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There is no one of the old Records of Freemasonry, except, perhaps, the Charter of Cologne, that has given rise to more controversy among the critics than the one generally known as the Leland Manuscript. It derives this name from the statement made in its title, which is:
Certayne questyons with awnsweres to the same, concernynge the mystery of maconrye; wryttene by the hande of Kynge Henry the Sixthe of the name, and faythfullye copied by me, Johan Leylande Antiquarius, by the commaunde of His Highnesse.
It first appeared in the Gentleman's Magazine for 1753 (page 417), where it purports to be a reprint of a pamphlet published five years before at Frankfort. The title of the paper in the GentleJnan's Magazine is:
Copy of a srnall pamphlet, consisting of twelve pages in octavo, printed in Germany in 1748, entitled Ein Brief von dem berühmten Heren Johann Locke betreffend die Frey-Maurerein. So auf einem SchreibTisch eines verstorbnen Bruders ist gefunden worden. That is, A Letter of the famous Mr. John Locke relating to Freemasonry. As found in the writing-desk of a deceased brother."
Hearne copied it in his Life of Leland (page 67), prefacing it with the remark that:
It also appears that an ancient manuscript of Leland s has long remained in the Bodleian Library, unnoticed in any account of our author yet published.... The original is said to be in the handwriting of King Henry Vl, and copied by Leland by order of His Highness (King Henry VIII). If the authenticity of this ancient monument of literature remains unquestioned, it demands particular notice in the present publication, on account of the singularity of the subject, and no less from a due regard to the royal writer, and our author, his transcriber indefatigable in every part of-~Literature: it will also be admitted, acknowledgment is due to the learned Mr. Locke, who, amidst the closest studies and the most strict attention to human understanding, could unbend his mind in search of this ancient treatise, which he first brought from obscurity in the year 1696.
The Manuscript purports to be a series of questions proposed by Henry VI and answers given by the Freemasons. It is accompanied by an introductory letter and a commentary by Locke, together with a glossary of the archaic Words. The best account of the Manuscript is contained in the letter of Locke to a nobleman, said to be the Earl of Pembroke, dated May 6, 1696, in which, after stating that he had procured a copy of it from the Bodleian Library, he adds:
The Manuscript of which this is a copy appears to be about one hundred and sixty years old; yet, as your Lordship still observe by the title, it is itself a copy of one yet more ancient by about one hundred years. For the original is said to have been in the handwriting of King Henry the VI. Where that prince had it is an uncertainty, but it seems to me to be an examination, taken, perhaps, before the King, of some one of the Brotherhood of Masons. among whom he entered himself, as 'tis said, when he came out of his minority, and thenceforth put a stop to a persecution that had been razed against them.
After its appearance in the Gentleman's Magazzne, which first introduced the knowledge of it to the world, and in W. Huddesford's Lives of Eminent Antiquaries, John Leland, etc., 1772, who evidently copied it from the Magazine, it next appeared in 1764, in the Pocket Companion, and in 1769 in Calcott's Candid Disquisition. In 1775, Hutchinson introduced it into his Spirit of Masonry. Dermott published it in his Ahiman Rezon, and Preston in his Illustrations. Noorthouck, in 1784, embodied it in his edition of the Constitutions; and it has since been repeatedly published in England and America, so that the Craft have had every opportunity of becoming familiar with its contents. Translations of it have also been given in French by Thory, in his Acta Latomorum; in German by Lenning, in his Ens cyclopadie; by Krause, in his Kunsturkunden, and also by Fessler and several other French and German writers.
This document so important, if true, as a record of the condition of Freemasonry in the beginning of the fifteenth century has been from an early period attacked and defended with equal vehemence by those who have denied and those who have maintained its authenticity. As early as 1787, the Baron de Chefdebien, in a discourse on Recherches Maçonnique à l'usage des Freres du Régime primitif de Narbonne, meaning Masonic Studies on the Customs of the Brothers of the Primitive Rite of Narbonne, read before the Congress of the Philalethans, attacked the authenticity of the document. Thory also, although acknowledging that he wished that the Manuscript was true, presented his objections to its authenticity in a memoir read in 1806 before the Tribunal of the Philosophic Rite. His objections are eight in number, and are to this effect:
1. That it was not published in any of the early editions of the works of Locke.
2. That it was printed for the first time at Frankfort, in 1748.
3. That it was not known in England until 1753.
4. That Anderson makes no mention of it.
5. That it is not in any of the editions of Leland's works printed before 1772.
6. That Doctor Plot contends that Henry VI was never made a Freemason.
7. That the Manuscript says that Freemasonry was brought from the East by the Venetians.
8. That the troubles in the reign of Henry Vl and his incapacity, render it improbable that he would have occupied his mind with the subject of Freemasonry.
The sixth and eighth of these objections merely beg the question; and the seventh is puerile, founded on ignorance of the meaning of the word Venetian. But the other objections have much weight. Sloane, in his New Curiosities of Literature (1849, volume ii, page 80), attacks the document with the bitterness which he usually displays wherever Freemasonry is concerned.
Halliwell Phillipps, in his Early History of Freemasonry in England (page 40), has advanced the follow. ing arguments against its authenticity:
It is singular that the circumstances attending its publication should have led no one to suspect its authen ticity. I was at the pains of making a long search in the Bodleian Library last summer, in the hopes of finding the origmal, but without success. In fact, there can be but little doubt that this celebrated and well-known document is a forgery! In the first place, why should such a doeument have been printed abroad? Was it likely that it should have found its way to Frankfort, nearly half a century afterwards, and been published without any explanation of the source whence it was obtained? Again the orthography is most grotesque, and too gross ever to have been penned either by Henry VI or Leland, or both combined. For instance, we have Peter Gower, a Greeian explained in a note by the fabricator—for who else could have solved it?—to be Pythagoras! As a whole, it is but a clumsy attempt at deception, and is quite a parallel to the recently discovered one of the first Englishe Mercurie.
Among the German opponents of the Manuscript are Lessing, Keller, and Findel; and more recently, the iconoclasts of England, who have been attacking so many of the ancient records of the Craft, have not left this one unspared. On the other hand, it has ranked among its advocates some of the most learned Freemasons of England, Germany, and France, of whom may be named Krauset Fessler, Lenning, Reghellini, Preston, Hutchinson, Calcott, the last three, perhaps, without critical examination, and Oliver Of these the language of the last may be cited as a specimen of the arguments adduced in its favor, Doctor Oliver says (Freeing Quarterly Review, 1840, page 10):
This~famous Manuscript, possesses the reputationof having converted the learned Locke, who was initiated after carefully perusing and analyzing it. Before any faith can be placed on this invaluable document it will be necessary to say a word respecting its authenticity. I admit that there is some degree of mystery about it, and doubts have been entertained whether it be not a forgery. We have the strongest presumptive proofs that it wag in existence about the middle of the last century, because the utmost publicity was given to it- and as at that time Freemasonry was beginning to excite a considerable share of publie attention the deception, had it been such, would have been publicly exposed by its opponents, who appear to have used the lash of ridicule very freely as witness liogarth's picture of Night, where the principal figures represent some Brethren decorated with aprons and jewels, returning from the Lodge in a state of intoxication; the broad sheet of the Scald Miserables, and other prints and publications in which Freemasonry is burlesqued. But no attempt was ever made to invalidate its claim to be a genuine document.
After enumerating the several books in which it had been published, he resumes his argument, as follows:
Being thus universally diffused, had it been a suspected document, its exposure would certainly have been attempted; particularly about the close of the last century, when the progress of Masonry was sensibly checked by the publication of works which charged it with being the depository of principles fatal equally to the peace and religion of civil society; and if a forgery, it would have been unable to have endured the test of a critical examination. But no such attempt was made; and the presumption therefore is that the document is authentic. I should be inclined to pronounce, from internal evidence only, that the Letter and Annotations were written by Locke; but there are corroborating facts which appear contusive; for this great philosopher was actually residing at Oates, the country-seat of Sir Francis Masham, at the time when the paper is dated- and shortly afterwards he went up to town, where he was initiated into Masonry. These facts are fully proved by Locke's Letters to Mr. Molyneux, dated March 30 and July 2, 1696. For these reasons I entertain no doubt of the genuineness and authenticity of this valuable Manuscript.
If my own opinion is worth giving on this subject, says Doctor Mackey, I should say with much reluetanee, and against my own wishes, that there is neither internal nor external evidence of the authenticity of this document to make it a sufficient foundation for historical evidence.
Brother Mackey's opinion in the above essay was candid and conservative, in the main well supported by later investigation. Brother Robert F. Gould, in his History of Freemasonry (volume i, page 489), says of this document "which all authorities, except Fort, concur in regarding as an impudent forgery. The conclusion I have myself arrived at is, that the catechism must have been drawn up at some period subsequent to the publication of Doctor Anderson's Constitutions; and I think it not improbable that the memoir of Ashmole, given in the Biographia Britannica, 1747, may have suggested the idea of practising on the credulity of the Freemasons." But this verdict of the eighties was considerably modified by Brother Gould after he had read the argument of Brother George Fleming Moore in the New Age, October, 1904 (see also pages 384 and 385, Doctor Mackey's revised History of Freemasonry). In his Collected Essays, 1913 (page 265), Brother Gould admitted that "The Editor of the New A2e has in my opinion, presented some very cogent reasons for a rehearing of the case."
The Leland Manuscript has been the subject of 80 much criticism, friendly and otherwise, that the text ought to be submitted with the arguments. The copy here given with notes (see inserted figures in text) and glossary of the more unusual words is from the twelfth edition of William Preston's Illustrations of Masonry (pages 11s18):
A Letter from the learned Mr. John Locke, to the Rwht Hon. Tho777us Earl of Pembroke, with an old Manuscript on the subject of Free Masonry.
I have at length, by the help of Mr. Collins, procured a copy of that manuscript in the Bodleian library, which you were so curious to see: and, in obedience to your lordship's commands, I herewith send it to you. Most of the notes annexed to it, are what I made yesterday for the reading of my lady Masham, who is become so fond of Masonry, as to say that she now more than ever wishes herself a man, that she might be capable of admission into the Fraternity.
The manuseript of which this is a eopy, appears to be about one hundred and sixty years old; yet, as your lordship will observe by the title, it is itself a eopy of one yet more ancient by about one hundred years: for the original is said to be the hand-writing of King Henry VI. Where that prince had it, is at present an uncertainty; but it seems to me to be an examination taken perhaps before the king of some one of the brotherhood of Masons; among whom he entered himself, as it is said, when he came out of his minority, and thenceforth put a stop to persecution that had been raised against them. But I must not detain your lordship longer by my preface from the thing itself. I know not what effect the sight of this old paper may have upon your lordship; but for my own part I cannot deny that it has so much raised my curiosity, as to induce me to enter myself into the Fraternity, which I am determined to do, if I may be admitted, the next time I go to London, and that will be shortly, I am, My Lord Your Lordship's most obedient, and most humble servant, John Locke. Certayne Questyons, with Answers to the same, concerning the Mystery of the Maconrye, writtene by the kynge Henrye, the sixthe of the name, and faithfullye copped by me
Here endethe the questyonnes, and awnsweres.
Notes to the text:
1. John Leylande was appointed by Henry VIII at the dissolution of monasteries, to search for, and have such books and records as were valuable among them.
He was a man of great labor and industry.
2. Meaning the said King Henry VIII. Our kings had not then the title of majesty.
3. That is, what may this mystery of Masonry be?
The answer imports, That it consists in natural, mathematical, and mechanical knowledge. Some part of which, as appears by what follows, the Masons pretend to have taught the rest of mankind, and some part they still conceal.
4 and 5. It should seem by this, that Masons believe there were men in the east before Adam, who is called the "ffyrste manne of the weste;" and that arts and sciences began in the east. Some authors of great note for learning have been of the same opinion; and it is certain that Europe and Africa, which, in respect to Asia, may be called western countries, were wild and savage, long after arts and politeness of manners were in great perfection in China and the Indies.
6. In the times of monkish ignorance it is no wonder that the Phenicians should be mistaken for the Venetians. Or, perhaps, if the people were not taken one for the other, similitude of sound may deceive the clerk who first took down the examination. The Phenicians were the greatest voyagers among the ancients, and were in Europe thought to be the inventors of letters, which perhaps they brought from the east with other arts.
7. This must be another mistake of the writer. I was puzzled at first to guess who Peter Gower should be, the name being perfectly English; or how a Greek should come by such a name: But as soon as I thought of Pythagoras, I could searee forbear smiling, to find that philosopher had undergone a metempsychosis he never dreamt of. We need only consider the French pronunciation of his name, Pythagore, that is Petagore, to conceive how easily such a mistake may be made by an unlearned clerk. That Pythagoras travelled for knowl edge into Egypt, &e. is known to all the learned; and that he w as initiated into several different orders of priests, who in those days kept all their learning secret from the vulgar, is as well known. Pythagoras also made every geometrical theorem a seeret, and admitted only such to the knowledge of them, as had first under gone a five years silence. He is supposed to be the inventor of the 47th proposition of the first book of Euclid for which, in the joy of his heart, it is said he sacrificedd a hecatomb. He also knew the true system of the world lately revived by Copernieus, and was certainly a most wonderful man. see his life by Dion. Hal.
8. A part of Italy formerly so called, in which the Greeks had settled a large colony.
9. This word at present signifies simpleton, but for merly had a quite contrary meaning. Wiseacre in the old Saxon is philosopher, wiseman, or wizard, and having been frequently used ironically at length came to have a direct meaning in the ironical sense. Thus Duns Scotus, a man famed for the subtilty and acuteness of his understanding, has, by the same method of irony, given a general name to modern dunces.
10. Groton is the name of a place in England. The place here meant is Crotona, a city of Grecia Magna which in the time of Pythagoras was a city of Grecia Magna
11. The word made I suppose has a particular meaning among the Masons, perhaps it signifies, initiated
12. This paragraph hath something remarkable in it. It contains a justification of the secrecy so much boasted of by Maçons, and so much blamed by others ; asserting that they have in all ages discovered such things as might be useful, and that they conceal such only as would be hurtful either to the world or themselves. What these secrets are, we see afterwards
13. It seems a bold pretence this of the Masons, that they have taught mankind all these arts. They have their own authority for it, and I know not how we shall disprove them. But what appears most odd is, that they reckon religion among the arts.
14. The art of inventing arts, must certainly be a most useful art. My lord's Bacon's Novum Organum is an attempt towards somewhat of the same kind. But I much doubt, that if the Masons had it, thev have now lost it; since so few new arts have been lately invented, and so many are wanted. The idea I have of such an art is, that it must be something proper to be employed in all the sciences generally, as algebra in numbers, by the help of which, new rules of arithmetic are, and may be found.
15. It seems the Masons have great regard to the reputation as well as the profit of their order; since they make it one reason for not divulging an art in common, that it may do honour to the possessors of it. I think in this particular they shew too much regard for their own society, and too little for the rest of mankind.
16. What kind of art this is, I can by no means imagine. But certainly such an art the Masons must have: For though, as some people suppose, they should have no secret at all, even that must be a secret which being discovered, would expose them to the highest ridicule; and therefore it requires the utmost caution to conceal it.
17. I know not what this means, unless it be the transmutation of metals.
18. Here I am utterly in the dark
19. An universal Innguage has been much desired by the learned of many ages. It is a thing rather to be wished than hoped for. But it seems the treasons pretend to have such a thing among them. If it be true, I guess it must be something like the language of the Pantomimes among the ancient Romans, who are said to be able, by signs only, to express and deliver any oration intelligibly to men of all nations and languages.
A man who has all these arts and advantages, is certainly in a condition to be envied: But we are told that this is not the case with all Masons- for though these arts are among them, and all have a right and an opportunity to know them, yet some want eapaeity, and others industry, to acquire them. However, of all their arts and secrets, that which I most desire to know is,"The skylle of becommynge gude and 'parfyghte'; and I wish it were communicated to all mankind, since there is nothing more true than the beautiful sentence contained in the last answer,"That the better men are, the more they love one another." Virtue having in itself something so amiable as to charm the hearts of all that behold it.
A careful reading of the above manuscript will disclose not only typical old English words but several that are as peculiarly foreign to that language, but as it came in the eighteenth century from the Continent for publication in England with the understanding that it was a copy of an old document there is nothing unusual in finding words in it of other than British origin. Europe and its languages have been subject to change and the curious combination of English, French and German influence is seen in the above manuscript, commodytye, confrerie, façonnynge, freres, occasyonne, are as suggestively French,. as Odher, recht, Sonderlyche, werok, woned, wunderwerokynge, are of Gertnan. Brother Preston (page 118) asserts that:
The conjecture of the learned annotator coneerning its being an examination taken before Eing Henry of one of the Fraternity of Masons, is accurate. The severe edict passed at that time against the society, and the discouragement given to the Masons by the bishop of Winchester and his party, induced that prince, in his riper years, to make a strict scrutiny into the nature of the Masonie institution; which was attended with the happy eireumstanee of gaining his favour, and his patronage. uad not the civil commotions in the kingdom during his reign attracted the notice of government, this act would probably have been repealed through the intercession of the duke of Gloueester whose attachment to the Fraternity was conspicuous.
We may not go as far as this with Brother Preston in our study of the manuscript, but we can agree with him that it deserves a serious and studious examination.
The phrasing and choice of words has drawn attention, comment being made by Brother hIackey on the probability that there was a French original of the document which had been translated into English. Be points out that there are many peculiarly French turns and twists in the manuscript and therefore he held that none of these idiomatic expressions would have been likely to occur if the manuscript had been originally the work of an Englishman and written in the English language.
We must not forget that the manuscript first appeared in the Gentleman's Magazine, September, 1753, and that there we are told that it had previously been printed at Frankfort in Germany in 1748. These circumstances give the language of the essay a peculiarly international flavor. However, there is one singular feature which perhaps has not hitherto received the attention it deserved. This is mentioned in Miscellanea Latomorum (pages 40 and 41, volume v), which is taken from the Bodleian Quarterly Record (iii, page 27), and reads as follows:
The forger of literary and historical documents has many pitfalls in his path, but his fall is often long delayed. A forgery which for many years has found supporters is a Mnsonie treatise entitled Ce Wayne Questions . . . Concernynae . . . Maconrye: wryttenne by . . . Kynge Henrye the Sixthe . . . and . . . copyed by me Johan Leylande, published in the Gentleman's Magazine. 1753 xxiu, 417, but stated to be a reprint of Ein Brief von . . . Herrn Johann Locke Frankfort, 1748 where it is said that the original manuscript is in the Bodleian Library. No such manuscript, however, has ever come to light, and Mr.
Madan, in his Summary, Catalocus refers to it as mythical. A student of Masonry recently made a special visit to Oxford with a view to a further search for the treatise, because, as he said. " Masonically this is by no means as universally regarded as spurious as it was some thirty or so years ago." Needless to say he did not succeed where Mr. Bladan had failed, but the authenticity of the text was still undecided. It occurred to a member of the Staff to ask Mr. Onions, one of the editors of the Near English Dictionary whether the treatise could possibly have been written as early as 1460. Mr. Onions kindly examined the text, and almost immediately denounced it as spurious on account of the oceurrence of the word kymistrye chemistry which is not found in English until about the year 1600 and which did not become eommon until the middle of the seventeenth century. By such slips is the forger betrayed.
However, the subject here seemed worthy of further examination. Brother Charles E. Funk, of the New Standard Dictionary, Funk and Wagnalls Company, writes to us:
It is possible but not probable that the word chemistry, with the variant spelling kumistrye, may have been used as early as the middle of the sixteenth century, but from such records as we have, the earliest use was apparently at the beginning of the seventeenth century, some fifty or more years later. Previous to that time the word employed was alchemy, and from that there were such forms as academic, alchemical, alchemically, alchemist alchemister, alchemistic, and alchemistry.
The al,, of course, was a Moorish prefix and could have been dropped at any time after the introduction of the base word into English. As far as the spelling kymistrye is concerned, there is no record of this particular spelling in any of the available reference books. There is no reason why that spelling might not have been used, for it was by no means uncommon for the hard ch to be written k, and in fact some of the soft chs as we have them today, notably church, is in Seotland kirk. Numerous other words coming from the Greek, thence to the Latin, and from thence to English lost the original chi of the Greek into the hard c or k of modern English. Previous to the eighteenth century every one spelled more or less aeeording to the dictates of his conscience and if any individual preferred to spell chvmist—a form that appeared as early as the middle of the sixteenth century as ku7rlist, that was his Drivilege. The fact that the spelling chymist is recorded in Bulleyn's Book of Simples published in 1562, is the only thing that lends the air of probability to the use of the word kymistrye, which was as early a date as is credited to the Leland Manuscript. I think it is probable, as you infer, that the word was inserted into the manuscript at some later date than that to which it is credited.
The fact that the word chemistry did not come into publie usage until at least fifty years after the alleged date of the manuscript is supporting testimony to that effect, but by no means eonelusive. Alchemy was introduced into England prior to the time of Chaueer and anything purporting to contain a list of the important sciences of the period of King Henry VI should certainly contain the subject alchemy The fact that the manuscript has evidently been copied into at least two different continental languages more or less, French and German, and brought back into the language in which it was probably first written, English, has, we dare say, carried with it some expressions, not to say some spellings, that were in all probability not in lathe original.
Even now there are unmistakable Frencih and German spellings of words easy to be seen, as we have pointed out, and therefore we do not think it at all unreasonable to suppose that each copyist was inclined to introduce such words as seem to him most expressive. Curious as it may seem that the word alchemy is not in the manuscript where we would expect to find it, yet this rather indicates to us that kymistrye has been substituted for it. Sir John A. Cockburn, Past Grand Deacon of England, contributed a discussion of the manuscript which appeared in the December issue, 1920, of the Builder, in which he maintained that the arguments against so time-honored a document were puerile, the evidence of its truth irresistible, that Freemasonry dependent on oral tradition cannot in all cases expect direct documentary proof.
As to errors in the text, he believed them witnesses of its truth, Peter Sower for Pythagoras was just such a blunder as an illiterate Craftsman might make of the French word Pythagore, that confounding the ancient Phenicians with the modern Venetians was probable enough during the grandeur of Venice, that in fact the most plausible of the adverse criticism was in the uncouth spelling, but this corresponding to no particular period of English orthography and of little disqualifying cogency when we find in Lodge Minute Books, within the last century, such monstrosities as Shuper ezclant Masons, and Sertifiket of a Resectobel Order. Sir John concluded that the document supported by so many contemporary and credible allusions was inconceivable as a forgery. Further, he asserted that in any case it deserved to be rescued from oblivion if only for its sublime truths, its statement that Freemasonry enables men to be virtuous without hope of reward or fear of punishment, that the pursuit of virtue for its own sake differentiates Freemasonry from dogmatic religions, and that Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth bring their own recompense.
, A zealous French Freemason, and the possessor of a fine collection of Degrees, the nomenclature of which is preserved by Thory in his Acta Latomorum. The most important are referred to in the present work.
LEMIERRE, A. M.
Born in 1733, died in 1793. A writer of merit who belonged to the Lodge of the Neuf Soeurs, the Nine Sisters, or the Muses, the classic patrons of arts and sciences, and was present at the reception of Voltaire.
LENGTH OF THE LODGE.
, See Extent of the Lodge.
The assumed name of a learned German Freemason, who resided at Paris in 1817, where Krause speaks of him as an estimable man and well-informed Craftsman. Woodford ( Kenning's Cyclopedia) says his real name was Hesse, and that he was a bookseller. He was the first projector of the Encyclopedie der Freimaurerei, which Findel justly calls "one of the most learned and remarkable works in Masonic literature." The manuscript coming into the possession of the Leipsic bookseller, Brockhaus, he engaged Friedrich Mossdorf to edit it. He added 80 much to the original, revising and amplifying all the most important articles and adding many new ones, that Kloss catalogues it in his Bibliographie as the work of Mossdorf. The Encyclopadie is in three volumes, of which the first was published in 1822, the second in 1824, and the third in 1828, all at Leipsic. A second edition, under the title of Handbuch der Freimaurerei, was published under the editorship of Schletter and Zille. The first three volumes of this second and revised edition were issued in fifteen parts, 1861-7; the fourth volume or supplement of 1879 being edited by 0. Henne-Am-Rhym. A third edition in two volumes was published in 1900 the first volume only, the second following in 1901.
, A celebrated archeologist, who was born at Paris in 1761. Having studied at the Mazarin College, he entered the studio of Doyeu, and successfully cultivated painting. In 1790, the National Assembly having decreed that the treasures of art in the suppressed churches and convents should be collected at the Petits-Augustins, he was appointed the Conservator of the depot, which was subsequently called the Museum, of which he was then made the Director.
He there collected more than five hundred monuments rescued from destruction, and classified them with great care. On the conversion of the Garden of Moasseaux into a Museum of Monuments, he was appointed one of the administrators, and subsequently the administrator of the monuments of the Church of Saint Denis. In all these appointments, Lenoir exhibited his taste and judgment as an archeologist. He was a member of the Society of Antiquaries of France, to whose Transactions he contributed several memoirs. The Metropolitan Chapter of France had, from the year 1777, annually held philosophical conventions, at which lectures on Masonic subjects were delivered by such men as Court de Gebelin.
In 1789 these conventions were discontinued in consequence of the political troubles of the times, but they were renewed in 1812 by M. Lenoir, who delivered before the Chapter a course of eight lectures on the relations which exist between the ancient mysteries of the Egyptians and the Greeks and those of Freemasonry. In 1814, he published the substance of these lectures in a work entitled La Franche-Maçonnerie rendue a sa veritable origine, ou l'Antiquité de la Franche-Maçonnerie prouvée par l'Ezplication des Mystéres Anciens et Modernes, Freemasonry brought back to its true origin, or the Antiquity of Freemasonry proven by an Explanation of the Mysteries, Ancient and Modern, Paris, quarto, 304 pages. The theory of the author being that the mysteries of Freemasonry are only a repetition of those of antiquity, he attempts to support it by investigations into the ancient initiations that are marked with profound learning, although the work was severely criticized in the Journal de Débats. He had previously published, in 1809, a work in three volumes, entitled Nouvelle Explication des Hiéroplyphes ou Anciennes Alléyories sacrées des Epiptiens. New Explanation of the Mystical Characters, or Ancient Allegories revered by the Egyptians. He died at Paris, June 12, 1839.
Ancient sacrificial festivals in honor of the sun; the officiating priests being termed Leontes
LEO XII, POPE.
Born in 1760, died in 1829. On the 13th of March, 1825, he issued the well-remembered Bull, beginning "Quo graviora mala," against the Freemasons. The first few Latin words of a Papal Bull, it is also well to recall, are used as a name for the document.
One of those French Freemasons who in the latter part of the eighteenth century occupied themselves in the accumulation of cahiers or rituals of Masonic Degrees. Most of the Degrees in his collection, which is said to have been a valuable one, are referred to by Thory in the nomenclature contained in his Acta Latomorum.
LEROUGE, ANDRE JOSEPH ETIENNE.
A man of letters and zealous Freemason of Paris, born at Commercy, April 25, 176ff. He made a large and valuable collection of manuscript and printed Degrees. He died in 1834, and on the 7th of January, 1835, his collection was sold at public auction. Thory has made use of it in his Nomenclature des Grades. Lerouge was the author of several didactic writings on Masonic subjects, all of which, however, have had but an ephemeral existence. He was one of the editors of the French Masonic journal Hermes, published in 1819, and of the Mélanges de Philosophie, d'Histoire et de Intérature Maçonnique, Mélanges being the French word for mixtures or blends. He was a man of much learning, and is said to have supplied several of his Masonic contemporaries with assistance in the preparation of their works.
, See Caribbee Islands.
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States or elsewhere.
Last modified: March 22, 2014