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THE BUILDER MAGAZINE
volume 11 - number 5
By R. W. BRO. SIR ALFRED ROBBINS, P. G. W.
PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF GENERAL PURPOSES, UNITED GRAND LODGE OF ENGLAND
IT is a keen pleasure to be asked to give an introductory word to a Masonic literary experiment, which should do much to promote among American and English Freemasons a more complete comprehension of each other's point of View. The pleasure is the keener when the effort to be thus foreworded--and thereby forwarded--is the product of some of the most skilled and alert of English living students of Masonry. In these times, among the ripest of our thinkers, Masonic study is no longer a matter of phantasm and fantasy, of vague imaginings with vain embroidery. It is a systematic endeavor to find what are the true origins of the wonderful system which today is world-wide in influence and enthusiasm, and to trace its development from small beginnings to the vast organization we now see.
Masonry, we have been assured from our earliest moments within thc Craft, is a progressive science; and this is a truth accustomed to be lost sight of by those who act as if, at some undefined moment in its history, its growth was suddenly arrested, its development sharply checked, and certain new Tables of the Law were enacted which it were heretical to doubt and iniquitous to disobey. Those who read the series of articles here brought together by Masonic authors of differing powers and points of view, but all at one in the simple design of seeking the true inwardness of things, will perceive why the best instructed English Mason of today does not accept a claim for infallibility coming from whatever quarter it may. They will see why that Mason declines to accept as infallible the statements of James Anderson, of William Preston, or of George Oliver, to take the three most prominent among early English Masonic authorities. They will realize how much more we know of what Freemasonry truly is if we allow our minds the same freedom of judgment, based upon constantly increasing knowledge, we claim in other relations of life.
"Wisdom is before him that hath understanding." So says the sage in Holy Writ; and it enjoins that we shall seek not only to gather knowledge but to exercise our intellect towards its fullest comprehension. The descendants of Hiram should resemble that early Grand Master himself in being "filled with wisdom and understanding"--not alone possessed of facts but the facility to apply them. The cardinal weakness of some of the earliest popular Masonic writers was that, when unpossessed of facts, they were fullest of facility. At the time they were most precise, they were often most erroneous; and, if Masonry is to hold an unchallenged position among the learned and the thoughtful, it must resolutely set its face against continuing to accept fancies, however venerable, when it can rest on a sure basis of fact. Our Craft, so far from standing to lose by stripping itself of the accretions derived from an uncritical age, will be the stronger and the purer for depending on clearly revealed and attested truth.
"Understanding !" This is the word to be given to every brother, wherever dispersed over the face of earth and water, as his guide in Masonic work. And it should be given in its varied meaning, as applied to intellectual and fraternal conditions alike. In the first variant, it enjoins an effort to derive lasting wisdom from acquired knowledge. In the second, it implies an endeavor to secure a closer comprehension of the point of view of brethren other than ourselves. The series of papers now presented will materially assist in both directions. They furnish in small compass and effective form a striking body of information concerning the development of the Craft, its ideals, and its ideas during the opening century of its organization as a great social power. In the very process lines of divergence were initiated acquaintance with which clears the path for comprehension of the others' viewpoint.
The latter is the main phase on which I desire at the moment to dwell. It has been my great good fortune to be the bearer from the Masons of England to their brethren of the United States the expression not only of heartfelt wish for a continuance and growth of the friendly spirit that has always prevailed between them, but of keen desire for the promotion by more full, free, and frequent intercourse of a thorough understanding. This, I am convinced, will best be secured by a closer study of each other's problems, unfettered by prepossessions, and unshackled by humble submission to traditional observance. The American Mason, visiting an English lodge for the first time, is apt to criticize what to him appears a lack of the ornate and the oratorical. The English Mason, in his earliest experience of American working, is as prone to condemn the presence of drama in a developed degree. Neither realizes that both phases have sprung from the same stock, deriving their original nurture from the like root, and branching in somewhat divergent, but never entirely different, directions because, at the outset, of local and sometimes national conditions. It should be the object of the studious Mason to show what these were, and to insist on the great and lasting truth that what in Freemasonry, as in daily life, we must always insist on is, "In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, variety; in all things, charity." Given an open mind and a good heart, we shall all come with closeness together. Let American and English brethren alike, be like Hiram, "filled with wisdom and understanding," and they will carry with them the whole Masonic world.
The United Grand Lodge of England: A Retrospect, 1717-1813
BY BRO. GILBERT W. DAYNES, Associate Editor, England
FROM June 24, 1723, when William Cowper--Clerk of the Parliaments, and a member of the Horn Lodge, Westminster--was appointed Secretary, we have the records of the Grand Lodge of England in unbroken sequence to the present day. These records give no hint of any earlier minutes, now missing. Except for some contemporary newspaper notices we are entirely dependent upon Dr. James Anderson for an account of the first six years of the premier Grand Lodge of the World, an account published in the Second Edition of the Book of Constitutions in 1738. Unfortunately Dr. Anderson's capacity as an historian has been impugned frequently, and, where independent evidence has been forthcoming, many statements made by him have been proved to be inaccurate. However, it must also be remembered that some of the Grand Officers, who participated in these early events, must have perused and passed the account.
Dr. Anderson tells us that the members of four lodges, then existing in London, "and some old Brothers," constituted themselves into a Grand Lodge, at an unknown date, prior to June 24, 1717, when, at an Assembly and Feast held at the Goose and Gridiron Alehouse, St. Paul's Churchyard, the brethren then present "by a Majority of Hands elected Mr. Anthony Sayer, Gentleman, Grand Master of Masons."
The first Grand Master was succeeded by George Payne in 1718, who in turn was replaced by Dr. J.T. Desaguliers in 1719. The latter is said to have revived "the old regular and peculiar Toasts or Healths of the Free Masons." On June 24, 1720, George Payne, who was responsible for framing early Regulations for the Craft, was elected Grand Master for a second time. On June 24, 1721, John, Duke of Montagu, became Grand Master, and, for the first time, a Deputy Grand Master was appointed in addition to the two Grand Wardens. Ever since this election either nobility or royalty have reigned over the premier Grand Lodge, and, later, the United Grand Lodge of England. In 1723, James Anderson published the First Edition of the Book of Constitutions; but not a word appeared therein as to the formation, and the first six years' working, of the Grand Lodge. In June, 1722, Philip, Duke of Wharton, was elected Grand Master Anderson would have us believe that the election was whoily irregular, and that no Deputy Grand Master was appointed, until the Duke of Montagu called a special meeting of Grand Lodge, in January, 1723, to put matters right. Contemporary newspaper paragraphs, however, negative these assertions, and one paper states that Dr. Desaguliers was appointed D.G.M. at the June meeting.
From the MS. list of "Regular Constituted Lodges," in the first Minute Book of Grand Lodge, commenced on Nov. 25, 1723, we know that there were, early in 1724, fifty-two lodges on the roll. The names of 731 brethren are given in respect of thirty-six of these lodges; so we may, perhaps, assume that there were then about one thousand members in the lodges owning allegiance to Grand Lodge. On Feb. 19, 1724, a Regulation was passed, "that no Brother belong to more than one Lodge at one time within the Bills of Mortality." This resolution., however, soon became a dead letter. The new Grand Lodge, at its inception, certainly never intended to exercise authority over lodges outside London, and, in the 1723 Book of Constitutions, there are also indications that its scope had not, at that date, been enlarged. However, in the list of lodges of 1723, we find that lodges had been constituted at Edgware, Acton, and Richmond. During 1724 the process of extension is in active operation, and nine lodges in different parts of England a constituted under the authority of Grand Lodge Bristol, Bath, and Norwich leading the way. By April, 1729, this extension is still further developed, and lodges at Madrid, Gibraltar, and Fort William, Calcutta have been constituted. During the next decade lodges are being planted in the New World, and in many parts of Europe not under the British Crown.
LODGE LISTS ARE DESCRIBED
To enable brethren to know where the regular, constituted lodges met, and when, Engraved Lists of the Lodges, giving the necessary details, were published from time to time. The earliest known list was issued in 1724. On Dec. 27, 1727, Grand Lodge ordered "that it be referr'd to the succeeding Grand Master, Deputy Grand Master, and Grand Wardens, to inquire into the Precedency of the several Lodges, and to make Report thereof at the next Quarterly Communication in order that the same may be finally settled and ent'red accordingly." In the Engraved List for 1729, the lodges, for the first time, appeared numbered, and in order of seniority. Re-numbering the lodges took place on five further occasions during the eighteenth century. For many years the Engraved Lists were published annually, and even oftener, but in 1775 they were replaced by The Freemasons' Calendar, which has been published yearly ever since, being now known as The Masonic Year Book.
THE GENERAL CHARITY IS ORGANIZED
The first act of charity mentioned in Grand Lodge minutes was a collection of 28-17-6 pounds on Feb. 19, 1724, on behalf of Henry Prichard, "that he should not be a sufferer." On Nov. 21, 1724, the Earl of Dalkeith recommended the creation of "a Generall Charity." In due course a treasurer was appointed, and also a committee to regulate such charity. It was not, however, until Nov. 25, 1729, that the first contributions-9-8-6 pounds in all--were received. To augment the "General Charity" it was resolved by Grand Lodge on Dec. 27, 1729, "that for the future every Lodge of Masons, that shall be Constituted by the Grand Master or by his Authority shall pay the Sum of two Guineas towards the Charity upon their being Constituted." Previously no fee had, apparently, been charged. This fee has been retained ever since, but the amount of it has been altered from time to time.
The Committee of Charity--now known as the Board of Benevolence--was enlarged in 1730, and again in 1733, when it was agreed by Grand Lodge "that all such Business which cannot conveniently be despatched by the Quarterly Communication shall be referred to the Committee of Charity." It thus became in effect a Committee of General Purposes.
THE ANNUAL FEAST WAS MAINTAINED
The Annual Feast and Assembly seems to have been a recognized function, in connection with the Grand Lodge, from its formation. At first held in one of the taverns it was, in 1721, removed to the hall of one of the city companies. This change necessitated stewards, but we learn from Dr. Anderson that "the Grand Officers not finding a proper Number of Stewards, our Brother Mr. Josiah Villeneau, Upholder in the Burrough of Southwark, generously undertook the whole himself, attended by some Waiters." We next hear of stewards at the Feast on June 24, 1723, Anderson naming six brethren as having served in that capacity. In 1724 Anderson says that there were twelve stewards, but the Grand Lodge Minutes do not state the number. On Dec. 27, 1725, the arrangements were in the hands of John James Heidegger, and at the two following Feasts, Edward Lambert--a celebrated confectioner--acted in the same capacity. On Nov. 26, 1728, on the motion of Dr. J.T. Desaguliers, the office of steward was revived, and twelve brethren offered their services. By 1732 the twelve serving stewards had acquired the right to nominate their successors. They were also permitted to have their jewels pendant to red ribbons, and their Aprons lined with red silk. In 1735 Grand Lodge resolved that all the Grand Officers, except the G. M., should from thenceforth be selected from the stewards and the stewards also received further privileges in connection with attendance at Grand Lodge. The stewards were given permission to have a lodge, composed of those who were serving, or had served, the office of Grand Steward, and this lodge was constituted on June 25, 1735, at The Shakespeare's Head, Covent Garden, London. On April 18, 1792, the Steward's Lodge was placed at the head of the roll, by order of Grand Lodge, without a number.
As the popularity of the Craft grew, so did the curiosity of the uninitiated. In 1724, to gratify this curiosity, the so-called "exposures" begin to appear, both in newspaper and in book form. In 1730, two exposures were published, which attracted the attention of Grand Lodge. On Aug. 28, Dr. Desaguliers, referring to the Mystery of Free Masonry, printed in the Daily Journal for Aug. 15, "recommended several things to the Consideration of the Grand Lodge . . . for preventing any false Brethren being admitted into regular Lodges and such as call themselves Honorary Masons." Nathaniel Blackerby, D. G. M., also, "proposed several Rules to the Grand Lodge to be observed in their respective Lodges for their Security against all open and Secret Enemies of the Craft." On Dec. 15, the D. G. M. referred to Masonry Dissected, published by Samuel Prichard, the previous October, and characterized it as "a foolish thing not to be regarded." But the Grand Lodge minutes further state, that "in order to prevent the Lodges being imposed upon by false Brethren or Imposters: Proposed till otherwise ordered by the Grand Lodge, that no Person whatsoever should be admitted into Lodges unless some Member of the Lodge then present would vouch for such visiting Brother being a regular Mason." In the opinion of many Masons some of the recommendations, which were adopted this year, had relation to the Ritual, and being of an esoteric character, were not committed to writing. Four years later, William Smith published The Free-Mason's Pocket Companion, first in London, and, shortly afterwards, in Dublin. In his Preface he has this rather significant passage:
"I need not say more in relation to the Book itself, but must here beg leave to exhort the Brotherhood, that avoiding all Innovations they adhere strictly to the antient Practices of the Order."
Was this merely a warning, or did it refer to something, which was then happening, or, perhaps, had happened, within the Craft? William Smith was certainly not the spokesman of the Grand Lodge, because we are told by Grand Lodge minutes, that, on Feb. 24, 1735, Dr. Anderson having "represented that one William Smith said to be a Mason, had without his privity or Consent pyrated a considerable part of the Constitution of Masonry aforesaid to the prejudice of the said Br. Anderson it being his Sole Property," Grand Lodge resolved, "that every Master and Warden present shall do all in their Power to discountenance so unfair a Practice, and prevent the said Smith's Books being bought by any Members of their respective Lodges." It may be mentioned that Dr. Anderson brought out a Second Edition of the Book of Constitutions in 1738, and that further editions of the work were published in 1756, 1767, and 1784.
THE "ANTIENT" GRAND LODGE WAS FORMED
Between 1730 and 1740 we perceive indications of the beginning of what turned out to be, perhaps, the most important event of the century, viz., the rise of the Grand Lodge of the Antients. From Anderson's Constitutions, and the records of Grand Lodge, we have evidence from which we may gather that, from the first days of the Grand Lodge there were in existence lodges quite independent of the new organization, and on that account considered irregular, because they never would accept a constitution from their hands. Many reasons would keep these lodges from joining the Grand Lodge, the influx of society into Freemasonry, and the extension of the ceremonies being probably not the least important.
As time went on these old brethren, finding the breach widening, doubtless continued their own independent lodges, and made their friends and relations Masons in them. The references to irregular lodges, appearing in the Grand Lodge minutes, may relate to lodges such as these. It is also apparent that Irishmen --mostly of the artizan class--coming over to England during this period, would find the atmosphere of these independent lodges far more congenial than the more refined lodges, constituted by Grand Lodge, especially if they found altered ceremonies being practiced in these latter lodges. It only wanted some such circumstance as happened on Dec. 11, 1735, to consolidate this position. On this date we learn, from Grand Lodge minutes, that,
"Notice being given to the Grand Lodge that the Master and Wardens of a Lodge from Ireland attended without, desiring to be admitted, by virtue of a Deputation from the Lord Kingston present G. Master of Ireland. But it appearing there was no particular Recommendation from his Lord'p in this affair their Request could not be comply'd with, unless they would accept of a new Constitution here."
At this meeting, it is interesting to note, George Payne was acting as G. M. in the absence of Lord Weymouth, while Dr. Anderson and Jacob Lamball were Grand Wardens, pro tempore. There were also present the Masters and Wardens of fifty-seven lodges, of which all but one met in London. Anderson was no lover of Irish Masons; the Irish Grand Lodge had copied extensively from his Constitutions in 1730, and William Smith--probably an Irish Mason--had also pirated portions. Jacob Lamball was one of the old Masons who had, in 1717, thrown in his lot with the Grand Lodge. Hence the Irishmen received little consideration. The offer of an English Constitution does, I think, show that the Irishmen were no mere visitors to London, but had come to stay. Given the cold shoulder by their English brethren, it is at least probable that this lodge became the center of union of Irish Masons coming to London.
In course of time other independent lodges would naturally come into existence in London with a strong Irish membership. In 1745 Ireland actually warranted a lodge at Norwich but, beyond the names of the seven founders, nothing is known concerning it. Thanks to the researches of Bro. Henry Sadler, we can now state with confidence that it was from these independent lodges that the Grand Lodge of Antients emerged.
The beginnings of this Grand Lodge were small indeed. From their records it would appear that in July, 1751, when the decision to form a Grand Lodge was reached, there were not more than six lodges, with a total membership not exceeding eighty to come under its authority. In February, 1752, Laurence Dermott was appointed Grand Secretary, and to his enthusiasm and great organizing capacity is mainly due the success of that body.
This Grand Lodge gathered weight as the years rolled on. It was responsible for the warrants of the majority of the Military Lodges, and, consequently, sent Freemasonry into many different parts of the world. This Grand Lodge was in fraternal communication with the Grand Lodges of Scotland and Ireland. By the skill and ability of its rulers it became, in course of time a power equal to that of the premier Grand Lodge, and was thus enabled, when the opportune time arose, to negotiate a union on equal, if not advantageous, terms.
During the eighteenth century there were, in addition to the two Grand Lodges already dealt with, three other Grand Lodges in England, viz., The Grand Lodge of All England, with its headquarters at York; The Grand Lodge of All England South of the River Trent, the effort of William Preston; and The Supreme Grand Lodge of Scottish Masons in London, discovered by Bro. Sadler. None of these Grand Lodges gave any great uneasiness to the premier Grand Lodge, nor did they in any way affect the Masonic events of the period. They had all disappeared by the end of the eighteenth century, and we may therefore pass them by.
ATTEMPTS WERE MADE TO INCORPORATE GRAND LODGE
We must now return to the doings of the premier Grand Lodge. It was fully alive to the growing power of the Grand Lodge of the Antients, and did its utmost to organize and increase the power of its own Body. In October, 1768, the Duke of Beaufort, G. M., formed a plan to have the Society incorporated. This appears to have been a blow aimed at the rival body, and was so regarded by them. As we shall see it miscarried as did most efforts in that direction.
In 1769, the Grand Lodge agreed to the project of its G. M. and, the proposed Charter of Incorporation being drawn up, copies were circulated in favor of incorporation, only forty three being opposed to it, amongst which were to be numbered the Stewards, Royal, and Caledonian Lodges. The two former memorialized Grand Lodge to discontinue its project, but the Caledonian Lodge went further, and actually entered a caveat against it in the office of the Attorney General. Only a public apology prevented this lodge from being erased for this offense. Eventually, however, the minority won for in 1741, in consequence of the vigorous opposition in Parliament, in which "Antient" brethren participated, the consideration of the bill was postponed sine die upon the motion of the D. G. M., the Hon. Charles Dillon.
GRAND LODGE ACQUIRES A HOME
Contemporaneously with the attempted incorporation anotherand more successful effort was launched. The desire for a public hall resulted in Grand Lodge considering, in October 1768, "the most effectual means to raise a fund for defraying the expenses of building a Hall." By the end of 1774 premises in Great Queen Street were purchased, and the foundation stone of the new hall was laid on May 1, 1775. On May 23, 1776, the hall being completed, it was duly opened and dedicated in solemn form to Masonry, Virtue, Universal Charity, and Benevolence. In 1788, it was resolved to pull down and rebuild Freemason's Tavern, and as a consequence the Grand I.odge became heavily in debt. Many methods were adopted to raise funds, and inducements were offered to those who either gave to Grand Lodge, or forgave loans made to them. At the end of the century a special annual fee of 2/per member, throughout the Craft, was levied, and remained in force until 1810.
At the December meeting in 1797 of the Grand Lodge of the Antients, a motion was proposed unsuccessfully "that a Committee be appointed by the R. W. Grand Lodge to meet one that may be appointed by the Grand Lodge of Modern Masons and with them to effect a Union." The beginning of the nineteenth century saw further, but unsuccessful, negotiations.
In 1804 an address to his Grace the Duke of Atholl, on the subject of a union between the two rival bodies, was printed, but nothing came of it at that time. Negotiations then languished, but were resumed in 1809. On April 12, of that year, the premier Grand Lodge resolved that the necessity no longer existing, the several lodges be enjoined "to revert to the ancient Land Marks of the Society." The next important step was the issue of a warrant, dated Oct. 26, 1809, by the Earl of Moira, Acting Grand Master, to the seven Grand Officers of the year, and eight other brethren forming them into a lodge-afterwards known as the Special Lodge of Promulgation--"for the purpose of Promulgating the Ancient Land Marks of the Society, and instructing the Craft in all such matters and forms as may be necessary to be known by them." The warrant was only to continue in force until Dec. 31, 1810, a date subsequently twice extended, and finally fixed at March 31, 1811.
This lodge commenced its deliberations on Nov. 21, 1809. They held it to be their duty "first to ascertain what were the Ancient Land Marks and the Ancient practice, and then to communicate them to the Craft at large." All the forms and ceremonies of the Three Degrees, and the Installation Ceremony, were carefully gone through and approved; and it is clear that the outcome of their deliberations was largely in favor of the so-called Antient Masons. Amongst other things, the lodge resolved, on Oct. 18, 1810, that, "the Ceremony of the Installation of Masters of Lodges is one of the two Landmarks of the Craft and ought to be preserved." Bro. W. B. Hextall has pointed out that the word "two" in the minutes must have been sheer blundering. Either the scribe added this word to the original resolution, or wrote that word for the word "true." The lodge also decided that, "Deacons (being proved on due investigation to be not only Ancient but useful and necessary Officers) be recommended."
A UNION IS CONSUMMATED
Concurrently with the deliberations of the Special Lodge of Promulgation, the Grand Lodge of the Antients appointed, in December, 1809 a committee to consider and adopt measures for accomplishing a Masonic Union. This committee duly reported to its Grand Lodge and, in March, 1810, that Body resolved "that a Masonic Union on principles equal and honorable to both Grand Lodges and preserving inviolate the landmarks of the antient Craft would in the opinion of this Grand Lodge be expedient and advantageous to both."
This was forwarded to the premier Grand Lodge and, on April 10, 1810, they passed a resolution, "that this Grand Lodge welcomes with unfeigned cordiality the desire expressed by the Grand Lodge under his Grace the Duke of Atholl for a Union." They also appointed the original members of the Special Lodge of Promulgation to be a "Committee to negotiate the desirable arrangement." A committee of the Grand Lodge of the Antients was also appointed to confer with that committee, and the Articles of Union signed at Kensington Palace on Nov. 25, 1813, and duly ratified on the first of December following, was the result. These articles provided (inter alia) for the union of the two Grand Lodges, for the re-numbering of the lodges; the degrees to be recognized; that Past Masters should become members of Grand Lodge; and that a Lodge of Reconciliation should be warranted to deal with the forms and ceremonies to be used.
The Lodge of Reconciliation was to be formed by each Grand Master appointing "nine worthy and expert Master Masons, or Past Masters, of their respective Fraternities." The Grand Master of the premier Grand Lodge issued a warrant for the nine brethren to form a lodge under the name of the Lodge of Reconciliation. There was, apparently, no warrant issued by the Grand Lodge of the Antients to their nine brethren, who were brought into being by special dispensation. The first meeting, a joint one, took place on Dec. 10, 1813, and further meetings were held by each body prior to the 27th. Their work consisted in re-obligating brethren in preparation for the Union. The work of the Lodge of Reconciliation subsequent to the Union lies outside the scope of this article. The lodge continued in existence until 1816, and it well known that their labors contributed, very largely, to developing the ritual into the form we now use in our lodges in England today.
On Dec. 27, 1813, both Grand Lodges met at Freemasons' Hall, Great Queen Street, London. In this solemn Act of Union the members of the two Grand Lodges were intermingled. so as to show the Union into one single society. The Grand Master of both Grand Lodges were present, and on the proposition of H. R. H. the Duke of Sussex was unanimously, and with great acclamation, elected Grand Master of the
UNITED GRAND LODGE OF ANCIENT FREEMASONS OF ENGLAND.
The Constitutions of 1723
By W. BRO. LIONEL VIBERT
P.M. QUATUOR CORONATI LODGE, NO. 2076; EDITOR "MISCELLANEA LATOMORUM, England
It was evident very early in the career of the first Grand Lodge that there would have to be something in the nature of Regulations to deal with such matters as the election of the Grand Master and the conduct of the Annual Grand Feast; and it appears also to be the case that, as early as 1721, Grand Lodge proposed to retain in its own hands the privilege of conferring the degree known as the Master's Part, which was at that time the only degree practiced beyond that of Acceptance, or Admission. It being the recognized custom, at the time, that no one could be Master of a lodge who had not taken this degree, that conferred the rank of both Fellow and Master, it is obvious that this restriction operated to give Grand Lodge a large measure of control over the mastership of the lodges. Further, in 1721, it became apparent that another new departure was inevitable. The Four Old Lodges, that alone constituted Grand Lodge, were quite insufficient to cope with the numbers that now came into the Order, and some provision was clearly necessary to meet the requirements of the new brethren. What seems to have happened is that Grand Lodge formally took power to constitute new lodges, and ordered that all such lodges, to be regular, must have themselves constituted in accordance with the form prescribed by the central authority, the essential feature of which would seem to have been that they were enrolled in a list maintained in London, and their names were notified to all existing lodges. There is good reason to believe that the rules on this subject were first promulgated by Grand Master Payne, in 1721.
THIS HISTORY OF MASONRY IS RE-WRITTEN
It was in harmony with the spirit that animated the new body, that it now began to be felt that the old documents of the Craft were no longer suited to the of laws--the Old Charges--which had for a long time been in great measure obsolete, and had accordingly been ignored by the Masons, whenever they had occasion to frame regulations in their trade corporations. They had also preserved an elaborate legendary history, that could no longer be seriously maintained as a satisfactory account of the origin of the Craft. Accordingly when the suggestion was made that the new authority should have a new history written for it, it was readily adopted, and the offer of Mr. James Anderson-he became Dr. Anderson at a later date-to write this history appears to have been accepted by Grand Lodge in September, 1721.
The period was unfortunate. The history of the Craft, as we now recognize, is bound up with the development of Gothic architecture, and with the trade gild system of mediaeval England. The first quarter of the eighteenth century was a time when it was fashionable to despise the indigenous Gothic as barbarous, and to exalt the Renascence art of Bramante and Palladio at its expense. Anderson was not of that robust order of intellects that maintains opinions running counter to those generally held, and accordingly his attitude was that England, under the stuarts and Hanoverians, had at last returned to the right way and the true Art of Masonry.
The Traditional History traced Masonry, or Geometry, back to the children of Lamech, and brought it down from them to David and Solomon; curious craftsmen then disseminated the knowledge and brought it to France and England. In France, Charles Martel was the patron and protector of the Masons; in England, it was established by St. Alban first, and after by Athelstan and Edwin. No attempt had as yet been made to fill in the gaps in this narrative, which remained as it had been written some time early in the sixteenth century, that text itself being a revision of a much earlier account. Anderson adopted an entirely different scheme. He traced the art to Cain, who first built a city, having been instructed in Geometry by Adam. Then, after Grand Master Noah, we come to the Temple, which is described at great length, and from it all civilized architecture is derived. He traces the progress of the science, through Greece and Italy, to its culmination in Rome, in what he calls the Glorious Augustan Style. In Britain, after the Romans, all knowledge of the true art is lost, for Gothic is merely a barbarous substitute for it, and it is reserved for the House of stuart to restore the knowledge of it, which was done when James I introduced Renascence architecture into this country. Subsequent monarchs have encouraged the art by their bright example, in building Hampton Court, and so on, until the days of his Majesty King George, who laid the foundation of the church of St. Martin's in the existing conditions. They had furnished it with a code Fields.
In constructing this account of the Craft Anderson relied, almost exclusively, on his general knowledge, and made very little use even of such documents relating to the Masons themselves as were available at the time. Still less did he make any sort of independent inquiry. He was content to link up his Hanoverian Grand Lodge with Scotland and Rome, and to treat everything that was not due to one or the other of these influences as merely English barbarism.
OTHER MATTER IS ADDED
This history was completed during the mastership of Montagu, to whom the concluding paragraph refers; and the Dedication suggests that it was read by Montagu and approved by him. But it was not at once printed. The Craft had its traditional Rules, the Old Charges, and the new Grand Lodge had its own Regulations, introduced by Payne in 1721, and apparently it was decided that these should be embodied in the work as published, the task of preparing them for publication being also entrusted to Anderson, who possibly had for this part of his labors the assistance of brethren specially conversant with the facts. Current opinion, as we see from various allusions in contemporary literature, associated Desaguliers in particular, not only with this part of the work, but also with the History, it being suggested (somewhat uncharitably perhaps) that a note therein which indicates a knowledge of Hebrew could not have been written by Anderson without assistance. In any case, Anderson proceeded to embody in his work a set of Charges, thirty-nine Regulations, the Manner of Constituting a New Lodge, and a selection of poems and songs.
The Charges were six in number, and were in fact a complete restatement of precepts to be found in the old texts, with some added material. They have been preserved to our own day with certain verbal modifications. The Regulations, as Anderson has himself stated in the heading to them, were a restatement of Payne's original rules, and it is not possible to disentangle the new from the old in them; but it is obvious that they contain a great deal that was never put forward by Payne. Indeed, they are not even a statement of the law as it stood at the time, but are rather a draft of what Anderson considered it should be; for instance, they provide for a Treasurer, but this officer was not appointed for many years. They make elaborate provisions as to the election of the Grand Master, which never were the law, and they enact provisions with regard to the Annual Feast, which were independently promulgated some years later, the fact that Anderson had included them in his Regulations being ignored.
Such then was the First Book of Constitutions: a History, written in the taste of the time; a set of six so-called Ancient Charges, which were in fact a modern arrangement based on passages in the old texts; a code of Regulations corresponding to nothing that existed in practice; directions for the ceremony of constituting a new lodge, which were probably official and genuine; and a set of songs and poems of which one, the Enter'd Apprentice Song, has alone survived. The work was Anderson's private property, although it took rank as an official publication with the general public. From this book has come down the whole series of Constitutions, Ahiman Rezons, or whatever they may be styled, that have been issued by Grand Lodges all over the world, but the original model has of necessity been much varied in the course of time. The developments beyond the United Kingdom lie outside the scope of this article.
ITS VALUE AS CONTEMPORARY EVIDENCE
As a contemporary document the Constitutions of 1723 afford us a certain amount of information as to the condition of affairs in the Craft at this period, but not so much as we would like; far from it. In this respect the most important contribution is a list of lodges, distinguished by numbers merely, which is appended to what is called the Approbation. The work was submitted for the approval of Grand Lodge, in manuscript, in December, or late in November, 1722, and was then ordered to be printed; and a formal and very long Approbation was drawn up, possibly by Anderson himself, which was signed by the Masters and Wardens of twenty lodges--in two cases the signature of the Master has not been obtained. This is a valuable list of names. A year later, in November, 1723, the Grand Secretary compiled a list of lodges with names of their members in many cases, which is still on record in the first Minute Book of Grand Lodge.
From this and other sources, it appears that in December, 1722, there were at least twenty-three lodges in existence, so that three were not represented at the meeting of Grand Lodge at which the Approbation was signed. But no conclusion can be drawn from this circumstance. At the same time, from the actual minutes it is apparent that, when the brethren had had time to study Anderson's Charges and Regulations, many of them were very far from approving the way in which he had carried out the work entrusted to him. The publication being, however, a private venture, the most they could do was to prevent any resolution being recorded approving of his version of the Regulations, or confirming it; and this was what actually happened at the next meeting of Grand Lodge after the publication, when a resolution to that effect had to be withdrawn, and one was submitted that it was in the power of no person to make any innovation in the Body of Masonry without the consent of the Annual Meeting of Grand Lodge. Anderson seems to have realized that he had not earned the esteem of the brethren, for he did not appear again in Grand Lodge for some seven years.
The work also enables us to reconstruct the actual history of the events of 1722, as to which Anderson in his second edition in 1738 put forward a very inaccurate story. The Grand Master from June, 1722, to June, 1723, was Philip, Duke of Wharton, a nobleman of a most unstable and eccentric disposition, who quitted England in 1725, a discredited Jacobite, and after wandering about the continent died in a Spanish monastery in the utmost indigence and misery in May, 1731. In 1723 he had had a serious difference with the Grand Lodge, which refused to allow itself to be turned into a Jacobite political organization for his benefit, and he revenged himself by founding a rival society, styled the Gormogons, which professed to impart the secret wisdom of the Chinese, and assured all concerned that the Freemasons were a set of charlatans and humbugs. The Society collapsed as soon as his influence had been withdrawn. Accordingly, while in 1723 during his Grand-Mastership his name was given due prominence in the Constitutions, the position of affairs was very different in 1738. Anderson now alleged that Wharton, instead of succeeding to the office in the regular course in June, 1722, had got himself irregularly elected by a small clique, and was only allowed to hold office at all through the generosity of Montagu, who in January, 1723, recognized his authority, and permitted him to complete his year of office with his own Deputy and Wardens. That Wharton had been Grand Master could not well be denied, but it was now made to appear that he seized the office by fraud, and only held it by Montagu's good will. The whole story is a fabrication; the Constitutions of 1723 show conclusively that Wharton was Grand Master in his own right, with the approval of at least twenty lodges out of twenty-three in December, 1722, and was then busy constituting new lodges, and the contemporary references in the newspapers show that he was not merely elected in June, 1722, but was chosen by a unanimous vote.
MAKING MASTERS IN GRAND LODGE BECOMES OBSOLETE
We learn, from the official Minutes, that the direction of Grand Lodge, which appears in the Regulations, that the superior Degree, the Master's Part, was only to be conferred in Grand Lodge, was abrogated in November, 1725. It is obvious that as soon as there were lodges all over England--and the Craft had begun to spread to the country in the previous year--this restriction was unworkable. It is most probable that the restriction was in fact never observed. It would almost appear as though Payne, at the same time that he regularized the formation of new lodges in 1721, thought it wise to institute this check on their activities; but that the old lodges were not willing to allow what had been their time immemorial privilege to be thus taken from them, and that the Regulation was in fact a dead letter. This may indeed be the explanation of the introduction of the intermediate degree of the Fellowcraft, which was arrived at, not by interfering with the Master's Part, but by splitting up the Acceptance. By this means a Brother became a Fellow, and so technically eligible to be the Master of a lodge; and Grand Lodge's position being thus turned as it were, the abrogation of the Regulation was bound to follow sooner or later. The custom which makes it necessary that the Master should have taken the Third Degree is a development of later date.
There are very few hints of Ritual in the book. We have a prescribed form of words for the ceremony of constituting a new lodge; we have the definite statement that there were only two degrees, the Admission, and the Master's Part, which conferred the rank of Fellow and Master; and we have a long note in the History on the name Hiram Abif. This indicates that the name itself was not regarded as secret--although it does appear that it had been so considered in earlier times--and also shows, as we should expect, that it had a particular significance for the Craft. It was also a name which, outside the Craft, would at this time be unknown to the general public, as it had disappeared from our Bibles by 1550, or so. Accordingly, it was presumably because it had been preserved in the lodges themselves, without its exact meaning being understood, that a note was now deemed appropriate. It cannot be said that there is anywhere in the work a specific reference to any other degree, although there are several hints of mystery introduced, and at the end there occurs the phrase "the whole body resembles a well-built Arch."
In the same way as the original restrictions as to conferring the higher degree had to go by the board, so the form of constituting a new lodge had to be modified when lodges had come into existence far away from the metropolis. Originally, the ceremony was to be conducted by the Grand Master or his Deputy in person; later the duty was delegated to a deputy appointed ad hoc, in the locality; and eventually the formalities were exchanged for the issue of a written certificate--the Warrant of today--the ceremony being carried out by the Provincial authorities. The Provincial system, which is peculiar to this country, is in its development closely connected with the constituting of new lodges.
In 1738 Anderson brought out his second edition. In this he re-wrote the History in such a fashion that Gould was driven to suggest that he was either failing in his wits, or deliberately hoaxing the Grand Lodge. But it was an uncritical age, and this extraordinary account of our origin and early history, was solemnly reprinted for a century and more by Preston, Oliver and others, and is not without its admirers today. It ceased to appear as part of the Constitutions after the Union. In 1738 Anderson also re-issued his original Regulations, but he added to them a confused jumble of alleged amendments and explanations, which made the whole thing unintelligible. In the next edition, that of 1756, the Regulations were entirely recast. They were again revised in 1815 and still again in 1882, when they took the form they have today, although since then various small amendments have been made. Throughout all these changes a certain amount of Anderson's wording has persisted, and can still be traced, in the earlier Regulations of our modern official Constitutions. The Six Charges stand today very nearly as he wrote them in 1723.
The influence of this work on the Craft ever since its original publication, just over two hundred years ago, is difficult to estimate; but with all its faults it must always be one of the most important possessions of Freemasons.
Royalty and Their Patronage of the Craft
By W. BRO. J. WALTER HOBBS, P.M., L.R., P. Z., ETC.
LITERARY EDITOR "MASONIC RECORD," England
Great Kings, Dukes and Lords,
Have laid by their Swords,
Our myst'ry to put a good grace on;
And ne'er been ashamed
To hear themselves nam'd
With a Free and an Accepted Mason.
THUS sang the late Bro. Matthew Birkhead in 1722 in a song which is still heard among the English Craft in many places, at the toast of the health of an initiate. Bro. Birkhead sang of a time when the association of Royalty with the English Craft was but a tradition, or perchance something less, for his knowledge of the past history of the old Craft could not have been great even if derived from some old brother or from a copy of the Old Charges. The magician's wand of fanciful history it is true was being waved around by that master of the imaginative art, Dr. Anderson, but whether Bro. Birkhead (who is named in the 1723 Constitutions as Master of a lodge, and in the heading to the song as "our deceas'd Brother") knew of Anderson's work and realized the extent to which that brother had unwarrantably called in the great ones of the earth as Grand Masters or not it would not much matter. It was still tradition as I have said, and in cases the facts do not justify the assertions even on the ground of probability.
The Old Charges as we know them refer, it is true, to royal personages as supporters of the Craft, as having loved Masons well, given them a Charge, and called Assemblies. The historical value of these statements is mostly nil, the traditional value very little more. Some support can be obtained by inference for statements here and there but the Masonic historian who treats the subject as definitely proved, has a good deal to learn.
Where then shall I begin? Excursions in the realm of imagination are barred and if they were not I should not travel that way. To lose oneself in a maze of Continental Masonic degrees and their royal patrons would be valueless because this article is written for the purposes of a British number in order to afford readers of THE BUILDER sufficiently interesting and conclusively proved material in regard to the members of the royal ruling houses in England subsequent to the origination of the Mother Grand Lodge of the World in 1717. The ideas of the founders of this organization may not be clearly understood now, for the period of the early growth and limited operations of the reorganized Craft is one still calling for much patient research and care. It can, however, be accepted that although there is nothing to show that Payne, Desaguliers and Anderson had anything to do with the origination of Grand Lodge--yet it was hoped by some one to get a nobleman to become Grand Master. This eventuated in 1721 with the installation of John, Duke of Montagu, since which time noblemen, or Princes of the Blood Royal, have continuously succeeded to that high office or have been members of the Craft.
We shall then proceed to enumerate the Royal Patrons of the Craft, meaning thereby the Blue, or Symbolic, Masonry.
1. H.R.H. FREDERICK PRINCE OF WALES, 1737
The Grand Lodge of England had enjoyed the presence of noble Grand Masters for nearly twenty years before any scion of the reigning family became a member of the Craft. The first to do so was Frederick Lewis, Prince of Wales, the eldest son of H. M. King George II. The record of his initiation and of his proceeding to the subsequent degrees is contained in Anderson's Constitutions of 1738. The initiation took place on Nov. 5, 1737, at an occasional lodge held in the Palace at Kew, near Richmond, Surrey. The Master of this lodge was the Rev. Dr. J. T. Desaguliers, a Past Grand Master, with other brethren present, including the Rt. Hon. Charles Calvert, Sixth Baron Baltimore. Anderson goes on to say, the lodge being formed and held, H. R. H. "was in the usual manner introduced and made an Enter'd Prentice and Fellow Craft." He continues that "our said Royal Brother was made a Master Mason by the same Lodge that assembled there for that purpose." Whether this was at the same time, so that our Royal Brother was Initiated, Passed and Raised on the same day may be open to doubt, but the practice of the two first degrees being conferred on the same occasion was not unusual, without regard to the rank of the candidate. That the "usual manner" is mentioned bears this out, and further indicates as incorrect what is sometimes assumed to be the case with royal brethren, that the usual formalities and procedure are not adopted but waived in their favor. That the Prince took more than a superficial interest in the Craft is clear for the 1738 Book of Constitutions was dedicated to him (and he is there described as a Master Mason and Master of a Lodge) and actually presented to him by Anderson in 1739 at a private audience on the introduction of the Marquis of Carnavon, the then Grand Master, who was in the minutes of Grand Lodge, April 6, 1738, described as a "Gentleman of the Bedchamber to our Brother His Royal Highness, Frederick, Prince of Wales." Our royal brother died in 1751 and his activity in the Craft is not further known, but that the Craft was not regarded with disfavor by his family is clear, for no less than three of his sons, viz., the Dukes of York, Gloucester and Cumberland became members of it, the latter becoming Grand Master in 1782, as will be seen later. The eldest son of this Prince became King George III, but he was not a member of the Craft.
2. H.R.H. WILLIAM AUGUSTUS DUKE OF CUMBERLAND, 1743
He was brother of Frederick, Prince of Wales, being the second son of King George II. He is said in Multa Paucis to have been initiated in 1743 in Belgium, but although Gould refers to this there is but little to support the statement. The Duke was a notable soldier and commanded the English troops in the Low Countries at the battle of Fontenoy in 1745. Of his other military exploits nothing need be said here.
3. H.R.H. EDWARD AUGUSTUS DUKE OF YORK, 1765
This Prince was son of the above named Prince of Wales and brother to King George III. He was initiated at Berlin on July 27, 1765, in a French speaking lodge there, which, after the Duke's admission adopted the name of the "Royal York Lodge of Friendship," and obtained a warrant from the Grand Lodge of England under which it worked, and to which Constitution it remained subject, until its cessation many years afterwards. The Duke was patron of the lodge. The Duke of York was present in the following year when his brother the Duke of Gloucester was initiated in the New Lodge at the Horn, Westminster, No. 313, of which lodge he himself became an honorary member. He was appointed Past Grand Master, as became customary until the present generation.
4. H.R.H. WILLIAM HENRY DUKE OF GLOUCESTER, 1766
He was brother to the Duke of York (No. 3) and the Duke of Cumberland (No. 5) and to King George II. He was initiated on Feb. 16, 1766, at an occasional lodge held at the Horn Tavern, Westminster, being the New Lodge, No. 313 (as distinguished from the Old Lodge also held there). The then Grand Master, Lord Blayney, was in the chair as Master and the Duke proceeded to all three degrees on that occasion. Report being made (as in all cases of Royal Masons) of the admission of the Prince into the Craft to Grand Lodge, he was appointed a Past Grand Master in 1767. He became an honorary member of the New Lodge, which was afterwards called the Royal Lodge, and attended some of its meetings.
5. H.R.H. HENRY FREDERICK DUKE OF CUMBERLAND, 1767; G.M., 1782-90
This Prince was also brother to the last two named, and the third of the sons of the first royal Freemason (No. 1). The Duke was initiated on Feb. 9, 1767, at an occasional (or emergency) lodge at the Thatched House Tavern, St. James's, the home of the Royal Lodge, No. 313, already mentioned, and was passed and raised on the same occasion. Upon the usual report to Grand Lodge he was appointed Past Grand Master. The activities of the Duke of Cumberland were very considerable, for in 1782 he was elected Grand Master of the Craft. It may be noted that this is the date given in the official Year Book issued by Grand Lodge, but Gould in his History gives 1783, the point is however not of importance as election and installation may explain the difference. He filled this office until his death in 1790. It was with his support and patronage that the great Institution for Girls, as it is today, was founded; and as indicating the Grand Master's interest it may be noted that it was then called the Royal Cumberland Freemasons' School, and the Duchess took a personal interest in the management and in the scholars. It is a provision of the English Constitution that where the Grand Master is a Prince of the Blood Royal there should be an Acting Grand Master--who must be a Peer of the Realm (now called Pro Grand Master), and in the present instance the Earl of Effingham so acted from 1782 to 1789, when he died.
6. H.R.H. WILLIAM HENRY DUKE OF CLARENCE, 1786 (AFTERWARDS, KING WILLIAM IV)
This Prince was third son of King George III and the first of six of them who became Freemasons. He was initiated on March 9, 1786, in the Prince George Lodge, No. 86, meeting at Plymouth. The Duke followed the naval profession and was ultimately Lord High Admiral so that his initiation in a naval port may be regarded as a professional act. His reception into the Craft was not announced to Grand Lodge until the following year and until after that of his eldest brother, George, Prince of Wales (No. 7). This Duke was, as customarily, appointed Past Grand Master. He was installed as Master of the Prince of Wales' Lodge on Feb. 22, 1822, and so remained until 1830. This lodge was formed in honor of the Prince of Wales as noted under (No. 7). In 1830 the Duke succeeded to the throne on the death of his brother, King George IV, and so became Patron of the Craft. The active interest in the Craft of necessity ceases in the case of monarchs.
7. H.R.H. GEORGE PRINCE OF WALES, 1787; G.M., 1790-1813 (AFTERWARDS KING GEORGE IV)
He was the eldest son of King George III and was initiated at a Special Lodge held for the purpose on Feb. 6, 1787, at the Star and Garter, Pall Mall. The news was communicated to Grand Lodge the next day by the Grand Master, the Duke of Cumberland (No. 5), and a resolution of appreciation of the honor conferred on the Society by the Prince's initiation was passed and the Prince was appointed a place in Grand Lodge next to and on the right of the Grand Master. On the death of the Duke of Cumberland in 1790 he was elected Grand Master and was installed as such in 1792. The Prince of Wales' Lodge was founded in his honor in 1787 (now No. 259), of which the Prince was Master from 1787 to 1820, the year in which he succeeded to the throne. Prior to this he was, owing to his father's ill-health, Prince Regent from 1811 to 1820, and in the year 1813 resigned as Grand Master but remained as Patron of the Craft. He was also Grand Master and Grand Patron of the Grand Lodge of Scotland.
8. H.R.H. FREDERICK DUKE OF YORK, 1787
He was second son of George III and was the third of the sons who became a member of the Craft. He was initiated in the Britannic Lodge, No. 29, on Nov. 21, 1787, and appointed a Past Grand Master. The Duke is known to have attended various Masonic functions and Grand Lodge. He was Master of the Prince of Wales' Lodge, 1823 to 1827. He died in the latter year.
9. H.R.H. EDWARD DUKE OF KENT, 1790
He was the fourth son of George III and the fourth of such sons to be received into the Craft. He was initiated in the Union Lodge of Geneva on some date not discovered, but the fact of the Duke's initiation was announced in Grand Lodge on Feb. 10, 1790. He was appointed a Past Grand Master of Grand Lodge and later was District Grand Master for "Gibraltar and the Province of Andalusia in Old Spain" from 1790 to 1801. It is here needful to specify that this was the Grand Lodge of 1717 (Moderns), for this Royal Brother was one to whom the Craft was indebted for facilitating the Union of the Grand Lodges. His influence no doubt largely predominated with the Ancients for on the resignation of their Grand Master, John, fourth Duke of Atholl, this Royal Prince was admitted an Ancient Mason and elected as such in his place for the purpose of giving effect to the Union, as appears in the records thereof and Hughan's Memorials of the Union. (It may be mentioned here that many descendants of this Prince, through his only child, Princess, afterwards Queen victoria of revered memory, became members of the Craft.)
10. H.R.H. PRINCE WILLIAM DUKE OF GLOUCESTER, 1795
This Prince was a son of H.R.H. Prince William Henry, Duke of Gloucester (No. 4 above), and nephew of King George III, one of whose daughters he married. He was initiated in the Britannic Lodge, No. 29, on May 12, 1795, and being a Prince of the Blood Royal was accorded the privilege of a Past Grand Master. He took part in Masonic functions--attended the Grand Festival, and so on. In the case of several of these royal personages one must always remember that they were necessarily over-shadowed by the Prince of Wales, the virtual head of the family, being also at the head of the Craft, so that their activities were restricted or the record of them not so elaborate.
11. H.R.H. ERNEST AUGUSTUS DUKE OF CUMBERLAND, 1796 (AFTERWARDS KING OF HANOVER)
This Prince was the fifth son of King George III and also the fifth of the family to become a Freemason. He was initiated on May 11, 1796, in the house of that great Freemason, the Earl of Moira (afterwards Marquis of Hastings) who was then Acting Grand Master having been appointed as such in the place of the Earl of Effingham who died in 1789. He, too, was appointed a Past Grand Master. He succeeded as King of Hanover owing to that title being relinquished by his elder brothers and not passing by reason of the Salic Law to Queen victoria.
12. H.R.H. AUGUSTUS FREDERICK DUKE OF SUSSEX, 1798; DEP. G.M., 1812; G.M., 1813-1843
He was the sixth son of King George III and the last of the six brothers who were members of the Craft, and was no doubt the most active Grand Master the Craft had ever seen.
He was initiated in the Royal York Lodge of Friendship in Berlin in the year 1798 (a reference to this lodge will be found under the name (No. 3) Edward Augustus Duke of York 1765). He was appointed a Past Grand Master in 1805. On Feb. 12, 1812, he was appointed as Deputy G. M., and in 1813 he was elected Grand Master in the place of the Prince of Wales, who had been Prince Regent from 1811 but now resigned. This office of Grand Master the Duke of Sussex held at the Union and was G. M. of the United Grand Lodge until 1843. He was Master of the Prince of Wales' Lodge from 1831 to 1843, the year of his death.
It would be a long story to tell of all the Duke of Sussex did as Grand Master and the effect of his actions. Some may not bear the construction now put upon them; some may be too lightly regarded now; but at any rate he filled a difficult position, for after having had a share in the Union of the Grand Lodge he had to rule over the new organization and deal with a period of transition, the difficulties of which the Masonic historian has not yet fully dealt with. One can see in Freemasons' Hall, London, the statue of the Duke placed there by the Craft in 1846 as a token of their esteem and in the Library can be seen the magnificent piece of plate presented to the Duke in 1838 on completing his twenty-fifth year of office as Grand Master. He died on April 21, 1843, and there being then no Royal Prince a Freemason, the Earl of Zetland was elected G. M.
It is beyond the scope of this article to tell of the Masonic doings of those Royal Freemasons who have been initiated into the Craft since the Union of 1813. It may, however, be permissible to say that there are at present four members of the Royal Family within the ranks of Freemasonry. The manifold and great services of our revered Grand Master, H.R.H. the Duke of Connaught, are too well known to need repetition. The other Royal Freemasons, viz., H.R.H. the Prince of Wales, H.R.H. the Duke of York, and H.R.H. Prince Arthur of Connaught, have all recently been selected by the Grand Master to rule over Masonic Provinces in England, and, from personal knowledge, I should like to add that these royal appointments to Provincial Grand Masterships are no mere titular honors, honorific though they be, but they entail a good deal of actual work. The three last named royal brethren are deeply imbued with the dignity and high importance of the Craft, and are active in their duties, and in their practice of Masonry and its ceremonial, and, in words of old time commendation, they are "worthy Masons all."
While in the English Constitution the association of females as members of the Craft has never been permitted or allowed, yet the patronage of exalted ladies, and indeed of ladies of every rank, to the great Masonic Charities has always been welcome. Notable examples of this may be found in the patronage to the Girls' School of the Duchess of Cumberland and of Queen Adelaide (wife of King William IV), besides Queen Victoria, Queen Alexandra and Queen Mary in more recent years. Also this reference to royal ladies would not be complete without mention of Princess Mary, daughter of King George III, who married a Freemason (see No. 10 above), as also did Princess Mary, daughter of King George V, within the last few years.
Neither time nor space permit of a reference to the Capitular and other degrees to which our royal brethren have extended their patronage.
And a final word, as an historian and student of the progress of the Craft, as well as a personal observer of persons, actions and doings in the Craft of today, I am persuaded that the advantage to the Craft Universal of the membership of the royal brethren to whom I have referred and of those who have joined the brotherhood since the Union of 1813, is great and permanent, and has always tended to enhance the dignity and prestige of the Craft, and the importance and value of its imperishable principles and tenets.
“Adhuc Stat" - A Sketch of the History of the Grand Lodge of Ireland
By BRO. JOHN HERON LEPPER, W.M., Quatuor Coronati Lodge, No. 2076, England
THE eastern seaports of Ireland having been constantly affected by English influence from the year 1173, when Henry II granted the City of Dublin to the subjects of his City of Bristol to inhabit, it is not surprising to discover traces of phenomena identical with those that preceded the establishment Freemasonry as a social institution in England, also appearing in the smaller island. Thus we find the Gilds of Dublin as late as 1541 indulging in annual Corpus Christi plays (Note 1), the term "Freemason" occurring on monuments at the beginning of the seventeenth century, the Masonic Ritual a subject for the mirth of the uninitiated by 1688 (Note 2), and, apparently, Speculative lodges established in country districts, remote from any town, prior to the accession of George I (Note 3).
When, therefore, the Freemasons of London and Westminster decided, in 1717, to form a central body to regulate their general interests, much as the Independent States of America evolved their Federation in 1788, it might be expected that the idea would cross the sea and be copied by the Freemasons of Ireland: and so it happened.
GENESIS OF THE IRISH GRAND LODGE
It is impossible to say, in default of early official MS. records, the exact date at which a Grand Lodge was first established in Dublin. That such a body was in existence in 1725 is certain, thanks to a long and curious account given in a Dublin newspaper (Note 4). From this we learn that about one hundred brethren belonging to the six lodges of "Gentlemen Freemasons who are under the Jurisdiction of the Grand Master" assembled at 11 a.m. on June 24, at the Yellow Lion in Werburgh Street, and proceeded in coaches to the King's Inns (Note 5), wearing "Aprons, White Gloves, and other parts of the Distinguishing Dress of that Worshipful Order."
After a procession round the great hall of the Inns "with many important ceremonies," the Grand Lodge "retired to the Room prepared for them, where after performing the Mystical Ceremonies of the Grand Lodge which are held so sacred, that they must not be discovered to a Private Brother; they proceeded to the Election of a new Grand Master &c." The election resulted in the Earl of Rosse being declared G.M., Sir Thomas Prendergast and Mark Morgan, Esq., Grand Wardens, and the G. M. was pleased to appoint Humphrey Butler, Esq., his Deputy. The G.M. was then conducted to his place, and invested with the jewel of his office, a gold trowel hung on a black ribbon; after the brethren all dined together sumptuously, and later attended a play in full Masonic costume (Note 6).
This is the earliest account we have of the meeting Grand Lodge in Dublin, and though apparently it had then been in existence for some time, it cannot have contemplated any authority over lodges remote from the metropolis, because, in the following year, a similar body was established in Cork City, and assumed the style of the Grand Lodge of Munster, having as its Grand Master, the Hon. James O'Brien, and as Deputy G. M., Springett Penn. Both these Masons were members of English lodges (Note 7).
But a more famous Irish Freemason of the day, who also had received his degrees in an English lodge, was James, fourth Lord Kingston. In 1728 he had been elected and served as G. M. of England; and, in 1730 (Note 8), became G.M. of Ireland; and in August, 1731, G.M. of Munster. His tenure of the dual office in Ireland apparently led to the fusion of the two Grand Lodges into one that since that date has been truly national (Note 9).
Lord Kingston's tenancy of these three chairs in Masonry is important, as showing that at this date the Ritual innovations, that afterwards led to estrangement between the Masonic jurisdictions of England and Ireland, cannot yet have come into being. His tenures of office should also serve to remind Irish Masons that while the existent Irish Rite is probably the most unaltered version extant of early eighteenth century Masonic Ritual, yet its well-head was no other than the primitive English Rite, as practiced before 1730, possibly with a few additions of Anglo-Irish phrases or ceremonies--distinctions without any real difference.
THE FIRST WARRANTS
At some time during 1731, the Grand Lodge of Ireland determined to bind closer to the central authority all the lodges in Ireland that would acknowledge its supremacy, by issuing to them a document that should be the warrant for their Masonic proceedings; and accordingly on Feb. 7, 1732 (N.S.), the first of these authorizations to hold a lodge and make Masons were issued. This was a purely Irish invention that was copied later by the Grand Lodge of the Antients in England, and later still by the Grand Lodge of the Moderns, the title willingly assumed in the eighteenth century by the Mother of all Grand Lodges. It is by no means certain that every existing lodge in Ireland applied at once for one of these new warrants (Note 10). In fact, the evidence tends to show that a good many, particularly in remote parts of the country, were content to go on working in the "time immemorial" manner; but these recalcitrants were not treated as regular Masons by those who adhered to the Grand Lodge, and in time they died out (Note 11).
The effect produced by the issue of these warrants was universal, not merely local. It was some time before the law crystallized that a warrant should be anchored to one place, and at first the idea prevailed that any band of Masons possessing one of these charters was legally entitled to make initiates wherever it took the warrant. This procedure was checked by a new law made June 24, 1741 (Note 12), but in the beginning the Grand Lodge seems tacitly to have assented to the practice, particularly as it had issued warrants as early as 1732 to military lodges, enabling them to hold regular meetings all over the inhabitable globe. The great spread of Masonry in the American Colonies is attributable in a great part, no doubt, to this practice. But the influence of the Grand Lodge of Ireland on America did not end with this: the fact that the native American lodges would naturally be impressed by the working they observed under the ambulatory Irish warrants, during a period when the only ambulatory warrants were Irish, led them to mistrust those alterations in the Ritual that the Grand Lodge of the Moderns saw fit to adopt for well nigh eighty years. The enormous emigration from Ireland to America during the eighteenth century also helped to cement the Masonic ties between the two countries; indeed, it is quite likely that some of the earliest Irish warrants whose original bailiwicks and ultimate resting places are unknown may have helped to lay the foundations of those great Masonic Constitutions whose extent and vitality seem so marvelous to us today.
THE STRENGTH OF THE IRISH JURISDICTION
If we are to measure the growth of the Grand Lodge of Ireland during the eighteenth century by the number of warrants it issued, we find that it increased from 36 lodges in 1734 to 195 in June, 1749; by 1758 the number had risen to 300; by the end of 1782 it was 610; and in 1804, when Downes' famous list was published, the Grand Lodge of Ireland had well over 700 lodges on its roll. But at none of these periods could those numbers be taken au pied de la lettre, for there were always some lodges either moribund or dormant, as an analysis of the lists would show, did space permit. During the nineteenth century the number of lodges varied, the high water mark being reached in 1815 when 1020 subordinate lodges were in official existence. The number at present working approaches 600.
The members of the Grand Lodge at its formation consisted of the Grand Master; his Deputy, whom he nominated; the Grand Wardens, elected by Grand Lodge; all Past Grand Officers; and all Masters and Wardens of subordinate lodges. In 1749 the Grand Master's Lodge was formed, and all Master Masons raised therein were given the privilege of sitting and voting in Grand Lodge. This privilege continued down to 1837, when it was rescinded and extended instead to all properly certificated Past Masters. The number of the Grand Officers has been increased from time to time, and at present includes the representatives of all foreign Grand Lodges with whom fraternal communication exists, an excellent tribute paid to the universality of the Craft, and a constant reminder that our Masonic duties and interests are not bounded by the limits of any one particular Constitution.
Space does not permit the inclusion of much detail about such important matters as the development of the Irish Masonic charitable organizations and the evolution of Masonic jurisprudence. But both must be mentioned. In regard to the former, it will be enough to say that the first successful attempt to deal on an adequate scale by the children of deceased brethren dates from 1792. In that year the liberality and energy of some members of Royal Arch Lodge, No. 190, Dublin (1749-1815), launched the Masonic Female Orphan School, whose record since then has been one of increasing success and blessing. It has been followed by the Masonic Orphan Boys' School (1867), and by such splendidly administered pieces of provincial emulation as the Belfast Masonic Charity and Widows' Funds, and the Down Masonic Widows' Fund.
In the matter of the evolution of Masonic jurisprudence, the most interesting development took place as early as 1768, when the Grand Lodge created an Inspection Committee to decide upon the eligibility of candidates for Freemasonry in the metropolitan district. Since that year no man has been initiated in a Dublin lodge till his name has been approved by the Grand Lodge Committee, and the same provision has since been adopted in other important Masonic provinces in Ireland. This is, of course, not an infallible method of securing the admission of none but worthy men, but it does tend to exclude undesirable members and is yet another way in which the Grand Lodge of Ireland has set a good example.
Other minutiae of changes that have accumulated during almost, perhaps quite, two centuries of government, while they would loom largely in a complete history, must be discarded in a short sketch; but mention should be made that since 1829 the Royal Arch Degree has had a central governing body of its own, known as the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Ireland; since 1836 the Knights Templar have been ruled by a supreme body now known as the Grand Preceptory; and since 1826 the Supreme Council of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite has exercised jurisdiction over all degrees in its system superior to the Craft degrees. Prior to these respective dates those Orders, and many other Masonic degrees as well, were conferred in the Craft lodges at the convenience and free will of the members.
THE ULSTER SCHISM
During its long life the authority of the Grand Lodge of Ireland has only once been seriously threatened by internal schism (Note 13). This took place in the period 1806-1813, when a number of Ulster lodges, deceived by the misrepresentations of Alexander Seton, a former Deputy Grand Secretary, who had been dismissed from his office for misconduct, attempted to secede and form a Grand Lodge for the province of Ulster (Note 14).
It was due entirely to the tact and disinterested efforts of the reigning Grand Master, Richard, second Earl of Donoughmore, that the better class Masons who supported the movement at the outset, because of certain undoubted grievances, returned to their natural allegiance within a very short time; while those who persisted in following Seton only involved themselves and their lodges in disrepute, not merely at home but also all over the Masonic world. The Grand Lodge of Ireland emerged from a severe inter-necine war, if not stronger in numbers, stronger in having vindicated its authority without compromising its dignity, and within a few years all the rebel lodges had either submitted, or become extinct, or if they continued to drag out an estranged existence were regarded with abhorrence as clandestine Masons.
To the student of this unhappy event one thing stands out enshrined, the truly Masonic spirit of the Grand Master, a broad-minded, warm-hearted man, who thoroughly deserved the tribute addressed to him by his Irish brethren when in 1813 he retired from office, at his own request:
"Your lordship's services to this institution will long live in the grateful remembrance of a Society whose principles ensure its duration, and who will ever rank the name of Donoughmore among those that are dearest to Masonry and Ireland."
That these words were no mere empty compliment was shown exactly one hundred years later, when 2,000 Irish Masons assembled in Grand Lodge to acclaim as their new Grand Master, another Earl of Donoughmore, who since then has amply proved that he has inherited not the honors and name only, but also the ability of his great ancestor to maintain the dignity of his office and be a trusted and beloved leader in time of stress.
IRISH MASONIC INFLUENCES
The influence of the Grand Lodge of Ireland on new, independent Masonic Constitutions has been large, out of all proportion to the home territory it governs, a fact that has never, in default of an official history, been adequately realized by the Craft generally. Allusion has already been made to its work in the U.S.A. In Canada, too, Irish lodges were early at work as well as in the British West Indies; Masons in Portugal, Peru, Brazil have worn our colors; the very first lodge held in Australia met under an Irish warrant No. 227 held in the old 46th Regiment; and in that Commonwealth as well as in New Zealand, Africa and India, some lodges still retain their allegiance to the old Irish Constitution. Let me add, that the Grand Lodge of Ireland never places any obstacle in the way of one of its lodges wishing to sever connection with the Mother Constitution to join a newly-formed Grand lodge in the country where it is situated; and provided the new Constitution conform to the ancient standards it is assured of immediate recognition and brotherly cooperation from the Grand Lodge of Ireland, which is swift to welcome the appearance of a new star in the banner of the Masonic Federation of the World.
IRISH MASONIC CELEBRITIES AND SCHOLARS
Throughout a history of two centuries it is but to be expected that the Grand Lodge of Ireland should be able to show with pride many distinguished names on her rolls, but of all on the list possibly none exerted more lasting effect upon the Freemasonry of his generation, aye, and of future generations, than that stickler for orthodoxy in matters of the Craft, the inspired journeyman-painter Laurence Dermott. His story has been well and fully told by divers scholars (Note 15) but no reference to the Irish Grand Lodge would be complete without mention of the brother who was initiated in Lodge No. 26 in 1740, became its Master in 1746, and departed to England to become the most notable figure in eighteenth century Masonry, as poet, controversialist, and restorer of the old landmarks --to say nothing of his being the inventor of a term, which I understand to be very bad Hebrew, Ahiman Rezon, which like a javelin of flame flew from him with such impetus as even to cross the Atlantic and to be adopted for long enough as a symbol by those who prided themselves upon preserving the old traditions of the Craft (Note 16).
Laurence Dermott is the more noteworthy, because the Grand Lodge of Ireland has not produced a great number of historians or writers who have added to our knowledge. Vallancey and O'Brien (of the Round Towers), however, are still occasionally quoted by those who have never learned caution, and there have been several deservedly respected names in our own times. Some like Twiss, John Robinson, Tait, and Redfern Kelly are still with us; others, alas, are no longer here to teach us, such as F. C. Crossle, Westropp, and the Master Mason of them all, the late Dr. Chetwode Crawley, some time Grand Treasurer, a scholar so meticulous, whose work was so comprehensive that those who come after him seeking to pursue some line of research often find themselves only plowing a furrow that has already been broken by his industry. That there is still something to be added to the work he accomplished is merely another way of saying that the progress of knowledge never stands still, but his followers and emulators may well despair of ever hoping to surmount his total of achievement. It may have been some satisfaction to his last years to see the formation in Dublin of the Lodge of Research, No. 200, pledged to continue the labors wherein he took such an interest, and though it may seem too much to hope that this body will ever produce another scholar to compare with the one that is gone, still it has already proved a focussing point for those Masons who bend their energies towards finding more light for the present from the lessons of-the past. With no mean aim, this lodge contemplates, indeed the project is in process of realization, the compiling of a reliable history of the Grand Lodge of Ireland, a book that is badly needed, never having been attempted; and I hope that the present short and imperfect sketch has shown that the history of that Grand Lodge has not been without interest, as assuredly, it has not been without honor.
Note 1. Vide Harris' Dublin, 1766, p. 142 et seq.
Note 2. Vide Crawley's Introduction to Sadler's Masonic Reprints and Revelations.
Note 3. Vide Articles on Mrs. Aldworth A.Q.C. VIII-16, 63.
Note 4. The Dublin Weekly Journal NO 13, Saturday, June 26, 1726.
Note 5. The Irish equivalent of the London Inns of Court.
Note 6. The short report of this event, inserted in the London Journal, July, 1725, is quoted by Gould History of Freemasonry, III, 34.
Note 7. It was natural for Springett Penn to hold high office in the Craft in Ireland where he had large estates; but his appearance in this character is even more interesting on account of the close Masonic communication that afterwards existed between the Grand Lodges of Ireland and Pennsylvania, which state was largely colonized by emigrants from Ireland.
Note 8. Ed. Spratt Constitutions, Dublin, 1751, page 121.
Note 9. Lord Kingston, while still the Hon. Jas. King. was initiated on June 8, 1726, in a lodge held at the Swan & Rummer in Finch Lane, London, Dr. Desaguliers, D. G. M. of England, attending to confer the ceremony. For Kingston's activities when G. M. of England, vide Minutes of the G.L. England, etc.. by W. J. Songhurst, London. 1913; p. 37 et seq.
Note 10. In the course of the year 1732 the following advertisement appeared several times in the Dublin newspapers: "Whereas there are Several Lodges of Free-Masons congregated in several Towns in this Kingdom, without a Warrant under the Hand and Seal of the Right Honourable the Lord Viscount Netterville, Grand Master of all Ireland. .. . It is therefore Ordered that all such Lodges do apply to the Secretary Mr. John Pennell in St. Patrick St.. Dublin, and take out true and perfect Warrants and be enroll'd in the Grand Lodge Book, or they will not be deem'd true and perfect Lodges." (Faulkner's Dublin Journal: Sat. Dec. 30, 1732--Tues. Jan. 2, 1732/3.)
Note 11. Right up to the beginning of the nineteenth century we come across the terms "Clandestine" and "Hedge Masons" applied to these bodies by the regular Masons: instances of the "re-making" a non-regular brother who conformed are not uncommon.
Note 12. Vide Dassigny's Serious and Impartial Enquiry, 1744, page 48.
Note 13. In 1740 an attempt seems to have been made to form a rival Grand Lodge which proved abortive in its very conception.
Note 14. The authorities on this subject are F. C. Crossle, Henry Sadler, and, of course, Dr. Chetwode Crawley. Some fresh information collected from the records of disaffected lodges is also given in a paper by the present writer, read before Quatuor Coronati Lodge, No. 2076 (E.C.), on St. John's Day, 1922.
Note 15. Notably Bywater and Sadler.
Note 16. Attention must also be called, if only in a footnote, to services rendered by such Masons as John Fowler in the metropolisMichael Furnell in Munster; and Archdeacon Mant in Ulster.
Masonic Benevolence Between 1717 and 1813
By W.BRO. MAURICE BEACHCROFT, M.A., O.B.E., P.G.D. (England), Patron and Secretary of the Royal Masonic Institute for Girls, England
The beginnings of Masonic benevolence are, like most beginnings, involved in much obscurity. The early days of modern Speculative Freemasonry would appear to have been characterized rather by good fellowship and conviviality than by any exercise of charity, although the idea of some special bond of "brotherhood" between the members dates back as far as the words go.
There is a fine phrase in the last section of the "Ancient Charges," as we know them today, enjoining a Mason to "cultivate Brotherly Love, the foundation and copestone, the cement and glory of this Ancient Fraternity." This is an obvious expression of some higher ideal than that of mere good fellowship; and it is interesting to find it appearing for the first time in Anderson's Constitutions of 1723.
GENERAL FUND OF CHARITY RECOMMENDED TO GRAND LODGE
Such a nobler spirit was abroad just then; if indeed we are not tracing the working of one individual influence, at work behind the scenes; for, in the year 1724, we find these higher ideals taking a form and practical expression of their own.
On Nov. 21 in that year, Grand Lodge was petitioned for relief by the first Grand Master of the Order, Bro. Anthony Sayer, who had fallen upon evil times; and, at the same meeting, the Earl of Dalkeith, who was then "Immediate" Past Grand Master, recommended that a monthly collection, for the purpose of providing a relief fund, should be made in each lodge, "according to the quality and number of the said lodge, and put into a joynt stock."
The fund was known thereafter as the "Generall Bank of Charity," and, on March 17, 1725, a committee was appointed to consider the best means of regulating it.
In November of that year this committee reported, and, among other suggestions, advised that contributions should be voluntary and should be paid quarterly.
They recommended that no more than 3 pounds should be given to any brother without the consent of Grand Lodge; that such sums should be disbursed by a standing committee of seven, and that a treasurer, nominated by the Grand Master, and approved by Grand Lodge, should be appointed in due course.
It was not until June 24, 1727, that the committee and treasurer were appointed, and there is a touch of sorry humor in a minute of March 27, 1729, to the effect that "the Deputy Grand Master rose up and acquainted the brethren that, although he had been appointed treasurer of the charity two years before, he was extremely concerned that, in so long a time, he had not received one shilling from the lodges or from any brother."
However, in November, 1729, the first list of contributions appears on the minutes, and, in December of the same year, a motion was duly carried that every newly constituted lodge should contribute two guineas to the fund.
At that meeting a very respectable list of contributions was received; and thenceforth the fund took on a more permanent and settled aspect.
CHARITY IS DISPERSED BY KNOWLEDGE
In April, 1730, the "Infirmary at Westminster" offered to take care of "any poor brother, who might happen to be disabled, by broken limbs, etc., from following his employment, which often happens amongst working Masons"; and it was thereupon decided that five guineas be paid annually to the Infirmary by the treasurer.
At this Grand Lodge Bro. Anthony Sayer put forward a further petition for relief; and, after some discussion as to the amount, a sum of 15 pounds was voted to him. Later, the committee was strengthened by the addition of twelve "Masters of Lodges," and was authorized to give relief, without recourse to Grand Lodge, up to an amount of 5 pounds; while, in 1732, the number of Masters on the committee was increased to twenty, in addition to all Past Grand Officers.
I have lingered over these early days, because they saw the laying of those foundations, upon which, in after years, so noble a superstructure was to be raised; but it is necessary to pass rapidly over a long period, which saw no change, save the slow growth of the fund and slight alterations in the detail of its administration. It is, however, worth while recording the petition, on Dec. 12, 1739, of one "Thomas Crudeli, a prisoner in the Inquisition in Florence on account of Masonry," which was warmly recommended by Lord Raymond, then Grand Master, and which resulted in a grant of 21 pounds being authorized for the relief of the petitioner.
R.M.I. FOR GIRLS IS FOUNDED
By slow degrees, through the passing years, it must have become evident to the more thoughtful brethren that even the "Generall Bank of Charity" was not fully realizing the high ideals of their profession.
Their benevolence extended only to themselves; and it may well have seemed to some of them that Brotherly Love, which they had expressed to be the "Foundation and Copestone" of their Fraternity, should have led at least to some care and help for the fatherless children of a departed brother, if not to the relief of his widow or other dependents.
It was to be many years before the widow's claims were recognized, but in the year 1788 a determined effort began, with the object of providing maintenance and education for the orphaned daughters of a Mason.
In the language of the earliest known list of subscribers (March, 1788), the object of the promoters of this scheme was "to preserve the female offspring of indigent Freemasons from the dangers and misfortunes to which their distressed situation may expose them," and, on March 25, 1788, there was founded the institution now known as the Royal Masonic Institution for Girls.
It was at first called "The Royal Cumberland Freemasons' School," by permission of the original Patron, H.R.H., the Duke of Cumberland, K. G., who was at that time Grand Master of the "Moderns"; H.R.H. the Duchess of Cumberland being the original Patroness.
The Chevalier Bartholomew Ruspini, Grand Sword Bearer of England from 1792 until his death in 1813, a famous surgeon dentist of his day, and a prominent figure in Masonic and philanthropic circles in London, was the originator of the scheme and the moving spirit in all the preliminary negotiations.
In addition to possessing a large number of influential friends, he enjoyed the patronage of Royalty, and was thus able to achieve a task which, at that time, might well have seemed impossible of accomplishment.
In the very year in which the scheme was inaugurated, the funds were collected, a printed list of subscribers was issued, premises were actually taken furnished, and, at a Quarterly Court held on Jan. 8, 1789--so far had the efficient organization of the school progressed--the treasurer announced that the fifteen children approved in the preceding November had been conducted to the school and delivered into the charge of the Matron.
Many quite exceptional difficulties were met by the founder and his enthusiastic helpers--such as the objection of their Royal Patroness to the first premises taken for the purpose of housing the children--with which there is no need to concern ourselves in detail; but, had there been no such unusual episodes, the success of the effort made could hardly have been more remarkable.
ITS EARLY DIFFICULTIES
Our early brethren had set themselves to find subscribers towards an entirely new conception, to overcome the prejudice which undoubtedly existed at that time--however foolish it may seem to us now--against using Masonic funds for the advantage of the female sex; to raise what, for those days, was a very considerable sum of money; to appoint committees, treasurer, secretary, collector and matron, and to devise and promulgate an organization for the charity and a code of rules for the school itself.
They had to accomplish all these things without any real precedent to guide them, and in the face of an opposition which was by no means to be despised. And yet, in the short space of eleven months, their success was not only complete in every particular, but, as time has abundantly proved, it was laid four-square upon a permanent foundation of careful forethought, that has lasted to our own time.
Among the earliest benefactors of the Institution may be mentioned the Lodge of Antiquity, No. 2, the Shakespear Lodge, No. 99, and the Caledonian Lodge, No. 134; while, among the individual brethren of that time who supported Bro. Ruspini in the struggling days of the infant charity, are to be found names famous in the history of the Craft, foremost of whom are Brothers Dunckerley, James Heseltine, Galloway, and Forsteen.
At the Quarterly Court on Jan. 12, 1792, a committee of five was appointed to prepare a memorial to the Grand Lodge "to solicit their interference on behalf of this Institution, and to request that they will pass a law that all candidates for Masonry, at the time of their initiation, shall pay five shillings, to be applied to the separate use of this charity."
This proposal appears to have been favorably received by Grand Lodge, although it was not at first adopted as a general law, owing to doubts of the power of Grand Lodge to "impose a tax" for the benefit of an independent institution. In later years, however, we find it in full force; and the annual subscription of 150 pounds now paid to the Institution by Grand Lodge is a composition of this ancient levy.
The first home of the Institution was in Somers Place East on the North Side of Euston Road, and close to the present site of St. Pancras Station. In 1795, having outgrown these premises, the Institution was moved to St. George's Fields, a lease being obtained from the corporation of the City of London, and premises erected on land described in the minute book as "on the north side of the High Road leading from the obelisk to Westminster Bridge Road."
The number of children was increased to thirty, and in 1802 to sixty, at which figure it remained until the year 1816, which falls outside the scope of this article.
On Dec. 14, 1813, Bro. Ruspini, the founder, passed away at the age of eighty-three, having enjoyed, to the end of his long life, the respect and affection of all around him. Some years after his death, two of his own grandchildren were educated in the school which he had founded.
THE R.M.I. FOR BOYS FOUNDED
Before this time, however, in 1798, ten years after the foundation of the Girls' School, a number of brethren belonging to the "Ancient" or "Atholl" Constitution had inaugurated a scheme for the education of the sons of Masons, which is now known as the Royal Masonic Institution for Boys.
The minute books for the first fourteen years of this Institution's life have been lost, and only the simplest outline of its early history can now be traced, while little is known of the actual personality of the founders.
The first foundation, in 1798, appears, however, to have been due to the efforts of brethren belonging to the United Mariners' Lodge, No. 23, under the "Ancient" Constitution. The actual originator of the idea being Bro. William Burwood, the treasurer of the lodge.
Among the other members and supporters was Bro. Columbine Daniel, a well known Mason of the day, who, however, was shortly afterwards, in 1801, "excluded" by the Ancient Grand Lodge for alleged Masonic irregularities. We know nothing more of this dispute, and, indeed, are concerned only to note that Bro. Daniel's practical charity was not to be so easily quenched. He was, as it happened, also a member of the Royal Naval Lodge, No. 57, which held a warrant from the "Modern" Grand Lodge, and, having enlisted their support, founded in 1808 a "Boys' Charity," very much on the lines of Bro. Burwood's scheme of 1798.
The Chevalier Ruspini, Institutor (as he preferred to be called) of the Girls' School, appears as one of the trustees of the funds.
Meanwhile, in 1805, Bro. Burwood had become bankrupt, and, on the proposal of Bro. Robert Leslie, Grand Secretary, the "Ancient" Grand Lodge appears to have taken the charity founded in 1798 under its protection. At all events, the contributions of Grand Lodge thereto, up to the year 1813, amounted to over 1270 pounds, which, at that time, was regarded as a very large sum of money.
In 1816 Bro. Daniel was restored to his Masonic rights and privileges; and in 1817 the two Boys' Schemes were happily amalgamated.
Both schemes had, from the first, been devised upon an "educational" basis, for there was no residential school, and the charity possessed none until 1865.
Indeed, having regard to the disasters which befell the two courageous founders, it is remarkable only that they were able to persist in their beneficent efforts and to achieve so great a measure of success.
The actual start had been made with six boys in 1798, which number was increased to thirty-six in 1810, the jubilee year of King George III. There were, in that year, thirty-four subscribing lodges; while in 1812 there were fifty boys receiving grants and twenty more on the waiting list.
The "Ancient" Grand Lodge had, in the latter year, authorized a levy of 5/from every London lodge and 2/6 from every Provincial Lodge upon the registration of each newly-made Mason, as had already been done in the case of the Girls' School; and this levy was continued after the Union in 1813, until, as already mentioned, it was finally commuted by the fixed annual grant of 150 pounds, which is still paid by Grand Lodge to each of the senior Masonic Institutions.
At this point we reach the end of the period under review; and, remarkable as were these beginnings, we may yet perhaps wonder at the far greater harvests that, from those early sowings, have been gathered in our own day.
LATER DEVELOPMENTS IN "THE MASONIC CHARITIES"
Nobody, in 1813, could have foreseen the successive removals and enlargements of the Girls' School, culminating, so far, in the building of their beautiful home at Clapham and the opening of the Junior School at Weybridge, which is today undergoing very extensive alteration and enlargement.
More than a hundred years were to elapse before the opening of the magnificent Boys' Schools at Bushey, whose extension, by the addition of a great Junior School for smaller boys, is now commencing; and even the first of the great advances after the Union, the, foundation of the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution, with its brotherly care for old Masons or their widows, and its fine building at Croydon, did not take place for over thirty years.
Most recently of all has come the Freemasons' Hospital and Nursing Home, the youngest of all Masonic charities, founded in 1919.
Today the Fund of Benevolence, which has taken the place of the "Generall Bank of Charity," and is directly controlled by Grand Lodge, administers relief to the extent of over 30,000 pounds a year; while the three great Institutions are educating considerably more than 2000 girls and boys, nearly 10,000 children having passed through their hands since their foundation. Their schools are among the finest in the country.
The Benevolent Institution, for its part, is assisting with its grants some 1600 old Masons or widows in the evening of their days.
The contributions of the English Craft to these three in recent years has amounted to an average of over 300,000 pounds a year.
So firmly were the foundations laid; so truly have the builders labored; that we may look back very proudly to the early days of Masonic charity; and may look forward also, with a firm but humble confidence, to the days which are yet to come.
Our ancient brethren of the Mystic tie were builders--Masons in all ages have been builders--and we will not be worthy of our glorious traditions unless we are builders attempting to reconstruct out of the bewilderment of confusion of today a higher civilization of tomorrow, which shall be a structure of symmetry and strength characterized by stability, utility and beauty, whose fabric shall be fashioned through law, labor and love. --Frederick S. Selmood, P.G.M., Alberta.
AN OLD MASONIC APRON
THE photograph shown herewith depicts an old Mason-Apron of considerable beauty. This Apron - partly engraved and partly hand-painted - is of velvet, backed with silk, and is approximately 24 inches by 30 inches. It is rounded at the two bottom corners. It has a semi-circular flap, two tassels (an uncommon feature in Aprons prior to 1813), and at either top corner are narrow ribbons to tie round the waist. Both the flap and the Apron itself are edged with embroidery, and the border of flowers not only gives a charm to the design, but adds interest on account of its rarity.
On the flap, in the center, is a group, which, comprising a female with three children, denotes Charity. On the left hand side of this group, as you look at the Apron, there are depicted a half moon, with a human face looking towards the group, and below, three candlesticks, representing the three Lesser Lights. On the other side of the group are seven six-pointed stars, arranged hexagonally with one in the center, and below a beehive with three groups of bees close to it.
On the Apron, on the left hand side, stands a female figure resting against an anchor, representing Hope; while balancing it on the other side is another female figure with a cross clasped in both hands, representing Faith. Between these figures, and nearly level with their heads, is "the All-seeing Eye," over which is inscribed in a curve the words "Sit Lux et Lux Fuit." Beneath, and in the center of the Apron, is a large V. S. L. open at II Chronicles, Chaps. 2 and 3. On the V. S. L. are the Square and Compasses in the second position, the points of the compasses and the angle of the square being towards the top. Rising from behind the Book is the "Sun in Splendour," with a human face, visible only from the eyes upwards. Springing from behind the sun, and inclined to the left, is a ladder of which four rungs only are to be seen. Projecting from behind the left side of the V. S. L. are two columns, partly visible, the upper one fluted and the lower one plain. Similarly placed on the other side of the V.S.L. are a Plumb-rule, twenty-four inch Gauge and Level. Below the two columns is a perfect ashlar, and below the working tools is a very irregular lump of stone, presumably the rough ashlar. Below the V. S. L. is a double triangle in which is written "H. S. from M.A.S."
The form of some of the symbols and the grouping of others, correspond very closely with those on Aprons known to have been engraved by Bro. William Hixon, of No. 13 Bridges Street, Covent Garden, London, in 1794. It may therefore, perhaps, be inferred that the Apron now described emanated from the same engraver about the date mentioned or a little later.
This Apron is now the property of W. Bro. W. G. Dickenson, Broomwood House, Bath, who has very kindly consented to its publication.
AN EARLY MASONIC PRAYER
At the time of the formation of the Grand Lodge, in 1717, the Invocation of the Trinity, with which all the copies of the Old Charges commenced, was doubtless used as the opening prayer by lodges. In the editions of Ahiman Rezon, the Book of Constitutions published by the "Antients" Grand Lodge, this Invocation is printed under the heading "A Prayer that was used amongst the Primitive Christian Masons."
As the Grand Lodge grew in strength, and the Old Charges were replaced by Anderson's Book of Constitutions, other forms of prayer seem to have come into use. Anderson gives no prayer, but then, as a Presbyterian minister, he could not have recommended any set form of words doing violence to his convictions.
Ireland supplies the earliest form of Masonic prayer that can be dated. This prayer will be found in the Book of Constitutions, published by John Pennell, in Dublin, in 1730. It comes after the Charges of a Freemason, and before the General Regulations. It is headed, "A Prayer to be said at the opening of a Lodge, or making of a Brother." It reads as follows:
"Most Holy and Glorious LORD GOD, thou great Architect of Heaven and Earth, who art the Giver of all good Gifts and Graces; and hast promis'd that where two or three are gathered together in thy Name, thou wilt be in the Midst of them; in thy Name we assemble and meet together, most humbly beseeching thee to bless us in all our Undertakings, to give us thy Holy Spirit, to enlighten our Minds with Wisdom and Understanding, that we may know, and serve thee aright, that all our Doings may tend to thy Glory, and the Salvation of our Souls.
"And we beseech thee, O LORD GOD, to bless this our present Undertaking, and grant that this, our new Brother, may dedicate his Life to thy Service. and be a true and faithful Brother among us, endue him with Divine Wisdom, that he may, with the Secrets of Masonry, be able to unfold the Mysteries of Godliness and Christianity. This we humbly beg in the Name and for the Sake of JESUS CHRIST our LORD and SAVIOUR. AMEN."
There is a marginal note that the second paragraph was "To be added when any Man is made."
Masonry passes under two denominations--Operative and Speculative. By the former, we allude to a proper application of the useful rules of architecture, whence a structure derives figure, strength, and beauty; and whence results a due proportion and a just correspondence in all its parts. By the latter, we learn to govern the passions, act upon the square, keep a tongue of good report, maintain secrecy, and practise charity.
Speculative Masonry is so far interwoven with religion, as to lay us under the strongest obligations to pay that rational homage to the Deity, which at once constitutes our duty and our happiness. It leads the contemplative to view with reverence and admiration the glorious works of creation, and inspires them with the most exalted ideas of the perfections of the divine Creator. Operative Masonry furnishes us with dwellings, and convenient shelter from the inclemencies of seasons, and while it displays the effects of human wisdom, as well in the choice as in the arrangement of the materials of which an edifice is composed, it demonstrates that a fund of science and industry is implanted for man, for the best, most salutary, and beneficent purposes. --Wm. Preston.
Prince Charles Edward Stuart, G. M.
BY W.BRO. J. E. SHUM TUCKETT,
P.M. QUATUOR CORONATI LODGE, NO. 2076, A.G. SWORD B. ENGLAND; P.G.STAND. B. (R. A.) England
ONE-HALF of the twenty-two independent Masonic references to Prince Charles were made openly before his death (1788), nevertheless all are generally regarded as spurious, and it is constantly affirmed that Charles himself denied any membership of our Order. But it cannot be supposed that an organization which made public use of his name during his lifetime did so without his knowledge. As space is limited some only of the references can here be considered.
I. THE ALLEGED REPUDIATION, 1776-7
The following pronouncements have caused widespread belief in this fable:
"In 1777 von Wachter sought him out in Italy, when the Prince, to his dismay, declared he not only was not G. M. and knew nothing about it, but that he was not even a Freemason." (Gould, Note 1.)
". . . put no trust whatever in accounts connecting the Stuarts with Freemasonry. We have it in the Young Pretenders own written and verbal statements that they are absolutely baseless, pure inventions." (Speth, Note 2.)
"Prince Charles Edward never had any connection with Freemasonry. This we know on his own authority. . ." (Chetwode Crawley, Note 3.)
Gould's authority is Allgemeines Handbuch der Freimaurerei s. v. Stuart, Karl Edward, but neither Bro. Dring nor I can find it, and it is not in Wolfstieg's Bibliography. ( Note 4. )
There are three accounts of Wachter's visit to Italy in 1776-7, and it is instructive to compare them. In the first, written six years after the alleged visit (1782), by de Langes, an eminent Freemason acquainted with Wachter, the Pretender is not even mentioned. (Note 5.) The second by Robinson (1797), twenty-one years after, suggests that "great secrets" were obtainable from the Pretender's secretary, but does not refer to the Prince himself. (Note 6.) The third, Findel (1865), makes Wachter interview the Prince and asserts that: "the Pretender knew nothing of the Order of Knights Templar nor was he a Freemason." (Note 7.) The tradition of the denial apparently grew out of--nothing !
In 1882 it is asserted that a Handbuch (which we cannot find) of unknown date, asserted that in 1777 Wachter (of indifferent character) asserted that Charles asserted that he was not a Freemason. There is no reason to believe either that Wachter ever interviewed the Prince, or that the latter ever made the statement imputed to him.
As to "written" statements, the only document of the kind is a letter, Sept. 25, 1780, in reply to the G. M. of Sweden (Duke of Sudermannia) who desired to control the Strict Observance. Prince Charles wrote: "the complete obscurity in which I am relating to your mysteries, prevents me from replying more fully until I myself am further enlightened." (Note 8.)
Swedish Freemasonry was peculiar, based upon a theory of Templar descent, and it was knowledge of this peculiar Swedish System which Charles denied Reumont states that in 1783 the Prince did consider himself hereditary G. M. of Scottish Masonry.
II. THE CHARTRES MS. (NOTE 9), 1776
This fortunate discovery pours a flood of light upon a vexed question, and affords proof that a strong Masonic organization was instituted and worked under the Prince's name. Bro. Dring kindly allowed me to make a transcript, and to certain features I now dircct special attention.
The MS. was compiled by the secretary, the formation in 1776 of a new lodge at Chartres, under Clermont's Grande Loge Anglaise de France, dite de la Constance, for his own private use and evidently not for publication. Its statements may therefore be accepted as the truth as known to the writer. Five of the seven degrees recognized by the Mother Lodge were to be worked, the Fifth Degree being L'Ecossois. The warrant was issued by Beauchaine "by virtue of the powers conferred upon us by the Jacobite Grand Lodge of St. John of London, styled of the-Chevalier," but the "Orient of London" is stated to be "en France." At an initiation the W.M. of the lodge is to say: "We, Grand Master of this Lodge, by virtue of the powers conferred upon us by the Very Venerable and Very Dear and Very Worshipful Grand Master CHARLES EDWARD STUART, King of Scotland and Ireland . . ." (Note 10.)
Beauchaine issued the Langeron Certificate (1758) in the name of "Prince Charles Stuard Edouard Legitime Roy . . .", and the Candy Certificate (1778) was "DE LOTORITE. CHARLE-EDOUARD. G. M. D. ANGLA." (Note 11.)
The MS. concludes with an "Alphabetical List of (66) Lodges under the Jurisdiction of La Constance," with names of the Masters, and (in fifteen cases) dates of constitution, the earliest being 1746. La Constance was a "Mother-Lodge" before it became a Grand Lodge (1747). Arras is undated.
In 1762-5 Pasqually showed to members of the Bordeaux Lodge Francaise a warrant granted to him by Prince Charles. (Note 12.) In 1764 Pasqually was arrested by the Bordeaux police for "molesting" the Loge L'Anglaise there. (Note 13.) The Chartres MS. list cites two Bordeaux lodges, one dated 1756. Also a Toulouse Lodge, dated 1756. Prince Charles traditionally established the "Faithful Scots" there, 1747 or 1751, on account of Sir Samuel (?) Lockhardt (Note 14.)
The Marquis De Gages, "G.I. of Red Lodges under the Prince of Clermont and Prince Charles Edward," founded (1767-70) a Chapter R.C. at Mons, and signed documents as "G.M. of Blue and Red Lodges under the Prince of Clermont and Edward." (Note 15.) The Chartres Lodge was a Clermont-Charles Edward foundation.
Pyron (1805c) notices a degree, "Ecossois de la Loge du Prince Edouard, G. M." (Note 16.)
Of the names which occur in the Chartres MS. twelve or more are otherwise known in French Freeasonry of the time.
III. THE LONGNOR (OR LICHFIELD) WARRANT, 1745
In 1869 in Notes and Queries, Fourth Series, it is stated that:
". . . the original warrant of the Derbyshire Lodge of Ancient Freemasons whose headquarters are at Longnor, was signed by Charles Edward as Grand Master, while at Derby, in 1745. (Note 17.)
". . . at the Union in 1813 it was exchanged for an English warrant . . . the Lodge of Reconciliation was held in London in 1813, of which my informant, Mr. Millward of Longnor, was a member." (Note 18.)
The writer, John Sleigh of Thornbridge, Bakewell, Derbyshire, author of a History of Leek, was a frequent contributor to Notes and Queries. John Millward (1790-1878, initiated about 1810) was prominent in Masonry and public affairs of the locality, a member of the Lodge of Unity at Longnor, and first Master of the Phoenix Lodge of St. Ann, its successor there. He attended the Lodge of Reconciliation five times. His father, born in 1767, was also a Freemason. ( Note 19. )
Prince Charles passed the night, Dec. 3, at Leek, eight miles southwest of Longnor, and reached Derby at dusk on Dec. 4, retiring at once to sleep at Exeter House. Commencing at 8 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 5, the Council which decided to abandon the march on London was after some hours adjourned until evening. The retreat commenced early on Dec. 6, but Charles did not leave until 9 a.m. There was, therefore abundant opportunity to sign a document presented to him at Derby for the purpose.
Buxton is six miles north and Derby twenty-four miles southeast of Longnor. Lichfield is thirty-five miles south of Longnor and about twenty-four miles southwest of Derby.
Dr. Plot (Note 20) is witness that Freemasonry was very prevalent in the "moorelands" of Staffordshire in 1686, and this popularity can hardly have died out by the middle of the eighteenth century. If, however, there were any lodges in the Longnor-Lichfield district in 1745, they were independent of the Grand Lodge at London. (Note 21.)
In 1784 a lodge at the Scales, Market Lane, Lichfield, received a warrant with number 224 from the G.L. Antients, but there was a dispute about the number, 220 being claimed. The lodge had clearly existed before, and a previous page in the Antients Register had been headed, "220. The Sign of the Scales in Market Lane or elsewhere, Lichfield, Staffordshire," but no entries had been made, and subsequently a slip of paper was pasted over the heading and the page used for another (1786) lodge. Except that sixteen members were registered Dec. 29, 1786, No. 224 (the Scales) gave no sign of life. What really happened was that the lodge went over bodily to the opposition party ( Note 22), the Moderns. Accordingly we find that twelve of the sixteen Scales brethren were (June 24, 1787) warranted by the G. L. Moderns as No. 502, the Lodge of Unity, Three Crowns Inn, Bread Market Street, Lichfield. In 1792 its number was 411 and it lasted until 1809 or 1810. In 1811, Warrant number 411, and lodge property, passed by purchase to brethren at Longnor, where the Lodge of Unity (number changed to 492 in 1814) remained at work until its erasure on June 3, 1829. ( Note 23. )
In 1810 the G. L. Antients warranted a lodge as No. 165 at the King's Head Inn, Market Place, Buxton, Derbyshire, but there was no connection with an earlier No. 165 in London which returned its warrant to Grand Lodge in 1770. The Buxton lodge received a new warrant with the old number 165, and in 1811 took the name "Derbyshire Lodge." Through the influence of Bro. Millward, it was removed in 1840 (Note 24) (with permission) from Buxton to Longnor, and met at the Crewe and Harpur Arms in Market Square until its erasure March 7, 1866. Its number was altered in 1814 to 201, and subsequently to 143 and 122.
On reaching Longnor the Derbyshire Lodge became the possessor of the properties belonging to the Lodge of Unity, erased in 1829, and these properties passed on to the Phoenix Lodge of St. Ann, No. 1235, consecrated at Buxton in 1869 and still flourishing. ( Note 25. )
It is clear from these records that if Prince Charles did sign a warrant at Derby in 1745 it could not have been the "original warrant" of the Derbyshire Lodge as stated by Mr. Sleigh. I suggest that it was an old warrant then (in 1869, when Mr. Sleigh wrote) amongst the possessions of the Phoenix Lodge at Buxton, inherited in 1868-9 from the defunct Derbyshire Lodge at Longnor.
That the warrant was not the warrant "of" but one belonging "to" the Derbyshire Lodge would appear from the history of these "properties," which is as follows (working backwards):
1868-9 at Buxton, property of Phoenix Lodge. 1840 at Longnor, property of Derbyshire Lodge. 1811 at Longnor, property of Lodge of Unity. 1787 at Lichfield, property of Lodge of Unity.
In May, 1811, Bro. Edwards of Lichfield wrote to Bro. Horobin (the purchaser) apologizing for having sent a "York" warrant by mistake and forwarding the real warrant under which the lodge worked. (Note 26.) Possibly this obsolete "York" warrant was the one now in question.
The Unity brethren at Lichfield were of course the possessors of the properties of the abandoned Scales Lodge, and the Scales brethren were clearly a Masonic unit before they sought "regularization" from the Antients. (Note 27.) Amongst the "properties" noted in the inventory at the time when they were sold by Lichfield to Longnor is a "Transparency of the Sun and Prince Wales' Bohemia Plume of Feathers, white and gold; richly done." (Note 28.) A suggestive item which would have served nicely to decorate the Lodge in honor of Prince Charlie !
The Jacobites at Lichfield were strong, but they were vigilantly watched by the Bailiffs and Justices, also the Duke of Cumberland made his headquarters there for a time. (Note 29.)
If there is any truth in the story--and it is quite likely--it was a Lichfield (not Longnor) document which Prince Charles signed at Derby on Thursday or Friday, Dec. 5 or 6, 1745.
IV. THE ARRAS CHARTER, 1745-7
According to Thory: (Note 30.)
"Un chapitre ecossais jacobite y (i. e. at Arras) avait ete constitue en 1745, par une chartre signee de la main de Charles Edouard Stuard, roi d'Angleterre. Cette constitution qu' on nous a montree dans un voyage que nous fimes, a Arras en 1786, porte avec elle tous les caracteres de l'authenticite. Nous devons cette communication a M. Delecourt qui a eu la complaisance de nous en donner une copie certifiee."
At p. 184 the text is given in full:
"Bulle d'institution du Chapitre primordial de Rose-Croix Jacobite d'Arras.
"Nous Charles Edouard Stuard, roi d'Angleterre, de France d'Ecosse et d'Irlande, et en cette qualite Subst. G. M. du Chapitre de H. connu sous le titre de chev. de l'Aigle du Pelican, et depuis nos malheurs et nos infortunes, sous celui de Rose-Croix; voulant temoigner aux Macons Artesiens combien nous sommes reconnaissans envers eux des preuves de bienfaisance qu'ils nous ont prodiguees, avec les officiers de la garnison de la ville d'Arras, et de leur attachement a notre personne, pendant le sejour de six mois que nous avons fait en cette ville. Nous avons en leur faveur, cree et erige, creons et erigeons, par la presente bulle, en ladite ville d'Arras un S. Chapitre primordial de Rose-Croix, sous le titre distinctif d'Ecosse Jacobite, que sera regi et gouverne par les chevaliers Langneau et de Robespierre . . . J. B. Lucet notre tapissier . . . signe de notre main . . . le jeudi 15e jour du 2e mois, l'an de l'incarnation 5747. "Signe, Charles Edouard Stuard De par le Roi, signe lorde de Berkeley, Secretaire."
Bro. Dring's reasons for discarding Jouaust's (1865) versions (Note 31) of the text are sound. (Note 32.) Kloss (Note 33) refers to the Charter and supplies a date not given in the other accounts. Gould (Note 34) fuses the comments of Kloss, Thory and Jouaust, and adds:
"It will be sufficient to point out that Charles Edward did not call himself 'King' during his father's lifetime, or pretender at any time. The use of the latter term indeed he very naturally left to others. Moreover no historian has yet shown that he ever was in Arras, where, according to this legend he remained for a period of six months." (Note 35.)
The tradition is then that a R.C. Chapter of H.R.D.M. was constituted at Arras in 1745, and possessed document with the autograph signature of the Young Pretender. In 1786 Thory, a reputable and scholarly man, saw this and judged document and signature authentic, and he printed it in 1812 from a certified copy supplied for the purpose. It is not claimed that the Prince was present when the Chapter was constituted or inaugurated in 1745, or that his signature was affixed in that year, or that he was in Arras when he signed.
The "2e mois" must mean either February or April. The "15e jour" must mean either 15th New Style or 15th Old Style. The 26th February N.S. (Monday) and the 15th April N.S. (Sunday) are ruled out, not being Thursdays. The 15th February N.S., 26th April N.S. were both Thursdays and are therefore possible. Prince Charles was in Paris in January, 1747, until the last week when he started for Madrid. He halted at Lyons and was at Avignon on Feb. 9; Madrid, March 2; Guadalaxara, March 6 to 14. Back in Paris March 26 to April 29. On April 26 N. S., 1747, he was in Paris, and I think that is the date (also place) of the signature--if genuine.
The spelling "Stuard" is frequently met with in Jacobite papers of the period.
I do not believe that in the original document "Roi" followed the Prince's name, but either "R" or more probably "P. R.," meaning Regent or Prince Regent. The transcribers, not understanding, supplied their own interpretations. Delecourt put "Roi" and Jouaust's man made it "pretendant roi," which supports my suggestion that the original had "P. R." In view of the attempt at a Stuart Restoration planned for 1744 the Old Pretender (Dec. 23, 1743) issued a patent conferring full powers as Regent of the British Isles on his son, and the letters "P. R." generally follow the Prince's name in subsequent official Jacobite documents.
The King of Scotland is hereditary and perpetual Grand Master of the Royal Order of Scotland and Grand Chapter of H.R.D.M. Consequently the expression in the text, "en cette qualite Subst. G.M. du Chapitre de H," which would be absolutely wrong if it followed "roi," is strikingly correct if it came after "R." or "P. R.," for the Regent would naturally the substitute Grand Master.
It is not stated that the six months' sojourn in Arras were during either 1745 or 1747. Charles nominally lodged at Gravelines (about fifty miles from Arras) from February to "towards winter" of the year 1744. (Note 36.) During that time he made several visits to Paris, also "occasional" visits to Frankfort. (Note 37.) Arras is on the routes from Gravelines to Paris and Frankfort so that Charles must have passed through Arras many times. Much of the time while officially in seclusion in the dull little fishing town was probably spent in Arras, only fifty miles distant, the Capital of Artois, a very important civil and military center with a large garrison and plenty of society.
The names Lucet and Robespierre are known to have been authentic Arras names at the time. The Chartres MS. of 1776 supplies independent evidence that a Bro. Lucet was Master of a lodge at Arras in 1776. The Revolution Robespierre was born at Arras (1758), and his father (avocat au conseil d'Artois) and grandfather dwelt there.
No "lorde de Berkley" is likely to have been the secretary, but there is a younger son who may have been so employed. Is "Berkley" a transcriber's error for "Balhaldy" or "Bohaldy" ? Drummond (MacGregor) of Balhaldy, Balhaldie, or Bohaldy, was the agent sent by the Old Pretender to arrange the visit of Prince Charles and to negotiate for the support ot the French King in the intended expedition to Britain. He was in constant attendance on Prince Charles during the sojourn at Gravelines and in close touch with him afterwards. He was a Freemason, a member of the Lodge Dunblane St. John, and (according to Murray Lyon) the Expedition of 1745 was the result of his "misleading representations." (Note 38.) Highland chieftains were commonly styled "Lords" on the Continent at this time.
Although the demonstration of its authenticity is not complete, there is no valid reason for rejecting the Arras Charter.
V. THE TEMPLAR GRAND-MASTERSHIP OF PRINCE CHARLES, 1745
While the Prince was still a boy there was a form of "Templary" at work in Continental Masonry, largely or entirely in the hands of British (principally Scottish) Jacobite exiles. This "Order of the Temple" was not necessarily pledged to the Stuart Cause (as Greeven--Note 39--maintains) but it would naturally appeal to Prince Charles when he arrived in Paris in 1744.
In 1764 von Hund claimed to have been received into the Order at Paris in 1743, in the presence of Lords Kilmarnock and Clifford, and that he received a Patent as a Prov. G. M. Also that "subsequently" he was presented to Prince Charles whom he took to be G. M. of the Order but was not certain (Note 40.) Dr. Begemann attempts (but fails) to prove the story an imposture. (Note 41.) The only questions which concern us are, first, was Hund admitted? Secondly, did Charles "subsequently" interview von Hund? And thirdly, was Charles Grand Master? Begemann's contention that Kilmarnock, being G. M. of Freemasons in Scotland 1742-3, could not have been in Paris in 1743 is nonsense--there was much secret crossing to and from France by Jacobites about 1741-5. Hund left Paris in September, 1743, and Charles arrived Janary, 1744,-therefore (says Begemann) the interview never happened. But Hund did not say that they met in Paris or when they met except that it was "subsequently" to his own reception as a Templar. That Charles was G. M. when Hund met him is not claimed.
Dr. Begemann considers that he has proved that the traitional Templar Chapter at Holyrood in September, 1745, never lld have happened. I consider that I have shown that gemann is mistaken. (Note 42.) The tradition, however tirely lacks contemporary supporting evidence. If true rince Charles entered the Order and became G. M. at Edinurgh, Sept. 24, 1745.
But the Templar Mastership does not wholly depend upon the Edinburgh tradition. In 1780 the Duke of Sudermannia wishing to unite the conflicting Templar claims of Sweden and the Strict Observance, consulted Prince Charles. This certainly looks as if that Prince was a supreme authority. In the winter of 1783 Gustavus III visited Charles at Florence and (according to Reumont, the biographer of Charles' wife) was by him appointed his coadjutor and successor in the Grand Mastership of the Temple. (Note 43.)
(1) Gould. History, III, 110 and Concise History; 1903, 323.
(2) Hughan. Jacobite Lodge at Rome1910, 27.
(3) A.Q.C. XXVI, 70.
(4) Dring in Treasury of Masonic Thought; 1924, 80.
(5) A.Q.C. XXX, 166.
(6) Robinson. Proofs of a Conspiracy; 1797, 77.
(7) Findel. History; 1865. English Ed. 1868, 285.
(8) A. von Reumont. Die Grafin von Albany; 1860, 1,239; so Findel. History; 1869, 212.
(9) E. H. Dring in Treasury of Masonic Thought; 1924, 71.
(10) The omission of England is presumably an excusable error by the Secretary when transcribing the Warrant.
(11) A. Q. C. XV, 95, 97; also XXXIII, 96.
(12) ib. XIX, 148.
(13) ib. XII, 7.
(14) Kenning's Cyclopaedia; 1878, 76, 185; and Findel. History, 213.
(15) Goblet D'Alviella. Consts. A. & A. S. R. pour la Begique; 1910, 10 and 11.
(16) Kenning's Cyclopaedia. 183.
(17) N. and Q. IV, Series III, 533.
(18) ib. IV, 66.
(19) A.Q.C. XXIII, 94, 267, 295, 305. S. Taylor. History of Freemasonry in.
(20) Robert Plot, Natural History of Staffordshire; 1686, VIII, 16. "Here I found persons of the most eminent quality, that did not disdain to be of this Fellowship."
(21) At Derby there was one lodge warranted 1732.
(22) Bro. Wonnacott G. I,. kindly supplied me with the lists others from the Records (Antients and Moderns).
(23) John Lane, Masonic Records; 1895, 156, 158, 214.
(24) Lane (p. 131) says the removal was in 1842, but 1840 is correct. See Taylor, p. 6.
(25) Taylor, p. 35.
(26) ib. p. 14.
(27) Gould, The Atholl Lodges; 1879, 42. "220 (earliest Lodge. Not known)."
(28) Taylor, 13.
(29) Harwood, History of Cathedeal and City of Lichfield under dates 1743 and 1745.
(30) C. A. Thory, Histoire de la Fondation du Grand Orient de France; 1812, pp. 63 and 64.
(31) Jouaust. History du Grand Orient de France; 1865, p. 84.
(32) E. H. Dring in Treasury of Masonic Thought; 1924, 73.
(33) T. G. Koss, Geschichte der Freimaurerei in Frankreich; 1852, I, 257.
(34) R. F. Gould, History of Freemasonry, III 158.
(35) There are very similar comments by Hughan and Speth in Hughan's Jacobite Lodge at Rome, 27-8. The French word "pretendant" means simply "claimant" and was used by Jacobites in that sense.
(36) C. L. Klose, Memoirs of Prince Charles Stuart; 1845,
(37) J. F. Bell, Memoirs of John Murray of Broughton; 1898, pp. 385-8.
(38) D. Murray Lyon, History of L. of Edinburgh; 1900, 442.
(39) Greeven, Templar Movement in Masonry; 1899, 37.
(40) Gould, History, III, 101.
(41) A.Q.C. XXVI, 66.
(42) ib. XXXIII, 40.
(42) A. von Reumont, Die Grafin von Albany; 1860, I, 239; Findel, 212.
The Grand Lodge of Scotland, and Its History to 1813
By W. BRO. F.J.W. CROWE, F. R. Hist. Soc.
P.A.G.D.C. ENGLAND; P.S.G.W. IOWA; P.M. QUATUOR CORONATI LODGE, No. 2076; HON. MEM. "MARY'S CHAPEL," No. 1, EDINBURGH; ST. ANDREW'S CHAPTER, No. 69, GLASGOW; ETC., ETC.; England
SCOTLAND stands unrivalled in its possession of the oldest known records of our Craft, as well as in the antiquity of still-existing lodges. There may have been co-existent lodges in England and Ireland. There certainly were in the seventeenth century, but, with one or two exceptions, notably the Lodge of Antiquity in London, they ceased to exist before the premier Grand Lodge of the world was formed in London, in 1717. The oldest preserved lodge minute in the world is in the first minute book of the "Lodge of Edinburgh, No. 1 (Mary's Chapel) ," and runs thus:
"Ultimo July 1599
"The qlk day George Patoun maissoun grenttit & confessit that he had offendit agane the dekin & mrs for placeing of ane cowane to wirk at ane chymnay heid for tua dayis and ane half day, for the qlk offenss he submittit him self in the dekin & mrs guds willis for qt vnlaw they pless to lay to his charge, and thay having respect to the said Georges humill submissioun & of his estait they remittit him the said offenss Providing alwayis that gif ather he [or] ony vther brother comitt the lyke offenss heirefter that the law sall strvke vpoun thame indiscreta wtout exceptioun of personis. This wes done in prcs of Paull Maissoun dekin, Thoas Weir warden, Thoas Watt, Johne Broun, Henrie Tailzefeir, the said George Patoun, & Adam Walkar.
"Ita est Adamus Gibsone norius.
"Paull Maissoun dekin."
[The Warden's Mark is also appended.]
In the same year 1599, and dated Dec. 28, a Code was written and placed in the charterchest of Eglington Castle, which throws further light on the antiquity of Scottish Masonry. The Code is concerned with the choice of wardens of lodges, and other matters of business routine, and is too long to quote in full here, but the third "Item" is of special interest:
"Item, it is thocht neidfull and expedient be my lord warden generall, that Edinburgh salbe in all tyme cuming, as of befoir the first and principal lodge in Scotland; and that Kilwynning be the secund ludge, as of befoir is notourlie manifest in our awld antient writtis; and that Stirueling salbe the thrid ludge conforme to the auld privileges thairof."
Here then we have three lodges, which were very old in 1599, Edinburgh having still its minutes from that year, and Mother Kilwinning from Dec. 20, 1642, whilst a fourth lodge, "St. John's, Melrose," has them from 1674. In some curious way a firm belief had got abroad, and indeed is still held locally, that Mother Kilwinning is the oldest Scottish lodge, but the foregoing extract clearly proves the seniority of Edinburgh; and had it been known in 1815 the No. 0 of Kilwinning and the No. 1 of Edinburgh would have been reversed. The MS. quoted from was, however, only discovered in 1861.
The Grand Lodge of Scotland also possesses two other MSS. of 1600 and circa 1628 respectively, known as the "St. Clair Charters." The first is signed by William Schaw, and the second was granted by the "Free Masons and Hammermen of Scotland" to Sir William St. Clair of Rosslyn, giving him jurisdiction over the Craftsmen. The first is also signed by the representatives of the lodges at Edinburgh, S. Andros, Hadingtoun, Achiesones Heavin and Dumfermling; and the latter by those of the lodges at Edinburgh, Dundie, Glasgow, Stirlinge and Dumfermlinge. Here then are eight lodges of the early seventeenth century named, in addition to Kilwinning and Melrose. Other lodges are Canongate Kilwinning, an offshoot of Mother Kilwinning, in 1677; Aberdeen, No. 1 tris, before 1670; Scoon and Perth, No. 3, before 1657; Glasgow St. John, No. 3 bis, before 1620; Canongate and Leith, 1688; Old Kilwinning St. John, Inverness, 1678; Hamilton Kilwinning, 1695; and Dunblane St. John, before 1695. No country in the world can show such a list of existing lodges. They were of course independent, and nobody seems to have assumed any general authority until Mother Kilwinning, which had been dormant from 1697, but resuscitated in 1704, began to issue warrants or charters; and between 1729 and 1803 it granted 26 in Scotland, two in America, one in Ireland and one in the West Indies.
FORMATION OF GRAND LODGE
Meanwhile England had formed the first Grand Lodge of the world in 1717, and Ireland had followed suit in 1729, so the Scottish brethren began to consider whether it would not be wise to follow their example. The earliest record of their procedure is found in the minutes of the Lodge of Canongate Kilwinning, dated Sept. 29, 1735, when a committee was appointed to "frame proposals to be laid before the several Lodges in order to the chusing of a Grand Master for Scotland." By a curious coincidence they followed the example of England, in that the four lodges in or about the capital city took the lead, namely, the "Lodge of Edinburgh," "Kilwinning Scots Arms," "Canongate Kilwinning," and "Little Kilwinning." The first minute of their meetings is not found until the following year, though doubtless they had not been idle all this time. It is as follows:
"Att Maries Chapell the 25th day of November 1737. Thomas Mylne, Master; Samwell Neilson, warden..The which day the brethren took to their serious consideration a printed circular letter with printed coppies of proposalls and regulations sent to them by the Masters and Wardens of this and the other three Lodges in and about Edr., viz., Kilwinning Scots Armes, Canongate Kilwinning, and Leith Kilwinning (with whom the present Master and Warden of this Lodge had been formerly appointed to concurr), signifieing their intention, for the promoting of Masonry in generall, to make choise of a Grand Master with two Grand Wardens over all the regular Mason Lodges in Scotland, and inviting the brethren of this Lodge to concurr with them in so good and great designe-which papers being publickly read and considered by the brethren of this Lodge then present they unanimously agreed thereto, and nominated and appointed Thomas Mylne, mason burges of Edr., their present Worshipfull Master, Samwell Neilson, mason, their present Senior Warden, and Charles Mack, mason their, to be their Junior Warden, to represent the Lodge of Maries Chapell att the said Grand Ellection upon Tewsday the thretty day of November instant. And appointed them to vote or ballot for the Right Honourable the Earle of Home, their honourable and worshipfull brother, to be Grand Master in Scotland for the ensuing year; and to vote or ballot for such other worshipfull brethren for Deputy Master, Grand Wardens, Treasurer, and other office bearers as they should judge most deserving of these honble. offices; and appointed the Clerk to make out their commission accordingly. THO. MYLNE. SAML. NEILSON. RO. ALISON."
The resolution as to the Grand Master was, however, not carried out for the following reason: From the time of the granting of the previously mentioned "St. Clair Charters" the head of that family had claimed to hold the hereditary office of Grand Master of the Masons of Scotland; that is to say, of the Operative Masons. On May 18, 1736, William St. Clair, of that ilk, was initiated in the Canongate Kilwinning Lodge, passed on June 2, and raised on Nov. 22. On Nov. 24, of his own accord, he offered the brethren in writing his renunciation, for himself and his heirs forever, of his "right, claim and pretence" to the Hereditary Grand Mastership of the Masons of Scotland.
The meeting to decide the Grand Mastership was held on Nov. 30, and the brethren were so pleased with his zeal and disinterestedness that they elected him first Grand Master in spite of the previous resolution. It must be confessed that his claim to rule Speculative Masonry was imaginary, but there is no reason to doubt his entire good faith, and he justified his appointment. Invitations were sent to over one hundred Scottish lodges to attend and take part in this first General Assembly, but only thirty-three attended; and to avoid jealousy they were placed on the roll in the order in which they happened to enter the hall. The lodges thus placed were:
Marys Chappell, Kilwinning, Canongate Kilwinning, Kilwinning Scots Arms Kilwinning Leith Kilwinning Glasgow, Coupar of Fyfe, Linlithgow Dumfermling, Dundee Dalkeith, Aitcheson's Haven, Selkirg, Strathaven Hamilton, Dunse, Kirkcaldie, Journeymen Massones of Edinburgh Kirkintillock Biggar, Sanquhar, Peebles Glasgow St. Mungo's, Greenock Fallkirk, Aberdeen, Innverness, Mariaburgh Lessmahaggow, Canongate and Leith and Leith, Saint Brides at Douglas, and Canongate, Lanark, Monross.
After the election of William St. Clair as Grand Master, Captain John Young of the Kilwinning Scots Arms was elected Depute Grand Master; Sir William Baillie of Lamington, Canongate Kilwinning, Senior Grand Warden; Sir Alexander Hope of Kerse, Scots Arms, Junior Grand Warden; Dr. John Moncrief, of Kilwinning Leith, Grand Treasurer; John Macdougall of the Exchequer, Scots Arms, Grand Secretary; and Robert Alison, Writer, of Mary's Chapel, Grand Clerk.
It would have seemed likely that once the Grand Lodge was so successfully inaugurated the remaining lodges would almost certainly have come into the fold with few exceptions, as had been the case in England. Such, however, was not the case with the sturdy Scottish brethren. Many lodges remained independent, and various disputes arose from time to time. Amongst other happenings, Mother Kilwinning Lodge seceded in 1774, because it was placed second to Edinburgh on the roll of lodges. It had never entirely given up its practice of granting charters for new lodges, though by what authority of inherent right did not appear, and on resuming independence it still more widely exercised the use, and Grand Lodge made no serious protest.
Matters continued thus until 1807, when a concordat was arrived at. Kilwinning agreed to renounce all rights to grant charters, and to come into the Grand Lodge with all its daughter lodges, the latter receiving charters of confirmation, and being placed on the roll according to their respective dates of origin. Kilwinning was to be placed at the head of the roll as "Mother Kilwinning" without a number, and so the strife was healed. At this time the Schaw Statutes of 1599 had not, we must remember, yet been discovered.
The lodge of "St. John's Melrose" also remained independent until as recently as 1891, and granted at least three charters to daughter lodges. Its earliest minute is dated 1674, and it is now on the roll as No. 1 bis.
A more serious difficulty arose in 1808, when, owing to political disputes having been introduced most improperly into Masonry, certain office bearers and members of Mary's Chapel, Canongate, St. Andrew's, and St. David's Lodges were expelled from Masonry by Grand Lodge. The seceders, numbering about 400, organized themselves into a body termed "The Associated Lodges seceding from the present Grand Lodge of Scotland," and they appointed the Master of Mary's Chapel as Grand Master. Masonic influence failed to heal the breach, and the matter was brought before the civil courts, which decided in favor of the "Associated Lodges." Having gained their victory, they did nol;, however, abuse it; and finally, in 1813, they expressed their regrets and requested to be received again by Grand Lodge. This was happily effected, and from that time to the present the history of the Grand Lodge of Scotland records nothing but peace, progress and prosperity, worthy of its unique history and traditions.
PECULIARITIES AS TO CLOTHING, ETC.
In conclusion, I may draw attention to two peculiarities of the usage of the Grand Lodge of Scotland. First, as to clothing. The color of Grand and Provincial Grand Lodge clothing is thistle green, doubtless from the color of the mantle and ribbon of the national great order of knighthood, "The Thistle," and sashes are worn as well as collars in those bodies, and in daughter lodges. Then each lodge has its own color for apron, collar and sashblue, red, green, yellow, tartan, or any combination of these at pleasure, a peculiarity shared only, as far as I know, with the Grand Orient of the Netherlands. This latter is the more curious as its Masonry originated from England, which has never varied from blue except for stewards.
The other peculiarity I refer to is the appointment of "Proxy Masters and Wardens" to attend Grand and Provincial Grand Lodges, who attend for the actual officers, so that every lodge may be fully represented. This seems a very common-sense arrangement.
The Evolution of English Lodge-Boards
By W.BRO. REV. W. W. COVEY-CRUMP, P.M., P.Z., ETC. J.W. of the Quatuor Coronati Lodge, 2076, London, England
ALTHOUGH the ordinary lodge appurtenances known nowadays to English Freemasons as "Tracing Boards" have not a corresponding status in American lodges, they are at all events sufficiently familiar to Masonic students to need but few remarks by way of introduction. Every English lodge room is furnished with three conventional pictures-each being peculiar to one of the degrees--and upon them are depicted certain objects and emblems so allocated and arranged as to exhibit the symbolical teaching inculcated in each particular degree.
Moreover, certain formal "Explanations" of these Tracing Boards are comprised in the English Ritual, and are recited occasionally for the enlightenment of newly-admitted candidates. I say "occasionally" because truth compels an admission that opportunities of hearing these "Explanations" are now by no means as frequent as they were a few years ago--a neglect much-to-be-regretted, for it leaves many brethren very ill-informed as to the significance of degrees which they have received, because they have thus been deprived of what was formerly a valuable medium for imparting that information.
This set of three designs, constituting the Tracing Boards exhibited in English lodges, is however not standardized. No uniform size or pattern has ever been specified or endorsed by the authority of the Grand Lodge, at all events since the Union in 1813. But the variations are, and have always been, merely in trivial details; in their essential features the designs follow certain recognized rules, and their little differences only serve to enhance their interest. But of far greater interest to the student is the problem of their past evolution. It is a problem by no means readily solved; for eighteenth century specimens are now very rare, and documentary allusions to them during that period seldom (if ever) define pictorial details upon them.
"DRAWING THE LODGE"
The Tracing Boards could not have developed from a tracing board such as would have been used by a Mediaeval architect, though they have assumed its name. Thanks to the researches of Bros. C. H. Breed, E. D. Dring and others, we can now safely assert that the designs originated in sundry crude geometrical diagrams, which, in the Freemasonry prevailing in England during the early part of the eighteenth century, were usually drawn (with chalk, charcoal or similar substances) upon the tavern floor when a candidate was to be initiated. The task of thus "drawing the lodge", as it was termed, being regarded as a rather menial operation, was frequently delegated to one of the inferior officers; but the duty of erasing the diagram when the ceremony ended usually devolved upon the newly entered Apprentice. Whether it was rigidly imposed if that novice chanced to be a person of high social position is highly problematical, for a deputy would frequently be securable by a gratuity, and certainly the mop and pail never obtained recognition among the working tools of a Freemason. But, even as early as 1733, the records of the King's Arms Lodge (now No. 28 E. C.) at London show an order for "a proper delineation on canvas" to be made for use at initiations in that lodge, and evidence of the same change being made soon afterwards in other lodges could easily be adduced. The adoption of a permanent delineation of certain outlines (like that shown in Three Distinct Knocks, 1760), together with such symbols as the sun, moon and Blazing Star, upon a sheet of linen or canvas--which could be displayed upon the floor when required, and at other times be folded or rolled up and stored away--formed a substitute so convenient and obviously preferable that the primitive method rapidly fell into general desuetude after that time.
THE LODGE BOARD EMERGES
So far as has yet been ascertained, the use of these "floor-cloths" was primarily intended merely for the First Degree; but emblems associated with superior degrees were soon added, and thus the diagram became a pictorial design desirable for use upon all occasions of Masonic business, because it naturally added dignity to the proceedings. Various appellations were given to the new appurtenance, especially when in many instances it developed into a framed canvas or a wooden panel, but gradually the terms "tresselboard" and "Lodge-Board" predominated, and the latter became familiarly abbreviated to "the Lodge".
THE SYMBOLICAL MEANING
Meanwhile another and more potent influence had also been at work. The idea that the design which had thus been formulated should, and in fact did, represent "the Lodge" became definite. Not in the sense that it represented any individual lodge (still less that it represented any individual lodge room), but that it represented the entire Masonic Fraternity whenever and wherever assembled to expatiate on the mysteries of the Craft. Very soon the two pillars whose prototypes were connected with Solomon's Temple became three columns respectively symbolizing Wisdom, Strength and Beauty; the mosaic pavement (subsequently conventionalized as a series of checkered squares), the tassels and broached-thurnel were introduced; and all these details were symbolically interpreted in the catechetical "Lectures" which then formed an invariable adjunct to the convivial proceedings of our lodges. Furthermore, the growth of the directive power of the Grand Lodges naturally tended to foster a uniform system of such interpretation, and this led to certain emblems and symbols becoming exclusively connected with each particular degree, even as to some extent (though less definitely) they may have been all along.
CONTEMPORARY EVIDENCE ADDUCED
But all this was a process of unnoticed evolution. The exact era when the diagrams first became a series, consisting of two or three, is as yet undetermined; but in a well-known contemporary cartoon of the "Scald Miserables" travesty, in 1742, the two huge standards which are there being borne in the procession seem intended to caricature two Lodge-Boards, separately used in consecutive degrees at that time; although it by no means follows that the emblems and general scheme as depicted on those standards were identical with those appertaining to the genuine degrees of Freemasonry. Further confirmation of the inference is also furnished by certain illustrations given in the Francs-Macons Trahi published at Paris in 1745; and therefore we may fairly say that two or three different designs, connected severally with different degrees, came into common use soon after 1740. Bro. Dring's view is (I believe) that whereas the lodges under the so-called "Moderns" jurisdiction usually preferred to have separate cloths or boards, differing according to the degree which was being worked, those lodges which avowed allegiance to the "Antients" used only one and the same for all three degrees. Moreover he surmised that, whilst the "Moderns" usually delineated the whole of their symbols on their various diagrams, the "Antients" clung to the simpler plan of having a diagram which could convey no coherent idea to uninitiated persons, because it would only become intelligible when certain additional tools, jewels and emblems (or miniatures of them) were suitably arranged upon it as occasion required. In fact, this latter method still survives as a custom in a few old lodges in the west of England.
In the foregoing connection need I say that many of us would fain learn how and when the Middle Chamber and the sanctum sanctorum of Solomon's Temple at Jerusalem were adopted as central features in the diagrams of the superior degrees? But the available evidence is too scanty for that, and the subject too complicated to be summarized as an incidental detail of the present article. Nor would a digression be profitable here to review any profound aspects of Masonic symbolism--such as were illustrated on the Tracing-Boards--upon an intelligent apprehension of which every brother must have relied to derive that spiritual inspiration and moral power which are essential to every participant in our Mysteries. That Freemasons then were as fully conscious of all such important matters as we ourselves are today can scarcely be disputed, but we can only notice them en passant as side issues to our present subject.
Our main point is that long before the nineteenth century certain symbols had gradually become restricted in England to certain degrees, and consequently they were displayed either on three separate diagrams or else on three separate compartments of the same cloth or board. A few symbols--such as Aaron's rod and Amalthea's horn, the bee-hive and the scythe--had meanwhile fallen into disfavor and become generally discarded; whilst one or two new ones were added or (as in the case of the broached-thurnel) acquired new significance.
THE DESIGNERS OF LODGE BOARDS
For the grouping, or arrangement in which the various components are usually exhibited, the Craft is indebted chiefly to three London brethren; who, during many years, devoted much insight and artistic genius to the designing of many cloths and boards for individual lodges. Of these Masonic worthies the first was a Bro. Jacobs, concerning whom unfortunately nothing is now known beyond the fact that about the year 1800 he was living near Hatton Gardens (London), and produced several good designs: in which, however, the anachronistic substitution of a coffin was a regrettable evidence of his originality. In this (as in sundry other peculiarities) he was copied by his contemporary Josiah Bowring, then residing in the district known as Moorfields (London). He was initiated in 1795, and for many years was a prominent member of the "Strong Man Lodge" (now No. 45, E. C.), of which he became Master in 1821. Numerous examples of Bowring's skill are still extant--distinguishable usually by having a key suspended from the ladder. He died, apparently in somewhat reduced circumstances, about the end of 1831. The third of the artistic trio was John Harris, who was initiated in the "Lodge of Good Intent" (now defunct) in 1818, and survived until 1873. In regard to these three brethren it is not too much to say that the fixation (and one might almost say standardization) of the diagrams has resulted from a unanimous acceptance and perpetuation of their ideas. Truly indeed they were masters, whose designs have better enabled their English brethren to carry on the structure with order and propriety. Possibly something superior may some day displace them from favor, but hitherto they have had no serious rivals and are now regarded under the English Constitution as adjuncts almost as venerable and unalterable as Landmarks of the Order.
Royal Arch Masonry Prior to the Union of 1813
By BRO.JOHN STOKES, M.A., M.D.,
PAST ASSISTANT GRAND SOJOURNER, R.A., England; SENIOR WARDEN, QUATUOR CORONATI LODGE, NO. 2076, England
In the whole history of the Craft there is nothing more puzzling than the mysterious origin of the Royal Arch Degree. Two circumstances have contributed to this somewhat nebulous condition of affairs. The first is, that those who did know something definite as to its inception have left no record of their knowledge; the other, that those who did write concerning this degree in the early years of the last century knew very little about it, but were tolerably certain that what they did not know about it--and incidentally about all other Masonic questions--was not worth knowing. The subject was approached very much after the manner of the learned gentleman, presumably of Teutonic descent, who had occasion to describe a camel. He had never seen a camel, and had not the remotest idea of what it resembled, so he proceeded to evolve a camel out of the depths of his imagination, with somewhat surprising results.
In like manner, the evolution of Royal Arch Masonry was attributed to various sources, with which in reality it had nothing whatever to do, nor even the smallest kind of relation. The ipse dixit of these people was laid down in such an authoritative style and with such a wealth of quotation from numerous writers, that it would have taken a bold man to doubt their assertions, or attempt to refute their conclusions. When, however, the origin of the degree was looked into by examining the original minutes of the Grand and private lodges and chapters, it became obvious that the method of writing history by means of a travel into the realms of phantasy was not the best way to arrive at the truth of the matter. It was also evident that the assertions of these soi disant historians were founded, not on the sure ground of fact, but merely on more or less intelligent surmise. It was assumed that the degree ought to have arisen in a certain way, and therefore did arise in that way. This attitude of mind is fatal to research, but is very easy to pursue. A theory, more or less probable, is first brought forward, and then the facts, or such of them as may appear the most suitable, are so arranged that they fit in with theory. Such methods must have a chaotic effect on the mind of the genuine seeker after knowledge.
Perhaps it will be best to deal first with the exploded notions of the older writers, and then to give a summary of what we really know, leaving the domain of conjecture, which is all very well in its proper place, to those who prefer that method of resolving a vexed question.
THE “CHEVALIER RAMSAY THEORY" EXPLODED
Our dear and most elusive friend, the Chevalier Ramsay--who may or may not have been a Freemason for there is no certainty one way or another-was given the credit at one time. He must have been a most remarkable man if he did even a tenth part of the things attributed to him. He was, at one period, tutor to the Stuart royal children and led a rather variegated career, devoting his life to the restoration of the Stuart family on the throne of England, in which enterprise he failed, as did all those who tried to help that unfortunate and decadent dynasty. He seems to have turned his attention to any and every quarter from which assistance, however vague and unlikely, might perchance come to help his designs. And what so likely as from the world-wide organization of the Masonic order, then the fashionable cult of the French aristocracy, and their imitators everywhere? With this end and aim in view he is credited with the invention of all sorts of Masonic and other degrees. There is no definite proof that he did anything of the kind. The whole story is of that delightfully indefinite type, that is so undeniably charming but so demonstrably unreal. At any rate his precise schemes came to nothing, the house of Hanover remained firm on the throne; also, so far as we know, Freemasonry went on as usual. On March 21, 1737, Ramsay wrote a Masonic oration, to be given before the Grand Lodge at Paris, or before some ordinary lodge, in which various Masonic degrees are mentioned. The speech was certainly not read at this or any other lodge. It is not certain that Ramsay wrote this or any other Masonic oration; all that we know is that he was said to have done so. From this feeble source comes all the theoretical implication of Ramsay as a sort of arch conspirator, bringing all sorts of innovations into the Masonic fold.
DR. OLIVER IS UNRELIABLE
Bro. Hughan in his Origin of the English Rite (1909 Ed pp. 81, sqq.), says: "Dr. Oliver (Origin of the English Royal Arch, p. 39) asserts that the Chevalier Ramsay 'visited London at the very period in question, for the purpose of introducing his new degrees into English Masonry; and his schemes being rejected by the Constitutional Grand Lodge, nothing appears more likely than that he would throw himself into the hands of the schismatics.... It is therefore extremely probable that Ramsay was concerned in the fabrication of the English degree.' I demur entirely to such statements for many and sufficient reasons. There is not a tittle of proof that Ramsay's 'inventions' were either entertained or rejected by the Grand Lodge of England, by its rival of the 'Athol Masons', or by any other Masonic body in Great Britain and Ireland; added to which he had 'joined the majority' some three years, at least prior to the period of Dermott's exaltation as a Royal Arch Mason, and the 'Atholl Grand Lodge' had no existence until some seven years or more after Ramsay's decease. I am entirely of the opinion that if the Chevalier 'did visit any part of England or Ireland about 1740, it was not for Masonic, but political purposes'but as to that, the necessary information being lacking, we need not speculate."
The Rev. Dr. Oliver was a very estimable man and a most voluminous writer. As a pillar of the Church of England as by Law Established, he really ought to have been more careful about making statements without proof; and though, as Sydney Smith said of a preacher in the pulpit that he was "three feet above contradiction, "yet the learned Doctor so frequently contradicts himself, that we are saved the necessity of doing it for him. All the same we are left uncertain to what extent he expects us to believe in him, and to what extent he himself believed in his own statements.
OTHER THEORIES ARE NOT PROVIDED
Bro. R. F. Gould in his History of Freemasonry (Vol. II, p. 457) tries to prove that the degree of the Royal Arch had its inception in the "Scots" degrees, which sprang up in all parts of France about 1740. At this period, France was full of English and Scottish adherents to the Stuart cause, who, finding the climate of their own land somewhat unhealthy, crossed the Channel to plot and counterplot for the Stuarts. Many of these were, or became Roman Catholics, and it is doubtful if these men could conscientiously join the Masonic Order. Gould does his best with a rather poor case, but does not prove anything.
In Findel's History of Freemasonry, p. 182, it is asserted that: "The Royal Arch Degree is in its essential elements decidedly French in its origin, but received a somewhat different form in England, with additions from the higher degrees then flourishing on the Continent." Here again we meet with a statement given ex cathedra but without the slightest attempt at proof. What we should like to have is chapter and verse for these assertions. If merely a guess, it would be better to say so and leave it at that.
Kloss, however, goes one better than the others, for he gives a definite date. He says that Royal Arch Masonry was introduced into England in the year 1774, and then goes on to say that the English first became acquainted with the degree during the Austrian War of Succession between the years 1741 and 1742. Here, fortunately, we have something definite to deal with. We know the movements of the English troops during that inconclusive campaign, in which Frederick the Great got what he wanted, and the rest, including England, added to their national debt. Some 16,000 English troops were stationed in Holland, but none were actually engaged with the forces of Maria Theresa. We cannot say that no Englishmen were in Austria or in its neighborhood during this period, but the whole tale sounds improbable on the face of it. In any case, why did these people, who got the degree in 1741 or 1742, wait until 1774 before bringing the degree into England? One other point may be mentioned, viz., we know the Royal Arch to have been here before that date.
It will be noticed that all these authorities ascribe the "invention" of the degree to foreign sources, preferably to France. We have got so accustomed to things being attributed to any origin rather than an English one, that this is not a matter of surprise; but, if the degree was invented somewhere, is it not possible that this effete and downtrodden country might have been capable of giving birth to someone equal to the task?
THE FACTS OF R.A. MASONRY
Let us now leave these fascinating realms of conjecture, these wild and extravagant hypotheses without a scintilla of proof, and put down what we really can vouch for.
Hughan, a writer whose statements are always supported by adequate documentary evidence, who never made an assertion without first thinking what it meant, and whose judgment was of the highest judicial order, says:
"It is probable that Royal Arch Masonry was the first ceremony associated with the Craft Degree, though before minutes relating to the Royal Arch are met with, there are records of other extra degrees; but references to the former of 1743-4 place it in the position of being one of the earliest known of the additional Ceremonies." (Origin of the English Rite, p. 73.)
The date of the appearance of the Royal Arch may therefore be taken as somewhere about the year 1740 It may have been worked before that date, but documentary evidence, referring to it as being well-know after that date, is becoming more and more established, as the old records are brought to light.
The first mention of the degree in contemporary literature is in that interesting work entitled, A Serious and Impartial Enquiry to the Cause of the Present Decay of Free-Masonry in the Kingdom of Ireland, written by Fifield Dassigny, M. D., and published in Dublin in 1744. This book was lost sight of until Bro Hughan, in 1867, discovered a copy, now in the Library of the Grand Lodge of Iowa, U. S. A. Another cop was found subsequently, which is in the Library of West Yorkshire. In this work Dassigny specifically alludes to the Royal Arch Degree as being worked in various cities. Dermott quotes from it on several occasions, e. g., Ahiman Rezon, first edition, 1756.
RECORDS FROM THE UNITED STATES
From the point of view of continuity of working, our American brethren can justly congratulate themselves, for the Chapter of Jerusalem, No. 3, of the city of Philadelphia has gone on working the degree from 1758 up to the present time, truly a proud position to occupy! The earliest minute so far traced of the conferring of the Royal Arch Ceremony is also to be found in the U. S. A., where in an irregular lodge, held at Fredericksburg, in Virginia, on Dec. 22, 1753, several brethren were "Raised to the Degree of Royall Arch Mason ."
"THE ANTIENTS ADVOCATE R.A. MASONRY
The great protagonist of the Royal Arch was Laurence Dermott, who lost no opportunity, in season and out of season, of advocating the claims of the degree to be an essential and necessary part of Freemasonry. Dermott was initiated in Ireland in 1740, and was Master of Lodge 26, Dublin, in 1746, the same year he became a Royal Arch Mason. In 1748 he came to London, and in 1752 he became Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of "Atholl" Masons generally known as the "Antients." His capacity for work must have been simply wonderful; he was, at the beginning of his career, a journeyman painter, working twelve hours a day at his trade. After his day's work at this, he did his work as Grand Secretary. He wrote innumerable letters, and was always in the wars with: somebody, either in his own or in the opposite section. If quarrelsomeness is a characteristic of the Irish race, as we are sometimes led to believe, then Dermott must have had a double allowance of this interesting trait. His correspondence is rather more forcible than polite, and in general, it may be said that he used the mailed fist, carefully and even ostentatiously discarding the velvet glove. To his powerful advocacy is undoubtedly due the rapid advance of what he firmly believed to be "the root, heart and marrow of Masonry." He died in 1791, and did not therefore live to see the fruition of his fondest hopes; but before his decease it was obvious that his ideas had gained the ascendancy, and that it was only a question of a few years for them to prevail.
"THE MODERNS" AND R. A. MASONRY
It was only with great difficulty that the regular Grand Lodge (Moderns) could be brought to take any notice of the Royal Arch Degree. On the other hand, the degree was worked extensively by the "Regular" Masons in spite of the frowns of those in authority. At the present day, the same condition exists in the Grand Lodge of Scotland, which refuses any form of recognition to the Royal Arch Degree, though this lack of recognition does not prevent the successful working of the degree in that country.
In England, successive Grand Secretaries poured cold water on the degree, and from time to time issued such dicta as "Our Society is neither Arch, Royal Arch, or Ancient." The inexorable course of events, however, compelled a decided change from this attitude of aloofness, culminating in the final acceptation of the degree in the Articles of Union between the two Grand Lodges of Freemasons of England proposed on Nov. 25, 1813, and ratified on Dec. 1, 1813:
BY CLAUSE 2 OF THESE ARTICLES
"It is declared and pronounced that pure Ancient Masonry consists of three degrees and no more, viz., those of the Entered Apprentice, the Fellow Craft, and the Master Mason, including the Supreme Order of the Holy Royal Arch. But this Article is not intended to prevent any Lodge or Chapter from holding a Meeting in any of the degrees of the Orders of Chivalry according to the Constitutions of the said Orders."
Thus was given to the Supreme Order of the Holy Royal Arch that alliance with the Craft, which Dermott had spent the greater part of his life to secure.
WAS NELSON A FREEMASON?
THE question of whether Admiral Viscount Nelson was a Freemason is one that has puzzled many a Mason in recent years. There are various pieces of evidence in existence, none of them conclusive, but all pointing to the answer to the question being in the affirmative.
At the Masonic Hall, Reading, Berkshire, there is a framed print with the representation of a banner carried at Lord Nel:;on's funeral. The banner bears the following inscription:
"'England expects every man to do his duty.'
In Memory of
HORATIO VISCOUNT NELSON
Who fell in the moment of
Octr. 21st, 1805.
We rejoice with our Country but mourn our Brother."
There is a description to the print, which is as follows:
“Banner carried by the York Lodge, 256, at Lord Nelson’s Funeral, on the occasion of which the Rev. J. Parker, Chaplain, was commanded to preach a Sermon at St. Helen's Church, York, Dec. 11th, 1805."
There is, also, belonging to the Lodge of Friendship, No. 100, at Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, an oblong polished block of white marble about the size of a large brick, originally intended for use as a perfect ashler. On one of the long sides of this block there is an inscription commemorating the constitution of the Lodge of United Friends, No. 564, on Friday, Aug. 11, 1797, and on the opposite side the following has been cut:
"In Memory of Bror. Vt. NELSON
of the Nile, and of Burnham Thorpe, in Norfolk
who lost his life in the arms of Victory
in an engagement with
ye Combin'd Fleets of France and Spain
of Cape Trafalgar, Oct. 21, 1805.
Proposed by Bror. John Cutlove."
The minute books of the Lodge of United Friends, of the required period, have unfortunately disappeared and no evidence has as yet been forthcoming to show whether Lord Nelson was initiated in, or became a member of, the Lodge of United Friends. Lord Nelson visited Great Yarmouth on several occasions. He landed at Great Yarmouth on Nov. 6, 1800, and again on March 2, 1801. On the latter occasion Nelson became a member of the Society of Gregorians, as in Perlustration of Yarmouth we are told that "Nelson also addressed a Letter from Yarmouth Roads to Mr. Pillans, Grand-Master of the Ancient Order of Gregorians' at Norwich, with thanks for his election into that Society." As Bro. Hamon LeStrange in his History of Freemasonry in Norfolk rightly points out, "it is at all events extremely unlikely that, in a place where Nelson was so well known as he was at Yarmouth, the Members of the Lodge would have dared to place on the stone commemorative of their own constitution an inscription claiming him as a Brother, which, if untrue, would have exposed them to ridicule and contradiction from many who knew the facts."
There is also evidence, from a Norwich source, that Nelson had in his possession a round black papier-mache snuff-box, with gilt Masonic emblems on the lid, which he presented to one John Hareourt.
On May 27, 1801, a lodge was constituted and consecrated at Batley, in Yorkshire, under the name of "I,ord Nelson of the Nile Lodge." The following year a lodge was warranted at Caldwell Manor, Montreal, Canada, under the name of "Nelson Lodge."
It may also be noted that there is, in the Grand Lodge Museum, Great Queen Street, London, two specimens of a silver medal known as the "Nelsonic Crimson Oakes Medal." There is no evidence as to the meaning of "Nelsonic Crimson Oakes," and it is doubtful whether it was in any way Masonic, although bearing many Masonic emblems.
In the Freemasons' Quarterly Review for 1839, a writer makes the assertion that Lord Nelson, and his servant, Tom Allen, were Freemasons, but unfortunately gives neither authority for his statement nor any reference to the source of his information.
The registers at Grand Lodge have been searched without result, but it is well known that at that period there are many omissions from these registers which render them tantalizingly incomplete.
Such is the sum total of our present stock of knowledge, but it is to be hoped that fresh items may one day be forthcoming, which will turn the strong presumption that Nelson was a Freemason into a positive historical fact.
THE GREAT AIM OF MASONRY
Beings who partake of one common nature, ought to be actuated by the same motives and interests. Hence, to soothe the unhappy, by sympathizing with their misfortunes, and to restore peace and tranquility to agitated spirits, constitute the general and great ends of the Masonic system. This humane this generous disposition fires the breast with manly feelings and enlivens the spirit of compassion, which is the glory of the human frame. and which not only rivals. but outshines, every other pleasure the mind is capable of enjoying – Preston’s Illustrations of Masonry, 12th Edition, 1812.
Concerning the Plan and Purpose of This Special Issue
By BRO. GILBERT W. DAYNES, Associate Editor for England
TO sit in the seats of the mighty has its enjoyment for some, but for the majority the responsibilities of the position far outweigh its pleasures. I am no exception to the majority, and readers of THE BUILDER need, therefore, have no false conception as to my feelings during the brief period I have been occupying the chair of its Editor-in-Chief. Being only an Apprentice attempting the work of a Master of the Craft, I entered upon my task with considerable fear and trepidation.
My first consideration was as to the composition of this special number, which was to deal with Freemasonry in England, Scotland and Ireland, to the exclusion of all other parts of the world. Even this limitation seemed too wide for adequate treatment, and therefore I further restricted the scope of the articles, to appear in this number, to one particular period of Craft history. The period selected opens with the formation of the Premier Grand Lodge of the world in 1717, and closes with the harmonious union of the two Grand Lodges existing in England in 1813. During those ninety-seven years much happened in Freemasonry in the British Isles. Episodes of intense interest, phases of great moment, and decisions of vital concern, pass as in a kaleidoscope before the eyes of the Masonic student.
The beginnings of Grand Lodge were microscopical compared with its present state of organization and efficiency. These beginnings are shrouded in mystery, and there are no contemporary records of its doings until several years after its formation. Early in this period the ranks of Freemasonry were augmented by all conditions of society; and nobility, men of letters, clergy, soldiers and sailors, join the body. At a later period, Royalty are made Masons; and from 1737 to the present day the Fraternity has not been without one or more within its ranks. Also, throughout this period, the continued progress of the Institution may be clearly traced; and from the few independent lodges, meeting in different parts of England and Scotland, gradually grew up those Grand Bodies now governing Freemasonry in England, Scotland and Ireland.
Each of these Grand Lodges had its troubles, trials and difficulties, in surmounting which consolidation and strength was gradually acquired and retained. In England, for over half a century, Freemasonry was split into different factions, and a considerable amount of bitterness existed between the several parties. In course of time, through the efforts of many true and far-sighted Freemasons, this rancour was assuaged and, in 1813, a Union was consummated, which will, I trust, never be broken. Foremost in these endeavors were those two royal brothers, whose names will ever be enshrined upon the tablets of the Brotherhood. The United Grand Lodge of England, which emerged from the furnace of controversy and suspicion, was well-tempered and strong; and the century, which has passed since the Union, has been one of constant progress.
There has been no attempt to set forth a complete story of the Craft during the special period selected; to have done so would have required very many numbers. A few salient and interesting features have been selected for general treatment, aiming at a bird's-eye view of those far-off times. It has been impossible to give chapter and verse on every occasion, but nevertheless all statements and quotations have been carefully verified and checked.
When I yielded tot he request of our Editor-in-Chief to prepare and edit this special number, I did so well knowing the kindly spirit which permeates Freemasonry throughout the Universe, and the consequent indulgence that would be extended to me for any shortcomings in my work. This knowledge has been of great help to me; but of even greater assistance has been the knowledge that the quality of the articles I have secured for this number must more than compensate for any leek of experience on my part. The truly fraternal spirit with which English brethren have complied with my request for material has lightened my task, and made my work as Editor unexpectedly pleasant. The table of contents will show, in no doubtful measure, how easy my task became when such eminent Masonic students, as those whose names appear on that page, came to my aid and contributed of their best. I know I shall but be voicing the opinions of every reader of THE BUILDERS when I say that our most cordial thanks are due to those English Masons who have so generously written in this number for the instruction and enjoyment of their overseas brethren.
It would be quite invidious for me to mention the different articles separately. Each one deals with a subject, which the writer has made his own, and upon which he can speak and write authoritatively. One name, however, must be specially mentioned; I allude of course to R. W. Bro. Sir Alfred Robbins. To him I tender my sincere thanks for the Foreword he has contributed to this special number. No Mason has the wellbeing and prosperity of the Fraternity more at heart; and his recent Masonic tour throughout parts of the U. S. A. has been hailed with the warmest approbation by all thinking Masons on both sides of the Atlantic. Fresh evidence is daily forthcoming, demonstrating that the efforts of Sir Alfred Robbins during his tour are bearing fruit, and that the result of his mission must be a better and fuller understanding between English and American Freemasons.
The more that is known on one side of the Atlantic about the peculiar factors governing Freemasonry upon the opposite side, the better for the Craft as a universal brotherhood. Hence the great value of English Masons contributing articles to American Masonic papers and vice versa. At present, I am afraid, much too little is known in England as to the problems confronting American Masons, and the viewpoints from which different aspects of Freemasonry are regarded. I have no doubt that time will soon alter this, especially when Masonic writers from the U. S. A. fully realize the fact, and contribute more freely to the English Masonic periodicals. An interchange of special numbers, or supplements, between English and American Masonic papers would, I am sure, be of considerable value, and materially help to consolidate what was so ably begun by Sir Alfred Robbins last year. May I therefore, in concluding this short editorial, express the hope that this special number is but the first of many fraternal interchanges of views, which will from time to time take place between Masonic writers both of England and America.
Charity is the chief of every social virtue, and the distinguishing characteristic of Masons. This virtue includes a supreme degree of love to the Great Creator and Governor of the Universe, and an unlimited affection to the beings of his creation, of all characters and of every denomination. This last duty is forcibly inculcated by the example of the Deity himslef, who liberally dispenses his beneficence to unnumbered worlds.
MASONIC CLOTHING, 1717 TO 1731
THERE can be little doubt that, when the premier Grand Lodge was founded in 1717, Masonic clothing consisted only of the Apron and white gloves. In support of this statement we have the portrait of the first Grand Master - Anthony Sayer - drawn by Highmore, and engraved by Faber, both Freemasons, in which an Apron is shown but no collar or jewel. Also, in the frontispiece to the first edition of the Book of Constitutions, published in 1723, Aprons and gloves are depicted, but no other Masonic regalia. From various newspaper announcements, commencing from 1721, we learn that the Apron was a leather one and that white gloves were worn. For instance, one such announcement states that certain gentlemen who had been made Masons "have accordingly been invested with the Leathern Apron, one of the Ensigns of the Society." Another announcement, in March, 1724, states that certain gentlemen "were accepted Freemasons, and went home in their Leather Aprons and Gloves."
Except for the record in Grand Lodge minutes, that on Feb. 27, 1727, the Deputy Grand Master and the Grand Wardens were "vested with the Several Badges belonging to their Office" - a phrase which is a little ambiguous - the first definite information in the minute book that collars and jewels had come into use, to distinguish the officers of the lodge, and presumably also of the Grand Lodge, occurs on June 24, 1727. At the Quarterly Communication of Grand Lodge, held that day, it was
"RESOLVED NEM CON that in all private Lodges and Quarterly Communications and Generall Meetings the Mars and Wardens do wear the Jewells of Masonry hanging to a White Ribbon (Vizt.) That the Mar wear the square, the Senr. Warden the Levell and the Junr. Warden the Plumb rule."
At some date prior to 1731 the Grand Officers must have commenced to line their Aprons with blue silk. It was clearly not a new idea when, on March 17, 1731, Grand Lodge passed certain resolutions as to the clothing to be worn by the Grand Officers, the Stewards, etc. In the minutes of this meeting we find recorded:
"Dr. Desagulier taking Notice of some Irregularities in wearing the Marks of Distinction which have been allowed by Former Grand Lodges. Proposed:
"That none but the Grand Master, his Deputy and Wardens shall wear their Jewels in Gold or Gilt pendant to blue Ribbons about their Necks and white Leather Aprons lined with blue Silk.
"That all those who have served any of the three Grand Offices shall wear the like Aprons lined with blue Silk in all Lodges and assemblies of Masons when they appear clothed.
"That those Brethren that are Stewards shall wear their aprons lined with red Silk and their proper Jewels pendant to red Ribbons.
"That all those who have served the Office of Steward be at Liberty to wear Aprons lined with red Silk and not otherwise.
"That all Masters and Wardens of Lodges may wear their Aprons lined with White Silk and their respective Jewels with plain White Ribbons but of no other Colour whatsoever.
"The Deputy Grand Master accordingly put the Question whether the above Regulation should be agreed to.
"And it was carried in the affirmative Nemine con."
The words "lined with blue" evidently meant "lined and turned over blue," because, in the Rawlinson MSS., at the Bodleian Library, at Oxford, there is preserved an “order for Aprons at the Constitution of the Lodge at the Prince of Orange’s Head, in Mill Street Southwark, given by Thos. Batson, Esq., D. G. M." The document, which is of date 1734, reads as follows:
"Two Grand Masters aprons lined with Garter Blue Silk and turn'd over two inches with white silk strings. Two Deputy Grand Masters Aprons turned over an inch & 1/2 ditto. One apron lined with the deepest yellow silk for the Grand Master's Swordbearer."
This interesting order thus adds to our knowledge concerning Grand Lodge clothing of the period under review, as well as telling us of the special apron then worn by the Grand Sword Bearer. At that date, it must be remembered, this officer was not an officer of the Grand Lodge.
THE ENTERED APPRENTICE'S CHARGE IN 1735
In the latter part of 1734, and the beginning of 1735, William Smith published The Free Mason's Pocket Companion both in London and Dublin. It was published in London without the authority of the Grand Lodge of England, and at the Quarterly Communication of the Grand Lodge held on Feb 24, 1735, it was "Resolved and Ordered that every Master and Warden present shall do all in their power to .... prevent the said Smith's books being bought by any members of their respective Lodges." In Ireland, on the contrary, the book had the approbation of the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Ireland and his Grand Officers.
In this Pocket Companion, and being the only absolutely novel section of that work, there is to be found "A short CHARGE to be given to new admitted Brethren." It is worded as follows:
You are now admitted by the unanimous Consent of our Lodge, a Fellow of our most Antient and Honourable Society; Antient, as having subsisted from Times immemorial, and Honourable, as tending in every Particular to render a Man so that will be but conformable to its glorious Precepts. The greatest Monarchs in all Ages, as well of Asia and Africa as of Europe, have been encouragers of the Royal Art; and many of them have presided as Grand-Masters over the Masons in their respective Territories, not thinking it any lessening to their Imperial Dignities to level themselves with their Brethren in MASONRY, and to act as they did.
The World's great Architect is our Supreme Master, and the unerring Rule he has given us, is that by which we Work.
Religious Disputes are never suffered in the Lodge; for a Masons, we only pursue the universal Religion, or the Religion of Nature. This is the Cement which unites Men of the most different Principles in one sacred Band, and brings together those who were the most distant from one another.
There are three general Heads of Duty, which MASONS ought always to inculcate, viz.: to God, our Neighbours, and Ourselves.
To God, in never mentioning his Name but with that Reverential Awe which becomes a Creature to bear to his Creator and to look upon Him always as the Summum Bonum which we came into the World to enjoy; and according to that View to regulate all our Pursuits.
To our Neighbours, in acting upon the Square, or doing as we would be done by.
To Ourselves, in avoiding all Intemperances and Excesses, whereby we may be rendered incapable of following our Work; or led into Behaviour unbecoming our laudable Profession, and in always keeping within due Bounds, and free from all Pollution.
In the State, a MASON is to behave as a peaceable and dutiful Subject, conforming chearfully to the Government under which he lives.
He is to pay a due Deference to his Superiors, and from his Inferiors he is rather to receive Honour with some Reluctance, than to extort it.
He is to be a Man of Benevolene and Charity, not sitting down contented while his Fellow Creatures, but much more his Brethren, are in want, when it is in his Power (without prejudicing himself or Family) to relieve them.
In the Lodge he is to behave with all due Decorum, lest the Beauty and Harmony thereof should be disturbed or broke.
He is to be obedient to the Master and presiding Officers, and to apply himself closely to the Business of MASONRY, that he may sooner become a Proficient therein, both for his own Credit, and for that of the Lodge.
He is not to neglect his own necessary Avocations for the sake of MASONRY, nor to involve himself in Quarrels with those who through Ignorance may speak evil of, or ridicule it.
He is to be a Lover of the Arts and Sciences, and to take all Opportunities of improving himself therein.
If he recommends a Friend to be made a Mason, he must vouch him to be such as he really believes will conform to the aforesaid Duties, lest by his Misconduct at any Time the Lodge should pass under some evil Imputations. Nothing can prove more shocking to all faithful MASONS, than to see any of their Brethren profane or break through the sacred Rules of their Order, and such as can do it they wish had never been admitted.
I am sure, as stated by Bro. Chetwode Crawley, "every brother will hail as old and firm friends the brief and pithy clauses on which the Grand Lodge of Ireland was the first to bestow official sanction."
If any man among you seem to be religious and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain.
DR. J. T. DESAGULIERS AND THE DUKE OF MONTAGU, 1734
On Dec. 27, 1734, Mick Broughton, writing to the Duke of Richmond from Ditton. where he was staying with the Duke of Montagu, says that “some great Mason is wanting to initiate Bob Webber." The great Mason, here referred to, is Dr. J. T. Desaguliers, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of England for 1719; and Bob Webber was a Minor Canon of Winchester Cathedral. On New Year's Day Mick Broughton writes a further letter to the Duke of Richmond, and tells him of the initiation and of another ceremony, which some have conjectured to have been the forerunner of the Holy Royal Arch Degree of later years. The letter is as follows:
"DITTON, New Years Day, 1734-5.
"MY DEAR LORD,
"....I am sorry the weather has not been kinder for your Sport; bad as it is, it has not hindered ours, without doors or within: Rowing every day to old Windsor or Dachett, and within, Hollis and Desaguliers (who came hither on his Crutches on Saturday, and able to go without them in 24 hours) have been super-excellent in their different ways, and often at one anothers. We have been entertaining sometimes with scenes out of Don Sebastian, Tamerlane, Love for Love, &c.; the Chief Actors Desaguliers, St. John, Bodens and Webber. Mick, having a bad memory, excus'd himself from Acting, and Seated, Solus, upon a large Sopha, Represented
A Full Audience.
To give Caesar his Due, this Jest was Spoken by the Master of the House. On Sunday night at a Lodge in the Library, St. John, Albemarle, and Russell made chapters, and Bob Admitted Apprentice; the Dr. being very hardly persuaded to the Latter, by reason of Bob's tender years and want of Aprons. My being out of this Farce likewise, excludes me the Honour of styling myself Brother, must therefore be contented to subscribe myself
"My Dear Lord Duke
Your Grace's Most Devoted
and Humble Servant,
With regard to what is meant to be conveyed by the phrase "made chapters," Bro. W. J. Songhurst has said:
"I readily admit that there is nothing in Broughton's letter which shows distinctly that any secrets such as are confined to the Royal Arch, were then conferred on the three Candidates, but the verbiage is very suggestive, and I consider that the facts as recorded should be kept prominently in mind, as they may form an important link if we should be so fortunate as to discover other evidence of a more precise character." ( See A. Q. C., Vol. XXX, pp. 176 to 211.)
In our review of The Little Masonic Library published in THE BUILDER, March, 1925, page 92, it was stated of the first volume in the list, Anderson's Constitutions, with introduction by Bro. Lionel Vibert, that it was "the same fac-simile reprint that in another edition sells for $7.50." This was an error, made inadvertently, and very much regretted. The two books are not the same. By way of correction, and to make amends for the unintentional misrepresentation of the facts, we are happy to reproduce here a letter recently received from Bro. Vibert:
On page 92 of your March issue, in the Library you state that the first volume of The Little Library is the same fac-simile reprint that in another edition sells for $7.50.
I must ask you to correct this assertion in your next number. The fac-simile you refer to, that put out by Pressers Quaritch, is a fac-simile, being the exact counterpart of the original. The Little Library publication is a quarter the size. The introduction to the true fac-simile is entirely different from the article that has been prefaced to the reproduction by The Little Library, being much fuller and containing the results of later researches.
Faithfully and fraternally yours,
Marline, Lansdowne, Bath, England.
March 12, 1925.
It matters not how a man dies, but how he lives - Dr. Johnson
The great aim of life is not knowledge but action. - Hexley.
Want of care does more harm than want of knowledge. - Victor Hugo.
'Tis not the whole of life to live, nor all of death to die. - Montgomery.
Through the pass of "By-and-by" you get to the valley of never. - Geo. Eliot.
Let us fight evil thoughts with good actions. - Vachell.
'Twere better to strive and fail than never to strive at all. – W. Raleigh.
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