Illustrations of Masonry

by

William Preston

Book Four

The History of Masonry in England

Sect. 1 - Masonry early introduced into England, - Account of the Druids. - Progress of Masonry in England under the Romans. - Masons highly favoured by St. Alban

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some particulars of a man so truly exemplary among masons will certainly merit attention.

Albanus was born at Verulam, (now St. Alban's, in Hertfordshire,) of a noble family. In his youth he travelled to Rome, where he served seven years under the Emperor Diocletian. On his return home, by the example and persuasion of Amphibalus of Caer-leon, (now Chester,) who had accompanied him in his travels, he was converted to the Christian faith, and, in the tenth and last persecution of the Christians, was beheaded, A. D. 303.

St. Alban was the first who suffered martyrdom for the Christian religion in Britain, of which the venerable Bede gives the following account. The Roman governor having been informed that St. Alban harboured a Christian in his house, sent a party of soldiers to apprehend Amphibalus. St. Alban immediately put on the habit of his guest *, and presented himself to the officers. Being carried before a magistrate, he behaved with such a manly freedom, and so powerfully supported the cause of his friend, that he not only incurred the displeasure of the judge, but brought upon himself the punishment above specified.

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

 

Sect. 2 - History of Masonry in England under St. Austin, King Alfred, and Athelstane; and also under the Knights Templars

After the departure of the Romans from Britain, masonry made but a slow progress, and in a little time was almost totally neglected, on account of the irruptions of the Picts and Scots, which obliged the southern inhabitants of the island to solicit the assistance of the Saxons, to repel these invaders. As the Saxons increased, the native Britons sunk into obscurity, and ere long yielded the superiority to their protectors, who acknowledged their sovereignty and jurisdiction. These rough and ignorant heathens, despising every thing but war, soon put a finishing stroke to all the remains of ancient learning which had escaped the fury of the Picts and Scots. They continued their depredations with unrestrained rigour, till the arrival of some pious teachers from Wales and Scotland, when many of these savages being reconciled to Christianity, masonry got into repute, and lodges were again formed *; but these being under the direction of foreigners, were seldom convened, and never attained to any degree of consideration or importance.
Masonry continued in a declining state till the year 557, when Austin, with forty more monks, among whom the sciences had been preserved, came into England. Austin was commissioned by pope Gregory, to baptize Ethelbert king of Kent, who appointed him the first archbishop of Canterbury. This monk, and his associates, propagated the principles of christianity among the inhabitants of Britain, and by their influence, in little more than sixty years, all the kings of the heptarchy were converted. Masonry flourished under the patronage of Austin, and many foreigners came at this time into England, who introduced the Gothic style of building. Austin seems to have been a zealous encourager of architecture, for he appeared at the head of the fraternity in founding the old cathedra of Canterbury in 600, and the cathedral of Rochester in 602; St. Paul's, London, in 604; St. Peter's, Westminster, in 605; and many others *. Several palaces and castles were built under his auspices, as well as other fortifications on the borders of the kingdom, by which means the number of masons in England was considerably increased.
Some expert brethren arrived from France in 680, and formed themselves into a lodge, under the direction of Bennet, abbot of Wirral, who was soon after appointed by Kenred, king of Mercia, inspector of the lodges, and general superintendant of the masons.
During the heptarchy, masonry continued in a low state; but in the year 856, it revived under the patronage of St. Swithin, who was employed by Ethelwolph, the Saxon king, to repair some pious houses; and from that time it gradually improved till the reign of Alfred, A. D. 872, when, in the person of that prince, it found a zealous protector.
Masonry has generally kept pace with the progress of learning; the patrons and encouragers of the latter having been most remarkable for cultivating and promoting the former. No prince studied more to polish and improve the understandings of his subjects than Alfred, and no one ever proved a better friend to masonry. By his indefatigable assiduity in the pursuit of knowledge, his example had powerful influence, and he speedily reformed the dissolute and barbarous manners of his people. Mr. Hume, in his History of England, relates the following particulars of this celebrated prince:

"Alfred usually divided his time into three equal portions: one was employed in sleep, and the refection of his body by diet and exercise; another in the dispatch of business; and a third, in study and devotion. That he might more exactly measure the hours, he made use of burning tapers of equal lengths, which he fixed in lanthorns; and expedient suited to that rude age, when the art of describing sun-dials, and the mechanism of clocks and watches, were totally unknown. By this regular distribution of time, though he often laboured under great bodily infirmities, this martial hero, who fought in person fifty-six battles by sea and land, was able, during a life of no extraordinary length, to acquire more knowledge, and even to compose more books, than most studious men, blest with greater leisure and application, have done in more fortunate ages."

As this prince was not negligent in encouraging the mechanical arts, masonry claimed a great part of his attention. He invited from all quarters industrious foreigners to repeople his country, which had been desolated by the ravages of the Danes. He introduced and encouraged manufactures of all kinds among them: no inventor or improver of any ingenious art did he suffer to go unrewarded; and he appropriated a seventh part of his revenue for maintaining a number of workmen, whom he constantly employed in rebuilding his ruined cities, castles, palaces, and monasteries. The university of Oxford was founded by him.
On the death of Alfred in 900, Edward succeeded to the throne, during whose reign the masons continued to hold their lodges, under the sanction of Ethred, his sister's husband, and Ethelward, his brother, to whom the care of the fraternity was intrusted. Ethelward was a prince of great learning, and an able architect; he founded the university of Cambridge.
Edward died in 924, and was succeeded by Athelstane his son, who appointed his brother Edwin, patron of the masons, This prince procured a charter from Athelstane, empowering them to meet annually in communication at York, where the first Grand Lodge of England was formed in 926, at which Edwin presided as Grand Master. Here many old writings were produced, in Greek, Latin, and other languages, from which the constitutions of the English lodges are originally derived *.
Athelstane kept his court for some time at York, where he received several embassies from foreign princes, with rich presents of various kinds. He was loved, honoured, and admired by all the princes of Europe, who sought his friendship and courted his alliance. He was a mild sovereign, a kind brother, and a true friend. The only blemish which historians find in the whole reign of Athelstane, is the supposed murder of his brother Edwin. This youth, who was distinguished for his virtues, having died two years before his brother, a false report was spread, of his being wrongfully put to death by him. But this is so improbable in itself, so inconsistent with the character of Athelstane, and indeed so slenderly attested, as to be undeserving a place in history *.
The activity and princely conduct of Edwin qualified him, in every respect, to preside over so celebrated a body of men as the masons, who were employed under him in repairing and building many churches and superb edifices, which had been destroyed by the ravages of the Danes and other invaders, not only in the city of York, but at Beverley, and other places.
On the death of Edwin, Athelstane undertook in person the direction of the lodges, and the art of masonry was propagated in peace and security under his sanction.
When Athelstane died, the masons dispersed, and the lodges continued in an unsettled state till the reign of Edgar in 960, when the fraternity were again collected by St. Dunstan, under whole auspices they were employed on some pious structures, but met with no permanent encouragement.
After Edgar's death, masonry remained in a low condition upwards of fifty years. In 1041, it revived under the patronage of Edward the Confessor, who superintended the execution of several great works. He rebuilt Westminster Abbey, assisted by Leofrick earl of Coventry, whom he appointed to superintend the masons. The Abbey of Coventry, and many other structures, were finished by this accomplished architect.
William the Conqueror having acquired the crown of England in 1066, he appointed Gundulph bishop of Rochester, and Roger de Montgomery earl of Shrewsbury, joint patrons of the masons, who at this time excelled both in civil and military architecture. Under their auspices the fraternity were employed in building the Tower of London, which was completed in the reign of William Rufus, who rebuilt London-bridge with wood, and first constructed the palace and hall of Westminster in 1087.
On the accession of Henry I. the lodges continued to assemble. From this prince, the first Magna Charta, or charter of liberties, was obtained by the Normans. Stephen succeeded Henry in 1135, and employed the fraternity in building a chapel at Westminster, now the House of Commons, and several other works. These were finished under the direction of Gilbert de Clare marquis of Pembroke, who at this time presided over the lodges.
During the reign of Henry II. the Grand Master of the Knights Templars superintended the masons, and employed them in building their Temple in Fleet-street, A. D. 1155. Masonry continued under the patronage of this Order till the year 1199, when John succeeded his brother Richard in the crown of England. Peter de Colechurch was then appointed Grand Master. He began to rebuild London-bridge with stone, which was afterwards finished by William Alcmain in 1209. Peter de Rupibus succeeded Peter de Colechurch in the office of Grand Master, and Geoffrey Fitz-Peter, chief surveyor of the king's works, acted as his deputy. Under the auspices of these two artists, masonry flourished during the remainder of this and the following reign.

 

Sect. 3 - History of Masonry in England, during the Reigns of Edward I. Edward II. Edward III. Richard II. Henry V. and Henry VI.

On the accession of Edward I. A. D. 1272, the care of the masons was entrusted to Walter Giffard, archbishop of York; Gibert de Clare, earl of Gloucester; and Ralph, lord of Mount Hermer, the progenitor of the family of the Mantagues. These architects superintended the finishing of Westminster Abbey, which had been begun in 1220, during the minority of Henry III. In the reign of Edward II. the fraternity were employed in building Exeter and Oriel colleges, Oxford; Clare-hall, Cambridge; and many other structures; under the auspices of Walter Stapleton, bishop of Exeter, who had been appointed Grand Master in 1307.
Masonry flourished in England during the reign of Edward III. who became the patron of science, and the encourager of learning. He applied with indefatigable assiduity to the constitutions of the Order; revised and meliorated the ancient charges, and added several useful regulations to the original code of laws. He patronized the lodges, and appointed five deputies under him to inspect the proceedings of the fraternity; viz. I. John de Spoulee, who rebuilt St. George's chapel at Windsor, where the order of the garter was first instituted, A. D .1350; 2. William a Wykeham, afterwards bishop of Winchester, who rebuilt the castle of Windsor at the head of 400 free-masons A. D. 1357; 3. Robert a Barnham, who finished St. George's hall at the head of 250 free-masons, with other works in the castle, A. D. 1375; 4. Henry Yeuele, (called in the old records, the King's free-mason,) who built the Charter-house in London; King's hall, Cambridge; Queensborough castle; and rebuilt St. Stephen's chapel, Westminster: and 5. Simon Langham, abbot of Westminster, who rebuilt the body of that cathedral as it now stands. At this period, lodges were numerous, and communications of the fraternity held under the protection of the civil magistrate *.
Richard II. succeeded his grandfather Edward III. in 1377, and William a Wykeham was continued Grand Master. He rebuilt Westminster-hall as it now stands; and employed the fraternity in building New College, Oxford, and Winchester college, both of which he founded at his own expense.
Henry, duke of Lancaster, taking advantage of Richard's absence in Ireland, got the parliament to depose him, and next year caused him to be murdered. Having supplanted his cousin, he mounted the throne by the name of Henry IV. and appointed Thomas Fitz Allen, earl of Surrey, Grand Master. After the famous victory of Shrewsbury, he founded Battle-abbey and Fotheringay; and in this reign the Guildhall of London was built. The king die in 1413, and Henry V. succeeded to the crown; when Henry Chicheley, archbishop of Canterbury, obtained the direction of the fraternity, under whose auspices lodges and communications were frequent.
Henry VI. a minor, succeeding to the throne in 1422, the parliament endeavoured to disturb the masons, by passing the following act to prohibit their chapters and conventions:

3 Hen. VI. cap. 1. A. D. 1425.

Masons shall not confederate in Chapters or Congregations

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

This act was never put in force, nor the fraternity deterred from assembling, as usual, under archbishop Chicheley, who still continued to preside over them *. Notwithstanding this rigorous edict, the effect of prejudice and malevolence in an arbitrary set of men, lodges were formed in different parts of the kingdom; and tranquillity and felicity reigned among the fraternity.
As the attempt of parliament to suppress the lodges and communications of masons renders the transactions of this period worthy attention, it may not be improper to state the circumstances which are supposed to have given rise to this harsh edict.
The duke of Bedford, at that time regent of the kingdom, being in France, the regal power was vested in his brother Humphrey, duke of Gloucester *, who was styled protector and guardian of the kingdom. The care of the young king's person and education was entrusted to Henry Beaufort, bishop of Winchester, the capacity and experience, but of an intriguing and dangerous character. As he aspired to the sole government of affairs, he had continual disputes with his nephew the protector, and gained frequent advantages over the vehement and impolitic temper of that prince. Invested with power, he soon began to shew his pride and haughtiness, and wanted not followers and agents to augment his influence *.
The animosity between the uncle and nephew daily increased, and the authority of parliament was obliged to interpose. On the last day of April 1425, the parliament met at Westminster. The servants and followers of the peers coming thither, armed with clubs and staves, occasioned its being named THE BATT PARLIAMENT. Several laws were made, and, among the rest, the act for abolishing the society of masons *; at least, for preventing their assemblies and congregations. Their meetings being secret, attracted the attention of the aspiring prelate, who determined to suppress them *.
The sovereign authority being vested in the duke of Gloucester, as protector of the realm, the execution of the laws, and all that related to the civil magistrate, centered in him: a fortunate circumstance for the masons at this critical juncture. The duke, knowing them to be innocent of the accusations which the bishop of Winchester had laid against them, took them under his protection, and transferred the charge of rebellion, sedition, and treason, from them, to the bishop and his followers; who, he asserted, were the first violators of the public peace, and the most rigorous promoters of a civil discord.
The bishop, sensible that his conduct could not be justified by the laws of the land, prevailed on the king, through the intercession of the parliament, whose favour his riches had obtained, to grant letters of pardon for all offences committed by him, contrary to the statute of provisors, and other acts of præmunire; and five years afterward, procured another pardon, under the great seal, for all crimes whatever from the creation of the world to the 26th of July 1437.
Notwithstanding these precautions of the cardinal, the duke of Gloucester drew up, in 1442, fresh articles of impeachment against him, and presented them in person to the king; earnestly intreating that judgment might be passed upon him, according to his crimes. The king referred the matter to his council, at that time composed principally of ecclesiastics, who extended their favour to the cardinal, and made such a slow progress in the business, that the duke, wearied out with their tedious delays and fraudulent evasions, dropt the prosecution, and the cardinal escaped.
Nothing could now remove the inveteracy of the cardinal against the duke; he resolved to destroy a man whose popularity might become dangerous, and whose resentment he had reason to dread. The duke having always proved a strenuous friend to the public, and, by the authority of his birth and station, having hitherto prevented absolute power from being vested in the king's person, Winchester was enabled to gain many partisans, who were easily brought to concur in the ruin of the prince *.
To accomplish this purpose, the bishop and his party concerted a plan to murder the duke. A parliament was summoned to meet at St. Edmondsbury in 1447, where they expected he would lie entirely at their mercy. Having appeared on the second day of the session, he was accused of treason, and thrown into prison; where he was found, the next day, cruelly murdered. It was pretended that his death was natural; but though his body, which was exposed to public view, bore no marks of outward injury, there was little doubt of his having fallen a sacrifice to the vengeance of his enemies. After this dreadful catastrophe, five of his servants were tried for aiding him in his treasons, and condemned to be hanged, drawn, and quartered. They were hanged accordingly, cut down alive, stripped naked, and marked with a knife to be quartered; when the marquis of Suffolk, through a mean and pitiful affectation of popularity, produced their pardon, and saved their lives; the most barbarous kind of mercy that can possibly be imagined !
The duke of Gloucester's death was universally lamented throughout the kingdom. He had long obtained, and deserved, the sirname of GOOD. He was a lover of his country, the friend of good men, the protector of masons, the patron of the learned, and the encourager of every useful art. His inveterate persecutor, the hypocritical bishop, stung with remorse, scarcely survived him two months; when, after a long life spent in falsehood and politics, he sunk into oblivion, and ended his days in misery *.
After the death of the cardinal, the masons continued to hold their lodges without danger of interruption. Henry established various seats of erudition, which he enriched with ample endowments, and distinguished by peculiar immunities; thus inviting his subjects to rise above ignorance and barbarism, and reform their turbulent and licentious manners. In 1442, he was initiated into masonry, and, from that time, spared no pains to obtain a complete knowledge of the Art. He perused the ancient charges, revised the constitutions, and, with the consent of his council, honoured them with his sanction *.
Encouraged by the example of the sovereign, and allured by an ambition to excel, many lords and gentlemen of the court were initiated into masonry, and pursued the Art with diligence and assiduity *. The king in person presided over the lodges, and nominated William Wanefleet, bishop of Winchester, Grand Master; who built at his own expence Magdalene college, Oxford, and several pious houses. Eton college, near Windsor, and King's college, Cambridge, were founded in this reign, and finished under the direction of Wanefleet. Henry also founded Christ's college, Cambridge' and his queen, Margaret of Anjou, Queen's college, in the same university. In short, during the life of this prince, the arts flourished, and many sagacious statesmen, consummate orators, and admired writers, were supported by royal munificence.

Sects. 4 - History of Masonry in the South of England from 1471 to 1567

Masonry continued to flourish in England till the peace of the kingdom was interrupted by the civil wars between the two royal houses of York and Lancaster; during which it fell into an almost total neglect, that continued till 1471, when it again revived under the auspices of Richard Beauchamp, bishop of Sarum; who had been appointed Grand Master by Edward IV. and had been honoured with the title of chancellor of the garter, for repairing the castle and chapel of Windsor.
During the short reigns of Edward V. and Richard III. masonry was on the decline; but on the accession of Henry VII. A. D. 1485, it rose again into esteem, under the patronage of the Master and fellows of the order of St. John at Rhodes, (now Malta,) who assembled their grand lodge in 1500, and chose Henry their protector. Under the royal auspices the fraternity once more revived their assemblies, and masonry resumed its pristine splendor.
On the 24th of June 1502, a lodge of masters was formed in the palace, at which the king presided in person as Grand Master; and having appointed John Islip, abbot of Westminster, and Sir Reginald Bray, knight of the garter, his wardens for the occasion, proceeded in ample form to the east end of Westminster Abbey, where he laid the foundation stone of that rich masterpiece of Gothic architecture, known by the name of Henry the seventh's chapel. This chapel is supported by fourteen Gothic buttresses, all beautifully ornamented, and projecting from the building in different angles; it is enlightened by a double range of windows, which throw the light into such a happy disposition, as at once to please the eye, and afford a kind of solemn gloom. These buttresses extend to the roof, and are made to strengthen it, by being crowned with Gothic arches. The entrance is from the east end of the abbey, by a flight of black marble steps, under a noble arch, leading to the body of the chapel. The gates are of brass. The stalls on each side are of oak, as are also the seats, and the pavement is black and white marble. The capestone of this building was celebrated in 1507.
Under the direction of Sir Reginald Bray, the palace of Richmond was afterwards built, and many other stately works. Brazen-nose college, Oxford, and Jesus and St. Jon's colleges, Cambridge, were all finished in this reign.
Henry VIII. succeeded his father in 1509, and appointed cardinal Wolsey, Grand Master. This prelate built Hampton court, Whitehall, Christ church college, Oxford, and several other noble edifices; all of which, upon his disgrace, were forfeited to the crown, A. D. 1530. Thomas Cromwell, earl of Essex, succeeded the cardinal in the office of Grand Master; and employed the fraternity in building St. James's palace, Christ's hospital, and Greenwich castle. In 1534, the king and parliament threw off allegiance to the pope of Rome, and the King being declared supreme head of the church, no less than 926 pious houses were suppressed; many of which were afterwards converted into stately mansions for the nobility and gentry. Under the direction of John Touchet lord Audley, who, on Cromwell's being beheaded in 1540, had succeeded to the office of Grand Master, the fraternity were employed in building Magdalene college, Cambridge, and several other structures.
Edward VI. a minor, succeeded to the throne in 1547, and his guardian and regent, Edward Seymour, duke of Somerset, undertook the management of the masons, and built Somerset house in the Strand; which, on his being beheaded, was forfeited to the crown in 1552. John Poynet, bishop of Winchester, then became the patron of the fraternity, and presided over the lodges till the death of the king in 1553.
The masons remained without any nominal patron till the reign of Elizabeth, when Sir Thomas Sackville accepted the office of Grand Master. Lodges were held, during this period, in different parts of England; but the General or Grand Lodge assembled in York, where the fraternity were numerous and respectable.
The following circumstance is recorded of Elizabeth: Hearing that the masons were in possession of secrets which they would not reveal, and being jealous of all secret assemblies, she sent an armed force to York, with intent to break up their annual grand lodge *. This design, however, was happily frustrated by the interposition of Sir Thomas Sackville; who took care to initiate some of the chief officers which she had sent on this duty. They joined in communication with the masons, and made so favourable a report to the queen on their return, that she countermanded her orders, and never afterwards attempted to disturb the meetings of the fraternity.
Sir Thomas Sackville held the office of Grand Master till 1567, when he resigned in favour of Francis Russel, earl of Bedford, and Sir Thomas Gresham *, an eminent merchant, distinguished by his abilities, and great success in trade. To the former, the care of the brethren in the northern part of the kingdom was assigned, while the latter was appointed to superintended the meetings in the south, where the society had considerably increased, in consequence of the honourable report which had been made to the queen. Notwithstanding this new appointment of a Grand Master for the fourth, the General Assembly continued to meet in the city of York as heretofore, where all the records were kept; and to this assembly, appeals were made on every important occasion.

 

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

The queen being assured that the fraternity were composed of skilful architects, and lovers of the Arts, and that state affairs were points in which they never interfered, was perfectly reconciled to their assemblies, and masonry made a great progress at this period. During her reign, lodges were held in different places of the kingdom, particularly in London, and its environs, where the brethren increased considerably, and several great works were carried on, under the auspices of Sir Thomas Gresham, from whom the fraternity received every encouragement.
Charles Howard, earl of Essingham, succeeded Sir Thomas in the office of Grand Master, and continued to preside over the lodges in the fourth till the year 1588, when George Hastings, earl of Huntingdon, was chosen, who remained in that office till the death of the queen in 1603.
On the demise of Elizabeth, the crowns of England and Scotland were united in here successor James VI. of Scotland, who was proclaimed king of England, Scotland, and Ireland, on the 25th of March 1603. At this period, masonry flourished in both kingdoms, and lodges were convened under the royal patronage. Several gentlemen of fine taste returned from their travels, full of laudable emulation to revive the old Roman and Grecian masonry. These ingenious travellers brought home fragments of old columns, curious drawings, and books of architecture. Among the number was the celebrated Inigo Jones, son of Inigo Jones, a citizen of London, who was put apprentice to a joiner, and had a natural taste for the art of designing. He was first renowned for his skill in landscape painting, and was patronized by the learned William Herbert, afterward earl of Pembroke. He made the tour of Italy at his lordship's expence, and improved under some of the best disciples of the famous Andrea Palladio. On his return to England, having laid aside the pencil and confined his study to architecture, he became the Vitruvius of Britain, and the rival of Palladio.
This celebrated artist was appointed general surveyor to king James I. under whose auspices the science of masonry flourished. He was nominated Grand Master of England *, and was deputized by his sovereign to preside over the lodges. During his administration, several learned men were initiated into masonry, and the society considerably increased in reputation and consequence. Ingenious artists daily resorted to England, where they met with great encouragement. Lodges were constituted as seminaries of instruction in the sciences and polite arts, after the model of the Italian schools; the communications of the fraternity were established, and the annual festivals regularly observed.
Many curious and magnificent structures were finished under the direction of this accomplished architect; and, among the rest, he was employed, by command of the sovereign, to plan a new palace at Whitehall, worthy the residence of the kings of England, which he accordingly executed; but for want of a parliamentary fund, no more of the plan than the present Banqueting-house was ever finished. In 1607, the foundation stone of this elegant piece of true masonry was laid by king James, in presence of Grand Master Jones, and his wardens, William Herbert earl of Pembroke, and Nicholas Stone esq. master-mason of England, who were attended by many brothers, clothed in form, and other eminent persons, invited on the occasion. The ceremony was conducted with the greatest pomp and splendor, and a purse of broad pieces of gold laid upon the stone, to enable the masons to regale. This building is said to contain the finest single room of its extent since the days of Augustus, and was intended for the reception of ambassadors, and other audiences of state. The whole is a regular and stately building, of three stories; the lowest has a rustic wall, with small square windows, and by its strength happily serves as a basis for the orders. Upon this is raised the Ionic, with columns and pilasters; and between the columns, are well-proportioned windows, with arched and pointed pediments: over these, is placed the proper entablature: on which is raised a second series of the Corinthian order, consisting of columns and pilasters, like the other, column being placed over column, and pilaster over pilaster. From the capitals are carried festoons, which meet with masks, and other ornaments, in the middle. This series is also crowned with its proper entablature, on which is raised the balustrade, with attic pedestals between, which crown the work. The whole is finely proportioned, and happily executed. The projection of the columns from the wall, has a fine effect in the entablatures; which being brought forward in the same proportion, yields that happy diversity of light and shade so essential to true architecture. The internal decorations are also striking. The cieling of the grand room, in particular, which is now used as a chapel, is richly painted by the celebrated Sir Peter Paul Rubens, who was ambassador in England in the time of Charles I. The subject is, the entrance, inauguration, and coronation of king James, represented by pagan emblems; and it is justly esteemed one of the most capital performances of this eminent master. It has been pronounced one of the finest cielings in the world.
Inigo Jones continued in the office of Grand Master till the year 1618, when he was succeeded by the earl of Pembroke; under whose auspices many eminent , wealthy, and learned men were initiated, and the mysteries of the Order held in high estimation.
On the death of king James in 1625, Charles ascended the throne. The earl of Pembroke presided over the fraternity till 1630, when he resigned in favour of Henry Danvers, earl of Danby; who was succeeded in 1633 by Thomas Howard, earl of Arundel, the progenitor of the Norfolk family. In 1635, Francis Russel, earl of Bedford, accepted the government of the society; but Inigo Jones having, with indefatigable assiduity, continued to patronize the lodges during his lordship's administration, he was re-elected the following year and continued in office till his death in 1646 *.
The taste of this celebrated architect was displayed in many curious and elegant structures, both in London and the country; particularly in designing the magnificent row of Great Queen-street, and the west side of Lincoln's Inn Fields, with Lindsey-house in the centre; the late Chirurgions's hall and theatre, now Barbers-hall, in Monkwell-street; Shaftesbury-house, late the London lying-in hospital for married women, in Aldersgate-street; Bedford-house in Bloomsbury-square; Berkley-house, Piccadilly, lately burnt, and rebuilt, now in the possession of the duke of Devonshire; and York-stairs, at Thames, &c. Beside these, he designed Gunnersbury-house near Brentford; Wilton-house in Wiltshire; Castle-abbey in Northampton-shire; Stoke-park; part of the quadrangle at St. John's, Oxford; Charlton-house, and Cobham-hall, in Kent; Coles-hill in Berkshire; and the Grange, in Hampshire.
The breaking out of the civil wars obstructed the progress of masonry in England for some time. After the Restoration, however, it began to revive under the patronage of Charles II. who had been received into the Order during his exile *.
On the 27th December 1663, a general assembly was held, at which Henry Jermyn, earl of St. Alban's, was elected Grand Master; who appointed Sir John Denham knt. his deputy, and Mr. (afterwards Sir) Christopher Wren *, and John Webb his wardens. Several useful regulations * were made at this assembly, for the better government of the lodges, and the greatest harmony prevailed among the whole fraternity.
Thomas Savage, earl of Rivers, having succeeded the earl of St. Alban's in the office of Grand Master in June 1666, Sir Christopher Wren was appointed Deputy under his lordship, and distinguished himself more than any of his predecessors in office, in promoting the prosperity of the few lodges which occasionally met at this time; particularly the old lodge of St. Paul's *, now the lodge of Antiquity, which he patronized upwards of 18 years. The honours which this celebrated character afterwards received in the society, are evident proofs of the unfeigned attachment of the fraternity toward him.

 

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

The year 1666 afforded a singular and awful occasion for the utmost exertion of masonic abilities. The city of London, which had been visited in the preceding year by the plague, to whole ravages, it is computed, above 100,000 of its inhabitants fell a sacrifice *, had scarcely recovered from the alarm of that dreadful contagion, when a general conflagration reduced the greatest part of the city within the walls to ashes, This dreadful fire broke out on the 2d of September, at the house of a baker in Pudding-lane, a wooden building, pitched on the outside, as were also all the rest of the houses in that narrow lane. The house being filled with faggots and brush-wood, soon added to the rapidity of the flames, which raged with such fury, as to spread four ways at once.
Jonas Moore and Ralph Gatrix, who were appointed surveyors on this occasion to examine the ruins, reported, that the fire over-ran 373 acres within the walls, and burnt 13,000 houses, 89 parish churches, besides chapels, leaving only 11 parishes standing. The Royal Exchange, Custom-house, Guildhall, Blackwell-hall, St. Paul's cathedral, Bridewell, the two compters, fifty-two city companies halls, and three city gates, were all demolished. The damage was computed at 10,000,000 l. sterling *.
After so sudden and extensive a calamity, it became necessary to adopt some regulations to guard against any such catastrophe in future. It was therefore determined, that in all the new buildings to be erected, stone and brick should be substituted in the room of timber. The King and the Grand Master immediately ordered deputy Wren to draw up the plan of a new city, with broad and regular streets. Dr. Christopher Wren was appointed surveyor general and principle architect for rebuilding the city, the cathedral of St. Paul, and all the parochial churches enacted by parliament, in lieu of those that were destroyed, with other public structures. This gentleman, conceiving the charge too important for a single person, selected Mr. Robert Hook, professor of geometry in Gresham college, to assist him; who was immediately employed in measuring, adjusting, and setting out the grounds of the private streets to the several proprietors. Dr. Wren's model and plan were laid before the king and the house of commons, and the practicability of the whole scheme, without the infringement of property, clearly demonstrated: it unfortunately happened, however, that the greater part of the citizens were absolutely averse to alter their old possessions, and to recede from building their houses again on the old foundations . Many were unwilling to give up their properties into the hands of public trustees, till they should receive an equivalent of more advantage; while others expressed distrust. Every means were tried to convince the citizens, that by removing all the church-yards, gardens &c. to the out-skirts of the city, sufficient room would be given to augment the streets, and properly to dispose of the churches, halls, and other public buildings, to the perfect satisfaction of every proprietor; but the representation of all these improvements had no weight. The citizens chose to have their old city again, under all its disadvantages, rather than a new one, the principles of which they were unwilling to understand, and considered as innovations. Thus an opportunity was lost, of making the new city the most magnificent, as well as the most commodious for health and trade, of any in Europe. The architect, cramped in the execution of his plan, was obliged to abridge his scheme, and exert his utmost labour, skill, and ingenuity, to model the city in the manner in which it has since appeared.
On the 23d of October 1667, the king in person levelled in form the foundation stone of the new Royal Exchange, now allowed to be the finest in Europe; and on the 28th September 1669, it was opened by the lord mayor and aldermen. Round the inside of the square, above the arcades, and between the windows, are the statues of the sovereigns of England. In the centre of the square, is erected the king's statue to the life, in a Cæsarean habit of white marble, executed in a masterly manner by Mr. Gibbons, then grand warden of the society.
In 1668, the Custom-house for the port of London, situated on the south side of Thames-street, was built, adorned with an upper and lower order of architecture. In the latter, are stone columns, and entablement of the Tuscan order: and in the former, are pilaster, entablature, and five pediments of the Ionic order. The wings are elevated on columns, forming piazzas; and the length of the building is 189 feet; its breadth in the middle, 27; and at the west end, 60 feet.
This year also, deputy Wren and his warden Webb finished the Theatrum Sheldonium at Oxford, designed and executed at the private expence of Gilbert Sheldon, archbishop of Canterbury, an excellent architect and able designer. On the 9th of July 1669, the capestone of this elegant building was celebrated with joy and festivity by the craftsmen, and an elegant oration delivered on the occasion by Dr. South.
Deputy Wren, at the same time also, built, at the expence of the University, that other master-piece of architecture, the pretty museum near this theatre.
In 1671, Mr. Wren began to build that great fluted column called the Monument, in memory of the burning and re-building of the city of London. This stupendous pillar was finished in 1677. It is 24 feet higher than Trajan's pillar at Rome, and built of Portland stone, of the Doric order. Its altitude, from the ground, is 202 feet; the greatest diameter of the shaft or body of the column, 15 feet; the ground plinth, or bottom of the pedestal, 28 feet square; and the pedestal 40 feet high. Over the capital, is an iron balcony, encompassing a cone 32 feet high, supporting a blazing urn of gilt brass. Within is a large stair-case of black marble, containing 345 step, each step ten inches and an half broad, and six inches thick. The west side of the pedestal is adorned with curious emblems, by the masterly hand of Mr. Cibber, father to the late poet-laureat Colley Cibber; in which eleven principal figures are done in alto, and the rest in basso relievo. That to which the eye is particularly directed, is a female, representing the City of London, sitting in a languishing posture, on a heap of ruins. Behind her, is Time, gradually raising her up; and at her side, a woman, representing Providence, gently touching her with one hand, while, with a winged sceptre in the other, she directs her to regard two goddesses in the clouds; one with a cornucopia, denoting Plenty; the other, with a palm branch, the emblem of Peace. At her feet is a bee-hive, to shew that, by industry and application, the greatest misfortunes may be overcome. Behind Time, are the Citizens, exulting at his endeavours to restore her; and beneath, in the midst of the ruins, is a dragon, the supporter of the city arms, who endeavours to preserve them with his paw. At the north end, is a view of the City in flames, the inhabitants in consternation, with their arms extended upward, crying for assistance. Opposite the City, on an elevated pavement, stands the King, in a Roman habit, with a laurel on his head, and a truncheon in his hand; who, on approaching her, commands three of his attendants to descend to her relief. The first represents the Sciences, with a winged head, and circle of naked boys dancing thereon, and holding Nature in her hand, with her numerous breasts, ready to give assistance to all. The second is Architecture, with a plan in one hand, and a square and pair of compasses in the other. The third is Liberty, waving a hat in the air, and shewing her joy at the pleasing prospect of the City's speedy recovery. Behind the King, stands his brother, the duke of York, with a garland in one hand, to crown the rising city, and a sword in the other, for her defence. The two figures behind them, are Justice and Fortitude; the former with a coronet, and the latter with a reined lion; while, under the pavement, in a vault, appears Envy gnawing a heart. In the upper part of the back ground, the re-construction of the city is represented by scaffolds and unfinished houses, with builders at work on them. The north and south sides of the pedestal have each a Latin inscription, one describing the desolation of the city, the other its restoration. The east side of the pedestal has an inscription, expressing the time in which the pillar was begun, continued, and brought to perfection. In one line continued round the base, are these words: "This pillar was set up in perpetual remembrance of the most dreadful burning of this Protestant city, begun and carried on by the treachery and malice of the Popish faction, in the beginning of September, in the year of our Lord 1666, in order to the carrying on their horrid plot for extirpating the Protestant religion, and old English liberty, and introducing popery and slavery." This inscription, upon the duke of York's accession to the crown, was erased; but, soon after the Revolution, restored again.
The rebuilding of the city of London was vigorously prosecuted, and the restoration of St. Paul's cathedral claimed particular attention. Dr. Wren drew several designs, to discover what would be most acceptable to the general taste; and finding persons of all degrees declare for magnificence and grandeur, he formed a design according to the very best stile of Greek and Roman architecture, and caused a large model of it to be made in wood; but the bishops deciding that it was not sufficiently in the cathedral stile, the surveyor was ordered to amend it, and he then produced the scheme of the present structure, which was honoured with the king's approbation. The original model, however, which was only of the Corinthian order, like St. Peter's at Rome, is still kept in an apartment of the cathedral, as a real curiosity.
In 1673, the foundation stone * of this magnificent cathedral, designed by deputy Wren, was laid in solemn form by the King, attended by Grand Master Rivers, his architects and craftsmen, in the presence of the nobility and gentry, the lord mayor and aldermen, the bishops and clergy, &c. During the whole time this structure was building, Mr. Wren acted as master of the work and surveyor, and was ably assisted by his wardens, Mr. Edward Strong and his son.
St. Paul's cathedral is planned in the form of a long cross; the walls are wrought in rustic, and strengthened, as well as adorned, by two rows of coupled pilasters, one over the other; the lower Corinthian, and the upper Composite. The spaces between the arches of the windows, and the architecture of the lower order, as well as those above, are filled with a variety of enrichments.
The west front is graced with a most magnificent portico, a noble pediment, and two stately turrets. There is a grand flight of steps of black marble that extend the whole length of the portico, which consists of twelve lofty Corinthian columns below, and eight of the Composite order above; these are all coupled and fluted. The upper series support a noble pediment, crowned with its acroteria; and in this pediment is an elegant representation in bas relief, of the conversion of St. Paul, executed by Mr. Bird, an artist whose name, on account of this piece alone, is worthy of being transmitted to posterity. The figures are well executed: the magnificent figure of St. Paul, on the apex of the pediment, with St. Peter on his right, and St. James on his left, produce a fine effect. The four Evangelists, with their proper emblems, on the front of the towers, are judiciously disposed, and skilfully finished; St. Matthew is distinguished by an angel; St. Mark, by a lion; St. Luke, by an ox; and St. John, by an eagle.
To the north portico, there is an ascent by twelve circular steps of black marble, and its dome is supported by six grand Corinthian columns. Upon the dome is a well-proportioned urn, finely ornamented with festoons; over the urn is a pediment, supported by pilasters in the wall, in the face of which are carved the royal arms, with the regalia, supported by angels. Statues of five of the apostles are placed on the top, at proper distances.
The south portico answers to the north, and, like that, is supported by six noble Corinthian columns; but as the ground is considerably lower on this side of the church than the other, the ascent is by a flight of twenty-five steps. This portico has also a pediment above, in which is a phoenix rising out of the flames, with the motto, RESURGAM, underneath it; as an emblem of rebuilding the church. A curious accident is said to have given rise to this device, which was particularly observed by the architect as a favourable omen. When Dr. Wren was marking our the dimensions of the building, and had fixed on the centre of the great dome, a common labourer was ordered to bring him a flat stone from among the rubbish, to leave as a direction to the masons. the stone which the man brought happened to be a piece of a grave-stone, with nothing remaining of the inscription but this single word, in large capitals, RESURGAM; and this circumstance left an impression on Dr. Wrens' mind, that could never afterwards be erased. On this side of the building are likewise five statues, which correspond with those on the apex of the north pediment.
At the east end of the church is a sweep, or circular projection for the altar, finely ornamented with the orders, and with sculpture; particularly a noble piece in honour of king William III.
The dome, which rises in the centre of the whole, is superlatively grand. Twenty feet above the roof of the church is a circular range of thirty-two columns, with niches placed exactly against others within. These are terminated by their entablature, which supports a handsome gallery, adorned with a balustrade. Above these columns is a range of pilasters, with windows between; and from the entablature of these, the diameter decreases very considerably; and two feet above that, it is again contracted. From this part the external sweep of the dome begins, and the arches meet at 52 feet above. On the summit of the dome, is an elegant balcony, and from its centre rises the lantern, adorned with Corinthian columns. The whole is terminated by a ball, on which stands a cross, both of which are elegantly gilt.
This noble fabric is surrounded, at a proper distance, by a dwarf stone wall, on which is placed the most magnificent balustrade of cast iron perhaps in the universe, four feet six inches in height, exclusive of the wall. In this inclosure are seven beautiful iron gates, which, together with the balusters, in number about 2500, weigh 200 tons and 85 pounds.
In the centre of the area of the grand west front, on a pedestal of excellent workmanship, stands a statue of queen Anne, formed of white marble, with proper decorations. The figures on the base represent Britannia, with her spear; Gallia, with the crown in her lap Hibernia, with her harp; and America, with her bow. These, are the colossal statues with which the church are adorned, were executed by the ingenious Mr. Hill.
A strict regard to the situation of this cathedral, due east and west, has given it an oblique appearance with respect to Ludgate-street in front; so that the great front gate in the surrounding iron rails, being made to regard the street in front, rather than the church to which it belongs, the statue of queen Anne, that is exactly in the middle of the west front, is thrown on one side the straight approach from the gate to the church, and gives an idea of the whole edifice being awry.
Under the grand portico, at the west end, are three doors, ornamented at the top with bas relief. The middle door, which is by far the largest, is cased with white marble, and over it is a fine piece of basso relievo, in which St. Paul is represented preaching to the Bereans. On entering the door, the mind is struck by the extend of the vista. An arcade, supported by lofty and massy pillars on each hand, divide the church into the body and two aisles; and the view is terminated by the altar at the extremity of the choir; subject, nevertheless, to the intervention of the organ standing across, which forms a heavy obstruction. The pillars are adorned with columns and pilasters of the Corinthian and Composite orders; and the arches of the roof and enriched with shields, festoons, chaplets, and other ornaments. In the aisle, on one hand, is the consistory; and opposite, on the other, the morning prayer chapel. These have very beautiful screens of carved wainscot, which are much admired.
Over the centre, where the great aisles cross each other, is the grand cupola, or dome, the vast concave of which inspires a pleasing awe. Under its centre is fixed in the floor, a brass plate, round which the pavement is beautifully variegated; but the figures into which it is formed, can nowhere be so well seen as from the whispering-gallery above. Here the spectator has at once a full view of the organ, richly ornamented with carved work, and the entrance to the choir directly under it. The two aisles on the side of the choir, as well as the choir itself, are inclosed with very fine iron rails and gates.
The altar-piece is adorned with four noble fluted pilasters, painted and veined with gold, in imitation of lapis lazuli, and their capitals are double gilt. In the intercolumniations below, are nine marble pannels, and above are six windows, in the two series. The floor of the whole church is paved with marble; and within the rails of the altar, with porphyry, polished, and laid in several geometrical figures.
In the great cupola, which is 108 feet in diameter, the architect seems to have imitated the Pantheon at Rome, excepting that the upper order is there only umbratile, and distinguished by different coloured marbles; while, in St. Paul's, it is extant out of the wall. The Pantheon is no higher within than its diameter; St. Peter's is two diameters; the former shews its concave too low, the latter too high: St. Paul's is proportioned between both, and therefore shews its concave every way, and is very lightsome by the windows of the upper order. These strike down the light through the great colonnade that encircles the dome without, and serves for the abutment, which is brick of the thickness of two bricks; but as it rises every way five feet high, it has a course of excellent brick of 18 inches long, banding through the whole thickness; and, to make it still more secure, it is surrounded with a vast chain of iron, strongly linked together at every ten feet. This chain is let into a channel, cut into the bandage of Portland stone, and defended from the weather by filling the groove with lead. The concave was turned upon a center, which was judged necessary to keep the work true; but the center was laid without any standards below for support. Every story of the scaffolding being circular, and the ends of all the ledgers meeting as so many rings, and truly wrought, it supported itself.
As the old church of St. Paul had a lofty spire, Dr. Wren was obliged to give his building an altitude that might secure it from suffering by the comparison. To do this, he made the dome without, much higher than within, by raising a strong brick cone over the internal cupola, so constructed as to support an elegant stone lantern on the apex. This brick cone is supported by a cupola formed of timber, and covered with lead: between which and the cone are easy stairs, up to the lantern. Here the spectator may view contrivances that are truly astonishing. The outward cupola is only ribbed, with the architect thought less Gothic than to stick it full of such little lights as are in the cupola of St. Peter's, that could not without difficulty be mended, and, if neglected, might soon damage the timbers. As the architect was sensible that paintings are liable to decay, he intended to have beautified the inside of the cupola with mosaic work; which, without the least fading of colours, would be as durable as the building itself: but in this he was over-ruled, though he had undertaken to procure four of the most eminent artists in that profession from Italy, for the purpose. This part, therefore, is now decorated by the pencil of Sir James Thornhill, who has represented the principal passages of St. Paul's life, in eight compartments. These paintings are all seen to advantage by means of a circular opening, through which the light is transmitted with admirable effect from the lantern above; but they are now cracked, and sadly decayed.
Divine service was performed in the choir of this cathedral for the first time on the thanksgiving day for the peace of Ryswick, Dec: 2, 1697 *; and the last stone on the top of the lantern laid by Mr. Christopher Wren, the son of the architect, in 1710. This noble fabric, lofty enough to be discerned at sea eastward, and at Windsor to the west, was begun and completed in the space of 35 years, by one architect, the great sir Christopher Wren; one principal mason, Mr. Strong; and under one bishop of London, Dr. Henry Compton: whereas St. Peter's at Rome was 155 years in building, under twelve successive architects, assisted by the police and interest of the Roman see, and attended by the best artists in sculpture, statuary, painting, and mosaic work.
The various parts of this superb edifice I have been thus particular in describing, as it reflects honour on the ingenious architect who built it, and as there is not an instance on record of any work of equal magnitude having ever been completed by one man.
While the cathedral of St. Paul's was carrying on, as a national undertaking, the citizens did not neglect their own immediate concerns, but restored such of their halls and gates as had been destroyed. In April 1675, was laid the foundation stone of the present Bethlehem-hospital for lunatics, in Moorfields. This is a magnificent building, 540 feet long, and 40 broad, beside the two wings, which were not added until several years afterward. The middle and ends of the edifice project a little, and are adorned with pilasters, entablatures, foliages, &c. which, rising above the rest of the building, have each a flat roof, with a handsome balustrade of stone. In the centre is an elegant turret, adorned with a cloak, gilt ball, and vane. The whole building is brick and stone, inclosed by a handsome wall, 680 feet long, of the same materials. In the center of the wall, is a large pair of iron gates; and on the piers on which these are hung, are two images, in a reclining posture, one representing raving, the other melancholy, madness. The expression of these figures is admirable; and they are the workmanship of Mr. Cibber, the father of the laureat before mentioned.
The college of Physicians also, about this time, discovered some taste in erecting their college in Warwick-lane, which, though little known, is esteemed by good judges a delicate building.
The fraternity were now fully employed; and by them the following parish churches, which had been consumed by the great fire, were gradually rebuilt, or repaired:

Allhallows, Bread-street, finished 1694; and the steeple completed 1697.
Allhallows the Great, Thames-street, 1683.
Allhallows, Lombard-street, 1694.
St. Alban, Wood-street, 1685.
St. Anne and Agnes, St. Annes's-lane, Aldersgate-street, 1680.
St. Andrew's Wardrobe, Puddledock-hill, 1692.
St. Andrew's, Holborn, 1687.
St. Anthony's, Watling-street, 1682.
St. Augustin's, Watling-street, 1683; and the steeple finished 1695.
St. Bartholomew's, Royal Exchange, 1679.
St. Benedict, Grace-church-street, 1685.
St. Benedict's, Threadneedle-street, 1673.
St. Bennet's, Paul's Wharf, Thames-street, 1683.
St. Bride's, Fleet-street, 1680; and farther adorned in 1699.
Christ-church, Newgate-street, 1687.
St. Christopher's, Threadneedle-street, (since taken down to make room for the Bank,) repaired in 1696.
St. Clement Danes, in the Strand, taken down 1680, and rebuilt by sir Christopher Wren, 1682.
St. Clement's, East Cheap, St. Clement's-lane, 1686.
St. Dennis Back, Lime-street, 1674.
St Dunstan's in the East, Tower-street, repaired in 1698.
St. Edmond's the King, Lombard-street, rebuilt in 1674.
St. George, Botolph-lane, 1674.
St. James, Garlick-hill, 1683.
St. James, Westminster, 1675.
St. Lawrence Jewry, Cateaton-street, 1677.
St. Magnes, London-bridge, 1676; and the steeple in 1705.
St. Margaret, Lothbury, 1690.
St. Margaret Pattens, Little Tower-street, 1687.
St. Martin's, Ludgate, 1684.
St. Mary Abchurch, Abchurch-lane, 1686.
St. Mary's-at-hill, St. Mary's-hill, 1672.
St. Mary's Aldermary, Bow-lane, 1672.
St. Mary Magdalen, Old Fish-street, 1685.
St. Mary Somerset, Queenhithe, Thames-street, 1683.
St. Mary le Bow, Cheapside, 1683.   This church was built on the wall of a very ancient one in the early time of the Roman colony; the roof is arched, and supported with ten Corinthian columns; but the principal ornament is the steeple, which is deemed an admirable piece of architecture, not to be paralleled by that of any other parochial church. It rises from the ground a square tower, plain at bottom, and is carried up to a considerable height in this shape, but with more ornament as it advances. The principal decoration of the lower part is the door case; a lofty, noble arch, faced with a bold and well-wrought rustic, raised on a plain solid course from the foundation. Within the arch, is a portal of the Doric order, with well-proportioned columns; the frieze is ornamented with triglyphs, and with sculpture in the metopes. There are some other slight ornaments in this part, which is terminated by an elegant cornice, over which rises a plain course, from which the dial projects. Above this, in each face, there is an arched window, with Ionic pilasters at the sides. The entablature of the order is well wrought; it has the swelling frieze, and supports on the cornice an elegant balustrade, with Attic pillars over  Ionic columns. These sustain elegant scrolls, on which are placed urns with flames, and from this part the steeple rises circular. There is a plain course to the height of half the scrolls, and upon this is raised an elegant circular series of Corinthian columns. These support a second balustrade with scrolls; and above there is placed another series of columns of the Composite order; while, from the entablature, rises a set of scrolls supporting the spire, which is placed on balls, and terminated by a globe, on which is fixed a vane.
St. Mary Woolnoth's, Lombard-street, repaired in 1677.
St. Mary, Aldermanbury, rebuilt 1677.
St. Matthew, Friday-street, 1685.
St. Michael, Basinghall-street, 1679.
St. Michael Royal, College-hill, 1694.
St. Michael, Queenhithe, Trinity-lane, 1677.
St. Michael, Wood-street, 1675.
St. Michael, Crooked-lane, 1688.
St. Michael, Cornhill, 1672.
St. Mildred, Bread-street, 1683.
St. Mildred, Poultry, 1676.
St. Nicholas, Cole-abbey, Old Fish-street, 1677.
St. Olive's, Old Jewry, 1673.
St. Peter's, Cornhill, 1681.
St. Sepulchre's, Snow-hill, 1670.
St. Stephen's, Coleman-street, 1676.
St. Stephen's, Walbrook, behind the Mansion-house, 1676.   Many encomiums have been bestowed on this church for its interior beauties. The dome is finely proportioned to the church, and divided into small compartments, decorated with great elegance, and crowned with a lantern; the roof is also divided into compartments, and supported by noble Corinthian columns raised on their pedestals. This church has three aisles and a cross aisle, is 75 feet long, 36 broad, 34 high, and 58 to the lantern. It is famous all over Europe, and justly reputed the master-piece of sir Christopher Wren. There is not a beauty, of which the plan would admin, that is not to be found here in its greatest perfection.
St. Swithin's, Cannon-street, 1673.
St. Vedast, Foster-lane, 1697.

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

During the prosecution of the great works above described, the private business of the Society was not neglected, but lodges were held at different places, and many new ones constituted, to which the best architects resorted.
In 1674, the earl of Rivers resigned the office of Grand Master, and was succeeded by George Villiers, duke of Buckingham. He left the care of the brethren to his wardens, and sir Christopher Wren, who still continued to act as deputy. In 1679, the duke resigned in favour of Henry Bennett, earl of Arlington. Though this nobleman was too deeply engaged in state affairs to attend to the duties of masonry, the lodges continued to meet under his sanction, and many respectable gentlemen joined the fraternity.
On the death of the king in 1685, James II. succeeded to the throne; during whose reign the fraternity were much neglected. The earl of Arlington dying this year, the lodges met in communication, and elected sir Christopher Wren Grand Master, who appointed Gabriel Cibber and Mr. Edward Strong * his wardens. Masonry continued in a declining state for many years, and a few lodges only occasionally met in different places.
At the Revolution, the Society was so much reduced in the south of England, that no more than seven regular lodges met in London and its suburbs, of which two only were worthy of notice; the old lodge of St. Paul's, over which sir Christopher had presided during the building of that structure; and a lodge at St. Thomas's-hospital, Southwark, over which sir Robert Clayton, then lord mayor of London, presided during the rebuilding of that hospital *.
King William having been privately initiated into masonry in 1695, approved the choice of sir Christopher Wren as Grand Master, and honoured the lodges with his royal sanction; particularly one at Hampton Court, at which it is said his majesty frequently presided during the building of the new part of that palace. Kensington palace was built during this reign, under the direction of sir Christopher; as were also Chelsea hospital, and the palace of Greenwich; the latter of which had been recently converted into an hospital for seamen, and finished after the design of Inigo Jones.
At a general assembly and feast of the masons in 1697, many noble and eminent brethren were present; and among the rest, Charles duke of Richmond and Lenox, who was at that time master of a lodge at Chichester. His grace was proposed and elected Grand Master for the following year, and having engaged sir Christopher Wren to act as his deputy, he appointed Edward Strong senior and Edward Strong junior his wardens. His grace continued in office only one year, when he was succeeded by sir Christopher, who continued at the head of the fraternity till the death of the king in 1702.
During the following reign, masonry made no considerable progress. Sir Christopher's age and infirmities drawing off his attention from the duties of his office, the lodges decreased, and the annual festivals were entirely neglected *. The old lodge at St. Paul, and a few others, continued to meet regularly, but consisted of few members *. To increase their numbers, a proposition was made, and afterwards agreed to, that the privileges of masonry should no longer be restricted to operative masons, but extend to men of various professions, providing they were regularly approved and initiated into the Order. In consequence of this resolution, many new regulations took place, and the Society once more rose into notice and esteem.

 

Sect. 7 - History of the Revival of Masonry in the South of England

On the accession of George I. the masons in London and its environs, finding themselves deprived of sir Christopher Wren, and their annual meetings discontinued, resolved to cement under a new Grand Master, and to revive the communications and annual festivals of the Society. With this view, the lodges at the Goose and Gridiron in St. Paul's Church-yard, the Crown in Parker's-lane near Drury-lane, the Apple-tree tavern in Charles-street Covent-garden, and the Rummer and Grapes tavern in Channel-row Westminster, the only four lodges in being in the south of England at that time, with some other old brethren, met at the Apple-tree tavern above mentioned in February 1717; and having voted the oldest master-mason then present into the chair, constituted themselves a Grand Lodge pro tempore in due form. At this meeting it was resolved to revive the quarterly communications of the fraternity; and to hold the next annual assembly and feast on the 24th of June, at the Goose and Gridiron in St. Paul's Church-yard, (in compliment to the oldest lodge, which then met there,) for the purpose of electing a Grand Master among themselves, till they should have the honour of a noble brother at their head. Accordingly, on St. John the Baptist's day 1717, in the third year of the reign of king George I. the assembly and feast were held at the said house; when the oldest Master-mason, and Master of a lodge, having taken the chair, a lift of proper candidates for the office of Grand Master was produced: and the names being separately proposed, the brethren, by a great majority of hands, elected Mr. Anthony Sayer Grand Master of masons for the ensuing year; who was forthwith invested by the said oldest Master, installed by the Master of the oldest lodge, and duly congratulated by the assembly, who paid him homage. The Grand Master then entered on the duties of his office, appointed his wardens, and commanded the brethren of the four lodges to meet him and his wardens quarterly in communication, enjoining them at the same time to recommend to all the fraternity a punctual attendance on the next annual assembly and feast.
Among a variety of regulations which were proposed and agreed to at this meeting, was the following: "That the privilege of assembling as masons, which had hitherto been unlimited *, should be vested in certain lodges or assemblies of masons convened in certain places; and that every lodge to be hereafter convened, except the four old lodges at this time existing, should be legally authorised to act by a warrant from the Grand Master for the time being, granted to certain individuals by petition, with the consent and approbation of the Grand Lodge in communication; and that without such warrant no lodge should be hereafter deemed regular or constitutional." In consequence of this regulation, some new lodges were soon after convened in different parts of London and its environ, and the masters and wardens of these lodges were commanded to attend the meetings of the Grand Lodge, make a regular report of their proceedings, and transmit to the Grand Master, from time to time, a copy of any bye-laws they might form for their own government; that no laws established among them might be contrary to, or subversive of, the general regulations by which the fraternity had been long governed.
In compliment to the brethren of the four old lodges, by whom the Grand Lodge was then formed, it was resolved, "That every privilege which they collectively enjoyed by virtue of their immemorial rights, they should still continue to enjoy; and that now law, rule, or regulation to be hereafter made or passed in Grand Lodge, should deprive them of such privilege, or encroach on any landmark which was at that time established as the standard of masonic government." When this resolution was confirmed, the old masons in the metropolis, agreeably to the resolutions of the brethren at large, vested all their inherent privileges as individuals in the four old lodges, in trust that they would never suffer the old charges and ancient landmarks to be infringed. The four old lodges then agreed to extend their patronage to every new lode which should hereafter be constituted according to the new regulations of the Society; and while they acted in conformity to the ancient constitutions of the order, to admit their Masters and Wardens to share with them all the privileges of the Grand Lodge, excepting precedence of rank.
Matters being thus amicably adjusted, all the brethren of the four old lodges considered their attendance on the future communications of the Society as unnecessary, and therefore trusted implicitly to their Masters and Wardens, resting satisfied that no measure of importance would ever be adopted without their approbation. The officers of the old lodges, however, soon began to discover, that the new lodges, being equally represented with them at the communications, would, in process of time, so far out-number the old ones, as to have it in their power, by a majority, to subvert the privileges of the original masons of England, which had been centered in the four old lodges: they therefore, with the concurrence of the brethren at large, very wisely formed a code of laws for the future government of the Society, and annexed thereto a conditional clause, which the Grand Master for the time being, his successors, and the Master of every lodge to be hereafter constituted, were bound to preserve inviolable in all time coming. To commemorate this circumstance, it has been customary, ever since that time, for the Master of the oldest lodge to attend every Grand Installation; and taking precedence of all present, the Grand Master only excepted, to deliver the book of the original constitutions to the new installed Grand Master, on his promising obedience to the ancient charges and general regulations. The conditional clause above referred to, runs thus:
"Every annual Grand Lodge has an inherent power and authority to make new regulations, or to alter these, for the real benefit of this ancient fraternity; providing always THAT THE OLD LAND-MARKS BE CAREFULLY PRESERVED: and that such alterations and new regulations be proposed and agreed to at the third quarterly communication preceding the annual grand feast; and that they be offered also to the perusal of all the brethren before dinner, in writing, even of the youngest apprentice; the approbation and consent of the majority of all the brethren present, being absolutely necessary to make the same binding and obligatory."
This remarkable clause, with thirty-eight regulations preceding it, all of which are printed in the first edition of the Book of Constitutions, were approved, and confirmed by one hundred and fifty brethren, at an annual assembly and feast held at Stationers'-hall on St. John the Baptist's day 1721 *, and in their presence subscribed by the Master and Wardens of the four old lodges on one part: and by Philip duke of Wharton, then Grand Master; Theophilus Desaguliers, M. D. and F. R. S. Deputy Grand Master; Joshua Timson, and William Hawkins, Grand Wardens; and the Masters and Wardens of sixteen lodges which had been constituted between 1717 and 1721, on the other part.
By the above prudent precaution of our ancient brethren, the original constitutions were established as the basis of all future masonic jurisdiction in the south of England; and the ancient land-marks, as they are emphatically styled, or the boundaries set up as checks to innovation, were carefully secured against the attacks of future invaders. The four old lodges, in consequence of the above compact, in which they considered themselves as a distinct party, continued to act by their original authority; and so far from surrendering any of their rights, had them ratified and confirmed by the whole fraternity in Grand Lodge assembled. No regulations of the Society which might hereafter take place could therefore operate with respect to those lodges, if such regulations were contrary to, or subversive of, the original constitutions by which they were governed; and while their proceedings were conformable to those constitutions, no power known in masonry could legally deprive them of any right which they had ever enjoyed.
The necessity of fixing the original constitutions as the standard by which all future laws in the Society are to be regulated, was so clearly understood by the whole fraternity at this time, that it was established as an unerring rule, at every installation, public and private, to make the Grand Master, and the Masters and Wardens of every lodge, engage to support these constitutions; to which also every mason was bound by the strongest ties at initiation. Whoever acknowledges the universality of masonry to be its highest glory, must admit the propriety of this conduct; for were no standard fixed for the government of the Society, masonry might be exposed to perpetual variations, which would effectually destroy all the good effects that have hitherto resulted from its universality and extended progress *.
During the administration of Mr. Sayer, the Society made no very rapid progress. Several brethren joined the old lodges; but only two new lodges were constituted.
Mr. Sayer was succeeded in 1718 by George Payne esq. who was particularly assiduous in recommending a strict observance of the communications. He collected many valuable manuscripts on the subject of masonry, and earnestly desired that the brethren would bring to the Grand Lodge any old writings or records concerning the fraternity, to shew the usages of ancient times. In consequence of this general intimation, several old copies of the Gothic constitutions were produced, arranged, and digested.
On the 24th of June 1719, another assembly and feast was held at the Goose and Gridiron before mentioned, when Dr. Desaguliers was unanimously elected Grand Master. At this feast, the old, regular, and peculiar toasts or healths of the free-masons were introduced; and from this time we may date the rise of free-masonry on its present plan in the South of England. The lodges, which had considerably increased by the vigilance of the Grand Master, were visited by many old masons who had long neglected the craft, several noblemen were initiated, and a number of new lodges constituted.
At an assembly and feast held at the Goose and Gridiron on the 24th June 1720, George Payne esq. was re-elected Grand Master, and under his mild but vigilant administration the lodges continued to flourish.
This year, at some of the private lodges, to the irreparable loss of the fraternity, several valuable manuscripts, concerning their lodges, regulations, charges, secrets, and usages, (particularly one written by Mr. Nicholas Stone, the warden under Inigo Jones,) were too hastily burnt by some scrupulous brethren, who were alarmed at the intended publication of the masonic constitutions.
At a quarterly communication held this year at the Goose and Gridiron on the festival of St. John the Evangelist, it was agreed, That, in future, the new Grand Master shall be named and proposed to the Grand Lodge some time before the feast *; and if approved, and present, he shall be saluted as Grand Master elect: and that every Grand Master, when he is installed, shall have the sole power of appointing his deputy and wardens, according to ancient custom.
At a Grand Lodge held in ample form on Lady-day 1721, brother Payne proposed for his successor, John duke of Montague, at that time master of a lodge. His grace, being present, received the compliments of the lodge. The brethren expressed great joy at the prospect of being once more patronised by the nobility; and unanimously agreed, that the next assembly and feast should be held at Stationers'-hall; and that a proper number of stewards should be appointed to provide the entertainment; but Mr. Josiah Villeneau, an upholder in the Borough, generously undertook the whole management of the business, and received the thanks of the Society for his attention.
While masonry was thus spreading its influence over the southern part of the kingdom, it was not neglected in the North. The General Assembly, or Grand Lodge, at York, continued regularly to meet as heretofore. In 1705, under the direction of sir George Tempest bart. then Grand Master, several lodges met, and many worthy brethren were initiated in York and its neighbourhood. Sir George being succeeded by the right hon. Robert Benson, lord mayor of York, a number of meetings of the fraternity was held at different times in that city, and the grand feast during his mastership is said to have been very brilliant. Sir William Robinson bart. succeeded Mr. Benson in the office of Grand Master, and the fraternity seem to have considerably increased in the North under his auspices. He was succeeded by sir Walter Hawkesworth bart. who governed the Society with great credit. At the expiration of his mastership, sir George Tempest was elected a second time Grand Master; and from the time of his election in 1714 to 1725, the Grand Lodge continued regularly to assemble at York under the direction of Charles Fairfax esq. sir Walter Hawkesworth bart. Edward Bell esq. Charles Bathurst esq. Edward Thomson esq. M. P. John Johnson M. D. and John Marsden esq. all of whom, in rotation, during the above period, regularly filled the office of Grand Master in the North of England.
From this account, which is authenticated by the books of the Grand Lodge at York, it appears, that the revival of masonry in the South of England did not interfere with the proceedings of the fraternity in the North. For a series of years the most perfect harmony subsisted between the two Grand Lodges, and private lodges flourished in both parts of the kingdom under their separate jurisdiction. The only distinction which the Grand Lodge in the North appears to have retained after the revival of masonry in the South, is in the title which they claim, viz. The Grand Lodge of all England; while the Grand Lodge in the South passes only under the denomination of The Grand Lodge of England. The latter, on account of its situation, being encouraged by some of the principal nobility, soon acquired consequence and reputation; while the former, restricted to fewer, though not less respectable, members, seemed gradually to decline. Till within these few years, however, the authority of the Grand Lodge at York was never challenged; on the contrary, every mason in the kingdom held it in the highest veneration, and considered himself bound by the charges which originally sprung from that assembly. To be ranked as descendants of the original York masons, was the glory and boast of the brethren in almost every country where masonry was established; and, from the prevalence and universality of the idea, that in the city of York masonry was first established by charter, the masons of England have received tribute from the first states in Europe. It is much to be regretted, that any separate interests should have destroyed the social intercourse of masons; but it is no less remarkable than true, that the brethren in the North and those in the South are now in a manner unknown to each other. Notwithstanding the pitch of eminence and splendor at which the grand Lodge in London as arrived, neither the lodges of Scotland nor Ireland court its correspondence. This unfortunate circumstance has been attributed to the introduction of some modern innovations among the lodges in the South. As to the coolness which has subsisted between the Grand Lodge at York and the Grand Lodge in London, another reason is assigned. A few brethren at York having, on some trivial occasion, seceded from their ancient lodge, they applied to London for a warrant of constitution; and without any inquiry into the merits of the case, their application was honoured. Instead of being recommended to the Mother Lodge to be restored to favour, these brethren were encouraged in their revolt; and permitted, under the banner of the Grand Lodge at London, to open a new lodge in the city of York itself. This illegal extension of power justly offended the Grand Lodge at York, and occasioned a breach, which time, and a proper attention to the rules of the Order, only can repair.

 

Sect. 8 - History of Masonry from its Revival in the South of England till the Death of King George I.

The reputation of the Society being now established, many noblemen and gentlemen of the first rank desired to be received into the lodges, which had increased considerably during the administration of Mr. Payne. The duties of masonry were found to be a pleasing relaxation from the fatigue of business; and in the lodge, uninfluenced by politics or party, a happy union was effected among the most respectable characters in the kingdom.
On the 24th of June 1721, Grand Master Payne and his wardens, with the former grand officers, and the masters and wardens of twelve lodges, met the Grand Master elect at the Queen's Arms Tavern in St. Paul's Church-yard *, where the Grand Lodge was opened in ample form. Having confirmed the proceedings of the last Grand Lodge, several gentlemen were initiated into masonry at the request of the duke of Montague; and, among the rest, Philip lord Stanhope, afterwards earl of Chesterfield. From the Queen's Arms the Grand Lodge marched in procession in their clothing to Stationers'-hall in Ludgate-street, where they joyfully received by one hundred and fifty brethren, properly clothed. The Grand Master having made the first procession round the hall, took an affectionate leave of his brethren; and, being returned to his place, proclaimed the duke of Montague his successor for the ensuing year. The general regulations compiled by Mr. Payne in 1721 *, and compared with the ancient records and immemorial usages of the fraternity, were read, and met with general approbation; after which Dr. Desaguliers delivered an elegant oration on the subject of masonry.
Soon after his election, the Grand Master gave convincing proofs of his zeal and attention, by commanding Dr. Desaguliers and James Anderson, A. M men of genius and education, to revise, arrange, and digest the Gothic constitutions, old charges, and general regulations. This task they faithfully executed; and at the ensuing Grand Lodge held at the Queen's Arms St. Paul's Church-yard on the 27th of December 1721, being the festival of St. John the Evangelist, they presented the same for approbation. A committee of fourteen learned brothers was then appointed to examine the manuscript, and to make their report; and on this occasion several very entertaining lectures were delivered, and much useful information given by some old brethren.
At a Grand Lodge held at the Fountain Tavern in the Strand, in ample form, on the 25th March 1722, the committee reported, that they had perused the manuscript, containing the history, charges, regulations, &c. of masonry, and, after some amendments, had approved thereof. The Grand Lodge ordered the whole to be prepared for the press, and printed with all possible expedition. This order was strictly obeyed, and in little more than two years the Book of Constitutions appeared in print, under the following title: "The Book of Constitutions of the Free Masons: containing the History, Charges, Regulations, &c. of that Most Ancient and Right Worshipful Fraternity. For the Use of the Lodges." London, 1723.
In January 1722-3, the duke of Montague resigned in favour of the duke of Wharton, who was very ambitious to attain the office. His grace's resignation proceeded from the motive of reconciling the brethren to this nobleman, who had incurred their displeasure, by having convened, in opposition to the resolutions of the Grand Lodge, on the 25th of March, an irregular assembly of masons at Stationers'-hall, on the festival of St. John the Baptist, in order to get himself elected as Grand Master. The duke of Wharton, fully sensible of the impropriety of his conduct, publicly acknowledged his error; and promising in future a strict conformity and obedience to the resolutions of the Society, was, with the general consent of the brethren, approved as Grand Master elect for the ensuing year. His grace was regularly invested and installed on the 17th of January 1722-3 by the Grand Master, and congratulated by upwards of twenty-five lodges, who were present in the Grand Lodge on that day. The diligence and attention of the duke of Wharton to the duties of his office soon recovered and established his reputation in the Society; while under his patronage masonry made a considerable progress in the South of England. During his presidency, the office of Grand Secretary was first established, and William Cowper esq. being appointed, that gentleman executed the duties of the department several years.
The duke of Buccleugh succeeded the duke of Wharton in 1723. This nobleman was no less attached to masonry than his predecessor. Being absent on the annual festival, he was installed by proxy at Merchant-taylors'-hall, in presence of 400 masons.
His grace was succeeded in the following year by the duke of Richmond, under whose administration the Committee of Charity was instituted *. Lord Paisley, afterwards earl of Abercorn, being active in promoting this new establishment, was elected Grand Master in the end of the year 1725. Being in the country at the time, his lordship was installed by proxy. During his absence, Dr. Desaguliers, who had been appointed his deputy, was very attentive to the duties of his office, by visiting the lo9dges, and diligently promoting masonry. On his lordship's return to town, the earl of Inchiquin was proposed to succeed him, and was elected in February 1726. The Society now flourished in town and country, and under the patronage of this nobleman the Art was propagated with considerable success. This period was rendered remarkable, by the brethren of Wales first uniting under the banner of the Grand Lodge of London. In Wales are some venerable remains of ancient masonry, and many stately ruins of castles, executed in the Gothic style, which evidently demonstrate that the fraternity must have met with encouragement in that part of the island in former times. Soon after this happy union, the office of Provincial Grand Master * was instituted, and the first deputation granted by earl Inchiquin, on the 10th of May 1727, to Hugh Warburton esq. for North Wales; and on the 24th of June following, to sir Edward Mansell bart. for South Wales. The lodges in the country now began to increase, and deputations were granted to several gentlemen, to hold the office of Provincial Grand Master in different parts of England, as well as in some places abroad where lodges had been constituted by English masons. During the earl of Inchiquin's mastership, a warrant was issued for opening a new lodge at Gibraltar.
Among the variety of noble edifices which were finished during the presidency of this nobleman, was that excellent structure the church of St. Martin in the Fields; the foundation stone of which, it being a royal parish church, was laid, in the king's name, on the 29th of March 1721, by brother Gibb the architect, in presence of the Lord Almoner, the surveyor general, and a large company of the brethren.

 

Sect. 9 - History of Masonry in England during the Reign of King George II

The first Grand Lodge after the accession of George II, to the throne was held at the Devil Tavern, Temple-bar, on the 24th of June 1727; at which were present, the earl of Inchquin, Grand Master, his officers, and the Masters and Wardens of forty lodges. At this meeting it was resolved to extend the privilege of voting in Grand Lodge to Past Grand Wardens; that privilege having been heretofore restricted to Past Grand Masters, by resolution of 21st November 1724; and to Past Deputies, by another resolution of 28th February 1726.

The Grand Master having been obliged to take a journey into Ireland before the expiration of his office, his lordship transmitted a letter to William Cowper Esq. his Deputy, requesting him to convene a Grand Lodge for the purpose of nominating  lord Colerane Grand Master for the ensuing year. A Grand Lodge was accordingly convened on the 19th of December 1727, when his lordship was regularly proposed Grand Master elect, and being unanimously approved, on the 27th of the same month was duly invested with the ensigns of his high office at a grand feast at Mercers'-hall in the presence of a numerous company of his brethren. His lordship attended two communications during his mastership and seemed to pay considerable attention to the duties of his office. He constituted several new lodges and granted a deputation to hold a lodge in St Bernard's Street in Madrid. At the last Grand Lodge under his lordship's auspices, Dr Desaguliers moved, that the ancient office of Stewards might be revived, to assist the Grand Wardens in preparing the feast; when it was agreed that their appointment should be annual, and the number restricted to twelve.

Lord Kingston succeed lord Colerane, and was invested with the ensigns of his high office on the 27th of December 1728, at a grand feast held a Mercer's-hall. his lordship's zeal and attachment for the fraternity were very conspicuous, not only by his regular attendance on the communications, but by his generous present to the Grand Lodge, of a curious pedestal, a rich cushion with gold knobs and fringes, a velvet bag, and a new jewel set in gold for the use of the Secretary. during his lordship's administration, the Society flourished at home and abroad. Many lodges were constituted and among the rest, deputation was granted to George Pomfret Esq, authorising him to open a new lodge at Bengal. This gentlemen first introduced masonry into the English settlement in India, where it has since made such rapid progress, that, with these few years, upwards of fifty lodges, have been constituted there, eleven of which are now held in Bengal. The annual remittances to the charity and public funds of the Society from this and other factories of the East India Company amount to a considerable sum.

At the Grand Lodge held a Devil Tavern on the 27th of December 1729, Natheniel Blackerby Esq, the Deputy Grand Master, being in the chair, in the absence of lord Kingston, produced a letter from his lordship, authorising him to propose the duke of Norfolk Grand Master for the ensuing year. This nomination meeting with general approbation, the usual compliments were paid to his grace, and he was saluted Grand Master elect. At an assembly and feast at Merchant-taylors'-hall on the 29th of January following his grace was duly installed, according to ancient form, in the presence of a numerous and brilliant company of masons. His grace's absence in Italy soon after his election, prevented him from attending more than one communication during his mastership; but the business of the Society was diligently executed by Mr Blackerly his Deputy, on whom the whole management had devolved. Among other signal proofs of his grace's attachment to the Society, he transmitted from Venice to England the following noble patents for the use of the Grand Lodge: 

1. Twenty pounds to the charity.

2. A Large folio book, of the finest writing paper, for the records of Grand Lodge, richly bound in Turkey and gilt, with a curious frontispiece in vellum, containing the arms of Norfolk, amply displayed, and a Latin inscription of the family titles, with the arms of masonry emblazoned.

3. A sword of state for the Grand Master, being the old trusty sword of Gustavus Adolphus king of Sweden, which was  next wore by his brave successor in ware Bernard duke of Saxe-Weimar, with both their names on the blade, and further enriched with the arms of Norfolk in silver on the scabbard. For these presents his grace was voted the public thanks of the Society.

It is not surprising that masonry should flourish under so respectable a banner. His grace appointed a Provincial Grand Lodge at New Jersey in America. A provincial patent  was also made out under his auspices for Bengal. From this period we may date the commencement of the consequence and reputation of the Society in Europe; as daily application were made for establishing new lodges, and the most respectable character of the age desired their names to be enrolled in our records.

The duke of Norfolk was succeeded by lord Lovel, afterwards earl of Leicester, who was installed at Merchers'-hall on the 29th of March 1731. His lordship being at the time much indisposed with an ague, was obliged to withdraw soon after his installation. Lord Colerane, however, acted a proxy during the feast. On the 14th of May, the first Grand Lodge after lord Lovel's election was held at the Rose Tavern in Mary-le-bone, when it was voted that in future all past Grand MAsters and their deputies shall be admitted members of the quarterly Committees of Charity, and that eevry committee shall have power to vote five pounds for the relief of any distressed mason; but no larger sum, without the consent of the Grand Lodge in Communication being first had and obtained. This resolution is still in force.

During the presidency of lord Lovel, the nobility made a point of honouring the GRand Lodge with their presence. The dukes of Norfolk and Richmond, the earl of Inchiquin, and lords Colrane and Montagu, with several other persons of distinction, seldom failed to give their attendance; and though the subscriptions from the lodges were inconsiderable, the Society was enabled to relieve many worthy objects with small sums. As an encouragement to gentlemen to accept the office of steward, it was ordered that in future each Steward should have the privilege of nominating his successor at every annual grand feast. the most remarkable event of lord Lovel's administration, was the initiation of Francis duke of Lorraine, afterward emperor of Germany.  by virtue of a deputation from his lordship, a lodge was held at the Hague, where his highness was received into the frist two degrees of masonry. At this lodge, Phillip Stanhope earl of Chesterfield, then ambassador there, presided; Mr Strickland, esq, acted as Deputy, and Mr Benjamin Hadley with a Dutch brother as Wardens. His highness coming to England in the same year, was advanced to the third degree at an occasional lodge convened for the purpose at Houghton-hall in Norfolk, the seat of sir Robert Walpole; as was also Thomas Pelham, duke of Newcastle.

The Society being now in a very flourishing state, deputations were granted from England, for establishing lodges in Russia and Spain.

Lord Viscount Montagu was installed Grand Master at an assembly and feast at Merchant-Taylors'-hall on the 19th April 1732. Among the distinguished personages present on that Occasion were the dukes of Montagu and Richmond; the earl of Strathmore; and lords Colerane, Teynham and Carpetner; sir Francis Drake and sir William Keith barts. and above  four hundred other brethren. At this meeting it was first proposed to have a  country feast and agreed that the brethren should dine  together at Hampstead on the 24th June, for the purpose cards of invitation were sent to several of the nobility. On the day appointed, the Grand Master and his Officers, the dukes of Norfolk and Richmond, earl of Strathmore, lord Carpenter and Teynham, and above a hundred other brethren, met at the Spikes at Hampstead, where an elegant dinner was provided. Soon after the dinner, the Grand Master resigned the chair to Lord Teynham, and from that time till the expiration of his office never attended another meeting of the Society. His lordship granted a deputation for constituting a lodge a Valenciennes in French Flanders, and another for opening a new lodge at the Hotel de Buffy in Paris. Several other lodges were also constituted under his lordship's auspices; but the Society was particularly indebted to Thomas Barton esq. the Deputy Grand Master, who was very attentive to the duties of his office, and carefully superintended the government of the craft.

The earl of Stratmore succeeded lord Montagu in the office of Grand Master, and being in Scotland at the time, was installed by proxy at an assembly at Mercers'-hall on the 7th of June 1733. On the 13th December, a Grand Lodge was held at the devil tavern, at which his lordship and his officers, the earl of Crawford, sir Robert Mansel, a number of Past Grand Officers, and the Masters and Wardens of fifty-three lodges were present. Several regulations were  confirmed at this meeting respecting the Committee of Charity; and it was determined, that al complaints, in future to be brought before the Grand Lodge, previously be examined by the Committee, and from thence referred to the next Communication.

The history of the Society at this period afford no remarkable incident to record. Some considerable donations were collected, and distributed among distressed masons, to encourage the settlement of a new colony which had been just established in Georgia in 'America. Lord Strathmore showed every attention to the duties of his office, and regularly attended the meetings of Grand Lodge; under his auspices the Society flourished at home and aboard, and many genteel presents were received from the East Indies. Elven German masons applied for authority to open a new lodge in Hamburgh under the patronage of the Grand Lodge of England, for which purpose his lordship was pleased to grant a deputation; and soon after, several other lodges were constituted in Holland under the English banner.

The earl of Strathmore was succeeded by the earl of Crawford, who was installed at Mercers'-hall on the 30th March 1734. Public affairs attracting his lordship's attention, the Communications during his administation were neglected. After eleven months vacatioln, however, a Grand Lodge was convened, at which his lordship attended and apologized for his long absence. To atone for past omission, he commanded two communcations to be held in little more than six weeks. The dukes of Richmond and Buccleugh, the earl of Balcarras, lord Weymouth, and other eminent persons, honoured the GRand Lodge with their presence during the earl of Crawford's presidency.

The most remarkable proceedings of the Society at this period related to a new edition of the Book of Consititutions, which brother James Anderson was ordered to prepare for the press; and which made its appearance in January 1738, considerably enlarged and improved.

Among the new regulation which took place under the administration of lord Crawford, was the following; That if any lodge with the bills of mortality shall cease to meet during twelve calendar months, the said lodge shall be erased out of the list, and if re-instated, shall lose its former rank. Some additional privileges were granted to the Stewards, in consequence of an application for that purpose; and to encourage gentlemen to serve the office, it was agreed, that in future all Grand Officers, the Grand Master excepted, shall be elected out of that body. A few resolutions also passed respecting illegal conventions of masons, at which it was reported many persons had been initiated into masonry on small and unworthy considerations. 

The earl of Crawford seems to have made the first encroachment on the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge in the city of York, by constituting two lodges within their district; and by granting, without their consent, three deputations, one for Lancashire, a second for Durham, and a third for Northumberland. This circumstance the Grand Lodge of York highly resented, and ever after viewed the proceeding of the brethren in the metropolis with a jealous eye. All friendly intercourse ceased, and the York masons from that moment considered their interest distinct from the masons under the Grand Lodge in London. *

Lord Weymouth succeed the earl of Crawford, and was installed at Mercers'-hall on the 17th April 1735, in presence of the dukes of Richmond and Athol; the earls of Crawford, Winchelsea, Balcarras, Wemys and Loudon; the marquis of Beamont; lords Catheart and Vere Bertie; sir Cecil Wray and sir Edward Mansel barts. and a splendid company of other brethren. Several lodges were constituted during lord Weymouth's presidency; and among the rest the Stewards' Lodges. His lordship granted a deputation to hold a lodge at the seat of the duke of Richmond at Aubigny in France; and, under his patronage masonry extended considerably in foreign countries. He issued warrants to open a new lodge at Lisbon, and another at Savannah in Georgia; and, by his special appointment, provincial patents were made out for South America, and Gambay in West Africa.

Lord Weymouth never honoured any of the Communications with his presence during his presidency; but this amission was less noticed on account of the vigilance and attention of his Deputy, John Ward, esq. after lord viscount Dudley and Ward, who applied with the utmost anxiety to every business which concerned the interest and well-being of the Society.

One circumstance occurred while lord Weymouth was Grand Master; of which it may be necessary to take notice. The twelve Stewards, with sir Robert Lawley, Master of the Stewards' Lodge, at their head, appeared for the first time in their new badges at a Grand Lodge held at the Devil Tavern on the 11th of December 1735. On this occasion they were not permitted to vote as individuals; but it being afterwards proposed that they should enjoy this privilege, and that the Stewards' Lodge should in future be represented in Grand Lodge by twelve members, many lodges objected to the measure as an encroachment on the privilege of every lodge which had been previously constituted. When the motion was put up for confirmation, such a disturbance ensued, that the Grand Lodge was obliged to be closed before the sentiments of the brethren could be collected on the subject. Of late years the punctilio has been waved, and the twelve Stewards are now permitted to vote in every Communication as individuals. *

The earl of Louden succeeded lord Weymouth, and was installed Grand Master at Fishmongers'-hall on the 15th of April 1736. The dukes of Richmond; the earls of Albermarle and Crawford, lords Harcout Erksine and Southwell; Mr Anstis garter king at arms, Mr Brady lion king of arms, and a numerous company of other brethren, were present on the occasion. His lordship constituted several lodges and granted three provincial deputation during his presidency, viz, one for New England, another for South Carolina, and a third for Cape Coast Castle in Africa.

The earl of Darnley was elected Grand Master, and duly installed at Fishmonger's-hall on the 28th of April 1737, in presence of the duke of Richmond, the earls of Crawford and Wemsys, lord Gray, and many ohter respectable brethren. The most remarkable event of the his lordship's administration, was the imitation of the late Frederick prince of Wales, his present majesty's father, at an occasional lodge convened for the purpose at the palace of Kew, over which Dr Desaguliers presided as Master. Lord Baltimore, col. Lumley, the hon. major Madden, and several other brethren, were present. His royal highness was advanced to the second degree at the same lodge; and at another lodge. convened at the same place soon after, raised to the degree of a master mason.

There cannot be a better proof of the flourishing state of the Society at this time, than by adverting to the respectable appearence of the brethren in Grand Lodge, at which that Grand Master never failed to attend. Upwards of sixty lodges were represented  at every Communication during Lord Darnley's administration, and more Provincial patents were issued by him, than by any of his predecessors. Deputations were granted for Montserrat, Geneva, the Circle of Upper Saxony, the Coast of Africa, New York, and the Islands of America. *

The marquis of Carnarvon, afterwards duke of Chanos, succeeded lord Darnley in the office of Grand Master, and was duly invested and congratulated at an assembly and feast hled at Fishmonger's-hall on the 27th of April 1738. At this assembly, the duke of Richmond; the earls of Inchiquin, Loudon and Kintore; lords Colerane and Gray; and a numerous company of other brethren, were present.

The marquis showed every attention to the Society during his presidency, and in testimony of his esteem, presented to the Grand Lodge a gold jewel for the use of the Secretary; the device, two cross pens in a knot; the knot and points of the pens being curiously enameled. Two deputations for the office Provincial Grand Master were granted by his lordship; one for the Caribbee Islands and the other for the West Riding of Yorkshire. This latter appointment was considered as another encroachment on the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of York, and so widened the original breach between the brethren in the North and the South of England, that from thenceforward all future correspondence between the Grand Lodges totally ceased.

On the 15th of August 1738, Frederick the Great. afterwards king of Prussia, was initiated into masonry, in a lodge in Brunswick, under the Scots constitution, being at that time Prince Royal. So highly did he approve of the initiation, that, on his accession to the throne, he commanded a Grand Lodge to be formed at Berlin, and for that purpose obtained a patent from Edinburgh. Thus was masonry regularly established in Prussia, and under that sanction it has flourished there ever since. His majesty's attachment to the Society soon induced him to establish several new regulations for the advantage of the fraternity; and among others he ordained,

1. That no person should be made a mason, unless his character was unimpeachable and his manner of living and profession respectable.

2. That every member should pay 25 rix-dollars (or £4. 3s 0d) for the first degree; 50 rix-dollars (or £8. 6s. 0d) on his being initiated into the second degree; and 100 rix-dollars (or £16. 12s. 0d)  on his being made a master-mason. 

3. That he should remain at least three months in each degree; and that every sun received should be divided by the Grand Treasurer into three parts: one to defray the expenses of the lodge; another to be applied to the relief of distressed brethren; and the third to be allotted to the poor in general.

No other remarkable occurrence is recorded to have happened during the administration of the marquis of Carnarvon, except a proposition for establishing a plan to appropriate a portion of the charity to place out the sons of masons apprentices, which, after a long debate in Grand Lodge, was rejected.

Some disagreeable altercations arose in the Society about this period. A number of dissatisfied brethren separated themselves from the regular lodges, and held meetings in different places for the purpose of initiating persons into masonry, contrary to the laws of the Grand Lodge. These seceding brethren taking advantage of the breach which had been made in the friendly intercourse between the Grand Lodges of London and York, on being censured for their conduct, immediately assumed, without authority, the character of York masons. The measures adopted to check them stopped their progress for some time; till, taking advantage of the general murmur spread abroad on account of innovations that had been introduced, and which seemed to authorize an omission of, and a variation in the ancient ceremonies, they rose again into notice. This imprudent measure of the regular lodges offended many old masons; but, through the mediation of John Ward esq. afterwards lord viscount Dudley and Ward, matters were accommodated, and the brethren seemingly reconciled. This, however, proved only a temporary suspension of hostilities, for the same soon broke out anew, and gave rise to commotions, which afterward materially interrupted the peace of the Society. 

Lord Raymond succeeded the marquis of Carnarvon in May 1739, and under his lordship's auspices the lodges were numerous and respectable. Notwithstanding the flourishing state of the Society, irregularities continued to prevail, and several worthy brethren, still adverse to the encroachments on the established system of the institution, were highly disgusted at the proceeding of the regular lodges. Complaints were preferred at every succeeding committee, and the communications fully employed in adjusting differences and reconciling animosities. More sessions taking place, it became necessary to pass votes of censure on the mist refractory and to enact laws to discourage irregular associations of the fraternity. this brought the power of the Grand Lodge in question; and in opposition to the laws which had been established in that assembly, lodges were formed with any legal warrant, and persons initiated into masonry for small and unworthy considerations. To disappoint the views of these deluded brethren, and to distinguish the persons initiated  by them the Grand Lodge readily acquiesced in the imprudent measures which the regular masons had adopted, measures which even the urgency of the case could not warrant. Though this had the intended effect effect, it gave rise to a new subterfuge. The brethren who had seceded from the regular lodges immediately announced independency, and assumed the appellation of ancient masons. They propagated an opinion, that the ancient tenets and practices of masonry were preserved by them; and that the regular lodges, being composed of modern masons, had adopted new plans, and were not to be considered as acting under the old establishment. To counteract the regulations of the Grand Lodge, they instituted a new Grand Lodge in London, professedly on the ancient system, and under that assumed banner constituted several new lodges. There irregular proceeding they pretended to justify under feigned sanction of the Ancient York Constitution, and many gentlemen of reputation were introduced among them, so that their lodges daily increased. Without authority for the Grand Lodge of York, or form any other established power of masonry, ther persevered in the measures they had adopted, formed committees, held communications, and appointed annual feasts. Under the false appellation of the York banner, they gained the countenance of the Scotch and Irish masons, who, placing implicit confidence in the representations made to them, heartily joined in condemning the measures of the regular lodges in London, as tending, in their opinion, to introduce novelties into the Society, and to subvert the original plan of the institution. The irregular masons in London, having acquired an establishment, noblemen of both kingdoms honoured them with their patronage for some time, and many respectable names and lodges were added to this list. Of late years the fallacy has been detected, and they have not been so successful; several of their best members have renounced their banner and come under the patronage of the Grand Lodge of England. It is much to be wished, in that a general union among all the masons in the kingdom could effected, and we are happy to hear that such a measure is likely soon to accomplished, through the mediation of a Royal Brother at present abroad.

During the presidency of lord Raymond, no considerable addition was made to the list of lodges and communications were seldom honoured with the company of the nobility. His lordship granted only one deputation for a provincial Grand Master during his presidency, viz: for Savoy and Piedmont.

The earl of Kintore succeeded lord Raymond in April 1740 and, in imitation of his predecessor, continued to discourage irregularities. His lordship appointed several provincials: particularly, one for Russia; one for Hamburgh and the the Circle of Lower Saxony; one for the West Riding of York, in the room of William Horton esq. deceased; and one for the island of Barbadoes.

The earl of Morton was elected on the 19th of March following, and installed with great solemnity the same day at Haberdashers'-hall, in preference of a respectable company of the nobility, foreign ambassadors, and others. Several seasonable laws were passed during this lordship's mastership, and some regulations made concerning procession and other ceremonies. His lordship presented a staff of office to the Treasurer, of neat workmanship, blue and tip't with gold; and the Grand Lodge resolved, that this officer should be annually elected, and, with the Secretary and Sword-beaker, be permitted to rank in future as a member of Grand Lodge. A large cornelian seal, with the arms of masonry, set in gold, was presented to the Society, at this time, by brother Vaughan, the Senior Grand Warden; and William Vaughan esq. was appointed by his lordship, Provincial Grand Master for North Wales.

Lord Ward succeeded the earl of Morton in April 1742. His lordship was well acquainted with the nature and government of the Society having served every office from the Secretary in a private lodge to that of Grand Master. His lordship lost no time in applying effectual remedies to reconcile the animosities which prevailed; he recommended to his officers, vigilance and care in their different departments; and by the his own conduct, set a noble example how the dignity of the Society ought to be supported. Many lodges, which were in a declining state, by his advice, coalesced with other in better circumstances; some, which had been negligent in their attendance on the Communications, after proper admonitions were restored to favour; and others, which persevered in their contumacy, were erased out of the list. Thus his lordship manifested his regard for the interests of the Society, while his lenity and forbearance were universally admired.

The unanimity and harmony of the lodges seemed to be perfectly restored under his lordship's administration. The free-masons at Antigua built a large hall in that island for their meetings, and applied to the Grand Lodge for liberty to be styled the Great Lodge of St John's in Antigua, which favour was granted to them in April 1744.

Lord Ward continued two years at the head of the fraternity, during which time he constituted, many lodges, and appointed several Provincial Grand Masters; viz. one for Lancaster, one for North America, and three for the island of Jamaica. he was succeeded by the earl of Strathmore, during whose administration, being absent the whole time, the care and management of the Society devolved on the other Grand Officers, who carefully studied the general good of the fraternity. His lordship appointed a Provincial Grand Master for the island of Bermuda.

Lord Cranstoun was elected Grand Master in April 1745, and presided over the fraternity with great reputation two years. under his auspices masonry flourished, several new lodges were constituted, and one Provincial Grand Master was appointed for Cape Breton and Louisburg. By a resolution of the Grand Lodge at this time it was order, that public procession on feast-days should be discontinued; occasioned by some mock processions, which a few disgusted brethren had formed, in order to burlesque those public appearances.

Lord Byron succeeded lord Cranstoun, and was installed at Drapers'-hall on the 30th of April 1747. The laws of the Committee of Charity were, by his lordship's order, revised, printed, and distributed among lodges, and a handsome, contribution to the general charity was received from the lodge at Gibraltar. During five years that is lordship presided  over the fraternity. no diligence was spared to preserve the privileges of masonry inviolate, to redress grievances, and to relieve distress. When business required his lordship's attendance in country, Fotherly Baker esq. his Deputy and Secretary Revis, were particularly attentive to the business  of the Society. the former was distinguished by his knowledge of the laws and regulations; the latter, by his long and faithful services. under the auspices of lord Byron, provincial patnets were issued for Denmark amd Norway, Pennsylvania, Minorca, and New York.

On the 20th March, 1752, lord Carysfort accepted the office of Grand Master. The good effects of his lordship's application to the real interests of the fraternity soon became visible, by the great increase of the public fund. No Grand Officer ever took more pains to preserve, or was more attentive to recommend, order and decorum. He was ready, on all occasions, to visit the lodges in person, and to promote harmony among the members. Dr. Manningham, his Deputy, was no less vigilant in the execution of his duty. He constantly visited the lodges in his lordship's absence, and used every endeavour to cement union among the brethren. The whole proceedings of this active officer were conducted with prudence, and his candor and affability gained him universal esteem. The Grand Master's attachment to the Society was so obvious, that the brethren, in testimony of their gratitude for his lordship's great services, re-elected him on the 3d of April 1753; and during his presidency, provincial patents were issued for Gibraltar, the Bahama Islands, New York, Guernsey, Jersey, Alderney, Sark, and Mann; also for Cornwall, and the counties of Worcester, Gloucester, Salop, Monmouth, and Hereford.

The marquis of Carnarvon (afterward duke of Chandos) succeeded lord Carysfort in March 1754. He began his administration by ordering the Book of Constitutions to be reprinted, under the inspection of a committee, consisting of the Grand Officers, and some other respectable brethren. The Grand Master's zeal and attention to the true interests of the Society were shewn on every occasion. He presented to the Grand Lodge, a large silver jewel, gilt, for the use of the Treasurer, being cross keys in a knot, enamelled with blue; and gave several other proofs of his attachment.

Soon after the election of the marquis of Carnarvon, the Grand Lodge took into consideration a complaint against certain brethren, for assembling, without any legal authority, under the denomination of ancient masons; who, as such, considered themselves independent of the Society, and not subject to the laws of Grand Lodge, or to the control of the Grand Master. Dr. Manningham, the Deputy Grand Master, pointed out the necessity of discouraging their meetings, as being contrary to the laws of the Society, and openly subversive of the allegiance due to the Grand Master. On this representation the Grand Lodge resolved, that the meeting of any brethren under the denomination of masons, other than as brethren of the ancient and honourable Society of Free and Accepted Masons established upon the universal system, is inconsistent with the honour and interest of the craft, and a high insult on the Grand Master and the whole body of masons. In consequence of this resolution, fourteen brethren, who were members of a lodge held at the Ben Jonson's head in Pelham-street, Spitalfields, were expelled the Society, and that lodge was ordered to be erased out of the list.

No preceding Grand Master granted so many provincial deputations as the marquis of Carnarvon; in less than two years the following patents were issued; 

1. for South Carolina; 
2. for South Wales; 
3. for Antigua; 
4. for all North America where no former provincial was appointed; 
5. for Barbadoes, and all other his majesty's islands to the windward of Guadaloupe; 
6. for St. Eustatius, Cuba, and St. Martin's, Dutch Caribbean islands in America; 
7. for Scilly, and the adjacent islands; 
8. for all his majesty's dominions in Germany, with a power to chuse their successors; and 
9. for the County Palatine of Chester, and the City and County of Chester. 

The greater part of these appointments appear to have been mere honorary grants in favour of individuals, few of them having been attended with advantage to the Society.

The marquis of Carnarvon continued to preside over the fraternity till the 18th of May 1757, when he was succeeded by lord Aberdour; during whose mastership the Grand Lodge voted, among other charities, the sum of fifty pounds to be sent to Germany, to be distributed among such of the soldiers as were masons in prince Ferdinand's army, whether English, Hanoverians, or Hessians. This sum was soon after remitted to general Kingsley for the intended purpose.

Such was the state of masonry during the reign of George II. On the 5th of October 1760, his majesty expired at his palace at Kensington, in the 77th year of his age, and the 34th of his reign. It may be truly said, that this period was the golden æra of masonry in England; the sciences were cultivated and improved, the royal art was diligently propagated, and true architecture clearly understood; the fraternity were honoured and esteemed; the lodges patronised by exalted characters; and charity, humanity, and benevolence, were the distinguishing characteristics of masons.

 

Sect. 10 - History of Masonry in the South of England from the Accession of George III, to the end of the year 1779.

On the 6th of October 1760, his present majesty George III was proclaimed. No prince ever ascended the Throne, whose private virtues and amiable character had so justly endeared him to his people. To see a native of England the sovereign of these realms, afforded the most glorious prospect of fixing our happy constitution in church and state on the firmest base. Under such a patron the polite arts could not fail of meeting with every encouragement; and to the honour his majesty it is to be observed, that, since his accession to the throne, by his royal munificence no pains have been spared to explore distant regions in pursuit of useful knowledge, and to diffuse science throughout every part of his dominions.

Masonry now flourished at home and aboard under the English Constitution and lord Aberdour continued at the head of the fraternity five years, during which time the public festivals and quarterly communications were regularly held. his lordship equaled any of his predecessors in the number of appointments to the office of Provincial Grand Master, having granted the following deputations:

1. for Antigua and the Leeward Caribbee Islands;
2. for the town of Norwich and county of Norfolk;
3. for the Bahama Islands, in the room of the governor deceased;
4. for Hamburgh and Lower Saxony;
5. for Guadaloupe;
6. for Lancaster;
7. for the province of Georgia;
8. for Canada;
9. for Andalusia, and places adjacent;
10. for Bermuda;
11. for Carolina;
12. for Musquito Shore;
and
13. for East India.

The second of these appointments, viz. for Norwich, is that by which the Society has been most benefited. By the diligence and attention of the late Edward Bacon esq. to whom the patent was first granted, the lodges in Norwich and Norfolk considerably increased, and masonry was regularly conducted in that province under his inspection for many years.

Lord Aberdour held the office of Grand Master till the 3d of May 1762, when he was succeeded by earl Ferrers, during whose presidency nothing remarkable occurred. The Society seems at this time to have lost much of its consequence; the general assemblies and communications not having been honoured with the presence of the nobility as formerly, and many lodges erased out of the lift for non-attendance on the duties of the Grand Lodge *. By the diligence and attention, however, of the late general John Salter, then Deputy Grand Master, the business of the Society was carried on with regularity, and the fund of charity considerably increased. Provincial patents were made out during earl Ferrers's presidency;

1. for Jamaica;
2. for East India, where no particular provincial was before appointed;
3. for Cornwall;
4. for Armenia;
5. for Westphalia;
6. for Bombay;
7. for the Dukedom of Brunswick;
8. for the Grenades, St. Vincent, Dominica, Tobago, &c.;
and
9. for Canada.

From these appointments no considerable emoluments have resulted to the Society, excepting from the third and sixth; George Bell for Cornwall; and James Todd for Bombay. Both these gentlemen were particularly attentive to the duties of their respective offices, especially the former, to whom the Society is in a great measure indebted for the flourishing state of masonry in Cornwall.

On the 8th of May 1764, at an assembly and feast at Vintners'-hall, lord Blaney was elected Grand Master. Lord Ferrers invested John Revis esq. late Deputy Grand Master, as proxy for his lordship, who continued in office two years, during which time, being chiefly in Ireland, the business of the Society was faithfully executed by his deputy, general Salter, an active and a vigilant officer. The scheme of opening a subscription for the purchase of furniture for the Grand Lodge was agitated about this time, and some money collected; but the design dropped for want of encouragement. A new edition of the Book of Constitutions was ordered to be printed under the inspection of a committee, with a continuation of the proceedings of the Society since the publication of the last edition.

During lord Blaney's presidency, the dukes of Gloucester and Cumberland were initiated into the Order; the former, at an occasional lodge assembled at the Horn tavern Westminster, on the 16th of February 1766, at which his lordship resided in person; the latter, at an occasional lodge assembled at the Thatched House tavern in St. James's-street, under the direction of general Salter.

The following deputations for the office of Provincial Grand Master were granted by lord Blaney;

1. for Barbadoes;
2. for Upper Saxony;
3 for Stockholm:
4. for Virginia;
5. for Bengal;
6. for Italy;
7. for the Upper and Lower Rhine, and the Circle of Franconia;
8. for Antigua;
9. for the Electorate of Saxony;
10. for Madras, and its dependencies;
11. for Hampshire;
and
12. for Montserrat.

The fifth, tenth, and eleventh of these appointments have been faithfully executed. By the indefatigable assiduity of that truly masonic luminary, Thomas Dunckerley esq. in whose favour the appointment for Hampshire was first made out, masonry has made considerable progress in that province, as well as in many other counties in England. Since his appointment to this office, he has accepted the superintendence of the lodges in Dorsetshire, Essex, Gloucestershire, Somersetshire, and Herefordshire *. The revival of the Bengal and Madras appointments have been also attended with success, as the late liberal remittances from the East Indies amply shew.

Among several regulations respecting the fees of constitutions, and other matters which passed during lord Blaney's administration, was the following; That as the Grand Lodge entertained the highest sense of the honour conferred on the Society by the initiation of the dukes of Gloucester, and Cumberland; it was resolved, that each of their royal highnesses should be presented with an apron, lined with blue silk; and that, in all future processions, they should rank as Past Grand Masters, next to the Grand Officers for the time being. The same compliment was also paid to their royal brother the late duke of York, who had been initiated into masonry while on his travels.

The duke of Beaufort succeeded lord Blaney, and was installed by proxy at Merchant Taylors'-hall on the 27th of April 1767. Under the patronage of his grace the Society flourished.

In the beginning of 1768, two letters were received from the Grand Lodge of France, expressing a desire of opening a regular correspondence with the Grand Lodge of England. This was cheerfully agreed to; and a Book of Constitutions, a list of the lodges under the constitution of England, with the form of a deputation, elegantly bound, were ordered to be sent as a present to the Grand Lodge of France.

Several regulations for the future government of the Society were made about this time, particularly one respecting the office of Provincial Grand Master. At a Grand Lodge held at the Crown and Anchor tavern in the Strand, on the 29th of April 1768, it was resolved that ten guineas should be paid to the fund of charity on the appointment of every Provincial Grand Master who had not served the office of Grand Steward.

The most remarkable occurrence during the administration of the duke of Beaufort, was the plan of an incorporation by royal charter. At a Grand Lodge held at the Crown and Anchor tavern on the 28th of October 1768, a report was made from the Committee of Charity held on the 21st of that month at the Horn tavern in Fleet-street, on the Grand Master's intentions to have the Society incorporated, if it met with the approbation of the brethren; the advantages of such a measure were fully explained, and a plan for the purpose was submitted to the consideration of the Committee. The plan being approved, the thanks of the Grand Lodge were voted to the Grand Master, for his attention to the interests and prosperity of the Society. The hon. Charles Dillon, then Deputy Grand Master, informed the brethren, that he had submitted to the Committee a plan for raising a fund to build a hall, and purchase jewels, furniture, &c. for the Grand Lodge, independent of the general fund of charity; the carrying of which into execution, he apprehended, would be a proper prelude to an Incorporation, should it be the wish of the Society to obtain a charter. The plan being laid before the Communication, several amendments were made, and the whole referred to the next Grand Lodge for confirmation. In the mean time it was resolved, that the said plan should be printed, and transmitted to all the lodges on record *. The duke of Beaufort finding that the Society approved of Incorporation, contributed his best endeavours to carry the design into immediate execution: though at first he was opposed by a few brethren, who misconceived his good intentions, he persevered in promoting every measure that might facilitate the plan; and a copy of the intended charter was soon after printed, and dispersed among the lodges. Before the Society, however, had come to any determined resolution on the business, the members of a respectable lodge, then held at the Half Moon tavern Cheapside, entered a caveat in the attorney-general's office, against the Incorporation; and this circumstance being reported to the Grand Lodge, an impeachment was laid against that lodge, for unwarrantably exposing the private resolutions of the Grand Lodge; and it being determined that the members of the said lodge had been guilty of a great offence, in presuming to oppose the resolutions of the Grand Lodge, and endeavouring to frustrate the intentions of the Society, a motion was made, That it should be erased from the list of lodges; but, on the Master of the lodge acknowledging the fault, and, in the name of himself and his brethren, making a proper apology, the motion was withdrawn, and the offence forgiven. From the return of the different lodges it appeared, that one hundred and sixty-eight had voted for the Incorporation, and only forty-three against it; upon which a motion was made in Grand Lodge, on the 28th of April 1769, that the Society should be incorporated; which was carried in the affirmative by a great majority.

At a Grand Lodge held at the Crown and Anchor tavern on the 27th of October 1769, it was resolved, that the sum of 1300l. then standing in the names of Rowland Berkeley esq. the Grand Treasurer, and Mr. Arthur Beardmore and Mr. Richard Nevison his sureties, in the three per cent. bank consolidated annuities, in trust for the Society, be transferred into the names of the present Grand Officers; and at an extra-ordinary Grand Lodge on the 29th of November following, the Society was informed that Mr. Beardmore had refused to join in the transfer; upon which it was resolved that letters should be sent, in the name of the Society, signed by the acting Grand Officers, to lord Blarney the Past Grand Master, and to his Deputy and Wardens, to whom the Grand Treasurer and his sureties had given bond, requesting their concurrence in the resolutions of the Grand Lodge of the 29th of October last. Mr. Beardmore, however, dying soon after, the desire of the Grand Lodge was complied with by Mr. Nevison, and the transfer regularly made.

At a Grand Lodge held at the Crown and Anchor tavern on the 25th of April 1770, the Provincial Grand Master for foreign lodges acquainted the Society, that he had lately received a letter from Charles baron de Boetzelaer, Grand Master of the National Grand Lodge of the United Provinces of Holland and their dependencies, requesting to be acknowledged as such by the Grand Lodge of England, whose superiority he confessed; and promising, that if the Grand Lodge of England would agree in future not to constitute any new lodge within his jurisdiction, the Grand Lodge of Holland would observe the same restriction with respect to all parts of the world where lodges were already established under the patronage of England. Upon these terms he requested that a firm and friendly alliance might be established between the Officers of both Grand Lodges, an annual correspondence carried on, and each Grand Lodge regularly made acquainted once in every year with the most material transactions of the other. On this report being made, the Grand Lodge agreed, that such an alliance or compact should be immediately entered into, and executed, agreeably to baron de Boetzelaer's request.

In 1771, a bill was brought into parliament by the hon. Charles Dillon, then Deputy Grand Master, for incorporating the Society by act of parliament; but on the second reading of the bill, it having been opposed by Mr. Onslow, at the desire of several brethren, who had petitioned the house against it, Mr. Dillon moved to postpone the consideration of it fine die; and thus the design of an Incorporation fell to the ground.

The duke of Beaufort constituted several new lodges, and granted the following provincial deputations, during his presidency:

1. for South Carolina;
2. Jamaica;
3. Barbadoes;
4. Naples and Sicily:
5. the Empire of Russia;
and
6. the Austrian Netherlands.

The increase of foreign lodges occasioned the institution of a new officer, a Provincial Grand Master for foreign lodges in general; and his grace accordingly nominated a gentleman for that office. He also appointed Provincial Grand Masters for Kent, Suffolk, Lancashire, and Cumberland. Another new appointment likewise took place during his grace's administration, viz. the office of General Inspectors or Provincial Grand Masters for lodges within the bills of mortality; but the majority of the lodges in London disapproving the appointment, the authority was soon after withdrawn.

Lord Petre succeeded the duke of Beaufort on the 4th of May 1772, when several regulations were made for better securing the property belonging to the Society. A considerable sum having been subscribed for the purpose of building a hall, a committee was appointed to superintend the management of that business. Every measure was adopted to enforce the laws for raising a new fund to carry the designs of the Society into execution, and no pains were spared by the committee to complete the purpose of their appointment. By their report to the Grand Lodge on 27th April 1774, it appeared that they had contracted for the purchase of a plot of ground and premises, consisting of tow large commodious dwelling houses, and a large garden, situated in Great Queen-street, Lincoln's-Inn-Fields, late in the possession Phillip Carteret Webb esq. deceased, the particulars of which were specified in a plan then delivered; that the real value appeared to be £3,205 at the least, but that £3,180 was the sum contracted to to be paid for the premises; that the front house might produce £90 per annum, and the back house would furnish commodious committee-rooms, offices, kitchens, etc and that the garden was sufficiently large to contain a complete hall for the use of the Society, the expense of the which was calculated not to exceed £3,000.* This report met with general approbation. Lord Petre, the dukes of Beaufort and Chandos, earl Ferrers, and lord viscount Dudley and Ward, were appointed trustees for the Society, and the conveyance of the premises purchased was made in their names.

On the 22nd of February 1775, the hall-committee reported to the Grand Lodge, that a plan had been proposed and approved for raising £5,000 to complete the designs of the Society, and granting annuities for lives, with benefit of survivorship; a plan now known under the name of Tontine. It was accordingly resolved, that there should be one hundred lives at a £50 each; that the whole premises belonging to the Society in Great Queen-street, with the hall to be built thereon, should be vested in trustees, as a security to the subscribers, who should be paid £5 per cent. for their money advanced amounting to £250 per annum; that this interest should be divided among the subscribers, and the survivors or survivor of them; and, upon the death of the last survivor, the whole to determine for the benefit of the Society. The Grand Lodge approving of the plan, the subscription immediately commenced, and in less than three months was complete; upon which the trustees of the Society conveyed the estate to the trustees of the tontine, in pursuance of a resolution of the Grand Lodge for that purpose. 

On 1st May 1775, the foundation-stone * of the new hall was laid in solemn form * in the presence of a numerous company of the brethren. After the ceremony, the company proceeded in carriages to Leathersellers'-hall, where an elegant entertainment was provided on the occasion; and at the meeting the office of Grand-Chaplain was first instituted.

The building of the hall went on so rapidly that it was finished in little more than twelve months. On the 23rd of May 1776, it was opened, and dedicated *, in solemn form to MASONRY, VIRTUE and UNIVERSAL CHARITY and BENEVOLENCE, in the presence of a brilliant assembly of the brethren. A new Ode *, was written and set to music on the occasion and was performed, before a number of ladies, who honoured the Society with their company on that day. An exordium on masonry, not less elegant than instructive, was given by the Grand Secretary, and an excellent oration delivered by the Grand Chaplain. In commemoration of an event so pleasing to the Society , it was agreed, that the anniversary of this ceremony should be ever after regularly kept.

Thus was completed, under the auspices of a nobleman, whose amiable character as a man, and zeal as a mason may be equaled, but cannot be surpassed, that elegant and highly finished room on Great Queen-street, in which the annual assembly and quarterly communications of the fraternity are held; and to the accomplishment of which many lodges, as well as private individuals, have liberally subscribed. It is to be regretted, that the finances of the Society will not admit of its being solely reserved for masonic purposes.

The brethren of St John's Lodge in Newcastle, animated by the example set then in the metropolis, opened a subscription for the purpose of building, in the Low Friar Chair in that town, a new hall for their meetings; and on the 23rd of September 1776, the foundation stone * of that building was laid by Mr Francis Peacock, then Master of the lodge. This edifice was speedily completed, furnished and dedicated; but se since learn, that it has been sold, and appropriated to other purposes.

The flourishing state of the Society in England attracted the attention of the masons in Germany, who solicited our friendship and alliance. The Grand Lodge at Berlin, under the patronage of the prince of Hess-Darmstatd, requested  a friendly union and correspondence with their brethren in England, which was agreed to, on the Grand Lodge of Germany engaging to remit an annual donation to the fund of charity.

The business of the Society having been now considerably increased, it was resolved, that the Grand Secretary should be permitted in future to employ a deputy or assistant, at an annual salary proportioned to his labour.

On the 14th February 1776, the Grand Lodge resolved, that in future all Past Grand Officers should be permitted to wear a particular gold jewel, the ground enameled in blue,; and each officer to be distinguished by the jewel which he wore while in office; with this difference, that such honorary jewel should be fixed with a circle of oval; on the borders of which were to be inscribed his name, and the year in which he served the office. This jewel to be worn in Grand Lodge pendant to a broad blue riband, and on other occasions, to be fixed to the breast by a narrow blue riband *.

Many regulations respecting the government of the fraternity were established during lord Petre's administration. The meetings of irregular masons again attracted notice, and, on the 10th April 1777, the following law was enacted "That the persons who assemble in London, and elsewhere, in the character of masons, calling themselves Ancient Masons, and at present said to be under the patronage of the duke of Athol, are not to be countenanced, or acknowledged, by any regular lodge, or mason, under the constitution of England: nor shall any regular mason be present  be present at any of their proceedings, under the penalty of forfeiting the privileges of the Society: nor shall any person initiated at any of the irregular meetings, be admitted into any lodge, without being re-made *. That this censure shall not extend to any lodge, or mason made in Scotland or Ireland, under the constitution of either of these kingdoms; or to any lodge, or mason made abroad, under the patronage of any foreign Grand Lodge in alliance with the Grand Lodge of England; but that such lodge and masons shall be deemed to be regular and constitutional."

An Appendix to the Book of Constitutions, containing all the principal proceedings of the Society since the publication of the last edition, was ordered to be printed; also a new annual publication, entitled THE FREE-MASONS CALENDAR; and the profits arising from the sale of both, were to be regularly brought to account in the charity fund. To preserve the consequence of the Society, the following law was enacted at this time: "That the fees for constitutions, initiations, etc should be advanced, and no person be initiated into masonry in any lodge in England for less sum that two guineas; and that the name, age profession, and place of residence of every person so initiated, and of every admitted member of a regular lodge since the 29th October 1768, should be registered, under the penalty of such mason made, or member admitted, being deprived of the privileges of the Society.

Lord Petre granted provincial deputations for Madras and Virginia, also for Hants, Sussex and Surrey. though, during this presidency, some lodges were erased out of the list, for non-conformity to the laws, many new ones were added, so that under his lordship's banner, the Society became truly respectable.

On hte 1st of May 1777, lord Petre was succeed by the duke of Manchester; during whose administration the tranquility of the Society was interrupted by private dissensions. an unfortunate dispute having arisen among the members of the lodge of Antiquity, on account fo some proceedings of the brethren of that lodge on the festival of St John the Evangelist after his grace's election, the complaint was introduced into Grand Lodge, where it occupied the attention of every committee and communication for twelve months. It originated from the Master, Wardens and some of the members, having, in consequence of a resolution of the lodge, attended divine service at St Dunstan's Church in Fleet-street, in the clothing of the Order; and walked back to the Mitre-tavern in their regalia without having obtained a dispensation for the purpose. The Grand Lodge determined the measure to be a violation of the general regulations respecting public processions *. Various opinions were formed on the subject, and several brethren highly disgusted. another circumstance tended still farther to widen the breach. This lodge, having expelled three members for misbehaviour, the Grand Lodge interfered and, without proper investigation, ordered them to be reinstated. With this order the lodge refused to comply, conceiving themselves competent judges in the choice of their members. The privileges of the the lodge of Antiquity * were then set up, in opposition to the supposed uncontrollable authority of the Grand Lodge; and in the investigation of this important point, the original case of dispute was totally forgotten. Matters were agitated to the extreme on both sides. Resolutions were precipitately entered into, and edicts inadvertently issued. memorial and remonstrances were presented; at last a rupture ensued. the lodge of Antiquity supported its immemorial privileges; applied to the old lodge in York city, and to the lodges in Scotland and Ireland, for advice,; entered a protest against, and peremptorily refused to comply with, the resolutions of the Grand Lodge, discontinued the attendance of its master and wardens at the committees of charity and quarterly communications as its representatives; published a manifesto in its vindication; notified its separation from the Grand Lodge; avowed an alliance with the Grand Lodge of all England, held in the city of York, and every lodge and mason who wished to act in conformity to the original constitutions. The Grand Lodge enforced its edicts, and extended protection to the brethren whose cause it had espoused. Anathemas were issued, several worthy men in their absence expelled from the Society, for refusing to surrender the property of the lodge to three persons who had been regularly expelled from it; and printed letters were circulated, with the Grand Treasurer's accounts, highly derogatory to the dignity of the Society. This produced a schism, which subsisted for the space of ten years.

To justify the proceeding of the Grand Lodge, the following resolution of the Committee of Charity held in February 1779, was printed and dispersed among the lodges:

"Resolved, That every private lodge derives its authority from the Grand Lodge, and that no authority but the Grand Lodge can withdraw or take away that power. that thought the majority of a lodge may determine to quite the Society, the constitution, or power of assembling, remains with and is vested in, the rest of the members who may be desirous of continuing their allegiance; and that if all the members withdraw themselves, the constitution is extinct and the authority reverts to Grand Lodge."

This resolution, it was argued, might operate with respect to a lodge with derived its constitution from the Grand Lodge, but could not apply to one which derived its authority form another channel. long before the establishment of the Grand Lodge, and which authority had been repeatedly admitted and acknowledged. Had it appeared upon record, that after the establishment of the Grand Lodge, and original authority had had been surrendered, forfeited, or exchanged for a warrant from the Grand Lodge, the lodge of Antiquity must have admitted the resolution of the Grand Lodge its full force. But as no such circumstance appeared on record, the members of the lodge of Antiquity were justified in considering their immemorial constitution sacred, while, they chose to exist as a lodge and act in obedience to its ancient constitutions. 

Considering the subject in this point of view, it evidently appears that the resolution of the Grand Lodge could have no effect on the lodge of Antiquity;  especially after the publication of the manifesto avowing its separation. The members of the that lodge continued to meet regularly as heretofore, and to promote the laudable purposes of masonry on their old independent foundation. The lodge of Antiquity it was asserted could not be dissolved, while the majority of its members kept together, and acted in conformity to the original constitutions; and no edict of the Grand Lodge, or its committees could deprive the members of that lodge of a right which had been admitted to be vested in themselves collectively from time immemorial; a right which had never been derived from, or ceded to, any Grand Lodge whatever.

To understand more clearly the nature of that constitution by which the lodge of Antiquity is upheld, we must have recourse to the usages and customs which prevailed among masons, at the end of the last, and the beginning of the present century. The fraternity then had a discretionary power to meet as masons, in certain numbers, according to their degrees, with the approbation of the master of the work where any public building was carrying on, as often as they found it necessary so to do; and when so met, to receive into the Order brothers and fellows and practice the rites  of masonry. the idea of investing Masters and Wardens of lodges in Grand Lodge assembled, or the Grand Master himself, with a power to grant warrants of constitution to certain brethren to meet as masons on the observance of certain conditions, at certain hours, had no existence. The fraternity were under no such restrictions. the ancient charges were the only standard for the regulation of conduct, and no law was known in the Society which those charges did not inculcate. To the award of the fraternity at large, in general meeting assembled, once of twice in a year, all brethren were subject, and the authority of  the Grand Master never extended beyond the bounds of that general meeting. When a lodge was fixed at any particular place for a certain time, an attestation from the brethren present entered on record, was a sufficient proof of its regular constitution; and this practice prevailed for many years after the revival of masonry in the South of England. By this authority, which never proceeded from the Grand Lodge, unfettered by any other restrictions than the constitutions of masonry, the lodge of Antiquity has always been, and still continues to be governed.

While I have endeavoured to explain the subject of the unfortunate dispute, I rejoice in the opportunity which the proceedings of the grand feast in 1790 have afforded, of promoting harmony, by restoring to the privileges of the Society, all the brethren of the lodge of Antiquity who had been falsely and unjustly expelled in 1779. By the operation of our professed principles, and through the mediation of that true friend to genuine masonry, William Birch esq. unanimity has been happily restored; the manifesto published by that lodge in 1779, revoked; and the Master and Wardens of that truly ancient association, the first lodge under the English constitution, have resumed their seats in Grand Lodge as heretofore; while the brethren who had received the sanction of the Society, as nominal members of the lodge of Antiquity, during the separation, have been reunited with the original members of the real lodge, and all privileges of that venerable body now center in one channel.

I have considerably abridged my observations on this subject in the last as well as the present edition, but think it proper still to record my sentiments, in justice to the gentlemen with whom I have long associated; and to convince my brethren, that our re-union with the Society has not induced me to vary a well-grounded opinion or deviated from the strict line of consistency which I have hitherto pursued.

 

Sect. 11- History of the most remarkable Events in the Society from 1779 to 1791 inclusive

Amidst these disagreeable altercations, intelligence arrived of the rapid progress of the Society in India, where many new lodges had been constituted, which were amply supported by the first characters in the East. Omdit-ul-Omrah Bahauder, eldest son of the nabob of the Carnatic, had been initiated into masonry in the lodge of Trichinopoly near Madras; and had expressed the highest veneration for the institution. This news having been transmitted to England officially, the Grand Lodge determined to send a congratulatory letter to his highness on the occasion, accompanied with a blue apron elegantly decorated, and a copy of the Book of Constitutions superbly bound. To sir John Day, advocated general of Bengal, the execution of the commission was entrusted. * In the beginning of 1780, an answer was received from his highness, acknowledging the receipt of the present , and expressing the warmest attachment and benevolence to his brethren in England. This letter, which is written in the Persian language, was enclosed in an elegant cover of cloth of gold, and addressed To the Grand Master and Grand Lodge of England.

This flattering mark of attention from so distinguished a personage abroad,was peculiarly grateful to the Grand Lodge; who immediately resolved, that a letter should be prepared and transmitted to his highness, expressing the high opinion which the brethren in England entertained of his merits, and requesting the continuance of his friendship and protection to the masonic institution in the East. the thanks of the Grand Lodge were voted to sir John Day; and a translation of his highness's Letter * was ordered to be copied on vellum, and, with the original, elegantly framed and glazed, hung up in the hall at every public meeting of the Society.

Under the auspices of this celebrated chief, there is every reason to expect that masonry will flourish in the East; and it cannot fail of giving pleasure to every zealous brother, to find that the venerable principles of the institution pervade the most distant regions.

The first test testimony which  Odmit-ul-Omrah gave of his regard to the institution, was by the initiation of his brother Omur-ul-Omrah, who seems equally attached with himself to promote the welfare of the Society.

Another event has also taken place at Madras, which must be very satisfactory to the brethren of England. The division and secessions, which had originated in London in 1738, having unfortunately reached India, by the intervention of brigadier general Horne, who had been appointed, by patent from the duke of Cumberland, Provincial Grand Master on the Coast of Cormomandel, an union of the brethren in that part of the world has been affected, and the lodge No. 152, styling themselves Ancient York Masons, joined a lodge under his auspices and voluntarily surrendered the constitution under which they had formerly acted. This desirable object being accomplished, and the wishes of the brethren fulfilled, the General requested their assistance to form a Grand Lodge, when the following Officers were appointed, and installed in due form.

Brigadier gen. Horne, Prov. Grand Master.

Ter. Gahagan esq. Deputy Grand Master.

Jof. Du Pre Porcher esq, Acting Grand Master.

Lieut. col. Rofs. Grand Architect.

Lieut. col. J Campbell, Sen, Grand Warden.

Lieut. col. Hamilton esq, Junior Grand Warden.

James Grierson esq, Grand Secretary.

James Amos esq, Grand Treasurer.

Lieutenant-colonel Moorhouse, and colonel L Lucas esq. Grand Stewards.

Major Maule, Grand Orator.

Charles Bromley esq, Grand Sword Bearer.

The Grand Lodge having been regularly established, a proposal was made, that a new lodge should be formed in Madras, under the name of Perfect Unanimity, No. 1. This being unanimously agreed to, the Provincial Grand Master gave notice, that he should perform the ceremony of consecration on Saturday the 7th of October 1787, in commemoration of the union which had been so amicably formed that day; and requested the proper officers to attend the occasion. Accordingly, on the morning of the day appointed upwards of fifty brethren assembled at the house of Choulty Plain, in which the public rooms are held , and at half past eleven o'clock the ceremony commenced, After the preparatory business had been gone through in Grand Lodge, a procession * was formed and marched three times round the lodge; after which the business of consecration was entered on, and completed in a manner suitable to the solemnity of the occasion. Several old masons who were present, declared they never saw a ceremony conducted with more dignity and propriety.

The following brethren were installed as Officers of this new lodge, viz, Colly Lyons Lucas esq. Master; Pullier Spencer esq. Senior Warden; George Robert Latham esq, Junior Warden; George Maule esq. Secretary; John Robins esq. Treasurer.

At two o'clock, the brethren sat down at an excellent dinner, provided by the Grand Lodge; after which many masonic and loyal toasts were drank; and the day was concluded with that pleasing festivity, harmony, and good fellowship, which has always distinguished the Society of Free and Accepted Masons.

During the presidency of the duke of Manchester, new lodges were constituted in different parts of the kingdom, and considerable additions made to the general funds of the Society. The sums voted to distressed brethren far exceeded those of any former period; and among other instances of liberality may be specified, a very generous contribution, of one hundred pounds, toward the relief of the brethren in America, who had suffered great losses in consequence of the rebellion there, and whose situation was very feelingly described in a letter from the lodge No. 1 at Halifax Nova Scotia.

A singular proposition was made in Grand Lodge on the 8th of April 1778, that the Grand Master and his Officers should be distinguished in  future at all public meetings by robes. to be provided at their own expense; and that Past Grand Officers should have the privilege of being distinguished in a similar manner. This measure was at first favourably received; but, on further investigation in the Hall Committee, to whom it was referred, it was found to be so diametrically opposite to the original plan of the institution, that it was very properly laid aside.

The finances of the Society occupied great part of the proceedings of the Committees and communications during his grace's administration. The debts due on account of the hall appearing to be very considerable, it was determined to make an application to the lodges to raise £2,000 to pay them off. For this purpose in consequence of a plan offered to the consideration of the Grand Lodge in June 1779, it was resolved, that  a subscription should be opened, to raise money by loan, without interest, at the discretion of the subscribers; that £25 should be the sum limited for each subscriber, and the number of subscribers to be one hundred; and that the monnies so subscribed should be repaid, in equal proportions, among the subscribers, at such times as the hall fund would admit. It was also determined, that an honorary medal should be presented to every subscriber, as a mark of distinction for the service which he had rendered the Society; and that the bearer of such medal, if a master mason, should have the privilege of being present at, and voting in, all the future meetings of the Grand Lodge. This mark of attention prompted some lodges, as well as individuals, to contribute and the greatest part of the money was speedily raised and applied for the purpose intended.

The Stewards Lodge, finding their finances much reduced be several members having withdrawn the annual subscriptions, applied to the Grand Lodge for relief; upon which it was resolved, that in future no Grand Officer should be appointed, who was not at the time a subscribing member of the Stewards Lodge.

A measure of more importance attracted the attention of the Society at this period. It had been observed with regret, that a number of worthy brethren in distress had been subjected to much inconvenience and disappointment from a want of relief during the long summer recess, as there was seldom any Committee of Charity held from the beginning of April to the end of October. To remedy this complaint, the Grand Lodge unanimously resolved, that an Extraordinary Committee should meet annually in the last week of August, to administer temporary relief to such distressed objects as might regularly apply, not exceeding five pounds to one person.

This increase in the business of the Society induced the Grand Lodge to appoint pro tempore, an assistant to the Grand Secretary, who should hold equal rank and power with himself in Grand Lodge. * Among many regulations which were now established, it was determined, that in future no person should hold two offices at the same time in Grand Lodge.

The Grand Lodge of Germany applied for liberty to send a representative to the Grand Lodge of England, in order more effectively to cement the union and friendship of the brethren of both countries, and brother John Leonhardi was appointed to the office. This request being complied with, a resolution passed, that, in compliment to the Grand Lodge of Germany brother Leonhardi should wear the clothing of a Grand Officer, and rank next to the Past Grand Officers in all public meetings of the Society.

This additional cement was highly pleasing; and led the brethren to regret, that no intercourse or correspondence should have subsisted nearer home, between the Grand Lodge of England and the Grand Lodges of Scotland and Ireland, thought all the members were subjects of the same sovereign. At the communication in April 1782, this important business came under consideration; when, after a variety of opinions had been delivered, it was unanimously resolved, that the Grand Master should be requested to adopt such means as his wisdom might suggest, to promote a good understanding among the brethren of the three united kingdoms. Notwithstanding this resolution, the wished for union has not yet been accomplished; we trust, however, that the event is not far distant.

At this meeting also, the pleasing intelligence was communicated, of the duke of Cumberland's intention to accept the government of the Society. This having been regularly stated in Grand Lodge, his highness was proposed Grand Master elect; and it was resolved, in compliment to him, that he should have the privilege of nominating a peer of the realm as Acting Grand Master, who should be empowered to superintend the Society in his absence; and that, at any future period, when the fraternity might be honoured with a Prince of the blood at their head, the same privilege should be granted.

At the annual grand feast on the 1st of May 1782, the duke of Cumberland was unanimously elected Grand Master; and it being signified to the Society that his highness meant to appoint the earl of Effingham Acting Grand Master, that the appointment was confirmed, and his lordship presided as proxy for his royal highness during the feast.

On the 8th of January 1783, a very singular motion was made in Grand Lodge, and afterward confirmed, that the interest of five percent on £1,000 which had been advanced for the purposes of the hall from the charity fund, should cease to be paid; and further, that the principal should be annihilated, and sunk into the hall fund. However extraordinary it may appear, this event took place; and the money has been regularly brought to account in the hall expendititures. A number of other regulations were confirmed at this meeting, to render the hall fund more productive, and to enforce obedience to the laws respecting it. * How far some of the regulations are consistent with the original plan of the masonic institution must be left to abler judges to determine.In earlier periods of our history, such compulsory regulations were unnecessary.

At the Grand Lodge held on the 23rd of November 1783, an addition was made to the Grand Officers, by the appointment of a Grand Portrait Painter; and, at the request of the duke of Manchester, that honor was conferred on the rev. William Peters, in testimony of the service which he had rendered to the Society, by his elegant portrait of lord Petre.

During the remainder of the year, there was scarcely any further business of importance transacted. On the 19th of November, information was given in Grand Lodge, that two brethren, under sanction of the Royal Military lodge at Woolwich, which claimed the privilege of an itinerant lodge, had lately held an irregular meeting  in the King's Bench prison, and had there unwarrentbly initiated sundry person into masonry. The Grand Lodge, conceiving this to be a violent infringement of the privileges of every regular constituted lodge, ordered the said lodge to be erased from the list; and determined, that it was inconsistent with th purposes of making, passing and raising masons, in a prison or place of confinement.

At this Grand Lodge also, it was resolved, to enact certain regulations, subjecting the Deputy Grand Master and Grand Wardens to fines, in case of non-attendance on the public meetings of the Society; and these regulations were confirmed on the 11th February following.

While those proceedings were carrying on in England, the brethren in Scotland were prosecuting their labours also for the good of the craft. The vast improvements made in the city of Edinburgh, afforded ample room for ingenious architects to display their masonic talent and abilities; and there the operative part of the fraternity were fully occupied, in rearing stately mansions, and planning elegant squares.

On the 1st of August 1785, a very pleasing sight was exhibited to every well-wisher to the embellishment of that city, in the ceremony of laying the foundation stone of the South Bridge, being the first step to farther improvement. In the morning of that day, the right hon. the Lord Provost and Magistrates, attended by the Grand Master Mason of Scotland, and a number of nobility and gentry, with the masters, office-bearers, and brethren of the several lodges; walked from the parliament-house to the bridge in procession. * The streets were lined by the 58th regiment and the city guard.

Lord Haddo, Grand Master, having arrived at the place, laid the foundation stone with the usual solemnities. His lordship standing on the east, with the Substitute on his right hand, and the Grand Wardens on the west, the square, the plumb, the level, and the mallet, were successively delivered by an operative mason to the Substitute, and by him to the Grand Master, who applied the square to that part of the stone which was square, the plumb to the level edges, the level above the stone in several positions, and then with the mallet gave three knocks, saying' "May the Grand Architect of the Universe grant a blessing on this foundation stone, which we have now laid; and by his providence enable us to finish this, and every other work which may be undertaken for the embellishment and advantage of this city." On this the brethren gave the honours.

The cornucopia and two silver vessels were then brought from the table, and delivered, the cornucopia to the Substitute, and the two vessels to the Wardens, which were successively presented to the Grand Master, who, according to ancient form, scattered the corn, and poured the wine and oil, which they contained, on the stone saying, "May the All-bounteous Author of Nature bless this city with an abundance of corn, wine and oil;  and with all the necessaries, conveniences, and comforts of life! and may the same Almighty power preserve this city from ruin and decay to the latest posterity!"

The Grand Master, being supported on the right hand by the duke of Buccleugh, and on the left by the earl of Balcarras, addressed himself to the Lord Provost and the Magistrates in a suitable speech for the occasion. The coins of the present reign, and a silver plater, with the following inscription, was deposited within the stone.

ANNUETE DEO OPTIMO MAXIMO,

REGNANTE GEORGIO III, PATRE PATRIA,

HUJUS PONTIS

QUO VICI EXTRA MOENIA EDINBURGH,

URBI COMMODE ADJUNGERENTUR,

ADITUMQUE NON INDIGNUM TANTA

URBS HABERET,

PRIMUM LAPIDEM POSUIT

NOBLIS VIR GEORGIUS DOMINUS HADDO,

ANTIQUISSIMI SODALITH ARCHITECTONICI

APUD SCOTOS CURIO MAXIMUS,

PLAUDENTE AMPLISSIMA FRATRUM CORONA,

IMMEMSAQUE POPULI FREQUENTIA

--------------------------------

OPUS

UTILE CIVIBUS GRATUM ADVENIS,

URBI DECORUM PATRIAE HONESTUM,

CONSULE JACOBO HUNTER BLAIR,

INCEPTI AUCTORE INDEFESSO,

SANCCIENTE REEGE, SENATUQUE BRITANNIAE,

APPROBANTIBUS OMNIBUS,

TANDEM INCHOATUM EST

IPSIS KALENDIS AUGUSTI

A.D. MDCCLXXXV

AERAE ARCHITECTONICAE 5785

Q.F.F.Q.S.

Translation

"By the blessing of Almighty God, in the reign of George the Third, the Father of his country, the right hon. George, Lord Haddo, Grand Master of the Most ancient Fraternity of Free Masons in Scotland, amidst the acclamation of a Grand Assembly of the brethren, and a vast concourse of people, laid the first stone of this bridge, intended to form a convenient communication between the city of Edinburgh and its suburbs, and an access not unworthy of such a city.

This work, so useful to the inhabitants, so pleasing and convenient to strangers, so ornamental to the city, so creditable to the country, so long and much wanted and wished for, was at last begun, with the sanction of the king and parliament of Great Britain, and with universal approbation, in the provestship of James Hunter Blair, teh author and indefatigable promoter of the undertaking, August the 1st, in the year of our Lord, 1785, and of the era of Masonry 5785. which may God prosper."

An anthem was then sung , and the procession returned, reversed, to the Parliament-house. After which the Lord Provost and Magistrates gave an elegant entertainment at Dunn's rooms to the Grand Lodge, and the nobility and gentry who had assisted in the ceremony.

The net public ceremony in which the society bore a principal share, was in laying the foundation stone of that valuable seminary of learning , the new College of Edinburgh. this University has for many years been esteemed one of the most celebrated in Europe, and has attracted a great number of students of physic and other branches of science, from all parts of the world. The eminence of its professors in every branch of learning is universally admitted; and it is most fervently so be wished, for the honour of the kingdom, that the whole plan may be completely executed agreeably to the intention of the original promoters. as this is an event worth of record in the annals of masonry, I shall describe minutely the ceremony observed on that remarkable occasion.

On the 13th of October 1789, Mr Robert Adam, architect, presented the plans of the intended building, at a public breakfast given by the Lord Provost, to the Magistrates, the Principal and the Professors of the University, of Edinburgh, on the occasion; and explained their uses for the various schools, halls, and houses. The whole company expressed the highest satisfaction at the design; and it was immediately resolved, that a subscription should be opened to carry the plan into execution. Monday the 16th of November was then fixed for laying the foundation stone of the new structure.

On the morning of the day appointed for performing the ceremony, the brethren assembled at eleven o'clock in the Parliament-house, to meet lord Napier, at that time Grand Master of Scotland. When the lodges were arranged, the Grand Master sent notice to the Lord Provost and Magistrates, who had assembled in the Council-chamber; and to the Principal, Professors and Student of the University, who had met in the High Church. At half past twelve, the procession began to move in the following order:

1st. The Principal, Professors, and Students of the University, with their mace carried before them. Principal Robertson being supported on the right hand by the rev. Dr Hunter, professor of divinity; and on the left, by Dr Handy, professor of church history. The Professors were all robed, and each of the Students had a sprig of laurel in his hat.

2nd. The Lord Provost, Magistrates, and Council, in their robes, preceded by the sword, mace, etc. The Lord Provost being supported on the right and left by the two eldest Baillies.

3rd. A complete choir of Singers, under the direction of signor Scherky, singing anthems as the procession moved.

4th. The Lodges, according to seniority, juniors preceding, with their different insignia.

5th.  A complete band of instrumental music.

6th. The Grand Stewards, properly clothed, with white rods.

7th. The Noblemen and Gentlemen attending the Grand Master.

8th. A large drawing of the East Front of the New College, carried by two operative masons.

9th. The grand jewels, borne by Past Masters of lodges.

10th. Officers of the Grand Lodge, properly clothed.

11th. Past Grand Masters.

12th. Lord Napier, present Grand Master, supported on the right hand by sir William Forbes bart. Past Grand Master; and on the left, by the duke of Buccleugh.

A detachment of the 35th regiment from the castle, together with the city guard, lined the streets.

At one o'clock, the Grand Master reached the site of the College, when the foundation stone was laid with the usual ceremononies. * After which the Grand Master addressed himself to the Lord Provost and Magistrates as follows:

"My Lord Provost, and Magistrates, of the City of Edinburgh.

In compliance with your request, I have now had the honour, in the capacity of Grand Master Mason of Scotland, to lend my aid towards laying that stone on which it is your intention to erect a new College. I must ever consider it a sign of the fortunate events in my life, that the Craft of Free and Accepted Masons should be called forth, to assist at an undertaking so laudable; and so glorious, during the time that, from their affections, I have the honour of sitting in the chair of the Grand Lodge.

The attention to the improvement of this city, manifested by the Magistrates, your predecessors in office, has for many years, excited the admiration of their fellow-citizens. The particular exertions of your Lordship and your Colleagues have merited, and it give me infinite satistfaction to say, have obtained, the universal approbation of all ranks of men.

The business of, this day, equally to be remembered in the annals of this city and of masonry, will transmit your name with lustre to posterity. Thousands yet unborn, learning to admire your virtues, will thereby be stimulated to follow the great example you have set them, of steady patriotism, love of your country, and anxious desire to advance the welfare, and increase the fame of the city of Edinburgh.

In the name of the Craft of Free and Accepted Masons, and in my own, I sincerely implore the protection of the Supreme Architect of the Universe on your lordship and your brethren in the Magistracy! May you long continue here the ornaments of civil society; and may you hereafter be received into those mansions, those lodges, prepared in heaven for the blessed."

To this address the Lord Provost, in the name of the Magistrates and Town Council of the City of Edinburgh, mad a suitable reply.

The Grand Master next addressed the Principal as representing the University of Edinburgh, as follows:

"Reverend Sir,

Permit me to congratulate you, as Principal, and your brethren, as Professors, of the University of Edinburgh, on the work which we have this day been engaged. -- A work, worthy of your Patrons, who (ever considering the public good) will not permit the seat of learning, established in this ancient metropolis, to bear the appearance of decay, at a time when so much attention is bestowed on the elegance and convenience both of public and private edifices.

Permit me, likewise, to congratulate my country, on the probability of seeing the different chairs of the magnificent structure now to be erected, filled by men so distinguished for their piety, so eminent for their learning, and so celebrated for their abilities, as those to whom I now have the honour to address myself.

Any panegyric that I can pronounce, must fall so far short of what is due to you, Sir, and your honourable and learned brethren, that it would be presumption in me to attempt to express my sense of your deserts. Suffice it to say that the Grand Lodge of Scotland, nd the lodges depending on it, are most happy, in having this opportunity of assisting at, and witnessing, the laying of the foundation, whence it is their earnest wish a building may arise, which, in future ages may be renowned for the excellence of its teachers, and as much respected for the propriety of conduct in its students, as the University now is, over which you have the peculiar satisfaction of presiding.

May the Almighty Architect, the Sovereign Disposer of all events, grant, that the Principal and Professors of this College may continue to deliver their instructions, and the Students to receive their admonitions, in such a manner as may rebound to the glory of God, the promoting of science, and the extension of all useful learning."

To which the rev. Principal made the following reply:-

"My Lord,

From very humble beginnings, the University of Edinburgh has attained to such eminence, as entitles it to be ranked among the most celebrated seminaries of learning. Indebted to the bounty of several of our Sovereigns -distinguished particularly by the gracious Prince now seated on the British throne, whom with gratitude, we reckon among the most munificent of our royal benefactors - and cherished by the continued attention and good offices of our honourable Patrons, this University can no boast of the number and variety of its institutions for the instruction of youth in all the branches of literature and science.

With what integrity and discernment persons have been chosen to preside in each of these departments, the character of my learned colleagues affords the most satisfying evidence. From confidence in their abilities, and assiduity in discharging the duties of their respective offices, the University of Edinburgh has become a seat of education, not only to the youth in every part of the British dominions, but, to the honour of our country, students have been attracted to it from almost every nation in Europe, and every state in America.

One thing still was wanting, The apartments appropriate for the accommodation of Professors and Students were so extremely unsuitable to the flourishing state of the University, that it has long  been the general wish to have buildings more decent and convenient erected. What your lordship has now done, gives a near prospect of having this wish accomplished; and we consider it as a most auspicious circumstance, that the foundation stone of this new mansion of science is laid by your lordship, who, among your ancestors, reckon a man, whose original and universal genius places him high among the illustrious persons who have contributed most eminently to enlarge the boundaries of human knowledge

Permit me to add, what I regard as my own peculiar felicity, that of having remained in my present station much longer than any of my predecessors, I have lived to witness an event so beneficial to this University, the prosperity of which is near to my heart, and has ever been the object of my warmest wishes.

May Almighty God, without invocation of whom no action of importance should be begun, bless this undertaking, and enable us to carry it on with success! May he continue to protect our University, the object of whose institution is to instill into the minds of youth, principles of sound knowledge; to inspire them with the love of religion and virtue; and to prepare them for filling the various situations in society, with honour to themselves, and with benefit to their country!

All this we ask, in the name of Christ; and unto the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, we ascribe the kingdom, power and glory! Amen!"

After the Principal had finished his speech, the brethren again gave the honours, which concluded th ceremony.

Tow crystal bottles, cast on purpose at teh glass-house of Leith, were deposited in the foundation-stone. In one of these were put different coins of the present reign, each of which were previously enveloped in crystal, in such an ingenious manner that the legend on the coins could be distinctly read without breaking the crystal., In the other bottle were deposited seven rolls of vellum, containing a short account of the original foundation and present state of the University, together with several other papers; in particular, the different newspapers, containing advertisements relative to the college, Etc, and a list of the names of the present Lord Provost and Magistrates, and Officer of the Grand Lodge of Scotland. The bottles being carefully sealed up, were covered with a plate of copper wrapt in block-tin; and, upon the under side of the copper, were engraven the arms of the city of Edinburgh, and of the University; likewise the arms of the right hon. lord Napier, Grand Master Mason of Scotland. Upon the upper side, a Latin inscription, of which the following is a copy:

ANNUENTE DEO OPT. MAX

REGNANTE GEORGIO III, PRINCIPE MUNIFICER

TISSIMO,

ACADEMIA EDINBURGENIS

/EDIBUS

INITO QUIDEM HUMILLIMIS

ET JAM, POST DUO SECLA, PENE RUINOS

NOVI HUJUS /EDIFICH,

UBI COMMODITATI SIMEL ET ELGANTI/E

TANTODUCTINARUM DOMICILIO DIGN/E,

CONSULERETUR,

PRIMUM LAPIDEM POSUIT

FLAUDENTE INGENTI OMNIUM ORDIUNIUM FREQUENTIA

VIR NOBILISSIUMUS FRANCISCUS DOMINUS NAPIER,

REIPUB ARCHITECTONIC/E APUD SCOTOS

CURIO

MAXIMUS.

XVI KAL DECEMB

ANNO SALUTIS HUMAN /E MDCCLXXXIX

/ER/E ARCHITECTIONIC/E IOOIDCCLXXIX

CONSULE THOMA ELDER,

ADAMIE/E PR/EFECTO GULIELMO ROBERTSON

ARCHITECTO ROBERTO ADAM

Q.F.F.Q.S.

TRANSLATION

"By the Blessing of Almighty God, In the reign of the most munificent Prince George III, The buildings of the Univeristy of Edinburgh, being originally very mean, And now, after two centuries, almost a ruin. The Right Hon. Francis Lord Napier, Grand Master of the Fraternity of Free Masons of Scotland, Amidst the acclamations of the people, laid the foundation stone of this new fabric, In which an union of elegance with conveniences, suitable to the dignity of learning, Has been studied; On the 16th day of November in the year of our Lord 1789 And in the era of Masonry 5789

Thomas Elder being the Lord Provost of the City; William Robertson, the Principal of the University; and Robert Adam the Architect.

May the undertaking prosper and be crowned with success.

An anthem having been sung, the brethren returned, the whole procession being reversed, and when the junior lodge arrived at the door of the Parliament-house, it fell back to the right and left, within the lines of soldiers; when the Principal, Professors and Students; the Lord Provost, Magistrates, and Town Council; and the Grand Lodge; passed though, with their hats off.

The procession on this occasion was one of the most brilliant and numerous that ever was exhibited in the city of Edinburgh. The Provost and Magistrates had very properly invited many of the Nobility and Gentry from all parts of the country, to witness the solemnity of laying the foundation-stone of a college, the architecture of which, it is agreed by all who have seen the plan, will not only do honour to the city, but to the nation of Europe. But the number of persons invited was far exceeded by the immense multitude of all ranks, who, desirous of viewing so magnificent a spectacle, filled the streets, windows, and even roofs of the houses, all the way from the Parliament-close, down the High-street and Bridge-street, near the fourth end of which the foundation-stone was laid. above 20,000 were supposed to be witnesses of this ceremony. It is, however, worthy of notice, that, notwithstanding so immense a crowd, the greatest order and decency were observed; nor did the smallest accident happen.

On the 7th of January 1795, the brethren in Scotland had another opportunity of exemplifying their skill in the practical rules of the Art, at opening the new bridge for carriages at Montrose. This undertaking had been long deeded impracticable, on account of the extent being near half a mile across a rapid influx and reflux of the sea. The important work, however, was happily accomplished under the superintendence of the fraternity, and the great post road from the fourth to the north of Scotland is now united. A public procession was formed on this occasion when the Grand Master, amidst an immense concourse of people, critically eaminined the work and declared it well built and ably executed.

Having described the principal works in which the brethren in Scotland have been employed, we shall now resume the history of masonry in England, and trace the occurrences that have taken place there, under the auspices of the duke of Cumberland, and his successor the prince of Wales.

On the 4th of January 1787, was opened in London, the grand chapter of Harodim. Though this order is of ancient date, and had been patronised in different parts of Europe, previous to this period there appears not on record the regular establishment of such an association in England. For some years it was faintly encouraged,  but since its merit has been further investigated, it has receiveded the patronage of the most exalted masonic characters; and, under the patronage of lord Macdonald, meets regularly at Free-Masons tavern on the 3rd Monday of January, February, March, April, October, November, and December; at which meetings any member of a regular lodge may be admitted by ticket as a visitor, to hear the lectures of masonry judiciously illustrated.

The mysteries of this order are peculiar to the institution itself, while the lectures of the Chapter include every branch of the masonic system, and represent the art of masonry in a finished and complete form.

Different classes are established, and particular lectures restricted to each class. the lectures are divided into sections, and the sections into clauses. the sections are annually assigned by the Chief Harod, to a certain number of is skillful companions in each class, who are denominated SECTIONISTS; and they are empowered to distribute the clauses of their respective sections, with the approbation of the Chief Harod and General Director, among certain private companions of the Chapter, who are denominated CLAUSE-HOLDERS. Such companions as by assiduity become possessed of all the sections in the lecture, are called LECTURERS; and out of these the General Director is always chosen.

Every Clauseholder, on his appointment, is presented with a ticket, signed by the Chief Harod, specifying the clause allotted to him. This ticket entitles him to enjoy the rank and privileges of a Clause-holder of the Chapter; and no Clause-holder can transfer his ticket to the another Companion, unless the consent of the Council has been obtained for that purpose, and the Director General shall have approved the Companion to whom it is to be transferred, as qualified to hold it. In case of the death, sickness, or non-residence in London, of any Lecturer, Sectionist or Clause-holder, another Companion is immediately appointed to fill up the vacancy, that the lectures may be always complete; and once in every month, during the session, a public lecture is delivered, in a masterly manner, in open Chapter.

The Grand-Chapter is governed by a Grand Patron, two Vice Patrons, a Chief Ruler, and two Assistants, with a Council of twelve respectable Companions, chosen annually at the Chapter nearest to the festival of St John the Evangelist.

On the 25th of March 1788, another event worthy of notice in the annals of masonry took place, by the institution of the Royal Cumberland Free-mason school, for maintaining, clothing and educating female orphans, the children of indigent brethren. To the benevolent exertions of chevalier Bartholomew Ruspini, the fraternity were first indebted for this establishment. Under the patronage of her royal highness the duchess of Cumberland, the school was originally formed; and to her softening hand is owning its present flourishing state, by here recommendation of it to the Royal Family,m as well as to many of the nobility and gentry of both sexes. On the 1st of January 1789, fifteen children were taken into the house provided for the purpose at Somers Town, St Pancras; but since that time, by the liberal encouragement which the Charity has received from the fraternity in India as well as in England, the Governors have been enabled to augment the number of children at different periods to thirty-four.

The object of this Charity is to train up children in the knowledge of virtue and religion; in an early detestation of vice, and its unhappy consequences, in industry, as necessary to their condition; and to impress strongly on their minds, a due sense of subordination, true humility, and obedience to their superiors.

In 1793, the Governors, anxious still farther to extend the benefits of this Institution, hired on lease a piece of ground in St George's Fields belonging to the City of London, on which they have erected as commodious and spacious school-house at the expense of upwards of £2500 into which the children are now removed. This building is sufficiently extensive to accommodate an hundred children; and from the exertions of the fraternity at home an abroad, there is every reason to hope that the Governors will soon have it in their power to provide for that number.

the following are some of the general regulations for the management of the school:

Every child who is admitted in to the school must be the daughter of a mason who has been initiated into the Society three years, and registered in the books of the Grand Lodge; and such child, at the time of application; must be between the age of five and nine years; not weak, sickly, or afflicted with any disorder or infirmity; must have had the smallpox, and be free from any defect in her eyes or limbs. There is no restriction as to her parochial settlement, whether it be in town or country.

Children continue in the school till they attain the age of fifteen years, during which time they are carefully instructed in every domestic employment; and when they quit the school, are placed out as apprentices, either to trades, or as domestic servants, as may be found mist suitable to their respective capacities.

A quarterly General Court of the Governors is held on the second Thursday in January, April, July, and October, to receive the reports of the General Committee, order all payments admit and discharge children, and transact all general business relative to the Charity.

A General Committee, consisting of perpetual and life Governors, and thirty annual Governors, meet on the last Friday in every month, to receive the reports of the Sub-Committee, and give such directions as they judge proper, subject to the confirmation or rejection of the succeeding Quarterly Court.

A House Committee, consisting of twelve members of the General Committee, meet on the Friday preceding each meeting of that Committee, (or oftener, if any matter require their attendance,) to whom the internal management is specially delegated; for which purpose they visit the school in weekly rotation, examine the provision and stores sent in for the use of the Charity, and see that the several regulations are strictly complied with, and report their proceedings to the General Committee.

A Committee of Auditors, consisting of twelve members of the General Committee, meet previous to every Quarterly Court, to examine the vouchers and accounts of the Treasurer and Collector, see that the same are properly entered by the Secretary, and prevent any payments being made, which have not been approved and by the House and General Committees.

This Charity is under the immediate supervision of her royal highness the duchess of Cumberland, the patroness; their royal highnesses the prince of Wales, the duke of York, and the duke of Gloucester, the Patrons; Chevalier Bartholomew Ruspini, the Institutor; the right hon. lord Macdonald, James Heseltine, James Galloway, William Birch, William Addington esqs. the Trustees; and sir Peter Parker, bart. the Treasurer. *

To the benevolent and indefatigable exertion of William Forsteen, Anthony Ten Broeke, Adam Gordon, Henry Spicer, esqs. and a few other respectable brethren, the Society are principally indebted for the complete establishment if this truly laudable Institution; and such have been the care and pains bestowed on the education of the children, that the sum arising from their work for the last year has exceeded £200.

On the 10th of February 1790, the Grand Lodge voted a subscription to this Charity, and particularly recommended it to the lodges as deserving encouragement; in consequence of which considerable sums have been raised for its support, and the annual contributions have of late years so increased, that an Institution, which reflects so much honour on the fraternity, promise fair to have a permenant establishment.

The duke of Cumberland continued in the office of Grand Master till his death in September, 1790; and it may be truly said, that such a valuable acquistion was made to the Society during his highness's administration, as is almost unparalleled in the annals of masonry.

On Thursday the 9th of March 1786, his royal highness prince William Henry, now duke of Clarence, was initiated into masonry at the lodge No. 86, held a the Prince George inn at Plymouth.

On Thursday the 6th of February 1787, his royal highness the Prince of Wales was made a mason, at an occasional lodge convened for the purpose at the Star and Garter, Pall-Mall, over which the duke of Cumberland presided in person.

On Friday the 21st of November following, his royal highness the Duke of York was initiated into masonry, at a special lodge convened for the purpose at the same place, over which the Grand Master presided in person. His highness was introduced by his royal brother the Prince of Wales, who was present on the occasion and assisted at the ceremony.

On the 10th of February 1790, regular notice was given in Grand Lodge, that his royal highness Prince Edward, while on his travels had been regularly initiated into masonry in the Union Lodge of Geneva.

The Grand Lodge, highly sensible of the great honour conferred on the Society  by the initiation of so many royal personages, unanimously resolved, that each of them should be presented with an apron, lined with blue silk, the clothing of a Grand Officer, and that they should be placed, in all public meetings of the Society, on the right hand of the Grand Master, and rank in the processions as Past Grand Masters.

On the 2nd of May 1790, the grand feast was honoured with the presence of the duke of Cumberland, the Grand Master in the chair; attended by his royal nephews , the Prince of Wales, and the dukes of York and Clarence, with about five hundred other brethren. This Grand Assembly confirmed the re-instatment of the members of the lodge of Antiquity in all their masonic privilages, after an unfortunate separation of ten years; and among those who were re-instated, the Author of this treatise had the honour to be included.

On the 2nd of November 1790, his royal highness the Prince of Wales was elected to the high and important office of Grand Master of Masons, and was pleased to appoint lord Rawdon (now earl Moria) Acting Grand Master, who had previously filled that office under his late royal uncle, on the resignation of the earl of Effingham, who had gone abroad, having accepted the governorship of Jamaica.

On the 9th of February 1791, the Grand Lodge resolved, on the motion of lord Petre, that, in testimony of the high sense of the fraternity entertained of the honour done to the Society by his royal highness the Prince of Wales's acceptance of the office of Grand Master, three elegant chairs and candlesticks should be provided for the use of the Grand Lodge; and at the grand feast in May following, these elegant chairs and candlesticks were presented to public view; but unfortunately the Grand Master's indisposition at that time prevented him from honouring the Society with his presence. Lord Rawdon, however, officiated as proxy for his royal highness, who was re-elected with the most joyful acclamations.

 

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

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

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

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

The unhappy dissension which had brought about the revolution in France, having spread their contagion among some of the inhabitants of this island, it became necessary to counteract the measure of a few mistaken individuals, who were endeavour to sow the seeds of anarchy, and to poison the minds of the people, against his majesty's government, and the excellent constitution  under which they enjoyed the invaluable blessings of liberty and prosperity. This induced  most of the corporate bodies in the kingdom, and all the true friends of the constitution, to stem the torrent of opposition, and promote their different  departments a just sense of the advantages enjoyed under the present government. Hence addresses to the throne were daily presented, with assurances  of a determination to support the measures of administration; and among the rest, it was deemed proper that the Society of Masons, by adding their mite to the number, should shew that attachment to the King and Constitution which the laws of the Order enjoined. Accordingly, on the 6th of February 1793, the Grand Lodge unanimously resolved, that the following address should be presented to his Royal Highness; who in compliance with the request of his brethren, condescended to present it in person to his Royal Parent, by whom it was most graciously received.

To the King's Most excellent Majesty

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

Most Gracious Sovereign

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Signed Rawson, A. G. M.

Counter signed

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

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

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

Most Worshipful and Royal Sir,

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

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

By the unanimous order of the Grand Lodge.

Signed Rawdon A.G.M.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To this Address General Washington returned the following Answer.

Answer to the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Massachusetts.

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

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

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

Geo. Washington.

The extended progress of the Society in England under the royal auspices, far exceeds that of any former period; and as the fraternity have increased in numbers; it is but justice to add that the principles of the Institution seem equally to predominate. The lodges in general are well regulated, and the masonic Lectures more clearly understood.

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

"This stone was laid by his royal highness GEORGE, PRINCE OF WALES, November 25, 1793."

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

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

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

The Prince ordered a handsome distribution to the workmen, Etc.

The promenade gardens were laid open, and the company entertained with refreshments.

A party of gentlemen dined at the Castle, and some lines were composed and sung on the occasion.

Among the other masonic occurrences of the year 1793, it may be proper to mention the publication of a new periodical Miscellany, entitled The Freemason's Magazine; or, General and Complete Library: the first number of which appeared in June 1793, and a number has continued to be published monthly since that time. Independent of its being a general reposititory for every thing curious and important in masonry, it contains a choice selection of miscellaneous and literary articles, well calculated for the purpose of general instruction and improvement. This Magazine has been honoured with the sanction of the Grand Lodge, and while it is so ably conducted, will certainly merit the approbation of the public.

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

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

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

His royal highness the Grand Master's marriage to Princess Caroline of Brunswick took place on the 8th of April 1795, when the Grand Lodge on the 15th of April following unanimously voted the following Address to his royal highness on the occasion:

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

Most Worshipful and Royal Grand Master.

Upon an event so important to your own happiness, and to the interests of the British empire, as the late nuptials of your royal highness, we feel ourselves perculairly bound to testify our joy, and offer our humble congratulations.

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

To the obligation, which the brethren already owe to you, Sir, it will be a material addition, if you will render acceptable to you royal Consort, the humble homage of our veneration, and of our prayers for every possible blessing upon your union.

By the unanimous Order of the Grand Lodge.

Signed   Moria, A.G.M.

Counter signed  William White, G. S.

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

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

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

At the grand feast at Freemason's Hall on the 13th of May 1795, his royal highness being in the chair, was accompanied by the duke of Clarence and prince William of Gloucester, who had been initiated at an occasional lodge convened for the purpose on the preceding evening. Five hundred brethren were present on this occasion. Happiness was visible in every countenance while the benevolent principles of Freemasonry cheered the heart. His royal highness thanked the brethren for the repeated instances of their attachment and for the affectionate reception which he had met with; and after expressing his warmest attachment to the Society, concluded with a handsome compliment to the Acting Grand Master, earl Moira, whom he styled "the man of his heart, and the friend he admired" sincerely hoping that e might long live to superintend the government of the Craft, and extend the noble principles of the Art.

Having thus traced the progress of Masonry from its early dawn in England to a recent period, I shall conclude with a sincere wish that an abler hand may prosecute this work; that, the nature of the institution being more clearly understood, all narrow prejudices may cease to operate; and that, the universality of the system being firmly established, the Society at large may be regulated according to its original principles. 

 

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