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beyond the northeast corner



Richard h. sands


WHY DO WE call ourselves Free and Accepted Masons? Why Free? Why Accepted? Why Masons? Some Jurisdictions call themselves Ancient Free and Accepted Masons?  Why Ancient?  How do they differ from ourselves?  From whence came we?  ……these are just a few of the questions that come to mind when we investigate our origins.

If we consult older histories of Freemasonry, we may read that the modern Craft is like a mighty river produced by the confluence of two separate streams. The source of one is found in the Roman Colleges of Artisans (Collegia Artificum) established by Numa, King of Rome from 715 to 673 B.C. They had several grades of membership, and various officers not unlike our Master and Wardens. Besides their industrial functions, they carried out certain religious observances. As the Roman legions conquered Europe the College of Builders went with them. Then, when barbarian invasions shattered the empire in the fifth century of our era, the mystic art lingered on in the Lombard community of Como, Italy, where it was nursed through the Dark Ages by the famous Comacine masters. When order finally returned after centuries of turmoil, the masters ventured forth from Como with the Pope's blessing as "travelling masons", and proceeded to fill Europe with majestic Gothic cathedrals. They implanted Masonry in England, and engendered the craft guilds, the eventual parent of Freemasonry. At some stage in its long career, the builders' craft absorbed the tenets and methods of the ancient mystery religions. The latter, no matter where they were established, had certain moral philosophical truths, which they communicated to their initiates by means of symbols. At the center of their ritual was often a legend recounting how some hero or divinity was raised from the dead.

Such, in bare outline, is the history that has often been taught in the past. Now the truth of the matter is that there have been stonemasons all over the world from the dawn of time, even before the great pyramids of Egypt. In like manner, from an early period there have been innumerable fellowships which have inculcated lessons of morality by means of allegory. In some sense both can be called forbears of Masonry, but no conclusive link has been traced. Indeed, one could argue that both types of institution are merely recurrent responses to permanent human needs, and that their resemblances to Masonry are purely fortuitous. We can say with certainty that modern speculative lodges descend in an unbroken line from British craft masons of six hundred years ago. Earlier than that we cannot go. That unbroken line we propose to trace in the following pages.

In the course of its evolution, Masonry has passed through several stages. The sequence is clearest in the London Masons' Company, which goes back to 1376, and which gave rise to a "lodge" including non-operatives in 1682; and in the Lodge at Edinburgh (Mary’s Chapel), No. 1 in the Scottish Constitution, which has an unbroken run of minutes going back to 1599.

Masons' Guilds

In the Middle Ages, any skilled trade or craft was known as a "mystery". This is not our word "mystery", meaning "a secret that is not to be revealed", which is connected with the Greek myo, "to keep mum". It is an English corruption of a totally different word, the French mestier (modern French me'tier), "a trade or occupation".

The so-called craft guilds (or gilds) began in England soon after 1100. They were associations of men who worked at a common trade, and were designed to protect their interests and to administer their own affairs. They served the public by ensuring good material and adequate workmanship. They excluded competition from migratory or unskilled laborers. They set rules for apprentices, journeymen, and masters, settled disputes, and so on. In many ways the craft guilds prefigured the modern trades unions.

As time passed, their influence grew, and they were eventually recognized by the civic authorities. In London by 1319 each craft ran a "closed shop". All men of that craft within city limits were compelled to belong to the guild. They could not obtain the "freedom" of the city - the full rights of trade and industry - without being endorsed by a company of their peers.

By twenty years later, in 1376, the masons had won recognition as one of forty-seven "mysteries" in London. They were to elect four men of the trade to serve on the Common Council. This is the earliest British Masonic craft guild of which we have record. Not many others are known. In England they are mentioned at Norwich and Lincoln. In Edinburgh the masons and wrights petitioned the city jointly in 1475, and were granted self‑government as an incorporation.

Masons’ Lodges

The guilds and incorporations were town bodies. There were also jobs for masons outside the towns, building castles, churches, or fortifications. If the site was isolated, the builders would have to live on location, sometimes for years on end. In time the name "lodge" came to be applied to such a group of masons, probably from the lodge or hut in which the craftsmen worked, kept their tools, and rested. "Lodges" of masons are mentioned at York Minster in 1352, at Canterbury Cathedral in 1429, at the Church of St. Nicholas, Aberdeen, in 1483, and at St. Giles, Edinburgh, in 1491. When in due course the task was finished, the lodge would be disbanded, and its members would have to seek work elsewhere. One may readily imagine how they would have modes of recognition to attest their status when they came to another lodge where they were not known.

From these temporary lodges are derived the Manuscript Constitutions or Old Charges, a series of documents which contain among other things the rules of the Craft. They also include, somewhat unexpectedly, moral regulations (see below, p. VII-5), reminders of religious duties, and instructions in good manners. The Old Charges further give a history of the Craft drawn largely from the Volume of the Sacred Law, the only book ever seen by most people in the Middle Ages.

The term "lodge", which was originally restricted to impermanent non‑urban bodies of masons, ultimately was extended to include "territorial" lodges in the cities. Their earliest mention is in Edinburgh in 1598. By then the lodge had already assumed certain duties formerly assigned to the incorporation.

The Operative Mason of the Later Middle Ages

In the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries the official in charge of the technical side of a large building project was known as the Master Mason or Master of the Works. Usually he was the architect who designed the edifice. For this he had a "tracing board", which served as a drafting table. Most of his workmen were journeymen masons who had given proof of their skill and had been certified as fellows of the craft. On large jobs there would be a few apprentice masons, learning the trade by working with the fellows. Normally they were engaged by the Master or by the institution that employed him. The journeymen themselves had too little job security, and not enough money, to maintain an apprentice.

In Scotland by 1598 a new stage had come into being, probably to restrict the number of fully qualified masons on the pay roll.  A journeyman who had completed his apprenticeship was to serve a further term of from two to seven years, according to location, before he was admitted a fellow of the craft. In the meantime he was called an "entered apprentice".

In most localities there would also be men who had learned to build walls or dikes without being apprenticed to the trade or being admitted to a lodge. In Scotland a "dry-diker" was known as a "cowan", which is defined as "a mason without the word". The Schaw Statutes of 1598 ordered "that no Master nor Fellow of the Craft receive any Cowans to work in his society or company, nor send none of his servants to work with cowans". In a matter of bread and butter, however, expediency could take precedence over doctrinaire principle. Cowans could be employed by Master Masons for any kind of work provided that no regular craftsman could be found within fifteen miles. Originally the word was not necessarily derogatory. Today it means an impostor or eavesdropper who has not been regularly admitted to lodge. A Masonic catechism of 1730 asks, "If a cowan (or listener) is catched, how is he to be punished?" Answer, "To be placed under the eaves of the houses (in rainy weather) till the water runs in at his shoulders and out at his shoes" (Early Masonic Catechisms, p. l63).

Many sets of regulations survive which were laid down for the governance of operative masons by craft guilds, by incorporations, and by both non-permanent and territorial lodges. Certain clauses recur repeatedly in these codes, above all those which maintained the quality of the work and protected the rights of the employer. The term of apprenticeship was fixed, usually at seven years. The competence of apprentices or other applicants for admission was to be supervised, tested, and certified. Masters were to respect the integrity of other Masters, and not take work over their heads, nor employ nor entice their workmen. Disputes between Masters and workmen were to be settled. Some rules were appropriate only to municipalities: the provision for periodic "searches", that is, inspections of work already completed, and trade restrictions on those who were not full fellows of the craft. One rule, from the Old Charges, was applicable only to the transitory lodges: a travelling mason who arrived was either to be given work or, if that was not possible, money enough to see him to the next lodge.

As well as regulating the trade some of the Masonic bodies also filled religious functions and collected funds for pious uses and for benevolence. Throughout the whole period from 1376 to 1650 or even later, operative masons were known sometimes as freemasons. There is no clear distinction between "mason" and "freemason", and at times they clearly mean the same thing. The latter came to have certain distinct connotations. Originally it was simply an abbreviation of "freestone-mason", a mason who worked in freestone (a kind of English limestone). Later, after the name became established it was misunderstood. A freemason was thought of as "free" because he had the "freedom" (membership) of a company, guild, or lodge. Still later it was taken to mean a mason who was free by birth, that is, who was not a bondsman. Gradually the word came to be associated with non-operative masons. About 1655 it was dropped from the title of the London Company of Masons.

Decline of Operative Masonry

As we have seen, mediaeval masons' organizations exercised a restrictive trade control, partly to protect the brethren, but largely to serve the bosses. In order to enforce regulations they needed exclusive supremacy over all masons within their reach. So long as access to the area under jurisdiction of a guild could be controlled, its authority was unchallenged. Once the monopoly was cracked, it could no longer police the trade. In Scotland at least, the downfall of operative masonry came as the cities expanded and work became available outside the old city walls. Cowans or alien masons could now enter and be hired without let or hindrance.

Perhaps the last straw came with the Great Fire of London in 1666, and with a disastrous series of fires in Edinburgh culminating in 1674.  A vast amount of stone rebuilding was required, too much by far for the local masons to undertake. Masons from elsewhere were encouraged to contribute their skills. In 1667 the freedom of London was granted for seven years to anyone who could hold a hammer and nail. To those who completed the seven years the grant was extent for life. These benefits had formerly been available to craftsmen only through the guilds.

The Masons' Company had lost the chief incentive it formerly offered for new members, and its domination of the trade was effectually smashed. It could no longer finance its activities by admission fees alone, and it reverted to the old custom of collecting a "quarterage", a levy of sixpence per member every three months. Quarterages were continued by the premier Grand Lodge; hence derives our practice of submitting an annual return of members to Grand Lodge, together with a per capita appropriation.

Now that their original objectives were unattainable, the lodges had to find other ways to justify their continued existence. At first they became, to a large extent, benevolent societies. A preoccupation with the relief of distressed brethren begins to appear in masonic documents of the 1670's and 1680's. Once the aims were changed it became possible to have more than one lodge in a city, or even to hold lodge where there had not previously been a stonemasons' guild.

Acceptance of Non-Operatives

This decline of the guilds heralded another important innovation. By 1621 the London Masons' Company was using the words "making of Masons" in connection with men who had already reached the highest ranks of operative masonry. The company apparently had within it a more exclusive body which one could enter by paying a required fee and "being made a Mason". By 1631 it was "making Masons", or accepting, men who had no connection with the building trade. "Accepting" is used as a technical term, meaning "receiving non-operatives into the Craft". This particular segment of the company was at first called The Acception. By 1682 it was The Lodge.  It had no function in regulating trade.

Elsewhere too, we find non‑operatives being accepted or adopted as masons. Often they were members of the upper classes. For them the rule fixing the term of an E.A. was suspended, so that they could be advanced to F.C. immediately. Otherwise the nature of the lodge remained unchanged for them. The earliest certain example of a non-operative mason is on June 8, 1600, when John Boswell, Laird of Auchinleck, attended the Lodge at Edinburgh. In July, 1634, the same Lodge admitted Lord Alexander of Menstrie, Viscount Canada, and two other noblemen as F.C. In 1646 the diaries of the antiquarian Elias Ashmole record how he was made a Mason at Warrington, in Cheshire. Other names can be cited, later than these, in both England and Scotland.

The reasons that led the gentry to interest themselves in an artisans' craft are obscure. It seems likely that the lodges benefited financially. In Scotland higher fees were charged to gentlemen masons than to operatives. Men of distinction were perhaps encouraged to enter in order to promote contributions to charity. They may have consented for antiquarian reasons—curiosity about the history and mystery of cathedral building; or perhaps "the meetings of the lodge provided a convenient opportunity for that compound of refreshment, smoking and conversation, in circumstances of ease rather than elegance, and undisturbed by the society of women, in which many men can take a rational pleasure" (Knoop‑Jones, Genesis of Freemasonry, p. l41).

In due course there came to be lodges in which the number of non‑operatives outweighed the operatives. This was already the case at Ashmole's lodge at Warrington in 1646, at Chester about 1673, at Dublin in 1688, at Chichester in 1695, and at several locations in London and Yorkshire between 1693 and 1717.

The Premier Grand Lodge and its Imitators

The stage was now set. The craft lodges were in eclipse, or were eking out a precarious existence, with the support of non‑operatives, as social and charitable clubs. Against this background the first Grand Lodge came into being. Whether it was a symptom of the turning tide, or whether it caused it to turn, we cannot say. All that is really known is told in the oldest version of the story. Late in 1716, "the few lodges at London, finding themselves neglected by Sir Christopher Wren, thought fit to cement together under a Grand Master, as the center of Union and Harmony, viz.: the lodges that met:

1.At the Goose and Gridiron Ale-House, in St. Paul's Churchyard. [This lodge is still working, under the name of Antiquity, No. 2, English Registry]

2. At the Crown Ale-House, in Parker's Lane, near Drury Lane. [It lapsed in 1736.]

3. At the Apple-tree Tavern, in Charles Street, Covent Garden [now Fortitude and Old Cumberland, No. 12, E R.]

4. At the Rummer and Grapes Tavern, in Channel Row, Westminster [now Royal Somerset House and Inverness, No. 4, E.R.]

They, and some older brothers, met at the Apple-tree Tavern. [This was late in 1716 or early in 1717.] And, having put into the chair the oldest Master Mason (now the Master of a Lodge), they constituted themselves a Grand Lodge pro tempore, in due form, and forthwith revived the Quarterly Communication of the officers of Lodges  (the Grand Lodge), resolved to hold the Annual Assembly and then to choose a Grand Master from among themselves, till they should have the honor of a noble brother at their head.

Accordingly, on St. John the Baptist's Day [June 24], in the year of King George I, A.D. 1717, the assembly and feast of the Free and Accepted Masons was held at the aforesaid Goose and Gridiron Ale‑House. Before dinner the oldest Master Mason (now the Master of the Lodge) in the chair proposed a list of proper candidates; and the brethren by a majority of hands elected Mr. Anthony Sayer [1672‑1742 ], Gentleman, Grand Master of Masons."

This date marks the formal beginning of modern Freemasonry. From the first meeting we derive our traditions of a regular Annual Communication to choose the officers, and of the Grand Master’s Banquet. At this time the most distinguished brother was the Rev. Dr. John Theophilus Desaguliers (1683‑1744), a noted scientist. It has been surmised that he engineered the preliminary meeting of 1716/17.  In 1719 he became the third Grand Master.

In 1721 the Order got its first noble Grand Master, John Montagu, 2nd Duke of Montagu (1690‑1749). His tenure made membership in the Masons more fashionable. Ever since, the premier Grand Lodge has been headed by none but peers of the realm or princes of the blood royal. During Montagu's year in office the task of perusing, correcting, and digesting the "Old Gothic Constitutions" was assigned to a Presbyterian clergyman, the Rev. Dr. James Anderson (1679-­1739). Two years later he published his Constitutions, which contained a fanciful history of the Craft, a series of charges which are reprinted basically unaltered to this day, and thirty‑nine articles to regulate lodges and Grand Lodge. Anderson is sometimes charged with wholesale innovation, but surely the members of Grand Lodge would not have consented to radical departure from existing practice, or betrayal of their collective wishes. Among the ancient customs which are endorsed is the practice of charity "for the relief of indigent and decayed brethren.”

The Old Charges had enjoined staunch devotion to the established church, and even after 1717 the ritual was resolutely Trinitarian. Thus, in a Masonic exposure published in London in 1724, we read, How many lights? Three.... What do they represent? The three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost" (Early Masonic Calechisms, p.78). Here Anderson's Constitutions did break new ground in leaving Masons' particular opinions to themselves, "by whatever Denominations or Persuasions they may be distinguished". One effect of this was seen in 1732, when the Master of a London lodge was Daniel Delvalle or Dalvalle, "an eminent Jew snuff merchant.”

Even though the number of lodges increased rapidly, the Grand Lodge was confined to London for several years. There were certainly old lodges meeting outside London which did not place themselves under it. As late as November, 1723, the fifty-two constituent lodges were all situated within ten miles of Charing Cross. But once expansion began it was dramatically swift; by 1725 there were lodges at Bath, Bristol, Norwich, Chichester, and Chester. At the same time English Freemasonry began to spread throughout Europe (lodges at Paris, 1725; Madrid and Gibraltar, 1728; The Hague, 1731; Bordeaux and Valenciennes, 1732; Florence and Hamburg, 1733), and even beyond (Calcutta, 1728; Boston, 1733). In 1735 the Grand Lodge first claimed jurisdiction over the whole of England.

The notion of a grand lodge seems to have been contagious, for in 1725 an old lodge in the city of York - independent of course of the London Grand Lodge - constituted itself as the "Grand Lodge of All England". (It was never a missionary lodge, and eventually withered away in 1792.) About the same year, the Grand Lodge of Ireland was instituted. And in 1736 the Scottish lodges organized the Grand Lodge of Scotland. Both bodies were active far beyond the homeland. In 1756 the Grand Lodge of Scotland founded lodges at Boston, Massachusetts, and Blandford, Virginia. In the following year Colonel John Young was named Provincial Grand Master over all the lodges in America under the Scottish Constitution. The Grand Lodge of Ireland was less prompt to institute lodges overseas. The first warrant issued for America seems to have been to a lodge at New York in 1763. Long before this, however, lodges under the Irish Constitution had been active all over the world. These were the military lodges - regiments of the British army with travelling warrants. They were a peculiarly Irish development; though the other Grand Lodges eventu­ally followed suit, most military warrants continued to be Irish. The earliest was issued in 1732, to the First British Foot Regiment.

Back in England, in 1738 a second much expanded edition of Anderson's Constitutions was published. It is the source of the story of the formation of Grand Lodge quoted in a modernized form above.

Relationship with the Roman Catholic Church

When the Pope proclaims an official ruling which is binding on all Roman Catholics, his edict is called a Papal bull (from the Late Latin bulla, "a lead seal"). On the subject of Freemasonry, Pope Clement XII in 1738 issued a bull which is usually called by the title In eminenti apostolatus specula ("In the lofty watch-tower of apostleship"), from the Latin words which begin it. Under pain of excom- munication it forbade all Catholics to join Freemasonry, or to do anything to help or encourage it. The following reasons are given. (l) In lodges, "men who are attached to any form at all of religion or sect are associated together". (2) "Whatever goes on at their meeting. they are bound by a strict oath taken on the Bible, and by the accumulation of heavy penalties, to veil in inviolable silence." (3) Because of this secrecy, "they have aroused suspicions in the minds of the faithful, . . . and won the name of wickedness and perversion; if they were not doing wrong, they would not be afraid of the light". (4) Lodges inflict very serious injuries "not only upon the tranquillity of the temporal state, but even on the spiritual health of souls.... They pervert the hearts of the simple". (5) "For other just and reasonable causes known to us."

Terms of this bull were renewed, amplified, and confirmed by a number of subsequent Popes. The fullest exposition is in the encyclical letter Humanum Genus ("The Human Race") of Leo XIII, in 1884. He charges that Masons "deny that anything has been taught by God"; that they accept into their ranks men who deny the very existence of God, and the immortality of the soul; that they work officially against the Catholic church; that they teach that citizens may despise the authority of their rulers; and that they favour the designs of the communists. Whatever was the target of Pope Leo's thunder-bolts, it was clearly not Freemasonry as we know it. Actually some of his accusations are deserved by "irregular" or "Latin" masonry, which is practiced in a number of grand lodges of the French, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese tongues. The encyclical tars "regular" or "English" masonry with the same brush.

The ban is still in effect against Masons and "other associations of the same type, which plot against the church or the lawful civil power (Code of Canon Law of 1917, No. 2335). The authority of the church has naturally fostered a venomous hostility towards Freemasonry on the part of many Catholics. The lack of substance in the accusation has roused sorrow in the hearts of many Masons. No doubt some have tired of turning the other cheek, and have lashed out with equal intolerance. English Masonry's official response has always been, "Let a man's religion, or mode of worship, be what it may, he is not excluded from the Order, provided he believe in the Architect of Heaven and Earth. . ..”

Since the Second Vatican Council in 1962‑65, a new spirit of ecumenism has been abroad in the Roman Catholic church. There are encouraging signs of a softening in the traditional attitude to Freemasonry. Most tangible, several books sympathetic to "regular" Masonry, and drawing a clear distinction between it and "irregular" Masonry, have been published with the doctrinal sanction (nihil obstat and imprimatur) of the church: one by a Parisian lawyer, Alec Mellor, Our Separated Brethren: The Freemasons (published in French 1961 and in English 1964); and another by a Jesuit priest, a specialist in canon law, Father Jose Antonio Ferrer Benimeli, Masonry since the Council (in Spanish 1968).

Speculative Masonry

In the phrase, “speculative Masonry", the word "speculative" probably means "contemplative, reflective, thoughtful". Freemasons are thoughtful masons rather than operative ones. They contemplate the Working Tools rather than employing them. They apply these tools to themselves rather than to the rude mass. That is, "speculative Masonry" refers to Masonry as a "system of morality veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols".

"Non-operative" does not automatically connote "speculative". The lodges of acceptance in the seventeenth century were non-operative, but their primary activities seem to have been convivial and charitable. In like manner, it can be established that the ritual used in 1717 was almost entirely non-speculative. The actual term "speculative Mason" is first found in 1757. It seems likely that the emphasis on the philosophical side was brought in about 1730, after the evolution of the Master Mason Degree. Naturally this aspect was much enhanced about 1770, with the work of the three great expounders of the ritual (Calcutt, Hutchinson and Preston).

The "Antients"

Between 1723 and 1730 six exposés of Masonic ceremony were published, varying in detail and accuracy. The latest of them, Samuel Prichard's Masonry Dissected, was very reliable. Within a year it passed through four editions, making the ritual easily accessible to anyone who was interested. Enterprising charlatans began to initiate Masons for a much smaller fee than the duly constituted lodges required. Grand Lodge felt that the situation was getting out of control. At some time between 1730 and 1739 it arbitrarily interchanged the words of the first two degrees. The thinking behind this was that news of the change would be passed on to the brethren by their lodges, whereas irregular Masons would at once betray them­selves by their ignorance of the alteration.

The measure generated a good deal of bad feeling from brethren

who felt that this was an unwarranted violation of ancient tradition. To add to the problem, soon afterwards the premier Grand Lodge was subjected to a sequence of indifferent or incompetent leaders, and a good many lodges were erased. Some independent lodges were still meeting by immemorial right, and others had been established by brethren who had come over from Ireland. In 1751 six such groups formed themselves into the Grand Lodge of England According to the Old Institutions. They claimed to preserve the ancient practices pure and unsullied, whereas the premier Grand Lodge had introduced innovations. And so, by a masterful stroke of oneupmanship, they fastened upon the appellation of the "Antients" for themselves, and succeeded in affixing to the older body the name of the "Moderns”.  From 1771, when the Duke of Atholl was elected Grand Master, the Antients were also known as "Atholl Masons". (Actually a Duke of Atholl headed the Antients from 1771 to 1774, from 1775 to 1781, and from 1791 to 1813.)

Among the accusations leveled at the Moderns by the Antients were the following: (1) interchanging the modes of recognition; (2) de‑christianizing the ritual; (3) preparing candidates improperly; (4) abbreviating or omitting lectures and ancient charges; (5) abbreviating or omitting the ceremony of installation; (6) placing officers incorrectly, and introducing variations in opening and closing the lodge.  (Masonry of today is influenced by both sides. For example, from the Moderns is derived the acceptance into lodge of men who profess religions other than Christianity. The existence of the office of Deacon, on the other hand, was a hallmark of the Antients.) The Grand Lodges of Ireland and Scotland were much more sympathetic to the Antients than to the Moderns.

The real founder of the Antients was Laurence Dermott (1720‑1791), who became Grand Secretary, and later Deputy Grand Master. It was he who in 1756 produced their book of constitutions, which bore the curious name of Ahiman Rezon; or a Help to a Brother. The first part of the title is apparently intended to be Hebrew, and is supposed to mean "Brother Secretary".

The Grand Lodge of the Moderns had fallen on evil days, as we have seen, partly because of a lack of vitality. It was largely revitalized through the agency of one remarkable man, Thomas Dunckerley (1724‑1795), said to have been a bastard son of King George II. He was at different times Provincial Grand Master of eight counties, and he re-established Masonry in several counties of southern England where it had died out altogether. He worked hard to recruit converts from the Antients, and to make them feel at home.

Rivalry between the two English grand lodges was fierce. Both were active in the New World. The Antients issued a warrant to the Provincial Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia in 1758; the Moderns, apparently through the mediation of Dunckerley, to that of Quebec in 1760. The situation became very difficult. Attempts were made to effect a reconciliation, but the mechanical obstacles seemed to be insuperable. In 1809 a first step was made, when the Moderns rescinded the change they had made three‑quarters of a century earlier in the modes of recognition. The same year they established a Lodge of Promulgation, to study the differences between the practices followed by the two grand lodges, and to make recommendations.

Finally, in 1813 the Duke of Sussex, son of King George III, was chosen Grand Master of the Moderns. Later in the same year his older brother, the Duke of Kent, was chosen Grand Master of the Antients. The time was ripe, and the Royal brethren moved quickly to accomplish the reconciliation. On the Festival of Saint John the Evangelist, December 27, 1813, the two grand lodges amalgamated, to form "The United Grand Lodge of England"; the Duke of Sussex was elected as Grand Master on nomination of the Duke of Kent.


 We have now traced the main developments in Freemasonry from its origin until the Union of 1813. Incidentally we have shed some light on those enigmatic words from which we set out, "Ancient Free and Accepted Masons". Of necessity our survey has been concerned chiefly with the British Isles. We have noted in passing how the four British grand lodges disseminated the Craft over the face of the whole globe. One particular region to which Freemasonry spread, North America, is of such concern to us that it merits special and more detailed treatment.

Selected References

J.A. Ferrer Benimeli, La Masoneria después del Concilio (Barcelona, 1968).

A.S. Frere, editor, Grand Lodge 1717‑1967.

Bernard E. Jones, Freemasons' Guide and Compendium.

Douglas Knoop and G.P. Jones, The Genesis of Freemasonry.

Alec Mellor, Nos Frères séparés: Les Francs‑Maçons (Paris, 196l).

Douglas Knoop, G.P. Jones, and Douglas Hamer, Early Masonic Catechisms, 2nd ed. by Harry Carr.

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