- maintained by Sri Brahadeeswara Lodge Masonic Research Circle - by Sri Brahadeeswara Lodge Masonic Research Circle

About Articles Restricted Archives Register Guest Book Mailing List Awards Links Contact Us
Register  |  Login  [Current Access: General Articles only] Articles
Previous ArticleGo BottomNext Article

Article # 217
Illustrations of Masonry- Book-4 (Sections 12 to 15)

Author: W.Bro.William Preston    Posted on: Wednesday, July 5, 2006
General Article | 0 comments  | Post your comment

New Page 1

 [Sections 12 to 14 of the Book-4 of the Illustrations of Masonry are posted hereunder. The footnotes have been incorporated at the appropriate places of the main text and enclosed within brackets. The important portions have been highlighted in bold font. The unsuccessful attempt to assassinate the King of England, the presenting the Book of Constitutions to G.Washington, strengthening the fraternal relations with the Grand Lodges in Germany and Sweden are some of the noteworthy happenings referred to in this article]

  Illustrations  Of  Masonry

W.Bro. William Preston

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

Section. 12. History of Masonry from the Installation of the Prince of Wales as Grand Master, to the Grand Feast of 1795 inclusive.

At the Grand Feast held at Freemason's Hall on the 2d of May 1792, His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales was installed Grand Master, to the inexpressible joy of the fraternity, in the presence of His Royal brother, the Duke of York, the Right Hon. Lord Rawdon, now Earl of Moria and above 500 other respectable brethren. The repeated applause bestowed by the company upon the Royal Brothers were highly grateful to their feelings, while the affability and heartfelt satisfaction of the Grand Master at the head of his brethren were particularly noticed. His Highness performed the duties of his office in a style superior to most of his predecessors. His observations were clear, acute and distinct, his expression was fluent, manly and pertinent, and his eulogium on his deceased uncle, the last Grand Master, pathetic, graceful and elegant. The compliment he conferred on Earl Moira as Acting Grand Master, was truly Masonic, and to all his Officers, on their appointments, he paid a proper tribute to their respective merits. In short, during the whole ceremony, his demeanour was courteous, pleasing and dignified.

An era so important in the annals of masonry must be recorded with peculiar satisfaction. Under the auspices of so illustrious a patron, as the heir apparent to the Crown of Great Britain, the Society must necessarily extend its influences and the fraternity derive great encouragement in their zealous endeavours to promote the principles of the institution. Testimonies of loyalty and attachment to the family on the throne and to the happy constitution of the country, were therefore transmitted to His Highness in every quarter. The lodges in town and country vied with each other in their expressions of duty and affection to the Grand Master and in various addresses testified submission and obedience to the laws and an ardent will to support that well regulated form of government, from which they and their ancestors had derived the invaluable blessings of liberty, so truly essential to the happiness of His Majesty's subjects in general and to the propagation of those principles which distinguish the Craft of masons in particular  universal charity, brotherly love and peace.

On the 21st of June, the brethren in the county of Lincoln transmitted their grateful acknowledgements to His Highness in a column of heart of oak, which was presented by the Rev. William Peters, their Provincial Grand Master. Stimulated by the same motive several other lodges copied the example and on the 7th January 1793, the Freemasons of Cornwall unanimously voted an address to His Highness, which was presented by Sir John St Aubyn, their Provincial Grand Master and most graciously received. one spirit seemed to animate the whole fraternity, who joyfully hailed the rising splendour and prosperity of the Craft.

The French revolution, which, in extent and importance of effect, is unquestionably the most momentous event, that has happened since the religious revolutions in Europe at the beginning of the sixteenth century, having unfortunately given rise at this time to many unhappy dissensions, which spread their contagion among some of the inhabitants of this island, it became necessary to counteract the measures of those mistaken individuals, who were endeavouring to sow the seeds of anarchy and poison the minds of the people against His Majesty's government and the excellent constitution under which they enjoyed the invaluable blessings of liberty and property. This induced most of the corporate bodies in the Kingdom and all the true friends to the constitution, to stem the torrent of opposition and promote, in their different departments, a just sense of the advantages enjoyed under the present government. Hence, addresses to the throne were daily presented, with assurances of a determination to support the measures of administration and among the rest, it was deemed proper that the Society of Masons, by adding their mite to the number, should show that attachment to the King and constitution, which the laws of the Order enjoined. Accordingly, on the 6th of February, 1793, the Grand Lodge unanimously resolved, that an address should be presented to His Majesty, by His Royal Highness, who, in compliance with the request of his brethren, condescended to present it in person to His Royal Parent, by whom it was most graciously received.

To the King's Most Excellent Majesty,

 The humble address of the Grand Lodge of the Ancient Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons under the constitution of England.

Most Gracious Sovereign

"At a time when nearly the whole mass of the people anxiously press forward and offer with one heart and one voice, the most animated testimonies of their attachment to your Majesty's Person and Government and of their unabated zeal, at this period of innovation and anarchy in other countries, for the unequalled Constitution of their own, permit a body of men, Sire, which, though not unknown to the laws, has been ever obedient to them:- Men who do not yield to any description of your Majesty's subjects, in the love of their country, in true allegiance to their Sovereign, or in any other of the duties of a good citizen, to approach you with the public declaration of their political principles. The Times, they think demand it of them and they wish not to be among the last, in such times, to throw their weight, whatever that may be, into the scale of Order, Subordination and good Government.

It is written, Sire, in the Institute of our Order, that we shall not, at our meetings, go into religious or political discussion, because, composed (as our fraternity is) of men of various nations, professing different rules of faith and attached to opposite systems of government, such discussions, sharpening the mind of man against his brother, might offend and disunite. A crisis, however, so unlooked for as a present, justifies to our judgment a relaxation of that rule and our first duty as Britons superseding all other considerations, we add, without farther pause, our voice to that of our fellow subjects, in declaring one common and fervent attachment to a government by King, Lords and Commons, as established by the glorious revolution of 1688.

The excellence of all human institutions is comparative and fleeting: positive perfection, or unchanging aptitude to its object, we know, belongs not to the work of man, but, when we view the principles of government which have recently obtained in OTHER NATIONS and then look upon OUR OWN, we exult in possessing, at this time, the wisest and best posed system the world has ever known, a system which affords EQUAL protection (the only EQUALITY we look for, or that indeed is practicable) and impartial justice to all.

I may be thought, perhaps, that being what we are, a private society of men - connected by invisible ties - professing secrecy - mysterious in our meetings, - stamped by no Act of Prerogative - and acknowledged by no law, we assume a post and hold a language on this occasion, to which we can urge no legal or admitted right. We are the free citizens, Sire, of a free state and number many thousands of our body. The Heir Apparent of the Empire is our Chief, - We fraternize for the purpose of social intercourse, of mutual affection, of charity to the distressed and good will to all, and fidelity to a trust, reverence to the magistrates and obedience to the laws, are sculptured in capitals upon the pediment of our Institution. And let us add, that, pervading as we do, every class of the community and every walk of life and disseminating our principles wherever we strike root, this address may be considered as speaking, in epitomes, the sentiments of a people.

Having thus attested our principles, we have only to implore the Supreme Architect of the Universe, whose almighty hand hath laid in the deep the firm foundations of this country's greatness and whose protecting shield hath covered her amidst the crush of nations, that He will continue to shelter and sustain her. May her sons be contented and her daughters happy and may your Majesty, the immediate instrument of her present prosperity and power. to whom unbiased posterity shall this inscribed the column.

TO GEORGE,  the Friend of the People and Patron of the Arts, which brighten and embellish life. With your amiable Queen and your Royal Progeny, Long, long continue to be the blessing and the boast of a grateful, happy and united people.

Given  unanimously, in Grand Lodge, at Freemason's Hall, this 6th day of February, 1793

Signed Rawson, A. G. M.

Counter signed

William White, G. S. Peter Parker, D.G.M.

For the Grand Master's attention to the interests of the Society, in presenting the above loyal and affectionate Address, the Grand Lodge unanimously voted the following Address

'To His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales, Grand Master of the most Ancient and Honourable Society of Free and Accepted Masons .

Most Worshipful and Royal Sir,

Accustomed as we have been, from the hour in which your name first adorned the roll of our Order, to the manly vigour of your mind and the winning benignity of your manners, we did not look for any event, which could raise you in our estimation, or draw you nearer to our affections. With you at our head, we have seen our reputation advanced in the opinion of our fellow subjects, our system expand itself and added honour and increasing prosperity lie in unclouded prospect before us. These things we ascribe to you, Sir, as to their proper source and yet the silent homage of the heart has been hitherto the only return we have made you. Such, however, has been the generous alacrity with which your Royal Highness has offered to present His Majesty the accompanying tribute of our fervent loyalty to him and of our unshaken attachment  to the Constitution, which (happily for these nations) at once confirms his position and your inheritance and all the rights of all the people and such the sense we entertain of the proud distinction you have thus conferred upon our Body, that it were inconsistent with our honour, we think, as well as irksome to our feelings, to continue longer silent.

Accept then, Royal Sir, our warmest and most dutiful acknowledgments for your gracious condescension upon this (to us) most momentous occasion. May He, by whom Kings govern and empires prosper, shower upon your Royal Parents, Yourself and the whole of Your illustrious line his choice of blessings! May You all long exist in the hearts of a brave and generous people and Britain triumphant, her enemies be abased! May her acknowledged superiority, returning peace and the grateful reverence of rescued nations, perpetuate the fame of her virtues, the influence of her example and the weight and authority of her dominion.

By the unanimous order of the Grand Lodge.

Signed Rawdon A.G.M.

Counter signed William White, G. S.  Peter Parker, D. G. M.

While these proofs of the prosperity of the Society in England were universally spread throughout the Kingdom, accounts were daily transmitted of the rapid progress of the Institution in different parts of the world. Many dignified and respectable characters had enrolled their names among the fraternity and it is with some degree of satisfaction, that among then we have to record the name of the present King of Sweden, who was initiated into the Order at the Grand Lodge of Stockholm on the 22nd of March 1793, under the auspices of Charles Duke of Sudermainia, regent of the Kingdom, who presided as Grand Master on the occasion.

The brethren in America at this period also seem to have been no less zealous in expressing a dutiful attachment to their patrons and protectors, for the Grand Lodge of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in North America having newly arranged their Constitutions, transmitted a copy of them to General Washington with the following Address.

Address of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, to their Brother George Washington.

"Whilst the historian is describing the career of your glory and the inhabitants of an extensive empire are made happy in your unexampled exertions, whilst some celebrate the Hero, so distinguished in liberating United America and other the Patriot, who presides over her councils, a band of brothers, having always joined the acclamations of their countrymen, now testify their respect for those milder virtues which have ever graced the man.

Taught by the precepts of our Society, that all its members stand upon a LEVEL, we venture to assume, this station and to approach you with that freedom which diminishes our diffidence, without lessening our respect. Desirous to enlarge the boundaries of social happiness and to vindicate the ceremonies of their Institution, this Grand Lodge has published "A Book of Constitutions," (and a copy for your acceptance accompanies this,) which, by discovering the principles  that actuate, will speak the eulogy of the Society, thought they fervently wish the conduct of its members may prove its highest commendation.

Convinced of his attachment to its cause and readiness to encourage its benevolent designs, they have taken the liberty to dedicate this work to one, the qualities of whose heart and the actions of whose life, have contributed to improve personal virtue and extend throughout the world the most endearing cordialities and they humbly hope he will pardon this freedom and accept the tribute of their esteem and homage.

May the Supreme Architect of the Universe protect and bless you, give you length of days and increase of felicity in this world and then receive you the harmonious and exalted Society in Heaven."

John Cutler, G.M.   Josiah Bartlet, S. G. W. Mungo Mackay, J. G. W.   Bolton, Dec 27, A. L. 5792

To this Address General Washington returned the following Answer." Flattering as it may be to the human mind and truly honourable as it is, to receive from our fellow citizens testimonies of approbation for exertions to promote the public welfare, it is not less pleasing to know, that the milder virtues of the heart are highly respected by a Society, whose liberal principles are founded in the immediate laws of truth ad justice.

To enlarge the sphere of social happiness is worthy, the benevolent design of a Masonic Institution and it is most fervently to be wished, that the conduct of every member of the fraternity, as well as those publications that discover the principles which actuate them, may tend to convince mankind, that the grand object of Masonry is to promote the happiness of the human race.

While I beg your acceptance of my thanks for "the Book of Constitutions" which you have sent me and for the honour you have done me in the Dedication, permit me to assure you, that I feel all those emotions of gratitude, which your affectionate Address and cordial wishes are calculated to inspire and I sincerely pray that the Great Architect of the Universe may bless you here and receive you hereafter in his immortal temple.

Geo. Washington.

From this time the Society of Freemasons in America continued to flourish under the auspices of General Washington, who continued his patronage to the lodges till his death. This great man, who displayed in his own person the rare combination of military and pacific talents, of general and statesman and evinced in private life the most endearing manners and unblemished probity, died at his seat at Mount Vernon, in Virginia, of an inflammation in his throat, on the 14th of December, 1799. On the 18th his remains were consigned to the tomb with the most solemn funeral pomp. The procession from Mount Vernon was formed about three o'clock in the afternoon and moved to the place of interment in the following order,

Minute guns from a vessel in the river announced the commencement of the ceremony.

Cavalry, Infantry and Guards, matched with arms reversed.

Music — Clergy.

The General's horse, with his saddle, holsters and pistols.

The Corpse, supported by Colonels Little, Marstelle, Gilpin, Payne, Ramsay and Simms, as pall-bearers.

At the head of the coffin was inscribed, Surge ad judicium,

About the middle, Gloria Deo,

And on the silver plate, "General GEORGE WASHINGTON departed this life on the 14th December 1799 - Ætatis 68."

The Mourners, Masonic brethren and Citizens, closed the procession.

Having arrived at the bottom of the elevated lawn on the banks of the Potomac, where the family vault is placed, the cavalry halted and the infantry marched towards the Mount and formed their lines. The clergy, masonic brethren and citizens then descended into the vault, where the funeral service was performed. After which, three general discharges were given by the infantry, while the cavalry and eleven pieces of artillery, which lined the banks of the Potomac at the back of the vault, paid the last tribute of respect to their venerable departed hero and the firing was repeated from the vessels in the river.

At a meeting of the house of representatives at Philadelphia, on the day following this ceremony, it was voted that a committee should be appointed, in conjunction with one from the senate, to consider on the most suitable means of paying honour to the memory of this great man, who ranked first in war, first in peace and first in the hearts of his countrymen, it was also resolved, that the house should wait on the President of the United States, to express their condolence on the mournful event, that the speaker's chair should be covered with black and that all the members and officers of the house should appear in deep mourning during the session. Thus was demonstrated the warmest testimonies of affection of a grateful people, to the memory of their truly benevolent chief, who justly merited the esteem of his country, his brethren and his friends.

Under the auspices of his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales and the indefatigable exertions of the Earl of Moira, the progress of the Society in England far exceeded at this time that of any former period. The lodges not only considerably increased in numbers and consequence, but were in general better regulated, and the principles of the Institution being more clearly understood, the brethren, both in town and country, vied with each other in promoting the useful purposes of the Society.

On the 24th of September, 1793, the lodges in the county of Durham made a grand procession through the town of Sunderland, on laying the foundation stone of the bridge over the river Wear, which was afterwards opened on the 9th of August, 1796, in the presence of his Royal Highness Prince William of Gloucester, the magistrates, a numerous assemblage of Masons and a vast concourse of spectators. On this occasion a grand triumphal arch, decorated with flowers, was raised, through which the procession passed and proceeded along the bridge to the north side of the river, up to the limekilns and returned by the low road through the dry arch of the bridge to the Pan Ferry, thence to the centre of the bridge, where the lodge was formed and an oration delivered by the Rev. Mr. Nesfield. The whole ceremony was conducted under the patronage of Rowland Burdon, esq., M.P., Provincial Grand Master for the county. The Lincoln militia attended and fired three volleys on the occasion. The brethren then proceeded to church, where an appropriate sermon was preached by the Rev. Mr. Brewster. From church the procession was resumed to the Assembly room, where the evening was concluded with the greatest harmony.

On Monday the 25th of November 1793, the Prince of Wales laid the first stone of the New Chapel at Brighthelmstone. His Highness was accompanied from the pavilion to the appropriated place by the Rev. Mr Hudson, the vicar, Mr Saunders, Etc. On coming to the ground, Mr Saunders addressed his Royal Highness as follows: That, as constructor of the building the high honour was allotted to him of pointing out to the Prince the situation where the stone was intended to be placed and he respectfully requested that, as Grand Master of the Masons, he would be pleased to signify if it met his approbation. On receiving an assurance that it did, the stone, with the following inscription was laid,  "This stone was laid by his Royal Highness GEORGE, PRINCE OF WALES, November 25, 1793."

On Mr Saunders covering it with a plate of metal, he desired leave to say. That however late the period might be before it was again exposed to the face of day and he sincerely wished that it might be a very distant one, he hoped that the descendants of his Royal Highness's august family would be found, as now, happily governing a happy people.

Mr Hudson then respectfully addressed the Prince and desired permission to return his most sincere and grateful thanks to His Highness for the honour that day done, not only to him in particular as the proprietor, but to the town at large, and he hoped that God would give his blessing to the undertaking those begun and long preserve His Highness, Their Majesties and every branch of the Royal Family, to superintend our invaluable, unequalled and long envied Constitution in church and state.

The day proved fine and the acclamations of the surrounding crowd showed how much they were gratified with such an instance of goodness in the Prince, who, at the same time was both a resident in and a protector of, their town and liberties.

The Prince ordered a handsome distribution to the workmen, &c. The promenade gardens were laid open and the company was entertained with refreshments. A party of gentlemen dined at the Castle and some lines were composed and sung on the occasion..

Among the masonic occurrences of this year, it may be proper to mention the publication of a periodical Miscellany, entitled, The Freemasons' Magazine, or, General and Complete Library: the first number of which appeared in June, 1793 and a number was continued to be published monthly till the end of December, 1798, when its title was changed. Independent of this magazine being a general repository for everything curious and important in Masonry, it contained a choice selection of miscellaneous and literary articles, well calculated for the purpose of general instruction and improvement and was for some time honoured with the sanction of the Grand Lodge.

On the 4th of June 1793, the Shakespeare Lodge at Stratford on Avon was opened and dedicated in solemn form, in the presence of a numerous assembly of brethren from different lodges. The ceremony was conducted under the direction of Mr James Timmins, D.P.G.M. for the county of Warwick.

On the 28th of July 1794, the Royal Brunswick Lodge at Sheffield was also constituted in due form. The brethren made a very elegant procession to St. James's church, where an excellent sermon was preached by the Rev Brother Chadwick, after which the procession was resumed to the Lodge, when the ceremony of dedication took place. Several anthems and psalms were sung and the while was concluded with a liberal subscription to the poor girls Charity School.

On the 31st of July 1794, the Lodge of Apollo at Alcester was constituted in due form in the presence of 121 brethren. At ten in the morning, a procession was made to the church, where a sermon was preached before the Lodge by the Rev. Brother Green. After which the brethren returned to the Hall, when the ceremonies of consecration and dedication took place, according to ancient usage.

The Prince of Wales's marriage with the Princess Caroline of Brunswick having taken place on the 8th of April 1795, the Grand Lodge on the 15th of that month unanimously voted an address to his Royal Highness on the occasion.

To his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, Grand Master of the most Ancient and Honourable Society of Free and Accepted Masons under the Constitution of England.

Most Worshipful and Royal Grand Master,

Upon an event so important to your own happiness and to the interests of the British Empire, as the late nuptials of your Royal Highness, we feel ourselves peculiarly bound to testify our joy and offer our humble congratulations.

To affect a degree of gratification superior to that professed by others, when all His Majesty's subjects exhibit such heartfelt satisfaction at the union which you have formed, would, perhaps, be in us an undue pretension, we cannot, however, but be proudly conscious, Sir, that we posses a title beyond what any other class of men can advance, to approach you upon an occasion like the present with a tender of our particular duty. When your Royal Highness deigned so far as to honour the Craft as to accept the trust of presiding over us, the condescension not only authorised, but demanded from all and each of us a peculiar sensibility to whatever might concern your welfare, and the ties of brotherhood, with which you invested yourself in becoming one of our number, entitle us to express, without fear of incurring any charge of presumption, the satisfaction we feel in contemplating such an accession to the prospects of the nation, an those of your own felicity. That the interests of your Royal Highness and those of the British people may ever continue as strictly united as we feel them in this most auspicious occurrence, is the warmest with and  at the same time, the confident trust, of those who hold it the highest honour to have your name enrolled in the records of their Institution.

To the obligation, which the brethren owe to the Royal Consort, the humble homage of our veneration and of our prayers for every possible blessing upon your union.

By the unanimous Order of the Grand Lodge.

Signed   Moria, A.G.M. Counter signed  William White, G. S.

The Right Hon. the Earl of Moira having, at the request of the Grand Lodge, presented the above Address to the Prince of Wales, His Royal Highness was graciously pleased to return the following Answer:

The Grand Master has received with great satisfaction the Address of the Craft, which he regards as not indicating solely their sentiments toward him, but as also repeating those declarations of devotion to their Sovereign and attachment to the House of Brunswick, heretofore so becomingly expressed by them.

He has had peculiar pleasure in explaining to the Princess of Wales their loyal congratulations, and he desires to convey to the brethren the sincere thanks of the Princess for their generous wishes.

A grand feast was held at Freemasons' Hall on the 13th of May 1795, the Grand Master in the chair. His Royal Highness was accompanied by the Duke of Clarence and Prince William of Gloucester, who had been initiated at an occasional Lodge convened for the purpose on the preceding evening. Five hundred brethren were also present at this feast. Happiness was visible in every countenance and the benevolent principles of Masonry cheered the heart. His Royal Highness thanked the brethren for the many instances he had received of their attachment and for the repeated honours they had conferred on him. After expressing his warmest wishes for the prosperity of the Society, he concluded with a handsome compliment to the Acting Grand Master, the Earl of Moira, whom he styled 'the man of his heart and the friend he admired,' and sincerely hoped that he might long live to superintend the government of the Craft and extend the principles of the Art.

 Section. 13. The History of Masonry from the Grand Feast in 1795, to the end of the Year 1800.

No remarkable event took place in the Society from the festival in 1795 till the year 1797. The greatest harmony prevailed among the brethren during the whole period and many valuable additions were made to the list of lodges. The general contributions to the charitable funds were likewise considerably extended, and the annual reports from the Provincial Grand Masters, in their respective districts, announced the prosperity of the Craft.

The only circumstance which tended to damp the ardour of the brethren for the propagation of the Art, either at home or abroad, was the publication of some tracts, which stated that a new sect of philosophers had arisen in Germany and France, who had affiliated themselves to the Society of Masons and had, under that sanction, established lodges, for the more extended dissemination of the principles of their new theory. To these philosophers was attributed the design of destroying Christianity and subverting all the regular governments of Europe. The degrees of Masonry were understood to be preparatory steps to this new establishment and from that Society were selected the principal members of which this sect was composed. In their occult lodges, as they were termed, were inculcated the seeds of those dangerous principles which had brought about the French revolution and produced all the evils which had resulted from it.

The circulation of these publications excited a general alarm and for some time checked the progress of the Society in Europe, till, the mystery being unveiled, it was found that the constitutions of Masonry did not warrant the proceedings of this new system, and that new degrees had been instituted under the same appellation, to carry into effect the purposes of these new associates. The Masons of this country and all the lodges under the English constitution, were fully exempted from any share in the general censure, but, as the Society was much injured by these publications, a few remarks on their contents may not be unacceptable to the reader.

The first tract which excited alarm was an octavo volume, intitled, 'The Life of M. Zimmerman, first Physician to the King of England at Hanover. By Dr. Tissot.' From this work it appears that one of the most distinguished incidents of Zimmerman's life was a summons which he received from the great Frederick, King of Prussia, to attend him in his last illness in 1786. This opportunity the Doctor improved to enjoy a confidential intercourse with that illustrious character, from which he derived the materials of an interesting narrative, that he afterwards published. The partiality of this prince in favour of Zimmerman disposed him to a reciprocal good opinion of that monarch and in 1788 he published 'A Defence of Frederick the Great against the Count de Mirabeau,' which was followed, in 1790, by 'Fragments on Frederick the Great,' in 3 vols. 12mo. The publications of Zimmerman relative to this King gave offence to some individuals and subjected him to many severe criticisms, which he felt with more sensibility than accorded with his peace of mind. The religious and political opinions which he had imbibed in his latter years were in wide contradiction to the principles which had so generally spread over Europe and which operated as perpetual fuel to the irritability of his nervous system. About this time the rise of the Society of the Illuminati in Germany, who were said to have coalesced with the Freemasons, excited a violent commotion among men of letters and reflection. The Society was supposed to have in view nothing less than the abolition of Christianity and the subversion of all constituted authorities. Its partisans expected from it the most beneficial reforms of every kind, and its opponents dreaded from it every mischief that could happen to mankind. Zimmerman, who is represented to have been a hunter of sects, was among the first who took alarm at this formidable association and stepped forth to oppose its progress. His regard for religion and social order led him to see in the most obnoxious light the pernicious principles of these new philosophers. Determined, therefore, to suppress the influence of their system, he painted in the strongest colouring all the maxims of this new sect and addressed a memorial to the Emperor Leopold on the subject, with a view to check their further progress. The Emperor very graciously received this memorial and returned him an answer in his own handwriting, accompanied with a splendid present. [This was a locket, adorned with diamonds and the emperor's cipher]

 Leopold seemed to be well inclined to use the decisive interference of civil authority on this occasion and would probably have had recourse to violent measures against the Illuminati, had not the death of Zimmerman prevented it.

The number of the affiliated members of this society, Zimmerman says, increased daily, chiefly by the assiduity of Baron de Knigge, who, in 1782, first suggested the idea of illuminating the Society of Freemasons and who succeeded in that object, from Hanover to Copenhagen on one hand and to Naples on the other. In 1788, the Brotherhood, he observes, were unmasked and driven out of Bavaria, and in 1791 their papers were seized at Munich and printed, but no discovery of importance was made.  [Of this Society we have the following account in this tract, 'Whether this sect be the same with that of the Freemasons, or the Jesuits, both of which suppositions are improbable, is uncertain, but in 1774 or 1775, a Society was undoubtedly established in Bavaria, of which a celebrated professor at Ingoldstadt has been regarded as the founder. This society, under pretext of consulting the happiness of the people and supposing that happiness to be incompatible with every species of religious and civil establishment at present existing, said with one voice, Let us destroy them all and raze their very foundations. The secret Order of the Illuminati included among its mysterious principles, at present exposed to the whole world, the whole of the doctrine which the Jacobins of Paris have since put in practice, and it has been proved, by the most irrefragable documents that they maintained an intimate correspondence together before the French revolution. The destruction of the Christian religion and the subversion of every throne and of all governments, have been their aim ever since the year 1776. It was well understood, by the new associates of this Order, that the magic words, the happiness of the people, were the surest means to recruit their number with ease and by which, in fact, the recruits became so numerous and well disciplined. Young men were chiefly pitched upon, who, not having yet formed a strong attachment to any particular opinion, were the more easily led away to embrace whatever was offered to them, and men of literary talents, whom it is important to secure when the propagation of any new opinion is in agitation. When once a person was enlisted and fully penetrated with the enticing words the happiness of the people, let us labour to procure the happiness of the people, he became impatient to know the obstacles which were in the way of this purpose and the means to be made use of to remove them, these were therefore offered to his view in succession.

The Order has five degrees: in the lower, the mysteries are not unveiled, they are only preparatory, on which the minds of the noviciates are founded and prepared, then, by degrees, those who are found worthy are initiated into the higher ranks.]

Previous to the death of Zimmerman, in conjunction with M. Hoffman, of Vienna, he began a periodical work on the old principles. In this work all his former zeal was displayed and the new philosophers were attacked with vehemence. This occasioned a violent repulse on their part, and the writers of the Bibliotheque Universelle, or Universal Library, as well as some of the best journalists, bore a considerable share in the contest, in opposition to Zimmerman and Hoffman, till the former got himself embroiled in a court of law, by a publication in the journal, entitled 'The Baron de Knigge unmasked, as an Illuminati, Democratand Seducer of the People.' This charge was founded on a work not openly avowed by the baron, who commenced a suit against Zimmerman on this account as a libeller, in which the doctor, being unable to exculpate himself, was cast. This state of warfare proved very unfriendly to the doctor's nerves and sensibly affected his mind, which had been much agitated from a personal fear of the approach of the French towards Hanover in 1794. The idea of his becoming a poor emigrant perpetually haunted him, nor could the negotiations which afterwards took place and secured that country, restore him to tranquility. He used various remedies to overcome his apprehensions and even took a journey for that purpose, but it was fruitless. On his return home, he entered his habitation with the same idea with which he had left it, persuaded that he saw it pillaged and fancying that he was entirely ruined. This notion so strongly impressed his mind, that, together with his abstinence from food, for fear of poverty, he wore away to a skeleton, became decrepit and at last died on the 7th of October, 1795, at the age of 67.

The next tract which deserves notice is a translation of 'The Memoirs of Jacobinism in France,' in 4 vols. 8vo., by the Abb&eacute, Barruel. In this work the Abb&eacute, endeavours to shew, that there existed on the Continent, long before the French revolution, a threefold conspiracy to effect the ruin of the altar, the throne and all social order. The first conspiracy was formed by a sect of philosophers, who aimed to destroy the altars of Jesus Christ and his gospel, the second were the sophists of rebellion, who conspired against the thrones of Kings and who had affiliated themselves to the Society of Freemasons, engrafting on that institution the secrets of their occult lodges, and the third passed under the denomination of Illuminati, or enlightened, who formed a union with the two former and aimed at the subversion of all social order, property and science.

This coalition, the Abbé observes, gave rise to the club of Jacobins in France, which was so denominated from holding their meetings in a convent of the order of Jacobins that they had seized in Paris.

Of these three conspiracies, antichristian, antimonarchical and antisocial, very unfortunately for the Abb&eacute,, each successive one has been brought forward in his subsequent volumes with diminished evidence and decreasing plausibility. To expose to view the unknown chieftains and agents of his conspiracies, he has been obliged to describe the symbols and reveal the secrets of an invisible Society wholly unconnected with them and to represent the lodges of Freemasons as schools of infidelity and insurrection, whence all these conspiracies have originated. Although he makes France the theatre for their exhibition, he is obliged to have recourse to a strange language and to a Bavarian cloister for their origin, and from a want of facts, to supply, from his own imagination, by ingenious interpretations, the lessons which he can nowhere else discover.

Notwithstanding this serious attack on the Freemasons, the Abb&eacute, is candid enough to admit that the occult lodges of the Illuminati are unknown in England and that the English Freemasons are not implicated in the charge which he has made. With his remarks, therefore, on this subject, we shall conclude our observations on the Memoirs of Jacobinism,  'England in particular,' he says, 'is full of those upright men, who, excellent citizens and of all stations, are proud of being Masons and who may be distinguished from the others by ties which only appear to unite them more closely in the bonds of charity and fraternal affection. It is not the fear of offending a nation in which I have found an asylum that has suggested this exception. Gratitude, on the contrary, would silence every vain terror and I should be seen exclaiming in the very streets of London that England was lost, that it could not escape the French revolution, if its Freemasons lodges were similar to those of which I am about to treat. I would say more, that Christianity and all government would have long been at an end in England, if it could be even supposed that her Masons were initiated into the last mysteries of the sect. Long since have their lodges been sufficiently numerous to execute such a design, had the English Masons adopted either the means, or the plans and plots, of the occult lodges. This argument alone might suffice to except the English Masons in general from what I have to say of the sect. But there exist many passages in the history of Masonry, which necessitate this exception. The following appears convincing: At the time when the Illuminees of Germany, the most detestable of the Jacobin crew, were seeking to strengthen their party by that of Masonry, they affected a sovereign contempt for the English lodges.'

The Abbé's information with respect to the Illuminati may perhaps be just, in so far as respects the establishment of that sect and their deviation from  the English lodges, but between the genuine Masons of Germany and their brethren in England there has long subsisted the most friendly intercourse, and it cannot otherwise be, in any country where Masonry is conducted according to the pure principles of the institution.

The next publication which claims our attention is a work entitled, 'Proofs of a Conspiracy against all the Religions and Governments of Europe, carried on in the Secret Meetings of Freemasons, Illuminati and Reading Societies. By John Robison, M.A., Professor of Natural Philosophy and Secretary to the Royal Society of Edinburgh.' This work, like the former, aims at proving that a secret association had been formed and for many years carried on, for rooting out all the religious establishments and overturning all the existing governments of Europe, and that this association had employed, as its chief instruments, the lodges of Freemasons, who were under the direction of unknown superiors and whose emissaries were everywhere busy to complete the scheme. Of the rise and progress of this society in France he affects to give an account, which agrees in the main with that of the Abb&eacute, Barruel, by alleging that several of its most ingenious and indefatigable members were active Freemasons, who spread their infectious principles in most of the Freemasons' lodges in Europe. He then enters into an historical detail of the origin of the Scotch degrees and gives them a consequence to which I hope they are not entitled, as belonging to an institution formed by craft, founded in the deepest motivesand capable of effecting the most important events.

It is well known, I believe, to the Masons of this country, that some men of warm and enthusiastic imaginations have been disposed, within these few years, to amplify parts of the Institution of Freemasonry and in their supposed improvements to have elevated their discoveries into new degrees, to which they have added ceremonies, rituals and dresses, ill suited to the native simplicity of the Order of Masonry as it was originally practised in this country. But in all these degrees, though probably deserving reprehension, as improper innovations on the original system of Masonry, I can never believe that they have either proceeded from bad motives, or could be viewed in any other light than as innocent and inoffensive amusements. Thus much I can aver, that all the degrees of Masonry practised in England under the English Constitution, are pure and genuine and that no part of the system established among us is injurious either to Church or State.

In order to refute, however, the flimsy proofs which are produced by the learned professor, I cannot do better than use the language of an able writer,  [Dr. Watkins.] who has entered into a serious investigation of them in a monthly miscellany.  [See Freemasons Magazine, vol. x. p. 35]

 If the principles adopted by foreign Masons be such (says he) as the Professor represents, whence is it that so many loyal and pious members of the Fraternity continue their patronage of the Society and are still ignorant of the real quality of our principles? Is it that Masonry is one thing on the Continent and another in England? This cannot be, for Masonry is a universal establishment and a mutual communication and agreement has long subsisted between the British and Foreign lodges. Some of the wisest and most upright English Masons have visited their brethren abroad and have not been able to discover the wonderful disparity, or been shocked at the abominable practices said to be carried on among them. Even Mr. Robison himself saw nothing of all this mischievous system while he was in the closest habits of intimacy with the foreign Masons: and this surely must be some proof that Masonry, as it was then practised, had not the tendency which he has since been pleased to attribute to it. All the conspiracy, therefore, which he pretends to have discovered, if it ever did exist, must be charged to other causes. It must strike the mind with astonishment, that an institution like Masonry, organized and reduced to a complete system, should suddenly be changed from a harmless and innocent appearance, to one of the most ferocious and wicked, and that, from being in the highest degree friendly to order and religion, it should all at once become the most powerful and inveterate enemy to both. Whoever considers this and attends to the great numbers of eminent characters who continue to give the art their countenance and to patronize our assemblies and whoever contrasts with them the names of the persons brought forward as the agitators of this conspiracy, will be led, not only to question the truth of the assertions, but allow that the Professor had gone too wide in the charges and suffered a heated imagination to teem with prejudices, that have no foundation in truth.

Some foreign Masons may probably have given into the modern wretched philosophy, and, more effectually to propagate their tenets with safety, may have erected a false banner under the appellation of Masonry, to entrap the unwary, but shall we on that account attribute to the institution of Freemasonry the dreadful acts of those individuals, or the baneful consequences of their conspiracies? Certainly not, for, in opposition to all the Professor's assertions, it remains to be proved, that Masonry ever was, is, or can be, favourable to infidelity or insurrection.

That a regular confederacy ever has been formed upon this basis, or that the corruptions of the institution of Freemasonry have been so far systematized as to have  produced that shock which religion and government have lately received by the French revolution, can never be admitted. Those who view the wonderful changes, which have recently taken place in Europe and which are still going on, will naturally be led to examine further into the causes of so stupendous an event. Whatever opinion, the Professor may hold of his own sagacity, future historians will have little reason to compliment him. Possessed of greater lights, it will probably be found, that no conspiracy, or ingenious scheme of any body of men, has brought about the late great alterations. They will, on the contrary, see much in the natural constitution of things, much in the very principle of society itself, more in the corruptions of society, a great part in the general diffusion of letters, not a little in the various arts of life and in the extension of commerce and, above all the rest, in the increase and high pitch of luxury. Connecting all these with circumstances and persons, they will come to a fairer conclusion than the ingenious Professor. Upon the Illuminati, or the enlightened, I shall make no remarks. I know them not, or their principles. They may, or may not, have arisen from Freemasonry. It is a matter of little moment to the man who is well acquainted with the principles of his Society, what ambitious or corrupt minds may have devised in imitation of it. It is enough for him to know that the doctrines of the institution to which he belongs are simply good and have no natural tendency to evil. If bad men have perverted the external parts of the system to wicked purposes, he laments the depravity of human nature and regards the genuine principles of his Order with greater affection. The best of doctrines has been corrupted and the most sacred of all institutions prostituted to base and unworthy purposes. The genuine Mason, duly considering this, finds a consolation in the midst of reproach and apostasy and while he despises the one, will endeavour, by his own example, to refute the other.

It is to be regretted, that a lecturer in Natural Philosophy, of whom his country has the most favourable opinion, should have produced a work, which can do so little credit to his character either for knowledge or judgment. Were his volume to be stripped of its declamation and conjecture, the remainder would be too insignificant to merit a minute investigation.

In a postscript to the second edition, the Professor, in imitation of Barruel, has condescended to except the English lodges from the charge of disloyalty, or want of attachment to government. He admits the innocence and inoffensiveness of their meetings and acknowledges the benevolent principles of the institution as practised by them. This, however, is but a flimsy evasion, it being evident, from the whole tenor of his book, that he intended to sound the trumpet of alarm in the ears of His Majesty's ministers, by the thunder of his extraordinary denunciations. We are happy, however, to discover, that after all the proofs against the Masons, which he has attempted to produce, none of our illustrious patrons have been induced on that account to desert the Society. On the contrary, at the Grand Lodge, on the 3rd of June, 1800, we find the Earl of Moira thus addressing the brethren. “ Certain modern publications have been holding forth to the world the Society of Masons as a league against constituted authorities, an imputation the more secure, because the known constitutions of our fellowship make it certain that no answer can be published. It is not to be disputed, that in countries where impolitic prohibitions restrict the communication of sentiment, the activity of the human mind may, among other means of baffling the control, have resorted to the artifice of borrowing the denomination of Freemasons, to cover meetings for seditious purposes, just as any other description might be assumed for the same object. But, in the first place, it is the invaluable distinction of this free country, that such a just intercourse of opinions exists without restraint, as cannot leave to any number of men the desire of forming or frequenting those disguised societies, where dangerous dispositions may be imbibed, and, secondly, the profligate doctrines which may have been nurtured in any such self-established assemblies, could never have been tolerated for a moment in any Lodge meeting under regular authority. We aver, therefore, that not only such laxity of opinion has no sort of connection with the tenets of Masonry, but is diametrically opposite to the junction which we regard as the foundation-stone of the Lodge - namely, FEAR GOD and HONOUR THE KING. In confirmation of this solemn assertion, what can we advance more irrefragably, than that so many of His Majesty's illustrious family stand in the highest order of Masonry, are fully instructed in all its tendencies and have an intimate knowledge of every particular in its current administration under the Grand Lodge of England.”

After so public a testimony of approbation of the Society and of the purposes for which it is instituted, little more can be wanted to refute the ungenerous aspersions, which have been wantonly thrown out against it.

On the 12th of July, 1798, an Act of Parliament was passed for the more effectual suppression of societies established for seditious and treasonable purposes and for preventing treasonable and seditious practices. In this act the following clauses in favour of the Society of Masons are inserted, exempting their lodges from the penalties of the act, “And whereas certain societies have been long accustomed to be holden in this Kingdom under the denomination of lodges of Freemasons, the meetings whereof have been in great measure directed to charitable purposes: Be it therefore enacted, that nothing in this act shall extend to the meetings of any such society or lodge, which shall, before the passing of this act, have been usually holden under the said denomination and in conformity to the rules prevailing among the said societies of Freemasons. Provided always, that this exemption shall not extend to any such Society, unless two of the members composing the same shall certify upon oath (which oath any justice of the peace or other magistrate is hereby empowered to administer,) that such Society or Lodge has, before the passing of this act, been usually held under the denomination of a Lodge of Freemasons and in conformity to the rules prevailing among the Societies or lodges of Freemasons in this Kingdom, which certificate, duly attested by the magistrate before whom the same shall be sworn and subscribed by the persons so certifying, shall, within the space of two calendar months after the passing of this act, be deposited with the clerk of the peace for the county, stewartry, riding, division, shire, or place where such society or lodge hath been usually held: Provided also, that this exemption shall not extend to any such society or lodge, unless the name or denomination thereof and the usual place or places and the time or times of its meetings and the names and descriptions of all and every the members thereof, be registered with such clerk of the peace as aforesaid, within two months after the passing of this act and also on or before the twenty-fifth day of March in every succeeding year.

And be it enacted, that the clerk of the peace, or the person acting in his behalf, in any such county, stewartry, riding, division, shire, or place, is hereby authorised and required to receive such certificate and make such registry as aforesaid and to enrol the same among the records of such county, stewartry, riding, division, shire, or place and to lay the same once in every year before the general sessions of the justices for such county, stewartry, riding, division, shire, or place: and that it shall and may be lawful for the said justices, or the major part of them, at any of their general sessions, if they shall so think fit, upon complaint made to them upon oath by any one or more credible persons, that the continuance of the meetings of any such lodge or society is likely to be injurious to the public peace and good order, to direct that the meetings of any such Society or Lodge within such county, stewartry, riding, division, shire, or place, shall, from thenceforth, be discontinued, and any such meeting held, notwithstanding such order of discontinuance and before the same shall, by the like authority, be revoked, the same shall be deemed an unlawful combination and confederacy under the provisions of this act.'

FORM OF CERTIFICATE:   Here insert the name of the county} TO WIT,

WE the underwritten A. B. of        in the county of and C. D. of         &c. (Here insert the full names and description of the two brethren, certifying) two of the members of the Lodge of Freemasons held at           called the Lodge of          and being No.    in the list of lodges, do hereby, pursuant to an act of the thirty-ninth year of his present majesty, intitled 'An Act for the more effectual Suppression of Societies established for Seditious and Treasonable Purposes and for better preventing Treasonable and Seditious Practices,' certify, upon oath, that the said Lodge, of which we are respectively members as aforesaid, hath, before the passing of the said act, been usually held under the denomination of a Lodge of Freemasons, under the Constitution of England and in conformity to the rules prevailing among the Societies or lodges of Freemasons in this Kingdom.


C. D.

Sworn at       the        day of in the year of our Lord 1800, before FORM OF REGISTER--.Here insert the name of the county} TO WIT,

A register, to be enrolled pursuant to an act of the thirty-ninth year of his present Majesty, intitled, 'An Act for the more effectual suppression of societies established for seditious and treasonable purposes and for better preventing treasonable and seditious practices,' of a Lodge of Freemasons, called the Lodge of being No. and usually held at the house of in in the county aforesaid (Here state the time of meeting)and composed of the following members, viz.:-

Christian and Surnames.

Place of Abode.

Title, Profession, or Business.




On our conforming to which act, as I am convinced every Mason in this country will most cheerfully do, we may, in defiance of all the false charges against the Society, rest secure in our lodges and practise our rites, under the sanction of the best constitution and the mildest legislature on earth.

We shall now proceed to consider the farther progress of the Society in England and record some of the principal occurrences which have taken place within the last fourteen years.

On the 4th of October 1798, the General Infirmary at Sheffield was opened and dedicated in solemn form, in the presence of a splendid company of brethren from all the lodges in the county of York. Lord Fitzwilliam, Lord Galway, the trustees of the charity and many of the most respectable gentlemen in the neighbourhood, attended on the occasion.

The accounts from the Provincial Grand lodges at this time afforded the most pleasing prospects of the future prosperity of the Society and of the great increase of members in the lodges under their separate jurisdiction. The anniversary festivals in the different counties were observed with the strictest regularity and all the brethren seemed to vie in their exertions to add splendour to the Craft and to rescue the institution from the unjust charges and illiberal aspersions which had been thrown out against it. Several lodges, animated by a firm attachment to their King and country, liberally contributed to the support of government and testified their loyalty and adherence to the principles of the constitution, by the most affectionate addresses to their sovereign.

An event of real importance to the Society now particularly claims our attention and further proves its benevolence: it is the institution of a new Masonic Society, for the relief of sick, aged and imprisoned brethren and for the protection of their widows, children and orphans. This Society was established under the patronage of the Prince of Wales, the Earl of Moira and all the other acting Officers of the Grand Lodge, who, in order to render its advantages more generally known, particularly recommended it to all the Provincial Grand Masters in their several districts. The individuals who are enrolled members of this Society and are in embarrassed circumstances, have every reason to expect more ample aid than is usually given in other benefit societies, as the greater part of the subscribers to the common stock are respectable characters, who have not the most distant idea of becoming burdensome to the fund. The mode of selecting the members is also highly judicious and proper, as no one can be admitted unless he be recommended by the Master of a lodge, who must vouch for him as being a man of irreproachable character and regular habits, and so strictly is this rule observed and so cautious have been the original institutors of the charity that no improper persons be enrolled, we are informed, that several hundred names have been already rejected. This institution, therefore, may operate towards the improvement of morals and strict regularity of conduct, while the subscribers are gratified with the pleasing prospect of extending relief to the truly industrious and deserving. Above 2500 names are enrolled and the subscriptions already received amount to several thousand pounds. The funds have also considerably increased, not only by many voluntary donations from a number of eminent brethren who have patronised the charity, but by the addition of one guinea to the first annual subscription having been paid by every member admitted since the 25th of June, 1800. Thus has been established, under a very respectable banner, the Masonic Benefit Society, which, under wise and prudent regulations, may be productive of the most beneficial effects.

 The following is an abstract of the Rules and Orders of this Society: 

Any Brother of fair character, being a subscribing member of a regular lodge under the Constitution of England and recommended by a member of this Society who is Master of a lodge, is capable of admission.

No person above 45 years of age is admitted a member of this Society, unless he give proper security that he will not become chargeable in his own person to the fund, which, though under this restriction, shall always be liable to the provisions for his widow and children after his decease.

The subscription is one guinea per annum and at the end of twenty-four months the subscriber becomes a free member and is entitled to all the benefits of the Society.

Members when sick, lame, or blind, are to be entitled to fourteen shillings per week.

Members in reduced circumstances and imprisoned for debt, are to be allowed a sum not exceeding four shillings per week, if found not unworthy of aid.

Members who, through old age, become incapable of earning their living, are to be allowed six shillings per week till the first general court, and afterwards such a pension for life as their situation may require and the funds of the Society will admit.

The widows of members, if their circumstances require it, are to be allowed the sum of four shillings per week and two shillings per week for every lawful child under twelve years of age.

The orphans of members, not otherwise provided for, are to be entitled to the sum of four shillings per week for their maintenance and a further sum at a proper age as an apprentice fee.

A general court of all the subscribers is to be held once a year, to fill up any vacancy which may have happened among the trustees, choose committee-men, make by-laws, &c. The other affairs of the Society are to be managed by a quarterly and monthly Committee, a Committee of Auditors and an Actuary.

Having stated in a preceding part of this history the initiation of the King of Sweden into Masonry, under the auspices of the Duke of Sudermania,  it may not be uninteresting to our readers to lay before them the result of a correspondence which was opened this year between the Grand lodges of Sweden and England. Nothing can more truly show the high estimation in which the English Masons are held abroad, than the repeated applications that are constantly made to the Grand Lodge of England, for the purpose of effecting a social union and correspondence.

At the Grand Lodge held at Freemasons' Hall, on Wednesday the 10th of April 1799, present the Right Honourable Earl of Moira, Acting Grand Master, as Grand Master, the Baron de Silverhjelm, Minister from His Majesty the King of Sweden to the court of Great Britain, presented to the Grand Master in the chair the following letter from the National Grand Lodge of Sweden, which read,  


We Charles, by the grace of God, Hereditary Prince of the Swedes, Goths and Vandals, Duke of Sudermania, Heir of Norway, Duke of Sleswick, Holstein, Stormarric and Dittmarche, Count of Oldenburgh and Delmenhorst, Grand Admiral of Sweden, Vicar of Solomon of the 7th and 9th Province and National Grand Master of all the lodges reunited under the Grand Lodge of Sweden working in the Royal Art within the states and dominions dependant on our august Sovereign, Master and Protector, His Majesty the King of Sweden.



To the Most Illustrious, Most Enlightened, Most Sublime, Most Venerable and Venerable the National Grand Lodge of England, the National Grand Master, Deputy Grand Master, Grand Wardens, Grand Dignitaries, Grand Officers superior and inferior and Worshipful Members,



Most Illustrious and Most Enlightened brethren,

To contract an intimate, sincere and permanent tie between the National Grand Lodge of Sweden and that of England, has long been ardently our object, but if temporary circumstances have delayed the effect of our wishes, the present moment leaves us at liberty. Our Order, which enjoys in the two States the same privileges and the same protection of government, is not obliged to seek for security in darkness, and our labours approved, as known to promote the public good, are protected by the power of our Sovereigns, enjoying the sacred rights of true liberty (their essence), in being able without danger to exercise those charitable deeds towards the unfortunate, which are the principal objects of our duty.


This uniformity of situation, as well as the fundamental principles of the Craft, which we equally profess, authorise us to consolidate and to draw closer a confidence, friendship and reciprocal union between two bodies, whose common object is the good of humanity, who mutually consider friendship as the nerve and the love of our neighbour as the pivot of all our labours. Deeply penetrated by these principles, we send the Most Illustrious Brother George Baron de Silverhjelm, decorated with the highest degrees of Masonry, as our Plenipotentiary, to present to the Most Enlightened, Most Sublime and Most Venerable the National Grand Lodge of England our affectionate greeting. He is charged on our part to express to you the sincere esteem we bear you and how desirous we are to contract with you a fixed and permanent union. We pray, therefore, that you will receive him amongst you as the bearer of our fraternal sentiments and that you will please to give faith and credence to all that he may say on our part, conformable to these our cordial professions.


The union which is the basis of our labours being once established between two nations who reciprocally esteem each other and who are both known to possess the requisite qualities of all Free and Accepted Masons, it will consolidate for ever the foundation of the Masonic Temple, whose majestic edifice will endure to future ages.


May the Most High, the Grand Architect of the Universe, deign to be favourable to the wishes we offer for the success of your endeavours: and we remain always, Most Illustrious and Most Enlightened Brothers, by the Sacred Numbers,

Your devoted Brother,

CHARLES, Duke of Sudermania.


Grand Chancellor.

Grand Lodge of Sweden.

24th Jan., 5798.

This letter being read, it was resolved unanimously, that the Grand Master be requested to return an answer on the part of the Society to the Duke de Sudermania, expressive of every sentiment correspondent to the warm and brotherly address received and that the Baron de Silverhjelm be received as the representative of the Grand Lodge of Sweden and have a seat with the Grand Officers at all meetings of the Grand Lodge.

At the next Grand Lodge, which was held at Freemasons'-hall, on Wednesday the 8th of May 1799, present the Right Hon. the Earl of Moira, Acting Grand Master, as Grand Master, in the chair, the Earl of Moira reported, that His Royal Highness the Grand Master had been pleased, on the part of the Society, to return the following answer to the letter received from the Duke de Sudermania, Grand Master of Sweden: " In the name of the Grand Architect of the Universe, GEORGE, Prince of Wales, &c. 8c. &c.


To our very dear, very Illustrious and very Enlightened Brother,

Charles, Duke of Sudermania, &c. &c. &c.


It was with the truest satisfaction, Most Illustrious, Most Worshipful and Most Enlightened Brother, that I received the letter in which you express your desire to see an intimate connection established between the worthy and regular Masons of Sweden and those of England. The high opinion that I have of your character and the fraternal esteem which is the consequence of it, add greatly to the pleasure I feel on your being on this occasion the voice of your brethren. A reciprocal sentiment has long disposed these two brave nations to admire each other, but this admiration, howsoever generous, is barren, it is, therefore, to be wished that it should be improved by a close relation between the members of a Craft, the existence of which in each of the countries is founded on beneficence to mankind.

I am earnestly entreated by my brethren of the Grand Lodge of England to request that you, very illustrious and very enlightened Brother, will impart their most unanimous and most cordial concurrence in these dispositions to the Grand Lodge of Sweden.

We are fully sensible how much a course of communication must contribute to preserve that simplicity which has for so many centuries distinguished the Craft, a simplicity at once dignified in itself and satisfactory as a pledge towards every government that affords us protection. Let us unite to maintain it. Let us proscribe all those innovations which can enable either dangerous enthusiasts or profligate conspirators to work in darkness under the hallowed veil of our institution, and let our labours, like those of our predecessors, be characterised by our adoration of the Almighty, by our submission to the government of our country and by our love to our neighbour. These principles will justify the protection which you receive from your august Sovereign and which we similarly enjoy under our inestimable Father and King.

May the great Architect of the Universe be propitious to the vows which we will unceasingly offer to heaven for the welfare of those two magnanimous Protectors of our Brotherhood and may he shed upon you, most illustrious and most enlightened Brother and upon your worshipful fellow labourers in the Craft, the inexhaustible fruits of his benevolence!

I salute you by the Sacred Numbers.

(Signed) GEORGE, P.


London, 8th May, 1799.

By command of the Grand Master,


From the above correspondence and the happy opening of a regular communication between the Grand lodges of England, Scotland and Sweden, there is the greatest reason to believe that the best effects will result and that, agreeably to the wish of every zealous brother, a friendly and lasting intercourse will be preserved with the Freemasons of all the Kingdoms.

In detailing the further events of this period, the following circumstance is too important to escape notice. On the 15th of May, 1800, just as His Majesty entered his box at Drury-lane theatre and was bowing to the audience with his usual condescension, a person who sat in the second row from the orchestra, towards the middle of the pit, got up on the seat and levelling a horse-pistol towards the King's box, fired it. Fortunately, at the moment a gentleman who sat next him raised the arm of the assassin, so as to direct the contents of the pistol towards the roof of the box, by which means the life of His Majesty was happily preserved. The man dropped the pistol and was immediately seized. He was conveyed to the green room, where he underwent a private examination. Terror, dismay and rage were marked in every countenance, except that of His Majesty, who sat with the utmost serenity, while the Queen, who was just near enough to hear the report of the pistol and see the flash, collected confidence from his magnanimity. The Royal family sat out the play of “She would and she would not”, with the farce of the Humourist and enjoyed the happiness of receiving from every individual the warmest testimonies of affection. At the conclusion of the play, God Save the King was thrice sung, accompanied by the ecstatic plaudits of every part of the audience and at the end of the farce it was again repeated, with the following lines annexed, written by Mr. Sheridan, on the spur of the moment

From every latent foe,

From the assassin's blow,

God save the King,

O'er him thine arms extend,

For Britain's sake defend

Our father, prince and friend

God save the King."

Nothing could equal the indignation, which was universally felt by the populace at this daring attempt on the life of a Sovereign, who justly reigned in the hearts of his people and who never by one act of his life provoked their resentment.

The name of the assassin was James Hatfield, who had served his apprenticeship to a working silversmith and enlisted in the 15th regiment of Light Dragoons, in which he had boldly fought for his King and country. On his examination at the theatre before the Duke of York, he turned to his Royal Highness and said, 'I know you — God bless you — you are a good fellow. I have served with Your Highness and (pointing to a deep cut over his eye and another long scar on his cheek) I got these and more than these, in fighting by your side. At Lincelles, I was left three hours among the dead in a ditch and was taken prisoner by the French. I had my arm broke by a shot and got eight sabre wounds in my head: but I recovered and here I am.' From this time he began to show manifest signs of mental derangement. He was committed to Cold Bath Fields prison for the evening and in the morning brought before the Privy Council for further examination. When ministers were pressing him to answer many questions, he sullenly replied, "I fired the pistol, loaded with two slugs, at the King, what would you have more?' He refused to answer any other questions and was fully committed to Newgate for trial. On the 26th of June, he was brought up to Westminster Hall and tried in the Court of King's Bench. After the examination of an immense number of witnesses and a trial of eight hours, the jury found the prisoner 'Not guilty, being under the influence of insanity at the time the act was done.' He was then removed to Newgate and ordered into confinement for life.

On this happy escape of His Majesty from so daring an attempt on his life, addresses poured in from every quarter of the Kingdom, and in such general testimonies of loyalty and attachment, it could scarcely be expected that the Society of Freemasons, over which the Prince of Wales was the professed patron, would be backward. At a special Grand Lodge, therefore, convened at Freemasons' Hall, on Thursday the 3d of June, the following address was unanimously voted and afterwards presented to His Majesty by the Prince of Wales in person at the first levee.

 “Most Gracious Sovereign, The danger to which your Majesty was exposed in the atrocious attempt lately made against your sacred person, whilst it filled the hearts of all in this country with alarm and abhorrence, has authorised every class of your subjects to offer at your throne the expressions of their ardent attachment, without fear of incurring the charge of intrusion.

Vouchsafe, Sire, under this construction, to admit the homage of a description of men who, in ordinary circumstances, could not as a body tender the protection of that devotion to Your Royal person and to Your government, which it is their boast to cherish, not in their individual capacities alone, but in their peculiar association.

The law, by permitting, under certain regulations, the meetings of Freemasons, has defined the existence of the society, binding, at the same time, the members of it, by a new obligation of gratitude for the confidence extended toward them, to labour, as far as their feeble powers may apply, in inculcating loyalty to the King and reverence to the inestimable fabric of the British constitution.

Being so acknowledged, we should think ourselves wanting in the first duty towards Your Majesty and towards that constitution, did we not approach your Majesty with the testimony of our feelings on this awful occasion.

Your Majesty is therefore implored to receive the humble congratulations of the GRAND LODGE of FREEMASONS under the constitution of England, (the Representative Assembly of all the Lodges under that constitution,) in the name of themselves and of all their brethren, on your having been shielded by the hand of Providence from the desperate and execrable attempt of the assassin.

When principles were first promulgated in France, which, to our conception, tended to the overthrow of all peace and order in society, we felt ourselves called upon to depart from a rule, which had been till then religiously observed in our association.

As a veil of secrecy conceals the transactions at our meetings our fellow subjects have no assurance that there may not be in our association a tendency injurious to their interests, other than the general tenor of our conduct and a notoriety that the door of Freemasonry is not closed against any class, profession, or sect, provided the individual desiring admission be unstained in moral character. To remove, therefore, as far as possible, any ground for suspicion, it has been from time immemorial a fundamental rule most rigidly maintained, that no political topic shall, on any pretence, be mentioned in a lodge.

The singular juncture to which we have alluded seemed to call for some positive declaration which might distinctly exhibit our opinions, we thence ventured to profess to your Majesty the loyalty with which the Freemasons of England glowed towards Your Royal person and their unalterable attachment to the present happy form of government in this country. But as no foresight could devise a motive of equal importance with that which then actuated us, the recent occurrence being of a nature too horrid to be in supposition as a possibility, it was strongly declared that no precedent should be drawn from that step, and that on no future occasion should the Grand Lodge exercise an advertence to events which might entail upon Freemasons the charge of assuming the privilege to deliberate as a body upon public affairs. Hence, Sire, our present address has not been so Early as our individual anxiety would have dictated, for it was requisite that a general concurrence should sanction the Grand Lodge, in a second relaxation of its rules, before we could jointly express that which we severally felt in the most ardent manner on the solemn subject.

We have poured forth to the Grand Architect of the Universe our humble thanksgiving, that, to the other blessings showered on this country, he has added that of defeating a crime the sole attempt at which produced universal dismay throughout these realms, and we earnestly confide in his Divine bounty to preserve to us and to our fellow-subjects, for many, very many, years to come, a life so important in its example and so inestimable in its superintendance over our happiness, as that of your Majesty.


Several salutary regulations were adopted this year to liquidate the debts of the Society. On a strict examination of the accounts, it appeared that those debts had considerably increased: that 7,000l. remained due from the Society on account of the hall and tavern, besides the tontine of 250l. per annum, and that the average income of the hall-fund, after paying the interest of the debt, the tontine and incidental expenses, left but a very small sum towards the reduction of the principal, and that many years must elapse before the debt could be materially reduced. In order to discharge this debt, therefore and to render the charity more extensively beneficial, it was resolved in Grand Lodge, that every lodge in the list, until the debt be extinguished, should pay annually in the month of February, to the hall-fund, two shillings for every subscribing member of each lodge, and that any lodge neglecting to conform to this regulation should be considered in contempt and be subject to erasure from the list. It was also resolved, that a declaration, signed by the master, wardens, treasurer and secretary, of each lodge, or any two of them, certifying the number of subscribing members at Christmas yearly, should be transmitted to the Grand Secretary, with a list of the members, containing their Christian and surnames, age, profession and residence, when made Masons, or admitted members, in order to be registered in the books of the Grand Lodge, and also the fees prescribed by the regulations to be paid for that purpose into the hall-fund, viz. For every Mason made in London, or within ten miles thereof, ten shillings and sixpence and in all other lodges beyond that distance, five shillings, and for every brother made in one lodge and joining another, two shillings and sixpence, and that no brother whose name had not been registered and the fees paid as above, should be entitled to relief from the fund of charity, admission to the benefit society as a member, or have his daughter received into the Freemasons' School. This measure, we are happy to find, is likely to have the intended effect, the lodges having readily concurred in the plan of liquidating the debts and the sums which have already been paid afford a certain prospect of speedily extricating the Society from its present burdens. The debts are now paid and the annual subscription has dropt.

Among the numerous improvements in the city of London this year, the magnificent range of building at the East-India House, in Leaden Hall Street, deservedly claims our attention. The elegance of the structure confers equal honour on the Company for whose use it was built, as on the persons who were employed in its erection. The architecture was designed by Richard Jupp, esq., the Company's surveyor and the work was finished in a very good style.

The following is a description of the Pediment:

COMMERCE, which is represented by Mercury, attended by NAVIGATION and followed by Tritons and Sea-horses, is introducing ASIA to BRITANNIA, at whose feet she pours out her treasures. The KING is holding the shield of protection over the head of BRITANNIA and LIBERTY, who is embraced by her. By the side of His Majesty sits ORDER, attended by RELIGION and JUSTICE. In the back ground is the City-Barge, &c. near to which stand INDUSTRY and INTEGRITY. The THAMES fills the angle to the right hand and the GANGES the angle towards the East.

The sentiment of the composition is, 'That a nation can only be truly prosperous, when it has a King who makes Religion and Justice the basis of his Government and a Constitution, which, while it secures the Liberties of the people, maintains a due subordination in the several ranks of society and when the Integrity of the People secures to each individual the advantages which Industry creates and cultivates.'

The extended progress of the Society of Masons at this period was sufficiently displayed by the erection of some new halls for the lodges in the country and the institution of a school in London by the irregular Masons, for the education and support of the sons of distressed brethren.

On the 20th of August, a new hall, built at Hull by the members of the Rodney Lodge, was dedicated in solemn form, according to the rites of Masonry, in the presence of three hundred brethren. The great zeal which was manifested by the Lodge on this occasion justly merited the marked distinction which was conferred on it by the corporation of Hull, who, with a numerous assemblage of the most eminent characters in the neighbourhood, honoured the Masons with their company. An elegant dinner was provided at the town-hall, at which all the principal civil and military officers attended, and the entertainment concluded Early in the evening with the greatest cordiality and friendship.

Section. 14. The History of Masonry from the Year 1800, to the end of the Year 1801.

The brethren of Scotland, ever emulous to excel in promoting the benefit and improvement of their country, had an opportunity of displaying their zeal in 1801, by giving their assistance in the erection of the Wet-docks at Leith, a measure well calculated for the convenience and accommodation of the numerous trading vessels which daily arrive in that port from different parts of the world.

The Grand Lodge received a message from the magistrates of Edinburgh, requesting their company and assistance in laying the foundation stone of those docks on the 14th of May 1801. The Earl of Dalkeith, the Grand Master, being absent, the direction of the ceremony was vested in his Deputy, Robert Dundas esq., of Melville (now Lord Melville), who conducted it in a very able and masterly style.

On the day appointed, the Brethren, amounting to about 1200, met in the Assembly Rooms at Leith, where the Lodge was opened, and from thence they marched in procession to the Docks, a little before nine o'clock in the morning, preceded by the Lord Provost, Magistrates and Council of Edinburgh, with the Magistrates of Leith, in their robes, the Engineers and Architects of the proposed building, the Master, Wardens and Brethren of the Trinity House, and a number of respectable merchants and inhabitants of the town of Leith.

The Grand Master was supported by Sir James Stirling Bart, the Past Grand Master and Sir Patrick Murray Bart, who acted as Deputy Grand Master. Lord Downe and several other respectable characters, were present. The Substitute Grand Master, the Provincial Grand Masters for Peebles, Selkirk, &c.and the Masters of the Edinburgh lodges, according to seniority, with their officers and members, walked in procession, having a band of music attached to each separate lodge.

When they arrived at the spot where the stone was intended to be laid, the Lord Provost and Magistrates retired to a theatre erected for them on the west side, and the Grand Master with his officers to another on the east side, where a table was placed, on which were laid the jewels and other emblems of the Craft. The Substitute Grand Master then ordered the stone to be slung and let down gradually, making three regular stops before it came to the ground, during which ceremony an anthem was sung. He then placed a large phial in the centre of the under-stone, containing all the present current coins of the country, with a number of beautiful medals of the first characters of the age, all of which had been previously enclosed in crystal. Above the phial were also deposited two inscribed plates, on one of which the following inscription was engraven:

" In the reign of the Most Gracious Sovereign George III. 

and under the auspices of the Right Hon. WILLIAM FETTES,

Lord Provost of Edinburgh,

The Harbour of Leith,

Though formed at a remote period,

And, as Commerce in the course of ages increased,

often repaired and extended,

Yet being still narrow and incommodious,

ROBERT DUNDAS of Melville esquire,

In absence of the Right Hon. CHARLES, Earl of DALKEITH,

Grand Master-mason of Scotland,

Laid the foundation-stone of these Docks,

In which the numerous vessels arriving from every quarter of the


Might receive ample and secure accommodation:

On the 10th day of May, A.D. 1801. A.L 5801.

JOHN RENNIE being Engineer.

May the Undertaking prosper, By the blessing of Almighty God "


On the other plate was engraved:

The names of the present Town Council of Edinburgh.

The Right Hon. HENRY DUNDAS, Member for the City.

The Magistrates of Leith.

The Wet-dock Committee.

The Engineers.

The Contractors for the Work.

The Grand Lodge of Scotland, and

The Masters and Wardens of the Trinity-House, Leith.

The Grand Master, preceded by the officers of the Grand Lodge, having the jewels, &c., borne before them, was conducted by the Past Grand Master, Deputy and Substitute, to the site of the stone, where, with the assistance of two operative Masons, he turned the stone and laid it in its proper bed. Then placing himself on the east side, with the Past Grand Master on his right and the Substitute on his left, his Wardens being in the west, the plumb, level, square and mallet, were separately delivered to him by the Substitute and applied to the stone in several positions, after which he gave three knocks with the mallet, saying, 'May the Great Architect of the Universe enable us successfully to carry on and finish the work of which we have now laid the foundation stone and every other undertaking that may tend to the advantage of the City of Edinburgh and its harbour! May He be a guard and protection to them and may they long be preserved from peril and decay!' The cornucopia, with the vessels containing the wine and oil, were then delivered, in the usual form, to the Grand Master, who poured out the contents successively upon the stone, saying, 'May the bountiful hand of Heaven ever supply this country with abundance of corn, wineand oiland all the necessaries and comforts of life!' The Brethren then gave three cheers and after the Grand Master had addressed the Provost and Magistrates as follows: 

'My Lord Provost and Magistrates,

It is with the highest satisfaction that I have now availed myself of the opportunity, which the situation I have the honour to hold in the Grand Lodge of Scotland has afforded me, of assisting at the commencement of a work so essential to the welfare of this metropolis and which, I trust, will contribute, in an eminent degree, to the extension of the commerce and the general prosperity of this portion of the United Kingdom.

The respect and esteem which you enjoy in the community over which you have the honour to preside, are the surest pledges that nothing will be wanting on your part to second the efforts and fulfil the wishes of those public-spirited individuals who have promoted this undertaking and that the just expectations of the legislature, to whose liberality you are also indebted, will not be disappointed.

It is impossible to contemplate the auspicious period at which this work is begun, without the strongest sensations of gratitude to that Providence, which has inspired His Majesty's Councils with temperate firmness and his fleets with irresistible valour, to assert and maintain the just rights of his subjects, on that element which has ever been the scene of their triumphs and the source of their envied prosperity and power. May the same bountiful Providence, in the blessings of an honourable and lasting peace, secure to the merchants of this and of every other port in the British dominions, the free and uninterrupted enjoyment of their trade and the well earned fruits of industry and enterprising activity.

In the name of the Craft of Free and Accepted Masons, I have to offer our humble supplications to the Supreme Architect of the Universe, that he will afford his protection to your Lordship and your Brethren in the Magistracy and that you may continue to be the instruments, through Him, of promoting the happiness and welfare of the community intrusted to your charge.'

To which the Lord Provost made the following reply:

'Most Worshipful Sir,

LEITH has long had reason to be proud of the enterprise and success of its merchants and sailors. The rapid increase of its commerce has made it necessary to extend the harbour and improve the conveniences for its trade. The plan of that able engineer Mr. Rennie has been adopted, and I think it one of the happiest events of my life, that I have the honour to fill the chair of the City when the foundation stone is laid of these extensive Wet-docks, which, I conceive, will not only be of great benefit to the City and its port, but to the country at large, as well as convenient for the admission of large ships of His Majesty's navy.

I assure you, Sir, that it is highly gratifying to me and to my fellow citizens, that the first stone of this important work has been laid by you. Allow me to remark, that there appears a fortunate propriety in this ceremony being performed by the son of a man, to whom our City, the Navy of Britain and the whole Empire, are under so many obligations.

Permit me, in the name of the Magistrates and Council of the City of Edinburgh, to return our warmest thanks to you, to your brethren and to the gentlemen who have honoured us with their attendance on this occasion. And may that Almighty Being, whom winds and seas obey, accompany this undertaking with his blessing and crown the work with success'.

The ceremony was then concluded, and the Brethren having given three cheers, a salute of twenty one guns was fired from the vessels in the Roads, under the command of Capt. Clements, of the Royal Navy, after which the procession was resumed and returned to the Assembly Rooms at Leith, where the Grand Master received the thanks of the brethren for the handsome manner in which he had conducted the ceremony of the day.

The Substitute Grand Master then addressed the operative brethren to the following effect, “ The foundation stone of the Wet docks at Leith, planned in much wisdom by the ingenious architect, being now laid and these implements in your hands having been applied to it by the Grand Master and approved of, they are re-committed to you, with full confidence, that, as skilful and faithful workmen, you will use them in such a manner, that the building may rise in order, harmony and beauty, and, being perfected in strength, will answer every purpose for which it is intended, to your credit as Craftsmen and to the honour of our ancient fraternity.

The lodge was then closed in due form and the Brethren departed in the greatest order and regularity, highly gratified with the proceedings of the day.

Notwithstanding the incredible number of spectators who were assembled on this occasion, no accident happened. The day being fine and the ships in the Roads and harbour having their flags and colours displayed, rendered the spectacle peculiarly grand and pleasing.

Another incident occurred in Scotland in 1803, which justly deserves to be recorded. At a meeting of the Grand Lodge, in Edinburgh, on the 30th of November, the Earl of Moira, the acting Grand Master of England, attended and in an impressive speech, he related the conduct of the Grand Lodge of England to the irregular Masons of that Kingdom, with whom he understood the Grand Lodge of Scotland had established an intercourse. He stated that the hearts and arms of the Grand Lodge, which he had the honour to represent, had ever been open for the reception of their seceding brethren, but that they had obstinately refused to acknowledge their error and return to the bosom of their mother lodge. He farther observed, that though the Grand Lodge of England differed in a few trifling observances from that of Scotland, the former had ever entertained for Scottish Masons that affection and regard which it was the object of Freemasonry to cherish and the duty of Freemasons to feel. His Lordship's speech was received with loud and repeated applause. From this circumstance, therefore, we may probably anticipate the renewal of an alliance between the Grand lodges of Scotland and England. [From Mr. Lawrie's valuable treatise on Freemasonry, lately published, the above particulars have been extracted. This gentleman has given a very satisfactory account of the misunderstanding between the regular and irregular Masons of London. After stating that the schism commenced with the secession of some brethren from the Grand Lodge in 1739, he observes that the active promoters of it, calling themselves Ancient Masons, not only formed lodges in subversion of the rules of the Order, but actually established in London a nominal Grand Lodge, in open defiance of the Ancient Grand Lodge, on whom they invidiously bestowed the appellation of Modern Masons, on account of a few trifling innovations in the ceremonial observances, which had been inconsiderately sanctioned. The irregular Masons encouraged the revolt, and having chosen as their Grand Master the Duke of Athol, then Grand Master elect for Scotland, a friendly intercourse was opened between them and the Grand Lodge in Edinburgh. From this circumstance, more than from any predilection in their favour, a correspondence has since that time been kept up and the same prejudices imbibed by the brethren of Scotland against the regular Masons of England. The business, however, being now more clearly understood, it is expected that a general union will soon terminate all differences and that a regular communication will be speedily effected among the regular Masons of both Kingdoms.]

The state of the Society in England from the year 1800 was regular and progressive. Under the patronage of the Earl of Moira, Masonry was cultivated and considerably extended. Many eminent and illustrious characters enrolled their names among the Fraternity, and, through various branches of the Royal Family, application has been made to the Grand Lodge, from the Masons in foreign countries, for renewing reciprocal alliances of permanent friendship.

At the Grand Lodge in February, 1802, the Earl of Moira stated to the brethren, that the Lodges in Berlin, under the auspices of the King of Prussia, had solicited the influence of the Duke of Sussex to carry on a friendly communication with the Grand Lodge of England, and had expressed a readiness, on their part, as far as was consistent with the duty they owed to their own Masonic jurisdiction, to act in unison with their brethren of England, in promoting all the general principles of the Institution and in extending relief to distressed Masons, on which it was immediately resolved, that a friendly communication should be kept up with our brethren in Prussia and every attention paid to their future recommendations.

At the Grand Lodge in May following, another application was made, through the same channel, from four lodges in Portugal, which had empowered M. Hypolite Joseph da Costa to act as their representative in the Grand Lodge of England and in their name to solicit a regular authority to practise the rites of the Order under the English banner  and protection. After mature deliberation, it was determined that every encouragement should be given to the brethren in Portugal, and a treaty was immediately entered into and signed by Brothers Da Costa and Heseltine, then Grand Treasurer of the Grand Lodge and approved by the Grand Master, whereby it was agreed, that as long as the Portuguese lodges should conform to the ancient constitutions of the Order, they should be empowered to have a representative in the Grand Lodge of England and that the Grand Lodge of England should have a representative in the Grand Lodge of Portugal and that the brethren belonging to each Grand Lodge should be equally entitled to the privileges of the other. In the private proceedings of the Society few material incidents occurred. In consequence of the death of Thomas Sandby, esq. the office of Grand Architect remained vacant till 1799, when Robert Brettingham esq. was appointed his successor. William Tyler esq. the Architect of the Tavern, having been proposed as a candidate for the office at the Grand Feast in May, 1801, the Grand Master observed, that the office of Grand Architect had been conferred on Brother Sandby only as a mark of personal attachment, he having been the Architect of the Hall, but that it was never intended to be a permanent office in the Society. The Grand Lodge therefore resolved, that the office of Grand Architect should be discontinued, but that, in compliment to Brothers Brettingham and Tyler, both these gentlemen should be permitted to attend the Grand Lodge and wear an honorary jewel as a mark of personal respect.

In November, 1801, a charge was presented to the Grand Lodge against some of its members, for patronizing and officially acting as principal officers in an irregular society, calling themselves Ancient Masons, in open violation of the laws of the Grand Lodge. The charge being fully supported, it was determined that the laws should be enforced against these offending brethren, unless they immediately seceded from such irregular meetings. They solicited the indulgence of the Grand Lodge for three months, in hopes that, during the interval, they might be enabled to effect a union of the two Societies. This measure was agreed to, and that no impediment might prevent so desirable an object, the charge against the offending brethren was withdrawn, and a committee, consisting of the Earl of Moira and several other eminent characters, was appointed, to pave the way for the intended union, and every means ordered to be used to bring back the erring Brethren to a sense of their duty and allegiance. Lord Moira declared, on accepting his appointment as a member of the Committee, that he should consider the day on which a coalition was formed, one of the most fortunate in his life, and that he was empowered by the Prince of Wales to say, his Royal Highness's arms would ever be open to all the Masons in the Kingdom indiscriminately. On the 9th of February 1803, it being represented to the Grand Lodge that the irregular Masons still continued refractory and that, so far from soliciting re-admission among the Craft, they had not taken any steps to effect a union, their conduct was deemed highly censurable and the laws of the Grand Lodge were ordered to be enforced against them. It was also unanimously resolved, That whenever it shall appear that any Masons under the English Constitution shall in future attend, or countenance, any Lodge, or meeting of persons, calling themselves Ancient Masons, under the sanction of any person, claiming the title of Grand Master of England, who shall not have been duly elected in the Grand Lodge, the laws of the Society shall not only be strictly enforced against them, but their names shall be erased from the list and transmitted to all the regular lodges under the Constitution of England.

As these censures extend to such a numerous circle, it may for a short time interrupt the general harmony of our meetings, but it is hoped, that when the Brethren of whom the irregular Societies are composed, are aware that, by continuing to assemble without regular sanction, they are acting contrary to the ancient charges of the Order and encouraging a division in the family of Masons, they will soon reunite under the legal banner and acknowledge one supreme head, to whom all the Fraternity in the Kingdom are bound to pay allegiance. Should any trifling variations in the formalities of the institution impede the progress of this union, we trust they will be immediately removed and every Brother vie who shall be most assiduous in preserving the original landmarks of the Order.

In February, 1804, the Grand Lodge, desirous of expressing in the most public manner the high sense entertained of the services of the Right Hon. the Earl of Moira, the Acting Grand Master, unanimously resolved, that his Lordship's portrait should be painted by an able artist and put up in the Hall, with those of the Past Grand Masters, as a lasting testimony of the gratitude and esteem of the Society for his Lordship. His Lordship afterwards sent to the Society, as a present, his portrait, painted by Shee.

The following list of the Provincial Grand Master appointed since the year 1790, will afford the best testimony of the great increase of the Society under the English banner within the last twenty years:

Africa, South, Richard Blake, Esq.

Anglesea, W. Wharton Rawlins, Esq.

Bavaria, Prince of Thurn and Taxis.

Berkshire, Arthur Stanhope, Esq.

BucKinghamshire, Sir. J. Throckmorton, Bart.

Bristol, City and County of, W.H. Goldwyer, Esq.

Cambridgeshire, Right Hon. Lord Eardley.

Canada, Sir John Johnson, Bart.

Ceylon, Sir Alexander Johnston.

Cheshire, John Egerton, Esq.

Coast of Coromandel, in the East Indies, Terence Gahagan, Esq.

Cornwall, Sir John St. Aubyn, Bart.

Cumberland, John Losh, Esq.

Denmark, Norway, &c. Prince Charles Landgrave of Hesse Cassel.

Derbyshire, Earl of Harrington.

Devon, Sir Ch. Warw. Bampfylde, Bart.

Dorset, John Jeffery, Esq.

Durham, Sir Ralph Milbanke, Bart.

Essex, William Wix, Esq.

Franckfort on Maine, Circles of Upper Rhine, Lower Rhineand Franconia, John Charles Broenner, Esq.

Gibraltar, John Sweetland, Esq.

Gloucestershire, Duke of Beaufort.

Guernsey, Jersey, &c, General Sir J. Doyle.

Hanover, Electorate ofand British Dominions in Germany, Prince Charles of Meckelburg Strelitz.

Hamburgh and Lower Saxony, Doctor John Philip Beckmann.

Hampshire, Colonel Sherbourne Stewart.

Hertfordshire, George Harvey, Esq.

Hayti, John Goff, Esq.

Herefordshire, A.S. Gordon, Esq.

Huntingdonshire, Earl of Mount-Norris.

Isle of France, R.T. Farquhar, Esq.

Kent, Sir Walter James James, Bart.

Lancashire, F.D. Astley, Esq.

Lincolnshire, Rev. William Peters.

Maryland, Henry Hardford, Esq.

Monmouthshire, Henry Harnage, Esq.

Naples and Sicily, Kingdoms of, Duc de Sandemetrio Pignatelli.

Norfolk, Rev. Samuel S. Colman.

Northamptonshire, Earl of Pomfret.

Northumberland, Sir J.E. Swinbourne, Bart

Nottinghamshire, Sir J.B. Warren, Bart. K.B.

Oxfordshire, Lord Viscount Forbes.

Persia, Sir Gore Ouseley, Bart.

Radnor, Rev. Thomas Vials.

Rutlandshire, Richard Barker, Esq.

Shropshire, Staffordshire, Flintshire, Denbighshireand Montgomery, Hon. And Rev. Francis Henry Egerton.

St. Christopher, Hon. John Garnett.

St. Helena, David Kay, M.D.

Somersetshire, John Leigh, Esq.

Surrey, James Meyrick, Esq.

Suffolk, Sir William Middleton, Bart.

Sussex, General Samuel Hulse.

Sumatra, John Macdonald, Esq.

Wales, South, Thomas Wyndham, Esq.

Warwickshire, Hon. Washington Shirley

Westmoreland, W. Henry White, Esq.

Worcestershire, John Dent, Esq.

Yorkshire, Robert Pemb. Milnes, Esq.

Representative of the Grand Lodge of England in Germany, Col. Aug. Graefe.


 Section. 15. History of Masonry from 1801 to 1812.

The Scottish Masons had another opportunity of exemplifying their zeal and attachment to the Society on the 29th of June, 1801, being the birthday of His Grace, the Duke of Gordon, when the foundation stone of the bridge over the Spey was laid. The concourse of people was immense. All the lodges round were assembled in their different insignia and the whole order of procession was arranged and conducted by the Marquis of Huntly, Provincial Grand Master for Bamffshire, &c. The different lodges, societies and private gentlemen, were formed on the square of Fochabers, which was lined by the neighbouring volunteer companies and an excellent band of music, belonging to the Fochabers' company, added much to the solemnity of the procession. From the square the whole marched, according to their established rules, to the river, which the Provincial Grand Master, with his office-bearers, &c., passed on a temporary bridge of boats, as the stone was to be laid on the opposite side. The volunteers were drawn up on the south side, as the steepness of the rock and the narrowness of the ground where the foundation stone was laid, prevented more from crossing the river than were absolutely necessary. The Grand Master then laid the first stone with the usual solemnities. Two inscriptions were deposited in it. The first was engraved on plate as follows, "  In the reign of  The most gracious Sovereign GEORGE III,

And under the auspices of

His Grace, ALEXANDER, Duke of GORDON

And the other Patrons of the Undertaking,

The most noble GEORGE, Marquis of Huntly,

Provincial Grand Master for Bamfshire, &c.

Laid the foundation-stone of the Bridge

Over the Spey.

On the 29th of June,

Being the day on which the Duke of Gordon

entered his 59th year,

In the year of our Lord 1801,

And of the era of Masonry 5801.


The other inscription was sealed up in glass and is as follows.

                                                                            DEO ANNUENTE,

Pontis hujus

In Spey, olim Tueffi, flumine,

DUCIS de GORDON magnopere,

Civiumque finitimorum, munificentia

Æque ac ære publico,


Lapidem hunc primarium

Nobilissimus GEORGIUS Marchio de HUNTLY,

Filius præalti, potentissimique Principis,


Artium omnium bonarum et utilissimarum

Etiamque salutis publicæ

Benigne, vindicis et amici,


GEORGII III. Dei Gratia regnante,

Anno Christi MDCCCI.

Æræque Architectonicæ VMDCCCI


Perge et plaude.


A number of coins were deposited at the same time. The Rev. Mr. Gillon, of Speymouth, as Chaplain, pronounced a very appropriate prayer, and the Provincial Grand Master, in a very elegant speech, expressed his felicity in seeing an undertaking, so magnificent and useful, at length happily begun. The whole was concluded with a feu-de-joie by the volunteers.

The procession returned in the same order to Fochabers, where ample stores of every thing necessary were provided and the day was concluded with the highest festivity and happiness.

The inhabitants of the islands of Jersey, Guernsey and Alderney, being extremely satisfied with the conduct of Sir John Doyle, during his residence among them as governor, have presented him with two elegant gold cups, and the two lodges of Freemasons in those islands presented him with two elegant gold vases. The following is a description of them:

AN ELEGANT GOLD CUP.  On the foot is represented Faith, Hope and Charity, in one compartment of the body, the battle of Hobkirk Hill, April 25, 1801, in the second, sundry masonic emblems, in the third, an inscription. The handle is a chased crocodile, the lip, the Prince of Wales's crest. On one side of the cover is the Earl of Moira's arms, on the reverse, General Doyle's, the top is blue enamelled, set round with very large brilliants.

INSCRIPTION. To the Honourable Major-General Sir John Doyle, Bart. Colonel of the 87th (or Prince of Wales Irish) Regiment, Lieutenant Governor and Commander-in-Chief of the Islands of Guernsey and Alderney.

We, the free and accepted Masons of Marinet, Lodge No. 222, penetrated with a lively and sincere sense of gratitude, esteem and admiration, of your eminent talents, your public and private virtues, which have been most energetically displayed with the highest advantage to His Majesty's Service, the greatest benefit to this island and to the general interest of humanity, which our lodge has experienced in common with every individual, under the sphere of your government and with profound deference and respect, we beg to offer you a box, with emblems, in some small degree characteristic of your distinguished and amiable qualities, but intended more as a lasting testimony of our gratitude and regard and may the God of Light and Truth watch over, protect and prosper all your public and private undertakings, is the prayer of, Sir,

Your grateful and attached Friends and humble Servants,

The Members of Lodge No. 222.

The second Gold Cup is similar to the former and presented by Lodge No. 116.

The third is a most superb gold vase, presented by the inhabitants of the island of Guernsey.

The foot is richly chased, with laurel leaves round it, on the bottom of the vase is represented the rose, thistle and shamrock, on one side the body, General Doyle's arms, supporters, crests, &c. &c chased, on the reverse, an inscription and emblems of victory, on the neck of the vase, is two battles, which the General fought in Egypt and a view of two forts which he captured, on the lower, is chased the arms of the island of Guernsey, and on the top is Mars, holding in his right hand a wreath of laurel.

The inscription on the above vase is nearly the same as on the first.

On the 10th of April, 1805, the Grand Master in the chair (Col. Sherborne Stewart) stated, that a communication had been received by the Grand Secretary from the Earl of Moira, Acting Grand Master, relating to the Grand Lodge in Scotland, whereupon it was resolved, That as the Grand Lodge of Scotland has expressed, through the Right Hon. the Earl of Moira, its earnest wish to be on terms of confidential communication with the Grand Lodge of England, under the authority of the Prince of Wales. This Grand Lodge, therefore, ever desirous to concur in a fraternal intercourse with regular Masons, doth meet that disposition with the utmost cordiality of sentiment and requests the honour of the Acting Grand Master to make such declarations in their name to the Grand Lodge of Scotland.

On the 27th of November, 1805, a letter had been received by the Acting Grand Master from the Grand Lodge of Prussia, stating their desire to correspond on terms of amity and brotherly communication with the Grand Lodge of England, whereupon it was resolved, that the Acting Grand Master be requested to express the wishes of the Grand Lodge of England towards their brethren in Prussia and their desire to correspond with them on terms of fraternal amity.

On Tuesday, the 1st of September, 1807, another instance of the zeal of the Scottish Masons occurred, when the foundation stone of the North Pier of Fraserburgh New Harbour was laid, with great solemnity, by Thomas Burnett, Esq., Master of the Aberdeen Lodge and Dr. Alexander Dauney, Deputy Master, in presence of the magistrates and town council of Fraserburgh, the Masters, Office-bearers and brethren of several lodges and at least 1,000 spectators, among whom were the Earl of Kintore, Lord Inverury, Alexander Harvey esq., of Broadland and many other persons of distinction. The Brethren and Magistrates assembled in the parish church at one o'clock, when a sermon was preached by the Rev. Mr. Simpson for the occasion.

On leaving the church the procession moved through the principal streets of Fraserburgh, which were lined by nearly 300 of the Fraserburgh volunteers, on permanent duty, under the command of Lieut.-Colonel Fraser, in the following order.

 A Guard of Volunteers.


Keith Lodge, of Peterhead.

Fraserburgh Lodge.

Solomon's Lodge, Fraserburgh.

Macduff Lodge.

Operative Lodge, Banff.


Forbes Lodge, Rosehearty.

St. Andrew's Lodge, Banff.

Magistrates, Town Council and Subscribers.

Superintendent of the Building, carrying the Plan.


Tyler of the Aberdeen Lodge.

Inscription Plate, carried by an Operative Brother.

The Cornucopia, filled with corn.

Two Silver Cups, filled with wine.

The Brethren of the Aberdeen Lodge.

The Secretary and Treasurer.

The Senior and Junior Wardens.

The Holy Bible, carried by a Brother.

The Master and Deputy Master.

Three Grand Stewards.

A Guard of Volunteers

On arriving at the spot (within the old harbour) where the stone was to be laid, the lodges filed off, facing inwards, through which the Magistrates, Town Council and Subscribers, moved to the west side of the stone, with the Clergymen, the Master, Deputy Master and Office-bearers of the Aberdeen Lodge, moving to the east.

The stone being slung, an appropriate address was delivered by the Right Rev. Bishop Alexander Jolly, after which he invoked the blessing of God upon the undertaking in a suitable prayer.

The Deputy Master then proceeded (after a suitable address to the brethren and assembly) to place in the base-stone the inscription-plate, several coins of the present reign, an Aberdeen newspaper of the preceding week, an almanac of the year and a writing on parchment, containing a list of the subscribers and other particulars relative to the undertaking, which writing was inclosed in a phial and the whole deposited in niches made in the stone for the purpose.

The following inscription and writing were previously read by the Deputy Master:

The present Harbour of Fraserburgh, which was built, about 200 years ago, by Sir Alexander Fraser, ancestor of the present Lord Saltoun, being originally small and of bad access and now much decayed, the foundation-stone of the North Pier of the New Harbour of Fraserburgh, designed by John Rennie, of London, esq. Civil Engineer, was laid 1st of September, 1807, of the Era of Masonry 5807and of the reign of Geo. III, the 47th year, by the Right Worshipful Thomas Burnett esq. Master of the Aberdeen Lodge and Alexander Dauney esq. Deputy Master, the Right Hon. Alexander George, Lord Saltoun, being Superior and Provost of the Burgh, William Kelman esq. Baillie, Alexander Dauney, L.L.D. his Lordship's Commissioner, William Smith, Treasurer, Sebastian Davidson, Dean of Guild, William Fraser esq. of Menzie, H.C., John Dalrymple, sen. William Walker, John Wallace, William Milne, Johh Milne, James Gray, Alexander Buchan, William Cooper, William Greig, Charles Wemyssand John Alexander, Merchant Counsellors, John Dalrymple, jun. Robert Mathew and John Barnett, Trades Counsellors, Lewis Chalmers, Town Clerk, Mr. W. Stuart, from Mid Lothian, Superintendent, Q.F.F.Q.S.'

The Master now ordered the stone to be lowered, making three regular stops, when, with the assistance of two operative brethren, he conducted the stone to its bed. The Master, with the Deputy on his right, standing towards the east and the Wardens on the west, the square, the plumb, the level and the mallet, being successively delivered by the Deputy to the Master, were by him applied to the sides, top and square of the stone, in several positions, with the mallet he then gave three knocks, saying, 'May the Grand Architect of the Universe grant a blessing on this foundation stone which we have now laid and by His providence enable us to finish this and every other work which may be undertaken for the good and advantage of this town and harbour!' on which the brethren gave three huzzas.

The cornucopia and the two silver cups were then brought and delivered, the cornucopia to the Deputy and the two vessels to the Wardens and were successively presented to the Master, who, according to ancient custom, poured the corn, wine and oil, which they contained, on the stone, saying, 'May the all-bounteous Author of Nature bless this town with abundance of corn, wine and oil and with all the necessaries, conveniences and comforts of life!' On this the brethren gave three huzzas.

After the ceremony, the Master, Lodges and Magistrates returned in reversed order to the Saltoun-inn, where nearly one hundred persons sat down to a dinner given by the town, in honour of the day, and the remaining part of the evening was spent with that agreeable conviviality which so well characterizes the ancient Order of Masonry.

On the evening of the next day a ball and supper were given to the ladies of Fraserburgh and neighbourhood also, in honour of the occasion, at which, it may well be said, no small share of the beauty of the north was present. Ninety-two sat down to supper. Dancing began again after supper and continued with much spirit till five o'clock in the morning.

On the 12th of February 1806, the Earl of Moira, in the chair, informed the Grand Lodge, that during his residence in Edinburgh he had visited the Grand Lodge of Scotland and taken the opportunity of explaining to it the extent and importance of this Grand Lodge and also the origin and situation of those Masons in England who met under the authority of the Duke of Athol, that the brethren of the Grand Lodge of Scotland had expressed themselves, till then, greatly misinformed of those circumstances, having been always led to think that this Society was of a very recent date and of no magnitude, but now, being more thoroughly convinced of their error, they were desirous that the strictest union and most intimate communication should subsist between this Grand Lodge and the Grand Lodge of Scotland, and as the first step towards so important an object and in testimony of the wishes of the Scots Masons, his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales had been unanimously elected Grand Master of Scotland. The Grand Master, in the chair, further informed the Grand Lodge, that the Grand Lodge of Scotland had expressed its concern that any difference should subsist among the Masons of England and that the lodges meeting under the sanction of the Duke of Athol should have withdrawn themselves from the protection of the ancient Grand Lodge of England, but hoped that measures might be adopted to produce a reconciliation and that the lodges now holding irregular meetings would return to their duty and again be received into the bosom of the Fraternity. That in reply his Lordship had stated his firm belief, that this Grand Lodge would readily concur in any measures that might be proposed for establishing union and harmony among the general body of Masons, but that after the rejection of the propositions made by this Grand Lodge three years ago, it could not now, consistent with its honour or the dignity of its illustrious Grand Master, make any further advances, but that as it still retained its disposition to promote the general interest of the Craft, it would always be open to accept of the mediation of the Grand Lodge of Scotland, if it should think proper to interfere on the subject. Whereupon it was resolved that a letter be written to the Grand Lodge of Scotland, expressive of the desire of this Grand Lodge, that the strictest union may subsist between the Grand Lodge of England and the Grand Lodge of Scotland, and for that purpose, that the actual Masters and Wardens of the lodges under the authority of the Grand Lodge of Scotland who may be in London, on producing proper testimonials, shall have a seat in this Grand Lodge and be permitted to vote on all occasions.

The thanks of the Grand Lodge were unanimously voted to the Earl of Moira, for the happy settlement of this important business.

On the 6th of April, 1808, a communication was made from the Grand Lodge of Scotland relative to Dr. Mitchell, when the thanks of the Grand Lodge were voted for the communication. At this meeting it was resolved, That it is absolutely necessary for the welfare of Masonry and for the preservation of the ancient landmarks, that there be a superintending power, competent to control the proceedings of every acknowledged lodge, and that the Grand Lodge, representing by regular delegation the will of the whole Craft, is the proper and unquestionable depository of such power.

That it is contrary to the principles of Masonry for any Lodge to publish its sentiments upon political subjects, inasmuch as the agitation of any political question, or the discussion of any public affair, is strictly forbidden among Masons, the Grand Lodge itself, though acting for the whole Craft, not being justifiable in departing from this rule, unless in some cases of obvious and extreme necessity.

That the Grand Lodge concurs entirely in the justice of the opinions which the Grand Lodge of Scotland thought itself bound to enforce and trusts that no Lodge under the Constitution of England will, in any shape, countenance resistance to an authority exerted upon principles universally recognized by all true and faithful brethren.

On the 23rd November, 1808, the Acting Grand Master informed the brethren, that he had received a communication from the Grand Lodge of Ireland, applauding the principles professed by this Grand Lodge in its declaration to the Grand Lodge of Scotland and desiring to cooperate with this Grand Lodge in every particular which might support the authority necessary to be maintained by the representative body of the whole craft over any individual Lodge. That the Grand Lodge of Ireland pledges itself not to countenance or receive as a brother any person standing under the interdict of the Grand Lodge of England for masonic transgression. Upon which, it was resolved, that the Acting Grand Master be requested to express to the Grand Lodge of Ireland the due sense which this Grand Lodge entertains of so cordial a communication.

On the 31st of December 1809, the foundation stone of Covent Garden Theatre was laid by his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, as Grand Master-mason of England and Scotland. The foundation stone was situated at the north-east angle of the ground, in weight nearly three tons and containing sixty cubic feet. Previous to the ceremony, it hung, suspended by cordage, over a basement-stone. Near to it was placed a marquee for the Prince. Two extensive covered galleries were erected, one to receive the body of Freemasons who assisted at the ceremony, the other was appropriated to the spectators. Surrounding scaffolds were covered with many hundreds of workmen, who were engaged in the building. A detachment of the first regiment of guards was posted, as a guard of honour, at the Prince's entrance, with a band of music and four other military bands were stationed on elevated platforms, near the company, to enliven the scene.

At twelve o'clock the Grand Lodge was opened at Freemasons-hall, in Great Queen Street, Charles Marsh esq. in the chair, attended by the Masters and Wardens of the regular lodges, and at half-past twelve they walked in procession to Bow Street, the junior lodges first. The representative of the Grand Master walked last, being preceded by the Chevalier Ruspini, bearing the Grand Sword and by the Master of the Lodge of Antiquity, No. 1. bearing the Book of Constitutions.

On their arrival at the theatre, they were welcomed to the places assigned them, by the band playing the old tune of a Free and an Accepted Mason. The Grand Officers proceeded to the marquee and were arranged in order. The Master, Wardens and nine members of the Steward's Lodge and nearly four hundred Masters and Wardens of lodges attended, habited in the insignia of the Order. The several bands played, alternately, airs till one o'clock, the hour fixed for the appearance of the Prince, when his Royal Highness in his coach, accompanied by the Duke of Sussex, attended by general Hulse and Colonels McMahon and Bloomfield, arrived under an escort of horse guards. His Royal Highness was received, on his entrance at the Bow-street door, by the Earl of Moira, Acting Grand Master, the detachments of guards saluting, with grounded colours and beating the grenadiers march. Mr. Harris and Mr. Kemble, after paying their respects to his Royal Highness, ushered him to the marquee, where his arrival was announced by loud plaudits, the royal standard hoisted and the discharge of a royal salute of artillery. His Royal Highness, who was dressed in blue, with a scarlet collar, wearing the insignia of his office as Grand Master, a pair of gold compasses set with brilliants and other jewellery and a white apron bordered with purple and fringed with gold, appeared in high health and spirits. Proceeding, uncovered, with his suit, through a railed platform spread with superfine broad green cloth bound with scarlet and yellow, forty dismounted life-guardsmen, who were Masons, without arms, lining the sides of the railing, the company all rose as his Royal Highness passed the platform to the marquee and gave him three cheers, when the united bands immediately struck up 'God save the King.' His Royal Highness, as he passed, smilingly bowed to the ladies with the most fascinating affability.

The Grand Officers had previously placed the masonic instruments on a table in the marquee. A plan of the building, with its sections and elevations, was now presented to his Royal Highness, by Robert Smirke, sen. esq. the architect, and a gilt silver trowel by Mr. Copeland, the builder of the edifice. Having paused a short time in conversation with the proprietors and with the Grand Masonic Officers in the marquee, his Royal Highness proceeded to the ceremonial. On a signal given, the corner-stone was raised about four feet, the hod men, in white aprons, instantly conveyed the necessary quantity of fine cementing mortar, which was neatly spread on the base-stone by the workmen of the building, similarly dressed. His Royal Highness now advanced, uncovered, to the north-east corner of the stone, when John Bayford esq., as Grand Treasurer, deposited, in a space cut for it in the basement-stone, a brass box, containing the British gold, silver, arid copper coins of the present reign. On a part of the stone was, 'Long live George Prince of Wales,' and 'To the King,' with a medallion of the Prince. There were also deposited two large medals, one of bronze, bearing a head of his Royal Highness on one side and on the other, the following inscription.








Sua manu LOCAVIT



The other medal, engraven in copper, bore, on one side, this inscription.

Under the Auspices of

His Most Sacred Majesty GEORGE III

King of the United Kingdoms of Great

Britain and Ireland,

The Foundation Stone of the Theatre of

Covent Garden,

Was laid by his Royal Highness




On the reverse is engraven.

 ROBERT SMIRKE, Architect.

His Royal Highness now, as Grand Master, finished the adjustment of the mortar with his trowel, when the upper stone was lowered in the sling to its destined position, all the bands playing 'Rule Britannia,' a discharge of artillery being fired and the people with the most animating cheers applauding the spectacle. The junior and senior Grand Wardens and the acting Grand Master, the Earl of Moira, now severally presented his Royal Highness with the Plumb, the Level and the Square, and the Prince, having applied them to the stone, pronounced the work correct and gave the stone three strokes with his mallet.

Three elegant silver clips were then presented, successively, to his Royal Highness, containing corn, wine and oil, which he scattered and poured over the stone, all the bands playing 'God save the King.' His Royal Highness then restored the plan of the building into the hands of the architect, approving that specimen of his genius and desiring him to complete the structure conformably thereto. Then graciously turning to Mr. Harris and Mr. Kemble, he wished prosperity to the building and the objects connected with it and success and happiness to its proprietors and managers.

The ceremony being finished, the band played 'Rule Britannia,' and the Prince, the Duke of Sussex and the Earl of Moira, were escorted back to the Prince's carriage by the managers and the Grand Officers under a second royal salute of twenty-one guns.

Thus passed a ceremonial, which by the excellent pre-arrangement of its managers and the gracious yet dignified manner in which the illustrious chief actor performed his part, exhibited an interesting spectacle, that excited general admiration and applause. All who had the honour to approach the Prince speak in raptures of his polite and captivating manners on the occasion. Although the neighbouring houses were covered to the roof tops and many thousands of people were assembled in the street, it is with great satisfaction we state that not a single accident happened to interrupt the splendid termination of the ceremony.

The Masters and Wardens of the masonic lodges then returned in procession to their hall in Great Queen-street, when the Grand Lodge was closed, after making a formal minute of the proceedings and receiving, through the medium of the Grand Treasurer, the thanks of the Prince for the favour of their attendance.

The Brethren, after the lodge was closed, sat down to a splendid dinner at Freemasons' Tavern, when mirth and conviviality closed the meeting.

The proprietors of Covent Garden Theatre soon afterwards received a letter from colonel McMahon, dated from Carleton-house, in which he stated, that he had it in command from his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, to express his high approbation of the very great order and regularity with which the whole arrangement of the ceremonial had been formed and conducted.

On the 12th April, 1809, it was resolved, That this Grand Lodge do agree in opinion with the committee of charity, that it is not necessary any longer to continue in force those measures which were resorted to in or about the year 1739, respecting irregular Masons, and do therefore enjoin the several lodges to revert to the ancient landmarks of the Society.

It appearing from the Grand Treasurer's accounts, that the liquidation fund for discharging the debts of the society had effectually answered the purpose for which it was established and that all the principal demands had been discharged, on the 7th of February 1810, the Grand Lodge being desirous of relieving the Fraternity from the payment of a contribution which a pressing emergency at the time rendered necessary, ordered, That the payment of two shillings per annum, from every member, to the liquidation fund for the discharge of the debts of the Society, imposed by the Grand Lodge on the 7th of February, 1798, should, from and after the 21st day of December next, cease and determine. It was further resolved, that the thanks of the Grand Lodge be given to the Fraternity at large for their ready compliance in the measure of the liquidation fund, which had been the means of relieving the society from its difficulties.

The Grand Lodge, however, recommended the London lodges to continue the subscription till the expenses of the Lodge of Promulgation were discharged.

By the Grand Treasurer's account of Wednesday, November 27, 1811, it appeared that 167l. 9s. 6d. was paid into the charity-fund from the several lodges, 220l. 10s. 6d. towards the hall-fund, and 34l. 17s. 6d towards the liquidation-fund. By the general account it appears, that there remained a balance due to the Grand Treasurer of 194l. 12s. 7d. on the charity-fund account, on the hall-fund there remained a balance due from the Grand Treasurer of 424l. 2s. 5d., and on the liquidation-fund for discharging the debts of the Society there remained a balance of 366l. 4s. 10d. in his hands.

Having thus brought to a conclusion the proceedings of the Society till the end of the year 1811, I shall only add, that the Society being now disencumbered of debts and free from embarrassments, there is every probability that the finances of the Society will considerably increase.

On the death of Sir Peter Parker, the Deputy Grand Master, His Royal Highness the Duke of Sussex, the present Master of the Lodge of Antiquity, was appointed by the Grand Master to succeed him and from his known zeal and ability there is every reason to anticipate the most happy consequences.

Write up about the author can be perused in Article 212

Click Here To Post Your Comment

Previous ArticleGo TopNext Article

© 2002-2012. All Rights Reserved
Site designed by NetGross