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Lecture at Lund University, Sweden 2004

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Freemasonry is a nursery in which the Order 

picks out those receptive for its most intimate secrets.[1]



In 1768, a new Lodge was founded by seven Masons in a small town named Wismar.


The fact that three of them - a German soldier, a Swedish one, a young German theologian – happened to meet in Wismar had unforeseen consequences. One of them was the birth of the Scottish Rectified Rite in the town of Lyons in France ten years later. The present paper will attempt to throw some light on how it happened.



The Mecklenburg Background



As the crow flies, Wismar is about 200 Km from Lund. It is a harbour located between Rostock and Lübeck, on the other side of the Baltic Sea, in the province of Mecklenburg. Which means in to-day’s Germany. However at that time, Wismar belonged to Sweden.[2]


A St Michael Lodge was founded in Schwerin on May 15, 1754, with a patent of the Premier Grand Lodge, bearing number 230. Its WM was Bro. Brünsich Edler von Brun zu Schwerin. Among the members, Baron von Dittmar and General-Major von Both. It closed on March 30, 1756.[3] No further masonic activity was registered in Mecklenburg until four years later.[4]


During a trip he made in 1759 to Berlin, Bro. von Handtwig [5] who was born in Riga and lived in Rostock, came in contact with Bro. Imbert, WM of Lodge La Concorde which belonged to the Mother Lodge The Three Globes from which Handtwig became a patent for a lodge in Rostock, zu den drei Sternen, dated June 10, 1760. The first officers were Handtwig as Master, Joachim Heinrich von Schröder (1725-1795) as Senior Warden, Ernst Ludwig Albrecht as Junior Warden and Dr. Peter Heinrich Behrmann, Senator of Rostock, as Orator. On December 4, 1760, Bro. Imbert came from Berlin to Rostock and opened an Ecossais Chapter, zur Sonne, grafted on the Rostock Lodge.[6] The Chapter worked after the system of the Hochkapitel von Deutschland, Schweden und Danemark (often named “Clermont Chapter” in masonic literature), opened in Berlin on July 19, 1760, that is with French rituals modified by Pastor Rosa.


Ernst Werner von Raven (1727-1787),[7] Herr auf Nossentin und Sparow (small villages located some 80 Km South from Rostock), was a member of the Lodge in Rostock and its WM 1764-1765. Together with J. H. von Schröder, he represented the Rostock Chapter at the convent of Altenberg (May 1764) [8] where both were knighted by von Hund, von Raven as Eq. a Margarita, von Schröder as Eq. a Grue. von Hund delivered a Patent to Raven as Prefect of “Eckhorst”,[9] Commissarius of the Rostock Chapter, whereas Schröder became one as Subprior of Lüneburg.[10] The Rostock Lodge passed over to the Strict Observance after their returned home and the Chapter changed its name into Carl zur Sonne in honor of von Hund.


A remarkable man whose masonic career was a quick one,[11] Johann Christian Schubart, was also knighted (Eq. a Struthione) at Altenberg by von Hund. Shortly afterwards, he began his propaganda action and convinced many lodges to adopt the Strict Observance system.[12] On January 3, 1765, he came to Hamburg and knighted nine Brethren, among others the Prov. Grand Master, Dr Jänisch (Eq. ab Urtica),[13] and the Subprior of the Hamburg Chapter founded by Rosa, Johann Gottfried von Exter (Eq. a Pino virente).[14] Hamburg became the seat of a Prefecture named Ivenak. From Hamburg, Schubart went to Copenhagen.[15] In June 1765, on his way back to Hamburg, Schubart stopped in Rostock and contacted von Schröder.[16]



The Wismar Lodge, the Clerics, the Embassy



-The Three Lions Lodge at Wismar [17]


Baron Friedrich von Vegesack was made a Mason in Hamburg in 1748 [18] and lived in Mecklenburg as a German captain in the service of Holland. He applied for a Warrant to the Lodge in Hamburg in order to found a Lodge at Wismar, became the answer that ‘things had changed a lot in the Order for some time, Hamburg could not warrant Lodges as it used to before’ and was refered to Herr von Schröder oder Dr. Behrmann in Rostock. However he sent his request to Ernst Werner von Raven who suggested he contacts Senator Behrmann, then Master of the lodge in Rostock. Vegesack sent a formal request dated September 13, 1766, to Behrmann,[19] signed by himself and four others : Major Johann von Böhnen, Swedish commanding officer at Wismar ; Counselor (Hofrath) Prof. August Schaarschmidt who lived at Bützow ; a Swedish officer, Lieutenant Georg Adolf von Sticht, and a German one, Captain (Hauptmann) Friedrich Heinrich von Bülow.


On October 20, von Böhnen who reputedly could not write German,[20] wrote in French to Behrmann :

[…] further we have discovered a man here whose name we ignore and whom we have not met yet, but he is from Schwerin and will establish himself in Wismar since he became assistant director of the local school, he is very well spoken of.[21]

A little later, Vegesack wrote to Schröder :

Starck is the name of the assistant director mentioned in Major von Böhnen’s letter, a very fine fellow and I believe a Scottish Master, I have not spoken to him yet because my wife was sick.[22]


The Warrant for the The Three Lions Lodge at Wismar, signed by J. H. von Schröder and von Raven, was drawn up on February 13, 1767. It included strong restrictions : the Lodge could not make Masons without getting permission first from that at Rostock, it must send the initiation fees to it and was practically deprived of all initiative.[23] The Lodge was installed on February 17 by Dr. Behrmann accompanied by Christian Nicolaus von Schröder (younger brother of Joachim Heinrich [24]), Dr. Oertling, Stadt-Secretair Pries and a servant from the Rostock Lodge, Bro. Steinbeck. Only six members of the Lodge attended : Vegesack as Master, Major von Böhnen as Senior Warden, Starck acting as Junior Warden in the absence of Schaarschmidt,[25] von Sticht sen., von Bülow and von Quillfeldt.[26]


Starck, aged twenty-six and a doctor in theology, was the youngest of the lot. He was made a Mason in a French military lodge in 1761 while studying at Göttingen.[27] In his posthumous book printed in 1970, Le Forestier acknowledges Starck’s intellectual superiority. But – to quote his own strong words he acknowledges ‘his marked superiority over his colleagues in charlatanism’.[28] We will try to show that such a harsh judgment may not have been justified.


-The Clerics


On March 11, Vegesack, von Böhnen and Starck signed together a letter to von Schröder and von Raven in which they complained about the ‘inhuman behaviour’ of Behrmann.[29] Then, on March 31, Starck sent von Hund a first letter signed by himself alone. Since neither he nor the other members of the Wismar Lodge were acquainted with the Provincial Master’s name and address, the letter was handed over to von Schröder who agreed to forward it.[30]


Starck’s letter was printed twenty years later in Archidemides oder des Anti-Saint Nicaise zweyter Theil,[31] an anonymous pamphlet compiled by an old friend of von Hund, Christian Friedrich Kessler von Sprengseysen.[32] The gist of the letter was : ‘There is a certain Lodge located outside Germany which I wish would be brought in a clever way into the Strict Observance, especially within the Province of Your Eminence’. Starck explained that he had been one of the Lodge’s Officers and that the small group which led that Lodge possessed the inmost secret of the Order. Starck would be glad to help and return to that Lodge next Summer if the Strict Observance would entrust him with the necessary instructions in writing. He added that he had showed himself only as an Ecossois in his act of submission to the Strict Observance because he was bound to do so by the rule of that Lodge.


Joachim-Heinrich von Schröder having left Rostock for Wetzlar, von Hund’s Provincial Council gave von Raven the responsibility of negotiating further with the Wismar brethren under the greatest secrecy, with the exception of von Schröder.[33] Starck visited von Raven on April 17th and sent him a long letter on the next day.[34] After mentioning first the changes which the Wismar Lodge desired, Starck stretched the following points :

·         Since he as well as Bro. von V. and von B. were invested with the highest masonic degrees and now showed themselves as such to the Strict Observance, they wished to be acknowledged and treated according to the rights owned by their predecessors (the Clerici), which they were still invested with.

·         Since the three of them hold the main offices of the Lodge, they desired to be informed of the Economic Plan.

·         They asked to be told the name of the Provincial Master.

Starck wrote he was aware that Raven could not take such decisions alone and asked him to forward their requests to the Province. If the Provincial Chapter rejected them, it would not matter at all : the three Wismar brethren would merely rejoin their original Chapters.


In a further letter written a few days later, Starck explained to von Raven that von Vegesack and von Böhnen had let him know the high masonic degrees they possessed only after von Schröder’s departure for Wetzlar. Having ascertained that his friends’ degrees were identical with his own, the three of them had begun to work together. Starck thought it was his duty to bring both his friends to his Chapter but was willing to do his best to convince his Chapter to unite with the Strict Observance.[35]


The Provincial Chapter granted Starck’s requests on May 25.[36] In a second letter to von Hund, July 6th, Starck sent a Submission Act recognizing the authority of the Provincial Council. It was written in Latin and signed by himself, von Vegesack and von Böhnen with their clerical knights’ names : Archidemides ab Aquila Fulva,[37] Jacobus a Leone insurgente, Augustus ab Hippopotamo.[38] He added underneath that von Raven having joined the Clerics, his Order’s name as Prior Clericorum was Theodosius a Margarita.[39] On July 11, the Province’s Chancellor Jacobi informed von Raven that the Consilium wished to speed up the negotiations and intended to send an ambassador to Wismar as soon as von Raven gives them a green light.[40] A further letter from August 22 informed the Wismar brethren that the Provincial Chapter acknowledged all their rights, privileges and immunities as Clerics.[41]


Neither Behrmann nor Schubart were kept informed of the above, which explains why rumours circulated and conflicts developed.[42] In a letter to a unnamed correspondent presumably Schubart – a Brother von Sehrohr asked :

Who has ever knighted Vegesack a Leone insurgente ? Frightful things nobody can give me information about. What can Vegesack know about the Provincial Master, we installed him here only up to the 4th degree inclusively ? In God’s name give me full information as soon as possible, until I am properly instructed and informed I shall not acknowledge any a Leone insurgente. It is likely that S[ub]. P[rior]. von Cranich has already written to you about this. Please send me a straight answer […] [43]

Sehrohr’s letter fell into Vegesack’s hands and he answered :

Allow me to tell you, as your most sincere friend, that your crystal-clear note is the reason why I shall not engage myself further into nothing whatever for a long time; pardon my sincerity if I add that one must behave differently with tested friends and not convey the impression of using sensible Brethren who deserved well of the H. O. as rungs of a ladder upon which others (I let their selection undecided) climb. I was received in the Order of the Templars in France in 1749, for which reason I am rather familiar with the Inner Order ; long before you received the weak light of the first masonic degree, most venerable friend. You may well make fun of the Ph-l-s-ph-c-l [Lodge]. Do you know what is C-p-t-l-m- Cl-r-c-r-m Or-d-n-s T-mpl-r-o-r-m ? Are you aware of its prestige, of its privileges ? Then it will not have escaped your notice that these happy few not only don’t care much for hulls but also see further than our Brethren the Kn-ghts.

I shall not discuss the reasons of your belief or unbelief, time will see to that ; let me just assure you that we are neither weaklings to be threatened by a mother nor so young and our wings so tender that they may be cut off with a blunt knife.

Our mother chose to neglect us badly and the gentlemen R-R-r of the B. R-----rg [44] disregarded us like an elephant looking over a weak-sighted mole ; the latter will find out they made a considerable mistake, the former will acknowledge her wrongs, and then all concerned will have to do penance on the spot and mend their ways.

You see, most venerable friend, I have always been quite open with my friends. My character never changes. It will always be a true pleasure for me to embrace you as a Brother Knight, and since you have set a restriction, I shall inform you as soon as all misunderstandings have dissipated — You don’t want me to sign with the name I received when I entered the H. O. ; I obey, I may however sign myself as I wish to, that is, as your ever most truly faithful Order’s Brother.

Friederich von Vegesack

Wismar, August 5, 1767 [45]


On October 30, all the correspondence exchanged between the Council and Wismar were handed over to Schubart, asking for his opinion.[46] Schubart asks first whether the Clerics’ science could have originated in the St Petersburg’s Chapter under Colonel Melesino.[47] Since Starck considered that the meeting of both branches of the Order as a blessing from God, Schubart hopes he will not be disappointed. Schubart thinks necessary to send one or two brethren to Wismar, provided with full powers and precise instructions, in order to draw up a Treaty of Union and to raise Starck to the dignity of a Prefect whereas the ambassador should be raised by Starck to an equivalent dignity.


Accordingly, von Hund named ‘Br. Praefecten Franz Ritter vom Pfau’, his friend von Prangen, as an ambassador to Wismar, with full powers and instructions divided into eight points, signed by him manu propria on January 17, 1768.[48]


-The Embassy


·         As narrated by Jacobi [49]

From Kittlitz, von Prangen visited first Schubart in Leipzig. He arrived January 26 and found him sick. Schubart was with Jacobi, the Secretarium Ordinis, at that time not yet 23 years old, who finally accompanied von Prangen to Wismar where they arrived February 7.[50] Vegesack remained in Stralsund all the time Prangen and Jacobi were in Wismar.[51] von Prangen showed Starck and von Böhnen his accreditation at a meeting which Jacobi was not invited to attend.


Another day, Starck showed them Clerical rituals, most of them written in Latin, and said they originated in the Province Auvergne in France. Jacobi made copies of them. Starck told them further that the fratres Clerici Ordinis were descendants (Abkömmlinge) of the Essenes. According to a summary of the story of the Clerical Order which Jacobi read while in Wismar, the Clerics came in contact with members of the Order of the Temple, such as a nephew of St. Bernard, named Montisbarrensis,[52] and received from St Bernard a special set of Rules at the beginning of the XIIth century.


Soon after their arrival in Wismar Prangen was made a Cleric by Starck in the presence of von Böhnen and of Bro. Günther,[53] a student in theology, while Jacobi, promoted as Curatore Domus Fratrum Clericorum, dressed in his usual Templar attire, attended as Tyler and watched the whole ceremony. It consisted of some psalms read in Latin, of other prayers with proper answers, and lasted less than half an hour. The participants were dressed in white robes down to their feet with a large red cross made in silk on their breasts and wore a purple cap similar to those of cardinals. Seven candles burning on the altar were set near to cups filled with water, oil and salt upon which Starck gave a benediction. He anointed von Prangen’s forehead and breast with oil and consecrated him as a Cleric under the name Frater Eucharius [54] a Pavone by setting a chain with a golden cross around his neck. No further clerical ritual was performed during their stay at Wismar.[55]


Prangen described the Strict Observance’s Economical Plan to Starck who reacted in a negative way, commenting it was against the dignity and true aims of the Order. Starck acquainted them with his departure for St Petersburg where he would discuss the modalities of an union between the spiritual and the secular branches of the Order. He had prepared a draft of a Pactum [56] which he handed over to Prangen for the attention of von Hund. As a token of the Clerics’ secrets Starck showed Prangen a piece of silver he made. At Starck’s invitation, Senator Behrmann and von Schröder came to Wismar. They were quite surprised when von Prangen told them about Starck’s great knowledge and of his secret foreign ties. Behrmann made strong negative remarks upon Starck whom he knew since his youth.[57]


They remained nearly six weeks in Wismar, during which Jacobi made copies of Starck’s rituals and documents. They were heartily treated by local Brethren, especially by von Both.[58] On their way back, they spent a few days at von Raven’s in Nossentin, then returned over Berlin and Cottbus to Kittlitz where they arrived middle of March.


·         What Jacobi did not know

Jacobi seems to have ignored that on February 10, likely during the meeting at which he was not invited, a provisional treaty was signed by von Prangen, von Böhnen and Starck, which expressed both parties’ agreement to instruct each other of their respective systems.[59] Nor did he know that on February 12, von Prangen, von Böhnen and Starck signed a joined text which included the Clerics answers to the eight points formulated by von Hund in von Prangen’s instructions.[60]


Once these documents were agreed upon, von Prangen and Jacobi were received into the Clerics and on February 22, von Prangen opened a Chapter during which several Brethren were promoted.[61] Starck also gave von Prangen a long text for the attention of von Hund. It was entitled Unvorgreifliche Gedanken über die Verbindung der klerikalischen Branche mit der weltlichen in der siebenten Provinz von seiten der regulierten Kanoniker des Ordens im Subpriorat Ratzeburg.[62] Its beginning described the creation of the Clerics in 1099 by Godefroy of Bouillon [63] and was followed with a sketch of the Order’s inner organization.


·         Consequences of the embassy

It can hardly be a coincidence that Vegesack remained away during the ambassadors’ visit and that on March 4 von Both became WM of the Wismar’s Lodge in his stead.[64] And it is likely no coincidence either that on June 6, Schubart demitted from all his charges in the Strict Observance.[65]


In the mean time, Starck had returned to St Petersburg where he was employed as private secretary and preceptor by Prince Wiäsemskoi.[66] On September 21, 1768, he drew up a patent naming von Raven Prior of the Wismar Chapter.[67]


May 28, 1770, Starck wrote from Königsberg [68] to von Hund that the Brethren at St Petersburg handed him over their documents as well as two letters, one written by Zinnendorf and another written from Sweden by Baumann,[69] to ‘one of our Brothers’ [likely von Böhnen] asking him to instruct them.[70] He wrote to von Hund again on June 21 and November 25, 1770.[71] In the latter letter Starck informed von Hund that he succeeded in completing the Order’s documents of which he made a list.[72] A new and last degree, Eques Professus, was introduced by von Hund the same year and was first conferred upon a French visitor, the elder Count of Brühl, Eq. a Gladio ancipiti, on November 25.[73]


On February 29, 1772, von Raven wrote to von Hund that von Böhnen had returned to Sweden after being excluded from the Wismar Chapter for having entered into negotiations with, and revealed some secrets to, Zinnendorf and that Vegesack had also left for Sweden and was not expected to return.[74]


A few weeks later, Starck sent von Raven the Pactum Fundamentale through which both branches of the Order were to remain united forever. von Raven forwarded it to von Hund together with a letter dated April 24, 1772.[75] The Pactum was ratified at the Convent of Kohlo in June 1772.[76] Starck was not present and von Raven represented the Clerics.[77] Once the Pactum was ratified, Raven handed over the improved rituals of the first four degrees, that of the [Squire] Novice as well as the historia ordinis, all of which were then adopted.[78]


The union between the Strict Observance and the Clerics lasted less than six years. On May 10, 1778, Starck sent a document to von Raven announcing the suspension of the relationship between the Wismar Chapter and the VIIth Province.[79] The same year he founded a small secret group, the Sieben Verbündeten (the Seven Allies),[80] and never engaged in masonic official activities again. [81] Named in 1781 Oberhofprediger at the court of Darmstadt where he resided for the rest of his life, his influence upon masonic rituals was never to disappear. Two years after the Convent of Kohlo, they arrived in France.



The Strict Observance in France



La Candeur, a French Lodge founded in 1763 in Strasbourg, felt so strongly about the recent events inside French Freemasonry which led to the interdiction of Grand Lodge meetings in 1767 that it applied to the “Modern” Grand Lodge for an English Warrant and became Nr. 429, dated May 2, 1772.[82]


Then, within a matter of days, the Lodge heard for the first time about the Strict Observance through one of its members, Antoine Joseph, Count of Lützelburg (b. 1739), who returned from Saxony. On May 10, 1772, the inner circle (seven Brethren) of La Candeur wrote a letter to Dresden asking to be admitted in the Order. von Hund let Major von Weiler [83] answer June 5 and on August 12 answered himself the formal request dated June 25 sent from Strasbourg, announcing that he had decided to ‘re-establish’ the Templar Province of Burgundy and that Weiler would come in person to Strasbourg proceed with the formal installation, [84] which Weiler did in September 1773.


La Candeur dispatched letters to Bordeaux, Montpellier and Lyons, announcing that it now belonged to ‘the Reform of Dresden’. Its first letter to Lyons, written November 6, 1772, explained :

Filled with respect and admiration for the acts of virtue and of benevolence through which Masonry is known in Germany, having heard that its reformation was completed after eight years of work […], we aspired to enter the sanctuary in which the knowledge and workings of more than two hundred Lodges are deposited ; we succeeded after exerting ourselves to the uppermost and are fortunate enough to have been recently admitted within that reform with distinctions and privileges which flatter us all the more that they grant us the means and power to let Brethren who would inform us of their wish share our fortune.

Willermoz (1730-1824) sent a guarded answer in his capacity of Past Grand Master and present Keeper of the Seals and Archives of the Grande Loge des Maîtres in Lyons. He explained at length Lyons’ negative position regarding the Grand Lodge in Paris and asked for further details. Eventually, Willermoz wrote to Dresden and after many letters exchanged with Weiler, the latter returned to France and “re-established” the Province of Auvergne in July 1774 in Lyons.[85]


Weiler brought the Strict Observance rituals to Strasbourg in 1773, to Lyons in 1774, and conferred the degrees on members of both Chapters up to the Eques Professus. The latter degree, deeply modified by Willermoz in its new form of Grands Profès, was conferred on thirteen Brethren, among them Jean de Türckheim, during the Convent des Gaules held at Lyons, November 25 to December 10, 1778.[86]



Some fifteen years ago, my friend René Guilly (1921-1992), an expert in the field of the rituals of the Rectified Scottish Rite, discovered in Germany a ninety pages long set of rituals in French, certified in parts by Starck on March 16, 1774. He ascertained ‘their striking analogies with the rituals of the Strict Observance used in Lyons in 1775 and those agreed upon at the Convent des Gaules’ and wrote :

It is, to say the least, curious and interesting to find him [Starck] thus partly at the source of the French Rectified Scottish Régime and even possibly, who knows ?, of its esoteric “calling.[87]

Like most French masonic scholars, he could not read German well and was unfamiliar with the history of German Freemasonry.


These were the rituals adopted at Kohlo in 1772, translated into French by Abraham Benard.[88] They are nearly identical with those used by Weiler while instructing the young Chapter of the new II. Province in Lyons in 1774, annotated in his handwriting.[89] Modified by Willermoz and the Strasbourg Brethren, they were approved at the Convent of Wilhelmsbad (1782). Willermoz kept on improving” some of them until 1809. 



The 20th Century – New Information



Besides hitherto unknown letters exchanged between Starck and Nettelbladt in 1808-1809, published by Ferdinand Runkel in 1932, some documents rediscovered within the last fifteen years throw a new light upon the history of the Strict Observance in its relationship with Vegesack and Johann Starck.

·         In 1994, Werner Zimmermann transcribed Diethelm Lavater’s unpublished correspondence 1801-1826 which included many letters he received from Starck between 1809 and 1815.

·         In 1997, André Kervella et Philippe Lestienne published and commented a manuscript document dated 1750 they unearthed in Quimper (France) in the archives of the Finistère department. It showed among the illustrious G. M. of the Ordre Sublime des Chevaliers Elus [Sublime Order of Elected Knights], a member named ‘Dambourg le Baron de Veylask’ (read : From Hambourg the Baron von Vegesack).

·         In 2002, Pierre Mollier, Archivist of the Grand Orient of France, recognized the importance of an original manuscript included in a batch sent from Moscow to the Grand Orient of France, a power delivered on his request to ‘Frederique de Vegesack, C. E. [Chevalier Elu]’, dated August 4, 1749, signed by Massanes, ‘GM of the Sublime Order of Elected Knights’, countersigned in Amsterdam and likely drawn up in Montpellier, which empowered Vegesack to establish a Chapter in three towns of Germany.[90]


Starck’s correspondence with Nettelbladt 


Out of a blue sky, in October 1808, Starck received in Darmstadt a letter from a very young Mason in Rostock, Christian Carl Friedrich Wilhelm, Freiherr von Nettelbladt.[91] Nettelbladt wrote to Starck that he happened to be in Wismar in 1805 and heard that the archives of the Three Lions Lodge were in possession of a Brother Schultesius.[92] He met him, their contact was good, and Schultesius showed him the archives among which were two rather thick volumes of Minutes, letters and documents pertaining to the Order such as the Historia ordinis contracta, the ritual for the Hohen Schotten, the Rituale consecrationis cum officio magno as well as the cipher used by the Clerics.[93] Nettelbladt hoped to return to Wismar but was prevented to do so ‘because of the French invasion’. Later on, he heard that Schultesius had died and that the documents in his possession were looked after by various ‘unauthorized’ persons. Whereupon Nettelbladt decided to write to Starck on October 26, 1808, telling him the above.[94]


In his next letter, on November 16, he asked Starck, in his capacity as last living member of the Wismar Lodge, to name a proxy who would take care of the documents. Which Starck did in his answer from December 1, authorizing Nettelbladt to read the documents pertaining to the Clerics but asking him to send them to him.[95]


Starck reacted quickly. He requested von Raven’s brother [96] to send him all the documents in his possession and informed Nettelbladt that he received them. About the other documents, if Nettelbladt wished to have some, Starck would send them back to him under the condition to keep them for his sole use. He authorized Nettelbladt to keep the letters written by von Raven, von Schröder, Behrmann, von Vegesack und von Böhnen.[97]


In his last and long letter to Nettelbladt,[98] Starck described what happened at Wismar from his point of view :

Vegesack was Master, von Böhnen and myself Senior and Junior Wardens of the Wismar Lodge. When we negotiated in order to be released from the heavy yoke imposed upon us by the Three Stars Lodge in Rostock because of the Economic Plan, Schröder declined to enter into discussion with Vegesack […] there were also difficulties with von Böhnen who as a Swede was unable to express himself in writing in German ; consequently I was the only one left to lead the whole affair, although I did nothing and could do nothing without Vegesack and Böhnen. This is why I was taken as the main person in the matter. For sure, I had important relations with the remains of the Scottish Chapter at Petersburg ; later I got everything they possessed in my hands and also what another Brother from that Chapter, who died in 1764 and was famous the world over, had collected in Italy, France and Scotland ; however, notwithstanding all this, I was neither alone nor the main person. Vegesack’s knowledge was far from common : I still own a copy of the patent he received as a Cleric from Count de la Tour du Pin and Böhnen was a member of the Swedish Chapter.[99] All I could do was to bring to the Strict Observance the Lodge in St Petersburg in which were the remains of the Scottish Chapter. At least, that is what I hoped for, but I failed because these Brethren did not attend the Lodge any more, had retired from everything and requested I should do the same, which I did. Raven and Both joined us even before Vegesack and Böhnen went to Sweden and later they took over their offices. […] I never looked for honors or benefits in, with or through Freemasonry. […] Besides my father was a rich man [100] and I have always been more than adequately paid in the various posts I occupied since I was twenty-three.[101]

Toward the end of the letter, Starck mentions his admiration for Jean de Türckheim ‘who also belonged to the Order…’ [102]


Starck’s correspondence with Diethelm Lavater [103]


Less than a year after having received young Nettelbladt’s first letter, Starck received one from his contemporary, Diethelm Lavater.[104] They had met once when Lavater visited Starck in Darmstadt on his way back from the Wilhelsmbad’s Convent to his home in Zurich.[105] In his first letter, July 15, 1809, Lavater reminded Starck of his visit and explained he was writing to him because he happened to reread one of Starck’s books recently. It was the beginning of a long correspondence : within the next six years they exchanged eighty-seven letters. For the present paper, their main interest resides in what Starck tells Lavater about his masonic experience and ties, before and after the founding of the Wismar Lodge, as well as in his judgment upon the Strict Observance. He does not seem to have ever gone into so many details in earlier writings or ever expressed himself so clearly.


After giving a few examples illustrating that the tradition of the Strict Observance was obviously incomplete, Starck adds :

It is no less certain however that the explanation [Aufschluss] of the Order by means of the history of the Templars is a correct one. And if it is true that one cannot explain everything in Freemasonry through the history of the Templars only, on the other hand there are various aspects of Freemasonry which cannot be explained without the Templars’ history.[106] Which explains why systems older than von Hund’s have always made allowance for the Templars’ Order. The Clermont system – or, as it was named later, the system of Rosa – ended with it. In Sweden as well, the ultimate explanation of the Order refers to the Templars’ Order. All this is much older than von Hund’s system. And now if you want to add my testimony, I shall tell you that in 1763 […] I made the personal acquaintance of the last Grand Master of the Order of the Temple whose name in the series of the Magister Ordinis is a Sole aureo. This was Count Belford who took refuge in Russia after the Scottish rebellion, a man aged about sixty, afflicted with gout, who at that time lived at the house of the Great Chancellor Voroncov who supported him. The conclusion which can and must be drawn from all this is that the masonic Order has a historical secret, which is that the Order of the Templars is hidden under the veil of Masonry and that the latter is a derivation from the former.[107]

Again, Starck mentions both Belford and Voroncov in a later letter :

Natter, for sure a great engraver and expert in antiquities, was not a man who would have forged such things. The same applies to Lord Oghiv [108] from whom everything came. All these men had no interest to deceive each other – and myself – with false and invented information and they could have none. […] Moreover the last Grand Master of the Order, Lord Belford, who lived at Grand Chancellor’s Voroncof’s house after his flight from Scotland, told me that Oghiv imparted the only true and real facts but to a minority of Brethren.[109]

Starck was even more specific in 1813 :

[…] attempts were made to restore a few Chapters, however they went out one after the other. The last one was established by Scotland in St Petersburg through Oghiv and Williams, but in the [seventeen] sixties it had only three members left. Everything we have comes from them and it is forever severed from Masonry since 1774. [110]

And the ‘list of the Grand Masters of the Templar Order since 1628’, included in Starck’s letter from November 21, 1813, ends with ‘Robert, Count Belford, Eques a Sole aureo, who died in Russia in 1765’.[111]


The Quimper MS


The manuscript discovered by Kervella and Lestienne [112] has 13 folios and is divided into seven sections :

1.       Statutes of the Order in 7 articles,

2.       a list of illustrious Grand Masters (reproduced in Annex 2 to this paper) and a list of Grand Officers both listing first ‘le Comte de La Tour du Pin’; the name of each Grand Master is preceded by a province or a town in France or abroad,

3.       Statutes in 10 articles signed ‘Massanes’,

4.       the sketch of a ritual entitled ‘Maniere de recevoir un f. dans Lo. S.D.C.E.’ [Manner of receiving a Bro. in the Sublime Order of Elected Knights],

5.       a catechism comprising 82 questions and answers,

6.       the text of a blank certificate bearing dated ‘D.L.L. 1750 ou de L. M. 5750 de N. f. 632’,

7.       a text of some 900 words describing the vengeance of King Salomo after the body of Adoniram was found. It is remarkable because here, as well as in the catechism, the words Kadoch and essens [Essenes] are met with.[113].

It is not less remarkable to see here the name of Count de La Tour du Pin mentioned by Starck in his letter to Nettelbladt from September 14, 1809, quoted above.


The Vegesack patent


Pierre Mollier was kind enough to send me the following document which I transcribed and commented in a paper issued in 2002.[114] It allowed Vegesack to establish a Chapter in Hamburg, Bremen and Schwerin :


A L’Orient d’un Lieu elevé ou regnent Le Silence, La Charité, et La Concorde.


Nous G. M. de L’O. S. des C. E. ayant Egard à la Requête qui Nous à étée

presentée par Le T. R. F. Frederique de Vegesack C. E., afin d’obtenir de Nous

la permission d’etablir un chapitre dans les Villes de Hambourg, Lubeck, et

Swerin, connoissant come Nous le faisons Son attachement à L A. R ,

Sa prudence, Sa charité, Sa douceur de carractere et les autres qualités

indispensables, dont Il est doué dans un degré , eminant Nous luy avons

accordé Sa demande et Luy avons donné Nos pouvoirs, áfin qu’Il puisse

faire volablement touttes les fonctions qu’exigent Sa dignité en Se

conformant au prealable à tout ce qui est porté par l’article 3 me des

Statuts touchant des pareils Etablissemens . En foy de quoi Nous Luy

avons fait expédier les presentes signées de Nôtre Main scellées du

grand Sceau de L’O. et contre signées par un Assistant et Secretaire

du C. d’Amsterdam le 4 me Aout L’an de grace 1749 de L. M. 5749, et

de N. F. 631.

          P. Massanes  K.

             F             G. M

Par Mandement du T. I. G. M.

P. Jean Jacob Frantz. K.

             P: La fuy K :              C. E. Assistant et Secretaire.

             Dp :  g :  m. 



Antoine Meunier de Précourt, one more piece of the puzzle


As I tried to identify the ‘Great Chancellor Voroncov’ mentioned twice in Starck’s letters to Lavater, I found on the Web a paper entitled Les Français de la Volga : La politique migratoire russe des années 1760 et la formation des communautés francophones à Saint-Pétersbourg et à Moscou.[115] And I found therein a familiar name, that of Meunier de Précourt :

Au tout début de l’année 1777 le vice-consul de France à Moscou, Pierre Martin, rédigea une liste des Français domiciliés dans l’ancienne capitale de Russie. Ce précieux document que j’ai analysé ailleurs contient une partie sous le titre « Etat des François et Françoises qui ont été sollicités de passer en Russie comme colons par les Srs. Meunier de Précourt et Hauterive, tant à Paris qu'en Allemagne etc. ». […]

Le fonds de la Chancellerie de tutelle des étrangers aux Archives d’Etat des Actes anciens (RGADA) contient un dossier sur les contrats passés avec les colons. S’y trouve une liste des 55 colons français, arrivés en 1764 à St.-Pétersbourg accompagnés des recruteurs célèbres, De Boffe et Meunier de Précourt. […]

Le 6 août 1764 le ministre plénipotentiaire de la Russie à Paris le pr. D. A. Golicyn envoya à Saint-Pétersbourg la relation par laquelle il avisa la Chancellerie que les trois directeurs Meunier de Précourt, de Boff et d’Hauterive « levaient » avec beaucoup de succès des colons en Allemagne et qu’un bon nombre devaient en ces jours-ci arriver à Lübeck pour être acheminés à Saint-Pétersbourg. Un mémoire était joint à la relation du ministre, probablement de la main de Meunier de Précourt dont les talents littéraires étaient bien connus. […]

L’envoyé russe à la Haye le comte A. S. Musin-Puskin informait la Chancellerie de tutelle à la fin du mois d’août 1764 qu’il envoyait le jour même à Lübeck Meunier de Précourt avec ses 30 colons tirés de la France et Jean de Boff en tête du groupe de 17 colons.


Antoine Meunier de Précourt was Master of Lodge St Jean des parfaits Amis in Metz since 1759, his writings and masonic activity are well documented in France until 1763.[116] He is listed as ‘Antoine Mesnil [sic] de Precourt, Direktor der Russischen Kolonie, Eq. a Nodo’, among the Masons knighted in 1764 by von Hund in Altenberg and as a member of the Hamburg Prefecture.[117]



Let us put all this in context and try to ascertain if Starck actually invented his rituals and system or if there is a possibility that he transmitted older ones.[118]


The geographical locations of the ‘Illustrious Grand Masters’ listed in the Quimper MS [119] suggest that the theme Freemasonry / Essenes / Kadosch / Templars was familiar in France and abroad as early as 1749 and not, as it was believed until recently, as late as 1761.


Further clues point to the same direction :

·         In 1782, Jean-Baptiste Willermoz made the following declaration at the Convent of Wilhelmsbad :

As early as 1752, that is thirty years ago, having been elected to lead the Lodge in which I had been received and not being connected in any way either with the late Rev. Br. ab Ense [von Hund] [120] or with any follower of his system, I mysteriously taught those upon whom I conferred the 4th degree of the Lodge that they became herewith successors to the Knight Templars and their knowledge ; I repeated this and have repeated it ten years long, the way I learned it from my predecessor who himself had learned it from an ancient tradition the origin of which he ignored.[121]

·         In pamphlets printed in 1893 which reproduced masonic archives discovered in an attic in the town of Lyons, there is a very short ritual, dated 1754, entitled ‘Le Noviciat’.[122] Its wording and the ceremony it describes show much likeness with the Reception of a secular Novice (Aufnahme eines weltlichen Novizen) sent by Starck to von Hund in 1770.[123] One sentence is identical in both texts:

The Master of Ceremonies puts out the candles and says : I do this in memory of those who were and are no more.

Bei dem Auslöschen der Lichter sagt er : Das thue ich zum Gedächtnis derer, die gewesen sind und nicht mehr sind. [124]

·         On 11 September 1759, De Barailh, Master of a military Lodge in Nya-Ålfsborg near Göteborg (Sweden), gave full powers to confer the degree of ‘chevalier d’Occident et Royal arche, dernier grade de la maçonnerie suédoise’ to the Swedish Lieutenant Freiherr Bjönberg.[125] Until a few years ago, it was thought that the Templar-Kadosch theme had first appeared in France when De Barailh, returning from Sweden, arrived in Metz in March 1761. Three months later, Meunier de Précourt, Master of Lodge Les Parfaits Amis in Metz, sent to Willermoz in Lyons a long letter listing the twenty-one degrees he was familiar with, ending with the Knight Grand Inspector Grand Elect last degree.[126] He sent the catechism of the degree to Willermoz who made a copy of it, dated July 25, 1761.[127] It includes 52 questions and answers which are practically identical with those of the Quimper MS.[128]

·         In 1751, Baron de Tschoudy was Master of the Loge Ancienne in Metz. He left Metz for St. Petersburg, stayed there from 1758 to 1760, returned to Metz and became Master of Lodge St. Jean [or St. Etienne] de l'Amitié in 1762. In 1781, a French Mason named Labady [129] published a pamphlet, ‘G.J.G.E., ou Chevalier Kados; connu aussi sous les titres de Chevalier Élu, de Chevalier de l'Aigle-Noir’ (Grand Inspector, Grand Elect. or Knight Kados, also known under the titles of Elected Knight, of Knight of the Black-Eagle) which reproduced a manuscript degree written by Baron de Tschoudy.[130] It opens with a ‘Historical Abstract of the ancient Religious [131] and Military Order of the Knights of the Temple, as communicated after the Reception’ (pp. 25-55), followed with a ritual part entitled Forme de Réception (pp. 55-63) and an Instruction [catechism] of 77 questions and answers (pp. 63-82). The Tschoudy’s Instruction is practically identical with the Quimper MS catechism which cannot be later than 1750. Both include the sentence ‘they were named Kadosch which means Saint. They [were also] known under the name Essenes’. Nothing shows whether it was composed or copied by Tschoudy and when. However it must have been before 1769, since Tschoudy died then. Didn’t Starck tell Jacobi and Prangen in Wismar that the fratres Clerici Ordinis were descendants (Abkömmlinge) of the Essenes ? [132]






The foundation of the Three Lions Lodge was a milestone in the history of Freemasonry because two men – not to mention von Böhnen whose contribution remains unclear – who ‘must have remain’d at a perpetual Distance’ had they not been Masons, happened to meet in Wismar. Their accidental meeting resulted first in the creation – or revival ? – of the Clerics and, ten years later, in the birth of the present Scottish Rectified Rite. These two men were accused of being liars and charlatans. I consider the accusation as unjustified. [133]


Vegesack was telling the truth when he wrote in 1767 : ‘I was received in the Order of the Templars in France in 1749, for which reason I am rather familiar with the Inner Order’, conceding that the Order he belonged to in 1749 may have been different from von Hund’s Strict Observance system.


Starck also told the truth when he wrote to Lavater : ‘Vegesack’s knowledge was far from common : I still own a copy of the patent he received as a Cleric from Count de la Tour du Pin’, although we ignore if that patent was the one transcribed above or a different one and readily admit that the words ‘as a Cleric’ may not accurately fit the facts.


However, Starck taught at the Petrinum school at St. Petersburg between 1763 and 1765 [134] and there is a distinct possibility that he heard then – directly or through others – about the contents of the Quimper ritual which Précourt and Tschoudy seem to have been familiar with.


His non-masonic life does not agree with that of a liar or of a charlatan. A contemporary wrote :

His wife looks intelligent and sensible, but speaks little.[135] Their house is so beautiful and shows so much taste that one feels comfortable as soon as one enters it. Their union is a happy one, although childless which they make good with their common love for birds and dogs.[136]

And his achievements in the field of theology – which do not seem to have retained the attention of most masonic historians [137] – were highly praised by Gustav Krüger in 1931,[138] thus illustrating Runkel’s remark made one year later : ‘Starck is the father of the comparative study of religions’,[139] which is no small compliment.


In spite of his unusual culture, he may have been credulous… but who wasn’t in those times and even in our present days ? In 1810, at a time when there was no need for him not to tell the truth, Starck wrote to Lavater :

All these men had no interest to deceive each other – and myself – with false and invented information and they could have none.

Shouldn’t we apply to Starck the very words he used to describe the Masons he met in St Petersburg ?



Alain Bernheim

Annex 1


Membership of the Three Lions Lodge at Wismar


Prof. Andreas Önnefors was kind enough to send me Xerox copies of three manuscript documents preserved in the Order’s archives in Copenhagen under the reference F xxvi.


One is an undated manuscript reproducing the text of the Strict Obedience’s Obedienz Act (hereafter O A) signed by 31 Brethren at Wismar (Table 1A) who added in their own handwriting their birthdate and birthplace. The first name is that of Friedrich von Vegesack, founding Master of the Lodge, the last one that of Carl Ludwig Alexander Müller who was made on 5 January 1768.[140]


The other two are manuscript lists of members of the Lodge (hereafter D 1 and D 2). D 1 is entitled : Verzeichnis der zu der gerechten und vollkommenen Loge Zu denen 3 Löwen gehörenden Glieder den 30ter May 1769 and includes 56 names. D 2 is entitled : Bestand der Loge Zu den Drey Loewen. It is not dated. Its 44th and last name is that of Peter Heinrich Proel, a serving Brother, who was made on 1 November 1769. Since the next member of the Lodge was the Swedish Kapellmeister Perichon who was affiliated on 11 December 1769,[141] D 2 must have been drawn up between both these dates.


Both D 1 and D 2 have the same fields : number, family and Christian name, date and place of birth, profession, religion (Lutherian for all of them) and place of residence. However the sequence in which members are listed is different. D 2 has as first field : Degree (Classis), beginning with Classis V down to Classis I. D 1 lists Masters first (numbered from 1 to 7), followed with the remark ‘There are no Fellow-Crafts at the moment’, then Apprentices (numbered from 1 to 8), then Scots, Schotten (numbered from 1 to 16), one Wachtmeister (likely Tyler or possibly janitor) and four serving brethren. D 2’s last column is entitled ‘Comments’ (Anmerkungen).


These three documents are hereafter compared with the Matrikel der Loge zu den drei Löwen in Wismar included in the first volume (1854) of August Friedrich Polick’s Beiträge zur Geschichte der Freimaurerei in den beiden Grossherzogthümern Mecklenburg. Polick listed 53 Brethren - 7 Founders and 46 members - who were made in, or affiliated with, the Lodge between its foundation and 24 June 1771. This list is followed with a further list of 24 names which Polick took from another list of members, mentioned in his book, p. 53.[142] For most of them Polick added interesting comments.


However dates and names’ spellings are not always the same in these four documents.

Table 1A [143]

Sequence of signatories of the Obedienz Akt  


1          Fried v Vegesack

2          Johan von Böhnen

3          Johann August Starck

4          Conrad Friedrich von Quillfeldt

5          Georg Adolphe von Sticht

6          Friederich Heinerich von Bulow

7          Johann Friedrich Nölting

8          Carl Hendrich von Sticht

9          Andreas Wulff

10          Christopher de Zülow

11          Johann Ehrenfried Jacob Dahlmann

12          August Schaarschmidt

13          Hartwig Gotthard Hans von Both

14          Carl Fredrich Peresvetoff Morath

15          M. C. Schroeder

16          A. W. Keÿl

17          F. C. L. Saurkohl

18          G. Ende

19          Heinrich Wilhelm Hasperg

20          J. Poel

21          Heinrich Steinhagen

22          Carl Friedrich Dahlmann

23          Christian Heinrich Kiesewetter

24          Conradt Joachim Baleke

25          Daniel Heinrich Thomas

26          Nils Rosén

27          Jac Jon Enander

28          Claes Fromhold von Köhler

29          Ernst Ferdinand Adlershähle

30          Carl Fromhold Tallberg

31          Carl Ludwig Alexander Müller

   Table 1B.

Sequence of names in document D 1



Meister (Masters)

1. Fried: Heinr : von Bülow

2. Nils Roseen

3. Carl Fromhold Tallberg

4. Hans Thunmann

5. Franz Christ: Saurkohl

6. Ferdinand v. Adlershöhl

7. N. N. von Koschkull


Gesellen haben wir jetzt nicht (There are no Fellow-Crafts at the moment)


Lehrlinge (Apprentices)


1. M. C. Schroeder

2. Christ. Hein: Kiesewetter

3. Conr: Joach: Baleke

4. Carl Fried: Ulrich von Both

5. Carl Lud: Müller

6. Georg Jacob Kolbe

7. Lorenz Pet: Almquist

8. Peter  Fenger


Schotten (Scots)


1. Hartw: Gotth: Hans v: Both

2. Fried: v. Vegesack

3. Johann v. Böhnen

4. Aug: Schaarschmidt

5. Joh: Aug: Starck

6. Georg Adolf v. Sticht

7. Carl Fried: Peres: v: Morath

8. Carl Conr: Fried v: Quillfeldt

9. Dan: Hein: Thomas

10. Jacob Joh: Enander

11. Carl Fromhold v. Köhler

12. F. G. Westphal

13. Joh: Ehr: Jacob Dählmann

14. Carl Fried: Dählmann

15. Elias Lomberg

16. Joh: Fried: Nölting


Wachtmeister (Tyler or janitor)


Carl Frid: v: Sticht


Dienende Brüder (Serving Brethren)


1. And: Wulff

2. Aug: Keyl

3. Gottfried Ende

4. Heinrich Steinhagen


Table 1C.

Sequence of names in document D 2




Classis V

1. Friedrich Baron vonVegesack

2. Johann v Böhnen

3. Johann Aug: Starck

4. Hartwig Gotthard Hans v Both

5. C. F. P. v. Morath

6. Daniel Heinrich Thomas

Classis IV

7. Jac: Ehrenfried Dählmann Senior

8. C. F. v. Köhler

9. G. A. v. Sticht Senior

10. C. F. v. Quillfeldt

11. Jac: Joh: Enander

12. crossed out [= Baron v. Koschkull]

13. Aug: Schaarschmidt

14. N. N. Pouel

15. C. F. Dählmann junior

16. N. N. Westphal

17. Elias Lomberg

18. Joach: Ernst Fried: v. d. Lühe

19. Carl Hinrich v. Sticht junior

20. Johann Fried: Nölting

Classis III

21. Fr: Heinr: v. Bülow

22. Nils Roseen

23. Ferd: v. Adlershähl

24. Hans Thunmann

25. Franz Chr: Lud: Saurkohl

26. Fromhold v. Thallberg

27. N. N. Kolbe

28. Anton Dettlof Schönermann

29. August Keyl

30. Heinrich Steinhagen

31. Andreas Wulff

Classis II

32. Fried: Lud: Ulrich v. Klein

33. Peter Fenger

34. Gottfried Ende

Classis I

35. M. C. Schroeder

36. Christ: Heinrich Kiesewetter

37. Con: Joach: Balecke

38. Carl Lud: Alex: Müller

39. Carl Fried: Böttiger

40. Carl Fried: Ulrich von Both

41. Lorenz Peter Almenquist

42. Joh: Fried: Berg

43. Joach: Fried: Christ: Dabilow

44. Peter Heinrich Proel


1D. Members of the Lodge


Listed in the order and with the numbers given by Polick 1854, I: 106-117.

Birthplace and birthdate italicized when taken from the manuscript Obedienz Akt (O A).

The last line shows the degree after D 2.


Founding Members



Vegesack, Friedrich Baron von [144]

Körchau - 8 October 1725

V - Schotten - Capitain in holland. Dienst - In Wismar



Böhnen, Johann von [145]

Christianstadt - 21 June 1726

V - Schotten - Major und Ritter in Schwed. Dienst. - Commandant in Wismar



Starck, Johann August [146]

Schwerin - 28 October 1741

V - Schotten - Magister Philosophie - In Petersburg



Sticht (senior), Georg Adolf von [147]

Schweden - 12 April 1735

IV - Schotten - Capitain in Schwedischen Diensten - In Schweden



Bülow, Friederich Heinerich von [148]

Neuhaus in Lüneburg - 4 September 1737

III - M - Capitain ausser Diensten - Zu Spriehusen in Mecklenburg



Quillfeldt, Conrad Friedrich von [149]

Stralsund – 16 June 1736

IV - Schotten - Lieutenant in Schwedischen Diensten - In Stralsund



Schaarschmidt, August [150]

Halle - 6 October 1720

IV - Schotten - Docteur en Medicine - In Butzow




The first line shows the date of making

(when followed with the letter A, the date of affiliation)

after Polick.



1767, 18 February

Nölting, Johann Friedrich [151]

Hannover - 26 October 1736

IV - Schotten - Cand. en Droit - In Wismar



1767, 18 February

Sticht (junior), Carl Heinrich (D 1 :Carl Friedr.) von [152]

Schweden - 24 August 1749

III - Bas Officier in Schwed. Dienste - in Wismar



1767, 5 March (A)

Zulow, Christopher de [153]

Blucher in Mecklenburg - 3 December 1703



1767, 5 March

Dahlmann sen., Joh. Ehr. Jacob [154]

Stralsund - 24 December 1739

IV - Schotten - Stadt. Secretair - In Wismar



1767, 30 March

Both, Hartwig Gotthard Hans von [155]

Wismar - 16 March 1734

V - Schotten - Obrist Lieutenant - In Wismar


1767, 22 April (A)

Morath, Carl Friedrich Peresvetoff [156]

Gottenburg (bei) - 18 August 1740

V - Schotten - Lieutenant in Schwedischen Diensten - Zu Wismar



1767, 25 May

Schroeder, M. C. [157]

Grabow in Mecklenburg - 7 February 1733

I - Lehrling - pensionair zu Buschmühlen



1767, 25 May

Keÿl, August W. [158]

Kustrin - 5 July 1746

III - Dien. Br - Im Diensten bey dem ObL v. Both - In Wismar



1767, 27 May

Saurkohl, Franz Christ. L. [159]

Güstrow - 8 February 1744

III - M - Candidat en Droit - Zu Gustrow



1767, 27 May

Ende, Gottfried [160]

Hirschberg in Schlesien - 8 May 1745

II - Dienender Bruder - Im Diensten bey Bar. Ranstaedt - In Wismar



1767, 20 June

Steinhagen, Heinrich

Insel Poel - 20 January 1746

III - Dienender Bruder - Im Dienste bey Syndi. Dahlmann - In Wismar



1767, 24 June

Dahlmann (jun.), Carl Friedrich [161]

Stralsund - 9 August 1741

IV - Schotten - Advocatur - In Wismar



1767, 27 June

Kiesewetter, Christ. Heinrich

Berlin - 4 January 1742 [162]

I - Lehrling - Candidat en Medicine - Zu Butzow



1767, 27 June

Baleke, Conradt Joachim

Parchim - 3 December 1746 [163]

I - Lehrling - Candidat en Droit - Zu Rostock



1767, 4 August (A)

Thomas, Daniel Heinrich [164]

Wismar - 24 November 1739

V - Schotten - Secretair bey der Commiss. in Stralsund - In Stralsund



1767, 4 August (A)

Wulff, Andreas [165]

Pitea (Schweden) – 1741

III - Dienender Br - Im Dienste bey dem Hg v Cramon - In Wismar



1767, 2 September (A)

Rosén, Nils [166]

Lund in Schonen - 22 April 1749

III - M - Etudiant en Belles Lettres - Auf Reisen



1767, 11 September (A)

Enander, Jacob Joh. [167]

Ehebolanda (Schweden) - 17 August 1729

IV - Schotten - Auditeur - In Stralsund



1767, 30 September

Adlershähle, Ernst Ferdinand

Stralsund - 4 April 1746 [168]

III - M - Fänrich in Schwed. Diensten - Zu Malmoe



1767, 30 September (A)

Köhler, Claes Fromhold von

Gothenburg (bei) - 31 October 1731 [169]

IV - Schotten - Fänrich in Schwed. Diensten - In Wismar

D 2: Passe Maitre oder Maitre deputé



1767, 30 September (A)

Handwich von [170]

Lieutenant in kaiserlich-russischen Dienst



1767, 9 novembre (A)

Tallberg, Carl Fromhold von [171]

Westergottland - 12 July 1733

III - M - Capitain in Schwedischen Diensten - Auf Reisen



1767, 16 november (A)

Pless (Plessen ?) von [172]

Kammerjunker in meckl.strelitz. Diensten



1767, 21 (or 30) December (A)

Westphal, N. N.

Stralsund [173]

IV - Schotten - Stadt. Secretair - In Stralsund



1768, 5 January

Müller, Carl Ludwig Alexander

Stralsund - 16 June 1748 [174]

I - Lehrling - Lieut. im Herzogl-Wurtenbg. Diensten - Zu Stuttgardt



1768, 13 February

Both, Carl Fried. Ulrich von

Schwerin - 4 August 1745

I - Lehrling - Kammer-Junker Meckl. Hoffe - Zu Schwerin



1768, 24 June

Thunmann, Hans [175]

Stockholm - 4 August 1749

III - M - Candidat en Philosophie - Zu Wismar - 7 January 1743 (D 2)



1768, 28 July

Kolbe, Georg Jacob

Strasburg - 9 March 1739 [176]

I - Lehrling - Advocatur - Zu Schwerin



1768, 10 September

Böttiger, Carl Fried.

Wittenburg - 7 October 1746




1768, 24 September

Lomberg, Elias

Stralsund - 8 September 1737 [177]

IV - Schotten - Fänrich in Schwed. Diensten - In Wismar



1769, 31 January (or 3 February)

Almenquist, Lorenz Peter

Stralsund - 9 August 1740 [178]

I - Lehrling - Lieutenant - In Schweden



1769, 15 February

Koschkull, N. N. von [179]

Curland - 1744

M - Etudiant en Droit - Auf Reisen




1769, 17 February

Fenger,- Peter [180]

Wismar - 7 March 1738

II - Lehrling - Dienender Bruder - Schiffer - In Wismar



1769, 29 May (A)

Lühe, Joach. Ernst Fried. von der [181]

Mulsow in Meckl. - 7 October 1740




1769, 24 June

Klein, Fried. Ulrich von [182]

Schwerin - 1745 - 4 July




1769, 28 September

Schönermann, Anton Dettlof [183]

Hamburg - 1733 - 4 May




1769, 30 September

Berg, Johann Fried. [184]

Rostock - 7 May 1739




1769, 20 October

Dabilow, Joach. Fried. Christ. [185]

Rostock - 4 April 1735




1769, 1 November

Proel, Peter Heinrich [186]

Wismar - 3 September 1746

I - Dienender Bruder



1769, 11 December (A)

Perichon [187]



1769, 23 December

Steinecke [188]



1769, 30 December

Duncker, O. C. [189]



1771, 22 January

Ungenade [190]



1771, 24 June

Nürenberg, F. [191]



1771, 24 June

Kindt [192]



1771, 24 June

Martienssen [193]



Table 1E. Alphabetical list of members





D 1 [194]

D 2




M 6





A 7





A 3










S 03





S 01





A 4










M 1








Dählmann Jun.


S 14



Dählmann Sen.


S 13










S 10










A 8




















A 2















S 11





A 6





M 7





S 15















S 07





A 5





S 16


















Poel [195]












S 08





M 2





M 5





S 04










A 1





S 05













Sticht Jun.


W 1



Sticht Sen.


S 06





M 3





S 09





M 4










S 02





S 12












1F. Lodge Meetings at which degrees were conferred


Degrees conferred






18 February

Nölting        Sticht jun.

Sticht jun.



5 March

Zulow (A), Dahlmann sen.




30 March

v Both




22 April

Morath (A)




25 May

Schroeder     Keyl




27 May

Saurkohl      Ende




20 June





24 June

Dahlmann jun.




26 June


v Both

v Both


27 June

Kiesewetter Baleke




4 August

Thomas (A) Wulff (A)




20 August





2 September

Rosén (A)




11 September

Enander (A)




30 September

Adlershähle Köhler (A) Handwich (A)




28 October




v Both       Morath

9 November

Tallberg (A)




16 November

Pless (A)




21 (or) 30 Dec.

Westphal (A)





5 January





February -March


13 February

v Both jun.




4 March


16 March



Nölting        Sticht jun. Dahlmann sen. Keÿl       Saurkohl Dahlmann jun. Wulff    Handwich


23 March




Nölting        Sticht jun. Dahlmann sen. Dahlmann jun. Handwich

24 June





28 July





10 September





24 September





10 October





9 December


Thunmann Lomberg




31 January (or 3 February)





15 February





17 February


Ende    Koschnell     Berg

Adlershähle Thunmann Lomberg


21 February





23 April





29 May

Lühe (A)




24 June


Kolbe           Klein



25 June





8 September





28 September





30 September





14 October


Fenger Schönermann



19 October





20 October





1 November





11 December

Perichon (A)




23 December





28 December



Klein      Perichon


30 December






17 February





24 June



22 January





24 June

Nürenberg   Kindt Martienssen




9 July





4 October





15 April







1G. Officers of the Lodge [196]





PM or



















v. Vegesack

17.2.1767 4.3.1768

24.6.1770 24.6.1771








v. Böhnen



17.2.1767 4.3.1768











17.2.1767 4.3.1768






v. Sticht Sen.





17.2.1767 22.4.1767





v. Bülow






17.2.1767 bis 28.10.1768 ?




v. Quillfeldt







17.2.1767 22.4.1767








22.4.1767 bis ?












16.3.1768 4.10.1771  (ad interim)


4.3.1767 4.10.1771

Dahlmann Sen.




4.3.1768 bis ?[197]




30.3.1767 16.3.1768


v. Both

4.3.1768 to ?






22.4.1767 4.3.1768





24.6.1771 to ?

4.3.1768 24.6.1770







Dahlmann Jun.









8.6.1769 (died)


v. Köhler



24.6.1770 bis ?







Westphal Sen.



from ? to ?














4.10.1771 to ?


4.10.1771 to ?

Westphal Jun.









from ? to ?


1H. Members of the Ordens-Haus Wismar

(listed after Schröder’s Materialien [199] )






i. O. (POLICK)








Hartwig Gotthard Hans von Both, Herzog Meck. Obrist-Lieutenant

Hartwig Gotthard Hans von Both

Sulpitius a Malleo aureo

Eq. a Malleo aureo


Carl Friedrich Pereswetoff von Morath, Schwedischer Lieutenant

Carl Friedrich Peresvetoff Morath


Eq. a Corona aurea


Friedrich von Vegesack, Capitain in holländischer Dienst

Friedrich Baron von Vegesack

Eq.a Leone insurgente

Eq.a Leone insurgente


Johann von Böhnen, Königl. Schwedischer Major

Johan von Böhnen


Eq. ab Hypopotamo


Johann von Raven, Landrath [200]



Eq. a Leone stellato


Johann von Raven, Assessor [201]



Eq. a Sphynge radiata


Johann von Köhler, Hauptmann in Wismar

Claes Fromhold von Köhler

Joannes Eq. a Galea coronata

Eq. a Galea coronata


Johann August Starck, Magister und Professor Theologiae

Johann August Starck

Archidemides ab Aquila fulva

Eq. ab Aquila fulva


Daniel Heinrich Thomas, Sekretair

Daniel Heinrich Thomas

Henricus Ar. a Castello

Eq. a Castello


Joachim Friedrich von der Lühe, Cand. Juris

Joach. Ernst Fried. von der Lühe (D 2)

Friedericus Eq. a Globo alato

Eq. a Globo allato


Johann Friedrich Nölting, Cand. Juris

Johann Friedrich Nölting

Friedericus Ar. a Sycomoro

Eq. a Sycomoro


Johann Ehrenfried Dahlmann, Stadt-Sekretair in Wismar

Joh. Ehr. Jacob Dahlmann

Joannes Ar. ab Aurora

Eq. ab Aurora


— — — Nürnberg, Dr.

F. Nürenberg

Eq. a Leone vicente

Eq. a Leone vicente



von Handwich [202]

Eq. a Monte stellato


Annex 2


The Quimper MS (excerpts) [203]


[folio 1]

--------Liste des illustres G.M.-------


Isle de France Le Comte de La Tour du Pin Brigadier Des armées du Roi.

Auvergne le f. Chevalier de La Goudalie capitaine commandant condé infanterie.

Rouergue le f. Chevalier de Pomerol capitaine commandant condé infanterie.

Le f. Marquis de Langeron Colonel du Regiment de condé infanterie

Le haut languedoc, de Montauban le f. fontenilles.

Bas languedoc, le f. Balguerie.

Narbonne et Beziers, le f. Tvinthuzen.

Bordeaux le f. Du Rand

alsace le f. Mexinchim.

[folio 2]

Suisse Superieur Le f. Belz.

Suisse inferieur le f. Zolliroffre.

francfort le f. holsch

Isles antilles damerique le f. Veyrie /. Et le f. de Salles.

La Prusse Le f. Dacim

Italie le f. marquis de Cumes.

angleterre le f. Etuvar.

Piemont le f. abbé de Guasque

Navarre, Bigore Et Bearn le f. Belgarde.

Dambourg le baron de Veylask.

anjou Et poitou le f. de La heye capitaine reformé de Dragon Du Belloy,

Regiment De Planta Suisse le f. Sarvardy



[folio 13] [204]


After the master Masons brought back the body of adoniram, and he was buried with all the funeral pump due to the talents and distinguished merit of this worker, solomon desired to avenge his death through that of his murderer, he chose and named seven masters to look after him and allowed and ordered them to bring back his head, they went away to fulfill their mission, they separated in order to achieve a quicker and easier success: two of them overtaken by uncoming night and bad weather as they approached a huge plain, only thinking to try and find a shelter to retire, saw a faint light at a distance and moved forward to it. It came out of a cavern in the rocks of a small hill at the end of the plain; wanting to enter the cavern and spend the night there, they noticed a running fountain and a lamp from which came the faint light which guided them. Under that light they saw a man lying asleep whom they soon recognized as the murderer they were looking for, namely the fellow craft who gave the mortal blow, known by us under the name of abhiram; coming carefully forward, one of them cut his head; after having looked for and found the other five, they brought it back to Solomon the next day and presented it to him at the foot of his throne where they were admitted. As a reward, Solomon gave them precedence above all other workers, they put them to work, paid them and led the works.

These seven masters, thus distinguished from the others, named themselves elected in memory of the choice Solomon made of them; they had distinctive signs to recognize each other, they formed a society above that of the other masters; once the temple was completed, it increased and became worthy of commendation, its members were known under the name of pharisees, in hebrew pharah, designated by the word or rather the hebrew letter Paul.

The pharisees degenerated from the primitive regularity of their society; as time went by, they retained only exterior and apparent virtues, for which Jesus Christ reproached them; a long time before he came, a few of them, regular observants of the laws and moral of the first elected, formed a separate society and took the hebrew name of kadoch which means saint or separated, it is also designated with the hebrew letter Kol, and were known as Essenes.

After their separation, most of them lived in celibate and practised stern virtues, the others practising the same in marriage. After the venue of the messiah they had no dfficulty to submit to the laws of the gospel which they adopted; the unmarried ones retired in the deserts of Lybia and of Thebaid and became known as fathers of the desert. They always had a leader, the worthiest one, after they submitted to the gospel, was St John the Almoner from whom the masons’ lodges derive their name as lodges of St John; they had small hospices within distance to receive the pilgrims who went and visited the holy places.

They resolved further to lead and defend them against the enemies of faith, hugues de Paganis and godeffroi de Saint amour, required the pope to erect them into a society for this pious and holy purpose, which was granted to them; they took the name of templars because of their first institution at the building of solomon’s temple; the pope gave them the red cross upon a black ribbon, a white garb and a cross somewhat similar to that of the knights of st. John of Jerusalem with whom they united afterwards.

The templars became so numerous and so rich that they excited envy and jalousy among people and crowned heads as well ; philip the fair entertained that feeling stronger than anyone else, so much so that he decided their loss, which was one of the conditions he imposed upon Bertrand de Gout archbishop of Bordeau, who fulfilled it all too well ; one can see in Mezeraï [205] the story of their destruction in France, the ignominious death of many of them, among whom their grand master du Nolé [206] whose house was illustrious.

In order to avoid persecution, some seeked refuge in scotland where they had brethren. There, they resumed the name of elected in order not to undergo the same fate and to avoid the false charges which had excited the common herd in france against their order and was used as a pretext for their destruction. Under henry VIII. and at the time of the change of religion, a few among them allowed themselves to go over to the new opinions for which they were not excluded from the society, one believed it was not a ground to abandon them, very far from it: which is why protestants went on being admitted and the reason why religious quarrels were forbidden among the E[lect]. M[asters]. They only serve to embitter spirits, which should be avoided in a society ... it is from scotland that the election returned to france.

Eusebius of Caesarea,[207] philo the jew,[208] josephus [209] in his history, Mr de montesquieu in his esprit des lois [210] commend their merits which are worthy of wonder.


Annex 3


Letters and documents included in Archidemides (1786) [211]





Letter from / to

other documents




1 March

v. R. / Author of Anti-Saint-Nicaise





31 March

Stark / von Hund





18 April

Stark / v. Raven





2/3 May

Stark / v. Raven







Powers Pylades / Starck, mentioned in letter n° III.




6 July [?]

Stark / von Hund





2 Juy


Anerkennungs-Akt in Latin – German translation




22 October

Stark / von Hund





26 October

Stark / von Hund





30 October

Mylius / Schubart

Sending the correspondence with Wismar




[14 November] [212]


Schubart’s report concerning the negociations with Wismar




8 November

v. Prangen / Schubart





17 November

Schubart / v. Prangen





18 November

v. Hund / Consil. Prov.





7 December

v. Prangen / Schubart





12 December

Schubart / v. Prangen





19 December

v. Prangen / Schubart





29 December

Schubart / v. Prangen





30 December

v. Prangen / Schubart





18 January

v.Hund / Cons.Prov.





29 March


Donation of Unwürde






Constitution [213]




[6 June] [214]

Schubart / Prefectures




1786 ?


Schubart / Author of Archdemides





Note about the Strict Observance’s Bibliography


Most primary sources seem to have disappeared during World War II. [215]


Besides the writings of Starck himself and the (edited) correspondence of Diethelm Lavater published by Zimmermann in 1994, the earliest reliable secondary sources are

·         the various publications made by Kessler von Sprengseysen (1786-1788),

·         the documents transcribed in Friedrich Ludwig Schröder’s books (1803-1806),

·         the writings of Nettelbladt who founded and led the Kalender für die Provinzial-Loge von Mecklenburg (Parchim), since 1821,

·         the Encyclopädie der Freimaurerei by Lenning-Mossdorf (1822-1828),

·         the excellent papers by Telepneff (1929) and Ernst Gustav Krüger (1922 & 1931), as well as Ferdinand Runkel’s Geschichte der Freimaurerei in Deutschland (1930-1932) in three volumes.


Documents drawn up by von Hund’s Chapter during the period 1751-1754 are seldom mentioned in masonic literature.[216] Some were transcribed in Friedrich Ludwig Schröder’s Materialien who came into their possession through Bro. Carl Peter Lepsius [217] and Bro. Ortel.[218]


Some ninety years later, in 1896, Richard Schröder (another German author not related to the former), published the story of his Lodge, aux Trois Marteaux, founded in 1749 in Naumburg, a Lodge, whose beginnings cannot be separated from that of von Hund in Kittlitz-Unwürde although there was a distance of nearly 300 Km between both. Richard Schröder was familiar with his namesake’s Materialien and used some of the documents printed therein, but he transcribed further ones he found in his Lodge’s archives, especially a most beautiful text, the first Rules (Regel) approved by von Hund in January 1752 (or 1753).[219] A remarkable aspect of this document is that it mentions neither knighthood nor religion.


Bibliography [220]


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Allgemeines Handbuch der Freimaurerei. Zweite völlig umgearbeitete Auflage von Lenning’s Encyklopädie der Freimaurerei. [Herausgegeben von Dr. Hermann Theodor Schletter & Dr. Moritz Zille]. 3 vol. I. (1863), II. (1865), III (1867). Leipzig: F. A. Brockhaus 1863-1867.

Allgemeines Handbuch der Freimaurerei. [Herausgegeben vom Verein deutscher Freimaurer]. 2 vol. I. (1900), II. (1901). Leipzig: Max Hesse’s Verlag 1900-1901.

Anon. [Vincent Labady]. G.J.G.E., ou Chevalier Kados; connu aussi sous les titres de Chevalier Élu, de Chevalier de l'Aigle-Noir. A Paris, Chez le Frere Vérité, au Grand-Globe François. M. DCC.LXXXI.

* — Saint Nicaise oder eine Sammlung merkwürdiger maurerischer Briefe, für Freymäurer und die es nicht sind. - Aus dem Französischen übersetzt. [Frankfurt am Main]. 1785.

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Antoine Faivre. Addenda Bibliographiques et Notes to René Le Forestier 1970.

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Ignaz Aurelius Fessler, [1803]. Die Stricte Observanz. (Aus Feßler's schriftlichem Nachlaß). Freimaurer-Zeitung. Leipzig 1848 (23: 177-184, 24: 185-190, 25: 193-198, 26: 204-208, 27: 213-216, 28: 221-224, 29: 230-232, 30: 237-240, 31: 245-248). [223]

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Werner Herzog. Gottfried Jacob Jänisch. Frederik 6 (1990): 37-127.

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Georg Kloss. Geschichte der Freimaurerei in Frankreich. 2 vol. Darmstadt: G. Jonghaus 1852-53. - Unveränderter Nachdruck. Graz: Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt 1971.

* Paul Konschel. Hamann’s Gegner, der Kryptokatholik Johann August Starck. Königsberg: Beyer 1912.

Ernst Gustav Krüger. Johann August  Starck, der Kleriker. Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der Theosophie im 18. Jahrhundert. Festgabe von Fachgenossen und Freunden Karl Müller zum siebzigsten Geburtstag dargebracht: 244-266. Tübingen: Verlag von J. C. B. Mohr 1922.

— Johann August Starck und der Bund der Sieben. Festgabe zum 60. Geburtstag von Wilhelm DiehI: 237-259. Darmstadt: Wittich Verlag 1931.

— Starck im Licht der Briefe Petersens. Festgabe zum 60. Geburtstag von Wilhelm Diehl: 260-270. Darmstadt: Wittich Verlag 1931.

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Ferdinand Runkel. Geschichte der Freimaurerei in Deutschland. 3 vol. Berlin: Verlag von Reimar Hobbing 1930-1932.

Schiffmann, G. A. Die Entstehung der Rittergrade in der Freimaurerei um die Mitte des XVIII. Jahrhunderts. Leipzig : Verlag von Br. Bruno Zechel 1882. - Unveränderter Nachdruck. Graz: Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt 1974.

Friedrich Ludwig Schröder. Materialien zur Geschichte der Freymaurerey seit der Wiederherstellung der großen Loge in London, 5717. 4 vol. 1803-1806. - Facsimile Reprint. St Michaelisdom: Stramm 1984.

— [Ritualsammlung]. 26 vol. 1805-1816. - Facsimile Reprint. Kiel: Baum 1977.

Richard Schröder. Geschichte der Freimaurerei i. O. Naumburg an der Saale. Naumburg an der Saale: Als Manuscript für Bbr. gedruckt 1896.

Hermann Schüttler. Das Klerikat. TAU II (1988): 7-16.

Johann August Starck. Über Krypto-Katholicismus, Proselytenmacherey, Jesuitismus, geheime Gesellschaften und besonders die ihm selbst von den Verfassern der Berliner Monatsschrift gemachte Beschuldigungen mit Acten-Stücken belegt. 2 vol. Frankfurt und Leipzig: Fleischer 1787.

Steel-Maret. Archives Secrètes de la Franc-Maçonnerie. Lyon: Librairie de la préfecture 1893. – Facsimile Reprint. Genève-Paris: Slatkine 1985.[228]

Klaus-Jürgen Stock. D. Johann August Starck. Betrachtungen zur Wirkung eines unzeitgemäßen Vorläufers heutiger Naturphilosophie auf dem Wege zur Einheit des Weltbildes. Zirkelkorrespondenz 2 (Februar 1979): 40-78.

Reinhold Taute. Johnson und die Strikte Observanz. Asträa 4 (September 1885): 55-95. Also separately printed 1885.

Boris Telepneff. Freemasonry in Russia. Ars Quatuor Coronatorum 35 (1922): 261-292.

— Johann August Starck and his Rite of Spiritual Masonry. Ars Quatuor Coronatorum 41 (1928): 238-284.

Carl Ludvig Henning Thulstrup. Meddelanden fran Svenska Stora Landslogens arkiv och bibliotek. Stockholm: Björkmann 1892. Quoted in this paper after the German translation, Mitteilungen aus dem Archiv und der Bibliothek der Schwedischen Großen Landesloge. Flensburg: Eigenverlag der freimaurerischen Vereinigung zur Erforschung der Ordenlehre zu Flensburg 1984.

Jean-François Var. Les Actes du Convent de Wilhelmsbad. Les Cahiers Verts 7 (1985): XXVII-LIII. Paris.

Werner G. Zimmermann. Von der alten zur neuen Freimaurerei. Briefwechsel und Logenreden von Diethelm Lavater nach 1800, mit der Biographie D. Lavaters von Heinrich Meier, herausgegeben und eingeleitet von Werner G. Zimmermann, im Auftrag der Modestia cum Libertate, Zürich. 1994. [229]  


Masonic publications



Acta Macionica (Bruxelles). Since 1991. Yearly published for the Regular Grand Lodge of Belgium by the Research Lodge Ars Macionica n° 30 in Brussels.

Ars Quatuor Coronatorum. Since 1886. Transactions of Quatuor Coronati Lodge N° 2076 (United Grand Lodge of England).

Frederik. Since 1983. Schriften der freimaurerischen Forschungsvereinigung Frederik der Grossen Landesloge der Freimaurer in Deutschland.

Heredom. Since 1992. The Transactions of The Scottish Rite Research Society. Washington, D.C. (U.S.A.).

Les Cahiers Verts. Bulletin intérieur du Grand Prieuré des Gaules. Paris.

Renaissance Traditionnelle. Since 1970. Bulletin intérieur de l’Association Renaissance Traditionnelle. Réservé aux membres de l’Ordre. B. P. 277. F 75160 Paris Cedex 04.

TAU. Since 1975. Zeitschrift der Forschungsloge Quatuor Coronati. Bayreuth.

Travaux de Villard de Honnecourt. Since 1980. Revue de la Loge Nationale de Recherches et d’Etudes Villard de Honnecourt. N° 81 GLNF.

Villard de Honnecourt. 1965-1978. Publication annuelle de la Loge Nationale de Recherches Villard de Honnecourt. N° 81 GLNF.

Zirkelkorrespondenz. Since 1872. Mitteilungsblatt für Freimaurer nach der Lehrart der Grossen Landesloge der Freimaurer von Deutschland.

[1]           Anon. [Starck] 1782, Über die alten und die neuen Mysterien: 318 (quoted in Krüger 1922: 261). Starck’s comments, acknowledging himself as the author, in Starck 1787 II [2]: 250 ff.

[2]           Wismar belonged to Sweden since the Peace of Westfalia (1648). Wismar is said to have received civic rights in 1229. In 1259 it entered a pact with Lübeck and Rostock, to defend against the numerous Baltic sea pirates, which developed into the Hanseatic League. The town came into the possession of Mecklenburg in 1301. During the 13th and 14th centuries it was a flourishing Hanseatic town, with important woollen factories. Though a plague carried off 10’000 of the inhabitants in 1376, the town seems to have remained tolerably prosperous until the 16th century. (www.brainyencyclopedia.com/encyclopedia/w/wi/wismar.html). By the Peace of Westphalia Wismar passed to Sweden, with a lordship to which it gives its name. Through Wismar and the other dominions in the Holy Roman Empire - the Dominions of Sweden were territories that historically came under control of the Swedish Crown, but never became fully integrated into Sweden proper ; this generally meant that they were ruled by Governors-General under the Swedish monarch. From 1653 it was the seat of the highest court for that part of Sweden. In 1803 Sweden pledged both town and lordship to Mecklenburg for 1’258’000 Riksdaler, reserving, however, the right of redemption after 100 years. In view of this contingent right of Sweden, Wismar was not represented in the diet of Mecklenburg until 1897. In 1903 Sweden finally renounced its claims. Wismar still retains a few relics of its old liberties, including the right to fly its own flag (http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia).

[3]              Allgemeines Handbuch der Freimaurerei 1865: 294 & 1867: 274. Also Lock 1994: 59 (see note 225).

[4]           See also Lock 1990: 14-15.

[5]           Also spelled von Hertvig (O’Etzel: 37).

[6]           Toward the end of 1762, the English constituted Prov. GL in Hamburg protested considering that Rostock belonged to its Province. The brethren in Rostock – as well as Rosa – apologized for a mistake they made in good faith (Schröder 1803-1806, I: 299).

[7]           Also listed as a member of the Chapter founded at Hamburg by Rosa, June 4, 1762 (Schröder 1803-1806, I: 301).

[8]           Dr Behrmann, also a member of the Rostock Chapter (Schröder 1803-1806, II: 240), was present though not as a delegate (Aigner-Abafi: 60) at Altenberg where he was knighted as Eq. a Tubo (Schröder 1803-1806, IV: 196).

[9]           Jacobi in Merzdorf: 66. Eckhorst was the Strict Observance’s name of Rostock.

[10]          Text of the Patent delivered to von Schröder, dated May 22, 1764, in Schröder 1803-1806, I: 252-253 (O’Etzel 37 ascribes the date Jan. 24, 1765, to his patent). von Schröder is therein described as Comthur des hochheiligen Ordenshauses Wismar.

[11]          Schubart (1734-1787) was made a Mason in Braunschweig, October 7, 1762, and a Scottish Master by Bode in January 1763. Shortly afterwards he received the three degrees of the Rosa Chapter from Lestwitz in Braunschweig and became Deputy Grand Master of the Three Globes November 3, 1763.

[12]          Schubart convinced Zinnendorf (member of the 3 Globes in Berlin, who in April 1764 had already received a letter from Eckleff in Stockholm, allowing him to found a Scottish Lodge in Berlin) to meet von Hund in Unwürde. Zinnendorf was knighted by von Hund Eq. a Lapide nigro and named Prefect of Berlin. He had a very positive opinion of Schubart (Runkel I: 239). The Mother-Lodge The Three Globes passed over to the Strict Observance in August 1766. Zinnendorf remained a member until December and founded then the Grand National Lodge of Germany after the Swedish System. Schubart demitted from the Order in 1768 for reasons described in this paper. However, four years later, he was at the origin of the creation of the Great Priory of Helvetia through Diethelm Lavater (Bernheim 1994: 137 sq.). The Strict Observance never recovered from the loss of these two intelligent men.

[13]          About Dr. Jänisch, see Herzog 1990.

[14]          Dr. Gottfried Jacob Jänisch (1707-1781) was appointed Provincial Grand Master for Hamburg and Lower Saxony November 20, 1759, by the “Modern” Grand Lodge. In the presence of Schubart, he closed the Provincial Grand Lodge and declared the English Warrant nullified, January 30, 1765. Immediately afterwrds, Schubart re-warranted the Lodge. The meeting is described in Schröder 1803-1806, II: 83. Jänisch’s speech is reproduced in Nettelbladt1825 (quoted in Lock 1994: 66-67). Also Nettelbladt 1879: 281 & 558).

[15]          See Bugge 1927, Chapters II & III.

[16]              Nettelbladt 1825 (quoted in Lock 1994: 66).

[17]          A list of the first fifty-three members of the Lodge, up to June 24, 1771, is reproduced in Annex 1 to this paper together with some individual particulars.

[18]          Schröder 1803-1806, I: 165.

[20]          Letter from Starck to Nettelbladt, September 14, 1809 (Runkel III: 225) & Nettelbladt 1825 (Lock 1994: 70). However, a letter from Böhnen to Raven, quoted below in note 145, appears written in good German (Nettelbladt 1879: 312-313 & Runkel I: 329).

[21]          It is impossible to ascertain if von Böhnen’s French sentence, as quoted by Lock from Nettelbladt 1824-1825, was accurately recopied or not : ‘Nous sayon [avons] encore fait la decouyerte [découverte] d.’un [d’un] homme, dont nous ignorous [ignorons] le nommme [nom] et que nous ne connoissons pas encor [encore], il est de Sverin et il etabliera [s’établira] ici in Yismar [à Wismar], etant [étant] devenu Subrector a lecole [à l’école] de la Ville, ou [on] en dit beaucoup du [de] bien.’ (Lock 1994: 68).

[22]          Lock 1994: 68.

[23]          Letter from Starck to Nettelbladt, Sept. 14, 1809 (Runkel III: 225).

[24]          Lenning 1828: 354, note *).

[25]          Letter from Starck to Raven, April 18, 1767 (Archidemides 1786: 30).

[26]          Polick 1854, I: 98-101.

[27]          Johann August Starck, born in Schwerin, October 28, 1741, died in Darmstadt, March 3, 1816. See particulars of his biography in Bernheim 2001, Johann August Starck. The Master of the Lodge was the Viscount of Grave, wrote Starck on July 30, 1777 (Krüger 1931: 241). According to undocumented information provided by the Allgemeines Handbuch II (1901): 423, the Lodge’s name was L’Espérance. The author of Saint Nicaise states (2nd ed., p. 58) Starck was Junior Warden of Viscount de Grave’s ambulatory Lodge as he was under twenty-one. According to Polick, Starck was made a Mason in a military Lodge in Göttingen by Hofrath Diez (Polick 1854, I: 107-108).

[28]          Le Forestier 153. When Le Forestier mentioned (and systematically mispelled) Vegesack’s name (Le Forestier 158 ‘D’après Wegesack…’), he did not hesitate to recopy a few sentences of Nettelbladt (Nettelbladt 1879: 293, last paragraph) and ascribed them to Vegesack, as if Vegesack asserted that the society he belonged to had been reorganized by Lorenz Natter between 1728 and 1733. Another invention of Le Forestier. Telepneff wrote (forty years before Le Forestier’s book was issued: ‘Starck’s character and life do not yield themselves to the conclusion that his statements concerning Florence and St. Petersburg mysteries were nothing else but invention’ (Telepneff 1929: 247).

[29]          Lenning 1828: 391 (quoting Nettelbladt 1824-1825) & Nettelbladt 1879: 297 & 298. The letter is only summarized. Raven answered March 24th  (mentioned in Archidemides 1786: 36).

[30]          The Superiors of the Order were known only through their knights’ names and the residence of the Provincial Council was kept secret as well. About Schröder’s acceptance, see his letter to Starck from March 17, 1767 (Starck 1787 II (2): 67) and the letter from Starck to Raven, April 18, 1767 (Archidemides 1786: 32).

[31]          Full text reproduced in Archidemides 1786: 10-19. See the list of the letters and documents reproduced in Archidemides 1786 in Annex 3.

[32]          As far as I know, the letter never was reprinted in full ever since its first publication in 1786. In 1828, an excerpt was quoted in Lenning 1828: 406. Most of it was reproduced within a text written by Fessler in 1803, first published in 1848 as ‘Die Stricte Observanz (Aus Feßler's schriftlichem Nachlaß)’ in the Freimaurer-Zeitung 1848: 198 & 204-205, a masonic magazine issued weekly in Leipzig. Fessler’s reference to Starck’s letter in Archidemides 1786 included two misprints (‘S[eiten]. 11 bis 160,’ instead of ‘10 bis 19’), both recopied by Blum (Blum 1912: 15), which suggests Blum never read Archidemides. I don’t think Le Forestier ever read Archidemides either : he described the letter as ‘un mémoire’ in which Starck mentioned his influence upon a Lodge working outside Germany ‘whose leaders constituted a Clerical High Chapter’, which is pure invention (Le Forestier 1970: 172-173). Runkel quoted parts of the letter accurately (Runkel I: 260-261).

[33]          Lenning 1828: 391 (quoting Nettelbladt 1824-1825).

[34]          The letter is reproduced in full in Archidemides 1786: 20-35, in parts in Fessler 1803 (1848): 205-206 and Blum: 16. The first mention made by Starck of the word Clerici happens in this letter (Archidemides 1786: 28). Its earliest use in a masonic context is possibly in Johnson’s speech in Altenberg, May 26, 1764, quoted by Knigge who doesn’t show his source (Knigge 1786: 62). Starck’s first use of the word Chapter also happens in this letter.

[35]          Letter from Starck to Raven, 21 and 22 April 1767 (Archidemides 1786: 36-57).

[36]          Lenning 1828: 391 quoting Nettelbladt 1825. In the meantime, the St. Petersburg’s Chapter approved of Starck’s negociations and allowed him to receive von Raven into the highest Clerical degree without having to go through the Noviciat (Nettelbladt 1879: 300).

[37]          Krüger remarks that Jupiter’s prophet-bird (Ales Jovis) was named Aquila Fulva because of its yellowish eyes (Krüger 1931: 238 note 2).

[38]              Archidemides 1786: 59-80. Latin original text of the Clerics’ Submission Act and its German translation by Sprengseysen in Archidemides 1786: 81-90.

[39]          Which shows that Raven became a Cleric before July 6, 1767 (also see the letter he wrote to von Exter, March 16, 1770 in Schröder 1803-1806 II: 311-313). Accordingly, the indication of Nettelbladt 1824-1825, (reproduced in Lenning 1828: 393 and Lock 1994: 72) suggesting that Raven’s reception took place at the time Prangen and Jacobi were in Wismar must be wrong.

[40]          Runkel I: 266-267 quoting the letter from the archives of the Grosse Landesloge.

[41]              Nettelbladt 1879: 302. Runkel I: 267.

[42]          Lenning 1828: 391 quoting Nettelbladt 1825, pp. 42-48, where mention is made of letters exchanged between Behrmann and Schubart.

[43]              Sprengseysen 1788: 133-134. von Cranich is the German translation of a Grue, the Order’s name of Joachim-Heinrich von Schröder. The three Wismar brethren had enrolled themselves in the Strict Observance merely as Ecossois for reasons explained by Starck in his first letter to von Hund (Archidemides 1786: 16-17) and his second letter to Raven (ibid. 38).

[44]          R-R-r is likely the plural (or a misprint) for R-tt-r (Ritter, Knights) and B. R----rg stays presumably for Ratzeburg.

[45]              Sprengseysen 1788: 133-137. Parts of Vegesack’s answer suggest that Seerohr’s letter may not have been fully transcribed by Sprengseysen.

[46]              Archidemides 1786: 115-116. Schubart expressed his thoughts in a document which has been reproduced nowhere since except in Archidemides 1786: 117-131. A summary was made by Fessler (221-222). It seems that until then, Schubart knew nothing about the correspondence with Wismar.

[47]          An interesting point since Melesino’s name was never mentioned before. Nothing shows how Schubart was informed of his existence or of his Chapter. See note 118.

[48]          The full text of von Prangen’s powers and of his instructions in Runkel I: 268-272. Summarized and partly quoted in Nettelbladt 1879: 303-304.

[49]          Carl Heinrich Ludwig Jacobi, Fr. a Stella fixa, born May 8, 1745, was von Hund’s secretary. He wrote a MS entitled ‘Short survey [Kurze Übersicht…] of a history of Freemasonry and of the Templar’s Order in Germany, especially of the Brethren belonging to the so-called system of the Strict Observance beginning with the year 1742. Delivered in 1796 by Jacobi’. I follow here the part of Jacobi’s manuscript printed in Merzdorf 1873: 66-79 (summarized in Schröder 1803-1806, II: 133-138). Merzdorf writes that it belonged then to the masonic archives of Bro. Künzel ([1810-1873]. See Allgemeines Handbuch der Freimaurerei 1900: 586) in Darmstadt. In 1991, Dotzauer transcribed and published two other parts of Jacobi’s MS, showing that it is presently located in the Hessisches Staatsarchiv in Darmstadt, DA 4/583/9f. 3-102.

[50]          They travelled over Dessau, Magdeburg, Arendsee, Parchim and Gustrow, some 500 Km altogether.

[51]          A few comments to Jacobi’s MS were made in rounds brackets by Latomia’s Editor, Theodor Merzdorf. One of them is wrong. Jacobi mentions the absence of ‘Eq. a leone resurgente’ (Merzdorf 1873: 69) and Merzdorf added : ‘(Landgraf Karl von Hessen-Kassel)’. Landgraf Karl was made a Mason in 1774. Read : Eq. a Leone insurgente, that is, von Vegesack.

[52]          André de Montbard. In the enumeration of Starck’s documents listed by Merzdorf are some Regula can. regul. ab Andrea Montibarr. praescripta (Merzdorf 1873: 35). Nettelbladt mentions Regula Andr. Montisbarrensis as well (Nettelbladt 1879: 328). A copy of both lists in Bernheim 2001, Johann August Starck: 267-271.

[53]              Seraphinus a Cruce aurea (Lenning 1828: 201).

[54]          Not Eugenius as written by Le Forestier (177).

[55]          This is the only description of a clerical ceremony known to this day.

[56]          This is not quite accurate as showed below.

[57]          Krüger remarks that Behrmann’s negative opinion of Starck has been much too favourably adopted by historians, especially masonic ones (Krüger 1922: 249).

[58]          von Both succeeded Vegesack as WM of the Wismar Lodge on March 4, 1768.

[59]          Runkel I: 276-277. This and the following documents, found by Runkel in the archives of the Grosse Landesloge, were first published by him in his three volumes issued between 1930 and 1932.

[60]          Runkel I: 272-276.

[61]          Runkel I: 278. Runkel doesn’t tell who was promoted but adds that the Minutes of the meeting were printed in 1885 in the Mecklenburgischen Logenblatt.

[62]          Runkel I: 278-281. In his MS Jacobi seems to have mixed up this document with the Pactum agreed upon in 1772. The (now obsolete) German word unvorgreiflich was used in the title of a work by Leibnitz, Unvorgreiffliche Gedancken, betreffend die Ausübung und Verbesserung der Teutschen Sprache (http://staff-www.uni-marburg.de/~gloning/lbnz-ug.htm), first printed in 1717.

[63]          Likely the text Jacobi says he read in Wismar.

[64]          Polick 1854, I: 110.

[65]          The long circular letter Schubart sent to all the Prefectures in June 1768 is printed in Archidemides 1786: 206-214 (see note 46). He requested that a convent be convened as soon as possible. However this happened only in 1772 at Kohlo.

[66]              Wiäsemskoi in Starck 1787, II [2]: 31; Wačzenskoy according to Starck’s autobiography in Runkel I: 256; Wiesemskay in Nettelbladt 1879: 314; Waesemsky in Krüger 1922: 250. Starck had received powers from von Hund to establish a Prefecture in St Petersburg (Nettelbladt 1879: 312).

[67]              Signatstern III (1804): 225-231.

[68]          In 1769, Frederic the Great appointed Starck professor of theology at Königsberg where he married Albertine Schulz in 1774. As a result of attacks against his theological writings, Starck left Königsberg in 1777 and taught philosophy at the College of Mitau near Riga. In 1781, he was named first preacher at the court of Darmstadt where, in 1811, he received the title of Freiherr (Baron) on the occasion of his thirtieth jubilee.

[69]          Baumann was sent by Zinnendorf to Eckleff in Sweden in May 1765. He returned in October 1766 to Berlin where he died December 16, 1769.

[70]          Schröder 1803-1806, II: 166-168.

[71]          Excerpts of both letters in Schröder 1803-1806, II: 168-170.

[72]          Merzdorf 1873: 33-36. The list stays in Bernheim 2001, Johann August Starck: 267-268.

[73]          Schröder 1803-1806, II: 152. The text of the degree was published by Starck (Starck 1787, II, Beilage M.

[74]          Schröder 1803-1806, II: 320-325. Vegesack was in Stockholm since 1770 (Allgemeines Handbuch 1901: 481). He became a member of the Law Commission and of the Grand Council founded by Duke Charles, January 9, 1778 (Thulstrup 143), and died the same year.

[75]          Schröder 1803-1806, II: 326-330. The text of the Pactum, ibid, 331-348. It is much easier to read in Runkel I: 282-290, since each article is divided in two parts (one for the Strict Observance Province, one for the Clerics) set in parallel columns by Runkel.

[76]          The agreement of the Pactum stays in § 7 of the Konventschluss of Kohlo, signed on June 23, 1772, which summarizes in 49 “points” the decisions agreed upon at the Convent (Freimaurer-Zeitung, Leipzig 1850, Nr. 8: 57-64 & Dotzauer 1991: 121-134). The abbreviation H.O. is frequently met with in the Konventschluss. Dotzauer chose to expand it either as H[erren] Orden or as H[eiliger] Orden instead of Hoher Orden (High Order) or Höherer Orden (Higher Order). The expression Holy Order (Saint Ordre, Heiliger Orden) seems to have originated during the Convent des Gaules held at Lyons in 1778. It stays in the Code Général once under Titre 3, three times under Titre 8. As late as January 1818, Ludwig Georg Carl, Prinz von Hessen-Darmstadt, addressed Nettelbladt as Höherer Ordens Bruder (letter quoted in Runkel III: 204). Likewise, J. O. should read Inner Order and not J[erusalem] Orden, which is another of Dotzauer’s arbitrary interpretations.

[77]          Schröder 1803-1806, II: 176-183.

[78]              Nettelbladt 1879: 334. Similar statements : ‘The rituals of the three symbolic degrees were rewritten and their introduction decided. The former Ecossais ritual was retained. The ritual for the reception of a Novice was taken from that given by the Clerics, which pretendedly came from France’ (Allgemeines Handbuch der Freimaurerei 1863: 194 & Allgemeines Handbuch der Freimaurerei 1900: 566). ‘Das Ritual der ersten vier Grade, wie es Starck eingesandt hatte, und dessen Tapiserklärung sich auf den nunmehrigen Zweck des Ordens bezog, wurde angenommen und beschlossen, es in allen vereinigten Logen einzuführen’ (Lachmann 1866: 32).

[79]          Lenning 1828: 394-395. Starck retired from masonic activities after he was attacked and insulted by von Fircks (Eq. ab Aquila Rubra). See Starck’s letter to Nettelbladt from August 15, 1809 (Runkel III: 218 sq. ; Krüger 1922: 253 and Krüger 1931: 247).

[80]          Gustav Krüger was first to describe how this group was formed. He ascertained the names of its members in the State archives and those of the High Consistory of Darmstadt (Krüger 1922: 256, 257 note 2, 258 note 4 & Krüger 1931: 239-240) : Charles, Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (a Pallio purpureo); Ludwig Georg Carl (a Leone aureo coronato) and Ludwig (a Gloria) of Hessen-Darmstadt; Friedrich Viktor Falcke (a Rostro); Georg Carl, Prince of Hessen (a Cruce Hierosolymitana); Karl Wilhelm, Prince of Nassau-Üsingen (a Pomo imperii) and Carl Heinrich, Count von Callenberg (a Stella inflammata). Also see Runkel III: 43 & 47. The activities of the Seven Allies remained secret. Runkel suggests (III: 61) the group might have still existed at the time he was writing in the 1930s, but I believe he confounded it with a different one. In Starck’s letter to his adoptive grandson Karl August, July 10, 1812, Starck mentions ‘the small group to which he himself belonged and came into the place of Freemasonry’ (Krüger 1922: 263 & Krüger 1931: 254, 257; Stock 1979: 63 note 7d, 65 note 9c, 74 note 1).

[81]          Bernheim 2001, Johann August Starck: 258.

[82]          Lane’s Masonic Records (2d ed. 1895), a remarkable book in which Strasbourg is inadvertently classified under Germany. See Bernheim 1989: 68, showing why the “Modern” Grand Lodge then warranted a Lodge in France.

[83]          Georg August, Baron von Weiler (1726-1775), Eq. a Spica aurea, was a member of the Lodge of Count Kufstein in Wien (Austria), then of Lodge St Jean des Voyageurs founded by Count Aloysius von Brühl in Dresden. In 1769-1770, Brühl and Weiler entered the Inner Order of the Strict Observance and von Hund named Weiler Commissarius and Visitator Specialis.

[84]          This is alluded to, without a single date or indication of a source, by Le Forestier (335) after the meagre information provided by Nettelbladt 1879: 342 sq. In 1978, René Guilly published Principaux evenements de l’O\ interieur dans la Ve depuis 1772 jusqu’en 1778, a document discovered by him in the State Archives in Wien (Renaissance Traditionnelle 34: 109-115). This invaluable manuscript shows precisely how and when Strasburg joined the Strict Observance.

[85]          The correspondence between Strasbourg and Lyons as well as the ensuing one between Willermoz and von Hund was published in full in 1893 in a series of eleven booklets appearing weekly, edited by two young men writing under the joint pseudonym Steel-Maret. In 1985, the booklets were reprinted in fac-similé as a book, Archives Secrètes de la Franc-Maçonnerie, preceded by an Avertissement (Warning), an Introduction to the Rectified Scottish Régime and a Notice Bibliographique by Robert Amadou, together with a most interesting study (previously printed in Revue de l’histoire des religions, avril-juin 1972, pp. 53-81) by Jean Saunier, Elie Steel-Maret” et le renouveau des études sur la Franc-Maçonnerie illuministe à la fin du dix-neuvième siècle. See the correspondence between Strasbourg and Lyons in Steel-Maret 1985: 134-159.

[86]          Bernheim 2001, Notes à propos du Rite Ecossais Rectifié: 90. See also below note 102.

[87]              Renaissance Traditionnelle 80 (1989): 288 & 289.

[88]          Prof. Abraham Heinrich Benard (Eq. a Monte stellato) was a teacher of foreign languages at Dresden (Kloss 1852-53, I: 209). He had already copied rituals of the Strict Observance ten years before when he was in Jena (Malczovich 1893: 88). The wrong spelling ‘Bernard’ given by René Guilly (Renaissance Traditionnelle 80: 286), relying on Le Forestier 1970: 373, comes from Daruty 1897: 236, who culled it in Findel 1870: 304. Findel seems to be originally responsible for it.

[89]          As showed by the Minutes (now at the Lyons’ Town Library) of the sittings Weiler presided in Lyons since July 21, 1774 (see extracts of the Minutes of the Chapitre Provincial d’Auvergne in Renaissance Traditionnelle 80 (1989): 287 sq.

[90]          The document is transcribed below. It belongs now to the archives of the Grand Orient de France under AR / Fonds H-1.

[91]          Christian Carl Friedrich Wilhelm, Freiherr von Nettelbladt (15.2.1779-9.6.1843), was made a Mason in Rostock on March 5, 1803. His influence upon the development of the ritual of the National Grand Lodge of Germany (Grosse Landesloge) and his writings on the history of Freemasonry were quite important. Over a period of some thirty years, he wrote masonic ‘Instructions’ for private circulation among Brethren. They were printed together for general circulation in 1879 as Geschichte Freimaurerischer Systeme in England, Frankreich und Deutschland, a book comprizing 835 pages, 887 end-notes (some of which added by A. Widmann and F. Possart, two competent historians) and three indexes. The book became very rare but was reprinted in 1984. It mentions only one letter, dated August 15, 1809, Nettelbladt received from Starck (Nettelbladt 1879: 720, end-notes 385 & 388). Both end-notes may well have been added by the editors in 1879. The discovery of the Wismar archives by Nettelbladt in 1805 appears almost hidden in the last sentence of end-note 392, p. 722, whereas end-note 266, page 697, which also mentions the discovery of the archives by ‘our elder Brother, Br\ von Nettelbladt’, was certainly added by the editors.

[92]          Listed as ‘Adv. Tribun. in Wismar. 4. Grad.’ and Junior Warden of the Three Lions at Wismar at an unknown date (Polick 1854, I: 118).

[93]          Letter from Nettelbladt to Starck, November 16, 1808 (Runkel III: 209). In his answer, Starck stated Clerics used three distinct ciphers.

[94]          Runkel III: 206-207.

[95]          Runkel III: 211-216.

[96]          Ernst Werner von Raven died in 1787. He had three blood brothers : E. W. von Raven, C. D. von Raven, Hieronymus a Leone stellato and F. von Raven, Athanasius a Sphinge radiata (Lenning 1828: 202 & Polick 1854, I: 108).

[97]          Letter from Starck to Nettelbladt, December 1, 1808 (Runkel III: 212-213). In a later letter from August 15, 1809, Starck asks Nettelbladt to burn them before his death (ibid. 223). See also the end of note 392 in Nettelbladt 1879: 722 and Krüger 1922: 247, note 2.

[98]          Letter from Starck to Nettelbladt, September 14, 1809, Runkel III: 225-230. No explanation is given to explain why their correspondence seems to have stopped then.

[99]          This would be the Chapter founded in Stockholm by Eckleff, December 25, 1759. On June 11, 1768, its Minutes mention that it had not met for a long time (Rudbeck 1931: 56).

[100]         Starck’s father, Samuel Christfried Starck (d. 1769), was president of the Lutheran consistory in Schwerin.

[101]         Le Forestier (152) asserts that Starck was born ‘poor and helpless’. In this letter however Starck writes that his income was 200 Rubel in Petersburg, more than 400 Reichsthaler in Wismar, 300 Rubel again in Petersburg, 1’000 Thaler in Königsberg, 500 Ducats in Mitau and now in Darmstadt more than 3'000 Gulden (Runkel III: 227).

[102]         Jean de Türckheim (1749-1828), knighted Eq. a Flumine February 18, 1775, attended the Convent des Gaules as Chancellor of the Vth Province (Burgundy). Several historians (Boos, van Rijnberk, Ligou) confounded his family name with that of Franz Christian Eckbrecht, Baron of Dürckheim (born 1729), Eq. ab Arcu, elected Provincial Master of Burgundy, April 8, 1777. In a letter from 1812 to his adoptive grandson (Krüger 1922: 263) and in a letter to Lavater from June 29, 1813 (Zimmermann 1994: 350), Starck mentions Türckheim as one of the four ‘Wissenden’ who were still alive. They have known each other for thirty years, writes Starck to Lavater on July 29, 1813, and Türckheim was ‘affiliated’ to his inner circle (see note 80) four years ago; in the same letter, Starck mentions von Both as one of the Wissenden, adding that the documents von Both was entrusted with after von Raven’s death had been sent to him in Darmstadt (Zimmermann 1994: 356).

[103]         The letters were published in 1994 by Werner Zimmermann who is not a Mason. Zimmermann was hired by Lodge Modestia cum Libertate in Zurich to classify the archives of the Province of Burgundy which are presently in possession of the Lodge. Zimmermann’s book includes 44 letters from Lavater to Starck (July 15, 1809–November 11, 1815), 32 letters from Starck to Lavater (September 19, 1809–October 12, 1815). A few are stated as missing. Most of them were edited (censored) at the request of Zimmermann’s employer before the book was printed in 1994.

[104]         Diethelm Lavater (5 October 1743 - 4 March 1826), ab Esculapio, was elected Great Prior of Helvetia at the Burgundy Convent held in Basel in August 1779 (Bernheim 1994: 130-141 & 201-216). The Scottish Rectified Rite stopped its activities in Switzerland in 1786. When it slowly reawakened in 1809, Lavater declined to have anything whatsoever to do with it (Bernheim 2001, Notes à propos du Rite Ecossais Rectifié: 103).

[105]         In his letter to Lavater from May 8, 1810, Starck mentions that he was invited at one of Wilhelmsbad’s meetings and declined to come (Zimmermann 1994: 187).

[106]         Starck exemplifies what he means in his letters to Lavater from November 22, 1811 (Zimmermann 1994: 267 sq.) and from November 21, 1813 (ibid. 374).

[107]         Letter from October 23, 1809 (Zimmermann 1994: 143).

[108]         This is likely the Lord Ogilvy said to have received a letter from the Duke of Perth, September 30, 1745, saying that six days before, a Chapter of Knights of the Temple of Jerusalem was held in Edinburgh during which Charles Edward, the Young Pretendant, was elected Grand Master. Begemann stressed the point that the letter appeared first in 1843 and that nobody had ever heard of it before (Begemann 1906: 56-63 & Begemann 1914: 15-19). However things did not appear so clear cut for George Draffen who devoted a paper of eight pages to that question (Draffen 1955).

[109]         Letter from February 15, 1810 (Zimmermann 1994: 172).

[110]         Quoted after the Précis über des Historische des Ordens included in Starck’s letter to Lavater from May 1, 1813 (Zimmermann 1994: 344).

[111]              Zimmermann 1994: 375. The last but two of the Grand Master’s names listed by Starck is ‘1714 Eq. a Leone aureo who was the Earl of Seaforth’. Zimmermann set a question mark in square brackets after Seaforth. William 5th Earl of Seaforth, was attainted in 1716 and died 1740.

[112]         Kervella & Lestienne 1997. MS reference AD 29 [Archives départementales du Finistère] 100.J. A transcript stays pp. 252-266. Facsimile of the 1st folio, p. 253 and of f° 11, p. 265.

[113]         See an English translation in Annex 2.

[114]         Bernheim 2002 with a photocopy of the sealed document p. 242.

[115]              http://www.frenchinrussia.narod.ru/Volga.htm [Summary of a paper issued in Les Cahiers du Monde russe, 39(3), juillet-septembre, 1998, pp. 283-296.© V. Rћeutsky]. The Web site of this publication is http://monderusse.revues.org/. I tried to contact the author and failed.

[116]         Le Bihan 1967: 129-130 & Le Bihan 1973: 284-285.

[117]         Schröder 1803-1806, IV: 192-210, Précourt is listed pp. 206 and 213 under Nr. 227.

[118]         Many historians surmised that Starck tapped the Melesino’s system for his Cleric’s rituals although nothing shows both men ever met. Melesino’s Vth and VIth degrees are partly reproduced in Schröder 1805-1816, vol. 18/14 (‘Schottischer Meister- und Ritter-Grad’): 1-22 ; ‘Philosophischer Grad’: 23-38). The entry Melesino in Lenning 1824: 460-481 quotes the Hiram legend and the tracing-board explanation of the IVth degree named ‘das dunkle Gewölbe’ (the dark Vault): 461-464, the Order’s history (which is not in Schröder) of the Vth degree and its tracing-board explanation (465-469), the VIth degree (Schröder’s and Lenning’s texts are slightly different): 469-473, and the VIIth  and last one with the heading ‘gradum capitularem sequitur et primus gradus Capituli invisibilis dicitur, vel Clericatus’ (473-481). According to Runkel, who was convinced that Starck’s rituals had been brought by Natter from Florence to St Petersburg, the degree’s name was Magnus Sacerdos Templariorum (Runkel I: 311). The ceremony described at length in Lenning does not fit with that described by Jacobi quoted before although both have certain elements in common.

[119]         See Annex 2.

[120]         Willermoz’ contacts with von Hund began in December 1772. von Hund died November 8, 1776.

[121]         Var 1985: L-LI.

[122]         Steel-Maret 1985: 41-43.

[123]         Schröder 1805-1806, II: 169.

[124]         Steel-Maret 1985: 42. Schröder 1805-16, vol. 2-4B: 17. Original French: ‘Le maître des cérémonies éteint les bougies en disant: — C’est en mémoire de ceux qui existèrent et n’existent plus.’

[125]         Thulstrup 56.

[126]         English translation of Précourt’s letter (originally published in Steel-Maret 1985: 72-78) in Bernheim 1997: 152-159.

[127]         BM Lyon Ms 5910.

[128]         The Lyons MS is much shorter than the Quimper MS (82 Questions & Answers) because everything which related to the Templars was cut out by Willermoz. The original French catechism discovered at Quimper by Kervella and Estienne, set in parallel columns with the catechism of the Knight Grand Inspector Grand Elect last degree dated by Willermoz July 25, 1761, together with the slightly different readings of the Tschoudy-Labady print of 1781, is reproduced in Bernheim 1997: 192-212.

[129]         Vincent Labady was one of the main leaders of a fraction of the Grand Lodge of France which objected to the foundation of the Grand Orient of France in 1773, remained apart but reunited with it in 1799.

[130]         Théodore-Henry, baron de Tschoudy, descendant of a Swiss family, was born in Metz, August 21, 1727 and died in Paris, May 28, 1769.

[131]         An important word !

[132]         See the entry Essäer in Lenning 1822: 162-193 and Allgemeines Handbuch der Freimaurerei 1863: 309-317. Also Lawrie 1804: 37-39.

[133]         Krüger remarked that one has to be very careful before passing a judgment upon Starck (Krüger 1922: 249).

[134]         Starck then travelled to England and France (Starck 1787 II [1]: 211 & [2]: 31). From November 1765, he was in Paris (Starck 1787 II [2]: 32) and worked at the King’s Library in the department of Eastern languages upon some forty manuscripts of old translations of the Hebrew Bible, copied a whole Coptic Glossarium and made extracts from a Syriac-Arabic one (Starck 1787 II [2]: 231).

[135]         Konschel noticed that in 1805 Starck’s wife published A letter to Kotzebue on Paganism and Christianity (Blum 1912: 24 note 3).

[136]         Meusel’s Hist. Litt. .d. Jahr 1784, II: 473 (quoted in Blum 1912: 67). Johann Georg Meusel (1743-1820). Since no children were born out of his marriage, Starck adopted two male relatives of his wife four years before his death which occured in Darmstadt, March 3, 1816.

[137]         With the notable exception of Boris Telepneff who listed Starck’s masonic as well as non-masonic writings (Telepneff 1929: 273-275, and general bibliography ibid. 275-277) and commented upon his Hephästion (ibid. 240).

[138]         Krüger 1931: 255. Gustav Krüger, a protestant historian of religions (Bremen 29.6.1862 - Gießen 13.3.1940). See http://www.bautz.de/bbkl/k/Krueger_g.shtml. Also his paper, Zur Literatur über die Rosenkreuzer (1932) (http://www.lohengrin-verlag.de/Rosenkreutz/Rosenkreuzer.htm).

[139]         Runkel I: 308.

[140]         Polick 1854, I: 113.

[141]         Polick 1854, I: 116.

[142]         Those 24 names are numbered 54 to 77 and do not mention any date. I received from a friend only parts of Polick’s first volume, pp. 1-5 and 98-120. I ignore which documents he used.

[143]         Numbers added by the present writer.

[144]         Master of the Lodge from 1767 to March 4, 1768, Deputy Master from June 24, 1770 to June 24, 1771 (Polick). Vegesack (8.10.1725 - 1778) was born in Körchau (bei Kröpelin), a small town 30 Km West from Rostock. According to the Svenskt biografiskt handlexikon (1906), his wife Sofia Magdalena von Blücher, gave birth to a son, Eberhard Ernst Gotthard, March 29, 1763, in Rostock (http://www.lysator.liu.se/runeberg/sbh/b0701.html).

[145]         von Böhnen was made a Mason in Sweden. In an undated letter to von Raven, von Böhnen wrote : ‘Als man hier fand, dass ich nicht ohne einige Kundschaft wäre, ging man näher gegen mich hervor und machte mir Eröffnungen’ (Nettelbladt 1879: 312-313). In 1768, Jacobi described him as ‘an old officer who was familiar with most masonic degrees’ (Merzdorf 1873: 69 & Schröder 1803-1806, II: 134). Neither Nettelbladt nor Thulstrup (105) mention particulars about his masonic past. Le Forestier asserts that he ended his life as director of the King’s lottery in Sweden, which results from a confusion with Vegesack (Le Forestier 187). Senior Warden from 1767 to March 4, 1768 (Polick).

[146]         Junior Warden from 1767 to March 4, 1768 (Polick).

[147]         1st Steward (Schaffner) from 1767 to April 22, 1767 (Polick).

[148]         October 4, 1737. Suspended in December 1767 (D 2). 2nd Steward from 1767; suspended October 28, 1767, for one year for having insulted many Brethren in writing (Polick). von Bülow was baptized September 6, 1737 in Neuhaus an der Elbe. Served as captain, then lieutenant-colonel in the Brunswick army. Married 1705 Eleonora Juliana, a daughter of Landrat von Blücher auf Schimm and of Sophie Dorothee von Bassewitz. His wife died in 1772. In 1776 von Bülow moved to Hamburg and went from there as Officer in the Dutch army to Batavia where he died September 1777 (information provided by Hans Bülow, October 24, 2004).

[149]         June 16, 1735 (D 2). Treasurer from 1767 to April 22, 1767 (Polick).

[150]         Dr August Schaarschmidt (1720-1791) had been acting professor for anatomy in Berlin but in 1750 the famous Johann Friedrich Meckel became the chair (Sabine Schwarz, Die anatomische Privatsammlung der Anatomenfamilie Meckel unter besonderer Berücksichtigung ihres präpara-tionstechnischen Profils. Dissertation zur Erlangung des akademischen Grades Doktor der Medizin vorgelegt an der Medizinischen Fakultät der Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, verteidigt am 13.03.2000 (http://sundoc.bibliothek.uni-halle.de/diss-online/00/00H110/). Left the Lodge 1770; 1st Steward (Schaffner) from April 22, 1767 to ? (Polick).

[151]         Secretary and ad interim Treasurer (D 2). II. August 4, 1767; III. March 16, 1768; IV. March 23, 1768; Friedericus Ar. a Sycomoro; Secretary from March 4, 1767 to October 4, 1771; Treasurer ad interim from March 16, 1768 to October 4, 1771 (Polick).

[152]              Wachtmeister der Loge (D 2). II. February 18, 1767; III. March 16, 1768; IV. March 23, 1768; acted as Serving Brother for a few months (Polick).

[153]         I. & II. in London (Polick).

[154]         Junior Warden (D 2). III. March 16, 1768; IV. March 23, 1768; Joannes Ar. ab Aurora; Orator from March 30, 1767 to March 16, 1768; JW from March 4, 1768 to ? (Polick). Polick names him ‘von’ Dahlmann, which is not supported either by O A, D 1 or D 2.

[155]         Master of the Lodge (D 2). II. & III. June 26, 1767; IV. October 28, 1767; Sulpitius a Malleo aureo; Treasurer from April 22, 1767 to March 4, 1768 (Polick). WM since 4 March 1768, succeeded Vegesack (LEN III: 393 & Polick). ‘Kurz vor dem Tode des seligen Herrn v. Both [sind] noch diejenigen Papiere, die er nach Ravens Absterben hatte aufbehalten, zugeschickt worden.’ (Letter Starck / Lavater, 29 June 1813, Zimmermann 350 & 356).

[156]         Senior Warden (D 2). IV. October 28, 1767; SW from March 4, 1768 to June 24, 1770; Passé-Maître from June 24, 1771 to ? (Polick).

[157]         Became suspended (Polick).

[158]         II. August 20, 1767; III. March 16, 1768; made an actual member of the Lodge because of his faithful service April 15, 1772; suspended later (Polick).

[159]         II. March 16, 1768; III. October 10, 1768 (Polick).

[160]         II. February 17, 1769 (Polick).

[161]         Orator, died June 8 (D 2). II. March 16, 1768; III. March 23, 1768; Orator from March 16, 1768 to 1769. Died June 8, 1769 (Polick). Polick names him ‘von’ D. which is not supported by O A, D 1 and D 2.

[162]         January 4, 1739 (D 2).

[163]         1748 (D 2).

[164]         I. to III. in the Lodge in Stralsund; Henricus Ar. a Castello (Polick). See Önnefors, Deutsche und schwedische Rechtskultur im zeitgenössischen Vergleich: 151 & 153. About the Swedish military Lodges in Stralsund, see Önnefors, Freimaurerei im Schwedisch-Pommern des 18. Jahrhunderts: 112-114.

[165]         8 February 1749 (D 2). Made in Sweden; III: March 16, 1768 (Polick).

[166]         Roseen (D 2). Made in Stralsund (Polick).

[167]         October 31, 1729 (D 2). Made in Stralsund (Polick).

[168]         1747 (D 1). von Adlerstrohl; II. September 30, 1767; III. February 17, 1769 (Polick).

[169]         August 17, 1731 (D 2). Joannes Eq. a Galea coronata; SW from June 24, 1770 to ? (Polick).

[170]         III: March 16, 1768; IV. March 23, 1768; Eq. a Monte stellato (Polick).

[171]         Made in Stockholm (Polick).

[172]         Listed neither in D 1 or D 2. Made in Hannover (Polick).

[173]         1735 (D 1). October 4, 1738 (D 2). C. H. Westphale sen.; Lottodirektor in Wismar (?); made in Stralsund (Polick).

[174]         1747 (D 1).

[175]         Candidat in philosophy; II. December 9, 1768; III. February 17, 1769 (Polick).

[176]         March 9, 1734 (D 2). II. June 24, 1769; III. June 25, 1769 (Polick).

[177]              September 8, 1735 (D 2). II. December 9, 1768; III. February 17, 1769; IV. April 23, 1769 (Polick).

[178]         August 9, 1736 (D 2).

[179]         Name and particulars stricken out (D 2). Baron von Koschkull; from Curland; II. February 17, 1769; III. February 21, 1769; April 15, 1769, was suspended until further notice and later excluded for unmasonic behaviour; son of a preacher named Hollenhagen, made himself a Baron under the above name (Polick).

[180]         II. October 14, 1769 (Polick).

[181]         Made in Marburg; IV. September 8, 1769; Friedericus Eq. a Globo alato (Polick).

[182]         II. June 24, 1769; III. December 28, 1769 (Polick).

[183]         von Schönemarck; Lieutenant in hamburgischen Dienst; II. October 14, 1769; III. October 19, 1769 (Polick).

[184]              Ritterschaftlicher Secretair in Neubuckow; II. February 17, 1770 (Polick).

[185]         Dabelow; Amtmann in Neubuckow; II. February 17, 1770; has not behaved as a true Mason (Polick).

[186]         Made a full member 1774 (Polick).

[187]         Swedish Capellmeister; Made and passed in Sweden; III. December 28, 1769 (Polick).

[188]         Dr med. in Wismar; later suspendended (Polick).

[189]         Canzellist oder Registrator in Schwerin (Polick).

[190]         Cand. jur.; II. July 9, 1771; later suspended; Orator from June 24, 1771 to ? (Polick).

[191]         Consist.-Secretair und später Dr. Jur. et Procur. Tribun in Wismar; II. October 4, 1771; Eq. a Leone vicente; Treasurer and Secretary from October 4, 1771 to ?; later Master of the Lodge (Polick).

[192]         Advocat in Wismar; II. October 4, 1771 (Polick).

[193]         II. April 15, 1772; said never to have been a true Mason (Polick).

[194]         In column D 1, A stays for Apprentice, M for Master, S for Scots degree (Schotter), SERV for servant, W for Wachtmeister.

[195]         Not listed by Polick. ‘J. Poel, geboren in St Petersburg den 3 November 1714’ (O A). ‘N. N. Pouel, 7 July 1729 zu St Petersburg; Hoffrath; Aufenthalt zu Zürow im Mecklenburg’ (D 2).

[196]         After Polick.

[197]         JW on D 2 (Nov.-Dec. 1769).

[198]         PM on D 2 (Nov.-Dec. 1769)

[199]         Band IV: pp. 215-216.

[200]         Nr 55 in Polick (see note 142) as ‘C. D. v. Raven, Landrath auf Zurow bei Wismar. 6. Grad. Johannes Eq. a Leone stellato’.

[201]         Nr 56 in Polick (see note 142) as ‘F. v. Raven, Hofgerichtsassessor in Gustrow. 6. Grad. Eq. a Sphynge radiata’.

[202]         Not listed under Wismar Haus. ‘Gustav Christian von Handwich, Land-Physikus in Riga’, is listed in Schröder under Nr. 98 as knighted in Altenberg Eq. a Gladio. The Order’s name a Monte stellato belonged to Abraham Benard (see note 88).

[203]         See note 112.

[204]              Translated by the present writer from a Xerox copy of the MS.

[205]         Read Maizeray or Mézeray. 1610-1683. First French historian to have written a History of France. His name is mentioned in the letter from Meunier de Précourt to Willermoz from September 13, 1762, quoted in Steel-Maret 1985: 83.

[206]         Read Molay.

[207]         Bishop of Caesarea in Palestine. c. 260-c. 340. One of the most learned men of his age. Author of History of the Christian Church.

[208]         Or Philo Judaeus.

[209]         Flavius Josephus. Jewish historian. A. D. 37-95 ?.

[210]         First published in Geneva in the autumn of 1748. Montesquieu, FRS in December 1729, was made a Mason in London, May 12, 1730 (Firminger 1938, AQC 48: 114 note 3).

[211]         See note 31.

[212]         Dated after Nettelbladt 1879: 303.

[213]         Full German title : ‘Erstes Kapitel der hohen Ordens Constitution oder: Idee, welche ein hoher Ordens-Bruder sich von der Beschaffenheit und Absicht des Ordens zu machen. Herausgegeben vom Consilio provinciali. 1767’. Compare with the Regel from 1752-53 (note 219).

[214]         Dated after Kloss Bibliographie der Freimaurerei, Nr. 2293.

[215]         ‘Die ganze Correspondenz zwischen Starck, seinen Capitularen, v. Hund, dessen Provinzial-Capitularen, Schubert [sic], v. Prangen, vom 8. April 1767 bis 2. Mai 1768, bildet im Archiv der Loge zu Braunschweig unter dem Titel : Klerikalische Correspondenz, einen Folioband von 340 Seiten’ (Allgemeines Handbuch der Freimaurerei 1867: 305).

[216]         Except one in Ordre Illustre de la Stricte Observance, [Anon.]: 51-61. Editions Opéra, 1997. I found a manuscript copy of the first fourteen Minutes of von Hund’s Lodge in Kittlitz, aux trois Colonnes, for the period June 24, 1751 to July 25, 1754.

[217]              Nettelbladt mentions ‘Annalen der Frmr.-Loge zu den drei Hammern zu Naumburg, von Lepsius. Mspt.’ (Nettelbladt 1879: 243 note 183), a document which seems to be lost.

[218]         Schröder 1803-1806, I: 168. ‘D. Friedrich Christian Gottlob Ortel […] stammte aus Buttstädt und war Juris practicus zu Naumburg. Wahrscheinlich ist er der D. Ortel, von welchem C. P. Lepsius unsere älteste Matrikel erhalten hat und von dessen Sohne (Dr. med. in Freyburg, 1803 Mitglied der Loge in Weissenfels) Lepsius einige Logenpapiere zur Abschrift bekam. Er wäre dann zuletzt Stiftsyndikus gewesen.’ (Schröder 1896: 184).

[219]         Schröder 1896: 15-25. In 1989, a photocopy of another version (8 articles and a resolution) of this document was published in Feddersen 1989: 297-317 from an original MS in the Ordensarchiv in Kopenhagen, F XXVI 2 a4.

[220]         The sign * shows that the writer did not have the opportunity to have a copy of a work in his hands.

[221]         Most authors (E. G. Krüger excepted) and bibliographies unhesitatingly ascribe both edtions of this pamphlet to Starck. I showed why the author was likely Knigge and in any case not Starck (Bernheim 2001, Johann August Starck: 258-261).

[222]         In the foot-notes of his book (cf p. XVI) Blum acknowledges the indications he borrowed from Konschel, among others Starck’s autobiography which is also reproduced in