Enciclopédia Mackey – GRAND ~ GRUBER

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A Degree in several of the Rites modeled upon the Twelfth of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. It is the Sixth Degree of the Reform of Saint Martin; the Fourteenth of the Rite of Elected Cohens; the Twenty-third of the Rite of Mizraim, and the Twenty-fourth of the Metropolitan Chapter of France (see also Great Architect of the Universe).


A Grand Chapter consists of the High Priests, Kings, and Scribes for the time being, of the several Chapters under its Jurisdiction, of the Past Grand and Deputy High Priests. Kings and Scribes of the said Grand Chapter. In some Grand Chapters Past High Priests are admitted to membership, but in others they are not granted this privilege, unless they have served as Grand and Deputy Grand High Priests, Kings, or Scribes. Grand Chapters in the United States have the sole government and superintendence of the several Royal Arch Chapters and Lodges of the Most Excellent, Past, and Mark Masters within their several Jurisdictions.

Until the year 1797, there was no organization of Grand Chapters in the United States. Chapters were held under the authority of a Master’s Warrant, although the consent of a neighboring Chapter was generally deemed expedient. But in 1797, delegates from several of the Chapters in the Northern States assembled at Boston for the purpose of deliberating on the expediency of organizing a Grand Chapter for the government and regulation of the several Chapters within the said States.

This Convention prepared an address to the Chapters in New York and New England, disclaiming the power of any Grand Lodge to exercise authority over Royal Arch Masons, and declaring it expedient to establish a Grand Chapter. In consequence of this address, delegates from most of the States above mentioned met at Hartford in January, 1798, and organized a Grand Chapter, formed and adopted a Constitution. and elected and installed their officers. This example was quickly followed by other parts of the Union and Grand Chapters came into existence in nearly all the States (see General Grand Chapter).

The officers of a Grand Chapter are usually the same 3S those of a Chapter, with the distinguished prefix of Grand to the titles. The jewels are also the same, but enclosed within 3 circle. In England and Scotland the Grand Chapter bears the title of Supreme Grand Chapter.


See Prince Masons of Ireland


The presiding officer of a Grand Commandery of Knights Templar.


The French expression is Grand Commandeur de l’Etoile d’Orient. A Degree in Pyron’s collection.


The title of the presiding Body of Templarism in England is the Grand Conclave of the religious and Military Order of Masonic Knights Templar.


On July 1, 1814, the Grand Mastership of the Order in France, then held by Prince Cambacéres, was, in consequence of the political troubles attendant upon the restoration of the monarchy, declared vacant by the Grand Orient. On August 12 the Grand Orient decreed that the functions of Grand Master should be provisionally discharged by a Commission consisting of three Grand Officers, to be called Grand Conservators, and Macdonald, Duke of Tarentum, the Count de Beurnonville, and Timbrune, Count de Valence, were appointed to that office.


The governing Body over a State of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite; subject, however, to the superior Jurisdiction of the Supreme Council of the Thirty-third. The members of the Grand Consistory are required to be in possession of the Thirty-second Degree. Such wars. the practice in the Southern Masonic Jurisdiction which prevails in the Northern Body but the name is there the Council of Deliberation.


The title given to the first three officers of 3 Royal Arch Chapter. Also the name of the superintending Body of Cryptic Freemasonry in any Jurisdiction. It is composed of the first three officers of each Council in the Jurisdiction. Its officers are: Most Puissant Grand Master, Thrice Illustrious Deputy Grand Master, Illustrious Grand Conductor of the Works, Grand Treasurer, Grand Recorder, Grand Chaplain, Grand Marshal, Grand Captain of the Guards, Grand Conductor of the Council, and Grand Steward.


An important officer in the United Grand Lodge of England; a similar office to that of Grand Master General of Ceremonies of a Supreme Council, upon whom the order of the Grand Body largely depends, and who has charge of the service or ceremonies of whatever nature that may transpire.


The city in which the Grand Lodge, or other governing Masonic Body is situated, and whence its official documents emanate, is called the Grand East. Thus, a document issued by the Grand Lodge off Massachusetts would be dated from the Grand East of Boston, or if from the Grand Lodge of Louisiana, it would be the Grand East of New Orleans. The place where a Grand Lodge meets is therefore called a Grand East. The word is in frequent Masonic use on the Continent of Europe and in America, but seldom employed in England, Scotland, or Ireland.


The Fourteenth Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite (see Perfection, Lodge of).


See Encampment, Grand


The presiding officer of a Grand Royal Arch Chapter in the American system. The powers and prerogatives of a Grand High Priest are far more circumscribed than those of a Grand Master. As the office has been constitutionally created by the Grand Chapter, and did not precede it as that of Grand Masters did the Grand Lodges, he possesses no inherent prerogatives, but those only which are derived from and delegated to him by the Constitution of the Grand Chapter and regulations formed under it for the government of Royal Arch Masonry.


The Sixty-sixth Degree of the Rite of Mizraim


The Thirty-first Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. It is not a historical Degree, but simply a judicial power of the advanced Degrees. The place of meeting is called a Supreme Tribunal. The decorations are white, and the presiding officer is styled Most Perfect President. The jewel of the Degree is a Teutonic cross of silver attached to white watered ribbon. The Teutonic Cross is the same in shape as the Jerusalem Cross, four plain T’s joined to make a cross, a cross potent, or having crutched arms.


A roll of parchment, nine inches in length and five in breadth, containing the Legend of the Craft and the Old Charges. It is preserved in the Archives of the Grand Lodge of England, having been bought in 1839 for £25. It was dated by its writer 1583. It has been reproduced in Hughan’s Old Charges, 1872; in Sadler’s Masonic Facts and Fictions, and in facsimile by Quatuor Coronati Lodge.


See Representative of a Grand Lodge


See General Grand Lodge


The chief presiding officer of the Symbolic Degrees in a Jurisdiction. He presides, of course, over the Grand Lodge, and has the right not only to be present, but also to preside in every Lodge, with the Master of the Lodge on his left hand, and to order his Grand Wardens to attend him, and act as Wardens in that particular Lodge. He has the right of visiting the Lodges and inspecting their books and mode of work as often as he pleases, or, if unable to do so, he may depute his Grand Officers to act for him. He has the power of granting Dispensations for the formation of new Lodges; which Dispensations are of force until revoked by himself or the Grand Lodge. He may also grant Dispensations for several other purposes (see the article Dispensation). Formerly, the Grand Master appointed his Grand Officers, but this regulation has been repealed, and the Grand Officers are now all elected by the Grand Lodges, except in England, where the Grand Master appoints all but the Grand Treasurer. When the Grand Master visits a Lodge, he must he received with the greatest respect, and the Master of the Lodge should always offer him the chair, which the Grand Master may or may not accept at his pleasure. Should the Grand Master die, or be absent from the Jurisdiction during his term of office, the Deputy Grand Master assumes his powers, or, if there be no Deputy, then the Grand Wardens according to seniority.

The following is a list of the Grand Masters of the Grand Lodge of England, established in 1717 and afterward known as the Moderns:

  • 1717. Antony Sayer.
  • 1718. George Payne.
  • 1719. J. T. Desaguliers, LL.D., F.R.S.
  • 1720. George Payne.
  • 1721. John, Duke of Montague.
  • 1722. Philip, Duke of Wharton.
  • 1723. Francis, Earl of Dalkeith.
  • 1724. Charles, Duke of Richmond.
  • 1725. Jarnes, Lord Paisley.
  • 1726. William, Earl of Inchiquin.
  • 1727. Henry, Lord Coleraine.
  • 1728. James, Lord Kingston.
  • 1729. Thomas, Duke of Norfolk.
  • 1731. Thomas, Lord Lovel.
  • 1732. Anthony, Viscount Montague.
  • 1733. James, Earl of Strathmore.
  • 1734. John, Earl of Crawford.
  • 1745. Thomas, Viscount Weymouth.
  • 1736. John, Earl of Londoun.
  • 1737. Edward, Earl of Darnley.
  • 1738. sir Henry, Marquess r
  • 1739. Robert, Lord Raymond
  • 1740. John, Earl of Wintore
  • 1741. James, Earl of Morton
  • 1749. John, Viscount Dudlex and Ward.
  • 1744. Thomas, Earl of Strathmore.
  • 1745. James, Lord Cranstoun.
  • 1747. Williams Lord Byron.
  • 1759. John, Lord Carysfort.
  • 1754. James, Marquess of Carnarvon.
  • 1757 . Sholts, Lord Aberdour.
  • 1762. Washington, Earl Ferrers.
  • 1764. Cadwallader, Lord Blaney.
  • 1767. lIenry, Duke of Beaufort.
  • 1772. Robert, Lord Petre.
  • 1777. George, Duke of Manehester.
  • 1782. H. R. H. The Duke of Cumberland.
  • 1790. H. R. H. The Prinee of hi ales.
  • 1813. H. R. H. The Duke of Sussex.

The following is a list of the Grand Masters of the Atholl or Antients Grand Lodge:

  • 1753. Robert Turner.
  • 1754. Hon. Edward Vaughan.
  • 1756. Earl of Blesinton.
  • 1760. Thomas, Earl of Relly.
  • 1766. Hon. Thos. Mathew.
  • 1771. John third Duke of Atholl.
  • 1775. John fourth Duke of Atholl
  • 1789. Vacant.
  • 1783. Randal, Earl of Antrim.
  • 1791. John, fourth Duke of Atholl.
  • 1813. H. R. H. The Duke of Rent.

The following is a list of the Grand Masters of the United Grand Lodge of England from the Union of Ancient and Moderns in 1813:

  • 1813. H. R. H. The Duke of Sussex.
  • 1844. Earl of Zetland.
  • 1870. Marquis of Ripon.
  • 1874. H. R. H. The Prince of Wales.
  • 1901. H. R. H. The Duke of Connaught.


The French is Grand Maître Architect. The Twelfth Degree in the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. This is strictly a scientific degree, resembling in that respect the Degree of Fellow Craft. In it the principles of architecture and the connection of the liberal arts with Freemasonry are unfolded. Its officers are three-a Master, and two Wardens. The Chapter is decorated with white and red hangings, and furnished with the five orders of architecture, and a case of mathematical instruments. The apron is white, lined with blue; and the jewel is a gold medal, on which are engraved the orders of architecture. It is suspended by a stone-colored ribbon.


See Inherent Rights of a Grand Master


The title given to the Grand Master in the Grand Lodge of Scotland.


The French title of this officer is Vénerable Maitre de toutes les Loges. The Twentieth Degree in the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. The presiding officer is styled Vénérable Grand Master, and is assisted by two Wardens in the West. The decorations of the Lodge are blue and yellows. The old ritual contains some interesting instructions respecting the first and second Temple. Among the traditions preserved by the possessors of this Degree is one which states that after the third Temple was destroyed by Titus, the son of Vespasian, the Christian Freemasons, who were then in the Holy Land being filled with sorrow, departed from home with the determination of building a fourth, and that, dividing themselves into several bodies, they dispersed over the various parts of Europe. The greater number went to Scotland, and repaired to the town of Kilwinning, where they established a Lodge and built an abbey, and where the records of the Order were deposited. This tradition, preserved in the original rituals, was to Brother Mackey a very strong presumptive evidence that the Degree owed its existence to the Templar system of Ramsay.


In the general craft of men in the Middle Ages who worked with stone in the construction of buildings, bridges, etc., there were classifications into kinds, which differed much among themselves; and the men were “graded” in the amount of wages paid them according to the degrees of skill which were called for in each class of workmen. The principal source of information is the Fabric Rolls, which were the books kept in administrative offices; municipal and other public archives; and the records of City Companies. The data show that the classifications never were crystallized, because they could not always be enforced, especially in small undertakings; but on the whole, and allowing for this, there were four grades: the Freemasons; layers or setters; rough masons; quarrymen.

Speculative Freemasonry originated among the Freemasons. There is no evidence to show that “operative” (the word is nearly always a misnomer as we now use it) masons in any of the grades except the first ever had any part in developing it, or any influence upon it. Speculative Freemasonry is manifestly more like a philosophy than anything else, and such a set of teachings and ideas could have originated nowhere in the building craft except among the Freemasons, who were architects, sculptors, artists, well-educated, men of culture, who met in Lodges of their own, and who had many things to think about in addition to cutting stone. The Degrees of a Speculative Body have no relationship to the grades of workmen in operative architecture; and no relation (except in a few unimportant details) with the City Companies. Had Freemasonry in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries been nothing more than stone-masonry scholars, gentlemen, antiquarians, etc., would have had no motive for seeking membership in it, and would not have been accepted if they had sought it; yet they were accepted into Freemasonry, and at least as early as 1600, and the fact proves that the Freemasons had something no other class of masons possessed.

Among the Freemasons themselves there were three grades in the sense of “status of membership”; the Apprentices formed a well-defined group with its own oath and rules and regulations; the men out of apprenticeships full members of a Lodge and therefore called yellows of the Craft, who had mastered their trade; and the Master, or Master of Masons or Superintendent. The Fellows were under their own rules and regulations to which they were pledged by their own oath. The Master, along with Wardens (called by many different titles) and other officers to assist him, had their own duties and authorities, and while they did not form a separate grade of workmen as far as skill was concerned, necessarily had a status of their own as long as they were in office.

The present Craft Degrees obviously are organized upon this structure of the Freemasons’ Lodge; but it does not follow that the symbols and ceremonies now used are the same as the ones used in the Fourteenth Century and afterwards; nor does it matter. It would not make any important difference if even now a number of emblems and symbols were shifted about; the Beehive, to give one example, might be even more suitable as an emblem for Apprentices than for Master Masons. Freemasons, either under the Grand Lodge system or in the Middle Ages, have never considered emblems and symbols to be more than means to an end; and just as grade-school teachers and university professors change different text-books in order the better to teach the same subjects so the Freemasons added or dropped emblems, symbols, and ceremonies whenever they could better their own teaching, or more effectual promulgate that philosophy of work and of men as workers which is the substance of regular Speculative Freemasonry.

In pre-Grand Lodge days there was yet another form of organization in architecture: public supervision. If a town had a City Company of Masons in it, a civil supervisor of buildings was appointed by the town council and he worked with the heads of the Mason Company. The King appointed a Royal Administrator to supervise and inspect buildings (palaces, churches, etc.); as stated elsewhere Geoffrey Chaucer, Inigo Jones, and Christopher Wren were among royal administrators appointed by English Kings. In general there were four types of public administration:

  1. Royal buildings,
  2. Ecclesiastical buildings,
  3. Municipal buildings,
  4. Private buildings.


One of the legend cycles of the Middle Ages centered in the Holy Grail (or Graal), the cup from which Jesus drank at the Last Supper. According to the legend the cup was neither lost nor destroyed but was taken away to some safe hiding place where it became the source of many miracles. The legend cycle consists of tales of men, Galahad among them, who dedicated themselves to a search for that which was lost, who did not find it and yet who in a fashion did find it, because the dedication and the search for something holy became for the searcher what the grail itself might have been.

This search for that which was lost was the motif for many tales, poems, ballads, pictures, and dedications where it was not a cup that was lost but something else: the lost pronunciation of the Hebrew name of God; the lost sanctuary; the lost secrets of transmutation in alchemy; the search for a lost pearl; for the blue bird; in an ancient Chinese classic it is a tale of the search for a lost empress; the Spanish Conquistadores came up into the center of America searching for the lost Man of Gold, or the Gran Quivera; the Mayas searched for the bird which had given its plumage to their gods; American Indians have for generations had a ritualistic search for Montezuma; and there is another legend also of how certain Masons searched for a Word in which was contained the secrets of their art. The search for the Grail is no isolated tale, but one form of a theme as old and as wide as the world. Tennyson, and Van Dyke, and Maeterlinek, and the authors of the Golden Legend, and Malory, and an endless procession of poets have also written poems and tales of the search for the grail, each in his own fashion.

Freemasons can be proud that one of their own number and of their own scholarship has written what may be the most complete and scholarly and inspired of the many histories of the legend: The Holy Graal; Its Legends anus Symbolism, by Arthur Edward Waite; Rider & Co.; London; 1933. It contains a chapter on Freemasonry, and exhaustive bibliographies. It is Waite’s greatest book.


The Book of Constitutions of 1723 states explicitly that when delegates from four or more Lodges met in conference in 1716 their only purpose was to arrange for a general assembly and feast for Lodges then working in London. This they accomplished when in the following year they elected a Grand Master and two Grand Wardens, the latter being thought of as assistants to the Grand Master. It was not the purpose to “revive” Masonry, which did not need revival, or to set up a new authority over Masons everywhere, or to constitute a “new system” of Masonry. The step was taken by London Lodges, and for London Lodges; each joining Lodge vas to retain its own charter (or Old Charges) and sovereignty as before; the only purpose was to have a center where once every three months the member Lodges could meet together.

The gradual development which followed, and which resulted in a Grand Lodge for England, and the formation of a whole national system of Speculative Masonry, was not complete until about 1735. A Grand Secretary was appointed in 1723, with William Cowper, clerk to the Parliament, the first incumbent; but it was some years before the Grand Secretaryship became a Grand Lodge office.

At the Union in 1813 seven boards or committees were set up, chief among them being the Board of General Purposes, which has a President, a staff, and is the continuing administrative body, a “cabinet council.” Subordinate Grand Bodies outside England were called Provincial Grand Lodges until 1865, since which time they have been called District Grand Lodges. New Grand Lodge Officers have been created as late as 1914.

Neither histories nor encyclopedias describe the office of Provincial Grand Master for Foreign Lodges but such an office must have existed because in the Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of England (Modern) for the Quarterly Grand Communication on February 6, 1771 “John Devignoles, Esq., Prov. G. M. for Foreign Lodges” is listed as present.

At no time did the first Grand Lodge give evidence of administrative genius, for its machinery of organization was never completed, and did not work very well, and it was weakest in its provisions for looking after Provincial Grand Lodges in England, and, still morels Provincial Grand Lodges abroad. From 1730 until the Revolutionary War the American Provincial Grand Lodge System was not a system but a continuing series of improvisations; some Lodges obtained their Charters directly from London, others from one of the few Provincial Grand Lodges; the latter could seldom obtain answers to their letters; a Charter voted on in London might not reach a Lodge here for two or three years (seven years in one instance); the foreign Grand Bodies levied taxes and maintained control but they did not govern; at one time two Provincial Grand Masters were over the seal of the Grand Lodge designated Grand Masters for the whole of America; and though the four Grand Lodges in Great Britain between 1751 and the Revolutionary War period had Lodges and Provincial Grand Lodges here, and were near neighbors at home, they made no attempt to correlate or unify their many rival and sometimes conflicting Lodges and Provincial Grand Lodges either here or in Canada.


Ever since its beginning as a Fraternity Freemasonry has made changes in its rules, customs, rites; it has even made alterations, and as it had to make them in order to hold its place in a changed world; but throughout these changes certain principles and tenets (the Landmarks is a name for them) in its teachings and its form of organization have persisted unchanged; this also had to be, or Freemasonry would have been altered into something else and ceased, except in name (and probably not even in name), to be itself. They are inherent in it. Among these Landmarks is the fact that Freemasons (properly so called) have always worked and assembled in bodies, and these bodies have been governed and administered by a head (a Master, Worshipful Master, Superintendent, etc.), assisted by a set of officers. This headship or governorship belongs to the substance of the Fraternity, is needed if it is to retain its identity; and is therefore, as just said, a Landmark. That Landmark does not require that the head shall everywhere and always have the same title, or wear the same regalia, or have in detail the same set of duties, but requires only that it belongs to any body of regular Freemasons that the body shall be thus ruled and governed.

Since this is true of every Lodge it is for the same reason true of every Grand Lodge, which also is a body of Masons who assemble and work as a unit. The first official act taken by a group of London Lodges to form the Mother Grand Lodge (1717) was to select and to install a Grand Master. There had never been a Grand Lodge before, and therefore not any Grand Master; nevertheless the powers and pre negatives vested in the Grand Master were not new, d less were an innovation, because they belonged to the age-old need for a Masonic Body to have a head to age and govern it. The very operations of that ancient Landmark itself brought the new office and the new title into Craft organization.

Grand Lodge laws were adopted to name and define the office of Grand Master, but those laws only recognized and declared what already, in principle, was there. The rulership and governorship already were in force, and ever had been; the laws declared them, and made new rules for Masons to follow them, for the powers and authority were not created by the laws, but were inherent.

The assembly of Masons, either as a local body or in a more general meeting, also was as old as the Craft, and inhered in its organization; when this age-old principle (also a Landmark) led to the formation of a Grand Lodge, the shape of it and the name of it were new, but in principle it only perpetuated what always had been. Its powers and authorities therefore also are inherent and indefeasible, and the laws which define it do not create it but only declare what it is.

There are thus two sovereignties, each one time immemorial each one a Landmark, which work together and which at some points interlock but which are independent of each other in original authority. The Grand Master is for that reason not merely an agent or officer of Grand Lodge, not merely its president, and answerable to it only for such of his duties as belong to its sphere; in his own sphere he has sovereignty of his own, and acts independently.

Instead of “Office of Grand Masters a more correct description would be “The Grand Mastership.” The jurisdiction within which one who stands in the Grand Mastership carries on his work coincides at many points with the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge, does not coincide at others. The jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge is primarily and generally over the Lodges working under its Charters; the jurisdiction of the Grand Master is primarily and generally over individual Masons. He is therefore not the Grand Master of his State or Country, or of his Grand Jurisdictions, or of his Grand Lodge, but is Grand Master of Masons in his Grand Jurisdiction. He can exercise his authority within the Lodges only as they are in his Grand Jurisdiction, but he is a Grand Master wherever he goes or in whatever Body he visits, is recognized, received, entitled, and honored as such; and, subject to the rules of comity, he can exercise his authority over any Master Mason holding membership in any Lodge in his Grand Jurisdiction even if that Master Mason is in another State as a visitor or as a resident.


The Medieval Operative Masons did not work according to blue-prints drawn in an architect’s office but under the superintendency of one of their own number, who was himself present and at work in the building, and who also was the Freemasons’ link with the office of administration belonging to the foundation, or the king, or some lord, or abbey for whom the structure was being built; the title “Grand Master” was not in use, but the office in Operative Masonry corresponded to the Grand Mastership in Speculative Masonry. William de Sens rebuilt Canterbury in 1174. At Windsor. Robert of St. Albans; Arnold, at Croyland Abbey; Ailnoth (called “engineer”) at Windsor in 1166; Elias de Derham was overseer of the cathedral of Salisbury from 1220 to 1245; Walter de Colchester at Canterbury in 1239, (one of the greatest of Medieval Masters); Henry Yevele, Master of Kings Work at Westminster (associated with Geoffrey Chaucer); Abbott Segur of Abbey of St. Denis in 1140; Villard de Honnecourt at Cambrai; Geoffrey de L’oiers at Lincoln; Walter of Colchester at St. Albans (1213 circa); Master Baldwin at St. Albans (1186 circa); Inigo Jones and Christopher Wren w ere architects in the modern sense of the word. A number of titles were used, either from one country to another, or from one period to another: devysor, magister operis, mgister fabricae, ecclesia, capo, maestro, cap maestro, etc.

The literature is abundant:

  • English Industries of the Middle Ages, by L. F. Salzman; Oxford; 1923.
  • Medieval Architecture, by A. K. Porter.
  • The Guilds of Florence, by Edgoumbe Staley. Art and Reformation, by G. G. Gordon (detailed account of the famous Master Arnolfo). Westminster Abbey, by W. R. Lethaby.
  • The Cathedral Builders in England, by Edward S. Prior; E. P. Dutton & Co.; New York; 1905.
  • The Builders of Florence, by J. Wood Brown; Methuen & Co.; London; 1907.
  • Notes on the Superintendents of English Buildings in the Middle Ages, by Wyatt Papworth. An Historical Essay on Architecture, by Thomas Hope; John Murray; London.
  • James Dallazay incorporated a long list of Masters (page 421) in his Series of Discourses Upon Architecture in England.
  • Architecture, by Wm. R. Lethaby.
  • The Master Masons to the Crown of Scotland and their Works, by Robert Scott Mylne; Scott, Ferguson; 1893;
  • chapters on famous “Grand Masters.”
  • History of Freemasonry, by R. F. Gould.
  • History of Freemasonry, by A. G. Mackey.
  • Historical Studies of Church Buildings in the Middle Ages, by Charles Eliot Norton;
  • Harper & Bros.; New York; 1880; contains chapter on Arnolfo, Brunellschi, etc. see Ars Quatuor Coronatorum; in particular,
  • “Chaucer and Henry Yevele,” by Lionel Vibert;
  • Vol. XLIV., page 239; and “Henry Yvele,” by W. Wonnacott; XXI., page 244.

Until the period of modern research it was assumed that the famous buildings of the Middle Ages had been anonymous. Matthew Paris, the savant, when writing of the Thirteenth Century, w as one of the first to explode this fallacy; he explained it by saying that the chronicles of architecture were most of them written by monks who were jealous and contemptuous of lay workmen, and nearly always gave as the name of the builder some Abbott (or Lord, or Bishop, etc.); such a one was described as fecit, the maker; the Benedictines explained this mis-ascription of honor as being “for the glory of the office.” Each building was designed and erected under the superintendency of a chief Master Mason; this latter w as famous in his time and place, and made no attempt to hide his identity; it was only afterwards, and when chronicles were written, that his headship was ignored or suppressed.


In 1719 Grand Master Desaguliers “forthwith revived the old regular and peculiar Toasts or Healths of the Free Masons.” “In 1728 he proposed that a certain number of Stewards should be chosen, who should have the entire care and direction of the Annual Festival.” It was thus that the rank of Grand Stewards was instituted in the Mother Grand Lodge, 1717, England. In American Grand Lodges Grand Stewards have few set duties; in the Mother Grand Lodge they had almost the whole care of preparing for a Quarterly Grand Communication, and divided with the Committee on Charity much of the administrative work of the infant Grand Lodge. In 1731 they were given Red Aprons to wear (Lodges which regularly sent Grand Stewards were called Red Apron Lodges), and it is believed that just as the thistle blue adopted by Grand Lodge as the color for Grand Lodge Aprons was borrowed from the Order of the Garter, the red of the Grand Stewards was adopted from the Order of Bath. A Grand Stewards Lodge was constituted in 1735. (See page 421.) From Minutes of early Lodges it appears that an appointment to wear the Red Apron was costly, either to the wearer or to his Lodge; it also appears from the same Minutes that the office of Lodge Stewards did not come into vogue until later, perhaps by following the lead of the Grand Lodge. In Bro. Oxford’s history of Lodge No. 4 he states that it was in 1774 that the By-laws provided for two Stewards, one to act as Master of Ceremonies, one to order supper and liquors.

In American Lodges and Grand Lodges a “feast” is seldom more than a supper, dinner, or banquet, usually accompanied by a program of music and speeches. The English Lodge or Grand Lodge Feast was an occasion of a different kind. In Grand Lodge itself much Grand Lodge business was conducted at the table. Many constituent Lodges were “table Lodges”; their members assembled around the table, set up in the middle of the room, and remained there to open Lodge, conduct business, initiate Candidates, etc.; this custom continued in some Lodges into the first decade of the Nineteenth Century.

The Grand Stewards not only “provided” the feast, but also no doubt arranged for items of Grand Lodge business, and for that reason came to have an official standing second only to the Grand Master, his Deputy, and his Wardens. For at least two centuries in England, from about 1600 (and in lesser degree to the present) the social life of the Lodge, especially its eating and drinking, was not a mere adjunct to Lodge activity but stood near the center of it; the history of the Fraternity proves that Lodge Stewards exist to have charge of a Lodge’s social life, that they should do so as Lodge officers, and that it is a departure from the original design of the Lodge to leave that function to Special or to Standing Committees.

In Vol. II, of Records of the Lodge of Antiquity, page 234, Bro. and Captain C. W. Firebrace says: “In the early days of Grand Lodge the Feast was provided by the voluntary efforts of one or more Stewards. It was not till 1728 [eleven years after erection of the Grand Lodge] that they were constituted into a Board of 12 members, and in March, 1731/2, a law was made ‘giving a privilege to every Acting Steward of nominating his successor in that office for the year ensuing. [During the years when the Grand Stewards chose the appointive Grand Officers, and also chose their own successors it is evident that Grand Lodge was ruled by an oligarchy it is one of the many facts of a like kind which aroused resentment among Lodges and led to the formation of a now and more democratic Grand Lodge in 1751.1 In 1771 lt was proposed in Grand Lodge:

  1. That the Law of 1731/2 be abrogated.
  2. That there be 15 Stewards instead of l2.
  3. That the Stewards be nominated by the Lodges within the Bills of Mortality in rotation beginning with the Senior Lodge, each of such Lodges having power to nominate one person at the annual Grand Feast to serve that Office for the year ensuing.”

These Resolutions were approved at the next Meeting on November 29, but were not confirmed on February 24,1772, and the old practice continued until the Union (of the Modern (1717) and Ancient (1751) Grand Lodges in 1813. From a distance it looks as if Grand Lodge had become a closed circle ruled by a few London Lodges. In Minute Books it is referred to, now and then, not as Grand Lodge, but as ‘the London Grand Lodge. Lodges which resented this Londonism, or local oligarchy, were willing to unite with the new Grand Lodge of 1751. For the Festivals of 1814 and 1815 the Grand Stewards were nominated by the Grand Master and the number increased to 18. Two years later it was decided that the 18 Lodges from which the Stewards of 1814 had been chosen should elect their Stewards annually, and it has so remained until now, the number being increased to 19 by the addition of an old Lodge which had been one of those from which they were originally drawn, but which had afterwards dropped out.

Note. It will be noted that Anderson’s Constitutions state that Dr. Desaguliers revived “the old regular and peculiar Toasts or Healths,” etc. It is not difficult to understand why a Toast list had to be “regulated,” for an unregulated member might propose a Toast to some man or cause which would disturb peace and harmony- thus, when the feelings between Jacobites and Hanoverians were most intense, a Toast to the Pretender would have aroused a storm; as would a toast to a Republican or to a Democratic candidate at an American Grand Lodge banquet. One of the most satisfactory books is The Grand Stewards and Red Apron Lodges, by Albert F. Calvert; Kenning & Son; London; 1917.


More than one American Masonic scholar or statesman has declared (and the writer concurs) that the Achilles heel of American Freemasonry is its neglect of, or its ignoring, or its refusal to recognize or honor, its own scholars and its own literature. As one of the “horrible examples” in testimony to the truth of this charge is the case of A Brief Inquiry into the Origin and Principles of Free Masonry, by Simon Greenleaf, published in Portland, Ale., in 1820. Our British Brothers in the Craft have used, revered, honored, and countlessly quoted Calcott’s Candid Disquisition, Hutchinson’s Spirit of Freemasonry, Preston’s Illustrations, and Laurence Dermott’s Ahiman Rezon, to say nothing of a score or more of lesser books (of the Eighteenth Century), but no one of those books is on a literary level with A Brief Inquiry; nor was one of those writers possessed of Greenleaf’s massive scholarship, power and greatness of mind, or literary ability. If those books are masterpieces, his is one also; yet his book is nowhere reprinted, is nowhere in use, is wholly forgotten; and in andex rerum covering the bound volumes of American and foreign Masonic periodicals Greenleaf’s book is nowhere mentioned, and the only reference to his name is in a short letter about George Washington published in an obscure Masonic periodical, long forgotten.

Simon Greenleaf was born in Newburyport, Mass., Dec. 5, 1783, almost on the spot where his English ancestor Edmund Greenleaf had settled in 1635, only fifteen years after the landing at Plymouth Rock. He received a thorough classical training in the Latin School there, and then went to live at New Gloucester, gaine, where his parents had moved, and where he entered the law office of Ezekiel Whitman, who was later to become Chief Justice. Greenleaf settled in the town of Gray, but since his practice was light he spent twelve years in an intensive study of the source materials of the common law, so that when in 1818 he moved to Portland his reputation as a learned man already had preceded him; and in 1820, as reporter for the new Supreme Court of Maine he published vols. 1-9 of Report of Cases, of which a historian of the law writes that “their accuracy has never been impugned, and they have always been highly valued by the profession.” In 1833 he moved to Cambridge, brass., to become Royal Professor at the Harvard Thaw school, being invited to that distinguished position by Justice Joseph Story, himself a professor.

It was he and Story between them who lifted the Harvard Law School to that high position from which it has never since declined. In 1842 he published the first volume of A Treatise on the Law of Endence, the second in 1846, and the third in 1853, since which it has been re-issued by a long succession of editors. After his retirement he edited and published in seven volumes an American edition of Cruises’ Digest of the Law, Etc. He was a leader in framing a constitution for Maine when it became independent of Massachusetts. Among a number of other publications was his great eulogy of Story published in 1845. He died October 5, 1853. (The Greenleaf family for generations produced a succession of men eminent in mathematics, geography, law, literature, public life. see articles beginning at page 580 of the Dictionary of American Biography; Vol. VII; 1931.

The American Freemason, of which Rob Morris was then the editor, published on page 53 of its issue for Jan. 1, 1855, a letter which had been written by Bro. Greenleaf June 24, 1852, and which was read at the next ensuing meeting of the General Grand Chapter. It reads in part: “You are already aware that during the war of the Revolution there was a Lodge of Freemasons in the main army called Washington Lodge, of which my father, the late Captain Moses Greenleaf, of the 11th Massachusetts regiment, was Master. I have often heard him mention the visits of the Commander-in-Chief to his Lodge, and the high gratification they afforded to the officers and members, especially as he came without ceremony as a private Brothers (The official record of the warranting of Washington Lodge is given on page 277, Oct. 6, 1779, of Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts.)

Until Maine became a State, its Lodges worked under the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. The name of Bro. Greenleaf first appears in the Proceedings of Massachusetts as a member of a temporary committee, March 14, 1814; and on September 12 of the same year is again mentioned in the same connection. On August 25, of 1814, he delivered the oration when the Grand Lodge consecrated York Lodge, at Kennebunk, bie. On Dec. 27, 1816, Grand Master Benjamin Russell appointed him District Deputy Grand Master, for the Ninth District (Maine), with residence at Gray; he was re-appointed in 1817.

At a Communication of the Grand Lodge in 1818, Greenleaf “and others” requested “that a stated portion of the Revenues of the Grand Lodge may be annually appropriated in aid of the funds of the American Bible Society,” and this was referred to a committee of which Thaddeus Mason Harris was chairman. Grand Lodge in 1819 refused to appropriate its own (ear-marked) funds but agreed to recommend the Bible Society to the Lodges. Greenleaf next appears in the 1819 Proceedings to propose that Maine should have a Grand Lodge of its own. At that time he was a member of Portland Lodge, No. 1, which had been constituted in 1769.

By a happy turn of fortune when the history of that famous Lodge was written its author was none other than Judge Josiah H. Drummond, himself one of the great New England jurisconsults of his period, and, in addition, was the greatest authority on Masonic Jurisprudence the American Craft has had. On page 240 he gives a biographical sketch of Greenleaf:


“The first Brother elected an Honorary Member of the Lodge, was the distinguished jurist, SIMON GREENLEAF.

“He was born in Newburyport, Mass., December 5, 1783, and was educated at the Academy in that town. He came to New Gloucester and studied law with Judge Whitman, and was admitted to the bar in this County in 1805. He commenced practice in Standish, then moved to Gray, and afterwards to Portland (about 1811). He was the first Reporter of Decisions of the Supreme Court in this State and the nine volumes published by him attest his ability, accuracy and fidelity. He published a Treatise on Evidence, in three volumes, which at once became, and has ever since remained, the standard work upon that important subject. In 1833, he was appointed Law Professor in Harvard University, and removed to Cambridge. He performed the duties with signal ability for fifteen years, and then resigned. He died in Cambridge in 1853, at the age of seventy years.

“He was made a Mason in Cumberland Lodge, in 1804 and became a member in 1805, and was elected Secretary the same year. In 1807, he was elected Master, served three years, and then declined a unanimous election, being about to remove from town. He dimitted from his Lodge and became a member of PORTLAND LODGE.

“In 1817 and 1818, he was District Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, for the Portland District, and performed the duties with great ability and zeal.

“He was the leading spirit in the formation of the Grand Lodge-in fact is justly entitled to be called the father of the movement. Upon its organization, he was elected Senior Grand Warden, was afterwards Deputy Grand Master, and in 1822 and 1823, M. . W. . Grand Master.

“He delivered several Masonic addresses, and also published a work entitled ‘A Brief Inquiry into the Origin and Principles of Freemasonry, ‘ printed by Arthur Shirley (also an Honorary Member of the Lodge), which is now quite rare.

“In addition to his ability as a lawyer, he acquired such reputation as an orator, that he was called ‘the silver-tongued GREENLEAF.’ In character, and in all respects, he was one whom the Craft may well be proud to mention in their ranks.”

A Brief Inquiry into the Origin and Principles of Free Masonry was published by Arthur Shirley, in 1820, at which time Maine was still “The District of Maine.” The copy in hand is 5 by 9 inches; the title page is an engraving, and made by a competent artist; it is bound in boards (probably a re-binding), and once belonged to “United Lodge.” It has no index, and contains 117 pages. The Preface is of VII pages, and is signed “Simon Greenleaf, Portland, Jan. 1, 1820,” in the first sentence the author states that, “The following pages comprise the substance of official lectures, delivered in the years 1817 and 1818, to the several Lodges of the Ninth Masonic District of Massachusetts.”‘

  • Lecture I is on the historical evidences for the antiquity of the Craft.
  • Lecture II discusses whether Freemasonry did not arise in Operative Masonry rather than from it.
  • Lecture III is on the Eleusinia, Pythagoreans, and Druids.
  • Lecture IV is on Jewish Masonry (Solomon’s Temple).
  • Lecture V is on the Ancient Mysteries.
  • Lecture VI is on the Three Degrees.
  • Lecture VII is on “The Ultimate Design of Masonry.”

The Appendix, Section 1, is on the Locke MS. (so called); section 2 is a list of Grand Masters; section 3 is a quotation from Preston; section 4 is a collection of Charges; section 5 is a review of a number of (then) recent Masonic developments. (At the time of publication of the book there mere 854 Lodges in the United States, and they were initiating about 4000 new members per year.)


The Abbe Pater Hermann Gruber, of the Society of Jesuits, made a life-long profession of Anti-Masonry. He is known to American Masons by his article on the Craft in the Catholic Encyclopedia; in Europe he is known for books, hundreds of articles in periodicals, speeches, and a Europe-wide correspondence in which he everywhere undertook to show that Freemasonry is the enemy of Christianity. When, after General Eric Ludendorff’s violent Anti-Masonic campaign in Germany and the equally violent Anti-Masonic campaign which was conducted so Scrupulously in France after the Leo Taxil affair, the Fascists in France and Italy, the Phalangists in Spain, and the Nazis in Germany coupled their war on the Jews with a war on Masonry, and began to burn, demolish and pillage Lodge rooms, and mob, shoot, and imprison Masons, Abbe Gruber appealed to those who had taken his own arguments too literally to be more moderate. It was to his credit. His endeavors at moderation were made the more difficult because the Encyclical of Pope Leo XIII (Humanum Genus) against Freemasonry was the official platform upon which he based his Anti-Masonic campaign, and that Encyclical as mendacious, violent in judgment, harsh in language, completely un- Christian in spirit, and an open invitation, set down in so many words, to Roman Catholics to use once again the machinery of the Holy Inquisition. What the Abbe Gruber has always lacked is what Leo XIII always lacked: a complete honorableness, a high sense of truthfulness. This is exhibited by them both in their Anti-Masonic writings as a whole; it is most clearly shown by the fact that in both their denunciations and descriptions of Freemasonry they carefully ignored the fact-known to both of them that more than 90% of the Freemasonry of the world is in English-speaking countries, and that this Regular Masonry alone has consistently conformed to the Ancient Landmarks.

In a series of articles which Gruber published in Das neue Reich, the Catholic weekly of Austria, he himself stated the fundamentals of his “criticisms” of Freemasonry:

  1. He accused it of being grounded on “liberalism.” There is no means to define “liberalism,” because it is a political catch-word which is made to mean whatever a partisan wishes it to mean; but one may guess that the Abbe Gruber meant by it what Leo XIII meant by it in his Eneyclical; if so, it means democracy, public schools free speech, a free press, representative government, civil; liberties, free worship, and the absence of serfdom, slavery, etc., under an ecclesiastical hierarchy or ruling clique or class. These things are taken for granted by Free masonry, and ever have been; but it has never existed for the sole purpose of teaching them as a doctrine. Its teachings belong to a different region, one into which Abbe Gruber never penetrated and of which he had no; knowledge.
  2. He accused Masonry of “naturalism,” by which he meant materialism, Darwinism, etc. It is difficult to know why, because a belief in God and a use of prayer are required of every Candidate. He also accused it of “human itarianism.” That also is a word impossible to define; but in the context of the whole body of his writings the Abbess accusation may be taken to mean that Masons treat other men with respect, consideration, and kindliness even if they are not white men, or are not Roman Catholics, or even if they are not Christians. His accusation is true. Masons do those things.
  3. He accused Masonry of “Deism.” The writer has elsewhere stated that the Abbe did not begin, as a scholar should, by a thorough and impartial study of the history of Freemasonry but began without it; this accusation is one of many proofs. If anything is certain, Freemasonry began centuries before the doctrines of Deism were invented; there is not one Deistical statement in the Land marks, Constitutions, or the Ritual; the Deists themselves were not Masons; in the 200 or 80 Minutes or Histories of the oldest Lodges there is nowhere a mention of Deists, or any record of the presence of Deists, except in one or two instances where Candidates were excluded because they were Deists.

See Freemasonry and Roman Catholmsm, by H. L. Haywood; Masonic History Company; Chicago; 1944. The Freemason, by Eugen Lennhof; Oxford University Press; 1934. In an essay on Freemasonry and “natural religion” Bros. Knoop and Jones discuss the point of Deism; unless they intended to say what they do not appear to have said they have confused Deism with any one of a number of theologies, such as Monotheism, or with Unitarianism; or with the attempt of a group of Eighteenth Century philosophers and theologians to show that “Christianity” can be proved by facts and arguments drawn from science. Deism was a new doctrine, unique, almost a new religion, and cannot be explained away in terms of something else. (See Bishop Butler’s “Analogy.” On the subject in general see the works of George Park Fisher.) The whole subject of Masonic philosophy is so far removed from the fields of naturalism, Deism, etc., that it is difficult to find sufficient grounds to reason from one to the other. Gruber, trained man that he was, could easily have discovered for himself (as could Pope Leo XIII, who was not a trained man) that there never was a link between Freemasonry and Deism if he had mastered Masonic history, to do which, as stated above, was his first duty, because it belongs to the “Hippocratic oath” of the gild of scholars. It is not the business of scholars to go about gathering materials for arguments, accusations, propaganda; their business is solely to find the truth.

In June, 1928, the Abbe Gruber held a day’s conversation with Bros. Eugen Lennhof, Dr. Kurt Reichel, and Ossian Lang at Aachen, Germany. On that occasion he expressed the hope that Anti-Masons in Europe and Anti-Roman Catholics in America would raise the debate to a more dignified level-afterwards French Anti-Masonic periodicals accused him of having accepted bribes from the Masons! Bro. Lang was Secretary of the Foreign Department of the Grand Lodge of New York at the time; after returning from Europe he stated to the present writer that the Abbe had regretted that his career had been to make war on Freemasonry which he had come to admire; that his superiors had started him off with a collection of inferior and misleading books; and he was afraid his article on Freemasonry in the Catholic Encyclopedia had lowered him in the eyes of impartial scholars as it had. American Freemasonry did not need that any man read it a lesson in moderation; it had forbidden Lodges to so much as discuss Roman Catholicism under the Order of Business.

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