ENCYCLOPEDIA OF FREEMASONRY AND ITS KINDRED SCIENCES
by ALBERT C. MACKEY M. D.
The Hebrew letter p, Q or K, pronounced Koph. The seventeenth letter in the English and modern Latin alphabets. In the Phenician or Ancient Hebrew its form was one circle within another. Its numerical value is 100. The Canaanite signification is ear.
In classical Latin the word quadrivium meant a place where four roads met, and trivium, a place where three roads met. The scholastics of the Middle Ages, looking to the metaphorical meaning of the phrase the Paths of Learning, divided what were called the Seven Liberal Arts and Sciences, but which comprised the whole cycle of instruction in those days, into two classes, calling grammar, rhetoric, and logic the trivium, and arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy the quadnvium. These two roads to the Temple of Wisdom, including seven distinct sciences, were, in the Middle Ages, supposed to include universal knowledge (see Liberal Arts and Sciences).
QUADRIVIUM AND TRIVIUM
The seven liberal arts and sciences. The Quadrivium, in the language of the schools, were the four lesser arts, arithmetic, music geometry, and astronomy; while the Trivium wore the trifle were the triple way to eloquence by the study of grammar, logic, and rhetoric.
The question of the admissibility of a Quaker’s affirmation in Freemasonry is discussed under the word Affirmation, which see.
In the Cooke MS. which is dated at not later than 1450 A.D. and more probably was written as early as 1410 A.D. are what is believed to be the oldest existing set of rules and regulations left on record by the Medieval Freemasons, and it is obvious from internal evidence that they represent rules which had been already in force for many years, possibly as far back as 1200 A.D. at least. A principal purpose of these Rules and Regulations (or Points) was to set down officially the qualifications demanded of any youth before he might be accepted as an Apprentice. These qualifications are not separately listed, and in a few instances are only implied; roughly, the list was as follows:
1. The youth must be willing to work as an apprentice without pay for seven years.
2. A bondman was not eligible—that is, a youth owned by some Lord, not because it was disgraceful to be a bondman but because his owner might claim him, and so make fruitless his years of training.
3. He must be whole of limb. The criterion was the work he would be required to do; a youth without a toe could do a Mason’s work, but not one without a hand. This qualification had no reference to any mystical or religious perfect youth” doctrine.
4. The youth must not be a thief or a robber. (This would, at that date, include “sturdy vagabonds.)
5. The youth would be required to obey the Craft rules about hours, wages, etc.; for example, he could never work at night.
6. He is not to be critical. captious abusive.
7. He must submit to be instructed by his master.
8. He must swear to love God and church, the saints, masters and fellows.
9. He must swear himself to secrecy.
10. He must swear not to be untrue to the Craft.
11. He shall be chaste.
(See P. 176 ff. of The Two Earliest Masonic SWISS., by Knoop, Jones, and Hamer.) It is obvious that these requirements, along with the prospective qualifications of mastership in the future, are dictated throughout by the nature of the organization and the requirements of the work to be done, and not for any abstract or ideal considerations. If a Speculative Lodge applies the same criterion its qualifications will differ in detail but if designed to neet the requirements of a modern Speculative Lodge they will agree in principle. No set of qualifications could be designed for use by a Speculative Lodge which would duplicate those of Operative Lodges— for example, no Speculative Apprentice could meet the first of the Operative tests of being willing to serve a full-time apprenticeship of seven years. Also it is obvious that the qualifications are not designed merely to bring the Petitioner to the point of admittance but are to apply to him thereafter, and throughout the future; nothing is demanded of a Petitioner that is not demanded of a Master.
When in 1723 the new Grand Lodge of Speculative Freemasonry made new Constitutions it entitled the second part of the document, “The Charges of a FreeMason extracted from The Ancient RECORDS of Lodges beyond the Sea, and of those in England, Scotland, and Ireland, for the Use of the Lodges in London,” etc. Under Head IV it reads, inter alia: “that no Master should take an Apprentice, unless he has sufficient Imployment for him, and unless he be a perfect Youth, having no Maim or Defect in his Body, that may render him uncapable of learning the Art, or serving his Master’s LORD,” etc.
Here at one stroke ore exposed the horns of the dilemma upon which the Mother Grand Lodge nas tossed during its formative period, when it was groping for a way to conduct the Fraternity from a set of traditional rules which had been designed for Operative Masons to a new set suitable for speculative Masons. Confusion inevitable resulted, and the above sentence is a specimen of it; for no Speculative Mason was to be an Apprentice to any selected Master but merely to rank in the grade of Apprentices in a Lodge. No question of Masonic employment could arise. Odor did the Master serve a “Lord.” This impossibility of adjusting Operative regulations tc Speculative needs forced the Grand Lodge to amend or to revise the Constitutions stage by stage. The doctrine of “no Maim or Defeet” was imbedded in that confusion; if it were needed to retain that Operative requirements the other Operative requirements would have to be retained with it, because they alone justify it or give it meaning.
In 1721 the Grand Lodge ruled that a Petitioner must be twenty-five years of age. This was changed to eighteen. Later it was changed to twenty-one. In some countries it still is eighteen; or may even be twenty-five. The consensus of opinion among Ameriean Grand Lodges is that a Petitioner should be of the lawful age of whe country in which he resides; in U. S. A. this is twenty-one (George Washington was twenty when initiated).
In the 1738 Book of Constitutions the regulations were altered to read: “The men who are made Masons must be freeborn, no bondsmen Slavery was still lawful in England], of mature age, and of good report, hale and sound, not deformed, or dismembered at the time of their making. No woman; no eunuch.” By this date the Grand Lodge was having difficulty with “irregular makings”—this may have been the reason for a new edition of the Book of Constitutions—and it tried to be stricter. The physical qualifications w ere a step in return to the old Operative requirements; yet on the score of religion the 1738 edition continued to move away from the Operative requirement that a “Petitioner must love God and the Church, reverence the saints, ete.,” by continuing the paragraph on religion which only required that he be not “a stupid ATHEIST, nor an irreligious LIBERTINE.” Petitioners are only to be obliged (obligated) “to that Religion in which all hIen agree. ”
The Rev. George Oliver was a great believer in ancient traditions and usages 5 et he w rote: “It would indeed be a soleeisln in terms to contend that a loss or partial deprivation of a physical organ of the body could, by any possibility, disqualify a man from studying the sciences, or being made a Mason in our times, while in possession of sound judgment and the healthy exercise of his intellectual powers.”
On the point about intelligence Grand Lodge practice agrees with Dr. Oliver; it debars a Petitioner in his nonage or in his dotage; also, actually if not formally, one who cannot read and write and who has not enough intelligence to pass the proficiency tests. Another “silent” requirement is that a Petitioner shall not have been solicited (for an unknown reason Petitioners who accept solicitation are penalized but the solicitors are not)! In the middle of the Eighteenth Century solicitation was openly practiced—Preston, Dunckerley, and Columbine Daniels were famous for it.
The Lansdowne MS. required that the “prentice be of able birth, that is free born.” “Free born” was later changed to “free.” In American Grand Jurisdictions this requirement has taken on an expanded meaning, at least in discussion, and includes such questions as: Shall it not also mean, “free in mind”; “without reservations”? “What if a Petitioner is a Quaker, Mormon, Roman Catholic? would he not have mental reservations? would he be completely free in his will?”
In 1875 (forty-two years after the Union of the Artiest and Modern Grand Lodges) the Board of General Purposes of the Grand Lodge of England stated in an official circular: “I am directed to say that the general rule in this country is to consider a Candidate eligible for election [to the Degrees] who although not perfect in his limbs is sufficiently so to go through the various ceremonies required in the different degrees. ” This pronouncement brings to light one of the most curious facts about the twohundred-year-old discussion of Physical Qualifications: If a man with one finger missing is disqualified, what about a man with one lung missing, or one kidney? Why confine the doctrine to limbs? Why is not chronic ill health (from, say, syphilis) also a disqualification? (And what about being “disguised in liquor?”) A Petitioner must have a degree of financial ability, enough to pay fees and dues, with “a visible means of support.”
The Grand Lodge of Iowa during one period gave much attention to the question of qualifications; and it also took action to revise its laws at the end of World War I, when it gave as a list of required qualifications: “I aith in God, hope in immortality, charity, 21 years old, free-born, under the tongue of good report.” (What is the meaning of “free-born” in America?) Theodore Sutton Parvin, the famous Grand Secretary and savant of that Grand Lodge, wrote: “It is the sole right of each and every Lodge to act upon those ph! cat qualifications, as it is universally conceded that thev are the sole judges of the smoral’ qualifications of all candidates.”
This argument that if a Lodge can be trusted to judge a Petitioner’s character it should be trusted to judge a man’s body was discussed throughout the Craft, and while Parvin’s point was considered to be well taken a number of Grand Lodges could see no way toward carrying out the prescription; that general discussion, on record m a score or so of Grand Lodge Proceedings, laid bare the root of the difficulty of the whole question of physical qualification: that while a Petitioner’s character is adjudged according to moral standards which are always the same, normal and reasonable, there has always been since the transition from Operative to Speculative an arbitrariness in the physical qualifications, and therefore a Lodge must follow rules blindly. According to reason and common sense a Petitioner with his left hand missing could, as Dr. Oliver said, perform the duties of a Mason (and as the Board of General Purposes said) but the physical qualifications ever since 1723 have never rested on reason or common sense but on a set of rules arbi. trarily chosen at that time.
One of the chief, though uncodified qualifications, is that a Petitioner shall be personally acceptable to each and every member of the Lodge, and it is the most difficult of any to satisfy, for which reason the ballot is described as an “ordeal,” since by means of it any one member can disqualify a Petitioner because he would not find his company congenial. A number of Grand Lodges in Europe have always required a Petitioner to have a sponsor—a godfather. In America he has in actuality three, for a committee becomes his sponsor when it reports favorably upon him; but, and the fact is extraordinarily interesting, once a Petitioner has passed the ballot and become a Candidate it is the Master w ho thereafter is his sponsor, and the Petitioner is until elected to membership under the hIaster’s personal care and responsibility.
As stated in a paragraph in the beginning, the Book of Constitutions of 1723 had in it one part, called the Old Charges, in which it endeavored to perpetuate ancient Operative (or semi-Operative) practices in order to satisfy a large number of Operative members then in its own Lodges; and a second part, written by George Payne when he was Grand Masters entitled Rules and Regulations, in which he laid out a number of rules for the management of a Grand Lodge and Lodges w holly Speeulative (it is possible that George Payne had a larger part in establishing Speeulative practice than any other man); from this conjunction that could not quite conjoin, the set of qualifications became broken and inwardly inconsistent; and in consequence, as also already stated, the physical qualifications in particular became arbitrary in principle because of the attempt to preserve Operative qualifications in Speculative Lodges.
It is this arbitrariness and inward self-contradiction thus planted at the heart of the doctrine of physical qualifications which explains why that doctrine has been continually discussed and debated by American Grand Lodges for 200 years. In two or three of our Masonic libraries the several hundred volumes of American Grand Lodge Proceedings have been indexed in one all-inclusive xrulez rerum; if with the use of such an index a student tracks the question of physical qualifications back through one set of Proceedings after another he will find that American Grand Lodges have been gradually settling down to three general (though not generally formulated) conclusions: first, that if physical qualifications are dictated by the needs of Speculative Lodges their members are doing what the Operatives did, and hence the underlying principle has never been altered; second, that it is unjust as well as anachronistic to require of a Speculative Petitioner the same physical qualifications that were demanded of an Operative; and, third, that the Ritual itself shows clearly what physical defects should debar and what ones need not, so that it is the Ritual, not history, that is the criterion to be used.
QUALIFICATIONS OF CANDIDATES
Every candidate for initiation into the mysteries of Freemasonry must be qualified by certain essential conditions. These qualifications are of two kinds, Internal and External. The internal qualifications are those which lie within his own bosom, the external are those which refer to his outward and apparent fitness. The external qualifications are again divided into goral, Relitous, Physical, Mental, and Political.
First. The Internal Qualifications are:
1. The applicant must come of his own free will and Accord. His application must be purely voluntary, to which he has not been induced by persuasion of friends.
2. He must not be influenced by mercenary motives.
3. He must be prompted to make the application in Consequence of a favorable opinion that he entertains of the Institutions
4. He must be resolved to conform with cheerfulness to the established usages and customs of the Fraternity.
Second- The External Qualifications are, as has already been said, divided into five kinds: 1 Moral. That candidate only is qualified for initiation who faithfully observes the precepts of the moral law, and leads a virtuous life, so eonductmg him6elf as to receive the reward of his own conscience as well as the respect and approbation of the world.
2. Religious. Freemasonry is exceedingly tolerant in respect to creeds, but it does require that every candidate for initiation shall believe in the existence of God as a superintending and protecting power, and in a future life. No inquiry will be made into modifications of religious belief, provided it includes these two tenets.
3. Physicals These refer to sex, age, and bodily conformation. The candidate must be a man, not a woman; of mature age, that is, having arrived at his majority, and not so old as to have sunk into dotage; and he must be in possession of all his limbs, not maimed or dismembered, but, to use the language of one of the old Charges, “have his right limbs as a man ought to have.”
4. Mental. This division excludes all men who are not intellectually qualified to comprehend the character of the Institution, and to partake of its responsibilities. Hence fools or idiots and madmen are excluded. Although the landmarks do not make illiteracy a disqualification, and although it is undeniable that a large portion of the Craft in olden times was uneducated, yet there seems to be a general opinion that an incapacity to read and write will, in this day, disqualify a candidate.
5. Political. These relate to the condition of the candidate in society. The old rule required that none but those who were free born could be initiated, which, of course, excluded slaves and those born in servitude; and although the Grand Lodge of England substituted free man for free born, it is undeniable that that action was the change of a landmark- and the old rule still exists at least in the United States.
Contention or quarreling in the Lodge, as well as without, is discountenanced by the spirit of all the Old Constitutions of Freemasonry. In the Charges compiled from them, approved by the Grand Lodge of England in 1722, and published by Doctor Anderson, it is said, “No private piques or quarrels must be brought within the door of the Lodge, far less any quarrels about religion, or nations, or State policy” (Constitutions, 1723, page 54).
It is an error to speak, as Doctor Oliver does, misguided by some Masonic traditions, of the quarries of Tyre in connection with the Temple of Solomon. Modern researches have shown without question that the stones used in the construction of the Temple were taken out of quarries in the immediate vicinity; and the best traditions, as well as Seripture, claim only that the wood from the forests of Lebanon was supplied by King Hiram. The great quarries of Jerusalem are situated in the northeast portion of the city, near the Damascus gate. The entrance to them was firstt discovered by Barclay. A writer, quoted by Barclay, thus describes them, City of the Great Rinks (page 466):
Here were blocks of stones but half quarried, and still attached by one side to the rock. The work of quarrying was apparently effected by an instrument resembling a pickaxes with a broad chisel-shaped end, as the spaces between the blocks were not more than four inches wide, in which it would be impossible for a man to work with a chisel and mallet. The spaces were, many of them four feet deep and ten feet in height, and the distance between them was about four feet. After being eut away at each side and at the bottom, a lever was inserted and the combined foree of three or four men could easily pry the block away from the rock behind. The stone was extremely soft and friable, nearly white, and very easily worked, but. like the stone of Malta and Paris, hardening by exposure. The marks of the cutting instrument were as plain and well-defined as if the workman had just ceased from his labor. The heaps of chippings which were found in these quarries showed that the stone had been dressed there, and confirm the Bible statement that the stone of which the Temple was built was made ready before it was brought thither.
Barclay remarks (City of the Great Ring, page 118) that. Those extra cyclopean stones in the southeast and south-west corners of the Temple wall were doubtless taken from this great quarry—and carried to their present position down the gently inclined plain on rollers—a conjecture which at once solves the mystery that has greatly puzzled travellers in relation to the difficulty of transporting and handling such immense masses of rock, and enables us to understand why they were called “stones of rolling” by Ezra.
Prime also visited these quarries, and in his Ten! Life in the HolyLarad (pane 114) speaks of them thus:
One thing to me is very manifest: there has been solid stone taken from the excavation sufficient to build the walls of Jerusalem and the Temple of Solomon. The size of many of the stones taken from here appears to be very great. I know of no place to which the stone ean have been carried but to these works, and I know no other quarries in the neighborhood from which the great stone of the walls would seem to have come. These two eonneeted ideas compelled me strongly toward the belief that this was the ancient quarry whence the city was built, and when the magnitude of the excavation between the two opposing hills and of this cavern is considered, it is, to say the least of it, a difficult question to answer what has become of the stone once here, on any other theory than that I have suggested. Who can say that the cavern which we explored was not the place where the hammers rang on the stone which were forbidden to sound in the silent growth of the great Temple of Solomon?
The researches of subsequent travelers, and especially the labors of the Palestine Exploration Fund, have substantiated these statements, and confirmed the fact that the quarries where the workmen labored at the building of the Solomonic Temple were not in the dominions of the King of Tyre, but in the immediate vicinity of the Temple. In 1868, Rob Morris held what he called a afoot Lodge in these quarries, which event he describes in his Freemasonry in the Holy Land, a work of great interest to all Masonic scholars.
The Old Records of the Institution state that the Fraternity met annually in their General Assembly. The Hallfwell or Regius Manuscript (line 475) says it is true that the Assembly may be held triennially, “Ech year or third year it should be hold” but wherever spoken of in subsequent records, it is always as an Annual Meeting. It is not until 1717 that we find anything said of Quarterly Communications; and the firstt allusion to these subordinate meetings in any printed work to which we now have access is in 1738, in the edition of the Constitutions published in that year. The expression there used is that the Quarterly Comunications were “forthwith revived.” This of course implies that they had previously existed; but as no mention is made of them in the Regulations of 1663, which speak only of an “Annual General Assembly,” we infer that quarterly communications were first introduced into the Masonic system after the middle of the seventeenth century. They are still retained by the Grand Lodges of England, Scotland, and Ireland, but in the United States only by those of Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.
From the Latin quatuor, the number Four, which see. Doctor Oliver calls it the quaternary, but quaternion is the better usage.
See Four Crowned Martyrs
QUATUOR CORONATI, THE
The fame of the Quatuor Coronati Lodge of Research has made many Masons familiar with the old legend of the Four Crowned Ones who would never have encountered it through the very limited public which reads the Regius MS. (or Poem)—about which see sundry articles and paragraphs as listed in the Index. The long and excellent article by Bro. Robert I. Clegg which begins on page 365 can now be carried farther by a number of special treatises and books published since, of which 3 number are in Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, Transactions of the Quatuor Coronati Lodge of Research. Bros. Knoop, Jones, and Hamer have given a bibliography of those studies beginning on page 44 of their The Two Earless Masonic MSS. (Manchester University Press; 1938.), and at the same time have condensed the findings (including their own) into a six-page digest.
Their conclusion is given at the end of the section: “It thus appears probable that such recognition as was accorded to the Quatuor Coronati by English Masons commenced only in the Fifteenth Century, and the existing evidence hardly justifies us in saying that at any period in England were they venerated as the patron saints of the Masons.” Readers must take this to mean that they were never venerated as the Patron Saints; if so, the point is not of much importance because in the Operative periods a number of Saints were venerated; the Craft did not settle down to the selection of the two Sts. John until after the Speculative Period had begun. The Quatuor Ceronati received some veneration because as the authors themselves show Masons kept their day as a holiday in a few instances; furthermore the Regius MS proves that they were venerated because it venerates them itself. (Ars Quatuor Coronatorum is used as a name of the Craft of Masons in the Regtus MS.; see lines 497-534.)
QUATUOR CORONATI LODGE
This Lodge, No. 2076 on the Roll of the Grand Lodge of England, was established in 1886, for the purpose of studying the History, Symbols, and Legends of Freemasonry, and it is in fact a Masonic Literary and Archeological Society, meeting as a tiled Lodge. Attached to the Lodge proper, which is limited to forty full members, is a Correspondence Circle established in 1887, and later numbering several thousand members drawn from all parts of the world. The transactions of the Lodge are published under the title of Ars Quatuor Coronatorum. The Lodge is named after the Four Crowned Martyrs, which see elsewhere in this work.
All Master Masons in good standing are eligible to membership in the Correspondence Circle. The dues are $3.00 a year, for which the valuable Transactions of the Lodge are sent to each member.
QUATUOR CORONATI LODGE
With the more than half a hundred published volumes of its treatises, notes, and discussions, minutes, and illustrations entitled Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, Quatuor Coronati Lodge of Research, No. 2076, London, England, has long since become the supreme court of learning and authority in Masonic scholarship throughout the world. In the years immediately preceding the Second World War it even became unofficially, and after the ancient way of scholarship, a world power; for it armed Masonic leaders in countries where Fascism and Roman.
Catholicism combined to attempt to destroy the Fraternity with knowledge whereby Masons were enabled to lay down a solid foundation for immediate and temporary defense, and as the ground on which to rebuild the European Fraternity after the war. Where the Ars Quatuor Corednatorum come, obscurantism among both the friends and the foes of Masonry must go. It has carried out more successfully the command, “Let there be light” than any other single agency thus far manned by Craftsmen. Furthermore, its work is being multiplied by the organizing of other Research Lodges, and ir. recent years even m America, where, after the way had been opened up by the Grand Lodges of North Carolina and New York, Grand Lodges are chartering them in increasing numbers. A copy of the Petition to form the Lodge was published as page 1, Vol. I, of Ars Quatuor Coronatomm. In it Bro. Sir Charles Warren was named as proposed Worshipful Master.
It was signed by nine Masons already eminent for scholarship, among them Gould, Hughan, and Speth. A succinct biography of each founder is included. The Warrant issued by Grand Lodge, dated November 28, 1884, was signed by the Grand Master, Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, afterwards King Edward VII. At the consecration of the Lodge, January 12, 1886, the Grand Secretary, Shadwell H. Clerke, opened in the Third Degree. A. F. A. Woodford, one of the founders, delivered the Oration. After the Consecration the Lodge adjourned to the Holborn Restaurant. At the first Communication, April 7, 1886, six were admitted members, and By-laws were adopted which limited the membership to forty; and, at least by implication, adopted the ancient custom of the “masters’ piece” to require of each petitioner for the Degrees or for membership that he first have an already-established position in scholarship.
The Initiation fee was fixed at 20 guineas; Passing and Raising, 5 guineas each. The Lodge was to meet in December, March, June, September. Geo. W. Speth was elected Secretary and as such became editor of the Ars. It was on his recommendation that at its Communication on March 3, 1887. the Lodge adopted the plan of a Correspondence Circle and issued a Circular to that effect.
In their subject matter, papers in Ars range from ancient times to modern, cover Britain, Europe, and Asia, and each and every Rite, even including a long and detailed history of the Carbonari, a non-Masonic Italian secret society; but thus far only two or three long papers have been published about Freemasonry in the United States. Since the first American Lodges appeared in the 1720’s, Speculative Freemasonry here is within a decade as old as Grand Lodge Speculative Masonry in England; until four to six years after the Revolutionary War American Freemasonry was an integral part of British; at the present time the membership of American Lodges is more than 90% of world membership; each State has a Grand Body in each of Five Rites; its should be obvious that no history or account of the world Fraternity which omits American Masonry can be complete. The omission of American materials is the one fault American Masonic students find with the Ars; nevertheless a Research Lodge must be appreciated for what it does; it is impossible to find fault with it for not doing everything. American students of Masonry make continuous use of Ars; when they combine it with bound volumes of The Builder they have a complete encyclopedia. Research in American subjects will be carried on by American Research Lodges.
Although tradition states that a Lodge existed as early as 1755 in Quebec, Freemasonry was probably first introduced by regiments taking part in the capture of the city in September, 1759. Seven of these had Traveling Warrants, of which the oldest, that of an Irish Lodge, No. 35, attached to the Twenty-eighth Regiment, was dated 1734. In 1759, according to a document possessed by the Grand Lodge Library of England, the Masters and Wardens of the Regimental Lodges in Quebec chose an acting Grand Master to form a Grand Lodge. June 24, 1760, Brother Simon Fraser, Colonel of the Highland Regiment, was elected and installed Grand Master. This Provincial Grand Lodge existed for 32 years. In 1751 arrival Grand Lodge of Irish Brethren was established. Other Provincial Grand Bodies were at work during the next few years, and not until October, 1855, did the Grand Lodge of Canada, governing Canada East and West, that is, Ontario and Quebec, emerge from the confusion. When the Dominion was established it was decided to form the Grand Lodge of Quebec on October 20, 1869, and Brother John Hamilton Graham was chosen Grand Master.
The northeastern state of the Commonwealth of Australia. The Grand Lodge of England warranted North Australian Lodge at Brisbane in 1859. Constituted, August 17, but Warrant dated July 13.
In 1885 England, Ireland, and Scotland had each established a Provincial or District Grand Lodge. In 1903, however, the question arose of separation from the Mother Grand Lodges and in the same year the Grand Lodge of Queensland was established.
QUESTIONS OF HENRY VI
Questions said to have been proposed by King Henry VI of England to the Freemasons of the kingdom, which, with their answers, are in the Leland Manuscript, which see.
The Mexican idea of the Deity of Enlightenment. The spirit-man from whom they received their civilization, and for whose second coming they wait. Him for whom they mistook Cortez, and therefore welcomed him with joy.
The parliamentary law provides that a deliberative Body shall not proceed to business until a quorum of its members is present. This law is applicable to Freemasonry, except that, in constituting a quorum for opening and working a Lodge, it is not necessary that the quorum shall be made up of actual members of the Lodge; for the proper officers of the Lodge being present, the quorum may be completed by any Brethren of the Craft. As to the number of Brethren necessary to make a quorum for the transaction of business, the Old Constitutions and Regulations are silent, and the authorities consequently differ. In reply to an inquirv directed to him in 1857, the editor of the London Freemasons Magazine affirmed that Jive Freemasons are sufficient to open a Lodge and carry on business other than initiation; for which latter purpose seven are necessary. This opinion appears to be the general English one, and is acquiesced in by Doctor Oliver; but there is no authority of law for it.
When, in the year 1818, the suggestion was made that some regulation was necessary relative to the number of Brethren requisite to constitute a legal Lodge, with competent powers to perform the rite of initiation, and transact all other business, the Board of General Purposes of the Grand Lodge of England, to whom the suggestion had been referred, replied, with something like Dogberrian astuteness, “that it is a matter of so much delicacy and difficulty, that it is thought advisable not to depart from the silence on the subject which had been observed in all the Books of Constitutions.”
In the absence, then, of all written laws upon the subject, and without any constitutional provision to guide us, we are compelled to recur to the ritual for authority. There the answer to the question in each Degree,”How many compose a Lodge? that will supply us with the rule by which we are to establish the quorum in that Degree. Forwhatever number composes a Lodge, that is the number which will authorize the Lodge to proceed to business. The ritual has thus established the number which constitutes a “perfect Lodge,” and without which number a Lodge could not be legally opened, and therefore, necessarily, could not proceed to work or business; for there is no distinction, in respect to a quorum, between a Lodge when at work or when engaged in business.
According to the ritualistic rule referred to, seven constitute a quorum, for work or business, in an Entered Apprentice’s Lodge, five in a Fellow Craft’s, and three in a Master Mason’s. Without this requisite number no Lodge can be opened in either of these Degrees. In a Chapter of Royal Arch Masons nine Companions constitute a quorum, and in a Commandery of Knights Templar eleven Knights; but. under certain circumstances, three Knights are competent to transact business.