Knights Templar: Grand Masters

 Knights Templar a

1119-1136 Hugh de Payen: One of the nine founding knights of the Order was the first master of the Order of the Temple; Hugh was a vassal of the Count of Champagne from Payns, northwest of Troyes in France. Hugh settled in the kingdom of Jerusalem sometime after 1113, and in 1119, together with Godfrey of Saint-Omer and several other companions, began to patrol the road from Jaffa to Jerusalem in order to protect pilgrims from Muslim attack. The knights were sustained by benefices centred on the Temple complex in Jerusalem. In 1127, Hugh was part of a delegation sent by King Baldwin II of Jerusalem to accompany Fulke V, count of Anjou, to Jerusalem, where he was to marry Melisande, Baldwin’s eldest daughter. While in the West, Hugh travelled extensively in France, Normandy, Flanders, England, and Scotland in order to recruit forces for an attack on Damascus planned for late 1129. In January 1129 the Templars received their rule at the Council of Troyes following an oral explanation of their original customs by Hugh himself. At about the same time, Hugh asked Bernard of Clairvaux to write in their support, a request that resulted in the treatise ‘De laude novae militiae.’

1137-1149 Robert de Craon: Robert, a son of Rainald Burgundio of Craon and Ennoguena of Vitré, belonged to the Angevin high nobility. Robert de Craon was also known as Robert the Burgundian. After several years in the service of the count of Angoulême and at the court of the dukes of Aquitaine, he dissolved his engagement to the heiress of Chabannes and Confolens and traveled to Outremer. By about 1125 he had joined the Templars and became Seneschal of the Order. He travelled to the west, 1132-4, where he received important donations including the castle of Barbera in Spain. Robert became the second grand Master of the Order in 1137 after the death of Hugh de Payen. Robert returned to the West in 1138 and when on 29 March 1139, Pope Innocent II issued the Papal Bull Omne Datum Optimum, the Templars’ most important papal privilege, it named Robert as its recipient. William of Tyre listed Robert among the participants of the Second Crusade’s general curia held in Acre on 24 June 1148 and gave an unusually friendly assessment of him. Robert died on 13 January 1149.

1149-1152 Everard de Barres: Everard de Barres was for a period in charge of receiving donations to the Templars around Barcelona. Everard de Barres was the Master of the Temple in France at the time of the launch of the Second Crusade (1147). He and his fellow knights from Portugal and Spain accompanied King Louis of France on the overland journey to Outremer. The King relied heavily on the diplomatic and military advice of Everard de Barres to get his forces across Byzantine territory to Outremer and then for financial aid when he got there. In return Louis supported Everard’s subsequent election as Grandmaster. In 1152 Everard de Barres resigned his post as Grand Master of the Temple to become a monk at the abbey of Clairvaux.

1152-1153 Bernard de Tremelay: Bernard was a Burgundian from near Dijon. On the 15th August 1153, during the siege of Ascalon, Bernard was killed leading a group of Templars in an unsuccessful assault on a breach in the walls of the city. The chronicler Walter of Tyre in describing this episode used the occasion to attribute the deaths of the attackers to Templar pride and greed, but then he wasn’t much of a fan of the Templars.

1153-1156 Andrew de Montbard: Andrew was one of the original nine members of the Order; born sometime before 1105 in Burgundy, his father was Bernard I of Montbard, his sister Aleth was the mother of Bernard of Clairvaux. Before being elected Grand Master Andrew served as the Seneschal of the Kingdom of Jerusalem for the Order. According to the fake ‘Dossiers Secrets’ of the Priory of Sion Andrew de Montbard was not a Grand Master of the Templars.  between 1130 and 1135 carried out missions between the West and Outremer for Bernard of Clairvaux and the king of Jerusalem (either Baldwin II or Fulk). After the death of Fulk (1143), Bernard recommended Andrew to Queen Melisende, and by 1148 he had been appointed seneschal of the Templars. He was in charge of the central convent of the order while Master Robert Burgundio took part in the Second Crusade (1148) and while Robert’s successor, Everard of Barres, travelled to France (1149–1151). On the death of Master Bernard of Tremelay during the siege of Ascalon (1153), Andrew was elected master. His career illustrates the strong ties between the Templars’ leadership and the royal court of Jerusalem’. –Jochen Burgtorf – The Crusades; An Encyclopedia

1156-1169 Bernard de Blanquefort: In 1158 Bernard, accompanied by 87 Brother-Knights and 300 secular knights, was ambushed by a force of Saracens while travelling down the Jordan valley. Bernard was taken captive. He was freed in 1159 as a result of a treaty between Emperor Manuel of Byzantium and Nur ed-Din, ruler of Aleppo. In 1168 Bernard refused to join King Amalric of Jerusalem and the Grand  Master of the Hospitallers, Gilbert of Assailly, in a planned invasion of Egypt.  According to the fake ‘Dossiers Secrets’ of the Priory of Sion Bertrand de Blanquefort is not the sixth Grand Master of the Templars but the fourth.

1169-1171 Philip de Nablus: Philip de Nablus was the Lord of Outrejourdain before he joined the order in 1166, bringing fortresses with him.

1171-1179 Odo de Saint-Amand: Before he joined the Order Odo had been a prisoner of the Moslems between 1157 and 1159. He had also served in several important official posts in the royal service. This did not stop him seriously falling out with King Amalric over the attack by a group of Templars, led by Walter of Mesnil, on an envoy to the King from the Assassins. Odo de Saint-Amand was captured in 1179 by Saladin during an attempt to relieve the Templar fortress at Jacob’s Ford. He refused to be ransomed and subsequently died in captivity.

1180-1184 Arnold de Torroja: Arnold had been the Templar Master of Spain and of Provence before his election as Grand Master. Arnold died in Verona while on an embassy with the Grand Master of the Hospitallers, Rogers de Moulin, and Patriarch of Jerusalem Hericlais seeking for support from Europe.

1185-1189 Gerard de Ridefort: A knight of Flemish or Anglo-Norman origin, Gerard entered the service of Count Raymond III of Tripoli in the early 1170s and had risen to be marshal of the kingdom of Jerusalem by 1179.  However, in 1180 he joined the Templars and rapidly rose within the order. By 1184 Gerard de Ridefort was the Knights Templar Seneschal in the Kingdom of Jerusalem  and master by 1185.

‘Gerard supported the claims of Princess Sibyl and her husband Guy of Lusignan to the throne of Jerusalem after the death of the young Baldwin V in 1186; he was thus in opposition to the party led by Raymond of Tripoli. Gerard facilitated the coronation of Sibyl and Guy by surrendering the Temple’s key to the royal treasury (where the crowns were located) and by collecting the key that the master of the Hospital, Roger of Les Moulins, had discarded. The chronicle known as Eracles ascribes Gerard’s actions to his enmity toward Raymond of Tripoli. Raymond had promised Gerard an advantageous marriage, and around 1180 Gerard had expected to marry the heiress of Botron in the county of Tripoli; however, Raymond had given her to a wealthy Pisan merchant instead. It is possible that this disappointment prompted Gerard to join the Templars.

Faced with the growing threat from Saladin, King Guy selected Gerard as one of a delegation that was intended to make peace with Raymond of Tripoli in April 1187. At the Templar castle of La Fève, he and Roger of Les Moulins learned of a large Muslim force in Nazareth. Accounts vary as to whether both masters decided to attack or whether Gerard persuaded Roger against his better judgment. Roger was killed, along with most of the Christian forces, at the ensuing battle of the Springs of Cresson (1 May 1187); Gerard was one of only three Templar knights who escaped. The defeat reduced Christian forces, and Gerard hired mercenaries with the money that King Henry II of England had deposited with the Templars.  When Saladin mounted his great invasion of Galilee later that year, Gerard advised King Guy to fight Saladin, contrary to Raymond of Tripoli’s counsel. Gerard was the only Templar to survive the defeat at Hattin (4 July 1187), and was apparently ransomed in exchange for the Templar castle at Gaza.

Gerard de Ridefort died in battle outside Acre on October 4th 1189.

1191-1193 Robert de Sable: Robert de Sable was both a vassal of and a trusted friend of King Richard the Lionheart. He joined the Templars and was elected Grand Master under the sponsorship of Richard. On behalf of the Templars, Robert de Sable bought the island of Cyprus from King Richard.

1194-1200 Gilbert Erail.

1201-1209 Philip de Plessiez.

1210-1219 William de Chartres: William died of fever outside Damietta during a crusade against Egypt.

1219-1232 Peter de Montaigu.

1232-1244 Armand de Perigord: In 1242 Armand led the Templars in breaking the treaty with Egypt when they attacked Hebron and sacked Nablus. Armand was captured and subsequently died in prison after leading his Templars at the disastrous, for the crusaders, Battle of La Forbie against the Egyptians from which only thirty-three Templars survived from a force of hundreds.

1244-1247 Richard de Burres.

1247-1250 William (Guillaume) de Sonnac: William lost an eye at the ill-fated Battle of Mansurah. He was said to have been one of only two Templar survivors out of 280. William lost his other eye and died on a further day of battle.

1250-1256 Reginald (Renaud) de Vichiers: At the time, 1248, when King Louis IX of France was preparing his Crusade, Reginald de Vichiers was the Temple Preceptor of France. He had arranged the shipping of the troops, was Louis’ Marshal in Cyprus and a friend to the king. Reginald was Marshal of the Templars when King Louis IX of France supported his election as Templar Grand Master. Reginald and the King quarrelled soon after.

1256-1273 Thomas Berard.

1273-1291 William (Guillaume) de Beaujeu: William was born around 1230, the fourth son of Guichard of Beaujeu, lord of Montpensier, and had joined the Templar Order by 1253. William was a career Templar with considerable experience of fighting in Palestine and administering the Order. In 1261 he had been captured in a raid and he was subsequently ransomed becoming the Templar Preceptor in the County of Tripoli in 1271 and was Master of the Province of Apulia in southern Italy / preceptor of the Kingdom of Sicily at the time of his election. However, his elevation almost certainly came about because of his links with the French Crown. His uncle had fought with Louis XI on the Nile, and through his paternal grandmother, Sybil of Hainault, he was related to the Capetian royal family. He retained close ties with Charles I of Anjou, king of Sicily, to whom he was related, until Charles’s death in 1285. William was elected master in 1273 and spent nearly two years travelling through France, England, and Spain, recruiting men and collecting funds, before speaking at Pope Gregory Xs Second Council of Lyons in 1274.

 ‘He returned to the Holy Land in September 1275, and from that time on he was identified with the claim of Charles of Anjou to the kingship of Jerusalem in opposition to Hugh III of Cyprus. This stance contributed significantly to the political divisions within Outremer but also ensured Charles’s continued material support, much needed at this time. William’s partisan role certainly contributed to his lack of credibility in the years 1289 to 1291, when his warnings of impending Mameluke attacks, derived from spies in the Egyptian army, were ignored. William was killed during the siege of Acre by the Mamelukes on 18 May 1291’.

1291-1293 Theobald (Thibaud) Gaudin: Thibaud belonged to a family from the Ile-de-France which had supplied several members of the order in the thirteenth century. His early career as a Templar is unknown but in 1260 he and several other Templars (including the future Master William of Beaujeu, who probably supported his career) were captured by the Muslims during an ill-planned raid in northern Galilee and released upon payment of ransom. Thibaud subsequently served as Commander of Acre. After a spell in France (1279) Thibaud became Commander of Outremer (1283–1291). Thibaud embarked from Acre with the surviving Templars in 1291 and went to the fortress of Sayette in Cyprus where he was elected Grand Master, allegedly having managed to rescue the order’s treasure and relics.

1293-1314 Jacques de Molay: Jacques de Molay was received into the order at Beaune in Burgundy in 1265 by Amaury de la Roche, Master of France, and Humbert de Pairaud, Visitor General of Templar Houses in France, England, France and Provence. Jacques de Molay’s uncle, Guillaume de Molay, was Marshal of the Templars at the time. From around 1275, Jacques served in the East, and in 1292 he was elected Grand Master at the new headquarters in Cyprus from where he organized naval raids against the Palestinian coast. In October 1307, in Paris, Jacques was among the Templars arrested by officials of King Philip IV for a range of heretical crimes. Jacques de Molay after years of imprisonment and torture was finally burned as a relapsed heretic on 18 March 1314.

At the same time, he obtained privileges and material help from the papacy and leading secular rulers.  James twice visited the West for these purposes, in 1293–1296 and in 1306–1307. On the second occasion, he was responding to a request from Pope Clement V for advice on two controversial issues: the union of the military orders and the organization of a new crusade. James wrote short reports on both of these subjects. In October 1307, in Paris, James was among the Templars arrested by officials of King Philip IV for a range of heretical crimes. He confessed to the denial of Christ and to spitting on a crucifix, a confession he repeated before an assembly of university masters. However, at Christmas, in the presence of papal representatives, he recanted, leading Clement to suspend the whole trial. Nevertheless, when the proceedings were restarted in August 1308, James apparently returned to his original confession, and in November 1309, in three appearances before the papal commission appointed to investigate the order as a whole, he failed to offer any convincing defense, instead relying on a personal hearing. It was not until March 1314, when he was brought before three cardinals representing the pope, that he was condemned to life imprisonment. He then denied the charges again, asserting that the order was pure and holy. Handed over to the secular authorities at Paris, he was burned as a relapsed heretic on 18 March 1314…According to The History of the Crusades

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England’s Freemasons: Modern Times

Freemason Symbol

The two World Wars had taken their toll on English Freemasonry.  Between 1918-1921 some 350 new lodges were created, and between 1945-1948 a further 600 new lodges came into existence.  Many of the new lodges had been created by servicemen wishing to continue the camaraderie, which they had built up in service to their country.

Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill

In 1902, Sir Winston Spencer Churchill, was initiated into the Freemason order.  He would be remembered as England’s Prime Minister of the Second World War, seeing us through to victory.  In 1965 he died, the streets of London were crowded, as the people turned out to honour him, with a military funeral, befitting a great statesman of our time.

In 1926, the Salvation Army issued a communication to its officers, expressing opposition to secret societies.

King George VI and Freemason became King of England in 1936, crowned in 1937, and in 1938 invested as Past Grand Master of Freemasonry.

In the English Magazine of 1951, entitled “Theology” the Rev Walton Hannah published an article entitled; “Should a Christian be a Freemason?  The article created a storm within the Anglican Church.  In 1954, he went on to publish his anti-Masonic book; “Masons by Degrees.”

In 1957, the English Court ruled that Freemasonry was not a religion.

On the 14th June 1967, the Grand Lodge celebrated its 250th anniversary.

On the 18th March 1968, a meeting took place in London, to discuss the relationship between Freemasons and the Roman Catholic Church between Harry Carr and Cardinal Heenan.  The result of the meeting, anti-Masonic tracts sold in London’s Roman Catholic Churches, were removed from its shelves.

In January of 1970, the Scottish Rite released its first issue of the Northern Light Magazine.

King Edward VIII and Freemason died in 1972, he who abdicated England’s throne in 1936, to marry a divorced woman; Wallis Simpson.

On the 10th June 1992, some 12,500 Freemasons gathered to celebrate the 275th anniversary of the Grand Lodge.

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Freemasons: England’s Public Years

Masonic Symbols

On the 24th June 1717, a date in Masonic history, the start of the “Freemasons Public Years,” a date never to be forgotten.  On this day four Masonic London Lodges, which had existed secretly, came together at the Goose and Gridiron Tavern in St.Paul’s Churchyard.  They declared they be the First Grand Lodge, which became known as the Premier Grand Lodge of England, and elected Anthony Sayer as their Grand Master.

John, the Duke of Montague, became Grand Master in 1721.  After his term of office, most Grand Masters were Peers of the Realm.

On the 24th June 1721, the Grand Lodges adopted the regulation, which required all lodges to secure a charter.

In 1723 “The Constitutions of the Free Masons,” was written and published by James Anderson, under the direction of the Grand Lodge.  In 1738 he published “The History and Constitutions of the Most Ancient and Honourable Fraternity of Free and accepted Masons.”

Sir Christopher wren, Architect and Freemason remembered for building St.Paul’s Cathedral and many other churches across London, following the Great Fire of London died.

In 1725, the Grand Lodge of Ireland came into being, in a public diner, reminds one of how the English Grand Lodge was formed.  In 1736, the Grand Lodge of Scotland came into existence, with William St.Clair as its first Grand Master.

Chevalier Ramsay’s Oration of 1737, put forward links between Freemasons and Knights of the Crusades.  He was credited as the founder of Freemasonry’s higher degrees found in York and Scottish Rite’s.

The Antient Grand Lodge of England was formed in 1751, as rival to the Premier Grand Lodge of England.  In 1813 both groups merged, forming the United Grand Lodge of England.

In 1789, HRH The Prince of Wales was elected Grand Master of Freemasons in England, becoming King George IV in 1820, of the Royal House of Hanover.

In 1799, the English Parliament passes the Unlawful Societies act, and Freemasons were exempt from its provisions.

1802, saw the foundation of the Irish Masonic Female Orphan School.

In 1809, the Lodge of Promulgation is formed in England, its purpose to report on differences between the rituals of Moderns and Antients.  This led to one group; The United Grand Lodge of Antients in 1813, and the acceptance of England’s Masons.  This union led to standardisation of ritual procedures and regalia.

In 1816, The Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Scotland was formed.

On the 13th September 1821, Pope Pius VII issued his opposition to the Craft (Freemasonry) with his Papal Bull of Ecclesiam.

In 1823, the Irish Parliament passed its Unlawful Oaths Act, directed at many organisations.  Some ten months after it came in, it was announced Freemasons were exempt from the act.

On the 1st August 1824, King Ferdinand VII of Spain, passed a law that all Freemasons were sentenced to death, without trial.

Between 1825-1884, many Papal Bulls were received from Pope, against the Craft (Freemasonry):

13th March 1825 – Pope Leo XII – Quiograviora

21st May 1829 – Pope Pius VIII – Traditi

15th August 1832 – Pope Gregory – Mirari

9th November 1846 – Pope Pius IX – Qui Fluribus

20th April 1849 – Pope Pius IX – Quibus Quantisque Malis

8th December 1864 – Pope Pius IX – Quanta Cura

25th December 1865 – Pope Pius IX – Multiplires

12th October 1869 – Pope Pius IX – Apostolicae Sedis

21st November 1873 – Pope Pius IX – Esti Multa

20th April 1884 – Pope Leo XIII – Humanum Genus

In 1894 Pope Leo XIII established the Anti-Masonic Bureau.

In 1899 Leader Scott (Lady Lucy Baxter) published her book entitled “The Cathedral Builders,” about the so called missing link between Masons of the past and Freemasons of her time.

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Sources:
The Hiram Key by Christopher Knight and Robert Lomas
Secret History of Freemasonry by Jeremy Harwood
The Brotherhood by Stephen Knight
Born in Blood by John Robinson

The Birth of Freemasonry

Solomons Temple2

Solomon’s Temple

When we look into the history of the Freemasons, one has to ask, how far back does there history go, and how they came into existence.  Their history goes back some 3,000 years; their history comes from the writing’s of Chronicler’s and the Bible.

Solomon’s Temple was built by King Solomon, King Hiram and Hiram Abiff, between 960-953BC, using Phoenician craftsmen.  The inner walls were lined with gold, and marble blocks and fine emeralds adorned the temple.

Freemason lodge rooms are based on the designs of Solomon’s Temple.

Shishak, the King of Egypt, attacked and ransacked Solomon’s Temple, in the early years of Reheboam’s reign, as King of Israel.  In 586BC King Nebuchadnezzar led Babylonian forces, in the total destruction of the temple.  The Hebrew people were taken to Babylon, to start a new chapter in their lives as slaves.  In 536BC, Zerubbabel and his people built the second temple, which was completed by 515BC.

Emperor Diocletian executes the stonemasons Claudius, Castorius, Sempornians, Nicostratus and Simplicius their apprentice for refusal to carve their pagan God; Aescuplapius.  Some years later, Severus, Severianus, Carpophorus and Victorius were executed for refusal to pay homage to the pagan God; Aescuplapius… and in 290Bs these four became known as the “Four Crowned Martyrs” patron Saints of the Operative Craft.

An interesting thought… “Freemasonry” is also referred to as the “Craft.”

At the time of Christ, there existed in Palestine three religious sects; Essenes, Pharisees and Sadducees.

The Essenes, observed strict rules with a high moral code, and a secret ceremony of initiation, with similarities to that of the craft.  Historians have put forward, that Jesus Christ was a member of the Essenes.

Persian rule of the area, gave way to Greek rule, then Roman.  Herod the Great, ruler of Israel, came under Roman rule from 47BC.  In 20BC, the second temple was enlarged with courts and walls, taking eighty-three years to complete.

The Jews revolted against the Romans in 70AD, and the Roman General; Titus (Caesar) besieged the city of Jerusalem.  That very same year, the second temple was destroyed by fire.

Upon the fall of the Roman Empire, many stonemasons migrated to the island of Como, to preserve their art.  They later emerged as the Comocine Builders who constructed many Cathedrals of the middle ages.

In 691, a shrine was built on the site; “Dome of the Rock.”  By 715AD the Al-Aqsa mosque was built alongside, and two earthquakes later destroyed, and rebuilt by 1035.

Prince Edwin son of King Athelstan of the House of Wessex, called and presided over a meeting of Masons at York in 926AD.

In the year 1118, the Knights Templar were formed at the site of the old Solomon’s Temple, by the first Grand Master of the Order; Hugues de Payens.  Jacques de Molay, the last Grand Master was burnt at the stake on trumped up charges of heresy in 1314.

An Act, “The Statute of Labourers” is passed in 1350, regulating workmans wages.  The words “Mason and Freestone” appear in its writings.

In 1360, the Crown calls for 568 Masons to attend Windsor Castle, to undertake building work.

In 1370, The York Minster Mason’s Ordinance is passed.  It is written in Middle English and contains the words “Mason” and “Masoun.”

In 1375 the Masons Company of London is represented at the Court of Common Council.  In 1376 the Freemason and Mason Company of London comes into existence, as a craft Guild.  The first known use of the word “Freemason” is recorded in the City of London Book dated 9th August.  The word is later stricken off and replaced with the word; Mason.

In 1429 “Masons of the Lodge” is mentioned in the records of Canterbury Cathedral.

In 1463 the Worshipful Company of Masons of the City of London builds its first meeting house.

In 1471 Robert Stowell is appointed Master of Masons at Westminster Abbey.

In 1487 the word “Freemason” appears for the first time in the Statues of England.

In 1491 a municipal law is passed at St.Giles in Edinburgh, establishing the conditions of employment of Master Masons and co-workers.

In 1584 William Schaw, became Master of the Works in Scotland, and went on to issue two sets of rules; regulating the Masons of Scotland in 1598, and giving the Lodge of Kilwinning supervisory powers over Lodges of West Scotland in 1599.  It used the term “Fellow of the Craft.”

Sir Robert Moray, a Scot by birth, in the employ of the French, was born in 1609 and educated at St.Andrews University.  He served with the Scots Guards of Louis XIII in 1633, and acted as a spy for Cardinal Richelieu.

In 1638 Richelieu promoted Robert Moray to Lieutenant-Colonel in Louis elite Scots Guards and dispatched him to Scotland.  His orders were to recruit Scots, and he chose to assist fellow Scots in their dispute against Charles and England.

In 1640, Sir Robert Moray was made a Scottish Mason, and on the 20trh May 1641 initiated into Freemasonry whilst garrisoned in Newcastle.

Sir Robert Moray, he who was in the employ of the French, a military man at heart, had another side to him.  He was one of the original founders of the Royal Society in 1660, and its first president.

In 1617 Ellis Ashmole was born at Litchfield in England.  A famous historian, who was iniated as an English Mason on the 16th October 1646, and went on to create the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford.

In 1656 John Aubrey began writing “A Natural History of Wiltshire” in which he states that the fraternity of Free-Masons are known to one another by certain signs and watch words.

Wikipedia Image

Resources:
The Hiram Key by Christopher Knight and Robert Lomas
Secret History of Freemasonry
The Brotherhood by Stephen Knight
Born in Blood by John Robinson

Freemasons: The Royal Society

Freemason Symbol

England was ruled by the Royal House of the Stuarts, and was going through political and social changes, as King Charles I was beheaded for his beliefs in 1649.

It was a time in history, that saw the emergence of the Masonic Royal Society of Sciences and the Arts.

It all started back in 1567, when Sir Thomas Gresham was one of the General Warden’s of Masons.

Gresham College was founded in 1579, at the bequest of Sir Thomas Gresham, as laid down in his will.  He even went to the point of listing what subjects were to be taught: Astronomy – Divinity – Geometry – Medicine and Music.

A group of learned men, thinker’s of their time, with an interest in experimental philosophy, met formally at Gresham College in Bishopgate, starting around 1645.  These learned men called themselves “The Invisible College” attending lectures and discussions of mutual interests, to one and all.

In its early days, the proceedings of the Invisible College were cloaked in secrecy.  Personal safety demanded that any discussions of an esoteric, moral or scientific nature, should take place underground.

The Royal Society was founded in 1660, by the freemasons, and its members and presidents included the likes of:

  • Robert Boyle assisted by Robert Hooke, who explored the properties of a vacuum, and gave his name to the gas law of volume and pressure.
  • William Petty, the father of modern statistics.
  • Laurence Rooke, a geometrician who worked on methods for determining longitude at sea.
  • Christopher Wren, Professor of Astronomy and prominent architect.

John Desaguliers was nominated to the post of “Curator of Experiments” in 1712, by Sir Isaac Newton, and was the first to demonstrate the existence of the atom.

Sir John Desaguliers became Grand Master of the Freemasons in 1719, and shaped the form of 18th century Freemasonry.

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Chartres Cathedral: The Last Judgement

Chartres Cathedral

Chartres Cathedral

The Gothic styled cathedral’s originated in 12th century France, during the Knights Templar era.  The Knights Templar, God’s warriors, were formed to protect pilgrims on route to Jerusalem.

This order was formed in 1118, and consisted of nine knights, and became one of the richest and most powerful orders, with the backing of the Pope.  They would build hundreds of Gothic Cathedral’s across Europe, and many still stand to this very day.  These cathedrals with their twin towers faced towards the west, resembling the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem with its two pillars of Jachin and Boaz.

The Last Judgement

The Last Judgement

When a visitor steps across the threshold and enters the cathedral he would be confronted by “The Last Judgement” displayed at the tympanum.  Here, Jesus is surrounded by four beasts of the Apocalypse, the same beasts as mentioned in John’s Revelations, equated with the four apostles; Mathew, Mark, Luke and John.

The four beasts of the Apocalypse have astrological significance:

  • The beast, with human face is Aquarius (Mathew).
  • The lion is Leo (Mark).
  • The ox is Taurus (Luke).
  • The eagle is Aquila (John).

The zodiac sign Aquila is often replaced with Scorpio.

According to Christian art expressions, Christ is portrayed inside a Vesica Pisces along with four zodiac signs, and his head surrounded by a halo depicting the Sun.  As for the image of Jesus inside the Vesica Pisces, contains at each corner one of the signs of the Apocalypse: Aquarius – Scorpio – Taurus – Leo.

The French Gothic Cathedral of Chartres is one of the oldest Cathedral’s and is aligned to the summer solstice.  At the time of the summer solstice, the sun would shine through the “Saint Apollinaire” window, depicting the Roman sun god; Apollo.

Located within the cathedral, one can find a zodiac, but the practice of astrology is regarded as an act of paganism.  The zodiac connects the signs of Aquarius, Scorpio, Taurus and Leo.

It is believed the four signs of the Apocalypse rise before the sun during the Great Celestial Conjunction at the time of the solstices or equinoxes.  They be the symbols of the true Galactic Cross, determined where the ecliptic and Milky Way cross.

The zodiac within Chartres Cathedral consists of two semi-circles, that intersect forming a Vesica Pisces, an ancient symbol to represent Christ.  Vertically depicted, represents fertility and birth.  Symbolism refers to rebirth.

When Vesica Pisces aligns with Pisces-Virgo axis within the zodiac, Vesica Pisces appears to be associated with Pisces (Christ – the fisherman) and Virgo (Mary – the virgin mother).

The symbolism found within Chartres Cathedral, puts forward the Christian doctrine of End Times, and is not the rebirth of Christ, but rebirth of the Sun!

Chartres Cathedral: Black Madonna

Chartres Cathedral - Black Madonna

Chartres Cathedral – Black Madonna

The Black Madonna statue in Chartres Cathedral, France represents the pagan Egyptian goddess; Isis.  In her arms she’s not holding Jesus, but her conceived son, the Sun God; Horus.  Isis, just like Mary Magdalene was a virgin who gave birth to a son on the 25th December.

The event took place, four days after the winter solstice on the 21st, at the moment of the rebirth of the Sun.

Mary stands between two pillars of the Temple of Solomon inside a Vesica Pisces.  At the top the “All seeing eye of Horus,” is depicted.  The tracing board symbolizes the birth of the solar deity Horus at the Milky Way.

In the Freemasons tracing board, Mary’s Immaculate Conception is depicted.  She’s placed inside a Vesica Pisces in between the two pillars of the Temple of Solomon, with the All seeing eye of Horus watching over her.

The Virgin Mary in Chartrers is placed on a pillar in a Vesica Pisces shaped cavity.  The origin of this custom to place the virgin mother on a pillar in Christian traditions stems from the legend of ‘Our Lady on the pillar.’  The legend relates to the appearance of the virgin mother to the apostle James in the early days of Christianity on top of a column or pillar carried by angels.

In Masonic traditions this pillar represents the Milky Way.  The symbolism of placing the ‘Black Madonna’ with Jesus on a pillar must therefore be equated with the Sun (Horus) on the Milky Way.

Chartrtes Cathedral is well known for the Black Madonna veneration.  The Black Madonna however has nothing to do with Mary Magdalene.  In reality she represents the pagan Egyptian mother goddess.  In her arms she not holding Jesus, but the immaculate conceived son, the Sun God Horus!  Isis like Mary was a virgin who gave birth to a son on the 25th December.  Four days after Winter Solstice, at the moment of rebirth of the Sun in the annual cycle after the Sun has died on the cross of the zodiac at Winter Solstice.