Enciclopédia Mackey – COMACINE ~ COUVREUR

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enclosed by walls. Towers were constructed on walls in the twelfth century. Portions of the walls are now to be seen in the garden of Liceo Volta. Baths common in all Roman cities have been discovered. Fortifications erected previous to 1117 were largely cunstructed with Roman inscribed sepulchral urns and other remains, in which most all Roman cities were unusually rich.

It is usual to record that Como was the birthplace of the elder and younger Pliny. The younger Pliny had a villa here called Comedia and was much interested in building the city having founded baths, a library, and aided in charity for the support of orphan children. Of the many letters of the younger Pliny that remain, one is to his builder, Mustio, a Comacine architect, commissioning him to restore the temple of the Eleusinian Ceres, in which, after explaining the form of design he wished it to take, he concludes : ”. . . at least, unless you think of something better, you, whose Art can always overcome difficulties of position. ” There was an early church of Saints Peter and Paul in the fifth century that stood outside of The town, and the site is now occupied by the Romanesque church of Saint Abbondio, founded 1013, and consecrated 1095.

There are found many interesting intrench remains of early carvings of the Comacine or Solomon’s Knot (see the illustration of parapet).

On a site of an earlier church stands the present Cathedral of Como, which is built entirely of marble.

It was begun in 1396 A.D., but was altered in the period from 1487-1526 A.D., into Renaissance. Authors disagree as to whether the church was restored or rebuilt. The façade, 1457-86 A.D., follows in its lines the old Lombard form, but the dividing pilasters are lavishly enriched, being perpendicular niches with a statue in each.

Scott says that ”During the years from 1468 to 1492 the books of the Lodge, preserved in the archives, abound in names of Magistri from the neighborhood of Como, both architects and sculptors, and among them was Tommaso Rodari, who entered the Lodge in 1490, with a letter of recommendation from the Duke, advising that he be specially trained in the Art of Sculpture. He and four others were sent to Rome to remain ten years, and perfect themselves in sculpture, to study the antique, and to return to the laborerium as fully qualified masters.”

Rodari returned and sculptured a most beautiful North door of the Cathedral in rich ornate Renaissance style, although the lions are still under the columns, thus preserving a Comacine symbol so universally common in earlier times of pure Lombard style.

The history of Como as a city with her various fortunes and defeats during the invasions of barbarians and her long conflicts with her old enemy, Milan, may be found elsewhere. What interests us is the early colonization by Rome and her subsequent relations to Architecture at the Renaissance.

Soon after 89 B.C. Rome sent 3,000 colonists to Como, and Artificers were certainly among them, and in 59 B.C. Caesar sent 5,000 more, and the place received the name Novum comum and received Latin rights (see Comacine Masters).


In French Freemasonry, a Fellow Craft is so called, and the grade du Compagnon is the Degree of Fellow Craft.


This is the name which is given in France to certain mystical associations formed between workmen of the same or an analogous handicraft, whose object is to afford mutual assistance to the members. It was at one time considered among handicraftsmen as the Second Degree of the novitiate, before arriving at the maitrise, or mastership, the first being, of course, that of apprentice; and workmen were admitted into it only after five years of apprenticeship, and on the production of a skillfully constructed piece of work, which was called their chef-d’oeuvre (the French for masterpiece).

Tradition gives to Compage a Hebraic origin, which to some extent assimilates it to the traditional history of Freemasonry as springing out of the Solomonic Temple. It is, however, certain that it arose, in the twelfth century, out of a part of the corporation of workmen. These, who prosecuted the labors of their Craft from province to province, could not shut their eyes to the narrow policy of the gilds or corporations, which the masters were constantly seeking to make more exclusive.

Thence they perceived the necessity of forming for themselves associations or confratemities, whose protection should accompany them in all their laborious wanderings, and secure to them employment and fraternal intercourse when arriving in strange towns.

The Compagnons du Tour, which has been the title assumed by those who are the members of the brotherhoods of Compagnonage, have legends, which have been traditionally transmitted from age to age, by which, like the Freemasons, they trace the origin of their association to the Temple of King Solomon.

These legends are three in number, for the different societies of Compagnonage recognize three different founders, and hence made three different associations , which are:

  1. The Children of Solomon.
  2. The Children of Maître Jacques,
  3. The Children of Pére Soubise.

These three societies or classes of the Compagnons are irreconcilable enemies and reproach each other with the imaginary contests of their supposed founders.

The Children of Solomon pretend that King Salomon gave them their devoir, or gild, as a reward for their labors at the Temple, and that he had there limited them into a brotherhood. The Children of Maître Jacques (the French name for Master James), say that their founder, who was the son of a celebrated architect named Jacquain, or Jacques, was one of the chief Masters of Solomon, and a colleague of Hiram. He was born in a small city of Gaul named Carte, and now St. Romille, but which we should in vain look for on the maps.

From the age of fifteen he was employed in stone cutting. He traveled in Greece, where he learned sculpture and architecture; afterward went to Egypt, and thence to Jerusalem, where he constructed two pillars with so much skill that he was immediately received as a Master of the Craft. Maître Jacques and his colleague Pére Soubise, after the labors of the Temple were completed, resolved to go together to Gaul, swearing that they would never separate; but the union did not last very long in consequence of the jealousy excited in Pére Soubise by the ascendency of Maître Jacques over their disciples. They parted, and the former landed at Bordeaux, and the latter at Marseilles. One day, Maître Jacques, being far away from his disciples, was attacked by ten of those of Pére Soubise. To save himself, he fled into- a marsh, where he sustained himself from sinking by holding on to the reeds, and was eventually rescued by his disciples. He -then retired to St. Baume, but being soon after betrayed by a disciple, named, according to some, Jeron, and according to others, Jamais, he was assassinated by five blows of a dagger, in the forty-seventh year of his age, four years and nine days after his departure from Jerusalem. On his robe was subsequently found a reed which he wore in memory of his having been saved in the marsh, and thenceforth his disciples adopted the reed as the emblem of their Order.

Pére Soubise is not generally accused of having taken any part in the assassination. The tears which he shed over the tomb of his colleague removed in part the suspicions which had at first rested on him. The traitor who committed the crime, subsequently, in a moment of deep contrition, cast himself into a well, which the disciples of Maître Jacques filled up with stones. The relics of the martyr were long preserved in a sacred chest, and, when his disciples afterward separated into different crafts, his hat was given to the hatters, his tunic to the stone-cutters, his sandals to the locksmiths, his mantle to the joiners, his girdle to the carpenters, and his staff to the cartwrights.

According to another tradition, Maître Jacques was no other than Jacques de Molay, the last Grand Master of the Templars, who had collected under his banner some of the Children of Solomon that had separated from the parent society, and who, about 1268 A.D., conferred upon them a new devoir or gild .

Pére Soubise is said, in the same legend, to have been a Benedictine monk, who gave to the carpenters some special statutes. This second legend is generally recognized as more truthful than the first. From this it follows that the division of the society of Compagnonage into three classes dates from the thirteenth century, and that the Children of Maître Jacques and of Pére Soubise are more modern than the Children of Solomon, from whom they were a dismemberment.

The organization of these associations of Compagnonage reminds one very strongly of the somewhat similar organization of the Stonemasons of Germany and of other countries in the Middle Ages. To one of these classes every handicraftsman in France was expected to attach himself. There was an initiation, and a system of Degrees which were four in number: the Accepted Companion, the Finished Companion, the Initiated Companion, and, lastly, the Affiliated Companion. There were also signs and words as modes of recognition, and decorations, which varied in the several devoirs ; but to all, the square and compasses was a common symbol.

As soon as a Craftsman had passed through his apprenticeship, he joined one of these gilds, and commenced his journey over France, which was called the tour de France, in the course of which he visited the principal cities, towns, and villages, stopping for a time wherever he could secure employment. In almost every town there was a house of call, presided over always by a woman, who was affectionately called la Mére, or the Mother, and the same name was given to the house itself. There the Compagnons held their meetings and annually elected their officers, and traveling workmen repaired there to obtain food and lodging, and the necessary information which might lead to employment. When two Companions met on the road, one of them addressed the other with the topage, or challenge, being a formula of words, the conventional reply to which would indicate that the other was a member of the same devoir. If such was the case, friendly greetings ensued. But if the reply was not satisfactory, and it appeared that they belonged to different associations, a war of words, and even of blows, was the result. Such was formerly the custom, but through the evangelic labors of Agricol Perdiquier, a journeyman joiner of Avignon, who traveled through France inculcating lessons of brotherly love, a better spirit later on existed.

In each locality the association has a chief, who is annually elected by ballot at the General Assembly of the Craft. He is called the First Compagnon of Dignity.

He presides over the meetings, which ordinarily take place on the first Sunday of every month, and represents the society in its intercourse with other Bodies, -with the Masters, or with the municipal authorities.

Compagnonage has been exposed, at various periods, to the persecutions of the Church and the State, as well as to the opposition of the Corporations of Masters, to which, of course, its designs were antagonistic, because it opposed their monopoly. Unlike them, and particularly the Corporation of Freemasons, it was not under the protection of the Church. The practice of its mystical receptions was condemned by the Faculty of Theology at Paris, in 1655 A.D., as impious. But a hundred years before, in 1541, a decree of Francis I had interdicted the Compagnons du Tour from binding themselves by an oath, from wearing swords or canes, from assembling in a greater number than five outside of their Masters’ houses, or from having banquets on any occasion. During the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries, the parliaments were continually interposing their power against the associations of Compagnonage, as well as against other fraternities. The effects of these persecutions, although embarrassing, were not absolutely disastrous. In spite of them, Compagnonage was never entirely dissolved, although a few of the trades abandoned their devoirs ; some of which, however—such as that of the shoemakers-were subsequently removed.

And at more recent times the gilds of the workmen existed in France having lost, it is true, much of their original code of religious dogmas and symbols, and, although not recognized by the law, always tolerated by the municipal authorities and undisturbed by the police.

To the Masonic scholar, the history of these devoirs or gilds is peculiarly interesting. In nearly all of them the Temple of Solomon prevails as a predominant symbol, while the square and compass, their favorite and constant device, would seem, in some way, to identify them with Freemasonry so far as respects the probability of a common origin.


This title was assumed by the workmen in France who belong to the several gilds of Compagnonage, which see. The French expression, Compagnons du Tour, or Companions of the Tour, may be understood in two different ways according to the meaning applied to the last word. Tour is used in French as it is also freely employed in English to indicate a round trip, a rambling and returning excursion of some extent. The word might well fit those who traveled around for employment or for instruction as did the Brethren of old. Tour is also the French for tower and towers or castles were represented on .the coat of arms of the Masons Company of London. In both of these meanings the allusion has a significance easily understood.


A title bestowed by Royal Arch Masons upon each other, and equivalent to the word “Brother” in Symbolic Lodges. It refers, most probably, to the companionship in exile and captivity of the ancient Jews, from the destruction of the Temple by Nebuchadnezzar to its restoration by Zerubbabel, under the auspices of Cyrus. In using this title in a higher Degree, the Freemasons who adopted it seem to have intimated that there was a shade of difference between its meaning and that of Brother. The latter refers to the universal fatherhood of God and the universal brotherhood of man; but the former represents a companionship or common pursuit of one object-the common endurance of suffering or the common enjoyment of happiness. Companion represents a closer tie than Brother. The one is a natural relation shared by all men ; the other a connection, the result of choice and confined to a few. All men are our Brethren, not all our companions.


Also known as the Palladium of Ladies. Said to have been established in 1740 by “seven wise men” at Paris. Both men and women were admitted to membership and the candidate when being initiated was conducted by two members of the Order into the center of the Temple where was a table on which was a white cloth with three candles placed around a statue of Minerva, where the Oath of Secrecy, was administered.


George F. Fort says that “the twelve Companions of Master Hiram correspond unquestionably to the twelve zodiacal signs, or the twelve months of the year.

The groundwork of this tradition is a fragment of ancient natural religion, common to both Oriental and European nations; or, more properly, was derived from identical sources. The treacherous Craftsmen of Hiram the Good are the three winter months which slew him.
He is the sun surviving during the eleven consecutive months, but subjected to the irresistible power of three ruffians, the winter months ; in the twelfth and last month, that luminary, Hiram, the good, the beauteous, the bright, the sun god, is extinguished” (The Early History and Antiquities of Freemasonry, page 408).


As in Operative Freemasonry, the compasses are used for the measurement of the architect’s plans, and to enable him to give those just proportions which will ensure beauty as well as stability to his work; so, in Speculative Freemasonry, is this important implement symbolic of that even tenor of deportment, that true standard of rectitude which alone can bestow happiness here and felicity hereafter.

Hence are the compasses the most prominent emblem of virtue, the true and only, measure of a Freemason’s life and conduct. As the Bible gives us light on our duties to God, and the square illustrates our duties to our neighborhood and Brother, so the compasses give that additional light which is to instruct us in the duty we owe to ourselves-the great, imperative duty of circumscribing our passions, and keeping our desires within due bounds. “It is ordained,” says the philosophic Burke, “in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate passions cannot be free; their passions forge their fetters.” Those Brethren who delight to trace our emblems to an astronomical origin, find in the compasses a symbol of the sun, the circular pivot representing the body of the luminary, and the diverging legs his rays.

In the earliest rituals of the eighteenth century, the compasses are described as a part of the furniture of the Lodge, and are said to belong to the Master.

Some change will be found in this respect in the ritual of the present day (see Square and Compasses).

The word is sometimes spelled and pronounced compass, which is more usually applied to the magnetic needle and circular dial or card of the mariner from which he directs his course over the seas, or the similar guide of the airman when seeking his destination across unknown territory.


One of the five orders of architecture introduced by the Romans, and compounded of the other four, whence it derives its name. Although it combines strength with beauty, yet, as it is a comparatively modern invention, it is held in little esteem among Freemasons.


See Aphanism


Commanderies of Knights Templar in England and Canada were called Conclaves, and the Grand Encampment, the Grand Conclave, but the terms now in use are Preceptory and Great Priory respectively. The word is also applied to the meetings in some other of the advanced Degrees. The word is derived from the Latin con, meaning with, and clavis, a key, to denote the idea of being locked up in seclusion, and in this sense was first applied to the apartment in which the cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church are literally locked up when they are assembled to elect a Pope.


A secret order established in Prussia, by M. Lang, on the wreck of the Tugendverein (Tugendverein, German for the Union of the Virtuous), which latter Body was instituted in 1790 as a successor of the Illuminati, and suppressed in 1812 by the Prussian Government, on account of its supposed political tendencies.


A title given to the yearly meetings of the Freemasons in the time of Henry VI, of England, and used it in the celebrated statute passed in the third year of his reign, which begins thus: “Whereas, by the yearly congregations and confederacies made by the Masons in their General Chapiters assembled, etc.” (see Laborers, Statutes of).


Assemblies of the members of a Lodge sometimes held in Germany. Their object is the discussion of the financial and other private matters of the Lodge. Lodges of this kind held in France are said to be en famille, meaning in the family. There is no such arrangement in English or American Freemasonry.


When a candidate is initiated into any Degree of Freemasonry in due form, the Degree is said to have been conferred, in contradistinction to the looser mode of imparting its secrets by communication.


This is usually understood as being to ensure the accuracy of the statements made, the reading of the Minutes enabling the Brethren to know that the proceedings have been recorded and the judgment of those present being expressed in some way as to the correctness of the statements but the proceedings may serve a further purpose and that is to express approval of what has been previously done. In fact, Rule 130 of the English Book of Constitutions provides that the Minutes regarding the election of a Worshipful Master must be confirmed before he can be installed.
In English Lodges any action regarding a money grant, alteration of by-laws or the election of a Master must be confirmed after the recording of the Minutes at the first subsequent regular meeting in order to become legally operative. All other points are merely confirmed for accuracy and are considered legal regardless.


The Italian name is La Confraternita di San Paolo. See Paul, Confratemity of Saint Paul.


The Tower of Babel is referred to in the ritual of the Third Degree as the place where language was confounded and Masonry lost. Hence, in Masonic symbolism, as Freemasonry professes to possess a universal language, the confusion of tongues at Babel is a symbol of that intellectual darkness from which the aspirant is seeking to emerge on his passage to that intellectual light which is imparted by the Order (see Threshing-Floor).


In the Old Records and Constitutions of Freemasonry the yearly meetings of the Craft are so called. Thus, in the Halliwell or Regius Manuscript it is said, “Every Master that is a Mason must be at the General Congregation” (see line 107).

What are now called Communications of a Grand Lodge were then called Congregations of the Craft (see Assembly).


At various times in the history of Freemasonry conferences have been held in which, as in the General Councils of the Church, the interests of the Institution have been made the subject of consideration. These conferences have received the name of Masonic Congresses. Whenever a respectable number of Freemasons invested with deliberative powers, assemble as the representatives of different countries and Jurisdictions to take into consideration matters relating to the Order, such a meeting will be properly called a Congress. Of these congresses some have been productive of little or no effect, while others have undoubtedly left their mark ; nor can it be doubted, that if a General or Ecumenical congress, consisting of representatives of all the Masonic powers of the world, were to meet, with an eye single to the great object of Masonic reform, and were to be guided by a liberal and conciliatory spirit of compromise, such a Congress might be of incalculable advantage.

The most important Congresses that have met since the year 926 A.D. are those of York, Strassburg, Ratisbon, Spire, Cologne, Basle, Jena, Altenberg, Brunswick, Lyons, Wolfenbuttel. Wilhelmsbad, Paris, Washington, Baltimore, Lexington, and Chicago (see them as listed under their respective titles).


See Conventions


On August 12, 1750, the Saint John’s Grand Lodge of Massachusetts granted a charter to Hiram Lodge, at New Haven, and David Wooster was installed as Master. A Convention held on March 13, 1783, discussed the formation of a Grand Lodge of Connecticut. Nothing definite was completed and another Convention, held on April 29, 1783, again had no result. A third Convention, however, on May 14, 1789, composed of representatives of twelve Lodges, made some progress in the necessary arrangements but adjourned the meeting until July 8, 1789, when a Constitution was adopted and the Grand Lodge of Connecticut duly opened. The Anti-Masonic Movement had a serious effect upon the Craft in Connecticut. Up to the year 1800 Freemasonry had flourished exceedingly in the district.

During the next thirty years, however, it was calumniated to such an extent that, at the annual session of 1831, all the officers of the Grand Lodge, except the Grand Treasurer, resigned and new officers were elected in their places. At the next annual session only the Grand Master and the Grand Treasurer were present. For several years Freemasonry lay under a cloud, but at last, towards 1840, the agitation began to subside and after another five years the Craft in this State was once more possessed of its early vigor.

The first Chapter in the district seems to have comprised six members of Saint John’s Lodge, No.2, of Middletown. These six Brethren opened the first regular Grand Chapter of Connecticut on September 12, 1783.

In 1818, Jeremy L. Cross, a prominent authority on Masonic Ritual in his day and author of The True Masonic Chart or Hieroglyphic Monitor and of The Templars’ Chart, formed a Council of Royal and Select Masters. On May 18, 1819, ten of the eleven Councils which had been formed in 1818 and 1819 met at Hartford for the purpose of establishing a Grand Council. Two days later a Constitution was adopted, the Grand Officers elected and the Council duly constituted. The first Encampment of Knights Templar was formed at Colchester in July, 1796, and was granted a Charter from London on September 5, 1803. New Haven Encampment took the initiative in adopting a resolution to join with other Encampments in forming a Commandery in the State. Washington and Clinton sent representatives and the meeting was held at the Masonic Hall on September 13, 1827. A Grand Encampment of Knights Templar of the State of Connecticut was formed and Sir John Watrous was installed Grand Master.

The year 1858 saw the establishment of four Bodies of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite in Connecticut. Three were chartered on June 1: namely, Lafayette Consistory, Peqounnock Chapter of Rose Croix, Washington Council of Princes of Jerusalem. The fourth, the De Witt Clinton Lodge of Perfection, was granted a Charter on May 11.


The appropriating or dedicating, with certain ceremonies, anything to sacred purposes or offices by separating it from common use. Hobbes, in his Leviatian (part1v chapter 44), gives the best definition of this ceremony. “To consecrate is, in Scripture, to offer, give, or dedicate, in pious and decent language and gesture, a man, or any other thing, to God, by parting it from common use.”

Masonic Lodges, like ancient temples and modern churches, have always been consecrated. The rite of consecration is performed by the Grand Master, when the Lodge is said to be consecrated in ample form; by the Deputy Grand Master, when it is said to be consecrated in due form; or by the proxy of the Grand Master, when it is said to be consecrated in form. The Grand Master, accompanied by his officers, proceeds to the hall of the new Lodge, where, after the performance of those ceremonies which are described in all manuals and monitors, he solemnly consecrates the Lodge with the elements of corn, wine, and oil, after which the Lodge is dedicated and constituted and the officers installed.


Those things, the use of which in the ceremony as constituent and elementary parts of it, are necessary to the perfecting and legalizing of the act of consecration. In Freemasonry, these elements are corn, wine, and oil, which see in this work listed under their respective names.


See Grand Conserfators


About the year 1859 Brother Rob Morris, a Freemason of some distinction in America, professed to have discovered, by his researches, what he called the true Preston Webb Work, and attempted to introduce it into various Jurisdictions, sometimes in opposition to the wishes of the Grand Lodge and leading Freemasons of the State. To aid in the propagation of this ritual he communicated it to several persons, who were bound to use all efforts-to some, indeed, of questionable propriety to secure its adoption by their respective Grand Lodges. These Freemasons were called by him Conserfators, and the order or society which they constituted was called the Conserfators Association.

This association, and the efforts of its chief to extend his ritual, met with the general disapproval of the Freemasons of the United States, and in some Jurisdictions led to considerable disturbance and bad feeling.


The meetings of members of the Thirty-second Degree, or Sublime Princes of the Royal Secret in the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, are called Consistories. The elective officers are, according to the ritual of the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States, a Commander-in-Chief, Seneschal, Preceptor, Chancellor, Minister of State, Almoner, Registrar, and Treasurer. In the Northern Jurisdiction it is slightly different, the second and third officers being called Lieutenant-Commanders. A Consistory confers the Thirty-first and Thirty-second Degrees of the Rite in the Southern Jurisdiction, in the Northern Jurisdiction the Consistory confers the Degrees from the nineteenth to the thirty-second inclusive.


See Grand Consistory


The fourth officer in a Grand Consistory. It is the title which was formerly given to the leader of the land forces of the Knights Templar.


See Red Cross of Rome and Constantine


In the year 1864 Brother F. G. Irwin, a distinguished Freemason, lived at Devonport, England. He became a welcome visitor to, and subsequently a member of the then recently established Lodge, Saint Aubyn, No. 954. Among other Masonic acquirements he had authority to establish the Order of the Knights of Constantinople. It was found that other authority to establish this Order did not exist in England, although it had been conferred on a few individual by Brother Irwin, and according to the usages of the Fraternity, those who first established an Order became the ruling power. The ground being thus clear, the authority of Brother Irwin, Past Junior Warden of the Province of Andalusia, Past Grand Master Overseer of Mark Masonry in England, First Grand standard Bearer of Knights Templar in England, and past Most Wise Sovereign Rose Croix, &c., was brought into operation. He accordingly presided over a meeting of Freemasons in the Saint Aubyn Lodge, No. 954, at Morice Town, Devonport, on January 18, 1865, and after intrusting them with the secrets of the Order and elevating to the honor of Knighthood, appointed the following Brethren as Officers of the First or Saint Aubyn Council of Knights of Constantinople, namely : Samuel Chapple, Horace Byron Kent, John R. H. Spry, Vincent Bird, Philip B. Clemens.

At this meeting several prominent Freemasons were admitted, Brother Shuttleworth, Thirty.-third Degree, the Grand Vice-Chancellor of the Knights Templar of England, being among the number. At the February meeting several active Freemasons were admitted, amongst them Brother W. J. Hughan, initiated in Lodge No. 954, and who later attained world-wide Masonic fame. At the January meeting, 1866, a Warrant was granted to certain distinguished Freemasons in Cornwall to open a Council at Truro, the Fortitude, Brother W. J. Hughan to be first Illustrious Sovereign, and a number of Cornish Freemasons were enlisted. The Saint Aubyn Council of the Knights of Constantinople developed into a Grand Council of Sovereigns of the Order and exercised such functions as organizing subordinate bodies. It became afflicted and a part of the organization at Mark Masons Hall, England, the Grand Council of the Allied Degrees. The Order of Knights of Constantinople is of a Christian character, associated in legend with the Emperor Constantine, and teaches the lesson of universal equality The jewel of the organization is a Cross surmounted by a Crescent.


The phrase, a legally constituted Lodge, is often used Masonically to designate any Lodge working under proper authority, which necessarily includes Lodges working under Dispensation, although, strictly, a Lodge cannot be legally constituted until it has received its warrant or Charter from the Grand Lodge. But so far as respects the regularity of their work, Lodges under Dispensation and Warranted Lodges have the same standing.


Any number of Master Masons, not less than seven, being desirous of forming a new Lodge, having previously obtained a Dispensation from the Grand Master, must apply by petition to the Grand Lodge of the State in which they reside, praying for a Charter, or Warrant of Constitution, to enable them to assemble as a regular Lodge. Their petition being favorably received, a Warrant or Charter for the Lodge is immediately granted, and the Grand Master appoints a day for its consecration and for the installation of its officers.

The Lodge having been consecrated, the Grand Master, or person acting as such, declares the Brethren “to be constituted and formed into a regular Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons,” after which the officers of the Lodge are installed. In this declaration of the Master, accompanied with the appropriate ceremonies, consists the constitution of the Lodge. Until a Lodge is thus legally constituted, it forms no component of the constituency of the Grand Lodge, can neither elect officers nor members, and exists only as a Lodge under dispensation at the will of the Grand Master.


See Paris Constitutions


See Book of Constitutions


This is the name of one of that series of Constitutions, or Regulations, which have always been deemed of importance in the history of the Ancient and accepted Scottish Rite; although the Constitutions of 1762 have really nothing to do with that Rite, having been adopted long before its establishment. In the year 1758, there was founded at Paris a Masonic Body which assumed the title of the Chapter or Council, of Emperors of the East and West, and which organized a Rite known as the Rite of Perfection, consisting of twenty-five Degrees, and in the same year the Rite was carried to Berlin by the Marquis de Bernez.

In the following year, a Council of Princes of the Royal Secret, the highest Degree conferred in the Rite, was established at Bordeaux. On September 21, 1762, nine Commissioners met and drew up Constitutions for the government of the Rite of Perfection, which have been since known as the Constitutions of 1762. Of the place where the Commissioners met, there is some doubt. Of the two copies, hereafter to be noticed, which are in the archives of the Southern Supreme Council, that of Delahogue refers to the Orients of Paris and Berlin, while that of Aveilhé‚ says that they were made at the Grand Orient of Bordeaux.

Thory also (Acta Latomorum, 1, 79), names Bordeaux as the place of their enactment, and so does Ragon (Orthodoxie Maçonnique, 133); although he doubts their authenticity, and says that there is no trace of any such document at Bordeaux, nor any recollection there of the Consistory which is said to have drawn up the Constitutions.

To this it may be answered, that in the Archives of the Mother Supreme Council at Charleston there are two manuscript copies of these Constitutions–one written by Jean Baptiste Marie Delahogue in 1798, which is authenticated by Count de Grasse, under the seal of the Grand Council of the Princes of the Royal secret, then sitting at Charleston; and another, written by Jean Baptiste Aveilhé in 1797.

This copy is authenticated by Long, Delahogue, De Grasse, and others. Both documents are written in French, and are almost substantially the same. The translated tittle of Delahogue’s copy is as follows :

Constitutions and Regulations drawn up by nine Commissioners appointed by the Grand Council of the Sovereign- Princes of the Royal Secret at the Grand Orients of Paris and Berlin, by virtue of the deliberation of the fifth day of the third week of the seventh Month of the Hebrew Era, 1662, and of the Christian Era, 1762. To be ratified and observed by the Grand Councils of the sublime Knights and Princes of Masonry as well as by the particular Councils and Grand Inspectors regularly constituted in the two Hemispheres.

The title of Aveilhé’s manuscript differs in this, that it says the Constitutions were enacted “at the Grand Orient of Bordeaux, ” and that they were “transmitted to our Brother Stephen Morin, Grand Inspector of all the Lodges in the New World.” Probably this is a correct record, and the Constitutions were prepared at Bordeaux. The Constitutions of 1762 consist of thirty-five articles, and are principally occupied in providing for the government of the Rite established by the Council of Emperors of the East and West and of the Bodies under it.

The Constitutions of 1762 were published at Paris, in 1832, in the Recueil des Actes du Conscil Suprême de France or Collected Proceedings of the Supreme Council of France. They were also published, in 1859, in America; but the best printed exemplar of them is that published in French and English in the Book of Grand Constitutions, edited by Brother Albert Pike, which is illustrated with copious and valuable annotations by the editor, who was the Sovereign Grand Commander of the Southern Supreme Council.


These have been generally regarded by the members of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite as the fundamental law of their Rite. They are said to have been established by Frederick II, of Prussia, in the last year of his life ; a statement, however, that has been denied by some writers (see Mackey’s revised History of Freemasonry under Early History of the Scottish Rite; Findel’s History of Freemasonry under Declaration of the Grand Lodge of the Three Globes at Berlin; also Gould’s History of Freemasonry under The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite). The controversies as to their authenticity have made them a subject of interest to all Masonic scholars. Brother Albert Pike, the Grand Commander of the Supreme Council for the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States, published them, in 1872, in Latin, French, and English; and his exhaustive annotations are valuable because he has devoted to the investigation of their origin and their authenticity more elaborate care than any other writer. Of these Constitutions, there are two exemplars, one in French and one in Latin, between which there are, however, some material differences. For a long time the French exemplar only was known in this country. It is supposed by Brother Pike that it was brought to Charleston by Count de Grasse, and that under its provisions he organized the Supreme Council in that place. They were accepted by the Southern Supreme Council, and have been regard… by the Northern Supreme Council as the only authentic Constitutions. But there is abundant internal evidence of the incompleteness and incorrectness of the French Constitutions, of whose authenticity there is no proof, nor is it likely that they were made at Berlin and approved by Frederick, as they profess. The Latin Constitutions were probably not known in France until after the Revolution. In 1834, they were accepted as authentic by the Supreme Council of France, and published there in the same year. A copy of this was published in America, in 1859, by Brother Pike. These Latin Constitutions of 1786 have been accepted by the Supreme Council of the Southern jurisdiction in preference to the French version. Most of the other Supreme Councils-those, namely, of England and Wales, of Italy, and of South America have adopted them as the law of the Rite, repudiating the French version as of no authority. The definite and well-authorized conclusions to which Brother Pike has arrived on the subject of these Constitutions have been expressed by that eminent Freemason in the following language : “We think we may safely say, that the charge that the Grand Constitutions were forged at Charleston is completely disproved, and that it will be contemptible hereafter to repeat it. No set of speculating Jews constituted the Supreme Council established there; and those who care for the reputations of Colonel Mitchell, and Doctors Dalcho, Auld, and Moultrie, may well afford to despise the scurrilous libels of the Ragons, Clavels, and Folgers. “And, secondly, that it is not by any means proven or certain that the Constitutions were not really made at Berlin, as they purport to have been, and approved by Frederick. We think that ‘the preponderance of evidence, internal and external, is on the side of their authenticity, apart from the positive evidence of the certificate of 1832. “And, thirdly, that the Supreme Council at Charleston had a perfect right to adopt them as the law of the new Order; no matter where, when, or by whom they were made, as Anderson’s Constitutions were adopted in Symbolic Masonry; that they are and always have been the law of the Rite, because they were so adopted ; and because no man has ever lawfully received the degrees of the Rite without swearing to maintain them as its supreme law; for as to the articles themselves, there is no substantial difference between the French and Latin copies. “And, fourthly, that there is not one particle of proof of any sort, circumstantial or historical, or by argument from improbability, that they are not genuine and authentic. In law, documents of great age, found in the possession of those interested under them, to whom they rightfully belong, and with whom they might naturally be expected to be found, are admitted in evidence without proof, to establish title or facts. They prove themselves, and to be avoided must be disproved by evidence. There is no evidence against the genuineness of these Grand Constitutions.” We have alluded to the controversies aroused by the historical concepts formed of these documents. But we must warn the readers against assuming that this was ever understood by the leading disputants as any argument against the legality of them. That was quite another thing. Both Brothers Pike and Carson, differing widely as they did upon the source of the Constitutions in 1786, were agreed upon the legal aspect. Brother Enoch Terry Carson, then Deputy of the Scottish Rite for Ohio, says, “We shall not enter into a discussion of the question as to whether these Constitutions had the origin claimed for them or not, it is sufficient to say that they were recognized, and that under and by authority of them the Southern Supreme Council, at Charleston, the first in the world, was organized and until 1813, possessed exclusive jurisdiction over the United States; and all other regular Supreme Councils from that day down to the present have, and still recognize them. If they, the Constitutions of1786, ever were irregular, they ceased to be so to any and every Supreme Council the very moment they recognized and adopted them. Without , them there can be no Thirty-third Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite.” Brother Albert Pike is equally direct to the point where he says very plainly, “But the validity and effect of these Constitutions did not depend on their emanating from Frederick. On the contrary, he had no power to make any such laws. Their force and effect as law depended on their adoption as such by the first Body of the Rite” (see Mackey’s revised History of Freemasonry, pages 1836-7).


See Records, Old


Latin, meaning it is finished. A phrase used in some of the higher degrees of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. It is borrowed from the expression used by our Lord when He said, on the cross, “It is finished,” meaning that the work which had been given him to do had been executed. It is, therefore, appropriately used in the closing ceremonies to indicate that the sublime work of the degrees is finished, so that all may retire in peace.


To contemplate is, literally, to watch and inspect the Temple. The augur, or prophet, among the Romans, having taken his stand on the Capitoline Hill, marked out with his wand the space in the heavens he intended to consult. This space he called the templum, the Latin word for a designated or marked-off area. Having divided his templum into two parts from top to bottom, he watched to see what would occur. The watching of the templum was called contemplating; and hence those who devoted themselves to meditation upon sacred subjects assumed this title. Thus, among the Jews, the Essenes and the Therapeutists, and, among the Greeks, the school of Pythagoras, were contemplative sects. Among the Freemasons, the word speculative is used as equivalent to contemplative (see Speculative Freemasonry).


This expression is used throughout this work, as it constantly is by English writers, to designate the Lodges on the Continent of Europe which retain many usages which have either been abandoned by, or never were observed in, the Lodges of England, Ireland, and Scotland, as well as the United States of America. The words Continental Freemasonry are employed in the same sense.


In civil law, contumacy, or stubbornness, is the refusal or neglect of a party accused to appear and answer to a charge preferred against him in a court of justice. In Masonic jurisprudence, it is disobedience of or rebellion against superior authority, as when a Freemason refuses to obey the edict of his Lodge, or a Lodge refuses to obey that of the Grand Master or the Grand Lodge. The punishment, in the former case, is generally suspension or expulsion ; in the latter, arrest of Charter or forfeiture of Warrant.


In a state or territory where there is no Grand Lodge, but three or more Lodges holding their Warrants of Constitution from Grand Lodges outside of the territory, these Lodges may meet together by their representatives-who should Properly be the first three officers of each Lodge-and take the necessary steps for the organization of a Lodge in that state or territory. This preparatory meeting is called a Contention. A President and Secretary are chosen, and a Grand Lodge is formed by the election of a Grand Master and other proper officers, when the old Warrants are returned to the Grand Lodges, and new ones taken out from the newly formed Grand Lodge. Not less than three Lodges are required to constitute a Convention. The first Convent1oll of this kind ever held was that of the four old Lodges of London, which met at the Apple-Tree Tavern, in 1716, and in the following year formed the Grand Lodge of England.


A title sometimes given in the Minutes of English Lodges to a Lodge of Emergency. Thus, in the minutes of Constitution Lodge, No. 390 (London), we read: “This being a Convection Night to consider the state of the Lodge,” etc. (see Sadler’s History and Records of the Lodge of Emulation, page 64).


of Freemasons, arranged in chronological order:

  • 926. York, under Prince Edwin of England.
  • 1275. Strassburg, under Edwin Von Steinbach
  • 1459. Ratisbon, under Jost Dolzinger.
  • 1464. Ratisbon, under Grand Lodge of Strassburg.
  • 1469. Spire, under Grand Lodge of Strassburg.
  • 1535. Cologne, by Hermann, Bishop of Cologne.
  • 1563. Basle, by Grand Lodge of Strassburg.
  • 1717. London, by the Four Old Lodges. Organization of Grand Lodge.
  • 1730. Dublin, by the Dublin Lodges.
  • 1736. Edinburgh. Organization and institution of Grand Lodge.
  • 1756. Hague, by the Royal Union Lodge.
  • 1762. Paris and Berlin, by nine commissioners nominated by the Sovereign Grand ……….Council of Princes of Freemasonry.
  • 1763. Jena, by the Lodge of Strict Observance.
  • 1764. Jena, by Johnson or Beeker, denounced by Baron Hund.
  • 1765. Altenberg, a continuation wherein Hund was elected Grand Master of the ……….Rite of Strict Observance.
  • 1772. Kohl, by Ferdinand oi Brunswick and Baron Hund, without success.
  • 1775. Brunswick, by Ferdinand, Duke of Brunswick.
  • 1778. Lyons, by Lodge of Chevaliers Bienfaisants.
  • 1778. Wolfenbuttel, by Duke of Brunswick.
  • 1782. Wilhelmsbad, and impotent session for purification.
  • 1784. Paris, a medley of Lovers of Truth and United Friends.
  • 1786. Berlin, alleged to have been convened by Frederick II of Prussia.
  • 1822. National Masonic Congress, Washington, District of Columbia, March 9.
  • 1842. National Masonic Congress, Washington, District of Columbia, March 7.
  • 1843. National Masonic Convention, Baltimore, Maryland, May 8,
  • 1847. National Masonic Convention, Baltimore, Maryland, September 23,
  • 1853. National Masonic Convention, Lexington, Kentucky, September 17,
  • 1855. Paris, by Grand Orient of France.
  • 1855. National Masonic Convention, Washington, District of Columbia, Jan.3-4
  • 1859. National Masonic Convention, Chicago, Illinois, September 13,
  • 1875. Lausanne. A Convention of the Supreme Councils of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of the World, which subsequently led to an eternal bond of unity both offensive and defensive.
  • 1893. Masonic Congress, Chicago, Illinois, August 14-17,
  • 1909. Conference of Grand Masters, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, June 1,
  • 1909. Conference of Grand Masters, Baltimore, Maryland, November 16,
  • 1913. Conference of Grand Masters, Indianapolis, Indiana, March 17.
  • 1914. Conference of Grand Masters, St. Louis, Missouri, May 14-16.
  • 1918. Conference of Grand Masters, New York City, New York, May 9-10,
  • 1918. Conference of Grand Masters, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, November 26-28,
  • 1919. Masonic Service Association, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, November 11-13,
  • 1920. Masonic Service Association, St. Louis, Missouri, November 9-10,
  • 1921. Masonic Service Association, Chicago, Illinois, November 9-11,
  • 1922. Masonic Service Association, Kansas City, Missouri, November 17-19,
  • 1923. Masonic Service Association, Washington, Distr. of Col., Oct. 29-30.
  • 1924. Masonic Service Association, Chicago, Illinois, November 11-12. ……….Following the meeting at Cedar Rapids in 1919, Masonic Service Association has met at St. Louis, Mo., November 9-10, 1920; Chicago, Ill., November 9-11, 1921; Kansas City, Mo., November 17-19, 1922; Washington, D. C., October 29-30, 1923; Chicago, Ill., November 11-12, 1924, and so on annually, a Conference of Grand Masters usually being held at the same place conveniently about that time.

Conversation among the Brethren during Lodge hours is forbidden by the Charges of1722 in these words: “You are not to hold private committees or separate conversation without leave from the Master” (see Constimions, 1723, page 53).


The meetings of Chapters of Royal Arch Freemasons are so called from the Latin convocation, meaning a calling together. It seems very properly to refer to the convoking of the dispersed Freemasons at Jerusalem to rebuild the second Temple, of which every Chapter is a representation.


The meeting of a Grand Chapter is so styled.


English Masonic writer; edited an early prose Masonic Constitutions known as the Additional Manuscript, 1861. Brother Cooke arranged a number of musical scores for the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction, United States.


The old document commonly known among Masonic scholars as Matthew Cooke’s Manuscript, because it was first given to the public by that distinguished Brother, was published by him, in 1861, from the original in the British Museum, which institution purchased it, on the 14th of October, 1859, from Mrs. Caroline Baker. It was also published in facsimile by the Quatuor Coronati Lodge, No. 2076, London, in 1890. Its principal value is derived from the fact, as Brother Cooke remarks, that until its appearance ”there was no prose work of such undoubted antiquity known to be in existence on the subject.” Brother Cooke gives the following account of the Manuscript in his preface to its republication: By permission of the Trustees of the British Museum, the following little work has been allowed to be copied and published in its entire form. The original is to be found among the additional manuscripts in that national collection, and is numbered 23,198. Judging from the character of the handwriting and the form of contractions employed by the scribe, it was most probably written in the litter portion of the fifteenth century, and may be considered a very clear specimen of the penmanship of that period. By whom or for whom it was originally penned there is no means of ascertaining; but from the style, it may be conjectured to have belonged to some Master of the Craft, aud to have been used in assemblies of Freemasons as a text-book of the traditional history and laws of the Fraternity.


A native of Udaught, Scotland. In 1590, by Royal Patent, because his ancestors had held the same office, he was made Patron for life of the Freemasons of Aberdeen, Banff and Kincardine.


See Capstone


See Zennaar


See Silver Cord


See Threefold Cord


The Masonic decoration, which in English is called the collar, is styled by the French Freemasons the cordon.


This is the lightest and most ornamental of the pure orders, and possesses the highest degree of richness and detail that architecture attained under the Greeks. Its capital is its great distinction, and is richly adorned with leaves of acanthus, olive, etc., and other ornaments. The column of Beauty which supports the Lodge is of the Corinthian Order, and its appropriate situation and symbolic officer are in the South.


A side Degree found in British Masonic circles and practiced with that excellent conviviality characteristic of the Brethren. The main object is to provide an opportunity for the display of high spirits on some especial occasion. Significant of the membership is a jewel, a section or slice of cork, usually enclosed in a metal band for attachment to the watch-chain as a charm or pendant, or carried as a pocket-piece. The absence of this emblem or pledge when a member is challenged by another one subjects the corkless Brother to a forfeit, which again is commonly and appropriately the cause of mutual enjoyment.


See Northeast Corner


The corner-stone is the stone which lies at the corner of two walls and forms the corner of the foundation of an edifice. In Masonic buildings it is now always placed in the Northeast; but this rule was not always formerly observed. As the foundation on which the entire structure is supposed to rest, it is considered by Operative Freemasons as the most important stone in the edifice. It is laid with impressive ceremonies; the assistance of Speculative Freemasons is often, and ought always to be, invited to give dignity to the occasion; and for this purpose Freemasonry has provided an especial ritual which is to govern the proper performance of that duty.

Among the ancients the corner-stone of important edifices was laid with impressive ceremonies. These are well described by Tacitus in the history of the rebuilding of the Capital. After detailing the preliminary ceremonies, which consisted of a procession of vestals, who with chaplets of flowers encompassed the ground and consecrated it by libations of living water, he adds that, after solemn prayer, Helvidius Priscus, to whom the care of rebuilding the Capitol had been committed, “laid his hand upon the fillets that adorned the foundation stone, and also the cords by which it was to be drawn to its place. In that instant the magistrates, the priests, the senators, the Roman knights, and a number of citizens, all acting with one effort and general demonstrations of joy, laid hold of the ropes and dragged the ponderous load to its destined spot. They then threw in ingots of gold and silver, and other metals which had never been melted in the furnace, but still retained, untouched by human art, their first formation in the bowels of the earth” (see Histories iv, 53).

The symbolism of the corner-stone when duly laid with Masonic rites is full of significance, which refers to its form, to its situation, to its permanence, and to its consecration.

As to its form, it must be perfectly square on its surfaces, and in its solid contents a cube. Now the square is a symbol of morality, and the cube, of truth.

In its situation it lies between the north, the place of darkness, and the east, the place of light; and hence this position symbolizes the Masonic progress from darkness to light, and from ignorance to knowledge.

The permanence and durability of the corner-stone, which lasts long after the building in whose foundation it was placed has fallen into decay, is intended to remind the Freemason that, when this earthly house of his tabernacle shall have passed away, he has within him a sure foundation of eternal life-a corner-stone of immortality-an emanation from that Divine Spirit which pervades all nature, and which, therefore, must survive the tomb, and rise, triumphant and eternal, above the decaying dust of death and the grave.

The stone, when deposited in its appropriate place, is carefully examined with the necessary implements of Operative Freemasonry-the square, the level, and the plumb, themselves all symbolic in meaning-and is then declared to be “well formed, true, and trusty.” Thus the Freemason is taught that his virtues are to be tested by temptation and trial, by suffering and adversity, before they can be pronounced by the Master Builder of souls to be materials worthy of the spiritual building of eternal life, fitted, “as living stones, for that house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” And lastly, in the ceremony of depositing the cornerstone, the elements of Masonic consecration are produced, and the stcne is solemnly set apart by pouring corn, wine, and oil upon its surface, emblematic of the Nourishment, Refreshment, and Joy which are to be the rewards of a faithful performance of duty.

The comer-stone does not appear to have been adopted by any of the heathen nations, but tc have been as the eben pinah, peculiar to the Jews, from whom it descended to the Christians. In the Old Testament, it seems always to have denoted a prince or high personage, and hence the Evangelists constantly use it in reference to Christ, who is called the Chief Comer-stone. In Masonic symbolism, it signifies a true Freemason, and therefore it is the first character which the Apprentice is made to represent after his initiation has been completed.

Saint Martin-in-the-Fields Church, perhaps the best known church in London, was the first in England to have its foundation stone laid with special Masonic ceremony after the coming into existence of the Grand Lodge there. This event took place in 1724, in the reign of King George I, whose direct descendant, the Duke of Connaught, was Grand Master two hundred years later (see Freemason, March 7, 1925).

The first or cornerstone of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad was laid by the Grand Master of Maryland with the Grand Masters of Pennsylvania and Virginia co-operating with the Brethren of Maryland.

The stone was laid on July 4, 1824, in Carroll’s Field at Baltimore and the first spading of the ground where the stone was to rest was dug by the venerable Charles Carroll of Carrollton, then the only living signer of the Declaration of Independence. Brother E. T. Schultz (Freemasonry in Maryland, pages 562-79) says that the first train over this new railroad reached the bank of the Ohio River, January 11, 1853. The several city trades took part in the procession and presented gifts to Mr. Carroll, one from the Weavers and Tailors was “a coat made on the way.”

Allusions to public ceremonies by the Craft are frequent in the old records. One of Tuesday, August 27, 1822, deserves mention, not because of the distance in elapsed time from that date to the present, but by reason of the close identity of the custom in Great Britain and in other Countries during these many years. The occasion was the laying of the Foundation-stone of the National Monument of Scotland, at Edinburgh, and after describing the usual procession, and the placing of coins, newspapers, plans, etc., in the cavities of the stone, these were covered with inscribed plates. ‘the first being headed “To the Glory of God-In honor of the King-For the Good of the People.” Then Laurie’s History of Free Masonry and the Grand Lodge of Scotland (1849, page 201) continues:

The Most Worshipful the Grand Master proceeded with the ceremony, and having applied the square, the plumb, and the level respectively to the stone, with the mallet he gave three knocks, saying,-“May the Almighty Architect of the Universe look down with benignity upon our present undertaking, and crown this splendid edifice with every success; and may it be considered, for time immemorial, a model of taste and genius and serve to transmit with honor to posterity the names of the artists engaged in it”; followed by the Grand Honors from the Brethren, and the Band playing “On. on my dear Brethren.

” When the music ceased, the cornucopia with corn, and the cups with wine and oil were delivered by the Grand Wardens to the Substitute Grand Master, who in succession handed them to the Most Worshipful the Grand Master, when he, according to ancient custom, poured out the corn, the wine, and the oil upon the stone, saying, “Praise be to the Lord immortal and eternal, Who formed the heavens, laid the foundations of the earth, and extended the waters beyond it, Who supports the pillars of Nations, and maintains in order and harmony surrounding Worlds: We implore Thy aid, and may the contintled blessings of an allbounteous Providence be the lot of these our native shores.

Almighty Ruler of Events, deign to direct the hand of our gracious Sovereign, so that he may pour down blessings upon his people; and may they, living under sage laws and a free government, ever feel grateful for the blessings they enjoy”: Which was followed by the Grand Honors from the Brethren, and prolonged cheering from the Royal Commissioners and spectators.
Brother Laurie also tells on page 207 of the curious fact that on April 30, 1824, “the Foundation-stone of the new road or approach to Glasgow from London was laid, by sanction of the Grand Lodge, by the Right Honorable Lord Provost Smith of Glasgow, Depute Provincial Grand Master of the Lower Ward of Lanarkshire, in presence of a large assemblage of the Brethren and a great number of spectators.”

An unusual method of laying the Foundation-stone of a Masonic Temple took place in London on July 14, 1927. The site of the Temple in Great Queen Street, Ringsway, would not accommodate a large crowd, so it was arranged that the Grand Master of English Freemasons, the Duke of Connaught, should perform the ceremony at Royal Albert Hall, nearly three miles away. A replica of the stone was laid on a specially erected platform in the great hall where some ten thousand Freemasons from al1 parts of the Empire attended in their regalia. The ceremony in Albert Hall was performed simultaneously with the laying of the actual stone in Great Queen Street by means of special electrical contrivances.

A distinction should be made between Comer-stone and Foundation Stone. Doctor Mackey was emphatic on this point and it is well to have the matter in mind. But the two are not always distinguished definitely in the records. We have placed several items together here which the reader can list as he personally may choose. The precise classification of comer-stones of railroads and foundation stones of highways, judged by any Masonic requirement, is probably best left to individual taste. The subject may be considered under the several heads, Foundation Stone, and Stone of Foundation.


One of the three elements of Masonic consecration (see Corn, Wine, and Oil).


The horn of plenty. The old Pagan myth tells us that Zeus was nourished during his infancy in Crete by the daughters of Melissus, with the milk of the goat Amalthea. Zeus, when he came to the empire of the world, in gratitude placed Amalthea in the heavens as a constellation, and gave one of her horns to his nurses, with the assurance that it should furnish them with a never-failing supply of whatever they might desire. Hence it is a symbol of abundance, and as such has been adopted as the jewel of the Stewards of a Lodge, to remind them that it is their duty to see that the tables are properly furnished at refreshment, and that every Brother is suitably served. Among the deities whose images are to be found in the ancient Temples at Elora, in Hindustan, is the goddess Ana Purna, whose name is compounded of Ana, signifying corn, and Puma, meaning plenty.

She holds a corn measure in her hand, and the whole therefore very clearly has the same allusion as the Masonic Horn of plenty.


Corn, wine, and oil are the Masonic elements of consecration. The adoption of these symbols is supported by the highest antiquity. Corn, wine, and oil were the most important productions of Eastern countries; they constituted the wealth of the people, and were esteemed as the supports of life and the means of refreshment David enumerates them among the greatest blessings that we enjoy, and speaks of them as “wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine, and bread which strengtheneth man’s heart” (Psalm civ., 15). In devoting anything to religious purposes, the anointing with oil was considered as a necessary part of the ceremony, a rite which has descended to Christian nations. The tabernacle in the wilderness, and all its holy vessels, were, by God’s express command, anointed with oil; Aaron and his two sons were set apart for the priesthood with the same ceremony ; and the prophets and kings of Israel were consecrated to their offices by the same rite.

Hence, Freemasons’ Lodges, which are but temples to the Most High, are consecrated to the sacred purposes for which they were built by strewing corn , wine, and oil upon the Lodge, the emblem of the Holy Ark. Thus does this mystic ceremony instruct us to be nourished with the hidden manna of righteousness, to be refreshed with the Word of the Lord, and to rejoice with joy unspeakable in the riches of divine grace. “Wherefore, my brethren,” says the venerable Harris (Discourse iv, 81), “wherefore do you carry corn, wine, and oil in your processions, but to remind you that in the pilgrimage of human life you are to impart a portion of your bread to feed the hungry, to send a cup of your wine to cheer the sorrowful, and to pour the healing oil of your consolation into the wounds which sickness hath made in the bodies, or afflictions rent in the heart, of your fellow-travelers?”

In processions, the corn alone is carried in a golden pitcher, the wine and oil are placed in silver vessels, and this is to remind us that the first, as a necessity and the “staff of life,” is of more importance and more worthy of honor than the others, which are but comforts.


Italian, Coronetta. An inferior crown worn by noblemen; that of a British duke is adomed with strawberry leaves; that of a marquis has leaves with pearls interposed; that of an earl has the pearls above the leaves ; that of a viscount is surrounded with pearls only; that of a baron has only four pearls. The ducal coronet is a prominent symbol in the Thirty-third Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite.


See Squaremen¸ Corporation of


See Committee on Foreign Correspondence


An officer of a Grand Lodge to whom was formerly entrusted, in some Grand Lodges, the Foreign Correspondence of the Body. The office is now disused, a temporary appointment being made when familiarity with a foreign language may require the services of an assistant to the Grand Secretary.


Rites instituted in Phrygia in honor of Atys, the lover of Cybele. The goddess was supposed first to bewail the death of her lover, and afterward to rejoice for his restoration to life. The ceremonies were a scenical representation of this alternate lamentation and rejoieing, and of the sufferings of Atys, who was placed in an ark or coffin during the mournful part of the orgies. If the description of these rites, given by Sainte-Croix from various ancient authorities, be correct, they were but a modification of the Eleusinian mysteries.


A religious faith of late recognition, having for its motto, Deeds, not Creeds, and for its principle the service of humanity is the supreme duty.

The design of Cosmism is to join all men and women into one family, in which the principle of equality, together with that of brotherly love, that is, love of the human race, is the predominant one, and the moral and material welfare of all, the sole aim and purpose.

The Cosmists are enjoined to act as follows: To give one another encouragement and aid, both material and moral, to cultivate all their faculties, to contemplate all mankind as Brethren; to be courteous and forbearing to each and all; to practice charity without publicity or ostentation. Freemasonry is an intensely theistical institution; but its principles could scarcely be better expressed than tho se above enumerated as the foundation of the Cosmistic faith; more especially in the motto, Deeds, not Creeds.


The Third Degree of the Second Temple of the Rite of African Architects, which see in this Encyclopedia.


The most southern state of Central America. The first Masonic Lodge in Costa Rica was instituted by the Grand Orient of New Granada at San José in 1867. On December 7, 1899, the Grand Lodge was formed at San José. Oliver Day Street, in his Report on Correspondence to the Grand Lodge of Alabama, 1922 states: “This Grand Lodge must be moribund, if not defunct, as after repeated efforts this scribe has not been able to get into communication with it. Not a word has been received from it during the seven years he has been Foreign Correspondent.” The Grand Lodge is credited by the Annuaire in 1923 as having seven Lodges, with 206 members, three Lodges being at San José and one each at Port Limon and Alajuela being named. Nos. 5 and 6 not located.


In several of the advance Degrees of Freemasonry the meetings are styled Councils; as, a Council of Royal and Select Masters, or Princes of Jerusalem, or Companions of the Red Cross


A part of the room in which the ceremonies of the Companions of the Red Cross are performed.


See Grand Council


An organization formed in England in 1880 to embosom, protect, and promulgate all side Degrees of a Masonic or other secret character, and those otherwise unclaimed that may appear as waifs. The central organization is termed the Grand Council of Allied Masonic Degrees.

The Sovereign College of the Allied Masonic Degrees of America was organized on February 1, l892, at Richmond, Virginia, and the first officers of this Body were chosen as follows:

  • Hartley Carmichael, 33 , Sovereign Grand Master.
  • Wm. Ryan, 33 , Deputy Grand Master, C.J.S.
  • Right Rev. A. M. Randolph, Bishop of Southern Virginia, Grand Abbot
  • Frederick Webber, 33 , Grand Senior Warden
  • Alfred R. Courtney 32 , Grand Junior Warden
  • W. O. English, 32 , K.C. , Grand Chancellor.
  • Charles A. Nesbitt, 33 , Grand Recorder-General,
  • John F. Mayer. 33 , Grand Bursar.
  • Josiah Drummond, 33 , Grand Almoner.
  • R. P. Williams. 33 , Grand Prefect of Rites.
  • Beverly R. Welford, Jr. 32 , Grand Magister non regens
  • R. H. Hall, 33 , Grand Deacon.
  • O. W. Budd, 32 , S. Fellow.
  • Thomas Whittet, 33 , Grand Verger.
  • Jacob Reinhardt, 32 , Grand Chief of Musisians.
  • Ernest T. Walthall, Grand Printer.
  • H. F. W, Southern, 32 , Grand Tiler.

Brother Nesbitt, the Grand Recorder-General who was also Grand Secretary, Grand Lodge of Virginia, was elected Deputy Grand Master of the Sovereign College in 1901, Brother Howard D. Smith, Norway, Maine, at the same time being chosen Grand Recorder-General. This Sovereign College was organized for the purpose of uniting under Masonic government a number of Degrees hitherto not so controlled. The object of the Sovereign College was two-fold-to work with proper rituals such as were, from their importance or beauty, worthy of propagation, and to lay on the shelf such Degrees, possessed by it, as were merely Masonic absurdities. This Grand Body assumed the care of several Degrees of interest and importance to earnest and progressive Freemasons. It governs the Ark Mariner or Ark and Doye, Secret Monitor, Saint Lawrence the Martyr, Tilers of King Solomon, Knights of Constantinople, the Holy Order of Wisdom, and the Trinitiam Knights of Saint John of Patmos. From the archives we obtain the following particulars;

For the Degree of Ark Mariner all Master Masons in good standing are eligible, and all Ark Mariners are eligible for the Monitor Degree. The Ark Degree ought to be possessed by every well-equipped Freemason. In England the synonymous Degree of Royal Ark Mariner is exceedingly popular. Though it is not necessary in America to possess the Mark Degree before receiving that of the Ark, yet it is well for all Freemasons, who are likely to travel, to take the Mark Degree in the Chapter also,-as the qualification for the English Royal Ark Mariner’s Degree is that the candidate must be a Mark Mason. The Degrees of Tiler of Solomon, Saint Lawrence the Martyr, and the Knight of Constantinople are only conferred on those who are already Ark Mariners and Secret Monitors.

The Holy Order of Wisdom is one of the finest and most impressive Degrees in Freemasonry. The qualification is that the candidate must be a Knight Templar of the American Rite, or a. Knight Rose Croix of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite.

The Knight of Patmos is conferred only once a year, and then sparingly. It is given only to Freemasons of some mark and learning.

From the Knights of Patmos the officers of the Sovereign College are elected.

The Degrees of the Order of Wisdom, and the Knight of Patmos, are essentially Christian and Trinitarian. For the latter Degree the Candidate must be a Prince of the Royal secret of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite.

The Grand Bodies with which the Sovereign College is in amity:

In the Ark Mariner Degree: In England, The Royal Ark Council of England. In Scotland, The Supreme Royal Arch Chapter of Scotland.

In the other Degrees, in England, The Grand Council Of Allied Masonic Degrees for England, Wales and the Colonies and Dependencies of the British Crown. In Scotland, The Grand Council of Allied Masonic Degrees for Scotland.

The Festival of the Order is Saint Paul’s Day. The Prayer Book Commentary (Maemillan, 1922, page 26) says, “In the ease of Saint Paul we have the festival of his conversion, January 25, commemorating an event standing on a totally different footing from every other conversion, which was divinely destined to alter the whole tone of Christianity,. Our earliest notices of this festival carry it, we believe, to about the middle of the ninth century.”


A body in which the First Degree of the Templar system in the United States of America is conferred. It is held under the Charter of a Commandery of Knights Templar, which, when meeting as a Council, is composed of the following officers: A Sovereign Master, Chancellor, Master of the Palace, Prelate, Master of Despatches, Master of Cavalry, Master of Infantry, Standard-Bearer, Sword-Bearer, Warder and Sentinel.


United Body conferring Royal and Select Degrees. In some Jurisdictions this Council confers also the Degree of a Super-Excellent Master.


The Body in which the Degree of Royal Master, the eighth in the American Rite, is conferred. It receives its Charter from a Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters, and has the following officers: Thrice Iliustrious Grand Master, Illustrious Hiram of Tyre, Principal Conductor of the Works, Master of the Exchequer, Master of Finances, Captain of the Guards, Conductor of the Council, and Steward.


The body in which the Degree of Select Masters, the ninth in the American Rite, is conferred. It receives its Charter from a Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters. Its officers are: Thrice Iliustrios Grand Master, Illustrious Hiram of Tyre, Principal Conductor of the Works, Treasurer, Recorder, Captain of the Guards, Conductor of the Council, and Steward.


An independent Masonic Jurisdiction, in which are conferred the Degrees of Knight of the Christian Mark, and Guard of the Conclave, Knight of the Holy Sepulcher, and the Holy and Thrice Illustrious Order of the Cross. They are conferred after the Encampment Degrees. They are Christian Degrees, and refer to the crucifixion.


See Supreme Council


An old Eng1ish Lodge which met first at the Guildhall Coffee House and afterwards at Freemasons Tavern. It was known as No. 540, having been constituted in 1789. The members were made up of Freemasons who had served as Stewards at the “Country Feast of the Society,” a festival held every several years after 1732. A special jewel with a green collar was assigned for their use by the Grand Lodge in 1789 and in 1795 they were permitted to line their aprons with green silk. As a result of this ruling they were frequently called the Green Apron Lodge, but in 1797 this ruling was withdrawn. The Lodge lapsed about 1802.


French author; a founder of the Rite des Philaletes in 1773; Secretary of the famous Lodge of Nine Sisters, Paris. in 1779. President of the Apolionian Society and author of Primitive World Analyzed and Compared with the Modern World. Although a Protestant his literary work secured for him the office of Royal Censor. At the time Voltaire was initiated into the Lodge of Nine Sisters, Court de Gebelin assisted and also presented a copy of his new book mentioned above and read that part of it concerning the ancient mysteries of Eleusis. He died in 1784 (see Lodge of Nine Sisters).


The letters K.C.C.H., stand for Knight Commander of the Court of Honor. The Court of Honor is an honorary body between the Thirty-second and Thirty-third Degrees of the Southern Jurisdiction, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. It was established to confer honor on certain Brethren whose zeal and work for Scottish Rite Freemasonry have entitled them to recognition. This Court of Honor is composed of all Thirty-third Degree Freemasons whether active or honorary, and also such Thirty-second Degree Freemasons as the Supreme Council may select. In the Court of Honor there are two ranks, that of Knight Commander and that of Grand Cross. No more than three Grand Crosses can be selected at each regular session of the Supreme Council, but the Knight Commander rank is not so restricted. At least two weeks before each regular session of the Supreme Council, each active Thirty-third Degree member may nominate one Thirty-second Degree member for the honor and decoration of Knight Commander.

In addition to this he is entitled to nominate for this honor one candidate for every forty Freemasons of the Fourteenth Degree in his Jurisdiction, who has received that Degree since the preceding regular session of the Supreme Council. This does not mean that a Fourteenth Degree Freemason is entitled to the honor.

On the contrary, the honor can only be conferred on one who has received the Thirty-second Degree at least two years prior to his nomination, but the number of such Thirty-second Degree Freemasons who may receive the honor is limited by the number of tho se who have received the Fourteenth Degree in the Jurisdiction of the member making the nomination. However, if in the judgment of the Supreme Council there are others not so nominated who should receive the honor, the Supreme Council may elect without such nomination. The rank of Knight Commander or Grand Cross cannot be applied for and if applied for, must be refused. The Court of Honor assembles as a body when called to gather by the Grand Commander, and is presided over by the Grand Cross named by the Grand Commander.


Politeness of manners, as the result of kindness of disposition, was one of the peculiar characteristics of the knights of old. “No other human laws enforced,” says M. de Saint Palaye, “as chivalry did, sweetness and modesty of temper, and that politeness which the word courtesy was meant perfectly to express” We find, therefore, in the language of Templarism, the phrase “a true and courteous knight” ; and Knights Templar are in the habit of closing their letters to each other with the expression, Yours in all knightly courtesy. Courtesy is also a Masonic virtue, because it is the product of a feeling of kindness; but it is not so specifically spoken of in the symbolic degrees, where brotherly love assumes its place, as it is in the orders of knighthood.


A secret society of France in the eighteenth century (see Carbonari).


The sufferings inflicted, in 1743, by the Inquisition at Lisbon, on John Coustos, a Freemason, and the Master of a Lodge in that city; and the fortitude with which he endured the severest tortures, rather than betray his trusts and reveal the secrets that had been confided to him, constitute an interesting episode in the history of Freemasonry. Coustos, after returning to England, published, in 1746, a book, detailing his sufferings, from which the reader is presented with the folio wing abridged narrative.

John Coustos was born at Berne, in Switzerland, but emigrated, in 1716, with his father to England, where he became a naturalized subject. In l743 he removed to Lisbon, in Portugal, and began the practice of his profession, which was that of a lapidary or dealer in precious stones. In consequence of the bull or edict of Pope-Clement XXII denouncing the Masonic Institution, the Lodges at Lisbon were not held at public houses, as was the custom in England and other Protestant countries, but privately, at the residences of the members. Of one of these Lodges, Coustos, who was a zealous Freemason, was elected the Master. A female, who was cognizant of the existence of the Lodge over which Coustos presided, revealed the circumstance to her confessor, declaring that, in her opinion, the members were “monsters in nature, who perpetrated the most shocking crimes.” In consequence of this information, it was resolved, by the Inquisition, that Coustos should be arrested and subjected to the tender mercies of the Holy Ofice. He was accordingly seized, a few nights afterwards, in a coffee-house— the public pretense of the arrest being that he was privy to the stealing of a diamond, of which they had falsely accused another jeweler, friend and warden of Coustos, whom they had previously arrested. Coustos was then carried to the prison of the Inquisition, and after having been searched and deprived of all his money, papers, and other things that he had about him, he was led to a lonely dungeon, in which he was immured, being expressly forbidden to speak aloud or knock against the walls, but if he required anything, to beat with a padlock that hung on the outward door, and which he could reach by thrusting his arm through the iron grate. “It was there,” says he, “that, struck with the horrors of a place of which I had heard and read such baleful descriptions, I plunged at once into the blackest melancholy; especially when I reflected on the dire consequences with which my confinement might very possibly be attended.”

On the next day he was led, bareheaded, before the President and four Inquisitors, who, after having made him reply on oath to several questions respecting his name, his parentage, his place of birth, his religion, and the time he had resided in Lisbon, exhorted him to make a full confession of all the crimes he had ever committed in the whole course of his life ; but, as he refused to make any such confession, declaring that, from his infancy, he had been taught to confess not to man but to God, he was again remanded to his dungeon.

Three days after, he was again brought before the Inquisitors, and the examination was renewed. This was the first occasion on which the subject of Freemasonry was introduced, and there Coustos for the first time learned that he had been arrested and imprisoned solely on account of his connection with the forbidden Institution.

The result of this conference was that Coustos was conveyed to a deeper dungeon, and kept there in close confinement for seven weeks, during which period he was taken three times before the Inquisitors. In the first of these examinations they again introduced the subject of Freemasonry, and declared that if the Institution was as virtuous as their prisoner contended that it was, there was no occasion for concealing so industriously the secrets of it. Coustos did not reply to this objection to the Inquisitorial satisfaction, and he was remanded back to his dungeon, where a few days after he fell sick.

After his recovery, he was again taken before the Inquisitors, who asked him several new questions with regard to the tenets of Freemasonry-among others, whether he, since his abode in Lisbon, had received any Portuguese into the society. He replied that he had not. When he was next brought before them, “they insisted,” he says, “upon my letting them into the secrets of Freemasonry; threatening me, in case I did not comply.” But Coustos firmly and fearlessly refused to violate his obligations.

After several other interviews, in which the effort was unavailingly made to extort from him a renunciation of Freemasonry, he was subjected to the torture, of which he gives the following account:

I was instantly conveyed to the torture-room, built in form of a square tower, where no light appeared but what two candles gave; and to prevent the dreadful cries and shocking groans of the unhappy victims from reaching the ears of the other prisoners, the doors are lined with a sort of quilt.

The reader will naturally suppose that I must be seized with horror, -when, at my entering this infernal place, I saw myself, on a sudden, surrounded by six wretches, who, after preparing the tortures, stripped me naked, all to linen drawers, when, laying me on my back, they began to lay hold of every part of my body. First, they put around my neck an iron collar, which was fastened to the scaffold; they then fixed a ring to each foot; and this being done, they stretched my limbs with all their might. They next wound two ropes round each arm, and two round each thigh, which ropes passed under the scaffold through holes made for that purpose, and were all drawn tight at the same time, by four men, upon a signal made for this purpose.

The reader will believe that my pains must be intolerable, when I solemnly declare that these ropes, which were of the size of one’s little finger, pierced through my flesh quite to the bone, making the blood gush out at eight different places that were thus bound. As I persisted in refusing to discover any more than what has been seen in the interrogatories above, the ropes were thus drawn together four different times. At my’ side stood a physician and a surgeon, who often felt my temples, to judge of the danger I might be in-by which means my tortures were suspended, at intervals, that I might have an opportunity of recovering myself a little Whilst I was thus suffering, they were so barbarously unjust as to declare, that, were I to die under the torture, I should be guilty, by my obstinacy, of self-murder. In fine, the last time the ropes were drawn tight, I grew so exceedingly weak, occasioned by the blood’s circulation being stopped, and the pains I endured, that I fainted quite away; insomuch that I was carried back to my dungeon, without perceiving it.

These barbarians, finding that the tortures above described could not extort any further discovery from me; but that, the more they made me suffer, the more fervently I addressed my supplications, for patience, to heaven. they were so inhuman, six weeks after, as to expose me to another kind of torture, more grievous, if possible, than the former. They made me stretch my arms in such a manner that the palms of my hands were turned outward; when, by the help of a rope that fastened them together at the wrist, and which they turned by an engine, they drew them gently nearer to one another behind, in such a manner that the back of each hand touched and stood exactly parallel one to another; whereby both my shoulders were dislocated, and a considerable quantity of blood issued from my mouth.

This torture was repeated thrice; after which I was again taken to my dungeon, and put into the hands of physicians and surgeons, who, in setting my bones, put me to exquisite pain. Two months after, being a little recovered, I was again conveyed to the torture-room, and there made to undergo another kind of punishment twice. The reader may judge of its horror, from the following description thereof :

“The torturers turned twice around my body a thick iron chain, which, crossing upon my stomach, terminated afterwards at my wrists. They next set my back against a thick board, at each extremity whereof was a pulley, through which there ran a rope, that caught the ends of the chains at my wrists. The tormentors then stretched these ropes, by means of a roller, pressed or bruised my stomach, in proportion as the means were drawn tighter. They tortured me on this occasion to such a degree, that my wrists and shoulders were put cut of joint. The surgeons, however, set them presently after; but the barbarians not yet having satiated their cruelty, made me undergo this torture a second time, which I did with fresh pains, though with equal consistency and resolution. I was then remanded back to my dungeon, attended by the surgeons, who dressed my bruises; and here I continued until their auto-da-fé, or gaol delivery. On that occasion, he was sentenced to work at the galleys for four years.

Soon, however, after he had commenced the degrading occupation of a galley slave, the injuries which he had received during his inquisitorial tortures having so much impaired his health, that he was unable to undergo the toils to which he had been condemned, he was sent to the infirmary, where he remained until October, 1744, when he was released upon the demand of the British minister, as a subject to the King of England. He was, however, ordered to leave the country. This, it may be supposed, he gladly did, and repaired to London, where he published the account of his sufferings in a book entitled The Sufferings of John Coustos for Freemasonry, and for refusing to turn Roman Catholic, in the Inquisition at Lisbon, etc., etc. London, 1746; 8vo , 400 pages. This work was reprinted at Birmingham in 1790. Such a narrative is well worthy of being read. John Coustos has not, by his literary researches, added anything to the learning or science of our Order; yet, by his fortitude and fidelity under the severest sufferings, inflicted to exhort from him a knowledge he was bound to conceal, he has shown that Freemasonry makes no idle boast in declaring that its secrets “are locked up in the depository of faithful breasts.”


The title of an officer in a French Lodge, equivalent to the English Tiler.



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