her marriage. Her faithful and grieving nurse placed on her tomb a basket containing many of her toys and jewels, and covered it with a flat tile. It so happened that the basket was placed immediately over an acanthus root, which afterward grew up around the basket and curled under the weighty resistance of the tile, thus exhibiting a form of foliage which was, on its being seen by the architect, adopted as a model for the capital of a new order; so that the story of aflection was perpetuated in marble. .
Dudley ( Naology, page 164) thinks the tale puerile, and supposes that the acanthus is really the lotus of the Indians and Egyptians, and is symbolic of laborious but effectual effort applied to the support of the world.
With him, the symbolism of the acanthus and the lotus are identical (see Lotus).
The Worshipful Company of Masons of the City of London-a flourishing Gild at the Present day-possesses as its earliest document now existing an account book headed:1620
The Accompte of James Gilder Mr William Warde & John Abraham wardens of the Company of ffremasons within the Citie of London beginninge the first day of Julie 1619 And endinge the day of Julie 1620 of all receite & paymente for & to the use the same company as ffolloweth, viz. Ftom the entries in this book it appears that besides the ordinary Freemen and Liverymen of this Company there were other members who are termed in the books the Acccepted Masons and that they belonged to a Body known as the Accepcon or Acception, which was an Inner Fraternity of Speculative Freemasons.
Thus in the year 1620 the following entry is found:
"They charge themselves also with Money Receyued of the Psons hereafter named for theyr gratuitie at theyr acceptance into the Lyvery viz" (here follow six names). Among the accounts for the next year (1621) there is an entry showing sums received from several persons, of whom two are mentioned in the entry of 1620, "Att the making masons," and as all these mentioned were already members of the Company something further must be meant by this.
In 1631 the following entry of the Clerk's expenses occurs : " Pel in goeing abroad & att a meeteing att the hall about ye Masons yt were to bee accepted vi- vid" ; that is, Paid in going about and at a meeting at the hall about the Masons that were to be accepted . . .vi, -vi-,,
Now the Company never aecepted its members; they were always admitted to the freedom either by apprenticeship, patrimony, or redemption. Thus the above entries suggest that persons who were neither connected with the trade nor otherwise qualified were required, before being eligible for election on the livery of the Company, to become Accepted Masons, that is, to join the Lodge of Speculative Masonry that was held for that purpose in the Company's Hall. Thus in the accounts for 1650, payments are entered as made by several persons ''for coming on the Liuerie & admission uppon Acceptance of Masonry," and it is entered that Mr. Andrew Marvin, the present Warden, and another paid 20 shillings each "for coming on the Accepcon" ; while two others are entered as paying 40 shillings each "for the like," and as the names of the last two cannot be found among the members of the Masons Company it would seem as if it was possible for strangers to join "the Accepcon" on paying double fees.
Unfortunately no books connected with this Acception, or Lodge, as it may be called, have been preserved. But there are references to it in several places in the account books which show that the payments made by newly accepted Freemasons were paid into the funds of the Company, that some or all of this amount was spent on a banquet and the attendant expenses. Any further sum required was paid out of the ordinary funds of the Company, proving that the Company had entire control of the Lodge and its funds.
Further evidence of the existence of this Symbolical Lodge within the Masons Company is given by the following entry in an inventory of the Company's property made in 1665 :
"Item. The names of the Accepted Masons in a faire inclosed frame with lock and key."' In an inventory of the Company's property for 1676 is found:
"Item. One book of the Constitutions of the Accepted Masons." No doubt this was a copy of one of the Old Charges.
"A faire large table of the Accepted Masons."
Proof positive of its existence is derived from an entry in the diary of Elias Ashmole-the famous antiquary-who writes:
"March 10th. 1682. About 5 p.m. I received a summons to appear at a Lodge to be held next day at Masous Hall London.
"March 1lth. Accordingly I went and about noon were admitted into the. Fellowship of Free Masons:
Sir William Wilson Knight, Capt. Rich Borthwick, Mr Will Woodman, Mr Wm Grey, Mr Samuell Taylour, and Mr William Wise."
In the edition of Ashmole's diary published in 1774 the above paragraph was changed into "I went, and about noon was admitted . . . by Sir William Wilson &c.," an error which has misled many Masonic historians (see Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, volume xi, page 6).
"I was the Senior Fellow among them (it being 35 years since I was admitted)."
Ashmole then mentions the names of nine others who were present and concludes: "We all dyned at the halfe Moone Taverne in Cheapeside, at a noble dinner prepaired at the charge of the New-Accepted Masons."
All present were members of the Masons Company except Ashmole himself, Sir W.Wilson and Capt.Borthwick, and this entry proves conciusivly that side by side with the Masons Company there existed another organization to which non-members of the Company were admitted and the members of which were known as Accepted Masons.
It may here be mentioned that Ashmole has recorded in his diary that he was made a Freemason at Warrington in Lancashire on October 16, 1646. In that entry the word Accepted does not occur.
No mention is made of the Accepted Masons in the accounts of the Masons Company after 1677, when £6-the balance remaining of the last Accepted Masons' money-was ordered to be laid out for a new banner. It would seem that from that time onward the Lodge kept separate accounts, for from the evidence of Ashmole's diary we know it was at work in 1682 ; but when and why it finally ceased no evidence is forthcoming to show.
However, it may fairly be assummed that this Masons Hall Lodge had ceased to exist before the Revival of Freemasonry in 1717, or else Anderson would not have said in the Constitutions of 1723 (page 82), "It is generally believ'd that the said Company, that is the London Company of Freemen Masons, is descended of the ancient Fraternity; and that in former Times no Man was made Free of that Company until he was install'd in some Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons, as a necessary Qualification. But that laudable Practice seems to have been long in Desuetude." This passage would indicate that he was aware of some tradition of such a Lodge as has been described attached to the Masons Company admitting persons in no way operatively connected with the Craft, who were called Accepted Masons to distinguish them from the Operative or Free Masons (see Conder's Hole Craft and Fellowship of Masonry and Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, volume ix).
Anderson in the 1738 Constitutions quotes from a copy ot the old Constitutions some reguiations which he says were made in 1663, and in which the phrases acccepted a Free Mason and Acceptation occur several times. These regulations are found in what is known as the Grand Lodge Manuscript No. 2, which is supposed to have been written about the middle of the 17th century, so that Anderson's date in which he follows the Roberts Old Constitutiom printed in 1722 as to the year, though he changes the day from December 8th to December 27th, may quite possibiy be correct. Brother Conder (Hole Craft and Fellowship of Masonry, page11 ), calls special attention to these regulations on account of the singular resemblance that one of them bears to the rules that govern the Masons Company.
The extracts given above from the books of the Masons Company, the 1663 Regulations, if that date be accepted, and the quotation from Ashmole's diary, are the earliest known instances of the term Accepted Masons. Although the Inigo Jones Manuscript is headed "The Antient Constitutions of the Free and Accepted Masons 1607," yet there is a consensus of opinion among experts that. such date is impossibie and that the document is really to be referred to the end of the seventeenth century or even the beginning of the eighteenth.
The next instance of the use of the term is in 1686 when Doctor Plot in The Natural History of Staffordshire wrote with reference to the secret signs used by the Freemasons of his time "if any man appear, though altogether unknown, that can shew any of these signes to a Fellow of the Society, whom they otherwise call an Accepted Mason, he is obliged presentiy to come to him from what company or place soever he be in, nay, though from the top of steeple."
Further, in 1691, John Aubrey, author of The Natural History of Wiltshire, made a note in his manuscript: "This day (May 18, 1691) is a great convention at St. Pauls Church of the fratemity of the free Masons," in which he has erased the word free aud substituted accepted, which, however, he changed into adopted in his fair copy.
In the ''Orders to be observed by the Compauy and Fellowship of Freemasons att a Lodge held at Alnwick, Septr. 29, 1701, being the Gen Head Meeting Day," we find: "There shall noe apprentice after he have served seaven years be admitted or accepted but upon the Feast of St. Michael the Archangell."
From that time onward the term Accepted Masons becomes common, usually in connection with Free:
the term Free and Accepted Masons thus signifying both the Operative members who were free of their Gild and the Speculative members who had been accepted as outsiders. Thus the Roberts Print of 1722 is headed, "The Old Constitutions belonging to the Ancient and Honourable Society of Free and Accepted Masons." In the Constitutions of 1723 Anderson speaks (on page 48) of wearing "the Badges of a Free and Accepted Mason" and uses the phrase in Rule 27, though he does not use the phrase so frequently as in the 1738 edition in which "the Charges of a Free-Mason" become "the old Charges of the Free and Accepted Masons," the "General Regulations" become "The General Regulations of the Free and Accepted Mason," and Regulation No. 5: "No man can be made or admitted a Member" becomes "No man can be accepted a Member, " while the title of the book is The new book of Constitutions of the Antient and Honourable Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons instead of The Constitutiom of the Free-Masons as in the earlier edition.
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Last modified: March 22, 2014