Lost in translation

Discussion in 'History and Research' started by Luigi Visentin, Jan 17, 2020.

  1. Luigi Visentin

    Luigi Visentin Registered User

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    Hi all! I'm completing my book but by reviewing a passage I have a doubt about the correct translation. As English is not my mother tongue I have thought to ask for an help, taking the occasion to share this information which is contained only in a few books about the history of Freemasonry.

    The passage is included in a letter dated 1628, suspected to be a testimony about the existence of a Lodge in the court of the king od Scotland:

    the noble fraternitie had our solemne meeting in London, being now (with your self and Adam the Advocate) just forty in number. Wee have taken in sundrie of the bedchamber and others of quality and worth, and haue forever hereafter excluded and discharges to admit of any but his majesties servants; and they also to be of the degree of esquire. Also wee have established laudable and good orders to be observed, under the forfature of certain penalties, whereby wee shall avoyde all manner of excesses, royat and disorder. Whereof my brother Ffullerton wil informe you. Your self and the Advocate was very respectulie and solemnly remembered by the whole companie. These enclosed badges of the noble brothered is to be worne by you and the Advocate about your hatband, until our next meeting which is to be every six months, whereof yu shall always haue notice given yow to keep that day solemnly, at which tyme yee shall have our new badges of favour. This much I was commanded to signifie unto you.

    This letter was written by Sir David Cunningham to a namesake, Sir David Cunningham, but from Robertland. The father and the oncle (Sir Alexander Cunningham) of the latter were Master of Works under James IV of Scotland (who was also James I of England). Sir Alexander Cunningham had a son who is recorded to have been initiated in 1675. Now my doubt in the translation is referred to the phrase:

    and haue forever hereafter excluded and discharges to admit of any but his majesties servants; and they also to be of the degree of esquire.

    As far as I have understood, it should means: we have excluded everyone who is not a servant of the sovereign and even those who have been admitted must have the minimum degree of esquires.

    I have understood correctly? Thank you in advance for any help.
     
  2. JamestheJust

    JamestheJust Registered User

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    That is a fair translation.

    The passage from the letter does not however contain any aspect that is unique to Freemasonry. I suspect that there were many chivalrous orders some of which were restricted to particular bloodlines.

    Further, the official history of Freemasonry (in the English tradition) is that Freemasonry was essentially a trade association that was for a while captured by gentry - for reasons that are hard to explain.
     
  3. Luigi Visentin

    Luigi Visentin Registered User

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    Thank you!
    If the official history would be correct there would be no need to look for the origins and the ancient documents would be clearly explained. However it is not so. I think that in this passage there is an important element which is charateristics of ancient Masonry and at the root of the Scottish Rite (when it was not yet called in this way). Unfortunately as for everything I have found, there is not an explicit declaration but this should not wonder for something that before the Eighteen century was really secret. But for me, that I have found it after a long study where I have developed a theory, it is like a clear confirmation of my interpretation.
     
  4. TheThumbPuppy

    TheThumbPuppy Registered User

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    Hi
    I haven't quite understood what you mean by translation? Do you mean that you're actually translating this into Italian, by any chance?

    Regarding the sentence in question, I think that you got the meaning right.

    However I cannot work out the syntax of discharges in the original sentence.

    Wee have taken in sundrie of the bedchamber and others of quality and worth, and haue forever hereafter excluded and discharges to admit of any but his majesties servants; and they also to be of the degree of esquire
    • Wee have taken in = subject + verb
    • sundrie of the bedchamber and others of quality and worth = direct objects
    • and [we] haue forever hereafter excluded = and we have excluded from this moment on
    • and discharges = ?? I believe that this is a typographic mistake. It would have made more sense if it was discharged, as in discharged to admit that was used in the Scottish legal jargon in the XVII and XVIII century. So, I have googled "discharged to admit of" and I've found your passage in four different books, for instance Restoring the Temple of Vision: Cabalistic Freemasonry and Stuart Culture .
    • we have excluded and discharged to admit of any but his majesties servants = we have excluded and stopped to allow anybody but those working for the king
    • and they also to be of the degree of esquire = and they (those working for the king who are admitted) must have the degree of esquire
    Feel free to message me directly for other questions. I can speak Italian.
     
  5. Luigi Visentin

    Luigi Visentin Registered User

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    Yes, right. Or better I'm translating it in Italian for the italian version but, obviously, I wanted to understand better the meaning as it is particularly important if this letter is referred to Masons.

    Thank you anyway for the complete examination of the phrase. The other questions would be ... about three hundreds pages that I have translated from Italian to English :D:D:D. I'm joking, obviuously!
     
    TheThumbPuppy likes this.

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