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shall not put him out, unless he be unable of cunning to make an end of his worke. And no Master nor Fellow shall take no apprintice for less than seaven yeares. And that the apprintice be free born, and of limbs whole as a man ought to be, and no bastard. And that no Master or Fellow take no allowance to be made Mason without the assent of his Fellows, at the least six or seaven.
“ Thirdly, That he that be made be able in all degrees ; that is, free born, of a good kindred, true, and no bondsman, and that he have his right limbs, as a man ought to have.
“Fourthly, That a Master take no apprintice without he have occupation to occupy two or three Fellows at the least.
“Fifthly, That no Master or Fellow put away any Lord's worke to taske that ought to be journey worke.
“Sixthly, that every Master give pay to his fellows and servants as they may deserve, soe that he be not defamed with false workeing: And that none slander another behind his backe, to make him loose his good name.
Seaventhly, That no Fellow in the house or abroad answear another ungodly or reproveably without a cause
“Eighthly, That every Master Mason doe reverence his elder; and that a Mason be no common plaier at the cards, dice, or hazzard, nor at any other unlawful plaies, through the which the science and Craft may be dishonoured or slandered.
“Ninthly, That no Fellow goe into the town by night, except he have a Fellow with him, who may beare him record that he was in an honest place.
“ Tenthly, That every Master and Fellow shall come to the assemblie, if itt be within fifty miles of him, if he have any warning. And if he have trespassed against the Craft, to abide the award of Masters and Fellows.
Eleventhly, That every Master Mason and Fellow that hath trespassed against the Craft shall stand to the correction of other Masters and Fellows to make him accord, and if they cannot accord, to go to the common law.
“ Twelfthly, That a Master or Fellow make not a mould stone, square, nor rule, to no lowen, nor let no lowen worke within their Lodge, nor without the mould stone.
“Thirteenthly, That every Mason receive and cherish strange Fellowes when they come over the countrie, and set them on worke if they will worke, as the manner is ; that is to say, if the Mason have any mould stone in his place, he shall give him a mould stone, and sett him on worke; and if he have none, the Mason shall refresh him with money unto the next Lodge.
“Fourteenthly, That every Mason shall truely serve his Master for his pay.
“ Fifteenthly, That every Master shall truely make an end of his worke, taske or journey whethersoe it be.
“ These be all the charges and covenants that ought to be read at the installment of Master, or makeing of a Free Mason or Free Masons. The Almighty God of Jacob who ever have you and me in his keeping, bless us now and
Extract from the Diary of Elias Ashmole, a learned
Antiquary. “I was made a Free Mason at Warrington, Lancashire, with Colonel Henry Mainwaring, or Kerthingham, in Cheshire, by Mr. Richard Penket, the Warden, and the Fellow Crafts (all of whom are specified) on the 16th October, 1646."
In another place of his Diary, he says,
“On March the 10th, 1682, about 5 hor. post. merid. I received a summons to appear at a Lodge to be held the next day at Masons' Hall in London." March 11, accordingly
I went, and about noon were admitted into the fellowship of Free Masons, Sir William Wilson, Knt., Capt. Richard Borthwick, Mr. William Woodman, Mr. William Gray, Mr. Samuel Taylour, and Mr. William Wise. I was the senior Fellow among them, it being thirty-five years since I was admitted. There were present, beside myself, the Fellows after named ; Mr. Thomas Wise, Master of the Masons' company this present year, Mr. Thomas Shorthose, and seven more old Free Masons. We all dined at the Half Moon Tavern, Cheapside, at a noble dinner prepared at the charge of the new accepted Masons."
An old record of the Society describes a coat of arms much the same with that of the London company of Freemen Masons; whence it is generally believed that this com-. pany is a branch of that ancient Fraternity; and in former times, no man, it also appears, was made free of that company, until he was initiated in some Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons, as a necessary qualification. This practice still prevails in Scotland among the operative Masons.
The writer of Mr. Ashmole's life, who was not a Mason, before his History of Berkshire, p. 6, gives the following account of Masonry:
He (Mr. Ashmole) was elected a Brother of the company of Free Masons; a favour esteemed so singular by the members, that Kings themselves have not disdained to enter themselves of this Society. From these are derived the adopted Masons, accepted Masons, or Free Masons, who are known to one another all over the world by certain signals and watch-words known to them alone. They have several Lodges in different countries for their reception; and when any of them fall into decay, the Brotherhood is to relieve them. The manner of their adoption or admission is very formal and solemn, and with the administration of an oath of secrecy, which has had better fate than all other oaths, and has ever been most religiously observed; nor has the world yet been able, by the inadvertency, surprise, or folly of any of its members, to dive into this mystery, or make the least discovery."
In some of Mr. Ashmole's Manuscripts, there are many valuable Collections relating to the History of the Free Masons, as may be gathered from the letters of Dr. Knipe, of Christ Church, Oxford, to the publisher of Ashmole's life, the following extracts from which will authenticate and illustrate many facts in the following history:
“ As to the ancient society of Free Masons, concerning whom you are desirous of knowing what may be known with certainty, I shall only tell you, that if our worthy Brother E. Ashmole, Esq., had executed his intended design, our Fraternity had been as much obliged to him as the Brethren of the most noble order of the Garter. I would not have you surprised at this expression, or think it at all too assuming. The Sovereigns of that Order have not disdained our fellowship, and there have been times when Emperors were also Free Masons. What from Mr. Ashmole's collection I could gather, was, that the report of our Societies taking rise from a bull granted by the Pope in the reign of Henry VI. to some Italian architects to travel over all Europe to erect chapels, was ill founded. Such a bull there was, and those architects were Masons. But this bull, in the opinion of the learned Mr. Ashmole, was confirmative only, and did not by any means create our Fraternity, or even establish them in this kingdom. But as to the time and manner of that establishment, something I shall relate from the same collections.
“St. Alban, the protomartyr, established Masonry here, and from his time, it flourished, more or less, according as the world went, down to the days of King Athelstane, who, for the sake of his brother Edwin, granted the Masons a charter. Under our Norman princes, they frequently received extraordinary marks of royal favour; there is no
doubt to be made, that the skill of Masons, which was always transcendently great, even in the most barbarous times; their wonderful kindness and attachment to each other, how different soever in condition ; and their inviolable fidelity in keeping religiously their secrets, must expose them, in ignorant, troublesome, and superstitious times, to a vast variety of adventures, according to the different fate of parties, and other alterations in government. By the way,
may be noted, that the Masons were always loyal, which exposed them to great severities when power wore the appearance of justice, and those who committed treason punished true men as traitors. Thus, in the third year of Henry VI. an act passed to abolish the society of Masons, and to hinder, under grievous penalties, the holding chapters, Lodges, or other regular assemblies; yet this act was afterwards (virtually) repealed, and even before that, King Henry, and several Lords of his court became Fellows of the Craft.”
Some Lodges in the reign of Charles II. were constituted by leave of the several noble Grand Masters, and many gentlemen and famous scholars requested at that time to be admitted of the Fraternity.
The experienced Mason of the present day, will, at one glance, perceive that the following regulations, with but little variation, are still in full force :
Extract from the Regulations made in General Assem
bly, Dec. 27, 1663. Henry Jermyn, Earl of St. Albans, Grand Master.
“1. That no person, of what degree soever, be made or accepted a Free Mason unless in a regular Lodge, whereof