Imatges de pàgina

About this time also, the masons were protected and encouraged by king James I. of Scotland, who, after his return from captivity, became a zealous patron of learning, and of the fine arts. He honoured the lodges with bis presence, and settled a certain income upon the grand master, who had his deputies in cities and counties.

But the flourishing state of masonry in England, wasinterrupted by the civil wars between the houses of York and Lancaster, About 1471, it revived under Beau-: champ, bishop of Sarum, who had been appointed grand master, and to him was committed the charge of causing the castle and chapel at Windsor to be repaired. In the year 1485, it was patronised by the master and knights of the order of St. John, at Rhodes, who have since been called knights of Malta. These assembled their grand lodge in the year 1500, and chose king Henry VII. for their protector. On the 24th June, 1502, a lodge of masters was held in the palace, at which the king presided as grand master, and having appointed his wardens, for the occasion, proceeded in great state to the east end of Westminster Abbey, where he laid the first stone of that splendid piece of gothic architecture called Henry VII's Chapel. Many other poble structures were finished in this reign. On the accession of king Henry VIII. Cardinal Woolsey was appointed grand master. He built Hampton Court, Whitehall, Christ Church College, Oxford, with several other noble edifices, all of which, upon the disgrace of that prelate, were forfeited to the crown. From this period different grand masters were chosen in succession, who were as eminent for rank, talents and virtue as any in the kingdom.

Upon the accession of queen Elizabeth, Sir Thomas Sackville was grand master, and the grand lodge had assembled at York, where the body was numerous and respectable. But her majesty having learnt, that the

masons were in possession of secrets, which they refused to communicate, and being naturally jealous of all private assemblies, sent an armed force to break up the grand lodge. This, however, was prevented by Sir Thomas Sackville, who initiated some of the chief officers sent on this duty in the masonic art, and they, after being thus enlightened, made so favourable a report to the queen, that she countermanded her orders and never afterwards attempted to disturb the meetings.

In 1567, Sir Thomas Sackville resigned in favour of the earl of Bedford, and the celebrated Sir Thomas Gresham, to the former of whom the care of the Northern part of the kingdom was consigned, and that of the Southern part to the latter. Sir Thomas, during his grand mastership, built the Royal Exchange, and Gresh. am College. From this time masonry made considerable progress and at the commencement of the reign of James 1. of England, lodges were held in both kingdoms. About this time a number of gentleman returned from their travels with curious drawings of the architecture of ancient Greece and Rome, who were likewise desirous to revive the knowledge of that valuable art. Among these, was the celebrated Inigo Jones, who was appointed general surveyor to the king, and soon after made grand master of England. Several learned men were now initiated in the mysteries of masonry, and the fraternity increased in reputation and consequence.' Ingenious artists resorted to England in great numbers ; lodges were constituted as seminaries of instruction in the sciences and polite arts after the model of the Italian schools ; the communications of the fraternity.were regular, and the annual festivals duly observed. Under the direction of this accomplished architect, many of the most magnificent edifices, which now decorate the capital of the British empire were completed. Inigo Jones

continued grand master till 1618, when he was succeeded by the earl of Pembroke. Several others of the nobility succeeded him ; but Inigo Jones having uniformly continued to patronise the lodges, was re-elected ja: 1636, and continued in office till bis death, in 1651.

The progress of masonry in Great Britain, was, for some time obstructed by the civil wars. It began, however, to revive under Charles II. who had been admitted into the order during his exile. On the 27th December, 1663, a general assembly was held, when the earl of St. Albans was elected grand master, who appointed the celebrated Sir Christopher Wren and John Webb, Esq. his wardens. At this assembly, several useful regulations were made for the better government of the lodges, and the greatest harmony prevailed amongst the fraternity in every part of the British isles. In 1666, Sir Christopher Wren was made deputy grand master, in which station be distinguished himself more than any of his predecesgors, in promoting the prosperity of the lodges, particuJarly that of St. Paul, now called the Lodge of Antiquity

The great fire, which io 1666, destroyed a great part of London, afforded ample opportunity for the masons to exert their abilities. After a calamity so sudden and extensive, it became necessary to adopt, if possible, such regulations, as might prevent so dreadful a catastrophe in future. it was accordingly determined, that in all the new buildings to be erected, stone should be used instead of wood. Sir Christopher Wren was appointed surveyor general, and principal architect for rebuilding the city, St. Paul's cathedral, and all the parochial churches, *

* At this fire 86 churches, amongst which was St. Paul's cathedral, Faany public buildings, and the houses on 400 strects were destroyed. The ruins extended to no less than 436 acres. It broke out near the place where the monument is now erected, and continued for four days and nights, when it ceased almost instantaneously,

directed to be raised by parliament in lieu of those destroyed, as well as the other public structures. A plan was prepared for widening the streets, but owing to the objections of a great majority of the owners of proper. ty, it was not adopted so fully as could have been wished. Tbus an opportunity was lost of making the new part of the city the most mangnificent, as well as the most convenient for health and commerce, of any in the world. Hence, the architect being cramped in the execution of his plans, was obliged to alter and abridge it, and to mould the city after the manner in which it has since appeared. - - - .. .

In 1675, the foundation stone of the cathedral of St. Paul was laid with great solemnity, by king James II. and : the mallet, which he used on this occasion, is still preserved in the Lodge of Antiquity, as a great curiosity. This edifice, which next to St. Peter's at Rome, is by far, the most splendid church in any part of the world, was finished in the year 1710, and the whole was completed under the superintendence of this most eminent architect . In 1685, Sir Christopher was appointedigrand master; but his great age and infrmities drew off his attention from the duties of his office, the annual festivals were neglected, and the number of masons began to diminish. On the accession of king George I. in the year 1714, the art began to rise in more than usual splendour, and an appual meeting was held on the 24th June of the same year, when Mr. Anthony Sayer was elected grand master, at which time there were only four lodges in London.

Before this period, a sufficient number of masons being assembled together within a certain district, had ample power to initiate members, without a warrant of constitution ; but it was now determined, that the privilege *of assembling as masons should not be authorised with

out a warrant from the grand master, with the consent and approbation of the grand lodge, and that without such warrant, no lodge should be hereafter deemed to be constitutional. To this, the following was andexed, binding the grand master for the time being, his successors, and the master of every lodge to be hereafter constituted, to preserve the same inviolably, viz. that every regular grand lodge has an inherent power and authority to make new regulations, or to alter them for the real benefit of this ancient fraternity, provided always, that the old land marks be carefully preserved ; and that such alterations and new regulations be proposed at, and agreed to, at the third quarterly communication, preceding the annual grand feast; and that they be offered also to the perusal of all the brethren before dinner, in writing, the approbation and consent of the majority of all present, being absolutely necessary to make the same binding and obligatory."

To communicate this circumstance, it has been cus tomary, ever since that time, for the master of the oldest lodge to attend every grand installation, and, taking precedence of all present, the grand master only excepted, to deliver the book of the original constitutions to the new installed grand master. By this precaution, the original institutions were established on the firmest basis, and the ancient land marks, as they are empbatically called, set up as checks against the possibility of innovation.

Another assembly and feast were held on the 24th of June, 1719, when Dr. Desaguliers was unanimously elected grand master. A number of new lodges were now established, the old ones visited by many masons, who had long neglected the craft, and several nobleman were initiated into the mysteries. In 1720, the fraternity sustained an irreparable loss by the burning of several valuable manuscripts concerning the lodges, constitutions,

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