Enciclopédia Mackey – FRASER ~ FREE




On November 30, 1736, when William Saint Clare of the Hereditary Grand Mastership of Scottish Freemasons resigned, the resignation being signed on November 24, Brother Fraser was present and his name was attached as a witness to the document. He was Deputy-Auditor of the Excise and Worshipful Master, Canongate Kilwinning Lodge (see History of Freemasonry and Grand Lodge of Scotland, William A. Laurie, 1859, page 100).


Latin, meaning Brother. An expression borrowed from the monks by the Military Orders of the Middle Ages, and applied by the members to each other. It is constantly employed in England by the Masonic Knights Templar, and is beginning to be adopted, although not as generally, in the United States. When speaking of two or more, it is an error to call them Fraters, The correct plural is Fratres.


Doctor Mackey records the vusual mode of subscription to letters in his day written by one Freemason to another as, “I remain, fraternally yours,” custom and preference that continues to be frequently adopted.


The word was originally used to designate those associations formed in the Roman Catholic Church for the pursuit of special religious and ecelesiastical purposes such as the nursing of the sick, the support of the poor, the practise of particular devotions, etc. They do not date earlier than the thirteenth century. The name was subsequently applied to secular associations, such as the Freemasons. The word is only a Latin form of the Anglo-Saxon Brotherhood. In the earliest lectures of the eighteenth century we find the word fraternity alluded to in the following fonnula:

How many particular points pertain to a Freemason?

Three: Fraternity, Fidelity, and Taciturnity.

What do they represent?

Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth among all Right Masons.


To recognize as a Brother; to associate with Masonically.


Born 1763, second son of George III; died in 1827. Made a Freemason, November 21, 1787, at the Star and Garter Tavern, London, England, at a Special Lodge held for that purpose by the Duke of Gumberland, then Grand Master. The Prince of Wales, afterwards George IV, acted as sponsor for his brother.


Prince of Prussia, was received into Freemasonry at Berlin by Frederick the Great, his brother, in 1740.


Prince Frederick, son of the King of the Netherlands, and for many years the Grand Master of the National Grand Lodge of that kingdom. He was ambitious of becoming a Masonic reformer, and in addition to his connection with the Charter of Cologne, an account of which has been given under that head, he attempted, in 1819, to introduce a new rite. He denounced the advanced Degrees as being contrary to the true intent of Freemasonry, and in a circular to all the Lodges under the obedience of the National Grand Lodge, he proposed a new system, to consist of five Degrees, namely, the three symbolic, and two more as complements or illustrations of the third, which he called Elect Master and Supreme Elect Master. Some few Lodges adopted this new system, but most of them rejected it. The Grand Chapter, whose existence it had attacked, denounced it. The Lodges practicing it in Belgium there Solved in 1830, but a few of them probably remain in Holland. The full rituals of the two supplementary Degrees are printed in the second volume of Hermes, and an attentive perusal of them does not give an exalted idea of the inventive genius or the Prince.


Father of King George III. Made a Freemason November 5, 1737, in a Special Lodge at Kew, Doctor Desaguliers presiding. He died in 1751. Three of his sons became members of the Craft, the Dukes of York and Gloucester initiated in 1766, the Duke of Cumberland, 1767 (see Royal Freemasons, George W. Speth, 1885).


Frederick II, King of Prussia, surnamed the Great, was born on January 14, 1712, and died on August 17, 1786, at the age of seventy-four years and a few months. He was initiated as a Freemason, at Brunswick, on the night of August 14, 1738, not quite two years before he ascended the throne.

In English, we have two accounts of this initiation, one by Campbell, in his work on Frederick the Great and his Times, and the other by Carlyle in his History of Frederick the Second. Both are substantially the same, because both are merely translations of the original account given by Bielfeld in his Freundschaftliche Briefe, or Familiar Letters. The Baron von Bielfeld was, at the time, an intimate companion of the Prince, and was present at the initiation.

Bielfeld tells us that in a conversation which took place on August 6 at Loo though Carlyle corrects him as to time and place, and says it probably occurred at Minden, on July 17 the Institution of Freemasonry had been enthusiastically lauded by the Count of Lippe Buckeburg. The Crown Prince soon after privately expressed to the Count his wish to join the society. Of course, this wish was to be gratified.

The necessary furniture and assistance for conferring the Degrees were obtained from the Lodge at Hamburg. Bielfeld gives an amusing account of the embarrassments which were encountered in passing the chest containing the Masonic implements through the Custom-House without detection. Campbell, quoting from Bielfeld, says: The whole of August 14 was spent in preparations for the Lodge, and at twelve at night the Prince Royal arrived, accompanied by Count Wartensleben, a captain in the king’s regiment at Potsdam. The Prince introduced him to us as a candidate whom he very warmly recommended, and begged that he might be admitted immediately after himself. At the same time, he desired that he might be treated like any private individual, and that none of the usual ceremonies might be altered on his account. Accordingly, he was admitted in the customary form, and I could not sufficiently admire his fearlessness, his composure, and his address. After the double reception, a Lodge was held. All was over by four in the morning, and the Prince returned to the dual palace apparently as well pleased with us as we were charmed with him.

Of the truth of this account there never has been any doubt. Frederick the Great was certainly a Freemason. But Carlyle, in his usual sarcastic vein, adds:

The Crown Prince prosecuted his Masonry at Reinsberg or elsewhere, occasionally, for a year or two, but was never ardent in it, ant very soon after his accession left off altogether…. A Royal Lodge was established at Berlin, of which the new king consented to be patron; but he never once entered the palace, and only his portrait, a welcomely good one still to be found there, presided over the mysteries of that establishment.

Now how much of truth with the sarcasm, and how much of sarcasm without the truth, there is in this remark of Carlyle, is just what the Masonic world is bound to discover. Until further light is thrown upon the subject by documentary evidence from the Prussian Lodges, the question can not be definitely answered. But what is the now known further Masonic history of Frederick? Bielfeld tells us that the zeal of the Prince for the Fraternity induced him to invite the Baron Von Oberg and himself to Reinsberg, where, in 1739, they founded a Lodge, into which Keyserling, Jordan, Moolendorf, Queis, and Fredersdorf, Frederick’s valet, were admitted.

Bielded is again our authority for stating that on June 20, 1740, King Frederick for he had then ascended the throne-held a Lodge at Charlottenburg, and, as Master in the chair, initiated Prince William of Prussia, his brother, the Margrave Charles of Brandenburg, and Frederick William, Duke of Holstein. The Dulce of Holstein was seven years afterward elected Adjutant Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of the Three Globes at Berlin.

We hear no more of Frederick’s Freemasonry in the printed records until the 16th of July, 1774, when he granted his protection to the National Grand Lodge of Germany, and officially approved of the treaty with the Grand Lodge of England, by which the National Grand Lodge was established. In the year 1777, the Mother Lodge, Royal York of Friendship, at Berlin, celebrated, by a festival, the king’s birthday, on which occasion Frederick wrote the following letter, which, as it is the only printed declaration of his opinion of Freemasonry that is now extant, is well worth copying:

I cannot but be sensible of the new homage of the Lodge Royal York of Friendship on the occasion of the anniversary of my birth bearing, as it does the evidence of its zeal and attachment for my person. Its orator has well expressed the sentiments which animate all its labors; and a society which employs itself only in sowing the seed and bringing forth the fruit of every kind of virtue in my dominions may always be assured of my protection. It is the glorious task of every good sovereign and 1 will never cease to fulfill it. And so I pray God to take you and your Lodge under his holy and deserved protection. Potsdam, this 14th of February, 1777. Frederick. Brother ad. E. Cauthorne submits here that, Frederick did not ill his latter days take the active interest in Freemasonry that had distinguished his early life before coming to the throne. It cannot be established that he ever attended a meeting after he became king, though manic such efforts have been attempted. Some overzealous persons have claimed that he established the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of the Thirty-third Degree but the Grand Lodge of the Three Globes at Berlin as well as many European historians, have often shown this a> have been impossible. But we must not forget that the adoption of the Constitutions makes them legally binding upon the Freemasons who subscribe to this document, no matter whether it was or was not the creation of Frederick. Further, in reference to the above comments by Brother Cauthorne, the subject of Frederick’s Masonic activity and the Constitutions has been given critical study by Brothers General Albert Pike, Enoch T. Carson and Dr. Wilhelm Begemann (see their various conclusions in Mackey’s revised History of Freemasonry, pages 1828-39).


King of Prussia, and, although not a Freemason, a generous patron of the Order. On December 29, 1797, he wrote to the Lodge Royal York of Friendship, at Berlin, these words: “I have never been initiated, as every one knows, but I am far from conceiving the slightest distrust of the intentions of the members of the Lodge. I believe that its design is noble, and founded on the cultivation of virtue; that its methods are legitimate, and that every political tendency is banished from its operations. Hence, I shall take pleasure in manifesting on all occasions my good-will and my affection to the Lodge Royal York of Friendship, as well as to every other Lodge in my dominions.” In a similar tone of kindness toward Freemasonry, he wrote three months afterward to Fessler. And when he issued, October 20, 1798, an Edict forbidding secret societies, he made a special exemption in favor of the Masonic Lodges. To the time of his death, he was always the avowed friend of the Order.


The word Free, in connection with Mason, originally signified that the person so called was free, entrusted with certain rights, of the Company or Gild of Incorporated Masons. For those Operative Masons who were not thus made free of the gild, were not permitted to work with those who were. A similar regulation still exists in many parts of Europe, although it is not known to the United States. The term appears to have been first thus used in the tenth century, when the traveling Freemasons we are told were incorporated by the Roman Pontiff (see Traveling Freemasons).

In reference to the other sense of free as meaning not bound, not in captivity, it is a rule of Freemasonry that no one can be initiated who is at the time restrained of his liberty. The Grand Lodge of England extends this doctrine, that Freemasons should be free in all their thoughts and actions, so far, that it will not permit the initiation of a candidate who is only temporarily in a place of confinement. In the year 1783, the Master of the Royal Military Lodge at Woolwich, No. 371, being confined, most probably for debt, in the King’s Bench prison, at London, the Lodge, which was itinerant in its character and allowed to move from place to place with its regiment, adjourned, with its Warrant of Constitution, to the Master in prison, where several Freemasons were made.

The Grand Lodge, being informed of the circumstances, immediately summoned the Master and Wardens of the Lodge “to answer for their conduct in making Masons in the King’s Bench prison,” and, at the same time, adopted a resolution, affirming that “it is inconsistent with the principles of Masonry for any Freemasons’ Lodge to be held, for the purposes of making, passing or raising Masons, in any prison or place of confinement” (see Constitutions, 1784, page 349).


The title Free and Accepted first occurs in the Roberts Print of 172 , which is headed The Old Constitutions belonging to the Ancient and Honorable Society of Free and Accepted Masons, and was adopted by Doctor Anderson in the second edition of the Book of Constitutions, published in 1738, the title of which is The New Book of Constitutions of the Antient and Honorable Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons. In the first edition of 1723 the title was, The Constitutions of the Freemasons. The newer title continued to be used by the Grand Lodge of England, in which it was followed by those of Scotland and Ireland; and a majority of the Grand Lodges in the United States have adopted the same style, and call themselves Grand Lodges of Free and accepted Masons (see also Accepted). The old lectures formerly used in England give the following account of the origin of the term:

The Masons who were selected to build the Temple of Solomon mere declared Free and were exempted, together with their descendants from imposts duties, and taxes. They had also the privilege to bear arms. .At the destruction of the Temple by Nebuckadnezzar, the posterity of these Masons were carried into captivity with the ancient Jews. But the good-will of Cyrus gave them permission to erect a second Temple having set them at liberty for that purpose. It is from this epoch that we bear the name of Free and Accepted Masons.


Formed about 1863 as a native American patriotic secret society by William Patton, who became its first president, the first meeting being held in a stable, the second in Convention Hall, New York City.

By 1805 there were fifty-nine Temples of the organization in New York City and Kings County. Later on the society vas absorbed by the Know-nothing Party which flourished in the ten y ears preceding 1860, and did not survive that movement. Its first name was the American Brethren, afterwards the Wide Awakes, but most commonly the Templars Order of the American Star, Free and Accepted Americans. While the style adopted for the name might suggest that some of its founders were members of the Craft, we have no definite information relative to that point (see John Bach McMaster’s History of the People of the United States from the Revolution to the Civil War, and the Builder, volume vu, 1921, page 303). The Know-nothing Party to which reference has been made, has also been called the American Party.

The National Council, at a meeting in Philadelphia, February ‘1, 1556, adopted a platform and a ritual. The latter is claimed to be the one given in American Politics, published in 1882 by Cooper and Fenton, Chicago. The purposes of the Party are stated in the second Article of the Constitution as follows:

The object of this organization shall be to protect every American citizen in the legal and proper exercise of all his civil and religious rights and privileges; to resist the insidious policy of the Church of Rome, and all foreign influence against our republican institutions in all lawful ways, to place in all offices of honor, trust or profit, in the gift of the people, or by appointment, none but native-born Protestant citizens, and to protect, preserve and uphold the Union of these States and the Constitution of the same.

The name, Know-nothing, came from that or an equivalent expression being used by the members in reply to questions concerning the organization.


See Bromwell, Henry P. H.


In all the old Constitutions, free birth is required as a requisite to the reception of Apprentices. Thus the Lansdowne Manuscript says, “That the prentice be able of birth, that is, free born.” So it is in the Edinburgh Kilwinning, the York, the Antiquity, and in every other manuscript that has been so far discovered. And hence, the modern Constitutions framed in 1721 continue the regulation. After the abolition of slavery in the West Indies by the British Parliament, the Grand Lodge of England on September 1, 1847, changed the word free-born into free man, but the ancient landmark never has been removed in America.

The non-admission of a slave seems to have been founded upon the best of reasons; because, as Freemasonry involves a solemn contract, no one can legally bind himself to its performance who is not a free agent and the master of his own actions.

That the restriction is extended to those who were originally in a servile condition, but who may have since acquired their liberty, seems to depend on the principle that birth in a servile condition is accompanied by a degradation of mind and abasement of spirit which no subsequent disenthralment can so completely efface as to render the party qualified to perform his duties, as a Freemason, with that freedom, fervency, and zeal which are said to have distinguished our ancient Brethren. “Children)” says Brother George Oliver, “cannot inherit a free and noble spirit except they be born of a free woman.”

The same usage existed in the spurious Freemasonry or the mysteries of the ancient world. There, no slave, or man born in slavery, could be initiated; because the prerequisites imperatively demanded that the candidate should not only be a man of irreproachable manners, but also a free-born denizen of the country in which the mysteries were celebrated.

Some Masonic writers have thought that in this regulation, in relation to free birth, some allusion is intended, both in the mysteries and in Freemasonry, to the relative conditions and characters of Isaac and Ishmael. The former-the accepted one, to whom the promise was given was the son of a free woman, and the latter, who was east forth to have his hand against every man and every man’s hand against him, was the child of a slave.


This is defined to be a state of exemption from the control or power of another. The doctrine that Freemasons should enjoy unrestrained liberty, and be free in all their thoughts and actions, is carried so far in Freemasonry, that the Grand Lodge of England will not permit the initiation of a candidate who is only temporarily deprived of his liberty, or even in a place of confinement (see Free). It is evident that the word freedom is used in Freemasonry in a symbolical or metaphysical sense differing from its ordinary signification. While, in the application of the words free-born and free man, we use them in their usual legal acceptation, we combine freedom with fervency and zeal as embodying a symbolic idea. Gadicke, under the word Freiheit, in his Freimaurer-Lexicon, thus defines the word:

A word that is often heard among us, but which is restricted to the same limitation as the freedom of social life. We have in our assemblies no freedom to act each one as he pleases. But we are, or should be, free from the dominion of passion, pride, prejudice, and all the other follies of human nature. We are free from the false delusion that we need not be obedient to the laws. Thus he makes it equivalent to integrity; a sense that Brother Mackey believed it to bear in the following article.

Fisk has some observations on the freeing of slaves among the Romans that are of value here. The liberating of slaves took place in several ways. The most usual mode seems to have been by will, freedom by bequest, manumissio per testamentum, on the death of the owner. There were two other modes; census, the listing, and per vindictam, by the freedom of the rod; the former was when the slave with the master’s consent, was enrolled in the taxation list as a freedman; the latter was a formal and public enfranchisement before the praetor (a Roman magistrate). In the last case, the master appeared with his slave, before the tribunal, and commenced the ceremony by striking him with a rod, vindicta; thus treating him as still his slave. Then a protector or defender, assertor libertatis, steps forward and requests the liberation of the slave, by saying hunc hominem liberum esse aio, jure Quirtium; upon which the master, who has hitherto kept hold of the slave, lets him ao, e manu emil-‘ebat, and gives up his right over him, with the words hunc hominem liberum esse volo. A declaration by the praetor, that the slave should be free, fonned the conclusion.

To confirm this manumission, the freed slave sometimes went to Terracina and received in the Temple of Feronia a cap or hat, pileus, as a badge of liberty.

The slave to be freed must not be under twenty years of age, nor the person setting him free under thirty (Classical Antiquities, N. W. Fisk, page 290).

Feronia was honored as the patroness of enfranchised slaves who ordinarily received their liberty in her Temple on Mount Soracte. Her name was derived by some from a town near the Temple, others credit it to the idea of her bringing relief, hero, to slaves, or to her productiveness of trees and fruits (Fisk, page 120; see also his allusions to sacrifices, page 237; jus Quiritium, page 286; and Raising, page 287).


The earliest lectures in the eighteenth century designated freedom, fervency, and zeal as the qualities which should distinguish the servitude of Apprentices, and the same symbolism is found in the ritual of the present day. The word freedom is not here to be taken in its modern sense of liberty, but rather in its primitive Anglo-Saxon meaning of frankness, generosity, a generous willingness to work or perform one’s duty (see Fervency and Zeal). so Chaucer uses it in the Prologue to the Canterbury Tales (line 43):

A knight there was. and that a worthy man,
That fro the time that he first began
To riden out, he loved chivalric
Trouthe and Honor, Freedom and Courtesy.


The Grand Lodge of England, on September 1, 1847, erased from their list of the qualifications of candidates the word free-born, and substituted for it free man. Their rule now reads, “every candidate must be a free man.” This has been generally considered in other countries as the violation of a landmark.

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