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THOMAS CA^M, M.p., P M. 

Cornell University 

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the Cornell University Library. 

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Honorary Member of the Guild of Operative Free-Masons 




6^7 /: 


Copyright, Igll 


Ann Arbor, Michigan 


This paper is written, first, to prove that Speculative 
Free Masonry is derived from Operative Free Masonry; 
second, to give some account of the Operative Free Masons, 
of their Ritual, and of their customs. 

Chapter i. Introduction. 

Chapter 2. The Derivation of Speculative from Operative 
Free Masonry. 

Chapter 3. Existing Operative Free Masons. 

Chapter 4. The Apprentice. First Degree. 

Chapter 5. The Fellow of the Craft. Second Degree. 

Chapter 6. The Super Fellows. Third and Fourth De- 

Chapter 7. The Overseers. Fifth and Sixth Degrees. 

Chapter 8. The Three Masters. Seventh Degree. 

Chapter 9. Annual Ceremonies. The Sanhedrim. 

Chapter 10. Conclusion. 

The Worshipful Society of Free Masons, 

Rough Masons, Wallers, Slaters, Pamors, Plaisterers, 

and Bricklayers. 

Lodge "Mount Ba/rdon," No. no. 

Established 1831. 

Bardon Hill, 

The above Lodge, No. no, of the York Division, 
passed the following resolution at a meeting held on the 
sixth day of May, ipii: 

"That the paper written by Thomas Carr of p Carl- 
"ton Terrace, Blackpool, M. D., on 'The Ritual of the 
"Operative Free Masons' is a true and accurate account 
"of the ceremonies proicticed by this Lodge, and that the 
"tradition which has been handed down to us is that 
"these ceremonies have been so practised from time im- 

"That the said paper is based upon information fur- 
"nislied by us or by our accredited members and that the 
"said Thomas Carr has received our permission to pub- 
"lish the said paper. 

"That there is mMch more of our ritual and cere- 
"monies than is described in the said paper, but the ac- 
"count in the said paper is strictly accurate as far as it 

"That Thomas Carr is a corresponding member of 
"this Lodge in full standing and of good repute." 

Signed, John A. Grant, ist Master. 
Signed, Robert Walter Grant, 2nd Master. 
Signed, Wiluam George Major Baieey, jrc? Master. 

Signed, Robert B. Grant, 

Secretary, i P. M., VIP. 

The Ritual of the Operative 
. Free Masons 


Honorary Member of the Guild of Operative Free Masons 

i.^ — Introduction. 

Most Speculative Free Masons are aware of the fact 
that a Guild of Operative Free Masons still exists, and that 
the Masons' Company of London is also still extant. 

It is well established that Societies of Operative Masons 
■existed in England, France, and Italy during the Middle 
Ages and built the Churches, Bridges, ^nd Cathedrals which 
still adorn those countries. 

Also that in Germany there flQurished a well organized 
tody of Masons, known as Steinmet^en. 

The name Free Mason first occurs in Statute 25, Ed- 
ward 3, (1352). Elsewhere I have shown how Masons had 
to travel about to their work and how English Masons 
■worked in France, and French Masons in England. 

In days when writing was confined to the clerics and di- 
plomas were unknown, it was the readiest solution of the 
•difficulty of an unknown man testifying he was, a skilled 
and accredited craftsman, to have a system of pass words 
and signs which enabled him to prove he had been regularly 
taught his trade and was no cowan or pretender. 

These ancient Operative Masons of the Middle Ages, 
hoth in England and on the Continent, had their regular 
procedure by which a lad was admitted as an apprentice, 
taught his work, and subsequently became entitled to prac- 
tise his trade. 

A good many of the old Regulations and Charges of 
these early days have come down to us. Some 80 examples 
are known and recognized. 

The following is a list of some of the more important of 
fliese "Ancient Charges" as they are generally called : 

List of Some Ancient Charges. 

Regius (Halliwell), c. 1390, British Museum, Royal Library 17 A i. 

Cooke, Early isth Century, British Museum, Add. M.S. 23, 198. 

Lansdowne, Before 1598, British Museum, No. 98, art 48, f 276 B. 

Sloane No. i, 1646, British Museum, No. 3848. 

Sloane No. 2, 1649, British Museum, No. 3323. 

Harleian 1942, 17th Century, British Museum, Harleian No. 1942. 

Harleian 2054, 17th Century, British Museum, Harleian No. 2054. 

Harris No. 2, 1781, British Museum, Ephemerides, pp. 2493 g a a. 

Grand Lodge No. i, 1583, Grand Lodge Library. 

Grand Lodge No. 2, i7th Century, Grand Lodge Library. 

Buchanan, 1670, Grand Lodge Library, (Copy in Gould's Book). 

Colonel Gierke, 1686, Grand Lodge Library. 

Thomas Foxcroft, 1699, Grand Lodge Library. 

Stanley, 1677, W. Yorks, Masonic Library. 

William Watson, 1687, W. Yorks, Masonic Library. 

Taylor, Late 17th Centurj', W. Yorks, Masonic Library. 

Plot, 1686, Published in Natural History of Staffordshire. Dr. Plot. 

Bain, Bro. C. A. Wilson, Armley, Leeds. 

Scarborough, Before 1705, Grand Lodge of Canada. 

Hidalgo Jones, 1607, Prov. Grand Lodge, Worcestershire. 

Wood, 1610, Prov. Grand Lodge, Worcestershire. 

Lechmere, 17th Century, Prov. Grand Lodge, Worcestershire. 

Phillips No. I, 17th Century, Rev. J. E. A. Fenwick, Cheltenham. 

Phillips No. 2, 17th Century, Rev. J. E. A. Fenwick, Cheltenham. 

Phillips No. 3, Early i8th Cent., Rev. J. E. A. Fenwick, Cheltenham. 

Strasburg, 1459, M.S. at Strasburg (Findel). 

Torgau, 1462, ? (Findel). 

Kilwinning No. i, Late 17th Century, S. Michaels, Kilwinning, 

Kilwinning No. 2, 17th Century, S. Michaels, Kilwinning, Dumfries. 
Kilwinning No. 3, Late 17th Century, S. Michaels, Kilwinning, 

Kilwinning No. 4, 1730-40, S. Michaels, Kilwinning, Dumfries, 

(A. Q. C. 6). 
Kilwinning No. 5, 1730-40, S. Michaels, Kilwinning, Dumfries. 
Antiquity, 1686, Lodge of Antiquity. 

In these Ancient Charges we get evidences of the com- 
mencement of Moral teaching and of Secret Signs. It is 
at once obvious that from very early times a high mora! 
standard was inculcated by these Ancient Charges. 

In the oldest Charge of all, "The Regius," dating about 
1390, implicit truth is recomhiended. 

The Harleian No. 2054, dating from the 17th Century, 
was originally the property of the Chester Guild and among 

other things says there are "several words and signs of a 
Free Mason to be reveiled" which may be communicated to 
no one "except to the Master and Fellows of the said So- 
ciety of Freemasons. So help me God." Here followeth 
the worthy and godly oath of Masons. 

There is said to have been a M.S. by King Henry VI 
(1422-1461) in the Bodleian Library, in which that King 
says "some Maconnes are not so virtuous as some other 
menne, but for the most parte they be more gude than they 
would be if they were not Maconnes." 

In the 17th Century and probably earlier private gentle- 
men and Army Officers began to be admitted as Members 
of this Society of Free Masons in England and Scotland. 

John Boswell, Esq., a landed proprietor, was a miember 
of St. Mary's Chapel Lodge, Edinburgh, in 1600. Robert 
Moray, Quarter Master General of the Scottish Army was 
made a Mason at Newcastle in 1641. Elias Ashmole, the 
celebrated antiquarian, and Colonel Henry Manwaring were 
made Masons at Warrington in 1646. It is interesting to 
note the fact that of these three men, who were among the 
earliest Honorary, or non-operative, or in more modern 
terms Speculative, Masons made in England, Moray was a 
Scotch Covenanter, Ashmole was a Royalist and Manwaring 
was a Parliamentarian. So that even in those days Ma- 
sonry was a bond of union between men of differing reli- 
gious and political opinions, and that even in the time of the 
great Civil War. 

In 1647 Dr. William Maxwell joined the Lodge at Edin- 
burgh. As far as is known he was the first medical man to 
become a Mason. It is also noteworthy that in the minutes 
of St. Mary's Chapel Lodge, Edinburgh, it is recorded that 
Boswell attested his mark at the meeting of the Lodge held 
on June 8th, 1600. The Earls of Cassilis and Eglinton were 
initiated in the Lodge of Kilwinning in or about 1670. Pri- 
vate gentlemen such as these I have instanced began about 
this time to be known as Accepted Masons, and gradually 
increased in number. 

In 1717 under the influence of Dr. Anderson and his 
friends some Operative Freemasons with some of these 
non-operative. Accepted or Speculative Freemasons, belong- 
ing to four Lodges in London, met and formed the first 
Grand Lodge; a combination in which Speculative Mason- 
ry instead of Operative Masonry was the primary consider- 

ation. Architecture and Operative tools became symbolical, 
but the Ritual was based on the Ritual of the old Operative 
Society, of which indeed it was largely a reproduction. 

The Apprentice Degree and the Fellow Craft Degree 
were founded on the corresponding degrees of the Opera- 
tive system. 

Later on, when a Master's Degree — not a Master of a 
Lodge but a Master Mason — was added, Anderson and his 
friends invented a ceremony based in the Operatives' An- 
nual Festival of October 2nd commemorating the slaying of 
Hiram Abiff at the Building of King Solomon's Temple. 

The real Secrets and the real Ritual of the Operative 
Masters' Degree could not be given as but few knew them, 
namely only those who had actually been one of the three 
Masters, 7th Degree, by whom the Operatives were ruled, 
and Anderson had certainly not been one of these ; his func- 
tion having been that of Chaplain, although it is quite pos- 
sible he had been admitted an Accepted member of the 
Craft some years previously in Scotland. 

IL — Derivation of Specui.ative; from Operative Free 

If anyone doubts the fact that the formation of Specula- 
tive Free Masonry was due to and based upon Operative 
Free Masonry, it is quite easy to convince him of his error 
if he will only study the first Book of Constitutions. 

This B^irst Book of Constitutions is the original one 
which Anderson had been commissioned to prepare, in the 
following terms, "You are to order and arrange the ancient 
Gothic Constitutions upon a new and better system." It 
was printed and published by the Authority of the Grand 
Lodge in 1723. 

In spite of many alterations and new additions, and of 
its complete revisal at the Union in 1813, the present Book 
■of Constitutions still shows unmistakably its operative ori- 

The Ancient Charge^ ,given on page i of the present 
Book of Constitutions, dated 1909, are almost identical with 
the Antient Charges given in the first Book of Constitutions 
published in 1723. The alterations are very few and unim- 
portant and there are no alterations in Section 5, which is 

the one I am about to quote to prove the origin of Specula- 
tive from Operative Free Masonry. This Section 5 has 
for title "Of the Management of the Craft in Working" 
and you will notice the terms used are obviously and solely 

Of the Management of the Craft in Working. 

1. All masons shall work honestly on working days, 
that they may live creditably on holy days; and the time- 
appointed by the law of the land, or confirmed by custom, 
shall be observed. 

2. The most expert of the fellow-craftsmen shall be 
chosen or appointed the master, or overseer of the lord's 
work ; who is to be called master by those that work under 
him. The craftsmen are to avoid all ill language, and ta 
call each other by no disobliging name, but brother or fel- 
low ; and to behave themselves courteously within and with- 
out the lodge. 

3. The master, knowing himself to be able of cunning, 
shall undertake the lord's work as reasonably as possible, 
and truly dispend his goods as if they we-re his own ; nof 
to give more wages to any brother or apprentice than he 
really may deserve. 

4. Both the- master and the masons receiving their 
wages justly, shall be faithful to the lord, and honestly finish 
their work, whether task or journey; nor put the work to 
task that hath been accustomed to journey. 

5. None shall discover envy at the prosperity of a broth- 
er, nor supplant him, nor put him out of his work, if he be 
capable to finish the same ; for no man can finish another's 
work so much to the lord's profit, unless he be tlioroughly 
acquainted with the designs and draughts of him that be- 
gan it. 

6. When a fellow-craftsman is chosen warden of the 
work under the master, he shall be true both to master and 
fellows, shall carefully oversee the work in the master's ab- 
sence, to the lord's profit ; and his brethren shall obey him. 

7. All masons employed shall meekly receive their 
wages without murmuring or mutiny, and not desert the 
master till the work be finished. 

8. A younger brother shall be instructed in working. 

to prevent spoiling the materials for want of judgment and 
for increasing and continuing of brotherly love. 

9. All the tools used in working shall be approved by 
the grand lodge. 

10. No labourer shall be employed in the proper work 
of masonry ; nor shall free-masons work with those that are 
not free, without an urgent necessity; nor shall they teach 
labourers and unaccepted masons, as they should teach a 
brother or fellow. 

The Speculative Ritual also gives proof of its derivation 
from the Operatives. 

(i) In the presentation of the Working Tools in each 
of the Three Degrees. 

"As we are not all Operative Masons, but rather free 
and accepted, or speculative." 

(2) Operative Masons are referred to in the Lecture 
on the First Tracing Board when the Movable Jewels are 
described and their uses explained. 

(3) Operative Masons are described in the Official 

Lecture i. Section 7. Emulation Working. 

1. Q. How many sorts of Masons are there? 
A. Two: Free and Accepted, and Operative. 

2. O. Which of those are you? 
A. Free and Accepted. 

3. Q. What do you learn by being a Free and Accept- 
ed Alason? 

A. Secrecy, Morality, and Good Fellowship. 

4. Q. What do Operative Masons learn? 

A. The useful rules of Architecture, to hew, square, 
and mould stones into the forms required for the purposes 

of building and to unite them by means of joints level 

perpendicular, or otherwise ; and by the aid of cement iron 
lead, or copper; which various operations require much 
practical dexterity and some skill in geometry and mechan- 

On January 6th, 191 1, a historical note by W. Bro. John 
P. Simpson, B.A., P.A.G. Reg., was published by Grand 
I<odge, in which the author says "The Ritual of Freemason- 
ry as far as the First and Second Degrees are concerned is 
in part no doubt derived from the ceremonies of the early 
Operative Guilds." Bro. Simpson would have been more 

accurate had he said, is mainly derived from the Operative 

I would add so is the Third Degree, and also the Mark. 

It would make the present paper too long to discuss this 
question of the Master Mason's Degree now but I hope to 
publish a paper on "The Third Degree" at some future time. 
Here it need only be said that the Third Degree was an af- 
terthought as regards Speculative Masonry. As formulated 
in 1717 and as laid down in the First Book of Constitutions 
in 1723, there was no Third Degree; a Mason only became 
a Master when he became- Master of a Lodge. The antient 
Charges in the present Book of Constitutions will suffice to 
make this quite clear ; and this paragraph is the same today 
as it was in the First Book of Constitutions published in 
1723. Section 4, paragraph 2. 

"No brother can be a warden until he has passed the part 
of a fellow-craft, nor a master until he has acted as a war- 
den, nor grand warden until he has been master of a I^odge." 

And the present Book of Constitutions has a footnote 
added to this Section which does not appear in the Book of 
1723 but was first added in 1815. 

"N. B. In antient times no brother, however skilled in 
the craft, was called a master-mason until he had been elect- 
ed into the chair of a lodge." 

The Speculative Third Degree, as has already been stat- 
ed, is however based on Operative Ritual, as it is an adapta- 
tion of the Annual Ceremony of the Operatives on October 
2nd when they commemorate the slaying of the Third Mas- 
ter Hiram Abiff, a month before the Dedication of the Tem- 
ple which they celebrate on October 30th. 

HI. — Existing Operative Free M.a.sons. 

The full title of the existing Society of Operative Free 
Masons, to whose Ritual I am about to refer, is that of "The 
Worshipful Society of Free Masons, Rough Masons, Wall- 
ers, Slaters, Paviors, Plaisterers, and Bricklayers." 

The Rough Masons and Wallers are inferior craftsmen 
doing rougher work than that done by the Free Masons. 
They are not Fellows of the Lodges of Free Masons, but 
may be regarded as Associates, having however ceremonies 
of their own. They are regarded as "scabblers" and their 

work is not "in course." They are allowed to enter the ist 
Degree or Apprentice Stone Yard, but not the Second or 
Fellow's Yard. 

The Slaters, Paviors, Plaisterers, and Bricklayers are of 
course distinct trades. 

In London the Paviors, Plaisterers, and Bricklayers- 
(known as the Tilers and Bricklayers), are also three sep- 
arate and distinct companies. 

This title of the Society, comprising so many distinct 
trades is at first sight not a little curious but on investiga- 
tion it was found that it was not an uncommon state of 
affairs in the 17th Century. 

In Kendal in 1667, the 12th Trade Company comprised. 
Free Masons, rough masons, wallers, plaisterers, slaters, 
and carpenters. 

In Oxford, a Company was incorporated in 1604 called' 
"The Company of Free Masons, Carpenters, Joiners, and 
Slaters of the City of Oxford." In Gateshead a most curi- 
ous conglomeration of trades was incorporated by a Char- 
ter of Cosin Bishop of Durham in 1671. The trades enu- 
merated are Free Masons, Carvers, Stonecutters; Sculp- 
tures, Brickmakers, Tilers, Bricklayers, Glaysiers, Penter- 
stainers. Founders, Neilers, Pewterers, Plumbers, Mill- 
wrights, Sadlers, Bridlers, Trunckmakers, and Distillers. 

At Edinburgh, the incorporation of St. Mary's Chapel' 
at one time embraced a great variety of trades such as Sieve- 
wrights, Coopers, Upholsterers, Bowmakers, Slaters, Glaz- 
iers, Painters, Plumbers, and Wrights as well as Masons. 
Later there were only two in union, the Wrights and' 
the Masons, and finally these separted, each becoming- 
a distinct Corporation. Our greatest interest centers in the 
City of Diirham where we find the combination of trades- 
the same as in the Society we are specially concerned with. 

In 1594 Bishop Matthew Hutton incorporated the- 
"Rough' Masons, 'Wallers, and Slaters." In 1609 Bishop' 
James confirmed their Bye Laws and Ordinances in which 
they are designated "Rough Masons, Wallers, Slaters, Pav- 
iors, Tylers, and Plaisterers." On April i6th, 1638, Bishop 
Morton gave a new charter to "The Company Societie and 
Felowshipp of Free Masons, Rough Masons, Wallers, Slay- 
tors, Pavers, Plaisterers, and Bricklayers." 

The Bishops of Durham were Counts Palatinate, so char- 
ters originated from them. 

These operatives became freemen of the City, which con- 
ferred many rights and privileges upon them, and many of 
the gentry of the County became Honorary Mem.bers and 
regarded it as an honourable distinction; just as today many 
members of the mercantile and professional classes become 
Freemen and Liverymen of the Trade Companies of Lon- 
don. I am a Liveryman of the Worshipful Society of 
Apothecaries of the City of London. 

The Mason's Company of London yvas incorporated in 
the second year of Henry IV (1411) and was granted arms 
in the 12th year of Edward IV (1473) which are still used 
by them. 

The Slaters of London also have arms although not a 
recognized Company ; the Paviors is a small London Com- 
pany; the Plaisterers were incorporated in 1501 and the 
Tilers and Bricklayers in 1508. 

In London, disputes arose between these various trades 
and others of a kindred nature as to what was their respec- 
tive work ; these quarrels were particularly acute in and 
about 1356, and many references to them are found in the 
old records. Again in 161 5 and 1632 similar difficulties 

In the year 1677 "The Worshipful Society of the Free 
Masons of the City of London" issued a map of England 
for the information of all the Operative Free Masons, and it 
showed the country divided into eight districts : 

(i) City of London. 

(2) Westminster. 

(3) Southern. 

(4) Bristol. 

(5) Chester. 

(6) Island of Anglesea. 

(7) Lancaster. 

(8) York. 

In former times, Durham had apparently been a separate 

The Worshipful Society of Free Masons, Rough Ma- 
sons, Wallers, Slaters, Paviors, Plaisterers, and Bricklayers, 
claims a coat of arms which still hangs in the Guild Hall at 
Durham and which is really a combination of the arms of the 
separate trades. In chief, on the dexter side, are those of 
the Masons; in the center those of the Slaters; on the sinis- 
ter side those of the Paviors ; below on the dexter side, those 

of the Plaisterers; on the sinister side, those of the Tilers 
and Bricklayers. The arms in each case are similar to, if 
not identical with, those of the London Companies. The 
date on this armorial combination is 1784, but the incorpor- 
ation it represents, as already stated, was made in 1638. 

In London the use of the word "Free" in the title Free 
Mason was allowed to lapse towards the end of the 17th 
Century; possibly because it had ceased to be a distinction 
when members of .all the other London Companies were 
equally free, and probably because the Free Masons had 
ceased to include Rough Masons &c. in their Corporation. 

As far as can be ascertained both London and Westmin- 
ster Free Masons dropped the association with other trades 
in about 1655-6. This is only a suggestion as it is very diffi- 
cult to get any exact knowledge on this point. 

As regards York Division we can give more accurate in- 
formation. W. Bro. Stretton informs me that when he took 
his obligation as an Entered Apprentice to the Operative 
Society in 1867 Rough Masons, Wallers, Slaters, Paviors, 
Plaisterers, and Bricklayers were all present. When he was 
passed to the Degree of a Fellow of the Craft in May, 1874, 
only Free Masons were present, as was also the case when 
he was advanced to the Third Degree, that of a Super Fel- 
low. The Trade Union Act of 187 1 had been passed in the 
meantime and this was the cause of the separation of the 
Rough Masons, Wallers, Slaters, Paviors, Plaisterers, and 
Bricklayers from the Free Masons in the York division. 
These trades began to leave the Free Masons in 1871 as 
soon as the Trade Union Act was passed and by the end of 
1883 there were none left in Lodges 91 or no, and W. Bro. 
Stretton informs me that there have been none in the York 
Division for some years. 

Certainly since 1883 they have not had notices sent them 
to attend Meetings of Free Masons ; but they still have meet- 
ings of their own, and Operative Masons tell me that some 
of the old Ritual is worked by some of the Trade Unions, 
but I have had no opportunity of verifying this statement, 
although I accept it. The old Operative members in the 
York Division still (1911) regard these Rough Masons &c. 
as Associates or Free Brothers but not as Fellows. Thev 
exchange the ist Degree Grip and Word with them and will 
give them money for a drink ; but they are not Fellows or 

Accepted Masons and they will not teach them anything, 
higher than the First Degree. 

These Operative Free Masons are divided into two 
classes, and each class into seven degrees. The two classes 
are Straight or Square Masons, and Round or Arch Ma- 
sons. A man can only belong to one of these two classes or 
kinds, either the Square or the Arch, never to both, although 
a man may be transferred from one to the other, usually 
from the Square to the Arch, if the Masters so order it. 
When a man is apprenticed he selects which form he intends 
to follow. The "Square" is the symbol of the Square Ma- 
son and the "Compasses" the symbol of the Arch Mason. 
Blue is the colour of the Square Mason, and Red is the col- 
our of the Arch Mason. 

A good deal of elaborate stuff has been written of recent 
years as to the origin of these colours in Speculative Mason- 
ry, the Orders of the Garter and of the Bath have been sug- 
gested as prototypes for colour ! A lot of time and imagin- 
ative writing would have been saved by a reference to the 
customs of the Operatives. The Free Masons' original arms 
were granted them by Edward IV but the combined Trades 
arms have two supporters whose first appearance I have 
been unable to trace. Of these supporters the one on the 
dexter, or right, side has a "square" in his hand and is a 
vSquare Mason and his clothes are faced with Blue. The 
one on the left, or sinister, side has a pair of "compasses" in 
his hand and is an Arch Mason and his clothes are faced 
with Red. 

Each of these two great classes of Square and Arch Ma- 
sons is divided into Seven Degrees, with special secrets and 
special working rules and technical instruction restricted to 
each Degree. 

1. The Apprentices to the Craft of Free Mason. 

2. The Fellows of the Craft of Free Mason. 

3. The Super Fellows who have their Mark. 

4. The Super Fellows who also are Erectors on the Site. 

5. The Intendents and Super Intendents or Menatz- 

6. Those who have passed the Technical Examination 
for the position of Master. Really Certified Masters, known 
as Passed Masters. Also known as Harodim particularly in 
Durham and the North. 

7. The Grand Masters, of whom there are only three. 

In these two higher grades, VI and VII, it is possible 
for a man of high social position to be a Passed Master or 
a Grand Master in both Square and Arch Masonry. 

The Operative Lodges to which I have the honour to 
belong are Nos. 91 and no, both situated at Leicester and 
both in the York Division, not because of their geographical 
position but because of their origin. Really they are in the 
part of England belonging to Westminster. 

No. 91 was founded in 1761 at Leicester under the au- 
thority of the Worshipful Society of Free Masons of the 
City and Division of York, for Free Masons who were sent 
from York to repair the Churches at Leicester in that year,, 
and who had, most of them, been previously employed on 
York Minster. This Lodge was in a languishing condition 
from 1883 until 1909, only meeting once a year; but it is 
now in good condition again, with regular monthly meetings- 
at high XII on every Second Thursday. 

The Speculative Lodge No. 279 on the Grand Register 
of England was formed in 1790 by a split from this Opera- 
tive Lodge. Charles Horton, the First Master of the Oper- 
ative Lodge No. 91, becoming the First Master of the Spec- 
ulative Lodge No. 562, now No. 279. 

The other Operative Lodge is the Mount Bardon Lodge- 
No. no with over 300 members, and works at the Bardon 
Hill Quarries. It was founded by George Stephenson ins 
183 1 when the Leicester and Swannington Railway was 
being made. 

I owe my introduction to both these Lodges to my friend 
W. Bro. Clement E. Stretton, Civil Engineer of Leicester; 
who is P. Pr. G.S.W. for Leicestershire, P.M. and P.Z. 279 
Speculative, and Past Third Grand Master VII Degree in 
the Operative, York Division. As already stated, since the 
introduction of Trade Unionism these Operative Guilds have 
lost their supremacy. In 1867 there were over 2,300 Oper- 
ative Masons belonging to the Society in Leicestershire, in 
1910 there were under 600. 

IV. — The Apprentice First Degree. 

The usual age for an apprentice to be made is 14 to 15. 
years and he is bound for 7 years during which time he is. 
taught his trade. His admission as an apprentice corrc- 

spends to the Speculative Initiation and is a formid£ibIe 
ceremony for so young a lad. 

He first has to apply for permission to join the Society, 
and then, if approved signs the following petition which is 
posted up at the entrance of the quarry or workshop for 
14 days. On three occasions he must stand by his applica- 
tion when the men are going to or from work so that all may 
see him ; and if any one knows anything against him they 
report it at the office, and the matter is investigated. 

Form A. 

Application to the Superintendent of the Works of The 
Worshipful Society of Free Masons, Rough Masons, Wall- 
ers, Slaters, Paviors, Plasterers, and Bricklayers. 

I, , being the son of a Free Man, and .... 

years of age, humbly crave to be made an Apprentice to the 
Ancient and Honourable Craft. 

I am prompted by a favourable opinion preconceived of 
the Fraternity and the desire for knowledge to enable me 
to work at the Trade. 

I further promise and swear that I will conform to all 
the ancient usages and established customs of the Order. 

Witness my hand, this day of 



The fact that the applicant has to state that he is the 
son of a Free Man shows the origin of this application dates 
back to a time "when all men were not free. Serfdom exist- 
ed in Great Britain to a much later period than is generally 
recognized. In Saxon times the theow and the ceorl were 
serfs pure and simple. In Anglo-Norman times they became 
known as serfs and villeins and they were attached to the 

Usually the condition of a child followed the status of 
the mother. Hagar and Ishmael are well known Biblical 
examples. This rule is voiced in the old Engli^i proverb, 
"It is my calf that is born of my cow" ; but by a peculiarity 
in the usage of Britain this was not always so, and a child 
followed the status of his father, certainly if born in lawful 

Hence the applicant claims to be the son of a free man. - 

Serfdom practically died out in England following the 
dislocation of society caused by the Black Death in 1348 and 
the Peasants' Revolt, 1377-81 followed by the Wars of the 
Roses, 1 399- 1485. From this time serfdom was practically 
extinct in England, but remnants of this condition are to be 
found in the latter part of the XVIth Century and traces 
are to be found so late as the time of Charles I. In Scot- 
land Colliers and Salters were not quite free until the end 
of the i8th Century but statutes of 1775 and 1789 removed 
the last traces of serfdom from the British Isles. Laus Deo ! 

The candidate has to be proposed by one Mason, second- 
ed by another, and supported by five more. If accepted he 
has to repair on the appointed day — the sixth of the week — 
at high XII to the Quarry or Workshop. The probable 
reason that high XII on Friday is selected is because the 
Guild of Operatives holds the tradition that it was at high 
XII on a Friday that Hiram Abifi was slain when he went 
at that hour, according to his wonted custom, to make his 
prayers ; and that Friday was the last working day of the 
week in the days of King Solomon. 

He applies at the door and is admitted on giving the pass 
word F.A.O.G.R., which has been previously given to him. 
He is admitted within the entrance of the Lodge, usually a 
Porch with double doors,, and has to take an oath not to 
reveal any part of the proceedings in the event of his being 
rejected at any part of the ceremony. This is done by his 
reading aloud his application and "kissing the book" when 
he says "promise and swear." 

He also takes a second short oath that avoiding fear on 
the one hand and rashness on the other, he. will persevere 
through the ceremony. Then the outer door is locked, and 
the key is taken to the Masters. The candidate puts his 
proper fee on the lower ledge of a "footing stone" and the 
Treasurer counts it, but does not pick it up until after the 
candidate has taken his obligation. 

Here let me draw your attention to the plan of a Lodge 
in this First Degree. 

You will notice the three Masters sit in the West so that 
they face and can see the rising sun. The Junior Warden 
sits in the North so that he can see the Sun at its meridian 
and the Senior Warden sits in the East so that he can see the 
Setting Sun. The Altar is in the center of the Lodge un- 

der the "G" and the Rough Ashlar Stone is on the East 
side of the Altar. There are three Deacons present, one for 
the Masters and one for each Warden. Inside the Porch 
the candidate is divested of all money and hoodwinked. Then 
three men come out of the Lodge, divest him of all his 
clothes and dirty hirn "with mud. The Doctor then arrives 
and removes the hoodwink. He is J;old to "Wash and be 
clean." The bath is ready and the candidate bathes. Seven 
times does he dip. The Doctor then examines him to see 
that he is sound in wind and limb and reports him "perfect 
in all his parts." Then he is elected by the "clean-hand" 
sign. He is clothed in a white cloak, where the original 
symbolism of white signifying a candidate is retained. The 
word candidate meaning literally, I am white. The Candi- 
date is again hoodwinked and still clothed in the white 
cloak. He has also a blue cord looped round his neck, held 
by a man in front and a man behind, and a second blue cord 
around his centre held by a man on each side. The neck 
cord being longer than the center cord the four men make a 
diamond with the candidate in the center. This diamond 
has a reference to Operative Masonry and the candidate and 
his four attendants make "five points" which has another 
reference to Operative methods. 

The candidate now makes application at the Inner door. 
How do you hope to obtain admission? By the help of El 
Shaddai and F.A.O.G.R. The sword is held to his n.l.b. so 
as to draw blood. He is then admitted and led to the N.E. 
corner. Here he is questioned. 

What age are you? What is your character? What is 
your knowledge? Where have you been working? Have 
you ever been a Member of any Guild or Company before ? 
Do you swear you have never been expelled, discharged or 
"run away" from any work? In all cases of D and D I, 
W. D. you put y. t ? In El Shaddai is all my t. Right Rise. 
The Brothers in the E.S.W. and N. will take notice that 

is about to pass before them. He is asked if 

he sees anything, he replies No, and the hookwink is slight- 
ly raised so that by bending his head a little forward he is 
able to see his own feet and for two or three feet in front 
of them. He is then cautioned to keep strictly to the track 
or teselated border and is led once round it. He has put 
one foot in front of the other, toe to heel and so on, it is 
called "end on work" or "work in line." The candidate has 






to make this Perambulation once correctly, without failure. 
From the N.E. corner he goes to the S.E., then to S.W., then 
to N.W. Then he comes to the Junior Warden who bars 
liis progress — on due report the bar is raised and the candi- 
date proceeds. Then back to N.E. corner and so to Senior 
Warden who bars progress again — on due report the bar is 
removed and then a strip of carpet is laid down leading to 
the Rough Ashlar Stone on the East side of the Altar, so 
that the candidate shall not step on the squares of the Mo- 
saic pavement as he is led to the Ashlar Stone. Here he 
Tcneels with both knees bare on the Rough Ashlar Stone, 
with the left hand S.T.H.B.T.R.R.T. 

It is interesting to note that this is still preserved as a 
sign in the Lodges under the Scotch Grand Lodge, as well 
as among the Operative Free Masons. 

He then takes the following obligation which is the sarhe 
to-day as it was when written out and signed by Robert 
Padget, Clearke to the Wofshipful Society of Free Masons 
of the City of London in 1686. This copy by Padgett is 
Relieved to have been taken by Anderson and is now in the 
possession of the Lodge of Antiquity, London. 

The Worshipful Sochjty of the Free Masons of the 
City of York and Division. 

Apprentice Degree (ist). 

I, , do, in the presence of El Shaddai 

and of this Worshipful Assembly of Free Masons, Rough 
Masons, Wallers, Slaters, Paviors, Plaisterers and Brick- 
layers, promise and declare that I will not at any time here- 
after, by any act or circumstance whatsoever, directly or in- 
directly, write, print, cut, mark, publish, discover, reveal, 
or make known, any part or parts of the trade secrets, priv- 
iledges, or counsells of the Worshipful Fraternity or Fel- 
lowship of Free Masonry, which I may have known at any 
time, or at any time hereafter shall be made known unto me. 

The penalty for breaking this great oath shall be the loss 
of my life. 

That I shall be branded with the Mark of the Traitor 
and slain according to ancient custom by being throatalled 

so that my soul have no rest by night or by day. 

Given under my hand and sealed with my lips, this 

day of , 191 1. 

So help me El Shaddai and the holy contents of this 

The First Master Mason : Take good heed to keep it 
right well, for it is perilous and great danger for a man to 
forswear himself upon the Holy Book. 

A reference to a similar oath is found in the Kilwinning 
M.S. No. 4, under the heading of "Question and Answer." 

"What punishment is inflicted on those yt reveals ye 
secret. Yr. heart is to be taken out alive yr head is to be 
cut of and yr bodys to be buried in ye sea mark and not in 
any place wr christians are buried." 

The form of these oaths explains the archaic form of the 
obligation still retained in the Speculative Ritual. People 
in the Middle Ages believed the soul could not rest unless 
the body was properly buried, hence the craving for cere- 
monial burial which is still existent. Although the craving 
was for Christian burial it is really the remnant of a Pagan 
idea transmitted to Christian times. The ancient Rom.ans 
believed that the soul of an unburied body could not pass the 
Styx for at least a hundred years. Many of our present 
funeral customs are traceable to similar Pagan and pre- 
Christian beliefs. 

There is no doubt but that in ancient times it was con- 
templated that these penalties should be actually infficted ; 
indeed at a time when physical mutilation such as amputa- 
tion of a hand, and hanging, drawing and quartering were 
still on our Statute books there was nothing incongruous in 
such an oath. Papworth and Gould record that in 1099 a 
Bishop of Utrecht was slain for extracting the Grand secret 
from the son of a Master Mason. 

After taking the obligation the candidate is requested 
to seal it with his lips. As his lips are brought to the book 
a large seal of soft wax is placed underneath them ; his head 
is forcibly pushed downwards so that an actual impression 
of his lips is taken by the wax, and his obligation is "sealed 
with his lips" actually and literally. When the obligation 

is finished the Master says to the Deacons, "give light that 
he may place his hand to the bond." A pen is put in his 
hand and he signs the bond "Given under my hand and seal- 
ed with my lips this day of ." He says, 

"I deliver this as my act and deed." 

The candidate is then assisted to rise with the words, 
"Rise, Apprentice to the Craft of Free Masons." 

He is then taught the Grip, which is the same as that of 
the Speculatives, only it must be "covered;" and the Word 
which is "Jabal." Then the Charge is given, which is the 
same as the one that was promulgated on December 8th, 

Worshipful Bro. Stretton informs me that the same 
Charge is used in all the eight Operative Divisions in the 
Charge to the Apprentice to the Craft op Free Mason. 

1. You shall truly honour El Shaddai, and his holy 
Church, the King, your Master and Warden; you shall not 
absent yourself, but with the Licence of one or both of 
them from their Service, by Day or Night. 

2. You shall not Purloyn or Steal, or be Privy or acces- 
sary to the Purloyning or Stealing of the value of six-pence 
from them or either of them. 

3. You shall not commit Adultery or Fornication in the 
House of your Master, with his Wife, Daughter or Maid. 

4. You shall not disclose your Master's or Warden's 
Secrets or Councils, which they have reported unto you, or 
what is to be concealed, spoken or done within the Privities 
of their House, by them, or either of them, or by any Free- 

5. You shall not maintain any disobedient Argument 
with your Master, Warden, or any Free-Mason. 

6. You shall reverently behave your self towards all' 
Free-Masons, using neither Cards, Dice, or any other unlaw- 
ful Games, Christmas Time excepted. 

7. You shall not haunt, or frequent any Taverns or Ale- 
houses, or so much as go inside any of them, except it be 
upon your Master or your Warden, their or any of their 
Affairs, or with their or the one of their Consents. 

8. You shall not commit Adultery or Fornication in 
any Man's House where you shall be at table or at Work. 

g. You shall not marry, or contract yourself to any 
Woman during your Apprenticeship. 

10. You shall not steal any Man's goods, but especially 
3'our Master's, or any of his Fellow Masons, nor suffer any 
to steal their Goods, but shall hinder the Felon, if you can ; 
and if you cannot, then you shall acquaint the said Master 
and his Fellows presently. 

11. All these Articles and Charges, which I have now 
recited unto you, you shall well and truly observe, perform 
and keep to the best of your Power and knowledge. 

So help you El Shaddai, and the true and holy contents 
of this Book. 

From this Charge you will see that the Operative Free 
Masons require their apprentices to respect the chastity of 
the women kind of Free Masons. It is also noteworthy that 
the Dame of the House where they hold a Lodge is protect- 
ed; and she is also sworn not to lead any member of the 
Craft into sin. 

The candidate is then actually presented with his Work- 
ing Tools, which are the Chisel, the small Maul, and the 
Straight F,dge ; and is invested with the Apprentice's Apron. 

He is next taken back to the N.E. corner Stone. Here 
he is asked by the Foreman how he is going to live until he 
draws his first week's money. If he says he is poor then h'= 
Foreman takes him before the Masters in the Chair, and re- 
ports that he has no means of living. The Master craves 
Charity for him and a collection is made on his behalf. This 
is doubtless the origin of the collection Speculative Free Ma- 
sons ask for from the candidate. If however he says he has 
money or will live with his father, no collection is made. 

For seven years he remains an Apprentice. During this 
time he wears his blue neck-cord as a sign that he is still 
bound as an apprentice. 

This wearing a collar as a sign of bondage is a very old 
■custom. In Anglo-Saxon and Norman days in .this coun- 
try serfs and bondsmen were accustomed to wear collars of 
metal securely riveted round their necks. 

At the end of seven years the apprentice applies to be 
made free of his Bond. The following application has to 
be posted up at the entrance of the Stone Yard Quarry or 

Form B. 

Application to the Super-Intendent of the Works of the 
Worshipful Society of Free Masons, Rough Masons, Wall-* 
ers, Slaters, Plaisterers and Bricklayers. 

^' having well and truly served as an En- 
tered Apprentice to the Craft of Free Mason for seven years,, 
and being of the full age of twenty-one years, humbly crave- 
to be made free of that Bond, to enable me to be Passed to. 
the Honourable Degree of Fellow of the Craft of Free Ma- 
son. I further promise and swear that if once admitted to. 
the Fellowship I will for ever conform to the ancient 
charges, usages and established customs of the Fraternity, 
as Fellows have done in all ages. 



Witness my hand this day of 



Certificate of Character 



Signed . 


Super-Intendent of Works. 

Grand Master Mason VIP. 

The applicant has to go and kneel on the same Ashlar- 
he was bound seven years before. The Bond is torn up, the- 
blue cord is removed from his neck. 

"Rise, Free Brother, you are now superior to an Appren- 
tice, but inferior to a Fellovi' of the Craft of Free Mason."' 

He is then given the Pass Grip and Pass Word leading; 
from the First to the Second Degree. Both are the same 

as the Speculatives Here again the 

Grip must be "Covered." He then takes a formal farewell' 
of the Apprentices, and for the future he must associate with- 
the Fellows. 

The Fei^low oe the Craft. — Second Degree. 

Before the Candidate can be accepted as suitable to be 
passed to the Second Degree he has to prepare a rough 
dressed ashlar stone as a specimen of his work. A rough 
dressed ashlar stone is the ashlar as it is prepared in the 
First Degree or Apprentice Yard for the more expert work- 
man. It is dressed i/i6th of an inch too large all over;, 
and this stone has to be prepared by the candidate and passed 
by the Inspector of Material before the Free Brother can 
be passed as a Fellow of the Craft. 

When the candidate goes into the Second Degree Lodge 
to be made a Fellow of the Craft he must have this speci- 
men of his work with him. He must swear it is all his own 
work. "No man hath used a tool upon it." 

At the appointed time, again at XII noon on a Friday, 
he goes to the door of the Second Degree Yard and knocks. 
On giving the Pass Grip and Pass Word he is admitted. 
The Master gives notice, "The Fellows in the E., S., W. and 

N. will take notice that Brother is about to 

pass in view before them to show that he is a candidate 
properly prepared to be made a Fellow of the Craft of Free 
Mason." He is then led round the Candidate's Track twice. 
This time his right foot is put transversely across the axis 
of the Lodge and then his left foot parallel to the axis of 
the Lodge. This is "Header and stretcher" work, or "one 
atid one," the Operatives call it. He is then led to the Altar 
where kneeling on a rough dressed ashlar stone on both 
knees bare he takes the obligation. 

The Worshipfui< Society oe Free Masons, Rough Ma- 
sons, Wallers, Slaters, Paviors, Peaisterers, 
AND Bricklayers. 

(YoKK Division.) 


Fellow oe the Craet (2nd). 

I. , do, in the presence of El Shaddai 

and of this worshipful assembly of Fellows of the Craft of 
Free Masons, Rough Masons, Wallers, Slaters, Paviors, 

Plaisterers and Bricklayers here present, promise and de- 
clare, that I will not at any time hereafter by any Act or 
circumstance whatsoever, directly or indirectly, publish, dis- 
cover, reveal or make known any of the secrets, privities, 
or Councils of the Fellows of the Craft of Free Mason, 
which at this time, or at any time hereafter shall be made 
known unto me. That I will not permit or suffer any la- 
bourer to be employed in the proper work of Free Masonry ; 
that I will not work with those that are not free, and that I 
will not teach labourers and unaccepted masons, as I would 
teach Apprentices, or Fellows of the Craft of Free Mason. 

I further promise and declare that I will strictly preserve 
the honour of all Free Masons of whatever degree; that I 
will not commit Adultery or Fornication with the Wife, 
Daughter or Maid of any Free Mason. 

The penalty for breaking this great oath shall be the 
loss of my life. 

That I shall be branded with the mark of the Traitor 
and slain according to ancient custom 

Given under my hand and sealed with my lips twice, this 
day of 191 1. 

So help me El Shaddai and the holy contents of this 

After the obligation is it said to him, "Rise, Accepted 
Fellow of the Craft of Free Mason." Then the signs of a 
Fellow are given. They are the same as the Speculatives 
except that in the second sign the hand is held flat. The 
word is "Bonai." This word proves he is a Fellow of the 
Craft and means Builder. The traditional History is now 
recited to him by the First Master Mason. 

"The Traditionai, History." 

"Good Fellow of the Craft of Free Mason, you having 
been passed as a Fellow of this Ancient and Worshipful 
Fraternity, it is our purpose to tell you how and in what 
manner this worthy Craft of Masonry was begun, and after- 
wards how it was kept by worthy Kings and Princes, and 
bv many other worshipful men. 

"Before Noah's flood there was a man that was called 
Lamech, and this Lamech had two wives, the one called 
Adah, and the other Zillah. By his first wife Adah he gat 

two sons, the one called Jabal and the other Jubal. And by 
the other wife Zillah he gat a son Tubal-Cain, and a daugh- 
ter Naamah, and these four children founded the beginning- 
of all the crafts in the world. The eldest son Jabal founded; 
the craft of geometry, he had sheep and lambs in the fields,, 
and was the first mason who wrought houses and walls of" 
stone. And his brother Jubal founded the craft of music, 
song of mouth, harp, organ and trumpet. And the third' 
son Tubal-Cain found out the Smith's craft of working im 
gold, silver, copper, iron and steel, and all manner of forg- 
ing. And the daughter Naamah found the craft of weav- 
ing. These four children knew well that God would do- 
vengeance for sin, either by fire or water, wherefore they 
wrote the sciences that they had founded on two pillars of 
stone that they might be found after either fire or flood. 
The one pillar was m.ade of marble for that it cannot bum 
with fire, and the other pillar was made of stone called 
Laternes, for that it cannot drown in any water. Our in- 
tent is to tell you truly in what manner these stones were- 
found, on which were written these sciences. 

"After the destruction of the world by Noah's flood, the- 
great Hermarives, that was Cubies' son, afterwards called 
Hermes, the father of wisdom, found one of the seven sci- 
ences written thereon, and he taught them to other men.. 
The first of the seven sciences is 

"GRAMMAR, and that teacheth a man to spell truly and' 
write truly. The second is 

"RHETORICK and that teacheth a man to speak fair 
and in subtle terms. The third is 

"LOGIC'K and teacheth a man to deserne or know truthi 
from falsehood. The fourth is 

"ARITHMETIC, which teacheth a man to reckon and. 
to count all manner of numbers. The fifth is 

"GEOMETRY, and that teacheth a man to mete and' 
measure the earth and all other things, on which science is- 
founded Masonry and Architecture. The sixth is called 

"MUSIC, and that, teacheth a man the craft of song and' 
voice of tongue, organ, harp and trumpet. And the seventh' 
science is called 

"ASTRONOMY, and that teacheth a man to know the- 
course of the sun, of the moon, and of the stars of heaven. 

"These be the seven liberal sciences, of the which all be- 

founded by one, that is geometry, for geometry teacheth a, 
man measure, ponderation and weight of all things on earth ; 
for there is no man that worketh in any craft, but he work- 
eth by some measure; and every man that buyeth or selleth, 
buy or sell by some measure or weight, and all this is geom- 
etry. And the merchants, craftsmen, and all other sciences, 
and especially the plowmen and the tillers of all manner of 
grain and seeds, vines and plants, and the setters of all man- 
ner of fruit, cannot find mete and measure without geometry, 
wherefore the said science of geometry is the most worthy, 
as all the others are founded upon it. 

"At the making'of the Tower of Babylon was Masons 
first made much of, and that great King of Babylon called 
Nimrod was himself a Master Mason. He loved well the 
craft and made the Masons Free men and Free Masons in 
his kingdom. And when the city of Nineveh and other cities 
of the East were to be built, Nimrod, the King of Babylon, 
sent thither sixty Lodges of his Free Masons to Ashur the 
King of Nineveh, his cousin, and when he sent them forth 
he gave them a charter and a charge after his manner." 

Then the Second Master gives "the Charge" : 

Charges of Nimrod," 2°. 

"That the Free Masons shall be true to El Shaddai, their 
King, their Lord, and their Masters. 

"That they shall truly serve their masters for their pay, 
so that their masters have worship, and all that belongeth 
to them. 

"That they shall ordain the most wise and cunning men 
to be masters of the v/ork, and neither for love, riches nor 
favour set another that hath little cunning to be master of 
any work whereby the Lords should be ill served, and the 
science dishamed. 

"That they shall be true one to another, and that they 
shall live truly together. 

"That they shall assemble together once every year, to 
see how they might best serve the King, and the Masters, 
for their profit and their own worship. 

"That they shall correct within themselves those that had 
trespassed against the craft so the worthy science be not 

"To all these charges he made them swear a great oath 
that men used at that time, and he ordained for them reason- 
able pay whereby they might live honestly. 

"Ivong after, when the Children of Israel were come in- 
to the Land of Beerhest, that is now called amongst us the 
country of Jerusalem, King David began to prepare the 
ground and the stone for the Temple of Jerusalem. And 
the same King David loved well the Free Masons and cher- 
ished them much, and gave them good pay — and the charges 
right nigh as they be now. 

"And after the decease of King David, Solomon, that 
was King David's son, performed out the Temple that his 
father had begun and he sent for Free Masons into diverse 
countries and lands and gathered them together so that he 
had four score thousand workmen that were workers of 
stone and were all Free Masons, and he chose of them three 
thousand three hundred that were ordained to be Masters 
and Governors of his works. 

"And this same Solomon confirmed both the charges and 
manners that his father had given to the Masons, and thus 
was that worthy Craft confirmed in the country of Jerusa- 
lem and in many other kingdoms." 


To THE Fei-LOw q]? the Craft op Free Mason. 

1. I am to admonish you to honour El Shaddai in his 
holy Church ; that you use no Heresy, Schism and Error in 
your Undertakings, or discredit Men's Teachings. 

2. To be true to our Sovereign Lord the King, his 
Heirs and lawful Successors; committing no Treason, Mis- 
prision of Treason, or Felony ; and if any Man shall commit 
Treason that you know of, you shall forthwith give Notice 
thereof to his Majesty, his Privy Councellors, or some other 
Person that hath Commission to enquire thereof. 

3. You shall be true to your Fellows and Brethren of 
the Science of Masonry, and do unto them as you would be 
done unto. 

4. You shall keep secret the obscure and intricate Parts 
of the Sc'ence, not disclosing them to any but such as study 
and use the same. 

5. You shall do your Work truly and faithfully, endeav- 

curing the Profit and Advantage of him that is Owner of 
the said work. 

6. You shall call Masons your Fellows and Brethren, 
without Addition of knaves, or other bad Language. 

7. You shall not take your Neighbor's Wife villinous- 
ly, nor his Daughter, nor his Maid or his Servant, to use un- 

8. You shall not carnally lye with any Woman that is 
belonging to the House where you are at Table. 

9. You shall truly pay for your Meat and Drink, where 
you are at Table. 

ID. You shall not undertake any Man's Work, know- 
ing yourself unable or unexpert to perform and effect the 
same, that no Discredit or Aspersion may be imputed to the 
Science, or the Lord or Owner of the said Work be any 
way prejudiced. 

11. You shall not take any Work to do at excessive or 
unreasonable Rates, to deceive the Owner thereof, but so as 
he may be truly and faithfully served with his own Goods. 

12. You shall so take your Work, that thereby you may 
live honestly, and pay your Fellows the Wages as the Sci- 
ence doth require. 

13. You shall not supplant any of your Fellows of their 
Work, (that is to say) if he or any of them hath or have 
taken any Work upon him or them, or he or they stand 
Master or Masters of any Lord or Owner's Work, that you 
shall not put him or them out from the said Work, although 
you perceive him or them unable-to finish the same. 

14. You shall not take any Apprentice to serve you in 
the said Science of Masonry, under the Term of Seven 
Years ; nor any but such as are descended of good and hon- 
est Parentage, that no Scandal may be imputed to the said 
Science of Masonry. 

15. You shall not take upon you to make any one Ma- 
son, without the Privity or Consent of six, or five at least 
of your Fellows, and not but such as is Freeborn, and whose 
Parents live in good Fame and Name, and that hath his 
right and perfect Limbs, and able of Body to attend the said 

16. You shall not pay any of your Fellows more money 
than he or they have deserved, that you be not deceived by 
slight or false working, and the Owner thereof much 

17- You shall not slander any of your Fellows behind 
their Backs, to impair their Temporal Estate or good Name. 

i8. You shall not, without any urgent Cause, answer 
your Fellow doggedly or ungodly, but as becomes a loving 
Brother in the said Science. 

19. You shall duly reverence your Fellows, that the 
Bond of Charity and Mutual Love may continue stedfast 
and stable amongst you. 

20. You shall not (except in Christmas time) use any 
lawless Games, as Dice, Cards, or such like. 

21. You shall not frequent any Houses of Bawdery, or 
be a Pander to any of your Fellows or others, which will be 
a great scandal to the Science. 

22. You shall not go out to drink by Night, or if Occa- 
sion happen that you must go, you shall not stay past Eight 
of the Clock, having some of your Fellows, or one at the 
least, to bear you Witness of the honest Place you were in, 
and your good Behaviour to avoid Scandal. 

23. You shall come to the Yearly Assembly, if you 
know where it is kept, being within Ten miles of the Place 
of your Abode, submitting yourself to the Censure of your 
Fellows, wherein you have to make satisfac- 
tion, or else to defend by Order of the King's Laws. 

24. You shall not make any Mould, Square, or Rule to 
mould Stones, withal, but such as are allowed by the Fra- 

25. You shall set Strangers at Work, having employ- 
ment for them, at least a Fortnight, and pay them their 
Wages truly, and if you want Work for them, then you 
shall relieve them with Money to defray their reasonable 
Charges to the next Lodge. 

26. You shall truly attend your Work, and truly end 
the same, whether it be Task or Journey Work, if you may 
have the Payment and Wages according to your Agreement 
made with the Master or Owner thereof. 

All these Articles and Charges, which I have now re-. 
cited unto you, you shall well and truly observe, perform 
and keep to the best of your Power, and knowledge. So help 
you El Shaddai and the true and holy Contents of this Book. 

Then the Third Master addressing the candidate says, 
"The Traditional History and the Charges which have just 
been so ably delivered to you are the foundation stone, the 
commencement of the Worshipful Society of Free Masons, 

in all parts of the World, and in all ages." The new "Fel- 
low of the Craft of Free Mason" is now invested with the 
Fellow's Apron and is presented with his actual working 
tools which are the Plumb, the Level, and the Square, an- 
other Straight Edge, and the Perfect Ashlar Square, which 
is a wooden frame with the ends overlapping like an Ox- 
ford frame, being the exact size of a Royal Cubit or 21% 
inches inside. He is now a Free Man and a Free Mason 
and in olden days became a freeman of the City or town in 
which he had been apprenticed. 

When he begins to work in the Fellows or Second De- 
gree Yard he is told to commence in the N. E. corner with 
the new Fellows and there he is taught to make his rough 
dressed Ashlar Stone true and polished. Then his perfect 
work has to be submitted for inspection and to be tried. If 
the work is satisfactory he is given the word "Giblim" which 
means perfect stone squarer or expert mason. 

You will find that this word Giblim and the word Bonai 
which was given to him when he was admitted to the Second 
Degree were known to Anderson and are referred to on 
page 12 in the Book of Constitutions published in 1738. 

With this additional or superior word, Giblim, he also 
has an additional sign given to him of which there is no 
trace in the Speculative Ritual. 

The sign is given by placing his left arm and hand, with 
thumb extended, in a perpendicular position pointing up- 
wards, and his right arm and hand, with thumb extended, 
in a horizontal position. Thus he represents all three of his 
new tools, the "square" by the angle of 90° formed by his 
two arms, the upright or "plumb-rule," by his left arm and 
the "level" by his right arm. 

Having made his test piece which has been passed by 
the Inspector of Material and having served for a year as a 
Fellow, he is now eligible to apply to be advanced to the 
Ilird Degree, that of a Super Fellow. The following form 
has to be filled up and posted at the Yard or Quarry en- 
trance : 


Application to the Super Intendent of the Works of The 
Worshipful Society of Free Masons, Rough Masons, Wall- 
ers, Slaters, Paviors, Plaisterers and Bricklayers. 

I, , having well and truly served as a Fellow 

of the Craft of Free Mason for one year, and being of the 
age of twenty-two years, humbly crave to be advanced to 
the Honourable Degree of Super Fellow of the Craft of 
Free Mason. 

I further promise and swear that if once advanced to the 
Third Degree of the Fellowship I will for ever conform to 
all the ancient charges, usages and established customs of the 
Fraternity, as Super Fellows have done in all ages. 

Witness my hand this day of , 191 r. 



Certificate of Character 

Signed ' 

Super Intendent of the Works. 
Approved : 

Grand Master Mason VII° 
Enrolled : 



VI. The Super Feu,ows Third and Fourth Degrees. 

The word "Giblim" and the sign described in the last 
chapter, left arm perpendicular and right arm horizontal, are 
the Pass Word and Pass Sign leading from the Second to 
the Third Degree; and the perfect Ashlar stone the candi- 
date has himself made is the proof for advancement to the 
Super Fellows or Third Degree. 

The Operative Third Degree and the first part of the 
modern Mark Degree corresponding to the old Mark Man 
of the Speculatives are so very similar that a Speculative 
Mark Mason would find himself quite at home in the Oper- 
ative working. The Word and Sign of the Operative Super 
Fellows or Third Degree is the same as the Speculative 
Mark Degree. 

It is obvious that this precludes me as a Speculative Mark 
Mason from describing the ceremony fully in print. The 

Super Fellow is allotted his Mark, and as a Super Fellow 
he is charged to produce "fare work and square." 

In this degree the Candidate is led round the Lodge 
three times and he takes his obligation on the polished ashlar 
stone with both knees bare. 


Application to the Super Intendent of the Works of the 
Worshipful Society of Free Masons, Rough Masons, Wall- 
ers, Slaters, Paviors, Plaisterers and Bricklayers. 

I, , having well and truly served as a Su- 
per Fellow of the Craft of Free Mason for one year, and 
being of the age of twenty-three years, humbly crave to be 
further advanced to the honourable degree of Super Fellow 
Erector of the Craft of Free Mason. 

I further promise and swear -that if once advanced to the 
Fourth Degree of the Fellowship I will forever conform to 
all the ancient charges, usages and established customs of 
the Fraternity, as Super Fellow Erectors have done in all 

Witness my hand this day of . , , 19 . . . 

Signed . 

Witness . 

Certificate of Character. 
Signed . 

Super Intendent of the Works. 
Approved : 

Grand Master Mason VIP. 
Enrolled : 


The next Degree for the Operative Free Mason is that 
of an Erector, still a Super Fellow but one who is qualified 
and entitled to erect and put in position on the site the stones 
prepared in the ist, 2nd and 3rd Yards and Marked in the 
3rd Stone Yard. This is the Operatives' Fourth Degree. 
The Super Fellow Erector ascertains from the marks the 
exact position in which each stone is intended to be placed. 

This is very similar to the Second Part of the modern 
Speculative Mark Masons Degree, corresponding to the old 
Speculative Mark Masters Degree ; which again precludes 
me as a Mark Mason from describing the ceremony fully in 

In the Square Division it is the Chief N. E. Corner Head 
Stone that is missing, and in the Arch Division it is the Key- 
stone of the Arch that has been lost. The moral is the same 
in both cases. "The Stone which the Builders refused is be- 
come the Head-stone of the corner." The Arch Masons re- 
ject the corner stone, and the Square Masons reject the 

In the Operative account it is the negligent Mark Men 
who neglected to mark well who are "hove over" with a 
30 cubits drop, and form the Completion Sacrifice; which 
is certainly in accordance with the spirit of the times of the 
building of King Solomon's Temple. 

In this IVth Degree the Candidate takes his obligation 
on a perfect polished Ashlar stone, both knees bare as be- 
fore, and he is led round the Lodge four times. 

The Word and Sign are the same as in the Speculative 
Mark Degree. 

All Operative Free Masons have these two Mark De- 
grees although the Mark was struck out by those who for- 
mulated Modern Speculative Free Masonry in 1717. 

The great majority of Operative Free Masons do not 
proceed beyond this, the Fourth Degree ; as to take the Fifth 
Degree, -that of Superintendent, requires considerable tech- 
nical knowledge. 


Application to the Super Intendent of the Works of the 
Worshipful Society of Free Masons, Rough Masons, Wall- 
ers, Slaters, Paviors, Plaisterers and Bricklayers. 

I , having well and truly served as a Su- 
per Fellow Erector of the Craft of Free Mason for one year, 
and being of the age of twenty-four years, humbly crave to 
be raised to the honourable degree of Intendent of the Craft 
of Free Mason. I further promise and swear that if once 
raised to the Fifth degree of the Fellowship I will forever 
conform to all the ancient charges, usages, and established 
customs of the Fraternity, as Menatzchim have done in all 

Witness my hand this day of , 19. . , 



Certificate of Character 

Super Intendent of the Works. 

Signed . 

Enrolled : 

Approved : 


Grand Master Mason VIF 



VII. The Overseers. Fifth and Sixth Degrees. 

There is no Degree in Speculative Free Masonry exactly 
corresponding to the V° of Super Intendent in Operative 
Free Masonry, although the term is used in the Speculative 
Arch Degree for Provincial Grand Rulers, and for Grand 
Lodge Officers in the Speculative Craft. 

The ceremony is however -somewhat similar to the ap- 
pointment and investiture of Officers at a Speculative In- 
stallation Meeting. Every Officer is examined as to his 
knowledge — actual technical knowledge — and has to take 
the Officer's Oath and be installed in his Chair. The word 
of this Degree is "Menatzchim." 


Application to the Masters of the Worshipful Society of 
Free Masons, R.ough Masons, Wallers, Slaters, Paviors, 
Plaisterers, and Bricklayers. 

I, having well and truly served as Inten- 
dent and Super Intendent of the Craft of Free Mason for 
one year, and being of the age of twenty-five years, humbly 
crave to be exalted to the honourable degree of Passed Mas- 
ter of the Craft of Free Mason. 

I further promise and swear that if once exalted to the 
Sixth Degree of the Fellowship I will forever conform to 
all the ancient charges, usages, and established customs of 
the Fraternity, as Harodim have done in all ages. 

Witness my hand this day of , 19 • 



Certificate of Character. .-. 
Signed . 

Super Intendent of the Works. 

Approved : 


- „ J Grand Master Mason VIP. 




The next Operative Degree that of a Passed Master VI°, 
requires still more knowledge than the V°. A man who 
takes it — and the number in a Lodge is limited to 15 — must 
be able to conduct building operations and generally under- 
stand his profession thoroughly, consequently requiring 
much more technical knowledge than does a Craftsman. He 
has to be able to lay schemes, draw plans and take complete 
charge of a department. The Senior Passed Master is real- 
ly the Deputy Master. His Masonic title is Adoniram. He 
is practically General Manager and Works Manager and is 
responsible to the Three Masters. The word of this Degree 
is "Harod," plural "Harodim." The Fifth Degree Mason 
is led round the Lodge Five times and the Sixth Degree Ma- 
son six times. 


Application to the Masters of the Worshipful Society of 
Free Masons, Rough Masons, Wallers, Slaters, Paviors. 
Plaisterers and Bricklayers. 

L , having well and truly served as Passed 

Master, and Deputy Master Mason for five years, and being 
of the age of thirty-five years, humbly crave to be enthroned 
in the honourable and exalted degree of Master Mason of 
the Craft of Free Mason. 

I further promise and swear that if once enthroned in 
the Seventh Degree of the Fellowship I will forever con- 
form to all the ancient charges, usages, and established cus- 
toms of the Fraternity, as Enthroned Master Masons have 
done in all ages. 

Witness my hand this day of , 19. , 

Signed , 

Witness _ 

Certificate of Character and Skill 

Signed , 

Approved : 


Third Master Mason VII°. 
Grand Master Mason VII°. 

Enrolled : 



In filling in the "Certificate of Character and Skill" for 
the foregoing Form G the only acceptable character is that 
found in II Chronicles II, v. 13 and 14. 

"A cunning man, endued with understanding." 

"Skillful to work in gold, and in silver, in brass, in iron,. 
in stone, and in timber, in purple, in blue, and in fine linen, 
and in crimson ; also to grave any manner of graving, and 
to find out every device which shall be put to him." 

On October 2nd, when the person who has signed Form 
G requires to be enthroned, this character must be read out 
in full before he can be considered eligible to become the 
Third Grand Master Mason. 

\'III. The Three Masters. Seventh Degree. 

The last and final or Seventh Degree is that of a Grand- 
Master, of which there are three. These correspond in some 
measure to the Speculative Grand Master, Pro Grand Mas- 
ter, and Deputy Grand Master; or perhaps more nearly tO' 
the Three Principals in the Speculative Arch Degree. They 
represent Solomon, King of Israel ; Hiram, King of Tyre ; 
and Hiram Abiiif. On being admitted to this Degree each 
Master is led round the Lodge seven times. 

The First and Second Grand Masters hold office for life 
or until superannuated. 

The Third Grand Master is ritually slain on the 2nd of 
October, and a fresh one is appointed every year. 

The Secrets of the Three Grand Masters are the 3, 4, 5, 


Triangle, the laying out of Rectangular Buildings on the 
Five Point System, the Swastika, the Polar Star, and the 
worship of the Most High, whom they venerate under his. 
Hebrew name of El Shaddai. This name "El Shaddai" is. 
the great word of the VHth Degree. 

These secrets of the Masters have been described by me 
in another paper and they still further support the opinion. 
I have endeavoured to maintain in these articles. One of the 
most remarkable facts about these secrets is that the VII 
Degree Operative Free Masons are taught that the Polar 
Star is the real seat of the power of the Most High and that 
the Swastika is his symbol and the emblem of the Pole Star. 
This is esoteric teaching which has long perished in Europe 
and is now only to be found in India, China, Japan and in 
the A'alley of the Euphrates. It is ridiculous to pretend that 
a body holding such doctrines can have emanated from a 
modern Society founded in 1717 or thereabouts. 

The Operatives have one great Annual Assembly which 
every Mason is bound to attend if possible, as pointed out in 
Article 23 of the Charge to Fellows of the Craft of Free 
Mason, given in a former part of this paper. 

They traditionally base this assembly made by King Sol- 
omon and set forth, I Kings viii, i and 2. 

In addition to this great annual assembly, which in the- 
York Division is usually held on October 30th, they also- 
have three great annual ceremonies. 

(i) The commemoration of the Foundation of King 
Solomon's Temple, in April. 

(2) The commemoration of the Death of Hiram Abiff 
on October 2nd. 

(3) The commemoration of the Dedication of the 
Temple on October 30th. 

Their tradition is that Free Masons have held these 
annual Commemorations ever since the building of King 
Solomon's Temple, and that these ceremonies are based on- 
their own traditions and are only illustrated by the Bible 
narrative. All that is certain to an observer is that there is 
much in their ceremonies which is beyond the Bible narra- 
tive although quite harmonious with it. 

On each of these great occasions the Sanhedrim is open- 
ed before the ceremony takes place. 

I would now direct your attention to the plan of the 
Vlth and Vllth Degree Lodges. Note that the Masters' 

Chairs are in the West, on a raised dais with 7 steps, each 
step representing one of the Masonic Sciences, Grammar, 
Rhetoric, Logic, Arithmetic, Geometry, Music and Astron- 
omy. Also that Adoniram, the Deputy Master is just within 
the Vlth Degree Lodge Room ; and that there are three pil- 
lars, hexagonal in shape, in the Lodge Room. The one in 
front of King Solomon in the West; another in the North 
East ; and the third in the South East. The one in the West 
represents Mount Moriah, the one in the North East rep- 
resents Mount Tabor, and the one in the South East rep- 
resents Mount Sinai. 

Three pillars are also to be found in Speculative Lodges, 
though not situated in the same places; and two of these 
Mounts are mentioned in Grand Lodge. Surely the three 
is more complete and more logical than the two. 

On ordinary occasions the Seventh Degree or Grand 
Masters' Lodge is opened by the three in private; and the 
Six Degree or Passed Masters' Lodge is opened by them in 
the same manner; then the door or screen or curtain between 
these two lodge rooms is opened and work goes on. But 
when the Annual Assembly or one of the three Great Com- 
memorations is to be celebrated, then the Sanhedrim must 
be opened by these two Degrees together and conjointly. 

At the Sanhedrim there is no Warden present as such. 
King Solomon occupies the central seat of the Masters' 
Chair with Hiram King of Tyre on his right hand and Hi- 
ram Abiff on his left hand. The First Master asks the sec- 
ond and Third Masters if they agree that the Sanhedrim be 
opened ; on their acquiescence all members of the VI Degree 
must prove themselves members by forming in three and 
make the word San-he-drim by each giving a syllable in 

It is in this Sanhedrim that at the Foundation Commem- 
oration in April the First Master says, quoting I Kings, v 
3, 4, 5, "Thou knowest how that David my Father could not 
build an house unto the name of the Lord his God 
for the wars which were about him on everjr side, until the 
Lord put them under the soles of his feet. But now the 
Lord, My God hath given me rest on every side so that there 
is neither adversary nor evil occurrent. And, behold, I 
purpose to build an house unto the name of the Lord my 
God, as the Lord spoke unto David my father, saying. Thy 

son whom I will set upon thy throne in thy room, he shall 
builci an house unto my name." 

He then commands a levy of men, I Kings, \. 13., "a levy 
out of all Israel; and the levy was thirty thousand men;" 
and according to I Kings, VI, 7, that "neither hammer nor 
axe nor any tool of iron shall be "heard in the house while 
building." This necessitates the m^irking of the dif- 
ferent parts. 

Next the VP Masons have to get out plans and specifi- 
cations and make all arrangements. 

Then follows the ceremony of the founding and con- 
struction of the Temple. 

At the Dedication Commemoration the same process of 
opening the Sanhedrim has to be gone through. In this cer- 
emony the occupant of the Chair in the .South East acts as 
Chaplain and represents Jachin and is regarded as being 
placed on Mount Sinai. The occupant of the chair in the 
North East represents Boaz and is regarded as being placed 
on Mount Tabor. The hexagonal pillars in front of them 
as they face the West bear the same names as the occupants 
of the chairs and the Operatives point out that the Scrip- 
tural narrative in I Kings VII, 21., confirms their arrange- 
ment as King Solomon stands in the West and faces East, 
"and he set up the pillars in the porch of the temple: and he 
set up the right pillar, and called the name thereof Jachin, 
and he set up the left pillar, and called the name thereof 

The Grand Deputy Master whose chair is at the feet of 
the three Grand Masters hands a blue cord up to King Sol- 
omon who fixes it to the pillar in front of him by passing it 
round it, and commands that it be carried to Boaz who 
fixes it to the pillar in front of him, then it is carried from 
Boaz to Jachin who fixes it to the pillar in front of him 
and sends it back to King Solomon. Three separate per- 
sons take the 3 angles and these when handed to the First 
Master acting as King Solomon, must add up to 180; if they 
do not the ceremony must be repeated. This blue cord is re- 
garded as the great line of communication between the three 
great mountains or High Places, Moriah, Tabor and Sinai. 

The Operatives further explain that the First Master 
represents the King, and that as Jachin was High Priest at 
the time of the Dedication so he represents the Church, and 
Boaz the founder of the Royal House of David represents 



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the State so that King and Church and State are all rep- 
resented and are all united by the symboHcal blue cord. 

At the end of the ceremony of Dedication the First 
Master goes in state to the pillars at the East end, as he 
stands facing them, he points with his right hand and says 
"this on my right hand I name Jachin," and pointing with 
his_ left hand, "this on my left I name Boaz'' The Gold- 
smith's Guild, which is represented, then fixes a gold plate 
on each pillar bearing its name, and the First Master repre- 
senting King Solomon himself fixes the last gold bolt. These 
plates are fixed on the bases of the pillars and on their east 
side so' that all entering see the name as they approach. 
The First Master then raises his hands and his eyes to 
Heaven, and addressing El Shaddai, says, "I have complet- 
ed the work that my father commanded me to perform." 
The Grand seven-fold Salute of the Grand Masters is then 
given to El Shaddai 21 times, thus, seven times, then a pause 
and seven times again, and then a pause and seven times" 
again. Then the First Master blesses the congregation, 
who all stand up, according to I Kings, viii, 14, "and the 
King turned his face about, and blessed all the congregation 
of Israel: (and all the congregation of Israel stood)." 

Then the special sign of the Triangle is given. This is 
done by putting the tips of the thumbs together the thumbs 
being held in the same horizontal line, then join the tips of 
the fore-fingers together and you get as nearly as possible 
an equilateral triangle ; bring the hands in front of the face 
so that the two eyes look through the triangle thus formed. 
The word J. A. H. is uttered, and the sign of dispersal, you 
can go, is given. "The work is finished." Then the San- 
hedrim is closed and after that the VII Degree and VI De- 
gree Lodges. This ends the ceremony. 

The question has been raised by some, who can have been 
but inadequately acquainted with the Operative Free Ma- 
sons and their Ritual, might not the Operative Society and 
Ritual be derived from the Speculative Society and Rit- 
ual rather than the other way about as I claim it to have 
been in 'this paper. Surely this does not require much con- 
sideration to see how incredible a deduction it is. The Op- 
erative Ritual is based, as regards its ceremonies, its signs 
and its words, on actual operative tools, practices, and cus- 
toms. The Operative Ritual is much nearer in form to that 
of the ancient charges which have come down to us and 

which date long before the foundation of speculative Free- 
masonry, as divorced from Operative Freemasonry in the 
early i8th century. 

The Ritual of the Operatives is more archaic in form and 
is much fuller than is that of the Speculatives and contains 
practical instruction of which only the echoes afe found in 
the Speculative Ritual. 

Nearly all the Speculative teaching can be traced to the 
Operative Ceremonies, but there is much of the Operative 
teaching which has no correspondence in the Speculative 

Then the reason for much of the speculative ceremonies 
can be seen in the Operative Rituals, while the Operative 
ceremonies get no elucidation from the Speculative Ritual. 
I would specially draw your attention to the obligation in 
the First Degree in which the Operative formula contains 
all that the Speculative does and just enough more to show 
its meaning and forcefulness. I think there can be no two 
opinions as to which is the older form of the two and is 
the original. 

Then the signs and words of the Operatives are all con- 
nected "with and based upon their trade while, extraneous 
signs and words are introduced into the Speculative sysitem, 
for example, the Speculative Pass Word from the Second 
to the Third Degree is really the word of the Blacksmith's 
Guild. I would here specially refer to the Giblim sign of the 
expert craftsman of the Second Degree and to the VII De- 
gree signs and secrets; added to which, the -Operative cer- 
emonies are actual and concrete and refer to realities, while 
the Speculative ceremonies and allusions are^ symbolic and 
abstract and refer to idealties. The actual must precede the 
symbolic for it to have reference and meariing, and the con- 
crete must exist before the abstract can be conceived. The 
realistic exists before the idealistic can be built upon it. 

To any one who will compare the two Rituals and the 
internal evidence of each there can be no question as to 
which is the elder and original, quite irrespective of tradition 
and of the fact that the older body, the Operative, is using 
ceremonial forms which are admitedly the same as those 
of the 17th Century of at least iifty years before the for- 
mation of Speculative Free Masonry in 1717.^ 

Surely if any brother did not know or doubted the fact 
that the Speculative system is irrefutably based upon, and 

Bro. Clement E. Stretton 

has many and deep resemblances to, Operative Free Mason- 
ry, he must now be convinced. 

Findel, the great German writer, in "The History of 
Free Masonry" published so long ago as 1865, puts my own 
conclusions most forciblv wlipn he says "Originating from 
the Fraternity of Operative Masons, the Craft has borrowed 
its emblems and symbols from the Building Corporations, 
to impart to its members moral truths and the rules of the 
Royal Art." And again, speaking of the increase of the 
Speculative element, "Then it was that Freemasonry, as it 
is understood at the present day, dawned into existence, 
retaining the Spirit of the Ancient Brotherhood, their fun- 
damental laws, and their traditional customs, yet all were 
united in relegating Architecture and Operative Masonry to 
the station to which they belonged. The customary technical 
expressions, which were excellently well suited to the sym- 
bolic Architecture of a Temple, were retained, but figurat- 
ively, withal bearing a higher signification." 

In conclusion I must express my gratitude to the Wor- 
shipful Society of Operative Freemasons of the York 
Division, with special reference to W. Bro. C. E. Stretton, 
for their patient instruction in the technical work and ritual 
of their ceremonies. I also gratefully testify to their broth- 
erly regard and desire for the extension of knowledge which 
has alone led them to give me permission to publish so 
much of their working and of their secrets. 

Personally, I sincerely regret and deeply deplore the fact 
that trade unionism and modern conditions of trade have 
caused the decay and threaten the existence of so useful 
ancient and honorable a society ; but am highly gratified at 
having been selected as the medium to make their present 
existence and cpndition more widely known. 

Possibly the Operative Guild of Free Masons which 
has continued down to the present day may be doomed to 
extinction ; but their history will ever live and^ their memory 
ever be perpetuated by their undoubted successors, the Spec- 
ulative Free Masons, whose proper title is "The Ancient 
Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons." J 


T^e^aJ. SoL 



H.A. ff^ce. o/. f./f. 

o— - - 

/2 ■ 


The Swastika 

The Swastika is probably the most ancient and most 
widely distributed symbol that has ever existed. The author 
in another paper has traced it back to the Great Yellow or 
Turanian Race and shows reasons to believe its distribu- 
tion tookplace in the Bronze age and that originally it was the 
emblem of the Rotation of the Seven Stars of the Great 
Bear (The Dipper) around the Polar Star and was the 
symbol of the most High God who there reigned and ruled 
the visible universe. Among Operative Freemasons the 
VII° candidate is taken into a vault under the Grand Lodge 
Room and from the darkness looks up to the centre of its 
roof and there sees a large letter G. from which a plumb-line 
is suspended which hangs down into the chamber in which 
he is placed. He is told that this plumb-line comes down 
from the Pole Star and that the Swastika is its symbol. 
The Swastika is depicted on the Sacred Pedastal in front 
of him. 

When an Operative Lodge is opened in the VIP each of 
the Grand Masters puts his "Square" together with the 
Square on the Volume of the Sacred Law in such a way 
as to form a Swastika which is a much venerated symbol 
among all Operative Freemasons and is held to represent 
El Shaddai or the Most High, Himself. 



Monufoctured by 
Syracuse, N. Y. 
Stockton, Cfllif. .. 

Cornell University Library 

"^*'' T] .he OperatWeJree..asons.