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FREE MASON EXAMIN'D.
A curious and rare pamphlet first published in 1754 and purporting to give details of Lodge ceremonies. Author's name is given as Alexander Slade, a Past Master, but no such person has been identified at the place designated and the belief is that the identity was purposely disguise (see Slade, Alexander).
FREEMASONRY, EARLY BRITISH.
Brother Robert Freke Gould, in his History of Freemasonry (volume i, page 381), says: The Minutes of Scottish Lodges from the sixteenth century, and evidences of British Masonic life dating further back by some two hundred years than the second decade of the eighteenth century, were actually left unheeded by our premier historiographer, although many of such authentic and invaluable documents lay ready to hand, only awaiting examination, amongst the munimets in the old Lodge chests....
By the collection and comparatively recent publication of many of the interesting records above alluded to, so much evidence has been accumulated respecting the early history, progress and character of the craft as to be almost embarrassing and the proposition may be safely advanced, that the Grand Lodges of Great Britain are the direct descendants by continuity and absorption, of the ancient Freemasonry which immediately preceded their institution which will be demonstrated without requiring the exercise of either dogmatism or credulity. The oldest Lodges in Scotland possess registers of members and meetings, as well as particulars of their laws and customs, ranging backward nearly three hundred years. These will form an important link in the chain which connects what is popularly known as the Lodges of Modern Freemasonry, with their operative and speculative ancestors. Early Freemasonry and the customs of the Craft in that country are discussed at length in Mackey's revised History of Freemasonry (pages 663-99).
There are no Lodge records in England of the seventeenth century, and records of only one between 1700 and 1717.
The original Saint Clair Charters now in the custody of the Grand Lodge of Scotland, dated, respectively, 1601,1602, and 1628, are referred to by Gould. Then are considered the Schaw Statutes, No. 1, of 1598 A.D. (see Schaw Manuscript), the Schaw Statutes, No. 2, of 1599 A.D. and their relevancy to Mother Kilwinning Lodge, Ayrshire, No. 0, with an important certificate from William Schaw, which proves that the document of 1599 was intended exclusively for the Freemasons under the Jurisdiction of the Kilwinning Lodge. The subject of the Lodge of Edinburgh, No. 1, and its career from its earliest records, dating back to 1599, down to the year 1736, when the Grand Lodge of Scotland was inaugurated, as most fully described in Lyon's history of this ancient Lodge, passes under review; then appears, as Brother Gould says, one of the adornments of that history in the facsimile of the record of that Lodge, showing that the earliest Minute of the presence of a speculative freeman Mason in a Lodge, and taking part in its deliberations, is dated June 8, 1600 (see his History of Freemasonry i, 406).
It is to be noted that "the admission of General Alexander Hamilton, on May 20, 1640, and of the Right Honorable Sir Patrick Hume, Baronet, on December 27, 1667, are specially recorded as constituting these intrants 'Felow anal Mr of the horsed craft,' and 'Fellow of craft (and Master) of this lodg,' respectively b (Gould's History of Freemasonry i, page 408). It is w assumed that Master simply meant a compliment; certainly, there was nothing now known to us as corresponding with the ceremony of a Master Mason's Degree at that time. But the allusion starts some speculation. Many of the operatives did not view the introduction of the speculative element with favor, and at one time they mere arrayed in hostile camps; but eventually those who supported the Gentlemen or Geomatic Masons won the day, the Domatics having to succumb.
In the Lodge of Aberdeen, the majority in 1670 A.D. were actually nonoperative or speculative members. On March 2, 1653, appears the important fact of the election of a joining member. Again, Lyon declares that the reference to frie mesones, in the Minute of December 27, 1636, is the earliest instance yet discovered of Free-Mason being applied to designate members of the Mason craft, and considers that it is used as an abbreviation of the term Freemen Masons. But while concurring therein, as did Brother Hughan, Gould thinks the word freemason may be traced back to 1581, when the Melrose version of the Old Charges was originally written.
Canongate Kilwinning Lodge, No. 2, was Commissioned or Warranted by the Lodge of Kilwinning, No. 0, granting powers to several of their own members resident in the Canongate, Edinburgh, and dated December 20, 1677. This, Brother Gould says (page 410) was a direct invasion of Jurisdiction, for it was not simply a Charter to enable their members to meet as Freemasons in Edinburgh, but also to act as independently as "Mother Kilwinning" herself, with a separate existence, which was the actual result that ensued.
Scoon and Perth Lodge, No. 3, is much older than No. 2, although fourth on the roll, though the authorities state that it existed before 165S, and the Grand Lodge acknowledges this date at the present time, placing Nos. 0 and 1, however, as before 1598, and No. 57, Haddington, at 1599, there being also many bearing seventeenth century designations.
The Lodge of Glasgow Saint John, No. 3, bis, is the one next mentioned as "an old Lodge, undoubtedly, though its documents do not date back as far as some of its admirers have declared." The Rev. A. T. Grant is quoted as saying that every line is inconsistent with the charter phraseology of the period to which it has been assigned. But W. P. Buchan states that the first notice in the Minutes of the Glasgow Incorporation of Masons bears date September 22, 1620, namely, "Entry of Apprentices to the Lodge of Glasgow, the last day of Dec., 1613 years, compeared John Stewart, &c." It was placed on the roll of the Grand Lodge of Scotland in 1850 as No. 3, bis; it was exclusively operative.
Glasgow Kilwinning Lodge, No. 4, dates from 1735.
Canongate and Leith, Leith and Canongate Lodge, No. 5, is authoritatively acknowledged as dating from 1688.
Lodge of Old Kilwinning Saint John, at Inverness, No. 6, was granted a Charter of Confirmation on November 30, 1737, its existence being admitted from the year 1678, but a cloud rests upon the latter record.
Hamilton Kilwinning Lodge, No. 7, is considered to date from the year 1695.
Brother Gould, in his examination of Brother Lyons and other authorities, relating to the above records, thus dissents largely from the conclusions of Brother George F. Fort in his Early History and Antiquities of Freemasonry, as from the Antiquities of Freemasonry, by Brother J. G. Findel (see also Four Old Lodges in this Encyclopedia). The organization of the Grand Lodge of Scotland is discussed in detail in Mackey's revised History of Freemasonry (pages 1152-78).
FREEMASONRY, HISTORY OF.
See: The History of Freemasonry, by Dr. Albert Gallatin Mackey, thoroughly revised lazy a number of compel tent Brethren, Brother Robert I. Clegg as Editor-in-Chief, and published in seven volumes by the Masonic History Company, Chicago. The History of Freemasonry, by Robert Freke Gould, published in three volumes, Edinburgh. The History of Freemasonry, by J. G. Findel, published in eight volumes, Leipzig; second edition, London, 1869. There are several smaller works (see also: The Antiquity of Freemasonry; Origin of Freemasonry; Operative Freemasonry and Speculative Freemasonry).
See Progressive Freemasonry.
FREEMASONS AUTHORIZED BY POPE.
There is a curious reference in the History of Wiltshire by John Aubrey. This book of 1691 contains this statement by Aubrey, "Sir William Dugdale told me many years since that about Henry III's time the Pope gave a Bull to . . . Freemasons to travell up and down all Europe to build Churches. From those are derived the Fraternity of Adopted Masons." Such a Bull from the Pope is still undiscovered.
Aubrey refers to a period long prior to his own life time, namely the reign of Henry III stretching through the years 1216-72 A.D. Sir William Dugdale (1605-85 A.D.) was the Garter King-at-Arms from 1677, an officer of the Order of the Garter or Order of Saint George, a Knightly organization founded in England about 1344 AD, and still ranking first among such institutions in Europe. Sir William Dugdale was an antiquarian of note whose painestaking zeal would have added much to the worth of Aubrey's assertion had it been recorded by him with further particulars of the Bull in question. Of Aubrey (1626-97 .K.D.) there is every evidence of industry in the collection of his materials but his readiness to freely accept and confidently believe the gossip of his day earned for his comments a verdict of unreliability. As the matter stands, his allusion has aroused speculation but gained no further proof than what is here recorded.
FREEMASONS CLASSIFICATION OF
See Classification of Freemasons.
FREE MASON'S HEALTH.
See Enter'd Apprentice Song and Birkhead, Matthew.
FREEMASONS MEDAL AND HALL.
Silver medal suspended from the arms of the Master's square. On one side a winged figure, Fame, writes on a column in Honour of the Subscri, and has a trumpet and design of a temple in her left hand. In the background a building under erection bears the date MDCCLXXX. The other side has the subscription acknowledgment with subscriber's name surrounded by the phrase Grand Lodge of Freemasons in England. This method was decided upon in 1779 to pay off the balance due on grounds and buildings. Subscribers were given this medal and one went to every subscribing Lodge to be worn by the Master. Every subscribing Lodge in 1783 was allowed to send an extra representative to the Grand Lodge besides the Master and Wardens until the money should be repaid, and each subscriber was also made a member of the Grand Lodge.
There existed a Freemasons Coffee Tavern in Wild Court, before the Grand Lodge in 1774 acquired property in Great Queen Street, London, England, on which to erect a Freemasons Hall. Lord Petre as Grand Master laid the foundation stone on May 1, 1775, and in 1777 the building was dedicated. On April 27, 1864, the day of Grand Festival, the Earl of Zetland, Grand Master for a quarter of a century, laid the foundation stone of the new Hall, but owing to many difficulties, financial and structural, it was not for five years that the work was completed. In 1919 the Duke of Connaught, as Grand Master, in a message to the Especial Grand Lodge held at the Royal Albert Hall on June 27, for the celebration of Peace, expressed an earnest hope that the Craft, "as a fitting sequel to the proceedings, would determine to create a perpetual Memorial of its gratitude to Almighty God, for the special blessings He has been pleased to confer upon us, both as Englishmen and as Masons, whereby we can render fitting honour to the many Brethren who fell during the War.
The great and continued growth of Freemasonry amongst us demands a central Home. " He suggested that the most fitting Masonic Peace Memorial would be "the erection of that Home in the metropolis of the Empire dedicated to the Most High, and worthy of the traditions of the United Grand Lodge of England." The largest gathering of its kind ever held in the City of London met on August 8, 1925, in joint celebration of the anniversary of the twenty-fifth year as Most Worshipful Grand Master of the Duke of Connaught, and the culmination of six years' labor on the part of the Fraternity in raising the $5,000,000 required for w building the Masonic Peace Memorial in London.
The twenty-fifth year as Grand Master also meant his fiftieth year as a Freemason, and the seventy-fifth year of his age, all fading on the same day.
FREEMASONS OF THE CHURCH.
An architectural college was organized in London, in the year 1842, under the name of Freemasons of the Church for the Recovery, Maintenance, and Furtherance of the True Principles and Practice of Architecture. The founders of the association announced their objects to be "the rediscovery of the ancient principles of architecture; the sanction of good principles of building, and the condemnation of bad ones; the exercise of scientific and experienced judgment in the choice and use of the proper materials; the infusion, maintenance, and advancement of science throughout architecture; and eventually, by developing the powers of the college upon a just and beneficial footing, to reform the whole practice of architecture, to raise it from its present vituperated condition, and to bring around it the same unquestioned honor which is at present enjoyed by almost every other profession."
One of their members has said that the title assumed was not intended to express any conformity with the general Body of Freemasons, but rather as indicative of the profound views of the college, namely, the recovery, maintenance, and furtherance of the free principles and practice of architecture; and that, in addition, they made it an object of their exertions to preserve or effect the restoration of architectural remains of antiquity, threatened unnecessarily with demolition or endangered by decay. But it is evident, from the close connection of modern Freemasonry with the building gilds of the Middle Ages, that any investigation into the condition of medieval architecture must throw light on Masonic history.
FREE-WILL AND ACCORD.
There is one peculiar feature in the Masonic Institution that must commend it to the respect of every generous mind. In other associations it is considered meritorious in a member to exert his influence in obtaining applications for admission; but it is wholly uncongenial with the spirit of our Order to persuade anyone to become a Freemason. Whosoever seeks a knowledge of our mystic rites, must first be prepared for the ordeal in his heart; he must not only be endowed with the necessary moral qualifications which would fit him for admission by friends and unbiased by unworthy motives.
This is a settled landmark of the Order; and, therefore, nothing can be more painful to a true Freemason than to see this landmark violated by young and heedless Brethern.
For it cannot be denied that it is sometimes violated.
This habit of violation is one of those unhappy influences sometimes almost insensibly exerted upon Freemasonry by the existence of the many secret societies to which the present age has given birth, and which resemble Freemasonry in nothing except in having some sort of a secret ceremony of initiation. These societies are introducing into some parts of America such phraseology as a card for a dimit, or worthy for worshipful, or brothers for brethren.
And there are some men who, coming among us imbued with the principles and accustomed to the usages of these modern societies, in which the persevering solicitation of candidates is considered as a legitimate and even laudable practise, bring with them these preconceived notions, and consider it their duty to exert all their influence in persuading their friends to become members of the Craft. Men who thus misunderstand the true policy of our Institution should be instructed by their older and more experienced Brethren that it is wholly in opposition to all our laws and principles to ask any man to become a Freemason, or to exercise any kind of influence upon the minds of others, except that of a truly Masonic life and a practical exemplification of its tenets, by which they may be induced to ask admission into our Lodges. We must not seek we are to be sought.
And if this were not an ancient lads, embedded in the very cement that upholds our system, policy alone would dictate an adherence to the voluntary usage. W e need not now fear that our Institution will suffer from a deficiency of members. Our greater dread should be that, in its rapid extension less care may be given to the selection of candidates than the interests and welfare of the Order demand. There can, therefore, be no excuse for the practice of persuading candidates, and every hope of safety in avoiding such a practice. It should always be borne in mind that the candidate who comes to us not of his own free will and accord, but induced by the persuasions of his friends no matter how worthy he otherwise may be violates, by so coming, the requirements of our Institution on the very threshold of its temple, and, in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred, fails to become imbued with that zealous attachment to the Order which is absolutely essential to the formation of a true Masonic character.
FREIMAURERISCHE WELTGESCHAEFTSSTELLE, DIE.
FREIMAURER, VEREIN DEUTSCHER.
German for Freemason. Mauer means a way, and mauern, to build a way. Hence, literally, freimaurer is a builder of ways, who is free of his gild, from the fact that the building of walls was the first occupation of masons.
German for Freemasonry.
FRElMAURERISCHE WELTGESCHAEFTSSTELLE, DIE.
See International Bureau for Masonic Affairs.
FREIMAURER, VEREIN DEUTSCHER.
See Union of German Freemasons.
FRENCH, BENJAMIN BROWN.
FRENCH INDO CHINA.
FRENCH PRISONERS LODGES.
FRENCH PRISONERS' LODGES.
FRENCH REVOLUTION, MASONRY AND
FRENCH, BENJAMIN BROWN.
A distinguished Freemason of the United States, who was born at Chester, in New Hampshire, September 4, 1800, and died at the City of Washington, where he had long resided, on August 12, 1870. He was initiated into Freemasonry in 1825, and during his whole life took an active interest in the affairs of the Fraternity.
He served for many years AS General Grand Secretary of the General Grand Chapter, and Grand Recorder of the Grand Encampment of the United States. In 1846, soon after his arrival in Washington, he was elected Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of the District, a position which he repeatedly occupied. In 1859, he WAS elected Grand Master of the Templars of the United States, a distinguished position which he held for six years, having been reelected in 1862. His administration, during a period of much excitement in the country, WAS marked by great firmness, mingled with a spirit of conciliation. He was also a prominent member of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, and at the time of his death was the Lieutenant Grand Commander of the Supreme Council for the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States.
Brother French was possessed of much intellectual ability, and contributed no small share of his studies to the literature of Freemasonry. His writings, which have not yet been collected, were numerous, and consisted of Masonic odes, many of them marked with the true poetic spirit, eloquent addresses on various public occasions, learned dissertations on Masonic law, and didactic essays, which were published at the time in various periodicals. His decisions on Templar Law have always been esteemed of great value.
The capital of this district, Snaky, on the west coast of Africa, has one Lodge, No. 468, which is controlled by the Grand Lodge of France, since 1916, and is named L'Etoile de Guinée, meaning the Star of Guinea.
FRENCH INDO CHINA.
See Indo-China, French, also Cochin China.
FRENCH PRISONERS LODGES.
Between 1740 and 1815, almost constant warfare between France and Britain resulted in a large number of French prisoners of war, who, from 1759 onwards, established Masonic Lodges, working without Warrant or authority. Freemasonry was exceedingly popular with the army of France and, while some French officers visited and joined the local Lodges in England where they were being held, most of them belonged to these French Prisoners' Lodges conducted by themselves (see French Prisoners' Lodges, an account of twenty six Lodges established by them in England and elsewhere, John T. Thorp, 1900, Leicester, England).
The French term is Rite Francais ou Moderne. The French or Modern Rite is one of the three principal Rites of Freemasonry. It consists of seven Degrees, three symbolic and four higher, namely,
Ragon, in his Tuileur Géneral, meaning Handbook to the Degrees (page 51 ), says that the four Degrees of the French Rite, which were elaborated to take the place of the thirty Degrees of the Scottish Rite, have for their basis the four physical proofs to which the recipiendary submits in the First Degree. And that the symbolism further represents the sun in its annual progress through the four seasons. Thus, the Elect Degree represents the element of Earth and the season of Springs the Scottish Master represents Air and the Summer; the Knight of the East represents Water and Autumn; and the Rose Croix represents Fire; but he does not claim that it is consecrated to Winter, although that would be the natural conclusion.
The original Rose Croix was an eminently Christian Degree, which, being found inconvenient, was in 1860 substituted by the Philosophic Rose Croix, which now Id forms the summit of the French Rite.
See Bridge Builders of the fiddle Ages.
FREY or FREIA.
Grimme, in his Deutsche Mythology (pages 191, 279), traces the name Freia through the ancient Teutonic dialects and explains it to signify plenty and beauty (see Thorpe, Northern Mythology, volume i, pages 197-8, for further information). The column or pillar set apart to the goddess Frey in the temple of Upsala became the pillar of beauty or plenteousness.
Brother Fort says, in his Antiquities (chapter ''7) the three divinities in the Norse temple at Upsala, in Denmark, Odin, Thor, and Frey, were typical supports of the universe Wisdom, Strength, and Beauty—or the three of the ten columns in the Hebrew Sephiroth, in the Jewish philosophy, designated as Sapientia, Pulchritudo, and Fundamentum, which, like the three columns existing in a Lodge of Freemasons, symbolize the moralistic pillars of the world, represented by the Lodge itself. An additional significant fact confronts us at this point: the column of Beauty or Plenty, originally emblematic of Frey, is situated in the south of the Lodge. Masonic symbol—sheaf of grain—always suspended above that station, denoted plenteousness. Freia may also be comparatively described as the Scandinavian Isis, the principal goddess of Egyptian mythology.
Societies first established toward the end of the eighteenth century, in England, for the relief of mechanics, laborers, and other persons who derived their support from their daily toil. By the weekly payment of a stipulated sum, the members secured support, and assistance from the society when sick, and payment of the expenses of burial when they died. These societies gave origin to the Odd Fellows and other similar associations, but they have no relation whatever to Freemasonry.
FRIENDLY SOCIETY OF FREE AND ACCEPTED MASONS.
Brother W. Wonnacott (on page 45, Transactions, Quatuor Coronati Lodge volume xxvii 1914) mentioned a Society conducted as a club for mutual benefit, which in 1737 met at the White Swan tavern in New Street, Covent Garden, London, and went by the name of the Friendly society of Free and Accepted Masons (see also Miscellanea Latomorum, August, 1913, page 13).
FRIEND OF ST. JOHN.
The Sixth Degree of the system practiced by the Grand Lodge of Sweden. It i8 comprehended in the Degree of Knight of the blast and West.
FRIEND OF TRUTH.
The Fifth Degree of the Rite of African architects.
Leslie, in 1741, delivered the first discourse on Friendship, as peculiarly a Masonic virtue. He was followed by Hutchinson, Preston, and other writers, and now in the modern lectures it is adopted as one of the precious jewels of a Master Freemason. Of universal friendship, blue is said to be the symbolic color. "In regular gradation," says Munkhouse (Discussions i, 17), "and by an easy descent, brotherly love extends itself to lesser distinct societies or to particular individuals, and thus becomes friendship either of convenience or personal affection." Cicero says, "Amicitia nisi inter bonos non potest," 'meaning, "Friendship can exist only among the good."
FUND, GRAND MASTERS.
A fund over which the Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England exercises exclusive control. It originated with a sum of £2,730 subscribed by the Craft in 1870, when the Earl of Zetland retired from the Grand Mastership, and is known as the Zetland Fund.
FUND OF BENEVOLENCE.
fund established in 1727 by the Grand Lodge of England, and solely devoted to charity. The regulations for its management are as follows: Its distinction and application is directed by the Constitutions to be monthly for which purpose a Board of Benevolenec is holden on the last Wednesday of every month except December, when it is on the third Wednesday. This Lodge consists of all the present and past Grand Officers, all actual Masters of Lodges, and twelve Past Masters.
The Brother presiding is bound strictly to enforce all the regulations of the Craft respecting the distribution of the fund, and must be satisfied, before any petition is read, that all the required formalities have been complied with. To every petition must be added a recommendation, signed in open Lodge by the Master, Wardens, and a majority of the members then present, to which the petitioner does or did belong, or from some other contributing Lodge, certifying that they have known him to have been in reputable or at least tolerable, circurnstances, and that he has been not less than five years a subscribing member to a regular Lodge.
FUNDS OF THE LODGE.
The funds of the Lodge are placed in the keeping of the Treasurer, to whom all moneys received by the Secretary must be immediately paid. Hence each of these officers is a check on the other. And hence, too, the Thirty-nine Regulations of 1721 say that the Grand Treasurer should he "a Brother of good worldly substance" (see Constitutions, 1723) lest impecuniosity and the urge of poverty should tempt him to make use of the Lodge funds .
See Sorrow Lodge.
A word in the advanced Degrees, whose etymology is uncertain, but probably from the Arabic. It is said to signify the Angel of the Earth.
FURNITURE OF A LODGE.
The Bible, Square, and Compasses are technically said to constitute the furniture of a Lodge. They are respectively dedicated to God, the Master of the Lodge, and the Craft. Our English Brethren differ from those in the United States in their explanation of the furniture. Brother George Oliver gives their illustration, from the English lectures (in his Landmark i, 169) as follows:
The Bible is said to derive from God to man in general because the Almighty has been pleased to reveal more of His divine will by that holy book than by any other means. The Compasses, being the chief implement used in the construction of all architectural plans and designs, He assigned to the Grand Master in particular as emblems of his dignity, he being the chief head and ruler of the Craft. The Square is given to the whole Masonic body, because we are all obligated within it, and are consequently bound to act thereon.
But the lecture of the early part of the eighteenth century made the furniture consist of the Mosaic Pavement, Blazing Star, and the Indented Tarsel, while the Bible, Square, and Compasses were considered as additional furniture.
An officer of the Grand Orient of France in the beginning of the nineteenth century. In 1810, he published, and presented to the Grand Orient, a Geographical Chart of the Lodges in France and its Dependencies. He was the author of several memoirs, dissertations, etc., on Masonic subjects, and of a manuscript in French entitled Nomenclature Alphabétiquc des Grades, or Alphabetical Litst of Names of Degrees. Brother George Oliver in his Landmarks (95), Says that he promul gated a new system of sixty-four Degrees. But he seems to have mistaken Fustier's catalogue of Degrees invented by others for a system established by him self. No record can be found elsewhere of such a system . Lenning says (Encyclopedie der Freimaurerei, the German for Encyclopedia of Freemasonry) that Fustier was a dealer in Masonic decorations and in the transcription of rituals, of which he had made a collection of more than four hundred, which he sold at established prices.
Lorenzo de Medici said that all those are dead, even for the present life, who do not believe in a future state. The belief in that future life, it is the object of Freemasonry, as it was of the ancient initiations, to teach (see Immortality of the Soul).
An ancient symbol well known in the science of coats of arms and the other details of heraldry. It is sometimes known as the Crux dissimulata, found in the catacombs of Rome, and forms one of the symbols of the Degrees of Prince of Mercy, Scottish Rite System. It is a form of the Swastika (see Jaina Cross)
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