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by Dr ANDREW PRESCOTT
THE STUDY OF FREEMASONRY AS A NEW ACADEMIC DISCIPLINE
First published in Vrijmetserarij in Nederland, ed. A. Kroon (Leiden: OVN, 2003).
have Kings and Princes, the Nobility, Judges and Statesmen, Soldiers and Sailors,
Clergy and Doctors, and men in every walk of life sought to enter the Portals of
W. Daynes, The Birth and Growth of the Grand Lodge of England (London: Masonic
Record, 1926), p. 185.
Stephen Yeo’s 1976 book, Religions
and Voluntary Organisations in Crisis, is a study of the social life of the
English town of Reading between 1890 and 1914.[i]
Yeo describes a town whose social fabric was bound together by many voluntary
organisations and activities, ‘from Congregational chapels to the Social
Democratic Federation, from Hospital Sunday Parades to Literary and Scientific
This social ecology was rooted in the churches and in a paternalistic culture
encouraged by large employers such as Reading’s famous biscuit manufacturers,
Huntley and Palmer. Yeo paints a vivid picture of a vibrant associational
culture which has now largely disappeared. Yet, Yeo admits, there was one major
omission in his study. He describes how ‘A congregationalist minister in the
1960s, showing me the photographs of deacons, etc., on the wall of the vestry of
his chapel, told me that I could not really understand late 19th-century chapel
life without knowing about the masons. The Vicars of St. Mary’s and of St.
Giles at different dates before 1914 were both high in the local masonic
Yeo went to the local masonic hall, but was not allowed to examine the
records held there. The freemasons, one of the largest and most prestigious of
Reading’s voluntary organisations, with in 1895 three separate lodges[iv],
were consequently left out of Yeo’s book.
Yeo wrote, there has been a silent revolution in English freemasonry. Partly in
response to attacks on freemasonry by writers such as Stephen Knight, masonic
libraries and museums have been opened to the public. The magnificent Library
and Museum of Freemasonry at Freemasons’ Hall in London offers daily public
tours, and in the 2002 ‘Open House’ event attracted over 2,000 visitors in
one day. Its library is freely available to scholars and lists of its historical
correspondence and early returns of membership are being mounted on the
The Province of Berkshire, which contains Reading, has one of the largest
provincial libraries, with over 13,000 books, and the library is now open daily
to the general public. Berkshire was one of the first English provinces to
establish a web site.[vi]
I am myself an incarnation of this new policy. In 2000, the University of
Sheffield established, with funding from United
Grand Lodge, the Province of Yorkshire West Riding and Lord Northampton, the
Pro Grand Master, the first centre in a British university devoted to the
scholarly study of freemasonry.[vii]
Although I am not a mason, I was appointed as the first Director of this
course, the cautiousness of the English Grand Lodge from which Yeo suffered was
not shared by all the European Grand Lodges. The Grand East of the Netherlands
has for many years welcomed scholars wishing to use its remarkable library.[viii]
Shortly after Yeo’s book was published, Professor Margaret Jacob made use of
the library of the Grand East and her resulting book, Radical Enlightenment: Pantheists, Freemasons and Republicans,[ix]
has profoundly altered our perception of the cultural history of 18th-century
The willingness of the Grand East of the
Netherlands to make its collections available to scholars has played a
significant part in the upsurge in scholarly interest in freemasonry over the
last twenty years. Trevor Stewart has recently compiled a bibliography of
articles on European freemasonry which have appeared in academic periodicals
since 1980. This contains 269 entries, and even this gives only a partial view
of the full extent of research into freemasonry, since it excludes articles on
America, Africa and Asia, as well as periodicals published by masonic bodies,
theses and monographs.[xi]
Despite all this work, our picture of freemasonry remains fragmented. In
many countries, particularly England, freemasonry is still considered an exotic
subject outside the scholarly mainstream.[xii]
It is often forgotten by scholars even when it should loom large. For
example, Noble Frankland’s 1993 biography of the Duke of Connaught, who as
Grand Master from 1901 to 1939 was one of the dominant figures in modern English
freemasonry, makes no mention of the Duke’s masonic career.[xiii]
The picture is of course different in Europe and America where there is a
long-standing scholarly interest in freemasonry, but even here there is no
overall consensus on the importance and significance of freemasonry. Trevor
Stewart’s bibliography illustrates how freemasonry is relevant to an enormous
range of subjects from garden history to theatre studies, but broader connecting
themes are not immediately evident. Scholars frequently use masonic evidence
simply to confirm and further illustrate established themes and ideas. Pierre
Chevallier’s history of French freemasonry is one of the great achievements of
masonic scholarship, but ultimately it simply reinforces traditional French
The limitations of current scholarly research into freemasonry are epitomised by
William Weisberger’s recent study of the role of Prague and Viennese
freemasonry in Enlightenment.[xv]
While the essay carefully documents the activities of the Czech and Austrian
lodges, the value of the study is limited by its stereotyped and hackneyed view
of the Enlightenment.[xvi]
Work such as that of Margaret Jacob, which uses masonic evidence as a
springboard for the development of new perspectives which alter our view of an
entire period, is extremely rare.
the exploration of masonic archives by scholars continues, what kind of broader
themes will emerge? If research into freemasonry claims to be a new and emerging
academic discipline, what will be its distinguishing features? I can only
briefly sketch some of the possibilities here, and I hope you will forgive me if
I confine my remarks to Britain, since this has been the focus of my own
and Social Data in Masonic Archives
As we continue to explore the masonic archive, we will find a great deal
of information bearing on old kinds of history, on royalty, politicians and
governments, and this cannot be ignored. Many of the English Grand Masters since
1782 have been members of the royal family, but the significance of this for the
British monarchy as an institution has never been fully investigated.[xvii]
Freemasonry is one of the British institutions in which the aristocracy
still holds sway, and the role of the aristocracy in British freemasonry
provides a fruitful area of study for scholars interested in the decline and
fall of the British aristocracy. Occasionally, freemasonry has been caught up in
wider political events. For example, in 1929, shortly before the election of the
second Labour government, a new masonic lodge, the New Welcome Lodge No. 5139, was formed at the behest of the then
Prince of Wales.[xviii] This lodge was intended
exclusively for Labour members of parliament and party officials, and reflected
a concern that Labour Party activists had frequently been blackballed by masonic
lodges. The New Welcome Lodge was
intended to ensure that the new socialist government was not alienated from
freemasonry. It was also hoped that the lodge would draw more working men into
freemasonry, and that masonic values would reduce ‘unsettling influences’ on
the shop floor.[xix]
Although the New Welcome Lodge
was initially very successful in recruiting Labour M.P.s (including Sir Robert
Young, the Deputy Speaker, Arthur Greenwood, Foreign Secretary and Deputy Leader
of the Labour Party, and Scott Lindsay, the Labour Party Secretary),[xx]
the formation of the National Government changed the political situation,
and from 1934 New Welcome Lodge was
opened up to MPs of all parties and to staff working at the Palace of
Westminster, becoming essentially a house facility of the Palace of Westminster.[xxi]
the most fascinating information in the masonic archive are the details of
well-known people who were freemasons. The legal and social reformer, Lord
Brougham, was initiated as a freemason on an impulse while he was on holiday in
Was this a passing episode in Brougham’s life, or did the values of
freemasonry influence Brougham’s legal reforms? The same question can be asked
of many other prominent figures in British history who were freemasons. In July
1885, the English masonic newspaper, The
Freemason, listed members of the government and royal household who were
freemasons.[xxiii] Among those named by The
Freemason were Sir Charles Dilke, President of the Local Government Board
from 1882 to 1885, who was the leader of the radical faction within the Liberal
party and the most eminent advocate of republicanism. Despite his republican
views, Dilke became a close friend of the Prince of Wales. How far was this
friendship fostered by their common freemasonry? Likewise, Dilke was close to
French republican leaders such as Gambetta, who were also masons. The list in The Freemason also included one of Dilke’s political opponents,
Lord Randolph Churchill, father of Sir Winston Churchill. Lord Randolph was a
populist Tory whose personality was one of the most puzzling in 19th-century
politics. In the case of Lord Randolph, further investigation of his masonic
career would be interesting for the extent to which it would assist in
interpreting his difficult character.
as the masonic archive provides new information about people, so it also sheds
new light on places. The masonic archive is particularly rich in information
about local life and networks. The campaign for more democratic town government
in the 1820s and 1830s has been overshadowed by the movement for parliamentary
reform, but municipal reform was in some ways a more potent focus of local
political activism. In the town of Monmouth on the Welsh borders a campaign
against the control of the town by the Duke of Beaufort created fierce local
controversy in the 1820s.[xxiv]
The archives of the English Grand Lodge include correspondence which gives
new information about this dispute.[xxv]
The leader of the reform party, Trevor Philpotts, was the master of the local
masonic lodge, the Royal Augustus Lodge.
One of the members of the lodge was Joseph Price, a cantankerous member of the
group opposed to reform. In 1821, Price was accused by Philpotts of abusing his
position as a magistrate by granting a friend preferential treatment in prison.
The masonic lodge passed a series of resolutions against Price, one of which
referred to his alleged abuse of his judicial authority. Price protested to the
Grand Master, the Duke of Sussex, that this procedure was unmasonic. The Duke
suspended the lodge, much to the annoyance of Philpotts who was anxious that the
lodge should participate in the forthcoming consecration of a lodge in nearby
Newport. Following protests by Philpotts, the Duke lifted the suspension of the
lodge. This news was greeted joyfully in the town and the church bells were rung
in celebration. This prompted a further round of correspondence with the Grand
Lodge, since Price complained that he only heard of the Grand Master’s
decision in his case when the bells started ringing.
and Private Space
As this case illustrates, lodges were an important feature of local life.
Parades and processions were until recently a major focus of public life in
towns,[xxvi] and masonic parades were
particularly significant, because they were associated with the ceremonies
performed by freemasons for the dedication of public buildings and marked
important stages in the development of the town.[xxvii]
In Sheffield, for example, the opening of a canal providing the town’s first
link to the sea in 1819 was celebrated by processions of lodges from Sheffield
and the surrounding area, and extracts from masonic minute books describing
these ceremonies were framed and proudly displayed in the offices of the canal
Such processions provided both a public face for freemasonry and associated
freemasonry with the town’s cultural identity. Moreover, they explicitly
linked freemasons with the physical reshaping of urban public space. Such
landmarks in the remodelling of Edinburgh between 1750 and 1820 as the
completion of the new university buildings, the George IV Bridge and the docks
at Leith were marked by huge masonic processions.[xxix]
In London, the Prince Regent, who was Grand Master of the Premier
Grand Lodge, was the driving force behind the redevelopment of large parts
of the west end. When the Prince as Grand Master formally dedicated in enormous
public ceremonies such major new buildings as the Covent Garden Theatre, on the
site of the present Royal Opera House, this conjunction between freemasonry and
public space achieved a very potent expression.[xxx]
freemasonry had a close engagement with public space through its processional
activity, lodge meetings by contrast took place in a private, closed space,
guarded by the Tyler. In a recent article, Hugh Urban has used the insights of
theorists such as Pierre Bourdieu to consider ways in which the closed space and
secrecy of the lodge meeting facilitated the elaboration of concepts of social
power and hierarchy in late 19th-century America.[xxxi]
Changes in spatial relationships within the lodge meeting could reflect wider
social changes. Mary Ann Clawson, for example, has shown how the use of stage
settings with proscenium arches and elaborate drop curtains in Scottish Rite
initiations from the late 19th century onwards can be related to the rise of
leisure activities which stressed consumption by a passive audience.[xxxii]
In England, the most concrete expression of this need for a closed space was the
development of the masonic hall. Until the 1850s, most masonic meetings took
place in rooms in taverns, a space which was on the borderland between private
The campaign for purpose-built masonic halls was an expression of the fetish of
respectability which was a characteristic of the Victorian middle classes. In
towns such as Sheffield, the masonic halls formed part of the development of a
new city centre with public squares and buildings.[xxxiv]
The creation of such urban centres was a spatial expression of the power of the
new middle-class urban élites, intended to provide, in the words of Simon Gunn,
‘a symbolic centre at the heart of an emptied public space as well as to
affirm the collective power and presence of the provincial bourgeoisies’.[xxxv]
The masonic halls in the midst of these civic centres, devoted to secret
ceremonies performed by lodges whose membership was in principle open to all
respectable men of the town but in practice carefully controlled, powerfully
symbolised the nature of these new élites.
Issues, Masculinity and Emancipation
Space as an expression of power and hierarchy is a prominent theme in
modern scholarship to which the study of freemasonry has much to contribute.
Masonic halls and civic centres were masculine spaces, distinguished from the
other major development of the late Victorian city, the department store, seen
as a largely female space.[xxxvi]
The analysis of Catherine Hall and Leonore Davidoff tracing the emergence in the
18th and 19th centuries of separate spheres for different sexes has influenced
much recent work on social history, and provides another powerful interpretative
framework for masonic history.[xxxvii]
This is shown by the works of Robert Beachy, who has recently discussed how
masonic apologetic writings of the late 18th century helped popularise
stereotypes of differences between men and women,[xxxviii]
and Mark Carnes, who has analysed how the rituals of fraternal societies shaped
middle-class views of masculinity in 19th-century America.[xxxix]
masonic writings are a rich source of information about the social and moral
outlook of the middle-class male.[xl]
For example, masonic sermons and speeches are a useful but neglected source for
the study of the mentality of the new provincial élites of the Victorian and
Edwardian periods. An oration given by M. C. Peck, Provincial Grand Secretary of
the North and East Ridings of Yorkshire, at the dedication of a masonic hall in
Hull in 1890 outlines the qualities expected of an upright male inhabitant of
Hull at that time.[xli]
He should believe in God, treat his neighbour fairly, and look after his own
body and mind. He should avoid extravagance and intemperance, and bear
misfortune with fortitude. ‘Masons should never be sharp men as the world
calls them, ready to cheat and overreach their fellows. How commonly we hear
those who should no better affect to praise a man for his acuteness and business
abilities, but would they trust him with their own affairs? On the other hand
the truly just and honest man is the noblest work of God, and none can merit
higher praise than he!’ Despite their confident tone, there is not far beneath
these words an anxiety which recalls Mark Carnes’s comment that late Victorian
freemasonry provided respite from the growing economic and social pressures of
the outside world: ‘even as the emerging middle classes were embracing
capitalism and bourgeois sensibilities, they were simultaneously creating
rituals whose message was largely antithetical to those relationships and
England, the masculine solace provided by freemasonry was closely linked to
memories of school and school life. Paul Rich has suggested that public schools
and freemasonry were lynchpins of a ritualism which was a major cultural bond of
the British Empire.[xliii]
Freemasonry enabled the adult male to relive the bonding rituals of school or
university. Lodges were founded specifically for members of particular schools
or universities,[xliv] which sought, in the
words of a circular proposing the formation of a lodge for old boys of a small
London grammar school, to weld ‘in the closer ties of fraternal good will
those friendships which so many of us formed during our School life’.[xlv]
The symbiotic relationship between school life and modern freemasonry is
encapsulated by an article on a school lodge in the Aldenham School Magazine
cited by Paul Rich, which declares that ‘I wonder if you really knew what life
at school was all about until you joined’.[xlvi]
A recent history by Christopher Tyerman of Harrow School, where Sir Winston
Churchill was educated, emphasises the central role of freemasonry in school
life, noting that ‘Between 1885 and 1971 headmasters tended to be freemasons,
as did many governors and often powerful groups of masters and housemasters’.[xlvii]
The school chapel was festooned with masonic symbols; in 1937, the Headmaster
gave the boys a half-day’s holiday at the request of the Grand Master.[xlviii]
Tyerman also notes that freemasonry was important in affirming the group
interest and professional solidarity of schoolmasters.[xlix]
This was not only the case in public schools. Dina Copelman has studied the
teachers of the elementary schools run by the London School Board, which was set
up in 1870.[l] The majority of
these teachers were women, many of them married.[li]
Like their public school colleagues, the male school board teachers used
freemasonry to affirm their professional and social status.[lii]
In 1876, the Crichton Lodge was
founded by a group of teachers and officials of the London School Board,
including its President and Secretary, and established other lodges comprising
chiefly teachers in South London.[liii]
These means of displaying middle-class credentials were not available to women
teachers, and their social and professional status was more tenuous.
study explores the borderland between the ‘two spheres’ and suggests that
the process of social give and take between the sexes was complex. Perhaps the
most interesting aspects of freemasonry and gender are those areas which
confront the neat divisions of a ‘two spheres’ model. Late Victorian
rhetoric of sexual difference portrayed women as shoppers and consumers, but the
private spaces of the masonic lodge enabled men to indulge in conspicuous
display. Freemasons purchased jewels of enormous value to wear in their lodges,
and decorated their halls with furniture and fittings of great opulence.[liv]
In masonic shops such as Kennings in London they had their own department stores.[lv]
Similarly, philanthropy was an area in which different genders had distinct
but masonic charitable activity could quietly cut across some of these
distinctions. Above all, in the other direction, women’s freemasonry provided
a significant social outlet for women. Janet Burke and Margaret Jacob have
argued that the Adoption enabled women, through freemasonry, to engage with the
emerging civil society in the 18th century.[lvii]
James Smith Allen and Mark Carnes have recently documented extensive
participation by women in fraternal organisations in the 19th century,[lviii]
while Co-Masonry, through figures such
Annie Besant and Charlotte Despard, played a significant role in the women’s
with women masons joining suffrage marches in their regalia.[lx]
Empire and Nationality
In the past, there has been an overemphasis on the importance of economic
activity as a component of social identity. The study of gender has been one way
in which scholars have demonstrated the complexity of social identity; another
has been race, a further area where research into freemasonry offers exciting
possibilities. The best-known illustration of this is Prince
Hall freemasonry, the form of freemasonry organised by blacks in America,[lxi]
which has been seen by scholars such as William Muraskin and Loretta Williams as
significant in defining and nurturing a black middle class in America,[lxii]
although Williams in particular emphasises the contradiction between the
universalist ideology of freemasonry and the separate segregated character of Prince
There are many other areas in which freemasonry offers insights into ethnicity
which are less well explored. Freemasonry was a major cultural component of the
British Empire. The English Pro Grand Master Lord Carnarvon declared in the
1880s that ‘Where the flag goes, there goes freemasonry to consolidate the
The mixed race lodge offered a social venue in which coloniser and colonised
mixed in the British Empire. Rudyard Kipling declared of his lodge in Lahore
that ‘there aint such things as infidels’ among the ‘Brethren black an’
The importance of this area of research has been brilliantly demonstrated by a
study by Augustus Casely-Hayford and Richard Rathbone of freemasonry in colonial
Ghana.[lxvi] This shows how
‘freemasonry was amongst the bags and baggage of both formal and informal
facilitated trading contacts and provided a means of signalling ‘achievement,
hard work, worthiness and in some cases high birth’.[lxviii]
It provided an important thread in the racial and national politics of the
colony, with many members of the National Congress of West Africa being
freemasons. Closely related to race is the role of freemasonry in the formation
of national identity. For example, in Britain freemasonry was a powerful
expression of the Hanoverian settlement,[lxix]
while by contrast in France it was in the 1870s one of the forces behind
the development of modern French republicanism.[lxx]
interaction between freemasonry, race, nationality and class is powerfully
illustrated by a classic study by Abner Cohen of freemasonry in Sierra Leone,
which is a model of how scholarly research into freemasonry should be performed.[lxxi]
Cohen found that in 1971 there were seventeen masonic lodges in Freetown, with
about two thousand members, the bulk of whom were African. Most of these black
masons were Creoles, descendants of the slaves emancipated between the 1780s and
1850s, a literate, highly-educated and occupationally-differentiated group, who
were at first befriended but then disparaged by the British administrators.
Cohen found that one in three Creoles were masons. Cohen related the Creole
involvement in freemasonry to attacks on Creole power during the period from
1947. He concluded that ‘Largely without any conscious policy or design,
Freemasonic rituals and organisation helped articulate an informal organisation,
which helped the Creoles to protect their position in the face of political
Cohen’s study raises one final important theme, that of social networks.
As scholars have increasingly explored the pluralistic nature of social identity,
the importance of the analysis of social networks has become evident. Factors
such as the extent to which everybody knows everyone else (‘reachability’),
the different ways in which people are linked (‘multiplexity’) and the
obligations placed by networks on their members (‘intensity’) are essential
in understanding local societies, and freemasonry and other fraternal groups
have a major effect on these dynamics.[lxxiii]
The masonic archive is rich in material for investigating social networks, not
only in such obvious sources as membership lists but also in petitions and
correspondence, where in discussing the need for a lodge its social connections
may be described. For example, a letter from a lodge formed by working men in
Stratford in East London, protesting against a decision of the English Grand
Lodge that it was a spurious masonic body, contains the following unusually
explicit statement of the advantages of freemasonry for the Victorian artisan:
‘Stratford and its neighbourhood contains a population of some thousands of
skilled mechanics, artisans and engineers, many of whom from their superior
attainment or from the exigencies of trade are called upon to pursue their
avocation in the various states of continental Europe or in our own colonial
possessions and to whom therefore the advantages arising from Masonic Fraternity
are of great consequence.’[lxxiv]
exciting potential of an approach which examines the interaction between
freemasonry and other social networks, such as professional contacts and
membership of other fraternal organisations, has been recently demonstrated by
two outstanding articles concerned with two very different professions. Simon
McVeigh’s study of freemasonry and musical life in 18th-century London has
shown how freemasonry assisted in securing patronage and work for musicians and
also supported professional alliances, sometimes in surprising ways.[lxxv]
Roger Burt’s study of Cornish freemasonry in the 19th century reaches some
intriguing conclusions about the social composition of masonic lodges in
He found that ‘the lodges were dominated by the mostly young (most initiates
were aged under 30) middle-class and “petit bourgeois” groups of mercantile
and manufacturing interests, professionals and small business operatives.’[lxxvii]
The Cornish membership records reflect the increasing mobility of this
social group, and freemasonry may have helped build international contacts
facilitating profitable employment abroad.
Research into freemasonry explores the interconnections between such
major themes of modern scholarship as public space, gender, race and social
networks. These themes essentially all revolve around one major issue, the
construction of social identity, and the study of freemasonry, because it
concerns an identity which is both public and concealed at the same time,
provides a unique perspective on this issue. Methodologically, the study of
freemasonry presents many challenges, but the point that should be noted here is
its inherently interdisciplinary character. The nature of the masonic archive
means that the researcher into freemasonry must use many different types of
media: texts ranging from membership lists to rituals, jewels, banners,
engravings, music and artefacts of many different kinds.[lxxviii]
The interpretation of such materials requires a blend of scholarly skills.
Mark Carnes noted how his researches required ‘excursions into the fields of
religious history and theology, child rearing and developmental psychology,
women’s history and gender studies, and structural and cultural
anthropology’.[lxxix] While scholars
frequently aspire towards interdisciplinarity, they rarely achieve it. The study
of freemasonry may perhaps provide a model for interdisciplinary studies.
The themes I have discussed are at the forefront of research in the
humanities and social sciences, but their roots lie in old thought, reflecting
both the social changes of the 1960s, and particularly the response to the
French événements of 1968,[lxxx]
and the challenge posed to Marxist models by the collapse of the Soviet Union.
While the study of freemasonry can contribute a great deal to these intellectual
concerns, even more exciting is the question of how it helped fashion completely
new intellectual agendas. Will the events of 11 September 2001 have as big an
impact on the intellectual world order as those of May 1968? It is too early to
say, but there are hints that, whatever the upshot, reactions to freemasonry
will be of new significance. The way in which the destruction of the World Trade
Centre gave rise paradoxically to a new form of anti-semitism has been well
There has been little discussion of the new anti-masonry. Within days of the
attacks in New York, website postings attributed the attacks to the illuminati,
drew parallels between the Twin Towers and the masonic columns Jachin
and Boaz, and used spurious numerology
to suggest masonic involvement in the attacks.[lxxxii]
This is deplorable, but perhaps not surprising. More significant for the
long-term is the way in which attacks on masonry form part of the extreme Muslim
denunciation of western values. There has been a long history of Arab groups
circulating the discredited libels of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. In recent years, however, some
Muslims, drawing on western anti-masonic literature, have linked freemasonry
with the figure of Dajjal, the
anti-christ.[lxxxiii] These ideas were
first developed in 1987 by the Egyptian writer, Sa’id Ayyub.[lxxxiv]
In Britain, a key figure in elaborating and popularising these ideas has been
David Musa Pidcock, a Sheffield machinery consultant who became a Muslim in 1975
and is the leader of the Islamic Party of Britain.[lxxxv]
The idea that freemasons worship dajjal
has become widespread in Muslim communities in England and elsewhere. In recent
months, Islamic websites have carried enthusiastic reviews of an audio-tape
called Shadows, produced by a London
company, Hallaqah Media, which argues that freemasons created the new world
order and are the servants of dajjal.[lxxxvi]
If we are at the beginning of a struggle to protect and restate the secular
values of the Enlightenment,[lxxxvii]
it is inevitable that the study of freemasonry, so much bound up with the
creation of those values, will become of new relevance.
Andrew Prescott studied history at the University of London and was appointed as
a curator in the Department of Manuscripts in the British Library in 1979. He is
on a three year secondment from the British Library to the University of
Sheffield, where he is Director of the new Centre for Research into Freemasonry,
the first such centre to be established in a British university.
The Initiation of Lord Brougham
description of the spur-of-the-moment decision of Lord Brougham, the English
legal and social reformer, to be initiated in the Stornoway Lodge in the Western
Isles of Scotland in 1799 encapsulates many of the issues of masonic biography.
Was Brougham’s initiation a passing incident, a merry holiday event, or did he
engage more fundamentally with the values of freemasonry? If the latter, in what
way? This extract is taken from the English masonic journal,
The Freemasons’ Quarterly Review, 2
(1835), p. 24:
‘It is not, perhaps, generally known that the late Lord Chancellor of
England is a Brother of the Craft. He was originally initiated in the small town
of Stornaway in Scotland, and afterwards became a member of the Canongate
Kilwinning Lodge, Edinburgh, of which many other men of celebrity were members.
The circumstances of his initiation were these.
upon a pleasure-voyage along the north coast of Scotland in company with several
other roving and congenial spirits, the party put in to the hypoborean port of
Stornaway, where they landed, and, as was their wont, disembarked along with
them their choice store of the jolly god. It happened one evening during their
convivial enjoyments, that there was a meeting of a lodge at the place, and one
of the party, who was a mason, being informed of the circumstance, immediately
proposed that Henry Brougham and another of the party should go and get made
without delay. No sooner said than done, and away they sallied to the lodge of
Stornoway, where the future lord chancellor was duly entered, passed, and raised
a Master Mason of the ancient fraternity of the Craft. As may be imagined on
such an occasion -; “In such a place as that, at such an hour,” great,
glorious and generous was “The feast of reason and the flow of soul;” and
many a bona fide bumper of Glenlivet was quaffed to many a masonic and convivial
were the circumstances of the initiation of the present Lord Brougham and Vaux,
which are vouched for upon the authority of the respectable brother, now living,
who was then secretary of the lodge.’
The New Welcome Lodge No. 5139
for the formation of new lodges and accompanying correspondence frequently shed
light on the social motivation of freemasons. One such series of letters
concerns the formation of the New
Welcome Lodge No. 5139 in 1929. This lodge
was formed at the suggestion of the then Prince of Wales, afterwards Edward
VIII, specifically for Labour Party MPs and officials. The following extract is
from a memorandum by Sir Percy Rockliff, a trade union and friendly society
official, who took a leading part in establishing the lodge. It expresses a
secondary aim of the new lodge, namely to provide a ‘New Welcome’ to working
class men who, it was felt, had not been able to afford to become freemasons.
The initial intention that the lodge should be exclusively for Labour Party
members and the involvement of the Prince of Wales in establishing the lodge are
not explicitly mentioned in the correspondence, but were only recorded by
Rockliff some years later. At this stage it was intended that the lodge should
be called ‘the Lodge of Citizenship’. The name ‘New Welcome’ was adopted
later at the suggestion of the Prince of Wales. The document is among the
Petitions in the Library and Museum of Freemasonry, Freemasons’ Hall, London.
‘The idea underlying the formation of the proposed lodge is to bring
home to the industrial section of the community the principles and tenets of the
is doubtless true that, in rural areas, social barriers are to some extent
broken down in certain lodges which exist in those areas. But, as regards the
great centres of population, the same position can hardly be said to obtain.
is recognised that a lodge of the character proposed, if centred in London,
would be to some extent localised as regards the area from which it could draw
recruits without involving its members in substantial travelling expenses. It
has, however, been shown by the Epworth Lodge, for example, that offshoots into
the provinces of a successful lodge, having a definite purpose, are both
possible and popular; and this is anticipated as regards the Lodge of
type of recruits to masonry which it would be the aim of the new lodge to
attract are persons who, by permeating the ranks of the industrial classes,
would become missioners for and exemplars of the advantages which masonry
confers, not only upon its members, but upon those with whom its members come
into daily contact – “So that when a man is said to be a mason the world may
is believed that such recruits will be obtainable without importunity, given the
opportunity now sought to be presented to them.
it is strongly felt by the promoters, that masonry would exercise a steadying
influence (“as citizens of the world”) upon those who are brought within its
fold, and help to render nugatory any unsettling influences which might be at
work in factories and elsewhere.
men who compose the main membership of the army and navy lodges belong to the
industrial classes, and they have taken an oath of fealty.
is hoped to imbue their civilian colleagues with the same spirit of fealty
through the medium of the Lodge of Citizenship.’
A Masonic Dispute in a Small Town
the 18th and 19th centuries, masonic lodges were an important part of life in
small towns like Monmouth on the Welsh borders. During the 1820s, Monmouth was
riven by ferocious factional disputes over reform of the town government. This
controversy affected the local lodge, the
Royal Augustus Lodge No. 656, and at one
point the lodge was suspended by the Grand Master, the Duke of Sussex. When the
suspension of the lodge was lifted, the news was greeted by the ringing of the
church bells, as the following letter, dated 1 July 1821, by the Master of the
lodge, Trevor Philpotts, to the Grand Secretaries White and Harper in London,
describes. The letter is preserved among the returns for the lodge in the
Library and Museum of Freemasonry, Freemasons’ Hall, London.
‘I beg to acknowledge the receipt of your favor of the 29th ult.
removing the suspension from the Royal Augustus Lodge, for which I, the officers
and brethren return our best and grateful thanks. A circumstance occurred in the
town yesterday in consequence of this event, which it may not be improper to
mention, as it may possibly be represented by some to the prejudice of
the lodge. On receiving your official letter I sent to inform the officers of
the lodge of the circumstance, as they and many of the brethren were waiting in
much suspense, to know whether they could attend as a Lodge the
approaching ceremony of dedicating the Newport Lodge. The information spread
over the town immediately, and in the course of the evening some persons wholly
unconnected with the lodge and masonry, ordered the ringers to ring the church
bells. Immediately on learning what was intended I sent the Tyler to forbid any
ringing or any other demonstration of public feeling whatever, which it was in
my power to prevent, and he accordingly did so, and stated it was the particular
wish and request of the whole lodge that no ringing should take place on account
of the lodge. The reply was that they had nothing to do with the lodge, but were
ordered to ring by some of the principal inhabitants of the town, and would go
on. I then went some of the principal inhabitants of the lodge and begged they
would interfere to prevent it, and they did so by my particular request.
of the admonition conveyed in your letter to avoid any proceeding which might
not be in unison with the pledge given by the lodge I had a particular objection
to any public expression of feeling on such a subject and occasion; which I
several times distinctly mentioned at the time. I only mention this trivial
matter to guard against any attempt which may hereafter be made to the
disparagement of the lodge as necessary.’
A Masonic Parade in Sheffield
following document is from the archives of the Sheffield Canal Company in the
Public Record Office, London, RAIL 867/4. It comprises extracts from the minutes
of the two oldest Sheffield masonic lodges, the Britannia
Lodge No. 139 and the Royal Brunswick
Lodge No. 296. They describe the
ceremonies which accompanied the opening of the canal in 1819, which provided
this inland industrial city’s first link to the sea. These extracts have been
mounted and were apparently framed for display, presumably in the board room of
the canal company.
‘Royal Brunswick Lodge No. 527
Lodge of Emergency February 22 1819 for the opening and going by
procession from the canal, having obtained a dispensation.
Lodge was opened in the first degree at 11 o’clock and proceeded to join the
procession at the basin at 12 o’clock. The vessels having entered the basin,
the procession then marched in good order round the town, and divided before the
“Tontine” at 4 o’clock. The lodge then dined at Bro. Hardwickes at 2/6d
for dinner and malt liquor etc., and closed in harmony.
J. Cawood Secretary
J. Smith Worshipful Master
J. Smith, M.; G. Mosley S.W.; G. Holden, J.W. J. Fox, S.D.; T. Fox, J.D.;
Cawood, Sec;. M. Hunter, T.; String, P.M.; Booth; Grundy; Hufton; Hinchcliffe;
Jackson; Pickford; Wardley; Cooke; Ryals; Norman; Ashmere; Waring; Worstenholm;
White; Best; Greenwood; Hawke; Jenkinson; Matthews; Rodgers; Whitley; J. Hall;
Redfearn; Mather; Heald; White; Hardwicke.
Opened on the Third Degree and raised W. Heald and Greenwood.’
Extra Lodge 22 February 1819
this day the canal communicating from Tinsley to Sheffield was opened by a
procession of masons of both lodges and the committee and subscribers to the
canal and the other societies held in Sheffield.
order of the Britannia Lodge procession was as follows:
Two Tylers with swords;
Junior Brethren two and two;
In the midst of them the flag of the Britannia Lodge carried by Bro.
Visiting brethren from the Friendly Lodge, Barnsley, two and two;
A pair of globes carried by Brother Stevenson and Brother Simpson;
Visiting Brethren from the Phoenix Lodge, Rotherham, two and two;
The Book of Constitutions carried by Brother Greenwood;
Two Stewards with wands;
The Senior Members of the Britannia Lodge;
Two Stewards with wands;
The Senior and Junior Wardens of the Britannia Lodge
With their Pillars and Jewels;
Two Stewards with Wands;
The Lodge carried by Brother Haywood;
The Master of the Lodge with his Jewels;
The Past Master of the Lodge;
Two Tylers closed the procession.
the procession thirty seven of the brothers dined together at Brother Will.
Willeys and spent the day together in harmony and brotherly love cultivating
that friendship which ought at all times to characterise masons.
procession moved from the canal basin about 3 o’clock in the afternoon and
proceeded through Barn Street, Castle Street, Angel Street, High Street, Far
Gate, Barker Pool, Division Street, Carver Street, Sheffield Moor, Pinstone
Lane, Norfolk Street, Market Street, Bull Stake to opposite the Tontine Inn,
where the masons opened and the Tylers brought through the whole of the clubs
who took their respective roads to where they were held and the Brunswick Lodge
to Brother Thomas Hardwickes where it is held, the Britannia Lodge accompanied
by the band of the Sheffield Local Militia proceeded to Brother Willeys, where
they closed the Lodge and deposited the jewels and treasures thereof in their
proper situations. Previous to going to the basin the lodge was opened and
arranged in the lodge room at Brother Willeys in the Wicker.
ended the opening of the first line of canal ever brought to Sheffield; may it
long continue to flourish and its promoters and subscribers long enjoy the
fruits of their capital and industry.
committee consisting of the following persons joined the procession namely, Hugh
Parker Esq., Woodthorpe, their Chairman, Bery Taylor esq., Brightside, William
Smith, Francis Smith, Edward Nanson, jnr., John Sorby, esq., and many others and
on this memorable day ten vessels entered the basin among which was a steam
were served for a large body of the subscribers and gentlemen around at the
Tontine Inn, the Angel, the George, the King’s Head, and many other houses and
it was a day of general rejoicing for seldom if ever were there such a large
concourse of people assembled together.
William Rowley, Master of the Britannia Lodge No. 232
Sheffield 22 February 1819.’
Opening of the Covent Garden Theatre
great cities such as London and Edinburgh, masonic ceremonies for the laying of
foundation stones could be very imposing, as can be seen from the following
description in William Preston’s
Illustrations of Masonry (1812 ed.) pp.
392-8, of the Prince Regent laying the foundation stone of the Covent Garden
Theatre, on the site of the present Royal Opera House.
‘On the 31st of December 1809, the foundation-stone of Covent Garden
Theatre was laid by his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, as Grand
Master-mason of England and Scotland. The foundation-stone was situated at the
north-east angle of the ground, in weight nearly three tons, and containing
sixty cubic feet. Previous to the ceremony, it hung, suspended by cordage, over
a basement-stone. Near to it was placed a marquee for the Prince. Two extensive
covered galleries were erected, one to receive the body of freemasons who
assisted at the ceremony; the other was appropriated to the spectators.
Surrounding scaffolds were covered with many hundreds of workmen, who were
engaged in the building. A detachment of the first regiment of guards was
posted, as a guard of honour, at the Prince’s entrance, with a band of music,
and four other military bands were stationed on elevated platforms, near the
company, to enliven the scene.
twelve o’clock the Grand Lodge was opened at Freemasons Hall, in Great Queen
Street, Charles Marsh esq. in the chair, attended by the Masters and Wardens of
the regular lodges; and at half-past twelve they walked in procession to Bow
Street, the junior lodges first. The representative of the Grand Master walked
last, being preceded by the Chevalier Ruspini, bearing the Grand Sword, and by
the Master of the Lodge of Antiquity, No. 1. bearing the Book of Constitutions.
their arrival at the theatre, they were welcomed to the places assigned them, by
the band playing the old tune of “A Free and an Accepted Mason”. The Grand
Officers proceeded to the marquee, and were arranged in order. The Master,
Wardens, and nine members of the Steward’s Lodge, and nearly four hundred
Masters and Wardens of lodges attended, habited in the insignia of the Order.
The several bands played, alternately, airs till one o’clock, the hour fixed
for the appearance of the Prince; when his Royal Highness in his coach,
accompanied by the Duke of Sussex, attended by General Hulse and Colonels
McMahon and Bloomfield, arrived under an escort of horse guards. His Royal
Highness was received, on his entrance at the Bow Street door, by the Earl of
Moira, Acting Grand Master, the detachments of guards saluting, with grounded
colours, and beating the grenadiers march. Mr. Harris and Mr. Kemble, after
paying their respects to his Royal Highness, ushered him to the marquee, where
his arrival was announced by loud plaudits, the royal standard hoisted, and the
discharge of a royal salute of artillery. His Royal Highness, who was dressed in
blue, with a scarlet collar, wearing the insignia of his office as Grand Master,
a pair of gold compasses set with brilliants and other jewellery, and a white
apron bordered with purple, and fringed with gold, appeared in high health and
spirits. Proceeding, uncovered, with his suit, through a railed platform spread
with superfine broad green cloth bound with scarlet and yellow, forty dismounted
life-guardsmen, who were masons, without arms, lining the sides of the railing,
the company all rose as his Royal Highness passed the platform to the marquee,
and gave him three cheers, when the united bands immediately struck up “God
save the King.” His Royal Highness, as he passed, smilingly bowed to the
ladies with the most fascinating affability.
Grand Officers had previously placed the masonic instruments on a table in the
marquee. A plan of the building, with its sections and elevations, was now
presented to his Royal Highness, by Robert Smirke, sen. esq. the architect; and
a gilt silver trowel by Mr. Copeland, the builder of the edifice. Having paused
a short time in conversation with the proprietors, and with the Grand Masonic
Officers in the marquee, his Royal Highness proceeded to the ceremonial. On a
signal given, the corner-stone was raised about four feet; the hod-men, in white
aprons, instantly conveyed the necessary quantity of fine cementing mortar,
which was neatly spread on the base-stone by the workmen of the building,
similarly dressed. His Royal Highness now advanced, uncovered, to the north-east
corner of the stone; when John Bayford esq., as Grand Treasurer, deposited, in a
space cut for it in the basement-stone, a brass box, containing the British
gold, silver, and copper coins of the present reign. On a part of the stone was,
“Long live George Prince of Wales,” and “To the King,” with a medallion
of the Prince. There were also deposited two large medals, one of bronze,
bearing a head of his Royal Highness on one side, and on the other, the
PRINCEPS WALLIARUM THEATRI REGIIS INSTAURANDI AUSPICIIS IN HORTIS BENEDICTINOS
LONDINI. FUNDAMENTA SUA MANU LOCAVIT
The other medal, engraven in copper, bore, on one side, this inscription:
the Auspices of His Most Sacred Majesty GEORGE III King of the United Kingdoms
of Great Britain and Ireland, The Foundation Stone of the Theatre of Covent
Garden, Was laid by his Royal Highness GEORGE PRINCE OF WALES. MDCCCVIII. On the
reverse is engraven: ROBERT SMIRKE, Architect.
His Royal Highness now, as Grand Master, finished the adjustment of the
mortar with his trowel; when the upper stone was lowered in the sling to its
destined position; all the bands playing “Rule Britannia,” a discharge of
artillery being fired, and the people with the most animating cheers applauding
the spectacle. The junior and senior Grand Wardens, and the acting Grand Master,
the Earl of Moira, now severally presented his royal highness with the Plumb,
the Level, and the Square; and the Prince, having applied them to the stone,
pronounced the work correct, and gave the stone three strokes with his mallet.
elegant silver clips were then presented, successively, to his Royal Highness,
containing corn, wine, and oil, which he scattered and poured over the stone,
all the bands playing “God save the King.” His Royal Highness then restored
the plan of the building into the hands of the architect, approving that
specimen of his genius, and desiring him to complete the structure conformably
thereto. Then graciously turning to Mr. Harris and Mr. Kemble, he wished
prosperity to the building and the objects connected with it, and success and
happiness to its proprietors and managers.
ceremony being finished, the band played “Rule Britannia;” and the Prince,
the Duke of Sussex, and the Earl of Moira, were escorted back to the Prince’s
carriage by the managers and the Grand Officers under a second royal salute of
passed a ceremonial, which by the excellent pre-arrangement of its managers, and
the gracious yet dignified manner in which the illustrious chief actor performed
his part, exhibited an interesting spectacle, that excited general admiration
and applause. All who had the honour to approach the Prince speak in raptures of
his polite and captivating manners on the occasion. Although the neighbouring
houses were covered to the roof-tops, and many thousands of people were
assembled in the street, it is with great satisfaction we state that not a
single accident happened to interrupt the splendid termination of the ceremony.
Masters and Wardens of the masonic lodges then returned in procession to their
hall in Great Queen Street; when the Grand Lodge was closed, after making a
formal minute of the proceedings, and receiving, through the medium of the Grand
Treasurer, the thanks of the Prince for the favour of their attendance.
Brethren, after the lodge was closed, sat down to a splendid dinner at
Freemasons’ Tavern; when mirth and conviviality closed the meeting.
proprietors of Covent Garden Theatre soon afterwards received a letter from
Colonel McMahon, dated from Carlton House, in which he stated, that he had it in
command from his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, to express his high
approbation of the very great order and regularity with which the whole
arrangement of the ceremonial had been formed and conducted.’
Opening of the New Sheffield Masonic Hall, Surrey Street
movement for provincial lodges to build their own halls and to cease meeting in
taverns was one of the most important trends in English freemasonry in the
second half of the 19th century. These halls often formed an integral part of
the development of a civic centre in many provincial towns, particularly in the
North and Midlands. When the Spanish emigré physician Mariano Martin de
Bartolomé arrived in Sheffield in 1839, he was scandalised to find the local
masonic lodges meeting in a public house. He only agreed to join a masonic lodge
providing it met elsewhere. The lodges eventually moved to the Sheffield Music
Hall in Surrey Street, then afterwards purchased the former Savings Bank nearby,
which was converted for masonic use. In 1877, the old Savings Bank was replaced
by purpose-built premises. While the exterior was austere, the interior was
furnished in a very opulent style. Surrey Street was to form one of the axes of
the new city centre of Sheffield, and is close to the city hall, the public
library and other civic buildings. In 1967, the Sheffield masonic lodges moved
to new premises in the suburbs of the city, which offered more convenient car
parking - itself a significant statement about the changing social structures of
the city. The following description of the opening of the new hall in Surrey
Street is taken from The
Freemason, 28 July 1877, p. 311:
‘The new hall fronts to Eyre-Street and Surrey-street (standing on the
site of the Old Hall) it is built entirely of dressed stone, partly of that of
the old building. It is in the classical style of architecture, of a neat and
substantial character, the decorations being quiet, yet including the
conventional square and compasses &c.; the tout ensemble, though suggestive
of durability, is pleasing. The building contains a lodge room and a banqueting
room, and there is a spacious cellar. The banqueting room, which is on the
ground floor, is 51 feet long by 26 feet wide by 15 feet high, it is lighted by
double windows of plate glass, the inner ones being ornamented with Masonic
emblems embossed thereon. A serving window gives direct communication with the
kitchens, which are extensive and fitted up with all modern requirements. The
furniture of the banqueting room can be readily lowered into the cellar, which
extends the full size of the building.
lodge room, which is over the banqueting room, is 51 feet long by 26 feet wide
by 24 feet high, having an arched room springing from a cornice running round
the room, ornamented with moulded ribs and panels, and carved bosses. The walls
are relieved with columns, which have foliated capitals springing from
ornamented carbels, from which the ribs in the roof form one continuous line.
The whole of the fittings are of polished pine, slightly stained and varnished,
which produce a very pleasing effect. The east end is occupied by a dias of
three steps, along the north and south sides runs a raised platform, so that a
double row of chairs can be placed, enabling the brethren occupying the back
seats to see and hear with comfort. At the west end is an organ, built expressly
by the firm of Messrs Brindley and Foster, of Sheffield...
appearance of the lodge room when illuminated is brilliant, and when the
promised decorations have been completed there is little doubt about its being
one of the most beautiful Masonic temples in the provinces. We are glad to hear
that the main part of the work of an ornate nature has been reserved for the
interior. Both rooms are lighted by very chaste gaseliers, and are warmed by hot
water on the most improved principles; the ventilation is on Tobin’s system.
In addition to these two large rooms there are, on the ground floor, a club
room, commodious kitchens, lavatory &c.; on the first floor, one small lodge
room and a convenient cloak room; a wide passage with a broad flight of stairs
lead to the lodge room; on the second floor are several rooms, affording
accommodation to a resident Tyler. The acoustic properties of all the rooms, we
are happy to say, are perfect. The entrance to the hall is made through the
adjoining premises, which we have already described; the arrangements are such
that, at any future time, these can be pulled down and more spacious premises
erected in the same style as the new hall; when this is done there will be not
only spacious offices & c. necessary for the lodges, but plenty of
accommodation for a club. The whole of the properties are freehold, and are
owned by the Sheffield Masonic Hall Company, Limited, the shares of which are
held solely by the lodges or brethren:- virtually, therefore, they are their own
tenants- a move in the right direction (though it is only fair to say that it is
many years since a Sheffield lodge met in a public-house), and we trust the day
is not far distant when every brother will realise the fallacy of the poet’s
limes, where he goes on to say that he
sigh to think he still has found
warmest welcome at an inn”
every lodge may, or should, meet under its own roof, or, at least, in a room set
apart for the purpose, yet in no way connected with a public house. Practice
being ever preferred to precept we feel bound to point to Sheffield as an
example we would urge upon others to follow. To the true Craftsman there is
nothing, in our way of thinking, so undignified as the association of a lodge
with a public house...’
The Masonic Gentleman
following extract is from a sermon by the Rev. J. M. Hannah, Freemasonry: Its Purpose, Practice and Profit (Liverpool: W. J. Cochrane
1907), which was preached before the Royal
Victoria Lodge No. 1013 at a special
service in Holy Trinity church, Wavertree, on 6 June 1907, in aid of the chapter
house of the new Liverpool Cathedral, the building of which was financed by the
West Lancashire Province. It illustrates how masonic sermons and speeches are a
rich source of information about the ideology of gender relations in provincial
‘Freemasonry is concerned with building, not with banqueting as one so
often hears. If any one of the gentler sex here present has received such an
impression from a mason, be he husband or friend, be assured he is no ideal
mason. It is true we have a feast, a love feast: it is one of the essential
parts of our meetings. We unite around the supper-table in the bond of brotherly
love, and I am betraying no secret when I tell you that at a fixed hour we stand
and dispatch a telepathic communication throughout the world; we extend our
girdle of friendship round the globe, and unite in a solemn cry to the
“Eternal Father strong to save”. Our feast is a solemn symbol meant - like
everything else in Freemasonry – “represent some great principle and to body
it forth” May the blush of shame never cease to rise upon the face of those
who give the wrong impression of our love-feast. I am glad to testify in public
that I have received nothing but good from Freemasonry, and nothing but good
from the men of my Lodge. The true Mason is always a gentleman, always dignified
in his demeanour, always looking behind the visible symbol to the great
Petition for the Crichton Lodge No. 1641
extract again illustrates the importance as historical sources of the
correspondence and supporting documentation accompanying petitions for new
lodges, preserved in the Library and Museum of Freemasonry at Freemasons’ Hall
in London. This memorial concerns a petition for the establishment of Crichton
Lodge No. 1641, dated 13 June 1876, which was associated with the new London School
Board. Signatories to the petition included the Superintendent of the London
School Board, who became the first Master of the lodge, the clerk to the School
Board, and four schoolmasters. The Surrey Masonic Hall referred to in the
petition was a recently opened hall intended to provide a focus for freemasonry
in the newly developed suburbs of South London.
‘Petition for Proposed Crichton Lodge.
The brethren presenting this petition beg most respectfully to represent
to the Most Worshipful Grand Master.
1. That they are associated either professionally or sympathetically with
the work of Education, and that they have been led to meet at Camberwell for
consultations and as members of committees and otherwise. Finding so many masons
amongst themselves and worthy men desirous of becoming masons, united with them
in common educational efforts, they have determined to ask for a warrant to meet
at the Surrey Masonic Hall.
2. The Surrey Masonic Hall has recently been built and opened by brethren
desirous of promoting freemasonry. The hall is conveniently situated near a
railway station by means of which members can easily reach their homes after
lodge to all parts of the metropolis and suburbs, and even to considerable
distances on the Great Trunk line, with which the local station is connected by
3. The lodges already meeting at the Surrey Masonic Hall are not local to
Camberwell, but contain members from all parts of London, and some of the lodges
already number a sufficient proportion of brethren.
4. The petitioners do not propose to retire from their present lodges but
they are very desirous of avoiding the necessity of meeting at a tavern, and
they are therefore desirous of meeting at a masonic hall.
5. The petition has received the recommendation of the officers of the
Surrey Masonic Hall lodge No. 1529, but from causes over which the petitioners
have no control it has been found physically impossible to obtain the signature
of one of the officers. The officers of the MacDonald Lodge No. 1216 (the lodge
meeting nearest the hall) have assented to the favourable consideration of this
Co-Masonry is a form of freemasonry
which admits both men and women. It was established by Maria Deraismes and
George Martin in France at the end of the 19th century. The most energetic early
promoter of Co-Masonry in England was
the trade unionist, feminist and theosophist Annie Besant. The following article
from The Co-Mason 3 (January 1911), p.
4, was written by Ursula Bright, a
close associate of Besant and a campaigner for women’s rights.
‘Co-Masonry is the latest development of two great ideas - the
religious and the political - I had almost said the feminist - for the
emancipation of women includes all politics. Our S[upreme] C[ouncil] in Paris
makes the complete equality of women and men, in every department of human life,
its chief object.
religion Co-Masonry realises that the Brotherhood is to be the distinguishing
mark of the spiritual movement of the future.
is true that male masonry proclaims the brotherhood of half the race, but even
here we find that the maimed, the halt and the blind, as well as the whole
sisterhood of humanity, is shut out.
amongst us most entitled to brotherly consideration and sympathy are
deliberately excluded. Male masonry is the expression of power, wealth, social
influence and exclusiveness. Co-Masonry is the expression of service, tolerance,
freedom of speech on all subjects. Masons working under the Grand Lodges of
England and Scotland may not discuss, in their temples, the two subjects of
deepest interest to mankind, namely religion and politics. We expect the members
of our organisation to be able to speak on any subject, fit for public
discussion, even when holding the most antagonistic views, with courtesy,
tolerance and good feeling and with an entire absence of hostility. Co-Masonry
is spreading its branches everywhere, not only in Europe, but in India and
America, and appeals are now made to us from our colonies - Australia, New
Zealand and South Africa, for help to establish Co-Masonic lodges. They are
beginning to realise the deep religious meaning of the ceremonial.
motto of our S[upreme] C[ouncil] in Paris is “A La Gloire De l’Humanité”.
What is the glory of humanity but the development of that perfection of the
ideal of the unity of interest, which will make war, and all forms of cruelty,
tyranny and injustice impossible in the future? The establishment of the true
brotherhood and sisterhood in mankind.’
Freemasonry in North Carolina
1775, the Afro-American leader Prince Hall and fourteen other blacks were
initiated into freemasonry by a regimental lodge under the Irish constitution.
In 1784, the English Grand Lodge gave a warrant to African
Lodge No. 459 to meet in Boston. From
1797, the African Lodge started to act
autonomously, eventually declaring itself independent of any Grand Lodge and,
and this providing the basis for the emergence of Prince Hall masonry
as an Afro-American branch of freemasonry. In 1955, Prince Hall masonry had over
300,000 members, and was a major institution of the black middle class in
America. The following extract is from William Henry Grimshaw, The Official
History of Freemasonry Among the Colored People in North America (New
York: Broadway Publishing, 1908), pp. 258-260. It describes the reaction of the White
Grand Lodge of North Carolina to the
establishment of a lodge in the state by the Grand Master of Prince Hall
freemasonry. Incapable of conceiving of a
black grand lodge, the white masons of North Carolina assumed the new lodge had
been formed by the white Grand Lodge of New York.
‘In 1865, Paul Drayton, National Grand Master [of Prince Hall
freemasonry], assisted in establishing in the city of Newberne, King Solomon
Lodge, No. 1, F. A. A. M. The white Grand Lodge of North Carolina proceeded to
arraign the white Grand Lodge of New York for violating its masonic
jurisdiction, in the following manner:
the facts be true, the Grand Lodge of New York has sent an agent into the
Southern States with full power to organize lodges throughout the southern
portion of the country, that said Grand Lodge has no such right.
fear that our northern brethren are in gross error as to their masonic mission
to the south. Why should the mission be to the south? Why not to the negroes of
the north? We fear that they are unconsciously imbued with the spirit of
fanaticism; that they have unwholesome dreams that they are better than we. And
we do allow ourselves to resist the conviction that we are not more devoted to
the best interests of the negroes of the south than they can possibly be. They
were born in our families; we have nursed them in sickness, laboured with them
in the field and in the shop.
We have rejoiced with them when we had much, and suffered with them when
we had little; we have protected them because they were weak, and advised them
because they were ignorant.
We have made them better than Africans and nearly equal to our northern
people, themselves being the judges. And, but for fanaticism, doubtless many of
them would have been worthy of masonic privileges. Our earnest desire now is
still further to improve their condition. We would educate them, improve their
habits and manners, and make them industrious and prudent.”
white brethren of North Carolina really thought that Paul Drayton was a white
mason, for he certainly looked like one, and hailing from New York, and the
authority of a Grand Master of Masons, to do work among the negroes of the
south. They had never heard of a negro Grand Lodge of masons in the world, hence
the above arraignment.
above paragraphs are remarkable as coming from a Southern source. They do not,
in the abstract, question the propriety of making masons of negroes. Our ancient
landmarks are, that he that be made a mason must be able in all degrees; that
is, freeborn, worthy and well qualified. It is not necessary that the candidate
should be a white man. We teach that in every clime and among every people where
masonry has existed, and to every human being our benevolence extends. But
propriety, conformity to government, and reasonable to religion and to manners
and customs, have distinguished our order. Our communications are often breast
to breast, mouth to ear. Fellowship in the sense of the most perfect equality,
intimate relationship, and close communion, is the chief characteristic of our
are not disposed to criticise the above paragraph, written by my white brethren
with much nicety, but that they do not question the propriety of making masons
of negroes, comes with singular significance from a section of the country that,
for more than half a century, has been consistent in its denunciations of the
recognitions by northern Grand Lodges of colored men who had been made masons
even in foreign countries and by lawful authority. Tempora
mutantur, et nos mutantur in illis.
Almighty never made a slave. Slavery is a condition into which the child enters
after birth - the strong taking advantage of the weak. It follows then that his
restoration to freedom restores him to all his natural rights.’
Masonic Tales of the Raj
organised sports and gothic architecture, freemasonry was one of the cultural
forces which held together the British Empire. Masonic lodges provided an
important meeting place for the expatriate British, and mixed race lodges were
one of the main venues in which the colonisers mixed with the colonised. The
atmosphere of British imperial freemasonry is vividly captured by a small
collection of adventure stories published by H. W. B. Moreno in 1907,
Freemasonry Revealed! Being a Series of Short Stories of Anglo-Indian Life
Concerning Masons and Masonry. The stories are in a popular Boy’s Own Paper ripping yarn style, but all centre around masonic life in India. Moreno
is described on the title page as Past Master, Lodge Thomas Jones No. 2441
(EC), Past Principal Z, Royal Arch Chapter Progress No. 3054
(EC), Past District Grand Sword Bearer, District Grand Lodge of Bengal,
Past District Grand Organist, District Grand Chapter of Bengal.
Moreno was himself Indian. The following is the opening of his story Masonry
Defiled. A Tragic Story About Two Masons, A Maiden and A Serpent (pp. 53-56):
‘The Planter community at Darjeeling had organised an informal soirée
at the Club, to commemorate, in some special manner, the installation of one of
the popular Planters of the neighbouring, tea-growing district, as Worshipful
Master of Lodge “Mount Everest”. The usual installation banquet had taken
place; but as a token of appreciation, a social gathering was inaugurated, at
which, the Planters, always genial hosts, were at home to their numerous friends
small tables lay scattered about the spacious club hall, at which sat groups of
well-dressed gentlemen, some lolling back in their chairs; whilst the hum of
conversation and the occasional bursts of laughter that arose, amidst the
clinking of glasses and the clattering of crockery together with the wafting
clouds of tobacco smoke, betokened that a merry evening was being spent.
Presently, Tom Grumley - Captain Grumley as he was better known - an old Planter
of the district, stepped in.
Cap’n! Here we are again”, shouted some of the younger members as a welcome.
along, Cap’n, right this way, easy, right down by this chair”, cried one of
them, “now what’s your poison”.
and Soda”, soberly replied the Captain, “and, if you don’t mind, a good,
you are”, replied another, handing the captain his cigar-case, “here are
some ‘Moulmeins’, have your pick”.
Captain selected his cigar, lit it up, poured out his peg, drank half of it down
in one gulp and ejaculated: “What’s up? You fellows seem a bit quiet this
up!” cried one, “why, waiting for you to give us one of your old yarns”.
oh!” shouted another, “let it go now; something nice and crisp”.
started the Captain, dashing lightly the ash of his cigar on to the little tray
which lay beside him, “I cannot forget the time, - it’s now fourteen years -
when I gave up the army and with it, masonry; but on such occasions, old
memories will revive, when I was a soldier and staunch mason...
years ago, in the early ‘70s, away in Merrie England, I joined the South
Lancashires, the Royal XXXth as they were always known. Fred Knowles, who lived
in the same hamlet where I came from, caught as well the fire of military glory,
that was pervading England at that time, and we both joined the battalion
together, taking our commissions as junior subalterns...We had not been long in
the regiment, when it was drafted out to India, and we were sent right away to
those days we had none of the home-comforts you fellows get now; none of your
brick-built houses, with a punkah going over your head, night and day; none of
your dainty English dishes, with choice wines in between - no, no, by Jove, we
had to live in open bungalows, with the hot east wind to fan us to sleep, with
beef and fowl in all varieties to swallow down and the wild open country around
us to gaze at.
and I took a place to ourselves, sharing expenses and leading idle, easy lives,
with an occasional drill or two, when the heat permitted us to get about. Then
they formed a military lodge, ‘Lodge Union’, it was styled and we joined it,
working together as true and loyal masons and occupying all our leisure moments
in studying the mysteries of the craft.
went on smoothly for a while, when an order came for the battalion to move on to
Meerut we found ourselves near by the Irish Fusiliers, a fine set of fellows,
none of them under six feet in height, and every one of them down-right
good-hearted souls. Colonel Carstairs was in charge of them and a nice old man
was he, with a head as bald as a billiard ball and with a large pair of
brown-dyed moustaches, but a kind and generous man withal. He assumed the
Mastership of our regimental lodge at Meerut and an excellent Master he made,
for his very appearance commanded respect. And he had an only daughter - by Gad,
the loveliest girl in the land...”‘
The Indian Freemason’s Friend
various masonic periodicals which appeared with increasing profusion are a rich
source of information about masonic culture and ideology in the 19th century.
The following extracts from
The Indian Freemason’s Friend, 3 (1863),
pp. 155-60, illustrate how freemasonry
acted as a force for Anglicisation in India.
‘The foundation-stone of The Presbyterian Church at Allahabad being
about to be laid, a copy of the Indian
Freemason’s Friend (old series), containing an account of the laying of
the foundation-stone of St Andrew’s Kirk, Calcutta, has been sent to the
Chaplain. The foundation-stone of St Andrew’s Kirk was laid by the Provincial
Grand Master of Bengal, Sir Archibald Seton - Lord Moira being at that time
Grand Master of India...
the 1st April, the Provincial Grand Master paid a visit to the Lodge Anchor
and Hope, at Howrah, and received the compliment of being elected an
Honorary Member. The lodge now meets in what is called the Ice House (in which
there is no ice), and occupies rooms more spacious than those of the
Freemasons’ Hall in Cossitollah...
the first time, to the best of our knowledge, a Parsee has become Master of a
lodge in the Province of Bengal. W. Bro. Nanabhoy Burjorjee, the present master
of Lodge Star of Burmah, No. 897, Rangoon, was employed under our late
Provincial Junior Grand Warden, R. W. Bro. Peter Anderson, in 1856 and 1857; and
he then felt an anxious desire to become a mason. In June 1858, he was initiated
in the Rangoon Lodge; in December of the same year, previously to proceeding to
Bombay, he was passed to the Second Degree in Calcutta, in Lodge Industry
and Perseverance, No. 126; and in June 1859, he was raised to the Third
Degree at Rangoon. He was shortly after appointed Secretary of lodge Star
of Burmah by W. Bro. Dr. Dickinson; and in the following year, he also
officiated for the Treasurer, W. Bro. Jordan, who had proceeded to Ava. In 1861
and 1862 he filled the offices of Senior Deacon and Junior Warden; and in the
middle of the latter year he was promoted to the western chair, - the Senior
Warden, Bro. Bulloch, having left India for England. On the 8th December 1862,
he was raised by the suffrages of the brethren to the eastern chair; and on the
5th January, he was installed by a Board of Past Masters, consisting of Bros.
Newmarch, Dickinson and McPhail.’
A Working Class Lodge in the East End of London
French refugees who fled to London after Napoleon III’s coup in 1851 were
masons, but found the cost of English freemasonry prohibitive and its meetings
unsatisfactory, so they joined instead an illicit lodge known as the Grand
Loge des Philadelphes. The Philadelphes established lodges for working-class Englishmen at
Stratford and Woolwich in the London area, both well-known centres of radical
activity. The English Grand Lodge received a complaint about the Stratford
lodge, known as Equality Lodge, and
circulated its members warning them not to associate with any lodges connected
with the Philadelphes. This prompted the following protest from Equality
Lodge to the English Grand Lodge, dated 4
December 1859, which is remarkable not only for its denunciation of English
freemasonry but also for its explanation of why working men might want to become
masons. The original letter is preserved on the Rite of Memphis
subject file in the Library and Museum of Freemasonry, Freemasons’ Hall,
‘As it appears from a circular issued by the “Board of General
Purposes” addressed to the masonic body in England, that great misconception
exists in the minds of the members of that board as to the real objects and
character of the brethren comprising the Equality Lodge at Stratford we are
instructed by the WM and Council of the Lodge to forward to you for the
information of the Board such facts as may be useful to make known at the
Quarterly Communication. In the first place, Stratford and its neighbourhood
contains a population of some thousands of skilled mechanics, artisans and
engineers, many of whom from their superior attainment or from the exigencies of
trade are called upon to pursue their avocation in the various states of
continental Europe or in our own colonial possessions and to whom therefore the
advantages arising from masonic fraternity are of great consequence. A desire
therefore has long existed for the erection of a masonic temple in this district
and one or two abortive attempts have been made for this purpose by brethren in
connection with your Grand Lodge, the failure arising chiefly from the large
sums necessary for initiations and raisings. The matter would probably have
rested here, had it not happened some eighteen months since that several parties
now brethren of this lodge were brought into communication with a number of
foreign brothers meeting in London and holding a warrant from the “Grand
Empire of Memphis”. After several conferences and much consideration our
present Temple was opened and consecrated on the last festival of St John and
its labours have been conducted from that period with a success beyond previous
anticipation. The works are opened, carried on and closed, with all the formula,
decorum and as we trust the true spirit of masonry, which as we have been taught
is like christianity, universal in its application, in its language and its
aims, and recognises no distinction of creed or country.
feel honoured therefore by our association with those intellectual and
honourable men to whom we owe our existence as a body, we sympathise with their
misfortunes, and regret the causes from their native land. Are you surprised
therefore that we repudiate the epithet of spurious
when applied to us? We hold the spurious
to be him who forgetful of the solemn obligations he has undertaken, turns his
back upon a brother, or by his conduct brings disgrace upon a time honoured
Institution. It is untrue that either political or religious matters find any
place in our work or our discussions. We may not be orthodox; we may have
transgressed against the rules of an establishment, and the doors of the Temples
of that establishment may be closed against us; We regret it! but we shall not
retaliate; our works are open to the inspection of every true brother and the
records of our labours to that of every qualified officer. We have to apologise
for troubling you but we have felt it due to ourselves as Englishmen to defend
ourselves from unjust imputations, as had we neglected to do so, we should have
forfeited our dignity of character as masons.
“We have spoken truth! Judge ye”‘
September 11th: The New Anti-Masonry
is well-known, the events of 11 September 2001 were, appallingly, made the
occasion for a new anti-semitism, when it was alleged (on no factual basis
whatever) that the Israeli secret service had prior knowledge of the attacks on
the World Trade Centre and that Israelis working there were warned of the
danger. Since at least the time of
The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,
anti-semitism has gone hand in hand with anti-masonry, so it is not surprising
that allegations that 11 September was a Zionist plot have been accompanied by
suggestions that the attacks were inspired by a masonic world order. The
following two abstracts are representative of the many sites on the world wide
web which work out these crazed and grotesque theories at absurd length.
Unleashing the King of Terrors
first anti-masonic text is by the American Evangelist Texe Marrs, a former
United States Air Force officer and Professor of Aerospace Systems, who has
taken a particular interest in new age philosophies.
‘In the authoritative book, Art
and Architecture of Freemasonry, the author [James Steven Curl] says that
the two columns, or pillars (Jachin and Boaz), “play a significant role” in
masonic ritual and “are the medium by which the secret knowledge” is
transmitted. This picture is of the two masonic pillars in the Würzburg,
Germany Cathedral. Note the serpentine spirals on each pillar
September 11th the day the Illuminati attacked America?
were told by our government and the media that there was an intelligence
breakdown and failure.
were simply made, said our President, by the FBI, CIA, INS, and other agencies.
Costing over 5,000 lives! Baloney! If there were mistakes, who has paid for
them? Has even one CIA or FBI agent been punished? Has even one lost his or her
have carefully and meticulously analyzed what really happened on September 11th
-and in the months and years leading up to that fateful and tragic date. I am
convinced that the top levels of the CIA and FBI knew in advance what was to
was no mere intelligence letdown or oversight. This bloody horror was a
premeditated attack on the very foundation of the United States, an occultic
event of monumental prophetic significance. Still more important, the
ritualistic nightmare and suffering of September 11th must be accurately viewed
by true Christians as the beginning of the cataclysmic, prophesied war against
the saints, a severe deterioration of Constitutional protections once offered
the American citizenry but now destined to rapidly evaporate and vanish.
happened on September 11, 2001, was nothing less than an elaborate, carefully
crafted and dynamically staged satanic ritual. I believe the tumbling down of
the twin towers of the World Trade Center was a blood sacrifice. It was, in
fact, a scripted holocaust, which the highest echelon of the theocratic
Illuminati euphemistically labeled the “Unleashing of the King of Terrors.”
the Unleashing of the King of Terrors a satanically energized variation of the
third degree ritual of Freemasonry was staged - the Master Mason degree - in
which the candidate (playing the role of Hiram Abiff, the antichrist) lying in a
coffin, is raised by the strong grip of the Lion’s Paw. In the ritual, it is
noted that the two pillars (towers), Jochin [sic.]
and Boaz, have fallen and are in need of restoration.
transpired on September 11th was a black magic ceremony intended to bring about
the restoration of the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem and the raising of its
twin pillars which had fallen (“Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen” -
two are fallen -see Revelation 18:2).
fall of Babylon and its twin towers, says Bible prophecy, occurs in a single
hour: “She shall be utterly burned with fire… that great city Babylon, that
mighty city! For in one hour is thy judgment come.”
there is more to come, for this grotesque Satanic ritual must conclude with the
coming of the beast - the son of the Devil - he who was “raised” by the
creature from hell on September 11, 2001. This is the long-awaited dawning of
the astrological age of Saturn, the sixth planet, the New Age, with its earthly
“Messiah” and its unholy New World Order.
I am declaring here demands evidence and substantiation. And it must line up
with end-time prophecies given us by our Lord and His prophets in His Holy Word.
In an exclusive report I have prepared especially for friends of Power of
Prophecy, I do, indeed, present this proof and biblical foundation. In the 60
minute audiotape, entitled Unleashing the King of Terrors, I fully examine the
occult underpinnings of the September 11th carnage and reveal its deeply hidden
esoteric and prophetic meaning.
realize that by publishing this astonishing material I am placing myself in
great jeopardy. Believe me, I have carefully weighed the cost, but the truth
must be told. I am relying on the prayers of the saints to protect me. If God
wills, no harm will come to me because of these exposures. But regardless, I owe
it to you and to our Lord to lay everything on the line. Even so, come quickly,
B. Twin Towers = 11 + Flight 11 + September, 11th = 33
second extract, from an anonymous website, illustrates the use of spurious
numerology to support this theory. The numerological techniques of the author of
the second extract are succinctly explained elsewhere on the site: ‘Flight
11, 93, 175, 77 - If these numbers are broken down, 11 actually remains the same
in numerology, 93 becomes 12, 175 becomes 13 and 77 becomes 14. 11, 12, 13,
14 Broken down again and you have 2 - 3 = 4 - 5. Add them all up and break them
‘In Freemasonry 33 is the highest degree there is. Remember on another
page I taught you one must be careful in pointing the finger at an instigator?
Well, I’ll point the finger right now. Certain members of the U.S. Government
and the U.S. Military knew the event was going to happen because they are the
ones who planned it. They worked together with Osama bin Laden to bring this event to pass.
11 was a
Boeing 767-200. It hit the North Tower at 8:45 AM EST. The
length of the aircraft is 159 feet and 2 inches. 1 + 5 + 9 - 2 (planes?) = 13. The
number 13 is used extensively within Freemasonry. The 33rd degree Masonic
Temple is located just 13 blocks north of the White House. There are many other
instances of the number thirteen within Masonry. The Pagan mind is obsessed
with numbers and symbols.
175 was also
a Boeing 767-200. This aircraft hit the South Tower. 1 + 7 + 5
= 13. The Twin Towers were hit with planes carrying the occult signatures
of “11” and “13”, the two most important numbers in the entire occult
world. The number “11” symbolizes all that is evil and imperfect [The Old
World Order] and the number “13” signifies rebellion against God’s
It is interesting that the North Tower was hit first. In Masonic
doctrine, North, is designated as the area where darkness, superstition, and
ignorance dwells. Albert Pike describes this belief: ‘To
all Masons, the North has immemorially been the place of darkness; of the great
lights of the Lodge, none is in the North.’
[Morals and Dogma, p. 592]
Elite Mason worships toward the East, because they are pagan Sun worshippers,
hence the Eastern Star. Most other Masons do not even realize
this. In their Lodges, the North is empty as a symbol of their belief about that
direction. Why do Masons believe this way about the North? The Bible states that
God sits on His throne in the north [Isaiah 14:13]. By striking the North Tower
first, the Illuminist Masons guiding this world into the New World Order may
have been symbolically striking at God and His system, the Old World Order!
you tie these two understandings together, you should realize why the first
aircraft designated “11” hit the North Tower first. North is the
direction of God’s throne.
know who is behind the terrible tragedy simply by the occult Illuminist
signature. Osama bin Laden was only carrying out part of
the plan which originated from the Illuminati. If American, British, and
Israeli Intelligence really wanted a man out of the way, they would get him no
matter how rich or powerful or protected he might be. Osama bin Laden is alive
today only because the Illuminati wants him to be alive.’
15A-B: Islamic Anti-Masonry
1987, the Egyptian writer Sa’id Ayyub published a book arguing that there was
a link between freemasonry and dajjal, the Muslim equivalent of Anti-Christ.
These theories were elaborated and popularised among the Islamic community by
the English convert to Islam, David Misa Pidcock. Since the events of 11
September 2001, the idea that freemasons worship the devil has become widespread
among British muslims. The following are representative samples of the large
number of web postings which document this new Islamic anti-masonry.
A. Dajjal – The Anti Christ
would like to inform you all of some information I have come across and feel
that I must share it with all and hope and pray that we all learn a lesson from
will have heard much about DAJJAL - THE ANTI-CHRIST the Anti-Christ from the
Christian and Jewish authorities. But what did The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) say
about DAJJAL (The greatest Fitnah (Evil, test)) that will ever befall mankind.
shall DAJJAL appear? Most of the signs prevalent before the coming of DAJJAL can
now be observed. One thing though is for certain, if you are fortunate enough
not to witness the Anti-Christ, then your children certainly shall. Before the
Anti-Christ shall appear we have been told there shall be a SYSTEM, a DAJJAL-
system, that is up and running, that shall await his arrival. This
DAJJAL-system, will be the most evil and most corrupt satanic, kaafir force in
system shall promote mass immorality (Homosexuality, Adultery, Fornication),
Atheism, Devil-worship, use of USURY, Intoxication, (Alcohol & Drug abuse),
Crime, Injustice, Oppression, Fitnah of the Pen (Pornography magazines etc.),
cause wars, Famine, Massacres, Rape and suffering on an immeasurable scale.
DAJJAL-system is of course as we know is FREEMASONRY
Every single position in the United Nations, The EEC and every position in the
British Parliament is held by people who are Freemasons. Freemasonry has
something in the region of 700,000 members in England and Wales, yet the British
public hardly know anything about them. Freemasons secretly worship a Devil-God,
known as JAHBULON, If you do not believe me (see pages 230-240 of the
International best selling book on Freemasonry “The Brotherhood”, by Stephen
Knight & “Satanic Voices”, by David M Pidcock).
Jews, the Christians, the Atheists and Secularist, the Munafiqeen, the whole of
Kuffaar shall fall under the banner of the Anti-Christ, against Islam. It may
also surprise you to know that all Christian Organizations are Masonic
Institutions. About 60% of the Archbishops are Freemasons and secretly practice
Devil-worship (see above mentioned books). If you want to know if a church is
being used as a Masonic-Temple, then look on the stained glass windows for a
Masonic symbol such as ‘a snake and a dagger, or a star of David ‘. If the
church is in the shape of a Greek Temple, then it is definitely used for Masonic
purposes. In Liverpool, the Roman Catholic cathedral has many Pyramids, Masonic
symbols. There may be much fear about DAJJAL, but the final victory has been
promised to the Muslims. Whereby every single Jew/Freemason shall be put to
death. The whole Earth shall be cleansed of Kuffaar once and for all.
Bin Hussain (RA) relates that I heard Prophet (SAWS) saying : “That since the
birth of Adam (AS) till the advent of Qiyamah (Judgement day), there is no
Fitnah (Evil, test) much greater than that of DAJJAL” (MUSLIM).
will emerge from a place between Syria and Iraq, and his emergence will become
known when he is in Isfahaan at a place called Judea (Yahudea). He will be of
Jewish origin. He will have caused his Jewish parents much distress and pain.
The Jews will accept him as “The Messiah” and become his main followers. He
will also have a great number of women followers as well. The entire secular
world (Jews/Freemasons, Atheist, Christians, Hindus Etc.) shall unite under the
banner of the Anti-Christ against Islam. Islam will be the only force standing
between him and the total world domination.
(RA) says, “Dajjal will be blind in one eye”. This blind eye will be swollen
like a grape: There will be a thick finger-like object in his eye. The letters
“KAF”, “FE”, “RE” will be written on his forehead (meaning -
Unbeliever). Every Muslim will be able to read these letters whether he is
literate or illiterate. He will travel at great speeds by means of a gigantic
animal-like a mule… (MUSLIM & AHMAD).
Bin Saamit (RA) says, Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) said “ I have explained DAJJAL
to you, but I fear that you might not have understood. DAJJAL will be short, and
his legs will be crooked. The hair on his head will be extremely twisted... If
you have any doubt regarding DAJJAL, remember that your Sustainer (ALLAH), is
not one eyed. (Because DAJJAL will eventually claim to be God himself. His
followers shall accept him as such). He will be able to split a person into two
and then bring him back life again... (AHMAD).
Hudhayfah ibn al-Yaman: “Subay’ ibn Khalid said: I came to Kufah at the time
when Tustar was conquered. I took some mules from it. When I entered the mosque
(of Kufah), I found there some people of moderate stature, and among them was a
man whom you could recognize when you saw him that he was from the people of
Hijaz. I asked: Who is he? The people frowned at me and said: Do you not
recognize him? This is Hudhayfah ibn al-Yaman, the companion of the Apostle of
Allaah (peace_be_upon_him). Then Hudhayfah said: People used to ask the Apostle
of Allaah (peace_be_upon_him) about good, and I used to ask him about evil. Then
the people stared hard at him. He said: I know the reason why you dislike it. I
then asked: Apostle of Allaah, will there be evil as there was before, after
this good which Allaah has bestowed on us? He replied: Yes. I asked: Wherein
does the protection from it lie? He replied: In the sword. I asked: Apostle of
Allaah, what will then happen? He replied: If Allaah has on Earth a caliph who
flays your back and takes your property, obey him, otherwise die holding onto
the stump of a tree. I asked: What will come next? He replied: Then the
Antichrist (Dajjal) will come forth accompanied by a river and fire. He who
falls into his fire will certainly receive his reward, and have his load taken
off him, but he who falls into his river will have his load retained and his
reward taken off him. I then asked: What will come next? He said: The Last Hour
will come. (Translation of Sunan Abu-Dawud, Book 35, Trials and Fierce Battles
(Kitab Al-Fitan Wa Al-Malahim), Number 4232)”
Mu’adh ibn Jabal: “The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: The greatest war,
the conquest of Constantinople and the coming forth of the Dajjal (Antichrist)
will take place within a period of seven months. (Translation of Sunan Abu-
Dawud, Book 37, Battles (Kitab Al-Malahim), Number 4282)”
Abu Hurayrah: “The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: There is no prophet
between me and him, that is, Jesus (peace_be_upon_him). He will descent (to the
earth). When you see him, recognise him: a man of medium height, reddish fair,
wearing two light yellow garments, looking as if drops were falling down from
his head though it will not be wet. He will fight the people for the cause of
Islaam. He will break the cross, kill swine, and abolish jizyah. Allaah will
perish all religions except Islaam. He will destroy the Antichrist
and will live on the earth for forty years and then he will die. The Muslims
will pray over him. (Translation of Sunan Abu-Dawud, Book 37, Battles (Kitab
Al-Malahim), Number 4310)”
(RA) also says, He will have with him WATER (Heaven) and FIRE (HELL). In reality
his hell shall be heaven and his heaven shall be hell... (MUSLIM). In another
Ahaadeeth of Our Prophet (SAWS) has said, that DAJJAL shall not know himself the
difference between the two. If you are forced to choose between the two, then
choose his fire (Hell), for in reality, it will be cool water, and his water
(Heaven), shall be Hell.
Bin Hussain (RA) says the Prophet (SAWS) said; “Those who hear about DAJJAL
should stay far from him. By Allah! A person will approach him thinking him to
be a believer, but on seeing his amazing feats, will become his follower”.
Media messages from Satan
‘Historically the control and manipulation of political opinion has
been the Freemason’s main weapon in gaining control of countries and states.
Once in control of the rulers and politicians of a country, laws and political
structures could be changed in accordance with their agenda. However, since
restricting the body does not necessarily mean restricting the mind, the
freemasons recognised that their plan for a global government hinges completely
on subduing the masses to their agenda. And thus, eliminating opposition to
their cause. And the greatest threat to their plan posing more danger than any
army or law is the threat of a free thinking mind. In order to eliminate this
threat and to achieve their objective the freemason had set about the boldest
plan ever devised…the complete control of every aspect of human life…Your
the weapons they are using against you are in your very home, entertaining and
your children and gradually indoctrinating you without you even realising.
today’s society people are spending more and more time engaged with modern
media: television, cinema, computer games, the Internet. Popular fiction and
popular music are integral part of their lives. Yet this provide of vast expanse
on information which you are taking either consciously or subconsciously into
your mind - information on society ranging from ideals or morals and the
difference between right and wrong, to the way societies and economies should be
structured, is passed before you every single day. These media play a
significant role in providing the basis for determining an individual’s view
of the world and everything that exists. Thus, any one group in complete control
of this information placed on this media will in effect have the power to
indoctrinate practically the entire populace of the world to their way of
thinking. And it is this fact the freemasons are exploiting. The masons are
using the entertainment industry in particular to condition people to their way
of thinking, either openly or subliminally. The methods they use vary but the
goal is the same, to impose their beliefs, their ideology and their objectives
on you in such a way that you begin to think of them as your own. Evidence of
their presence within popular entertainment is widespread. Masonic involvement
in the industry is not a new thing. A great composer, Wolfgang Amadeos Mozart, a
freemason himself, composed a symphony, which was an open display of
freemasonry. The symphony is based on a story taken from ancient Egyptian
mythology of Isis and Osiris. The pagans’ rites of ancient Egyptian mythology
form through the caballa one of the fundamental aspects of freemasonry. It is
from these same pagan origins of Egypt that the symbol of the “one eye”
stems. Evidence of the freemasonic presence is also commonly found in the
popular music of more recent time - Michael Jackson, held today as the king of
pop is regarded as the greatest entertainer of all times. He is responsible for
providing the best-selling album in the world, may not be known to be linked
with the freemasons. However, the cover of his album ‘Dangerous’ has some
interesting features. On it, the freemasonic symbol of the one eye can be found,
then also a picture of a watery lay, behind which lay burning flames. It seems
as though anyone entering into the water would really be entering into the fire.
The cover also has on it a picture of a bald- headed man, well known to the
occult as Aleister Crowley.
Crowley himself was a freemason who became a Satanist and wrote the book “The
New Law of Man” which stated in it that it would one day replace the Koran as
the law of man.
Links between freemasonry and the occult do end there. The products of
the masonically controlled music are riddled with subliminal satanic messages.
Backtracking is the means of placing recorded messages into soundtracks in such
a way that only become intelligible when the track is replayed backwards. When
it is played forward however the listener would be totally unaware that a
message is being played.
the listener may be unaware, the subconscious mind can pick up and understand
the messages and in the long term, this can be stored in the subconscious mind
and may actually affect a person’s behaviour or judgement. In many ways,
backtracking is like a form of hypnotism or brainwashing and has the power to be
very destructive. The first example of backtracking is from the famous female
artist Madonna; it features on one of her famous albums and is taken from the
song “like a prayer”. Played forward, the song sounds like this: [sound file] however, as you will hear, it is not to God the prayer
is directed at, but Satan. When played backwards, the words “ho hero Satan”
are clearly audible. The Freemasonic “one eye” has also been featured on the
video for one of Madonna songs, where Madonna actually appears with the one eye
coming out of her forehead. Madonna also appears on a video for one of her songs
where she is standing on some writing. Closer examination will reveal that this
writing is actually Arabic, the language of the Koran.
Another example of backtracking is taken from the group “the eagles”
and the song is called “Hotel California” [sound
file]. The words “yes Satan” can be clearly heard when the song is
played backwards. As well as containing this message, the song itself is a story
in its own right, the California of the song is not a hotel but is actually a
street called California, it is on this very street that the headquarters of a
church were founded. But it was not the type of church that one may think.
it is a church that some have called the church of Satan. It was headed and
founded by Anthony de Levi, the author of the Satanic Bible. It appears that
teachings of this church may have become the integral belief of many famous
personalities in the entertainment industry, from rock groups to more mainstream
artists. Some have gone as far as promoting the church and its belief. One
alleged member of the church is a singer of the “Rolling Stones”, who wrote
the song “Sympathy for the Devil”. It seems that what originally started as
a Christian organisation later turned into a heretic religion, even to the
Christians, and now has satanic elements mixed in. The entire entertainment
world is rife with evidence of the freemason’s presence. Openly or
subliminally, their agenda and beliefs and ideals are propagated.
is especially evident within the film industry, on the big screen and the small
screen, from big budget Hollywood films to simple cartoons. The masons have not
left anything to chance in promoting their message of a global government.
growning [sic.], the creator of one of the most popular cartoon series in
television history, “the Simpson’s” [sic.],
is a self-confessed anarchist. Matt growning himself has openly declared that he
wanted to get his own political ideas across within his work. But he wanted to
do this in such a way that people would find it easy to accept his ideas. And
the means he chose to this was a cartoon called “the Simpson’s”. So, what
exactly is the Simpson’s teaching us and our children? There are many lessons
being programmed into us. These include:
- Disregard for authority, either parental or governmental
- The bad man and his disobedience is a way to attain status amongst
- Ignorance is trendy and cool whereas knowledge is unfashionable
However what is especially worrying is the Masonic undertones of one
episode in particular. The episode in which the father, figure of the family,
Homer Simpson, becomes obsessed with a group called the stonecutters or should
it be called the freemasons? Upon joining the group his fellow-members find a
birthmark on him, the mark that makes the rest of the group declare him to be
the chosen one: [sound file]. But with
his new found honour and dignity, he, homer Simpson fools himself into thinking
that he is god: [sound file].
may dismiss it as nothing more than a children’s cartoon, a bit of harmless
fun. But the influence it has on audience makes it a very effective means of
propaganda. Indoctrinating a people without them even realising. They are
propagating their political ideas to the audience in a covered manner. Ideas
spread through the domestic television can reach a far wider audience than
movies and cinema, and it is through this media that a new concept is being
introduced: The concept of one global leader.’
marked with an *asterisk do not contain specific references to freemasonry, but
give a helpful introduction to some of the ideas contained in this essay.
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Cornerstone Society, November 2001: available online at
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y Periodismo en la España Contemporanea, Zaragoza: Universidad de Zaragoza
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London: Hutchinson 1987.
* Susan G. Davis, Parades and
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* Victoria de Grazia and Ellen Furlough (eds.), The Sex of Things: Gender and Consumption in Historical Perspective,
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Lynn Dumenil, Freemasonry and
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* Mark Harrison, Crowds and
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Sociability in Nineteenth-Century Germany’, Gender
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Enlightenment’, in: Eleanor C. Riemer (ed.),
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1984, pp. 69-93.
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F. Teichgraeber III (eds.), The Culture of
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Societies, New York: Crescent 1967, pp. 152-77.
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* J. Clyde Mitchell, Social
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Ars Quatuor Coronatorum 104 (1991),
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Edward A. Tiryakian (ed.), On the
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on Both Sides of the Atlantic: Essays concerning the Craft in the British Isles,
Europe, the United States and Mexico, New York: Columbia University Press
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Freemasonry and Middle-Class Realities, Columbia, University of Missouri
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* Stephen Yeo, Religion and Voluntary Societies in Crisis, London: Croom Helm 1976.
Stephen Yeo, Religion and Voluntary Societies in Crisis, London: Croom Helm 1976.
Ibid., p. 1.
Ibid., pp. 341, n. 46; 351, n. 94.
Lodge of Union No. 414, Grey Friars’ Lodge No. 1101, Kendrick Lodge No.
2043: John Lane, Masonic Records
1717-1894, London: Freemasons’ Hall 1895 |(2nd ed.), pp. 267,
345, 425, which also lists five earlier lodges in Reading which had been
erased: pp. 30, 87, 91, 111.
www.a2a.pro.gov.uk; Rebecca Coombes, ‘Subject for Enquiry: Sources for
Research and Historical Bibliography in the Library and Museum of Freemasonry,
London’, in: R. William Weisberger, Wallace McLeod and S. Brent Morris
(eds.), Freemasonry on Both Sides of the
Atlantic: Essays concerning the Craft in the British Isles, Europe, the United
States and Mexico, New York: Columbia University Press 2002, pp. 755-80;
Rebecca Coombes, ‘Genealogical Records at the Library and Museum of
Freemasonry: a Survey of Resources’, Family History Monthly 73 (October 2001), pp. 22-5.
www.vrijmetserarij.nl; Evert Kwaadgrass, ‘George Kloss and His Masonic
Library’, Ars Quatuor Coronatorum 111 (1998), pp. 25-43.
London: George Allen and Unwin 1981.
Jacob’s work has generally not been well received by English masonic
scholars, but for a historian’s view of the fundamental importance of her
work, see Roy Porter, Enlightenment: Britain and the Creation of the Modern World,
London: Penguin Books 2000, pp. 5-6, 30, 32.
Trevor Stewart, ‘European Periodical Literature on Masonic Research: A
Review of Two Decades of Achievement’, in: Weisberger, McLeod and Morris, op. cit., pp. 805-936.
John M. Roberts, ‘Freemasonry: the Possibilities of a Neglected Topic’, English
Historical Review 84 (1969), pp. 323-335; cf. the review by Roberts of
Jasper Ridley, The Freemasons, in
the Times Literary Supplement, 14
January 2000, pp. 3-4.
Noble Frankland, Witness of a Century,
the Life and Times of Prince Arthur Duke of Connaught, London:
Shepheard-Walwyn, 1993. For details of the Duke of Connaught’s masonic
career, see Sir George Aston and Evelyn Graham,
His Royal Highness the Duke of Connaught and Strathearn: A life and Intimate
Study, London: George C. Harrap 1929, pp. 335-9; A. R. Hewitt,
‘Biographical Lists of Grand Masters’, in: A. S. Frere (ed.), Grand
Lodge 1717-1967, Oxford: United Grand Lodge of England, p. 277.
Pierre Chevallier, Histoire de la franc-maçonnerie française, Paris: Fayard 1974-5. Compare
Chevallier’s interpretation of events under the Second Empire and Third
Republic with the more challenging analysis offered by Phillip Nord, The
Republican Moment: Struggles for Democracy in Nineteenth-Century France, Cambridge,
Ma.: Harvard University Press 1999, pp. 15-30, which suggests that support by
freemasonry for the Third Republic reflected not only the harsh treatment of
freemasonry under the Second Empire, but also the influence of significant
groups of ‘seekers of the absolute, legatees of utopian socialism, radical
R. William Weisberger, ‘Prague and Viennese Freemasonry, the Enlightenment,
and the Operations of the True Harmony Lodge of Vienna’, in: Weisberger,
McLeod and Morris, op. cit., pp. 375-420.
For example, Weisberger arbitrarily categorises people as ‘enlighteners’
and refers to enlightenment ideas as if they were an accepted and defined
doctrinal canon, so that, on p. 375, it is stated that masonry served as a
vehicle for the promotion of the enlightenment, and on p. 393, a journal is
described as concerned with the propagation of masonic and enlightenment
ideas, both assuming that the enlightenment was a very simplistic phenomenon.
All recent research on the enlightenment has stressed its multi-faceted and
cf Roberts, op. cit., p. 324: ‘There must surely be something of sociological
interest in an institution whose English Grand Masters have since 1721 always
been noblemen and have included seven princes of the blood...’.
New Welcome Lodge No. 5139, 50th
Anniversary Meeting: ‘The Grand Secretary informed Bro. Rockliff that
the then Prince of Wales (afterwards King Edward VIII, later Duke of Windsor)
was somewhat concerned at the number of occasions on which ballots taken in
lodges appeared to be used to exclude from masonry Labour MPs seeking
membership therein. HRH had therefore suggested to the Grand Secretary that a
lodge might be formed specially for the purpose of enabling Labour MPs and
officials to become masons if they so desired’.
The petition and accompanying memoranda for formation of the lodge in the
Library and Museum of Freemasonry, Freemasons’ Hall, London, do not refer
directly to the Labour party connection of the lodge, but stressed these
broader connections: see Appendix, Document No. 2, below.
Library and Museum of Freemasonry, London, returns of New Welcome Lodge No.
5139; cf. Ben Pimlott (ed.), The
Political Diary of Hugh Dalton, London: Jonathan Cape and London School of
Economics 1986, pp. 224, 265, 268-9.
New Welcome Lodge No. 5139, 50th
Anniversary Meeting states that in 1934 no Member of Parliament appeared
for initiation. An emergency meeting of the Lodge was held and ‘there was
agreement that all future initiates and joining members should have some
connection with Parliament’.
See Appendix, Document No. 1, below.
The Freemason, 4 July 1885, p. 329.
Keith Kisack, Monmouth: The Making of a County Town, London: Phillimore, pp.
Library and Museum of Freemasonry, London, returns of the Royal Augustus Lodge
No. 656, Monmouth; United Grand Lodge, Letter Book B, ff. 126, 134, 192;
Historical Correspondence, 5/D/5-6. See Appendix, Document No. 3, below.
See for example Susan G. Davis, Parades
and Power: Street Theatre in Nineteenth-Century Philadelphia, Berkeley:
University of California Press 1986; Mark Harrison, Crowds
and History: Mass Phenomena in English Towns 1790-1835, Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press 1988, pp. 140-67, 202-67; Neil Jarman, Material Conflicts: Parades and Visual Displays in Northern Ireland,
Oxford: Berg Publishers 1997; Pamela King, ‘Squads and Ha’s: Gender Roles
and Civic Space in Lerwick’s Up Helly Aa’, paper at the University of
Sheffield conference ‘Lodges, Chapters and Orders: Fraternal Organisations
and the Shaping of Gender Roles in Europe’, 2002 (available on-line at:
www.shef.ac.uk/~crf/news/besantconf/king.htm); Susan Smith, ‘Where to Draw
the Line: A Geography of Popular Festivity’ in Alisdair Rogers and Steven
Verdovec (eds.), The Urban Context:
Ethnicity, Social Networks and Situational Analysis, Oxford: Berg
Publishers 1995, pp. 141-164; Meg Twycross, ‘The Triumph of Isabella, or the
Archduchess and the Parrot’, paper at the University of Sheffield conference
‘Lodges, Chapters and Orders: Fraternal Organisations and the Shaping of
Gender Roles in Europe’, 2002 (abstract available on-line at:
www.shef.ac.uk/~crf/news/besantconf/twycross.htm); Robert Withington, English
Pageantry: an Historical Outline, Cambridge, Ma.: Harvard University Press
1918, 2, pp. 3-193.
Trevor Stewart, ‘“Through the Streets They Tramp and Go!’: an
Examination of Scottish Masonic Processions” in M. D. J. Scanlan (ed.), The
Social Impact of Freemasonry on the Modern Western World, The Canonbury
Papers 1, London: Canonbury Masonic Research Centre 2002; Petri Mirala,
‘“A Large Mob, Calling Themselves Freemasons”: Masonic Parades in
Ulster’, in: Peter Jupp and Eoin Magennis (eds.), Crowds
in Ireland, c. 1720-1920, London: Macmillan 2000, pp. 117-39.
See Appendix, Document No. 4, below. Other masonic parades in Sheffield
included: the laying of the foundation stone of Sheffield Infirmary (1793) and
the opening of the Infirmary (1797): J. R. Clarke,
The History of Britannia Lodge, Sheffield: J. W. Northend 1961, pp. 17-18;
the Proclamation of the Peace (1814): Clarke, op.
cit., p. 18; the laying of the foundation stone of St George’s,
Brookhouse Hill (1821): Clyde Binfield, David Hey et al., eds: The History of the City of Sheffield 1843-1993, Sheffield: Sheffield
Academic Press 1993), 2, p. 372; the laying of the foundation stone of St
Mary’s, Bramall Lane (1824): ibid.,
pp 372-3; the laying of the foundation stone of St Andrew’s Presbyterian
church, Hanover Street (July 1855): Binfield, Hey et al., op. cit., 2, p. 413; the laying of the foundation stone of the alms
house commemorating the Holmfirth Flood of 1852 (21 April 1856): J. G.
Fardell, A Sermon preached at Holmfirth
Church on Monday, April 21st, 1856..., Huddersfield: Joseph Brook 1856.
Stewart, op. cit., pp. 101-102; The
History of Free Masonry... with an Account of the Grand lodge of Scotland, Edinburgh:
Alex. Lawrie 1800, pp. 168-183, 192-5, 200, 212-21, 236-41, 243-55, 256-62,
281-91. An illustration of the laying of the foundation stone of New College,
Edinburgh, is in: John Hamill and R. A. Gilbert, World Freemasonry, London: Aquarian Press 1991, p. 135.
William Preston, Illustrations of
Masonry, London: G. Wilkie 1812, pp. 392-8: see Appendix, Document No. 5,
Hugh B. Urban, ‘The Adornment of Silence: Secrecy and Symbolic Power in
American Freemasonry’, Journal of
Religion and Society 3 (2001): available online at
Mary Ann Clawson, ‘Spectatorship and Masculinity in the Scottish Rite’,
in: C. Lance Brockman (ed.), Theatre of
the Fraternity: Staging the Ritual Space of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry,
Minneapolis: Frederick R. Weismann Art Museum 1996; ‘Fraternal Association
and the Problem of Masculine Consumption’, paper at the University of
Sheffield conference ‘Lodges, Chapters and Orders: Fraternal Organisations
and the Shaping of Gender Roles in Europe’, 2002 (abstract available on-line
cf. Leonore Davidoff and Catherine Hall, Family
Fortunes: Men and Women of the English Middle Class 1780-1850, London:
Hutchinson 1987, pp. 427-9. The drive for the building of masonic halls can be
traced in The Freemasons’ Magazine in the 1850s and 1860s. The details for
individual lodges are documented in Lane,
Simon Gunn, ‘The Middle Class, Modernity and the Provincial City: Manchester
c. 1840-80’ in Alan Kidd and David Nicholls (eds.), Gender,
Civic Culture and Consumerism: Middle-Class Identity in Britain 1800-1940,
Manchester: Manchester University Press 1999, pp. 112-127; Andy Croll, Civilizing
the Urban: Popular Culture and Public Space in Merthyr, c. 1870-1914,
Cardiff, University of Wales Press 2000, pp. 36-61. On the Sheffield masonic
hall, see Appendix, Document No. 6, below, and also Clarke, op.
cit., pp. 36-7, 87-8; Binfield, Hey et al., op.
cit., 2, p. 57. In Monmouth, for example, the local masonic lodge took
over in 1841 a theatre in the centre of the town, which received a facade
similar in style to that recently added to the town’s methodist church:
Kissack, op. cit., p. 259.
Ibid., p. 123.
Victoria de Grazia and Ellen Furlough (eds.), The
Sex of Things: Gender and Consumption in Historical Perspective, Berkeley:
University of California Press 1996; Leonore Davidoff and Catherine Hall,
‘The Architecture of Public and Private Life: English Middle-Class Society
in a Provincial Town 1780-1850’, in: Derek Fraser and Anthony Sutcliffe
(eds.), The Pursuit of Urban History, London: Edward Arnold 1983, pp.
326-45; Christopher P. Hosgood, ‘Mrs Pooter’s Purchase: Lower-Middle-Class
Consumerism and the Sales 1870-1914’, in: Alan Kidd and David Nicholls, op.
cit., pp. 146-63.
Leonore Davidoff and Catherine Hall, Family
Fortunes. The perceptive short discussion of freemasonry on pp. 425-8 of
this book has been generally overlooked.
Robert Beachy, ‘Masonic Apologetic Writings and the Construction of Gender
in Enlightenment Europe’, paper at the 2002 University of Sheffield
conference ‘Lodges, Chapters and Orders: Fraternal Organisations and the
Shaping of Gender Roles in Europe 1300-2000. Abstract available on-line at
Mark Carnes, ‘Middle-Class Men and the Solace of Fraternal Ritual’ in Meanings
for Manhood: Constructions of Masculinity in Victorian America, Chicago:
The University of Chicago Press 1990, pp. 37-66; Secret Ritual and Manhood in Victorian America, New Haven: Yale
University Press 1989.
See Appendix, Document No. 7, below.
M. C. Peck, Three Orations Delivered in Connection with the Wilberforce Lodge No.
2134, Hull, Hull: 1890.
Carnes, ‘Middle-Class Men and the Solace of Fraternal Ritual’, p. 51.
P. J. Rich, ‘Public-school Freemasonry in the Empire: “Mafia of the
Mediocre?”‘, in: J. A. Mangan (ed.),
‘Benefits Bestowed’? Education and British Imperialism, Manchester:
Manchester University Press 1988, pp. 174-92; Elixir
of Empire: The English Public Schools, Ritualism, Freemasonry, and Imperialism,
London: Regency Press 1989; Chains of
Empire: English Public Schools, Masonic Cabalism, Historical Causality, and
Imperial Clubdom, London: Regency Press 1991; The
Invasions of the Gulf: Radicalism,
Ritualism and the Shaikhs, Cambridge: Allborough Press 1991.
Unfortunately, while these books hint at the richness and wide-ranging
connections of this theme, they do not fully document it.
J. G. Taylor, A Short History of the Old Sinjins Lodge (No. 3232), Chelsea: George
White 1935, pp. 5-6; Quentin Gelder, ‘School Freemasonry: “A Very English
Affair”‘, Ars Quatuor Coronatorum
110 (1997), pp. 116-44; Douglas Knoop, University
Masonic Lodges, Sheffield: J. W. Northend 1945; M. J. Crossley Evans,
‘The University of Bristol and Freemasonry 1876-1976 with particular
reference to Lodge No. 1404’, Ars
Quatuor Coronatorum 110 (1997), pp. 163-76.
John F. Nichols, Notes on the History of
the Old Sinjins Lodge No. 3232, Battersea: E. C. Freeman 1957, p. 5.
P. J. Rich, ‘Public-school Freemasonry in the Empire’ p. 177.
Christopher Tyerman, A History of Harrow
School 1324-1991, Oxford: Oxford University Press 2000, pp. 362-4. In
Tyerman’s view, the importance of freemasonry at Harrow reflected the
school’s strongly Anglican and anti-catholic ethos: ‘Anglicanism was
important to Harrow because it formed part of its settled world view. The
anti-Catholicism was partly explained by this, as was the acceptance of
freemasonry which was embedded in Harrow’s clerical as well as lay fabric.
It would not have seemed odd for the freemason classicist J. W. Moir (master
1922-48) to urge Moore [the Headmaster] in 1947 to appoint an openly freemason
clergyman to the staff. The decline in anti-Catholicism, although not
paralleled by an equal decline in freemasonry, forms one of the sharpest
transformations in Harrow’s religious identity [since 1970].’: p. 462.
Ibid., p. 363.
Ibid., p. 386.
Dina M. Copelman, London’s Women
Teachers: Gender, Class and Feminism 1870-1930, London: Routledge 1996.
In 1886, the teaching force of the London School Board comprised 2,076 men and
4,065 women: ibid., p. 50.
Unfortunately this is not discussed by Copelman, and would be a good area for
Appendix, Document No. 8, below
See e.g. Neville Barker Cryer’s various publications on the masonic halls of
England and Wales and John M. Hamill, ‘The Masonic Collections at the Lady
Lever Art Gallery’, Journal of the
History of Collections 4 (1992), pp. 285-295.
American equivalents are discussed by Mary Ann Clawson,
Constructing Brotherhood: Class, Gender and Fraternalism, Princeton:
Princeton University Press 1989, pp. 213-4, who illustrates how lucrative
these businesses could be. Firms manufacturing and selling regalia and other
products did not restrict themselves to the masonic market but aimed at the
whole range of fraternal organisations. For example, the firm of Toye, which
eventually took over Kenning, also produced banners and badges for friendly
societies and trade unions: Paul Martin, The
Trade Union Badge: Material Culture in Action, Aldershot: Ashgate 2002, p.
Leonore Davidoff and Catherine Hall, Family
Fortunes, pp. 429-36.
Janet M. Burke, ‘Freemasonry, Friendship and Noblewomen: The Role of the
Secret Society in Bringing Enlightenment Thought to Pre-Revolutionary Women
Elites’, History of European Ideas
10 (1989) 3, pp. 283-94; several publications by Margaret C. Jacob, Living the Enlightenment: Freemasonry and Politics in
Eighteenth-Century Europe, Oxford: Oxford University Press 1991, pp.
120-142; ‘Freemasonry, Women and the Paradox of the Enlightenment’, in:
Eleanor C. Riemer (ed.), Women and the
Enlightenment, Women and History 9, New York: Haworth Press 1984, pp.
69-93; ‘Money, Equality, Fraternity: Freemasonry and the Social Order in
Eighteenth Century Europe’, in: Thomas L. Haskell and Richard F.
Teichgraeber III (eds.), The Culture of
the Market: Historical Essays, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1993,
pp. 102-35; with Janet M. Burke, ‘French Freemasonry, Women and Feminist
Scholarship’, Journal of Modern
History 68 (September 1996), pp. 513-49.
Carnes, ‘Secret Ritual and Manhood’, pp. 81-9; James Smith Allen,
‘Constructing Sisterhood: Gender in the French Masonic Movement,
1740-1940’, paper at the University of Sheffield conference ‘Lodges,
Chapters and Orders: Fraternal Organisations and the Shaping of Gender Roles
in Europe’, 2002. Abstract available on-line at:
www.shef.ac.uk/~crf/news/besantconf/jimabstr.htm; cf. Nord, op.
cit., pp. 27-8. cf. Robert D. Putnam, Bowling
Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community, New York: Simon and
Shuster 2000, pp. 389-90.
John Hamill and R. A. Gilbert, op. cit.,
pp. 185-6; Daniel Ligou (ed.), Histoire
des franc-maçons en France de 1815 à nos jours, Toulouse: Editions
Privat 2000, pp. 154-8; Nord, op. cit.,
pp. 27-28. Information
about Charlotte Despard and masonic suffragette marches provided by Ann
Pilcher-Dayton. See Appendix, Document No. 9, below.
Ex info Ann Pilcher Dayton.
Hamill and Gilbert, op. cit., pp.
208-9. See Appendix, Document No. 10, below.
William A. Muraskin, Middle-Class Blacks
in a White Society: Prince Hall Freemasonry in America, Berkeley:
University of California Press 1975; Loretta J. Williams, Black
Freemasonry and Middle-Class Realities, Columbia, University of Missouri
Press 1980; cf. Putnam, op. cit.,
pp. 339, 389-91.
Williams, op. cit., pp. 128-134.
A. A. Cooper, ‘Freemasonry in Malawi’, Ars
Quatuor Coronatorum 103 (1990), p. 230
David Gilmour, The Long Recessional: The Imperial life of Rudyard Kipling, London:
John Murray, 2002), p. 69; cf. p. 17. See Appendix Documents Nos. 11-12,
Augustus Casely-Hayford and Richard Rathbone, ‘Politics, Families and
Freemasonry in the Colonial Gold Coast’, in: J. F. Ade Ajayi and J. D. Y.
Peel, People and Empires in African
History: Essays in Memory of Michael Crowder, London: Longman 1992, pp.
Ibid., p. 146.
Ibid., p. 156.
David Stevenson, ‘James Anderson (1679-1739), Man and Mason’, in:
Weisberger, McLeod and Morris, op. cit.,
pp. 199-242; John Money, ‘Freemasonry and the Fabric of Loyalism in
Hanoverian England’, in: Eckhart Helmuth (ed.), The
Transformation of Political Culture: England and Germany in the late
Eighteenth Century, Oxford: Oxford University Press 1990, pp. 235-74.
Avner Halpern, The Democratisation of France 1840-1901: Sociabilité, Freemasonry and
Radicalism, London: Minerva Press 1999; Nord, op.
cit., pp. 15-30.
Abner Cohen, ‘The Politics of Ritual Secrecy’, Man
6 (September 1971), pp. 427-48, reprinted in Edward A. Tiryakian, On the Margin of the Visible: Sociology, the Esoteric and the Occult,
New York: John Wiley 1974, pp. 111-139.
Ibid., p. 129.
Alisdair Rogers and Steven Verkovec, Introduction to op.
cit., pp. 15-21.
See Appendix, Document No. 13, below.
Simon McVeigh, ‘Freemasonry and Musical Life in London in the late
Eighteenth Century’, in: David Wyn Jones (ed.), Music
in Eighteenth-Century Britain, Aldershot: Ashgate 2000, pp. 72-100.
Roger Burt, ‘Freemasonry and Socio-Economic Networking during the Victorian
Period’, Archives 27 (2002), pp. 31-8.
Ibid., p. 33.
For an impression of a characteristic range of material see for example John
M. Hamill, ‘ The Masonic Collections at the Lady Lever Art Gallery’, Journal
of the History of Collections 4 (1992), pp. 285-295.
Secret Ritual and Manhood, p. ix.
cf. Peter Starr, Logics of Failed
Revolt: French Theory After May ‘68, Stanford: Stanford University Press
See for example: www.adl.org/Anti_semitism/speech.asp;
See for example www.texemarrs.com/122001/unleashing_king_of_terrors.htm;
www.rense.com/general15/ whoweneedfear.htm; www.dccsa.com/greatjoy/Barry.htm.
This material changes frequently and can easily disappear. It urgently
requires scholarly listing and analysis. See further Appendix, Documents No.
14 A-B, below. On the whole, this new twist to anti-masonry is not yet
discussed by web sites devoted to documenting and analysing attacks on
masonry, such as the excellent site maintained by the Grand Lodge of British
See for example http://antimasons.8m.com;
David Cook, ‘Muslim Fears of the Year 2000’, Middle
East Quarterly 5 (June 1998): available online at:
David Misa Pidcock, Satanic Voices
Ancient and Modern, Mustaqim: Islamic Art and Literature 1992;
www.islamicparty.com/people/david.htm. Pidcock’s book draws on the familiar
anti-semitic and anti-masonic sources on western anti-masonry - his
acknowledgements include a special note of gratitude to Nesta Webster and the
bibliography includes Holocaust denial literature such as the 1979 pamphlet Six
Million Reconsidered. What is distinctive about Pidcock’s book is the
way in which these commonplace sources are grafted onto current issues of
Islamic concern, such as the Salman Rushdie affair. Pidcock declares (p. 15)
that ‘Many well researched books have been written by Western writers and
journalists exposing the secrets of freemasonry, but to my knowledge none have
attempted to seriously use material from Islamic sources in order to reach a
better understanding of the subject’. On this basis, Pidcock can
legitimately claim to have added a new (and disturbing) thread to the
literature of anti-masonry.
www.halaqahmedia.com/pages/products/index.php. See further Appendix Documents
No. 15 A-B, below.
[lxxxvii] cf. Pidcock, op. cit., p. 106, which notes the use of the term ‘Enlightenment’ by Tom Stoppard and Salman Rushdie, and (following Nesta Webster) links it back, by means of the Illuminati, to revolts against Islam by the Karmathites, Druse, Assassins, etc.