– Volume XV – Number 10
Masonic Research Society
City Of Prague and Bohemian
Bro. Joseph S. Roucek,
the activity of the lodge was stopped temporarily, because Sporck, its
Master, was imprisoned. The Jesuits accused him of treason against the
process against him lasted seven years, and we must thank the influence
Duke of Lorraine, who meanwhile had become the husband of Maria
Theresa, later Empress
of Austria, and, himself a Freemason, intervened with his imperial
continued its activity in 1735. In 1738 Count Sporck died, exhausted
and bodily. Count Ferdinand Paradis was elected his successor as Master
of the Lodge.
Under his rule political questions were introduced, which was hardly
in those stormy days. The Austrian-Bavarian War gave the Count an
support, with a part of the brethren, the Bavarian Elector, Karel
some of the members of the lodge were opposed to this, while yet others
neutral. Hence the lodge was divided into three parts. Perhaps as a
result of this
two new lodges were founded in 1741, so that there were three lodges in
that time. It was only after 1743, following many conferences and
these three lodges were united into one Czech Lodge, of the Three
which was headed by Count Keunigl, a partisan of Austria. But not all
of the three lodges agreed to this union. A part of them, especially
those who belonged
formerly to the Bavarian Lodge, nursed their national hatred in their
the old traditions in their minds, and during the year 1743 formed a
new lodge in
the Old City, entitled Of the Three Pillars, which in 1752 was headed
Schindler. According to the historian Svatek, the Lodge of the Three
an offshoot of the Lodge Of the Three Stars with an affiliated lodge in
turn our interest now to the Lodge of the Three Crowned Stars, whose
Master in 1758
was still Count Künigl. The lodge worked according to the Ecossois, or
[really the French] ritual, and devoted itself entirely to
and banned all political debate in its meetings.
at that time was persecuted in Austria, and hence in Bohemia also, and
Francis I gave it some protection, it was not recognized as legal, and
of the lodges in Vienna and Prague had to be held in secret. The
Jesuits, as ever,
were its worst enemies, and they attempted to brand the members of the
as enemies of both the State and the Church. The persecution went so
far that a
meeting of the Viennese Lodge was dispersed by soldiers, and eighteen
into prison. This forced the lodge at Prague to be still more cautious.
all, they concealed their archives, which explains the fact that we
have so little
definite knowledge of the activity of Bohemian Masonry at this period.
however, that the lodge continued to work in secret. A Papal Bull was
against the Craft on May 18,1751 [Lib 1751], while in 1762 Maria Theresa
Freemasonry altogether. This also accounts for the fact that Bohemian
not recognized abroad. To remedy this the Lodge of the Three Crowned
an application to the Lodge of the Three Grenades at Dresden in Saxony,
recognition. The application was signed by such outstanding
representatives of the
Bohemian aristocracy as Counts Clary-Aldringen, Luetzow, Martinic and
Skoelen, Goetz, Pracht, Furztenberg, Schmidburg, and many others. The
gave a patent to the Prague Lodge as a "proper and perfect lodge," but
a draft was demanded for 300 dukats. The new lodge worked only a short
in 1764 a secret society called the "Roses and Crosses, " with
at Prague, was suppressed and its outstanding members sentenced to six
in Spilberk, Brno, Moravia. It appears that some freemasons were also
this Society, and thus discord arose between the two lodges at Prague
fomented by the sinister role played by a certain Masonic adventurer
himself Johnson. He was subsequently expelled from the lodge. The lodge
interrupted relations with Dresden, and attached itself by affiliation
to a lodge
founded in Northern Germany by Count von Hund, famous as the head of
the then new
Order of the Strict Observance, which claimed to be founded on the
of the Middle Ages. Every member or Knight of the Order was bound to
subordination, hence the title "Strict Observance". Under its
was Silesia and a part of Poland. At the request of the Lodge of the
Stars Prague was promoted to the rank of a prefecture under the name of
and Baron Skoelen became the Master and named the other Bohemian
upon the festival of St. John, Prague was disturbed by wild rumors that
were planning an uprising of the people, with the object of proclaiming
an independent kingdom. The rumor was quite unfounded, but the Lodge of
Pillars was surrounded by soldiers and proved, they were released. The
of Freemasonry in Austria, however, crippled the activity of the lodge
for two years.
Count Martinie, the Master, gave up his office, which was in 1769 by
Difficult times followed everywhere for Freemasonry. The lodges in
Prague and in
other Bohemian cities only barely managed to subsist. At that time most
of the European
governments were negotiating about the abolition of the Jesuit order,
to fight for their own existence the Jesuits had no time to persecute
and the brethren could breathe more freely. After the abolition of the
in 1773 we find there were four lodges in Prague. A famous and learned
Ignae Born, Councillor of the Mint Office, resuscitated the Lodge of
the Three Pillars,
which was called from that time on the Lodge of the Three Crowned
met in the Kutnohorsky Dum (the House of Kutna Hora), situated in the
chief square of the City of Prague, the Vaclavske Namesti [Wenceslas
this Count Born founded the Lodges of the Nine Stars and Honesty. The
these lodges and some others founded, in 1773, the Orphanage of St.
John the Baptist.
The first director of this institution was a Professor of the
University of Prague,
Karel Seibt, a member of the mother lodge of the Three Crowned Stars.
In this orphanage
a very interesting character was employed, the quondam Jesuit, Ignac
was the author of a prayer book for the Freemasons published in Prague
and translated into Czech in 1914, and still more recently edited by
Coronati Coetus Pragenses (a society founded by Grand Secretary, Dr.
of the Grand Lodge Lessing zu den Drei Ringen).
In 1780 Empress
Maria Theresa gave to the orphanage the Bredovsky Palace in Bredovska
the Lodge of the Three Crowned Stars continued to meet until its
of 1780 was a landmark in the history of the Prague Lodges. Maria
Theresa died and
Joseph II ascended the throne. All Masons in the Austrian dominions had
in him, and for a while it seemed that he would fulfill these desires
In 1781 the freedom of the press was proclaimed, and later the Emperor
that though he was not initiated into the secrets of Freemasonry, he
its humanitarian activity, and was willing to permit the formation of
consequence of this, lodges sprang up everywhere and soon, according to
Svatek, there was not a city in Austria where there was not a lodge.
there was formed the lodges Union and Truth and Unity. But this area of
was short. The Emperor became reactionary and disappointed the hopes of
regime. Under the influence of his advisers a centralizing policy was
the Emperor began to restrict Masonic activities. By a decree of
December 16, 1785,
he limited the number of lodges in individual cities and districts, and
the publication of the names of jerking programs of the lodges. For
to this edict very severe penalties were imposed.
which deprived Freemasonry in Austria of all rights, and put it under
caused bitter disappointment and was the occasion of internal dispute.
Master-provincial Count Stampach ‒ gave up his office, and the Lodges
were disturbed by excited scenes, when different viewpoints clashed,
the question whether the order should be obeyed or not. However, after
meeting in the palace of Count Canal it was decided to submit to the
first of January, 1786, in consequence of the royal decree, only three
Truth and Unity of the Three Crowned Pillars, the Lodge of the Nine
the Mother Lodge of the Three Crowned Stars. The newly elected Grand
Lazansky, announced the change to the Highest Burgrave of Prague and
gave him the
list of the members. On March 12, 1786, the Imperial Decree gave legal
to the "reformed" Freemasonry.
In the years
of 1787 till 1791 Brother Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart visited Prague
several times and
on those occasions visited the Masonic Lodges. That beautiful work of
Magic Flute," originated partly in Prague, and, as it is known, Mozart
the ideal elements of Freemasonry into the fairy story of his opera.
of musical genius, however, proved also to be the swan song of
Freemasonry in Austria,
for the last year of Mozart's life was also the last year of any
freedom for Masonry.
With the death of Joseph II on February 20, 1790, began the period of
of Austrian Freemasonry, and with it of Bohemian Freemasonry also.
II rescinded all the decrees of Joseph II in regard to the Fraternity
as soon as
he ascended the throne, and the members of the lodges, who were known
to the authorities
through the lists that had been furnished by the lodges, were all put
His son and
successor, Francis I, took even stronger measures, in which he was
abetted by the
Catholic clergy. As is well known, the clergy promulgated the reports
that the French
Revolution was the work of Freemasonry. In 1793 the number of the
members was so
reduced that it was almost impossible to continue the work of the
lodges. In the
first days of the year of 1794 the remaining members of the Prague
to voluntarily cease their labors and to await the return of more
The Viennese Lodges followed suit, and thus the Craft itself
forestalled the effect
of a decree published in that year which absolutely prohibited Masonry
in the Austrian
let the three Prague Lodges know of his "highest satisfaction" with
decision, and "graciously" permitted them to continue the
of their humanitarian institutions, not as Masons, but as private
In 1795 came
a renewed prohibition of all Freemasonry in Austria, which prohibition,
with a short
intermission in 1848, lasted until the Revolution of 1918.
the most drastic prohibition cannot suppress the Masonic idea and
thought. The faith
and ideals remained hidden in hearts of a few brothers who
notwithstanding all the
persecution kept them alive secretly as a most precious legacy and
bequest. A little
spark of living fire persisted under the seemingly cold dead ashes,
until the breath
of a strong and mighty wind of renewed freedom blew the ashes away and
spark into a new blaze, which now sheds its light in the liberated
to the past, a new lodge was created in Prague in 1811. During the
Vienna by Napoleon I in 1809, a lodge was founded in that city under
of the Grand Orient of France, which survived until the Congress of
Vienna in 1813.
In 1811 Count Auersperg dared to found a lodge in Prague. Its existence
secret until 1814, when it was discovered and suppressed. At that time
VII published a new Bull against Freemasonry, and, concurrently with
the Order of the Jesuits, while the well-known Chancellor Metternich of
introduced his famous police system, which suppressed even the least
and most innocent
expression of free thought. Bernard Bolzano, professor of the
of the Prague University, after whom one of the Czech Lodges is named,
was a victim
of the Metternich's reactionary system. It was only due to the
intervention of Joseph
Dobrovsky, also, a Freemason, that Bolzano was rehabilitated in 1826,
his liberty under police surveillance. Various attempts of foremost
and scholars to found associations and societies were ruthlessly
of them, Amerling, succeeded later in getting official permission to
found an educational
Institute, Budec. His adherents played an important role at the Slav
during the Prague Revolution in 1848.
1849, Prof. Ludvik Lewis of Vienna revived, in Hotel Modra Hvezdu.
the Lodge Truth and Unity of the Three Crowned Pillars. But Prince
brought it to a speedy end during the so-called "May Uprising." There
followed a period of unreasoning persecution. In 1865 Lewis again
attempted to obtain
permission to found a lodge, and in 1868 a member of the Imperial
Council, Dr. Foregger,
supported the move. But it was all in vain.
That in the
history of European Freemasonry Prague has had an important part, is
this brief account. The
year 1918 brought a new area. As Schiller said:
Alte stürzt, es ändert sich die Zeit und neues Leben blüht aus den
is old dies, the time changes
and new Life blooms from the ruins!)
In the days
of October in 1918, old masks fell off, the society Charitas, which had
in 1909, was transformed into the Lodge Hiranz
Den Drei Sternen, which later became the mother lodge of
was freed from its shackles, and breathed freely in the new state. It
had to fear its most dangerous and strongest antagonist the despotic
power of the
State and the Church.
since transpired has been described in a preceding article. It would
not be amiss,
however, to turn to the future and see what it seems to promise.
war the whole world was in a psychological state which can be described
nervous and antagonistic. It is the duty of us all to work sincerely
for the ultimate
brotherhood of humanity, after so many years of misery and oppression.
not for all of us Masons, without distinction, in every country, a glad
of a broad and limitless field of humanitarian endeavor? In the case of
in Czechoslovakia they must expend more energy, because there are so
few of them
It is the
time to end this discussion. At the beginning we used a simile that we
are on a
journey, and, resting, we are looking back on the road that we have
may say that we have succeeded. If throughout our road has not been and
be the same, yet the aim remains the same, and we know that at the end
of the road
we shall meet and tell each other our experiences. But now ‒ forward,
only forward; we must remember the tradition, we must remember all that
done by our brothers before us. A great task is awaiting us; we must
with courage and good will. Let us hope that at some time our universal
will conclude with the statement that the main merit for the bringing
all nations inhabiting this earth, for its cultural and economic
to Freemasonry which sowed the seed of universal love in the hearts of
and during that time realized the idea of reconciliation, harmony,
and humanity in the sense of Jan Amos Komensky:
We are all
citizens of one world, we are all of one blood. To hate a man because
he has been
born in another country, because he speaks a different language or
because he takes
a different view on this subject or that, is indeed a great folly.
Desist, I implore
you, for we all are equally human. Let us unite all our thoughts, so
that all that
separates us from God, or from one another, may disappear. Let us have
but one aim
in view namely, the welfare of humanity, and let us put aside all
considerations of language, nationality or religion.
who appears in the group with President Masaryk in the illustration
on a previous page, is one of the leading statesmen of the
He is an exceedingly able man, and has had a most remarkable career. He
as a farmer, from which he has risen to his present eminent position in
of the state. His private estate lies near Klobuky, a little village
not far from
the author's own birthplace, Slany, and they have been close friends
for many years.
Bro. Alexander B. Andrews,
man looks on a table of statistics with the same horror that he does an
blank or a complicated audit, which he is asked to explain to someone
statistics are necessary for any business to know whether it is
progressing or falling
back, and in what proportion in either way.
the several Grand Lodges compile statistics of membership, which in
years past have
been more or less noted by Masonic reviewers. In some instances several
reviewers have attempted to annually summarize the aggregate number of
in the entire world and some in the United States. It is regretted that
reviewers have gone into detail of statistics, which have been kept up
over a period
of years. The recently inaugurated plan of Reviewer J. Edward Allen,
Wanton, North Carolina, who, since 1922, has compiled the annual review
Grand Lodge, is well worth notice. In the review of 1928 he not only
gives the table
showing the statistics of Freemasonry in the United States. but also
figures of numerous bodies based upon Freemasonry as a prerequisite. In
volume are statistics of the Grand Lodge of North Carolina, and General
R.A.M. (50 years); General Grand Council, R. & S. M.; Grand
Supreme Council, Northern Masonic Jurisdiction; Supreme Council,
Jurisdiction and the Imperial Council of the Shrine covering 30 years,
chronicle the happenings of events, yet the working out of statistics
on a percentage
basis and diagraming on graph charts present these facts much more
of the work of Brother Allen we find the following compiled table of
for forty-nine Grand Lodges in the United States for the years 1924 to
Table I – 49
Grand Lodges Of United States A.F. & A. M.
part of this table is the increase of 425,000 Masons in five years'
time, yet the
student in Masonry looks deeper and notes that the raisings in 1928
less than in 1924, the suspensions for non-payment of dues were double
in 1928 what
they were in 1924 and net gain in 1928 was 47,919 as against 119,517 in
Is it possible
on these statistics to forecast what will be the number of raisings,
net gain, etc. on December 31, 1929 (five months distant)?
such forecast be calculated?
actual statistics are interesting, yet the true perspective can better
by translating these same statistics into percentages which, when
up as follows:
Table II –
Grand Lodge of United States, A.F. & A. M., 1924-1928
‒ ‒ ‒
‒ ‒ ‒
‒ ‒ ‒
‒ ‒ ‒
‒ ‒ ‒
‒ ‒ ‒
‒ ‒ ‒
‒ ‒ ‒
are interesting as showing the steady decline of the railings and net
there has been a steady increase in the number of suspensions. This is
more vividly brought to one's attention by a diagram of these
is set out on the diagram which appears on page 295.
of this diagram shows very clearly the trend of the times. The
approximately 80 per cent of the demits and are a negligible quantity.
rate is practically constant for the five years, 1190, which is
47. With the declining rate of initiates and the increasing rate of
there has been a fall in the net gain. However, the net gain line shows
the 1928 compiled statistics the net gain is apparently not declining
as fast as
it has done heretofore.
compiled statistics, by averaging the percentages upwards or downwards
of (A) one
year, (B) two years and (C) three years, it is possible to make a
forecast of what
will be the compiled statistics of the forty-nine Grand Lodges of the
as of December 31, 1929, which statistics are hereinbelow set out and
are as follows:
Table III –
Forty-Nine Grand Lodges
for December 21, 1929
Forecast, Dec. 31, 1929
Degrees of Masonry;
Their Origin and History
Bros. A.L. Kress And
R. J. Meekren
From September. All Rights Reserved.)
WE will now
return to more solid ground the Book of Constitutions. Here we find
that the Duke
of Wharton when Grand Master used a new ceremonial devised for the
of new lodges and the installation of their officers. The latter forms
of our present Installation Ceremonial. Now it is almost (though not
said by Anderson that there were secrets connected with this formulary,
of it could not be printed. Whether any such part was peculiar to
only does not appear (1). Certainly later on the most important
sections of the
Installation Ceremonies became, in all essentials, a degree, as we have
noted. Out of it, or rather an archaic variant of it, came the Past
of the American Capitular Rite. And a certain significant part of this
which bears all the marks of antiquity, points to the ceremony having
conceived as a third and culminating degree, just as a number of the
show similar marks of being composed as a fourth, that is, as following
or Master Mason's, degree. We cannot be more explicit.
we can begin to put things together. Back in the fog is the possibility
of new ritual forms on the Continent, with echoes in Britain. Then we
have the very
definite Installation, that certainly later on became a degree (in our
the term) at the very time that the balance of the evidence points to
the old two-grade
system still holding the ground in the Grand Lodge circle. The possible
is, that in England the earliest "three degree" system was Apprentice,
Master or Fellow, and Master of the Lodge. And as a matter of fact the
last of these
has continuously remained at the apex of the ritual Sequence worked in
in spite of the legal fiction that it is not a degree.
and Past Master.
is not particularly welcome, for it seems to complicate further an
already too complicated
affair. However, there it is and nothing is gained by ignoring it. Let
us then proceed
with the facts. This Installation business was apparently devised, or
at least first
used, in 1722. Between 1723 and 1730 another degree was slipped in. The
degree contains certain features that seem once to have been part of
tradition of Masonry; again we cannot be explicit and must leave it to
to search and interpret for themselves. So also this later, inserted,
nothing essentially new, for it was probably at first no more than a
two of the Apprentice part. We may say then that the situation in 1728,
was roughly this. In some lodges, yet untouched by the novelties, there
ceremonies employed, in others only one, combining the two, either in
sequence or "telescoped" together. While those lodges which were in the
forefront of the new movement had three or four. Yet the Fellow of
either kind of
the older lodges had received everything that was communicated to the
Master of the last group, except perhaps some things that were
absolutely new inventions
devised to round out a ritual. This would account for the fact that the
made its way underground, as it were, and with no apparent disturbance;
that can account for so remarkable a phenomenon is indeed welcome, and
by that fact
alone commends itself as credible. To make the transition still easier,
and second degrees of the new System were for many years (so it
given together. Thus it was in effect little more than a change of
the Apprentice of one lodge was equal to the Fellow Craft of another.
or Master of the first was the same as the Master Mason of the Second.
were never any Entered Apprentices of the latter lodges (seeing they
were all "passed"
as Fellow Crafts on the same occasion as being "made" Apprentices)
could be no confusion in visiting and communicating.
suggested a "how" for the process we now have to seek a "why."
Which is a harder (and more elusive) nut to crack. First we must assume
was a keen interest in the ritual, on the part of some Masons at least;
first step of these interested brethren would be (what it always has
the collecting and comparing variations. And as everything was fluid,
were no authoritative standards, there would be probably a good deal of
improving one tradition by the addition of bits from others. The old
as we have noted, contain evidences of such a process antedating our
period by an
unknown number of years. The next step would be rationalization. To
this would be a necessary consequence of the compilation work, the
pieces of the
mosaic would have to be made to fit. But the open field for such
be the Legend. According to the probabilities indicated by the scanty
evidence, this reached our ritualists in a form very like a folktale;
was dead ‒ the master was alive; the word was lost ‒ the word was
found. As a ritual
myth this fairy-story inconsequence was of no moment ‒ it had the logic
of its species;
that is, it closely conformed to the ceremony of which it was the
and accompaniment. But our brethren of the "Age of Reason" knew nothing
of ritual myths; they took the story literally at its face value. It
was for them
a history that had become corrupted by transmission through dark ages
and superstition; and they supposed, quite confidently, that to apply
of reason to it, and to prune out the inconsistencies, would restore it
to its original
form. But even so they were cautious and conservative, and though a
good deal was
added bit by bit as time went on, the actual changes made in the
were always the least possible. A dead man could not come to life, but
might be exhumed and reburied; being dead he could not transmit the
word and so
it was lost, and a substitute had to be provided, and so on.
elaboration apparently led to a situation where he dramatis personae of
came to be represented by the officers of the lodge; and in the newer
the story two of these also had the word but were debarred by a
communicating it. It might then come about, in that spirit of serious
which has had so much to do with the development of Masonic ritual,
that the word
communicated to the Master at his installation was taken to be the real
had been lost. It would have a semblance of fitness it was a word that
not communicate either to the candidate or to the Fellows (i.e.,
Masters) of the
lodge. Perhaps the better way to express it would be to say that it was
represent the word supposed to be lost. Outside of the make-believe
knew then, as Masons take for granted now, that the substitute word is
in fact and
in truth the real master's word, whatever symbolism may be attached to
Past Master and the
This of course
is pure hypothesis, a speculation about what might have happened. And
if it did
happen, it could ever have occupied the whole field or been more than a
passing phase. But it affords a framework on which several fragments of
be hung in what seems to be an ordered relation with the whole, and
are hard to place. For instance, there is the remarkably close and
of the Installed or Past Master with the Royal Arch. And incidentally,
that the original Royal Arch, by a subdivision like that hypothetically
for the original first degree, gave birth later on to the different
masterships, and the Orders of Red Cross and Knight Templar. But there
is a still
closer and more significant connection between the Past Master and the
It is very possible that the tri-syllabic phrase which is the
of the latter grade is derived directly from that word which was taken
out of the
"points" of the original Fellow and made the significant word of the
Master. We can hardly say much about it here, at if those who have
words will look in the right places, a series of intermediate forms may
at lead from one to the other by easy and natural stages.
evolution was working upwards it was operative also in the other
even sooner. It would be felt almost at once that this system was
and unsatisfying. The climax, instead of coming at the third stage (as
by all symbolical
analogy it should), came second, while the third grade in comparison
was an empty
husk. This would give a strong impulsion to follow any line by which
could be adjusted and bring the climax into its fitting place. The
a division of the first grade would accomplish this with the least
But how would the idea of division arise?
of the Idea of Division.
several things that might have suggested it. There was (on the basis of
conclusions) a precedent in the separation of the amalgamated two
degrees in those
places where such amalgamation or telescoping had existed. The
our hypothetical zealous ritualists would very soon discover this
seek to remedy it. The Haughfoot and Dunblane resolutions forbidding
passing at the same sederunt, may be taken as the results of such
attempts at reform.
But the discovery
that a single ceremony had been really the decadent amalgamation of two
rites, would create a receptive state of mind for any suggestion that
been further telescoping. Here a possible, and even probable,
the relationship of Masters and Fellows, as well as of "Master Masons"
and "Fellow Crafts" would come in. To the brethren of this period,
or entirely divorced from all operative connection, and in any case
living at a
time when, in all trades and crafts, the masters or employers and their
had come to be quite distinct classes, the original equivalence of
and "Masters" would be obscured. It would appear, from their reading of
the Old Charges, that there were properly three grades. They had
separated one into
two, but to complete the reform required a further division.
A line of
demarcation would be at once apparent. There were two words held sacred
in the Apprentice
grade, as there had been two in the Fellow's also. One of the latter
had been taken
into the new Installed Master (or alternatively, was eventually to be
‒ the sequence does not affect the argument vitally) and so these two
words would each form the nucleus of the ritual of a degree. And, as we
the first form of the division was actually more nominal than real. In
1745 in France
we find the candidate still being made a Fellow at once, under the
Apprentice-Fellow (Apprentis-Compagnon); and that literally described
The ceremony and the secrets were the same as for the old Apprentice.
was all in the added name. The candidate was told that the first word
Apprentices, the second to Fellow Crafts, and that he was an
But naturally the first part of the appellation was dropped in time,
and more differentiation
grew up in the re-duplicated ritual until by a series of additions,
by analogy, the Fellow Craft Part became a full degree. Though even
after this had
come about the two were still customarily given at the same time, with
interval between them than was required for a withdrawal from the lodge
by the candidate
to allow its being opened in the higher grade. But eventually, the same
that had caused earlier separation between Apprentice and Master would
lead to a
real interval being demanded by the two separated, and now autonomous
parts of the
willingly that this reconstruction is speculative in the highest
degree, but in
formulating it we have endeavored to arrange all the scattered and
in such a way as to link them all together. We are also perfectly ready
that other causes and motives may have been at work, and influenced the
Indeed we are inclined to put it more strongly, and say that for such a
result there must have been other causes involved. No theory that
and conscious invention can, in our opinion, ever be accepted as
adequate. The history
of such an institution as the Masonic Fraternity is a process,
analogous to that
of a living organism, and it is impossible in the nature of things that
clear-cut theory should cover the whole ground.
has now come to make some brief recapitulation of the results of our
This falls into two parts. The first is the attempt to discover the
of the Craft in regard to grades or degrees at the critical point of
that is, the year 1717, or better, the period between 1717 and 1730;
is the more risky enterprise of reconstructing the process by which the
structure developed into the system now existing.
to the first of these correlated efforts the really fundamental
evidence upon which
we have to adjudicate is that of the remaining minutes and records of
the old lodges
whose existence antedated the critical period of change. We venture to
we have conclusively demonstrated from these records that two degrees,
in the sense
in which we have defined the term, were in existence everywhere that
of this kind is found; providing, that is, that it first be admitted
was something of an esoteric nature initiatory ceremonies and secret
means of recognition.
is reinforced both by the dubious evidence of the Old Catechisms on the
and that of the respectable but obscure MS. Constitutions on the other.
so interpreted, carry the two degree system back several centuries, and
to the inference that this system was not only ancient, but general.
Medieval Evolution Possible
It does not
of course follow that there were always two degrees in the distant
past. While it
is purely a matter of speculation in the utter lack of evidence, it is
that the two-degree system was the result of an early medieval
there might have been one initiation ceremony, coming at the end of the
pupillage, when the Apprentice became a free craftsman and his own
master, in the
limited sense that any man was his own master in those days. Medieval
strongly to restrictions, quantity production was undreamed of, and not
but would have been vigorously suppressed had it been attempted. The
made, both consciously and unconsciously, to prevent over production of
goods or workmen. This economic and social tendency tended toward the
of the time of training by the addition of a period during which the
was neither properly an apprentice nor yet fully free of his Craft. The
of seven years prescribed by the Schaw Statutes before the Entered
become a Fellow of Craft might be taken to indicate something of this
it might be plausible to assume that in thus increasing the transition
the status of pupil and that of master, the initiation that marked it
was cut in two, and part given at the beginning and part at the end of
But this is really outside the limits of our subject even were it
than mere speculation. The point that we regard as established is that
inherited two degrees from the medieval institution.
inferences from the same evidence point to modifications due to
and economic conditions. The restrictions of the older order were
Competent workmen came into existence who did not belong to the old
In compensation, many entered it who were not craftsmen at all, except
in an honorary
sense, in germ a symbolic sense too, it may be, and this led very
naturally to a
breakdown of the distinctions between the two grades, first by the
the interval between them and possibly in places, by a further stage of
an amalgamation of the two ceremonies into one. But, as there was no
mechanism there was no uniformity, and all stages existed
simultaneously in different
places. This secondary conclusion we regard as practically established,
quite so definitely or certainly as the primary one that the two-degree
the traditional inheritance of the Craft.
the stages of the evolution from a two to a three-degree arrangement we
quite solid ground. By applying the general results of modern
to the content of the degrees ‒ which of course has been no more than
‒ for obvious reasons ‒ we are led to the conclusion that the present
is as archaic and primitive in its constituent elements as the first,
while a comparison
of rituals reveals that the second is merely an echo or duplication of
or more correctly, was no more than this in its inception, while the
it now possesses bear the obvious marks of the century in which they
From this, it seems to a very high degree probable that the original
became three by the division of the first one into two parts.
practical difficulties presented by this deduction from the contents of
are apparent only, as we have shown. The fact that the new first and
were always given at the same time until long after the third degree
become general obviated the confusion that would otherwise have been
the psychological difficulties are another matter. To answer the
is always harder than to show "how."
answer is no more than a guess controlled by the facts. Up to this
point we believe
the conclusions reached are the most probable interpretations of the
From here on we enter the realm of hypothesis, and for this reason have
more than barely sketch our tentative explanation.
One new point
was developed, which is that we do not have, as has been generally
Gould wrote, any higher limiting date for the beginning of the
evolution, for Anderson's
Book of Constitutions only shows that the Grand Lodge began with two
does not prove that no incipient third degree could have existed
outside that organization.
While very little can be built on a mere possibility, it does negate
founded on a presumed impossibility, which may be very important
Nature of Social Evolution.
In the evolution
of a social organism, as in a physical one, every part has some effect
whole. Some more, and some less, naturally. Outstanding leaders,
whether known to
history or not, have left their mark more deeply than the rank and file
inevitable. Payne and Anderson, Dermott and Preston, Webb, Mackey and
Pike, to mention
a few whose names are known to most Masons, undoubtedly had much to do
the Masonic system. But only as the body was prepared to assimilate
only as they took the lead along the general line of evolution along
which the Craft
as a whole was moving. So that on the whole we can say that even the
leaders and teachers have had less effect, much less effect really,
than they seem
to have had. And in view of all this we believe there is still plenty
of room for
other students to re-examine the facts and bring out fresh
combinations, and further
motives and movements that played their part in the final result, which
so far missed.
that, in the nature of things, it is very probable that there should
have been abortive
beginnings parallel to the one that finally held the field. Just as a
seeds sprouting together aid each other in pushing out of the ground,
one or two will crowd cut the rest, which finally die of inanition, or
out by the gardener, so every development in a social organism is
preceded or accompanied
by similar or parallel movements looking to the same end.
In the first
place it is not only probable, but almost inevitable, that some Masons
of a curious
turn of mind, and especially those of antiquarian tastes, should have
about the origin of the mysterious institution of which they had become
The-laws of the old Lodge of York (3) provided for an hour "to talk
Compilation of variants, and suggested explanations that had met with
would gradually well the ceremonies. The cold hand of logic could seize
the impossibilities in the ritual Myth of the Master. The word, once
said to have
been found, would be explained is a substitute; and this would open up
field of speculation as to what the real word was, and whence it came
and what it
meant. And this again would fit in with speculations as to the origin
of the Fraternity
and its real purpose. The skit attributed to Dean Swift (4) proves that
1724, thirteen years earlier than Ramsay's famous oration, the
hypothesis of an
origin in the Crusades and some connection with the chivalric orders of
monks, was sufficiently widespread to be almost public property, and
are the vague rumors of some entanglement with the hopes and plans of
of the Stuarts. All these things show at least an active interest in
and meaning of the institution, which would form a fertile seed bed for
formulations in ritual guise, once the idea of new grades or degrees
Stukeley's "Order of the Book" may have been such an attempt at
and interpretation in ritual form for all we know; though equally it
may have had
nothing to do with Masonry at all.
But two organized
interpretations did emerge eventually and have persisted and flourished
the Royal Arch and Ecossaism, the so-called Scottish degrees. The
the secrets of the Installed Master and the Royal Arch could only be
a Chapter of Royal Arch Masons in America, or in private in England to
Masons who were also Installed Masters, so all that can be said here is
our judgment it is a very close and intimate one, and that the one
of the other. But the Installation of the Master of a Lodge came into
earlier than any other development is known to have done. This presents
that within the Grand Lodge organization it may have given the idea and
which led to the division of the first degree into two to make a
Though it remains possible that the idea, and the first essays along
came from outside that circle, and leaked into it against the will of
If it be
objected that this is all very hazy and unsatisfactory we can only say
and hypothetical answers are all that the evidence will yield. We
cannot get a clear-cut
answer out of the disjointed and fragmentary facts. Any such answer
‒ convicted of going beyond the evidence.
would point out that these suggestions are not necessarily inconsistent
other hypotheses as have been offered. That of Bro. Vibert, for
instance [Lib 2010], is quite compatible with
it is only offering a double motive for what was done. Even Gould's
theory of misunderstanding
can be fitted in, if it be somewhat enlarged, and not confined to a
of the phraseology of the Book of Constitutions merely. Doubtless there
possible motives and reasons and causes that could be discovered and
shown to be
complementary. We hope others may follow along and pick them out of
connections in the evidence that we have failed to observe.
to the "very end," as signallers put it, we shall be very grateful for
any suggestions, criticisms or corrections. We are hoping to republish
in book form, and would like to make them as useful and reliable as
the hope that others may build on the foundations we using the work of
have laid. The task has been much greater than was anticipated when it
and we confess that it is not without relief that we now bring it to a
- The passage
referred to is at page 72 of the first edition
and for convenience we cite the particular sentences which imply
Something of an
esoteric nature. And the Candidate [Master-elect] signifying
his cordial submission
the Charges of a Master], the Grand Master shall, by certain
and ancient Usages install him, and present him with the constitutions,
Book, and the Instruments of his Office, not all together, but one
and after each of them the Grand Master, or his Deputy, shall rehearse
and pithy Charge that is suitable to the thing
presented. There is no indication here of anything not open to
the members of the
is only the fact that, at some later time, the Installation did develop
into a degree
(in our sense of the word) that leads us to see any Special
Significance in the
"telescoped" ritual could very easily
have grown up. In an operative lodge the non-operative entrant was an
For him the rules were naturally relaxed. The Apprenticeship was
omitted; the forms
might or might not be gone through, but in any case he came at once to
and fellowship. Now gradually the number of honorary members increases,
the operative membership is extinct. During this change a tradition has
of some form of combination of the two ceremonies. After a while, the
and interested brethren begin to consider the symbolism or the ritual,
come to feel that to omit apprenticeship has led to a loss of
perhaps find out that in some lodges (possibly still in part operative)
two distinct ceremonies, and they begin to urge a return to the old
ways, as they
understand them. But the old ways have suffered a "sea change." The
as restored is purely Symbolical, and while the brethren of Haughfoot
the interval of a year, Dunblane was satisfied (as most lodges since)
a second meeting.
- Gould. Hist.
vol. iii [Lib 1884, Vol 3], p. 159, Rule
13. Mackey was
rather scornful of this rule, but in how many lodges in his day (there
need to ask how many now) was any time set aside regularly to "talk
See Mackey, Hist., vol. iv [Lib ], page 1060, note 3.
Crawley in Sadler's Masonic Reprints add Historical
Revelations (1898) [Lib*], page 375 of the reproduction. Also Lepper
History on the Grand Lodge of Ireland [Lib*], page 457.
Army Lodges in
the World War
Bro. Charles F. Irwin,
Lodge No. 1, "Somewhere
speaking, this was not a Lodge and perhaps ought not to be granted a
those which I have described heretofore in this series of histories.
in order to cover as completely as possible the period of the World War
record of the Craft with regard to organized fellowship, I feel that I
to our readers the story.
the periods of the entrance into the War of America, we must fasten
upon the date
of April 6, 1917. From this date all our American interests in the War
begin. By this point we are able to measure the promptness with which
with in our American Masonry responded by the gathering together of
very first contingents of the military forces to be ordered to overseas
the 18th Engineers, 17th Engineers, numbers of Casuals, journeying to
future assignments, newspaper men, and the Masons of the ships crew. I
very interesting stories connected with this occasion.
was in reality an evening's social fellowship on the part of Freemasons
on the Cunard Liner Saxonia during the month of August in 1917. With
the close of
the evening's entertainment the "Lodge" ceased to exist and became most
pleasant memory. But within its short career it demonstrates the
elements of fellowship
which later on sprang into existence throughout the A.E.F.
comes to us from two sources. From an article which appeared in some
the name of which was unfortunately not attached to the page in my
files. I regret
exceedingly my inability to give due and public credit to this paper.
Nor is the
name of the author given. It is a fragment cast up upon the shore out
of the mass
of material being slowly rescued for the Masonic History of the great
The second is contained in a letter written to me by my good friend and
Alsa C. Howard, late of the regular army, and a most indefatigable
and worker. His manuscripts which he alas so generously submitted to me
the years contain a great mass of incidents of especial interest to
for Bro. Howard journeyed around the world with the Army, and turned
that presented itself to make Masonic contacts to full account.
I might say
that in addition to these two accounts, another very close and intimate
me some years ago with one of the Menu cards used on the occasion of
Lodge Incident. He was a Chaplain in the service, and it fell into his
ago. I refer to Dr. W. A. Atkinson, of Rochester, Penna. Unfortunately
are missing, those which contained the menu on the occasion, and gave
of the incident. The story has been recovered but the menu
unfortunately is lost.
Being a British Liner I have no doubt that the refreshments were in
line with the
liberal characteristics of that people.
of the Saxonia Lodge therefore is pieced together from the sources that
are at hand.
is entitled "A Lodge of Inherent Right." I quote:
In the pages
of the American Mason (Philadelphia), the following relation is given
which is of
unusual interest in more than one particular. Especially is the
as showing that a body of Masons, thus thrown together, re-assumed an
delegated to Grand Lodges under ordinary circumstances, and constituted
into an "Occasional Lodge" as was the custom of our Masonic forbears.
The Nineteenth Engineers, Railway, was recruited largely from among the
of the Pennsylvania Railroad, and in company with the Eighteenth
from the Pacific Coast, sailed from New York on August 9, 1917. The big
"Saxonia," then used as a troopship by the English authorities, on
we were sailing out in at Halifax, Nova Scotia, and there joined the
was being formed. Quite a number of passengers, both civilian and
on board other than the two regiments mentioned.
A few days
out from Halifax the present writer had occasion to be discussing
with Brother William H. Ingram, Secretary of Anglo-Saxon Lodge No. 343,
It was suggested that as a large number of those on board were wearing
it would be a very appropriate matter to hold a meeting of all Masons
on board for
the purpose of discussing Masonic matters in general. The idea was
practicable, so steps were immediately taken to carry it into
execution. A number
of the ship's officers were found to be Masons, which facilitated
matters very much.
Suitable space and cooperation were provided.
Clarke, Major, M. C., and myself had sat in Lodge together, as had
and Brother William H Nelson, Captain, Eighteenth Engineers, Railway.
trio acting as an examining committee all the members were tried and
to Masonic standards, and the evening of August 19, 1917, selected as
the date for
the meeting. The aft smoking room had been well prepared for the
occasion and well
in advance of 8 P. M., the hour set for the opening, all were present.
for this meeting was that old Masonic regulation that permit three Past
when assembled, to hold Masonic communication. Brother L. A. Nutter, P.
City Lodge No. 522, Kansas City, Mo.; Brother E. C. Boddy, P. M.,
No. 805, Rochester, N. Y.; and myself, a Grand Lodge official, believed
well within our prerogatives in holding this meeting. Among those
present the following
members of the Nineteenth Engineers were recognized:
Leon L., Colfax No. 378, Lowell,
Thomas S., St. Johns No. 2, Middletown,
C. H., Manassas No. 182, Manassas,
John L., Lansing No. 33 Lansing, Michigan.
T. Cedwyn, Peter Williamson No. 323,
Kline, Ben. W.,
Logan Lodge No. 490, Altoona, PA.
Reginald Wright, Mt. Horeb Lodge
No. 528, Phila., Pa.
R. W., Golden Rule Lodge No. 159,
Ann Arbor, Michigan.
T. S., Logan Lodge No. 490, Altoona,
Wm. J., Naphtali Lodge No. 25, St.
John E., St. Johns Lodge No. 115,
C. F., Superior Lodge No. 179, West
D., Concordia Lodge No. 13, Balto,
B. L., Odell Lodge No. 115, Madison,
Frank H., Mt. Pickering Lodge No.
446, Chester Springs, Pa.
William, Mercer Lodge No. 50, Trenton,
Frank A., Mountain Lodge No. 28, Altoona, Pa.
others whom the writer did not happen to get the names and addresses
of. The number
assembled was just about the most enthusiastic crowd that the writer
ever met with.
officers were elected and installed:
I. A. Nutter, Gate City Lodge No. 322,
Kansas City, Mo.
Alsa C. Howard, Hancock Lodge No. 311,
Fort Leavenworth, Kan.
Wm. H. Nelson, Green Lake Lodge No.
149, Seattle, Wash.
H. Ingram, Anglo-Saxon Lodge No. 343, Paris, France.
"Saxonia" was proposed and unanimously selected for the name of the
in honor of the ship on which we were at the time sailing. After
opening of the
Lodge a number of speeches were made by various brethren present upon
They were well received. A novel feature of the meeting, and commented
upon at that
time, was the fact that all present were wearing life belts fastened
and automatic pistols in their belts.
informant, Bro. Howard, has the following story to tell of this unique
No. 1. A.F. & A.M.
indulging in Masonic reminiscences the present writer always recalls
and much gratification the formation and organization of Saxonia Lodge
No. 1, A.
F. & A. M. This occurred on board the big Cunard liner
'Saxonia' when in the
danger zone, on August 19, 1917. Saxonia Lodge No. 1 was formed as the
a Conversation between Bro. Wm. H. Ingram, of Anglo-Saxon Lodge No.
France, and the present writer, one afternoon while in mid-ocean.
suggestion of a meeting of all the Masons on board for the purpose of
the ties of brotherly love and for discussing matters of Masonic
interest was warmly
received, and steps were immediately taken to bring the thought to
Howard Clarke of Corregidor No. 3, Manila, P. I., Wm. H. Nelson, of
Green Lake Lodge
No. 149, Seattle, Wash., and myself, had sat in Lodge and could thus
vouch for each
other. With this nucleus to start with the members of the Craft on
board were strictly
tried and duly examined according to Masonic customs and usages.
after smoking room, through courtesy of the ship officials, was
prepared and tendered
us for the meeting; accordingly at 8.30 P.M., August 19, 1917, 56
of the Craft from among the officers of 17th and 18th engineers, U.S.
the ship officers duly assembled therein for this auspicious event.
called to order the following officers were elected and installed:
L. A. Nutter, P. M., Gate City Lodge
No. 522, Kansas City, Mo.
Alsa C. Howard, P. G. C., Hancock Lodge
No. 311, Ft. Leavenworth, Kan.
Wm. H. Nelson, Green Lake Lodge No.
149, Seattle, Wash.
Mom. H. Ingram, Anglo-Saxon Lodge No.
343, Paris, France.
E. H. Taylor, West Cheshire No. 2977,
A. H. Rostron, Minerva No. 2433, Birkenhead,
Howard Clarke, Corregidor No. 3, Manila,
Geo. M. Rice, Arcana No. 76, Seattle,
Wm. J. Miehe, Naphtali No. 25, St. Louis,
G. A. Kendrick, King Solomon No. 60,
Wm. Ballyn, St. John No. 673, Liverpool,
J.S. C. A. Pauson,
Fidelity No. 120, San Francisco, Calif.
F. Murback, Superior No. 179, West Unity,
T. H. Darrow, Lakeside No. 42, Sand
H. Evans, Green Lake No. 149, Seattle, Wash.
Lodge was then opened in due and ancient form.
Lodge, by way of introduction, each member arose, in turn, and gave his
and home Lodge. It was interesting as well as surprising to meet with
the Craft from such widely separated places as Paris, France, and
and from Fort William, Canada, to Needles, in southern California.
of the brethren then gave impromptu remarks upon matters of Masonic
degrees were conferred. One interesting feature of this meeting, unique
history, too, was the fact that all members present were wearing cork
and had automatic pistols attached to their belts. This fact, to those
but an illustration of that 'being duly and truly prepared'; it may be
to show that even the dangers of a German submarine could not prevent
of loyal Masons.
formation of this dodge also affords an excellent illustration of the
travel in foreign countries as known in Freemasonry, and that in
the teachings of the Craft, its members in times of trial and trouble
the lessons of the early degrees as exemplified by the legend of the
those present Bros. A. H. Rostron, of Minerva No. 2433, Birkenhead,
won Congressional recognition by the manner in which he drove his ship
floes to the rescue of the 'Titanic' survivors; and Bro. Reginald
Mt. Horeb Lodge No. 528, Philadelphia, Pa.; Bro. Hugh Wiley, Fort
No. 415, Fort William, Canada; the latter two being well-known magazine
Lodge No. 1 was held under the auspices of the Grand Lodge of England,
being a British ship. There is a provision in the Constitution of the
of England, so I understand, which provides that three Past Masters, or
officials, may meet and after strict trial and due examination, hold
This is also in accordance with masonic custom from time immemorial.
L. A. Nutter, P. M. of Gate City Lodge No. 522, Kansas City, Mo.; and
Bro. E. C.
Boddy, P. M., Corinthian Temple 805, Rochester, N. Y.; and myself were
within our rights and privileges."
minutes of this interesting meeting aboard the Saxonia, I glean the
Saxonia Lodge No. 1
of that great Masonic virtue Charity, a collection of $56.00 was taken
was turned over to Brother Rostron, to forward through his own Lodge to
Lodge of England for use of same in charity work. A pretty gavel and
plate was made
by the ship's carpenter which was used in the Lodge meeting, and
by the Lodge officials as a committee to Bro. Rostron at his station on
of the ship. Attractive roster cards, as well as membership cards, had
by Bro. Warm Ballyn, of St. Johns No. 673, Liverpool, England, Chief
the Saxonia, and were his contribution to the enjoyment of the meeting.
It is not
known to the writer if there has ever before been a similar use of the
Company's Menu Cards.
no further business the Lodge was closed in due and ancient form. Thus
and disbanding of Saxonia Lodge No. 1 came and went. It has passed into
leaving a lasting and deep impression in the memory, of at least one of
which as stated before, is recalled with great personal
gratification.Thus the historians
whom we have come upon. There remains the Menu Card referred to above,
a cut of
which appears with this article. The face of the Menu is in colors
fine view of the Chamber of Deputies in Paris, France. The name of the
together with the list of officers. The back of the card presents in
a plaque displaying the letters "R F." that is, the Republic of France,
together with the words Liberte, Fraternite, Egalite. The whole being
the words " Cunard Line." Upon the inside faces of these backs is found
a Roster of the Masons who were present at the meeting, and a brief
the following words:
LODGE NO. 1
Antient, Free and Accepted Masons
Sir and Brother:
are respectfully requested to attend the
Masonic Duties of this lodge on Sunday, the nineteenth day of August,
1917, at 8.30
P. M. prompt.
L. A. NETTER, W.
WM. H. INGRAM. Secry.
word in connection with this history. Within recent time I have met
with one of
the former soldiers of the 18th Engineers, and he informs me that it
rumor on the Saxonia that only commissioned officers were in attendance
event on the Saxonia. Which if it should prove to be true would detract
full value this gathering had, as a meeting of the Masons upon board
the ship. In
this respect it falls far short of the historic meeting on the Sierra
in Mexico the year before at which ALL MASONS met upon the level and
parted on the
In this story
you have therefore one of those rare Masonic events when a group of
finding themselves in close proximity, find a way whereby they may pass
a few hours
in those scenes which delight the Masonic heart wherever it may beat.
war's alarms and its terrors Masons manage to find a period wherein
they may lay
aside for the moment their military cares and yield themselves to the
of the Fraternity. And the incident merits being recorded among the
stories that we are endeavoring to recover and to perpetuate in this
series of papers.
Lodge No. 8,
hasten at once to correct any erroneous impression the above heading
to the casual reader. This Lodge was not an American Lodge. The sole
giving its record in this series is because of the prominent place
in the A.E.F. had in bringing it into life. My purpose is to indicate
to the Masonic
Student that there are fields in Masonic Research that transcend the
of our American System and wherever these lines cut across the
of our own system it is valuable for the student to have this material
In my wide
survey of the Masonic situation during the World War it has been my
come in contact with American Masons of all types of temperament and
Among this number very shortly after the war was my introduction by way
with Brother Alsa C. Howard at that time in the regular service. Bro.
the entrance of our country into the war was a Sergeant in the U. S.
Army. He was
commissioned and at first held the rank of Lieutenant. He was promoted,
to the grade of Captain, then Major. Upon the return of our country to
conditions, he returned to his rank of Sergeant and my last intercourse
he was still holding that rank.
As an old
Army man Bro. Howard was able to visit all parts of the world and
always took occasion
to visit Masonic bodies. For that reason he has a world-wide friendship
of many lands.
in Bordeaux during the war, Bro. Howard became associated with a number
Masons who were in that city in civil, diplomatic and military service
King and Empire. Bordeaux has been closely associated in history with
Empire and has always been regarded as a point of unusual value to the
of the Island Government. The finest reciprocal friendship exists
between the native
French population and these Englishmen.
moreover was one of the first points in France to come under the survey
of our government
when it was definitely decided that America should enter the war. Its
and facilities for the erection of huge warehouses, made it inevitably
one of the
great ports of entry for American men, munitions and supplies. In fact
the great system of depots that sprang into existence at Bordeaux and
the vast harbor
improvements speak a brilliant word for the genius of the American
the fall of 1917 American troops began to appear in Bordeaux. The 15th
a group from Pittsburgh, were the first on the ground. These were
by detachments from the 18th Engineers and others, until at last a
stream of American
troops began to enter the port. Thousands became attached to the
of the city and the adjacent camps.
these thousands of Americans swarming in and about Bordeaux were large
Craftsmen and inevitably they drew together until Masonic Clubs
flourished in camps,
single organizations, the city itself, and in 1919 in the University of
with the French and the British Masons came in due time and many an
spent in fraternal and social fellowship.
at hand, to deal with this situation and to tell to my readers the
story of Liberation
Lodge, is quite abundant and comes from all three sources, American,
French. For general purposes I shall confine myself however to
Brother Howard and with Brother W. Hennessey Cook, an official of
Lloyds, now located
in Paris. Bro. Cook was the representative of the great British Company
during the war and was very prominent in fraternal activities. For
purposes of continuity
I shall reserve much of his material to the closing words on Liberation
he has furnished me with a pen sketch of the post-war activities of
the situation we must go back to the year 1910. At that time a large
group of British Masons sojourning in France, started a movement
whereby they might
have Lodges in which to satisfy their craving for Masonic intercourse.
As is well
known the regular French Masonic organizations were not recognized by
Grand Lodge. Consequently these scattered groups of British Masons
idea of having a system in France that should be regarded by their own
From a pamphlet
they issued some years ago over the signature of the Grand Secretary,
Bro. G. L.
Jollois, they display the various steps by which they came into
existence. The story
is long and cannot all be given here. Suffice it to say that their
is now known as La Grande Loge Nationale Indépendante et Réguličre pour
et les Colonies Françaises, i.e., The National Grand Lodge of France.
received recognition from the Grand Lodge of England and from a number
of our own
American Grand Lodges.
Were I to
wander from my role as historian, and enter the field as an interpreter
movements, I might indicate where my sympathies lie with regard to this
Lodges in France. I might also be compelled to call the attention of
world to some of the strange idiosyncrasies of Grand Lodges who have
this system in France, who are yet at the same time supersensitive with
"Invasion of Territory," "courtesy toward other Grand Lodges,"
and such "Landmarks." But the Masonic world is full of inconsistencies
and so it does not become me to enter the controversial ranks. Only
this to say,
that very frankly, the origin of this system of Masonry in France is
to our standards, an invasion of the territory of another nation. The
of this new system are happy so far as the non-French residents in
France are concerned.
But I cannot leave this trail without remarking that the desire that
Italian Masons residing in Pennsylvania and the non-English group in
New York, and
the alien group in Louisiana or Mississippi, is the same as the
that our British friends had in France when they originated the
Grand Lodge of France, which, when one thinks of it, is an absurdly
title. I am not placing any strictures upon this group nor indicating
bias one way or the other. But I am laying a background for the reader
as this story unfolds.
Now to facts.
The National Grand Lodge was instituted in November, 1913. It came
French Masonic groups that had agreements and understandings running
back many years,
together with this group of very active and fine British sojourners. By
a concordat with the various elements involved they emerged as a Grand
So far as I can untangle the story a few scattered French Lodges, some
were in Paris, were taken into the system and practically reorganized
Masons either in office or behind the whole movement. Among these
Lodges were the
following: "Brittanic Lodge," Paris; "Jeanne d'Arc Lodge," Rouen;
"Le Centre des Amis," Paris; and "Loge Anglaise" No. 204, Bordeaux
was founded in 1732, figuring as No. 363 on that Register, in 1766. Its
changed to 298 in 1770; in 1780 to 240; in 1792, to the number 204. In
1803 it passed
under the government of the Grand Orient of France, and so remained
when it once more returned to the Register of the Grand Lodge of
things should be kept in mind in order that the American Masonic
Student may be
guided in his research into the French problem.
France during the war I noticed in the several newspapers printed for
soldiers notices of certain Masonic functions and events that puzzled
me. Such for
example as one that referred to the Lodge "Jeanne d'Arc" at Rouen. In
this notice the Installation of Officers for the ensuing year (1919)
in full, which is a thing that is never done with our French Brethren
of the persecution they meet constantly from the Roman Catholic Church.
roster of names proved to be military men in the British Army.
years the movement has been gradually to turn the Lodges over to native
who are therefore producing a distinctive French Grand Lodge. But
during the war
it must be borne in mind that the British practically offered and
few Lodges in the "National" Grand Lodge system.
brings us to Bordeaux, and to Liberation Lodge No. 8.
I shall now
quote Bro. Howard's story, that his view of the situation may be
recorded, he being
one of the foremost Americans concerned in the incident. He says:
18th Engineers, Railway, U. S. Army, with whom I was serving,
arrival overseas, was sent to Bordeaux, France, for duty, in
preparation of existing
dock facilities and the construction of new docks, wharves, and storage
was in August, 1917. I thought that a club where Masonic matters might
ties renewed, new friendships formed, conferences held, oversight of
sick and needy
Brothers arranged, was practical.
this with a number of Masons in my regiment, and as a result searched
for a suitable
location for a club center. I visited the "English Club" composed of
Englishmen, and made inquiry regarding a suitable location. Some of
very interested in our idea, and introduced me to Bro. Wm. Hennessey
Cook, P. M.
of Canada Lodge No. 3527, London, England. He entered heartily into our
He however broached the situation with regard to International
believed that instead of our forming a Masonic Club, that if a Lodge
composed of the Masons of the three great nations, France, Great
Britain and America,
it would be a larger and finer achievement.
to the suggestion and we consulted together how best to place the
the three groups of Masons. Bro. Cook carried the suggestion to the
of England; to the National Grand Lodge of France; and to the Grand
Lodge of Aquitaine
at Bordeaux. I tried by correspondence to put the matter in a clear
the Grand Lodges of America."
discovered what my readers know he would encounter. He mentions a
meeting of Grand
Masters where the matter must have been brought to their attention and
there was no agreement on the suggestion. Thus the American situation
was an unbroken
refusal even to discuss the proposition.
In the meanwhile,
to return to Howard's recital:
plan met with a hearty approval by the Grand Lodge of England, and the
Grand Lodge of France. Some American Grand Lodges interposed no clear
such as New York, Ohio, Illinois, Massachusetts, and perhaps some
others; I do not
recall. Others, like California and Oregon, viewed our desire with
the English and French Grand Lodge ("National" Grand Lodge of France)
authorities in agreement as to the formation of a new Lodge, an
made in due form to the Grande Loge Nationale for a charter, which was
a date set by that body for the consecration and installation
ceremonies. The following
named Master Masons, in a meeting regularly called for the purpose on
of September 17, 1917, in due form petitioned the Grand Lodge (of
France) For a
charter for the new Lodge, named Liberation No. 8. The Roster of those
whose names were attached to this petition were as follows:
Hennessey Cook, Canada No. 3527,
Chester Howard, Hancock No. 311, Est.
Ralph Pearson, Charter Rock No. 410,
Lechten, California No. 1, San Francisco, Calif.
Bushnell Aitken, Roseville No. 432,
G. Marsh, Ely No. 29, Ely, Nevada.
Howe, Canby No. 147, Canby, Minnesota.
William Clay, Hollenbeek No. 319, Los
McVicar Wallace, Temescal No. 314,
Willard Graham, Verde No. 14, Jerome,
Taylor, Francis Drake No. 396, San
Preston, Trinity College No. 1765,
Harold Reimers, Yosemite No. 99, Mereed,
Middlehurst, Reno No. 140, Hutchinson, Kan.
named Master Masons were chosen to occupy the several stations in the
Hennessey Cook ‒ Worshipful Master.
C. Howard ‒ Senior Warden.
Pearson ‒ Junior Warden.
were unanimous and without contest. Election was by acclaim."
A pause here
by us to see where we are. We find that there are 14 names attached to
And of these names 12 are members of American Lodges. And of the three
elected to the three leading stations, two bear the names of American
our inclusion of this event among the American Series of Field Lodges
War. Howard continues:
Anglaise No. 204, Bordeaux, France, stood sponsor for us before the
world in the
founding of the new Lodge, mentioned from hereon as Liberation No. 8.
the afternoon of December 8, 1917, members of the Grand Lodge of
England, the Grand
National Lodge of France, and of the Grand Lodge Provincial
d'Aquitaine, and a large
number of brothers, met at the beautiful Salle Franklyn, Bordeaux, and
Liberation No. 8 in due and ancient form. The consecration ceremonies
by M. Wor. G. M. F. Eigau, Provincial Grand Lodge d'Aquitaine, who
opened his Grand
Lodge, announced the object of the meeting, officially received the
Nationale, and then vacated all Stations to the Grand Lodge Nationale
for the further
conducting of the ceremonies.
Bro. Edmund Heish, Grand Junior Warden, Grande Loge Nationale, acting
for the Grand
Master, installed Bro. Wm. Hennessey Crook as W. M.; Very Wor. Douglas
Grand Treas., installed the present writes [Bro. Howard] as Senior
Warden; and Wor.
Bro. F. Eigau, installed Bro. Frank R. Pearson as Junior Warden. This
was the most
impressive installation ceremony that the writer has ever witnessed,
and no doubt
the other members present were as deeply impressed with the stately
the solemnity which characterized the ceremonies throughout.
other Stations were filled at a subsequent meeting. The consecrating
were then concluded in due and ancient form and then the newly
closed. After the closing of the Lodge all present were invited to a
as only the best French chefs can prepare. Speeches, toasts, and a
of wit marked this most auspicious occasion at the hour of "high
(I am sure Bro. Howard slips here, for it must have been "low Twelve."
However after that splendid banquet we forgive him, I am sure!) the
Lodge was closed.
were present Masons from eight or nine countries."
seems to have flourished under this set of officers. They did
Quite a number of Americans were initiated, passed and raised, most of
only to discover upon their return to America that their several Grand
to recognize their regularity. In some cases known to me these were
healed by proceeding
along the same road that other brothers have traveled as though they
had never been
made Masons before.
was transferred to other parts of France in the course of time and lost
touch with the Lodge. With the exception of the following note from
him, his story
time after the consecration of liberation No. 8, Bro. Cook informs me
that the Lodge
was going strong. It had at that time some 12 candidates waiting for
Fourteen applications for the degrees were also waiting." Howard then
"At the next meeting of the Provincial Grand Lodge I was elected Grand
of Ceremonies. Later I was presented with a very beautiful 'Founder's
to Bro. Cook, former Master of Liberation No. 8, I quote from a letter
26. 1928, in which he says:
All l can
do today is to give you a very few brief words on developments which
place in Liberation Lodge No. 8, Bordeaux, since 1918. Obviously on the
of the war, all those Brethren who had joined and who had returned to
ceased to be paying members, and for a time the funds of the Lodge were
to carry on the work, and by the most careful economies, the W. M.,
has succeeded in carrying on the Lodge through troubled waters.
At that time
the Lodge numbered only about 22 paying members, whereas, during the
war it had
a roll call of about 60. Since then members have steadily increased and
number about 38 paying members.
Masters who succeeded one another have shown considerable aptitude and
good example has served to emulate interest from Norwegian and Danish
At the beginning
of this year (1928) there was a demand made to the Grand Lodge
(National Grand Lodge
of France), to enable the Lodge Burdigala to work with a French
translation of the
English Ritual. I understand that quite a large number of the members
are also members of the Burdigala and assist in the propagation of
masonry in the
In any case
I can assure you that the Masonic keenness is fully developed by the
in Bordeaux and that they frequently send representatives to Paris to
in other Masonic meetings which are taking place there.
I have but
a few more mentions made of this Lodge in paragraphs from various
scattered throughout our land. In a letter dated December 12, 1928, my
William C. Prime of New York, says:
Cook, who was Master of Liberation No. 8 in 1918, was then as I
remember it, Manager
of Lloyd's Bank, Bordeaux Branch, but was afterwards transferred to
he is now either a manager or submanager of the head office of Lloyd's
Bank in Paris.
Liberation Lodge was organized under the stress of the war by the
others of Americans temporarily located in or near Bordeaux, with
Britons in charge,
naturally. From my point of view it was and is entirely regular, as one
of the other
Lodges of the Grande Loge Nationale which was founded in 1913 under the
or wing so to call it, of the Grand Lodge of England, and with its
It was a weak group and is not strong now, although no French
numerically strong as compared with American. It organized a Lodge in
in Nice, and several elsewhere, which I think dropped after the War,
English-speaking men who formed them, mostly service men, British or
out. I cannot tell you just now how many (American) jurisdictions
The Grand Lodge of New York has done so within the past year. I know
that Iowa and
New Jersey and several others did during the War and so far as I know
have not withdrawn
In a paragraph
from the Temple Bulletin (a publication I much regret to have no
to identify), entitled "Blue Lodges of the Trenches," I find the
many beautiful evidences of Masonic Brotherhood in the trenches in
the founding of a new English speaking Lodge, by American soldiers of
the A. E.
F., is of significant interest. "Liberation" Lodge No. 8, was
by French and English officers of the Grand Loge Nationale, Independent
for France and the French Colonies. During the installation the
wore an apron used two hundred years ago in the Lodge where the
ceremony took place,
probably the oldest Masonic apron in existence.
Cook was installed as W. M., and Lieut. A. C. Howard, who had been
in organizing the Lodge, became S. W.
At the meeting
of the Provincial Grand Lodge, F. & A. M., held February 2, the
Officers were elected in the Temple recently acquired in the city of
M. Bro. Eigau;
Deputy G. M., Bro. Gendron; G. S. W., Bro. Cook; G. J. W., Bro. Maura;
G. M. C., Bro. Howard;
G. Chapl., Bro Perche; G. Org., Bro. Preston.
It will be
of keen interest to the Craft to learn that the U. S. A. is represented
in the Grand
Lodge by Brothers Cook, Howard and Preston, who are also officers in
the new English-speaking
Lodge "Liberation No. 8."
In the Report
of the Overseas Masonic Mission page 175 I have come upon this note:
to Bordeaux with Brother Collins (April 6) from Camp de Souge, he
a session of Liberation Lodge at the Masonic Temple, occupied by the
founded in 1734 (1732) under dispensation of the Grand Lodge of
England, and at
various times thereafter, holding obedience to the Grand Orient, or the
of England, but now holding obedience to the Grand Loge Nationale, and
of the constituent lodges which formed that grand body in the autumn of
He took part
in conferring the Masonic degrees on 4 members of the A. E. F. in the
and on 8 in the evening. He also conferred with Capt. John D. Hatch and
regarding the establishment of a Masonic Club in Bordeaux, which was
established with the zealous aid and support of Brother Collins.
clipping is in my files. It is a part of a letter written to Bro. James
editor of the American Tyler Keystone of Battle Creek, Michigan, by
Bro. Jesse R.
Aver of Michigan:
I moved from
Is-sur-Tille to Bordeaux July 1, 1918, I found no Masonic Club and few
first, but a little investigation developed a Lodge under the Grand
Lodge of England,
meeting in an abandoned old church down town. The Master was agent for
bank and some barriers had to be broken down before I could talk to him
But once identified and satisfied I had no ax to grind, the traditional
reserve thawed and several American Brothers had the pleasure of seeing
group of testimonies gathered through the years from such diverse and
sources I have tried to reconstruct for you this story. The Lodge was
by American Masons from its origin to their transfer out of the
Bordeaux area and
by their efforts they were instrumental in aiding to a very large
degree the launching
of this Lodge, which has ever since been at work under the Constitution
of the National
Grand Lodge of France. It is the sole example thus far discovered by me
in my wartime
researches where American Masons in the A. E. F. or elsewhere
and actively in the formation of a Lodge holding allegiance to a Grand
As to the
regularity of the process from an American standpoint there can be
but that these brethren transgressed seriously their American Grand
From a British and French standpoint there was no irregularity, as is
the recognition of the lodge by both the Grand Lodge of England and the
Grand Lodge of France. It is further strengthened by the later
by the several American Grand Lodges as already mentioned.
is written and the story thus brought to all Masonic students
interested in knowing
and preserving the movements of the Craft in times of war.
is herewith extended to those brethren who made possible the collection
of the portions of the story as given.
Bro Cyrus Field Willard,
IF this celebrated
hierophant, "our ancient brother, Pythagoras," should reappear in our
time, he might have need to put his great and powerful intelligence in
modern scientific learning.
So a French
writer, Armand Bedarride, declares in an article he has written for the
French Masonic magazine, Le Symbolisme, edited at Paris by Oswald
Wirth. This article
is entitled "The Letter G ‒ What Pythagoras Would See."
As the modern
discoveries concerning electrons are taking us back to the old Hermetic
"As above, so below" we cannot agree that Pythagoras did not know what
we know now, only perhaps using different terminology yet the article
interesting Speculations and is so suggestive of other thoughts, that I
it best to offer readers of THE BUILDER some of the thoughts contained
it is too long to give in full.
thinks that Pythagoras would abandon many of the hypotheses that were
his time, as a consequence of the insufficiency of knowledge of the
nature. He thinks Pythagoras would learn from our mathematics, our
physics and our
astronomy, and would be amazed at our chemistry. But after that he
assert that the innumerable operations of the universe, better
continue to be written in abstract formulas only more learned and more
that the contemporary mind finds it more and more the case that nature
and its point of view will be enlarged, in place of being struck with
into the domain of geometry and of arithmetic more than the exterior
forms and the
internal arrangements of crystals, each substance exhibiting certain
dispositions. It is also true that certain of them present several
If we do not yet know the cause of them, we may be certain that the
cause some day
will appear, marking the outlines of a new law or of an unexpected
passing let us salute the cube," he says, "the fundamental base of all
construction." The cube, which serves as the image of our cubical
the crystal of mineral salt. It is also the connecting link by which
symbolism of our predecessors in hermeticism is joined to the geometry
of ‒ our
ancestors, the stone cutters. If in positive chemistry a salt is the
the action of an acid on a base, alchemically it is the action of
sulphur on mercury,
the prototype of the effect of the active on the passive and the symbol
and balanced wisdom, of Jachin and Boaz.
this active and passive relation is indeed that of the chemistry of our
only the greater part of those who work there with so much merit and
succeed in becoming illustrious, care but very little for the
of symbolical tradition and of hermeticism.
we may be permitted to recall that eminent Scientists have not had for
even the operative kind, that disdain that a great many of the
specialists of our
time have manifested for it, and above all the profane who believe
be Scientists because they have rubbed themselves up against a few
books of science.
The great Berthelot, or the eminent chemist Dumas, have not considered
of metals and the synthesis of gold as scientifically impossible. It is
known among chemists that the English chemist, Sir William Ramsay,
he had made gold from the baser metals, and future discoveries may show
can be done cheaply.
But our Mason,
in the search for truth, like the hermit of the Tarot, armed with his
a great deal more to see.
He will observe
that human beings are "constructed" according to a plan which resides
in a latent state in the grain or in the egg; he would not admit
probably the existence
of a force coming from without in order to put this plan to work but he
that this immanent force or property "geometrizes" in its turn.
variations produced artificially or the experiments in artificial
those of Messrs. Yves Delage and Bolm, however interesting they may be
point of view of the influence of chemical factors, would not
contradict for him
the principle, for the scientists themselves assert and recognize that
… the egg
is like a star launched by an initial force in the midst of a system of
movement. The trajectory will be influenced and modified by the stars
of action it traverses and yet, if something may have been changed in
its mass or
its initial movement, it has not been what it is; it is the same way
with the egg,
but whatever one may do, this egg contains its "potentiality," to
the technical expression, and we will never see a bird come out of the
egg of a
frog. That which changes is only the superstructures and not the formal
modifications are then only the consequences of the variable conditions
one can cause the organizing and natural constructive tendency to act,
imply and require this fundamental tendency which is realized by the
forms. Besides, the evolution of the embryo in the egg, and its passage
diverse animal types to stop at last at that of its own species, is the
nothing of miraculous nor of the supernatural in this, but a growth
"Plan," whatever be the sense that one gives to the "Plan";
and even if it were considered as proceeding from the action of the
for this action would apply itself always on all object having its own
If the zoological
order amply instructs us, the botanical order also gives us subjects
with the regular insertion of the leaves on the stalk, following a
determines the "foliar cycle" of each plant; the disposition of the
of each plant can express itself by a numerical formula plainly
Meekren, Editor In
E. Thiemeyer, Research Editor
has gone to the country, hurray! The fact that he has left his trials
behind and that they constitute a few worries is insignificant. The joy
in his departure
more than compensates for the tasks it is necessary to perform. The
of the mice whose watchful cat is away prevails at present in the
The joy in the departure of the ogre who watches over the destinies of
more than compensates for the disagreeable tasks which he has left
behind. In reality
this is not quite a true statement of affairs because the boss to whom
is made is not and never has been a boss in the literal sense of the
word. He says
that it is impossible for him to be bossy and I believe he speaks the
the years of our relationship it has been more of a collaboration than
else, with him doing most of the collaborating. The years of close
him have been most pleasant, but it is a new experience for me to be
the make-up of thirty-two pages of magazine. I am enjoying the novelty
of the situation
and hope that I shall do nothing to betray the trust he has reposed in
this is not an editorial, but an effusion of a sort that is hard to
define. I am
not making use of the customary "we", but am adhering to the personal
"I" because this is, after all, a personal expression. That may, in
constitute a breach of trust, but under existing conditions I am ready
the burden and take all of the blame.
As has been
indicated, it is a new experience for me to be completely in charge of
any one issue
of THE BUILDER. I hope that the qualifications I possess, largely
through the efforts
of the aforesaid boss, are equal to the task, but that is not what I
to say. I first came to know THE BUILDER nearly five years ago. It
like that long since I had the pleasure of becoming acquainted with
and Meekren, who were co-operating in the editing of this journal at
Masonry was very new to me then and I had all the enthusiasm for it
that youth usually
has for new things. I was sadly in need of someone to direct that
channels where it would do some good. Bro. Meekren became my guide and
I shall leave it to others to judge how successfully he fulfilled the
task he set
for himself. Interested as I was at that time in finding out everything
about the Fraternity it was only natural that I should soon come to
take an active
interest in the affairs of the National Masonic Research Society. For
years I acted in an unofficial capacity. I was willing to assist in any
and soon found myself thoroughly wrapped up in the work that was being
November of 1926 I became connected with the Society as a sort of
boy. No mention was made of the fact, so far as the pages of the
journal were concerned,
for some months, largely because Bro. Meekren and I were busily engaged
in one of
our most important collaborations. We were endeavoring to find a title
be sufficiently high sounding to be applied to the sort of thing I was
to do. Finally
it was determined that "Research Editor" would not be too much of a
so I was officially announced as Research Editor of THE Builder. I have
determined the precise nature of the work to be done by that officer,
but have come
to the conclusion that the duties are largely composed of those things
Editor-in-Charge dislikes doing. One of his dislikes that he has never
to successfully load onto my shoulders is the writing of editorials,
but more about
I have done on THE BUILDER; is made up of almost everything. I have had
in the Study Club work undertaken by the Society. I have messed with
made up a few of them; I have read proof, sometimes inefficiently, I am
written articles, some of which were good; read books and written
of which were not so good; and from time to time I have laboriously
all of which, if the truth is told, were rotten and which accounts for
that the Editor-in-Charge has not been successful in delegating this
task to me.
Through all of this, however, I have never had complete control of any
of the magazine until the present time. If you don't think that this
is a joyous one you are just "c-a-r-a-z-y" as the flapper would say.
is the climax after three years of official connection with the
Research Society. I have been temporarily elevated to the Master's
seat, and after
Wink into oblivion, for with this issue I officially retire.
So it is,
then, that I say " Hurray" and that I am having the most fun of my
Masonic career, and so also with a deep-seated regret I say "Au
I use that term hopefully because I do feel that it will not be
good-by. I sincerely
hope that I shall be allowed to continue in as much of the same
capacity as I have
occupied during the past three years even though it is unofficial.
be most ungrateful if I did not take advantage of this opportunity to
pages to pay a few debts. I have made many friends during the past few
of them I prize most highly and it is not at all a pleasant task to
bidding them adieu. Though it may happen that I shall no longer be
known as one
of their active associates I hope that they will always consider me as
one of their
friends. Officially our friendship is severed because I shall no longer
connected with Masonic Research, but unofficially I have found a hobby
and I expect
to ride it. Our unofficial friendship then is only beginning.
One of the
most pressing debts that I owe is to the work itself. I have thoroughly
every minute of it. I feel that it has added tremendously to my
equipment and that
it has enabled me to face the world much more competently than I could
without it. Can I say more except that perhaps the greatest thrill I
in many years was to have one of my contributions read before that
august body known
as Quatuor Coronati Lodge? In the short space of four years I attained
of Masonic students and have most pleasurable memories of the fifteen
months I spent
in preparing the document. Now I have attained what I consider one of
the most exalted
positions in the realm of Masonic Research, that of Editor-in-Charge of
True, it is only temporary, but the thrill to me is none the less
because of that
fact. I owe these two joyous experiences to the work itself which made
for me, so I say that I owe it a great debt.
all that I owe an even greater one to a man. That this obligation can
be paid by
a few lines written and published behind his back is to be doubted,
more than that,
it is impossible. I cannot, however, resist the temptation to say
my relations with him whom I have facetiously called my boss, Brother
Meekren, the Editor-in-Charge of THE BUILDER. He is away at present on
a much deserved
vacation and his absence makes me appreciate all the more the many
has done me. It is under his tutelage that I have done all of my work
as a Masonic
student, if I may be conceited enough to apply that title to myself.
guidance whatever I may have accomplished in this interesting field
would have been
impossible. As a babe in arms in research work he guided my footsteps
that proved to be short cuts and enabled me to accomplish much that I
been unable to do without him. I recall the fatherly advice he gave me
my venture into this strange realm. How frequently he counselled me and
from making a veritable fool of myself only he and I will ever know. Is
it any wonder
then that I look up to him as the one man most responsible for the
measure of success
I have attained in the field of my hobby?
to all of these things I have always found Bro. Meekren ready to
to me that would controvert views I had formed, or which would
and this was equally true whether we were in agreement or otherwise. He
I consider an uncanny faculty for citing evidence in such a way that
you are forced
to form your own opinions instead of being guided by conclusions that
he has reached
through years of patient study. He may not agree with your opinions but
he can always
see the merit in them. He may cite sufficient evidence to cause you to
views, but never have I heard him say that I was wrong even though we
This feature of his scholarly character is perhaps best illustrated by
appearing elsewhere in this number. Bro. Castells has replied to a
of his latest work on the ritual of the Royal Arch. This review was
written by Brother
Meekren. Our English brother has been able, as I see it, to find few
places in which
he could pin Bro. Meekren down. Whenever in doubt about a point in
Meekren carefully phrases his work so that he makes no positive
he has incontrovertible evidence to support a conclusion, that
conclusion is cited
only as an opinion and not as a fact. A difference between Bro.
Castells and Bro.
Meekren is clearly shown in the article above mentioned for in one
place Bro. Castells
says that he knows he is right. I venture the assertion that if Bro.
to a similar opinion he would have said that he believed he was right,
entirely a different thing.
may be, there is another thing about my boss which demands notice. He
is the most
pleasant man to work with that it has ever been my pleasure to meet. I
elaborate on that statement, but say in summing up that he is a
gentleman the "like
of which there is no whither" to use the vernacular.
I have not
come so closely in contact with the Executive Secretary of the Society,
but I am
deeply appreciative of many considerations he has shown me.
And so it
happens that the joy of editing one number of THE BUILDER in its
entirety is tinctured
with sadness over an impending departure. From the dust did I come and
to the dust
I must shortly return, but before I do so I must wish each and every
member of the
society the best the future can possibly offer; to the Society, health,
and prosperity; to the new friends, many of whom have become old
friends by now,
a long useful and prosperous life with the personal hope that they will
friends for many years to come. The wishes I have for those with whom I
into daily personal contact, among them the Editor-in-Charge and the
are too intimate to be put into words, but I feel sure that they know
me well enough
to realize the sincerity of unexpressed thoughts.
I have really
been writing of my hopes, aspirations, as they lived in the past with
of the future, but to me it seems like writing my own death notice. I
of the meteor, a flash of brightness and then oblivion and thus has my
life as a Masonic Research Worker struck me; a bright spot in my life
oblivion in the future. I sincerely hope that it will be brighter than
at present indicate.
ERNEST E. THIEMEYER.
* * *
headlines in the press of the country regarding the disappearance, the
the final location of the Transcontinental Air Transport liner, City of
offers an opportunity to the Masons of this country, as well as to
to be of vital service to the country at large. It is not customary for
to comment upon matters which seemingly have no Masonic connection. We
that there is a definite tie between the unfortunate circumstance in
and many of the things for which Masonry stands. In the first place,
perhaps the infant of the great industries of the country. Airplanes
on schedule and maintaining effective communication between distant
no one can fail to see that this mode of travel is still in the
of its development. It has taken rapid strides forward, perhaps
outgrowing its swaddling
clothes at a too youthful age. Regardless of anything that might be
said on that
score, the fact remains that air transportation is, or should be, a
symbol of progress.
in the Masonic ritual there is a phrase which says that Freemasonry is
science. Generally that phrase is taken to allude to the several steps
undergoes in his initiation. In other words, in the ordinary sense it
same progressive development that we find in retracing from its
inception any age
worn path. There is another meaning to the word “progressive,” however,
or it may
be better to say, there is an added meaning. The word means "going
May we not say, therefore, that this same phrase might reasonably be
to mean that Masonry stands for anything progressive or for the
advancement of human
knowledge, understanding, or convenience? If we accept this latter
there is every reason why we should comment in the pages of a Masonic
the unfortunate crash of the City of San Francisco.
have been making it "screamer" news for almost a week. It will
be ten days to two weeks before this calamity finds itself removed from
pages of the daily press. We are accustomed to think of the newspapers
of this country
as standing for everything progressive. Perhaps they do, but their
attitude in this
air disaster, as in other of a like nature, has tended to discourage,
the airplane is now rounding out its first quarter of a century of
is still far from being a perfect machine. The railroads of this
have been in existence for more than a century, still have calamities.
months one sees in the paper an account of some wreck. Unless the
in the immediate vicinity of the newspaper, a train wreck in which
or eight people were killed would receive less attention than the
murder of some
prominent gangster. Perhaps a column heading with a half column of
or even a full column, would be the most that would be seen in the
journal. It seems to us that the death of eight people in an airplane
is of no more
consequence to the world at large than the death of eight people in a
The contrasting method of treatment, however, is immediately apparent.
flies into the wastes of Arizona and New Mexico, is lost for four or
Ad the newspapers of the country are emblazoned with " screamers, " and
anywhere from two to four columns of news on the first page devoted to
it. Is the
airplane receiving a square deal? At least one writer does not think so.
thing. During the last few months it seems to the writer that the
contained more reports of airplane accidents than has been the case for
years past. These accidents have always been played up as news, given a
place in the paper so that you and all could read. The effect on
by airplane could hardly help but be unfavorable. Still, any thinking
not fail to realize that in spite of all this publicity, airplane
travel is still
one of the safest means of transportation known to the world today. The
two major steamship disasters during 1929. The sinking of the Vestris
was the first
and the sinking of the San Juan about sixty miles from San Francisco
was the second.
If memory serves right, there was a total of nearly two hundred lives
lost in these
two wrecks. They were headline material for a few days, and then sank
While figures are not available, I should be willing to wager that
there have not
been two hundred deaths in airplane accidents in the same period of
time. I am willing
to offer odds of a million to one that in commercial air transportation
not been fifty lives lost during the past year. I think it would be a
safe bet that
there are fewer deaths per passenger mile in air travel than by any
other mode of
modern transportation. In spite of the large number of airplane
remarkably few of them have been in commercial service. A few
carrying sightseeing passengers locally have crashed. Some injuries and
a few deaths
have resulted, but the major portion of airplane accidents are due to
effort in the field of air development. They occur either in stunt
as endurance contests and airplane derbys, or other forms of long
or in test flights of other nature. There, again, is an unfairness
apparent in press
of this kind could be carried to an interminable length. The result
be the same, that the press of the country is not treating air
and squarely. Freemasonry being, as has been indicated, a progressive
us as Freemasons make it a part of our business to acquaint ourselves
as possible with the statistics of commercial air transport. We would
qualified to do our share in dispelling any unfavorable effect created
by the yellow
journalism being practiced in this connection. Let us be really and
and do what we can to further the progress of the nation.
Review of Masonry the
Hotel for New York
some time ago reported that the new Masonic hotel in Philadelphia is
so nicely that the Masonic club of New York has decided to erect one.
call for a building 25 stories high, to cost about $2,000,000. The new
be located at 134 West 4th Street.
* * *
Burton E. Bennett
THE BUILDER will regret to learn that Bro. Burton E. Bennett passed
away at his
home in Seattle, Wash., on August 26th. Bro. Bennett was quite widely
his Masonic work and a number of his literary products have appeared
from time to
time in THE BUILDER. Aside from Masonry he had many interests. He was
identified with the growth and development of Alaska and the Northwest.
Born in Central
New York in 1863, he received his early education at Brookfield Academy
he graduated in 1881. The Degree of Bachelor of Science was conferred
upon him by
Cornell University in 1885. From other institutions he received the
Degrees of Doctor
of Science and Doctor of Civil Law, He was the orator of his class at
of the Woodford orators and a senior editor of the Cornell Daily Son.
his graduation from college Brother Bennett read law with E. H. Lamb of
N.Y., and with S. M. Lindsley of Utica. He was admitted to practice
before the bar
of the State of New York in 1887. His career as a lawyer in New York
State was limited
because he moved to Seattle in 1888 and bee came an important figure in
and political life in the Northwest. He served as park commissioner for
for several years. In March of 1893, with the beginning of the second
administration, he was given control of patronage and became a power in
Party. He is credited with being the Democratic dictator in all things
throughout this administration. In 1895 he was appointed United States
Attorney for Alaska and was present during the great gold rushes. As
in that territory he made a notable record, successfully prosecuting a
important criminal cases. Of 101 cases handled during his last term he
convictions. In 1898 he was the Alaskan delegate to the International
That he did
not neglect religion is shown by the fact that he was the first
Chancellor of the
American Episcopal Church in Alaska.
returned to Seattle in 1900 and in 1901 he was appointed Pan-American
by Governor Rogers of Washington. Aside from his Masonic writings he is
for many articles on Western and Alaskan history. At the time of his
death he was
a member of Ionic Lodge, No. 90, F. & A. M., of Seattle, in
which lodge he had
held membership for thirty years. His contributions to Masonic
him as an authority on Masonic history. Much of his earlier work was
regard to the Scottish Rite. We feel sure that readers of THE BUILDER
with us the passing of Bro. Bennett.
* * *
Scottish Rite Congress
29th to May 4th the leaders of the Scottish Rite the world over met in
congress was to have been held in Buenos Aires in 1927, but economic
in Europe made it impossible for representatives of the continental
bodies to be sent to South America. As a result the Supreme Council of
an invitation to hold the congress in Paris which was accepted.
Many of the
most noteworthy members who were present at the last congress in 1922
on since that time. The then Vice-President of the United States,
Riley Marshall, who was a member of the delegation from the Northern
the great student of ritual and symbolism Count Goblet d'Alviella,
of the Scottish Rite in Belgium; and Brother Maillefer, the past
President of the
Swiss National Legislature, are among those who have passed on.
bodies were represented fully. The two American jurisdictions sent
their Grand Commanders.
Canada and several South American states also sent delegates. Two
newcomers to the
circle of Supreme Councils, both organized since 1922, were represented
first time, being the Supreme Council of Vienna and that of Romania.
* * *
of individual Master Masons held its annual convention this year at
on the 13th, 14th and 15th of September. In the few years of its
existence it has
accomplished a great deal in the way of ameliorating the evil effects
of the War
upon Freemasonry as a universal brotherhood. Any regular Master Mason
to membership. Its objects are the realization of the ideal of
the Craft and the propagation of the idea of universal brotherhood of
man and peace
between nations. Further information may be obtained from Brother Eugen
53 Bocklinstrasse, Vienna, Austria. The annual membership dues are
about one dollar.
* * *
In the July
number of THE BUILDER there was a brief notice of the fact that the
in England were perturbed over the introduction of a fraternal
from America." Further information has since come to hand. As we
it turns out that the definition of a quasi-Masonic body in England
from what would be understood by that term in America, Incidentally it
may be remarked
that the particular organization in question is said to be the Order of
In the Report
of the Board of General Purposes presented at the Quarterly
Communication of the
United Grand Lodge in June the President, R. W. Bro. Sir Alfred
Robbins, made this
The Board … adheres to the
practice Grand Lodge
has always observed of permitting the Brethren to belong to other
though they may have certain ceremonies associated with them, are
Societies … While, therefore, Grand Lodge has never opposed or
obstructed the existence
of purely benefit Societies … it is bound, in order to preserve the
to call serious attention to the creation of imitative or quasi-Masonic
which restrict their membership to those who take a certain vow, and
in a secret ceremony, each unknown to and unrecognized by the United
It is another
demonstration of the fact that Freemasonry necessarily develops along
lines in different countries and under different conditions. In other
can only be understood in the light of its history. Our natural impulse
is to think
our own way best, always. So it probably is for us, in our
to American ideas a quasi-Masonic body is one that requires Masonic
a pre-requisite for membership. Unless an organization makes some such
Masonic status we regard it as outside the purview of Grand Lodge
is true that in certain states edicts were issued in recent years
Klan, and forbidding Masons membership therein; but this was regarded
It was based partly on the claims made by Klan organizers that it was a
institution, but chiefly for the practical reason that in those states
of the Klan were guilty, or were generally believed to be guilty, of
and usurping the functions of the regularly constituted civil
gave a fully sufficient reason on Masonic grounds to forbid membership
in the Klan
to Masons, entirely apart from the fact that it was an oath bound
with secret ceremonies of initiation.
position is thus logical and consistent. The freedom of the individual
join any society or fraternity he pleases is not interfered with except
on the grounds
that it is not an illegal or law-breaking organization, which clearly
within the scope of Masonic discipline; or that it does not claim a
in which case it must have the approval of the Masonic authority to
whom the individual
On the other
hand the position taken by the Grand Orient of the Netherlands, and
European Grand Lodges, is equally logical and consistent. Here the
is forbidden to join any other society whatever without express
English rule is, as usual, a practical compromise that doubtless works
but which can with difficulty be logically justified without artificial
It is certainly
far from being a general principle of distinction that is advanced in
Organizations that qualify under English laws governing insurance as
undoubtedly do form a distinctive group, but the distinction is an
This is minimized as much as possible in the cautious phraseology of
"… bodies which, though they may have certain ceremonies associated
are clearly Benefit Societies"; and a contrast is suggested with other
"imitative or quasi-Masonic" confined to those "who take a certain
vow, and thereupon participate in a secret ceremony." This suggestion
wholly unjustified for there are Benefit Societies and Benefit
Societies in England,
ranging all the way from mutual insurance associations pure and simple
to such fraternities
of respectable antiquity as the Odd Fellows, Orangemen and Forresters,
(we believe) the benefit feature is optional, and which in all other
"imitative or quasi-Masonic" bodies, as these are defined in the report.
logically developed, implies that Freemasonry is the one only original
the world to have vows and secret ceremonies, a position that no one
would be less
likely to maintain as a general proposition than those responsible for
It is very probable that the Odd Fellows did to some extent borrow from
ritual usages, but it is not certain that they were, in the beginning,
It has to be remembered that they were already in existence before the
had taken its present form, and that there were many other clubs and
with the revival of Masonry which had elaborate rituals and oaths of
so far as later organizations are concerned they may have imitated the
equally with the Masons.
the principle of distinction laid down is not a logical one, and is
hoc, devised to meet a particular case, American Masons must not
misjudge the situation.
As Salvador de Madariaga put it in a recent work, the Englishman thinks
of action. His judgments are never theoretical but always confined to
problem to be dealt with. And according to Seńor Madariaga the
Englishman is generally
right, practically. We may assume therefore that there are in all
and sufficient reasons for the action taken, which it is better under
not to make fully explicit, but which are perfectly appreciated by
those on the
* * *
New Persecution of Italian
past few years THE BUILDER has contained many items regarding the
in Italy. Last month there was a report reprinted from the London
Freemason of May
25th regarding the growing blindness of Domizio Torrigiani, the former
of Italian Masons, who, through persecution, was exiled to the Island
There have been many conflicting reports regarding the relations
and the present Fascist regime and the things that they were doing to
help his blindness.
No complete report is available and it is most difficult to get any
because of the strict Fascist censorship. We are informed that the
of the Grand Lodge of New York, Brother Kenworthy, has twice written
Mussolini requesting permission to send a physician to Brother
Torrigiani. He has
not received a reply.
to this the Freimaurer Zeitung of
for July and August, 1929, reports that the Fascists have unexpectedly
begun a new
persecution of Italian Masons. Many of the former leaders of the Craft
who somehow were missed in previous persecutions have been sent into
no knowledge of any wrongdoing and without the benefit of a court
trial. Among those
deported is the one time Deputy Grand Master, Brother Guiseppe Meoni,
who not long
ago, upon the request of a commission of Fascists, was arrested and
five years in exile. Brother Ulise Bacci, who has an international
only for his Masonic activity but as the author of a fundamental text
Freemasonry, the title of which, translated, is, The Book of Italian
and who was Grand Secretary of the dissolved Grand Orient of Italy, met
same fate as Brother Meoni. Brother Bacci is an old man. He has lived
ever since the dissolution of Italian Freemasonry.
now some forty brethren in exile on the Island of Ponza. The Commander
of the Supreme
Council, Guiseppe Leti, left Italy and found a new home in Paris. So
far as is known
this alone is the cause for his son's having been sent to exile for
five years without
court proceedings and solely on the order of the administration. The
was a chemist by trade and had never been active in Freemasonry.
a past President of the Press Union is in exile on the Island of
Ustica. The Past
Grand Commander, Ettore Ferrarri, a celebrated sculptor, has doubtless
only because he is 86 years old and his opponents are evidently ashamed
such a celebrated and famed old gentleman. The Manchester Guardian
he is living at home nominally under police protection, the fact being
that he is
actually guarded and can leave his home only by special permission from
* * *
More of Italian Freemasonry
The Antwerp Metropole
reports the following news
from Italy relative to Mussolini's persecution of Masons:
could only reach an accord with the Vatican after having annihilated
Order. King Humbert, in 1895, made a move for reconciliation. He gave
accomplish this to Prime Minister Crispi who asked for a respite. After
a few days
the Prime Minister reported that he had taken up the question of
with the Grand Master of the Grand Orient who sent the following
message to the
King: "When the King of Italy makes an attempt to reach an accord with
Holy See we shall bring all Italy against him." It is reported that the
was very angry but that he dropped the matter entirely."
story is a good example of the tactics of the enemies of Freemasonry in
* * *
Freemasons' Hospital In
In the last
legislative session of the Senate of the City of Hamburg, a bill was
providing for a loan of approximately $470,000.00 to the five Masonic
the city for the enlargement of their hospital.
today has a capacity of 72 beds. This loan will provide an additional
162 beds and
will enable the Masons of Hamburg to rebuild the X-ray Department,
confinement department and to erect a sun-bath and dwellings for
janitors. The regular
bath department and heating plant are to be enlarged and brought
did not have money for these necessary improvements. They decided to
ask the city
for support and secured it on most favorable terms. The loan bears
interest at the
rate of 4% per annum. It is to be redeemed in installments beginning
July 1st, 1932,
with a 2 ˝ % premium. The Senate of the City of Hamburg went on record
that it was to the interest of the state to increase the number of beds
hospitals so that those operated by the government might be relieved of
You A True And Loyal
Letter With Seven Pertinent Questions
"Our Ancient Fraternity and Present Day Problems"
If you and
I were to meet on the five points of fellowship I could not make this
you more personal and intimate than it is intended to be. I am
addressing you as
an individual man and a Mason. You and I are traveling together on the
time toward the light of truth. We are brothers, united by that mystic
binds us as kindred souls, no matter how far our bodily separation may
I feel free to speak to you openly, yet intimately on a subject nearest
to my heart
and which, I trust, also may be equally near and dear to you.
You and I
were told, upon being admitted to the fellowship of our great
fraternity, that we
should become true and loyal builders, not of any earthly edified but
of a "temple
not made with hands, eternal in the heavens." I propose that we pause
moment to take stock of ourselves and enquire how far we have obeyed
regret, I confess that I had been enjoying many benefits and some honor
fraternity for many years before I was awakened to the realization of
how far short
I came from being a true and loyal builder, rendering a fair and just
personal service for the benefits I had been receiving. Like many
others, I did
not then appreciate that paying my dues and fees was far from
sufficient to earn
the privilege of becoming a true and loyal builder. Only through a
that is more than money and without price, can one obtain this high
honor and rare
called upon to investigate and undertake a certain task on behalf of
my eyes were opened to the serious shortcoming from which our
fraternity is suffering,
due to the fact that so many of its members simply become passengers,
lend a hand either to sail or steer the craft.
into the details of the discoveries I made in my study of current
present problems in our Order, I think you will readily see the
if you will give sincere and open-minded answers to seven questions
that I propose
for your consideration.
Being a secret
order with a traditional requirement that every candidate must "sell
on the value of membership, without invitation or persuasion by anyone
the fold, naturally, you must have had a fairly definite conception of
you expected to gain before you decided to seek admission into a Lodge.
were informed, doubtless, that the benefits you would derive would be
mental and moral; rather than material; yet I am sure you must have
aids toward self-improvement and advancement, otherwise you never would
upon the Lodge door.
found what you were seeking? Have you really learned how "to improve
in Masonry?" Are you satisfied with what you have gained by being made
Most Members Of Your
Lodge Active And Regular In Attendance?
IF you are
able to answer this question affirmatively, you may congratulate
yourself upon belonging
to an exceptional Lodge. According to the best statistics available, in
Lodge, about fifteen per cent of the members are active and regular in
while only a small group, probably, less than five per cent of the
actually active in conducting the customary programs of their Lodges.
is justification for an inquiry as to why eighty-five per cent of our
fail to maintain their interest in our activities. The fees for
enrolling in a Lodge
are by no means trifling, so it certainly is a serious question as to
six out of every seven men who become Masons seem so indifferent with
the privileges for which they have paid their good money.
activities losing their appeal to the average man? The fact that the
gains in membership throughout the country show a steady decline during
so that, unless there is a change in the near future, the time will
soon come when
our fraternity will be losing instead of gaining ground annually, is
can not be lightly overlooked or easily answered by those seriously
the welfare and progress of our fraternity.
Your Lodge Activities
As Attractive, Interesting And Helpful As They Might Be?
IF your routine
consists chiefly of ceremonials and official affairs, with an essential
ladies' night or other social entertainment to relieve the monotonous
the "degree mill," your answer to the above question will depend upon
your type of temperament. It can not be gainsaid that there are men who
of Masonic ceremonials, always discovering new beauty and deeper
meaning in our
marvelous ritual. The majority, however, whether unfortunately or
not so enamoured of our ritualistic ceremonials that they do not become
and tiresome after a while.
if your Lodge carries on the customary program of the average Lodge of
may be safely predicted that your average attendance will be similar to
majority of all Lodges throughout the country.
rate of increase in Lodge membership has been steadily declining in
the reports of average attendance indicate a still greater falling off.
ebbing tide of interest in routine Masonic meetings has not been
stemmed by the
frantic efforts of many Lodges to introduce vaudeville stunts, moving
minstrel shows and other entertaining features to compete with similar
which, it is assumed, are drawing members away from their Lodge
It is improbable,
however, that any ordinary Lodge ever will be able to compete
the theatres night clubs or other commercial concerns, conducted
men, who comprise the rank and file in our Lodges, soon become bored by
ritualistic meetings, and since it seems impossible to hold these
members in line
by socials, shows and entertainments, the big question is whether there
is any possible
plan to stem the tide of decreasing attendance and declining
we may find an answer to this question by going back to the beginning
the earlier activities of our brethren, in the days when the average
as soon think of going without eating as missing a regular meeting of
It is not so long ago that the average attendance in most Lodges was
more than a
majority of their enrolled membership.
You Aware That Freemasonry
Was Founded As An Educational Fraternity?
IT is difficult
for me to see why our ritual does not impress upon every Mason the
objectives of our institution. There is no questioning the fact, that,
and up until fairly recent times, the outstanding activity of every
Lodge was to
aid its members "to improve themselves in Masonry." In brief, the
of all Masonic programs used to be upon self ‒ development, through
and educational activities. Just how and why the emphasis was shifted
original motive to its present stress upon social and entertaining
a matter that would require more discussion than the purpose of this
I am sure, however, you will not deny that it would be the extreme of
to characterize the activities of the average Lodge today as either
Masonic programs have been affected or infected by the spirit of the
Jazz Age does
not appear to be a debatable question. It is a serious problem,
jazzing up our activities has proven really attractive and interesting,
the rank and file of our fellowship, who were supposed to be immune and
to all cultural or educational influences. Certainly, the records
showing a decrease
in growth and a steady decline in attendance do not indicate that the
emphasis from educational to entertaining programs has been altogether
Modern Masonry Departed
Too Far From The Original Educational Objectives?
have no doubt as to my answer to this question. I hope, however, you
the conditions in Masonry as you have observed them in your own Lodge
and in whatever
other Masonic circles you have traveled and form your own conclusions
personal experience and observations. If you are satisfied that the
of Masonic activities are in the right direction, I have no desire to
complacent attitude. But, if you believe, as I sincerely do, and as
and observers of Masonic tendencies also believe, that there is vast
room for improvement
in the programs of most of our Lodges today, I trust that you will give
consideration to our proposed remedy.
It is our
contention that the entire structure of Freemasonry is designed to
cultural character. In every degree, the ritualistic teaching is
To admit this is not to deny the social, ethical and moral teachings.
is to stress the fact that true education, genuine self-culture, must
ethical and moral instruction.
that Masonic programs should place greater stress upon educational
a means of overcoming the declining trends in membership and
attendance, you will
note that we can not be charged with advocating any innovation or
departure from the traditional interests and activities of the
fraternity. On the
contrary, our plea is for a return to the ancient ideals upon which the
of our institution has been established.
Let it not
be implied, however, that I am pleading for any sort of a backward
should it be understood that I am objecting to the social and
of ‒ our present day programs. My sole objection is to permitting our
entertaining features to dominate or crowd all educational activities
the program. When we do this, I claim that we are going contrary to the
and true spirit of our great fraternity. Likewise, I maintain, that
the educational emphasis of freemasonry is a serious mistake that
than helps the progress of the Order.
I boldly believe that most men are seeking in Freemasonry today the
our ancient brethren were seeking when they founded the fraternity. I
men are as eager for self-improvement today as they ever have been. I
our candidates today have a real desire to "improve themselves in
consequently they are disappointed and drop out when they find, so
their Lodge program offers neither incentive nor opportunity for any
By the way,
please bear in mind that I am not advocating that Masonry should
compete with any
existing educational agency or institution. I am not urging that our
to provide inferior substitutes for the many excellent ways and means
every community for obtaining a practical education or special training
in any of
the arts and crafts. I hold that to "improve yourself in Masonry" means
a definite and distinct type of education that can not be obtained
outside of our
Craft because no other institution is designed to provide true Masonic
If you are
ready to grant my contention that the present declining trends in our
possibly, be arrested by introducing the right kind of a program for
your next query naturally will be regarding the ways and means for
educational and cultural factors into our Lodge programs.
Much Personal Service
Are You Rendering To Your Fraternity?
brother Hiram, that I now put up to you is the very question I asked
I made a study of our ancient fraternity and its relations to our
present day problems.
When I discovered what appeared to me to be a wrong trend in our
programs, I came face to face with the proposition of what I could
possibly do as
a single individual to counteract a tendency that seems to have
headway and appears to be supported by the majority of Masonic opinion,
the plain fact that Masonry is not maintaining its usual progress under
answer to the question was a resolve that I would devote as much of my
effort as possible to helping formulate and foster a broad program of
designed to appeal to the interests of all types of ordinary Masons
from the rank
and file in our Lodges. In a previous issue of THE BUILDER, my
suggestions for a
proposed educational program have been set forth. No pretense is made
that our proposed
program is free from faults and shortcomings or is adequate to meet all
of the situation. But it is a start in the direction toward what I
must be the remedy for the present declining tendency in our fraternity.
If you agree
in general with my contention that the greatest need in modern Masonry
to place the dominant emphasis upon educational or cultural activities,
should share in this mutual endeavor.
As you are
aware, the only way that any worthy cause may be developed into a
movement is through
the recruiting of individuals who, first, believe in the worthiness of
and next, resolve to do their part toward its advancement. Which brings
to our final question:
You Do Three Things
For The Cause Of Masonic Education?
are earnestly and enthusiastically in favor of advancing the cause of
and sincerely believe that it is not only possible but absolutely
necessary to devise
and develop an educational program that will appeal to the rank and
file of Freemasons,
of course, you are not expected to accept this invitation. But, if you
are in general
agreement with the matters which have been set forth in this article, I
you will be glad to do these three things for the advancement of the
cause we are
First: Spread the gospel of Masonic
education by speaking
a word in its favor whenever you can either find or make an opportunity
to do so.
If you are able to address your Lodge and explain the advantages of
educational emphasis into your programs, by all means do so. If you
have the ability
to deliver a convincing address and can visit neighboring Lodges of
you certainly may be assured of interested audiences, but, the least
you can do,
if you are really in earnest about the importance of Masonic education,
is to speak
a word in season or out of season to your brethren whenever you are
able to do so.
This word-of-mouth recommendation of one brother to another, you will
will become a most effective method for advancing our common cause.
Second: Advertise the advantages of
by distributing printed circulars and booklets that will be supplied to
you on request.
We are planning to reprint certain extracts and articles from THE
BUILDER and also
prepare other leaflets setting forth this subject from various angles.
Third: Join with other brethren in
all sections of
the country in forming sort of a "boosters club" to work together for
the cause of Masonic education. In such an association, which might be
Loyal Builder's League, all the friends of our cause may pass along
and exchange their experiences for the mutual benefit of all who may be
In due course of time, we believe this association of workers for the
cause of Masonic
education may become a most influential and helpful force.
If you are
willing to do these three things and thus do your bit toward helping
develop a practical program for Masonic education, the next step is to
bear in mind that our program is not cut and dried. It is still in the
we welcome suggestions from every source that may enable us to make our
attractive, interesting and helpful. Therefore, please write me freely
letting me know just what co ‒ operation we can give to help you in
doing your bit
for this cause. Address your letter to Herbert Hungerford, Scarsdale,
Bro. Cyrus Field Willard,
Hungerford has an article of peculiar suggestiveness in “The Study Club
in the September BUILDER entitled "Shall We Broaden Our Program of
Education," etc., in which he says:
"Consequently we are anxious to
Mason interested in this question (Masonic Education) present his views
criticism of this proposition, regardless of whether his views are in
or opposed to the program outlined."
six years as a member of the Committee on Masonic Education of the
Grand Lodge of
California, it is a fair presumption that the writer is somewhat
interested in this
subject. Furthermore it is possible that he may have obtained some
for himself in these six years of experience which might be of value if
to those now coming forward in the Masonic world.
It may be
necessary to go back to fundamentals and assert that the Masonic
which to my mind only include the Blue Lodge, the Scottish Rite, the
and the Royal and Select Masters, are supposed to be, from their very
and also individualistic in their teachings to develop the individual.
are necessarily opposed as organizations to collectivism and mass
action. They are
also opposed to any religious test for membership such as is required,
to the universality of Masonry by one organization claiming to be
requires of its members a belief in Christian Trinitarianism and which
whose family in Massachusetts became Unitarians, could not join.
This is a
primary matter of education which goes to Article 1 of the Old Charges,
God and Religion." What Masonic educator dares to speak of it or to
newly-made Mason that such is not a Masonic organization any more than
is. The strictures of Dr. Ernest Crutcher on the conduct of the
Shriners in the
public streets of Los Angeles at the time of their last convention and
city he has been a resident for years are such that the necessity of
newly made Mason that the Shrine is not a Masonic organization is most
To get that information to the public is the next step.
the matter of Masonic education is a matter which affects the member of
Lodge. He is first a member of that Lodge, no matter what appendant
degrees he has
taken. He is subject to the discipline of the Grand Lodge of which he
is a member
or within whose jurisdiction he may reside while retaining membership
two methods of education, one by the eye (reading) and the other by the
instruction and lectures).
has always been recognized as being something which the older brethren
"to be as ready to give as you will be to receive it." The Worshipful
Master is supposed to "set the Craft on work and give them the
whereby they may pursue their labors." How many Masters who come "up
line" simply because they are "good fellows" can give any such
to whom we in America owe as much as to England, had a custom of
every new member one who was called "an intender" out of the elder
who took the new member in hand and instructed him in the meaning of
rites and ceremonies of the secret work so that the new member might
get a Masonic
education. Masonic education is obligatory, whether the "jazz" member
likes it or not. Because we have been negligent in not providing an
each new member is no reason why in each Lodge such a practice,
sanctioned by ancient
usages, should not be established.
Lodge of California adopted the recommendation of its Committee on
three or four years ago that every new member should be required to
educational meeting during the year after he became a member. The
writer was instrumental
in having this put in practice in San Diego where there are some
in and adjacent to the city, by having the Master of each Lodge notify
Mason that he must attend the meeting of what was termed "The South
where addresses were made by well-known Masons and questions were
answered by them
and others. This was called the "San Diego idea" and was more or less
discussed throughout the State and in other jurisdictions. It was
giving Masonic education by being obligatory to those who would not
of the Grand Masters took a forward step by making it obligatory for
of every Lodge in the State to hold an educational meeting once a month
sent out by the committee, to be addressed by a speaker or speakers of
Here is where
the committee fell down. It did not recognize that it was necessary to
to the one or two reading Masons in every Lodge who got their education
the eye and who could speak to their fellow Masons. Although it gave
to literature, yet the average man did not know where to go to get this
As the normal
schools in every State educational system educate their teachers and
system would not amount to much without the teachers, so Masonic
amount to anything unless there are provisions to educate Masonic
California fell down was in not having a traveling library system
could be sent to each Lodge as has been so successful in Iowa,
Washington and other
States where the reading Mason and he who was to deliver an address
before the Lodge
could get the information necessary to make his speech authentic.
with the newly-made Mason in California has only emphasized the saying
them young." We found them hungry for knowledge about Masonry. They
know and this is the main idea of Masonic education, to supply the
with knowledge about the institution of which he is a member and of
literature gives him no accurate information.
Brother Robert I. Clegg I received at the same time as THE BUILDER a
copy of "Proceedings
of the Third Informal Conference of Masonic Librarians and Educators in
May of this
year at Milwaukee," and I would suggest it might be a good idea of
it seriatim in that magazine. There is one idea which seemed to me of
and that is to have the public library in each city carry a group of
always such a thing as "Grand Lodge politics" and while it is not
sometimes, as we have found in California, to get traveling libraries
going to each
Lodge when asked, yet it would be easier in many instances to get the
in the city or town to put in a few Masonic books. There is no need for
of Masonic Education into the Lodge. It was there from the beginning.
It is for
the rank and file to demand their birthright, for the sacerdotal class
in all ages
and all bodies, even Grand Lodges, have always sought to keep the
multitude in ignorance
that their own schemes might be forwarded.
Reviewed in these pages can be procured through the Book Department of
at the prices given, which always include postage. These prices are
a matter of precaution) to change without notice; though occasion for
very seldom arise. Occasionally it may happen, where books are
that there is no supply available, but some indication of this will be
the review. The Book Department is equipped to procure any books in
print on any
subject, and will make inquiries for second-hand works arid books out
a Freemason Should
Fred J. W. Crowe. Published by George Kenning and Sort, London. Cloth.
95 pp., illustrated.
edition of this standard work has just come to my desk. Though
for brethren under the English Constitutions, the well written volume
that will interest us on this side of the Atlantic. The book has the
tone and the atmosphere of painstaking accuracy which marks the
writings of the
Quatuor Coronati brethren, and because of this, American reviewers of
have no hesitancy in recommending the volumes to our readers.
eight chapters, treating of history, Old Charges, certificates (or, as
we call them
here, diplomas of membership), rulers of the Craft, sister Grand
of Freemasonry, English regalia and the English Masonic charities. With
these we are more or less familiar; but mention must be made of three
of the subjects
treated, namely, literature, regalia and the charities.
join with me in my admiration and veneration of William James Hughan
in this deserved tribute:
the list (of brethren whose names are world-famed as Masters of the
Craft) I unhesitatingly
place the name of William James Hughan, because without his work as
pioneer in the
authentic school of Masonic history, and the ever-ready assistance and
freely given, the work of those who followed in his footsteps would
have been impossible.
also gives praise to Robert Freke Gould, Henry Sadler, Laurie and Lyon
Dr. Chetwode Crawley of Ireland; and to Brothers Songhurst, Thorp and
brethren who are still laboring in the literary quarries of the Craft.
he forget Oliver and Preston of early days, nor Woodford, Whytehead,
Speth and Dring,
names more familiar to us than the prophets of Israel. At least, I can
roll of English writers better than I can name the characters of Old
We in the
United States are not sticklers for correct regalia and jewels; on the
we feel we are "putting on swank," to borrow an overseas expression,
we turn out in anything but the simple cotton aprons to be had at the
We stretch a point on installation night, and may wear our Past
and jewels, but even then we feel overly conspicuous. In England,
however, it is
expected that the brethren wear the regalia of the rank which they have
and to also wear the proper jewels, being careful not to commit
breaches of etiquette
by wearing the jewels of the so-called higher degrees (Templar and
in a Craft lodge. Brother Crowe's chapter on regalia will prove
is laid by our English brethren upon their three great Grand Lodge
Royal Masonic Institution for Girls, the Royal Masonic Institution for
the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution. There is also a Freemasons'
Nursing Home. These institutions are supported by lodges and individual
funds being raised by outright grant, bazaars, etc. The information
given by Bro.
Crowe is of more than passing interest to us.
is well illustrated, half-tone illustrations printed in enameled paper
A picture of the Pro-Grand Master, the Right Honorable Lord Ampthill,
G.C.I.E., graces the volume as a frontispiece. Then, too, we meet R. W.
Alfred Bobbins, who endeared himself to us and brought us closer to our
overseas by his never-to-be-forgotten visit in 1924; Hughan, Gould and
this little volume, so packed with vital information, is recommended
in every Masonic library.
* * *
Sir Alfred Robbins. Second edition. Published by the Masonic Record,
Cloth table of contents, 166 pages. Price $2.15.
April we reviewed the first edition of Bro. Johnson’s work, rather
by us it must be said, we expressed the opinion that it was a worthy
serious Masonic literature and expressed the hope that it would be as
as it deserved. We did not suspect that within six months it would have
necessary to issue a second edition, or more accurately speaking, a
the past, Masonic works have more often than not been put out in very
and generally at a loss both to the author and the publisher. There are
of a turn of the tide. A number of instances have occurred in recent
the demand for a Masonic book necessitated a second edition, and in one
of Dr. Joseph Fort Newton's Builders, the sales have risen to the level
of a "best
One of the
most talented Masonic writers in America, Bro. J. E. Morcombe, recently
question as to whether there really was such a thing as a Masonic
there have been thousands of books published on Masonry, but how many,
how few of them, could be classed as literature? It must be confessed
are not too many works that could be properly so classified. Bro.
of course, to works in English. There is an extensive Masonic
literature in German,
and a very considerable one in Dutch, not to speak of other languages.
The two specifically
mentioned stand at a very high average of merit.
work is undoubtedly to be classed as serious literature, and what is
more, it appears
to us to be one of the ablest expositions of the attitude of English
in relation to religion and morality, and on this ground alone is
worthy of careful
consideration. But it is more than that, it opens up countless vistas
of service to humanity and moral advancement. A better work to put in
of a young Mason would not be easy to find. In it he will find
extensions and developments
of the significant symbolism revealed to him in the lodge. It is our
hope that this
second edition will meet the same response as the first.
* * *
Jacob Astor: Landlord
of New York
Arthur D. Howden Smith. Published by J. B. Lippincott Co.,
292 pages Index: Illustrated. Price, $3.65.
will recognize the subject of this most interesting biography as a
Mason; but beyond
the words, "He was a Master Mason in Holland Lodge No 8," there is
in the book under review bearing upon Astor's Craft activities. As one
American Mason recently remarked, it is to be hoped that someday
recognize a prominent man's fraternal connections, and will consider
them at least
as important as his taste for a strong cigar, or his preference for
cream in it. When such a biographer appears on the scene, the craft of
reviewers will rise up bodily and invoke heaven's choicest blessings
upon him. There
was good reason, seven or eight decades ago, for omitting any reference
affiliations ‒ for the subject of a biography fell in the readers'
he was a Mason because of the bitter anti-Masonic feeling which
followed the Morgan
affair, but in this day and age, when we honor a man for his adherence
to the Fraternity
at a time when it took courage to be known as a Mason, there is no
excuse for omitting
complete accounts of Masonic affiliation. Astor was not only a Master
was Master of Holland Lodge and left a printed address which he gave in
capacity; in addition, he was Grand Treasurer of the Grand Lodge F.
& A. M of
New York 1798-1801. Associated with him as Grand Master and Grand
Wardens were Robert
R. Livingston, Jacob Morton and De Witt Clinton, respectively.
criticism is but a minor matter, for the book is one of the most
it has been my fortune to read. It appeals to one because it not only
good qualities, but also emphasizes and does not apologize for his
faults. In this book we meet face to face a gruff old German, whose
stubbornness was no different from that of thousands of his kind. Astor
to them because he had imaginative powers and vision, coupled with a
purpose that one cannot help admire even in the face of Astor's
Born in Waldorf,
Germany, in 1763 ‒ an immigrant to London at sixteen ‒ saved $75 and
funds for a
suit of clothes in four years ‒ spent $25 for the journey from London
and New York at twenty ‒ an attentive ear while fur traders' talk
motive for a vocation when a venture as a dealer in flutes fails ‒
these were the
prelude to his real work as a dealer in furs and in real estate. "Say
you please of our John Jacob, hate him as you may before we are done
with him, his
life was as packed with an essence of romance as a nut is with meat."
the author; all who read the book twill agree with him. Forest runner ‒
fur and tea ‒ a ship owner ‒ an apostle of empire ‒ these were
we of today remember when Astor's name is spoken. Washington Irving
(who was an
intimate friend of Astor’s in his time), has preserved the romance of
Northwest in his entertaining, though none too accurate, Astoria.
Little do we think
today that Portland, Seattle and Spokane are in a territory once under
flag; the War of 1812 is rarely spoken of in terms of Pacific Coast
its influence is still evident to the keen student. Those who have been
to live in the Far West and have communed with the red gods who still
live in the
far-reaching territory once the domain of the Hudson's Bay Company, the
Fur Company and the Pacific Fur Company trappers, will be thrilled by
treatment of the historical events of the Northwest. They were all part
of the prelude
to "covered wagon" days. We meet Jim Bridger, Pierre Chouteau, Marcus
Whitman, Rev. Henry Spalding (whose daughter was the first white woman
of the Rockies, and whose grandson, my friend of many years, is a
brother of the
Craft) and others. To dwell upon them here would rob the reader of his
of the book.
interest in Astor lies more in his activities as "Landlord of New York"
will find this phase of his life extensively treated. He profited
his foresight in the panic of 1837, though he paid heavily in health as
of the strain which the trying times brought upon him. He turned to
diversions, and gathered about him such men as Henry Clay, Fitzgreene
Irving, Samuel Ward, Daniel Webster and Peter Cooper.
of the book we are not permitted to forget that Astor was human. Let me
the concluding text in which the author paints a picture of the man:
"An arrant individualist,
quite blandly anti-social, he went after whatever he sought and took it
means or foul ‒ and whoever didn't like it was welcome to a battle… In
you might trace meditation, courage and masterful resolve ‒ and
and acquisitiveness. But never brutality, intolerance or stupidity. In
analysis, he was simply the product of a period and an environment…
Hove he would
have hated himself had he been able to view some of his acts
objectively, as we
can, through the perspective of time!"
and individual brethren who are rounding out their collections with the
of great men who were Masons will find John Jacob Astor: Landlord of
New York, a
book highly deserving of a place on their shelves.
* * *
New Masonic Edition. Published by the Oxford University Press, American
Grained leather, with stiff covers, 6 x 4 1/2 inches, 283 pages. Price
has been prepared especially as a presentation Bible. It has a page for
of the dates of Initiation, passing and raising and the signature of
and Secretary of the lodge, with supplementary pages for other details,
brother will like to have for remembrance. This is practically
identical with the
previous presentation editions published.
Concordance has been omitted with the result that the volume is not too
be conveniently carried in the pocket. There is no need to say anything
of the make
up, the quality of the paper, the printing or the binding, for these
are all up
to the recognized standard of the Oxford Press.
of presenting Bibles to Candidates upon being raised is constantly
we do not think that a better one for the purpose could be adopted.
* * *
Face from Fish to Man
[Lib 1929] By William K. Gregory. With a
by William Beebe. Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons. Cloth, table of
illustrated, bibliography, index xl and 205 pages.
of the book is fully indicated in the title. It covers the evolution of
face, by pointing out the stages of development that every feature,
and internal, has passed through. The author, who is Professor of
at Columbia University, does not seem to mind how much embarrassment
the facts he
has collected will give to anti-evolutionists. The style is
semi-popular, but it
is not a book for the casual or superficial reader. However anyone with
a fair amount
of general knowledge of scientific subjects will have no difficulty in
the argument, or appreciating the facts upon which it is based.
* * *
The Wild Man
John Bond. Published by the Independent Publishing Co. Cloth, table of
illustrated, 206 pages. Price $2.65.
asserts that his sketch of the career of the Italian dictator has been
without fear or favor; that he has had no special consideration, nor
from the Fascist regime, and that the purpose of his work is to enable
Americans to learn the real facts in the maze of distortions of the
in the propaganda of paid apologists, and the rancor of victims of the
there is little doubt that Mr. Bond's sympathies lie with the latter ‒
it is hardly matter for wonder. One does wonder a little, however, how
it was written
in Rome, or rather, by what channel the MS. was safely conveyed from
Rome to America.
* * *
Science Of Logic
[Lib (not the cited
work) 1874; 1812 German]
by W.H. Johnston and L.G. Struthers, with an Introductory Preface by
Published by the Macmillan Co. Cloth, two volumes. Analytical table of
table of categories, list of English works on Hegel, 404 and 487 pages.
It is to
be feared that most students of' philosophy who do not know German,
have only read
about Hegel; never a wholly satisfactory way of finding out what an
said. Logic is usually taken either as a method, or a discussion of the
reasoning. Hegel seems to have given it almost the content of
is the first complete translation that has been published in English,
work has been discussed and quoted for more than a hundred years.
* * *
R. Swinburne Clymer. Published by the Theosophical Publishing Co.
table of contents, addenda, xxiv and 221 pages.
notice of this work appeared in THE BUILDER for February, in which the
generously offered to supply gratis any Masonic library with a copy on
The author undertakes to answer the questions, when and where did the
Fraternity originate? By whom was it founded? And whether it was reborn
organizations or not. The work is written apparently from the
standpoint that the
Fraternity has had a continuous existence till the present and is still
The author disagrees with the recent work of A. E. Waite upon the same
* * *
and Three Revolutions
John Simpson Penman. Published by the Stratford Co. Table of contents,
with 21 plates, bibliography, index, xiv and 362 pages. Price $5.20.
has sought to correct the rather one-sided view of Lafayette's life and
A very young man when he aided in the American War of Independence, he
great part in the struggle for liberty in France, both at the time of
and later in the Revolution of 1830. The author may perhaps be excused
for not mentioning
Lafayette's Masonic connection as he has not undertaken a complete
spite of this omission the work is a valuable addition to our knowledge
noble partisan of freedom.
* * *
and West of Jordan
Albert Field Gilmore. Published by the Stratford Co. Cloth, table of
by 15 plates, index, xii and 191 pages. Price $3.15.
states that his book is based on his experiences during a visit to
and Egypt two years ago. It appeared first (for the most part) as a
series of articles
in the Christian Science Monitor. There are very rapid changes and
going on in what used to be thought of as the changeless East. How far
are more than superficial remains to be seen. But, for those who cannot
go to see
for themselves, the impressions of travelers are the main source of
The chapter on the prospects of industrial development is especially
[Lib*] By Wolfang Kohler. Published by Horace Liveright.
Cloth, Illustrated by diagrams, index, xii
and 401 pages. Price $4.15.
is an opponent both of the fashionable "Behaviorism" and the
that preceded it. Both, in his opinion, being founded on a too narrow
of the machinery of the brain. Gestalt psychology takes into
consideration the innate
faculty of the senses to apprehend forms as wholes. Behaviorists defend
with a passion that reminds one of Fundamentalists in religion. The
among them as a Modernistic iconoclast and is treated by them
* * *
New Work by Sir Alfred
We have received
an advance notice of a work by Sir Alfred Robbins to be published
shortly by Ernest
Benn, Ltd., London, under the title English
Speaking Masonry [Lib*] Bro. Robbins, as is well known, is
president of the
Board of General Purposes of the United Grand Lodge of England, a
position he has
held for over sixteen years. He is also, as most of our readers know, a
of Quatuor Coronati Lodge, No. 2076.
years Bro. Robbins has made a number of visitations to foreign
a sort of ambassador. He has thus come in personal contact with the
leaders of the
Craft in the United States, parts of South America, and some European
This double qualification of scholarship and official experience gives
the forthcoming work should be of the highest value. We gather that it
whole ground, from the transformation of a craft organization into a
institution of fraternal benevolent, and ‒ possibly ‒ educational
as the title indicates, with its foundation, development and special
in all English speaking countries.
* * *
With A Purpose
Library Association is constantly enlarging the field covered by their
a Purpose Courses. There are some six or eight titles now in the course
in addition to those that have been recently published. The list of
titles now deals
with fifty-two subjects. The fact that the A. L. A. sponsors the
these brochures and that they have selected men who are nationally
known in their
respective fields to compile them constitutes a double guarantee of
titles to be published are the following:
by Earnest Elmo Calkins.
and Our Need of It, by J. Russell Smith.
Man, by George Grant MacCurdy.
Child, by Bird T. Baldwin.
by Frankwood E. Williams, M. D.
by Walton H. Hamilton.
by Willard Grosvenor Bleyer.
* * *
A REPLY In
the July number of THE BUILDER there appeared a review of Bro. F. de P.
new book on the Royal Arch [Lib 1929]. Bro. Castells has taken
to some of the statements in that review, as appears in the following
my book, Historical Analysis of the Holy Royal Arch Ritual, you admit
that the word
"authentic" as applied to one particular group of men engaged in
Research is "an ill-chosen word," and you suggest that "critical
or historical" would be more suitable for as there are so many workers
field, no one has a right to monopolize a term which may be equally
however, does not meet the case, because if the brethren who have
the designation of "authentic" are to adopt the description proposed by
you, they will be making an invidious distinction implying that they
alone are "critical
or historical." For instance, there is my book, of which you say: "It
is really an analysis of the Royal Arch Ritual." If it be not critical
historical, how else will you characterize it?
been quite fair in stating my views. I hold with Dermott, 1756, and
with a host
of eighteenth century Masons, that the Royal Arch is, "the root, heart
marrow of Freemasonry," and that it is founded on historic fact. But
neither fair nor accurate in other respects. And yet I should not
complain for some
of our "authentic school" friends will feel that you have been far too
lenient with me and that you have "blessed me altogether," for you say:
Bro. Castells is entitled to
the credit of having
compared the various types of Ritual actually in use. Generally, such
been undertaken on the basis of one ritual form only. And again,
interpretations suggested by Bro. Castells are often worthy of
are sometimes striking and almost always ingenious. And yet again,
In one respect we must heartily
agree with him;
the lectures of the three Principals and especially of Ex Z in the
certainly do need drastic revision, etc.
is that after having said so much in my favor you part company with me.
the good results I obtain by my method and you can see that the
however much it may have accomplished, gives no promise of ever solving
of our origin; and yet you will not assist me. The Authentic School has
set itself against the view held by Dermott in 1756 about the Royal
Arch, and I
am out to vindicate that view which is at least two Centuries old, cost
I have no personal animus against the Quatuor Coronati Lodge, or
against your own
National Masonic Research Society; or against any other Masonic Study
On the contrary, I say: "God bless them all!" But I can see that the
of Research" are working within too narrow limits, which is unavoidable
Royal Arch matters are to be ventilated in Royal Arch Chapters only. As
a rule such
Lodges are looking for the object of their quest in the Mason's Craft,
genuine Freemasonry" is confessedly something radically distinct from
Naturally they cannot find anything but the "substitutions" effected
centuries ago or very little more.
of Research are working on a line parallel to the one I am following
and so the
two can never meet, and yet what they are searching for is all the time
them. My one aim is to discover the origin of Freemasonry, and in this
know that I am on the right track. The genealogies which fill so many
pages in the
Transactions of some Lodges of Research, seldom extending beyond 1717,
have no charm
for me. And the claims of many quasi-Masonic bodies which we
"the Higher Degrees" leave me cold.
And now as
to the points at issue between us. In my book, I refer to the American
of course, the Ceremonies practiced) of the xviiith century and you
argue that there
is no Ritual "either in print or in manuscript" of such sort. You even
venture to say that if it existed "there are two or three who would
a thousand miles or more to see it. I confess that what I possess is
only an English
reprint, without date, which I have deduced from the internal evidence
to the close of the xviiith century. It is in this way that I conclude
printed Ritual "represents" the working of the Royal Arch which
in America "one hundred and fifty years ago."
Let us see,
then, whether this assumption is justified or not. You say "there seem
Royal Arch Rituals of the last decade of the xviiith century." I can
only one, viz., the Deptford Ritual now in the Freemasons' Hall,
London, which Bro.
Sadler assigned to 1797. There are other Rituals in manuscript which
may be a few
years older. But please note, that when you say "the last decade of the
century," you virtually say "one hundred and forty years ago." Now,
inasmuch as "Exposures" are only of any value when they relate to some
well-established practice, which has become fairly general, I claim
that a Ritual
which was paraded one hundred and forty years ago as that in use among
may safely be considered to represent the practice of at least ten
that is to say, one hundred and fifty years ago. This should be a great
you, for you will not be required to undertake a 1000-miles-long
be a warning to us not to be too skeptical about the antiquity of
argued that the Royal Arch was something concocted about 1738 because
reference to it took him to 1740 or thereabouts. Now, however, we have
of 1725 (only eight years after 1717) where the name of some of the
the Royal Arch are mentioned. In consequence, Gould's "Authentic
(if I may so call it) has been given up.
while you find fault with me for referring to the practice of one
hundred and fifty
years ago, you yourself write: "It would seem that about the end of the
century there were the widest variations in the Royal Arch as practiced
the modern Royal Arch Chapters were bent on simplifying; hence "the
But in alluding to this you appear to know a great deal about the
practice of nearly
one hundred and fifty years ago! I suggest that you form a Chapter of
investigate such things; by doing so you would steal a march on us on
of the Atlantic, where obvious things hinder.
I am not in a position to state what relation my American Royal Arch
to those you name. But it is not the same as that of Elder Bernard in
Light on Masonry
published in 1829 [Lib 1828],
because it contains an addendum of three years
earlier. What I am surprised at is that after giving such ample
quotations you are
unable to identify it. There is Webb's Ritual, you say, but Webb "stood
the dividing line between the centuries." He was initiated in 1792, but
suspect that he did not transmit the Royal Arch Ritual of his Mother
Even if its accuracy be
questioned (which is
at least open to question), etc.
It does not
seem very probable that he remodelled those of the Chapter and the
to question" … and "seems very probable" are too indefinite expressions
to base an argument on, for unfortunately you do not give the grounds
for your suspicions.
If Webb became "the law and the Gospel" for American Masons, as you put
it, I should feel inclined to believe that he re-enacted the Royal Arch
as he found it at the time of his exaltation.
As to the
interrogatory at the Banquet between the M. E. Z. and the P. S. with
Royal Arch Masons are familiar, I have stated that it was taken from
or Lectures; and you hasten to explain to your readers that, "the only
for these 'sections' is Carlile’s expose of 1825."
As a matter
of fact, however, Carlile's Sections are not the only questionnaire of
and our interrogatory follows the Deptford Sections which are at least
older than Carlile's and somewhat different.
who enjoys a high reputation in the Authentic School once said: "If
should say that the Sections are not as old as the Royal Arch itself, I
him to assign any date to them." I will not go so far as this, but I
they are very ancient.
And now about
"the Keystone." My view is that the use of this term in the plural,
is decidedly wrong, and you dissent from me because you say:
If there be any point that
emerges from the scraps
of information we have about the pre-nineteenth century Royal Arch
would seem to be that originally there were three Vaults and three
there be any point … it would seem to be," are too indefinite
any argument. And "pre-nineteenth century" would seem to mean one
and fifty years ago!
I do not
deny that at one time some Rituals spoke of three Vaults and three
Exposure (1825) [Lib 1845] is one of these. But do you
know of another?
The Deptford Ritual [Lib*], which is fully thirty years older, knows
this; it only speaks of one Vault. And in this respect, the Old
appears to have conformed to that of Deptford.
of the Vault and of the Arches was a fanciful variation of our Masonic
tradition about a unique Vault is extremely ancient. We all know how as
364, Philostorgius mentioned its discovery, but in this account there
to suggest three Arches. The tradition was kept alive through the
Middle Ages but
not by Christian workers for whom it had no importance. It is from
Israel in El Conciliador, written in Spanish and published in 1632,
that we have
the mediaeval version; but again he only speaks of the one Vault which
built by King Solomon, and there is no suggestion of three Arches. If,
there was only one Arch (whence the name Royal Arch in the singular)
there can only
have been one Keystone, as I maintain.
ben Israel was no ordinary Jew; he was an ardent Kabbalist, and his
book helps to
establish my view that it is from the Kabbalists that the Freemasons
all the chief elements of the Masonic Ritual (Q. E. D.). Oliver in his
the Royal Arch [Lib 1867] has quoted the passage about
the Vault from
Lindo's English translation of El Conciliador, and I can vouch for the
of the translation for I have read the original.
You say that
on this point: "Carlile is supported by numerous Masonic designs, many
are of the eighteenth century." That these designs are "numerous,"
I do not deny; but that "many" are of the eighteenth century and that
they support Carlile, I cannot allow. There is one which dates from
1789 which was
the subject of a brochure by Bro. Speth, but that one has no suggestion
three Vaults or three Arches. I visited the Freemason's hall Library to
see if I
could discover the "many designs" you speak of, but I was unsuccessful.
I came across one of 1801 by Finch on which was depicted one Vault with
And I saw one of the Jewels said to have been worn by the "Nine
of the Antients on which there is the outline of three Arches, which do
imply three Vaults. These "Nine Worthies" were appointed in 1792, and
in the Jewel was designed at the time of their appointment, that might
be the approximate date of the invention of the notion, which was
to make the tradition to harmonize with the existence of three
Principles. In this
same way the Select Masters speak of the Vault as having nine apart
meets with nine
Arches; a very pretty idea but quite unhistorical.
May I hope
that after this elucidation you will try to help me in my self-imposed
task of clearing
up the problems of the Royal Arch? I have nothing to gain but
everything to lose
by trying to vindicate the old conception of the Supreme Degree against
of the men who now direct operations in some of the Lodges of Research.
however, will do me justice. F. de P.C.
Question Box and Correspondence
or eight years ago the writer had occasion to spend Easter Sunday in
Our Texas brethren will know without being told that the University of
situated in this beautiful city, it is for others, not so well
informed, that mention
is made of this fact. It was in connection with the University, or more
the chapter of my college fraternity at the University, that the trip
If I may be permitted some purely personal expressions, I should like
to say that
my impression of the institution and the surrounding college life was
pleasant. I thought the school one of the worst equipped I had ever
seen and my
visits were not narrowly limited. At that time I had seen the campuses
of some dozen
or so of the larger Middle Western universities. The University of
Texas was from
the fraternity standpoint supposed to compare favorably with the other
But it did not.
impressions still in mind it was a pleasure to read in the current
issue of the
Texas Freemason that the Fraternity had erected a splendid girls home
for the daughters of Masons. There have been numerous dormitories built
at various educational institutions, but so far as I know this is the
that the Masons have thought enough of their daughters to provide
quarters for them.
of this work of our Texas brethren I wish to say only one thing: That
the need for
properly supervised dormitory facilities for women is acute at any
institution. We think enough of our boys to take care of them, but the
left to struggle for themselves and believe me or not, it is some
E T. R., Missouri.
* * *
please inform me in regard to the following; On the Masonic Chart there
is a coffin
with a five-pointed star on the side. Why is the star placed there and
what is its
W. J. B. Georgia.
our correspondent refers to a chart in the Monitor used in Georgia, of
we have no copy at hand. However, the many Monitors that have been
follow each other very closely, and are all directly or indirectly to
back to the original one published by Webb. The "Hieroglyphic" emblems
are derived from The True Masonic Chart of Webb's disciple and
E. Cross, whose designs have been copied with very little change, over
of The True Masonic Fort is a design called the "Master's Carpet,"
includes all the emblems of the symbolic degrees. It was intended, and
days was used, as a design painted on cloth or canvas, and laid down on
of the lodge before the station of the Worshipful Master to illustrate
when delivered to the candidate. There is in this well-known design a
the foreground, and in later reproductions a five-point star or
on the lid. In the original design of Cross it does not appear in this
it is found above the letter G. between the two pillars, and under the
the "Master's Carpet" and the title page, came a series of plates each
with several emblems or designs, intended to recall different points in
degrees. The eighth of' these showed the "chequered pavement" with a
star in the center. The seventeenth, dealing with the Master Mason,
shows the star
again, all by itself', under the legend "Second Section." The
plate gives the "Emblems of Mortality," and among these is the coffin,
upon which is not a star, but a pentagram ‒ though of course the
outline of the
pentagram is that of the star. All these separate designs have been
of times. In most of the later reproductions the pentagram has become a
years before Jeremy Cross published his Chart, there had appeared
in France containing designs of similar import, though widely different
and detail. Two of these were reproduced in THE BUILDER for 1927, at
pages 87 and
120, respectively. In each of these will be found a five-point star,
in the same position ‒ between the pillars ‒ as in the "Master's
In the earlier one the star contains the letter G. in the later one the
below. In each the star is irradiated with flames issuing from between
‒ the obvious reference being to the "Blazing Star" mentioned in the
facts we have to infer that the five point star is among the oldest of
In the form of the pentagram it was used in ceremonial magic, and it
occult meanings. In Masonry there seems little doubt that its primary
was not so much in its being a star, as in its having five points. The
Cross Put it as the symbol for the second section of the third degree,
it in connection with the emblems of mortality, should be a sufficient
hint to intimate
to what it referred.
"Master's Carpet" and the French designs, it would seem to have a
extended meaning, though derived from the primary one. Briefly we might
say it refers
to the final illumination that is only received symbolically in the
lodge, but which
in its reality will come after the faithful Master Mason has finished
and has received admission to the Celestial Lodge above.
* * *
Symbolism of the Knocks
I would like
to have your opinion as to the symbolic meaning of the knocks given by
the W. M.,
S. W. and J. W. in the opening and closing ceremonies (three knocks in
three times in the third; two knocks in the second, and one knock in
the First Degree
L. B. R., Idaho.
say, with the man who saw the giraffe, "there ain't no such animal,"
this would not be particularly helpful. There is a brief paragraph in
[Lib 1914] which mentions the use of
or mallet to call the workmen to labor, or to signify the hour of
German stone masons in the Middle Ages. This is taken from the Statutes
of the Steinmetzen,
which are given in full in Gould's History in Chapter iii, and are
was a natural and practical one. Bells, gongs, trumpets, drums, and
whistles, have been used everywhere and always to summon people to
every kind of purpose. To use a hammer in this way in the stone-shed,
was a most obvious thing to do. It is quite likely, too, that some
may have been made in the method of knocking, for different purposes,
probably to indicate the position of the one doing it, as has been
this use of the officers' gavels in our Speculative lodges is a
survival of a genuine
tradition. The distinction in regard to degrees is not so old, but it
was a very
natural development to indicate these by the number of knocks.
symbolism is to be looked for, it is in the number three, though it is
connected with the symbolism of the gavel. But whatever there might be
of this has
never yet been worked out. Here is an opportunity for our symbolists.
* * *
St. John's Day
On June 24th
of this year, a St. John's Day festival was held by Chattanooga Lodge,
Chattanooga, Tenn. The present secretary of the lodge, Bro. John B.
the minutes of the meeting held on June 24, 1869. The then secretary of
who compiled those minutes was present in the person of' Bro. Capt. A.
He has been a member of Chattanooga Lodge for sixty-two years.
An Encyclopeadia of Freemasonry
and its Kindred Sciences
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Bull - Providas Romanorum
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Freemasonry Before the
Existence of Grand Lodges
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Cas29 / auth. Castells Francis de P.. - London : A. Lewis, 1929. - Vol.
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History of Freemasonry
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History of Freemasonry
(Yorston) Vol 2
Gou84Yorston2 / auth. Gould Robert F. - New York : John C. Yorston
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History of Freemasonry
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Gou84Yorston3 / auth. Gould Robert F. - New York : John C. Yorston
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History of Freemasonry
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Gou84Yorston4 / auth. Gould Robert F. - New York : John C. Yorston
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Light on Masonry
Ber28 / auth. Bernard Elder David. - Utica : William Williams, 1828. -
Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 593. - 21.6 MB.
Manual of Freemasonry
Car45 / auth. Carlile Richard. - Leeds GB : Celephais Press, 1845. -
Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 333. - 1.2 MB.
Our Face from Fish to Man
Gre29 / auth. Gregory William K. - New York : G. P. Putnam Sons, 1929.
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The Logic of Hegel
Heg74 / auth. Hegel Georg W F. - Oxford : Clarandon Press, 1874. - Vol.
1 : 1 : p. 519. - 16.4 MB.
The Origin of the Royal Arch
Oli671 / auth. Oliver George. - London : Richard Spencer, 1867. - Vol.
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Wissenschaft der Logik
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Not Searchable - Gothic Font.