Co-Freemasonry is a form of Freemasonry which admits both men and women. It began in France in the 1890s with the forming of Le Droit Humain, is now an international movement represented by several Co-Freemasonic administrations throughout the world. Most male-only Masonic Lodges do not recognise Co-Freemasonry, holding it to be irregular, or clandestine; the International Order of Mixed Freemasonry Le Droit Humain was founded in France in the late nineteenth century, during a period of strong feminist and women's suffrage campaigning. It was the first Co-Masonic Order, the first international Masonic Order. Today it has members from over 60 countries worldwide and is organized into 23 federations and 6 jurisdictions. French Masonry had long attempted to include women, the Grand Orient de France having allowed Rites of Adoption as early as 1774, by which Lodges could "adopt" sisters and daughters of Freemasons, imparting to them the mysteries of several degrees. In 1879, following differences among members of the Supreme Council of France, twelve lodges withdrew from it and founded the Grande Loge Symbolique Ecossaise.
One of these Lodges, Les Libres Penseurs in Le Pecq, reserved in its charter the right to initiate women as Freemasons, proclaiming the essential equality of man and woman. On January 14, 1882, Maria Deraismes, a well-known humanitarian, feminist author and lecturer, was initiated into Les Libres Penseurs, after of the lodge withdrew from its Grand Lodge; the Worshipful Master, Bro. Houbron, justified this act as having the highest interests of humanity at heart, as being a logical application of the principle of "A Free Mason in a Free Lodge". In 1890 the Lodge La Jérusalem Écossaise of the Grande Loge Symbolique Ecossaise, petitioned other Lodges for the establishment of a new order of Freemasonry that would accept both men and women; this time La Jérusalem Lodge did not propose to initiate women itself, but to create a new order working in parallel. The main proponent of this was Dr. Georges Martin, a French senator, advocate of equal rights for women, a member of Les Libres Penseurs. On March 14, 1893, Deraismes and several other male Freemasons founded La Respectable Loge, Le Droit Humain, Maçonnerie Mixte in Paris.
They initiated and raised sixteen prominent French women. Shortly after, on April 4 of the same year, the first Grand Lodge of Co-Freemasonry was established, the Grande Loge Symbolique Écossaise Mixte de France, which would become known as the International Order of Co-Freemasonry "Le Droit Humain"; this was a radical departure from most other forms of Freemasonry, for not only did the new order not require belief in a Supreme Being —it opened its doors to all of humanity who were "... just and free, of mature age, sound judgment and strict morals." As early as 1895 the Lodge Le Droit Humain was travelling around—to Vernon, Blois and Havre, in what were called selections—it gave conference and started to hold initiations in the presence, every time, of a large audience Lodge Nr.1 was thus created in Blois in 1895, permanently excluded in 1902, this lodge re-awoke only recently. Its Mother Lodge Le Droit Humain now took over the position of Lodge Nr.1 whilst splitting up again in Paris to form Lodge Nr.4.
Three lodges were founded in the provinces:Lodge Nr.1 in Lyon Lodge Nr.3 in Rouen and Lodge Nr.5 in Havre The first News-sheet of co-masonry appeared in January, 1895. It contained an article by Georges Martin enunciating the principles of LE DROIT HUMAIN as well as various rules regarding to membership lists, subscription fees, the price of diplomas, the annual subscription rate and the price of subscription to the Newssheet; as a base for comparison: 1871 the average wage of a worker was 4.98 frcs. A woman earned half of this sum. In 1882 a clerk at a Ministry earned 1500–2000 frcs per year. One week's stay in Paris in 1900 for the International Exhibition cost about 100 frcs; the co-masonic News-Sheets appeared until 1914—their publication was interrupted during the war, but some editions were published in French in America. Several prominent members of the Theosophical Society joined Co-Freemasonry, including Annie Besant, George Arundale, Charles W. Leadbeater and C. Jinarajadasa. Henceforth, wherever they took Theosophy, they introduced Co-Freemasonry.
The Order of Universal Co-Freemasonry in Great Britain and the British Dependencies was founded by Annie Besant and officers of the Supreme Council of the French Maçonnerie Mixte on September 26, 1902, with the consecration of Lodge Human Duty No. 6 in London. Besant remained head of the Order until her death in 1933; the English working, influenced by the Theosophy of its leading members, restored certain Masonic practices not required in the French working, notably that its members hold a belief in God or a Supreme Being. The permission received from France to reinstate this in the English workings is known as the "Annie Besant Concord", in 1904 a new English ritual was printed, which established this requirement as central to the work; the revised ritual was called the "Dharma Ritual" known as the "Besant-Leadbeater" and more as the "Lauderdale" working. The Dharma Ritual attempted to restore prominence to esoteric and mystical aspects that its Theosophically-minded authors felt were the heart of Freemasonry, so that it beca
There are a number of masonic manuscripts that are important in the study of the emergence of Freemasonry. Most numerous are the Old Constitutions; these documents outlined a "history" of masonry, tracing its origins to a biblical or classical root, followed by the regulations of the organisation, the responsibilities of its different grades. More rare are old hand-written copies of ritual, affording a limited understanding of early masonic rites. All of those which pre-date the formation of Grand Lodges are found in Scotland and Ireland, show such similarity that the Irish rituals are assumed to be of Scottish origin; the earliest Minutes of lodges formed before the first Grand Lodge are located in Scotland. Early records of the first Grand Lodge in 1717 allow an elementary understanding of the immediate pre-Grand Lodge era and some insight into the personalities and events that shaped early 18th century Freemasonry in Britain. Other early documentation is included in this article; the Kirkwall Scroll is a hand painted roll of linen used as a floorcloth, now in the care of a lodge in Orkney.
Its dating and the meaning of its symbols have generated considerable debate. Early operative documents and the printed constitutions are covered; the Old Charges of the masons' lodges were documents describing the duties of the members, part of which every mason had to swear on admission. For this reason, every lodge had a copy of its charges written into the beginning of the minute book, but as a separate manuscript roll of parchment. With the coming of Grand Lodges, these were superseded by printed constitutions, but the Grand Lodge of All England at York, the few lodges that remained independent in Scotland and Ireland, retained the hand-written charges as their authority to meet as a lodge. Woodford, Hughan and Gould, all founders of Quatuor Coronati Lodge, Dr Begemann, a German Freemason, produced much published work in the second half of the nineteenth century, collating and classifying the available material. Since aside from the occasional rediscovery of another old document, little has been done to update the field.
The oldest, the Regius poem, is unique in being set in verse. The rest, of which over a hundred survive have a three part construction, they start with a prayer, invocation of God, or a general declaration, followed by a description of the Seven Liberal Arts, extolling Geometry above the others. There follows a history of the craft, how it came to the British Isles culminating in a general assembly of masons during the reign of King Athelstan; the last part consists of the charges or regulations of the lodge, the craft of masonry in general, which the members are bound to maintain. The earliest masonic documents are those of the church and the state; the first claimed by modern Freemasons as the lineal ancestors of their own Charges relate to the self-organisation of masons as a fraternity with mutual responsibilities. From the reign of Henry VI to the Elizabethan period, from about 1425 to 1550, surviving documents show the evolution of a legend of masonry, starting before the flood, culminating in the re-establishment of the craft of masonry in York during the reign of King Athelstan.
The Halliwell Manuscript known as the Regius Poem, is the earliest of the Old Charges. It consists of 64 vellum pages of Middle English written in rhyming couplets. In this, it differs from the prose of all the charges; the poem begins by describing how Euclid "counterfeited geometry" and called it masonry, for the employment of the children of the nobility in Ancient Egypt. It recounts the spread of the art of geometry in "divers lands." The document relates how the craft of masonry was brought to England during the reign of King Athelstan. It tells how all the masons of the land came to the King for direction as to their own good governance, how Athelstan, together with the nobility and landed gentry, forged the fifteen articles and fifteen points for their rule; this is followed by fifteen articles for the master concerning both moral behaviour and the operation of work on a building site. There are fifteen points for craftsmen which follow a similar pattern. Warnings of punishment for those breaking the ordinances are followed by provision for annual assemblies.
There follows the legend of the Four Crowned Martyrs, a series of moral aphorisms, a blessing. The origins of the Regius are obscure; the manuscript was recorded in various personal inventories as it changed hands until it came into possession of the Royal Library, donated to the British Museum in 1757 by King George II to form the nucleus of the present British Library. It came to the attention of Freemasonry much this oversight being due to the librarian David Casley, who described it as "a Poem of Moral Duties" when he catalogued it in 1734, it was in the 1838–39 session of the Royal Society that James Halliwell, not a Freemason, delivered a paper on "The early History of Freemasonry in England", based on the Regius, published in 1840. The manuscript was dated to 1390, supported by such authorities as Woodford and Hughan, the dating of Edward Augustus Bond, the curator of manuscripts at the British Museum, to fifty years was sidelined. Hughan mentions that it was written by a priest. Modern analysis has confirmed Bond's dating to the second quarter of the fiftee
The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry known as the Scottish Rite, is one of several Rites of Freemasonry. A Rite is a progressive series of degrees conferred by various Masonic organizations or bodies, each of which operates under the control of its own central authority. In the Scottish Rite the central authority is called a Supreme Council; the Scottish Rite is one of the appendant bodies of Freemasonry that a Master Mason may join for further exposure to the principles of Freemasonry. It is concordant, in that some of its degrees relate to the degrees of Symbolic Freemasonry. In England and some other countries, while the Scottish Rite is not accorded official recognition by the Grand Lodge, there is no prohibition against a Freemason electing to join it. In the United States, the Scottish Rite is recognized by Grand Lodges as an extension of the degrees of Freemasonry; the Scottish Rite builds upon the ethical teachings and philosophy offered in the Craft Lodge, through dramatic presentation of the individual degrees.
The seed of the myth of Stuart Jacobite influence on the higher degrees may have been a careless and unsubstantiated remark made by John Noorthouk in the 1784 Book of Constitutions of the Premier Grand Lodge of London. It was stated, without support, that King Charles II was made a Freemason in the Netherlands during the years of his exile. However, there were no documented lodges of Freemasons on the continent during those years; the statement may have been made to flatter the fraternity by claiming membership for a previous monarch. This folly was embellished by John Robison, a professor of Natural Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh, in an anti-Masonic work published in 1797; the lack of scholarship exhibited by Robison in that work caused the Encyclopædia Britannica to denounce it. A German bookseller and Freemason, living in Paris, working under the assumed name of C. Lenning, embellished the story further in a manuscript titled "Encyclopedia of Freemasonry" written between 1822 and 1828 at Leipzig.
This manuscript was revised and published by another German Freemason named Friedrich Mossdorf. Lenning stated that King James II of England, after his flight to France in 1688, resided at the Jesuit College of Clermont, where his followers fabricated certain degrees for the purpose of carrying out their political ends. By the mid-19th century, the story had gained currency; the well-known English Masonic writer, Dr. George Oliver, in his Historical Landmarks, 1846, carried the story forward and claimed that King Charles II was active in his attendance at meetings—an obvious invention, for if it had been true, it would not have escaped the notice of the historians of the time; the story was repeated by the French writers Jean-Baptiste Ragon and Emmanuel Rebold, in their Masonic histories. Rebold's claim that the high degrees were created and practiced in Lodge Canongate Kilwinning at Edinburgh are false. James II died in 1701 at the Palace of St. Germain en Laye, was succeeded in his claims to the British throne by his son, James Francis Edward Stuart, the Chevalier St. George, better known as "the Old Pretender", but recognized as James III by the French King Louis XIV.
He was succeeded in his claim by Charles Edward Stuart known as "the Young Pretender", whose ultimate defeat at the Battle of Culloden in 1746 put an end to any serious hopes of the Stuarts regaining the British crowns. The natural confusion between the names of the Jesuit College of Clermont, the short-lived Masonic Chapter of Clermont, a Masonic body that controlled a few high degrees during its brief existence, only served to add fuel to the myth of Stuart Jacobite influence in Freemasonry's high degrees. However, the College and the Chapter had nothing to do with each other; the Jesuit College was located at Clermont. Rather, it was named "Clermont" in honor of the French Grand Master, the Comte de Clermont, not because of any connection with the Jesuit College of Clermont. A French trader, by the name of Estienne Morin, had been involved in high-degree Masonry in Bordeaux since 1744 and, in 1747, founded an "Écossais" lodge in the city of Le Cap Français, on the north coast of the French colony of Saint-Domingue.
Over the next decade, high-degree Freemasonry was carried by French men to other cities in the Western hemisphere. The high-degree lodge at Bordeaux recognized seven Écossais lodges there. In Paris in the year 1761, a patent was issued to Estienne Morin, dated 27 August, creating him "Grand Inspector for all parts of the New World"; this Patent was signed by officials of the Grand Lodge at Paris and appears to have granted him power over the craft lodges only, not over the high, or "Écossais", degree lodges. Copies of this Patent appear to have been embellished by Morin, to improve his position over the high-degree lodges in the West Indies. Morin returned to the West Indies to Saint-Domingue. Based on his new Patent, he assumed powers to constitute lodges of all degrees, spreading the high degrees throughout the West Indies and North America. Morin stayed in Saint-Domingue until 1766. At Kingston, Jamaica, in 1770, Morin created a "Grand Chapter" of his new Rite (the Gr
Red Cross of Constantine
The Red Cross of Constantine, or more formally the Masonic and Military Order of the Red Cross of Constantine and the Appendant Orders of the Holy Sepulchre and of St John the Evangelist, is a Christian fraternal order of Freemasonry. Candidates for the order must be members of Craft Freemasonry and Royal Arch Freemasonry; the Masonic and Military Order of the Red Cross of Constantine is a three-degree Order of masonry, with its "Appendant Orders" a total of five degrees are conferred within this system. Installation as a “Knight of the Red Cross of Constantine” is admission to the Order’s first degree. There are two more degrees which follow, the two other distinct Orders of Masonry which are under the control of each national Grand Imperial Conclave of the Order. On admission to the Order a member becomes a Knight-Mason, or a Knight of the Red Cross of Constantine; this ceremony is known as installation, is performed in a ‘Conclave’. A Conclave is the regular unit of this Order, the name for any assembly of members of the Order’s first degree.
The ceremony is short and simple, but teaches valuable moral lessons to the candidate, based upon the story of the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great, the Battle of the Milvian Bridge. On election to serve as Viceroy, a member must be admitted to the second degree, by which ceremony he becomes a Venerable Priest-Mason, or an Installed Eusebius; this ceremony is performed in a ‘College’ of Priests-Mason. A College is the name for any assembly of members of the Order’s second degree; the ceremony is spiritual in nature, incorporates more overtly religious symbolism and ritual. Having received this degree the Installed Eusebius or Priest-Mason is entitled to serve as Viceroy in his own, or any other, Conclave or College. In general this degree may only be conferred on those elected to serve as Viceroy of a Conclave, although exceptions are possible by dispensation. On election to serve as Sovereign, a member must be admitted to the third degree, by which ceremony he becomes a Perfect Prince-Mason.
The ceremony is performed in a ‘Senate’ of Princes-Mason. A Senate is the name for any assembly of members of the Order’s third degree. Having received this degree the Prince-Mason is entitled to serve as Sovereign in his own, or any other, Conclave or Senate. Except by dispensation, this degree is only conferred on those elected as Sovereign; as with all masonic degrees, it may only be conferred on a person once - therefore a person becoming Sovereign for a second time, or in a different Conclave, would be appointed and installed into office, would not go for a second time through the full degree ceremony. Two additional Christian Orders of Masonry are under the control of the Grand Imperial Conclaves of the Red Cross of Constantine. One is the Order of the Holy Sepulchre and the other is the Order of St John the Evangelist; each of these Orders consists of a single degree or ceremony, although the two Orders are conferred separately, they are conferred on the same day, one straight after the other.
It is a rule of most jurisdictions that a member of the first degree of the Red Cross of Constantine must subsequently take these two Appendant Orders, before he may be considered qualified to proceed to the second and third degrees of the Red Cross of Constantine. The Masonic Order should not be confused with the identically named Order of the Holy Sepulchre within the Roman Catholic Church. Although both Orders recall the same historical events, there is no actual connection between them; the Masonic Order of the Holy Sepulchre has a long and complex ritual of symbolic meaning, based upon the legend of knights guarding the supposed place of burial of Jesus Christ. Both the Masonic and ecclesiastical Orders take the Jerusalem Cross as their symbol, but whereas the ecclesiastical Order displays this cross in red on a white shield, the Masonic Order displays the cross within a circle set at the centre of a Cross potent. A meeting of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre takes place in a ‘Sanctuary’, the presiding officer is called the'Prelate'.
This Order is conferred in a short ceremony of an overtly Christian character. A meeting of the Order of St John the Evangelist takes place in a ‘Commandery’, the presiding officer is called the'Commander'; the jewel of the Order of St John the Evangelist features a silver eagle with its wings extended, to which a crown is added in reference to the role of Commander, or any member of the Order, a current or past Commander. The eagle is a traditional symbol of St John the Evangelist. Since at least the 18th century, Freemasonry has incorporated symbols and rituals of several Medieval military orders in a number of Masonic bodies, most notably, in the "Red Cross of Constantine", the "Order of Malta", the "Order of the Temple", the latter two featuring prominently in the York Rite. Tracing the precise origins of these Orders has proved problematic to historians, not least due to the large number of fraternal organisations whose titles include, or have included, the phrase "Red Cross", it seems that the Order of the Red Cross of Constant
Albert Pike was an American attorney, soldier and Freemason. Pike was born in Boston, the son of Benjamin and Sarah Pike, spent his childhood in Byfield and Newburyport, Massachusetts, his colonial ancestors settled the area in 1635, included John Pike, the founder of Woodbridge, New Jersey. He attended school in Newburyport and Framingham until he was 15. In August 1825, he passed entrance exams at Harvard University, though when the college requested payment of tuition fees for the first two years, he chose not to attend, he began a program of self-education becoming a schoolteacher in Gloucester, North Bedford and Newburyport. Pike was an imposing figure. In 1831, he left Massachusetts to travel west, first stopping in Nashville and moving to St. Louis, Missouri. There he joined an expedition to New Mexico, devoted to hunting and trading. During the excursion his horse ran, forcing Pike to walk the remaining 500 miles to Taos. After this, he joined a trapping expedition to the Llano Estacado in New Texas.
Trapping was minimal and, after traveling about 1,300 miles, he arrived at Fort Smith, Arkansas. Pike's relative, married Bethina Jones, daughter of the Chief of the Choctaw Nation. Jacob and Bethina's son, Benjamin M. Pike, was fluent in several Indian dialects and served as representative between the Native American Tribes in Oklahoma and the government of the United States of America. Settling in Arkansas in 1833, Pike taught in a school and wrote a series of articles for the Little Rock Arkansas Advocate under the pen name of "Casca." The articles were popular enough. Under Pike's administration the Advocate promoted the viewpoint of the Whig Party in a politically volatile and divided Arkansas in December 1832. After marrying Mary Ann Hamilton in 1834, he purchased the newspaper, he was the first reporter for the Arkansas Supreme Court. He wrote a book, titled The Arkansas Form Book, a guidebook for lawyers. Pike was admitted to the bar in 1837, selling the Advocate the same year, he made several contacts among the Native American tribes in the area.
He specialized in claims on behalf of Native Americans against the federal government. In 1852 he represented Creek Nation before the Supreme Court in a claim regarding ceded tribal land. In 1854 he advocated for the Choctaw and Chickasaw, although compensation awarded to the tribes in 1856 and 1857 was insufficient; these relationships were to influence the course of his Civil War service. Additionally, Pike wrote on several legal subjects, he continued writing poetry, a hobby he had begun in his youth in Massachusetts. His poems were regarded in his day, but are now forgotten. Several volumes of his works were published posthumously by his daughter. In 1859, he received an honorary Master of Arts degree from Harvard; when the Mexican–American War started, Pike joined the Regiment of Arkansas Mounted Volunteers and was commissioned as a troop commander with the rank of captain in June 1846. With his regiment, he fought in the Battle of Buena Vista. Pike was discharged in June 1847, he and his commander, Colonel John Selden Roane, had several differences of opinion.
This situation led to an "inconclusive" duel between Pike and Roane on July 29, 1847, near Fort Smith, Arkansas. Although several shots were fired in the duel, nobody was injured, the two were persuaded by their seconds to discontinue it. After the war, Pike returned to the practice of law, moving to New Orleans for a time beginning in 1853, he wrote another book, Maxims of the Roman Law and Some of the Ancient French Law, as Expounded and Applied in Doctrine and Jurisprudence. Although unpublished, this book increased his reputation among his associates in law, he returned to Arkansas in 1857. At the Southern Commercial Convention of 1854, Pike said the South should remain in the Union and seek equality with the North, but if the South "were forced into an inferior status, she would be better out of the Union than in it." His stand was that state's rights superseded national law and he supported the idea of a Southern secession. This stand is made clear in his pamphlet of 1861, "State or Province, Bond or Free?"
In 1861, Pike penned the lyrics to "Dixie to Arms!" At the beginning of the war, Pike was appointed as Confederate envoy to the Native Americans. In this capacity he negotiated several treaties, one of the most important being with Cherokee chief John Ross, concluded in 1861. At the time, Ross agreed to support the Confederacy, which promised the tribes a Native American state if it won the war. Ross changed his mind and left Indian Territory, but the succeeding Cherokee government maintained the alliance. Pike was commissioned as a brigadier general on November 22, 1861, given a command in the Indian Territory. With Gen. Ben McCulloch, Pike trained three Confederate regiments of Indian cavalry, most of whom belonged to the "civilized tribes", whose loyalty to the Confederacy was variable. Although victorious at the Battle of Pea Ridge in March 1862, Pike's unit was defeated in a counterattack, after falling into disarray; when Pike was ordered in May 1862 to send troops to Arkansas, he resigned in protest.
As in the previous war, Pike came into conflict with his superior officers, at one time drafting a letter to Jefferson Davis complaining about his direct superior. After Pea Ridge, Pike was faced with charges that
Ye Antient Order of Noble Corks
Ye Antient Order of Noble Corks or Ancient & Honourable Societas Korcorum Magnae Britanniae, universally known, informally, as The Cork, is an informal degree allied to Freemasonry. It is described as a "fun" degree, with charitable fund raising as a principal aim. Distinctly nautical in form, its membership criteria vary between branches of the order. Whilst some branches will admit all Master Masons in good standing, others restrict membership to Master Masons who are either a companion in the Holy Royal Arch or a Warden, Master or Past Master of a craft Lodge; the title'Cork' or'Corks' is derived from the cork stopper of a wine bottle, the organisation's principal emblem. In different countries this emblem appears variously as a miniature cork set in a silver clasp, or a small cork suspended from a light blue ribon, or the image of a cork with a corkscrew inserted at an angle; the origins of the degree ceremony are unknown. The earliest surviving records of the degree are held by the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons of England, but this cannot be assumed to demonstrate that the degree originated from that organisation.
All fees received by the Lodge must be paid, in full, to the treasurer of a charity, preferably a children's charity with no deduction being made for administrative expenses. Meetings are characterised by regular humorous'fines', in which a single member, or everybody present, is required to pay a fine by throwing a coin into a bucket or other receptacle. All fines are applied to charitable purposes a children's charity. Members are required to carry a pocket cork at all times, be able to produce it on demand. Any member being unable to produce the jewel is fined, this being given to the Lodge treasurer at the next meeting for contribution to charity; the nature of the pocket cork varies. In some traditions it is a piece of cork in a metal ring, in others it is a small cork set in a silver clasp, in still others it is a flat piece of cork which may be carried in a wallet. Membership is not onerous—the only costs on top of membership being dining fees, etc; the idea and aim being to raise money for children's charities, with Corkies having fun in so doing.
In Boards under the English Great Board of Corks there are no subscriptions or joining fees. Candidates can be initiated on the same night. Compared with masonic meetings, dress is informal - as meetings tend to be boisterous affairs, in good spirits; the ritual and initiation part takes up the first part of the evening, followed by festivities that are “closer to a Scottish Harmony than an English Festive Board”. Hats are worn during the meeting, with head-gear style being of personal choice - the sillier, the better; the presiding officer is known as the Admiral. The head of a national Great Board of Corks is known as the Great Admiral. All board or lodge officers have naval titles equating to the officers in a Craft Lodge, with jewels of office being borne on strings of corks. Titles vary between countries and traditions, but the following is one example: Rather Worshipful Admiral Uncommonly Worshipful Mate Highly Worshipful Purser Hardly Worshipful Lookout Nearly Rather Worshipful Vice Admiral Undoubtedly Ship's Writer Little Less Worshipful Doctor Barely Worshipful Cook Mainly Worshipful Bosun Particularly Worthy Screw Almost Worthy Carpenter Particularly Worthy ShipmateScotland: the Cork tradition is strong in Scotland, where lodges come under the supervision of the Supreme Grand Royal Arch Chapter.
United States of America: whilst the Cork is associated with Mark Masonry, in the United States it forms an informal and optional part of the formal system of the Allied Masonic Degrees. England and Wales: in England the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons holds the oldest known English Cork records and regalia. Before the Second World War there are various references to English Mark Lodges working the Cork degree at dinner after their formal Mark meeting. A body known as the'Great Board of Corks', consisting of senior Grand Officers of the Mark Grand Lodge, controlled the Cork degree for many years, but fell into abeyance. By 2002 it had been revived, with at least one surviving member of the original Great Board. Additionally, at least one'Board of Corks' under the authority of the Great Board, has survived the passage of time. However, the English situation is now complicated in that some old Cork lodges have histories originating without reference to the Great Board, may properly be considered independent of that body.
In general, English bodies styling themselves a'Lodge of Corks' are independent, derived from Scottish tradition, whilst English bodies styling themselves a'Board of Corks' are under the jurisdiction of the Great Board of Corks. In 2012 several independent Cork Lodges, not associated with the Great Board of Corks, formed themselves into the Grand Fleet of Cork Lodges; the fleet includes mainland European Cork Lodges. Australia: while new in Australia, it follows the tradition of the Cork Order in Scotland and England. However, its membership is open to all Master Masons in good standing. There is only one authorised Cork Lodge in Australia operating in the city of Brisbane; this lodge is Endeavour Cork Lodge No.1 and was established in 2011. The following are some examples of Cork Lodges. Armada Cork Lodge, West Lothian. Maeshowe Antient & Most Noble Cork Lodge, Orkney Angus & Mearns Cork Lodge Eastmuir Cork Lodge & Chapte
The Anti-Masonic Party known as the Anti-Masonic Movement, was the first third party in the United States. It opposed Freemasonry as a single-issue party and aspired to become a major party by expanding its platform to take positions on other issues. After emerging as a political force in the late 1820s, most of the Anti-Masonic Party's members joined the Whig Party in the 1830s and the party disappeared after 1838; the party was founded in the aftermath of the disappearance of William Morgan, a former Mason who had become a prominent critic of the Masonic organization. Many believed that the Masons had murdered Morgan for speaking out against Masonry and subsequently many churches and other groups condemned masonry; as many Masons were prominent businessmen and politicians, the backlash against the Masons was a form of anti-elitism. Mass opposition to Masonry coalesced into a political party. Before and during the presidency of John Quincy Adams, there was a period of political realignment; the Anti-Masons emerged as an important third party alternative to Andrew Jackson's Democrats and Adams's National Republicans.
In New York, the Anti-Masons supplanted the National Republicans as the primary opposition to the Democrats. After experiencing unexpected success in the 1828 elections, the Anti-Masons began to adopt positions on other issues, most notably support for internal improvements and a protective tariff. Several Anti-Masons, including William A. Palmer and Joseph Ritner, won election to prominent positions. In states such as Pennsylvania and Rhode Island, the party controlled the balance of power in the state legislature and provided crucial support to candidates for the Senate. In 1831, the party held the first presidential nominating convention, a practice, subsequently adopted by all major parties; the convention chose former Attorney General William Wirt as the party's standard bearer in the 1832 presidential election and Wirt won 7.8% of the popular vote and carried Vermont. As the 1830s progressed, many of the Anti-Masonic Party's supporters joined the Whig Party, which sought to unite those opposed to the policies of President Jackson.
The Anti-Masonic Party held a national convention in 1835, nominating William Henry Harrison, but a second convention announced that the party would not support a candidate. Harrison campaigned as a Whig in the 1836 presidential election and his relative success in the election encouraged further migration of Anti-Masons to the Whig Party. By 1840, the party had ceased to function as a national organization. In subsequent decades, former Anti-Masonic candidates and supporters such as Millard Fillmore, William H. Seward, Thurlow Weed and Thaddeus Stevens would become well-known members of the Whig Party; the opponents of Freemasonry formed a political movement after the Morgan affair convinced them the Masons were murdering men who spoke out against them. This key episode was the mysterious 1826 disappearance of William Morgan, a Freemason in upstate New York who had turned against the Masons. Morgan claimed to have been made a member of the Masons while living in Canada and he appears to have attended a lodge in Rochester.
In 1825, Morgan received the Royal Arch degree at Le Roy's Western Star Chapter #33, having declared under oath that he had received the six degrees which preceded it. Whether he received these degrees and if so from where has not been determined for certain. Morgan attempted unsuccessfully to help establish or visit lodges and chapters in Batavia, but was denied participation in Batavia's Masonic activities by members who were uncertain about Morgan's character and claims to Masonic membership. Angered by the rejection, Morgan announced that he was going to publish an exposé titled Illustrations of Masonry, critical of the Freemasons and describing their secret degree ceremonies in detail; when his intentions became known to the Batavia lodge, an attempt was made to burn down the business of the printer who planned to publish Morgan's book. In September 1826, Morgan was arrested on flimsy allegations of failing to repay a loan and theft of a shirt and tie in an effort to prevent publication of his book by keeping him in jail.
The individual who intended to publish Morgan's book paid his bail and he was released from custody. Shortly afterwards, Morgan disappeared; some skeptics argued that Morgan had left the Batavia area on his own, either because he had been paid not to publish his book, or to escape Masonic retaliation for attempting to publish the book, or to generate publicity that would boost the book's sales. The believed version of events was that Masons killed Morgan by drowning him in the Niagara River. Whether he fled or was murdered, Morgan's disappearance led many to believe that Freemasonry was in conflict with good citizenship; because judges, businessmen and politicians were Masons, ordinary citizens began to think of it as an elitist group. Moreover, many claimed that the lodges' secret oaths bound Masons to favor each other against outsiders in the courts and elsewhere; because some trials of alleged Morgan conspirators were mishandled and the Masons resisted further inquiries, many New Yorkers concluded that Masons controlled key offices and used their official authority to promote the goals of the fraternity by ensuring that Morgan's supposed killers escaped punishment.
When a member sought to reveal its secrets, so ran the conclusion, the Freemasons had done away with him. Because they controlled the courts and other offices, they were capable of obstructing the investigation. True Americans, they said, had to defeat this conspiracy. If good government was to be restored "all Masons must be purged from public office"; the Anti-Masonic Party was formed in Upst