Freemasonry: The Naked Truth

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- List of Masonic Obediences to contact.

- Sayings and Don'ts. MUST READ.

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Freemasonry in Manchester

 Becoming a Freemason in Manchester

Becoming a Freemason

Evolution of the York Legend

The earliest masonic documents are those of their early employers, the church and the state. The first claimed by modern Freemasons as the lineal ancestors of their own Charges relate to the self-organisation of masons as a fraternity with mutual responsibilities. From the reign of Henry VI to the Elizabethan period, that is from about 1425 to 1550, surviving documents show the evolution of a legend of Masonry, starting before the flood, and culminating in the re-establishment of the craft of Masonry in York during the reign of King Athelstan.

Halliwell Manuscript/Regius Poem: The Halliwell Manuscript, also known as the Regius Poem, is the earliest of the Old Charges. It consists of 64 vellum pages of Middle English written in rhyming couplets. In this, it differs from the prose of all the later charges. The poem begins by describing how Euclid "counterfeited geometry" and called it Masonry, for the employment of the children of the nobility in Ancient Egypt. It then recounts the spread of the art of geometry in "divers lands." The document relates how the craft of Masonry was brought to England during the reign of King Athelstan (924–939). It tells how all the masons of the land came to the King for direction as to their own good governance, and how Athelstan, together with the nobility and landed gentry, forged the fifteen articles and fifteen points for their rule. This is followed by fifteen articles for the master concerning both moral behaviour (do not harbour thieves, do not take bribes, attend church regularly, etc.) and the operation of work on a building site (do not make your masons labour at night, teach apprentices properly, do not take on jobs that you cannot do, etc.). There are then fifteen points for craftsmen which follow a similar pattern. Warnings of punishment for those breaking the ordinances are followed by provision for annual assemblies. There follows the legend of the Four Crowned Martyrs, a series of moral aphorisms, and finally a blessing.

Fifteen articles there they sought and fifteen points there they wrought. Part of Regius Manuscript

"Fyftene artyculus þey þer sowȝton, and fyftene poyntys þer þey wroȝton." (Fifteen articles they there sought and fifteen points there they wrought.) —Regius MS, ca. 1425–50.

The origins of the Regius are obscure. The manuscript was recorded in various personal inventories as it changed hands until it came into possession of the Royal Library, which was donated to the British Museum in 1757 by King George II to form the nucleus of the present British Library. It came to the attention of Freemasonry much later, this oversight being mainly due to the librarian David Casley, who described it as "a Poem of Moral Duties" when he catalogued it in 1734. It was in the 1838–39 session of the Royal Society that James Halliwell, who was not a Freemason, delivered a paper on "The early History of Freemasonry in England", based on the Regius, which was published in 1840. The manuscript was dated to 1390, and supported by such authorities as Woodford and Hughan; the dating of Edward Augustus Bond, the curator of manuscripts at the British Museum, to fifty years later was largely sidelined. Hughan also mentions that it was probably written by a priest.

Modern analysis has confirmed Bond's dating to the second quarter of the fifteenth century, and placed its composition in Shropshire. This dating leads to the hypothesis that the document's composition, and especially its narrative of a royal authority for annual assemblies, was intended as a counterblast to the statute of 1425 banning such meetings.

In the wake of the French Revolution, the British Government became uneasy about possible revolutionary conspiracies. Amongst other repressive measures, Pitt's government proposed to introduce the Unlawful Societies Act in 1799, which declared that any body which administered a secret oath was illegal. Acting quickly, a delegation representing the Ancients, Moderns and the Grand Lodge of Scotland arranged a meeting with the Prime Minister. The delegation included the Duke of Atholl, Grand Master of the Ancients, and Past Grand Master Mason of the Grand Lodge of Scotland, and the Earl of Moira, Acting Grand Master of the Moderns (the Grand Master being the Prince of Wales). As a result of this meeting, Freemasons were specifically excluded from the act, although lodges were obliged to return a list of members to the local Clerk of the Peace, a practice which continued until 1967. It also demonstrated that the two rival Grand Lodges could act together.

Establishment of Freemasonry in North America: Main articles: History of Masonic Grand Lodges in North America and Prince Hall Freemasonry

In 1682, John Skene, Born in Scotland came to New Jersey and is dedicated by the Grand Lodge of New Jersey As the first Freemason resident in america.

Henry Price, "Provincial Grand Master of New England and Dominions and Territories thereunto belonging"

In 1733, Henry Price, the Provincial Grand Master over all of North America for the Grand Lodge of England, granted a charter to a group of Boston Freemasons. This lodge was later named St. John's Lodge and was the first duly constituted lodge in America. Between 1733 and 1737 the Grand Lodge in England warranted Provincial Grand Lodges in Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania and South Carolina. Benjamin Franklin re-issued Anderson's 1723 constitutions as Provincial Grand Master of Pennsylvania. Franklin had written in the Pennsylvania Gazette of 8 December 1730 of the several lodges of freemasons already in the "province", joined St. John's Lodge in Philadelphia the following year, and in 1732 was Junior Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge of Philadelphia. All this before the "first" lodge in North America.

Correspondence from John Moore, the collector for the port of Philadelphia and himself a Mason, indicate that Masonic Lodges were meeting in Philadelphia in 1715. The present Grand Lodge has the Carmick manuscript, a handwritten copy of the ancient charges dating from 1727, and headed "The Constitutions of St. John's Lodge". Colonel Daniel Coxe was made Provincial Grand Master of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania by the Grand Lodge of England in 1730, with effect from 24 June (St. John the Baptist's day) for two years. It is unclear whether he was in America or England at the time, but he was present at Grand Lodge, at the Devil Tavern in London, on 29 January 1731, where he is minuted as Provincial Grand Master of North America. There is no record of his chartering any lodges, but he arranged for St. John's Lodge to double as a Provincial Grand Lodge, and appointed his successor in 1731, a year early. Notwithstanding the acceptance of Coxe as their first Provincial Grand Master, it has been suggested that the formation of the new Grand Lodge by consenting pre-existing lodges makes it a Grand Lodge by "Immemorial right", and a sister lodge to the Grand Lodges of England Scotland and Ireland.

North America would have many independent lodges in the 18th century. Authorisation, which later would become a Warrant, took time and expense, especially in the period when the nearest Grand Lodge was on the other side of the Atlantic. Many lodges became "self starters", and only applied for Grand Lodge authorisation when they were reasonably confident that the lodge would survive for more than a few years. George Washington was initiated into the Lodge of Fredericksburg in 1752. The same lodge was chartered by the Grand Lodge of Scotland in 1758. The first properly chartered "Scottish" lodge was only two years earlier, being the Lodge of St. Andrews in Boston. Members included Paul Revere and Joseph Warren, and (according to some) later lodge outings included the Boston Tea Party.

Many lodges were attached British Army regiments. The Moderns may have been wary of warranting lodges without a permanent address, so there was only one Grand Lodge of England warrant in the continental army from 1775 to 1777. The Antients and the Grand Lodge of Scotland were slightly better represented, but the overwhelming majority of regimental lodges held warrants from the Grand Lodge of Ireland. Thus it was that a group of African Americans, having been rejected by the lodges in Boston, were initiated into Lodge No 441 on the register of the Grand Lodge of Ireland, which was attached to the 38th Foot (later the 1st Staffordshire). These 15 men formed African Lodge No 1, as the British departed, leaving them a permit to do almost everything but admit new masons. Two of the members were seafarers, and obtained entrance to a lodge in London, being recognised as regularly initiated Masons. This enabled their master, Prince Hall, to apply to the Moderns for a charter, which was duly granted on 29 September 1784, now as African Lodge No. 459. Such was the success of the lodge that it became a Provincial Grand Lodge, and Prince Hall the Provincial Grand Master. After his death, the provincial lodges reconstituted themselves as a Grand Lodge (African Grand Lodge), becoming Prince Hall Grand Lodge in 1847. Around the same time, the history of Freemasonry in Mexico can be traced to at least 1806 when the first Masonic lodge was formally established in the nation.

Manchester is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England. The city has the country’s fifth-largest population at 547,627 (as of 2018) and lies within the United Kingdom's second-most populous urban area, with a population of 2.7 million, third most-populous county, at around 2.8 million, and third-most populous metropolitan area, with a population of 3.3 million. It is fringed by the Cheshire Plain to the south, the Pennines to the north and east, and an arc of towns with which it forms a continuous conurbation. The local authority for the city is Manchester City Council.

The recorded history of Manchester began with the civilian settlement associated with the Roman fort of Mamucium or Mancunium, which was established in about AD 79 on a sandstone bluff near the confluence of the rivers Medlock and Irwell. Although historically and traditionally a part of Lancashire, areas of Cheshire south of the River Mersey were incorporated into Manchester in the 20th century. The first to be included, Wythenshawe, was added to the city in 1931. Throughout the Middle Ages Manchester remained a manorial township, but began to expand "at an astonishing rate" around the turn of the 19th century. Manchester's unplanned urbanisation was brought on by a boom in textile manufacture during the Industrial Revolution, and resulted in it becoming the world's first industrialised city. Manchester achieved city status in 1853. The Manchester Ship Canal opened in 1894, creating the Port of Manchester and directly linking the city to the Irish Sea, 36 miles (58 km) to the west. Its fortune declined after the Second World War, owing to deindustrialisation, but the IRA bombing in 1996 led to extensive investment and regeneration. Following successful redevelopment after the IRA bombing, Manchester was the host city for the 2002 Commonwealth Games.

The city is notable for its architecture, culture, musical exports, media links, scientific and engineering output, social impact, sports clubs and transport connections. Manchester Liverpool Road railway station was the world's first inter-city passenger railway station. At the University of Manchester, Ernest Rutherford first split the atom in 1917, Frederic C. Williams, Tom Kilburn and Geoff Tootill developed the world's first stored-program computer in 1948, and Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov isolated the first graphene in 2004. The name Manchester originates from the Latin name Mamucium or its variant Mancunio and the citizens are still referred to as Mancunians (/mænˈkjuːniən/). These names are generally thought to represent a Latinisation of an original Brittonic name. The generally accepted etymology of this name is that it comes from Brittonic *mamm- ("breast", in reference to a "breast-like hill"). However, more recent work suggests that it could come from *mamma ("mother", in reference to a local river goddess). Both usages are preserved in Insular Celtic languages, such as mam meaning "breast" in Irish and "mother" in Welsh. The suffix -chester is from Old English ceaster ("Roman fortification", itself a loanword from Latin castra, "fort; fortified town").

Becoming a Freemason in         United Kingdom

Becoming a Freemason in  England

Region          North West England

City region    Manchester

Metropolitan and ceremonial county      Greater Manchester

Historic counties     Lancashire (north of the River Mersey)

Cheshire (south of the River Mersey)

Founded       1st century

Town charter            1301

City status     29 March 1853

Administrative HQ   Manchester (Town Hall)


 • Type           Metropolitan borough

 • Body           Manchester City Council

 • Leadership            Leader and Cabinet

 • Executive  Labour

 • Leader        Sir Richard Leese

 • Lord Mayor            Abid Latif Chohan

 • Chief Executive   Joanne Roney


 • City 115.6 km2 (44.6 sq mi)

 • Urban         630.3 km2 (243.4 sq mi)

Area rank      199th

Elevation       38 m (125 ft)

Population (mid-2019 est.)

 • City 552,858

 • Rank          5th

 • Density      4,735/km2 (12,260/sq mi)

 • Urban         2,705,000 (List of urban areas in Europe)

 • Urban density       4,051/km2 (10,490/sq mi)

 • Metro          3,348,274 (List of metropolitan areas in Europe)

 • Ethnicity    White groups (66.7% )

Asian (14.4%)

Black (8.6%)

Mixed (4.7%)

Chinese (2.7%)

Arab (1.9%)

Other (1.2%)

Demonyms   Mancunian

Manc (colloq.)

Time zone     UTC+0 (Greenwich Mean Time)

 • Summer (DST)     UTC+1 (British Summer Time)

Postcode areas       

M, WA (Ringway)

Dialling code            0161

ISO 3166 code         GB-MAN

GSS code     E08000003

NUTS 3 code           UKD33

OS grid reference    SJ838980

Motorways    M56




Trunk primary routes          A5103

Major railway stations         Manchester Airport (B)

Manchester Oxford Road (C1)

Manchester Piccadilly (A)

Manchester Victoria (B)

Tramways     Metrolink

International airport            Manchester (MAN)

GDP   US$ 113.3 billion

– Per capita  US$ 38,233

MPs    Graham Stringer (L)

Lucy Powell (L)

Afzal Khan (L)

Jeff Smith (L)

Mike Kane (L)

Councillors   96

Police Greater Manchester

Fire and Rescue     Greater Manchester

Ambulance   North West