Chapter 6 – Secret Societies and Subversive Movements


WHATEVER were the origins of the Order we now know as Freemasonry, it is clear that during the century preceding its reorganization under Grand Lodge of London the secret system of binding men together for a common purpose, based on Eastern esoteric doctrines, had been anticipated by the Rosicrucians. Was this secret system employed, however, by any other body of men ? It is certainly easy to imagine how in this momentous seventeenth century, when men of all opinions were coalescing against opposing forces–Lutherans combining against the Papacy, Catholics rallying their forces against invading Protestantism, Republicans plotting in favour of Cromwell, Royalists in their turn plotting to restore the Stuarts, finally Royalists plotting against each other on behalf of rival dynasties–an organization of this kind, enabling one to work secretly for a cause and to set invisibly vast numbers of human beings in motion, might prove invaluable to any party.

Thus, according to certain masonic writers on the Continent, the system used by the Rosicrucians in their fight against ” Popery ” was also employed by the Jesuits for a directly opposite purpose. In the manuscripts of the Prince of Hesse published by Lecouteulx de Canteleu it is declared that in 1714 the Jesuits used the mysteries of the Rose-Croix. Mirabeau also relates that ” the Jesuits profited by the internal troubles of the reign of Charles I to possess themselves of the symbols, the allegories, and the carpets (tapis) of the Rose-Croix masons, who were only the ancient order of the Templars secretly perpetuated. It may be seen by means of what imperceptible innovations they succeeded in substituting their catechism to the instruction of the Templars.”(1)

Other Continental writers again assert that Cromwell, the arch-opponent of the Catholic Church, was ” a higher initiate of masonic mysteries,” and used the system for his own elevation to power (2) ; further, that he found himself outdistanced by the Levellers ; that this sect, whose name certainly suggest masonic inspiration, adopted for its symbols the square and compass,(3) and in its claim of real equality threatened the supremacy of the usurper. Finally, Elias Ashmole, the Rosicrucian Royalist, is said to have turned the masonic system against Cromwell, so that towards the end of the seventeenth century the Order rallied to the Stuart cause.(4)

But all this is pure speculation resting on no basis of known facts. The accusation that the Jesuits used the system of the Rose-Croix as a cover to political intrigues is referred to by the Rosicrucian Eliphas Lévi as the outcome of ignorance which ” refutes itself. ” It is significant to notice that it emanates mainly from Germany and from the Illuminati ; the Prince of Hesse was a member of the Stricte Observance and Mirabeau an Illuminatus at the time he wrote the passage quoted above. That in the seventeenth century certain Jesuits played the part of political intriguers I suppose their warmest friends will hardly deny, but that they employed any secret or masonic system seems to me perfectly incapable of proof. I shall return to this point later, however, in connexion with the Illuminati.

As to Cromwell, the only circumstance that lends any colour to the possibility of his connexion with Freemasonry is his known friendship for Manasseh ben Israel, the colleague of the Rabbi Templo who designed the coat-of-arms later adopted by Grand Lodge. If, therefore, the Jews of Amsterdam were a source of inspiration to the Freemasons of the seventeenth century, it is not impossible that Cromwell may have been the channel through which this influence first penetrated.

In the matter of the Stuarts we are, however, on firm ground with regard to Freemasonry. That the lodges at the end of the seventeenth century were Royalist is certain, and there seems good reason to believe that, when the revolution of 1688 divided the Royalist cause, the Jacobites who fled to France with James II took Freemasonry with them.(5) With the help of the French they established lodges in which, it is said, masonic rites and symbols were used to promote the cause of the Stuarts. Thus the land of promise signified Great Britain, Jerusalem stood for London, and the murder of Hiram represented the execution of Charles I.(6)

Meanwhile Freemasonry in England did not continue to adhere to the Stuart cause as it had done under the egis of Elias Ashmole, and by 1717 is said to have become Hanoverian.

From this important date the official history of the present system may be said to begin ; hitherto everything rests on stray documents, of which the authenticity is frequently doubtful, and which provide no continuous history of the Order. In 1717 for the first time Freemasonry was established on a settled basis and in the process underwent a fundamental change. So far it would seem to have retained an operative element, but in the transformation that now took place this was entirely eliminated, and the whole Order was transformed into a middle- and upper-class speculative body. This coup d’état, already suggested in 1703, took place early in 1717, when four London lodges of Freemasons met together at the Apple Tree Tavern in Charles Street, Covent Garden, ” and having put into the chair the oldest Master Mason (being the Master of the lodge), they constituted themselves a Grand Lodge, pro tempore, in due form.” On St. John the Baptist’s Day, June 24 of the same year, the annual assembly and banquet were held at the Goose and Gridiron in St. Paul’s Churchyard, when Mr. Antony Sayer was elected Grand Master and invested with all the badges of office.(7)

It is evident from the above account that already in 1717 the speculative elements must have predominated in the lodges, otherwise we might expect to find the operative masons taking some part in these proceedings and expressing their opinion as to whether their association should pass under the control of men entirely unconnected with the Craft. But no, the leaders of the new movement all appear to have belonged to the middle class, nor from this moment do either masons or architects seem to have played any prominent part in Freemasonry.

But the point that official history does not attempt to elucidate is the reason for this decision. Why should Freemasons of London–whether they were at this date speculative or only a semi-speculative association–have suddenly recognized the necessity of establishing a Grand Lodge and drawing up a ritual and ” Constitution ” ? It is evident, then, that some circumstances must have arisen which led them to take this important step. I would suggest that the following may be the solution to the problem.

Freemasonry, as we have seen, was a system that could be employed in any cause and had now come to be used by intriguers of every kind–and not only by intriguers, but by merely convivial bodies, ” jolly Brotherhoods of the Bottle ” who modelled themselves on masonic associations.(8) But the honest citizens of London who met and feasted at the Goose and Gridiron were clearly not intriguers, they were neither Royalist nor Republican plotters, neither Catholic nor Luther fanatics, neither alchemists nor magicians, nor can it be supposed that they were simply revellers. If they were political, they were certainly not supporters of the Stuarts ; on the contrary, they were generally reported to have been Hanoverian in their sympathies, indeed Dr. Bussell goes so far as to say that Grand Lodge was instituted to support the Hanoverian dynasty.(9) It would be perhaps nearer the truth to conclude that if they were Hanoverian it was because they were constitutional, and the Hanoverian dynasty having now been established they wished to avoid further changes. In a word, then, they were simply men of peace, anxious to put an end to dissensions, who, seeing that system of Masonry utilized for the purpose of promoting discord, determined to wrest it from the hands of political intriguers and restore it to its original character of brotherhood, though not of brotherhood between working masons only, but between men drawn from all classes and professions. By founding a Grand Lodge in London and drawing up a ritual and ” Constitutions,” they hoped to prevent the perversion of their signs and symbols and to establish the Order on a settled basis.

According to Nicolai this pacific purpose had already animated English Freemasons under the Grand Mastership of Sir Christopher Wren : ” Its principal object from this period was to moderate the religious hatreds so terrible in England during the reign of James II and to try and establish some kind of concord or fraternity, by weakening as far as possible the antagonisms arising from the differences of religions, ranks, and interests.” An eighteenth-century manuscript of the Prince of Hesse quoted by Lacouteulx de Canteleu expresses the view that in 1717 ” the mysteries of Freemasonry were reformed and purified in England of all political tendencies.”

In the matter of religion, Craft Masonry adapted an equally non-sectarian attitude. The first ” Constitutions ” of the Order, drawn up by Dr. Anderson in 1723, contain the following paragraph :


A Mason is obliged, by his tenure, to obey the moral Law ; and if he rightly understands the Art, he will never be a stupid Atheist, nor an irreligious Libertine. But though in ancient Times Masons were charged in every Country to be of the Religion of that Country or Nation, whatever it was, yet, ’tis now thought more expedient only to oblige them to that Religion in which all men agree, leaving their particular Opinions to themselves ; that is to be good Men and true, or Men of Honour and Honesty, by whatever Denominations or Persuasions they may be distinguish’d ; whereby Masonry becomes the Centre of Union and the Means of Conciliating true Friendship among Persons that must have remained at a perpetual Distance.
The phrase ” that Religion in which all men agree ” has been censured by Catholic writers as advocating a universal religion in the place of Christianity. But this by no means follows. The idea is surely that Masons should be men adhering to that law of right and wrong common to all religious faiths. Craft Masonry may thus be described as Deist in character, but not in the accepted sense of the word which implies the rejection of Christian doctrines. If Freemasonry had been Deist in this sense might we not expect to find some connexion between the founders of Grand Lodge and the school of Deists–Toland, Bolingbroke, Woolston, Hume, and others–which flourished precisely at this period ? Might not some analogy be detected between the organization of the Order and the Sodalities described in Toland’s Pantheisticon, published in 1720 ? But of this I can find no trace whatever. The principal founders of Grand Lodge were, as we have seen, clergymen, both engaged in preaching Christian doctrines at their respective churches.(10) It is surely therefore reasonable to conclude that Freemasonry at the time of its reorganization in 1717 was Deistic only in so far that it invited men to meet together on the common ground of a belief in God. Moreover, some of the early English rituals contain distinctly Christian elements. Thus both in Jachin and Boaz (1762) and Hiram or the Grand Master Key to the Door of both Antient and Modern Freemasonry by a Member of the Royal Arch (1766) we find prayers in the lodges concluding with the name of Christ. These passages were replaced much later by purely Deistic formulas under the Grand Mastership of the free-thinking Duke of Sussex in 1813.

But in spite of its innocuous character, Freemasonry, merely by reason of its secrecy, soon began to excite alarm in the public mind. As early as 1724 a work entitled The Grand Mystery of the Freemasons Discovered had provoked an angry remonstrance from the Craft (11) ; and when the French edict against the Order was passed, a letter signed ” Jachin ” appeared in The Gentleman’s Magazine declaring the ” Freemasons who have lately been suppressed not only in France but in Holland to be ” a dangerous Race of Men ” :

No Government ought to suffer such clandestine Assemblies where plots against the State may be carried on, under the Pretence of Brotherly Love and good Fellowship.
The writer evidently unaware of possible Templar traditions, goes on to observe that the sentinel placed at the door of the lodge with a drawn sword in his hand ” is not the only mark of their being a military Order ” ; and suggests that the title of Grand Master is taken in imitation of the Knights of Malta. ” Jachin,” moreover, scents a Popish plot :

They not only admit Turks, Jews, Infidels, but even Jacobites, non-jurors and Papists themselves . . . how can we be sure that those Persons who are known to be well affected, are let into all their Mysteries ? They make no scruple to acknowledge that there is a Distinction between Prentices and Master Masons and who knows whether they may not have an higher Order of Cabalists, who keep the Grand Secret of all entirely to themselves ?(12)
Later on in France, the Abbé Pérau published his satires on Freemasonry, Le Secret des Francs-Maçons (1742), L’Ordre des Francs-Maçons trahi et le Secret des Mopses révélé (1746), and Les Francs-Maçons écrasés (1746),(13) and in about 1761 another English writer said to be a Mason brought down a torrent of invective on his head by the publication of the ritual of the Craft Degrees under the name of Jachin and Boaz.(14)

It must be admitted that from all this controversy no party emerges in a very charitable light, Catholics and Protestants alike indulging in sarcasms and reckless accusations against Freemasonry, the Freemasons retorting with far from brotherly forbearance.(15) But, again, one must remember that all these men were of their age–an age which seen through the eyes of Hogarth would certainly not appear to have been distinguished for delicacy. It should be noted, however, when one reads in masonic works of the ” persecutions to which Freemasonry has been subjected, that aggression was not confined only to the one side in the conflict ; moreover, that the Freemasons at this period were divided amongst themselves and expressed with regard to opposing groups much the same suspicions that non-Masons expressed with regard to the Order as a whole. For the years following after the suppression of Masonry in France were marked by the most important development in the history of the modern Order–the inauguration of the Additional Degrees.


The origin and inspiration of the additional degrees has provoked hardly less controversy in masonic circles than the origin of Masonry itself. It should be explained that Craft Masonry, or Blue Masonry–that is to say, the first three degrees of Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft, and Master Mason of which I have attempted to trace the history–were the only degrees recognized by Grand Lodge at the time of its foundation in 1717 and still form the basis of all forms of modern Masonry. On this foundation were erected, somewhere between 1740 and 1743, the degree of the Royal Arch and the first of the series of upper degrees now known as the Scottish Rite or as the Ancient and Accepted Rite. The acceptance or rejection of this superstructure has always formed a subject of violent controversy between Masons, one body affirming that Craft Masonry is the only true and genuine Masonry, the other declaring that the real object of Masonry is only to be found in the higher degrees. It was this controversy, centring round the Royal Arch degree, that about the middle of the eighteenth century split Masonry into opposing camps of Ancients and Moderns, the Ancients declaring that the R.A. was ” the Root, Heart, and Marrow of Freemasonry,”(16) the Moderns rejecting it. Although worked by the Ancients from 1756 onwards, this degree was definitely repudiated by Grand Lodge in 1792,(17) and only in 1813 was officially received into English Freemasonry.

The R.A. degree, which is said nevertheless to be contained in embryo in the 1723 Book of Constitutions,(18) is purely Judaic–a glorification of Israel and commemorating the building of the second Temple. That it was derived from the Jewish Cabala seems probable, and Yarker, commenting on the phrase in the Gentleman’s Magazine quoted above–” Who knows whether they (the Freemasons) have not a higher order of Cabalists, who keep the Grand Secret of all entirely to themselves ” observes : ” It looks very like an intimation of the Royal Arch degree,”(19) and elsewhere he states that ” the Royal Arch degree, when it had the Three Veils, must have been the work, even if by instruction, of a Cabalistic Jew about 1740, and from this time we may expect to find a secret tradition grafted upon Anderson’s system.”(20)

Precisely in this same year of 1740 Mr. Waite says that ” an itinerant pedlar of the Royal Arch degree is said to have propagated it in Ireland, claiming that it was practised at York and London,”(21) and in 1744 a certain Dr. Dassigny wrote that the minds of the Dublin brethren had been lately disturbed about Royal Arch Masonry owing to the activities in Dublin of ” a number of traders or hucksters in pretended Masonry,” whom the writer connects with ” Italians ” or the ” Italic Order.”

A Freemason quoting this passage in a recent discussion on the upper degrees expresses the opinion that these hucksters were ” Jacobite emissaries disguised under the form of a pretended Masonry,” and that ” by Italians and Italian Order he intends a reference to the Court of King James III, i.e. the Old Pretender at Rome, and to the Ecossais (Italic) Order of Masonry.”(22) It is much more likely that he had referred to another source of masonic instruction in Italy which I shall indicate in a later chapter.

But precisely at the moment when it is suggested that the Jacobites were intriguing to introduce the Royal Arch degree into Masonry they are also said to have been engaged in elaborating the ” Scottish Rite.” Let us examine this contention.


The foundation of Grand Lodge in London had been followed by the inauguration of Masonic Lodges on the Continent–in 1721 at Mons, in 1725 in Paris, in 1728 at Madrid, in 1731 at The Hague, in 1733 at Hamburg, etc. Several of these received their warrant from the Grand Lodge of England. But this was not the case with the Grand Lodge of Paris, which did not receive a warrant till 1743.

The men who founded this lodge, far from being non-political, were Jacobite leaders engaged in active schemes for the restoration of the Stuart dynasty. The leader of the group, Charles Radcliffe, had been imprisoned with his brother, the ill-fated Lord Derwentwater who was executed on Tower Hill in 1716. Charles had succeeded in escaping from Newgate and made his way to France, where he assumed the title of Lord Derwentwater, although the Earldom had ceased to exist under the bill of attainder against his brother.(23) It was this Lord Derwentwater–afterwards executed for taking part in the 1745 rebellion–who with several other Jacobites is said to have founded the Grand Lodge of Paris in 1725, and himself to have become Grand Master.

The Jacobite character of the Paris lodge is not a matter of dispute. Mr. Gould relates that ” the colleagues of Lord Derwentwater are stated to have been a Chevalier Maskeline, a Squire Heguerty, and others, all partisans of the Stuarts.”(24) But he goes on to contest the theory that they used Freemasonry in the Stuart cause, which he regards as amounting to a charge of bad faith. This is surely unreasonable. The founders of Grand Lodge in Paris did not derive from Grand Lodge in London, from which they held no warrant,(25) but, as we have seen, took their Freemasonry with them to France before Grand Lodge of London was instituted ; they were therefore in no way bound by its regulations. And until the Constitutions of Anderson were published in 1723 no rule had been laid down that the Lodges should be non-political. In the old days Freemasonry had always been Royalist, as we see from the ancient charges that members should be ” true liegemen of the King ” ; and if the adherents of James Edward saw in him their rightful sovereign, they may have conceived that they were using Freemasonry for a lawful purpose in adapting it to his cause. So although we may applaud the decision of the London Freemasons to purge Freemasonry of political tendencies and transform it into a harmonious system of brotherhood, we cannot accuse the Jacobites in France of bad faith in not conforming to a decision in which they had taken no part and in establishing lodges on their own lines.

Unfortunately, however, as too frequently happens when men form secret confederacies for a wholly honourable purpose, their ranks were penetrated by confederates of another kind. It has been said in an earlier chapter that, according to the documents produced by the Ordre du Temple in the early part of the nineteenth century, the Templars had never ceased to exist in spite of their official suppression in 1312, and that a line of Grand Masters had succeeded each other in unbroken succession from Jacques du Molay to the Duc de Cossé-Brissac, who was killed in 1792. The Grand Master appointed in 1705 is stated to have been Philippe, Duc d’Orléans, later the Regent. Mr. Waite has expressed the opinion that all this was an invention of the late eighteenth century, and that the Charter of Larmenius was fabricated at this date though not published until 1811 by the revived Ordre du Temple under the Grand Master, Fabré Palaprat. But evidence points to a contrary conclusion. M. Matter, who, as we have seen, disbelieves the story of the Ordre du Temple and the authenticity of the Charter of Larmenius in so far as it professes to be a genuine fourteenth-century document, nevertheless asserts that the savants who have examined it declare it to date from the early part of the eighteenth century, at which period Matter believes the Gospel of St. John used by the Order to have been arranged so as ” to accompany the ceremonies of some masonic or secret society.” Now, it was about 1740 that a revival of Templarism took place in France and Germany ; we cannot therefore doubt that if Matter is right in this hypothesis, the secret society in question was that of the Templars, whether they existed as lineal descendants of the twelfth-century Order or merely as a revival of that Order. The existence of the German Templars at this date under the name of the Stricte Observance (which we shall deal with in a further chapter) is indeed a fact disputed by no one ; but that there was also an Ordre du Temple in France at the very beginning of the eighteenth century must be regarded as highly probable. Dr. Mackey, John Yarker, and Lecouteulx de Canteleu (who, owing to his possession of Templar documents, had exclusive sources of information) all declare this to have been the case and accept the Charter of Larmenius as authentic. ” It is quite certain,” says Yarker ” that there was at this period in France an Ordre du Temle, with a charter from John Mark Larmenius, who claimed appointment from Jacques du Molay. Philippe of Orléans accepted the Grand Mastership in 1705 and signed the Statutes.”(26)

Without, however, necessarily accepting the Charter of Larmenius as authentic let us examine the probability of this assertion with regard to the Duc d’Orléans.

Amongst the Jacobites supporting Lord Derwentwater at the Grand Lodge of Paris was a certain Andrew Michael Ramsay, known as Chevalier Ramsay, who was born at Ayr near the famous Lodge of Kilwinning, where the Templars are said to have formed their alliance with the masons in 1314. In 1710 Ramsay was converted to the Roman Catholic faith by Fénelon and in 1724 became tutor to the sons of the Pretender at Rome. Mr. Gould has related that during his stay in France Ramsay had formed a friendship with the Regent, Philippe, Duc d’Orléans, who was Grand Master of the Ordre de Saint-Lazare, instituted during the Crusades as a body of Hospitallers devoting themselves to the care of the lepers and which 1608 had been joined to the Ordre du Mont-Carmel. It seems probable from all accounts that Ramsay was a Chevalier of the Order, but he cannot have been admitted into it by the Duc d’Orléans, for the Grand Master of the Ordre de Saint-Lazare was not the Duc d’Orléans but the Marquis de Dangeau, who on his death in 1720, was succeeded by the son of the Regent, the Duc de Chartres.(27) If, then, Ramsay was admitted to any Order by the Regent, it was surely the Ordre du Temple, of which the Regent is said to have been the Grand Master at this date.

Now, the infamous character of the Duc d’Orléans is a matter of common knowledge ; moreover, during the Regency–that period of impiety and moral dissolution hitherto unparalleled in the history of France–the chief of council was the Duc de Bourbon, who later placed his mistress the Marquise de Prie and the financier Paris Duverney at the head of affairs, thus creating a scandal of such magnitude that he was exiled in 1726 through the influence of Cardinal Fleury. This Duc de Bourbon in 1737 is said to have become Grand Master of the Temple. ” It was thus,” observes de Canteleu, ” that these two Grand Masters of the Temple degraded the royal authority and ceaselessly increased hatred against the government.”

It would therefore seem strange that a man so upright as Ramsay appears to have been, who had moreover but recently been converted to the Catholic Church, should have formed a friendship with the dissolute Regent of France, unless there had been some bond between them. But here we have a possible explanation–Templarism. Doubtless during Ramsay’s youth at Kilwinning many Templar traditions had come to his knowledge, and if in France he found himself befriended by the Grand Master himself, what wonder that he should have entered into an alliance which resulted in his admission to an Order he had been accustomed to revere and which, moreover, was represented to him as the fons et origo of the masonic brotherhood to which he also belonged ? It is thus that we find Ramsay in the very year that the Duc de Bourbon is said to have been made Grand Master of the Temple artlessly writing to Cardinal Fleury asking him to extend his protection to the society of Freemasons in Paris and enclosing a copy of the speech which he was to deliver on the following day, March 21, 1737. It is in this famous oration that for the first time we find Freemasonry traced to the Crusades :

At the time of the Crusades in Palestine many princes, lords, and citizens associated themselves, and vowed to restore the Temple of the Christians in the Holy Land, and to employ themselves in bringing back their architecture to its first institution. They agreed upon several ancient signs and symbolic words drawn from the well of religion in order to recognize themselves amongst the heathens and Saracens. These signs and words were only communicated to those who promised solemnly, and even sometimes at the foot of the altar, never to reveal them. This sacred promise was therefore not an execrable oath, as it has bean called, but a respectable bond to unite Christians of all nationalities into one confraternity. Some time afterwards our Order formed an intimate union with the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem. From that time our Lodges took the name of Lodges of St John.(28)
This speech of Ramsay’s has raised a storm of controversy amongst Freemasons because it contains a very decided hint of a connexion between Templarism and Freemasonry. Mr. Tuckett, in the paper referred to above, points out that only the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem are here mentioned,(29) but Ramsay distinctly speaks of ” our Order ” forming a union with the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, and we know that the Templars did eventually form such a union. The fact that Ramsay does not mention the Templars by name admits of a very plausible explanation. It must be remembered that, as Mr. Gould has shown, a copy of the oration was enclosed by Ramsay in his letter to Cardinal Fleury appealing for royal protection to be extended to Freemasonry ; it is therefore hardly likely that he would have proclaimed a connexion between the Order he was anxious to present in the most favourable light and one which had formerly been suppressed by King and Pope. Moreover, if the Charter of Larmenius to be believed, the newly elected Grand Master of the Temple was the Duc de Bourbon, who had already incurred the Cardinal’s displeasure. Obviously, therefore, Templar influence was best kept in the background. This is not to imply bad faith on the part of Ramsay, who doubtless held the Order of Templars to be wholly praiseworthy ; but he could not expect the King or Cardinal to share his view, and therefore held more prudent to refer to the progenitors of Freemason under the vague description of a crusading body. Ramsay’s well-meant effort met, however, with no success. Whether on account of this unlucky reference by which the Cardinal may have detected Templar influence or for some other reason, the appeal for royal protection was not only refused, but the new Order, which hitherto Catholics had been allowed to enter, was now prohibited by Royal edict. In the following year, 1738, the Pope, Clement XII, issued a bull, In Eminenti, banning Freemasonry and excommunicating Catholics who took part in it.

But this prohibition appears to have been without effect, for Freemasonry not only prospered but soon began to manufacture new degrees. And in the masonic literature of the following thirty years the Templar tradition becomes still more clearly apparent. Thus the Chevalier de Bérage in a well-known pamphlet, of which the first edition is said to have appeared in 1747,(30) gives the following account of the origins of Freemasonry :

This Order was instituted by Godefroi de Bouillon in Palestine in 1330,(31) after the decadence of the Christian armies, and was only communicated to the French Masons some time after and to a very small number, as a reward for the obliging services they rendered to several of our English and Scottish Knights, from whom true Masonry is taken. Their Metropolitan Lodge is situated on the Mountain of Heredom where the first Lodge was held in Europe and which exists in all its splendour. The General Council is still held there and it is the seal of the Sovereign Grand Master in office. This mountain is situated between the West and North of Scotland at sixty miles from Edinburgh.
Apart from the historical confusion of the first sentence, this passage is of interest as evidence that the theory of a connexion between certain crusading Knights and the Lodge of Heredom of Kilwinning was current as early as 1747. The Baron Tschoudy in his Etoile Flamboyante, which appeared in 1766, says that the crusading origin of Freemasonry is the one officially taught in the lodges, where candidates for initiation are told that several Knights who had set forth to rescue the holy places of Palestine from the Saracens ” formed an association under the name of Free Masons, thus indicating that their principal desire was the reconstruction of the Temple of Solomon,” that, further, they adopted certain signs, grips, and passwords as a defence against the Saracens, and finally that ” our Society . . . fraternized on the footing of an Order with the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, from which it is apparent that the Freemasons borrowed the custom of regarding St. John as the patron of the whole Order in general.”(32) After the crusades ” the Masons kept their rites and methods and in this way perpetuated the royal art by establishing lodges, first in England, then in Scotland,” etc.(33)

In this account, therefore, Freemasonry is represented as having been instituted for the defence of Christian doctrines. De Bérage expresses the same view and explains that the object of these Crusaders in thus binding themselves together was to protect their lives against the Saracens by enveloping their sacred doctrines in a veil of mystery. For this purpose they made use of Jewish symbolism, which they invested with a Christian meaning. Thus the Temple of Solomon was used to denote the Church of Christ, the bough of acacia signified the Cross, the square and the compass the union between the Old and New Testaments, etc. So ” the mysteries of Masonry were in their principle, and are still, nothing else than those of the Christian religion.”(34)

Baron Tschoudy, however, declares that all this stops short of the truth, that Freemasonry originated long before the Crusades in Palestine, and that the real ” ancestors, fathers, authors of the Masons, those illustrious men of whom I will not say the date nor betray the secret,” were a ” disciplined body ” whom Tschoudy describes by the name of ” the Knight of the Aurora and Palestine.” After ” the almost total destruction of the Jewish people ” these ” Knights ” had always hoped to regain possession of the domains of their fathers and to rebuild the Temple, and they carefully preserved their ” regulations and particular liturgy,” together with a ” sublime treatise ” which was the object of their continual study and of their philosophical speculations. Tschoudy further relates that they were students of the ” occult sciences,” of which alchemy formed a part, and that they had ” abjured the principles of the Jewish religion in order to follow the lights of the Christian faith.” At the time of the Crusades the Knights of Palestine came out from the desert of the Thebad, where they had remained hidden, and joined to themselves some of the crusaders who had remained in Jerusalem. Declaring that they were the descendants of the masons who had worked on the Temple of Solomon, they professed to concern themselves with ” speculative architecture,” which served to disguise a more glorious point of view. From this time they took the name of Free Masons, presented themselves under this title to the crusading armies and assembled under their banners.(35)

It would of course be absurd to regard any of the foregoing accounts as historical facts ; the important point is that they tend to prove the fallacy of supposing that the Johannite-Templar theory originated with the revived Ordre du Temple, since one corresponding to it so closely was current in the middle of the preceding century. It is true that in these earlier accounts the actual words ” Johannite ” and ” Templar ” do not occur, but the resemblance between the sect of Jews professing the Christian faith but possessing a ” particular liturgy ” and a ” sublime treatise “–apparently some early form of the Cabala–dealing with occult science, and the Mandans or Johannites with their Cabalistic ” Book of Adam,” their Book of John, and their ritual, is at once apparent. Further, the allusions to the connexion between the Knights who had been indoctrinated in the Holy Land and the Scottish lodges coincides exactly with the Templar tradition, published not only by the Ordre du Temple but handed down in the Royal Order of Scotland.

From all this the following facts stand out : (1) that whilst British Craft Masonry traced its origin to the operative guilds of masons, the Freemasons of France from 1737 onwards placed the origin of the Order in crusading chivalry ; (2) that it was amongst these Freemasons that the upper degrees known as the Scottish Rite arose ; and (3) that, as we shall now see, these degrees clearly suggest Templar inspiration. The earliest form of the upper degrees appears to have been the one given by de Bérage, as follows :

  1. Parfait Maçon Élu.
  2. Élu de Perignan.
  3. Élu des Quinze.
  4. Petit Architecte.
  5. Grand Architecte.
  6. Chevalier de l’Épée et de Rose-Croix.
  7. Noachite ou Chevalier Prussien.
    The first of these to make its appearance is believed to have been the one here assigned to the sixth place. This degree known in modern Masonry as ” Prince of the Rose-Croix of Heredom or Knight of the Pelican and Eagle ” became the eighteenth and the most important degree in what was later called the Scottish Rite, or at the present time in England the Ancient and Accepted Rite.

Why was this Rite called Scottish ? ” It cannot be too strongly insisted on,” says Mr. Gould, ” that all Scottish Masonry has nothing whatever to do with the Grand Lodge of Scotland, nor, with one possible exception–that of the Royal Order of Scotland–did it ever originate in that country.”(36) But in the case of the Rose-Croix degree there is surely so justification for the term in legend, if not in proven fact, for, as we have already seen, according to the tradition of the Royal Order of Scotland this degree had been contained in it since the fourteenth century, when the degrees of H.R. (Heredom) and R.S.Y.C.S. (Rosy Cross) are said to have been instituted by Robert Bruce in collaboration with the Templars after the battle of Bannockburn. Dr. Mackey is one of the few Masons who admit this probable affiliation, and in referring to the tradition of the Royal Order of Scotland observes : ” From that Order it seems to us by no means improbable that the present degree of Rose-Croix de Heredom may have taken its origin.”(37)

But the Rose-Croix degree, like the Templar tradition from which it appears to have descended, is capable of a dual interpretation, or rather of a multiple interpretation, for no degree in Masonry has been subject to so many variation. That on the Continent it had descended through the Rosicrucians in an alchemical form seems more than probable. It would certainly be difficult to believe that a degree of R.S.Y.C.S. was imported from the East and incorporated in the Royal Order of Scotland in 1314 ; that by a mere coincidence a man named Christian Rosenkreutz was–according to the Rosicrucian legend–born in the same century and transmitted a secret doctrine he had discovered in the East to the seventeenth-century Brethren of the Rosy Cross ; and finally, that a degree of the Rose-Croix was founded circ. 1741 without any connexion existing between these succeeding movements. Even if we deny direct affiliation, we must surely admit a common source of inspiration producing, if not a continuation, at any rate a periodic revival of the same ideas. Dr. Oliver indeed admits affiliation between the seventeenth-century fraternity and the eighteenth-century degree, and after pointing out that the first indication of the Rose-Croix degree appears in the Fama Fraternitatis in 1613, goes on to say :

It was known much sooner, although not probably as a degree in Masonry, for it existed as a cabalistic science from the earliest times in Egypt, Greece, and Rome, as well as amongst the Jews and Moors in times more recent, and in our own country the names of Roger Bacon, Fludd, Ashmole, and many others are found in its list of adepts.(38)
Dr. Mackey, quoting this passage, observes that ” Oliver confounds the masonic Rose-Croix with the alchemical Rosicrucians,” and proceeds to give an account of the Rose-Croix degree as worked in England and America, which he truly describes as ” in the strictest sense a Christian degree.”(39) But the point Dr. Mackey overlooks is that this is only one version of the degree, which, as we shall see later, has been and still is worked in a very different manner on the Continent.

It is, however, certain that the version of the Rose-Croix degree first adopted by the Freemasons of France in about 1741 was not only so Christian but so Catholic in character as to have given rise to the belief that it was devised by the Jesuits in order to counteract the attacks of which Catholicism was the object.(40) In a paper on the Additional Degrees Mr. J.S. Tackett writes :

There is undeniable evidence that in their earlier forms the Ecossais or Scots Degrees were Roman Catholic ; I have a MS. Ritual in French of what I believe to be the original Chev. de l’Aigle or S.P.D.R.C. (Souverain Prince de Rose-Croix), and in it the New Law is declared to be ” la foy Catholique,” and the Baron Tschoudy in his L’Etoile Flamboyante of 1766 describes the same Degree as ” le Catholicisme mis en grade ” (Vol. in. p. 114). I suggest that Ecossais or Scots Masonry was intended to be a Roman Catholic as well as a Stuart form of Freemasonry, into which none but those devoted to both Restorations were to be admitted.(41)
But is it necessary to read this political intention into the degree ? If the tradition of the Royal Order of Scotland is to be believed, the idea of the Rose-Croix degree was far older than the Stuart cause, and dated back to Bannockburn, when the degree of Heredom with which it was coupled was instituted in order ” to correct the errors and reform the abuses which had crept in among the three degrees of St. John’s Masonry,” and to provide a ” Christianized form of the Third Degree,” ” purified of the dross of paganism and even of Judaism.”(42) Whether the antiquity attributed to these degrees can be proved or not, it certainly appears probable that the legend of the Royal Order of Scotland had some foundation in fact and therefore that the ideas embodied in the eighteenth-century Rose-Croix degree may have been drawn from the store of that Order and brought by the Jacobites to France. At the same time there is no evidence in support of the statement made by certain Continental writers that Ramsay actually instituted this or any of the upper degrees. On the contrary, in his Oration he expressly states that Freemasonry is composed of the Craft degrees only :

We have amongst us three kinds of brothers : Novices or Apprentices, Fellows or Professed Brothers, Masters or Perfected Brethren. To the first are explained the moral virtues ; to the second the heroic virtues ; to the last the Christian virtues. . . .
It might be said then that the Rose-Croix degree was here foreshadowed in the Masters’ degree, in that the latter definitely inculcated Christianity. This would be perfectly in accord with Ramsay’s point of view as set forth in his account of conversion by Fénelon. When he first met the Archbishop Cambrai in 1710, Ramsay relates that he had lost faith in Christian sects and had resolved to ” take refuge in a wise Deism limited to respect for the Divinity and for the immutable ideas of pure virtue,” but that his conversation with Fénelon led him to accept the Catholic faith. And he goes on to show that ” Monsieur de Cambrai turned Atheists into Deists, Deists into Christians, and Christians into Catholics by sequence of ideas full of enlightenment and feeling.”(43)

Might not this be the process which Ramsay aimed at introducing into Freemasonry–the process which in fact does form part of the masonic system in England to-day, where the Atheist must become, at least by profession, a Deist before he can be admitted to the Craft Degrees, whilst the Rose-Croix degree is reserved solely for those who profess the Christian faith ? Such was undoubtedly the idea of the men who introduced the Rose-Croix degree into France ; and Ragon, who gives an account of this ” Ancien Rose-Croix Francais “–which is almost identical with the degree now worked in England, but long since abandoned in France–objects to it on the very score of its Christian character.(44)

In this respect the Rose-Croix amongst all the upper degrees introduced to France in the middle of the eighteenth century stands alone, and it alone can with any probability be attributed to Scottish Jacobite inspiration. It was not, in fact, until three or four years after Lord Derwentwater or his mysterious successor Lord Harnouester (45) had resigned the Grand Mastership in favour of the Duc d’Antin in 1738 that the additional degrees were first heard of, and it was not until eight years after the Stuart cause had received its deathblow at Culloden, that is to say, in 1754, that the Rite of Perfection in which the so-called Scots Degrees were incorporated was drawn up in the following form :


  1. Entered Apprentice.
  2. Fellow Craft.
  3. Master Mason.
  4. Secret Master.
  5. Perfect Master.
  6. Intimate Secretary.
  7. Intendant of the Buildings.
  8. Provost and Judge.
  9. Elect of Nine.
  10. Elect of Fifteen.
  11. Chief of the Twelve Tribes.
  12. Grand Master Architect.
  13. Knight of the Ninth Arch.
  14. Ancient Grand Elect.
  15. Knight of the Sword.
  16. Prince of Jerusalem.
  17. Knight of the East and West.
  18. Rose-Croix Knight.
  19. Grand Pontiff.
  20. Grand Patriarch.
  21. Grand Master of the Key of Masonry.
  22. Prince of Libanus or Knight of the Royal Axe.
  23. Sovereign Prince Adept.
  24. Commander of the Black and White Eagle.
  25. Commander of the Royal Secret.(46)
    We have only to glance at the nomenclature of the last twenty-two of these degrees to see that on the basis of operative Masonry there has been built up a system composed of two elements : crusading chivalry and Judaic tradition. What else is this but Templarism ? Even Mr. Gould, usually so reticent on Templar influence, admits it at this period :

In France . . . some of the Scots lodges would appear to have very early manufactured new degrees, connecting these very distinguished Scots Masons with the Knights Templar, and thus given rise to the subsequent flood of Templarism. The earliest of all are supposed to have been the Masons of Lyons, who invented the Kadosch degree, representing the vengeance of the Templars, in 1741. From that time new rites multiplied in France and German but all those of French origin contain Knightly, and almost all Templar grades. In every case the connecting link was composed of one or more Scots degrees.(47)
The name Kadosch here mentioned is a Hebrew word signifying “holy ” or ” consecrated,” which in the Cabala is found in conjunction with the Tetragrammaton.(48) The degree is said to have developed from that of Grand Elect,(49) one of the three ” degrees of vengeance ” celebrating with sanguinary realism the avenging of the murder of Hiram. But in its final form of Knight Kadosch–later to become the thirtieth degree of the ” Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite “–the Hiramic legend was changed into the history of the Templars with Jacques du Molay as the victim.(50) So the reprobation of attack on authority personified by the master-builder becomes approbation of attack on authority in the person of the King of France.

The introduction of the upper degrees with their political and, later on, anti-Christian tendencies thus marked a complete departure from the fundamental principle of Freemasonry that ” nothing concerning the religion or government shall ever be spoken of in the lodge.” For this reason they have been assailed not only by anti-masonic writers but by Freemasons themselves.”(51) To represent Barruel and Robison as the enemies of Freemasonry is therefore absolutely false ; neither of these men denounced Craft Masonry as practised in England, but only the superstructure erected on the Continent. Barruel indeed incurs the reproaches of Mounier for his championship of English Freemasons :

He vaunts their respect for religious opinion and for authority. When he speaks of Freemasons in general they are impious, rebellious successors of the Templars and Albigenses, but all those of England are innocent. More than this, all the Entered Apprentices, Fellow Crafts, and Master Masons in all parts of the world are innocent ; there are only guilty ones in the higher degrees, which are not essential to the institution, and are sought by a small number of people.(52)
In this opinion of Barruel’s a great number of Masonic writers concur–Clavel, Ragon, Rebold, Thory, Findel, and others too numerous to mention ; all indicate Craft Masonry as the only true kind and the upper degrees as constituting a danger to the order. Rebold, who gives a list of these writers, quotes a masonic publication, authorized by the Grand Orient and the Supreme Council of France, in which it is said that ” from all these rites there result the most foolish conceptions, . . . the most absurd legends, . . . the most extravagant systems, the most immoral principles, and those the most dangerous for the peace and preservation of States,” and that therefore except the first three degrees of Masonry, which are really ancient and universal, everything is ” chimera, extravagance, futility, and lies.”(53) Did Barruel and Robison ever use stronger language than this ?

To attribute the perversion of Masonry to Jacobite influence would be absurd. How could it be supposed that either Ramsay or Lord Derwentwater (who died as a devout Catholic on the scaffold in 1746) could have been concerned in an attempt to undermine the Catholic faith or the monarchy of France ? I would suggest, then, that the term ” Scots Masonry ” became simply a veil for Templarism–Templarism, moreover, of a very different kind to that from which the original degree of the Rose-Croix was derived. It was this so-called Scots Masons that, after the resignation of Lord Derwentwater, ” boldly came forward and claimed to be not merely a part of Masonry but to greater privileges and the right to rule over the ordinary, i.e. Craft Masonry.”(54) The Grand Lodge of France seems, however, to have realized the danger of submitting to the domination of the Templar element, and on the death of the Duc d’Antin and his replacement by the Comte de Clermont in 1743, signified its adherence to English Craft Masonry by proclaiming itself Grande Loge Anglaise de France and reissued the ” Constitutions ” of Anderson, first published in 1723, with the injunction that the Scots Masters should be placed on the same level as the simple Apprentices and Fellow Crafts and allowed to wear no badges of distinction.(55)

Grand Lodge of England appears to have been reassured by this proclamation as to the character of Freemasonry, for it was now, in 1743, that it at last delivered a warrant to Grand Lodge of France. Yet in reality it was from this moment that French Freemasonry degenerated the most rapidly. The Order was soon invaded by intriguers. This was rendered all the easier by the apathy of the Comte de Clermont, appointed Grand Master in 1743, who seems to have taken little interest in the Order and employed a substitute in the person of a dancing master named Lacorne, a man of low character through whose influence the lodges fell into a state of anarchy. Freemasonry was thus divided into warring factions : Lacorne and the crowd of low-class supporters who had followed him into the lodges founded a Grand Lodge of their own (Grande Loge Lacorne), and in 1756 the original Freemasons again attempted to make Craft Masonry the national Masonry of France by deleting the word ” Anglaise ” from the appellation of Grand Lodge, and renaming it ” Grande Loge Nationale de France.” But many lodges still continue to work the additional degrees.

The rivalry between the two groups became so violent that in 1767 the government intervened and closed down Grand Lodge.

The Templar group had, however, formed two separate associations, the ” Knights of the East ” (1756) and the ” Council of the Emperors of the East and West ” (1758). In 1761 a Jew named Stephen Morin was sent to America by the a ” Emperors ” armed with a warrant from the Duc de Clermont and Grand Lodge of Paris and bearing the sonorous title of ” Grand Elect Perfect and Sublime Master,” with orders to establish a Lodge in that country. In 1766 he was accused in Grand Lodge of ” propagating strange and a monstrous doctrines ” and his patent of Grand Inspector was withdrawn.(56) Morin, however, had succeeded in establishing the Rite of Perfection. Sixteen Inspectors, nearly all Jews, were now appointed. These included Isaac Long, Isaac de Costa, Moses Hayes, B. Spitser, Moses Cohen, Abraham Jacobs, and Hyman Long.

Meanwhile in France the closing of Grand Lodge had not prevented meetings of Lacorne’s group, which, on the death of the Duc de Clermont in 1772, instituted the ” Grand Orient ” with the Duc de Chartres–the future ” Philippe Egalité “–as Grand Master. The Grand Orient then invited the Grande Loge to revoke the decree of expulsion and unite with it, and this offer being accepted, the revolutionary party inevitably carried all before it, and the Duc de Chartres was declared Grand Master of all the councils, chapters, and Scotch lodges of France.(57) In 1782 the ” Council of Emperors ” and the ” Knights of the East ” combined to form the ” Grand Chapitre Général de France,” which in 1786 joined up with the Grand Orient. The victory of the revolutionary party was then complete.

It is necessary to enter into all these tedious details in order to understand the nature of the factions grouped together under the banner of Masonry at this period. The Martinist Papus attributes the revolutionary influences that now prevailed in the lodges to their invasion by the Templars, and goes on to explain that this was owing to a change that had taken place in the Ordre du Temple. Under the Grand Mastership of the Regent and his successor the Duc de Bourbon, the revolutionary elements amongst the Templars had had full play, but from 1741 onwards the Grand Masters of the Order were supporters of the monarchy. When the Revolution came, the Duc de Cossé-Brissac, who had been Grand Master since 1776, perished amongst the defenders of the throne. It was thus that by the middle of the century the Order of the Temple ceased to be a revolutionary force, and the discontented elements it had contained, no longer able to find in it a refuge, threw themselves into Freemasonry, and entering the higher degrees turned them to their subversive purpose. According to Papus, Lacorne was a member of the Templar group, and the dissensions that took place were principally a fight between the ex-Templars and the genuine Freemasons which ended in the triumph of the former :

Victorious rebels thus founded the Grand Orient of France. So a contemporary Mason is able to write : ” It is not excessive to say that the masonic revolution of 1773 was the prelude and the precursor of the Revolution of 1789.” What must be well observed is the secret action of the Brothers of the Templar Rite. It is they who are the real fomentors of revolution, the others are only docile agents.(58)
But all this attributes the baneful influence of Templarism to the French Templars alone, and the existence of such a body rests on no absolutely certain evidence. What is certain and admits of no denial on the part of any historian, is the inauguration of a Templar Order in Germany at the very moment when the so-called Scottish degrees were introduced into French Masonry. We shall now return to 1738 and follow events that were taking place at this important moment beyond the Rhine.

  1. Histoire de la Monarchie Prussienne, VI. 76.
  2. Lecouteulx de Canteleu, op. cit., p. 105.
  3. Ibid., p. 106 ; Lombard de Langres, Les Sociétés Secrètes en Allemagne, p. 67.
  4. Monsignor George F. Dillon, The War of Anti-Christ with the Church and Christian Civilization, p. 24 (1885).
  5. Brother Chalmers I. Paton, The Origin of Freemasonry : the 1717 Theory Exploded, p. 34.
  6. Lecouteulx de Canteleu, op. cit., p. 107 ; Robison’s Proofs of a Conspiracy, p. 27 ; Dillon, op. cit, p. 24 ; Mackey, Lexicon of Freemasonry, p. 148.
  7. Preston’s Illustrations of Masonry, p. 209 (1804) ; Brother Chalmers I. Paton, The Origin of Freemasonry, etc., p. 12.
  8. Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, XXV. p. 31. See account of some of these convivial masonic societies in this paper entitled ” An Apollinaric Summons.”
  9. Religious Thought and Heresy in the Middle Ages, p. 373. A ” Past Grand Master,” in an article entitled ” The Crisis in Freemasonry,” in the English Review for August 1922, takes the same view. ” It is true . . . that the Craft Lodges in England were originally Hanoverian clubs, as the Scottish lodges were Jacobite Clubs.”
  10. Dr. Anderson, a native of Aberdeen and at this point period minister of the Presbyterian Church in Swallow Street, and Dr. Desaguliers, of French Protestant descent, who had taken holy orders in England and in this same year of 1717 lectured before George I, who rewarded him with benefice in Norfolk (Dictionary of National Biography, articles on James Anderson and John Theophilus Desaguliers).
  11. The Free Mason’s Vindication, being an answer to a scandalous libel entitled (sic) The Grand Mystery of the Free Masons dicover’d, etc. (Dublin, 1725). It is curious that this reply is to be found in the British Museum (Press mark 8145, h. I. 44), but not the book itself. Yet Mr. Waite thinks it sufficiently important to include in a ” Chronology of the Order,” in his Encyclopodia of Freemasonry, I. 335.
  12. Gentleman’s Magazine for April 1737.
  13. Dates given in A.Q.C., XXXII. Part I. pp. 11, 12, and Deschamps, Les Sociétés Secrètes et la Société, II. 29. The Writer of the paper in A.Q.C. appears not to recognize the authorship of the second work L’Ordre des Franc-Maçons trahi ; but on p. XXIX of this book the signature of Abbé Pérau appears in the masonic cypher of the period derived from the masonic word LUX. This cypher is, of course, now well known. It will be found on p. 73 of Clavel’s Histoire pittoresque.
  14. The British Museum possesses no earlier edition of this work than that of 1797, but the first edition must have appeared at least thirty-five years earlier, as A Free Mason’s Answer to the suspected Author of . . . Jachin and Boaz, of which a copy may be found in the British Museum (Press mark 112, d 41), is dated 1762. This book bears on the title-page the following quotation from Shakespeare : ” Oh, that Heaven would put in every honest Hand a Whip To lash the Rascal naked through the World.”
  15. The author of Jachin and Boaz says in the 1797 edition that in reply to this work he has received ” several anonymous Letters, containing the lowest Abuse and scurrilous Invectives ; nay some have proceeded so far as to threaten his Person. He requests the Favour of all enraged Brethren, who shall chuse to display their Talents for the future, that they will be so kind as to pay the Postage of their Letters for there can be no Reason why he should put up with their ill Treatment and pay the Piper into that Bargain. Surely there must be something in this Book very extraordinary ; a something they cannot digest, thus to excite the Wrath and Ire of these hot-brained Mason-bit Gentry.” One letter he has received calls him a Scandalous Stinking Pow Catt (sic).”
  16. A.Q.C., XXXII. Part I. p. 34.
  17. Ibid.
  18. Mackey also thinks that R.A. was introduced in 1740, but that before that date it formed part of the Master’s degree (Lexicon of Freemasonry, p. 299.
  19. Yarker, The Arcane Schools, p. 437.
  20. Review by Yarker of Mr. A.E. Waite’s book The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry in The Equinox, Vol. I. No. 7. p. 414.
  21. Encyclopodia of Freemasonry, II. 56.
  22. A.Q.C., Vol. XXXII. Part I. p. 23.
  23. Correspondence on Lord Derwentwater in Morning Post for September 15, 1922. Mr. Waite (The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry I. 113) wrongly gives the name of Lord Derwentwater as John Radcliffe and in his Encyclopodia of Freemasonry as James Radcliffe. But James was the name of the third Earl, beheaded in 1716.
  24. Gould, op. cit. III. 138. ” The founders were all of them Britons.”–A.Q.C., XXXII. Part I. p. 6.
  25. ” If we turn to our English engraved lists we find that whatever Lodge (or Lodges) may have existed in Paris in 1725 must have been unchartered, for the first French Lodge on our roll is on the list for 1730-32. . . . It would appear probable . . . that Derwentwater’s Lodge . . . was an informal Lodge and did not petition for warrant till 1732.”–Gould, History of Freemasonry, III. 138.
  26. John Yarker, The Arcane Schools, p. 462.
  27. Gautier de Sibert, Histoire des Ordres Royaux, Hospitaliers-Militaires de Notre-Dame du Carmel et de Saint-Lazare de Jérusalem, Vol. II. p. 193 (Paris, 1772).
  28. This oration has been published several times and has been variously attributed to Ramsay and the Duc d’Antin. The author of a paper in A.Q.C., XXXII. Part I., says on p. 7 : ” Wether Ramsay delivered his speech or not is doubtful, but it is certain that he wrote it. It was printed in an obscure and obscene Paris paper called the Almanach des Cocus for 1741 and is there said to have been ‘ pronounced ‘ by ‘ Monsieur de R–Grand Orateur de l’Ordre.’ It was again printed in 1742 by Bro. De la Tierce in his Histoire, Obligations et Status, etc., . . . and De la Tierce says that it was ‘ prononcé par le Grand Maître des Francs-Maçons de France ‘ in the year 1740. . . . A.G. Jouast (Histoire du G.O., 1865) says the Oration was delivered at the Installation of the Duc d’Antin as G.M. on 24th June, 1738, and the same authority states that it was first printed at the Hague in 1738, bound with some poems attributed to Voltaire, and some licentious tales by Piron. . . . Bro. Gould remarks : ‘ If such a work really existed at that date, it was probably the original of the ” Lettre philosophique par M. de V–,avec plusieurs pièces galantes,” London, 1757.’ ” Mr. Gould has, however, provided very good evidence that Ramsay was the author of the oration by Daruty’s discovery of the letter to Cardinal Fleury, which together with the oration itself (translated from De la Tierce’s version) he reproduces in his History of Freemasonry Vol. III. p. 84.
  29. A.Q.C., XXII. Part I. p. 10.
  30. Les plus secrets mystères des Hauts Grades de la Maçonnerie dévoilés, ou le vrai Rose-Croix. A Jerusalem. M.DCC.LXVII. (A.Q.C., Vol. XXXII. Part I. p. 13. refers, however, to an edition of 1747).
  31. As Godefroi de Bouillon died in 1100, I conclude his name to have been introduced here in error by de Bérage or the date of 1330 to have been a misprint.
  32. Dr. Mackey confirms this assertion, Lexicon of Freemasonry, p. 304.
  33. Etoile Flamboyante, I pp. 18-20.
  34. The same theory that Freemasonry originated in Palestine as a system of protection for the Christian faith is given almost verbatim in the instructions to the candidate for initiation into the degree of ” Prince of the Royal Secret ” published in Monitor of Freemasonry (Chicago, 1860), where it is added that ” the brethren assembled round the tomb of Hiram, is a representation of the disciples lamenting the death of Christ on the Cross.” Weishaupt, founder of the eighteenth-century Illuminati, also showed–although in a spirit of mockery–how easily the legend of Hiram could be interpreted in this manner, and suggested that at the periods when the Christians were persecuted they enveloped their doctrines in secrecy and symbolism. ” That was necessary in times and places where the Christians lived among the heathens, for example in the East at the time of the Crusades.”–Nachtrag zur Originalschriften, Part II. p. 123.
  35. Étoile Flamboyante, pp. 24-9.
  36. Gould, History of Freemasonry, III. 92.
  37. Mackey’s Lexicon of Freemasonry, p. 267.
  38. Oliver’s Landmarks of Freemasonry, II. 81, note 35.
  39. Lexicon of Freemasonry, p. 270.
  40. Clavel, Histoire pittoresque de la Franc-Maconnerie, p. 166.
  41. A.Q.C., XXXII. Part I. p. 17.
  42. The Royal Order of Scotland, by Bro. Fred. H. Buckmaster, p. 3.
  43. Histoire de la Vie et des Ouvrages de Messire François de Selignac de la Mothe-Fénelon, archevêque de Cambrai, pp. 105, 149 (1727).
  44. J.M. Ragon, Ordre Chapitral, Nouveau Grade de Rose-Croix, p. 35.
  45. The identity of Lord Harnouester has remained a mystery. It has been suggested that Harnouester is only a French attempt to spell Derwentwater, and therefore that the two Grand Masters referred to were one and the same person.
  46. In 1786 the seventh and eighth degrees were transposed, the eleven became Sublime Knight Elect, the twentieth Grand Master of all Symbolic, the twenty-first Noachite or Prussian Knight, the twenty-third Chief of the Tabernacle, the twenty-fourth Prince of the Tabernacle, the twenty-fifth Knight of the Brazen Serpent. The thirteenth is now known as the Royal Arch of Enoch and must not be confounded with the Royal Arch, which is the complement of the third degree. The fourteenth is now the Scotch Knight of Perfection, the fifteenth Knight of the Sword or of the East, and the twentieth is Venerable Grand Master.
  47. History of Freemasonry, III. 93. Thory gives the date of the Kadosch degree as 1743, which seems correct.
  48. Zohar, section Bereschith, folio 18b.
  49. A.Q.C., XXVI : ” Templar Legends in Freemasonry.”
  50. ” This degree is intimately connected with the ancient order of the Knights Templars, a history of whose destruction, by the united efforts of Philip, King of France, and Pope Clement V, forms a part of the instructions given to the candidate. The dress of the Knights is black, as an emblem of mourning for the extinction of the Knights Templars, and the death of Jacques du Molay, their last Grand Master. . . .” — Mackey, Lexicon of Freemasonry, p. 172.
  51. Mr. J.E.S. Tuckett, in the paper before mentioned, quotes the Articles of Union of 1813, in which it is said that ” pure ancient Masonry consists of three degrees and no more,” and goes on to observe that : ” According to this view those other Degrees (which for convenience may be called Additional Degrees) are not real Masonry at all, but an extraneous and spontaneous growth springing up around the ‘Craft ‘ proper, later in date, and mostly foreign, i.e. non-British in origin, and the existence of any such degrees as by some writers condemned as a contamination of the ‘ pure Ancient Freemasonry ‘ of our forefathers.”–A.Q.C., XXXII. Part I. p. 5.
  52. J.J. Mounier, De l’Influence attribué aux Philosophes, aux Francs-Maçons et aux Illuminés sur la Révolution Française, p. 148 (1822). See also letter from the Duke of Northumberland at Alnwick to General Rainsford dated January 19, 1790, defending Barruel from the charge of attacking Masonry and pointing out that he only indicated the upper degrees, A.Q.C., XXVI. p. 112.
  53. Em. Rebold, Histoire des Trois Grandes Loges de Franc-Maçons en France, pp. 9, 10 (1864).
  54. A.Q.C., XXXII. Part I. 21.
  55. A.Q.C., XXXII. Part I. 22. It is curious that in this discussion by members of the Quatuor Coronati Lodge the influence of the Templars, which provides the only key to the situation, is almost entirely ignored.
  56. Yarker, The Arcane Schools, pp. 479-82.
  57. Mackey, Lexicon of Freemasonry, p. 119.
  58. Martines de Pasqually, par Papus, président du Suprême Conseil de l’Ordre Martiniste, p. 144 (1895). Papus is the pseudonym of Dr. Gerard Encausse.

— End of book —

← Back to index

Join Our Newsletter

Get the 5-minute, weekly newsletter keeping thousands of free thinkers informed and inspired.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest