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GEOGRAPHY AND FREEMASONRY.
Geography is one of the very oldest of the members of the family of the Liberal Arts and Sciences, for Egyptians essayed it at the dawn of their history, the Minoans, who centered in Crete a great empire of civilization before Homer's day (and Homer very possibly was Minoan), worked at it; there were ancient Greek geographers almost without number, some of whom left maps of the world behind them.
Had Rome stood, accurate and detailed maps covering the earth from India to Ireland would have been preserved. Geography was the only satisfaction for two driving needs in the Ancient Period: it furnished knowledge of routes, places, rivers, seas, and climate to travelers, merchants, seamen, explorers, and soldiers; and it helped men to know what countries lay outside their own regions, and what manner of peoples lived in them, a thing which few could learn for themselves by traveling, for ordinary land traveling was very difficult. The Church began and almost completed a wholesale obliteration of geography along with everything else in the arts and sciences, including schools, universities, and mathematics; what the Church had not destroyed the Barbarians out of Germany swept away after their invasion. In the Dark Ages not even a King or a Pope could know where Egypt was, or in what direction lay Palestine, and there were some who believed that Attila and his Huns came not from another country but from another planet. Scarcely one man in a million knew of the existence of such a thing as a world.
After the Middle Ages began, and the old knowledge came slowly back to Europe through Constantinople, Sicily, and Spain, brought by Arabs and Jews, the rank and file of men began to learn of the existence of geography but it was exceedingly difficult for them to obtain it, because each Medieval village was an almost isolated unit; a man from the next town was called a "foreigner,}' and there was a consuming curiosity to hear news about distant places. It was this passion to learn about foreign places that was as much the driving power behind Portuguese and Spanish explorers as was the desire to discover a trade route to the Indies. The Medieval Seasons were among the very few men who could travel into foreign countries lawfully, without loss of occupation and without becoming vagabonds and wanderers and their knowledge of Europe was one of the reasons for their prestige in England where even the Lords of the Manor had heard of the "French," Italians, "Grecians," but did not know whether these names denoted countries, or languages, or races, or what.
The author of the first version of the Old Charges worked a brief kaleidoscope of the world into a few paragraphs but there is little evidence of any Masonic interest in geography until the late Seventeenth and Early Eighteenth centuries when the Terrestrial and Celestial Globes began to appear in the Lodges everywhere. These Globes were expensive, in a few recorded instances were very costly, and often were gifts to a Lodge from one of its wealthy members. The Globes remained in the Ritual, and geography, along with astronomy its sister science, took a place among the great symbols used by the Craft. They were reminders to Masons that though the Fraternity was in England, and had originated there, it was not England's private possession, but was to become established everywhere across the terrestrial globe; it was to be universal. The Bureau of International Masonic Affairs, of Switzerland, once made a pioneering attempt to interpret world Masonry geographically, somewhat along he lines of the theory of geopolitics, or political geography, then being so much discussed in France (where it originated) and in Germany.
The Bureau divided the whole of Freemasonry into three spheres: Anglo-Saxon; Germanic; and Latin; and it then undertook to describe the salient characteristics of each one an turn. Masonic geopolitics is yet to come, it, or something on the same principle, must come, because she dream the Eighteenth Century symbolized by the Globes is now an actuality; and there can be no question of an ultimate profound geographical influence inside the World Fraternity. But when it is begun, its founders ought first to rid themselves of the fallacy implicit in the nomenclature adopted by the Bureau; there is no Anglo-Saxon, or Germanic, or Latin masonry as if a country could alter Freemasonry to suit shelf; there is only Freemasonry, in one country or in another, and everywhere inalterable.
Geometry, symbolized in the Lodge by The Letter G. was in the eyes of Medieval Masons so nearly identical with Masonry that in some versions of the Old Charges "Masonry" and "Geometry ' were used interchangeably; and it is certain that as early as the Twelfth Century the Masons who worked in the Gothic style were trained in it long and thoroughly, not only in the daily work of apprenticeship but also in special schools, as may be found in many records of mid-Twelfth Century France where the Gothic originated, and whence it made its way to England. It was impossible for such men as those Freemasons to work in and with a science they sough revered without thinking about it for its own sake; not as an auxiliary to their work but as the ground or source of many truths about man and the world and God.
It is most probable that they thought of it as a form of Masonry higher than the use of tools and the properties of stone, and we know that at an early date they called men expert at it (at least in some places) "Speculatives."
The Romanesque buildings of the Tenth and Eleventh Century (an inheritance from Roman basilica, or town hall, buildings) which preceded the Gothic, but did not produce it, involved only a rudimentary, rule of-thumb geometry. The geometry of Greek architecture was unknown to the Gothic builders (about 1140 A.D. on) but would have been of little use to them because it was a static geometry of proportions.
The Gothic was forty-nine per cent geometry; its builders were faced with extraordinarily difficult problems of stresses and flying weight which required a new, dynamic geometry (the human figure probably was their unit of proportions), much of which they had to discover for themselves. They kept it as a trade secret. Their dynamic geometry was infinitely more stimulating than Greek static geometry had been, and it may have of itself been one of the principal avenues along which they discovered those truths which, later on, and as a body, were transmitted to us as Speculative Freemasonry. Geometry was Speculative Freemasonry in a literal sense in 1140 A.D. The geometry of the Gothic cathedrals is still exciting to thinkers the use Spengler made of it in his Decline of time West, and Henry Adams in his book about St. Michele are but two of hundreds of such works which prove the statement.
Nevertheless, and so frozen were the minds of men under Church dogma, no new revolutionary discovery was made until Descartes (1596-1650) startled Europe by producing analytical geometry and a new philosophy at one stroke.
In the Nineteenth Century Loubachevsky and Riemann discovered non-Euclidean geometry, and this led to two of the most revolutionary developments: the discovery of multi-dimensional physics; and the development of the Relativity Theory by Poincaré, Cassirer, Minkowski, Einstein, and Eddington. In the meantime Benedict Spinoza had undertaken to create a whole system of ethics on the basis of geometry; and in Nineteenth Century France, geometricians and logicians joined together to produce a new species of logic, called symbolic logic. This in turn led to fruition in the development of a mathematical philosophy, of which the two chief English-speaking prophets were Dr. Cassius J. Keyser and Bertrand Russell. (The former contributed studies to The New York Masonic Outlook, on the assumption that Craftsmen who meet under The Letter G would feel at home with a philosophy developed on a basis of "the great science" of the Operative Freemasons.) Of an entirely different sort of thinking, yet not at a great remove, was the discovery of a new way of studying the geometry of Greek architecture, on which one of the most widely-read books among Freemasons is The Beauttful Necessity, by Claude Bragdon; Alfred A. Knopf; New York; 1922.
Some Masons (and even some Grand Masters!) take the ground that non-Masons can feel no interest in Freemasonry or concern for it, and ought not to, and that Freemasonry in turn ought to ignore non-Masons. The Fraternity itself does not agree with this Chinese-wall theory for in the Ritual the Candidate is expected to say that he sought the privilege of membership because beforehand he had heard that Freemasonry is honorable, ancient, and in high repute; nor has the Fraternity ever acted on the monastic principle because when conditions obtain outside the Craft where it may be called in question they have moved to defend it or to represent it—as when, in 1799, the British Parliament having begun the discussion of a bill to outlaw secret societies, etc., the Grand Masters of England went personally before it to describe what the Fraternity was and what its history had been. But in the presentation of itself to the public the Craft has too often spoken of its fraternalism, and relief, and benevolence, and too often has neglected to speak of the extraordinarily high intellectual standards and achievements of the Fraternity from the beginning; it has, as it were, forgotten The Letter G.
A quotation from a non-Masonic historian is apropos of that truth; it is from page 267 of Medieval Foundations of Western Civilization, by George C. Sellery (Harper & Bros.; New York; 1929): "Successive generations of Masons transferred their experience and tricks of skill to the next generation. In addition, the more ambitious masons journeyed far and wide to study buildings already erected or in the process of erection, thus gaining new or improved ideas.
[Freemasonry always has been a progressive science.] Many of them studied mathematics, some of them in the established school, others no doubt learning it, as they did their trade, during the period of apprenticeship [seven years]. The mathematical learning of many of the Master Masons commanded the respect of such scholars as Roger Bacon in their own time, and has won praise from mathematicians of today.
Such men ceased to be mere Craftsmen and became artists as well, possessing, as they did, a keen sense for the beautiful." Even so, Mr. Sellery falls short in his appraisal of the intelligence and mathematical knowledge of the Operative Masons; both in manhood and in intelligence they were head and shoulders above their contemporaries for two centuries, and including Roger Bacon himself; we know how much geometry, engineering, sciences and art the Masons had from the cathedrals still existing; we know how much Roger Bacon had, because we have his books; compared with an Operative Mason like William of Sens or Arnolfo of Italy, Bacon was a befogged amateur. If the Popes and Kings together had not forbidden the rank and file of ordinary men to learn the arts and sciences, Freemasonry alone could have brought on the Renaissance in the Twelfth Century, and modern civilization could have begun three centuries sooner.
One of the striking and not often noted facts about geometry is the use made of it in sciences, arts, and forms of work with which it has no obvious connection. Thus, it is essential to the art of painting in the form of the rules of perspective; the art of medicine would be impossible without it because chemistry would be impossible; there would be no philosophies without it because thinkers would lack one of the necessary means for understanding matter, etc.
GILD, LODGE, ETC.
In the histories of Freemasonry prior to the rise of the Speculative Fraternity and in non-Masonic histories of the arts, crafts, and other forms of associations of skilled workmen in the Middle Ages, there is a confusing assortment of terms used to describe the forms of organization among builders.
First, a number of separate crafts were engaged in the building trade, among them carpenters, glaziers, etc.; second, the classes of workmen who in a more narrow sense were builders were sometimes united in a single company, but usually were in gilds companies, or fraternities of their own; and this is shown by laws, fabric rolls, and old chronicles where there is frequent mention of gilds or fraternities of tilers (or roofers), of wailers, of quarrymen, of Freemasons, etc. Some descriptions apply to these various branches collectively; others may apply to the majority, but not to a few of them; others hold only of one branch of the builders; therefore it does not follow that what may be said about builders or architecture in general was true of Freemasons in particular; and vice versa. To complicate matters, the Freemasons themselves, once the City Companies were incorporated, were often incorporated in a Company with trades unconnected with building goldsmiths, it may be, or cloth-workers; and in a number of these Companies women were often admitted who were widows of members and were permitted to carry on the husband's business.
Among Freemasons properly so called there were at one time or another no fewer than three different forms of organization; Freemasons might in one place be a gild, in another a fraternity, and in another a Lodge; or they might have a Lodge and at the same time be a gild or a fraternity. The gild organization itself might be of any one of three or more different forms; a local, or stationary, gild; a gild privileged to move about or to send its members outside the parish to work; or a religious, or charitable, or social gild.
The evidence, external and internal, and reasoning about the history of Freemasonry as a whole, and including Speculative Freemasonry, best sustains the reading of the Masonic past which is accepted by the majority of modern Masonic scholars: that Speculative Freemasonry derived not from architecture in general, or from the builder crafts variously, but from the Medieval Freemasons in particular; and not from them in general, but from their Lodges; and that, considering what persisted until modern times, these were Lodges of the Cathedral building, or Gothic, Freemasons who used the Old Charges.
GILDS, NOTES ON THE.
At the time of the Reformation in England it is estimated that there were 34,000 gilds. These ranged in size and importance from one of the great London City Companies with large properties and millions in wealth to tiny parochial gilds of four or five members.
Edward VI suppressed, or tried to suppress, gilds but his restrictions broke down.
Henry VIII abolished Merchant and Craft Gilds: he was able to do so only because they already were becoming an obsolete form for the government and regulation of work and commerce. There were many causes of this decline: the Wars of the Roses, which was a series of civil wars that left England weak and impoverished dissolution of Monasteries, which used gilds to secure and hold and manage properties as well as for religious purposes; the Puritans made war on luxuries, display ornamental churches; commerce among countries became too much hampered when it had to conform to rules of local gilds in every port and village; gild regulations were too conservative and rigid to admit of discoveries inventions, machinery (steammachin was a modern invention; other kinds of machinery were as old as civilization); etc.
Even in present day times the trained hand-craftsmen give way more and more to factory workers; Bro J. T. Thorp noted that where in 1867 in his native Leicestershire there had been over 2800 trained craftsmen in stone, in 1910 there were between 550 and 600.
The printing press, and especially after cheap books could be published, had a slow, gradual, almost unnoted but in the aggregate a very great influence against the gild system because it made public property what had for generations been gild secrets and monopolies.
In the remotest periods of English history (and Anglo Saxon history generally) there were firth gilds, small organizations of men to keep the peace, maintain order, do police work, after the fashion of a volunteer fire department in a small village; they are mentioned as early as 700 A.D. It was once believed that Medieval gilds were a continuation of the old Roman Collegia, but this is doubtful because the collegia was so completely abolished in the Dark Ages, and were organized on a different principle. In their history of trades unions Sidney and Beatrice Webb prove that the latter had no historical connection with the gild system, and would have been organized if there had never been a gild system because modern industries could not be run without organized workers.
In the Middle Ages gilds in general, though each gild was local, were regulated by the King, because they existed in every part of the Kingdom; before the time of Alfred there were many chieftains but no one king, and therefore no nation; the gild system helped to make possible a single nation under one head.
It is curious to note that the accumulation of Royal edicts and Parliamentary acts in England which forbade, or restricted, or restrained organizations of craftsmen to form confederations, general assemblies, etc., and of which there were hundreds, were not swept away by Parliament until 1824.
There were many organizations, companies, cartels, etc., of merchants and financiers very similar to gilds; the Hanseatic League was one, the Fugger and Medici families (organized as corporations to lend money) were others; also there were the Vehmgerichte, universities, etc. In general a town or city had one department under which the whole set of local gilds were organized; the distinction between this single, corporative gild government and the borough government is often difficult to find.
In the earlier times the King in person regulated gilds at large throughout the Kingdom, and every Charter was in effect a Royal Charter. An epochal event occurred in the history of the gilds when in 1363 it was found that only Parliament possessed enough power to control them; after that the King ruled them thorough Parliament.
Any given, local gild was usually small, of only five to fifty or so members. In Edward III's reign there were about 40,000 religious and merchants gilds; among this large number only one had a sizable membership, the Corpus Christi Gild at York with 15,000. In most of the old regulations and Charters the offices of the gild are named as Aldermen ("the elder men"; the word "senate" means the same); after 1348 this was changed to Masters and Wardens, though in many instances the chief officer was called Deacon.
About 1400 the national Government of England, growing in size, efficiency, and power, began to take over many authorities previously belonging to gilds.
A gild was in essence a monopoly; in a given area (jurisdiction) it had a monopoly of the workmen, of the work, of the tools and trade secrets, and of the market. As the number of villages increased more and more workmen moved into them to escape the rigid restraints of the city gilds. The original struggle for free trade was not for trade among countries without tariffs but was to free commerce, industry, and workmen from gild monopoly; the same struggle also freed science, because both physics and chemistry, of which there was far more in the Middle Ages than popular historians appear to believe, were among gild secrets and therefore not available for general use. How many of these old scientific secrets died with the gilds nobody can ever know; some of their old secrets in making dyes and printers ink, etc., are still being sought for.
A gild oath was short and simple but completely binding; it made a member a citizen ("free") of the gild, and therefore subject to its laws and courts; gilds as a body also had to take oaths to a borough government or to the King.
Since the word "mason" meant "a builder" it is a curious fact that for a long period, especially at about the time of the Norman Conquest, the great majority of builders were carpenters; even large towns were composed of wood houses, a fact which explains why the fear of fire hung like a pall over every community. Bricks did not come into general use until after the great London fire in 1666—even now the perfect making and use of brick have not been mastered by builders, except by a few; for modern brick houses sag, crack, leak, grow moldy, and are almost as easily burned as wood (or "frame") buildings.
The Freemasons were not only workers in stone, but were workers in "free-stone," a special kind which could be easily carved, would weather and last, and had a good color. Organizations of Freemasons differed so much from orthodox gild organizations that it is still a problem whether to call them gilds or not; they were societies or fraternities more than gilds, and while they came under gild laws they were internally unlike gilds.
The gilds in England this is a broad generalization never reached the power or dimensions or wealth of the gilds of Flanders (Belgium), Germany, Italy, and France, because the typical Englishman was a farmer and ruralist in his bones, was prejudiced against machinery and industry, and did not like large and powerful cities. London itself was for centuries more a social capital, a capital of the people, than a concentration of trade and industry; its own citizens were so lacking in "city sense," or a mastery of "city arts," that they never knew how to lay out streets, and only in modern times were able to provide systems for sewers and the disposal of garbage—during the Middle Ages London was in reality a constellation of small towns in a single cluster; London proper was a small town inside walls and the area is even now called "the city." The Merchant Gilds were the first to come into existence; they comprised owners, employers, merchants, etc. The Craft gilds came later, and to a certain extent were the means by which workers, employees, apprentices, and producers of raw materials protected themselves against the rapacity of the merchant monopolies.
The Government of England did not undertake a nation-wide system of regulations of trade and commerce until Queen Elizabeth; the system adopted was:
a) for large companies to be formed (East India, West India, etc.) to have a monopoly of trade of a specified kind or in a specified territory;
b) for the Government itself to own them, or to own them in part, to charter them, and to regulate them. This was called the Mercantile System. Until the time of our Revolutionary War (approximately) this State Socialism in trade, finance, shipping, and industry was the only economic system in England. As industries multiplied in the north, and as they became more diversified, the movement to break down Mercantile State-supported monopolies began in Manchester, where manufacturers demanded "free trade," i.e., freedom from the monopolies. Adam Smith wrote his Wealth of Nations to support that movement; what he meant by laissez faire was not an industry uncontrolled by law but one uncontrolled by a State- supported monopoly.
Craft gilds in cities and towns differed much from one place to another. In the majority of cases they were divided into apprentices, journeymen (workmen by the day), and masters, but not in every one. The more free a city was to manage its own affairs, the more likely it was to have a system of powerful gilds. Oftentimes "a gild" was in reality a federation of gilds. Only the religious gilds were properly to be described as belonging to religion; the others had patron saints, used invocations when they met, attended chapel, supported charities and hospitals, but this was merely a conformity to a general custom and had no theological significance.
Apprentices might be bound over to a master to work without pay for a term of years varying from gild to gild, from one to six years, or seven, or eight, or even ten. The Apprentice had a hard life with no pay, poor lodgings, long hours, no family' life, and few recreations. Between apprentices and lithe journeymen they were indentured to there was always trouble, and apprentices would sometimes riot on the streets; there was even graver trouble between journeymen and masters. These relations were smoother and far more friendly among the building crafts than elsewhere, because the nature of the work both required and permitted them to be. A careful study of the Old Charges of the Freemasons give a picture of what those relations were.
Some form of organized associations and fraternities on a basis of work in common there had always been, even in ancient China and Egypt. Among the Greeks they were called eranoi, thiassoi, heterai; among the Romans collegia it is believed that the first Christian congregations were organized as collegia to conform to Roman laws. There were always fraternities, brotherhoods, amts, "men's houses," "houses," societies, etc., for every possible purpose - music, war, sports, scholarship, religion, trade, work, home life, education; as a whole they were forms of free association, which is one of the eternal rights of man that no government can interfere with except at the cost of rebellion, secession, revolution, crime, insurrection, mutiny. Gros believed that our gild (guild), came from the Anglo-Saxon gild or geld, meaning a fixed payment or contribution as Masons would say, a dues-paying organization. The Danish and Low German had it as give. In Icelandish (Icelanders were once a powerful folk) had gilde, but the word included the idea of a banquet. The Breton gouil meant a feast or holiday the Welsh gurylad meant the keeping of a festival. In South German the word was Zunft. In French, metier. In Italy, arte, or scholae, or comacini.
The Vikings were looked upon by the French as pirates; but they themselves had gilds for suppressing piracy. Many kings were members of gilds Henry IV, Henry VI, Henry VIII among them, just as many English kings have been Masons. The Lord Mayor's pageant which is still a feature in English cities began as a gild pageant, when almost every mayor was a gild member.
Crafts and trades often were divided down to an absurd narrowness in order to increase the number of gilds; in London there were gilds at least as early as 1130; 18 in 1180; 110 in 1422; and then into the hundreds. Men who made bows could not make arrows; men who made caps could not make hats; men who made slippers could not make shoes; etc. Battles were fought; in Gent in 1345 more than 500 were killed in one fight. In Florence the gilds staged a revolution with the result that the Medici family emerged as dictators of that rich city-state. In France some of them were making trouble as early as 779, and regulations to control them were incorporated in the Carolingian Capitularies (or code of laws) of about that date. In Europe, Merchant and Craft gilds were almost always at loggerheads. (For a curiously interesting note on gild regulations in America see the Royal Grant to the Colony of Virginia, dated 1705.)
In the Fourteenth Century journeymen and yeomen attempted to set up separate gilds of their own, but did not succeed; in France the compagnonage grew out of a similar movement, and with better success. One of the burning questions in every gild was the number of apprentices to be admitted; the Masters wanted as many as possible because apprentice labor cost them nothing; journeymen wanted as few as possible to hold down competition for employment and to hold up standards of wages.
To be whole of body and sound in health was a qualification for apprentices universally required; our own "physical qualifications" are not copied from the book of Deuteronomy and have no mystical or occult significance but are perpetuation's of gild rules when Freemasonry was "operative." As a rule an apprentice "freed of his indentures" and able to earn wages, was expected to continue to work a year at his old place; afterwards he could "journey," but no large number did because gilds in other towns were resentful of "foreigners."
Many sorts of penalties were in use: fines, reprimands, expulsions, etc. A shoemaker of Chester was in 1429 fined ten pounds (over $100 now) for "bad workmanship." Night work was prohibited; there are many cases of gild members being forced "to abjure his trade for a year and a day" because guilty of night work- (The old symbolism of the sun and moon was taken very seriously in each gild.)
The gilds made up street pageants to stage mystery and miracle plays, often of a royal sumptuousness and with great beauty at York one gild was created expressly to keep up a religious play. Some gilds were friendly societies, insurance clubs, burial societies. Gilds loaned money to members without interest, helped bankrupted members, relieved the distress of Widows and orphans. They built almshouses; established grammar schools Shakespeare attended one; Corpus Christi College at Cambridge was established by the Corpus Christi gild. "An essential feature of the gild system was the principle that none should seek an unfair advantage over his fellows.... Within their own ranks they sought to establish as nearly as possible a condition of absolute equality."
Membership was compulsory. Masters and Wardens were usually chosen by members, sometimes by municipal authorities; and in some instances were appointed outright by the City. A Warden was a full-time officer, usually to inspect work done. Assemblies were held at fixed times. A gild might have a council, its own court, its own lawyers, try its own cases, and punish its own criminals; this was legalized by an oath. A few gilds admitted women. Strikes were not common, but they were sometimes used, especially by yeomen gilds.
Speaking of London, Lipson says: "In beginning all men in a gild wore livery; afterwards only the oligarchy [officers and rich masters]; finally livery companies became independent, holding monopolies of their craft .... Indeed, the members of many London companies frequently came to have only a very faint connection [they were capitalists] with the business of the company to which they were attached." (Other gilds, as well as Masons, thus had "accepted" or "speculative" members.)
A number of present day Masonic writers assume that the earliest Masonic Lodges (and gilds, where they had one) must have been composed of mere laborers and with little or no ritualism, etc., and therefore none of what we now know as Speculative (or Symbolical) Masonry. The whole history of the gild system is against this assumption, and it would have to mean that the Masons' fraternities, gilds, and lodges were an exception among thousands. An authority in the Encyclopedia Britannica (llth Ed.; Vol. XII; p. 14) writes:
"Prayers for the dead, attendance at funerals of gildsmen periodical banquets the solemn entrance oaths. fines for neglect of duty and for improper conduct, contributions for a common purse, mutual assistance in distress periodical meetings in the gildhall in short, all the charseteristic features of the later gilds already appear in the statutes of these Anglo-Saxon fraternities" referring to tilde as early ax the Eleventh Century!
It is interesting for Masonic occultists to note that in England in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries though Craft gilds were still called gilds there came into general use the word "mystery"; the term had no connection with mysteriousness, but was a transliteration of ,a, Latin word meaning "to work, to serve, to minister.
The one craft or art, and because of the nature of its work, which did not yield itself easily to the gild system was that of the masons, or builders, therefore the majority of towns and cities discouraged them, and set up special arrangements for their municipal regulation. It is for this reason, perhaps more than any other, that masons (Freemasons among them) so often set up fraternities and lodges instead of gilds: and it also helps to explain why, and from the first, the Mason Craft has had a certain uniqueness what the early Speculative Masons described as "peculiarity," and has given the word "freemasonry" its special flavor of being something outside the common run, something unique, somewhat of a mystery to non-Masons, and as if it possessed a secret unshared by others though the only "secret" it has ever possessed is its philosophy and that it has never made a secret of, but has taught and published everywhere. Every general history of the Masonic Fraternity contains a chapter, or a number of pages, on the Gild System. The titles listed below are of non-Masonic books, many of them used as texts in universities. The miscellany of notes given above are taken from them, but can give only a faint hint of the wealth of facts they contain. Since the titles are set down at random the placing of any given title in the list has no significance.
(N. S. B. Gros and C. Gross must not be confused with each other.
(Unless the writer has been misled by at least three of his sources, The Romans in Britain, by H. C. Coote, listed above, was the book on which R. F. Gould almost wholly relied for his chapter on The Collegia in his History of Freemasonry- and the other titles mentioned in Gould's text were Coote's rather than Gould's. It is unfortunate that he did beeause Coote's book was worthless, or almost so, at its time of publication and soon became obsolete. A large part of Gould's Vol. I is similarly written at seeond or at third hand, and should be checked against modern authorities; and more particularly modern archeologists.)
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