Freemasonry: The Naked Truth

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Freemasonry in Chichester

 Becoming a Freemason in Chichester

Becoming a Freemason

Anderson's 1723 constitutions seem to recognise only the grades of Entered Apprentice, and the Fellowcraft/Master. Hence the third degree emerged sometime between 1723 and 1730, and took some time to spread within the craft. The fact that it did spread seems to many scholars to indicate that the tri-gradal system was not so much innovation, as the re-organisation of pre-existing material. The Mason word, once given to the Entered Apprentice, was now conferred in the third degree with the five points of fellowship, and the two linked words formerly bestowed on a fellowcraft were split between the first two degrees. The new Master Mason degree was centred on the myth of Hiram Abiff, which itself consists of three parts. The first is the biblical story of the Tyrian artisan with a Northern Israelite mother who became a master craftsman involved in the construction of King Solomon's Temple. The second is the story of his murder by subordinates, which is similar to one of the legends of the French Compagnonnage. Lastly, the story of the finding of his body, and the derivation therefrom of the five points of fellowship, which appears in the Graham Manuscript of 1725, where the body being sought and exhumed is that of Noah. The origin of this re-organisation is unknown. The earliest reference to the conferment of a third degree is from London, from the minutes of "Philo Musicae et Architecturae Societas Apollini", a short-lived musical society composed entirely of Freemasons. These minutes record the initiation and passing to the degree of Fellowcraft of Charles Cotton. Then, on 12 May 1725, the society took it upon itself to "pass" Brother Cotton and Brother Papillion Ball as Master Masons. This would nowadays be regarded as highly irregular. In March 1726 Gabriel Porterfield received the same degree in lodge Dumbarton Kilwinning in Scotland. That he was not the first is attested by the minutes of the lodge's foundation, only two months earlier, where Apprentices, Fellowcrafts, and Master Masons are recorded as attending. In December 1728, Greenock Kilwinning recorded separate fees for initiation, passing and raising.

Spread of Grand Lodges (1725–1750)

Initiation Paris 1745

Retinted to resemble Moderns Lodge 1805

Even in London, there were many lodges that never affiliated with the new Grand Lodge. These unaffiliated Masons and their Lodges were referred to as "Old Masons," or "St John Masons", and "St John Lodges". Nonetheless, the influence of the new central body spread quickly, and the 1725 minutes mention lodges in ten provincial towns as far north as Salford, with Provincial Grand Lodges in South Wales and Cheshire.

In the same year, a second Grand Lodge was founded in Ireland, which took several decades to bring all the Irish lodges under its wing. Rival Grand Lodges quickly appeared in Munster and Cork. It was in Ireland that the practice of recognising the regularity of a lodge by the issue of a warrant began, the first known example dating from 1731. The Grand Lodge of Scotland was not formed until 1736.

Also in 1725 "The Ancient and Honourable Society and Fraternity of Freemasons meeting since time immemorial in the City of York" assumed the title, " The Grand Lodge of All England meeting in the City of York." This should not be interpreted as rivalry, as there was no overlap in the two jurisdictions. Indeed, Anderson's history would have produced the expectation of an older Grand Lodge at York, and the London Lodges were duly furnished with minutes going back some twenty years. Anderson's 1738 Constitutions recognised the independence of "the Old Lodge of York City. and the Lodges of Scotland, Ireland. France, Italy, etc".

However, in 1735, the Master and Wardens of an Irish lodge were refused admission to Grand Lodge because they did not have the written authority of the Grand Master of Ireland. It seems that they hoped to be recognised as a deputation from Lord Kingston, then Grand Master of Ireland, and Past Grand Master of the London Grand Lodge. They were offered, and refused, the English authorisation. This has been interpreted as evidence of a split between the two constitutions.

Responding to the popularity of Pritchard's and other exposures of masonic ritual, Grand Lodge, about this time, made changes to ritual and passwords to make it more difficult for outsiders to pass themselves off as masons. These changes were not universally accepted by affiliated lodges. The Goose and Gridiron (now Lodge of Antiquity No. 2), one of the original and most senior lodges of the constitution, never adopted them. For the unaffiliated, the innovations simply deepened the division. At the time, London was absorbing many economic migrants from Ireland. Those who were already Freemasons felt that they could not work with the new ritual, and the lodges they formed swelled further the numbers of unaffiliated lodges in the capital.

In the same period, Freemasonry as practiced by the English, Irish and Scottish lodges began to spread to Europe. The establishment of the first Grand Lodge in France is particularly problematic. Freemasonry itself appears to have been established in France by exiled Jacobites. The Grand Lodge of France dates its foundation to 1728, when it claims the Grand Master was the Duke of Wharton. Some Grand Orient seals date the first Grand Lodge to 1736 (the split between the Grand Lodge and the Grand Orient occurred in 1773). French histories date the first Grand Lodge to 24 June 1738. The situation seems confused, as other histories state that the first legitimate Grand Lodge was formed on 11 December 1743 as "The English Grand Lodge of France" with the Count of Clermont as grand master. Although the government of the craft was in the hands of a series of deputies, the protection of the count until his death in 1771 afforded French Masonry a period of stability and growth. As Masonry was persecuted in other catholic states, the moral and egalitarian nature of the French lodges accorded with the spirit of the age.

Although Anderson seems to imply the existence of an Italian Grand Lodge, no such body existed until the creation of the Grand Orient of Italy in 1805. The first lodge was the English Lodge ("La Loggia degli Inglesi") in Florence, founded in 1731, and Freemasonry quickly spread, in spite of a series of Papal bans.

The first appearance of the many German Grand Lodges dates from the 1740s, notably "Of the Three Globes", founded in Berlin in 1744, which became the "Grand National Mother Lodge" in 1772. Frederick the Great became a Freemason while he was still Crown Prince and personally sanctioned the Berlin Lodge. Although a few authors cite the existence of German operative Grand Lodges as far back as that formed at Cologne Cathedral in 1250, continuity of tradition has been hard to prove, and most sources believe the Eighteenth-century German speculative lodges show descent from the English model.

Freemasonry was brought to the Russian Empire by foreign officers in the Russian service. For instance, James Keith is recorded as being master of a lodge in Saint Petersburg in 1732–34. Several years later his cousin John Keith, 3rd Earl of Kintore was appointed Provincial Grand Master of Russia by the Grand Lodge of England. In the early 1770s, Ivan Yelagin succeeded in reorganizing Russian Freemasonry into a far-reaching system that united some 14 lodges and about 400 government officials. He secured English authorization of the first Russian Grand Lodge and became its Provincial Grand Master. Most Russian lodges were attracted to the Swedish Rite. In 1782, Ivan Schwarz represented Russia at the masonic congress in Wilhelmsbad (a health resort in Hanau), where Russia was recognized as the 8th province of the Rite of Strict Observance. See History of Freemasonry in Russia for further details.

Chichester is a cathedral city in West Sussex, in South-East England. It is the only city in West Sussex and is its county town. It has a long history as a settlement from Roman times and was important in Anglo-Saxon times. It is the seat of the Church of England Diocese of Chichester, with a 12th-century cathedral.

The city is a hub of several main road routes, and has a railway station, theatre, hospital, schools and museums. The River Lavant runs through, and partly beneath, the city. The city holds an annual four-week arts and music festival ("Festival of Chichester") held in June and July. Chichester Festival Theatre, is one of the United Kingdom's flagship producing and touring theatres, whose annual summer season attracts actors, writers and directors from the West End theatre and the USA. Pallant House Gallery, winner of the 2007 gallery of the year Gulbenkian Prize, has a major collection of chiefly modern British art and in 2006 opened a new extension that houses the collection of Professor Sir Colin St John Wilson. It has a changing programme of exhibitions. Chichester is home to the South Downs Planetarium & Science Centre, which opened in 2001 and features a program of public star shows in its 100-seat theatre. The Sloe Fair, a funfair that dates back to the 12th Century, is held annually on 20 October in the city's Northgate car park. Chichester Cinema at New Park is the city's first and only arthouse cinema. It shows a selection of mainstream, small-budget and older films 7 days a week. It hosts an annual 18-day International Film Festival in August/September. Vice-presidents are Dame Maggie Smith and Kenneth Branagh. There is a larger, multiplex cinema located at Chichester Gate. Chichester's previous cinemas were the Olympia Electric on Northgate (1911-1922). the Plaza CInema on South Street (1920-1960, the Odeon from 1945 and now Iceland supermarket), the Granada Exchange at the Corn Exchange (1922-1980) and the Gaumont on Eastgate Square (1937-1961, later the swimming baths).

Street Art By 'Run' Italian Street Artist Electric Cinema Chichester, West Sussex

The Chichester Open Mic has supported regular programmes of readings by contemporary poets in the city since 2010. It also hosts a high-profile annual event under the banner Poetry and All That Jazz which included performances by Don Paterson in 2010, Sam Willetts in 2011 and David Harsent in 2012. In 2012 The Novium, Chichester's museum, was opened by author Kate Mosse. Designed by the architect Keith Williams, is approximately 2.4 times the size of the previous museum in Little London. Key highlights are Roman Bath House, Jupiter Stone and Chilgrove Mosaic. In May 2013 Chichester hosted the Chichester Street Art Festival week where international street artists created colourful murals around the city. Chichester is mentioned in a 1992 episode of A Bit of Fry and Laurie, the 2003 film Bright Young Things directed by Stephen Fry, the 2005 film Stoned about Brian Jones from the Rolling Stones, and also in the 2009 film Sherlock Holmes. The city is periodically referred to in Call the Midwife, as the seat of the Order of Saint Raymond Nonnatus, the mother house's exterior being depicted in episode 1.6. The West Sussex Record Office is in Orchard Street and contains the county archives. On 21 April 2017 it was announced that a second parchment manuscript copy of the United States Declaration of Independence, now termed The Sussex Declaration, had been discovered in the archives

Area   10.67 km2 (4.12 sq mi)

Population    26,795  (2011 Census)

• Density       2,225/km2 (5,760/sq mi)

Demonym     Cicestrian

OS grid reference    SU860048

• London       54 miles (87 km) NNE

Civil parish  




Shire county

West Sussex


South East

Becoming a Freemason in England

Becoming a Freemason in United Kingdom

Post town      CHICHESTER

Postcode district      PO19

Dialling code            01243

Police Sussex

Fire     West Sussex

Ambulance   South East Coast

UK Parliament        


Website         City Council