The name of the lodge, Quatuor Coronati [Latin scholars would prefer 'Quattuor' ] was chosen because of its connection with the craft of the operative stonemason. The 'Four Crowned Ones' were martyred on 8 November in AD 302 and were regarded as the patron saints of stonemasons throughout Europe from about 400 to 1600. The installation meeting of the lodge takes place on the second Thursday in November, this being the nearest practicable date to that of their martyrdom. Since the lodge was formed, membership has been by invitation which is extended only to brethren of any regular Constitution who have made important contributions in the field of masonic study or who are otherwise distinguished in art, literature or the sciences.
The Transactions, Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, are published annually and include the papers read at the lodge meetings together with the discussion which they generated. The introduction of the third section to the volume -Insolentiae Latomorum or 'oddities of the masons' has proved a popular addition to the Transactions. Many other papers, in as wide a variety as possible, will also appear together with reviews of books of masonic interest, and questions which have been sent to the editor for answer by him or by the lodge member best qualified on a particular subject. A full set of all the volumes is necessarily a collector 's item.
All past volumes of AQC (as well as volumes 110-120) are now available in searchable PDF format on CD-ROM and brethren are reminded that www.quatuorcoronati.com website is an ideal source from which to derive information concerning membership of the Correspondence Circle, news of forthcoming meetings, frequently asked questions concerning masonic history and practice, an opportunity to meet the members of the administration of QCCC Ltd as well as the opportunity to purchase books, CDs and items of regalia from the online shop. This permits the purchase of specified items therefrom, by credit card and brethren wishing to address masonic queries to members of the lodge may do so by emailing them at quatuorcoronati.tiscali.co.uk .
A Review of the Lodge Year 2006-2007:
It is traditional for joining members of the lodge, on this occasion Bros A.R. Baker and R. Burt, to be elected at our November meeting, and Bro Baker, who was present, was warmly welcomed into membership. The central feature of the Festival of the Four Crowned Masters is, however, the installation of the new Master of the lodge, and Bro David Peabody was duly installed in the chair, with great aplomb, by Bro John Hamill. In his subsequent inaugural address Bro Peabody spoke on 'George William Speth, 1847-1901: The Gift of Historical Imagination'. Bro Speth was one of the most significant of our early members, and this instructive and entertaining paper was warmly applauded by all present.
Our February meeting saw the delivery of a most original and fascinating paper by Bro John Wade, whose subject was 'Lodge Roman Eagle'. Membership of this Scottish lodge in its early years, the 1780s, was a daunting prospect, as the lodge worked, and recorded its minutes, in Latin! To the relief of those present, however, Bro Wade spoke throughout in English, and thebrethren showed their appreciation for his paper with hearty applause.
The paper for May was 'Thomas Howard, third Earl of Effingham: the concerns of an eighteenth century freemason', in which Bro John Goodchild set the Earl in his social and historical context. Such a well-researched paper, with its carefully chosen illustrations, thoroughly deserved the warm reception it received from the brethren.
In June the lodge held its meeting away from London, at The Southend Masonic Centre in Bro Peabody's home province of Essex. The paper, delivered by Bro Yasha Beresiner, was on 'Masonic Research -"that profit and pleasure may be the result" ', and supplied both of these qualities in abundance. All present, including a large number of local brethren, showed their appreciation for this fascinating and valuable paper, and for the meeting, in fine traditional form.
At the fifth and final meeting of the year, in September, Bro R.A. Gilbert provided the brethren with a specific example of masonic research, in the form of his paper on 'The Sixth Liberal Art: Astronomy and Freemasonry'. Bro Gilbert discussed both the use of celestial phenomena in masonic ritual, and the careers of those brethren who were also professional or amateur astronomers. Despite both pursuits being usually carried out at night, Bro Gilbert was able to complete his delivery in daylight, and was duly applauded by the brethren.