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charges have been made and ordained by the best advice of of Masters and fellowes, as the exigencies of the craft made necessarie."
In the reign of King Edward the Third, when Lodges were more frequent, the Right worshipful the Master and fellows, with the consent of the lords of the realm, (for most great men were then masons) ordained as follows:
“ That for the future, at the making or admission of a Brother, the constitution and the ancient charges should be read by the Master or Wardens.*
“ That such as were to be admitted Master Masons, or Masters of the Work, should be examined whether they be able* to serve their respective Lords, as well the lowest as the highest, to the honour and worship of the aforesaid art, and to the profit of their Lord or Master, for they be their Lords or Masters that employ and pay them for their service and travel.
The following particulars are also contained in a very old manuscript, of which a copy was in the possession of the Right Worshipful George Payne, Grand Master, in 1718.
That when the Master and Wardens meet in a Lodge, if need be, the sheriff of the county, or the mayor of the city, or alderman of the town, in which the congregation is held, should be made fellow and sociate to the Master, in help of him against rebels, and for upbearing the rights of the realm.
That entered prentices, at their making, were charged not to be thieves, or thieves' maintainers ; that they should travel honestly for their pay, and love their fellowes as themselves, be true to the King of England, to the realm, and to the Lodge.
* This good rule ought to be always enforced.
That as such congregations it shall be enquired, whether any Master or fellow has broken any of the articles agreed to; and if the offender, being duly cited to appear, prove rebel, and will not attend, then the Lodge shall determine against him, that he shall forswear (or renounce) his Ma. sonry, and shall no more use this Craft, the which if he presume for to do, the sheriff of the county shall prison him, and shall take all his goods into the king's hands, untill his grace be granted him and issued. For this cause principally have these congregations been ordained, that as
ell the lowest as the highest should be well and truly served in the aforesaid art, throughout all the Kingdom of England.
The Latin register of William Molart, Prior of Canterbury, in manuscript paper 88, dated 1429, informs us, that in the year 1429, during the minority of Henry the Sixth, a respectable Lodge was held at Canterbury, under the patronage of Henry Chichelý, the Archbishop, at which were present Thomas Stapylton, the Master, John Morris, Custos de la Lodge Lathomorim, or Warden of the Lodge of Masons, with fifteen fellow crafts, and three entered apprentices, all of whom are particularly named.
A record of the same period says:
The Company of Masons, being otherwise termed Free Masons, of auntient staunding, and gude reckoninge, by means of affable and kind meetings dyverse tymes, and as a loving brotherhood used to do, did frequent this mutual assembly in the time of Henry the 4th in the 12th year of his reign A. D. 1434. *
* Extract of Stowe's Survey, chap. v. p. 215.
The same record in another part' says:
That the charges and laws of the Free Masons have been seen and perused by our late sovereign, King Henry the 6th, and by the lords of his most honourable council, who have allowed them and declared, that they be right good and reasonable to be holden, as they have been drawn out and collected from the records of auntient tymes, &c. &c.
Ye shall be true to the King, and the master you serve, and to the fellowship whereof you are admitted. Ye shall be true to and love eidher odher. Ye shall call eidher odher Brother or fellow, not slave, nor any
unkind name. Ye shall ordain the wisest to be master of the work; and neither for love nor lineage, riches nor favour, set one over the work who hath but little knowledge; whereby the master would be evil served, and ye ashamed, and also ye
shall call the governour of the work master in the time of working with him; and ye shall truly deserve your reward of the master ye serve.
All the Freres* shall treat the peculiarities of eidher odher with the gentleness, decencie, and forbearance he thinks due to his own.
Ye shall have a reasonable pay, and live honestly.
Once a year ye are to come and assemble together, to consult how ye may best work to serve the craft, and to your own profit and credit.
A manuscript copy of an examination of some of the Brotherhood, taken before King Henry the 6th, was found
* Freres. French, signifying Brethren.
by the learned John Locke, Esq., in the Bodleian library. This dialogue possesses a double claim to our regard ; first for its antiquity, and next for the ingenious notes and conjectures of Mr. Locke upon it; some of which we have retained. The approbation of a Philosopher of as great merit and penetration as the English nation ever produced, added to the real value of the piece itself, must give it a sanction, and render it deserving a serious and candid examination.
This ancient manuscript is as follows:
A certayne questyons, with answeres to the same, concernynge the mysterye of Maconrye: wryttene by the hande of Kynge Henrye, the Sixthe of the name, and faythfullye copyed by me Johann Leylande,* Antiquarius, by the command of his Highnesse.f
They be as followethe:
Answ. Ytt beeth the Skylle of nature, the understondynge of the myghte that is hereynne, and its sondrye werckynges ; sonderlyche, the Skylle of rectenyngs, of waightes, and metynges, and the treu manere of faconnynge al tynges for mannes use, headlye, dwellynges, and buyldynges of alle kindes, and al odher thynges that make gudde to manne.
Quest. Where dyd ytt begyne?
Answ. Ytt dyd begynne with the fyrste menne yn the este, whych were before the ffyrste manne of the weste, and comynge westlye, ytt hath broughte herwyth alle comfortes to the wylde and comfortlesse.
* “ John Leylande, was appointed by King Henry the eighth, at the dissolution of the monasteries, to search for, and save such books and records as were valuable among them. He was a man of great labour, and industry.” to
“ His Highness, meaning the said King Henry the eighth. Our Kings had not then the title of Majesty."
Quest. Who dyd brynge ytt westlye ?
Answ. The Venetians,* whoo beynge grate merchaundes, comed ffyrste ffromme the este ynn Venetia, ffor the commodytye of marchaundysynge beithe este and weste, bey the Redde and Myddlelonde Sees.
Quest. Howe comede ytt yn Engelonde ?
Answ. Peter Gower,t a Grecian, journeyedde ffor kunnynge yn Egypte, and in Syria, and yn everyche londe whereat the Venetians hadde plauntedde Maconrye, and wynnynge entraunce yn al Lodges of Maconnes, he lerned muche, and retournedde, and worked yn Grecia Magna
* The Venetians, &c. “In times of ignorance, it is no wonder that the Phenicians should be mistaken for the Venetians. Or perhaps, if the people were not taken one for the other, similitude of sound might deceive the clerk who first took down the examination. The Phenicians were the greatest voyagers among the ancients, and were in Europe thought to be the inventors of letters, which perhaps they brought from the east with other arts.
† Peter Gower. 6. This must be another mistake of the writer. I was puzzled at first to guess who Peter Gower should be, the name being perfectly English ; or how a Greek should come by such a name: But as soon as I thought of Pythagoras, I could scarce forbear smiling, to find that philosopher had undergone a metempsychosis he never dreamt of. We need only consider the French pronunciation of this name Pythagore, that is, Petegore, to conceive how easily such a mistake might be made by an unlearned clerk. That Pythagoras travelled for knowledge into Egypt, &c., is known to all the learned, and that he was initiated into several different orders of Priests, who in those days kept all their learning secret from the vulgar, is as well known. Pythagoras also, made every geometrical theorem a secret, and admitted only such to the knowledge of them, as had first under. gone a five years silence. He is supposed to be the inventor of the xlviith of the first book of Euclid, for which, in the joy of his heart, it is said he sacrificed a hecatomb. He also knew the true system of the world lately revived by Copernicus ; and was certainly a most wonderful man. See his life by Dion Hal.”
# Grecia Magna. “A part of Italy, formerly so called, in which the Greeks had settled a large colony."