Help Me Maintain OUR Website!!!!!!
WIGAN GRAND LODGE.
In 1813 the Antient (1751) and the Modern (1717) Grand Lodges of England united, and from that year until the present there has existed Do dissension in the United Grand Lodge which was formed in the place of its two predecessors; but a genuine union was less easy to realize among local Lodges, and more particularly in areas where the Antient and Modern Lodges had not gotten on well together before the Union. These "were areas of discontent." The most troubled of these was Lancashire, England, and largely in the city of Liverpool, where there were factions among a number of Lodges. When it became apparent that the Provincial Grand Master could not or would not restore peace and harmony, when the Grand Lodge refused to reply to communicationst and when the Provincial Grand Lodge did not even meet for four years, an unease or even an open resentment began to be felt among the Lodges in the whole of Lancashire.
In 1823 representatives of five Lodges met at Liverpool, openly withdrew from the United Grand Lodge, and set up a new Body which they styled The Wigan Grand Lodge, with George Woodcock, Esq., as first Grand Master. At the Grand Communication called on Dec. 22, 1823 to install the Grand Officers, 24 delegates were present, from six Lodges. The last meeting was held July 18, 1866, at which time Wigan Lodge, No. 1, was the only Lodge left. This Lodge, under the name of Sincerity, continued to meet until 1913. In his Lists of Lodges, Lane notes of it: " Erased 5th of March, 1828, but is stated to exist and work as a Spurious Lodge." (In American nomenclature it would be described as a Clandestine Lodge.) (A complete account is given in The Hutory of the Wigan Grand Lodge, by Eustace B. Beasley; Manchester; 1920; cloth; 160 pages.)
WILMSHURST, W. L.
v A Masonic writer who created a niche for himself. In manner his books are reminiscent of Arthur Edward Waite's; in matter they are uniquely his own. His language is that of religion and ethics, but his interpretation of the Ritual is in essence psychological—perhaps his may be described as the school of psychological mysticism; but in general he stands in the same line as Calcott, Hutchinson, Preston, and MacBride. The whole scope of his teachings is included in two works, widely read in America, both published by Rider dc Co.; London; the first in 1924, the second in 1925; The Masonic Initiation; and The Meaning of Masonry.
When St. John's Lodge, No.1, Newark, N. J., celebrated its 150th anniversary, May 18, 1911, it had as guests of honor Wm. Howard Taft, President of the U. S. A., and Woodrow Wilson, Governor of New Jersey; and their signatures were reproduced in facsimile on the bronze paper weights given to the guests as a memento. Wilson was not a Mason, but his presence disproves the onetime rumor that he was antagonistic to the Fraternity. Taft's Masonic record is given on page 646.
WITCH CULT, THE.
A few American Masonic writers have been among those who arise ever so often to attempt to side-track Masonic history off into one of those lairs or crypts where some weird, occult eovine has its hiding place; but thus far it is not of record that any one of them has ever attempted to argue that witeheraft, or the old witch cult, was the origin of our sane and healthy craft, noted for its love of light and its tradition of outdoor workmen.
The little outbreak of so-called witchcraft which flared in New England during the days of the Cottons was too trivial to warrant attention; in any event has tempted no American Mason to work out a "witch cult theory of Masonic origin. " Yet the thing has been done in France scores of times, and not always by ignoramuses—perhaps because belief in witches, were-wolves, and similar marvels is alive in back hill peasant villages. It is only because of such French writings that any Masonic student must pay attention to a subject which otherwise lies remote from his own field.
In her brilliant The Witch Cult in Western Europe, Margaret A. Murray works out the persuasive theory that witchcraft was the survival of an old pagan fertility cult which went underground after the coming of Christianity, and therefore conducted its rites in the night-time. Montague Summers, whom one takes to be a Roman Catholic, and whose own belief about his subject is not unambiguous, gathers a world of data into his two books: The History of Witchcraft and Demonology, and The Geography of Witchcraft Alfred Knopf; New York. Far more interesting to read is the novel, Witch12ood, one of the best of the many written by an author beloved by men, the late John Buchan, who at the time of his accidental death was Governor general of Canada; it can be read either as a story, or as a fictionalized description of the witch cult as it was in actual operation in haunted Scotland two or three centuries ago.
The tradition that Elizabeth St. Leger was admitted to a Masonic Lodge which was meeting in her own home in 1710 is so well authenticated that few Masonic authorities question it (page 1112); but it means nothing because Freemasonry in Ireland was at that time in an inchoate condition and her admittance represents nothing more than what a few Masons took to be the only way out of an unprecedented dilemma. The Old Charges forbade the initiation of women; so does the Book of Constitutions (or Code) of each existing, regular Grand Lodge. There are no women Freemasons, and never can be; and if Lodges in the future ever ehange the Landmark it will mean that they have ceased to be Masonic Lodges.
It does not follow, however, that women are to be kept out of any possible association with the Fraternity. The earliest Minutes show that Lodges in the first Grand Lodge period believed otherwise, because they had feasts and other entertainments under Lodge auspices to which the wives, daughters, and women friends of the members were invited; a few Lodge records show that presents of gloves were sent to the wife of a newly-made member—that custom appears to have been generally followed among Lodges in France in the same period (Voltaire received a pair of gloves for "his lady fair" when initiated into the Lodge of the Nine Muses).
The City Companies in London had, at least many of them, what they called a "Maidens' Chamber" which was powder-room, assembly-room, and diningroom exclusively for women; women were present at many of the feasts. There is no reason to believe that the Masons Company was an exception. A Company usually had in it two, three, or four trades or crafts; they admitted to their Livery men in no craft; a member of one Company could transfer to another for any one of four or five reasons. A number of Kings, Bishops, an.] other high personages were members. Queen Elizabeth was a member of one Company. Since women were engaged in a number of crafts, especially where a widow carried on her husband's business, they as craft or gild members would become members in a Company.
During the Middle Ages the word "Masons" covered scores of different groups or kinds or associations employed in some branch nf the building trade: Freemasons, rough Masons, tilers, paviors, quarrymen, local operative Lodges, etc., and also small religious fraternities or gilds connected with a church, chapel, etc. Special gilds were organized for supporting a school, a hospital, or for building a bridge, and one of these might be composed of Masons.
In some of these women were members, or else were in auxiliaries connected with them. York MS. No. 4 which has in it the famous and puzzling sentence about "hee or shee that is to be made a Mason" may have been (or some copy of it may have been) employed by one of those special gilds or fraternities in which women were members. (See Gould's History of Freemasonny, Revised by Dudley Wright; Vol. I; page 36 ff; and chapter on "Their Maidens", page 232, in Historical Reminiscences of The City of London and its I«ivery Companies, by Thomas Arundell; London; 1869.)
WOOD CUTTERS, ORDER OF.
Grant Wood, painter, was born near Anamosa, Iowa, Feb. 13, 1892; ten years later he moved to nearby Cedar Rapids, Ia., where he worked his way through school, and in 1913 studied in night classes in the Chicago Art Institute. After being demobilized from World War I he taught in Iowa public schools for seven years; with money saved he crossed to study in Paris. While working on a stained glass window in Munich, he came upon his own style and for the first time discovered wherein lay his talent as an artist. Upon his return home he exhibited his "American Gothic" (a Cedar Rapids picture) at the Chicago Institute, and became famous almost overnight. After producing a series of can vasses in the same style, he died untimely at Iowa City, Ia., February 12, 1942, renowned and honored throughout the nation. He had been made a Mason in Mt. Eermon Lodge, No. 263, Cedar Rapids, in 1921. At the time his complete works were exhibited in Chicago one of the largest of his canvasses was neither shown nor missed, because it was unknown.
Thiss was a long panel in three parts, entitled "The First Three Degrees of Freemasonry, " in which three independent compositions of symbolism, one for each Degree, are worked in against a continuous back ground which unites them. He painted this early in his professional career for M.-. W. . George L. Schoon over, Anamosa, Ia., founder and first Executive Seoul retary of the National Masonic Research Society. Later it passed into the hands of Bro. Otto A. Schoitz, a native of Denmark, but for more than thirty years a resident of Waterloo, Ia, where he was a member of Waterloo Lodge, No. 105. In 1944 he presented the painting to the Grand Lodge, Iowa, which hung it in the Grand Lodge Library at Cedar Rapids, and immediately arranged to have prints made in full color in order that the American Craft at large may have possession of one of its few masterpieces of American Masonic painting.
WORK AND THE WORK.
A Petitioner must be qualified, but these qualifications are for one who is to be a worker—perfect in body, sound in limb, etc. What a Petitioner has been outside the Lodge ceases to count once he is in the Preparation Room, where he leaves his uniforms, titles, badges, etc., behind him in the Rite of Discalceation. When he is clothed it is with the workman's Apron (gloves ought to be included by right of ancient custom). He is equipped with working tools. As the youngest Apprentice he is sent to the corner of the work-yard out of the way of master workmen where he is to be given his first simple duties. The material used in his occupations henceforth is symbolized by the ashlars, one of them representing raw materials, the tiller finished products. It is a Lodge he comes into, not a club, a society, or a sociality, and a Lodge is a body of workmen, organized for sake of getting work done. The rituals are called "the Work. "
The dimensions of the Lodge represent the world; The Candidate is to be a workman wherever he goes. The Officers are not presiders, or referees of debate, or toastmasters, but are supervisors of work; and to draw the plans and to set the Craftsmen to work is the first duty of the chief officer, who is not called chairman or president but Master; and if his title is " Worshipful " it is because his is the final authority, and he must be obeyed. Apprentices are said to be from the quarries. The Brotherhood works as a unit; they are constructing a temple, which is immediately symbolic of any building, and ultimately symbolic of any form of work.
The virtues (morality or ethics) required are those which a man must have if he is to be a master of his art and is to work in association with others. Each man is to receive wages. He works under the sun—during the day; rests under the moon—during the night; and since he is a workman he is under the eternal law of working under fixed times, and not when he may be in a mood for it; one Officer calls him from Labor to Refreshment, another Officer calls him from Refreshment to Labor. Work is the subject matter of the Ritual from beginning to end—even the raising is described as "making a Mason." (See article in this Supplement on FREEMASONRY, DEFINITION OF.)
No other subject is less understood. It is in reality the subject matter of that system of facts and thinking which the colleges teach under the name of "economics," yet none of the text-books used in the colleges ever teach a student what work itself is. There are some fifty-four forms of it, but students are not told what they are. What form of work a given task or enterprise calls for is a question almost never raised, not even by contractors and engineers. Thus, even here in America, the busiest land in the world, the form of work called industriousness (not to be confused with "industries") is almost never used, though for thousands of years it has been the form of work most used for large undertakings in both India and China. (The Bee-hive is an emblem of it.)
A true and genuine philosophy of Freeman sonry would therefore be not a philosophy of the history of the Fraternity or of its scheme of organization but would be a philosophy of work, as the early Freemasons discovered it to be—and no group in Western history has ever discovered so true and adequate an understanding of it. The Ritual itself is a form of work, literally as well as symbolically, because it is a way by which the members and officers of a Lodge take a man who is not a Mason, and by dint of taking him from one experience into another, and showing him one symbol after another, and 8aying one thing after another, build Freemasonry into him- and therefore is the Ritual called "The Work."
WORKING TOOLS, OPERATIVE.
The Monitorial lectures which we inherited from early Eighteenth Century English Lodges through William Prestont and from him through Thomas Smith Webb, draw a distinction between a Working Tool as an "Operative" Mason had used it, and the same Tool as Speculative Masons use it; it is more than a distinctiony it is a contrast. On these Working Tools, and disregarding the history of the Tools themselves, two comments may be made:
1. It is interesting to note what Tools were selected for symbolic purposes; it is more interesting to note what Tools were left out. Medieval Freemasons kept at hand a large number and many sorts, as we can learn from pietures made at the time in manuscripts, from designs in windows, from carvings from the nomenclature, from traditions and in the Sixteenth Century from books. Those ' tools ' may in general be divided into two classes: machines and devices belonging to engineering, such as swinging platforms, scaffolds, bracket platforms, cranes, winches, pulleys, elevators, windlasses, ramps, ete., ineluding an odd, low-slung wheelbarrow; and such handtools as mallets, mauls, adzes, compasses (in one picture the legs are three feet long), stone axes (teeth in the edge), measuring sticks, plumbs, levels, trowels, chisels, clamps, brackets, etc.
In large building operations men were set aside to make tools, temper them, put new handles in them, repair them, sharpen them, keep an inventory of them, and cheek their going out and their return, and keep them in their as signed places. In some instances a man would own his own tools; in others he would not. It is evident that a Freemason had his tools much in mind, but that his interest in them was of two kinds, and the fact is important for studies of the Ritual. He thought of them solely as tools of metal to be picked up and laid down or to be eared for and to be put away. They were material objeets outside of himself. At the same time he thought of them in the terms of his own feelings about them, of his ideas of them, of the particular skill each caned for, of the purposes it was used for, and of what each tool meant to his art and to a completed building; in this second ease he thought of the tool less as a material thing than as a part of a whole, whieh whole was not a material thing since it included himself. It is out of this latter way of thought that there grew his use of them as emblems and symbols, as when in a Thirteenth Century window he put a pair of compasses at the top and a square at the bottom.
2. It was out of the art which he praetieed, and out of his thinking about that art and of himself as a worker in it, that he found those truths, new, and, powerful, and destined to a great future, which in the course of time came to us in the form of Speenlative Freemasonry. As that which was Speeulative came more and more to crowd out that which had been Operatives the majority of the old Operative Tools were left aside and only those were retained which could convey to Masons and could impress indelibly upon their consciousness those truths which the Freemasons had found.
WORSHIPFUL MASTER, THE.
"Worshipful" is from the Anglo-Saxon weorth, worthy, to be esteemed" honorable, to be bowed to, to be obeyed, and the suffix scope, a state of being. "Master" is from the Latin through Old French in the form of magtster from the root mag, meaning great, the root which also has given us magnificent, magistrate, magnify, etc., and in the Middle Ages was often used interehangeably with "doctor" (from doceo, teach) a master teacher, whose teachings were called dodrznes; whea denoting a headship over men magtster came to mean magistrate, " master [and man], " etc.; when denoting a complete control over tools and materials it denoted masterliness, as in "a master mechanic, " or as in " masterpiece. "
Both of these etymologic tendencies are combined in the Masonic use of "master," where the Master of Masons is Superintendent or supervisor or ruler of Masons, and a Master Mason is one who has mastered the builders' art. The Worshipful Master is that one among Master Masons who is most to be honored and obeyed because he is magistrate or ruler or head of the Lodge. In Speculative Lodges the term came only gradually into use, and the office was never defined so as to conform to the etymology except roughly; it is a label, or title, and its sole use is to point out the one Mason in a Lodge among the other Masons who rules and governs it. This office is as old as Freemasonry itself; it did not always carry the same title but in principle it has always carried the same duties.
The first and most important duty of a Worshipful Master is to rule and govern his Lodge in such wise as to maintain peace and harmony in it, and according to the Landmarks, Constitutions, By-laws, and customs of the Craft. His specific ditues are: To preside over his Lodge when its members are assembled. To be.representative of his Lodge in the Grand Lodge in order that his Lodge, a constituent of Grand Lodge, shall be present at Grand Communications in his person; if his Wardens are there present with him it is as his assistants. To have custody of the Lodge Charter. To admit or to exclude visitors. To appoint non-elective Officers. To vote. To sign the Minutes.
To control discussion (there is no appeal to the Lodge from his decision). To command and inspect Officers. To be spokesman for his Lodge. To have under his personal care and responsibility Candidates for the Degrees. To act symbolically as the Worshipful Master in the enactment of the Ritual. To appoint Special and Standing Committees. To see that relief is given wherever his own members are in distress, and to succor their widows and orphans.
NOTE. On page 560 Albert G. Mackey devotes Landmarks No. 10 and No. 12 to the Offiee of Master. It has been objected that the Offiee as now constituted is not time immemorial but of modern origin, and that in the Operative Period the headship of Masons took another form and was called by other titles. Dr. Mackey was himself familiar with these facts as is proved by many pages of discussion in his History.
He did not mean ' time imme. morial ' in the calendar sense, but rather in the sense used by Blackstone [of whom Maokey was a eareful studentl where the phrase means " it has always been thus " in the sense of " it belongs to what this thing is " and hence has been in it from the first. By ' Landmark" in this eonneetion Maekey meant that the nature of the work of Operative Masonry was such that a group of Masons could not work together without a head; and this is equally true of a Speculative Lodge. He meant that the office is inherent in the nature or substance of Freemasonry, and therefore cannot be altered by the incumbent himself, or by the Lodge, or the Grand Lodge, for if the Mastership were destroyed a Lodge would be destroyed with it.
Grand Master is Worshipful Master writ large. It is an extraordinarily suggestive fact that in the Ritual of the Third Degree HA.. though caned "Grand Master" is not a Grand Master technically but only a Worshipful Master, because he rules and governs only one Lodge and it is not a Grand Lodge. It is also interesting to note that the action centers not in the building itself but tn the person of the Master; and, again, that the tragedy is in sonsequenee of the Master's having failed to keep the Craft in peace and harmony and to give them instructions for their laborothe same tragedy occurred [as a matter of record] scores of times in actual Operative Lodges. A careful analysis of the Drama word by word, like the analysis of the plays made by Shakespeare scholars, would shows that it is wholly and solely a Craft drama— not an oeeult, or theological, or metaphysical one. There was a pile of rubbish; why? because Without a firm, just headship any Lodge would fall apart, ii a man fails ill that headship the Craft is helpless until a substitute, or sub eessor, is found for him.
WREN, SIR CHRISTOPHER.
If the phrase "great man" is used with the sense which was once attached to the old word " genius, " Christopher Wren was the greatest genius England ever had second only after William Shakespeare. (See page 1120.) John Evelyn reports in his Diary (a book every Masonic student ought to read) how while in Oxford he "visited that miracle of a youth, Mr Christopher Wren, nephew of the Bishop of Ely, " and then goes on to say how Dr. Wilkins, head of Wodham College, showed him a system of extraordinary solutions of the problems of perspectives, " mathematical and magical [mechanical] curiosities, a way-wiser, [probably a type of compass?] a thermometer, a monstrous [large] magnet, conic and other sections [in wood modelsl, a ballanee on a demi-circle, " etc., etc., most of them produced by "that prodigious young scholar."
Wren was as able a mathematician as Sir Isaac Newton. In 1657 he was made Gresham Professor of As tronomy at the age of twenty-five. Had he not preferred astronomy he could have become professor in Latin because he possessed a mastership of that language so fine that his inauguration address was held up as a model of Latin composition for years afterwards. In 1661 he made a model of the moon which attracted the attention of the King, at which time Robert Hook said of him "there scarce ever met in one man in so great a perfection, such a mechanical [skilful] hand and so philosophical [scientific] a mind. " In 1661 both Cambridge and Oxford gave him the degree of Doctor of Laws, though Wren was only twenty-nine.
Then in 1662 came a new appointment which was to affect as much the future of England, and London in particular, as Wren's own: King Charles appointed him Assistant to the Surveyor-General, Sir John Denham, Inigo Jones' successor—an office to supervise public buildings; the old St. Paul's Cathedral had to be rebuilt, and Denham lacked the ability; the King believed that Vi7ren could do it, though not even Wren's friends had known until then that he was an adept in architecture.
The year 1666 was throughout its whole history until the Germans bombed it from the air, London's blackest year. In the first half of it more than 100,000 of London's men, women and children died of the plague. (See the Pepys Diary.) On September 2 oceurred the fire in which St. Paul's, ninety churches, and 1300 other buildings were burned to the ground. The King appointed Wren Surveyor-General and Principal Architect, and gave him orders to build London anew. sir Reginald Blomfield, the historian of Renaissance architecture, says that if Wren's city plan had been carried to completion "London would have been one of the most beautiful cities in the world." (Among other things, the vast and terrible slum area would never have been possible!) Wren designed more than a hundred buildings, including the new St. Paul's (partly demolished by the Germans), supervised many others, and even sent designs to America.
In the Charter of the Royal Society Wren is de scribed as "Doctor in Medicine, Saville Professor of Astronomy, in our University of Oxford. " How much he knew af medicine it is difficult to judge, but the invention of the first technique of blood transfusion is attributed to him. (Pascal, also a mathematician and " philosopher, " had invented the adding machinew barograph, and stage coach; professional speciali ration had not begun and it was not yet deemed "unethical" for a man to know as much as he was able to knowl)
He was also one of the managers of a large American development corporation, and it mav be that it was through him that Governor Jonathan Belcher of Massachusetts, interested in the same company, came into contact with Freemasonry and was initiated in 1704. Wren learned languages easily; read prodigiously and seemed to forget nothing; could draw and model; administered a large staff; and durillg the years of Lolldun's re-building drew or supervised hundreds of business contracts.
His complete mastership of architecture on the grand scale, and at a time when none of the other great architects was alive to give him direction, proves what has been urged on a number of pages in this Supplement: that architecture is the one great art which is a combination of many arts, and to excel in it calls for a larger number of high talents and a greater and more diversified knowledge than any other calling. Of that art Wren himself wrote: "Architecture has its politic [civic, or public] use, public buildings being the ornament of a country; it establishes a nation; draws people and commerce; makes the people love their native country, which passion is the origin of all great actions in a commonwealth. "
In the first paragraph of Anderson's Book of Constitutions of 1738 it is given as a reason for constituting a Grand Lodge and reviving the quarterly feasts that "the few Lodges at London finding themselves neglected by Sir Christopher Wren, thought fit to cement under a Grand Master . . . " One of those old Lodges is now No. 2, Lodge of Antiquity; it may very possibly have taken the lead in the socalled "revival" because a number of entries in its early Minutes sound as if it had. In those same Minutes it is also recorded here and there that Sir Christopher Wren had been its Master (he may have been called Grand Master, as was the case in a few Lodges at the time), had presented to it the setting maulith which the foundation stone of St. Paul's had been tapped into position; had presented a set of candlesticks; also, they show that his son, also named Christopher, was a member after 1717. Antiquity was a small Lodge, a Time Immemorial Lodge; it clung tenaciously to its mementoes and memories from generation to generation; and sinee there were many Freemasons at work in London after the fire in 1666, and Wren was chief of them, it is reasonable to believe that he had belonged to the Lodge.
When the Book of Constitutions describes him as a " Grand Master " it may mean that he had been the Master of the Lodge which took a lead in Lodge affairs, or else was general chieftain over London Masons by virtue of appointment by the King.
When Gould came to write his History of Freemasonry in the 1880's the scheme of his work allowed him only one volume for the general history of Speculative FreemasonrY properly so called. Because of those space restrictions he chose to write that history in the terms of a history of the Grand Lodge (of 1717) though it and other Grand Lodges in Britain played a role secondary to the local Lodges (and a poor second!) in the growth and organization of the Fraternity; nevertheless~ and after having thus narrowed his scope to one historical line, Gould stepped aside and took up pages 260 to 320 of Vol. I inclusive to prove that Wren had not been a member of any Lodge, least of all a "Grand Master!" Bro. Gould's collaborators and colleagues were non-plussed by this great straining of the whole mountain to produce one mouse of fact; others nere repelled by the harshness, the almost fierceness, with which he set about abolishing what other men had accepted as evidence, and what the Lodge of Antiquity, better mformed than he, had never questioned; the Rev. Bro. F. De Castells, himself not unskilled in trenchancy or even in invective, describes Gould here as "a carping critic, cavilling, parrying with facts"; and even the disciples of the old master (the writer has never been one) admit that what he propounded as arguments sound more like scoldings, and are written as if he had some inner, bitter quarrel with Wren personally.
There is, however, a reasonable apologia for Would; first, he was no harsher in his judgements of the pro-Wren witnesses (Wren's own son among them) than he was in other places of such other men as Anderson, Preston, and Dermott; and second, he saw the critical and almost revolutionary importance of the question. For if there had been a union of Lodges, mostly Speculative, before 1717, then the erecting of the Grand Lodge in 1717 was not the beginning of organized Speculative Freemasonry, but was the renewal of something which had been done before and permitted to lapse; the whole scheme of his History hinged upon the year 1717; he had to get Wren out of the road before he could advance with his scheme, and was therefore willing to take sixty of his precious pages to do it with.
That he succeeded in doing it a number of Masonic students were never convinced; since 1928 only a few are left to agree with him. and it is a puzzle why Bro. Dudlev Wright left the sixty pages intact when he revised the History for the Scribners' edition. (Bro. Fred J. W. Crowe, revisor of Gould's concise History, completely re-wrote an equally unsatisfactory chapter in that book on the Antient Grand Lodge.) In the Year 1928 as above mentioned Bro. W. Harry Rylands, than whom a more objective and impersonal historian never lived, published Vol. I (to be followed by Firebrace's Vol. II) of Records of the Lodge Original, No. 1, now the Lodge of Antiquity No. 2. In it he reprints an old MS. belonging to the Lodge (evidently not known to Gould) in which under date given by Bro. Rylands as 1722 (?) are the words "its Worthy old Master Sir Christopher Wren. "
It is impossible to assess the weight of this and of the other entries on W ren in one paragraph, but it must be admitted that if the entries would not satisfy a court of law (one may believe that the Lodge Minutes plus the Lodge traditions plus other sources might easily convince a court) it cuts Gould's ground from under him, and at the very least leaves the question open. (The present writer believes that Wren was a Freemason.)
(There are chapters on Wren in every complete history of modern architecture [his style, it happens, lent itself to the American Colonial use of Greek columnsl and a voluminous literature on him personally; as an introduction to the latter see: Sir Christopher Wren: 1632-17eS; a symposium; The Architectural Press; London; 1923. Sir Christopher Wren, by C. Whitaker-Wilson; Methuen it Co.; London; L932.)
When West Virginia separated from its parent State, Virginia, on June 20, 1863, much confusion existed in the new domain. As far as the Craft was concerned many Lodges had ceased to meet or had lost their Charters. Fairmont Lodge, No. 9, issued a circular calling a Convention for December 29, 1863, at Grafton. Some delegates were prevented from attending by a renewal of military hostilities, but, after two adjournments the meeting was finally held, June 24, 1864, in Fairmont. Eight out of thirteen active Lodges were represented, but it was decided by the Grand Officers that the meeting could not take action owing to an informality in the proceedings and a new Convention was called for April 12, 1865, when the following Lodges were represented: Wellsburg, No. 108; Wheeling, No. 128; Ohio, No. 101; Marshall Union, No. 37; Cameron, No. 180;
Morgantown, No. 93; Fairmont, No. 9; Fetterman, No. 170. Grand Officers were elected and the Convention met on May 10 for the installation ceremony, at which Mount Olivet, No. 113, was also represented. The Grand Lodge was duly opened and the old Charters ordered to be endorsed until new ones could be issued.
The early history of Royal Areh Masonry in this State is bound up with that of Virginia whence it was derived. The nine Chapters in West Virginia under the Constitution of the Grand Chapter of Virginia decided to organize a Grand Chapter. The movement began in Wheeling Union Chapter and the following approved the suggestion: Jerusalem, No. 55, in Parkersburg; Star of the West, No. 18, at Point Pleasant, and Nelson, No. 26, at Morgantown. At a Convention held on November 16, 1871, in Wheeling, representatives from Lebanon Chapter, No. 9, were present in addition to those above mentioned. The Grand Chapter was then duly organized and the Grand Officers chosen and installed by Most Excellent John P. Little, Grand High Priest of the Grand Chapter of Virginia. The Council Degrees were made part of Chapter work as in Virginia itself. The Commanderies in West Virginia before its separation from the parent State had been with one exception under the control of the Grand Encampment of Virginia. Wheeling, No. 1; Palestine, No. 9; Star of the West, No. 12, and Kanawha, No. 4, were all in West Virginia and suhorslinat* to its Grand Encampment when it was organized February 25, 1874, by Sir James Hopkins, Past Grand Master of Knights Templar.
Wheeling, No. 1, granted a Dispensation on August 21, 1838, was chartered September 16, 1841. There had been, however, three other Commanderies in that part of Virginia which afterwards became West Virginia, and the first of these was Warren at Harper's Ferry, July 4, 1824. The latter three Charters were annulled in 1847. On October 20, 1909, four Charters from the Supremr Council, Southern Jurisdietion, were granted to bodies of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite at Wheelings namely, West Virginia Consistory, No. 1; Albert Pike Council of Kadosh, No. 1; Charity Chapter of Rose Croix, No. 1, and McDaniel Lodge of Perfection, No. 1.
WHITE CROSS KNIGHTS.
WHITE MANTLE, ORDER OF THE.
WHITE SHRINE OF JERUSALEM, ORDER OF.
WHITE, WILLIAM HENRY.
White is one of the most ancient as well as most extensively diffused of the symbolic colors. It is to be found in all the ancient Mysteries, where it constituted, as it does in Freemasonry, the investiture of the candidate. It always, however, and everywhere has borne the same signification as the symbol of purity and innocence. In the religious observances of the Hebrews, white was the color of one of the curtains of the Tabernacle, where, according to Josephus, it was a symbol of the element of earth; and it was employed in the construction of the ephod of the High Priest, of his girdle, and of the Breastplate.
The word laban, which in the Hebrew language signifies to make white, also denotes to purify; and there are to be found throughout the Scriptures many Collusions to the color as an emblem of purity. "Though thy sins be as scarlet," says Isaiah, "they shall be as white as snow." Jeremiah, describing the once innocent condition of Zion, save, "her Nazarites were purer than snow, they were whiter than milk." "Many," says Daniel, "shall be purified and made white."
In Revelation, a white stone was the reward promised by the Spirit to those who overcame; and again, "he that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white garments;" and in another part of the same book the Apostle is instructed to say that fine linen, clean and white, is the righteousness of the saints. The ancient prophets always imagined the Deity clothed in white, because, says Portal (Des Couleurs Symboliques, Concerning Symbolic Colors, page 35), "white is the color of absolute truth, of Him who is; it alone reflects all the luminous rays; it is the unity whence all the primitive colors emanate." Thus Daniel, in one of his prophetic visions, saw the Ancient of days, "whose garment was white as snow, and the flair of his head like pure wool." Here, says Doctor wIenry (Ezposition), the whiteness of the garment "noted the splendor and purity of God in all the administrations of his justice."
Among the Gentile nations, the same reverence was paid to this color. The Egyptians decorated the head of their deity, Osiris, with a white tiara. In the school of Pythagoras, the sacred hymns were chanted in white robes. The Druids clothed their initiates who had arrived at the ultimate Degree, or that of perfection, in white vestments. In all the Mysteries of other nations of antiquity, the same custom was observed. White was, in general, the garment of the Gentile as well as of the Hebrew priests in the performance of their sacred rites. As the Divine Power was supposed to be represented on earth by the Priesthood, in all nations the Sovereign Pontiff was clad in white. Aaron was directed to enter the Sanctuary only in white garments; in Persia, the Magi wore white robes because, as they said, they alone were pleasing to the Deity; and the white tunic of Ormuzd is still the characteristic garment of the modern Parsees.
White, among the ancients, was consecrated to the dead, because it was the symbol of the regeneration of the soul. On the monuments of Thebes the manes or ghosts are represented as clothed in white; the Egyptians wrapped their dead in white linen; Homer (Iliad xviii, 353) refers to the same custom when he makes the attendants cover the dead body of Patroclus, with a white pall; and Pausanias tells us that the Messenians practised the same customs, clothing their dead in white, and placing crowns upon their heads, indicating by this double symbolism the triumph of the soul over the empire of death. The Hebrews had the same usage. Saint Matthew (xxvii, 59) tells us that Joseph of Arimathea wrapped the dead body of our Lord "in a clean linen cloth." Adopting this as a suggestion; Christian artists have in their paintings of the Savior after His resurrection, depicted Him in a white robe.
And it is with this idea that in the Apocalypse white vestments are said to be the symbols of the regeneration of souls, and the reward of the elect. It is this consecration of white to the dead that caused it to be adopted as the color of mourning among the nations of antiquity. As the victor in the games was clothed in white, so the same color became the symbol of the victory achieved by the departed in the last combat of the soul with death. "The friends of the deceased wore," says Plutarch, "his livery, in commemoration of his triumph." The modern mourning in black is less philosophic and less symbolic than this ancient one in white.
In Speculative Freemasonry, white is the symbol of purity. This symbolism commences at the earliest point of initiation, when the white apron is presented to the candidate as a symbol of purity of life and rectitude of conduct. Wherever in any of the subsequent initiations this color appears, it is always to be interpreted as symbolizing the same idea. In the Thirty-third Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, the Sovereign Inspector has been invested with a white scarf as inculcating that virtuous deportment above the tongue of all reproach which should distinguish the possessors of that Degree, the highest in the Rite.
This symbolism of purity was most probably derived by the Freemasons from that of the primitive church, where a white garment was placed on the catechumen who was about to be baptized, as a token that he had put off the lusts of the flesh, and, being cleansed from his former sins, had obliged himself to maintain an unspotted life. The ancient symbolism of regeneration which appertained to the ancient idea of the color white has not been adopted in Freemasonry; but would be appropriate in an Institution having a chief dogma in the resurrection.
[What is Freemasonry] [Leadership
Development] [Education] [Masonic
This site is not an official site of any recognized Masonic body in the United
States or elsewhere.
Last modified: March 22, 2014