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Article # 220
The Constitutions of Freemasons

Author: J.A.Anderson    Posted on: Saturday, August 26, 2006
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The Constitutions of the Free

The Constitutions of the Free-Masons.

[This is the first Masonic book printed in America and produced by Benjamin Franklin, one of the Founding Fathers of American Democracy, in 1734 in Philadelphia, as a reprint of 1723 Edition of James Anderson’s Constitutions. The book contains about 40 pages of history of Masonry, from Adam to the reign of King George I, including, among others, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Solomon, Hiram Abif, Nebuchadnezzar, Augustus Caesar, Vitruvius, King Athelstan, the Saxon, Inigo Jones, and James I of England. The Seven Wonders of the World, viz. 1) the Great Pyramid, 2) Solomon’s Temple, 3) the City and Hanging-Gardens of Babylon, 4) the Mausoleum or Tomb of  Mausolus, King of Caria, 5) the Lighthouse of Pharos at Alexandria, 6) Phidias’s statue of Jupiter Olympius in Achaia, and 7) the Colossus at Rhodes have also been listed and explained. We express no opinion on those pages.

 “The Charges of a Freemason” and the “General Regulations” contain rules of conduct for individual masons and of governance of the Lodges and about the officers. There are five songs to be sung at meetings. “A New Song” is said to have been composed by Benjamin Franklin. The History suggests that Masonry, in some form, was practiced by the Israelites, from the time of their leaving Egypt, under the guidance of the Grand Master Moses. The spelling in the Original Edition has been retained mostly. Certain changes in punctuation has been carried out and the format has been changed for easy reading. Foot Notes have been incorporated at the appropriate places of the text in a different font and within brackets to felicitate easy reading. ]


Anderson’s The  Constitutions  Of The Freemasons.

Containing The History, Charges, Regulations, &c.

of that most Ancient and Right Worshipful Fraternity.

For the Use of the Lodges.

Printed in London in  Anno 5723.

Re-printed in Philadelphia by special Order, for the Use

of the Brethren in NORTH-AMER ICA.

In the Year of Masonry 5734, Anno Domini 1734.


Dedication of the Original Edition.


His Grace the Duke of Montagu.

My Lord,

Y Order of His Grace the Duke of Wharton, the present Right Worshipful Grand Master of the Free-Masons ; and, as his Deputy, I humbly dedicate this Book of  the Constitutions of our ancient Fraternity to your Grace, in Testimony of your honourable, prudent, and vigilant Discharge of the Office of our Grand Master last Year. I need not tell your Grace what Pains our learned Author has taken in compiling and digesting this Book from the old Records, and how accurately he has compar’d and  made every thing agreeable to History and Chronology, so as to render these

NEW CONSTITUTIONS a  just and exact Account of Masonry from the Beginning of the World

to your Grace’s Mastership, still preserving  all that was truly ancient  and authentick in the old ones :For every Brother will be pleas’d with  the Performance, that knows it had  your Grace’s Perusal and Approbation  and that it is now printed for the Use of the Lodges, after it was approv’d by the Grand Lodge, when  your Grace was Grand Master.

All the Brother-hood will ever remember  the Honour your Grace has done them, and your Care for

their Peace, Harmony, and lasting  Friendship: Which none is more  duly sensible of than,



most oblig’d, and

most obedient Servant,

and Faithful Brother,

J . T . Desaguliers,

Deputy Grand-Master.




History, Laws, Charges, Orders, Regulations, and Usages,

Of The  Right Worshipful Fraternity of  Accepted  Freemasons

Collected from their general Records and their faithful Traditions of many Ages.

To Be Read At the Admission of a New Brother, when the Master or Warden shall begin,

or order some other Brother to read as follows,


1. Year of the World 4003 before Christ.

Adam, our first Parent, created after the Image of God, the great Architect of the Universe, must have had the Liberal Sciences, particularly Geometry, written on his Heart; for even since the Fall, we find the Principles of it in the Hearts of his Offspring, and which, in process of time, have been drawn forth into a convenient Method of Propositions, by observing the Laws of Proportion taken from Mechanism : So that as the Mechanical Arts gave Occasion to the Learned to reduce the Elements of Geometry into Method, this noble Science thus reduc’d, is the Foundation of all those Arts, (particularly of Masonry and Architecture) and the Rule by which they are conducted and perform’d.

No doubt Adam taught his Sons Geometry, and the use of it, in the several Arts and Crafts convenient, at least for those early Times ; for CAIN, we find, built a City, which he call’d Consecrated, or Dedicated, after  the Name of his eldest Son Enoch and becoming the Prince of the one Half of Mankind, his Posterity would imitate his Royal Example in improving both the noble Science and the useful Art.

[As other Arts were also improved by them, viz. working in Metal by TUBAL CAIN, Music by JUBAL, Pastorage and Tent Making by JABAL, which last is good Architecture]


Nor can we suppose that SETH was less instructed, who being the Prince of the other Half of Mankind, and also the prime Cultivator of Astronomy, would take equal care to teach Geometry and Masonry to his Offspring, who had also the mighty Advantage of Adam’s living among them.

[For by some Vestiges of Antiquity we find one of ‘em, godly ENOCH (who dy’d not, but was translated alive to Heaven) prophecying of the final Conflagration at the Day of Judgment (as St. Jude tells us) and likewise of the General Deluge for the Punishment of the World : Upon which he erected his two large Pillars, (tho’ some ascribe them to Seth) the one of Stone, and the other of Brick, whereon were engraven the Liberal Sciences, &c. And that the Stone Pillar remain’d in Syria until the Days of Vespasian the Emperor.]


But without regarding uncertain Accounts, we may safely conclude the old World, that lasted 1656 Years, could not be ignorant of Masonry and that both the families of Seth and Cain erected many curious Works, until at length NOAH, the ninth from Seth, was commanded and directed of God to build the great Ark, which, tho’ of Wood, was certainly fabricated by Geometry and according to the Rules of Masonry.

NOAH, and his three Sons, JAPHET, SHEM, and HAM, all Masons true, brought with them over the Flood the Traditions and Arts of the Ante-deluvians, and amply communicated them to their growing  Offsprings, for about 101 Years after the Flood we find a vast Number of ’em, if not the whole Race of Noah, in the Vale of Shinar, employ’d in building a City and large Tower, in order to make to them selves a Name and to prevent their Dispersion. And tho’ they carry’d on the Work to a monstrous Height, and by their Vanity provok’d God to confound their Devices, by confounding their Speech, which occasion’d their Dispersion; yet their Skill in Masonry is not the less to be celebrated, having spent above 53 Years in that prodigious Work and upon their Dispersion carry’d the mighty Knowledge with them into distant Parts, where they found the good Use of it in the Settlement of their Kingdoms, Commonwealths and Dynasties. And tho’ afterwards it was lost in most Parts of the Earth, it was especially preserv’d in Shinar and Assyria, where NIMROD, the Founder of that Monarchy, after the Dispersion, built many splendid Cities, as Ereck, Accad, and Calneh, in SHINAR ; from whence afterwards he went forth into ASSYRIA, and built Nineveh, Rehoboth,Caleh, and Rhesin.

[NIMROD, which signifies a Rebel, was the Name given him by the holy Family, and by Moses ; but among his Friends in Chaldea, his proper Name was BELUS, which signifies LORD  and afterwards was worshipped as a God by many Nations, under the Name of Bel or Baal, and became the Bacchus of the Ancients, or Bar Chus, the Son of CHUS.]


In these Parts, upon the Tygris and Euphrates, afterwards flourish’d many learned Priests and Mathematicians, known by the Names of Chaldees and Magi, who preserv’d the good Science, Geometry, as the Kings and great Men encourag’d the Royal Art. But it is not expedient to speak more plain of the Premises, except in a formed Lodge. From hence, therefore, the Science and Art were both transmitted to latter Ages and distant Climes, not withstanding the Confusion of Languages or Dialects, which tho’ it might help to give Rise to the Masons Faculty and ancient universal Practice of conversing without speaking, and of knowing each other at a Distance, yet hinder’d not the Improvement of Masonry in each Colony and their Communication in their distinct National Dialect.

Anno Mundi 1816 . 2188 Ante Chr.

And, no doubt, the Royal Art was brought down to Egypt by MITZRAIM, the second Son of Ham, about six Years after the Confusion at Babel, and after the Flood 160 Years, when he led thither his Colony ; (for Egypt is Mitzraim in Hebrew) because we find the River Nile ’s overflowing its Banks, soon caus’d an Improvement in Geometry, which consequently brought Masonry much in request : For the ancient noble Cities, with the other magnificent Edifices of that Country, and particularly the famous PYRAMIDS, demonstrate the early Taste and Genius of that ancient Kingdom.

Nay, one of those Egyptian Pyramids  is reck on’d, the First of the Seven Wonders of the World, the account of which, by Historians and Travellers, is almost incredible.

[ The Marble Stones, brought a vast way from the Quarries of Arabia, were most of ’em 30 Foot long ; and its Foundation cover’d the Ground 700 Foot on each Side, or 2800 Foot in Compass and 481 in perpendicular Height. And in perfecting it were employed every Day, for 20 whole Years, 360,000 Men, by some ancient Egyptian King long before the Israelites were a People, for the Honour of his Empire, and at last to become his Tomb]

The Sacred Records inform us well that the eleven great Sons of Canaan (the youngest Son of Ham) soon fortified themselves in strong Holds, and stately walled Cities and erected most beautiful Temples and Mansions ; for when the Israelites, under the great Joshua, invaded their Country, they found it so regularly fenc’d, that without the immediate Intervention of God in behalf of his peculiar People, the Canaanites were impregnable and invincible. Nor can we suppose less of the other Sons of Ham, viz. Cush, his eldest, in South Arabia, and Phut, or Phuts, (now called Fez) in West Africa.

And surely the fair and gallant Posterity of JAPHET, (the eldest Son of Noah ) even such as travell’d into the Isles of the Gentiles, must have been equally skill’d in Geometry and Masonry ; tho’ we know little of their Transactions and mighty Works, until their original Knowledge was almost lost by the Havock of War, and by not maintaining a due Correspondence with the polite and learned Nations ; for when that Correspondence was open’d in After-Ages, we find they began to be most curious Architects.

The Posterity of Shem had also equal Opportunities of cultivating the useful Art, even those of ’em that planted their Colonies in the South and East of Asia ; much more those of ’em, that in the great Assyrian Empire, liv’d in a separate State, or were blended with other Families : Nay, that holy Branch of SHEM (of whom, as concerning the Flesh, CHRIST came) could not be unskilful in the learned Arts of Assyria ; for ABRAM, after the Confusion at Babel about 268 Years, was called out of Ur of the Chaldees, where he learned Geometry, and the Arts that are perform’d by it, which he would carefully transmit to Ishmael, to Isaac, and to his Sons by Keturah ; and by Isaac, to Esau, and Jacob, and the twelve Patriarchs : Nay, the Jews believe that ABRAM also instructed the Egyptians in the Assyrian Learning.

A. M. 2 427.  1 577 . Ante Chr.

Indeed, the select Family long used Military Architecture only, as they were Sojourners among Strangers ; but before the 430 Years of their Peregrination were expired, even about 86 Years before their Exodus, the Kings of Egypt forc’d most of them to lay down their Sheperds Instruments, and warlike Accoutrements, and train’d them to another sort of Architecture in Stone and Brick, as holy Writ, and other Histories, acquaint us ; which God did wise ly over-rule, in order to make them good Masons before they possess’d the promis’d Land, then famous for most curious Masonry.


A.M. 2514. 1490 Ante Chr

And while marching to Canaan thro’ Arabia, under Moses, God was pleased to inspire BEZALEEL, of the Tribe of Judah, and AHOLIAB, of the Tribe of Dan, with Wisdom of Heart for erecting that most glorious Tent, or Tabernacle, wherein the SHECHINAH resided ; which, tho’ not of Stone or Brick, was framed, by Geometry, a most beautiful Piece of Architecture, (and prov’d afterwards the Model of Solomon’s Temple) according to the Pattern that God had shewn to MOSES in the Mount, who therefore became the General Mastermason, as well as King of Jessurun, being well skill’d in all the Egyptian Learning and divinely inspir’d with more sublime Knowledge in Masonry, so that the Israelites, at their leaving Egypt, were a whole Kingdom of Masons, well instructed, under the Conduct of their Grand Master Moses, who often marshall’d them into a regular and general Lodge, while in the Wilderness and gave them wise Charges, Orders, &c. had they been well observ’d ! But no more of the Premises must be mention’d.


And after they were possess’d of Canaan, the Israelites came not short of the old Inhabitants in Masonry, but rather  vastly improv’d it, by the special Direction of Heaven ; they fortify’d better, and improv’d their City-Houses and the Palaces of their Chiefs, and only fell short in sacred Architecture while the Tabernacle stood, but no longer ; for the finest sacred Building of the Canaanites was the Temple of Dagon in Gaza of the Philistines, very magnificent, and capacious enough to receive 5000 People under its Roof, that was artfully supported by two main Columns and was a wonderful Discovery of their mighty Skill in true Masonry, as must he own’d.

[By which the glorious SAMPSON pull’d it down upon the Lords of the Philistines, and was also intangled in the same Death which he drew upon his Enemies for putting out his Eyes, after he had reveal’d his Secrets to his Wife, that betray’d him into their Hands ; for which Weakness he never had the Honour to be number’d among Masons : But it is not convenient to write more of this.]


But Dagon’s Temple, and the finest Structures of Tyre and Sidon, could not be compared with the Eternal God’s Temple at Jerusalem, begun and finish’d, to the amazement of all the World, in the short space of seven Years and six Months, by that wisest Man and most glorious King of Israel, the Prince of Peace and Architecture, Solomon (the Son of David, who was refused that Honour for being a Man of Blood) by divine Direction, without the Noise of Workmen’s Tools, though there were employ’d about it no less than 3600 Princes, Master-Masons, to conduct the work

 [In 1 Kings v. 16. they are call’d Harodim, Rulers or Provosts assisting King Solomon, who were set over the Work, and their Number there is only 3,300 : But 2 Chron. ii. 18. they are called Menatzchim, Overseers and Comforters of the People in Working, and in Number 3,600 ; be cause either 300 might be more curious Artists,

and the Over seers of the said 3,300 ; or rather, not so excellent, and only Deputy-Masters, to supply their Places in case of Death or Absence, that so there might be always 3,300 acting Masters compleat ; or else they might be the Over seers of the 70,000 Ish Sabbal, Men of Burden or La bourers, who were not Masons but served the 80,000 Ish Chotzeb, Men of Hewing, called also Ghiblim, Stone Cutters and Sculpturers  and also Bonai, Builders in Stone, part of which belong’d to Solomon and part to Hiram, King of Tyre, (1 Kings v. 18.) according to Solomon’s Directions, with 80,000 Hewers of Stone in the Mountain, or Fellow Craftsmen and 70,000 Labourers, in all ----- 153,600 besides the Levy under Adoniram, to work in the Mountains of Lebanon by 30,000 turns with the Sidonians, viz. being in all  183,600 for which great Number of ingenious Masons, Solomon was much oblig’d to HIRAM, or Huram, King of Tyre, who sent his Masons and Carpenters to Jerusalem, and the Firs and Cedars of Lebanon to Joppa the next Sea-port. But above all, he sent his Namesake HIRAM, or Huram, the most accomplish’d Mason upon Earth.  [We read (2 Chron. ii. 13.) HIRAM King of Tyre (called there Huram) in his Letter to King SOLOMON, says, I have sent a cunning Man, le Huram Abhi, not to be translated according to the vulgar Greek and Latin, Huram my Father, as if this Architect was King HIRAM’s Father ; for his Description, ver. 14. refutes it, and the Original plainly imports, Huram of my Father’s, viz. the Chief Master-Mason of my Father, King ABIBALUS ; (who enlarg’d and beautify’d the city of Tyre, as ancient Histories inform us, whereby the Tyrians at this time were most expert in Masonry) tho’ some think HIRAM the King might call Hiram the Architect Father, as learned and skilful Men were wont to be call’d of old Times, or as Joseph was call’d the Father of Pharaoh ; and as the same Hiram is call’d Solomon’s FATHER, (2 Chron. iv. 16.) where ‘tis said Shelomoh lammelech Abhif Churam ghnasah, Did Huram, his Father, make to King Solomon. But the Difficulty is over at once, by allowing the Word Abif to be the Surname of Hiram the Mason, called also (chap. ii. 13.) Hiram Abi, as here Hiram Abif ; for being so amply describ’d, (chap. ii. 14.) we may easily suppose his Surname would not be conceal’d : And this Reading makes the Sense plain and compleat, viz. that HIRAM, King of Tyre, sent to King Solomon, his Namesake HIRAM ABIF, the Prince of Architects, describ’d (1 Kings vii. 14.) to be a Widow’s Son of the Tribe of Naphthali ; and in 1 Chron. ii. 14. the said King of Tyre calls him the Son of a Woman of the Daughters of Dan ; and in both Places, that his Father was a Man of Tyre ; which Difficulty is remov’d by supposing his Mother was either of the Tribe of Dan, or of the Daughters of the City called Dan in the Tribe of Naphthali, and his deceased Father had been a Naphthalite, whence his Mother was called a Widow of Naphthali ; for his Father is not called a Tyrian by Descent, but a Man of Tyre by Habitation ; as Obed Edom the Levite is call’d a Gittite by living among the Gittites, and the Apostle Paul a Man of Tarsus. But supposing a Mistake in Transcribers, and that his Father was really a Tyrian by Blood, and his Mother only of the Tribe either of Dan or of Naphthali, that can be no Bar against allowing of his vast Capacity ; for as his Father was a Worker in Brass, so he himself was filled with Wisdom and Understanding, and Cunning to work all Works in Brass : And as King SOLOMON sent for him, so King HIRAM, in his Letter to Solomon, says, And now I have sent a cunning Man, endued with Understanding, skilful to work in Gold, Silver, Brass, Iron, Stone, Timber, Purple, Blue, fine Linnen and Crimson, also to grave any manner of Graving, and to find out every Device which shall be put to him, with thy cunning Men, and with the cunning Men of my Lord David thy Father. This divinely inspired Workman maintain’d this Character in erecting the Temple, and in working the Utensils thereof, far beyond the Performances of Aholiab and Bezaleel, being also universally capable of all sorts of Masonry.]


And the prodigious expence of it also enhaunceth its Excellency, for besides King David’s vast Preparations, his richer Son Solomon, and all the wealthy Israelites and the Nobles of all the neighbouring Kingdoms, largely contributed towards it in Gold, Silver, and rich Jewels, that amounted to a Sum almost incredible. Nor do we read of any thing in Canaan so large, the Wall that inclos’d it being 7700 Foot in Compass ; far less any holy Structure fit to be nam’d with it, for exactly proportion’d and beautiful Dimensions, from the magnificent  Porch on the East, to the glorious and reverend Sanctum Sanctorum on the West, with most lovely and convenient Apartments for the Kings and Princes, Priests and Levites, Israelites, and Gentiles also ; it being an House of Prayer for all Nations, and capable of receiving in the Temple proper and in all its Courts and Apartments together, no less than 300,000 People, by a modest Calculation, allowing a square Cubit to each Person.


And if we consider the 1453 Columns of  Parian Marble, with twice as many Pillasters, both having glorious Capitals of several Orders, and about 2246 Windows, besides those in the Pavement, with the unspeakable and costly Decorations of it within ; (and much more might be said ) we must conclude its Prospect to transcend our Imagination; and that it was justly esteem’d by far the finest piece of Masonry upon Earth before or since, and the Chief Wonder of the World  and was dedicated, or consecrated, in the most solemn manner, by King Solomon.


But leaving what must not, and indeed cannot, be communicated by Writing, we may warrantably affirm that however ambitious the Heathen were in cultivating of the Royal Art, it was never perfected, until God condescended to instruct his peculiar People in rearing the above mention’d stately Tent, and in building at length this gorgeous House, fit for the special Refulgence of his Glory, where he dwelt between the Cherubims on the Mercy-Seat, and from thence gave them frequent oraculous Responses.

This most sumptuous, splendid, beautiful and glorious Edifice, attracted soon the inquisitive Artists of all Nations to spend some time at Jerusalem, and survey its peculiar Excellencies, as much as was allow’d to the Gentiles ; whereby they soon discover’d, that all the World, with their joint Skill, came far short of the Israelites, in the Wisdom and  Dexterity of Architecture, when the wise King Solomon was Grand Master of the Lodge at Jerusalem, and the learned King Hiram was Grand Master of the Lodge at Tyre, and the inspired HIRAM ABIF was Master of Work, and Masonry was under the immediate Care and Direction of Heaven, when the Noble and the Wise thought it their Honour to be assisting to the ingenious Masters and Craftsmen, and when the Temple of the TRUE  GOD became the Wonder of all Travellers, by which, as by the most perfect Pattern, they corrected the Architecture of their own Country upon their Return.

So that after the erection of Solomon’s Temple, Masonry was improv’d in all the neighbouring Nations ; for the many Artists employed about it, under Hiram Abif, after it was finish’d, dispers’d themselves into Syria, Mesopotamia, Assyria, Chaldea, Babylonia, Media, Persia, Arabia, Africa,

Lesser Asia, Greece and other Parts of Europe, where they taught this liberal Art to the free born Sons of eminent Persons, by whose Dexterity the Kings, Princes, and Potentates, built many glorious Piles, and became the GRAND MASTERS, each in his own Territory, and were emulous of excelling in this Royal Art ; nay, even in INDIA, where the Correspondence was open, we may conclude the same. But none of the Nations, nor all together, could rival the Israelites, far less excel them, in Masonry ; and their Temple  remain’d the constant Pattern.  [For tho’ the Temple of Diana at Ephesus is suppos’d to have been first built by some of Japhet’s Posterity, that made a Settlement in Jonia about the Time of Moses ; yet it was often demolish’d, and then rebuilt for the sake of Improve ments in Masonry ; and we cannot compute the Period of its last glorious Erection (that became another of the Seven Wonders of the World ) to be prior to that of Solomon’s Temple ;but that long afterwards the Kings of Lesser Asia join’d, for 220 Years, in finishing it, with 107 Columns of the finest Marble, and many of ’em with most exquisite Sculpture (each at the Expence of a King, by the Master-Masons DRESIPHON and ARCHIPHRON) to support the planked Ceiling and Roof of pure Cedar, as the Doors and Linings were of Cypress : Where by it became the Mistress of Lesser Asia, in Length 425 Foot, and in Breadth 220 Foot ; Nay, so admirable a Fabrick, that XERXES left it standing when he burnt all the other Tem ples in his Way to Greece ; tho’ at last it was set on Fire and burnt down by a vile Fellow, only for the Lust of being talk’d of, on the very Day that ALEXANDER, the Great was born.]

  A.M. 3416. 588 Ante Chr

Nay, the Grand Monarch Nebuchadnezar could never, with all his unspeakable Advantages, carry up his Masonry to the Beautiful Strength and Magnificence of the Temple Work, which he had, in warlike Rage, burnt down, after it had remain’d in Splendor 416 Years from its Consecration. For after his Wars were over, and general Peace proclaim’d, he set his Heart on Architecture, and be came the GRAND MASTER-MASON ; and having before led captive the ingenious Artists of Judea, and other con quer’d Countries, he rais’d indeed the largest Work upon   Earth, even the Walls,

[In Thickness 87 Foot, in Height 350 Foot, and in Compass 480 Furlongs, or 60 British Miles in an exact Square of 15 Miles a Side, built of large Bricks, cemented with the hard Bitumen of that old Vale of Shinar, with 100 Gates of Brass, or 25 a-side, and 250 Towers ten Foot higher than the Walls. From the said 25 Gates in each Side went 25 Streets in strait Lines, or in all 50 Streets each 15 Miles long, with four half Streets, next the Walls, each 200 Foot broad : And so the whole City was thus cut out into 676 Squares, each being 2 Miles and quarter in Compass; round which were the Houses built three or four Stories high, well adorn’d, and accommodated with Yards, Gardens, &c. A Branch of the Euphrates run thro’ the Middle of it, from North to South, over which, in the Heart of the City, was built a stately Bridge, in Length a Furlong, and thirty Foot in Breadth, by wonderful Art, for supplying the Want of a Foundation in the River. At the two Ends of this Bridge were two magnificent Palaces, the Old Palace, the seat of ancient Kings at the East End, upon the Ground of four Squares  and the New Palace at the West End, built by Nebuchadnezzar, upon the Ground of nine Squares, with Hanging-Gardens (so much celebrated by the Greeks) where the loftiest Trees could grow as in the Fields, erected in a Square of 400 Foot on each Side, carried up by Terraces, and sustain’d by vast Arches built upon Arches, until the highest Terrace equal’d the Height  of the City-Walls, with a curious Aqueduct to water the whole Gardens. Old Babel improv’d, stood on the East Side of the River, and the New Town on the West Side, much larger than the Old, and built in order to make this Capital exceed old Niniveh, tho’ it never had so many Inhabitants by one Half. The River was begirt with Banks of Brick, as thick as the City Walls, in Length twenty Miles, viz. fifteen Miles within the City, and two Miles and a half above and below it, to keep the Water within its Channel ; and each Street that cross’d the River had a brasen Gate leading down to the Water on both Banks ; and West of the City was a prodigious Lake, in Compass 160 Miles, with a Canal from the River into it, to prevent Inundations in the Summer. In the Old Town was the Old Tower of BABEL, at the Foundation a Square of half a Mile in Compass, consisting of eight square Towers built over each other, with Stairs on the out-side round it, going up to the Observatory on the Top, 600 Foot high, (which is 19 Foot higher than the highest Pyramid) whereby they became the first Astronomers. And in the Rooms of the Grand Tower, with arched Roofs, supported by Pillars 75 Foot high, the idolatrous Worship of their God BELUS was perform’d, till now, that this mighty Mason and Monarch erected round this ancient Pile a Temple of two Furlongs on every Side, or a Mile in compass ; where he lodg’d the sacred Trophies of SOLOMON’s Temple, and the golden Image 90 Foot high, that he had consecrated in the Plains of Dura, as were formerly in the Tower lodg’d many other golden Images, and many precious things, that were afterwards all seiz’d by XERXES, and amounted to above 21 Millions Sterling.

And when all was finish’d, King NEBUCHADNEZZAR walking in State in his Hanging-Gardens, and from thence taking a Review of the whole City, proudly boasted of this his mighty Work ; saying Is not this Great Babylon, that I have built for the House of the Kingdom, by the Might of my Power, and for the Honour of my Majesty ? but had his Pride immediately rebuk’d by a Voice from Heaven, and punish’d by brutal Madness for seven Years, until he gave Glory to the God of Heaven, the Omnipotent Architect of the Universe, which he publish’d by a Decree thro’ all his Empire, and dy’d next Year, before his GREAT BABYLON was little more than half inhabited (tho’ he had led many Nations captive for that purpose)  nor was it ever fully peopled ; for in 25 Years after his Death, the GRAND CYRUS conquer’d it, and remov’d the Throne to Shushan in PERSIA.]

and City, the Palaces and Hanging-Gar dens, the Bridge and Temple of Babylon, the Third of the Seven Wonders of the World, tho’ vastly inferior,in the sublime Perfection of Masonry, to the holy, charming, lovely Temple of GOD. But as the Jewish Captives were of special use to Nebuchadnezar in his glorious Buildings, so being thus kept at work, they retain’d their great Skill in Masonry, and continu’d very capable of rebuilding the holy Temple and City of Salem upon its old Foundations, which was order’d by the Edict or Decree of the Grand Cyrus, according to God’s Word, that had fore told his Exaltation and this Decree: And Cyrus having constituted Zerubbabel, the Son of Salathiel (of the Seed of David by Nathan, the Brother of Solomon, whose Royal Family was now extinct) the Head, or Prince of the Captivity, and the Leader of the Jews and Israelites returning to Jerusalem, they began to lay the Foundation of the SECOND TEMPLE, and would have soon finish’d it, if Cyrus had liv’d ; but at length they put on the Cape-Stone, in the 6th Year of Darius, the Persian Monarch, when it was dedicated with Joy, and many great Sacrifices, by Zerubbabel, the Prince and General Mastermason of the Jews, about 20 Years after the Decree of the Grand Cyrus. And tho’ this Temple of Zerubbabel came far short of Solomon’s Temple, was not so richly adorn’d with Gold and Diamonds, and all manner of precious Stones, nor had the Shechina and the Holy Relicks of Moses in it, &c. yet being rais’d exactly upon Solomon’s Foundation, and according to his Model, it was still the most regular, symmetrical and glorious Edifice in the whole World, as the Enemies of the Jews have often testify’d and acknowledg’d.

At length the Royal Art was carry’d into Greece, whose Inhabitants have left us no Evidence of such Improvements in Masonry, prior to Solomon ’s Temple, for their  most ancient Buildings, as the Cittadel of Athens, with the  Parthenion, or Temple of Minerva, the Temples also of Theseus, of Jupiter Olympius, &c. their Porticos also, and Forums, their Theatres and Gymnasiums, their publick Halls, curious Bridges, regular Fortifications, stout Ships of War and stately Palaces, were all erected after the Temple of Solomon and most of them even after the Temple of Zerubbabel. [The Grecians having been long degenerated into Barbarity, forgetting their original Skill in Masonry, (which their Fore-fathers brought from Assyria) by their frequent Mixtures with other barbarous Nations, their mutual Invasions, and wasting bloody Wars ; until by travelling and corresponding with the Asiaticks and Egyptians, they reviv’d their Knowledge in Geometry and Masonry both, though few of the Grecians had the Honour to own it.]

A. M. 3457.  547 Ante Chr.

Nor do we find the Grecians arriv’d to any considerable knowledge in Geometry, before the Great Thales Milesius, the Philosopher, who dy’d in the Reign of Bellshazzar and the Time of the Jewish Captivity. But his Scholar, the Greater Pythagoras, prov’d  the Author of the 47th Proposition of Euclid’s first Book, which, if duly observ’d, is the Foundation of all Masonry, sacred, civil, and Military. [PYTHAGORAS travell’d into Egypt the Year that Thales  dy’d, and living there among the Priests 22 Years became expert in Geometry and in all the Egyptian Learning, until he was captivated by Cambyses King of Persia, and sent to Babylon, where he was much conversant with the Chal dean MAGI, and the learned Babylonish JEWS, from whom he borrow’d great Knowledge, that render’d him very fa mous in Greece and Italy, where afterwards he flourish’d and dy’d ; when Mordecai was the prime Minister of State to Ahasuerus King of Persia, and ten Years after ZERU BBABEL’s Temple was finish’d.]

The People of Lesser Asia about this Time gave large Encouragement to Masons for erecting all sorts of sumptuous Buildings, one of which must not be forgot, being usually rcckon’d the Fourth of the Seven Wonders of the World, viz. the Mausoleum, or Tomb of Mausolus, King of Caria, between Lycia and Jonia, at Helicarnassus, on the Side of Mount Taurus in that Kingdom, at the Command of ARTEMISIA his mournful Widow, as the splendid Testimony of her Love to him, built of the most curious Mar ble, in Circuit 411 Foot, in Height 25 Cubits, surrounded with 26 Columns of the most famous Sculpture, and the whole

opened on all Sides, with Arches 73 Foot wide, per form’d by the four principal Master-Masons and Engravers of those Times, viz.the East Side by Scopas, the West by Leochares, the North by Briax, and the South by Timotheus.

But after PYTHAGORAS, Geometry became the darling Study of Greece, where many learned Philosophers arose, some of whom invented sundry Propositions, or Elements of Geometry, and reduc’d them to the use of the mechanical Arts. [Or borrow’d from other Nations their pretended Inventions, as Anaxagoras, Oenopides, Briso, Antipho, Democritus, Hippo crates, and Theodorus Cyrenæus, the Master of the divine PLATO, who amplify’d Geometry, and publish’d the Art Analytic ; from whose Academy came forth a vast Number, that soon dispers’d their Knowledge to distant Parts, as Leodamus, Theætetus, Archytas, Leon, Eudoxus, Menaichmus, and Xenocrates, the Master of Aristotle, from whose Academy also came forth Eudemus, Theophrastus, Aristæus, Isidorus, Hypsicles, and many others.]

Nor need we doubt that Masonry kept pace with Geometry ; or rather, always follow’d it in proportion’d gradual Improvements, until the wonderful EUCLID of Tyre flourish’d at Alexandria ; who gathering up the scatter’d Elements of Geometry, digested them into a Method that was never yet mended, (and for which his Name will be ever celebrated)under the Patronage of Ptolomeus, the Son of Lagus King of Egypt, one of the immediate Successors of Alexander the Great. And as the noble Science came to be more methodically taught, the Royal Art was the more generally esteem’d and improv’d among the Grecians, who at length arriv’d to the same Skill and Magnificence in it with their Teachers the Asiatics and Egyptians.

The next King of Egypt, Ptolomeus  Philadelphus, that great Improver of the liberal Arts, and of all useful Knowledge, who gather’d the greatest Library upon Earth, and had the Old Testament (at least the Pentateuch) first translated into Greek, became an excellent Architect and GENERAL MASTER-MASON, having among his other great Buildings, erected the famous TOWER of PHAROS,  the Fifth of the Seven Wonders of the World. [On an Island near Alexandria, at one of the Mouths of the Nile, of wonderful Height and most cunning Workmanship, and all of the finest Marble ; and it cost 800 Talents, or about 480,000 Crowns. The Master of Work, under the King was Sistratus, a most ingenious Mason and it was afterwards much admir’d by Julius Cæsar, who was a good Judge of most Things, though chiefly conversant in Wars and Politicks. It was intended as a Light-House for the Harbour of Alexandria, from which the Light-Houses in the Mediterranean were often call’d Pharos. Though some, instead of this, mention as the Fifth Wonder, the great OBELISK of Semiramis, 150 Foot high, and 24 Foot square at Bottom, or 90 Foot in Circuit at the Ground, all one intire Stone, rising pyramidically, brought from Armenia to Babylon about the Time of the Siege of Troy, if we may believe the History of SEMIRAMIS.]

We may readily believe, that the African Nations, even to the Atlantick Shore, did soon imitate Egypt in such Improvements  though History fails, and there are no Travellers encourag’d to discover the valuable Remains in Masonry of those once renowned Nations.Nor should we forget the learned Island of SICILY, where the prodigious Geometrician ARCHIMEDES did flourish, [While ERATOSTHENES and CONON flourish’d in Greece who were succeeded by the excellent APOLLONIUS of Perga, and many more before the Birth of Christ, who, though not working Masons, yet were good Surveyors ; or, at least, cultivated Geometry, which is the solid Basis of true Masonry, and its Rule.]

and was unhappily slain when Syracuse was taken by Marcellus the Roman General : For from Sicily, as well as from Greece, Egypt, and Asia, the ancient Romans learnt both the SCIENCE and the ART, what they knew before being either mean or irregular; but as they subdu’d the Nations, they made mighty Discoveries in both ; and like wise Men, led captive, not the Body of the People, but the Arts and Sciences, with the most eminent Professors and Practitioners,to Rome ; which thus became the Center of Learning, as well as of imperial Power, until they advanc’d to their Zenith of Glory, under AUGUSTUS CÆSAR, (in whose Reign was born God’s MESSIAH, the great Architect of the Church) who having laid the World quiet, by proclaiming universal Peace, highly encourag’d those dexterous Artists that had been bred in the Roman Liberty, and their learned Scholars and Pupils ; but particularly the great VITRUVIUS, the Father of all true Architects to this Day. Therefore it is rationally believ’d, that the glorious AUGUSTUS became the Grand-Master of the Lodge at Rome, having, besides his patronizing Vitruvius, much promoted the Welfare of the Fellow-Craftsmen, as appears by the many magnificent Buildings of his Reign, the Remains of which are the Pattern and Standard of true Masonry in all futureTimes, as they are indeed an Epitome of the Asiatic, Egyptian, Grecian and Sicilian Architecture, which we often express by the Name of the AUGUSTAN STILE, and which we are now only endeavouring to imitate, and have not yet arriv’d to its Perfection.

The old Records of Masons afford large Hints of their Lodges, from the Beginning of the World, in the polite Nations, especially in Times of Peace, and when the Civil Powers, abhorring Tyranny and Slavery, gave due Scope to the bright and free Genius of their happy Subjects ; for then always Masons, above all other Artists, were the Favourites of the Eminent, and became necessary for their grand Undertakings in any sort of Materials, not only in Stone, Brick, Timber, Plaister ; but even in Cloth or Skins, or whatever was us’d for Tents, and for the various sorts of Architecture.


Nor should it be forgot, that Painters also, and Statuaries, [For it was not without good Reason, the Ancients thought that the Rules of the beautiful Proportions in Building were copied, or taken from the Proportions of the Body natural : Hence PHIDIAS is reckon’d in the Number of ancient Masons for erecting the Statue of the Goddess Nemesis at Rhamnus, 10 Cubits high ; and that of Minerva at Athens, 26 Cubits high ; and that of JUPITER OLYMPIUS, sitting in his Temple in Achaia, between the Cities of Elis and Pisa, made of innumerable small Pieces of Porphyry, so exceeding grand and proportion’d, that it was reckon’d one of the Seven Wonders, as the famous COLOSSUS at Rhodes was another, and the greatest Statue that ever was erected, made of Metal, and dedicated to the SUN, 70 Cubits high, like a great Tower at a distance, at the Entry of an Harbour, striding wide enough for the largest Ships under sail, built in 12 Years by CARES a famous Mason and Statuary of Sicyon, and Scholar to the great Lysippus of the same Fraternity. This mighty COLOSSUS, after standing 56 Years, fell by an Earthquake, and lay in Ruins,the Wonder of the World, till Anno Dom. 600, when the Soldan of Egypt carry’d off its Relicks, which loaded 900 Camels.]

were always reckon’d good Masons, as much as Builders, Stone-cutters, Bricklayers, Carpenters, Join ers, Upholders or Tent Makers, and a vast many other Crafts men that could be nam’d, who perform according to Geometry, and the Rules of Building ; though none since Hiram Abif has been renown’d for Cunning in all parts of Masonry : And of this enough. But among the Heathen, while the noble Science Geometry [By Menelaus, Claudius, Ptolomeus, (who was also the Prince of Astronomers) Plutarch, Eutocius (who recites the inventions of Philo, Diocles, Nicomedes, Sphorus, and Heron the learned Mechanick) Kresibius also, the Inventer of Pumps (celebrated by Vitruvius, Proclus, Pliny, and Athenæus) and Geminus, also equall’d by some to Euclid ; so Diophantus, Nicomachus, Serenus, Proclus, Pappus, Theon, &c. all Geometricians, and the illustrious Cultivators of the mechanical Arts]

was duly cultivated, both before and after the Reign of Augustus, even till the Fifth Century of the Christian Æra, Masonry was had in great Esteem and Veneration .And while the Roman Empire continu’d in its Glory, the Royal Art was carefully propagated, even to the ULTIMATHULE, and a Lodge erected in almost every Roman Garrison, whereby they generously communicated their Cunning to the northern and western Parts of Europe, which had grown barbarous before the Roman Conquest, though we know not certainly how long ; because some think there are a few Remains of good Masonry before that Period in some Parts of Europe, raised by the original Skill that the first Colonies brought with them, as the Celtic Edifices, erected by the ancient Gauls, and by the ancient Britains too, who were a Colony of the Celtes, long before the Romans invaded this Island.* [The Natives within the Roman Colonies might be first instructed in building of Citadels and Bridges, and other Fortifications necessary; and afterwards when their Settlement produc’d Peace, and Liberty, and Plenty, the Aborigines did soon imitate their learned and polite Conquerors in Masonry, having then Leisure and a Disposition to raise magnificent Structures. Nay, even the Ingenious of the Neighbouring Nations not conquer’d, learnt much from the Roman Garrisons in Times of Peace and open Correspondence, when they became emulous of the Roman Glory, and thankful that their being Conquer’d was the means of recovering them from ancient Ignorance and Prejudices, when they began to delight in the Royal Art.]

But when the GOTHS and VANDALS, that had never been conquer’d by the Romans, like a general Deluge, overran the ROMAN EMPIRE, with warlike Rage and gross Ignorance they utter destroy’d many of the finest Edifices, and defac’d others, very few escaping ; as the Asiatic and African Nations fell under the same Calamity by the Conquests of the MAHOMETANS, whose grand Design is only to convert the World by Fire and Sword, instead of cultivating the Arts and Sciences.

A.D. 448

  Thus, upon the Declension of the Roman Empire, when the British Garrisons were drain’d, the ANGLES & other lower SAXONS, invited by the ancient BRITONS to come over and help them against the SCOTS and PICTS, at length subdu’d the South Part of this Island, which they call’d England, or Land of the Angles ; who being a-kin to the Goths, or rather a sort of Vandals, of the same warlike Disposition, and as ignorant Heathens, encourag’d nothing but War, till they became Christians ; and then too late lamented the Ignorance of their Fathers in the great Loss of Roman Masonry, but knew not how to repair it.


Yet becoming a free People (as the old Saxon Laws testify) and having a Disposition for Masonry, they soon began *[No doubt several Saxon and Scotish Kings with many of the Nobility, great Gentry, and eminent Clergy, became the Grand Masters of those early Lodges, from a mighty Zeal then prevalent for building magnificent Christian Temples ; which would also prompt them to enquire after the Laws, Charges, Regulations, Customs, and Usages,of the ancient Lodges, many of which might be preserv’d by Tradition and all of them very likely in those Parts of the British Islands that were not subdu’d by the Saxons, from whence in time they might be brought, and which the Saxons were more fond of, than careful to revive Geometry and Roman Masonry ; as many in all Ages have been more curious and careful about the Laws, Forms, and Usages of their respective Societies, than about the ARTS and SCIENCES thereof. But neither what was convey’d, nor the Manner how, can be communicated by writing ; as no Man indeed can understand it without the Key of a Fellow Craft.]

 to imitate the Asiatics, Grecians, and Romans, in erecting of Lodges and encouraging of Masons ; being taught, not only from the faithful Traditions and valuable Remains of the BRITONS, but even by foreign Princes, in whose Dominions the Royal Art had been preserv’d much from Gothic Ruins, particularly by CHARLES MARTELL King of France, who according to the old Records of Masons, sent over several expert Craftsmen and learned Architects into England, at the Desire of the Saxon Kings : So that during the Heptarchy, the Gothic Architecture was much encourag’d here, as in other Christian Lands.


And though the many Invasions of the DANES occasion’d the Loss of many Records, yet in Times of Truce or Peace they did not hinder much the good Work, though not perform’d according to the Augustan Stile ; nay, the vast Expence laid out upon it, with the curious Inventions of the Artists to supply the Roman Skill, doing the best they could, demonstrate their Esteem and Love for the Royal Art, and have render’d the Gothic Buildings venerable, tho’ not imitable by those that relish the ancient Architecture.

And after the Saxons and Danes were conquer’d by the Normans, as soon as the Wars ended and Peace was proclaim’d, the Gothic Masonry was encourag’d, even in the Reign of the Conqueror, [William the Conqueror built the Tower of LONDON, and many strong Castles in the Country, with several religious Edifices, whose Example was follow’d by the Nobility and Clergy, particularly by Roger de Montgomery Earl of Arundel, the Archbishop of York, the Bishop of Durham, and GUNDULPH Bishop of Rochester, a mighty Architect.]

and of his Son King William Rufus, who built Westminster-Hall, the largest one Room perhaps in the Earth. Nor did the Barons Wars, nor the many bloody Wars of the subsequent Norman Kings, and their contending Branches, much hinder the most sumptuous and lofty Buildings of those Times, rais’d by the great Clergy, (who enjoying large Revenues, could well bear the Expence) and even by the Crown too ; for we read King Edward III. Had an Officer call’d the King’s Free-Mason, or General-Surveyor of his Buildings, whose Name was Henry Yevelle, employ’d by that King to build several Abbies, and St. Stephen’s Chappel at Westminster, where the House of Commons now sit in Parliament.


But for the further Instruction of Candidates and younger Brethren, a certain Record of Free-Masons, written in the Reign of King Edward IV. of the Norman Line, gives the following Account, viz. That though the ancient Records of the Brotherhood in England were many of them destroy’d or lost in the Wars of the Saxons and Danes, yet King ATHELSTAN, (the Grandson of King Alfred the Great, a mighty Architect) the first anointed King of England, and who translated the Holy Bible into the Saxon Tongue, when he had brought the Land into Rest and Peace, built many great Works, and encourag’d many Masons from France, who were appointed Overseers thereof, and brought with them the Charges and Regulations of the Lodges preserved since the Roman Times, who also prevail’d with the King to improve the CONSTITUTION of the English Lodges according to the foreign Model, and to increase the Wages of working Masons.

That the said King’s youngest Son, Prince EDWIN, being taught Masonry, and taking upon him the Charges of a MASTER-MASON, for the Love he had to the said Craft, and the honourable Principles whereon it is grounded, purchased a free charter of King Athelstan his Father, for the Masons having a Correction among themselves, (as it was anciently express’d) or a Freedom and Power to regulate themselves, to amend what might happen amiss, and to hold a yearly Communication and General Assembly.

That accordingly Prince EDWIN summoned all the Masons in the Realm to meet him in a Congregation at York, who came and composed a General Lodge, of which he was GRAND MASTER ; and having brought with them all the Writings and Records extant, some in Greek, some in Latin, some in French, and other Languages, from the Contents thereof that Assembly did frame the CONSTITUTION and Chargesof an English Lodge, made a Law to preserve and observe the same in all time coming, and ordain’d good Pay for working Masons, &c.

That in process of time, when Lodges were more frequent, the Right Worshipful the Master and Fellows, with the Consent of the LORDS of the Realm, ( for most great Men were then Masons) ordain’d, that for the future, at the Making or Admission of a Brother, the CONSTITUTION should be read, and the Charges hereunto annex’d, by the Master or Warden and that such as were to be admitted Master-Masons, or Masters of Work, should be examin’d whether they be able of Cunning to serve their respective Lords, as well the Lowest as the Highest, to the Honour and Worship of the aforesaid Art  and to the Profit of their Lords ? for they be their Lords that employ and pay them for their Service and Travel.

And besides many other things, the said Record adds, That those Charges and Laws of FREE-MASONS have been seen and perused by our late Sovereign King Henry VI. and by the Lords of His Honourable Council, who have allow’d them and said that they be right good and reasonable to be holden, as they have been drawn out and collected from the Records of ancient  Times.  [In another Manuscript more ancient, we read : “That when the Master and Wardens meet in a Lodge, if need be, the Sheriff of the County, or the Mayor of the City, or Alderman of the Town, in which the Congregation is held, should be made Fellow and Sociate to the Master, in help of him against Rebels, and for upbearing the Rights of the Realm.

“That enter’d Prentices at their making were charg’d not to be Thieves, or Thieves Maintainers ; that they should travel honestly for their pay, and love their Fellows as themselves, and be true to the King of England, and to the Realm, and to the Lodge.  “That at such Congregations it shall be enquir’d, whether any Master or Fellow has broke any of the Articles agreed to. And if the Offender, being duly cited to appear, prove Rebel, and will not attend, then the Lodge shall determine against him that he shall forswear (or renounce) his Masonry, and shall no more use this Craft ; the which if he presume for to do, the Sheriff of the County shall prison him, and take all his Goods into the King’s Hands, till his Grace be granted him and issued : For this Cause principally have these Congregations been ordain’d, that as well the lowest as the highest should be well and truly  served in this Art foresaid throughout all the Kingdom of England. “Amen, so mote it be.”

* Tertio Henrici Sexti, Chap. I. An Dom. 1425.

Title. Masons shall not confederate themselves in Chapters and Congregations.

“WHEREAS by yearly Congregations and Confederacies, made by the Masons in their General Assemblies, the good Course &  Effect of the Statutes for Labourers be openly violated and broken, in Subversion of the Law, and to the great Damage of all the Commons, our said Sovereign Lord the King, willing in this Case to provide a Remedy, by the Advice and Assent aforesaid, and at the special Request of the Commons, hath ordained and established, that such Chapters and Congregations shall not be hereafter holden ; and if any such be made, they that cause such Chapters & Congregations to be assembled & holden, if they thereof be convict, shall be judged for Felons, and that the other Masons that come to such Chapters and Congregations be punish’d by Imprisonment of their Bodies, and made Fine and Ransom  at the King’s Will.” (Co. Inst. 3. p. 99.) ]

Now though in the third Year of the said King Henry VI. while an Infant of about four Years old, the Parliament made an Act, that affected only the working Masons, who had, contrary to the Statutes for Labourers, confederated not to work but at their own Price and Wages and because such Agreements were suppos’d to be made at the General Lodges, call’d in the Act CHAPTERS and CONGREGATIONS of  MASONS, it was then thought expedient to level the said Act against the said Congregations  [That Act was made in ignorant Times, when true Learning was a Crime, and Geometry condem’d for Conjuration ; but it cannot derogate in the least Degree from the Honour of the ancient Fraternity, who to be sure would never encourage any such Confederacy of their working Brethren. But by Tradition it is believ’d, that the Parliament-Men were then too much influenc’d by the illiterate Clergy, who were not accepted Masons, nor understood Architecture (as the Clergy of some former Ages) and generally thought unworthy of this Brotherhood ; yet thinking they had an indefeasible Right to know all Secrets, by virtue of auricular Confession, and the Masons never confessing any thing thereof, the said Clergy were highly offended, and at first suspecting them of Wickedness, represented them as dangerous to the State during Minority, and soon influenc’d the Parliament-Men to lay hold of such supposed Agreements of the working Masons, for making an Act that might seem to reflect Dishonour upon even the whole worshipful Fraternity, in whose Favour several Acts had been both before and after that Period made].

Yet when the said King Henry VI. arriv’d to Man’s Estate ; the Masons laid before him and his Lords the above-mention’d Records and Charges, who, ’tis plain, review’d them, and solemnly approv’d of them as good and reasonable to be holden : Nay, the said King and his Lords must have been incorporated with the Free-Masons, before they could make such Review of the Records  and in this Reign, before King Henry’s Troubles, Masons were much encourag’d. Nor is there any Instance of executing that Act in that, or in any other Reign since, and the Masons never neglected their Lodges for it, nor ever thought it worth while to employ their noble and eminent Brethren to have it repeal’d ; because the working Masons, that are free of the Lodge, scorn to be guilty of such Combinations and the other free Masons have no Concern in Trespasses against the Statutes for Labourers.

The Kings of SCOTLAND very much encourag’d the Royal Art, from the earliest Times down to the Union of the Crowns, as appears by the Remains of glorious Buildings in that ancient Kingdom, and by the Lodges there kept up without Interruption many hundred Years, the Records and Traditions of which testify the great Respect of those Kings to this honourable Fraternity, who gave always pregnant Evidence of their Love and Loyalty, from whence sprung the old Toast among the Scots Masons, viz. GOD BLESS THE KING AND THE CRAFT.

Nor was the Royal Example neglected by the Nobility, Gentry, and Clergy of SCOTLAND, who join’d in every thing for the good of the Craft and Brotherhood, the Kings being often the Grand Masters, until, among other things, the Masons of SCOTLAND were impower’d to have a certain and fix’d Grand-Master and Grand Warden, who had a Salary from the Crown, and also an Acknowledgment from every New Brother in the Kingdom at Entrance, whose Business was not only to regulate what might happen amiss in the Brotherhood, but also to hear and finally determine all controversies between Mason and Lord, to punish the Mason, if he deserv’d it, and to oblige both to equitable Terms, at which Hearings, if the Grand Master was absent (who was always nobly born) the Grand Warden presided. This Privilege remain’d till the Civil Wars, but is now obsolete ; nor can it well be reviv’d until the King becomes a Mason, because it was not actually exerted at the Union of the Kingdoms. Yet the great Care that the SCOTS took of true Masonry prov’d afterwards very useful to England , for the learned and magnanimous Queen ELIZABETH, who encourag’d other Arts, discourag’d this, because, being a Woman, she could not be made a Mason, tho’ as other great Women, she might have much employ’d Masons, like Semiramis and Artemisia.[ELIZABETH being jealous of any Assemblies of her Subjects, whose Business she was not duly appriz’d of, attempted to break up the annual Communication of Masons, as dangerous to her Government. But, as old Masons have transmitted it by Tradition, when the noble Persons her Majesty had comissioned, and brought a sufficient Posse with them at York on St. John’s Day, were once admitted into the Lodge, they made no use of Arms, and return’d the Queen a most honourable Account of the ancient Fraternity, whereby her political Fears and Doubts were dispell’d, and she let them alone, as a People much respected by the Noble and the Wise of all the polite Nations, but neglected the Art all her Reign.]

But upon her Demise, King JAMES VI. of SCOTLAND succeeding to the Crown of ENGLAND, being a Mason King, reviv’d the English Lodges ; and as he was the First King of GREAT BRITAIN, he was also the First Prince in the World that recover’d the Roman Architecture from the Ruins of Gothic Ignorance : For after many dark or illiterate Ages, as soon as all Parts of Learning reviv’d and Geometry recover’d its Ground, the polite Nations began to discover the Confusion and Impropriety of the Gothick Buildings ; and in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries the AUGUSTAN STILE was rais’d from its Rubbish in Italy, by BRAMANTE, BARBARO, SANSOVINO, SANGALLO, MICHAEL ANGELO, RAPHAEL URBIN, JULIO ROMANO, SERGLIO, LABACO, SCAMOZI, VIGNOLA, and many other bright Architects, but above all, by the Great PALLADIO, who has not yet been duly initated in Italy, though justly rival’d in England by our great Master-Mason, INIGO JONES. But though all true Masons honour the Memories of those Italian Architects, it must be own’d, that the Augustan Stile was not reviv’d by any crown’d Head, before King JAMES, the Sixth of SCOTLAND, and First of ENGLAND, patroniz’d the said glorious Inigo Jones, whom he employ’d to build his Royal Palace of WHITE-HALL and in his Reign over all Great-Britain, the BANQUETING HOUSE, as the first piece of it, was only rais’d, which is the finest one Room upon Earth ; and the Ingenious Mr.Nicholas Stone perform’d as Master-Mason under the Architect JONES.

Upon his Demise, his Son King CHARLES I. being also a Mason, patroniz’d Mr. Jones too, and firmly intended to have carried on his Royal Father’s Design of WHITE-HALL, according to Mr. Jones’s Stile ; but was unhappily diverted by the Civil Wars. [The Plan and Prospect of that glorious Design being still preserv’d, it is esteem’d by skillful Architects to excel that of any other Palace in the known Earth, for the Symmetry, Firmness, Beauty and Conveniency of Architecture ; as indeed all Master JONES’s Designs and Erections are Originals, and at first View discover him to be the Architect: Nay, his mighty Genius prevail’d with the Nobility and Gentry of all Britain, ( for he was as much honour’d in Scotland as in England) to affect and revive the ancient Stile of MASONRY, too long neglected ; as appears by the many curious Fabricks of those Times, one of which shall be now mention’d, the least, and perhaps one of the finest, the GATE of the Physic Garden at OXFORD, rais’d by HENRY DANVERS EARL OF DANBY, which cost his Lordship many hundred Pounds and is as curious a little piece of Masonry as ever was built there before or since, with the following Inscription on the Front of it, viz.



ANNO 1632.


After the Wars were over, and the Royal Family restor’d, true Masonry was likewise restor’d ; especially upon the unhappy Occasion of the Burning of LONDON, An. 1666 ; for then the City-Houses were rebuilt more after the Roman Stile, when King  CHARLES II , founded the present St. PAUL’s Cathedral in London, (the old Gothick Fabrick being burnt down) much after the Style of St.PETER’s at Rome, conducted by the ingenious Architect, Sir CHRISTOPHER WREN. That King founded also His Royal Palace at GREENWICH, according to Mr. Inigo Jones’s Design (which he drew before he dy’d) conducted by his Son-in-Law Mr. WEB : It is now turn’d into an Hospital for Seamen. He founded also Chelsea-College, an Hospital for Soldiers  and at Edinburgh he both founded and finish’d His Royal Palace of HALY-ROOD-HOUSE, by the Design and Conduct of Sir WILLIAM BRUCE Bart. the Master of the Royal Works in SCOTLAND. [It was an ancient Royal Palace, and rebuilt after the Augustan Style, so neat, that, by competent Judges, it has been es teem’d the finest House belonging to the Crown : And though it is not very large, it is both magnificent and convenient, both Inside and Outside, with good Gardens and a very large Park ; and all other adjacent accommodations].

So that besides the Tradition of old Masons now alive, which may be rely’d on, we have much reason to believe that King CHARLES II. was an Accepted Free-Mason, as every one allows he was a great Encourager of the Craftsmen.

But in the Reign of his Brother King JAMES II. Though some Roman Buildings were carried on, the Lodges of Freemasons in London much dwindled into Ignorance, by not being duly frequented and cultivated. [But by the Royal Example of his brother King Charles II, the City of LONDON erected the famous Monument, where the Great Fire began, all of solid Stone, 202 foot high from the Ground, a Pillar of the Dorick Order, 15 Foot diameter, with a curious Stair Case in the Middle of black Marble, and an iron Balcony on the Top (not unlike those of Trajan and Antoninus at ROME) from whence the City and Suburbs may be view’d ; and it is the highest Column we know upon Earth. Its Pedestal is 21 Foot square, and 40 Foot high,the Front of which is adorn’d with most ingenious Emblems in Basso Relievo, wrought by that famous Sculptor, Mr. Gabriel Cibber, with large Latin Inscriptions on the Sides of it ; founded Anno 1671, and finish’d Anno 1677.

In his Time also the Society of MERCHANT ADVENTURERS rebuilt the ROYAL EXCHANGE of London (the old one being destroy’d by the Fire) all of Stone, after the Roman Style, the finest Structure of that use in Europe, with the King’s Statue to the Life, of white Marble, in the Middle of the Square (wrought by the famous

Master-Carver and Statuary, Mr. GRINLIN GIBBONS, who was justly admir’d all over Europe, for his rivalling, if not surpassing, the most fam’d Italian Masters) on the Pedestal of which is the following Inscription, viz.































Nor should we forget the famous THEATER of OXFORD,built by Archbishop SHELDON, at his sole Cost, in that King’s Time, which, among his other fine Works, was design’d and conducted also by Sir Christopher Wren the King’s Architect ; for it is justly admir’d by the curious ; and the MUSÆUM adjoining to it, a fine Building rais’d at the Charge of that illustrious UNIVERSITY, where there have been since erected several more Roman Buildings, as Trinity-College Chappel, Alhallows Church in High-street, Peckwater- Square in Christ-Church College, the new Printing-House  and the whole of Queen’s-College rebuilt, &c. by the liberal Donations of some eminent Benefactors, and by the publick Spirit, Vigilancy, and Fidelity of the Heads of Colleges, who generally have had a true Taste of Roman Architecture.

The learned UNIVERSITY of CAMBRIDGE not having had the Management of such liberal Donations, have not so many fine Structures, but they have two of the most curious and excellent in Great Britain of their kind, the one a Gothick Building, KING’s COLLEGE CHAPPEL (unless you except King Henry VII’s Chappel in Westminster-Abbey) ; and the other a Roman Building, TRINITY-COLLEGE LIBRARY.]

But after the Revolution, Anno 1688, KING WILLIAM, though a warlike Prince, having a good Taste of Architecture, carried on the aforesaid two famous Hospitals of Greenwich and Chelsea, built the fine part of his royal Palace of HAMPTON COURT, and founded and finish’d his incomparable Palace at LOO in HOLLAND, &c. And the bright Example of that glorious Prince, (who by most is reckon’d a Free-Mason) did influence the Nobility, the Gentry, the Wealthy and the Learned of GREAT-BRITAIN, to affect much the Augustan Style ; as appears by a vast Number of most curious Edifices erected since throughout the Kingdom : For when in the Ninth Year of the Reign of our late Sovereign QUEEN ANNE, her Majesty and the Parliament concurr’d in an Act for erecting 50 new Parish-Churches in London, Westminster and Suburbs ; and the QUEEN had granted a Commission to several of the Ministers of State, the principal Nobility, great Gentry, and eminent Citizens, the two Archbishops, with several other Bishops and dignify’d Clergymen, to put the Act in execution ; they order’d the said New Churches to be rais’d according to the ancient Roman Style, as appears by those that are already rais’d and the present Honourable Commissioners having the same good Judgment of Architecture, are carrying on the same laudable grand Design, and are reviving the ancient Style, by the Order, Countenance and Encouragement of his present Majesty KING GEORGE, who was also graciously pleas’d to lay the first Stone in the Foundation of his Parish Church of St. MARTIN’s in Campis, on the South-East Corner (by his Majesty’s Proxy for the time, the present Bishop of Salisbury) which is now rebuilding, strong, large, and beautiful, at the Cost of the Parishioners. [The Bishop of Salisbury went in an orderly Procession, duly attended and having levell’d the first Stone, gave it two or three Knocks with a Mallet, upon which, the Trumpets sounded, and a vast Multitude made loud Acclamations of Joy ; when His Lordship laid upon the Stone a Purse of 100 Guineas, as a Present from his Majesty for the use of the Craftsmen. The following Inscription was cut in the Foundation Stone, and a Sheet of Lead put upon it, viz. D. S.





























In short, it would require many large Volumes to contain the many splendid Instances of the mighty Influence of Masonry from the Creation, in every Age, and in every Nation, as could be collected from Historians and Travellers : But especially in those Parts of the World where the Europeans

correspond and trade, such remains of ancient, large, curious and magnificent Colonading, have been discover’d by the Inquisitive, that they can’t enough lament the general devastations of the Goths and Mahometans ; and must conclude, that no Art was ever so much encourag’d as this, as indeed none other is so extensively useful to Mankind. [It were endless to recount and describe the many curious Roman Buildings in Great-Britain alone, erected since the Revival of Roman Masonry ; of which a few may be here mention’d, besides those already spoken of, viz.

The QUEEN’s House at Greenwich, Belonging to the Crown.

The great Gallery in Somerset-Gardens, The Crown.

Gunnersbury-House near Brentford, {Possess’d by the Duke

Middlesex, of Queensbury.

Lindsay-House in Lincoln’s-Inn-Fields, Duke of Ancaster

York-Stairs at the Thames in York-Buildings.

St. Paul’s-Church in Covent-Garden, with its

glorious Portico.

The Building and Piazza of Covent-Garden, Duke of Bedford.

Wilton Castle in Wiltshire, Earl of Pembroke.

Castle-Ashby in Northamptonshire, Earl of Strafford.

Stoke-Park in ditto, Arundel Esq;

Wing-House in Bedfordshire, Hon. William Stanhope, Esq;

Chevening-House in Kent, Earl Stanhope.

Ambrose-Bury in Wiltshire, Lord Carleton.

All design’d by the incomparable INIGO JONES, and most of them conducted by him, or by his Son-in-Law

Mr. Web, according to Mr. Jones’s Designs.

Besides many more conducted by other Architects, influenc’d by the

same happy Genius ; such as,

Bow-Church Steeple in Cheapside, Built by Sir Chri. Wren.

Hotham-House in Beverly, Yorkshire, Sir Charles Hotham Bart.

Melvin-House in Fife, Earl of Levin.

Longleate-House in Wiltshire, Viscount Weymouth.

Chesterlee-Street-House in Durham County, John Hedworth, Esq;

Montague-House in Bloomsbury, London, Duke of Montagu.

Drumlanrig-Castle in Nithisdaleshire, Duke of Queensbury.

Castle-Howard in Yorkshire, Earl of Carlisle.

Stainborough-House in ditto, Earl of Strafford.

Hopton-Castle in Linlithgowshire, Earl of Hopton.

Blenheim-Castle at Woodstock, Oxfordshire, Duke of Marlborough.

Chatsworth-Castle in Derbyshire, Duke of Devonshire.

Palace of Hammilton in Clydsdaleshire, Duke of Hammilton.

Wanstead-House in Epping-Forest, Essex, Lord Castlemain.

Duncomb-Park in Yorkshire, Thomas Duncomb Esq;

Mereworth-Castle in Kent, Hon. John Fane Esq;

Sterling-House near Sterling-Castle, Duke of Argyle.

Kinross-House in Kinrossshire, Sir William Bruce Bart.

Stourton-Castle in Wiltshire, Henry Hoar Esq;

Willbury-House in ditto, William Benson Esq;

Bute-Castle in Isle of Bute, Earl of Bute.

Walpole-House near Lin Regis, Norfolk, Hon. Rob. Walpole Esq;

Burlington-House in Pickadilly, St.

James’s, Westminster, Earl of Burlington.

Dormitory of King’s-School, Westminster, The Crown.

Tottenham-Park in Wiltshire, Lord Bruce.

These three last are design’d and conducted by the Earl of BURLINGTON, who bids fair to be the best Architect of Britain, [if he is not so already] and we hear his Lordship intends to publish the valuable remains of Mr. Inigo Jones, for the Improvement of other Architects.

Besides more of the same Roman Style, and yet many more in Imitation of it, which though they cannot be reduc’d to any certain Style, are stately, beautiful, and convenient Structures, notwithstanding the Mistakes of their several Architects : And besides the sumptuous and venerable Gothick Buildings, past reckoning, as Cathedrals, Parish-Churches, Chappels, Bridges, old Palaces of the Kings, of the Nobility, of the Bishops, and the Gentry, known well to Travellers and to such as peruse the Histories of Counties, and the ancient Monuments of great Families, &c. as many Erections of the Roman Style may be review’d in Mr. Campbell the Architect’s ingenious Book, call’d VITRUVIUS BRITANNICUS : And if the Disposition for true ancient Masonry prevails, for some time, with Nobelemen, Gentlemen, and learned Men, (as it is likely it will) this ISLAND will become the MISTRESS of the Earth, for Designing, Drawing and Conducting, and capable to instruct all other Nations in all things relating to the ROYAL ART.

Nay, if it were expedient, it could be made appear, that from this ancient Fraternity, the Societies or Orders of the Warlike KNIGHTS, and of the Religious too, in process of time, did borrow many solemn Usages ; for none of them were better instituted, more decently install’d, or did more sacredly observe their Laws and Charges than the Accepted Masons have done, who in all Ages, and in every Nation, have maintain’d and propagated their Concernments in a way peculiar to themselves, which the most Cunning and the most Learned cannot penetrate into, though it has been often attempted ; while They know and love one another, even without the Help of Speech, or when of different Languages.

And now the Freeborn British Nations, disentangled from foreign and civil Wars, and enjoying the good Fruits of Peace and Liberty, having of late much indulg’d their happy Genius for Masonry of every sort, and reviv’d the drooping Lodges of London, this fair Metropolis flourisheth, as well as other Parts, with several worthy particular Lodges, that have a quarterly Communication, and an annual grand Assembly, wherein the Forms and Usages of the most ancient and worshipful Fraternity are wisely propagated and the Royal Art duly cultivated, and the Cement of the Brotherhood preserved ; so that the whole Body resembles a well built Arch ; several Noblemen and Gentlemen of the best Rank, with Clergymen and learned Scholars of most Professions and Denominations, having frankly join’d and submitted to take the Charges, and to wear the Badges of a Free and Accepted Mason, under our present worthy Grand-Master, the most noble Prince, John, Duke of MONTAGUE.


The  Charges Of  A Freemason

Extracted from the ancient RECORDS of Lodges beyond Sea, and of those

in England, Scotland, and Ireland, for the Use of the Lodges in London .

To be read at the making of New Brethren, or when the Master shall order it.

The General Heads , viz.


II. Of the CIVIL MAGISTRATE Supreme and Subordinate.


IV. Of MASTERS, Wardens, Fellows, and Apprentices.

V. Of the Management of the Craft in working.


1. In the Lodge while constituted.

2. After the Lodge is over and the Brethren not gone.

3. When Brethren meet without Strangers, but not in a Lodge.

4. In Presence of Strangers not Masons.

5. At Home, and in the Neighbourhood.

6. Towards a strange Brother.

I. Concerning GOD and RELIGION.

A Mason is oblig’d by his Tenure, to obey the moral Law and if he rightly understands the Art, he will never be a stupid Atheist, nor an irreligious Libertine. But though in ancient Times Masons were charg’d in every Country to be of the Religion of that Country or Nation, whatever it was, yet ’tis now thought more expedient only to oblige them to that Religion in which all Men agree, leaving their particular Opinions to themselves ; that is, to be good Men and true, or Men of Honour and Honesty, by whatever Denominations or Persuasions they may be distinguish’d, whereby Masonry becomes the Center of Union, and the Means of conciliating true Friendship among Persons that must else have remain’d at a perpetual Distance.

II. Of the CIVIL MAGISTRATE,  Supreme and Subordinate.

A Mason is a peaceable Subject to the Civil Powers, wherever he resides or works, and is never to be concern’d in Plots and Conspiracies against the Peace and Welfare of the Nation, nor to behave himself undutiful to inferior Magistrates for as Masonry hath been always injured by War, Bloodshed, and Confusion, so ancient Kings and Princes have been much dispos’d to encourage the Craftsmen, because of their Peaceableness and Loyalty, whereby they practically answer’d the Cavils of their Adversaries and promoted the Honour of the Fraternity, who ever flourish’d in Times of Peace. So that if a Brother should be a Rebel against the State, he is not to be countenanc’d in his Rebellion, however he may be pitied as an unhappy Man ; and if convicted of no other Crime, though the loyal Brotherhood must and ought to disown his Rebellion, and give no Umbrage or Ground of political Jealousy to the Government for the time being ; they cannot expel him from the Lodge, and his Relation to it remains indefeasible.


A LODGE is a place where Masons assemble and work. Hence that Assembly, or duly organiz’d Society of Masons, is call’d a LODGE, and every Brother ought to belong to one, and to be subject to its By-Laws and the GENERAL REGULATIONS. It is either particular or general, and will be best understood by attending it, and by the Regulations of the General or Grand Lodge hereunto annex’d. In ancient Times no Master or Fellow could be absent from it, especially when warn’d to appear at it, without incurring a severe Censure, until it appear to the Master and Wardens, that pure necessity hinder’d him.

The Persons admitted Members of a Lodge must be good and true Men, free-born, and of mature and discreet Age, no Bondmen, no Women, no immoral or scandalous Men, but of good Report.

IV. Of MASTERS, WARDENS, Fellows, and Apprentices.

All Preferment among Masons is grounded upon real worth and personal Merit only ; that so the Lords may be well served, the Brethren not put to Shame, nor the Royal Craft despis’d : Therefore no Master or Warden is chosen by Seniority, but for his Merit. It is impossible to describe these things in writing, and every Brother must attend in his Place, and learn them in a way peculiar to this Fraternity. Only Candidates may know, that no Master should take an Apprentice, unless he has sufficient Imployment for him and unless he be a perfect Youth, having no Maim or Defect in his Body, that may render him uncapable of learning the Art, of serving his Master’s LORD, and of being made a Brother, and then a Fellow-Craft in due time, even after he has served such a Term of Years as the Custom of the Country directs  and that he should be descended of honest Parents that so, when otherwise qualify’d, he may arrive to the Honour of being the WARDEN, and then the Master of the Lodge, the Grand Warden, and at length the GRANDMASTER of all the Lodges, according to his Merit.

No Brother can be a WARDEN until he has pass’d the part of a Fellow-Craft ; nor a MASTER until he has acted as a Warden, nor GRAND-WARDEN until he has been Master of a Lodge, nor GRAND MASTER unless he has been a Fellow-Craft before his Election, who is also to be nobly born, or a Gentleman of the best Fashion, or some eminent Scholar, or some curious Architect, or other Artist, descended of honest Parents, and who is of singular great Merit in the Opinion of the Lodges. And for the better, and easier, and more honourable Discharge of his Office, the Grand-Master has a Power to chuse his own DEPUTY GRAND-MASTER, who must be then, or must have been formerly, the Master of a particular Lodge, and has the Privilege of acting whatever the GRAND MASTER, his Principal, should act, unless the said Principal be present, or interpose his Authority by a Letter.

These Rulers and Governors, supreme and subordinate, of the ancient Lodge, are to be obey’d in their respective Stations by all the Brethren, according to the old Charges and Regulations, with all Humility, Reverence, Love, and Alacrity.

V. Of the Management of the CRAFT in working.

All Masons shall work honestly on working Days, that they may live creditably on holy Days ; and the time appointed by the Law of the Land, or confirm’d by Custom, shall be observ’d.

The most expert of the Fellow-Craftsmen shall be chosen or appointed the Master, or Overseer of the Lord’s Work, who is to be call’d  MASTER by those that work under him.

The Craftsmen are to avoid all ill Language, and to call each other by no disobliging Name, but Brother or Fellow  and to behave themselves courteously within and without the Lodge.

The Master, knowing himself to be able of Cunning, shall undertake the Lord’s Work as reasonably as possible and truly dispend his Goods as if they were his own, nor to give more Wages to any Brother or Apprentice than he really may deserve.

Both the MASTER and the Masons receiving their Wages justly, shall be faithful to the Lord, and honestly finish their Work, whether Task or Journey. Nor put the Work to Task that hath been accustomed to Journey.

None shall discover Envy at the Prosperity of a Brother, nor supplant him or put him out of his Work, if he be capable to finish the same ; for no Man can finish another’s Work so much to the Lord’s Profit, unless he be thoroughly acquainted with the Design and Draughts of him that began it.

When a Fellow-Craftsman is chosen Warden of the Work under the Master, he shall be true both to Master and Fellows, shall carefully oversee the Work in the Master’s Absence to the Lord’s Profit ; and his Brethren shall obey him.

All Masons employ’d, shall meekly receive their Wages without Murmuring or Mutiny, and not desert the Master till the Work is finish’d.

A younger Brother shall be instructed in working, to prevent spoiling the Materials for want of Judgment, and for encreasing and continuing of Brotherly Love.

All the Tools used in working shall be approved by the Grand Lodge.

No Labourer shall be employ’d in the proper Work of Masonry ; nor shall Free-Masons work with those that are not free, without an urgent Necessity, nor shall they teach Labourers and unaccepted Masons, as they should teach a Brother or Fellow.



1. In the LODGE while CONSTUTUTED.

You are not to hold private Committees, or separate Conversation, without Leave from the Master, nor to talk of any thing impertinent or unseemly, nor interrupt the Master or Wardens, or any Brother speaking to the Master : Nor behave yourself ludicrously or jestingly while the Lodge is engaged in what is serious and solemn ; nor use any unbecoming language upon any Pretence whatsoever, but to pay due Reverence to your Master, Wardens, and Fellows, and put them to worship.

If any Complaint be brought, the Brother found guilty shall stand to the Award and Determination of the Lodge, who are the proper and competent Judges of all such Controversies,(unless you carry it by Appeal to the GRAND LODGE) and to whom they ought to be referr’d, unless a Lord’s Work be hinder’d the mean while, in which Case a particular Reference may be made ; but you must never go to Law about what concerneth Masonry, without an absolute Necessity apparent to the Lodge.

2. BEHAVIOUR after the LODGE is over and the BRETHREN not gone.

You may enjoy yourself with innocent Mirth, treating one another according to Ability, but avoiding all Excess, or forcing any Brother to eat or drink beyond his Inclination, or hindering him from going when his Occasions call him, or doing or saying anything offensive, or that may forbid an easy and free Conversation for that would blast our Harmony, and defeat our laudable Purposes.

Therefore no private Piques or Quarrels must be brought within the Door of the Lodge, far less any Quarrels about Religion, or  Nations, or State-Policy, we being only, as Masons, of the Catholick Religion above-mention’d ; we are also of all Nations, Tongues, Kindreds, and Languages, and are resolv’d against all Politicks, as what never yet conduc’d to the Welfare of the Lodge, nor ever will.

This Charge has been always strictly enjoin’d and observ’d ; but especially ever since the Reformation in BRITAIN, or the Dissent and Secession of these Nations from the Communion of ROME.

3. BEHAVIOUR when Brethren meet without Strangers, but not in a LODGE form’d.

You are to salute one another in a courteous Manner, as you will be instructed, calling each other Brother, freely giving mutual Instruction as shall be thought expedient, without being overseen or overheard, and without encroaching upon each other, or derogating from that Respect which is due to any Brother, were he not a Mason : For though all Masons are as Brethren upon the same Level, yet Masonry takes no Honour from a Man ,that he had before, nay rather it adds to his Honour, especially, if he has deserv’d well of the Brotherhood, who must give Honour to whom it is due, and avoid ill Manners.

4. BEHAVIOUR in the Presence of STRANGERS not MASONS.

You shall be cautious in your Words and Carriage, that the most penetrating Stranger shall not be able to discover or find out what is not proper to be intimated ; and sometimes you shall divert a Discourse, and manage it prudently for the Honour of the worshipful Fraternity.


You are to act as becomes a moral and wise Man, particularly,not to let your Family, Friends, and Neighbors know the Concerns of the Lodge, &c. but wisely to consult your own Honour, and that of the ancient Brotherhood, for Reasons not to be mention’d here. You must also consult your Health, by not continuing together too late, or too long from home, after Lodge Hours are past ; and by avoiding of Gluttony or Drunkenness, that your Families be not neglected or injured, nor you disabled from working.

6. BEHAVIOUR towards a strange Brother.

You are cautiously to examine him, in such a Method as Prudence shall direct you, that you may not be impos’d upon by an ignorant false Pretender, whom you are to reject with Contempt and derision, and beware of giving him any Hints of Knowledge.

But if you discover him to be a true and genuine Brother, you are to respect him accordingly and if he is in want, you must relieve him if you can, or else direct him how he may be reliev’d : You must employ him some Days, or else recommend him to be employ’d. But you are not charged to do beyond your Ability, only to prefer a poor Brother, that is a good Man and true, before any other poor People in the same Circumstances.

FINALLY, All these CHARGES you are to observe and also those that shall be communicated to you in another way, cultivating BROTHERLY-LOVE, the Foundation and Cape-stone, the Cement and Glory of this ancient Fraternity, avoiding all Wrangling and Quarrelling, all Slander and Backbiting, nor permitting others to slander any honest Brother, but defending his Character, and doing him all good Offices, as far as is consistent with your Honour and Safety, and no farther.

And if any of them do you Injury, you must apply to your own or his Lodge and from thence you may appeal to the GRAND LODGE at the Quarterly Communication, and from thence to the annual GRAND LODGE, as has been the ancient laudable Conduct of our Fore-fathers in every Nation ; never taking a legal Course, but when the Case cannot be otherwise decided and patiently listening to the honest and friendly Advice of Master and Fellows, when they would prevent your going to Law with Strangers, or would excite you to put a speedy Period to all Law-Suits, that so you may mind the Affair of MASONRY with the more Alacrity and Success, but with respect to Brothers or Fellows at Law, the Master and Brethren should kindly offer their Mediation, which ought to be thankfully submitted to by the contending Brethren and if that Submission is impracticable, they must however carry on their Process or Law-Suit without Wrath and Rancor (not in the common way) saying or doing nothing which may hinder Brotherly Love, and good Offices to be renew’d and continu’d ; that all may see the benign Influence of MASONRY, as all true Masons have done from the Beginning of the World, and will do to the End of Time.

Amen.  So Mote It Be.

P O S T S C R I P T .

A Worthy BROTHER, learned in the Law, has communicated to the Author (while this Sheet was printing) the Opinion of the Great Judge COKE upon the Act against Masons, 3 Hen. VI. Chap. I. which is Printed in this Book, Page 31, and which Quotation the Author has compar’d with the Original, viz. COKE’s Institutes, third Part, Fol. 99.

The CAUSE wherefore this Offence was made Felony, is, for that the good Course and Effect of the Statutes of Labourers were thereby violated and broken. Now (says my Lord COKE) all the Statutes concerning Labourers, before this Act, and whereunto this Act doth refer, are repeal’d by the Statute of 5 Eliz. Chap. 4. whereby the Cause and End of the making of this Act is taken away ; and consequently this Act is become of no Force or Effect, for, cessante ratione Legis, cessat ipsa Lex : And the Indictment of Felony upon this Statute must contain, that those Chapters and Congregations were to the violating and breaking of the good Course and Effect of the Statutes of Labourers ; which now cannot be so alledg’d, because these Statutes be repeal’d. Therefore this would be put out of the Charge of Justices of Peace, written by Master LAMBERT, page. 227.

This Quotation confirms the Tradition of old Masons, that this most learned JUDGE really belong’d to the ancient Lodge, and was a faithful Brother.


General Regulations

( Compiled first by Mr.George Payne, Anno 1720, when he was GRAND-MASTER)  and approv’d  by the GRAND-LODGE on St. John Baptist’s Day, Anno 1721, at Stationer’s-Hall, LONDON, when the most noble PRINCE John Duke of MONTAGU was unanimously chosen our GRAND-MASTER for the Year ensuing ; who chose John Beal, M.D., his Deputy Grand-Master and  Mr. Josiah Villeneau and Mr. Tho. Morris,Jr were chosen by the Lodge as GRAND-WARDENS.

And now, by the Command of our said Right Worshipful GRAND-MASTER MONTAGU, the

Author of this Book has compar’d them with, and reduc’d them to the ancient Records and immemorial Usage, of the Fraternity, and digested them into this new Method, with several proper Explications, for the Use of the Lodges in and about London and Westminster.)


I. THE GRAND-MASTER, or his DEPUTY, hath Authority and Right, not only to be present in any true Lodge, but also to preside where-ever he is, with the Master of the Lodge on his Left-Hand, and to order his Grand-Wardens to attend him, who are not to act in particular Lodges as Wardens, but in his Presence, and at his Command ; because there the GRAND-MASTER may command the Wardens of that Lodge, or any other Brethren he pleaseth, to attend and act as his Wardens pro tempore.

II. The MASTER of a particular Lodge, has the Right and Authority of congregating the Members of his Lodge into a Chapter at pleasure, upon any Emergency or Occurrence, as well as to appoint the time and place of their usual forming : And in case of Sickness, Death, or necessary Absence of the Master, the senior Warden shall act as Master pro tempore, if no Brother is present who has been Master of that Lodge before ; for in that Case the absent Master’s Authority reverts to the last Master then present ; though he cannot act until the said senior Warden has once congregated the Lodge, or in his Absence the junior Warden.

III. The Master of each particular Lodge, or one of the Wardens, or some other Brother by his Order, shall keep a Book containing their By-Laws, the Names of their Members, with a List of all the Lodges in Town, and the usual Times and Places of their forming, and all their Transactions that are proper to be written.

IV. No Lodge shall make more than FIVE new Brethren at one Time, nor any Man under the Age of Twenty-five,who must be also his own Master ; unless by a Dispensation from the Grand-Master or his Deputy.

V. No man can be made or admitted a Member of a particular Lodge, without previous Notice one Month before given to the said Lodge, in order to make due Enquiry into the Reputation and Capacity of the Candidate ; unless by the Dispensation aforesaid.

VI. But no man can be enter’d a Brother in any particular Lodge, or admitted to be a Member thereof, without the unanimous Consent of all the Members of that Lodge then present when the Candidate is propos’d, and their Consent is formally ask’d by the Master ; and they are to signify their Consent or Dissent in their own prudent Way, either virtually or in form, but with Unanimity: Nor is this inherent Privilege subject to a Dispensation ; because the Members of a particular Lodge are the best Judges of it ; and if a fractious Member should be impos’d on them, it might spoil their Harmony, or hinder their Freedom or even break and disperse the Lodge, which ought to be avoided by all good and true Brethren.

VII. Every new Brother at his making is decently to cloath the Lodge, that is, all the Brethren present, and to deposite something for the Relief of indigent and decay’d  Brethren, as the Candidate shall think fit to bestow, over and above the small Allowance stated by the By-Laws of that particular Lodge, which Charity shall be lodg’d with the Master or Wardens, or the Cashier, if the Members think fit to chuse one.

And the Candidate shall also solemnly promise to submit to the Constitutions, the Charges, and Regulations and to such other good Usages as shall be intimated to them in Time and Place convenient.

VIII. No Set or Number of Brethren shall withdraw or separate themselves from the Lodge in which they were made Brethren, or were afterwards admitted Members, unless the Lodge becomes too numerous ; nor even then, without a Dispensation from the Grand-Master or his Deputy : And when they are thus separated, they must either immediately join themselves to such other Lodge as they shall like best, with the unanimous Consent of that other Lodge to which they go (as above regulated ) or else they must obtain the Grand-Master’s Warrant to join in forming a new Lodge.

If any Set or Number of Masons shall take upon themselves to form a Lodge without the Grand-Master’s Warrant, the regular Lodges are not to countenance them, or own them as fair Brethren and duly form’d, nor approve of their Acts and Deeds ; but must treat them as Rebels, until they humble themselves, as the Grand-Master shall in his Prudence direct, and until he approve of them by his Warrant, which must be signify’d to the other Lodges, as the Custom is when a new Lodge is to be register’d in the List of Lodges.

IX. But if any Brother so far misbehave himself as to render his Lodge uneasy, he shall be twice duly admonish’d by the Master or Wardens in a form’d Lodge ; and if he will not refrain his Imprudence, and obediently submit to the Advice of the Brethren, and reform what gives them Offence, he shall be dealt with according to the By-Laws of that particular Lodge, or else in such a manner as the Quarterly Communication shall in their great Prudence think fit ; for which a new Regulation may be afterwards made.

X. The Majority of every particular Lodge, when congregated, shall have the Privilege of giving Instructions to their Master and Wardens, before the assembling of the Grand Chapter, or Lodge at the three Quarterly Communications hereafter mention’d, and of the Annual Grand Lodge too, because their Master and Wardens are their Representatives and are supposed to speak their Mind.

XI. All particular Lodges are to observe the same Usages as much as possible ; in order to which, and for cultivating a good Understanding among Free-Masons, some members out of every Lodge shall be deputed to visit the other Lodges as often as shall be thought convenient.

XII. The GRAND-Lodge consists of, and is form’d by the Masters and Wardens of all the regular particular Lodges upon Record, with the GRAND-MASTER at their Head and his Deputy on his Left-hand, and the Grand-Wardens in their proper Places ; and must have a QUARTERLY COMMUNICATION about Michaelmas, Christmas and Lady-Day, in some convenient Place, as the Grand-Master shall appoint, where no Brother shall be present, who is not at that time a Member thereof, without a Dispensation ; and while he stays, he shall not be allow’d to vote, nor even give his Opinion, without Leave of the Grand-Lodge ask’d and given, or unless it be duly ask’d by the said Lodge.

All Matters are to be determin’d in the Grand-Lodge by a Majority of Votes, each Member having one Vote, and the Grand-Master having two Votes, unless the said Lodge leave any particular thing to the Determination of the Grand-Master, for the sake of Expedition.

XIII. At the said Quarterly Communication, all Matters that concern the Fraternity in general, or particular Lodges, or single Brethren, are quietly, sedately, and maturely to be discours’d of and transacted : Apprentices must be admitted Masters and Fellow-Craft only here, unless by a Dispensation. Here also all Differences, that cannot be made up and accommodated privately, nor by a particular Lodge, are to be seriously considered and decided : And if any Brother thinks himself aggrieved by the Decision of this Board, he may appeal to the annual Grand-Lodge next ensuing, and leave his Appeal in Writing, with the Grand-Master, or his Deputy, or the Grand-Wardens.

Here also the Master or the Wardens of each particular Lodge shall bring and produce a List of such Members as have been made, or even admitted in their particular Lodges since the last Communication of the Grand-Lodge and there shall be a Book kept by the Grand-Master, or his Deputy, or rather by some Brother whom the Grand-Lodge shall appoint for SECRETARY, wherein shall be recorded all the Lodges, with their usual Times and Places of forming, and the Names of all the Members of each Lodge ; and all the Affairs of the Grand-Lodge that are proper to be written.

They shall also consider of the most prudent and effectual Methods of collecting and disposing of what Money shall be given to, or lodged with them in Charity, towards the Relief only of any true Brother fallen into Poverty or Decay, but of none else : But every particular Lodge shall dispose of their own Charity for poor Brethren, according to their own By-Laws, until it be agreed by all the Lodges (in a new Regulation) to carry in the Charity collection by them to the GRAND-LODGE, at the Quarterly or Annual Communication, in order to make a common Stock of it, for the more handsome Relief of poor Brethren.

They shall also appoint a Treasurer, a Brother of good worldly Substance, who shall be a Member of the Grand-Lodge by virtue of his Office, and shall be always present and have Power to move to the Grand-Lodge any thing, especially what concerns his Office. To him shall be committed all Money rais’d for Charity, or for any other Use of the Grand-Lodge, which he shall write down in a Book, with the respective Ends and Uses for which the several Sums are intended and shall expend or disburse the same by such a certain Order sign’d, as the Grand-Lodge shall afterwards agree to in a new Regulation : But he shall not vote in chusing a Grand-Master or Wardens, though in every other Transaction.

As in like manner the Secretary shall be a Member of the Grand-Lodge by virtue of his Office, and vote in every thing except in chusing a Grand-Master or Wardens.

The Treasurer and Secretary shall have each a Clerk, who must be a Brother and Fellow-Craft, but never must be a Member of the Grand-Lodge, nor speak without being allow’d or desir’d.

The Grand-Master, or his Deputy, shall always command the Treasurer and Secretary, with their Clerks and Books, in order to see how Matters go on, and to know what is expedient to be done upon any emergent Occasion.

Another Brother (who must be a Fellow-Craft ) should be appointed to look after the Door of the Grand-Lodge, but shall be no Member of it.

But these Offices may be farther explain’d by a new Regulation, when the Necessity and Expediency of them may more appear than at present to the Fraternity.

XIV. If at any GRAND-LODGE, stated or occasional, quarterly or annual, the GRAND-MASTER and his Deputy should be both absent, then the present Master of a Lodge, that has been the longest a Free-Mason, shall take the Chair, and preside as Grand-Master pro tempore and shall be vested with all his Power and Honour for the time, provided there is no Brother present that has been Grand-Master formerly, or Deputy Grand-Master, for the last Grand-Master present, or else the last Deputy present, should always of right take place in the Absence of the present Grand-Master and his Deputy.

XV. In the GRAND-LODGE none can act as Wardens but the Grand-Wardens themselves, if present ; and if absent, the Grand-Master, or the Person who presides in his place, shall order private Wardens to act as Grand-Wardens pro tempore, whose Places are to be supply’d by two Fellow-Craft of the same Lodge, call’d forth to act, or sent thither by the particular Master thereof ; or if by him omitted, then they shall be call’d by the Grand-Master, that so the Grand- Lodge may be always complete.

XVI. The GRAND-WARDENS, or any others, are first to advise with the Deputy about the Affairs of the Lodge or of the Brethren, and not to apply to the Grand-Master without the Knowledge of the Deputy, unless he refuse his concurrence in any certain necessary Affair ; in which case, or in case of any Difference between the Deputy, and  the Grand-Wardens, or other Brethren, both Parties are to go by Concert to the Grand-Master, who can easily decide the Controversy and make up the Difference by virtue of his great Authority. The Grand-Master should receive no Intimation of Business concerning Masonry, but from his Deputy first, except in such certain Cases as his Worship can well judge of, for if the Application to the Grand-Master be irregular, he can easily order the Grand-Wardens, or any other Brethren thus applying, to wait upon his Deputy, who is to prepare the Business speedily, and to lay it orderly before his Worship.

XVII. No GRAND-MASTER, Deputy Grand-Master, Grand-Wardens, Treasurer, Secretary, or whoever acts for them, or in their stead pro tempore, can at the same time be the Master or Warden of a particular Lodge ; but as soon as any of them has honourably discharg’d his Grand Office, he returns to that Post or Station in his particular Lodge, from which he was call’d to officiate above.

XVIII. If the DEPUTY GRAND-MASTER be sick, or necessarily absent, the Grand-Master may chuse any Fellow-Craft he pleases to be his Deputy pro tempore : But he that is chosen Deputy at the Grand-Lodge, and the Grand-Wardens too, cannot be discharg’d without the Cause fairly appear to the Majority of the Grand-Lodge and the GRAND-MASTER, if he is uneasy, may call a GRANDLODGE on purpose to lay the Cause before them, and to have their Advice and Concurrence : In which case, the Majority of the Grand-Lodge, if they cannot reconcile the MASTER and his Deputy or his Wardens, are to concur in allowing the MASTER to discharge his said Deputy or his said Wardens, and to chuse another Deputy immediately and the said Grand-Lodge shall chuse other Wardens in that case, that Harmony and Peace may be preserv’d.

XIX. If the GRAND-MASTER should abuse his Power, and render himself unworthy of the Obedience and Subjection of the Lodges, he shall be treated in a way and manner to be agreed upon in a new Regulation, because hitherto the ancient Fraternity have had no occasion for it, their former GRAND-MASTERS having all behaved themselves worthy of that honourable Office.

XX. The GRAND-MASTER, with his Deputy and Wardens, shall (at least once) go round and visit all the Lodges about Town during his Mastership.

XXI. If the GRAND-MASTER die during his Mastership or by Sickness, or by being beyond Sea, or any other way should be render’d uncapable of discharging his Office, the DEPUTY, or in his Absence, the Senior GRANDWARDEN, or in his Absence the Junior, or in his Absence any three present Masters of Lodges, shall join to congregate the GRAND-LODGE immediately, to advise together upon that Emergency, and to send two of their Number to invite the last GRAND-MASTER to resume his Office, which now in course reverts to him ; or if he refuse, then the next last, and so backward : But if no former Grand-Master can be found, then the Deputy shall act as Principal until another is chosen ; or if there be no Deputy, then the oldest Master.

XXII. The BRETHREN of all the Lodges in and about London and Westminster, shall meet at an ANNUAL COMMUNICATION and Feast, in some convenient Place, on St. JOHN Baptist ’s Day, or else on St. JOHN Evangelist ’s Day, as the Grand-Lodge shall think fit by a new Regulation, having of late Years met on St. John Baptist’s Day : Provided, the Majority of the Masters and Wardens, with the Grand-Master, his Deputy and Wardens, agree at their Quarterly Communication, three Months before, that there shall be a Feast, and a General Communication of all the Brethren : For if either the Grand-Master, or the Majority of the particular Masters, are against it, it must be dropt for that Time. But whether there shall be a Feast for all the Brethren, or not, yet the GRAND-LODGE must meet in some convenient Place annually on St. JOHN’s Day ; or if it be Sunday,then on the next Day, in order to chuse every Year a new GRAND-MASTER, Deputy, and Wardens.

XXIII. If it be thought expedient, and the GRANDMASTER, with the Majority of the Masters and Wardens, agree to hold a GRAND FEAST, according to the ancient laudable Custom of Masons, then the GRAND-WARDENS shall have the Care of preparing the Tickets, seal’d with the Grand-Master’s Seal, of disposing of the Tickets, of receiving the Money for the Tickets, of buying the Materials of the Feast, of finding out a proper and convenient Place to feast in ; and of every other Thing that concerns the Entertainment.

But that the Work may not be too burthensome to the two Grand-Wardens, and that all Matters may be expeditiously and safely managed, the Grand-Master, or his Deputy, shall have Power to nominate and appoint a certain Number of  Stewards, as his Worship shall think fit, to act in Concert with the two Grand-Wardens ; all Things relating to the Feast being decided amongst them by a Majority of Voices, except the Grand-Master or his Deputy interpose by a particular Direction of Appointment.

XXIV. The Wardens and Stewards shall, in due time, wait upon the Grand-Master, or his Deputy, for Directions and Orders about the Premisses ; but if his Worship and his Deputy are sick, or necessarily absent, they shall call together the Masters and Wardens of Lodges to meet on purpose for their Advice and Orders ; or else they may take the matter wholly upon themselves, and do the best they can.

The Grand Wardens and the Stewards are to account for all the Money they receive, or expend, to the Grand-Lodge, after Dinner, or when the Grand-Lodge shall think fit to receive their Accounts.

If the Grand-Master pleases, he may in due time summon all the Masters and Wardens of Lodges to consult with them about ordering the Grand-Feast, and about any Emergency or accidental Thing relating thereunto, that may require Advice ; or else to take it upon himself altogether.

XXV. The Masters of Lodges shall each appoint one experienc’d and discreet Fellow-Craft of his Lodge, to compose a Committee, consisting of one from every Lodge, who shall meet to receive, in a convenient Apartment, every Person that brings a Ticket, and shall have Power to discourse him, if they think fit, in order to admit him, or debar him, as they shall see cause : Provided they send no man away before they have acquainted all the Brethren within Doors with the Reasons thereof, to avoid Mistakes ; that so no true Brother may be debarr’d, nor a false Brother or meer Pretender, admitted. This Committee must meet very early on St. John’s Day, at the Place, even before any persons come with Tickets.

XXVI. The Grand-Master shall appoint two or more trusty Brethren to be Porters, or Door-keepers, who are also to be early at the Place for some good Reasons ; and who are to be at the Command of the Committee.

XXVII. The Grand-Wardens, or the Stewards, shall appoint before-hand such a Number of Brethren to serve at Table as they think fit and proper for that Work ; and they may advise with the Masters and Wardens of Lodges about the most proper Persons, if they please, or may take in such by their Recommendation ; for none are to serve that Day, but free and accepted Masons, that the Communication may be free and harmonious.

XXVIII. All the Members of the Grand-Lodge must be at the Place long before Dinner, with the Grand-Master, or his Deputy at their Head, who shall retire, and form themselves.

And this is done in order,

1. To receive any Appeals duly lodg’d, as above regulated, that the Appellant may be heard, and the Affair may be amicably decided before Dinner, if possible ; but if it cannot, it must be delay’d till after the new Grand-Master is elected and if it cannot be decided after Dinner, it may be delay’d, and referr’d to a particular Committee, that shall quietly adjust it, and make Report to the next Quarterly Communication, that Brotherly-Love may be preserv’d.

2. To prevent any Difference or Disgust which may be fear’d to arise that Day ; that no Interruption may be given to the Harmony and Pleasure of the GRAND FEAST.

3. To consult about whatever concerns the Decency and Decorum of the Grand-Assembly, and to prevent all Indecency and ill Manners, the Assembly being promiscuous.

4. To receive and consider of any good Motion or any momentous and important Affair, that shall be brought from the particular Lodges, by their Representatives, the several Masters and Wardens.

XXIX. After these things are discuss’d, the GRANDMASTER and his Deputy, the Grand-Wardens, or the Stewards, the Secretary, the Treasurer, the Clerks, and every other Person, shall withdraw, and leave the Masters and Wardens of the particular Lodges alone, in order to consult amicably about electing a NEW GRAND-MASTER, or continuing the present, if they have not done it the Day before and if they are unanimous for continuing the present Grand-Master, his Worship shall be call’d in, and humbly desir’d to do the Fraternity the Honour of ruling them for the Year ensuing : And after Dinner it will be known whether he accepts of it or not ; For it should not be discover’d but by the Election it self.

XXX. Then the Master and Wardens, and all the Brethren, may converse promiscuously, or as they please to sort together, until the Dinner is coming in, when every Brother takes his Seat at Table.

XXXI. Some time after Dinner the GRAND-LODGE is form’d, not in Retirement, but in the Presence of all the Brethren, who yet are not Members of it, and must not therefore speak until they are desired and allow’d.

XXXII. If the GRAND-MASTER of last Year has consented with the Masters and Wardens in private, before Dinner, to continue for the Year ensuing ; then one of the Grand-Lodge, deputed for that purpose, shall represent to all the Brethren his Worship’s good Government, &c. And turning to him, shall, in the name of the Grand Lodge, humbly request him to do the FRATERNITY the great Honour (if nobly born, if not, the great Kindness) of continuing to be their Grand Master for the Year ensuing. And his Worship declaring his Consent by a Bow or a Speech, as he pleases, the said deputed Member of the Grand-Lodge shall proclaim him GRAND-MASTER, and all the Members of the Lodge shall salute him in due Form. And all the Brethren shall for a few Minutes have leave to declare their Satisfaction, Pleasure and Congratulation.

XXXIII. But if either the Master and Wardens have not in private, this Day before Dinner, nor the Day before, desir’d the last Grand-Master to continue in the Mastership another Year ; or if he, when desir’d, has not consented. Then, the last Grand-Master shall nominate his Successor for the Year ensuing, who if unanimously approv’d by the Grand-Lodge, and if there present, shall be proclaim’d, saluted and congratulated the New Grand Master as above hinted, and immediately install’d by the last Grand-Master, according to Usage.

XXXIV. But if that Nomination is not unanimously approv’d, the new Grand-Master shall be chosen immediately by Ballot, every Master and Warden writing his Man’s Name, and the last Grand-Master writing his Man’s Name too ; and the Man, whose Name the last Grand Master shall first take out, casually or by chance, shall be GRANDMASTER for the Year ensuing ; and if present, he shall be proclaimed, saluted, and congratulated, as above hinted and forthwith install’d by the last Grand-Master according to Usage.

XXXV. The last Grand-Master thus continued, or the new Grand-Master thus install’d, shall next nominate and appoint his Deputy Grand-Master, either the last or a new one, who shall be also declar’d, saluted and congratulated, as above hinted.

The GRAND-MASTER shall also nominate the new GRAND-WARDENS, and if unanimously approv’d by the Grand-Lodge, shall be declar’d, saluted, and congratulated as above hinted ; but if not, they shall be chosen by Ballot, in the same way as the Grand-Master : As the Wardens of private Lodges are also to be chosen by Ballot in each Lodge, if the Members thereof do not agree to their Master’s Nomination.

XXXVI. But if the BROTHER, whom the present Grand-Master shall nominate for his Successor, or whom the Majority of the Grand-Lodge shall happen to chuse by Ballot, is, by Sickness or other necessary Occasion, absent from the Grand-Feast, he cannot be proclaim’d the NEW GRAND-MASTER, unless the old Grand-Master, or some of the Masters and Wardens of the GRAND-LODGE can vouch, upon the Honour of a Brother, that the said Person, so nominated or chosen, will readily accept of the said Office in which case the old GRAND-MASTER shall act as Proxy, and shall nominate the Deputy and Wardens in his Name, and in his Name also receive the usual Honours, Homage, and Congratulation.

XXXVII. Then the GRAND-MASTER shall allow any Brother, Fellow-Craft, or Apprentice to speak, directing his Discourse to his Worship ; or to make any Motion for the good of the Fraternity, which shall be either immediately consider’d and finish’d, or else referr’d to the Consideration of the GRAND-LODGE at their next Communication, stated or occasional. When that is over,

XXXVIII. The GRAND-MASTER or his Deputy, or some Brother appointed by him, shall harangue all the Brethren, and give them good Advice : And lastly, after some other Transactions, that cannot be written in any Language, the Brethren may go away or stay longer, as they please.

XXXIX. Every Annual GRAND-LODGE has an inherent Power and Authority to make new Regulations, or to alter these, for the real Benefit of this ancient Fraternity : Provided always that the old LANDMARKS be carefully preserv’d, and that such Alterations and new Regulations be proposed and agreed to at the third Quarterly Communication preceding the Annual Grand Feast ; and that they be offered also to the Perusal of all the Brethren before Dinner, in writing, even of the youngest Apprentice ; the Approbation and Consent of the Majority of all the Brethren present being absolutely necessary to make the same binding and obligatory ; which must, after Dinner, and after the new GRAND-MASTER is install’d, be solemnly desir’d ; as it was desir’d and obtain’d for these REGULATIONS, when propos’d by the GRAND-LODGE, to about 150 Brethren, on St. John Baptist’s Day, 1721.



Here follows the Manner of constituting a NEW LODGE, as practis’d by his Grace the DUKE of WHARTON, the present Right Worshipful GRAND-MASTER, according to the ancient Usages of MASONS.

A NEW LODGE, for avoiding many irregularities, should be solemnly constituted by the Grand-Master,with his Deputy and Wardens ; or in the Grand-Master ’s Absence, the Deputy shall act for his Worship, and shall chuse some Master of a Lodge to assist him ; or in case the Deputy is absent, the Grand-Master shall call forth some Master of  a Lodge to act as Deputy pro tempore.

The Candidates, or the new Master and Wardens,  being yet among the Fellow-Craft, the GRAND-MASTER shall ask his Deputy if he has examin’d them, and finds the Candidate Master well skill’d in the noble Science and the royal Art, and duly instructed in our Mysteries, &c.

And the Deputy answering in the affirmative, he shall (by the Grand-Master’s Order) take the Candidate from among his Fellows, and present him to the Grand-Master saying, Right worshipful Grand-Master, the Brethren here desire to be form’d into a new Lodge ; and I present this my worthy Brother to be their Master, whom I know to be of good Morals and great Skill, true and trusty, and a Lover of the whole Fraternity, wheresoever dispers’d over the Face of the Earth.

Then the GRAND-MASTER, placing the Candidate on his left Hand, having ask’d and obtain’d the unanimous Consent of all the Brethren, shall say, I constitute and form these good Brethren into a new Lodge, and appoint you the Master of it, not doubting of your Capacity and Care to preserve the Cement of the Lodge, &c. with some other Expressions that are proper and usual on that Occasion, but not proper to be written.

Upon this the Deputy shall rehearse the Charges of a Master, and the GRAND-MASTER shall ask the Candidate, saying, Do you submit to these Charges as Masters have done in all Ages ? And the Candidate signifying his cordial Submission thereunto, the Grand-Master shall, by certain significant Ceremonies and ancient Usages, install him, and present him with the Constitutions, the Lodge-Book, and the Instruments of his Office, not all together, but one after another ; and after each of them, the Grand-Master or his Deputy, shall rehearse the short and pithy Charge that is suitable to the Thing presented.

After this, the Members of this new Lodge, bowing all together to the Grand-Master, shall return his Worship Thanks, and immediately do their Homage to their new Master, and signify their Promise of Subjection and Obedience to him by the usual Congratulation.

The Deputy and the Grand-Wardens, and any other Brethren present, that are not Members of this new Lodge, shall next congratulate the new Master ; and he shall return his becoming Acknowledgements to the Grand-Master first, and to the rest in their Order.

Then the Grand-Master desires the new Master to enter immediately upon the Exercise of his Office, in chusing his Wardens : And the new Master, calling forth two Fellow-Craft, presents them to the Grand-Master for his Approbation, and to the new Lodge for their Consent. And that being granted,

The senior or junior Grand-Warden, or some other Brother for him, shall rehearse the Charges of Wardens ; and the Candidates being solemnly ask’d by the new Master, shall signify their Submission thereunto.

Upon which the new Master, presenting them with the Instruments of their Office, shall in due Form, install them in their proper Places ; and the Brethren of that new Lodge shall signify their Obedience to the new Wardens by the usual Congratulation.

And this LODGE being thus compleatly constituted, shall be register’d in the Grand-Master’s Book, and  by his Order notified to the other Lodges.


Whereas by the Confusions occasioned in the Saxon, Danish, and Norman Wars, the Records of Masons have been much vitiated, the Free-Masons of England twice thought it necessary to correct their Constitutions, Charges, and Regulations ; first in the Reign of King  Athelstan the Saxon, and long after in the Reign of King Edward IV. the Norman : and whereas the old Constitutions in England have been much interpolated, mangled, and miserably corrupted, not only with false Spelling, but even with many false Facts and gross Errors in History and Chronology, through Length of Time, and the Ignorance of Transcribers, in the dark illiterate Ages, before the Revival of Geometry and ancient Architecture, to the great Offence of all the learned and judicious Brethren, whereby also the Ignorant have been deceiv’d.

And our late worthy Grand-Master, his Grace the Duke of MONTAGU, having order’d the Author to peruse, correct, and digest into a new and better Method, the History, Charges, and Regulations of the ancient Fraternity ; He has accordingly examin’d several Copies from Italy and Scotland, and sundry Parts of England, and from thence, (tho’ on many things erroneous) and from several other ancient Records of Masons, he has drawn forth the above-written new Constitutions, with the Charges and General Regulations.

And the Author having submitted the whole to the Perusal and Corrections of the late and present Deputy Grand-Masters, and of other learned Brethren  and also of the Masters and Wardens of particular Lodges at their Quarterly Communication ; he did regularly deliver them to the late Grand-Master himself, the said DUKE of MONTAGU, for his Examination, Correction, and Approbation  and his Grace, by the Advice of several Brethren, order’d the same to be handsomely printed for the use of the Lodges, tho’ they were not quite ready for the Press during his Mastership.

THEREFORE We, the present Grand-Master of the Right Worshipful and most ancient Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons, the Deputy Grand-Master, the Grand-Wardens, the Masters and Wardens of particular Lodges (with the Consent of the Brethren and Fellows in and about the Cities of London and Westminster) having also perused this Performance, Do join our laudable Predecessors in our solemn Approbation thereof, as what We believe will fully answer the End proposed ; all the valuable Things of the old Records being retain’d, the Errors in History and Chronology corrected, the false Facts and the improper Words omitted, and the whole digested in a new and better Method.

And we ordain that these be received in every particular Lodge under our Cognizance, as the ONLY CONSTITUTIONS of Free and Accepted Masons amongst us, to be read at the making of new Brethren, or when the Master shall think fit ; and which the new Brethren should peruse before they are made.

PHILIP,  Duke of Wharton -- Grand-Master,

J. T. Desaguliers  , L.L.D. and F.R.S.

Deputy Grand-Master,

J O, Shuat Inson and William Hawkins –Grand Wardens.

Masters and Wardens of Particular Lodges

I. Thomas Morris, Sen. Master.

John Bristow  and Abraham Abbot --Wardens.

II. Richard Hall--Master.

Philip Wolverston and John Doyer-- Wardens.

III. John Turner--Master.

Anthony Sayer and Edward Cale-- Wardens.

IV. Mr. George Payne--Master

Stephen Hall, M.D. and Francis Sorell --Wardens.

V. Mr. M.Birkhead-- Master.

Francis Bayly and Nicholas Abraham---Wardens.

VI. William Read-- Master.

John Glover and Robert Cordell-- Wardens.

VII. Henry Branson-- Master.

Henry Lug and  John Townsend-- Wardens.

VIII. .  ..  ..     ..          Master.

Jonathan Sisson and  John Shipton-- Wardens.

IX. Geo. Owen, M. D.-- Master.

Eman Bowen and  John Heath-- Wardens.

X. .  ..   ..         ..    Master.

John Lubton and Richard Smith--- Wardens.

XI. Francis,  Earl of Dalkeith---- Master.

Capt. Andrew Robinson and Col. Thomas Inwood --Wardens.

XII. John Beal, M. D. and F. R. S.--- Master.

Edward Pawlet and Charles More, Esq---Wardens.

XIII. Tho. Morris Jr---. Master.

Joseph Ridler and John Clark --Wardens.

XIV. Tho. Robbe, Esq---- Master.

Thomas Grave and Bray Lane --Wardens.

XV. John Shepherd-- Master.

John Senex and John Bucler --Wardens.

XVI. J. Georges, Esq---- Master.

Robert Gray, Esq; and Charles Grymes, Esq --Wardens.

XVII. J.A. Anderson, A.M. and Author of this Book--- Master.

Gwin Vaughan, Esq and Walter Greenwood, Esq --Wardens.

XVIII. Tho.. Harbin--- Master.

William Attley and John Saxon --Wardens.

XIX. Robert Capell, Master.

Isaac Mansfield and William Bly --Wardens.

XX. John Gormon, Master.

Charles Garey and Edward Morphey --Wardens.


The Master’s Song or the History of Masonry.

[To be sung with a Chorus, when the MASTER shall give Leave (no Brother being present

to whom Singing is disagreeable) either one Part only, or all together, as he pleases.]


Part I


ADAM, the first of humane Kind,

Created with GEOMETRY

Imprinted on his Royal Mind,

Instructed soon his Progeny

CAIN & SETH, who then improv’d

The lib’ral Science in the Art

Of Architecture, which they lov’d,

And to their Offspring did impart.


CAIN a City fair and strong

First built, and call’d it Consecrate,

From Enoch’s Name, his eldest Son,

Which all his Race did imitate :

But godly ENOCH, of Seth’s Loins,

Two Columns rais’d with mighty Skill:

And all his Family enjoins

True Colonading to fullfil.


Our Father NOAH next appear’d

A Mason too divinely taught ;

And by divine Command uprear’d

The ARK, that held a goodly Fraught:

’Twas built by true Geometry,

A Piece of Architecture fine ;

Helpt by his Sons, in number THREE,

Concurring in the grand Design.


So from the gen’ral Deluge none

Were sav’d, but Masons and their Wives ;

And all Mankind from them alone

Descending, Architecture thrives ;

For they, when multiply’d amain,

Fit to disperse and fill the Earth,

In SHINAR’s large & lovely Plain

To MASONRY gave second Birth.


For most of Mankind were employ’d,

To build the City and the Tow’r ;

The Gen’ral Lodge was overjoy’d,

In such Effects of Masons Pow’r ;

’Till vain Ambition did provoke

Their Maker to confound their Plot ;

Yet tho’ with Tongues confus’d they spoke,

The learned Art they ne’er forgot.


Who can unfold the Royal Art ?

Or sing its Secrets in a Song ?

They’re safely kept in Masons HEART

And to the ancient Lodge belong.


[Stop here to drink the present GRAND MASTER’s Health.]

  Part II


THUS when from BABEL they disperse

In Colonies to distant Climes,

All Masons true, who could rehearse

Their Works to those of after Times;

King NIMROD fortify’d his Realm,

By Castles, Tow’rs, and Cities fair ;

MITZRA’M, who rul’d at Egypt’s Helm,

Built Pyramids stupendous there.


Nor JAPHET, and his gallant Breed,

Did less in Masonry prevail ;

Nor SHEM, and those that did succeed

To promis’d Blessings by Entail ;

For Father ABRAM brought from UR

Geometry, the Science good ;

Which he reveal’d, without demur,

To all descending from his Blood.


Nay JACOB’s Race at length were taught,

To lay aside the Shepherd’s Crook,

To use Geometry were brought,

Whilst under Phar’oh’s cruel Yoke,

’Till MOSES Master-Mason rose,

And led the HOLY LODGE from thence,

All Masons train’d, to whom he chose,

His curious Learning to dispense.



Inspired Men, the TENT uprear’d ;

Where the Shechinah chose to dwell,

And Geometrick Skill appear’d :

And when these valiant Masons fill’d

Canaan, the learn’d PHENICIANS knew

The Tribes of Isra’l better skill’d

In Architecture firm and true.


For DAGON’s House in Gaza Town,

Artfully propt by COLUMNS two ;

By SAMSON’s mighty Arms pull’d down

On Lords Philistian, whom it slew ;

Tho’ ’twas the finest Fabrick rais’d

By Canaan’s Sons, could not compare

With the Creator’s Temple prais’d,

For glorious Strength and Structure fair.


But here we stop a while to toast

Our MASTER’s Health and Wardens both;

And warn you all to shun the Coast

Of Samson’s Shipwrackt Fame and Troth;

His Secrets once to WIFE disclos’d

His Strength was fled, his Courage tam’d

To cruel Foes he was expos’d,

And never was a Mason nam’d.



Who can unfold the Royal Art ?

Or sing its Secrets in a Song ?

They’re safely kept in Masons HEART,

And to the ancient Lodge belong.

  [Stop here to drink the Health of the Master and Wardens of this particular Lodge.]

  Part III


We sing of MASONS ancient Fame

When fourscore Thousand Craftsmen stood,

Under the MASTERS of great Name

Three Thousand and six Hundred good,

Employ’d by SOLOMON the Sire

And Gen’ral MASTER-MASON too ;

As HIRAM was in stately Tyre,

Like Salem built by Masons true.


The Royal Art was then divine,

The Craftsmen counsell’d from above,

The Temple did all Works outshine,

The wond’ring World did all approve,

Ingenious Men, from every Place,

Came to survey the glorious Pile ;

And when return’d, began to trace,

And imitate its lofty Style.


At length the GRECIANS came to know

Geometry, and learnt the Art,

Which great PYTHAGORAS did show,

And Glorious EUCLID did impart ;

Th’ amazing ARCHIMEDES too,

And many other Scholars good ;

’Till ancient ROMANS did review

The Art, and Science understood.


But when proud ASIA they had quell’d,

And GREECE and EGYPT overcome,

In Architecture they excell’d,

And brought the Learning all to ROME;

Where wise VITRUVIUS, Master prime

Of Architects, the Art improv’d,

In Great AUGUSTUS’ peaceful Time,

When Arts and Artists were belov’d.


They brought the Knowledge from the East ;

And as they made the Nations yield,

They spread it thro’ the North and West,

And taught the World the Art to build,

Witness their Citadels and Tow’rs.

To fortify their Legions fine,

Their Temples, Palaces, and Bow’rs,

That spoke the Masons GRAND DESIGN.


Thus mighty Eastern Kings, and some

Of Abram’s Race, and Monarchs good,

Of Egypt, Syria, Greece, and Rome,

True Architecture understood

No wonder then if Masons join,

To celebrate those Mason Kings,

With solemn Note and flowing Wine,

Whilst ev’ry Brother jointly sings,



Who can unfold the Royal Art ?

Or sing its Secrets in a Song ?

They’re safely kept in Mason’s HEART,

And to the ancient Lodge belong.

  [Stop here to drink to the glorious Memory of Emperors, Kings, Princes, Nobles,

Gentry, Clergy, and learned Scholars that ever propagated the Art.]

  Part  IV


OH ! glorious Days for Masons wise,

O’er all the Roman Empire when

Their Fame, resounding to the Skies,

Proclaim’d them good and useful Men;

For many Ages thus employ’d,

Until the Goths with warlike Rage,

And brutal Ignorance, destroy’d

The Toil of many a learned Age.


But when the conqu’ring Goths were brought

T’embrace the Christian Faith, they found

The Folly that their Fathers wrought,

In loss of Architecture sound.

At length their Zeal for stately Fanes,

And wealthy Grandeur, when at Peace,

Made them exert their utmost Pains,

Their Gothic Buildings to up-raise.


Thus many a sumptuous lofty Pile

Was rais’d in every Christian Land,

Tho’ not conform to Roman Style,

Yet which did Reverence command :

The King and Craft agreeing still,

In well form’d Lodges to supply

The mournful Want of Roman Skill

With their new sort of Masonry.


For many Ages this prevails,

Their Work is Architecture deem’d ;

In England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales,

The Craftsmen highly are esteem’d,

By Kings, as Masters of the Lodge,

By many a wealthy noble Peer,

By Lord and Laird, by Priest and Judge,

By all the People every where.


So Masons ancient Records tell,

King Athelstan, of Saxon Blood,

Gave them a Charter free to dwell

In Lofty Lodge, with Orders good,

Drawn from old Writings by his Son,

Prince Edwin, General Master bright,

Who met at York the Brethren soon,

And to that Lodge did all recite.


Thence were their Laws and Charges fine

In ev’ry Reign observ’d with Care,

Of Saxon, Danish, Norman Line,

Till British Crowns united were :

The Monarch First of this whole Isle

Was learned James a Mason King,

Who first of Kings reviv’d the Style

Of great Augustus : therefore sing.


Who can unfold the Royal Art ?

Or sing its Secrets in a Song ?

They’re safely kept in Mason’s Heart,

And to the ancient Lodge belong.

  [Stop here to drink to the happy Memory of all the Revivers of the ancient Augustan Style.]

  Part V


THUS tho’ in Italy the Art

From Gothick Rubbish first was rais’d;

And great Palladio did impart

A Style by Masons justly prais’d :

Yet here this mighty Rival Jones,

Of British Architects the prime,

Did build such glorious Heaps of Stones,

As ne’er were match’d since Cæsar’s Time.


King Charles the first, a Mason too,

With several Peers and wealthy Men,

Employ’d him & his Craftsmen true,

’Till wretched Civil Wars began.

But after Peace and Crown restor’d,

Tho’ London was in Ashes laid,

By Masons Art and good Accord,

A finer London rear’d its Head.


King Charles the second raised then

The finest Column upon Earth,

Founded St. Paul’s, that stately Fane,

And Royal Change, with Joy and Mirth:

But afterwards the Lodges fail’d ;

Till great Nassau the Tast reviv’d,

Whose bright Example so prevail’d

That ever since the Art has thriv’d.


Let other Nations boast at will,

Great Britain now will yield to none,

For true Geometry and Skill,

In building Timber, Brick, and Stone;

For Architecture of each sort,

For curious Lodges, where we find

The Noble and the Wise resort,

And drink with Craftsmen true and kind.


Then let good Brethren all rejoice,

And fill their Glass with cheerful  Heart,

Let them express with grateful Voice

The Praises of the wondrous Art ;

Let ev’ry Brother’s Health go round,

Not Fool or Knave but Mason true,

And let our Master’s Fame resound,

The noble Duke of MONTAGU.


Who can unfold the Royal Art ?

Or sing its Secrets in a Song ?

They’re safely kept in Mason’s Heart,

And to the ancient Lodge belong.


The Warden’s Song or Another History of Masonry

Composed since the most Noble Prince PHILIP,

Duke of Wharton was chosen Grand Master.

[To be sung and played at Quarterly Communication]


WHEN e’er we are alone,

And ev’ry Stranger gone,

In Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring,

Begin to play, begin to sing,

The mighty Genius of the lofty Lodge,

In ev’ry Age

That did engage

And well inspir’d the Prince, the Priest, the Judge,

The Noble and the Wise to join

In rearing Masons Grand Design.


The Grand Design to rear,

Was ever Mason’s Care,

From Adam down before the Flood,

Whose Art old Noah understood,

And did impart to Japhet, Shem and Ham,

Who taught their Race

To build apace

Proud Babel’s Town and Tow’r, until it came

To be admir’d too much, and then

Dispersed were the Sons of Men.


But tho’ their Tongues confus’d

In distant Climes they us’d,

They brought from Shinar Orders good,

To rear the Art they understood :

Therefore sing first the Princes of the Isles ;

Next Belus great,

Who fixt his Seat

In old Assyria, building stately Piles ;

And Mitzraim’s Pyramids among

The other Subjects of our Song.


And Shem, who did instil

The useful wondrous Skill

Into the Minds of Nations great :

And Abram next, who did relate

Th’ Assyrian Learning to his Sons, that when

In Egypt’s Land

By Pharoah’s Hand,

Were roughly taught to be most skilful Men;

Till their Grand-Master Moses rose

And them deliver’d from their Foes.


But who can sing his Praise,

Who did the Tent upraise ?

Then sing his Workmen true as Steel,

Aholiab and Bezaleel ;

Sing Tyre and Sydon, and Phenicians old.

But Samson’s Blot

Is ne’er forgot :

He blabb’d his Secrets to his Wife, that sold

Her Husband, who at last pull’d down

The House on all in Gaza Town.


But Solomon the King

With solemn Note we sing,

Who rear’d at length the Grand Design,

By Wealth, and Pow’r, and Art divine;

Helpt by the learned Hiram Tyrian Prince,

By Craftsmen good,

That understood

Wise Hiram Abif’s charming Influence :

He aided Jewish Masters bright,

Whose curious Works none can recite.


These glorious Mason Kings

Each thankful Brother sings,

Who to its Zenith rais’d the Art,

And to all Nations did impart

The useful Skill: For from the Temple fine,

To ev’ry Land,

And foreign Strand,

The Craftsmen march’d, and taught the Grand Design ;

Of which the Kings, with mighty Peers,

And learned Men, were Overseers.


Diana’s Temple next,

In Lesser Asia fixt ;

And Babylon’s proud Walls, the Seat

Of Nebuchadnezar the Great ;

The Tomb of Mausolus, the Carian King ;

With many a Pile

Of lofty Style

In Africa and Greater Asia, sing,

In Greece, in Sicily, and Rome,

That had those Nations overcome.


Then sing Augustus too,

The Gen’ral Master true,

Who by Vitruvius did refine

And spread the Masons Grand Design

Thro’ North and West ; till ancient Britons chose

The Royal Art In ev’ry Part,

And Roman Architecture could disclose;

Until the Saxons warlike Rage

Destroy’d the Skill of many an Age.


At length the Gothick Style

Prevail’d in Britain’s Isle,

When Masons Grand Design reviv’d,

And in their well form’d Lodges thriv’d,

Tho’ not as formerly in Roman Days :

Yet sing the Fanes

Of Saxons, Danes,

Of Scots, Welch, Irish ; but sing first the Praise

Of Athelstan and Edwin Prince,

Our Master of great Influence.


And eke the Norman Kings

The British Mason sings :

Till Roman Style revived there,

And British Crowns united were

In learned James, a Mason King, who rais’d

Fine Heaps of Stones

By Inigo Jones,

That rival’d wise Palladio, justly prais’d

In Italy, and Britain too,

For Architecture firm and true.


And thence in ev’ry Reign

Did Masonry obtain

With Kings, the Noble and the Wise,

Whose Fame resounding to the Skies,

Excites the present Age in Lodge to join,

And Aprons wear,

With Skill and Care,

To raise the Masons ancient Grand Design,

And to revive th’ Augustan Style

In many an artful glorious Pile.


From henceforth ever sing

The Craftsman and the King,

With Poetry and Musick sweet

Resound their Harmony compleat ;

And with Geometry in skilful Hand,

Due Homage pay,

Without Delay,

To Wharton’s noble Duke our Master Grand

He rules the Free-born Sons of Art,

By Love and Friendship, Hand and Heart.


Who can rehearse the Praise,

In soft Poetick Lays,

Or solid Prose, of Masons true,

Whose Art transcends the common View?

Their Secrets, ne’er to Strangers yet expos’d,

Preserv’d shall be

By Masons Free,

And only to the ancient Lodge disclos’d ;

Because they’re kept in Masons Heart

By Brethren of the Royal Art.


[To fill up this Page, it is thought not amiss to insert here a Paragraph from an old Record of Masons, viz. The Company of Masons, being otherwise termed Free Masons, of auncient Staunding and good Reckoning, by means of  affable and kind Meetings diverse Tymes, and as a loving Brotherhood should use to doe, did frequent this mutual Assembly in the Tyme of King Henry V. the 12th Year of his most gracious Reign. And the said Record describing a Coat of Arms, much the same with That of the LONDON COMPANY of Freemen Masons, it is generally believ’d that the said Company is descended of the ancient Fraternity ; and that in former Times no Man was made Free of that Company until he was install’d in some Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons, as a necessary Qualification. But that laudable Practice seems to have been long in Dissuetude. The Brethren in foreign Parts have also discover’d  that several noble and ancient Societies and Orders of Men have derived their Charges and Regulations from the Free-Masons, (which are now the most ancient

Order upon Earth) and perhaps were originally all Members too of the said ancient and worshipful Fraternity. But this will more fully appear in due Time.]



By our Brother  CHARLES  DELAFAYE,  Esq;

  [To be sung and play’d at the GR AND- F E A S T.]


HAIL Masonry ! thou Craft divine !

Glory of Earth, from Heav’n reveal’d;

Which dost with Jewels precious shine,

From all but Masons Eyes conceal’d.


Thy Praises due who can rehearse

In nervous Prose, or flowing Verse ?


As Men from Brutes distinguish’d are,

A Mason other Men excels ;

For what’s in Knowledge choice and rare

But in his Breast securely dwells ?


His silent Breast and faithful Heart

Preserve the Secrets of the Art.


From scorching Heat, and piercing Cold;

From Beasts, whose Roar the Forest rends;

From the Assaults of Warriours bold

The Masons Art Mankind defends.


Be to this Art due Honour paid,

From which Mankind receives such Aid.


Ensigns of State, that feed our Pride,

Distinctions troublesome, and vain !

By Masons true are laid aside :

Art’s free-born Sons such Toys disdain;


Ennobled by the Name they bear,

Distinguished by the Badge they wear.


Sweet Fellowship, from Envy free :

Friendly Converse of Brotherhood ;

The Lodge’s lasting Cement be !

Which has for Ages firmly stood.


A Lodge, then built, for Ages past

Has lasted, and will ever last.


Then in our Songs be Justice done

To those who have enrich’d the Art,

From Jabal down to Burlington,

And let each Brother bear a Part.


Let noble Masons Healths go round ;

Their Praise in lofty Lodge resound.




[To be sung when all grave Business is over, and with the MASTER’s Leave.]


COME let us prepare,

We Brothers that are

Assembled on merry Occasion :

Let’s drink, laugh, and sing ;

Our Wine has a Spring :

Here’s a Health to an Accepted Mason.


The World is in pain

Our Secrets to gain,

And still let them wonder and gaze on ;

They ne’er can divine

The Word or the Sign

Of a Free and an Accepted Mason.


’Tis This, and ’tis That,

They cannot tell What,

Why so many Great Men of the Nation

Should Aprons put on,

To make themselves one

With a Free and an Accepted Mason.


Great Kings, Dukes, and Lords,

Have laid by their Swords,

Our Myst’ry to put a good Grace on,

And ne’er been asham’d

To hear themselves nam’d

With a Free and an Accepted Mason.


Antiquity’s Pride

We have on our side,

And it maketh Men just in their Station:

There’s nought but what’s good

To be understood

By a Free and an Accepted Mason.


Then join Hand in Hand,

T’each other firm stand,

Let’s be merry, and put a bright Face on:

What Mortal can boast


As a Free and an Accepted Mason ?


A  New  SONG.


WHAT though they call us Masons Fools,

We prove by Geometry and Rules,

We’ve Arts are taught in all our Schools;

They charge us falsely then.

We make it plainly to appear,

By our Behaviour every where

That where you meet a Mason, there

You meet a Gentleman.


’Tis true we once have charged been

With Disobedience to our Queen ;

But after Monarchs plain have seen,

The Secrets they have sought.

We hatch no Plots against the State,

Nor ’gainst great Men in Power prate

But all that’s generous, good and great

Is daily by us taught.


What noble Structures do we see

By ancient Brethren raised be !

The World’s surpriz’d, and shall not we

Then honour Masonry ?

Let those that do despise the Art

Live in a Cave in some Desart,

And herd with beasts from Men apart,

For their Stupidity.


View but those Savage Nations, where

No Masonry did e’er appear,

What strange unpolish’d Brutes they are!

Then honour Masonry.

It makes us courteous, easy, free,

Generous, honourable, and gay ;

What other Art the like can say ?

Here’s a Health to Masonry.




LONDON, this 17th Day of January, 1722

AT the Quarterly Communication, This Book, which was undertaken at the Command of His GRACE the DUKE of MONTAGU, our late Grand-Master, having been regularly approved in Manuscript by the Grand-Lodge, was this Day produced here in Print, and approved by the SOCIETY : Wherefore we do hereby Order the same to be Published, and recommend it for the Use of the LODGES.


J. T. DESAGULIERS, Deputy Grand-Master.

F I N I S.


Editorial Note

James Anderson (c.1679–1739) was born and educated in Aberdeen, Scotland. He was ordained a minister in the Church of Scotland in 1707, and moved to London, where he ministered to the Glass House Street congregation until 1710, and to the Presbyterian church in Swallow Street until 1734, and at Lisle Street Chapel until his death. He is reported to have lost a large sum of money in the South Sea Company crash of 1720. Anderson was a Master of a Masonic lodge and a Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge. He was commissioned to write this history of the Free-Masons by the Grand Lodge of London and Westminster in September of 1721, and it was published in 1723. A second edition, much expanded, appeared in 1738. The work was translated into many languages, including Dutch (1736), German (1741), and French (1745). His other published works include Royal Genealogies (1732), A Defence of Masonry (1738?), News from Elysium (1739) , and A Genealogical History of the House of Yvery (1742).  The present work is referred to in page 80.

Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790) came to Philadelphia from Boston in 1723, and opened his own printing business in 1728, in partnership with Hugh Meredith, who left in 1730. He began to publish the Pennsylvania Gazette in October of 1729 and became the official printer for the colony of Pennsylvania in 1731. Franklin was admitted to the St. John’s Lodge of Free-Masons in January of 1731, became a junior grand warden of the lodge in June of 1732, and Grand Master of Masons of Pennsylvania in June of 1734. He advertised his edition of  The Constitutions of the Free-Masons as “just published” in the Pennsylvania Gazette for May, 16, 1734 (at a price of 2s.6d., or bound at 4s.). Franklin’s connections with Masonry were very important for his professional, intellectual, and political careers, and he maintained  them throughout his life, not only in America, but in England and France, as well.

The edition of The Constitutions of the Free-Masons that Franklin produced in Philadelphia in 1734 is a fairly faithful reprinting of the original published in London in 1723. It omits only the musical scores for some of the songs, the engraved frontispiece and coat of arms of the Duke of Montagu, and the Hebrew type occurring in the note to page 15 in this edition. In general, it is not as ornate or as typographically complex as the London edition, although clearly the effort was made to produce an attractive and fully ornamented book. It consisted of 96 pages, with the last two blank, on imported Genoese paper, with the pages measuring 8 inches high by 5.7 inches wide.  Franklin sent 70 copies to the Masonic Lodge in Boston in August 1734 and later another 25 copies to Charleston.

Seventeen copies of the edition are known to survive. Facsimile editions have appeared in New York in 1905 and in Washington, D.C., in 1924. (See C. William Miller, Benjamin Franklin’s Philadelphia Printing, 1728-1766: A Descriptive Bibliography, [Philadelphia: American Philosophical  Society, 1974], pp. 39-40.)

One of the five songs (“A New Song,” page 91) in the book appeared in print for the first time in the 1734 edition. It is not definitely known if Franklin composed this song, many hold the view that he was the composer. But it is certain, that he composed the song “Fair Venus Calls”, around 1741 that continued to be sung at Masonic meetings into the nineteenth century. (See J. A. Leo Lemay, Benjamin Franklin: A Documentary History and Leonard W. Labaree, ed., The Papers of Benjamin Franklin, v. 1, pp. 373-76.)

[The text has been prepared from many versions, all of which had been used for comparison and   Reference.]

This book was published in 1734 by Benjamin Franklin in America. The editorial note provides sufficient information about the author.

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