Can a Satanist become a Freemason ?

Had this conversation many times over the years. It has popped up again on a Facebook Page. So I thought lets get some facts together and you can look – see – judge for yourself.    ……………………….

Satanism is a group of ideological and philosophical beliefs based on the character of Satan.


  1. the chief evil spirit; the great adversary of humanity; the devil.


Sa·tan  (sāt′n)

n. In Abrahamic religions, a powerful spiritual being, the tempter and persecutor of humanity, sometimes considered as an angel who rebelled against God and became the Devil.

Mirriam Webster

1  :  the angel who in Jewish belief is commanded by God to tempt humans to sin, to accuse the sinners, and to carry out God’s punishment

2  :  the rebellious angel who in Christian belief is the adversary of God and lord of evil

Satanic rhetoric and elements featured in the Third Term of the Trinity, an esoteric group founded in Paris, France in 1935 by the Russian occultist Maria de Naglowska.

Luciferianism can be understood best as a belief system or intellectual creed that venerates the essential and inherent characteristics that are affixed and commonly given to Lucifer. Luciferianism is often identified as an auxiliary creed or movement of Satanism, due to the common identification of Lucifer with Satan.

The Church of Satan was established at the Black House in San Francisco, California, on Walpurgisnacht, April 30, 1966, by Anton Szandor LaVey, who was the church’s High Priest until his death in 1997. In 2001.

From :

F.A.Q. Fundamental Beliefs

Why do Satanists worship The Devil?

We don’t. Satanists are atheists. We see the universe as being indifferent to us, and so all morals and values are subjective human constructions.

Our position is to be self-centered, with ourselves being the most important person (the “God”) of our subjective universe, so we are sometimes said to worship ourselves. Our current High Priest Gilmore calls this the step moving from being an atheist to being an “I-Theist.”

Satan to us is a symbol of pride, liberty and individualism, and it serves as an external metaphorical projection of our highest personal potential. We do not believe in Satan as a being or person.

Do Satanists perform sacrifices?

No. We are atheists. The only people who perform sacrifices are those who believe in supernatural beings who would consider a sacrifice to be some form of payment for a request or form of worship. Since we do not believe in supernatural beings there is no reason for a Satanist to make a sacrifice of any sort.

I heard that Satanism supports sex with children and other ways to harm them—how do you justify that?

Satanism has strong rules prohibiting sexual activity with children and non-human animals. In fact, if a Church of Satan member abuses children sexually or otherwise, his membership is automatically terminated without possibility for re-instatement. The Church of Satan also does not accept anyone who is not legally adult as an Active Member. In Satanism, sexual activity is only advocated between consenting adults.

Do Satanists ritually abuse people?

No. Our ritual is basically a form of self-therapy and is most often done in private. The three basic rituals are presented in The Satanic Bible by Anton Szandor LaVey and these do not demonstrate any type of abusive behavior.

What is “Theistic Satanism”?

There is no such thing. People who believe in some Devilish supernatural being and worship him are Devil-worshippers, not Satanists. Anton LaVey was the first to define Satanism as a philosophy, and it is an atheist perspective. “Theistic Satanism” is an oxymoronic term and thus absurd. In Satanism each individual is his or her own god—there is no room for any other god and that includes Satan, Lucifer, Cthulhu or whatever other name one might select or take from history or fiction.

Isn’t LaVey’s Satanism just plagiarized from other sources?

When LaVey refers to an idea, concept, or quote derived or taken from someone else, he often cites the author, either in the paragraph or in the indexes of his books. If anything LaVey writes seems similar to past concepts, oftentimes, it is augmented with modern circumstances, as well as his own thoughts. Seeing that Satanism is a work in progress, an attempt for melding science with philosophy, we are fully justified in choosing the concepts of old, working with them in our context and taking them into the future. (If we didn’t, who else would?) This is the same process used by scientists, doctors, psychologists, and many other professionals. Nothing would get done if individuals merely went along with established thought and never added to it. It’s evolution, pure and simple.



The Society of Heaven and Earth
Esoteric and allegoric implications for Masonry

John B. Ensor

ohn B. Ensor, Chemainus Lodge #114,
Grand Lodge of British Columbia, Canada
(telephone 604-753-4555).
#146—25 Maki Rd.
Nanaimo, BC Canada
V9R 6N3


ESOTERIC: The inner or hidden meaning understood by or meant for only the select few who have a special knowledge or interest.

EXOTERIC: Suitable for or communicated to the general public. i.e. not belonging or pertaining to the inner or select few.

ALLEGORIC: The symbolic representation of an abstract or spiritual meaning through stone or other material forms

(This is the full text of the above paper. The shorter version lasting some 30 minutes, can be and has been given in open Lodge, and is obtainable from the author.)

Like Freemasonry in the West, the Hung or Triad Society of China, seems justly entitled to claim that it is a lineal descendant of the ‘Ancient Mysteries’. Its signs are of primeval antiquity, but it represents the Higher Degrees in Freemasonry rather than the Craft in that the main part of the ritual deals with what is supposed to befall man after death. It has many striking analogies with ancient Egypt; for example, the Hung Boat is similar to the Solar Barque of Ra, and just as in the Egyptian Book of the Dead we find that the soul of the deceased is symbolically weighed, so too we find a similar procedure in the Hung Ceremonies. A similar but far more tenuous link can be found to the American Societies, particularly, the Nagual Cult in Mexico and in central America. For all that we are not entitled to assume that the Chinese Society is an off-shoot of Egyptian Mysteries, Greek Societies or Mexican Cults. It seems much more probable that they all have sprung from a common ancestor and developed along similar lines.

It should be explained that such a thing as a complete ritual of all ‘the Hung degrees’ does not exist. The various Officers in the Lodges make copies of their own parts; the two most important being those of the Master and the Vanguard. In order, therefore, to reconstruct the whole ritual it is necessary to possess copies of all the various parts, and very desirable to have a series of rituals dealing with the same parts. In most countries, today, because, owing to the fact that possession of the ritual is a penal offence, the rituals themselves are not often complete, being rather in the form of notes containing the portions that the Officer is likely to forget. The notes are often in cryptic or semi-cryptic form. This is done in order to reduce the size of the book and enable it to be carried on the person securely hidden. Today we are fortunate in that we have a number of complete or almost complete rituals obtained in the main from confiscated material obtained from police raids in Malaya after the outlawing of the Hung Society or the various Hung affiliates, such as the ‘White Lily’, the ‘Hung’, the ‘Incense Burners’, the ‘Origin of Chaos’, the ‘Origin of the Dragon’, what all these societies were it is difficult to say but like the Hung Society, they had initiation rites. The ‘White Lily,’ or ‘White Lotus Society,’ if it were not the Hung Society under a different name, was certainly closely connected with it, and it seems probable that the present rituals consist of an amalgamation of the rituals of the White Lily and of the Hung. Compare the Masonic rituals as shown by the Ancient Work, the Canadian work, and the Emulation Work etc. All are Masonic and yet different.

The White Lily is probably represented by what we now have as a traditional history and certain preliminary ceremonies, while the journey through the Underworld to Heaven represents the old Hung Ritual.

The whole question of the persecution of the Buddhists and Taoists will be dealt with later, but it important to realize that Emperor Kang Hsi (or Kang-hi) actually inaugurated his reign with a savage persecution of both the Buddhists and Taoists, and specifically attacked the Hung and the White Lily Societies. The latter facts show that the Hung Society did not originate at the traditional date of 1662, but was in existence previously, and the political tone which it has now adopted was probably the result of this persecution which in part is represented in certain incidents in the Traditional History. It is clear that previous to that date it had been a Taoist mystical Society, although probably even in those days there were strong Buddhist influences in the ritual.

A great deal has been written from various points of view about the significance and history of the ritual of British and European Freemasonry, and very diverse views have been promulgated. As is well known, the present form of our Masonic ritual is relatively recent, but there are good grounds for believing that it is based upon rituals that go back to a remote period. The difficulty that always faces the student is the fact that Freemasonry and its equivalents are secret societies, and therefore it is not to be expected that the uninstructed and the lay world who are not Masons would be enlightened concerning the mysteries of the craft, or concerning those analogous societies. The student is constantly thwarted by the reticence which is inculcated during initiation and is enforced by the threat of dire penalties if at any time the initiate should improperly disclose the secrets entrusted to him. Even when natives become Christians they still regard the old secrets as sacred and a conscientious man is not likely to do or say that which he has promised not to reveal. Even those investigators who had the best fortune in this respect can never be sure of all that takes place; indeed they are generally aware that such is not the case, and furthermore, any esoteric meaning there may be will almost certainly not be communicated. Thus, whether the mysteries of existing backward peoples, or those of ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Syria, Greece, Rome, China and Mexico and Central America, or the modern possible survivals of them, are investigated, we are always brought up by a dense screen of reticence through which one sees as through translucent glass, darkly, if at all.

The Hung ceremony exhibits an interesting conflict between pious adherence to the ancient landmarks and adaptation to political ends, and the later history of the Society of Heaven and Earth shows how easily politics may endanger or even destroy a cult that was essentially of other worldly significance. A somewhat analogous change from a religious or quasi-religious organization into a revolutionary, political organization occurs in the powerful and mysterious cult of Nagualism. Here, for a period of two hundred years many and diverse tribes of Mexico and Central America were united into organized opposition against the government and the religion which had been introduced from Europe. (see ‘Nagualism’ by Dr. D. G.. Brinton. Philadelphia, 1894.). There is a parallel example in the Masons with Jacobites after 1688 in England and France; or the actions of the Masons during the American War of Independence.


Symbolism is the natural concomitant of a cult, and, indeed, it is practically the only means by which a people unacquainted with writing can express their abstract ideas. It is necessary to distinguish between different kinds of pictorial signs, but this becomes more difficult when the characters have become conventionalized. They may be classified under :- 1. Pictorial signs; 2. Emblems; 3. Symbols; and are thus defined.

  1. Pictorial signs, the representation of any object when it is intended to express that object in general. e.g. a thumbnail sketch of a fish represents fish in general.
  2. Emblems include tribal signs, personal insignia etc. these do not necessarily require an analogy between the objects representing and the objects or qualities represented, but may arise from pure accident. Family crests fall into this category.
  3. Symbols ‘Are less obvious and more artificial than mere signs; they require convention, are not only abstract, but metaphysical, and often need explanation from history, religion, and customs. They do not depict, but suggest, subjects; they do not speak directly through the eye to the intelligence, but presuppose in the mind knowledge of an event or fact which the sign recalls. The symbols of the ark, dove, olive branch, sprig of acacia and the rainbow would be wholly meaningless to people unfamiliar with the Mosaic or some similar cosmology.’ (see ‘Sign language among North American Indians’ by Garrick Mallery. First Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology, 1879-80, Washington 1881, p. 389.)

Looking at the symbols on the Master Mason’s apron and the same symbols as used by these various Societies around the world; it is found that the rosette with the centre spot on it represents the living GOD (or BUDDHA, or RA or the INCA or the AZTEC SUN GODS). The rosette without a central spot represents the sleeping God, or death of the living, or the departure for the underworld. The central Rosette in the centre of the flap represents the Sun as the male principle of the Creator, confirmed by the two circles with dots in their centers. The tassels contain writings in the ancient temple numerical esoteric writing. “The Creator created one which became two. The two produced three. From these three all mankind descended”. This is not, in this case corroborated by repetition. Normally it would be. The central Rosette also represents THE ALL SEEING EYE of the Creator, usually at the apex of a pyramid, and is used extensively by all the above mentioned societies, and all appear to come from Mu. In fact, it seems, that many of the signs and symbols with an esoteric or mystic meaning appear to have originated in Mu during the age of Mu. (Similar to the age of Atlantis). ( see The Children of Mu, The Lost Continent of Mu and The Sacred Symbols of Mu by James Churchward.) about 15,000 to 30,000 years ago. (It should be noted that the Rockies and the Andes are only about 11,500 old. The Catastrophe that created the Rockies could also have eliminated the continent of Mu, which is about the time when Mu sunk into the Pacific ) (In the Paperback edition of 1988 The Children of Mu reference is made to pages 21, 22, 31, 61, 66, 80, 158, 163, 241, and 242. to show some of the mystic symbols, their meaning, and the flow east, west, and north of Mu culture.)

There are a number of symbols associated with the Hung (& Triad) Society that are well known elsewhere. Just a few will be mentioned. Earth, the provider of food and drink, the common Father of All. The numbers three, five and seven were sacred; especially three and seven, which were also associated with the calendar. In general, Three denotes the three great founders, Five refers to The Five Ancestors, or The Five Tiger Generals; whereas, Seven, is ‘the five’ with the opposites of Yin and Yang united. The most important symbol was Fire. Fire was worshipped as the life- giver, and at the same time as the destroyer, the active generator of animate existence. This idea was by no means peculiar to the Hung. It repeatedly recurs in Sanskrit, in Greek, Egyptian and in Teutonic mythology. The fire-god Agri (Ignis) is in the Vedas, ancient sacred literature of the Hinduism, the maker of men, there is also the Hindu Gods of Shiva, the Destroyer and Vishnu, the Preserver. Prometheus, the Greek Titan who stole fire from Olympus (Heaven) that he may with it animate the human forms he has molded from clay. (some say ‘and gave it to mankind’.)

The Sign of Fire in the Hung ritual, elsewhere known as the Sign of Distress, is of particular interest. A great many years ago James Chalmers, the well known missionary and a Scottish Mason, was convinced that something analogous to Freemasonry occurred in New Guinea. He said that on one occasion, in the Papuan Gulf area, he was in grave danger of death owing to native hostility and as a last resort made the (Scottish) sign of Distress which he firmly believed saved his life.

Another important symbol still venerated is the Tree. In ancient mythology ‘we often hear of the ‘tree of life’; this also includes the Garden of Eden’s Tree of life. From the Tree flows the sign of the cross both the cross of St. Andrew of equal arms and the Latin cross with its arms of unequal length. It also figures prominently in the ritual of the Tall Cedars of Lebanon, and also the Masonic acacia tree—’sprig of acacia’. More will be said about this later.

Before proceeding into the history of China. There is a phrase that occurs very often in the initiation ceremony that needs a little explanation. It is “Overthrow Ts’ing and restore Ming.” Ts’ing not only refers to the Chinese Dynasty, but it also means dirty, unclean, immoral, all the bad human traits. Similarly, Ming is not only the name of the Chinese Dynasty, which was overthrown by the Manchus, that is the Ts’ing, but also means LIGHT. Hence ‘To restore Ming’ means:- a) Morally. To turn towards a pure life. b) Politically. To restore the old Chinese Dynasty. c) Allegorically. To journey towards Heaven, the place of Light. d) Mystically. To restore the rule of the Divine Spark within us.

A Brief History of Early China

In order to understand the objects seen in the Lodge and also some of the incidents in the ceremony itself, it is desirable that we should know something of the early history of China.

At the time of the downfall of the Han dynasty, about A. D. 221, the Western Provinces revolted and the Emperor found it impossible to subdue. In this emergency he issued a general call for Volunteers, which was responded to by three men Lui Pei, himself a Cadet of the Han Dynasty, and his two friends, Kwang Yi and Chang Fei. The three met in a peach garden and having burnt magic incense sacrificed a black ox and a white horse, offered up prayers and bound themselves by a special oath of fidelity. It is from this incident, in all probability, that the Triad Society derives its custom of sacrificing a black ox and a white horse at an initiation. This is a very ancient ritual; the black ox symbolizes the Earth Goddess of the Underworld and usually preceded any attempt to visit that place. The Horse is the emblem of the Sun. They also represent the contending forces in Nature:- day and night; good and evil; male and female; Yin and Yang. They are represented in the West by the black and white pillars of the Rosicrucians and by the black and white banner of the Knights Templar, and the mosaic pavement in the Craft Lodges. Lui Pei was named ‘First Brother’ or Leader, and loyally supported by the other two. They formed an army and defeated the rebels. The Han Dynasty, being very weak, soon collapsed, and China was split into three Kingdoms. Lui Pei, who was of royal descent, assumed the title of Emperor of Shu. He was loyally supported by his two sworn brethren, but Kwan Yi was captured during the fighting and put to death by Lui Pei’s enemies. Posthumous honours were conferred upon him in memory of his unswerving loyalty to his friend, and he was deified under the name of Kwan Ti and worshipped as the God of War. This honour was conferred on him by the Ming Emperor Wan Li, and he became to the Military what Confucius is to the Literary world.

When the Hung Society came into existence is uncertain, but there is little doubt that what took place towards the end of the seventeenth century should be regarded as a reorganization rather than as the creation of an entirely new Body.

From the middle of the ninth century down to 1662 (The Last of the Ming Emperors died in 1644.) the Chinese Emperors adopted a policy of toleration towards the three great religious systems which flourished in China: Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism, but in 1662, the year Kang Hsi was made Emperor, the second Sovereign of the new Manchu Dynasty, the Ts’ings, issued the so called ‘Sacred Edict’, wherein he ordered drastic measures to be taken against the Buddhists and Taoists, on various spurious charges. The following Societies were also included because of misunderstanding and ignorance; The ‘White Lily’, ‘Hung’, ‘White Lotus’, ‘Incense Burners’, ‘Origin of Chaos’ and the ‘Origin of the Dragon’. What exactly all these Societies were it is difficult to say, but like the Hung Society they had initiation rites. The White Lily Society, if it was not the Hung Society under a different name, was certainly very closely connected with it. It is important to realize that Kang Hsi (or Khang-hi) actually inaugurated his reign with a savage persecution of both the Buddhists and Taoists and specifically attacked the Hung and the White Lily Societies. This fact shows that the Hung Society did not originate at the traditional date of 1662 as stated in the initiation by the Master. Further, the political tones which the Society (principally the Triad Society) has now adopted was probably the result of the persecution and is represented in part in certain incidents in the Traditional History. It is fairly clear that previous to that date it had been a Taoist mystical religious Society and probably even then had strong Buddhist influences in the Ritual.

Although we do not have any definite historical evidence of the Hung Society before 1662, we do however, have a great deal on the White Lily, or White Lotus Society.

Its founder was the famous Buddhist teacher, Eon, c A. D. 376, whose name in Chinese is Hwui-yin. He and his meditating disciples adopted the name of Amitabha (or Amida), which was called the White Lotus Society. His writings were the chief inspiration of Zendo, the great Buddhist teacher, who was born A. D. 614 in China. It is also interesting to note that the teachings of this Buddhist school of thought was brought to Japan about 800, A. D. by monks disguised as horse dealers, and became the most popular religious sect in Japan.

During the early years of the Society it is important to note that there were several very fierce, though brief, persecutions occurring (A. D. 560 and 618).

During the period of the Yuen Dynasty (A. D. 1280—1368), who were Mongolian invaders, there arose a leader named Han Shan-tung who in 1344 revitalized the White Lotus Society with which his own Grandfather had previously been closely associated. He was joined by four other prominent men, and thus these are the five monks who appear in the Hung ritual. The Society rose in rebellion and wore red turbans, which it will be found are worn by the Hung heroes. This rebellion undermined the authority of the Mongolian Yuen Dynasty, but it was not Hung Shan-tung but a Buddhist monk who finally seized the throne under the name of Hung Wu, and became the first Emperor of the new Chinese Ming Dynasty (1368—1644)

During the Ming period the White Lotus Society remained quiet, but shortly before the fall of the last of the Ming it again appeared on the scene and during the years 1621—1628 supported the claims of a rebel called Su Hung-u. This rebel was slain in battle and the next time we hear of the White Lotus Society is in the proclamation of 1662. There are numerous references to it, however for the last two hundred years the Hung Society and the White Lotus Society had become so intermingled in secular history that it is impossible to distinguish them apart; for all practical purposes they had amalgamated and the names used indiscriminately for Lodges of either Society.

Whether or not the incident mentioned in the Traditional History of the Hung Society actually took place, these historical facts explain how a quasi-religious society came to be changed into a revolutionary political organization. However, there is no doubt that the Society aimed at a reform in morals as well as a revival of Chinese Nationality and Patriotism.

The growth of the Hung or White Lily or Triad Society has been phenomenal. We have no means of estimating its total membership in China, much less throughout the rest of the world, for wherever there are Chinese this Society is to be found. There are numerous Society Temples in B. C., and they all take on various names, some of which appear as benevolent Societies.

In 1774 the Grand Master, Wang Lung, raised a revolt in the north eastern provinces of Shan Tung, which after much desperate fighting was repressed, and Wang Lung and many of his supporters were executed. In all over a hundred thousand people were executed, but the Society was far from destroyed, for in 1777 it rose again and was again destroyed. In 1807 the activities of the Society in the south again attracted the attention of the Manchu Emperor, and again it was suppressed after much difficulty.

The Triad Society continued to grow and broke out into open revolt in the Taiping revolt. A Chinese village schoolmaster, called Hung, in 1851 raised the standard of revolt against the Manchu Dynasty. He was joined by tens of thousands of supporters, and was also strongly supported by the Hung Society and in consequence the insurrection is often called ‘The Triad Wars’. It has often been said that the Chinese Christians were involved. However, they prevailed until Chinese Gordon of Khartoum fame defeated them and obtained for Britain many concessions from the Emperor. Since this revolt the Society seems to have kept somewhat in the background. However, there are reasons for believing that the Society played a major role in the overthrow of the Manchu Dynasty, for example we know that Dr. Sun Yat-sen was a member of the Hung Society. He did resign from the Society to facilitate the general settlement of the country. But… It is known that Dr. Sun Yat-sen was also a member of the Triad Society, it is certainly significant that although he was a Christian, he paid reverence to the Hung and Triad Societies. The Society has been very active in Hong Kong and in its ancient stronghold of Canton. It is now fairly clear that the overseas Lodges have dropped their political activities for the time being.

In the days when the Triad Society was an authorized and recognized body in Malaya it was known as the Ghee Hin Society, and had its own Temple in Singapore. It lost this status when it was found that the Society had absolute control over its members and regularly held judgment over the general population as well as its own members for various crimes and when condemned the victims were bound and gagged and weighted with a heavy stone and dropped through a hole in the floor of the Lodge into a drain, river or the sea. This was the fate of many who could not give the correct responses before entering a Lodge.

The traditional history of the Society as given by the Master of the Lodge at the initiation of the candidates will not be given. It is some sixteen pages long and idolizes some of the sympathetic White Lotus or White Lotus Society’s principal characters already mentioned above. It weaves a fairy tale of magic around their deeds and presents the positive side to the candidate.

Physical Description of a Lodge

In general the Lodge was rectangular (although some were square) the major axis lay east and west and dividing the Lodge was a wall with a three-arched gate in the middle. This wall ran north and south. The Lodge had four gates; east, south, west and north, east in China is the reference direction. On the lintels and uprights of each gate were inscribed verses, on the top of each gate was a Pavilion surmounted by calabash gourds, which was one of the emblems carried by one of the Eight Immortals. The walls of the lodge were decorated with squares and triangles and over the various gates were hung different types of weapons. The stones at the bottom of the wall and the boards of the gates were made to look like dragons scales. The central gate in the middle of the Lodge was actually made up of three removable gates, one in front of the other. In front of each of these three gates two men were stationed as guards. Each guard wore a red headband or turban. Each pair performed the same function as the wardens guarding the chambers of King Solomon Temple.

Beyond the central triple gate stood the hall of Fidelity and Loyalty within which was the genealogical table of the Founders and Foundresses of the League. In front of the East Gate was a shrine called Kao-khi, immediately in front of this shrine was an altar. On one side sat the Master or Incense Lord and his insignia consisted of a sword, a seal and a warrant flag providing him with the authority to act in any manner he saw fit.

The Red Pavilion. This Pavilion was usually found upstairs and was sufficiently large to admit the candidates. Nowadays, for ease of concealment, it is a model with a removable roof. It has four doors and commemorates the hero Wan, and is symbolized by the Chinese character signifying ‘Three Drops of Water’ there is also a font for cleansing and the purification of candidates. The significance of the remaining pieces will be mentioned in the work of the Society.

Visiting at Lodges

Just inside the outer door is the ‘Hung Kon’ or ‘Red Staff’, which is the instrument of punishment and the weapon of the Inner Guard who is also known by the name of ‘Red Staff’. The visitor must come with disheveled hair and bare feet with the collar of his coat turned in. When he has passed his examination at the outer gate, the Inner Guard, gives the visitor a replica of the red staff to carry in his right hand. When he arrives before the master he has to recite an eight-line verse. He must then swear that the certificate which he hands to the Master is his own, and the man who vouches for him must announce his names in the presence of all the brethren. The Master next asks the visitor for his capital (the three Hung Cash—coins) these are usually wrapped in red paper (sometimes the capital seems to refer to the certificate). The visitor places it in his outstretched left hand reciting a verse of about four lines all the time watching how the master intends to receive the capital. If the Master stretches out one, three or four fingers the visitor must not release the capital. If the Master extends four fingers and thumb to take the capital, the visitor must release it, without saying anything, but if the Master extends only two fingers the visitor must recite a verse of some four lines. The visiting brother must then immediately protest his ignorance by reciting another verse of some four lines. The visitor may then take his seat in the temple among his brothers being careful to salute the two Generals at the Hung Gate, kneel thrice when he enters the Gate, to kneel four times when he enters the Hall of Fidelity and Loyalty and twice when he reaches the City of Willows. A stranger failing in any of these tests according to the rules, is to taken out and executed on the spot.

The visiting brother on entering the Hung Gate which is guarded on either side by two Generals. Above this Gate are two flags on which are painted certain Chinese characters, which when taken together mean “The Barriers are open, the way is clear”. The next step leads to the Hall of Loyalty and Justice the entrance to which is also guarded by two Generals, whilst above are two flags with the characters “Put away all thoughts of revenge and malice.” On each side of the gate is inscribed, “Two Dragons disputing over a pearl,” and “Overturn Ts’ing and restore Ming.”

From the Hall of Loyalty members pass into the City of Willows, which has a Gate for each point of the Compass and each gate is guarded by two Generals with their respective flags. The East Gate of the City (or the central triple Gate) where they come to the Red Flower Pavilion, in front of which stands an Officer whose duty it is to dispense purifying water from the “Three Rivers” to new members. Above the pavilion is the Grand Altar, with the rostrum of the Master of the Lodge. (In most modern Lodges the Red Flower Pavilion is represented by a model, placed on the table which serves for the Altar.

Preparation of the Candidate

Sometime before the meeting, summonses to attend are sent out on a strip of red paper with black writing demanding attendance at “The Night of the Market of Universal Peace”. Just the time and place, no agenda is stated. The notice must be destroyed as soon as read.

It seems probable that the ritual as we now have it is really the final degree of a series of which the Traditional History gives an outline. Even as it stands it is quite clear that the candidate does not begin his mystical journey in the Lodge, but merely finishes it there.

In a convenient room near or adjoining the Lodge on the night chosen the candidates are purified and have to change into new clothes. Each candidate must be vouched for by an Office bearer, who is responsible for him. The new member must not talk to any of his brethren except the ones responsible for his instruction for at least four years and must not break any of the 36 rules of the Society. He at this time pays an initiation fee. His date, hour and place of birth are entered into a registry. Next his queue is unbraided and allowed to hang down his back. The right arm, shoulder and breast are made bare and he is divested of all his belongings, nothing save a new jacket and trousers, the left leg of the latter being rolled up to above the knee. The candidates wear grass sandals; symbolically the winged sandals of Mercury. Following a few preliminary questions and a serious warning as to the nature of the obligation required of them, and the responsibilities they are undertaking by entering the Order, the Master comes out of the Temple clothed in white, hair hanging loose down his back. He proceeds to, at length, recite the traditional history of the foundation of the Hung Society. He also tells them that the full title of the Society is Hung Ka meaning the Family of the Hung. This is followed by giving the candidates a few of the signs. He then returns to the Temple to consecrate it and then opens Lodge in due form.

The candidates enter into the Lodge under crossed swords, this is called crossing the Bridge from the Isles of the Blest to The Market Place of Universal Peace. (This is actually the name used for a meeting of a Lodge). The candidates finished their journey through the Underworld outside the Lodge, on entering the Lodge they pass the Isles of the Blest to The City of Willows, representing Heaven.

Consecration and Opening of the Lodge

After leaving the candidates the Master re-enters the Temple (or Lodge) with his hair loose down his back (today queues are no longer worn, but the ritual remains unaltered) right shoulder bare, and clad in white robes of the Ming period. He puts a red band or turban around his head. he then purifies himself by washing his hands and face. He then blesses the Warrant Flag, then the Seven Starred Banner, The banner of the Victorious Brotherhood. He then blesses the following objects, each with an appropriate incantation: (a) The Magic Sword, (b) The Pen, Ink Tablet and Inkstone etc. and (c) The Magic Mirror. He then Lights the red lamp or Hung Lamp while he blesses it. He then carries on with the consecration of the Lodge by blessing the Jade (Foot) rule while placing it into position. He then binds a pair of grass sandals on his feet, goes to the Altar, near the model of the Red Flower Pavilion, he lights the various lamps on the Altar, he than burns a charm to expel all evil spirits from the Lodge. Then very reverently he lights four blades of grass and places them in the precious censer before the tablet of the five ancestors. This done, he then lights fifteen incense sticks, places them between the palms of his outstretched hands, kneels down invoking the Spirit Heroes and opens The lodge with a long prayer. He then pours out tea and wine and consecrates the standards with a prayer, then offers the five cups of wine as a libation, the first cup to the bridge in the East with the brass and iron planks, then a cup to each of the remaining cardinal points, the last cup to the centre where the Master is supported. A white horse and a black ox are now slaughtered. The white horse is sacrificed to the Sun to secure victory, and the black ox is sacrificed to the Gods of the Underworld to facilitate the journey of the dead i.e. Hung Heroes. The carcasses are then carried out to the kitchen, and while the ceremony is proceeding they are cooked and prepared for the banquet. Outside the door the candidates are waiting, and when all is ready an alarm is given on the door and the ceremony of Initiation commences.

The Initiation

The Red Staff (the Inner Guard) sounds the alarm: The Master directs the Commander of the Main Body to investigate. On learning that the Vanguard seeks admission, he is permitted to enter. The Vanguard is then examined. After a lengthy examination, the Vanguard is presented with his warrant, the precious Magic Sword and informed that he may bring into the Lodge his new recruits (candidates) for acceptance if properly prepared; faithful, worthy and brave. The Sword is to behead traitors or cowards, i.e. the candidates that wish to drop out.

On entering the Lodge—left foot first, then kneeling on the Magic Sword, with lighted incense sticks pointing down, the candidates then give their names, place of birth, date of birth, time of birth, then they attest that they have freely made the choice, and on their own accord, of joining the Lodge. The candidates then take their oath and promise to obey the 36 laws or articles of the Society, attesting to each individual Law in turn at the same time agreeing to the penalty associated with that law. The Vanguard gives a long Prayer before the oath. After the oath, a white cock is beheaded, and the symbolic meaning explained to the candidates. (The white cock represents Tsat, who is a traitor.)

The working tools are then presented. These are:- The Precious Sword, the pair of Scissors, the Brush Pen, The Hung Lamp, the Jade Rule, to test the individuals character, and measure time, the Abacus, the Pair of Scales, the Peach Tree, the precious Mirror in which is reflected the true character of the initiates, the History of the Sacred Censer and the Pass Word (“Poon”) and the accompanying signs.

The candidates now pay their initiation fees and receive their certificates of membership.

The Mystical Journey

The candidates now embark upon their mystical journey through the Underworld. The candidates are led all the way through this troubled journey by the Vanguard, who has the necessary pass words, and are informed that they may not make it to the Islands of the Blest! (We are reminded here of the initial admonition to the candidate in his impersonation of Hiram Abiff, and his journey, from the temple, being accosted by the ruffians, during the period, of some days, in which he was indecently interred, there is every reason to believe, that he was journeying through the Underworld, and on his return, was resurrected to a ‘living perpendicular’.).

Their journey takes them from the East over the sacred mountains, just before dawn, with certain abilities in the military arts, acquired in the Red Flower Pavilion, under the instruction of the Master of Hung. The Master instructed them in 108 areas, including the three bonds and the five virtues, upon which they were examined. They were also instructed in the five principles, namely, the principle of Heaven, the principle of Earth, the principle of the God(s), the principal of Man and the principal of oneself (i.e. the spirit, the soul and the mystical self). The Vanguard then recites the various principles.

The number that learnt the military arts at the Shiu Lam Monastery each time were three; the sworn brother went before the candidate and the adopted brother followed; The spirit, the body and the soul of the candidate. All candidates left the Monastery, but not all have arrived; some are still far off, others are near at hand while some roam about the world without any fixed residence. This alludes to the separation of men before they enter Heaven. The roads that are traveled always appear to be the middle road. (Compare Rosicrucian and Kabalistic Mysticism we hear of the Middle pillar, or Middle path of Benignity, which lies between the two pillars of Mercy and Severity, the path or steps between the pillars at the porchway to the Temple. The is also strong reference to the Middle Path of Buddhism.).

The Master then closely questions them as to who they passed on their way to Islands of the Blest. They passed eight priests each carrying some precious thing. An old woman—probably the patroness of sailors, carrying her bird the Phoenix, she is a Taoist Deity. The Phoenix is the ancient Egyptian mythological beautiful bird that lives for 600 years, burns itself in a fire, then rises from the ashes to live another 600 years. They then pass the temple of Hian-chu-lung, daughter of Hai-lung- wang, a mirror image of the Roman God Neptune, God of the Seas, and identified with Poseidon the Greek God of the Sea. The travelers then pass the Black Dragon Mountain, the Mountain of Sunset of the Western world, at the foot of this mountain, the mystical boat was waiting for them to take them over the waters of Death to Paradise. Equivalent to the Egyptian boat Ra. To complete this part of the journey, they must be in possession of the pass word ‘Poon’. They can only travel on the 24th day of the twelfth month of the year and stop at a small island on the 25th day of the twelfth month. Probably the Island of Tranquillity. Is this the origin of Christmas, and the Yule time Log? The journey is completed on the 4th. day of the first month at the port of the Market Place of Universal Peace, a journey of ten days.

The crew of the boat is then considered, the Captain in the bow and his wife is in the stern; the Captain was born at Midnight while his wife was born at Noon. Thus they should never have married, because, people born at opposite hours cannot agree to harmonize. Thus it will be seen that they represent Yin and Yang, the black and white pillars of the Rosicrucian symbolism. It should also be noted that Christ was crucified at mid-day, likewise, the Masonic tragedy takes place at high noon. It is clear that mid-night and mid-day have a very special mystical significance. The goddess Kwan Yin accompanies the Hung Heroes from the time they board the mystical boat to their departure from the Underworld, and to intercede on their behalf if required. The vessel is then described, on the bow was an image of the God of Fire. Fire, being all consuming, creates distress, thus the sign of the God is the sign of Distress, This sign is universal. The three distinct movements are recognized by the Natives of New Guinea all the south sea islands, as well as in India, China, the Middle East, Africa and in the Americas among the Aztecs, Incas and Mayas. The hull, holds, masts, sails and the construction of the boat are described together with any mystical Gods that were shown. In the middle of the ship were the images Prince Kwan, on his left Kwan-phing, and on his right General Chau-chang representing, Mars the God of War; Jupiter or Jove, the Supreme Being, and Saturn the Roman God of Agriculture or the God Cronus of Greek Mythology. In the stern of the ship stood the blessed Queen of Heaven, Kwan Yin, on her right stood General Hiang and on her left General Hoh: Taoist Deities.

The travelers then pass over the sacred bridge, spanning the three rivers that flow into the three lakes of Tranquillity, and the five seas of Heaven, it is not certain if this is the two planked bridge of Iron and Brass, i.e. the Rainbow Bridge, joining Earthly Paradise with the City of the Gods; or the Celestial Bridge crossing from the Islands of the Blest to Market of Universal Peace. However, they meet three Gods on the bridge. The three holy Buddhas. The past, present, and future Buddhas. This is the equivalent to the life of, the resurrection of, and the second coming of Christ for Christians. In fact, a number of the religions of Asia and America have a similar myth. This would seem to confirm that for the thirty-five years of Christ’s life not mentioned in the Bible, he did in fact journey to the orient, India, Tibet, China and Japan, and perhaps to the Americas, as some of the traditions or local myths seem to indicate.

At the far side of the Bridge was an old man at a stall selling fruit, peaches of five colours. The Name of the old man was Shi Pang- Hang. Peaches are a symbol of Eternal Life, and are from the Tree of Life. The Old Man corresponds to Saint Peter, as the Gate Keeper of the Heavenly City. Shi Pang-Hang charges 21 cash, which sum is deducted from the initiation fees, the candidate is presented with a peach at this time. The candidate is then shown the Shades of the departed brethren, miniature stone tablets stored in a special sacred vault or Temple. The candidate then goes under the bridge of the three Buddhas. He dared not pass the three Buddhas upon the bridge, the gap between God and man is too great. The candidate then arrives at the Hung Gate, the slow ones cross it in twenty-one steps, whereas the faster ones cross in eight steps; however, if they are shod with the grass sandals (the winged sandals of Mercury) they can cross very quickly in 3 or 5 or 7 steps.

The candidates now complete their journey by visiting various parts of the Lodge. They proceed to the Hall of Loyalty and Fidelity where the shrine of Kwan Ti is situated. They then proceed to the circle of Heaven and Earth. Heaven is shown as an inverted bowl over the saucer shaped Earth, the Earth is shown as a depression within a ring of mountains with a raised central city in the middle. The Brotherhood have taken the name of Heaven and Earth signifying that even in death the brethren are not separated, as shown by Yin and Yang united. Within the Circle is the City of Willows. The Holy City of Zion of the West, this idea is also found in the Hindu mythology. The size of the City of Willows limitless, indicating Universality. the same as the Universality of Masonry. The City of Willows has three main streets, but the middle one is the widest and the most beautiful, and the most traveled. The Vanguard describes the City with its three Pagodas, three ponds and three temples, one dedicated to Kwan Yin, one to Kwan Ti and the last to Kao Chi, 108 houses, 21 watch towers, eighteen furnaces and the Hung Lamp. The candidates then pass a fiery mountain on their way to the Red Flower Pavilion, which is the gathering place of all Hung Heroes.

Conclusion of the Ceremony

The candidates are then led around the Lodge and examined by the brethren, the Vanguard answers the question on behalf of the candidates. One of the brethren reads the Rules of the Triad Society. Death being the penalty for any infraction. The Brethren and New Members are then invited to a banquet for which the black ox and white horse were slaughtered earlier in the ceremony. The banquet is symbolic of the opposites, Yin and Yang, black and white, good and evil etc.

The Signs, Words, etc.

The sign of distress as already mentioned, is found all over the world, and must consist of three distinct movements. The Chinese also slightly bend their knees when giving this sign.

Likewise, the exoteric political objects of overthrowing The Manchu Dynasty of Ts’ing and restoring Ming has already been mentioned. However, in the Triad Society to-day, Ts’ing and Ming can, and often does, refer to any political party, governing body or individual outside of China, that is an enemy of the local Chinese. It is for this reason that in almost every country of the world, The Triad Society is illegal!

The sign of Fire, Distress, and the sign of Earth have been dealt with. However, concerning Fire or Distress, in ancient Mexico, Quetzalcoatl, in the form of the Regent of Venus, the goddess of Love, likewise makes this sign. His legend is as follows. He descended from Heaven by means of a ladder of 88 steps (Jacob’s Ladder), passed the mountain of fire, crossed the sea on a raft and fought with a giant, who wounded him in the foot near by a fall of water, and sustaining food, but he succeeded in slaying his enemy. Limp and bleeding, he struggled from the East, where he had started, towards the West, where his further progress was barred by the great sea (the Pacific); there he built a great funeral pyre made the sign of distress and then immolated himself on a Cross at the top, thus making a sacrifice of himself to the God of Death, who rules the Underworld. He eventually after eight days arrives in Heaven, where he now rules over the planet Venus i.e. Divine Love. It is interesting to note that the veneration of the Mexicans for the Cross, which so greatly surprised the Spaniards, was associated with this God.

The Chinese do not, as a rule, shake hands; however, quasi-Triad Societies in other parts of the world do, and there is a very close resemblance to some of the Masonic hand shakes.

The peculiar way the clothes are worn during parts of the ceremony, one pant leg turned up, and the opposite breast and arm made bare, with the application of a sharp instrument (the magic sword) applied to the naked breast.

The general pass sign is always given in the ceremony, and consists of stretching forth the right hand, often with the five fingers apart, and rotated once, back and forth accompanied with the pass word of POON. This refers to the Five ancestors. (We are reminded here of the sign of St. Lawrence the Martyr in the Allied Masonic Degrees.)

The sign of wood is given by crossing the hands over the lower abdomen. This is another very common sign all over the world; especially in illustrations of death poses, or engraved upon coffin lids. It is also possible that it is connected with another sign, that of crossing the arms over the breasts. This becomes the sign of resignation of death in ancient Egypt, and also of Vishnu a God of the Hindoos and denotes resignation. Vishnu made this sign when he sacrificed himself for men. This sign is also found in the Byzantine Empire. Daniel in the, Lion’s den also made this sign. The examples are almost endless.

There are numerous hand signs, the most important being the sign of Heaven and Earth. This is given by pointing one hand to the sky and the other to the earth. This is an old Buddhist sign and the Buddha is often depicted making it. It will also be found in Mexico, in ancient Egypt. In ancient Egypt we find it made by Osiris and by Horus. In Mediaeval days, it is made by Christ and or the Angels clearly indicating the same line of thought, which also includes the idea of death and the resurrection. In the United Kingdom the idea has not entirely vanished, for even to-day there is a curious ceremony which takes place at Melrose Abbey on the Night of Midsummer. Amid the ruins, the members of all the local Masonic Lodges gather, and go through the ruins in procession, holding aloft flaming torches. At the end of the journey they halt, turn down their torches and extinguish them on the ground. The origin of the ceremony is unknown; however the esoteric meaning is that it is in honour of the Sun God, which after sunset declines in power, and metaphorically sinks into the grave.

The threefold sign of Heaven, Earth and Man (the Triad sign of membership), is given by the hands, leftover the left breast, and right hand extended. For Heaven, the thumb and first two fingers of both hands are extended. For Earth, the thumb and forefinger form a circle the remaining fingers are extended of both hands. And for Man, the fist is closed with only the thumb and little finger extended. The last given is also the sign of magic and is a universal potent sign against the evil eye. In England, where it still survives in country districts, it is called ‘Making the Horns.’ It is said to represent the horns of the crescent moon and is associated with the horse shoe. In Italy, it is regarded as a powerful charm. There are numerous examples around the world of its use and meaning. There are also numerous other signs of lesser importance; i.e., they do not carry the death penalty! Nor are frequently used.

Other Methods of Recognition

There are numerous methods of recognition and message signs. One rather interesting: ‘If in need of money place hat under the left arm with the interior facing outward.’ A reference to the begging bowl of the Buddhist Monks.

‘On entering the house of a brother, enter left foot first, or take three steps one short and two long.’

‘To warn a brother that you have a friend with you who is not a member and to put him on his guard; on removing your shoes or sandals at the front door, place them together with the sole of one upwards and the other downwards.’

Tests in Handling Articles

There are a vast number of such tests. The bulk of them concern tea cups and tea pots and their arrangement on a tray or table. The Chinese are avid tea drinkers. The tests include the arrangement of the pots and cups, the pouring of the tea, the order that the cups are filled or partially filled, which cup is served first, and which is drunk first, how it is picked up etc. All have a specific meaning. In fact a conversation can almost be had from these tests alone.

The Catch Words and Phrases

All catch words or phrases are taken from the ritual. In addition there are over a hundred slang words used by the Triad or Hung Societies that have a special meaning. For example:

“The enemy” means a Magistrate.

“A draught of wind” means a spy, the police.

“There is a wind” means “A stranger is here”.

“Grass sandals” means “A spy of the Hung”.

“Night brothers” means “A messenger of the Lodge”.

“To bite ginger” means to smoke tobacco.

“To bite clouds” means to smoke opium, etc. etc.

The Certificates

No consideration will be given to the various certificates, of the various Lodges or of individuals, since little if any esoteric meaning is attached to them, even though they contain a great deal of information in cryptic form.

The Magic Mirror and the Importance of the Shadow

Throughout the whole of the Hung or Triad Ritual there are clear traces of ancient magical beliefs. This is true if any mention, or reference is made to a magic mirror, its reflection or a shadow cast by such reflection. In any myth, rite or ritual if mention is made of the sacred mirror, then an ancient magic is being referred to. In all rites or rituals of historical importance, fragments of magic can be detected, but as man grew more sophisticated and real scientific knowledge replaced the half truths based upon the magic. The tendency is to replace or turn the magic rite or ritual into a symbol of some mystical experience. Thus it may be asked if there is, in Masonry, any esoteric meaning, or an allusion made to the magic mirror? Either directly? Or indirectly?

From this magical potency of the mirror, it is just a short step that a man’s shadow or reflection is part of his personality, soul, spirit, or inner self; and any curse or damage to any of these parts of man will affect the man himself. Remember in the ancient beliefs and myths of all primitive peoples is that man is a multiple being with several souls, spirits or selves, including his shadow and reflection and the loss of any of these is a serious matter and is usually calculated to cause the death of the owner. Do not say that nobody believes in superstitions, myths, or the supernatural to-day. How many of us here and now, would avoid going under a ladder? Or are not concerned about Friday the 13th? Or do not think of the seven years of bad luck meted out on breaking a mirror? Or a STREAK of good or bad luck at the races? Cards? Or at Vegas? It becomes almost endless. Somewhere, somehow there is a mystical, symbolic superstitious trait in everybody.

The length of the shadow denotes strength. The shorter or smaller the shadow, the weaker and more susceptible the victim is to harm. Thus, the murder of all Gods or Heroes in any myth or ritual takes place at High Noon. The victim’s shadow is then the shortest! The idea of the shadow or reflection from a mirror or surface of water or any liquid being a physical part of man’s self is more than 30,000 years old.

There is another piece of very striking evidence concerning the importance that the shadow contains the vital elements of man. In ancient times, in order to establish the foundations of a building and make them stand firm forever it was customary to obtain the shadow of a man to guard and provide the necessary strength to the building. To achieve this end a man was slain and his body buried under the Foundation Stone at dawn when his shadow was longest and he was at his strongest! In Palestine to-day numerous examples of children buried under the Foundation Stones of buildings can be found. When Jericho was captured, and the walls fell down. Joshua laid the curse in the name of the Lord. (see Joshua Ch. 6. v. 26.) Later Hiel the Bethelite rebuilt Jericho and paid the price. (see 1 Kings Ch. 16. v. 34.). Now we can see the import of the ‘Stone that the builders rejected.’

In the time of Christ numerous references were made that “He was the Foundation Stone of his Church”. This was made even more significant in that Christ was crucified at high noon, when his shadow was shortest and his powers, which were feared, were weakest.

Even today in England coins with the head of a man (or king) are placed under Foundation Stones, Masts or in the keel when a ship is built. Just in case! The idea is that the person either dead or when he dies will haunt the building or ship and thus protect it.

The significance of the Jade Rule now becomes obvious. It measures the length of the shadow, or the quality of the reflection and thus his character, or the life span of the individual, or controls the time of his actions. Consider the 24-inch gauge. Is it by coincidence that Hiram Abiff was slain at high noon and buried at midnight. Or is it by chance that the newly obligated candidate is placed in the northeast corner of the Lodge; the position of the foundation stone. Symbolically the newly obligated mason dies, guards the lodge with his shadow or spirit or the essence of his life for future prosperity, during his journey through the Underworld, he is given further instruction as a Fellowcraft until he can emulate his mentor and join him by being raised to living perpendicular and given the substitute word: allegorically, He makes his journey through the underworld, under the guidance and tutelage of Hiram Abiff, when he impersonates Hiram Abiff. Thus, we can see that the answer to the above Masonic question becomes a fairly sound yes. However, there is more evidence to be considered.

There is an ancient myth concerning the power of the mirror in its reflection and the associated shadow. A gourd is nearly filled with water and a dagger is laid across the top of the gourd, but does not touch the water in the gourd. Now, if one looks into the gourd, he sees the dagger cutting his own reflection, then later he will die. This is called ‘cutting the shadow’. This is used in the Triad Society for all candidates, only instead of dying, the candidate becomes the hostage of the Master of the Lodge. The Master in his turn preserves the most priceless asset of the Society; the Lodge. In some cases to ward off Sorcerers the point of the knife is placed into the water and the point is stuck into the bottom of the vessel or bowl. Then the knife is actually stabbing the reflection. Death of the victim is now much quicker.

The Greeks were very sensitive to the power of the mirror: Consider Narcissus, he did not die for love of his own reflection. That was a much later explanation, to make it more palatable for the current aesthetic and religious sense of Greek society at the time of Homer and Virgil. The original explanation was that his reflection was stolen by the Water Spirit, and thus he died. This earlier ‘myth’ was unacceptable to the ancients because it was sacrilegious. The Water Spirit watered the crops and permitted the growth that was benign to mankind. Another well known story is of Perseus and Medusa, where the reflection of Medusa on the shield of Perseus was used to cut off her head.

The Journey of the Soul

The meaning of the ceremony of initiation into the Hung Society.

The framework of the ceremony deals with what is supposed to befall a man after death. Many of the same details are found in other Rites in the form of legends or myths as far apart as the Australian Aborigines and the Mediaeval Christians. It is amazing how again and again the mysterious bridge is mentioned. In fact there are two bridges. These bridges are met with among the Hindus and Parsis, among the Norse in Lucien’s journey in the Solar Barque, the story of St. Patrick’s Purgatory etc. The question is: What do the bridges? Or in fact, any of the mystic articles represent?

Further, it has been seen that the bridges, swords, and magic mirrors etc. and various incidents that have taken place in the Hung Hero’s journey through the Underworld are not unique. Even the Underworld has been repeated in the myths, legends of all the worlds old societies, from the Australian Aborigines, the American Indians, Chinese, European to Modern Societies. Although, it is suspected that some of the modern religious or semi-religious organizations would like to distance themselves from each other, and claim that there’s is the only true original rite.

The question becomes: How did the allegories, myths legends and esoteric meanings evolve? Who first thought about the Hereafter or the immortality of man? It is the Immortality of Man that is perhaps the one thing more than any other that is universal. Yet why are all the stories the same? Did somebody or some people cross the ‘Threshold’ and upon returning describe the ‘Beyond’? Perhaps many have crossed the threshold at different times and all returned with the same story, and thus provide the common thread.

It could be a combination of the two explanations. A number of individual travelers (perhaps on a plant induced drug trip, or involved in an accident, or serious wounds sustained in battle ) crossed the Threshold in Mu many thousands of years ago. Then these travelers returning now as religious priests passed their experiences on in mystic or symbolic form to succeeding generations as a religious right or ritual. They then migrated around the world. In the succeeding generations there may have been others that crossed the Threshold and on returning confirmed and gave added vibrant life to the old legends, and so the myths continued without any material changes! It would seem therefore, that we are not dealing with complete fiction, but with a major element of fact described by different authors, as we have in the New Testament to-day. It now seems more than probable that the first crossing of the threshold took place in Mu, at least 30,000 years ago. The routes of the various migrations are shown by J. Churchwood in his book The Children of Mu.


If now the thrust of the enquiry considers the esoteric and allegoric ceremonies or rituals of the various societies throughout the world, then perhaps, a parallel and or a stronger case can be made, that their common origins were in fact in Mu. To this end a look at the effect of the myths and legends of various nationalities has had on their religious beliefs. (Christianity has several—consider the Yuletide Log etc..) The inquiry must include the reverse: That is the effect of religious beliefs upon the myths etc. To these ends future papers might include one or more of the following:-

  1. The stories of Ulysses and Aneas.
  2. Virgil’s concept of the underworld.
  3. The Egyptian’s ‘Book of the Dead’.
  4. The journey of the Egyptian Boat Ra.
  5. Dante’s Inferno.
  6. Other legends of the journey through the Underworld
  7. The Grail legends and the journey through the Underworld.
  8. Sir Lancelot’s, Sir Percival’s, and Sir Galahad’s and the ‘Mystic Barque’.
  9. Milton’s ‘Paradise Lost’ and ‘Paradise Regained.
  10. Jonah and the whale.
  11. Jacob’s Ladder and the Tower of Babel.
  12. The Magic Mirror.
  13. The Jade rule and the 24 inch gauge.
  14. The Crucifixion.
  15. The resurrection.
  16. The levels of life or existence in the Underworld, Purgatory. Earth, Paradise, and Heaven and the location of these areas or states. Their location may vary but their substance remains. Is this the substance that has been brought back by those that have crossed the Threshold and returned.
  17. Another paper could consider the references to the Mystical numbers of 3, 5, 7, 13, 21, 72, and 108.
  18. Then there is the short treatise of ‘Who was Hiram Abiff’ that also states why and by who he was murdered. Then we must consider his journey through the underworld?

All the above topics have the same framework as in the Hung ritual. The mystical interpretation in the Eastern, and Western world and the Hung Society of the ‘Soul after Death’, turns out to be very similar. The proceeding is a very small area of the esoteric and allegoric meanings behind the Hung Society, which is in it self perhaps a worth while society. (it is assumed that the Triad and Hung societies are not the same. There are some, however, who stoutly maintain that they are one and the same. It should be pointed out however, that when the ‘heat’ is turned up, it is very convenient to seek refuge in another name; thus a certain amount of confusion might prevail.) The concordant bodies are another matter and range from the purely monastic religious societies to the Mafia-like Triad Society. Thus the judgment of the White Lily, Lotus, White Flag, Incense Burners etc. must be reserved until more is known. The Triad Society is illegal around the world, it is thus rather like the Mafia in that it is not too gentle with society. To a very minor degree, Masonry, in the past has not been above reproach. Reference is made to their participation with the Jacobites and Bonnie Prince Charles in 1745 in their attempt to restore the Stewarts to the Throne of England: Or, their actions in the American War of Independence, when both sides discussed battle plans in open Lodge: Or, their involvement with Brother Morgan are cases in point. The militant framework of the Hung concordant bodies should also be compared with Masonic concordant bodies. In all of this there is one Supreme Fact distinguishing the Masons from all the others is that The Masons have carved in stone their antithesis to things politic and things religious while still believing in both. The Concordant bodies of the Hung Society will always point out the consequences of such association. The. esoteric, mystical or allegoric significance of the various topics that span a number of societies some of which are clandestine should not mean that we condemn the mystic or allegoric topic as such, for it is important to realize that it is not the allegoric or mystical meanings that are clandestine, but certain topics aims or items of a current political, economic, or of an administrative nature that render them clandestine.

A number of Questions Naturally come forward, for an instance: “What are the Secrets and Mysteries of Masonry?” “Are they so Secret?” “Perhaps the Usages and Customs of Freemasons are far older than those of the Ancient Egyptians to which there is a near affinity. These are not trivial questions but go to the root of the Masonic existence. A root, incidentally, that should make all Masons justly proud. It has been suggested that although Masonry may have been formalized in 1712; its real origins like the Hung society are in Mu of some 30,000 years ago. This origin further indicates how sensible our ancient brethren were to the ancient mysticisms. This is a very fertile area for more research.


Col. J. Churchward. The Children of Mu; The Lost Continent of Mu; and The Sacred Symbols of Mu. Publishers BE Books, Albuquerque, Saffron Walden. The C. W. Daniel Company Ltd. (1959) 1988.

H. A. Guerber. The Myths of Greece and Rome, The Myths of the Norseman and Myths and Legends of the Middle Ages. Revised by D. M. Stuart. Publishers, George G. Harrap and Company, 182 High Holburn, London, W.C.1 England. 1938.

R. L. Fox. The Unauthorized Version (Truth and Fiction in the Bible). Publishers Alfred A. Knopf. New York. 1992.

M. A. Nourse A Short History of the Chinese Publishers. The New Home Library Edition, 14 West Forty-ninth Street New York. 1943.

E. Pagels. The Gnostic Gospels. Publishers Vintage Books (A division of Random House Inc.) New York. 1989.

J. M. Robinson.—General Editor. The Nag Hammadi Library. Publishers Harper San Francisco, England, and Holland. 1990.

J. S. M. Ward, and W. G. Stirling. The Hung Society (or the Society of Heaven and Earth). Volume 1. Publishers Baskerville Press Ltd. 161 New Bond Sterrt; London W1. England. 1925.

J. S. M. Ward. (only) The Hung Society. Volumes 2, and 3. Publishers (as above for Volume 1.) 1925.

I. Velikovsky. Worlds in Collision. Publishers Victor Gollancz Ltd. 1963.

from ………..

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Masonic High Council
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Freemasonry in Egypt 1798-1921: A Study in Cultural and Political Encounters

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The Curse of Oak Island

More detail :-


This is an interesting point …..

THE FREEMASON AT WORK   – Harry Carr                            21



  1.  Why do the Wardens in a Craft Lodge raise and lower their Columns? The usual explanations in the Lectures, etc., seem trivial, in view of the importance many Brethren seem to place on the Columns being moved at the right time and placed in the right position.
  2.  To find an acceptable answer to this question, we have to go back to early ritual. There was a time in 18th century English practice when both Wardens stood (or sat) in the West; this is confirmed by a passage in Masonry Dissected, 1730:
  3.  Where stands your Wardens?
  4.  In the West.


Incidentally there are several Masonic jurisdictions in Europe which retain this ancient practice; but some time between 1730 and 1760 there is evidence that the J.W. had moved to the South, as shown in Three Distinct Knocks, 1760, and J. & B., 1762, both using identical words: Mas. Who doth the Pillar of Beauty represent? Ans. The Junior Warden in the South.


The business of raising and lowering the Wardens’ Columns made its first appearance in England in Three Distinct Knocks, in which we have the earliest description of the procedure for `Calling Off’ from labour to refreshment and `Calling On’. The `Call‑Off’ procedure was as follows:


The Master whispers to the senior Deacon at his Right‑hand, and says, ’tis my Will and Pleasure that this Lodge is called off from Work to Refreshment during Pleasure; then the senior Deacon carries it to the senior Warden, and whispers the same Words in his Ear, and he whispers it in the Ear of the junior Deacon at his Right‑hand, and he carries it to the junior Warden and whispers the same to him, who declares it with a loud Voice, and says it is our Master’s Will and Pleasure, that this Lodge is called from Work to Refreshment, during Pleasure;


At this point we find the earliest description of the raising and lowering of the columns and the reason for this procedure.


then he sets up his Column, and the senior lays his down; for the Care of the Lodge is in the Hands of the junior Warden while they are at Refreshment.


N.B. The senior and junior Warden have each of them a Column in their Hand, about Twenty Inches long, which represents the Two Columns of the Porch at Solomon’s Temple, BOAZ and JACHIN.


  1. & B. gives almost identical details throughout.





22                                                        THE FREEMASON AT WORK


Unfortunately, apart from the exposures, there are very few Masonic writings that deal with the subject of the Wardens’ Columns during the 18th and early 19th centuries. Preston, in several editions of his Illustrations, 1792‑1804, in the section dealing with Installation, allocates the Columns to the Deacons [sic]. It is not until the 1804 edition that he speaks of the raising of the Columns, and then only in a footnote, as follows:


When the work of Masonry in the lodge is carrying on, the Column of the Senior Deacon is raised; when the lodge is at refreshment the Column of the Junior Deacon is raised. [There is no mention of `lowering’.]


Earlier, in the Investiture of the Deacons, Preston had said:


Those columns, the badges of your office, I entrust to your care .. .


Knowing, as we do, that the Columns had belonged to the Wardens since 1760, at least, and that many of the Craft lodges did not appoint Deacons at all, Preston’s remarks in the extracts above, seem to suggest that he was attempting an innovation (in which he was certainly unsuccessful).


The next evidence on the subject comes from the Minutes of the Lodge of Promulgation, which show that in their work on the Craft ritual in readiness for the union of the two rival Grand Lodges, they considered `the arrangements of the Wardens’ Columns’ on 26 January 1810, but they did not record their decision. We know, however, that most of our present‑day practices date back to the procedures which that Lodge recommended and which were subsequently adopted’ – with occasional amendments – and prescribed by its successor, the Lodge of Reconciliation. It is thus virtually certain that our modern working in relation to the raising and lowering of the Columns was then adopted, following the 1760 pattern, not only for `Calling Off and On’ but also for Opening and Closing generally.


Up to this point we have been dealing with facts; but on the specific questions as to why the Columns are raised and lowered, or why the care of the Lodge is the responsibility of the J.W. while the Brethren refresh themselves, we must resort to speculation.


In the operative system, c. 1400, when the Lodge was a workshop and before Lodge furniture was standardized, there was only one Warden. His duty was to keep the work going smoothly, to serve as a mediator in disputes and to see that `every brother had his due’. We have documentary evidence of this in the Regius and Cooke MSS of c. 1390 and c. 1410, and this idea apparently persisted into the Speculative system




THE FREEMASON AT WORK                               23


where the S.W.’s duty in 1730 now included closing the Lodge and `paying the men their wages’.


But in the Speculative system there were two Wardens, with the Senior, by ancient tradition, in charge of the Lodge (or the Brn.) while at work. It seems likely that in order to find a corresponding job for the J.W., he was put in charge of the Lodge (or the Brn.) while at refreshment.


There was no mention of Wardens’ Columns, or procedures relating to them, in the exposures of 1730 or earlier. We may assume therefore that they were a more or less recent introduction in the period between 1730 and 1760, that the `raising and lowering’ procedures came into practice at about the same time and were subsequently authorized at the Union in 1813.


The 1760 explanation is still in use today. It may seem inadequate, but that is invariably the case with such problems as `one up and one down’, left‑foot, right‑foot’, left‑knee, right‑knee’, etc., because each interpretation has to give a satisfactory explanation for a particular procedure and for the reverse of that procedure, which is virtually impossible. The only satisfying explanation in this case is the simplest of all, i.e., the procedure was laid down to mark a distinction between the Lodge when open, and when it is closed or `Called Off’.


During the 18th century, there is ample evidence that much of the Lodge work was conducted at table, punctuated by `Toasts’ and drinking, while the Lodge was still Open. If the Lodge was `Called Off’, while a meal (as distinct from liquid refreshment) was to be taken, and the Brethren remained in their seats at table, then some signal – recognizable at a glance – would have to be shown, to indicate whether the Lodge was at work, or at refreshment. (I am indebted to Bro. Colin Dyer for this final paragraph, which emphasizes the practical reasons for Columns up, and down.)

Further info can be obrained from

Who Got Diana Dors’ Millions? (2003)

Diana Dors (23 October 1931 – 4 May 1984) was an English actress, born Diana Mary Fluck in Swindon, Wiltshire. She first came to public notice as a ‘blonde bombshell’ of the Monroe style, as promoted by her first husband, Dennis Hamilton, mostly via sex film-comedies and risqué modelling. When it turned out that Hamilton had been defrauding her for his own benefit, she had little choice but to play up to her established image, and she made tabloid headlines with the adult parties reportedly held at her house. Later she showed a genuine talent for TV and cabaret, and gained new popularity as a regular chat-show guest.

Dors claimed to have left a large fortune to her son in her will, via a secret code in the possession of her third husband Alan Lake. But after Lake’s suicide, this code was never found, and the whereabouts of the fortune remains a mystery.

”They asked me to change my name. I suppose they were afraid that if my real name Diana Fluck was in lights and one of the lights blew .”

Diana’s Father was Albert Edward Sidney Fluck who according to a doumentary by Chanel 4 was a Freemason and often wrote in Masonic code. Dianna was able from a young age to use this code.

Who Got Diana Dors’ Millions? (2003)

You can sign in and watch from the above page.

International Conference on the History of Freemasonry

International Conference
on the History of Freemasonry 2013

24 MAY- 26 MAY 2013

The first International Conference on the History of Freemasonry was held in 2007 to establish whether or not Freemasonry could be considered a single separate subject worthy of its own platform. It is now clear based on the successes of ICHF 2007, 2009 and 2011 that answer is a resounding, YES. Whilst the organisers welcome invitations from Masonic bodies throughout the world to host ICHF within their own locale, there is something comforting in bringing ICHF 2013 back to where it began; Freemasons’ Hall, Edinburgh, Scotland. 2013 is significant in several respects, not least because it marks the 200th anniversary of the 1813 union of the two English Grand Lodges, the Ancient and Moderns, under the auspices of the Duke of Sussex (1773 – 1843). Undoubtedly a number of researchers will submit proposals for papers on this very subject.

Much more info at

Guilds and the leap to Freemasonry

Guilds and the leap to Freemasonry,

notes and comments from Bill McElligott and Peter Taylor.

Anything I say is just my opinion. Many will say something completely different, it just feels plausible to me.

Have a look at The Salters Company, salt trading was absolutely enormous and with the kings blessing many made fortunes.

These are the people who put on the Lord Mayors show.

Election of Lord Mayor

Together with all other Livery companies, The Salters’ Company plays an important role in the governance of the City of London, including the election of the Lord Mayor of the City of London and the two sheriffs who serve as his assistants. Livery companies also participate in ceremonial occasions like the Lord Mayor’s Show, a popular event held the day after the Lord Mayor takes office in November that includes a procession to Westminster where the new Lord Mayor is sworn in.

Have a read of the history an wonder what you would think of doing if you were an academic or an operative Mason around the 1400’s say 1475. You may aspire to emulate that which you see in operation that kept its members safe.

Most of the livery Companies seem to either have taken on a role within the education area or because they were appointed by the Monarch taken on inspection within their trade.

The Guilds themselves seemed to die off, just evolution I think.

I watched with Peter the DVD of the Scottish / Royal Society connection I think you can buy it from UGLE ‘The Scottish Key’ there is an add clip on you tube

The stone Masons became the object of imitation I believe, they were the most powerful of the Guilds, having dealings with both the Church and The Charitable side of the community. I don’t think we should kid anyone I suspect much of this was done like it is done today for profit.

Today in the UK the Builders that are doing OK are the ones that have links with The Housing Associations, they the Housing Ass. in turn obtain funds from Government to purchase new housing, there have just been some hefty fines given to most of the large construction companies for price fixing.

Just imagine for a moment the Church, the City Aldermen and the Builders in 1565 for example, I wonder if they did something similar ? yeah right they did it all for the benefit of mankind.

Not so easy to do if your the fishmonger.

But many of the Guilds, and it is difficult to see where the guilds ended and the Worshipful Companies began have today massive funds available to them, have a look at what some of the Worshipful companies do today.

I worked for one of the Livery Companies, this was about 10 years ago, at there main Hall in London I met 2 young ladies who worked there. They told me what their jobs were. One had to travel round the country buying Silver Plate items and the other purchased cut Glass items. These items were for the display cases in the Hall. So these Guys live in a different world from myself, good luck to them. But I think you get the idea.

Let me give you an insight into why I came to the conclusion below.

This is from a web site of one of the Livery Companies it is a summary of the history of, The Worshipful Company of Haberdashers
The Worshipful Company of Haberdashers has its origins in medieval times. Throughout six and a half centuries it has moved away from its historical involvement in the trade of haberdashery and developed into a significant supporter of schools and education in England and Wales

The Company has its roots in a fraternity, a group of people who lived in the same area doing the same sort of work in medieval times and who worshipped at St. Paul’s Cathedral. Members were haberdashers by trade. They sold ribbons, beads, purses, gloves, pins, caps and toys and in 1502 were joined by the hatmakers’ fraternity. Thereafter there were two types of haberdasher: haberdashers of hats and the original haberdashers of small wares.

The first surviving ordinances were recorded by the Mayor’s Court in 1371. In 1446 the Company adopted its first Coat of Arms, an important symbol when many people could not read. In 1448 the Company was granted a charter of incorporation by Henry VI enabling it to hold land and to have its own Hall in which to hold meetings. The first of three subsequent Halls was built on the corner of Staining Lane and Maiden Lane (now Gresham Street) in 1459.

By 1650 the population of London had grown to such an extent that it was no longer possible to control the haberdashery trade. This resulted in a change of direction, over a long period, to the Company as it is now, with its emphasis on education and charitable giving. To this day the Company continues its historical involvement in the governance of the City of London.

Generally I agree with Peter the Great here, the most plausible origin of the word Freemason is Free Stone Mason.

‘Freestone’ was easier to work with, to make ornate stonework.

But it was a long period from the fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century to the beginning of the Early Modern Period in the 16th century, a millennium. A lot of things happen in a thousand years.

I believe the Guilds had more influence than most give them credit for and then I believe the Worshipful or the Livery Companies completed the transformation by including academics into the Birth of Freemasonry.

Scotland or the ‘Operative’ Scottish Stone Masons, I think greatly influenced these academics and by 1630 say, the seedlings of what we know today as Speculative Freemasonry were sewn.

The Guilds were extremely powerful and lets say in 1275 if you wanted to be a Tailor in Norwich the Guild were the people who decided if you would be allowed to be a tailor.

As time passed the power of the Guild was replaced by the contacts drawn up between City managers, usually a Mayor and a Livery Company, now these Livery Companies were mostly appointed by the Crown, so you can see it as a shift in power between the ‘Unions’ and the ‘Government’ if you will. Remember at this time the Government was what the King wanted.

So show me the connection I hear you shout. …. OK

The Lord Mayor would be referred to as ‘His Worship the Lord Mayor’

The ‘top dog’ of the Livery Company would be called The Worshipful Master.

If you would like to search ‘Worshipful Companies’ you will find they have a Master and Wardens. If you search Guilds you will find they had Masters , Wardens, Stewards, Almoners. The Guilds were the mainstay of the Almshouses. Most Guilds put on morality plays in the streets to raise money for Almshouses. You can find most of this on line now.

One of the largest building campaigns of the 14th / 16th century was Almshouses along with Cathedrals and Churches, they went hand in hand.
Then in London ‘1666’ after the great fire there was a further boom in building of stone and brick, for it was the timber that created the devastation. Who was in the middle of this boom ‘The Operative Masons’.

Much of the reconstruction in London would have had ornate stonework, this would have been very largely from ‘Freestone’.

I think the term was probably “free stone” mason, which many have sought to link as an origin of the word Freemason.

Prior to 1350 all masons came under the general term caemantarii which had been a common name for them in much earlier times, but in 1350 a statute was passed which fixed the wages of “master freestone masons” at four pennies a day, of other masons at three pennies, and of their servants (apprentices) at one and one-half pennies. He says this phrase Mestre mason de franche pere is most significant for the probable origin of the term “freemason.” In 1360 the statute was amended which fixed the wages of the “chief masters of masons” (chiefs mestres de maceons) at four pennies a day, and the other masons at two pennies or three pennies according to their worth, and then went on to provide that: “All alliances and covines of masons and carpenters, and congregations, chapters, ordinances and oaths betwixt them made, or to be made, shall be from henceforth void and wholly annulled; so that every mason and carpenter, of what condition that he be, shall be compelled by his master to whom he serveth to do every work that to him pertaineth to do, or of free stone, or of rough stone.” Here again is an indication suggestive of the original derivation of “freemason” from “free stone.”

Many of the masons were bondmen or serfs under the old feudal system, but no serf or bondman was accepted into the masons’ guilds. Many masons, who had enough work near their homes and had no need to travel, did not join the Guilds, but the guild was of extreme importance to those masons who travelled from place to place for work. Coulton surmises that the term “freemason” might have grown up; it did gradually come to connote certain privileges enjoyed by the master masons that belonged to the guilds.

In the original building records of Eton College near Oxford (which was begun in February 1441) Coulton states that often the same man would be called “mason,” “freemason” or “master mason,” just as an English college teacher might be called “master,” “doct or” or “professor.” The accountant at first calls the freemasons simply “masons” and adds the full title as time goes on, but by February 1442 the payroll listed 41 employees as “freemasons,” which was a separate classification of masons. The payroll listed, for instance, on the week ending May 28, 1442: 49 freemasons, 14 rough masons, 16 carpenters, 2 sawyers, 2 daubers, 1 jacker, 1 tiler, 10 hard hewers and 28 labourers. Six years later, an estimate for the chapel work in the same building reckons the need of 40 to 60 “freemasons,” 12 to 20 masons of Kent called “hard hewers” and 12 layers.

In 1444 we have the first statutory occurrence of the name freemason – “frank mason.” Such freemasons, like master carpenters, are to take five pennies a day, while the rough-mason and under-carpenter take only four pennies.

In 1495 the statute is in English, and the word is “freemason.” He and the rough-mason are now valued at the same wage of six pennies a day. In 1513 the master-mason who contracted to finish King’s College Chapel undertook to “keep continually 60 ‘freemasons’ working upon the same works.” In 1515 the “freemasons, rough-masons and carpenters” of the City of London sent a petition to the King. In 1548, for the first time in any one statute comes the three-fold classification of “freemasons, rough- masons, and hard-hewers.”

In Sir Thomas Elyot’s Latin Dictionary (1538) caementarium is translated” rough masons, which do make only walls.” In Cooper’s Latin Dictionary (1578) caementarius is translated “a dauber, a pargeter, a rough-mason”; and latomas is translated as “a mason, one that cutteth and diggeth stones.” In 1602 the Oxford English Dictionary states that at Burford, the “master freemason” and the “master roughmason” who were employed together on a job were paid five pennies a day.

G.G. Coupon of St. Johns College, Cambridge, England, entitled Medieval Faith and Symbolism (published by Harper and Brothers, New York).

have not seen any reference that would support this, but I have not seen everything so ??

The Morality play seems to be a reasoned starting point for Modern Freemasonry. The world in England over these years would have been heavily Christian, and racked with feuding between Catholic and Protestant factions. In either camp the basic story of Solomon and the Temples would have been acceptable to both, being Old Testament it did not encroach on the Christian doctrine.

So it is not beyond the reach of imagination to see a play in the street giving direction to the people in simple terms, a bit like a Nativity, that we would be more used to today.

My own view is that certain small group of individuals around the turn of the century 1675 / 1700, wanted to find a new way to keep decent like minded people together because they had enough of the Church bickerings
and the influence of the Crown and Nobility over all things. My bet is that it was protectionism ? we may want to give it fancy romantic ideals today but I think it was a case of survival.

Remember , a citizen at this time could be executed for being a Catholic, or thrown into jail.

Wikipedia = Elizabeth I came to the throne in 1558, re-established independence from Rome in a 1559 settlement and was finally excommunicated in 1570. Roman Catholicism continued in England, although it was subject to various forms of persecution, with most recusant members (except those in diaspora on the continent or part of the aristocracy) going underground for all practical purposes until 1832 when the Catholic Emancipation Act came into force.

Being Catholic in England duringthe latter years of Elizebeth 1 reign was a dangerous thing to be. So likewise was not keeping the Protestant line.

So it is easy to see where the secrecy came into being and the desire not to write anything down.

When GLs were being formed say around 1717, in England and in Ireland there were probably no more than a handful of Lodges actually in existence. In fact there was no Operative Lodge in England at all. The lack of quarried stone and the rapid expansion of the use of bricks in England meant that the stonemason’s trade had all but died out. Even Henry VIII had some spectacular palaces built of brick!

The matter was somewhat different in Scotland. Whilst manufacture and use began in the 17th century it was with the industrial revolution at the end of the 18th century that the use of brick really came into prominence in Scotland. In fact it was Scottish Operative Stonemason’s Lodge that carried most of the work in England. London Bridge and the foundations of the Houses of Parliament are good examples.

In the early 1700s when a few Lodges in Edinburgh decide they would create a Grand Lodge they decided to invite all of the Lodges in Scotland to attend a meeting to discuss this possibility. There were in excess of 100 Lodge working in Scotland at that time, (remember none in England which had a much larger population as well. Operative Lodges had been controlled by the Schaw statutes of 1598 and 1599, but still retained much autonomy). Of that 100 plus who were invited 33 turned up. 12 decided not to vote in favour of a GL; the 12 that voted no were a mix of operative and non-operative members, the 21 that did were purely “non-operative in nature”. So more that 79% of Lodges in Scotland didn’t want a GL.

The New GL, created in 1736, adopted the model of the GLE, although much of the “traditions” of the Operative Lodges were retained, (different aprons for example). Soon after the 3rd degree was adopted also, which further distanced the vast majority of Lodges in Scotland as the highest degree in these Lodges was the FC and they wished not to associate with the non-operative Lodges who accused FCs of committing a criminal act, (see 3rd degree). This situation lasted until 1746 when Kilwinning broke away and started chartering Lodges again. There were now 3 systems in Scotland.

No more changes took place until the The Illegal Oaths Act of 1797 an then the The Unlawful Societies Act of 1799. The fear at that time being that any “secret” meeting may be a place where a British style “French Revolution” may be planned. The British Government, and of course the aristocracy who still really controlled things, needed that act to prevent their (unfounded) fears being realised. The GLoS said the would vouch for each of it Lodges and its Members as being loyal to the crown and would supply a list of all of its membership. This appeased the Government but left the vast majority of Operative and Kilwinning Lodges “out in the cold”. They had no option but to “capitulate” and become members of the GLoS.

Thus we have a GL with Operative and Non- operative Lodges working with in the 3 degree structure. As the demise of stonemasonry hit Scotland Lodges still needed to survive so the admission of non-operative was made “easier” by being a part of the GLoS.

Now let us look at this little gem of thought:-

Norman architecture in Normandy

[snips from wikipedia]
Viking invaders arrived at the mouth of the river Seine in 911, at a time when Franks were fighting on horseback and Frankish lords were building castles. Over the next century the population of the territory ceded to the Vikings, now called Normans, adopted these customs as well as Christianity and the langue d’oïl. Norman Barons built timber castles on earthen mounds, beginning the development of motte-and-bailey castles, and great stone churches in the Romanesque style of the Franks. By 950 they were building stone keeps. The Normans were among the most travelled peoples of Europe, exposed to a wide variety of cultural influences including the Near East, some of which became incorporated in their art and architecture. They elaborated on the Early Christian basilica plan, longitudinal with side aisles and an apse, and a western facade with two towers as at the Church of Saint-Étienne at Caen begun in 1067, which formed a model for the larger English cathedrals beginning some twenty years later.

The Abbaye aux Hommes (“Men’s Abbey”) is a former abbey church in theFrench city of Caen, Normandy. Dedicated to Saint Stephen (“Saint Etienne”), it is considered, along with the neighbouring Abbaye aux Dames, to be one of the most notable Romanesque buildings in Normandy. Like all the major abbeys in Normandy, it was Benedictine. Lanfranc, before being archbishop of Canterbury, was the abbot of Saint-Etienne.
Built in Caen stone during the 11th century, the two semi-completed churches stood for many decades in competition. An important feature added to both churches in about 1120 was the ribbed vault, used for the first time in France. The two abbey churches are considered forerunners of the Gothic. The originalRomanesque apse was replaced in 1166 by an early Gothic chevet, complete with rosette windows and flying buttresses. Nine towers and spires were added in the 13th century. The interior vaulting shows a similar progression, beginning with early sexpartite vaulting (using circular ribs) in the nave and progressing to quadipartite vaults (using pointed ribs) in the sanctuary.

Norman building in England
In England, Norman nobles and bishops had influence before the Norman Conquest of 1066, and Norman influences affected lateAnglo-Saxon architecture. Edward the Confessor was brought up in Normandy, and in 1042 brought masons to work on Westminster Abbey, the first Romanesque building in England.

A Norman arch above the church doorway at Guiting Power,Gloucestershire In 1051 he brought in Norman knights who built “motte” castles as a defence against the Welsh. Following the invasion Normans rapidly constructed motte-and-bailey castles, and in a burst of building activity built churches and abbeys, as well as more elaborate fortifications including Norman stone keeps.
The buildings show massive proportions in simple geometries, the masonry with small bands ofsculpture, perhaps as blind arcading, and concentrated spaces of capitals and round doorways and in the tympanum under an arch. The “Norman arch” is the round arch. Norman mouldings are carved or incised with geometric ornament, such as chevron patterns around arches. The cruciform churches often had deep chancels and a square crossing tower which has remained a feature of English ecclesiastical architecture. Hundreds of parish churches were built and the great English cathedrals were founded from 1083.

After a fire damaged Canterbury Cathedral in 1174 Norman masons introduced the new Gothic architecture. Around 1191 Wells Cathedral and Lincoln Cathedral brought in the English Gothic style, and Norman became increasingly a modest style of provincial building.

William the Conqueror had a passion, he started the Norman revival of fortunes by building massive Castles and then Cathedrals, he used a soft stone easily found in his home town, commonly called in English Freestone, because it was easily sculptured to form ornate edgings and caps.

So is there a probability that The Normans and in particular William 1st were instrumental in introducing into England the first Freestone Masons ?

The Foundations of Modern Freemasonry

Collected notes and facts from Bill McElligotts files:-

 John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough,

was both a military commander and a politician. Churchill was commander-in-chief of the English forces that fought in the War of Spanish Succession. While his military fame is secure, his political role is less well known – but along with Robert Harley and Sidney Godolphin, he was part of the Triumvirate who served Queen Anne.


Marlborough was born on May 24th, 1650. He was the third son of Winston Churchill who was a Royalist during the English Civil War. The war had impoverished the Churchill’s. Marlborough was educated privately and at St. Paul’s School in London. He furthered his education at Court where he served as a page to the Duke of York (the future James II). Marlborough married in secret. His wife was Sarah, the daughter of Robert Jennings.


Marlborough gained a commission in the Foot Guards in 1667. His sister Arabella, who was the Duke of York’s mistress, may well have aided his initial military career. Marlborough, however, made a name for himself during campaigns in Tangiers (1668 to 1670) and in the third Anglo-Dutch War from 1672 to 1674. While Marlborough’s military career went from strength to strength, so did the social rise of his wife Sarah. She became Lady-in-Waiting to Princess Anne, the youngest daughter of the future James II and who also became Queen Anne.


When James II became king Marlborough became second-in-command of the English army. It was Marlborough’s army that defeated the Duke of Monmouth in the summer of 1685, which cemented the royal authority of James. However, Marlborough opposed the king’s pro-Catholic views and his attempts to catholicise England.


In the 1688 Revolution he joined William of Orange’s forces at Axminster on November 24th. The next day, Sarah and Princess Anne left London and joined the rebels at Nottingham. To some Marlborough’s move was an obvious one. Though Marlborough continued to prosper in the reign of William, the king had little time for him as a person (though not as a military leader). The one overriding issue William found hard to juggle was the fact that as second-in-command of the king’s army Marlborough had simply upped sticks and moved over to William’s side as he advanced from Torbay in Devon. It was something he was never comfortable with as he placed loyalty above all else. For William, if Marlborough could do this in 1688, what was to stop him doing something similar in William’s reign? This was one of the reasons why William failed to honour Marlborough with becoming a Knight of the Garter. The honour had an air of chivalry about it – something that William did not believe that Marlborough had. However, William put aside his personal views on Marlborough and recognised his military value to the nation.


Under William III, Marlborough became the Earl of Marlborough in 1689 and joined the Privy Council. However, his political and military careers were thrown off track when he was arrested for a supposed part in a Jacobite plot to assassinate William. He lost all his offices and was imprisoned in the Tower of London for six weeks in 1692. He was brought back into the fold in 1694 as European issues came to the fore. It became clear that Louis XIV had not ended his attempt to take over more parts of Europe and many feared his design on Spain. Few were surprised when the War of Spanish Succession broke out.


Few things could have suited Marlborough more. Accused of being part of a plot to murder the king left him tainted in the eyes of some – even though the accusation was false. The war was a perfect way for Marlborough to demonstrate his loyalty and service to the king. He became Captain-General of the English Army in the Netherlands. He was also appointed Ambassador-Extraordinary with a brief to form a Grand Alliance against Louis. In August/September 1701 this was signed with Holland and with Emperor Leopold I. When William III died in March 1702, Marlborough became the political and military leader of the war effort against France.


The War of Spanish Succession dominated politics in Britain. Anne effectively left government to Harley, Godolphin and Marlborough – the Triumvirate. Politically, Marlborough was third in line to Harley and Godolphin and he was described as being politically timid. Marlborough relied on his two partners to raise the necessary finance for the war. Within the field of politics, Marlborough’s military reputation stood him in good stead. Politicians were certainly not subservient to Marlborough but they respected what he stood for.


It was in the War of Spanish Succession that Marlborough extended his fame. He was not a military innovator but Marlborough used what he had at his disposal to great effect.

He was a soldier of genius who, without innovating, used the strategy, tactics and equipment of his day to perfection, and who performed miracles of organisation.” (E N Williams)


Marlborough’s military success was great. He captured Bonn (May 1703) and was victorious at Blenheim in Bavaria (August 1704), Ramillies in the Netherlands (May 1706), Oudenarde in the Netherlands (July/August 1708) and Malplaquet (August/September 1709). In recognition of these victories, Queen Anne granted him £5000 a year for the duration of her life – though it was eventually to be made for his life. Emperor Leopold I made Marlborough Prince of Mindelheim – though the Bavarian town was returned to the government of Bavaria in the Peace of Utrecht.


In February 1705, the Queen and a grateful Parliament gave him the royal manor at Woodstock with its 16,000 acres of land on which he built Blenheim Palace – with the help of more public money.


However, the country became weary of the war and the financial burdens it brought. His influence at court was reduced when his wife was replaced as Anne’s favourite by Mrs Masham – a cousin of Robert Harley who was becoming more and more sceptic about the war. Marlborough and Godolphin had to rely on the Whigs to get anything through Parliament and many assumed that the Whigs had a vested financial interest in keeping the war going. In private, Marlborough was not supportive of the Whig belief that Spain had to be part of the peace settlement. However, with his position at court weakened, he publicly supported their “No peace without Spain” demand.


Anne turned to the Tories in 1710. Marlborough was dismissed on December 31st 1711 and Sarah was effectively removed from the Royal Court at the same time. After this, Marlborough sent his time travelling around Europe. However, he had taken the time to court support amongst Hanoverians.


When George I was crowned king in 1714, Marlborough had all his offices restored. This was a symbolic gesture of thanks and recognition by the king as when he was Elector George of Hanover, he would have been more aware than most of the threat of Louis XIV – a threat not keenly felt in a nation protected by the English Channel and the Royal Navy


Samuel Pepys

was born on February 23rd 1633 near Fleet Street in London. Pepys is best known for his diaries written between 1660 and 1671 that include descriptions of major events such as the coronation of Charles II, the impact of the plague in London in 1665 and the Great Fire of 1666.


Pepys was educated at Huntington Grammar School before moving to St. Paul’s School in London between 1646 and about 1650. Samuel Pepys was present at the execution of Charles I in January 1649. In 1651, Pepys joined Magdalene College, Oxford University, graduating in 1651.


After university, Pepys joined the household of Sir Edward Montagu – his father’s cousin. He spent a great deal of his working life at the Admiralty. Pepys was a very effective worker and is credited with helping to modernise the Royal Navy as it stood then. In July 1660, Pepys took up his appointment as Clerk of the Acts for the Navy Board, which gave him an annual salary of £350. It is known that someone offered him £1000 for the post – a sign of how important the position was. The offer was refused.


Pepys married a fourteen years old French girl called Elizabeth Marchant de St. Michel. They frequently quarrelled as a result of Pepys’ infidelities and this aspect of their marriage is written about in detail in the diaries. However, he disguised his writing by using a variety of foreign languages or shorthand so as to confuse his wife if she attempted to read his diary entries. Elizabeth died on November 10th 1669. Though their marriage had its stormy moments, Pepys commissioned a monument for his late wife in the church of St. Olave’s in London.


Pepys began writing his diaries on January 1st 1660 when he was aged 26. Pepys was an expert observer of people and while his diaries are rightly famous for his description of major events such as the Plague and the Great Fire, they also give great detail on the normal people of London who lived there at the time. Just occasionally, the narrative moves out of describing London, but the bulk of the work is on the city itself.


He stopped writing them in 1671 when his eyesight had badly deteriorated.


In 1673, Pepys was elected MP for Castle Rising in Norfolk. In the same year he was appointed Secretary to the Admiralty Commission. In 1679, Pepys became MP for Harwich. However, his rise to power in the Admiralty and other areas (he became Master of Trinity House in 1676) had made him enemies. In May 1679, Pepys was arrested and placed in the Tower of London after being charged with treasonable activities – being engaged in correspondence with people in France. He was released in July 1679 but the charge was not dropped until June 1680.


In June 1684 Pepys was once again appointed to a senior post in the Royal Navy – King’s Secretary for the Affairs of the Admiralty – a position he held under two kings – Charles II and James II. Pepys became a loyal supporter of James and when the king fled in 1685, Pepys found himself out on a limb. He found no support from William III or Mary II and just one week after their coronation, Pepys tended his resignation from the Admiralty.


Pepys again spent short periods of time in the Tower but he was never charged and after his final release he moved out of London – to Clapham (then in the countryside) and he lived here until he died on May 26th 1703.


Though famous for his diary entries, Pepys is less well known as someone who corresponded with two of the great minds of the era – Sir Christopher Wren and Sir Isaac Newton. He is remembered in the world of mathematics in the ‘Newton-Pepys Problem’. This was a mathematical debate on whether you were more likely to throw a six with six dice or two sixes using twelve dice. Pepys’ name is on the front of ‘Principia Mathematica’ by Newton – which included Newton’s laws on gravity and motion.


Pepys also spent many years collecting books and manuscripts and meticulously referencing them. He had no children and bequeathed his estate to his nephew John Jackson. The unique collection eventually went to Magdalene College in 1723 (on the death of Jackson) where it remains to this day. It contains over 3,000 books and manuscripts and included early English Bibles by William Caxton and Drake’s nautical pocket almanac. 


Timeline of events respective to Freemasonry:


1665 = Plague kills 20% of London’s population

1666 = Great Fire of London

1678 = Second Test Act (barring all Catholics from parliament)

1681 = Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh founded

1682 = National Library of Scotland founded

1683 = Establishment of the Asmolean Museum in Oxford based on the collection of Elias Ashmole

1687 = Sir Isaac Newton publishes law of gravitation

1689 = Toleration Act re-introduced a level of toleration of Nonconformists(excl. Catholics & Unitarians)

1694 = Foundation of Bank of England

1701 = Act of Settlement barred Catholics from the throne

1707 = Act of Union

1714 = George I King of Great Britain (Crowned)

1717 = Freemasons Grand Lodge of England founded

1725 = Freemasons Grand Lodge of Ireland founded

1727 = George II King of Great Britain (Crowned)

1736 = Freemasons Grand Lodge of Scotland founded

1745 = Start of Jacobite rebellion (the ’45)

1752 = London Mansion House completed

1760 = George III King of Great Britain (Crowned)

1771 = Lloyd’s founded as Marine Insurance Company

1782 = The Home Office established

1782 = Foundation of the Foreign Office

1783 = Parliament proclaims an end to hostilities in America

1786 = Robert Burns publishes “Poems, chiefly in the Scottish dialect”

1796 = Robert Burns died

1800 = Royal College of Surgeons of London founded by charter

1807 = Slavery abolished in the British Empire

1820 = George IV King of Great Britain (Crowned)

1833 = Slavery abolished throughout British Empire









Coffee Houses

Lloyd’s of London is a British insurance market. It serves as a meeting place where multiple financial backers or “members”, whether individuals (traditionally known as “Names”) or corporations, come together to pool and spread risk. Unlike most of its competitors in the reinsurance market, it is not a company. The Society of Lloyd’s was incorporated by Lloyd’s Act 1871.

The market began in Edward Lloyd’s coffeehouse around 1688 in Tower Street, London. His establishment was a popular place for sailors, merchants, and shipowners and Lloyd catered to them with reliable shipping news. The shipping industry community frequented the place to discuss insurance deals among themselves. Just after Christmas 1691, the coffee shop relocated to Lombard Street, where a blue plaque commemorates its location. This arrangement carried on long after Lloyd’s death in 1713 until 1774 when the participating members of the insurance arrangement formed a committee and moved to the Royal Exchange as The Society of Lloyd’s.

Between 1688 and 1807, one of the primary sources of Lloyds business was the insurance of ships engaged in slave trading, as Britain established itself as the chief slave trading power in the Atlantic. Slave trading became one of the primary constituents of all British trade, and its dangers meant that insurance of the ships was a major concern. With slave-trading forming such a prominent part of Lloyds business, the organisation was one of the chief opponents to abolition of the trade.

History of Lloyds
In the 17th Century London’s importance as a trade centre led to an increasing demand for ship and cargo insurance.

Lloyd’s coffee house became recognised as the place for obtaining marine insurance.
From its first beginnings in Edward Lloyd’s Coffee House in 1688, Lloyd’s has been a pioneer in insurance. Starting with its roots in marine insurance, Lloyd’s has grown over 300 years to become the world’s leading market for specialist insurance.

From 17th century shipping and Lord Nelson’s victory at the Battle of Trafalgar, through the devastation of the San Francisco earthquake in 1906, and on to the emergence of space satellite technology in the late 20th century, the story of Lloyd’s is both a long and an interesting one.

At 5.13am on 18 April 1906, San Francisco, the seventh largest city in the US, shook, crumbled and then burned to the ground. A massive earthquake, measuring 8.25 on the Richter Scale, brought the city to its knees, sparking uncontrollable fires that raged out of control for three days, taking several thousand lives and making half of the population homeless.

The disaster had a profound effect on the insurance industry of today. Prominent Lloyd’s underwriter, Cuthbert Heath famously instructed his San Franciscan agent to ‘pay all claims’. The quake also laid the foundations for many of today’s modern risk modelling and building practices.

The Coffee House

In 1652, Pasqua Rosee opened a coffee-house in St. Michael’s Alley, Cornhill, London. A native of Smyrna, a port in Western Turkey, where the young man had learned to prepare the beverage, Rosee had been brought to London by a merchant named Daniel Edwards, whose friends so liked the unique brew that he allowed his servant to open the city’s first coffee-house.

The coffee-house itself was not unique to London. As Francis Bacon noted in his Sylva Sylvarum in 1627, “They have in Turkey a drink called Coffee, and they take it, and sit at it in their Coffee Houses, which are like our Taverns.”

The London coffee-houses provided a gathering place where, for a penny admission charge, any man who was reasonably dressed could smoke his long, clay pipe, sip a dish of coffee, read the newsletters of the day, or enter into conversation with other patrons.

Naturally, this dissemination of news led to the dissemination of ideas, and the coffee-house served as a forum for their discussion. As the eminent social historian G. M. Trevelyan observed: “The ‘Universal liberty of speech of the English nation’…was the quintessence of Coffee House life.”

The patrons of the coffee-houses agreed to conform to the strict rules of the establishments. According to the posted “Rules and Orders of the Coffee House,” all men were equal in these establishments, and none need give his place to a “Finer” man. Anyone who swore was made to “forfeit twelve pence,” and the man who began a quarrel “shall give each man a dish t’atone the sin.” “Maudlin lovers” were forbidden “here in Corners to mourn,” for all were expected to “be brisk, and talk, but not too much,” “Sacred Things” must be excluded from conversation, and the patrons could neither “profane Scripture, nor saucily wrong Affairs of State with an irreverent tongue.” In many establishments, games of chance as well as cards were prohibited, and any wager was limited to five shillings, a sum which was to “be spent In such Good Liquor as the House doth vent.”

Even during the plague and the great fire that followed it, Londoners continued to visit their favourite coffee-houses. Neither Samuel Pepys nor Daniel Defoe, for example, could be persuaded to forgo his daily visit to the coffee-house during this dreadful time, but like every citizen, each was prudent. Patrons of coffee-houses were no longer prepared to talk freely with strangers, and would approach even close acquaintances only after inquiring after their health and that of the family at home. The plague and the fire did much to curtail the prosperity and popularity of the coffee-house, but only for a short time. Once these dangers were past, the coffee-house again assumed its place as the major social institution of its day.

The coffee-house established by William Urwin in Russell Street, Covent Garden, achieved a fame far beyond it founder’s hopes – Pepys and Pope, frequented the coffee-house.

Yet the literary coffee-houses were not the only seats of learning. In fact, according to the announcement in The Tatler, “learning” was to be reported “under the title of the Graecian,” for it was at this establishment in Devereaux Court, Strand, that the “Learned Club,” as the Fellows of the Royal Society were called, continued its regular meetings in a social way. The president of the Society, Sir Isaac Newton, Professor Halley, the great astronomer, and Sir Hans Sloane, a collector whose curiosities were to form the basis of the collections of the British Museum, as well as other learned men, frequented the Graecian Coffee-house where, as was reported in The Tatler,

It was in 1697, however, that the coffee-house exerted its greatest influence on the business community, for it was in that year that the merchants, bothered by their presence, had the stock-jobbers removed from the Royal Exchange. With their expulsion from the Exchange, the stock-jobbers moved their dealings to the neighbouring coffee-houses, taking over many of the customary haunts of the shippers, traders, underwriters, and merchants engaged in maritime trade. Thus, for seventy-six years, until 1773 when it was moved to quarters behind the Royal Exchange, the nation’s stock exchange operated from the coffee-houses, most notably Jonathan’s and Garraway’s.

What is the Masonic connection of any.

The first record of the ‘making’ of an English Freemason is Elias Ashmole, the antiquarian and herald, whose collections formed the basis of the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. He recorded in his diary that a lodge met at his father-in-law’s house in Warrington, Cheshire on 16 October 1646 to make him a Mason. None of those involved was a stonemason. In the later 1600s there is further evidence for the existence of Freemasonry as a separate organisation unrelated to groups controlling the stonemason’s craft.

Organised Freemasonry became established on 24 June 1717 when four London lodges came together at the Goose and Gridiron Ale House, St Paul’s Churchyard, formed themselves into a Grand Lodge and elected Anthony Sayer, Gentleman, as their Grand Master – the first Grand Lodge in the world. Initially the Grand Lodge was simply an annual feast for lodges in London but in 1721 John, Duke of Montagu, was elected Grand Master and the Grand Lodge met in ‘quarterly communication’ and began to establish itself as a regulatory body, attracting to it lodges meeting outside London.

The Royal Society
In the beginning of Speculative Fraternity under the Grand Lodge system the Freemasons avowed their devotion to the sciences more boldly, and even dramatically. The Royal Society was in the British public mind synonymous with science, and for more than a century it, and its offshoots, were the only exponents and practitioners of science in Britain. It began in 1660 and took its first organized form at a meeting of scholars in Gresham College who had assembled to hear a lecture by Bro. Sir Christopher Wren. Sir Robert Moray was elected its first president, March 6, 1661 A.D.; he was made a Freemason at Newcastle-on-Tyne on May 20, 1641. Dr. Desaguliers, who later became its secretary for a long period of years, was the “father of the Grand Lodge System.” and was one of Sir Isaac Newton’s closest friends. A lodge largely composed of Royal Society members met in a room belonging to the Royal Society Club in London. At a time when preachers thundered against these scientists, when newspapers thundered against them, street crowds hooted at them, and neither Oxford nor Cambridge would admit science courses, masonic lodges invited Royal Society members in for lectures, many of which were accompanied by scientific demonstrations.

So one of the gentlemen one might find in the Grecian Coffee House was Isaac Newton, where sometimes he met de Moivre.

Jonathan’s Coffee House, in Exchange Alley, had merchants as customers and is now considered as developing into the London Stock Exchange. Hooke and Wren were often in Jonathan’s taking part in scientific discussions.

Talking of Newton, de Moivre, Hooke and Wren brings us back to our main topic of mathematics in the coffee houses of London. … ouses.html




The Royal Society

The Royal Society of London for the Improvement of Natural Knowledge, known simply as The Royal Society, is a learned society for science that was founded in 1660 and claims to be the oldest such society still in existence. Although a voluntary body, it serves as the academy of sciences of the United Kingdom (in which role it receives £40 million annually from the UK Government). The Royal Society is a member organization of the Science Council.

The Royal Society of Edinburgh (founded 1783) is a separate Scottish body. The Royal Irish Academy (founded 1785) is a separate Irish body.

The Royal Society was founded in 1660, only a few months after the Restoration of King Charles II, by members of one or two either secretive or informal societies already in existence. The Royal Society enjoyed the confidence and official support of the restored monarchy. The “New” or “Experimental” form of philosophy was generally ill-regarded by the Aristotelian (and religious) academies, but had been promoted by Sir Francis Bacon in his book The New Atlantis.

Robert Boyle refers to the “Invisible College” as early as 1646. A founding meeting was held at the premises of Gresham College in Bishopsgate on 28 November 1660, immediately after a lecture by Sir Christopher Wren, who was at that time Gresham Professor of Astronomy. At a second meeting a week later, Sir Robert Moray, an influential Freemason who had helped organise the public emergence of the group, reported that the King approved of the meetings. The Royal Society continued to meet at the premises of Gresham College and at Arundel House, the London home of the Dukes of Norfolk, until it moved to its own premises in Crane Court in 1710.

A formal Royal Charter of incorporation passed the Great Seal on 15 July 1662, creating “The Royal Society of London”, with Lord Brouncker as the first President, and Robert Hooke was appointed as Curator of Experiments in November 1662. A second Royal Charter was sealed on 23 April 1663, naming the King as Founder and changing the name to “The Royal Society of London for the Improvement of Natural Knowledge”.

The motto of the Royal Society, “Nullius in Verba” (Latin: “On the words of no one”), signifies the Society’s commitment to establishing the truth of scientific matters through experiment rather than through citation of authority. Although this seems obvious today, the philosophical basis of the Royal Society differed from previous philosophies such as Scholasticism, which established scientific truth based on deductive logic, concordance with divine providence and the citation of such ancient authorities as Aristotle.

A selected list of Presidents

  • Sir Christopher Wren (1680-1682)

  • Samuel Pepys (1684-1686)

  • Charles Montagu (1695-1698)

  • The Lord Somers (1698-1703)

  • Sir Isaac Newton (1703-1727)

  • Joseph Banks (1778-1820)

  • Sir Humphry Davy (1820-1827)

  • Prince Augustus, Duke of Sussex (1830-1838)

  • William Parsons, 3rd Earl of Rosse (1848-1854)

  • Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker (1873-1878)

  • Thomas Henry Huxley (1883-1885)

  • George Gabriel Stokes (1885-1890)

  • William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin (1890-1895)

  • Joseph Lister, 1st Baron Lister (1895-1900)

  • Sir William Huggins (1900-1905)

  • John William Strutt, 3rd Baron Rayleigh (1905-1908)

  • Sir Joseph John Thomson (1915-1920)

  • Sir Ernest Rutherford (1925-1930)

  • Sir William Henry Bragg (1935-1940)

  • Sir Henry Hallett Dale (1940-1945)

  • Robert May, Baron May of Oxford (2000-2005)

  • Martin Rees, Baron Rees of Ludlow (2005-)


The Grand Lodge was founded after George I, the first Hanoverian king of the Kingdom of Great Britain, ascended to the throne on 1 August 1714 and the end of the first Jacobite rising of 1715.

Officially, the Grand Lodge of England was founded on St. John the Baptist’s day, 24 June 1717, in London, when four Craft Lodges gathered at the Goose and Gridiron Ale-house in St. Paul’s Church-yard in London and constituted themselves a Grand Lodge. The four lodges had previously met together in 1716 at the Apple-Tree Tavern, “and having put into the Chair the oldest Master Mason (now the Master of a Lodge), they constituted themselves a Grand Lodge pro Tempore in due form.” It was at that meeting in 1716 that they resolved to hold the Annual Assembly and Feast and then choose a Grand Master from among themselves, which they did the following year. The four participating lodges were accustomed to meeting at the Goose and Gridiron Ale-house in St. Paul’s Church-yard (Lodge now called Lodge of Antiquity No. 2); the Crown Ale-house in Parker’s Lane near Drury Lane; the Apple-Tree Tavern in Charles Street, Covent Garden (Lodge now called Lodge of Fortitude and Old Cumberland No. 12); and at the Rummer and Grapes Tavern in Channel Row, Westminster (Lodge now called Royal Somerset House and Inverness Lodge No. IV). The Rummer and Grapes appears to have been a lodge of accepted and speculative masons, while the other three lodges were still mainly operative lodges.

During the early decades of the Grand Lodge it was not the “Grand Lodge of England,” either in name on in the minds of its members. Rather, it limited its jurisdiction to lodges in London and Westminster. This was a restriction that had applied to the old London Masons’ Company

George Payne, in his second term as Grand Master in 1720 wrote the General Regulations of a Free Mason, which were printed in 1722/3. In 1723 the Grand Lodge of England set up a constitution for Free and Accepted Masons The Constitutions of the Free-Masons containing the History, Charges, Regulations, & of that most Ancient and Right Worshipful Fraternity: For use of the Lodges, written by the Revd. Dr. James Anderson (1680-1739). A reworked version of the Constitutions was published in 1738 (by Anderson) and again in 1818 after the union of Ancients’ Grand Lodge and the Moderns Grand Lodge.

Had to remove article on copyright grounds but full article of – sorry readers. But ……….

“England Around 1717 – The Foundation of the First Grand Lodge in Context” can be found at:



ALL the old crafts and guilds, both English and Continental, had their patron saints; and for hundreds of years freemasons have been holding their festivals on saints’ days. Masonic writings make frequent mention of saints, and the Masonic Year Book shows that saints give their names to about four hundred lodges in England alone. The saints in greatest regard among masons are St John the Baptist, St John the Evangelist, St Thomas, St Barbara, St George, and the Four Crowned Martyrs, often known by the Latin form, Quatuor Coronati.

St John the Baptist
June 24, the traditional birthday of St John the Baptist, was and is a great Church festival; but at one time it was the saint’s day of martyrdom, and not his birthday, that was celebrated, a pulpit being erected in the open air and decorated with boughs and green candles, fires being lit in the open-the ‘blessing fires’-and houses dressed with green boughs and flowers. The saint’s birthday was at one time a day of heathen rejoicing, and how it ever came to be associated with either operative or speculative masonry is not known, for neither of the Saints John is believed to have had any special connexion with building or masonry. It is possible, however, that both of these saints have been confused with the Byzantine St John of Jerusalem, known as St John the Almoner, there being some shadowy idea that the charitable organization of St John of Jerusalem had some influence on the building craft. But freemasons have no monopoly of St John the Baptist, for it may be noted that every Master of the Merchant Taylors Company takes his oath on the day of the Saint and invokes his assistance. Possibly going back as far as the seventeenth century, English masons have been called ‘St John’s Men’ or ‘St John’s masons.’ Even today, particularly in the North of England, the annual festival, or installation meeting, is frequently referred to as ‘St John’s.’ Why is not known, nor is the origin of the connexion of craft masonry throughout Scotland with the name of St John.

St John the Evangelist
Many ancient lodges had their summer festival on St John the Baptist’s Day and their winter festival on St John the Evangelist’s Day, December 27. This second St John was traditionally regarded as the son of Zebedee and Salome (the latter supposed to have been the sister of the Virgin Mary), and is said to have died at the age of nearly a hundred after an eventful life, but with no particular connexion with masonry or architecture. There seems good ground for assuming that the two saints’ days were originally days of heathen rejoicing, being the summer and the winter solstices, cleverly appropriated by the Early Christian Fathers and by them fastened on the two Saints John. We find that the emblem of wheel is common to both of the festivals, although chiefly associated with that of winter. A wheel used to be rolled about to signify the sun, which at the June festival occupies the highest place in the Zodiac. In some festivals it was taken to the top of the hill, straw was tied around it and set on fire, and the wheel was then set rolling down to the valley, It appearing “at a distance as if the sun had fallen from the sky” The people imagine that all their ill-luck rolls away from them together with this wheel.”

Reproduced from the Freemson’s Guide and Compendium by Bernard E Jones