Masonic Connection

Discussion in 'History and Research' started by Brother Mark, Feb 14, 2012.

  1. Brother Mark

    Brother Mark Registered User

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    Hey Brothers
    I was sitting in lodge tonight when a brother lend over to me and ask. Did our form of Masonry start in the 1500's? now from my understanding we consider that our form of masonry started around the time of the Temple was being built. Has anyone done research on this?
     
  2. BryanMaloney

    BryanMaloney Premium Member

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    There has been a great deal of research on the history of Freemasonry. UGLE maintains that it started in the late 1600s or early 1700s, at least in their materials available to the general public.
     
  3. Brother Jason Eddy

    Brother Jason Eddy Registered User

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    I think the answer to this question can vary depending upon your definition of “our form of Masonry”. If you are speaking of the organization of Freemasonry, then I believe Brother Maloney to be correct on what is the assumed timing of the formation of Freemasonry in England. “Masonry” in a speculative sense, however, has been around since “time immemorial”. True Masonry, or the act of men seeking that which was lost with the desire of improving themselves, was around long before the UGLE and will continue to exist should the organization of “Freemasonry” cease to do so. In essence, though it is certainly nice to know from a conversational standpoint, it does not really matter “when we started”. Many feel that by being able to associate the Craft with antiquity we are able to lend more credibility to our tenets. I personally believe that it has little importance in the scheme of our Masonic journey. Just some thoughts…
     
  4. Brother Mark

    Brother Mark Registered User

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    Thanks y'all for answering that for me. I wasn't sure how to answer him. Now I do
     
  5. Mac

    Mac Moderator Premium Member

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    I would recommend David Stevenson's book the Origins of Freemasonry. It's a great read, but it discusses the beginnings of speculative Freemasonry in Scotland, pre-dating its presence in England. For my Lodge of Research paper, I read through a few books about Lodge Kilwinning, the Mother Ludge (their spelling) of Scotland. They have the oldest set of masonic minutes in the world. Fun fact: Lodge Kilwinning's Lodge Number is 0 (zero), and there's a fun story behind that.

    Here's their website if you want to poke around a little bit. ;)

    Lodge Mother Kilwinning No.0 - The Mother Lodge of Scotland
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2012
  6. towerbuilder7

    towerbuilder7 Moderator Premium Member

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    I enjoy reading books by Masonic authors who have done research into the progenitors of this modern form of Freemasonry. Two of my favorite authors are Robert Knight and Christopher Lomas. The Hiram Key, Turning The Hiram key, and The Book of Hiram offer their view of the origins of the craft. It is enjoyable reading. I would also suggest The Secret Teachings of All Ages by Manly P Hall. It discusses secret societies and their origins and philosophies. You will see many similarities in some of these more archaic societies to our Craft. Many more, but those are a few of my favorites that may be fun to read.
     
  7. towerbuilder7

    towerbuilder7 Moderator Premium Member

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    I am sorry for the mix up. It's late and I'm still up surfing. The correct names of those authors are Christopher Knight and Robert Lomas. My apologies. They also have a book titled Uriel's Machine, The Second Messiah, and the most recent one by Lomas titled, The Secret Power of Masonic Symbols. I have all in the collection and have read each except for the last two. Very good and well researched books. Knight and Lomas have yet to disappoint.
     
  8. Brother Mark

    Brother Mark Registered User

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    I ordered some books about the history of freemasonary from Barnes & Noble. they should be here by monday. I am exicted to learn more about our craft and our ancient brethern. I was raised a master back in may but have been busy learning the degrees, lectures, and charges
     
  9. Mac

    Mac Moderator Premium Member

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    Brother, I would also recommend a cheap set of Mackey's Encyclopedias. They are NOT the be-all and end-all of Masonic information, but they're a great starting point when you have a question. I found a set on eBay for $30 soon after being initiated a few years ago.
     
  10. tom268

    tom268 Registered User

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    Of course, if you say, that masonry is, whenever men are seeking enlightenment, then you can say, that freemasonry was ever. But that does not help, I think. In the same way you can argue, that we are a magical order, as all life is magic and therefore our masonry is magic. But that does not help a bit.

    It is very likely, that masonry in a stricter way started around the time of the Gothic architectural era at the church of Saint-Denis in Paris, tightly connected to the life and work of Abbot Suger 1137–1140. Abbot Suger re-invented the idea of Neo-Platonism, where God is the Beauty, and where there is a connection between light and architecture. These were concepts, that made it into the later idea of freemasonry. From this time on, the development from stricty architectual work groups into philosophical-spiritual work groups began alongside the organisatorial change. At around 1598 William Schaw wrote his statutes for his masonic lodge, that can be seen as a lodge of freemasonry in a modern sense. At this time, already three lodges existed in Scotland, so we can pinpoint the beginning of freemasonry in between 1137 and 1598.


     
  11. jwhoff

    jwhoff Premium Member

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    There are written documents in the form of Minutes in the possession of the GLoE dating back to 1390 (or so.) There are other documents dating back to the 900s as well. The spirit of freemasonry dates back to the Five Books of China and beyond when the Golden Rule was proclaimed as a tenant all civilized men should live by.

    Our "form" is officially dated back to the formation of the GLoE in the early 1700s when the four lodges in and around London met and agreed to form the grand lodge body.

    One can only be sure by checking closely through Brother Bill_Lins posted minutes of the times. :39:
     
  12. tom268

    tom268 Registered User

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    On the other hand, if Bro. longhorn817 means with "our form" the way you do it in the USA, you can't date it back to 1717, as you have signifficant differences in ritual. How and when the ritual changes came to the states is out of my knowledge.
     
  13. Mac

    Mac Moderator Premium Member

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    It seems to be a result of the Revolution paired with the Antients & Moderns split. Each state/colony approached the problem in its own way. I like that South Carolina resolved the matter on its own, creating the Grand Lodge of Ancient Freemasons (AFM) in South Carolina.

    I've been trying to find books on the Baltimore Convention and the spread of Prestonian Work here, but it's near impossible as those books have faded into antiquity. There will always be a copy of Morals & Dogma peaking out from a used book store shelf, but the minutes of the Baltimore Convention? They might be at the bottom of a land fill by now. :/
     
  14. tom268

    tom268 Registered User

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    I would like to know, when and where (and from which source) your altar in the center comes from. This is a typical US piece of lodge style and I never saw it in Europe (not counting the US army lodges in Germany).
     
  15. Mac

    Mac Moderator Premium Member

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    I actually wrote a paper on this. If you compare the exposures Jachin and Boaz and Three Distinct Knocks, you'll see that the Antients (Irish-inspired) used an altar of sorts, while the Premier ritual had the WM holding the VSL while the candidate was obligated.
     
  16. tom268

    tom268 Registered User

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    The altar per se is well known to me. In my jurisdiction, the altar is in the east, in front of the WM (he knocks on it), and other german jurisdictions have a "master's table" at this position and a triangular altar directly west of it, at the bottom of the three stairs to the east.

    I know that the english Emulation Ritual has a table in front of the WM with the Bible on it, but I don't know if they call it altar. But I don't know of any altar in the center, as continental european rituals usually root from the Frensh, and they have a tapis, a cloth with symbols (or tracing board) in the center of the lodge.
     
  17. Mac

    Mac Moderator Premium Member

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    In Emulation ritual, the table by the Worshipful Master is referred to as simply a "pedestal," with no real emphasis placed on it. I believe the Articles of Union and the resulting changes in the ritual (due to the blending of Antient and Modern versions) to be a most interesting area of research. I have not had a chance to dig too deep into that particular quarry, but I believe your answer might be found between this area and that of the development of Scotch-Irish Freemasonry.
     
  18. Michaelstedman81

    Michaelstedman81 Premium Member

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    I know this thread has moved on past the topic of books on Masonry, but I just wanted to drop in a book recommendation real quick. If you haven't read it yet, pick up "Born in Blood" by John J. Robinson. It shows the possibility that Freemasonry as we know it today came from the Knights Templar going into hiding after Friday the 13th. A lot of the book deals with the history and rumors of the Knights Templar, and at times throughout the book the author points out certain connections between the two organizations.

    Very interesting read, especially or a new Sir Knight.
     

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