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PRESTON, WILLIAM. SUPL.
This distinguished Freemason was born at Edinburgh on July 28, 1742, Old Style, and Brother C. C. Hunt, of Iowa, points out that the date sometimes given as August 7, New Style, should be August 8, as the calendar error which was ten clays in 1582 had become eleven in the eighteenth eentury when the change was made in English-speal;ing countries He svas the son of William Preston, Esq., Writer to the Signet, a Scottish legal term meaning an agent or attorney in eauses in the Court of Sessions, and Helena Cumming. The elder Preston was a man of much intellectual culture and ability, and in easy circumstances, and took, therefore, pains to bestow upon his son an adequate education. He was sent to school at a very early age, and having completed his preliminary edueation in English under the tuition of Stirling, a celebrated teacher in Edinburgh, he entered the High School before he was six years old, and made considerable progress in the Latin tongue.
From the High Sehool he went to college, where he acquired a knowledge of the rudiments of Greek. After the death of his father he retired from college, and became the amanuensis of that celebrated linguist, Thomas Ruddiman, to whose friendship his father had consigned him. Ruddiman having greatly impaired and finally lost his sight by his intense application to his classical studies, Preston remained with him as his secretary until his decease. His patron had, however, previously bound young Preston to his brother, Walter Ruddiman, a printer, but on the increasing failure of his sight, Thomas Ruddiman withdrew Preston from the printing-office, and occupied him in reading to him and translating such of his works as were not completed, and ia correcting the proofs of those that were in the press. Subsequently Preston compiled a catalogue of Ruddiman's books, under the title of Bibliotheca Ruddimana, which is said to have exhibited much literary ability.
After the death of Ruddiman, Preston returned to the printing-office where he remained for about a year; but his inclinations leading him to literary pursuits, he, with the consent of his master, repaired to London in 1760, having been furnished with several letters of introduction by his friends in Scotland. Among them was one to William Strahan, the Kinges Printer, in whose service, and that of his son and successor, he remained for the best years of his life as a corrector of the press, devoting himself, at the same time, to other literary vocations, editing for many years the London Chronicle, and furnishing materials for various periodical publications. Preston's critical skill as a corrector of the press led the literary men of that day to submit to his suggestions as to style and language; and many of the most distinguished authors who were contemporary with him honored him with their friendship. As an evidence of this, there were found in his library, at his death, presentation copies of their works, with their autographs, from Gibbon, Hume, Robertson, Blair, and many others.
It is, however, as a distinguished instructor of the Masonic Ritual and as the founder of a system of lectures which still retain their influence, that William Preston the more especially claims our attention. Stephen Jones, the disciple and intimate friend of Preston, published in 1795, and in the Freemasons Magazine, a sketch of Preston's life and labors; and as there can be no doubt, from the relations of the author and the subject, of the authenticity of the facts related, we shall not hesitate to use the language of this contemporary sketch, interpolating such explanatory remarks as we may deem necessary.
Soon after Preston's arrival in London, a number of Brethren from Edinburgh resolved to institute a Freemasons' Lodge in that city, under the sanction of a Constitution from Scotland; but not having succeeded in their application, they were recommended by the Grand Lodge of Scotland to the Antient Lodge in London, which immediately granted them a Dispensation to form a Lodge and to make Freemasons. They accordingly met at the White Hart in the Strand, and Preston was the second person initiated under that Dispensation. This was in 1762. Lawrie records the application as having been in that year to the Grand Lodge of Scotland. It thus appears that Preston was made a Freemason under the Dermott system. It will be seen, however, that he subsequently went over to the older Grand Lodge.
The Lodge was soon after regularly constituted by the officers of the Antient Grand Lodge in person. Having increased considerably in numbers, it was found necessarv to remove to the Horn Tavern in Fleet Street, where it continued some time, till, that house being unable to furnish proper accommodations, it was removed to Scots Hall, Blackfriars.
Here it continued to flourish about two years, when the decayed state of that building obliged it to remove to the Half Moon Tavern, Cheapside, where it continued to meet for a considerable time. At length Preston and some others of the members having joined the Lodge, under the older English Constitution, at the Talbot Inn, in the Strand, they prevailed on the rest of the Lodge at the Half Moon Tavern to petition for a Constitution. Lord Blaney at that time Grand Master, readily acquiesced with the desire of the Brethren, and the Lodge was soon after constituted a second time, in ample form, by the name of the Caledonian Lodge, then No. 325, but now 134. The ceremonies observed, and the numer ous assembly of respectable Brethren who attended the Grand Officers on that occasion, were long remembered to the honor of the Lodge.
This circumstance, added to the absence of a very skilful Freemason, to whom Preston was attached and who had departed for Scotland on account of his health, induced him to turn his attention to the Masonic lectures; and to arrive at the depths of the science, short of which he did not mean to stop, he spared neither pains nor expense.
Preston's own remarks on this subject, in the introduction to his Illustrations of Masonry, are well worth the perusal of every Brother who intends to take office.. "When," says he, "I first had the honor to be elected Master of a Lodge, I thought it proper to inform myself fully of the general rules of the society, that I might be able to fulfil my own duty, and officially enforce obedience in others. The methods which I adopted, with this view, excited in some of superficial knowledge an absolute dislike of what they considered as innovations; and in others, who were better informed, a jealousy of pre-eminence, which the principles of Masonry ought to have checked. Notwithstanding; these discouragements, however, I persevered in my intention of supporting the dignity of the society, and of discharging with fidelity the trust reposed in me." Freemasonry has not changed. We still too often find the same mistaking of research for innovation, and the same ungenerous jealousy of pre-eminence of whuch Preston complains.
Wherever instruction could be acquired, thither Preston directed his course; and with the advantage of a retentive memory, and an extensive Masonic connection, added to a diligent literary research, he so far succeeded in his purpose as to become a competent master of the subject. To increase the knowledge he had acquired, he solicited the company and conversation of the most experienced Freemasons from foreign countries; and, in the course of a literary correspondence with the Fraternity at home and abroad, made such progress in the mysteries of the art as to become very useful in the connections he had formed. He was frequently heard to say, that in the ardor of his inquiries he had explored the abodes of poverty and wretchedness, and, where it might have been least expected, acquired very valuable scraps of information.
The poor Brother in return, we are assured, had no cause to think his time or talents ill bestowed. He was also accustomed to convene his friends once or twice a week, in order to illustrate the lectures; on which occasion objections were started, and explanations given, for the purpose of mutual improvement. At last, with the assistance of some zealous friends, he was enabled to arrange and digest the whole of the first lecture.
To establish its validity he resolved to submit to the society at large the progress he had made; and for that purpose he instituted, at a very considerable expense, a grand gala at the Crown and Anchor Tavern, in the Strand, on Thursday, May 21, 1779, which was honored with the presence of the then Grand Officers, and many other minent and respectable Brethren. On this occasion he delivered an oration on the Institution, which, having met with general approbation, was afterward printed in the first edition of the Illustrations of Masonry, published by him the same year.
Having thus far succeeded in his design, Preston determined to prosecute the plan he had formed, and to complete the lectures. He employed, therefore, a number of skilful Brethren, at his own expense, to visit different town and country Lodges, for the purpose of gaining information; and these Brethren communicated the result of their visits at a weekly meeting. When by study and application he had arranged his system, he issued proposals for a regular course of lectures on all the Degrees of Freemasonry, and these were publicly delivered by him at the Miter Tavern, in Fleet Street, in 1774.
For some years afterward, Preston indulged his friends by attending several schools of instruction, and other stated meetings, to propagate the knowledge of the science, which had spread far beyond his expectations, and considerably enhanced the reputation of the society. Having obtained the sanction of the Grand Lodge, he continued to be a zealous encourager and supporter of all the measures of that assembly which tended to add dignity to the Craft, and in all the Lodges in which his name was enrolled, which were very numerous, he enforced a due obedience to the laws and regulations of that Body.
By these means the subscriptions to the charity became much more considerable; and daily acquisitions to the society were made of some of the most eminent and distinguished characters. At last he was invited by his friends to visit the Lodge of Antiquity, No. 1, then held at the Miter Tavern, in Fleet Street, when on June 15, 1774, the Brethren of that Lodge were pleased to admit him a member, and, what was very unusual, elected him Master at the same meeting.
He had been Master of the Philanthropic Lodge at the Queen's Head, Gray's-inn-gate, Holborn, for over six years, and of several other Lodges before that time. But he was now taught to consider the importance of the first Master under the English Constitution; and he seemed so regret that some eminent character in the walks of life had not been selected to support so distinguished a station. Indeed, this toosmall consideration of his own importance pervaded his conduct on all occasions; and he was frequently seen voluntarily to assume the subordinate offices of an assembly, over which he had long presided, on occasions where, from the absence of the proper persons, he had conceived that his services would promote the purposes of the meeting. To the Lodge of antiquity he now began chiefly to confine his attention, and during his Mastership, which continued for some years, the Lodge increased in numbers and improved in its finances.
That he might obtain a complete knowledge of the state of the society under the English Constitution, he became an active member of the Grand Lodge, sras admitted a member of the Hall Committee, and during the secretaryship of Thomas Freneh, under the auspices of the Duke of Beaufort, then Grand Master, had become a useful assistant in arranging the general regulations of the society, and reviving the foreign and country correspondence. Having been appointed to the office of Deputy Grand Secretary under James Heseltine, he compiled, for the benefit of the charity, the History of filemarkable Occurrences, inserted in the first two publications of the Freemasons' Calendar: prepared for the press an A ppendia; to the Book of Constitutions, and attended so much to the correspondence with the different Lodges as to merit the approbation of his patron. This enabled him, from the various memoranda he had made, to form the history of Freemasonry, which was afterward printed in his Illustrations. The office of Deputy Grand Secretary he afterward resigned.
An unfortunate dispute having arisen in the Society in 1777, between the Grand Lodge and the Lodge of Antiquity, in which Preston took the part of the Lodge and of his private friends, his name was ordered to be erased from the Hall Committee; and he was afterward, with a number of gentlemen, members of that Lodge, expelled. The treatment he and his friends received at that time was circumstantially narrated in a well-written pamphlet, printed by Preston at his own expense, and circulated among his friends, but never published, and the leading circumstances were recorded in some of the later editions of the Illustrations of Masonry. Ten years afterward, however, on a reinvestigation of the subject in dispute, the Grand Lodge was pleased to reinstate Preston, with all the other members of the Lodge of Antiquity, and that in the most handsome manner, at the Grand Feast in 1790, to the general satisfaction of the Fraternity.
During Preston's exclusion, he seldom or ever attended any of the Lodges, though he was actually an enrolled member of a great many Lodges at home and abroad, all of which he politely resigned at the time of his suspension, and directed his attention to his other literary pursuits, which may fairly be supposed to have contributed more to the advantage of his fortune.
So much of the life of Preston we get from the interesting sketch of Stephen Jones. To other sources we must look for a further elucidation of some of the circumstances which he has so concisely related. The expulsion from the Order of such a man as Preston was a disgrace to the Grand Lodge which inflicted it. It was, to use the language of Doctor Oliver, who himself, in aftertimes, had undergone a similar act of injustice, "a very ungrateful and inadequate return for his services."
The story was briefly this: It had been determined by the Brethren of the Lodge of Antiquity, held on December 17, 1777, that at the Annual Festival on Saint John's day, a procession should be formed to Saint Dunstan's Church, a few steps only from the tavern where the Lodge was held; a protest of a few of the members was entered against it on the day of the festival. In consequence of this only ten members attended, who, having clothed themselves as Freemasons in the vestry room, sat in the same pew and heard a sermon, after which~they crossed the street in their gloves and aprons to return to the Lodge-room.
At the next meeting of the Lodge, a motion was made to repudiate this act; and while speaking against it, Preston asserted the inherent privileges of the Lodge of Antiquity, which, not working under a Warrant of the Grand Lodge, was, in his opinion, not subject in the matter of processions to the regulations of the Grand Lodge. It vfas for Maintaining this opinion, which whether right or wrong,- was after all only an opinion, Preston u as, under circumstances which exhibited neither magnanimity nor dignity on the part of the Grand Lodge, expelled from the Order. One first unhappy result of this act of oppression was that the Lodge of Antiquity severed itself from the Grand Lodge, and formed a rival Body under the style of the Grand Lodge of England South of the River Treatt, acting under authority from the Lodge of All England at York.
But ten years afterward, in 1787, the Grand Lodge saw the error it had committed, and Preston was restored with all his honors and dignities and the new Grand Lodge collapsed. And non, while the name of Preston is known and revered by all who value Masonic learning, the names of all his bitter enemies, with the exception of Noorthoueli, have sunk into a nFell-deserved oblivion. Preston had no sooner been restored to his Masonie rights than he resumed his labors for the advancement of the Order. In 1787 he organized the Order of Harodim, which see, a society in which it was intended to thoroughly teach the lectures which he had prepared. Of this Order some of the most distinguished Freemasons of the day became members, and it is said to have produced great benefits by its well-devised r)lan of Masonic instruction.
But William Preston is best known to us by his invaluable work entitled I lEustrations of Masonry. The first edition of this work was published in 1772. Although it is spoken of in some resolutions of a Lodge, published in the second edition, as "a very ingenious and elegant pamphlet," it was really a work of some size, consisting, in its introduction and text, of 288 pages. It contained an account of the Grand Gala, or banquet, given by the author to the Fraternity in May, 177°, when he first proposed his system of lectures. This account was omitted in the second and all subsequent editions "to make room for more useful matter." The second edition, enlarged to 324 pages, was published in 1775, and this was followed by others in 1776, 1781, 1788, 1792, 1799, 1801, and 1812.
There were other editions, for Wilkie calls his 1801 edition the tenth, and the edition of 1819, the last published by the author, is called the twelfth. The thirteenth and fourteenth editions were published af ter the author's death, with additions—the former by Stephen Jones in 1891, and the latter by Doctor Oliver in 1829. Other English editions have been subsequently published, one edited by Doctor Oliver in 1829. The work was translated into German. and two editions published, one in 1776 and the other in 1780. In America, two editions were published in 1804, one at Alexandria, in Virginia, and the other, with numerous important additions, by George Richards, at Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Both claim, on the title-page, to be the "first American edition"; and it is probable that both works were published by their respective editors about the same time, and while neither had any knovwledge of the existence of a rival copy.
Preston died, after a long illness, in Dean Street. Fetter Lane, London, on April 1, 1818, at the age of seventy-six, and was buried in Saint Paul's Cathedral In the latter years of his life he seems to have taken no active public part in Freemasonry, for in the verv full account of the proceedings at the Union in 1813 of the two Grand Lodges, his name does not appear as one of the actors, and his system was then ruthlessly surrendered to the newer but not better one of Doctor Hemming. But he had not lost his interest in the Institution which he had served 80 well and so long, and by which he had been so illy requited.
For he bequeathed at his death £300 in Consols, a contraction for consolidated annuities, a British government security, the interest of which was to provide for the annual delivery of a lecture according to his system. He also left £500 to the Royal Freemasons Charity, for female children, and a like sum to the General Charity Fund of the Grand Lodge. He had a wife and grandchildren and left behind him his name as 3 great Masonie teacher and the memory of his services to the Craft. Jones's edition of his Illustrations contains an excellently engraved likeness of him by Ridley, from an originai portrait said to be bv S. Drummond, Roval Academician. There is an earlier engraved likeness of him in the Freemasons Magazine for 1795, from a painting known to be by Drummond, and taken in 1794. They present the differences of features which may be ascribed to a lapse of twenty-six years. The latter print was said, by acquaintances, to be an excellent likeness.
The Records of Tile Lodge of Antiquity, No. 2, have been published in two volumes bearing that title, the first in 1911 edited by Brother W. Harry Rylands and the second in 1926 by Brother C. W. Firebrace who has also supervised the publication in 1928 of a second edition of the first volume. These splendid works contain much valuable information about William Preston whose Masonic career was so intimately associated with this famous Lodge.
PRESTON, WILLIAM. Supl.
Since the majority of Grand Jurisdictions in the United States use the Webb-Preston Work, and since Thomas Smith Webb, whom Mackey described as the "father of American Freemasonry,}' founded his own teachings on those of Preston, and since Preston's Illustrations of Masonry has, next to Mackey's own, been the most widely-read book in American Masonry for a century and a half, American Seasons have a larger interest in Preston than in any other Masonic leader of the past 150 years, excepting only the names of Webb hirnself, of Mackey, and of Pike. Preston was British (see page 795) but even in his home-land he has never had the importance he has had here.
It happens that until recent years almost the only source of information about Preston as a man was in Gould's History of Freemasonry and in his Concise History of Freemasonry; it also happens that in both of these books Gould pronounces a judgment that not only is harsh but is so phrased (doubtless unintentionally) as to leave the impression that Preston was not mentally responsible. Scholars have long since known that Gould's judgment is not just, but Gould is read widely and they are not, hence it is of service to American Masons to give a truer portrait, and to ease American Masons of the paradox of having everywhere the Preston Work, and at the same time of having two books so widely read which picture Preston in a sense so opposite to his American reputation. To do so will not discredit Gould; a great mass of facts remains in Gould's books after a few fallacies are removed.
On page 115, Vol. I (of the Dudley Wright edition of Gould's History of Freemasonry), Preston is quoted to the effect that York had for centuries been looked up to as the cradle of Freemasonry; Gould's criticism makes this appear as if Preston had been writing about the Grand Lodge of All England, at York. In a comment on the editions of Preston's Illustrations of Freemasonry (page 291; Vol. I), Gould writes:
"One can believe that his information was acquired, as he interprets it, piecemeal, or, like Mahomet and Joseph Smith, each effort was preceded by a special revelation." (This sneer is effected by ignoring the cir cumstances under which Preston had to collect his data; a Grand Lodge censorship had left the Craft illiterate, and had compelled students like Preston to seek data at large, often from the memories of the oldest Masons. The then Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge was not helpful.) On page 297, Vol. I, Gould writes that "the veracity and accuracy of Preston," "counts for very little"; on the same page he accuses Preston of writing "mythical history" about Wren. On page 337 of the Concise History (London; 1903) is a contemptuously written paragraph on Preston and Dermott, the former of whom he describes as "a journeyman printer"; the latter as "a journeyman painter." (The Dukes of Athol, less snobbish than Gould, did not disdain to associate for years with the "journeyman painter"—especially since they were working in a Fraternity founded by journeymen Masons.)
On page 338 Gould becomes openly insulting:
" Preston, however, was by a long way the greater romancer of the two, or perhaps i t will be better to deseri be him as a Masonic visio nary w how untrammeled by any laws of evidence—wrote a large amount of enthusiastie rubbish wherein are displayed a capacity of belief and capability of assertion, which are hardly paralleled at the present day by the utterances of the company promoter or even of the mining engineer."
It is a curious fact that much of what Gould calls "enthusiastic rubbish" was taken by Preston straight from the Book of Constitutions which the Grand Lodge itself had published in one edition after another, and as an official book. It is true that much of the historical portion of Preston's Illustrations has become discredited by later knowledge, but it was published in 1772 when any kind of Masonic knowledge was difficult to find; Gould's own two histories also have suffered the same fate, and'by a strange irony he is nowhere more in need of revision than in what he said about Preston; and in at least two of his quarrels with Preston it turns out that it was Gould who was mistaken; but errors about data and mistakenness in historical hypotheses do not show that Preston was a liar er a visionary any more than they show that Gould was one.
—By another strange irony, Preston suffers more at the hands of Wright's revised Gould's History than he did in the first edition, because in it Preston is victimuzed by blunders of fact in addition to having no atonement made for the original injustice. One of these blunders is too long to quote. On page 306, Vol. VI, it is stated that Preston's had been "the Standard of Masonic Work in England for nearly twenty years." Preston was in the Modern Grand Lodge; his "Work" was not therefore used in the Antient Grand Lodge; it was never a Standard Work in England, and has never been since, because England has never had a Standard BTork. It also states that an unknown "English Brother" brought Preston s "Work" to Webb in 1800; Webb had already published his book in 1797. Webb is called Thomas G.; his name was Thomas Smith; etc.
Preston was born into a distinguished family in Edinburgh (1742), and would have inherited a fortune had it not been very largely lost in the rebellion of 1745. His father was a distinguished and highly talented man. Preston himself graduated from the Edinburgh High School and then passed through the University. He then became amanuensis and secretary to Thomas Ruddiman, a scholar of large erudition who was famous as an editor of learned texts, and under whom Preston was thoroughly drilled in the minutiae and strict rules of language and of editing.
At that time the first publishing house in England, and with only one or two exceptions the firvst publishing house in the world, was Strahan's at London, the King's Printer. In 1760, and with letters of introduction from men of influence in Edinburgh, Preston entered Strahan's, beginning as a compositor in order to learn the publishing business from the ground up. From compositor he became a proof-reader, and in time head proof-reader, and then became general superintendent of the firm. On his death in 1785 Strahan left him an annuity, but Preston remained on under the younger Strahan, and id 1804 became a partner. Strahan was publisher of the works of Samuel Johnson, Adam Smith, Edward Gibbon, Professor Robertson, BlacEstone, David flume, Dr. Blair, etc., and with these men and men like them Preston had friendships and acquaintanceships over a long period of years.
The same learning, thoroughness and great ability which brought him to a headship in a famous firm, he carried into his Masonic work. The old Lodge of Antiquity was in the doldrums when he entered it and likely to perish; he built it up to about one hundred members, among them a number of members of Parliament.
When the Grand Lodge decided to prepare a new edition of the Book of Constitutions they asked him to edit it, and to give him free access to Grand Lodge archives appointed him an assistant to the Grand Secretary, James Heseltine, and under the agreement that Preston's name should appear on the title-page as editor. When the work was nearing completion, the jealous and petty-minded Heseltine proposed that John Northouck's name should also appear alongside of Preston's though Northouck had done none of the work. Preston resigned rather than suffer Heseltine's indignities, and it was this which was the real beginning of the disagreement which split the Lodge of Antiquity. When the troubles which then ensued came upon hire, Preston proved himself a man as great in dignity and self-respect as in ability; the abuses leveled at him by a Grand Lodge Officer did not make him bend, nor did he ever falter in his great confidence in Freemasonry or in the Grand Lodge itself; he was completely vindicated in due time, was received again with honor, and in his will left large sums to the Grand Lodge benevolences.
In the whole of England there was no man less like the romancer, the untruthful historian, the visionary, the fabricator in the caricature which Gould painted; nor could any writer have been guilty of a more vulgar lapse of taste than to bracket Preston vvith sellers of worthless stock or with such a half-mad man as the WIormon Joseph Smith. (The authentic account of Preston is the history of the Lodge of Antiquity, No. 2, by Rylands and Firebrace. The above discussion of the single question of his character and reputation pro supposes that the reader has already read the biographical article at page 795.)
In 1818, Brother Preston, the author of the Illustrations of Masonry, bequeathed £300 in Consols, the interest of which was to provide for the annual delivery of a lecture according to the system which he had elaborated. The appointment of the Lecturer was left to the Grand Master for the time being. Stephen Jones, a Past Master of the Lodge of Antiquity, and an intimate friend of Preston, received the first appointment; and it was subsequently given to Brother Laurence Thompson, the only surviving pupil of Preston.
He held it until his death, after which no appointment of a Lecturer was made until 1857, when the Worshipful Master of the Royal Stork Lodge, was requested by Lord Zetland, Grand Master, to deliver the lecture, which he did in January, 1858; twice again in the same vear the lecture was delivered, bv the Worshipful Master of the Grand Stewards Lodge and by Brother Thiselton, Secretary of the Lodge of Antiquity, and again, by Brother Hewlett and then Brother Henry Warren in subsequent years until 1862, since which time the lecture seems to have been abandoned until 1924 when Captain C. W Firebrace, a Past Master of Preston's old Lodge, the Lodge of Antiquity, was appointed the Prestonian Lecturer for the year, and was followed by Brother Lionel Vibert, in 1925, a Past Master of Quatuor Coronati Lodge.
. bout the vear b 1772, Preston submitted his eourse of lectures on ' the first three Degrees to the Craft of England. These lectures were a revision of those which had been praetised, with various modifications, since the revival of 1717, and were intended to confer a higher literary character on the Masonic Ritual. Preston had devoted much time and labor to the compilation of these lectures, a syllabus of which will be found in his Illustrations They were adopted eagerly by the English Fraternity, and continued to be the authoritative system of the Grand Lodge of England until the Union in 1813, when, for the salce of securing uniformity, the new system of Doctor Hemming was adopted. But the Prestonian lectures and ritual are still used by many Lodges in England. In the United States they were greatly altered by Webb.
The word Pretender has occasionally been misunderstood by commentators. As a French term it means Claimant and should not convey the impression of him who makes a mere pretense. This latter meaning would never have been used by Shone who permitted the word Pretender to signify his Opposition. James Stuart, the son of James II, who abdicated the throne of Great Britain, and Charles Edward, his son, are known in history as the Olel and the Young Pretender. Their intrigues with Freemasonry, which they are accused of attempting to use as an instrument to aid in a restoration to the throne, constitute a very interesting episode in the history of the Order (see Stuart Freemasonry).
A parliamentary motion intended to suppress debate. It is utterly unknown in the parliamentary law of Freemasonry, and it would be always out of order to move it in a Masonic Body.
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