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general regulations of a free mason 1723
Compile by Mr. George Payne
Anno 1720, when he was Grand-Master, and approv'd by the GRAND-LODGE on St. John Baptist's Day, Anno 1721, at Stationer's-Hall, London; when the most noble PRINCE John Duke of MONTAGU was unanimously chosen our Grand-Master for the Year ensuing; who chose JOHN BEAL M. D. his Deputy GRAND-MASTER; and Mr. Josiah Villeneau / Mr. Thomas Morris, jun. were chosen by the Lodge GRAND-WARDENS. And now, by the Command of our said Right Worshipful GRAND-MASTER MONTAGU, the Author of this Book has compar'd them with, and reduc'd them to the ancient Records and immemorial Usages of the Fraternity, and digested them into this new Method, with several proper Explications, for the Use of the Lodges in and about London and Westminster.
I. The Grand-Master, or his DEPUTY, hath Authority and Right, not only to be present in any true Lodge, but also to preside wherever he is, with the Master of the Lodge on his Left-hand, and to order his Grand-Wardens to attend him, who are not to act in particular Lodges as Wardens, but in his Presence, and at his Command; because there the Grand-Master may command the Wardens of that Lodge, or any other Brethren he pleaseth, to attend and act as his Wardens pro tempore.
II. The MASTER of a particular Lodge has the Right and Authority of congregating the Members of his Lodge into a Chapter at pleasure, upon any Emergency or Occurrence, as well as to appoint the time and place of their usual forming: And in case of Sickness, Death, or necessary Absence of the Master, the senior Warden shall act as Master pro tempore, if no Brother is present who has been Master of that Lodge before; for in that Case the absent Master's Authority reverts to the last Master then present; though he cannot act until the said senior Warden has once congregated the Lodge, or in his Absence the junior Warden.
III.The Master of each particular Lodge, or one of the Wardens, or some other Brother by his Order, shall keep a Book containing their By-Laws, the Names of their Members, with a List of all the Lodges in Town, and the usual Times and Places of their forming, and all their Transactions that are proper to be written.
IV. No Lodge shall make more than FIVE new Brethren at one Time, nor any Man under the Age of Twenty-five, who must be also his own Master; unless by a Dispensation from the Grand-Master or his Deputy.
V. No Man can be made or admitted a Member of a particular Lodge, without previous notice one Month before given to the said Lodge, in order to make due Enquiry into the Reputation and Capacity of the candidate; unless by the Dispensation aforsaid.
VI. But no Man can be enter'd a Brother in any particular Lodge, or admitted to be a Member thereof, without the unanimous Consent of all the Members of that Lodge then present when the Candidate is propos'd, and their Consent is formally ask'd by the Master; and they are to signify their Consent or Dissent in their own prudent way, either virtually or in form, but with Unanimity: Nor is this inherent Privilege subject to a Dispensation; because the Members of a particular Lodge are the best Judges of it; and if a fractious Member should be impos'd on them, it might spoil their Harmony, or hinder their Freedom; or even break and disperse the Lodge; which ought to be avoided by all good and true Brethren.
VII. Every new Brother at his making is decently to cloath the
Lodge, that is, all the Brethren present, and to deposite something for
the Relief of indigent and decay'd Brethren, as the Candidate shall
think fit to bestow, over and above the small Allowance stated by the
By-Laws of that particular Lodge; which Charity shall be
lodg'd with the Master or Wardens, or the Cashier, if the
Members think fit to chuse one.
VIII. No Set or Number of Brethren shall withdraw or separate themselves
from the Lodge in which they were made Brethren, or were
afterwards admitted Members, unless the Lodge becomes too
numerous; nor even then, without a Dispensation from the Grand-Master
or his Deputy: And when they are thus separated, they must either
immediately join themselbes to such other Lodge as they shall like
best, with the unanimous Consent of that other Lodge to which they go
(as above regulated) or else they must obtain the Grand-Master's
Warrant to join in forming a new Lodge.
IX. But if any Brother so far misbehave himself as to render his Lodge uneasy, he shall be twice duly admonish'd by the Master or Wardens in a form'd Lodge; and if he will not refrain his Imprudence, and obediently submit to the Advice of the Brethren, and reform what gives them Offence, he shall be dealt with according to the By-Laws of that particular Lodge, or else in such a manner as the Quarterly Communication shall in their great Prudence think fit; for which a new Regulation may be afterwards made.
X. The Majority of every particular Lodge, when congregated, shall have the Privilege of giving Instructions to their Master and Wardens, before the assembling of the Grand Chapter, or Lodge, at the three Quarterly Communications hereafter mention'd, and of the Annual Grand Lodge too; because their Master and Wardens are their Representatives, and are supposed to speak their Mind.
XI. All particular Lodges are to observe the same Usages as much as possible; in order to which, and for cultivating a good Understanding among Free-Masons, some Members out of every Lodge shall be deputed to visit the other Lodges as often as shall be thought convenient.
XII. The Grand-Lodge consists of, and is form'd by the Master
and Wardens of all the regular particular Lodges upon Record,
with the GRAND-MASTER at their Head, and his Deputy on his Left-hand,
and the Grand-Wardens in their proper Places; and must have a QUARTERLY
COMMUNICATION about Michaelmas, Christmas, and Lady-Day, in some
convenient Place, as the Grand-Master shall appoint, where no Brother
shall be present, who is not at that time a Member thereof, without a
Dispensation; and while he stays, he shall not be allow'd to vote, nor even
give his Opinion, without Leave of the Grand-Lodge ask'd and given, or
unless it be duly ask'd by the said Lodge.
XIII. At the said Quarterly Communication, all Matters that concern
the Fraternity in general, or particular Lodges, or single
Brethren, are quietly, sedately, and maturely to be discours'd of and
transacted: Apprentices must be admitted Masters and
Fellow-Craft only here, unless by a Dispensation. Here also all
Differences, that cannot be made up and accommodated privately, nor by a
particular Lodge, are to be seriously considered and decided: And if
any Brother thinks himself aggrieved by the Decision of this Board, he
may appeal to the annual Grand-Lodge next ensuing, and leave his Appeal
in Writing, with the Grand-Master, or his Deputy, or the
XIV. If at any GRAND-LODGE, stated or occasional, quarterly or annual, the Grand-Master and his Deputy should be both absent, then the present Master of a Lodge, that has been the longest a Free-Mason, shall take the Chair, and preside as Grand-Master pro tempore; and shall be vested with all his Power and Honour for the time; provided there is no Brother present that has been Grand-Master formerly, or Deputy Grand-Master; for the last Grand-Master present, or else the last Deputy present, should always of right take place in the Absence of the present Grand-Master and his Deputy.
XV. In the Grand Lodge none can act as Wardens but the Grand-Wardens themselves, if present; and if absent, the Grand-Master, or the Person who presides in his Place, shall order private Wardens to act as Grand-Wardens pro tempore, whose Places are to be supply'd by two Fellow-Craft of the same Lodge, call'd forth to act, or sent thither by the particular Master thereof; or if by him omitted, then they shall be call'd by the Grand-Master, that so the Grand-Lodge may be always compleat.
XVI. The Grand-Wardens, or any others, are first to advise with the
Deputy about the Affairs of the Lodge or of the Brethren, and not
to apply to the Grand-Master without the Knowledge of the Deputy,
unless he refuse his Concurrence in any certain necessary Affair; in which
Case, or in case of any Difference between the Deputy and the
Grand-Wardens, or other Brethren, both Parties are to go by Concert to the
Grand-Master, who can easily decide the Controversy and make up the
Difference by virtue of his great Authority.
XVII. No Grand-Master, Deputy Grand-Master, Grand-Wardens, Treasurer, Secretary, or whoever acts for them, or in their stead pro tempore, can at the same time be the Master or Warden of a particular Lodge; but as soon as any of them has honourably discharg'd his Grand Office, he returns to that Post or Station in his particular Lodge, from which he was call'd to officiate above.
XVIII. If the DEPUTY GRAND-MASTER be sick, or necessarily absent, the Grand-Master may chuse any Fellow-Craft he pleases to be his Deputy pro tempore: But he that is chosen Deputy at the Grand-Lodge, and the Grand-Wardens too, cannot be discharg'd without the Cause fairly appear to the Majority of the Grand-Lodge; and the Grand-Master, if he is uneasy, may call a Grand-Lodge on purpose to lay the Cause before them, and to have their Advice and Concurrence: in which case, the Majority of the Grand-Lodge, if they cannot reconcile the Master and his Deputy or his Wardens, are to concur in allowing the Master to discharge his said Deputy or his said Wardens, and to chuse another Deputy immediately; and the said Grand-Lodge shall chuse other Wardens in that Case, that Harmony and Peace may preserv'd.
XIX. If the Grand-Master should abuse his Power, and render himself unworthy of the Obedience and Subjection of the Lodges, he shall be treated in a way and manner to be agreed upon in a new Regulation; because hitherto the ancient Fraternity have had no occasion for it, their former GRAND-MASTERS having all behaved themselves worthy of that honourable Office.
XX. The Grand-Master, with his Deputy and Wardens, shall (at least once) go round and visit all the Lodges about Town during his Mastership.
XXI. If the Grand-Master die during his Mastership, or by Sickness, or by being beyond Sea, or any other way should be render'd uncapable of discharging his Office, the DEPUTY, or in his Absence, the Senior GRAND-WARDEN, or in his Absence the Junior, or in his Absence any three present Masters of Lodges, shall join to congregate the GRAND-LODGE immediately, to advise together upon that Emergency, and to send two of their Number to invite the last GRAND-MASTER to resume his Office, which now in course reverts to him, or if he refuse, then the next last, and so backward: But if no former Grand-Master can be found, then the Deputy shall act as Principal, until another is chosen; or if there be no Deputy, then the oldest Master.
XXII. The Brethren of all the Lodges in and about London
and Westminster, shall meet at an ANNUAL COMMUNICATION and
Feast, in some convenient Place, on St. JOHN Baptist's Day, or else
on St. JOHN Evangelist's Day, as the Grand-Lodge shall think fit
by a new Regulation, having of late Years met on St. John Batptist's
XXIII. If it be thought expedient, and the GRAND-MASTER, with the
Majority of the Masters and Wardens, agree to hold a GRAND
FEAST, according to the ancient laudable Custom of Masons, then the
Grand-Wardens shall have the care of preparing the Tickets, seal'd
with the Grand-Masters's Seal, of disposing of the Tickets, of
receiving the Money for the Tickets, of buying the Materials of the Feast,
of findig out a proper and convenient Place to feast in; and of every
other thing that concerns the Entertainment.
XXIV. The Wardens and Stewards shall, in due time, wait upon
the Grand-Master, or his Deputy, for Directions and Orders about
the Premisses; but if his Worship and his Deputy are sick, or
necessarily absent, they shall call together the Masters and Wardens
of Lodges to meet on purpose for their Advice and Orders; or else
they may take the Matter wholly upon themselves, and do the best they can.
XXV. The Masters of Lodges shall each appoint one experienc'd and discreet Fellow-Craft of his Lodge, to compose a Committee, consisting of one from every Lodge, who shall meet to receive, in a convenient Apartment, every Person that brings a Ticket, and shall have Power to discourse him, if they think fit, in order to admit him, or debar him, as they shall see cause: Provided they send no Man away before they have acquainted all the Brethren within Doors with the Reasons thereof, to avoid Mistakes; that so no true Brother may be debarr'd, nor a false Brother, or mere Pretender, admitted. This Committee must meet very early on St. John's Day at the Place, even before any Persons come with Tickets.
XXVI. The GRAND-MASTER shall appoint two or more trusty Brethren to be Porters, or Door-keepers, who are also to be early at the Place, for some good Reasons; and who are to be at the Command of the Commitee.
XXVII. The Grand-Wardens, or the Stewards, shall appoint beforehand such a Number of Brethren to serve at Table as they think fit and proper for that Work; and they may advise with the Masters and Wardens of Lodges about the most proper Persons, if they please, or may take in such by their Recommendation; for none are to serve that Day, but free and accepted Masons, that the Communication may be free and harmonious.
XXVIII. All the Members of the Grand-Lodge must be at the Place long before Dinner, with the Grand-Master, or his Deputy, at their Head, who shall retire, and form themselves. And this is done in order,
XXIX. After these thing are discuss'd, the Grand-Master and his Deputy, the Grand-Wardens, or the Stewards, the Secretary, the Treasurer, the Clerks, and every other Person, shall withdraw, and leave the Masters and Wardens of the particular Lodges alone, in order to consult amicably about electing a NEW GRAND-MASTER, or continuing the present, if they have not done it the Day before; and if they are unanimous for continuing the present Grand-Master, his Worship shall be call'd in, and humbly desir'd to do the Fraternity the Honour of ruling them for the Year ensuing. And after Dinner it will be known whether he accepts of it or not: For it should not be discover'd but by the Election itself.
XXX. Then the Masters and Wardens, and all the Brethren, may converse promiscuously, or as they please to sort together, until the Dinner is coming in, when every Brother takes his Seat at Table.
XXXI. Some time after Dinner the GRAND-LODGE is form'd, not in Retirement, but in the Presence of all the Brethren, who yet are not Members of it, and must not therefore speak until they are desir'd and allow'd.
XXXII. If the Grand-Master of last Year has consented with the Master and Wardens in private, before Dinner, to continue for the Year ensuing; then one of the Grand-Lodge, deputed for that purpose, shall represent to all the Brethren his WORSHIP'S good Government, &c. And turning to him, shall, in the Name of the Grand-Lodge, humbly request him to do the FRATERNITY the great Honour (if nobly born, if not) the great Kindness of continuing to be their Grand-Master for the Year ensuing. And his Worship declaring his Consent by a Bow or a Speech, as he pleases, the said deputed Member of the GRAND-LODGE shall proclaim him Grand-Master, and all the Members of the Lodge shall salute him in due Form. And all the Brethren shall for a few Minutes have leave to declare their Satisfaction, Pleasure, and Congratulation.
XXXIII. But if either the Master and Wardens have not in
private, this Day before Dinner, nor the Day before, desir'd the last
Grand-Master to continue in the Mastership another Year; or if
he, when desir'd, has not consented: Then,
XXXIV. But if that Nomination is not unanimously approv'd, the new Grand-Master shall be chosen immediately by Ballot, every Master and Warden writing his Man's Name, and the last Grand-Master writing his Man's Name too; and the Man, whose Name the last Grand-Master shall first take out, casually or by chance, shall be GRAND-MASTER for the Year ensuing; and if present, he shall be proclaim'd, saluted, and congratulated, as above hinted, and forthwith install'd by the last Grand-Master, according to Usage.
XXXV. The last GRAND-MASTER thus continued, or the new GRAND-MASTER
thus install'd, shall next nominate and appoint his Deputy
Grand-Master, either the last or a new one, who shall be also declar'd,
saluted and congratulated as above hinted.
XXXVI. But if the BROTHER, whom the present Grand-Master shall nominate for his Successor, or whom the Majority of the Grand-Lodge shall happen to chuse by Ballot, is, by Sickness or other necessary Occasion, absent from the Grand-Feast, he cannot be proclaim'd the NEW GRAND-MASTER, unless the old Grand-Master, or some of the Masters and Wardens of the Grand-Lodge can vouch, upon the Honour of a Brother, that the said Person, so nominated or chosen, will readily accept of the said Office; in which case the old Grand-Master shall act as Proxy, and shall nominate the Deputy and Wardens in his Name, and in his Name also receive the usual Honours, Homage, and Congratulation.
XXXVII. Then the Grand-Master shall allow any Brother, Fellow-Craft, or Apprentice to speak, directing his Discourse to his Worship; or to make any Motion for the good of the Fraternity, which shall be either immediately consider'd and finish'd, or else referr'd to the Consideration of the Grand-Lodge at their next Communication, stated or occasional. When that is over,
XXXVIII. The GRAND-MASTER or his Deputy, or some Brother appointed by him, shall harangue all the Brethren, and give them good Advice: And lastly, after some other Transactions, that cannot be written in any Language, the Brethren may go away or stay longer, as they please.
XXXIX. Every Annual GRAND-LODGE has an inherent Power and Authority to make new Regulations, or to alter these, for the real Benefit of this ancient Fraternity: Provided always that the old LAND-MARKS be carefully preserv'd, and that such Alterations and new Regulations be proposed and agreed to at the third Quarterly Communication preceding the Annual Grand Feast; and that they be offered also to the Perusal of all the Brethren before Dinner, in writing, even of the youngest Apprentice; the Approbation and Consent of the Majority of all the Brethren present being absolutely necessary to make the same binding and obligatory; which must, after Dinner, and after new Grand-Master is install'd, be solemnly desir'd, as it was desir'd and obtained for these REGULATIONS, when propos'd by the GRAND-LODGE, to about 150 Brethren, on St. John Baptist's Day, 1721.
Here follows the Manner of constituting a New Lodge, as practis'd by his Grace the DUKE of WHARTON, the present Right Worshipful Grand=Master, according to the ancient Usages of Masons.
A New Lodge, for avoiding many Irregularities, should be solemnly constituted by the Grand-Master, with his Deputy and Wardens; or in the Grand-Master's Absence, the Deputy shall act for his Worship, and shall chuse some Master of a Lodge to assist him; or in case the Deputy is absent, the Grand-Master shall call forth some Master of a Lodge to act as Deputy pro tempore.
The Candidates, or the new Master and Wardens, being yet among the Fellow-Craft, the GRAND-MASTER shall ask his Deputy if he has examin'd them, and finds the Candidate Master well skill'd in the noble Science and the royal Art, and duly instructed in our Mysteries, &c.
And the Deputy answering in the affirmative, he shall (by the Grand-Master's Order) take the Candidate from among his Fellows, and present him to the Grand-Master; saying, Right worshipful GRAND-MASTER, the Brethren here desire to be form'd into a new Lodge; and I present this my worthy Brother to be their Master, whom I know to be of good Morals and great Skill, true and trusty, and a Lover of the whole Fraternity, wheresoever dispers'd over the Face of the Earth.
Then the GRAND-MASTER, placing the Candidate on his left Hand, having ask'd and obtain'd the unanimous Consent of all the Brethren, shall say; I constitute and form these good Brethren into a new Lodge, and appoint you the Master of it, not doubting of your Capacity and Care to preserve the Cement of the LODGE, &c. with some other Expressions that are proper and usual on that Occasion, but not proper to be written.
Upon this the Deputy shall rehearse the Charges of a Master, and the GRAND-MASTER shall ask the Candidate, saying, Do You submit to these Charges, as Masters have done in all Ages? And the CANDIDATE signifying his cordial Submission thereunto, the Grand-Master shall, by certain significant Ceremonies and ancient Usages, install him, and present him with the Constitutions, the Lodge-Book, and the Instruments of his Office, not all together, but one after another; and after each of them, the Grand-Master, or his Deputy, shall rehearse the short and pithy Charge that is suitable to the thing presented.
After this, the Members of this new Lodge, bowing all together to the Grand-Master, shall return his Worship Thanks, and immediately do their Homage to their new Master, and signify their Promise of Subjection and Obedience to him by the usual Congratulation.
The Deputy and the Grand-Wardens, and any other Brethren present, that are not Members of this new Lodge, shall next congratulate the new Master; and shall return his becoming Acknowledgments to the GRAND-MASTER first, and to the rest in their Order.
Then the Grand-Master desires the new Master to enter immediately upon the Exercise of his Office, in chusing his Wardens: And the NEW MASTER calling forth two Fellow-Craft, presents them to the Grand-Master for his Approbation, and to the new Lodge for their Consent. And that being granted,
The senior or junior GRAND-WARDEN, or some Brother for him, shall rehearse the Charges of Wardens; and the Candidates being solemnly ask'd by the new Master, shall signify their Submissions thereunto.
Upon which the NEW MASTER, presenting them with the Instruments of their Office, shall, in due Form, install them in their proper Places; and the Brethren of that new Lodge shall signify their Obedience to the new Wardens by the usual Congratulation.
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Last modified: March 22, 2014