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son should be made, and for to give him his charges. And from that day until this time manners of Masons have been kept in that forme, as well as menne might govern.
“Furthermore, however, at diverse assemblies certain charges have been made and ordained by the best advice of Masters and Fellowes, as the exigencies of the Craft made necessarie."
"In the glorious reign of king Edward iïi, when Lodges were more frequent, the Right Worshipful the Master and Fellows, with consent of the Lords of the realm (for most great men were then Masons) ordained,
“That for the future, at the making or admission of a Brother, the constitution and the ancient charges should be read by the Master or Warden.
“That such as were to be admitted Master Masons, or Masters of work, should be examined whether they be able of cunning to serve their respective Lords, as well the lowest as the highest, to the honor and worship of the aforesaid art, and to the profit of their Lords; for they be their Lords that employ and pay them for their service and travel.
The following particulars are also contained in a very Old
Manuscript, of which a copy was in the possession of the late George Payne, Esq. Grand Master, in 1718.
“That when the Master and Wardens meet in a Lodge, if need be, the Sheriff of the county, or the Mayor of the city, or Alderman of the town, in which the congregation is held, should be made Fellow and sociate to the Master, in help of him against rebels, and for upbearing the rights of the realm.
“That entered prentices, at their making, were charged not to be thieves, or thieves maintainers; that they should travel honestly for their pay, and love their fellows as themselves, and be true to the King of England, and to the realm, and to the Lodge.
“That at such congregations it shall be inquired, whether any Master or Fellow has broke any of the articles agreed to; and if the offender, being duly cited to appear, prove rebel, and will not attend, then the Lodge shall determine against him, that he shall forswear (or renounce his Masonry, and shall no more use this Craft, the which if he presume for to do, the Sheriff of the county shall prison him, and take all his goods into the King's hands, until his grace be granted him and issued. For this cause principally have these congregations been ordained, that as well the lowest as the highest should be well and truly served in this art aforesaid, throughout all the kingdom of England. Amen, so mote it be.”
The Latin Register of William Molart, Prior of Canterbury, in Manuscript, pap. 88, entitled, “Liberatio generalis Domini Gulielmi Prioris Ecclesiæ Christi Cantuariensis, erga Fastum Natalis Domini 1429," informs us, that, in the year 1429, during the minority of Henry VI. a respectable Lodge was held at Canterbury, under the patronage of Henry Chicheley, the Archbishop: At which were present Thomas Stapylton, the Master; John Morris, custos de la Lo‘ge athomorum, or Warden of the Lodge of Masons; with fifteen fellow crafts, and three entered apprentices, all of whom are particularly named.
A record of that time says, that,
só'The company of Masons, being otherwise termed Free Masons, of auntient staunding and gude reckoning, by means of affable and kind meetings dyverse tymes, and as a loving brotherhood use to do, did frequent this mutual assembly in the time of Henry VI. in the 12th year of his reign, A. D. 1434."-See also Stowe's Survey, ch. v. p. 215.
The same record says farther,
«That the charges and laws of the Free Masons have been seen and perused by our late Soveraign King Henry VI. and by the Lords of his most honourable council, wh. have allowed them, and declared, That they be right good and reasonable to be holden, as they have been drawn out and collected from the records of auntient tymes," &c. &c.
Ye shall be true to the King, and the Master ye serve, and to the fellowship whereof ye are admitted. Ye shall be true to and love cidher odher. Ye shall call eidher odher Brother or Fellow, not slave, nor any unkind name.
Ye shall ordain the wisest to be master of the work; and neither for love nor lineage, riches nor favor, set one over the work who hath but little knowledge; whereby the Master would be evil served, and ye ashamed. And also ye shall call the governour of the work Master in the time of working with him: And ye shall truly deserve your reward of the Master ye serve.
All the Freres sball treat the peculiarities of eidher odher with the gentleness, decencie, and forbearance he thinks due to his own.
Ye shall have a reasonable pay, and live honestly.
Once a year ye are to come and assemble together, to consult how ye may best work to serve the Crast, and to your own profit and credit.
A Manuscript copy of an examination of some of the Brotherhood, taken before King Henry VI. was found by the learned John Locke, Esq. in the Bodleian library. This dialogue possesses a double claim to our regard; first for its antiquity, and next for the ingenious notes and conjectures of Mr. Locke upon it; some of which we have retained. The approbation of a Philosopher of as great merit and penetration as the English nation ever produced, added to the real value of the piece itseif, must give it a sanction, and render it deserving a serious and candid examination.
The ancient Manuscript is as follows, viz.
A Certayne Questyons,with answeres to the same,concernynge the Mystery of Maconrye; wryttenne by the hande of Kynge Henrye the Sixthe of the Name, and faythfullye
copyed by me *Johan Leylande Antiquarius, by the commaunde of hist Highnesse.
They be as followethe:
Quest. What mote ytt be?
Answ. Ytt beeth the Skylle of nature, the understondynge of the myghte that is hereynne, and its sondrye werckynges; sonderlyche, the Skylle of rectenyngs, of waightes, and metynges, and the tren manere of faconnynge al thynges for mannes use, headlye, dwellynges, and buyldynges of alle kindes, and al odher thynges that make gudde to manne.
Quest. Where dyd ytt begyne?
Answ. Ytt dyd begynne with the fyrste menne yn the este, whych were before the ffyrste manne of the weste, and comynge westlye, ytt hath broughte herwyth alle comfortes to the wylde and comfortlesse.
Quest. Who dyd brynge ytt westlye?
Answ. The Venetians, whoo beynge grate merchaundes, comed ffyrste ffromme the este ynn Venetia, ffor the commodytye of marchaundysynge beithe este and weste, bey the Redde and Myddlelonde Sees.
Quest. Howe comede ytt yn Engelonde?
* “John Leylande, was appointed by King Henry the eighth, at the dissolu. tion of monasterics, to search for, and save such books and records as were valuable among them. He was a man of great labour, and industry.”
t"His Highness, meaning the said King Henry the eighth. Our Kings had not then the title of Majesty.”
# The Venetians, &c. "In times of monkish ignorance, it is no wonder that the Phenicians should be mistaken for the Venetians. Or perhaps, if the people were not taken one for the other, similitude of sound might de. ceive the clerk who first took down the examination. The Phenicians were the greatest voyagers among the ancients, and were in Europe thought to be the inventors of letters, which perhaps they brought from the east with other arts."
| Peter Gower. “This must be another mistake of the writer. I was puzzled at first to guess who Peter Gower should be, the name being perfect. İy English; or how a Greek should come by such a name: But as soon as I thought of Pythagoras, I could scarce forbear smiling, to find that philoso. pher had undergone a metempsychosis he never dreamt of. We need only consider the French pronunciation of this name Pythagore, that is, Petegore, to conceive how easily such a mistake might be made by an unlearned clerk. That Pythagoras travelled for knowledge into Egypt, &c. is known to all the learned, and that he was initiated into several different orders of Priests, who in those days kept all their learning secret from the vulgar, is as well known. Pythagoras also, made every geometrical theorem a secret, and ad. mitted only such to the knowledge of them, as had first undergone a five years silence. He is supposed to be the inventor of the xlviith of the first
ynge yn Egypte, and in Syria, and yn everyche londe whereat the Venetians hadde plauntedde Maconryc, and wynnynge entraunce yn al Lodges of Maconnes, he lerned muche, and retournedde, and worked yn Grecia Magna* wachsynge, and becommynge a myghtye wyseacre, and gratelyche renowned, and here he framed a grate Lodge at Groton, and maked many Maconnes, some whereoffe dyd journeye yn Fraunce, and maked manye Maconnes, wherefromme, yn processe of tymc, the arte passed in Engelonde.
Quest. Dothe Maconnes descouer here arts unto odhers?
Answ. Peter Gower whenne he journeyedde to lernne, was ffyrste made, and anonne techedde; evenne soe shulde all odhers be and teche. || Maconnes hauethe alweys yn everyche tyme from tyme to tyme communycatedde to mannkynde soche of her secrettes as generallyche myghte be usefulle; they haueth keped backe soche allein as shulde be harmefulle yff they commed yn euylle haundes, oder soche as ne myghte be holpynge wythouten the techynges to be joynedde herwythe in the Lodge, oder soche as do bynde the Freres more strongelyche togeder, bey the proffytte, and commodytye comynge to the Confrerie herfromme.
Quest. Whatte artes haueth the Maconnes techedde mankynde?
Answ. The artes Agricultura, Architectura, Astronomia, Geometria, Numeres, Musica, Poesie, Kymistrye, Governmente, and Relygyonne.
Quest. Howe commethe Maconnes more teachers than odher menne?
Answ. They hemselse haueth allein the arte of fyndynge neue artes, whyche art the ffyrste Maconnes receaued from Godde; by the whyche they fyndethe whatte artes hem ples
book of Euclid, for which, in the joy of his heart, it is said he sacrificed a hecatomb. He also knew the true system of the world lately revived by Copernicus; and was certainly a most wonderful man. See his life by Dion Hal.”
Grecia Magna. “A part of Italy formerly so called, in which the Greeks bad settled a large colony." t"Weisager in the old Saxon, is philosopher, wiseman,or wizard."
Groton. “Groton is the name of a place in England. The pace here meant is Crotona, a city of Grecia Magna, which in the time of Pythago. ras was very populous."
| Maconnes havethe communycatedde, &c. “This paragraph hath something remarkable in it. It contains a justification of the secrecy so much boasted of by Masons, and so much blamed by others; asserting that they have in all ages discovered such things as might be useful, and that they conceal such only as would be hurtful either to the world or themselves. What these sccrets arc, we see afterwards."