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Freemasons: England’s Public Years

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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.

Wikipedia Image

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

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