Chronology of Masonic History

Discussion in 'Masonic Education' started by Blake Bowden, Sep 28, 2009.

  1. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

    Compiled by Bro. Kris Hartung

    1440 Masons given the Mason word by William to preserve the secrets of the Templars he was building Rosslyn to house.

    1483 The burgh of Aberdeen is recorded as being involved in settlement of a dispute between six ‘masownys of the lurge’. Masonry is starting to spread out as lodges initiate Candidates and give the the 'Mason Word'

    1599 Earliest surviving Lodge Minutes from Edinburgh

    1601 James VI made a Mason at Lodge of Scoon and Perth.

    1602 William Schaw sets up the modern lodge system in Scotland following the instructions of James VI

    1602 The Lodges of Scotland affirm William St Clair of Roslin as hereditary Grand Master Mason of Scotland from TI

    1603 James VI takes Freemasonry to England when he becomes James I of Britain
    1621: An “acception” occurs into the London Company of Freemasons, where men were admitted into a body of the company (1), p. 90

    1631: An “acception” occurs into the London Company of Freemasons (1), p. 90 1641: Sir Robert Moray (one of the founders of the Royal Society in London) is initiated at Mary’s Chapel
    Lodge of Edinburgh; claimed to be the first non-operative initiation (1), p. 127, (2), p. 12-13

    1646: Elias Ashmole “made” the first speculative Mason in a lodge at Warrington, in Lancashire, England (1), p. 97, 99

    1665: Randle Holme likely “made” a Freemason at a lodge in Chester (1), p. 103 1676: Passage in the publication “Poor Robin’s Intelligence” suggests an association of the London
    Company of Masons with the notion of an “accepted” Mason (1), p. 104

    1682: Ashmole witnessed 6 men received into Freemasonry, four of which were members of the London Company of Masons (operative) (1), p.100

    1686: Dr. Robert Plot, a natural philosopher, in his “The Natural History of Staffordshire” writes that eminent men were Masons, that Freemasonry was spread throughout the nation, and that there was a large parchment volume containing the rules and history of the Craft; uses the term “Lodg” for a meeting of Freemasons, which consists of at least 5 or 6 members; states that candidates present themselves with gloves, that they have secret signs, and that a fellow of the society is called an accepted mason; does not state that Freemasonry was “nothing more than a Rosicrucian ‘stunt’” (1), p. 106

    1691: John Aubrey records that Sir Christopher Wren and others were adopted as a brothers, as Brethren of the Fraternity of the Accepted Masons w (1), p. 111

    1709: The Tatler makes a reference to ‘free-masons’ (1), p. 1141710: The Tatler mentions “the certain Company called the Free Masons” (1), p. 114)

    1717: The first Grand Lodge is founded in London, consisting of four lodges: one (No. 4) at the Rummer and Grapes, Westminster; one at the Goose and Gridiron, St. Paul’s Churchyard; one at the Apple Tree Tavern, Covent Garden; and one at the Crown Ale House, Drury Lane (1), p.
    170-171 [taken from Anderson’s Constitutions and The Complete Freemason by an anonymous author], (5), p. 78

    1723: The Constitutions by James Anderson published; the two-degree sysem speculated to have been practiced by the 1712 lodge is confirmed (1), p. 180, 234

    1723: A Mason’s Examination printed in three issues of The Flying Posts or Postman (1), p. 194

    1724: Old Lodge at York constituted as a Grand Lodge (1), p. 179

    1725: Grand Lodge of Ireland established (1), p. 179, (5), p. 79

    1725: An old Lodge in the City of York formed itself into “The Grand Lodge of ALL England” or “The Grand Lodge at York” (1) p. 213

    1727: Oldest written reference to the third degree, in lodge minutes of the lodge at the Swan and Rummer in London; fully established in a number of lodges by 1730 (1), p. 243

    1728: English Grand Lodge of France assembled, changed to the Grand Lodge of France in the 1750’s (4) 1730: Prichard publishes “Masonry Dissected” and a vital set of “vital” changes may have been made to
    Masonic ritual (1), p. 165

    1730: Grand Lodge of 1717 (The Premier Grand Lodge) in an effort to prevent irregular Masons from entering its lodges, inverted the modes of recognition of its first and second degrees (1), p. 195

    1733: Part of the Grand Lodge of France broke away and created its own Masonic body, the Grand Orient of France; result of a dispute between Parisian and provincial lodges, and regarding the use of the Rite of Perfection by the Parisian lodge; this split mirrors the prior Modern/”Antient” split in England; The Grand Lodge of France was “Scottish” oriented, with the proliferation of higher degrees, and the Grand Orient of France choosing a “modern way” (4), (5), p. 23

    1735: William Smith, a London publisher, produces the first Masonic “pocket companion” (2), p. 29 1736: Grand Lodge of Scotland established (1), p. 179

    1738: Second edition of the Constitutions published; names and dates added; “Entered Apprentice” and “Fellowcraft” terms borrowed from Scotish Masons ; three degree system is officially recognized (1), p. 180-182, 240

    1738: Pope Clement XII issues a Bull denouncing Free-Masonry (1), p. 191; lodge membership is condemned and Freemasonry is charged with being a new form of religion (2), p. 18

    1751: Pope Benedict XIV issues a Bull denouncing Free-Masonry (1), p. 191

    1751: In The Hague, a lodge of men and women used French as its primary language and left a list of its officers in both the masculine and the feminine (2), p. 19; recorded as the earliest known women’s lodge in Europe (2), p. 93; the earliest extant ritual intended for women’s participation anywhere in Europe is that for the Loge de Juste in the Netherlands, and written in French

    1751: Rival Grand Lodge of the “Antients” founded, believing that they practiced a more ancient and purer form of Masonry (emulating more operative rituals and principles); called the “The Most Ancient and Honorable Society of Free and Accepted Masons” (1), p. 193, 197

    1756: First edition of Ahiman Rezon, by Laurence Dermott, published as Constitutions of the “Antient” Fraternity (1), p. 198-199

    1756: Dutch Freemasons organize their national system of authority and governance, the Grand Lodge of the Netherlands (2), p. 21

    1760: Grand Lodge of England changes its rules to require the Bible on lodge altars (until then Anderson's Constitutions was acceptable), and originally candidates were not asked to express a belief in God ("the laws and ritual of the original Grand Lodge in 1723 required no more of its initiates on the subject of religion than that they should be good men and true, men of honor and honesty, obeying the moral law") (3)

    1763: Earliest written French ritual text for women is written by the Count de Clermont, Grand Master of French Freemasonry (2), p. 100-101

    1771: Minutes of the Grand Lodge in The Hague record that “England promises not to grant constitutions anymore to lodges within this territory” and the London Grand Lodge declares the Dutch Grand Lodge “free and independent” (2), p. 65

    1774: The Grand Lodge of Paris chooses to establish a national assembly, where representative from all over the country had one vote (2), p. 23

    1774: The Grand Orient of Paris officially recognizes and votes female lodges as Masonic organizations (2), p. 97

    1779: The “Grand Lodge of England, South of the River Trent” is formed led by William Preston, and authorized by the Grand Lodge at York (1), p. 213)

    1779: Culmination of female Masonic ritual evolution with the publication of La vraie maconnerie d’adoption, by Louis Guillemain de Saint Victor, which became the most popular ritual (2), p. 108)

    1785: Mark at which there were likely over 1500 women Freemasons in Europe (2), p. 24

    1799: The Grand Lodge of France changed its name to the “Scottish Grand Lodge of France” and merges with the new formed “Supreme Council of France” in 1805 (4)

    1809: Lodge of Promulgation founded by the Moderns with the purpose of communicating the ancient landmarks and instructing masons of Modern lodges in the alterations necessary (1), p. 219

    1809 (April): The “Moderns” become convinced that a union with the “Antients” was essential and that they must take the first steps, leading to the passing of a resolution that “it is not necessary any longer to continue those measures which were resorted to, in or about the year
    1739, respecting irregular Masons, and do therefore enjoin the several Lodges to revert to the Ancient Land Marks of the Society” (1), p. 218)

    1811: The “Antients” pass a resolution that “a Masonic Union on principles equal and honourable to both Grand Lodges, and preserving inviolate the Land Marks of the Ancient Crafts, would, in the opinion of this Grand Lodge, be expedient and advantageous to both” (1), p218-219

    1813: The “Modern” Premier Grand Lodge of “Moderns” the Grand Lodge of “Antients” unite into the United Grand Lodge of England (1), p. 221

    1821: The Central Grand Lodge is created by the Supreme Council of France to manage the 3 first degrees of the AASR. The Supreme Council of France keeps its management for the 4th to the 33rd degrees.

    1848: The new ideas of Secularism, Liberty and Hope begin to depict the voice of the French people and many Freemasons accept these new ideas. The Grand Orient of France begins to consider revision of its Constitution. The idea of secularism and free-thinking was slowly growing in the lodges of the Grand Orient of France until 1877 (4).

    1868: Grand lodges in the U.S. begin to withdraw their recognition of the Grand Orient of France (GOdF) when the GOdF recognized a Masonic group called the "Supreme Council of the A. and A.S. Rite of the State of Louisiana," which was not recognized by the Grand Lodge of Louisiana. As printed in the Louisiana Proceedings, “one of the reasons the GOdF recognized this ‘Supreme Council of ... Louisiana’ is because that group allowed the initiation of men ‘without regard to nationality, race, or color.’ The GOdF report mentioned "civil and political equality ... between the white and colored races," opposition to slavery, and the necessity of its abolition” (3) (5), p. 23

    1869: GOdF passed a resolution that neither color, race, nor religion should disqualify a man for initiation (3)

    1873: “To avoid the Central Grand Lodge being hit by the Secularism movement, the Supreme Council of France imposes that all documents should begin with ‘To The Glory of The Grand Architect Of The Universe, under the name and the auspices of the Supreme Council of France, Liberty, Equality, Fraternity’” (4)

    1875: The Supreme Council of France and the Central Grand Lodge adopt the definition of the Lausanne Communication about the Grand Architect of the Universe which says “The Grand Architect of the Universe is the Principle Creator of the Universe” (4)

    1877: GOdF, at its general assembly, proclaims absolute liberty of conscience as a right belonging to every man, and out of respect for this liberty they expunge from their Constitution a dogmatic formula, which seemed to a great majority of the members to be in contradiction with liberty of conscience. (3)

    1877: The Grand Orient of France suppresses the invocation “To the Glory of the Grand Architect of the Universe” in its rituals. The United Grand Lodge of England breaks its relationship with the GOdF because of “irregularity” (4)

    1877: The United Grand Lodge of England decided to break its relationship with it because of “irregularity” (4)

    1894: The Central Grand Lodge becomes fully independent of the Supreme Council of France and changes its name to “The Grand Lodge of France,” an independent Masonic body, managing the AASR blue lodges, continuing the Regular French Masonry (4)

    1918: Grand Lodge of Louisiana enthusiastically recognizes the Grand Lodge of France and re-recognizes the GOdF, leading several other U.S. Grand Lodges to do the same (3)

    1955: The Grand Lodge of France adopts of declaration of principles, centered maintaining the glory of the Grand Architect of the Universe, the requirement of Masons taking their obligation on the compass, square, and Volume of the Sacred Law (Bible), forbidding discussion of religion and politics, and maintaining the Old Charges (4)

    1955: Pierre de Ribaucourt, Edouard de Ribaucourt’s son, 30 Grand Officers of the GLNF and the lodges “Les Philadelphes” and the famous “Le Centre des Amis”, create a new Grand Lodge : The “French National Grand Lodge – Opera”, changed to “Traditional And Symbolical Grand Lodge” (GLTS or GLTSO). In 1982 (4)

    2005: Several lodges declared their independence from the Anglo-American Masonic system and formed a confederation of sovereign lodges under the banner of "United Grand Lodge of America" (6)

    2007: Several more U.S. lodges declared their independence from the Anglo-American Masonic system and the Council of the Order was convened to formalize our relationship with our brethren in France and throughout Europe. The Council voted unanimously to change the name of the United Grand Lodge of America to the Grand Orient of the United States of America to better, and more precisely, identify it with the existing currents of 'Modern' Free-Masonry throughout the world (6)

    2008: The Grand Orients of France and the Grand Orient of the United States signed a Treaty of Amity fully recognizing one another as sovereign Masonic powers (6)
    (1) Jones,BernardE.Freemasons’GuideandCompendium,CumberlandHouse,1950 (2) Jacob,Margaret.TheOriginsofFreemasonry:FactsandFictions,Penn,2006
    (3) Bessel, Paul. “U.S. Recognition of French Grand Lodges in the 1900s”, Heredom: The Transactions of the Scottish Rite Research Society -- volume 5, 1996, pages 221-244]
    (4) Jaunaux, Bro. Laurent. “Concise History of the French Regular Freemasonry”, Regular Grand Lodge of Belgium, regular-freemasonry/
    (5) Dedopulos,Tim.TheBrotherhood:InsidetheSecretsofFreemasons.Carlton,2006 (6) WebsitefortheGrandOrientoftheUnitedStates

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