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Dr. Mackey's article on page 204 illustrates how innumerable have been rites of circumambulation (also called perambulation).
To the instances he gave may be added another, of more immediate interest to Masons, from Miss Gordon Cumming's From the Hebrides to the Himalayas (Vol.I ; page 231) ; it described a ceremony enacted by the old Lodge at Melrose "in the old times" on a St. John Baptist's Day: "The Brethren walk in procession three times round the market cross. [A community landmark more than an ecclesiastical one, and in many towns the hub of municipal activities.) After dinner they again turn out, walking two abreast, each bearing a lighted torch.
Preceded by their banners, the procession again walks three times round the cross, and then proceeds to the [ Melrose j abbey, round which it slowly marches thrice, making a complete circuit of the building. " Many forms ol the symbolism and use of the circle, which is the root idea of circumambulation, in addition to many other rites, are described at length in The Buddhist Praying-Wheel, by William Simpson, a book which covers a larger ground than its title suggests. (The Macmillan Co. ; New York ; 1896).
It contains chapters on the swastika, Zoroastrianism, etc., and extensive bibliographies. The Rite of Circumambulation in each of the Three Degrees probably had at least two origins, one remote, and the other immediate. The remote origin was the use of ambulatories and of many processions around the interior of churches during many centuries of Operative Freemasonry. The immediate origin lay in the fact that oflicers were stationed at different p'ositions in the Lodge Room, and the candidate therefore had to be taken around the room in order to reach the stations. (See also Symbolism of lhe Three Degrees, by Oliver Day Street; Symbolical Masonry, by H. L. Haywood; and Symbolism of Freemasonry, by Albert G. Mackey. American Indians enact many rites of circumambulation; among the Pueblo peoples the cacique perambulates the borders of each field before it is planted.)
A City Company was a chartered incorporation of men of the same trade in British cities, and of a lew allied or associated trades, which had a monopoly of its own kind of work in the town or city; regulated its members in wages, hours, etc. ; had a court of its own ; and had oflicers (Deacon, or Warden, etc.) who acted as Maison with the town council. The members of a Company, or a certain number of privileged members, wore a costume on ceremonious occasions and in pageants and processions, each Company with its own colors and design; such a costume was called a Livery, and for that reason City Companies often were called Livery Companies. The larger Companies had their own buildings, or Halls, or Guildhalls, some of them among the finest and richest of structures. Many of the London Companies were very wealthy; they maintained schools, hospitals, chapels; they costumed and staged Mystery Plays ; a number of Kings were in membership in one Company or another from the middle of the Fourteenth Century on; for generations the Companies supplied the Lord Mayors of London. They helped finance the national government in times of crisis; at one period or another the London government was virtually a system of these Companies, and the fact explains why even as early as Tudor times London was always so unified and strong, and the most powerful King hesitated to act unless London was on his side. At one time there were 28 "large" Companies in London; and many "small" Companies, though even a "small" one often was very powerful. Among the former were "the Twelve," or "great Companies" :
The Mercers Company (silks, etc.), one of tbe oldest, had Dick Whittington and Sir Thomas Gresham on its rolls.
The Grocers was incorporated in 1345 ; in its beginning it was called Pepperers.
The Drapers (cloth) was incorporated in 1439.
The Fishmongers was at work as early as 1298; until 1536 it consisted of two Companies.
The Goldsmiths was one of the oldest, if not tbe oldest; it was already of venerable age in 1180.
The Skinners (furs) was chartered in 1327.
The Merchant Tailors once made armor ; it was chartered in 1466. It gave an historic banquet to the Duke of wellington in 1815.
The Haberdashers (hats, etc. ) were incorporated in1448.
The salters were incorporated in 1394.
The Ironmongers. This was one of the oldest and most powerful; it was chartered in 1462, but doubtless had historical links even with Roman days when iron pits were worked.
The Vintners (wine) was a favorite with monarchs and possessed many special privileges ; chartered in 1437.
The clothworkers (weavers). The Golden Fleece was its crest. Chartered in 1482.
The Masons Company (see page 649) was one ol the 64 ,,small" companies, but since it erected most of the larger buildings in the city, acted as a building inspector, governed working men, etc., was an old and very strong incorporation, with a great hall of its own, in which at one time or another were to be seen such famous men as Yvele, Geoffrey Chaucer, Inigo Jones, Christopher Wren, etc., the word "small" was misleading. After the London Fire in 1666 it became the headquarters for the re-building of the city under general supervision by Sir Christopher Wren. It was an old tradition of the Lodge of Antiquity that there were in London at the time a number of Mason Lodges, and that Wren had acted in a general way as a leader, or "Grand Master''; there is nothing unreasonable in the tradition, particularly since the Mason Company had at least as early as 1620 (see page 13) a special branch of members called Acception (Accepted Masons);
Mason Companies in other cities also probably had a number of non-Operatives in their membership. The first Grand Lodge of Speculative Masons (1717) met on a number of occasions in the hall of the Masons Company, and there was a similarity between its ceremonies and those of the Company. (Rules for the "Mason Craft" in London were drawn up by a commission of six "Freestone Masons" and six wallers in 1356--one of the oldest uses of "free." Bros. Knoop and Jones argue that originally the "secrets" or "rituaI" consisted of the "Mason Word," a phrase often met with in old records, especially in Scotland ; there are some difficulties in the theory because in at least two known instances a Mason Company consisted of three or four crafts yet each member admitted to the Company received the "Mason Word" ; if carpenters, plasterers, etc., received the "Word'' it could not have been a particular secret of the Freemasons in the Company.)
(The subject is one of first importance to students of the history of Freemasonry; fortunately lor them the literature is abundant, and of an unusually high standard of excellence. A great work is The Livery Companies, by W. Carew Hazlitt; Sonn, Sonnescheim & Co. ; London ; 1892 ; 622 pages. The Cily Companies of London, by P. H. Ditchfield; J. M. Dent & Co.; London; 1904; 354 pages. History of the Twelve Great Livery Companies of London, by William Herbert.
The Romance of Commerce, by H. Gordon Selfridge; John Lane; London ; 1918. The Gilds and Companies of London, by George Unwin ; Methuen & Co. ; London ; 1908" 397 pages.Hole Crafte and Fellowship of Mason" by Edward Conder. Compare arms of the Mason Company of London with arms of the Grand Lodge of 1717; see page 648.] Perhaps the best general book for beginning students of the subject is Hisorical Reminiscences of the Cily of London and its Livery Companies, by Thomas Arundell; Rich and Bentley; London ; 1869. By no other one book is so much light thrown on the early customs which were preserved by the small Lodges of Speculative Masons. )
In Great Britain a "class Lodge" (the name is not used officially) is one of a large number of Lodges in which the members have the same vocation, avocation, calling, art, hobby; such as: Mariners Lodge, for seamen; Esculapian Lodge, for physicians; Authors' Lodge, for authors; Fratres Calami, for Secretaries, etc. ; American Lodge for Americans resident in London; etc. Research Lodges belong to the same category. In the United States there is a prejudice against class Lodges, but it is owing to a misunderstanding of "class" which is taken to mean exclusive, snobbish, aristocratic. The Ancient Landmarks Ieave it to a Lodge to choose its own members; if it chooses them from among men with the same interests it is guilty of no innovation. There are, in fact, already a number of Lodges across America which are in effect class Lodges: several St. Cecile Lodges composed of musicians and actors; Research Lodges; Lodges like Publicity in New York, for journalists, etc. ; railway men's Lodges, of which there is one in St. Louis; etc.
The liveliness and vigor of Freemasonry in England, where Lodges are small, the influence it wields in the nation which is out of proportion to its size, are by English Masonic leaders said to be owing in part to class Lodges. Each of them is a member's club as well as Lodge. The acquaintanceships and friendships a man forms mean more to him because they are in his own circle. Thus far no American Grand Lodge Committee on Masonic law has ever reported it unlawful for a Lodge to devote itself to a special interest, since those which do so are constituted according to regular procedure, have the same By-laws, follow the same Order of Business. Some Grand Lodges have reported in favor of Lodges having special interests (presupposing them to be in keeping with the Masonic Purposes) on the ground that they enable a Lodge to escape from officialism, repetitiveness, monotony, and increase a member's affection for his Lodge.
For a history of a typical class Lodge see Fratres Calami Lodge, No. 8791; A. W. Morgan; New Barnet; England ; 1937. It was constituted in 1917; restricts its membership to Lodge Secretaries and to Secretaries of other Masonic Rites; has lectures, papers, and discussion at each meeting; published a volume of its transactions in 1937.
CLERGY, GILDS OF.
At about the time when the original version of the Old Charges (or Old Constitutions) was written, or about the middle of The Fourteenth Century, and when, inferentially, Lodges of Freemasonry first became permanent in a given community, men in other arts and professions, educated men and of high social position, had lodges and fraternities of their own in each town and city. Thus, in London at that same period there was a "Secret Confederation of London Rectors." A rector was a priest, or man in Holy Orders, at the head of a parish; under him was a curate, or a number of them (these curates also had a gild, or lodge of their own), a staff of employees to care for church properties, to keep books, etc. The Rectors' Gild's "main objects were to protect the interests of its members as beneficed clergy against the dishonesty or negligence of their curates, against the greed of apparitors, the injustice of Archdeacons, the encroachment of the Friars, [preaching and begging monks; they became finally a public nuisance---in present day slang,'a racket'] and the evil effecta of slanderous charges [this danger always haunts a celibate priesthood] and of their own internal dissensions.
In 1317 the confederates [in London] numbered twenty-two." They had four Wardens, Treasurer, etc. ; met four times a year. "Their proceedings were strictly private. Any member who revealed their secrets was liable to be expelled and to be held as a perjurer, since he had broken the solemn oath administered to him on entering . . . The members were not to go to law with each other, [in Masonic Lodges a similar rule was still in effect as late as the middle of the Eighteenth Century], but to submit all disputes to the Wardens. And upon all solemn occasions of meetings they were to be habited in a seemly dress . . . that they might be distinguished from nonmembers, as the sheep from the goats. " (In the earliest records of Freamasons we find Masons much concerned with "clothing" [livery], with aprons, gloves, sashes, collars, and they had banners; and it is still true. It is a custom inherited from a long period when every craft had its own livery.)
In the first half of the period of Operative Freemasonry Lodges were temporary ; when the work was completed the members separated, and the building was torn down or used for other purposes. At about 1350 A.D. Freemasons here and there began to continue such Lodges permanently, and it is from them that our modern Speculative Lodges have descended. The members of them were practicing Masons, the majority of them, and regulated every-day, practical concerns of their work, but for the most part they met as fratemity brothers, ate together, had intellectual interests, etc. Inasmuch as painters (artists), sculptors, musicians, clergymen, lawyers, public oflicials, physicians, scholars, etc., were doing the same thing at the same time, a Lodge of Freemasons (who stood in the highest ranks of professional men) was not peculiar, attracted no attention; if the other gilds and fraternities ceased and disappeared, it is because the Freemasons had lound out for themselves a set of truths, or teachings, a philosophy (though that is not a correct name) of great use and importance for men everywhere. (See page 100 OE. in The Gilds and Companies of London, by George Unwin; Methuen & Co. ; London; 1908. Minutes, records, and other mss. of the gild of rectors are preserved in Cambridge University.)
NOTE. In the two-volume, anonymous The Bookworm [A. C. Armstrong & Son ; New York; 1888], an inexhaustible treaaury of yarns and gossip for bibliomaniacs, is an article on ''Sion College Library, " No. 4 in a series on "Famous Libraries." That Library was founded on a Royal Charter in 1630 on a legacy left by Thomas White. Among its 66,000 volumes [in 1888J were some very rare works. It transpires that Sion's College, the name given in the Charter, is nothing other than the old ''Secret Confederation of London Rectors," or a direct descendant of it.
CLOTHING AND WAGES.
As a modern student reads the Fabric Rolls, Borough Records, and Statutes of the Middle Ages he sees that nothing burned itself more deeply into the minds of Operative Masons (and other workers) than the bitter and brutal question of wages, and it is little wonder that the "wages of a Master Mason" was a theme carried over into the symbolism of Speculative Freemasonry centuries afterwards. There were three reasons for this : the amount of pay was unjustly small, unbelievably so; wages were not adjusted to a worker's ability or production but were by the state socialism so long in vogue fixed by civil Statutes, and were arbitrarily fixed ; and workers resented the loss of so many days of work each year because of the senseless multiplication of holidays, an evil owed directly to the monks and priests who never tired of their endeavor to have a new workless day set aside for each new saint. A table covering 1351 A.D. (about the time when the first permanent Lodges were formed) to 1495 (the period of the discovery of America) shows that in 1351 a "Master freemason" received 4sh a day; in 1361 the same; in 1495 his summer wages were 6 or 4d, and his winter wages, 5 or 3cl. An "ordinary mason" in 1351 received 3d per day; a "&Iason's servant" (or helper) 1,5d; a tiler (or roofer) 3d; a tiler's helper, 1,5d.
The clothing worn by Masons and their wives, sons, and daughters also was prescribed by law, partly to prevent those of the "lower orders" from dressing as well as "their betters," partly because in the Middle Ages liveries or costumes were worn in order to show what craft, profession, art, or class a man belonged to.
Gilbert Stone writes: "Thus by 37 Edw. III, C. 9, it was provided that 'people of handicraft and yeomen' were not to wear cloth of a higher price than forty shillings and their wives and daughters were only permitted to wear, so far as furs were concerned, some of the cheapest kinds . . ." This wearing of a prescribed costume also bit deeply into the minds of Masons, and it helps to explain why in the earliest Lodges so much stress was laid on "being properly clothed," and why gloves were so important-a sign of equality then ; it also helps to explain the proud boast that a Mason's apron, once a badge which proclaimed him a member of the "Iower orders" and a workman, was now an honor, more ancient than the Golden Fleece, more honorable than the Star and Garter---as in literal truth it was.
(A Hislwy of Labour, by Gilbert Stone; London; George C. Harrap & Co., London; 1921, is not a Masonic book yet few books throw a clearer light on early Masonic history. Where other historians of Medieval Masons and kindred craftsmen fit their narrative into a framework of general or poIitica1 history, or write of the subject in the terms of an art, Stone primarily sees in the Medieval craftsman a man, and brings his abundanee of data to bear on the question, "What was it Iike to be a workman?" "A List of Selected Books" beginning on Stone's page 403 is one of the best bibliographies ever published in this field.)
CLUBS, AND FREEMASONRY.
The formation ol the first Grand Lodge of Speculative Freemasonry in 1717 coincided with a sudden and almost explosive multiplication of clubs. They broke out like a rash over the whole of England. In every village or town was at least one tavern or inn and one or more clubs were sure to meet in it. There was an amazing number of categories of clubs, from clubs for elderly high churchmen to the most outr extravagances of those eccentrics who in France and Italy won lor travelers the soubriquet of "mad Englishmen" : political clubs, scientific clubs (the Royal Society had one), betting clubs, bottle clubs, shooting clubs, music clubs, coffee clubs, odd fellows clubs, clubs for fat men, bald men, dwarfs, hen-pecked men, one-eyed men, insurance clubs, burial clubs, clubs male and female, clubs that were a sort of lay church, and clubs for opium smokers, etc., etc. When the first of the new Lodges of Speculative Freemasonry began to at tract attention the populace took them for a new species ol clubs.
More than one attempt has been made to turn that popular impression into an argument, more often by social historians than by Masonic writers; it has never succeeded, because while a Lodge may often have been a clubbable society, few things could be less alike in substance or in purpose than a club and a Lodge. The truth of th at statement is proved by the fact that even in cities with hundreds of Lodges their members form Masonic clubs on the side.
See Club Makers and Club Members, by T. H. S. Escott; Sturgis & Walton Co.1914.
NOTE. Side Orders and Masonic clubs have the same status in the eyes of Masonic law. When Masonic clubs first began to be formed about the beginning of this century their officers and members took the ground that since they were not Lodges, were not, properly speaking, Masonic organizations, and acted independently of Lodges and Grand Lodges, neither Masters nor Grand Masters held any authority over them ; and in the beginning the majority of Grand Masters agreed with this opinion. But after some twenty years of experience with them Grand Masters and Grand Lodges began to hold that while a Masonic officer cannot supervise a club as sueh, a Lodge or a Grand Lodge can discipline club members in their capacity as Masons. A Grand Master of Masons in Iowa notified the members of a Side Order that if they held a street carnival of a kind as planned he would order them tried for un-Masonic conduct; one or two years later a Grand Master of Masons in Michigan followed a similar coeurse with another Side Order because of the indecent posters with which it was advertising an indoor circus. Grand Lodges uphold that reading of the Question ; if a man is guilty of conduct unbecoming a Mason he is subjoct to discipline without regard to where he was guilty.
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