Mark Masonry ⬩ Masonic Apron ⬩ Masonic Baptism ⬩ Masonic Chronology ⬩ Masonic Conventions and Congresses ⬩ Masonic Glass ⬩ Masonic Greater Charities ⬩ Masonic Laws and Jurisprudence ⬩ Masonic Order of Malta ⬩ Masonic Rites of Adoption ⬩ Masonic Symbols ⬩ Masons’ Word ⬩ Master of All Symbolic Lodges ⬩ Master of the Blue ⬩ Mayas and Quiches ⬩ Minor Masonic Literati ⬩ Minor Rites in Masonry ⬩ Modern Order of Martinism ⬩ Moral Law and Masonry ⬩ Most Excellent Master ⬩ Mysteries of Egypt ⬩ Mysteries of Nature and Science ⬩ Mystic and Magus ⬩ Mysticism
So far as research has proceeded up to the present time, the earliest traced reference to the Honourable Degree existing under this title occurs in the Minute Book of a Chapter of Friendship, held at the George Tavern in Portsmouth on September 1, 1769, when the ProGrand Master, Thomas Dunkerley, made certain Brethren Mark Masons and Mark Masters, each choosing his Mark. It is heard of again in the Marquis of Granby Lodge, No. 124, where it was worked in the year 1774. The first record concerning it in Scotland is found in the Minutes of the Banff Lodge, under date of 1778. These scattered facts, which may be said perhaps to have transpired rather than been sought, leave us in unrelieved darkness as to origin and early history. We know as little concerning the first form of the Ritual, but there is one inference possible, and—I think—inevitable respecting the two extant workings. That which prevails under the obedience of the Grand Mark Lodge of England and Wales stultifies the symbolical procedure by its violence to the logic of things, reversing as it does the position of the two points, so that the Candidate is compelled to go back on the step which he has taken, as if renouncing the status which he has reached, though it has received official recognition. The consistent procedure is that of the Scottish working, where the business of the Mark Man antecedes that of the Master. I am confident that this is the earlier arrangement and belongs to the original form, more especially as it is obviously that which obtained in the Chapter of Friendship, according to the wording of the Minute already mentioned.
Scottish Working.—It seems to follow also from this and from the Scottish working that the familiar shibboleth which tells us that the Mark Degree arises out of the Fellow Craft and belongs thereto is an idle reverie which misses its whole point. There is no evidence that it was ever communicated in full except to Master Masons, while the Scottish Second Point would lose all consequence and character, were it separated from the first by conferring the latter on Craftsmen and the former on Masters only. It being certain, however, that the Second, in view of the official secrets, is and must always be reserved to Master Masons, I believe that the regulation “enacted by the Craft”—and making such reservation—has obtained always in the Mark—that is to say, ab origine symboli. In this connection there is no need to specify that the Mark Installation Ceremony has vital points depending from the Third Degree, because it is doubtless a later Ritual than that of Advancement.
Operative Elements.—By its hypothesis, the latter is concerned with Operative Masonry and there is militant insistence hereon in the earlier part of the action; but at what may be called the crisis of the Grade—or the chief dramatic moment—there intervenes another element. We hear no longer of labours in quarries and forests, of promised rewards above to the makers of earthly temples here below, but of a purely spiritual edifice, a house not made with hands, a stone rejected by the builders, and again another stone, wherein—according to the Apocalypse—that secret name is written which to each who receives it is reserved alone, so that it is his and no other’s.
Living Stones.—In fine, the explanation of the tools and the Closing—so full of suggestion—tell those who have ears to hear that the whole house is spiritual, that above and below it is built of living stones, like that of the Rosy Cross. It is as if the Master of the Lodge were minister or priest of some Little Church of the Elect and in tending it here below looks up continually to that Reigning Church above which is eternal in the heavens—amplius et perfectius tabernaculum, non manu factum. I think very surely, there are some who have sat in his chair, knowing that the Keystone, the New Name and the House itself are Christ. Those who in older days termed it a Side Degree did little honour to the Mark and less to their own discernment: in the proper understanding, or for those who are prepared properly, advancement therein is a moving and illuminating experience.
Christian Allusions.—It takes us back also to that earlier state of Masonry, the ante-Grand Lodge period, when Rituals—such as they were—were not memorials of Judaistic Deism. There is none which bears comparison with it for the wealth and significance of its Christian allusions and implicits. The counsel throughout is to become so built up within that we shall be in fine meet “for His habitation”—that is to say, for the Divine Indwelling. This is the kind of building and this the Operative Masonry. I carry no brief for maintaining that any Masonic Ritual is altogether perfect in its parts or unreservedly honourable to its builders, but those who have followed the story of the mystic stone which is now Lapis reprobatus, now caput anguli, now set in its place to complete the Arch of Doctrine, now torn therefrom in quest of the Lost Word, will know that the Ceremony of Advancement in the Mark Degree deserves to be set in its proper place with due pomp and worship. As to those who ruled it out in the past from the narrow scheme of things which they called Masonry, I need say only that it possessed merits to them unknown. Amidst the horns and the organs of its chants and the pibroch tones of its high intimations, there and here in the pageant, it is possible to see that which could be made out of it, all that of which it offers the elements and root-matter. But he who should undertake to perfect it must know the true story of the stone through the luminous annals of mythos.
Early Grand Rite.—In addition to the official and prevalent working of Mark Masonry in Scotland there is that of the Early Grand Rite, which has especial and remarkable variations from the authorised Scottish and English forms. It is inadvisable to adjudicate definitely when the evidence rests solely on impressions belonging to the literary sense, so I will register only at its value a personal feeling that the codex now under notice has not only elements of more considerable antiquity—of course within the measures of Mark Masonry—than that of the other Scottish working, but that it represents the primitive form of the Order in a very slightly corrupted version. It is no longer one Grade in two Points but a system of two Degrees, being (1) the Fifth of the Early Grand Rite, called Fellow Craft Mark, and (2) the Sixth of that sequence, denominated Marked Master. In accordance with universal procedure now obtaining, both are conferred only on Master Masons; but the very title of the first indicates that this was otherwise at the beginning, and I indicate here one of the modifications which it has suffered. The Lodge of Fellow Craft Mark Men is opened by the Master and Wardens as the Overseers of the Lodge and the advancement is under their charge. The fact illustrates a corruption—consequent upon arbitrary restriction to members of the Third Degree—and a vestige of more primitive procedure. As originally given to Fellow-Craftsmen there was no master-part, and those who have been installed in the Chair of A ∴ under the obedience of the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons of England and Wales know that the original Master of all was chosen from among the Overseers, being presidents of the work among Fellows and Fellows also themselves.
Some Primitive Elements.—There are also to my thinking some archaic elements in the communication of the Official Secrets, while a discourse attached to the Grade and arising out of these matters is peculiar in several respects, more especially as regards (1) a secret cipher said to have been in use among Brethren as a means of written communication, (2) a method of testing by means of folding paper, (3) a form of examination called “reading the Stone”; and (4) an elaborate counting out of odd numbers, with remarks on their significance and virtues. The number three has references to “the Triune Deity” and by analogy to the number of Masons required as an indispensable minimum requisite to form a Lodge. The number seven is not only a sacred number and one revered by the ancients because of the seven planets but is memorable for the Sabbath in Israel and the seven Sabbatical years, for the seven years occupied in building the Temple of Solomon and for the seven golden candlesticks placed therein, these again “being emblematical of other and greater things.” Finally, the number 11, is commemorative of (a) the reduction made in the number of the founders of the twelve tribes “when Joseph was sold into Egypt” and in “the Apostles of Christ after the death of Judas.” The Historical Lecture attached to the Grade of Mark Master in England forms part of the working in the Fellow Craft Mark of the Early Grand Rite.
Grade of Mark Master.—As this Degree has absorbed practically the whole of the elements comprised by the Grade of Mark Master as worked in Scotland and England we are taken by the Grade of Mark Master into a new region of Masonic invention. It is said to have been conferred originally by one Master Mason on another in a Master Mason’s Lodge; “but since the Edict of the Grand Lodge of Scotland in 1800 this practice has gradually fallen away, until now it is worked nowhere but in the Early Grand Rite.” However this may be, and assuming on the faith of the statement that the root-matter of the Degree is old comparatively in Scotland, there is no question that it is a blot on the scutcheon of the Mark in respect of its Legend, while apart from the latter it is nothing—a mere vestige of procedure. The Legend postulates (1) a near relative of King Solomon whose name was Cavelum; (2) his supervision of the work of the Temple before the Master-Builder went up to Jerusalem; (3) the existence of four gates of the Temple at the four cardinal points; (4) “annoyance” of the Master-Builder, who found himself relegated on arrival to a subordinate position; (5) the laying of a stone “over the North-Gateway under the superintendence of the Master-Builder;” (6) the fall of this stone through his culpable carelessness; (7) the destruction of Cavelum in consequence, who was standing immediately under.
A Shameful Story.—The inference is that the kinsman of King Solomon was murdered, and in his grief at the catastrophe the North-Gateway was walled up by the monarch’s command. But in this manner the Master-Builder became accessory to his own doom, for he sought in his day three ways of escape, as his Legend tells us, but at each an aggressor awaited him. There were three only, however, and he might have been saved through the fourth, had his own conduct raised no barrier thereat. It is of course an idle story, for according to his Legend the Master-Builder had no opportunity of seeking a fourth mode of egress; and that is a shameful device by which a supplementary myth converts the proto-typical martyr of Operative Masonry into an assassin.
The Stone of Destiny.—At the same time there is a memorable story attaching to the stone which brought about the destruction of Cavelum, though it has been dragged in from other sources and is wrested in its present application. (1) On this stone there stood the angel with the flaming sword to keep the way of Paradise when Adam and Eve were expelled. (2) It formed the top of the altar raised by Abraham for the sacrifice of his son Isaac. (3) It was the pillow of Jacob when he saw in his vision the mystical ladder on which angels went up and came down. (4) Innumerable attempts were made to place it in one position and another during the building of the First Temple, but it found no rest anywhere till it became the capstone. (5) It was saved from destruction with the Temple, was cherished as a palladium by the Jews, and after the death of Zedekiah was carried by a migrating colony, with “Scota, the King’s daughter,” under the leadership of the prophet Jeremiah. (6) It was taken to the “Isles of the Sea” and preserved as a Stone of Destiny “by the people of Scota.” (7) Finally, it was “stolen” by Edward, King of England, and placed in the Coronation Chair at Westminster Abbey, “where it still is.” The point about this traditional history is its very curious admixture of materials. I should add that the Mark Degree is recognised in Scotland, and so also in Ireland, as an integral part of pure and Ancient Masonry.
From Neophyte to Epopt a particular kind of clothing characterised the various Mysteries and distinguished Grades therein. They have been enumerated times out of number, to institute analogies with Masonry; it would serve no purpose to recite them or to bring in new particulars, materials for which are extant. The fact that there was peculiar clothing in the Mysteries is an incident in the general fact of habit and custom belonging to human nature. The actuating motive is identical—mutaiis mutandis—with those other motives which prescribe marriage garments, weeds of mourning, priestly vestments and so forth. By the hypothesis, the kind of clothing is in correspondence with the purpose and occasion. There are obvious reasons why we do not frequent funerals wearing garlands of roses or assume sackcloth at nuptials. There are reasons not less obvious which provide sacerdotal garments. But in this case, behind what is obvious, there is a profound sacramentalism. The vestments, e.g. of a Roman priest, are not arbitrary but significant. Those which were worn in the Secret Instituted Mysteries of the past had their symbolism also. But that modern Mystery which is called Emblematic Masonry is drawn naturally from the Craft which it exists to spiritualise, and in Craft Masonry and its connections the Apron is the only proper and possible clothing. It is spiritualised because the trade is spiritualised: it means innocence, irreproachable conduct, and what you will of that order. In the Knightly Degrees of Masonry, such as that of the Temple, there is knightly vesture and no other is tolerable. The first meaning in all cases lies on the surface of each immemorial custom.
Among customs which obtained in France towards the end of the eighteenth century, and one performed usually upon infants or young children of either sex, was a Rite of Masonic Baptism. There was also the Reception of a Louveteau or Lewis, which however was open to male children only, and not until they had attained a minimum age of twelve years. The previous Baptism of these seems to have qualified them for the later ceremony. It was not sacramental in character and does not seem to have trespassed on the field of Ecclesiastical Rites, though the connection of ideas was unfortunate from this point of view. It secured the protection and assistance at need of that Lodge or Chapter on behalf of which it was performed—but this should have been forthcoming in its absence. The Reception of a Louveteau made the Candidate a pupil of the Lodge and prepared him, when the time came, for regular Masonic Initiation. Both observances were restricted to the children of Masons. The earliest authority on the subject with whom I am acquainted is the French writer Clavel. The Rituals are said to have been reconstructed by Albert Pike in 1871, but they did not come into use and are unknown in England. The Masonic charities here and in America perform a great work for the sons and daughters of Masons who are in need of maintenance and education. From an ideal point of view something may remain to be done for youth of another category, so that they can be brought within the beneficent influence of the Brotherhood in those cases where neither education nor maintenance are needed. But to organise such an undertaking would be literally a colossal task and the Louveteau Ceremony might not be adequate thereto. Moreover, analogies with any Church Sacrament whatever should be avoided: this would be trespassing upon another field without warrant or excuse.
Adoption.—About 1860 J. M. Ragon, who produced on his own initiative many reconstructions of Grades and placed them in printed form on the market under circumstances which—no doubt unintentionally—might lead the unwary to regard them as regular workings, produced a Ritual of Adoption for the children of Masons which constituted either a new procedure compiled by himself or a working different in several respects from that which has been outlined above. The ceremony is that of the Adoption of young Lowtons, “improperly called Masonic Baptism,” and is conferred only on or after attaining the age of seven years, in a Lodge convened for the purpose. It is an eminently respectable ceremony, in the French sense of the word, but without any spark of life or reflection of real light. The Master lays hands on the children, places honey on their lips, dips the right hand of each in water and gives them bread and wine. An apron is put about them and they receive white gloves as a gift, after which they are saluted by the Master with a triple kiss of peace on the cheeks and forehead. They are also consecrated, with hands extended over the head. In fine, they are proclaimed adopted Lowtons and children of the Lodge.
It will be understood that I offer no guarantee for the accuracy of dates which cannot be verified from accessible sources of reference, while those sources have proved in my hands not only liable to error—which should go without saying—but very often a mass of confusion. The dates of continental events are open to especial suspicion. I have taken reasonable care, as well in the work of consultation as in that of checking. Many items are traditional and speculative; many more must be understood as approximate; a few are no doubt fraudulent, and are marked as such. It must be remembered further that a vast mass of dates are repeated from author to author, and that their original source is lost. It would cost years of labour to present a list like the present one, modified at all points as the result of exhaustive verification. My object has been to provide a general sequence of events illustrating the development of my subject from its beginning to the present day; and it will serve—I think—its purpose as an interesting conspectus, after all its imperfections have been granted and when all its omissions are recognised. It would be impossible to quote sources without expanding the section to unmanageable dimensions. It is to be understood finally that these are Notes or Collections, casual and intermittent in character, not an ordered and much less an exhaustive sequence. They begin in the clouded region of mythical invention and might have contained much more of this dubious element, were it worth while to include all the reveries. I have been contented with a few specimens.
926. otherwise 936. Edwin, a mythical son of Athelstan, presided over a meeting of Masons at York, and certain Charges were agreed upon for the government of the Brotherhood. Traditional.
1077. A cemeniarius, named Robert, employed at St. Albans is said to have been the most skilful Mason of his time.
1113. In the days of Odo, Prior of Croyland, a certain lay brother, named Arnold is termed artificiossisimus magister of “the art of Masonry.”
1147. The Ancient Stirling Lodge claimed to represent the body of Masons at work on the construction of Cambies Kenneth Abbey, founded by King David I of Scotland, as inferred from a Burgh Record of Aberdeen under date of 1483. Speculative.
1173. The term Magister was conferred on William of Sens at a consultation of building artificers summoned to Canterbury. According to Gould, it may have signified either Master of the Work or Master Mason.
1187-99. The same title was applied to William the Englishman, who designed the Cathedral at Coventry, built between these dates.
1189-1200. The choir of Lincoln Cathedral and a chapel in the same edifice were built by Gaufridus de Noiers, who is called nobilis fabricae constructor.
1200. The London Assize mentions sculptures lapidum liberorum, as well as cementarii.
1231. The Diet of Worms suppressed all Trade Guilds. It proved to be a suppression on paper.
1244. The term Master Mason is said to occur in an unprinted French document of this date. Doubtful.
1254. St. Louis, King of France, is said to have established a Royal Arch Brotherhood of the Holy Sepulchre. Fraudulent.
1257-60. John of Gloucester was King’s Mason during this period and was rewarded by Henry III with his freedom for life from tolls throughout the realm.
1334. An agreement was made at Salisbury with Richard de Farleigh—lathomus and cementarius, who was intrusted with the custody of the fabric and to “superintend, direct and appoint useful and faithful Masons and plasterers.”
1349. The wages of English Masons, with those of other artificers and workmen, were regulated in this year, more stringent rules being enacted in the form of a Statute in 1350. Tempus Ed. III.
1356. Regulations for the Craft of Masons are said to have been ordained by the Mayor, Aldermen and Sheriffs of London.
1360. Wages were again regulated. There was also a Statute promulgated against abuses of workmen in the building trade.
1375. The Masons’ Company of the City of London is said to have been existing certainly in this year, though by inference it belongs to a much earlier date. The Company was represented on the Court of Common Council in this year.
1376. The Masons composing the London Company were known as Ffreemasons.
1377. A Free Master Mason, denominated Magister Operis, was employed at Merton College, Oxford.
1381. A Royal Proclamation prohibited Chapters and Congregations of Workmen, all and several.
1383. The so-called Customs of Hereford respecting Common or General Assemblies and their privileges were promulgated in this year.
1388-95. Henry de Yeveley was director of the King’s works and Master Mason of the Abbey of Westminster.
1390. Earliest ascribed date of the Regius MS., containing Constitutions of Masonry in metrical form. The latest ascribed date is 1415, it being understood that both are speculative. It is regarded as the transcript of an earlier MS., circa 1380-1400.
1425. Congregations and Chapters of Masons were yet again prohibited, the prime movers therein to be judged as felons.
1430. A tombstone at St. Albans records the death of a Latomus in arte who died in this year.
1430. Speculative date ascribed to the so-called Cooke MS., containing Constitutions of German Stonemasons.
1444-45. wages of a “frank Mason” are specified in a statute belonging to this year.
1459. Date of the Strasburg Constitutions of German Stonemasons.
1462. Date of the Torgau Ordinances of German Stonemasons.
1467. Date of certain Worcester Ordinances, which prohibited any Parliament or Master among Tilers.
1472. Grant of Arms to the Masons’ Company of London, under the denomination of the Whole Craft and Fellowship of Masons.
1475. Incorporation of Wrights and Masons by a Seal of Cause of the Provosts and Magistrates of Edinburgh, assembled in Mary’s Chapel.
1490. The Statutes of Wells Cathedral certify the appointment of W. Atwoode, described as Ffreemason—pro suo bono et diligenti servicio in arte sua de Ffreemasonry (sic).
1495. The word Freemason appears for the first time in the Statutes of the Realm (II, Henry VII, c. xxii).
1502. Certain Papal Confirmations are said to have been granted in this year to German Stonemasons. Doubtful.
1514. A Masonic Temple is said to have been founded at Avila by a certain Mosen Rubi, and about the same time Admiral Coligny is affirmed on Spanish authority to have initiated a number of Masons in Catalonia. Mendacious.
1517. Further Papal Confirmations granted to German Stonemasons. Doubtful.
1532. A Seal of Causes was granted to Scottish Masons, Wrights and Coopers.
1536. The Prior and Convent of Bath appointed John Multon to the “Office of Master of all their works commonly called Ffreemasonry,” when it should be vacant.
1537. The Masons’ Company of London is described as the Company of Ffree Masons.
1539. Attempt to stamp out Fraternities—otherwise. Craft Guilds of each and every kind—by Francis I, King of France.
1563. Date of the Brother-Book of German Stone-Masons.
1578. The Building Accounts of Corpus Christi College distinguish between “rough” and “free” Masons.
1583. Date of the Grand Lodge MS., described as the oldest dated form of MS. Constitutions, in the strict meaning of the words.
1583. St. Mary’s Lodge of Dundee is mentioned in an Indenture bearing this date.
1590. The Office of Warden and Justice presiding over the Art and Craft of Masonry within the Counties of Aberdeen, Banff and Kincardine was granted to Patrick Cuipland, Laird of Edaucht by James VI.
1598, 1599. Dates of the Schaw Statutes, being Codes and Laws promulgated by William Schaw, described as Master of the King’s Work and General Warden of Masons. One of them concerned the Craft in general and the other the Lodge of Kilwinning in particular. It has been cited on both sides over the vexed question of the precedence of Kilwinning Lodge—called Head Lodge—over that of Edinburgh, being Mary’s Chapel—called Principal Lodge.
1599. The Minutes of Mary’s Chapel, otherwise the Lodge of Edinburgh, go back to this year, and appear to be the oldest Lodge Records in the world. This year is mentioned also as that from which may be dated the precedence of Mary’s Chapel over the Lodges of Kilwinning and Stirling. A debateable point.
1600. John Boswell of Auchinleck is alleged to have been present at a Lodge-Meeting in June of this year, and it is quoted as the earliest authentic instance of non-operative membership. The Lodge was Mary’s Chapel, and the date June 8.
1600. The word Freemason occurs in a York Roll ascribed to this year or thereabouts, but earlier instances go back to the later part of the fourteenth century.
1600. A Masonic Convention was held at St. Andrews in January of this year by order of the Warden-General.
1601. Presumptive date of a Charter granted to Sir William St. Clair of Roslyn, by which he was authorised to purchase jurisdiction from the King over certain Edinburgh Lodges, William Schaw, the Warden-General, concurring.
1604. The Company of Freemasons, Carpenters, Joiners and Slaters of the City of Oxford was incorporated in this year.
1617. Birth of Elias Ashmole on May 23.
1620. The Lodge at Glasgow has records going back to this date.
1621. The Masons’ Company is said to have used Marks up to and including this year.
1634. Sir Alexander Strachan was admitted with other non-Operatives into Mary’s Chapel and they became Fellows of Craft on July 3.
1634. The Arms of Freemasonry—that is, of the Masons’ Company—appear in a visitation of London by Henry St. George Richmond under this date.
1637. In the month of January the Schaw Statutes were adopted by the Lodge of Atcheson’s Haven, under the presidency of Sir Anthony Alexander, whose signature is attached to the Minutes.
1640. Sloane MS. 3329, British Museum, has been referred to this year.
1641. Alleged date of Sir Robert Moray’s reception into Freemasonry at Newcastle, on behalf of Mary’s Chapel.
1642. The records of Mother Kilwinning Lodge go back to this date.
1646. Elias Ashmole was made a Mason at Warrington in Lancashire, with other Candidates, on October 16.
1646. Sloane MS. 3848, being Constitutions, was transcribed by Edward Sankey on October 16.
1652. Disclosure of certain customs observed at the Reception of new Members into the French Compagnonnage.
1652. According to the solemn declaration of a Presbyterian Synod at Kelso, on February 24th, it is said that ministers of that persuasion had been Freemasons in the purest times of the Kirk.
1655-56. The Company of Freemasons became the Worshipful Company of Masons of London.
1658. The Lodge of Scoon and Perth has a parchment of this date which affirms that James VI, by his own desire, had been entered Freeman, Mason and Fellow-craft. It speaks also of “the Temple of Temples built on this earth,” from which proceeded one at Kilwinning, this being the first and Scoon the second Lodge in Scotland.
1658. The Lodge of Scoon and Perth is described as “a free Lodge” in its Charter.
1662. Birth of James Anderson.
1663. To this year are ascribed seven new rules or additional Orders, preserved in “the Roberts Family of MS. Constitutions.” They are said to have been made on December 8. No. 5 provided that “the Company of Freemasons shall henceforward be regulated and governed by one Master and Assembly, and as many Wardens as the said Company shall think fit to choose at every Yearly General Assembly.”
1663. The Earl of St. Albans, acting as Grand Master of Masons, is said to have held the Annual Assembly of the Craft on St. John’s Day, namely, December 27. Traditional and misworded.
1665. Approximate date of Kilwinning MS. Constitutions.
1665. Approximate date ascribed to the Harl. 2054 MS. Constitutions, transcribed by Randle Holme and to his rough memorandum containing a Masonic Pledge. The Pledge states that there are Masonic Words and Signs, to be kept secret from all but Masters and Fellows of the Society.
1665. An Inventory of effects belonging to the Masons’ Company of London was taken in this year, and another in 1676. Both schedules contain a copy of the Constitutions in MS. and a List of Members, described as Accepted Masons.
1668. Birth of Chevalier Andrew Michael Ramsay on June 9.
1670. It was ordained at Aberdeen by Laws and Statutes belonging to this year that certain privileged persons were to receive the benefit of the Mason’s Word, free of all dues, “save for the box, mark, banquet and pint of wine.” Lodges were to be held in open fields, except in bad weather, when a house was to be chosen “where no person could hear or see.”
1670. The style and title of Fellow-craft and Master Mason are said to have been convertible terms at Aberdeen in this year.
1670. .The Minutes of the Ancient Stirling Lodge go back to this year, but the Lodge itself is mentioned in Burgh Records of Aberdeen belonging to 1483.
1671. Date of a Charter granted by the Bishop of Durham, by which various Crafts were constituted into a Community, Fellowship and Company, the Freemasons appearing first in the list. The body thus incorporated was to assemble annually on the Feast of St. John the Baptist and elect four Wardens, one of whom must be always a Freemason.
1674. Date of the earliest Records of Melrose Lodge.
1675. Alleged origin of the Order of Black Brothers, which spread largely throughout Germany and used the Ritual of Kadosh. Mendacious.
1675. Date of the earliest Records of Dunblane Lodge.
1678. The Rev. George Hickes termed the Mason-Word a “Secret Signal” as old as Babel, according to some Masons, while others refer its origin to the time of Solomon.
1680. About this time a certain Rabbi Leone Yehudah of Modena was lecturing in London on King Solomon’s Temple, and Laurence Dermott is said to have admitted that the Arms of Royal Arch Masons were derived from papers of this Rabbi—presumably after his death.
1681. The Little Resurrection of the Templars is said to have been heard of in France at this time. Dubious.
1682. Elias Ashmole attended a meeting at Masons’ Hall on March 11 of this year. It is to be noted that he was not a member of the Masons’ Company.
1686. The Natural History of Staffordshire, by Dr. Robert Plot, was published in this year. It refers to the Society of Freemasons in Staffordshire, and states that persons of the “most eminent quality did not disdain to be of this Fellowship.”
1687. Date of the earliest Records of Dumfries Lodge.
1690. In Irish academical circles it is reported that Freemasonry was well-known prior to this date, being that of the landing of William of Orange.
1691. The Goose and Gridiron Lodge, St. Paul’s Churchyard, is said to have been constituted in this year. It occupies the place of seniority in the Engraved List of 1729.
1691. Plot’s Natural History of Wiltshire states that on May 18 of this year a “great Convention of the Fraternity of Adopted Masons” was held at St. Paul’s Church, when “Christopher Wren was adopted a Brother.”
1691. Robert Kirk’s Secret Commonwealth of Elves and Fairies appeared at this time. It compares the Mason-Word to a Rabbinical Tradition, “by way of comment on Jachin and Boaz,” adding that there was a Secret Sign “delivered from hand to hand.”
1692. Elias Ashmole died at London on May 18.
1693. An “occasional Lodge” is said to have been held at St. Thomas’ Hospital by Sir Robert Clayton, to advise on its re-building.
1693. The Ordinances of the Masons of Halberstadt were “laid before their reigning Prince” in this year, and allude to the communication of words among German Stonemasons.
1696. Alleged foundation of an Order of Concord on Masonic principles, by the Prince of Nassau. Spurious.
1696. The Minutes of Dunblane Lodge go back to this date and indicate that Operative Masons were then a minority therein.
1700. Supposed date of the birth of Martines de Pasqually.
1700. The Masons’ Company of London and the Lodge or Society of Freemasons—mainly speculative—are said to have separated about this date.
1700. An apprentice at Aberdeen was “sworn by the points.”
1701. The Orders to be observed by the Company and Fellowship of Freemasons settled at a Lodge held in Alnwick on September 29 of this year are purely operative in character.
1705. Presumed date of the earliest preserved Roll of Masons belonging to the Ancient York Lodge. Then, if not earlier, it is said to have been the home of Speculative Masonry and without any Operative character.
1705. The Little Resurrection of the Templars at Paris passed out of existence. The whole story is uncertain.
1706. Alleged initiation of Emanuel Swedenborg. It is almost certainly fabulous, and on such basis there has been raised a superstructure of pure invention.
1707. The Imperial Diet abolished the supremacy of the Strasbourg “Head Lodge” over German Stonemasons.
1709. Conversion of the Chevalier Ramsay to Latin Christianity.
1710. The Comte de Saint-Germain is believed to have been born at St. Germains, in Savoy, about this year. Speculative.
1710. Death of J. G. Gichtel, who founded a mystical Society called the Angelic Brethren, having points of analogy with the Rosicrucian Brotherhood, though varying in its objects. Very obscure.
1716. Birth of A. J. Pernetti or Pernety.
1717. Revival of Quarterly Communications by a meeting of certain Lodges at the Apple Tree Tavern, when “they constituted themselves a Grand Lodge pro tempore in due form,” resolving “to hold the Annual Assembly and Feast, and then to choose a Grand Master from among themselves, till they should have the honour of a noble Brother at their head.” The record is that of Anderson, twenty-one years after the event, and no date is mentioned. A further Meeting followed, however, accordingly, on St. John Baptist’s Day, “in the 3rd year of King George I, A.D. 1717,” being held at the “ Goose and Gridiron,” in St. Paul’s Churchyard, when Anthony Sayer, gentleman, was elected Grand Master.
1717. The German historian Findel affirms that there was “only one Degree of Initiation” in this year. Controversial.
1718. George Payne succeeded Sayer as Grand Master, and several ancient Constitutions in manuscript were collected and collated.
1718. Freemasonry is said to have been carried into France in this year. Earlier dates have been assigned, and so also the year 1725. The real period is unknown.
1718. Another Order of Concord, admitting women, is said to have been founded by Prince Schwartzbing Rudolstadt. Very uncertain.
1719. The Rev. John Theophilus Desaguliers, LL.D., F.R.S., was elected Grand Master.
1720. The General Regulations were compiled by John Payne, who was also elected Grand Master for the second time.
1720. Various old manuscripts are alleged to have been burnt, in case they might fall into strange hands.
1720. Baron Louis Theodore Tschoudy was born in this year at Metz.
1720. A Lodge of Perfect Union is said to have existed in Belgium at this date, working under a Warrant from the Grand Lodge of Belgium and the Duke of Montague. Very doubtful.
1720. It is on record in the Minutes of the Lodge of Dunblane that a Candidate was “entered” on December 24 and was passed on December 27 “from the square to the compass and from an Entered Apprentice to a Fellow of Craft.”
1721. Dr. Stukeley records in his Diary and Commonplace Book, under date of January 6: (1) that he was made a Freemason at the Salutation Tavern, Tavistock Street; (2) that he was the first person for many years who had been so made in London; (3) that there was great difficulty in finding sufficient members to perform the Ceremony; but (4) that immediately after “Freemasonry took a run and ran itself out of breath through the folly of its members.”
1721. On June 12, John, Duke of Montague, was elected Grand Master, twelve Lodges being represented at the Meeting.
1721. Dr. John Theophilus Desaguliers, described as “late General Master of the Mason Lodges in England,” having proved himself “duly qualified in all points of Masonry, was received at Mary’s Chapel, Edinburgh, and took part on the following day in the Admission and Passing of ‘various honourable persons,’ the Lord Provost of Edinburgh included.”
1721. A Lodge of Perfect Union, warranted by the Grand Lodge, is said to have existed in Belgium about this time. Dubious.
1721. All copies of the old Gothic Constitutions having been declared faulty, the Grand Lodge ordered James Anderson, on September 29, to digest and produce the same after a new and better manner. It is said that sixteen Lodges were represented at the Meeting, with the Grand Master in the Chair.
1721. On December 27 the Duke of Montague appointed a Commission of fourteen learned Brothers to report on Anderson’s manuscript. Twenty Lodges are said to have been represented on this occasion.
1722. The Committee reported favourably on March 25, though subject to certain amendments, and the Conshtutions were ordered to be printed. Twenty-four Lodges were represented on this occasion.
1722. Philip, Duke of Wharton, who had been recently made a Mason, convoked an irregular Meeting at Stationers’ Hall on June 24, and was proclaimed Grand Master.
1722. Birth of Baron von Hund, on September 11.
1723. The Duke of Wharton summoned a Meeting of Grand Lodge on January 17, at the King’s Arms, and the Duke of Wharton, having promised to be faithful and true, was proclaimed Grand Master in proper form. The Book of Constitutions was presented by Anderson in its printed form and was approved. Twenty-five Lodges were represented.
1723. The Earl of Dalkeith was elected in succession to the Duke of Wharton, and was proclaimed subsequently in his absence on June 24. The Minute Books of the Grand Lodge begin on this date.
1723. There are references to the Arch and the Mark of a Master in A Mason’s Examination, published in The Flying Post on April 13.
1723. It was resolved at the Quarterly Communication, held on November 25: (1) that the Grand Master had power to appoint his Deputy and the Grand Wardens; (2) that no new Lodge in or near London should be recognised by Grand Lodge unless it had been regularly constituted. It follows that Grand Lodge had only a local jurisdiction.
1723. It is affirmed by Gould that in this year the Degrees of Speculative Masonry recognised by the Grand Lodge were only two in number, being (1) Entered Apprentice and (2) Fellow Craft or Master, which were terms used interchangeably. It was decreed by Grand Lodge that any Lodge in suspension for more than twelve months should be removed from the Roll and forfeit its claim fo precedence.
1724. Death of Thomas Dunckerley on October 23.
1724. The Earl of Dalkeith presented a scheme on November 21 for raising a fund in aid of distressed Masons. The same was approved and adopted.
1724. A work, entitled The Grand Mystery of Freemasons Discovered, was published in this year, and contains a Masonic Catechism.
1724. The Secret History of the Freemasons appeared, and includes the Lansdowne Constitutions.
1724. The Chevalier Ramsay is said to have been with the Pretender at Rome.
1724. The Society of Gormogons is first heard of in this year.
1725. It was resolved on November 27 that the Master of each Lodge—with the consent of his Wardens and a majority of Master-Masons being present—should be permitted to make Masters at his discretion.
1725. The Engraved List of this year shews sixty-four Lodges.
1725. A Grand Lodge of Ireland was at work in Dublin.
1725. Formation of a so-called Grand Lodge of all England at York, the rules of government being agreed and the same subscribed by the Master and Members.
1725. The Minutes of an Operative Lodge at Swalwell, near Gateshead, are said to begin in this year.
1725. The first Lodge in France is said to have been founded at Paris by James Ratcliffe and other British Jacobites. It is pretended also that Charles Radcliffe or Ratcliffe, being then Earl of Derwentwater, was elected Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of France. Confused and fabulous.
1726. The records of the Grand Lodge of Munster begin on December 27 of this year.
1726. A Catechism on the Mystery of Freemasons—printed for Andrew White and sold by him—mentions that an Apprentice might be entered about fourteen years of age, and was “made free” at twenty-one years in a Secret Ceremony.
1727. It is said that four members of a London Lodge who had been made Masons were admitted as Masters on April 29. The name of the Lodge is not given. Doubtful.
1728. Lord Kingston was proclaimed Grand Master.
1728. Alleged foundation of the Ancient Chapter of Clermont, but it did not take place historically till 1754.
1728. Presumed date on which Masonry was introduced into Bengal.
1728. The precedence of Lodges was regulated in this year.
1728. The Grand Lodge of Munster, held at Cork on the Feast of St. John the Evangelist, resolved that every Lodge should provide itself with a copy of Anderson’s Constitutions.
1728. The first Lodge in Spain appears to have been founded by the Duke of Wharton at Madrid. A second is alleged to have been constituted in this year at Gibraltar by the Grand Lodge; but this is doubtful.
1729. An Engraved List of this year enumerates fifty-four Lodges, of which forty-two were in London, eleven in the provinces and one at Madrid.
1729. Death of the Duke of Wharton.
1729. About this date the Lodge of the Three Stars is said to have been established at Prague.
1729. The first purely speculative Scottish Lodge is held to have been founded under the title of Edinburgh Kilwinning, the original members being all theoretical Masons. The Roll of 1736 included various names of noblemen. It is said also that the Third Degree was first practised north of the Tweed in this Lodge.
1729. The Grand Lodge enacted on December 29 that the sum of two guineas should be paid in future to the General Charity as part of their Act of Constitution by every new Lodge.
1730. The Duke of Norfolk is supposed to have appointed a Provincial Grand Master for Lower Saxony; but the story seems dubious.
1730. The Duke of Norfolk was proclaimed Grand Master, and installed on January 29.
1730. It follows from the Irish Constitutions of this year, and from The Pocket Companion of 1735, that only two degrees were recognised by the Grand Lodge of Ireland.
1730. Another spurious catechism appeared on August 15 in the Daily Journal under the title of The Mystery of Freemasonry. It refers to two degrees.
1730. The tract entitled Masonry Dissected was advertised in the Daily Journal of October 20. The author was Samuel Prichard, who is described as late member of a constituted Lodge.
1730. A Defence of Masonry, in reply to Masonry Dissected, was announced in this year in the same journal. It appeared anonymously, and has been attributed to James Anderson, and even to Bishop Warburton. It is now held to have been written by Martin Clare, F.R.S.
1730. Foundation of a Lodge at Calcutta.
1731. A Masonic Lodge was founded in the kingdom of Naples.
1731. The Duke of Lorraine was made a Mason at The Hague, being the first royal prince admitted into the Craft.
1731. James, fourth Lord Kingston, was elected Grand Master of Ireland, and the succession of Grand Officers of the Irish Grand Lodge is clear from this date.
1731. The London Lodge No. 83, worked three degrees of Masonry in this year.
1731. The written records of a Lodge at Philadelphia, U.S.A., date from this period.
1732. Birth of William Hutchinson.
1732. Revision of the Grand Lodge Lectures by Martin Clare, F.R.S.
1732. It was enacted by the Grand Lodge of Ireland that all Lodges which had failed to take out Warrants or Charters of Confirmation should apply for such.
1732. Lodges are said to have been constituted at Valenciennes and Paris by authority of Viscount Montague as Grand Master.
1732. General James Keith is said to have been Master of a Lodge described variously as located at Moscow or Petrograd.
1733. A sketch of the Freemasons appeared in the Grub Street Journal of February 8, and was copied into the London Magazine.
1733. A Lodge of St. John was founded at Boston, Mass, U.S.A.
1733. The first reference to a Master Mason’s Lodge is said to occur in this year, but no particulars are furnished.
1733. The foundation of a Lodge at Hamburg by eleven German gentlemen is said to have been authorised by the Earl of Strathmore, acting as Grand Master.
1733. The first American Lodge held under written authority was founded by Henry Price, described as Provincial Grand Master of New England. The Ceremony took place at the Bunch of Grapes Tavern, Boston, U.S.A., on August 31.
1733. Lord George Sackville is said to have established a Lodge at Florence.
1734. Date of the Cole Constitutions.
1734. An edition of Anderson’s Book of Constitutions was published in America, under the auspices of Benjamin Franklin.
1734. Alleged introduction of Masonry into the kingdom of Poland.
1734. A Masonic Grand Master is said to have been elected in Holland.
1735. On February 24 Anderson moved for permission from Grand Lodge to issue a second edition of the Book of Constitutions, because the first edition had been pirated to his prejudice, same being his sole property. The anomalous position of Grand Lodge is shewn by the last statement.
1735. Viscount Weymouth was proclaimed Grand Master in succession to the Earl of Crawfurd.
1735. On March 31, according to the Minutes of Grand Lodge, James Anderson was instructed to collect and print, in his new Book of Constitutions, the names of all Grand Masters who could be traced from the beginning of time, as also of other Grand Officers.
1735. Prohibition of Freemasonry by the States-General of Holland.
1735. The Minutes of Canongate Kilwinning Lodge contain, under date of March 31, what is held to be the earliest Scottish record of the “admission of a Master Mason under the modern Masonic Constitution.”
1735. Foundation of a Lodge at Stockholm.
1735. A Masonic Catechism appeared in The Sects’ Magazine.
1735. A Lodge of Solomon was founded at Charleston, South Carolina, and another of the same name at Savannah, in Georgia.
1735. An English Lodge was established at Lisbon.
1735. As from this year it is alleged that there are Minutes of a Roman Lodge in the States of the Church, and that they continue to the time of its suppression in 1737.
1735. Admission of the Honourable Mrs. Aldworth, under exceptional circumstances, to the first two Craft Degrees. It is to be noted that she was not raised to the Third Degree, the reason given by Kenneth MacKenzie being that it was “obviously impossible,” which is untrue. The truth of the story is challenged. Date doubtful.
1735. A Lodge was founded at the Hague, under an English Warrant and with the title of Le Véritable Zèle.
1735. An Oration or Discourse of Martin Clare was delivered in the month of December before the members of the Stewards’ Lodge, then recently constituted. It was translated subsequently into several languages, and reappeared in The Pocket Companion of 1754.
1736. A Lodge was established at Geneva.
1736. A German publication of 1744 reports that the Earl of Derwentwater was chosen by the French Lodges to succeed James Hector Maclean; but French authorities, who always refer to the Earl as Lord Harnouester, say that he succeeded his brother Charles Radcliffe. On the contrary, it was Charles Radcliffe who succeeded to the earldom in 1736, on the execution of his brother James for high treason. The story is muddled and mythical; it is doubtful whether there was any Grand Master in France at this period.
1736. A French superintendent, named Herault, published a Ritual obtained, as it is said, by the help of Mdme. Carton, an opera dancer. The content is said to be mainly translation from Prichard.
1736. Institution of the Grand Lodge of Scotland, on November 30, Feast of St. Andrew, thirty-three Lodges being represented. Mr. William St. Clair, having renounced his hereditary claims as Patron of Masons in Scotland, was elected to the office of Grand Master. A number of ancient Lodges stood aside from this foundation and others seceded for various periods, including Mother Kilwinning and Mary’s Chapel.
1736. The foundation of the first Grand Lodge of France has been referred to this year. Debateable.
1737. The Gentleman’s Magazine for April published an attack on Freemasonry and a further article in July, which stated that Masons in Florence were regarded as Quietists.
1737. Arbitrary treatment of Masons in Paris by the Lieutenant of Police.
1737. An Order of the Palladium is said to have been founded at Paris, and was soon afterwards suppressed by the police.
1737. The Chevalier Ramsay delivered his epoch-making Oration at Paris.
1737. An English Provincial Grand Lodge was formed at Geneva.
1737. Robert Tomlinson succeeded Price as Provincial Grand Master of New England.
1737. Baron C. F. Scheffer is said to have been made a Mason in Prince Clermont’s Lodge at Paris. Place and date doubtful.
1737. Frederick, Prince of Wales, was made a Mason on November 5 of this year, at what was called an Occasional Lodge, held in Kew Palace, Desaguliers acting as Master.
1737. The first German Lodge was founded at Hamburg on December 6.
1738. Suppression of Freemasonry in the Low Countries.
1738. Earliest reference to the Master Grade in the Records of the Lodge of Edinburgh.
1738. The Lodge of Secrecy and Harmony was founded at Malta.
1738. There were Lodges at Smyrna and Aleppo established in this year.
1738. A Master’s Lodge was established at Boston, U.S.A.
1738. A work, entitled Relation Apologique (sic) et Historique de la Société des F. M., appeared in reply to Herault, with Dublin as the pretended place of publication.
1738. The first Lodge at Dresden was formed in this year, with the title of The Three Eagles.
1738. New issue of Prichard’s Masonry Dissected, which included a very curious Catechism. The price of the pamphlet was sixpence, and it went through at least twenty-one editions up to 1750. It is called the work of a charlatan, because it is inconvenient to characterise it in any more serious sense.
1738. Lord Derwentwater resigned his office of French Grand Master, and the Duc D’Antin was proclaimed in his place. The ceremony took place at Luneville in the course of a Masonic Festival.
1738. The Grand Lodge approved Anderson’s new Book of Constitutions on January 25, and he was ordered to print same. Sixty-six Lodges were represented. It was so done accordingly, and the work was published in this year as a second edition.
1738. Suppression of Freemasonry in Sweden.
1738. On April 27 Pope Clement XII issued his famous Bull In Emenenti Apostolaitus Specula, in which Freemasons were condemned and excommunicated, together with those who promoted or favoured their cause.
1738. The Crown Prince of Prussia, afterwards Frederick the Great, was initiated at Brunswick on August 14 in the Mother German Lodge.
1739. Certain Lodges at Warsaw were closed, in consequence of the Bull of Pope Clement.
1739. On January 14 Cardinal Firrao issued by authority of the Pontiff a still more vigorous edict, in which Masons were made liable to the death-penalty, confiscation of goods and utter exclusion from future grace or mercy, the Papacy thus arrogating on its own part the prerogatives of God Himself.
1739. Death of James Anderson, on May 28.
1739. This date has been assigned as the beginning of that discontent which assumed ultimately the magnitude of a serious schism in English Masonry. But it is said also that there was organised rebellion against the authority of Grand Lodge soon after the publication of Anderson’s Book of Constitutions.
1739. Introduction of Freemasonry in Sardinia.
1739. The Holy Inquisition persecutes Masons in Florence.
1740. The Grand Lodge of Scotland agreed to open correspondence with the Grand Lodge of England.
1740. The Grand Lodge of all England at York is said to have become dormant in or about this time.
1740. An itinerant pedlar of the Royal Arch Degree is said to have propagated it in Ireland, claiming that it was practised at York and London.
1740. Thu so-called Scots Degrees sprang up at this time in various parts of France.
1740. A Grand Master of Scotland, named Deucher, affirmed that he could trace the Templar Order back to this year by means of living members. Doubtful.
1740. The Lodge of the Three Globes was founded at Berlin on September 13.
1740. The reigning Master of the original Hamburg Lodge was appointed Provincial Grand Master of Hamburg and Lower Saxony, under warrant from the Grand Lodge of England.
1740. General Keith received an English Patent as Provincial Grand Master of Russia.
1740. Philip V of Spain issued an edict against Masonry.
1740. The Moravians established an Order of the Mustard Seed.
1740. The Lodge at Hamburg became a Provincial Grand Lodge.
1740. The Grand Master of the Order of Malta forbade Masons the Island.
1740. The Minutes of the Royal Order of Scotland begin in this year.
1740. An Order of Amazons, being a system of androgynous Masonry, is reported to have been introduced from South America into the United States. Mythical.
1741. The earliest Lodge in Virginia is said to have been founded at Norfolk by Cornelius Harnett.
1741. The German Lodge of the Three Compasses was founded in this year.
1741. Formation of a Lodge at Leipsic.
1741. The Margrave Frederick of Brandenburg-Culmbach established a Lodge at Bayreuth on his own authority.
1741. In this year there is said to have been a Provincial Grand Master of the Most Ancient and Honourable Order of Heredom of Kilwinning in Great Britain, but the evidence is wanting.
1742. The first regularly constituted Lodge at Frankfort was founded under the name of Union.
1742. Birth of William Preston at Edinburgh on August 7.
1742. Baron von Hund was initiated on March 20.
1742. One of the mythical dates assigned for the landing of Stephen Morin, at San Domingo, being commissioned from France as Deputy Inspector-General.
1742. The first Lodge of Vienna, called the Three Firing Glasses, was founded in this year, but was suppressed immediately.
1742. Death of Anthony Sayer.
1742. The Lodge Archimedes of the Three Tracing Boards was founded at Altenburg.
1742. Abbe Peran published Les Secrets des Francs-maçons.
1743. Walpole mentions the low repute into which Freemasons had fallen in England. See his letter of May 4 to Sir Horace Mann.
1743. The Stirling Rock Royal Arch Chapter, considered the oldest in Scotland, has Minutes dating from this year.
1743. Death of Desaguhers on November 29.
1743. The earliest decisive reference to the Royal Arch in Ireland occurs in a contemporary report of the proceedings of a Lodge at Youghal in this year.
1743. The Lodge of Kilwinning resumed its independence, and so continued for nearly seventy years, exercising the prerogatives of a Grand Body.
1743. The first Military Lodge under the Grand Lodge of Scotland was warranted on the recommendation of the Earl of Kilmarnock.
1743. General Keith constituted a Lodge at Stockholm about this time.
1743. A royal edict suppressed Masonry in Portugal, and the Inquisition is said to have tortured and burned Freemasons.
1743. Thory states that the Grade of Kadosh was invented at Lyons. The date is wholly mythical.
1743. First appearance of Freemasonry in Bohemia.
1743. According to Baron von Hund, the Masonic system, known afterwards as the Rite of the Strict Observance, was at work in this year, by tradition under Jacobite guidance.
1743-47. Certain Scottish Rites at Toulouse and Montpellier are referred to this period as passing under the name of Vielle Bru, said to mean faithful Scot. They are supposed to have been instituted by Sir Samuel Lockhart. Doubtful.
1743. The first Danish Lodge was founded at Copenhagen by a member of the Three Globes at Berlin. It was called the Lodge of St. Martin.
1743. Prince Louis de Bourbon was elected Grand Master in succession to the Duc D’Antin. A French code of Masonic laws was promulgated on December 9, and about this time the Grand Lodge assumed the title of Grande Loge Anglaise de France.
1743. Institution at Paris of the Order of Felicity. It admitted members of both sexes, and was of doubtful repute.
1743. Birth on June 8 of Joseph Balsamo, at Palermo. The date is doubtful. It is, moreover, by no means certain that this Sicilian adventurer was identical with Count Cagliostro.
1744. D’Assigny’s work, entitled A Serious and Impartial Enquiry into the Cause of the Present Decay of Freemasonry in the Kingdom of Ireland was published in this year, and describes the Royal Arch as an organised body of men who had passed the chair.
1744. Scottish Masonry is said to have been introduced at Bordeaux.
1744. Three French works of revelation came out in this year: (1) L’Ordre des Francsmaçons Trahi; (2) Le Parfait Maçon; (3) Le Sceau Rompu.
1744. The Lodge of the Three Brothers at Warsaw assumed the title of Grand Lodge.
1744. Dutch Lodges resumed work after their suspension by the States General.
1744. The Three Globes at Berlin adopted the title of Grand and Royal Mother Lodge, and the Crown Prince of Prussia, afterwards Frederic II, became Grand Master.
1744. The Lodge of Zerubbabel was founded at Copenhagen.
1744. The Lodge at Bayreuth assumed the title of Grand Lodge.
1744. About this time the name of Adonhiram found its way into French Masonic works.
1745. Prince Charles Edward Stuart is mentioned as granting a Rose-Croix Warrant to a Lodge at Arras. Mendacious.
1745. Thomas Oxnard became Provincial Grand Master of North America.
1745. Foundation of a Lodge at Marburg.
1745. The Council at Berne prohibited Freemasonry.
1745. Persecution of Masons in Germany.
1745. The work, entitled L’Ordre des Francs-Maçons Trahi appeared in France, and is referred to the Abbé Peran.
1745. The first Lodge in Norway is said to have been established in this year under the name of St. Olaus.
1746. According to the Minutes of this year, the Lodge at Swalwell is said to have regulated fees for admission to the status of Harodim.
1746. The Minutes of the old Lodge at Salisbury, under date of October 19, record that five Brethren were made Scots Masons.
1746. The Earl of Derwentwater, first Grand Master of France, perished on the scaffold.
1747. Lord Byron was elected Grand Master, and so remained for a period of five years, but the Order is said to have suffered much from neglect.
1747. A number of Masonic Lodges are said to have existed at this date in the Southern Italian Provinces and in the Island of Sicily, but by reason of persecution they were compelled to work in secret. On December 10 the Masters are represented as meeting in the Valley of Seked for the foundation of a Grand Lodge, with Raimond of Sangro, Prince de Saint Sebero, as Grand Master. This is on the authority of Jean B. Pessina, whose credibility may be gathered from the fact that he regarded Pythagoras as having formed the first Masonic Lodge at Crotona.
1747. Les Francmaçons Ecrasès appeared at Paris anonymously. It has been referred to Abbé Larudan, and is sometimes regarded as a sequel to L’Orde des Francsmaçons Trahi.
1747. L’Adepts Maçon also appeared, having London as the alleged place of publication.
1747. The foundation of a Primordial Chapter at Arras has been referred to this year.
1748. The Ottoman Porte opposed the introduction of Freemasonry into Turkey.
1748. An Order of Xerophagists is supposed to have been established in Italy as a consequence of the Bull against Freemasonry issued by Pope Clement XII. It would be therefore a casual veil of the Order. Story doubtful.
1749. Benjamin Franklin was appointed Provincial Grand Master of Pennsylvania.
1749. The introduction of Masonry in Hungary is referred to this year.
1749. The Duke of Montague died in the month of July.
1750. The first Lodge at Halifax was warranted in this or the previous year.
1750. The first Lodge in Transylvania was founded in this year.
1750. William Allen was appointed Provincial Grand Master of Pennsylvania, with Benjamin Franklin as Deputy.
1750. The Lodge of Friendship, afterwards Royal York of Friendship, was founded at Berlin.
1751. The so-called Schismatic Grand Lodge of England was formed in this year.
1751. A new Book of Constitutions, drawn from the English work of 1738, was issued by Edward Spratt, Grand Secretary of Ireland. He had prepared the General Regulations for the same country in 1741.
1751. A Guards’ Lodge, founded about this time, had a brief period of existence at Stockholm.
1751. Ferdinand VII of Spain condemned Freemasons to death without trial.
1751. Le Maçon Démasqué appeared, having London as its alleged place of publication.
1751. Benedict XIV confirmed and renewed the edict of Clement XII against Freemasonry.
1752. Lord Carisfort became Grand Master, in succession to Lord Byron.
1752. George Washington was initiated in Fredericksburg Lodge, Virginia, on November 4.
1752. Birth of Baron von Knigge, on October 16.
1752. Foundation of a Lodge at Madras.
1752. A Lodge was founded at Stockholm.
1752. The Swedish Lodge of St. John Auxiliaire was constituted at Stockholm on January 13 by Count Knut Carlsson Posse, under warrant from Prince Louis de Bourbon, Comte de Clermont and Grand Master of France. Uncertain.
1753. Baron Scheffer joined the St. John Auxiliaire Lodge.
1753. The King of Sweden became the first Protector of the Swedish Craft.
1753. A Freemasons’ Orphanage in Stockholm was founded by the Mother Lodge.
1753. George Harrison became Provincial Grand Master for the State of New York.
1753. A Lodge at Norfolk, Virginia, is said to have received a Constitution from the Grand Lodge of England.
1753. Jeremy Gridley became Provincial Grand Master over those parts of North America where such an official had not been appointed previously.
1753. Under date of December 22, the Minutes of Fredericksburg Lodge, Virginia, are said to contain the earliest known record of the Royal Arch Degree in actual working.
1754. The foundation of the Strict Observance is referred to this year.
1754. Foundation of the Chapter of Clermont.
1754. A second Lodge was founded at Vienna, and was called the Three Hearts.
1754. The Eintracht Lodge was founded at Berlin.
1754. The Rite of Elect Priests is said to have originated in this year, but the story is doubtful.
1755. A Collège de Valois of Knights of the East has been traced in this year.
1755. The Port Royal Kilwinning Lodge, Virginia, is assigned to this year.
1756. The Marquis of Carnarvon became Grand Master of England.
1756. The Grand Lodge of Scotland chartered a Lodge at Blandford, Virginia.
1756. Lord Aberdour was elected Grand Master of Scotland for a second time.
1756. Laurence Dermott published the Ahiman Rezon.
1756. La Grande Loge Anglaise de France acknowledged the privileges claimed by Scots Masons.
1756. The foundation of the Order of African Architects has been referred to this year. Exceedingly doubtful.
1756. The alleged secret Grand Lodge in Southern Italy having become known to the priests, a popular sedition was fomented, and the palace of the Grand Master de Sangro was burnt, he being committed to prison.
1756. On December 3 the Deputy Grand Master, T. Manningham, advised the Provincial Grand Lodge of Holland that no permission could be granted to warrant Scots Lodges and admit Brethren according to that method.
1756. The Seventh St. John’s Lodge was founded in Sweden by C. F. Eckleff, who subsequently became Grand Master of the Order, and compiled a Ritual derived chiefly from French High Grades.
1756. A national Grand Lodge of the Netherlands was inaugurated on December 27 by fourteen Lodges, some of which were of English or Scottish origin.
1757. Lord Aberdour, previously Grand Master of Scotland, became Grand Master of England on the resignation of the Marquis of Carnarvon.
1757. Death of George Payne.
1757. The Archives of the Grand Lodge of the Netherlands contain a letter, dated July 12 of this year, written by Deputy Grand Master Manningham to a Brother at the Hague and reporting the result of consultations with Lord Aberdour on Scots Degrees and Degrees of Masonic Chivalry. These are condemned as innovations, and it is said that in England and Scotland the three Craft Degrees are all that are known in Masonry.
1757. The Minutes of the Lodge at Alnwick end in this year, and are said to shew that the working was operative.
1757. The Synod of Stirling is said to have excommunicated many of its members on the charge of Freemasonry.
1758. Foundation of the Emperors of the East and West.
1758. Foundation of a Lodge at Mayence.
1758. Foundation of a Lodge at Bombay.
1758. Lodges under the Obedience of the Ancients began to flourish in Philadelphia, while those of the Moderns declined.
1758. The Fredericksburg Lodge at Virginia is said to have been chartered by the Grand Lodge of Scotland after an independent existence of some years.
1759. A French Lodge, called L’Union, was constituted at Stockholm.
1759. Lodges began to be founded at Quebec, under warrant of a Provincial Grand Lodge deriving from the Modems.
1760. A Swedish Grand Lodge was founded at Stockholm in this year, and the St. John Auxiliaire lost its power of warranting other Lodges. Baron Scheffer continued as Grand Master, and Eckleff was elected his Deputy.
1760. The Illuminés of Avignon are said to have been established in this year.
1760. The old Lodge at Swalwell, Durham, continued to maintain its old operative customs at least until this date.
1760. The Oriental Rite of Memphis is alleged to have appeared in Roumania under another name. Fraudulent.
1760. The Lodges reopened in Switzerland, under the banner of the Strict Observance.
1760. The Lodge of the Three Doves was established at Berlin, and is now Grand York Royal Lodge, No. 3.
1760. A work, entitled Jachin and Boaz, appeared in London.
1760. The first Rite of Adoptive Masonry in France has been referred to this year.
1760. Martines de Pasqually appeared at Toulouse, bearing a Hieroglyphic Chart.
1760. The Lodge of St. Andrew at Boston, U.S.A., having been “self-constituted,” received a Scottish Warrant in this year.
1761. Stephen Morin is said to have received a Patent from the Grand Council of Emperors of the East and West and from the Grand Lodge of France to confer the High Degrees, he holding the rank of Inspector. Doubtful.
1761. The Grand Lodge of all England at York, having been dormant for a period, resumed activity. It is said to have warranted about ten subordinate Lodges, including the Lodge of Antiquity. In addition to the Craft Grades it is said to have recognised those of Royal Arch and Templar.
1761. Formation of a third Lodge in Vienna, called Royal Militaire.
1761. Masonry revived in Portugal on the banishment of the Jesuits.
1762. The work entitled Three Distinct Knocks at the Door of Freemasonry was published in this year.
1762. The Grand Lodge of Dresden joined the Strict Observance.
1762. An Order of Knights of the East was formed by scission from the Council of Emperors.
1763. Stephen Morin is supposed to have left Paris for San Domingo.
1763. A Masonic Congress was held at Jena.
1763. The Minutes of the Royal Order of Scotland begin in this year.
1763. Thoux de Salverte is said to have founded or revived an Academy of the Ancients, or of the Mysteries at Warsaw, in this year. The story is doubtful.
1764. Lord Blayney became Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of England.
1764. Initiation of the Dukes of York, Cumberland and Gloucester, being sons of Frederick, Prince of Wales.
1764. A work, entitled Hiram, or the Grand Master-Key was published in London, claiming to be written by a member of the Royal Arch.
1764. Pennsylvania received a warrant for a Provincial Grand Lodge from the Ancient or so-called schismatic Grand Lodge of England.
1764. A Lodge was founded at Glina in Southern Hungary.
1765. The Minutes of Caledonian Chapter begin on June 12 of this year.
1765. Edward, Duke of York and brother of George III, was initiated in the Berlin Lodge of the Three Doves on July 27. The Lodge assumed the name of Royal York of Friendship, and received a Constitution from England.
1765. The Strict Observance was founded in Russia.
1765. The Provincial Grand Master of Hamburg joined the Strict Observance.
1765. An English Lodge was established at Alost in Belgium.
1765. The English Provincial Grand Lodge of Denmark went over to the Strict Observance.
1765. Charles Tollmann, Secretary to the British Embassy at Stockholm, received an English Patent as Provincial Grand Master of Sweden, and established several Lodges.
1765. In this year Zinnendorf obtained some elements at least of the Swedish Rituals, and an alleged Warrant of Constitution, by which he established at Potsdam a Masonic Rite in opposition to that of the Strict Observance.
1765. The Order of African Architects was founded in this year.
1766. At this time some thirty English Lodges were on the Roll of the “Province of America” (sic), outside those of Boston.
1766. The Grand Lodge of England chartered a Provincial Grand Lodge at Frankfort-on-the-Main.
1766. A tract, entitled Solomon in all his Glory, was published in London.
1766. The Rite of the Strict Observance was adopted at this time in many German Lodges.
1766. The Taciturnitas Lodge was working at this date at Pressburg in Hungary.
1766. A Chapter of True and Ancient Rose-Croix Masons was established at Marburg by F. J. W. Schröder.
1767. John Rowe succeeded Gridley as Provincial Grand Master of Boston, E.C.
1767. The Royal Arch is mentioned in the Minutes of the Anchor and Hope Lodge at Bolton.
1767. A Grand Lodge of Spain was formed.
1767. An Academy of Ancients and of the Mysteries was founded at Warsaw by Thoux de Salverte, the alternative date being 1763.
1767. Establishment by J. A. von Starck of a new sect arising out of the Strict Observance, under the name of Clerici Ordinis Templariorum, miscalled Clerks of the Relaxed Observance.
1767. An Order of Illuminated Theosophists is supposed to have been founded at London in this year by Benedict Chastanier.
1767. Alternative date for the foundation of the Order of African Architects.
1768. The practice of issuing diplomas or certificates was adopted by the Grand Lodge of Scotland.
1768. New Regulations were ordained for the better government of Irish Freemasons.
1768. The Lodge Union des Coeurs was established at Geneva.
1768. An English Lodge was established at Ghent.
1768. A Charter was issued by the Grand Lodge of Scotland for Grant’s East Florida Lodge, and was regarded as authorising the meetings of a Provincial Grand Lodge thereat.
1768. Date on which Pasqually is supposed to have brought his Masonic Rite to Paris.
1768. J. C. Schroepfer established a spurious Scots Lodge at Leipzig.
1769. The earliest known reference to the Mark Degree occurs in the Minute Book of a Royal Arch Chapter at Portsmouth, under date of September 1.
1769. The Minutes of the Darlington Second Lodge date from August 22 of this year, being apparently that of its formation.
1769. A tract entitled The Freemason Stripped Naked was published in this year, presumably in London.
1769. The German Directory of the Strict Observance was transferred from Bayreuth to Auspach.
1769. An Independent Grand Lodge of Geneva was founded by ten Lodges, to practise the pure and ancient Masonry of Britain.
1769. Death of Baron Tschoudy at Paris, on May 28.
1769. Count Augustus Moszkuski became Grand Master of Poland.
1769. A Provincial Grand Lodge, under Scotland, was established at Boston, New England.
1769. A Royal Arch Chapter of St. Andrew is said to have conferred on August 28 the Degrees of Excellent Mason, Super-Excellent Mason and Knight Templar. This is held to be the earliest record in respect of the last.
1770. The Grand Lodge of England agreed to issue no further Warrants in Holland, in view of the National Organisation then established therein.
1770. Traditional date on which the Lodge called La Parfaite Union was founded at Mons by the Duke of Montagu. Entirely mythical.
1770. Alleged date of the first appearance at Paris of Comte de Saint-Germain.
1770. Foundation at Namur, in Belgium, of the Primitive Scottish Rite.
1770. The Grand National Lodge at Berlin was founded by Zinnendorf on December 27.
1770. Stephen Morin is said to have created a Council of Princes of the Royal Secret at Kingston, Jamaica.
1770. The Grand Lodge of England recognised the Grand Lodge of Sweden as a Sovereign Masonic power.
1770. Supposed intervention of the Strict Observance in the affairs of Pasqually’s Sovereign Tribunal.
1770. A patent is alleged to have been granted for the dissemination of the Strict Observance in France.
1771. Death of Prince Louis de Bourbon, French Grand Master.
1771. King Gustavus III of Sweden and his two brothers were made Masons, the King becoming Patron of the Craft.
1771. The Swedish Rite was established in Russia.
1771. A Lodge was founded at Agram in Southern Hungary.
1772. Visit of Cagliostro to London.
1772. Foundation of the Lodge of United Friends by Savalette des Langes. It originated the Rite of Philalethes.
1772. Institution of an Order of Argonauts by Conrad von Rhetz. It admitted both sexes.
1772. Duke Ferdinand of Brunswick was appointed Grand Master of the Strict Observance.
1772. Preston’s Illustrations of Masonry was published in this year.
1772. An English Provincial Grand Master was appointed for Russia.
1772. Most of the Polish Lodges were closed, owing to the partition of Poland.
1772. Joseph Warren is said to have been appointed Grand Master for the Continent of America.
1772. The first of a long series of Dutch Lodges was established at Cape Town.
1772. Louis Claude de Saint-Martin was created Rose-Croix by Martines de Pasqually at Bordeaux on April 17.
1772. Pasqually left Bordeaux for Port-au-Prince on May 5.
1773. The Grand Lodge of England is said to have concluded a treaty with Zinnendorf, by which all Lodges in Germany holding English warrants were transferred to his Grand Lodge, Frankfurt demurring.
1773. Foundation of a Rite of Enoch at Lifege.
1773. The Grand Orient of France was founded on September 27.
1773. The Due de Chartres was installed as Grand Master of France.
1773. The Rite of Philalethes was established at Paris.
1773. The Prince of Hesse-Darmstadt became Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Germany, working the Zinnendorf system, possibly owing to the Masonic alliance with England.
1773. Polish Lodges resumed working.
1774. A Rite of Adoption was established by the Grand Orient of France. See ante, s.v. 1769.
1774. Zinnendorf was elected Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Germany, and so remained until his death in 1782.
1774. The Lodge Emanuel was constituted at Hamburg.
1774. Death of Martines de Pasqually.
1774. The Lodge of the Three Dragons was established at Varasd in Croatia.
1774. The Royal Duke Charles was elected Grand Master of Sweden.
1774. The English Provincial Grand Master in Russia transferred his allegiance and became Provincial Grand Master under the Swedish Rite.
1774. Approximate period of Saint-Martin’s Conferences in the Loge la Bienfaisance at Lyons, of which Willermoz was an active member. Some of them appeared among his posthumous works.
1774. The Strict Observance appointed Willermoz of Lyons Provincial Grand Master of Auvergne.
1775. Congress at Wiesbaden.
1775. Death of Baron von Hund on November 8.
1775. Ferdinand IV, King of the two Sicilies, issued an edict against Masonry on September 12, making membership a capital offence.
1775. A National Masonic Rite of Southern Hungary and Slavonia was founded under the name of Masonry of Freedom, or Province of Liberty.
1776. A new Masonic Hall was opened in Great Queen Street.
1776. A Masonic Convention was held at Wiesbaden in this year.
1776. The Lodge Ferdinand Caroline was constituted at Hamburg.
1776. Foundation of the Lodge of Luxembourg.
1776. The Lodge Baldwin of the Linden was founded at Leipzig by the Grand National Lodge of Berlin.
1776. The Royal Arch Degree was accepted by the Moderns, according to Oliver.
1776. An Academy of Sages was established or introduced by the Écossais Mother Lodge of the Philosophical Rite.
1776. Foundation of the Illuminati of Bavaria, by Adam Weishaupt, on May 1.
1776. A Rite of the Sublime Elects of Truth is said to have been founded in this year. Date doubtful.
1776. The foundation of the Rite Écossais Philosophiquehas been assigned to this year.
1777. The Strict Observance swept over Italy in this year.
1777. Initiation of Adam Weishaupt at Munich.
1777. Date assigned for the establishment of a Swedish Rite, composed of nine Grades superposed upon those of the Craft.
1777. There was a reformation of the Rosicrucian Society in this year.
1777. A Grand Chapter of the Royal Arch was established in London.
1777. The Grand Lodge of Virginia was founded on November 6.
1777. Masonry declined in Portugal on the death of Joseph II.
1778. The Masonic Convention of Lyons was held in this year.
1778. An Academy of True Masons was founded at Montpelier.
1778. A Directoire Écossais Helvétique was established at Zurich.
1778. An Order of Knights and Nymphs of the Rose was founded at Paris by De Chaumont.
1778. The Order of the Eastern Star was established in the United States.
1778. The introduction of Masonry into the Grand Duchy of Baden has been assigned to this year.
1778. A Provincial Grand Chapter was constituted at Petrograd under the authority of the Swedish Rite.
1778-9. Transient fusion of the Strict Observance and the Swedish Templar system under the Duke of Brunswick.
1779. Split in the Lodge of Antiquity and foundation of a Grand Lodge of England South of the Trent.
1779. The Eclectic Union was instituted by Baron von Ditfurth at Frankfurt-on-the-Maine.
1779. The Primitive Rite of Philadelphians is referred to this year, as established at Narbonne.
1779. Prince Gagarin became Provincial Grand Master in Russia, and established a National Grand Lodge.
1779. The death of Pasqually is referred to this year.
1779. Duke Charles was placed at the head of the Strict Observance in Germany, being the Seventh Province.
1779. A Provincial Grand Lodge was warranted at Petrograd on May 25.
1779. The Lodge called American Union celebrated the Festival of St. John on December 27, at Morris Town, New Jersey, George Washington being one of the guests.
1780. An Academy of the Sublime Masters of the Luminous Ring was established by Baron Grant of Blairfindy at Douai in France.
1780. Austrian Freemasonry passed under the Rule of the Strict Observance.
1780. The Grand Lodge of Spain adopted the title of Grand Orient.
1780. Foundation of a Grand Lodge at Madras.
1780. King Gustavus III erected a Ninth Province of the Order of the Temple in Sweden, and Duke Charles was installed as Vicar of Solomon.
1780. A Mystical Order, called Knights of the True Light, was founded in Austria.
1780. Initiation of the poet Goethe on St. John’s Eve.
1780. An Order of Knights and Brothers of Asia is referred to this year, the place of foundation being alternatively Berlin or Vienna.
1780. Baron von Knigge joined the Order of Illuminati in this year.
1781. Duke Charles resigned his position as head of the Strict Observance in Germany.
1781. The Lodge called Catherine of the Pole-Star at Warsaw received an English Patent as Provincial Grand Lodge.
1781. Foundation of a Grand Lodge at New York.
1782. Birth of George Oliver on November 5.
1782. The Helvetic Directory was dissolved by the authorities of Berne.
1782. A Grand Chapter-General of France was founded in this year.
1782. The Grand Orient of France created a Chambre des Grades.
1782. The famous Convention of Wilhelmsbad was opened on July 9.
1782. An Independent National Grand Lodge was founded in Russia.
1782. A Provincial Grand Lodge was organised in New York by Stationary and Military Lodges.
1783. An Order of Universal Harmony was founded by Mesmer and his disciples to propagate the doctrines of animal magnetism.
1783. A Grand Lodge was founded at Maryland, U.S.A., on July 31.
1783. The Three Globes declared its independence of the Strict Observance, now in dissolution.
1783. The Grand Lodge of Hamburg renounced the Strict Observance and returned to their Masonic system of 1737.
1783. On March 18 a Grand Lodge was established at Frankfort-on-the-Maine.
1783. Initiation of J. A. Fessler.
1783-5. The reconstruction of the Strict Observance, as agreed at Lyons and Wilhelmsbad, is said to have been adopted by the Directories of Switzerland, Hesse-Cassel, Lombardy and by a Lodge in Denmark. It was adopted in France by the Provinces of Bourgoyne and Auvergne.
1784. The revised Book of Constitutions was published in this year.
1784. Suppression of the Illuminati in June by the Elector of Bavaria.
1784. A Grand Lodge of Austria and its Dependencies was established in this year.
1784. Speculative date of origin for the Grand Orient of Poland and of Lithuania.
1785. Masonic Congress of the Lodge of PhiLalethes at Paris, on February 15, same being numerously attended by French, German, and even some English Masons.
1785. The Academy of the Illuminati of Avignon started in this year. See ante, s.v., 1760.
1786. The Primitive Rite of Philadelphians united with the Grand Orient.
1786. The so-called Ancient and Modern Masons amalgamated under General Home at Madras.
1786. The Emperor Joseph II closed all Lodges, excepting three, in Belgium, then known as the Austrian Netherlands.
1786. F. L. Schröder became Master of the Lodge Emanuel.
1786. A third Danish Lodge, called Charles of the Norwegian Lion, was founded in this year.
1786. The Lodge Karl of the Wreath of Rue was founded at Hildsburgshausen, at the instance of Karl, Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, and received its Warrant from London in the following year.
1786. A second Convention of the Philalethes was held in this year.
1786. Foundation of the Grand Lodge of Georgia, U.S.A., on December 16.
1786. Foundation of the Grand Lodge of New Jersey, U.S.A., on December 18.
1786. Institution by the Grand Orient of the French Rite, consisting of Seven Degrees.
1787. The Chapter-General of France became the Metropolitan Chapter and worked the French Rite.
1787. The Grand Chapter of Harodim was founded by William Preston.
1787. Publication at Heliopolis, i.e. Paris, of the work entitled Origine de la Maçonnerie Adonhiramite.
1787. Institution at Paris of the Knights and Companions of the Mystic Crown, open only to Master Masons.
1787. All Lodges whatsoever were prohibited by edict from assembling in the Austrian Netherlands.
1787. Foundation of the Rite of Bahrdt at Halle, in Germany, by Karl Friedrich Bahrdt.
1787. The New York Lodges established by the so-called schismatic Grand Lodge declared their independence.
1787. Foundation of the Grand Lodge of Southern Carolina. U.S.A., on March 24.
1788. The Royal Masonic Institution for Girls was founded by the Moderns.
1788. Birth of G. B. F. Kloss, the German Bibliographer of Masonry.
1789. An exegetical and philanthropical Society was founded at Stockholm for the study of Swedenborgianism and Magnetism, apparently in connection with Masonry.
1789. Foundation of the Grand Lodge of Connecticut on July 8.
1789. Foundation of the Grand Lodge of New Hampshire on July 18.
1789. The Lodge of Secrecy and Harmony at Malta was reconstituted from England, and all Officers are said to have been Knights of Malta.
1790. The Earl of Moira was appointed Acting Grand Master, first under the Duke of Cumberland and then under the Prince of Wales.
1790. The Grand Lodge of All England, otherwise the Ancient York Rite, became extinct about this time.
1790. The custom of numbering Scottish Lodges began about this period, and is regarded as unofficial in the first instance.
1790. The following American Grand Lodges existed in this year: at Massachusetts two Lodges; at New Hampshire, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina one Lodge each; at South Carolina two Lodges, and one at Georgia.
1791. The Ancients warranted a Provincial Grand Lodge of Quebec, under Prince Edward, afterwards Duke of Kent.
1791. The Province of Canada was divided into Upper and Lower Canada, under Provincial Grand Masters appointed by the Ancients.
1791. The Lodge Maria of the Three Hearts was founded at Odense in Denmark.
1791. Foundation of the Grand Lodge of Rhode Island on June 25.
1791. Alleged foundation of an Order of Jerusalem in North America, apparently an Association of Alchemists. It is said to have been taken to Germany in 1793, thence spreading to England, Holland and Russia. There were eight Degrees, and a connection with the Rite of Chastanier has been suggested. The whole story is doubtful.
1792. The Austria Lodges closed of their own accord, owing to the French Revolution.
1792. On the death of Ferdinand of Brunswick, Prince Charles of Denmark became sole chief of the Danish Lodges.
1792. Murder on September 2 of Abbé Le Franc, who wrote The Veil Lifted for the Curious, and another work, entitled The Conspiracy against the Catholic Religion.
1792. An Union of Ancients and Moderns at Boston, America, was effected in this year.
1793. Initiation at Stockholm of Augustus IV of Sweden, on March 10.
1793. J. J. C. Bode joined the Illuminati under Weishaupt. He was previously a zealous promoter of the Strict Observance.
1793. An Edict dissolved all Secret Societies in the Austrian Dominions.
1793. The Lodges of Bohemia closed, apparently of their own accord.
1793. Suppression of Trade Guilds by the French National Assembly.
1793. The foundation of a German Order of Amicists is mentioned in this year, and is thought to have derived from the Chapter of Clermont. Obscure and doubtful.
1794. Durham is said to have possessed at this time the following Degrees: (1) Passing the Bridge; (2) Harodim ; (3) Knight Templar. Authority doubtful.
1794. The Russian Lodges dosed their doors, by the desire of the Empress Catherine.
1794. Foundation of the Grand Lodge of Vermont, U.S.A., on October 14.
1794. Initiation of N.C. des Étangs.
1795. Foundation bf a new French Grand Orient.
1795. From this date and onward for about twenty years, the allegiance of Swiss Lodges was divided chiefly between the Grand Orient of France and the Scots Directory of the Fifth Province, being a modification of the Strict Observance.
1796. The Grande Loge of France, after a spasmodic revival, was virtually dissolved by the new Grand Orient.
1796. The Comte de Grasse-Tilley and his father-in-law, J. B. M. de la Hogue, were created Deputy Inspectors-General by Charleston.
1797. The Lodge Regeneration was constituted on board the frigate Phoenix.
1797. A new system of seven Degrees was adopted, and is said to remain the basis of the present German Masonic edifice.
1797. Prohibition of Secret Societies in General and Freemasonry in particular by the Emperor Paul I of Russia.
1797. Date alleged for the formation of Masonic Knights Templar in the United States.
1798. The Royal Masonic Institution for Boys was founded by the Ancients.
1798. According to Besuchet, Napoleon Buonaparte was initiated at Valetta in Malta.
1798. The Lodge of the Three Doves divided into four Lodges, and these are said to have constituted themselves a Grand Lodge of Prussia.
1798. Foundation of the Grand Lodge Royal York of Friendship at Berlin on June II.
1799. It was enacted by Parliament that all Societies exacting an oath from their members should be deemed unlawful, Lodges of Freemasons excepted, in so far as they complied with the provisions of the Bill.
1799. On May 26 the Scottish Grand Lodge limited its sanction to the three Craft Grades under the style of the Ancient Order of St. John.
1799. A Grand Chapter-General of the Royal Arch was founded in America.
1800. Establishment of a Grand Lodge of Portugal. Precise date uncertain.
1800. The Grand Lodge of Kentucky was founded on October 16.
1800. In this year the United States had eleven Grand Lodges, ruling 347 Subordinate Lodges, with a membership of 16,000.
1801. Initiation of George Oliver at Peterborough, as a Lewis, by dispensation.
1801. The Emperor Francis II proscribed Freemasonry in Austria.
1801. Date alleged by Mackey for the foundation in America of the first Supreme Council of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite at Charleston.
1801. Le Chapitre Rose-Croix d’Arras is said to have been reconstituted and united to the Grand Orient.
1802. About this time the Scottish Rite of thirty-three Degrees is supposed to have been established in Paris.
1802. De Grasse-Tilly and de la Hogue founded a Supreme Council at Port-au-Prince.
1803. Certain delegates of the Tour de France, or Compagnonnage are said to have assembled in conference at Paris.
1803. The Emperor Alexander I of Russia is said to have been initiated about this period, owing to representations as to the real objects of Masonry made by the Chancellor of State, Johann Boeber.
1803. At this date Masonry in the Netherlands is said to have comprised the following classes: (1) Craft Degrees; (2) Red Masonry, being Select Master, three Scots Degrees, Knight of the Sword or the East, and Sovereign Prince Rose-Croix; (3) Elect Master and Sublime Elect Master.
1803. Foundation of the Grand Lodge of Italy.
1803. Initiation of J. M. Ragon.
1804. The Grand Orient of France is said to have accepted the twenty-five Degrees of the Rite of Perfection. Doubtful.
1804. De Grasse-Tilly, supported by de la Hogue and others from San Domingo, established a Supreme Council for France at Paris in the month of September.
1804. The Paris Supreme Council formed a Grand Scots Lodge on October 22, and elected Prince Louis Buonaparte Grand Master.
1804. The Grand Scots Lodge and the Supreme Council were resolved into one by a Treaty dated December 3 of this year.
1804. Prince Joseph Buonaparte became Ruler of the Grand Orient.
1804. Bernard Raymond Fabré-Palaprat having founded or reorganised an Order of the Temple at Paris was elected Grand Master.
1804. The Lodge Archimedes of Eternal Union was established in this year as an offshoot of the Altenburg Lodge. It became independent in 1811, and so remained.
1804. Foundation on May 21 of an Arch-Chapter of High Grades for the Netherlands.
1805. The Prince of Wales was elected Grand Master and Patron of Masonry in Scotland.
1805. Schism in the Grand Lodge of Ireland, brought about by Alexander Seton. Many Lodges in the North of Ireland followed his lead.
1805. Foundation of the Grand Orient of Portugal.
1805. Prince Cambacères was elected Grand Maître Adjoint of the Grand Orient.
1805. Lechangeau is said to have created the Oriental Rite of Mizraim to avenge his loss of position in the Ancient and Accepted Rite. Very doubtful.
1805. Negotiations were opened for the establishment of a Grand Lodge of Saxony.
1805. Foundation of a Supreme Council of Italy on June 21.
1805. The Rite of Mizraim is heard of in this year.
1806. The Earl of Moira became Acting Grand Master.
1806. Prince Cambaceres was elected Sovereign Grand Commander of the French Supreme Council.
1806. The Order of African Architects, supposed to have been founded in 1767, is stated to have been heard of again.
1806. Foundation of the Grand Lodge of Delaware on June 6.
1806. Alleged foundation at Paris of an Order of the Orient on a system similar to that of the Temple.
1807. Reconciliation of the Lodge of Kilwinning.
1807. The Irish Regulations gave place to a Constitution of Freemasonry on the basis of the Ahiman Rezon.
1807. The Primordial Chapter of Arras was absorbed by the Grand Orient.
1807. Foundation at Paris by a Portuguese Freemason, named Munez, of a spurious Templar body termed the Order of Christ.
1808. Foundation of the Grand Lodge of Ohio on January 7.
1808. Initiation at Paris of Askeri Khan, a Persian Prince and Ambassador of the Shah.
1808. Alleged date on which Alexander I and Frederick William III of Prussia were made Masons at Paris in the presence of Napoleon the Great. Absolutely mendacious.
1808. The precedence of Mother Kilwinning over Mary’s Chapel was decreed in this year.
1808. The Prince de Cambacères became National Grand Master of the Rectified Strict Observance for the Province of Bourgogne.
1809. Creation of a special Board by Grand Lodge, called the Lodge of Promulgation, its duty being to promulgate the Ancient Landmarks.
1809. Charles XIII assumed the Office of Grand Master of Sweden.
1809. A Lodge was founded at Corfu, under the Grand Orient of France.
1810. Lechangeau granted a patent to Michael Bedarride for the promulgation of the Rite of Mizraim.
1810. A second Lodge was founded at Corfu, under the Grand Orient of France.
1810. The Degree of Installed Master was sanctioned by the so-called regular or constitutional Grand Lodge of England. The ceremony was ranked as a Landmark, and Masters of London Lodges were cited to appear for installation as Rulers of the Craft.
1810. The Minutes of the Lodge of Promulgation indicate that the workings prevalent among the Ancients were being adopted by this Lodge.
1810. Sir Gore Ousely, English Ambassador at the Court of the Shah, was appointed English Provincial Grand Master.
1810. Foundation of the Grand Lodge of Columbia on December 11.
1810. The National Grand Orient of French Helvetia was established at Lausanne.
1810. Persecution of Masonry in Portugal.
1811. The Grand Lodge of Saxony was definitely formed on September 28.
1811. An Independent Grand Lodge was established to incorporate the Lodges comprised in the Kingdom of Bavaria.
1811. The French Supreme Council repudiated Anton Firmin Abraham, who sold spurious Degrees of Masonry.
1811. Publication at Hamburg of J. F. K. Arnold’s account of Bohemann, alleged head of the Asiatic Brethren.
1811. The Grand Lodge of Hamburg declared its independence—presumably of French Masonic rule and influence—working thenceforward as a Sovereign Masonic Body.
1811. Foundation of the Supreme Council of Spain.
1811. An Order of Charles XIII, restricted to Freemasons and conferring a Grade of Chivalry, was founded by this King of Sweden.
1811. Charles XIII of Sweden resigned the office of Grand Master in favour of his adopted heir, afterwards Charles XIV, but remained Vicar of Solomon.
1811. Masonic Congress at Dresden, in which twelve Lodges of Saxony took part.
1811. The Vehm-Gerichte, or Secret Court of Westphalia, is said to have been finally suppressed in this year by a decree of Jerome Buonaparte.
1811. A Grand Lodge under Sweden was formed in Russia.
1811. At this time there were four governing Masonic bodies in Spain, namely, two Grand Orients and two Supreme Councils.
1812. Establishment of a Sovereign Grand Consistory of the United States by Joseph Cerneau, for which he was expelled by the Supreme Council of Charleston in 1813.
1812. Foundation of the Grand Lodge of Louisiana on January 21.
1813. The breach between the Lodge of Kilwinning and Mary’s Chapel, owing to the former being placed at the head of the Scottish Roll of Lodges, was healed in this year.
1813. Under the Earl of Moira, acting Grand Master of India, Masonry took firm root in Bengal, more especially when the differences between Moderns and Ancients were finally adjusted.
1813. It is said that a Supreme Council of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite was constituted for Southern Italy, but did not prove permanent at that time.
1813. According to Ragon, a Bull of Constitution, dated December 23 of this year, instituted Supreme Bodies of the Rite of Mizraim at Paris, Brussels and Madrid.
1813. Initiation at Berne of Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, afterwards Leopold I, King of the Belgians.
1813. Foundation of the Grand Lodge of Tennessee on October 14.
1813. The Supreme Council of the Northern Jurisdiction, U.S.A., was established in this year.
1813. The Duke of Sussex was installed on May 12, in succession to the Prince of Wales.
1813. The Duke of Atholl resigned in favour of the Duke of Kent, who was placed in the Chair of the Ancient Grand Lodge on December 1.
1813. Masonic date of Union. On St. John’s Day, in December, English Freemasons were joined in a single body, constituting one Grand Lodge; and on the motion of the Duke of Kent, the Duke of Sussex was elected Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge.
1813. The United Grand Lodge decreed that Pure and Ancient Freemasonry consists of Three Degrees, including the Holy Order of the Royal Arch. The hand of the Duke of Sussex is presumably to be traced in this ordinance.
1813. A Lodge of Reconciliation was founded to insure uniformity of working.
1813. Election of Peter Maurice Glaire as Grand Master of the Roman Grand Orient of Helvetia.
1813. In this year power is said to have been obtained from Naples for working the Rite of Mizraim.
1814. The so-called Order of the Temple, under Bernard Fabré-Palaprat, became a schismatic sect, termed Johannites, using a spurious Gospel of St. John.
1814. The Rite of Mizraim, according to one account, appeared at Paris in this year. See ante, s.v. 1805.
1814. Publication in Paris by Alexandre Le Noir of a work entitled Freemasonry Restored to its True Origin.
1814. Death of William Hutchinson, on April 7.
1814. Pius VII renewed the Bull of Pope Clement XII against Freemasonry, on September 14.
1814. Alexander Seton’s Movement was extinguished by united action on the part of the Grand Lodges of England and Ireland.
1814. The rule of the French Grand Orient over Belgian Masonry ceased at this time.
1814. Masonic persecution in Spain.
1814. Masonic Lodges in Norway came under the Swedish Grand Lodge.
1814. The office of Grand Master of the French Grand Orient was replaced by Grands Maîtres Adjoints until 1852.
1815. A new edition of the Book of Constitutions was published, with a special wording of the charge concerning God and Religion.
1815. An English Provincial Grand Lodge was established at Malta.
1815. The Academy of Sublime Masters of the Luminous Ring is heard of again in the Lodge of Douai.
1815. An Ancient and Primitive Rite, deriving from the French Primitive Rite of Philalethes, is said to have been established at Montauban on April 30, reference being probably to the Rite of Memphis. Doubtful.
1815. The Czar Alexander I founded the Grand Lodge Astrea.
1815. Claude O. Thory published his Acta Latomorum at Paris, and historical collection of importance.
1815. The Rite of Mizraim is believed to have been extended at this date by Samuel Honis of Cairo.
1816. The Scottish Lodges were renumbered after the settlement of the Kilwinning troubles.
1816. Alleged institution at Paris of an Order of Noachidae, by partisans of Napoleon the Great, the arrangement being Masonic in character. Obscure and doubtful.
1816. At this period, and subsequently, the Swiss Masonic systems are said to have been: (1) Lodges working under the Grand Orient of France; (2) the Helvetic Rite; (3) the Scots Directory; (4) the Lodge of Hope, constituted at Berne in 1803 by the French Grand Orient. Confused and confusing; Nos. 1 and 4 represent the same obedience, while the Helvetic Rite was to all appearance identical with the Scots Directory. See s.v. 1795, 1810 and 1813.
1816. A Grand Encampment of Knights Templar for the United States was established on June 20.
1816. Prince Frederick William, second son of William I, was elected Grand Master of Holland.
1817. The Grand Lodge of Scotland reaffirmed its restriction of Masonry to the three Craft Degrees.
1817. The two Grand Chapters of the Holy Royal Arch were united in this year.
1817. The Rite of Mizraim was rejected by the Grand Orient on June 24th.
1817. Prince Christian—afterwards Christian VIII, King of Denmark—was made a Mason in the Lodge Maria of the Three Hearts.
1817. Publication of J. C. Ridel’s Bibliography and Chronology of Masonry, embracing the period from 1717 to 1817.
1817. A Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite was formed at Brussels.
1818. A Grand Lodge of Indiana was founded on January 12.
1818. A Grand Lodge of Mississippi was founded on July 27.
1818. Prince Frederick William became Grand Master of the Grand Orient, with Masonic jurisdiction over Holland and Belgium. Doubtful. See ante, s.v. 1811 and 1814.
1818. The Lodge of Hope at Berne became an English Provincial Grand Lodge. Doubtful.
1819. A Persian Philosophical Rite was introduced into Paris, claiming to have been brought from Erzeroum, the original place of its establishment.
1819. Foundation of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Mecklenburg.
1820. The Grand Lodge of Ireland warranted the Australian Social Lodge at Sydney, being the first Masonic foundation in that region, apart from Military Lodges.
1820. Foundation of the Grand Lodge of Maine on June 1.
1821. Pope Pius VII issued an edict against Masonry.
1821. Further Masonic persecution in Portugal.
1821. Prohibition of Freemasonry in the Grand Duchy of Warsaw.
1821. All Masonic activity is said to have been suspended in Italy for more than thirty years.
1821. Foundation of the Grand Lodge of Missouri on April 21.
1821. Foundation of the Grand Lodge of France.
1821. Foundation of the Grand Lodge of Alabama.
1821. Foundation of the Grand Orient of Brazil.
1822. Suppression of Freemasonry in Russia, Russian Poland included, by a decree of the Czar.
1822. A National Grand Lodge of Switzerland, working the Craft Grades only, was formed by the Lodges of Berne and Vaud.
1822. The Helvetic Rite and Lodges under the French Grand Orient are said to have fallen asleep. Confused.
1822. The Provincial Grand Lodge of Lower Canada was separated into two districts, being those of Quebec and Montreal.
1822. Proscription of Freemasonry in Russia.
1823. The Provincial Grand Lodge of Frankfort assumed the title of Grand Lodge.
1823. Freemasonry abolished in Portugal by Royal Decree.
1824. Foundation of the Supreme Council of Ireland on August 13.
1825. A Lodge at Granada having been raided, the seven Master Masons present were hanged and a newly initiated Apprentice was sent for five years to the galleys.
1825. Leo XII issued an apostolic edict, confirming the acts and decrees of previous pontiffs and ordaining their ratification for ever.
1826. Foundation of the Supreme Council of Brazil.
1826. A portion of the Antient and Primitive Rite went under the rule of the French Grand Orient.
1829. The Scottish Constitutions were revised.
1830. Belgium is said to have attained Masonic independence. See ante, 1814.
1830. Foundation of the Grand Lodge of Florida on July 5.
1830. Foundation of the Supreme Council of Peru.
1831. Foundation of the Grand Orient of Peru.
1832. Pope Gregory XVI issued an edict against Freemasonry.
1832. An illegal United Supreme Council was formed at New York on February 13.
1832. Foundation of the Grand Lodge of Arkansas on February 22.
1832. The Grand Orient of Belgium dates from this year.
1833. Foundation of the Supreme Council of Columbia and New Granada.
1834. Another persecution of Portuguese Masons.
1836. The Crown Prince of Denmark, afterwards Christian VIII, became Protector of Danish Masonry.
1836. A Grand Orient was formed at Porto Prince.
1837. Foundation of the Grand Lodge of Texas.
1837. A Pythagoras Lodge was founded at Corfu.
1838. The Rite of Memphis, otherwise the Antient and Primitive Rite, was introduced at Paris as a system of ninety-five Degrees.
1838. Election of Marconis as Grand Hierophant of the Rite of Memphis.
1839. The Rite of Memphis is said to have been at work in Roumania.
1840. Foundation of the Grand Lodge of Illinois.
1840. A Grand Lodge of Greece is supposed to have been formed in the Island of Corfu, but all trace of it has vanished.
1840. Initiation of Prince William of Prussia, afterwards Emperor Wilhelm I.
1841. Frederic VII of Denmark was initiated in the Lodge Maria.
1841. Union of the Masonic Provinces of Quebec and Montreal.
1842. Formation under the English Grand Lodge of an annuity fund for males.
1842. Foundation of the Supreme Council of Portugal.
1843. The first Earl of Zetland became Grand Master in succession to the Duke of Sussex.
1843. Foundation of the Grand Lodge of Iowa on January 8.
1843. The Third Degree of the Compagnonnage—established in (?) 1803—was abolished in this year.
1843. A new Temple of the Grand Orient was opened at Paris.
1843. Foundation of the Grand Lodge of Wisconsin on December 18.
1843. The Rising Star Lodge was founded at Bombay by Dr. James Burnes, to open the Portals of Masonry to Indians.
1843. A National Masonic Convention was held at Baltimore on May 8 and following days, fifteen Grand Lodges being represented.
1844. The National Grand Lodge at Berne and the Scots Directory at Basle united to form the present Grand Lodge Suisse Alpina on July 24.
1844. Foundation of the Grand Lodge of Michigan on September 14.
1844. Expulsion of Brigham Young and fifteen hundred Mormons by the Grand Lodge of Illinois.
1845. Foundation of the Supreme Council of England and Wales on October 26.
1845. The Lodge of the Three Doves became the Grand Lodge of Prussia, or Royal York of Friendship, at Berlin.
1845. The Royal Oriental Order of the Sat B’hai is said to have met at Allahabad for the last time in India. Mendacious.
1846. A Scottish Masonic Benevolent Fund was established in this year.
1846. Pope Pius IX issued an edict against Masonry and other Secret Societies.
1846. A Grand Lodge was founded at Darmstadt on March 22.
1846. Foundation of the Supreme Council of Scotland.
1847. A Congress of American Lodges was held at Baltimore.
1848. Frederick VII ascended the Throne of Denmark and became also Grand Master.
1848. Danish Masonry was remodelled on the Swedish system.
1848. A Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite was constituted at Palermo. Obedience doubtful.
1848. The Masonic bodies in Portugal comprised three Grand Lodges, one Grand Orient and one Irish Provincial Grand Lodge.
1849. A Supreme Council was established in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg on September 7.
1849. The Annuity Fund was extended to widows of Freemasons.
1849. Pope Pius IX issued an Encyclical against Secret Societies, including Freemasonry.
1849. The Rite of Memphis established its Statutes.
1850. The Widows’ Fund was amalgamated with that of the Asylum.
1850. Foundation of the Grand Lodge of Kansas on March 17.
1850. Foundation of the Grand Lodge of California on April 18.
1851. Foundation of the Grand Lodge of Oregon on August 16.
1852. The French Grand Orient elected Prince Lucien as Grand Master on January 9.
1852. The Grand Lodge of Peru was reorganised.
1853. Initiation of Prince Frederick of Prussia, afterwards Emperor Frederick III of Germany.
1853. A Congress of American Lodges was held at Lexington, Kentucky.
1853. Foundation of the Grand Lodge of Minnesota on February 23.
1854. Death of Kloss, the German Masonic writer.
1854. Masonic Congress at Paris.
1854. Pope Pius IX issued another Encyclical against Freemasonry.
1855. An Independent Grand Lodge was established in Upper Canada.
1855. The King of Denmark substituted the Masonic system of Zinnendorf for that of the Strict Observance on January 6.
1855. An universal Masonic Congress was held at Paris.
1855. Death of Reghellini at Brussels.
1856. A Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons was formed in London.
1856. Foundation of the Supreme Council of Uruguay.
1856. Death of Michael Bedarride on February 16.
1856. The Antient and Primitive Rite was introduced into America.
1857. An Ancient Grand Lodge of Canada was formed in this year.
1857. Foundation of the Grand Lodge of Chile on April 20.
1857. Foundation of the Grand Lodge of Nebraska on September 23.
1857. The Independent Grand Lodge of Canada and the Ancient Grand Lodge were united as the Grand Lodge of Canada.
1857. A Grand Lodge of Roumania was formed in this year. See s.v. 1880.
1858. Constitution of a Supreme Council of the Argentine Republic.
1858. Foundation of the National Grand Lodge of Denmark on November 16.
1858. Foundation of the Grand Lodge of Washington on December 9.
1859. A new Freemasons’ Hall was consecrated at 98 George Street, Edinburgh.
1859. Foundation of the Lusitanian United Grand Orient at Lisbon.
1859. Foundation of the Supreme Council of Cuba.
1860. Constitution of the Supreme Council of Mexico.
1860. Foundation of the Grand Lodge of Colorado on August 2.
1861. An Association of German Freemasons was established on May 19.
1861. Constitution of a Supreme Council for the Republic of San Domingo.
1861. The Grand Orient of Italy was reconstituted in this year.
1862. The Grand Orient of Italy was proclaimed on January 1, twenty-two Lodges being represented.
1862. In November of this year the Rite of Memphis was admitted as a subordinate Masonic System by the Grand Orient of France, and Marconis surrendered his powers to that body.
1863. Pope Pius IX issued an Encyclical against Secret Societies.
1864. Pope Pius IX issued an Encyclical against Freemasonry.
1864. Foundation of the Supreme Council of Florence, afterwards that of all Italy.
1865. Foundation of the Grand Lodge of Nevada on January 16.
1865. Foundation of the Grand Lodge of Canada at Toronto on October 10.
1865. Constitution of the Supreme Council of Venezuela.
1866. Foundation of the Grand Lodge of Western Virginia on May 16.
1866. Foundation of the Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia on June 12.
1866. A Grand Orient was founded at San Domingo, a Negro Republic. See s.v. 1899.
1866. Death of J. M. Ragon at Paris.
1867. The Grand Lodge of Hanover ceased working.
1867. Masonry revived in Hungary, being still prohibited in Austria.
1867. Death of Dr. George Oliver on March 3.
1867. An Independent Grand Lodge of Greece was formed in this year.
1867. Foundation of the Grand Lodge of New Brunswick on August 27.
1867. Foundation of the Grand Lodge of Idaho on December 16.
1867. A Grand Lodge was constituted in the Negro Republic of Nigeria.
1868. A Convention of German Grand Lodges at Stuttgart denied that a White Book, containing the Name of God, might be substituted for the Bible on the Altars of Grand Lodges under their obedience.
1868. A Lodge was founded at Budapest, under the name of Unity in the Mother-Land.
1869. Initiation of Edward, Prince of Wales, by the King of Sweden.
1869. Foundation of the Grand Lodge of Quebec on February 12.
1869. Foundation of the Grand Orient of Greece.
1869. Revival of Masonry in Spain.
1869. Masonic bodies in Portugal combined to form a United Grand Orient of Lusitania—four Irish Lodges dissenting.
1869. Tunis was incorporated with the Malta District.
1869. Foundation of a Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia.
1869. The Grand Lodge of Quebec was formed.
1870. Constitution of the Supreme Council of Guatemala on April 20.
1870. Constitution of the Supreme Council of Paraguay.
1870. Foundation of the Grand Lodge of British Columbia on December 20.
1870. The St. John’s Grand Lodge of Hungary was formed on January 30.
1870. Earl de Grey and Ripon succeeded Lord Zetland as Grand Master.
1871. The position of Grand Master was abolished in France and replaced by a President de l’Ordre.
1872. The Scottish Grand Lodge adopted the Ceremony of Installing a Master of a Lodge.
1872. The four independent Irish Lodges in Portugal united in a single Lodge, called Irish Regeneration.
1872. The Antient and Primitive Rite was started in England by John Yarker.
1872. Foundation of the Grand Lodge of Utah on January 16.
1872. An Union of German Grand Lodges was formed in this year.
1873. The Grand Orient of Italy absorbed the Supreme Council at Palermo.
1873. Pope Pius IX issued an Encyclical against Freemasonry.
1873. Dissolution of the Roman Helvetic Directory and Constitution of a Supreme Council of Switzerland.
1873. The Prussian Grand Lodges combined for the foundation of a Grand Lodge League of Germany.
1873. The Grand Lodge of Hamburg joined the Grand Lodge League.
1874. Constitution of a Supreme Council for the Dominion of Canada.
1874. Foundation on October 5 of a Grand Lodge for the Indian Territory, U.S.A.
1874. Foundation of the Grand Lodge of Wyoming on December 15.
1875. A Congress of Supreme Councils was held at Lausanne.
1875. Foundation of the Grand Lodge of Manitoba on June 12.
1875. Foundation of the Grand Lodge of Prince Edward Island on June 24.
1875. Foundation of the Grand Lodge of South Dakota on July 21.
1875. Installation of the Prince of Wales, afterwards Edward VII, as Grand Master.
1876. Concordat between the Grand Lodge Suisse-Alpine and the Supreme Council of Switzerland.
1876. Foundation of the National Grand Lodge of Egypt on May 8.
1877. The Dukes of Connaught and Albany were invested as Senior and Junior Grand Warden.
1877. The Grand Lodge of England appointed a Committee to report on the course to be pursued on the Grand Orient of France ceasing to regard belief in the Grand Architect of the Universe an essential qualification of Masons, etc.
1877. Foundation of the Grand Lodge of New Mexico on April 6.
1877. A Congress of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite for both hemispheres was summoned at Edinburgh on September 11, and proved a failure.
1878. The Committee of Grand Lodge reported on the course to be pursued respecting the French Grand Orient and communication ceased therewith.
1880. Twenty Lodges united in forming the National Grand Lodge of Roumania. See ante, s.v. 1857.
1881. The National Grand Lodge of Roumania was consecrated on September 8th.
1881. A Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite was established in Roumania coincidently with a Supreme Council of the Rite of Memphis.
1881. An Independent Grand Lodge was formed at Tunis.
1882. The Duke of Connaught was installed as Grand Warden of Egypt.
1882. Foundation of the Grand Lodge of Arizona on March 25.
1882. A Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons was added to the Governing Bodies of Roumania.
1882. A Provincial Grand Lodge was established in Norway, depending from Bavaria.
1883. A Grand Lodge of the Swedenborgian Masonic Rite was constituted in Roumania.
1884. Foundation of the Grand Lodge of Southern Australia on April 16.
1884. Pope Leo XIII issued on April 20 the Humanum Genus Bull against Freemasonry.
1885. Prince Albert Victor was made a Mason by the Prince of Wales, as Grand Master.
1885. A Grand Lodge was formed at Porto Rico.
1886. Kenneth MacKenzie died on July 3.
1886. The Grand Lodge and Grand Orient of Hungary united on March 23, and thereafter formed together the Symbolic and Grand Lodge of Hungary.
1886. A Junior Grand Orient was formed in the Negro Republic of Hayti.
1886. Foundation of the Grand Lodge of Porto Rico on October 8.
1887. A Grand Orient for Central America was established in Guatemala.
1888. Foundation of the Grand Orient of Spain at Madrid on July 4.
1888. Spanish bodies in activity at this date were (1) the Grand Orient of Spain, (2) the National Grand Orient, and (3) the Symbolical Grand Lodge.
1888. Foundation on September 1 of the Grand Lodge of New South Wales.
1889. Foundation of the Grand Lodge of Victoria at Melbourne on March 21.
1889. A Masonic Congress was held at Paris to celebrate the centenary of the French Revolution.
1889. Foundation of the Grand Lodge of North Dakota on June 12.
1889. Initiation of Prince Frederick Leopold of Prussia.
1890. Foundation of the Grand Lodge of New Zealand on April 29.
1890. Foundation of the Grand Lodge of Tasmania at Hobart on June 26.
1891. The Grand Lodge of Norway was formed on May 10.
1891. Foundation of the Grand Lodge of Cuba on December 24.
1892. Two Lodges seceded from the United Grand Orient of Lusitania, the latter having departed from the fundamental principles of Masonry. A Grand Lodge of Portugal was formed, but it is doubtful how long it continued.
1892. Pope Leo XIII issued an Encyclical against Freemasonry.
1892. Foundation of the Grand Lodge of Oklahoma on November 10.
1893. Prince Frederick Leopold of Prussia became Protector of the three Prussian Grand Lodges.
1893. Foundation of the Grand Lodge of Rio Grande of the South on June 30.
1893. Foundation of the National Grand Lodge of Venezuela on July 26.
1893. Foundation of the Provincial Grand Lodge Polar Star at Christiania.
1894. A Masonic Congress was held at Antwerp in this year.
1894. Foundation of the Grande Loge Écossaise of France at Paris.
1895. Masonic Congress at Milan.
1895. Prince Frederick Leopold became Master of the Order in Germany.
1896. A Masonic Conference was held at the Hague in this year.
1896. Anti-Masonic Congress held at Trent.
1896. Concordat established between the Supreme Council of Switzerland and the Scottish Helvetic Directory
1896. Foundation of a Hellenic Grand Orient at Athens.
1897. Leo Taxil confessed his impostures and lying inventions against Masonry.
1898. The Grand Lodge of Greece became the Grand Orient and Supreme Council of Greece.
1899. A Grand Lodge was founded at San Domingo. See ante, s.v. 1866.
1899. The Grand Lodge of Cuba was revived and reorganised.
1899. Foundation of the Supreme Council of Chile.
1899. Foundation of the Grand Lodge of Costa Rica,
1900. An International Masonic Congress was held at Paris.
1900. The German Grand Lodge Kaiser Frederic at Berlin became a Provincial Grand Lodge, holding from the Grand Lodge of Hamburg.
1901. The Grand Lodge of Hamburg celebrated the centenary of its constitution.
1901. A new Grand Orient of Italy is mentioned at this date, having forty-two Lodges under its obedience.
1901. The National Grand Orient of Madrid comprised ninety-five Lodges at this date.
1902. An International Masonic Congress was held at Geneva, and an International Bureau of Masonic Relations was founded.
1903. The Duke of Connaught became Grand Master, and King Edward VII assumed the title of Protector of the Craft.
1903. Foundation of the Grand Lodge of Guatemala.
1904. An International Masonic Congress was held at Brussels.
1905. A Spanish-Portuguese Congress of Freemasons was held at Lisbon.
1906. Relations established between the Grand Lodge of France and the German Grand Lodges.
1907. A Congress of Supreme Councils was held at Brussels.
1907. Constitution of the Supreme Council of Egypt at Cairo.
1907. Establishment of a Masonic Hostel at Einbeck, Germany.
1907. National Convention of the Scottish Rite at Lausanne.
1909. Constitution of a Supreme Council at Constantinople for the Ottoman Empire.
1910. International Masonic Congress at Brussels.
1911. An International Masonic Congress opened at Rome on September 23.
1913. Foundation of a National Independent and Regular Grand Lodge of France.
1914. The Grand Lodge of England broke off all relations with German and Austrian Masonry.
1917. The second centenary of the Grand Lodge of England and the establishment of Modern Freemasonry was celebrated on June 24.
Masonic Conventions and Congresses
There is no question that the one great epoch-making, creative Congress in all the world of Masonry was that which was held at the Apple-Tree Tavern in 1717, when four London Lodges proceeded to organise the first unquestionable and historic Grand Lodge, which was destined to become the Mother-Grand Lodge of the entire Globe. I am concerned, however, in this section with deliberative assemblies of later periods; but a word may be said at the beginning of certain early precursors and certain traditional meetings. The General Assembly at York, in A.D. 926, under an alleged Prince Edwin, brother of Athelstan, is a Masonic myth. That of 1275 at Strasburgh, under Erwin von Steinbach, for the foundation of an incorporated Brotherhood, to carry on the work at the cathedral, is something more than myth and less than certified history: it is a traditional explanation of the supremacy of Strasburgh among German Masons for some five centuries subsequently. We are coming into the light of history with the Congresses held at Ratisbon in 1459 1464, the first to promulgate or ratify certain laws for the government of German Steinmetzen and the second for the settlement of disputes between the Masons of Strasburgh, Cologne, Berne and Vienna. The condition and prerogatives of the Fraternity are supposed to have been debated at Spire under the auspices of the Strasburgh Head-Lodge in 1469. The Congress convened at Cologne in 1535 by the Bishop of that city depends from the Charter of Cologne and about the apocryphal nature of that document there is, I think, no question at all. In 1563 there is said to have been a meeting at Basle, again under the auspices of Strasburgh, and it was continued at Strasburgh itself in 1564, when German architects and builders are affirmed to have assumed the title of Freemasons; but for this the evidence is wanting. Passing over an imaginary convention of Dublin Lodges in 1730, there was that which was convoked by William St. Clair of Rosslin at Edinburgh in 1736, when the representatives of thirty-three Scottish Lodges constituted the Grand Lodge of Scotland.
Emblematic Period.—We have now passed from the Operative phase of Masonry into that of the Temples which are not built with hands. On December 25, 1756, the National Grand Lodge of Holland is said to have been formed, under the auspices of the Royal Union and some other Lodges of the Hague, but the actual date is by no means certain, and the Netherlands, Masonically speaking, remained under the tutelage of the London Grand Lodge until 1770. The Congresses of Jena in 1763 and 1764, of Altenburg in 1765, and of Kohlo in 1772, belong to the history of the Strict Observance. That of Brunswick in 1775, convened by the Duke of Brunswick, was also concerned largely with the same subject, but had an eye to a fusion of Rites, which came to nothing after protracted deliberations.
Scottish Philosophical Rite.—At the close of the year 1777 a philosophical Convention was opened at Paris by the Mother-Lodge of the Rite Écossais Philosophique, for the consideration of subjects relative to the history and doctrines of Freemasonry. The authority is Ragon, who says that in seven successive sittings the archaeologist Court de Gebelin delivered a dissertation on the allegories of Masonic Grades.
Convention of Lyons.—The preparations began on August 12, 1778; it was opened on November 25 and closed on December 27 of that year. The president was J. B. Willermoz, Provincial Grand Master of Auvergne under the obedience of the Strict Observance. One of the authorities is Thory, who speaks of a general reform in Freemasonry as the palmary object in view but reflects hostile criticism as to the mode in which the proceedings were conducted. The alleged purpose passed out of sight and what took place actually was a revision of Rituals. We know, however, that under the Martinistic influence—-which centred at the period in Willermoz—the Rite of the Strict Observance suffered that great Ritual transformation which converted it into the Chivalry of the Holy City, and this was—I think—reformation enough for one Congress. According to an unnamed German author, who is quoted by Ragon, the Templar system was abjured, being that of the Strict Observance, but this abjuration was purely formal and due to intervention of the police, who were prepared to oppose the propagation of any system which tended to commemorate the Templars. I do not believe in the alleged intervention or in the assigned reason, and it is quite certain that Templar claims were abandoned in all sincerity, having failed to justify themselves, while that which was done at Lyons was confirmed at Wilhelmsbad.
Convention of Wilhelmsbad.—The preparations for this important assembly began September 9, 1778, when a circular of convocation was addressed to all Scottish Grand Lodges in Europe, but owing to various delays it was not opened until July 18, 1782, the President being Ferdinand, Duke of Brunswick, Grand Master of the Strict Observance. It was proposed, among other subjects, to consider (1) Whether Masonry derived from some anterior Order. (2) In this case, what was the parent Order? (3) Whether Masonry was in the custody of living Superiors; and (4) if so, who they were. It will be seen that the pretensions of the Strict Observance were implied in all these points. The Convention renounced the hypothesis of Unknown Superiors, the Templar origin of Masonry, and adopted the reformation of Lyons in respect of the Strict Observance. There were thirty meetings in all.
Convention of Paris.—At a meeting of Brethren belonging to the twelfth and highest Grade of the Rite of Philalethes, held on August 24,1784, it was decided to summon a Convention of instructed Masons belonging to all systems and all countries, with the object of determining “the nature, origin, historical filiation and actual position of true Masonic science,” as also its real end. Savalette de Langes was appointed President, and the Convention was opened on February 15, 1785. It invited Cagliostro to take part in the deliberations as founder of Egyptian Masonry, which he refused to do, unless on condition that the Rite of Philalethes burned its archives and library. The Congress was indifferently attended, and was closed on May 26, without reaching any decisive conclusions. Perhaps it is more accurate to say that the Congress was prorogued, and various tentatives were made for a second assembly, which did not take place until March 8, 1787, when twenty-nine sessions were held, Court de Gebelin taking a prominent part, as in the year 1777, under the auspices of the Scottish Philosophical Rite. Again, however, the attendance was small, and the written evidence of Savalette de Langes is decisive as to the flagging interest of most who took part in the proceedings. The Convention was closed on May 26, 1787, a failure in respect of results. Ragon recalls that the French Revolution was at hand, and that the Mason was merging into the citizen.
An old Rosicrucian Fama speaks of Minutum Mundum in the sense of the word Microcosm, and it has drifted into Masonic handbooks. It is bad in Latin, as the handbooks usually are; but if I may correct it on my own part—with apologies to those who are concerned, under the aegis of the Craft—it may be said that Masonry is the Minutus Mundus, or Mirror, of that great world of initiation which interpenetrates all history and seems also to lie behind all. At this day it contains remanents of those initiatory processes which are described there and here in these studies. How it has come about is the great crux of Masonic history in the matter of origins; and each of us, to himself and to others, accounts for it as he best can do. But the fact that Masonry is a Mirror of this kind, or a last receptacle, is the really important point, however the great old images have come to be reflected therein, or the remanents derived thereto. It follows that Masonry can be explained only by that to which it belongs certainly—as a replica at a far distance of the applied legend of the soul, a last humour and echo of the mystic quest. For the matter of the Mysteries was the Soul’s history, her travels, trials and metamorphoses.
The High Grades.—It is in view of these memorials as we now find them shadowed forth, and—if one must needs say it—-fossilised in the Craft Degrees, that it is possible to subscribe within limits, but with something approaching cordiality, to one rather untutored instinct of conventional Masonic criticism—to that, I mean, which rejects once and for all a vast proportion of the so-called High Grades as unessential to Masonry when they are not an embarrassment thereof, a romantic and unmeaning decoration when they are not actually a disfigurement. It remains otherwise—and about this there must be no mistake—that over and above the Three Craft Degrees, above all the great and wonderful Legend of the Third Degree, we have to look elsewhere for a completion of the Masonic Experiment, because the Craft as it stands—with all its powers of reflection and image making—contains no fulfilment of the mystic experience. We must look equally beyond that further light which is supposed to reside in the Ceremony of the Royal Arch. The vital supplements—but as a shadow still and a reflection at a great distance—are indicated in their proper places in the present work. I must add that there are independent initiations—not of the Masonic mode—which shew forth the quest and its terms under other forms of symbolism. When a true door opens in this direction it may happen that the seeker is put upon the path more clearly and may reach more surely and even more quickly the assumed end of his research.
Masonic Greater Charities
Concerned in the present work with the wide horizon opening in several directions from the symbolical, philosophical and mystical aspects of Masonry, and—for the rest—with important historical issues, I must hold it sufficient to register the fact of its benevolent side, the beginning of which was made at a comparatively early period of the eighteenth century. Ever since then it has grown in grace and lustre, so that in the English-speaking countries, as under some other great obediences in continental Europe, the work of goodwill in Masonry, of relief and brotherly love, has become a light shining among men, testifying to the spritual life of the Order and the providence of God therein. The charities of the Craft are under the general supervision of a Board of Benevolence which meets monthly throughout the year at Freemasons’ Hall, London. The present foundations are: (1) The Royal Masonic Institution for Girls, originating in 1788, for “maintaining, clothing and educating the daughters of Freemasons.” The School-Houses are at Clapham Junction and Weybridge. (2) The Royal Masonic Institution for boys, Bushey, Herts, for “maintaining, clothing and educating the sons of Freemasons,” founded in 1798. (3) The Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution for Aged Freemasons and widows of Freemasons, Croydon.
It may be noted that the first Committee of Charity was established in 1725. In the year 1916 a Freemasons’ War Hospital was opened in the Fulham Road and now continues as a Nursing Home. Among charitable institutions connected with Grand Obediences outside the Craft, particular mention should be made of the Mark Benevolent Fund, which goes back to the year 1863 and to which an Annuity Fund was added in 1885. An exceptional amount of good work has been done, without ostentation and with the least possible formality. The Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite makes regular contributions to the three Craft Institutions, and the Secret Monitor should not be forgotten in this connection. As regards the United States there are Masonic Boards of Relief in the larger cities. Lastly there are organised Masonic Charities in Scotland and Ireland.
Masonic Laws and Jurisprudence
It has been said that the Laws of Masonry are divisible into three classes, being (1) Landmarks, (2) General Laws or Regulations and (3) Local Laws. We have seen already that the Landmarks have not been defined by authority and therefore cannot be Laws. As regards those which are called General it is suggested that their source is in the Ancient Charges and Constitutions, but a considerable part of these have lapsed with the effluxion of time, being rules of the Operative Guild, while others have become of no effect in a non-Christian Community. An appeal to the past is idle in an institution so eminently modern as Emblematic Freemasonry, and so continually exhibiting vitality by the phenomena of change and growth. Moreover, things which are binding under one Constitution are not binding under another. A Scottish Mason, as we have seen, is expected to recognise the Mark Degree as an integral part of the Craft, but he may reject the Royal Arch, though both are acknowledged in Ireland. On the other hand, Swedish Masonry has an elaborate High Grade system superposed on the Craft. The Book of the Laws of Masonry under the obedience of the Grand Lodge of England is and can be only the current Book of Constitutions, which—of right and necessity—is in a continual state of flux. The Local Laws of Masonry have been rightly defined by Woodford as those which “are made by District and Provincial Grand Lodges, subject to the Constitutions of the Grand Lodge, and those also which proceed from the Bye-Laws of Lodges.” In High Grade Masonry there are further the Laws, Regulations and Statutes enacted by the various Grand Obediences. The irrepealable legal qualification of all genuine Craft Masonry is belief in the Grand Architect of the Universe; the corresponding qualification for the Masonic Order of the Temple is faith in “our Blessed Saviour Jesus Christ” as the channel of eternal salvation, while—in England at least—the Scottish Rite is open to Trinitarians only. It would serve no purpose to illustrate further the points of analogy and distinction which obtain in Masonic Orders. The Laws of Masonry are the Laws which govern its various institutions all the wide world over, it being understood that the indigenous Grand Lodges, Grand Orients and so forth of Latin countries, which have rescinded belief in God as an essential qualification of Candidates, are no longer in the life of Masonry. It is understood also that the Laws of Masonry are the live Laws of to-day and not of the past, much as we may regret the past in respect of some of its enactments. There is furthermore a considerable body of procedure which cannot reasonably pass into writing but is of universal use and want. It includes everything which belongs to the gentle life of Masonry, to la haute convenance and to l’esprit de corps; but it is not contained even by these definitions.
Jurisprudence.—Finally there is all that which arises out of the Laws of Masonry and is embraced by the comprehensive name of Masonic Jurisprudence. It is much too large a subject to discuss in the space at my disposal. An early work, which is still useful for reference is Oliver’s Institutes of Masonic Jurisprudence, 1859, to which may be added Henry Robertson’s Digest of Masonic Jurisprudence, 1881, a second edition appearing in 1889, and J. W. Simon’s Familiar Treatise on the same subject, 1885.
Masonic Order of Malta
Under the aegis of the Latin church the Chivalry of St. John of Jerusalem, Palestine, Rhodes and Malta still survives and is an honour conferred by Rome upon some of its faithful members. The Chivalry of the Holy Sepulchre remains also. I think that High Grade Masonry should have been content with its supposed resurrection of Knights Templar and its host of imaginary chivalries without producing spurious Degrees under honoured titles which are in legitimate custody elsewhere. It appears that the Masonic Order of Malta was conferred in the Stirling Antient Lodge so far back as the year 1745 for a fee of five shillings, but the authenticity of this record depends upon a transcript of circa 1790, and the question is likely to remain sub judice.
The Temple and Malta.—There are other comparatively speaking early traces, but they would not repay enumeration in these pages. It must be said that the Degree is negligible, though it has been placed in a tolerable position, while the Ritual has been evidently adapted with considerable care, under the auspices of the English Great Priory. Its oldest part is the episode called Mediterranean Pass. The Masonic Order of the Temple is spiritually significant and symbolical to a high point: that of Malta stands for nothing except an arid memorial. It is open only to those who have been already created Knights Templar, and the anachronism of this regulation has been a subject of severe criticism, based on the long and fierce hostility between the two historical chivalries. There would be much farce in the contention if the organisations in question derived from the great Orders of the past; but as any claim of this kind has long since lapsed and the members of both bodies have been antecedently knit together in the bonds of our Masonic Brotherhood, it becomes “much ado about nothing.”
Latin and Anglican Orders.—The Catholic Order of St. John of Jerusalem was reorganised in England on January 24, 1831, prior to which it was conferred occasionally, as for example by the Chevalier Philippe de Chastelain in the year 1827, under a Commission of the French Langue, the Protector of which was Louis XVIII. See Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, Vol. XVI. The remaining Langues in existence at that time were those of Provence, Auvergne, Italy and Germany. It is impossible in the present place to discuss the historical position of that Anglican Order of St. John of Jerusalem which has done such admirable Red Cross work for many years past: it is a subject outside our research, seeing that it is outside Masonry.
Masonic Rites of Adoption
In addition to that putative Rite of Masonic Baptism and the Reception of a Louvetau, to which I have referred previously, there was also a form of Masonic Adoption for the infant sons of Masons, which—according to Clavel—was at one time practised in French and even German Lodges. The story is that the Lodge was opened in form, the child introduced therein, a solemn prayer recited by the Master, with hands extended over him, after which the obligation of an Entered Apprentice was imposed and taken pro forma by the Wardens, who became in this manner the Masonic sponsors or godfathers of the louveteau’s future welfare, on behalf of the Lodge. It appears that Albert Pike took over this ceremony and adopted it for use in the Southern Jurisdiction of the Scottish Rite; but I have not heard that it has been in practice for many years past. Masonic Adoption of this kind is, in any case, to be distinguished from those Adoptive Rites of Masonry by which women were supposed hypothetically to share—within certain measures and in a certain peculiar way—something of Masonic advantages, according to the honoured mode of ceremony and symbolism. The meaning of the term Adoptive is a little obscure and has been explained variously. I affirm, however, that it should be defined simply as the adoption of women into Masonry, following a mode of substitution. By a silly hypothesis reflected from Operative times, they could not be initiated into real Masonry, because obviously the work of wallers, plasterers, paviours and so forth was man’s work. It did not enter into the wooden heads of the eighteenth century that the art of building moralised and the House of God which is built only in the heart might be the work of Woman as much as the work of Man; and in the days of the Goose and Gridiron, the Rummer and Grapes, it is perhaps just as well. But French gallantry, not apart from a touch of French logic, atoned by inventing Adoptive Rites, elegant and sentimental ceremonies, decorative entertainments for drawing-rooms. In a word the Adam of Emblematic Mysteries adopted Eve and her daughter, taking care, however to retain the substance and communicate only its shadow. We are relieved in this manner of an arbitrary explanation of the term which affirms that the Adoptive Lodge was under the tutelage or guardianship of “some regular Lodge of Freemasons,” by which it was therefore adopted. This is the solution of Mackey, but the truth is that Rites of all kinds rose up, some open to both sexes, some restricted to women, a great many independent of any Masonic connection, so that the Adoptive Lodges which correspond to the alleged rule belong to a small minority.
Origin of Adoptive Rites.—Having disposed of this misconception, let us remove in the next place a particular mendacity which represents Adoptive Masonry as anterior to the Grand Lodge of 1717. It was not invented by Queen Henrietta Maria, the widow of Charles I, for the restoration of the Stuart Dynasty, nor did it originate in Russia, tempus 1712, under the auspices of Peter the Great, for the honour of the Czarina Catherine. The practice, principle or beginning of the movement in France is referred by Clavel to the year 1730, but this is much too early, while 1775, which is that of J. S. Boubée in his Études Maçonniques, must be set aside as unquestionably too late. We shall see presently that a great variety of dates are allocated to an extraordinary number of Rites, and there is no means of checking the large majority. It seems certain, however, that there was Adoptive Masonry between 1740 and 1750, at which point I leave it. The Ordre des Felicitaires belongs to 1743, but it was scarcely an Adoptive Rite, for its only relation to Masonry was that it worked in Ritual. Beauchaine’s Ordre des Fendeurs, circa 1747, is said to have admitted members of both sexes, but it had nothing to do with Masonry. In 1762 Guillemain de Saint-Victor published La Vraie Maçonnerie d’Adoption. In 1774 the Grand Orient took Adoptive Masonry under its protection, according to J. M. Ragon. In 1775 the Lodge La Candeur of Adoption was founded under distinguished patronage and held almost immediately a brilliant festival, when the Duchesse de Bourbon, in the presence of the Duchesse de Chartres and the Princesse de Lamballe, was installed as Grand Mistress of all Adoptive Lodges in France: they were presumably somewhat numerous. In 1780 the Princesse de Lamballe was Grand Mistress of an Adoptive Lodge attached to the Contrat Social; in 1805 the Empress Josephine was Grand Mistress of another Lodge at Strasbourg, acting by her deputy, Madame la Baronne Dietrick; in 1810 Josephine de Richepanse was Grand Mistress of the Dames of Mount Tabor. I have mentioned elsewhere the Adoptive Masonry of Cagliostro founded at Paris in 1782 under the title of Mère Loge d’Adoption de la Haute Maçonnerie Égyptienne. There were three Degrees, corresponding to those of the Craft. (1) In that of Apprentice Solomon was represented instructing the Queen of Sheba in the Mysteries of Divine Religion; we hear also of the serpent of Eden, which was said to symbolise pride; while the forbidden fruit was held to contain in its apparently fatal seed the means of repairing, through Divine Grace, the loss brought about by the Fall. (2) In the Grade of Companion the Candidate cut off the serpent’s head and was promised hereafter the power of communicating with celestial spirits. (3) In that of Master the procedure was in moderately close correspondence with the third Grade of Egyptian Masonry, the Dove of the Rite invoking the Angel Gabriel to purify the Postulant, who was reinvested with the innocence of unfallen man. She was instructed also concerning the physical and moral immortality, of which we have heard in connection with the regenerative processes of Cagliostro’s Hermetic Medicine. The Grand Mistress in this Degree represented the Queen of Sheba.
Recensions of the Rite.—Original Adoptive Masonry is represented presumably by the Rituals of Guillemain de Saint-Victor, but it suffered various transformations. I am acquainted with five codices: (1) Saint-Victor’s Manuel des Franches Maçonnes, 1762; (2) L’Adoption, ou la Maçonnerie des Dames, à la Fidélité, chez le Silence (Paris), 1775; (3) La Maçonnerie des Dames, dites de l’Adoption, a French manuscript of circa 1780, (4) Nécessaire (sic) Maçonnique d’Adoption à l’usage des Dames, 1817; (5) Rituel de la Maçonnerie d’Adoption, par J. M. Ragon, 1860. According to Saint-Victor the Rite of Adoption comprised four Grades, being (1) Apprentice, (2) Companion, (3) Mistress, (4) Perfect Mistress, otherwise Perfect Mason. The fourth codex supplies a fifth Grade, which is also summarised by Ragon, while the MS. gives the first three only. In the Grade of Apprentice the Tracing-Board depicts the Ark of Noah afloat on the waters of the Deluge, the Tower of Babel and the Ladder of Jacob. The Candidate is said to be received between the Tower and the Ladder, and at the foot of the Ark. The Tower signifies human pride and weakness; the Ladder is raised on a platform approached by two steps, representing the love of God and man, while its five rungs are the virtues radiating from a pure soul. The Candidate is placed therefore between vice and virtue. The Ark is symbolical of the human heart, tossed on the sea of passion. In the Grade of Companion the Tracing-Board depicts the Earthly Paradise, the Tree of Knowledge and the River which watered the Garden. There was also a representation of death, trampling on the riches and varieties of this world. The Candidate in the course of the ceremony is directed to partake of an apple but avoid the seed therein, as it represents the seed of the forbidden fruit. The apple apart from its core symbolises the sweet dispostion of a true Mason. The Tree of Knowledge inculcates obedience to the Laws of Providence, and the River is the torrent of human passions which Masonry teaches us to govern. In the Grade of Mistress the Tracing-Board is exceedingly elaborate, representing (1) the Ark of Noah reposing on Mount Ararat, (2) the Rainbow above the Ark, (3) the sacrifice of Noah, (4) that of Abraham (5) the city of Sodom, (6) Lot’s wife changed into a pillar of salt, (7) the destruction of Babel, (8) the Sun, Moon and Stars. The Candidate is raised to the Grade of Mistress at the foot of the Ark of Noah. As regards the divisions of the Tracing-Board the explanations are of an obvious order, with the exception of the Sun, Moon and Stars, which represent the father and mother of Joseph and his eleven brothers who cast him into the well.
Higher Degrees.—The Grade of Perfect Mistress is concerned with the Tabernacle in the Wilderness, but though ex hypothesi it is the crown of Adoptive Masonry it is poor in conception and without reason in its symbolism. The fifth Adoptive Grade, according to Le Nécessaire Maçonnique, is Sublime Dame Écossaise, otherwise Grade d’Élue. This is a Grade of the sword, the Candidate taking the part of Judith and entering the Lodge in the second point, carrying an effigy representing the head of Holofernes. The Master represents the High Priest Eliakim, who is said to signify the soul, while Judith and her servant answer to the soul’s faculties. The chiefs of the people and the people themselves are the body and its members, while the army of Holofernes answers to “the passions which encompass us”—altogether an arbitrary and indeed banal exegesis.
Minor Rites and Grades.—I have dealt so far with things supposed to represent Adoptive Masonry in its original and most accepted form. A very considerable number remains over, and as they include certain items which are—less or more—of historical consequence, it must be understood that the title of this sub-section is elastic in significance: it may mean either that the Rites mentioned therein are obscure and trivial or that our knowledge concerning them is slight and piecemeal. Did we know more about the Dames of Mount Tabor it might take a higher place in the series as a whole, and so of some other systems. It remains certain, however, that in the great majority of cases we have lost little, and less than little, owing to the narrow measures within which research is possible.
Academy of the Illuminés at Avignon.—I have shewn elsewhere in this volume, and also in The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry that in any strict sense of the term this was not a Masonic Rite. It is customary to call it androgynous, and in one sense the allocation seems likely to be true, yet it was not an Adoptive Rite, nor indeed a Rite at all. It was a Quest Society of the period, most probably apart from ceremonies and any formal incorporation. No doubt it admitted, or would have admitted, women—if any—who were in harmony with its aspirations and aims: it admitted men under the same qualifications, and whether they were Masons or not. I have mentioned it here, though it has no place or title in the present connection, for the purpose of putting an end—if possible—to another error of past Masonic literati and those who borrow from them without investigation at this day.
Amaranth, Order of the.—There is firstly the Equestrian Order, founded by Christina, Queen of Sweden, in 1653, she being Grand Mistress and having fifteen Knights and fifteen Ladies under her rule as such. There was a silly and vexatious prohibition laid upon bachelors in respect of marriage and upon wedded Knights in respect of a second marriage. As regards the Ladies they followed their own counsels, it being obvious that they could not look to change their estate from within the ranks of the Order. There is secondly that Order of the Amaranth which Mr. Robert Macey was moved to found at New York in 1883 as an additamentum to the Order of the Eastern Star. It worked in Ritual and was active in the field of charity. I speak of it in the past tense, not that it has certainly passed out of existence but because it is scarcely heard of at the present time.
Amazons, Order of.—The authority is Ragon, who calls it a system of androgynous Masonry belonging to the early eighteenth century and located in South America. There was an attempt to establish it in the North about 1740, but this proved a failure. I am quite certain that prior to the date in question Adoptive Masonry was not in existence. We have the evidence of Mackey that he had never heard of the Order, and he knew all the Masonic activities of his country, both actual and past. We are dealing therefore at most with an obscure venture which came to nothing, and—if possible to investigate—such a foundation might prove much later than supposed by the one writer who has named it.
Argonauts, Order of.—The motto was “Joy for ever,” the myth was that of the quest for the Golden Fleece, and the seal was a silver anchor enamelled green. The Order met on the deck of a symbolical vessel under the rule of a Grand Admiral, or literally in a temple erected on a small island, in a lake on the property of the founder. The latter is said to have been Konrad Franz von Rhetz, resident in the Duchy of Brunswick, and he instituted the Order in 1772. He was no doubt the Grand Admiral and his ship symbolised was manned by both sexes. An androgynous Order is not for that reason a Rite of Adoptive Masonry and we know too little of these Argonauts to determine their precise category or speculate concerning their object beyond the trend of their motto. It has been affirmed on hazard that the Order of Argonauts arose out of the Strict Observance, but the evidence is wanting.
Centaine, Order of the.—The authority is Thory, who terms this Order of the Century an androgynous system of Masonry, assigning it to Bordeaux and the year 1735. It has been described otherwise as mystical, and at that date there is not the slightest ground for assuming a Masonic complexion. Woodford substitutes 1755, but had failed to correct his proofs.
Concord, Order of.—The particular Order of this name—for there were several varieties—which is said to have been founded by the Prince of Schwartzburg-Rudolstadt in 1718, admitted both sexes, but there is no suggestion that it possessed a Ritual procedure, and at that date it could have no Masonic connections. I mention it therefore only, as others have done before me, but it does not belong to our subject. It is said to have died in 1857: perhaps a century earlier would be nearer the mark.
Crown, Princesses of the.—Thory speaks of an evanescent Adoptive Order under this name as established in Saxony about 1770. Woodford substitutes Sweden in his characteristic slovenly fashion. Whether it was a Rite or Grade does not appear, nor the kind of crown to which its princesses belonged. It is unlikely to have been Kether in the Tree of Life in Kabalism. The title suggests that it was reserved to women only, but they are likely to have co-opted princes.
Dames of Mount Tabor.—Though of late establishment, this association appears to be an example of genuine Adoptive Masonry, and it is to be regretted that the particulars concerning it are meagre. It was formed in the year 1809 by the French Lodge known as Les Commandeurs du Mont Thabor, and its proper title is Dames Écossaises de l’Hospice du Mont Thabor. It was recognised by the Grand Orient in 1818. There was a division into four Grades, as follows: (1) Masonic Novice; (2) Discreet Companion; (3) Adonaite Mistress; (4) Moralist Mistress. The object was to provide food and work for well-conducted women in a state of destitution. The admirable simplicity of purpose could have gained little from developments through four Degrees, and it is impossible to conceive the drift of such a title as Maîtresse Adonaite. It would seem also that to get a move on the end in view would have been preferable to moralising about it in a fourth Degree.
Dove, Knights and Ladies of the.—I do not know whence MacKenzie derived his very bare intimation that an androgynous secret society was founded under this title, “on the model of Freemasonry,” in 1784, at Versailles. He mentions that it has been long extinct, which indeed would go without saying.
Écossais Adoptive Grades.—In addition to the Dames Écossaises of Mount Tabor, we hear of an androgynous Degree formed by M. de la Chaussée in 1783, a member of the French Grand Orient. It was called Parfaite Écossaise. There is also a Rite or Grade cited from the collection of Pyron under the name of Dame Écossaise Sublime; but this is the Adoption of 1809 already noted.
Elect, Sublime Lady.—-Another Adoptive Degree of the Pyron Group which has never emerged from paper, unless identical with Dame Écossaise.
Felicity, Order of.—The authorities are Lenning, Thory and Clavel, and the former drew from a French brochure of 1746, which seems to have revealed the mysteries of this “androgyne coterie,” as Lenning aptly terms it. It is said to have been instituted at Paris in 1743 by a certain Chambonnet, about whom I have no particulars. It symbolised the life of a sailor in four Degrees: (1) Cabin-Boy; (2) Captain; (3) Commodore; (4) Vice-Admiral. The position of Admiral was that of the Grand Master, and it would seem that the later Order of Argonauts borrowed from this precursor. The Ritual is said to have abounded in nautical terms. It was not possible for women at that period to become Masons, and it was not possible or convenient for them to follow a maritime career; but in Adoptive Masonry they became Substitute Masons, and in this androgyne folly they played at seamanship—very much symbolised doubtless, but not perhaps spiritualised. They must have quarrelled too, either among themselves or with their Admiral and Founder, for some of the crew abandoned the Ship of Felicity, becoming an Order of Knights and Ladies of the Anchor. Seamanship henceforward was combined with chivalry, for logic and consistency have no place in inventions of this kind. It has been said that in the original Order gallantry exceeded bounds. Perhaps the reformation had an eye to the moral side: it took place very early in the story—namely, 1745. Presumably both follies speedily played out their farce.
Fidelity, Order of.—Under this title Charles, Margrave of Baden Durlach, instituted a society of nobles, on whom he conferred knighthood. He and his successors were hereditary Grand Masters. In 1748 an Adoptive Order of Knights and Ladies of Fidelity is said to have been established at Paris, and was subsequently taken into Germany. It was apparently without history, and its object—if any—has not transpired.
Good Samaritan.—It has been affirmed concerning the American Degree of Adoption which passes under this name (1) that it is impressive from a ceremonial standpoint and (2) that much importance is attributed to it by those who possess it. Whether it exists for any practical purposes, such as are implied by the title, does not appear in the memorials. It is conferred only on Royal Arch Masons and their wives, the reason of this limitation not transpiring. The fate of Lot’s wife and the parable of the Good Samaritan are not especially connected with Zerubbabel Prince of the People or the preparation of the ground for erecting the Second Temple; but part of the proceedings consists in reading these portions of Holy Writ.
Harmony, Order of.—The authority is the German Handbook, which introduces a personality bearing the name of Grossinger, and says that he founded an Order under this title in 1788, a certain Duchess of Newcastle acting as Grand Mistress. Where this took place the deponent omits to state, but if in Germany such a headship sounds mythical. Whether it adopted Masonic forms, and whether there were several Grades, are other points which remain open. The objects of the Order were, however, love and friendship.
Heroine of Jericho.—This is another Adoptive Grade restricted to the wives and daughters of Royal Arch Masons in the United States and it is first mentioned by Mackey. It is concerned with the scriptural story of Rahab, the woman of Jericho, and connects therefore with the Order of the Scarlet Cord. It dwells, however, more especially upon the covenant between Rahab and the spies of Israel, whom her cunning saved from destruction, that they should shew kindness in return to her father’s house. In like manner the Heroines of Jericho have a claim upon the Masonic companions of their husbands and fathers. The analogy is rather mixed and the Adoptive Grade, like the Scarlet Cord itself, is of no particular consequence. It can or could be conferred by any Royal Arch Mason on any person or persons qualified to receive it. The Companions of the Arch who hold it are termed Knights of Jericho, in consonance with a common anachronism, favoured by the makers of foolish Rituals. The story of Rahab occurs in Joshua ii. et seq. The Degree has been called honorary, meaning, presumably, that no fees are charged for reception.
Hope, Knights and Ladies of.—The story is not a little confused, but accounts may perhaps be adjusted by assuming that this androgynous Order had a mendacious history to strengthen its claims. According to this it was instituted by Louis XV of France, at the instance of the Marquis de Chatelet, somewhere about 1750. A Lodge of the Order is said to have been established at Hamburg in 1757, and attained a considerable membership.
Liberty, Order of.—The authority is Thory, who says that this French Androgyne Order was founded at Paris in 1740 or 1744 and—presumably on account of such a comparatively early date—is to be regarded as the precursor of Adoptive Masonry. There are two reasons for rejecting this suggestion: (1) We have seen that there are other claimants, and in view of the irredeemably uncritical state of Masonic records it is difficult to choose between them: (2) There is no evidence to shew that the Order of Liberty was Masonic in form or procedure, and as societies comprising both sexes are of time immemorial antiquity it is ridiculous to make an arbitrary choice of one in the eighteenth century and assign to it this arbitrary rank.
Maids and Dames of Truth.—We have seen that the Dames of Mount Tabor were begotten in Adoptive symbolism by the Lodge of Commanders of Mount Tabor in the year 1809. But another story tells us that they were founded by Michel-Ange Bernard de Mangourit, a Masonic litterateur who published a course of Masonic philosophy and established a literary association of freethinkers within the ranks of Masonry. However this may be, at a much earlier date—namely, 1776—he founded a Rite of Sublime Élus de la Verité, which was said to be for both sexes. But some one seems to have blundered.
Mopses, Order of.—It is not easy to get at the truth in respect of this foundation because several of the issues are confused, and the long account of Clavel suggests a flight of fancy, to which a colour is given otherwise by his general exaggerations and misjudgments. The alternatives are: (1) That it was a German Students’ Order of the Phi-Beta-Kappa kind, and suppressed as such in 1748, at Göttingen; (2) that it was a somewhat foolish society formed for the wives of Freemasons; (3) that on the contrary it arose in a serious manner for serious reasons, under the auspices of the Catholic Elector of Cologne, as a working substitute for Freemasonry, when the latter was condemned in 1738 by a Bull of Pope Clement VIII. The faculty of choice is therefore embarrassed sufficiently, but the difficulty is increased further when it is suggested that in reality there were two Orders of Mopses, being (1) that which appeared in 1738, under circumstances corresponding broadly to those already stated, but with or without an Elector; and (2) an androgynous society of 1776. Personally I do not believe in the Elector story or in the early date. So far as the mixed evidence goes it seems to have been a mock-Masonry admitting both sexes, and imposing a ridiculous test of merit. The German word Mops signifies a mastiff-pup or pug-dog, understood as a derisive sign of fidelity, being the fidelity which should subsist between brethren. The test was kissing the dog’s hindquarters, decency being studied so far that a china effigy was provided. However substituted, the offensive procedure offers the fullest evidence as to the pretensions of the so-called Order. I should add that the German Handbook is answerable for the myth regarding the Elector of Cologne, Thory assigning Vienna as the place of foundation, and again postulating a Roman Catholic interest on account of the Papal Bull.
Palladium, Order of the.—The sole interest attaching to this feeble comet of a moment is that its obscure memorial provided Leo Taxil with the bare groundwork of his great and entertaining invention concerning Luciferian Palladism, otherwise Palladian Freemasonry. The original institution has been referred to various dates and places: to Cambrai and the year 1637, with Fenelon as the author of its Rituals and Statutes, some fourteen years before the great archbishop was born; to Douai, in 1737 and finally—as also less improbably—to Paris and the year 1773. It had naturally its own lying legend, which deposed that it was brought by Pythagoras from Egypt into Greece. There are said to have been two Degrees, being (1) Adelph, or Brother, and (2) Companion of Ulysses, neither of course suggesting an androgynous Order. But we hear also of Companions of Penelope, representing the woman side of the association. The latest memorial concerning it mentions that “it was a very moral society,” so much so indeed that according to another witness “it was dissolved by the police in a very short time”—presumably for practical illustrations of its maxim: “I know how to love.”
Perseverance, Order of.—The authorities are Thory and Ragon, according to whom an Order of Knights and Dames was founded under this denomination at Paris about 1771, in the Court of Louis XV, by members of the Polish nobility. The pretension was that it was of great antiquity in Poland, where it flourished under royal sanction. I do not suppose that this is much more mythical than its connection with the entourage of the French king. The alleged purpose was service to humanity, sufficiently large and vague to cover a multitude of false seeming. Persons of distinction are said to have joined the ranks, Madame de Genlis included, but the venture came to little, and soon perished in obscurity. There is nothing to suggest any Masonic complexion which would rank it among Adoptive Rites or Grades, but at the time of its inauguration the difficulty would be to escape a surface colouration of this kind.
Philocoreites, Order of.—The Greek word being translated signifies Lovers of Pleasure, and those who bore it were respectively Knights and Ladies. If I add that it originated about 1808 in the French army, when it was quartered in Spain, enough has been probably said. The authority is Thory, in his History of the Foundation of the Grand Orient of France. It has been specified as (1) non-Masonic, and (2) an imitation of Adoptive Masonry, between the horns of which dilemma the subject may, I think, be left.
Pomme Verte,—being the Order of the Green Apple.—The authority is Thory, who says merely that this was an androgynous society started in Germany in 1780 and introduced subsequently into France. The truth is that nothing seems to be known about it, and presumably it came to nothing.
Progress, Order of Eternal.—The name will suggest beforehand that this was an American invention, and though it was founded at Philadelphia only in 1867 it figures no longer in tabulations of Secret Societies. I find but one account of its pretensions, and this does not mention any Masonic connections. Both sexes appear to have been admitted on equal terms and the Offices were shared between them. The places of assembly were called sanctuaries. It was a benefit society which included works of mercy in its programme, especially the visitation of the sick. It seems also to have promoted temperance. The organisation was in charge of certain Masters of Light, and the kind of progress lay within the measures of aid practised in common.
Rebecca, Degree of.—-The Independent Order of Oddfellows, as a beneficiary society, has every title to share in such advantages as can be held to accrue from the incorporation of Adoptive Grades; but it seems to have been in America only that the Degree of Rebecca has flourished. It was established in 1861, but I find no particulars concerning it, except that it was restricted to the wives of Oddfellows: one would have thought that their daughters would have been eligible, and possibly there is a mistake in the record on which I depend. I have been unable to trace its continuation to the present day.
Rose, Knights and Ladies of the.—There is an account at large in Clavel, which shews that this putative Adoptive Order had at least a picturesque ceremonial dedicated to the sentimental consideration of love symbolised, as this was understood in the Masonic world of France at the close of the eighteenth century. It would appear that the Order was quite innocent so far as its proceedings were concerned, but they were open to the charge of banality. The particular chivalry of the heart is said to have been started at Paris in 1781 by M. de Chaumont, described as the Masonic Secretary of the Duc de Chartres, afterwards Duc d’Orléans, otherwise Philippe Égalité, fifth Grand Master of French Freemasonry. The headquarters were at Paris, and the place of assembly was called a Temple of Love. Candidates of the male sex were admitted by a Hierophant, who conferred knighthood upon them, in compliance with the common anachronism. Women were received by a High Priestess, and she conferred the title of Nymph, or alternatively of Chevalière, which seems to have ranked as a synonym. The qualification in both cases was attainment of an age for love: the end was to reach happiness, presumably by love’s ministry. It is affirmed that confessions of “gallantry” were elicited from Candidates, but they were probably what is called platonic, or exercises in wilful fantasy. The Order flashed briefly and burnt itself out. It is reported that another Order of the Rose was established in the same year at Berlin by an adventurer named Van Grossing or Grossinger—about whom we have heard otherwise. It included two Degrees, being those of Female Friends and Confidants. The loss of its “secrets” by the revelations of F. Wadzeck in 1787 brought the proceedings to a close, if it had not fallen to pieces previously.
Sappho, The Society of.—I have met with but one reference to this institution, which was of Paris and not of Lesbos. It is termed semi-Masonic, whatever that may be held to mean. Women only were admitted. The period of foundation was circa 1774; it is said to have had Girondist connections and perished with that party. There is no means of knowing, but something in its name and savour suggest another and more secret history, as if it might have been an informal complement of the Petit Résurrection des Templiers.
Virtue, Order of.—The date of foundation is uncertain, but my information says that a branch of the Tugend Bund was established at Charlottenburg so late as 1813. Where the association originated is another question. It admitted both sexes and was political rather than Masonic, though everything of this kind seems to have had—in the forms of procedure—-a certain likeness to Masonry. It scarcely belongs to our subject.
Vessel, Order of the.—A ship is intended, and the name in question may be alternative to the Order of Felicity, or even that of the Argonauts. Otherwise there is nothing known of it.
The grand and universal symbols which are characteristic of Emblematic Freemasonry are the Pentalpha or Pentagram, the Hexangular Seal of Solomon—called otherwise Shield of David—the All-Seeing Eye, the Point within a Circle, the Cubic Stone, the Sun and Moon. The particular symbols, being those drawn from the Operative Art of Masonry, are the Rough and Perfect Ashlar, and of course the Working Tools. There is finally the Blazing Star.
Blazing Star.—There has been considerable and not unnatural confusion between the Blazing Star and Pentalpha, because the first is distinguished by five wavering rays and the second by five points. One result has been the attribution to the first of an antiquity and importance which belong properly to the second. The Blazing Star is a Masonic variant of the Pentagram, which—to all intents and purposes—was regarded as a star by the ancients. The voice of Masonry offers several explanations of the emblem adopted by the Order, circa 1735. It is (1) the Star of the Magi, (2) the Glory of Divine Presence, (3) Divine Providence, (4) a symbol of Beauty, (5) a Light from God directing in the Way of Truth, (6) the Sign of a True Mason, (7) an emblem of the Sacred Name of God, and thus of God Himself, (8) the Sun as the Grand Luminary of Nature, (9) the Dog-Star, or Star of Anubis, and in fine (10) it is Nature regarded as a volatile spirit animated by the Universal Spirit. The last explanation belongs to Hermetic Masonry. The letter G is placed in the centre of the emblem, and there is no doubt that it stood originally for God. Under the variant Gott, I believe that this explanation was adopted by the Brotherhood in Germany, As will be seen, it was not altogether intelligible to French Masonry, for which it came to signify Geometry, but more especially as illustrating that it is God Who measures all things. This change originating in a point of language—the French Name of God being Dieu—was no doubt justified further by the familiar Masonic description of the Divine Being as “the Grand Geometrician of the universe.” I should add that the wavering rays have been generally abandoned in modern figurations of the Blazing Star and that it appears now as a Pentagram.
The Pentalpha.—This great and antique symbol has been described variously as follows in Masonic handbooks: (1) As “a geometrical figure formed by five lines crossing each other, terminating in five points at equal distances from the centre, and equally distant one from the other all round the centre;” (2) as a triple triangle; (3) as a figure containing five double triangles, with five acute angles within and five obtuse angles without. While it answers to all these definitions, it will be found further that this figure of five points contains a pentagram within it, and many mysteries are ascribed thereto by Cornelius Agrippa. When Dr. Thomas Inman scoured the field of archaeology, seeking for a rational explanation of archaic symbolism, the Pentagram was the only type which he confessed himself unable to interpret. Eliphas Lévi—who took all occult science and philosophy as his province—affirms (1) that the Pentagram is the Sign of the Microcosm; (2) that it represents what the Kabalists of the Zohar term Microprosopus; (3) that its complete comprehension is the key of the two worlds; (4) that it is absolute natural philosophy and natural science; (5) that it expresses the mind’s domination over the elements; (6) that it is the Star of the Magi, the Blazing Star of the Gnostic Schools, the sign of intellectual omnipotence and autocracy. In another and higher academy than that of philosophia occulta, the Pentagram is a symbol of the Christhood, the Spirit of God ruling over the four parts of our natural personality. It is not therefore “intellectual omnipotence” but the ruling and over-ruling power of the Grace of God in the soul: now this is theocratic rule and therefore the antithesis of autocracy.
Hexagram.—The double triangle of Solomon is the Sign of the Macrocosmos, which is the great world: it has many meanings in the Lesser and Greater Mysteries. It is the Three who bear record in Heaven and the three who give testimony on earth; it is the sign of the Eternal Creator, the Grand Architect; it is that also of the triune man, perfect in the archetyped world as a prototypical image in the Divine Mind and reflected into manifestation here below as will, desire and mind. It signifies further the Hermetic doctrine of correspondences, popularised long afterwards by Swedenborg but a recurring doctrine of the Zohar. According to the philosophical Magus Eliphas Lévi, “the conception of the infinite and the absolute” is expressed by this sign, which he terms the Grand Pantacle: “that is to say, it is the most simple and complete abridgment of universal science.” Unfortunately the universal science cannot be communicated by a symbol, even if it be contained therein. In the opinion of Ragon the Hexagram was (1) the sign of generation, (2) of divine fruitfulness and (3) of creative potency, the reason being that (4) the number six was consecrated of old to Venus. Lévi says also that in alchemy the six-pointed star represented the intermingling of the three philosophical fires and the three philosophical waters which accomplished the procreation of all elementary substances. But in true alchemy there is only one fire, as there is one only water, and I do not know the Frenchman’s authority for this double triplicity. In the palmary sense of its symbolism the Hexagram—or Star and Seal of Solomon—is macrocosmic, while the Pentagram is the Sign of the Microcosm; but the greater and lesser worlds are not apart from one another: they form indeed together the Mysterium Magnum and are Magnalia Dei et Naturae.
Sun and Moon.—This spiritual consanguinity between symbols is illustrated also by the emblems of the Sun and Moon, which have a far deeper significance than appears on the surface of Masonry. The Sun in our monitorial handbooks typifies the call to labour, which is balanced by the complementary conception of repose, the two notions being united in the idea of refreshment. It represents also the progress of human life from infancy, through manhood, to old age, and the coming of the better day. Under the ethical dissolvent of Masonry the corresponding symbol of the Moon enforces the ordinary theological doctrine that “the highest saints of earth and heaven, and the most glorious angels, only reflect the light of the Sun of Righteousness.” It is said also to recall the importance of astronomical science, the lunar phases being “among the first celestial phenomena that engaged the interest of philosophic minds”—a lesson which is obvious enough, but it has no special application to Masonry. When we turn, however, to other schools of the Secret Tradition, we find that the Sun and Moon are lighted with spiritual meanings. They are symbols of God and His Shekinah, Pneuma and Psyche, the higher understanding and the logical mind. The solar emblem signifies also the light of God in the soul, while the Moon—which is in analogy with the feminine side of our nature, the soul-principle—denotes the love-aspect in Deity. There is no doubt that this is represented in Christian doctrine by the Holy Spirit, but this Spirit does not signify a feminine side of the Godhead in Trinitarian theology. In Kabalistic theosophy Shekinah is Divine womanhood, and it is said in a pregnant sentence that “God and His Shekinah are One.” The doctrinal position of this exalted concept is entirely distinct from any goddess whatsoever in the old pantheons—whether Isis, Urania or Pallas. Mediaeval occult philosophy recognised a solar and lunar principle in every natural compound, and it was held that this metaphysical Sun and Moon were joined in a solemn and sacramental union. In classical legends the Moon is sometimes represented as a receptacle and sometimes as the source of souls; and we have seen already that the initiates of Eleusis were called Regenerated Children of the Moon. So also in the Mysteries of Ceres the souls which were said to be born out of the grotto of initiation were regarded as regenerated from a door in the side of the Moon, or born in the Lunar Ship, which was one of the titles of the Moon, floating in the cerulean sea of heaven. But these allegories are referable to the physical luminary only in virtue of the material type as a shadow of the spiritual antitype. Their true attribution is to the complement of that Sun which Apuleius beheld shining at the dead of night with luminous splendour. Proclus calls it “the self-conspicuous image of fontal Nature,” and a gate opens here into the astronomy of the Mysteries, so that we understand in what deep sense the profound study of the starry heavens was regarded as a condition of advancement in mystical knowledge. In one of his inspired moments Eliphas Lévi said that “Heaven is a mirror of the human soul, and when we think that we are reading in the stars it is in ourselves we read.” But beyond the gate which I have mentioned lies that which, according to the mystics, is itinerarium mentis in Deum—the journey of the mind in God.
Point and Circle.—We have to set aside in the first place whatever has been said on the subject of this symbol in Masonic Monitors and handbooks. For the rank and file of Blue Masonry it may continue—so long as Blue Masonry pleases—to typify the “individual brother” by means of the point and the limits of his duty to God and man by means of the circumference. They may tamper with the great antique emblem by adding “two perpendicular parallel lines” and illustrate the bankruptcy of such exegesis by saying that they represent the patron saints of our Order, St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist. It is not so that I have been taught, as a disciple of the Greater Mysteries and as a citizen of the Eternal Kingdom of Symbolism. “A point is that which has no parts and which has no magnitude.” In the metaphysical Doctrine of the Absolute this geometrical postulate is the only possible representative type of the Ineffable God, or That Which remains over when the anthropomorphic vestures of Deity have been successively taken off. In other words, it is the God of Mystical Theology, of “Dionysius the Areopagite” and his commentator John the Scot. The point without parts or magnitude is the Metaphysical Sign of the Infinite; because Metaphysical Infinity does not connote extension; of the Eternal, because Eternity is not time continued henceforward for ever; in a word, of the Unconditioned, which is in such a transcension as regards conditional existence that it can be described as in antithesis thereto only by virtue of a verbal subtlety: it is outside the pairs of opposites. The relation between this point and that circle of which it is the centre is the sacramentalism of God in definition, the limits placed upon the Ineffable for the purpose of realisation within the measures of our logical understanding. The Point within a Circle has of course other aspects of meaning, which stand at their respective values, for some of them exclude others. It is the Divine Spirit indwelling creation and abiding in the nature of man; it is the Christhood centred in the Church; it is the Secret Church within that which is official; it is the Real Presence in the Eucharist.
Other Masonic Symbols.—It is to be understood that these are many, for the Pillars J and B are symbols, as are also those which typify Wisdom, Strength and Beauty, being reflected directly from the free of Life in Kabalism. There is a Cubical Altar in Masonry, which represents here below the Altar of Incense that is above, whereon Michael the great angel sacrifices the souls of the just, and they ascend as an eternal fragrance to the Lord God in the Highest. The Tracing-Boards are of course symbolical, and so is the chequered carpet on which all Masons tread. The working-tools—which are many, because the Degrees are many—and accessories of this kind, taken over from the Operative Art, are essential symbols of the Art which is called emblematic, and their meanings are ever with us, though the eye is not satisfied with seeing them, nor the ear filled with hearing their expounded moralities. The Keystone in Grades outside the Craft is a great and speaking symbol, for we know Who is head of the corner in the great experience which is called the Christian Mystery. There are also the Christian Grades and the gracious types and sacraments attached thereto—the Cross of Glory, typifying the manifestation of Deity within the measures of space and time; the Monogram of Constantine; the letters I ∴ N ∴ R ∴ I ∴ and that which lies behind the formal intimations of their expounded meaning; the sacramental observances as luminous shadows reflected here below from a World of Grace not realised.
Human Aspects.—To return within the measures of the Craft, there is scarcely one emblem in Masonic typology which in one or other of its aspects is not indicative of some state or mode of man. I have shewn elsewhere in these volumes that the schema radicalis of allegorical architecture in the First Craft Degree is concerned with the building up of humanity. This is illustrated by the Rough and Perfect Ashlar, representing the Candidate before initiation and the same personality when it has reached the Master-Grade. But this is on the elementary or formal side, and behind it stands the conception of man unregenerate and man who is born anew, the natural and Christ states. Again there is Jacob’s Ladder, so familiar in pictorial Masonry, resting on the Book of Divine Law and reaching into open heaven; but with this I have dealt already. Thomas Vaughan says in his pregnant manner that without this there is no ascent or descent, either influential or personal, meaning that it is the way by which grace comes down and the man of grace goes up. It is the channel of communication, the soul’s ladder and the scala coeli. Everywhere therefore in Masonic symbolism we may find—if we care to ask—the intimations of “a disguised humanity,” for—-in the language of alchemy—“there is but one vessel and but one matter,” as there is but one “proper study,” and one only subject which has ever deserved to engross the minds of true men. It is therefore the positive and real subject; and under all outward preoccupations, beneath all external phenomena, the positive is to be found within. An old Rosicrucian fragment asks in this connection: “Why seek ye further, anxious mortals, when in you and not without you is all that you seek outside you, instead of within you?” Hereof is the consideration in chief which arises on a brief survey of Masonic symbols.
In one of his discourses Mr. W. J. Hughan proposed a misleading distinction between Grades and Degrees when he affirmed that prior to 1717 and the foundation of the first Grand Lodge there were three Grades in Masonry but not three Degrees, understood as possessing particular ceremonies and official secrets attached to each. It is not open to question that the words thus contrasted are used synonymously by Masons. Even if they tend occasionally to speak on the one hand of High Grades and on the other of Craft Degrees it is not by way of contrast. Moreover, the Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite is formed from its Thirty-Third Degree, while the other elements of its system are termed Degrees throughout. Finally, the culminating Craft Degree is called more often than not the Master-Grade. That which we meet with in Operative Masonry prior to 1717 is three ranks, otherwise kinds of status, being those of Apprentices, Fellows and Masters; and Mr. Hughan points out rightly that, according to the Laws of the Fraternity, the admission of Masters and Fellows took place in the presence of Apprentices. It follows that any ceremonial procedure and any official secrets were common to the whole Guild. We know only concerning them that Apprentices were pledged and that—in Scotland at least—there was communicated a Masons’ Word. According to Robert Kirk, it was connected in some manner with the Pillars J ∴ and B ∴ but he spoke only from report, and after two centuries of speculation and research on Masonry, and on its archaic history, the fact remains that we do not know the Word. There is very little reason to suppose that any of our current sacramental communications bear any relation thereto. It is significant on the one hand to think that it has been kept so well, and we may rest assured on the other that its discovery at the present day would be more curious than important, for in the old magical sense of the expression there are no words of power.
Master of All Symbolic Lodges
The historical position of this Grade is exceedingly difficult to disentangle, and as no symbolical importance attaches to it—notwithstanding the claim of its title—I shall only proceed to enumerate certain points of fact: (1) The so-called York Rite has a degree denominated Past Master, which has nothing to do with the Ceremony of Installation in the Chair, as practised in all Lodges since 1813. (2) A French Grade, called Master ad Vitam, is mentioned by several writers, and has been identified with (3) Grand Maître Vénérable, which has been identified in turn with (4) the Twentieth Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Rite, being Grand Master of Symbolic Lodges. Of this there are several forms, having signal differences one from another, as, e.g., that of the Supreme Council of the Southern Jurisdiction reconstructed by Albert Pike, and that of the Rite in England. We are concerned here with the Tenth Degree of the Early Grand Scottish Rite, but the title appears to be a matter of modern confusion, as its original and proper name is The Chair, while the unconvincing jurisdiction in question identifies it with Past Master. In accordance with the symbolism, it is conferred in a Lodge of Fellow Craft Mark Men, which is opened for that purpose in full, the Candidate being present. A supposititious Minute is then read, which affirms that the Meeting is called for election of Officers, as a result of which business the Candidate is nominated as Master. Certain Charges and Regulations are read, after which the Candidate is caused to retire. He returns when the Lodge has been Opened in the Tenth Degree, and is pledged to keep the secrets of a Past Master. He is installed in the Chair, which the Master vacates for that purpose, and is subsequently raised out of it when he has heard the Lecture of the Grade. The Closing follows immediately. As regards the Lecture, it will be sufficient to say that it is a confused version of the traditional history communicated at the Installation of a Master in the Mark Degree.
Mark Connection.—The only noteworthy fact in connection with the Grade of Master of all Symbolic Lodges is that of its arising immediately out of the Fellow Craft Mark, thus tacitly recognising that the so-called Marked Master of the Early Grand Rite is interpolated in the Mark series apart from warrant.
Master of the Blue
It is said that in certain continental High Grades the ordinary Master Mason was designated Maître Bleu. This is likely enough and does not signify anything, being a mere reference to the apron which is worn in the Third Degree; but I am unable to check the statement—for want of references, as usual. The Early Grand Scottish Rite has a Ninth Degree which is called Master of the Blue, interchangeable with Knights of the Blue and Knights of Solomon. The first title may be reminiscent of the French custom. Even for a side-Degree, it is a trifle light as air and is honoured by the contempt that it stimulates. There is no procedure, for the pledge itself is a shadow in four lines, while as to the “Masonic Legend” it informs us that the Queen of Sheba once intertwined natural and artificial lilies, bidding King Solomon distinguish which was which. One would have thought that he who sang the lilium convallium would not have been deceived easily. But she “who came from the uttermost parts of the earth” to test the king’s discretion was “well skilled in making artificial flowers,” and the wisest of men “was at a loss till he caused a swarm of bees to issue from a hive, when they settled on the natural wreath.” Of such is some “further advancement” in Masonry, according to the Early Grand Rite, and after this manner one becomes a Master of the Blue—why after such manner being the only problem of the Grade. The original author of this Masonic Legend deserves to be in the stocks with Hudibras, ad perpetuam rei memoriam.
Mayas and Quiches
It is, I suppose, undeniable by the most thankless of his countrymen that Augustus Le Plongeon and his heroic wife accomplished epoch-making work among the ruined cities, temples and palaces of Mayax and Yucatan. That they found a reward therein and else nowhere in the deserts of archaeological concern appears fully in their history, even when allowance has been made for the intervention of the Smithsonian Institute at a late day, recognising some part of the explorer’s claims and assisting further research. It follows that a change has come over the face of things and that a section of antiquarian scholarship is looking at the present day towards the western world for light upon Egypt, while Le Plongeon’s thesis that Mexico, Peru and the vast contiguous regions were or might prove to be the cradle of civilisation is not utterly distraught—as it seemed when first formulated—however far from established. The zealous and patient adventurer would have done better could he have refrained from fixing such a sheaf of revolutionary propositions upon the gates of scholarship, “as a challenge to all the field.” His Sacred Mysteries among the Mayas and Quiches is an illustration in point of perilous speculations set forth in those terms of certitude which are almost always and inevitably the seal of a partial learning. About his work among the ruins there is no question: they mark an epoch in our knowledge of that which lies far from the common ken of the explorer in the forests of Central America and Yucatan. But it needs no expert to realise how arbitrary is his reading of symbols on the ruined monuments. A triangle is held to represent the “three great continents” of North and South America and of the island called Atlantis. A key to the origin of tree-worship is discovered in the fact that the Maya empire was represented emblematically by a tree, “planted in the continent known to-day as South America,” while it gives also a “natural explanation” of the Tree of Life in Eden. It is things like these which cast an unfavourable shadow upon real discoveries and the values of a lifelong research, so that one who is unversed like myself in Mexican antiquities can only suspend judgment when Le Plongeon affirms that he has found “the ancient Maya hieratic alphabet” and that it is as nearly like the hieratic alphabet of the Egyptians as it can be in the nature of things. If it is possible to decode the inscriptions which still “await decipherment” by means of this discovery, and so “illumine the past records of the race,” then—caeteris paribus—it will rank with the Rosetta stone.
Of Instituted Mysteries.—As understood by Le Plongeon the Mysteries among Mayas and Quiches must be taken in the dual sense of those which were published to the people at large and those which were communicated to a chosen few, being presumably candidates for the priesthood. I am concerned only with the latter, and with these only because of an alleged Masonic connection, the value of which will be determined in due course. In respect, however, of the Mayas it seems to be admitted that their secret teachings were most probably never committed to writing and that we know little even of their “religious tenets,” beyond the importance which they attached to uneven numbers. On the other hand, there is a Sacred Book of the Quiches, entitled the Popol-Vuh—available to most people in the French language—which contains the Rites of Initiation of that people, who were a branch of the Maya nation in the mountains of Guatemala, and it seems probable—as Le Plongeon suggests—that Maya secret ceremonials, if indeed any, may have been analogous in character.
The Popol-Vuh.—I do not pretend to regard the Popol-Vuh exactly as my present authority regards it, but I will take his account of the Quichua Mysteries and extract such heads of procedure as will be sufficient for my purpose, (1) The Candidate for initiation was made to cross two rivers, respectively of slime and blood, the adventure being full of dangers. (2) This task accomplished, he arrived at four roads—white; red, green and black—which led to a House of Council and into the presence of twelve veiled priests, as also of a wooden statue vested in their manner. (3) This statue was indicated as he was directed to salute the King, but it was only to test his discernment. (4) He had then to salute the veiled priests individually, by name and title, without prompting. (5) A certain seat was offered him, but had he forgotten their dignity and sought to rest thereon he would have found that it was of burning stone. (6) Having prevailed over this temptation, he was relegated for the night to a certain Dark House, where he was provided with a lighted torch and a cigar, also alight. (7) His duty was to see that neither went out and that both were to be returned unconsumed on demand the following morning. (8) The alternative was chastisement and even death. (9) The next experience took place in a House of Spears, where each candidate had to withstand the attack of a skilful spearman—as it is said—through the whole night, as well as to produce “certain rare flowers,” neither obtaining them surreptitiously from without nor bringing them about his person, (10) These difficulties surmounted, there followed the Ice-House trial, in which he endured for yet another night the danger of freezing to death, (11) The fifth ordeal—also a night’s length—took place in the Tiger-House, encompassed by wild tigers and liable to be torn in pieces. (12) This gave admission to a night in the House of Fire, described as a burning furnace, from which the Candidate must issue unscorched (13) It led to the seventh and last labour of initiation, in the House of the Bats, full of death-dealing weapons, where the god of the bats, coming from on high, appeared and beheaded the Candidate, “if off his guard.”
Illusory Magic.—Such is Le Plongeon’s recital, but of that which awaited the Candidate, supposing that he issued triumphant from all the abodes of horror it happens that we hear nothing and nothing of the “Sacred Mysteries” to which they led by the hypothesis. It will be seen that the experience of the torch, cigar and the rare flowers connotes apparently the idea of magic, as if he had attained already a certain grade of facility therein, in which case the other ordeals might not be beyond his skill. It is more probable, however, if we take the account literally, at the value of its own pretensions, that the whole ordeal was an advanced trial of native skill, of trickery matched against trickery and of personal endurance raised to a superlative grade. Those who triumphed therein were fit for the inner circle, which ruled the people by its arts of illusory magic. I should add that in addition to the Popol-Vuh there is the Troano MS., which has been published by the Smithsonian Institute. It is not however concerned with the Mysteries, being “an ancient treatise of geology,” one of “the four known books which escaped destruction at the hands of Bishop Landa” and other fanatical monks who accompanied the Spanish invaders. It is held to describe the cataclysm in which Atlantis disappeared, the mysterious island of Plato being represented in the hieroglyphs by the figure of a black man with red lips.
Masonic Analogies.—Le Plongeon’s commentary on the Mysteries unfolded in the Popol-Vuh proposes that they are “an exact counterpart of what happened in a milder form at the initiation into the Eleusinian Mysteries.” They are of course nothing of the sort and the sole analogy consists in the obvious fact that all initiations involve and connote some kind of ordeal as a test of merit and fitness: its figurative shadow remains in the Rites of Masonry, practically without exception. There is something to do and to suffer, something to seek and find, something to have and to hold: initiation is a reward of endeavour, and one of its mottoes might well be: No cross, no crown. The ordeal of the Popol-Vuh is an extravagant and impossible folly: there is about as much and as little ground for taking its record literally as there would be for regarding the visions in the Book of Enoch in the sense of an historical narrative. Amidst a cloud of errors and fatuities, it happens fortunately that Le Plongeon does not compare it with Masonic ceremonial procedure, yet his thesis is that the so-called Sacred Mysteries of Mayas and Quiches are an illustration of Freemasonry “in times anterior to the Temple of Solomon.” Here is my sole reason for commemorating his archaeological explorations and the speculations by which he has unfortunately confused his issues. The illustrations in question are confined to points of symbolism, (1) The Lodge is an oblong square which represents the universe, and the Mayas selected the same geometrical figure to symbolise the earth. (2) The broken statue of a priest found at Uxmal in Yucatan shews something like an apron worn over the dress and having in its midst a large hand with the palm turned inward and the fingers straight: it is said that the Masonic Fraternity will recognise this symbol, but there is no such apron in Masonry and the hand is making no sign. (3) The numbers 3, 5 and 7 were important among the Mayas as they are in the Masonic Brotherhood, but except in a few of the more obscure High Grades there is no numerical mysticism in Masonry, though numbers of course occur. It is after such a lean manner, and so only, that Le Plongeon endeavours to shew us that Freemasonry dates “from a period far more remote than the most sanguine students of its history ever imagined.”
Conclusion.—The truth is that he knew this side of his subject at second hand only, not being himself a Mason, and his preliminary account of the Craft swarms with blunders. We hear (1) of Stuart partisans creating the Grade of Grand Master, which does not exist in Masonry; but the reference intended is to the Third Degree; (2) of the Chevalier Ramsay tracing the origin of Masonry to the Knights Templar, whom he never mentioned; (3) of Templars taking refuge in Portugal, assuming the title of Knights of Christ and keeping the Order alive “in defiance of the Pope’s thunderbolts;” but the Order of Christ was instituted by the King of Portugal to replace the Temple, and there were no pontifical anathemas. After this manner the reverie of Le Plongeon melts in our hands and passes into thin air.
Minor Masonic Literati
The title of this section sufficiently explains itself. I have sought to make it reasonably complete: exhaustive it could not be, for this would demand a volume. No living persons are included, as any principle of selection, however necessary, might appear invidious. Had I trusted to my own guidance I should have omitted some names, but in a work of reference it is very difficult to make distinctions, since circumstances rise up continually and lend to that which has been long in obscurity an adventitious but sometimes real importance.
Abafi, Ludwig.—In 1890 this Hungarian writer issued at Budapest Geschichte der Freimaurerei in Oesterreich und Ungarn, in which he maintains (1) that certain religious Communities and Brotherhoods of the Middle Ages are of historical importance for the formative period of Freemasonry; (2) that among these must be included the Waldenses, established at Lyons by Peter Waldo in 1170; (3) that the Emperor Rudolph I authorised an Order of Masons in 1275; (4) that Pope Nicholas III granted an Indulgence to the Stonemasons of Strasburg in 1278; (5) that this was renewed by his successors, including Benedict XII, anno 1340; (6) that Masonic Orders and Lodges rose up one after another, from 1397 to 1500, at Vienna, Strasburg and Torgan, and—subsequently to the last date—at Spires, Regensburg, Saxon-Altenburg and the Tyrol. We hear also concerning Brothers of the Circle and Hammer, the Brotherhood of the Hatchet and Friends or Brothers of the Cross. The Sect of Peter Waldo must be set aside as nihil ad rem nostrum, being an old fable for which no evidence has been produced; it does not appear that the organisations last mentioned were either operative or speculative builders; while the events mentioned under specific dates belong to guild-life, having no part as such in moralities, allegories or symbols.
Abele, Heinrich Casper.—A German writer on Secret Societies in the early eighteenth century.
Abraham, Antoine Firmin.—Author of Le Miroir de la Vérite, a serial publication, L’Art du Tuileur, Réglemens Géneraux de la Maçonnerie Écossaise and other works. He was repudiated by the Supreme Council of France for trafficking in spurious Degrees and Certificates.
Abrahamson, Werner H. F.—A member of the Strict Observance and author of some occasional Discourses on Masonic subjects. Nat. 1744, ob. 1812.
Adams, John Quincey.—President of the United States, 1825-29, and author of some hostile Letters on the Masonic Institution.
Albrecht, Heinrich Christoph.—Author of Collections towards a Critical History of Freemasonry, Part I only appearing; Notices of Freemasons in the First Half of the Sixteenth Century; and a Secret History of the Rosicrucians. born at Hamburg, 1763, ob. 1800.
Ancker, P. K.—A Danish writer on the Guild System in 1780.
André, C. K.—Editor of a German work which—under the title of The Freemason—embodies much information on Secret Societies. Lived chiefly in Austria. Nat. 1763, ob. 1831.
Anton, Carl Gottlob von.—Author of two works on the Order of Knights Templar, an essay on the Culdees and some addresses for Adoptive Masonry. Nat. 1751, ob. 1818.
Arnold, J. F.—Author of a work on the Asiatic Brethren and their headship, published at Hamburg in 1811.
Asher, Carl Wilhelm.—A Mason of Hamburg, who translated the Regius MS. into German.
Atwood, Henry C.—An active Mason, famous and otherwise in New York as an untiring exponent of the system of working introduced by Jeremy L. Cross, and as Grand Master of a schismatic St. John’s Grand Lodge of that city. Author of a Masonic Monitor. Nat. circa 1800, ob. 1860.
Avemaun, E. F. von.—Author of an essay on the influence exercised by Freemasonry upon Humanity at large—circa 1783.
Azais, R. H.—Author of an essay on the origin, history and end of Freemasonry, published at Paris in 1835.
Baden Haupt, E. F.—Editor of a Catalogue of Books in the Library of the Grand Mother Lodge Die Weltkugeln at Berlin, 1778.
Bailleul, Antoine.—Author of several Masonic Addresses delivered as Master of his Lodge at Paris, and printed subsequently: also the translator of the German Krata Repoa, 1831.
Barbequière, J. B.—A writer on Magnetic or Mesmeric Masonry, Amsterdam, 1784.
Barbet, L. B.—Author of a series of letters entitled True Freemasons, Paris, 1802.
Barguret, A.—Author of a Discourse on the Civil and Religious History of the Order of the Temple, Paris, 1833.
Bassac, Herbert de.—Author of a Discourse on the Origin, Advantages and Excellence of Secret Societies, Bordeaux, 1806.
Baumann, H. K.—Author of Freemasonry, the Direct Way to Happiness, Berlin, 1769.
Bazot, Etienne François.—Author of a Vocabulary of Freemasons, Paris, 1810; Manual of the Freemason, 1811; Ethic of Freemasonry; and Expert Tyler of the Thirty-Three Degrees. Born, 1782, but date of death uncertain.
Beck, Ch. Adam.—Das Unvergangliche in dem Wusen Eines Freimaurers, appeared under this name at Frankfort in 1745.
Beck, Friedrich.—Published in 1834 a History of the German Stonemasons.
Becker, N. L.—The author of Grundsätze, Verfassung, und Schicksale des Illuminaten Ordens in Baiern, published at Gotha in 1786.
Becker, Rudolph Zacharias.—A German Mason of Gotha and author of a Historical Study of the Bavarian Illuminati, 1786. Nat. 1752, ob. 1822.
Bernard, David.—An expelled Mason who published by way of reprisals a work entitled Light on Masonry, London, 1829. It has been termed libellous and worthless.
Bernigeroth, J. M.—Author of the Customs of Freemasons at their Meetings, Leipsic, 1745. Nat. 1713, ob. 1767.
Bertolio, Abbé R. C.—Published in 1777 a pamphlet on The Society of Freemasons considered as serviceable to Humanity, Manners and Governments. Ob. 1812.
Besuchet, J. C.—The author of an Historical Summary concerning the Order of Freemasons, 2 vols., Paris, 1829.
Beyerle, Francois Louis de.—An active French member of the Strict Observance, who wrote a Latin attack on the findings of the Congress of Wilhelmsbad and a considerable Essay on Masonry, which was designed to exhibit its essential and fundamental end. Was on the Council of the Rite of Philalethes and is said to have conducted the correspondence between the Loge des Amis Réunis and the Egyptian Lodge of Cagliostro.
Bidermann.—By supposition and not improbably an assumed name, under which there appeared in Germany a hostile work on the Illuminati, called Last Doings of Spartacus and Philo, 1788.
Bielfeld, Baron J. F. von.—It was owing to his influence that Frederick the Great became a Freemason, and he published an account of the royal initiation in certain Familiar Letters. Was a founder of the Three Globes and later one of its Grand Masters. Nat. 1717, ob. 1770.
Birkhead, Matthew.—The author of The Entered Apprentice’s Song, by profession a singer and actor at Drury Lane. Ob. 1723.
Blumauer, Aloys.—A German writer on Masonry in prose and verse. Nat. 1735, ob. 1798.
Blumenhagen, P. G.—A native of Hanover and a writer on Masonry in verse and prose. Nat. 1781, ob. 1839.
Bochel, E. G. A.—A learned theologian and contributor to the German Archives of Freemasonry. Was Provincial Grand Master of Lower Saxony.
Bode, Johann J. C.—A prominent member of the Strict Observance and afterwards of the Illuminati. Was an exponent of the Jesuit origin of Freemasonry as an instrument to bring about the reconciliation of England to the Latin Church. Nat. 1730, ob. 1793.
Bohemann, Karl A.—Of Swedish birth and an earnest member of the Order of Asiatic Brethren, which he attempted to establish in Sweden; but his Masonry was combined with politics of a revolutionary kind and this led to his expulsion. He has been called an impostor and accused of combining the occult sciences with Masonry, which is probably the root of the charge. He published a justification of his conduct in 1815 at Pyrmont. Nat. 1770.
Boileau.—A High Grade Mason of Paris and author of a Memoir on Freemasonry which appeared in the collection entitled Annales Maçonniques. According to Thory, he referred therein to several mythical Masonic works in the English language. Ob. 1801.
Bouilly.—A French literary man and officer of the Grand Orient. His work entitled Mes Récapitulations has been regarded as of Masonic interest. Nat. 1763, ob. 1842.
Bretschneider, C. G.—Was made a Mason at Altenburg and was the first hostile critic of the spurious Charter of Cologne, his strictures appearing in Annales Vitae Philippi Melancthonis. Nat. 1776, ob. 1848.
Burns, Robert.—Initiated at Tarbolton in 1781, became Depute Master at Mauchline. born 1759, ob. 1796. Perhaps it must be said that his Masonic verses shine in the immortal light of his other poems.
Caignart de Mailly.—A Paris Mason, author of an Inquiry into the origin of several Masonic Rites. Beginning of the nineteenth century.
Calcott, Wellins.—-Well known in the past by his Candid Disquisition on the Principles and Practices of Freemasonry, 1769.
Carlile, Richard.—Author of a Manual of Freemasonry, which has circulated for several generations in great numbers at a small price. Admittedly derives its knowledge at second-hand, as it parades the fact that the compiler was not a Mason. Contains traces of old workings amidst many inevitable errors. Carlile was a reformer and freethinker of his period, but his religious opinions are said to have changed towards the end of his life. Nat. 1790, ob. 1843.
Chappron, E. J.—Les Secrets da la Maçonnerie Dévoilés, which appeared under this name at Paris in 1814, is to be distinguished from catchpenny and other bogus revelations. A work called Nécessaire Maçonnique is connected editorially with the same person, and this has been mentioned already in connection with Adoptive Masonry. Particulars of Chappron seem wanting, but he was evidently an initiated Brother.
Chaufpié.—Thory in his Acta Latomorum refers frequently to a Dictionnaire de Chaufpié as to a work of some authority, but I have failed to trace it in England.
Chaussieu, Hector.—L’Athénée des Francmaçons was issued at Paris in 1808 under this name, in collaboration with that of Cuvelier.
Chereau, A. G.—The authority is Kloss, who specifies the following pamphlets: (1) Explication de la Pierre Cubique and (2) Explication de la Croix Philosophique, both published under this name at Paris in 1806. They appear to have been used freely by later writers without acknowledgment. It was a manner of the period on the Continent and also in England, as the case of Ashe witnesses.
Clavel, J. F.—There is little question that this French Abbé and prolific Masonic writer will be always in remembrance, if not exactly in repute, for at least one of his publications, the titles of which are as follows: (1) Discours sur la Mort de S ∴ M ∴ Louis XVIII, etc., 1824. (2) Les Meneurs du Grand Orient jugés d’après leurs oeuvres, in Annales des Pays Bas, Vol. VI, 1830. (3) Revue Historique, Scientifique et Morale de la Franche Maçonnerie, 1830, etc. (4) Histoire Pittoresque de la Franche Maçonnerie, 1843. (5) Almanack Pittoresque Universel de la Franche Maçonnerie, 1844. (6) Le Grand Orient, afterwards L’Orient, 1844. He had a feud of long standing with the Grand Orient, which fined and suspended him for producing L’Histoire Pittoresque, while the work which adopted the name of that ruling body without licence ledto his permanent expulsion. All items enumerated appeared at Paris and all are long since forgotten, the Picturesque History excepted, which corresponds to its title and is not only exceedingly readable but illustrated with striking designs.
Cooke, Matthew.—The first editor of Additional MS. 23, 198, in the British Museum. Introduced and published by him in 1861, it is still known generally as Cooke’s MS.
Cossmann, C. F. N.—A German Mason who published a Masonic Note-Book at Berlin in 1802 and an Almanack for Freemasons in 1805.
Court de Gebelin.—The date of his birth is unknown, but there is a record of his death in 1784. Though he wrote nothing on Freemasonry, he demands mention as the author of Le Monde Primitif, which had a great vogue in its day, and for his connection with the historical Rite of the Philalethes, of which he was an active member and founder.
Defournelle, P.—Nat. 1690, ob. 1809, but these dates are doubtful. A Mason and an honorary member of the French Grand Orient. He wrote La Nature Dévoilée, 1762, and some Masonic pamphlets, to one of which is prefixed his portrait at the age of one hundred and nineteen.
Delalande, C. F. J.—Author of a Défense et Apologie de la Franche-Maçonnerie, Paris, 1814, and said by Thory to have founded the archives of the Philosophical Rite at Douai.
De Lalande, J. J.—Nat. 1732, ob. 1807. The great French astronomer and a founder of the Grand Orient. He was also the author of a Mémoire sur l’Histoire de la Franche-Maçonnerie.
De l’Aulnaye, F. H. S.—The author of (1) Mémoire sur la Franche-Maçonnerie, 1806; Récapitulation de toute la Maçonnerie, 1812; and (3) Tuileur des 33 Degrés de l’Écossisme, 1813, still a work of value.
Dibdin, Charles.—I suppose that the author of Tom Bowling has earned a kind of immortality. He was also a Freemason, as his pantomime called Harlequin Freemason indicates. It included a procession of “the principal Grand Masters” from the days of Enoch and Nimrod. It might have been arranged by Anderson. One of the songs expounded the Mason’s Creed, which is rather bad verse, even for Dibdin. Nat. 1745, ob. 1814.
Drake, Francis.—Historian, antiquarian and member of the Royal Society. He was also a York Mason and the author of an Oration, first published in 1726, in which he affirmed that the Grand Master of York was Grand Master of all England.
Dubreuil, J. B.—His Histoire des Francs-Maçons appeared at Brussels in 1818.
Durieux, Lacroix.—Author of Le Petit Répertoire Maçonnique, 1829.
Ecker und Eckhoffen, H. H. Count.—He has been mentioned in connection with the Asiatic Brotherhood and appears to have issued the Authentic News concerning it in 1788. He is also supposed to have written The Rosicrucian Unveiled, in 1781, under the pseudonym of Magister Pianeo, but is said to have denied the authorship.
Ehrhart, S. J.—The first historical work on Freemasonry is said to have appeared at Coburg under this name in 1754. I question whether any one has seen it since the days of Kloss.
Enoch, Brother.—A** Mason of Liège who published in that city (1) The True Freemason, 1773, and (2) Masonic Letters, a supplement thereto belonging to that year. About the same period and in the same place we hear of a Rite of Enoch in four Degrees, being (1) Apprentice, (2) Companion, (3) Master, and (4) Architect, in which Brethren were taught (1) Friendship and Benevolence, (2) Loyalty to the King, (3) Submission to the Supreme Being, (4) Progress in all the Virtues.
Entick, John.—Nat. circa 1703, ob. 1773. The editor of the third Book of Constitutions, 1756. Some of his Masonic Sermons also appeared in print.
Fallou, F. A.—A Mason of Altenburgh and an early German exponent of the descent of Speculative Masonry from the Operative Guilds. His Mysteries of Freemasonry was first published in 1848.
Fichte, J. G.—This great exponent of philosophy on the side of God in Germany deserves mention in a work of the present kind. Though he wrote nothing on Freemasonry, it is one of our titles of honour that the transcendental idealist was an active member of the Order and connected with the Royal York of Berlin. Nat. 1762, ob. 1814.
Fischer, R.—Nat. 1801, ob. 1855. Archdeacon of St. Nicholas, Leipsic, and a member of the Lodge Apollo in that city. He was connected more especially with the Masonic periodical press, as editor of Zeitschrift für Freimaurerei and Freimaurer Zeitung.
Florian, Chevalier de.—The Fables of Florian shine, pleasant and beautiful, among the lesser glories of French literature. He was a member of the historical Lodge of the Nine Sisters. Nat. 1735, ob. i?94-
Folger, R. B.—He was made a Mason in 1825 at New York and published in 1826 his Full and Complete History of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite.
Foraisse, M.—The author of a considerable excursus on the Knights Templar and their doctrine, published by Thory in the second volume of Acta Latomorum.
Fort, George F.—Author of The Early History and Antiquities of Freemasonry, published at Philadelphia, U.S.A., in 1875. The following passage, taken from page 363, may be commended to the consideration of many at the present time, when the Building Guilds are as much in vogue among Masonic authorities as the Vegetation Gods are among folk-lore scholars. “It has been argued with much force and apparent truth that the building art was, in times of remotest antiquity, regarded as sacred, and existed under special concession and care of the native priesthood where it was practised, but this allegation cannot be accepted without qualification.” The Comacines, in Mr. Fort’s opinion, derived their knowledge from Byzantium, and it passed through this channel to the Germanic Guilds.
French, Benjamin Brown.—Nat. 1800, in New Hampshire, ob. 1870. An authority on Masonic jurisprudence, though his works remain in manuscript, a Grand Master of Washington and also of the Knights Templar in the United States. In the Scottish Rite he became Lieut. Grand Commander of the Southern Jurisdiction.
Friedrich, Gerhard.—Nat. 1779, at Frankfort-on-the-Maine, ob. 1862. A zealous Mason, praised highly by the German Handbook, and the author of many pamphlets, the interest of which has passed away.
Gadicke, Christian.—He compiled the first German Lexicon of Freemasonry, originally published at Berlin in 1818. He was a bookseller by business.
Gochhausen, E. A. A. von.—Nat. 1740, ob. 1824. He became a Mason at Hake and published Freimaurerische Wanderungen, in 1787.
Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von.—Nat. 1749, ob. 1832. The author of Faust was made a Mason in the Amalia Lodge at Weimar on June 23, 1780, was passed on June 23, 1781, and became a Master Mason on March 2, 1782. His Masonic Jubilee was celebrated by the Masons of Weimar on June 23, 1830, being the eve of St. John’s Day in summer. The literate reader will remember some of his Masonic poems and his allusions to the Order in Wilhelm Meister.
Goué, A. S. G. von.—Nat. 1742, at Hildesheim, ob. 1789. A member of the Strict Observance and author of (1) Ueber das Ganze de Maurerei, 1782, (2) Bemerkungen Uber St. Nicaise und Anti-Nicaise, 1790. The Handbook is the authority, and it mentions some other Masonic writings, but of no general interest.
Grandidier, P. A.—Canon of Strasburg Cathedral and archivist of Cardinal Rohan. There is no need to say that as such he was not a Mason, yet it was he who first formulated the much favoured hypothesis that Speculative Masonry originated in the Operative Brotherhood. This was in 1782 and in a work entitled Essais Historiques et Topographiques sur l’Église Cathédrale de Strasbourg. He is said to have formulated it yet earlier in two French newspapers.
Grouvelle, P. A.—A member of the Lodge of Nine Sisters and author of Historical Memoirs of the Templars, 1805.
Guillemain de Saint Victor, Louis.—Author of the well-known Recueil Précieux de la Maçonnerie Adonhiramite, 1785, and an account of its alleged origin in 1787. Both have been reviewed previously, as also his Manuel des Franches Maçonnes.
Halliwell, J. O.—Editor of the Early History of Freemasonry in England, otherwise the Regius MS. The work in question marked an epoch in the subject, being the issue of an unknown text; but Halliwell was not a Mason.
Hardie, James.—A New York Mason, who published The New Freemasons’ Monitor and Masonic Guide, 1818. It is described as more valuable than the Monitorial writings of Webb and Crosse.
Harper, Thomas.—An official of the “Ancients’” Grand Lodge and Deputy Grand Master of the Union Grand Lodge. He published new editions of Ahiman Rezon in 1800, 1807 and 1813.
Harris, Thaddeus M.—Nat. 1767, ob. 1848. Was at various periods Grand Secretary, Grand Chaplain and Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. He published some Masonic Discourses in 1801 and prior to this had edited the Book of Constitutions, two editions of which appeared in 1792 and 1798. He was a Harvard Doctor of Divinity and once minister of a church at Dorchester, but under what denomination is uncertain.
Hécart, Gabriel Antoine Joseph.—Nat. 1755, at Valenciennes, ob. 1838. A collector of Grades, five of which he reduced into a system as follows: (1) Knight of the Prussian Eagle; (2) Knight of the Comet; (3) Scottish Purifier (sic); (4) Victorious Knight; (5) Écossais Trinitarian, otherwise Grand Master and Commander of the Temple. Hécart’s system, as it was called, appears to have remained on paper, and nothing is known concerning it. He is said to have written various studies and essays on Masonic subjects.
Heldmann, F.—Nat. 1776, ob. 1838. A professor at Wärzburg, Berne and Darmstadt, who became a Mason at Freiburg in 1809 and wrote (1) Die drei altesten geschichtlichen Denkmale der Deutschen Freimaurerbruderschaft, 1819; (2) Acazien-bluthen aus der Schweiz, 1819; (3) Mittheilungen uber die Freimaurerei, 1836.
Hemman, Dr. J. A.—One of the editors of Freimaurer Bibliothek, 8 vols., 1778-1803.
Herder, J. G. von.—Nat. 1744, ob. 1803. A famous German poet and metaphysical writer, who was also a Mason, made at Riga in 1766, the editor of a Masonic periodical entitled Adrastea, 1801, and the author of some Masonic pamphlets.
Hildebrandt, P. J.—The editor of Taschenbuch fur Br ∴ F ∴ M ∴, Hildesheim, 1794 and 1796. Mentioned by Kloss.
Holder, H. E.—In 1790 Dr. Thomas Marryat of Bristol published a tract called The Philosophy of Masons, in a series of letters. In 1791 H. E. Holder replied in a letter under the same title, to which a “Layman” responded in the same year by A Letter to the Rev. H. E. Holder, and H. E. Holder closed the controversy in an Answer to the Layman’s Letter, 1791. These effusions appeared at Bristol, and it must be confessed that I have not gone in search of them.
Hughan, W. J.—Nat. 1841, ob. 1911. A well-known English Mason, of Scottish descent, and chief authority at his period on old Constitutions and Charges, many of which he edited. The historical side of English Freemasonry owes much to his untiring efforts. His most important works are (1) History of Freemasonry in York, 1871: (2) Old Charges of British Freemasons, 1872; (3) Origin of the English Rite, 1884.
Hymmen, J. W. B. von.—Nat. 1725, ob. 1825. Has been mentioned in connection with the African Builders and Krata Repoa. Coadjutor of Hemman over Freimaurer Bibliothek and author of several Masonic pamphlets.
Inwood, Jethro.—The author of two Masonic sermons preached in 1797 and 1799, respectively at Chatham and Maidstone. They are praised by Woodford for their simplicity, force and good feeling.
Johnson, Thomas.—Author of A Brief History of Freemasonry, 1782. It is worth consulting, not on account of any intrinsic value but as a memorial of its period.
Jones, Stephen.—Nat. 1764, ob. 1828. A successful journalist, miscellaneous littérateur and editor of Preston’s Illustrations. In 1817 he contributed the article on Freemasonry to the Encyclopaedia Londinensis. He was a Past Master of the Lodge of Antiquity.
Keller, Wilhelm.—Author of (1) Geschichte des Eklektischen Freimaurerbundes, 1856; (2) Geschichte der Freimaurerei in Deutschland, 1859.
Kerndorfer, V. A.—Nat. 1769, ob. 1846. Author of the well-known Handbook der Freimaurer, published at Leipsic in 1806.
Kloss, F. G. B.—Nat. 1788, ob. 1854. The great German bibliographer of Freemasonry. Die Bibliographie der Freimaurer, 1844, is indispensable rather than valuable. His other works are on Freemasonry in its true meaning, giving ancient documents of the Steinmetzen; a history of Masonry in Great Britain and Ireland; and a volume on Freemasonry in France.
Komensky, Jan Amos.—He was born at Brünn in Bohemia, anno 1592, was appointed chaplain of the Bohemian Brothers in 1618, was exiled from Austria and found a refuge in Poland, where he devoted himself to educational matters and attained European celebrity by his writings thereupon. It is said that his Janua Linguarum Reserata appeared in twelve languages. I mention him only because, according to the German Handbook, his Panegersia influenced Anderson and Desaguliers in their shaping of Emblematic Freemasonry and because, according to Findel, there are passages in Anderson’s Book of Constitutions which are almost literally taken from Komensky. Ludwig Abafi reproduces this story and says that “it was reserved for an Austrian, a Moravian schoolmaster, the Chaplain of the Bohemian Brothers, to bestow ethical treasures upon a Brotherhood in proud Albion.” In other words, Komensky formulated the ideas and pointed out the way “for a league which . . . was destined to embrace the noblest of all nations, and, being brought to perfection by them, was ordained to influence the whole of humanity.”
Köppen, C. F.—Nat. 1734, ob. 1797, at Berlin. He has been mentioned already in connection with the African Builders and Krata Repoa. He translated Les Plus Secrets Mystères, etc., into German and is accredited with the authorship of a French Essay on the Mysteries, which appeared at La Haye in 1776 and claimed to reveal the true object of the Masonic Confraternity.
Krebs, J. B.—Nat. 1774, ob. 1851. Was author of (1) Maurerische Mittheilungen, 6 vols., 1831, under the pseudonym of J. M. Gneiting; (2) Der Freimaurer, 1841, under the pseudonym of J. C. Kerning; (3) Geschichtliche Ueberblick der Freimaurerei, 1860. The third work was a belated defence of the second.
Lachmann, F. H. A.—A physician of Brunswick and author of Geschichte der Freimaurerei in Braunschweig, 1844.
Larudan, Abbé.—Author of Les Franc-Maçons Ecrasés, 1748, a fraudulent sequel to Abbé Perau’s L’Ordre des Franc-Maçons Trahi. It proposes Oliver Cromwell as the real founder of Freemasonry.
Latrielle.—Author of Recueil Élémentaire de la Franche Maçonnerie Adonhiramite, 1803. I have been unable to find a copy.
Laurens, J. L.—He wrote (1) Essais Historiques et Antiques sur la Franche Maçonnerie, 1805; (2) Vocabulaire des Francs Maçons, 1805; and (3) an essay on the Ancient Mysteries published in a work entitled Histoires des Initiations, 1825. The authority is Kloss, who has placed upon them the seal of his critical approval.
Lebauld le Nanes, C. E.—Nat. 1736, ob. 1789. A French actor and subsequently man of letters, long resident in Germany. The author of several works enumerated by Kloss and among them of a Recueil des Discours, 1781. The discourses or orations in question were delivered in the historical Lodge Royal York of Friendship, at Berlin.
Lefranc, Abbé.—A zealous anti-Mason and author of (1) La Voile levé pour les curieux, 1791; (2) Conjuration contre la Religion Catholique, 1792. He put forward Faustus Socinus as the founder of Emblematic Freemasonry. These are typical works of their period in the case for the prosecution of the Order and can be read at this day without bitterness. The Abbé Lefranc was killed in the massacre of priests at the Carmelites in Paris, on the famous September 2 of 1793, and a Freemason is said to have attempted his rescue, nearly losing his own life. The authority is Thory.
Lenoir, Alexandre.—Nat. 1761, ob. 1839. Author of La Franche Maçonnerie rendue à sa Véritable Origine, 1814, an attempt to connect the Ancient Mysteries and Masonry through the channel of the Building Guilds. Lenoir was an archaeologist of his period and curator of French antiquities at Paris. His work is most interesting, but not of course evidential.
Le Rouge, A. J. E.—Nat. 1760, ob. 1833. A friend and collaborator of Ragon over the Masonic periodical called Hermes. He was also a great collector of Rituals and books connected with the Order. Both Kloss and Thory profited by his industry. He is said to be author of a work on secret societies in the army, 1815, but I know of it only by hearsay.
Lessing, Gotthold Ephraim.—Nat. 1726, ob. 1821. The great author of Laokoon was made a Mason at Hamburg about 1771. In Ernst und Falk and in Nathan der Weise we hear something of his views on the Order and some of his hopes concerning it. He held the theory of Templar origin but did not raise it above the region of romantic speculation.
Levergue, J. P.—Is sometimes accredited with the authorship of L’Esprit de Maçonnerie, 1807, and is certainly responsible for Aperçu Général et Historique des Principales Sectes Maçonniques, 1821.
Lévi, Éliphas.—Nat. 1810, ob. 1875. The founder of modern occultism. I have made him known to the English public by the translation of his chief works, especially Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie and Histoire de la Magie. My prefaces and annotations to these shall hold me excused in the present place from saying more than a word on his position in respect of Masonry. On one occasion he affirmed that he had received initiation only from God and his researches, but this may be understood at need as initiation in the deeper sense. It is highly probable that he belonged to the external Brotherhood. He wrote some brilliant and inaccurate things about it.
Luchet, Marquis de.—Nat. 1740, ob. 1792. He was the author of the famous Essai sur la Secte des Illumines, 1789. It has been referred to in these volumes. It is an attack on illuminism in the broad use of the term and contains some curious revelations. It is difficult to say whether he was acquainted with Masonry in the sense of having been received therein. His work is not of much value from my standpoint, but it is curious and is worth reading.
Lyon, David Murray.—An admirable Scottish Mason and among the foremost scholars of his day in the history and antiquities of the Order. His contributions to the Masonic press were very numerous and exceedingly valuable. I feel sure that a judicious selection would make an important addition to the permanent literature of the Craft. Chief among his larger works are (1) History of the Mother Lodge Kilwinning and (2) History of the Ancient Lodge of Edinburgh, 1873.
Mangourlt, Michel Ange Bernard de.—Nat. 1752, ob. 1829. The author of a Cours de Philosophie Maçonnique, originally delivered as lectures before a Masonic Society of Freethinkers, of which he was the founder.
Manningham, Thomas.—A physician of London who was Deputy Grand Master from 1752 to 1757. I include him among Masonic Literati because, according to Oliver—see Revelations of a Square—he was the author of a very beautiful prayer adopted by Grand Lodge for use at the initiation of a Candidate. It is of great historical importance, as evidence of decisive Christian elements in the Craft Degrees at that period, and I reprint it therefore in full.
“Most Holy and Glorious Lord God, Thou Architect of heaven and earth, Who art the giver of all good gifts and graces, and hast promised 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 to grant that this our Brother may dedicate his life to Thy service, and be a true and faithful Brother amongst 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.”
Marconis, Jacques Étienne.—Nat. 1795, at Montauban, ob. 1868, at Paris. He is termed the second Grand Hierophant of the Rite of Memphis, his father—Gabriel Mathieu Marconis de Nègre—being by the hypothesis of this clouded Order not only the first but the founder. This appears to me part of the story which represents it as started at Montauban in 1815, and I am disposed to regard it as mythical. We begin to hear of the Rite as at work for a brief period from 1839, under the charge of J. E. Marconis. In 1852 the Lodges—whatever they were—are said to have been “closed by the civil authority “ because the Rite had not been recognised by the Grand Orient and was therefore illicit, clandestine, or whatever may be the term in France. It was legalised in 1862, by admission within the jurisdiction of the Grand Orient, which process removed it from the custody of Marconis and put it to sleep for ever. It will be seen that according to French law—at least as it then stood—that which was unrecognised by Masonic authority was suppressed by the police, while the price of approval was abdication of the right to work. It may seem incredible that Marconis, who was zealous for his system, should have sought legalisation under such conditions; but he appears to have considered that he could establish it outside France and perhaps proposed to use its Masonic recognition there as a lever or title. However, the Grand Orient made it evident in 1872 that the veto was universal. Of course at the present day neither its veto nor approval is valid in any English-speaking country; but on the other hand it is understood that the Supreme Councils of the Scottish Rite prohibit their members from all connection (1) with the Rite of Memphis, (2) with the Antient and Primitive Rite, its reduced form, and (3) with the Order of Mizraim.
Merzdorf, J. L. T.—Author of (1) Die Symbole . . . der Masonei, etc., 1836; (2) Die Denkmunzen der Freimaurer Bruderschaft, 1852; (3) Geschichte der Freimaurer Bruderschaft in Schottland, 1861.
Molitor, F. J.—Nat. 1779, ob. 1860. A Mason of Frankfort and the author of an excellent Philosophy of Tradition. He saw that Christianity and Masonry belonged to one another and should unite in one mission.
Moore, James.—Author of Masonic Constitutions, or Illustrations of Masonry, Lexington, U.S.A., 1808. It is said to have been the first Masonic work published in the Western States, and was compiled in conjunction with Carey L. Clarke by order of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, Moore being Senior Grand Warden.
Mossdorf, F.—Nat. 1757, ob. 1843, at Dresden. Was made a Mason in 1777, and was a friend of Fessler and Krause. He was the editor of Fessler’s Complete Works on Freemasonry, 1801, and of Lenning’s Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, to which he was also a large contributor. In 1863, under the editorial charge of H. T. Schlatter and of Zille, it became the famous Handbuch der Freimaurerei.
Mounter, J. J.—Nat. 1760, ob. 1805. Author of De L’Influence Attribuée aux Philosophes, aux Franc maçons et aux Illuminés sur la Revolution de France, 1801. It appeared simultaneously in English, and there was a second French edition in 1828. It is a refutation of Barruel and should be read in connection with the Memoirs of Jacobinism. The Handbuch regards it as a complete answer.
Munkhouse, Richard.—Author of a Discourse in Praise of Freemasonry, 1805, and some other publications, now forgotten. He was Rector of St. John’s Church, Wakefield, a member of the Phoenix Lodge, Sunderland, and of the Wakefield Lodge of Unanimity.
Murr, Christoph Gottlieb von.—Nat. 1733, ob. 1811. He maintained the common origin of Rosicrucianism and Freemasonry in his essay On the True Origin of these Orders. The work appeared in 1803 and is very important for the debate, so far as it can be said to exist. It belongs in any case permanently to the literature of the subject.
Nicolai, Christoph Friedrich.—Nat. 1733, ob. 1811. The same statement obtains in respect of Nicolai’s Essay on Accusations . . . made against the Order of Knights Templar, 1782-83, to which was added an Appendix on the origin of Freemasonry. The thesis is that Francis Bacon drew from the memorials of the Rosy Cross and produced The New Atlantis. The mind of the age brooded over this parable, and over Bacon’s Instauratio Magna, till 1646, when the Royal Society was founded to formulate the dreams and schemes of Verulam. Meanwhile Ashmole and his fellow-alchemists and astrologers founded another and secret association to carry out the idea of the New Atlantis and its House of Solomon, holding their meetings at Masons’ Hall and taking the name of Freemasons. This Society produced the Revival of 1717, Nicolai was a member of the Three Globes at Berlin.
Noorthouck, John.—Nat. circa 1746, in London, ob. 1816. He edited the fifth edition of the Book of Constitutions, published in 1784, under a Grand Lodge Resolution of November 20, 1782.
Parlon, J. B.—Author of a tract entitled Souffle Maçonnique, etc., which appeared at Bordeaux in 1826 and purported to deal with all calumnies directed against the Order.
Payne, George.—We have seen that he was elected Grand Master in 1718 and also in 1720. He was Senior Grand Warden in 1724 and Deputy Grand Master in 1735. He is included here as compiler of the General Regulations approved by Grand Lodge on June 24, 1721, and included by Anderson in the first Book of Constitutions.
Perau, Gabriel Louis Calabre.—Nat. 1700, ob. 1767. The author of Le Secret des Franc-Maçons, which appeared at Geneva in 1742. He was a French priest and Prior of the Sorbonne. The work is an account of Masonic ceremonies current at the time, but it seems difficult from internal evidence to decide whether it speaks from first-hand knowledge or otherwise.
Pyron, Jean Baptiste.—A French Masonic writer, who is said to have passed from this life in 1821 and yet is represented as a founder of the Grand Orient, established so far back as December 24, 1771. I am not challenging the possibility, but recording the fact that he was already a venerable elder of the Masonic Israel when he wrote in 1814 his History of the Organisation of the Ancient and Accepted Rite in France. It is the story of a stormy feud between the Masonic Power which was and another that had arrived suddenly and nolens volens had not only to be reckoned with but also recognised in the end. Pyron made an extensive collection of Grades and in this respect may be said to rank with Peuvret.
Quantin, Joseph.—Author of a Dictionnaire Maçonnique, which appeared at Paris in 1825.
Ragotsky, C. A.—He appears to have been a Lutheran minister, a learned and active Mason. His Masonic writings are (1) Ueber Maurerische Freiheit, etc., 1792 and (2) Der Frei Denker in der Maurerei, 1793.
Reghellini da Schio.—Nat. circa 1780, at Scio, of Venetian parents, ob. 1855. Calls for mention elsewhere. His adult life appears to have been passed at Brussels. His more important Masonic writings are (1) Esprit du Dogme de la Franc Maçonnerie, 1826, and (2) La Maçonnerie considérée comme le résultat des Religions Égyptienne, Juive et Chrétienne, 3 vols., Paris, 1833. The hypothesis of the latter work is well illustrated by the title and represents, so far as Egypt is concerned, a long since exploded speculation. It is otherwise an inaccurate work, though one of considerable interest and even learning.
Ridel, C. J. R.—Nat. 1751, at Hamburg, ob. 1821. Was the author of Versuch eines Alphabetischen Verzeichnisses, Jena, 1817.
Robin, Abbé Claude.—He belonged to the Lodge of the Nine Sisters, i.e. Muses, and published in 1779 his Recherches sur les Initiations Anciennes et Modernes, a most interesting, if inconclusive work. His thesis was that the Ancient Mysteries gave birth to the Orders of Chivalry, of which Freemasonry was begotten in turn.
Rockwell, W. S.—The author of an Ahiman Rezon, issued in 1859 under the authority of the Grand Lodge of Georgia, U.S.A. He was a man of great distinction in all branches of American Masonry, a Grand Master of Georgia and Lieutenant Grand Commander of the Scottish Rite in the Southern Jurisdiction.
Schauberg, Joseph.—Nat. 1808, ob. 1866. A German-Swiss Mason and author of Vergleichen der Handbuch der Symbolik der Freimaurerei, 3 vols., 1861, an interesting and important work.
Smith, Captain George.—Author of The Use and Abuse of Freemasonry, published in 1784. He was Provincial Grand Master of Kent in 1778 and Junior Grand Warden of the “Moderns” Grand Lodge in 1780. That institution refused, however, to sanction the publication of the work, which appeared therefore without its imprimatur. Oliver certifies that he was (1) honourable, (2) upright, (3) active and (4) zealous as a Mason; yet in 1785 he was expelled by Grand Lodge, the allegation being that he had forged a certificate “recommending two distressed Brethren.”
Smith, William.—Editor of the well-known Freemasons’ Pocket Companion, of 1736.
Tannehill, Wilkins.—Nat. 1787, in Tennessee, ob. 1858. A founder and Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Tennessee and author of a Master Masons’ Manual, 1845, founded on Preston and Webb. He began in 1847 the publication of a Masonic periodical called The Portfolio, which lasted for three years.
Thory, Claude Antoine.—Nat. 1759, ob. 1817. In Masonic historical literature I suppose that he is one of the immortals. We may criticise Acta Latomorum, 2 vols., 1815, but we cannot dispense with it, and a similar judgment must be passed on his previous work, Annales Originis Magni Galliarum Orientis, 1813. One of his titles to our favour is that he opposed the claims of the Grand Orient to supreme Masonic power and maintained the titles to recognition of the Scottish Rite. The opposition of Grand Obediences to the evolution of Masonic systems has fortunately never prevented developments but has been largely responsible for internecine feuds.
Webb, Thomas Smith.—Nat. 1771, in Massachusetts, ob. 1819. Has been called the founder of the American Rite and “the ablest Masonic Ritualist of his day.” His Freemasons’ Monitor, first published in 1797, is still of world-wide repute in his own country.
Weisse, John A.—In the year 1880 Dr. Weisse published at New York a work entitled The Obelisk and Freemasonry, in which he affirmed (1) that the priesthoods of Baal in Assyria, Osiris in Egypt, Jehovah in Palestine, Jupiter in Greece and Rome, Ahura-Mazda in Persia, Brahma in India and Teutates in Britain constituted and were Secret Societies; (2) that they were all linked together in such a manner that there was intercommunication from the Indus to the Tiber and from the Nile to the Thames; (3) that for these reasons there has been always Freemasonry in the world; (4) that its connections were sacerdotal till the thirteenth century or thereabouts; (5) that emancipation was secured at that period, after which the name of Free-Masons was adopted instead of Masons simply; (6) that Freemasonry has been persecuted and devoured by the priesthoods ever since this event. It is a muddled and confusing thesis, for the fact or possibility of which there is no evidence offered and there is none available. Had such communication subsisted between Greece and Egypt I conceive that classical writers would have been better authorities than they prove on the antiquities of Egyptian religion. Had it subsisted between Rome and Britain we should look for something more substantial than Caesar and Cicero can tell us about Druidical doctrine, and we should hear less from other writers concerning flimsy analogies between Druidical Rites and Mysteries of Eleusis and Samothrace. But supposing for a moment that such communication existed we have an instance therein of secret association in antiquity but not of the thing called Masonry. Dr. Weisse is intending to suggest that building guilds were controlled by all the priesthoods, though he has omitted to do so in the place from which I am quoting—pp. 94, 95. But we know nothing whatsoever of such guilds in Egypt, Assyria, Persia, India or Britain of the Druidical days. As regards those of Western Europe we know of their monastic connections in mediaeval times, and at the spoliation of the monasteries in Britain as part of the Reformation programme they were emancipated if we like to say so; but the two institutions had fallen apart previously from one another, for the great churches and the great convents had been built long ago. It has been worth while to quote the thesis of Dr. Weisse as an illustration of the kind of thing which up to a very recent period has passed for Masonic evidences. Indeed its equivalents and variations pass still, for I question whether greater rubbish has been talked at any period of the past than obtains at this day in certain quarters about the origin and early history of Emblematic Freemasonry—above all in occult circles, and most perhaps of all when those circles are located in France or America.
Woodford, Rev. A. F. A.—The compiler and editor of Kenning’s Masonic Cyclopaedia, 1878. He is well known also in connection with what is called the Woodford MS., dated 1728 on the endorsement, and practically a verbatim copy of the Cooke MS. Mr. Woodford had otherwise considerable knowledge of the old Constitutions and Charges.
Woof, Richard.—Was Provincial Grand Warden of Worcestershire and, in the view of Mr. W. J. Hughan, was an authority on the Knights Templar and the Chivalric Degrees of Masonry. In 1865 he published a Sketch of the Knights Templar, including notes on the Masonic revival of the Order. I have met with no biographical particulars concerning him, except that he was Town Clerk of Worcester.
Woog, C. C.—Nat. 1713, at Dresden, ob. 1771, at Leipsic. He is said to have been made a Mason in London. In 1749 he issued: Presbyterorum et Diaconorum Achaiae de Martyrio Sancti Andreae Apostoli, Epistola Encyclica, in the course of which he speaks of Masonic veneration for the patron saint of Scotland, adding (1) that one of the sects wear a Cross of St. Andrew on their breasts, but (2) that—so far as he is concerned—“their mysteries shall remain buried in deep silence.” This is the passage on which the hypothesis of his initiation rests, perhaps a little insecurely.
Minor Rites in Masonry
I do not propose to reproduce the great list of Ragon, though it has served me on many occasions, as it might serve others, and though it could be extended at need. He was an earnest collector in his days, and it is not improbable that he had seen and handled a very considerable proportion of the items specified by him: of the rest he knew by report, for there is no reason to suppose that he introduced any mythical element. The defect of his catalogue arises of necessity at the point where first-hand knowledge failed him and the result is a chaos embrouillé, in which slightly variant titles do not signify separate and independent Rituals. For my present purpose—and as I think for that of any student-reader—mere names of Grades or Rites are practically useless. In the alphabetical table which follows I have given those Orders and Degrees about which something is known, though it is always slight and in some cases altogether inadequate. It represents also things which—so far as it is possible to gauge—are not of considerable importance, and do not therefore demand a place in the body-general of my text. There is no doubt that a great work remains to be done on continental variants of the Craft Grades and on the vast mass of super-Masonic Rituals; but at present it cannot be undertaken because the Rituals are wanting. The continental Masonic archives call to be sifted in this connection, as indeed in several others, and I am not without hope that something may be accomplished in this direction even by myself, if I can secure the help of zealous students abroad. While I am not looking for what may be called great results in symbolism and ceremonial, I am clear that an exhaustive analysis of High Grade Rituals is of vital importance for the history of the High Grade movement, especially in France and Germany. Quod tenet nunc teneat donee de medio fiat, and I shall not have occupied space vainly with these few words if they lead to anything by which the difficulty may be taken out of the way.
A Proviso.—It should be understood that these gleanings do not represent marked original research, and are included for the sake of completeness, not because I am disposed to think that they are of any consequence to the great majority of readers but because the bare names or titles are likely to be met with by others, as they have been met with on my own part, and a few words of information will probably serve their purpose, as it must be said that they have served mine. I might have extended them in a certain few cases, had it been possible to do so without pains wholly disproportioned to any conceivable issues at stake. As a fact, within my knowledge—and I have travelled far through the fields of Ritual—there are too often no issues whatever. The things about to be cited were (1) still-born, meaning that they existed on paper only and—so far as can be told—some are not extant now even in that form; (2) without significance for the subject-general of Freemasonry; or (3) subsistent in a cloud, of obscurity, from which they never emerged.
Aaron’s Band.—According to A. G. Mackey, this Degree was instituted in 1824 for social purposes, whatever the statement implies. It was presumably Masonic in character, though even this is rendered uncertain by the vague wording of the account concerning it. The allegation is that the ceremonial was analogous to the Order of Grand High Priest, which is not a little curious in connection with the social aspects. The author was Joseph Cerneau, then located at New York and denounced as an impostor by the Southern Jurisdiction of the Scottish Rite. The Grand Royal Arch Chapter of New York State is said to have suppressed Aaron’s Band in 1825, obviously an inexact statement, though it may have expelled persons under its own obedience who belonged thereto. Cerneau was the last kind of person who would submit easily to suppression in respect of himself or his concerns.
Abelites.—This was a German invention which was founded, according to Clavel, in 1745, at Griefswald. It was otherwise the Order of Abel, and its pretensions are stated in a book or brochure published at Leipsic in 1746. It worked in Ritual and communicated signs and passwords, being therefore broadly Masonic in complexion, though its connection with Masonry has been denied. It is said to have been Christian, moral and philanthropic, or as like Masonry on the surface as two peas in a pod. The motto: “Sincerity, Friendship and Hope,” offers similar analogies. It could have exercised no influence on life or history and never spread beyond the land of its origin. Lenning is the chief authority concerning it.
Aloyau, Société de l’.—The Society of the Loin or Sirloin is unknown to Masonic authorities outside Thory, whose statements are reproduced in all later references, those of Clavel included. It is described as a Masonic Institution, which may mean only that it had a ceremonial procedure and received members under pledge. It may have required also the Masonic qualification of Candidates. It was of French origin, was in existence prior to the Revolution, and claimed succession from the Knights Templar, together with the possession of old Templar documents. The Revolution engulfed it, or if it reappeared it was under another form and belongs as such to the obscure question of Templar perpetuation.
Anonymous Society.—The information of Thory is defective, as it fails to tell us when or where this Order originated in Germany. It was so far Masonic in character that it was restricted to seventy-two members, being Entered Apprentices, Fellow Crafts and Master Masons. The statement is of course unintelligible as made, for every person who rose from a lower Degree must have ousted one who was above him, and the Masters in such case must have passed altogether out of the Order. It is incredible that such an arrangement could have obtained in any association. The meaning is probably that all classes of Craft Masons were eligible. For the rest, this Anonymous Society is comparable to the Unknown Philosophers under another jurisdiction and was devoted, like these, to the occult sciences. It is suggested that such pursuits were veiled by works of charity. In any case, it gave much in alms, whether or not it possessed the Philosopher’s Stone. It had also an Unknown Superior, a Grand Master resident in Spain and said to have been named Tajo.
Apocalypse, Order of the.—The authorities are Thory and Reghellini, with caution in respect of both, but more than all of the second. Behind them stands the Marquis de Luchet. The story is that an individual named Gabrino—who veiled his human modesty under the titles of Prince of the Septenary and Monarch of the Holy Trinity—-instituted this Order at the end of the seventeenth century, for which—in so far as the story is not a lampoon on Illuminism—we may substitute a hundred years later. Gabrino enrolled artisans, who carried out Ramsay’s story about the builders of the Second Temple and buckled a sword at the side during hours of labour. The arms were a drawn sword and a blazing star. The purpose of the institution does not appear in the memorials, though by inference at least it was revolutionary in the opinion of De Luchet, whose stories concerning Gabrino indicate that he was a religious maniac of an advanced type. It is said that some of his disciples were arrested and that he himself died in a madhouse.
Asia, Perfect Initiates of.—The authority is Ragon, and I am not prepared to say that he is suspect over the simple question of documents. The story is that a bulky manuscript, said to be translated from the German, was purchased in 1821 by a certain M. Bailleul, and that it came into the hands of Ragon, who went to work with Des Étangs over its reduction and modification. The purpose does not appear: it had existed on paper previously and continued to do so afterwards: it has probably passed out of being even in this form. The German origin is certainly suspect, for the Rite—which consisted of seven Degrees—is said to have been invented at Lyons. It appears to be distinct from the Initiated Brothers of Asia.
Bahrdt’s Rite.—A more correct title would be certainly the German Union, and it calls to be included here solely because it required the Masonic qualification and was founded by twenty-two Masons, of whom Karl Friedrich Bahrdt was the head. It was presumably his own invention. He was a Doctor of Theology, born at Bischofswerda in 1741, and became a Mason in England. The story is that he was a man of irregular life and of views which bordered on infidelity. The German Union came into existence in 1786 as a secret society working six Degrees: (1) The Youth; (2) The Man; (3) The Elder; (4) The Mesopolyte; (5) The Diocesan; (6) The Superior, Superintendent or Overseer. It has been suggested that the Rite embodied some kind of compromise between religion and unbelief, while it offered also a middle way between Freemasonry and the German Illuminism of Weishaupt. To enlighten man, to destroy superstition and unfold the way of perfection were the explicit objects to which the founder himself confessed, and in such hands these aspirations might have stood for Illuminism itself. However, the Rite appears to have reached its term within the brief space of three years, owing to the imprisonment of Bahrdt for political or seditious libel. It is said that the more zealous members passed over, as might have been expected, to the cause of Weishaupt. But Illuminism itself had been proscribed in 1784, and five years later was certainly extinct. I should say that the German Union was built up on its pattern, though there is little to shew that it was aiming at political revolution.
Black Brothers, Order of the.—The authorities are Lenning and Thory. The first says that it was one of the College Societies which seem to have been common enough in German Universities. It is through Lenning also that we hear of a claim on 1675 as the date of origin. In any case, according to Thory, it was in existence at Frankfort-on-the-Oder in 1783, having arrived there through Marburg from Giessen. The College connection lapses with this claim. It is Thory also who tells us that at first the members observed the Doctrine and Ritual of Kadosh, which means that they had Templar pretensions. This story also is doubtful, and so therefore is the Masonic connection. However this may be, the French Masonic historian states that the Black Brothers became a political society and was transformed into the Black Legion of 1813. In this aspect its doings concern us no longer.
Cercle Social.—The authority, but I know it by report only, is La Bouche de Fer, an official journal of L’Ordre du Cercle Social, originated at Paris in 1790 to shape Masonic activities in aid of Revolution. There is no evidence that it exercised any influence or produced any marked effect: it was one of the signs of the times. An universal confederation of the friends of truth was the avowed object of the Order, according to its official organ.
Chapter of Clermont.—There is a story afloat among French writers which affirms that the root-matter of Templar Masonry originated at Lyons in 1738. It is usually linked up with the Oration of Ramsay, who is supposed to have said either that the Knights of the Temple created Emblematic Freemasonry or were perpetuated under this disguise after their suppression. He made no such statement, and the source of the Lyons legend—outside Thory and Clavel—is in the night of fraudulent speculation. It has, however, a sequel which says that the Chapter of Clermont adopted the Templar system created at Lyons. According to Thory, this Chapter was founded at Paris in 1754 by a certain Chevalier de Bonneville, of whom nothing is known otherwise. Clavel adds that it was installed in a vast building erected for the purpose in that faubourg which is called la Nouvelle France. It is held to have superposed three High Grades on those of Symbolical Masonry, namely: (1) Knight of the Eagle, otherwise Master-Elect; (2) Illustrious Knight or Templar; (3) Sublime Illustrious Knight. But there are several alternative lists which exclude one another, and a full account of the question has been given in my Secret Tradition tn Freemasonry, Vol. I, Bk. IV, § 3, to which the reader is referred. It may be added that Clavel follows Thory in the enumeration just given, which may be compared with the mythical Rite of Ramsay, otherwise Rit de Bouillon, the alleged content of which was (1) Scottish Master; (2) Novice; (3) Knight of the Temple. These are in reality the Grades of the Strict Observance as superposed on those of the Craft. My personal opinion is that we know nothing or next to nothing of the Clermont workings and that we are in a similar position as to the meaning—if any—which lies behind the name of the Rite. It has been affirmed (1) that it was called Chapter of Clermont because a Jesuit College of that name was in contiguity to the place of meeting; but this seems childish; (2) that it represented the perpetuation of “a Jesuit Chapter of High Grade Masons.” Although there is nothing antecedently improbable in the hypothesis of Roman intervention for the direction and extension of Masonry, it is entirely certain that the decried Order of the Temple would not have been represented by Jesuits as perpetuated under the Masonic veil; while much less would they have invented Rites and Degrees for the vindication of Knights Templar and to wreak symbolical vengeance on the Pope and King who condemned them. As regards the Chapter of Clermont it is said further that the better classes of French Freemasons were sick of dissensions in the Craft and that they took refuge gladly in a system of chivalrous Grades. The implied success of the Chapter proved, however, so great that it had passed out of existence in 1758 and is supposed to have been absorbed by the Council of Emperors, which arose in that year but did not incorporate the Grades allocated to the Chapter of Clermont. See op. tit., Bk. IV, § 4. In the hands of writers like John Yarker Clermont Masonry assumes an exaggerated importance, but—so far as evidence is concerned—the very existence of the alleged Chapter is not in much better position than Ramsay’s Rit de Bouillon.
Clerks of the Strict Observance.—The alternative titles are Clerical Knights Templar, Clerici Ordinis Templarii, and Spiritual Branch of the Templars. Clerks of the Relaxed Observance was substituted by Ragon in error. There are several sources of reference, but it will be sufficient to cite Lenning and Clavel as neither worse nor better than the rest. It has been explained (1) as a modification of the Strict Observance, (2) as a “sect” which rose up therein, and (3) as an attempt to revive the priestly side of the original Templar Order. It was mainly the invention of Starck, whose pretensions and personality will be considered later. A suggestion by Woodford that the Rite combined theosophy, alchemy and magic appears without foundation. There were four Degrees superposed upon those of the Craft, namely: (1) Junior Scottish Master; (2) Senior Scottish Master, otherwise Knight of St. Andrew; (3) Provincial Capitular of the Red Cross; (4) Magus, or Knight of Purity and Light. The last is said to have been divided into five sections, being (1) Knight-Novice of the Third Year; (2) Knight-Novice of the Fifth Year; (3) Knight-Novice of the Seventh Year; (4) Levite; (5) Priest. The birth of the Rite took place in 1767; a kind of union was effected with the Strict Observance in 1768; but in 1775 the Clerical Knights declared their independence, either at or consequent upon the Congress of Brunswick. According to Ragon, the Rite expired in the year 1800—a date which has been generally rejected and, I think, with reason. There is little doubt that it perished much earlier, and there is no evidence that it occupied any considerable sphere of influence at any period. Unfortunately nothing was known of its Rituals by any Masonic historian who has undertaken to speak of it, and our knowledge of the Rite or its aims is therefore exceedingly slight. Were this otherwise I should have treated the so-called schism in connection with the Strict Observance itself. As it is, one can suggest only that the Rite of the Strict Observance was perhaps more effectively spiritualised under Martinistic influence by those who transformed it at Lyons later on in the eighteenth century.
Concord, Order of.—The German Handbook of Freemasonry mentions five successive foundations under this name: (1) That of Ferdinand, King of Castile and Leon, in 1261; (2) that of the Margrave Ernest of Brandenburg, in 1660; (3) that of the Prince of Nassau, in 1696, having the alternative name of United Hearts; (4) that of the Prince of Schwarzburg Rudolstadt, in 1718; and (5) that of the Prince von Dalberg, in 1812. It has been said that the particular foundation distinguished by the synonym of United Hearts was based on Masonic principles, which in any historical sense is certainly untrue, seeing that in 1696 Masonry—in our sense of the term—had no existence in Germany. But if the reference is to Masonic morals and goodwill, similar principles might be claimed for all the Orders of Concord, on the simple warrant of their title.
Concordists.—It appears that a Society of Virtue was incorporated in 1790 as a kind of successor to the German Illuminati, but having come to an end—presumably about 1800—there arose out of its ashes a Society of Concordists, established in Prussia by someone named Lang. It was suppressed in 1812 for political reasons. I do not know whether it had any Masonic complexion, but the later connections of the Illuminati with the Emblematic Fraternity may lend some colour to the notion. The authority is Thory.
Enoch, Rite of.—The authority is Thory, who tells us that a certain person, veiled under the symbolical name of Brother Enoch, having published two works on Freemasonry at Liège in 1773 and 1774, established or sought to establish a Masonic Rite, consisting of four Degrees, three of which corresponded to those of the Craft, while the fourth was termed Architect. The Entered Apprentice, or Manoune, was instructed in friendship and benevolence; the Craftsman, or Ouvrier, was taught fidelity to his Sovereign; the Master learned submission to the Supreme; while the concern of the Architect was to attain perfection in all virtues. The Rite had its legend, and this told those who could suffer the pretension that the Order was established by Louis le Débonnaire in the year 814.
Evergetes, Order of.—A Society of Benefactors—Bund der Evergeten—according to the hypothesis of their title, is said to have been established in Silesia in 1789 or 1792. It is connected with the name of Fessler, either as founder or active member, the German Order of Illuminati serving as a model for its principles and Masonry providing the forms. It was therefore Masonic in complexion and in character it may have been political. Some at least of the members suffered imprisonment at Breslau in 1796, and the Order had reached its term in 1801, if not indeed earlier. The authorities are doubtful.
Franks, Order of Regenerated.—I do not know whence the name of this mushroom association was derived by Kenneth MacKenzie, but he refers it to the year 1815, and says that it was organised in France, being political in character and Masonic in the form of procedure. The motto was “For God, the King and Fatherland.” The royalty of the moment was such as could be said to centre in Louis XVIII.
Hermetic Brothers of Egypt.—The sole authority for this alleged Order is Kenneth MacKenzie, and I do not believe that it had any existence save on the paper which he devoted to it in a mood of fiction. It is described as a very ancient occult fraternity, possessing the Philosopher’s Stone, the elixir of life and so forth. The membership is said to be small. MacKenzie met with three persons who hinted that they belonged to it. The story was a thought too much even for his contemporary Woodford in those Victorian days, which is saying a great deal.
Illuminated Theosophists.—The original authority is Thory, followed and extended occasionally by Lenning, Clavel, Mackay, Woodford and Kenneth MacKenzie. The historical centre is Benedict Chastanier, a French physician, said to have been Master of a Lodge called Socrates of Perfect Union and otherwise a disciple of Pernety, whom he followed also as a keen admirer of Swedenborg. In the year 1784, according to White’s excellent Life of Emanuel Swedenborg, 1868, there was formed at London a certain Theosophical Society for promoting “the Heavenly Doctrines of the New Jerusalem” by translating and publishing the writings of the Swedish Seer. Of this Society Chastanier was a member, his address at the time being 62, Tottenham Court. The place of meeting was in New Court, Middle Temple, where the works of Swedenborg were discussed by a student-group. These are the known facts and the allegation arising therefrom is that the Theosophical Society was the final development of an Order of Illuminated Theosophists which Chastanier had established, also in London, about 1767. It is represented as a modification or digest of various Masonic foundations passing under the name of Pernety and superposed six Grades on those of the Craft, being (1) Theosophic Apprentice; (2) Theosophic Companion; (3) Theosophic Master; (4) Sublime Écossais Mason, otherwise The Heavenly Jerusalem; (5) Blue Brother; (6) Red Brother. There could have been no more unprofitable experiment than bringing such a Rite to London at the time specified, but it is not impossible that it should have been made by a French enthusiast. The story goes that it was confined to a single Lodge. Most probably it remained in embryo and gave place to the comparatively practical proposition of a Text Society, proposing to issue the revelations of Emanuel Swedenborg.
Illuminati of Stockholm.—The authority is Ragon, who mentions this obscure Order in his great, uncritical List of Masonic Rites and Grades. They appear in the absence, for the moat part, of particulars or discrimination of any kind. We are without other known sources of reference in respect of these Illuminati, so that nothing can be said as to the date of their foundation or their history. They were incorporated for the diffusion of those doctrines which are connected with the name of L. C. de Saint-Martin, a testimony to the extraordinary interest which was roused all over Europe by the illustrious French mystic.
Lazarus, Masonic Order of.—I have seen only one reference to this alleged institution, and the sole particulars concerning it state that the jewel was an emerald cross, worn upon the breast. There was a chivalric foundation of this name at Jerusalem in the first half of the twelfth century. In 1617 St. Vincent de Paul established a religious congregation under the same name at Paris, and it continues to this day.
Magnetic Masonry.—As it happened that Anton Mesmer and his immortal art belongs to the period when French High-Grade Masonry was approaching its summer solstice, and as of all his devoted believers he was head and chief, there could be nothing more desirable for the Brotherhood—while incidentally it would promote the art—-than to establish one Grade at least to enshrine the Mysteries of Animal Magnetism and create a healing centre, which might radiate over the vast circle of initiation. So came the Order of Universal Harmony into being. The time was 1782 and Paris was the place. The primary intention, according to Clavel, was such a Ritual purification of members as should qualify them for the magnetic apostolate. Versailles, Lyons, Bordeaux, Grenoble, Nancy, Marseilles, Metz and Strasbourg caught the enthusiasm from Paris, and by 1784 each was a foyer for the Order. It was, however, but a fashion of the moment, and the hearths were cold already when the Revolution began in France. MacKenzie has dignified the subject under the name of Iatric Masonry—following Ragon—and there were two other Orders of Harmony but unconcerned with the healing art. There were also a few independent Grades of a supposed therapeutic kind, but their full enumeration would serve no purpose, for they are titles only. The Egyptian Rite of Cagliostro had of course a healing side, but it has been treated at length elsewhere.
Major and Minor Hermetic Grades.—I do not suggest that some are of obvious consequence in comparison with others, but a few are comparatively well known, within their particular denominations, being incorporated by historical Rites, while many are mere titles, and obscure at that. As a proof of their prevalence in the past I make the following classified selection from the general list of Ragon: A.—Order of Hermetic Adepts, otherwise unknown: (1) Radiant Knight; (2) Secret Knight, otherwise Knight of the Middle Chamber; (3) Knight of the Triangle; (4) Knight of the Fulminating Star; (5) Knight of the Golden Star; (6) Knight of Great Jehovah; (7) Most Exalted Prince of the East. B.—Grades of the University: (1) Hermetic Philosopher; (2) Companion Hermetic Philosopher; (3) Master Hermetic Philosopher; (4) Master of Hermetic Secrets; (5) Hermetic Interpreter; (6) Sublime Hermetic Interpreter; (7) Grand Hermetic Treasurer; (8) Grand Hermetic Chancellor; (9) Brother of the Golden Rosy Cross, otherwise Adept. C.—Collection of Peuvret: (1) Hermetic Knight; (2) Grand and Sublime Hermetic Philosopher; (3) Sublime Depository of the Key of the Great Work; (4) Hermetic Treasurer; (5) Treasurer of Paracelsus. D.—Miscellaneous: (1) Hermetic Mason; (2) Master of the Emerald Table; (3) Confidant of Paracelsus; (4) Philosophical Rose Croix, otherwise Sublime Philosopher; (5) Rose Croix of Germany, otherwise Knight of the Black Eagle.
Melesino, Rite of.—A Greek bearing this name and a Mason is said to have entered the Russian army and to have attained a high place therein. In 1765 he established a Masonic Rite, having the following superstructures erected upon the basis of the Craft Degrees: (1) Mystic Arch; (2) Scottish Master and Knight; (3) Philosopher; and (4) Priest of the Temple, otherwise High Priest. According to MacKenzie, the Rite of Melesino embodied exoteric teachings of the so-called Order of Ishmael, but if the latter was anything more than a fiction conceived in the brain of its chief historian, I am very certain that it had not come into being in the middle of the eighteenth century. As stated elsewhere, it was probably a MacKenzie “comet of a season,” a pseudo-Masonic egg and the chicken was never hatched. Another speculation describes the Rite of Melesino as a medley of Gnosticism, Magic, Hermetic Philosophy and Kabalism. It is said further that the Priestly Grade was Rosicrucian in character; but the evidence of these things is wanting.
Minor Master Grades.—The Craft Degree of Master Mason has of course one central point which is common to all its versions, but beyond this the variations are scarcely less numerous than are the Grand Obediences under whose authority they are worked. Moreover, they are not trivial, but are often equivalent to a new construction of the entire theme which moves about the main episode. The legend also differs, though in matters of detail only. This is the case especially with the Third Degree according to the Scottish Rite, the Strict Observance and the Rites of Memphis and Miz- raim. The fact is recorded in this place and is so left, because—in the nature of the case—the distinctions cannot be specified. The Minor Master Grades with which I am concerned here are creations of another category and a certain number have been dealt with separately in the places to which they belong—those of Elect Master, Ecossais Master, Master of all Symbolic Lodges, and so forth. They belong for the most part to large Rites or collections. Outside these there are many detached Grades and Grades in connection with Rites that have passed away. We know little, as usual, concerning them and often the names only. To serve as specimens of the whole the following particulars of title are here grouped together, omitting those which are enumerated otherwise in the content of various Rites. A.—Metropolitan Chapter of France: (i) Grand Master of Masters; (2) Private Master; (3) Provost Master and Judge; (4) Master of French Lodges. B.—Archives of the Scottish Philosophical Rite: (i) Perfect Master Architect; (2) Master Cohen ; (3) Grand Master of Regular Lodges; (4) Ancient and Sublime Master; (5) Prussian Master Architect; (6) Egyptian Master; (7) Kabalistic Master; (8) Supreme Elect Master. C.—Archives of the University: (i) True Master, Orient of the Sun; (2) Illustrious Symbolical Master; (3) Grand Master of the Tabernacle; (4) Master Grand High Priest; (5) Mystic Master ; (6) Master of Eight Kabalistic Secrets; (7) Sublime Master of the Order of Jerusalem; (8) Master of Masters; (9) Perfect Master Philosopher; (10) Perfect Master of Secrets; (it) Illustrious Master of Secrets. D.—Private Collections: (1) English Master of Lodges; (2) Grand Master of Neapolitan Chapters; (3) Perfect English Master; (4) Master in Perfect Architecture; (5) Perfect Master of Hamburg; (6) Four Times Worshipful Master; (7) Master Philosopher by the Number Three; (8) Master Philosopher by the Number Nine; (9) Royal Master of Philippi; (10) Pythagorean Master.
Moravian Masonry.—We know that the Kingdom of Heaven is likened to a grain of mustard-seed: of that which the seed may become and so also the Kingdom there were mindful certain Moravian Brethren, who were Masons also, when they founded in 1739 the Confraternity of Moravian Brothers of the Order of Religious Freemasons. An alternative denomination was Order of the Grain of Mustard-Seed. The place was Upper Lusatia, where the religious movement had itself originated, circa 1722, under the auspices of Count Zinzendorf. He was also concerned with the Masonic foundation, an experiment in the development of the sect and for the extension of the Kingdom of Heaven through Masonic channels. It is not to be regarded as an early example of the High-Grade movement, but as a particular association which subsisted for a brief period within the bosom of the Masonic Order.
More Masonic Reform.—In the year 1819 Prince Frederick of Nassau, heir to the throne of the Netherlands and moreover Grand Master of Masonry in that Kingdom, proposed a reformation of the Order by the substitution of two Grades in place of all that there and then might be held to extend, perfect and complete the Craft. The first was Elect Master which searched its Candidates on the great question of God, immortality, the kinds of faith in religion and the obligations devolving on citizens. It explained thereafter the significance of Symbolical Masonry. The second was Supreme Elect Master, the proceedings of which opened with the officers and members in concealment, but the hidden Master of the Lodge again searched the Candidate, this time on the tendencies of Masonry, and delivered a moral discourse. Thereafter the veils were raised and the symbols of the Grade explained. The Temple represented man and the voice of the Master unseen was that of conscience. The proposed reform did not appeal to the Lodges and was adopted by a few only, in consideration of its inventor’s Royal and Masonic Rank. It is said to have passed out of sight “when the Kingdom of Belgium was established.” It is known as the Nassau Reform.
Mystic Crown, The.—The reference is not to Kether at the head of the Sephirotic Tree but to an Order established at Paris in 1787 by certain disciples of Mesmer and presumably for the practice of his healing art. This is the kind of beneficence which was affirmed to characterise its objects. The qualification was the Degree of Master Mason. The Brethren were termed Knights and Companions—a magnetic chivalry forsooth. The Society is said on doubtful authority to have been extant in 1838.
Mystic Mason, Order of the.—The authority for the fact of this association is the Cyclopedia of Robert Macoy which appeared at New York, but it fails to inform us respecting date and place of origin. It is said to have recognised the three Craft Degrees of the York Rite and to have superposed thereon a transmuted or spiritualised version, denominated Mystic Entered Apprentice, Mystic Fellow-Craft and Mystic Master-Mason. It would be curious to meet with the Rituals and estimate the kind of mysticism embodied thereby. The spirits of the four quarters seem to have figured in the symbolism. I conceive that it was of American invention.
Nicotiates, Order of.—The authority is Clavel, who terms the foundation Masonic, and says that the doctrines of Pythagoras were taught therein. It is without date or place, father or mother, and is devoid of all history, so far as his information goes.
Olive-Branch in the East, The.—In the days when James Burnes was Provincial Grand Master of India, or more precisely in 1845, and at Bombay, he, as historian of the Knights Templar and presumably a High-Grade Mason as well as a Grand Officer, appears to have deplored the fact that the Christian Masonic Chivalries sat with closed doors, so far as native Masons were concerned. He produced therefore this Brotherhood as a substitute and arranged it in three Classes or Degrees, being (1) Novice, (2) Companion, and (3) Officer. A native Entered Apprentice was qualified for the first; a Master Mason could be admitted to the second; while exaltation in the Royal Arch was held desirable for the third. My information does not tell me in what manner the Brotherhood of the Olive-Branch was entitled to supply the place of Masonic Chivalry. According to one account, the experiment was successful for a time, but another affirms that it met with no favour. In any case it passed soon into the realm of Masonic memories.
Order of High Priesthood.—This is described as an honorary Degree—apparently a reward of merit—conferred in the United States, and there only, upon the High Priest of a Royal Arch Chapter, such status being an essential qualification. It is first mentioned in the second edition of Webb’s Monitor, which appeared in 1802, but is held to have been instituted at the beginning of 1799 by Webb and certain coadjutors of the General Grand Chapter, U.S.A. It is a mode of ordination, which connotes anointing with oil, a sacramental observance being added by which it is linked up with the pregnant story of Melchizedek. It seems to have been devised originally as part of the Ceremony of Installing a High Priest, who is the First Principal of every Royal Arch Chapter in the United States; but since 1853 it has been conferred separately, presumably on demand only and is not a qualification for the priestly office. It has been said to embody sublime elements.
Order of the Blazing Star.—Baron Tschoudy published his celebrated work entitled L’Étoile Flamboyante in 1766 and is accredited by Thory with establishing an Order under this name in the same year. By the hypothesis, it consisted of chivalrous grades and was referred to the times of the Crusades. At the date in question Tschoudy had left the Council of Emperors and had joined Pirlet’s Council of Knights of the East, to pursue therein the dream of Masonic reforms. His supposed Order of the Blazing Star lies within the covers of his work and did not extend beyond it.
Order of the Mystic Shrine.—A quasi-Oriental organisation of American origin and referable to the year 1871, when it was introduced by W. J. Florence to various High-Grade Masons of the Scottish Rite, and in particular to Walter M. Fleming, a member of the Thirty-Third Degree. There is no need to say that it claimed to be an ancient Order, indeed of time-immemorial constitution in its place of birth, which was Arabia. An Imperial Council was founded in 1876, Mr. Fleming being the first Imperial Potentate, an office which he is said to have held for seventeen years. The Brethren are termed Nobles and the Officers of Temples form a Divan. The success of the Order has been described as “meteoric,” but on the other hand it has by no means proved “the comet of a season,” having spread widely throughout the United States and maintained its place therein. So far as I am aware there is a single Grade only. Masonic qualifications are required and this is its sole connection with the Masonic Order. In the year 1900 Mr. Fleming is said to have visited the East, presumably to acquire local colouring for the Institution which he had served so long. A History of the Imperial Council was published in 1919.
Order of the Orient.—According to Thory, a Rite under this denomination appeared at Paris in 1806, claiming derivation from the Knights Templar and based on the Templar system. There is nothing known concerning it, and as it was precisely at this time that the Templar succession of Fabré Palaprat—on the basis of the Charter of Larmenius—was being put forward with considerable éclat, it seems improbable that there would have been an obscure counter-claim originating in the same place. It is of course impossible to say, but we are concerned perhaps with a mere matter of confusion.
Palestine, Order of.—On the authority of Baron Tschoudy and his Étoile Flamboyante it has been customary to speak of a secret Masonic Association under this name as a matter of historical fact, or at least as if it might be regarded from this standpoint. The least critical perception would have enabled those who have repeated these statements from mouth to mouth—following the lead of one another, and almost as if they had scarcely glanced at their author—to see that Baron Tschoudy’s Knights of the Morning and of Palestine were as mythical as any other traditional history narrated in the Grade Rituals with which we are all familiar. The literary alchemist of Metz was putting forward his particular thesis on the origin, perpetuation and transmission of the Hermetic tradition—as he understood it—under the veil of Masonry. It ought not to be necessary, even in the case of people of the Woodford and MacKenzie type, to point out that an Order of Chivalry could not have existed prior to the institution of Chivalry, but the Knights of the Morning belong, by the hypothesis of their creator, to the very dawn of the Christian era. It is said further that the Chevalier Ramsay drew part of his alleged system from the legendary Order of Palestine, which was never heard of till 1766, when L’Étoile Flamboyante first came from the press. It is probably a point of detail, but the celebrated Oration happens to have been delivered in 1737. I do not suppose that Baron Tschoudy ever devised a Ritual to materialise his hypothesis, but if he did not do so the mantle of his inspiration fell upon some unknown person, and so it came about that we have the Sixty-third Degree of the Rite of Mizraim, which figures also in another collection.
Perfect Initiates, Rite of.—There is an opportunity here to correct certain obvious misstatements. In the first place, even Count Cagliostro would have scarcely described a single Grade belonging to a sequence by the title of Rite. The Rite of Cagliostro was one thing and its Grades were the component parts. Secondly, and therefore, he did not assign to one of them the name of Rite of Perfect Initiates of Egypt. Thirdly, he did not designate his Egyptian Masonry as the Rite of Perfect Initiates when he first started it at Lyons, though he may have regarded it unquestionably as perfect in all its parts and honourable to the builder. He called it—as we have seen previously—Egyptian Masonry, while the Lodge which he established at Lyons to work and confer its Degrees was named Wisdom Triumphant. When it is said that a Rite of Perfect Initiates of Egypt, consisting of seven Degrees, had its headquarters at Lyons, the reference is to Cagliostro’s Egyptian Rite, and when compilers who make this statement distinguish the one from the other they err therein.
Phainoteletian Society.—A learned society of Masons was founded at Paris in 1840 for the investigation of all Secret Orders, apart from political cabals. It incorporated to this end brethren of all Rites, the moving spirit of the enterprise being L. T. Juge. I have failed to ascertain whether it accomplished anything or for what period it continued.
Phi-Beta-Kappa.—One of the bogus publications which make a pretence of revealing the whole Mystery of Freemasonry in all its Rites and Grades claims also to furnish a key to the Phi-Beta-Kappa. University debating societies have passed under names of this kind from time immemorial—in the Masonic use of the phrase—and there is no need to say that they have nothing to do with Masonry. But at William and Mary’s College, in Virginia, U.S.A., it is said that such a Society was incorporated in a formal manner, having Signs, Tokens, Words and a Jewel to be worn by members. The three Greek letters were understood to signify Φιλοσοφία Βίου Κυβερνήτης = Philosophy the Guide of Life. It is supposed to have been founded in 1776.
Pilgrims, Society of.—The story goes that in the year 1825 a Prussian shoemaker was arrested at Lyons on a charge which has not transpired, and he was found to be carrying the Catechism of a Society of Pilgrims, the same being Masonic in character—as shewn by the evidence of the document. What happened to the shoemaker does not appear in the memorial, nor do we learn when he was arrested. His Secret Order had not been heard of previously, and this is the last memorial concerning it.
Priestly Order.—The authorities are Yarker and Hughan. The first says that it was once practised in Ireland and also formed the system of the York Grand Lodge. The second holds that it could not have been of York origin. MacKenzie affirms that in 1877 it was still communicated or conferred in Scotland, England and Canada, but under what auspices he omits characteristically to state. It superimposed upon the Craft Degrees: (1) Past Master, (2) Royal Arch, (3) Knight Templar, (4) Knight Templar Priest, otherwise Holy Wisdom. The last of these was conferred in a Tabernacle, supported in a symbolical sense by Seven Pillars. The Early Grand Scottish Rite conferred all these Grades, but not in a direct sequence, and that of Knight Templar Priest constituted the Forty-first Degree, under the title of Priestly Order, or White Mason. I have dealt with in this form elsewhere.
Primitive Rite of Narbonne.—In 1780 a Lodge of Philadelpheas was at work in the town of Narbonne, and on April 19 of that year it would seem to have met in conclave under the style and title of Superiors of the Order of Free and Accepted Masons, in which capacity it created a Primitive Rite, superposed on the Craft Degrees and gathered in part from various sources but in part of orginal invention. There were three classes in all, of which the first comprised Symbolical Masonry. In the second class there were (1) Perfect Master, otherwise Elect and Architect, or Grand Master Architect; (2) Sublime Écossais; (3) Knight of the Sword, otherwise Knight of the East and Prince of Jerusalem. In the third class there were four Chapters of Rose-Croix Masonry, which were dedicated to research as follows: (1) The subject-matter of Ritual and general ceremonial procedure, following certain principles peculiar to the first Chapter; (2) Masonic history, in the light of archives belonging to the second Chapter; (3) Masonic philosophy and morals, and the investigation of all whatsoever which might contribute to human welfare and happiness, to which the third Chapter was dedicated; (4) The pursuit of occult science, including ontology, psychology and pneumatology, having the rehabilitation and reintegration of intellectual man in his primal rank and prerogatives as a practical object in view. This was the especial concern of the fourth Chapter, the members of which were dignified with the title of Rose-Croix Fathers of the Grand Rosary. It is an early reflection of pure Martinistic doctrine and important as evidence of the influence exercised by Saint Martin’s Des Erreurs et de la Vérité a few years after its publication. The old authorities are Clavel and Kloss, who mention an unknown Chevalier Pen as having appeared at Narbonne bearing a Patent dated December 27, 1779, in virtue of which he was authorised to constitute the Rite. As a matter of fact, it was founded by Francois, Marquis de Chefdebien d’Amand, nat. 1753. I refer to Benjamin Fabre: Franciscus Eques a Capite Galeato, 1913. It is the work of an anti-Mason who draws mendacious inferences from facts and documents, but it happens for once that valuable documents have come into his hands. In 1784 the Narbonne Obedience is said to have entered into a Concordat with the illustrious Rite of the Philalethes, working at Paris, the document recording that both institutions were seeking the same ends. It is alleged to have been united with the Grand Orient in 1786, certain members dissenting and continuing to work on their own account, presumably because such union signified extinction. In 1818 or 1819, according to Kenneth MacKenzie, it was reconstituted in the Netherlands by Marchot de Nivelles.
Primitive Scottish Rite.—To the French advocate just mentioned Clavel refers also the foundation in Belgium of a Primitive Scottish Rite, with Degrees corresponding in number and for the most part also in titles to the Ancient and Accepted Rite, already colonising Europe from its centre at Charleston. Marchot de Nivelleo established his rival system at Namur in the Lodge Bonne Amitié, affirming (1) that it originated in 1770 and (2) that its source of authority was the Metropolitan Grand Lodge of Edinburgh. There is no evidence for the date and the alleged Grand Obedience had no existence. The jurisdiction of Marchot’s invention scarcely extended beyond the walls of Namur, according to Clavel, and nothing whatever is known of the new Degrees incorporated into his Rite. The complete sequence is as follows: (1) Apprentice; (2) Companion; (3) Master; (4) Perfect Master; (5) Irish Master; (6) Elect of Nine; (7) Elect of the Unknown; (8) Elect of Fifteen; (9) Illustrious Master; (10) Perfect Elect; (11) Minor Architect; (12) Grand Architect; (13) Sublime Architect; (14) Master of Perfect Architecture; (15) Royal Arch; (16) Prussian Knight; (17) Knight of the East; (18) Prince of Jerusalem; (19) Venerable Master of Lodges; (20) Knight of the West; (21) Knight of Palestine; (22) Sovereign Prince Rose-Croix; (23) Sublime Ecossais; (24) Knight of the Sun; (25) Grand Ecossais of St. Andrew; (26) Mason of the Secret; (27) Knight of the Black Eagle; (28) Knight Kadosh; (29) Grand Elect of Truth; (30) Novice of the Interior; (31) Knight of the Interior; (32) Prefect of the Interior; (33) Commander of the Interior. In his third edition of 1844 Clavel appears to indicate that the Primitive Scottish Rite was still working at Namur, but this is doubtful, and in any case it is not heard of after.
Rectified Rose-Croix.—Few Masonic Grades have been so rectified, reconstructed, revised and philosophised as the Grade of Rose-Croix, for Rosicrucianism, under all denominations, has ever been a name to conjure with. The particular invention before us is that of Dr. F. J. W. Schröder—nat. 1733, ob. 1778—who established the Rite under notice at Sarreburg in or about 1769. It was concerned with theosophy, alchemy and magic, comprised in four Degrees, superposed on those of the Craft. Their very titles seem to be unknown.
Saint Jachin, Society of.—It is said that the Comte de Saint-Germain established this association, which became subsequently the Order of Joachim. I have mentioned the latter in my study of the Rites of Adoption. As far as it is possible to tell, there is no truth in the story, more especially as the Order of Joachim is fairly clear on its historical side, at least as to its foundation.
Sons of Hermann.—Under this title the forms of Masonic procedure were adapted to the charitable purposes of a German Secret Order, which appears to have been existing about 1870 in the United States. I have met with no particulars concerning it.
Star of the Syrian Knights.—This Rite seems to have existed on paper only in the collection of a Masonic virtuoso. It consisted of three Degrees: (1) Novice, (2) Professed Knight, (3) Grand Patriarch.
Union of Scientific Freemasons.—The authority is Findel, who relates that Fessler and other instructed Masons founded a Society under this title on November 28, 1802, to investigate Masonic history. It proved a failure, which has been referred in part to the peculiarities of Fessler himself. The Union of German Masons, which was inaugurated in 1861 for “the cultivation of Masonic science,” has been regarded as its successor; but there is not very much in the contention, nor does the question signify.
Vielle-Bru, Rite of.—The statements are: (1) That an Order under this name was established at Toulouse by Sir Samuel Lockhart in 1743, he being an adherent of Prince Charles Edward Stuart; (2) that it was divided into three Chapters and comprised nine Degrees, being (a) Entered Apprentice, (b) Fellow Craft, (c) Master Mason, (d) Secret Master, followed by (e), (f), (g), (h), being four Elect Degrees, not otherwise specified but containing Templar elements, (1) a Council of Menatzchim, representing Scientific Masonry; (3) that it was chartered by Prince Charles Edward; (4) that it was refused recognition by the French Grand Orient in 1804 and 1812, “because it presented no moral or scientific object,” while there was no evidence to support its charter. The name Vielle-Bru was supposed to signify Faithful Scottish Masons, which is ridiculous. It is quite certain that it did not originate under the circumstances or at the time stated, one alternative to which is 1748, but this is also much too early. It is heard of otherwise simply as a Lodge at Toulouse, for which any date after 1735 is of course possible; but the whole subject lies within a cloud of false seeming, and I question whether it would reward the pains of research. In later years a Rite of the kind specified may have grown up within the Lodge, when the fraudulent Stuart Warrant would have been one of the familiar devices to support its claim upon a comparatively early date.
Modern Order of Martinism
A Martinist Order was established at Paris in 1887, claiming to be a hierarchic reorganisation of an anterior institution, referable to Louis Claude de Saint-Martin, the Unknown Philosopher. The latter is affirmed to have initiated M. de Chaptal, grandfather of the French occultist, Henri Delaage, who wrote Doctrines des Sociétés Secrètes in 1852. Delaage in his turn initiated Dr. Gérard Encausse, otherwise Papus. These statements rest on the authority of Papus, who drafted an outline of certain Rituals for the use of the Order, and was to all intents and purposes its founder, as he also became its head. The technical denomination was Ordre des Silencieux Inconnus, commonly inscribed Ordre des S ∴ ∴ I ∴ ∴, but it was better known as L’Ordre du Martinisme, its members being sometimes referred to as Brethren of the Six Points, in contradistinction to les Fr ∴ Maç ∴, or Masons of all Degrees, who were and are still known as Brethren of the Three Points. In both cases it is usually a satirical allusion.
Unknown Philosophers.—Papus affirmed further that Lodges of Unknown Philosophers, otherwise Loges Martinistes, were founded by Martines de Pasqually and Saint-Martin. The statement betrays extraordinary confusion. Pasqually was founder and chief of the Rite des Élus Cohens and probably nothing else. His brilliant disciple, the Christian mystic Saint-Martin, established no groups. A French Masonic tradition—repeated perpetually from mouth to mouth by such writers as Clavel, Rebold and Ragon—has, however, accredited him with a Rectified Rite of Saint-Martin, said to have comprised ten Grades, reduced subsequently to seven. The explanation of this legend must be sought in an identity of names. There was Saint-Martin the mystic at the period of the French Revolution, and there was Saint Martin—circa A.D. 316-397—who became Bishop of Tours in 371, as successor of St. Litorius. The story that he divided his mantle at the gate of the city of Amiens with a naked and frozen beggar has become famous in Christendom, and out of it there arose about 1770 an Écossais Rectifié de Saint Martin, at the Lodge or Charter of St. Theodore of Metz, which presumably commemorated the legend and applied it to the charitable offices of Masonry. Papus perpetuated the confusion between the two personalities and was not more ignorant in doing so than a full score who had preceded him. His good faith is not therefore involved, though it seems difficult to maintain in respect of the de Chaptal story, save indeed at the expense of Delaage, who may be exonerated in turn in so far as intention is concerned. It is sufficient to infer that he was a fantasiast, equally shallow and inaccurate, and he is—I fear—shewn to be such by his writings.
Three Degrees.—-As established by Papus, the Martinist Order comprised three Degrees, being (1) Associate, (2) Initiated Martinist, and (3) Initiator. The so-called indispensable symbols were (a) Three Lights, corresponding in man to the belly, the heart and the head, or body, life and thought, and in the universality of things to Nature, Man and God; (b) the Mask, which was worn by all Brethren, to isolate them one from another in the work of the Order, that they might look to themselves for progress and realise their personal responsibility apart from the rest of mankind; (c) the Mantle, which was inscrutably supposed to inculcate the need of prudence to counteract the effects of ignorance under the rule of will. The end of the Order was not the creation of dogmatic masters but “humble students dedicated to the worship of Eternal Truth.” There were no claims to knowledge or to arbitrary authority. I have said that the Rituals existed in outline only, as certain heads of procedure, and each initiator had the duty of amplifying them according to his best lights. Parisian occultists seem to have poured into the Order, attracted by its simplicity and its putative connection with a mystic who was in honourable memory among them. A Supreme Council was founded with power for the formation of regular Lodges, male and female members being admitted on equal terms. This was in 1891. By the year 1899 there were general and special delegations of the Order established in a number of European countries—Great Britain included; in the United States, the Argentine and Guatemala; and even in more than one Oriental land.
Modes of Propagation.—The existence of Lodges notwithstanding, at possible and convenient centres, another method of propagation obtained from the beginning which was at once simple and effective. This was from initiate to initiate, each of whom on attaining the Third Degree might become in his turn an initiator, empowered to found a group, which was pledged solely to conceal the name of the person from whom he had received the Order on his own part. The early Rituals describe this method as follows:
“The diffusion of the Order is like cellular diffusion. One cell never shuts up another, except for a very short period. The mother-cell divides or rather gives, birth to cellules, which themselves become mothers in a very short space of time.”
Esoteric Studies.—There were no payments of any kind, except perhaps in connection with expenses incurred of necessity at established centres. Individual initiators could demand nothing from their private circles. I conclude from personal knowledge that the unapparent diffusion of the Order—secured in this manner—must have been exceedingly large. The numerical strength of the centres was also great. As a more or less informal incorporation of groups for “esoteric studies,” the programme seems to have been not only harmless but serviceable, and it was conspicuously successful at Paris, where the well-known periodical L’Initiation was practically its official organ. But there were secret elements which made for disruption and they were destined to pass from a latent into an active state. The Supreme Council at Paris had Papus as its President for life. He had sought Masonic initiation and had been refused everywhere in France. By way of reprisals or other wise, he converted his Martinist centres into unofficial bodies for the indiscriminate communication of official Masonic secrets to both sexes, and for the study of Masonic Rituals, symbolism and history.
A Rectified Rite.—Paris was unmoved by the proceedings, as French Freemasonry carries the yoke of its arcane heritage exceedingly lightly, but in English-speaking countries the reaction was far otherwise. In the year 1902, the Sovereign Delegate of the Order in America—Dr. Edouard Blitz—who appears to have been at the head of a large and powerful organisation, broke away from the Supreme Council in France, “on the ground that it gave instruction concerning purely Masonic secrets to persons not initiated into Masonry and recommended the same practices to Lodges and Centres under its obedience.” An American Rectified Martinist Order, working under a Masonic régime and admitting Masons exclusively, was created about the same time, having Dr. Blitz at its head. A General Convocation was held at Cleveland, Ohio, on June 2, 1902, and a Manifesto was issued by its direction.
American Manifesto.—This document, now excessively rare, is a most valuable contribution to the early history of Martinism, the inner knowledge of which is said to be “a precious guide into the obscure labyrinth of Masonic symbolism,” a “key to the mystic interpretation of Masonic ceremonial and allegory” and “a strong light” upon the nature of the “venerable institution.” The reference is to certain hidden Grades which came out of that marriage between Martinism and the Rite of the Strict Observance which is mentioned elsewhere in these volumes. The Manifesto makes no mention of the Supreme Council in Paris or of antecedent history in America under that obedience. It seems to be a bid for recognition at Masonic centres on the merits of its own story. The Supreme Council replied with an Edict from the East, which was promulgated in a curious periodical called Star in the East. It affirmed (a) that the Martinist Order established in the United States was not a Rite of Freemasonry but a lay Christian Chivalry, but this was simply a façon de parler, since it contained no Grade of Knighthood; (b) that it was founded directly on the teachings of Saint-Martin, which, however, was a polite fiction, seeing that it was occult rather than mystic; (c) that it was linked by him “to all the chain of Christian Illuminati” in the visible and invisible worlds; (d) that American brethren had sought to restrict the studies of Martinists by forbidding them to become acquainted with the symbols and Rites of Freemasonry; (e) that the office of Sovereign Delegate-General for the United States—held by Dr. Blitz, I believe—was therefore abolished; and (f) that it was replaced by that of an Inspectress-General of the Order in the person of Margaret B. Peeke, who alone among American brethren possessed the Martinist Grade of Rosy Cross. The decisions of presidents and delegates restricting the study of symbolism were declared null and void, and their Grand Council was dissolved.
Martinist Rose-Croix.—This edict was signed by Papus as Grand Master and by several “powerful masters,” holding secretarial offices or the post of Grand Archivist. The so-called Grade of Rosy Cross was presumably that which stood at the head of Pasqually’s Priestly Rite, all the Rituals of which were said to be possessed by the Supreme Council. I have not been able to test the truth of this claim: but as I note that Dr. Blitz in his Manifesto affirms that they were lost, while he was unquestionably acquainted with the claim, it seems obvious that in his opinion the Supreme Council either possessed no such documents or had produced counterfeits. However this may be, the Edict ruled that the Grade was transmissible to members of both sexes in America, so that they evidently communicated something, though it may have been a mere title or instruction apart from ritual. As regards Mrs. Peeke, she was an occult novelist of her day and dedicated a certain Zenia the Vestal to adepts of the Order of Calatrava and other anonymi. I remember her as an amiable correspondent in days long gone. Dr. Blitz was a correspondent also, to whose experience in continental Masonry and in the persistence and transmission of historical Rites through their several transformations I owed something in earlier years. With the later history of his Rectified Martinist Order I am not acquainted, nor indeed with that of French Martinism in America. It had of course shut its doors against Masons under authorised obediences, and probably fell back upon the original mode of transmission from initiator to initiator.
English Rectified Rite.—An Independent and Rectified Rite of Martinism was constituted also in England during the course of 1902 for similar reasons. It differed from the American organisation by the fact that it sought no recognition in Masonic circles and initiated both sexes. It remained, however, in full sympathy with the Rectified Order, as this was being propagated in America. It adopted a method of development peculiar to itself, working on a less imperfect hierarchic plan, with a Supreme Superior at its head and making use of transmuted Rituals. It sought to concern itself especially with the mystical philosophy of Saint-Martin and to isolate its members from those circles which interfered with Masonic subjects or reproduced Masonic procedure. The following instructions were issued therefore to Brethren:
“As it is difficult to ascertain how many isolated groups of Martinists or individual adepts, holding by charter from France or from particular Free Initiators, may exist at the present time in Great Britain; and seeing that members of the Independent and Rectified Rite of Martinism are possessed of special knowledge and are conseqently under special obligations; certain precautions are necessary in the presence of persons belonging to the earlier and now discredited rule. Brethren of the Independent Rite should remember in the first place that all indifferently have been integrated in the same Order and that individual initiates under a system of free propagation cannot be regarded as responsible for the acts of a Supreme Council with which they may never have come into communication, and such persons should be treated therefore fraternally. But brethren shall not disclose the fact that they owe their own initiation to the Independent and Rectified Rite or allude in any manner to its existence. They will bear in mind that they, in common with every member of the Order, rectified or not rectified, are pledged never to reveal the name of their initiator and that those who are of the old obedience cannot therefore question them as to the source from which they derive. They should seek to ascertain the status of anyone claiming connection with Martinism, while they disclose their own acquaintance with the symbolism of the various Degrees under great circumspection and only to the extent that their auditor may proceed himself in his discourse. They must report the name and address, as and if ascertained, of any person so encountered to the Supreme Superior, who will, if necessary, proceed in the matter. Furthermore, it should be borne in mind that the Signs and Words of the Independent and Rectified Rite differ from those of the Supreme Council in France and that the Independent Groups formed by Free Initiators in various countries have no special Words or Signs. Assistance will be extended readily to Brethren in any difficulty that may arise.”
Revised Degrees.—There were three Degrees, being (1) Rite of Dedication, (2) Ceremony of the Threshold, (3) Rite of Ordination or of Warrant; all of them, and the Third especially, somewhat elaborate in their character, though simple in symbolism. The Independent and Rectified Rite appears, however, to have fallen asleep in Saint-Martin, while as regards the Supreme Council of France its activities have been suspended by the Great War, and its Grand Masters have died one after another. So far as I have been able to ascertain, its incorporated Lodges and Assemblies abandoned the Rituals of 1887 and began to confer those of Craft Masonry or some variation thereof. As the fact does not appear in its transactions or official and unofficial organs it deserves to be called clandestine at this period. Another transformation occurred, however, in 1913, when an elaborate Rituel de L’Ordre Martiniste was issued under the direction of the Supreme Council, shewing that an honorary Degree had been added to the three others as a reward of zeal and for members intending to propagate the Order in new regions. There was no special Masonic complexion, but the qualifications for advancement from Grade to Grade were the passing of successive examinations in the symbolism and official secrets of various Masonic Degrees.
Merits of Martinism.—It remains only to add that members under all obediences were distinguished by certain letters and numbers, connected with the mode of propagation by means of Free Initiators. They served to identify groups and mark their diffusion without disclosing names. The system was devised with some skill, but there is no call to enter into details concerning it. It is desirable in conclusion to mention one point in favour of the Martinist Order, as founded originally by Papus. Unlike so many organisations which have assumed in modern days a Masonic or kindred origin, it did not make false or fantastic claims regarding its sources. Papus never concealed the fact that he and no other was the author and fount of its very simple Rituals, which were modestly conceived and well arranged. He connected it indeed with the name of Saint-Martin as a sort of traditional founder, but rather as a remote inspiration. It was an attempt to revive in an incorporated form the kind of work which the French mystic was held to have done individually among his admirers and disciples.
Moral Law and Masonry
The ethical value of Masonic law and counsel in those matters which belong to the conduct of life is the value of moral law—written or unwritten—as recognised—mutatis mutandis—by civilised conscience at all times and everywhere. Masonry, by its proper hypothesis, is “a system of morality, veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols.” As this apothegm has been quoted many thousands of times by persons who regard it as a hall-mark of perfection, a doctrinal statement which must carry conviction of necessity, it would appear to have escaped every one that it is more strictly a title of futility and the consecrating charter of a particularly crass convention. Under what pretence is it needful or even tolerable to veil ethical teaching under figurative vestures, whether of allegory or types? The matter at issue concerns a code which is already in the hands of every one and is written—thank God—in the minds and hearts of myriads out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation. It is withal so simple that there is no difficulty in teaching it directly, while an allegorical and symbolical system of some complexity is about the last instrument which is required to explain or enforce it. The inherent and natural force of moral law has no need of devised fables. There is above all no warrant for secrecy and mystery over the plain basis of individual and social conduct. The sentiment which governs such procedure is therefore false and its pretence fictitious.
Proverbial Definition.—Fortunately the proverbial definition does not happen to be adequate—by which I mean that it does not comprehend its subject, for the essence, the spirit and the truth of Masonry escape therein. Were this otherwise, it would be actually, as it was branded by De Quincey, the great imposture of the modern world. Moreover, on the evidence of Masonic history, it has not succeeded in constructing a more perfect type than other systems of ethical discipline which have operated in the past or are now at work upon humanity. The Churches are said to have failed, and according to divine measures there may be no question that they are found wanting, but the last body of men to prefer a charge against them would be, I think, the Masonic Brotherhood. It is about the last that can be regarded in any special or predominant sense as a conservatorium of forces for the successful improvement of society. When it is said that a Mason who abides scrupulously by the counsels of his Order cannot fail to be an estimable man, this statement may be accepted without reserve; but the laws of Masonry are only the lowest expression of an universal standard and as much may be affirmed of any person, outside the Fraternity, who elects to guide his life by the common code of good conduct; while no more can be claimed for the best Mason qua Mason, than for any good and law-abiding person outside that pale, because they are both self-regulated by the dictates of the same ideals.
A Rule of Life.—The defence of Masonry within the limits of the ethical hypothesis which it has chosen to assume is of course that no moral code forms an abiding rule of life, or in other words that the best of us fall lamentably short of any and every standard, including our own; and in face of this fact the serious attempt of any guild or society to propose and demand a certain rule of conduct must command respect and does, successful or otherwise, give it some claim on existence. However simple and for the most part undisputed, however painfully expressed in terms of convention and platitude, the moral counsels of Freemasonry make up a code which most of us have failed to observe in any plenary or vital sense and are therefore a rule of life which we are still called to attain. So far as the code is unpractised it stands for the hopes of humanity, since we all look to do better. The “sublime principles” of “relief” and brotherly love cannot be heard of too often so long as there is hate in the world and so long as there is want therein. So long also as that other sublime principle which is vaguely called “truth” is a notion without a criterion—above all in Masonry—we cannot hear of it too often, nor seek too long for its unerring standard, looking for that day when the age-long question of Pilate shall at last be answered in our hearts.
Morals and Mysteries.—When this has been granted freely and a free field left for the moral counsels, qua unadorned counsels, it remains that the institutes of ordinary good citizenship are an improper subject of symbolism, that a sacramental institution, a dramatic mystery, or a mode of ceremonial initiation which exists simply to inculcate such institutes, or to lay special stress on altruism, the higher immunities and the admitted bonds of our humanity, or even the abstract notion of truth and the doctrines of imprescriptible right, by recourse to veils of allegory and illustrations of symbolism, mobilises too great a force to accomplish too simple a purpose, as from early childhood we have been taught the same things more naturally and hence better by the catechisms of all the churches. And further, it does not appear that the more cumbrous method conduces to the end more surely. To teach duties which are transparent by the help of complex machinery does not, however, as yet do outrage to the good sense of many and perhaps the majority of persons, because the general mind of the world is only just emerging from the ethical period, both in literature and art. But the plain story with an obvious moral, the picture which reads a homily and has all its merit therein, the poem which has no other title than to offer a good example are monstrosities in the eyes of art, and yet are not so ridiculous as the three, seven or ninety and seven Grades of a system which boasts for its solid foundation the practice of those conventions which make political association possible. I am in no wise minimising these conventions—as made clear indeed already—but I affirm that having been entered, passed, raised, advanced, exalted, installed, perfected, and having attained the other titles of Masonic nobility, there must be a sense of disparity in learning that the last secrets are like the first secrets, that the man in the street knows them, that they are preached from all the housetops and are indeed recurring themes of every Sunday-school.
Apprentices and Masters.—Within even the limits of the Craft, we have seen, however, that Masonry is not comprehended by what I have called its proverbial definition and that its central legend takes us back through all the Christian centuries to the Instituted Mysteries of the past. Unfortunately those who confer its Grades and those who receive them know nothing at all on this side of the subject in the vast majority of cases. It comes about in this manner that the real secret of Masonry is not taught openly in the Masonic Lodges but is discovered—if it is discovered—by the initiate for himself: the Apprentices are therefore innumerable and the Masters few.
Morality and Religion.—It remains to be said that morality is the gate of religion, but is not religion itself, and it is therefore in virtue of a true though blind instinct that those who regard ethics as the total sum of Masonry are those also who deny its religious aspects. So also morality is the gate of perfection—a sine qua non thereof—but it is not the perfect way. It is the presupposed mode of entrance on the path which leads to God—I mean, to our end of being. The Lost Word of Masonry—the escaped secret—which should give it life and meaning is not an ethical value or a moral principle. It belongs to another region, being that of reality, into which no consideration of conduct can ever enter—true as it is that willing evil conduct shuts the gate of attainment.
Most Excellent Master
There are two distinct recensions of this Degree, and they have no relation to each other. One of them appears to trespass somewhat perilously upon the mode of Installing the Master of a Craft Lodge of Freemasons, so I can say only concerning it: (1) That the fact of its existence in the American Rite accounts for an important practical difference which obtains between the Installation in question under that obedience and the rule of the English Rite; (2) that according to this recension the Grade of Most Excellent Master was hypothetically established after the dedication of the Temple as a distinguishing mark of King Solomon’s approval bestowed upon one of his most skilful workmen. It was that which followed immediately on the manifestation of the Holy Shekinah between the Cherubim on the Mercy-Seat. The Keystone and Ark of the Covenant belong hereto.
The Cap-Stone.—According to the alternative version, being that of the Early Grand Rite, it was instituted to commemorate “the laying of the Cap-Stone of the Temple,” signifying its full and perfect completion. The motives which governed the codices of both offered a signal opportunity to any maker of Ritual who was also a Master in the Mystical Israel, but it has been missed as usual, so that we have elementary procedure apart from significance in symbolism and pseudo-historical expatiation apart from real point. The closing words indicate that the Most Excellent Master—under the Scottish Jurisdiction—“ends all connection between the Grades of the Early Grand Rite and the first Temple at Jerusalem.”
Mysteries of Egypt
We have made acquaintance in the Krata Repoa with a speculative reconstruction of the Egyptian modes of initiation, as conceived by German Masons at the close of the eighteenth century. Those who remain curious on the subject of such inventions may compare the Abbé Terrasson and his Histoire des Initiations de l’ancienne Égypte, published at Paris in 1825. They are by no means the only experiments. Under the name of Egyptian Mysteries later Masonic writers have usually presented us with pictures drawn from Apuleius and Iamblichos, as if these were witnesses to the far past instead of things current at their own period. As to old Egyptian Mysteries, the mouths of official, authorised Egyptologists seem not only closed but sealed: they open only in the vast region of funerary texts, regarding the Book of the Dead and all the cognate records as representing the Rites and Ceremonies developed at various periods out of the eschatological doctrine of ancient Egypt. They are highly important from this point of view and indicate to me as a mystic that the shadowed lights at least of the soul’s eternal union with God were manifested in no uncertain manner at Heliopolis and Memphis in “the early dawn and dusk of time.” But the travels and initiations of the soul after death, according to a hypothesis of mythology, are one thing, while the initiation and advancement of a Candidate on this side of the world are another and very different. It comes about also that where the voice of scholarship is silent, it is unbecoming and ridiculous for those who are still in the classes to hazard a single word. I forbear therefore to enlarge, as many have done before me, on the analogies between the Hiramic Legend in Masonry and the Egyptian Legend of Osiris. It is familiar and exceedingly shallow, for reasons which can be specified only in vague terms, namely, that, at least within the field of the Craft Degrees, the analogy—such as it is—subsists between Osiris and the Candidate who is ultimately raised to life, not between Hiram and Osiris.
Metamorphoses of Apuleius.—Lucius Madaurensis Apuleius belonged to the second century of the Christian era, when the world was full of initiations, both old and new. How far the Mysteries of Egypt which are recounted under veils in the eleventh book of his Metamorphoses—otherwise The Golden Ass—may have reflected from past ages of Egypt is very difficult to say; but I believe that there is no reason to predicate the antiquity of their form. However this may be, they were divided—speaking Masonically—into three Degrees: (1) Mysteries of Isis; (2) Mysteries of Serapis; (3) Mysteries of Osiris. The first comprehended the Lesser, while the second and third ranked as the Greater Mysteries. I have intimated that Apuleius is concerned with the Lesser only, and the account is of his own initiation. He testifies (1) that he was led into the inner recesses of the Sanctuary; (2) that he was clothed with a linen garment; (3) that he approached the confines of death; (4) that he returned therefrom, being “borne through all the elements”; (5) that he saw the sun shining at midnight with great splendour; (6) that he entered the presence of the gods; (7) that he stood near them and worshipped. In other words, he took part in a typical dramatic pageant; but the author intimates expressly that his account is veiled—as it is indeed and obviously, with reference to the sun at midnight. An admirable exposition of the Metamorphoses as a moral and spiritual allegory will be found in Warburton’s Divine Legation, Bk. II, § 4, with which may be compared the Baron de Sainte-Croix: Mémoires pour servir à l’Histoire da la Religion Secrète, § VIII, Art. 3—a hard, unsympathetic account.
Iamblichos.—We enter a different atmosphere in the theurgic and theosophical treatise of Iamblichos on Egyptian Mysteries. In the following brief summary we shall be concerned less with pageants of reception than with doctrines of attainment. It is understood that the author belongs, like Apuleius, to the Christian era and presents his personal interpretation of things seen at first hand. (1) The thesis is that when the Theurgic Rites of the Mysteries are performed perfectly, the gods are their directors. (2) There are Rites for unstained souls and others for those who are still in the yoke of the flesh. (3) They are indifferently Magical Rites, at which apparitions are seen, for example, the gods themselves, manifesting in gigantic forms. (4) They included Prayers and Invocations, about which it is said that by the first is awakened the Divine Essence within us, while the second effect union with the Divine First Cause. (5) Taken together, they form aids in acquiring the likeness of the Divine. (6) It is affirmed further that a worthy fulfilment of the arcane discipline establishes Theurgic Union. (7) But, apparently in distinction herefrom, we are told of Divine Participation, Divine Communication and Divine Union. (8) As regards Theurgic Union, souls of theurgists are called upwards to the gods, being thus prepared to approach their own eternal and noetic First Cause. (9) But there is one Divine Being, “in the aloneness of His Absolute Unity,” and after theurgic discipline has conjoined the soul individually with those Divine Forces which pervade the universe, she is led to the Creator and is united individually with the One . . . Apuleius was a fervent disciple of the Isiac Mysteries in his day because they were pure and holy, but nothing of a mystical kind shines through the folds of his parable. No doubt it was after such manner that Iamblichos expounded to himself and those who were like him the plastic message of the Rites: no doubt after this manner he translated Ritual into life. But we are far and how far away from the murder of Osiris, the eloquent quest of Isis, the resurrection and apotheosis of the God.
The Book of the Master.—It is useful to compare for a moment these great intimations with the inferences drawn by Mr. W. Marsham Adams from his study of mystical doctrine in connection with the Great Pyramid—regarded as a place of initiation, because it is impossible that it should be one of burial. Over the archaeological question I do not pretend to follow him and have set aside expressly all debate of this kind. It is otherwise—at least tentatively—on the doctrinal side. There is no question that the Myth of Osiris covers the whole story of mystical life and is presented in the Funerary Ritual as the soul’s own story. There is no more eloquent valediction to the departing soul than that which says: Thou hast gone living to Osiris. The promise is life in Osiris. The great doctrine, the great revelation of all the true Mysteries is that Osiris lives: but he is known by other names. We also as Masons look forward to union of the departed with Osiris, as we believe—with Eliphas Lévi—in the resurrection of Hiram. The last message of all is immortality in union. But the Ritual of the Grade of Rose-Croix says, while the Spiritual Princes raise their eyes upward: To be united with Him for ever. That which Saint-Martin said once, referring to all true men, we may repeat of the true Mysteries: they “speak the same language, for they come from the same country.” So also they lead back thereto.
Mysteries of Nature and Science
The study of these subjects is regarded as a duty of those who have passed to the Degree of Fellow Craft, and they receive a kind of licence to enter on the arduous research, much as if in the brief life of an Entered Apprentice they had exhausted what is known of both. One would think that there must be some meaning behind all this in the common sense of things, but I have sometimes pictured the consequences of a “skilful craftsman” seeking instruction from the Master as a further mark of his favour. On the surface therefore the counsel is hollow pretence, for he who gives it is sometimes the last person who would be qualified to teach anything. There is, moreover, another aspect under which we may regard the matter. Some of us—perhaps few—have followed these quests through all our rational lives and have found that they are the kind of research from which God may hide Himself. We have filled our heads with knowledge, with visions and rumours of knowledge; but the inward eye is not satisfied with this kind of seeing, nor is the inward ear filled with this kind of hearing. As a disciple of the mystic quest, I know that it is rather in the emptying of the mind that light comes to the spirit, and that this is the path of attainment in the great reality of things. We do not need Secret Rituals to tell us that we ought to be good, that we should study the physical sciences, or even the history of religion. But if they have something to indicate concerning the way of absolute goodness, the realisation which is behind knowledge, and the essential life of religion, then we need them badly enough. So also in respect of death. We have nothing to learn on the literal side concerning what Craft Masonry calls the King of Terrors, till we are called through his dark house. But there is a death which is figurative or mystical, and this is a key of entrance into the Temple of the Spirit, while beyond it is the glorious resurrection of that master who is also saint: it is the beginning of eternal life experienced in the spirit of the man.
Mystic and Magus
Having said something in these pages of that attainment which is connoted by the idea of true adeptship, it is desirable to contrast therewith the traditional notion of the Magus, since a distinction requires to be made between the transcendental end of the Higher Mysteries and those objects which have been set before themselves by the hierarchs of occult and theurgic orders. By the hypothesis concerning him, a Magus—let us say—is able to command spirits; he is supposed to transmute metals; he understands the prophetic courses of the stars; at his will he confers visions on subjects made passive to his arts; he can prolong his physical life and by possibility that of others; he exhibits—on occasion—a profound and particular knowledge, besides a prodigious passing acquaintance with a vast circle of external learning; he possesses a magnetic personality; he controls the hearts of women and is not—at least usually—controlled by them. In other words, he is an engaging character in a certain class of romance—now almost exploded—and has produced vivid impressions as a conventional man of mystery. He is at once Manfred, Melmoth and Zanoni, with a suggestion of the Castle of Udolpho in the background of his picture. I do not propose to argue that such a personality belongs only to the realm of fiction; that proficiency in alchemy is attained hardly in a lifetime, if indeed ever; that the student of the stars turns grey over his work; that there is not time enough for one person to be all these things, unless there is a short way to universal science. But suppose for a moment that all were possible of attainment within the space of a single life, they are still the phantasmagoria of adeptship and not its reality. Evocation, magic, the supposititious transmutation of metals, the skrying of stellar influences and even their government—were all these things veridic in a plenary sense they could never lead man to God: once more, from such knowledge God may well hide Himself. If we are to make anything of our fair world of the Mysteries we must love the highest object therein, and this is no question of duty but one of essential condition. The end of the Higher Instituted Mysteries is God, and that which they shew forth in their pageants is the path to Him. On the other hand, the end of the occult Orders is proficiency in occult arts, which cannot exceed their own measures in any grade of attainment, while the history of those arts—for which the fullest materials exist—exhibit them as paths of delusion when they are not those of imposture. The “astral” side of our nature does not lead into truth, even of the lower categories. If it be said that the common seeress is toying with a faculty which—under another training and with another motive might approach her towards the Blessed Vision—for the simple reason that seeing is seeing in things psychic as in things spiritual or physical—it remains that the seeress, because she is a seeress, is so much the further from that Vision.
The allusions to this Science of Eternal Life and the Art thereof have been recurrent in preceding pages, and as others are yet to follow it is well to place on record the exact definitions thereof as they have been formulated by supreme theology through all generations. Let us take a few examples only: Mysticism, according to Gerson, is an extension of the soul in God by the desire of love. Elsewhere he says that it is an anagogic movement or symbolical progress in God by pure and fervid love. Dionysius the Carthusian only varies the form of the axiom when he affirms that it is the most secret speaking communion of the mind with God. And the Greek paraphrast of pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite, dealing rather with the term of the experience than with the experience itself, exceeds the previous definitions without contradicting them when he states that this experience is neither perception nor discourse, meaning that it is beyond all psychic states and that the communion is not like the verbal intercourse of mind with mind. It is not—he proceeds—a movement of the mind, not a preparation, not a habitual condition. It is nothing that any power we possess may bring to us, but if in absolute immobility of mind we are illumined concerning it, we shall know that it is beyond anything comprehensible by the—material—-mind of man. To this Blosius—at once summarising and exhausting all—adds that it is a pure love which is outside representation, even as God transcends all the institutes.
Eternal End.—I do not present these citations as easy of understanding by the natural man; they are intimations of a state which lies beyond the intellect, if I can venture to make use analogically of spatial terms to body forth things which are outside space relations. For the rest, they are previsions of the eternal end of being attained in God and are also its foretaste. The state itself at its highest, as experienced in earthly life, is called the Mystical Death, because it suspends for the time being all communications with the external through channels of sense and mind. It is one also of ecstasy and rapture, but the use of these terms is liable to misconstruction because they connote in other connections an exaltation of the sense faculties, and these are not at work.
Hypothesis of the Mysteries.—They are serviceable, however, because they have been used frequently to shadow forth that which was reached—ex hypothesi—at the culminating point of the Ancient Mysteries by their epopts and adepts. I speak here according to some modern hypotheses concerning the Mysteries, in a preceding study of which it will be remembered that I have not left it an open question whether they communicated in symbols or promoted interior states by psychic processes, so that the pageant of the Mysteries was enacted within the Candidate rather than without him by Ritual. As regards all times, places and ceremonial processes, we must remember that the union which is within cannot be produced by processes operating from without. The progress of the soul in Divine Love and in that union which is the Crown of Love is a long, long story, indeed a story of life. The Mysteries could foreshadow only, and any Ceremony of the Pastos could be a symbol only of that Vision which is He. It was a figurative experience then, at best a foreshadowed symbol of possible personal attainment put forward by those who knew it, either actually in their own hidden natures or by tradition of the past. Otherwise, as we have seen also, the pageant of the Mysteries was translated by the Greek Mystics along personal lines of their own.
Third Degree.—The experience is figurative also with the Candidate in the Third Degree of the Craft, which alludes to the same state. But those who communicate the symbols do not know their meaning, either by tradition or otherwise, while there is no expectancy on the part of the Postulant. It remains that the state of mystical attainment in veridic experience is a foretaste of Divine Union, and that the Ceremony of the Pastos was this state symbolised, as something that should transpire therein. It is that also which should occur in the death-state of Hiram, because it is of this process and this experience that the Third Degree in its great dramatic moment offers an analogical image. The suggestion may seem unthinkable, seeing that unhappily the Great Rite is made desolate—as suggested above—because there are none who have realised its inward meaning, so that it has become merely an image in wax. Nothing in its modern history suggests that its root is in a past of vital moment, nothing in the laws which govern it, nothing in its eighteenth- and nineteenth-century wording. It lies imbedded and withdrawn in the scenario of the Ceremony of Raising, in all or nearly all of that which is done and shewn forth, as apart from that which is expressed or suggested verbally.
A Grade Root.—I should add that I speak here of a root which subsists in the Grade and not of something brought in by the prepared student, inspired by knowledge which has been drawn from other sources and centres. Such preparation gives the eyes to see but does not create the object—well as I know how often the great meanings are instilled by the great seers into many plastic bodies of parable, which are as potter’s clay in their hands.
Mystic Life.—During all the ages of Christendom it was more especially in quiet places of the Latin Church, far away from the official centre in spirit and in fact, that the mystic life was led, and the records of this life are far nearer to our hands, far richer in evidence and far more wonderful in fruit than anything that we can glean certainly from Schools of Initiation in the ancient world—whether in the West or East. Its true root was in the pre-Christian past, as the writings attributed to Dionysius the Areopagite remain to testify; but in order to explain Christian Mysticism within the Latin Church it is not necessary, nor is it indeed possible, to presuppose a transmission of doctrine or practice. At the same time Christianity at large had worked to some extent upon materials which came into its hands from the old religions, as it would do almost of necessity because it was an hierarchic Church. At the official centre it was always jealous and nervous regarding any manifestations of mystic experience, not merely outside its own fold—because for many centuries in Western Europe no other fold was possible—but even outside professional religious and monastic life.
The Latin Church.—It missed a great opportunity when it failed to take over and adapt to its own purpose the scheme of the Ancient Mysteries and drove those who failed to understand the great Sacrament of the Mass elsewhere in search of illumination. It was afraid consequently of any claim to illumination and was implacably hostile to any ancient tradition of this kind when it appeared sporadically within the sphere of its control. It pursued unrelentingly all claims to secret knowledge, to all that which is understood by the term adeptship—so far as I have been able to trace—with the sole exception of Alchemy, which on the surface of its symbolism was merely what Vaughan calls a “torturing of metals.” It did its best to extirpate the remnants of ancient customs among country people, where such customs suggested any persistence of religious elements belonging to a pre-Christian period; and while it was actuated in part by the idolatry ascribed to such practices there is little to suggest that past knowledge would have escaped eradication any more than past superstition.