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Article # 214
Illustrations of Masonry- Book-4 (Sections 1 to7)

Author: W.Bro.William Preston    Posted on: Sunday, June 4, 2006
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[Sections 1 to 7 of the Book- 4 of The Illustrations of Masonry by Preston is posted here. Book- 4 is a huge file and it is being split up into four parts and the first part consisting of first seven sections is posted. Section 7 deals with the establishment of the Grand Lodge in London in 1717. The learned author had elaborately dealt with the construction of cathedrals and important buildings as well as the reconstruction of London after the great fire. The Origin and History of Freemasonry in England have been traced in this book with copious references. The foot notes have been incorporated at the relevant places in the main articles itself]



Past Master of the Lodge of Antiquity (No.1)




Section. 1. Masonry Early introduced into England. Account of the Druids. Progress of Masonry in England under the Romans.  Masons highly favoured by St. Alban.

The history of Britain, previous to the invasion of the Romans, is so mixed with fable, as not to afford any satisfactory account, either of the original inhabitants of the island, or of the arts practised by them. It appears, however, from the writings of the best historians, that they were not destitute of genius or taste. There are yet in being the remains of some stupendous works, executed by them much Earlier than the time of the Romans, and those vestiges of antiquity, though defaced by time, display no small share of ingenuity and are convincing proofs, that the science of masonry was not unknown even in those rude ages.

The Druids, we are informed, retained among them many usages similar to those of masons, but of what they consisted, at this remote period we cannot with certainty discover. In conformity to the antient practices of the fraternity, we learn that they held their assemblies in woods and groves and observed the most impenetrable secrecy in their principles and opinions, a circumstance we have reason to regret, as these, being known only to themselves, must have perished with them.

They were the priests of the Britons, Gauls and other Celtic nations and were divided into three classes, the bards, who were poets and musicians, formed the first class, the vates, who were priests and physiologists, composed the second class and the third class consisted of the Druids, who added moral philosophy to the study of physiology.

As study and speculation were the favourite pursuits of those philosophers, it has been suggested that they chiefly derived their system of government from Pythagoras. Many of his tenets and doctrines seem to have been adopted by them. In their private retreats, they entered into a disquisition of the origin, laws and properties of matter, the form and magnitude of the universe and even ventured to explore the most sublime and hidden secrets of Nature. On these subjects they formed a variety of hypotheses, which they delivered to their disciples in verse, in order that they might be more easily retained in memory, and administered an oath not to commit them to writing.

In this manner the Druids communicated their particular tenets and concealed under the veil of mystery every branch of useful knowledge, which tended to secure to their order universal admiration and respect, while the religious instructions propagated by them were every where received with reverence and submission. They were entrusted with the education of youth, and from their seminaries alone issued curious and valuable productions. As judges of law, they determined all causes, ecclesiastical and civil, as tutors, they taught philosophy, astrology, politics, rites and ceremonies, and as bards, in their songs they recommended the heroic deeds of great men to the imitation of posterity.

To enlarge on the usages that prevailed among those ancient philosophers, on which we can offer at best but probable conjectures, would be a needless waste of time, we shall therefore leave the experienced mason to make his own reflections on the affinity of their practices to the rites established among the fraternity and proceed to a disquisition of other particulars and occurrences better authenticated and of more importance.

On the arrival of the Romans in Britain, arts and sciences began to flourish. According to the progress of civilization, masonry rose into esteem, hence we find that Cæsar and several of the Roman generals who succeeded him in the government of this island, ranked as patrons and protectors of the Craft. Although at this period the fraternity were employed in erecting walls, forts, bridges, cities, temples, palaces, courts of justice and other stately works, history is silent respecting their mode of government and affords no information in regard to the usages and customs prevalent among them. Their lodges and conventions were regularly held, but being open only to the initiated fellows, the legal restraints they were under, prevented the public communication of their private transactions.

The wars, which afterwards broke out between the conquerors and conquered, considerably obstructed the progress of masonry in Britain, so that it continued in a very low state till the time of the emperor Carausius, by whom it was revived under his own immediate auspices. Having shaken off the Roman yoke, he contrived the most effectual means to render his person and government acceptable to the people and assuming in the character of a mason, he acquired the love and esteem of the most enlightened part of his subjects. He possessed real merit, encouraged learning and learned men, improved the country in the civil arts and, in order to establish an empire in Britain, he collected into this dominions the best workmen and artificers from all parts, all of whom, under his auspices, enjoyed peace and tranquillity. Among the first class of his favourites, came the masons, for their tenets he professed the highest veneration and appointed Albanus, his steward, the principal superintendant of their assemblies. Under his patronage, lodges and conventions of the fraternity, were regularly formed and the rites of masonry practised. To enable the masons to hold a general council to establish their own governmentand correct errors among themselves, he granted to them a charter and commanded Albanus to preside over them in person as Grand Master. This worthy knight proved a zealous friend to the Craft and afterwards assisted at the initiation of many persons into the mysteries of the Order. To this council, the name of Assembly was afterwards given  

[An old MS. which was destroyed, with many others, in 1720, said to have been in the possession of Nicholas Stone, a curious sculptor under Inigo Jones, contained the following particulars: ' St. Alban loved Masons well, and cherished them much, and made their pay right good; for he gave them ijs. per weeke, and iiijd. to their cheer;(1) whereas, before that time, in all the land, a Mason had but a penny a day, and his meat, until St. Alban mended it. And he gott them a charter from the King and his counsell for to hold a general counsell, and gave itt to name Assemblie. Thereat he was himselfe, and did helpe to make Masons, and gave them good charges.']

 Albanus was born at Verulam, (now St. Alban's, in Hertfordshire,) of a noble family. In his youth he travelled to Rome, where he served seven years under the Emperor Diocletian. On his return home, by the example and persuasion of Amphibalus of Caer-leon, (now Chester,) who had accompanied him in his travels, he was converted to the Christian faith and, in the tenth and last persecution of the Christians, was beheaded, A. D. 303. St. Alban was the first who suffered martyrdom for the Christian religion in Britain, of which the venerable Bede gives the following account. The Roman governor having been informed that St. Alban harboured a Christian in his house, sent a party of soldiers to apprehend Amphibalus. St. Alban immediately put on the habit of his guest and presented himself to the officers. Being carried before a magistrate, he behaved with such a manly freedom and so powerfully supported the cause of his friend, that he not only incurred the displeasure of the judge, but brought upon himself the punishment above specified.

  [The garment which Alban wore upon this occasion was called a caracalla; it was a kind of cloke with a cowl, resembling the vestment of the Jewish priests. Walsingham relates that it was preserved in a large chest in the church of Ely, which was opened in the reign of Edward II, A.D. 1314; and Thomas Rudburn, another writer of equal authority, confirms this relation; and adds, that there was found, with his garment, an old writing in these words: 'This is the Caracalla of St. Amphibalus, the monk and preceptor of St. Alban; in which that proto-martyr of England suffered death, under the cruel persecution of Diocletian against the Christians.']

The old constitutions affirm, that St. Alban was employed by Carausius to environ the city of Verulam with a wall and to build for him a splendid palace and that to reward his diligence in executing those works, the emperor appointed him steward of his household and chief ruler of the realm. however this may be, from the corroborating testimonies of ancient historians, we are assured that this knight was a celebrated architect and a real encourager of able workmen, it cannot therefore be supposed, that free masonry would be neglected under so eminent a patron.

Section. 2. History of Masonry in England under St. Austin, King Alfred, Edward, Athelstane, Edgar, Edward the Confessor, William the Conqueror, Henry I, Stephen and Henry II and also under the Knights Templars.

After the departure of the Romans from Britain, masonry made but a slow progress and in a little time was almost totally neglected, on account of the irruptions of the Picts and Scots, which obliged the southern inhabitants of the island to solicit the assistance of the Saxons, to repel these invaders. As the Saxons increased, the native Britons sunk into obscurity and ere long yielded the superiority to their protectors, who acknowledged their sovereignty and jurisdiction. These rough and ignorant heathens, despising every thing but war, soon put a finishing stroke to all the remains of ancient learning, which had escaped the fury of the Picts and Scots. They continued their depredations with unrestrained rigour, till the arrival of some pious teachers from Wales and Scotland, when many of these savages being reconciled to Christianity, masonry got into repute and lodges were again formed, but these being under the direction of foreigners, were seldom convened and never attained to any degree of consideration or importance. [See the Book of Constitutions]

Masonry continued in a declining state till the year 557, when Austin, with forty more monks, among whom the sciences had been preserved, came into England.  Austin was commissioned by Pope Gregory, to baptize Ethelbert, King of Kent, who appointed him the first Arch Bishop of Canterbury. This monk and his associates, propagated the principles of Christianity among the inhabitants of Britain and by their influence, in little more than sixty years, all the Kings of the heptarchy were converted. Masonry flourished under the patronage of Austin and many foreigners came at this time into England, who introduced the Gothic style of building. Austin seems to have been a zealous encourager of architecture, for he appeared at the head of the fraternity in founding the old cathedra of Canterbury in 600 and the cathedral of Rochester in 602, St. Paul's, London, in 604, St. Peter's, Westminster, in 605, and many others. Several palaces and castles were built under his auspices, as well as other fortifications on the borders of the Kingdom, by which means the number of masons in England was considerably increased. [ See the Monasticon Anglicanum.]

Some expert brethren arrived from France in 680 and formed themselves into a lodge, under the direction of Bennet, abbot of Wirral, who was soon after appointed by Kenred, King of Mercia, inspector of the lodges and general superintendant of the masons. During the heptarchy, masonry continued in a low state, but in the year 856, it revived under the patronage of St. Swithin, who was employed by Ethelwolph, the Saxon King, to repair some pious houses and from that time it gradually improved till the reign of Alfred, A. D. 872, when, in the person of that prince, it found a zealous protector.

Masonry has generally kept pace with the progress of learning, the patrons and encouragers of the latter having been most remarkable for cultivating and promoting the former. No prince studied more to polish and improve the understandings of his subjects than Alfred and no one ever proved a better friend to masonry. By his indefatigable assiduity in the pursuit of knowledge, his example had powerful influence and he speedily reformed the dissolute and barbarous manners of his people. Mr. Hume, in his History of England, relates the following particulars of this celebrated prince, "Alfred usually divided his time into three equal portions: one was employed in sleep and the refection of his body by diet and exercise, another in the dispatch of business, and a third, in study and devotion. That he might more exactly measure the hours, he made use of burning tapers of equal lengths, which he fixed in lanthorns, and expedient suited to that rude age, when the art of describing sun dials and the mechanism of clocks and watches, were totally unknown. By this regular distribution of time, though he often laboured under great bodily infirmities, this martial hero, who fought in person fifty six battles by sea and land, was able, during a life of no extraordinary length, to acquire more knowledge and even to compose more books, than most studious men, blest with greater leisure and application, have done in more fortunate ages."

As this prince was not negligent in encouraging the mechanical arts, masonry claimed a great part of his attention. He invited from all quarters industrious foreigners to repeople his country, which had been desolated by the ravages of the Danes. He introduced and encouraged manufactures of all kinds among them. No inventor or improver of any ingenious art did he suffer to go unrewarded, and he appropriated a seventh part of his revenue for maintaining a number of workmen, whom he constantly employed in rebuilding his ruined cities, castles, palaces and monasteries. The University of Oxford was founded by him.

On the death of Alfred in 900, Edward succeeded to the throne, during whose reign the masons continued to hold their lodges, under the sanction of Ethred, his sister's husband and Ethelward, his brother, to whom the care of the fraternity was intrusted. Ethelward was a prince of great learning and an able architect. He founded the university of Cambridge. Edward died in 924and was succeeded by Athelstane his son, who appointed his brother Edwin, patron of the masons, This prince procured a charter from Athelstane, empowering them to meet annually in communication at York, where the first Grand Lodge of England was formed in 926, at which Edwin presided as Grand Master. Here many old writings were produced, in Greek, Latin and other languages, from which the constitutions of the English lodges are originally derived.

  [A record of the society, written in the reign of Edward IV., said to have been in the possession of the famous Elias Ashmole, founder of the museum at Oxford, and which was unfortunately destroyed, with other papers on the subject of Masonry, at the Revolution, gives the following account of the state of Masonry at this period,  “That though the ancient records of the Brotherhood in England were many of them destroyed, or lost, in the wars of the Saxons and Danes, yet King Athelstane (the grandson of King Alfrede the Great, a mighty architect), the first anointed King of England, and who translated the Holy Bible into the Saxon tongue (A.D. 930), when he had brought the land into rest and peace, built many great works, and encouraged many Masons from France, who were appointed overseers thereof and brought with them the charges and regulations of the lodges, preserved since the Roman times, who also prevailed with the King to improve the Constitution of the English lodges according to the foreign model and to increase the wages of working Masons.

That the said King's brother, Prince Edwin, being taught Masonry, and taking upon him the charges of a Master Mason, for the love he had to the said Craft, and the honourable principles whereon it is grounded, purchased a free charter of King Athelstane for the Masons having a correction among themselves (as it was anciently expressed), or a freedom and power to regulate themselves, to amend what might happen amiss, and to hold a yearly communication and general assembly.

That, accordingly, prince Edwin summoned all the Masons in the realm to meet him in a congregation at York, who came and composed a general Lodge, of which he was Grand Master; and having brought with them all the writings and records extant, some in Greek, some in Latin, some in French, and other languages, from the contents thereof that assembly did frame the constitutions and charges of an English Lodge, made a law to preserve and observe the same in all time coming, and ordained good pay for working Masons,' &c.

From this era we date the re-establishment of Freemasonry in England. There is at present a Grand Lodge of Masons in the city of York, who trace their existence from this period. By virtue of Edwin's charter, it is said, all the Masons in the realm were convened at a general assembly in that city, where they established a general or grand Lodge for their future government. Under the patronage and jurisdiction of this Grand Lodge, it is alleged, the Fraternity considerably increased; and Kings, princes, and other eminent persons, who had been initiated into Masonry, paid due allegiance to that Grand Assembly. But as the events of the times were various and fluctuating, that assembly was more or less respectable; and in proportion as Masonry obtained encouragement, its influence was more or less extensive. The appellation of Ancient York Masons is well known in Ireland and Scotland; and the universal tradition is, that the brethren is that the appellation originated at Auldby, near York. This carries with it some marks of confirmation; for Auldby was the seat of Edwin.

There is every reason to believe that York was deemed the original seat of Masonic government in this country; no other place has pretended to claim it; and the whole Fraternity have, at various times universally acknowledged allegiance to the authority established there: but whether the present association in that city be entitled to the allegiance, is a subject of inquiry which is not my province to investigate. To that Assembly recourse must be had for information. Thus much however, is certain, that if a General Assembly or Grand Lodge was held there (of which there is little doubt, if we can only rely on our records and constitutions, as it is said to have existed there in Queen Elizabeth's time), there is no evidence of its regular removal to any other place in the Kingdom; and upon that ground the brethren at York may probably claim the privilege of associating in that character. A number of respectable meetings of the Fraternity appear to have been convened at sundry times in different parts of England; but we cannot find an instance on record, till a very late period, of a general meeting (so called) being held in any other place beside York.”

To understand this matter more clearly, it may be necessary to advert to the original institution of that assembly called a General or Grand Lodge. It was not then restricted, as it is now understood to be, to the Masters and Wardens of private lodges, with the Grand Master and Wardens at their head; it consisted of as many of the Fraternity at large as, being within a convenient distance, could attend, once or twice a year, under the auspices of one general head, who was elected and installed at one of these meetings; and who, for the time being, received homage as the sole governor of the whole body. The idea of confining the privileges of Masonry, by a warrant of constitution, to certain individuals convened on certain days at certain places, had then no existence. There was but one family among Masons, and every Mason was a branch of that family. It is true the privileges of the different degrees of the Order always centred in certain members of the Fraternity, who, according to their advancement in the Art, were authorised by the ancient charges to assemble in, hold, and rule lodges, at their will and discretion, in such places as best suited their convenience, and when so assembled, to receive pupils and deliver instructions in the Art, but all the tribute from these individuals, separately and collectively, rested ultimately in the General Assembly; to which all the Fraternity might repair, and to whose award all were bound to pay submission.

As the constitutions of the English lodges are derived from this General Assembly at York, as all Masons are bound to observe and preserve those in all time coming and as there is no satisfactory proof that such assembly was ever regularly removed by the resolution of its members, but that, on the contrary, the Fraternity still continue to meet in that city under this appellation, it may remain a doubt, whether, while these constitutions exist as the standard of Masonic conduct, that assembly may not justly claim the allegiance to which their original authority entitled them and whether any other convention of Masons, however great their consequence may be, can, consistent with those constitutions, withdraw their allegiance from that assembly, or set aside an authority, to which not only antiquity, but the concurrent approbation of Masons for ages under the most solemn engagements, have repeatedly given a sanction.

It is to be regretted, that the idea of superiority, and a wish to acquire absolute dominion, should occasion a contest among Masons. Were the principles of the Order better understood and more generally practiced, the intention of the institution would be more fully answered. Every Mason would consider his brother as his fellow and he who, by generous and virtuous actions, could best promote the happiness of society, would always be most likely to receive homage and respect.]

Athelstane kept his court for some time at York, where he received several embassies from foreign princes, with rich presents of various kinds. He was loved, honoured and admired by all the princes of Europe, who sought his friendship and courted his alliance. He was a mild sovereign, a kind brother and a true friend. The only blemish, which historians find in the whole reign of Athelstane, is the supposed murder of his brother Edwin. This youth, who was distinguished for his virtues, having died two years before his brother, a false report was spread, of his being wrongfully put to death by him. But this is so improbable in itself, so inconsistent with the character of Athelstane and indeed so slenderly attested, as to be undeserving  a place in history.  

[The excellent writer of the Life of King Athelstane(1) has given so clear and so perfect a view of this event, that the reader cannot receive greater satisfaction than in that author's own words, “The business of Edwin's death is a point the most obscure in the story of this King, and, to say the truth, not one even of our best historians hath written clearly, or with due attention, concerning it. The fact as commonly received is this: The King suspecting his younger brother Edwin, of designing to deprive him of his crown, caused him, notwithstanding his protestations of innocency, to be put on board a leaky ship, with his armour-bearer and page. The young prince, unable to bear the severity of the weather and want of food, desperately drowned himself. Some time after, the King's cup-bearer, who had been the chief cause of this act of cruelty, happened, as he was serving the King at table, to trip with one foot, but recovering himself with the other, "See," said he, pleasantly, "how brothers afford each other help;' which striking the King with the remembrance of what himself had done, in taking off Edwin, who might have helped him in his wars, he caused that business to be more thoroughly examined, and finding his brother had been falsely accused, caused his cup-bearer to be put to a cruel death, endured himself seven years sharp penance, and built the two monasteries of Middleton and Michelness, to atone for this base and bloody fact.(2)

Dr. Howel, speaking of this story, treats it as if very indifferently founded, and, on that account, unworthy of credit(3) . Simeon of Durham and the Saxon Chronicle say no more than that Edwin was drowned by his brother's command in the year 933(4) . Brompton places it in the first, or, at farthest, in the second year of his reign; and he tells its the story of the rotten ship, and of his punishing the cup-bearer(5) . William of Malmsbury, who is very circumstantial, says, he only tells us what he heard(6) ; but Matthew the Flower-gatherer (7) stamps the whole down as an indubitable truth. Yet these discordant dates are not to be accounted for. If he was drowned in the second, he could not be alive in the tenth year of the King; the first is the more probable date, because about that time there certainly was a conspiracy against King Athelstane, in order to dethrone him, and put out his eyes, yet he did not put the author of it to death; is it likely then, that he should order his brother to be thrown into the sea upon bare suspicion? But the reader must remember, that we cite the same historians who have told us this story, to prove, that Athelstane was unanimously acknowledged King, his brethren being too young to govern; one would think then, that they could not be old enough to conspire. If we take the second date, the whole story is destroyed; the King could not do seven years penance, for he did not live so long; and as for the tale of the cup bearer, and his stumbling at the King's table, the same story is told of Earl Godwin, who murdered the brother of Edward the Confessor. Lastly, nothing is clearer from history, than that Athelstane was remarkably kind to his brothers and sisters, for whose sakes he lived single, and therefore his brother had less temptation to conspire against him.

1. Biog. Brit. vol. i. p. 63, 1st edit.

2. Speed's Chronicle, book vii. chap. 38.

3. Gen. Hist. P. iv. c. 2. f. 10.

4. Simeon Dunelm. p. 154, Chron. Saxon. p. 111.

5. Chronicon. p. 828.

6. De Gest. R.A. lib, ii.

7. Matth. Florileg.

The activity and princely conduct of Edwin qualified him, in every respect, to preside over so celebrated a body of men as the masons, who were employed under him in repairing and building many churches and superb edifices, which had been destroyed by the ravages of the Danes and other invaders, not only in the city of York, but at Beverley and other places.

On the death of Edwin, Athelstane undertook in person the direction of the lodges and the art of masonry was propagated in peace and security under his sanction. When Athelstane died, the masons dispersed and the lodges continued in an unsettled state till the reign of Edgar in 960, when the fraternity were again collected by St. Dunstan, under whole auspices they were employed on some pious structures, but met with no permanent encouragement. After Edgar's death, masonry remained in a low condition upwards of fifty years. In 1041, it revived under the patronage of Edward the Confessor, who superintended the execution of several great works. He rebuilt Westminster Abbey, assisted by Leofrick Earl of Coventry, whom he appointed to superintend the masons. The Abbey of Coventry and many other structures, were finished by this accomplished architect.

William, the Conqueror having acquired the crown of England in 1066, he appointed Gundulph, Bishop of Rochester and Roger de Montgomery, Earl of Shrewsbury, joint patrons of the masons, who at this time excelled both in civil and military architecture. Under their auspices the fraternity were employed in building the Tower of London, which was completed in the reign of William Rufus, who rebuilt London bridge with wood and first constructed the palace and hall of Westminster in 1087.

On the accession of Henry I. the lodges continued to assemble. From this prince, the first Magna Charta, or charter of liberties, was obtained by the Normans. Stephen succeeded Henry in 1135 and employed the fraternity in building a chapel at Westminster, now the House of Commons and several other works. These were finished under the direction of Gilbert de Clare Marquis of Pembroke, who at this time presided over the lodges.

During the reign of Henry II, the Grand Master of the Knights Templars superintended the masons and employed them in building their Temple in Fleet-street, A. D. 1155. Masonry continued under the patronage of this Order till the year 1199, when John succeeded his brother Richard in the crown of England. Peter de Colechurch was then appointed Grand Master. He began to rebuild London bridge with stone, which was afterwards finished by William Alcmain in 1209. Peter de Rupibus succeeded Peter de Colechurch in the office of Grand Master and Geoffrey Fitz Peter, chief surveyor of the King's works, acted as his deputy. Under the auspices of these two artists, masonry flourished during the remainder of this and the following reign.

Section. 3. History of Masonry in England during the Reigns of Henry III. Edward I. Edward II. Edward III. Richard II. Henry IV. Henry V. and Henry VI.

On the accession of Edward I. A. D. 1272, the care of the masons was entrusted to Walter Giffard, Arch Bishop of York, Gibert de Clare, Earl of Gloucester, and Ralph, Lord of Mount Hermer, the progenitor of the family of the Mantagues. These architects superintended the finishing of Westminster Abbey, which had been begun in 1220, during the minority of Henry III. In the reign of Edward II. the fraternity were employed in building Exeter and Oriel colleges, Oxford, Clare Hall, Cambridge, and many other structures, under the auspices of Walter Stapleton, Bishop of Exeter, who had been appointed Grand Master in 1307.

Masonry flourished in England during the reign of Edward III., who became the patron of science and the encourager of learning. He applied with indefatigable assiduity to the constitutions of the Order, revised and ameliorated the ancient charges and added several useful regulations to the original code of laws

 [An old record of the Society runs thus, “ In the glorious reign of King Edward III., when lodges were more frequent, the Right Worshipful the Master and Fellows, with consent of the Lords of the realm (for most great men were then Masons), ordained,

That for the future, at the making or admission of a brother, the constitution and the ancient charges should be read by the Master or Warden.


That such as were to be admitted Master-Masons, or masters of work, should be examined whether they be able of cunning to serve their respective Lords as well the lowest as the highest, to the honour and worship of the aforesaid Art, and to the profit of their Lords; for they be their Lords that employ and pay them for their service and travel.

The following particulars are also contained in a very old MS. of which a copy is said to have been in the possession of the late George Payne, Esq., Grand Master in 1718.

That when the Master and Wardens meet in a Lodge, if need be, the sheriff of the county, or the Mayor of the city, or alderman of the town, in which the congregation is held, should be made fellow and sociate to the Master, in help of him against rebels, and for upbearing the rights of the realm.

That entered prentices, at their making, were charged not to be thieves or thieves' maintainers; that they should travel honestly for their pay, and love their fellows as themselves, and be true to the King of England, and to the realm, and to the lodge.

That, at such congregations, it shall be inquired whether any Master or Fellow has broke any of the articles agreed to; and if the offender, being duly cited to appear, prove rebel, and will not attend, then the lodge shall determine against him, that he shall forswear (or renounce) his Masonry, and shall no more use this Craft; the which if he presume for to do, the sheriff of the county shall prison him, and take all his goods into the King's hands, till his grace be granted him and issued. For this cause principally have these congregations been ordained, that as well the lowest as the highest should be well and truly served in this Art aforesaid, throughout all the Kingdom of England. Amen, so mote it be!']

 He patronized the lodges and appointed five deputies under him to inspect the proceedings of the fraternity, viz. 1). John de Spoulee, who rebuilt St. George's chapel at Windsor, where the order of the garter was first instituted, A. D .1350, 2). William a Wykeham, afterwards Bishop of Winchester, who rebuilt the castle of Windsor as the head of 400 free masons A. D. 1357, 3). Robert a Barnham, who finished St. George's hall as the head of 250 free-masons, with other works in the castle, A. D. 1375, 4). Henry Yeuele, (called in the old records, the King's freemason,) who built the Charter House in London, King's hall, Cambridge, Queensborough castle, and rebuilt St. Stephen's chapel, Westminster.


[On the 27th of May 1330, in the 4th year of Edward III. the works of this chapel were re-commenced. From a charter preserved in the Tower of London, it is evident that this chapel was not finished for several years. In this charter the motives which induced King Edward to rebuild and endow, it, are expressed with peculiar elegance and neatness. On the 1st of January 1353, he granted to the Dean and Canons of this collegiate chapel, a spot of ground extending to the Thames, whereon to build cloisters, he also made a grant of some houses in the neighbourhood and vested several manors for the endowment of the college in John Duke of Lancaster as trustee. The college of St. Stephen was valued at its suppression at 1085l. 10 s. 5d., and was surrendered in the first year of Edward VI. The chapel was afterwards fitted up for the meeting of the House of Commons, to whose use it has ever since been appropriated.

The following account of the plan and ornaments of this chapel, which, in consequence of some projected alterations in the House of Commons, have lately, after a lapse of ages, been unveiled, may be considered as curious and interesting, as there is no contemplation that imparts a higher degree of satisfaction, than that which presents to the mind images of ancient and departed splendour.

The eastern part of this chapel serves for the House of Commons and the western is occupied by the lobby and adjoining rooms and offices. In the latter, there are no traces of any enrichments, but in the former, are the remains of the altar, stone-seats and other rich works. The elevation of the western front, or entrance to the chapel, presents these observations. From the ground line in the centre rise two arches, supporting the open screen. On the right of the screen is the entrance into the porch adjoining, which is the wall of the Court of Requests. On the left is a space corresponding once, it may be presumed, with the perfect side of the screen, extending to the south wall of the hall. Above the screen, some remains of the centre building is still visible. On the south front, the centre window is complete, five others are filled up with the brick-work between the windows which at present light the House of Commons. The buttresses are entire, as well as the tracing in the spandrels of the arches. On the east front, from the ground line, were three windows of the chancel, the east window of which is now filled up. The buttresses are entire, as well as the octangular towers. On the right is part of an ancient wall, which now belongs to the speaker's house. On the east end were three windows from the ground of the chancel, over the groins are part of the remains of the altar and on each side stone seats and clusters of columns, the capitals of which rise to the present ceiling of the House of Commons. The whole is of the richest workmanship. On the south side, from the ground line in the centre, is a perfect window, painted with the arms of Westminster. On the left of the chancel are clusters of columns, on the right side of the left clusters is the eastern window and without is the profile of the buttresses. At the east end of the column is an open part, to the right is the chancel and the bases are two feet below the pavement, which shews that there must have been a great ascent to the chancel. The whole of the undercroft is perfect, excepting the bases of the outer columns and forms a fine superstructure of gigantic support to the light and delicate parts above. In the inside you behold the east window, the altar and the stone-seats, which are broken through. The clusters of columns, the imposts of the windows, the arches, their spandrels, the entablature, the beautiful proportion of the windows and the enrichments of the whole, crowd on the sight and fill the mind with wonder and admiration. At the upper end of the chapel near the altar, on the south side, there are evidently the remains of a black marble monument, but to whose memory it was erected, we are left to conjecture. Over the monument are three angels, standing upright, with their wings half-expanded and covered with golden eyes, such as are on the peacock's tail. These paintings, which must have been done in the reign of Edward III. are, for that period, when the art of painting was in its infancy, wonderfully well executed, the colouring has preserved a considerable portion of its original freshness. The expression and attitude of the angels are singularly interesting. You may suppose the body of the deceased stretched before them, the three angels are holding palls or mantles before them, which they are preparing to throw over the body and at the same time the one in the middle seems to say, 'Behold all that remains on earth of him who was once so mighty!' while the countenances of the two others are expressive of regret and commiseration. The stretched-out pall in the hands of the central angel is powdered over with the irradiated gold circles, in the middle of which are spread eagles, with two heads. This affords room for a supposition whose the tomb was: the armorial bearings of Peter of Savoy, uncle to queen Eleanor, the wife of Henry III. who beautified the chapel, consisted of an eagle with two heads, but his shield displayed 'Or, an eagle with two heads, sable.' Now as the eyes of the peacocks tail are painted in gold, so different from the natural colouring, it is not improbable that for the sake of adding elegance to the pall, the painter preferred representing the eagle's head in gold rather than in sable, it may therefore be the tomb of St. Peter of Savoy we are describing.

On the left side of the altar is a painting of the adoration of the shepherds, though the group is not disposed in the most accurate style of design, yet there is something in it that highly interests the imagination, the Virgin on one side is described holding the new-born infant, while Joseph is extending the swaddling clothes. The cattle behind are not ill expressed, and the devotion of the shepherds with their flocks, is very appropriately delineated, the shepherd's boy blowing the double flutes to his dancing dog and the fighting rams, seem but ill to accord with the subject, but as the painter has placed them without the stable, perhaps the inconsistency may be overlooked. There are several paintings on the right side of the altar: they appear to be figures of different Kings and queens, tolerably well drawn and in good proportion and strongly mark the durability of the colouring of that day. On the north side of the chapel there are paintings of men in armour, beneath two of them are the names of Mercure and Eustace. In short, the whole of the architecture and enrichments, colours and gilding, are extremely fresh and well preserved. It is remarkable, that the colours are decorated with a sort of pateraand several of the mouldings are filled up with ornaments so minute, that those of the spandrels and ground entablature could hardly have been perceived from the chapel.

The blockings and frieze of the entablature over the windows of the chapel contain some of them leaves and flowers, others perfect marks and others shields, with the arms of Edward the Confessor, Geneville, Mandevilleand Bruyere — the arms of Castile and Leon and ancient France — the arms of the Kingdom of the West Saxons — vine leaves and grapes, supported by a figure issuing out of a cloud — and shields with the arms of Strabolgi, Earls of Athol in Scotland and barons of Chilham in Kent, together with the shields of several other Kings and barons.

The artist was doubtless desirous that the whole work should have the same attention and that one uniform blaze of magnificence and splendour should shine around, making this chapel the ne plus ultra of the arts, worthy the saint whose name it bears and of its founder Edward III. the great patron of ancient architecture.

Several curious fragments of the paintings lately discovered on the walls of this chapel have been presented to the Society of Antiquarians, of which body a committee was appointed to superintend the execution of drawings of all curious remains that have been brought to light by the late alterations in this celebrated old building.]

and 5). Simon Langham, abbot of Westminster, who rebuilt the body of that cathedral as it now stands. At this period, lodges were numerous and communications of the fraternity held under the protection of the civil magistrate.

Richard II. succeeded his grandfather Edward III. in 1377 and William a Wykeham was continued Grand Master. He rebuilt Westminster Hall as it now stands, and employed the fraternity in building New College, Oxford and Winchester college, both of which he founded at his own expense.

Henry, Duke of Lancaster, taking advantage of Richard's absence in Ireland, got the parliament to depose him and next year caused him to be murdered. Having supplanted his cousin, he mounted the throne by the name of Henry IV and appointed Thomas Fitz Allen, Earl of Surrey, Grand Master. After the famous victory of Shrewsbury, he founded Battle Abbey and Fotheringay, and in this reign the Guildhall of London was built. The King died in 1413 and Henry V. succeeded to the crown, when Henry Chicheley, Arch Bishop of Canterbury, obtained the direction of the fraternity, under whose, auspices lodges and communications were frequent.

Henry VI. a minor, succeeding to the throne in 1422, the parliament endeavoured to disturb the masons, by passing the following act to prohibit their chapters and conventions. (3 Hen. VI. cap. 1. A. D. 1425.) Masons shall not confederate in Chapters or Congregations

 “Whereas, by the early congregations and confederacies made by the masons in their general assemblies, the good course and effect of the statutes of labourers be openly violated and broken, in subversion of the law and to the great damage of all the commons, our sovereign Lord the King, willing in this case to provide a remedy, by the advice and consent aforesaid and at the special request of the commons, hath ordained and established that such chapters and congregations shall not be hereafter holden, and if any such be made, they that cause such chapters and congregations to be assembled and holden, if they thereof be convict, shall be judged for felons: and that the other masons, that come to such chapters or congregations, be punished by imprisonment of their bodies and make find and ransom at the King's will.” 

[Judge Coke gives the following opinion on this statute, “All the statutes concerning labourers before this act and whereunto this act doth refer, are repealed by the statute of 5 Eliz. cap, 4. about A.D. 1562, whereby the cause and end of maKing this act is taken away and consequently the act is become of no force, for cessante ratione legis, cessat ipsa lex: and the indictment of felony upon this statute must contain, That those chapters and congregations are to the violating and breaKing of the good course and effect of the statutes of labourers, which now cannot be so alleged, because these statutes be repealed. Therefore this would be put out of the charge of justices of the peace.” INSTITUTES, Part III. fol. 19.

It is plain, from the above opinion, that this act, though never expressly repealed, can have no force at present. The Masons may rest very quiet, continue to hold their assemblies and propagate their mysteries, as long as their conformity to their professed principles entitles them to the sanction of government. Masonry is too well known in this country, to raise any suspicion in the legislature. The greatest personages have presided over the Society and under their auspicious government, at different times, an acquisition of patrons, both great and noble, has been made. It would therefore be absurd to imagine, that any legal attempt will ever be made to disturb the peace and harmony of a society so truly respectable and so highly honoured.]

This act was never put in force, nor the fraternity deterred from assembling, as usual, under Arch Bishop Chicheley, who still continued to preside over them. Notwithstanding this rigorous edict, the effect of prejudice and malevolence in an arbitrary set of men, lodges were formed in different parts of the Kingdom and tranquillity and felicity reigned among the fraternity.

 [The Latin Register of William Molart, Prior of Canterbury, in manuscript, page. 88. entitled, Liberatio generalis Domini Gulielmi Prioris Ecclesiæ Christi Cantuariensis, erga Festum Natalis Domini 1429, informs us that, in the year 1429, during the minority of this prince, a respectable lodge was held at Canterbury, under the patronage of Henry Chicheley, the ArchBishop, at which were present Thomas Stapylton the Master, John Morris, custos de la lodge lathomorum, or warden of the lodge of Masons, with fifteen fellow crafts and three entered apprentices, all of whom are particularly named.]


As the attempt of parliament to suppress the lodges and communications of masons renders the transactions of this period worthy attention, it may not be improper to state the circumstances which are supposed to have given rise to this harsh edict.

The Duke of Bedford, at that time regent of the Kingdom, being in France, the regal power was vested in his brother Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester ,

 [This Prince is said to have received a more learned education than was usual in his age, to have founded one of the first public libraries in England and to have been a great patron of learned men. If the records of the Society may be relied on, we have reason to believe that he was particularly attached to the Masons, having been admitted into their Order and assisted at the initiation of King Henry in 1442.]

who was styled protector and guardian of the Kingdom. The care of the young King's person and education was entrusted to Henry Beaufort, Bishop of Winchester, the capacity and experience, but of an intriguing and dangerous character. As he aspired to the sole government of affairs, he had continual disputes with his nephew the protector and gained frequent advantages over the vehement and impolitic temper of that Prince. Invested with power, he soon began to shew his pride and haughtiness and wanted not followers and agents to augment his influence.

 [In a parliament held at Westminster on the 17th of November 1423, to answer a particular end, it was ordained, 'That if any person committed for grand or petty treason, should wilfully break out of prison and escape from the same, it should be deemed petty treason and his goods be forfeited( (Wolfe's Chronicle, published by Stowe).  About this time one William King, of Womolton, in Yorkshire, servant of Sir Robert Scott, lieutenant of the tower, pretended that he had been offered by Sir John Mortimer (cousin to the lately deceased Edward Mortimer, Earl of March, the nearest in blood to the English crown and then a prisoner in the Tower), ten pounds to buy him clothes, with forty pounds a year and to be made an Earl, if he would assist Mortimer in making his escape, that Mortimer said, he would raise 40,000 men on his enlargement and would strike off the heads of the rich Bishop of Winchester, the Duke of Gloucester and others. This fellow undertook to prove upon oath the truth of his assertion. A short time after, a scheme was formed to cut off Mortimer and an opportunity soon offered to carry it into execution. Mortimer being permitted one day to walk to the Tower wharf, was suddenly pursued, seized, brought back, accused of breaking out of prison and of attempting his escape. He was tried and the evidence of King being admitted, was convicted, agreeably to the late statute and afterwards beheaded.

The death of Mortimer occasioned great murmuring and discontent among the people and threatened a speedy subversion of those in power. Many hints were thrown out, both in public and private assemblies, of the fatal consequences which were expected to succeed this commotion. The amazing progress it made justly alarmed the suspicions of the ambitious prelate, who spared no pains to exert his power on the occasion.]

The animosity between the uncle and nephew daily increased and the authority of parliament was obliged to interpose. On the last day of April 1425, the parliament met at Westminster. The servants and followers of the peers coming thither, armed with clubs and staves, occasioned its being named THE BATT PARLIAMENT. Several laws were made and, among the rest, the act for abolishing the society of masons at least, for preventing their assemblies and congregations.

 [Dr. Anderson, in the first edition of the Book of Constitutions, in a note, makes the following observation on this Act. “This Act was made in ignorant times, when true learning was a crime and geometry condemned for conjuration, but it cannot derogate from the honour of the Ancient Fraternity, who, to be sure, would never encourage any such confederacy of their working brethren. By tradition, it is believed, that the parliament were then too much influenced by the illiterate clergy, who were not accepted Masons, nor understood architecture (as the clergy of some former ages) and were generally thought unworthy of this brotherhood. Thinking they had an indefeasible right to know all secrets by virtue of auricular confession and the Masons never confessing anything thereof, the said clergy were highly offended and at first, suspecting them of wickedness, represented them as dangerous to the State during that minority and soon influenced the Parliament to lay hold of such supposed arguments of the working Masons, for making an Act that might seem to reflect dishonour upon even the whole Fraternity, in whose favour several Acts had been before and after that period made.”]

Their meetings being secret, attracted the attention of the aspiring prelate, who determined to suppress them.

[The Bishop was diverted from his persecution of the Masons, by an affair in which he was more nearly concerned. On the morning of St. Simon and Jude's day, after the Lord Mayor of London had returned to the city from Westminster, where he had been taking the usual charges of his high office, he received a special message, while seated at dinner, from the Duke of Gloucester, requiring his immediate attendance. He immediately repaired to the palace and being introduced into the presence, the Duke commanded his Lordship to see that the city was properly watched the following night, as he expected his uncle would endeavour to make himself master of it by force, unless some effectual means were adopted to stop his progress. This command was strictly obeyed and at nine o'clock the next morning, the Bishop of Winchester, with his servants and followers, attempting to enter the city by the bridge, were prevented by the vigilance of the citizens, who repelled them by force. This unexpected repulse enraged the haughty prelate, who immediately collected a numerous body of archers and other men at arms and commanded them to assault the gate with shot. The citizens directly shut up their shops and crowded to the bridge in great numbers, when a general massacre would certainly have ensued, had it not been for the timely interposition and prudent administration of the Mayor and Aldermen, who happily stopt all violent measures and prevented a great effusion of blood.

The Arch Bishop of Canterbury and Peter, Duke of Coimbra, eldest son of the King of Portugal, with several others, endeavoured to appease the fury of the two contending parties and, if possible, to bring about a reconciliation between then, but to no purpose, as neither party would yield. They rode eight or ten times backward and forward, using every scheme they could devise to prevent further extremities, at last they succeeded in their mediation and brought the parties to a conformity, when it was agreed, that all hostile proceedings should drop on both sides and the matter be referred to the award of the Duke of Bedford, on which peace was restored and the city remained in quiet.

The Bishop lost no time in transmitting his case to the Duke of Bedford, and in order to gloss it over with the best colours, he wrote the following letter.

“RIGHT high and mighty prince and my right noble and after one leiuest [earthly] Lord, I recommend me unto your grace with all my heart. And as you deSire the welfare of the King our sovereign Lord and of his realms of England and France, your own weal [health] with all yours, haste you hither: For by my troth, if you tarry long, we shall put this land in jeopardy [adventure] with a field, such a brother you have here, God make him a good man. For your wisdom well knoweth that the profit of France standeth in the welfare of England, &c. The blessed Trinity keep you. Written in great haste at London, on All-hallowen-even, the 31st of October, 1425,

By your servant, to my lives end,


This letter had the desired effect and hastened the return of the Duke of Bedford to London, where he arrived on the 10th of January 1425-6. On the 21st of February he held a great council at St. Albans, adjourned it to the 15th of March at Northampton and to the 25th of June at Leicester. Batts and staves being now prohibited, the followers of the members of parliament attended with stones in a sling and plummets of lead. The Duke of Bedford employed the authority of Parliament to reconcile the differences which had broke out between his brother and the Bishop of Winchester, and obliged these rivals to promise before that assembly, that they would bury all quarrels in oblivion. Thus the long wished for peace between these two great personages was, to all appearances, accomplished.

During the discussion of this matter before parliament, the Duke of Gloucester exhibited the following charge, among five others, against the Bishop of Winchester: 'That he had, in his letter to the Duke of Bedford at France, plainly declared his malicious purpose of assembling the people and stirring up a rebellion in the nation, contrary to the King's peace.'

The Bishop's answer to this accusation was, 'That he never had any intention to disturb the peace of the nation, or raise a rebellion, but that he sent to the Duke of Bedford, to solicit his speedy return to England, to settle all those differences which were so prejudicial to the peace of the Kingdom: That though he had indeed written in the letter, That if he tarried, we should put the land in adventure by a field, such a brother you have here, he did not mean it of any design of his own, but concerning the seditious assemblies of masons, carpenters, tylers and plaisterers, who, being distasted by the late Act of Parliament against the excessive wages of those trades, had given out many seditious speeches and menaces against certain great men, which tended much to rebellion:(1) That the Duke of Gloucester did not use his endeavour, as he ought to have done in his place, to suppress such unlawful assemblies, so that he feared the King and his good subjects, must have made a field to withstand them, to prevent which, he chiefly desired the Duke of Bedford to come over.”

As the Masons are unjustly suspected of having given rise to the above civil commotions, I thought it necessary to insert the foregoing particulars, in order to clear them from this false charge. Most of the circumstances here mentioned, are extracted from Wolfe's Chronicle published by Stowe. (The above particulars are extracted from one of Elias Ashmole's MSS. on the subject of Free masonry]

The sovereign authority being vested in the Duke of Gloucester, as protector of the realm, the execution of the laws and all that related to the civil magistrate, centered in him: a fortunate circumstance for the masons at this critical juncture. The Duke, knowing them to be innocent of the accusations which the Bishop of Winchester had laid against them, took them under his protection and transferred the charge of rebellion, sedition and treason, from them, to the Bishop and his followers, who, he asserted, were the first violators of the public peace and the most rigorous promoters of a civil discord.

The Bishop, sensible that his conduct could not be justified by the laws of the land, prevailed on the King, through the intercession of the parliament, whose favour his riches had obtained, to grant letters of pardon for all offences committed by him, contrary to the statute of provisors and other acts of præmunire and five years afterward, procured another pardon, under the great seal, for all crimes whatever from the creation of the world to the 26th of July 1437.

Notwithstanding these precautions of the Cardinal, the Duke of Gloucester drew up, in 1442, fresh articles of impeachment against him and presented them in person to the King, earnestly intreating that judgment might be passed upon him, according to his crimes. The King referred the matter to his council, at that time composed principally of ecclesiastics, who extended their favour to the Cardinal and made such a slow progress in the business, that the Duke, wearied out with their tedious delays and fraudulent evasions, dropt the prosecution and the Cardinal escaped.

Nothing could now remove the inveteracy of the cardinal against the Duke, he resolved to destroy a man, whose popularity might become dangerous and whose resentment he had reason to dread. The Duke having always proved a strenuous friend to the public and by the authority of his birth and station, having hitherto prevented absolute power from being vested in the King's person, Winchester was enabled to gain many partisans, who were easily brought to concur in the ruin of the prince

 [The Bishop planned the following scheme at this time to irritate the Duke of Gloucester. His duchess, the daughter of Reginald Lord Cobham, had been accused of the crime of witchcraft and it was pretended that a waxen figure of the King was found in her possession, which she and her associates, Sir Roger Bolingbroke, a priest and one Margery Jordan of Eye, melted in a magical manner before a slow fire, with an intention of making Henry's force and vigour waste away by like insensible degrees. The accusation was well calculated to affect the weak and credulous mind of the King and gain belief in an ignorant age. The duchess was brought to trial, with her confederates and the prisoners were pronounced guilty. The duchess was condemned to do public penance in London for three days and to suffer perpetual imprisonment, the others were executed. The protector, provoked at such repeated insults offered to his duchess, made a noble and stout resistance to these most abominable and shameful proceedings, but it unfortunately ended in his own destruction.]

To accomplish this purpose, the Bishop and his party concerted a plan to murder the Duke. A parliament was summoned to meet at St. Edmondsbury in 1447, where they expected he would lie entirely at their mercy. Having appeared on the second day of the session, he was accused of treason and thrown into prison, where he was found, the next day, cruelly murdered. It was pretended that his death was natural, but though his body, which was exposed to public view, bore no marks of outward injury, there was little doubt of his having fallen a sacrifice to the vengeance of his enemies. After this dreadful catastrophe, five of his servants were tried for aiding him in his treasons and condemned to be hanged, drawn and quartered. They were hanged accordingly, cut down alive, stripped naked and marked with a knife to be quartered, when the Marquis of Suffolk, through a mean and pitiful affectation of popularity, produced their pardon and saved their lives, the most barbarous kind of mercy that can possibly be imagined.

The Duke of Gloucester's death was universally lamented throughout the Kingdom. He had long obtained and deserved, the Surname of Good. He was a lover of his country, the friend of good men, the protector of masons, the patron of the learned and the encourager of every useful art. His inveterate persecutor, the hypocritical Bishop, stung with remorse, scarcely survived him two months, when, after a long life spent in falsehood and politics, he sunk into oblivion and ended his days in misery.

 [The wickedness of the cardinal's life and his mean, base and unmanly death, will ever be a bar against any vindication of his memory, for the good which he did while alive, or which the money he had amassed could do after his death. When in his last moments, he was heard to utter these mean expressions: 'Why should I die who am possessed of so much wealth? If the whole kingdom could save my life, I am able by policy to preserve it, or by my money to purchase it. Will not death be bribed and money do everything?' The inimitable Shakespeare, after giving a most horrible picture of despair and a tortured conscience, in the person of the Cardinal, introduces King Henry to him with these sharp and piercing words, 

                            “Lord Cardinal, if thou think'st on heav'n's bliss,

                                  Lift up thy hand, make signal of that hope.'

                                  He dies and makes no sign. ( Hen. VI. Act 3.)

”The memory of the wicked shall rot, but the unjustly persecuted shall be had in everlasting remembrance.”]

After the death of the cardinal, the masons continued to hold their lodges without danger of interruption. Henry established various seats of erudition, which he enriched with ample endowments and distinguished by peculiar immunities, thus inviting his subjects to rise above ignorance and barbarism and reform their turbulent and licentious manners. In 1442, he was initiated into masonry and, from that time, spared no pains to obtain a complete knowledge of the Art. He perused the ancient charges, revised the constitutions and, with the consent of his council, honoured them with his sanction.

  [A record in the reign of Edward IV runs thus. “The company of Masons, being otherwise termed Free masons, of auntient staunding and good reckoninge, by means of affable and kind meetyngs dyverse tymes and as a lovinge brotherhode use to doe, did frequent this mutual assembly in the tyme of Henry VI. in the twelfth yeare of his most gracious reign, A.D. 1434.” The same record says farther, “ That the charges and laws of the Free-masons have been seen and perused by our late soveraign king Henry VI. and by the Lords of his most honourable council, who have allowed them and declared, “ That they  be right good and reasonable to be holden, as they have been drawn out and collected from the records of auntient tymes, &c. &c.” From this record it appears that before the troubles, which happened in the reign of this unfortunate prince, Free masons were held in high estimation.]

Encouraged by the example of the sovereign and allured by an ambition to excel, many Lords and gentlemen of the court were initiated into masonry and pursued the Art with diligence and assiduity.

 [While these transactions were carrying on in England, the Masons were countenanced and protected in Scotland by King James I. After his return from captivity, he became the patron of the learned and a zealous encourager of Masonry. The Scottish records relate, that he honoured the lodges with his royal presence, that he settled a yearly revenue of four pounds Scots (an English noble), to be paid by every Master mason in Scotland to a Grand Master, chosen by the Grand Lodge and approved by the Crown, one nobly born or an eminent clergyman, who had his deputies in cities and counties, and every new brother at entrance paid him also a fee. His office empowered him to regulate in the Fraternity what should not come under the cognizance of law courts. To him appealed both Mason and Lord, or the builder and founder, when at variance in order to prevent law pleas, and in his absence they appealed to his Deputy or Grand Warden that resided near to the premises.]

The King in person presided over the lodges and nominated William Wanefleet, Bishop of Winchester, Grand Master, who built at his own expence Magdalene college, Oxford and several pious houses. Eton college, near Windsor and King's college, Cambridge, were founded in this reign and finished under the direction of Wanefleet. Henry also founded Christ's college, Cambridge' and his queen, Margaret of Anjou, Queen's college, in the same university. In short, during the life of this prince, the arts flourished and many sagacious statesmen, consummate orators and admired writers, were supported by royal munificence.

Section. 4. History of Masonry in the South of England, from, 1471 to 1567.

Masonry continued to flourish in England till the peace of the Kingdom was interrupted by the civil wars between the two royal houses of York and Lancaster, during which it fell into an almost total neglect, that continued till 1471, when it again revived under the auspices of Richard Beauchamp, Bishop of Sarum, who had been appointed Grand Master by Edward IV. and had been honoured with the title of chancellor of the garter, for repairing the castle and chapel of Windsor.

During the short reigns of Edward V. and Richard III. masonry was on the decline, but on the accession of Henry VII. A. D. 1485, it rose again into esteem, under the patronage of the Master and fellows of the order of St. John at Rhodes, (now Malta,) who assembled their Grand Lodge in 1500 and chose Henry their protector. Under the royal auspices the fraternity once more revived their assemblies and masonry resumed its pristine splendor.

On the 24th of June 1502, a lodge of masters was formed in the palace, at which the King presided in person as Grand Master, and having appointed John Islip, abbot of Westminster and Sir Reginald Bray, knight of the garter, his wardens for the occasion, proceeded in ample form to the east end of Westminster Abbey, where he laid the foundation stone of that rich masterpiece of Gothic architecture, known by the name of Henry the seventh's chapel. This chapel is supported by fourteen Gothic buttresses, all beautifully ornamented and projecting from the building in different angles, it is enlightened by a double range of windows, which throw the light into such a happy disposition, as at once to please the eye and afford a kind of solemn gloom. These buttresses extend to the roof and are made to strengthen it, by being crowned with Gothic arches. The entrance is from the east end of the abbey, by a flight of black marble steps, under a noble arch, leading to the body of the chapel. The gates are of brass. The stalls on each side are of oak, as are also the seats and the pavement is black and white marble. The capestone of this building was celebrated in 1507.

Under the direction of Sir Reginald Bray, the palace of Richmond was afterwards built and many other stately works. Brazen nose college, Oxford and Jesus and St. Jon's colleges, Cambridge, were all finished in this reign. Henry VIII. succeeded his father in 1509 and appointed Cardinal Wolsey, Grand Master. This prelate built Hampton court, Whitehall, Christ church college, Oxford and several other noble edifices, all of which, upon his disgrace, were forfeited to the crown, A. D. 1530. Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex, succeeded the cardinal in the office of Grand Master, and employed the fraternity in building St. James's palace, Christ's hospital and Greenwich castle. In 1534, the King and Parliament threw off allegiance to the Pope of Rome and the King being declared supreme head of the church, no less than 926 pious houses were suppressed, many of which were afterwards converted into stately mansions for the nobility and gentry. Under the direction of John Touchet Lord Audley, who, on Cromwell's being beheaded in 1540, had succeeded to the office of Grand Master, the fraternity were employed in building Magdalene college, Cambridge and several other structures. Edward VI. a minor, succeeded to the throne in 1547 and his guardian and regent, Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset, undertook the management of the masons and built Somerset house in the Strand, which, on his being beheaded, was forfeited to the crown in 1552. John Poynet, Bishop of Winchester, then became the patron of the fraternity and presided over the lodges till the death of the King in 1553.

The masons remained without any nominal patron till the reign of Elizabeth, when Sir Thomas Sackville accepted the office of Grand Master. Lodges were held, during this period, in different parts of England, but the General or Grand Lodge assembled in York, where the fraternity were numerous and respectable. The following circumstance is recorded of Elizabeth. Hearing that the masons were in possession of secrets, which they would not reveal and being jealous of all secret assemblies, she sent an armed force to York, with intent to break up their Annual Grand Lodge. [This confirms the observations, in a former note, on the existence of the Grand Lodge at York]

This design, however, was happily frustrated by the interposition of Sir Thomas Sackville, who took care to initiate some of the chief officers, which she had sent on this duty. They joined in communication with the masons and made so favourable a report to the queen on their return, that she countermanded her orders and never afterwards attempted to disturb the meetings of the fraternity. Sir Thomas Sackville held the office of Grand Master till 1567, when he resigned in favour of Francis Russel, Earl of Bedford and Sir Thomas Gresham, an eminent merchant, distinguished by his abilities and great success in trade.

[Sir Thomas Gresham proposed to erect a building, at his own expence, in the city of London, for the service of commerce, if the citizens would purchase a proper spot for that purpose. His proposal being accepted and some houses between Cornhill and Threadneedle Street, which had been purchased on that account, having been pulled down, on the 7th of June 1566, the foundation stone of the intended building was laid. The work was carried on with such expedition, that the whole was finished in November 1567. The plan of this edifice was formed upon that of the Exchange at Antwerp, being, like it, an oblong square, with a portico, supported by pillars of marble, ten on the north and south sides and seven on the east and west, under which stood the shops, each seven feet and a half long and five feet broad, in all 120, twenty-five on each side east and west, thirty-four and a half north and thirty-five and a half south, each of which paid Sir Thomas 4 l. 10s. a year on an average. There were likewise other shops fitted up at first in the vaults below, but the dampness and darkness rendered them so inconvenient, that the vaults were soon let out to other uses. Upon the roof stood, at each corner, upon a pedestal, a grass hopper, which was the crest of Sir Thomas's Arms. This edifice, on its being first erected, was called simply, the Bourse, but on the 23d of January 1570, the queen, attended by a great number of her nobles, came from her palace of Somerset house in the Strand and passing through Threadneedle Street, dined with Sir Thomas at his house in Bishopsgate Street, and after dinner her Majesty returned through Cornhill, entered the Bourse on the south side and having viewed every part of the building, particularly the gallery which extended round the whole structure and which was furnished with shops filled with all sorts of the finest wares in the city, she caused the edifice to be proclaimed, in her presence, by a herald and trumpet, 'The Royal Exchange,' and on this occasion, it is said, Sir Thomas appeared publicly in the character of Grand Master. The original building stood till the fire of London in 1666, when it perished amidst the general havoc, but was afterwards restored to its present magnificence.]

To the former, the care of the brethren in the northern part of the Kingdom was assigned, while the latter was appointed to superintending the meetings in the south, where the society had considerably increased, in consequence of the honourable report, which had been made to the queen. Notwithstanding this new appointment of a Grand Master for the fourth, the General Assembly continued to meet in the city of York as heretofore, where all the records were kept and to this assembly, appeals were made on every important occasion

Section. 5. Progress of Masonry in the South of England from the Reign of Elizabeth to the Fire of London in 1666.

The queen being assured that the fraternity were composed of skilful architects and lovers of the Arts and that state affairs were points in which they never interfered, was perfectly reconciled to their assemblies and masonry made a great progress at this period. During her reign, lodges were held in different places of the Kingdom, particularly in London and its environs, where the brethren increased considerably and several great works were carried on, under the auspices of Sir Thomas Gresham, from whom the fraternity received every encouragement.  Charles Howard, Earl of Essingham, succeeded Sir Thomas in the office of Grand Master and continued to preside over the lodges in the fourth till the year 1588, when George Hastings, Earl of Huntingdon, was chosen, who remained in that office till the death of the queen in 1603.

On the demise of Elizabeth, the crowns of England and Scotland were united in her successor James VI. of Scotland, who was proclaimed King of England, Scotland and Ireland, on the 25th of March 1603. At this period, masonry flourished in both Kingdoms and lodges were convened under the royal patronage. Several gentlemen of fine taste returned from their travels, full of laudable emulation to revive the old Roman and Grecian masonry. These ingenious travellers brought home fragments of old columns, curious drawings and books of architecture.

Among the number was the celebrated Inigo Jones, son of Inigo Jones, a citizen of London, who was put apprentice to a joiner and had a natural taste for the art of designing. He was first renowned for his skill in landscape painting and was patronized by the learned William Herbert, afterward Earl of Pembroke. He made the tour of Italy at his Lordship's expence and improved under some of the best disciples of the famous Andrea Palladio. On his return to England, having laid aside the pencil and confined his study to architecture, he became the Vitruvius of Britain and the rival of Palladio. This celebrated artist was appointed general surveyor to King James I. under whose auspices the science of masonry flourished. He was nominated Grand Master of England and was deputized by his sovereign to preside over the lodges.  

[The Grand Master of the North bears the title of Grand Master of all England, which may probably have been occasioned by the title Grand Master of England having been at this time conferred on Inigo Jones and which title the Grand Masters in the South bear to this day].

During his administration, several learned men were initiated into masonry and the society considerably increased in reputation and consequence. Ingenious artists daily resorted to England, where they met with great encouragement. Lodges were constituted as seminaries of instruction in the sciences and polite arts, after the model of the Italian schools, the communications of the fraternity were established and the annual festivals regularly observed.

Many curious and magnificent structures were finished under the direction of this accomplished architect and among the rest, he was employed, by command of the sovereign, to plan a new palace at Whitehall, worthy the residence of the Kings of England, which he accordingly executed, but for want of a parliamentary fund, no more of the plan than the present Banqueting house was ever finished. In 1607, the foundation stone of this elegant piece of true masonry was laid by King James, in presence of Grand Master Jones and his wardens, William Herbert Earl of Pembroke and Nicholas Stone esq. Master mason of England, who were attended by many brothers, clothed in form and other eminent persons, invited on the occasion. The ceremony was conducted with the greatest pomp and splendour and a purse of broad pieces of gold laid upon the stone, to enable the masons to regale. This building is said to contain the finest single room of its extent since the days of Augustus and was intended for the reception of ambassadors and other audiences of state. The whole is a regular and stately building, of three stories, the lowest has a rustic wall, with small square windows and by its strength happily serves as a basis for the orders. Upon this is raised the Ionic, with columns and pilasters and between the columns, are well-proportioned windows, with arched and pointed pediments: over these, is placed the proper entablature, on which is raised a second series of the Corinthian order, consisting of columns and pilasters, like the other, column being placed over column and pilaster over pilaster. From the capitals are carried festoons, which meet with masks and other ornaments, in the middle. This series is also crowned with its proper entablature, on which is raised the balustrade, with attic pedestals between, which crown the work. The whole is finely proportioned and happily executed. The projection of the columns from the wall, has a fine effect in the entablatures, which being brought forward in the same proportion, yields that happy diversity of light and shade so essential to true architecture. The internal decorations are also striking. The ceiling of the grand room, in particular, which is now used as a chapel, is richly painted by the celebrated Sir Peter Paul Rubens, who was Ambassador in England in the time of Charles I. The subject is, the entrance, inauguration and coronation of  King James, represented by pagan emblems and it is justly esteemed one of the most capital performances of this eminent master. It has been pronounced one of the finest ceilings in the world.

Inigo Jones continued in the office of Grand Master till the year 1618, when he was succeeded by the Earl of Pembroke, under whose auspices many eminent , wealthy and learned men were initiated and the mysteries of the Order, held in high estimation. On the death of King James in 1625, Charles ascended the throne. The Earl of Pembroke presided over the fraternity till 1630, when he resigned in favour of Henry Danvers, Earl of Danby, who was succeeded in 1633 by Thomas Howard, Earl of Arundel, the progenitor of the Norfolk family. In 1635, Francis Russel, Earl of Bedford, accepted the government of the society, but Inigo Jones having, with indefatigable assiduity, continued to patronize the lodges during his Lordship's administration, he was reelected the following year and continued in office till his death in 1646.

 [That lodges continued regularly to assemble at this time, appears from the Diary of the learned antiquary Elias Ashmole, where he says, “ I was made a free-mason at Warrington, Lancashire, with Colonel Henry Mainwaring, of Kerthingham, in Cheshire, by Mr. Richard Penket the Warden and the fellow-crafts (all of whom are specified), on 16th October 1646.” In another place of his Diary he says, 'On March the l0th 1682, . I received a summons to appear at a lodge to be held the next day at Masons' hall in London. — . March 11, Accordingly I went and about noon was admitted into the fellowship of free masons, Sir William Wilson, Capt. Richard Borthwick, Mr. William Woodman, Mr. William Gray, Mr. Samuel Taylour and Mr. William Wise. I was the senior fellow among them, it being thirty-five years, since I was admitted. There were present, beside myself, the fellows named, Mr. Thomas Wise, master of the masons' company this present year, Mr. Thomas Shorthose and 7 more old Free-masons. We all dined at the Half-moon Tavern,  Cheapside, at a noble dinner prepared at the charge of the new accepted masons.'

An old record of the Society describes a coat of arms much the same with that of the London company of freemen Masons, whence it is generally believed that this company is a branch of that ancient fraternity and in former times, no man, it also appears, was made free of that company until he was initiated in some lodge of free and accepted masons, as a necessary qualification. This practice still prevails in Scotland among the operative masons.

The writer of Mr. Ashmole's Life, who was not a mason, before his History of Berkshire, p. 6. gives the following account of Masonry: 'He (Mr. Ashmole] was elected a brother of the company of Free-masons, a favour esteemed so singular by the members, that kings themselves have not disdained to enter themselves of this Society. From these are derived the adopted masons, accepted masons, or free-masons, who are known to one another all over the world by certain signals and watch-words known to them alone. They have several lodges in different countries for their reception, and when any of them fall into decay, the brotherhood is to relieve them. The manner of their adoption or admission is very formal and solemn and with the administration of an oath of secrecy, which has had better fate than all other oaths and has ever been most religiously observed, nor has the world been yet able, by the inadvertency, surprise, or folly of any of its members, to dive into this mystery, or make the least discovery.'

In some of Mr. Ashmole's manuscripts, there are many valuable collections relating to the history of the free masons, as may be gathered from the letters of Dr. Knipe of Christ-church Oxford, to the publisher of Ashmole's Life, the following extracts from which will authenticate and illustrate many facts in the following history.

' As to the ancient Society of Free masons, concerning whom you are desirous of knowing what may be known with certainty, I shall only tell you, that if our worthy brother E. Ashmole, Esq. had executed his intended design, our fraternity had been as much obliged to him as the brethren of the most noble Order of the Garter. I would not have you surprised at this expression, or think it at all too assuming. The Sovereigns of that Order have not disdained our fellowship and there have been times when Emperors were also free-masons. What from Mr. Ashmole's collection I could gather was, that the report of our Society taking rise from a bull granted by the pope in the reign of Henry VI. to some Italian architects to travel over all Europe to erect chapels, was ill-founded. Such a bull there was and those architects were masons. But this bull, in the opinion of the learned Mr. Ashmole, was confirmative only and did not by any means create our fraternity, or even establish them in this kingdom. But as to the time and manner of that establishment, something I shall relate from the same collections.

St. Alban the proto-martyr established Masonry here and from his time it flourished, more or less, according as the world went, down to the days of King Athelstane, who for the sake of his brother Edwin granted the masons a charter. Under our Norman princes they frequently received extraordinary marks of royal favour, there is no doubt to be made, that the skill of masons, which was always transcendently great even in the most barbarous times, their wonderful kindness and attachment to each other, how different so ever in condition, and their inviolable fidelity in keeping religiously their secrets, must have exposed them, in ignorant, troublesome and superstitious times, to a vast variety of adventures, according to the different state of parties and other alterations in government. By the way it may be noted, that the masons were always loyal, which exposed them to great severities when power wore the appearance of justice and those who committed treason punished true men as traitors. Thus, in the 3d year of Henry VI. an act passed to abolish the society of masons and to hinder, under grievous penalties, the holding chapters, lodges, or other regular assemblies, yet this act was afterwards [virtually] repealed and even before that, King Henry and several Lords of his court became fellows of the Craft."]

The taste of this celebrated architect was displayed in many curious and elegant structures, both in London and the country, particularly in designing the magnificent row of Great Queen Streetand the west side of Lincoln's Inn Fields, with Lindsey house in the centre, the late Chirurgions's hall and theatre, now Barbers hall, in Monkwell street, Shaftesbury-house, late the London lying in hospital for married women, in Aldersgate Street, Bedford

house in Bloomsbury square, Berkley house, Piccadilly, lately burnt and rebuilt, now in the possession of the Duke of Devonshire, and York-stairs, at Thames, &c. Beside these, he designed Gunnersbury-house near Brentford, Wilton-house in Wiltshire, Castle-abbey in Northampton-shire, Stoke-park, part of the quadrangle at St. John's, Oxford, Charlton-houseand Cobham-hall, in Kent, Coles-hill in Berkshire, and the Grange, in Hampshire.

The breaking out of the civil wars obstructed the progress of masonry in England for some time. After the Restoration, however, it began to revive under the patronage of Charles II. who had been received into the Order during his exile.  

 [Some lodges in the reign of Charles II. were constituted by leave of the several noble Grand Masters and many gentlemen and famous scholars requested at this time to be admitted among the Fraternity.]

On the 27th December 1663, a general assembly was held, at which Henry Jermyn, Earl of St. Alban's, was elected Grand Master, who appointed Sir John Denham, his deputy and Mr. (afterwards Sir) Christopher Wren and John Webb his wardens.

[ He was the only son of Dr. Christopher Wren, Dean of Windsor and was born in 1632. His genius for arts and sciences appeared early. At the age of thirteen he invented a new astronomical instrument, by the name of Pan-organum and wrote a treatise on the origin of rivers. He invented a new pneumatic engine and a peculiar instrument of use in gnomonics, to solve this problem, viz., 'On a known plane, in a known elevation, to describe such lines with the expedite turning of rundles to certain divisions, as by the shadow the style may show the equal hours of the day.' In 1646, at the age of fourteen, he was admitted a gentleman commoner in Wadham College, Oxon, where he greatly improved under the instructions and friendship of Dr. John Wilkins and Dr. Seth Ward, who were gentlemen of great learning and afterwards promoted by King Charles II. to the mitre. His other numerous juvenile productions in mathematics prove him to be a scholar of the highest eminence. He assisted Dr. Scarborough in anatomical preparations and experiments upon the muscles of the human body, whence are dated the first introduction of geometrical and mechanical speculations in anatomy. He wrote discourses on the longitude, on the variations of the magnetical needle, de re nautica veterum, how to find the velocity of a ship in sailing, of the improvement of galleys, and how to recover wrecks. Beside these, he treated on the most convenient way of using artillery on shipboard, how to build in deep water, how to build a mole into the sea, without Puzzolan dust or cisterns, and of the improvement of river navigation, by the joining of rivers. In short, the works of this excellent genius appear to be rather the united efforts of a whole century, than the production of one man.]

 Several useful regulations were made at this assembly, for the better government of the lodges and the greatest harmony prevailed among the whole fraternity.  

[Among other regulations that were made at this assembly, were the following: 1. That no person, of what degree so ever, be made or accepted a free mason unless in a regular lodge, whereof one to be a Master or a Warden in that limit or division, where such lodge is kept and another to be a craftsman in the trade of free masonry,

2. That no person hereafter shall be accepted a free mason, but such as are of able body, honest parentage, good reputation and an observer of the laws of the land.

3. That no person hereafter who shall be accepted a free mason, shall be admitted into any lodge or assembly, until he has brought a certificate of the time and place of his acceptation from the lodge that accepted him, unto the master of that limit or division where such lodge is kept: And the said Master shall enrol the same in a roll of parchment to be kept for that purpose and shall give an account of all such acceptations at every general assembly.

4. That every person who is now a free-mason shall bring to the Master a note of the time of his acceptation, to the end the same may be enrolled in such priority of place as the brother deserves, and that the whole company and fellows may the better know each other.

5. That for the future the said fraternity of free masons shall be regulated and governed by one Grand Master and as many Wardens as the said society shall think fit to appoint at every annual general assembly.

6. That no person shall be accepted, unless he be twenty one years old, or more.

Many of the fraternity's records of this and the preceding reign were lost at the Revolution, and not a few were too hastily burnt in our own times by some scrupulous brothers, from a fear of making discoveries prejudicial to the interest of the Order.]

Thomas Savage, Earl of Rivers, having succeeded the Earl of St. Alban's in the office of Grand Master in June 1666, Sir Christopher Wren was appointed Deputy under his Lordship and distinguished himself more than any of his predecessors in office, in promoting the prosperity of the few lodges which occasionally met at this time, particularly the old lodge of St. Paul's, now the lodge of Antiquity, which he patronized upwards of 18 years. 

 [It appears from the records of the Lodge of Antiquity, that Mr. Wren at this time attended the meetings regularly and that, during his presidency, he presented to that Lodge three mahogany candlesticks, which are still preserved and highly prized, as a memento of the esteem of the honourable donor.]

The honours, which this celebrated character afterwards received in the society, are evident proofs of the unfeigned attachment of the fraternity toward him.

Section. 6. The History of Masonry in England from the Fire of London, to the Accession of George I.

 [For many of the particulars contained in this Section I am indebted to Mr. Noorthoucks's edition of the Book of Constitutions, published in 1784, which, much to the honour of that gentleman, is executed in a masterly manner and interspersed with several judicious remarks.]

The year 1666 afforded a singular and awful occasion for the utmost exertion of masonic abilities. The city of London, which had been visited in the preceding year by the plague, to whole ravages, it is computed, above 100,000 of its inhabitants fell a sacrifice, had scarcely recovered from the alarm of that dreadful contagion, when a general conflagration reduced the greatest part of the city within the walls to ashes.

[The streets were at this time narrow, crooked and incommodious, the houses, built chiefly of wood, close, dark and ill contrived, with several stories projecting beyond each other as they rose, over the contracted streets. Thus the free circulation of air was obstructed, the people breathed a stagnant and unwholesome element replete with foul effluvia, sufficient of itself to generate putrid disorders. From this circumstance, the inhabitants were continually exposed to contagious disorders and the buildings to the ravages of fire.]  

This dreadful fire broke out on the 2nd of September, at the house of a baker in Pudding lane, a wooden building, pitched on the outside, as were also all the rest of the houses in that narrow lane. The house being filled with faggots and brush wood, soon added to the rapidity of the flames, which raged with such fury, as to spread four ways at once. Jonas Moore and Ralph Gatrix, who were appointed surveyors on this occasion to examine the ruins, reported, that the fire over ran 373 acres within the walls and burnt 13,000 houses, 89 parish churches, besides chapels, leaving only 11 parishes standing. The Royal Exchange, Custom-house, Guildhall, Blackwell-hall, St. Paul's cathedral, Bridewell, the two compters, fifty two city companies halls and three city gates, were all demolished. The damage was computed at 10,000,000  sterling. [Anderson's History of Commerce, vol. ii. p. 130].

After so sudden and extensive a calamity, it became necessary to adopt some regulations to guard against any such catastrophe in future. It was therefore determined, that in all the new buildings to be erected, stone and brick should be substituted in the room of timber. The King and the Grand Master immediately ordered deputy Wren to draw up the plan of a new city, with broad and regular streets. Dr. Christopher Wren was appointed surveyor general and principle architect for rebuilding the city, the cathedral of St. Paul and all the parochial churches enacted by parliament, in lieu of those that were destroyed, with other public structures. This gentleman, conceiving the charge too important for a single person, selected Mr. Robert Hook, professor of geometry in Gresham college, to assist him, who was immediately employed in measuring, adjusting and setting out the grounds of the private streets to the several proprietors. Dr. Wren's model and plan were laid before the King and the House of Commons and the practicability of the whole scheme, without the infringement of property, clearly demonstrated. It unfortunately happened, however, that the greater part of the citizens were absolutely averse to alter their old possessions and to recede from building their houses again on the old foundations . Many were unwilling to give up their properties into the hands of public trustees, till they should receive an equivalent of more advantage, while others expressed distrust. Every means were tried to convince the citizens, that by removing all the church yards, gardens &c. to the out skirts of the city, sufficient room would be given to augment the streets and properly to dispose of the churches, halls and other public buildings, to the perfect satisfaction of every proprietor, but the representation of all these improvements had no weight. The citizens chose to have their old city again, under all its disadvantages, rather than a new one, the principles of which they were unwilling to understand and considered as innovations. Thus an opportunity was lost, of making the new city the most magnificent, as well as the most commodious for health and trade, of any in Europe. The architect, cramped in the execution of his plan, was obliged to abridge his scheme and exert his utmost labour, skill and ingenuity, to model the city in the manner in which it has since appeared.

On the 23d of October 1667, the King in person levelled in form the foundation stone of the new Royal Exchange, now allowed to be the finest in Europe, and on the 28th September 1669, it was opened by the Lord Mayor and Aldermen. Round the inside of the square, above the arcades and between the windows, are the statues of the sovereigns of England. In the centre of the square, is erected the King's statue to the life, in a Cæsarean habit of white marble, executed in a masterly manner by Mr. Gibbons, the then Grand Warden of the society.

In 1668, the Custom-house for the port of London, situated on the south side of Thames street, was built, adorned with an upper and lower order of architecture. In the latter, are stone columns and entablement of the Tuscan order: and in the former, are pilaster, entablature and five pediments of the Ionic order. The wings are elevated on columns, forming piazzas, and the length of the building is 189 feet, its breadth in the middle, 27, and at the west end, 60 feet.

This year also, deputy Wren and his warden Webb finished the Theatrum Sheldonium at Oxford, designed and executed at the private expence of Gilbert Sheldon, Arch Bishop of Canterbury, an excellent architect and able designer. On the 9th of July 1669, the capestone of this elegant building was celebrated with joy and festivity by the craftsmen and an elegant oration delivered on the occasion by Dr. South.  Deputy Wren, at the same time also, built, at the expence of the University, that other master piece of architecture, the pretty museum near this theatre.

In 1671, Mr. Wren began to build that great fluted column called the Monument, in memory of the burning and re building of the city of London. This stupendous pillar was finished in 1677. It is 24 feet higher than Trajan's pillar at Rome and built of Portland stone, of the Doric order. Its altitude, from the ground, is 202 feet, the greatest diameter of the shaft or body of the column, 15 feet, the ground plinth, or bottom of the pedestal, 28 feet square, and the pedestal 40 feet high. Over the capital, is an iron balcony, encompassing a cone 32 feet high, supporting a blazing urn of gilt brass. Within is a large stair-case of black marble, containing 345 step, each step ten inches and an half broad and six inches thick. The west side of the pedestal is adorned with curious emblems, by the masterly hand of Mr. Cibber, father to the late poet-laureat Colley Cibber, in which eleven principal figures are done in alto and the rest in basso relievo. That to which the eye is particularly directed, is a female, representing the City of London, sitting in a languishing posture, on a heap of ruins. Behind her, is Time, gradually raising her up, and at her side, a woman, representing Providence, gently touching her with one hand, while, with a winged sceptre in the other, she directs her to regard two goddesses in the clouds, one with a cornucopia, denoting Plenty, the other, with a palm branch, the emblem of Peace. At her feet is a bee-hive, to shew that, by industry and application, the greatest misfortunes may be overcome. Behind Time, are the Citizens, exulting at his endeavours to restore her, and beneath, in the midst of the ruins, is a dragon, the supporter of the city arms, who endeavours to preserve them with his paw. At the north end, is a view of the City in flames, the inhabitants in consternation, with their arms extended upward, crying for assistance. Opposite the City, on an elevated pavement, stands the King, in a Roman habit, with a laurel on his head and a truncheon in his hand, who, on approaching her, commands three of his attendants to descend to her relief. The first represents the Sciences, with a winged head and circle of naked boys dancing thereon and holding Nature in her hand, with her numerous breasts, ready to give assistance to all. The second is Architecture, with a plan in one hand and a square and pair of compasses in the other. The third is Liberty, waving a hat in the air and shewing her joy at the pleasing prospect of the City's speedy recovery. Behind the King, stands his brother, the Duke of York, with a garland in one hand, to crown the rising city and a sword in the other, for her defence. The two figures behind them, are Justice and Fortitude, the former with a coronet and the latter with a reined lion, while, under the pavement, in a vault, appears Envy gnawing a heart. In the upper part of the back ground, the reconstruction of the city is represented by scaffolds and unfinished houses, with builders at work on them. The north and south sides of the pedestal have each a Latin inscription, one describing the desolation of the city, the other its restoration. The east side of the pedestal has an inscription, expressing the time in which the pillar was begun, continued and brought to perfection. In one line continued round the base, are these words. "This pillar was set up in perpetual remembrance of the most dreadful burning of this Protestant city, begun and carried on by the treachery and malice of the Popish faction, in the beginning of September, in the year of our Lord 1666, in order to the carrying on their horrid plot for extirpating the Protestant religion and old English liberty and introducing popery and slavery." This inscription, upon the Duke of York's accession to the crown, was erased, but, soon after the Revolution, restored again.

The rebuilding of the city of London was vigorously prosecuted and the restoration of St. Paul's cathedral claimed particular attention. Dr.Wren drew several designs, to discover what would be most acceptable to the general taste and finding persons of all degrees declare for magnificence and grandeur, he formed a design according to the very best style of Greek and Roman architecture and caused a large model of it to be made in wood, but the Bishops deciding that it was not sufficiently in the cathedral style, the surveyor was ordered to amend it and he then produced the scheme of the present structure, which was honoured with the King's approbation. The original model, however, which was only of the Corinthian order, like St. Peter's at Rome, is still kept in an apartment of the cathedral, as a real curiosity.

In 1673, the foundation stone of this magnificent cathedral, designed by deputy Wren, was laid in solemn form by the King, attended by Grand Master Rivers, his architects and craftsmen, in the presence of the nobility and gentry, the Lord Mayor and Aldermen, the Bishops and clergy, &c. During the whole time this structure was building, Mr. Wren acted as master of the work and surveyor and was ably assisted by his wardens, Mr. Edward Strong and his son.  

 [The mallet with which the King levelled this foundation stone was delivered by Sir Christopher Wren to the old Lodge of St. Paul, now the Lodge of Antiquity, where it is still preserved as a great curiosity.]

St. Paul's cathedral is planned in the form of a long cross, the walls are wrought in rustic and strengthened, as well as adorned, by two rows of coupled pilasters, one over the other, the lower Corinthian and the upper Composite. The spaces between the arches of the windows and the architecture of the lower order, as well as those above, are filled with a variety of enrichments. The west front is graced with a most magnificent portico, a noble pediment and two stately turrets. There is a grand flight of steps of black marble that extend the whole length of the portico, which consists of twelve lofty Corinthian columns below and eight of the Composite order above, these are all coupled and fluted. The upper series support a noble pediment, crowned with its acroteria and in this pediment is an elegant representation in bas relief, of the conversion of St. Paul, executed by Mr. Bird, an artist whose name, on account of this piece alone, is worthy of being transmitted to posterity. The figures are well executed: the magnificent figure of St. Paul, on the apex of the pediment, with St. Peter on his right and St. James on his left, produce a fine effect. The four Evangelists, with their proper emblems, on the front of the towers, are judiciously disposed and skilfully finished, St. Matthew is distinguished by an angel, St. Mark, by a lion, St. Luke, by an ox, and St. John, by an eagle.

To the north portico, there is an ascent by twelve circular steps of black marble and its dome is supported by six grand Corinthian columns. Upon the dome is a well proportioned urn, finely ornamented with festoons, over the urn is a pediment, supported by pilasters in the wall, in the face of which are carved the royal arms, with the regalia, supported by angels. Statues of five of the apostles are placed on the top, at proper distances.

The south portico answers to the north and, like that, is supported by six noble Corinthian columns, but as the ground is considerably lower on this side of the church than the other, the ascent is by a flight of twenty five steps. This portico has also a pediment above, in which is a phoenix rising out of the flames, with the motto, RESURGAM, underneath it, as an emblem of rebuilding the church. A curious accident is said to have given rise to this device, which was particularly observed by the architect as a favourable omen. When Dr. Wren was marking  the dimensions of the building and had fixed on the centre of the great dome, a common labourer was ordered to bring him a flat stone from among the rubbish, to leave as a direction to the masons. The stone which the man brought happened to be a piece of a grave stone, with nothing remaining of the inscription, but this single word, in large capitals, RESURGAM and this circumstance left an impression on Dr. Wrens' mind, that could never afterwards be erased. On this side of the building are likewise five statues, which correspond with those on the apex of the north pediment.

At the east end of the church is a sweep, or circular projection for the altar, finely ornamented with the orders and with sculpture, particularly a noble piece in honour of King William III.

The dome, which rises in the centre of the whole, is superlatively grand. Twenty feet above the roof of the church is a circular range of thirty two columns, with niches placed exactly against others within. These are terminated by their entablature, which supports a handsome gallery, adorned with a balustrade. Above these columns is a range of pilasters, with windows between and from the entablature of these, the diameter decreases very considerably and two feet above that, it is again contracted. From this part the external sweep of the dome begins and the arches meet at 52 feet above. On the summit of the dome, is an elegant balcony and from its centre rises the lantern, adorned with Corinthian columns. The whole is terminated by a ball, on which stands a cross, both of which are elegantly gilt.

This noble fabric is surrounded, at a proper distance, by a dwarf stone wall, on which is placed the most magnificent balustrade of cast iron perhaps in the universe, four feet six inches in height, exclusive of the wall. In this inclosure are seven beautiful iron gates, which, together with the balusters, in number about 2500, weigh 200 tons and 85 pounds.

In the centre of the area of the grand west front, on a pedestal of excellent workmanship, stands a statue of Queen Anne, formed of white marble, with proper decorations. The figures on the base represent Britannia, with her spear, Gallia, with the crown in her lap Hibernia, with her harp, and America, with her bow. These, are the colossal statues with which the church are adorned, were executed by the ingenious Mr. Hill.

A strict regard to the situation of this cathedral, due east and west, has given it an oblique appearance with respect to Ludgate street in front, so that the great front gate in the surrounding iron rails, being made to regard the street in front, rather than the church to which it belongs, the statue of queen Anne, that is exactly in the middle of the west front, is thrown on one side the straight approach from the gate to the church and gives an idea of the whole edifice being awry.

Under the grand portico, at the west end, are three doors, ornamented at the top with bas relief. The middle door, which is by far the largest, is cased with white marble and over it is a fine piece of basso relievo, in which St. Paul is represented preaching to the Bereans. On entering the door, the mind is struck by the extent of the vista. An arcade, supported by  lofty and massy pillars on each hand, divide the church into the body and two aisles, and the view is terminated by the altar at the extremity of the choir, subject, nevertheless, to the intervention of the organ standing across, which forms a heavy obstruction. The pillars are adorned with columns and pilasters of the Corinthian and Composite orders, and the arches of the roof and enriched with shields, festoons, chaplets and other ornaments. In the aisle, on one hand, is the consistory, and opposite, on the other, the morning prayer chapel. These have very beautiful screens of carved wainscot, which are much admired.

Over the centre, where the great aisles cross each other, is the grand cupola, or dome, the vast concave of which inspires a pleasing awe. Under its centre is fixed in the floor, a brass plate, round which the pavement is beautifully variegated, but the figures into which it is formed, can nowhere be so well seen as from the whispering gallery above. Here the spectator has at once a full view of the organ, richly ornamented with carved work and the entrance to the choir directly under it. The two aisles on the side of the choir, as well as the choir itself, are inclosed with very fine iron rails and gates.

The altar piece is adorned with four noble fluted pilasters, painted and veined with gold, in imitation of lapis lazuli and their capitals are double gilt. In the intercolumniations below, are nine marble panels and above are six windows, in the two series. The floor of the whole church is paved with marble, and within the rails of the altar, with porphyry, polished and laid in several geometrical figures.

In the great cupola, which is 108 feet in diameter, the architect seems to have imitated the Pantheon at Rome, excepting that the upper order is there only umbratile and distinguished by different coloured marbles, while, in St. Paul's, it is extant out of the wall. The Pantheon is no higher within than its diameter, St. Peter's is two diameters, the former shews its concave too low, the latter too high: St. Paul's is proportioned between both and therefore shews its concave every way and is very lightsome by the windows of the upper order. These strike down the light through the great colonnade that encircles the dome without and serves for the abutment, which is brick of the thickness of two bricks, but as it rises every way five feet high, it has a course of excellent brick of 18 inches long, banding through the whole thickness and to make it still more secure, it is surrounded with a vast chain of iron, strongly linked together at every ten feet. This chain is let into a channel, cut into the bandage of Portland stone and defended from the weather by filling the groove with lead. The concave was turned upon a center, which was judged necessary to keep the work true, but the center was laid without any standards below for support. Every story of the scaffolding being circular and the ends of all the ledgers meeting as so many rings and truly wrought, it supported itself.

As the old church of St. Paul had a lofty spire, Dr. Wren was obliged to give his building an altitude that might secure it from suffering by the comparison. To do this, he made the dome without, much higher than within, by raising a strong brick cone over the internal cupola, so constructed as to support an elegant stone lantern on the apex. This brick cone is supported by a cupola formed of timber and covered with lead, between which and the cone are easy stairs, up to the lantern. Here the spectator may view contrivances that are truly astonishing. The outward cupola is only ribbed, with the architect thought less Gothic than to stick it full of such little lights as are in the cupola of St. Peter's, that could not without difficulty be mended and if neglected, might soon damage the timbers. As the architect was sensible that paintings are liable to decay, he intended to have beautified the inside of the cupola with mosaic work, which, without the least fading of colours, would be as durable as the building itself, but in this he was overruled, though he had undertaken to procure four of the most eminent artists in that profession from Italy, for the purpose. This part, therefore, is now decorated by the pencil of Sir James Thornhill, who has represented the principal passages of St. Paul's life, in eight compartments. These paintings are all seen to advantage by means of a circular opening, through which the light is transmitted with admirable effect from the lantern above, but they are now cracked and sadly decayed.

Divine service was performed in the choir of this cathedral for the first time on the thanksgiving day for the peace of Ryswick, Dec: 2, 1697, [Howell's Medulla, Hist. Ang.],

and the last stone on the top of the lantern laid by Mr. Christopher Wren, the son of the architect, in 1710. This noble fabric, lofty enough to be discerned at sea eastward and at Windsor to the west, was begun and completed in the space of 35 years, by one architect, the great Sir Christopher Wren, one principal mason, Mr. Strong, and under one Bishop of London, Dr. Henry Compton, whereas St. Peter's at Rome was 155 years in building, under twelve successive architects, assisted by the police and interest of the Roman See and attended by the best artists in sculpture, statuary, painting and mosaic work.

The various parts of this superb edifice I have been thus particular in describing, as it reflects honour on the ingenious architect, who built it and as there is not an instance on record of any work of equal magnitude having ever been completed by one man.

While the cathedral of St. Paul's was carrying on, as a national undertaking, the citizens did not neglect their own immediate concerns, but restored such of their halls and gates as had been destroyed. In April 1675, was laid the foundation stone of the present Bethlehem hospital for lunatics, in Moorfields. This is a magnificent building, 540 feet long and 40 broad, beside the two wings, which were not added until several years afterward. The middle and ends of the edifice project a little and are adorned with pilasters, entablatures, foliages, &c. which, rising above the rest of the building, have each a flat roof, with a handsome balustrade of stone. In the centre is an elegant turret, adorned with a cloak, gilt ball and vane. The whole building is brick and stone, inclosed by a handsome wall, 680 feet long, of the same materials. In the center of the wall, is a large pair of iron gates, and on the piers on which these are hung, are two images, in a reclining posture, one representing raving, the other melancholy, madness. The expression of these figures is admirable, and they are the workmanship of Mr. Cibber, the father of the laureat before mentioned.

The college of Physicians also, about this time, discovered some taste in erecting their college in Warwick lane, which, though little known, is esteemed by good judges a delicate building.

The fraternity were now fully employed, and by them the following parish churches, which had been consumed by the great fire, were gradually rebuilt, or repaired.

Allhallows, Bread-street, finished 1694, and the steeple completed 1697.

Allhallows the Great, Thames-street, 1683.

Allhallows, Lombard-street, 1694.

St. Alban, Wood-street, 1685.

St. Anne and Agnes, St. Annes's-lane, Aldersgate-street, 1680.

St. Andrew's Wardrobe, Puddledock-hill, 1692.

St. Andrew's, Holborn, 1687.

St. Anthony's, Watling-street, 1682.

St. Augustin's, Watling-street, 1683, and the steeple finished 1695.

St. Bartholomew's, Royal Exchange, 1679.

St. Benedict, Grace-church-street, 1685.

St. Benedict's, Threadneedle-street, 1673.

St. Bennet's, Paul's Wharf, Thames-street, 1683.

St. Bride's, Fleet-street, 1680, and farther adorned in 1699.

Christ-church, Newgate-street, 1687.

St. Christopher's, Threadneedle-street, (since taken down to make room for the Bank,) repaired in 1696.

St. Clement Danes, in the Strand, taken down 1680and rebuilt by Sir Christopher Wren, 1682.

St. Clement's, East Cheap, St. Clement's-lane, 1686.

St. Dennis Back, Lime-street, 1674.

St Dunstan's in the East, Tower-street, repaired in 1698.

St. Edmond's the King, Lombard-street, rebuilt in 1674.

St. George, Botolph-lane, 1674.

St. James, Garlick-hill, 1683.

St. James, Westminster, 1675.

St. Lawrence Jewry, Cateaton-street, 1677.

St. Magnes, London-bridge, 1676, and the steeple in 1705.

St. Margaret, Lothbury, 1690.

St. Margaret Pattens, Little Tower-street, 1687.

St. Martin's, Ludgate, 1684.

St. Mary Abchurch, Abchurch-lane, 1686.

St. Mary's-at-hill, St. Mary's-hill, 1672.

St. Mary's Aldermary, Bow-lane, 1672.

St. Mary Magdalen, Old Fish-street, 1685.

St. Mary Somerset, Queenhithe, Thames-street, 1683.

St. Mary le Bow, Cheapside, 1683.  

This church was built on the wall of a very ancient one in the Early time of the Roman colony, the roof is arched and supported with ten Corinthian columns, but the principal ornament is the steeple, which is deemed an admirable piece of architecture, not to be paralleled by that of any other parochial church. It rises from the ground a square tower, plain at bottom and is carried up to a considerable height in this shape, but with more ornament as it advances. The principal decoration of the lower part is the door case, a lofty, noble arch, faced with a bold and well wrought rustic, raised on a plain solid course from the foundation. Within the arch, is a portal of the Doric order, with well proportioned columns, the frieze is ornamented with triglyphs and with sculpture in the metopes. There are some other slight ornaments in this part, which is terminated by an elegant cornice, over which rises a plain course, from which the dial projects. Above this, in each face, there is an arched window, with Ionic pilasters at the sides. The entablature of the order is well wrought, it has the swelling frieze and supports on the cornice an elegant balustrade, with Attic pillars over Ionic columns. These sustain elegant scrolls, on which are placed urns with flames and from this part the steeple rises circular. There is a plain course to the height of half the scrolls and upon this is raised an elegant circular series of Corinthian columns. These support a second balustrade with scrolls, and above there is placed another series of columns of the Composite order, while, from the entablature, rises a set of scrolls supporting the spire, which is placed on balls and terminated by a globe, on which is fixed a vane.

St. Mary Woolnoth's, Lombard-street, repaired in 1677.

St. Mary, Aldermanbury, rebuilt 1677.

St. Matthew, Friday-street, 1685.

St. Michael, Basinghall-street, 1679.

St. Michael Royal, College-hill, 1694.

St. Michael, Queenhithe, Trinity-lane, 1677.

St. Michael, Wood-street, 1675.

St. Michael, Crooked-lane, 1688.

St. Michael, Cornhill, 1672.

St. Mildred, Bread-street, 1683.

St. Mildred, Poultry, 1676.

St. Nicholas, Cole-abbey, Old Fish-street, 1677.

St. Olive's, Old Jewry, 1673.

St. Peter's, Cornhill, 1681.

St. Sepulchre's, Snow-hill, 1670.

St. Stephen's, Coleman-street, 1676.

St. Stephen's, Walbrook, behind the Mansion-house, 1676.  

Many encomiums have been bestowed on this church for its interior beauties. The dome is finely proportioned to the church and divided into small compartments, decorated with great elegance and crowned with a lantern, the roof is also divided into compartments and supported by noble Corinthian columns raised on their pedestals. This church has three aisles and a cross aisle, is 75 feet long, 36 broad, 34 high and 58 to the lantern. It is famous all over Europe and justly reputed the master piece of Sir Christopher Wren. There is not a beauty, of which the plan would admin, that is not to be found here in its greatest perfection.

St. Swithin's, Cannon-street, 1673.

St. Vedast, Foster-lane, 1697.

While these churches and other public buildings, were going forward under the direction of Sir Christopher Wren, King Charles did not confine his improvements to England alone, but commanded Sir William Bruce, Bart. Grand Master of Scotland, to rebuild the palace of Holyrood house at Edinburgh, which was accordingly executed by that architect in the best Augustan stile.

During the prosecution of the great works above described, the private business of the Society was not neglected, but lodges were held at different places and many new ones constituted, to which the best architects resorted.

In 1674, the Earl of Rivers resigned the office of Grand Master and was succeeded by George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham. He left the care of the brethren to his wardens and Sir Christopher Wren, who still continued to act as deputy. In 1679, the Duke resigned in favour of Henry Bennett, Earl of Arlington. Though this nobleman was too deeply engaged in state affairs to attend to the duties of masonry, the lodges continued to meet under his sanction and many respectable gentlemen joined the fraternity.

On the death of the King in 1685, James II. succeeded to the throne, during whose reign the fraternity were much neglected. The Earl of Arlington dying this year, the lodges met in communication and elected Sir Christopher Wren Grand Master, who appointed Gabriel Cibber and Mr. Edward Strong his wardens. Masonry continued in a declining state for many years and a few lodges only occasionally met in different places.

[Both these gentlemen were members of the old Lodge of St. Paul with Sir Christopher Wren and bore a principal share in all the improvements which took place after the Fire of London, the latter, in particular, displayed his abilities in the cathedral of St. Paul].

At the Revolution, the Society was so much reduced in the south of England, that no more than seven regular lodges met in London and its suburbs, of which two only were worthy of notice, the old lodge of St. Paul's, over which Sir Christopher had presided during the building of that structure, and a lodge at St. Thomas's-hospital, Southwark, over which Sir Robert Clayton, then Lord Mayor of London, presided during the rebuilding of that hospital. [See the Book of Constitutions, 1738, p. 106, 107.]

King William having been privately initiated into masonry in 1695, approved the choice of Sir Christopher Wren as Grand Master and honoured the lodges with his royal sanction, particularly one at Hampton Court, at which it is said His Majesty frequently presided during the building of the new part of that palace. Kensington palace was built during this reign, under the direction of Sir Christopher, as were also Chelsea hospital and the palace of Greenwich, the latter of which had been recently converted into an hospital for seamen and finished after the design of Inigo Jones.

At a general assembly and feast of the masons in 1697, many noble and eminent brethren were present, and among the rest, Charles Duke of Richmond and Lenox, who was at that time Master of a lodge at Chichester. His grace was proposed and elected Grand Master for the following year and having engaged Sir Christopher Wren to act as his deputy, he appointed Edward Strong senior and Edward Strong junior his wardens. His grace continued in office only one year, when he was succeeded by Sir Christopher, who continued at the head of the fraternity till the death of the King in 1702.

During the following reign, masonry made no considerable progress. Sir Christopher's age and infirmities drawing off his attention from the duties of his office, the lodges decreased and the annual festivals were entirely neglected. [ Book of Constitutions, 1738, p. 108.]

The old lodge at St. Paul and a few others, continued to meet regularly, but consisted of few members. [Ibid] To increase their numbers, a proposition was made and afterwards agreed to, that the privileges of masonry should no longer be restricted to operative masons, but extend to men of various professions, providing they were regularly approved and initiated into the Order. In consequence of this resolution, many new regulations took place and the Society once more rose into notice and esteem.

Section. 7. History of the Revival of Masonry in the South of England.

On the accession of George I. the masons in London and its environs, finding themselves deprived of Sir Christopher Wren and their annual meetings discontinued, resolved to cement under a new Grand Master and to revive the communications and annual festivals of the Society. With this view, the lodges at the Goose and Gridiron in St. Paul's Church yard, the Crown in Parker's lane near Drury lane, the Apple tree tavern in Charles street Covent garden and the Rummer and Grapes tavern in Channel row Westminster, the only four lodges in being in the south of England at that time, with some other old brethren, met at the Apple tree tavern above mentioned in February 1717 and having voted the oldest master-mason then present into the chair, constituted themselves a Grand Lodge pro tempore in due form. At this meeting it was resolved to revive the quarterly communications of the fraternity and to hold the next annual assembly and feast on the 24th of June, at the Goose and Gridiron in St. Paul's Church-yard, (in compliment to the oldest lodge, which then met there,) for the purpose of electing a Grand Master among themselves, till they should have the honour of a noble brother at their head. Accordingly, on St. John the Baptist's day 1717, in the third year of the reign of King George I. the assembly and feast were held at the said house, when the oldest Master mason and Master of a lodge, having taken the chair, a list of proper candidates for the office of Grand Master was produced: and the names being separately proposed, the brethren, by a great majority of hands, elected Mr. Anthony Sayer Grand Master of masons for the ensuing year, who was forthwith invested by the said oldest Master, installed by the Master of the oldest lodge and duly congratulated by the assembly, who paid him homage. The Grand Master then entered on the duties of his office, appointed his wardens and commanded the brethren of the four lodges to meet him and his wardens quarterly in communication, enjoining them at the same time to recommend to all the fraternity a punctual attendance on the next annual assembly and feast.

Amongst a variety of regulations which were proposed and agreed to at this meeting, was the following, "That the privilege of assembling as masons, which had hitherto been unlimited, should be vested in certain lodges or assemblies of masons convened in certain places, and that every lodge to be hereafter convened, except the four old lodges at this time existing, should be legally authorised to act by a warrant from the Grand Master for the time being, granted to certain individuals by petition, with the consent and approbation of the Grand Lodge in communication, and that without such warrant no lodge should be hereafter deemed regular or constitutional."  

[[A sufficient number of Masons met together within a certain district, with the consent of the sheriff or chief magistrate of the place, were empowered, at this time, to make Masons and practise the rites of Masonry, without warrant of Constitution. The privilege was inherent in themselves as individuals and this privilege is still enjoyed by the two old lodges now extant, which act by immemorial constitution.]

In consequence of this regulation, some new lodges were soon after convened in different parts of London and its environ and the masters and wardens of these lodges were commanded to attend the meetings of the Grand Lodge, make a regular report of their proceedings and transmit to the Grand Master, from time to time, a copy of any bye laws they might form for their own government, that no laws established among them might be contrary to, or subversive of, the general regulations by which the fraternity had been long governed.

In compliment to the brethren of the four old lodges, by whom the Grand Lodge was then formed, it was resolved, "That every privilege which they collectively enjoyed by virtue of their immemorial rights, they should still continue to enjoy and that no law, rule, or regulation to be hereafter made or passed in Grand Lodge, should deprive them of such privilege, or encroach on any landmark which was at that time established as the standard of Masonic government." When this resolution was confirmed, the old masons in the metropolis, agreeably to the resolutions of the brethren at large, vested all their inherent privileges as individuals in the four old lodges, in trust that they would never suffer the old charges and ancient landmarks to be infringed. The four old lodges then agreed to extend their patronage to every new lodge which should hereafter be constituted according to the new regulations of the Society and while they acted in conformity to the ancient constitutions of the order, to admit their Masters and Wardens to share with them all the privileges of the Grand Lodge, excepting precedence of rank.

Matters being thus amicably adjusted, all the brethren of the four old lodges considered their attendance on the future communications of the Society as unnecessary and therefore trusted implicitly to their Masters and Wardens, resting satisfied that no measure of importance would ever be adopted without their approbation. The officers of the old lodges, however, soon began to discover, that the new lodges, being equally represented with them at the communications, would, in process of time, so far outnumber the old ones, as to have it in their power, by a majority, to subvert the privileges of the original masons of England, which had been centered in the four old lodges, they therefore, with the concurrence of the brethren at large, very wisely formed a code of laws for the future government of the Society and annexed thereto a conditional clause, which the Grand Master for the time being, his successors and the Master of every lodge to be hereafter constituted, were bound to preserve inviolable in all time coming. To commemorate this circumstance, it has been customary, ever since that time, for the Master of the oldest lodge to attend every Grand Installation and taking precedence of all present, the Grand Master only excepted, to deliver the book of the original constitutions to the new installed Grand Master, on his promising obedience to the ancient charges and general regulations. The conditional clause above referred to, runs thus,

"Every annual Grand Lodge has an inherent power and authority to make new regulations, or to alter these, for the real benefit of this ancient fraternity, providing always That the Old Landmarks be carefully preserved and that such alterations and new regulations be proposed and agreed to at the third quarterly communication preceding the annual grand feast, and that they be offered also to the perusal of all the brethren before dinner, in writing, even of the youngest apprentice, the approbation and consent of the majority of all the brethren present, being absolutely necessary to make the same binding and obligatory."

This remarkable clause, with thirty eight regulations preceding it, all of which are printed in the first edition of the Book of Constitutions, were approved and confirmed by one hundred and fifty brethren, at an annual assembly and feast held at Stationers' hall on St. John the Baptist's day 1721 and in their presence subscribed by the Master and Wardens of the four old lodges on one part and by Philip Duke of Wharton, then Grand Master, Theophilus Desaguliers, M. D. and F. R. S. Deputy Grand Master, Joshua Timson and William Hawkins, Grand Wardens, and the Masters and Wardens of sixteen lodges, which had been constituted between 1717 and 1721, on the other part. [See the first edition of the Book of Constitutions, p. 58.]

By the above prudent precaution of our ancient brethren, the original constitutions were established as the basis of all future masonic jurisdiction in the south of England and the ancient landmarks, as they are emphatically styled, or the boundaries set up as checks to innovation, were carefully secured against the attacks of future invaders. The four old lodges, in consequence of the above compact, in which they considered themselves as a distinct party, continued to act by their original authority and so far from surrendering any of their rights, had them ratified and confirmed by the whole fraternity in Grand Lodge assembled. No regulations of the Society which might hereafter take place could therefore operate with respect to those lodges, if such regulations were contrary to, or subversive of, the original constitutions by which they were governed and while their proceedings were conformable to those constitutions, no power known in masonry could legally deprive them of any right, which they had ever enjoyed.

The necessity of fixing the original constitutions as the standard by which all future laws in the Society are to be regulated, was so clearly understood by the whole fraternity at this time, that it was established as an unerring rule, at every installation, public and private, to make the Grand Master and the Masters and Wardens of every lodge, engage to support these constitutions, to which also every mason was bound by the strongest ties at initiation. Whoever acknowledges the universality of masonry to be its highest glory, must admit the propriety of this conduct, for were no standard fixed for the government of the Society, masonry might be exposed to perpetual variations, which would effectually destroy all the good effects that have hitherto resulted from its universality and extended progress.  

[When the Earlier editions of this book were printed, the author was not sufficiently acquainted with this part of the history of Masonry in England. The above particulars have been carefully extracted from old records and authentic manuscripts and are, in many points, confirmed by the old books of the Lodge of Antiquity, as well as the first and second editions of the Book of Constitutions.

The following account of the four old lodges may prove acceptable to many readers.

1. The old Lodge of St. Paul, now named the Lodge of Antiquity, formerly held at the Goose and Gridiron in St. Paul's Churchyard, is still extant (in 1812) and regularly meets at the Freemasons' Tavern in Great Queen street, Lincoln's Innfields, on the fourth Wednesday in January, February, March, April, May, October and November every year. The Lodge is in a very flourishing state, and possesses some valuable records and curious ancient relics.

2. The old Lodge No. 2, formerly held at the Crown in Parker's-lane, Drury-lane, has been extinct above fifty years, by the death of its members.

3. The old Lodge No. 3 formerly held at the Apple-tree Tavern in Charles-street, Covent-garden, has been dissolved many years.

By the list of lodges inserted in the Book of Constitutions, printed in 1738, it appears that, in February, 1722-3, this Lodge was removed to the Queen's Head, in Knave's Acre, on account of some difference among its members and that the members who met there came under a new constitution, though, says the Book of Constitutions, they wanted it notand ranked as No. 10 in the list. Thus they inconsiderately renounced their former rank under an immemorial constitution.

4. The Lodge No. 4, formerly held at the Rummer and Grapes Tavern in Channel row Westminster, was thence removed to the Horn Tavern in New Palaceyard, where it continued to meet regularly till within these few years, when, finding themselves in a declining state, the members agreed to incorporate with a new and flourishing lodge under the constitution of the Grand Lodge, intitled The Somerset House Lodge, which immediately assumed their rank.

It is a question that will admit of some discussion, whether any of the above old lodges can, while they exist as lodges, surrender their rights, as those rights seem to have been granted by the old Masons of the metropolis to them in trust and any individual member of the four old lodges might object to the surrender and in that case they never could be given up. The four old lodges always preserve their original power of making, passing and raising Masons, being termed Masters lodges, while the other lodges, for many years afterwards, had no such power, it having been the custom to pass and raise the Masons made by them at the Grand Lodge only.]

During the administration of Mr. Sayer, the Society made no very rapid progress. Several brethren joined the old lodges, but only two new lodges were constituted. Mr. Sayer was succeeded in 1718, by George Payne esq. who was particularly assiduous in recommending a strict observance of the communications. He collected many valuable manuscripts on the subject of masonry and earnestly desired, that the brethren would bring to the Grand Lodge any old writings or records concerning the fraternity, to shew the usages of ancient times. In consequence of this general intimation, several old copies of the Gothic constitutions were produced, arranged and digested.

On the 24th of June 1719, another assembly and feast was held at the Goose and Gridiron before mentioned, when Dr. Desaguliers was unanimously elected Grand Master. At this feast, the old, regular and peculiar toasts or healths of the freemasons were introduced, and from this time we may date the rise of freemasonry on its present plan in the South of England. The lodges, which had considerably increased by the vigilance of the Grand Master, were visited by many old masons, who had long neglected the craft, several noblemen were initiated and a number of new lodges constituted.

At an assembly and feast held at the Goose and Gridiron on the 24th June 1720, George Payne esq. was re-elected Grand Master and under his mild, but vigilant administration the lodges continued to flourish.

This year, at some of the private lodges, to the irreparable loss of the fraternity, several valuable manuscripts, concerning their lodges, regulations, charges, secrets and usages, (particularly one written by Mr. Nicholas Stone, the warden under Inigo Jones,) were too hastily burnt by some scrupulous brethren, who were alarmed at the intended publication of the masonic constitutions.

At a quarterly communication held this year at the Goose and Gridiron on the festival of St. John the Evangelist, it was agreed, That, in future, the new Grand Master shall be named and proposed to the Grand Lodge some time before the feast [By an old record of the Lodge of Antiquity it appears, that the new Grand Master was always proposed and presented for approbation in that Lodge, before his election in the Grand Lodge.] and if approved and present, he shall be saluted as Grand Master elect and that every Grand Master, when he is installed, shall have the sole power of appointing his deputy and wardens, according to ancient custom.

At a Grand Lodge held in ample form on Ladyday 1721, brother Payne proposed for his successor, John Duke of Montague, at that time Master of a lodge. His grace, being present, received the compliments of the lodge. The brethren expressed great joy at the prospect of being once more patronised by the nobility and unanimously agreed, that the next assembly and feast should be held at Stationers' hall and that a proper number of stewards should be appointed to provide the entertainment. Mr. Josiah Villeneau, an upholder in the Borough, generously undertook the whole management of the business and received the thanks of the Society for his attention.

While masonry was thus spreading its influence over the southern part of the Kingdom, it was not neglected in the North. The General Assembly, or Grand Lodge, at York, continued regularly to meet as heretofore. In 1705, under the direction of Sir George Tempest bart. then Grand Master, several lodges met and many worthy brethren were initiated in York and its neighbourhood. Sir George being succeeded by the Right Hon. Robert Benson, Lord Mayor of York, a number of meetings of the fraternity was held at different times in that city and the grand feast during his mastership is said to have been very brilliant. Sir William Robinson Bart. succeeded Mr. Benson in the office of Grand Master and the fraternity seem to have considerably increased in the North under his auspices. He was succeeded by Sir Walter Hawkesworth, who governed the Society with great credit. At the expiration of his mastership, Sir George Tempest was elected a second time Grand Master, and from the time of his election in 1714 to 1725, the Grand Lodge continued regularly to assemble at York under the direction of Charles Fairfax esq. Sir Walter Hawkesworth bart. Edward Bell esq. Charles Bathurst esq. Edward Thomson esq. M. P. John Johnson M. D. and John Marsden esq. all of whom, in rotation, during the above period, regularly filled the office of Grand Master in the North of England.

From this account, which is authenticated by the books of the Grand Lodge at York, it appears, that the revival of masonry in the South of England did not interfere with the proceedings of the fraternity in the North. For a series of years the most perfect harmony subsisted between the two Grand Lodges and private lodges flourished in both parts of the Kingdom under their separate jurisdiction. The only distinction, which the Grand Lodge in the North appears to have retained after the revival of masonry in the South, is in the title which they claim, viz. The Grand Lodge of all England, while the Grand Lodge in the South passes only under the denomination of The Grand Lodge of England. The latter, on account of its situation, being encouraged by some of the principal nobility, soon acquired consequence and reputation, while the former, restricted to fewer, though not less respectable, members, seemed gradually to decline. Till within these few years, however, the authority of the Grand Lodge at York was never challenged, on the contrary, every mason in the Kingdom held it in the highest veneration and considered himself bound by the charges which originally sprung from that assembly. To be ranked as descendants of the original York masons, was the glory and boast of the brethren in almost every country where masonry was established and, from the prevalence and universality of the idea, that in the city of York masonry was first established by charter, the masons of England have received tribute from the first states in Europe. It is much to be regretted, that any separate interests should have destroyed the social intercourse of masons, but it is no less remarkable than true, that the brethren in the North and those in the South are now in a manner unknown to each other. Notwithstanding the pitch of eminence and splendor at which the Grand Lodge in London as arrived, neither the lodges of Scotland nor Ireland court its correspondence. This unfortunate circumstance has been attributed to the introduction of some modern innovations among the lodges in the South. As to the coolness, which has subsisted between the Grand Lodge at York and the Grand Lodge in London, another reason is assigned. A few brethren at York having, on some trivial occasion, seceded from their ancient lodge, they applied to London for a warrant of constitution, and without any inquiry into the merits of the case, their application was honoured. Instead of being recommended to the Mother Lodge to be restored to favour, these brethren were encouraged in their revolt, and permitted, under the banner of the Grand Lodge at London, to open a new lodge in the city of York itself. This illegal extension of power justly offended the Grand Lodge at York and occasioned a breach, which time and a proper attention to the rules of the Order, only can repair.



William Preston, a great and pioneer Masonic Scholar and writer, whose name has been perpetuated by the institution of the prestigious Prestonian Lectures, was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, on August 7th 1742. At an early age, he entered high school. He left the college on the death of his father and took employment as the secretary to Thomas Ruddiman, who was a distinguished linguist. While assisting his master, he had to study and carry on research in linguistic studies, which shaped him as an outstanding scholar and which faculty enabled him to study Freemasonry and shine as a great Masonic Scholar and his writings formed the basis of the subsequent Masonic Monitors. His literary talents were exhibited in the catalog of Thomas Ruddiman’s works prepared by him. He migrated to London in 1760 and joined William Stranhan, who was the King’s Printer. He worked for long hours and thereafter pursued his studies, associating himself with eminent intellectual men of his age, namely Blair, Gibbon, Hume and Robertson and many others, who appreciated his analytical and critical skill.He saw the light of Freemasonry in 1763 in the Lodge No.111 of the Ancient Grand Lodge, in London, which met at the Whitehart Tavern in Strand and which consisted mostly of Masons from Edinburgh. Later that Lodge was absorbed by the Modern Grand Lodge and became known as Caledonian Lodge (No,325) and is now Lodge No.134 of the United Grand Lodge of England. That Lodge consisted of many prominent Freemasons of that period, whose association induced Preston to make extensive study of Freemasonry. a few years later, he was installed as the W.M of that Lodge. Preston made extensive studies and research on the origin, symbolism and the mystical aspect of Freemasonry. He was recognized as a Masonic Scholar and was invited to visit several Lodges. During one of his visits to Lodge Antiquity (No.1) in 1774, he was elected a Member of the Lodge and also as its W.M., because of the great respect commanded by him. Appreciating his services and involvement in Masonry, he was appointed as Deputy Grand Secretary, during which period of office, using his personal contacts he revived the correspondence of the Grand Lodge. He organized the Order of Harodim, a Society of Masonic Scholars, in which he delivered his lectures, which found their way to America and became the foundation for the Monitors prepared in America. During his extensive research of the old documents of the Craft, he discovered a vast body of traditional and historical lore.From 1765 to 1772, Preston undertook personal research and correspondence with Freemasons at home and abroad, endeavoring to learn all he could about Freemasonry and the arts it encouraged. These efforts bore fruit in the form of his first book, entitled: "Illustrations of Masonry," published in 1772. He had taken the old lectures and work of Freemasonry, revised them and placed them in such form as to receive the approval of the leading members of the Craft. Encouraged by their favorable reception and sanctioned by the Grand Lodge, Preston employed, at his own expense, lecturers to travel throughout the kingdom and place the lectures before the lodges. New editions of his book were demanded, and up to the present time it has gone through twenty editions in England, six in America, and several more in various European languages. Preston's history of freemasonry is by turns learned, credulous, tendentious and sometimes positively fictitious. In this, it recalls very strongly the medieval chronicles which Preston evidently loved and which he assiduously quarried for information about the status of the stonemason's craft in the middle ages. Like medieval chronicles, Preston's history can be regarded as a primary source. Preston's work was exceptionally influential. It has been suggested that Preston's Illustrations was, together with the Book of Constitutions, one of the books owned by virtually every lodge in England. by the Antients.

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