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ÉTUDES MAÇONNIQUES - MASONIC PAPERS
by W.Bro. ALAIN BERNHEIM 33°
MASONIC CATECHISMS AND EXPOSURES
In 1986, the author of the following paper was awarded the Norman B.
Spencer Prize Essay for 'The dating of masonic records', subsequently
published with due acknowledgment in vol. 99 of Ars Quatuor Coronatorum.
Bruno Virgilio Gazzo
MASONIC CATECHISMS AND EXPOSURES
Since all masonic oaths include words akin to those of
the Edinburgh Register House MS. (1696):
'... you shall not reveal any pairt of what you shall hear or see at this time
whither by word nor write nor put it in wryte at any time... but with an entered
mason, so help you god.' (Knoop, Jones and Hamer, Early Masonic Catechisms, p. 33), the authenticity of early masonic
catechisms was considered highly dubious until the full significance of the 'Haughfoot
fragment' was duly appreciated[ii]. Most scholars are now agreed that early manuscript
catechisms and some of the printed ones provide fairly reliable information
about masonic ceremonies of their time. They admit that since the wording of
masonic ceremonies was transmitted orally and learned by heart, some masons,
notwithstanding their oath, likely happened to put them down in writing either
because they were possessed of a deficient memory or possibly for transmission
to other masons. Manuscripts of that kind can be termed aide-mémoire, that is a help for the memory. 'In any case, a MS.
catechism is far less likely to have been a hoax or forgery than a printed
version offered for sale...' (EMC, p.
'Catechism' is an English word derived from Greek and
Latin roots meaning 'to remember' and 'oral instructions by question and answer'.
A nearly identical word exists in French (catéchisme) and in German (Katechismus),
and in all three languages it is mostly used with a religious connotation. The
second edition (1963) of Early Masonic
Catechisms by Knoop, Jones and Hamer, a most useful book first printed in
1943, provides reliable transcripts of twenty-five texts of British origin,
dated between 1696 and c. 1750. Twenty
are listed in it under 'Catechisms', but the word catechism does not appear in
any of them. It is found, possibly for the first time in a masonic context, in
Chapter XV of Ebriatis Encomium: or the
Praise of Drunkenness, a book published in London in June 1723: 'An
Eyewitness of this was I myself, at their general meeting at Stationer's
Hall[iii], who having learned some of their Catechism, passed my
examination, paid my five shillings, and took my place accordingly.' (Knoop,
Jones and Hamer, Early Masonic Pamphlets,
The word exposure expresses the purpose of unmasking an
imposture. In a masonic context, it is applied to printed matters (newspapers'
articles, books or pamphlets) issued in order to make money, to attain celebrity
or to hurt Freemasonry by publicizing information, especially of a ritualistic
nature, that was either obtained by illicit means or divulged by a renegade who
was once a freemason. These can be termed 'genuine' exposures. But some
pamphlets issued in England as well as in France during the 18th century are
little else than the product of the imagination of their authors. These are 'fancy'
exposures, not necessarily printed with a blamable intention but as a practical
joke played on credulous readers or to put them off the scent, in which case the
authors may well have been freemasons. A masonic student can quickly recognize
whether a contemporary exposure is genuine or not. It is often difficult even
for an expert to appreciate the genuineness of an exposure of the 18th century.
Both kinds of masonic exposures may include either catechisms (that is, a
masonic catechetical dialogue) or narratives, or both.
The first series of English masonic exposures comes to
an end with the publication of Samuel Prichard's Masonry Dissected in October 1730. The second series starts with the
publication of Three Distinct Knocks (April
1760) and of Jachin and Boaz (March
1762)[iv]. '[They] show a certain development having taken
place' wrote John Hamill with a remarkable talent for understatement (The
Craft, 1986, p. 65). This thirty-year gap is an interesting and hitherto
unexplained fact. Early English exposures belonging to the first series together
with transcripts of early manuscript catechisms have been published in Early Masonic Catechisms, as mentioned above. Some exposures of the
second series have been reproduced in facsimile or transcribed in books or
The earliest-known masonic exposure in French, the
Herault's pamphlet, was issued in December 1737. It was followed in February
1744 by Le Secret des Francs-Maçons,
the first of a series of highly interesting exposures. It seems that in France
no French exposure was ever reprinted, not even transcribed, until facsimiles of
the Sceau Rompu and of the Trahi
were issued respectively in 1974 and in 1980. The only comprehensive reference
work ever printed in French on the matter was the translation, issued in 1932,
of Lionel Vibert's excellent paper, 'Eighteenth Century Catechisms' which had
been originally published in consecutive parts of Miscellanea
Latomorum in 1929-30. The publication in 1971 by Quatuor Coronati Lodge of twelve early French exposures translated
into English, embodied in a book entitled The
Early French Exposures (hereafter refered to in the abbreviated form EFE)
edited by Harry Carr, was an exceptional achievement which was only made
possible by the untiring energy of its Editor. EFE
opened with a twenty pages long Introduction
by Harry Carr and each exposure was preceded by a specific Editor's Introduction. Harry Carr had his own mind about ritual
matters, summed up in his famous controversial paper, '600 Years of Craft
Ritual' (AQC 81, 1968) in which eight
pages ('Ritual Developments Abroad') were devoted to French exposures. Many
themes, mentioned there in passing, were enlarged three years later in EFE.
In his various papers or books however Harry Carr did not attempt to classify
French exposures: 'When one realises how much each of them (with minor
exceptions) owed to its predecessors, it will be obvious that there is little
need for classification of the texts, and no attempt has been made to do so.' (EFE, p. XV).
The writer submits that from the twelve texts included
in EFE, eight only are 'genuine'
exposures (as defined above). Seven from the eight 'genuine' exposures are
representative of the two streams of the French - more exactly, of the Parisian
- Freemasonry of the 1740s, the eighth one, the Démasqué, shows 'atypical' characteristics[v]. All this requires some explanation. This Introduction
deals only with the first point: why eight out of twelve ?
Mytérieuse (1738) does not qualify as
a 'French exposure' since it is neither an original exposure nor a French
translation of Prichard's Masonry
Dissected, but merely a translation into French of Het Collegie der vrye metselaars... (Kloss 1839, Wolfstieg's 29952
last item), an earlier (1734) translation of MD from English into Dutch. This explains the use of many unusual
French words in a masonic context - for instance the word lodge used by Prichard
appears in French as College because
it had been translated as Collegie
into Dutch -, which baffled students and produced a strange result when
re-translated into English (EFE, pp.
18-33). It seems highly doubtful whether the translator was French. 'Comment
est-il peri?' (which amounts to: 'How is he died?') is one of the
many barbarisms scattered in the 'French' text which were nevertheless
translated into unexceptionable English in EFE
('How did he die?', EFE, p. 30, Q.
13). The Dutch pamphlet is presumably the text which in 1965 Milborne was unable
to identify (AQC 78, p. 188).
Three further pamphlets, La Franc-Maçonne, Le Parfait
Maçon (both 1744) and Les Francs-Maçons
Ecrasés (1747), are regarded as 'fancy' exposures by the writer[vi]. The Preface of the Sceau Rompu (1745) describes the Parfait Maçon as 'a pure game of wits, only written for the benefit
of women' and the Franche-Maçonne [sic]
as 'completely useless for true Masonry' (French ed., p. 16). Remarks on the
same line are made in the 'Preliminary Discussion...' of the Anti-Maçon
(EFE, p. 381). The Ecrasés
is a somewhat lengthy hoax which might have been written by a freemason. It
seems to have abused the credulity of a few scholars, though it unlikely
includes any genuine masonic ritual at all. The ritualistic indications of all
three alleged Craft catechisms can be traced in no other rituals[vii].
Once these four texts are set aside, there remain eight
exposures providing ritual information which appears, with changes of various
importance, in the catechisms of other exposures (French as well as English ones),
in manuscript French rituals from the 1760s and 1770s[viii], and in the first official French ritual, the Régulateur
du Maçon, printed in 1801. To these eight 'genuine' exposures reproduced in
EFE, a ninth one should be added: the Nouveau Catéchisme (1749) which is mentioned, shortly commented
upon, but not reproduced in EFE. It
has an interest of its own because of the revealing use it makes in its second
part of twelve questions and answers quoted from l'Anti-Maçon.
The earliest-known French exposure is refered to in
this paper as 'the Herault's pamphlet', not as Reception d'un Frey=Maçon, for the following reason: Reception
d'un Frey=Maçon (EFE, pp. 6-8) is
undoubtedly one of the many slightly different printed versions of the
publication ordered by Herault in December 1737. It may be the original one, but
it does not seem possible to prove this. The fact that it does not bear the
official approbation which under Louis XV must be affixed upon all authorized
printed matters, appears to speak against it. Milborne's words, 'the reference
in AQC 50, p. 144, appears to resolve any doubts as to the year of
publication - 1737' (AQC 78, 1965, p.
173), are incomprehensible. The short description made under the above reference,
when Reception d'un Frey=Maçon was
exhibited in the Lodge on 24 June 1937, is as follows: 'But this pamphlet, now
exhibited, appears to be the actual Paris original, although it is undated and
has no place of publication'.
Herault's pamphlet (13-16 December 1737)
On 5 December 1737, René Herault, Lieutenant général de police, attended the police assembly which
met every Thursday at the office of the First President of the Paris Parliament.
The minutes show: 'M. le Lieutenant de
Police reported upon a discovery he has made of the reception and of the
oath of the frimassons or francs-massons.
The whole of which was read and the audience was shocked to see [that the
recipient was to take] an oath upon the Gospel of St. John and to submit himself
to fearful penalities in the midst of puerilities, improprieties, and even
irreligious matters pertaining to such reception. M. Herault thought that the
discovery of the oath might perhaps make the so-called brothers feel so ashamed
that they would not dare meet again, in which case it would not be worth
speaking [further] about the matter'[ix].
On 16 December 1737[x], in his diary published in 1738-9 under the form of
letters, La Barre de Beaumarchais comments upon the origin of the pamphlet
issued by Herault. Another reaction appears in a letter dated from Paris, 23
December 1737, written by Bro. Camus to his friend and Brother Bertin du
Rocheret, at Epernay. Bertin du Rocheret, a wine-grower as well as a Lieutenant
criminel, had been received in the Loge
d'Aumont on 9 September 1737 and was kept informed of masonic events by his
brethren in Paris. The letter says: 'Sir and dear Brother, We are followed at
present on all the streets in Paris, and there is not one single shop-lad who
does not greet us, boasting [with the knowledge] of our signs. The enclosed copy
will show you if they are right or wrong.'[xi]. On the previous 12 December, Bro. Castagnet had
written a letter to Bertin du Rocheret and made no mention of a scandal[xii]. The Herault's pamphlet must accordingly have been
issued between Friday 13 and Monday 16 December 1737. Within the next months, it
was reproduced, often with slight variations, in newspapers and books printed in
various countries. No further exposure is known to have been printed in French
until the beginning of February 1744.
Le Secret des Francs-Maçons (February
- The imaginary '1742 edition'
The 1742 year-date was presumably first mentioned by
Thory in 1815 in the Bibliographie
appended to the first volume of Acta
Latomorum: 'Secret des Francs-Maçons;
Geneve, in-12. 1742'. It reappears in the Bibliographie (1844) of Kloss under Nr. 1848: 'Le Secret des Francs-Maçons (par Mr. l'Abbé Pérau). Genève 1742. 8.',
and in 1911 in that of Wolfstieg under Nr. °29956
: 'Le Secret des francs-maçons. [Von
Gabriel Louis Pérau.] Genève
1742. 8° '[xiii].
A pamphlet nearly corresponding to the description made
by Thory, Kloss and Wolfstieg, namely with Genève 1742 on its
title-page but with a slightly different title, seems to have actually existed.
It was listed in 1926 by Bernhard Beyer in his Erster Ergänzungsband (First Supplementary Volume) to Wolfstieg's Bibliographie
under Nr. 8412 with the following entry: 'Sécrets
des francs-maçons. Genève 1742. 6 Bl. 8°. Sehr selten. 21.'.
Beyer's abbreviations describe the pamphlet as a very rare 8vo of six pages,
then extant in the masonic library of Lodge 'Eleusis zur Verschwiegenheit' in Bayreuth (it is not at present in
the masonic library of that town). Beyer was a member of the Lodge in Bayreuth
since 1910, a competent librarian and an excellent historian. There is no reason
to question the accuracy of his entry.
Since the 1742 pamphlet described by Beyer was only six
pages long, it appears likely that it was a copy of the Herault's pamphlet
reprinted under a new name. Bibliographic details of the 1744 and later editions
of the Secret show them always as over
one hundred pages long. A lineage with a six pages long pamphlet appears
unlikely, but for the borrowing of the title.
In spite of contemporary allusions to the issue of the Secret
in February 1744 (see below), all historians, with the sole exception of Gordon
R. Silber[xiv], accepted 1742 as the year of its first edition which
no masonic scholar had ever seen[xv].
- The original 1744 edition
Mentions of the Secret
appear in 'gazetins' (clandestine
hand-written newsletters[xvi]) issued in 1744. The first one on 7 February: 'A few
books have just been published clandestinely, one of which, entitled Le
Secret des Freymaçons and dedicated to Procope the physician, is on sale
for three livres'. The next one on 9 February: 'It seems that the English are
enraged with the exposure of the secret of the frimaçons. It was decided by that society in London to institute [établir]
new secrets, but first of all to degrade all the French and exclude them forever
from the body of the freis-maçons'.
On 10 February, the abbé de la Garde
writes: 'The pamphlet about the secret of the frimaçons
makes a noise and sells well. Zealous [members] of the order say that everything
in it is inaccurate and that the book was written by order of the government in
order to discredit them and to destroy them'. On 23 February, the same abbé
remarks: 'the abbé Perrault [sic] who is the author of the book of [sic] the Frimaçons... has
been received a few days ago'[xvii]. The author of 'Examen de la Société des Franc-Maçons. MCXLIV'
writes (p. 6): 'les Secrets [sic] des
Franc-Maçons, a pamphlet in 12. of 125 pages..., was published at the
beginning of the present [i.e. 1744]
year'. The Consultation Sur la Société
des Frey-Maçons, ou Francs-Maçons (1748) mentions: '... the Book entitled le
Secret des Francs-Maçons, printed in 1744' (the Consultation
was reprinted in the Nouveau Catéchisme
issued in 1749, part II, pp. 65-75).
- The 'new, revised, corrected and augmented' 1744 edition
Avertissement, pp. VII-X of this edition, is different from that of the 'original'
edition of the same year. It begins with 'Weighty reasons strongly supported by
the wise advice of a respectable friend having induced the author to let himself
be received into the Order of the Free-Masons, he does not think proper to write
anything now about Masonry'. It
was partly transcribed in 1963 by Luquet in La
Franc-Maçonnerie et l'État en France au 18e Siècle (pp.
210-214). Harry Carr writes (EFE,
pp. 44-45) that 'recently, in the course of correspondence with Maître Alec
Mellor...', he was made aware of the existence of the augmented edition and of
some of its differences. However he did not notice that the second version of
the Oath (included in a foot-note, EFE,
p. 69) actually comes from pages 69-70 of the augmented edition of the Secret.
The sequence of issue of French exposures is
illustrated by allusions made in some of them to previous ones and to other
contemporary masonic books or pamphlets:
the Catéchisme (1744) mentions
the Secret and the véritable
the Trahi (1745) mentions the Secret
and the Catéchisme ;
the Sceau Rompu (1745) mentions
both the Secret and the Catéchisme,
as well as the Almanach des Cocus
(1741), the Parfait Maçon and the Franche-Maçonne
the Ecrasés (1747) mentions
the 1742 ed. of La Tierce's Histoire des
Francs-Maçons, the Trahi, and
quotes the names of Pichard [sic] and
of l'Abbé Pereau [sic];
the Désolation (1747) mentions
the Secret, the véritable
Secret, the Catéchisme, the Parfait Maçon, the Franche Maçonne,
the Seau [sic] Rompu
and the 1745 ed. of La Tierce's Histoire
des Francs-Maçons, a book which neither Milborne (AQC
83, p. 192) nor Harry Carr ('... a book entitled History
of the Free-Masons', EFE, p. 319)
seem to have identified;
the Anti-Maçon (1748) mentions
the Secret, the Catéchisme,
the Parfait Maçon, the Franche-Maçonne,
as well as the Histoire des Francs-Maçons
by La Tierce (ed. not specified);
the Nouveau Catéchisme (1749)
names all the works mentioned in the Désolation, the Désolation
itself and the Anti-Maçon.
The Démasqué (1751) does not
mention a single exposure.
The above simple question covers different fields of
enquiries: who wrote each pamphlet ? Did one author write several ones ? Has any
author plagiarized previous ones ? Tentative answers rely upon four distinct
sources: information provided by each exposure, assertions made in specific
exposures about previous ones, contemporary testimonies, writings of later
Under the ancien
régime, books must first receive an official authorization (privilège
d'impression) delivered by a King's censor before being printed. The law
applied to Paris since February 1723, it was extended to the whole of France in
March 1744[xviii]. Freemasonry never was officially interdicted in
France under Louis XV (1710-1774), but it was not encouraged either. As a result
French masonic pamphlets were printed either anonymously or under a pseudonym,
with imaginary places of publication (the Démasqué,
in the writer's opinion, was actually printed in London) and printer's names,
and sometimes with nonsensical years printed on their title-pages[xix]:
- The Secret
gives no indication of authorship. The author incorporated the Herault's
pamphlet in his exposure. Both texts describe a 'Reception' in narrative form,
and if this narration is read at the same time in both originals, it becomes
obvious that the earlier text is literally embodied in the later one in
successive groups of two or three sentences, with comments of the author of the Secret
interspersed between them (pp. 6-8 and 66-72 of EFE).
The Herault's text can easily be followed in the Secret
(from: 'The man who desires...', p. 66 of EFE)
although some sentences are reframed.
The resemblance of both pamphlets is not so striking in
EFE because sentences worded
identically in French were often translated differently in English. For instance
the short address delivered by the Orator (respectively pp. 7 and 68 of EFE)
or: 'Demandés-lui s'il a la vocation' translated as 'Ask him if he has
the calling' in the Reception (EFE,
p. 6) and as 'Ask him if he has the vocation' in the Secret
(EFE, p. 67).
of February 1744 (quoted above) ascribe the Secret
to l'abbé Perau. The 'M. l'Abbé P***' mentioned in the Catéchisme (1744) likely designates l'abbé Perau: '...the Doctors
of the Sorbonne & the other Faculties whom they [the Free-Masons] have in
their midst will take pain to announce that there is not one word of truth in
everything that M. l'Abbé P*** & I have written about their Mysteries &
Ceremonies' (French ed., p.44; EFE, p.
- The Catéchisme
title-page shows 'Dedicated to the fair sex by Léonard Gabanon'. Gabanon is
possibly a pseudonym taken after an answer given in the Catéchisme itself: 'D. Quel
est le nom d'un Maçon? R. Gabanon' (EFE
p. 108, Q. & A. 68). There
is a general agreement to admit that Léonard Gabanon was the pseudonym of a
violinist named Louis Travenol (likely after the Dictionnaire of Quérard). All historians seem to accept as a fact
that Gabanon/Travenol was the author of the Catéchisme,
of the Désolation and of the Nouveau
Catéchisme[xxi] (however see below under Désolation and Nouveau Catéchisme).
- The Sceau Rompu
The title-page of the Sceau Rompu states that the author is 'un franc Maçon'[xxii], its Préface
(p. 8) specifies that he is French (EFE,
- The Trahi
The Trahi gives
no indication of authorship. Its first part consists in a complete reprint of
the Secret, which is acknowledged by
the author of the Trahi in the Preface.
The text of the Secret reprinted in
the Trahi is identical with that of
its original 1744 edition except for frequent modifications made in spelling and
capitalization and for the following difference. The Secret
opened with a dedication of the book to Procope in the form of a three-pages
long Epitre at the end of which, in place of an author's name, a pair of
compasses and a square were set as a signature. This is where the author of the Trahi
added 'L'ABBE PERAU', written in masonic cipher, and underneath the following
unsigned note between round brackets: 'This signature is not in the Paris
edition, which shows the square and compass only. The Author ignored apparently
the masonic cipher: I made up for it and set his name here'[xxiii]. This was the first practical joke in a masonic
Thory ascribes the authorship of the Trahi
to l'abbé Larudan (Nr. 34 of the Bibliographie
appended to the first volume of the Acta
Latomorum, 1815). Larudan's authorship of the Trahi is mentioned as a fact by Nettelbladt in 1836, by Quérard and
Carl von Haller both quoted under Nr. 1874 in Kloss' Bibliographie (1844), by Luquet in 1963 and Tunbridge in 1968 (AQC
81, p. 88). However the Trahi is
ascribed to l'abbé Perau by the bibliographers Wolfstieg and Fesch, by
historians whether French (Lantoine, Alain le Bihan, Guy Tamain), English (Thorp),
or American (Gordon R. Silber)... Harry Carr decided wisely that 'the
author-compiler of the Trahi remains anonymous' (EFE,
- The Ecrasés
The title-page of the Ecrasés (EFE p. 279-280)
asserts: 'Sequel to the book entitled l'Ordre
des Francs-Maçons Trahi. Translated from the Latin'. In the 'Preface
Necessaire' (two words borrowed from the Trahi)
and its wealth of foot-notes, the author tries his best to convince the reader
that he is the same author as that of the Trahi.
He makes the same assertion under a different form, page 104: 'A year ago... the
Master of a Dutch Lodge not knowing that I was the author of the Trahi...'
(EFE, p. 294). This second practical joke resulted in an
Thory does not mention an author's name for the Ecrasés
(the book is listed under the year 1778 in the Bibliographie
of the Acta), but reproduces the words
of its title-page to the effect that it is a sequel to the Trahi which, as we have just seen, he ascribed to 'l'abbé
Larudan'. Kloss writes in 1852 that 'all the authors whether of old or of
recent bibliographies name the abbé Larudan as the author [of the Ecrasés]'
(Geschichte der Freimaurerei in Frankreich,
vol. I, p. 58). Every historian ever since ascribes the authorship of the Ecrasés
to l'Abbé Larudan whose name appears for the first time under the pen
of Thory as the author of the Trahi.
Harry Carr rather ambiguously discusses Larudan's authorship of the Ecrasés
in three different parts of EFE (p. XV
of the Introduction, p. 232 of the Editor's
Introduction to the Trahi, pp.
281-3 of the Editor's Introduction to
The Désolation (1747) and the Nouveau
Both exposures are divided into two parts, each part
having a distinct pagination beginning with page 1. Their identical first parts
are 120 pages long and include an identical catechism, for which reason the Nouveau
Catéchisme is not reproduced in EFE.
The second part of the Désolation is
thirty-six pages long and includes five Piéces
Mélées, or mixed 'pieces' enumerated and described in EFE,
p. 375. The second part of the Nouveau Catéchisme
is much longer, 111 pages, because seven more 'pieces' have been added to the
five original ones (see EFE, p. 319).
The title-page of the Désolation
repeats the dedication of the title-page of the Catéchisme (1744): 'Dedicated to the fair sex by Léonard Gabanon';
the title-page of the Nouveau Catéchisme
has only: 'Dedicated to the fair sex'.
The title-page of the Désolation begins as follows: 'The Desolation of the Modern
Builders of the Temple of Jerusalem or New
Catechism of the Free-Masons. Containing all the Mysteries of Masonry,
scattered & omitted in the old Catechism, in the Book entitled le
secret des Francs-Maçons &c.'(EFE,
pp. 315-6); The title-page of the Nouveau
Catéchisme begins as follows: 'New Catechism of
the Free-Masons. Containing all the Mysteries of Masonry, scattered &
omitted in the old Catechism, in the Book entitled le
secret des Francs-Maçons &c.'.
Both title-pages are quoted because of their
conspicuous use of italic types: 'the old Catechism' is not italicized, but 'le
secret des Francs-Maçons' and further titles of other pamphlets are
italicized. This is definitely not a fancy of the printer: the same difference
appears in the respective 'Preface' of both exposures in which the author
mentions 'my first Catechism... my former Catechism...', never italicizing the
word 'Catechism' (it is italicized, p. 324 of EFE),
while the titles of every other pamphlet he mentions are always italicized. Page
37 of the second part of the Nouveau Catéchisme,
the author mentions 'the first & the second edition of my Catechism' (again
not italicized) and adds in a foot-note: 'The first one was issued in 1744. The
second one in 1747...'. The writer takes this use of italics as a humorous
twinkle which passed hitherto unnoticed, the author of the Désolation and of the Nouveau
Catéchisme tacitly admitting herewith that he was not the author of the Catechism
of 1744 (though possibly of 'a' Catechism) but trying as a joke to make his
readers believe that he was.
- The Anti-Maçon
title-page states that the book was written by 'un profane'.
- The Démasqué
There is no author's name on the title-page, but in the
main part of the pamphlet, entitled 'The true secret of the Free-Masons', we are
told that his name is 'Thom Wolson' (EFE,
p. 430) and that he describes his own reception at 'L'auberge de le Swan dans le Stran', which can be translated as 'The
Swan Tavern in the Strand' (EFE, p.
428) if a barbarism ('de le') and a
likely misprint are disregarded.
One Thos Wilson[xxv] was Senior Warden of Lodge Nr. 3 (Antient) on 4 April
1753 (first Minute-Book of the Grand Lodge of England according to the Old
Institutions, Quatuor Coronatorum
Antigrapha, Vol. XI, p. 43). The Editor's
Introduction to the Démasqué
asserts 'There is no trace of a lodge meeting at the Swan, in the Strand, in
1751' (EFE, p. 419). However on 25
June 1750, the Minutes of the premier Grand Lodge show a Lodge at the Swan in
Exeter Street which runs 100 yards parallel to the Strand (QCA, Vol. XII, p. 53; in a foot-note, Bro. Songhurst remarks that
this Lodge is not mentioned by Lane; Songhurst considers the Lodge to be Nr.
176; in 1751, it moved to the Crown & Ball, Playhouse Yard, Blackfriars,
where the Grand Chapter of the Royal Order of Scotland - the then Provincial
Grand Lodge in South Britain - will meet in 1753; possibly an interesting
In conclusion, it seems impossible to ascertain the
authors of the above exposures except for l'abbé
Perau and his Secret, and for 'Thom
Wolson' and the Démasqué.
Contradictory attributions rely either upon practical jokes played by some of
the authors of the exposures upon their prospective credulous readers, or
originated in the fantasy of masonic historians immune against humour. No
mention of an Abbé Larudan previous
to the appearance of that worthy in Thory's Acta
could be ascertained.
Plagiarism is defined by The Concise Oxford Dictionary
of Current English as 'to take and use another person's thoughts, writings
or inventions as one's own'. Harry Carr writes that both the Secret
and the Catéchisme 'were shamelessly plagiarised in subsequent publications,
being incorporated almost word for word, with but scanty acknowledgment, or none
at all' and names 'the anonymous author of L'Ordre
des Francs-Maçons Trahi... the worst offender in this field... the rogue' (EFE,
pp. XIV & XV)[xxvi].
His stern words might suit the author of the Secret
better than that of the Trahi who
admits in his 'Preface Necessaire'
that he reproduced the Secret and who
gives the necessary credit to his predecessor: 'What he [the author of the Secret]
says is generally in such accordance with the truth, and is told in such a
pleasant way, that I suggested to my printer to issue that piece as it stood' (original
French ed., pp. 3 and 4; EFE, p. 236).
Further the 'List of the subjects contained in this book' (EFE,
p. 240) makes a clear distinction between 'LE
SECRET DES FRANCS-MAÇONS' and 'SUPPLEMENT
AU SECRET DES FRANCS-MAÇONS'. What else could be considered a more
appropriate acknowledgment ? The Trahi
also includes a catechism which is said to have been 'lifted' from that included
in the Catéchisme of 1744, a
statement which is qualified in the following words: '[the author of the Trahi]
expanded the catechism... by the addition of an interesting group of questions
relating to 'Passwords' and the introduction of a sign...' (EFE,
p. 230). The last sentence is accurate enough but does not do justice to further
differences between the catechisms of both exposures. The author of the Trahi
clearly recognized his debts toward the author of the Catéchisme
in his Preface by mentioning his
description of 'the Reception of Masters, with the Story of Hiram or Adoniram',
though expressing some mild criticism because of the 'many omissions' (EFE,
An argument which might refute the charge of plagiarism
brought against the authors of 'genuine' exposures could be this: if their
exposures are accepted as genuine, how can they be charged with plagiarism
because their descriptions of authentic ceremonies resemble each other ? Would
not the charge be well-taken only if the ceremonies they describe were invented
ones ? In which case historians are left with no material at all to study the
evolution of masonic rituals.
earliest two French exposures - Unexpected English descendants of the first one
The first two French exposures, the Herault's pamphlet
(1737) and the Secret (1744), are
quite different in their respective length (ten pages to more than a hundred
ones). The former includes no catechism at all, the latter quotes only nine
catechetical questions and answers, all of which reappear with a near similar
wording in later exposures, but they are too few to be considered a real
catechism, even in an embryonic form, and were likely put together from various
bits which the author overheard or obtained from different sources. One further
difference is worthy of notice: the candidate is imparted with the knowledge of
two words in 1737 (the J. word comes first, the B. word comes next), only with
that of the J. word in 1744. Both words belonged to Prichard's 'Enter'd 'Prentice's
Degree' in 1730, however the B. word was lettered first and the J. one lettered
next after the invitation of the 'Exam.': 'Give me another'.
It comes as a surprise to recognize the text of the
Herault's pamphlet - not its augmented
version embodied in the Secret which
was reprinted one year later in the Trahi
- and to be able to follow it, admittedly with important modifications but with
the same unmistakable rhythm, in two later English exposures, Jachin
and Boaz (1762) and Shibboleth
(1765). The following references apply to the pagination of the relevant passage
in the first edition of both English pamphlets and (added in round brackets) to
the pagination of their respective transcriptions included in Brigadier A.C.F.
Jackson's book, English Masonic Exposures
1760-1769 (1986): J&B, pp.
6-12 (pp. 127-134) - Shibboleth, pp.
17-21 (pp. 212-215).
French exposures - Classification of their respective catechisms
Starting with the issue of the Catéchisme in 1744, each French exposure includes a masonic
catechism. Either it is 'continuous', in which case it is classified below under
the heading 'Original French'; or it is divided into three parts, one for each
Craft degree as in Masonry Dissected,
and it is then classified under 'Prichard French'. The catechisms of each group
have certain points in common, such as a specific choice of words and a
characteristic order in which questions and answers follow each other. In this
last respect however, the 'continuous' catechism of the Démasqué (1751) is atypical and does not fit in either French
group. Some of the elements which make it different appear in the catechisms of
two English exposures of the late 1760s, Mahhabone
(2nd ed.) and Solomon in all his Glory
(both 1766). No clear-cut argument can explain why, as late as 1748, 'Original
French' catechisms were not divided into three degrees. Their authors may have
wished to keep by an older system, they may have been unaware of Masonry
Dissected, or there could be a very good reason which we do not know.
The three oldest texts transcribed in EMC, which are generally termed the 'Edinburgh group' because all
are of Scottish origin, are divided into two parts (the spelling of the next
quotes is modernized). One part includes between seventeen and twenty questions
and answers entitled 'Questions that Masons use to put to those who have the
word before they will acknowledge them'. It is usually termed 'catechism', and a
relevant use of this word in 1723 was mentioned in the Introduction to this
paper. The other part is entitled 'The form of giving the mason word' (in the Chetwode
Crawley MS., it is entitled 'The grand secret or the form of giving the
mason-word'). The ceremony of initiation into Freemasonry as well as the
confering of degrees derives from this latter part. Masonic ritual forms of
Opening and Closing the lodge derive from the former one.
The first English exposure (it included a catechism) was issued without a
title in a London newspaper in April 1723 (EMC, pp. 71-75). Prichard's MD,
last exposure of the early group, was issued in October 1730. These English
exposures did not include a dialogue for Opening and Closing the lodge.
Knocks, Or the Door of the most Antient Free-Masonry...' (April 1760) is
dedicated 'To the Right Worshipful Company of Irish Masters' and includes, p. 6,
the following sentence: 'Then I was invited to an Irish Lodge [in London]... which is the whole subject of this Book'.
TDK is the first exposure written in
English which includes a dialogue for Opening the lodge, separated from the
catechism part which is entitled 'Lecture' and 'Reasons'. TDK
describes Closing as 'very much the same as Opening' and quotes only one
sentence from it. TDK is very different from the texts of the English exposures
(1723-1730) and of the French ones (1737-1751), it resembles contemporary
English ritual in many respects, it includes many features which did not exist
then in contemporary Continental rituals and which, up to this day, do not exist
in them, except when lodges practise a translated English ritual.
Two years after the issue of TDK, 'J&B or An Authentic
Key to the Door of Free-Masonry', was issued in London (March 1762). Its
second 'Corrected' edition issued in October 1762 added 'Both ANTIENT and MODERN.' to the preceding words of the title-page.
Its first degree proceeds from two distinct sources: one is TDK
which it reproduces 'almost word for word' (S.N. Smith, AQC
56, 1943, p. 5)[xxvii]; the other, as we have seen, is the Herault's pamphlet
in its original narrative form and rhythm but with important differences in
English commentators of J&B have tried to explain the contradictory details included in
the dialogue part (Opening and Lecture) and in the narrative one. They noted -
sometimes with reluctance - the near identity between the dialogue parts of J&B
and those of TDK on one hand, and on
the other the near identity between the narrative part of J&B
and what they identified as Burd's 'A
Master-Key to Free-Masonry', an excellent translation into English of one
third of the Trahi (1745), printed in
London in February 1760, two months before TDK
Shibboleth, first published in August 1765, was transcribed by
Brigadier A.C.F. Jackson in English
Masonic Exposures 1760-1769 (1986). The author writes that it is a 'pamphlet
[which] seems to have been overlooked... [its] Lectures are shorter than those
in J&B... However when they are verbatim,
their similarity with J&B shows
that the author of Shibboleth worked
with a copy of J&B beside him...
The ritual and ceremonies given earlier in TDK
and J&B are those of the Antient
Grand Lodge...' (op. cit., pp. 179,
185 and 191). However when the same
author suggests that 'Shibboleth...
seems to be the only document of this period that does give the genuine Modern
procedure...' (ibid., p. 192), the
writer can hardly agree with him: what is there in Shibboleth which could not have been written with the help of J&B
and by following the critics of Laurence Dermott, included in the second edition
of Ahiman Rezon which was issued in 1764 ? Shibboleth shortens but copies the catechism of TDK/J&B
as well as the narrative part from J&B.
Even Shibboleth's admission 'Formerly
Masons, upon admittance of a new member used a prayer, which the moderns omit...'
(EME, p. 215) was already mentioned in
J&B: 'The Ancient Masons made Use
of a Prayer inserted in the Apprentice's Lecture; but the Moderns leave it out
when they make a Brother.'(foot-note, p. 9 of the first edition of Shibboleth;
foot-note 10, p. 131 of EME).
Harry Carr's approach to the development of Craft
ritual in England between 1730 and 1760 has influenced his judgment upon French
exposures, and his reasoning is difficult to follow.
In his own words, 'During the next 30 years [after the
first issue of Prichard's MD]...
nothing of importance in this field was published in England; throughout that
period there is no English evidence to be found of the ritual development that
must have been taking place side-by-side with the growth of the lodges.' (EFE,
p. XI)[xxviii]. However in his comments upon the Démasqué
(London, 1751), Harry Carr writes: ... the description of the ceremonies, the
titles of some of the Officers... and many other details of the procedures
described by Wolson... cannot be
reconciled with what is known of English Lodge practices at that period. For
these reasons, it seems likely that the work [the Démasqué] represented French rather than English Freemasonry...' (EFE,
p. 419; italics added by the present writer).
and Boaz (1762) with Three Distinct
Knocks (1760) in his 'Commentary' to facsimile reprints of both exposures (Masonic
Book Club, 1981), Harry Carr writes first: 'Several writers have charged the J.
& B. compiler, justly perhaps, with having plagiarized most of his
material from TDK. That may be an
exaggeration...' (p. 179). He writes further that 'the problems on the
authenticity of Jachin and Boaz
involve three main questions'. The second one is 'Why did the compiler [of J&B] use so much of the catechism of Three Distinct Knocks' (p. 181) and his answer (p. 185) is that 'apart
from the words in the E.A. and F.C. degrees, the two rituals [of the Moderns and
of the Antients] were virtually identical'. Harry Carr's third question, 'Why
did he [the compiler of J&B] use
the opening narrative section containing practices that were foreign to English procedure?' (p. 181), is
answered thus: 'the compiler's reasons for quoting procedures unknown in English usage are not easily explained' (p.
185) and then Harry Carr enumerates over two pages (pp. 186-7) 'those details
and procedures that were unknown in
English practice' (italics added by the present writer in the last three
One is forcibly reminded of John Hamill's words which
however were applied by him to the founders of Quatuor Coronati Lodge 'behaving most unscientifically, seeking for
evidence to prove their theory rather than seeking evidence and analysing it to
see what could be deduced from it' (AQC
99, 1985, p. 4).
The 'virtual' identity of the rituals of the Moderns
and of the Antients is contradicted by half a century of bitter hostility in
England as well as in North America[xxx], illustrated by the following example: 'The writer of
a pamphlet in defence of Modern Masonry, published in 1765, says how he would
like Dermott to be buried, and amongst other details suggests that: "...
and I would have his Corpse preceded
by Antient Masons, of the following
Professions or Callings, viz. Scavengers
and Nightmen, who would bend upon
their Poles the Ensigns of his Order,
viz. the Cross Pens,
pendant, in green, red or yellow Ribbands,
or any other tawdry Colour he is now
most fond of, and a dirty Leather Apron, lined and bordered with the same Colour,
on which may be wrote, in as legible Characters as possible, AHIMAN REZON. The Deacons
Rods to be carried by two Chimney-Sweepers,
and the Columns by a walking Poulterer
who retails Rabbits &c. in the Streets and a brawny Chairman, all of the
same Country, and likewise Ancient Masons...
The Hearse to be followed, not by his Relations,
but by as many Nightmen as there were
Builders in Solomon's Temple... After
the funeral is over, his Friends (if
he has any) may surround the Valley
[of Jehosophat], sing Mass, and set up
a Howl according to the custom of
English Freemasonry was exported to Paris in two
successive 'waves'. The first one (before or about 1725) through Jacobite exiles
(the famous trio Derwentwater, MacLean, Heguerty), the second one (September
1734-1736) through the Duke of Richmond, Desaguliers, Coustos and others.
Differences between 'Original French' and 'Prichard French' catechisms are
probably related with this double origin. If the 'Herault's pamphlet' was the
French translation of an English aide-mémoire
belonging to an English freemason living in Paris or brought from England to
France by a French freemason, it would explain why it reappears (with
modifications having developped over a period of some fifteen to twenty-five
years) as the narrative part of the Démasqué
(EFE, pp. 428-435) and of the English
exposures of the 1760s. If one agrees with the writer that Openings and Lectures
from the second series of English exposures are exclusively those of the
Antients - which were 'based on Irish
practice'[xxxii] -, then the narrative parts of the Démasqué
and of J&B likely describe the 'working' of the premier Grand Lodge.
Each in their own way, all these late exposures are
'genuine' ones. However ceremonies described in the Démasqué (and in its English translation issued in 1766, Solomon
in all his Glory) and in TDK apply
respectively to one Grand Lodge only, while J&B
and Shibboleth were made out of bits
and pieces by compilers adding together two distinct and different sources
without caring much for the inner logic of the result.
The following abridged references are frequently used throughout the
paper: MD: Masonry Dissected; Secret:
Le Secret des Francs-Maçons; Catéchisme:
Catéchisme des Francs-Maçons; Sceau
Rompu: Le Sceau Rompu; Trahi:
L'Ordre des Francs-Maçons Trahi; Ecrasés: Les Francs-Maçons
Ecrasés; Désolation: La
Desolation des Entrepreneurs Modernes;
Anti-Maçon: L'Anti-Maçon; Démasqué:
Le Maçon Démasqué; TDK: Three Distinct Knocks;
J&B: Jachin and Boaz; EMC:
The Early Masonic Catechisms, transcribed
and edited by Douglas Knoop, G. P. Jones and Douglas Hamer, second edition
edited by Harry Carr (1963); EFE: The Early French Exposures, edited by Harry Carr (1971); EME:
English Masonic Exposures 1760-1769 with
full transcripts of Three Distinct Knocks, 1760, Jachin and Boaz, 1762,
Shibboleth, 1765, and Commentaries [by] Brigadier A. C. F. Jackson CVO, CBE
(1986). The following original editions of French exposures have been consulted:
the Catéchisme (1744), the Trahi
(Amsterdam, 1745), the Sceau Rompu
(1745), the Désolation (1747), the Anti-Maçon
(1748), the Démasqué (Berlin, 1757).
The text of Reception d'un Frey=Maçon
was studied after an undated facsimile reprint made some ten years ago by 'LODI,
BP 48, 89500 Villeneuve-sur-Yonne'. The text of MD's
third edition (1730) was used after its transcript in EMC; that of the first editions of TDK and of J&B after
the facsimiles included in Three Distinct
Knocks and Jachin and Boaz with an Introduction and Commentary by Harry Carr,
Volume Twelve of the publications of The Masonic Book Club (1981), Bloomington,
Illinois; that of Shibboleth, after
the transcription made by Brigadier A.C.F. Jackson, included in EME.
EMC, p. 7; Harry Carr, 'The Minute-Book of the Lodge at Haughfoot,
1702-1763', AQC 63, 1952, pp. 259-263;
Harry Carr's Introduction to 'An
Examination of the Early Masonic Catechisms', AQC 83, 1970, pp. 337-341.
Robbins is of the opinion that this refers to 'the gathering of June
25th, 1722' (AQC 22, 1909, p. 73). The
earliest-known English catechism was published in The
Flying-Post or Post-Master dated 11-13 April 1723 (EMC, p. 71).
S. N. Smith, 'The so-called "Exposures" of Freemasonry of the
mid-eighteenth Century', AQC 56, 1943,
The catechisms of Prichard's Masonry
Dissected (1730) and of six French exposures transcribed from their earliest
available original editions issued between 1744 and 1757, have been 'fed' into a
computer, identical or nearly identical questions and answers being correlated.
The method proved a great help in order to ascertain the lineal descent of the
French texts, their chronological succession and their respective degree of
authenticity, as well as mutual ties between French and English pamphlets (including
some of the masonic catechisms earlier than Prichard's and of the English
masonic exposures of the 1760s). The same 'computerizing technique' was applied
to various documents and events, in order to become aware of correlations
between the above material and contemporary private letters or newspaper
In 1968, Harry Carr describes the first two exposures as 'mere
catch-pennies' (AQC 81, p. 170). In
1971, he makes the following remark about the completion of the Master's
Catechism in the Ecrasés: 'It is
impossible to imagine that the author of the Trahi
could have been responsible for it ' (EFE,
Harry Carr's uses a similar argument in 1963 and applies it to 'the
principal [English] exposures of the 1760s': '... they must be treated as
fundamentally unreliable sources. Unfortunately, we are compelled to examine
them because no other evidence is available and we have to assess their
reliability in the light of what we know of subsequent developments' (AQC 76, p. 182). He makes use of it again in 1971: 'The absence of
earlier mention makes it impossible to judge the value of such novelties except by
the degree of acceptance which they appear to have enjoyed and that can only
be asserted by the frequency with which such items are reproduced in the works
of later authors' (EFE, p. XVI, Harry
Carr's italics). He applies it to appreciate the reliability of the Trahi (EFE, p. 231). This
approach however was termed 'inconclusive' by Knoop, Jones and Hamer (EMC,
'Rituel du Marquis de Gages' (dated
[in French] 'the 1st day of the 1st month of the first week of the masonic year
5763'), transcribed [by René Desaguliers] in Renaissance Traditionelle Nos 54-55 & 57 (1983 and 1984) - 'Quatre
Rituels Français de l'Arc Royal (1760-1764)' [transcribed and commented] by
René Desaguliers, Renaissance
Traditionnelle No 48 (1981).
'Procès-verbaux des Assemblées de
police tenues chez le Premier Président, ms. fr. n° 11 356, [Assemblée
n°] 698, f° 338-339, Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris', quoted by Pierre
Chevallier, La Première Profanation du
Temple Maçonnique (1968), p. 56.
Quoted by Milborne in AQC 78
(1965), p. 173, however with the wrong date of 6 December 1737, which originated
in Bro. Tuckett's paper in AQC 32
(1919), p. 9.
The last words, 'se vantant de nos
signes', presumably allude to the French translation of The Enter'd 'Prentices Song by Matthew Birkhead: 'Ceux
qui cherchent nos mots, Se vantant de nos signes,...' ('They ne'er can divine The Word or the Sign...'),
Luquet, La Franc-Maçonnerie et l'État en
France au 18e Siècle, (1963), pp. 38 & 175.
Ibid. p. 174.
The sign '°' set before 29956 means (Preface of the Bibliographie, p. IV) that Wolfstieg had not seen the 1742 edition
of the pamphlet. He probably reproduced the indication provided by Kloss who had
likely culled it from Thory. Wolfstieg's addition of square brackets (Kloss used
round ones) for the author's name merely added to the confusion.
Gordon R. Silber, 'Poèmes et chansons maçonniques du 18me siècle', Travaux
de Villard de Honnecourt, T. XI (1975), p. 31, note 15. No particulars were given there about the author.
Professor Wallace McLeod (AQC 95,
1982, p. 117) mentions that 'Gordon R. Silber of the State University of New
York at Buffalo (who is not himself a mason) published (in French) an important
study of "Masonic Songs and Poems of the Eighteenth Century", in the Revue
des Sciences Humaines... April-June 1972'. It is likely the same paper.
About the '1742' ed. of the Secret,
see Harry Carr's footnotes, AQC 72,
1960, p. 4, and EFE, p. XIII; his
remark, EFE, p. XVI.
Gazetins are described by
Luquet thus: 'These gazetins or "Nouvelles
à la main" emanated from two distinct sources which contemporaries
could not always differentiate from one another; understandably this is even
harder for us. Some of them were drawn up by private persons with purely
commercial intents. Others were published by the police and tried to make the
public and sometimes the King believe what they considered opportune. In both
cases, it is extremely hard to find out how truthful they were...' (op. cit., p. 192).
Bibliothèque de l'Arsenal in
Paris, ms 6 113, n° 633, f° 195 & 196, quoted by Luquet, op.
cit., p. 219; also by Pierre Chevallier, op.
cit., pp. 77 & 78. Perau's reception into the
Order is mentioned p. 7 of the Catéchisme
(EFE, p. 91) and p. 15 of the Sceau
Rompu (EFE, p. 207).
'The law was meant to protect authors against unauthorized editions of
their works, as well as to protect the State, its Religion and morality in
general. French publishers complained of the concurrence of the Dutch who issued
books which the French were not allowed to print, but which were exported to
France. This resulted in a new form of authorization, la
permission tacite, allowing book-sellers to sell books the title-page of
which showed them to have been printed abroad, although they were actually
printed in France' (Michel Antoine, Louis
XV, 1989, p. 345).
EFE includes facsimile
reproductions of the title-pages of all the exposures listed here, except that
of the Nouveau Catéchisme.
The 1744 edition used by the writer has X. and 160 pages. A second
title-page ('Chansons...') appears
facing p. 136 with 'En France' as
place of publication (the two words are not found on the main title-page).
A belief expressed in La Maçonnerie
Adonhiramite (1787), pp. 74 & 76, and reasserted in 1970 by Milborne (AQC
83, p. 190).
An original and slightly conjectural analysis of the personality of the
author of the Sceau Rompu was made by
Guy Tamain in 'Chroniques d'Histoire Maçonnique'
N° 41 (2nd semester 1988), pp. 13-96.
The note is not extant in EFE.
Harry Carr seems to have given two inaccurate indications in this respect in the
foot-notes of pp. 48 and 407 of EFE.
'One more name, that of the Abbé Larudan, appears on the title-page...
of Les Francs-Maçons Ecrasés' (EFE,
p. XV) must be a slip of the pen. The title-page reproduced in EFE,
p. 278, shows no author's name.
Brigadier A.C.F. Jackson states that when the Démasqué
was translated into English with the title Solomon
in All His Glory in March 1766, the author's name appeared as Thomas Wilson
(EME, p. 18).
In 1963 & 1968, Harry Carr had used the word 'pirated' (AQC 76, p. 180, note 1 & AQC
81, p. 171). It is not easy to make out his sentence: 'There are, indeed, minor
variations from the original text, though the meaning generally remains
unchanged.' (EFE, p. 241). The only
differences between the original text of the Secret and its reproduction in the Trahi are in spelling and capitalization, never in wording.
The change of the order of the Words made only in the second edition of J&B
is a supplementary proof of the fact (S.N. Smith, op.
cit., p. 11).
It might have been clearer to qualify the sentence with words such as:
provided one accepts as evidence
Prichard's Masonry Dissected (1730)
and TDK (1760). If one doesn't, the
discussion stops immediately for want of material. If one does, however, isn't
one bound to accept it as it stays and as a whole?
Brigadier Jackson has a different approach from Harry Carr's: 'The
catechisms are virtually identical in the two exposures... The ceremony of 'Making
a Mason' can be deduced from the catechism in TDK.
J&B's catechism is almost
identical but, in his narrative text, the author... describes a ceremony which
differs considerably from his catechism... However the similarity between the J&B
[narrative] text and certain parts of the French exposures of 1737-1745 is so
striking that there is a strong suggestion of plagiarism. That does not
necessarily prove that J&B is
wrong and it is quite possible that there was some similarities between the
usages in French and in English Modern lodges' (A.C.F. Jackson, EME,
See Cyril Batham's paper, 'Some Problems of the Grand Lodge of the
Antients' and comments offered by Colin Dyer and A.C.F. Jackson (AQC 98, 1985).
Cecil P. Smyly, 'Pillars' (Lodge of Research, No CC, I.C., Transactions for the Years 1939-46, p. 58). The pamphlet was
reproduced in facsimile in Henry Sadler’s Masonic
Reprints and Revelations (London, 1898).
Colin Dyer, AQC 98, 1985, p. 122.