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Breve historial da Maçonaria em Portugal

Pelo Irmão A.M.Gonçalves  Mestre Maçom
R.L. Anderson nº 16
Grande Loja Regular de Portugal/GLLP
14º Grau do Rito Escocês Antigo e Aceite.

A Shortened History of Freemasonry in Portugal
English version by the Author[1] revisited by W.Bro. Don Falconer


I.        Introduction


The history of Freemasonry as a Symbolic Fraternity[2] that practises Rites of Initiation is closely related to the expansion of the ideas of the Enlightenment. Freemasonry emphasizes that Reason is a major driving force for Human improvement and for the enhancement of Human society. The Enlightenment was a philosophical movement of key importance in Europe during the 18th Century. It praised the influence of Science and knowledge as vital elements in overcoming the insidious influence of obscurity, ignorance and prejudgment in Human society, whilst also promoting Human pursuit of happiness.

That movement has been perceived as an historic reaction to the Christian Doctrine of natural unity between the spiritual and temporal dominions, which Saint Augustine and other fathers of the Church extolled as the core of Christian faith. The Doctrine was a landmark of the “eternal” alliance between the temporal power (the Emperor) and the spiritual power (the Pope and the Catholic Church), a dogma of the subordination of all Christians by divine predestination.

The Enlightenment took shape as an intellectual movement of philosophers, scientists, writers and free thinker that expanded across Europe in the 18th Century, using the cultural expressions of art, literature, poetry and fiction to widen its ideas. The project of the Enlightenment, as Rousseau would call it, was reflected in different institutions and organizations where ideas like freedom, equality, solidarity and tolerance were discussed as the mainstream ideas of modernity (Leo Strauss). Thus the Enlightenment opposed the predominant view held in Middle Ages, which was that Knowledge and Science had a restricted role that was reserved for the patrimony of the higher classes and thereby was an attribute of the powerful. Some free thinking institutions like Masonic lodges, academies and other erudite societies represented specific interests and consequently admission to them usually was restricted[3].  Other functions, like public Conferences, cafés, itinerant libraries, art Exhibitions and popular and theatrical representations, were more or less commercial events that were open to any of the public who could afford the fee for admission. They were important initiatives that helped unlock European culture and knowledge, releasing them from the cage of obscurity and secrecy in which the Catholic Church had closed them. The Enlightenment sought to free minds and release knowledge, as illustrated by the French project of writing an Encyclopaedia, which intended to summarize all the relevant branches of Human knowledge and science in a suitable form to be read by the public.  

This paper is an attempt to describe the path of Portuguese freemasonry in its more then two hundred years of existence. It comprised an assemblage of men who had (and still have) a central role in society, speaking for and acting as the frontrunners of the more progressive and ethical human values that mankind must develop to secure our future. 


2. The rise of Portuguese Freemasonry

 It is generally acknowledged that the first organized expression of speculative freemasonry as a movement was the formation of four Masonic lodges in London, early in the 17th century, by accepted masons. This qualification distinguished them from the fraternity of builders - the operative masons – who held the secrets of building the awe-inspiring cathedrals of Christianity. In figurative terms they were examples of the dialogue between Man, the Creator and the Transcendent. The political and religious struggles and attendant fratricide, which pervaded British history during the 17th and 18th centuries, frustrated those with more open and educated minds. The spirit of faction and dissent crossed the boundaries of all political parties, encouraging the more enlightened to seek relief in Masonry and its Lodges, where the speculative practice of its rituals and doctrine provided a symbolic path for the pursuit of human fulfilment. That pursuit was always associated with the modern dimension of Man as the Enlightenment visualised him, an anchor of Reason and Wisdom.     

In February 1717 four English lodges meeting at the Goose and Gridiron Ale­house, the Crown Ale­house, the Apple Tree Tavern and the Rummer and Grapes Tavern, took the decision to unite as a Grand Lodge. On 24th July 1717 – the summer solstice and the feast of St. John – they met and elected Anthony Sayer, the oldest of the Masters, as their first Grand Master[4]. By this act of unification they reaffirmed the ancient duties and privileges of the operative masons, which they consecrated to the common men who, from then, would be allowed to join their Brotherhood. Thus the admission of Free Born Men of Good Report as speculative Freemasons was established, receiving them into the Brotherhood as their peers. They practised the old rituals and traditions of the temple builders and also adopted their modes of recognition by signs, tokens and secret words, seeking the hidden truth through the interpretation of the symbolic and the study of antient rituals. In 1723 the Grand Lodge of England published its Constitutions written by Dr James Anderson, a Protestant priest. The Constitutions are its legal charter and have become the mater Constitution of Universal Freemasonry. When writing the Constitutions James Anderson was inspired by those of the Old Charges available to him, especially the Cooke MS. He condensed the early traditions of the Craft of operative masons into a system of rules and defined the duties that freemasons owed to themselves, to the Brotherhood and to the world. 

From London, Freemasonry spread across the world to France, Netherlands, Russia, Sweden, Denmark, Spain, Italy, Switzerland and Turkey. It probably arrived in Portugal between 1735 and 1743, but the exact date is not known[5].

Oliveira Marques, a Portuguese historian of high repute, mentions that British merchants living in Lisbon founded a Masonic lodge, probably in 1727. It was registered during the Inquisition under the name of Lodge of the Heretical Merchants, suggesting that its members probably were Protestants[6]. This Lodge sought regularization in 1735, when it formally petitioned admission to the Grand Lodge of England. It was accepted and registered as number 135, which later was changed to 120. In 1733, a second lodge was founded by George Gordon, an individual sent by the Grand Lodge of England to act as a facilitator for the emergence of new lodges, which could also act as offices for Masonic information and as centres of British influence. This lodge was named Casa Real dos Pedreiros Livres da Lusitânia (Royal House of Freemasons of Lusitania). Its membership consisted mainly of Irish merchants and foreign mercenaries with the Portuguese Army, but also included sailors, physicians, a Dominican priest and an innkeeper[7].

In 1738, when Pope Clement XII issued a Papal Bull, In Eminenti Apostolatur Speculatae, the lodge was dissolved and some of the masons transferred to the first lodge. This Papal Bull forbade the Catholics from participating in any Masonic activity, under the penalty of excommunication. It also instructed the clerics and members of the Catholic Inquisition to persecute  masons and punish the infringers, if necessary with help of secular and local authorities.

A diamond lapidary, John Coustos, created a third lodge in 1741. He was a Swiss born citizen who later was naturalized as British.  Two years after the lodge raised its columns, the number of its affiliates increased to thirty, mostly foreigners living in Portugal. It would be realistic to presume that the lodge initiated several Portuguese nobles in the Art of the Craft, perhaps sympathizers of the ideas of the Aufklärung. John Coustos played a central role in establishing Portuguese freemasonry. Grainha and Oliveira Marques allege that Coustos was under the close surveillance of the Inquisition because Maria Theresa, the Austrian Empress, exerted pressure to persecute and banish all Masonic activities in European Catholic states, because she considered them to be the backyards of protestant and British espionage. Whatever the reason, Coustos was detained on 14th March 1743, together with several other brethren, Mouton, Bruelé, Richard and Boulanger, all of whom were committed to trial by the Holy Officium.  

Coustos was not an ordinary mason. He was born in 1703 to a protestant family in Bern, Switzerland, later emigrating to France and then to England where he married a British woman. He was initiated  in 1730 in a London lodge. During his stay in Paris he became Worshipful Master of one of its lodges, in which capacity he presided at the initiation of a famous gentleman, the Duke of Villeroy. Being determined to emigrate to Brazil, he first moved to Lisbon, later deciding to remain there. According to some allegations his lucrative activities as a lapidary made Madame Leruitte, the wife of another lapidary in the same district, jealous of his success and so she denounce him to the Inquisition as a freemason and conspirator.

In that era such an accusation was a passport for immediate detention and prosecution. Under cruel interrogation over a protracted period of time, questioned incessantly about the rites and procedures of his lodge, Coustos was subjected to ruthless torture. There are contradictory allegations. Some suggest that Coustos revealed the rituals and Masonic secrets to save his life, but others suggest that he would squabble and that he never broke his Masonic vows, as Hiram Abif never did[8]. He was tried on 21st July 1744, in the Church of Saint Domingos Convent, accused of being a protestant and a heretic, also of offending the Portuguese Catholics by founding a Masonic lodge. He was found guilty, but invited to disavow his actions under the promise of being relieved from the death penalty. He was condemned to five years of forced labour in the galleys and signed a declaration obliging him not to reveal what really happened during imprisonment.

The British Ambassador in Lisbon during the reign of King George II,  Lord Charles Compton, acted firmly seeking Coustos’s liberation. He transmitted to the King of Portugal, D. João V, George II’s personal request for Coustos to be liberated. Coustos was liberated in October 1744, and sent back to England on board of the ship The Diamond. In London, he broke his imposed promise of silence and in 1748 published a book, The Unparalleled Sufferings of John Coustos, in which he denounced, with the aid of several illustrations, the abuses inflicted to him during his imprisonment. Coustos’s book had a major impact in England, helping to increase the British scorn and condemnation of the methods used by the Portuguese Inquisition and raising public sympathy for freemasonry[9].

As a result of Coustos’s arrest and the torture and condemnation of him and his companions, the Heretic Merchants Lodge  was disbanded in 1755[10].

In 1751 a new Pope, Benedict XIV, promulgated another Papal Bull against the freemasons, Providas Romanorum, which reaffirmed the injunctions of Pope Clement XII’s Papal Bull issued in 1738. It has been asserted that this Papal Bull was issued at the request of the kings of Spain and Naples. In any event the Papal Bull was supported by royal decrees of both monarchs, suppressing freemasonry in both countries and urging the Holly Officium to boost vigilance and persecution.

Portuguese freemasonry was free from persecution during the decade 1760-1770, under the government of the Marquis of Pombal. Borges Grainha recalls that during the Pombal government freemasons were no longer persecuted and that no reference to them can be found in the relevant Inquisition lists and police reports.

Freemasonry acquired strength and vigour and expanded its membership within the Army, the aristocracy and the erudite classes. It seems likely that Sebastião Jose de Carvalho e Melo, the Marquis, during the period he served as Portuguese ambassador in London and before he become a minister of the King, D. José I, frequented aristocratic circles very close to the Grand Lodge of England. However no documental proof is available to show whether he became a member there[11].

However there can be no doubt that, by his recruitment of high-ranking officials, nobles and important people from protestant countries to assist the army, industry and other economic sectors, he contributed indirectly to the increase of lodges and brethren in Portugal. The conditions for a masonic revival in Portugal gained impetus with the arrival in Lisbon of the Count Schaumburg de Lippe, a German noble and Mason, to command and reorganize the Portuguese army. Pombal had recruited the Count on the basis of his experience in England. By 1763 the Count had helped to create two military lodges in Elvas and Valença. In 1768 Barthélemy Andrieu do Boulay created a new lodge in Funchal, Madeira, by gathering together French, British and Portuguese local nobles[12].

The impressive growth of freemasonry under Marquis of Pombal , coincided with the expulsion of the Order of Jesus from Portugal, a religious order that then had the monopoly of education and also had immense wealth.

The confiscation of the Order’s real estate, by order of Pombal would be used later by the clerical authorities of Portugal, in an endeavour to prove Masonic involvement in the persecution of the Jesuits led by the Marquis. In this regard there is nothing to implicate the Portuguese Brotherhood in any involvement in the installation of the absolute monarchy in Portugal. Masons reputedly were members of different political parties. This embryonic organization of Portuguese freemasonry did not contest the legitimacy of the political power: In fact it applauded submission to the appointed king, which since 1717 has always been the official position of the Grand Lodge of England concerning the relationship that should exist between freemasonry and the authorities. This issue has become a legendary landmark of the Order. 

The common claim that Pombal was a bloodthirsty persecutor of Portuguese Catholics, as Church authorities and historians claim, cannot be accepted as accurate. One of the leading experts on Pombal’s life, Maria da Graça Silva Dias, considers that Pombal, together with D. Luis da Cunha, Ribeiro Sanches and António Verney are the main exponents of what could be regarded as the Portuguese Catholic Enlightenment[13]. However, Pombal was prejudiced against the Church as a competitive power, which he considered obstructed both the state’s and the monarchy’s interests.

When D. José I died on 24th February 1777 his daughter, D. Maria I, succeed him as Queen. With her accession to power the religious prejudice and persecution of freemasonry returned and freemasonry again became the declared enemy of the Church. The Marquis of Pombal was removed from office and intellectuals like Filinto Elisio, Ribeiro Sanches or Avelar Brotero were forced into exile. Other masons like Jose Anastacio da Cunha, João Manuel d’ Abreu and Manuel do Espírito Santo Limpo were imprisoned. The Police Chief, Pina Manique, was a privileged instrument in the oppression being inflicted on the Brotherhood. Pina Manique was profoundly opposed to the Enlightenment and rejected the ideas of the French Revolution that began to spread around Europe. He considered those ideas to be a threat to the Portuguese Crown and to Catholic monarchies in general. Pina Manique believed that if he could prevent those ideas from spreading, if freemasons could be brought to instant justice and if the free circulation of books and newspapers was censored, the enlightenment could be defeated[14]. During the 25 years that he headed the police, a systematic persecution was conducted against Masonic lodges in Lisbon, Coimbra, Valença, Funchal and Oporto. Distinguished people like José Anastácio da Cunha and Manuel Espirito Santo Limpo were incarcerated at once and without trial. The years 1791-2 were the toughest period of repression, leading to the detention of the secretary of Navy, Martinho de Melo e Castro, the second Marquis of Pombal and the Judge on India and Mina, José de Noronha.

These dreadful years helped to break up many of the lodges. Masons were forced to disguise their activities and conceal them from the close surveillance of the police. It is reported for instance that in 1797 a masonic meeting held on board the frigate Fenix, afloat on the Tagus River, was attended by Portuguese, British and French masons. This Fenix lodge would give birth later to several other lodges, including for example The Fortress, of which José Liberato Freire de Carvalho was a member, who became one of the first Portuguese Grand Masters.

The disembarking of an expeditionary contingent of the British Army in July 1797, in support of the Portuguese resistance against an attempted French occupation, played a decisive role in a fresh rebirth of Freemasonry in Portugal. This rebirth was initiated by the creation of four British lodges in Lisbon (three of them linked to British regiments and the fourth comprising British and Portuguese officials). These lodges, recalls Oliveira Marques, were registered under the Grand Lodge of England with the numbers 94, 112, 179 and 315. This last one was to have a symbolic meaning, because when Portuguese freemasonry became independent it became Lodge number 1 with the name Union.  It is also believed that several irregular lodges functioned in various other locations in Portugal, with German, British and other foreigners as members.

After the return of the Portuguese nobles and intellectuals who had been exiled in France, Portuguese Freemasonry concentrated its efforts around the French rite of the Grand Orient of France. Near the end of the 19th Century, the GOF repudiated the Masonic requirement that lodges should work to the glory of the Great Architect of the Universe (GAOTU), which is a fundamental element in Anglo-American freemasonry. The GOF also removed the Bible as one of the three obligatory great lights in every lodge. This led, as I will mention later, to the expulsion of the Portuguese Obedience from Regular freemasonry, when the United Grand Lodge of England cancelled its recognition, a situation that continues in the 20th Century.

Until 1804 other lodges were created by gatherings of Army officials, merchants, industrialists, clerics and leading intellectuals like Ribeiro Sanches, Avelar Brotero, Abbey Correia da Serra[15], Filinto Elísio and Domingos Vandelli. 


3. On the road to an autonomous Obedience

The transition of freemasonry from the 18th to the 19th Century made it imperative to convert the Craft from a collection of widely dispersed individual lodges into a more integrated organization. In 1801 a Masonic meeting was held at a place called Calvario, in Lisbon, in the palace of General Gomes Freire de Andrade, a freemason born and initiated abroad. As the General was overseas at the time, Father José Joaquim Monteiro de Carvalho, a Scottish Knight, 11th Degree of the hierarchy of freemasonry, chaired the meeting of 200 masons representing the different lodges.

During the discussions a complete consensus was achieved for the urgent creation of a Grand Lodge or a Grand Orient that could be recognized by international freemasonry. A Commission  of masons was formed, comprising Hipólito Furtado de Mendonça, José Monteiro de Carvalho e Oliveira and José Ferrão de Mendonça e Soares. They met with Rodrigo Sousa Coutinho, the secretary of the Treasury, from whom they obtained a promise that Portuguese freemasonry would not be persecuted if constituted as a national body.

With this intention Hipólito José da Costa[16] travelled to London, where he successfully negotiated and obtained the recognition of Portuguese freemasonry as a Grand Lodge in its own right, called Grande Oriente Lusitano. Historians praise the influence of the Duke of Sussex in this process, through his connections with the Grand Lodge of England[17]. British texts refer to this episode and also record the existence of four lodges in Portugal that assembled in May 1802 as a Grand Lodge (of Lisbon or Portugal)[18].

The Grand Lodge of England (Ancient) approved the Portuguese petition and both parties signed a treaty of recognition. In essence the treaty stated that the Portuguese lodges would conform to the old constitutions and traditions of the Order as recognised by the Grand Lodge of England. It also provided that a legal representative of the Mother-Lodge would be nominated to Lisbon and that a representative of the Portuguese Grand Lodge would be nominated to the Grand Lodge of England. Finally it provided that the brethren of both Grand Lodges would retain identical Masonic privileges. The treaty was signed on 9th May 1802.

Similar initiatives were then taken tentatively with the Grand Orient of France. According to Oliveira Marques[19], after Hipólito José da Costa returned to Portugal he visited the Grand Orient of France with the same intentions. On 25th April 1804 a treaty of friendship was signed between the two Grand Orients, but the French ratification was delayed sine die, the reasons for which are still unclear. The treaty with France therefore had no real effect.

When the emissary of Portuguese freemasonry returned to Portugal, he was surprisingly detained and the documents he carried were confiscated. In the summer of 1804 a Diet or formal Masonic assembly took place in Lisbon, when the Grand Lodge of Portugal was installed with the title of the Grand Oriente Lusitano, under the regular patent of 1802 from the Grand Lodge of England)[20] .

The judge of the Court of Appeal, Sebastião José de São Paio de Melo e Castro Lusignam, was elected as the first Grand Master. He was a grandson of the Marquis of Pombal, with the symbolic name of Egas Moniz. The members of the Grand Orient included Father Liberato Freire de Carvalho as the Grand Spokesman, General Gomes Freire de Andrade and also the attaché of Marquis of Niza, Rodrigo Pinto Guedes.

Two years later, in July 1806, the first Portuguese Masonic Constitution was finalized, comprising 199 articles grouped in fourteen chapters[21]. The 1806 Constitution created a legislative system formed by two chambers, a Chamber of Worshipful Masters and a Chamber of Representatives. The Chamber of Representatives assumed the other two powers, the executive and the judiciary. The delegates of eight Lodges voted favourably on the Constitution: União No 1, Regeneração No 2, Virtude No 3, Amizade No 5, Concórdia No 6, Fidelidade, Amor da República and Benificência.

The Masonic Constitution of 1806 introduced a bi-cameral system of legislation that was also adopted by succeeding Portuguese Constitutions, including the Constitutional Charter of 1826 and the Constitutions of 1838, 1911 and 1933. However the Democratic Constitution of 1976, which completed the re-establishment of the Portuguese democracy that followed the Carnation Revolution of 1974, reinstituted the traditional single chamber of legislative power that had been pursued briefly by the Constitution of 1822.

The Portuguese Masonic Constitution of 1806 adopted the French Rite as the official and exclusive rite of the Grande Oriente Lusitano. The Scottish rite in its complete formulation of 33 Degrees was introduced three years later, in 1809, at the suggestion of Silva Carvalho, Worshipful Master of Lodge Fortaleza. The Grand Lodge of Dublin is credited with introducing the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite into Portugal in 1873, in a simplified system of three degrees, in which form it was practiced by Lodge Regeneração No 1.

The main Portuguese Obedience, the Grande Oriente Lusitano, was renamed the Grande Oriente de Portugal during the tenure of Costa Cabral and from 1869 to 1914 it changed its name to the Grand Oriente Lusitano Unido, integrating and unifying other Portuguese Grand Lodges[22].

Summarizing what has been said, the first seventy years of Portuguese freemasonry was characterized by the subordination of the Portuguese masonry to the Grand Lodge of England, in the form of an independent district.

This can be explained by the limited number of Master masons exalted and also for reasons of legitimacy in the transmission of Masonic regularity[23]. During a substantial part of this period Masonic activities were severely persecuted and freemasons could only fulfil their Masonic duties under the strictest clandestine conditions. Freemasonry in Portugal, as in other places in Europe, was under suspicion from absolute monarchies and from the Catholic Church, because these authorities both considered Freemasonry to be a focus of conspiracy against them. In Portugal, Freemasonry played an important role as a focus of liberal ideas and later of revolutionary uprising.

The three French invasions significantly encouraged the widening of liberal ideas among the aristocracy, the clergy and the bourgeoisie. The support that freemasonry received from the Marquis of Pombal, which cannot be denied, was later to be used against freemasonry as an argument that supposedly proved the complicity of the Brotherhood in the anti-Catholic activities attributed to the Marquis and in the expulsion of Jesuits of the Order of the Jesus. Portuguese freemasonry, as were all the Southern European fraternities, came to be positively connected with the separation of the Church from the State in matters concerned with education, bureaucracy and state affairs in general. This division, which is a legacy of the Roman Empire – to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, to God what is to God - signals the end of the Middle Ages and the beginning of Modernity in current human history, proclaiming the role of Reason and Knowledge, but not belief, as the main tools for Human improvement founded in scientific experiment.


4. The influence of Jacobinism in Portuguese Freemasonry

In the historical struggle of the Catholic Church and Catholic Monarchs with the partisans of the French Revolution, there was a symbolic episode with the uprising in 1791 of the farmers of Vendée, in the west of France, against the Jacobins, the confessed enemies of the Catholic Church and Robespierre followers. Until 1794 and the revival of the Grand Terror, the Catholic Church and freemasonry were banned by the leaders of the French Revolution as threats to the state. During the Terror, the Grand Master of the Grand Orient of France, Philippe Egalité the Duke of Orléans, was guillotined by order of Robespierre[24]. Freemasonry went into darkness, waiting for better days. Its activities only gained renewed strength under Directory rule of 1795-9. When Napoleon Bonaparte took the power on 11th November 1799, by the famous 18th Brumaire, he immediately installed himself as the 1s t Consul of the Directory with absolute power. When Napoleon considered the tremendous influence of the Church over the French people, he soon realised that normal relations with the Pope and the Catholic Church had to be re-established swiftly. The Church had been offended by the savagery of the Terror. The underlying rationale was that the Catholic Church had an institutional role in French society, which established a form of natural hierarchy and hence the subordination of the several classes, a situation that needed to be restored. However, at the same time the Church and its dignitaries should be prevented from exerting too much power.

So, in an endeavour to counterbalance the resurging power of the Catholic Church, Napoleon tolerated and favoured the re-emergence of Freemasonry, encouraging some of the closest members of his family to join the Brotherhood[25]. Napoleon designated Jean Jacques Régis de Cambacères, a lawyer and a fervent mason, as his 2nd Consul. Cambacères counselled him to use the Fraternity to his own benefit instead of suppressing it, as also was the key recommendation of the secret police.

Napoleon’s father, Charles Bonaparte, as well as four of his brothers, Jose who became the King of Naples, Luis the King of the Netherlands, Lucien the Prince of Canino and Jerome the King of Westphalia, were all well-known masons. Joaquim Murat, Napoleon’s brother-in-law, and Eugène de Beauharnais also were masons[26].

Cambacères used his influence in the Freemasonry to unite the autonomous Scottish Lodges with those under the jurisdiction of the Grand Orient of France, federating them through him and thus affiliating them to the service of the Emperor and the Empire.

It is problematic whether Napoleon himself was a mason. There is a tale that says he was initiated in Malta in 1798, when the Mediterranean island was under French occupation. Another source suggests that he was been initiated in a military lodge in Egypt. What is accepted is that after 1805 all French lodges worked with a strict veneration of Napoleon, which was expressed by a bust of the Emperor presiding over all of the ceremonies, occupying a similar position to the traditional three great lights of Freemasonry.

Portugal stood in Napoleon’s way, because of Portugal’s traditional alliance with England. Napoleon planned to reduce Britain’s control of the seas by closing major European ports to British ships. As England’s old ally Portugal refuse to close its ports, but under pressure entered in negotiations with Napoleon’s Directory. Napoleon sent some divisions of his army to Portugal to enforce control of the ports. On 30th November 1807 General Junot arrived to Lisbon as the commander of French troops, the day after the Portuguese Court left for Brazil. Authority over Portugal was empowered in a Commission of Regency formed by seven members.

The Portuguese authorities received General Junot respectfully. A Masonic delegation, comprising Luis de Sampaio Melo e Castro, brother of the Grand Master, Diogo José Victor de Abreu, Azambuja Governor and Francisco Velloso a judge in the Court of Appeal, visited General Junot’s headquarters and welcomed him. It seems that General Junot received them cordially, planning to use the Portuguese masons in his own interests[27]. 

Some time later Junot managed to convince the masons of a lodge to hang a portrait of Napoleon in it, instead of a portrait of the Prince Regent exiled in Brazil. Most of the masons considered this suggestion outrageous increased their antagonism to French arrogance.  Things became even worse when Junot suggested, through a Portuguese mason, that he should be nominated as Grand Master of Portuguese Freemasonry in consideration of his “high status” . This proposal fell like a bomb amongst the Brotherhood and was unanimously defeated by the Council of the Grand Orient[28]. This incident acted like a fuse to appeals among Portuguese liberals and nationalists for a revolt against the French occupiers, as a result of which Junot gave orders to the Chief of Police to persecute the freemasons and dissolve their lodges.     

However, although Junot was pushed to the Portuguese border by an allied Luso-British army, a new invasion took place in 1809 under the command of General Soult, another Bonaparte General.  Between 1809 and 1810 a new wave of persecutions and arrests assailed freemasonry. In September 1810 thirty masons were detained by the Regent’s order, first being taken to Belém Tower and afterwards, without trial, deported to the Azores. The false accusation leading to their imprisonment was that they were partisans of the French occupation and that their revolutionary ideals had made the entry of the Massena army into Portugal much easier.

The Duke of Sussex, a son of George III, who had been living in Lisbon since 1801, helped to organize the resistance against the French occupation force and interceded for the release of detained masons, involving the Grand Lodge of England in his efforts.

England expressed its disfavour for the arbitrariness of the masons’ detentions, which were based on unproven allegations, exerting all possible pressure on the Portuguese government. At the end of December the English freemasons organized a Masonic parade in support of the Portuguese brethren.


5. From British protectorate to the triumph of liberal ideals:  Freemasons as revolutionaries 

When the French occupants had been expelled from Portugal, Marshal Beresford, the commander-in-chief of the Luso-British army remained as the head of Portugal’s transitional government. From the beginning he tolerated Masonic activities and allowed lodges to multiply, which favoured the intake of new brethren. Thirteen lodges were located in Lisbon in 1812, the most active being Regeneração and Virtude. In this last one, According to Borges Grainha, José Andrade Corvo de Camões, captain of infantry, was initiated in Virtude and was responsible for the recruitment of new brethren. A new lodge was created in Santarém, named Filantropia, formed by Army officials from infantry and cavalry, as was another in Torres Novas. Two other lodges were established in Coimbra and Oporto.

In Brazil, a great Masonic activity was unrolled during the exile of Portuguese monarchs. In 1813 a Brazilian Grand Orient was installed restricted to four lodges: three in Bahia (Virtude and Razão, União and Razão Restaurada) and one in Rio (Beneficência). José Bonifácio de Andrade e Silva, the great patriarch of the Brazilian independence, was elected as Grand Master. The creation of the Grand Lodge of Brazil represented the independence of the Brazilian freemasonry from the superintendence of the Grande Oriente Lusitano, reivindicated, for a long time, by the Brazilian freemasons. According with Oliveira Marques[29], although this ‘'self-determination’' the GOL is not to give up of keeping, under its jurisdiction, lodges in Brazil. Thus, two lodges were maintained in Rio de Janeiro (Lodges Emancipação and Comércio e Artes) for this purpose. Prince D. Pedro, son of King D. João VI, was submitted to initiation in Lodge Comércio e Artes, in August 2, 1822, adopting the symbolic name of Guatimozin, the name of the last Aztec emperor of Mexico, tortured and killed by the Spanish conquerors. With this gesture, D. Pedro assumed, symbolically, the quality and the sufferings of the Brazilians, oppressed by the Portuguese. Three days later, he was exalted to Master Mason[30]. Brazilian freemasonry has acquired its independence and was in its way to help his people to gain independence.

On his return to Portugal, General Gomes Freire de Andrade, a sympathizer of French liberal ideals, found that the political environment was affected by a great hostility towards the British ‘'party’' in power, personified by Marshal Beresford. The General was born in Vienna in 1757 and was member of the same lodge that initiated Amadeus Mozart, which according to José Manuel Anes belonged to the German rite of the Strict Observation[31]. He first joined the ‘'British party’' against the French in 1801-05, but from 1808 he changed sides, becoming partisan to French ideas and participating actively in Napoleon’s Russian campaign. In 1815, after returning from Russia, he was elected as the Grand Master of Portuguese Freemasonry (1815-16) and became the driving force of the liberal and nationalistic conspiracy against the autocratic rule of Beresford. The insurrection against Beresford was in an advanced state of preparation when, on 25th May 1817, three masons (José Andrade Corvo de Camões, Morais Sarmento and João de Sequeira Ferreira Soares) denounced Freire de Andrade, who was captured with 11 other conspirators[32]. Gomes Freire de Andrade was detained and found guilty of conspiracy. By order of Marshal Beresford he was hanged on the scaffold in the Tower of St. Julião da Barra. The other 11 conspirators suffered a similar fate in Campo de Santana, Santana Field, a location in the centre of Lisbon that has become a memorial to the liberal uprisings.

Borges Grainha mentions that the day before the execution, Robert Haddock, an English colonel and a mason, visited the Grand Master and offered him an opportunity to escape, but he refused it. In 1853, a monument was erected on the precise spot where the Grand Master was hanged. Since then Gomes Freire de Andrade has been revered as one of the liberal heroes of Portugal’s modern history and a foremost figure in the fight for Portugal’s Constitutional Monarchy. He also is remembered as the most eminent martyr in Portuguese freemasonry and his name is accredited to one of the most distinguished orders of Regular Portuguese freemasonry (GLRP-L).

The repression of 1817 was followed in 1818 by a warrant from King D. João VI in Brazil, where he continued in exile. The warrant stated that it would be considered a heinous crime to be a member of a secret society, which consequently was forbidden and would be subject to the application of the severest penalties, including the confiscation of personal goods and the death penalty[33].

As a consequence Portuguese freemasonry entered a new period of operations that was absolutely clandestine, when most of the lodges suspended their activities. The Grand Lodge created a unique lodge, Segurança Regeneradora, with the role of uniting all clandestine lodges.

As mentioned earlier, freemasonry was directly involved in the liberal struggles of that epoch, with the active support of its most distinguished officials and dignitaries. All open-minded Portuguese citizens and freemasons enthusiastically supported the thought of freedom that was cherished by the liberals, which contributed substantially to the spread of the ideas of liberalism, a constitutional monarchy and the limitation of absolute power. 

In 1817 in the northern city of Oporto, a group of conspirators including Manuel Fernandes Tomás, a Judge of the Court of Appeal in Oporto, José da Silva Carvalho, a lawyer, João Ferreira Viana, Duarte Lessa, José Maria Lopes Carneiro, José Gonçalves dos Santos, and João da Cunha Souto Maior, founded a liberal group named Sinédrio. Even though it was not a Masonic organization some of their members were masons, including Cunha Sotto Maior and Silva Carvalho who later became Grand Masters of Portuguese freemasonry, in 1821 and 1823[34].

In Oporto on 24th August 1820, the liberal revolution exploded triumphantly. A direct outcome was the creation of a Provisional Committee of the Supreme Government of the Realm. Its mission was to govern Portugal during the absence of the legitimate King, who continued in exile in Brazil. The Committee had the task of assembling the Cortes, the Constitutional Assembly comprising all branches of the legislature, to discuss and approve a new liberal Constitution that would eliminate dictatorship. The revolution spread across the country until the rebels successfully entered Lisbon on 15th September 1820, easing the transfer of power from a dictatorship to liberalism[35]. 

The King, D. João VI, felt obliged to return from Brazil and arrived in Lisbon on 24th June 1821. He swore in the Assembly and signed the new Constitution promulgated on 23rd September 1822. After the rebellion, Agostinho José Freire, the Abbey Correia da Serra, Francisco António da Silva, the cleric João Maria Soares Castelo Branco and others integrated the Grand Orient. The Masonic Diet that elected Cunha Souto Maior as Grand Master used the opportunity to modify and review the Masonic Constitution of 1806, bringing it into accord with more liberal ideals.

In spite of its success, the Constitutional regime installed in 1820 did not remain for long. The supporters of absolutism continued to oppose the limitation of the king’s powers introduced by the liberals. The effervescent struggle between the main political factions and the chaos that spilled over political divides within the liberal camp together brought about the fall of the fragile liberal monarchy. However, thanks to the helpful efforts of some of the important supporters of absolutism, including Infant D. Miguel and Queen Carlota Joaquina, the effects of the fall were diminished. On 5th June 1823, after several of Miguel’s military uprisings had successfully defeated the liberal camp, the absolute monarchy was reinstated and its “indispensable rights” were restored.

After the counter-revolution of 1823, King D. João VI published an edict on 20th June, condemning the activities of freemasonry and imposing a penalty of 5 years exile in Africa and a fine of one hundred thousand reis for the cofres das obras pias, or religious beneficence. On 30th April the Infant D. Miguel besieged the King in Paço de Bemposta, saying that his action was justified because the freemasons wanted to assassinate the King. This was a pretext to secure power and achieve the plans of the absolutist party. Having assumed power the usurper proclaimed himself as the legitimate heir to the crown, promising to free any member of a secret society who renounced his membership before 20th June 1823, threatening to impose severe penalties on any who refused to comply.

At the peak of the repression of freemasonry that followed the coup d’ État, the Grand Master ordered all lodges to close their doors. During that period Masonic activities were only continued in Terceira Island in the Azores, which retained allegiance to the liberal Constitution and to the King. Freemasons were forced into exile in England and France. Only those who could not escape from the claws of the police and Miguel’s courts remained in Portugal. Meanwhile the Catholic clerics were content to carry on the despicable role of provoking hatred against freemasonry.

D. Pedro IV, who was a son of D. João VI and the legitimate heir of Portuguese throne and also the Brazil Perpetual Defensor, was elected Grand Master of Brazilian freemasonry on 4th October 1822. His nomination was an act of political pragmatism, providing a way for liberals and Brazilians to legitimise the Brazilian struggle for independence. In the Azores liberal troops and supporters of liberalism assembled and organised a liberal army with the goal of freeing Portugal from absolutism and deposing D. Miguel who had usurped the throne. The liberal army sailed from Terceira Island to Portugal and disembarked in Mindelo, near Oporto. Although quickly surrounded by Miguel’s supporters, part of the liberal army successfully escaped the siege and again embarked, sailing to Algarve on the southern coast of Portugal. After disembarking liberal army marched to the capital, Lisbon, seizing it from Miguel’s supporters on 24th August 1833. The Duke of Saldanha, who also was a mason, led the liberal army. Some days later the legitimate heir, D. Pedro IV, returned from Brazil and entered Lisbon, where he was cheered as the lawful successor of the Portuguese realm.

One of the first actions of this liberal and masonic King was to expel the Jesuits and punish the priests and clerics who had supported of the usurper Miguel and were his accomplices in the King’s detention. At the Convention of Evora Monte in 1844, the King decreed all religious orders existing in Portugal to be suspended and approved the reestablishment of the liberal Constitutional Charter that D. Miguel had suspended. Portuguese freemasonry thus found a quiet new environment in which its elected King was a distinguished liberal and one of its foremost figures.

The triumph of liberalism and the establishment of a constitutional monarchy in Portugal coincided with the resumption of liberty, but it also was a period of organizational dissent in the government of Portuguese freemasonry. The Portuguese emigrants, when in exile, had elected two Grand Masters as their leaders, José da Silva Carvalho and the Duke of Saldanha, the hero of liberation, the latter having been acclaimed by those exiled in France. On their return to Portugal the two groups of freemasons retained their individual Grand Orients with their respective Grand Masters. However, a third Grand Orient was also to be created in Oporto, headed by Passos Manuel.

The profusion of Orients and the confusion between their differing secular and symbolic aspects led to freemasonry’s involvement in the political struggles and civil revolutions that followed the restoration of constitutionalism. Borges Grainha argues and I quote: “in the subsequent ministries that D. Maria I called to form government, one of the Grand Masters usually held office and the others become leaders of the opposition. The result of this situation is that there were Orient and lodges within ministries and Orients and lodges in the opposition”[36]. 

It is difficult to gain an accurate picture of the activities supported by the different Orients under which Portuguese freemasonry was segregated until 1869, because much of the credible historical sources are missing. A contributing factor is that divisions within each Orient changed frequently, whilst some lodges even passed from one Orient to another over the course of time[37].

The most relevant Obedience was the Grande Oriente Lusitano working in the French rite. It is well documented in the Manifesto of José J.A. Moura Coutinho, Grand Master of the Grand Orient of Portugal, a judge in the Court of Appeal and in the Supreme Court of Lisbon. Borges Grainha mentions that, in a Masonic Diet in 1840, Moura Coutinho approved a new Constitution as a substitute for the previous one. However Costa Cabral, while Grand Master during his term in the Ministry of Justice and with the support of the military lodges he controlled, managed to restore the Charter agreed to by D. Pedro IV and proclaimed in Oporto on 27th January. Viscount of Oliveira succeeded Costa Cabral as Grand Master of the Grand Orient of Portugal on 28th July 1840.

According to Oliveira Marques[38], after the Grande Oriente Lusitano was created in 1804, several disagreements occurred, after which several Grand Lodges were created. Worthy of mention are the Grande Loja da Maçonaria Portuguesa do Norte (1832-50), Grande Loja de Portugal (1882-85 and 1893-94), Grande Loja Portuguesa (1849-51), Grande Loja Provincial do Oriente Irlandês (1854-72), Grande Oriente Lisbonense (1821-23), Grande Oriente Português (1867-9), Grande Oriente do Rito Escocês (1840-69) and Maçonaria Eclética (1853-60).

After Viscount of Oliveira’s death the Grand Orient of Portugal had José Alves de Moura Coutinho as Grand Master and later the Count of Peniche. The Grand Portuguese Lodge merged in 1867 with the Grande Oriente Lusitano in the form of a Masonic Confederation or Masonic entity that arose from the fusion of the Orients of Saldanha and Passos Manuel and also with the Masonic Federation of José Elias Garcia[39]. From 1869 onwards the Obedience resulting from this confederation was designated Grande Oriente Lusitano Unido, that is the United Grand Orient Lusitano.

The profusion of Orients arose as a result of the piecemeal multiplication and expansion of Masonic activities all over the country. In 1843 there were 80 masonic lodges in full activity in Portugal. The Grand Orient Lusitano had 34 lodges, the Passos Manuel’ Orient 17 lodges, the Silva Carvalho’s Orient 15 lodges, the Saldanha’s Orient 11 lodges. There also was a Provincial Lodge under the Grand Lodge of Ireland and 3 or 4 lodges working under the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite[40]. 

The uniting of the Orients was achieved on 30th October 1869, when the Count of Parati was elected as Grand Master, according to a suggestion of the writer and then Minister of Navy, Mendes Leal. Three years later, the Grand Provincial Lodge of the Scottish Orient became fully integrated in the Grand Oriente Lusitano Unido. For half a century Masonic unity was possible. These decades were a magnificent period of rebuilding in Portuguese freemasonry, when intellectuals came into prominence on the Portuguese scene[41], all largely attributable to the human qualities of those appointed as Grand Masters. Membership in freemasonry increased substantially during that time.

During those years the activities of freemasonry highlighted both the fundamental and the general goals for progress and human development, which were attributed to the Enlightenment from its beginning. It is to this philosophical doctrine that freemasonry owes its visibility and has credibility within the intellectual environment and educated European classes.

The following have been identified as the main developments in which freemasonry participated, both individually and as a group: the struggle for abolition of the death penalty and slavery; the creation of primary and secondary levels of education; the growth of education in Portuguese colonies; the diffusion of civic participation in education, separating the State from Church; the compulsory registration of births by State authorities; and drafting of the principal codes of law. Some of these policies were the result of the collective work of Masonic lodges, but in all honesty the fundamental contribution should be attributed to individuals. By their positions, sound Masonic education and integrity, individuals implanted into these activities the universal patterns of progress and Human improvement that are always linked with unity and Masonic fraternity.

Despite from these great achievements, freemasonry as a whole could not always resist the temptation to lead and become involved in the main liberal movements that characterise the transition from the 18th Century to the 19th. Freemasons helped to defeat the “monarchies of divine right” and the ideals of absolute monarchy that followed more or less all over Europe as a reaction the French Revolution. When liberalism seemed triumphant, leading members of the Brotherhood did not refrain from becoming involved, with the Orients and lodges under their jurisdiction, in partisanship and the rise and fall of governments.

It is difficult to give a direct answer to the question whether Freemasonry should or should not be considered as the driving force behind revolutionary liberalism in Portugal, in the sense that it is reputed to be the cradle of jacobinism[42].

In broad terms, I would agree with Maria da Graça Silva Dias[43] that Portuguese freemasonry has not followed a single line of development. Born under the protection of regular British freemasonry, first with the andersonian orientation of the “Moderns”, then with the traditional orientation of the Antients”, neither of which allowed political involvement by lodges, Portuguese freemasonry became frenchionized or jacobinized later in the 19th century. Although this involvement contravenes one of the mandates of our Obedience, which forbids any political or religious discussion between freemasons in lodge, one should not minimize the contribution that freemasonry made in presenting its face to the world. In other words we should seek to minimise the chasm of misunderstanding that still exists between speculative freemasonry and the common citizens, which makes them suspicious of the intentions that activate masons and freemasonry in the profane world. This aspect is very evident in the history of Portuguese freemasonry, because of the traditional Portuguese conservatism and close-mindedness. It explains the influence of the French ideals in philosophy, history, literature and art reflected in the more progressive Portuguese ideals during the 18th and 19th centuries.

In this sense one should not frivolously reject the projection of revolutionary ideals in the political movements that took shape during the 19th Century and transformed the ideals of society such as monarchism and socialism. If socialism is the heir of French jacobinism, then scientism, culture and philosophical romanticism are the outcomes of the Enlightenment’s example that Man always looks towards and tends to emulate what is truly progressive, innovative and modern in cultural terms. Most freemasons find it difficult to separate the purely human dimensions of these ideals and examples from the Masonic dimensions.

We should not play down the reasons for the contemporary schism between regular and irregular freemasonry, any more than we should understate the importance of the landmark that forbids freemasons discussing politics inside lodges. The situation can best be understood and accepted as a guarantee of the survival of the Order, as distinct from a simplistic vision of subordination to this rule without question which, as I mention elsewhere[44], is a special characteristic of the participation of southern freemasonry in the community. That particular aspect distinguishes this southern “school” of freemasonry from its northern and Western-Atlantic peers. Throughout history freemasonry has been important as a leader in the advancement of European societies, at the forefront of the combat for a representative government and in the self-determination of the people and nationalities from the common people of Empires. Freemasons led in these combats, guarding the ordinary people against the reactionary and pro-absolute forces that were incapable of facing the innovations of the new era. This explains why Latin freemasonry played such an extended role engaged in the political and social struggles that took place through the 18th and 19th centuries. That is something not fully understood by our brethren of England and the United States of America, where the ideas of a constitutional and limited government, the safeguard of civil rights and the equilibrium of powers were enshrined in the Constitution and in the British political culture from early years, being the cement of citizenship and republicanism in the sense that George Washington and John Adams foresaw it.


6. The transition to the 20th Century

A close association and later complicity between freemasonry and republican ideals marks the transition from the 19th to the 20th century. This was for reasons that can be attributed to the progressive orientation of the republican political program, with idea of freedom that enlightened the republican struggle against absolute monarchies and the ruthless emperors who subjugated European nationalities and peoples. The people saw the hand of the empire as oppressive and sought to revoke its dominance so that they could achieve freedom and self-determination.

Unfortunately there was a similar confusion between the distinctive plans of freemasonry and the profane, which was swiftly aggravated. Freemasonry tended to form a group, an elite, or branches of some parties, or even to coerce lodges into becoming extensions of party organizations, thus getting them directly involved in political strife and sometimes in civil war.

On 17th May 1848, a unit of republican propaganda was formed by António de Oliveira Marreca, António Rodrigues Sampaio, José Estevão de Magalhâes, which adopted taking the name of Revolutionary Commission of Lisbon and could be seen as the embryos of the Republican Party[45]. Rodrigues Sampaio and Estevão de Magalhâes were masons and Grand Masters of Grand Lodges. Casal Ribeiro, Henrique Nogueira, Anselmo Braamcamp, Luis Palmarim, Lobo d’Ávila and others, mostly masons, were adherents of this Republican Party. In 1807 the Patriotic Union was founded in Oporto with republican aspirations and in 1817 the Democratic Center as founded in Lisbon.

Several newspapers of democratic and republican orientation were created: in 1858 Futuro; in 1860 Liberal Politics; and in 1870 República, which was founded by the writers Antero de Quental and Eça de Queiroz, Rebate, Vanguarda and Bandeira, in which such famous masons as Teófilo Barga, Teixeira Bastos and Alves Correia wrote. In 1876 the Partido Republicano Português directory of 33 members was elected. In 1886 in Lisbon alone there were more than thirty Republican clubs[46].

Some freemasons involved the Order even more deeply in the political and revolutionary activities. Some supported and participated in the constitution of the Carbonária, a secret organization that was decisively involved in the Republican revolution of 5th October 1910[47]. Carbonária was a political and conspiratorial society that played a significant role in the anti-clerical agitation that took place in Italy and led to Italy’s unification. In line with its conspiratorial spirit, the society foresaw that the monarchies could be overthrown through its operational units: vendas, choças and barracas, all of which received military and revolutionary training. The Carbonária also anticipated that whilst it was achieving its goals Pope Pius XII would promulgate the bull Ecclesiam that established a direct link between carbonários and freemasons and excommunicates both activities[48].

Borges Grainha argues that this secret society was established in Portugal in 1822, when two emissaries visited Portugal: General Pepe and Colonel Pizza. A few years later, in 1848, Carbonária had reached an important level of organization and was pursuing relevant activities in Coimbra, Figueira, Soure, Anadia, Cantahede, Pombal, Ílhavo and Braga, although it seemed to disappear after 1864. In 1896 it emerged again through another secret association, the Maçonaria Académica or Academic Freemasonry, formed by university students and led by a Luz Almeida. This revolutionary and anti-clerical association became and important instrument for the diffusion of republican propaganda in cafés, schools, workshops, seminaries and in popular places of academic lampoonery. Gradually Carbonária established its connections within freemasonry through the lodge Montanha founded by the aforementioned Luz Almeida and participated in the political indoctrination of freemasons. Borges Grainha stresses that this contributed directly to the election of Sebastião Magalhães de Lima as Grand Master of the Grande Oriente Lusitano. This relationship was responsible for the expansion of Portuguese Carbonária. In October 1910, the time of the Portuguese Republican revolution, the Carbonária had about 40,000 members across the country[49].

The revolution of 1910 was the epilogue of several attempts to depose the Portuguese monarchy that had existed at least from 31st January 1891.  Its most deplorable episode was the assassination of the King, D. Carlos I, in February 1908 and the Prince Regent, D. Luis Filipe. With the support of freemasonry, the Republican Party had perpetrated the assassination of both royal figures using its army branch, the Carbonária. Machado Santos comments that one of the heads of Carbonária and a top official of the young officers that led the uprising was a freemason, saying: the work of the Portuguese revolution was due to freemasonry, uniquely and exclusively”[50].

The republican revolution would account for the spontaneous union of large parts of the community and the weak resistance of the monarchic troops. Its rapid success can be explained as follow. First, the national unrest that resulted from the monarchic “rotation” in the legislative chamber created an alternation in power with little impact on the policies. Second, the national shame that emerged from the episodes of the Pink Map and British Ultimatum, when Portugal’s pride as independent state was seriously disrupted, both attributed to the incompetence of the monarchic government. Also, the governance of the monarchic executive was economically disastrous, which cultivated civil turmoil as a reaction to increasing inflation and the miserable conditions of the majority of the population.

With the proclamation of the Republic and the instalment of the first provisional government, which was led by Teófilo Barga with António José de Almeida as Interior Minister and Afonso Costa as Minister of Justice, all of whom were freemasons, freemasonry was acknowledged as a useful institution. Thus freemasonry became a useful attribute for those who pursued a political or bureaucratic career. During the 1st Republic, its membership doubled from 2000 to 4000, with a consequent increase in lodges and groups. In the Parliament more than half of the MPs were masons. In the Government of 1910-11, fifty per cent of the ministers were masons and this percentage was sustained in subsequent executives until 1926. Three Presidents of the Republic of Portugal were masons: Bernardino Machado, Sidónio Pais and António José de Almeida.

However the close interrelationship between freemasonry and the Republican Party steadily increased during the 1st Republic, so that the disagreements and rivalries that occurred within the Obedience were echoed within the government. Magalhães Lima, the Grand Master and a friend and political supporter of Afonso Costa, who headed the left wing of the Republican Party, provided Costa with the support of the Grande Oriente Lusitano. When the Republican Party split in 1911, with Afonso Costa on one side, against António José de Almeida and Brito Camacho on the other[51], the lodges of the Grande Oriente aligned themselves with the Costa side.

If the divisions between the republican groups become so serious that they put at risk the survival of the Republican regime, it is not difficult to anticipate that freemasonry would suffer the same fate sooner or later.

This happened in 1914, although it was not directly attributed to political reasons, but found refuge in aspects of jurisdiction and the rites. Some disputes arose between the executive and legislative branches of the Grand Orient (the Grand Master, the Deputy Grand Master, General Counsel and Grand Diet) and the Supreme Council of the 33º, relating to the conformity of the revised Masonic Constitution of 1914 with the agreements of 1869 that allowed several Grand Orients and major rites to be unified. The problem that arose was the sharing of the power among the major groups. The Supreme Council of the 33º maintained its view that it was entitled to corporate independence and split from the Grande Oriente Lusitano Unido.

The Supreme Council of the 33º, with the support of several foreign supreme councils, created the Grémio Luso-Escocês, with its main office in S. Pedro de Alcântara Street. It elected General Augusto Ferreira de Castro as its Sovereign Grand Commander. Several dozen lodges and groups moved and found their place under the new jurisdiction, representing one third of the Masonic membership. According to Oliveira Marques, this group and Obedience installed Sidónio Pais as a personal dictator at the head of a new government (1917-18), following the overthrow of the Democratic Party’s government headed by Afonso Costa as Prime Minister and Bernardino Machado as President of the Republic. The coup d’État of 14th May 1915, against Pimenta de Castro’s dictatorship, had in its ranks the Grand Master, Magalhaes de Limas and the Deputy Grand Master, José de Castro, as well as other high ranking masons including Sá Cardoso, Freitas Ribeiro and António Maria da Silva. During the 1920’s the new Grand Master, António Maria da Silva, was also head of the Democratic Party and held office for the longest period, forming the executive six times. 

According to Oliveira Marques, this confusion between freemasonry and partisanship caused many masons to leave the Order [Grande Oriente Lusitano][52]. By 1919 the membership had decreased to 1,807 in 88 lodges. The other obedience, Grémio Luso-Escocês, suffered a similar destiny when the number of its lodges decreased to 30.

On the eve of the coup d’État that overthrew the Republican regime and installed a military dictatorship, an amalgamation of the Grande Oriente with the Grémio (1926) was achieved, although some important masons like General Ferreira de Castro remained outside.  On that date there were about 3,000 masons in Portugal, in 115 lodges and groups. This was in the proportion of about one mason for every 2,000 citizens. In comparative terms the ratio of masons to citizens in Portugal was meaningful, as large countries like Spain and Italy were similar


7. Freemasonry under the Estado Novo and Salazar autocracy

On 28th May 1926 a coup d’État, headed by Army officers, was successful and overthrew the parliamentary democracy installed in October 1910. A Military Dictatorship was installed with General Gomes da Costa as its leader, the rebels taking over Lisbon without resistance.

There are several explanations for the triumph of the coup. First there were domestic reasons, especially the political instability that arose from the succession of 45 executives over a short period of 16 years. The turbulent social environment caused by the multiple and violent strikes between republican radicals and the monarchic opposition also contributed. In its anticlerical enthusiasm, Republican authorities forgot about the agrarian, conservative and catholic country that rejected the new values and cherished the earlier Christian ones. The collapse of popular support began when the middle urban classes, infuriated by the decrease in their wealth, the exploding inflation and the development of Bolshevik ideas and agitation amongst the workers, began to agitate for a strong government that would restore order and stability and put an end to anarchy.

Secondly, the authoritarian coup d’État received great inspiration from the right-wing dictatorial movements that were exploding in Italy, Germany and generally in northern of Europe, where they were advanced as a populist alternative to the political agitation and spirit of civil war prevalent among communists and leftists. For most republicans, the Revolution of 28th May was seen as a first step in passing on the true spirit of 1910 to the Republic. General Óscar Carmona, an honourable officer and a mason, led the regime that arose from the coup and became President of the Republic in April 1928. 

The new authoritarian regime did not immediately begin to attack the extensive civil liberties enjoyed under the Republic, including the freedom of freemasons to conduct their activities. The fact that Carmona was a mason probably was the reason why freemasonry was allowed to enjoy substantial liberty of action until 1929. In spite of that, there were dark signs that a virulent conservatism was beginning to emerge. The new counterrevolutionary wave was vigorously supported by prestigious figures in the Church and the political Right finding fertile ground in the common people’s despair.

This trend was helped by the nomination of a Coimbra academic, Professor António Salazar, as Minister of Finance in a new executive headed by Colonel Valente de Freitas. Salazar accepted an invitation to join the government on the condition that he would be allowed to control the budgets of all ministries, not only his. This condition was received positively in the executive, which allowed Salazar to develop a rigorous policy for strict control of public expenses and the budget deficit. The success of these policies strengthened his political influence, as a result of which he became chief of the executive in July 1932. The financial capital, the Church, the Army, conservative intellectuals and partisans of the monarchy all gave their broad support.

Being unsatisfied by the evident signs of the authoritarianism rooted in the political, economic and religious interests that were supporting the new regime, several masons joined the unsuccessful uprising against the military dictatorship in February 1927. On 31st October 1927, the Council of the Order issued a communiqué signed by the physician Ramón de la Féria, putting forward a plan to oppose resistance to the advancement of the reactionary ideology. The official ideology that favoured Salazar’s rise to power came from the anti-liberal, corporative and authoritarian elements that were part of the fascist and national-socialist ideologies, which embodied the collective/totalitarian view that the individual was an insignificant part of the overriding interest, the Nation[53]. 

When the Grand Master Magalhães da Silva died on 7th December 1927, António José de Almeida was the mason elected by the Diet its successor. The new Grand Master was already in an advanced state of illness and died 0n 31st October 1929[54].

This period coincided with a violent strike by the police against Masonic institutions. On 16th April some units of the National Republic Guard and the Police assaulted and captured the headquarters of the Grand Orient, the Grémio Lusitano, detaining all the masons who were present. They also confiscated all of the documents and archives they found. For that reason the palace kept its doors closed from May 1929 until 1930 to prevent new incidents.

Acknowledging the new climate of persecution created by the New State regime, the Council of the Grande Oriente, chaired by José da Costa Pina, decreed that all lodges would be suitably organised to reduce large meetings easily detected by the police and its spies. Instead, small meetings would be held in specific residences. On the last day of 1929, the freemasons elected General Norton de Matos as their leader and Grand Master. In his message to the freemasons, Norton de Matos urged that freemasonry should pursue the great work of national reorganization, alerting them to the fact that a victory of the reactionary forces would be a major disaster for the Nation. In this context he said it was an imperative obligation of freemasons to use all the peaceful and honourable means at their disposal to prevent their Homeland from falling into the disastrous state that threatened her[55]. 

One year later in the meeting of the Grand Diet, Norton de Matos referred to the deterioration of the political situation in Portugal and appealed for an “untiring fight against the dictatorship and the urgency for an organised combat to prevent a complete and ultimate reactionary victory”. He concluded prophetically, saying that: “if the reaction wins, a long period of miasma, forced inertia, discouragement and sadness would befall Portugal”[56].

Salazar succeeded in his efforts to control the political situation, suppressing political liberties and hunting down and putting its opponents into jail. The suppression of liberal ideas and the restriction of an atmosphere of toleration and freedom, which still overshadowed Portuguese society, were accompanied by the deportation, exile and impoverishment of many freemasons and opponents of the regime. Several lodges and groups ceased their activities as a result of the absence of officers and the adverse conditions under which they functioned. A permanent enfeeblement of freemasonry and the continuing persecution of its members characterized the period 1931-1935.

In 1930 the União Nacional, a sort of non-party organization acting as a government backed-group, which was supposed to represent all classes irrespective of particular divisions, soon became the sole authorized party. It was conceived to help Salazar, the venerated and acclaimed leader, to manoeuvre at his personal pleasure. The first election after the 1926 coup took place at the end of 1934. Only one party, the União Nacional, was allowed to compete and easily won the election with 90 MPs in the National Assembly.

With Salazar’s increasing personal power, the dictatorial apparatus of the Estado Novo achieved its final ambition. Refusing popular sovereignty, multi-partisanship and freedom as legitimate concepts, Salazar established the dictatorial doctrine that sovereignty would not be founded on the liberty of individuals that the liberals sought. Instead it would be founded on the Nation as a whole, an organic concept fulfilled by a group of individuals sharing the same culture, language, values, religion and traditions. Collective interests would hold sway over individual preferences. The sole interpreters of the national interest would be the Government and the state. From an ethical point of view, Salazar adopted the values and moral concepts of the Catholic tradition, with God, Homeland, Family, Authority, Social Harmony, Hierarchy and Morality as core values, which would be enforced under the absolute authority of his system of government.

On 19th January 1935, in the recently elected Assembleia Nacional (the rubber-stamp Parliament), the MP José Cabral presented a bill intended to forbid every citizen from being be a member of any secret association, under the threat of severe penalties that included detention and exile. Before they were admitted to office, all public servants were forced to take an oath declaring that they were not members of any secret society.

Although it was not acknowledged to be its main goal, the bill was a direct attack on freemasonry. General Norton de Matos, the Grand Master, decided to send a letter to Dr. José Alberto dos Reis, the chairman of the Assembly and a mason, expressing his protest against the initiative and asking the Assembly not to pass the bill.

Neither the Grand Master’s letter nor the crushing commentary that the poet Fernando Pessoa published in the Diário de Lisboa journal could prevent the persecutory judgment of the authorities.

On 27th March the second reading of the bill received positive support m the Câmara Corporativo[57] and was voted on favourably and unanimity on 6th April. Freemasonry was banished in accordance with the pronouncement of Law 1901 of the 21st March 1935.

At the beginning of 1935, Decree No. 28 of the General Council of freemasonry strengthened the earlier directives for the grouping of all lodges. The Grand Master resigned on 4th April 1935 and transferred his powers to the Council and to its chairman, Dr. Maurício Costa.

After his death on 19th May 1937, government of the Order was transferred to Dr. Luis Gonçalves Rebordão with a mandate to direct the Grand Orient until the end of the dictatorship. Four other distinguished freemasons, Dr. José de Oliveira Dinis, Ramon la Féria, José da Costa Pina and Alfredo Mourão were respectively nominated as Vice-Chairman, Secretaries and Treasurer.

As consequence of Law 1901, a regulation was published on 21st January dissolving the Grémio Lusitano and Law 1950 transferred all the archives and real estate of freemasonry to the Portuguese Legion. Many collectibles, insignia and Grémio documents were deposited with the PVDE (secret police). According to Oliveira Marques, some of the Grémio archives went into safe hands before the police could receive them. They remained in safe hands for many years while waiting to be returned to freemasonry, which did not happen until after the Carnation Revolution of 1974.

The amount of Masonic activity and its organization under the autocratic regime of Salazar and Caetano should be fully recognised, but it should be noted that a significative number of freemasons chose exile and stayed abroad for a long time, pursuing their activities in refugee countries[58].

In 1974, on the eve of the Carnation Revolution, only three or four reputable lodges were still operating: Simpatia e União, Liberdade and José Estevão.

It is also worthy of note that there was some Masonic activity by masons working in embassies or foreign companies during these tough years of the dictatorship. It also seems likely that one or more lodges were functioning under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of England.

On 25th April 1974 a military coup d’État, led by young officers of the Portuguese army, overthrew the dictatorship of Salazar and Caetano, paving the way for the reestablishment of a democratic order and civil liberties.

As Arthur Edward Waite mentions[59], the history of 20th Century freemasonry is largely a history of persecutions under the modern dictatorships of Mussolini, Adolf Hitler, Stalin, Salazar in Portugal and Franco in Spain.

In those dreadful years freemasons in a discreet way, as always, were in the forefront of resistance against dictatorships, confirming their faith in a reborn, democratic and emancipated Portugal[60].


8. Freemasonry in Democracy

Democracy was re-established on 25th April 1974 as a result of the coup d’État that took place on that day, under the military command of the Movimento das Forças Armadas (MFA) directing the revolution. The revolution, swiftly called Carnation Revolution because of the flower decorating the barrels of the insurgent soldiers’ rifles, had the unanimous backing of the international community and Portugal’s traditional allies. The widespread acclamation the rebellion received from the population simplified the resumption of the civil and political liberties suppressed by the dictatorship.

It was not surprising that the revolution contributed to the elimination of all legal and political restrictions that restrained Masonic activity. The premises and documents confiscated by the secret police were returned to the Grémio Lusitano, the ordinary association that supported the Order.

The MFA program allowed the full restoration of all civil liberties, freedom of expression, meetings, and the press as independent judges of power.

Portuguese freemasonry initially was centred on the Grande Oriente Lusitano, with its palace in Grémio Lusitano Street. Since November 1984, in conjunction with the Grande Loja de Portugal formed by masons originally from the lodges Aljubarrota, Bocage, Estrela d’Alva, Fernando Pessoa, and Futuro e Tolerância, all are now under the jurisdiction of the Grande Oriente.

José Manuel Anes, in his most recent book about Regular Portuguese Freemasonry, says that a group of masons dissatisfied with irregular conditions that the Grande Orient persisted in following, took initiatives to remedy the situation and tried to restore the Obedience in the roots of regularity, but the attempt failed. Schisms occurred during the 1980s, which led to the creation of the Grand Lodge of Portugal in 1985 and later the creation of the Portuguese District of the Grand National Lodge of France (DP-GLNF)[61]. In 1991 this District became the Regular Grand Lodge of Portugal (GLRP), under the leadership of Fernando Teixeira as its first Grand Master[62]. This new Obedience has in its ranks important freemasons like Antero da Palma Carlos the first Prime Minister after the Revolution, Fernando Teixeira the first Grand Master, José Manuel Moreira, José Carlos Nogueira the present Sovereign Grand Commander of the 33º of the SAAR, Pisani Burnay, Alvaro de Athayde, Luís Nandin de Carvalho the second Grand Master, José Manuel Anes the present Grand Master, Nuno Nazareth Fernandes and José Moreno the Superior Priest of the Royal Arch to name a few.

The Regular Grand Lodge of Portugal achieved great expansion and growth during the first ten years of its operation. It is recognised by Universal Freemasonry as a regular jurisdiction and has representatives near the Grand Lodges of Canada, Brazil, Switzerland, Mexico, the different Grand Lodges of the states of United States of America and the United Grand Lodge of England (1992). This warm welcome among the main branches of Regular freemasonry made it possible for the Second World Masonic Conference to be held in Estoril in September 1996, with representatives from 20 countries and an enormous coverage by the press.

The Regular Grand Lodge of Portugal has established an increasing influence within Portuguese society among the liberal professions, intellectuals, public servants, entrepreneurs and academics, with about 900 members during the 1990s. In civil society the new Obedience is considered to closely reflect the Catholic, liberal and conservative environment. Prof. Luis Nandin de Carvalho replaced the founder, Dr. Fernando Teixeira, after his decease in 1997.

A minority of freemasons contested the election of the new Grand Master, led by José Braga Gonçalves. The WorshipfulMaster of Lodge General Gomes Freire de Andrade promoted a schism in the Grand Lodge between 1997 and 1998, alleging that the Grand Master had violated his Masonic vows[63].  The purpose of the schism was to enable insiders to take over the power of regular Portuguese freemasonry and put it at the service of hidden or illegal purposes. The new dissidents, some 400 masons, adopted the original name of the Grand Lodge, took Casa do Sino the headquarters of the Grand Lodge by force and confiscated all the archives. This “coup d’État” forced the remaining group of masons who continued to support Luis Nandin de Carvalho, to change its common name to Grande Loja Legal de Portugal – Grande Loja Regular de Portugal, known in universal freemasonry as the Grand Lodge of Portugal - Legal[64]. According José Manuel Anes, all of the ceremonial bodies of Regular freemasonry, that is the High Grades, rejected the call of the dissidents and joined the GLLP in its new phase of activity.

On 11th December 2000 José Manuel Anes succeeded Luís Nandin de Carvalho as Grand Master and was installed on 24th March 2001. José Manuel Anes was the Grand Prior of the Grande Prioriado Independente da Lusitânea, a system of High Degrees of the rectified Scottish rite of Christian and Gnostic observance.

If the Website of the Grand Legal Lodge of Portugal ( is visited, it will be seen that 50 lodges are operating with an estimated membership [José Manuel Anes] of 900 freemasons, compared with 1100 members under the Grande Oriente Lusitano.

According to the details included in Maçonaria Regular[65], in general terms there are seven Obediences operating in Portugal. They are: GLRP (Legal) with 900 members; GLRP (Casa do Sino) 100 members; Grande Loja Nacional Portuguesa (an offshoot from GLRP) 50 members; Casa Real dos Pedreiros Livres da Lusitânea (also an offshoot from GLRP) 50 members; Grande Oriente Lusitano 1100 members; Grande Loja Feminina de Portugal (Feminine freemasonry) 300 members and Direito Humano (mixed freemasonry) 200 members.

Beyond the Grand Lodges that reputedly represent the first three degrees of regular and irregular freemasonry in Portugal, there are bodies representing the High Degrees of freemasonry and practising the rites according to their several systems. First among these we should mention the Supreme Council for Portugal of the 33º of the SAAR (Scottish rite); there also is the Independent Grand Priory of Lusitanea (Rectified Scottish Christian freemasonry) and the Supreme Grand Chapter of the Royal Arch (Cryptic and Templar masonry). Recently, a Rosecrucian Association of Freemasons of Portugal was formed following the rituals of the international Rosicrucian Societies.

Following the recent installation of Dr. António Arnault, a lawyer, writer, poet and a distinguished democrat who was the Minister of Welfare in the first executive of Mario Soares[66], a statement concerning the openness of the Grande Oriente Lusitano was issued to civil society. This has been seen as a breach of freemasonry’s tradition and a course of conspiracy and political engagement that has characterised the course of the Grand Orient from its inception until the present day.

The atmosphere of friendship and toleration, which is a characteristic of the foremost Obediences in freemasonry, is creating the conditions required for the dialogue that the majority of Portuguese freemasons cherish and hopefully should lead to the unification of Portuguese freemasonry within a few decades. This course and its goal are facilitated by the present generation’s approach to the problems that are associated with religion and divinity in contemporary societies.

[1] Initiated in Lodge Star of the Morning nº 7 of GRLP. Presently, Master Mason in Lodge Anderson 16th  (Rite York) of the same Obedience GLRP (Legal). 14th Degree of the High Degrees of Scottish Freemasonry under the jurisdiction of the Supreme Council for Portugal of the 33d Degree of the Scottish Ancient and Accepted Rite.

[2] José Manuel Anes, Maçonaria Regular, Lisboa, Editora Hugin, 2003, p. 17.

[3] M.C. Jacob, The Radical Enlightenment: Pantheists, Freemasons And Republicans, London, 1981, G. Gayot, La Franc-Maçonnerie francaise. Textes et pratiques. XVIIe-XIXe siècles, Paris, 1980.

[4] Alec Mellor, Dicionário da Franco-Maçonaria e dos Franco-Maçons, Martins Fontes, S. Paulo, 1989, pp. 16-17.

[5] Borges Grainha, História da Maçonaria em Portugal, Lisboa, 1912, p. 31.

[6] Oliveira Marques, A Maçonaria Portuguesa e o Estado Novo, Publicações Dom Quixote, Lisbon, 1983, p. 43.

[7] Oliveira Marques, Historia da Maçonaria em Portugal, I Volume, Editorial Presença, Lisbon, p. 123.

[8] Jasper Ripley, The Freemasons, Robinson, London, 2000, p. 55 and S. Vatcher, John Coustos and the Portuguese Inquisition, Acta Quatuor Coronatorum, Transcriptions of Quator Coronati Lodgem, vol,. 81 (1968), p. 9-87.

[9] Arthur Edward Waite, A New Encyclopaedia of Freemasonry, New York, Wings Books, p. 17.

[10] Oliveira Marques, Historia da Maçonaria.., vol I, p. 122.

[11] Oliveira Marques and Alves Lins in Pombal na tradição portuguesa, in Pombal Revisitado, vol I, Lisbon, 1984, pp 61-71 and Domingos Maurício, Pombal e Maçonaria, Broteria, vol. LXXXIX, 1969, pp. 478-487.

[12] Oliveira Marques, História da Maçonaria Portuguesa, Vol I- das origens ao triunfo, p. 40-3.

[13] Maria da Graça Silva Dias, Anglismo na Maçonaria em Portugal no limiar do Século XIX, revista Análise Social, II Série, Vol. XVI, 1980, nº 61-2, pp. 339.428.

[14] Latino Coelho, Historia Politico-Militar, book 3, p. 67 and book 2, p. 385.

[15] Scientist, founder with the Duke of Lafões of the Science Academy, lived in London and Philadelphia. He was personal friend of Thomas Jefferson. See Oliveira Marques, Dicionário da Maçonaria Portuguesa – vol II, Lisboa, Editorial Delta, 1986, p 1238-9.

[16] Was Charge of affairs in the United States between 1798 and 1800, was initiated in Philadelphia and would exile in London in 1805. See Oliveira Marques, Dicionário…, ibidem, p. 424-5.

[17] See Oliveira Marques, Dicionário….,ibidem,  Maria da Graça da Silva Dias, Anglismo…., ibidem.

[18] José Manuel Anes, Maçonaria Regular,Lisboa, Hugin Editores,2003, p. 30.

[19] Oliveira Marques, ibidem,. p. 45.    

[20] José Manuel Anes, ibidem, p. 46.

[21] Borges Grainha, ibidem, pp. 56-9.

[22] José Manuel Anes, Maçonaria Regular, ibidem, p. 31,  note 40.

[23] Luís Nandin de Carvalho, Teoria e Prática da Maçonaria, Publicações Dom Quixote, Lisboa, 1995, p. 64.

[24] Contacts and co-operation between French freemasonry and the Club of Jacobins are mostly accepted by historians. The club when transformed according with the revolutionary strategy defined by Robespierre or Mirabeau, acted according to freemasonry rites, rules of secrecy and organization what helps to understand its expansion to all French territory. Does this co-operation involved the most outrageous acts of the Terror and that explains the slander of the Grand Master, Prince Égalité is something still to be answered..

[25] Jasper Ripley, The Freemasons, Robinson, London, 2000, pp 152-3.

[26] Jacques-Olivier Bourdon, Napoleon Empereur des francs-maçons, Historia revue, nº 676,.April 2003, pp. 56-62.

[27] Borges Grainha, ibidem, pp. 60-1.

[28] Borges Grainha, ibidem, p. 62 and Oliveira Marques, ibidem, p. 47.

[29] Oliveira Marques, História….., ibidem, p. 109.

[30] Oliveira Marques, Ensaios sobre a maçonaria, Lisboa, Quezal Editores, p. 50.

[31] José Manuel Anes, ibidem, p. 30.

[32] Luz Soriano, História da Guerra Civil, 3d edition, vol. 2, n. date, p. 260.

[33] Oliveira Marques, ibidem, p. 47.

[34] Borges Grainha, ibidem, p. 76-7.

[35] Joel Serrão, Dicionário da História de Portugal, vol. III, pp. 893.895.

[36] Borges Grainha is referring the alternance between Silva Carvalho, the Duke of Saldanha and Passos Manuel at head of the opposition or government. These Grand Masters were also leaders of several political revolutions. Passos Manuel was the leader of the revolution of September 1836 (called Setembrista) that demised the Charter conceded by D. Pedro and restored the Charter of 1822. The Grand Master Costa Cabral leaded the revolution of 1842 (called Cartista) with the support of lodges of its Orient.

[37] Oliveira Marques argues in its History of Freemasonry that between 1849 and 1867 there were in Portugal fifty eight different Masonic Obediences.

[38] Oliveira Marques, História da Maçonaria em Portugal, ibidem, pp 80-110.

[39] Borges Grainha, ibidem, pp. 113-4.

[40] Oliveira Marques, ibidem, p. 115.

[41] Were masons figures of Science like the Abby Correia da Serra, Brotero, José Anastácio da Cunha, Egas Moniz, Gago Coutinho, politicians like D. Pedro IV, D. Fernado II, Costa Cabral, José António de Aguiar, Duke of Loulé, Silva Carvalho, Alexandre Braga, Elias Garcia, Passos Manuel, Duke of Saldanha, Mousinho da Silveira, Bernardino Machado, António José de Almeida, Norton de Matos, Sidónio Pais, people from the Church like the Bishop of Lisbon (D. Manuel Rodrigues da Silva), the Archbishop of Evora (D. Frei Francisco Anes de Carvalho), the Bishop of Angra (D. Frei Alexandre da Sagrada Família) and poets and writers like Bocage, Domingos Bontempo, Camilo Castelo Branco, Castilho, Trindade Coelho, Almeida Garrett, Alexandre Herculano, Leonardo Coimbra, Jaime Cortesão, Teixeira de Pascoais, Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro (artist) etc.

[42] Jacobins or Club of Jacobins was a political association formed in Versailles in May 1789 just before the assembly of all French classes. From June 1789 it was denominated the Society of Friends of the Constitution.  When the Constituent Assembly moved to Paris the association moved also. Formed at the beginning by conservators would allow the most violent of French revolutionaries to be admitted like Pétio, Grégoire, Mirabeau, Roberpierre and forced the most moderate to leave. After this scission the political club adopted the name of Society of the Friends of Liberty and Equality and attracted some intellectuals to its ranks like Condorcet, David and Chénier and extended through all France. Using the secret methods of freemasonry becomes the referee of the political situation and controlled by Robespierre participate in all the bloodsheds of the Revolution: the assassination of the king, the persecution of the Church, the establishment of the Terror, the activation of the Conseils de Salvation Publique, the ‘'revolutionary’' type of Inquisition. The falling of Roberpierre in the 9th of Thermidor put an end to its influence. It was closed in 11 November 1794 and briefly opened during the Directory.

[43] Maria da Graça da Silva Dias, Anglismo na Maçonaria em Portugal no limiar do Século XIX, revista Análise Social, II Série, Vol. XVI, 1980, n. 61-2, pp 399-428.

[44] Freemasonry Role on the 21st Century,  in  Pietre Stones, goncalves.html

[45] Augusto José Vieira, História do Partido Republicano Português, 1909, w/ editor, p. 128.

[46] Borges Grainha, ibidem, p. 156.

[47] Oliveira Marques says in its Enasios de Maçonaria, ibidem, p. 62, that freemasonry supported the creation of Carbonária the decisive lever of the Republican Revolution of 1910.

[48] Alec Mellor, Dicionário da Franco-Maçonaria e dos Franco-Mações, ibidem, p. 84.


[49] Alec Mellor, Dicionário da Franco-Maçonaria e dos Franco-Mações, ibidem, p. 84.

[49] Borges Grainha, ibidem, p. 136.

[50] Machado dos Santos in A Revolução Portuguesa, quoted by Oliveira Marques, ibidem, p. 54.

[51] Oliveira Marques, ibidem, p. 54-5.

[52] José Manuel Anes assess this proximity and the role of the Grande Oriente in the revolutionary events as permissive. See Anes, Maçonaria Regular, ibidem, p. 32.  

[53] The nature of the military dictatorship installed in May 28, 1926, as a fascist or corporative regime divides, since long time,historic scholarships. See José Mattoso, História de Portugal, Kenneth Maxwell, The making of Portuguese democracy, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press; Fernando Rosas, Nova História de Portugal – o Estado Novo, vol. XII, Editorial Presença.

[54] Oliveira Marques, ibidem, pp. 59-60.

[55] Oliveira Marques, ibidem, p. 60.

[56] Oliveira Marques, ibidem, p. 60.

[57] This is the second (imperfect) chamber  that according with the Constitution of 1933 precedes the vote of the Legislative.

[58] It is been noted that in Paris, the Intellectuals League includes famous freemasons as Jaime Cortesão, Afonso Costa or José Domingos dos Santos. Only the writer António Sérgio or António Costa are not masons. In Madrid the exiles include masons like Jaime de Morais and Moreira Pinto that helped to create a lodge – Portuguese Republic – under the jurisdiction of the Grans Lógia Regional des Centro de Espana. In 1936 this lodge cease its activity with the explosion of the civil war.

[59] Arthur Edward Waite, A New Encyclopaedia of Freemasonry – Introduction, New York, Wings Books, 1970, p. 17.

[60] According with Luís Nandin de Carvalho, Teoria e prática da maçonaria, Lisboa, Publicações Dom Quixote, 1995, p. 79, were freemasons Magalháes Lima, General Humberto Delgado (oppositor to Salazar and assassinated at his order in Spain), Cardinal Costa Nunes (vice-carmelango of Santa Sé), Egas Moniz (Nobel prize), Teixeira de Pascoais, Alexandre Herculano, Almeida Garrett, Vitorino Nemésio (writers), Fernado Pessoa (poet) and General Norton de Matos (candidate to the Presidency of the Republic against Salazar protégé, Américo Tomás).

[61] José Manuel Anes, Maçonaria Regular, ibidem, pp. 32-3.

[62] Luís Nandin de Carvalho, Teoria e Prática da maçonaria, Lisbon, Publicações Dom Quixote, 1995, p. 88.

[63] For a detailed view of these events check Luís Nandin de Carvalho, A maçonaria entreaberta, Hugin Editores, Lisboa, 1997.

[64] José Manuel Anes, ibidem, pp. 36-7.

[65] José Manuel Anes, ibidem, pp. 34-5.

[66] Mario Soares has affirmed to be initiated in the Grand Orient of France during its exile in France, seeing it as a process of getting good contacts (interview with journalist Maria João Avilez). In April 1974 Soares has been raised to fellowcraft but after the Revolution he didn’t regularise its situation near the Grande Oriente Lusitano and probably get inactive.


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