Volume 11 Issue 7 No. 89 November 2015
Contents Cover Story, Freemasonry and the Anglo-Boer War The Tyler of 651 Famous Freemason – Dr. Edward William Pritchard Secret Society of Happy People The Operative Lodge of Dumfries No. 140 Rays of Masonry Rituals do not Constitute Masonry Old Tiler Talks Did You Know? Harmony and Strength The Masonic Dictionary Main Website – Freemasonry and War
In this issue: Page 2, ‘Freemasonry and the Anglo-Boer War’ This is an excellent article about Freemasonry in South Africa during the Anglo-Boer War.
Page 7, ‘The Tyler of 651.’ A Poem of the Anglo-Boer War.
Page 9, ‘Dr. Edward William Pritchard.’ A Famous Freemason.
Page 14, ‘Secret Society of Happy People.’ Fraternal Societies throughout the World.
Page 15, ‘The Operative Lodge of Dumfries No. 140.’ A History of one of our Old Scottish Lodges.
Page 19, ‘Rays of Masonry.’ “Marked Men”, our Regular feature.
Page 20, ‘Rituals do not constitute Masonry’ A means towards an end?
Page 21, ‘The Old Tiler Talks.’ “Could Be”, the Forty-sixth in the series from Carl Claudy.
Page 23, ‘Did You Know?’ One point or two points exposed, why is this?
Page 24, ‘Harmony and Strength.’ An article from 1857, which still applies today.
Page 28 ‘Was Freemasonry Dechristianised? The thoughts of Bro. Rabbi Raymond Apple.
Page 30‘ The Masonic Dictionary.’ Word.
In the Lectures website The article for this month is ‘Freemasonry and War.’[link] The front cover artwork is of the Anglo-Boer War Memorial in Johannesburg, South Africa, sourced by the editor.
Freemasonry and the Anglo-Boer War
Towards the end of September 1899, when war seemed inevitable, Charles Aburrow, Deputy District Grand Master of the Transvaal, sent out a circular to all lodges urging them to close. ‘Owing to the lamentable circumstances under which this State is at present’ it directed, ‘all lodges in the District are placed in recess’ Not long after, on 11th October 1899, came the fateful day when President Paul Kruger sent a telegram to all his local leaders through-out the Republic stating simply ‘Oorlog!’ (‘War!’). This was after the British Government had ignored the ultimatum of the Transvaal Republic demanding the withdrawal of British troops from its borders. Despite the circular, those Masons who were still in Johannesburg tried to meet informally as often as possible, simply to keep in touch. On one occasion they even signed the Doornfontein Lodge Attendance Register. Many Masons belonged to the schul and had formed a Jewish Ambulance Brigade because they didn’t want to fight on one side or the other as everyone had friends and family on both sides. So they came together once a week to learn First Aid. Many of them met for lunch at the Rand Club from time to time. The boys of El Dorado Lodge in Zeerust in the Western Transvaal reacted; ‘Three brethren, Frost, Whiley, and Markson Jnr at once visited the lodge
room and with a small hatchet destroyed whatever furniture they thought necessary. They packed up the charter, regalia, books and other documents and placed them with the National Bank at Zeerust for safekeeping. The Masonic Emblems were buried by Markson in his garden, so that they could be dug up again when the lodge revived after the war. Bro de Beer, the landdrost, took charge of the parcel of regalia. The lodge building itself was cleared and used as a hospital for the sick and wounded’. Many other country lodges did the same sort of thing. Many brethren were more interested in the general strategic picture. They could not fathom why the Boers attacked on two fronts; they felt that it would have been more sensible to keep their forces together. Others were surprised that they attacked at all; they thought the Boers should have just sat tight and waited for the Brits to come to them. The Siege of Ladysmith was most memorable from the point of view of the Masons, and shows how the spirit of Masonry can keep going even in the most adverse circumstances. A few days before war was declared, the District Grand Lodge of Natal had its usual half-yearly meeting in Ladysmith and the District Grand Master, Right Worshipful Bro Wesley Francis, laid the foundation-stone of a new Masonic Hall ‘in proper form’. The regular meeting of Biggarsberg Lodge Unity, which was formed in a tiny village set in a range of hills near Ladysmith, was apparently not held on October 19th because ‘the enemy’ was so close. Back in Ladysmith, where the sick and the 2
wounded began to arrive after the action at Dundee , the Junior Warden of the Klip River County Lodge which was domiciled in Ladysmith, Bro Lieut. AC McLachlan, and his brethren discussed what should be done with Masonic records and so forth. Most of these were buried and the warrant entrusted to Bro McLachlan for safekeeping. In honour of the Grand Master HRH Prince Edward’s birthday, it was decided to hold a meeting. The various attendance, accounting and minute books were dug up, the warrant retrieved from Bro McLachlan and on Monday 20th November 1899 the first Lodge meeting of the siege was convened. Five days later, a meeting of the Ladysmith Lodge of Mark Master Masons was held, and, nine days later an emergency Craft meeting was held at the Royal Hotel, because the Lodge premises had been commandeered by the military.
The Lodge in Mafeking continued to hold their regular lodge meetings throughout the siege. Although he was not a Mason, Baden Powell encouraged the brethren to meet. Johannesburg changed within the first days of the war. Shops such as Hart and Hennochsberg, a favourite store, had locked their doors and boarded up the windows. Both Hart and Hennochsberg were lodge brothers and friends. Some Masons like Solomon Hershfield worked for the Transvaal, and he in a sense was a Boer. He remained for a while. Winston Churchill, who became a Mason after the War, was captured near Chievely on the 15th November by a member of the 3
Boksburg Commando, Oosthuizen.
A colonel in a Canadian Regiment was part of Methuen’s force stuck on the banks of the Modder River in December 1899. One Sunday morning he went for a stroll along the river and drifted too far from camp. Suddenly he found himself looking down the barrel of a rifle at the other end of which was a shaggy looking fellow with a slouch hat and the clearest, steady blue eyes. He got such a fright that he yelled out ‘Don’t shoot!’ and at the same time instinctively threw up his hands in a Masonic salute. The Boer immediately dropped his weapon and hurried across to the colonel, informing him that he was a member of Broederband Lodge in Pretoria and was on General Cronje’s staff. He gave the colonel a coin as a souvenir and implored him to return to his lines. ‘They parted as brothers, both richer for the experience’. Many examples exist of fraternal links across enemy lines. One sergeant found himself out side a Boer farm house. He asked the farmer to give or sell him something to eat. The latter demurred. He then caught sight of a Masonic trinket on the old Boer’s watch chain, and determined to ‘try’ him, gave some proper Masonic signs which the farmer returned in regular order. He was then invited inside and given what he described as ‘the best square meal’ he had had since he left Sydney. George Kendal tells another remarkable story of a British soldier who was on horseback patrol. He had his ritual propped up on his saddle and was learning one of the degrees. Suddenly he was jolted back to reality by a Boer who covered him with a rifle and ordered him to dismount. On
noticing the ritual, the Boer said that he, too, was a Mason and offered to test whether he knew the ritual. They sat down together and rehearsed the ceremony; and, if ever there was a perfect example of fraternal amity between Boer and Briton, this must certainly have been it. Rhodes was in Kimberley during the siege. The last lodge meeting was held in October. Adams, the local secretary of ARS Quatour Coronati (the top Masonic Research Lodge based in London) had his office open during the whole of the siege. Rhodes was still working on his dream of The United States of South Africa. He was satisfied at the British progress in the war but sad that it was necessary. He hoped that Reitz could see the bigger picture and avoid this stupid war. He knew him quite well: he had lived with him for a week or so when Reitz opened the railway to Bloemfontein as President of the Orange Free State. Reitz was of course a Freemason - he and Rhodes spoke about that a lot. Rhodes knew that Sir Johannes Brand, a previous President of the Orange Free State, had been enamoured with the Idea at the end of his life. When Winston Churchill escaped from captivity in the Staats Model School in Pretoria, he eventually and very fortunately met up in Witbank with John Howard, manager of the Transvaal and Delagoa Bay Colliery. Howard was an Englishman, a Freemason who worked for a German mine owner who was pro-British. He had a number of Englishmen working for him, and was prepared to shelter Churchill Howard had not been idle and had enlisted the help of Charles Burnham, a local shopkeeper and shipping clerk who was sending a consignment of wool to
LourenĂ§o Marques in Mozambique, the closest port. He rearranged the bales to form a little cave, his mother provided food, they tucked Churchill in and sent him off with a clanking rattle. Burnham accompanied the train to make sure that the consignment was not shunted off the main line and forgotten about. He had to bribe and threaten but eventually got his passenger across the border at the village of Ressano Garcia. Churchill threw off the tarpaulin and crowed and sang his heart out to the heavens, even firing off his revolver in pure joy. General Buller eventually was replaced as General Officer Commanding South Africa, mainly due to his inability to break through the Boer lines and relieve Ladysmith. Lord Roberts was his replacement. Earl Kitchener joined him as his chief-of-staff. The latter two were good friends, probably due to the fact that they were both Freemasons, and very senior ones at that. The British now had four Masonic Generals (the other two being Lt General Sir Charles Warren and Major General Sir Leslie Rundle) and three of them were Past Grand Wardens. You canâ€™t get higher than that. Both Warren and Rundle had been associated with South Africa for a number of years and both had regularly attended local lodges - Warren visited Rising Star Lodge in Bloemfontein as a guest of President Brand on his way back from the Holy Land where he had been excavating various archaeological sites, and Rundle was initiated into Transvaal Lodge in Pretoria in 1880: he was only 24 at the time and a lieutenant. He quite often attended Southern Cross Lodge in Harrismith. 4
The Master of Rising Star Lodge in Bloemfontein during the war was a most remarkable fellow, Ivan Haarburger. When war broke out in October many of the brethren wanted to close down the lodge but Haarburger would not hear of it. Not only was his lodge going to continue meeting but he believed it had a part to play in the war that was coming. Haarburger and his brethren threw themselves into alleviating distress and were able to give relief to the suffering on both sides, as was extensively reported in the Masonic journals. After Roberts entered Bloemfontein, British officer Masons were invited to attend the lodge meetings. A most interesting, important and instructive meeting of The Rising Star Lodge, held on St George’s Day, 23rd April 1900, was attended by 29 members and 47 visitors, mostly military brethren from all parts of the British Empire. The official record of this meeting reads: ‘To the right of the WM sat RW Bro Lord Kitchener, DGM for Egypt and the Soudan (sic), VW Bro Lord Castletown, Grand Secretary for Ireland, and other distinguished Masters and Past Masters’. In fact there were representatives from every continent. RW Bro Lord Roberts, Past Grand Warden, wrote expressing regret that owing to indisposition, he was unable to be present. There was some confusion about this meeting, understandable in a time of conflict and poor communication. ‘The Masonic Illustrated’ of London reported that it was a ‘Scratch’ meeting, one thrown together on an ad-hoc basis, and that Arthur Conan Doyle and Rudyard Kipling (both Masons) were there. Their presence was denied by the lodge, as was the suggestion that this was an ad hoc 5
occasion. To them it was important for the world to know that here was a lodge which met through thick and thin, come what may. A remarkable feature of the meeting was that not one member of the lodge had fought for the British. On the contrary, three had fought against them. Haarburger must rank up there as one of the great Freemasons of this country, perhaps of the world. His hard work and charismatic leadership were recognised by his promotion to Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies in the Grand Lodge of England (a high rank). On vacating the chair after three years the lodge presented him with an illuminated address. On 24th April 1900 Begbie’s Ironworks in Johannesburg experienced a tremendous explosion, which destroyed most of the factory. As it produced arms and ammunition, its destruction was a serious blow to the ZAR government. In consequence the remaining English ‘Uitlanders’ were expelled. Thomas Begbie, co-owner with his father of the business, was a member of The Corona Lodge. The father, William Begbie, was charged with sabotage in the Republican courts. The case was dismissed for lack of evidence but the Begbies were forced to leave the Transvaal. The first ‘Initiate’ in Doornfontein Lodge in Johannesburg was a young prosecutor Frederick Edward Trugott (Fritz) Krause. By now he had been promoted to ‘Special Commandant’ for Johannesburg. He was a sort of Governor, representing Paul Kruger in Johannes burg. He was also the Treasurer of the lodge and he was a very fine one at that.
Towards the end of May 1900 the British army was knocking on the door of Johannesburg. They were already in Germiston, camping at the Germiston Lake, some 8 000 of them. Everyone was panicking; many of the Uitlanders, particularly the English, were being banned - some of them were his lodge brethren. Fritz Krause must have known about it or even been called upon to execute painful instructions. He became a hero for refusing to blow up the mines, even though he had to over-power and arrest Judge Antonie Kock to prevent this happening. Krause was invited to ride to Germiston Lake and discuss the surrender of Johannesburg with Lord Roberts. When Roberts became aware that Krause was also a Mason, discussions became very friendly and productive. After a considerable time Krause headed back to Johannesburg with a signed armistice agreement in his saddle bag. The agreement was that Roberts would hold back for 24 hours then march into Johannesburg. In that time Krause would get the Boer Commando out of the Fort and on their way somewhere else. Then Roberts would march into town and receive the surrender of the town. One would have thought that everyone would have been happy but it was just the opposite. The Boers called Krause a ‘Verraaier’ (traitor). Whitehall thought it was the biggest mistake Roberts had made in his whole career. By letting the Boers escape to regroup with their armaments and all the gold mined in the previous month, the war carried on for a further two years instead of ending within a month or two.
Two lodges in Johannesburg decided to keep their light shining throughout the war. One was the youngest Scottish lodge in their district, Lodge Zion. The other was an Irish lodge Abercorn No. 159, which eventually emerged, sadly reduced in strength, to resume labour on 20th December 1901. Those Boer prisoners-of-war who were Masons and who were sent to Saint Helena, were fortunate that there were two lodges there. One prisoner-of- war wrote; ‘Existence here is exceedingly dull, and a few of us are indebted to the local lodges for being enabled to spend a few pleasant evenings in town at lodge meetings. There are two lodges in St Helena, viz St Helena Lodge, no 488 and the Old Rock Lodge, no 912 (both working under the English Constitution) of which Bro G. Finch and Bro W, Harrison are the WMs (Worshipful Masters) for the present year, and whatever our political differences are we have no reason to complain of our fellow Craftsmen in St Helena, who have most generously extended to many of us the right hand of fellowship and welcome. A few of us have been allowed parole, through the courtesy of Bro Lieut-Col A L Paget, our esteemed Camp-Commandant, to accept invitations to attend lodge meetings, and there our welcome has been all that could be desired. We meet on a common base—English officers, rank and file soldiers, St Helena merchants, and prisoners of war, fraternising in such a fashion as to make it difficult to realise that we have been, and to some extent remain, so far apart in our secular relationship in the world beyond the lodge room: and when release does come, our recollections of Masonic ties in St Helena 6
will be carried from this island, and will have a better influence in healing the sore places than all the sophistry of Statesmen and legislators’. Eventually, after much wrangling by the Boer representatives at the Peace of Vereeniging negotiation site, it was agreed to accede to the British Government’s peace proposals and in consequence the Peace accord was signed at Melrose House, Pretoria, on 31st May 1902. The Anglo-Boer War was over. What is so remarkable is the mutually supportive and friendly relations that Masons had, and continue to have, towards each other. The Masonic ideals and ethos were so thoroughly instilled in each Mason’s consciousness that no other consideration took precedence, be it of race, language, enemy action, religion, social standing or any other factor that normally divides people. No doubt this extremely influential fraternal association was instrumental in forging lasting ties between the erstwhile foes, resulting in South Africa being a fully independent and prosperous country within eight years of the cessation of hostilities. It also helps to explain how Jan Smuts the Boer General became a British Field Marshal in later years, and how a young Boer like Deneys Reitz refused to accept the authority of the Crown in 1902, and yet by 1916 was a Colonel in the British Army in France! An adaptation of the talk given by Rodney Grosskopff on 7 April 2012. Boksburg and East Rand Historical Association. www.boksburghistorical.com
The Tyler of 651 A story of the South African War 1899-1902
It happened in days now happily fled, When Briton and Boer their forces led In War’s red ranks, with bayonet and ball – For both had obeyed their country’s call. In a deep defile at dead of night The British were roused to desperate fight Down on the camp, like splattering hail, Fell the shots of the Boers! Thro’ the darkened vale Flashed the flame of the guns and venomous shell; And Answering voices roared: “Fight like hell!” All thro’ the night, thro’ the long dark hours, They held their post: till the golden showers Of heaven’s own beams, in the glad new day, Kissed the face of the dead, and the living – at bay! The Commandant stood on the ridges’ height And looked below on the wreck of the night; On the wreck strewn over the mountain gap, The wreck of a column caught in a trap; On the dead and the dying – the pitiful waste! – On the men who had lost, and were not disgraced. Calling the orderly: “Go!” he said, “Give the truce the ask to bury the dead “And surrender their arms – they’re a handful now! “Tis the fortune of war! And the proud must bow.” Swiftly encircling the captured post
The Boers swept down, a ragged host; Tattered and bootless! Long-bearded chins! A wild-looking lot! Some clothed in skins! Reckless of Life! Yet selling it dear! With saddle and rifle and bandolier, The hard-footed pony their one sure friend They raided the country end to end: Slipping the lines and fighting their way To Botha, de Wet, and de la Rey; Living at large on their powerful foes – How they got through it God only knows! They lined up the prisoners of the raid – “Hands up!” the Commandant sullenly said. He rode down the line, and something there Startled his glance to a searching stare At a form, erect in that little band, Squared, as to them that understand! Charlie,1 a trooper, in absent mood, Thinking perhaps, in the babel around, Of his comrades, there on the bloody ground – Had put up his hands as he learned to do, When ordered to work and prove it true, Passing and hailing the setting sun And High Twelve tolled in 651! – “Fall out!” He obeyed, wondering why That searching look in the Commandant’s eye: The Grief and Distress in the flashing glance Of the rough and bearded countenance. “You have left your old Mother at home, I know; “Give her my love” he whispered low, “And tell her from me, when the war is done, “That the burgher remembered the widow’s son” Collecting the booty with laugh and jest,
Bro. H.C. Dettmer, Nesbitt’s Horse: obit, No. 651 SC, Grahamstown, South Africa.
Leaving Charlie alone, they despoiled2 the rest – By that dire law Necessity knows, Demanding the rooineks3 boots and clothes. Then saddling up, with a surly cheer, And a curt “Pas op! goeie dag, meneer!”4 They swept to the hill, that resolute band, The last vain hope of their native land. And the naked troopers – a ghostly sight, To the sentries guarding the lines that night Crawled into the camp, and told of the shrift The column had met in that fatal drift.5 The war dragged on. With peace once more, Charlie returned to tile the door For his dear old Mother, to many a guest, Till Night came on! And they laid him to rest. The Commandant? Ah, yes. He fell at last, In the Orange Free State: and bravely passed To the land of the Shades! On the Level still, He sleeps in the breast of the quiet hill Where he fought his last fight: and the sunlight there, Fringing the grave with a golden Square, Tells: “Whether the fight be lost or won, “The one thing that matters is duty done!” This poem was extracted from the book, “The Tyler of 651 – Tales and songs of the Tracing Board – A Book of Masonic Verse by Bro. John Cargill Rae. – Pub., 1935.
In the closing stages of the war it was the practice of the Boers to despoil prisoners in this way, as their means of supply were entirely cut off. – History of the Anglo-Boer War. This incident is based on fact related to the author by Bro. Dettmer and his comrades on their return to Grahamstown from the war. 3 Lit. “red neck” – Boer appellation for the British. 4 “Look out! Good Day, Sir!” 5 Precipitous passage, or ford, over a river,
Famous Freemasons Dr. Edward William Pritchard
As he prepared to bury his wife, the mother of his five children, Dr Edward William Pritchard, aged 40, was inconsolable. He was so upset by the loss, he asked for the coffin lid to be removed one last time. In a remarkable public show of affection and undying devotion, he leaned forward and wept as he kissed the lips of his beloved wife Mary Jane, aged 38. She had died on March 19, 1865, just three weeks after her mother Jane Taylor, aged 70 had also passed away. It had been a distressing few weeks for the grief-stricken doctor. And although those past weeks had been traumatic for Dr. Pritchard, that was nothing to what awaited him, for, by the end of July, he too, would be dead. Convicted of the murders of both women, and dispatched to the gallows. Most people have a particular fascination with murder, not your everyday common old garden murder, spur of the moment 9
thing, like, I’m sorry your Honour, I came home unexpectedly and caught her in bed with my best friend, and the shotgun just happened to be lying nearby. No, I mean premeditated murders, the ones with careful planning, thought out to the very last detail so that the person committing the crime, expects to get away with it. And of all those people who carry out this type of execution, the so-called perfect murder, there is one who rules supreme in this category of assassination who has always captivated the public, the Poisoner! And one such person was Dr. Edward William Pritchard, who became known as ‘the human crocodile’ because of the crocodile tears he cried over his wife as she lay in her coffin. However, I should tell you that Dr. Pritchard has two infamous claims to fame among his peers, firstly, he was the last man to be publicly executed in Scotland and the second which should be of interest to those reading this, he was a Freemason of some prominence. It had been a trying day for Dr Pritchard. He had paid his last respects to his wife as she lay in her coffin in her father's house in Edinburgh, and had made the final funeral arrangements before returning to Glasgow by train. But as he stepped off the carriage at Queen Street Station, he was stunned when he was approached by a detective superintendent on the platform. He was read his rights and arrested with the murders of his wife and mother-in-law. It was the beginning of the end for the dapper doctor despite protesting his innocence, and thanks to forensic evidence which was to reveal huge quantities of poison in his victims, the Human Crocodile was cornered, and his appointment with death was just weeks away.
Pritchard would later blame a "terrible madness" for his actions, but his clandestine affair with a teenage servant may have gone along way to explaining his motives. However, his background reveals little into how he developed into a killer who would have such an impact on the country, that 100,000 Scots would gather in Glasgow city centre at 7.30 am one summer morning to watch him hang. Dr. Edward William Pritchard was born into a naval family in Hampshire in 1825, Pritchard was apprenticed to surgeons in Portsmouth at 15, and undertook hospital studies in London before joining the Navy. Home on leave, in 1850 in Portsmouth, he met Mary Jane Taylor, the daughter of an Edinburgh silk merchant, who was staying in town with her uncle, a retired naval surgeon. They fell in love and Pritchard won the approval of the girl's family and they married. Pritchard quit the Navy and set up a small medical practice in a village in Yorkshire. Pritchard built up a very successful medical practice, and soon opened a second surgery in the nearby coastal town of Filey to treat the wealthy patients who travelled there to the spa resort. Life on the Yorkshire coast during this period was going well for Dr. William Edward Pritchard, a wife and four children, respected in the local community, he was the author of several books on his travels, a knowledgeable and sought after lecturer and had a number of medical articles published in the Lancet magazine. He became a very prominent Freemason becoming the Master of the Royal Lodge in Scarborough in 1857 and the Master of the Old Globe Lodge in 1858 and again in 1859, Pritchard was a Victorian success story. However, all was not what it seemed
for the good Doctor, and a scandal soon surfaced amongst the population of the sleepy village of Hunmanby. William Pritchard is described in contemporary reports as standing 6 foot tall, had enormous whiskers and was always well dressed and groomed, he considered himself to be both highly intelligent and handsome, he loved to be the centre of attention at any social gathering, and he thought himself quite something of a ladies man. For he was in the habit of slipping his calling card to female patients, whether they were interested in him or not, and became something of a pest with his inappropriate behaviour to the opposite sex. One of these amorous advances backfired on him, a lady reported Pritchardâ€™s proposition to her husband who threatened to ruin the Doctor. Pritchard in order to avoid any humiliation, sold the practice and quickly left the area under a cloud. Later one of his many detractors, said of his time in the village: "He spoke the truth only by accident." His in-laws knew nothing of his problems in Yorkshire and regarded him as the perfect son-in-law, and idolised him, so when the Pritchard family decided to move north, they stayed with Mary Jane's folks in Edinburgh before their new property in Glasgow was prepared. Once settled into Glasgow, he set up a General Practice and began to reinvent himself by joining several local societies. He gave public lectures on his travels with the navy and his supposed close friendship with Garibaldi. He attempted to ingratiate himself with the medical society, and when he applied to join the Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons he could not find anyone who would sponsor him, the Scottish 10
Medical profession did not like or trust Pritchard, and regarded him with suspicion, more so when they found out he had purchased a diploma of Doctor of Medicine from a University in Germany without even attending. Still this did not put off Dr. Pritchard, and in order to improve his standing within the local community, he joined numerous organisations, he became a member of the prestigious Glasgow Athenaeum, and attracted public attention by giving a series of lectures of various popular subjects, and once told a stunned audience, "I have plucked eaglets from their eyries in the deserts of Arabia and hunted the Nubian lion on the prairies of North America." It was also during this time, he became involved with the local Freemasons, and charmed himself into favour with them, and joined Lodge St. Mark No. 102 within 8 months of arriving in Glasgow, and was elected Master of the Lodge the following year, 1862. He became a member then first Principal of the Glasgow Royal Arch Chapter, a Knight Templar in the Glasgow Priory and joined the Royal Order of Scotland at Edinburgh, all within December 1861. A report states that, â€œHis fine appearance and insinuating manners are said for a short period to have won him a high place in the estimation of his Masonic brethren, but it was soon discovered that his enthusiasm and zeal proceeded solely from interested motives, and as such were, of course, fundamentally opposed to the principles of Freemasonry. He also made an effort to ingratiate himself in social circles with fanciful tales that his brother was the Governor General of Ceylon, and that he was a close personal friend of the great Italian liberator Garibaldi. He even had a walking cane 11
with the inscription: 'Presented by Gen. Garibaldi to Edward William Pritchard'. However, within two years Pritchard would begin a chain of events which rapidly overtook him, gave him the notoriety he strived for, and ended with him on trial for murder. In May 1863 a fire took place at his house, where a young servant girl lost her life. In the course of the investigation, Pritchard was questioned and a post-mortem examination of the body found nothing suspicious to have occurred. Although no further action was taken, circumstances surrounding the fire and the death, were treated as being strange, especially when it was discovered that Pritchardâ€™s wife and her maid were both away from the house that night, and why a young healthy girl could not have made her escape from the room. Still, the authorities were satisfied, nothing could be proved either way, and the death was recorded as accidental, even though there were rumours of her being pregnant to the doctor, had he got away with murder? After the blaze, the family moved to a nearby house at 22 Royal Crescent, on Sauchiehall Street, a very prestigious area then, and a new, pretty servant, Mary McLeod, 15, from Islay, was hired. It wasn't long before the lustful doctor set his eyes on Mary, and managed to charm and seduce her within two months. At this period there were again rumours and suggestions that the Doctor was over familiar with lady patients, and that he was in financial difficulties, so much so that his mother-in-law paid the deposit on the new house, and the rest was raised on a loan. There was also an overdraft. Later that year, 1864, Mary McLeod the pretty servant dropped a bombshell, she was
pregnant, Pritchard persuaded her into having an abortion which he performed, by telling her that if Mrs. Pritchard were not alive, he would marry her. This is when events began to speed up. It was shortly after this, his wife Mary Jane fell ill and was constantly sick. Pritchard diagnosed gastric fever. But records also showed that he had been buying large amounts of tartarised antimony and tincture of aconite, both deadly poisons. Mary Jane recovered slightly and went to her mother’s in Edinburgh to convalesce for a month, and when she came home for Christmas Mrs. Pritchard was in excellent health, this continued for the next two weeks when the symptoms she had previously suffered suddenly re-appeared, but this time with greater intensity. The sickness became more persistent, usually after meals, and in particular after taking liquid food. She was unable to do downstairs, so her meals were taken up or sent to her room by her husband. The sickness got worse and Mary Jane demanded another doctor be called. This time she was seen by her brother's old university classmate Dr Gardiner, Professor of Medicine at Glasgow University. He thought she was drunk and hysterical and put her on a course of bread, milk and boiled eggs. Word was sent to Mrs. Taylor in Edinburgh to come to Glasgow to nurse her daughter, and on the 10th of February moved into the house, a house she was never destined to leave again, for the day before she came, her son-in-law again bought an ounce of tincture of aconite, his fourth purchase of a similar quantity of that poison within less than three months.
The elderly lady had a health problem too. A serious one. She took medication for aches and pains. But she had developed a dependency on her favoured tipple, Battley's Sedative Solution - opium. She worked her way through a three month supply in just two weeks. And as Mary Jane’s sickness continued, Mrs Taylor's health also began to deteriorate. Pritchard asked another local resident, Dr Paterson, for his opinion. He concluded she was under the influence of opium. He was unaware that evil Pritchard had been slowly administering large amounts to both women, and just hours after his visit, Mrs Taylor died on February 25. Pritchard signed the death certificate himself paralysis and apoplexy - and attended the funeral at the Grange Cemetery in Edinburgh. In her will she left two thirds of her £2500 estate to Mary Jane and the rest to her son. Soon after his Mother-in-laws death, Mary Jane's health went downhill quickly and she began hallucinating and it was Dr Paterson who treated her, but on March 19, Mary Jane also died. Pritchard signed the death certificate - gastric fever. Quickly arrangements were then made to bury her with her mother in Edinburgh, but before the funeral could take place, the Procurator Fiscal received an anonymous letter urging a probe into the suspicious deaths of the two women. Resulting in Pritchard’s arrest as he stepped of the train. After his arrest, the Taylor family refused to think badly of the doctor and supported him, but on March 28, after Mrs Taylor's body was exhumed and tests were carried out on both her and her daughter's remains, experts found massive amounts of antimony. Pritchard was charged with the 12
murders of his wife and Mother-in-law. The murders and subsequent trial created huge interest in the papers of the day, no one thought a doctor could be guilty of such evil deeds.
High Court now stands. His hangman was to be the legendary William Calcraft, known as the executioner extraordinaire. The previous year he had carried out a multiple hanging of five pirates in public.
One newspaper reported: "No one who saw the intelligent, thoughtful and mild-looking individual seated in the dock on the first morning, could be prepared for anything like the consummate villainy and diabolic cruelty which each day brought to light ... the whole murderous plot."
The Glasgow crowd cheered and hissed his arrival as Pritchard moved towards him wearing a dark suit and shiny black shoes. A prayer was said. The rope placed around the neck. A cap over his face. At 8.10 am, the bolt was drawn and Pritchard was launched into eternity. There were no tears for The Human Crocodile as he suffered, his body convulsing a dozen times.
Pritchard tried every trick to try and escape death. He even made his 14-year-old daughter and son, aged 11, give evidence and tell the court how much their father loved their mother. Tears trickled own his cheeks as they stood in the witness box. But evidence of his affair with young Mary ripped his credibility to shreds - not to mention the poison in the dead bodies. The jury took just one hour to find him guilty and Lord Inglis passed the death sentence. Huge crowds gathered outside the court as he was taken away and Pritchard theatrically bowed to them.
Pritchard was buried in the South Prison's 'Murderers' Graveyard' where the plots were only identified by the initials of the dead. Many years later, when the High Court had been built, workmen found a pair of shoes under a stone marked 'EWP'. These were Pritchard's perfectly preserved patent shoes which he had worn to the scaffold. One of the workmen took the shoes and sold them in a nearby pub.
He had just 21 days left to live. During that time - just like many condemned men - he found God, read the Bible and said regular prayers. He made various confessions too even implicating young Mary at one point. He eventually cleared her name and shouldered the entire blame saying: "The sentence is just. I am guilty of the deaths of my mother-in-law and wife. I can assign no motive beyond terrible madness. I alone not Mary McLeod - poisoned my wife."
This then was Scotland. In Commission executions in out in prison.
And so, on July 28, 1865, Pritchard was taken to the gallows at Jail Square beside Glasgow Green facing Nelson's Column close to the old South Prison, where the
Sourced from various Internet sites part of which formed a short talk given by the editor in May 2014.
the last public execution in the wake of a Royal report, from 1868, all Great Britain were carried
Such is the story of Dr. Edward William Pritchard, murderer, the last man to be publicly executed in Scotland, who also just happened to be a Freemason!
Fraternal Societies Of the World ‘Secret Society of Happy People’
Secret Society of Happy People (SOHP) is an organization that celebrates the expression of happiness. Founded in August 1998, the society encourages thousands members from all around the globe to recognize their happy moments and think about happiness in their daily life. The Secret Society of Happy People supports people who want to share their happiness despite the ones who don’t want to hear happy news. Their mottos include “Happiness Happens” and “Don’t Even Think of Raining on My Parade”. The main purpose of the Society is to stimulate people’s right to express their happiness “as loud as they want”. The Society was founded in August 1998 in Irving, Texas, by Pamela Gail Johnson.
In December 1998, it gained international reception, when it challenged advice columnist Ann Landers for discouraging people from writing happy holiday newsletters enclosed with their holiday cards. In a letter to Landers, Johnson demanded an apology “to the millions of people you made feel bad for wanting to share their happy news.” The Society’s campaign persuaded Landers to change her advice on holiday letters `` one of the rare occasions the columnist had a change of heart. Within the next few years the Society grew bigger being supported by thousands of fans from more than 34 countries. Pamela Gail Johnson founded the Secret Society of Happy People with the main idea of creating a “safe place” where people can share their happy moments, without being discouraged by the parade rainers. Since 1998 she has been managing the Society by writing posts, writing the newsletter, updating social media information and answering fan’s questions on her blog Ask Pamela Gail: Where Happiness Meets Reality. Each blog post is formed as an answer to the member’s questions submitted through the website. The purpose is to give people advice for handling their unhappy moments and learning the lesson out of each and every one of them. The column is posted weekly. Pamela is also the author of The Secret Society of Happy People’s Thirty-One Types of Happiness Guide released in November 2012 and Don’t Even Think of Raining on My Parade: Adventures of the Secret Society of Happy People. Happiness Happens Day. In 1999 the Society declared August 8 as Admit You're Happy Day (now Happiness Happens 14
Day). The idea was inspired by the event that happened the previous year on the same date- the first member joined the Society. In 1998 the Society asked the governors in all 50 states for a proclamation. Nineteen of them sent proclamations. Happiness Happens Month. Celebration of happiness was expanded in 2000, and thanks to the support of not-so-secretlyhappy members from around the world, the Society declared August as Happiness Happens Month. The purpose of Happiness Happens Day and Month is to share happiness and encourage people to talk and think about happiness. HappyThon. Every year, the Society organizes an online social media event known as HappyThon, on Happiness Happens Day. The aim of this event is to send inspirational messages via social networks, emails or texts, share happy moments, philosophy, quotes, etc. HappyThon is the first online social media event that promotes happiness around the world. Since 1998 the Society have been organizing voting and announcing the Happiest Events and Moments of the Year. Before the end of the century, a vote for 100 of the Happiest Events, Inventions and Social Changes of the Century was organized too. In the third week of January the Society hosted Hunt for Happiness Week. They asked the current governors for proclamation, and got it by seven of them.
Yes, these secret societies really do exist! And as far as this one is concerned, I’d like to think I’m a fully paid up member of it! The Editor.
The Operative Lodge of Dumfries No. 140 An abridged History
Freemasonry was first represented in this district by Lodge Kilwinning, which was founded in 1575 and was granted its Charter in 1750. A Journeyman’s Lodge was formed in Dumfries and received its Charter in 1754, just four years after “Ye Old Lodge” received its Charter but the distinctive Charter of the new Lodge was soon allowed to disappear by the admission of members who were not Journeyman or Tradesman and eventually many of the members joined other lodges. The Lodge was re-organised retaining their old number, but altering the title of the Lodge to Thistle Lodge, in the year 1775, some of the members of the Journeymen Lodge, with the addition of a number of other Brethren who were Operative as well as Speculative Masons, decided to petition the Grand Lodge in Scotland with the view of opening a new Lodge in Dumfries open only to those who could build and hew, under the title of ‘The Operative Lodge of Dumfries’. A handwritten postscript attached to the Charter states ‘Dated 5 Feb. 1776’. In 1835 the present numbers commenced, with Operative being changed from 138 to 140. It is unfortunate that the minutes of the first meeting of the Lodge are not extant. The first minute book has suffered from damp and is therefore in a very
dilapidated state. There is enough to show us that the members of that period conducted the Lodge business in a time honoured manner. The regulations dated 7th June 1776 are 19 in number and these were added to and confirmed by the Justices of the Peace again in 1810. The amendments to these regulations in 1810 are prefaced by these lines :Father of light and life! Thou God Supreme! Oh! Teach me what is good! Teach me thyself Save me from folly, vanity and vice, From every low pursuit; and feed my soul With knowledge, conscious peace, and virtue pure, Sacred, substantial, never fading bliss.
On 11th July 1777 “being assembled, they walked in procession from the Trades’ Hall to lay the foundation stone of the Dumfries Infirmary”. On St John’s Day, 27 December 1780 “went to church and heard sermon”. It was then resolved that from that date the election of Office Bearers should take place on St John’s Day instead of St Andrew’s Day and that resolution has been carried out, more or less, ever since. Burns's Mausoleum The Operatives were early at work on the morning of 5th June 1815 for men are informed that they were “called for six o’clock in the morning being the day that the stone of our worthy Brother’s (Robert Burns) Mausoleum to be laid”. The various Lodges on that day met each in there own Lodge Rooms and proceeded to the New Church where they were arranged in due form and proceeded to St Michael’s churchyard and the first stone was laid the R.W.P. Grand Master, William Miller, younger, of Dalswinton.
Grand Lodge Dues The Lodge would seem to have been in arrears with their dues to Grand Lodge in 1823 and it was evident that unless these were paid there was every chance of the Lodge being removed form the roll. These arrears were an accumulation for eleven or twelve years. The Brethren responded to the call, and three months later the P.G. Master intimated that a settlement had been obtained with the Grand Lodge and a clear discharge of any demands against the ‘Operative’ Lodge was given. The P.G. Master on this occasion was presented with the thanks of the Lodge for his obtaining the settlement. In his reply he “gave the Lodge suitable advice to remember the past embarrassment and study to see that their accounts were kept regular with Grand Lodge”. Carlisle Lodge Perhaps the most interesting part of the history of this Lodge was the formation of a branch in Carlisle and permission was obtained under Certificate of Sanction, by order of Geo. Blamire Esq., P.G.M. (Signed and Sealed) CHRIST. SPENCER, P.G.S. The first meeting under this dispensation was held on 28 January 1825 when several Freemasons “were admitted members of our Lodge, being Operative Masons and of good character, well recommended by a member of the Lodge” and on the meeting of the following day several other Masons were Initiated and after this “business was settled, it was suggested by the R.W.M., the propriety of establishing a branch of the Operative Lodge of Dumfries in Carlisle which meet with the approbation of all the members present and order given to take the necessary steps for carrying the same into effect”. 16
A month later it is recorded that the Lodge met (in Dumfries) to receive the authority of the P.G. Master for this step and a number of Carlisle Brethren were deputed to open and hold a Lodge according to the disposition granted. The branch, for a few years regularly sent a statement of the doings in that city and in the first year some 24 Entrants are recorded. The second year 10 Entrants being recorded and no further mention is made of the doings of the Branch, so we may presume that it either became defunct or was merged in some other Lodge. The very nature of the disposition was against the venture being more than tentative, but the Craftsmen of the period are to be commended on their effort to extend the usefulness of the Fraternity to their fellows over the Border. Dormant Lodge The ‘Operative’ Lodge continued in a fairly prosperous condition for several years, but the transactions of the Brethren are not on record for a period from 1834 to 1837 and again from 1837 to 1858, although from memorandum it would seem that a meeting was held in 1847 to elect Office Bearers. A Marginal note stated— Lodge Colours in 1848 Dark Blue and Light Blue. The Lodge having become dormant during these years, an application was made to Grand Lodge for permission to re-open it, and on St John’s Day 1858, the Brethren resumed labour and were convened for the purpose of electing Office Bearers and arrange for the carrying on of the work of Masonry. The continuity of the Lodge has been since maintained. The Brethren took an active part in the proceedings at Burns’ Centenary. On that day, the foundation stone of the Mechanics’ Hall was laid with Masonic Honours and while public dinners were 17
held, the Operatives met together and celebrated the anniversary with true Masonic ceremony. On 11 May 1866, the foundation stone of the New Greyfriars’ Church was laid by the Sub Grand Master, and a deputation from Grand Lodge of Scotland, in compliance with a request made by the Magistrates of Dumfries. Lodges from all areas were represented. The Operatives were again at duty on 30 July 1867, when they assisted the Provincial Grand Master to lay the foundation stone of a new church being erected in Penpont. In 1869 previous to the ceremony of laying the foundation stone of the Infirmary, the following request being made, which is of considerable interest as setting forth the claim of the Operatives to certain rights in connection with such functions. “The R.W.M. stated that he had been at a meeting of the P.G. Committee, when they asked him as a matter of courtesy if the Operative Lodge would oblige by allowing him to carry the silver trowel that was to be presented to the P.G.M. on the occasion of laying the foundation stone of the Infirmary, and that at all times henceforth the Operative Lodge should still hold their power to carry the tools and should not be asked again for such a favour. Minutes to that effect have been entered in their books, when, after consideration, it was agreed to grant the request”. This record, imperfect in some points perhaps, is one that the Operative Lodge may well be proud of. Times of trial and periods of depression there have been, but whether in prosperity or in the cold shade of dark days there has been the broad spirit of charity in the doings of the members. In a town like this, with the building trade fluctuating as
it does, there must always be a difficulty in obtaining members to a purely Operative Lodge. The advantages to be reaped are so many that it is a pity that all Operative Masons should not come under the banner of the Craft, as it would often be of the greatest service and assistance to them. So far as I can glean from scanning the lists of Lodges in England, Ireland and abroad, the name of ‘Operative’ is peculiar to Scottish Lodges. The Operative Lodge again officiated at the laying of the foundation stone of the new Post Office in Dumfries on 15 October 1887 and we again find them performing their particular duty at the laying of the foundation stone of the Masonic Hall in George Street on 23 November 1889, the hall was Consecrated on 28 November 1890 by the P.G.Master. American Move? On 12 March 1888 a meeting was called to enable a brother to be proposed, balloted and seconded and he was then initiated, passed to the second and raised to the third all at the same meeting. The reason for this being that the brother was due to leave for America on 15 March. However, later in our history we discover that the brother did not go to America and indeed was installed as R.W.M. in 1894. On 26 May 1894, ten Operative members carried the tools at the laying of the foundation stone of the new Public School in Annan. On 1 April 1895 the first ByLaws of the Lodge were formed which were approved by Grand Lodge on 30 April. The initiation fee being £2.2’s.0d (£2.10), Test fees were 4\- (20p) per year. The Lodge laid the foundation stone of Dumfries Academy on 21 September 1895
and on 11 July 1896 laid the foundation stone of the present Greyfriars Church. Other Trades 1st June 1904, a new law was passed to include operatives from sister building trades—Joiners, Slaters, Plumbers, Plasterers, Painters and Architects now eligible to join. On 10 February 1906 The Operative Brethren attended and carried tools at laying of stone at Castledykes to commemorate the taking of Dumfries Castle by Robert the Bruce in 1306. On 18 September 1912 the foundation stone at the County Buildings, English Street was laid by the Grand Master Mason. The trowel used by him was presented to Operative Lodge, which is still preserved in it’s case. On 28 October 1918 new By-Laws were submitted to and approved by Provincial Grand Lodge. The By-Laws admitted Glaziers, Heating Engineers, Lathers, Tile layers, Stone Planers, Electrical Engineers and Quarrymen. In 1925 the Lodge decided to purchase new Regalia for the Tri-Jubilee, which would take place the following year. They purchased 27 Dress Aprons for Office Bearers, Gauntlets for R.W.M. and Wardens with name of Lodge and Emblems of Office, 3 sash’s for R.W.M. and Wardens and 5 Cornucopia Jewels and Collarettes. The Tri-Jubilee (150 years) was celebrated with a banquet in the Imperial Restaurant to which there was a good turnout. Lodge 1289 On 11 January 1928 the R.W.M. intimated that one of our members had been installed as R.W.M. of Lodge 1289, Kirkmuirhill. 18
There is still a very strong relationship with Lodge 1289 today. In 1923 the Operative Lodge took part on the occasion of the first Guid Nychburris (Good Neighbours) Festival to be held in the town. The Operative members took part in a historical pageant depicting various historical events in the history of Dumfries. Robert Burns 200 Years In honour of the Burns Bi-centenary celebrations in June 1995, there was a Town Lodges Meeting held which was attended by Bro. The Grand Master Mason, Grand Lodge of Scotland, Provincial, and all the Town Lodges. The Robert Burns Bi-Centenary took place, with Masons from all over the world congregating on Dumfries to take part in a procession, which went through the streets of Dumfries. After the Procession which was led by theGrand Master Mason, and a large deputation from Grand Lodge, which culminated in the laying of wreaths at Burns Mausoleum, the Brethren, reported at numbering more than 600, assembled back at the Masonic Hall for Harmony, which was enjoyed by all. 225th Anniversary On Saturday 10th February 2001 we celebrated our 225th anniversary. this meeting was very well attended with 150 Brethren attending, including a large Deputation from the German lodges and a small deputation from Grand Lodge This History of The Operative Lodge of Dumfries No. 140 was sourced from the Lodge’s Website This can be viewed at http://www.theoperativelodge140.co.uk/ Our thanks go to the Lodge No .140 whom the editor and the newsletter acknowledge to be the copyright owners.
Rays of Masonry “Marked Men”
Not long ago there appeared an article in which the phrase "marked men" was used in connection with Masons and Masonry. The more you think about it the more you realize the significance of the words. The Mason is marked by the enemies of Masonry; he is marked by the non-Masons who are friends of Masonry, and he is marked by his brother Masons. The man who becomes a Mason immediately takes upon himself a greater obligation as a citizen, a husband, a father, and as a moral and upright person. He is accepted into Masonry only after he has voluntarily petitioned a lodge and has been carefully investigated as to his mental, moral and physical qualifications. He must have the capacity to love humanity and he must have the urge to grow morally and spiritually. The man must ever seek Masonry. Masonry is a great deal more interested in its strength through the strength of the individual than in numerical values. The Mason then is the recipient of the highest wisdom of the ages, and because of this truth more is expected of him. Privileges and opportunities create greater responsibilities. By the enemies of Masonry he is watched with eyes of hate, and even his best deeds and purest motives may be distorted to the extent that his enemies will discern that which is not there. By the friends of Masonry the Mason is also a "marked man." They want to see him live up to the ideals of Masonry. As
non-Masons they do not know about the school of Masonry, but they know about the product of the school- the Mason. They seek to support the Mason and Masonry in every laudable undertaking. But by the same token let the Mason fall short of his duties and obligations and his friends must direct criticism not only against him as an individual but against the Craft. Then among our brothers we are "marked men." We mark our brothers as men in whom we place implicit trust and confidence. We give strength to each other through that trust and confidence. When the world refers to Masons as "clannish," it must be recognized as half-truth. Men who are associated together for the purpose of moral and spiritual development must naturally seek to achieve that divine purpose through fellowship and association. Truly we are Marked Men.
Dewey Wollstein 1953
Freemasonry is not a religion, nor is it a substitute for religion. It has no theological doctrines, offers no sacraments and does not claim to lead to salvation. There is no ‘new’ expression of religion that a member must subscribe to, apart from admitting to a belief in a ‘Supreme Being’. A member’s concept of a ‘Supreme Being’ is undefined; it is left to the individual to preserve his own understanding according to his own religious traditions. - Six GLs of Australia and the GL of New Zealand, Freemasonry and Religion
RITUALS DO NOT CONSTITUTE MASONRY. "They are only a means towards an end, and that end the attaining of light. It might as well be said that the accolade was knighthood, baptism, Christianity. The rituals are merely the ceremonials of degrees, and the brother who, when he can say them off by heart, thinks that he has exhausted Masonry, labours under the most lamentable mistake. He has only crossed the threshold of Masonry. He must study the whole mysteries which lie metaphorically between the extended points of the compass, which, with all his perseverance, after a lifetime, he will not completely understand. The benefits to be derived from this study remain to be reaped in an afterlife. I have said the principles of Freemasonry, have been those of the wise of all ages, and I confess that, save as a ceremonial, and as a means of detecting imposters, I do not give the rituals that high place and profound reverence that many do. Were the rituals given to the world tomorrow, would the genuine secrets of Freemasonry be divulged? I should say not. I do not wish to be misunderstood in this matter. I have a great reverence for the rituals, and no one laments more than I do the slovenly manner in which the degrees are given in many Lodges; but what I say is, that you might as well call yourself a Christian 20
because you pay attention to the Church of England service without further study or acting up to the precepts of Christ, as call yourself a Mason because you can repeat the ritual, without studying and applying the principles. I argue, therefore, that the rituals are no argument either of the antiquity or modernness of Masonry. We will not be justified in saying that there was no Christianity in Britain before 1549 when the first book of common prayer was printed. Before that was the Missal; before the missal other books of prayer. Whether the present rituals are of two hundred or of two thousand years of existence is of little importance. The great question is, were the doctrines at present inculcated by Freemasonry known to the ancients? and the answer is at once given-they were. As times change, as do customs, and there would be little to cause surprise in the fact that the brethren at a certain period thought fit to alter their ceremonial." Anthony ONeal Haye 'National Freemason', Volume VIII, No. 21, 324, (New York, May 25th 1867). [extracted and transcribed by Bro. Kenneth C. Jack, Master, Lodge St. Andrew No. 814, Pitlochry; 1st Principal, Strathearn Royal Arch Chapter, No. 34, Crieff]
Could Be I am much disappointed, " announced the New Brother, sadly, sitting down beside the Old Tiler during refreshment. "Disappointed in what?" asked the wielder of the sword. "Why, Masonry in general, and this lodge in particular," answered the New Brother. "Neither are what I thought they were." "Thatâ€™s too bad," sympathized the Old Tiler. "Tell me about it." "My dad was a Mason. He told me how helpful Masonry was and how a lodge stood back of a fellow, and how one brother would go out of his way to help another, and if you were in trouble, a brother would help you out of it. I believed it. But I have been a member here now for some time and I have seen none of that."
"Been in trouble, son?" asked the Old Tiler. "I suppose everyone has some troubles." "Have you been in any real trouble, in which you could have been aided by the lodge had the lodge known of it?" "That isnâ€™t the question," answered the New Brother. ''No, I'll agree it isn't. So I will ask you the real question" said the Old Tiler, and his lips lost their smile. "How many brothers have you helped since you have been a member? How many shoulders have you slapped? How many men have you gone to and said, '.Jim, I know you are in trouble, count me in to help because we both belong to the same lodge?' " "Why, how you talk!" replied the New Brother. "I hardly know anyone in the lodge, yet. How would I know whether they were in trouble?" "The same way they would know if you were in trouble, of course!" answered the Old Tiler. "I am an old man and I have had a lot of trouble, most of which never happened. You complain that Masonry is a failure because you have not personally experienced its helping hand. You admit you haven't needed it. And you also admit you haven't held it out. Brotherhood means the relation between two brothers, not the relation of one brother to another and no comeback. If you can't be a brother, how do you expect a man to be a brother to you? You ask me how you would know if a brother is in trouble. How does anyone know? "Here are some stories I heard last week. Brother A, of this lodge, lost his wife two
weeks ago. It was in the papers. Two brothers of this lodge sent their wives to his house to look after his children until he could make arrangements for a nurse. Another brother of this lodge failed in business. Lodge action wasn't necessary, but two bankers and a businessman went to the poor failure and staked him, and put him on his feet. A brother of this lodge has a boy who is wild. Last week the boy went joy riding with too much hooch in him and smashed up a car which didnâ€™t belong to him. The owner wanted to put the boy in jail, where he belonged, but a brother of this lodge took the responsibility on himself, sent the boy to a farm during good behavior, saved a father from a broken heart and maybe society from a criminal. The home of a brother of this lodge burned down last month. It wasn't insured. He had just paid for it. Ten brothers of this lodge financed his new house; he will pay a dollar a week for life, or something, but he had fraternal help. Three brothers in the lodge tonight are out of work, and with little money. Before they go away someone will see that they, get a chance." "But how do brothers know other brothers are in trouble? They don't get up in lodge and tell it!" "How did you expect people were going to come and help you if you didn't let them know you needed help?" countered the Old Tiler. "Why, I just thought maybe Someone would have enough interest in me to know . . ." "Have you had enough interest in your brethren to know when they were in trouble?" 22
"I . . . er . . . why. . ." "You needn't answer. In every lodge are the ‘gimmies’ and the 'lemme's.' The 'gimmies’ are those who want things done, and the ‘lemmies’ do them. In every lodge are the 'haves' and the 'haven'ts.' It's up to the 'haves' to share with the 'haven'ts.' I take it you are naturally a 'have.' You have money, clothes, a good position. You are not in need of help from your brother. But some brethren are in need of help from you. It may be a dollar, advice, a word to an influential friend, a loan, it may be some of the things I have told you about. If brotherhood is to mean what you hoped it won't be because you get it, but because you give it. A Masonic lodge should never be in organization from which a man expects to get something. If everyone was disappointed because no one did anything, it would be a failure. It isn't a failure because most real Masons look for the chance to do something for some brother who needs help." "Some brethren do a lot for idiotic new members, just by talking to them!" responded the New Brother remorsefully. "Do you suppose you could slip a dollar to each of those three who haven't any and tell ‘em you found it on the floor?" "Could be," answered the Old Tiler. "And please believe I don't think it's I failure and the only thing about it which is disappointing to me is myself. "Could be," answered the Old Tiler This is the Forty-sixth article in this regular feature, ‘The Old Tiler Talks,’ each month we publish in the newsletter one of these interesting and informative pieces by Carl Claudy.
Did You Know? A great deal of importance seems to be attached to the business of the Square and Compasses with two points exposed, one point exposed, etc. When and why did this practice arise? Answer: In the answer that follows, it must be emphasized that, for obvious reasons, it is impracticable to discuss our present day procedures. Fortunately, that will not be necessary, because reference will be made to the earliest known evidence on the subject and the reader will find no difficulty in comparing the procedure with that of the present day. Early references to the Square and Compasses are plentiful in the exposures from 1696 onwards, but none of the early texts says anything about the `variations' with the points. Those variations were almost certainly introduced in order to draw a distinction between the work of three different degrees. If that is so, then the practice cannot have been older than the evolution of the three degree system, i.e., some time between 1711 and c. 1725 when we find the earliest hints of trigradal practice. But none of our documents up to 1760, English or French, gives any information at all on the subject of variations with the points. The earliest description of the `points' procedure made its appearance in 1760 in an English exposure, Three Distinct Knocks, which claimed to describe the practices of the Masons under the Antients' Grand Lodge. It is known that this (and other English exposures of the 1760s) betrayed evidence of French influence, and
if T.D.K. was indeed describing Antients' practice it probably represented some Irish practices too. For these reasons, it must be noted that the origins of the procedures cannot definitely be ascribed to any particular country, though we may be reasonably certain that they were current in England - not necessarily widespread from 1760 onwards. The relevant extract is quoted below, without comment on present day English procedure: The Master always sits in the East, or stands with the Bible before him; and if it is the Apprentices Lecture, he opens it about the Second Epistle of Peter, with the Compasses laid thereon, and the Points of them covered with a little Box Square or Lignum Vita, about 4 Inches each Way, and the Points of the Compasses points to the West, and the Two Points of the Square points to the East. If it is the Craft's Lecture, the Master shews one Point of the Compasses, the Bible being open at the 12th Chapter of Judges. If it is the Master's Lecture, the Bible is opened about the Seventh Chapter of the First Book of Kings, and both the Points of the Compasses is shewn upon the Square. This is the Form they sit in when they work, as they call it Finally - and this may help to answer the question 'Why' - it is said that in many of our old Lodges it is customary for the square and compasses to be displayed, outside the door of the Lodge, in positions' which will indicate to knowledgeable Brethren the Degree that is being worked, and in several jurisdictions in the U.S.A. one of the tests for examining an unknown visitor is to ask him to arrange those tools so as to indicate a particular Degree. The above answer was given by W. Bro. Harry Carr, a former Secretary of Quatuor Coronati Lodge No. 2076.
Harmony and Strength
The theory of Masonic government is UNITY. This is not mere idea, but fact — a living, practical, influential fact, which pervades the whole system, from the corner to the cap- stone, and binds it into one grand whole. In the elements of our organization there are certain living principles which form the ground-work, or basis, on which the whole structure rests; and from these, as from vital germs, there grow up the bonds that unite the building as with bands of steel. No outward pressure, no fierce assaults, no storm or tempest can shake the structure so established, and so cemented with enduring bands. It is founded in right principles, which are as indestructible as the laws of the Great Architect of the Universe; its principles of unity are those which bind man to man and link humanity to its Maker for everlasting ages. Surely, then, the institution must endure, for it can only fail when the necessity for it ceases to exist, and the demands of our nature no longer require its aid. It has been well said that TRUTH is the foundation — the corner-stone of Masonry; and that truth is, the existence and perfections of the Deity. Not the existence of a myth, or some fancied heathen god of like passions with ourselves, living in the darkness and subsisting by the cruelty of his own nature; but Deity — the Deity of creation and providence, the Deity of Divine revelation, the "God of Jeshuron, who rideth upon the heavens in thy help, and in his Excellency on the sky." This is the truth which forms 24
the "chief corner-stone" of our mystic and moral structure. It is evident, therefore, that the corner-stone cannot be removed; there it is, a great elemental indestructible truth, firm as the rock of ages, and enduring as eternal years. From this single truth, as from a great root, there are others that grow up partaking of its nature and entering into all parts of the building; and while it is not in the power of any man, or body of men "to make innovations in the body of Masonry;" so, too, this living truth and its indestructible off shoots are beyond the reach of the destroyer — for this and these constitute the soul of Masonry. But I have not the time, even if I had the capacity, to amplify on this fact — this truth which supports the whole fabric. It would task the powers of the mightiest minds among us, and were a subject fit for the pen of the ripest scholars. What I wanted to educe from this great elementary truth is, that every part of the building, every stone and timber in it, every pillar that supports it, and every tower that flanks and guards it, must he in perfect harmony with this great truth. The eternal principles of moral rectitude which flow out of this truth must be reflected from every portion of the material which enters into the building; and every part of the sacred edifice must be instinct with vitality drawn from this truth. If this is not the case, though the cornerstone remain steadfast, immovable, indestructible, yet the building itself may be destroyed from a want of vitality, and by the absence of harmony with its foundation. If, for instance, instead of making the structure a great centre of unity, where all mooted questions on sectarian theology or political orthodoxy are ignored, and from which every element 25
of discord is banished, we should introduce matters at variance with the foundation principles, harmony would be wanting, and consequently strength. The cohesive power of a common faith — a faith "in which all men agree" — would cease to sustain and support the building in its several parts, and the result would be a speedy and entire destruction. Suppose, for instance, that some members of a lodge should refuse to admit an additional member because he was not of their peculiar religious faith, or because he did not labour to sustain their political party, or echo the dogmas which they deem of highest moment; the consequences to that lodge need hardly be predicted. It would fall into speedy decay and deservedly forfeit its charter:— and all because its work was not in harmony with the great elemental principle on which the institution stands. That great truth recognizes the principle that differences will exist among men, as to detail, but that such differences are still consistent with integrity of purpose and purity of heart, and that mere shades and grades of opinion on philosophy, religion, or politics do not detract from the moral beauty of work in harmony with the great principles of truth. The book of nature, as well as that of revelation, assure us that "he that fears God and works righteousness shall be accepted;" not be that believes this or that peculiar dogma, or follows in the wake of this or that peculiar sect. God is the Maker of us all, and the only standard of morality required in our mystic temple is — obedience to the moral law, the great code of the bible. Beyond this we may not go; farther than this we may not inquire, because the elements of oar anion do not reach beyond it.
Take another example. Our corner-stone embodies the idea of supreme and subordinate law and obedience; not elaborate and complicated laws for the regulation of human action in all its ten thousand relations, and in all its complicated duties and responsibilities; this is left to the State, and the social and municipal associations existing subordinate to it. Our laws are few — very few, else they might conflict with that duty which we owe to God, our country, or our families. With us it is simply subordination to those few and simple rules for the government of our intercourse with each other, and obedience to the law of God. But how often is it seen that some wellmeaning brother wishes to go beyond this. The law — all that is forgotten; subordination to the law is resisted, its authority questioned, in fact, if not in theory, and the result is discord- the ultimate, destruction. I have a friend — a cherished friend — whom I wish to introduce into the Order. I entertain a very high personal regard for him, and this very feeling serves to hide all his defects from my sight. Another sees him from a different stand-point, or through a different medium, and defects, prominent and glaring, are discovered, which are sufficient in his estimation to exclude him from our mystic fraternity. Seeing him in this light, and acting under this conviction, it is his duty to prevent his admission. He does so, and what is the consequence? I immediately demand the reason of this indignity offered to my friend; a storm ensues; ill feelings are engendered; the bond of unity is severed; the elementary laws of the Order violated, and the consequences I need not atop to describe. Harmony is at once destroyed, or driven from the halls of its adoption; unity
is severed in all its bands of love and fraternal friendship, and that which constitutes the strength and support of all institutions, and especially ours, is wantonly sacrificed! Can we wonder that such a lodge loses its vigour and ceases to prosper? It would be a greater wonder if it survived at all; and I am satisfied the Grand Master would but discharge a duty he owes to the craft, if, in all such cases, he would promptly arrest the charter. Would any Grand Lodge grant a charter to a body of Masons thus inharmonious in sentiment and action — thus insubordinate to well settled Masonic usage? Certainly not; and therefore, whenever such a condition of things is found to obtain, the charter should be taken away. Every Master of a lodge knows how easily discord may creep in among the members of a lodge, unless guarded against with a tireless zeal. A difference of opinion on some minor subject, if once introduced, may be "the beginning of the end;" for, though it may easily gain access, if unwatched, it is extremely difficult to eject it. Of fair face and plausible pretensions, it more easily gains admittance because of its seeming innocence. I have a firm faith in the Deity, and fully recognize the claims of His moral law as revealed in "the sacred code." In so far, I am in harmony with my brethren. We agree entirely in this, and no one should be admitted, whatever his other qualities or pretensions, who does not harmonize in sentiment with us in this behalf. This is essential to our enjoyment, and the prosperity and usefulness of our lodge; if more were required it might defeat its own object. But, in addition to my faith in Deity and my recognition of the moral law, I have certain religious opinions that are my 26
own, and which do not interfere with others. These I never should intrude upon my brethren, or make them the standard by which to judge others. Such a course would be destructive of harmony; and while no brother should attempt their introduction to the lodge-room, if it should be attempted, the W. Master should promptly prevent it. Again: I believe it is incumbent upon me, both as a citizen and a Mason, to be "true to my government and just to my country, to discountenance disloyalty and rebellion, and strictly conform to the laws of the country in which I reside." This, also, is an elementary law in Masonry, and must enter into the political creed of every brother. But, then, I have other articles in my creed; on all great issues I have my party affinities, and I have a right to, for I believe the purposes and aims of one party are better calculated to preserve the liberties of the country, than are those of another party. My brother cannot agree with me in this, and here is an honest difference of opinion. But these adverse opinions must not be brought into the lodge; they are not required in any of the objects or labours of our institution; and, besides, their introduction are strictly forbidden by the fundamental laws of the Order. Those laws are paramount â€” we have promised to observe and obey them, and we must do it. The introduction of private opinions, on matters non-essential to the existence and purposes of Masonry, would bring along with them the fiend of discord, and while harmony would be destroyed the ruin of the lodge would be secured. In conclusion, allow me to say, that I regard that man as an enemy to the Order who introduces discord into our lodges. He 27
should be dealt with at once; for if the evil is permitted to take root and grow, it will very soon work the ruin of an institution so dear to every genuine Mason, and which may be made such an instrument of good to our poor suffering humanity. In this matter, much depends upon the Master. He holds the key by which every thing is admitted, and can refuse at his pleasure. He may think it a great responsibility, but he has accepted the office with all that pertains to it. Let him carefully study the Royal Art, as well as the rights, prerogatives, and responsibilities of the Chair, and then do right. His lodge will sustain him in such a course, his conscience will approve his conduct, and his grand lodge will say, "well done." Every good Mason, too, should be careful to avoid censure in this behalf; but should he step beyond the line of duty, through forgetfulness or misapprehension (and no good and true Mason will intentionally transgress), he should receive with becoming meekness the admonitions of his Master. Even if the Master should err, it is better to submit until "the storm be past." Harmony is of the first importance: that must be maintained, and every good Mason should make it his first object to perpetuate it. Harmony is our strength â€” if that is destroyed we "become weak like other men." This article on Harmony and Strength was sourced from the 1857 edition of the Masonic Review Magazine.
Was Freemasonry Dechristianised?
belief. But Anderson is fighting a battle. He may be a progressive, but he cannot abandon revelation. He fears that deists, by making a god out of reason, are becoming virtual – and illogical – atheists.
There may be a case for Desaguliers as the real trailblazer. But it is James Anderson who is believed to have laid the foundations of modern Freemasonry, with its generalised form of religious belief that enabled Jews to become members, and eventually also Muslims and members of eastern religions. Anderson is credited with being a progressive thinker, strong on deism, which had substituted reason for revelation and regarded nature as the best evidence of God, instead of the conventional view which saw God as Person and Creator and, in Christianity, regarded Jesus as His Son. It is probably Anderson who coined for Freemasonry the famous words about “that religion in which all men agree, leaving their particular opinions to themselves”, which meant that the denominational churches could interpret theological doctrine but not impose its dogmas on anyone.
In NSW in recent years an eminent Grand Chaplain, Rev Brian Burton, argued that the shape Freemasonry took is owed to the fact of Anderson being a Presbyterian and, like all nonconformists, unable to hold any leading office under the Crown and penalised for rejecting establishment patterns of worship. Had Anderson belonged to of the Church of England, he would have chafed less and Freemasonry would have been different.
For Anderson, the craft could endorse neither Roman Catholicism with tenets such as the Virgin birth, nor the established Church of England. But neither could it abandon religion as a whole. Hence the statement (again probably Anderson’s phrase) that a Mason “will never be a stupid Atheist, nor an irreligious Libertine”. Interesting words. As against the Mason, who “is obliged, by his Tenure, to obey the Moral Law”, the libertine must necessarily be irreligious, since morality was grounded in religion. The phrase “a stupid Atheist” is more difficult. If religion is not to be forced upon people, should an atheist not have the same right to disbelieve as the religious person has to believe? The word “stupid” implies that a logical thinker will inevitably believe in
Anderson wanted to enable nonconformists to join Masonry without giving it a stigma as a subversive organisation with Scottish connections. Burton says, “Anderson made it possible, and this was his whole and complete aim, for fellow Christians to sit together in Lodge, without hassles and arguments… so the Lodge became the only sanctuary in England where a Scottish Presbyterian and an English Anglican could sit side by side, and together, without any hesitation, say they believed in the Great Architect of the Universe… Anderson, far from taking Christianity out of the Lodge, gave us a wonderful and far-reaching vision of the true essence of Christianity.” Burton may have exaggerated Anderson’s achievement; only further research will tell.
The new dispensation made basic craft Freemasonry non-denominational, but certain degrees and rites remained Christian. In craft Freemasonry a Jew could be at home, at least in England, despite the sporadic opposition to Jewish membership even there. Jews came to play an increasingly important role in the craft, both in English-speaking lands and in
some Continental countries. They even wrote Masonic tracts in Yiddish (an 1813 leaflet written in France is listed in the Elkan Adler manuscript catalogue), and all over the British Empire it was taken for granted that Jewish clergy and lay leaders would join the movement. Some Continental Lodges remained antisemitic, yet at the same time the opponents of Freemasonry frequently attacked it because it was too Jewish and alleged that Jews and Masons were jointly conspiring to take over the world.
In German Freemasonry prior to 1930 there were rival groups of Grand Lodges. The major divide was between the Old Prussian Lodges which insisted that they were Christian and never accepted Jews, and the Humanitarian Lodges, which at various points in the 19th century decided that they would accept Jewish applicants. Some groups bravely resolved to oppose National Socialism and thus, according to Wor Bro Alain Bernheim, “saved the honour of German Freemasonry during the most difficult period of his history”. They had no chance of winning, but at least they tried. Others thought acquiescence would redeem them in the eyes of the Nazis. They sent messages and resolutions to loyalty to the Nazi leadership, but neither this nor their revision of the ritual (they deleted Biblical words and names, turned Solomon’s Temple into “the German Cathedral” and substituted “Faith” for “God”), saved them. Even the Old Prussian Lodges had dissolved by 1935. The few Freemasons who had refused to abandon Masonic humanitarianism are now considered martyrs of the Order.
By Rt. Wor. Bro. Rabbi Dr Raymond Apple, AO RFD, Past Deputy Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of New South Wales & the Australian Capital Territory. Click the name to go to his website.
Did You Know? What is the origin of the words `So mote it be' which we use at the end of our Opening and Closing odes, etc.
Answer: From the Masonic point of view, they came into our usage in the 14th century, and our two earliest versions of the Old Charges both include the phrase in their closing words, which I render in modern spelling, as follows: The Regius MS., c. 1390, after a closing prayer adds `Amen, amen, so mote it be Say we so all, for charity'. The Cooke MS., c. 1410, has `Amen so mote it be'. The phrase means literally `So be it' and it was used in the middle ages in England as a pious finale to prayers or blessings. It should be noted that the medieval formula began with the Hebrew word `Amen', nowadays often omitted from Masonic usage. The word `Amen' has a range of meanings all related to fidelity, constancy, sureness, trust, and when used at the end of Hebrew prayers and blessings it was a formula of acquiescence and confirmation, as though to say `Truly, we believe that it is [or will be] so'. Thus, although the `Amen', and the `So mote it be', do not have the same original meanings, they have virtually acquired the same meaning in the course of centuries, and that possibly explains the modern omission of the Amen.
The above answer was given by W. Bro. Harry Carr, a former Secretary of Quatuor Coronati Lodge No. 2076.
THE MASONIC DICTIONARY Word
When emphatically used, the expression, the Word, is in Freemasonry always referred to the Third Degree, although there must be a word in each Degree. In this latter and general sense, the Word is called by French Freemasons la parole, and by the Germans ein Wรถrterzeichen. The use of a Word is of great antiquity. We find it in the ancient Mysteries. In those of Egypt it is said to have been the Tetragrammaton. The German Stone-Masons of the Middle Ages had one, which, however, was probably only a password by which the travelling Companion might make himself known in his professional wanderings. Lyon (History of the Lodge of Edinburgh, page 22) shows that it existed, in the sixteenth and subsequent centuries, in the Scotch Lodges, and he says that "the Word is the only secret that is ever alluded to in the Minutes of Mary's Chapel, or in those of Kilwinning, Aitcheson's Haven, or Dunblane, or any other that we have examined of a date prior to the erection of the Strand Lodge." Indeed, he thinks that the communication of this Word constituted the only ceremony of initiation practiced in the Operative Lodges. At that time there was evidently but one Word for all the ranks of Apprentices, Craftsmen, and Masters. He thinks that this communication of the Mason Word to the Apprentices under oath constituted the germ whence has sprung the Symbolical Freemasonry. But it must be remembered that the learned and laborious investigations of Brother Lyon refer only to the Lodges of Scotland. There is no sufficient evidence that a more extensive system of initiation did not prevail at the same time, or even earlier, in England and Germany. Indeed, Findel has shown that it did in the latter country; and it is difficult to believe that the system, which we know was in existence in 1717, was a sudden development out of a single Word, for which we are indebted to the inventive genius of those who were engaged in the revival at that period. Be this as it may, the evidence is conclusive that everywhere, and from the earliest times, there was a Word. This at least is no modern usage. But it must be admitted that this Word, whatever it was, was at first a mere mark of recognition. Yet it probably had a mythical signification, and was not arbitrarily adopted. The word in the Sloane Manuscript No. 3329, which Brother Hughan places at a date not posterior to 1700, is undoubtedly a corrupted form of that now in use. Hence we may 30
conclude that the legend, and its symbolism also existed at the same time, but only in an incomplete form. The modern development of Speculative Freemasonry into a philosophy has given a perfected form to the symbolism of the Word no longer confined to use as a means of recognition, but elevated, in its connection with the legend of the Third Degree, to the rank of a symbol. So viewed, and by the scientific Freemason it is now only so viewed, the Word becomes the symbol of Divine Truth, the loss of which and the search for it constitute the whole system of Speculative Freemasonry. So important is this Word, that it lies at the very foundation of the Masonic edifice. The Word might be changed, as might a grip or a sign, if it were possible to obtain the universal consent of the Craft, and Freemasonry would still remain unimpaired. But were the Word abolished, or released from its intimate connection with the Hiramic legend, and with that of the Royal Arch, the whole symbolism of Speculative Freemasonry would be obliterated. The Institution might withstand such an innovation, but its history, its character, its design, would belong to a newer and a totally different society. The Word is what Dermott called the Royal Arch, "the marrow of Masonry."
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning We will remember them.
LEST WE FORGET 31
Until next month, Keep the faith! The Editor.
Published on Oct 29, 2015