The development of Freemasonry and Mark Freemasonry


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presentation produced in 2006 to mark the centenary of the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons of South Australia and Northern Territory

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The development of Freemasonry and Mark Freemasonry

  1. 1. GRAND LODGE of MARK MASTER MASONS of SOUTH AUSTRALIA and NORTHERN TERRITORY 100 YEARS: 1906 - 2006 Adelaide Masonic Centre Museum
  2. 2. ORIGINS While the origins of Freemasonry are uncertain, historians believe they arose from the practices of working or operative stone masons. The builders of the pyramids, temples and similar stone structures of the Middle East, Europe and other parts of the world possessed considerable technical and organisational skills.
  3. 3. SOLOMON’S TEMPLE The Holy Bible contains a detailed account of the building of a Temple in Jerusalem around 1000 BC by Solomon, King of Israel. The stories and legends of Freemasonry are based on the circumstances surrounding the construction of the Temple, and its rebuilding several centuries later.
  4. 4. CASTLES, CHURCHES & CATHEDRALS Present day visitors to Europe marvel at the many castles, churches and cathedrals built from 1100 onwards. Stained glass windows, carvings and manuscripts give us some idea of the methods of the mediaeval stone masons. Masons carved stones for ordinary building blocks, and also for decoration.
  5. 5. MASONS MARKS It became customary for stone masons to place marks upon stones in the quarries. Marks identified the work of a particular mason for payment of wages, and signified that the stone was acceptable for use. Other marks indicated where a particular stone might be placed within the structure. Trident mark at Knossos Marks have been found on stones used in Ancient Egypt and elsewhere, including castles, churches and cathedrals of Europe.
  6. 6. MASONS MARKS AS IDENTIFICATION A register of marks became necessary to identify the personal mark of each mason. The first written reference to mason's marks occurred in Scotland, in the Schaw Statutes of 1598, wherein it was ordered that on the admission of a Fellow of Craft, his name and mark were to be registered.
  7. 7. REGISTERS OF MASONS MARKS A mark is found next to the name of the Warden who signed a 1599 minute of the Edinburgh (Mary's Chapel) Lodge. < The Lodge of Aberdeen possesses a record of the names of members with their marks from 1670.
  8. 8. THE BEGINNINGS of FREEMASONRY I From about 1640 men who were not stone masons began to join lodges. These men became known as free and accepted masons. The lodges became places of philosophical discussion, resulting in the term quot;speculative masonsquot;. Around this time there was considerable interest in the story of Solomon's Temple at Jerusalem, with elaborate drawings suggesting how the original may have appeared. The building of the Temple became an allegory for the building of a better society, or a better person.
  9. 9. THE FIRST GRAND LODGE In 1717 there was a meeting of four lodges in London, forming a grand (or large) lodge. Modern speculative Freemasonry traces its history back to this first meeting. Dr Desaguliers, third Grand Master
  10. 10. FREEMASONRY BECOMES FASHIONABLE In the early 1720's there were two grades or degrees, termed Entered Apprentice and Fellow Craft. Soon a third degree of Master Mason was introduced. Members of the aristocracy joined Freemasonry in the 1720’s, boosting its popularity. Many new lodges were formed Dr Desaguliers, third Grand Master
  11. 11. WRITTEN REFERENCES TO THE MASON’S MARK As Freemasonry became fashionable, it became open to ridicule. Satirical poems were written, some making reference to the Mason's Mark: quot;Tho' first they Signs and Marks did frame, to Signify from whence they camequot; quot;they have no Trowels nor yet Lines, but still retain their Marks and Procession of the Gormagons Signsquot; by William Hogarth quot;And what you want in Masonry, Thy Mark and Maughbin make thee freequot;
  12. 12. ARE YOU A MASON? The operative custom of ensuring that a mason had a mark by the time he became a Fellow Craft continued to be observed in some early lodges of Freemasons, particularly in Ireland, Scotland and the English provinces. Some pretending to be Freemasons may have been discovered because they possessed no mark.
  13. 13. OTHER DEGREES in FREEMASONRY Additional grades or degrees were introduced during and after the 1730’s The first or original Grand Lodge of 1717 (known as quot;the Modernsquot;) did not approve of additional degrees Some additional degrees were accepted as part of original Masonry by a new Proliferation of degrees English Grand Lodge which was formed in the 1750's and became known as “the Antients”
  14. 14. MULTIPLICATION of MARK DEGREES The Mason’s mark featured in some degrees or grades, with names including Mark Man, Mark Master, Mark Ark Link and Chain, Fugitive Mark, Christian Mark, Cain's Mark and Travelling Mark. Most have since disappeared. How and when the Mark degree began is still a matter of debate among Proliferation of degrees historians.
  15. 15. MULTIPLICATION of MARK DEGREES Thomas Dunckerley, an illegitimate son of King George II, was a keen Freemason, interested in other orders and degrees. On 1 September 1769 a meeting of Royal Arch Masons was held at the George Tavern in Portsmouth, England. Thomas Dunckerley was present to deliver the Warrant or Charter authorising the meeting. The Minutes were written in code or cipher, and state: - quot;having lately rec'd the 'Mark' he made the bre'n 'Mark Masons' and 'Mark Masters'. Thomas Dunckerley And each chuse their 'Mark', viz. ... Z (interlaced triangles) ... He also told us of this mann'r of writing (code or cipher) which is to be used in the degree…”
  16. 16. MASONIC CIPHER Minutes were recorded in cipher, not a single letter being in ordinary writing. The cipher consisted of squares or parts of squares, angles and triangles. This cipher is now known as the Masonic cipher. Cipher was used to preserve the secrecy of minutes and also other writings in Freemasonry. The concepts of the Mason's Mark, the entitlement to a Mason's wages, the method of approving and disapproving a Mason's work, and the importance of the keystone within the arch developed from this time.
  17. 17. MASONIC UNION In 1813 the United Grand Lodge of England was formed by the union of the two English Grand Lodges known as quot;the Modernsquot; and quot;the Ancientsquot;, with the Duke of Sussex as Grand Master until his death in 1843. The United Grand Lodge did not approve of degrees other than the basic first three of Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason. A compromise allowed the Royal Arch to continue as part of Freemasonry. The other The Duke of Sussex Masonic degrees including the Mark and Knight Templars went into decline Grand Master 1813-1843
  18. 18. BON ACCORD After 1843 there was a renewal of activity in degrees outside those of standard (Craft and Royal Arch) Freemasonry. Some London Freemasons became involved in the Bon Accord Chapter at Aberdeen, which worked a Mark Masonry ceremony as well as those of the Royal Arch. In 1851 the Bon Accord Chapter of Aberdeen issued a Mark Charter to some of its just a thimble-full ... London members, permitting them to meet ‘Bon Accord’ is the motto of in London. Aberdeen
  19. 19. EARLY MARK FREEMASONRY IN ADELAIDE In June 1854 a number of Mark Masons met in Adelaide, under the leadership of John Lazar, an actor, Deputy Provincial Grand Master, and a later Mayor of Adelaide. A Mark Lodge was formed, admitting ten new members as Mark Masons at the first meeting. There is no record of any subsequent meeting (otherwise this would have been a “Time Immemoriable” lodge) In 1857 several of the brethren decided to meet as a Mark Lodge under the Warrant of the new Duke of Leinster Royal Arch Chapter, No.363 Irish Constitution
  20. 20. THE GRAND LODGE REJECTS MARK FREMASONRY By 1855 senior Freemasons who were involved in the Bon Accord Mark Lodge of London suggested that the Mark degree should be considered part of ordinary Freemasonry. This suggestion failed to win approval from the United Grand Lodge of England at its meeting on 4 June 1856. The Bon Accord Mark Lodge adopted a special Masonic apron, modified from the standard Masonic apron, with trimming of maroon and blue.
  21. 21. GRAND MARK LODGE FORMED Following the rejection of Mark Masonry by the United Grand Lodge of England, a meeting of Mark Masons met in June 1856 to form the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons for England, Wales and the Colonies. Dr Benjamin Archer Kent from Kent Town in Adelaide, a member of the Bon Accord Mark Lodge in London since April 1856, was present at the meeting when the new Grand Lodge for Mark Masonry formed.
  22. 22. DR KENT of KENT TOWN Dr Kent was elected to the first General Committee of the new Grand Lodge, and appointed foundation Grand Junior Deacon In 1857 he was appointed Provincial Grand Master of Mark Masonry for South Australia. He also served as Provincial Grand Master of the Craft Lodges in South Australia from 1854 to 1860 Dr Kent did not exercise his authority as Provincial Grand Master of Mark Masons within South Australia
  23. 23. ADELAIDE MARK LODGE FORMED Percy Wells, a Past Master of Royal Cumberland Lodge of Bath, came to Adelaide about 1858 In 1859 some English Constitution brethren, led by Bro. Wells, decided to form an English Mark Lodge. This resulted in the formation of the Adelaide Lodge of Mark Master Masons No.41, English Constitution. The Adelaide Mark Lodge struggled in its early years, with no meetings from 1867 to 1883.
  24. 24. MARK MASONRY RECOVERS in ADELAIDE Mark Masonry in South Australia was boosted when the Governor, Rt Hon. the Earl of Kintore, visited the Adelaide Mark Lodge in September 1889. Previously the Earl had served as Grand Master of Mark Master Masons in England and Wales from 1884 to 1886. Perhaps it was as a result of his influence that the Chief Justice, Bro. the Hon. SJ Way, became interested in Mark Masonry 9th Earl of Kintore Governor of SA 1899-1895
  25. 25. MARK MASONRY RECOVERS in ADELAIDE Moonta Mark Lodge No.432 EC formed on 14 October 1891, while Pirie Mark Lodge No.582 EC formed on 19 March 1906. With three Mark Lodges existing in South Australia, in 1906 the brethren decided that a Grand Mark Lodge should be formed for South Australia. Sir Samuel Way was installed as first Grand Rt Hon. Sir Samuel Way Master on 14 May 1906.
  26. 26. MARK MASONRY EXPANDS Later in 1906 three more Mark lodges were formed in South Australia, at Peterborough, Port Adelaide and Norwood. By 1956 there were 49 Mark Lodges In July 1963 the Darwin Mark Lodge was formed, the first in the Northern Territory. 62 Mark Lodges had been formed by 1998
  27. 27. CEREMONIES The ceremony of advancement to the degree of Mark Master Mason centres on the traditional practice of choosing and using a distinguishing mark to identify each craftsman's work, so that he may be entitled to receive his wages. The themes of the Mark degree include regularity, diligence and discipline. The Second degree of Freemasonry encourages learning, and the Mark degree instructs how that learning can be most usefully and judiciously employed for our own honour and an Irish Mark penny the benefit of our fellow man.
  28. 28. LESSONS & RITUAL While motives may sometimes be misinterpreted, attainments underrated and reputations traduced, the Mark degree demonstrates the merits of persistence in the face of adversity, and the conviction that truth will prevail. The Mark Degree is thus one of hope and encouragement. The ritual is built around a single verse from Psalm 118: quot;The stone which the builders refused is become the headstone of the cornerquot;. It deals with the building of King Solomon's Temple and the various Craftsmen employed, but its real message is the contemplation of human strength and weakness
  29. 29. REGALIA The regalia of the Mark degree include a special Masonic apron, with dark red and blue trim, and a breast jewel showing the keystone Mark lodges have a special coin, known as a Mark penny, for payment of wages. On occasion a lecture is given using a tracing board, which contains symbols from which lessons can be drawn. The tracing board includes the method of decoding the Masonic cipher.
  30. 30. LODGE ROOM The Lodge Room is similar to that of the first three degrees, with additional positions adjacent to the pavement for three officers known as overseers. The Senior Warden's pedestal has provision for the payment of wages
  31. 31. MORE FACTS ABOUT THE MARK To become a Mark Mason you must first be a Master Mason. The Mark degree affords opportunities to gain additional Masonic knowledge. The lessons learned have practical application. Members are taught to appreciate the virtues of patience and perseverance, and additional information is given about the traditional history of Freemasonry. Mark Lodges tend to meet in alternate months. The membership fees are reasonable, about one third those of Craft Lodges.
  32. 32. THE FRIENDLY DEGREE The Mark is known as quot;the friendly degreequot;, perhaps a consequence of the difficult times for the Mark degree in the years after 1856. No doubt adversity bound the brethren of the new Grand Lodge more closely together.
  33. 33. THANK YOU! Adelaide Masonic Centre Museum Adelaide Masonic acknowledges the support of the History Centre Museum Trust of South Australia in providing a grant to develop portable interpretive panels for the Centenary. The Museum also acknowledges the support of the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons