Masonic Research Society
Hogarth ‒ A Brief Sketch of His Life and Masonic Works
By Bro. Jacob Hugo Tatsch
Assistant Editor the Builder
records of the seventeenth century are few in number. Fortunately those
of the eighteenth
century, owing to the so-called "Revival" which took place in 1717, and
the phenomenal growth of the Craft in the years immediately following,
are far more
numerous. Yet the gaps still exist, and evidences of Masonic activities
other sources are therefore of great value. Much can be deduced from
of information ‒ of which I shall consider only one in this article;
of engravings, and under this subject the work of one man ‒ our
Hogarth, Grand Steward of the Grand Lodge of England in 1735.
to a quaint recital of his life as detailed in an eighteenth century
book (1) in
my possession, William Hogarth born about 1698 (another authority gives
10, 1697, as the exact date), in the parish of St. Bartholomew, London.
It is said
that his name was originally spelled Hogart, a corruption of Hogherd;
it is also
given as Haggard and Hogard. The elder Hogard changed it to Hogarth,
the solicitation of his wife (the mother of our subject), who wished
child to have a name less what suggestive of what was probably the
of her husband's ancestors.
of Himself, Hogarth has left us the story of his early life. "As I had
a good eye, and a fondness for drawing, shows of all sorts gave me
when an infant; and mimicry, common to all children, was remarkable in
me. An early
access to a neighboring painter drew my attention from play; and I was,
possible opportunity, employed in making drawings. I picked up an
the same turn, and soon learnt to draw the alphabet with great
correctness. My exercises,
when at school, were more remarkable for the ornaments which adorned
for the exercises themselves. In the former, I soon found that
better memories could much surpass me; but for the latter I was
thought it still more unlikely that by pursuing the common method, and
drawings, I could ever attain the power of making new designs, which
was my first
and greatest ambition. I therefore endeavored to habituate myself to
of a sort of technical memory; and by repeating in my own mind the
parts of which
objects were, composed, I could by degrees combine and put them down
with my pencil.
Thus, with all the drawbacks which resulted from the circumstances I
I had one material advantage over my competitors; viz., the early habit
I thus acquired
of retaining in my mind's eye, without coldly copying it on the spot,
intended to imitate."
talent for caricature was discovered while still serving his
an engraver of arms on plate. In company with several companions, he
made an excursion
to a nearby point. The heat of the day suggested refreshment at a
in which a quarrel arose among some men who had preceded Hogarth and
Using a beer mug to enforce his contention, one of the disputants
struck the other
on the head with such force as to cut open his skull. The subject
formed by the
bleeding man, with agonizing wound and hideous grin, appealed to the
instincts of Hogarth. He took his pencil and hurriedly produced an
sketch. Hogarth was thus early "apprised of the mode Nature had
his apprenticeship, he entered the academy in St. Martin's Lane and
from life. He never attained great excellence in the art, but showed
genius in depicting
character and passions.
It is believed
that he began business on his own account as early as 1720. Beginning
with the engraving
of arms and shop bills, he next designed and furnished plates for
folio prints, with his name attached to each, appeared in Aubry de la
Travels, 1723; seven smaller prints in 1724 illustrated Apuleius'
Golden Ass; a
series of prints appeared in 1726 as illustrations for Butler's
Hudibras, of which
one will be mentioned more fully later; other illustrations were
engraved for various
books printed up to 1736. He also did some work in oils, but these
portraits do not possess the merit of his engravings.
1730 to the only daughter of Sir James Thornhill, who objected to the
as he considered the girl too young for marriage at eighteen, in
addition to being
averse to Hogarth's impecunious circumstances and lack of reputation,
beset with the difficulties familiar to struggling genius, but in 1733
was recognized and he rose completely into fame. It is not necessary in
to itemize his famous engravings, as copies are readily procurable in
editions of his works. I shall treat those of Masonic interest only.
Hogarth as an Author
It is not
generally known that Hogarth was also the author of a solitary volume,
of Beauty [Lib 1753], published in 1753. It is a
treatise on art
and was apparently so well received that we find it translated into
and French. A second German edition, translated from the French,
appeared July 1,
1754, prepared by Ch. Fr. Vok. A contemporaneous observer states: "This
had many sensible hints and observations; but it did not carry the
meet the universal acquiescence he (Hogarth) expected. As he treated
with scorn, they triumphed over this publication, and irritated him to
fame lies in his caricatures and satires. "It may be truly observed of
that all his powers of delighting were restrained to his pencil. Having
admitted into polite circles, none of his sharp corners had been rubbed
that he continued to the last a gross, uncultivated man. The slightest
transported him into a rage. To be member of a club consisting of
those not many removes above them, seems to have been the utmost of his
but even in these societies he was oftener sent to Coventry for
any other person who frequented them. To some confidence in himself he
entitled; for, as a comic painter, he could have claimed no honor that
most readily have been allowed him; but he was at once unprincipled and
in his political conduct and attachments. He is also said to have
beheld the rising
eminence and popularity of Sir Joshua Reynolds with a degree of envy;
and, if I
am not misinformed, frequently spoke with asperity both of him and his
Justice, however, obliges me to add, that our artist was liberal,
the most punctual of paymasters; so, that, in spite of the emoluments
had procured to him, he left but an inconsiderable fortune to his
years were marked with political strife, in which he expressed himself
by his caricatures of men in public life. In 1762 his health began
visibly to decline.
On October 25, 1764, he was conveyed to Leicesterfields. Here he
received a letter
from Benjamin Franklin, and drew up a rough draft in reply; but being
illness, died within two hours. He was buried in Chiswick, England, and
erected to his memory with the following inscription:
lieth the body
Of William Hogarth, Esq.
Who died October the 26th, 1764,
Aged 67 ‒ years."
Hogarth as a Mason
known of Hogarth's Masonic record. Where and when he received the
degrees are facts
awaiting discovery by the students of the Craft. A manuscript list in
of the Grand Lodge of England show him as a member of the lodge meeting
at the "Hand
and Apple Tree," Little Queen Street, London; and in 1730, of the
Stone" Lodge. Apparently Hogarth became a member of the Fraternity
1725 and 1728, Robert Freke Gould stating that he was a member of the
and Apple Tree" Lodge in 1725, but does not give his authority. Hogarth
as one of the Grand Stewards of the Assembly and Feast on April 17,
1735, as shown
by the minutes of the Grand Lodge of England. His appointment March 30,
recorded as follows: "Then the twelve present Stewards were called up,
Thanks returned them from the Chair for the Care they had taken in
an elegant Entertainment for the Society, and at the same time their
drank and also desired to proceed for each Steward to name his
successor for the
ensuing year which they did in manner following… Hogarth's name appears
as the eighth
of a list then itemized.
may perhaps conjecture that in joining our ranks he was influenced by
of Sir James Thornhill, Grand Warden in 1728, whose assistant he was,
and in whose
house he is said to have resided for some time before his marriage; for
was hardly the man to tamely follow a mere general fashion of the day
his associates, or joining any association." (3)
best known Masonic engraving is the one entitled Night, the last of a
as The Four Times of the Day. Considering the scarcity of original
prints, it is
interesting to note that these impressions, measuring 19 by 15 1/2
offered for sale at the nominal price of five shillings each in 1782. A
of an original print in my possession accompanies this article as a
to this issue of THE BUILDER.
of Hogarth's other prints, this one bears the date of issue, March 25,
date is important as it enables us to fix events depicted which would
be matters of conjecture. Judging from the oak leaves in the barber's
in the hats of two of the men depicted, it is believed that Hogarth had
in mind, the anniversary of the restoration of Charles II to the throne
to whom much of the credit is due what was accomplished during its
early years by
Quatuor Coronate Lodge No. 2076 of London, in describing the print,
street presented to our view is, almost without doubt, Hartshorn Lane,
opening to what is now Trafalgar Square, and which was known to our
Northumberland Street, but is now replaced by Northumberland Avenue.
The only element
of uncertainty arises from the position the equestrian statue of
Charles I, of which
one expect to more of the near side, unless either its position has
or our artist has taken one of those liberties which by painters and
poets are deemed
allowable. In Hartshorn Lane 'rare Ben Johnson' was born, and at the
Prior was found reading Horace when a boy. Wapole's remarks would imply
Rummer was not a very reputable house in his time, and if the room over
shop be in any way connected with the tavern, the inference would
appear to be justified.
The only connection of the Rummer with the Craft, which I have been
able to discover
is that a Lodge, constituted 18th August, 1732, and erased in 1746, met
at the 'Rummer,
Charing Cross,' but removed in 1733. The signboard facing the 'Rummer'
'Earl of Cardigan.' I cannot find that any Lodge met here previous to
the date of
the engraving; but from 1739-42, a Lodge which was constituted 15th
and erased in 1743, held its meetings at the 'Earl of Cardigan's Head,'
Cross, and from 1742-44 its place was occupied by the 'Union French'
the 17th August, 1732. On the whole, it would not appear that any
were associated with this particular street in Hogarth's mind." (4)
in his work, Biographical Anecdotes of William Hogarth [Lib 1785], said, "In NIGHT, the drunken
has been supposed to be Sir Thomas de Veil; but Sir John Hawkins
assures me, it
is not in the least like him." (5) Other authorities, however, seem to
It is now generally accepted that Hogarth intended to satirize de Veil.
no doubt that he designed the principal caricature to be a Mason. A
appears in the list of members of Hogarth's first Lodge, and arguing
from the manners
of the times, no question remains that Thomas Veal, Thomas Veil, and
de Veil are one and the same person.
on de Veil's breast, suspended from a ribbon about his neck, indicates
rank of Master or of Past Master, the emblem being used for the latter
the early days of the reorganized Craft. The large apron worn by him is
interest, and is one of the strongest proofs we have that our aprons
were not always
of the present convenient size.
exists whether Hogarth intended de Veil's companion to be depicted as a
he may be the Tyler of the Lodge, judging from the apron and the sword
Again, he may only be an attaché of the tavern where de Veil, to speak
and bearing in mind the convivial spirit of our early brethren, drank
excess. The sword may have been de Veil's, taken away from him as a
matter of prudence,
for he could have done more damage with it than with the cane he wields
an imaginary opponent. The apron on this man may have served a real
purpose back of a tavern bar. The apparent skill of the man in helping
de Veil clearly
indicates that this is not his first experience in duties of this kind
‒ a fact
which can be used as a cogent argument for or against the theory that
he may have
been a brother of the Craft.
It is generally
agreed that the other two figures in the foreground are satirical
The knife, or steel, on the belt of one of them is considered to
indicate a butcher,
and by analogical play on the word "veal" and the name "de Veil,"
to again point out that the principal figure in the picture is Sir
Thomas de Veil.
English Mason, W.H. Rylands, himself an artist, has said, "The picture
hit, not at Masonry, but at the manners and customs of some Masons of
There is a secret meaning in every little item of the picture, if one
discover it." (6)
Other Prints of Masonic
Next to Night,
Hogarth's engraving, The Mystery of Masonry brought to Light by the
of greatest interest to the student. The Gormogons were a secret
in 1724 in England in opposition to Freemasonry. Absurd and
in character, it claimed a great antiquity and that it was descended
from an ancient
Chinese society. It flourished but a short time. Hogarth's engraving
of interest to Masons, among them a figure said to represent Dr. James
and another the Duke of Wharton, Grand Master 1722-23. Opinions differ
as to the
original publication of the print, for while it appeared about 1742, it
to have been engraved about twelve years earlier.
with Samuel Butler's poem, Hudibras, [Lib 1835; Vol 1, Vol 2] will remember where Sir
Hudibras resolves to
consult Sidrophel, the astrologer, on his love affair with the widow
who had released
him from the stocks. This astute doctor of occultism immediately
man Whacum to wheedle the squire of Sir Hudibras into telling him the
his master's visit. This ascertained, Sidrophel informs Hudibras that
"'The stars your coming did
I did expect you here, and knew,
Before you spake, your business, too.'
Quoth Hudibras, 'Make that appear.'"
to Sidrophel's reply, "You are in love, sir, with a widow," Hudibras
"You're in the right,
But how the devil you came by't
I can't imagine; for the stars,
I'm sure, can tell no more than a horse."
between the two men is cleverly illustrated in the plate entitled
Sidrophel, of which a reproduction accompanies this article. The two
and terrestrial, first attract the attention of the Mason. The
on the table, with astrological signs, and the chart on the floor, are
also of interest.
The cross on the floor is not so readily recognized, but here
represents a Rosicrucian
symbol. The books on the wall, other objects owned by Sidrophel and
which need not
be itemized, clearly indicate that
"He had been long towards
Optics, philosophy and statics,
Magic, horroscopy, astrology,
And was an old dog at physiology."
Beef of Old England, or The Gate of Calais, was the result of Hogarth's
France shortly after the peace of Aix la Chapelle. While sketching the
was arrested as a spy committed a prisoner to his landlord, and not
allowed to leave
the house until he embarked for England. The print is of Masonic
interest as the
friar depicted there-in is none other than our brother, John Pine, who
the early engraved lists of the Grand Lodge England so greatly sought
after by collectors.
Congregation, first published in 1736, is said to contain a
representation of Dr.
John Theophilus Desaguliers, Grand Master, 1720, as the preacher
therein. This print
appears in different forms, to be recognized by modifications in the
of Martin Folkes (1690-1754), Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of
in 1724, was made by Hogarth in 1742. This print is sometimes
overlooked by the
Masonic collector, as all proofs do not bear Hogarth's name.
made an engraving of Simon Lord Lovat in 1746, for which there was an
great demand. Lovat is of interest to the Craft on account of his
with the Rite of Strict Observance. He was executed April 9, 1747, for
having been implicated in Jacobite plots.
Tributes to Hogarth
of the literature and art of bygone centuries find a freedom of
expression in surviving
works which at first is rather startling; but when one realizes that
these are but
a faithful portrayal of the customs and manners of the times, the
distaste and displeasure
rapidly pass away. Hogarth is no exception among the artists of the
whose works have been criticized. No better reply can be made to those
to his freedom of expression and fidelity to detail than the following
from the Essays of William Hazlitt:
"Boceaccio, the most refined
of all novel writers, has been stigmatized as a mere inventor of
because readers in general have only seized on those things in his
works which were
suited to their own taste, and have reflected their own grossness back
writer. So it has happened that the majority of critics having been
with the strong and decided expressions in Hogarth, the extreme
delicacy and subtle
gradations of character in his pictures have almost entirely escaped
also pays his tribute to our eighteenth century brother in the
"To the student of history,
works must be invaluable, as they give us the most complete and
of the manners, and even the thoughts, of the past century. We look,
and see pass
before us the England of a hundred years ago ‒ the peer in his drawing
lady of fashion in her apartment; ... the church with its quaint florid
and singing congregation; the parson with his wig, and the beadle with
You see the judges on the bench; the audience laughing in the pit; the
the Oxford Theatre; the citizen on his country walk; you see Broughton
Sarah Malcolm the murderess, Simon Lovat the traitor, John Wilkes the
leering at you with that squint which has become historical...... All
and people are with you."
own opinion of his life is aptly expressed in the closing words of his
"I have gone through the
a life which till lately passed pretty much to my own satisfaction, and
I hope in
no respect injurious to any other man. This I may safely assert, that I
my best to make those about me tolerably happy, and my greatest enemy
I ever did an intentional injury. What may follow, God knows."
Biographical Anecdotes of William Hogarth; with a Catalog of his
Chronologically Arranged; and Occasional Remarks. [Lib 1785] Second
Edition, London. Printed
for and by J. Nichols. 1732, p. 5.
(2) Ibid., p. 81
(3) Transactions, Lodge of Research No. 2429, 1908-09.
(4) Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, Vol. II, p. 116. [Lib 1889]
(5) Nichols, op. cit., p. 211.
(6) Transactions, Lodge of Research No. 2429, 1908-09, p. 112.
(7) Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, Vol. VIII, p. 138 et. seq. [Lib 1895]
1922 in English Masonry
By Bro. Dudley Wright, England
1922 has been a wonderful year from a Masonic point of view and has
also the distinction,
perhaps, of being the most notable in the history of English
hitherto, have always regarded 1874 as the red-letter year of the
Craft, for it
was in that year that a popular prince ‒ afterwards King Edward VII ‒
to the exalted position of Grand Master of England and his brother, the
Connaught, was initiated into Freemasonry. But, in 1922, another
‒ the grandson of that beloved monarch ‒ was invested with the collar
Grand Warden of England by the royal initiate of 1874, who has proved a
successor to his brother in the Grand Master's chair. May T.G.A.O.T.U.
both to adorn the Royal House and the Royal Craft.
moreover, was notable for the important domestic matters which came up
and decision. The discussion on the question of the future location of
Hall revealed the fact that all who took part in it were animated with
i.e., the furtherance of the best interests of the Craft. When this is
aim any differences of opinion that may arise are quickly adjusted, and
when a decision
is arrived at, the minority, ‒ ways transfer their activities to the
of \the views of the majority. In connection with the Masonic Million
it is pleasing to note the progress made during the past year and the
enthusiasm and support accorded to the scheme. In all, at the close of
479 Lodges had qualified as Hall Stone Lodges, (see note) and of this
fewer than 198 qualified during 1922, the third year of the scheme.
When the war broke out it was
at once realized that there would be a strain
upon all the Masonic institutions and English brethren at once imposed
which was to meet all demands, however great and numerous they might
be. This was
done and during the past year Masonic benevolence has nobly sustained
standard. The three Central institutions ‒ Boys', Girls', and Old
People's ‒ to
take them in the chronological order of their foundation ‒ collected
more than 250,000
pounds, while the Mark Benevolent Fund created a record at its annual
its return of over 10,118 pounds, and the Masonic Nursing Home has also
strides towards its ultimate; viz., the creation of an endowment fund
yield an income sufficient for all future requirements. The Girls'
accepted 125, and the Boys 164 candidates.
It is gratifying
also to note that although the demands of the Central Institutions, the
Hospital, and the Mark Benevolent Fund have been anticipated rather
than met, Provincial
brethren, while responding heartily and handsomely to these calls, have
unmindful of their own local requirements. The list is far too long to
give in detail
but among the more important of the local schemes mention must be made
of the festival
held by East Lancashire brethren at the Free Trade Hall, Manchester,
when more than
58,000 pounds was collected towards the 150,000 pounds required for the
of Provincial headquarters and a Masonic Hall in that city. Then the
Benevolent Institution, which was founded to celebrate the diamond
jubilee of the
reign of Queen Victoria, kept its own silver jubilee and, small though
is, grants in benevolence amounting to 966 pounds were made. This
is served voluntarily by its officers and conducts its beneficent work
at the cost
only of printing, stationery, and stamps. Bradford also is taking steps
its own Masonic Hall. There are fifteen Masonic Lodges in that city and
with the five Royal Arch Chapters, have formed a Bradford Masonic
a scheme under which every member binds himself to pay a certain sum
a number of years which, in the aggregate, will meet the cost to be
with Masonic benevolence the returns of the Board of Benevolence of the
of England are a striking commentary on the distress occasioned as the
of the war. From 1913 to 1918 there was a steady decline both in the
number of applicants
for assistance and the sums granted in ret fief. In 1913 there were 364
whom 15,945 pounds were granted, and in 1918, the figures had fallen to
and 10,630 pounds. The rise began in 1919, the year following the
the applications and amounts granted in that and subsequent years were
1919, 208, 12,475; 1920, 221, 14,975; 1921, 293, 20,340; 1922, 363,
the highest total in any one month was 2,955 pounds but in May of last
pounds were distributed among fifty-six applicants.
item during the year was the launching of the new motor lifeboat, the
of Connaught," purchased and endowed by the Grand Lodge of England as a
offering for the safe return of its Grand Master from India.
to be no diminution in the number who assemble in the porches clamoring
into the sacred portals, nor is there any abatement in the demand for
No fewer than 139 warrants for Craft Lodges were issued during 1922, as
with 138 in 1921. Fifty-one Charters for Royal Arch Chapters and
for Mark Lodges were also sanctioned, the numbers for the previous year
Royal Arch Chapters and twenty-three Mark Lodges. The figures for the
last two items
may be regarded as healthy, since they show the continued interest of
have been privileged to receive initiation into Craft Masonry.
been less favored during 1922 with visits from prominent brethren from
than in the preceding years, but the passing call of the delegates from
and Southern Jurisdictions of America on their way to the European
the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, was greatly appreciated, as was
visit of the Grand Master of New York.
list is a lengthy one and includes the names of many well-known in
such as the Earl of Halsbury, a one-time Lord Chancellor; Colonel Sir
Past Grand Warden, and ex-Lord Mayor of London; Canon Turner, the
of Sutton, Provincial Grand Master and Grand Superintendent of Surrey;
Vassar-Smith, Bart., Provincial Grand Master and Grand Superintendent
and Deputy Grand Mark Master; Lord Bolton, Grand Superintendent of
North and East
Yorkshire; Colonel Sir William Watts, Deputy Provincial Grand Master
and Grand Superintendent
of Dorsetshire; Sir Edward Cooper, Past Grand Warden, another ex-Lord
Kennion; Bishop Macarthur, and Dean Penfold of Guernsey, while Masonic
is the poorer for the departure of W. H. Rylands, one of the founders
of the Quatuor
Coronati Lodge (who bequeathed his Masonic books and manuscripts to the
and John Angel Sherren, editor of the Dorset Transactions. The Grand
Lodge of England
lost one of its hardest and most earnest workers in the Grand
Registrar, Dr. W.
F. Hamilton, K. C., and there are many others who joined the Grand
Lodge Above who
will be missed for many years to come.
have, for a time, the loan of two well-known English brethren. The Earl
Provincial Grand Master of Suffolk and Pro. Grand Mark Master, has
become the Grand
Master of Victoria, while Viscount Jellicoe has assumed a similar
* To compare
the year 1922 with 1921 see THE BUILDER March, 1922, p. 79.
order to qualify as a "Hall Stone Lodge," the subscription list of a
to the Masonic Million Memorial Fund, including its OWI1 donation, must
average of ten guineas (approximately fifty dollars) per member for
members, and five guineas for members on the Country List. Every lodge
will be recorded in the new building as a Hall Stone Lodge, and be
entitled to a
special jewel to be worn as a collarette by each successive Worshipful
his year of office.
Johnson A Freemason? Some Phases of His Life
By Bro. Arthur Heiron, England
Continued From February
previous instalments of this wonderfully interesting contribution have
attractive to the worldwide family of readers of THE BUILDER, that
are asking if Brother Heiron cannot be prevailed to upon to issue his
book form. He has expressed himself as willing to do such a thing if a
number of Masons evince a desire for it, therefore it is suggested that
as would wish to possess the volume let the fact be known.
of Bro. Heiron's description of eighteenth century life and manners
should not forget
the fact that in those swiftly receding years morals were very
different from our
own, and that drinking and carousing were not regarded as now. It was
not at all
deemed inconsistent that such a man as Dr. Johnson should be at one and
time devout and a lover of wine; or that he should arise from the
a prayer to attend a party at "Old Wapping." Cicero's saying, that
manners are given to different pursuits," applies also to difference in
and place, and in such cases should be supplemented by the antique
has it that one "should know the customs of a friend but not take a
His Home Life
no special charm in Dr. Johnson's home circle for he took in as lodgers
at his own expense ‒ two or three elderly and rather unattractive
ladies, one of
whom later on became blind. There also lived with him for many years
who practised medicine, although he was not a duly qualified doctor;
were poor that they often paid his small fees in food and drink,
gin," to which he was very partial. He also used to physic the learned
when unwell, and if you include in the family party the negro-servant
described as "dear Francis"), the circle must have been a strange
indeed. No wonder Johnson appreciated the refined atmosphere of the
at Streatham where he was a welcome guest for many years.
His Cat "Hodge"
will be interested to know that this uncouth and at times rough man was
dumb animals. Boswell tells us, "I never shall forget the indulgence
he treated 'Hodge,' his cat, for whom he (Dr. Johnson) himself used to
go out and
buy oysters, lest the servants having that trouble should take dislike
to the poor
creature." Evidently the negro-servant, "dear Francis," was much
too proud thus to attend to the jaded appetite of the household pet.
cheap in those days. The following statement appeared in the "Daily
of 2nd September, 1922:- "In a copy of an account for a banquet given
George Hotel, Portsmouth, to celebrate his Majesty King George II's
30, 1746, appears the following item; viz., 'Six hundred oysters at 1s.
100, 10s. 6d.'")
the name that the Lodge Room of the "Dundee Lodge No. 9" was known by
from 1763 to 1820, when used for public dances. The lodge only met once
and when not in use for Masonic work, our brethren sometimes let the
room to strangers
for dancing purposes at 3.3.0 pounds per night, which included the use
did not itself officially hold these dances. They only received a
rental for the
use of the room (which was forty-four feet long by twenty-five feet
wide); but from
1807 to 1813 the "Dundee Lodge" held its own "Annual Ball" in
this same lodge room. These public dances became popular, and no one
have "explored Wapping" in those days ‒ as Dr. Johnson admitted he did
‒ without becoming acquainted with this fashionable resort!
for admission to the "Wapping Assembly" would be small, six pence or
shilling. On a wintry night (say in 1767) the ballroom resplendent with
fitted in our two cut-glass chandeliers (for which in 1763 our brethren
pounds), the pier-glasses on the walls reflecting the dancers, and the
burning brightly in the stove, would present a gay and festive
our "Sea-Members" and the foreign sailors in the "Port," (including
various sea-captains hailing from the American Colonies) could be
relied on to see
that things were kept lively. The following verse from a ballad of
(1745-1814), who was well acquainted with sailors' haunts on the river
help to reconstruct the scene:-
"'Twas Landlady Meg that made such rare Flip,
Pull away, pull away, hearties!
At Wapping she liv'd at the Sign of the Ship
Where Tars met in such jolly parties.
She'd shine at the play, and she'd jig at the Ball,
All rigg'd out so gay and so topping;
For she married Six Husbands and buried them all,
Pull away, pull away, pull away! I say:
What d'ye think of my Meg of Wapping?"
It is reasonable
to suppose that Dibdin was referring to the "Wapping Assembly" when he
wrote these lines, and doubtless was also himself a frequent attendant.
Now as Dr.
Johnson was very fond of dancing (constantly being present at
it is the writer's firm belief that the learned Doctor did indeed, as a
his "melancholy," sometimes visit the "Wapping Assembly" and
perhaps join there in a "country dance" (such as Sir Roger de Coverley)
or eke a homely "jig" with some of the ladies of Wapping, of whom there
would be an ample supply from the forty taverns then existing in the
The building, having the sign of the "Masons' Arms" fixed to the front,
must have been well known being close to the river Thames, and on a
dark night our
two large oil lamps, also purchased in 1763, would so clearly
illuminate the entrance
that passers by could not possibly be ignorant of its existence.
Dr. Johnson and "Vestris"
In 1781 Boswell
told Johnson that there was a ludicrous paragraph in the newspapers,
that he (Dr.
Johnson) was learning to dance of "Vestris" (a well-known expert) and
he was asked if the report was true; it is to be noted that Johnson did
the soft impeachment but merely gave an evasive answer. Boswell on one
himself asked Johnson direct: "If he had never been under the hands of
"Aye, and a dancing mistress, too," said the Doctor, "but I never
took a lesson but one or two; my blind eyes showed me I could never
make a proficiency
yet it is common knowledge, however, that sometimes a big, fat man
makes a very
Now if the
reader is willing to believe (as the writer is) that Dr. Johnson did in
visit the "Wapping Assembly" (which was merely another name for our
Room), then it is not difficult to credit that he actually was "Made a
in the same room in 1767 as suggested in this narrative.
Johnson's Love of Fun and
It is not
correct to consider Dr. Johnson merely in the light of a learned sage
philosopher, for according to those who enjoyed his personal
acquaintance he was
at times most excellent company. He was not a proud man, and did not
often use the
title of Dr. Johnson, being known to his chief friends as "Sam," and
always signing his letters, "Sam Johnson."
Fanny Burney's Memoirs of
"Gay Sam," "Agreeable Sam," "Pleasant Sam"
(afterwards Madame D'Arblay) (1752-1840), who was forty-three years
Johnson and during her girlhood knew him well, thus describes him in
"Dr. Johnson is very gay and sociable"; "very comic and good humoured";
she also refers to "his love of nonsense," to "his sport," "his
kindness, his sociability," and sometimes calls him "Dear and excellent
twenty-six years old, she visited the "Thrales" at Streatham and met
Johnson there ‒ he was then nearly 70. They became great friends and
sage grew to love her as the clever young writer who had become famous
as the authoress
of "Evelina." [Lib 1857] Dr. Johnson spoke well of the
"clasped her in his huge arms and implored her to be a good girl"; he
also taught her Latin, called her his pet, his dear love, and his dear
and she almost loved and reverenced him.
Boswell himself called on Fanny Burney ‒ when she was at the Court at
and told her "that his book on Johnson was coming out very soon and he
her help." Boswell also said to her, "Give me some of your choice
notes of the Doctor's, I want to show him in a new light." "Grave Sam,
and great Sam, solemn Sam and learned Sam; all these he has appeared
as, over and
over. Now I want to entwine a wreath of graces across his brow."
Boswell, want to show him as 'Gay Sam, agreeable Sam, pleasant Sam,' so
help me with some of his beautiful billets to yourself." Fanny Burney
declined thus to assist Boswell with his book, deeming such private and
letters to be almost of a sacred character. Boswell's "Life of Johnson"
appeared the next year, in 1791; after perusing it, she was most
indignant at what
she considered the unkind and unfair way various private incidents in
the life of
her hero had been dealt with and said, "How many, starts of passion and
has he (Boswell) blackened into record."
Mrs. Thrale (afterwards "Piozzi") says in
her "Anecdotes of Johnson"
"No man loved laughing better and his vein of humor was rich." As Dr.
Johnson had been a constant guest at her home, and a personal friend
for about eighteen
years, she was surely well qualified to express an opinion.
Hawkins (an old friend and one of Johnson's executors) said, "He was
humorous man I ever knew." Boswell said "he possessed uncommon and
power of wit and humor" and "the heartiest merriment was often enjoyed
in his company."
Jowett (at one time Master of Balliol College) in 1883 wrote:- "Dr.
ought to be described not so much as a sage but rather as a rollicking
An Extract from Boswell
and Boswell in 1773 having called on a lawyer in the Temple, something
which appeared humorous to the learned author, and Boswell tells us,
could not stop his merriment but continued it all the way till he got
Temple-gate. He then burst into such a fit of laughter, that he
appeared to be almost
in a convulsion; and in order to support himself laid hold of one of
the posts at
the side of the foot-pavement, and sent forth peals so loud, that in
of the night, his voice seemed to resound from Temple-bar to
"Eating and Drinking"
It was a
period when food and drink were cheap and large meals the general
said to Boswell once, "I mind my belly very studiously and very
he certainly was a good trenchman.
Extracts From "Boswell"
61). "Talking of the effects of drinking, he (Johnson) admitted that at
time he indulged in excess but finding it bad for his health, abstained
for a period."
Johnson also said, "I used to slink home when I had drunk too much."
67). "When I (Johnson) drank wine, I scorned to drink it when in
have drunk many a table by myself; in the first place because I had
need of it to
raise my spirits; in the second place, because I would have nobody to
effects upon me." It is stated that once on a visit to Oxford "he drank
three bottles of Port without being the worse for it."
70). Johnson spoke with great contempt of claret, as being so weak that
a man would
be drowned by it before it made him drunk." He tried one glass, shook
and said, "Poor Stuff! No, Sir; claret is the liquor for boys; port for
but he who aspires to be a hero (smiling) must drink brandy."
him "how heartily they both used to drink wine together when they were
acquainted (in 1763) and how he (Boswell) used to have a headache after
up with him. Dr. Johnson did not like to have this recalled."
72). Boswell says: "Mr. Thrale told me I might now have the pleasure to
Dr. Johnson drink wine again, for he had lately returned to it." "The
first evening that I (Boswell) was with Johnson at Thrales', I observed
a large quantity (of wine) into a glass and swallowed it greedily.
his character and manners was forcible and violent; there never was any
many a day did he fast, many a year did he refrain from wine; but when
he did eat,
it was voraciously; when he did drink wine it was copiously. He could
but not temperance."
The "Prestonian Lectures"
(1742-1818) a Scotsman, who came to London in 1760, was a very keen
Mason and being
desirous of making our Ritual more perfect, revised ‒ or perhaps
composed ‒ a new
or improved system of Masonic lectures which were formally submitted to
selected Freemasons in 1772 for their approval, and were afterwards
used by a large section of the Craft; in fact, it is generally
considered that they
form the basis of the "Masonic Lectures" still worked in England in
They were also introduced (about 1797) with various modifications into
States by Bro. T.S. Webb, a well-known and expert American Mason.
Now the printing
of Dr. Johnson's "Dictionary of the English Language" and other works
of his, was entrusted by the learned author to his intimate and
William Strahan, "His Majesty's Printer," who (after 1760), had in his
employ as "reader of the press" and "leading compositor" this
same William Preston.
works of Strahan, who was also a Scotsman, were in New Street, Shoe
E. C. ‒ near Johnson's residence ‒ and he must of necessity have paid
to his printer to ascertain the progress of the work from time to time.
way Johnson could not help coming into personal contact with William
As an illustration,
on one occasion Johnson found fault with the work done by a certain
"Manning," and in a passion began to blame him, but finding him
Boswell tells; us that Johnson candidly and earnestly said to him, "Mr.
I ask your pardon; Mr. Compositor, I ask your pardon again and again."
writer now ventures to make the suggestion that at the request of
Preston, Dr. Johnson
personally assisted him in the work of revising these Masonic Lectures.
It was a
constant practice of the distinguished author thus to help literary
the fact that our Ritual in those days ‒ more even than in ours ‒ was
reference to the promulgation of "moral truth and virtue" and is based
upon a fervent and sincere belief in the Almighty, and His creative and
attributes ‒ would strongly appeal to one imbued with Johnson's
and ethical disposition. If Johnson were willing to assist Rev. Dr.
Dodd, a convicted
forger, it is more than probable that he would be inclined thus to help
who was such a loyal colleague and servant of his own most intimate and
friend, William Strahan.
is humbly suggested that to this source our Ritual owes the undoubted
influence running through its language; the ponderous words, the
lengthy and involved
sentences are, as Macaulay said of Fanny Burney's second novel
"Either Sam Johnson or the Devil."Dr. Johnson himself defines an
to be "a society of dignified persons distinguished by marks of honor;
fraternity." Now the "Order of Freemasonry" certainly in his day
complied with both these qualifications, and although all references to
or creed are now strictly forbidden in our lodges, yet in the days of
sage, it was the practice (both of the "Moderns" and "Antients")
to use Christian prayers in their lodges during the working of the
is made manifest from the following extract taken from "Ahiman Rezon,"
the book of "Constitutions" of the "Antients," various editions
of which were published from 1756 to 1813; viz:
to be said at the opening of a Lodge, or 'Making' of a brother:
"Most Holy and Glorious Lord
God, thou Great
Architect of Heaven and Earth, who art the Giver of all good gifts and
hast promised that when two or three are gathered together in thy name,
be in the Midst of them; in thy Name we assemble and meet together,
beseeching thee to bless us in all our Undertakings, to give us thy
to enlighten our Minds with Wisdom and Understanding, that we may know,
thee aright, that all our Doings may tend to thy Glory and the
Salvation of our
be added when any 'Man is'):
"And we beseech thee, O Lord
God, to bless
this our present Undertaking, and grant that this, Our New Brother, may
his Life, to thy Service, and be a true and faithful Brother Among Us;
with Divine Wisdom, that he may, with the Secrets of Masonry, be able
the Mysteries of Godliness and Christianity.
"This we humbly beg in the Name
the sake of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour. Amen."
prayer also appeared in the "Freemasons' Pocket Companion," Edinburgh,
breathe the spirit that permeated all the religious writings,
utterances and prayers
of Dr. Johnson, and a society promulgating such tenets and doctrines
be one to his own heart. It is a well-known fact that many sermons
preached by various
clergymen in those days were composed or considerably revised by him,
in some cases
gratuitously, but on the distinct understanding that his name as the
not to be revealed; he also assisted many struggling writers and
revised their work
under the same conditions of secrecy. It is interesting to note that
later in life,
William Preston became a partner in the printing firm to whom he had
useful assistance. The following extracts are taken from a paper
Masonic Triad: Preston-Hutchinson-Oliver," written by an expert and
Masonic student, Bro. W.B. Hextall, P.G.D., a P.M. of Quatuor Coronate
2076; reprinted from Lodge of Research, Leicester, No. 2429,
Bro. Hextall states that "William Preston, was born at Edinburgh in
of a writer to the signet. In 1760 he came to London and was employed
Strahan, 'Kings Printer' as 'corrector of the press,' who on his death
in 1785 left
him an annuity. Under Andrew Strahan, who succeeded his father, he
reader and general superintendent until 1804 when he was admitted to
the firm (who
then traded as 'Strahan and Preston'), and that his literary capability
that Dr. Johnson was personally acquainted with William Preston and
friendship appears from the fact that on Preston's death in 1818, there
in his library various presentation copies of books made to him by the
noted writers; viz., Robertson, Hume, Gibbon, Blair and "the moral and
his Masonic Lectures at "A Grand Gala in honour of Freemasonry, held at
Crown and Anchor Tavern in the Strand on 21st May, 1772." In 1774, the
of Antiquity, No. 1, of which Preston was Master, met at the "Mitre";
both of these taverns were constantly frequented by Dr. Johnson (who
was often accompanied
by Boswell), thus giving ample opportunities for mutual intercourse;
Preston's address was "Dean Street, Fetter Lane," quite close to
home. Surely, surely, Bro. William Preston, a keen Mason, a Scotsman,
and the R.W.M.
of the Lodge of Antiquity, No. 1, would have easily recognized as a
James Boswell, ‒ also a Scotsman ‒ the Deputy Grand Master of the Grand
Scotland in 1776!
will remember that these Craft Lectures were the chief method of
knowledge in English Lodges during the period we are now discussing,
itself being then of comparatively short duration.
Johnson's Personal Appearance
us: "His figure was large and well formed, and his countenance of the
of an ancient he .... He also had the use of only one eye." "So morbid
was his temperament that he never knew the natural joy of a free and
of his limbs; when he walked it was like the struggling gait of one in
when he rode, he had no command or direction of his horse, but was
carried as if
in a balloon." He was prone to superstition, but not to credulity....
a sincere and zealous Christian, of High Church England and monarchical
54). Boswell called on Dr. Johnson one morning at his chambers which
were then on
the first floor of No. 1, Inner Temple Lane, and tells us: "His
morning dress were sufficiently uncouth. His brown suit of clothes
looked very rusty;
he had on a little old shrivelled unpowdered wig which was too small
for his head;
his shirt-neck and knees of his breeches were loose; his black worsted
ill-drawn up; and he had a pair of unbuckled shoes by way of slippers."
himself said that "he had no passion for clean linen."
did not please everybody; when he was Boswell's guest in Edinburgh in
Boswell did not like "his irregular hours and uncouth habits, such as
the candles with their heads downwards when they did not burn bright
letting the wax drop upon the carpet"; and she galled him "a bear."
Boswell's father also did not fully appreciate Dr. Johnson and
described him as
Dr. Johnson's Black Servant
shortly after his wife's death, Johnson took into his service a black
boy (a negro
born in Jamaica), aged 15, named "Francis Barber," who remained in his
employ for about thirty years so that Dr. Johnson had up to his death
in 1784 as
his personal servant or valet, "a negro," constantly described by
as "dear Francis."
by his last will bequeathed the residue of his "estate and effects"
about 1,500 pounds) to this same "Francis Barber" and described him in
his will as "my man-servant, a negro." Now as Johnson's entire property
only amounted to about 2,000 pounds, it was certainly a handsome
legacy, but the
gift was severely criticised by his executor and old friend, Sir John
actually had to pay over the money); he described "Francis Barber" as
"crafty, selfish and mean," and "entered a caveat against ostentatious
bounty and favor to negroes." Various personal friends were quite
by Dr. Johnson in his will, even his favorite step-daughter, Lucy
Porter, who had
shown him much hospitality on his visits to Lichfield, was ignored;
while the faithful
"Bozzy" (whom Johnson often told, possessed his love) in spite of an
friendship of twenty years, did not even receive a book by way of
souvenir; in fact,
his name was entirely omitted as if Dr. Johnson had never heard of his
yet the negro-servant received 1,500 pounds! [Note. Over twenty books
by Johnson to sixteen of his friends, but Boswell was quite overlooked]
Dr. Johnson's Wedding-Ring
On the death
of his elderly wife (Mrs. Elizabeth Porter) in 1752, Johnson carefully
her wedding-ring "as long as he lived, with an affectionate care, in a
round wooden box." This sacred relic ought certainly to have been
or bequeathed by him to his wife's daughter, Lucy Porter, to whom Dr.
step-father) wrote less than a year before his death, calling: her "my
love." Instead of which this much cherished ring went with the gift of
residue to "Francis Barber." He had enough grace, however, to offer it
to this lady, but she declined to accept it from such a source, and
sacred relic adorned the hand of the wife of Johnson's negro-servant!
It is now
preserved with other interesting souvenirs in "Johnson's House" at
where the learned sage himself was born in 1709. It is obvious that if
Barber" had written his own "Memoirs" we should have learnt much
of Dr. Johnson's domestic life for "no man is a hero to his own valet."
It is fair,
however, to state that in those days people often kept a "black boy" on
of this period painted by William Hogarth (1697-1764) and others,
a black servant in the family circle.)
extract is taken from "A Souvenir of the Bi-Centenary, 1713-1913, of
Past Overseers Society" compiled by Bro. J.E. Smith, former
St. Margaret's Westminster:-
"To be sold, a negro boy aged
Enquire at the Virginia Coffee House, in Threadneedle Street, behind
the Royal Exchange."
(The Daily Journal, 28th September, 1728.)
"For Sale, a healthy negro
girl, aged about
fifteen years, speaks good English, works at her needle, washes well,
work and has had small pox." (The Public Ledger, 31st December, 1761.)
similar purchases in 1922 in the heart of the City of London!
"Taxation No Tyranny"
attitude as to the controversy concerning the right of Great Britain to
colonies was most unfortunate, but in spite of strong protests from
and other of his friends who sympathized with our American cousins in
for freedom, he was obdurate to the end. Events have proved how foolish
he was; and if Dr. Johnson were to revisit the earth he would be the
first to acknowledge
his error. Perhaps being in receipt of Government pension of 300 pounds
a year biased
his judgment. How different would the history of the world have been,
if wiser counsels
had then prevailed and settlement arranged on peaceful terms. It is
to note that the leaders on the side of the American colonists which
the "Declaration of Independence" on the 4th July, 1776, were nearly
Societies of China
By Bro. Dudley Wright, England
IN 28TH November,
1889, Mr. Stewart Culin read a paper on Chinese Secret Societies in the
at the annual meeting of the American Folk Lore Society. He gave many
of a secret society known as I Hing existing among the Chinese
labourers of the
United States. From personal observations and research he was able to
Society as a branch of the Hung League. The designation I Hing, meaning
Rise," is the watchword originally taken by one of the chiefs of the
Society. There was a lodge in New York and branches in Philadelphia,
Baltimore. A large proportion of the members attended Christian Sunday
professed to be Christians. Native and Christian ceremonies are said to
alternately performed at the dedication of the Society's lodge room in
in October, 1887. Mr. Culin adds:
I Hing Society is said to claim to be affiliated to the Masonic Order,
and in New
York City a Masonic print representing the two pillars surmounted with
resting on a tessellated pavement with the square and compasses, the
Eye, and in large red letters the words IN GOD WE TRUST hangs on the
wall of the
lodge room. The Society is usually described to foreigners by those who
as the 'Chinese Freemasons,' and as such it has become generally known
to the outside
world. In my opinion the Chinese have been misinformed with reference
to the identity
of the I Hing with the Masonic Order. It is a belief in which they
much encouragement, as there is a popular tradition that lodges of
exist in China, which is credibly received by members of the Craft with
whom I am
The Triad Society
name of the San ho hwuy, or the Triad Society is really "The Society of
Three United," the three being Heaven, Earth and Man, which according
Chinese doctrine of the Universe, are the three great powers in nature.
of the origin of this Society gives an elaborate description of the
manner in which
the inmates of a monastery near Foochow came to the aid of a Manchu
Emperor in one
of his foreign wars. As a reward they were given and for several
great privileges, but their descendants became the victims of official
Their monastery was either destroyed or taken from them and they went
land in search of their revenge. Then it was that they came to the
decision to put
forward the Ming pretension, and members of the Brotherhood went to
to stir up disaffection and to point popular aspiration towards a
The records of the society say that it was organized in 1689 by a party
priests who had suffered cruel injustice at the hands of the Emperor
story is that the Society revived during the reign of the Emperor
when the iniquitous cruelties and exactions of an infamous judge in
the spark to the powder of discontent, and that the Emperor's
destruction of a celebrated
Buddhist temple was the prime cause which prompted the five priests who
the outrage to raise the standard of revolt. The members of this
do not appear on the pages of history as open insurgents until the last
of the eighteenth century. Formosa was the scene of their rebellion, in
female leader, Chen, whose record is said to rival that of Lucrezia
Borgia, is said
to have figured prominently. Its membership was composed of the
disaffected of all
classes and in their secret meetings they abused the government, cursed
and his laws, while in their mysteries they laid the foundations of a
in which the golden age of China was to be realized.
reign of the Emperor Klia King (1799-1820) the Society spread rapidly
China Siam, and Korea, its headquarters being in the southern province
of the empire.
It was not until 1806 that the authorities got the upper hand of its
and the ringleaders were seized and put to death. The emperor was told
was not so much as one member of the rebellious fraternity left under
the wide expanse
of the heavens." So far however, from such being the case the Society
working in a subterranean manner and presently came to the surface,
than ever, under the name of the Hung League, or, as it is more
generally and more
appropriately known, the Great Hung League. Originally the Society does
to have been particularly harmful and, apparently, was formed for
but as time progressed it aimed at political power, the overthrow of
and the approbation of theft and robbery. Their ill-gotten gains were
the members of the Society in proportion to their rank, and the members
to defend and protect any of their number from arrest.
of the Society was in the hands of three brethren: Yih ko, Urh ko, and
Sen ko, meaning
"Brother first," "Brother second," and "Brother third."
The members generally are called Heung te, or Brethren." Initiation
at night in a very retired or secret chamber. Offerings were presented
to an idol
placed there, before which also the oath of secrecy was taken. It is
said that there
were thirty-six oaths, and as there are thirty-six sections of the oath
initiates of the Hung League (as well as of the Gee Hin Society) this
correct. Doubtless many of the particulars given under the Hung League
to the Triad Society. In the initiation there was a ceremony called Kwo
"crossing the bridge," or taking the oath under an arch of steel,
by the members who held up their swords, points meeting, in the shape
of an arch.
When the member took the oath he cut off the head of a cock, as is
usual on the
occasion of a solemn oath taking. The seal of the Society was a
with a character in each of the five corners representing Saturn
Venus, and Mars. The Master of the Lodge was referred to as "Incense
the Lodge itself was called Muhyang City (a city in the Ming dynasty)
innermost part of the Lodge was known as "Red Flower" pavilion. In
to the three principal officers of the Lodge there were two subordinate
and inner and outer guards, the two last named wearing wave-shaped
were three degrees in the Society and certificates and badges were
issued to all
initiates. On initiation the upper garments of the candidate were
removed; he was
then robed in white garments; his shoes and stockings were taken off,
and he was
given straw sandals to put on his feet.
Hung League Continuation
of Triad Society
Ti Hwui, or the Hung League, was a continuation of the Triad Society.
of Hung is "flood" and it is said that this name was chosen by the
of the new organization as an intimation that the Society was to flood
The headquarters have never been discovered, but the directing power
centre in three individuals. The Chief has the title of "Elder
and the two others take the title of "Younger Brothers." The Society
extensive ramifications but the branch are known under various names,
retaining the old name of the Triad, others taking the names "Blue
"Golden Orchid," etc. About 1820, the chief leader of the League was
Kwang Sang. It was reported that, to make himself ferocious, he once
taken out of a murdered man's body, mixed with wine. About that time
also the League
developed into a band of rebels and robbers. In 1849 there was a
the efforts of a certain Hung-siu-tsiuen ("He who accomplishes the
the Hung League"). He changed the name of the League into the
"The League of God," or "The Association of the Supreme Ruler."
He was, however, indicted by the government and executed. One of his
named Yung, who became Grand Master of the League, was known as "the
King." He named himself the younger brother of Jesus and pretended that
Holy Ghost made known the Divine Will through his mediumship. There was
of the League's activity in 1850, when Yae-ping-wang, a noted
made another attempt to restore the Ming dynasty, from which he
pretended to be
descended. With his defeat the League, for a time, fell into obscurity.
In the spring
of 1863 a quantity of books was accidentally discovered by the police
in the house
of a Chinaman at Padang (Sumatra), who was suspected of theft. These
the statutes, oaths, ceremony of initiation, catechisms, descriptions
and the secret signs of the Uague. For nearly all the information
relating to the
League we are indebted to Gustav Schlegel, who translated this mass of
seized by the Chinese government and placed in his hands for that
were translated into English and published by him in 1866 in one large
T'hian ti hwui, The Hung League or Heaven-Earth League.
he says, are obtained in several ways. If the initiated are not able to
people to enter the League by an enumeration of the griefs against the
and, in this way, excite them to throw off the dominion of the hated
is had to threats. A person may And same day in his house a chit of
with the seal of the Society, by which he is ordered to betake himself
at a certain
hour to such and such a place, under the menace that if he dares to
breathe a word of it to the authorities, he and his whole family will
and his house and possessions burned down. Sometimes, too, he is
stopped on the
road by an unknown who gives him a similar order. Violence is also
used. One of
the members insults a person on the road by giving him a slap on the
face. The man,
of course, pursues the offender, who leads him, in this way, to an
Here, at last, he stands at bay, but the scuffle has scarcely begun
when, on a given
signal or whistle of the initiate, several members of the League appear
the man down. The victim is then thrown into a bag and carried away to
where the Lodge is held. If any refuse to enter the league they are led
an executioner outside the West Gate of the Lodge where their heads are
of initiation is very lengthy and elaborate, there being no fewer than
and answers prior to the actual ceremony, each answer being accompanied
by a verse
of poetry, sometimes two, or even three verses.
Description of the Lodge
is built in the form of a square, east to west, surrounded by walls,
which are pierced
at the four cardinal points by gates, the faces of which are adorned by
the mystic symbol of union. The Lodges are always erected in
safe from the observation of the mandarins; in towns and populous
the meetings are held at the house of the Master. Within the enclosure
is the Hall
of Fidelity and Loyalty, where the oaths of membership are taken. Here
also is placed
the altar of the precious nine-storied pagoda, in which the images of
the five monkish
founders are enshrined. The candidate is introduced to the Hall of
a bridge of swords formed by the members holding up their swords in the
an arch; he then takes the oath and has his queue cut off, though this
is dispensed with if he lives among Chinese who are faithful to the
his face is washed and he exchanges his garments for a long white robe,
as the token
of purity and the commencement of a new life. He is then led up to the
he offers up nine blades of grass and an incense stick, while an
is repeated between each offering. A red candle is then lighted and the
worship heaven and earth by pledging three cups of wine. This done, the
lamp, the precious imperial lamp, and the Hung lamp are lighted and
prayer is made
to the gods beseeching them to protect the members. The oath of
is then read and each member draws some blood from the middle finger
and drops it
into a cup partly filled with wine. Each neophyte having drunk of the
off the head of a white cock as a sign that all unfaithful brothers
Then each new brother receives his diploma, a book containing the oath,
and secret signs, a pair of daggers and three Hung medals.
signs are numerous and by means of them a brother can make himself
known by the
manner in which he enters a house, puts down his umbrella, arranges his
the form of a square, toes meeting), holds his hat, takes a cup of tea,
a number of other actions. Every member is provided with a copy of the
with colored characters on silk or calico. It is pentagonal and
inscribed with a
number of Chinese characters, but no translation of it seems to be
League is governed by the Masters of the five principle Lodges. Each
Lodge has for
its officers: President, two Vice-Presidents, Master, two Introducers,
Councilors, one of whom is Treasurer, another Receiver, and a third
Some of the members are called Horse-leaders and bring them into the
agents are also appointed to each Lodge, who are sent about on behalf
of the League,
which pays their travelling expenses. At the same time they are allowed
commissions for the members of the League.
One of the
clauses of the Penal Code of China runs:
"All those vagabond and
who have been known to assemble together and to commit robberies, and
of violence, under the particular designation of Tien ti hwui, or "The
of Heaven and Earth," shall immediately after seizure and conviction
death by being beheaded; and all those who have been induced to
and to aid and abet their said practices, shall suffer death by being
dynasty established by Genghis Khan and his followers owed its downfall
the energetic action of the Hung League and if it had not been for the
Britain gave to the government of China in its struggle with the
Taipings, who trace
their origin to this League, the Manchu dynasty then would have shared
of the Mongol emperors.
In the Straits
Settlements there was little difficulty in obtaining information about
which was recognized by the government, and some valuable particulars
it were imparted by Mr. W. A. Pickering in two papers read by him at
of the Straits Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society in May, 1878, and
the names of tens of thousands of office-bearers and members being, he
with the government. His information was practically complete, since
not only was
it obtained from conversations with the Sien-sengs or Masters of the
also from perusal of the numerous manuals or catechisms which passed
hands, some copies of which he possessed. He traced the foundation of
as a political society to 1674, but at the time at which he wrote it
into an association of, at the best, very questionable characters, the
to carry out private quarrels and to uphold the interests of the
by means of the law or in spite of it, and to raise money by
subscription, or by
levying fees on brothers and gambling-houses in the districts
controlled by the
various branches. However degenerated the Society may have become, Mr.
held to the opinion that originally, in the long past, it was a system
Freemasonry and that its object was to benefit mankind by spreading a
brotherhood by teaching the duties of man to God and to his neighbor.
adopted, whether acted on or not was, "Obey Heaven and Work
An Initiation Is Described
gives an account of an initiation ceremony which he witnessed in a
Lodge in Singapore, which ceremony lasted from 10 P.M. until 3 A.M.,
when some seventy
new members were admitted into the Society. Theoretically all meetings
in the jungle or mountains and every new member was instructed to
reply, when asked
where he was initiated: "In the mountains, for fear of the Ching
the outer door of the Lodge was the famous Red Baton (a staff of
inches in length), which was used as an instrument of punishment and
one of the office-bearers derived his title. Any person who wished to
Lodge was required to take up the baton with both hands and repeat the
"In my hands I hold the red
On my way to the Lodge I've no fear,
You ask me, brother, whither I go,
You come early but I walked slow."
failing in this test ought, according to the rules of the League, at
once to be
which, like the former, was guarded by two officers of the Lodge, had
to be passed
before the Hall of Sincerity and Justice was reached. Two flags above
bore the inscription: "Dissipate revenge and put away all malice,"
on the door posts was the following couplet:
"Though a man be not a
relation, if he be
just he is worthy of all honor.
A friend if he be found destitute of honor, ought to be repudiated."
step was to the "City of Willows," which had four gates, real or
each surmounted by a couplet, while inside the "City of Willows" was
"Red Flower Pavilion." Above the Pavilion was the grand altar with the
pulpit of the Sien-Seng, or Master of the Lodge. Passing through the
out by the west door of the Pavilion was reached the "Two-Planked
supposed to be guarded by the spirits of deceased brethren. The right
of the bridge was supposed to be of copper and the left of iron, while
on the bridge
were hung various coins. Underneath were three stepping stones arranged
in the form
of a triangle, over which candidates passed to the fiery valley or the
guarded by a malignant though just spirit, who scrutinized the hearts
of all who
approached him and mercilessly slew all the traitors with his spear,
their souls to the flames. Finally, the end of the dangerous journey
on arrival at the "Market of Universal Peace" and the "Temple of
Virtue and Happiness." Fruit of five kinds was sold in the market and
couplet was inscribed over the temple:
"In this happy place, if there
be any impurity,
the wind will cleanse away.
In this virtuous family, there will be no trouble; the sun will
having purified their bodies by ablution, and after donning clean
prepared for initiation in a room convenient to the Lodge, on the Right
of the "Market
of Universal Peace." Each candidate was introduced by an office-bearer,
was responsible for him that for four months after his initiation the
would not even come to words with the brethren and that for three years
not break the more important of the thirty-six articles of the oath.
paid a fee of $3.50, two of which went to the Lodge treasury, the
expended in fees to the office-bearers and the expenses of the evening.
name, age, place and hour of birth, were entered on the register of the
and copied on a sheet of red paper. The queue of each candidate was
the hair allowed to flow loosely down the back; the right shoulder and
bared, and the candidate was deprived of all possessions, except a
jacket and short
trousers. The candidates were addressed by the Master, who gave a
the origin and objects of the League, concluding with the following:
"Many of our oaths and
Ceremonies are needless
and obsolete, as under the British government there is no necessity for
the rules, and the laws of this country do not allow us to carry out
ritual is however retained for old customs' sake. The real benefits you
by joining our Society are, that if outsiders oppress you, or in case
you get into
trouble, on application to the Headmen, they will, in minor cases, take
you to the
Registrars of Secret Societies, the Inspector General of Police, and
of Chinese, who will certainly assist you to obtain redress; in serious
will assist you towards procuring legal advice."
was informed by many old office-bearers of societies that forty years
the punishments of the league were carried out in their integrity and
that on one
occasion some strangers (called in the slang of the Society "draughts
were actually beheaded for intruding on a meeting of the League held in
Their Secret Signs and Passwords
address to the new members the Master explained to them the various
and passwords, which were of great use to those who travelled in the
and through the Archipelago. Those secrets were, however, then only
a very elementary manner; a familiar knowledge could only be obtained
Lodges of Instruction which were frequently held, after notification to
The Master then unbraided his queue and put on a suit of clothes and a
turban, his assistants also arraying themselves in white, but with red
with white straw shoes laced over white stockings. With right shoulder
Master passed through the gate into the Hall of Sincerity and Justice
and the east
gate of the City of Willows, repeating an appropriate verse at each
stage, the candidates
being left behind. When he arrived at the altar in the Red Flower
Pavilion he lighted
certain lamps and burned a charm to drive all evil spirits away. With a
pomegranate and a cup of pure water he sprinkled the altar at the four
the compass, to cleanse the offerings from all impurities. After
certain other ceremonial,
in which blades of grass and incense sticks appeared, the Buddhist and
angels and spirits, with the five ancestors and others were invoked to
at monotonous length, the invocation concluding with the words:
"This night we pledge that the
in the whole universe shall be as from one womb, as begotten by one
nourished by one Mother; that we will obey Heaven and work
righteousness; that our
faithful hearts shall never change. If august Heaven grants that Beng
then happiness will return to our land."
of tea and wine were then poured out and sacrifices offered. Officers
at all gates, when, at a given moment, there came an alarm at the Ang
which the candidates were squatted on the ground, waiting admission.
who answered the alarm returned to the Master and said:
"May it please the Worshipful
Vanguard General Thien Iu-Ang is without, having the secret sign and
he humbly begs an interview with the Five Ancestors."
having granted admission the Vanguard enters the gate and having
repeated the appropriate
verses at each barrier, passed into the city and fell prostrate before
The Master then catechised him as follows:
Five Ancestors are above , but who is
this prostrate before me?
I am Thien Iu-Ang of the Ko-Khe Temple.
What proof can you show of this?
I have a verse as a proof.
What is the verse?
I am indeed Thien lu-Ang, bringing myriads of
new troops into the
That they tonight in the Pear Garden may take the oath of brotherhood.
The whole Empire desires to take the surname Ang.
For what do you come here?
To worship the Thien Te-hui.
What proof do you bring?
In this verse:
Heaven produced the Sun-Moon
Lord (Beng) whose surname is Ang.
But from north to south the wind has blown him where it listed.
All the heroic brethren of Ang are now associated together, to restore
Waiting for the dragon to appear, when they will burst open the
barriers, and overturn
Why do you wish to worship the Heaven and
In order that we may drive out the Cheng and
restore our Beng.
Have you any proof?
In this verse:
We have searched the origin and
inquired exhaustively into the Cause,
And find that the Cheng took from us by force our native land.
Following our leaders we will now restore the Empire.
The glory of the Beng shall appear and the reign of righteousness shall
Do you know that there is a great and a small
Heaven and Earth Society?
Yes, the great Society originated in Heaven
and the lesser at the
waters of the three rivers.
How can you prove this?
By the following verse:
Our Society was originally
established at the Sam Ho
And multitudes of Brethren took the oath of allegiance.
On the day when the principles of Heaven shall be carried out
Our whole family shall sing the hymn of universal peace.
What evidence do you bring?
In this verse:
The sun and moon issuing from
the East clearly,
The army is composed of countless myriads of Ang heroes,
To overthrow the Cheng and restore Beng is the duty of all good men,
And their sincerity and loyalty will at last be rewarded by rank and
says it is really astonishing to hear a clever Master and Vanguard go
lengthy catechism of 333 questions and answers in this manner correctly
reference to a book or paper, although the Master has the ritual before
him on the
altar. This portion of the ceremony lasts for nearly an hour, during
the whole of
which time the Vanguard is kneeling, and at its conclusion, the Master
him as follows:
thoroughly examined you, I find that by your satisfactory replies, you
yourself to be the real Thien Iu-Ang; the Five Ancestors graciously
answers and petitions, so kotow and return thanks for their benevolent
then presents a sword and warrant flag and gives him permission to
bring in the
candidates for initiation. They enter in pairs and after giving
particulars of themselves
subscribe to the oath and are formally admitted.
The Ko-Lao-Hwui Association
association was in 1896 said to be numerically the most powerful secret
in China, numbering then more than a million members, its organization
perfect as the erratical Chinaman could make it. It is a direct
offspring of the
famous Hung League and, like that Society, each branch is governed by
officers. The southern and central provinces of China form the main
centers of its
activity, and the provinces of Hunan, Fuhkien, and Canton are
with its branches. Some of these branches are known under different
the Golden Lily Hui, flourishes in the western provinces of China. The
are divided into four sections, marshalled respectively under white,
and yellow flags. Ostensibly the objects of the Society are for the
of the members against the plunder and extortion practiced by the civic
when dealing with the pay and maintenance of the troops, and the
Society was at
first a purely military association. In more recent years, however, the
have been gathered from the dregs of society ‒ time-expired soldiers,
and professional thieves ‒ but, for their own safely, as many
house-holders as possible
seek initiation and, sometimes, are forced to join should they prove
to enrol. On various occasions members of the Society have been found
organizing risings against the government. The Society is anti-foreign,
and anti-dynastic. Its banners are inscribed with the words "Faith and
though the means employed to attain the ends would scarcely come within
Initiation consists in killing a cock and drinking its blood, either by
mixed with wine. The ticket of membership is a small oblong piece of
calico or linen
stamped with Chinese characters, but as the Society is proscribed, the
of one of these vouchers, if discovered, entails immediate execution by
or the Wonderful Association, is a secret society which arose in China
It is supposed to have been the Pe-lin-kao under another name. Its
unsuccessfully against the ruling dynasty. The members are said to have
from animal food, wine, garlic, and onions. They took fearful oaths to
secrets from even their nearest relatives. They met only at night.
In all probability
this Society was the parent of the Vegetarians, the members of which
eat no meat
and neither smoke nor drink. In 1896 the members committed ruthless
murders on English
missionaries in the neighbourhood of Foochow and it is said that from
the Boxers of 1900 were largely recruited.
The Tea Society
Man, or the Tea Society, is another Chinese Society. All that is known
of it is
from a report of a prosecution of some of its members, which appeared
in the Peking
Gazette in June, 1816, from which the following is extracted:
"That on the first and
fifteenth of every
month, the votaries of this sect burn incense; make offerings of fine
tea; bow down
and worship the heavens, the earth, the sun, the moon, fire, water, and
parents. They also worship Buddhas and the founder of their own sect.
proselytes they use Choh-kwai (bamboo chopsticks) and with them touch
ears, mouth, and nose of those that join their sect, commanding them to
the three revertings and the five precepts. They lyingly and
that the first progenitor of the clan of Wang resides in heaven. The
world is governed
by three Buddhas in rotation. The reign of Yentang Fuh is past; Shihkia
reigns; and the reign of Milih Fuh is yet to come. These sectaries
affirm that Milih
Fuh will descend and be born in their family; and carry all that enter
after death, into the regions of the west, to the palace of the
Immortal Sien, where
they will be safe from the dangers of war, of water, and of fire.
Because of these
sayings they deceive the simple people, tempt them to enter the sect,
them out of their money."
Society or clan is a local Chinese society numbering some ten thousand
so well organized that the emperor's writs were only circularized by
of the chiefs of the Order.
chu kiau was a society organized by Catholics for the propagation of
There was nothing secret about it but the Chinese government classed it
prohibited societies and suppressed it. The Emperor Yung Cheng classed
with political societies and ranked their meetings among the dangerous
one androgynous secret society in China, which is known as the Golden
the female members of which take an oath never to marry. They not only
but they positively commit suicide upon any attempt to coerce them into
At one time this society became such a serious menace that the
compelled to adopt severe measures of repression.
The Hip Shin
Tong, or "Hall of United Virtues," is an independent local Chinese
society in Philadelphia, U.S.A. It is really an association for the
blackmail, or what is known in California as a "highbinder" society.
membership, says Mr. Stewart Culk, is entirely recruited from the ranks
of I Hing.
to Great Men Who Were Masons
By Bro. G.W. Baird, P.G.M.,
District of Columbia
Elisha Kent Kane
one of the most illustrious of modern explorers, scientists, and
born in Philadelphia of Quaker parents in 1820. As a boy he possessed a
and daring spirit and always tried to excel other boys in sports and
He was a brilliant student whose thoughts and pleasures tended always
to run along
the line of popular science. He matriculated at the University of
Virginia at the
age of 17, and became the honor student in chemistry, mineralogy, and
While at the University he suffered a severe attack of heart trouble:
have been a warning to him, but he paid little heed to it and continued
as hard as ever. He always seemed to have an almost abnormal love for
while other men went about in overcoats he felt uncomfortably warm.
attended the University of Pennsylvania medical school where he
received his degree
at the age of 22. Shortly afterwards he entered the navy. His
among themselves as to the nature and extent of his service, but I have
pains to unearth his official naval records from the offices of the
and therefore feel secure in stating the facts. Dr. Kane was
commissioned as assistant
surgeon in the Navy on July 21, 1843, and was ordered to the East India
in which he served until August, 1845, when he was ordered to the
yard. A year later he was ordered to the frigate "United States." Later
he was given a leave of absence to "recruit his health," which proves
that he was still struggling with his old malady. On November 2, 1847,
had been examined for promotion, he was ordered to the city of Mexico
to serve with
the Marines and remained with them until July 25, 1848, after which he
examined and promoted. In 1849 he served on board a supply ship for a
and was then ordered for duty on a coast survey vessel. After this he
so the record shows, to an "Arctic expedition"; the record is dated
May 8, 1850.
records of an officer do not often show the purpose or nature of his
duty but one
may learn from other sources that Dr. Kane was made a surgeon under
J. DeHaven who had charge of the "Advance," which was one of the two
sent to the Arctic in search of Sir John Franklin. The vessel was owned
by Mr. Henry
Grinnell of New York. No trace was found of the unfortunate Franklin
although a most diligent search was made. British authorities later
expedition in search of Franklin but this was not enabled to report any
who had become deeply interested in Arctic exploration, wrote an
of his own trip and at the same time took occasion to present his views
of a better
plan than had hitherto been planned. Upon this Mr. Grinnell came
forward with the
offer of another ship in 1853, hereupon Dr. Kane fitted out an
expedition and made
a hazardous voyage, attended with any privations and much suffering. He
find Franklin but he discovered an open polar sea. His ship became an
prison, and Dr. Kane and his associates made friends with the Eskimos,
of their language and of their customs, and were enabled to contribute
much to the
geography of the Polar Regions. He was obliged to abandon his ship in
1855 and march
about twelve hundred miles to a Danish settlement in the south of
march being over broken and often floating ice the whole weary way. The
home in October of that year and was received with much enthusiasm by
and England. Dr. Kane's health was broken so that he was compelled to
make a trip
to England for special medical treatment. His return from Greenland had
the famous bark "Release" which the Government had sent for the purpose.
died in Cuba in 1857, where a medallion has been recently erected, and
is the only memorial of this great man. The last record made in the
reads as follows: "The records further indicate that he died on the
February while on special duty, the character of which the records do
not seem to
show." Some of his biographers alleged that he served a while in the
from the records just quoted it appears that they are in error.
It is worthy
of note that when the House of Representatives was informed of the
death of this
famous explorer it adjourned out of respect for his memoir and yet no
of a memorial to him. His remains were removed to the family burying
ground in Laurel
Fill Cemetery, Philadelphia, and there, as one of my correspondents
lie in a vault surrounded by natural rock, having no memorial of any
for Freemasons to make up the neglect of the Government by honoring the
a hero of science and exploration. In the Proceedings of the Grand
Lodge of New
York, 1922, you may read the following significant words: "Brother
E. Somners, of New Jersey, while on a visit to Havana in 1920,
discovered the site
of the house where Dr. Kane had died. Feeling that the friendly act of
deserved recognition, he enlisted the interest of the Grand Lodges of
New York and
New Jersey. A beautiful memorial tablet was designed and cast under the
of Brother Henry M. Moeller, secretary of Kane Lodge No. 454 of New
York. The tablet
was unveiled in February, 1922, with impressive public ceremonies. R.
E. Lippincott, Judge Advocate, represented the Grand Lodge of New York."
Kent Kane was made a Mason in Franklin Lodge No. 134 in Philadelphia.
So far as
I have been able to learn he never held any office in the lodge. Kane
Lodge in New
York was named after him which shows that his fellow Masons have not
membership in the Order, or his zeal and fame in science.
of Masonic History
By Bro. H.L. Haywood - Editor
below is the first of a new series of Study Club articles to cover,
chapter by chapter,
the more important periods and features of Masonic history. I have
simplified to the limit of my ability but even so I know that beginners
some passages difficult. This difficulty lies in the subject matter,
which is stubborn
and complicated to a degree, and therefore means that readers
themselves must cooperate
by a willingness to read and re-read, and to study. Surely the subject
it! Vibert's "Freemasonry Before the Existence of Grand Lodges," [Lib
Vibert's "Story of the Craft," [Lib*] Newton's "The Builders,"
and Gould's "Concise History of Freemasonry" [Lib 1904] may be read in conjunction
these papers. Of the many articles on Masonic history that have already
in THE BUILDER lists will be printed at the end of each monthly
instalment; so also
with titles of books consulted. By the time the series is completed the
have traversed the whole field of the general history of the Craft and
be all the
happier in his Masonic life in consequence, and much better equipped to
take a part
in its activities. Hitherto we have carried in the department a
of suggestions to Study Club members and leaders; for the sake of
space, which grows
more valuable each month, we are omitting such matter. In its place we
a booklet on "How to Organize and Maintain a Study Club" which will be
furnished free to any brother asking for it.
* * *
Part I ‒ Freemasonry and
the Cathedral Builders
I ‒ What Gothic Was
Gothic has become associated in our minds with much that is most
beautiful in the
world ‒ cathedrals, churches, spires and an old manner of decoration ‒
but to the
Italian artists of the Renaissance who gave the world its currency it
a different meaning, and was used by them as a term of reproach to
signify the culture
of the northern barbarians, especially of German blood, who had broken
classical traditions. Vasari appears to have been responsible above any
for this usage.
at first applied to the whole barbarian (I use the word here in its
sense) culture; but later, and after men had begun to understand and to
it, was more narrowly applied to that which was most distinctive in
the architecture; and at a still later period, and through popular
usage, it became
associated almost entirely with religious architecture, and more
the cathedrals, so that we find the great New English Dictionary giving
it the following
term for the style of architecture prevalent in Western Europe from the
to the Sixteenth Century, of which the chief characteristic is the
applied also to buildings, architectural details, and ornamentation.
The most usual
names for the successive periods in this style in England are Early
is not as accurate as it might be. Many authorities on the history of
would not agree with the statement that "the chief characteristic is
arch"; they have other theories of the matter. Nor is it safe to apply
word only to architecture, because there were Gothic styles in dress,
in walls, in furniture, in ornamentation, in manners, and even in
It happens that little is left of Gothic save church edifices, but that
war has destroyed everything else.
Some of the
best writers on the subject, Lethaby for example, whose work is to be
for its energy, interest and scholarliness, make Gothic to be
equivalent to everything
specifically medieval in art, which would include stained glass,
etc. These writers point out that it was not until the nineteenth
had come, under the leadership of De Caumont and his fellows, that men
give a narrow usage to the word. "The word," writes Arthur Kingsley
"first applied as an epithet of approbrium to all medieval buildings by
architects of the Renaissance, was given a technical meaning by De
Caumont and the
archaeologists of the nineteenth century, who employed it to
with pointed arches from those with round arches, which were called
Some writers continue to refuse to use the word at all; Rickman prefers
Architecture"; and Britton, "Christian Architecture." Dr. Albert
G. Mackey says, "that Gothic architecture has therefore very justly
'The Architecture of Freemasonry;'" but of that more anon.
The old Roman
style of building, on which all subsequent styles in Western Europe
were based until
the coming of Gothic, and which came to be called Romanesque, was
organized on a
very simple principle, and had its beginnings, at least so far as
and cathedrals were concerned, in the ancient basilica. A flat roof was
four walls, like the lid on a box. If the roof was ridged or arched the
to be thickened in order to take care of the side thrust, so that in
buildings, where much interior space was needed, the walls were
a massive thickness; and this thickness in turn made it necessary to
use small windows
lest the anchorage furnished by the walls be weakened and the building
In consequence of this, Romanesque buildings were like military
their squatness, their ponderousness, and their interior gloom. The
escaped from these unfortunate results by employing the pointed arch
them greatly to increase their interior heights; and they learned how
to take up
the side thrusts of these arches by means of flying buttresses, rather
than by heavy
pier-like walls. This removed the great weight from the side walls and
builders to substitute glass for stone, thus destroying at once the old
gloominess. In the course of time the system of pillars, arches and
became a kind of thing in itself, like the frame-work of a machine, so
skeleton of a building became self-sufficient, and might be said to
walls altogether. It is this frame-work, so organized as to be
that most distinguishes Gothic as a whole from its predecessor,
features as made this feat possible ‒ the arch, rib vaulting, and the
This is the
point of Violet-le-Duc's famous description of Gothic, ably summarized
by C. H.
Moore in these words: "A system which was a gradual evolution out of
and one whose distinctive characteristic is that the whole character of
is determined by, and its whole strength is made to reside in, a finely
and frankly confessed, frame-work, rather than in walls."
himself furnished a definition yet more famous, and easily comprehended:
fine, then, Gothic architecture may be shortly defined as a system of
in which vaulting on an independent system of ribs is sustained by
piers and buttresses
whose equilibrium is maintained by the opposing action of thrust and
This system is adorned by sculptures whose motives are drawn from
conventionalized in obedience to architectural conditions, and governed
by the appropriate
forms established by the ancient art, supplemented by color designs on
and more largely in glass. It is a popular church architecture ‒ the
secular craftsmen working under the stimulus of national and municipal
and inspired by religious faith."
the key to Gothic in the flying buttress. Other authorities have other
Porter finds it in the rib vault; Phillips in the pointed arch, which
he makes to
be the alpha and omega of the whole system; Gould believes that
paramount; while Lethaby appears to find the quintessence of Gothic not
one feature or in that but in the general medieval character of it as a
II ‒ Who Invented Gothic?
been a great deal of difference of opinion among the historians of
as to where and when Gothic began. English writers, who have a very
to claim for their own land the glory of the discovery of the art, date
it at 1100
A.D. or earlier, and find its first manifestations at Durham; whereas
almost unanimously hold that Gothic began first of all in the region
Paris, in what was once called the Ile de France, and say that the
of St. Denis, begun in 1140, is to be regarded as the first known
It appears that a majority of the more modern writers incline to agree
French theory. Porter dates the new style as beginning in Paris about
says that it reached its culmination in the year 1220, with the nave of
in his Roman and Medieval Art, gives a fairly accurate and quite
of the origin and growth of Gothic in a paragraph very suitable for
this connection. He says that "the late Gothic is known in France as
i.e., the florid (or flaming). Otherwise the designation of 'early,'
'late' Gothic are accepted. It must be understood that there are no
between these periods. Speaking generally, the late twelfth century was
of Gothic beginnings in France, and it is rarely found in other
the thirteenth century; the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries are
of great perfection, and the fifteenth century is the time of relative
Both in Germany and in England the thirteenth century was the time of
of Gothic. In Italy it was never fully or generally accepted. Within
the field of
the Gothic proper (i.e., excluding Italy), England is the country where
national modifications are most obvious, many showing that the style
more or less at second hand. In picturesque beauty and general
English cathedrals may be compared with any, but preference must be
given to the
French in the study of the evolution of the style." (Page 283.)
the Gothic architects derive the secret of their new art? Theories are
as they are various, and they range from the sublime to the ridiculous.
believed that the builders had learned their pointed arches from
of Noah's ark! Stukeley and Warburton held that they stumbled upon
their new principle
while trying to imitate the secret groves of the Druids. Ranking argued
is Gnostic in character, and brings to bear a great mass of data.
argued that it had been borrowed from the Saracens. Findel and Fort
the discovery of the art to the Germans; with this Leader Scott agrees
in her now
famous Cathedral Builders [Lib 1899], except that she seems to
the Comacine Masters were the missionaries who carried it into France
and into England.
Dr Milner believed Gothic to have been a modification of Romanesque
arches, a theory
with which many agree. In a contribution to Ars Quatuor Coronatorum
that made much
of a stir at the time, Hayter Lewis urged that such a definite and
principle must have been the work of one man, and suggested Suger, the
of King Louis le Gros of France, which country was at that date a
little strip about
Paris not much larger than Ireland. Governor Pownall believed that
Gothic was derived
from timber work practices; whereas some Scotch theorists have believed
from wicker work. Gilbert Scott, a writer of great authority in his
all these particular derivations and argued that Gothic evolved
and inevitably out of conditions already existing in architecture and
with this Gould agreed, as do a majority of present day writers. Gould
is the whole
matter up in a sentence: "The researches of later and better informed
however, have made it clear that the Gothic was no imitation or
an indigenous style, which arose gradually but almost simultaneously in
parts of Europe." (History of Freemasonry, Vol. I, p. 255.) [Lib 1884]
III ‒ Were Gothic Architects
The First Freemasons?
At the time
that Gothic made its appearance almost all art, including architecture,
under control by the monastic orders; but with the development of the
art passed into lay control. It believed by some that the scarcity of
the builders themselves is due to the pride of chroniclers, almost
who disdained to mention the workmen except in the most general way.
like almost all other craftsmen of their period, were organized into
differed among themselves very much with time and place but through all
changes retained well defined characteristics. Each guild was a
which usually possessed a monopoly of trade in its own community, the
laws of which
were binding on the craftsmen. The guilds of one trade wielded no
control over those
of another, but all together agreed on certain rules and practices,
such as those
that appertained to apprenticeship, buying raw materials, marketing,
and all that.
In some communities, the guilds became so powerful that a few
historians have confused
their government with that of their city, but it is probable that this
frequently, if at all.
It is believed
that, owing to peculiarities in their art, the guilds that had
in charge became differentiated from others in some very important
If this really happened it was a most natural result of the
which the cathedral builders labored. Theirs was a unique calling. All
were wholly unlike cathedrals, and it was not often that cities were
able to afford
the luxury of one, so that there never was a great plenty of work for
them to do.
Also, their craft was peculiarly difficult, and involved the possession
of many uncommon trade secrets, so that the very nature of the work
the cathedral building craftsman from other guild members. It is
believed by cautious
historians that after a while the authorities, recognizing the
uniqueness of the
cathedral builders' art, granted them certain privileges and
immunities, and permitted
them to move about at will from place to place, which in itself set
apart from the stationary guilds, each of which was not permitted to do
its own incorporated limits; and many writers believe that because of
to move about unrestricted by the usual medieval curtailments of
these guilds, or Masons (the word means "builders"), came at last to be
called "Freemasons." Governor Pownall wrote a page once to prove that
even the popes granted these builders special privileges, but
in the Vatican library never enabled him, or other researchers after
him, to unearth
the papal bulls.
IV ‒ Did Gothic Builders
Comprise One Big Fraternity?
the old school used to believe, almost unanimously, that these medieval
were bound together into one great unified fraternity operating under
from some center, such as London, Paris, York, and they argued that
this it "one
big fraternity," with certain important but not revolutionary changes,
right down to our own time, and that the Freemasonry of today is
same organization that it was then. R. F. Gould, (see note) who spoke
for a whole
group of first-class English Masonic scholars as well as for himself,
this whole theory in the most sweeping and unequivocal manner. "I have
he said, on page 295 of the first volume of his History of Freemasonry,
'that the idea of a universal body of men working with one impulse and
set fashion, at the instigation of a cosmopolitan body acting under a
is a myth." On page 262 of the same volume he remarks that the theory
universal brotherhood "is contradicted by the absolute silence of all
With this verdict, Arthur Kingsley Porter, who wrote solely as a
historian of medieval
architecture [Lib 1909; Vol 1, Vol 2], and not with any of the
of Freemasonry in mind, agrees, and on very much the same grounds.
his negation almost entirely on the testimony of the buildings
themselves, and argues
that whereas a writer here and there might be mistaken the buildings
and he holds that they one and all offer a united testimony that they
were not the
work of "one big fraternity" but represent local peculiarities not to
be overlooked. His examination of the Gothic architecture of the
with the purpose in view of revealing their testimony on this important
one of the most magnificent achievements in his monumental History. It
that the great majority of present day historians of medieval
agree with him.
of the various arts and devices that made Gothic possible seems to
position. Every fact known concerning the evolution of Gothic proves
that it came
into existence gradually, and that no organization ever possessed its
any one time, and that the arch, the flying buttress, the rib vault,
and the other
features so characteristic, were learned through painful experience,
of each other. Porter speaks of the flying buttress as "a new
and one "that more than any other assured the triumph of the rib vault
a principle whose discovery marks the moment when Gothic architecture
into existence." On page 92 of Volume II of his great work, Medieval
[Lib 1909; Vol 1, Vol 2] a masterly production the
of which is urged upon every student of Freemasonry, he writes as
it is probable that the advantages and possibilities of the flying
not immediately appreciated at their full value, and, while the new
was freely applied in cases where the threatened fall of the vault
application, edifices even of considerable dimensions still continued
to be erected
without its aid." This important feature, without which Gothic could
have come into being, was the work of gradual experiment, and builders
it slowly, here a little, there a little, and in some places they never
it at all: had the secret of the flying buttress been known in advance
to any one
big fraternity of craftsmen, all this painful and costly evolution
would have been
thing may be said of the pointed arch which was so essential to Gothic
that it has
often given its own name to the style. Porter shows that the arch as a
unit of construction
was very old, and used long before the Crusaders took Jerusalem; and
that it was
adopted by Gothic builders slowly and only under compulsion; its use
purposes alone came late, and in the beginnings of Gothic the builders
their use of the old-time round arch as long as possible.
no need to multiply instances. Geometry, which was sometimes used as
with the art of building itself, and more particularly with Gothic, and
of such obvious importance, was never known as a merely abstract
science, and came
gradually to hand after countless experiments and trials of failure and
There is no evidence that any body of men ever possessed it at once and
in its entirety,
which is what would have been necessary to "one big fraternity" having
the enterprise of medieval building in hand. The history of Romanesque
in Gothic structures tells a similar tale; and so also the use of
which Porter traces to the Ile de France, and which came into existence
and by slow degrees.
the history of the art verifies the testimony of the buildings
themselves; all was
a gradual evolution, and after the usual fashion, out of
and from preexisting methods and customs. When one casually glances
back on medieval
history from the ease of his armchair, and looks upon it as a spectacle
in the air, Gothic may appear to have come into existence almost at
once, like the
goddess rising from the head of Zeus; but a more careful examination of
proves that the old theory of one big fraternity bestowing on the world
new art and a whole new culture to be a pleasant delusion.
also add to the argument the testimony of history, which is the
testimony of silence.
If Gothic art was the possession of one big fraternity, then that
must have had also in hand the building of highways, bridges, walls,
fortresses, miles, and it must also have taught the people how to make
and to ornament their residences because, as has already been said,
Gothic art was
continuous with medieval art it society endowed with such wisdom, and
every center in Europe, would have been as universal as the Catholic
Church of those
days, and would have left as voluminous a record; but as the fact
stands there is
such a lack of records, even of the cathedral builders, that even now,
a century of constant research on the ground by experts, very little is
the cathedral builders, so that it is necessary to feel one's way in
the dark whenever
one sets out to learn something about them.
was not the outcome of the labors of any one group but of all the
groups and classes
that made up the twelfth, thirteenth, and fourteenth centuries in
Europe and in
England. In the latter country one need only recall the reigns of Henry
II and of
King John, from whom Magna Charta was wrested to remember what a
was in, and how vigorous was the communal life. In Western Europe it
was the same.
The successors to the Capets created in the Frankish territories, and
as its center, an empire comparable to old Rome itself. It was the time
arose to independency, when kings became powerful monarchs as against
rule of feudal lords and barons; when the papacy extended its power to
of Christendom, with the consequence that something like unity was
affected in the
moral and religious life of the peoples; and this moral and religious
powerful enough to send the crusaders into Palestine for the capture of
"The greatest of all the marvels of the Gothic cathedral is the age
it. Amid the broils of robber-barons, amid the clamor of communes and
factions, amid the ignorance and superstition of the Church, this
lovely art, at
once so intellectual and so ideal, suddenly burst into flower. It seems
an anachronism, that this architecture should have arisen in the
Ages. Yet Gothic architecture, although in a sense so distinctly
opposed to the
spirit of the times, was none the less deeply imbued with that spirit
of the times,
and can be understood only when considered in relation to contemporary
ecclesiastical, economic, and social conditions. For the XII century,
darkness, was yet a period far in advance of what had gone before ‒ so
M. Luchaire does not hesitate to name it 'la Renaissance francaise.'…
intellectual revolution was accompanied by an economic upheaval no less
Herr Schmoller has even compared it to that which took place in the XIX
In the cities the workmen were freed from serfage, and commenced to
into free corporations; and the same process was at work in a less
the villeins or serfs of the country. The economic advantages of this
were incalculable. The pilgrimages, the journeys of the French chivalry
parts of Europe, above all, the crusades, opened to the merchants a
field of activity
undreamed of heretofore. The guilds of merchants, which ever became
and stronger; the commercial relations that were established between
England; the redoubled prosperity of Montpellier and Marseille; the
of markets; the increasing importance of the great fairs Champagne ‒
all these conditions
betray a radical transformation in the material condition of the
the condition of the laborer was made easier; everywhere the cities
economic productions, and extended their traffic; everywhere bridges
and repaired; everywhere new roads were opened. And with commerce, came
(Pages 145, 147, Porter's Medieval Architecture Vol. II)
life also manifested itself in theological speculation, some of which
was so audacious
that men were martyred at the stake for the sake of their opinions; in
and the study of law; in polities and in art. A new life broke forth
and out of its richness there came, as its consummate blossom, the
it may be reasonably inquired, are we to amount for the unity of Gothic
art at a
time when the world was very much divided, and intercommunication among
very difficult? The question is well taken, but it can be easily
answered. The unity
of the craft was due to the unity of the work done by the craft; Gothic
imposed its own unity upon the workmen and their activities as such
do. Phillips has shown that if one will lay out a chart showing the
each French cathedral in succession the sites will begin thickly about
then widen out in concentric curves, thus proving that the new
learned at the center radiated itself out, as knowledge is apt to do.
We have in
our midst abundant examples of such a progress. The world is now full
of steam engines
of various kinds, but not for that reason do we believe that the secret
has even been the private property of a secret organization; we know
that the steam
engine began with Watt in 1789 and that each inventor has copied the
work of his
predecessor and added improvements and modifications of his own. There
of medical schools over this land and in other countries which use the
terminology (comparable to the "secret language" of the old cults);
employ the same types of instruments; have similar rules; and one and
their students such an education as is formally recognized in other
the world. We know that this unity of medical organization was never
in the beginning by "one big fraternity"; it grew out of the nature of
the technique employed; the formal unity now possessed by national
is not the cause, but the result, of the unity imposed by the
that a similar thing happened as regards Masonic guilds in the Middle
bodies had a unity, but it was due to the nature of the work, and came
They exchanged memberships, as medical, or law, or art societies now
do, and that
because the work done was everywhere pretty much the same. They
developed an ethic
of their own profession and held all guilds strictly thereto, as did
guilds, and as do local medical and similar societies, always
our own day. The unity which thus developed out of the nature of the
gradually crystallized into constitutions and traditions; and this
in England of the eighteenth century, and owing to profound changes in
under which the guilds, or lodges, operated, became transformed into
unity that is represented by the authority and power of Grand Lodges.
From the time
early in the twelfth century when the cathedral building guilds first
began to be,
until Speculative Freemasonry was born in 1717 as a formally organized
there was never a break in the historical continuity but there were
evolutionary changes. Legally and technically our present Freemasonry
began in London
in 1717; historically, and in a wider view, it began in Europe in the
in those early days the builders did not begin from the beginning. They
and ancestors upon whose shoulders they stood, and out of whose art
their own. It will be necessary to take these into account, in order to
the picture; this will be done in a few chapters to follow, and as
to a further development of the theme presented in this.
Note: Gould's "History of
was in reality the work of a group of men and it was the original
intention to have
the names of all appear on the title page. I have this information
direct from one
of the members of the group.
H. L. H.
- What did the word Gothic
- What is the definition given by
the New English Dictionary?
- How does Lethaby define Gothic?
- Give substance of Porter's
description of Gothic.
- What was the principle upon
which Romanesque architecture was based?
- Describe the general principle
of Gothic architecture as explained by Brother
- Give Moore's explanation in
your own words.
- Can you name any specimen of
Gothic architecture in your own community?
- Can you name any Gothic
cathedrals in the United States?
- Why is Gothic architecture
deemed particularly appropriate for church buildings?
- Have you ever in your own mind
connected Gothic architecture with Freemasonry?
- If so, what has been your
theory of that connection?
- Where and when did Gothic begin?
- Give in your own words a sketch
of Gothic history.
- What are some of the various
theories of the origin of Gothic?
- What has all this to do with
the history of Freemasonry?
- What was a Guild?
- Why were the Gothic buildings
different from others?
- What is the meaning of the word
- How did the word "Freemasonry"
come into existence?
- What was the theory of "one
- What is Gould's verdict
concerning this theory?
- In what way does the history of
Gothic art tend to disprove the "one
great fraternity theory"?
- Give examples to show that
Gothic architecture developed gradually.
- Tell something about the age in
which Gothic came into existence.
- How do you account for the
unity of the Craft in the Middle Ages?
- Give some modern examples.
- The majority of historians of
"Freemasonry" agree that our fraternity
had its rise among Guilds of the Middle Ages: how would you state that
your own words?
bearing has this theory on our interpretations and obligations of
* * *
Art ‒ W.R. Lethaby. [Lib 1904]
Westminster Abbey and the King's Craftsmen ‒ W.R. Lethaby. [Lib 1906]
Architecture ‒ W.R. Lethaby. [Lib 1939]
Freemasonry before the Existence of Grand Lodges ‒ Lionel Vibert. [Lib 2010]
Story of the Craft ‒ Lionel Vibert. [Lib*]
Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, Vol. III, p. 13; 70. [Lib 1890]
Ibid., Vol. XXXIII, p. 114. [Lib 1920]
New English Dictionary on Historical Principles. [Lib*]
History of Freemasonry ‒ R.F. Gould, Vol. I, chapter 6, p. 253. [Lib
Medieval Architecture ‒ Arthur Kingsley Porter, Vol. II. [Lib 1909; Vol 1, Vol 2]
Mackey's Revised History of Freemasonry ‒ Robert I. Clegg, p. 814.
Early History and Antiquities of Freemasonry ‒ G.F. Fort. [Lib 1881]
History of Freemasonry ‒ J.G. Findel, p. 76, (1869 edition). [Lib 1866]
Freemason's Monthly Magazine, (Boston), Vol. XIX, p. 281. [Lib*]
Hole Craft and Fellowship of Masonry ‒ Edward Conder [Lib*]
The Cathedral Builders ‒ Leader Scott [Lib 1899]
The Comacines ‒ W. Ravenscroft. [Lib 1910]
A Concise History of Freemasonry ‒ R.F. Gould, 1920. [Lib 1904]
Roman and Medieval Art ‒ Wm. H. Goodyear. [Lib 1910]
Development and Character of Gothic Architecture ‒ Charles Herbert
Moore. [Lib 1906]
History of Architecture ‒ James Fergusson. [Lib 1874; Vol 1, Vol 2]
History of Architecture ‒ Russell Sturgis. [Lib 1909-16; Vol 1, Vol 2, Vol 3, Vol 4]
Art and Environment ‒ L.M. Phillips. [Lib 1911]
How to Know Architecture ‒ Frank A. Wallis. [Lib 1914]
History of Freemasonry and Concordant Orders ‒ Hughan and Stillson, p.
The Builders ‒ J.F. Newton, p. 97. [Lib 1914]
Freemasonry and the Ancient Gods ‒ J.S, Ward, part 1, chapter 6. [Lib*]
Encyclopedia ‒ (Revised Edition):
Antiquity of the Arch, p. 74;
Architecture, p. 75;
Basilica, p. 99;
Builders of the Middle Ages, p.
Builder, p. 123;
Cathedral of Cologne, p. 159;
Cathedral of Strasburg, p. 729;
Freemasons of the Church, p. 150;
or Stone-squarers, p. 296;
Geometry, p. 295; Gothic Architecture,
Implements, p. 348;
Operative Masonry, p. 532;
Vault p 822;
Christopher Wren, p. 859;
Stone-Masons of the Middle Ages, p. 718;
of Foundation, p. 722;
Worship, p. 727;
Symbolism of the Temple, p. 774;
Traveling Masons, p. 792.
Vol. I (1915)
Regensburg Stonemason's Regulations, pp.
Came Freemasonry? p. 181.
Vol. II (1916)
Masonry Universal, p. 29;
Steinbrenner, p. 158;
Masonic Traditions, p. 189;
Findel, p. 221;
Significant Chapter in the Early History
of Freemasonry, Nov. C.C.B. 4;
Operative Masonry, Dec. C.C B. 1.
Antiquities, p. 181;
Masonic History, p. 204;
Guild and York Rites, p. 242;
Freemasonry and the Medieval Craft Guilds,
pp. 342, 361;
Operatives Cathedral Builders, p.
Vol. IV (1918)
Franklin Fort, p. 171;
Masonic Writings of George Franklin
Fort, p. 210.
Vol. V (1919)
Mackey's History of Freemasonry, p. 53;
Legendary Origin of Freemasonry, p. 297;
Quatuor Coronate, p. 300.
Vol. VI (1920)
Speculative Masonry, p. 130;
Bird's-Eye View of Masonic History, p.
Came Freemasonry? p. 90;
Good Books on the Guild Question,
Evolution of Freemasonry,"
Gould's Concise History of Freemasonry,
Masonic Legends and Traditions, p. 57;
Guilds and Trade Unions, p. 63;
Traveling Craftsmen, p. 102;
‒ A New
Brief History of Freemasonry, p.
"Freemasonry and the Ancient Rites,"
Freemasonry of the Middle Ages and International
Society, p. 331.
Changes in our Official
By The Editor
It is our
regretful duty to announce that Brother W. E. Atchison resigned his
Assistant Secretary of this Society on January 1st. In severing this
Brother Atchison terminated a period of some six years of service which
signalized, especially during the period of the World War, by zeal and
so that the hearty good wishes of all will go with him to his new
labors. He has
accepted a position in the Service Department of the Masonic Service
of the United States, of which Brother Andrew L. Randell, P. G. M.,
Texas, is Executive
Secretary. It may be observed here, inter alia, that the National
Society and the Masonic Service Association are two entirely separate
organizations which, though they work together in harmonious
cooperation, has each
one its own task apart from the other.
‒ we now pass to the other side of the ledger ‒ we are happy to
announce the appointment
of Brother Jacob Hugo Tatsch as Assistant Editor of this Society.
is a native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but he has for a long time lived
on the Pacific
coast, where he served in the banking business for some seventeen
the World War he was commissioned a Captain of Infantry and as such
commanded what is now Co. A, 161st Infantry; and was also on active
duty in the
Military Intelligence Division of the United States Army during the
last year of
was raised in Oriental Lodge No. 74, F. & A. M., Spokane,
Washington, on June
28, 1909, and served his lodge as Worshipful Master in 1914. He was
Grand Deacon of the Grand Lodge F. & A. M. of Washington for
1914-15, and Grand
Orator for 1917-18. He received the 32d of the Ancient and Accepted
in Oriental Consistory No. 2, Spokane, in 1909, and has held various
and elective offices. He is one of the American local secretaries of
Lodge No. 2076, London, and is affiliated with the following bodies:
Lodge of Research
No. 2429, Leicester, England; Manchester Association for Masonic
England' International Masonic Association, Geneva, Switzerland;
zur Foerderung Freimaurerische Wissenschaftlicher Forschung, Hamburg,
is a charter member of the National Masonic Research Society.
years Brother Tatsch has been an indefatigable student of Freemasonry
and has to
his record many valuable pieces of research, especially in the field of
bibliography, of which he has an expert knowledge. He enjoyed the
year of contributing a treatise to the Lodge Quatuor Coronati of
an honor that has gone to only a few American brethren. In addition to
as Assistant Editor of the Society, Brother Tatsch will superintend our
publishing department. All inquiries sent to this office concerning
books will receive
his personal attention.
Freemasonry is a Life of
in the 'eighties a distinguished English brother wrote a treatise on
of Death" in which learned document he undertook to show that
in line with the ancient cults and creeds that taught it is the duty of
man in this
life to keep his thoughts fixed on the dissolution of the body. There
was a certain
fitness in this preachment because the Freemasonry of the period was
more or less
funereal in its make-up, ‒ repressed, rigid, shut-eyed, introspective,
much given to brooding on the mystery of the coffin, and the skull and
Lodges were dark and solemn places; and Masonic ceremonies were
considered as reminders
of the vanity of life and the certainty of death. Is the picture
Most such pictures are. Nevertheless the characterization will serve to
of what most struck the candidate in a lodge in the old days.
a funereal note in Freemasonry, even in the Freemasonry of this new
day, and there
should be, because death and all the last mysteries that surround it
belong to the
scheme of things human: but for all that there is no reason in the
world why any
Mason should let his Masonry be swamped by a cheerless gloom, a
Quite the contrary, for Masonry is in its very nature, if we shall but
it, life, and light, and cheer, and should be lived as such. Masonry
does not teach
that death ends all, but that life ends all. It does not teach that
swallowed up in the grave, but that everything, the grave included, is
up in the power and love of God. It does not teach that man should
succumb to the
assaults of time, or the bludgeons of the assassins and villains of bad
unfortunate circumstance, but that one may arise from his graves in the
with many resurrections.
should make one glad, not sad. And so also with the activities of the
Craft by which
a man is surrounded. Membership in the Fraternity armors a man against
and arrows of outraged fortune. He finds himself among friends; he
and fellowship: he learns how good and blessed a thing it is for
brethren to dwell
together in harmony. The work of Masonry, like all its teachings, adds
to the gaiety
of nations and the joy of life. "Let there be light" is addressed to
heart as well as to the mind, and might very easily be translated into
words, "Be of good cheer."
men, apparently so aged in spirit, who write so many of our books and
many of the articles that appear in our periodicals, are misled by the
and outward apparel of the Order. There is no need that they be so
sad, so heavy hearted, so leaden footed, so sunken eyed. Nobody will
from the Craft if they compose a cheerful song once in a while, or even
a bit of humor.
nobody enjoys seeing grown men acting the fool on a lodge floor. Nobody
spectacle of a lot of men who take no interest in anything save
lunches. Least of
all does anybody desire to see the legitimate work of lodges
side-tracked in favor
of dances for the girls and musicales for the ladies. Such things are
and by-the-way, and not here in mind. The thing in mind is that Masonry
is a triumph
over the sour beast and the cynic in man. It exists for the sake of
life. It makes
for our peace and ministers to our joy. It calls for blithesomeness
because it carries
within itself the gladness of eternal LIFE.
* * *
The N.M.R.S. Co-Operates
With Masonic Magazines
In its issue
of February 5, "The Missouri Freemason" of St. Louis, published and
by Brother F. H. Littlefield, made a two page announcement that must
of considerable interest to any members of this Society who chanced to
Over his own signature Brother Littlefield announced that a visit to
of this Society had so opened his eyes to its possibilities for Masonic
that he wished all readers of his paper to become members and to that
to sponsor their memberships, and by way of encouragement volunteered
an offer of
his own paper at a fifty per cent reduction. This is the first time
such a thing
has occurred since this Society was organized more than eight years
ago, and is
therefore worthy of more than passing notice.
of possible co-operation with Masonic periodicals was carefully
canvassed by officers
of the Society who found there could be no possible objection to it in
but a very great likelihood of good; therefore, they approved the move,
the while to have it understood that membership in this Society can
never be made
a part of a club offer, but remains at a fixed fee to one and all.
that during the week immediately following Brother Littlefield's visit
to the Society's
headquarters another Masonic periodical took up the matter, thus
proving once again
that the minds of men will sometimes run in the same channels. If some
is entered into with these latter mentioned brethren there is no reason
but to suppose
that others may propose some such arrangements later on.
is as it should be. THE BUILDER is not competing with other Masonic
the commercial field; but it is the journal of the National Masonic
and is designed to be a literary record of Freemasonry with a
The Society itself is strictly and permanently non-commercial and does
cannot, pay a dollar of profits to anybody. All of its income is used
THE BUILDER and to maintain or increase its rapidly growing services to
* * *
Expert Wanted: A Masonic
number of Masonic buildings now under way or in prospect has brought
the need for architectural experts knowing Freemasonry thoroughly
enough to serve
as consulting specialists for regular firms. To be perfectly fitted to
a Masonic temple must be, in arrangement and accommodations, adapted to
of several Masonic bodies, and often of two or three auxiliaries; it
must have the
peculiar equipment needed in Masonic work; and its decorations must fit
Masonic scheme of things.
How far the
general run of architects are from understanding the specifically
of buildings and lodge rooms is proved by the small number of such
successfully combine form and function.
a real need for the Masonic consulting specialist. Such a man must have
grounding in his own profession: and on top of this he should as
Freemasonry in all its rites, its history, its spirit, and its
symbolism. With his
headquarters in some central city this man could be called in by local
and local architects [or advice on such architectural features as are
Masonic. He would be especially valuable in working out the decorative
the building, which in too many cases, alas, is in shrieking discord
with our ceremonies.
Imagine a Third Degree exemplified in a room decorated like a movie
thing is hard to imagine, but it often happens.
WRITINGS OF GEORGE THORNBURGH
MASONRY, Central Printing Co., Little Rock, Arkansas: $3.00. [Lib*]
FOR ARKANSAS, published by George Thornburgh, Little Rock, Arkansas:
FOR LOUISIANA, published by George Thornburgh, Little Rock, Arkansas:
The History of Masonry
OF MASONRY has already received a commendatory review at the hands of
of THE BUILDER, which same appeared in the issue for December, 1915,
page 308. The
book has now reached an eighth edition, a rare dignity in Masonic
so many similar ventures come to early grief. Statistics and tables
have been brought
up to date, and such other changes made as time has proved desirable.
as a whole comprises 243 pages; when it is said that the last 70 pages
exclusively to Arkansas, and that the 173 preceding pages are divided
the Masonic bodies along with rapid sketches of Masonry in each of the
will be seen that Brother Thornburgh has permitted himself no liberties
The story of Masonry is reduced to the irreducible minimum, and there
is much by
way of names and dates.
This is the
kind of volume required by the majority of men who wish to read
Freemasonry but haven't opportunity to read much. Such brethren will
find here collected
together, and conveniently arranged, such facts as all should know,
who enjoy the honor of the chairs, and whose position imposes upon them
obligation to learn something about the Craft which they have
undertaken to rule.
Brother Thornburgh has addressed himself to these men in his History
and in his
Preface thereto, in the latter of which he writes: "Few have the time
to devote to large and expensive books, which in the end do not make
clear the truth.
I present this history in plain language, boiled down and stripped of
with the hope that it will be studied and appreciated."
The man for
whom Brother Thornburgh has so successfully performed this service will
not be much
given to a meticulous examination or to quarrelling with the author
over moot points:
a sophisticated student will no doubt become irritated here and there.
To have Duncerley
spelled as "Dunckerley" and Ramsay appear as "Ramsey" on one
page hurts one's feelings. Dr. Anderson is given credit, and without
for transforming Operative Masonry into Speculative, a thing to which
few can subscribe.
Neither is it possible for one to accept without reservations Brother
account of "Operative Masonry," where he furnishes us not with an
of the old Operative Freemasons as historical research has made them
known to us,
but the legend, altogether unsustained by documents, set forth by the
called "Operative Masonry," which is a very different thing. The
Theory" of the Scottish Rite bodies is set forth in a page of
statements that wholly ignore the many other respectable theories that
championed by eminent scholars. The formation of the "Antient" Grand
is described as a "schism," a theory long exploded: and almost
else said about that great and critical epoch is erroneous.
If the entire
volume were devoted to "history" properly so-called, after the fashion
of the works of Gould, Findel, Mackey, et al., such faults would be
fatal; but the
present work is not such an attempt, since it is really a hand-book of
facts as are never called in question, therefore they will do no great
includes a series of brief sketches of American Masonry state by state,
for reference purposes. There are little chapters on "The Poets
"George Washington," and "Albert Pike"; and there is a great
deal to be said, as already indicated, about Masonry in Arkansas. The
Table of Contents
is shifted to the rear and called an "Index" and the index itself is
missing, upon which ye scribe exclaims, Alas! and finds himself
confirmed in his
long-cherished intention of organizing an "Index Society." Heaven speed
the day when every book is compelled to carry an index! Of the two
in the heading it may be said that they are all that good Monitors
should be, and
are purchasable by Masons everywhere.
What a rare
old state is Arkansas! Since Albert Pike graced it with his residence
in the ante-bellum
days until now it has walked proudly among the foremost jurisdictions
Brother Thornburgh himself deserves a niche in the Arkansas pantheon:
as a Grand
Master, as Custodian of the Secret Work, and as one of the princes of
and Accepted Scottish Rite, he has labored long in behalf of the Craft.
Arkansas gentleman" is he, and long life to him!
* * *
The Constitutions Of 1722
reprint of THE OLD CONSTITUTIONS OF FREEMASONRY [Lib*], published by J.
in 1722, issued by the National Masonic Research Society: price $2.00.
This is a
hurry-up call to Masonic students who may have it in mind to possess
of this invaluable book. The edition is limited to one thousand and
each copy is
numbered. There are not many left, so that it will be wise to secure
one while securing
is possible. The book carries a Foreword by Dr. J. F. Newton, former
editor of THE
BUILDER, which same is here reproduced in order that readers may have
of what the volume contains:
Old Charges or Constitutions of Freemasonry are the title deeds of the
and as such they should be carefully studied by every Craftsman ‒ just
as a man
ought to take due care to know the title of his home and holdings. It
that the Society issues herewith a photographic reproduction of a
document as unique
as it is interesting, in the hope of reviving and prompting a study of
the Old Charges
among American Masons, and especially among the young men now entering
Hughan and Woodford began their researches into the Constitutions of
Masons, about 1866, hardly more than a score of such documents had then
and traced. (1) By the time Hughan published his Old Charges of British
in 1869, [Lib 1872] which was the first
collection in print of
the kind, several more which had been discovered were duly noted or
that volume. When the second edition of his volume appeared in 1895, he
to sixty-six rolls of the Old Charges, and nine printed versions,
others known to have existed which he reckoned as 'Missing MSS.' (2) Of
oldest known was written about the latter part of the 14th century,
another in the early 15th, then another in the 16th, thirty-nine in the
twenty-one in the 18th, besides a few in the 19th century. Some of
these, to be
sure, are duplicates, and others are simply slight variations of extant
but a number are independent versions of not a little value.
in manuscript or printed copies only, they have now all been named and
in classes, or families, according to their dates and importance; and
have been subdivided into branches, the better to compare their
and to estimate their value both individually and generally. (3) The
of Begemann in this field were not only memorable but astonishing, all
so because, as a German, he so thoroughly mastered the language in
which the Old
Charges were written as to be able, more than once, to locate and give
date to a
document by its peculiar accent and dialect. Surely, few feats of
the annals of the Fraternity can surpass such an achievement, for which
student should be deeply grateful.
Old Charges were, in fact, a part of the ritual of Operative Masonry,
or recited to the initiate upon his advent into the Order, to which,
other secret sign or teaching was communicated, he subscribed in an
The obligation, as will be seen in the following pages, was very
of only two or three sentences ‒ sometimes of only one sentence ‒
followed by none
of the elaborate penalties afterwards imposed when the Craft passed out
of its operative
period. Evidently, our ancient Brethren relied upon the greater moral
which affect and influence the human soul: namely, the terror of being
and scorned as a dishonored man and Mason, the horrors of an outraged
and the just and awful anger of the infinite Deity whose presence was
a witness on the 'holy contents of this Book.'
all authorities agree, the tiny, faded, time-stained booklet which we
is the oldest Masonic book, the earliest printed copy of the
Constitutions of the
operative Freemasons. Hughan holds it to be such, with which Woodford
he says, 'Until some reliable evidence can be produced of their actual
we must be content to accept Robert's Edition of 1722 as the first
of the Constitutions.' (4) The only possible exception are the excerpts
'William Watson MS.' printed by Dr. Robert Plot, author of The Natural
Staffordshire, in 1686. [Lib 1686] (5) Speaking of this little
Spencer, who originally owned it, remarked in 1871, (6) that, as far as
ascertain, it is unique: 'It came into my possession about a quarter of
ago, bound up at the end of a scarce 1723 edition of the Constitutions:
that time I have been searching for another unsuccessfully. On making
learn that the work is unknown at the British Museum, the Bodleian, and
Libraries.' Hughan adds, (7) 'At the sale of his (Spencer's) Masonic
1875, it was purchased by me for the late Mr. Bower, of Keekuk, Iowa.
is now in the Library of the Grand Lodge of Iowa, being one of the most
books of the celebrated "Bower Collection."
one year before the Constitution of the Grand Lodge of England, and
being, as Hughan
holds, an 'exclusively operative' document, it stands as the parting of
between Operative and Speculative Masonry. One has only to read it
Constitutions of 1723, to see how profound and far-reaching the
the old Masonry to the new really was. (8) Of its contents Hughan
" 'The text leans more to the
MS. No. 2, than to the Harleian No. 1942, though substantially it
documents. Robert's Charges run I to XXVI, then follow (a) the brief
and long "obligations,"
(b) "This Charge belongeth to Apprentices" (I to X), and (c) the
Orders" (I to VII), (d) concluding with a repetition of the longer
The word omitted in Rule XXIII, apparently because the Editor failed to
is supplied in the two MSS. named, as "erred." " 'The "Additional
Orders and Constitutions" are declared to have been "made and agreed
at a General Assembly held at ‒ on the Eighth Day of December, 1663 ;"
evidently this guess was not explicit enough for Dr. Anderson, as he
states in "Constitutions"
1738, that the Earl of St. Albans' held a General Assembly and Feast on
Day, 27th Dec., 1663, when the regulations were made. One romance is as
worthless as the other; and like the claim of Roberts, that the MS. he
was then about 500 years old, is only quoted now to show how Masonic
was written at that period.' (9)
"Why it was published at all
has led to
some interesting speculations, one of which, by Albert Pike, being to
that English Masonry, in 1717, and afterwards to 1745, had for one of
at least, if not the chief one, to sustain the Act of Parliament
settling the succession
and excluding the Stuarts and all Papists: and that by the Chiefs of
at least, it was enlisted in the support of the House of Hanover. (10)
was so or not we need not stop to argue, but it adds interest to the
which Pike surmises is so scarce because it was suppressed: and it may
a desire to study anew the era in which it appeared. What influence, if
had on the ritual mongers of the time, by whom Gould thinks it was
(11) is another question into which it may repay us to inquire.
Interesting in itself,
valuable as a sign of the times in which it was printed, and fruitful
worthy of study, the Society sends it forth in the hope that it will
research and bring more truth to light."
1. Old Charges
of British Freemasons, by W. J. Hughan, 2nd Edition.
3. Transactions Quatuor Coronati Lodge, Vol. I; also Quatuor
4. Hughan, R. F., op. cit., preface 1872 edition.
5. History of Freemasonry, by R. F. Gould, Chapter VII; also Early
Referring to Freemasonry, by H. J. Whymper.
6. Old Constitutions, by Spencer, p. 22.
7. Hughan, op. cit., 2nd edition, p. 122.
8. Constitutions, by Anderson.
9. Hughan, op. cit., 2nd edition, p. 122.
10. Official Bulletin Supreme Council, A.&A.S.R., Southern
I, pp. 491, 632.
11. Collected Essays, by R.F. Gould, p. 246.
is an open forum for free and fraternal discussion. Each of its
under his own name, and is responsible for his own opinions. Believing
that a unity
of spirit is better than a uniformity of opinion, the Research Society,
does not champion any one school of Masonic thought as over against
offers to all alike a medium for fellowship and instruction, leaving
each to stand
or fall by its own merits.
Box and Correspondence Column are open to all members of the Society at
Questions of any nature on Masonic subjects are earnestly invited from
particularly those connected with lodges or study club which are
following our Study
Club course. The Society is now receiving from fifty to one hundred
week: it is manifestly impossible to publish many of them in this
A History of Freemasonry
a good history of Freemasonry in Canada? If so, where can I get it?
W. H., Ontario
have been pamphlets dealing with the history of the Craft in the
issued by the Nova Scotia Lodge of Research and by brethren in Ontario,
Manitoba and British Columbia; but with the exception of the first,
these are all
out of print. The only complete history obtainable for the whole
Dominion was published
in two volumes in 1900 by the late M. W. Bro. John Ross Robertson, of
1900; Vol 1, Vol
connection, our readers, particularly those in Canada, will be
interested to know
that we expect to publish in a few months an "All-Canadian" issue of
BUILDER, composed entirely of material by our brethren north of the
Toronto Society for Masonic Research, now in its third year, of which
Bro. N. W.
J. Haydon is Secretary, has undertaken to gather the literary matter
which will be needed, and we hope that all our readers who have
for this purpose, will at once let him know. His address is 564 Pape
* * *
President Warren G. Harding's
please furnish me the Masonic record of President Warren G. Harding?
F. F. F., West Virginia.
J. H. Bromwell, Grand Secretary, Grand Lodge of Ohio, replies to your
the following information:
Apprentice, June 28, 1901; Fellow Craft, August 13, 1920; Master Mason,
1920, in Marion Lodge No. 70, F. & A. M., Marion, Ohio.
January 11, 1921; Past and Most Excellent, January 11, 1921; Royal
13, 1921, in Marion Chapter No. 62, R. A. M., Marion, Ohio.
but has not yet received Council Degrees in Marion Council No. 22, R.
& S. M.,
Malta and Temple, March 1, 1921, in Marion Commandery No. 36, K. T.,
Rite (4d-32d) January 5, 1921, in Scioto Consistory, Columbus, Ohio.
(The only candidate.)
Has been elected by Supreme Council, Northern Masonic Jurisdiction, to
but this has not yet been conferred.
January 7, 1921, in Aladdin Temple, A.A.O.N.M.S., Columbus, Ohio.
* * *
Professor Edwin Grant Conklin
Edwin Grant Conklin, author of "The Direction of Human Evolution," [Lib
O.C.Q., New Hampshire.
Conklin replies: "I beg to say that I am not a member of the Masonic
Possibly certain phrases of my book, The Direction of Human Evolution,
suggested this inasmuch as I have lived with members of this Fraternity
all my life
and have unconsciously and unknowingly adopted many of their phrases.
was a lifelong Mason and many of my University associates have been
members of this
* * *
Augustus Thomas Is a Mason
Can you tell
me if Augustus Thomas is a Mason?
was forwarded to Mr. Thomas himself who replied as follows:-
am a Mason, 32nd degree.
* * *
German Masonic Writers
I have found
very little reference in my Masonic studies to brooks published in
than English. We know that Masonic lodges exist in Germany but
apparently we have
little knowledge of their literary work. What can be said on this
R.F.G., Jr., California.
with a knowledge of foreign languages denies himself a wonderful
obtaining information about Masonic affairs in Continental Europe if he
read books and magazines published abroad. To begin with, the best
of Masonry was prepared in Germany. In fact, the only extensive
published have been in German.
work of importance is that of George Klosz, Bibliographie der
was published in Francfort-on-the-Main in 1844. It lists 5400 titles. The next important
work was Reinhold Taute's Maurerische Buecherkunde: Ein Wegweiser durch
der Freimaurerei, published at Leipzig in 1886. This was followed in 1911-13 by
three volume work of August Wolfstieg, Bibliographie der
which lists 43,347 items. These books will give an idea of the number
of works published
on Masonry. Wolfstieg's Bibliographie should be in the possession of
library, for it is printed in English type and can be used by those not
is to Masonic bibliography, Wilhelm Begemann is to Masonic history. His
most widely known books are Vorgeschichte and Anfänge der Freimaurerei
2 volumes, 1909-10; Freimaurerei in Irland, 1911; Freimaurerei in
Other books of his are: Die Tempelherrn and die
Freimaurerei, 1906; Die Hanger
Loge non 1637 and der Koelner Brief von 1535, 1907; Der Alte and
Ritus and Friedrich der Grosse, 1913. Begemann's books are especially
they supplement the earlier works of British authors, such as Hughan,
History of Freemasonry has gone through many editions in Germany since
it made its
first appearance in 1861. J.G. Findel was for many years editor of Die
He has written more than any other German on Masonry, and his works are
and authoritative, making due allowance for the period in which he
wrote. The iconoclastic
tendency of German Masonic writers, due partially to an inborn trait to
the known evidence only, disregarding sentimentality, and a friendly
England on the subject of Masonic origins, are factors which must be
when reading German literature.
An earlier work of value is Geschichte
in England, Frankreich und Deutschland, by Freihe. C.C.F.W. von Nettelbladt.
during thy early decades of the nineteenth century, this work was
1879 by the editors of the Zirkel-Correspondenz. It must be taken cum
as is the case with all other early works.
been well said that we have no really excellent English encyclopedia of
Apparently the author of these words had examined the Allgemeines
Handbuch der Freimaurerei,
third edition, (1900) an adaptation of Lenning's early work. It is a
encyclopedia in two volumes which should be consulted carefully
whenever a critical
review is necessary.
Dr. Jos. Schauberg's Vergleichendes Handbuch der
der Freimaurerei is an excellent work in three volumes, originally
issued in 1861.
A general history
of symbolism is contained in the quarto volume of Max Schlesinger,
Symbols: Ein Versuch, published in Berlin, 1912.
the best German works is Wolfstieg's Ursprung and Entwicklung der
also in three volumes. This is of recent publication (1920) and deals
with the origins
of Freemasonry in England *tom the Renaissance to the Reformation, as
well as taking
up the later phases of Masonic history. Other European nations are also
in these books.
work, comparable to that carried on by English research bodies, is
brought to the
attention of Masonic scholars by the "Verein Deutscher Freimaurer,"
Jur. J. C. Schwabe, Secretary, Fichtestrasse 43, Leipzig III, Germany)
and the "Deutschen
Gesellechaftzur Foerderung freimaur.-wissenschaft. Forschung," (F. E.
Johnsalle 84, Hamburg, Germany.
of Diedrich Bischoff, Otto Caspari, Hermann Settegast and August
among modern examples of German Craft literature.
J. H. T.
Brethren interested in any of the German publications can place orders
Book Department of the National Masonic Research Society.]
The Wayfaring Man, Etc.
"Question Box" for September, 1922, a brother from Florida requests
regarding the symbolism or meaning of certain parts of the M. M. drama.
if there is any special significance to the Seafaring Man, the Embargo,
in the rubbish of the Temple and the dimensions of the grave. I am
inclined to believe
they are individually simply events necessary to develop the plot of
While practically every detail of the Masonic initiation has some
we must not always ascribe or attempt to ascribe a symbolic meaning
when those who
elaborated on the ritual had no such thoughts in mind.
the Seafaring Man, the correct designation is "Wayfaring Man." The
is a corruption and should be altered by those jurisdictions using it.
I can't say
now just what jurisdictions use the term "Seafaring;" but all do not.
Mackey says the Wayfaring Man was either introduced by Webb or else was
him in the work as exemplified in the colonies in the latter part of
century. Up until about the time of the Baltimore Convention, the
we meet with in most jurisdictions, was unknown in the ritual. As the
M. M. drama
became more and more dramatized and elaborated the Sea-Captain was
with him the dialogue between him and the ruffians, wherein they seek
of the country. To be logical, when this was done, it should have been
and not the Wayfaring Man, who advises the three Craftsmen that the
sought passage into Ethiopia. Except that a Sea-Captain would hardly
inland. My guess would be that the two terms became confused in some
through carelessness or ignorance and they borrowed the "Sea" from the
Sea-Captain and attached it to the "Faring" making it "Seafaring
Man," possibly believing them one and the same character.
likewise is unknown in some jurisdictions. An expose of 1831 makes the
W. M. say:
"I had this embargo laid to prevent the ruffians from making their
I am sure there is no significance to this event except as it tends to
logical plot. And the plot is just as logical where no reference is
made to it.
Unquestionably it was a part of the ritual in use prior to 1849, but
was later deleted
in most states.
is proving lengthier than I intended to write, I shall only discuss the
do not believe there is any special reason for the dimensions given in
in this country. The expression "six feet of earth)' is quite common in
a grave and it is from this expression I think our description comes. I
whether the description is identical in the English Ritual. It is
note that in the French Rite the following question and answer occurs
as part of
the M. M. catechism:
was its size'
A. Three feet wide, five feet deep and seven feet long.
certainly an improvement on our work as I believe that six is not a
A. L. Kress, Pennsylvania.
* * *
Merseyside Association for
I was greatly
interested in THE BUILDER for November to see the long list of Research
Association has been omitted; viz., "The Manchester Association for
Research," with a membership of over 1000 members. The secretary is
Chew P. Noar, 50 Murray Street, Higher Broughton, Manchester. From the
"The Merseyside Association for Masonic Research," you will see that we
have in this district recently formed a similar Association, of which I
am the secretary.
John Mumby, Birkenhead, England.
* * *
Concerning Duffy's "Original
It may interest
you to know that we have a copy of Original Thoughts by Frank M. Duffy.
in reference to the question asked by L.D.S., South Carolina, in the
of THE BUILDER. You say in your reply that it was published in 1868.
You came upon
a second edition. I find our title page shows that it was published at
Tennessee, for the author in 1867. There is a note on the fly leaf in
hand writing; thus: ‒ "Cornelius Moore, Esq., presented with fraternal
by the Author. Springfield, Tennessee, March 12th, 1858." The book is
to "John E. Brevard, Schoolmate, Friend, and Brother, and to the
Brethren of Union Lodge No. 113, Hartsville, Tennessee." The title page
this little piece of poetry:-
"Go, little book, from this my
I cast thee on the waters; go thy ways;
And if, as I believe, thy vein be good
The world will find thee after many days."
book of 138 pages has been a source of great pleasure to me in my
for information on the Forty-seventh Problem. Hoping that I have not
your valuable time, with the best wishes for a prosperous and happy
1923, for yourself
and THE BUILDER, I am fraternally,
Fred W. Schmerr, Librarian, Cincinnati, Ohio.
* * *
Illegal Wearing of Emblems
In your Editorial
Department of the January issue of THE BUILDER you made reference to a
had been presented to the State Legislature of Mississippi concerning
wearing of lodge emblems. This bill passed and became effective April
7, 1922, with
this addition: "Provided, however, that these emblems may be worn by
of those nearest of kin."
J. Parkinson, Mississippi.
indebted to J. W. McCants, of Mississippi, for a similar letter.)
* * *
Another Word Concerning
to us that in the Minutes of Widow's Sons Lodge No. 60,
is an entry to show that Thomas Jefferson was a Mason. Our readers will
read the reply to our inquiry sent by Brother E. E. Dinwiddie,
Secretary of Widow's
Sons Lodge: ‒ Your
letter to Secretary W. F. Souder, of Lodge No. 55, has been handed me
by him. There
is no record of Jefferson as a Mason here. There were three lodges
within less than
five miles of his home, and no record of him as a member or as having
of them. This Lodge No. 60 is the surviving lodge of the three.
from the minutes of Lodge No. 90 of October 6, 1817, I copy as follows:
Lodge formed procession and marched to the Central College where they
in procession by James Monroe, James Madison, Thos. Jefferson, Jno. H.
C. Cabell, & David Watson, Visitors of the Central College,
did lay with the assistance of the visitors of the said Central
College, the Corner
Stone of the said building in ancient form."
Stone of Central College, now the University of Virginia, was laid by
Lodge No. 90 in conjunction with Widow's Sons Lodge No. 60.
with Past Grand Master Rt. Wor. R. T. W. Duke of Virginia a few days
ago, he expressed
the opinion that Jefferson was not a Mason, though some have thought
he never attended any Lodge here.
We have no
record of Madison or Monroe as being Masons. They would not have
belonged to a Lodge
here had they been, as their homes were too far away.
E. E. Dinwiddie, Virginia
* * *
Seventy-Four Years A Mason
over an English newspaper recently I ran across the following which
seems to me
most surely a record:- "Mr. F. James, of Penkridge, Staffordshire, has
celebrated his one hundred and first birthday.
is a Justice of the Peace, Deputy Lieutenant, and at one time served as
of the Staffordshire County Council.
in public affairs only is he a well-known figure. He is one of the
veterans of Freemasonry,
his connection with it going back for seventy-four years."
Sidney J. Harris, Manitoba, Canada.
* * *
Forty-Fifth Term as Secretary
So many times
I have noted in THE BUILDER references to long periods of service of
and it has occurred to me that you should know something of Brother the
D. Engle, Secretary of Mystic Tie Lodge No. 398, F. & A. M., of
the city of
was Master of Mystic Tie Lodge No. 398 in 1875. In 1876-7 and 8 he was
of that Lodge. In 1879 he was again made Master of the Lodge and in
1880 he was
again elected secretary and from that time he has continuously served
thus constituting this year his forty-fifth term as secretary of that
Lodge was chartered in 1869. Today it has a membership in excess of
and Brother Engle has personally met and helped over obstacles, trials
every one of these members and that host of members "who have gone on."
He is loved,
revered, respected and his presence among us is appreciated.
has been active Secretary of the Masonic Relief Board forty-four years
of the Masonic Burial Ground the same number of years.
E. O. Burgan, Indiana.
* * *
We are looking
for a collection of songs to sing at the social sessions of our Lodge.
I have written
to a number of publishers for a collection of Masonic songs, but thus
far have failed
to locate an appropriate collection. If any brother knows of any such
the writer would be glad to hear from him.
Harry J. Laque,
Bank Building, Cincinnati, Ohio.
a law passed to stop lodge orators from reciting Bryant's
It is possible to do some things once too often.
* * *
It was impossible
to respond to the hundreds of replies that came from the circular
letter sent out
to all members.
* * *
Are you remodeling
your lodge room or erecting a new Masonic building? Send us copy of
your plans and
drawings; we have constant inquiries for such things.
* * *
of evident foreign birth, not yet out of the throes of his struggle
with our mysterious
English language, remarks in a recent letter to us that "we all cherish
admiration for the profits of Israel." Indeed we do!
* * *
Club Building at Fort Bayard, New Mexico, was scheduled for dedication
7th last. Congratulations, brethren!
* * *
Can you make
a map? We need a world map showing distribution of Masonic lodges.
A Partial List of Books
Obtainable From the Society
of Vital Interest to Every Mason
AND FREEMASONRY [Lib*] (widely available i.e. Amazon etc.)
"Masonic Legends and Traditions," "Woman and Freemasonry," "The
Eleusinian Mysteries and Rites," etc.
This is a
historical, not a controversial work. It contains a full translation of
Bulls, Encyclical letters, and Decrees issued against the Craft by
Popes and Bishops,
as well as the official records of the sufferings imposed upon
the Inquisition. Incidentally, it throws interesting sidelights upon
of Freemasonry in the United Kingdom and on the Continent of Europe,
and gives particulars
of secret societies into which only Catholics were permitted to be
facts are given without embellishment; they speak for themselves. The
by the work extends over two centuries, beginning with the latter part
of the seventeenth
century and carrying up to the present day.
bound in blue buckram, 247 pages and comprehensive index $3.25, postpaid
Century Masonry in the Colonies
IN AMERICA PRIOR TO 1750 [Lib 1916]
BY MELVIN MAYNARD JOHNSON
Past Grand Master of Masons of Massachusetts
of Freemasonry in America are as fascinating to the Masons of today as
was the story
of the Colonists when we first learned the romance of American history.
the men who participated in the aggressive life of the Colonies were
the Craft. Benjamin Franklin, Provincial Grand Master of Pennsylvania,
of the Fraternity in his newspaper, the Philadelphia Gazette. before he
was a Mason.
has examined many of the original documents and printed accounts of
and presents a wealth of material to the reader interested in learning
how the Craft
sprang up in America. This book is necessary to the library of every
Mason. (Reviewed in THE BUILDER, May, 1918, page 152.)
blue buckram, 225 pages, folding plates and facsimile reproductions
* * *
AS MAKERS OF AMERICA," Madison C. Peters.
of all prominent Revolutionary heroes who were Masons. Has gone through
editions. Cloth binding, 60 pages $1.00 [Lib 1921
* * *
BUILDERS ‒ A STORY AND STUDY OF MASONRY," by Brother Joseph Fort
Editor-in-Chief of THE BULDER, is now the fastest selling Masonic book
in the world.
It is being translated into several languages. (Special price in lots
or more copies.) Bound in substantial blue' cloth beautifully printed.
$1.75 [Lib 1914]
* * *
ON THE BUILDERS." Compiled by the Cincinnati Masonic Study Club to be
in connection with "The Builders," by Joseph Fort Newton. Paper, 13
closely printed $.15 [Lib*]
* * *
OF FREEMASONRY,” Albert G Mackey. New edition of a Masonic classic,
revised by Robert
I. Clegg. De Luxe fabrikoid binding, 311 pages. (Old edition reviewed
in THE BUILDER,
August 1920, page 226. New edition reviewed in the December 1922
issue.) $3.65 [Lib
* * *
GOSPEL OF FREEMASONRY," by "Uncle Silas." A very rapidly selling
book written in a new vein. Third edition. Cloth binding, 60 pages
* * *
STORY OF THE CRAFT," Lionel Vibert. One of the best of brief histories
Cloth binding; 86 pages. (Reviewed in THE BUILDER, April 1922, page
120) $1.35 [Lib*]
* * *
BEFORE THE EXISTENCE OF GRAND LODGES," Lionel Vibert. Embodies findings
Quatuor Coronati Lodge of Research on Masonic history prior to 1717. A
Cloth binding, 164 pages. (Reviewed in THE BUILDER, October 1917, page
* * *
HISTORY OF FREEMASONRY," Robert Freke Gould. Revised by Fred J. W.
indispensable. Cloth binding, 349 pages. (See THE BUILDER, January
1922, page 23,
June 1922 page183.) $5.00 [Lib 1904; 1951 (revised)]
* * *
PHILOSOPHY OF MASONRY," Roscoe Pound, LL.D. Five interesting chapters
Krause, Oliver, Pike, and "A Twentieth Century Masonic Philosophy."
92 pages and index $1.25 [Lib 1915]
* * *
ON MASONIC JURISPRUDENCE," Roscoe Pound, LL.D. A series of lectures on
often perplexing and confusing to Masons Cloth, 112 pages $1.50 [Lib*]
* * *
ARCANE SCHOOLS," John Yarker. A famous book. Especially interesting to
of the occult. Cloth binding, 535 pages $5.00 [Lib 1909]
* * *
KABBALAH. Its Doctrines, Development and Literature," Christian D.
For many years the standard. A new reprint. Cloth binding, 232 pages
* * *
ESSAYS ON FREEMASONRY," Robert Freke Gould. Important treatises by a
Masonic historian. Large size, beautifully printed. Cloth binding, 300
in THE BUILDER, March 1918, page 93. $7.00 [Lib 1913]
* * *
BY DUDLEY WRIGHT
BURNS AND FREEMASONRY." Contains chapter by Joseph Fort Newton. Cloth
113 pages. (Reviewed in THE BUILDER. August 1921, page 235.) $1.75 [Lib
* * *
LEGENDS AND TRADITIONS." Cloth binding, 152 pages. (Reviewed in THE
February 1922, page 57. Review by A. E. Waite reprinted in THE BUILDER,
page 221.) $1.50 [Lib*]
* * *
ELEUSINIAN MYSTERIES AND RITES." [Lib 1917] One of the best accounts of
of the most influential of the Ancient Mysteries. Cloth binding, 108
* * *
AND FREEMASONRY." Especially valuable for students of the Order of the
Star. Cloth binding, 184 pages $1.90 [Lib*]
* * *
Masonic Research Society is a non-commercial organization that pays
nor dividends. Its Book Department exists for no other purpose than the
of its members. All profits on book sales are returned to the working
the Society, to be used to increase its service to the Craft.
* * *
Worth While Masonic Books
to-selling new books ‒ both of other publishers and its own ‒ the
Research Society maintains a department for the purchase and sale of
on Freemasonry and kindred subjects. Persons having Masonic books to
sell are asked
to inform us of the title, author, place and date of publication; those
to purchase desirable books are invited to submit lists of wants. The
endeavor to locate scarce and out of print books.
Glimpse of English Masonry in the Eighteenth Century
AND THE OLD DUNDEE LODGE NO. 18 [Lib*]
HEIRON, P. M.
and instructive book is crammed full of facts about Masonic life in the
1720 and 1820. Dealing more especially with London and environs,
contribution to the story of the Craft sheds much valuable light upon
existing at the time the first Grand Lodge was formed. Various old
‒ quaint, humorous and even startling ‒ so grip the attention of the
he is reluctant to put the book down. A lengthy review of this
appeared in the September, 1921, issue of THE BUILDER, page 243. A
in blue cloth, gold lettering, 304 pages, with colored frontispiece of
Stairs, Old Wapping," and many halftone illustrations $5.00 postpaid.
by the Masonic Press
author now presents us with a book to which almost unqualified praise
can be offered... The old customs, Masonic, convivial, and hospitable,
illustrated... To criticise this book would only be to praise."
* * *
‒ Ars Quatuor
book is designed for the benefit of those brethren who have little
leisure and few
opportunities to study for themselves the early life of our Masonic
London. Brother Heiron's book has not a dull page within its handsome
* * *
‒ The Freemason,
Facsimile of an Exceedingly Rare Masonic Publication
THE OLD CONSTITUTIONS
OF FREEMASONRY, 1722. [Lib 1871]
book is an exact photographic reproduction, page by page, of the
edition of the Masonic Constitutions, of which the only known copy is
in the Library
of the Grand Lodge of Iowa. The title of the original publication
reflects the medieval
tone of the contents: "The Old Constitutions Belonging to the Ancient
Society of Free and Accepted Masons. Taken from a Manuscript wrote
about Five Hundred
Years since. LONDON: Printed and sold by J. Roberts, in Warwick Lane,
A review of this National Masonic Research Society reprint appears in
of THE BUILDER, page 85.
binding, with Foreword by Joseph Fort Newton, numbered and limited
for Masonic Books to
MASONIC RESEARCH SOCIETY
CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA.
Masonic Research Society is a non-commercial organization. Profits from
are used to promote the work of the Society.
A Concise History of Freemasonry
Gou04 / auth. Gould Robert F. - New York : Macoy Publisher and Masonic
Supply Co., 1904. - Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 594. - 24.5 MB.
A Concise History of
Gou51 / auth. Gould Robert F / ed. Crowe Frederick J. W.. - London :
Gale & Polden Limited, 1951. - Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 401. - 10.3 MB.
A History of Architecture Vol 1
Stu16HA1 / auth. Sturgis Russell. - New York : Doubleday, Page
& Company, 1916. - Vol. 1 : 4 : p. 447. - 25.4 MB.
A History of Architecture Vol 2
- Romanesque and Oriental
Stu09HA2 / auth. Sturgis Russell. - New York : The Baker &
Taylor Company, 1909. - Vol. 2 : 4 : p. 484. - 51.2 MB.
A History of Architecture Vol 3
Stu15HA3 / auth. Sturgis Russell. - New Tirj : Doubleday, Page
& Company, 1915. - Vol. 3 : 4 : p. 433. - 27.1 MB.
A History of Architecture Vol 4
Stu15HA4 / auth. Sturgis Russell. - New York : Doubleday, Page
& Company, 1915. - Vol. 4 : 4 : p. 375. - 23.5 MB.
Analysis of Beauty
Hog53 / auth. Hogarth William. - London : J Reeves, 1753. - Vol. 1 : 1
: p. 184. - 9.9 MB.
Anecdotes of Samuel Johnson
Pio87 / auth. Piozzi Hester L. - London : Cassell & Company
Ltd, 1887. - Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 192. - 6.1 MB.
Anectotes of William Hogarth
Nic85 / auth. Nichols John. - London : John Nichols, 1785. - Vol. 1 : 1
: p. 555. - 24.6 MB.
AQC Transactions Vol 002 - 1889
Ars89 / auth. Ars Quatuor Coronati / ed. Speth G. W.. - London : AQC,
1889. - Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 221. - 18.0 MB.
AQC Transactions Vol 008 - 1895
Ars951 / auth. Ars Quatuor Coronati / ed. Speth G. W.. - London : AQC,
1895. - Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 358. - 94.0 MB.
Yar09 / auth. Yarker John. - [s.l.] : Unknown, 1909. - Vol. 1 : 1 : p.
382. - 1.8 MB.
Let39 / auth. Lethaby W. R.. - London : Thornton Butterworth Ltd.,
1939. - 2nd revised Edition : Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 255. - 7.9 MB.
Art and Environment
Phi11 / auth. Phillipps Lisle M. - New York : Henry Holt and Company,
1911. - Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 360. - 13.6 MB.
Collected Essays & Papers Related to
Gou131 / auth. Gould Robert F. - Belfast : William Tait, 1913. - Vol. 1
: 1 : p. 313. - 14.3 MB.
Direction of Human Evolution
Con21 / auth. Conklin Edwin G. - New York : Charles Scribner's Sons,
1921. - Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 257. - 11.3 MB.
Bur57 / auth. Burney Fanny. - New York : Derby & Jackson, 1857.
- Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 456. - 17.1 MB.
Freemasonry Before the
Existence of Grand Lodges
Vib10 / auth. Vibert Lionel. - London : Spencer & Co., 2010. -
Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 163. - 0.5 MB.
Freemasonry In America Prior To
Joh16 / auth. Johnson Melvin M. - Cambridge : Caustic-Claflin Co.,
1916. - Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 242. - 4.7 MB.
Moo06 / auth. Moore Charles H. - New York : The Macmillan Company,
1906. - Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 488. - 19.5 MB.
History of Freemasonry
Fin66 / auth. Findel Joseph G. - London : Asher & Co., 1866. -
Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 742. - Translated from the German - 17.8 MB.
History of Freemasonry
(Yorston) Vol 1
Gou84Yorston1 / auth. Gould Robert F. - New York : John C. Yorston
& Co., 1884. - Vol. 1 : 4 : p. 412. - 32.8 MB.
History of Freemasonry
(Yorston) Vol 2
Gou84Yorston2 / auth. Gould Robert F. - New York : John C. Yorston
& Co., 1884. - Vol. 2 : 4 : p. 404. - 31.5 MB.
History of Freemasonry
(Yorston) Vol 3
Gou84Yorston3 / auth. Gould Robert F. - New York : John C. Yorston
& Co., 1884. - Vol. 3 : 4 : p. 492. - 38.7 MB.
History of Freemasonry
(Yorston) Vol 4
Gou84Yorston4 / auth. Gould Robert F. - New York : John C. Yorston
& Co, 1884. - Vol. 4 : 4 : p. 748. - 59.0 MB.
History of Freemasonry in
Canada Vol 1
Rob00FC1 / auth. Robertson J Ross. - Toronto : George N. Morgan
& Co Ltd, 1900. - Vol. 1 : 2 : p. 1358. - 36.5 MB.
History of Freemasonry in
Canada Vol 2
Rob00FC2 / auth. Robertson J Ross. - Toronto : George N. Morgan
& Co Ltd, 1900. - Vol. 2 : 2 : p. 465. - 19.0 MB.
History of Masonry and
Hug91 / auth. Hughan William J / ed. Hughan William J. and Stillson
Henry L.. - New York : The Fraternity Publishing Co., 1891. - Vol. 1 :
1 : p. 863. - 63.4 MB.
How to Know Architecture
Wal141 / auth. Wallis Frank E. - New York : Harper and Brothers
Publishers, 1914. - Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 336. - Illustrated - 20.3 MB.
Illustrated Handbook of
Architecture Vol 1
Fer74 / auth. Fergusson James. - New York : Dodd, Mead and Company,
1874. - Vol. 1 : 2 : p. 648. - 70.2 MB.
Illustrated Handbook of
Architecture Vol 2
Fer741 / auth. Fergusson James. - New York : Dodd, Mead and Company,
1874. - Vol. 2 : 2 : p. 645. - 87.7 MB.
Tho03 / auth. Thornburgh George. - [s.l.] : Project Gutenberg, 1903. -
Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 87. - 1.5 MB.
Masons as Makers of America
Pet21 / auth. Peters Madison C. - New York : Trowel Publications, 1921.
- Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 65. - 1.8 MB.
Medieval Architecture Vol 1
Por09MA1 / auth. Porter Arthur K. - New York : The Baker and Taylor
Group, 1909. - Vol. 1 : 2 : p. 606. - 19.8 MB.
Medieval Architecture Vol 2
Por09MA2 / auth. Porter Arthur K. - New York : The Baker and Taylor
Group, 1909. - Vol. 2 : 2 : p. 620. - 23.2 MB.
Let04 / auth. Lethaby William R. - London : Duckworth & Co,
1904. - Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 396. - 24.4 MB.
Old Charges of British
Hug72 / auth. Hughan William J. - London : Simpkins, Marshall &
Co., 1872. - Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 113. - 8.2 MB.
Poetical Works Vol 1
But35 / auth. Butler Samuel. - London : William Pickering, 1835. - Vol.
1 : 2 : p. 326. - 10.6 MB.
Poetical Works Vol 2
But351 / auth. Butler Samuel. - London : William Pickering, 1835. -
Vol. 2 : 2 : p. 306. - 9.6 MB.
Robert Burns and Freemasonry
Wri21 / auth. Wright Dudley. - London : Paisley, Alexander Gardner,
1921. - Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 133. - Illustrated - 3.0 MB.
Roman and Medieval Art
Goo10 / auth. Goodyear William H. - New York : The Macmillan Company,
1910. - Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 307. - Illustrated - 22.9 MB.
For14 / auth. Newton Joseph F. - Cedar Rapids : The Torch Press, 1914.
- 5th : Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 317. - Original pagination for reference - 0.6
The Cathedral Builders
Sco99 / auth. Scott Leader. - London : Sampson Low, Marston &
Co., 1899. - Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 520. - 16.1 MB.
The Comacines Their
Predecessors & Their Successors
Rav10 / auth. Ravenscroft W.. - London : Elliot Stock, 1910. - Vol. 1 :
1 : p. 94. - 3.4 MB.
The Early History and
Antiquities of Freemasonry
For81 / auth. Fort George F.. - Philadelphia : Bradley & Co.,
1881. - Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 514. - 21.2 MB.
The Eleusian Mysteries
Wri17 / auth. Wright Dudley. - London : The Theosophical Publishing
House, 1917. - Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 110. - 4.3 MB.
Gin20 / auth. Ginsburg Christian D. - London : Georg Routledge
& Sons Limited, 1920. - Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 159. - 4.2 MB.
The Natural History of
Plo86 / auth. Plot Robert. - Oxford : At the Theater, 1686. - Vol. 1 :
1 : p. 532. - 56.6 MB.
The Old Constitutions of 1722
Unk71 / auth. Unknown / ed. Cox John E.. - London : Bro. Richard
Spencer, 1871. - Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 298. - 7.9 MB.
The Philosophy of Masonry
Pou15 / auth. Pound Roscoe. - [s.l.] : The Builder Magazine, 1915. -
Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 53. - 0.3 MB.
The Symbolism of Freemasonry
Mac21 / auth. Mackey Albert G. - Chicaco Ill. : The Masonic History
Company, 1921. - Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 386. - Revised by Robert I. Clegg.
Let06 / auth. Lethaby W R. - London : Duckworth & Co, 1906. -
Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 394. - 8.6 MB.