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Winter 2012 Rising Point

  1. 1. INTERNATIONAL MASONIC REVIEW PUBLISHED BY BONISTEEL MASONIC LIBRARY TheBONISTEELML.ORG Rising Point Volume 25. Issue 1• • WINTER 2012 Myths and Masons: Romance in Our History: Page #3 “Human Progress is our cause, liberty of thought our supreme wish, the freedom of human conscience our mission, and the guarantee of US $9.95 1 equal rights to all people everywhere our ultimate goal.” Winter 2012 (The Scottish Rite Creed)
  2. 2. WELCOME TO WINTER 2012 For those of you who are new to this publication, we hope you enjoy what you see and come back. Suggestions and opinions are welcome. Contents Volume 25. Issue 1 - winter 2012 FEATURE ARTICLES MAILING ADDRESS THE RISING POINT Bonisteel Masonic Library 3 myths and masons 2520 Arrowwood Trl Ann Arbor, MI 48105 5 the origins of freemasonry 16 Web site: www.bonisteelml.org freemasons on the santa fe trail Bro. Mitchell Ozog , 32º Editor in Chief. mozog@bonisteelml.org 22 book review Bro. Karl Grube, Ph.D., 32º Managing Editor kgrube@bonisteelml.org 23 book review Bro. Robert Blackburn 32º Book Review Editor LAYOUT & DESIGN 25 book review Bro. Mitchell Ozog COVER CREDITS Mitchell Ozog BONISTEEL MASONIC LIBRARY FUND RAISER The Bonisteel Masonic Library of Ann Arbor & Detroit has established a goal of raising $5,000 for 2012 operations. Your contribution will assure 26 the continuance of our award winning quarterly publication Rising Point and the yearly costs of online ann arbor Masonic temple publication. Simple scroll down to Pay Pal on the Index page at Bonisteel Masonic Library website donate by using a credit card. www.bonisteelml.org And More..............................THE RISING POINT is the official publication of Bonisteel Masonic Library and is published four times per year. Masonic Bodies are welcome to reprint from this publication provided thatthe article is reprinted in full, the name of the author and the source of the article are indicated, and a copy of the publication containing the reprint is sent to the editor. Submissions to thispublication and all Correspondence concerning this publication should come through the Editor Mitchell Ozog. The Editor reserves the right to edit all materials received.Fair Use Notice:The Bonisteel Masonic Library web site and publication THE RISING POINT may at times contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by thecopyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justiceissues, etc.. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. If you wish to use copyrighted material from thissite or the publication Rising Point for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, thematerial on The Bonisteel Masonic Library web site and publication Rising Point is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included informationfor research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml United States Code: Title 17, Section 107 http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/unframed/17/107.html Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or byany other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not aninfringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include - (1) the purposeand character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes; (2) the nature of the copyrighted work; (3) the amount and substantialityof the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and (4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work. The fact that a work is unpublishedshall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors. Rising point winter 2012 - www.bonisteelml.org
  3. 3. Myths and Masons, Romance in Our History By John R. Snider, P.M. I would like to cover some of the highly romanced stories told conflict and discontent, which brought out armed men at Lexingtonby Masons about Masons. It is not particularly about them being Green and a shooting war at Concord’s North Bridge, with snipingMasons, although many are reputed to be members of the Craft, at the British column’s march back to Boston.as much as it is about the practice of arrogating a history whichmay not be accurate, of which our Brothers have been active Paul Revere was a man of action, sympathetic to the resistance.participants. I have selected three themes which are part of the He, along with a number of other men, had volunteered to ride, atcore of Americana. First, Brother Paul Revere’s Ride, second, the the request of Joseph Warren, out to the countryside to warn ofsigning of the Declaration of Independence, which involved many the impending British advance from Boston, who’s purpose wasMasons, and third the apotheosis of Brother George Washington. to seize weapons in the hands of the colonists.Our understanding of Paul Revere’s Ride comes to us primarilythrough the poetry of Brother Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. This was not a solitary action by Revere, he was part of a much bigger effort to warn the countryside. He made it as far asThe signing of Lexington,the Declaration warningof Independence Sam Adamshas been and Johnextensively Hancock,portrayed (or mis- before he wasportrayed) and captured,was graphically and that wasmemorialized the end ofby Brother John his ride. TheTrumbull in his other men1817 painting were morewhich has been successful,incorporated on r i d i n gthe back of our farther and$ 2.00 bill. The wider, andlife of George promptingWashington has been told, and retold, ad nauseum, with many other riders. Only William Dawes and Samuel Prescott werearrogations of fact, and many of these come to us from Brother named in this ever expanding company of alarm riders.Mason Locke Weems, Washington,s assumed biographerin the early 19th century. And all of these are seriously Revere’s only comment on the ride was, “I proceeded to Lexington,misrepresented. through Mistick, and alarmed Mr. Adams and Col. Hancock.” His obituary, in 1818, made no mention of the ride. His minor roleThe definition of “romance,” as an intransitive verb, is: “to was left in the obscure details, to be discovered and romancedexaggerate or invent detail or incident,” as taken from Merriam – by Longfellow in January 1861, 86 years after the incident.Webster. Such has been the case in each of the aforementioned Longfellow was true to the definition of romance, with his lyricalevents. anapestic tetrameter, matching the rhythm of a galloping horse. The facts. Early historians have attempted to quantify the While poetic license is expected, his line, “the fate of the nation”American Revolution in nice neat packages, with definite dates, being in Revere’s hands belies the truth of the matter, but mostwatershed events and simplified details. This does not reflect the schoolchildren fondly recall, “Listen, my children, and you shallactual social dynamics or historical accuracy of these “events”. It hear of the midnight ride of Paul Revere.” Nothing is said of hisis arguable that the folks in Massachusetts revolted in 1774. It’s capture. Mistick and Lexington are but a small fraction of “everynot like one day we’re at peace with the civil authority and the Middlesex village and farm.” Longfellow’s Paul Revere was onnext we’re not. It is a gradual process of growing discontent and both sides of the river, arranging the signal, “one if by land, two ifincreased oppression. 1774 was when the folks in the countryside by sea”. No sea involved, it was a river. And then on the other sideoutside Boston started refusing to pay taxes. This resistance was of the river, he spends a lot of time awaiting the signal, patting hisrampant and the British response from Boston led to increased horse and stamping his feet. It was a borrowed horse, arranged Rising point winter 2012 - www.bonisteelml.org
  4. 4. Continued from page 3and coordinated for him to mount as soon as he got there and persons in the painting are identified and Prince Hall, who wastime was of the essence. Revere never made it to Concord, as never a delegate to the Continental Congress, is not among them.the poem implies. The poem impresses us that Revere acted There is no record of him being in Philadelphia during this timealone and this was not the case. There were at least 50 named period. It is a romantic notion that he appears, probably attributedparties and a host of others, unnamed, who participated in the to the engraving process of printing money and wishful thinking.alarm. I guess Brother Longfellow got lost in a good story of his Certainly, he was very influential and a person of whom they areown making. The real story of a large number of citizens, infused rightfully proud, but he wasn’t there. So why include him? Well,with Enlightenment ideas of freedom and equality, rising to resist as the rest of the painting is fictitious, why not add one moreincreasing oppression over a period of years, is a far more romantic idea?complicated story, difficult to explain in prose, let alone poetry.But there is limited time to teach in schools, and we are left with Brother George Washington has been elevated to heroic status“The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere,” and it’s romance and his life story has suffered many distortions. Most notable is the biography of Washington written by Brother Mason Locke Turning to our vaulted Declaration of Independence, we again Weems, in 1800, a year after Washington’s death. Weems waswant definite dates, neat packages and simple explainations. We ordained into the Protestant Episcopal Church in 1784 and financialeven memorialize July 4th as a national holiday, commemorating a hardship forced him to take on book sales in 1792. Weems was anfictitious event. Who is the proper entity to declare independence? itinerant book salesman and even wrote a few that he could sell.We have attributed this to the Continental Congress, which had Washington was his first example. Parson Weems intermixedlimited authority in Colonial America. The real legislative body was moral stories with fact and came up with moralistic idealizations,the Pennsylvania Assembly, along with the individual assemblies of which the infamous felled cherry tree is but one. Weems wasin other diverse colonies. Pennsylvania was the keystone colony not alone in his deification of Washington. The whole country didin movement toward a break with British civil authority, and it was it, and Parson Weems just rode the wave of financial success.Tory leaning. The Continental Congress was primarily advisory, Washington’s last days have been recorded and he waswith no real legislative authority. And just what effect of law does attended by two Masonic friends who were the doctors treating hisa “declaration” have? In the month leading up to the declaration, final illness. In keeping with his wishes, they conducted a quietthere was an arrogation of authority to the Congress, led by the Masonic burial on the grounds of Mount Vernon. It was later, whencraftsmen and militia companies of Pennsylvania, manipulated by the folks in new federal city, learned of Washington’s death thatSam Adams, his brother John and Tom Paine. The country was the apotheosis, complete with Roman imagery, took root. Theysplit in thirds, one in opposition to the British Crown, one, the even named the federal city after him and included a burial vaultTories, in support, and one third didn’t care. The idea of making a for his body in the Capitol Building, which remains empty to date.declaration of independence had been widely discussed for some Parson Weems unabashedly romanticized Washington’s life withtime. Thomas Jefferson, and his committee, had been working these moralistic tales, They are only recently being debunked,on the justification for making such a declaration, for some time as more and more historically chic biographies appear. Butprior. His draft done by June 28th and the committee presented Washington’s ascension into the heavens graces our Capitol’sit on that date for discussion to the Congress. It was formally domeproffered by Charles Lee of Virginia, and it was approved by theCongress on July 2nd. There were revisions, deletions, changes So how does this process of aggrandizement occur? It wasin wording and Jefferson reluctantly complied. The final draft all done by good men, with the best of intentions. I suppose onewas not ready for signature until August 2nd. It was laid on a could attribute a profit motive. After all, Longfellow, Trumbull, andtable in the corner and various signers affixed their signatures Weems got paid for their work. Their agendae were not historicalover the next month and a half. There was no one big event accuracy. None of them were trained as a historian. They werewhere all the later dignitaries and retrospective revolutionaries all self trained in their respective professions, poet, paintergot together and committed an act of treason against the king. and hagiographer. The far greater stories are not condensedYet, we have visions of resolute men solemnly gathering, and descriptions of watershed events, hitting few points of historictaking an important step toward freedom. They were never all in accuracy. They are a story of grand social movements, inspiredthe room at the same time. Our vision comes to us from Brother by many folks, some unnamed, some heroic and some just beingJohn Trumbull’s painting of this fictitious event, done in 1817, 41 the best they could be, given the circumstances.years after the supposed event. Only 42 of the actual 56 signersare depicted in the painting. Trumbull consulted with men who And what of any Masonic influence? There was probablywere there at various stages of this extended process, noted their none. It is coincidence that many were members of our Craft.appearances and visited the site. Jefferson, who had maintained But the penetration of the Craft into society, in general, was morea copy of his rejected declaration, along with the final draft, asked pronounced in the days of these deeds. This is the downsideTrumbull to paint him standing on the foot of John Adams, with of Masonic name-dropping. It is also coincidence that all rodewhom he disagreed over revisions. The event as depicted never horses, but we do not blame the horse. Our history is rich withhappened. Trumbull’s painting, purchased in 1819, ended up on ideas, and we need not add to them, but rather ascribe the greatthe Rotunda wall in the current Congress building and has been truisms of life to their proper place in their lives. They each hadreproduced on the reverse of the $ 2.00 bill. their own motivations, which we can only surmise. Let us use our There is a mis-conception among our Prince Hall Affiliate gavels to divest ourselves of the vices and superfluities attendantbrothers that Prince Hall is depicted in this painting. All of the with our aggrandized history. Thank you for listening. Rising point winter 2012 - www.bonisteelml.org
  5. 5. The Origins of Freemasonry Bro. Prof. Dr. U. Gauthamadas“…we must despair of ever being able to reach the fountain‑head Abraham, a descendant of Noah, who had learned the sevenof streams which have been running and increasing from the sciences, taught them to the Egyptians when he migratedbeginning of time. All that we can aspire to do is only to trace their there. Euclid, a worthy disciple of Abraham, taught the sciencecourse backward, as far as possible, on these charts that now of Geometry to the sons of the nobles of Egypt, that they mayremain of the distant countries whence they were first perceived practice an honest craft. He also gave them charges. And they to flow” (Brand’s Popular Antiquities, 1849) used Geometry to develop the craft of masonry to build great monuments. David, king of Jerusalem, loved masons and employed them toPreamble build the Temple of Jerusalem after giving them charges similarHaving explored the history of Freemasonry in Madras, I wanted to those by Euclid. And after the death of David, his son Solomonto explore the origin of Freemasonry. I had recourse to a few who succeeded him, gathered together 24,000 masons from farhistorical treatises and the plethora of (authenticated) material on and wide to and finished the temple started by his father. Amongthe Web and decided to give it a shot. these masons was one named Mamon Grecus, who travelled to France and taught the craft to people there. And among his pupilsLittle did I know what I was getting into! It is said that fact becomes was one called Carolus Martill who became the King of France,history when written down; otherwise it remains a legend and, and propagated the craft throughout France.ultimately becomes a myth. Having said that, we must also keep inmind that all that is written down, as history, need not be fact. Much St. Alban, the first British Christian martyr, who was himself aof the available material is a mix of legend, myth, and unfounded mason, employed many masons and obtained a charter forextrapolation of facts with a generous dash of fanciful conjecture. them from the king. And after the death of St. Alban, EnglandIt was quite a task to wade through it and tease out recorded facts. was invaded by the people from other nations and Masonry wasMoreover, most of the material consists of prodigious accounts destroyed till the rule of King Athelstan of York, the first King of alaid out, sometimes, in exhaustive detail mixing masonry, with Unified England from 927 A.D. King Athelstan introduced masonryFreemasonry and other crafts, and in no particular chronological, at the annual assembly convened by him. And his son Edwin,or historical order. Space constraints have also required me to who learned Geometry and Masonry, obtained a charter fromconfine the narrative to the history of Stone Masonry as it relates his father to convene an annual assembly of masons to monitorto Freemasonry. However, I trust that I have managed to put the craft. In these assemblies, he made the members recountforth a fairly concise and chronological sequence of recorded the charges or understandings of the charges and manners ofevents, having rarely to resort to an educated guess to produce a masons in England or any other country, and commissioned ameaningful narrative. Any errors are my own. book in which they were gathered. And these became the Ancient Charges of masonry.The Legend of Freemasonry: FinisThe earliest complete reference to the origin of Freemasonry isto be found on a parchment roll (estimated to be dated between The players in this story, belonging to different historic periods from1660 and 1680) presented to the Grand Lodge of England by those described, Douglas Knoop, in his “Genesis of Freemasonry”,George Buchanan, Whitby, on March 3, 1880). The gist of the considers that this account may have been conceived with thelegend is as follows: objective of providing the masons with something resembling the charters, or records of privileges, possessed by craft gilds at thatThe craft of Masonry was first introduced in the form of geometry time. Or, that some clergyman, or other relatively learned personby Jaball, an ancestor of Noah, who built the first house in stone. connected with the building industry, may have compiled such aJaball and his 2 brothers Juball and Tuball, and sister Naamah history out of an interest in the craft and a desire to show howfounded the crafts of Geometry, Music, Metal work, and Weaving, ancient and honorable it was.and inscribed them on two pillars of stone. These pillars werefound, after the great flood by Hermes, the father of wise men, We will now try to trace how Freemasonry may actually havewho taught the craft of masonry to others. The craft was used originated.in the building of the Tower of Babylon by Nemorth, the King of The origins of stonemasonryBabylon who was himself a mason. Nemorth, gave two chargesof the craft to 60 masons and sent them to his cousin the King of Masonry is the preparation and combination of stones to indentNeneveh, and herein originated the charges of masonry. and lie on each other and become masses of walling and arching, Rising point winter 2012 - www.bonisteelml.org
  6. 6. Continued from page 5for the purposes of building. Stonemasonry is one of the earliest And King Hiram replied “I am sending you Huram-Abi, a man ofcraft in the history of civilization. great skill, 14 whose mother was from Dan and whose father was from Tyre. He is trained to work in gold and silver, bronze andThe New Stone Age, began about 9500 BC in the Middle East, iron, stone and wood, and with purple and blue and crimson yarnand is traditionally considered the last part of the Stone Age. It and fine linen. He is experienced in all kinds of engraving and canwas a period in the development of human technology, and execute any design given to him. He will work with your skilledarchaeological data indicate that c. 8000–3000 BC various forms workers and with those of my lord, David your father (2 Chroniclesof domestication of plants and animals arose independently in 2: 13-14).six separate locales worldwide in southwestern and southernAsia, northern and central Africa and Central America. This Thus according to the Hebrew Bible, Huram was the architect“Neolithic Revolution” provided the basis for high population who built King Solomon’s temple using stone and craftsmen fromdensity settlements, requiring non-portable architecture. During Phoenicia, and workers from Hebron. In the Old Testament (1this period people learned how to use fire to create quicklime, Kings 7: 14) we find him referred to as “the son of a widow of theplasters, and mortars. They used these to fashion homes for tribe of Naphtali, and his father was a man of Tyre”. The namethemselves with mud, straw, or stone, and masonry was born. Huram-Abi is not a misspelling. It is akin to the name Hammur-The Ancient civilizations then learned to cut and shape stone and Abi, and is pronounced “hyoo’ ram-ah’ bih”, and means “my fatherthus were born the stonemasons who built impressive and long is an exalted brother” (Holman Bible Dictionary).lasting monuments such as the Egyptian pyramids, and the Incan There is some material evidence that Phoenician templesand Peruvian step pyramids. Egypt, Chaldea, Phoenicia, India, incorporated two pillars: one for Astarte and one for Baal, andand China are the first countries to record masonry worthy of the this influence was probably carried through in the Temple ofname. Solomon. The Temple was completely destroyed in 587 BC byEgypt: By 4000 BC, Egypt had developed an elaborate cut- the Babylonians when they captured Jerusalem and we havestone technique. It was to endure for over three millennia and it no historical or archeological record, other than biblical, as to itsis perhaps the most instantly recognizable of all ancient cultures building or nature.today. Egyptian architecture was colossal and rich in symbolism. Greece: Stone masonry appears to have spread from Egypt toThe prevailing thought of the Egyptian was death. Existing the island of Minoa in the Mediterranean sea around 2000 BCEgyptian temples were aligned with astronomically significant (giving rise to the grand Minoan palaces), and thence to Greeceevents, requiring precise measurements at the moment of the by the migration of the Dorians in 1000 BC, who developed Doric,particular event. Corinthian, and Ionic architectural styles.Phoenicia: Phoenicia was an ancient civilization in Canaan Italy: The Etruscans, who migrated from Asia Minor to nearby(roughly corresponding to the region encompassing modern-day Tuscany (Italy), picked up the craft from the Greeks during the 8thIsrael, Palestinian territories, Lebanon, and the western parts of and 7th century BC and developed their own architectural style. InJordan) from c. 4000 BC. Phoenician architecture may have been the 10th century BC, a small agricultural community was foundedinfluenced by that of Egypt or may have developed independently. on the Italian Peninsula and developed into Ancient Rome whichThe Hebrew Bible mentions the cities of Phoenicia being expanded into one of the largest empires in the ancient world.strongholds and walled in. The architecture of the Phoenicians The Romans began to absorb and synthesize influences frombegan with the fashioning of the abundant native rock and there both the Etruscans and the Greeks, and built hundreds of roads,is archeological evidence that they built impressive, though not bridges, aqueducts, baths, theaters and arenas. Technologicalartistic, palaces, temples, and tombs. advancements were often divided and based on masonry.King Solomon’s Temple: The Hebrews were a nomadic race who The origins of Masonic craft associationswere enslaved in Egypt for centuries till their exodus c. 1400 BCguided by Moses. Yet, they never had the enough opportunity to Greek Eranoi: Around the 7th century BC there were permanentmaster the art and science of building in Egypt. When they arrived societies in Greece called Eranoi. Their members contributed toin Canaan/Phoenicia after wandering in the desert they were still a general fund for the purpose of aiding one another in necessity,nomads with very little skills or knowledge. Being preoccupied by provided for funerals, met in an assembly to deliberate on theirwar they had very little newly acquired capabilities by the time affairs and celebrated feasts and religious ceremonies in common.they captured Jerusalem c. 1000 BC. When Solomon became Strict rules against disorder were enforced by fines. He who didking, he was in need of artisans, architects, craftsmen, builders not pay his yearly quota to the society was excluded unless heand building material to build a temple and palace as desired could show good cause of poverty or sickness. Some writersby his predecessor and father David. The best known and most assert that it was from the Eranoi that Numa gained his idea ofgifted people who could help fulfill the kings’ needs were the the Collegia.Phoenicians famed for their construction at that time. Roman Collegia: The earliest authentic record of the associationScholars agree that Solomon applied to Hiram the King of Tyre of artisans relates to those instituted among the Romans byfor assistance in the construction of his temple. Archaeologist, Numa Pompilius, second King of Rome (715 BC). He organizedCharles Warren was the first to document certain masons’ marks the artisans into Collegia (legal associations) and the Masons oron the foundation stones which were believed to be letters of the stone workers became leaders of this fraternity. One CollegiumPhoenician alphabet, thereby establishing the Biblical statement was attached to each legion of troops so that when a Romanconcerning the Phoenician origin of the edifice. colony was established, the work of civilization and art proceeded Rising point winter 2012 - www.bonisteelml.org
  7. 7. Continued from page 6without delay. Franci, a West Germanic tribal confederation, raided Roman territory, and one of their tribes, the Salii, formed a kingdom inCollegium parallels: A college could consist of no fewer than the region in ancient Gaul that came to be known as Francia. Thethree sodales or companions, was presided over by a Magister Francian King Merovich established a dynasty that reigned from(Latin: Master) and decurions (Stewards), and had a treasurer, the 5th to the 8th century AD. The Merovingians were Christianssub‑treasurer, secretary and archivist. They had a common chest and continued the Roman Basilica tradition, and innovated upon(fund), a common cult (rituals), a meeting‑house (Lodge) and a it. The focus being on building Basilicas, few other truly largecommon table (festive board). There was a bond of relationship stone buildings were attempted between the 4th century, and theamong them and they called and regarded themselves as fraters 8th century AD. Between the 6th and 8th century AD the Byzantine(Latin: brothers). This bond required the duty of accepting the architecture was combined with the Roman style into a form ofguardianship of the child of a deceased colleague. The brothers stone architecture named Romanesque and many churches andpublicly interred their dead in a common sepulcher, with all the castles were built in this style in the Western European Romansurvivors being present. Thus the Roman collegia could be taken empire.as the precursors of Freemasons Lodges. Some very ancient records, note that during the MerovingianThough the rules or by‑laws of the Collegia tenuiorum are not dynasty (as early as 628), the trades and crafts of Paris organizedavailable, those of the Collegia Cultorum Dei which were similar themselves into associations called corps de métiers along theassociations are, and they are identical to the corresponding lines of the Roman colleges.regulations of the guilds in England. The Roman artificers continuedin their growth and following the destinies and conquests of Rome The Corps de Metier: The oldest code of the corps de métiersspread into every country that came under Roman domination. which has been preserved is probably that of Boileau (about 1260) that unites the masons, stonemasons, plasterers (both makersByzantium: When the Roman Emperor Constantine (272 – 337 and users) and the mortarers (both makers and users of mortar)AD) became the patron of Christianity in 312 AD Christianity under the banner of St. Blaise. From other sources we know thatbecame the dominant religion of the Roman Empire. In 324 AD the quarry‑workers and the tuilières (tile makers) owed allegianceConstantine shifted his capital to Byzantium in Asia Minor, giving to the same banner, also the millstonemakers.birth to Constantinople (Istanbul). Constantine wanted to buildgrand churches, but he considered the existent forms of Christian The Corps de St. Blaise: In 1467 Louis XI organized the craftsbuildings inappropriate considering the status of Christianity, and into a species of militia or garde national. The various trades weresought an architecture that had fresh meaning. He found this in the ranged under sixty‑one banners. The leading banners were thoseSaracenic architecture in Byzantium and the marriage of Roman of the six corps of merchants; the thirty‑second being that of St.and Saracenic architecture begot the Byzantine architecture with Blaise, comprising the masons, quarrymen, stonemasons, etc.the magnificent Basilicas that served as a combination of an The Confraire: An institution closely allied with the Corps deimperial audience hall, law court, financial center, and army drill Metier was that of the social assemblies (confrairie, conphrairie,hall. frairie). These met at stated periods, for religious exercises andBritain: When Julius Caesar conquered England in 55 B. C. social pleasures. Every craft banner belonged, as a body, to somehe found the Britons entirely uninformed about architecture of Confrarie. The society was composed of the same members asany kind. There is evidence of the establishment of a college the craft but comprised only of the Masters. Their most usefulat Regnum (today’s Chichester) in the form of a slab of marble sphere of action was the sustenance and relief of aged and poor(found in 1733) with the inscription ““The college or company of Masters, their widows and children, the assistance rendered toartificers and they who preside over sacred rights by the authority members in cases of illness and to companions on their travels.of King Cogibunus, the legati of Tiberius Claudius Augustus, in Their downfall was their excess in the social pleasures. A codeBritain, dedicated this to Neptune and Minerva for the welfare of preserved in the archives of the city of Amiens, dated Junethe Imperial family. Pudens, the son of Pudentius, having given 15, 1407 is styled the “Statutes regulating the Fraternity of thethe site.” masons’ trade (du mestier de Machonnerie) of Amiens “ which regulated their finances and their banquets.This decline of the Roman Empire began around 150 AD andcontinued over a period of approximately 320 years, culminating In 1498, the Parliament prohibited all banquets and Confrariesin 476 AD, when Romulus Augustus, the last Emperor of the and, at the same time, enacted laws to regulate the associations;Western Roman Empire, was deposed by Odoacer, a Germanic by 1534 when fresh laws regulating the associations were passed,chieftain. When the Roman Empire fell, most of the Collegia the Masonic Confrairies were in a large measure dispersed andbecame extinct except those of the stone masons, who probably dissolved and their scattered fragments were absorbed by theshifted their operations to France. Buildings of stone decreased Compagnonage.in much of Western Europe, with a resulting increase in timber- The Compagnons: The Compagnons (Companions) du Tour debased construction. With their departure the British Isles were France are a French organization of the journeymen of Franceinvaded (449 AD) by the barbaric Saxons who were accustomed formed for mutual support and assistance during their travels.to hovels of mud and habitations of rough stone with straw The title ‘journeyman’ derives from the French “journée” or day, ascoverings, and destroyed everything else. Consequently, the use such workers were generally paid by the day. After being employedof wrought stone for building was discontinued for the next two by a master for several years, and after producing a qualifyinghundred years. piece of work, the apprentice was granted the rank of journeymanFrance: In the meantime, from the 3rd to the 5th century AD the and was given documents (letters or certificates from his master Rising point winter 2012 - www.bonisteelml.org
  8. 8. Continued from page 7and/or the guild itself) which certified him as a journeyman and refuge in the Temple, which was under a separate jurisdiction,entitled him to travel to other towns and countries and work for and the clergy forbid the ceremonies and institutions.other masters. The birth of Operative FreemasonryCompagnon parallels: The origin of the Compagnons is shrouded With the resurgence of stone work in Europe in the 6th to 10thin history, and is traditionally traced back to the time of Solomon, centuries, due to Christian religious fervor, thousands of impressivehelping to build the first temple in Jerusalem before migrating to stone churches and cathedrals were built across Western EuropeGaul. in a style known as Romanesque. The Italians builders with theThe Companions’ legend of Maitre Jaques, one of the first masters Greeks, French, German and Flemings among them, joined into aof Solomon and a colleague of Hiram, (recorded by Perdiguier - Fraternity of Architects, procuring Papal Bulls that rendered them1805-1875 , a joiner belonging to the Compagnonange “Sons of official and gave then certain privileges. They styled themselvesSolomon”) so remarkably parallels the tragic assassination of the as Freemasons referring to their freedom to move and work, andWidows Son as to have been its predecessor. But the ceremonies ranged from one Nation to another as they found Churches toand rituals of the Companions were kept a close secret and be built. They were governed by a Surveyor with groups of tenshrouded in mystery. Even Perdiguier has not gone into much member led by an officer called a Warden. This is the earliestdetail except to the following customs and arrangements: “A evidence we have of a society of Freemasons. There is no proofyoung workman presents himself and requests to be made a that the traveling Freemasons of the middle ages made use ofmember of the society. His sentiments are inquired into, and if the symbolism. Technical skill and study were the two requisites forreplies are satisfactory, he is embauche (recruited). successful endeavor in their line of work. Whatever secrets these builders recognized were purely technical and belonged to theAt the next General Assembly he is brought into an upper room … trade with the exception possibly of means of recognition thatwhen, in the presence of all the companions and of filier (network they employed to make themselves known to one another.or fellows), questions are put to him to ascertain that he has madeno mistake, that it is into this particular society and not in some Meanwhile, the art of building using squared stone and mortarother that he wishes to enter; and he is informed that there are was introduced in England by Benedict Biscop, the Abbot ofmany distinct societies and that he is quite free in his choice. The Canterbury. In 674 AD King Ecgfrith of Northumbria grantedordinances, to which all companions …..are obliged to conform, Benedict land for the purpose of building a monastery. Biscopare then read to him and he is asked whether he can and will brought in Freemasons from France in 674 AD to build St.conform thereto. Should he answer “No,” he is at liberty to retire; Peters’s monastery at Monkwearmouth, in the Romanesqueif he replies “Yes,” he is affiliated and conducted to his proper style. The King was so delighted at the success of St Peter’s,place in the room. If he is honest and intelligent, he obtains in due that he gave Biscop more land in Jarrow and urged him to buildcourse all the degrees of the Companionage, and succeeds to the a second monastery and Benedict erected the sister monsateryvarious offices of the society.” – Gould. of St Paul at Jarrow, again employing Freemasons from France. From the 7th to the 10th centuries the Anglo-Saxons constructedThere are three further degrees in the Companionage: accepted many churches using mainly square-cut building stones calledcompanion, finished companion and initiated companion, Ashlers.probably attended with a ceremony comprising the enactment ofsome tragic scene similar to that recounted in the career of Maitre The Norman conquest of 1066 brought with it a fresh interestJacques or of Hiram Abiff. in the building art. The Norman kings were great builders. They demolished the Anglo-Saxon churches and built the greatThory, in his History of the Grand Orient, reproduces the material Romanesque cathedrals in England. During these periods theportions of the Compagnon of charcoal burners: “At their initiation travelling Freemasons established themselves in England.a white cloth was spread on the ground, on which was placed afull salt‑cellar, a goblet of water, a wax candle and a cross. The The first reliable account of these traveling Freemasons is foundcandidate took the oath lying prostrate on the cloth and, with in connection with the erection of Melrose Abbey Church, nearhis hands, one on the salt, and the other on the goblet. He was Edinburg, in 1136. On a block of stone at one of the doors isthen raised and, after some “mystification “given the password; an inscription attesting the fact that John Monroe was a Generalwhich would prove him a true and good “cousin “in all forests. The or Grand Master of all Mason work. Engraved on the walls overmaster afterwards explained the symbols; the cloth represents the one of the doors is a shield carved in relief and displaying ashroud; the salt, the three theological virtues; the fire, our funeral pair of compasses. Also in Melrose Abbey churchyard amongtorches; the water, that which will be sprinkled over our grave; the the inscribed stones, is one marked “Andrew Mein: Meayson incross, that which will be borne before our coffin”. This is probably Newsteid, aged 63,” and dated February, 1624.the first reference we find to a ritual that parallels the speculative The Steinmetzen in Germany: From the 9th to the 12th century,rituals in Freemasonry. devout men from the British Isles, chiefly from Ireland, crossedAs the reader can gather, the ceremonies detailed above closely over to the mainland and, penetrated into the depths of the Germanparallel those of Freemasonry. An inscription found with the forests, carrying the doctrines of Christianity to the German tribes.names of Sons of Solomon, who died in the battle of Lacrau in the Wherever they went, they cleared the forests and raised churchesmid 17th century, bears carvings of masons’ picks, compasses, and dwellings for their priests. The monasteries they built affordedsquares, levels and other stonemasons’ tools. the means of acquiring skill in the manipulation of building materials. They may thus be looked upon as the earliest schoolIn 1648, with the interdiction of assemblies, the Compagnons took of masonry and the cradle of architecture in Germany, furnishing Rising point winter 2012 - www.bonisteelml.org
  9. 9. Continued from page 8large numbers of cunning artificers and experienced master true, loyal, and obedient mason; that he would maintain the craftbuilders. It is probable that in the 12th century, or thereabouts, as far as possible; that he would not of his own initiative alterthe skilled masons of the convent builders left the employ of their or change his distinctive mark ; that he would not disclose themasters, who were unable to provide them with further work, and greeting (Gruss) or grip (Schenck) to any non‑mason ; and that heamalgamated with the Steinmetzen. would not commit any part of the ceremony to writing.By the 10th century Stonemasons’ skills were in high demand in The methods of recognition were then imparted to him and theMedieval Europe, and in order to safeguard their skills, enforce the ceremony concluded with a jovial feast, which was partly at theflow of trade to the select few, and to retain ownership of tools and master’s expense, and partly at his own. At this feast the Ordinancesthe supply of materials, it is believed that they were organized in a were read out and the Master renewed his pledge accompaniedmanner something between a trade union, a cartel, and a secret by the drinking of a toast with a prescribed movement of handsociety, and known as the Steinmetzen (Stonecutters). The first and cup, accompanied by a fixed form of words. It is not knownauthentic charter of the Steinmetzen was in the 13th century. what the grip was. But we have the account of Herr Osterrieth, an architect, who had been a member of the stonemasons’ guildSteinmetzen parallels: The Steinmetzen met in halls that they in Strassburg. Upon being admitted to Freemasonry at the endconstructed (Lodges), and were bound together by strong ties of the 18th century, Herr Osterrieth expressed his astonishmentof brotherhood, containing in their midst, master builders whose at recognizing the token of the Strasburg stonemasons in theminds were stored with all the mathematical knowledge of those entered apprentice grip.days. Records show that a meeting was rendered by the opened chestThey had three classes of members: apprentices, journeymen, of the society which contained their documents, minute‑books,and master masons. Apprentices were indentured to their masters registers and treasury; that this chest was usually secured by threeas the price for their training; journeymen had a higher level of locks and keys, which keys were in possession of three differentskill and could go on journeys to assist their masters; and master officials; that the presiding officer then knocked with some symbolmasons were considered freemen who could travel as they of authority (usually a staff or hammer), to procure silence; thatwished, to work on the projects of the patrons. the periodical contributions of the members were then collected,The Universal Fraternity of Stonemasons: In 1459, due to strife complaints heard and strife adjusted; that the locksmiths, andamong the various Steinmetzen in Germany and Switzerland, a therefore probably the stonemasons, closed their meetings byuniversal fraternity was instituted with four chief lodges, to which three formal inquiries, whether anything for the good of the craftall disputes must be referred. This Universal Fraternity issued or of the fraternity offered itself.ordnances to all the Steinmetzen whose masters chose to join All ceremonies were operative and conducted in the form of athe fraternity. In 1563 the Ordnances were revised and printed dialogue between the officials and there are no authenticatedin folio and described as The Brother Book of 1563, containing records of any speculative ceremony or secrets to be“The Ordinances and Articles of the Fraternity of Stonemasons communicated.renewed at the Chief Lodge at Strasburg on St. Michael’s DayMDLXIII” but first published as the Secret Book (Geheimbuch) Gould gives an indicative description of the ceremony of affiliatingof the Stonemasons. This is one of the earliest references to a a journeyman joiner: “He was ushered into the assembly and“Lodge” or to a book of constitutions. placed before the president in an upright position, his heels joined, his feet at right angles, which was ensured by the square beingA copy of this folio was distributed to every Lodge. The master placed between them. His posture was proved by the level, hewho had charge of the book was made to swear that the Book was required to stand erect, elbows on his hips and hands spreadwas not copied or lent, and that the Ordinances would be read out sideways so as to represent an equilateral triangle, of whichevery year to the fellows in the lodge. his head was the apex.Fraternity of Stonemasons’ parallels: The Ordnances provide He was denominated throughout “rough wood.” He was thenfor the master to appoint “pallier”s (guardian or warden of the directed to listen to a lecture. The first part of this lecture treats ofenclosure) to help rule the lodge. The Warden was to preserve the origin of the joiner’s art and includes remarks on architecture inthe order, the privileges, the tools and appliances of the Lodge general, couched in rude verse…..he underwent a rude symbolicaland to see that all instruments of precision (square, gauge, ceremony called Hdnseln …that is, handling or manipulation. Inetc.,) were maintained in full accuracy. He was to act as general the case of the joiners this consisted of being stretched on ainstructor to the fellows and apprentices and prepare, prove and bench, rather roughly planed and shaped with various tools, in factpass their work for them; to reject spoilt work and to levy all fines treated as rough wood under the joiner’s hands. The locksmithsfor negligence or otherwise. He was to call the brethren to labour turned a key round three times in the mouth of the candidate …at the proper time, “without fear or favor” and to fine those who did After this ceremony the joiner was called in future “smooth wood “not make their appearance. and, the proceedings being ended, was once more placed underOn the completion of his apprenticeship the young workman was the level”.declared free of the craft and obtained rank as a Fellow-craft. Gould also gives an account of examination of a travelling saluteThis act was solemnly performed before the assembled Lodge mason recounted by Steinbrenner:and was accompanied by some formalities. He had to take asolemn obligation “ on his truth and honour in lieu of oath”, under “What was the name of the first mason?” – “Anton Hieronymus”,the penalty of being expelled from the craft, that he would be a “And the working tool was invented by?” - “Walkan “. Rising point winter 2012 - www.bonisteelml.org
  10. 10. Continued from page 9The most interesting part of this catechism is the tradition organized along lines of particular trades. Not much is knowncontained in the following dialogue “Where was the worshipful about the craft gilds of masons, though they surely must havecraft of masons first instituted in Germany?” – “At the Cathedral existed. The primary purpose of the craft guild was to establish aof Magdeburg, under the Emperor Charles II, in the year 876.” complete system of control over all who were associated in theCharles II was the King of West Francia from 840–877 and craft.the Holy Roman Emperor from 875–877. However, there is no Gild Parallels: The administration of craft gilds lay in the handshistorical evidence to show that there was any construction on the of wardens, bailiffs, or masters. The general membership wassite of the Cathedral of Magdeburg prior to 937. divided into the three grades of masters, journeymen or fellowThe fraternity admitted honorary members, and so it is assumed crafts and apprentices. Any journeyman could become a master.that the stonemasons were in the habit of admitting into their The typical gild had a common chest for incidental upkeep andfraternity the most learned men of the age such as Albertus for the relief of the widows and orphans of deceased members;Argentinus the designer of the Strasburg Cathedral, Albertus periodical meetings, with banquets; admitted members on anMagnus who planned the Cologne Cathedral (both of the 13th oath; administered fines; adopted ordinances for the regulation ofcentury), and Emperor, Frederick III (1440‑1492) who are all its own activities; and punished members for improper conduct.claimed by various works to have been masons. They held prayers for the dead, provided old age and sick pensions, pensions for widows, and burial funds. . As we can see,It is interesting to note that two pillars stand within the Cathedral the parallels are few compared with the previously mentionedof Wurzburg, in Germany (built between 1040 and 1075), which craft associations.at some period formed a part of the original porch. Their names,Jachin and Boaz, suggest a derivation from the celebrated pillars As a result of their alliance with the church, many gilds,at the entrance of King Solomon’s Temple, with which, however, participated in pageants with mystery, morality and miracle plays.their architectural form in no way corresponds. Their names These plays were staged on wagons drawn in a “procession”merely prove that the masons were acquainted with that part of from one exhibition point to another across the town. The variousthe Old Testament most interesting to them as architects, which gilds divided up the plays among themselves, e.g. at Norwich,in itself may have suggested the idea of constructing something the mercers, drapers and haberdashers presented the creationunusual. of the world; the grocers, Paradise; and the smiths, the fight between David and Goliath. At Hereford, the glovers gave AdamThe British Craft Gilds: The word gild originated c.1230, from and Eve; the carpenters, Noah’s ship; the tailors, the three kings.the Old English “gegyld” meaning “ a tribute or payment” to It is possible that these mystery plays were the forerunners of thejoin a protective or trade society. Originally Gilds were voluntary later drama of speculative Freemasonry, but there is no evidenceassociations for religious, social, and commercial purposes. to bear this out.These associations, which attained their highest developmentamong the English, during the Middle Ages, were of four kinds: In the course of time gilds multiplied until they came to be usedreligious, frith (peace), merchant, and craft gilds. for every conceivable purpose, for good-fellowship, for drinking, for insuring a decent burial, for worship, for hunting, travel, artThe oldest existing charter of a gild dates from the reign of King and for banking. In the time of Edward III (1312 – 1377) thereCnut c. 985 AD (known more commonly as King Canute). From were more than 40,000 religious, trade and crafts gilds listed inthis we learn that a certain Orcy presented a gegyld-halle (gild-hall) England. During the Protestant Reformation (1517 – 1648) allto the gyldschipe of Abbotsbury in Dorset, and that the members gilds were suppressed as superstitious foundations. The tradewere associated in almsgiving, care of the sick, burial of the dead, gilds survived as corporations or companies - one such wasand in providing Masses for the souls of deceased members. The the Masons Company of London - but they were devoid of theearliest gilds were formed for religious and social purposes and power and influence they had possessed. It is not clear as to whatwere voluntary in character. Subsequent enactments down to the happened to the craft gilds, let alone the gilds of masons.time of King Athelstan (925-940) show that they soon developedinto frith guilds or peace guilds, which were associations with a The origin of the term Lodgecorporate responsibility for the good conduct of their members It is not quite clear as to how the term “Lodge” came to be appliedand their mutual liability. to the basic organizational unit of Freemasonry. The term per seWith the building of towns based on trade, merchant guilds most probably originated during the Frankish period (see “Thewere formed and controlled the town government. From existing origins of Masonic craft associations: France”, in Part 1 of thisgild statutes of Berwick, Southampton, Leicester and Totnes article) from the “laubja” or temporary shelters made of foliagewe learn that each gild was presided over by an two alderman that the masons built against the sides of the cathedrals, to live in(literal meaning “elder man” – practically, a high ranking member during construction. This was later transformed into the Old Frenchelected to lead) assisted by two or four wardens who presided “loge” (pronounced “loje”), and the Medieval English “logge”. Theover the meetings and administered the funds. Merchant gilds term “logge” or “loge” was used in particular for a cabin erected byenforced contracts among members and policed members’ masons working on the site of a major construction project, suchbehavior because medieval commerce operated according to the as a church or cathedral, and may consequently have also beencommunity responsibility system. a type of occupational nickname for a mason. By the 14th century the term began to be applied to a mason’s workshop. A manuscriptSeeing that the merchant guilds had become closely allied with dated 1370 notes,”All ye masons…sall be…ilka day atte mornthe municipality, the craftsmen struggled to break down the atte yare worke, in ye loge ya: es ordained to the masonnes attetrading monopoly of the merchant gilds and formed the craft gilds, Rising point winter 2012 - www.bonisteelml.org 10
  11. 11. Continued from page 10wyrke” (All you masons shall be at your work in the morning every The birth of Speculative Freemasonryday: as ordained to the masons at work). By the 15th century it In order to prevent the total extinction of these old operativecame to be applied to a lawful meeting of Master craftsmen. It is societies and to preserve them because of their historicallogical to assume, therefore, that a lawful gathering of masons associations and their value as social recreation centers, acame to be called a “logge”, for the term “atte Logge” appended proclamation was issued in England somewhere between theto a personal name (e.g. Adam atte Logge), often denoted the years 1707 and 1717, admitting men of all professions providedwarden of the masons’ lodge. Medieval English had no spelling they were regularly approved and initiated into the society.rules and words were spelled according to sound, and so it The societies then began to admit members who were notappears that the word came to be spelled “lodge”. stonemasons. Pritchard writes, “Lords and Dukes, Lawyers andThe demise of Operative Freemasonry Shopkeepers, and the other inferior Tradesmen, Porters not excepted, were admitted”, “the first sort at very great Expence,Operative Masonry began to decline in the fifteenth century; in the second sort at a moderate Rate, and the latter at an expencethe following century it almost went out of existence. of six or seven Shillings, for which they receive that Badge ofThe Hundred Years War in France (1337 to 1453), the Black Honour”. Thus these old societies ceased to be operative inDeath (1348 to 1350), and the wars of Roses (1455 to 1485) character, but retained a semi-professional relationship to theresulted in a great waste of human life and the depopulation communities wherein they existed.of villages. Arts and sciences were neglected and the people The term “Freemason” which was first used to designate a workerlost faith in the church culminating in the Reformation (1517 in free stone, began to assume a new significance - that of “freeonwards) that dealt a death blow to Mediaeval architecture. All of the gilds.” And, as the number of operative masons decreasedgilds were suppressed by Henry VIII, monastery corporations and the number of speculative Masons increased, the society inwere dissolved, Cathedrals were no longer erected, and existing due time became known as the “Society of Free and Acceptedones demolished. All these circumstances impoverished the Masons”, consisting of fraternal groups which observed thepeople so that architecture rapidly declined. traditional culture of stonemasons, but were not typically involvedThe great London fire (1666) caused massive destruction and in modern construction projects.resulted in untold misery and suffering. In the rebuilding of From the minutes of the Lodges at Kilwinning and Aberdeen weLondon (for 50 years after the fire) the influx of foreign workmen learn that the Scottish Lodges not only took in non-Operatives aswas so great that the existing gilds of operative Masons were early as 1642, but that they were given an active part in lodgedemoralized and soon commenced to disintegrate. Surviving affairs. The extinct Haughfoot Lodge had a non-Operative majority,lodges met but occasionally and with extreme difficulty. Darrah with a ritual and ceremony, as early as 1702. The earliest existingnotes, “In 1646, when Elias Ashmole was initiated, there were record of a man having been made a non-Operative Mason inbut seven present to participate in the ceremonies”. England is that of Robert Moray who was “made” at Newcastle,The last account we have of the operative guilds of the Middle by members of the lodge of Edinburgh with the Scottish army,Ages is in connection with the erection of St. Paul’s cathedral in on 20th May 1641. But the most famous of all the earliest non-London, in the 17th Century, under Sir Christopher Wren. Just Operative Masons by far was Elias Ashmole, made a Mason athow many of these gilds were in existence at this time or to what Warrington on 16th October 1646.extent their influence reached is not known. Whatever record The minute book of “The old lodge of Melrose” dated 1675may have been kept was probably destroyed. It is, therefore, records a mutual agreement signed by eighty names. “In theimpossible to arrive at any definite conclusion as to what may mutual agreement betwixt the masons of the lodge of Melrosehave been the status of these operative societies. Darrah asserts ye master mason and wardines were invested with full powersthat it is beyond doubt that “there existed among them nothing in to enforce regulations, collect fees, fines, and penalties.” “Theirthe way of a central organization. Each guild was a trades union papers, notes, and money were kept in a box in charge of the Boxcomplete in itself, establishing its own rules, admitting whom it Master, or Master. Their funds seem to have been freely loanedpleased, and exercising its functions independent of all other to the members on “Tickets, Obligat’n’s and Bonds.” Early in theirsimilar societies”. proceedings, the terms “prentises” and “fellow-crafts” appear,The gild system also became a target of much criticism as the and the proceedings in 1695, record: “At Neusteid the 27 day ofgilds were believed to oppose free trade and hinder technological deer. 1695 it is heirby enacted and ordained be the Masons treadinnovation, technology transfer and business development. that nather prentis nor fallow Craft be received into our companieAccording to several accounts of this time, gilds became unless they hev ther gloves presentile produst to those personsincreasingly involved in simple territorial struggles against each they are concernd to pay too.”other and against free practitioners of their arts. In 1686, Dr. Robert Plot wrote in his “Natural History ofFollowing the great London fire, the rebuilding of St. Paul’s Staffordshire” about the Society of Freemasons: “for here I foundcathedral and other civil and religious edifices gave some new persons of the most eminent quality, that did not disdain to be oflife to operative Masonry, but it was not sufficient to revive this Fellowship. Nor indeed need they, were it of that Antiquitythese old societies and restore them to their former glory. At the and honour, that is pretended in a large parchment volume theybeginning of the 18th Century there was no general organization have amongst them, containing the History and Rules of the craftof Masonry. Ongoing building caused workmen to come together, of masonry…. Into which Society when they are admitted, theyform a temporary lodge, complete the work, and disband. call a meeting (or Lodg as they term it in some places), which Rising point winter 2012 - www.bonisteelml.org 11
  12. 12. Continued from page 11must consist at lest of 5 or 6 of the Ancients of the Order, when King Aheltstan who was a student of geometry, granted a charterthe candidats present with gloves, and so likewise to their wives, in A. D. 926 to a company of Masons. Legend has it that Princeand entertain with a collation according to the Custom of the Edwin assembled the Masons at York in 926, and ordered themplace: This ended, they proceed to the admission of them, which to submit available written documents in various languages aboutchiefly consists in the communication of certain secret signes, societies of Masons. From the documents so submitted he hadwhereby they are known to one another all over the Nation, by formed the English Masonic Constitutions, known more popularlywhich means they have maintenance whither ever they travel: for as the Gothic Constitutions.if any man appear though altogether known that can shew any of Gould notes that there is no sufficient evidence that thesethese signes to a Fellow of the Society, whom they otherwise call Regulations now called the York Constitutions or the Gothican accepted mason, he is obliged presently to come to him, from Constitutions are those that were adopted in 926.what company or place soever he be in, nay, tho’ from the top ofa Steeple (what hazard or inconvenience soever he run) to know Darrah remarks that, “So far as this assembly of Masons in Yorkhis pleasure and assist him; viz., if he want work he is bound relates to Freemasonry it is simply a myth.”… “While the holdingto find him some; or if he cannot doe that, to give him mony, or of such an association must be viewed as legendary only, yetotherwise support him till work can be had; which is one of their whatever assembly may have been held was simply that of anArticles.”. aggregation of rough stone Masons. In no sense did it relate to the cathedral builders of the middle ages.”The birth of the Grand Lodges Plot notes that the Ancient Charges were “brought into EnglandEngland: There is some indication that there was an ancestry of by St Amphibal and first communicated to St Alban, who set downFreemasonry that was associated with both working and non- the Charges of masonry and was made paymaster and Governorworking masons in England during the 17th century. In York there of the King’s works and gave them charges and manners as Stis evidence of a Masons’ Guild lodge in 1663. Amphibal had taught him. Which were after confirmed by KingThe Grand Lodge of York: The earliest reference to the Grand Athelstan, whose youngest son Edwyn loved well masonry, tookLodge at York is the minute book of the Lodge at York dated upon him the charges and learned the manners and obtained for1705. This Lodge functioned as a Grand Lodge in as much as it them of his father, a free Charter. Whereupon he caused thempossessed its own collection of Old Charges and claimed the right to assemble at York and to bring all the old Books of their craftto authorize men, to form themselves into attached extensions of and out of them ordained such charges and manners, as theythe York Lodge in the towns of Bradford and Scarborough. then thought fit ; which charges on the said Schrole or Parchment volum, are in part declared”. This charter has not been found.There are other records that attest the active condition of English The Grand Lodge of York considered Prince Edwin their firstFreemasonry at Yorkshire in 1705. It is inferred, therefore, that Grandmaster.it must have been in existence from earlier times and that itinterposed between the purely operative and purely speculative Gothic Constitutions: The earliest record of the old Constitution’sFreemasonry. However, the earliest document of the Grand Lodge is the Ancient poem commonly known as the Halliwell or Regiusof York available is a roll of parchment, dating from 1712 to 1730. Manuscript dated around 1390. The 794 line poem begins byThese York minutes give accounts of meetings of Private lodges evoking Euclid and his invention of geometry in ancient Egypt and(general meetings), General lodges (meetings on the festival day then the spreading of the art of geometry in “divers lands.” Thisin June), and St. John’s Lodges (meetings on the festival day is followed by fifteen points for the master concerning both moralin December). The ruler of the Lodge was called the President, behaviour and the operation of work on a building. There are thenand brethren, who temporarily presided, in the absence of the fifteen points for craftsmen which follow a similar pattern.President, were described as Masters. In the minutes we also find Another manuscript known as the Cooke manuscript, dating fromproceedings of meetings described as those of the “Honourable the 15th century also gives a legendary origin of stonemasonry.Society and Fraternity of Freemasons”. While the Regius claims that stonemasonry was invented byThe Grand Lodge of York therefore considered itself the Mother Euclid to provide employment for sons of the nobility in ancientLodge, and co-existed amicably with The Grand Lodge of England Egypt, Cooke, extends the antiquity of the craft back beyondin the South till late 18th century Egypt to biblical times, with the origins of the craft placed in the pre-flood era during Cain’s lifetime.Following the formation of the Grand Lodge of England, the titleof the Grand Lodge of York was changed to “The Grand Lodge of The legends have been embellished by succeeding authors.all England, TOTIUS ANGLIA”. There are 19 major and many minor manuscripts, totaling approximately 100 in number, whose contents build upon theThere is abundant evidence to prove that the Grand Lodge of medieval manuscripts and were compiled between 1583 andYork was active till 1792. However, for some reason, it seems to 1717. The contents of all these ancient manuscripts are all veryhave broken up, for Hughan notes in Ars Quatuor Coronatorum similar and historians presume that they are copies of some earlierthat “All the ‘York’ Lodges succumbed on the decease of their documents which were, apparently, lost through wars, holocaust,‘Mother Grand Lodge,’ and there has not been a representative required book-burnings and the chaos and destruction throughof the Antient York Grand Lodge anywhere whatever, throughout the ages. These Gothic Constitutions guided Freemasonry inthis (19th) century.” Britain for a century and half till doubt was cast on them after theThe Legend of York: From a 15th century manuscript written in formation of the Grand Lodge of London.the reign of Edward IV, we learn that Prince Edwin, the brother of Rising point winter 2012 - www.bonisteelml.org 12

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