CHRONOLOGY OF FREEMASONRY
From 1390 - 1989
May 10, 2014
To most Masons the history of Freemasonry is of great
importance. To other Masons it is merely academic. Our allegorical teachings
take its origin back to the days of Solomon or even before that. Certainly since
the founding of the Grand Lodge in England in 1717 Freemasonry has had great
influence in the English-speaking world and beyond. In previous years it could
well have been unwise to belong to a group that was outside the control of the
monarch or government. Little wonder then that the proceedings of early
Freemasonry were shrouded in secrecy. In British history the Templars, some
guilds, and the precursors of Trade Unions had all been smashed by the power of
government. Societies (other than religious societies) in Britain date only from
1660, the year of the Restoration, and the start of an ethos of Inquiry.
The Guilds of Operative Freemasons go back to the shadows of
antiquity. Although they may have been our forbears, they differed from current
Freemasonry in their raison d'etre. The burning questions about these
early associations are:
When did non-working (Speculative) Masons begin to be accepted?
When did the balance of Operative/ Speculative members change?
It is tantalizing that such an illustrious scholar as Elias
Ashmole intended to compile a history of Freemasonry in the 1600s, but never
wrote it. His History of the Order of the Garter provides irreplaceable
scholarship on its topic. It is unfortunate that he never succeeded in casting
light on Freemasonry before 1650. There are tantalizing questions to be
answered: Sir Christopher Wren and Inigo Jones were eminent London architects,
and they both were apparently Grand Masters. They had a professional interest in
building edifices, but were the Lodges of their day more Operative than
It is interesting to see that Speculative Masons were being
admitted to the craft at an early date. Such lodges must have performed a hybrid
function. Why did the London Masons change the name of their guild? Could it
have been that they needed to distance themselves from the speculative Lodges?
It might seem incredible that the Regius Manuscript of 1390 was
'lost' until the 1820s. It was wrongly attributed. However, it's sobering to
note that the vast majority of the collection of documents in the (British)
Public Record Office is not yet indexed… let alone copied or transcribed. For
the historian, though, the internet continues to present more and more scanned
documents, thus making the content of early manuscripts accessible to more
scholars and laymen. As this trend occurs, it is probable that more early
Masonic documents will come to light, to give us some of the answers to our
Much of this material is extracted from we sources, Parallels
with History by Alphonse Cerza, An Encyclopedia of Freemasonry by
Albert Mackey, and The Royal Masonic Cyclopedia, Kenneth Mackenzie,
supplemented with information from encyclopedias and other Masonic sources. Thus
the resources are secondary and can be no more accurate than those sources. Many
of the facts have been checked, but usually with other secondary sources. If you
know of errors, please contact the webmaster.
The Regius Poem, sometimes called the Halliwell Manuscript, was written or
copied from an older, unknown manuscript. This is the oldest extant copy of any
ancient manuscript of Masonry. It claimed that Masonry came to Britain
during the reign of King Athelstan (c895-940).
("Old Charges") – claiming that Masonry was introduced to Britain by St Alban (3rd-century).
The Cooke Manuscript was written. This is the second oldest of the extant
ancient manuscripts of Masonry.
"Masons of the Lodge" mentioned at Canterbury Cathedral.
The Worshipful Company of Masons of the City of London erected its first hall.
The term "Master Mason" appeared after the name of William Orchard at Magdalen
The word "Freemason" appeared for the first time in the Statutes
Municipal law was passed at St. Giles, Edinburgh, establishing the condition of
employment of Master Masons and co-workers.
The Masons Company was incorporated at Newcastle-upon-Tyne
and given certain powers and duties.
Feb 24 1582 Pope Gregory XIII decreed calendar reform, and most
of Christendom changed from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar.
St. Mary's Lodge of Dundee is mentioned in an Indenture bearing this date.
William Schaw, who had become Master of the Works in 1584, promulgated two sets
of rules. The first regulated the Masons of Scotland; the second gave the Lodge
of Kilwinning supervisory powers over the lodges of West Scotland. It used the
term "fellow of the craft."
recorded conferment of Entered Apprentice and Fellow Craft in the Minutes of the
Aitchison’s Haven Lodge, near Edinburgh (Operative Masonry).
April 13 1598 The Edict of Nantes was promulgated to cede
limited rights to non-Catholics in France.
First known written record of a Masonic Lodge, Aitchinson's Haven Lodge,
Musselburgh, January 9.
Oldest known existing lodge, Edinburgh Lodge #1, Edinburgh, July 3.
First record of the admission of a non-operative Mason in a Lodge of Scotland.
John Boswell, Laird of Auchinlech, became a member of the Lodge
England: The word "Freemason" appeared in the York Roll.
April 12 1606 The first Union Jack was introduced upon the
union of Scotland and England.
Birth of Elias Ashmole at Lichfield.
A famous antiquarian, herald and founder of the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford.
He is remembered by the Craft because entries in his diary regarding his
initiation prove that there were speculative lodges long before 1717.
"1646. Oct: 16 4H 30'p.m, I was made a Freemason at Warrington..."
It is to be regretted that he never carried out his intention of Writing a
History of Freemasonry. Such a document, written by such an authority at this
early date would have provided us with a unique insight.
Account Book of the London Mason's Company used the term "Accepted" as a
description of some members.
Records of the Worshipful Company of Freemasons of London indicate that there
were "accepted" and "operative" members.
March 14, 1629 A Royal charter was granted to the Massachusetts
John Stow's Survey of London was published mentioning the
"Company of Masons being otherwise termed Free Masons."
The following members of the nobility were made Masons at the Lodge of
Edinburgh: Lord Alexander, Sir Anthony Alexander, and Sir Alexander Strachan.
known reference to the "Masone Word" dated 13 October, in A Relation
Of Proceedings Concerning The Affairs Of The Kirk Of Scotland From August 1637
To July 1638, by the Earl of Rothes.
"For we be brethren of the Rosie Cross;
We have the Mason Word and second sight,
Things for to come we can foretell aright."
- Henry Adamson, The Muses Threnodie.
Sir Robert Moray was initiated by a group of Masons in a Scots regiment at
Newcastle-on-Tyne, May 20. This is the earliest recorded initiation.
Minutes of Mother Kilwinning Lodge go back to this year.
Elias Ashmole wrote in his diary that he was made a "Free Mason,"
at Warrington in Lancashire October 16 at 4:30 pm.
January 30 1649 King Charles I was beheaded in London by order
of the English Parliament, as a result of a bitter struggle between King and
Parliament for supremacy that resulted in the English Civil War.
England: The Harleian Manuscript was written about this time.
The Company of Freemasons of the City of London changed its name
to "The Company of Masons."
John Aubrey began A Natural History of Wiltshire, in which he stated
"that the Fraternity of Free Masons are known to one another by certain signes
and Watch words," and other significant words.
First known use of the word "club" as a group meeting.
Lee, Orbis Miraculum. – dealt at great length with King Solomon’s Temple and its
equipment, giving the "cavern-discovery" of John I in its Foundations
(originally derived from the 4th-century Ecclesiastical History
of Philostorgius, which was repeated by Nicephorus Callistus Xanthopoulos in the
Kings 22.3-24 Josiah’s renovation of the Temple, the discovery of the Book
of the Law, the reformation of Israel. (William Faithorne’s engraving of Oliver
Cromwell as Josiah surrounded by Masonic-type symbolism.)
The Great Fire in which much of the City of London was
destroyed. Many fine medieval buildings: churches and guild halls went up in
smoke. This presented a city planning opportunity. Freemason Sir Christopher
Wren rose to the task, designing many churches, and his masterpiece, the new St
Paul's Cathedral, where he is buried. Wren has no monument: merely an
inscription - Si monumentum quaeris, circumspice (If you seek a monument, look
The hall of the Worshipful Company of Masons of London was
rebuilt after the Great Fire of London (1666). It is believed that a speculative
lodge met in the building.
The records of the Lodge of Aberdeen began. They showed that some members were
operative and others were speculative.
Legend related to Rosslyn Chapel recounted by Thomas Kirk in ‘An Account of a
Tour In Scotland’ (found as an Appendix to Ralph Thoresby’s Letters
of Eminent Men, Volume 2, 1832):
further, we saw Roslen Chapel, a very pretty design, but was never finished, the
choir only and a little vault. The roof is all stone, with good imagery work:
there is a better man at exact descriptions of the stories than he at
Westminster Abbey: this story he told us, that the master builder went abroad to
see good patterns, but before his return his apprentice had built one pillar
which exceeded all that ever he could do, or had seen, therefore he slew him;
and he showed us the head of the apprentice on the wall with a gash in the
forehead, and his master’s head opposite to him. Bishop Sinclair founded it.
This chapel stands on a plot of ground higher than the rest, and at the foot of
a steep descent arises a rock almost surrounded with a brook. Upon this rock is
built a castle, belonging to the Sinclairs; and there are rooms for three
stories together, twenty steps high a-piece, all digged down down into the rock:
it withstood Monk awhile, but soon surrendered."
later account of the same legend by Dr Forbes, the Bishop of Caithness, from An
Account of the Chapel of Rosslyn (1774):
Master Mason having recieved from the Founder a model of a pillar of exquisite
workmanship and design, hesitated to carry it out until he had gone to Rome or
some other foreign part to see the original. He went abroad and and in his
absence an apprentice, having dreamt that he had finished the pillar, at once
set to work and carried out the design as it now stands, a perfect marvel of
Mason on his return, seeing the pillar completed, instead of being delighted at
the success of his pupil, was so stung with envy that he asked who dared to do
it in his absence. On being told that it was his apprentice, he was so inflamed
with rage and passion that he struck him with a mallet, killed him on the spot
and paid the penalty for his rash and cruel act."
Chapel was founded in 1446 by Sir William St Clair, third and last St Clair
Prince of Orkney - who died in 1484 and who was buried in the unfinished Chapel.
Jonathan Belcher, the first native-born American to be made a Mason, was born in
Elias Ashmole wrote in his diary that he had attended a lodge meeting at Masons'
John Skene, first known Mason to become a permanent resident in United States,
was a member of Aberdeen Lodge #1 (No. 27 on their roll). He became a member
prior to 1670.
Plot, The Natural History Of Staffordshire – recounting Masonic traditions that
were similar to those found in the "Old Charges".
Dr. Robert Plot published his National History of Staffordshire in which
he ridiculed the society of Freemasons. This is proof that a symbolical lodge
was in existence at that time.
John Aubrey, the antiquary, wrote his National History of Wiltshire and
spoke of "Fraternity of Free-Masons" and also described them as "adopted masons"
and "accepted masons."
A lodge of accepted Masons met at Trinity College, Dublin.
The Society of Freemasons is mentioned in a satirical speech at
the commencement exercises of the University of Dublin in July.
Randle Holme II, a Chester antiquary and herald (Deputy Garter King of Arms),
described an association with members of the "Society called Free-Masons." His
son, Randle Holme III became a member of a Masonic Lodge in Chester in the 1670s
Bunyan, Solomon’s Temple Spiritualised.
11 April 1689, William III and Mary II were crowned as joint
sovereigns of Britain. Williamsburg and Maryland were named for them,
as was the College of William and Mary.
Records of the Lodge of Melrose (between this year and 1695) used the term
Mason Word)…is like a Rabbinical Tradition, in the way of comment on Jachin and
Boaz, the two pillars erected in Solomon’s Temple (cf.
I Kings VII:21),
with one addition of some secret Sign delivered from Hand to Hand, by which they
know and become familiar with one another."
Robert Kirk, The Secret Commonwealth.
The Edinburgh Register House Manuscript suggests that Masons had words, a grip, signs and "five points."
– earliest document describing the Ritual of Freemasonry (discovered in 1930).
James Oglethorpe born in London.
Mention on a letter of the "mason's word," used for purpose of recognition.
Henry Price born in London.
January 14th 1697 A Day of Contrition is declared in
to atone for the notorious Salem Witch Trials.
An interesting close to the Seventeenth Century: An Anti-Masonic
leaflet was published warning people against Freemasons.
To all Godly People in the Citie of London
Having thought it needful to warn you of the Mischiefs and Evils
practiced in the sight of God by those called Freed Masons, I say take care lest
their Ceremonies and secret swearings take hold of you: and be wary that none
cause you to err from Godliness. For this devlish Sect of Men are Meeters in
Secret which swear against all without their following. They are the Anti-Christ
which was to come leading Men from their Fear of God. For how should Men meet in
Secret Places and with secret Signes taking Care that none observe them to do
the Work of God: are not these the ways of Evildoers? Knowing how that God
observest privilly them that sit in Darkness they shall be smitten, and the
Secrets of their Hearts layed bare. Mingle not among this corrupt People lest
you be found so at the World's Conflagration.
There are two things of interest about the document. First: it
shows that Freemasons were active in 1698. Second: the the nature of
Anti-Masonry is the same today as it ever was: fear and hatred based on
ignorance and intolerance.
No.3329 – first quotation of the Mason Word ("MAHA-BYN").
Jeremy Gridley, "Father of the Boston Bar," born.
He became Provincial Grand Master.
The Grand Alliance signed. England, the Netherlands and Austria
combined against Louis XIV of France.
Haughfoot Lodge Minute, dated 22nd December, giving a fragment of the
Freemasonic Ritual – clinching the reliability of the 1696 MS.
St. Petersburg made capital of Russia.
Jonathan Belcher, Governor of Massachusetts 1730-1741a native born
American, became a Mason.
We don't know in which lodge he was made a Mason, but presumably while he was in
His reply to an address of September 25 1741, when visited by a deputation from
the First Lodge of Boston:
"Worthy Brothers, I take it very kindly this mark of your respect. it is now 37
years since I was admitted to The ancient and Honble Society of Free & Accepted
Masons, to whom I have been a faithful brother, and well-wisher to the art of
Masonry. I shall ever maintain a strict friendship for the whole Fraternity; and
always be glad when it may fall within my power to do them any services."
The English under the Duke of Marlborough defeated the French at
the Battle of Blenheim.
The Duke of Marlborough subsequently built a splendid palace with that name.
England and Scotland united to become The United Kingdom of
Great Britain. The flag was accordingly changed to become the Union Jack (but
not yet the pattern that is currently flown).
Sir Richard Steele, in "The Tatler," famous paper of the day, in
discussing certain people said: "They have some secret Intimations of each other
like the Free Masons."
General David Wooster, famous patriot, born in Connecticut.
He became first Master of Hiram Lodge No.1, Connecticut.
College, Dublin MS - earliest text providing mode of recognition for three
grades "Enterprentice", "Craftsman" and "Master".
Britain and France signed the treaty of Utrecht, which ended the
war favorably for Britain.
Queen Anne (the last of the Stuarts) died. She was succeeded by
the Hanoverian dynasty.
King George I spoke German and French, but not English.
King Louis XIV (the Sun King) died and was succeeded by Louis XV
Meeting held at the Apple Tree Tavern in Charles Street, Covent
Garden, London, to discuss a revival of the Quarterly Communications and the
The first Grand Lodge was formed on June 24
at the Goose and Gridiron (demolished in 1894) at St Paul’s
Churchyard, in London, by four lodges of the
Sayer its first Grand Master.
Reverend John T Desaguliers elected Grand Master of the Mother Grand Lodge of
Daniel Defoe wrote Gulliver's Travels (the first real novel in
the English language).
Charles de Secondat Montesquieu made a Mason on a visit to London
Collapse of the 'South Sea Bubble' bankrupted hundreds in Britain.
Sir Edmond Halley (Halley's Comet) became Astronomer Royal.
John, Duke of Montague, became Grand Master.
The attendant publicity brought the Craft much prestige.
After his term of office, most Grand Masters were Peers of the Realm
The Grand Lodge of England, on June 24, adopted the regulation
requiring all regular lodges to secure a charter.
Sir Robert Walpole became the first 'Prime Minister'.
The town of Walpole, MA was named for him.
Peter the Great made Tsar of Russia
The Old Constitution belonging to the Ancient and Honorable
Society of Free and Accepted Masons was published.
Dr. James Anderson publishes first edition of The
Constitution of the Free-Masons.
The Flying Post, on April 11-13, printed 'A Masons'
Examination', the earliest known printed catechism of the Craft:
"An enter’d Mason I have been,
Boaz and Jachin I have seen;
A Fellow I was sworn most rare,
And know the Astler, Diamond, and Square;
I know the Master’s Part full well,
As honest Maughbin will you tell."
Death of the great architect Sir Christopher Wren, the operative
and speculative Freemason who designed the current St Paul's cathedral in
London, and many other edifices.
exhibitions of King Solomon’s Temple.
Grand Lodge of Ireland formed.
A lodge was known to exist in Paris. Interesting
article on the Museum of the Grand Orient in Paris at 16 rue Cadet
and Boe signifies Marrow in the Bone, so is our secret to be Concealed"
– The Whole Institution of Free-Masonry Opened.
recorded conferment of a Master Mason, in a London Musical Society, the "Philo-Musicae
et Architecturae Societas Apolloni" (flourished 1725-1727).
recorded regular conferment of a Master Mason – at Lodge Dumbarton Kilwinning,
will likewise be a Lecture giving a particular Description of the Temple of
Solomon; with the whole History of the Widow’s Son killed by the Blow of a
Beetle, afterwards found three Foot East, three Foot West, and three Foot
Newspaper advertisement headed Antediluvian Masonry.
– compilation of early Masonic legends (discovered in 1936).
Death of sir Isaac Newton
Arms of the London Company of Masons, 1727
Q. What is the form of your Lodge?
A. An Oblong Square.
Q. Why so
A. The Manner of our Great Master Hirams Grave.
- The Wilkinson MS.
Gotthold Lessing born at Kamenz, Niederlausitz, 22nd January.
Initiated at Hamburg.
Lessing became famous for two books with Masonic meaning:
Ernst and Falk and Nathan the Wise.
Lessing and Goethe were the two great German Masonic writers.
Prichard's Masonry Dissected was published.
exposure to describe a Ritual-System of three degrees; to a "lost-word"
(Machbenah); to mention the Hiram Abiff legend; the existence of the Blazing
Star, with the letter ‘G’ denoting "Grand Architect of the Universe". Today it is of value in studying the development of
Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Ireland, John Pennell,
published his version of the Book of Constitutions.
Martin Clare published his Defense of Masonry, an answer
to Prichard's book.
The Pennsylvania Gazette published by Benjamin Franklin,
on December 3 and 8, mentioned several lodges meeting in Philadelphia.
The Grand Lodge of England, on June 5, issued a deputation to
Daniel Coxe to act as "Provincial Grand Master of the Provinces of New York, New
Jersey and Pennsylvania in America."
First Lodge constituted in India
Lodge No 72 in Calcutta was established by Masons of the East India
exhibitions of the models of King Solomon’s Temple.
Lord Baltimore made a Mason in England.
Baron von Steuben born.
A Lodge in Paris was formed under the English
First traveling Military Lodge formed by Grand Lodge of Ireland.
George Washington born.
Georgia, the last of the original American colonies, is settled
by the British.
Freemasonry appeared in
Italy and persecution followed in Florence, Italy.
On April 13, Henry Price received a Deputation as "Provincial
Grand Master of New England and Dominions and Territories thereunder belonging."
He returned to America the same year and for some years thereafter was active on
behalf of the Craft.
On July 30, Henry Price organized the
Provincial Grand Lodge of Massachusetts.
In England, Jethro Tull makes great strides in scientific
Henry Price's authority was extended in August to cover all
First Masonic Temple in America erected in Philadelphia,
First lodge in Georgia formed in Savannah by James
Oglethorpe. The charter from England was received the following year.
Death of Rob Roy, the great Scots hero.
On November 28, Benjamin Franklin wrote a letter as Grand Master
for the Province of Pennsylvania.
The First Masonic Book to be published in America was printed by
Bro Benjamin Franklin in Philadelphia.
It was a reprint of Anderson's Constitutions (which was first published in
London in 1723, with the assent of the Grand Lodge of England).
A Lodge was formed in North Carolina.
Masonry established in Portugal under an English charter.
Grand Lodge of England issued a warrant to Solomon's Lodge at
Charleston, South Carolina.
Paul Revere born in Boston.
The South Carolina Gazette of Charles Town reported a
Masonic meeting on that city.
The Provincial Grand Lodge of Massachusetts established a lodge
at Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
Grand Lodge of Scotland was formed.
John Hancock born in Braintree (now Quincy), Massachusetts.
His name was the first signed on the Declaration of Independence.
He was the first President of the Continental Congress.
Warrant issued by Lord Derwentwater for the formation of a Lodge
First Lodge met in Germany on September 6.
Death of Antonio Stradivari (the great violin-maker) in Cremona.
The New York Gazette of March 28 indicated that a Lodge
existed in New York at the time.
Dr. James Anderson published the Second edition of The
Constitution of the Freemasons.
A new edition of Masonry Dissected, by Prichard, was
Pope Clement XII issued his Papal Bull In Eminenti
April 28. This was the first official edict of the Roman Catholic Church against
the Craft. Later in 1751, Pope Clement goes on to ban Diderot's masterwork, the
Encyclopedie (the first encyclopedia) insisting that Catholics burn it or face
Because of suppression, Diderot found it hard to publish the Encyclopedie,
which is the essence of The Enlightenment. however, volumes are published until
its completion in 1772. Diderot was imprisoned because of it. The surge in
growth at this time of Freemasonry, is one expression of the Enlightenment.
Denis Diderot was a Freemason
The province of Lorraine was ceded to France.
Masons persecuted in Florence.
New York Gazette announced a lodge meeting in the city.
Committee met in London to discuss Freemasonry. It eventually
developed into the Ancient Grand Lodge.
The Persian army sacked India, all but ending the sway of the
Members of a Lodge in Madrid were imprisoned.
Masonry introduced in Austria.
Joseph Brant, Mohawk Indian Chief, born in Ohio.
Death of Antonio Vivaldi (the Red Priest), outstanding composer
February 13 1741 The first magazine in the New World was
published. Benjamin Franklin and another Philadelphia printer, Andrew
Bradford,had the same idea at the same time, but Bradford published three days
April 13 1742 The first public performance of Handel's "Messiah"
took place, in Dublin.
John Coustos questioned and tortured by the Inquisition in
Portugal because he was a Mason.
Royal Arch carried by two excellent Masons…"-
Faulkner’s Journal dated 10-14 January.
Masonry introduced in Denmark. A duly constituted lodge,
however, was not started until October 25, 1745, when a warrant was issued by
the Grand Lodge of England.
Joseph Balsamo born. He later took the name Count Cagliostro and
organized an Egyptian rite of Freemasonry for men and women. He became the most
notorious "Masonic" charlatan. He was imprisoned on Rome for the "crime" of
being a freemason and died in prison.
Birth of Sir Joseph Banks, scientist and Freemason
The first American town meeting was held at Faneuil Hall (The
Cradle of Liberty) in Boston.
Fifield Dassigny published 'A serious and Impartial Inquiry
into the Cause of the Present Decay of Freemasonry in the Kingdom of Ireland'.
It contains the oldest printed reference to Royal Arch Masonry
of Jerusalem degree.
Death of Alexander Pope (English poet and satirist).
Rompu – first mention of the Ineffable Name within a Golden Triangle ("JEOVA"),
within the context of Hiram’s grave.
John Coustos published 'The Sufferings of John Coustos for
Freemasonry'. It was a firsthand report on the methods of the Inquisition.
John Paul Jones born.
The Scottish Jacobite Rebellion is crushed at the bloody Battle
The rebels hoped to place the son (the Old Pretender) of King James II on the
First lodge formed in Canada.
Thomas Oxnard, Provincial Grand Master, issued charter to St.
John's Lodge. Newport, Rhode Island. This was the first lodge in that State.
Franklin appointed Provincial Grand Master of Pennsylvania.
Birth of Dr Edward Jenner,
In 1980, as a result of Jenner's discovery, the World Health Assembly
officially declared the world and its peoples free from endemic smallpox
Freemasonry introduced in Poland.
Thomas Oxnard, Provincial Grand Master, issued charter to the
first lodge in Maryland.
On January 17, Joseph Torrubia secured permission of the Pope to
become a mason. He was a Roman Catholic priest living in Spain and wanted to spy
on the Masons. As a result of his joining the Craft he learned who belonged to
the order and he caused their arrest and punishment by the Inquisition.
Death of Johann Sebastian Bach.
In March, Torrubia gave the list of ninety-seven lodges to the
On July 2, King Ferdinand VI suppressed the Order in Spain.
The Ancient "Antients" Grand Lodge of England was formed on July 17. This
was formerly called a schism from the 1717 Grand Lodge. It was established by
Sadler that it was founded by Irish Masons in protest against the attitude of
the 1717 Grand Lodge.
Turner its first Grand Master in 1753.
Arch degree practised in its Craft Lodges.
Pope Benedict XIV issued the Bull 'Providas' against the
Craft on May 18. Prior to his becoming Pope, it was claimed by Paul Duchaine in
1911 that he was made a Mason in his native Bologna.
The Chinese conquered Tibet.
Laurence Dermott became Secretary of the Ancient Grand Lodge of
reference to a Royal Arch Mason in a Minute Book - – Vernon Lodge No. 123,
Coleraine, dated 16 April.
George Washington received his first degree on November 4 in "The Lodge at Fredericksburgh,"
George Washington received his second degree on March 3, and his
third degree on August 4.
Second charter issued on May 14 for a lodge in Rhode Island. The
one issued in 1749 had been unused.
George Harrison appointed Provincial Grand Master of New York on
January 9. He served for eighteen years and warranted some seventeen or eighteen
recorded conferment of the Royal Arch degree, in Fredericksburg Lodge No. 4,
First known use of the term "the Sublime Degree of a Master
Mason," in a certificate drawn by the Grand Lodge of Ireland.
and Accepted Rite allegedly first established in Clermont, France by Chevalier
de Bonneville (existence dubious, no primary sources).
James Otis made a Mason in St. John's Lodge of Massachusetts.
Famous for the words "Taxation without representation is tyranny."
He was one of the earliest and most prominent men of Massachusetts to speak out
against colonial rule.
Jeremy Gridley became Provincial Grand Master over the remaining
parts of North America.
John Marshall born.
Samuel Johnson published his 'Dictionary'.
10,000 perished in the Great Lisbon earthquake on November 1. The credulous believed it was brought about by divine justice; others saw it as
an opportunity to rebuild and reorganize society on rational principles.
General Henry (Light Horse Harry) Lee born.
Served in the Revolutionary War as one of Washington's generals. He was the
father of Robert E. Lee
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,
noted musician and composer of Masonic music, especially "The Magic Flute", was
born January 25.
The atrocity of 'The Black Hole of Calcutta' shocks the British
Lafayette born in France.
Clive of India (Robert Clive) conquered Bengal for the British.
1757 British Admiral John Byng was executed by a firing squad on
board HMS Monarch for supposed neglect of duty.
"Strict Union" between the Grand Lodge of Ireland and the
A Lodge at Exeter made a reference to the Royal Arch
Degree in a manner to indicate that a lodge was conferring that degree.
Robert Burns born.
General James Wolfe dies at the Battle of Quebec City, but triumphs. Sir Guy
Carleton (also a Freemason) is wounded
Astronomer Sir Edmond Halley predicted the return of Halley's
Death of George Frederick Handel.
January 15 1759 The world's first public museum opened in London
as The British Museum. It originally allowed only thirty visitors per day, and
is now the largest museum in Britain, with over four million visitors annually.
Distinct Knocks – exposure revealing that the secrets of a Master Mason
could only be divulged through the following three working simultaneously
together: Solomon, King of Israel; Hiram, King of Tyre and Hiram Abiff. The
three assassins named as ‘Jubela’, ‘Jubelo’ and ‘Jubelum’.
A number of lodges in Pennsylvania, on July 15 organized a Grand
Lodge and soon thereafter received a charter from the Ancient Grand Lodge. It
was called the York Grand Lodge.
John Warren prominent Surgeon and co-founder of Massachusetts General
Hospital, and brother of General Joseph Warren made a Mason in the Lodge of St.
The Provincial Grand Master of New York issued a warrant to St.
John's Lodge of Newark, New Jersey, and it was constituted on May 13. It was the
first lodge in New Jersey.
The Grand Consistory of Sublime Princes of the Royal Secret, of
Paris, granted a Patent to Stephen Morin, on August 27, to carry the Rite of
Perfection to America.
Catherine II (The Great) became Tsarina.
Germany: Masonic Congress held at Jena.
Josiah Wedgewood patented his new pottery process.
Austria was defeated in the Seven Years' War, and loses Silesia.
The Treaty of Paris is signed, confirming Britain's dominance in
North America. France smarts for revenge, which will come when France allies
with the young American state in 1778.
Death of William Hogarth, painter and savage political cartoonist.
General Benedict Arnold was made a Mason in Connecticut.
Arnold was a highly successful American Revolutionary War general who went over
to the British Army, becoming America's most famous traitor.
Jeremy Gridley, Provincial Grand Master, warranted a lodge at
Crown Point, North Carolina. It was called First Lodge.
Compact dated 22 July – document signed by Lord Blayney. First
distinct Royal Arch Grand Chapter, belonging to the ‘Moderns’ (1717).
First lodge established in China by the Grand Lodge of England.
On December 30, Henry Price sent a deputation to Thomas Cooper
of North Carolina in which he declared himself as "Grand Master of the Ancient
and Honorable Society of Free and Accepted Masons of all such places in North
America where no other Grand Master is appointed."
Andrew Jackson born,
First Grand Master to be President of the United States.
John Wilkes made a Mason by Jerusalem Lodge (Now #197). He was in prison at the
Minute (dated 1 September) of the making of ‘Mark Masons and Mark Masters’ at
the Royal Arch Chapter of Friendship, Portsmouth. Grand Mark Lodge formed in
Earliest known record of the conferring of the Masonic Order of
Knights Templar, on August 28, in St. Andrew's Royal Arch Chapter, Boston,
The Grand Lodge of Scotland appointed Joseph Warren as
Provincial Grand Master. He set up St. Andrew's Grand Lodge with three member
lodges; one had an Irish chapter.
First Lodge, Portland #1, established in Maine on May 8. Maine
was part of Massachusetts until 1820.
John Paul Jones,
famous naval commander, made a Mason in St. Bernard's Lodge, Scotland.
Captain James Cook (a Freemason) claims New Zealand and
Australia for Britain.
Thomas Smith Webb born, October 13, Boston, Massachusetts. He
became an outstanding ritualist.
The Grand Master of England, on January 14, appointed Colonel
Joseph Montfort of Halifax, North Carolina, "Provincial Grand Master of and for
America." (Surprising because Henry Price was still active.)
First lodge formed in South Africa.
William Preston published "Illustration of Free Masonry"
which went through seventeen editions by 1861.
Poland divided between Russia and Prussia.
The minutes of St Andrew's Lodge of Boston, for December,
disclose that there were few members present and it was necessary to adjourn.
There is also evidence that men dressed as Indians left the building where the
lodge was meeting on the night of the Boston Tea Party.
"Strict Union" between the Grand Lodge of Scotland and the
Grand Lodge formed in France called the Grand Loge National.
January 17 1773 The first ship crossed the Antarctic Circle.
Captain James Cook sailed there on a voyage of exploration.
Unity Lodge organized in Savannah, Georgia.
Ill-starred Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette succeeded to the
Ill-starred Warren Hastings became Governor-General of India.
General Joseph Warren killed at the Battle of Bunker Hill, on June 17.
Freemasons erected a monument in his honor on Bunker Hill, which was later
replaced by the current obelisk.
At the time of his death, he was Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts.
Edward Gibbon, author of the "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire", made a Mason in Friendship
Lodge #6, London, England.
James Monroe became an EA November 9 1775 in St John's Regimental Lodge. He later joined
Williamsburg Lodge No. 6.
Governor of Virginia 1799-1802
The second Presudent of the USA who was a Mason.
On his death, he had been a Mason for 56 years.
"Spirit of Masonry" by William Hutchinson was published.
The first book on Masonic Philosophy expressing the view that the Craft as a
Ferdinand IV, King of the Two Sicilies, issued an edict against
Edmund Burke urged reconciliation with America in a House of
April 19th 1775 The first battle of the Revolutionary
War at Lexington & Concord.
23 Mar 1775 Patrick Henry delivered a moving speech, "I know not
what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death."
Masonic Hall was dedicated on Great Queen Street, London,
Adam Weishaupt organized The Illuminati in Bavaria May 1.
1776 Adam Smith published The Wealth of Nations.
Feb 17 1776 First volume of Edward Gibbon's "The Decline and
Fall of the Roman Empire" was published
The friends of Joseph Warren organized the Massachusetts Grand
Lodge. From that day to 1792, there were two Grand Lodges in the State of
January 12 1777 Settlement proceeded apace in the West,
oblivious of the struggle in the East. Padre Thomas Peña, under the direction of
Padre Junípero Serra, founded Mission Santa Clara de Asis (Santa Clara).
Francois Marie Arouet de Voltaire
French philosopher and author made a Mason in the Lodge of the Nine Muses,
Paris, April 7.
Benjamin Franklin was present. He died in the same year.
Grand Lodge of Virginia formed, October 13.
Prince Hall and 14 black men in Boston take part in a ceremony
conducted by a John Batt, on March 6.
Death of Voltaire (a Freemason) and Rousseau, Enlightenment
The first British convicts are transported to Australia.
January 18 1778 Explorer Captain James Cook visited the Hawaiian
Islands, calling them the "Sandwich Islands" In honor of Lord Sandwich. The
Hawaiian state flag reflects this heritage.
February 6 1778 The Treaty of Franco-American Alliance was
signed. French participation was enormously helpful to the Revolution, and
probably even decisive in the Americans' ultimate victory. As many as 12,000
French soldiers and 32,000 French sailors joined the fight against Britain.
February 14 1778 The American ship Ranger' carried the
recently adopted Star and Stripes to a foreign port for the first time as it
arrived in France
Feb 23 1778: Baron von Steuben joined the Continental Army at
Valley Forge. Trained, disciplined, and reorganized by Steuben, it was a very
different Continental Army that left Valley Forge in June to pursue the British
across New Jersey.
On March 31, 1778, in his third voyage of exploration to the
Pacific, Captain James Cook entered a large bay on the western coast of British
Columbia. He anchored his vessels, HMS Resolution and HMS Discovery. A few
aboriginal people approached his vessels in canoes and cried, "Itchem nutka,
itchem nutka!" meaning, "Go around!" Not realizing that they were directing his
ships to a sheltered cove, Cook assumed they were telling him the name of the
area, so he named the waterway Nootka Sound.
December 29 1778 Savannah was captured by British troops.
Societies Act – repealed in 1967.
The Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania met outside its borders and
organized a lodge in Burlington, New Jersey.
Washington proposed (first time) as General Grand Master, by
American-Union Lodge, December 15. Same proposal (second time) by Grand Lodge of
Pennsylvania, December 20.
February 14 1779 Explorer Captain James Cook was killed in
Hawaii on his third voyage of discovery.
Goethe became a Mason in Lodge Amalia.
Washington proposed as General Grand Master (third time) by
Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, January 13.
October 2 1780. After the plans to West Point were found in his
boot, British spy Major John Andre was hanged. In 1821 Andre's body was exhumed
and reburied in Hero's Corner in Westminster Abbey.
Charter issued by Massachusetts Grand Lodge, November 10, for
the first lodge in territory which later became Vermont. Paul Revere signed the
charter as Senior Grand Warden (he later became Grand Master.)
Grand Lodge of New York formed.
Robert Burns became a Mason at St. David's Lodge, Tarbolton, Scotland.
Lord Cornwallis, in command of the British army, surrenders to
Washington at Yorktown.
His sword is accepted by General Benjamin Lincoln of Hingham, a prominent
March 13 1781 Astronomer Sir William Herschel discovered a new
planet, which he named "Georgium Sidus" (the Georgian Planet), in honor of King
George III. Today it is known as Uranus.
Robert Burns installed as Poet Laureate of Freemasonry in
Canongate-Kilwinning Lodge, Scotland.
Simon Bolivar born in Caracas, Venezuela.
Called the 'The Liberator'
Bolivia was named after him.
Second Grand Lodge of New York formed, February 4.
Charter issued to African Lodge No. 459 by the Grand Lodge of
England (Moderns), September 29.
Masonic apron made by Madame Lafayette presented to George
Germany: Illuminati suppressed.
December 14th, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is initiated into
Beneficence Lodge (Zur Wohlthatigkeit) in Vienna.
January 14 1784 Ratification of the Treaty of Paris made the USA
a sovereign nation and officially ended the Revolutionary War.
January 7 1785 Jean-Pierre Blanchard crossed the English Channel
in a hot air balloon in one of the first human flights.
Jean Antoine Houdon sculpted a statue of Washington.
He was member of Lodge of the Nine Muses, Paris.
April 1st, Leopold Mozart is initiated into his son's lodge:
Beneficence Lodge (Zur Wohlthatigkeit) in Vienna.
Grand Lodge of New Jersey formed December 18.
Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania formed September, 25.
Grand Lodge of North Carolina formed April 17.
African Lodge #459, under the leadership of Prince Hall, met
under a charter issued in 1784.
Grand Lodge of Georgia formed December 16.
New York dropped the word "Provincial" from its Grand Lodge
Royal Masonic Institution for Girls started in England.
George Washington elected Worshipful Master of Alexandria Lodge
(now Alexandria-Washington Lodge #22.
January 18 1788 The first European settlers landed in Australia.
A fleet of eight ships from Portsmouth, England landed at Botany Bay. On board
were 750 convicts sent by King George III and the British Government to colonize
Grand Lodge of Connecticut formed July 8.
HRH The Prince of Wales elected Grand Master in England.
The status of Grand Masters has progressively escalated from Dr Desaguliers'
time. The Earl of Montagu became GM, and later the Prince of Wales. The Prince
of Wales was also 'Prince Regent (giving his name to the opulent Regency
Period), becoming King George IV. The Prince of Wales was succeeded as Grand
Master by his brother.
William Cushing appointed the first Chief Justice of the United States Supreme
He was a member of St. Andrew's Lodge Boston.
Count Cagliostro, charlatan, arrested in Rome and convicted of
being a Freemason. He died in prison years later.
Oath of office administered to Washington by Robert Livingston,
Grand Master, using the Holy Bible of St. John's Lodge No. 1 New York. This
bible was later used in the induction of new Presidents such as Eisenhower,
George Bush and George W Bush.
Grand Lodge of New Hampshire formed July 8.
The Bastille was stormed, bringing on the French Revolution. As with the Russian
revolution, The start of this conflict is celebrated by radical Europeans,
reviled by others who believe that the flame will overtake all of Europe. The
later excesses of the Revolution garner no praise from European philosophers.
First US cotton mill established by Samuel Slater and ironmaster
David Wilkinson in Pawtucket RI
April 10 1790 'Columbia' returned to Boston. It was the first US
vessel to complete a circumnavigation of the globe
William Paterson made a Mason in Trenton Lodge #5, New Jersey.
He became a Supreme Court Judge in 1793.
Paterson, NJ is named for him.
Cornerstone of the District of Columbia (the first of forty
stones) laid April 15 by Alexandria Lodge #22 Alexandria, Virginia.
Deaths of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (a Freemason) and John Wesley
(founder of Methodism).
1792 Start of the first French Republic.
Apr 2 1792 Congress approved the Coinage Act, authorizing the
first US Mint, in Philadelphia.
Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette beheaded. Jean-Paul Marat
beheaded after the Reign of Terror.
Hannah Wilkinson Slater became the first US woman to apply for a
Hannah was the wife of Samuel Slater (see 1790 entry).
Paul Revere elected Grand Master of Massachusetts.
William J William painted the famous Masonic picture of George
Grand Lodge of Vermont formed October 4.
More victims fall to the guillotine: Georges Danton and
March 14 1794 Eli Whitney received a patent for the Cotton Gin.
James Knox Polk, eleventh President of the United States, born in North
Commodore John Barry, 'Father of the US Navy' initiated in Lodge No. 2,
Philadelphia, October 12.
(Interestingly, he was suspended NPD in 1800!)
The remaining part of Poland divided up by Prussia, Russia and
Oliver Ellsworth became the third Chief Justice of the United States Supreme
He was a charter member of St. John's Lodge, Princeton, New Jersey.
Death of the noble Freemason and national poet, Robert Burns.
George Washington wrote a letter to the Grand Lodge of
Massachusetts in which he said: "My attachment to the Society of which we are
members, will dispose me always to contribute my best endeavors to contribute to
the honor & interest of the Craft."
Thomas Smith Webb published Freemason's Monitor which had
a wide circulation and went through many editions.
Royal Masonic Institution for Boys started in England.
Royal Arch Masons established the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of
the Northern States of America, at Hartford, Connecticut.
Death of Freemason Giovanni Giacomo Casanova, the adventurer and
Daniel O'Connell, Irish reformer, prominent Catholic and Parliamentarian, Lord
Mayor of Dublin 1841, made a Mason in Lodge # 189, Dublin.
George Washington buried with Masonic honors.
Napoleon led a coup d'etat and is appointed Consul.
Timothy Bigelow delivered an outstanding oration about George
Washington as a Mason on February 11, before the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts.
Grand Lodge of Kentucky formed October 16.
Andrew Jackson became honorary member of Harmony Lodge #1,
Parliamentary union of Britain and Ireland. The country became 'The United
Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland'. The Union Jack was duly changed, assuming
its present form.
Haiti becomes the first independent state in Latin America.
Sir Walter Scott, famous novelist,
was made a Mason in Lodge St. David, # 36, Edinburgh.
David Glasgow Farragut, Civil War Admiral famous for "Damn the torpedoes!" Born
1801 near Knoxville TN (which incidentally, was named for another Freemason,
General Henry Knox)
His father, Major George Farragut was of Catalonian descent, and came to America
It is not known which was DG Farragut's home lodge, but he was a frequent
visitor to Naval Lodge No. 87 in Vallejo.
It might be that he became a Mason on Malts, while he was serving there in 1818.
Supreme Council of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite was
established at Charleston, South Carolina.
Emperor Francis II prohibited Masonry in Austria.
Irish Masonic Female Orphan School founded.
Isaiah Thomas became Grand Master of Massachusetts in 1802.
He served from 1802-05 and again for one year in 1809.
Printer, writer, revolutionary war patriot.
Author of 'A History of Printing in America'.
Founded the newspaper Massachusetts Spy in Boston in 1770.
This publication was too controversial in the pre-Revolutionary days, and Isaiah
Thomas had to move his press to Worcester, west of Boston, to escape punishment.
Death of Dr Edward Jenner,
In 1980, as a result of Jenner's discovery, the World Health Assembly officially
declared the world and its peoples free from endemic smallpox
21 Mar 1804 Napoleon Bonaparte enacted the French Civil Code (of
Grand Lodge of Delaware formed on June 6 with Gunning Bedford as
Grand Master. He had been a good friend of Washington.
Masonry introduced in Finland.
The Grand Lodge Pennsylvania issued a charter to Western Star
Lodge, the first in Illinois, on June 2.
Final stages of organization of General Grand Chapter of Royal
Arch Masons for the United States of America on January 9 at Middleton,
Earliest authentic evidence of conferring of Royal Master's
degree in Columbia Council #1 of New York.
Albert Gallatin Mackey born in Charleston, South Carolina.
Giuseppe Garibaldi born in Nice, France.
Liberator of Italy.
He became an active Mason.
Joseph Cerneau, a Frenchman, came from Cuba to the Untied
States. He sought to establish bodies to confer the degrees of the Scottish
Rite. His spurious activity caused much trouble and he left for France around
First Masonic Hall purchased in Scotland.
Lodge of Promulgation formed in England and lasted until 1811.
It was intended to report on the differences on the ritual between the Moderns
and the Ancients.
Albert Pike born in Boston, Massachusetts.
25 Mar 1807 Britain outlawed the Slave Trade throughout its
Feb 27 1807 Poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was born in
Portland, Maine ( part of Massachusetts at the time.)
Masonry introduced in Portugal and persecuted shortly
Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia formed January 8.
Grand Lodge of Louisiana formed, January 12.
First lodge chartered in Alabama.
April 13 1812 "Marmion" was staged in NYC. It was a
dramatization of the poem by Sir Walter Scott. Since the US was at war with
Britain, the anti-English sentiments held great appeal for New York audiences.
Grand Lodge of Tennessee formed December 27.
Union between the two rival Grand Lodges on 27 December: the ‘Moderns’
(1717) and the ‘Antients’ (1751). Formation of The United Grand Lodge of
Antient Free and Accepted Masons, H.R.H. the Duke of Sussex being the first
of Union declared that the Royal Arch degree be the completion of the Master
Mason degree. The Royal Arch elements contained within the two bodies were
merged together in 1817.
Northern Masonic Jurisdiction of Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite
December 29 1813 Crown Forces burned Buffalo, NY.
The Grand Lodge of Ireland, England and Scotland signed the
"International Compact" in which they agree on the basic points of Masonry.
Masonic Manual by Reverend Jonathan Ashe published.
1814 Napoleon Bonaparte abdicated as Emperor of France and was
banished to the island of Elba.
New book of Constitutions issued by the United Grand Lodge of
The Grand Lodge of Maryland laid the cornerstone of the
Washington Monument in Baltimore. The Governor of the State acted as Grand
January 30 1815 The Library Of Congress, destroyed by Crown
Forces in 1814, was restored by the purchase of Thomas Jefferson's personal
library for $23,940. The new collection of 6,487 volumes included more than
twice as many books as the former library, in a much wider range of fields.
January 8, 1815 The Battle of New Orleans ended in defeat for
the Crown Forces, and ended 'Mr Madison's War'. Ironically the war was fought at
the same time peace treaty talks were proceeding in Paris.
Feb 26 1815 Napoleon escaped exile from the island of Elba.
Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Scotland formed.
Grand Lodge of South Carolina formed.
District Deputy Grand Master appointed in Pennsylvania.
Robert Morris born near Boston, Massachusetts. He became a
famous Masonic author.
Grand Lodge of Indiana formed January 12.
Grand Lodge of Mississippi formed July 27.
Salem Town published his System of Speculative Masonry.
The Grand Lodge South Carolina issued a warrant to Cuba, and
became the Mother of Masonry in that island.
April 4 1818 Congress adopted a new US Flag with thirteen
stripes and twenty stars.
Jeremy L Cross published the True Masonic Chart.
Simon Greenleaf published a Brief Inquiry into the Origin and
Principles of Free Masonry.
Grand Lodge of Maine formed June 1.
and Accepted Rite first established in England.
James K Polk, eleventh President of the United States, was made a Mason in
Columbus Lodge #1, Tennessee.
Grand Lodge of Alabama formed June 11.
Grand Lodge of Missouri formed April 24.
Pope Pius VII issued his Bull 'Ecclesiam', September 13.
February 6 1819 Singapore was founded by Sir Thomas Stamford
Raffles of the British East India Company.
Feb 22 1819 Florida was ceded to the US by Spain with the signing of the
Adams-Onis Treaty. Signed by John Quincy Adams, the agreement included a payment
to Spain of five million dollars.
Death of Sir Joseph Banks, scientist and Freemason
First Grand Lodge of Illinois formed December 11.
Andrew Jackson became Grand Master of Tennessee, October 7.
He became the seventh President of the United States.
England: "Grand Lodge of Wigan" formed by four erased lodges of
Lancashire. It constituted six lodges during its existence. It ceased to exist
in 1866 after many years of dormancy.
Lafayette visited many lodges in his travels in the United
States and was made an Honorary Member of the Grand Lodge of Maryland.
Ferdinand VII (Spain) decreed the death of all Masons without
trial, August 1.
1824 English poet Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron) died of
a fever in Missolonghi, Greece, while aiding Greek rebels fighting against the
Pope Leo XII issued his Bull Qui Graviora. March 13,
directed against the Craft.
Carlile, Manual of Freemasonry – first exposure to give details of the Royal
Arch degree and to quote the Ineffable Name ("JAO-BUL-ON").
William Morgan of Batavia, New York, signed a contract on March
13 to write a book exposing the secrets of Freemasonry. He disappeared. The book
was published. The combination of unfortunate circumstances brought about the
formation of the Anti-Masonic political party.
On February 23, the Spanish government executed a person accused
of being a Mason.
Reverend George Oliver published Signs and Symbols.
So-called Nova Scotia Masonic Stone dated 1606 discovered. Now
known not to be Masonic, it is in the wall of the Canadian Institute, Toronto,
but lost to sight as it is covered with plaster.
Feb 28 1827 The beginning of a new age. The Baltimore & Ohio
Railway Company was incorporated, the
first railroad in America chartered to carry passengers and
March 29 1827 Composer Ludwig van Beethoven was buried in Vienna
amidst a crowd of over 10,000 mourners.
The Grand Lodge of Maryland laid the first stone of the
Baltimore and Ohio railroad.
Webster's "An American Dictionary of the English Language" was
published. It included for Americanisms such as skunk, hickory, and chowder.
Formal organization of the Anti-Masonic political party in
February at New York.
Pope Pius VII issued his Bull Traditi, on May 21,
directed against the Craft.
Grand Lodge of Florida formed July 6.
William Florence was born in Albany, New York.
He conceived the idea for the Shrine while on a trip in Northern Africa.
Pope Gregory XVI issued his Bull Mirari on August
15,directed against the Craft.
John James Joseph Gourgas named the first Sovereign Grand
Commander upon the formation of the Northern Masonic jurisdiction of the
Frederick Auguste Bartholdi born in France.
He was the moving spirit and designer of the Statue of Liberty.
printer George Claret publishes the first Ritual to be accepted as a Lodge
Manual and not to be dismissed as an exposure, the most important publication
being The Ceremonies….(1838). The genesis of printed formularies.
"Mark Twain" (Samuel Langhorne Clemens) born in Missouri.
First Book of Constitutions issued in Scotland.
Mexican General Antonio Lopez de Santa Ana laid siege to the
Alamo, a Spanish mission in San Antonio, Texas. Inside were more than 100 Texas
Revolutionary defenders, many of whom were Freemasons.
Feb 25 1836 Samuel Colt received a patent for his 'Revolver'
Grand Lodge Liberty started in England.
Grand Lodge of Texas formed December 20.
Queen Victoria succeeded to the throne.
Grand Lodge of Arkansas formed November 21.
Benevolent Institution founded for aged and needy masons in
England. It was Grand Lodge's third charitable project.
James Halliwell discovered the Regius Manuscript in the British
Museum. It is the earliest of the known Masonic Constitutions, transcribed about
1390. It was discovered in the collections of the British Museum by Halliwell,
who published it, realizing it for what it was. It was previously cataloged as
"A Poem of Moral Duties". Interestingly enough, Halliwell was not a Mason.
It is known as The Regius MS because it was part of the Royal
Library commenced by King Henry VII and presented to the British Museum by King
George II (hence the tooling on the cover).
Franz Liszt, famous composer and pianist, was made a Mason in Union Lodge,
First lodge formed in New Zealand.
Lodge constituted at Nauvoo, Illinois, March 15.
Joseph Smith, Mormon prophet, was made a Mason at sight in Nauvoo Lodge and
their charter was suspended, August 11.
Orphan's Friends Lodge #17, Texas established a school which,
apparently, was the first fathered by a Masonic lodge.
Grand Lodge of Iowa formed January 8.
Grand Lodge of Wisconsin formed December 18.
Grand Lodge of Michigan formed September 17.
Cornelius Moore established the Masonic Review and
published it for fifty years.
Albert Gallatin Mackey published A Lexicon of Freemasonry.
and Accepted Rite rescued due to Doctors Crucefix and Leeson – the only Masonic
Ritual based within a New Testament context and its Supreme Council originally
situated in 33 John St ("bound by its Constitutions to have no jurisdiction
whatever over the Craft degrees").
George Mifflin Dallas became Vice President of the United States.
The city of Dallas was named for him.
Pope Pius IX issued has Bull Qui Fluribus, November 9,
directed against the Craft.
Publication of Letters on the Masonic Institution by John
Quincy Adams. They were anti-Masonic.
Thomas De Quincey wrote an essay, Secret Societies, in
which he made unfounded assumptions and concluded that Masonry was an evil
President Polk, helped lay the cornerstone of the Smithsonian Institution, at
Washington DC on May 1.
Cornerstone of the Washington Monument, Washington DC laid by
Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia, July 4, Grand Master Benjamin B French.
First charter for lodge West of the Rockies arrived in Oregon
Pope Pius IX issued his Bull Quibus quantisque Malis,
April 20, directed against the Craft.
Grand Lodge of Virginia laid the cornerstone of the George
Washington monument in Richmond, Virginia.
Luther Burbank, pioneer horticulturist, born.
He became a member of Santa Rosa Lodge #57, California.
Lodge constituted in Arabia, August 5, by Grand Lodge of
Degrees of the Eastern Star prepared by Robert Morris, of
Kentucky, and first conferred on his wife.
Grand Lodge of California formed April 19.
Second cornerstone beginning House and Senate wings of United
States Capitol was laid by the Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia with
Grand Master Benjamin B French.
Lew Wallace, famous Civil War General and author of Ben Hur, was made a Mason in
Fountain Lodge #60, Covington, Indiana, January 15.
became a Mason in Greenville Lodge # 119 (now #3), Tennessee.
He became President of the United States on Lincoln's death.
Grand Lodge of Oregon formed September 15.
Nerval, Journey To The Orient – describing the Hiram Abiff Legend, hearing it
from a Persian raconteur in a Constantinople coffee-house.
Queen Victoria became Patroness of the Masonic Boys School.
Congress of American Lodges held at Lexington, Kentucky.
Grand Lodge of Minnesota formed February 24.
Robert Morris published Lights and Shadows of Freemasonry.
Kit Carson was made a Mason in Montezuma Lodge No. 109 (Missouri
Register), Santa Fe, New Mexico Territory.
Carson City, NV was named for him, as was the first Masonic Lodge in Nevada,
Carson No. 1 Lodge
More literally, Carson City was named for the River Carson. The
river was named by John C Fremont for his scout Kit Carson in the 1843-44
Robert Morris compiled and published the Universal Masonic
Library; thirty volumes of many classics of the Craft.
Albert Gallatin Mackey published Principles of Masonic Law which
went through many editions. It is known as Masonic Jurisprudence.
Grand Lodge of Kansas formed March 17.
Admiral Robert Peary born.
He explored the North Pole. He was a member of Kane Lodge, New York.
Grand Lodge of Nebraska formed September 23.
Grand Lodge of Washington state formed December 8.
Sylvanus Cobb, Jr. wrote The Caliph of Bagdad; a novel
with Masonic significance.
Masonic Hall dedicated in Edinburgh.
First lodge chartered in British Columbia.
George W. Chase wrote Digest of Masonic Law which went
through many editions.
First publication of the ritual of the Eastern Star.
William Jennings Bryan, born in Salem, Illinois (March 19, 1860).
Trained as a lawyer, he never abandoned his Midwestern values. His deeply held
religious beliefs and consistent defense of the ordinary American earned him the
sobriquet "The Great Commoner'. He was famous as perennial candidate for office
of President of the United States. Though popular, Bryant lost to McKinley in
1896, again in 1900, and to Taft in 1908. He wielded considerable political
influence, helping Wilson secure the party nomination in 1912. He served as
Secretary of State under Wilson, and resigned when war broke out, because he was
Robert Morris, of Kentucky, on June 24, wrote to leaders of the
Craft proposing the establishment of the Conservators of the ritual to establish
its uniformity. It became the source of much internal strife within the Craft
and brought much abuse to one who had labored long and hard in the quarries.
JG Findel wrote History of Freemasonry, the first English
edition being published in 1865.
Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens) wit, writer, essayist was made a Mason in
Polar Star Lodge #79, St Louis, Missouri.
James Abram Garfield was made a Mason in Magnolia Lodge #20,
He became the twentieth President of the United States.
Grand Lodge of Colorado formed August 2.
First Masonic meeting in Wyoming: July 4 on top of Independence
Charles Sherwood Stratton, known as Tom Thumb, was made a Mason in St. John's
Lodge #3 Bridgeport, Connecticut.
Following the first day of battle at Gettysburg, the Blue and
the Gray met, July 1, at the local lodge and mingled peacefully.
Garibaldi united all the Masonic groups in Italy, May 21-24.
Pope Pius IX issued his Bull Quanta Cura, December 8,
directed against the Craft.
First lodge in Idaho chartered on August 9.
Freemason's Hall opened in Dublin.
Pope Pius IX issued his Bull Multiplices Intern,
September 25, directed against the Craft.
Grand Lodge of West Virginia formed April 12.
Second Freemasons' Hall opened in London.
Lodge formed in Japan by the
Grand Lodge of England.
The Grand Lodge of Kentucky erected the Masonic Widows' and
Orphans' home in Louisville. It was the first home of its kind.
Grand Lodge of Montana formed July 24.
Robert Macoy, of New York, published a widely circulated ritual
of the Eastern Star.
Grand Lodge of Idaho formed December 17.
Masonic Boys' School started in Ireland.
Albert Gallatin Mackey wrote Symbolism of Freemasonry.
Pope Pius IX his Bull Apostolicae Sedis, October 12,
directed against the Craft.
William F Cody (Buffalo Bill) was made a Mason in Platte Valley Lodge #32,
William S Gilbert (Gilbert and Sullivan) was made a Mason in
Lodge St. Michael #54, Scotland.
Both Gilbert and Sullivan were prominent Masons.
Albert Pike wrote Morals and Dogma.
First official meeting of Mecca Temple, September 26, in New
York. This was the beginning of the Shrine. The guiding spirits were William J
Florence and Dr Walter M Fleming.
Grand Lodge of Utah formed January 16.
Pope Pius IX issued his Bull Et si Multa, November 21,
directed against the Craft.
Grand Lodge of Indian Territory formed October 6.
Grand Lodge of Wyoming formed December 15.
Grand Lodge of Dakota Territory formed July 21.
Captain Matthew Webb was the first to swim across the English Channel, from
England to France.
He was a Master with the Cunard Line, before choosing to become a professional
endurance swimmer in 1874.
On August 24th 1875 smeared in porpoise oil, he dived into the
water at Dover.
Twenty-one hours and 45 minutes later he waded ashore at Calais.
Webb continued to earn money from his swimming strengths. He won large sums of
money from races off Manhattan and also beat US champion Paul Boyton in a "World
Championship Race" off Nantasket Beach in Hull, south of Boston. He also won
£1,000 for floating in a tank of water at Boston Horticultural Show for 128
hours. Webb died on July 24th 1883 when he drowned in a whirlpool at the foot of
Cecil J Rhodes made a Mason in University Lodge #357, Oxford, England.
He established the Rhodes scholarships.
Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) was named after him.
The Grand Orient of France eliminated from its Constitution the
reference to God, and admitted atheists. This placed French lodges in a
difficult position and most Grand Lodges withdrew recognition.
Grand Lodge of New Mexico formed August 6.
Religion of Freemasonry by Josiah Whymper published. It
sought to show the Craft as a Christian association.
Gould's History of Freemasonry published. This was a
milestone on Masonic historical research.
John Philip Sousa musician and bandmaster composer of famous marches, was made a
Mason in Hiram Lodge #10, Washington DC.
First Alberta lodge chartered.
Grand Lodge of Arizona formed March 25.
Robert Morris designated poet laureate of Freemasonry.
Pope Leo XIII issued his Bull Humanum Genus, April 20,
directed against the Craft.
Masonic Relief Association of the United States and Canada held
first convention and elected officers.
Rudyard Kipling, writer, poet, Masonic writer,made a Mason in Hope and
Perseverance Lodge #782, Lahore, India.
Quatuor Coronati Lodge #2076, the first Masonic research
lodge, was established in London.
Sir Arthur Sullivan (Gilbert) and Sullivan) served as Grand Organist of the
Grand Lodge of England.
Publication of the first transactions of Quatuor Coronati Lodge
#2076 of London.
They have been published yearly to the present time.
John Joseph Pershing made a mason in Lincoln Lodge #19, Nebraska.
He was Commander-in-Chief of the Army in France in World War I.
Irving Berlin, famous songwriter, born in Russia.
Member of Munn Lodge #190, New York.
Grand Lodges of North Dakota and South Dakota formed June 12.
Nathaniel Pitt Langford published Vigilante Days and Ways
in which he explained how the Craft organized law and order in Montana. He was
Grand Master in 1869.
Frank S Land born in Kansas City, Missouri. He organized the
Order of DeMolay.
Grand Lodge of Oklahoma Territory formed November 10.
Masonic Congress held in Chicago, Illinois.
Clarence M. Boutelle wrote The Man of Mount Moriah, a
famous Masonic novel.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle creator of Sherlock Holmes, became a Mason on Phoenix
Lodge #257, Portsmouth.
Anti-Masonic Bureau established by Pope Leo XIII.
Jose Marti was killed by Spanish troops on May 19 1895.
A lawyer by training, Marti was a prominent Freemason and leader of the fight
for Cuban independence.
Robert Edwin Peary, discoverer of the North Pole, made a Mason in Kane Lodge
#454, New York.
The Tract Association of Friends (Quakers) of Philadelphia,
issued an anti-Masonic tract called Secret Societies.
John Wanamaker pioneer department store magnate, made a Mason at Sight by the
Grand Master of Pennsylvania, March 30.
Said "Half my advertising is wasted. I just don't know which half."
Bro Norman Vincent Peale was born on May 31.
A prominent religious thinker and promoter of Freemasonry, he was known (inter
alia) for his book 'The Power of Positive Thinking', published 1952. Dr Peale
served for a long time as Grand Chaplain of the NY Grand Lodge. He was raised in
Milbourne Lodge 1062 in Brooklyn.
Hamilton Lodge #120, New York founded the Mystic Order of Veiled
Prophets of the Enchanted Realm, called the Grotto.
Theodore Roosevelt was made a Mason in Matinecock Lodge #806, New York.
Sir Winston Spencer Churchill, Statesman, historian, author.
Initiated in Studholme Lodge No. 1591 in London, raised March 25, 1902 in
Rosemary Lodge No. 2851
April 8 1904 The 'Entente Cordiale' was signed by France and
England to end centuries of strife.
Will Rogers was made a Mason in Claremont Lodge #53, Oklahoma.
William Howard Taft was made a Mason at sight. He was President-elect at the
Harry S Truman was made a Mason in Belton Lodge #450, Missouri.
He later became the thirty-third President of the United States.
Tyrus Raymond Cobb, famous baseball player, was made a Mason in
Royston Lodge #426, Georgia.
Grand Lodge of Oklahoma formed February 10.
Meeting held at Alexandria, Virginia, February 22, resulted in
the George Washington Masonic National Memorial Association being formed and the
adoption of a resolution to erect a memorial to George Washington.
Franklin D Roosevelt was made a Mason in Holland Lodge #8, New York.
Cornerstone of new home of Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite,
Southern Jurisdiction, was laid in Washington DC.
The Catholic Encyclopedia was published. It has an article on
Freemasonry by the Abbe Gruber, a Jesuit who made anti-masonry his life's work.
Conference held at Cedar Rapids, Iowa, November 26-28, which
resulted in the formation of The Masonic Service Association of the United
The Grand Master of Rhode Island gave a dispensation for
Overseas Lodge, April 24, with petitions only of men in the armed services
accepted while it operated in Europe.
The Shrine adopted a resolution to establish hospitals for
Eddie Rickenbacker was made a Mason in Kilwinning Lodge #297, Detroit, Michigan.
Grand Fascist Council issued first resolution against
Freemasonry, February 13.
First Short Talk Bulletin issued by the Masonic Service
Association, entitled "Paul Revere," written by Jacob Hugo Tatsch.
Cornerstone of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial
laid November 1.
Imperial Council of the Shrine was incorporated in Colorado to
administer the affairs of the national organization.
First Grand Masters' Conference of the present series held
November 17 in Chicago. Meetings have been held every year since. Proceedings
have been printed since 1929.
Harold Lloyd became a Freemason in Alexander Hamilton Lodge No. 535, Hollywood,
He joined the York Rite and Scottish rite, and Al Malaikah Shrine.
He became Imperial Potentate of the Shrine at a highly public ceremony at
Soldier Field in Chicago, with a crowd of 90,000 onlookers, including the
President (and fellow Shriner) Harry S Truman.
The Salvation Army issued "Confidential" communication to its
officers expressing opposition to secret societies.
The Fascists confiscated property of the Craft in Italy, January
First Conference of Grand Secretaries' held in Washington DC
Masonic meetings prohibited in Portugal by order of the police.
Dedication of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial,
Shooter's Hill, Alexandria, Virginia.
Third cornerstone of the United States Capitol laid, September
18, by Grand Master Reuben A Bogley of the Grand Lodge of the District of
United States Government Washington Bi-Centennial Commission,
Hon. Sol Bloom, Chairman, published Washington's Home and Fraternal Life,
and sent a reproduction of the Burdette painting of Washington to every lodge in
Earl Warren became Grand Master of California.
He became Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court.
General Douglas MacArthur was made a Mason at Sight, at Manila, Philippine
King George VI of England was crowned on May 12, 1937
Bro Albert Windsor was was invested as Past Grand Master.
He was initiated into Naval Lodge 2612 in 1919. In 1922 he became Senior Grand
Warden of the United Grand Lodge, and was elected in 1936 as Grand Master of
Scotland. He died in 1952 and was succeeded as monarch by his daughter,
Elizabeth (HM Queen Elizabeth II).
George C Marshall was made Mason at Sight, Washington DC.
Harry S Truman became Grand Master in Missouri.
James Harold Doolittle led bombing raid on Tokyo.
He was member of Hollenbeck Lodge #319, Los Angeles, California.
First issues of The Philalethes, official magazine of the
Philalethes Society published.
Committee of Grand Lodge of Massachusetts reported that Prince
Hall Freemasonry was regular in origin. This caused some difficulty and in 1949
the report was rescinded.
The Spanish Government included an item in its budget to spend
almost $100,000 for maintenance of a special tribunal to suppress Masonry.
Lodge in Hungary dissolved.
The January issue of Theology, an English magazine, published an
article "Should a Christian be a Freemason?" by the Rev. Walton Hannah.
It was the beginning of a storm within the Anglican Church and resulted in the
publication of an expose by Hannah.
On November 4, the Grand Lodge of Virginia celebrated the 200th
Anniversary of George Washington's initiation.
In remodeling the White House, many stones were found which bore
carvings of Masonic symbols. These were delivered to the Grand Lodge of the
District of Columbia for presentation, one to each Grand Lodge in the United
Eisenhower took oath of office on Bible of St. John's Lodge, New
York; the same Bible used when George Washington took his oath of office.
Grand Lodge of the State of Israel
consecrated October 20 by Grand Lodge of Scotland.
Freemasonry re-established in Finland.
Masons imprisoned in Spain.
Masons of the armed forces of US formed Masonic Club with a
hospital to aid children in Pusan, Korea.
The February 23 issue of the Christian Science Monitor had a
long, favorable article about the Craft.
The High Synod of the Greek Orthodox Church petitioned the
Ministry of the Interior to withdraw government recognition of the Craft.
The Church of the Nazarene stated it was opposed to the Craft.
Two Cuban Masonic stamps issued, June 5.
The issue of October 8 of Life magazine was devoted to
Grand Lodge of Japan formed.
A court ruled in England that Freemasonry is not a religion.
Meeting of Lutheran Churches failed to achieve unity because of
opposition by one group to membership in Lodges by its members.
July 6 Cornerstone of the Truman Memorial Library laid by Grand
Lodge of Missouri. Earl Warren was main speaker. Truman and Hoover were present.
Freemasons lay the cornerstone for the extension of US Capitol,
in Washington. Vocal opposition from the Knights of Columbus.
Twenty-one Masons were Imprisoned in Spain under a March 1, 1940
Statue of Washington with Masonic regalia dedicated on New
Orleans on February 8.
Grand Lodge of Belgium formed.
A news item reports that fourteen Masons are still imprisoned in
New Grand Lodge formed in India, on November 24.
Grand Lodge of Cuba in exile approved in Florida.
Masonic Unity meeting with all Masonic group leaders held is in
Maine, December 7.
Liberty Lodge #70 formed in Biarritz, France, as a traveling
lodge to serve Spanish Masons.
On December 7, Bishop Mendez Arceo, of Cuernavaca, Mexico, at
the Vatican Council raised the question of the relations between the Church and
G.P. Jones & D. Hamer, The Early Masonic Catechisms, Manchester University
On April 9, 1963 President Kennedy signed a Congressional bill
containing these words:
"I, John F. Kennedy, President of the United States of America, under the
authority contained in an Act of the 88th Congress, do hereby declare Sir
Winston Churchill an honorary citizen of the United States of America."
Never before had a person been granted honorary US citizenship.
Concluding his personal message on signing the bill, President Kennedy said, "By
adding his name to our rolls, we mean to honor him -- but his acceptance honors
us far more. For no statement or proclamation can enrich his name - the name Sir
Winston Churchill is already legend."
Grand Master William H Quasha, of the Philippines, made two
trips to Rome to explain the nature of Freemasonry to the Roman Catholic
On September 29, Bishop Mendez Arceo, Cuernavaca, Mexico,
expressed view at Vatican II, that Christians should make peace with the
Discussion held in England on whether to modify the penalties in
Masonic Pavilion at the NY World's Fair maintained by Grand
Lodge of New York.
The Grand Lodge of Virginia registered its emblem to prevent its
use by others.
Sir Winston Spencer Churchill died in 1965, mourned worldwide.
Statesman, historian, author. Initiated in Studholme Lodge No. 1591 in
London, raised March 25, 1902 in Rosemary Lodge No. 2851
During the final weeks of Vatican II, a Papal document was read,
granting (inter alia) power to confessors to absolve penitents from censure
incurred for belonging to the Masonic Order or other forbidden societies.
Grand Lodge of Michigan dedicated a monument in Detroit of
Washington with Masonic Regalia, May 21.
The Grand Master of Cuba in Exile relinquished the office and
gave the seal of the Grand Lodge to the Grand Lodge of Florida for safekeeping.
Distribution of stones from the White House was completed. Each
had Craftsmen marks and were sent to Grand Lodges all over the country.
The United Grand Lodge of England celebrated it 250th
anniversary. Leaders of the Craft from all over the world were present.
Harry Carr met with Cardinal Heenan in London, and discussed the
relationship of the Craft and the Roman Catholic Church on March 18. As a
result, the anti-Masonic tracts sold in Roman Catholic Churches on London were
removed from the stacks.
The first issue of The Northern Light, official magazine
of the Scottish Rite, was published in January.
(Editor), Early French Exposures, Quatuor Coronati Lodge.
Harry Carr had several more conferences with Cardinal Heenan.
This led to a friendly relationship developing between the Craft and the Roman
Catholic Church. On April 26 there was a rumor that the Church was about to
change its rules about barring Masonic membership to its members.
New Jersey held its first open Grand Lodge installation.
The Grand Lodge of New York presented its Grand Lodge Medal
to Bro Edwin E Aldrin,Jr (Buzz Aldrin), and its Distinguished Achievement Award
to Bro Norman Vincent Peale.
Former King Edward VIII, the Duke of Windsor, died.
He was raised in the Household Brigade Lodge 2614, and became SW
in 1920. He was created SGW of the United Grand Lodge at an impressive ceremony
at the rot\yal albert Hall in London in 1921 at which 9000 masons were present.
He became Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge in 1936.
Edward was Prince of Wales during his father's lifetime (King
George V), succeeding to the throne in 1936. He abdicated to marry an American
divorcee. He was succeeded to the throne by his brother George (King George VI),
a prominent Freemason, and father of Queen Elizabeth II.
The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts laid the cornerstone of new
building of the Knights of Columbus in South Boston.
The Grand Lodge of Michigan laid the cornerstone of Bentley
Library at the University of Michigan, November 17.
Dedication of the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum and Library, at
Lexington, Massachusetts on April 20, the anniversary of the Battles of Concord
First Day of Issuance ceremony for the Haym Salomon Stamp took
place at the Scottish Rite Cathedral on Chicago, March 25.
Berlin Lodge #46 returned its charter to Rhode Island and
secured a charter from United Grand Lodge of Germany.
The statue of Washington at Prayer, located at Valley Forge, was
dedicated by the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania on October 9.
Large statue of Washington with Masonic regalia was dedicated in
Buffalo, New York.
Several Prince Hall lodges in South Africa gave up their
charters and joined the regular Craft there.
A statue of Washington in Masonic regalia, was dedicated at the
entrance to the grounds of the Scottish Rite Library and Museum in Lexington,
Massachusetts, June 10
Pope John Paul II was visiting in Chicago while the Grand Lodge
was in session. The Grand Master and the Grand Wardens by special invitation,
attended a Mass conducted by the Pope in Grant Park.
Freemasonry barred in Iran.
Arab Nations assumed an anti-Masonic position under the
erroneous belief that the Craft is controlled by the Jews.
Rededication of the Obelisk in Central Park, NYC, in October 5.
It had been given to the city by Egypt in 1880 and had been dedicated by the
Grand Lodge of Alaska formed, February 7.
Grand Lodge of Hawaii formed, May 20.
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