When and where did Masonry originate?
was not the work of any single man or group of men. Its beginning is
not recorded, although there were certain organizations from which
Masonry has borrowed extensively through the centuries in its
When was King Solomon's Temple Erected?
It was started about 972 B.C.
Who was Hiram of Tyre?
was King of Tyre, a friend and ally of King David. At Solomon's request
he furnished assistance in the construction of the Temple.
Who was Hiram Abif?
was a talented workman, skilled in metals, wood, stone and linen. He
was sent by King Hiram to help in the erection and adornment of King
What are the Old Charges or Old Constitutions?
manuscripts that outline the legendary history of Freemasonry and
present the rules and laws governing the conduct of early operative
What is the Regius Poem?
oldest of the so-called Old Constitutions dating from approximately
1390, its Masonic character being revealed years later. It was named
the Regius Poem (Latin: rex, regis, king) because it was part of the
Royal Library of England and later presented to The British Museum by
King George II. It is written in verse, whereas all other copies of the
Old Charges are in prose.
What other Old Charges are there?
than 100 of these old documents have been discovered. Almost all of
them are in Great Britain, but three have been brought to this country.
Two are in the possession of The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts in
Boston. Another, "The Carmick Manuscript of 1727" is in the Library of
the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
What were the Guilds?
Organizations composed of workers such as tailors, dyers, builders, potters.
Of What interest are Guilds to Masons?
prevalent theory of the origin of Freemasonry suggests that eventually
Guilds of the building trade developed into lodges of operative masons
from which, it is supposed, present-day Freemasonry evolved.
Who were Masons prior to 1600?
Operative masons who made their living by working at one of the building trades.
How did Operative Masonry develop into Speculative Masonry?
about 1600, men of prominence who were interested in learning about all
types of sciences, particularly architecture and building, became
members of some of the lodges of operative masons and finally assumed
leadership therein. They used the tools, language and principles of
operative masonry to teach the rules of life.
What is the symbolism of Freemasonry?
use of the tools and terms of the builder's trade to express invisible
or spiritual ideas and thereby illustrate moral concepts and basic
truths in the life of mankind.
What is the oldest existing Lodge record?
That of Edinburgh Lodge No. 1 dated July 30, 1599.
When and where was the first Grand Lodge established?
On June 24, 1717, in London
How was it formed?
action of four existing Lodges that were accustomed to meeting at the
Goose and Gridiron Ale-house in St. Paul's Church-yard; Crown Ale-house
in Parker's Lane near Drury's Lane; Apple Tree Tavern in Charles
Street, Covent Garden; and Rummer and Grapes Tavern in Channel Row,
When were other early Grand Lodges formed?
Lodge of Ireland, 1725; Provincial Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, 1731;
Provincial Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, 1733; Grand Lodge of Scotland,
1736, in addition to several formed in England, which were of short
What other Grand Lodge was organized in England in 1751?
Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of England, according to the Old Constitutions, also known as the "Antients."
What names were given to these two groups?
members of the Grand Lodge of 1751 referred to themselves as "Antient
Masons." The members of the Grand Lodge of 1717 were known as "Modern
What was the principle difference between them?
A difference in the Ritual, having to do particularly with the Third Degree.
How was their rivalry ended?
By their merger in 1813 to form The United Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of England.
Who were the leaders in the union of 1813?
Duke of Sussex and the Duke of Kent (sons of King George III,) the
Grand Masters of the Moderns and the Antients, respectively.
Is the Goose and Gridiron Ale-house still standing?
It was torn down in 1894.
What Lodges of the 1717 Grand Lodge of England are in existence?
Lodge at the Goose and Gridiron, now called Antiquity No. 2; the Lodge
at the Rummer and Grapes, now called Royal Somerset House and Inverness
Lodge No. 4; the Lodge at the Apple Tree Tavern now called Lodge of
Fortitude and Old Cumberland No. 12.
In the early 1700's how were Lodges formed?
the "time immemorial usage," a number of Masons were permitted to meet,
form a Lodge and practice the Rites of Freemasonry.
Why were the Antients sometimes called Atholl Masons?
This was due to the fact that the Dukes of Atholl presided over them as Grand Masters.
What effect did the existence of two competing Grand Lodges in England have upon Freemasonry in the United States?
as numerous Lodges had been constituted in America by the Moderns,
while others had come into existence under Antient auspices, quite
naturally much of the Ritualistic difference (and also the intense
rivalry) occurred here. This was complicated somewhat by the fact that
there were also Lodges in America of Irish and Scottish origins. The
settlement of differences in England in 1813 was followed by similar
action in America within a few years.
Who are the Members of Grand Lodge?
Grand Lodge Officers, Past Grand Masters, Past Deputy Grand Masters,
Past Masters by one year's service and the Worshipful Masters and
Wardens of all Symbolic Lodges lawfully Warranted and duly Constituted
by the Grand Lodge of a given state and under its Jurisdiction.
What is the Ahiman Rezon?
it was the Constitution of the Antient Grand Lodge as compiled by
Laurence Dermott, Grand Secretary. The name is Hebraic in origin, but
has no true and concise English equivalent. "A Help to a Brother" is
one of many suggested translations.
What was the origin of the expression "Blue Lodges?"
are several theories, of which two have the most adherents. Some
believe that operative Masons felt that blue, the color of the sky both
by day and by night, was associated in their minds with the purity of
Deity, which Masons attempt to emulate. Others refer to the change made
by speculative Masons shortly after the establishment of the original
Grand Lodge of England when blue was substituted for white as the
official Masonic color, presumably because it was the color of the
Order of the Garter of which a number of Masonic leaders were members.
What is Ancient Craft Masonry?
The Three Symbolic Degrees-- Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason.
Which Presidents of the United States were Freemasons?
Washington, James Monroe, Andrew Jackson, James K. Polk, James
Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, James A. Garfield, William McKinley, Theodore
Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, Warren G. Harding, Franklin D.
Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, Gerald R. Ford. Some authorities also
include Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, but documentry evidence is
lacking. Lyndon B. Johnson received the Entered Apprentice Degree, but
did not advance.
Which Presidents were Grand Masters?
Andrew Jackson of Tennessee and Harry S. Truman of Missouri.
Which other famous Americans, during the Revolution, were Masons?
Franklin, John Hancock, Paul Revere, John Marshall, Joseph Warren, and
John Paul Jones are but a few Masons noted in history.
Who was the first native-born American to become a Mason?
Belcher, who became Governor of Massachusetts in 1730, according to a
letter he wrote to the "First" Lodge of Boston in 1741 stating that he
had been made a Mason in 1704 in London.
When and under what circumstances was the Cornerstone of the National Capitol laid?
On September 18, 1793 by Bro. George Washington with a Masonic Ceremony.
Who gave George Washington a beautiful Masonic Apron which he wore while laying the Cornerstone of the National Capitol?
Brother Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Montier, more commonly known as the Marquis de Lafayette.
When and where was George Washington made a Mason?
On November 4, 1752 in the Lodge at Fredericksburg, Virginia.
what Bible was George Washington sworn in as President of the United
States, and by whom was the Oath of Office administered?
Bible that belonged to St. John's Lodge No. 1, New York City. The Oath
of Office was administered by Robert R. Livingston, Chancellor of the
State who at the time was Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of New York.
Although not part of the text of the Oath in Article II, Section 1 of
the Constitution, Washington pronounced the words, "so help me God" and
kissed the Bible, setting a precedent that every President has followed
to this day.