William Preston

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William Preston aka Scibe Nehemiah aka Joshua

Scotland / England 1742 - 1818 or 1812?


Comments: Freemason; took the initial 3 degrees of Blue Lodge Freemasonry as an Antient in 1763, became A Modern in 1767; under the auspices of the "Moderns" ritual by Anderson, reworked them into beautiful, but extremely long rituals. His own work was edited by Webb to form the basic Masonic Ritual of today. When GL expelled him he took half his Lodge of Antiquity to become the small Grand Lodge of South of the River Trent, and then the Grand Lodge of All England, AKA Ancient Society of Freemasons in the City of York, founded 1705, revitalized 1761, when half of the Lodge of Antiquity followed him to leave the Moderns in protest. So Preston, of Scottish ancestry but unable to become a Scottish Mason, had been a Ancient, then an Modern, 1774, broken with them both 1777 - 1779 and joined 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; A classic example of Cranky Past Masters inviting in dynamic talent then resenting all the growth in activity and membership;


Teachers: William Schaw; William Sinclair or the St. Clair family of Roslin; David Cunningham of Robertland; Sir James Murray of Kilbaderton; Sir Anthony Alexander; Robert Drummond of Carnok; Sir John Veitch of Dawyck; John Carmichael; William Moray of Dreghorn; Sir Robert Moray, his brother; Sir William Bruce, 1671; John Theophilus Desaguliers,James Anderson; Elias Ashmole; Thomas Ruddiman; William Stranhan; MWGM James Heseline; Martin Clare, who added Christina elements; Capt. George Smith, Inspector of the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich; Dr. Thomas Manningham; Thomas Dunkery; Right Worshipful Bro. William L Hutchinson P.G.W., who added still more Christina symbolism to the rituals; Laurence Dermott of the Ancient Grand Lodge ; William Fitch, author of MASONIC TREATISE with an ELUCIDATION on the RELIGIOUS AND MORAL BEAUTIES of FREEMASONRY, 1802 ;


Students: Thomas Smith Webb; Albert Pike ; Rob Morris aka Robert Morris, 1860s, , author of Mnemonics, copied from an incomplete manuscript ; Malcolm C. Duncan ; Albert Mackey; Luke Lockwood of CT; Daniel Coxe; Henry Price; James Graeme; Benjamin Gleason; Henry Fowle; Jeremy L. Cross, author of True Masonic Chart, 1819; G. M. Phillip Tucker; Phillip C Tucker, Jr; John Barney; RW Samuel Wilson; Charles W. Moore; Daniel Sickels; Nathan Roscoe Pound ; Robert Ingham Clegg; Charles S. Lobingier, author of The Hebrew Kabalah and Speculative Mason; Robert Folger aka Dr. Robert Benjamin Folger; Charles Whitlock Moore; William Finch; Bernard Hoff; J R Saffell; Allen G. Debus, 1982; John Madziarczyk; WB Thomas Dunckerley, perhaps creator of the Mark Mason degree in 1769, 1724 – 1795; J. D. Buck aka Jirah Dewey Buck, author of The Genius of Freemasonry and the Twentieth-Century Crusade, 1907, 1838-1916 ; Jabez Richardson, author of Richardson's Monitor of Freemasonry, being a Practical Guide to the Ceremonies in All the Degrees conferred by Masonic Lodges, Chapters, Encampments, &c, explaining the Signs, Tokens and Grips, and citing all the Words, Pass Words, Sacred Words, Oaths, and Hieroglyphics Used by Masons - The Ineffable and Historical Degrees are also given in full, 1888; his Brothers in the Chapter of Harodim, Brs. H. J. de Costa; Meyrick; Burckhardt; Laurence Thompson; Stephen Jones; C. W. Firebrace;


Friends: Peter Lambert de Lintot, 1726-1798, author of Les Mystères de la Pierre Cubique, artist of The Freemason at Work, & of the Masonic Rite of Heredom in the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry; G. Oliver aka Wellins Calcott, author of A candid disquisition of the principles and practices of the Most Ancient and Honourable Society of Free and Accepted Masons : together with some strictures on the origin, nature, and design of the institution , 1769;

Enemies – WB John Noorthouck; WB John Bottomley;

Organizations: Freemasonry, Lodge No. 111 under the Atholl Grand Lodge (Antients) probably in 1763 and the Lodge transferred its allegiance to the Grand Lodge (Moderns) in 1764. This Lodge—the Caledonian Lodge, now 134 — still works in London and is one of the earliest sources of the York Rite of Freemasonry ; Premier Grand Lodge of England; Lodge of Antiquity, 1774; part of the Grand Lodge of York - and by them part of the Grand Lodge South of the River Trent Perfect Observance Lodge; Supreme Grand Chapter of the Royal Arch Masons, 1781-3; the Chapter of Harodim;

Author: Illustrations of Masonry , 1772; author of the Preston-Webb Masonic Rituals, later edited and shortened by Thomas Smith Webb;

Quote - “Vouchsafe thine aid, Almighty Father and supreme Governor of the world, to this our present convention; and grant that this candidate for Masonry may dedicate and devote his life to thy service, and become a true and faithful brother among us. Endue him with a competence of thy divine wisdom, that, by the secrets of this Art, he may be better enabled to unfold the mysteries of godliness, to the honour of thy holy name. Amen”;



Resources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Preston_%28Freemason%29  ; http://masonicworld.com/education/files/apr02/include/william%20preston.htm; " CONTEMPORARIES OF WILLIAM PRESTON—MASONIC TEACHERS OF THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY." By W. Bro. JOHN STOKES. P.G.D., Asst. Prov. G.M. West Yorks. Read him here "Illustrations of Masonry" http://pictoumasons.org/library/Preston,%20William%20-%20Illustrations%20of%20Masonry%20%5Bpdf%5D.pdf; "Restoration of the Middle Chamber Lecture Showcasing Historical Work, article by VW Samuel Lloyd Kinsey, NY, in CT Freemason newspaper March 2014; The Exile of William Preston vy Chuck Furnace, article, 2016; : The Mason’s Words: The History and Evolution of the American Masonic Ritual by Robert G. Davis, 2013, http://pictoumasons.org/library/Preston,%20William%20-0Illustrations%20of%20Masonry %20%5Bpdf%5D.pdf , http://www.chuckfurnace.com/opus/index.php?title=William_Preston, http://freemasonry.bcy.ca/ritual/finch.pdf, https://ia802607.us.archive.org/24/items/ freemasonsmonit00morrgoog /freemasonsmonit00morrgoog.pdf; - http://www.masonicworld.com/education/files/artsep01/someritualorigins.htm;;