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Freemasonry in Leeds
Becoming a Freemason in Leeds
Becoming a Freemason
The second Schaw Statutes of December 1599 having made it compulsory for Scottish lodges to have a secretary, early documentation there is rich in comparison with England, where actual minutes start in 1712 in York, and 1723 in London. Records for the Lodge of Edinburgh (Mary's Chapel) No.1 extend back to the sixteenth century. Minutes from the Premier Grand Lodge of England, the Antient Grand Lodge of England, and the Grand Lodge of All England meeting at York trace the organisational development and rivalries within eighteenth century English Freemasonry.
Aitchison's Haven: The oldest minute book discovered is that of Aitchison's Haven, a location just outside Musselburgh, in East Lothian. The first entry records Robert Widderspone being made Fellow of Craft on 9 January 1598.
Mary's Chapel: The records of the Lodge of Edinburgh (Mary's Chapel) No.1 extend back to 1598, making them an important historical source as the longest continuous masonic record. David Murray Lyon's history of the lodge, published in 1873, mined the records of Edinburgh's oldest lodge, and produced a history of Scottish Freemasonry. The first entry, on 28 December 1598, is a copy of the first Schaw statutes. The next year, on the last day of July, the first proper minute records disciplinary proceedings against a member who employed a cowan, or unqualified mason. The first entries are terse and not always helpful, expanding as successive secretaries became more conscientious. The records trace the development of the lodge from an operative to a speculative society.
York: The minutes of the old lodge at York, which later called itself the Grand Lodge of All England, give a glimpse of Masonry outside the Grand Lodges of the period. The minutes are erratic, with spaces of some years between some entries. It is often impossible to tell if the minutes are lost, were never taken, or the lodge did not meet at all. They do, however, contain the full text of a speech by the antiquary Francis Drake in 1726, in which he discusses the contemplation of geometry, and the instructive lectures which ought to be occurring in lodges. He used the York legend to claim precedence of his own lodge over all others in England, and being a more careful historian than the compilers of the Old Charges, Edwin the son of Athelstan became Edwin of Northumbria, adding three centuries to his lodge's pedigree. Later minutes show the lodge adding ritual, and developing a five degree system from a single ceremony where a candidate was admitted and made a Fellow Craft in one evening. The York account of the split between the Premier Grand Lodge of England and the Lodge of Antiquity provides a balance to the charged prose of William Preston. The minutes cease for the final time in 1792.
London Grand Lodges: Minutes of both of the Grand Lodges which finally formed the United Grand Lodge of England are preserved in their archives. Plans by Quatuor Coronati Lodge to publish them all were interrupted by the First World War, and only one volume was published, covering the minutes of the Premier Grand Lodge of England from their first minutes in 1723 to 1739. The first of five volumes of Grand Lodge minutes contained three lists of subscribing lodges and their members, dating from 1723, 1725, and 1730. The lodges are first numbered in John Pine's engraved list of 1729. All three manuscript lists have had lodges added after their compilation, but in spite of this they still trace the development of the first Grand Lodge during a critical period in its development, as it moved from being an association of London lodges to a national institution. No further lists were included in the minutes. They start on 24 June 1723 with the approval of Anderson's constitutions, and the resolution that no alteration or innovation in the "Body of Masonry" could occur without the approval of Grand Lodge. The Earl of Dalkeith was then elected as the next Grand Master, but his chosen deputy, John Theophilus Desaguliers, was only approved by 43 votes to 42. After dinner the outgoing Grand Master, the Duke of Wharton, asked for a recount. This being refused, he walked out. Many such human touches are revealed in the minutes, together with the beginnings of masonic charities and discipline of masons and lodges. There are no minutes for the year 1813, and only rough notes from the Antients, leaving a gap in the run-up to union that must be spanned from other sources.
At the dawn of the Grand Lodge era, during the 1720s, James Anderson composed the first printed constitutions for Freemasons, the basis for most subsequent constitutions, which specifically excluded women from Freemasonry. As Freemasonry spread, women began to be added to the Lodges of Adoption by their husbands who were continental masons, which worked three degrees with the same names as the men's but different content. The French officially abandoned the experiment in the early 19th century. Later organisations with a similar aim emerged in the United States, but distinguished the names of the degrees from those of male Masonry.
Maria Deraismes was initiated into Freemasonry in 1882, then resigned to allow her lodge to rejoin their Grand Lodge. Having failed to achieve acceptance from any masonic governing body, she and Georges Martin started a mixed masonic lodge that worked masonic ritual. Annie Besant spread the phenomenon to the English-speaking world. Disagreements over ritual led to the formation of exclusively female bodies of Freemasons in England, which spread to other countries. Meanwhile, the French had re-invented Adoption as an all-female lodge in 1901, only to cast it aside again in 1935. The lodges, however, continued to meet, which gave rise, in 1959, to a body of women practising continental Freemasonry.
In general, Continental Freemasonry is sympathetic to Freemasonry amongst women, dating from the 1890s when French lodges assisted the emergent co-masonic movement by promoting enough of their members to the 33rd degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite to allow them, in 1899, to form their own grand council, recognised by the other Continental Grand Councils of that Rite. The United Grand Lodge of England issued a statement in 1999 recognising the two women's Grand Lodges there to be regular in all but the participants. While they were not, therefore, recognised as regular, they were part of Freemasonry "in general". The attitude of most regular Anglo-American Grand Lodges remains that women Freemasons are not legitimate Masons.
In 2018 guidance was released by the United Grand Lodge of England stating that, in regard to transgender women, "A Freemason who after initiation ceases to be a man does not cease to be a Freemason". The guidance also states that transgender men are allowed to apply to become Freemasons.
Anti-Masonry : Main articles: Anti-Masonry and Suppression of Freemasonry. Masonic Temple of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, one of the few Masonic temples that survived the Franco dictatorship in Spain.
Anti-Masonry (alternatively called Anti-Freemasonry) has been defined as "opposition to Freemasonry",but there is no homogeneous anti-Masonic movement. Anti-Masonry consists of widely differing criticisms from diverse (and often incompatible) groups who are hostile to Freemasonry in some form. Critics have included religious groups, political groups, and conspiracy theorists, in particular, those espousing Masonic conspiracy theories or the Judeo-Masonic conspiracy theory. Certain prominent Anti-Masons, such as Nesta Helen Webster (1876 – 1960), have exclusively criticized "Continental Masonry" while considering "Regular Masonry" an honorable association.
There have been many disclosures and exposés dating as far back as the 18th century. These often lack context, may be outdated for various reasons, or could be outright hoaxes on the part of the author, as in the case of the Taxil hoax.
These hoaxes and exposés have often become the basis for criticism of Masonry, often religious or political in nature or are based on suspicion of corrupt conspiracy of some form. The political opposition that arose after the American "Morgan Affair" in 1826 gave rise to the term Anti-Masonry, which is still in use in America today, both by Masons in referring to their critics and as a self-descriptor by the critics themselves.
Religious opposition: Freemasonry has attracted criticism from theocratic states and organised religions for supposed competition with religion, or supposed heterodoxy within the fraternity itself and has long been the target of conspiracy theories, which assert Freemasonry to be an occult and evil power.
Christianity and Freemasonry : Main article: Opposition to Freemasonry within Christianity
Although members of various faiths cite objections, certain Christian denominations have had high-profile negative attitudes to Masonry, banning or discouraging their members from being Freemasons.
The City of Leeds is a city and metropolitan borough in West Yorkshire, England. The metropolitan borough includes the administrative centre of Leeds and the towns of Farsley, Garforth, Guiseley, Horsforth, Morley, Otley, Pudsey, Rothwell, Wetherby and Yeadon. It has a population of 793,139 (mid-2019 est.), making it technically the second largest city in England by population behind Birmingham. It is governed by Leeds City Council.
The current city boundaries were set on 1 April 1974 by the provisions of the Local Government Act 1972, as part a reform of local government in England. The city is a merger of eleven former local government districts; the unitary City and County Borough of Leeds combined with the municipal boroughs of Morley and Pudsey, the urban districts of Aireborough, Garforth, Horsforth, Otley and Rothwell, and parts of the rural districts of Tadcaster, Wharfedale and Wetherby from the West Riding of Yorkshire. For its first 12 years the city had a two-tier system of local government; Leeds City Council shared power with West Yorkshire County Council. Since the Local Government Act 1985 Leeds City Council has effectively been a unitary authority, serving as the sole executive, deliberative and legislative body responsible for local policy, setting council tax, and allocating budget in the city, and is a member of the Leeds City Region Partnership. The City of Leeds is divided into 31 civil parishes and a single unparished area.
The Borough of Leeds was created in 1207, when Maurice Paynel, lord of the manor, granted a charter covering a small area adjacent to a crossing of the River Aire, between the old settlement centred on Leeds Parish Church to the east and the manor house and mills to the west. In 1626 a charter was granted by Charles I, incorporating the entire parish as the Borough of Leeds; it was reformed by the Municipal Corporations Act 1835. The parish and borough included the chapelries of Chapel Allerton, Armley, Beeston, Bramley, Farnley, Headingley cum Burley, Holbeck, Hunslet, Leeds, Potternewton and Wortley. The borough was located in the West Riding of Yorkshire and gained city status in 1893. When a county council was formed for the riding in 1889, Leeds was excluded from its area of responsibility and formed a county borough. The borough made a significant number of territorial expansions, expanding from 21,593 acres (87.38 km2) in 1911 to 40,612 acres (164.35 km2) in 1961; adding in stages the former area of the Roundhay, Seacroft, Shadwell and Middleton parishes and gaining other parts of adjacent districts. A review of local government arrangements completed in 1969 proposed the creation of a new large district centred on Leeds, occupying 317,000 acres (1,280 km2) and including 840,000 people. The proposed area was significantly reduced in a 1971 white paper; and within a year every local authority to be incorporated into it protested or demonstrated. The final proposal reduced the area further and following the enactment of the Local Government Act 1972, the county borough was abolished on 1 April 1974 and its former area was combined with that of the municipal boroughs of Morley and Pudsey; the urban districts of Aireborough, Horsforth, Otley, Garforth and Rothwell; and parts of the rural districts of Tadcaster, Wetherby and Wharfedale. The new district gained both borough and city status, as had been held by the county borough; and forms part of the county of West Yorkshire.
The district and its settlements are situated in the eastern foothills of the Pennines astride the River Aire whose valley, the Aire Gap, provides a road and rail corridor that facilitates communications with cities to the west of the Pennines. The district extends 15 miles (24 km) from east to west and 13 miles (21 km) from north to south; with over 65% covered with green belt land. The highest point, at 1,115 feet (340 m), is at its north western extremity on the eastern slopes of Rombalds Moor, better known as Ilkley Moor, on the boundary with the City of Bradford. The lowest points are at around 33 feet (10 m), in the east: where River Wharfe crosses the boundary with North Yorkshire south of Thorp Arch Trading Estate and where the River Aire (at this point forming the City of Wakefield boundary) meets the North Yorkshire boundary near Fairburn Ings. To the north and east Leeds is bordered by North Yorkshire: Harrogate district to the north and Selby district to the east. The remaining borders are with other districts of West Yorkshire: Wakefield to the south, Kirklees to the south west, and Bradford to the west.
Becoming a Freemason in United Kingdom
Becoming a Freemason in England
Region Yorkshire and the Humber
Ceremonial county West Yorkshire
Admin HQ Leeds
Borough Charter 1207
Town Charter 1626
City status 1893
City of Leeds Met. District created 1974
• Type Metropolitan borough, City
• Governing body Leeds City Council
• Lord Mayor Cllr Eileen Taylor (Labour)
• Leader of the Council Cllr James Lewis (Labour)
• Chief Executive Tom Riordan
• Total 213 sq mi (551.72 km2)
Highest elevation 1,120 ft (340 m)
Lowest elevation 30 ft (10 m)
Population (mid-2019 est.)
• Total 793,139 (Ranked 2nd)
• Density 3,574/sq mi (1,380/km2)
(2011 census) 85% White
5.7% Asian or Asian British
3.5% Black or Black British
2.7% Mixed Race
Time zone UTC+0 (Greenwich Mean Time)
• Summer (DST) UTC+1 (British Summer Time)
LS, WF, BD
Area code(s) 0113, 01924, 01937, 01943, 01977
ISO 3166-2 GB-LDS
ONS code 00DA (ONS)
NUTS 3 UKE42
OS grid reference SE296338
Primary Airport Leeds Bradford Airport