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SQUARE AND COMPASSES.
SQUARE AND COMPASS FRATERNITY.
SQUARE, TRIANGLE AND CIRCLE.
SQUARE-MEN, CORPORATION OF.
The article on page 963 shows that in Freemasonry (and Masons can have only a secondary interest in the symbol as used outside the Craft) the Square has more than one use or exposition: it can even be said that instead of taking it as one symbol with many meanings it is more correct to take it that m Ancient Craft Masonry there are a number of Squares, each (relatively) independent of the other. The following can be added to the article given on that page:
1. The Oblong Square. This is an old and not very fortunate name for a rectangle, one never properly belonging to the nomenclature of mathematics.
2. Circumambulation. In almost every known instanee outside of Freemasonry the rite of eireumambulation has meant a movement, or procession, or walking in a eirele. or circuit; in Freemasonry it is movement along a line that is part circle and part square—a circuit around corners. The Lodge room itself is an Oblong Square in which the members comprise a Cirele, Cireumambulation is, among other things, a visible representation of that combination of square and circle.
3. " Part upon the square. " This is a verbal symbolbut it is an independent one, and not merely a commentary on the Square in general. Masons meet upon the level, no member being excluded from other members by any taboo of rank, class, title, or easte and it is expected that they thou thus meet not in theory, nor in some remote and abstract sense, but actually and regularly; but while they are thus meeting they will do and say only what upright men do and say, so that when they part (leave the Lodge) they will not carry away any feeling of hypocrisy or resentment. In this instance the symbolic try-square does not lie in a horizontal plane but in a vertical plane, and one leg is on the level, the Lodge room floor; the other leg is upright.
4. The Fortyzeventh Proposition, or Pythagorean Theorem. This theorem eoneerns a right-angled triangle, but a good half of it is composed of the properties of the Square. The Square itself is probably the oldest, or at least one of the oldest, of any Masonie tool, instrument, or action used as a symbol, for in the " Mason window " of some of the oldest cathedrals it is used to symbolize the Mason Craft; but it is probable that the Pythagorean triangle is as old, or almost as old, because the data indieate that it was used as the method for teaching geometry, since so much of Euelid can be deduced from it. Euclid himself worked out a proof for this theorem, one of the very few known to have been his. though it has never been wholly satisfactory to geometricians- our Brother Mason James A. Garfield, discovered a new proof for it as late as the Nineteenth Century.
The Minute Books of the oldest Lodges prove that for a number of years after 1717 Speculative Masons were in confusion about Masonic symbols; differed among themselves as to what symbols to include, differed as to their correct form, and differed as to their symbolic meaning. It is to that period of confusion that we owe the phrase "Working Tool" as applied to the Square (also the Level, Plumb, and Gage); manifestly it is not a tool but an instrument, and it had far more use by the mind (consider today the carpenter's square and the slide rule) than by the hand; in colas sense there was always much Speculative Masonry in the Fraternity even when the great majority of members were working masons.
SQUARE AND COMPASSES.
These two symbols have been so long and so universally combined— to teach us, as says an early instruction, "to square our actions and to keep them within due bounds," they are so seldom seen apart, but are so kept together, either as two Great Lights, or as a jewel worn once by the Master of the Lodge, now by the Past Master—that they have come at last to be recognized as the proper badge of a Master Mason, just as the Triple Tau is of a Royal Arch Mason or the Passion Cross of a Knight Templar.
So universally has this symbol been recognized, even by the profane world, as the peculiar characteristic of Freemasonry, that it has recently been made in the United States the subject of a legal decision. A manufacturer of flour having made, in 1873, an application to the Patent Office for permission to adopt the Square and Compassses as a trade-mark, the Commissioner of Patents, .J. M. Thatcher, refused the permission as the mark was a Masonic symbol.
If this emblem were something other than precisely what it is—either less known", less significant, or fully and universally understood—all this might readily be admitted. But, Considering its peculiar character and relation to the public, an anomalous question is presented. There can be no doubt that this device, so commonly worn and employed by Masons, has an established mystic significance, universally recognized as existing; whether comprehended by all or not, is not material to this issue. In view of the magnitude and extent of the Masonic organization, it is impossible to divest its symbols, or at least this particular symbol—perhaps the best known of all—of its ordinary signification, wherever displaved, either as an arbitrary character or otherwise.
It will be universally understood, or misunderstood, as having a Masonic significance; and, therefore, as a trade-mark, must constantly work deception. Nothing could be more mischievous than to create as a monopoly, and uphold by the posver of lacy anything so calculated. as applied to purposes of trade. to be misinterpreted, to mislead all classes, and to constantly foster suggestions of mystery in affairs of business (see Infringing upon Freemasonry, also Imitative Societies, and Clandestine).
In a religious work by John Davies, entitled Summa Totalis, or All in All and the Same Forever, printed in 1607, we find an allusion to the Square and Compasses by a profane in a really Masoniv sense. The author, who proposes to describe mystically the form of the Deity, says in his dedication:
Yet I this forme of formelesse Deity,
Drewe by the Squire and Compasse of our Creed.
In Masonic symbolism the Square and Compasses refer to the Freemason's duty to the Craft and to himself; hence it is properly a symbol of brotherhood, and there significantly adopted as the badge or token of the Fraternity.
Berage, in his work on the higher Degrees, Les plus secrets Mystéres des Hauts Grades, or The Most Secret Mysteries of the High Grades, gives a new interpretation to the symbol. He says: "The Square and the Compasses represent the union of the Old and New Testaments. None of the high Degrees recognize this interpretation, although their symbolism of the two implements differs somewhat from that of Symbolic Freemasonry.
The Square is with them peculiarly appropriated to the lower Degrees, as founded on the Operative Art; while the Compasses, as an implement of higher character and uses, is attributed to the Decrees, which claim to have a more elevated and philosophical foundation. Thus they speak of the initiate, when he passes from the Blue Lodge to the Lodge of Perfection, as 'passing from the Square to the Compasses,' to indicate a progressive elevation in his studies. Yet even in the high Degrees, the square and compasses combined retain their primitive signification as a symbol of brotherhood and as a badge of the Order."
SQUARE AND COMPASS FRATERNITY.
A college fraternity of Masons with less rigid requirements than its sister fraternity, The Acacia, the Square and Compass began as a college club in Washington and Lee University; after its transformation into a fraternity it received a Charter from the State on May 12, 1917. The nationwide organization is similar to the Grand Lodge system; it has one Square to a State, and these are in a loose federation. The federation has a full-time Secretary; publishes a magazine. Any Master Mason in good standing in a regular Lodge is qualified for membership.
(See UNIVERSITY LODGES in this supplement.) A number of Grand Masters along with many Masons among college and university presidents have expressed the hope that the two Masonic college fraternities might lead ultimately to the formation of a large number of campus Lodges, thereby opening a way for American Freemasonry into the circles of learning and scholarship—a thing done long ago in Britain and Europe. The name of the Square and Compass fraternity perpetuates a mistake made by early American Masons about the Working Tool. A compass is an instrument for finding directions; and has never been used as a Masonic symbol. The instrument for drawing a circle has always been called compasses.
SQUARE, TRIANGLE AND CIRCLE.
Visitors to English Chapters of the Royal Arch will recall that there is a peculiar use of these geometrical figures in "firing," the ceremonious unity of all present in recognizing a toast and honoring it by the Brethren.
There are also to be found in literature various allusions to geometrical figures. Of these there are so many that no complete compilation may here be attempted. One or two are of sufficient interest to warrant mention. For further information refer to an article by R. I. Clegg in the American Freemason (volume iiu, pages 265-72, April, 1912).
That beloved Brother Robert Burns, born 1759 died 1796 , refers to the rectangle-triangle in his poem "Caledonia." His allusion is usually understood as being more particularly to the forty-seventh proposition of Euclid, and is as follows:
Thus hold, independent, unconquered and free
Her bright course of glory for ever shall run
For brave Caledonia immortal must be;
I'll prove it from Euclid as Lear as the sun:—
Rectangle-triangle the figure we'll choose;
The upright is Chance, and old Time is the base
But brave Caledonia's the hypotenuse
Then ergo, she'll match them, and match them always.
William Shakespeare, born 1564, died 1616, refers to many matters of interest to us. He says, King Lear, first scene, Regan speaking of her love for the king,
Myself an enemy to all other toys
Which the most perfect square of sense possesses
And find I am alone felicitate
In your dear highnesses love.
Various explanations have been offered for "the rnest perfect square of sense." Grant Allen interprets it "as the entire domain of sense," Wright by the "most delicately sensitive part of my nature'; Moberly by the "choicest estimate of sense"; while Capell explains it by "the entire domain of sensation." John Foster, Shakespeare Word-Book, prefers an explanation given by Professor Dowden, Atlantic Monthly, September, 1907, where the puzzling lines are compared with others by Edmund Spenser (Faerie Queene, Book II, canto ix, stanza 22). These are as follows:
The frame thereof seemed partly circulare
And part triangulare; O worke divine!
These two the first and last proportions are
The one imperfect, mortal feminine
Th' other immortal perfect, masculine;
And 'twixt them both a quadrate was the base
Proportions equally by seven and nine;
Nine was the circle sett in heaven's place
All which compacted made a goodly diapase.
The last word here, diapase, means a harmonious combination. Professor Dowden discussing "Elizabethan Psychology" of body, soul and spirit, the forms of life or energy, says "The vegetable soul is found apart from the other two in plants, they live and inerease in size, and multiply themselves by virtue of this soul. The vegetable and sensible souls are found co-operating in animals; they need only live and grow and multiply, they also feel. In man alone are three souls—vegetable, sensible and rational— found working together." Spenser by this reasoning is considering Alma as the indwelling soul, and the House is the containing body, the architecture of the latter being as in the poetry. Quoting Bartholomew Anglieus we are told that "The vegetable soul, with its three virtues of self-sustaining, growth, and reproduction, is 'like unto a triangle in Geometry.'
The sensible soul is 'like unto a quadrangle, square and four cornered. For in a quadrangle is a line drawn from one corner to another corner, afore it maketh two triangles, and the soul sensible maketh two triangles of virtues. For wherever the soul sensible is, there is also the soul vegetablis.' Finally the rational soul is likened to a circle, because the circle is the most perfect of figures, having the greater power of containing than any other. The triangle of Castle Alma is a vegetable soul; a quadrate—identical with Shakespeare's 'square of sence'—is a sensibe soul, the circle is the rational soul." Spenser was born in London about 1553, and died in January, 1599. For other references to quaint literary allusions of Masonic interest, see "Was William Shakespearc a Freemason?" (Builder, 1919, volume v, page 32) .
The Companies of Wrights, Slaters, etc, in Scotland, in the seventeenth century, were called squaremen They had ceremonies of initiation and a word, sign, and grip, like the Freemasons. Brother Lyon (history of the Lodge at Edinburgh, page 23) says: "The 'Squaremen Word' was given in conclaves of journeymen and apprentices, wrights, slaters, etc., in a ceremony in which the aspirant was blindfolded and otherwise 'prepared'; he was sworn to secrecy, had word, grip, and sign communicated to him, and was afterward invested with a leather apron. The entrance to the apartment, usually a public house, in which the 'brithering' was performed, was guarded, and all who passed had to give the grip. The fees were spent in the entertainment of the Brethren present. Like the Masons, the Squaremen admitted non-operatives."
In the Saint Clair charter of 1628, among the representatives of the Masonic Lodges, we find the signature of "George Liddell, deakin of squarmen and nov quartermaistir" (see History of the Lodge at Edinburgh, page 62). This would show that there must have been an intimate connection between the two Societies or Crafts (see Squaremen, Corporation of).
SQUAREMEN, CORPORATION OF.
The Corporation of Squaremen was originally an Operative Lodge held in Ayr and formed one of the number which constituted the Grand Lodge of Scotland. Minutes were kept but the Minute-Book was lost when lent to Murray Lyon. The Banner used by the Corporation is still preserved by an Ayrshire Freemason and there are other relies in existence.
The organization does not admit any but Mark Masons who hold or have held office in a Craft Lodge or who are Royal Arch Companions. Candidates must have been Master Masons for at least five years and must be thirty years of age or over.
Meetings are held on the first day of each of the five winter months November to April and at the January meeting office bearers are elected. The joining fee is 60 Scottish Merks (£3/5/0 or about $15.75) which includes the Diploma and Apron. There is an obligation, assaye (test) piece, signs and secrets, working tools, tracing board and lectures, all different from those of the usual Craft Masonry. All, however, tend to throw light upon the ancient procedure for admission to an operative or working shed.
At present the Order is in a flourishing condition but for some years it was dormant. It was revived by brothers Philip and William Murray who communicated the working and secrets to Brother Alfred A Murray. Not one of the Murrays is related to cither of the others. The above particulars are in letters to us from Brother David Lowe Turnbull Portobello, Scotland, and from the Scottish Masonic historical Directory, 1924 (see Squaremen).
SQUIN DE FLEXIAN.
A recreant Templar, to whom with Noffodei and, as some say, another unknown person, is attributed the invention of the false accusations upon which were based the persecutions and the downfall of the Order of Knights Templar.
He seas a native of the city of Beziers, in the south of France, and having been received as a Knight Templar, had made so much proficiency in the order as to have been appointed to the head of the Priory of Montfaucon. Reghellini states that both Squin de Flexian and Noffodei were Templars, and held the rank of Comrnanders; but Dupuy (Condemnation des Templiers) denies that the latter was a Templar. He says: all historians agree that the origin of the ruin of the Templars was the work of the Prior of Montfaucon and of Noffodei, a Florentine, banished from his country and whom nobody believes to have been a Templar. This Prior, by the sentence of the Grand Master, had been condemned, for heresy and for having led an infamous life, to pass the remainder of his days in a prison. The other is reported to have been condemned to rigorous penalties by the Provost of Paris."
Reghellini's account (La Maçonnerie considérée, etc., i, page 451) is more circumstantial. He says:
In 1506, two Knights Templar, Noffodei and Florian were punished for crimes, and lost their Commanderies; that of the latter being Montfaucon. They petitioned the Provincial Grand Master of Mount Carmel for a restoration to their offices, but met with a refusal. They then obtained an entrance into the Provincial Grand Master's country-house, near Milan, and having assassinated him, concealed the body in the woods under some thick shrubbery, after Whith they fled to Paris. there they obtained access to the King, and thus furnished Philip with an occasion for executing his projects, by denouncing the Order and exposing to him the immense Wealth which it possessed.
They proposed the abolition of the Order, and promised the King. for a reward, to be its denouncers. The King accepted their proposition, and, assuring them of his protection, pointed out to them the course which they were to pursue.
They associated with themselves a third individual called by historians the Unknown, in French, l'Inconnu, and Noffodei and Florian sent a memorial to Enguerand de Marigni, Superintendent of the Finances, in Which they proposed, if he would guarantee them against the attacks of the Order of Templars, and grant them civil existence and rights, to discover to the King secrets which they deemed of more value than the conquest of an empire. As a sequel to this first declaration they addressed to the King an accusation, which was the same as he had himself dictated to them for the purpose of the turn which he desired to the affair. This accusation contained the following charges:
1. That the Order of Templars was the foe of all kings and all sovereign authority, that it communicated secrets to its initiates under horrible oaths, witch the criminal condition of the penalty of death if they divulged them and that the secret practises of their initiations were the consequenees of irreligion, atheism, and rebellion.
2. That the Order had betrayed the religion of Christ by communicating to the Sultan of Babylon all the plans and operations of the Emperor Frederick the Second whereby the designs of the Crusaders for the recovery of the Holy Land were frustrated.
3 That the Order prostituted the mysteries most venerated by Christians. by making a Knight, when he as as received, trample upon the Cross. the sign of redemption; and abjured the Christian religion by making the neophyte declare that the true God had never died, and never could die, that they earried about theln and worshipped a little idol called Bafomet; and that after his initiation the neophyte was compelled to undergo certain obscene practises.
4. That when a Knight was received, the Order bound him by an oath to a complete and blind obedience to the Grand Master which was a proof of rebellion against the legitimate authority,
5. What Good Friday was the day selected for the grand orgies of the Order.
6. That they were guilty of unnatural crimes.
7. That they burned the children of their concubines so as to destroy all traces of their debauchery.
These calumnies formed the basis of the longer catalogue of accusations, afterward presented by the Pope, upon which the Templars were finally tried and condemned.
In the preliminary examinations of the accused, Squin de Flexian took an active part as one of the Commissioners. In the pleadings for their defense presented by the Knights, they declare that "Knights were tortured by Flexian de Beziers, Prior of Montfaucon, and by the monk, William Robert, and that already thirty-six had died of the tortures indicted at Paris, and several others in other places."
Of the ultimate fate of these traitors nothing is really known. When the infamous work which they had inaugurated had been consummated by the king and the Pope, as their services were no longer needed, they sank into merited oblivion. The author of the Secret Societies of the Middle Ages (page 268) says;
"Squin was afterwards hanged, and Noffodei beheaded, as was said, with little probability, by the Templars."
Hardly had the Templars, in their prostrate condition, the power, even if they had the will, to inflict such punishment. It was not Squin, but Marigni, his abettor, who was hanged at Montfaucon, by order of Louis X, the successor of Philip, two years after his persecution of the Templars. The revenge they took was of a Symbolic character. In the change of the legend of the Third Degree into that of the Templar system, when the martyred James de Molay was substituted for Hiram Abif, the three assassins were represented by Squin de Flexian, .Noffodei, and the Unknown. As there is really no reference in the historical records of the persecution to this third accuser, it is most probable that he is altogether a mythical personage, invented merely to complete the triad of assassins, and to preserve the congruity of the Templar with the Masonic legend.
The name of Squin de Flexian, as well as that of Noffodei, have been differently spelled by various writers, to say nothing of the incomprehensible error found in some of the oldest French Cahiers of the Kadosh, such as that of De la Hogue, where the two traitors are named Gerard Tabé and Benoit Mehui. The Processus contra Templarios, or Proceedings against Templars, calls him Esquitts de flexian de Biteriis; and Raynouard always names him Squin de florian, in which he is blindly followed by Reghellini, Ragon, and Thory. But the weight of authority is in favor of Squin de flexian, which appears to be the true name of this Judas of the Templars.
A Hindu word meaning Revelation. A collective name of those Sanskrit writings supposed by the Hindus to have been revealed by a deity, and applied at first only to the Vedic Mantras and Brahmanas, but afterward extended to the older Upanishads.
A white staff is the proper insignia of a Treasurer. In the order of Provession for laying a foundation-stone as given by brother Preston (Illustractions, 1792 editions page lll), we find "Grand treasurer with his staff." In the United States of America the use of the staff by the Treasurer of a Lodge has been discontinued. It was derived frown the old custom for the Treasurer of the King's Household to carry a staff as the ensign of authority. In the old Customary Books we are told that the Steward or Treasurer of the Household—for the offices were formerly identical—received the office from the King himself by the presentation of a staff in these words: Tennez le baston de nostre rnaison, these words in Old French meaning Receive the stag of our house." Hence the Grand Lodge of England decreed, June 24, 1741 that "in the procession in the hall" the Grand Treasurer should appear "with the staff" (see Constitutions, 1756, page 236).
See Winding Stairs.
STAMPS, MASONIC POSTAGE.
In the early days of governmental and other mail delivery systems postmasters (note the master in that word !) used whatever cancellation device they might personally devise, one of the commonest being a cork with a design carved on an end, inked on a pad; this continued until near the end of the Nineteenth Century.
Among the cancellations which are collectors' items are a number with Masonic emblems, square & compasses, triangle, coffin, trowel, G. etc. The richest Masonie period lies between 1851 and 1880. The number of Masonic cancellations in Canada are more numerous proportionately than in the United States; in its issue of May, 1933, page 347, The Masonic Sun of Toronto published a page of 17 reproductions, accredited by it to a book by Mr. Fred Jarratt, a Toronto dealer. The New York Masonic Outlook, Masonic Hall, N.Y.C., published two articles on Masonic cancellations: October, 1927, page 44; April, 1931, page 233; with 31 cuts. It quotes prices as S10.00 up. From 1847 to 1927 there had been among men whose portraits had been used on stamps the following Masons: Washington, Franklin, Jackson, Clay, Hamilton, Perry, Gaffield, Farragut, John Marshall, Roosevelt, McKinley Monroe, Harding, Nathan Hale, Taft and Sullivan
An ensign in war, being that under which the soldiers stand or to which they rally its the fight. It is sometimes used in the higher Degrees, in connection with the word Bearer, to denote a partieular ofiieer. But the term mostly Unseal to indieate any one of the ensigns of the various Degrees of Freemasonry is Banner.
The Grand Standard of the Order of Knights Templar in the United States is described in the Regulations as being "of white woollen or silk stuff, six feet in height and five feet in widths made tripartite at the bottom, fastened at the top to the cross-bar by nine rings; in the centre of the field a blood-red passion cross, over which the motto, in hoc signo vinces (By this Sign, Conquer), and under, Non Nobis, Domine! non Nobis sed Nomini tuo da Gloriam! (Not unto us, O Lord; not unto us, but to Thy Name be the Glory!). The cross to be four feet high, and the upright and bar to be seven inches wide. On the top of the staff a gilded globe or ball four inches in diameter, surmounted by the patriarchal cross, twelve inches in height. The eross to be crimson, edged with gold."
The Standard of the Order in the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite is thus described in the fundamental Statutes. It is white with a gold fringe, bearing in the center a black double-headed eagle with wings displayed; the beaks and thighs are of gold; it holds in one talon the golden hilt and in the other the silver blade of an antique sword, placed horizontally from right to left; to the sword is suspended the Latin device, in letters of gold, Deus meumque Jus. The eagle is crowned with a triangle of gold, and holds a purple band fringed with gold and strewn with golden stars.
There is really no Standard of the Order properly belonging to Symbolic or Royal Arch Masonry. Many Grand Chapters, however, and some Grand Lodges in this country, have adopted for a Standard the blazonment of the Arms of Freemasonry first made by Lawrence Dermott for the Atholl Grand Lodge of Freemasons. In the present condition of the ritual, wrth the disséverance of the Royal Arch Degree from the Master's, and its organization as a distinct system, this Standard, if adopted at all, would be most appropriate to the Grand Chapters, since its charges consist of symbols no longer referred to in the instructions of Symbolic freemasonry.
An Cheer in a Commandery of Knights Templar, whose duty it is to carry and protect the Standard ot the Order. A similar officer exists in Several of the higher Degrees.
STAND TO AND ABIDE BY.
Tile Covenant of Freemasonry requires every Frcemason "to stand to and abide by" the Laws and Regulations of the Order, whether expressed in the Edicts of the Grand Lodge, the By-laws of his Lodge, or the Landrnarks of the Institution The terms are not precisely synonymous, although generally considered to be so. To stand to has a somewhat active meaning, and signifies to maintain and defend the laws; while to abide by is more passive in meaning, and signifies to submit to the award made by such laws.
STAR AND GARTER.
STAR, FIVE POINTED .
STAR IN THE EAST.
STAR OF JERUSALEM.
STAR OF THE SYRIAN KNIGHTS.
In the French and Scottish Rites lighted candles or torches are called stars when used in some of the ceremonies, especially in the reception of distinguished visitors, where the number of lights or stars with which the visitor is received is proportioned to his rank; but the number is always odd, being 3, 5, 7, 9, or 11.
STAR AND GARTER.
The reference in the Ritual to "golden fleece" and to "the Roman eagle" continues to be a puzzle in the archeology of words.
Lionel Vibert, with whom most will agree, wrote that "fleece" refers not to Jason's Golden Fleece but to the Flemish Order of the Golden Fleece—the woolsak in Parliament is another memorial to the days when wool was the great source of national wealth in both England and the Lowlands. The Roman Eagle was the Badge of the Hanse, or Hanseatic League, which once vitas to Northern Europe, and to the wool trade in particular, what the East India Company later was to India. Charles added a star to the insigne of the Order of the Garter. An Order of the Star as founded by John of France in 1352 but was replaced in the Fifteenth Century by the Order of Michael. In 1429 Philip, Duke of Bergundy, folmded the Order of the Golden Fleece in Bruges—it w as popularly called "the Golden Fleece." (Selfridge has some interesting pages on the Mercers Company [ an old London Livery Company] and the Golden Fleece in his Rownance of Commerce.)
In the Fifteenth Century the French Kings had even less "government" around them than did the English kings. A French king "farmed out," or "let by contract" the raising and quartermastering and even the command of armies, the levying of taxes, the building and command of navies, etc.; even the coining of money was let out to private contractors who grew rich on their "seignorage," or milling fees, and divided their profits with the King.
Thus Charles VII, of whorn Joan of Arc was a personal friend and under whom she ranked as an army commander (and not depending on miracles !), signed contracts with Ravant Ladenois for minting coins in Orleans, Portiers, St. Pourcain, Chinon, and in the King's home city of Bourges (the home also of a powerful gild of Freemasons). So also was it with commerce, manufacturing (especially of armor and weapons), etc. The members of the trades, crafts, and gilds with which the Kings thus had to deal, and upon mhom they depended for so many purposes, were not members of the hereditary classes of the aristocracy or the nobility and therefore could inherit no titles. One of the original purposes in setting up the honorary Orders was to enable a king to confer a title on some faithful friend or citizen who otherwise could never have received one.
King Charles created the Order of the Golden Fleece as a royal honor to the wool trade, to indicate that he was its especial patron, and to encourage the younger sons of noble families to enter it, and it was for such reasons that this Order won renown in the Low Countries and England, the European center of the "fleece," or "staple," or wool industry. The Order must have proved popular from the start, and spread rapidly, because in 1432, only three years after Charles had constituted it, Sir Andre Toulongeon is found in Palestine wearing its insignia. Randle Holme and Elias Ashmole who were among the first of the famous "Accepted Freemasons" were enthusiasts about armory and heraldry; but they were only the first of a long line, and the earliest Speculative Lodges lived in an atmosphere where heraldry, coats of arms, honorary Orders, etc., mere staples of daily conversation.
(On King Charles see Jacques Coeur, by Albert Boardman Kerr; Charles Scribner's Sons; :New York; 1927. It is not about Freemasonry, but few books give so vivid a picture of the cities and the times in which Fifteenth Century Freemasons worked; it also gives a broad picture of the almost national wide extent of military architecture, a branch of Medieval Freemasonry of capital importance, and yet one that none of the historians of the Craft has ever examined or described. The history of Medieval Masonry must ever be incomplete until that great lack is supplied One of the first large books published in Europe was a detailed account of military architecture, and of the geometry and engineering involved in it. Castles, forts, redoubts, moats, and fortifications va ere designed and erected and monopolized by the gilds of Masons.) See also Golden Fleece.
See Blazing Star.
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