The Builder Magazine
August 1929 - Volume XV - Number 8
The Heraldry of Freemasonry
BRO. REGINALD V. HARRIS, Associate Editor, Nova Scotia
THE subject of the Armorial bearings of Masonic bodies is one that, so far as
we have been able to discover, has never been comprehensively treated. The
arms granted to the Mason's Company of London are mentioned in most of our
histories; and there have been occasional articles about various partial
aspects of the subject. Bro. Harris, who as many of our readers know, is Grand
Historian of the Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia, presents here an account of the
various heraldic devices adopted by the various Grand Lodges of the British
Isles since 1717, and those of the Dominion of Canada. It is his intention to
follow this up with similar articles on the arms and seals of the Grand Lodges
of the United States, Australia, Europe and Latin America, as soon as he is
able to collect the requisite material, a great deal of which is most
inaccessible and difficult to obtain.
FREEMASONRY claims to be a science and a system of morality, veiled in
allegory and illustrated by symbols. Heraldry is a sister science or system,
or a cousin at least. Its beginnings go back to the immemorial and remote
past; some would claim it is as early, if not earlier than the beginnings of
Freemasonry itself. An old authority jocularly asserted that our first parents
were lawful bearers of coats of arms; assigning to Adam a shield gules (red),
and to Eve, another argent (silver); while after the Fall Adam added a garland
of fig leaves, which Abel quartered with argent, with an apple vert (green),
in right of his mother.
Whatever the first beginnings it is certain that the use of emblems, insignia,
devices, symbols and tokens was common in the days of the Ancient Egyptian
Kings, Chaldea, Greece and Rome. Among the North American Indians, families
and individuals were frequently designated or represented by tokens or figures
in pictorial form.
The science or system of Heraldry as we know it today, comes from medieval and
feudal times. It became a factor of importance in England about the end of the
twelfth century. The earliest record of a herald in England dates from 1137;
in 1483 during the reign of Richard III, the Herald's College was made a
corporate body, continuing as such to the present day.
Men of noble or gentle birth bore their coats of arms or family devices
blazoned on the shields which they carried in battle; and with their visors
down, these devices, with the crest upon the helmet, were the only means of
indicating their identity. When in actual use a knight's shield was held in
front of him, so that the dexter or right side and the sinister or left side
covered his right and left side respectively. As a consequence, the dexter
side of the shield is on the left of anyone looking at it, and the sinister on
is unnecessary at this stage of our study to go into other definitions and
terms; many of them will be met with and explained as we go along; others are
of no importance to our enquiry.
mark their dignity and distinction the various guilds, associations and livery
companies of early times in England were granted the right of bearing or
exhibiting distinctive devices or arms. These insignia harmonized with the
trade of the particular company or fellowship. The Masons' Company was one of
the early and important guilds of England, and obtained its coat of arms
thirty- three years after the grant made to the Drapers' Company in 1439, and
was therefore fifth on the list. The arms granted by the Crown in 1472 on the
recommendation of the Court of Heralds to the Company of Masons of London
founded probably about 1200, were described in the heraldic "lingo" of the
field of sablys, a cheveron silver grailed, thre castelles of the same
garnyshed wt dores and wyndows of the feld, in the cheveron a cumpas of blak.
in plain English: a shield or ground of black, upon which is a chevron of
silver made with indented or wavy edges; above the chevron and below, three
silver castles with black doors and windows; on the chevron a black compass.
This has been reproduced on the following page, Fig. 1.
The Coat of Arms of the Worshipful Company of Masons of London appears among
the heraldic illuminations of several of the old manuscript constitutions or
"Old Charges". In the earliest drawings of these Arms the chevron is shown
engrailed; that is notched with concave curves, as it is shown in Fig. 1 and
also in the left-hand design in Fig. 2. It will be noticed, too, that the
castles are very elaborate, while the motto generally-used is: "God is our
Guide," instead of the later: "In the Lord is all our trust."
About the year 1600 we begin to find variations. In the- Harleian Collection
of Manuscripts in the British Museum we find two early seventeenth century
documents illuminated with drawings of the Mason's Arms. The first, No. 6860,
is dated about the year 1610, and it depicts the old form of the bearing, with
the castles drawn in elaborate detail, and the engrailed chevron, but with the
new motto: "In the Lord is all our trust." This is reproduced in Fig. 2. It
may be remarked incidentally that the essential thing in a grant of arm is the
"blazon," which technically used means the description of the bearing
according traditional rules. Any heraldic draughtsman can reproduce the arms
from the blazon, even if he has never seen them. But naturally his drawing
will not be the same as that drawn by someone else, though every such drawing
will be at once recognizable, just as words written in different kinds of
lettering by different hands are legible to everyone. Heraldry is a kind of
sign writing, done according to elaborate rules. Thus it naturally happened
that in the course of centuries the style of heraldic drawing changed although
the old bearings of families and institutions remained essentially the same.
The second MS. of the two above referred to, Harleian No. 472, is supposed to
be of about 1640, or some thirty years later than the other. This, which is
also shown in Fig. 2, not only has the new motto, but has towers instead of
castles, while the chevron has a plain edge instead of being engrailed. The
late Edward Conder in his history of the London Masons' Company (of which he
was the Master in 1894-1895) expresses the opinion that the change in the
chevron was due to the fact that it more nearly resembled the square and that
the tower may have been substituted as being much easier to engrave. Some
time after 1717, when the original Grand Lodge of England was organized, it
selected as the basis for its arms those of the Masons' Company, as already
described, but to the original design certain important and significant
alterations were made. The chevron became a Mason's square; each tower was
given triple turrets, while the crest was changed from a castle or tower to a
bird of unknown species which may have been intended for a phoenix, and
finally, two beavers, symbolical of operative builders, were added as
supporters, placed one on each side of the shield. Some doubt has been
expressed respecting these supporters, some believing them to be otters or
panthers, but the opinion of Bro. Hughan and others is that they were intended
for beavers even if they did not resemble them closely. At a still later
period the motto was changed to "Relief and Truth" in allusion to the basic
Masonic principles. These arms continued to be the arms of the original or
premier Grand Lodge of England from 1717 to 1813. A reproduction of the seal
of the Grand Lodge will be found in Fig. 3. It will be noticed also that the
square, level and plumb have been introduced below the shield.
The Guilds of Scottish Masons also used the arms of the Masons' Company, with
what warrant it is hard to say. The Grand Lodge of Scotland impaled them with
those of the country: placing the latter, the lion rampant of Scotland, on the
dexter or right side (actually the left of the design) and the Masons' arms on
the sinister side. As will be seen, the later form of the arms is used, with
corresponding motto. The crest remains a tower.
Although the Grand Lodges of Canada and the United States are not concerned
heraldically in the arms of the "Grand Lodge of all England", established at
York in 1725, it will be of interest to refer to them in passing. The Seal of
this Grand Lodge was oval in form, and bore on it three regal crowns, with the
inscription Sigillum Edwin Northum: Regis; that is, "the seal of Edwin, King
When in 1751, the Grand Lodge of England (Ancients) was established, a seal
was adopted with which they sealed their Warrants, but until the present year
no impression of this had been discovered. It was the belief of Henry Sadler
. . it was similar to the one used by the Grand Lodge of Ireland between
1731-59, a hand holding a trowel, and that it was destroyed and all
impressions of it removed from official documents and replaced by impressions
from one of the Seals subsequently used in order to obliterate the trail when
they were described as Irish Masons.
This was the case with all warrants issued prior to 1760. with the exception
of Warrant No. 66, issued for a Lodge at Halifax, Nova Scotia, which was
discovered recently by the writer. It is dated Dec. 27, 1757. As this and two
other Warrants, Nos. 65 and 67, also issued for lodges at Halifax at the same
time, were the first Warrants issued by the "Ancients" for lodges overseas,
they were probably overlooked by the authorities when changing the seals on
Warrants issued previously to 1760. From this Seal we learn that the original
Seal of the "Ancients" consisted of the Square (with square ends) and
compasses, the angle of the Square being upward; with a dagger with straight
blade above, pointing upward; around the top of the Seal the words, "Virtue
and Silence". A reproduction of a drawing made of this seal will be found in
The changes made in this Seal in 1760 were very slight, and were principally
in the drawing or design. The outline is a circle instead of oval, the ends of
the Square are curved ornamentally, the compasses have a somewhat different
shape, and the blade of the dagger is wavy or flaming, with a change in the
hilt, and the inscription, "Grand Lodge London", is added.
Among the Warrants granted by the "Ancients" bearing this seal, is that for a
Provincial Grand Lodge in Pennsylvania July 15, 1761. A reproduction of this
is given in Fig. 3.
1764, new Arms were adopted by the "Ancients", though they were not generally
used until 1775. Untechnically described, these new Arms consisted of a cross
made of four operative squares, placed with their angles together in the
center of the shield, thereby dividing the shield into four parts. In the
first or upper left- hand quarter, a golden lion rampant on a blue field; in
the second or upper right-hand quarter, a black ox on a golden field; in the
third, or lower left-hand quarter, a man robed in crimson and ermine, with
arms uplifted, on a golden field; and in the fourth, or lower right quarter, a
golden eagle displayed, on a blue field. Crest; The Holy Ark of the Covenant:
Supporters; Two Cherubim: Motto, Kodesh la Adonai in Hebrew characters, i.e.,
"Holiness to the Lord."
The main idea of these Arms was evidently derived from the banners of the four
principal tribes of Israel: Reuben, Dan, Judah and Ephraim. During the passage
through the wilderness the twelve tribes were encamped in a hollow square,
three on each side. As to the true colors of these banners, doubt exists.
Jewish commentators claim that the color of each should correspond to the
color of the stone assigned to the tribe on the breast-plate of the High
Priest. The four charges, man, lion, ox, and eagle, are also to be regarded as
symbols of the four Evangelists, and also of the four prophetic and
apocalyptic living creatures, or "beasts", as they are unfortunately called in
our English translation of the Bible. The Cherubim, the Ark, the Squares,
Mottos and other portions of the device need no explanation.
These arms continued to be the arms of this Grand Lodge until the union in
1813, of the two Grand Lodges, "Ancients" and "Moderns", so called, when the
arms of the two bodies were impaled, or placed side by side in one shield,
thus forming the arms of the present United Grand Lodge of England, the motto
being changed to "Audi Vide Tace" (Hear, See, Keep Silence), a command truly
significant to the initiate. The Crest chosen was that of the Ancients also,
the Ark of the Covenant, the bird or phoenix of the Moderns disappearing. This
has been reproduced in Fig. 4.
change was made in these arms until 1919, when a re-grant was made by the
College of Heralds by which a red bordure or frame was added to the shield,
upon which appear eight golden lions, passport guardant; the Motto "Holiness
to the Lord", in Hebrew characters placed over the crest, and the Latin motto
"Audi Vide Tace" beneath the shield, both being continued. A reduced
photograph of this grant is reproduced in Gould's Concise History.
Before considering the arms of other Grand jurisdictions of the British Empire
and the United States it is necessary to glance at the arms of the Grand Lodge
of Ireland. As already stated, the original seal used by the Irish Grand Lodge
from 1731-59 was simply a right hand holding a trowel. In 1760 the design was
changed to a raised right arm holding a trowel encircled by the words "The
Grand Lodge of Ireland".
This device will be found in Fig. 3, second in the upper row, and should be
compared with the crest of the arms of the Stonemasons in the center. About
1773, a beautifully cut seal was adopted by the Irish Grand Lodge, depicting a
shield, upon which were displayed the square, compasses and plumb, above which
were two right hands clasped. The shield rests on the top of a globe, above
the shield the blazing sun. Supporters; two cherubs with flaming swords; the
whole encircled by a Hebrew motto and the Latin words: Silentio Virtute et
Amore, "Silence, Courage and Love." In consequence of the Deputy Grand
Secretary having decamped with this seal in 1806, a new one was adopted in
that year similar to that of the Grand Lodge of England, "Ancients", which has
continued as the seal of the Irish Grand Lodge to the present time.
Turning now to the Grand Lodges of the Dominion of Canada we find almost
universal recognition, heraldically, of their descent from the United Grand
Lodge of England.
The first lodges on Canadian soil were organized at Annapolis Royal, Nova
Scotia, in 1738 and at Halifax in 1750 received their Warrants from
Massachusetts and were of "Modern" allegiance. What their Seals may have been
is not now known. In 1757, the "Ancients" warranted a Provincial Grand Lodge
for Nova Scotia, the first established by them. Its seal was probably similar
to the mother Grand Lodge, namely, the square and compasses, surmounted by a
dagger pointing upward, encircled by the words "Virtue and Silence" and
possibly also the words "Grand Lodge, Halifax." When, in 1784, this Provincial
Grand Lodge was revived they adopted the new seal of Grand Lodge of England
(Ancients) surrounded by the words "Provincial Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia",
with the motto "Kodesh la Adonai".
When in 1813 the two Grand Lodges of England were united the Seal of the Grand
Lodge of Nova Scotia was changed and a seal adopted similar to that of the
United Grand Lodge of England, surrounded by the words "Grand Lodge of Free
Masons, Halifax, Nova Scotia".
The Seal of the independent Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia (founded by the
Scottish lodges in the Province), adopted on its organization in 1866
consisted of the Ancient Arms of the Province granted by Charles I in 1621,
with the Bible, square and compasses above; the square below; the plumb to the
right and the level to the left. see Fig. 3, lower left-hand corner.
1869, when the English lodges united with it, the Grand Lodge adopted a new
seal showing on its dexter (right) side the arms of the Province, and on its
sinister side the arms of the first Grand Lodge of England, at first sight a
rather curious error as this Grand Lodge had warranted but one lodge in the
Province in 1770 and all Provincial and District Grand Lodges had been of
"Ancient" allegiance. Possibly, however, it alludes to the origin of the first
two lodges at Annapolis Royal and Halifax, warranted by the St. John's Grand
Lodge, Boston. Surrounding the arms are various Masonic Emblems, with the
motto, "Soli Deo Gloria" "To God alone be the Glory". See Fig. 4, upper
The Provincial Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia exercised jurisdiction in New
Brunswick from 1784 to 1829, when a Deputy Provincial Grand Lodge under
England was organized lasting until 1859. In this year a Provincial Grand
Lodge took its place, the seals of these two bodies being similar to that of
the United Grand Lodge of England. On the organization of the Grand Lodge of
New Brunswick in 1867, the arms of the Grand Lodge of England were varied by
changing or substituting three spruce trees for the castles or towers; the
chevron which is argent on a red field lacks the usual compasses superimposed.
Probably the substitution of the spruce trees is an allusion to the forest
wealth of the Province. See Fig. 3, second in lower row.
Prince Edward Island, the smallest jurisdiction in the British Empire, adopted
for some unknown reason a similar seal in 1875; in fact there is no essential
change other than the name of the Grand Lodge. The seals of both these Grand
Lodges are shown in Fig. 3, second and fourth respectively, in the bottom row.
The first Provincial Grand Lodge of Upper Canada (Ontario) 1795- 1822 being of
"Ancient" lineage merely adopted the arms of the parent Grand Lodge of
England, encircled with the words "Provincial Grand Lodge, Upper Canada", see
Fig. 4, lower left-hand Provincial Grand Lodge, though there is no certainty
about this. In 1844, the third Provincial Grand Lodge adopted the arms of the
United Grand Lodge of England 1813, encircled by the words, "Provincial Grand
Lodge, Canada West." This appears in Fig. 3, third in the lower row.
1856 the present Grand Lodge of Canada (in Ontario) was formed, adopting as
its arms a design somewhat similar to the previous design, but showing the
dexter or right side divided into two parts, the upper showing the original
arms of the Mason's Company or the premier Grand Lodge of England, and below
the Canadian beaver on a red field or background. The shield is surrounded by
ears of wheat and an olive ranch. See Fig. 4, upper left-hand corner.
When in 1869 the Grand Lodge of Quebec was formed by 17 lodges of the Registry
of "Canada", three of England and one of Scotland, it adopted arms closely
resembling those of the mother Grand Lodge of the majority, those last
described, but the ox in the upper right quarter looks more like a lamb, and
the eagle in the lower right, more like a phoenix or some other fabled bird.
In the lower half of the left side of the shield (below the arms of the
original Grand Lodge of England) appears the Rose, Thistle and Shamrock
entwined, an obvious reference to the three sources of Masonry in the Province
of Quebec. See Fig. 5.
The next daughter Grand Lodge to be formed by lodges on the Registry of
"Canada" was that of Manitoba in 1875, and again the "Canadian" design was
followed in the main but on the dexter side, instead of dividing the shield
into two equal quarters, the arms of the Province of Manitoba (St. George's
Cross, above a buffalo) were intruded into the upper quarter up to the
chevron, so as to eliminate the castle usually found below the chevron. This
is shown in Fig. 4, in the upper row.
The Grand Lodges of Alberta and Saskatchewan, daughter Grand Lodges of the
Grand Lodge of Manitoba in 1905 and 1906, also adopted a similar design,
replacing the arms of Manitoba with the provincial arms in each instance.
These will be found in Figs. 4 and 5 respectively.
The only remaining Grand Lodge in Canada, that of British Columbia, formed in
1871, struck out into new paths and adopted a design, showing Queen Victoria
seated on a throne between the two conventional pillars. Above, the square,
compasses and star; below, a rose in full bloom; all with the two supports
found with the arms of the United Grand Lodge of England. It is shown in Fig.
4, third in the lower row.
conclusion several observations may be made. The later Grand Lodges,
Provincial and Independent, in Canada, followed very closely on the whole the
heraldic precedent of the United Grand Lodge of England, even though this was
not always exactly the logical thing to have done. From the aesthetic point of
view the arms adopted by the Ancients were altogether too complex. A coat of
arms is not a "Tracing Board." At the Union these arms became a component part
of the Arms of the United Grand Lodge of England, with the result that there
was a further loss in clarity and distinction. Most of the Canadian Grand
Lodges proceeded to make things still worse, for their method in most cases
has been to take the arms of the United Grand Lodge and make them more
complicated and less distinctive still by the addition of new elements. When
the simplicity of the beautiful seal of the Grand Lodge of York, or the second
seal of the Ancient Grand Lodge, is compared with later designs, the loss of
effectiveness in the latter becomes very striking. However in the course of
years a sentimental attachment grows up, and there is little likelihood that
any of them will be changed in the near future.
F. Gould, both in his large History of Freemasonry and the Concise History,
has something to say on the heraldic designs adopted by the senior Grand Lodge
and its later rival, the Ancient Grand Lodge, and there are interesting plates
in both works. In the latter is a reduced reproduction of the latest Grant of
Arms from the Heralds' College to the United Grand Lodge, which is legible
with a magnifying glass. J. Ross Robertson in his History of Freemasonry in
Canada, discusses the subject, and some of the illustrations in the present
article have been taken from his work. There is a plate of Masonic seals in
Sadler's Masonic Facts and Fictions. For Irish seals the work of Bros. Lepper
and Crossle may be referred to, the History of the Grand Lodge of Ireland,
from which much interesting material may be obtained. There are also many
other books and pamphlets which might be referred to, but as in the main the
subject has been dealt with so cursorily and incidentally the attempt to list
them would not be worth the labor in the present status of the subject.
One thing more may be noted. In the drawings reproduced in Fig. 2, the
tinctures or colors are indicated by letters and not by the later conventional
shadings. S stands for sable, and A for argent.
Freemasonry, Judaism and General Erich Ludendorff
BRO. L. F. STRAUSS, Massachusetts (Concluded from July)
will continue with some further extracts from the work of the German General,
Erich Ludendorff, which we quoted last month, the work by which he expects to
annihilate Freemasonry; in ignorance, it would seem, of the fact that he is
far from being the first to make the same attempt by the same means, that
others have attempted the same thing before him, even so long ago as the year
Ludendorff then, seeks to Show that Masonry has nothing in common with the
Christian religion, which is not wholly without point in Germany, where the
Prussian Grand Lodges will accept no candidates who do not profess to be
Christians. Our German General says:
"The words of the Evangelist John, in the first chapter, have no connection
with the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth."
"Masonic connection with Jesus is very loose."
"Christian lodges call Him their Master and Instructor . . . represent Him as
divinity approaching the human, as Adam Kadmon . . . include Him in their
Fraternity, analogous to John the Baptist."
"Freemasonry teaches that Jesus had belonged to the Jewish sect of Essenes,
and that he was actually a Freemason."
"The introduction of the personality of Jesus was a kind of afterthought, done
for a purpose: To make Freemasonry acceptable by 'good' Christians."
"The enlightened, the really informed, the initiated, know that Christianity
and the New Testament are used by, in, Freemasonry as a kind of decoy; but
only as far as Christianity, as the New Testament, is in accord with
Kabbalistic philosophy, Kabbalistic theology and Kabbalistic politics."
"In the mystical forms of Freemasonry the factor decisive in everything;
Jewish Orthodoxy, Jewish standard, Jewish nationality, these three made into a
terrific unity. . . This Jewish unification falls with terrific force upon
unsuspecting innocent Germany."
"Food for thought, Freemasons call themselves Noachides, sons of Noah. The
Patriarchs, of course, are also mentioned . . . Jehova in accord with Bible
texts, El Shaddai, etc."
"The Devil made an alliance with Abram, later Abraham, and promised him
offspring later called Isaac the first member of the genus homo to be
circumcised. This Abraham is an important figure with the Odd Fellows as a
model for Love, for do we not read that he sold, for a good price of course,
his wife as a harlot ?"
"The Talmud is next to the Torah, the Jewish Law, and shows the hate and
contempt of Jews for all people."
"It is evident that the Talmud has been the determining influence upon Masonic
theories and practices."
"We read: 'Moses our teacher enjoins that we should force all men to accept,
follow and obey the laws given to the sons of Noah to kill anyone who
"It is Jewish policy, politics exemplified both in the minor and the higher
Masonic degrees, to withdraw Noah and put into his place Solomon."
"The Kings of Sweden and Denmark are Masons."
"The head of Swedish Freemasonry is a man known as Vicar of Solomon, until he
actually becomes ruler; his membership is to remain a secret till his actual
"The Kings of England, Edward VII, George V, were high degree Masons. [King
George is not a Mason.] These Masons undermine monarchical prestige, abuse
"In the shadow of its authorities, Freemasonry does its work, i. e., the
establishment of Jewish domination and world-power. Oh, son of man, begin to
think, then act and obtain your freedom."
"The training for the breeding of artificial Jewry. King Solomon and the Old
Testament. In the constitution of natural Masonic lodges we read: 'The wise
King Solomon is to be called the founder and first ruler of our Order.' "
"The position of the human foot at right angles presents the Kabbalistic
symbol straight walking figure of speech for upright living." [Ludendorff is
a student, and as such can and does make discoveries.]
"The numbers presented in Adoniram's fancies- illusions! Three, 3^2=9; 3^3=27.
This institutes one of the Kabbala's strange figurations."
(The number) "3 as already stated represents the creative force of Jehovah."
"In the Kabbalistic dominion we have 3 empires; 9 represents the basis of the
magic square; 3x3=9. Here the numbers are given in such a way as to make 15."
"Twenty-seven is the cube of 3. This cube represents a fully developed figure
whose impersonation is the incorrupt and incorruptible Jew." [Put "Mason" in
place of "Jew" and Ludendorff gives correct information.]
JEWISH CREATION OF THE WORLD
"The Kabbala presents creation in 10 concentric figures."
"The tree with its highest branch forming a crown is another Kabbalistic
figure of creation. And the crown is one of the sacred symbols of Freemasonry.
The 'Master Mason' in the lodge represents, personifies, the power, the secret
of this crown."
"Freemasonry, to which many Protestant ministers belong, has accepted but
little of Christianity. Even the Bible is but a symbol."
"The teaching of Jesus, according to Masonic interpretation, represents
"The Jew with conscious malice strives to make his words into the religion of
the whole world through Freemasonry."
"Dr. Hieber writes: 'We ought not to introduce theological doctrines . . . we
must remain mindful of this: that if Christ had not perfected His work, His
life and work would have been in vain, but as things are, His work runs into
millennia.' Next Hieber shows the unification of the human and divine as
configuration approaches the figure of the cube, the symbolic presentation of
the Son of God. The Jewish child in Bethlehem." [Ludendorff here comes close
to a Kabbalistic and Masonic doctrine.] "All Masonic brothers form,
constitute, but one lodge, and the central of the one lodge is in New York,
the capital of Jewry."
"The Royal art is one of the names given to Masonic work . . . the overthrow
of Kings in the honor and name of the Jew King Solomon."
"Three great Lights of Freemasonry, taken from the Kabbala, are Wisdom, Beauty
"Most German lodges do not accept unbaptized, but will accept baptized Jews.
Now, do we not all know baptism cannot affect, or change, a Jew? A Jew always
remains a Jew."
objecting to appellation of anti-Semite, rejects, refuses to accept a name of
"Freemasonry makes the North the seat, the home, of Darkness; the rough and
hard side of Life, the place of vice and barbarism. In the North are the rough
stones representing the genus homo in primitive, uncivilized, state, to be
worked upon with dagger and trowel to be made into a cube in the interest and
glory of the Jew."
"The great lie, Ex oriente lux, is a Jewish claim and assertion. This lie is
today upheld by Freemasonry."
This Ludendorffian presentation of the case; Humanity-Civilization vs.
Freemasonry; it makes but one charge, brings but one accusation, Freemasonry
has been generated, elaborated by Semites, by a something called Jews. This
charge, accusation, might be denied; is at least debatable. Now, my dear Bro.
Ludendorff, if a Semite, a member of the Jewish race, and likewise a member of
the Order called Freemasonry, may be permitted to do so, I would ask: what
about Christianity ? Whence comes Christianity ? To what race belonged Jesus
of Nazareth and all his apostles ? Have not you, Erich Ludendorff, been born
into, been baptized into, been "confirmed" into that religion called
Christianity ? Are you aware of this: The word Christian, Christ, Christos is
the Greek form or word for "Anointed," which word gives the literal meaning of
the Hebrew Meschia, usually spelled Messiah? Christian martyrs in Roman courts
till the third century were recorded as Novi Judaei.
The descent, the source, the origin of Freemasonry, as stated, is at least
debatable, but there is not, there cannot be, a mentally sane member of the
genus homo, who will deny that what today is called Christianity is an
offspring, a child of something called Judaism. Has not this religion called
Christianity (this offspring of Judaism) been an important factor in
civilizing your race, your "Nordic" race, of which you are so proud?
Another piece of information pleasing to Ludendorff. European civilization
will reach its highest state in the North. Now everything which is, or exists,
has a reason, a cause, an explanation. For this, a kind of "Nordic" ascendency
I will not give a reason, but will give a cause and a kind of explanation. In
accord with a certain Law of Nature, the longer anything takes to develop and
mature the stronger does it become. This law is operative even in the
vegetable Kingdom. Fruit which ripens the most quickly, decays the most
rapidly. In the North physical, mental and moral life develops more slowly
than in the South. The pre-Christian Northerners, the Roman historians relate,
drank the life-blood of conquered enemies. Longevity today is greatest in the
North. In aerial navigation the "Nordics" lead. The American Lindbergh is a
"Nordic." In literature we have Ibsen, Boernson, Strindberg; in the spiritual
world we have Swedenborg the mystic. Another piece of information: This
"Nordic" ascendency will not be eternal; change and progress is the Law of
Another piece of information, displeasing at first, but highly gratifying
later, after securing additional, real information and an after serious
reflection: The Founder of what today is known as Freemasonry was not a Jew.
He was a "Nordic" for many, many generations, both on his father's and on his
mother's side. And this Nordic was the greatest, the noblest, the best
"specimen" of the genus homo, produced by the so-called European world.
addition to this: you are a Patriot, and Patriotism is a virtue. Have not
German, as well as British, French or American Jews, done their duty in the
so-called Great War?
further item of information: this writer was a personal friend of Prof.
Muensterberg, the well known psychologist and philosopher. This scholar was a
friend and adviser of Count Bernsdorff, and at a time when many other Germans
had, in a way, lost their patriotism, when Germans in Turnhalle were putting
pictures of Bismarck in the cellar, and those of the Kaiser into another
place, Muensterberg suffered and sacrificed, and finally died of a broken
heart. The writer of these lines also suffered, sacrificed and lost.
And something further: a man is good to the degree that he is unselfish, and
bad in the degree that he is selfish. Every man has a duty to the self, the
ego, towards family, towards tribe, towards country, and finally, towards the
race. No man should seek fortune at the expense of his family, or his family's
fortune at the expense of tribe or country, or his country's welfare at the
expense, the cost, of the human race. And here another item of information: a
teaching in the Weltanschavung of the Founder of Freemasonry it is that the
human stage is not the last, the highest, the final level of life on this
planet called "Earth." There is another, a higher stage. What is this stage? A
name ! What's in a name ? "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet."
And as food for thought, the following verse from Goethe may be recalled:
Des mensehen Seele gleieht dem Wasser
Von Himmel kommt sie zur Erde steigt sie
Und muss hinwieder zur Erde nieder
Ewig wandernd . . .
recently published biography of Goethe, reviewed in THE BUILDER a few months
ago, may be recommended. In this work we are informed that Goethe not only
believed in the idea of re-incarnation, but that he actually remembered a
previous life, in the time of the Roman emperor, Hadrian. And for meditation
the utterance: "Before Abraham was, I am," and another idea found in that same
book called the Bible, that a certain John, surnamed the Baptist, had once on
a time been Elias.
And: "Why speakest thou unto them in parable?" asked the disciples.
answered and said unto them, "Because it is given unto you to know the
mysteries of the Kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given."
Consider: Parables, and Masonic Symbolism.
are told that once upon a time there was in "Heaven" a great celebration and
that by angels there was a song, heard by you in childhood, "Glory to God in
the highest and on earth peace to men of good will."
Now, ende gut alles gut.
The Degrees of Masonry; Their Origin and History
BROS. A. L. KRESS and R. J. MEEKREN (Continued from JULY)
THE emendation in the answer to the first question in the Catechism in the
Dumfries-Kilwinning MS. that was suggested last month may be regarded as the
more probable, in that it only gives significance to what is, as it stands, a
rather nonsensical response, but it also brings it into closer accord with the
parallel documents. Every other catechism extant excepting this and the
Trinity College MS. has a question directly demanding: "Are you a Mason ?" The
other exception, the Trinity College MS. has the following:
What manner of man are you?
I am a Mason.
Thus we may suppose with some plausibility that the original of the Dumfries-Kilwinning
MS. had some such question as this last, and that would make it probable that
the third question, as quoted above, was an inquiry as to a higher grade, and
that the answer embodied the same contrast as appears explicitly in the Grand
Mystery and its congeners.
the Examination, and its companion, the Mystery of Freemasons, we find further
questions concerning the grade of the one questioned.
Have you been in the Kitchen?
Yes I have. Q. Did you ever dine in the Hall?
Yes I did.
these answers the Mystery appends respectively the two notes. To the first:
B. You shall know an Enter'd Apprentice by this question.
and to the second:
B. A Brother Mason by this Question.
The Examination throws its own light upon the subject. It begins somewhat
differently from the Mystery. The first two questions and answers are as
Are you a Free Mason?
Yes indeed I am.
How shall I know it?
By signs and tokens . . . from my entrance into the kitchen and thence into
Thus here turns up once more, it would seem, the terminology we have
tentatively distinguished in the Old Charges and the Scottish Minutes that is,
that "Mason," or (in the Examination) "Free Mason," was equivalent to Master
The Mystery goes on to ask another question to differentiate the Fellow which
has no counterpart in any other of our documents, though it appears in
Prichard, and in the Catechisme des Francs- Macons (1). And in both it is
definitely noted in explanation that it has the same purpose as it has in the
Mystery. Of course in these last two publications it is quite possible that
the idea was borrowed from a version of the Mystery As it appears in the
latter it runs:
How old are you?
Under 5 or under 7, which you will.
B. When you are first made a Mason you are only enter'd Apprentice, and till
you are made a Master, or as they call it, pass'd the Master's Part, you are
only enter'd Apprentice, and consequently must answer under 7, for if you say
above, they will expect the Master's Word and Signs.
Now this note is quite likely to have been the work of the editor who prepared
the MS. for the printer, so that if any weight is to be given to it at all, it
is as reflecting the usage in or about 1730 in London. But the implication is
plain that "Master" was the grade above Apprentice, and that the "Master's
Part" was a second degree, in our sense of that word.
The remaining documents will have to be treated separately as the indications
they afford on the subject of grades, and the secrets pertaining thereto, are
almost all peculiar to one source only. We may take the Mason's Confession
first. Its date of publication is late, but the anonymous author, who seems to
have quite honestly come to the conclusion that Masonry was superstitious and
sinful, and that it was his duty to expose it, says that his account is
.... to testify concerning that oath, word and other secrets held among the
corporation of Mason's wherein I was taken under the same by sundry of them
gathered together and met at D about the year 1727.
may observe here, incidentally, that the Confession and the Sloane MS. No.
3329, are alone in being written from a hostile or critical standpoint.
Omitting the editorial notes in the Mystery and Grand Mystery, which are not
properly part of these documents, all the others give the impression of being
memoranda of things important to remember but likely to be forgotten. The
"Confessor" was admittedly a Mason, but his account is so confused and
disjointed that it seems probable that he had had no Masonic intercourse for
many years before he wrote it. That he was not a Mason by trade may be also
surmised. On the whole it seems safe to assume that, so far as it goes, the
Confession represents Scottish usage of about 1725-1750. But whether earlier
or later, the lodge in which the author was entered would seem certainly to
have known two degrees, but two only. He says explicitly that "a word in the
Scripture was shewed" him, which he was told was "the Mason word." And then he
adds that one word is the "Mason word," and another "a fellow-craft word," and
goes on to say;
The former is shewn to an entered prentice after he has sworn the oath, and
the latter is shewn to one that has been a prentiee at least for a year, when
he is admitted a degree higher in their lodge, after he has sworn the oath
again, or declared his approbation of it.
Now the use of the term "degree" here is cause for suspicion. By the time this
was published the modern system of three degrees was being worked in Scotland.
The minutes of the Lodge at Kelso tell us that the new Master Mason degree was
introduced there in June, 1754, and it is remarked that it was worked
elsewhere; certainly in Edinburgh whence it was brought. It is very likely
therefore that the "Confessor" used the terminology of the period of his
writing rather than that of the time of his initiation (2). But this does not
affect the fact that when he was made a Mason the Fellow Craft received
secrets which were kept from the Apprentice. That there was more to these
secrets than the "fellowcraft word" merely, appears at the end of the
Confession, where a series of signs and signals for recognition are described.
One of these (so loosely described that one cannot say the secret was really
revealed) he calls the "fellow-crafts due guard"; and with this, it is
intimated, there went a grip, which is as difficult to reconstruct from the
description as the "due guard." And then is added, as an alternative, the five
points we have already discussed, though he gives them no distinctive name.
The passage runs:
. . or placing himself hand to hand foot to foot, knee to knee, heart to
heart, ear to ear, [he] says 'Great you, great you God greateth you, and make
you a good Master-mason. I'm a young man going to push my fortune, if you can
furnish me you will do well."
Now in his account of what he remembered of his initiation the "Confessor"
gives an Apprentice salutation, which will be mentioned later in conjunction
with the Chetwode Crawled MS. On the other hand all the other sources give a
Fellow's greeting or salutation of a similar character to the above. The only
exception is the Trinity College MS., which is so very brief, and omits so
much, that there is no significance in its not mentioning this.
is one of the indications of an amalgamation of the secrets of the two
ceremonies some time during the period preceding 1717 that this formal
salutation is not differentiated in most cases as pertaining to the "Fellows,"
though in form it is from Masters and Fellows to Masters and Fellows, which in
itself would seem to make it inappropriate for an apprentice. The phraseology
varied a good deal. It might be guessed that the original form was
distinguished by a triple repetition, which however in some places had become
obscured. Perhaps the Sloane MS. may be taken as giving a typical form;
The right worshipful, the Mast'rs and fellows in that worshipful lodge from
whence we last came greet you, greet you, greet you.
which the reply was,
God's good greeting to you dear brother.
. . the right worshipful brothers and fellows of the right worshipful holy
Lodge of St. John . . . greet you thrice heartily well.
The original of the reply to this possibly included the jingle, "God's good
greeting be at this our meeting," which appears with variations in the five
documents included in the Grand Mystery and Examination groups, and also in
the Sloane MS.
The Confession is certainly Scottish in origin; the Examination type, judging
by certain slight indications, possibly originated in or about London. From
other equally slight indications it might be surmised that the Grand Mystery
versions came from somewhere geographically in between possibly the north of
England. Yet in all we find definite traces of certain forms and secrets
peculiar to, and distinguishing, the Fellow of the Craft or Master. There is
the formal greeting or salutation, associated with a sign and a word, and
"proper" points of Fellowship; and besides this, test questions and answers to
introduce and pave the way to these more definite and serious proofs of the
free Craftsman's status.
EARLY MEANS OF RECOGNITION
may be remarked in passing, that to no one will the various means of
recognition described and hinted at in these documents seem stranger than to a
Freemason of today. It is a curious commentary on Mackey's Code of Landmarks
(3), unalterable as the laws of the Medes and Persians, that in the very first
of them, and the one "of all the most legitimate and unquestioned," which can
"admit of no variation," we find the "Means of Recognition," which in two
hundred years have themselves changed beyond recognition. Though it is
probable that on the whole this change has been due to a progressive and
will now take up the very curious Chetwode Crawled MS. which links up with the
Confession on one point, and with the Haughfoot Minute of 1702 in regard to
another. It is the only one of our sources that definitely describes a second
ceremony, though as we have seen, the Confession alludes to one as following
the "entry" at an interval of the year or more. The passage is not a long one,
and may be quoted in full (4) After telling how the Apprentice receives "the
word" the author or transcriber says:
Now it is to be remarked that all the Signs and words as just spoken of are
only what belongs to the entered prentices. But to a Master-Mason or ffellow
Craft there is more to be done, as after follows.
ffirst, all the Apprentices are to be removed out of the Company, and not
Suffered to Stay, but only Mason-Masters. Then he who is to be admitted a
member of the ffellowship is put again to his knees and gets the Oath
administered to him anew. Afterwards he must go out of the Company with the
youngest Master to learn the words and signs of ffellowship. Then coming in
again, he makes the Master- Sign, and says the Same words of Entry as the
Prentice did, only leaving out the Common Lodge. Then the Masons whisper among
themselves beginning at the youngest, as formerly. Afterwards the young Master
must advance and put himself in the posture wherein he is to receive the word.
And says to the assembled Honorable Company whispers;
"The worthy masons and Honorable Company that I came from, Greet you well,
Greet you well."
The insertion of the word "whispers" at the end of the next to last sentence
seems curious. Both the Grand Mastery and the Institution have an Addendum in
which casual modes of recognition are described, of which the fifth is
You must Whisper, saying thus; The Masters and Fellows of the Worshipful
Company from whence I came greet you [all]
However the point is not of importance in the present connection. We will now
pass to that curious fragment on the present first page of the minute book of
the old Lodge of Haughfoot. It will be remembered that some preceding pages
have been torn out at some time. The few words remaining were a great puzzle
until the Chetwode Crawled MS. was discovered. They were recognized as being
of the nature of a ritual rubric, but their precise bearing was a matter of
conjecture only. There are only two sentences the first incomplete.
. . of entrie as the Apprentice did leaving out (the Common Judge). They then
whisper the word as before, and the Master Mason grips his hand in the
Now the Chetwode Crawley MS. in the description of, or more properly perhaps,
the memorandum on, the "entry" of an apprentice, says he is sent out of the
lodge accompanied by the "Youngest Mason" to be taught the "manner of making
Guard," consisting of the sign, word and postures of his Entry, and including
the following salutation:
Now am I the youngest and last entered Apprentice; As I am sworn by God and
St. John, by the Square and Compass and Common Lodge to attend my Master's
service at the Honorable Lodge, from Munday in the morning to Saturday at
night, and to keep the keys thereof . . .
The remainder is not essential for our purpose here. Turning to the Confession
we find that the author says concerning the signs and words that at his
One person in the lodge instructed me a little about them the same day that I
entered, and was called my "Author"
while he chose another to be his "intended until the following assembly "that
time twelve-month." It is not definitely said that the newly entered
apprentice was sent out of the lodge, but there is a description of his taking
formal steps over three lines drawn on the ground, which seems to indicate a
ceremonial re-entry and salutation. The passage is as follows, and must be
considered in the light of the excerpt from the Chetwode Crawled MS. given
Question: What say you? Answer: Here stand I (with his feet in form of a
square) younger and last entered Prentice, ready to serve my Master from
Monday morning to the Saturday night in all lawful employment.
All this leads almost irresistibly to the conclusion that at the beginning of
the eighteenth century and of course by inference earlier still there were two
quite distinct formal salutations employed in Scottish operative lodges, one
by the apprentices, and the other by the Masters and Fellows; and that each
was accompanied by certain postures and gestures, which were in effect signs
of recognition; and that those pertaining to the higher grade were not known
to the apprentices.
The Fellow's salutation it would appear was known and used in England in
variant forms, and it may be a fair inference to assume that this implies an
Apprentice's salutation also, although in that breaking down of the
distinction between the two grades in purely nonoperative lodges which we
believe to have occurred in some places, this may have come to be little
emphasized, or even to have entirely dropped out.
Before leaving the Chetwode Crawley MS. we may note that in the Catechism
which follows the descriptive note on the reception of a "Master Mason or
ffellow Craft," the following query and response appears:
8th. What's the name of your Lodge?
Ansr. The Lodge of Kilwinning.
this is to be accepted as a safe indication of ultimate origin, and there
seems no special reason why it should not be, then it is an additional
confirmation of our conclusion that Gould was mistaken in inferring that the
bare communication of a word was the sum total of the secrets known to the
Masons there; for this reference would tie it up closely with the ritual
practiced at Haughfoot in 1702, which he regarded as abnormal (5).
There remain two MSS. more to be considered, the Sloane MS. No. 3329 and the
Trinity College MS. These present a special problem, in that on their face
they seem to speak of three degrees, under much the same names as are employed
today. We have already noted that the paper and handwriting of the former has
been judged, by experts having no interest in the contents, to be possibly as
early as the first years of the 18th century or even the last years of the
17th. While, judged by these same external criteria, 1730 is probably as late
a date as it would be justifiable to assign to it.
dealing with Mackey's theory of the origin of the symbolic degrees we examined
the arguments he based on certain features of this document (6), and it is
these that now call for further examination.
have already remarked the somewhat critical and disparaging tone of this MS.
This could be accounted for by assuming that it is a compilation from various
sources by the hand of a non-Mason. The author or compiler always speaks of
members of the fraternity as "they." "'They discover [each] other by signs,"
"their gripe for fellowcrafts"; while "they say," or "say they," is a
frequently recurring phrase. It is this latter especially which almost gives
the MS. an air of having been written by one who had become a Mason out of
curiosity but had never identified himself with the Craft, and had written
down something of what he had learned in the same spirit of detachment that an
anthropologist might write of the ceremonies of some primitive secret society
to which he had gained admission in his study of the culture of a savage race.
Whichever way it was, there is not much order or system in his account. He
first describes at greater length than in any other of the documents a number
of the "casual" signs or signals used to attract a Mason's attention in
various circumstances. Among these we find the description of "gripes" that is
quoted by Mackey. Then comes a Catechism thus introduced:
Here followeth their private discourse by way of question and answer.
This has sixteen questions. Then we are told that:
some places they discourse as followeth.
This refers to a group of eight questions, evidently a fragment of another
catechism in part parallel to the first, and which, as it stands, ends with a
form of the Fellow's Salutation and the response thereto. Then follows this
addendum, which it may be assumed comes from a different source:
Another salutation is giving the mast'rs or fellows grip, saying, the right
worshipful the mast'rs and fellows in that worshipful lodge from whence we
last came, greet you, greet you, greet you well.
which there is also a proper formal reply. In this reference to the "Master's
or Fellow's grip" it is natural to take the two terms as synonymous, as we
have found them to be in so many other places. But the previous description of
the "gripes" throws some doubt upon this, and the difficulty thus raised makes
Mackey's interpretation not unreasonable at the time he wrote. As he quoted
this previous passage in full in a work that is accessible everywhere, there
will be no need to give more here than the phrases we are specially interested
in; there are two paragraphs, neither beginning with a capital letter:
their gripe for fellow craftes is clasping their right hands, etc., etc.
their master's gripe is clasping, etc., etc., but some say the mast'rs grip is
the same I last described, only, etc.
Taken as it stands this differentiates the masters and the fellows, and
ignores the apprentices. If we might suppose that a mistake had been made in
copying, and that we should read:
their gripe is, etc.
their masters or fellow craftes gripe, etc.
the difficulty would vanish; but the emendation is rather risky. It is very
true that a word can easily get misplaced or doubled in copying, as everyone
who has done much of it knows only too well, but it is safer not to avoid a
difficulty by altering the text, unless it is obvious on general grounds that
an error exists.
we had further information as to these "gripes" from other sources we might be
able to come to a more definite decision. But there is nothing quite parallel
to them in any of our documents. The Grand Mystery has a list of "Signs to
know a true Mason", the fourth of which is:
take hand in hand, with Left and Right Thumbs close and touch each Wrist three
Times with the Forefinger each Pulse.
And the Institution repeats this with some changes that make it more
incomprehensible still. The Examination has, in a somewhat similar list of
signals, the following statement:
Gripe is when you take a Brother by the Right Hand and put your middle Finger
to his Wrist.
Wrist and pulse are much the same thing for such a purpose, and this last,
which is reasonably clear, may be the original of the former. But neither is
like the two "gripes" described in the Sloane MS.
Gould was quite strongly of the opinion that the Sloane MS. is later than the
publication of Prichard's work, and that the compiler knew and borrowed ideas
from it. Prichard describes three grips, one for each degree, and the first
one, assigned to the Entered Apprentice, sounds as if it might have been a
variation of the one first described in the Sloane MS. This might be taken as
some confirmation for such an emendation of the text of the latter as we
suggested above, especially as the "master's gripe" as therein described bears
a general resemblance to the grip set forth in a note to Prichard's "Master's
Degree." This would leave Prichard's Fellow Craft grip with no traditional
parallel which is of course what we would expect.
then this emendation were accepted, the Sloane MS. falls into line with all
the other sources so far examined, as exhibiting two grades; some secrets
being common to all Masons, and some reserved for the Masters or Fellows. But
on its face it indicates three grades, although apprentices are only mentioned
once, in the fifth question of "their private discourse":
What is a just and perfect or just and lawful lodge?
A just and perfect lodge is two Interprintices two fellowcraftes and two
Masters . . . [or] if need require five will serve that is two Interprintices,
two fellow crafts and one Mast'r on the highest hill or lowest valley of the
world without the crow of a cock or the bark of a dogg.
must be said quite frankly that this particular variant of the description of
the lodge found in each of our documents (with one exception) seems to imply
the of idea of three degrees; even more so, indeed, than Prichard's version
does in the parallel passage. This last tells us the lodge consists of
One Master, two Wardens, two Fellow Crafts and two Entered Apprentices.
The Mystery has:
Master and two wardens, and four Fellows.
The Examination adds to this, "five Apprentices." There is the possibility,
which we offer for what it may be worth, that the two Masters mentioned by the
Sloane MS. originally referred to two officers for it would appear that there
were not always two wardens in addition to a Master (or Deacon).
may also be noted that the Grand Mystery gives:
.... Five or Seven right and perfect Masons on the highest Mountains, or the
lowest Valleys in the world
which the Essex MS. and the Institution repeat; the latter changing the order,
making it "seven or five."
Remembering the insistence of the Schaw Statutes on the presence of two
Apprentices, this might be interpreted as referring to the constitution of the
lodge before and after the apprentices were "removed out of the Company," as
the Chetwode Crawley MS. puts it, when a Master or fellow was to be accepted.
But the fact is that there is no consistency between the accounts, excepting
only that the numbers given are generally odd. Indeed the Grand Mystery and
its congeners draw attention to this by asking "Why do Odds make a lodge?" the
Institution says "odd numbers" to which the answer is, "Because all odds are
men's advantage"; all which he may interpret who can.
The Essex MS. has an additional series of questions, in the answer to one of
which we are told that any number "from three to thirteen" makes a "perfect
thoroughly discuss this and some other subsidiary points would take too much
time and would not be worth while, but it may be noted that the subject is far
from having been exhausted. We will therefore pass to the last of our sources,
the Trinity College MS., which even more definitely than the Sloane seems to
postulate three degrees: Master, "fellow craftsman" and "Enter prentice."
noted to begin with that this MS. bears an endorsement "Freemasonry Feb.
1711." This is in a later hand than the body of the document, and we know
neither just what it means nor why it was made. The first judgment that
naturally occurs is that it is a note of the age of the document; and as we do
not know who made it, or what his source of information, we are left in a
state of uncertainty as to its value. But there is another possibility; it
might be a note of the date at which the paper was examined and filed. It is
quite plausible that some methodical person who was sorting and classifying
miscellaneous family papers, not only labelled them, but made a note of the
date when doing so. If this supposition were accepted it would follow that the
document itself is older than the date. We believe that disinterested experts,
with no knowledge of Masonic antiquities, are inclined to judge the paper and
handwriting to be of the beginning of the century, though obviously such
considerations alone can hardly lead to certainty inside of fairly wide
limits, thirty to thirty-five years or so (7). We have therefore to allow for
this indefiniteness and endeavor so to interpret the document as to make our
conclusions, if possible, consistent with either the earlier or later limits
which means that they will be to the same extent tentative and indefinite,
The MS. contains a brief series of eleven questions and answers, for all of
which, with one enigmatic exception, close parallels are to be found in most
of the other documents. Then come a few memoranda regarding signs. Here we are
first told of a somewhat complicated sequence of gestures called the "common
sign," and then comes a short paragraph in which mention is made of a "Master
sign," a "fellow craftsman's sign" and the "Enter prentice sign." They are not
described, but are merely designated by words that doubtless would have had
mnemonic significance to anyone who had once known what they were, but which
have for a modern reader no meaning at all. The "Master sign" is said to be
"backbone," that of the "fellow craftsman" is "knuckles and sinews," while to
the "Enter prentice" is assigned "sinews" only. The following paragraph gives
a little more detail, and each sign is coupled with a word. Thus "backbone" is
stated to go with the word "Matchpin," a corrupt rendering, doubtless, of the
word "Maughbin" found elsewhere.
The only thing in all this that is of concern in our present inquiry is the
ascription of special secrets to three classes of Masons, bearing essentially
the same titles as our three symbolic degrees. This is quite clear and
unequivocal. The apparent reference to three degrees in the Sloane MS. can be
removed by an emendation of the text requiring only the deletion of a single
word. Here the conclusion is unescapable that three degrees were definitely
recognized by the author of the document.
we assume that it was written by, or at least owned by, some member of the
Irish branch of the Molyneux family, in or about the year 1711, then we have
to conclude that in Ireland the evolution of the Masonic system was earlier
than in Great Britain, so far as the extant evidence leads us to suppose. The
endorsement has not been questioned, we believe, except in regard to the date.
And the date has been questioned simply because it was assumed that the other
evidence requires us to conclude that no third degree could have existed,
anywhere, before 1723.
is very difficult here to hold the balance true. The endorsement may be
authentic enough, and yet in this one respect erroneous. That is obvious. But
this is not to be proved by a negative argument. We must recall Bro. Tuckett's
fallacy of the ultra- critical, the assumption "that what cannot be proved
cannot have happened." The positive evidence tells us that in 1730 certainly,
and probably, in 1727 or a little earlier, the three degrees were in existence
in some places. It also tells us that in 1723 the Grand Lodge of London, and
most of the old Scottish lodges, used a two degree system. But this does not
exclude the possibility that elsewhere a third degree had come into existence.
It may be considered unlikely, it may be judged more probable that the
endorsed date of the Trintty College MS. is a mistake, yet the possibility
remains that it may be substantially correct; and this must be kept in mind.
the whole, we are, ourselves, inclined to the view that the MS. is later than
1711, but we do not think that the point is so important to this investigation
as it may at first seem to be. Before discussing this, however, it may be
remarked that, presuming the endorsement was made in good faith, and this no
one has ever doubted, the fact that the month is given as well as the year
certainly indicates that it was not a mere conjecture on the part of whoever
made the note. one may guess at the probable date of a thing, and set down a
year, but no one would be likely to specify any particular month in a year
without some warrant for it. But even so, there are still plenty of ways in
which error could have arisen. The date might have been copied from some
partially illegible memorandum, or the information may have been received at
some time previously and remembered inaccurately. All that can be said is that
it was probably based on some information received, whether good or bad, or
accurately or inaccurately reproduced.
(1) Published in 1744 by Travenol. Reprinted the following year in the expose'
entitled Le Sceau Romps, and shortly after in L'Ordre des Franc-Macons Trahi
and in the many successive editions of those two works
(2) According to the editor's note to the Confession, the original MS. bore
the date Nov. 13, 1751, and was supplemented by another document dated Feb.
20, 1752, both by the same hand presumed to be that of the "Confessor." The
whole had been communicated to the Scot's Magazine "by a Mr. D B ." Thus we
have no indication of the part of Scotland from which the "Confessor" came.
But it is fairly safe to assume that he could have heard about the new system.
On the other hand it cannot be said positively that the term "degree" was not
in use before the Grand Lodge era. It was a word in quite common use to
designate social rank and status.
(3) Mackey, Encyclopedia. side Landmarks.
(4) The passage is discussed by Bro. Herbert Poole in the paper previously
mentioned, A. Q. C., xxxvi, p. 4.
(5) It is really amazing that Hughan was unable to see the significance of the
conjunction of the Chetwode Crawled MS. and the Haughfoot minute, which he
seems to have been the first to notice; he being apparently the discoverer of
the MS., or at least the first to critically examine it. From the brief
account he gave of it in A. Q. C., vol. xvii, p. 91, it seems it was found in
the pages of an old book, the antecedents of which were not discoverable. It
is hard to see how, in view of the definite date and unquestioned authenticity
of the Haughfoot minute, that it was possible to remain blind to the almost
compulsory conclusion, that whatever the actual date of the MS. it
represented, in a variant version, the same original that underlay the usage
of the lodge of Haughfoot.
(6) BUILDER, August, 1928, p. 240. For Mackey's citations see his History,
vol. iv, p. 969. Revised edition, vol. iv, p. 1023.
(7) Bro. E. L. Hawkins (A.Q.C., vol. xxvi, p. 18) says that an expert judged
the writing to be thirty or forty years earlier than 1711. Gould took it to be
later than 1723, solely on the ground of the "Scotticisms" it contained. But
what if it came from Scotland?
American Army Lodges in the World War
Sierra Madre Lodge (Sin Numero) Mexico, 1916
BRO. CHARLES F. IRWIN. Associate Editor
SOME years ago while pursuing an inquiry into another matter connected with
the activity of the Masonic Fraternity during the World War, I came across a
copy of the 1916 Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Texas, in which I found an
account of a Military Lodge in connection with the Punitive Expedition led by
General Pershing into Mexico in 1916. This story possessed elements of such
unusual interest to the Craft that I made the resolve to follow it up at a
more favorable opportunity.
Several years passed by and once more the matter was brought to my attention
when copies of the 1917 Proceedings of the Grand Lodges of Tennessee and
Pennsylvania came under examination, for in each of these I found the Texas
story repeated, each omitting some feature, or inserting others, which
indicated again that we had a rich find in this vagrant incident.
With the opening of my present series of articles on the American Field Lodges
in the World War I decided that this would be an appropriate opportunity to
deal with this lodge, for though not directly connected with American
participation in the conflict, it falls within the same period. After much
correspondence with brethren in all parts of the country, I was enabled to get
in touch with a number of the actual participants in this lodge of a single
communication, and I have decided to give the reminiscences of each as
variants of the same story that nothing may be lost. The latest of these to
come to hand is the fullest. It is from the pen of Major J. S. S. Richardson
of New York City, who at that time (1916) was a New York newspaper
Major Richardson has two photographs of a most interesting character. These
are of a very unusual memento which he had the foresight to obtain upon the
occasion related in the story. He ripped from his bedding roll a piece of
canvas and secured the autographs of a number of the brothers present at the
time. On the reverse side he drew roughly the Square and Compasses, together
with the name and location of this casual lodge.
discovered also that Sam Dreben, the scout and interpreter of the expedition,
was a member of Union Lodge, No. 172, New Orleans, through a list of lodge
members obtained from a copy of the 1917 Proceedings of Louisiana. This
enabled me to communicate with the Secretary of said lodge, Bro. H.
Waszkowski, who informed me that he had in the archives of his lodge papers
which had been entrusted to him by Bro. Dreben years before. Bro. Dreben
passed on to his reward some years ago. A copy of these papers, which Bro.
Waszkowski kindly made for me, discloses the fact that they are a transcript
of the minutes of this historical meeting in Mexico. Thus we have recovered an
official record written immediately subsequent to the occasion.
Further I was enabled to get into contact with W. Bro. W. H. Faringhy, who was
at that time a Quartermaster Sergeant, Q. M. C., and who now is the Master of
Monterey Lodge, No. 217, Monterey, California. He was chosen as Junior Warden
of Sierra Madre Lodge. He has sent me his recollections of the occasion.
Through Col. F. W. Clarke, M. C., whom I met by a happy chance, I learned that
Col. Hugh Scott, M. D., M. C., now working under the United States Veterans'
Bureau in Illinois, might have additional information.
Correspondence with Dr. Scott proved this to be true. He informed me in his
letters that he served in the Punitive Expedition into Mexico, but that being
on duty at an outstation upon the occasion of the meeting of the lodge, he was
prevented from being present. However, he naturally heard all about it from
brethren who participated.
From these and other sources, then, I have succeeded in recovering from
oblivion a story that deserves to be recorded, and to be made more widely
known than it seems to have been hitherto. It is a side light on the working
of Masonry under unusual circumstances; such meetings having occurred in other
days, not only in our country but wherever members of the Craft have met the
world over. In most of such cases nothing but a tradition, or a bare
reference, remains. It is seldom that definite and detailed record is made at
the time, and we have to congratulate ourselves on having been able to recover
these accounts before they were lost beyond recall, and it is to me a source
of great pleasure that I have been enabled to become the agent in putting the
story of this lodge upon permanent record.
point of time the first reference we have to Sierra Madre Lodge (sin numero)
is contained in the Grand Master's Address to the Grand Lodge of Texas in the
year 1916. It is found under the title, "A Unique Lodge Meeting." It is based
on a letter, and an enclosure therewith, sent to the Grand Secretary of Texas
by Bro. John W. Elliott, Secretary of Army Lodge, No. 1105, Fort Sam Houston,
Texas. The enclosure was a copy of an account of the meeting written by a
member of this lodge, Bro. Elmer E. Sampson, who was with the expedition and
who was chosen as one of the officers of Sierra Madre Lodge. This account is
THE ACCOUNT OF BRO. SAMPSON
Sierra Madre Lodge ( without number) F. & A. M ., was opened for social
purposes this 14th day of May, the year of our Lord, 1916, in due and ancient
form. The brethren assembled in a pass of the Sierras, due east of the
Headquarters encampment of the United States Punitive Expeditionary Forces,
near Namiquipa, Mexico, the place of meeting.
Upon examination, being found adequate to be used for Masonic purposes, the
several stations and places of the lodge were filled as follows:
Major Ellwood Waller Evans, Acting Regimental Commander, Tenth Cavalry, U. S.
A., Annapolis Lodge, No. 89, Annapolis, Worshipful Master
Quartermaster Sergeant W. H. Faringhy, Quartermaster's Corps, U. S. A.,
Monterey Lodge, No. 217, Monterey, Calif., Senior Warden
Captain John Raymond Barber. M. C., U. S. A., Hiram Lodge, No. 10, District of
Columbia, Junior Warden;
Sergeant Elmer E. Sampson, Company "E" E. C., U. S. A., Army Lodge, No. 1105,
Fort Sam Houston, Tex., San Antonio, Senior Deacon;
Captain W. E. Burt, Twentieth Inf., Ass't Chief of Staff, Expeditionary
Forces, Hancock Lodge, No. 311, Fort Leavenworth, Kan., Junior Deacon;
S. Stewart Richardson, New York Herald Correspondent with the Expeditionary
Forces, Thistle Lodge, No. 900, New Orleans, Louisiana, Secretary;
Sam Dreben, Interpreter of the Intelligence Department, Expeditionary Forces,
Union Lodge, No. 172, New Orleans, Louisiana, Tiler
opening the lodge the Worshipful Master remarked that by meeting al fresco in
a mountain crevice, the brethren of Sierra Madre Lodge were but following the
example of the ancients of the Craft.
Captain Burt suggested that each of the twenty-three brethren present be
presented with a copy of the minutes of the lodge that he may properly inform
the brethren of his home lodge of the proceedings of Sierra Lodge. This was
Captain William E. W. MacKinley of the Eleventh Cavalry, U. S. A., and of
Ethan Allen Lodge, No. 72, Essex Junction, Vermont, recalled a meeting of a
lodge of Bermuda, which he attended. The lodge membership consisted
exclusively of officers and enlisted men of the Second Battalion, D. C. L. I.
(46th Foot), British Army.
The Worshipful Master called to the East, Captain Barber who was directed to
proceed to close the Lodge. Sergeant Elmer E. Sampson occupied the South in
place of Captain Barber, and Sergeant Sampson's station as Senior Deacon was
occupied by Lieut. C. D. McMurdo of the Tenth Cavalry, and of Faith Lodge, No.
181, Crawford, Nebraska.
The Lodge was then closed in due and ancient form. As Masons the world over,
from the time of the Ancient Operative Grand Master have done, so did the
brethren of Sierra Madre Lodge (without number) meet, act and part.
The brethren signed the minutes before departing. Those present not already
Major J. B. Clayton, Medical Corps, U. S. A., Hancock Lodge No. 311, Fort
Captain W. O. Reed, Assistant Chief of Staff, Expeditionary Forces,
Springfield Lodge, No. 50, Springfield, Kentucky.
Sergeant John F. Gleaves, Signal Corps, U. S. A., Hancock Lodge, No. 311, Fort
Lieut. Henry R. Adair, Tenth Cavalry, U. S. A., Faith Lodge, No. 181,
Captain R. Porter, Medical Corps, U. S. A., White Pass Lodge, No. 113,
Captain I. E. Darby, Medical Corps, U. S. A., Pentalpha, Lodge, No. 194,
Captain W. L. Hart Medical Corps, U. S. A., Philanthropic Lodge, No. 32,
Yorkville, South Carolina;
Captain Charles E. Demmer, Medical Corps, U. S. A., Andover Lodge, No. 558,
Andover, New York
Private Harry L. Heckel, Sixteenth Infantry, Clerk Headquarters Punitive
Expedition, Woodlawn Park Lodge, No. 841, Chicago, Illinois
Sergeant Warren C. Bailey, S. C., U. S. A., Nebraska Lodge, No. 1, Omaha,
Sergeant John Hubbel, S. C., U. S. A., McKinley Lodge, No. 631, McKinley,
Quartermaster Sergeant Robert L. Miller, Corps of Engineers, U. S. A., Harmony
Lodge, No. 6, Galveston, Texas
Sergeant Frank W. Towers, S. C., U. S. A., Hiligrove Lodge No. 540, Brooklyn,
Captain J. S. Coulter, M. C., U. S. A., Hancock Lodge, No. 311, Fort
The Grand Master concludes his narrative with these words:
While I may be criticized for burdening the record with the above named
meeting of our brethren in foreign lands, yet it possessed so many unusual
features, that I believed it would be of interest to you all. You will notice
that these brethren were from lodges all over our great country, and we can
easily imagine their pleasure in meeting together as brothers, within the
tiled precincts of a lodge, where all rank and distinction were done away, and
they met upon the level and parted on the square.
Our Most Worshipful Brother needed not to apologize, for in thus recording so
unusual an incident he rendered the Craft a benefit far exceeding many of the
conventional addresses which proceed from our Grand Easts, in which little of
permanent value to the Craft is to be found with much chaff and dust.
The account found in the papers of Bro. Dreben is an exact duplication of that
given by Bro. Sampson with this additional information in a note at the bottom
of the paper: "News has just been received that Lieut. Henry R. Adair has been
killed in battle."
And in a recent letter from Bro. Waszkowski I learn that Bro. Dreben himself
"died about three years ago (1925) in Los Angeles, California."
The third variant of the story that has come into my hands is that of Bro. W.
H. Faringhy of Monterey, Calif., who under date of Feb. 1, 1929, writes as
BRO. FARINGHY'S VERSION
have before me your letter of Jan. 22, 1929, to Secretary of Monterey Lodge,
No. 217, F. & A. M. (of which at the present time I happen to be Master),
relative to my experience with "Sierra Madre Lodge" in Mexico while serving
with General Pershing's Punitive Expedition. My memory is a little hazy about
that matter, as that Lodge was held nearly thirteen years ago, and I have
thought of lots of other things since that time. However I will try and give
it you as well as I am able to remember.
the time, the Expedition was encamped at a place called Namiquipa, in Mexico,
where I was on duty as Quartermaster Sergeant, Q. M. Corps, in the Q. M. Depot
established there. One day a couple of brother Masons, I cannot recall their
names, called on me and asked me to go up with some other Masons up in the
mountains like our ancient brethren did and hold a social Lodge meeting. I
agreed, and so a number of us went up to the top of a range of the Sierra
Madre Mountains east of the camp and formed what was called "Sierra Madre
Lodge, sin numero," on May 14, 1916; but it was not in the evening as it was
too dangerous to be out at night, that is outside of camp. Some of the
brethren rode out to the foot of the range, I should judge approximately five
miles, on horses and some rode in trucks and light wagons. All were armed as
we were in the heart of the bandit Villa's country. When we arrived at the top
of the range we found an ideal spot and formed our Lodge.
account of the meeting of the Lodge I will quote from a copy of A.A.S.R.
Bulletin date at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., in May, 1916, as follows (here
follows an exact copy of the Sampson variant):
far as I know that was the only Lodge that ever met in which the officers and
members were armed, and the Tiler instead oaf being armed with the implement
of his office, had a revolver strapped on his hip instead. [See the story of
Saxonia Lodge "Somewhere at Sea," of this series, for a duplication of this
point - C. F. I.]
Lieut. Henry R. Adair, 10th Cavalry, was afterward killed in a fight with the
The variant that merits the closing of this unusual story comes to me recently
from Bro. J. S. S. Richardson (Major), who at the time of the incident was War
Correspondent for the New York Herald, with the Punitive Expedition. It took
quite a period of time to locate Brother Richardson but at length I found him
residing in New York City and he has proved most courteous and kindly in
aiding in the preservation of this story. He was the Secretary of the meeting
and one of its instigators and hence his story had special value to the
Masonic student. I here give his account veratim:
SIERRA MADRE LODGE (Sin Numero)
Bro. J. S. S. Richardson, Secretary (Maj. U. S. Cavalry Reserve).
Outside Sergeant ! Sir ! Salute ! Salaam !
Inside "Brother," an' it doesn't do no 'arm. We met upon the level an' we
parted on the Square An' I was Junior Deacon in my Mother Lodge out there !
the light of a campfire flickering fitfully from the light wind of the Sierras
sat six men. The fire was one of several in a bivouac of some 5,000 American
troops. The location was the sun- dried plateau of central Chiuahua, 220 miles
south of the American border.
The conversation of the recumbent fire gazers related to many things. These
men had been to the four corners of the earth and their experiences were
numerous and varied. In expressing themselves more than one had used a phrase
reminiscent of Masonic intercourse. Suddenly the senior of the group, Major
Elwood W. Evans, commanding the Second Squadron, 10th U. S. Cavalry, said: "I
believe all of us around this fire are of the Craft. How about it?"
The other five each answered in the affirmative and it was Sam Dreben, trained
scout, guide and soldier of fortune, who remarked they were more than
sufficient numerically to convene a lodge in due and ancient form.
That started a real Masonic discussion. The six, after interrogating one
another as to their Masonic woundings, constituted themselves a committee,
with Major Evans as chairman, to examine other Masons who might care to attend
a possible meeting. Dreben and the writer were detailed, as a sub-committee,
to find an appropriate meeting place.
All of this took place on a Friday night, in the latter art of May, 1916. The
troops were a part of the Punitive Expedition, under the command of Brigadier
General John J. Pershing, which had crossed the border two months before to
exterminate or disperse the band of outlaws which had raided Columbus, N.M.,
putting a portion of the town to the torch and murdering several American
The units of the expedition hitherto had been farflung and the marauding
banditti now were effectively scattered. The outlaw chieftain, however, Pancho
Villa, had not been captured and the American Expedition, most of whose
elements were now concentrated, was yet to remain on Mexican soil for many
months. This main concentration of the United States forces was six miles
south of the ancient Mexican plaza of Namiquipa, which is situated on the
plateau between the parallel mountain chains running north and south, the
Sierra Madre Oriental and the Sierra Madre Occidental.
Early the following morning Dreben and the writer, fully armed, rode into the
foothills of the Sierra Madre Oriental in search of a "Moot Room" and about
five miles from camp we located an ideal place, such as might have been used
by the ancients. It was an oblong clearing, almost level, set lengthwise due
east and west. Surrounded with flat rocks, it was protected on the north side
by some stunted trees. Dreben and I collected several of the smaller rocks and
fashioned a crude altar. Also, we arranged flat stones in the East, in the
South and in the West. We worked there for about two hours, then, bestriding
our mounts, rode back into camp and reported to Major Evans.
Circumspectly that day word was passed among the troops that the following
afternoon of Sunday, at two o'clock, a meeting of Master Masons would be held
nearby. Those desiring to attend were asked to report to Major Evans that
afternoon (Saturday) or early the following morning. Everything went according
one o'clock Sunday a strange cavalcade was seen to leave the encampment and
follow the trail eastward into the hills. All were mounted and armed and I, as
Secretary, carried the necessary Lodge paraphernalia strapped to my saddle. We
draped the rude altar in an American flag and opened the Holy Bible in place.
The Bible was borrowed from one of the Chaplains of the Expeditionary Force,
none of whom, strangely enough, was of the Craft. On the top of the Bible we
placed a Compasses and Square loaned by Sergeant Elmer E. Sampson of the
Followed then the nomination and election of officers of what was proclaimed
as "Sierra Madre Lodge, sin, numero" (without number). From the Worshipful
Master, Major Evans, down to the squad of Tilers, election was by acclamation.
After Major Evans took his seat in the East, Quartermaster Sergeant W. H.
Faringhy of the Quartermasters Corps and Captain R. S. Porter of the Medical
Corps, were elected Senior Warden and Junior Warden, respectively. They took
their stations accordingly.
The other officers were Sergeant Elmer E. Sampson of E Company, Engineers,
Senior Deacon; Captain W. B. Burtt, 20th Infantry, Assistant Chief of Staff of
the Expedition, Junior Deacon; J. S. S. Richardson, Secretary; and Sam Dreben,
single Tiler was insufficient in the circumstances for the customary function
of warding off cowans and eavesdroppers. We were in a hostile country with
armed fragments of the bandit group still at large. Therefore four men,
mounted and armed, patrolled the precincts of the meeting from the time the
lodge was opened until it was closed in due form.
course the work resolved itself into an exchange of Masonic experiences among
the brethren, who had first seen the light of the Craft in various parts of
the world and under several jurisdictions. The interesting discussion was led
by the able Worshipful Master Evans, who had the God-given faculty of making
everyone talk with exceeding ease and to the interest of all present.
Mother Lodges represented at the meeting were in various states in the Union,
the Philippine Islands, Hongkong, Canada, and Great Britain. Much that was
peculiar to Craft operations in the several localities provided topics
absorbing in the circumstances.
Hardly anyone realized that the meeting had been in session for nearly three
hours until a distant bugle call reminded the assembled Craftsmen that retreat
was being sounded back at camp. Before closing the lodge, Worshipful Master
Evans delivered a short address in which he stressed the fundamentals of
Masonic relationships, the true meaning of Craft brotherhood and the all-
embracing universal democracy of Masonry.
was Major Evans who quoted the appropriate lines of Kipling with which this
article is prefixed and it was he who expressed the fervent hope that in the
not remote future the brethren, gathered as they were from lodges of the three
continents, would meet again under the banner of Sierra Madre Lodge, Mexico,
The parting words of the Worshipful Master proved vain however. A considerable
portion of the comparatively small assembly since have passed to that far
country from whose bourne no traveler returns. Major Evans himself is among
that noble company; another is Sam Dreben, our genial Tiler and soldier of
fortune, who was later decorated for exceptional gallantry in action in
Lieutenant Henry R. Adair, of the 10th Cavalry, another of the brothers, was
killed a week or two after the meeting, not far from that spot, by Mexicans.
He and Captain Boyd, his troop commander, fell with several of their men when
they were ambushed and badly out-numbered by a force of Mexicans at Carrizal.
It was that fight which really inspired the mobilization of the National Guard
along the Mexican Border.
regret to say that as Secretary of the Lodge I preserved no copy of the
minutes. There is but one record of the interesting meeting still in my
possession. It consists of a square canvas cut from my bedding-roll. In the
center, with pen and ink, I designed the traditional Compasses and Square and
lettered above and below, the legend "Sierra Madre Lodge, sin numero, Mexico,
1916, A. D." This was suspended in the East during the session and, after the
meeting, I induced almost everybody present to sign his name on the reverse
side of the canvas with an ink pencil. A few of those who attended left before
this was done, but there are nineteen names still legible on the fragment of
The names appear as follows:
Elwood W. Evans, Major, 10th Cavalry, U. S. A.
M. Sgt. W. H. Faringhy, Q. M. Corps, S. W.
B. Burtt, Capt., 20th Infantry.
S. Porter, Capt. M. C.
Elmer E. Sampson, "E" Co., Engineers.
John R. Barber, Captain.
O. McMurdo, Vet. 10th Cavalry
Dreben, Union 172, New Orleans.
John F. Gleaves, Sgt., Signal Corps.
Frank W. Towers, Sgt., Signal Corps
Warren V. Bailey, Sgt., Signal Corps.
John Hubble, Sgt., Signal Corps.
Henry R. Adair, 1st Lieut., 10th Cavalry
Robert L. Miller, Btn. Q. M. Sgt., Engineers.
S. Coulter, Capt. M. C.
Charles O. Demmer, Capt. M. C
Harvey J. Hecket, 16th Infantry
S. Stewart Richardson, Thistle No. 900, N. Y.
William E. W. MacKinley, Capt. 11th Cavalry, Ethan Allen Lodge, No. 72.
the standards of near perfection reached in most of our Masonic jurisdictions
the meeting of Sierra Madre Lodge might not have been considered in any sense
a finished product. We were Masonic wanderers traveling on the face of the
desert far from our parental "moot rooms." We had been taught differently one
from another in some details of the work, but we were a complete unit on the
One and all "we knew the ancient landmarks and observed them to a hair." If
the Grand Master plumbed the thoughts of that dusty band of adventurers, he
found nothing but the true gold of Masonic sincerity.
SOME OTHER REFERENCES
Bro. Richardson's account rounds out the story of this remarkable lodge, and
to him we are indebted for photographs of the relics of which he speaks. Thus
after some years of search it has been possible to combine these versions of
the very unusual story of a gathering of Masons upon a mountain side in a
hostile country, who there exemplified those principles which we have
universally been taught in our several lodges.
endeavored to obtain an account from each of the officers of the lodge but
though this was unsuccessful it is probable that everything of value has been
set down in the foregoing accounts. Nevertheless I would be very glad to hear
from any other brother who was present in order that his account could be
placed in our archives along with the others. Should any reader know of one of
the brethren present on the occasion I should be only too glad to receive his
present address, or should any reader know of the passing on of any of this
group in addition to those noted in this article a notification of the same
would be appreciated.
Sierra Madre Lodge sin numero came into being because a group of Masons around
a military campfire, relating experiences drawn from roving days around the
globe, came together in thought and conversation to that mutual spot where
other men have foregathered in other days and under other circumstances.
Masonry once again has in this story emphasized the universality and the
vitality inherent in the Craft.
the 1917 Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania (page 497) is the
following reference to the subject:
"Report was made to him (Texas 1916) of a unique lodge meeting 'in a pass of
the Sierras due east of the headquarters encampment of the United States
Punitive Expeditionary Forces in Mexico,' commanded by General Pershing. There
were twenty-three Masons present, nearly all of them commissioned or
non-commissioned officers of the Army, representing about fifteen different
jurisdictions. A lodge was opened and closed 'in due and ancient form.'
For the 1917 Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Tennessee, a like reference is
made to the Texas Proceedings, quoting Bro. Sampson's account in full. To
which the Tennessee correspondent adds:
"This procedure may not be entirely without precedent. During his service in
the Confederate Army, the writer hereof, though not then a Mason (but wanted
to be as soon as old enough), heard that the Masonic Grand Lodge of North
Carolina authorized and recognized Army Lodges. The Federals, however, kept
the writer so constantly entertained and on the move that he could not get the
degrees during the war."
was with the greatest difficulty that a portrait of Maj. Evans was found to
illustrate this article. Through the courtesy of Bro. J. Orville Bush we
learned that a portrait had been published in Rat Tat, a college magazine
published at St. John's college, Annapolis, Md. Bro. Evans then Lieutenant,
was Professor of Military Science and Tactics, and Lecturer on International
and Constitutional law. It was found however that Rat Tat had long since been
discontinued and the volume required, that for 1898 was unprocurable. At last
it was found that two ladies, Miss Lillian and Miss Mable Linthieum, had a
copy of this volume of the magazine, and very graciously made it available for
the purpose of reproducing the portrait, for which kindness I desire to
express my appreciation and gratitude.
ELEVEN YEARS A LEPER
BRO. LEO FISCHER, Philippine Islands
[The following article has been reprinted in various Masonic publications and
THE BUILDER deems it of sufficient importance to be included in its pages. Its
original appearance was in the Masonic journal, The Cabletow, Philippine
Islands. If this story appeals to the charitable instincts of any of our
members we will he glad to act as forwarding agent for contributions.]
WILLIAM E. FAWCETT was born in New England among people to whom it comes
natural to go down to the sea in ships, so he was still in his teens when he
made his first voyage before the mast. The broad surges of the open sea and
the whistling of a fresh breeze through the rigging never lost their charm for
him. For a time he served in the American navy, then he returned to his first
love, the merchant marine. Being ambitious, he studied navigation and became
more and more proficient in his chosen career, until he finally obtained a
master's license. In due course of time he married, and, prompted by a desire
to be useful to his fellowmen and occupy himself with higher things, he
applied for and received the degrees of Freemasonry in Bagumbayan Lodge, No.
4, of Manila, P. I. Early in 1918 he had reached the height of his ambition:
he was in command of a deep-seagoing vessel, had a faithful, devoted wife and
promising children, was a Master Mason in good standing, honored and respected
among the workmen upon the Temple, and enjoyed the esteem and confidence of
the rest of the world. Then the blow fell which shattered all his hopes of a
quiet, happy old age, striking at that robust health of which he was so proud,
tearing him from the arms of his family and the company of his brothers and
fellows, and making him a prisoner under conditions that person must see for
himself in order to fathom their horror he became a leper!
How he contracted the dreadful disease neither he nor anybody else has ever
been able to find out. He himself believes that a fly, lighting on an open
wound on his face or hand after having settled on a leprous sore, carried the
germ. He was forced to leave his family and was taken to the San Lazaro
Hospital, in Manila, for observation and treatment. The symptoms of leprosy,
the swelling of the ears and face and the sores appearing here and there on
his body, marked him as a subject for exile to Culion, that isola dolente of
the South China Sea to which society, intent upon its own salvation, banishes
those afflicted with the loathsome disease. After a few months' stay on the
island he was, at his insistent request, and in view of the fact that the
progress of the disease seemed to be checked, transferred back to the Leper
Ward of the San Lazaro Hospital, in Manila. There, at least, he could have his
wife visit him and felt not so much an outcast from the civilized world.
However, the vermin-infested old Spanish buildings of San Lazaro and the fare
which, while abundant and wholesome, was not what he was used to, coupled with
the lack of privacy and his enforced association with people who, though he
had only kindly feelings for them, were not his own compatriots, made life
burdensome even there. To make our Brother's sad fate more bearable, his
Masonic Brethren purchased for him a large tent which was pitched under some
acacia trees in the extensive compound of the hospital. A fund was raised to
buy extras for his table; a small ice-box was secured and he was furnished
with reading matter and other comforts. But tents are very expensive and do
not last long in the tropics. The burning rays of the sun of the 14th degree
of latitude and the typhoons for which the Philippine Islands are noted,
played havoc with several tents in succession and the old mariner finally
moved back into the building, where a small corner, partitioned off with an
improvised screen, was assigned to him, and there he is still confined now,
not knowing when he will be able to walk out of his prison, a free man once
The place looks like a medieval prison more than anything else. The light
comes in through a grated opening in the thick, massive wall. In the narrow,
screened-off space stand two iron bedsteads, one being the captain's and the
other that of Mason, another American leper, a mulatto. Mason, who has been a
leper for a year or two, must be a godsend to the lonely old man. Cheerful,
easy-going, neat and clean, with the orderliness and efficiency of the
ex-service man, we found him busy preparing some extras for his and the
captain's table when we made our last visit. On two small alcohol stoves
standing on a table, codfish cakes and bacon were sizzling, and the big man
was working silently, with evident gusto, contributing an occasional chuckle
or some casual remark in his soft speech to our conversation.
Beyond the screen, among the beds of the Filipino lepers, another alcohol
stove or two were in operation. The scene reminded me of a gipsy camp.
Our Brother, sitting in his canvas easy chair, has generally some grievance or
the other, though he bears his fate with wonderful resignation. The treatment
which he receives is too trying and the injections according to the official
standard would soon kill the old man. The private physician who used to treat
him with a specific of his own has given up the ease, because of interference
on the part of the government doctors, according to our Brother. Be that as it
may, the disease shows no tendency of giving way, though it is not making much
the grimy walls of our Brother's prison hang pathetic reminders of the happy
days when he had a neat, snug cabin on a steamer or sailing vessel and had but
to step outside to breathe the salt air and scan the wide expanse of tumbling
waves, familiar to him Since his early youth. There is his ship's clock, near
it hangs his barometer, and suspended from a nail are his binoculars. His
master's license, neatly framed, and the model of a sail-boat, his own
handiwork, vie with each other in a poor attempt to conceal the hideous we
were going to say leprous walls. Day in and day out, night after night, when
the terrible itching caused by the injections keeps sleep from his eyes, our
Brother beholds those prison walls and on them those reminders of the days of
his strength and glory.
And yet, whenever we visit him, which is none too often because those visits
are by no means a pleasure, the old captain has a cheerful smile on his face
and cheerful words on his lips and expresses his longing to sit once more with
the Brethren in his Mother Lodge.
all probability, Brother Fawcett will not leave the Leper Ward of San Lazaro
for years to come. What he will do when he gets out is a problem that causes
him considerable worry. The lodge has, for a number of years, been paying a
small allowance to his wife, and our Brother is husbanding the small fund
raised for him four or five years ago through the good offices of The Cabletow
with jealous care, for her and his daughter's sake. His Service in the U.S.
Navy does not entitle him to a pension and he has nothing to fall back on but
the hundred odd dollars left of that fund.
the meantime he bears his sad fate with a courage and resignation worthy of
the best traditions of American manhood and trusts to the Great Architect of
the Universe to strengthen and protect him.
The fund of which we have spoken is under the joint custody of the Grand
Secretary and the Managing Editor of The Cabletow. There have been no
accretions to it for several years except the interest. If any Brother feels
like adding his mite to it, his gift will be gladly received and acknowledged
and faithfully managed for the benefit of a Mason whose fate is one that we
would not wish to our worst enemy.
MEEKREN, Editor in Charge
THIEMEYER, Research Editor
ROBERT I. CLEGG, Illinois
GILBERT W. DAYNES, England
V. DENSLOW, Missouri
GEORGE H. DERN, Utah
N.W.J. HAYDON, Canada
CHARLES F. IRWIN, Pennsylvania
JOSEPH E. MORCOMBE, California
ARTHUR C. PARKER, New York
HUGO TATSCH, Iowa
M. WHTED, California
E.W. WILLIAMSON, Nevada
CATCHING THEM YOUNG
first year or so of Masonic life are to the members of our Fraternity very
much what the years of childhood are to the adult. In them those conceptions
and impressions are received, those habits formed, which dominate later life.
The young Mason is in a receptive state, he craves for explanation and
instruction. If he does not receive it, he is apt to gain an unworthy, or at
least an impoverished idea of Masonry, which generally prevents his ever
making any real advance. Therefore, the question of arousing the interest of
the newly initiated brother is of paramount importance. What we have to do is
to encourage the newly-made Mason to follow the injunction given to him, to
"approach the East." Here of course is meant, not the point of the compass,
not the East of the lodge room, but the symbolic East, the source of light and
knowledge. It is impossible for any one to actually attain this destination;
it is an ideal that recedes as we advance, but in receding grows in magnitude
and significance. Though we can never reach the goal yet each can make the
effort to approach it, and to advance along the path. Some will go farther
than others; some will fall by the way before they are well started; others
progress to the frontiers of recognized knowledge; and a few, very few, will
overstep the bounds of what has been accomplished and find themselves
pioneering in fields never before touched by the labors of any predecessor.
There are other factors into which the way of attainment can be analysed, but
they need not be considered here. It is aside from our purpose in the present
discussion to indicate how to encourage progress after the start has been
made, for example. It is the start and the material with which to begin that
we are essentially interested now.
survey of the present situation does not seem to help us much in finding a
remedy except insofar as it gives the key to the weaknesses which must be
eliminated. There are in this country more than three millions of men who wear
the square and compass. Of these three million possibly three per cent know
any more about Masonry than was told them on the nights they received their
degrees. Thus we are faced with a staggering problem. The overwhelming
majority of American Masons know no more than the bare ritualistic elements of
Masonry and most of them only the merest confused smattering of that. These
Masons form the various categories of "button Masons." Some of them attend
lodge at irregular intervals, others on anniversaries, when elections are
held, others whenever refreshments are served, and still worse some never come
at all. It is necessary to see no farther, here is the great weakness, to
strengthen which must be the first object of any constructive work. There are
before us then, two evils, one existing in the present state of the
Fraternity, and one which threatens the future. Where is the best point at
which to begin work ?
strenuous efforts are made on those members who are at present uninterested
observers of the workings of the Craft and we neglect those who are coming up
the ladder of initiation, a constant supply of uninterested members is being
created and our work is endless. It might be stated with certainty that
concentrating on the other horn of the dilemma leaves the already dying timber
to the final ravages of dry rot and decay. It is for both the old and the
young Mason that we have to work, but strategically the latter is far more
important for the future.
objects, however, need a two fold treatment. The two classes cannot be reached
by quite the same methods, although in the final analysis the same principles
and the same material must be employed. The educational efforts of various
Grand Lodges, the mechanism of Study Clubs fostered by the N.M.R.S. are
directed very largely towards the greater and senior class of Masons, and it
is only by such means that they can be reached. But the task is difficult. The
subject of the effort has been initiated perhaps several years previously, and
the enthusiasm of the early period has died out, and must be revived. This
phase of Study Club work will require the hardest effort and will prove the
least fruitful. The other phase of Study Club work comes in bringing the new
initiate into the fold of thinking Masons. There is a preliminary step to this
work and it is being worked with considerable success in many cases. We refer
to the presenting of pamphlets, magazines, or books to the newly initiated
Mason as he climbs the three steps. The value of this lies chiefly in the fact
that it shows the young Mason that there is more than a mere ritualistic
formula to the Order, and while his enthusiasm is still at its highest,
encourages him to make a start in "approaching the East." He is ripe to fall
in with the Study Club idea and capitalize the knowledge he has acquired from
the elementary works that have been given him.
far we have seen a possible remedy to a bad situation. We probably never will
see the day when Masonry is composed of reading or at least thinking members,
even to the extent of one in three, but a reasonable goal at this time would
be one in ten, and that might, and ought to be accomplished before very many
years are past. While it is devoutly to be hoped for, it is doubtless beyond
our wildest dreams that each of these 300,000 future readers on Masonic
subjects will become students in the scholastic sense of the word. If we got
only 3,000 research workers out of that number we are increasing the present
member by about 2,700, and that might be judged as beyond the wildest hope. It
is not research students that Masonry wants, however. They will develop if
this idea can be worked out. It is interested members that are needed; men who
are capable of intelligently performing the official duties of the lodge, men
who when they take part in a ceremonial understand whereof they speak, and do
not merely repeat a meaningless formula memorized after the fashion of a
parrot, or ground out mechanically like a gramophone, with less effect or
conviction than the bird of green and iridescent plumage says, "folly wants a
scheme is attractive and looks well on paper, but unfortunately there are
difficulties and stumbling blocks in the way. One, and the most important,
because it seems harder to remedy than the others, is the dearth of reliable
popular Masonic reading. There is no scarcity of books, and even of popular
works which the unstudious may read for pure enjoyment, much as he would read
one of the six best sellers, and having, unfortunately, just as much
foundation in fact. It is a dearth of reliable material that we are confronted
with. There is much valuable information that is authentic, but so written
that it is of interest only to the more advanced student. There are no more
than half a dozen - a dozen at most - of good, authoritative yet elementary
books suitable for the beginner in Masonic reading.
Doubtless every field of knowledge has been obscured with wild theories and
the baseless fancies of writers with more imagination than knowledge, but none
to the extent that Masonic scholarship has been. There are more hobby-riders,
more constructors of systems on the basis of scraps of disparate facts, among
so-called Masonic scholars than in any other subject of research. While of
those who sincerely try to weigh all evidence and confirm every step taken are
conspicuous by their rarity.
this state of affairs that makes the task of educating Masons so difficult.
Misunderstandings arise and corrections have to be made and the earnest seeker
after truth, who has not sufficient time to read everything of importance that
has been written and weigh it for himself, becomes disgusted and joins the
army of uninterested Masons.
long as the type of scholarship remains what it is the task of overcoming the
lack of interest in Masons is going to be difficult. It means hard work and
unceasing effort and the best possible use must be made of the material in
hand. There are two aims that must be fostered, first, to increase the
interest of new members and in those old initiates who can be reached, and
second, to increase the number and the quality of authentic yet popular works
on Masonry. When these tasks are accomplished Masonry will rise to heights yet
hardly dreamed of, and may possibly begin to justify some of the extravagant
claims made for it by our panegyrical writers and lodge orators.
* * *
MASONS AT LAW
the appropriate circumstances it is sometimes asserted with great solemnity,
and as it were unction, that Freemasonry is not a debt collecting agency. It
is a very just statement, and presumably of very great importance. It
therefore calls for some consideration.
it must be presumed, considering the times and occasions when those high in
the councils of the Craft utter this fundamental verity or truth, that it
refers only to debts owing by and to Masons. In other words, no man should
become a Mason expecting that the Institution will straightway put pressure to
bear on his debtor whom he believes to be already a Mason. That certainly
would be very foolish, so foolish indeed that we are inclined to ask if any
one ever sought to become a Mason for such a reason.
on mature thought we feel sure that this cannot be the intended application,
it must refer to debts contracted between Masons. But here again the
hypercritical will inquire, "Can a Mason refuse to pay his just debts?" being
able to pay, understood of course. We presume a distinction must be made
between Masons and Masons, that is between Masons and those who have somehow
joined. Let us then continue.
Suppose U lends V some small sum of money at a high rate of interest, and,
after receiving more in interest than he originally lent, wants the debt paid,
which V, being in distress cannot do. They are both Masons, or at least both
belong, and U indignantly demands that charges be preferred. Well, "Masonry is
not a debt collecting agency" as we have been informed, nevertheless
(supposing that such a nightmare situation were ever real) charges ought to be
preferred - against someone.
take another case; M sells C certain goods and because C is a brother Mason
gives him credit, perhaps without any of the customary safeguards that he
would take in dealing with strangers. Later he is pressed for money, but C
neglects to take any notice of his requests for payment. Or let us suppose
that L lets B have fifty or a hundred dollars to help him in a tight pinch,
such as may happen to anyone. Both are Masons and L simply trusts B. and takes
no note or other acknowledgment - sometimes Masons, especially young and
enthusiastic Masons, have been so - so - well, indiscreet let us say. That is
a fairly colorless word. B forgets all about it, buys a new radio, or another
car, and so is unable to pay; somehow always has some reason, quite
satisfactory to himself, why he can't pay. If L asks the advice of any of his
elders in the Craft, he will of course be told at once about the sacred
doctrine, "Masonry is not a debt collecting agency."
would seem that L and M must act in the matter as if they were not Masons,
they must seek legal remedies, bring the matter into court, with the public
and the reporters present. The judge says, "Where is your proof of the
transaction - was it made before witnesses? Have you a written acknowledgment
of any kind?" And the answer being in the negative he naturally may want to
know why a grown man, presumably sane, omitted such elementary precautions in
a weary, wicked world. "Oh, he was a brother Mason and I trusted him." Sounds
nice in cold print. Yet a case in California was decided on precisely similar
grounds, the judge holding that the defendant had used this fraternal bond to
further a fraud on the plaintiff - and the newspapers of the country told us
all about it.
Masonry is not a debt collecting agency we repeat, and most emphatically.
Neither is it a shoe manufacturing company, nor a chain store concern, nor a
financial corporation. These statements are all sublimely and absolutely true,
and they all have as much to do with the essentials of such cases as we have
mentioned. We fear that the tendency of Masonry today in the United States is
to organize itself in such fashion as to make it impossible to carry out any
of its professed ideals. Like the Pharisees of old, our leaders and rulers and
legislators - and ultimately the governed are always responsible for their
governors - by their "traditions of the elders," their rulings, their
fundamentals and landmarks, have made Masonic principles of none effect - or
at least that is the direction in which our organization is drifting.
Masonry, once more, is not a debt collecting agency, but it is a brotherhood
of honest, just and upright men, or at least supposed so to be. Is a man who
refuses to pays just debt an honest and upright man? Is the man who presses an
unjust claim also upright and honest? Or suppose, as often happens in real
life, the situations are more complex than the simple cases we have supposed
and that the Ms and the Cs, and the Ls and Bs, all, as they usually do,
honestly think they are in the right. The common experience of the whole world
teaches us that money matters will breed quarrels and ill feeling quicker than
anything else. Is not Masonry a Fraternity, a band of friends and brothers
between whom no contention should exist - what does it all mean? Is not the
Craft to be interested in such things? No, say our Scribes and Pharisees with
one accord; our traditions, our principles, our landmarks forbid - Masonry is
not a debt collecting agency. Two members of a lodge are at daggers drawn, one
thinks the other should pay his debt at once, he needs his money. The other
understood he could pay when he was able, and it is very inconvenient to pay.
Both are angry. But the lodge must not interfere, the Master mustn't say a
word, he would infringe the traditions of the elders, and disturb a sacred
truth - we will not repeat it. No, the two brothers must go to the courts of
law, and make their differences public, so the world can say, as once it said
(oh long ago!) of Christians: "These Masons, how they love one another."
very strange - Masonry still survives (unchanged we fondly believe) through
all the revolutions of the ages - yet a hundred years ago a Mason who sued
another in a evil court before bringing his complaint before his lodge for the
good offices, the arbitration or judgment of his brethren, was actually held
to have committed a grave offense, and rendered himself liable thereby to the
severest censure, even to expulsion. But Masonry does not change, its
landmarks are fixed - sometimes one might think in the band wagon of progress
- its traditions (even if new) are of the elders, and we have their word for
it, it is not a debt collecting agency. But what is it?
* * *
have to announce with the deepest regret the death of one of our Canadian
members, R. Ex. Comp. Henry Thomas Smith, for many years Grand Scribe E of the
Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of Canada and Ontario. He was one of the
best known Masons in Canada, possibly the best known. Not content with the
faithful and efficient discharge of his official duties, he was an
indefatigable student of the early history of Masonry in the Dominion, and
especially in the "Two Canadas," now known as Quebec and Ontario. Several of
his works have been reviewed in THE BUILDER recently, and we understand that
he was engaged at the time of his death upon a history of a Toronto Lodge.
died suddenly on May 29, aged 69 years. We extend our most heartfelt sympathy
to his wife and daughter, and his other surviving relatives.
CANADIAN LODGE IN AUSTRALIA
is a lodge in Montreal, the Lodge of Antiquity, No. 1, which originally under
a different name opened the first regular lodge in Australia in 1814. This
lodge was originally known as the Lodge of Social and Military Virtues, No.
227, R. I., and was instituted March 4, 1752, in the 46th British Regiment,
known now as the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry.
Chronicle and Comment
Review of Masonry the World Over
Rosicrucianism and Freemasonry
the June number of Mercury, the official organ of the Societas Rosicruciana in
America, there are two articles concerned with the Craft. The first, by Dr.
Maitland A. T. Raynes, is entitled "Rosicrucian Origin of Freemasonry" and
deals with the hypothesis which has attracted so many inquirers. The article
does not go much beyond quoting a number of writers for and against -
including Gould, Albert Pike and Ossian Lang. Dr. Raynes, accepting the
hypothesis himself, suggests that the Craft was organized as a kind of "Outer
Court" from which candidates could be picked for the true mysteries, and he
proportion of snobs, joiners and politicians who followed his Grace of Montagu
into the Craft [in 1723] still remains as great as ever - till we are tempted
to cry with the Prophet Ezekiel: "Son of Man, can these dry bones live?"
second article attempts to answer the question: "Why the Holy Bible Is
Freemasonry's Greatest Light." The answer, naturally, is along "esoteric"
lines. One passage may be quoted; having pointed out several things to the
credit of the Fraternity, or its members, the author goes on:
. . .
recent performances are less encouraging. The promising T. B. movement
flickered out, and when three million American Masons tolerate the suppression
and persecution of their brethren in some countries of Europe without even
demonstrating in their behalf as the K. of C. did for their Mexican
co-religionists, then there is lack of centralization and in coordination of
is; the feet is obvious to every one. And it is not wholly an unmixed evil
that it is so. Everyone, both of friends and enemies, seems to expect
Freemasonry to act, to do things, as an organization. But this is foreign to
the genius of the Craft - our work is individual. But even so the force of the
criticism is not wholly evaded.
the Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of South Australia in April the
Grand Master, the Hon. Mr. Justice John Mellis Napier, was re-elected to
office for the ensuing year. In his address he referred to the Third
Australian Masonic Conference held July, 1928, at Sydney. The two following
recommendations passed at this Conference were quoted by M. W. Bro. Napier.
The first is in these terms:
That this conference reaffirms that it is not desirable that a lodge should
become so large in numbers as to prejudice members from engaging in and
enjoying fraternal fellowship with one another.
That this Conference is of the opinion that the membership of a lodge should
not exceed 150.
second resolution was:
That a Committee to be appointed by each lodge to visit sick or afflicted
members and to renew an interest in their lodge in members absenting
themselves from lodge meeting.
That the delivery of lecturettes upon the symbolic meaning of the several
parts of each ceremony in each degree be encouraged, and that it be a
recommendation to the Grand Lodges to institute circulating libraries and
arrange for the delivery of lectures.
some ways conditions in Australia more closely resemble those in this country
than they do in the British Isles, and so these resolutions, especially the
first, are of great interest.
seems from some further remarks of the Grand Master, that there are variations
in one of the significant points of the third degree as that is worked in
different parts of Australia. It was suggested at the Conference apparently,
and the Grand Master expressed his approval, that the lodges of South
Australia should make changes to conform with the practice elsewhere in the
Commonwealth. We have no other information as to the exact nature of the
changes proposed, but it should be remembered that the desire for uniformity
is not a wholly safe guide. In general it is best to hold to local tradition
and usage, and instruct candidates carefully in the variations to be met with
elsewhere. This is done in many lodges in Scotland, and possibly elsewhere,
and is the best solution of the problem; for these variations all are
valuable, both as proofs of our antiquity and as suggesting different points
of view in regard to our symbolism.
Bra. Torrigiani Going Blind
London Freemason of May 25 quotes a correspondent of the Daily Chronicle, who,
writing from Paris, makes the statement, on the authority of "an address by
Mussolini" - so that it must of course be true - that the exiled, or more
correctly imprisoned, Grand Master, Domizio Torrigiani, has been removed from
the Island of Ponza and is now in a "nursing home" [private hospital] near
Parma, undergoing treatment for blindness.
we have better authority than that so far given, we have to doubt the granting
of such a favor by the Fascist dictator. Alpine, the official organ of the
Grand Lodge of Switzerland, had in its issue of April 15 a brief note to the
effect that Torrigiani was going blind; that he and other political prisoners
had been removed from the Island of Ustica to the smaller and still more
barren Island of Ponza, and that in spite of his suffering from a very severe
inflammation of the eyes (which makes any attempt to escape impossible) he is
guarded constantly by half a dozen Carabinieri, and that while he was being
removed from Ustica to Ponza, the steamer was convoyed by two submarines for
fear of some attempt to liberate him by sea. It is to be said, however, that
several Masonic journals in different parts of Europe accept this report of
the Chronicle's correspondent, in spite of the unreliability of its source. It
is further stated by some of them that it is a prison hospital in which Bro.
Torrigiani is being treated; which makes the story sound less improbable. We
may hope to learn more definitely later on, even if without much expectation
of obtaining the real facts under present conditions.
International Masonic Association
Proceedings of the meeting of the Consultative Committee of the A.M.I. (as it
is most generally known), which we held in Paris last February, have recently
come to hand. The Association in recent years has met with grave difficulties
financially, which hinders among other things its publication program. For one
thing it has not been able to pay the very modest salary assigned to the Grand
Chancellor, who is the equivalent in many of his functions to a Grand
Secretary. Bro. Gottschalk, who held the position temporarily after the death
of Bro. Quartier le Tente, has renounced his claims in this respect, for which
unselfish action he was fraternally thanked by the Committee.
criticisms had been received in regard to the last edition of the
Association's Year Book (reviewed in THE BUILDER last October) in that it gave
information about certain irregular organizations. It was stated in reply that
the purpose of the Year Book is to supply information and that its chief value
lay in its completeness. Inclusion in the Annual implied nothing as to
regularity or recognition. As the Chancellor said:
limit ourselves to the list of Obediences that are unanimously recognized, we
will not only be missing means of judging, but we will be trenching upon
questions of regularity an territoriality which are entirely beyond our
Another very interesting question was raised; that of the minimum requirements
in Masonic ritual. The able and comprehensive report published by the
Association some time ago on Jurisdiction and territoriality gives hope that
useful work could be done in this direction too - though one hardly knows how
it could be published.
of the Grand Master of the Grand Orient of the Netherlands
Masonry in the Netherlands has suffered a very great loss in the death of
Prof. J. H. Carpentier Alting on April 29 of this year. He was born in 1864 at
Colmschate. He was a graduate of the University of Amsterdam, and as a young
man went out to Padang in the Dutch East Indies, in the year 1886, where he
became Secretary of the Department of Justice and finally President of the
Supreme Court. He was made a Mason in the lodge Mata Hari at Padang. Returning
home he was appointed to the chair of Administrative Law in the famous
University of Leiden, in 1907. In 1919 he went back to the East Indies
returning again in 1921. While in the East he was editor of the Indisch
Maeonnick Tydschrift, and later of Broedereten, and was also Deputy Grand
Master for the Dutch East Indies. He was elected Grand Master in 1926, which
office he held till his death.
impossible in this brief notice to say anything of Bro. Carpentier Alting's
services to the Craft and to humanity, but it is safe to say that not only was
he one of the most outstanding men - and Masons - in the Netherlands, but also
International Conference of Supreme Councils of the A.&A.S.R.
July number of the "New Age" has a report of the Conference of the
representatives of the Supreme Councils of the Scottish Rite throughout the
world. The Conference met in Paris, and the sessions were held in the Masonic
Temple, rue Puteaux 8, which is also the headquarters of the Grand Lodge of
France. The meetings continued from Monday, April 29, till the following
Saturday. They were of course many social functions, including a reception and
banquet at the Palais d'Orsay. One important question discussed was the
possible revival of the Supreme Councils which have been suppressed or become
dormant. It was decided that the Supreme Councils of the same continent should
undertake to do what seemed best in this regard. Bro. Bareia, the Sovereign
Grand Commander of Spain, spoke of the difficulties of the Craft in that
country, under an unfriendly dictator and in face of the constant and powerful
hostility of the Jesuits.
Supreme Councils represented were the Southern and Northern Jurisdictions of
the United States, France, Spain, Belgium, Brazil, Peru, Portugal, Uruguay,
Argentine, Cuba, Mexico, Venezuela, Chile, Paraguay, Switzerland, Canada,
Egypt, Turkey, Ecuador, Jugoslovakia, the Netherlands, Poland, Czechoslovakia,
Roumania and Austria. Both Sovereign Grand Commanders of the United States
were present, Bros. John Cowles and Leon M. Abbott. There are thirty-four
recognized Supreme Councils at present at work throughout the world, and of
these twenty-six were represented.
Scottish Rite has had, and has, many more or less active opponents, and it has
been the subject of much criticism the world over. But this much must be said
for it at least; it is the most active and powerful agency connected with the
Craft that is making for a realization of the ideal of Masonic Universality.
John's Day Meeting of Quatuor Coronati Lodge
Readers of THE BUILDER will be especially interested in this meeting of
Quatuor Coronati Lodge, as a paper by our Research Editor, Bro. E.E.
Thiemeyer, was read by the Secretary, Bro. Lionel Vibert, seeing that Bro.
Thiemeyer (to his great regret be it said) was not able to be present to read
it himself. The paper dealt with the origins of the first Grand Lodge in
1716-1717, a subject about which, one might excusably think, everything
possible had already been said, not once but many times. However, there was
something new in the paper. Bro. Thiemeyer advanced evidence to show that the
original organization was called a "General Lodge," and was probably regarded
by the brethren who formed it as the same thing as the "General Assembly"
which according to the Old Charges was the legislative organ and final court
of appeal for the Craft. By 1721 the presiding officer had come to be called
Grand Master, though the term General Master was also used as an equivalent.
election of a great nobleman, the Duke of Montagu, who shortly after was made
Grand Master of the Order of the Garter, made the term Grand Master seem more
appropriate, and as a consequence the annual Assembly in London came also to
be called a Grand Lodge by a natural conveyance of terms, although this did
not become a fixed usage till some years later. The paper was well received
and was the subject of considerable discussion.
Eastern Star in Scotland
has been intimated at different times in THE BUILDER, the Order of the Eastern
Star as constituted in the United States has fallen foul of the laws of the
Grand Lodges of the British Isles, and quite generally those of the Empire
also. The following report was submitted to the Grand Committee at a meeting
held on April 18 of this year:
Special Committee appointed to enquire into the position of the Order of the
Eastern Star, whose first Report was approved by the Grand Lodge on the 4th of
November, 1926, have further to report that they are satisfied that the
Constitution and Ritual of the Order have been altered, and, as now in use in
Scotland, these contain nothing associating or claiming to associate or
connect the Order with Freemasonry. The Committee are therefore of opinion
that any further action is unnecessary and request that they be discharged.
Report was approved and the Committee thanked for their services.
earlier Report referred to as having been adopted by the Grand Lodge in 1926
was rather lengthy. It contained various citations to illustrate and establish
the Masonic connection of the Eastern Star; quoted the action taken against it
by the Grand Lodges of England and Ireland; and recommended, in consideration
of the fact that the Order had been introduced into Scotland more than twenty
years previously, and that no action had hitherto taken in regard to it, that
a certain time be allowed for its Constitution to be altered in such a way as
to eliminate all reference to Freemasonry. This sensible plan was adopted by
the Grand Lodge, and the recent report of the committee is the final closing
of the question.
Secret Societies in Ireland
Anyone who knows anything of the history of Ireland is fully aware that secret
societies have flourished there like weeds in a rich but neglected soil. We
noted in passing last month, that there seemed to be some indications of an
incipient anti-Masonic movement under way in the Irish Free State. The
government organ, we are informed, has recently published an article
attacking, with equal impartiality, the Masonic Fraternity and a new
organization which is apparently an imitation of the Knights of Columbus -
named, after a well known Irish saint, the Knights of Columbanus.
article asserts that Freemasonry is a corrupt organization, existing for the
promotion of graft - that it enables unworthy persons to obtain positions and
privileges for which they are not entitled by their ability or education. It
also says that they are "all known and watched." Then attacking the Knights of
Columbanus it asserts that, like Freemasonry, its purpose is graft, and the
putting its members in a preferential position in regard to promotion in
professional and other occupations.
seems that this new society was practically unknown until this article
appeared, and the disclosure has apparently caused something of a sensation.
It is understood that the matter will be considered by the Roman Catholic
Bishops at their next Synod. However, the general objection that the Roman
Church has to secret societies has never prevented the Irish from forming
thing must be added. Whatever this article may portend, there has hitherto
been no open exhibition of hostility towards Freemasonry either on the part of
the government of the Irish Free State or of the people generally. It is
possible, therefore, that the article merely represents the views of the
author, or else that he castigated the Masons merely in order to be able to
strike at the new organization.
another source we learn that a Roman Catholic magazine is publishing the names
of all Freemasons in Dublin, as if Freemasonry were an offense. And in
response R. W. Bro. Colonel Claude Cane, Deputy Grand Master of the Grand
Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Ireland, has written to the press to say
that 60 per cent of the Irish Freemasons at the time of the passing of the
Catholic Emancipation Bill were Roman Catholics, and he based this statement
on the records and registers which have been carefully and accurately kept by
the Grand Lodge of Ireland for nearly two centuries, and not upon vague
tradition. Freemasons have never been, as the Roman Catholic clerical papers
are so fond of saying, opponents of religious liberty. On the contrary, they
have always done their best to support it. It is apparently forgotten that,
during the whole of the time in which he was agitating for Catholic
emancipation, Daniel O'Connell was an enthusiastic Freemason, and frequently
wrote and spoke in favor of the Order.
Facts About English Masonry
has been an unwritten law of English Masonry that the Grand Lodge of England
always meet in London. This precedent, however, was recently broken when a
meeting was held in Liverpool and it has now been arranged that at least one
Quarterly Communication a year will be held out of London.
there is no law to the contrary, it has been customary for the Grand Master of
the Grand Lodge of England to be a member of the nobility. The last commoner
to hold that high office was George Payne in 1720.
According to Sir Alfred Robbins the average size of an English Lodge is 86,
but the average of attendance is much higher than in either the United States
or Canada. Sir Alfred Robbins, by the way, has recently been appointed for the
twelfth consecutive term as President of the Board of General Purposes of the
United Grand Lodge, an unusual distinction and the longest record in the
history of that Grand Body.
only is it customary in England for a Mason to be a member of a number of
lodges but he may also be the Master of more than one lodge at the same time.
Charles E. Keyser who recently succeeded Sir Frederick Halsey as Provincial
Grand Master of Hertfordshire, has been Master of twenty-seven lodges.
latest Scottish Rite News Bureau report advises that the Bro. Charles Edward
Keyser mentioned in the above paragraph died recently at his home, Aldermaston
Court, near Reading, Berkshire. He was 82 years of age and had nearly 20,000
votes in the three great Masonic institutions, contributed large sums to their
upkeep and was known as "the Prince of Masonic Charity." That he well deserved
this title was shown upon more than one occasion. For example, in 1927 when
the sum realized at the Annual Festival of the Royal Masonic Boys' Institute
fell about $40,000 below the sum needed, he very generously handed over a
check for $50,000 to the treasurer of the institution to meet the deficiency.
Bro. Keyser was a member of thirty-six lodges.
Plural Membership in Wisconsin
Grand Lodge of Wisconsin now permits "plural membership." This simply means
that a Mason in Wisconsin can belong to as many Masonic lodges as he wishes
and his financial resources permit. In case of a Wisconsin Mason's residence
in another Grand Jurisdiction, provided such other Grand jurisdiction permits
dual or plural membership, he may affiliate with any lodge of the place of his
residence. With the provision reversed a Mason from another Grand
jurisdiction, but residing in Wisconsin, may affiliate in Wisconsin. In
neither case will the affiliate lose his membership in his "home lodge." The
Masonic status of the individual holding dual or plural membership is, of
course, governed by his status in his "home lodge."
total of about sixteen Masonic Grand jurisdictions in this country and abroad
now permit either dual or plural membership. None of those who have once
adopted the system have abandoned it. This is pretty fair evidence that the
system works satisfactorily.
Evidently the idea of Study Circles is spreading beyond the realm of American
Masonry. In a recent issue of the South Australian Freemason appeared an
article on Study Circles. It may be of interest to brethren in America to know
that the idea has been in operation in Australia for some time.
Osmond Lodge has had a Study Circle in connection with its lodge for over six
months. There are several study circles in operation throughout South
Australia, one at Moorook on the River Murray having been in operation since
years W. M's and officers of lodges have been ever conscious of the falling
away in attendance of their members, and the lack of personal interest in
their lodge's welfare, and it may fairly safely be assumed that this apparent
absence of interest is due very largely to the lack of individual thought,
from which brethren suffer, and that they need some lead apart from ordinary
lodge meetings and the cursory study of the Ritual to help them along the
paths of thought the better to grasp the treasured teachings which are there
to be found for their seeking, and to make a daily advancement in Masonic
South African Masonic Journal carries this announcement:
the meeting of the Cape Masonic Study Circle held in the Refractory of the
British Lodge, Capetown, on Wednesday, March 6, Wor. Bro. W. B. Know delivered
a lecture on "Irish Freemasonry, Past and Present."
Africa and South Australia have joined the ranks of those interested in the
Study Circle plan. It leads us to wonder how many other countries follow this
idea. We know the research lodges in England, of course, but are there similar
organizations in existence elsewhere?
Something New in Masonic Service
New South Wales Freemason reports that advice has been received by the
Secretary of the Big Brother Movement that all Royal Arch Chapters in Scotland
have been circularized by the Grand Scribe E, advising Companions that on
their sons' arrival in New South Wales a Scottish Royal Arch Companion will be
allotted to them as a Big Brother.
Lectures have been delivered in many Chapters, and the Grand Superintendent,
Lord Cassillis, occupied the Chair on one occasion. Our Scottish Companions
gratefully acknowledge the interest and assistance being given to their sons.
Secretary of the Big Brother Movement is Ex. Companion F. J. G. Fleming. His
address is corner George and Argyle Streets, Sydney, and he states that he
will be pleased to hear from any Companions who are willing to act as Big
Brothers to one of these boys. There is no financial responsibility on the
part of the Big Brother nor is he responsible for finding a position for a
Reconstitution of the Lodge " Goethe" in Paris
lodge, working in the German language, was formed in 1909, under the Grand
Lodge of France. Naturally its members were largely of German nationality or
of German origin, and for this reason it ceased working on the outbreak of the
war. It is another sign of the lessening of war bred suspicion and hostility
that it has again been revived. Many of the members are from Austria. The
Grand Master of the Grand Orient of Spain was present, two D. D. G. M's of the
Grand Lodge of Jugo Slovakia the Grand Lodge of Vienna was represented, as
well as several lodges in different countries. The jewels were gifts; a Swiss
lodge, Fels am Rhein, gave the Master's gavel, and the Bible for the altar was
presented by Bro. Muffelmann of Berlin.
Masonic Teachings and Modern Problems
BRO. HERBERT HUNGERFORD
Help to Make These Pages a Real Forum for Discussion
All brothers interested in any phase of Masonic Education, especially those
who believe in fostering the Masonic Study Club movement, are invited to send
criticism, comments and, particularly, practical suggestions for furthering
this movement. Those who are willing to help organize Round Table Discussion
Groups or other Masonic Study Clubs in their Lodges or their districts are
invited to send for Membership Blanks, etc., which will be supplied free of
Address: HERBERT HUNGERFORD
General Campaign Manager, The Masonic Study Club Campaign Harrisburg,
BEAR in mind the warning given with the first announcement of our Seven
Keypoint Introductory Programs arranged for Round Table Discussion Groups in
which we emphasized the fact that we were simply offering tentative
suggestions which might be modified any way through the experience or advice
offered by well-informed brethren. Thus far, but few suggestions have been
received but one of them seems to be quite pertinent and suggestive of
immediate action. Bro. Ernst W. Gruss, of Houston, Texas, in a very able and
illuminating letter advises a change in the arrangement and names of the
Masonic Symbolism Applied.
Ancient Landmarks and Teachings of Masonry.
History of Masonry.
Home County, City, and Town
With the exception of item e, the student can get his history by just reading
a good work on the subject. By "History" I suppose you mean the past of the
organization as we now have it and those organizations we claim to be the
forerunners of our organizations.
Now, I hold a somewhat different idea of the history of Masonry. Briefly it
amounts to this: Since the hour or day when man felt the desire to improve
himself both mentally, intellectually, spiritually, and physically, he was
engaged in Masonic Work. Thus Masonry, according to my opinion, is synonymous
with Civilization. On this basis, all those beings who have done aught for the
betterment of mankind have been Masons regardless of whether not they were
members of any organization. And again, all lose ancient organizations, whose
object of their labors was the betterment of mankind, were Builders in the
truest sense of the word, hence masons, though not called so. I do not accept
the old trade guilds as the forerunners of Masonry. Just think that I should
consider organizations of beer-guzzlers, rum fiends, and gluttons my Masonic
ancestors, men who destroyed, but did not build the human mind, when I can
follow the leadership of all those great master minds who sought to improve
mankind since the beginning of human improvement. I consider it puerile to
emphasize the rather far- fetched theory that the trade guilds were our
Masonic ancestors. To me it shows that our Masonic Students are themselves not
clear just what Masonry really is. My Masonry is a direct descendant of those
ancient leaders who, tens of thousands of years ago, sought to raise their
fellowmen to higher level of life. Nor do we have to borrow the symbols of the
bricklayers and stonemasons for our own use. The fundamental symbols of
Masonry are ages-old and date back to the time when man first began to think.
This is incontrovertibly proven by the findings of archaeologists and
anthropologists. No, the equilateral triangle, the square, the circle, the
cross, the apron, the East, the West, the South, and others were established
tens of thousands of years before guilds of bricklayers and stonemasons were
seems to me that the points raised in this letter are well taken and, mainly,
deserving of our emulation. While I do not altogether agree with the viewpoint
expressed by Bro. Gruss, I can fully appreciate his point that it will be far
more interesting to the newly-made Mason if we start with lessons more
definitely supplementing the points that we have tried to impress in the
ceremonials of our different degrees.
am quite willing, in fact, to concede that Masonic history should be made the
last, rather than the first, of our introductory round table discussions.
am inclined, however, to believe that our first course of study in discussion
groups, composed chiefly newly-made masons, should be on "The Fundamental
Teachings of the Fraternity."
The causes which have brought about this conclusion on my part have been not
only my personal observation of the activity of Study Club Groups but,
particularly, the reaction or response to my series of articles on "Our
Ancient Fraternity and Present Day Problems" which have been running during
the past year in the columns of THE BUILDER. It seems to me that the
considerable interest manifested by our brethren everywhere in this series of
critical articles indicates that there is a definite value in tieing-up or
comparing the problems of modern life with the teachings of our ancient
seems to me, likewise, that this particular plan of beginning Masonic Study
discussions with a brief course on "Masonic Teachings and Modern Problems" is
right along the line and fully in harmony with the plan of our ritual.
is presumed that every candidate applies for admission to a lodge because he
hopes thereby to learn how to improve himself in Freemasonry. In other words,
it seems to me that it is a natural and justifiable expectation of every
newly-made Mason that he will find in the Fraternity practical assistance in
solving his personal or life-problems. If the objective of Fraternity is not
precisely this, I confess that I have failed to understand what it is.
is absurd for any one to assume that the sole objective of Fraternity is
self-improvement for its members, yet, I doubt if any one will deny that this
is one of its foremost aims. This being the case, it seems a common sense
proposition that each Study Club group for newly-made brethren should first be
concerned with discussing the principles and practices of fraternity which
ought to help every member of any lodge to live more happily, and a more
serviceable and, therefore, a more successful life.
Challenge to Inside Critics of Freemasonry
YOUR attitude in accepting or rejecting this challenge should determine
whether you are a sincere, constructive critic of your Fraternity, or merely
an ordinary fault-finder. My claim to the privilege of presenting the
challenge is derived from the fact that my recent series of articles in THE
BUILDER, on "Our Ancient Fraternity and Present Day Problems," brought me
considerable commendation as well as some rebukes for being, as one writer
puts it, "a bold and plain-spoken critic of our ancient and honorable
make no denial of the fact that I have endeavored to criticize our Fraternity
fearlessly, but I do insist that I have always been, likewise, a friendly
critic. Whenever I have pointed out what I considered an unwise or unwholesome
tendency, or a serious shortcoming in the programs and activities of
present-day Masonry, I have endeavored invariably to suggest changes or
recommend remedies, which, I believe, would correct the conditions of which I
object most vigorously to any implication that every critic of our Fraternity
must be regarded as a "calamity howler." The Fraternity certainly is a human
institution and the weakness and frailty of all mortal beings is a clearly
recognized factor of our ritual. So, the ostrich-minded objectors to any
criticism of our Fraternity do not disturb me in the least.
the other hand, it is a matter of serious concern when we find so many members
who do not hesitate to criticize the Craft, but appear to be unwilling or at
least inactive either in putting forth any effort of their own or
participating in a constructive program for changing and improving the
conditions which are the cause of their complaints.
The challenge I issue, therefore, is that every critic who sincerely believes
that some of the activities we emphasize in our lodge programs today are not
the best and most desirable features to be put foremost; also that some of the
tendencies and trends of modern Masonry do not seem to be in the right
direction, is not acting in accord with the true Masonic spirit when he merely
gives voice to his objections, yet fails to do his part to bring about the
changes necessary to correct the conditions which he believes should be
According to my observation in our lodges today, we have too many
fault-finders and too few constructive critics. In nearly every lodge you will
find members who are regarded more or less as "pests" because they are always
raising objections, finding fault and scolding about this, that or the other
activity of the lodge; yet these fault-finders seldom can be induced to assume
the leadership of any activity or even take part in any program that is
designed to correct the conditions which they complain about.
admit that this is a perfectly natural human trait, nevertheless, it is not in
accord with the high ideals of Freemasonry. A person who professes to be a
good man and a Mason should always be willing to back up his words with his
my own criticisms of modern Masonic activities and tendencies, I have pointed
out why I believe that the average lodge today has made a mistake by shifting
too much emphasis upon the purely social and entertaining features of its
program with a corresponding decrease in the emphasis upon the educational
features of Freemasonry. As result of this shifting of our emphasis, it is my
contention that the present tendencies are away from the ancient fundamental
ideals of the Fraternity and that modern Masonry is in danger of a decline
because it is failing to impress upon every newly-made brother the true
teachings of the Institution. This is due mainly to the fact that the
distracting social, commercial and recreational activities of everyday life
have so influenced Masonic programs that we push our candidates through the
"degree mills" so rapidly that we fail fully to impress upon their minds the
important educational and moral lessons upon which our great Fraternity has
my series of articles criticizing these modern Masonic tendencies, I believe
that I presented ample evidence to justify every criticism. I have since
received considerable testimony from brethren from all parts of the country
whose observations and opinions fully bore out my contentions.
Likewise, I maintain that I have not rested content with merely pointing out
some of the faults and mistaken efforts in modern Masonry, but I have
sincerely endeavored to devise a constructive program that will provide the
things that I believe are needed to supply these shortcomings to which I have
called attention. In other words, I regard the activities to supplement every
lodge program with some sort of definite Masonic study as being, by all means,
the best possible way to remedy the defects brought about by the overemphasis
upon speed with its consequent superficiality.
was gratified by the numerous letters of comment which my series of critical
articles provoked; but I confess that I have been somewhat disappointed at the
response to my appeal for cooperation in helping to devise and develop popular
programs for the extension of the Masonic Study Club campaign and the
introduction of some form of Masonic education into every lodge possible.
you agree with the writer's contention that some of the activities of modern
Masonry have gotten off the main track, you certainly owe it to yourself, as
well as to your brethren, to do your part in helping to switch your lodge
programs back to the right track.
books reviewed in these pages can be procured through the Book Department of
the N.M.R.S. at the prices given, which always include postage. These prices
are subject (as a matter of precaution) to change without notice; though
occasion for this will very seldom arise. Occasionally it may happen, where
books are privately printed, that there is no supply available, but some
indication of this will be given in the review. The Book Department is
equipped to procure any books in print on any subject, and will make inquiries
for second-hand works and books out of print.
HISTORY OF THE STAR POINTS. By John Kennedy Lacock. Published by the Sampson
Publications, Inc., Boston Stiff paper, illustrated, 68 pages.
booklet is based on a series of articles that originally appeared in the
Eastern Star Magazine. These found such a wide appeal among members of the
Order that the supply fell short of the demand, and it was therefore decided
to reprint them, with some revision and the addition of new material.
author has done his best with somewhat intractable material. While Jephthah's
vow and its result are perfectly understandable in the light of primitive
ideas and customs, and indeed similar stories can be found in folk tales all
over the world, yet it is hard to draw any consistent moral from it suited to
our own level of culture. One would say, if it teaches anything, it teaches
the folly of making promises without knowing what they imply, with the
corollary that there are times when promises should be broken. Actually, we
should understand the story that Jephthah left the choice of the gift to God,
to God as he and his people conceived him, and assumed, with them, that God
desired the sacrifice of the maiden. In this light the story is noble and
heroic, so far as the human characters are concerned.
Contrasted with the difficulties of adapting this terrible story (which is as
tragic, when it is realized, as that of Iphigenia), the beautiful tale of Ruth
is a great relief. While some of the motives are obscure without some
knowledge of oriental ideas regarding marriage, and the completeness with
which a woman ceases to belong to her own family and becomes part of her
husband's, yet it is so human and natural that its appeal is universal. To
talk about it, to describe it, is to spoil it - such is its delicacy. And
whatever it may be in the original, the translation of the King James version
is a masterpiece of simplicity and directness of style.
the veracious history of Esther, which is a novel or romance of the third or
second century B. C., we again have moral difficulties. It is a story, in very
heightened colors and little regard for probability, of oriental court
intrigue and harem polities. It takes a lot of skill to adapt it so as to make
it fit into a scheme of occidental female virtues, and Bro. Lacock has done
everything that is possible with it.
Martha, and Electa, the ideal figure of an early Christian lady, the task is
easier. Here there is nothing that needs explanation or explaining away.
work should be of real assistance to those engaged in active work in Eastern
Star Chapters and we trust it will have the distribution it deserves. S. B.
* * *
CAGLIOSTRO; CHARLATAN, ROGUE, MYSTIC AND MESMERIST. By Johannes von Guenther;
translated by Huntley Paterson. Cloth and boards, 12mo., 445 pages;
illustrated, $3.50, net.
CAGLIOSTRO! Truly a name to conjure with. Even to this day - as witness by the
articles and books still being written - his name arouses attention and
interest. And thus it is that the house of Harper and Brothers of New York and
London have considered Johannes von Guenther's Cagliostro - Charlatan, Rogue,
Mystic and Mesmerist a worthy addition to their series of romantic
four hundred and more pages of this readable book held my attention and
fascinated me one wild and stormy Sunday not long ago. Bending trees and
wind-swept hills across the flooded banks of the Missouri stood out in sheer
relief against blackened skies, in which blinding flashes of lightning and the
long roll and rumbling of celestial artillery added to the ominous spell of
the book at hand. Perhaps the satanic play of the elements added to my
appreciation of this interest compelling volume. Be that as it may, the work
will also interest others, and especially brethren of the Craft, for
throughout the entire book the Masonic Fraternity of eighteenth century
Continental Europe is brought into the rapidly changing settings of Palermo,
London, St. Petersburg, Strassburg, Paris, Boulogne, Sur Mer and Rome.
the American or English Mason be warned, however, that he will not come upon
the Masonic references with any feelings of friendliness. It is instantly
apparent that the author is not a Freemason, and it is also very evident that
he has drawn upon the popular misapprehensions and the fictions of the
eighteenth century for his so-called Masonic backgrounds. His text recalls the
anti-Masonic literature of the 1780's and the 1790's - notably Robison's Proof
of a Conspiracy Against the Governments of Europe, first published in 1797 and
issued in many editions and in several languages. He has also availed himself
of the German and French literature treating of the Illuminati. The first
flush of indignation coming upon one when reading of the utterly absurd and
totally impossible allegations about the Freemasons soon gives way to calmer
feeling of mild amusement; one wonders how anyone could have believed such
preposterous things. Still, when considering the vast amount of literature
that has been written about Cagliostro in Italian, French, German, Dutch and
English, and realizing that this impudent character gave the people of his
time much to talk about, we continue our perusal of the book in a more
appreciative frame of mind.
the author's belief, it should be said that he is aware of the criticisms of
the Craft. In an epilogue to the book, he says:
"Friends have called the author's attention to the feet that the Freemasons of
the present day may feel that they have been assailed in this book, and may
assume that the narrative contains attacks upon their Order. But nothing of
the kind was intended; for, in the first place, the author knows much too
little of modern Freemasonry to be in a position to criticise it either
favourably or unfavourably. And, secondly, he does not believe that modern
Freemasonry can possibly feel that it is affeeted by the foolish blunders of
the past, particularly as these blunders are more or less proved historically.
For the much glorified eighteenth century, the 'gallant Age,' the 'era of
enlightenment' was also a period in which much nonsense flourished, and in
which every kind of tomfoolery immediately found enthusiastic admirers."
capably written defense - for it is clever, ironical and even satirical - is
in itself indicative of the treatment accorded to Freemasonry in the book.
Only the capable treatment and vigorous style of the author, blended with the
spirited action of the work as a whole, compels the reader onward in spite of
his protests, and carries him to the conclusion of the volume with the feeling
that the time spent in its perusal has been worth while. It gives him a better
understanding of the antagonism existing even to this day against Freemasonry
in Europe, and reminds him again that the bitter clerical opposition of the
eighteenth century is equally as vindictive in the twentieth.
from the Masonic references, the book presents a cross section of eighteenth
century European life which can only be brought out in the form of historical
romances. As the author frankly states, the volume "is a romance based on a
free handling of the historical material [and] was not intended as anything
more than an attempt artistically to depict the portrait of Cagliostro in
accordance with the spirit of his Age and of his environment." The tale is
slightly erotic in spots, but not in a manner to be offensive; the dashes of
passion are in full harmony with the situations, revealing the masterly craft
of the author.
Unfortunately, no facts are before me as to the author. The vigor, flavor and
style of the original German very evidently has been skillfully preserved in
the translation; even the illustrations are European in their treatment and
subtly add to the enchantment of the printed text.
may not be amiss to add that Masonic students will find a more acceptable
account of Cagliostro in W. R. H. Trowbridge's Cagliostro: The Splendour and
Misery of a Master of Magic, a work now out of print, but available through
Masonic libraries. In connection with this should be read Bro. B. Ivanoff's
excellent article, "Cagliostro in Eastern Europe (Courland, Russia and
Poland)," which appeared in Are Quatuor Coronatorum, Vol. XL (1927), pages
45-80. It touches upon the alleged identity of Balsamo and Cagliostro as one
and the same individual, as well as upon Cagliostro's Masonic visits. The
volume under review does not differentiate between the two characters.
* * *
FREEDOM OF THE SEAS. By Alec Wilson. Published by the League of Nations Union,
London. Paper, 60 pages.
is little doubt that one of the greatest obstacles to the furtherance of
disarmament projects is that question which is compendiously, but most
ambiguously entitled the Freedom of the Seas. As things stand today the
problem lies mainly between the two great English speaking political entities,
neither of which is English in any but the loosest sense. Could a way out of
the virtual impasse be found the cause of peace would be greatly advanced. The
difficulty is that there has been too much heat and too little light in the
discussion of the problem hitherto. And this is true not only of ordinary
people, and the newspapers which provide material for their opinions, if not
the opinions as well, but also to a very great and alarming extent by
pamphlet under review briefly and clearly traces the history of the problem,
and in doing so demonstrates the curious and significant feature that the
problem has progressively changed during the course of the development of our
modern civilization. The earliest claims were for freedom for ships to sail on
the seas on their "lawful occasions" on the one hand, and on the other, that
certain seas were closed, the private property of the states making the claim,
and that all intruders were trespassers and pirates. England from very early
times claimed sovereignty over the "Narrow Seas," the English Channel, and the
adjacent waters. Spain, Portugal and the Netherlands each made claims of
exclusive rights in the Western Atlantic, the Pacific and the Indian Ocean.
There has been no consistency in these claims, they were all based on self
interest, or what seemed to be to the advantage of the states concerned at the
moment, and every maritime nation has been as quick as a weather vane to
change from one attitude to the opposite under changed conditions.
question of the freedom of the sea in time of peace settled itself by changed
conditions and force of circumstances. It was not due to any abstract sense of
justice, but to the feet that the game was not worth the candle. Indeed it
became ridiculously impossible, as impossible as for a land owner to claim
exclusive right in the atmosphere above his land. It is Mr. Wilson's
contention that circumstances are now such that the freedom of the seas in
time of war has come to mean something absolutely different from what it did,
and that to discuss it upon the old lines is worse than waste of time.
of the many changes that vitally affect the question are the conquest of the
air and the feet that modern war means the active belligerency of every member
of the state, from the soldier in the field to the children "cultivating
potatoes in school gardens." Every article of commerce is contraband of
necessity, for everything may directly or indirectly assist a country in
prosecuting a war.
solution that the author sees emerging is a simple and comprehensive one. It
is not new, but it has not been accepted hitherto because of the difficulty in
realizing the effects of changed conditions. Once the possibility of war
between the United States and the British Empire is ruled out, no real
obstacle remains between them, their interests are alike. The latter says: if
we could agree that neither would interrupt each other's sea borne commerce in
war time nor permit others to do so it would remove the one thing that
England, the heart and nerve center of the Empire, has to fear. And this in
effect is precisely what the United States has contended for under the phrase
the "freedom of the seas."
author quotes Prof. Gerould of Princeton:
attempt to maintain our rights in a "public" war [i. e., a war waged by
members of the League of Nations against one that has broken the Covenant] we
shall either break the blockade laid down by the League, in which ease we
become the ally of the Power which has broken its agreement . . . or we shall
be forced to make common cause with the League. The dilemma is inescapable.
he thinks that the logic of events is forcing every nation closer and closer
to the formula of President Wilson.
Absolute Freedom of Navigation upon the Seas outside territorial waters, alike
in Peace and War, except as the Seas may be closed in whole or in part by
international action for the enforcement of international covenants.
Towards some such conclusion as this the logic of events is leading the world.
The mental inertia that characterizes humanity in the mass may make the
process of realizing it slow and painful - but the logic of events always wins
in the long run.
* * *
WITCHCRAFT IN OLD AND NEW ENGLAND. By George Lyman Kittredge. Published by the
Harvard University Press. Cloth, table of contents, notes, index, x and 641
pages. Price $6.25.
WITCHCRAFT, and the working of magic, is a subject almost as extensive as all
literature. References, allusions, descriptions, are to be found in almost
every kind of book from fiction to theology. In the present volume the notes
alone take over two hundred pages, and they consist almost entirely of
references. And even so, it is not to be supposed that they are exhaustive,
even for the limited subject of English witchcraft. However so much of this
material is merely repetition of the same kind of thing that it is by no means
necessary to go through it all in order to get a just idea of the subject. It
is possible to reach conclusions and make judgments even if one lacks the
extensive acquaintance with obscure and rare works that is exhibited by the
author of this latest work on witchcraft.
first and the two last chapters of the book are really independent articles,
previously published, as is explained in the preface. Nevertheless the reader
gets the impression that they actually contain the motif about which the rest
of the book is written - or motifs would be more accurate. And regarded in
this light the work is to be warmly welcomed for it corrects a series of
errors and misapprehensions that amount almost to superstitions, which are
held by practically everyone, excepting a very few specially well informed
students. The chief of these erroneous opinions is that witchcraft was a
baseless illusion founded on a corrupt, or at least superstitious religious
outlook, coupled with an insane desire to persecute and shed blood. That magic
and witchcraft, in the widest sense, are universal, a primitive heritage of
the human race, has long been known to anthropologists and students of
comparative religion and folklore. But until recent years there was not much
attention given to mediaeval and modern witchcraft in Europe, with the result
that many older ideas still remained current; and with this a general lack of
any real understanding of the situation.
Kittredge brings this out very clearly in the first chapter, entitled a
"Typical Case." No one can read it without seeing that there was much to be
said on the other side. Granted that the whole thing was a baseless
superstition - in the proper sense of that word, a "standing-over," a
survival, from the most primitive thought of the childhood of the race - yet
the "persecution" was inevitable. As the author says, if not guilty in fact,
the witches were generally guilty in intention. And there is no doubt that
with the working of magic went, often enough, other more material and
practical methods of working injury, especially the use of poisons.
this typical ease Prof. Kittredge had before him the original depositions of
the witnesses and complainants against a certain Michael Trevisard, by his
name a Cornishman and a "foreigner" in Devonshire, where the offenses
occurred, Alice his wife, and his son Peter. This took place in 1601 and 1602,
in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. The witnesses had all suffered grievous
misfortunes of one kind and another, including loss of goods and health; all
following upon curses or maledictions from one or other of the defendants,
particularly the woman. There can be no doubt that the witnesses and the
community believed these misfortunes to be due to witchcraft, or maleficia,
and it is very likely that the Trevisards believed it too; and at least that
they had sought advantage from the fear which they were held.
Witchcraft in England was an offense against the criminal law and was
proceeded against in the secular courts like any other felony, robbery or
murder for example. The evidence is generally of the same kind. The complaint
in most cases follows some real misfortune, death or disease usually. And in
the trials evidence is given of announced intention on the part of the accused
to work evil against those afflicted, with or without evidence of the
performance of magical rites. In general, the evidence of the injury suffered
by the victim, which was real enough, and the announced, or confessed,
intention of the witch, was taken as proof of guilt. And granted a universal
belief that evil could be worked by magical and demonic means it must be
admitted that it would seem sufficient.
second chapter is entitled "English Witchcraft Before 1558." The special
significance of the date lies in the fact that one of the author's
pre-occupations is to controvert an opinion that the belief in witchcraft was
an importation by the religious exiles who returned to England after the death
of Queen Mary. The theory apparently being that they were imbued with the
belief in the reality of compacts with the devil, and so on, during their
sojourn on the Continent, and that they converted their fellow countrymen to
it on their return. The supporters of this theory are nowhere mentioned by
name so far as the reviewer has been able to discover, and he must also
confess that he has never come across it previously. In any ease it seems so
preposterous that one would suppose the least acquaintance with the evidence
would dispel it. One would have thought it more appropriate to have dismissed
it in a brief note, as the theories of Mr. Summers and Miss Murray are
disposed of. But it is evident-that here once more we have differing views
accounted for in part by an ambiguous meaning of words. What the unnamed
"scholars" mean by witchcraft, and what Mr. Summers means is quite different
from what Prof. Kittredge means, and Miss Murray means something different
again; though there is the less excuse for misunderstanding her position, as
she clearly defines the sense in which she uses the word, and sticks to that
aspect of the subject.
Returning to the second chapter the author brings samples of the evidence for
the belief in, and the character of, witchcraft in England, from Anglo-Saxon
times down to the Tudor period; with so much of parallel historical and
anthropological evidence as to establish its character as a primitive heritage
succeeding chapters deal with the methods and machinery of witchcraft. The use
of images and like means to work evil or good - generally evil. This in some
form or other is found everywhere the world over, and at all periods.
Following this comes the subject of curses, elf shot, induced madness, magical
poisons and charms. Then wind raising and rain making, metamorphosis, treasure
hunting, divination and so on are taken up in succession. In the sixteenth
chapter we come to the witches Sabbath and the compact with the devil. In this
chapter the general thesis is that the periodical meetings of witches and
their worship of the devil, was all a creation of the Continental inquisitors,
with the further contention that there was no basis in feet for it. Or rather,
that it was built up out of the secret meetings of heretical religious sects,
to whom all kinds of enormities were ascribed, mixed up with the whole
paraphernalia of mediaeval demonology, and it is insisted that nothing like it
ever appeared in England.
of course, impossible to adequately discuss the matter in the brief space of a
review. Prof. Kittredge obviously disagrees with the theory advanced by Miss
Murray in her witch Cult, published some eight years ago. One cannot help
feeling that her argument was entitled to more consideration than a few rather
contemptuous references in the notes.
who regard witchcraft as merely a delusion, an example of collective insanity,
are ignorant of the antecedents of the phenomenon. They do not realize that it
is a stage of human evolution and part of the price of the development of
civilization. Those who, like Mr. Summers, still believe in its reality, are
simply in this respect at a lower cultural level. The difference between Miss
Murray and Prof. Kittredge is more one of emphasis, and as it would seem, some
misunderstanding or lack of comprehension on the part of the latter, due to
preconception or bias, which has prevented him, not only from seeing the force
of the evidence marshalled by Miss Murray, but also from seeing the full
implications of some of the facts he has himself adduced.
get the matter clear; Prof. Kittredge has dealt with witchcraft as a generally
held belief. A state of affairs found not only in mediaeval England and
Europe, but everywhere else. Miss Murray expressly limited herself to the
subject of an alleged organization, practicing what she calls the Witch-Cult.
The two theses are complementary, and not necessarily in conflict. Taking
primitive peoples generally, among whom witchcraft may be called normal, we
find that its methods are known to everyone, but they are especially practiced
by certain individuals, who in many eases are definitely organized, and such
organizations are frequently equivalent to a sort of priesthood. It is Miss
Murray's hypothesis that such an organized primitive religion survived, more
and more driven into concealment and into bitter hostility to dominant and
militant Christianity, from pagan times down to the seventeenth century at
is nothing inherently incredible in this in the light of our present knowledge
of the history of religion, and Prof. Kittredge has not demolished the theory
by his method of limiting and separating the evidence. He leaves Scotland out
entirely, for example, although in view of the cultural relationship of the
two countries we are permitted to assume that what existed in Scotland in the
sixteenth and seventeenth centuries would illustrate the situation in England
from one to two centuries earlier. When he deals with the most pertinent
evidence of such an organization in England he weakens the force of the facts
by paraphrasing the records and interspersing comments of his own. While it
may be quite true that in Elizabethan England this organization had broken
down, it does not follow that it had not existed, or did not then exist
elsewhere. A religion implies some organization, and in the second chapter we
are presented with a whole series of laws and canons which couple witchcraft
with the ritual observances of paganism. When we consider in what manner
Western Europe was Christianized it would have been miraculous indeed if the
worship of the older gods had not survived.
Prof. Kittredge comes to King James and the New England witches he is wholly
admirable. He shows conclusively that so far from the witch trials in England
being due to the fanatic zeal of the Scottish king, as everyone has taken for
granted, the exact reverse is true. The trials were due to popular pressure
and James did much to cheek it, counseling his judges to be very sceptical of
the evidence offered in such cases.
the same way he goes far to rehabilitating the people of New England by
showing, first that they were necessarily limited by the beliefs and knowledge
of their own time, and that the outbreak was comparatively very mild, and that
in a remarkably short time it was suppressed.
rather interesting item appears in the second chapter. A monk named Thomas
Wryght was accused of practicing magic and of having "books of experiments."
He defended himself by saying that he had used his books "for speculation
merely and never for operation." This was in 1500, and is a fresh instance of
the use of these words in the same way they are now used by Masons. It is
probable that they are genuine tradition in the Craft to distinguish two
classes of members.
ROMAN CATHOLIC GRAND MASTER
published in June an interesting article about a Roman Catholic being Grand
Master of one of the Canadian obediences. In the April number of "The Master
Mason" a reply is given in the question department that "no church affiliation
is a disqualification to Masonic advancement in England," and instances of
Catholic Grand Masters were cited.
all these citations are of occurrences long ago and far away, given without
any explanation of the present status between Freemasonry and the Roman
Catholic Hierarchy. So that from your article and "The Master Mason's" reply,
it might be inferred that today a Romanist in full communion with his church
could be a supreme ruler of our Order. Just to dispel such notion I give the
following quotation from Lucien Wolf's Life of the First Marquess of Ripon.
The heading of Chapter xiii (Vol. I) is "From King Solomon's Throne to the
Pope's Footstool," and at page 292 reads:
. . .
Moreover, he [the Marquess] was convinced that, the Syllabus notwithstanding,
there was no necessary incompatibility between Roman Catholicism on the one
hand and religious toleration and political liberalism on the other. When, at
the last moment, the attitude of the Vatican in regard to Freemasonry was made
clear to him it was relatively much too small a matter to modify the grave
decision at which he had arrived.
is a capable and distinguished Grand Master being told (in 1874) on his
conversion to the Roman Catholic faith, that renunciation of Freemasonry was
in order before acceptance. Yet, one can find ambiguous replies and articles
in Masonic publications in 1929 such as have been alluded to herein.
Donald Lightbourn, New York
other cases analogous to that of the Marquess of Ripon could also be cited. We
had no idea that any of our readers could suppose that conditions were the
same now as they were a hundred years ago. Though the first Papal Bull
condemning the Craft was promulgated as early as 1738 it was long before it
was universally enforced. The subject cannot possibly be gone into here. Much
has been published in THE BUILDER in the past, and may need to be repeated in
* * *
REGIONAL GRAND LODGE OF PENNSYLVANIA
1924 the officers of the Grand Orient of France moved by the pleadings of a
representative of the Regional Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, entered into an
agreement with it. The arrangement met with some opposition and the Grand
College of Rites (the Supreme Council of the Grand Orient) refused to confirm
it insofar as the degrees conferred under its authority were concerned. The
agreement, therefore, has covered only the Blue Lodge organization of the
Regional Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania.
after his election as Grand Master (President du Conseil de l'Ordre) in 1927,
M. W. Bro. Arthur Groussier started to investigate the real relations between
the Grand Orient and the Pennsylvania body, as these relations had caused the
Grand Orient losses of fraternal relations and individual good will. He was
anxious to sever all connections with this body but did not want to be unfair
or unjust. The fact, however, that the Regional Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania
was not carrying out its part of the agreement made his task much easier and
the Executive Committee ( Conseil de l'Ordre ) at its last meeting, adopted
the following resolutions severing all connections with the Regional Grand
Lodge of Pennsylvania.
Executive Committee of the Grand Orient of France, at a plenary meeting, June
"Having read the Agreement entered into May 10, 1924, between the Grand Orient
of France and the Regional Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, and
"Having heard the report of its Officers
"Considering, on the one hand
the articles of this Agreement have been but partially applied,
the Grand Orient of France has not been kept informed of the proceedings of
the Regional Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania and has not even knowledge of the
rules now in force
"That, for the above reasons, the relations between the two contracting
parties have no serious basis and that the tie holding the Regional Grand
Lodge of Pennsylvania to the Grand Orient of France has become purely nominal
"Considering on the other hand
rules relating to territorial jurisdiction adopted by the Congress of the
International Masonic Association in December, 1927,
of the opinion
under such conditions it is much preferable that the two Obediences separate
therefore, terminates, on its part, irrevocably and at once, the above
brings about the immediate, absolute and definite independence of both parties
to the Agreement."
line with the above decision the Grand Orient of France lately refused
fraternal relations to two ether unrecognized Grand Bodies in this country and
also turned down an application received from a number of Masons in New York
City to form a new lodge there. The Grand Orient has decided to strictly
observe the laws on territorial jurisdiction adopted by the International
correspondent is a native of France and a member of a French Lodge under the
Grand Lodge of France, with which a considerable number of American
jurisdictions hold fraternal relations. The Regional Grand Lodge of
Pennsylvania was originally under the Grand Orient of Spain, and its formation
was due to one of the many unfortunate conflicts between American and European
ideas about territorial jurisdiction. It has taken the European brethren a
long time to realize the rigidity of American rules on the subject but the
report of the A. M. I. has been widely accepted, and will probably prevent any
such false steps being made in the future.
* * *
notice that you have once or twice recently mentioned the subject of dual or
plural membership. I am in a position to see the annual Proceedings of a
number of our Grand Lodges, and from them I gather that some of the Fraternal
Correspondents are very much opposed to the idea, and I rather suspect their
influence has had a good deal to do with the slow progress it has made.
argument that is often repeated is that dual membership makes it impossible to
obtain accurate statistics of total membership, and it is frequently said that
the Grand Lodges of the British Isles do not know what their membership really
is. This seems always to be regarded by those who advance it as an
unanswerable argument, that must at once crush anyone so foolish as to believe
in plural membership. If it is a feet that these Grand Lodges do not know
their membership figures (about which I cannot say anything) it can only be
because they are not especially interested in having the information; for it
is obvious that only a little ingenuity would be required to overcome the
difficulty. Naturally, it would involve a little more work, but every brother
who belongs to a second lodge would be paying Grand Lodge dues twice over, and
the extra income thus secured should be far more than the cost of the added
may be permitted to take up your space for the purpose I would like to suggest
two possible methods. When a brother affiliates with a second lodge that lodge
must be cognizant of the fact; for not having a dimit, it would be necessary
for him to show he was a member in good standing of the other lodge. Of course
the first lodge might be in ignorance of his second membership, but not if the
second one made inquiries regarding him. This could be easily made part of the
procedure in such cases. Then he would appear on the roll of each lodge as
belonging to two lodges.
if every lodge in its annual reports to the Grand Secretary classified its
membership, so many brethren belonging to that lodge only, so many belonging
to that and another one, it will be a very simple matter to get the true
totals. The membership reports would be summed up under the two heads - say
50,000 single memberships, 1000 dual memberships. As each brother belonging to
two lodges is reported twice the total of such is obviously 500, and in
consequence the grand total is 50,500.
second method would not even require so much calculation as this. If in every
lodge the roll is kept so as to show primary and secondary membership.
Secondary membership will be that of those brethren who join a lodge while
holding membership in another. Should they dimit from the first, their
membership in the second would become primary. In this ease the grand totals
for the jurisdiction would be the sum of the primary memberships reported.
see absolutely no difficulty in working out such plans. There might be
difficulty in starting them, not due to the plan itself, but to the mental
inertia of those charged with its working. Compared with the records kept in
any business of any size at all such differentiations would be simple and
elementary. Why should the intelligence of Lodge Secretaries be deemed
incapable of grasping a system of elementary simplicity when very often the
same men are conversant with more complicated records in their ordinary
for the advantages of dual membership, it seems to me they are so obvious and
so great that I cannot really understand why such trifles should be regarded
as a discouragement. I should say that had we to choose between exact
membership totals and dual membership, that the latter would be of such
advantage to the Craft that the sacrifice of the former would be a very small
price to pay for it. But we can easily have both if we only think so. J. G.
* * *
FREEMASONRY IN ITALY
following is a translation of part of a letter from Sig. Fr. S. Nitti, former
Premier of Italy, now living in exile in France. It was sent to us by Bro.
Charles Fama, of New York and as it will be seen, is of sufficiently great
importance to be published in full:
that has just arrived to me from Italy state that the deportation of the
opponents of Fascism have never been as numerous as they have been in recent
weeks. Anyone who has ever been connected at any time with the Masonic
Fraternity is arrested and deported to one of the prison islands.
ex-Grand Commander of the Italian Masonry, Ettore Ferarri, who is 86 years of
age, is under imprisonment in his own home guarded by the police and can only
leave his own home in the company of members of the police force.
Vice-Grand Commander, one of the most noted attorneys, Guiseppe Leti, escaped
to Paris. The Fascisti not being able to arrest him, without any reason
whatsoever, arrested his son, Franceseo Leti, who was sent into exile in one
of the prison islands for five years. This son, a physician, had never
occupied himself with politics and was not even a Mason. He was a noted
physician and did not occupy himself outside his medical profession. The
Fascisti not being able to attack the father took revenge upon his son.
present Grand Master of Italian Masonry, Domizio Torrigiani, after being
imprisoned for several years on one of the islands where he was subjected to
the greatest persecution and became almost completely blind, has been taken to
a prison hospital in Italy.
General Bencivenga, former Republican Deputy and President of the Italian
Press Association, has also been sent to one of these penal islands.
only prominent Mason out of prison in Rome was the Deputy Grand Master,
Guiseppe Meoni. A few weeks ago he was also arrested and without a trial sent
to one of the penal islands for five years.
the last wave of persecutions is to be noted the arrest of many great writers,
physicians and lawyers, amongst them Guastalla Lenzi, Pavone, Cosmo and many
other citizens of the greatest respectability. The Special Fascist Tribunal
has just condemned to four years and eight months imprisonment two very noted
attorneys, Fevrenni and Mazotti. The only accusation against these was that
they had given information of the actual Fascist situation to their friends in
slightest criticism to the Fascist regime is considered a crime. Any person
who dares to criticise the evil consequences of the stabilization of the
Italian Lira to Italian commerce is mercilessly treated and arrested. Never
has there been a greater amount of money deposited by the Italians of Italy in
foreign banks. This because everyone is convinced that Fascism is about to be
Senator Benedetto Croce, who is the foremost Italian philosopher, had the
courage to criticise in the Italian Senate the Fascist-Vatican Concordat. It
is said that his speech was a masterpiece, but not one word of it was
permitted to be published in any newspaper. On coming out of the Senate
chambers he was attacked and beaten mercilessly by a band of black shirt
Twenty professors and students of the University of Turin sent a letter to
Senator Croce expressing their admiration for his stand. The letter was opened
by the postal authorities and the undersigned were all arrested and sent to
very noted author, Signor Umberto Cosmo, and a journalist of the highest
esteem, a man of most conservative personality, because he dared in public to
say that he admired the spirit of Senator Croce against the Vatican treaty,
was sent to the penal island of Ustica.
help the poor and destitute family of those who are in exile is also a crime.
noted lawyers of Milan, Signor Sehuavi and Sacerdote, were arrested because
they helped financially the family of an old anti-Fascist deputy which is now
in the utmost poverty.
reserve gold of the Banea D'Italia is diminishing every day and the balance
equilibrium is becoming demolished. All tentatives to float new loans in
foreign countries are unfruitful. The Fascist regime feels itself shaky and
therefore becomes more intolerant and ferocious.
foreign correspondence is under strict scrutiny and control, and in a letter
sent from Italy which contains unfavorable comment on the Fascist situation,
is enough to cause the arrest of the sender.
are here several dozen of ax-Italian deputies, ex-ministers and
ax-ambassadors. Men who have preferred exile and misery rather than submission
to the tyranny of Fascism. They cannot even write to their friends in Italy
without compromising these and exposing them to persecution, but what is much
worse, if anyone from Italy is caught writing to these exiles he is not only
subject to persecution but also arrest.
situation has become so acute that the end of Fascism cannot be very far.
* * *
LIST OF ANDERSON'S CONSTITUTIONS SOUGIIT
undersigned would greatly appreciate learning through members of the National
Masonic Research Society of the addresses of owners of editions of Anderson's
Constitutions in North America. This applies to original copies only. The name
of the private owner or library, whether of 1723, 1738, 1746, 1756 and 1785
and condition. This information is desired in connection with a study of
Anderson and his work. Bro. Lionel Vibert, Secretary of Quatuor Coronati
Lodge, London, 2076, writes me he thinks there are not over forty or fifty
copies of the 1723 edition in existence.
Plumb, Columbus, Ohio.
suggest that every reader who has any knowledge of any old edition of the
Constitutions now in America, outside the major libraries, should write to
Bro. Plumb in care of THE BUILDER.