New Page 1
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]
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
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.
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.
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
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
the King's Most Excellent Majesty,
humble address of the Grand Lodge of the Ancient Fraternity of Free and Accepted
Masons under the constitution of England.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
unanimously, in Grand Lodge, at Freemason's Hall, this 6th day of
Rawson, A. G. M.
White, G. S. Peter Parker, D.G.M.
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
His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales, Grand Master of the most Ancient and
Honourable Society of Free and Accepted Masons .
Worshipful and Royal Sir,
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.
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.
the unanimous order of the Grand Lodge.
signed William White, G. S. Peter Parker, D. G. M.
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.
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.
of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the Commonwealth of
Massachusetts, to their Brother George Washington.
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.
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.
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."
Cutler, G.M. Josiah Bartlet, S. G. W. Mungo Mackay, J. G. W.
Bolton, Dec 27, A. L. 5792
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.
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.
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
guns from a vessel in the river announced the commencement of the ceremony.
Infantry and Guards, matched with arms reversed.
General's horse, with his saddle, holsters and pistols.
Corpse, supported by Colonels Little, Marstelle, Gilpin, Payne, Ramsay and
Simms, as pall-bearers.
the head of the coffin was inscribed, Surge ad judicium,
the middle, Gloria Deo,
on the silver plate, "General GEORGE WASHINGTON departed this life on the
14th December 1799 - Ætatis 68."
Mourners, Masonic brethren and Citizens, closed the procession.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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,
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
Worshipful and Royal Grand Master,
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.
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.
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
the unanimous Order of the Grand Lodge.
Moria, A.G.M. Counter
signed William White, G. S.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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]
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.
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
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.]
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.
next tract which deserves notice is a translation of 'The Memoirs of Jacobinism
in France,' in 4 vols. 8vo., by the Abbé, Barruel. In this work the
Abbé, 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
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.
these three conspiracies, antichristian, antimonarchical and antisocial, very
unfortunately for the Abbé,, 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.
this serious attack on the Freemasons, the Abbé, 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.'
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 Abbé,
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.
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,
has entered into a serious investigation of them in a monthly miscellany.
[See Freemasons Magazine, vol. x. p. 35]
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.
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
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
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.
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. “
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.”
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
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.'
OF CERTIFICATE: Here
insert the name of the county} TO WIT,
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.
day of in the year of our Lord 1800, before FORM OF REGISTER--.Here
insert the name of the county} TO WIT,
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,
Christian and Surnames.
Place of Abode.
Title, Profession, or Business.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
following is an abstract of the Rules and Orders of this Society:
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.
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.
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
when sick, lame, or blind, are to be entitled to fourteen shillings per week.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
THE GLORY OF THE GRAND ARCHITECT OF THE UNIVERSE.
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.
HEALTH and PROSPERITY.
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,
CONTENT and WISDOM.
Illustrious and Most Enlightened brethren,
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
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.
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,
Duke of Sudermania.
G. A. REUTERHOLM,
Lodge of Sweden.
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.
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.
HEALTH and PROSPERITY.
our very dear, very Illustrious and very Enlightened Brother,
Duke of Sudermania, &c. &c. &c.
CONTENTMENT and WISDOM.
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.
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
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.
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!
salute you by the Sacred Numbers.
8th May, 1799.
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
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
every latent foe,
the assassin's blow,
save the King,
him thine arms extend,
Britain's sake defend
father, prince and friend
save the King."
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.
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.
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
“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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
WHITE, G. S. GEORGE, P.
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.
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.
following is a description of the Pediment:
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
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.'
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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:
the reign of the Most Gracious Sovereign George III.
the auspices of the Right Hon. WILLIAM FETTES,
Provost of Edinburgh,
Harbour of Leith,
formed at a remote period,
as Commerce in the course of ages increased,
repaired and extended,
being still narrow and incommodious,
DUNDAS of Melville esquire,
absence of the Right Hon. CHARLES, Earl of DALKEITH,
Master-mason of Scotland,
the foundation-stone of these Docks,
which the numerous vessels arriving from every quarter of the
receive ample and secure accommodation:
the 10th day of May, A.D. 1801. A.L 5801.
RENNIE being Engineer.
the Undertaking prosper, By the blessing of Almighty God "
the other plate was engraved:
names of the present Town Council of Edinburgh.
Right Hon. HENRY DUNDAS, Member for the City.
Magistrates of Leith.
Contractors for the Work.
Grand Lodge of Scotland, and
Masters and Wardens of the Trinity-House, Leith.
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:
Lord Provost and Magistrates,
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.
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
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
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.'
which the Lord Provost made the following reply:
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
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.
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'.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.]
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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:
South, Richard Blake, Esq.
W. Wharton Rawlins, Esq.
Prince of Thurn and Taxis.
Arthur Stanhope, Esq.
Sir. J. Throckmorton, Bart.
City and County of, W.H. Goldwyer, Esq.
Right Hon. Lord Eardley.
Sir John Johnson, Bart.
Sir Alexander Johnston.
John Egerton, Esq.
Coast of Coromandel, in the East
Indies, Terence Gahagan, Esq.
Sir John St. Aubyn, Bart.
John Losh, Esq.
Norway, &c. Prince Charles Landgrave of Hesse Cassel.
Earl of Harrington.
Sir Ch. Warw. Bampfylde, Bart.
John Jeffery, Esq.
Sir Ralph Milbanke, Bart.
William Wix, Esq.
on Maine, Circles of Upper Rhine, Lower Rhineand Franconia, John Charles
John Sweetland, Esq.
Duke of Beaufort.
Jersey, &c, General Sir J. Doyle.
Electorate ofand British Dominions in Germany, Prince Charles of Meckelburg
and Lower Saxony, Doctor John Philip Beckmann.
Colonel Sherbourne Stewart.
George Harvey, Esq.
John Goff, Esq.
A.S. Gordon, Esq.
Earl of Mount-Norris.
of France, R.T. Farquhar, Esq.
Sir Walter James James, Bart.
F.D. Astley, Esq.
Rev. William Peters.
Henry Hardford, Esq.
Henry Harnage, Esq.
and Sicily, Kingdoms of, Duc de Sandemetrio Pignatelli.
Rev. Samuel S. Colman.
Earl of Pomfret.
Sir J.E. Swinbourne, Bart
Sir J.B. Warren, Bart. K.B.
Lord Viscount Forbes.
Sir Gore Ouseley, Bart.
Rev. Thomas Vials.
Richard Barker, Esq.
Staffordshire, Flintshire, Denbighshireand Montgomery, Hon. And Rev. Francis
Christopher, Hon. John Garnett.
Helena, David Kay, M.D.
John Leigh, Esq.
James Meyrick, Esq.
Sir William Middleton, Bart.
General Samuel Hulse.
John Macdonald, Esq.
South, Thomas Wyndham, Esq.
Hon. Washington Shirley
W. Henry White, Esq.
John Dent, Esq.
Robert Pemb. Milnes, Esq.
of the Grand Lodge of England in Germany, Col. Aug. Graefe.
15. History of Masonry from 1801 to 1812.
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,
under the auspices of
Grace, ALEXANDER, Duke of GORDON
the other Patrons of the Undertaking,
most noble GEORGE, Marquis of Huntly,
Grand Master for Bamfshire, &c.
the foundation-stone of the Bridge
the 29th of June,
the day on which the Duke of Gordon
his 59th year,
the year of our Lord 1801,
of the era of Masonry 5801.
other inscription was sealed up in glass and is as follows.
Spey, olim Tueffi, flumine,
de GORDON magnopere,
ac ære publico,
GEORGIUS Marchio de HUNTLY,
præalti, potentissimique Principis,
Ducis de GORDON, &c.
Artium omnium bonarum et utilissimarum
Etiamque salutis publicæ
Benigne, vindicis et amici,
III. Dei Gratia regnante,
Anno Christi MDCCCI.
Æræque Architectonicæ VMDCCCI
Perge et plaude.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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,
grateful and attached Friends and humble Servants,
Members of Lodge No. 222.
second Gold Cup is similar to the former and presented by Lodge No. 116.
third is a most superb gold vase, presented by the inhabitants of the island of
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.
inscription on the above vase is nearly the same as on the first.
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.
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.
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
Guard of Volunteers.
Lodge, of Peterhead.
Andrew's Lodge, Banff.
Town Council and Subscribers.
of the Building, carrying the Plan.
of the Aberdeen Lodge.
Plate, carried by an Operative Brother.
Cornucopia, filled with corn.
Silver Cups, filled with wine.
Brethren of the Aberdeen Lodge.
Secretary and Treasurer.
Senior and Junior Wardens.
Holy Bible, carried by a Brother.
Master and Deputy Master.
Guard of Volunteers
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.
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.
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.
following inscription and writing were previously read by the Deputy Master:
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.'
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
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.
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
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.
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.
thanks of the Grand Lodge were unanimously voted to the Earl of Moira, for the
happy settlement of this important business.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Sua manu LOCAVIT
other medal, engraven in copper, bore, on one side, this inscription.
the Auspices of
Most Sacred Majesty GEORGE III
of the United Kingdoms of Great
Foundation Stone of the Theatre of
laid by his Royal Highness
PRINCE OF WALES.
the reverse is engraven.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Brethren, after the lodge was closed, sat down to a splendid dinner at
Freemasons' Tavern, when mirth and conviviality closed the meeting.
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.
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.
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.
Grand Lodge, however, recommended the London lodges to continue the subscription
till the expenses of the Lodge of Promulgation were discharged.
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.
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