Freemason

From Opus
Jump to: navigation, search

FREEMASONS:


While there are Masonic authors who claim that the 1st caveman to lay one rock upon another was the 1st Mason, the organization known today as Freemasonry has it's roots in the stone-cutters guilds of Medieval times who preserved enough Geometry to create large buildings that would stand up to gravity and the weather. To preserve the trade secrets which made them more valuable than the average untrained workman, they developed secret signs to exchange as proof they were of various skill levels.

In the late 1500s, early 1600s and well established by 1666, gentlemen who were not stone-cutters but merchants, scholars and even Royalty began to join the Craft. They transformed the "Lodges" into Philosophical organizations where men of all classes, religions and politics could meet without the disruption of society's arguments. This was a period where Catholics, Anglicans and other Protestants burnt each other at the stake, killed a king and engaged in civil war. It seemed that Western Civilization could not survive, unless an "ark" of the knowledge of the ages was built to preserve it. Freemasonry was meant to be both that ark, and a rudder to try to turn events towards the Humanist philosophy.

Freemasonry was not immune to these religious conflicts, especially once they reached politics and the Crown. The Stuart Kings (Charles I, Chales II, James II, his son The Old Pretender James III and grandson The New Pretender, Bonnie Prince Charlie) had the loyalty of many Masons, especially in Scotland and France. It may be that the formation of the Hanoverian Grand Lodge of England (of William , Mary, Anne and the King Georges) in 1717 was in part a reaction to James II's invasion attempt through Scotland in 1715.

In seeking to heal the Religious conflicts between Catholic, Anglican and other Christians, Freemasonry from it's beginnings offered membership in England (though not in most Lodges in Europe) to the Jews who had recently begun to return to England, primarily from the Netherlands. King Edward I (nicknamed Longshaks) had expelled the Jews from Britain in 1290. Merchants and Traders were welcomed to visit but not settle until 1656. Henry VIII had imported a few scholars to try to find an Old Testament excuse for his desired divorce. King James I had imported Jewish scholars to assist his own Clergy in translation and creation of the King James Bible. With the triumph of the Puritan Oliver Cromwell over Charles the I, Jews were unofficially tolerated and Sephardic Jews who had been traveling Europe since the Spanish and Portugal expulsions emigrated to London. Rabbi Menasseh ben Israel, petitioned Cromwell for permission to live in open settlements in 1656, but no answer is recorded and no public settlement was established. Although The Jewish Naturalization Act of 1753 made their presence legal, and their loyalty to the Government during the Jacobite Revolts was widely recognized, popular antisemitism forced its repealed in 1754. Tolerated, Ashkenazi Jews from Germany, Poland and Russia found their way to the English coastal cities and established communities. It was not until Jewish Emancipation in either 1829 or 1858 that Jews were allowed to hold public office, though there are notable examples of them serving before that time.

Freemasons in Europe were less universal in their tolerance. In Catholic France, Jews were excluded until the French Revolution. Soon thereafter the Grand Orient of France reorganized to allow Jews, and eventually atheists and women, join. In England and other bastions of more conservative Masonic thought, women were encouraged to join what were essentially Women's Auxiliaries to Lodges their male relatives belonged to, then some formed "Adoptive" Lodges of either all female or mixed membership, eventually leading to the creation of The Order of the Eastern Star and Tall Cedars of Lebanon, as well as other similar groups. None had the excitement or staying power of Freemasonry.

In Germany the first experiments with Christian /Jewish Lodges was the Order of the Asiatic Brethren, a Masonic Lodge under the protection of the local Prince, under the direction of a Christian, Hans Heinrich von Ecker und von Eckihoffem, specifically including Jews and their Qabalists wisdom, to create higher Masonic degrees incorporating more of the hidden Wisdom of the Qabalah into Freemasonry. It's "Christian " name was Die Brueder St. Johannes des Evangelisten aus Asien in Europa (the Asiatic Brethren of St. John the Evangelist in Europe) and it's Magical name was Die Ritter des Lichts (Knights of the Light) AKA Order of Knights and Brothers of the Light. It was in cooperation with another (non Masonic) Magical Order , the Golden and Rosy Cross AKA the (Orden des Gold- und Rosenkreutzin) that much of this newly translated Qabalistic thought found a home, under the direction of Sigmund Richter, which used this Hebrew Qabalah in a Christian form as part of the Rosicrucian Path. The French Revolution and then Napoleon' brief occupation of parts of Germany created rival Lodges of Freemasons under Charter from Free France which accepted Jews. This led to German antisemitic attacks on Freemasons, and a shutting down in many German Lodges of Recognition of Jewish and mixed Lodges, even extending to disrupt Masonic hospitality. The linking of traditionally hated minorities with a modern Secret Society spelled trouble in WW II when both Jews and Freemasons were sent to Death Camps, the former exterminated, the later worked to death.

There have been many Masonic Rites created over the centuries, all trying to induce an Ah! experience in the Initiate whereby certain lessons and rules can be incorporated into the Seeker. Many include an ancient story to illustrate these lessons. While the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry allows the Initiate to be Witness, most involve the Seeker in the drama. Shock opens up the world-view, so new ideas can be built out of the "bricks" of the Past into a new, better structure.

Influenced by the Rosicrucian Movement of the 1600s, the concept of a benevolent Secret Society had great appeal during the turbulent Civil War years in Britain. Further influenced by the move towards greater scientific inquiry and experimentation over scholasticism and faith in Authority, modern Freemasonry was born.

The poem known as the "Regius Manuscript" dates from the 1390s and is the oldest text to mention Freemasonry's rituals. Lodges apparently existed in Scotland first, but when Charles II fled to Scotland, then France, Freemasonry was carried to the Continent and introduced into the court of Louie XIII. Sir Robert Moray, who accompanied Charles in the retreat to France, is the 1st known Freemason in 1641, with Royalist Elias Ashmole, who kept the records for both Charles of the Order of the Star and Garter being the 2nd Mason for whom we have records, in 1646.

The Scottish Lodges may have had duel ancestors in the Stonemason Guilds and the fleeing Knights Templar from France. Robert the Bruce had been excommunicated, so those fleeing the Pope would find refuge, especially if they brought military might and treasure. It was rumored that they assisted him at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314, and he created the Royal Order of Scotland at Kilwinning Lodge for them.

While most Lodges shifted to Speculative Masonry once the large Cathedral Building projects stopped employing workmen, there remains a strong tradition in building from the Trade Union Lodges. The Society of Operative Free Masons aka the Guild of Operative Free Masons aka "The Worshipful Society of Free Masons, Rough Masons, Wallers, Slaters, Paviors, Plaisterers, and Bricklayers" remained inspired by "Guild Masonry" societies like "The Company of Free Masons, Carpenters, Joiners, and Slaters of the City of Oxford" of 1604.

Freemasonry is universal, and exists in most countries of the world as a non-political, non-religious, organization and philosophy which (when these tools are employed upon the Self) makes good men better. It involves initiation experiences, memorization practice and philosophic thinking to have it's full effect on the individual, his actions, the consequences of those actions in his immediate life, and the ripples that extend beyond that to the civilization, Nation and world. It teaches Brotherly Love (compassion), Relief (charity) and Truth (philosophy). Modern Freemasonry employs the tools and principles of building to our own development rather than architecture, a continuation and elaboration of the Ancient Geometrical Arts.

The Hidden Mysteries of Freemasonry can never be written down or communicated to the uninitiated, not because you cannot find every single word of ritual and speculation on the web, but because they are EXPERIENTIAL, not intellectual. They are created each time a group of Masons work together to make something better.

Modern Freemasonry in America is founded on charters from the Grand Lodge of England (GLE), was founded in 1717. Lodges already existed, but about them we have little actual information. Christopher Wren was the King's Master of Masons during the rebuilding of London in 1666, and there is an existent letter complaining his duties prevent his active leading of the Lodges. By the time James Anderson rewrites the Constitution and collects the Landmarks in 1723, claiming the previous records were destroyed in the Great Fire. (In an undocumented story related by Laurence Gardner, Anderson "blamed" Wren (who had died) for the loss of the pre-1688 records, necessitating a complete rewrite). Within a few decades, a schism developed between the "Antients" and the "Moderns", as well as the smaller Grand Lodge of All England, which was more or less worked out when they all reunited in 1813 with the formation of the United Grand Lodge of England.

The 1st group, the Moderns, worked under the original English Company of Masons at such taverns as the Goose & Gridiron. They were sponsored by nobility, John 2nd Duke of Montagu, Philip, Duke of Wharton, and led by such solid citizens as George Payne and intellectuals such as John Theophilus Desaguliers. The Antients, led by Laurence Dermott gathered material from Scotland, which had just been...annexed by England in the 1707 Act of Union, and their own Ancient Orders like the Most Ancient and Noble Order of the Thistle were shut down. They were influenced by the York Rite of Freemasonry. They charged the London Masons with throwing out the baby with the bathwater when Anderson rewrote everything. But really, it all this clashed with British politics, and the changeover of the Royal family from Stuart to Hanover, resulting in Freemasonry being considered a conspiracy at times.

The very small Grand Lodge of All England,AKA Ancient Society of Freemasons in the City of York, 1705, to be revitalized in 1761 when half of the Lodge of Antiquity left the Moderns. The even smaller Grand Lodge of South of the River Trent, which broke from the Moderns to become the Lodge of Antiquity, established daughter Lodges as its own Grand Lodge under the famous ritualist William Preston. Preston had been a Modern, then an Ancient 1774, broken with them both 1777 - 1779 and started the Grand Lodge of All England at York AKA "the Grand Lodge of All England South of the River Trent" , and did not reunite with the United Grand Lodge until 1789.

Some Connecticut Lodges have Charters granted from England BEFORE the formation of the Grand Lodge of Connecticut, like the "Griswold Charter" of Wyllys-StsJohn #4 in West Hartford. If dated before 1831, chances are they are from the Ancients, not the Moderns, as most traveling, military Lodges were sponsored by that part of the Craft.

Early American Masons were chartered by the Grand Lodge of England for the most part, and many early Masons were soldiers initiated in traveling Military Lodges. George Washington, our 1st President, was made a Mason in Fredericksburg, Virginia in 1752 at the age of 20. Ben Franklin is often considered the quintessential early American Freemason. He was made a Mason in 1731, traveled as a Freemason in France (where he initiated Voltaire at the Lodge of the Seven Sisters). He became Grand Master of the Masons in Pennsylvania in 1734 and edited an American version of James Anderson's Constitutions of the Free-Masons that same year.

The oldest Grand Lodge in Europe, the Grand Orient de France (GOdF), was founded in 1733. Many other jurisdictions broke communication with them in 1875 when they embraced atheists, Co-Masonry and admitted women as Masons, all forbidden in the ANCIENT LANDMARKS. The Grande Loge Nationale Française (GLNF), a competing Grand Lodge which practiced a more "regular" form of Freemasonry sprung up to rival the GOdF, and many other Grand Lodges in other countries recognize their members as fellow Brothers. However, in 2012, the GLNF is having it's own problems, and may be investigated by it's members and/or the police for poor business practices.

In 1775, an African-American from the Caribbean Islands in Boston named Prince Hall was initiated into an Irish Constitution military Lodge in Boston, Massachusetts, with fourteen other free-born African-Americans. Unfortunately, the Revolution began a few weeks later, denying them access to these Irish Military Lodges. Perhaps to...annoy the White Masons of Boston, King George III's brother, Grand Master Lord Cumberland then granted them an English Charter on May6, 1787 as African Lodge # 459 of the Grand Lodge of England. These separate Lodges continue today with primarily Black members, though in CT and many other States recognition between the two Grand Lodges has been established, and members of one Grand Lodge are welcome to join the other. Lodges in CT make no distinction of race, class or religion, and Right Worshipful Brother Ray Dragat started the recognition process by proving their Charter from Ireland was as legitimate as the British Charters received by the Colonials, and that both were historically from the same Fraternity.

The 1st three degrees of Freemasonry make up the Blue Lodge, the foundation upon which the Craft is erected. Other organizations have sprung up for specific purposes, to augment Blue Lodge functions and teachings. Philosophic Research Lodges are chartered in many States, as are State Police Degree Teams, Colonial Lodges and Traditional Observance Lodges, all of which exist under the rule of Grand Lodge.

The Appendant bodies of Freemasonry (Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, York Rite of Freemasonry, Eastern Star, Shrine , Groves etc) all function within the authority of Grand Lodge, but administer themselves. All members must be Master Masons in good standing, or in some case family members. Clearly, many Occultists of the British revival were both Freemasons and members of the Scottish Rite, often also the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia (SRIA) and perhaps the Kabbalistic College of London. "Traveling Men," continental Freemasons enjoyed warm hospitality in England, and the latest philosophy and books were often exchanged over 7 course meals.


The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry originated not in Scotland, but France where the Royalist Court of England, with its Scottish supporters, set up opposing camp to Oliver Cromwell's Puritan Commonwealth. This Jacobite connection would cause trouble for at least the next hundred years. Sir Robert Moray accompanied Charles II in exile, and is the 1st Freemason for whom we have accurate records. The 2nd is Elias Ashmole, who kept the records for Charles I and Charles II of their Order of the Garter, the Knights of St. George.

In addition, extra, non-sanctioned Rites and Orders sprung up, disavowed by Grand Lodges as superfluous or dangerous. The Rite of Memphis and Misraim is an unsanctioned Masonic rite and organization descended from Count Cagliostro's Egyptian Adaptive Rite, a Napoleonic interpretation of Masonic Ideas, and was originally two different Rites until joined by General Giuseppe Garibaldi, who united Italy while he was at it!

The proliferation of Degrees and Lodge systems caused Estienne Morin to organize them into the current system of degrees, all based in some part on the Kodosh (Holy in Hebrew) degree and expressing lessons of morality and Wisdom through historical plays. At the same time, Martinez de Pasqually was organizing them into the Judges Ecossais AKA Order of the Scottish Judges in France, and considerable cross-pollination between rituals was common. The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry system was well received, and other Rites followed, such as the "Rectified Masonry" of Baron Karl Gotthelf von Hund, which evolved into the Rite of Strict Observance, 1751, and later the Rectified Scottish Rite of Jean-Baptiste Willermoz.

Although the Blue Lodge degrees of Freemasonry confirm that Master Mason is the sublime degree, many other degrees were created in the early 1600s and onward to teach different lessons and tools for Spiritual use. The confusion of this chaos cried out for Order, and the structure of the three bodies within the Scottish Rite are semi-self governing, representing the diversity of their origins. The Chevalier Andrew Michael Ramsay of Scotland's theory of a connection between Freemasonry in 1650 and the Knights Templar (Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon (Latin: Pauperes commilitones Christi Templique Solomonici)) of 1150. Etienne Morin carried these degrees to the West Indies in 1761, and then to America with Henry Andrew Francken in 1765. By 1783 it had taken hold in North Carolina, where Isaac De Costa established the Rite of Perfection. Frederick the Great added degrees and changed the name to the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite in 1786, but distance and politics delayed it's transmission to America by Dr. Frederick Dalco (publisher of the 1st American edition of the Ahiman Rezon, Ancients Freemason ritual and explanation) and John Mitchell until 1801. That Isaac was its representative in the South and Moses Michael Hays in New York indicates that, at this time, Jews were welcome in the Scottish Rite. But the true heroes of the Scottish Rite story are Albert Mackey and Albert Pike. Pike had been incorporating the Hermetic teachings of Eliphas Levi into the older rituals, while Mackey laid out the structure. His Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, Vol I (1873) & Vol II (1878) and Pike's Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite Freemasonry remain classics of Masonry and Magick today, and the Qabalah is well represented in the Scottish Rite

The York Rite of Freemasonry is actually three independent bodies, the Royal Arch, Cryptic degrees and the Christian Knights Templar. The Royal Arch was once a part of the Master Mason degree, the other two bodies arose from degrees first practiced in Scotland (but the legend centers around York, England) and the efforts of Chevalier Andrew Michael Ramsay.

Some Rites, such as the Mark Mason, Royal Ark Mariners, Order of David and Jonathan, Order of the Secret Monitor, Grand High Priest, St. Lawrence the Martyr, Red Cross of Babylon, Knights of Constantinople, Grand Tilers of Solomon, Order of Holy Wisdom, Council of Knights of the East, Red Cross of Constantine, Royal Order of Scotland, Rite of Baldwyn, Seven Degrees of Time Immemorial, August Order of Light, Order of Eri, the Beneficent Knights of the Holy City AKA (Chevalier Bienfaisant de la Cité Sainte or CBCSV} which was found in the Rectified Scottish Rite, eventually came under the supervision of The Grand Council of Allied Degrees, established in 1879, and were either folded into the various bodies, retired, or in some cases preserved by individual Lodges through dispensation in their original Charters.

Some seemed to have been politically repressed, reformed and renamed, such as the Order of the Knights Templar of St. Anthony in Scotland, the Elder Brethren of the Rosy Cross (King Robert the Bruce, 1323), The Royal Order of Scotland (Knights Templar?); the Most Illustrious Order of the Golden Fleece (Phillip the Good of Spain, 1429), the previously mentioned Most Noble Order of the Garter (King Edward III of England, 1348), the Noble Order of the Guard of St. Germain, formed in Paris by King James the II of England, who had been James the VII in Scotland as well in 1692, The Heredom (Holy Mountain) of Kilwinning of Scotland (King David I, @ 1300) and the Knights of the Rosy Cross, 1730, Order de Sion, 1099, The Knight Protectors (or Defenders) of the Sacred Sepulchre, were folded into other groups like the Royal Order of Scotland or disbanded. In Spain, several Knightly fraternities formed in the Crusades, like the Order of Santiago aka Knights of St. James the Greater, Order of Calatrava AKA Castile and the Knights of St. Julian aka The Order of Alcántara aka The Knights of Alcántara were at times under the control of the Pope and others at the service of Catholic Kings and Princes; the Modern Order of the Essenes, 1920s;

There were also attempts by non_masons to utilize the basic structure in creating non-esoteric Fraternal groups: for Farmers (The Grange); Revolutionary Patriots descendents could join the Order of the Arrow; and many other groups such as the BENEVOLENT AND PROTECTIVE ORDER OF ELKS; the Moose International; the ECCE ORLENTI; Odd-fellows; REVISED KNIGHTS OF PYTHIAS; Good Templarism; the Temple of Honor; the United Sons of Industry; Modern Woodman of America; Improved Order of the Red Men; KNIGHTS OF THE MACCABEES; The Foresters; Ritual Knights of Labor; United Sons of Industry; Knights of Columbus (Catholic); The Great Enlightened Society of Oculists; Toastmasters; many college Fraternities; The Boy Scouts ; The Grand and Glorious Knights of the Creeping Serpents (GGOKCS) AKA The Snakes; The Society of Cincinnati, formed by George Washington for French and American veterans and named for the Roman who left his farm to lead the nation, then returned to his farm rather than hoard power, just as Washington himself did; etc


The Masonic Ritual is widely copies by occult groups such as the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. It was a familiar structure to many of the members upon which even more philosophic meaning was easily arranged. Like the Qabalistic Tree of Life, it served as a skeleton for further ritual development. When exposed to unfamiliar teachings from the Orient, Occultists who were Freemasons often found the structure of the Craft useful in explaining or codifying those teachings, as when Carl Kellner fit the Tantric lessons he had learned into the Academia Masonica, the precursor to the OTO or Ordo Templi Orientis.

So, what drives this mode of Initiation, this method of Learning and Transformation? What is Masonic Ritual designed to accomplish? The key is a "bump" experience or shock which knocks down the existing mental structure so that it can be rebuilt WITH THE SAME BLOCKS slightly better in a progressive way. If a man lacks decency, no amount of ritual will instill it, but most people have some, and ritual can help bring it (or any other trait they possess) to the fore. By taking mythological / historical stories and rewriting them for modern (in the 1600s) relevance, Masons are able to connect to an ancient archetypal energy but rewrite the ending to better illustrate the main lesson. The Initiate experiences the Past before it was tarnished and lost, and the Honors of that Past are inculcated in the present, and fulfilled in daily acts of improvement. This "sympathetic Magic" is very Hermetic, where the symbol is manipulated to effect greater forces.

A brief timeline might help sketch out the development of Masonic thought:

1723 James Anderson's Constitutions of the Free-Masons

1738 York Rite, an offshoot of the "Antients" formed in England , 1753 in America

1774 William Preston original rituals, which were...very verbose, had been a Modern, then an Ancient, 1774, broken with them both 1777 - 1779 and started the Grand Lodge of All England at York AKA "the Grand Lodge of All England South of the River Trent" , and did not reunite with the United Grand Lodge until 1789.

1775 William L Hutchinson lectured on the philosophical, Spiritual and Christian symbolism he found in the degrees, in particular "adjusting" and adding Christian elements in his "The Spzrat of Masonry, in Moral and Elvzidatory Lectures". In particular, he championed the theory of the Third Degree as associated with the Christ;

1797 The American Thomas Smith Webb reworked William Preston' rituals so they could be performed in less than a day. A patriot during the British-American War of 1812, he commanded the Masons of RI to build a wall called "Fort Hiram", and is considered the "Founding Father of the York or American Rite". His disciple, Jeremy L. Cross carried on Webb's work faithfully, and added material on the Knights Templar of the York Rite of Freemasonry.

1857 Albert Pike complies the various pre- existent rituals into the Scottish Rite and adds scholarly, if sometimes speculative, commentary, including some passages from the French Occultist Eliphas Levi. This amazing Mason fought for the South in the Civil War, while his best friend Albert Mackey remained one of the only Union sympathizers in town.

1860 Rob Morris 1st Masonic scholar to piece together the Rituals' origins, and in 1855 established a system of Ladies' Degrees, which were conferred at lodges called "Constellations" .These degrees (the Holy Virgin and the Heroine of Jericho) may have been conferred on Masons' wives, widows and daughters, in France, Switzerland, Italy and Germany, for over 300 years, under the protection of the Grand Orient of France, and of other Grand Lodges of Europe. In 1860, "the Constellations" were transformed into "Eastern Star Families," again by Morris. In 1866, they became the "Order of the Eastern Star"; He was also the greatest Masonic poet after Robert Burns. But his Ritual was controversial, both because he supported himself as a Lecturer and because it deviated from the original Webb-Preston template, so much so he called his "Mnemonics" the "Webb-Preston Work as taught by Robert Morris". According to Brother P. C. Tucker, in 1857 Morris obtained an incomplete and uncorrected hand written copy of the original Webb-Preston rituals from RW Samuel Wilson in VT, upon which he based this work.

1866 Malcolm C. Duncan publishes his widely read RITUAL AND MONITOR OF FREEMASONRY, based on the Royal Arch Masonry of the York Rite of Freemasonry

late 1880s Albert Mackey writes about the Landmarks and other Masonic subjects in America. His successor as head of the Scottish Rite is Albert Pike {who, um, emulates Eliphas Levi in rewriting the degrees).

Freemasonry in America in the 2010s is struggling to redefine itself while continuing to be Ancient and Honorable. What is Honorable evolves as Humankind does, while the Traditions of the Past also hold great value. This tension yielded to a greater inclusiveness, religious, ethnic and racial, since the 1970s in most of America. Some see a return to formality and banquets as the path, some increased Charity work, and a sizable segment of the Craft looks to return to Hermetic roots. In that last category Kirk White, Andrew Hammer and Christopher Hodapp make reasoned arguments.

SIDEBAR ON KNIGHT, KNIGHTS and Chivalric Orders - The Knightly Order of Dobrzin, founded for the purpose of conquering the heathen Prussians, was merged in the Teutonic Knight 1235

The Teutonic Knights of St. Mary’s Hospital of Jerusalem all German Nobles, founded during the 3rd Crusade. In 1291 it was expelled by the Muslims from the Holy Land. In 1309 it established itself in Marienburg, West Prussia.

The Hospitallers aka “Knights of Rhodes aka “Knights of the Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem” aka “Sovereign Order of the Knights of Malta ” aka the “Sovereign Order of Malta” eventually the “Knights of St. John” and The Order of Saint John Initially a Charitable, healing Order, then a Military one. 1st crusade - The Order of St. Anthony and St. Lazarus were united to the Hospitalers in 1782;

The Knights Templar -The Order of the Poor Knights of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon Always a Military Order of Fighting Monks, 12th century, so 11??

Order of the Garter - Knights of St. George, King Charles I, Elias Ashmole secretary;


Sidebar on Female / Woman Masons: Catherine Sweet Babington aka Mrs. Catherine Baling-ton, (1815-1886) KY, USA Countess Helene Hadik Barkoczy b. 1833 of Hungary, revoked Elizabeth Aldworth aka "Elizabeth St. Leger.” Mrs. Beaton (1717-1802) in Norfolk, England; Duchess of Bourbon First grand mistress of the French Adoptive Freemasonry. Installed on March 25, 1775 , included Duchess of Chartres, Princess Lambelle, Countess Polignac, Countess Choiseul-Gouffier and the Marchioness of Coutebonne; transvestite - Chevalier d'Eon aka Chevalier d'Eon de Beaumont, (1728-1810) in France Madame de Xaintrailles of the French Revolution


Resources: http://www.sacred-texts.com/mas/dun/dun02.htm; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freemasonry; http://www.ctfreemasons.net/; http://www.philosophiclodgeresearch.org/; http://www.sequin-level140.org/; Co Masonry. By W, Bro. R. N. T. Blake,1926; http://darkbooks.org/collection/Henry-Andrew-Francken.html ; http://books.google.com/books?id=VSUrAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA88&lpg=PA88&dq=Seven+Degrees+of+Time+Immemorial&source=bl&ots=NM2gQS3vXw&sig=gnML8NnxGkSpTAyvHYJf1FJR7E4&hl=en&sa=X&ei=g6W6UJzwDOnO2gWZ1IGIBg&ved=0CDMQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=Seven%20Degrees%20of%20Time%20Immemorial&f=false; http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/5341424.stm; essay FROM ELEUSIS TO AMERICA by Eric Casey & Cathy Gutierrez in THE OCCULT IN NINETEENTH CENTURY AMERICA, 2005;


you may also wish to look up these Occultists, philosophers and other influences on modern Esoteric Thought for how Freemasonry shaped them, they shaped Freemasonry, and the Esoteric thought we enjoy today.

Operative Masons - Peter Parler (1330-1399, Prague); Villard de Honnecourt (1225-1250, France); William of Sens, repairing Trinity Chapel at Canterbury Cathedral,1174;

Carl Kellner; Christopher Wren; Elias Ashmole; Kenneth R. H. Mackenzie ; P. B. Randolph; R. Swinburne Clymer; Robert Moray; Casanova; Comte de Saint-Germain; Edward Bulwer-Lytton; Eliphas Levi; Cagliostro; Franz Hartmann; Papus; John Yarker; Robert Wentworth Little; Saint-Yves d'Alveydre; Theodor Reuss; A.E. Waite; Manley P. Hall; Gerald Gardner (founder of Modern Wicca) ; Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; Henry Khunrath ; Anthony Sayer (1st Grand Master of England); Capt. Joseph Elliot (SW of GLE 1717; Jacob Lamball (Grand Warden, 1st Jew admited to GLE); Henry Price (Provincial Grand Master of New England & Dominions); Jonathan Belcher; Daniel Coxe; The Duke of Sussex (in 1842 declared Religious Tolerance within the Craft in England to include non-Christians); James Churchward; Dr Albert Churchward; The Cathedral lecturers by Prof William R. Cook; The Shadow of Solomon: the lost secret of the Freemasons Revealed by Laurence Gardner;

https://mega.co.nz/#F!IYN1DJZJ!I8hnbQyM9KoZywhCJeSn3A ; in French - https://mega.co.nz/#F!pEUkATwC!R-05-jxZa7ceEjIPeJsAww ; https://mega.co.nz/#F!9d1QAQxI!U8tURHFYlHUjTLPuNAP5fg ; https://mega.co.nz/#F!IFth1RKR!N1sReS4KVvNNH2v6eGbb1w; Knights Templar & such - https://mega.co.nz/#F!sJkkDBwA!cZfwmUtAhJ4qujtVW-stRA ;