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FRINGE MASONRY IN ENGLAND 1870-85 By BRO. ELLIC HOWE (14 September-1972) PREFACE-: MY FIRST ENCOUNTER with the concept of 'fringe' Masonry and the names of Kenneth Mackenzie and Francis George Irwin was in 1961, when I was baffled by almost everything relating to the origins and early history of Dr. W. Wynn Westcott's extraordinary androgynous Magical society, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. A. E. Waite suggested in his auto-biographical Shadows of Life and Thought, 1938, that Mackenzie might once have owned the Golden Dawn's legendary Cypher Manuscript, although this seems unlikely. The provenance of this document is unknown and likely to remain so. It was in the possession of the Rev. A. F. A. Woodford, a founder member of Q.C. Lodge, in 1886 and he gave it to Westcott in August 1887. Thereafter we are confronted with a lunatic story of fabricated letters, invisible Secret Chiefs and, for good measure, the introduction of a mythical German lady called Fraulein Sprengel, otherwise the Greatly Honoured Soror Sapiens Dominabitur Astris, allegedly an eminent 'Rosicrucian' adept. It was she, according to Westcott, who gave him permission to operate the Golden Dawn in this country. While all this is great fun for amateurs of the absurd, it is outside the scope of this paper. (1) Since Waite tentatively suggested that the Golden Dawn trail led in the direction of Mackenzie, I followed it via his The Brotherhood of the Rosy Cross, 1924, and there I first came across Irwin's name. Certain statements made by Waite attracted my attention. 'For a period of about twenty-five years, dating approximately from 1860,' he wrote, 'the existence of amateur manufactories of Rites in England is made evident by the facts of their output, for which all antecedent history is wanting, except in a pseudo-traditional sense, which is that of occult invention.' The convoluted prose style is typical of Waite's writing. He inferred, too, that Mackenzie was connected with what he called a 'manufactory, mint or studio of Degrees'. He described Irwin as 'a believer in occult arts within the measure of a thinking and reading person of his particular mental class', adding that 'for the rest [he] was satisfied apparently with the pursuits of spiritualism, to the truth of which his circle bears witness in unpublished writings'. Finally Waite mentioned that Irwin 'was a zealous and amiable Mason, with a passion for Rites and an ambition to add to their number'. (2) Waite antedated the 'studio of Degrees' by about ten years. My belief is that Irwin was always far more preoccupied with Freemasonry ('fringe' and otherwise) than with spiritualism. Unable to make any headway with the Golden Dawn problem I turned to other eccentricities. (3) I might never have returned to Mackenzie et alii but for the fact that in the autumn of 1969 I was again back in the Golden Dawn territory and fated to remain there for the next two years. Then in October 1970 Bro. A. R. Hewitt, Librarian of the United Grand Lodge of England, showed me a collection of c. 6oo letters which F. G. Irwin had received from twenty-five different correspondents between 1868 and 1891. (4) The majority of them were from Kenneth Mackenzie and Benjamin Cox. For the most part they were written during the 1870s. (1) See Ellic Howe, The Magicians of the Golden Dawn: A Documentary History of a Magical Order, 1887-1923, London, Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1972. (2) See A, E. Waite, The Brotherhood of the Rosy Cross, 1924, pp. 568ff. (3) These included a still uncompleted study ofthe Germanen Order in relation to the prehistory of German National Socialism. The G.O. (.fl. 1911-c. 22) was a pseudo-Masonic (and anti-Masonic!) secret society with a psychopathic anti-semitic bias. By 19I4 it had a dozen 'lodges' scattered throughout Germany. (4) Irwin died on 26 July 1893. There is no reference in his will to the disposal of his books and papers, but his widow presented them to Grand Lodge in March 1894. Apart from the letters, which are preserved in three small boxes, other documents from this source are in 'special subject' folders under such headings as 'Sat B'hai' and 'Swedenborg Rite'. There is also an interesting collection of MS. rituals, all for pseudo-Masonic rites, in Irwin's handwriting or copied for him by his friend Benjamin Cox. For a check list of Irwin's correspondents see Appendix 1. When I first read these letters I realised that it would now be possible to document Mackenzie and Irwin, also the amateur manufactories of rites, in greater detail than had been possible in the past. Indeed, the correspondence threw new light upon the whole area of 'fringe' Masonry during the late Victorian era. The term 'fringe Masonry' is used here for want of a better alternative. It was not 'irregular' Masonry because those who promoted the rites did not initiate Masons, i.e. confer the three Craft degrees or the Holy Royal Arch. Hence they did not encroach upon Grand Lodge's and Grand Chapter's exclusive preserve. The appearance during the second half of the nineteenth century of various 'additional', 'higher' or 'side' degrees indicates a loose interpretation of the last sentence in Article II of the Act of Union in 1813. This merely stated that it was 'not intended to prevent any Lodge or Chapter from holding a meeting in any of the Degrees of the Orders of Chivalry according to the constitutions of the said Orders'. A Grand Council of Allied Masonic Degrees was formed in 1884. Rule I of its original Constitution stated: In view of the rapid increase of Lodges of various Orders recognising no central authority and acknowledging no common form of goverrunent, a Ruling Body has been formed to take under its direction all Lodges of such various Orders in England and Wales and the Colonies and Dependencies of the Bridsh Crown as may be willing to join it. It will be seen that submission to the Grand Council's authority was a matter of choice.(1) Furthermore, it never occurred to Irwin or Mackenzie and their friends to apply for, let alone accept, the Grand Council's jurisdiction over their 'inventions'. (2) The emergence of a variety of 'additional degrees' after c. 1860 - those that later came under the authority of the Grand Council of Allied Degrees, and the 'stray' rites in which Mackenzie & Co. had a hand - happened at a time when the Craft was rapidly expanding in England, with a consequent increase in the number of lodges. It was coincidental that there was a widespread contemporary public interest in spiritualism and alleged mediumistic phenomena. There was no connection between the new spiritualist movement and Freemasonry, but men like Mackenzie and Irwin, who were active in 'fringe' Masonry, were often spiritualists. Furthermore they and many others in their particular circle were also identified with occultism. They did not represent anything remotely like a mass movement within Craft Masonry. We are merely confronted with a small and amorphous group of men, most of whom knew one another. The same names will be found time and again. Since I have in turn referred to a Magical Society, i.e. the Golden Dawn, mentioned Waite's hypothesis that Mackenzie might have had some connection with its pre-history, and identified Irwin as a believer in the occult arts, some may suppose that I have a personal involvement with occultism. This is not the case. As a historian of ideas I am solely concerned with the historical fact of the persistent survival of beliefs which can be equated with the concept of 'Rejected Knowledge', meaning knowledge which is rejected by the Establishment at large because it is held to be superstitious, lacking a rational basis, unscientific, and so on. Astrology is a typical example. This paper's subject matter is outside the main stream of the history of Freemasonry in nineteenth-century England. However, it concerns an obscure area which nobody else has hitherto wanted to describe. And that, perhaps, is its only justification. (1) In 1902 the Grand Council extended its authority and claimed 'the superintendence of all such Degrees or Orders as may hereafter be established in England and Wales with, and by consent of, The Supreme Council 33 degree, Great Priory, Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons, Grand Council of Roval and Select Masters and Grand Imperial Conclave of the Red Cross of Constantine, but not under the superintendence of such governing bodies'. By this time there was little or no interest in the creation of additional rites. (2) Mackenzie and Invin were discussing the formation of a Council of Side Degrees as early as 1875. On 11 June Mackenzie informed Irwin that 'I have put the question as to a Council of Side Degrees to my uncle Bro. Hervey [Grand Secretary of the United Grand Lodge of England] and if he sees nothing improper in the matter I shall have no hesitation in acting conjointly with yourself in putting such a plan forward. It would in one way regulate the conferring of these degrees', of which there are some 270 in existence and thus prevent a good deal of imposture. . . . ' A day later letter (4 February 1876) explains what Mackenzie had in mind. Groups of these degrees would be successively available to Mark Masters, R. A. Companions, and, according to seniority, to members of the A. & A. Rite. Their projected Council was never formed. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS My thanks are due to the Board of General Purposes of the United Grand Lodge of England for permission to use material in Grand Lodge Library, also to Bro. A. R. Hewitt, Librarian and Curator, Bro. T. O. Haunch, Assistant Librarian, and Bro. John Hamill, Library Assistant, for their help and countless acts of kindness. I also express my gratitude to Bro. Harry Carr and Bro. Roy Wells for their constant encouragement. Four Brethren, in particular, have helped to smooth research's sometimes stony path and I thank Bro. Cohn F. W. Dyer (Secretary of Emulation Lodge of Improvement) for notes on Frederick Hockley and John Hogg; Bro. S.W.V.P. Fletcher (Royal Somerset House and Inverness Lodge No. 4) for delving at the Public Record Office and Somerset House on my behalf; Bro. A. L. Peavot (Secretary of Oak Lodge No. 190) for showing me the Lodge's minute book for 1870-1; and Bro. P. M. Rae (Secretary of Lodce Canongate Kilwinning, No. 2, Edinburgh) for the hours he spent searching in his own lodge's minutes in quest of Kenneth Mackenzie's elusive name; and finally Bro. Dr. Henry Gillespie, a member of my own Lodge (St. George's No. 370) for metaphorically placing me in a position, in his own inimitable way, to undertake this particular research. My thanks are also due to Miss Sibylla Jane Flower, Miss Winifred Heard (Chiswick District Library), Miss E. Talbot Rice (National Army Museum, London), Mr. Christopher McIntosh, Mr. Gerald Yorke (for the almost indefinite loan of S.R.I.A. material), Lieut.-Col. J. E. South (Librarian, Institution of Royal Engineers, Chatham), Dr. F. N. L. Poynter (Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine), Mr. J. C. Morgan (Archives Dept., Westminster City Library), The Public Archives of Canada, Ottawa, and the City Librarians at Birmingham and Bristol. As so often in the past I have to thank old friends on the stain of the London Library and the Warburg Institute, University of London. GRAND LODGE AND THE RITE OF MEMPHIS The History of the rite, which was of French origin, in England is of interest for several reasons. For about seventeen years after 1850 in this country it was in the hands of Frenchmen. Up to 1859 it was possible that they only initiated their compatriots. It is conceivable that Grand Lodge knew nothing about it until the latter year when it learned, to its displeasure, of the existence at Stratford, Essex, of a Memphis 'Craft' lodge whose members were all British. Under the heading 'Answers to Correspondents' in its issue of 14 October 1871 The Freemason stated that 'The Rite of Memphis is the only so-called Masonic Rite which has incurred the denunciation of the Grand Lodge of England.' This was because the 'Equality Lodge King of Prussia' at Stratford had never been warranted by Grand Lodge and was therefore in every respect irregular. It is unlikely that the rite still survived in England under its French rulership as late as 187I. However, in i872 John Yarker imported it from the U.S.A., but since he did not confer its first three degrees, meaning that he did not initiate Masons, the rite was not 'irregular'. On the other hand it was areatly disliked by the Supreme Council 33 degree of the Ancient and Accepted Rite which had already expelled Yarker in 1870. I will refer to Yarker's extraordinary career in 'fringe' Masonry later. The multifarious information - or more often misinformation - about the early history of the Rite of Memphis, which has been transmitted from one book or encyclopaedia to another, cannot be condensed into a few lines. (1) The usual story is that it was established with ninety five degrees by Samuel Honis at Cairo in 1814. He brought it to France in 1815 and a lodge ('Les Disciples de Memphis') was founded on 30 April at Montauban by Honis, Gabriel Mathieu Marconis de Negre and others. This lodge was closed on 7 March 1816 and Honis and Marconis de Negre conveniently disappear from the scene. Next we encounter the latter's son Jacques-Etienne Marconis de Negre, commonly known as Marconis, at Paris in 1838. A few lodges were formed but it is evident that J.-E. Marconis, Grand Hierophant 96 degree, failed to attract much of a following. In 1841 the police intervened, no doubt after receiving a gentle nudge from the Grand Orient or the French Supreme Council 33 degree, and the rite went underground until 1848, the (1) Here I have mainly used Albert Lantoine, Histoire de la franc-maconnerie francaise, Paris, 1925, pp. 287-97; articles or references in The Freemason, 1869-72; Albert Mackey, An Encyclopaedia of Freemasonry, Philadelphia, 1875 (not in Wolfstieg but probably a more or less exact reprint of the first 1874 edition); and the 'historical' article on John Yarker's Antient and Primitive Rite of Masonry in his periodical The Kneph, Vol. 1, No. 8, August 1881. The latter contains many misrepresentations. 'Year of Revolutions'. Then, under a more liberal regime, Marconis was able to revive it. Lantoine (seefootnote 1, previous page) inferred that the rite suffered a debacle totale in December 1851 and that Marconis then allowed it to 'slumber', furthermore that its somnolence was permanent. This may well have been the case in France, but there was an export market for a novelty that offered a grand total of ninety-five degrees and during the next decade it was sold - it is inconceivable that Marconis offered all those degrees as friendly gifts - to the U.S.A., Egypt and Roumania. The rite also reached England in 1850, but in the possession of Frenchmen who had previously belonged to it in France. Their status, both as 'Memphis' Masons and as individuals is of considerable interest and I will refer to this later. Honis surrendered the rite, or rather its corpse, to the Grand Orient in 1862 and relinquished any form of jurisdiction over it. The G.O. regularised its French members by recognising them as Craft Masons and placed all its higher degrees upon what it hoped was a conveniently high shelf. Marconis, however, did not keep faith with the G.O. and dispensed warrants outside France, claiming that his renunciation only applied to France itself. He died on 21 November 1869, unregretted as far as the G.O. was concerned. Grand Lodge first became aware of the rite's eastence in the autumn of 1859, although it appears to have been quietly active here since 1850. On 24 October I859 the Grand Secretary, William Gray Clarke, sent a circular letter to the Masters of all lodges in the English constitution. This document included a facsimile reproduction of a Memphis certificate issued by the 'Loge Egalite, O[rientl de Stratford' from which the name of the recipient and various emblematical devices had been deleted.(1) The Grand Secretary's letter began: 'I am directed to inform you ... that there are at present existing in London and elsewhere in this country, spurious Lodges claiming to be Freemasons.' He warned Masters to be careful not to admit any irregular 'Memphis' Masons to their own lodges and emphasised that 'the Brethren of your Lodge ... can hold no communication with irregular lodges without incurring the penalty of expulsion from the Order, and the liability to be proceeded against under Act 39, George III, for taking part in the Meetings of illegal secret Societies'. Some weeks later the Grand Secretary received a polite letter from Stratford. It disclosed that the lodge there was being joined by members of the artisan class who could not afford to join regular lodges. The letter did not reveal that the heads of the rite in England were French radical republicans who had fled from France in 1849-50 after Prince Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte was elected President of the Republic in December 1848. It is possible that the Stratford lodge might have been 'political' to an extent uknown in English Craft lodces, in which all political controversy was forbidden (see Antient Charges, VI, 2). (2) The letter was signed by Robert Meikle, Leamen Stephens, David Booth, Charles Ashdown, Charles Turner, Stephen Smith and another whose name is illegible. Its first paragraph follows: Equality Lodge King of Prussia Stratford The 4th day of December 1859 V.'. E.'. Sir and Brother, As it appears from a Circular issued by the Board-for [sicl General Purposes addressed to The Masonic body in England, that a great misconception exists in the minds of the Members of that Board as to the real objects and character of the Brethren comprising the Equality Lodge at Stratford we are instructed by the W.M. and Council of the Lodge to forward to you for the information of the Board such facts as may be useful to make known at the Quarterly communication. In the first place Stratford and its neighbourhood contains a population of some thousands of Skilled Mechanics, Artisans and Engineers, many of whom from their superior attainments or from the exigiencies of Trade are called upon to pursue their avocations in the various states of Continental Europe or in our own colonial possessions (3) and to whom therefore the advantages rising from Masonic Fraternity are of great consequence. A desire therefore has long existed for the erection of a Masonic Temple in this district and one or two abortive (1) The certificate, with parallel texts in French and English, was undoubtedly designed and printed in France. It is headed: 'Au Nom du G .'. Conseil Gen .'. de l'Ordre Mac .'. Reforme de Memphis, sous les auspices de la Gr .'. Loge des Philadelphes'. The signatures of the seven lodge officers (Le Ven[erable] de la L[oge], Le ier Surveillant) etc. were all of Englishmen. The signatures of three 'Grand Officers' were those of Frenchmen. (2) The analysis and discussion of various documents relating to the Rite of Memphis in France and England, 1850-70, are reserved for a separate article. (3) There was a Memphis lodge at Ballarat, Australia, during the 1860s. attempts have been made for this purpose by Brethren in connection with your G.L., the failure arising chiefly from the large sums necessary for Initiations and raisings. The matter would probably have rested here, had it not happened some eighteen months since that several parties now Brethren of this Lodge were brought into communication with a number of Foreign Brothers meeting in London ... We feel honoured therefore by our association with those Intellectual and Honourable men to whom we owe our existence as a body; we are sympathetic to their misfortunes, and regret the causes that have made them exiles from their native land. In 1869 almost ten years had passed since Grand Lodge issued its warning that the Rite of Memphis was irregular. It still existed in England although it cannot have had many members. The amnesties of 1859 and 1869 had made it possible for its French brethren to return to France. Robert Wentworth Little, the editor of the recently established weekly periodical The Freemason (No. 1, 13 March 1869) and second clerk and cashier in the Grand Secretary's office at Freemasons' Hall, referred to the rite in the issue of 3 April i869. An extract from his leading article follows: We are induced to use very strong language in allusion to this pretended rite, from the fact that its adherents have dared to erect their 'ateliers' or workshops in the heart of London, and because they now claim to be connected, on terms of amity and alliance, with some Masonic bodies on the continent, notably with one or two lodges in the south of France, and even with the Supreme Council of the 33rd degree at Turin . . . We grieve to learn, however, that doubtless in ignorance of this caution [i.e. the Grand Secretary's warning in 1859], some members of English lodges have given countenance to the 'Philadelphes', by attending their soirees and balls, where, tricked out in fantastic finery, as 'Hierophants of the Star of Sirius', 'Sovereign Pontiffs of Eleusis' and 'Grand Masters of the redoubtable sacred Sadah', these imposters libel the simplicity and purity of our noble Craft ... The gravest rumours are also in circulation as to the designs of these intriguing 'Philadelphes', the most revolutionarv ideas, it is said, have been broached in their mystic assemblies, and Orsini like conspirators have been seen emerging from their dark and dangerous dens. (1) At the Quarterly Communication of Grand Lodge held on 7 June 1871 the Rite of Memphis and, by implication, Little's name were mentioned in the same context. The subsequent fracas was to occupy Grand Lodge's worried attention until a year later. THE RITE OF MISRAIN (OR MIZRAIM) The annals of this rite, which reached England under somewhat incongruous circumstances late in 1870, are not unlike those of the Rite of Memphis. Once again we encounter a mainly French origin, picturesque characters in the background and a monstrous collection of degrees. But whereas Memphis was declared irregular as soon as Grand Lodge learned that it was poaching in its preserves, Mismaim was not officially attacked because it did not initiate Masons. However, by today's more critical standards, on English soil it was an aberration. Whether or not the rite originated in Italy in 1805 with ninety degrees - plus three more for its 'Secret Chiefs' - and was brought to France in 1814 (or 1815) by the three Bedarride brothers is of no great consequence. Any synthesis of the information available from a variety of sources is likely to be inaccurate. Thus instead of perpetuating traditional 'legends' my account of the rite's background in France has been reduced to a few lines. The Grand Orient declared the rite irregular in 1816. The police visited Marc Bedarride, the eldest of the three brothers, in September 1822 but found nothing suspicious. (Jacques Etienne Marconis was briefly a 'Misraimite' before he revived Memphis in 1839. He was expelled at Paris in 1833 as J.-E. Marconis and again at Lyons in 1834 under the name of de Negre). According to Lenhoff and Posner (Internationales Freimaurer Lexikon, 1932, art. Misraim-Ritus), like its Memphis rival the Rite of Mismaim was repeatedly forbidden by the French authorities, but always rose to the surface again. Indeed, for a brief period from 1882-90 the Grand Orient gave it recognition. Its mother lodge in France, the 'Arc en Ciel' was still working as late as 1925. (1) Felice Orsini (1819-58), Italian conspirator who attempted to assassinate Napoleon III on 14 January 1858. He was guillotined. The Memphis Freemasons were meeting at the Eclectic Hall, Soho, in 1871 (article on the Rites of Mismaim and Memphis signed R.E.X. in The Freemason, 15 April 1871). The Ancient and Primitive Rite of Misraim arrived in England - out of thin rather than any other kind of air -late in 1870. The Freemason reported on 31 December that a 'Supreme Council General of the 90 degree, had been regularly formed here 'under the authority conveyed in a diploma granted to the Ill. .'. Bro. .'. Cremieux, 33 degree of the Rite Ecossais, and a member of the Grand College of Rites in France'. In England the rite's three Conservators-General, all 90 degree, were the Earl of Limerick, Sigismund Rosenthal and Robert Wentworth Little, who was then thirty years of age and, as I mentioned above, employed in the Grand Secretary's office at Freemasons' Hall. Little, as we will learn, was an energetic promoter of 'addidonal degrees'. The Rite of Misraim's inaugural meeting was held at the Freemasons' Tavern on 28 December 1870 with Bros. Little, Limerick and Rosenthal in the three principal chairs. The main items on the agenda were to form the 'Bective Sanctuary of Levites' (named after the Earl of Bective, who had accepted office as Sovereign Grand Master), and to confer the 33 degree upon between eighty and a hundred brethren who were present. After being admitted seven at a time, the new 33 degree members elected six of their number to be 66 degree. It can be inferred that the three Conservators-General had previously nominated themselves 90 degree. In the report in The Freemason the name of Major E. H. Finney 90 degree also appears, but without comment. The fact that he was not identified in any particular manner was significant. Almost without exception those present were members of the 'Red Cross Order', meaning the Imperial, Ecclesiastical and Military Order of the Knights of the Red Cross of Rome and Constantine, which Little had 'revived' in 1865. It was announced that the Antient and Primitive Rite of Mismaim would be attached to the 'Red Cross Order' for admistrative purposes. At this inaugural meeting 'the alms collected amounted to 2 pounds Os- 3d.' -say 6d. per head -'and the brethren adjourned to supper, separating at an early hour'. It is necessary to relate these 'Misraimic' events in London to the current situation in France. Napoleon III had declared war on Germany on in July 1870 and on 12 September surrendered at Sedan with 104,000 men. By 19 September six German corps surrounded Paris, which was effectively cut off from the outside world. A few days earlier a government of national defence was formed in the capital. The war, which continued, was conducted by a Delegation of the government which had made its way to Tours a few days before Paris was invested by the German armies. Between 19 September 1870 and until shortly after 28 January 1871 Paris had no normal postal communication with the French provinces or abroad. Isaac Adolphe Cremieux was a well-known lawyer and liberal politician. At Tours, together with Leon Gambetta (a Freemason since 1869), he was a leading member of the Delegation, which had assumed the functions of a government-in-exile. On 8 December 1870, following the retreat of the Army of the Loire, Cremieux decided to transfer the Delegation to Bordeaux. Furthermore, there is documentary evidence that he was there on 28 December 1870, the day when the inaugural meeting of the Rite of Misraim was held in London. (1) This fact is important in relation to later events. When postal communication with France was resumed, Bro. John Montagu, Grand Secretary General of the Supreme Council 33 degree, whose offices were at Golden Square, wrote on 11 March 1871 to Bro. Thevenot, Grand Secretary of the Grand Orient at Paris, to ask if Cremieux had the G.O.'s authority to issue a diploma for the establishment of the Rite of Misraim in London. Thevenot replied on 24 March and emphatically stated that no one, including Cremieux, had been given any such permission. (2) Montagu forthwith sent copies of the correspondence to the editor of the Freemasons' Magazine and Masonic Mirror. It would appear that its rival publication The Freemason was not on Montagu's mailing list, possibly because R. W. Little had a close connection with this periodical. (3) The Freemasons' Magazine (1) See S. Posener, Adolphe Cremieux (1796-1880), 2 vols., Paris, 1934, which is the standard biography. Posener reprinted the text of a telegram despatched by Cremieux from Bordeaux to Paris on 28 December. See Vol. II, p. 215. (2) It will be noted that Montagu wrote to Thevenot at the Grand Orient rather than to his own opposite number at the French Supreme Council 33 degree, or even to Cremieux. The latter had been the Supreme Council's Sovereign-Grand Commander (i.e. head) since 1869. Here we encounter part of an extremely complex chapter in the history of French Freemasonry - it concerns the current relationships between the Grand Orient and the Supreme Council - which cannot be discussed here. For Cremieux's Masonic career see Posener, op. cit., Vol.II, pp. 164-7; A. Lantoine, La Franc-Maconnerie ecossaise en France, Paris, 1931; and the biographical note in Lenhoff and Posner, Internationales Freimaurer Lexikon, 1932. (3) According to Little's obituary in The Rosicrucian and Masonic Record, April 1878, he 'edited the earlier numbers of The Freemason'. The date when he relinquished the editorship is not known. and Masonic Mirror published the Montagu-Thevenot correspondence without delay on 1 April 1871. The editor, or perhaps someone else who wanted to stoke the fire, expressed a doubt whether 'any authority had been given for the establishment of the Rite of Mizraim [in London], which was then [in The Freemason of 31 December 1870] asserted to have been the case'. The writer continued: 'The fact of Paris then being in a state of siege prevented any enquiries being made on the subject.' Then a bomb with a relatively short time-fuse was planted: ' . . . how long', the writer asked, '[will] the Board of General Purposes ... permit this systematic trading upon Masonry on the part of those in the employ of Grand Lodge, whose connection with it gives a colour to their misrepresentations, and which connection is most likely to lead many to believe that these proceedings, if not authorised by Grand Lodge, are at least sanctioned by it.' A week later, on 8 April 1871, The Freemason published an unsigned article headed 'The Rite of Misraim, by a Conservator-General 90 degree. This was undoubtedly written by Little. He began by accusing the Supreme Council of the A. & A. Rite of having had plans to annex the Rite of Misraim, presumably before the inaugural meeting on 28 December 1870. (1) Indeed, he described the Supreme Council's allegedly nefarious designs with a surprising lack of moderation. These purple passages need not be reprinted, but Little's account of what happened on 28 December is fascinating: ... a meeting of brethren desirous of establishing the Rite upon a legal basis was held, and this meeting was attended by a pupil of Marc Bedarride, the 'Premier Grand Conservateur' of the Order, and who had received its degrees thirty-seven years previously from the Great Chief himself. This distinguished brother assented to the Rite being reorganised under his auspices, and without his presence and leadership not a step in the matter was made by the present Conservators-General. It is quite true that for reasons easily understood by those who are acquainted with the inquisitorial system pursued by the S. G. C. 33 degree, the illustrious brother alluded to thought it expedient to keep his name out of sight until the Rite was firmly consolidated, and it is equally true that he sought cooperation and aid from Ill. Bro. Cremieux, 33 degree, of France, who was then in London. It is further beyond question that Brother Cremieux would have attended the inaugural meeting of the 'Bective Sanctuary' had he not been unavoidably prevented by urgent business. However, on 28 December 1870 Crdmieux's 'urgent business' was being conducted at Bordeaux. Little continued: Bro.C., however, as a proof of his willingness to assist, sent to the meeting his diploma as a member of the French Grand College of Rites, and this diploma was placed upon the table during the proceedings, and was examined by several out of the hundred Masons present. It was also understood that Bro. C.'s diploma invested him with the power to found rites or orders recognised by the Grand Orient of France (the Rite of Misraim being one) in all countries where no such rites existed, and this statement was accepted as confirming and endorsing the previous action of the prime mover, Marc Bedarride's pupil and friend. Thevenot's letter to Montagu was brusquely brushed aside: ... in reality it is a matter of indifference, inasmuch as the organisation of the Rite in England rests upon another and surer foundation - its title being derived ... from the great Bedarride himself, and not from any foreign jurisdiction however 'ancient and accepted'. As for the nature of the diploma which was 'examined by several out of the hundred Masons present', one can only speculate. The inference is that Little either manufactured it himself, or that the document was faked for him by someone else. It remains to identify the 'pupil of Marc Bedarride' who had received the Misraim degrees thirty-seven years earlier, and who 'thought it expedient to keep his name out of sight', no doubt at Little's behest. He was probably Major E. H. Finney 90 degree, mentioned above, because apart from the three Conservators-General, i.e. Little, the Earl of Limerick and Sigismund (1) The Supreme Council may have had an obscure claim to the rite. See Arnold Whitaker Oxford, The Origin and Progress of the Supreme Council 33 degree of the Ancient and Accepted (Scottish) Rite for England etc., Oxford University Press, 1933) PP- 37-40. Oxford briefly mentioned the rite in connection with the Rose Croix members of the Antiquity Encampment of Knights Templar at Bath in 1866. Rosenthal, he was the only 90 degree recorded as being, present at the famous meeting held on 28 December. EMBARRASSING QUESTIONS IN GRAND LODGE The publication of the Montagu-Thevenot letters and Little's 'defence' did not remain unnoticed. Three months later, at the Quarterly Communication of Grand Lodge on 7 June 1871, Bro. Sir Patrick Colquhoun rose to his feet and asked a question. 'Whether Grand Lodge countenance the Rite of Misraim of 90 degree, the Rite of Memphis and the Order of Rome and Constantine? and if not, whether it be consistent with the position of a subaltern in the Grand Secretary's office that he take a lead in these unrecognised degrees?' This enquiry set the cat among the Masonic pigeons because the 'subaltern' was none other than Robert Wentworth Little who, although only thirty-one years of age, was already a well known personality in the Craft. (1) The lengthy deliberations at successive Quarterly Communications and the Board of General Purposes' investigation of Little's alleged activities need not be described here. However, the Quarterly Communication's minutes show that some Grand Officers, and Bro. Matthew Cooke (P.M. Globe Lodge No. 23) in particular, had an incorrect or confused knowledge of the status of certain Orders or additional degrees. It was Cooke who raised the temperature at the next Quarterly Communication on 6 September 1871. 'Within the last six or seven years a great innovation has crept in, that ought to be looked to or stopped before it grew to too great a height', he declared. 'In the Book of Constitutions it is held forth that it is not in the power of any man, or body of men, to make innovations in the body of Masonry.' He then metaphorically pointed an accusing finger at the clerks in the Grand Secretary's office who, he said, 'on their own account formulate, tabulate, and send abroad other degrees, and they make the office the place from which they emanate.' Bro. John Havers, P.G.W., protested that Cooke's remarks were libellous. The Grand Master, clearly embarrassed, asked Cooke to 'moderate his language and confine himself to his motion'. In due course Cooke moved: That whilst this Grand Lodge recognises the private right of every Brother to belong to any extraneous Masonic organisation he may choose, it firmly forbids, now and at any future time, all Brethren while engaged as salaried officials under this Grand Lodge to mix themselves up in any way with such bodies as the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite; the Rites of Misraim and Memphis; the spurious orders of Rome and Constantine -, the schismatic body styling itself the Grand Mark Lodge of England, or any other exterior Masonic organisation whatever, (even that of the Orders of Knights Templar, which is alone recognised by the Articles of Union) under the pain of immediate dismissal from employment by this Grand Lodge. The Grand Mark Lodge of England could hardly be described as schismatic because in 1856 Grand Lodge and Grand Chapter had jointly decided that the Mark Mason's degree was a graceful addition' to that of Fellow Craft. Furthermore, Grand Lodge had not objected to the recent establishment of what Cooke loosely referred to as 'the spurious orders of Rome and Constantine'.(2) Cooke's motion was referred to the Board of General Purposes, whose report to Grand Lodge, dated 22 November 1871, was discussed at the Quarterly Communication on 6 December. The Board had thought it desirable to circulate once again the previous Grand (1) R.W. Little (1840-78) was initiated in the Royal Union Lodge No. 382 at Uxbridge in May 1861 and was a founder of the Rose of Denmark Lodge No. 975 (1863), Villiers Lodge No. 1194 (1867) and Burdett Lodge No. 1293 (1869). He was also a joining member of Royal Albert Lodge No. 907 (1862) and Whittington Lodge No. 862 (1867). In Royal Arch he was exalted in Domatic Chapter No. 177 in 1863 and was a member of other R.A. Chapters. These details account for his career in Craft Masonry up to 1871. By 1878, when he died, he was an honorary member of about ninety Lodges and Chapters. (2) The Imperial Ecclesiastical and Military Order of the Knights of the Red Cross of Rome and Constantine, now the Masonic and Military Order of the Red Cross of Constantine, was 'revived' by Little in 1865 when he was only twenty-six years old. The Order achieved an immediate popularity. Between May 1865 and September 1871 sixty-two Conclaves were chartered. Of these fourteen were in Canada, eighteen in the U.S.A. and eight in India. The anonymous author of a pamphlet recently published under the authority of the Order's Grand Imperial Conclave in London refuted Little's proposition that he had resuscitated an Order with a lengthy previous history. See The History and Origin of the Masonic and Military Order of the Red Cross of Constantine, London, privately printed 1971. Secretary's letter of 4 October 1859, also the facsimile of the Memphis certificate, which warned the Craft not to have any intercourse with irregular lodges. The Board had established that Little had assisted on one occasion for twenty minutes or less 'at a Meeting held on the premises of the Craft for purposes connected with a Society not recognised by Grand Lodge', also that, on several occasions payments had been made to and received by the Clerk in question at the Grand Secretary's office for purposes not connected with the Craft'. By and large he was white washed. My brief summary of the discussions in Grand Lodge in 1871-2 omits much relating to contemporary individual attitudes to the degrees outside the Craft and Royal Arch. However, the minutes highlight the fact that, pace Bro. Cooke, during the last few years 'a great innovation had crept in', namely the introduction of so-called additional degrees. It can be inferred, too, that Little was very active in this territory. (1) R. W. LITTLE AND KENNETH MACKENZIE In 1866, the year after he 'revived' the Knights of the Red Cross of Rome and Constantine, Little founded the Rosicrucian Society of England, now the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia, more familiarly known as the Soc. Ros. or by its initials S.R.I.A. Unlike the 'Red Cross Order', as it was often called, it did not represent an 'additional degree'. Then, as now, it was a Masonic study croup. However, it had nine grades and worked its own brief rituals. At this point I must emphasise that all my references to the Rosicrucian Society or S.R.I.A. relate to its distant past. I know little about its affairs and membership after 1914. Here I am mainly concerned with Mackenzie's alleged participation in its origins. Important in the context of this study is that during its early years it provided a meeting place for Master Masons who were interested in one or other variety of 'Rejected Knowledge'. In the 1870s a fair number of its members can be identified as spiritualists. A decade later Dr. W. Wynn Westcott, Dr. W. R. Woodman (2) and S. L. MacGregor Mathers - in 1887 they became the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn's founding Chiefs - led the Society in the direction of the western Hermetic tradition, e.g. the study of the Cabbala and alchemical symbolism. In 1900 Westcott described its members as 'students of the curious and mystical lore, remaining still for investigation, as to the work and philosophy of the old Rosicrucians, Alchymists, and Mystics of past ages'. (3) When Madame Blavatsky settled permanently in London in 1887 a good many members joined the Theosophical Society and at least thirty were in the Golden Dawn at various times between 1887 and the early 1920s.(4) In effect, a small number of Freemasons whose interests veered in the direction of spiritualism and occultism, tended to find their way to the S.R.I.A. I cannot sufficiently emphasise that it was a small-scale affair and catered for minority interests. The average Freemason, and particularly the vast majority that did not bother to read the Masonic press, would not even have been aware that it existed. As to the Rosicrucian Society's foundation, the traditional story, as told by Dr. Westcott, is that Little found some old papers containing 'ritual information' at Freemasons' Hall and enlisted Mackenzie's help. (5) Westcott searched for these papers at Great Queen Street in 1900 but was unable to find them. It is possible that the documents were in German. If this was the (1) In November 1872 Little was elected Secretary of the Royal Masonic Institution for Girls. It is possible that a lobby was organised on his behalf because he polled 305 votes, the other three candidates sharing only fifteen between them. His departure from the Grand Secretary's office clearly removed a source of embarrassment. (2) Dr. W. R. Woodman (1828-91), a physician, was initiated in 1857 in St. George's Lodge No. 129 (now 112) at Exeter. He was successively Grand Recorder and Grand Treasurer of the Red Cross Order of Rome and Constantine. There was some overlapping of membership between the two bodies. (3) W. Wynn Westcort, History of the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia, London, privately printed, 1900, p. 31. (4) Between March and August 1888 about forty people were initiated in the G.D., which was open to members of both sexes. Of the twenty-eight males who joined at that time no less than eighteen were already members of the S.R.I.A. During the G.D.'s early period (1888-92) it was a perfectly innocent little secret society which worked half a dozen rituals composed by MacGregor Mathers, and whose members studied the elements of so-called occultism. In 1892 Mathers began to teach the theory and practice of Rirual Magic to a carefully selected minority. These thaumaturgic activities were supposed to be most secret. There must have been leakages of information because some highly respectable and senior members of the S.R.I.A. resigned at this time. 5 W. Wynn Westcort, op. cit., p. 6. case then Mackenzie, who had a first-class knowledge of that language, would have been able to translate them. (1) Mackenzie's help appears to have been important in another respect because, again quoting Westcott: 'Little availed himself of certain knowledge and authority which belonged to Brother Kenneth R. H. Mackenzie who had, during a stay in earlier life, been in communication with German Adepts who claimed a descent from previous generations of Rosicrucians. German Adepts had admitted him to some grades of their system, and had permitted him to attempt the foundation of a group of Rosicrucian students in England, who under the Rosicrucian name of the information that might form a partly esoteric society.'(2) Westcott is also the source of the information that Mackenzie received his Rosicrucian initiation in Austria, 'while living with Count Apponyi as an English tutor'. (3) Westcott's, and by inference Little's, acceptance of Mackenzie's alleged authority should be noted. It does not appear necessary to take Mackenzie's supposed Rosicrucian affiliations very seriously. Firstly, no contemporary Austrian or German 'Rosicrucian' group of which he might have been a member can be identified. Secondly, it can be established that, although he was abroad during his late teens, he was in London from early in 1851 onwards, namely at least ten months before his eighteenth birthday. It is unlikely that a mere youth would be admitted to any initiatory society, hence his own later claim to be a 'Rosicrucian adept' probably owed more to invention than truth. Waite observed, seemingly not without reason: 'On Rosicrucian subjects at least the record of Kenneth Mackenzie is one of recurring mendacity.' (4) Westcott did not join the Rosicrucian Society until 1880, two years after Little's death, and there is no evidence that he ever met him. He wrote, perhaps with intentional caution: 'The share of Mackenzie in the origin of the Society depends at the present time on his letters to Dr. Woodman (5) and Dr. Westcott, and on his personal conversations during the years 1876-86 with Dr. Westcott.' (6) While Mackenzie may have helped Little to launch the Rosicrucian Society in 1866, he was ineligible for membership because, according to Westcott, 'he was not an English Freemason'. It is doubtful whether he had ever previously been initiated under any other Obedience. When he eventually joined Oak Lodge, No. 190, in London four years later his career in Regular Freemasonry was to be surprisingly brief. His preoccupation with 'fringe'-Masonic aberrations had already begun. Mackenzie's letters to F. G. Irwin contain interesting information about the Rosicrucian Society's affairs during the 1870s. I have used very little of this material, preferring to leave it to the attention of the S.R.I.A. CAPTAIN FRANCIS GEORGE IRWIN The man whom A. E. Waite loftily described as 'a zealous and an amiable Mason with a passion for Rites and an ambition to add to their number' possibly deserves a less patronising appraisal. He was born on 19 June 1828. Benjamin Cox mentioned the date in a letter written in September 1885 when he discussed his own and Irwin's horoscopes. Apart from the brief biographical (1) It is conceivable that the papers referred to the late eighteenth-century German 'Gold-und Rosenkreuzer Orden', an offshoot of the Strict Observance. The Rosicrucian Society adopted the latter's grade scheme and nomenclature, i.e. Zelator, Theoricus, Practicus, Philosophus, etc. The grade names will be found in the extraordinary table of so-called Rosicrucian degrees in Mackenzie's Royal Masonic Cyclopaedia, 1877. Mackenzie wrote that this information 'had never before been published ... and the statements therein are derived from many sources of an authentic character, but have never been collected before.' This was a barefaced lie. He translated the complete table directly from Magister Pianco (i.e. Hans Heinrich von Ecker und Eckhoffen), Der Rosenkreuzer in seiner Blosse, 1781. (2) W. Wvnn Westcott, op. cit., P. 6. (3) ibid., Data of the History of the Rosicrucians, London, J.M. Watkins for the S.R.I.A., 1916, p.8. (4) A. E. Waite, The Brotherhood of the Rosy Cross, 1924, p. 566. (5) When R. W. Little died in April 1878, Dr. W. R. Woodman succeeded him as Supreme Magus of the Rosicrucian Society. Westcott followed Woodman as S.M. when the latter died in December 1891. William Wynn Westcott (1848-1925) was initiated in the Parrett and Axe Lodge, No. 814, at Crewkerne, Somersetshire, in 1871, soon after he qualified as a physician. He was then a partner in an uncle's medical practice at nearby Martock. He was invested as P.A.G.D.C. on 26 November 1877. In c. 1879 he moved to London and 'went into retirement at Hendon for two years, which were entirely devoted to the study of Kabalistic philosophy, the works of Hermetic writers, and the remains of the Alchymists and Rosicrucians' (AQC 38, 1925, P. 224). (6) W. Wynn Westcott, History of the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia, London, 1900, P. 7. note in AQC 1, 1886-8, the only source of information for his early life is Robert Freke Gould's obituary notice in AQC 6, 1893. (1) According to Gould he enlisted in the Royal Sappers and Miners on 8 November 1842 when he was fourteen years old. The Sappers and Miners were then N.C.O's. or other ranks with Royal Engineer officers. Members of the Corps were employed in various capacities at the Great Exhibition in 1851 and the Lance-Corporal Francis Irwin who received a bronze medal, a certificate signed by the Prince Consort and a present of a box of drawing instruments was probably our Irwin.(2) We next encounter him at Gibraltar in 1857. On 3 June 1857 he was initiated in the Gibraltar Lodge (also known as the Rock Lodge), No. 325, Irish Constitution. Gould, then a young subaltern in the 31 st Regiment of Foot and a Master Mason of two years standing, met Sergeant Irwin, now R.E., early in 1858 when he and another sergeant requested him to ask the D.P.G.M. for permission for them to revive the defunct Inhabitants Lodge, now No. 153. The lodge was resuscitated in February 1858 with Gould as W.M. and Irwin as S.W. Gould's regiment soon left for South Africa and Irwin succeeded him as W.M.. Gould mentioned that it was at Gibraltar that Irwin first met Lieutenant Charles Warren, R.E., who was initiated there in the Lodge of Friendship No. 278 on 30 December 1859. Gould recalled, too, that Warren had a great respect for Irwin, both as a Freemason and a soldier. Many years later Q.C. Lodge provided yet another link between these three men. (3) Irwin appears to have remained in Gibraltar until 1862 and from there may have gone to Malta. He can next be traced at Devonport (Plymouth), where he joined the St. Aubyn Lodge No. 954 on 11 April 1865. It is likely that it was he who introduced the Knight of Constantinople degree to English Freemasonry in that year. (4) In 1866 Irwin moved to Bristol. He had served in the ranks for almost twenty-four years and on 7 May 1866 was appointed Adjutant of the 1st Gloucestershire Engineer Volunteer Corps with the rank of Captain. He was to remain at Bristol until his death in 1893. When we encounter him in the first of Benjamin Cox's letters to him in September 1868 he had been a member of the Craft for eleven years and had just been installed as the first W.M. of St. Kew Lodge No. 1222 at Weston-super-Mare, then a quiet seaside resort about fifteen miles from Bristol. In 1869 he was appointed P.J.G.W. in the Province of Somersetshire and in the same year was made an honorary member of the Loge Etoiles Reunis at Liege, Belgium. According to Gould ' . . . there was scarcely a degree in existence, if within his range, that he did not become a member of. Indeed, he became late in life a diligent student of the French and German languages, in order that he might peruse the Masonic literature of each in the vernacular'. A number of MS. translations of French rituals' either in his own small and distinctive handwriting or transcribed for him by the indefatigable Benjamin Cox, bear witness to his knowledge of French. The obituary published in the Bristol Times and Mirror upon his death on 26 July 1893 referred to his great interest in Freemasonry and suggested that 'he hardly occupied the position his education and abilities qualified him for'. K. R. H. MACKENZIE - EARLY LIFE AND CAREER TO 1872 If Mackenzie is remembered at all in Masonic circles today it is as the compiler of The Royal Masonic Cyclopaedia which was published in parts by John Hogg in 1875-7. A. E. Waite's disparaging remarks about him in his New Encyclopaedia of Freemasonry, 1921, and The (1) Gould's information concerning Irwin's military career is not always accurate, hence a few corrections have been made. (2) See T. W. J. Connally, The History of the Corps of Sappers and Miners, 2 vols., 1855. About two hundred Sappers and Miners were employed at the Great Exhibition, e.g. on maintenance work. (3) When Q.C. Lodge was consecrated on 12 March 1886, Lieut.-Col. Sir Charles Warren, G.C.M.G., F.R.S., was its first W.M. R.F. Gould, whose famous History of Freemasonry, 6 vols., 1882-7, was nearing completion, was another of the lodge's nine founder members. On 7 April 1886 Irwin was one of the first six joining members to be elected. He and Gould met one another for the first time since i858 at the Q.C. Lodge meeting on 3 June 1886. (4) The following is from F. L. Pick and G. Norman Knight, The Pocket History of Freemasonry, 5th edition, 1969, P. 249: 'This is a real "side" degree in the sensc that, many years ago, it was customary for one Brother to confer it on another. He would take him aside at the end of a Lodge meeting, for instance, administer a simple obligation and entrust him with the secrets. The origin of the degree is not known .... It first came to England in 1865, brought to Plymouth from Malta by a military Brother, and three Councils were erected there to work it in full form.' W. Hearder's pamphlet Past Illustrious Sovereign of Knight of Constantinople Jewel, 1916, records that 'on the 17th of January, 1865 ... the Eminent and Perfect Illustrious Brother F. G. Irwin formed the first Council at the St. Aubyn Lodge, Devonport, and several eminent Masons were entrusted with the secrets of the Order, and were elevated to the degree of Knights of Constantinople....' Brotherhood of the Rosy Cross, 1924, had intrigued me long before I saw his letters to Irwin. When I read these documents, which revealed and yet at the same time hid so much, I sensed that it would be impossible to understand Mackenzie's role in 'fringe' Masonry without knowing more about his early life. A brief passage in a letter to Irwin (16 March 1879) showed that something had gone wrong. 'At one time I was well off and kept my carriage and had the world at my feet so to speak .... 'he wrote. My premise was that the disappearance of the carriage and the world no longer being at his feet might have a connection, however tenuous, with his 'fringe'-Masonic interests during the 1870s and after. My search for Mackenzie's trail now began. Kenneth Robert Henderson Mackenzie was the son of Dr. Rowland Hill Mackenzie and his wife Gertrude. She was the sister of John Morant Hervey, Grand Secretary of the United Grand Lodge of England from August 1868 until ill-health compelled him to retire in 1879. He was born on 31 October 1833. (1) According to the 1851 Census the birth took place at Deptford in south-east London, but no baptismal record can be found there. The Census entry also shows that his mother was about twenty years old in 1833. By 1834 the family was at Vienna where Dr. Mackenzie, who specialised in midwifery, had a hospital appointment. (2) He probably returned to London in 1840, although the annual membership lists ofthe Royal College of Surgeons locate him at Vienna until as late as 31 August 1842. (3) He was a general practitioner, first at 61 Berners Street (1841-3) and subsequently at 68 Mortimer Street, Cavendish Square. Hence he had a West End practice. He held an appointment as Surgeon to the Scottish Hospital and Corporation (1845-52?), and by 1845 had been twice President of the German Literary Society of London. Kenneth Mackenzie was seven years old when his parents settled in London in 1840. Furthermore, he must have been bilingual in English and German. A passage from the Preface to his Tyll Eulenspiegel translation, published by Trubner & Co. in 1859 as The Marvellous Adventures and Rare Conceits of Master Tyll Owlglass, indicates that he read German at a very early age. 'I well remember how, as a very little boy, I made the friendship of the [book's] lithe though clumsy hero', he wrote. In the Preface to the second edition, dated Christmas Eve 1859, he mentioned that 'it was almost the first book I ever possessed, and I remember to this day the circumstances under which it was given to me.' My belief is that he was largely educated abroad and that the unusually wide range of cultural interests which he displayed before he was twenty cannot have been merely the result of a period spent in Count Apponyi's employment as a tutor. (See two pages above.) The 1851 Census and the surprisingly erudite series of seventeen contributions to ivotes and Queries in the same year indicate that he was now (aet. 17-18) back in London and the possessor of a polymathic storehouse of learning which could hardly have been acquired at any contemporary British public or grammar school. (4) (1) The only evidence for the date and place of his birth are the marginal notes made by Christopher Cooke on the same pages of two interleaved and heavily annotated copies (Mrs. P. I. Naylor's and my own) of his extraordinary autobiographical work Curiosities of Occult Literature, London, privately printed, 1863. (This book's title is misleading. It contains a detailed account of its author's unsatisfactory relationship with Lieut. R. J. Morrison, R.N. retd., a well-known contemporary professional astrologer and promoter of dud companies. Under the pseudonym Zadkiel he edited a widely-read annual prophetic almanac. See Ellic Howe, Urania's Children: The Strange World of the Astrologer 1967, PP- 33-47.) Cooke was acquainted with Mackenzie and both were enthusiastic astrologers. Hence when Cooke wrote that Mackenzie was born in London on 31 October 1833 at 10 a.m. the date is likely to be correct since he would have learned it from Mackenzie himself. (2) I have not been able to discover when and where Mackenzie gained his first medical qualification. According to the London Medical Directory for 1845 he was M.D. Vienna in 1834 and M.R.C.S. England on 31 August 1840. This source reveals that he was 'Assistant Surgeon in the Imperial Hospital, Vienna (containing 4,000 beds), Midwifery Department'. (3) On 23 May 1840 the Athenaeum published his translation of a communication by his friend Professor Berres, of Vienna, on 'A method of permanently fixing, engraving and printing from Daguerrotype plates'. This may have been written at Vienna. An article in the Lancet (9 January 1841) on 'Statistics of Multiple Births' was completed at 21 College Street, Chelsea, on 9 December 1840. This was based on Vienna hospital records for the period July 1839-July 1840 and was probably written just before he became M.R.C.S. England. Thus the available evidence suggests that he was in London from the summer of 1840 onwards. (4) During 1851 Notes and Queries published communications from him on such diverse topics as the location of a fragment of an oration against Demosthenes, the presumed textual connections between certain works by Sallust and Tacitus, observations on the works of Homer, comments on a translation of Apulcius, and particulars of the manuscripts of hitherto unpublished English seventeenth century poems which he had discovered at the British Museum. His 'A Word to the Literary Men of England' in Notes and Queries, 1 March 1851, proposed the foundation of a learned society whose task would be to rescue old manuscripts in Greek, Latin, Anglo-Saxon, Norwegian, Zend (an ancient language allied to Sanscrit), and a dozen other middle-eastern and oriental tongues. Some months later he reported that 'I have so far accomplished my purpose, as lately, while residing on the continent, and also since my return, to establish in Russia, Siberia and Tartary, Persia and Eastern Europe, stations for the search after MSS. worth attention.' The issue of Notes and Queries for 6 September 1851 shows that at one time he was far from Austria and had visited the then remote Prussian province of Pomerania, where he discussed the reputed site of Julin with Count Keyserling, a member of a renowned Baltic landowning family. (1) His 'Notes on Julin' contains a lengthy translation from the German which could only have been achieved by someone with a first-class knowledge of the language. In the Preface to the second edition of his Tyll Eulenspiegel translation he mentioned that even as a child he had literary ambitions. His first important work was his translation of K. R. Lepsius, Briefe aus Aegypten, Aethiopen, etc., 1842-5, 1852, which Richard Bentley published in London in 1852 within a few months of the appearance of the original German edition. (2) Discoveries in Egypt, Ethiopia and the Peninsula of Sinai was a remarkable performance for a nineteen year-old boy. Mackenzie's own additional notes display an impressive knowledge of Latin, Greek and Hebrew, also a familiarity with the current scholarly literature relating to Egyptian antiquities. He was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London in January 1854, nine months before his twenty-first birthday. Membership of this distinguished learned society cannot have been normally granted to minors and it may have been given in recognition of his edition of Lepsius's book. (3) Mackenzie now began the career in letters which had been his ambition as a child. In 1852 he supplied the articles on Peking, America and Scandinavia for his friend the Rev. Theodore Alois Buckley's Great Cities of the Ancient World, which was published by George Routledge. In 1853 he helped the elderly and eccentric Walter Savage Landor to prepare a new edition of his Imaginary Conversations. (4) In the same year Routledge published his Burmah and the Burmese, yet another surprisingly mature and self-confident product. For Routledge in 1854-5 he edited translations from the German (by other hands) of Friedrich Wagner's Schamyl and Circassia and J. W. Wolf's Fairy Tales, Collected in the Odenwaid. Both these books reflect his erudition. His scholarly inclinations are particularly evident in his Tyll Eulenspiegel translation (1859), with its admirable bibliographical appendix. In a letter to Irwin (9 May 1878) he mentioned that he had written 'side by side with B. Disraeli for years and learned to love his cordial frankness of heart'. The only identifiable period when he could have had a literary association with Benjamin Disraeli was when the latter was proprietor of the weekly periodical The Press. This would have been during the early 1850s. (5) Mackenzie was already interested in the 'Rejected Knowledge' area by 1858, when he published (at his own expense) four issues of The Biological Review: A Monthly Repertory of the Science of Life (October 1858-January 1859). This periodical, which soon failed for lack of support, was particularly concerned with mesmerism's medical applications, homoeopathy, a novelty called 'electro-dentistry', and what Mackenzie described as 'the finer Physics generally'. (1) Julin was an ancient Wendish trading post and mentioned in 1075 as being the largest town in Europe. Mackenzie had visited Wollin, which was assumed by archaeologists to be the probable location of Julin. It was not far from Swinemund, later a popular Baltic seaside resort and now in Polish territory. (2) K. R. Lepsius was a renowned scholar and at that time had the chair for Egyptology at the University of Berlin. In the German edition the author's Preface is dated 2 June 1852, Mackenzie's translation was reviewed in the Athenaeum as early as 21 August 1852. It appeared so soon after the original German text was published that it is likely that Mackenzie had a copy of Lepsius's manuscript long before 2 June 1852. Since Bentley would hardly have conimissioned a youth still in his teens to translate such an important work, my hypothesis is that Mackenzie, who was already an enthusiastic Egyptologist, had attended Lepsius's lectures and had persuaded him to allow him to translate the book. (3) See the Society's Proceedings, first series, iii, PP- 48, 58, 98, 101, 111, 174 for details of his communications and exhibits in 854. (4) See R. H. Super, Walter Savage Landor, New York, 1954, passim. (5) The only known run of this periodical in Great Britain is at the Birmingham Public Library. The City Librarian informed me that he was unable to trace any contributions signed by Mackenzie or with his initials. He was greatly interested in medical matters and like so many occultists, then as now, dabbled with fringe medicine and mesmerism. (1) In December 1861 (aet. 28) he was in Paris and visited Eliphas Levi (i.e. the Abbe Alphonse-Louis Constant, 1810-75), the author of Dogme et rituel de la haute magie, 1856, and already renowned as an authority on Magic. When Mackenzie returned to London he immediately dictated an account of his two meetings with the Magus to Frederick Hockley, then his close friend and mentor in occultism.(2) According to Levi's unpublished correspondence, quoted by his biographer Paul Chacornac, he found Mackenzie very intelligent but excessively involved with Magic and spiritualism. (3) Until recently I supposed that Mackenzie's trip to Paris in 1861 was undertaken solely for the purpose of sitting at Eliphas Levi's feet, but there may have been another reason. His father had moved to Paris in 1857-8 and apparently never returned to London. (4) So far I have discovered nothing edited, translated or written by Mackenzie between 1859 and 1870, when James Hogg, & Son published his translation of J. G. L. Hesekiel's The Life Of Bismarck. To all intents and purposes he seems to have gone underground. However, we do not entirely lose track of him, although biographical information which has no connection with Freemasonry, 'fringe' or regular, must be relegated to a footnote. (5) When Mackenzie's account of his two meetings with Eliphas Levi in December 1861 was published with minor alterations in the April 1873 issue of The Rosicrucian, he mentioned that 'these hasty notes of my conversations might never have been recorded at all had it not been for the patience with which an equally profound occult student in this country, Bro. F. Hockley, P.G.S., recorded them at my dictation, a very few days after the interviews had taken place.' (1) He wrote to Irwin on 4 February 1876: 'I wish that I could learn that Mrs. Irwin's health was reestablished on a firm basis. If I knew the particulars of the complaint perhaps I could suggest some thing as I cure everyone who chooses to consult me. I have a peculiar knowledge of the properties of Sympathia - and I find them rather increase in power than otherwise. I was brought up to medicine under Dr. Hassall at St. George's Hospital, Hyde Park - but I do not practice as I never took an English degree, although I am "licensed to kill" anywhere out of England.' There is no evidence in the registers at St. George's Hospital Medical School that he ever registered as a student there. Perhaps he merely 'walked the wards' there as a matter of interest. His claim that he had a foreign medical qualification was obviously the product of an excessively lively imagination. (2) Mr. Gerald Yorke possesses a manuscript version in Mackenzie's handwriting: 'An account of what passed between Eliphas Levi Zahed (Abbe Constant), Occult Philosopher, and Baphometus (Kenneth R. H. Mackenzie), Astrologer and Spiritualist, in the City of Paris, December 1861'. On the last page Mackenzie wrote: 'The foregoing was committed to paper on Monday 10th December 1861 and was transcribed by the undersigned on the 9th and 10th May 1863.' This fair copy was written at 3 Victoria Street, Westminster. For the significance of this address see footnote 5. (3) There is a reference to Mackenzie's visit in Paul Chacornac, Eliphas Levi, renovateur de l'occultisme en France, 1926, PP- 201-3. Levi's works were being read by members of the Rosicrucian Society long before they were translated into English. See William Carpenter's article in The Rosicrucian, January 1870, in which he mentioned that Levi's books were 'very little known even among the members of our mystic and secret orders' (p. 83). Carpenter may be the source for the first printed reference in the English language to the alleged occult significance of the Tarot cards (ibid., p. 81). (4) The Royal College of Surgeons membership lists, published annually in mid-July, locate Dr. Mackenzie at Paris from 1858 until as late as 1900. He was probably already dead by the late 1870s since his son's letters to Irwin indicate that his aged mother was a member of his household. (5) MEMBERSHIP OF LEARNED SOCIETIES - The Preface to The Life of Bismarck was written at 4 St. Martin's Court, Trafalgar Square, on 6 December 1869. This was the address ofthe Ethnographical Society of London, which merged with the Anthropological Society of London in 1871- Mackenzie joined the latter on 19 April 1864 and was an active member until May 1870, although he paid no subscriptions after 1868. In a letter to Irwin (24 September 1875) he referred to the period when he 'was editing the Anthropological Review', but his name cannot be found in any editorial capacity in contemporary volumes of that journal. His connection with the Society of Antiquaries also ceased in 1870 when his membership was cancelled because his subscription was in arrears. He was a member of the Royal Asiatic Society from 1855-61. Long after 1870 he was still using the initials F.S.A. and M.R.A.S. after his name. BOGUS ACADEMIC DISTINCTIONS - His claim to doctorates of philosophy and law can hardly be genuine. His Preface to the translation of J. M. Wolf's Fairy Tales, 1855, was signed by 'Kenneth R.H. Mackenzie, Ph.D., F.S.A., M.R.A.S.' He also appears as a Ph.D. in the 1856-7 Post Office directories. Thereafter he ceased to be a Ph.D. and by c. 1873 had become a doctor of laws. The first six issues of John Yarker's periodical The Kneph: Official Journal of the Antient and Primitive Rite were edited by 'Bro. Kenneth R. H. Mackenzie, IX degree, L.L.D. [sic], 32 degree'. AT THE SAME ADDRESS AS JOHN HERVEY - His name appears intermittently in the Post Office directories during the period 1857-64. His whereabouts would be only of passing interest except for the fact that he was sometimes at the same address as his uncle John Hervey (Grand Secretary, of the United Grand Lodge of England (1868-79). Thus they were together at 35 Bernard Street, Russell Square, in 1859 and at 3 Victoria Street, Westminster in 1864. Hervey was listed as the Secretary of the Para Gas Company Ltd. at that address in 1863-4. Frederick Hockley (1808-85), an accountant by profession, was well known in circles which cultivated 'Rejected Knowledge'. He was about twenty-five years older than Mackenzie, who probably first met him when he was editing the Biological Review in 1858-9. Apart from his scrying experiments with crystals and so-called 'Magic Mirrors', which were used to induce trance states, he was a diligent copyist of old magical manuscripts. (1) He became a Freemason rather late in life in 1864 (aet. 56), but his career in the Craft was not without distinction. (2) He was also Mackenzie's guru in occult matters. The time came, however, when his pupil became tiresome. His letter to Irwin of 23 March 1873 explains why Mackenzie's career had gone to seed, hence why he no longer had his carriage and the world at his feet. Hockley wrote: I have the utmost reluctance even to refer to Mr. Kenneth Mackenzie. I made his acquaintance about 15 or 16 years since. I found him then a very young man who having been educated in Germany possessed a thorough knowledge of German and French and his translations having been highly praised by the press, exceedingly desirous of investigating the Occult Sciences, and when sober one of the most companiable persons I ever met. Unfortunately his intemperate habits compelled me three different times to break off our friendship after 6 or 7 years endurance and since then he has once so grossly insulted me in a letter than I cannot possibly hold any communication with him. I regret this the more on a/c of his mother who is a most estimable lady and his uncle our esteemed Grand Secretary Bro. Hervey who has long favoured me with his acquaintance ... I saw in the last issue of The Freemason his marriage announced. I sincerely hope it will be the turning flood. (3) Of course Mr. M.'s information is only derived from his intimate knowledge of French and German, and when you have mastered that difficulty, a vastly enlarged field of occult science will furnish you with Original matter, as well as others ... I do not know Mr. M.'s address but a letter thro' Bro. Kenning would doubtless reach him. Mackenzie at long last became a Freemason in 1870 when he was in his thirty-eighth year. One might have expected that his uncle John Hervey would have proposed him in one of his own lodges, but this was not the case The minute book of Oak Lodge No. 190 reveals that on 19 January 1870 he was proposed by the W.M., Bro. H. W. Hemsworth and seconded by Bro. John Hogg ('acting Sec'.) for initiation at the next regular meeting at Freemasons' Hall on 16 February.(4) He was not present on 16 February but was ballotted for and Initiated at an Emergency Meeting on 9 March. (According to the minute book he was an author and resided at Tavistock Place. This was also John Harvey's address at the time.) He was Passed on 20 April and Raised on 18 May. He attended the lodge's next meeting on 16 November and that was the last that the Oak Lodge brethren saw of him. On 18 January 1871 the W.M. read a letter from Mackenzie in which he stated that he wished to resign. The minutes record that his resignation would be accepted 'after payment of his fees in full'. Thereafter his interest in Craft Freemasonry appears to have been nil. His letters to Irwin contain only one reference to a visit to a Craft lodge. Now a Master Mason he did not even apply for membership of the Rosicrucian Society, which he had supposedly helped to establish. It was no doubt R. W. Little who persuaded him to accept honorary membership and he was admitted to the Society's first or Zelator grade on 17 October 1872. (John Hervey was made an honorary member in October 1870.) (1) cf. his article in The Rosicrucian and Masonic Record, April 1877, on 'Evenings with the Indwellers of the World of the Spirits: being a paper read at a Meeting of the Bristol Rosicrucian College'. Westcott incorrectly attributed this to Irwin in his History of the Societes Rosicruciana in Anglia, 1900, p. 18. Hockley mentioned that in 1854 after working for thirty years with crystals and mirrors he had prepared and consecrated a large mirror 'dedicated to a spirit known to me as C.A. [Chief Adept?], for the purpose of receiving visions and responses to metaphysical questions . . .' The inference is that Hockley was trying his hand at scrying as early as 1824, when he was only sixteen years old. This was long before the beginning of the spiritualist movement. (2) Hockley was initiated in the British Lodge No. 8 in March 1864. He joined Emulation Lodge of Improvement some weeks later and attended its meetings with exemplary regularity until 1868. He was elected to the Emulation committee in October 1866 but resigned after his year as Master of British Lodge in 1868. He was J.W. of Grand Stewards' Lodge in 1875 and its Secretary from 1877 until his death in 1885. (3) The 'last issue of The Freemason' did not refer to Mackenzie's impending marriage. It had taken place the previous June. (4) John Hogg, who was to publish Mackenzie's Royal Masonic Cyclopaedia in 1875-7, came to London from Edinburgh in c. 1868. He was initiated in Oak Lodge on 4 August 1869 but resigned in March 1871. He published the Perfect Ceremonies of Craft Masonry, which purported to give the Emulation Working, in 1870. Thereafter he specialised in Masonic publications. When Mackenzie deigned to appear in Rosicrucian circles he had recently married Alexandrina Aydon, aged twenty-three and fifteen years his junior. She was the daughter of Enoch Harrison Aydon, a civil engineer and member of the Craft, of 2 Axmouth Villas, Cambridge Road, Chiswick. The ceremony was performed at the Brentford register office on 17 June 1872. He and his wife installed themselves at Oxford House, Chiswick Mall, whether in rented rooms or as sole occupiers is uncertain. Furthermore, as we will learn in due course, his drinking habits were now strictly temperate. BENJAMIN COX AND THE FRATRES LUCIS Benjamin Cox, F. G. Irwin's fidus Achates, was born on 28 May 1828. When St. Kew Lodge No. 1222 was consecrated at the Assembly Rooms at Weston-super-Mare on 7 July 1868 - Irwin was its first W.M. - he was forty years of age and Chief Accountant of the local Board of Health at an annual salary of 180 pounds. He was later promoted to Town Accountant (Borough Treasurer). (1) Cox quickly ascended the Masonic ladder. At an Emergency Meeting of St. Kew Lodge held on 16 July 1868 he was ballotted for, initiated and forthwith invested with the Secretary's collar and jewel. Ignorant of the finer points of Masonic etiquette he soon turned to Irwin for advice. On 16 September he wrote: A member [i.e. Cox himself] having paid all dues and passed to F.C. can he propose a candidate for Freemasonry or do [sic] that privilege belong exclusively to M.M.'s [?]. I have purchased of Bro. Breamer ... a M.M.'s apron. I suppose as a F.C. I can wear such apron in a Lodge if I cover the rosette[s] on the flap until I am raised. I must apologise for so many questions wishing to act truly Masonic in all things. Masonic activities were soon in full swing at Weston-super-Mare. On 27 October 1868 Cox suggested to Irwin that 'if we intend to work Craft, Mark and 2 Chivalric Orders it will occupy the whole of the first Wednesday of every month ... only one sum being paid for the whole day it will be cheaper for us while we retain the present rooms to work any of the Orders on that day.' The inference is that Cox was already a Mark Mason and had joined two Chivalric Orders. One of them must have been the recently established Rose and Lily Conclave No. 10 of the Red Cross of Rome and Constantine. In April 1869 Irwin received permission to form a Bristol College of the Rosicrucian Society. Membership was to be restricted to twelve including himself as Chief Adept. Cox, now indispensable for such duties, was its Secretary. There was a snag in the person of Bro. Major General Gore Boland Munbee, Indian Army (retired), who brought a breath of Poona, where he had been a member of Lodge Orion in the West, No. 415, to placid Weston-super-Mare. The General succeeded Irwin as W.M. of St. Kew Lodge in 1870 and Cox found him difficult. W.Bro. Munbee was a member of the Bristol College and about to become its Celebrant, an office corresponding to the W.M. of a Craft lodge. Cox wrote to Irwin on 19 December 1870: I will do everything in my power to help work the College (Rosic.) with any member you like to appoint Celebrant except Bro. Munbee. I have fully made up my mind never to accept another office under him (Masonically). I should have resigned some which I at present hold, had not members pressed me not to do so ... I do not fall out with the General because I can control my temper, yet sometimes the remarks he makes is [sic] as bitter as wormwood. If the General was a tartar, there were compensations. Cox was appointed a Provincial Grand Steward on 16 September 1869 and was soon to lay the foundations of his unusually large collection of additional degrees. However, his letter of 31 December 1870 reveals little enthusiasm for the latest novelty. 'I see that Bro. Little has at last got hold of authority to work the Rite of Misraim', he observed. 'What next? Good heavens 99 degree to work and then be entitled to write [sign?] Sir Knt. "Bellowsblower". This will beat Bro. Parfitt's "Rosi Crucis" by a long way.' (2) By 27 February 1871 Cox was less contemptuous. Furthermore, he had a few pressing favours to ask. He wrote, somewhat breathlessly: (1) I know nothing about his earlier life except that he was the author of A Compilation of Various Interesting Historical Facts ... principally relating, to the Country of Somersetshire, published at Weston-super-Mare in 1852. (2)I have not been able to identify either Bro. Parfitt or his 'Rosi Crucis'. Now I want you Bro. Irwin while in London to get permission to give me the Order of Misraim [i.e. by communication]. Bro. [Dr. W. R.] Woodman has offered to give it to me any time when I am in London which I expect I will be there on a fortnight's official duty very shortly, but I would much rather that you gave it to me because every Order which I have taken has been given by you (except sovereign R. Cross) if possible please get permission to give me the 66 degree I will pay for the dispensation for same if one is required. I suppose it would not be possible for you to get Bro. Little to give me, through you a minor official Grand Council collar at this meeting. I do not care so much for the honour but I want to let Bro. [Major-General] Munbee see that I have friends [underlined three times] elsewhere, and I am quite certain that you can get me a Gd Ark Mariners collar from Bro. Edwards ... I should very much like to receive the Order of the Kt. of Holy Sepulchre [an appendant of the Red Cross of Rome and Constantine], however I am quite certain my interests will not be lost sight of by you. The letter ends with an allusion to Cox's belief in astrology. Within the past week he had given 'true judgments' in every case out of the five submitted to him. '4 of the parties I never saw or did not know of their existence until informed so . . .' He had recently acquired a crystal and on 6 February 1871 wrote: 'I expect full instructions for working the Crystal (which I have by me) this day from Mr. Cross. (1) You seem undecided as to believing in occult science. I have not a shadow of doubt in the matter.' During the summer and autumn of 1873 Cox's letters to Irwin contain allusions to the Ritual of the Knight of the Hermetic Cross. Irwin was translating it, probably from the French, and Cox offered to make a fair copy. He asked on 28 August if it had any connection with John Yarker's Antient and Primitive Rite of Masonry and on 1 October if it was part of Yarker's Rite of Memphis. (2) Irwin did not satisfy his curiosity. By 23 February 1874 Irwin must have already vaguely hinted at the existence of a very secret affair called the Order of the Brothers of (swastica symbol) and implied that Cox might be allowed to join it. Thus when Cox wrote to Irwin on that day he proclaimed that ... the one desire of my heart is to become a member of some Order wherein I may learn the mysteries of nature and truth so that I may not only benefit myself but that of [sc. also] my fellow men. I have, as you know, ever considered the knowledge of occult science the one sure and safe means whereby we can obtain truth and wisdom. I will be glad by your proposing me a member of the 'Order of the Brothers of (swastica symbol) and will gladly pay the yearly sum you have named, also pledge myself to my promise or O.B. under your guidance. Cox appears to have supposed that the Order of the Brothers of (swastica symbol) was Masonic because he added: 'I have sent you on a separate paper a few of the degrees which I have taken in masonry and which you can vouch for as correct.' (3) Above the list of degrees someone wrote 'Useless'. The handwriting does not appear to be Irwin's. On 9 March 1874 Cox wrote to Irwin to (1) R. T. Cross (1850-1923), then a young professional astrologer. He edited Raphael's Prophetic Messenger Almanack from 1875 until his death. (2) I have not been able to discuss Yarker's Masonic career and 'fringe' promotions in this paper, largely because of lack of time to examine the available material. Today it is customary in Masonic circles - and not least in QC Lodge - to raise a disapproving eyebrow when Yarker's name is mentioned. However, he deserves further srudy in a historical context. He was the joker in the Masonic pack, an engaging maverick who fought impartially with all-comers. The heterodox activities of Irwin, Mackenzie, and after 1880 Westcott, escaped public criticism because they were discreet. Yarker was a noisy fellow and therefore attracted attention. It should be recorded that he was an early and enthusiastic supporter of QC Lodge. In a letter to Irwin (5 May 1888) written soon after the Lodge's consecration, he declared; 'It is a treat to me and a pleasure to find that there are still Masons in existence who are above prejudices and I am very much interested in Lodge 2076. It amounts almost to a revolution in Masonry.' AQC contains no fewer than twenty-six articles contributedby him: the first in 1886 and the last in 1912, shortly before his death in 1913. (3) Cox stated that he was 'A Past Master in the Craft, a Principal in the Royal Arch; and W. Master in Mark Masonry. Fellow of the Masonic Archaeological Society. Member of the seventh grade of the Rosicrucian Society of England. Past M.P.Sovr of the Red Cross of [Rome and] Constantine and Knt of the Holy Sepulchre. Knt of the Black Eagle and Knt of the Hermetic Cross. Member of the 18 degree of the Ancient and Accepted Rite and Commander of Royal Ark Mariners. Member of the Royal Ark Council of Advice to the Most W. the Gd Mark Master for England, Wales and the Dependencies of the British Crown. Past Provincial Grand Steward in Craft Masonry. Provincial Senior Gd Mark Warden for Somerset, a Grand Steward of the Grand Mark Lodge of England etc.' The Masonic Archaeological Society was founded during the summer of 1868 with W. Hyde Pullen as honorary secretary. The members of this precursor of QC Lodge were not identified with 'Rejected Knowledge.' express his pleasure that he had been accepted as a candidate for the Order of (swastica symbol). By 28 March he was aware that Order was known as the Frates Lucis. Furthermore he knew that Irwin had recently been in Paris and had allegedly met members of the Order there. He wrote: 'I am very glad to hear that you met with such a warm reception from members of the Order in Paris.' (1) The weeks passed by and the impatient Bro. Cox still knew little or nothing about the Order except its name. Indeed, at one moment he feared that his candidature had been rejected. He wrote to Irwin on 13 July: By mid day train I sent you MS. of Knt. of Hermetic Cross, &c.... I want to ask 3 questions: viz. 1. Is the Knt of Hermetic Cross and the Fratres Lucis Order one and the same? 2. Is there any member of the Fratres Lucis now living in Bath? Is it true that Bro. Bird [a member of St. Kew Lodge who dabbled with astrology] and myself have been rejected by the Fratres as unsuitable for the Order? Irwin replied on 14 July: TO ASPIRANTS ONLY - Strictly Confidential 1. Is the Knt of Hermetic Cross and the Fratres Lucis Order one and the same? NO!!! It may have had some connection with it as had the Rites of Cagliostro, Swedenborg, etc. 2. Is there any member of the Fratres Lucis now living in Bath? There is no member of the English Temple now living in Bath ... if a member of any Foreign Temple came to England I would be advised, for there were only twenty-seven members five years ago so not much difficulty in learning the whereabouts of each Bro. as we are bound to keep our immediate Chiefs posted up in all our movements. 3. Is it true that Bro. Bird and myself have been rejected by the Fratres as not being considered fitting candidates for the Order of (swastica symbol)? It is not true!!! Something about the Order has been communicated to Mr. Robert Cross [the astrologer who supplied Cox's crystal - see above]. My attention was called to it and an explanation is required. Cox's letter of 27 July 1874 was apologetic: ' . . . you shall never have cause again (for I will never speak of it again to any one except yourself) to correct my indiscretion,' he wrote. Irwin continued to keep him waiting. On 17 November Cox wrote: 'I am glad there is a prospect of my receiving the first grade of the (swastica symbol) as I am anxious to know more of its true principles and real value.' A sentence in an undated letter from Irwin to Cox reads: 'The (swastica symbol) shall be given you but twill be a Great favour [both words underlined three times]. I must at any cost keep my word.' The 'great favour' was granted in January 1875. In Grand Lodge Library there is a manuscript copy in Irwin's handwriting of the 'Ritual of Fratris [sic] Lucis or Brethren of the Cross of Light'. It is prefaced by a traditional 'history' which begins: In Florence there now eusts, and has existed for a great number of years a body of men who possess some of the most extraordinary secrets, that ever man has known. Cagliostro learned from them some of the most wonderful secrets in Magic and Chymistry, they converse with those who have crossed the river. The members of this society are bound by a solemn oath to meet once a year, whether they are living or have passed the boundary. They are ruled by an officer, styled Supreme and Sublime Magus ... The brethren take Hebrew names. There are branches of the order in Rome, Paris and Vienna. Vaughan (Dr.), Fludd, Count St. Germain, Count Cagliostro, Mesmer, Swedenborg and Martinez de Pasquales were members of the order as also Schussler. They have made animal magnetism their chief study and have carried it nearly to perfection. It was through being a member of this society that Mesmer practised his healing power and founded his Mesmeric Lodge on the principles of the Order. Swedenborg derived his Rite from the same source, and from it Count Cagliostro derived the knowledge that enabled him to found the Egyptian Order; those three Rites represent three of the four grades into which this society is divided. When I read this delightful nonsense I recalled two little duodecimo notebooks containing a record of Irwin's spiritualist or scrying seances during the years 1872-3. His most interesting communicator was none other than Cagliostro, in his day a notable exponent of 'fringe' Masonry. (1) There was no conceivable connection between Irwin's 'Brothers of Light' and the eighteenth-century Fratres Lucis. See A. E. Waite's The Brotherhood of the Rosy Cross, 1924, PP. 503-28. On Sunday 19 (month omitted) 1873 Cagliostro told him that 'the Crystal you have will be of little use. It is charged with an antagonistic principle.' Cagliostro came again on 29 October 1873: 'I am afraid that at present I cannot give (u) anything to be coninuous.' Thereafter, between 31 October and 9 November Cagliostro communicated on four separate occasions and, according to Irwin's 'Spiritual ournal', dictated almost word for word the substance of the 'historical introduction' to the Fratres Lucis ritual which I have quoted above. The manuscript which Irwin chose to call a ritual merelv consists of the notes for his scheme for a secret society of occultists. Under the heading 'Ceremony' we only learn that the 'Aspirant is conducted to a kind of labyrinth', and in due course 'invested with the Cross of gold swastuca symbol) and enjoined to fit himself for that state of mind of which it is the emblem'. It is uncertain whether Irwin, in his imagination, intended to restrict membership of the brotherhood to Master Masons or their discarnate spirits - one must not forget that according to Cagliostro's utterings membership continued after death! The information below has been slightly condensed from his notes, and is not presented in its original sequence. 'Only 81 members are permitted to belong to the first grade connected with the Empire of Great Britain ... In the first degree the number of officers is nine. 'There is now an annual fee of one guinea required. The Induction fee for England is not yet settled. 'The fee for Initiation is made high for the purpose of deterring persons from being. initiated out of mere curiosity. Half the fee to be devoted to charitable purposes, and the other half to the formation of a library. Meetings take place four times a year. The obligatory meeting is in the month of June. At this the Brethren are pledged to be present in body or in spirit. 'The aspirant is kept one year on probation ... during the term of probation the aspirants are obliged to appear at all meetings enveloped in a black mantle. 'The society is pledged to study the following subjects. Natural Magic - Mesmerism -The Science of Death and of Life - Immortality - The Cabala - Alchemy - Necromancy - Astrology - and Magic in all its branches. 'Annual dinner - cost 4s. The fare to consist of Bread, Butter, Cheese, Confectionery, fruits and wine. The surplus money to be added to the charitable fund. This document, however nonsensical, is important because it throws so much light on Irwin's character. Hidden within the disciplined professional soldier - furthermore one who had served for years in the Royal Engineers, a Corps whose functions are nothing if not practical - we encounter a personality in which reality and fantasy must always have been in some kind of conflict. Irwin's Fratres Lucis must have been a very modest affair, meaning that a handful of occultists, probably all Freemasons who were well known to Irwin, became members. It is inconceivable, too, that it was an international fraternity. It is difficult to believe that there were 'twenty-seven members five years ago', as Irwin claimed in his letter to Cox of 14 July 1874. This would have been four years before 'Cagliostro', who was the product of Irwin's subconscious mind, gave him the idea for the Order. In fact, apart from Irwin I have only been able to identify three other members, although there may have been a few more. We know about Cox's intense desire to be admitted to the select circle. On 9 January 1875 he announced his intention of coming to Bristol, bringing with him an 'old Latin Bible for Ob[ligation]'. Irwin was in no hurry to confer membership upon Mackenzie, perhaps because he feared that he would get drunk at the annual dinner at which, as we know, the 'Festive Board' was nothing if not frugal. On 20 September 1875 Mackenzie wrote reassuringly: 'I never drink spirits or wine if I can avoid them - only fourpenny ale,' and some months later on 4 February 1876: 'As to Fratres Lucis I shall indeed be obliged for the article and should also be glad to be a member of the Brotherhood. I think you may trust me as to temperance as I drink nothing but tea, coffee and very small ale and not much of that - rarely wine - and never spirits - nor have I done the latter since my marriage more than four years ago.' When Frederick Hockley died in November 1885, Cox observed: ' . . . there is now one member less of the Order of (swastica symbol).' He seems to have implied that few were now left. Almost exactly two years later Westcott was busy launching the Order of the Golden Dawn, which had a far greater vitality - one might say elan - than the Fratres Lucis ever achieved. (1) (1) Westcott apparently did not serve his 'magical apprenticeship' in the Fratres Lucis. In a letter written during the late 1950s to Mr. Gerald Yorke the late Captain E. J. Langford Garstin, who was active in one of the Golden Dawn's successor Orders after c. 1920, mentioned that 'Hockley, Mackenzie and Irwin all disliked and mistrusted S[apere] A[ude - i.e. Westcott], which is why he was refused admission to the Fratres Lucis.' Something that calls itself the Fratres Lucis still exists today. According to the Aquarian Guide to Occult, Mystical, Religious, Magical London & Around, London, The Aquarian Press, 1970, P. 19, 'this Order was established in Florence in 1498, by representatives of many of the religions and philosophies suppressed by the Roman Church'. Irwin mentioned Florence in connection with the 'early history' ofthe F.L. and it is extraordinary how this Florentine archetype has survived to this day. 'The Brothers will find you when you are ready, but it is no good looking for them,' the guide-book states, and then provides a British Monomark accommodation address in London. KENNETH MACKENZIE AND THE ROSICRUCIAN SOCIETY The Rosicrucian Society's members experienced a more than usually entertaining evening on 24 April 1873 when Mackenzie, who had recently become an honorary member, read a paper describing his visit to Eliphas Levi in December 1861. To commemorate the event the Society thereupon elected Levi as an Honorary Foreign Member. Mackenzie's text was forthwith published in The Rosicrucian. This version is the same as the MS. one with one important exception. In the latter Mackenzie recalled that Levi 'mentioned Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton as a gentleman of versatile talents, but of little real knowledge in relation to the Cabala'. This was now amended to read: ' . . . he rendered a tribute to the versatile knowledge of Lord, then Sir Bulwer-Lytton, and returned to his favourite topic, the Cabbala upon which he dwelt with emphasis.' Lord Lytton's connection with the Rosicrucian Society was an involuntary one. On 14 July 1870 R.W. Little proposed 'that the Rt. Hon. Lord Lytton be elected an Hon. Member of this Society and be requested to accept the office of Grand Patron of the Order'. A candidate for election to the Society had to be a Master Mason. There is no evidence that Lytton was then or ever had been a member of the Craft. Either Little had not bothered to enquire or supposed that, whether or not Lytton was a Freemason, he had received a genuine Rosicrucian initiation and was therefore eligible for honorary membership. In his pamphlet Data of the History of the Rosicrucians, 1916, Westcott wrote: 'In 1850 the very old Rosicrucian Lodge at Frankfort-on-the-Main fell into abeyance; in this Lodge the first Lord Lytton was received into the Adeptship and became imbued with the ideas he displayed in his novel "Zanoni" and other works' (p. 8). Nothing whatever is known about this Lodge. However, Lytton's name did not appear as Grand Patron in The Rosicrucian until July 1872. Nobody informed him of the honour that had been bestowed upon him. Indeed, he does not appear to have known about it until the end of 1872 when, on 16 December, he wrote a letter of complaint to John Yarker. It is impossible to suggest why his Lordship should have written to Yarker, who was merely a leading member of the Society's Manchester College, which was founded early in 1871. Yarker, whose letters are notable for their acerbity, despatched an uncharacteristically apologetic reply on 16 December. (1) Lytton conveniently died on 18 January 1873 and the Society lost its involuntary Grand Patron. Mackenzie now became a regular contributor to The Rosicruician. Hitherto its editorial contents had been almost unbelievably dull, and with the exception of his Eliphas Levi piece Mackenzie's articles were no better. One would never suppose that they could have been written by the 'bright young man' that Mackenzie represented during the early 1850s. (2) He was appointed the Society's Assistant Secretary General on 8 January 1874. His correspondence with Irwin began ten months later and in the very first of his letters (12 October 1874) he wrote- 'I certainly have the lightest duties that ever fell to the lot of an Assistant Secretary as Dr. W[oodman] does all the work and I only write papers of more or less general interest.' In the spring of 1875 the Society's affairs were in a state of mild confusion. R. W. Little was threatening to resign and Dr. Woodman was living at Exeter and too far away to be able to intervene effectively. As for Little (according to Mackenzie on 9 April 1875): ' . . . he has so many irons in the fire it is impossible for him to keep them all right. If he would take things more coolly and not waste so much of his time in the Refreshment Room at Freemasons' Hall it would be better.' (3) (1) The letter is in the Lytton Knebworth Papers on loan to the Hertfordshire County Record Office at Hertford. Miss Sibylla Jane Flower, who is writing a biography of Lytton, told me that there are no other papers of Masonic interest there. (2) See 'The Hermetic Cross of Praise' (February 1873), 'The Aims of Rosicrucian Science' (April 1874) and 'Roscrucianism: Religious and Scientific' (November 1874). (3) Some of Mackenzie's letters to Irwin of this period were written on the heading of the Order of the Red Cross of Rome and Constantine, whose office was at 17 Great James Street, Bedford Row. Mackenzie was assisting Little, who was the Order's Grand Recorder. Mackenzie retired from the scene in January 1875. 'I have had so much trouble with Little and his arbitrary arrangements ... I was glad when he proposed to have a clerk at 8/- a week (more than he paid me) to be there.' Mackenzie's letter of 9 April 1875 indicates that he was now aware that Frederick Hockley, his erstwhile friend and mentor, had been proposed as a joining member of the Society's Metropolitan College. Hockley, who lived in London, had been a member of Irwin's Bristol College since January 1872. Quite recently Mackenzie had asked Irwin to approach Hockley on his behalf; thus on 23 October 1874 he wrote: 'Can you be a peacemaker between us? I am willing to do or say anything to that purpose.' Hockley offered no olive branch. Embarrassed at the prospect of being publicly snubbed by Hockley at the Metropolitan College's meetings, and irritated by Little's vagaries, his letter of resignation from the Society was read at its Quarterly Convocation on 30 April 1875. Six years later in a letter to Westcott (24 March 1881) Mackenzie emphasised that his former fellow-members could scarcely be considered as genuine Rosicrucians while he, of course, could claim that distinction. This document illustrates Mackenzie's occasionally paranoid temperament. ... I have always held aloof from the English Society of late years. I possess the real degrees but I may not by my tenure give them to any one in the world without a long and severe probation to which few would consent to submit. It has taken me a quarter of a century to obtain them and the whole of the degrees are different to anything known to the Rosi. Society of England - those few who have these degrees dare not communicate them.' Read H[argrave] Jennings again (2) and [Bulwer-Lytton's] Zanoni. (3) Even Lytton who knew so much was only a Neophyte and could not reply when I tested him. How then could Little claim that he had them [i.e. the degrees]? I know how many real Rosicrucians there are in the islands. When Mackenzie resigned from the Rosicrucian Society in the spring of 1875 he was busy writing the first fascicule of his Royal Masonic Cyclopaedia, a book whose current price in the antiquarian market is out of all proportion to its value as a work of reference. MACKENZIE's ROYAL MASONIC CYCLOPAEDIA The first edition of Albert Mackey's massive Encyclopaedia of Freemasonry was published in the U.S.A. early in 1874. The Rev. A.F.A. Woodford reviewed the book in The Masonic Mirror in May (Vol. 1, No.ii), hence copies were circulating in this country by 12 October, when Mackenzie wrote in the first of his letters to Irwin: 'I am engaged in preparing a new Masonic Cyclopaedia, of which you shall hear more ere long.' It is likely that it was Mackey's book which gave Mackenzie and John Hogg, his prospective publisher, the idea for a less compendious work for the British market. According to a prospectus issued in October 1874 the book was to be issued in 'Six HalfCrown Parts, of 128 pages each' and publication was scheduled to begin early in 1875. Mackenzie hoped to receive permission to dedicate the work to the Prince of Wales (letter to Irwin, 29 January 1875) but when the 'pretims' for the bound volume were printed in 1877 it was his uncle, John Hervey, who was accorded this token of respect. It is unnecessary to discuss the Cyclopaedia's contents at any great length. There was a wholesale process of pillage from Mackey, whose articles were condensed and paraphrased. The prospectus mentioned his indebtedness to other Masonic authors, although he did not specify the titles of their books. (4) In some respects the most interesting articles are those in which Mackenzie displayed his inventive ability. Among the best examples, are 'The Hermetic Order of Egypt' and 'The Rite of Ishmael', which will be mentioned again later. The story of his quest for information for his piece about Cagliostro reflects his 'scholarly' approach. (1) Nor was Mackenzie prepared to reveal the allegedly arcane secrets contained in the Tarot cards. In a letter to Westcott about the Tarot (7 August 1879) he said: 'I am not disposed to communicate the Tarot system indiscriminately although I am acquainted with it. To do so would put a most dangerous weapon into the hands of persons less scrupulous than I am.' (2) He was referring to Hargrave Jennings's eccentric book The Rosicrucians; Their Rites and Mysteries, 1870, which is nonsense from start to finish. If Mackenzie supposed that Jennings knew anything about the 'Rosicrucians' he was capable of believing anything. (3) Bulwer-Lytton's famous 'Rosicrucian' novel Zanoni, 1842, was required reading for nineteenthcentury occultists. Cf. S.L. MacGregor Mathers's reference to it in his Introduction to The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abra-Melin the Mage, 1898. (4) It can be inferred that he drew heavily upon J. C. Gadicke, Freimaurer Lexikon, 1818, 2nd edit. 1831; G. B. Kloss, Geschichte der Freimaurerei in England, Schortland und Ireland, 1847, and Geschichte der Freimauerei in Frankreich, 2 VOLS., 1852-3; R. Macoy, General History, Cyclopaedia and Dictionary, of Freemasonry, New York, 1867, later editions 1869, 1872. His reliance on Mackey is very obvious. It will be recalled that in 1873 Irwin supposed that he was in touch with the departed spirit of Cagliostro. In August 1875 it occurred to Mackenzie to apply to Cagliostro, through Irwin, for authentic biographical material. Thus on 29 August he wrote: I have a request to make to you which may seem odd, but it is not inappropriate. I have understood that you are in communication with a Spt calling himself Cagliostro. Now I am very anxious in the article I am writing concerning Joseph Balsamo, to bear very much more lightly upon him than Carlyle, the Freemasons generally and the Papalini have done ... If your spirit friend would condescend to take an interest in the matter, not as a publicly avowed spiritualistic matter, but simply by way of correction or hints it would be very valuable. I cannot in the present state of my wife's health institute spiritual seances just now. (1) The article was completed by 17 September 1875 and Mackenzie hoped that Irwin would read it to Cagliostro. 'Re Cagliostro article,' he wrote. 'Of course I cannot say that the Count himself is to see this, but I much want him to do so.' Mackenzie corrected the last of the Cyclopaedia proofs early in 1877. He wrote to Irwin on 20 January: 'The Cyclo is finished. I have nothing particular to do and feel like a fish out of water. I think I shall take up my unfinished work on Railway Springs and the Theory of the Spring in general and get it out.' He told Cox on 28 January that 'it is a purely practical work of an engineering character with tables of formulae and differential calculus etc.' He completed the manuscript by 26 February. The book does not appear to have been published. The Cyclopaedia was never critically reviewed in the British Masonic press. Brief paragraphs were printed in The Freemason and The Freemasons' Chronicle from time to time throughout 1875-7 but these contained little more than the view that it was a 'wonderful undertaking of benefit to all Masons' etc. etc. G. J. Findel, the editor of the German Masonic periodical Die Bauhiitte reviewed the first three fascicules early in 1876 and was content to ignore the later ones. (2) His respect for Mackenzie's performance was minimal, although the book had one redeeming feature: 'It is better than similar books in English that have come our way,' Findel wrote. As for Mackenzie: 'The author is a High-grade Mason (IX degree), hence his predilection for aberrations and mystical rubbish generally . . . ' (3) Findel's praise was reserved for Kenning's Masonic Cyclopaedia and Handbook of Archaeology, edited by the Rev. A.F.A. Woodford, which was published in 1878. Unlike Mackenzie he publicly acknowledged his debt to Findel. This tactful gesture did not pass unnoticcd. (4) THE HERMETIC ORDER OF EGYPT Mackenzie briefly referred to the Hermetic Order of Egypt in the April 1874 issue of The Rosicrucian on p. 109: 'The Hermetic Order of Egypt is one of a very exclusive character,' he (1) The correspondence contains a number of references to Mackenzie's and Irwin's involvement in spiritualism. The quotations are from Mackenzie's letters. 'My mother is a very good writing medium and my wife has the faculty but in a lesser degree . . . ' (1 March 1875). Irwin's son Herbert, a medical student at Bristol, died of an overdose of laudanum on 8 January 1879. Thereafter there were frequent attempts to establish contact with him. Irwin did not succeed and Mackenzie fared no better. 'With reference to crystal-gazing I can only say it is a long and weary business to develop the sight - even if the power exists ... my wife has been too ill for any attempts on our part but we will try from time to time to get news of poor Herbert' (28 February 1879). Later, in 1882-3, Mackenzie was trying to contact him with the help of an amateur medium. On 24 February 1883 he returned Herbert's necktie and locket, which Irwin had sent to him for mediumistic purposes, and wrote: 'The visions in the C[rystal] and Mirror through her [the medium] took a widely different form from those our friend Hockley [they were reconciled in 1878] and myself had obtained and although interesting did not permit of departed persons being summoned.' Finally on 4 February 1876 Mackenzie mentioned that his house at 2 Chiswick Square - he and his wife had recently moved from Chiswick Mall - was haunted. ' . . . not that either of us care for that. She has no fear, and I am too much accustomed to the ultra-mundane world.' (2) See Die Bauhutte, Vol. XIX, 22 January, p. 29, and 19 February 1876, pp. 62-3. (3) Mackenzie had been IX degree in the Rosicrucian Society, but this was not a 'higher degree' in the accepted sense of the term. According to the title-page he was 'Hon. Member of the Canongate Kilwinning Lodge, No. 2, in Scotland', i.e. Edinburgh, where the Cyclopaedia was printed by the consider the Commercial Printing Company. In November 1876 the Lodge formed a committee to possibility of publishing a bi-centenary history. The Lodge resolved to offer Mackenzie honorary membership on 13 December. Bro.P.A.Rae, its present Secretary, suggested in a letter to me that I this may have been the first rather crafty step in a move to persuade Mackenzie to undertake the work.' If the commission was ever offered to him he did not accept it. (4) See Die Bauhutte, Vol. XXI, 5 June 1878. wrote. 'I have only met with six individuals who possessed it and of these two were Germans, two Frenchmen and two of other nations.' Irwin was in Paris during the autumn of 1874 and visited Eliphas Levi. Unfortunately he forgot to ask Levi about the Order. When he returned to Bristol he applied to Mackenzie for information. Mackenzie replied on 23 October and was evasive. 'I can give you very little information about the Hermetic Order of Egypt. Constant [i.e. Levi] could have given you far more than I could - he was one of my preceptors.' (1) However, what could not be disclosed to Irwin was revealed at some length in the Cyclopaedia where the Order was described as the Hermetic Brothers of Egypt and as an occult fraternity which has endured from very ancient times, having a hierarchy of officers, secret signs and passwords, and a peculiar method of instruction in science, moral philosophy and religion. The body is never very numerous, and if we may believe those who at the present time profess to belong to it, the philosopher's stone, the elixir of life, the art of invisibility, and the power of communication with the ultramundane life, are part of the inheritance they possess. By the time the Cyclopaedia article was written the number of the Order's members had been reduced to three. Mackenzie's further 'information' about the Brotherhood is of considerable interest because here may be found echoes of the original legend of the Rosicrucian Brotherhood as published in the Fama Fraternitatis R.C. at Cassel in 1614. He did not claim that the Order had any Masonic affiliations but then, after all, he had somehow to fill more than seven hundred pages. The Cyclopaedia article continues: The writer has met with only three persons who maintained the actual existence of this body of religious philosophers, and who hinted that they themselves were actually members. There was no reason to doubt the good faith of these individuals - apparently unknown to each other, and men of moderate competence, blameless lives, austere manners, and almost ascetic in their habits. They all appeared to be men of forty to forty-five years of age, and evidently of vast erudition. Their conversation was simple and unaffected, and their knowledge of languages not doubted. So far this might be a portrait of Mackenzie as he currently saw himself. He was then about forty-two years of age. He continued: They cheerfwly answered questions, but appeared not to court enquiries. They never remained long in one country, but passed away without creating notice, or wishing for undue respect to be paid to them. To their former lives they never referred, and, when speaking of the past, seemed to say what they had to say with an air of authority, and an appearance of an intimate personal knowledge of all circumstances. They courted no publicity, and, in any communications with them, uniformly treated the subjects under discussion as very familiar things, although to be treated with a species of reverence not always found among occult professors. THE ORDER OF ISHMAEL According to John Yarker's article on 'Arab Masonry' in AQC 19, P. 243, 'in 1872 the late Bro. Mackenzie organised the "Order of Ishmael" of 36 degrees, the basis of which, he informed me, he had from an Arab in Paris'. The introduction of a mysterious Arab is so typical of Mackenzie that no further comment is necessary. According to Mackenzie's Cyclopaedia the Order of Ishmael, or of Esau and Reconciliation, had eighteen degrees divided into four classes. The government of the Order is vested in three supreme and equal powers, respectively known as Patriarch, Priest and King. The consent of all three must be obtained before the admission of any candidate. The postulant must be of mature age, of good breeding and education, and must not be a Roman Catholic ... It is not necessary, on the continent, that he should be a Freemason, but if so, many secrets are given to him not (1) Levi died a few months later and could no longer be consulted. Mackenzie referred to his death on 11 June 1875; 'I am sorry to hear Eliphaz Levi has left us but I presume he would not be difficult to find [i.e. at a spiritualist seance] as he was so well known to those who preceded him and his contemporaries. I don't know whether I can get at him through my wife, who is a medium, but I will try.' The possibility of contacting Levi was mentioned as casually as if, in a later day and age, Mackenzie hoped to telephone him if he could find his number. otherwise disclosed. Until very recent years there was a political section to the Order, but this has been altogether suppressed, and objects for which the Order exists consist of mutual aid, instruction, and ceneral enlightenment. The Chiefs of the Order reside habitually in the East, and two of the three chiefs must always be east of Jerusalem. Branches of this Order, under Arch-Chancellors, exist in Russia, Turkey, Greece, Austria, Italy, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, France, Spain, Portugal, Africa, and the United Kingdom. Thus we encounter an Order with Secret Chiefs - a typical Mackenzie elaboration - and busy in a dozen countries but unknown to the Masonic world until Mackenzie's revelations were published in the Cyclopaedia. It seems, however, that the Order had no ritual until Mackenzie obliged by furnishing one. According to Yarker, it was 'far too lengthy for general practice' and MS. copies were so costly that nobody wanted to pay for them. (1) Letters written by Mackenzie to Irwin late in 1874 indicate that the Grand Patron's representative (i.e. Mackenzie) hoped that Irwin would become a member. [23 October 1874]. As to the Rite of Ishmael, presuming you to have taken the degree of Rose Croix, you would then begin to have glimmerings of it ... The Rite has existed side by side with Freemasonry for thousands of years and forms a completion by working back to the Entered Appr: degree ... The ceremonies are of a most august nature and teach the invariability of God, His Providence, and the instability of Man. [7 November 1874]. As to the Order of Ishmael I will do what I can within the next few months but it is impossible to move in the matter until the spring - annual meetings only take place and properly speaking on the first of May. I may however as well inform you that I hold an official position in that body for England, and of course will be glad to forward your views ... In your admission your Masonic rank will receive due recognition. [6 December 1874]- We will talk about the Order of Ishmael when we meet - several things have to be considered before the Ob[ligation] can be given, as portions of the Koran have to be taken as of authority. As however Saladin gave the rite to Coeur de Lion we have good precedent for the admission of Christians. Irwin may have been admitted to the Order in June 1875. (2) On 29 August 1875 Mackenzie explained that 'the Ishmaelite degree can only be given personally - it is impossible for anyone to understand it otherwise - and it opens a field to all who embrace its sublime teachings - to me it has ever seemed the highest point and completion of Masonry, altho' it does not start from the same basis.' Benjamin Cox was another potential recruit. On 21 November 1875 he wrote: 'I do not think I shall oo to London next week - if I do so it will be to see Mackenzie to receive the Order of Ishmael which he promised to give me if I came to London.' He had not joined by 13 January 1877 when he remarked to Irwin: 'I am very glad that you re ain communication with some other person than Mackenzie about the Rite of Ishmael as Bro. M. has always [made] such a fuss about the Order.' With customers few and far between, the Order of Ishmael remained in more or less cold storage until John Yarker inherited it after Mackenzie's death in 1886. KENNETH MACKENZIE-DOMESTIC AFFAIRS, 1875-83 Before dealing with Mackenzie's fringe-Masonic preoccupations during the late 1870s - one of them, the Royal Oriental Order of the Sat B'hai, was by far the most ludicrous promotion of the period - some brief information about his domestic life is necessary. His sources of income are unknown but he probably made a very modest livinG, from miscellancous journalism. The Cyclopaedia did not benefit him financially. (1) This information is from a late and condensed recension of the ritual (August 1907) formerlY in Yarker's possession but not in his handwriting. Grand Lodge Library has recently acquired (F.E. Gould Bequest) an apparently complete text which was copied for Irwin by Benjamin Cox. Mackenzie's introductory 'History' and notes, dated 26 May 1872, describe him as 'Representative for Grand Patron'. The ritual is unbelievably turgid. (2) Grand Lodge Museum has four Order of Ishmael jewels which once belonged to Irwin. According to the engraved legends he was advanced to Guardian of the Temple IX degree on 20 June, Elevated to Auxiliator 18 degree on 8 October, and Exalted to Providentia 27 degree on 8 November 1875. Finally on 8 January 1879 he was Perfected to Chevalier of Darius, Prince of Ishmael 36 degree, on 8 January 1879. On 13 August 1875, when he was busy writing the first fascicules, he optimistically mentioned to Irwin that 'when this book is finished, I shall, very likely, run over to Canada. My father in law Harrison Aydon is carrying all before him and I am in correspondence with my cousin Alexander Mackenzie the Prermier [of Canada].' This statement led me up a long genealogical blind alley because no relationship of any kind could be established. Perhaps for Mackenzie any namesake was a 'cousin' and the Premier of Canada a more than usually impressive one. (1) If Harrison Aydon returned to London with his pockets lined with gold, neither Mackenzie nor his wife appear to havc benefited. During 1876 the Mackenzies moved from Chiswick to a more modest address: 2 Mark Cottages, Staines Road, Hounslow. Whether or not he could afford an occasional bet, it pleased him to forecast the winners of the classic turf events. (2) By August 1877 they had left 2 Mark Cottages and were at 1 Flint Villas, Wellington Road, Hounslow. 'We have a carpenter's shop next door in full work from 1/4 past 4 in the morning and shall leave when I find another house,' he wrote. They endured the noise until November 1880 when they moved to a quieter house in the same road. They were next (1882-3) at 23 Ryder Terrace, Twickenham. His uncle John Hervey died on 2 July 1880. 'He has been more of a father to me than my own father,' he told Irwin a few months carlier when Hervey would obviously not survive for long. Hervey left about 4,000 pounds. His sister (Mackenzie's mother) was left a life interest after a few modest legacies had been paid and Mackenzie and a cousin were the residuary legatees in moiety. Hervey's estate was not settled until September 1883. At about this time Mackenzie acquired an eighty-six years lease of a house in Twickenham for 400 pounds. He told Irwin that the purchase had been made under good astrological aspects and that the bank had lent him part of the money. On 25 October 1885, however, he informed Invin that his financial prospects were dismal. 'When my mother dies ... I and my wife will just have 35 pounds per annum to live on, and what I precariously earn. The Freemasons have never done a thing for me, though I have done much for Masonry, and I don't expect they ever will ... I never hear of [Dr. W.R.] Woodman for he deserted me when he found I was not my uncle's heir, nor have I seen him since the day of the funeral of my uncle.' During this period there was one redeeming feature. Frederick Hockley had agreed to a reconciliation and in November 1878 invited him to a meeting of Grand Stewards' Lodge. THE ROYAL ORIENTAL ORDER OF THE SAT B'HAI The Order of the Sat B'hai was not Mackenzie's invention, still less Irwin's, although Mackenzie had a hand in the inflation of this comic pseudo-Masonic balloon, which rose a few feet into the air, wobbled briefly and then quietly collapsed without the average member of the Craft knowing that the thing had ever existed. The Sat B'hai's advent was obscurely heralded in a letter signed 'Historicus' which was published in The Freemason on 14 January 1871. The prose style is not unlike Mackenzie's. If so, he was unaware that his misinformation referred to the 'rite' which was to occupy so much of his time a few years later. A brother informs us that a 34 degree of this rite is in existence called the 'Apex', thus corresponding with the 90 degree of the Ancient and Primitive Rite of Misraim. There are only three holders of the 'Apex' in the whole world, who exist by the succession of triplicate warrants from Frederick the Great of Prussia, signed immediately after the Grand Constitutions. The symbols are the cord and the dagger; the ceremonials are very august, (3) and detail the legendary history and object of the degree, which is to draw the funds and energies of all the councils of the world to one great centre. Grave purposes are said to be in view, but whether such is the expulsion of the Turks from Constantinople, or the estabhshment of a single empire either on the Continent or in America, is not known. (1) Alexander Mackenzie (b. 28 January 1822 at Logierat, Perthshire, d. 1892 at Toronto) emigrated to Canada in 1842. He was elected a member of the first Dominion House of Commons in 1867 and was prime minister of Canada 1871-8. (2) On 1 June 1887 he wrote: 'I have a method [astrological or numerological?] of pitching on the right animals. Look at the enclosed. It is not 12 o'clock yet, but I wrote these three names down three days ago: Oaks, June 1, 1877. Three hours before the race. Note whether I am right. 1. Muscatel, 2 Lady Golightly, 3 Placida.' Placida won the race, Muscatel came third and Lady Golightly fourth. (3) Cf. Mackenzie's letter to Irwin of 23 October 1874 quoted on p. 265 above, in which he described the Order of Ishmael's ceremonies as being 'of a most august nature'. A letter correcting the inaccuracies perpetrated by 'Historicus' appeared about a month later in The Freemason of 18 February 1871. Whoever wrote it knew the substance of the Sat B'hai or Apex legend much in the form in which it was subsequently developed. THE APEX- 49 degree = 81 degree A very serious mistake occurs in The Freemason of the 16th [sic] ult., in which it is affirmed that 'there are only three holders of the Apex in the world, who exist by a succession of triplicate warrants from Frederick the Great', and that the symbols of the degree are a 'Cord and Dagger'. Now, brethren should not be precipitate in their revelations on the subject of this climax of our Grand Historics-Masonic mysteries, for I am in a position to assert, most emphatically, that the warrants in question were not promulgated by Frederick the Great, and that the three so-called Apexes were, in fact, no other than the three sponsors of the ONE SUPREME APEX, whose very style proclaims his crowning and solitary grandeur, and the succession of whose high office comes by an Act of Grace on the part of the existing Apex, who, under circumstances of the strictest solemnity, and himself strictly veiled, transmits to his successor (if practicable, in the presence of one or more of the sponsors) the rituals of all other orders (some of which are scarcely known in England), contained in an antique leaden casket cased in cedar of Libanus (or Lebanon). By this means the Apex-elect is, if of one of the lower degrees (but in no case under that of a P.M.) under a peculiar dispensation. So far, so good: this is a super-Masonic Order and the Apex-elect must be a P.M. Furthermore, he has the status of a 'Secret Chief'. This particular archetype made its Masonic debut in the German 'Strict Observance' (c. 1750) and in a non-Masonic context will be found in Westcott's 'Golden Dawn' (The Secret Chiefs of the Third Order) and in Theosophy a la Madam Blavatsky in the secret rulers of the 'Great White Lodge'. The letter continues: True enough, the Cord and Dagger are the symbols of the Sponsors, but not of the one unapproachable Apex, for he has seven (hence the con-fraternity [sic] known in the East as the Sat-bhae, seven brothers), but which failed under a secret suspension of the then (1845) Sublime Climax Apex, who, at that period, happened to be on one of his tours of secret inspection in India. From the nature of the office of the Grand Climax Apex, 81 degree, it has been a time immemorial law that his name should never be divulged nor his actual identity be known to any but a Sponsor. Sometimes it happens, where Apex dies in any remote locality, his successor cannot be known to the Sponsors, but the latter can always identify the true Apex by the seven symbols which lead to the leaden casket that crowns the mystic edifice, and which, with reverence, I venture to assert I have seen, but it is not fitting that I should say more. There is a remarkable painting, of small size, called 'The Dream of Apex'. It represents a man in a gloomy appartment, startled at the appearance of a serpent; but for reasons inconvenient to mention, the locality cannot be indicated. As your correspondent is perhaps aware, the one Supreme Apex takes in regular succession, as his symbol, one of the starry signs; but these are not numbered as amongst the seven occult symbols. Allow me to add, that 'the Frederick the Great' is not a warrant of authority. The Emperor Friedrich Barbarossa certainly did issue one, but under the superior inspiration of the Veiled Apex, who, at that period, is supposed to have been a Venetian. N. B - - - - E Perhaps the most astonishing disclosure of all was the one published in The Freemason of 29 June 1872 signed 'Sp-ns-r [i.e. Sponsor], II'. 'It may be sufficent to say,' he wrote, 'that I have seen the true jewel of 'Apex' the jewel can be heard as well as seen.' The jewel probably incorporated a small bell which tinkled. The Royal Oriental Order of Sikha (Apex) and the Sat B'hai, to give it its official title - was the brain child of Captain James Henry Lawrence Archer (or Lawrence-Archer), Indian Army, although Mackenzie did most of the donkey-work and received small thanks for his trouble. John Yarker briefly referred to the Order's founder and origins in The Arcane Schools, 1909, P. 242: 'This is a Hindu Society organized by the Pundit of an Anglo-Indian regiment, and brought to this country, about the year 1872, by Captain J. H. Lawrence Archer.' In Hindi the word pundit or pandit means a teamed man, one versed in philosophy, religion and jurisprudence, alternatively a learned expert or teacher. In mlitary usage it meant a native civilian who was employed to teach the British officers of Indian regiments the Hindi language and to read the Devanagri script. Nothing is known about the Pundit's 'Hindu Society' or the nature of the notes, MSS. etc. which Archer brought to England and which Mackenzie in due course attempted to 'work up'. Archer was born on 28 July 1823. He was gazetted Second-Lieutenant in the 39th Foot Regiment in December 1840 (aet. 17) and served with the 24th Foot Regiment throughout the Punjab Campaign in 1848-9. He went on half pay as a Captain on 1 January 1869 and remained on the half pay list until his death in February 1889. He was initiated in Masonry in India in 1851 (aet. 28) and later became a joining member of Lodge Canongate Kilwinning No. 2 at Edinburgh. (1) The British Museum catalogue lists the titles of a dozen books by him, e.g. genealogical studies, military histories, memoirs of Indian campaigns, a work on the Orders of Chivalry etc. (2) As far as the Sat B'hai was concerned he remained in the background. Mackenzie used to complain that he was elusive, absent somewhere in Scotland and not to be found. Only one letter written by Archer survives in Grand Lodge Library. It was addressed to Irwin (6 April 1875) and because we do not know in what context it was written its contents are obscure. Yarker mentioned that his salary as a captain on half pay was only 127 pounds per annum, but he must have had private means. Mackenzie inferred that Archer hoped to make money out of the Sat B'hai. The second of the three letters published in The Freemason in 1871 -2 may have been written by Archer. At that time he was not in touch with Mackenzie, but he was already or soon to be acquainted with Yarker. There is no evidence that Irwin ever met him, but he was a member of the Captain's barely-hatched Order by the end of 1874. (3) When Mackenzie arrived on the scene in 1875 the Order existed in name rather than in fact. It was he who was to wrestle with the insoluble problem of placing this Hindu cuckoo in an English fringe-Masonic nest. No one was better equipped for this particular exercise in human folly. On 18 January 1875 Mackenzie told Irwin that he had 'heard of the Rite of Apex [i.e. the Sat B'hail and that is all.' Eleven days later he asked Irwin for information about the rite for the Cyclopaedia. Irwin referred him to Archer with whom he now began to correspond. He joined the Order early in April and was appointed one of the seven Arch Censors. 'I can say no more because I know no more,' he told Irwin. Then on 22 April he wrote: of course you know a great deal more about it than you have chosen to say.' On 3 May he asked Irwin if he had 'the Code and Mystery and other things'.' The Code contained information about the Order's structure and its rules. John Yarker published what he described as a revised edition of the Sat B'hai Code in 1886. The text printed here in Appendix II is probably from this edition. Early in April 1875 Irwin was already thinking of resigning. Archer's letter to him of 6 April refers to this eventuality. The postscript reads: 'I send you as requested 2 Codes and 2 Mysteries. Kindly send a Post Card to Bro. Yarker to forward to you the third copy of each which you require.' Hence Yarker was active in the business in an administrative capacity. Mackenzie was beginning to busy himself, perhaps rather officiously, in London. On io 10 May he wrote: For the present, until I learn what I want to know in the matter ... stick like grim death to a dead nigger in the Apex business. All I can say now is that the matter is likely to move. Don't give up your Censorship on any account. I have obtained some important (1) See John Yorker's biographical article in The Kneph, Vol. II, April 1882, P. 13O- I am indebted to Miss E. Talbot Rice, Research Assistant to the Director of the National Army Museum, London, for detailed particulars of Archer's military career. (2) Lack of time has prevented me from inspecting Archer's books. His Idone: or, Incidents in the Life of a Dreamer, 1852, published when he was twenty-nine, might repay study. (3) See the certificate in Grand Lodge Library dated the 'first day of Winter Solstice 1874'. Irwin was given the 'spiritual and mystic name Kartikeya'. (4) This letter includes a reference to R. W. Lirde's Ancient and Archaeological Society of Druids: 'Don't have anything to do with the Druids. It is only Little in another form and what information he has, he obtained from me. I paid some fees to the precious order and have never heard anything more of it,' Mackenzie wrote. According to the Cyclopaedia it was 'a quasi-Masonic body, reconstituted by Bro. R. Wenrworth Little in October 1874 ... Master Masons alone are admissible to this body which, it is to be hoped, will show signs of vitality at some time not far distant.' Mackenzie mentioned it again on 26 February 1877: 'I know I paid a subscription and I was told the money was spent on a feed but I had none of it.' evidence in writing. Don't do more than stir Bros. Yarker and B. Cox of Weston super Mare up. His enquiries continued and on 17 May he advised Irwin: 'Pray let us leave Apex alone for a little while longer. I assure you there are strong reasons for it.' On 24 May he reported the receipt of a letter from Archer. 'I would put myself in communication with him,' he told Irwin, ' . . . and see what he says - pray don't mention me at present. I don't want a Masonic fraud to be perpetrated, verbum sap. Ask him what he is doing. It's pretty muddled as it now stands.' BY 5 June he was beginning to show more enthusiasm: 'Modifications will have to be made before Apex will be of much Masonic service to us. But I think there is a brilliant future. I will try and see Archer in a few days ... I had a letter from Yarker recently but it does not seem to reveal anything very definite about Apex. Have you a copy of the code [underlined three times]? If you have not, I must send you one, or a printed copy can be obtained from Bro. S.P. Leather, Civil Engineer, Burnley, Lancashire.' (1) By 11 June 1875 Mackenzie's attitude was again ambivalent. He had received a letter from Archer and had learned that 'there is a ritual as well as the Code and Mystery'. He informed Irwin that he had written to Archer and made various suggestions: 'Have pointed out to him that English gentlemen cannot be governed by unknown heads and advised him to call a meeting of Sponsors and Censors. I did not mention names but (in confidence) I may tell you that I might prevail upon Bro. Hervey to accept the fourth censorship, still vacant.' So now the Grand Secretary of the United Grand Lodge of England was to be inveigled into the Apex scheme. Mackenzie did not object to 'Secret Chiefs' when they were of his own invention (cf. the Order of Ishmael) but disliked the prospect of having to submit to their authority when produced out of thin air by someone else, in this case Archer. By the autumn of 1875 a few recruits had presented themselves. On 19 October Mackenzie wrote: 'Bro. Ranking has joined the Order of Apex, (2) also Colonel Ridgway. Something will have to be done in this soon.' On 24 November he reported that 'Brother Col. Ridgway is appointed Treasurer General of the Sat B'hai.' Next, on 27 January 1876 he wrote: 'I think there is every probability of Sir William Feilden's brother Bro. J. Leyland Feilden joining the Sat B'hai. It is high time that this was brought forward in a more tangible shape, but there are so many influences at work that it is very difficult to reconcile the elements.' However, at least a little progress was being made because on 4 February he was able to report: 'Rite of Apex is extending ... I am very carefully selecting the members of the section I represent as Daksha. I only wish for real Masons of studious habits, likely to render good service.. . My uncle [John Hervey] thinks the Order likely to be of great utility.' One wonders if the Grand Secretary supposed anything of the sort. At this point we are left in a state of suspension as far as Apex or the Sat B'hai are concerned because the few surviving letters for 1876 contain no references to either. In the meantime Mackenzie had written an article about the Order which was published in the Cyclopaedia probably in the fascicule which was issued late in 1876. It commences: ROYAL ORIENTAL ORDER OF THE SAT B'HAI - An order incorporated with that of Sikha. It originated in India, and is so named after a bird held sacred by the Hindus, and known to naturalists as the Malacocerus grisius, whose flight, invariably in sevens, has obtained for the rite the appellation of the seven (Sat) brethren (B'hai). The last meeting in India was held at Allahabad (Pryaya or Prag), in the year 1845. It is divided into seven degrees (but, with Sikha, composed of the Sponsors, nine), the first being the highest, i.e., 1. Arch Censor. 2. Arch Courier. 3. Arch Minister, 4. Arch Herald. 5. Arch Scribe. 6. Arch Auditor. 7. Arch Mute. The last three degrees are, under certain limitations, open to both sexes, but none but Master Masons are admitted into the first four degrees. (1) Samuel Petty Leather was a close friend of John Yarker, who lived nearby at Manchester, and active in all the latter's fringe-Masonic promotions. In 1882 he was second in the hierarchy of Yarker's 'Antient and Primitive Rite of Masonry, inclusive of Memphis and Misraim'. On 22 February 1875 when Irwin was already doubtful about the Apex project he wrote: 'I indeed feel grieved to hear you have had much trouble through "Apex" and think you will do well to let it rest a while. There is one point in your letter. You call it "The Rite of Apex". I have not looked upon "Apex" as a rite. If I were to do so I should at once stop. I am not quite clear on this point. There are already too many Rites in Masonry - my rude objection to the introduction of ceremonial observances was the fear that it might become a rite.' (2) David Fearon Ranking was a member of the Rosicrucian Society in 1879. He joined Westcott's Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn in June 1892 but resigned soon after when he was made a bankrupt. At the end of the article there is a statement which is 'typical Mackenzie': 'The order is now firmly established in England and Scotland, and has branches in America, Austria, and other countries.' It is inconceivable that a rite which had not yet been worked in England, because there were still no rituals, had already been exported to America and Austria. Fignally, as might be expected, 'the ceremonies are of an august nature'. A.E. Waite once described Mackenzie as 'a shining light of occultism hidden in a bushel of secrecy', or in words to that effect. The source of the quotation escapes me, although I remember it well. Irwin thought much the same and in a long and critical letter written on 16 January 1877 referred to Mackenzie's tendency to envelop everything in a cloak of mystery. The following probably refers to the Order of Ishmael rather than the Sat B'hai: There is no one more ready than myself to acknowledge your intellectual powers. I am well aware that you could compile a hundred Rituals each as good as the average of those in present use, but you unfortunately appear to have a desire to surround your proceedings with an air of mystery. Now this mystery is all right and proper with the greater number of Masons ... but why persevere with the mystery - or trying to mvstify one who has been admitted to the innermost secrets of the sanctuary? Irwin was referring to himself. As for the Sat B'hai: The Rite of Apex would have spread rapidly in the most of England were it not for this air of mystery. There was the groundwork for much that was good and beautiful ... If the ceremony of the Sat B'hai is not a beautiful one, it will not be that you are unable to so form it, but that an air of mystery will be thrown over it - that, to use a common expression, won't go down. Mackenzie replied somewhat plaintively on 28 February: 'As to Apex, Sikha, Sat B'hai or whatever you like best to call it, I have only to say that I am trying my best to bring it on. But I do not find there is much enthusiasm about it . . . ' On 3 March he explained at some length the difficulty he was having in getting the rituals into shape. One of his problems was that neither the Mutes nor the Auditors, who were members of the two lowest degrees, had anything to do, 'and until this is extricated from the Sanskrit original I do not see how a ritual can be issued.' By 5 April he thought that the Sat B'hai ritual was nearly finished: 'There is a separate ceremony for each grade of the Order . . . ' On 9 August he complained that his work was at a standstill because Archer was away and could not be found. It seems that without Archer's knowledge of Sanskrit no progress was possible. The position was much the same in October and he had now quarrelled with Archer. He knew, too, that some members were becoming restive, hence 'we cannot expect others to take an interest in the Sat B'hai until we give them something for their money . . . ' He was also now aware that for Archer, at least, the Sat B'hai had a certain commercial element: 'I am sorry that Bro. Archer's means are so slight that he is forced to make money out of the Sat B'hai . . . ', he wrote on 20 October. Late in 1877 Bro. Charles Scott, of Omagh, Co. Tyrone in Ireland, sent Irwin three indignant letters on the subject of Mackenzie and the Sat B'hai within the course of five weeks. [21 October 1877]. I know nothing of Apex more than I did three years ago ... I assume that the Sat B'hai is a humbug devised to raise the wind. Bros. Archer-and Mackenzie have fallen out. This is plain by Archer's notes, so that Mackenzie is now Apex and Ishmael and I suppose his fertile genius is conceiving something else racy for the gulls. [29 October 1877]. As for Apex I am washing my hands of it. It is no use and only fit for gulls and dupes ... I can't introduce the Order over here so I shall resign all connection with it. [26 November 1877]. I wrote to Yarker withdrawing from Apex as I could not understand it nor had I any opportunities of meeting those who did ... It was only laughed at by my clever friends who promptly refused to join a rite of very questionable benefit. By 9 November 1877 Mackenzie had completed the following ceremonies: 1. Opening an Ashayam 7. Passing Scribe to Herald 2. Working and closing the same 8. Consecrating Herald as a Minister 3. Initiation (general) 9. Entrusting a Courier 4. Admission of a Mute 10. Ceremony of Relegation 5. Passing a Mute to Auditor 11. Ceremony of Perfection 6. Advancing Auditor to Scribe 12. Various Lectures, Regulations &c. On 25 January 1878 he wrote more in sorrow than in anger to Irwin: 'I hear nothing at all from Bro. Yarker. Bro. Archer is mysterious. You and Bro. Scott have, it seems, both resigned and from another source I hear that Madam Blavatsky is the head of the Order! This last item of news is "quite too awfully laughable".' He finally admitted defeat on 27 January 1879: 'As to Apex I should not trouble myself about it', he advised Irwin. 'I regard it as a thing of the past.' However, the Order of the Sat B'hai was not quite as moribund as Mackenzie supposed. A few years later John Yarker ingeniously amalgamated its Ceremony of Perfection with the ritual of a recent novelty called the Order of Light. THE 'KNIGHTS OF THE RED BRANCH' There is a brief entry under this heading in Mackenzie's Cyclopaedia. It reads: 'Established in Ulster, Ireland, B.C. [1] go ... In 1760, there was a degree of that name given in an Orange Lodge. It is still in existence as a side degree.' For some reason which I am unable to fathom, Benjamin Cox, who does not appear to have had any connection with Ireland or Ulster, was the Order's Grand Chancellor in 1872. In Grand Lodge Library there is a handwritten certificate, roughly printed by the 'do it your- self' cyclostyle process, headed: 'Royal Order of Knights of Eri and Red Branch of Knights of Ulster'. It was issued on 3 June 1872 to Irwin as 'Knight Grand Cross and Chieftain' etc., siped by R. S. D. O'Donohue, and 'registered in the Archives of the Order by Benjamin Cox, Grand Chancellor'. On the same day a similar certificate was issued to Yarker's friend and colleague Samuel Petty Leather in this case signed by Irwin. There are occasional references to what Cox always called 'the Red Branch' in his letters to Irwin. In 1877-8 he was busy trying to design a certificate for the Order, in Gaelic and written in Irish uncial characters. He informed Irwin on 7 August 1878 that he had been unable to procure an Irish dictionary. In a later letter to Irwin (25 November 1887) he wrote: 'Red Branch - When you send me the final Ritual I will make another exact copy therefrom. I have been thinking of nominating Bro.Capt. Nunn and Bro. Lieut. Capell as Knights and Bros. Blackmore and Millard as Esquires to serve under my Knightly [Person?].' The Captain and the Lieutenant were both members of a local Volunteer unit. Furthermore, all these prospective Knights and Esquires were Freemasons ... six months later, in April 1888, they became the founder members of the Golden Dawn's Osiris Temple at Weston-super-Mare, of which 'Frater Crux Dat Salutem', i.e. Benjamin Cox, was 'Hierophant'. (1) THE RITE OF SWEDENBORG There is no evidence whatever that the Swedish mystic Emanuel Swedenborg (b. 1688 Stockholm, d. 1772 London) was ever a Freemason, although some Masonic annalists of the distant past have insisted that he must have been a member of the Craft. According to Lenhoff and Posner (Internationales Freimaurer Lexikon, 1932) the Rite which bears his name was founded in the U.S.A. in 1859 and was soon exported to Canada. Mackey mentioned that it possessed six grades in his Encyclopaedia, 1874: 1. Apprentice, 2. Fellow Craft, 3. Master Neophyte, 4. Illuminated Theosophite, 5. Blue Brother, 6. Red Brother. The third degree was, in fact, that of a Master Mason, and since the Rite did not initiate Freemasons, only the last three degrees were worked. The Rite reached England by virtue of a Canadian charter, dated 1 July 1876, granted to 'John Yarker, Francis George Irwin and Samuel Petty Leather ... to hold a subordinate Lodge and Temple ... in the City of Manchester to be called the Emanuel Lodge and Temple No. 3, and therein to confer the degrees of Enlightened, Sublime and Perfect Phremasons upon such lawful Master Masons as they may deem worthy. (2) Since the rite was in possession of what might be described as 'the old firm' it was only natural that Kenneth Mackenzie should be appointed its Supreme Grand Secretary. Benjamin Cox would have liked to have been Joint Supreme Grand Secretary - he was still a Masonic pot-hunter even if he did declare two years later that 'I care but very little if I never again attend a Lodge Meeting' - but Mackenzie disagreed and proposed that he should be Provincial Supreme Grand Secretary if the rite prospered. (1) The Osiris Temple had a short life. Cox initiated eight male members, all of them Freemasons, in 1888 and two more in 1890. (2) Grand Lodge Library has a more or less contemporary MS. copy of the charter. There was no great rush to join the rite but by the end of 1879 there were about a dozen lodges, all of them with probably minute memberships, and a handful more were founded during the next few years. Hence Mackenzie's duties were never very onerous. They would have been enen easier if lodge secretaries had been more punctilious in sending returns and remitting fees. In April 1877 the Swedenborg Rite was still short of a Supreme Grand Chaplain and Mackenzie suggested that the Rev. William Stainton Moses should be invited to accept the office. At this point in time fringe-Masonry gained an interesting new recruit because Stainton Moses was one of the most prominent personalities in the spiritualist movement. (1) Whereas all the individuals we have so far encountered accepted Freemasonry - 'fringe' or Reocular, or a combination of both - as they found it, Stainton Moses wanted something different. It is likely that his decision to accept the Swedenborg Rite's Supreme Grand Chaplaincy was largely influenced by the prospect, as he informed Irwin in August, 1877, of being able to form a lodge entirely composed of 'spiritualists, Theosophists, (2) or whatever you like to call them ... I desiderate for this purpose something rather different from the ordinary Lodge, which meets four times a year to work a stereotyped ritual, or to eat a heavy dinner'. By August 1878 he had abandoned the hope of establishing a spiritualist lodge within the framework of the Rite of Swedenborg or even the now moribund Sat B'hai. He resigned from the Rite in April 1879 The Rite of Swedenborg lingered on in England until the early 1900s. By that time it was merely an item in John Yarker's stock of rites for export abroad. EXEUNT OMNES ... Frederick Hockley, who had no connection with fringe-Masonry, but knew Irwin and Mackenzie well, was the first to die (10 November 1885). His will included a legacy of 19 guineas to Mackenzie, who followed him on 3 July 1886, shortly before his fifty-third birthday. The deterioration in his handwriting in the last of his letters to Irwin (20 November 1885) suggests that his health had greatly failed. Latterly (1883-5) he had been tinkering with the formation of an exclusive little 'club' called The Society of Eight, apparently for the study of alchemy. Its prospective members in August 1883 were Irwin, Yarker, the Rev. W. A. Ayton (3) and Frederick Holland, whom Mackenzie described as 'a technically experienced chymist and metallurgist', and who was a member of the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia. In a letter to Irwin (24 August 1883) Mackenzie wrote: I fear that Bro. Hockley is too advanced in years to join. I do not think that Stainton Moses would do at all; there are reasons I cannot enter upon. Dr. Westcott also will not do. If Holland gets him to join I will at once retire.' By the end of 1885 he had quarrelled with Holland and on 20 November told Irwin: 'Society of Eight quite dormant, thro' Holland's fault.' Towards the end his relationship with (1) William Stainton Moses (1840-92) took Holy Orders in c. 1868 but resigned from a chaplaincy in the Isle of Man in 1872 when he became interested in spiritualism and returned to London, where he taught English at University College School. He was a founder of the London Spiritualist Alliance, a frequent contributor to the spiritualist press and for some years editor of Light. He was also a wellknown private medium. When the Rosicrucian Society's Burdett (London) College was founded in December 1867 its Fratres included Stainton Moses and R. Palmer Thomas. The latter was later to be a prominent member of the Golden Dawn. (2) In 1877 the Theosophical Society, which was inaugurated in New York in November 1875 was still hardly known in Great Britain. However, there is evidence to show that H. P. Blavatsky's first important book, Isis Unveiled, 1877, was being read in Rosicrucian Society circles soon after its publication. The Society's remarkable expansion did not begin until May 1887 when Madame Blavatsky settled permanently in London. Stainton Moses was a Fellow of the New York Theosophical Society in 1878 and one of the few Englishmen to have any connection with it. He immediately procured honorary membership for Mackenzie. Yarker met H. P. Blavatsky when she was briefly in England at the end of 1878 and appears-to have given her what purported to be a Masonic initiation. The history of 'Co-Masonry' in this country began with Yarker and continued under Theosophical Society auspices. (3) William Alexander Ayton (1816-1909), Vicar of Chacombe, Northamptonshire. He had an alchemical laboratory in his cellar and was afraid that his Bishop would learn of its existence. He was among the first to join the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn in 1888. W. B. Yeats, who met him in the G. D. milieu in 1890, described him as 'an old white-haired clergyman, the most panic-stricken person I have ever known' (Autobiographies, 1926, pp. 227-8). S. L. MacGregor Mathers introduced him to Yeats at a G.D. ceremony with the words: 'He unites us to the great adepts of the past.' Ayton was invested as Provincial Grand Chaplain for Oxfordshire in 1875. Yarker cannot have been satisfactory. The obituary notice in the latter's periodical The Kneph (August 1896) could hardly have been briefer or more perfunctory. Although one would suppose that the Sat B'hai was completely dead and buried by 1885 both Irwin and Cox were keeping it going in a small way in the West Country. On 15 December Cox wrote: 'I will assist by taking No. 2 Censorship and I would suggest that Dr. Nunn be asked to take the other ... there can be no harm in asking him, the only objection is that he does not care much for occultism.' Almost two years later Cox reported: 'Dr. Nunn intends to wear at our Thursday's meeting his Sat B'hai jewel ... I forgot to say that Bro. Dr. Nunn thinks that by wearing the jewel of the Sat B'hai at our meeting it may be the means of others joining without outside solicitation.' (I) Irwin and Cox were still busy with the affairs of the Order of Eri. On 12 December 1887 Cox expressed his admiration for Irwin's latest version of its ritual: 'I think it is equal to any that I have ever seen,' he wrote. A week later he told Irwin that he had just received the second part of the first volume of AQC. On 15 June 1888 he asked Irwin if his appointment as local Secretary of QC's Correspondence Circle had been confirmed. He was currently full of enthusiasm for Westcott's newlyhatched Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. Irwin, on the other hand, was not. 'I am sorry to hear that you do not care for the G.D. Order,' Cox wrote on 1 June 1888. By then he had been corresponding with Irwin for almost twenty years. A few later letters - the last of all was written in June 1890 - are of no interest. Irwin died in July 1893 and Cox in December 1895. Pamela Bullock - Soror Shemeber in the Golden Dawn - made a note of his decease in a contemporary list of members. By now John Yarker was the only important survivor of our original coterie of enthusiasts for fringe-Masonry. However, the 'Most Illustrious Grand Master General of the Antient and Primitive Rite of Masonry (inclusive of Memphis and Misraim), 33 degree - 96 degree, 90 degree. P.M. of all Orders; Past Senior G.W. of Greece, P. Gd. Constable of the Temple; Hon. 33 degree -96 degree in America, Egypt, Italy and Roumania', and heaven knows what else, was not a practitioner, in the strict sense of the word, in the Mackenzie-Irwin 'manufactory, mint or studio of Degrees'. He was essentially a collector of rites which, in later life, he patched together with this or that fringeMasonic invention that had fallen into his lap. Maurice Vidal Portman's August Order of Light offers a typical example. Portman's enthusiasm for Freemasonry, regular or fringe, did not last for long. The Order of Light was launched without any audible beating of drums in 1882. It had the same echoes of Hinduism as the Sat B'hai, but with a Cabbalistic top-dressing. The Rev. W. A. Ayton and Robert Palmer Thomas - the latter was later Frater Lucem Spero in the Golden Dawn and well known to W. B. Yeats in 1900-1-were among the first to be entrusted with its secrets. In or about 1890 Portman handed the rite to Yarker who amalgamated some of its ritual with the Sat B'hai's highest 'Perfection' grade. (2) Ultimately the Order of Light travelled across the Pennine hills to Bradford, where it was gratefully received by certain members of the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia who had been, or perhaps were still running the Golden Dawn's local Temple, Horus No. 5. According to Westcott, the rite 'was revived at Bradford by the Rosicrucian Adepts, Dr. B. J. Edwards and T. H. Pattinson, with Dr. Wynn Westcott as Chief of the Council of Iustruction'. (3) One writer after another has accused Yarker of conducting a pseudo-Masonic racket at Manchester, meaning for personal financial profit. I am by no means convinced that this was the case. One has only to read his periodical The Kneph (1881-95) to see that over the years the income and expenditure of his Antient and Primitive Rite were very small indeed. Nor do I believe that he can have charged more than nominal amounts for warrants for rites which were exported to overseas customers. He mentioned in The Arcane Schools that he had recently issued a Swedenborg Rite charter 'for a body in Paris and previously to Roumania and Egypt' (P. 490). Mackenzie's Order of Ishmael ultimately fell into his lap - Westcott was one of its 'Grand Officers' - but he did nothing with it. His most important export operation was in 1902 when he issued Warrants for Memphis and Misraim and the Rite of Swedenborg to Dr. Karl Kellner and the latter's friend Herr (1) Edward Smith Nunn was not a physician but the headmaster of a school at Weston-super-Aare called 'The College'. In spite of his lack of enthusiasm for occultism he was initiated in the Golden Dawn in April 1888. He died before September 1893. (2) See Yarker's letters to Irwin of 10 July and 16 October 1890 (Grand Lodge Library), also his The Arcane Schools, 1909, P. 492. (3) See W. W. Westcott, Data of the History of the Rosicrucians, 1916, P. 12. Theodor Reuss in Germany. In the case of the Rite of Swedenborg Westcott, who was then its Supreme Grand Secretary acted as an intermediary. He also obliged Reuss by giving him a Warrant for a Societas Rosicruciana in Germania. (1) By the beginning of the new century the curtain had almost dropped in front of the fringeMasonic scene in England. John Yarker was still active at Manchester but with the approach of his seventieth birthday in 1903 had probably lost much of his old fire. He died on 30 March 1913. (1) The fight for the corpse of his Antient and Primitive Rite is partially described in The Equinox, Vol. 1 No. 10, 1913. During the early 1900s Craft Masonry was in a particularly flourishing condition. Furthermore, by now Grand Lodge was undoubtedly actively discouraging peripheral innovations. In the past the fringe affairs mentioned in this paper had clung like ivy, although with shallow roots, to regular Masonry because their inventors or promoters, who were all members of the Craft, depended upon Masonic precedents, e.g. rituals and a hierarchy, for their inspiration. After c. 1885 a minority of Freemasons in search of esoteric novelty tended to join the Theosophical Societv, where there was no conflict with the authority of Grand Lodge. Irwin, Westcott and the Rev. W. A. Ayton were all members of the T.S., and so, too, were others who were in the S.R.I.A. and the Golden Dawn. Referring to the Sat B'hai in The Arcane Schools Yarker wrote: 'Somehow its raison d'atre ceased to be necessary when the Theosophical Society was established by the late H. P. Blavatsky' (P. 492). I am incompetent to offer an authoritative diagnosis of the 'fringe' phenomenon because so many complex psychological factors are involved. In a merely historical context I regard Irwin, Mackenzie and others in their circle as the harbingers of the notable expansion of public interest in occultism and afl varieties of 'Rejected Knowledge' which began during the late 1880s. Here the Theosophical Society played a particularly important role. There was something like an underground explosion. Its waves can be charted in Great Britain and France; they did not reach Germany until the early igoos. The explosion was hardly noticed by the Establishment, including Freemasonry's own Establishment. Finally, once again I cannot too strongly emphasise that this paper's subject matter deals with an essentially obscure sector of recent Masonic history. On no account should the reader infer that during the period 1870-85 there was ever a widespread interest within the Craft in the activities of Mackenzie, Irwin & Co., the proprietors of a 'manufactory, mint or studio of Degrees'. (1) My supposition is that fringe-Masonry had previously been almost non-existent in Germany. Kellner died in 1905 and Theodor Reuss - perhaps this century's most fascinating pseudo-Masonic adventurer - became the great German protagonist of irregular Masonic promotions until his death at Munich in c. 1924. Reuss, who was born at Augsburg in 1855, was initiated in London in the Pilgrim Lodge No. 238 which, then as now, worked in the German language. Most of the 'occult lodges' which proliferated in Germany between 1920-33 - some were revived after 1945 - were off- shoots of Reuss's Order of the Templars of the Orient (O.T.O.), which was founded in c. 1906. For Reuss see, for example, his periodical Oriflamme, 1902-15+; M. Kully, Die Wahrheir uber die TheoAnthroposophie als Kultur-Verfallserscheinung, Basle, 1926; Robert Landmann (i.e. Ackermann), Monte Verita Ascona, 1934 (for Reuss's connection with Ida Hofmann's and Henri Oedenkoven's extra- ordinary vegetarian colony at Ascona, a 'hippy conunune' prototype); and Dr. Adolf Hemberger, Organisationsformen, Ritziale, Lehren und Magische [!] Thematik der Freimaurerischen und Freimaurerartigen Bunde im Deutschen Sprachraum Mitteleuropas, privately printed by the author (typewriter facsimile), Frankfurt am Main, 1971. This compilation reflects regular Masonry's ultimate polarity. One cannot conceivably travel further away from our conception of what the Craft means and represents. (2) His will, a copy of which has recently been deposited in Grand Lodge Library, is a typically abrasive document. He had 25 pounds worth of shares in the Manchester Masonic Hall 'which pays 2% per annum usually much of the earnings being swallowed by a Board of Directors for salaries badly earned in the end no doubt the company will be wound up and the building sold'. Then, 'in case [his daughter] Edith or any of the others (i.e. daughters] should join the Universal Co-Masons she is to take the choice of my many valuable Masonic rituals'. A daughter-in-law was described as 'a troublesome and greedy person', and elsewhere as 'an unmannerly and ill-regulated woman'. APPENDIX I CHECK-LIST OF F. G. IRWIN'S CORRESPONDENTS This list includes the names of all the writers of the letters preserved in Grand Lodge Library with the exception of Kenneth Mackenzie and Benjamin Cox. ADAIR, Lt.-Col. William ALEXANDER, Somerset Light Infantry Militia, of Heatherton Park, Taunton. Two letters, 1873-7. COOKE, MATTHEW, of London. One letter, 15 May 1865. DALE, Dr. B.H. (not a Freemason), of Bristol. One letter, 11 July 1878, referring to Irwin's son Herbert's medical studies. DAVIDSON, B. (not a Freemason), of Forres, Morayshire. Three illegible letters, all November 1877, mainly about occultism. GILLARD, W.S., of Sherborne. Eight letters, 1871-5, about local Masonic activities. HOCKLEY, FREDERICK, of London. Forty letters, 1872-8 (some incomplete) including fourteen to Herbert Irwin. KELLY, W., of Leicester. Author of Fifty Years' Masonic Reminiscences, 1888. One letter, 29 January 1889, referring to this book. LEATHER, SAMUEL P., of Burnley, Lancs. Eleven letters, 1874-8. Some relate to Yarker's Antient and Primitive Rite. LITTLE, ROBERT WENTWORTH, of London. Three letters, 1869-73. MACBEAN, EDWARD, of Glasgow. Eight letters, 1888-91. He joined QC Lodge and Westcott's Golden Dawn in May 1888. He was also a member of the S.R.I.A. and Yarker's A. & P. Rite. MATIER, CHARLES FITZGERALD, Of Manchester. Four letters, 1871-7. For biographical details see G. Blizard Abbott, Masonic Portraits, 1879. MOSES, Rev. WILLIAM STAINTON, of London and Bedford. Eighteen letters, 1877-81. See his article in Dictionary of National Biograplzy. MUNBEE, Major-General GORE BOLAND, Of Weston-super-Mare. Four letters, 1871, and six undated. SPENCER, W., of London. One letter, 1879. Proprietor of Spencer's Masonic Manufactory. One letter, 1879. THOMPSON, H., of London. Three letters, 1879. He was a collector of Masonic books. THOMPSON, M.McB., of Ayr. Four letters, 1890, on heading of Grand Encampment of the Temple and Malta for Scotland. TOMMY, G. (,not a Freemason), of Bristol. Eight letters, 1870-4, mainly about spiritualism. He proposed that Irwin should be mesmerised twice weekly to alleviate his insomnia. TUCKEY, GEORGE, of Bristol. Four letters, 1874-8, also two undated. (See also Mackenzie's letters to Irwin). WILLIAMS, W., of Abergavenny. Seven letters, 1870-5, about Masonic affairs. WOODFORD, Rev. A.F.A., of London. One letter, 31 October 1877. WOODMAN, Dr. W.R., of London and Exeter. Three letters, 1876, YARKER, John, of Manchester. Nineteen letters, 1871-90. APPENDIX II THE SAT B'HAI CODE This document has been reprinted more for its psychological than historical interest. It demonstrates the trouble that was taken to perpetuate the whole Sat B'hai myth. The text is probably from John Yarker's so-called 'revised edition' of 1886. It was advertised for sale in the 1913 edition of his book The Arcane Schools, 1909. It will be noticed that the particulars of the fees are omitted, hence by that time the booklet was merely being sold as a curiosity, no doubt 'for gulls or dupes', as Bro. Charles Scott would have observed (see P. 270 above). CODE OF THE ROYAL ORIENTAL ORDER OF SIKHA (APEX) AND THE SAT BHAI RAHU REPRESENTATIVE OF ARTIRAM AND OF THE SAT BHAI OF PRAG THE CODE OF SIKHA (APEX), &c. (1) This Oriental Order embraces the Perfect Terrestrial Zone of 360 degrees, and the Mystic Zone inclusive of all others, and occupies the highest point of the Masonic fabric. Therefore, while under its benign influence, justice is done to all, and innovations inconsistent with the grand principles of harmony, and a just equality, regulated to the varied circumstances of the social scale, are righteously condemned. (2) This Paramount Order is divided into two, namely, that of Sikha (Apex), the Supreme and Ultimate Mundane, and of the Sat Bhai of Pryaya. (3) It is a fundamental principle, that there has been a regular succession from the East of the whole Order; but more especially of the Sat Bhai, and without this succession, the chief title of the Order to universal respect could not exist. This being so, the Sponsor by whom the succession has been kept up, and such Sponsors as have been adopted into it, must in their dual capacity, as well as individually, be incapable of deposition or supersession, for without them, and the possession by the original Sponsor of the Red Ribbon of the Order, there could not possibly be any succession, and consequently there could be no Order. (4) But, inasmuch as worldly considerations, in their narrow sense, are alien to the spiritual instructions of the Sponsors, they have been permitted to delegate their administrative and executive powers, in large measure, to the Arch Censors, who are accordingly charged with such duties, while the legislative function, and the veto, personal as well as dual, remains with the former, as an unalienable inheritance, within the Perfect Circle, as transmitted by the Sat Bhai of Pryaya. (5) At any moment of supreme peril to the occidental home of the Order of Sikha (Apex), and of the Sat Bhai, it shall be the imperative duty of the First Sponsor, who holds the Red Ribbon of the Order, to summon the Arch Arbiter, the Second Sponsor, and one Arch Censor, and in their presence to break the seal of the letter from Prag, that contains the special mandate of the Lord of the Perfect Circle, and of the Sat Bhai, such mandate being absolutely irresistible, and of effect over the whole of this Code. And with the exception of this one reservation, this Code shall be irrevocable and incapable of abrogation, and the Sponsors, and Arch Censors are charged with its application to the organisation of the mystic subjects of the Lord of the Perfect Terrestrial Zone. (6) Within the Perfect Circle, the mystic numbers Nine and Seven are pre-eminent, and while the Lord of the Perfect Circle and the Sponsors complete the higher number, the lower, under the immediate influence of the Sat Bhai, is subdivided into seven classes, namely:-(1). Arch Censors. (2). Arch Couriers. (3). Arch Ministers. (4). Arch Heralds. (5). Arch Scribes. (6). Arch Auditors. (7). Arch Mutes. (7) The Arch Censors, being of the highest dignity of the Sat Bhai, rule the six subordinate classes, and each, in his own jurisdiction, is paramount. In this grade all are equal, and there is no priority. (8) Each Member of each Censorial Section of the six subordinate classes, shall be known personaily only to his own Censor, and to the Sponsors under the Lord of the Perfect Zone and in the chain of secrecy as well as of responsibility (nccessary for the exclusion of the uninitiated), every second link is locked downwards by symbols, signs and countersignshence, the Arch Censor is only known to his own Arch Couriers, each of the latter to his own Arch Ministers, and so on. (9) No one can be admitted to the four higher classes of the Sat Bhai who has not been previously initiated in the Mystery of Freemasonry; and it is a fundamental decree, that the classes Arch Censor, and Arch Courier are closed against all but Master Masons, and those of higher degree. But the three lower classes are open to both sexes, at the discretion of each Arch Censor, within his own jurisdiction. (10) In order to preserve the due relation between the various grades, and to distinguish those of greater exaltation, a system of numbers pervades the whole, so that each individual may be clearly distinguished. But mystic names, conferred by the Sponsors, pertain exclusively to the four higher classes of the, Sat Bhai; the lower receiving only ordinary names. These numbers run thus, throughout the combined Order of Sikha (Apex) and the Sat Bhai:- Sikha Apex)-the Supreme Mundane 1 ..................... 2/1 [In a circle. Sponsors... ..................... 2/2 " ...[Dormant]......... 2/3 " A. Censor .................. 3/1 3/2 3/3 &c. [In a triangle. A. Courier.................. 4/1 &c. [In an ellipse. A. Minister............... 5/1 &c. [In a parallelogram. A. Herald.................. 6/1 &c. [In a lozenge. A. Scribe.................. 7/1 &c. [Plain. A. Auditor................. 8/1 &c. [Plain. A. Mute.................... 9/1 &c. [Plain. Furthermore, to distinguish these grades within their special Circles, the svmbol of each Arch Censor is prefixed to the number of the inferior grade in the manner shown in plate 1, figure 1. 4/1 The Arch Courier 1, of Indra. But as the A. C. has three symbols, the first is placed before the Couriers, the second before the Ministers, and the third before the Heralds. (11) Each member of each grade nominates seven assistants, and these seven, in like manner, seven probationers; but these receive only the simple number of their superior, a red line, drawn horizontally through which, indicates an assistant, and a red one, vertically, a probationer. These auxiliaries qualify to become Arch Mutes, but are not considered as within the Perfect Circle, nor are they admitted to its mysteries; they, however, are taught that the mystery came from Pryaya, and are employed to advance the cause of universal harmony, and their authority is a brief prescript signed by the immediate superior, by which their subordination, on the pledged word, is secured. (12) The Obligation, on the simple word of honour of the candidate, in every class throughout the combined Order, is accepted as sufficient. None but men of reputed honour, true to their word, are admitted, and to such men, experience shows, that the pledged word is as inviolable as the solemn oath, the latter as profane, being excluded from the presence of the Lord of the Perfect Circle. (13) Every member of the Order is bound to be in possession of a mandate or commission, signed in cipher by the Sponsors, and endorsed in like manner, by their respective Arch Censors, according to the system of locked links. (14) The Arch Censors are not necessarily known by their personal names to each other, but they may hold congress, under the sanction of the sponsors, for the discussion of important matters connected with their own jurisdiction, and within its limits; but one dissencient voice, whether the whole be present or not, shall invalidate any regulation framed by such congress, and the veto of the Sponsors, individual as well as dual, will have the same effect, the object being to protect the perhaps farther seeing, minority, a policy taught by the history of mankind. (15) The Sponsors are to be furnished with quarterly reports, commencing on the first day of each year, by each Censor, who in like manner will- be furnished with the necessary report, by his subordinates, and, a return of moneys due and paid, shall be comprised in these reports, in addition to administrative details. (16) These reports will be framed according to the nature of the duties of each class thus: The Arch Censors have the superintendence of the Masonic world, from 360 degree to 19 degree; the Arch Couriers from 18 degree to 11 degree;- The Arch Ministers from 10 degree to 4 degree; the Arch Heralds from 3 degree to 1 degree. The Arch Scribes are charged with fiscal details, the payment of fees for charters, and conunissions to the Arch Illuminator for materials and work supplied, and the fees on admission, and exaltation, as settled, and regulated by the Arch Censors, the latter being charged with a general supervision. The Arch Auditors and Arch Mutes are charged with the collection of important information from all sources, public and private. The Sponsors receive no fees, but whatever is voted to them by the Arch Censors, they may accept. (17) The Arch Arbiter is the highest judicial functionary, and is known only by his name within the Perfect Circle, but has no active part or responsibility in the Order, and is superseded periodically. (18) In each case when a superior is addressed, he must be protected by his inferior against the expenses of a correspondence which must necessarily be of vast extent, and which would be oppressive to the superior. (19) The offices of Arch Emissary, Arch Secretary, Arch Historian, Arch Treasurer, Arch Auditor and Arch Illuminator are tentative, the first, fourth, and fifth being extra to the Order. Of their patronage, the first is in the gift of the Sponsors, the second and sixth of the first Sponsor, or he who holds the Red Ribbon and Bell of the Order, the third, fourth, and fifth, of the Arch Censors. (20) Among the archives of the Order are many fragments of Oriental antiquity, and these comprise various documents in the ancient languages of the East. When required to secure in a printed form, the Book of Sikha (Apex), and Legend of the Red Ribbon, the first Sponsor will receive proposals from the Arch Censors with that end in view, one grand object of the Order being to incite to a study of the great truths contained in early Sanskrit literature. (21) No member of the Order can be superseded or expelled, nor shall he have the power to resign his office (and never his membership) without the final sanction of the Sponsors, under the advice of the Arch Arbiter, or Hindu referee. (22) The R.O.O. of Sikha and the Sat Bhai is the only system of Round or Natural Freemasonry. (23) The signs and passwords of this Order are issued only by the First Sponsor triennially, when they are changed at the Vernal Equinox. No S.B. can share in the rites and councils of the Order who is not in possession of the signs and passwords of the smaller cycles. But the Illuminated who are in the innermost circle are exempt from ordinary rules. An Arch Censor may be Illuminated without preliminary perfection or maturity, and only the Illuminated are eligible to succeed to the death vacancy of a Sponsor. (24) The great Lotus Seal of the Order is common to the Jurisdictions of the Order, but its custodian must be elected in the jurisdiction, and subject to the confirmation of the First Sponsor. (25) The Code of Sikha (Apex) is the sole law of the R.O.O., and is immutable. But signs and passwords are tentative for fixed periods, and bye-laws may be permitted tentatively by Rahu, as representative of Artiram. Nothing is valid without the personal and usual lay signature of the Arch Secretary to verity it. (26) The Third Sponsor, as a rule, dormant, may, by the proclamation of the First Sponsor, be called into activity and duality with him, whereupon the Second Sponsor becomes for a season or seasons dormant. No Sponsor can be also an Arch Censor, but he may temporarily discharge the latter's functions. (27) The Vemal Equinoxes for changing signs and Passwords are in 1877, 1875, 1878, 1881, 1884, 1887, 1890, &c. (28) There are three Seals, viz. -The Great Lotus Seal; the Key Seal of the Arch Secretary; and the First Sponsors Privy Seal; There are also the Arch Censors' segmental Seals. (29) No Ritual can be used which is not stamped with the Great Seal of the Order produced in Ashayana. So also Perfected Sadhanams, Marks, and Illuminated Sadhanams are invalid without the said seal and the confirmation of the First Sponsor presiding in Ashayana. The Order holds Ghonslas Ashayanas, and Nidams, to which there is no admission without Mandate or Sadhanam. The latter is ineffectual unless endorsed by the Arch Secretary in his usual lay signature. (30) No Sat Bhai can resign, but absolute ignoring of O.B., or any notoriously gross act of dishonour involves de facto, loss of rank to be signified by the First Sponsor and Arch Secretary. (31) There may be more than one jurisdiction. That of the First Sponsor is the paramount. Each may have its own A. Censors, &c.; Segments may be exchanged. (32) There are seven Provinces or an Heptarchy in England, Scotland, and Ireland. Mahanathas rule these by charter under the Great Seal of the Order. The Sponsors form the Court of Appeal of these, but no Sponsor can receive an donative or fee of intrinsic value. In their case gifts must be honorary, such as testimonials on parchment. (33) 'The Feathers of the Sat Bhai', Archaeological Tracts of the R.O.O. may be under the editorship of any S.B. duly appointed. SYMBOLS, ETC. The symbols, Paroles and countersigns, ancient and modern, of the Royal Oriental Order of Sikha (Apex) and of the Sat Bhai of Pryaya. (1) The Symbols of Sikha (Apex) are:- (1) The Mundane Egg. (2). The Crossed Square within a Perfect circle. (3). The Fruit of the Sacred Lotus. (4). The Harmonic Octave, expressed by its graphic expression of a double shell. (5) The Anga. (6) A swan. (7) A Bull. [plate 1, figures 1,2,3,4,5,6,7]. The Symbol of the Sat Bhai is Seven Grey Feathers, 2,3, and 2 (2) The symbols of the Dual Sponsors are - (1).The Crescent Moon. (2). The Signs of the Ascending and of the descending Node. Of the first Sponsor-- (1). The Rose. (2) The Kamalata. (3) An Arrow. Of the Second Sponsor--(1). An Unicorn's Horn. (2) The Amaranth. Of the Dormant Sponsor--The Sun in eclipse. The parole or pass-word to the Sponsors is ......... ; the sign, touching the......... of the ......... (3). The Arch Censors are in the third yug symbolised by a Boar avatar (plate 1, figure 18]. Their distinctive symbols are three each:- 1. Indra I A Thunderbolt 2 A Lamp 2. Ganesha I An EIephant 2 A Conch 3. Agni I A Flame 2 A Lotus 4. Surya I A Wheel 2 Sunflower 5. Kartikeya I A Peacock 2 A Sword 6. Kama I A Parrot 2 A Bent Bow 7. Daksha I A Dexter Hand 2 An Ear of Wheat The pass-word to the Arch Censors is......... ; the sign, touching the......... of the right ......... (4) The Arch Couriers are in the fourth yug, of which the symbol is a lion-headed man. They have one distinctive symbol each placed under their respective A. Censor's first symbol. The password to this grade is......... ; the sign, touching the......... with the......... forefinger. (5) The Arch Ministers are in the fifth yug, symbolised by two interlaced triangles. They have one distinctive symbol each, placed under their respective A. Censor's second symbol. The password to this grade is......... ; the sign, touching the......... of the......... (6) The Arch Heralds are in the sixth yug, for which the symbol is an antique crown. They have one distinctive symbol each, placed under their respective A. Censor's third symbol. The password to this grade is......... the sign, the palms......... (7) The Arch Scribes are in the seventh yug. There are no symbols in this grade, but the A. Ss. have distinctive numbers in the Nagara character. Pass-word.......... No sign. (8) The Arch Auditors are in the eighth yug. They have each a Devanagri letter before their names, under the Minister's symbol. No password. No sign. (9) The Arch Mutes are in the ninth yug: They have each a letter in the Devanagri character before their names and under the Herald's symbol. No pass-word. No sign. Nomenclature of the Arch Grades, under the Lord of the Perfect Zone, 360 degree:- 1 Sponsor......... Rahu 2 Sponsor......... Ketu 3 Kamadyam......... [Dormant] 1 Arch Censor Indra 1 Arch Minister Dhanus 2 " " Ganesha 2 " " Mesha 3 " " Agni 3 " " Vrisha 4 " " Surya 4 " " Simha 5 " " Kartikeya 5 " " Makara 6 " " Kama 6 " " Kumba 7 " " Daksha 7 " " Karkata 1 Arch Courier Kuvera 1 Arch Herald Sanjaya 2 " " Vira Badra 2 " " Heri 3 " " Bhairava 3 " " Rama 4 " " Varuna 4 " " Nareda 5 " " Yama 5 " " Agastya 6 " " Garuda 6 " " Hotri 7 " " Aruna 7 " " Petri 1 Arch Scribe Pravaha 1 Arch Auditor Rad 2 " " Avaha 2 " " Tara 3 " " Udraha 3 " " Nadiyan 4 " " Samkaha 4 " " Ankhen 5 " " Vivaha 5 " " Kan 6 " " Parivaha 6 " " Udaka 7 " " Nivaha 7 " " Vayu 1 Arch Mute Kalga fem. Narangi 2 " " Pipat " Angur 3 " " Bat " Zaitun 4 " " Champa " Seb 5 " " Tulasi " Angir 6 " " Singarhar " Badan 7 " " Soma " Anar (10) Oriental garments being disused, except the Grey Choga and Cap, the only mark of membership is a red silk cord of three strands, round the neck. The general pass-word is......... The colours of the Order are Red, Blue, White; those of Sponsors, Red, Blue, Yellow; and of Segments, the Prismatic. MONETARY REGULATIONS Under the supervision of the Arch Censors, Arch Treasurer, and Arch Scribes, and extra to the Order. (1) A reserve fund for charity, and the use of the intelligence department, is to be formed. (2) The Sponsors having renounced all Claim on the funds of the Order, they may accept donations as offerings to Sikha (Apex) without injury to the spiritual element, if voluntarily, and unconditionally made by the Arch Censors. (3) The Arch Censors and their subordinates are entitled to remuneration for actual work done. The Arch Censors' regulations must be accepted, if promulgated by the Seven in Congress, and unanimous. 4) The Arch Secretary is entided to recompense for time and outlay. (5) The Arch Illuminator is entitled to recompense for time and outlay, in preparing charters or commissions, &c. His charges have been allowed. For a parchment charter, if required illuminated, one guinea; for a prescript or mandate, two shillings and sixpence; and for symbols of Sponsors and Censors, each one shilling. (6) The Arch Treasurer is entitled to a percentage on the funds, the same to be fixed by the Arch Censors in Congress. (7) The other Arch Officers receive remuneration according to duties performed, or expenses incurred. (8) The first Occidental Arch Censors, under the dispensation of the Lord of the Perfect Zone, have entered the Circle free; but their successors, and those of the grades under their jurisdiction, are required to pay the following fees to the Arch Treasurer for the Arch Censors:- pounds s. d. pounds s. d. A. Mute " " A. Auditor " " A. Scribe " " A. Herald " " A. Minister " " A. Courier " " A. Censor pounds " " These fees may be regulated from time to time. To obviate the inconvenience of disclosing the titles of the Order to the outer world, the postal address will be 'Secretary (or other) of the Royal Oriental S. B. Order.' Bro. A.R.Hewitt, Librarian and Curator of Grand Lodge, drew attention to the following, EXHIBITS From the Grand Lodge Library and Museum: F.G. Irwin's Ritual of Fratris Licis or Brethren of the Light, MS. F. G. Irwin's 'Spiritual journal', 1873. IMS- Jewel of the Senior Grand Warden, Rite of Swedenborg. Ritual of the Ancient oriental order of Ishmael. Four jewels of the order of Ishmael, formeriv belongin@ to Bro. F. G. Irwin. Facsimile of the Rite of Memphis Certificate issued by 'Equality Lodge', meeting at the 'King of Prussia', Stratford, on the reverse of which is printed a warning letter by the Grand Secretary, 1859, together with the 'Lodge' reply. Certificate of the Royal Oriental Order of Apex and of the Sat B'hai. Mackenzie's Royal Masonic Cyclopaedia, 1877. Print of Bro. F. G. Irwin in K. T. Regalia, 1863. Various examples of the Correspondence referred to by the Speaker. At the conclusion of the Paper, a hearty Vote of Thanks was accorded to Bro. Ellic Howe on the proposition of Bro. S. Vetcher, W.M., seconded by Bro. C. N. Batham, S.W. Comments were also offered by Bros. R. A. Wells and A.C.F. Jackson. The Vote of Thanks was carried by acclamation. A number of comments received subsequently are all reproduced below. The W.M., Bro. Dr. S. Vetcher, said: I rise to propose a well-deserved vote of thanks to Bro. Ellic Howe for his very original paper. I expect all of you, like myself, were very intrigued to learn of the extra-curricular activities of Bro. Little, the clerk in the Grand Secretary's office, in the promotion of occult side-degrees. Autres temps, autres moeurs! We know, of course, that in the early days of the premier Grand Lodge, in the 18th century, if the numbers of Fellows of the Royal Society is any criterion, the study of science had been very popular among members of the Craft; and in those days science would have included Alchemy. But I think I am right in suggesting that the phrase in the ritual: 'The hidden mysteries of Nature and Science' made its first appearance in the 19th century, after the Union. It is true that Prichard, in Masonry Dissected, 1730, had referred to: 'By Letters Four and Science Five This G aright doth stand. . .' but here a footnote makes it clear that the Science referred to was Geometry. Preston, in his 'Second Lecture' (see the late Bro. James's paper, AQC Vol. 83, P. 203) dated c. 1812, gives the following: Q. 'What are the principal objects of research in this degree?' A. 'The study of the liberal arts and sciences' but it seems to have been somewhat later that, for the first time, 'the hidden mysteries' (? the occult sciences) were mentioned. Brethren, my resolution is before you and I will ask Bro. S.W. to second. Bro. C. N. Batham, S.W., said: I rise to second the Vote of Thanks that you, Worshipful Master, have just proposed to Bro. Ellic Howe. As a member of seventeen Masonic Orders, perhaps I may be looked upon as an authority on 'Fringe' Masonry, but let me deny that at once and say that almost all the information given in this paper is entirely new to me and I must emphasise, also, that I am not a member of any Order that has been condemned by Grand Lodge. I am especially interested in Bro. Howe's comments on the Rites of Memphis and Misraim. As far as the former is concerned, he says that it was a rite of 95 degrees and then mentions that Marconis, the Grand Hierophant was of the 96th degree. To avoid any confusion perhaps it should be made clear that there was a 96th degree reserved for the holder of this office and, in fact, according to some writers, there were 96 degrees plus a 97th so reserved. When the Grand Orient of France placed the higher decrees of the Memphis Order on a conveniently high shelf', some lodges certainly continued to work the first three degrees, but they soon changed to one of the regular French Craft rituals and, although one sometimes hears it said that these Memphis degrees are being worked today, I have never succeeded in tracing a lodge that uses them. The rite seems to have had somewhat greater success in the New World. It was very popular in Canada for a time and spread from there to Australia and New Zealand. In the United States it came under the control of a certain Harry J. Seymour, who was expelled from the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite in 1865. He is said to have reduced it from 97 to 33 degrees with a view to making it a rival of the Rite that had excluded him. It was after this that it was reintroduced into England under John Yarker, but whether as 97 or 33 degrees I have not enquired. Perhaps Bro. Howe can enlighten me. The Ancient and Accepted Rite was also involved indirectly with the Rite of Misraim, for it is said that its inventor, a Frenchaman named Lechangeur, had been refused admission into the former rite and compiled the latter as a rival to it. There are, in fact, definite borrowings not only from the Ancient and Accepted Rite but also from the Martinist, Hermetic and Royal Order of Scotland rituals. As indicated by Bro. Howe, it had only a limited success in England, though some writers contend that, for a time, it achieved rather more in Ireland. I have not looked through the 96 Memphis degrees, nor the 90 Misraim degrees, nor have I any intention of so doing, but I have read the first three degrees of each rite. To an English Mason, accustomed to his Emulation, Taylor's or whatever ritual it may be, they would seem strange, but they are very similar to certain Continental Craft rituals in use today and undoubtedly candidates were being initiated into Masonry and put through the three Craft degrees. I am surprised, therefore, that Grand Lodge did not outlaw these rites immediately and prohibit members of their staff from having any connection with them, even if the three degrees were not being worked here. As far as the Swedenborgian Rite is concerned, it is refreshing to find a rite that was not invented by a Frenchman. Certainly it has been contended by some that it originated in France in 1783 as an offspring of the Illuminati of Avignon but this is unlikely and it seems certain that it was founded in America by members of the so-called 'higher' degrees, who were also members of the Swedenborg New Church. From New York it spread to Canada, as Bro. Howe states, but I thought that from there it spread first to Bristol and then to Manchester. The warrants of these two Lodges bear the same date, I understand, but it was the Bristol Lodge that bore the name Emanuel and was subsequently given No. 1, whereas the Manchester Lodge bore the name Egyptian and was riven No. 2. This seems to indicate that Bristol was accorded priority. The point is not an important one, however, as after a brief initial success, when some dozen lodges were constituted, the rite disappeared from these islands. With these few comments, I join you, Worshipful Master, in your appreciation of the amount of work undertaken by Bro. Howe in preparing this paper and more formally, in seconding the vote of thanks to him that you have proposed. Bro. Roy Wells said: Bro. Ellic Howe states that his paper deals with an obscure area which nobody else has hitherto wanted to describe, on which I must comment that it would be difficult indeed to find a Brother equally qualified for such a task. He is an acknowledged expert in this field, as his several writings confirm, and I am delighted that he has, once again, demonstrated his competence as an historian. He has used the term 'Fringe Masonry' for the want of a better alternative but what other title could be employed? I found the paper extremely interesting, not only because of the breezy style he uses but mainly because of the connection some of those he mentions in the paper had with this Lodge in particular. He has shown us how fascinated with 'manufactured' or 'revived' extra degrees those Brethren were and how far away from the 'authentic school' they had strayed. On this point the Rev. A.F.A. Woodford, who was one of the nine Founders of this Lodge, and who was himself described as 'a thorough-going professed Hermeticist', said of John Yarker: (1) 'Bro. Yarker has identified himself with the "Antient and Primitive Rite of Masonry" and so we are unable to follow him in such unknown paths; but when he was loyal to the degrees as generally worked in this country, we perused many of his communications with much interest and profit.' Yarker joined the Correspondence Circle in May 1887 and was NO. 77 on the list: he died in 1913. In the obituary notice it was said of him that 'his first contribution to Masonic literature was an article on "Military Masons" in the Freemasons Magazine and Masonic Mirror in 1858'. It is obvious that he ursued his researches well into the hidden mysteries after that. F.G.Irwin was not a Founder (even though Dr. Wynn Westcott said he was) but was elected to full membership of the Lodge at its second meeting on 7 April 1886 together with five other Brethren; it so happened that only one of the six was present. Westcott said of him: 'he was for many years a well-known figure among West of England Masons, and holder of high offices; he was a literary man to the core, and has left behind him a splendid collection of books upon Masonic and Hermetic subjects.' Bro. R. F. Gould, the celebrated historian, also a Founder of this Lodge said of him: ... there was scarcely a degree in existence, if within his range, that he did not become a member of. Indeed, he became late in life a diligent student of the French and German languages, in order that he might peruse the Masonic literature of each in the vernacular. He was also a collector of medals and an occasional writer on topics of interest to the Craft.' So it seems that Irwin possessed a large Masonic library but wrote very little that had impressed those Brethren. Gould said that he left Gibraltar a few months after he, as W.M., and Irwin, as S.W., had revived the Inhabitants Lodge. They did not meet again until 1886, some twenty eight years later, in Q.C. Lodge. Irwin, however, was known to another of the Founders of this Lodge, Sir Charles Warren, whom he accompanied in his expedition to South Africa in 1884; by then Irwin was Adjutant of the Second Battalion, Gloucestershire Engineers (Volunteers) from which he retired with the honorary rank of Major. R.F. Gould proposed the toast to the W. Master when Dr. Westcott reached the chair of this Lodge and said that Westcott had: 'studied the Kabbalistic philosophy of the Hebrews - the teachings of the Hermetic writers and the works of the Alchymists and Rosicrucians' and that he had written 'two excellent Papers read to the Q.C. Lodge "Freemasonry Illuminated by the Kabbalah" and "The Mosaic Tabernacle".' I was more than a little intrigued to learn that the words Sat B'hai signify 'Seven Feathers'-an allusion to a sacred bird which always flies in groups of seven - and I could hardly refrain from the thought that 'Birds of a feather flock together' is an expression that well applies in this case. Bro. Ellic Howe has undoubtedly brought several flights of fancy to our notice in this Paper and I have much pleasure in supporting the Vote of Thanks to him for his work in this connection. (1) Kennningds Cyclopaedia of Freemasonry, London, 1878. Bro. T.O. Haunch writes. I should like to join with the other speakers in conaratulating Bro. Ellic Howe on this most fascinating paper and on his skilful distillation of the essence of it for delivery in the Lodge. The paper makes extraordinary reading and it is a somewhat sobering experience for us in Quatuor Coronati Lodge today to be reminded of the often wayward and bizarre interests of some of our Founders and early members. And this is only part of the story; it is continued in Bro. Howe's new book The Magicians of the Golden Dawn, the publication of which happens to coincide with this meeting. In its pages one finds familiar names again cropping up, notably, of course, that of one of our Past Masters, Dr. William Wynn Westcott, and that of a former Librarian of Grand Lodge, Dr. William Hammond. If we pride ourselves to-day in Q.C. Lodge that we have our feet firmly planted on historical ground, it does seem that some of our predecessors may occasionally have reached into the clouds. No such charge can be levelled at the author of this paper, however. His non-involvement with his subject matter would be self-evident from the paper even if it had not been affirmed by him. The way he now and then steps back and takes an amused and whimsical look at the antics of the characters on his stage shows that he has preserved the historian's detachment from the strange realms that he has been exploring. The reference in his Preface to the last sentence of the second of the Articles of Union raises broader issues which some brother might feel inclined to follow up. Just what was it intended to mean? What it says? That is, that the additional degrees could be worked at meetings of Craft lodges or Royal Arch Chapters as the Antients had done. It certainly does not seem to imply that these additional degrees and orders could be worked in separately existing masonic units. Their position after the Union was anomalous and ill-defined. As our late Bro. P. R. James has reminded us (AQC 75, P. 53) the Duke of Sussex cornered the headship of all the major orders, perhaps so that he could quietly sit on them until marters had sorted themselves out. When he died in 1843 restraints were off. Brothers Crucefix, Oliver and Udall, for example, lost no time in setting up their Supreme Council 33 degree, to be followed during the latter half of the last century by the establishment of governing bodies for other degrees and orders. An interesting question that arises in my mind from Bro. Howe's paper is, 'Does the sort of thing he deals with go in hundred year cycles?' The latter part of the 18th century was fertile in the raising of a number of additional degrees some of which, like the Royal Arch, the Knights Templar etc., were to become thoroughly restpectable and established, whilst others withered and died - just as a century later the more absurd creations of the Little-Mackenzie-Irwin 'manufactory' did not survive but some, with a more traditional or pseudo-historical basis, lived on and still do. If then these manifestations do go in cycles it seems that we are just about due for another. Certainly if one looks around there is ample evidence of a great deal of interest today in what Bro. Howe so aptly calls 'Rejected Knowledge', As an indication of this one need look no farther, for instance, than the books advertised on the back of the dust-jackets of Bro. Howe's own book on the Golden Dawn, or Bro. Alex Horne's King Solomon's Temple in the Masonic Tradition. On the whole, however, I think that the resurgence of interest in occultism and mysticism will pass Freemasonry by and produce no masonic'drop-outs' or fringe whimsies. The cold wind of economics would be likely to nip any new growth in the bud! Bro. G. S. Draffen writes: I have found Bro. Ellic Howe's paper quite fascinating. From what he has said and described the paper might well be entitled 'The Lunatic Fringe of Freemasonry'. It is clear that Bro. Howe has struck a lode that can be worked for quite a long, time before we know all that took place in the curious melange out of which eventually sprang the present Grand Council of Allied Masonic Degrees. I must, however, dispute Bro. Howe's date for the arrival of the Ancient and Primitive Rite of Misraim in England as being 'late in 1870'. That may be correct as fir as England is concerned but the Rite was certainly in existence in Scotland as early as the 1840's. Bro. Howe should read R.S. Lindsay's 'The Scottish Rite for Scotland' (Edinburgh, 1958) wherein he will find details of the Misraim Rite as it was known in Scotland just prior to the formation of the Supreme Council for Scotland of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite in August 1846. One of those who hoped (but did not succeed) to become a Founder Member was Dr. George Arnot Walker Arnot of Arlary. Something of a 'decree-collector', Dr. Arnot was certainly a member of the 77th degree in 1842. These he received from one Alexander Deuchar on 23 November 1842. In a letter to A. J. Stewart, Grand Secretary General of the Supreme Council he states that he received 'the remaining degrees of the Rite shortly after'. I think we have to dig much deeper to find out when the Rite of Misraim first arrived in Britain and under whose auspices. The Swedenborgian Rite. Some years ago I began to write a possible paper for the Lodge on the subject of 'Scottish Masonic Journals' and for this purpose I opened a file to collect data. On referring to that file I find a slip of paper under the entry for the Scottish Freemason of 1879, which gives a list of Lodges of this Rite as: No. Name Location 1 Emmanuel Weston-super-Mare 2 Egyptian Manchester 3 St. John's Baildon, Shipley, Yorks. 4 Swedenborg Havant, Hants. 5 Edinburgh Edinburgh 6 Liverpool Liverpool 7 Cagliostro Keynsham, Somerset 8 Hermes London This little slip goes on to state that the '69th degree of Hieroglyphic Master was conferred on V. J. Young on 26th April 1878'. Just where this took place is not stated. Nor do I have a copy of the relevant issue of the journal from which I took the note. Yarker: something of a masonic mountebank, I fancy. Still he 's a personage who could, with advantage, be investigated more thoroughly than has been done as yet. Probably his reputation, as Bro. Howe suggests, has put off research into his activities and the same applies to Mathew McBlain Thomson - one of Irwin's correspondents. Mathew McBlain Thomson finished his Masonic career by serving a sentence in the Federal Prison at Fort Leveanworth in the United States for selling Masonic degrees. A full account of his career will be found in Isaac Blair Evans, The Thomson Masonic Fraud, Salt Lake City, Privately Printed, 1922. Thomson's predilection for spurious masonry can be illustrated by an extract from the Scottish Freemason for August 1894 - Of which -Thomson was the editor - in which is listed a 'Directory of High Grades'. Anong those listed is 'The Royal Masonic Rite which is stated to include: The Ancient and Primitive Oriental and Egyptian Reformed Rites, 4th to 33rd Degree inclusive; Rite of Mizriam [sic] 4th to 90th Degree; the Supreme Rite of Memphis and the Egyptian Masonic Memphis, 4th to 96th Degree inclusive: the Oriental Order of Sat B'hai introduced into Scotland under Charter from the Sovereign Sanctuary of America.' The M.I.G.M. (presumably standing for Most Imperial Grand Master) is said to be a Lt-Colonel John Crombie. Three Sanctuaries are shown (1) The Sanctuary Chapter, Senate and Council (movable), (2) Oriental Chapter, Senate and Council in Aberdeen, (3) Scotia Chapter, Senate and Dundee. It is very doubtful if any of these bodies were anything else than a figment of Thomson's imagination which seems to have rivalled Mackenzie's. Bro. Brig. A.C.F. Jackson said: This very interesting paper only touches on 'fringe' Masonry ' in England and so deals with the arrival of the Rite of Misraim about 1870. This is not the first time, however, that this Rite got to the United Kingdom, as it appeared in Scotland much earlier. On 4 June 1845 there was a meeting of a body styling itself the 'Supreme Grand Council of Rites' in Scotland under the leadership of a Dr. George Walker Arnott. He had already introduced the primitive Scottish Rite of Nemours, with its 33 degrees, and in that Year, according to the Freemasons Quarterly Review (Vol. XII, P. 349) he also introduced the Order of Misraim, of 91 degrees, as well as the Ancient and Accepted Rite, Of 33 degrees - quite a formidable total. In due course, all but the last Rite disappeared and Arnott's Council seems to have developed into the Supreme Council in Scotland. Founders or inventors of 'fringe' degrees so often get their facts of history wrong. The Golden Dawn is a typical example of this. The quoted description by Dr. W. Wynn Westcott, that the members of this Order were 'students of the curious and mystical lore, remaining still for investigation, as to the work and philosophy of the old Rosicrucians, Alchemists and Mystics of past ages' is a hotch potch of dissimilar bodies. Rosicrucianism, deriving from the story of the life of Christian Rosenkreutz in the Fama Fraternitati's may be history, traditional legend, or a hoax by a Lutheran Pastor. Whichever it is, is immaterial, but the story is is that of a small body of men of irreproachable piety whose life work was to heal the sick. To connect genuine Rosicrucianism with Hermeticism or Alchemy is merely to continue a 17th century distortion which has always been attributed to Rosicrucianism by its detractors. It is a pity that a man of Dr. Wynn Westcott's erudition should have formed a fringe Order that continued such a myth. A curious incursion into 'fringe degrees' took place in Jersey in the early 1860s. As it continued into the period covered by the paper, its story is worth recounting to complete the picture. It was due to the same type of French radical republican whom the speaker mentioned in connection with the Rite of Memphis. However, in this case, most of the Frenchmen played a comparatively passive part. Refuges arrived in Jersey from France, after the coup d'etat of 1851 when Louis Napoleon seized power. Many were distinguished and some were already Freemasons. The best known was Victor Hugo, but there were others, then of almost equal importance. They visited the Jersey Lodges but a number, in addition to their advanced radical views, were atheistically inclined. There could therefore be few initiations of non-Masons among the refugees. To provide such facilities, a movement started in the Jersey French-speaking Lodge, La Cesarde. The leader was a colourful character, Philip Baudains. An Advocate of the Royal Court, he was also a popular Constable (that is Mayor) of St. Helier for many years. He was an experienced Mason, having been Venerable (or Master) of La Cesaree in 1860 and 1861. He realised that was no chance of getting a Warrant from the Grand Lodge of England for a Lodge that did not intend to open on the V.S.L., so he applied to the Supreme Conseil de France pour le Rite Ecossais. A Warrant was readily and quite irresponsibly granted, for a Lodge to be called Les Amis de L'Avenir. It may be remembered that, at this time, this Supreme Council was not recognised by Grand Lodge though the far larger and rival Grand Orient was. To add fuel to a fire that was already starting to smoulder, the founders of the new lodge invited the Provincial Grand Master and other leading Brethren of Jersey to assist at the consecration. The P.G.M. promptly suspended the founders and forbade English Masons in Jersey to visit the Lodge. The result was an appeal to Grand Lodge, which was lost after a spirited speech by Bro. Baudains who tried to declare a sort of Masonic U.D.I. (1) for jersey. Having pointed out that there was already an Irish Lodge in Jersey, he said 'That the Island of Jersy is considered by Acts of Parliament as a foreign art ... being the last remnant of the ancient Duchy of Normandy and, as such, the Supreme Conseil de France was at liberty to found the said Lodge ... and further that the issuing of the Warrant for the above reasons is not, nor can be exclusively exercised by the Grand Lodge of England.' Grand Lodge, so recently bothered by the Rite of Misraim, as described in the paper, would have none of this; and the appeal was dismissed by an unanimous vote. This Lodge of the Ancient and Accepted Rite continued under the leadership of Baudains. Unfortunately, we do not know what ritual he used. He, and a number of his co-rebels, joined the local Irish Lodge and he became its Master in 1869. It seems likely too that the orders about visiting were as effective to the normal Jersey Mason as were those issued about a century earlier forbidding Moderns to visit Antient Lodges, and vice versa. In due course, there was an indignant letter by the Grand Secretary to all Jersey Lodges, but this was in 1873 by which time most of the refugees had returned to France and the Lodge had fulfilled its purpose. Gradually, the rebels returned to the fold, Baudains not until 1888. It shows something of his position and character that he, once more, became Venerable of La Cesaree and Senior Grand Warden of the Province. His statue still stands in the gardens in the centre of St. Helier. Bro. A.J.B. Milborne writes: Although 'fringe' Masonry is outside my immediate interests, I have read Bro. Howe's paper with much enjoyment, particularly the informative footnotes concerning early members of the Lodge. I have often wondered how such a diverse group of men was brought together. The late Bro. Meekren learned some of the early Lodge gossip from Bros. Songhurst and Wonnacott when he was in England in 1920, and I wish that more was known about the personalities of the early members, the informal meetings held by them, and what went on behind (1) Unilateral Declaration of Independence [Ed.] the scenes. For example, there must have been some skirmishing before the battle of the degrees was fought in the Lodge. Dr. Wynn Westcott was a member of Brotherly Love Lodge No. 329, Yeovil, from 1873 to 1880, and my mother told me that my father, who was the Master in 1876, often visited Lodges in the neighbourhood in his company. A Sovereign Sanctuary of the Rite of Memphis was established in London, Canada, in 1882 under a Warrant issued by John Yarker. Bro. R. Ramsay was the Grand Master. Dr. Oronhyatekha is described as Past Grand Master in the first printed proceedings of the Rite, a copy of which is in my possession. Another active member was George Canning Langley, whose activities in this and many other 'fringe' bodies is the subject of a paper published by the Canadian Masonic Research Association (No. 54). In his address to the Sovereign Sanctuary, the Grand Master stated that the Oriental Order of Apex or Sat B'hai was also established in Canada, and also the Swedenborgian Rite. The Grand Master of the latter body was Col. W.J.B. MacLeod Moore, Great Prior of the Knights Templar in Canada, and an active member of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. Que diable allait-il faire dans cette galere? Bro. Rudyard Kipling mentions in Something of Myself that Madam Blavatsky was known to his father, 'and with her would discuss secular subjects: she being, he told me, one of the most interesting and unscrupulous impostors he had ever met. This, with his experience, was a high compliment.' Bro. J. R. Clarke writes: I find it difficult to accept the assertion by Christopher Cooke that K.R.H. Mackenzie was born in 1833. It is true that it receives some support from the 1851 census, but whence was that information derived since no baptismal record can be found? Possibly from Mackenzie himself, who may have decided on this date for his own reasons when he had returned to England. Others of his statements are known to be unreliable, e.g. about his Ph.D. and LL.D. The date does not accord with other statements, such as those in Notes and Quotes, that by the time he was to be presumed to be seventeen he had established in several countries stations for the search of MSS., and that he had found hitherto unpublished poems in the British Museum. It is also very difficult to reconcile it with the wide range of his travels in early life, which are stated in the paper and which find confirmation in his communication to the Society of Antiquaries, for instance in the exhibition by him in 1854 of 'a Byzantine crystal vase purchased by him at Constantinople'. Further, if his mother were only aged about 20 in 1833 she would be little more than sixty when she was living with him as his 'aged mother' in the 1870s: was sixty really 'aged' one hundred years ago? On the assumption that the date might be correct I thought it reasonable to expect that such an erudite prodigy would have received notice in such non-masonic publications as the Dictionary of National Biography and the Gentleman's Magazine, but this is not so. I cannot find anything to confirm (or question or extend) the biographical particulars given in the paper, except in respect of his communications to the Society of Antiquaries. It is indeed difficult to sort out truth from fallacy in his account of himself. Nevertheless I would certainly not accuse anyone, especially a dead man, of 'a bare-faced lie', unless I were very sure of the facts. Is there any good evidence that when he wrote about the Rosicrucian degrees in 1877? Mackenzie had seen the work of 'Magister Pianco', published ninety-six years earlier. It is not exceptional for a research worker to publish something which he believes to be original only to find that he has been anticipated. Even the devil should be given his due. Mackenzie himself was much more courteous in 1862 when he commented in the Journal of the Society of Antiquaries on a contribution in that Journal in 1861 by a Dr. Forbes, which was similar to one he had himself made to the Illustrated London News of 1860. There are two other points which it is perhaps worth mentioning. Mackenzie's father was living in Paris in 1861 when the visit to EIiphas Levi was made: and his removal from the Society of Antiquaries and his withdrawal from the Anthropological Society may have been caused by pecuniary difficulties consequent on the death of his father, which also resulted in his 'aged mother' going to live with him. There is no evidence that he followed any profession and the income from his publications would not keep him, and it is to be observed that after the departure of his father for Paris in 1858 his address was the same as that of his uncle in 1859, 1864 and 1870. Bro. Will Read writes: Bro. Howe attributes the 'invention' of the Order of Light to a Maurice Vidal Portman (1882) and says that in or about 1890 Portman handed the rite to Yarker who amalgamated some of its ritual with the Sat B'hai's Perfection Grade. He states that: Ultimately the Order of Light travelled across the Pennine hills to Bradford where it was gratefully received by certain members of the Societas Rosicruciana in Angelia. According to Westcott the rite was revived at Bradford by the Rosicrucian Adepts, Dr. J.B. Edwards and T.H. Pattinson, with Dr. Wynn Westcott as Chief of the Council of Instruction.' This implies that the Order came to Bradford via Yarker. Through the good offices of friends who are members of the August Order Light, but their make no mention of Yarker as an intermediary. They show that T.H. Pattinson and Dr.B.E. Edwards [not J. B. Edwards] were 'chosen' by Portman to revise the ritual and to establish the Order. The Foundation Ceremony was held on 9 Januarvy 1902 in rooms in The King's Arcade in the Market Street area of Bradford. This Arcade was demolished about 1939/40 when the Order acquired its own premis in Godwin Street, Bradford. There were eighteen Founders, the first three being T. H. Pattinson, Dr. B.E. Edwards and Dr. Wynn Westcott, the then Supreme Magus of the S.R.I.A. Pattinson and Edwards were also members of that society, as, presumably, were the other fifteen. I understand however, that according to the records, at no time has membership of the S.R.I.A. been a pre-requisite to admission to the August Order of Light, but that to be a MM in good-standing has always an essential qualification. The members who have given me this information tell me that there has been a resurgence of interest in the Order, particularly since it moved its place of meeting in 1971 from Bradford to York, and that the second Temple of Garuda was dedicated in London in September 1972. As to the beliefs and practices of the Order, its members study the ancient mystic religions and cultures of the Orient - the oriental ideas of Theology and Cosmogony - and for this purpose hold special meetings at the Spring and Autunm Equinoxes. In its literature, a particular point is made that the August Order of Light is not to be confused with the Order called the 'Sat B'hai' which, as Bro. Ellic Howe tells us, also held meetings at the Equinoxes. In one of his footnotes, Bro. Howe, in referring to R. W. Little, says that the latter edited the earlier numbers of The Freemason but Bro. Howe did not know when he relinquished the editorship. Little certainly ceased his editorial work for The Freemason by 1873, for in that year Bro. Rev. A.F.A. Woodford was appointed Editor, an appointment which he held until 1885. Bro. F. S. Cooper writes: In associating myself with the congratulations to Bro. Ellic Howe on his most interesting and instructive paper, I would like to make a few comments on Bro. Francis George Irwvin. As he was initiated on 3 June 1857 in the Gibraltar Lodge, NO. 325, Irish Constitution, was installed as Senior Warden in the revived Inhabitants Lodge on 10 February following and became its Master in the following year, presumably in the February, he occupied the Master's Chair twenty months from the date of his initiation. William Williams was initiated in All Souls Lodge, Weymouth on 9 March 1810 and became the master of that Lodge on 27 December 1811, twenty-one months later. He was appointed Provincial Grand Master for Dorsetshire on May 1812, twenty-six months after initiation. William Tucker was initiated in the Unanimity and Sincerity Lodge, Taunton in September 1842, was appointed Senior Warden later in the same year and became the Master of the Lodge on the 28 December 1843, fifteen months later, as well as Founder Master of the Virtue and Honor Lodge, Axminster in the following year. He in turn became Provincial Grand Master for Dorsetshire on 21 August 1846, four years after his initiation. William Williams however was Member of Parliament for Weymouth and belonged to a rich banking family who held estates in Dorset, where they had held positions of influence since 1471. William Tucker was a local magistrate and held an estate which had been in his family for over two hundred years. Taking into account the Victorian standards ofthe time, it is no mean achievement for a mere sergent of the Royal Sappers and Miners to have achieved the preferment of Master of his Lodge, twenty months after initiation. Bro. Irwin received the rank of Major when he retired in 1884 as Adjutant of the 2 Bn. the Gloucestershire Engineers (Volunteers). The first name in Appendix A, the list of Bro. Irwin's correspondents, is that of Lt.-Col. William Alexander Adair of the Somerset Light Infantry Militia, Hetherton Park, Taunton. Lt.-Col. Adair was Provincial Grand Master for Somerset from 1864 until his resignation in 1869. In 1812 he was a Captain in the Somerset Regiment of Militia and on the outbreak of the Crimean War he volunteered for service and was commissioned in the Coldstream Guards in February, 1855. He was present at the Battle of Inkerman and the Siege of Sebastapol. He started a family tradition of service in the Guards which was to continue until the present day. His descendant, Major General Sir Allan Adair, our Deputy Grand Master, was commissioned 2nd. Lieut. in the Grenadiers and was later to command the 1st Guards Armoured Division in its dash through Nijmegen to Arnhem. It would have been pleasant to have recorded that it was R.W. Bro. Adair who had appointed Bro. Irwin to the office of Pr.J.G.W. of Somerset. However he resigned from the office of Provincial Grand Master on 12 January 1869, nine months before Bro. Irwin's appointment. However we can be sure that the honour was in token of the work carried out by Bro. Irwin during the Adair Mastership, and on the late Provincial Grand Master's recommondation. Bro. Alex Horne writes: Bro. Ellic Howe's paper on Fringe Masonry is by far the most exotic paper we have had the pleasure of seeing in our Transactions of late, and the author is especially to be commended on his unbelievably meticulous documentation. It introduces us to a literature and correspondence on the subject that is not often accessible to readers interested in Masonic esoterics. Yarker's Antient and Primitive Rite is particularly of interest, in a sense, and perhaps more could have been developed on that subject, which is only briefly referred to here. Its inclusion of the titles Memphis and Misraim would lead one to infer that there was a connection with these two other Rites (Mackey's Encyclopedia of Freemasonry also has an article under the title of 'Antient and Primitive Rite of Freemasonry, otherwise of Memphis', leading to a similar inference), but perhaps this is incorrect on both counts, and perhaps Bro. Howe might elaborate and clarify. Incidentally, readers interested in the last two mentioned Rites can obtain the rituals of the first Three Degrees of Mizraim in vol. 6 Part 1, and the first Three Degrees of Memphis in vol. 6, Part 2, as published by the Grand College of Rites of the U.S.A. (Grand Registrar, P.O. Box 15128, Chesapeake, Va., 2332O, U.S.A.) Thev have also published rituals of The Swedenborgian Rite, and Cagliostro's Egyptian Rite, among other fringe workings. The reference to Mme. Blavatsky and the Theosophical Society is also of interest, as something with which I happen to be intimately familiar. Here Bro. Howe's second footnote on page 272, to the effect that Yarker 'appears to have given her what purported to be a Masonic initiation', I believe is incorrect on two counts. It is no doubt based on the Certificate which Yarker issued to her in the name of the Antient and Primitive Rite (the full text is given in Mackey's Encyclopedia, s.v. 'Co-Masonry), but the Rite of Adoption is specifically mentioned in that document, and nothing is said of any alleged initiation. Masonic students have generally accepted this as nothing more than a Certificate of Adoption, and it is so accepted in an article in Yarker's own paper The Kneph. Mme. Blavatsky's knowledge of the inner working of Masonic Lodges both 'regular' and 'fringe', was not the result of any initiation, in Craft or any of the so-called 'Higher Degrees', which she flatly denied (the source for this statement presently escapes me; I think it was in one of her biographies). The further statement by Bro. Howe immediately following, to the effect that 'the history of "Co-Masonry" in this country began with Yarker and continued under Theosophical Society auspices', a statement made in the same breath with what has just gone before, would lead one to infer that Mme. Blavatsky had something to do with this Co-Masonry, but this inference, again, is unwarranted. Co-Masonry was not inaugurated till 1882, in France, and Mme. Blavatsky apparently had no part in this movement. But that she might have been sympathetic to it, at least in principle, almost goes without saying. It is true, however, that Co-Masonry is at the present time one of the subsidiary and unofficial activities of the Theosophical Society. (In their printed ritual, surprisingly enough, no distinction is made in the clothing of male and female candidates preparing for initiation.) Again, thanks to Bro. Howe for a most interesting paper. A similar excursion into 'Fringe' Masonry on the Continent, if at all possible, would seem to be warranted. Bro. M.J. Spurr writes: I would like to add my congradulations to those already offered to Bro. Ellic Howe. His paper is on a subject which has interested me ever since I became acquainted with the Golden Dawn story about two years ago. On making further inquiries about the G.D. I discovered that Bro. Howe had both a book and a paper in preparation and I have been awaiting these with interest. I do not think that it was a coincidence that Quatuor Coronati Lodge was established in 1886. The studies made by Little, Mackenzie, Waite and Yarker must have aroused general interest among Masonic historians, even if they disagreed; while the correspondence in the active Masonic press must have produced a counter-reaction which led to the foundation of a Lodge where Masonic matters could be discussed and all theories carefully examined, to sift the wheat from the chaff, the place where bubbles were pricked and if anything was put forward as a fact it had to be proved by independent authorities. The Masonic 'histories' of the type set out in the Constitutions were rejected and Anderson's name anathematized - it would be true to say that it is only in the last few years that Anderson has been partly reinstated, excluding his 'history.' A number of the berthren mentioned in the paper were members of Quatuor Coronati Lodge but their influence, if any, was transient. If I am correct in thinking that Q.C. arose, even partially, though interest aroused by 'fringe masonry' this subject performed a service of far greater value than it can have intended. Finally, a footnote to the paper. Reference is mae to 'skrying.' While the word used in the context of this paper is more or less self explanatory, perhaps the Oxford English Dictionary (1914 edition) definition is of interest. This gives the verb 'to skry' as 'seeing images in pieces of crystal, water, etc, which revel the future or secrets of the past or present; to act as a crystal- gazer.' I think that the value of Bro. Howe's paper is to illuminnate the background to a period when there was great interest, within a limited circle of friends, about occult and magical matters. Bro. Brian Russell writes: I have just been reading Bro. Ellic Howe's most interesting paper and I would like to congratulate him on the amount of work which it would appear was necessary in order to produce this extensive report on an unusual subject. There are two Brethren whose names are mentioned in the paper who would appear to have been initiated in my own Lodge - The Lodge of Hengist No. 195. -i.e., S.L. McGregor Mathers, a Founder member of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn in 1887, and Frederick Holland, a prospective member of the Society of Eight in 1883. I must state that nowhere in our Lodge records does S.L. Mathers have the appendage 'McGregor.' According to our Minute books, Samuel Liddell Mathers, clerk, was proposed as a Candidate by Bro. P.M., E. W. Rebbeck (i.e, W.Bro.) and seconded by Bro. Lane. Mathers was Initiated on 4 October 1877, Passed 15 November, Raised 30 January 1878. Except for 1881 he was regualr in attendance as a member until he resigned 27 December 1882. On 2 December 1880 he sent a letter of apology for absence due to ill health. His first appearance in the year 1881 was on 6 October and he proposed a Mr. Frederick Holland of Inglewood Villas, Westbourne Bournemouth - Gentleman - as a Candidate. Holland was Initiated on 3 November 1881, Passed 1 December 1881 and Raised 5 January 1882. On 27 December 1881, Mathers was appointed Director of Ceremonies, the first such appointment made in this Lodge. At the Febuary 1882 meeting Mathers stood in as Senior Deacon. On 6 April he resigned as D.C. At the next meeting he asked the W.M. whether the Lodge would start a Lodge of Instruction. During the year there was some controversy in the Lodge as to the necessity of redecorating the Temple; Mathers supported this, but nothing was done about it. At the Regular Lodge meeting on 5 February 1885 'Bro. Frederick Holland, Master of the Temple Rosicrucian College of England, read a paper on "Masonry as it was and as it is"' [sic]. Holland resigned from the Lodge of Hengist in March 1887 but he was named as Senior Warden on the Warrant of Horsa Lodge No. 2208 - Bournemouth, and this was constituted 18 October 1887. He was then a member of St. Cuthberga Lodge, Wimborne, No. 622. Bro. Harry Mendoza writes: Bro. Ellic Howe tells us that 'The Ancient and Primitive Rite of Misraim arrived in England -out of thin air rather than any other kind of air -late in 1870'. Bro. Songhurst seems to indicate (1) that in fact it arrived in 1817. Writing of Jean Baptiste Marie Ragon, he tells us that no less a person than the Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England - the Duke of Sussex - was admitted by Ragon into the Rite on 14 February 1817 and invested with 'full powers for England, Scotland and Ireland'. He goes on to say: 'A document in the Library of the Grand Lodge of England dated 17th November, 1819, and addressed to the Duke by the members of the governing body in Paris gives a little more information concerning the connection of His Royal Highness with the Rite. The document informs him that at a meeting held in the previous month he had been appointed a Member of Honour of the Fourth Chamber. It asks for his protection and assistance in putting the order on a proper footing in England, as certain unauthorised Masons were endeavouring to work the degrees clandestinely, and states that Michel Bedarride, who was then in London, was the only person who could givcehim authentic particulars about the Order.' It is not clear (a) whether the Duke of Sussex sought membership or whether membership was thrust upon him - I suspect the latter; (b) whether the 'admission' occurred in England or France; I suspect it was in the form of a 'communication' from France to England, and (c) to what extent the Duke of Sussex could use his powers for 'Scotland and Ireland', even if he had desired to do so. Bro.T.O. Haunch has been kind enough to look for the document referred to above, but has not been successful in finding it. However, the authority of Bro. Songhurst, a past Secretary of Quatuor Coronati Lodge, is not to be lightly dismissed. It certainly points to somebody in Grand Lodge having knowledge of the rite some fifty-three years earlier than indicated by Bro. Howe. There is also reference to the Rite of Misraim in the History of the Grand Lodge of Ireland, (2) where we learn that their Grand Master (the Duke of Leinster) was admitted to the Rite. The date is not given, but it would appear to be before 4 October 1838, on which date the Constitution of the Supreme Grand Council of Rites was read in Grand Lodge (Ireland). The author of the History suggests (3) that 'the Rite of Mismaim was only included that it might be quietly suppressed, as it was allowed to die of inanition'. Another reference to the Rite of Misraim is found in the Freemasons' Magazine and Masonic Monitor. In the issue dated 1 September 1860 the following appears: Misraimite Masonry. Is Hiram Abiff recognised under of Misraim? He is.......' I would also like to raise one other point. Quoting Bro. Howe again, on the Rite of Misraim, 'However, by today's more critical standards, on English soil it was an aberration'. This prompts the questions: (a) when did Grand Lodge adopt their 'more critical standards'? and (b) did the events outlined by Bro. Howe influence Grand Lodge in adopting these standards ? (1) AQC Vol.17, page 101. (2) R.E. Parkinson. History of the Grand Lodge of Ireland, Vol. II, P. 221. (3) ibid, P. 331. The answer to the questions may be difficult to establish, but two surprising facts emerged in my attempt to find an answer. Firstly, proposal forms for initiation are first mentioned in the 1920 Book of Constitutions. At that date they bore no question regarding membership of 'quasi-masonic or other organisations." Secondly reference to 'quasi-masonic or other organisations' appears in the Book of Constitutions for the first time as late as 1940 - at which date it also appeared on the proposal forms. Obviously these matters had been discussed earlier by Grand Lodge, but the lateness of the dates surprised me. Bro. R. E. Parkinson writes: I should like to add my congratulations to Bro. Ellic Howe for his masterly exploration of a fascinating byway of Masonic research. He queries the date ascribed to the Knights of the Red Branch-90 B.C. This was the name given given to the bodyguard of the Kings of Ulster about the beginning of the Christian era, resisting attacks from the south, and recorded in the earliest of Irish sagas. This was handed down through the ages verbally, and was not recorded in writing till the ninth or tenth century. The headquarters of the kings of Ulster were at Emain Macha - now Navan Fort, a few miles south of the city of Armagh. Nearby is another earthen fortress. Known to this day as Creeveroe - Craob Ruadh - or the Red Branch. Some seventy odd years ago a small volume Lays of the Red Branch, by Sir Samuel Ferguson, was published in London by Fisher Unwin, and in Dublin by Sealy, Bryers and Walker. Copies may still be available in the British museum and other London Libraries. On 18 November 1922, a collection of certificates belonging to the late Brother Maurice L. Davies was exhibited before the Lodge of Research, No. CC, in Dublin. (Transactions, 1922, pp. 92-93.) There were thirteen in all, including certificates of (1) M.M., 891. Enniskillen, dated 10 October 1856. (2) P.M., Drum, Co. Monaghan, 2 September 1869. (3) Mark Master Mason and Royal Arch Mason, 891, Enniskillen, dated 7 July 1857. (One cetificate only for the two degrees.) (4) Knight Templar, 184 Drum, dated 20 March 1867. (5) M.M., Affiliation certificate to Mother Lodge Kilwinning, Scotland, dated 15 February 1883 (6) M.M., Grand Lodge of Scotland, certificate for Mother Lodge, Kilwinning No. 0, dated 3 March 1887 (7) Rite of Memphis. Grand Council of Ancient Rites under the Grand Chapter of the Great Bear, sitting at Bath, Somersetshire, certifying Bro. Davie to be an Expert Master of the Symbolic Lodges, and many other degrees. Dated 28 April 1878, and signed by John Yarker, 33 degree - 96 degree. (8) Rite of Memphis, 33 degree Manchester, dated 24 February 1875, and signed by John Yarker, 33 degree -96 degree. (9) Royal Oriental Order of Sikha and the Sat-B'hai (East Indies) dated 23 September 1877. (10) Rite of Memphis. Raised to Prince Patriarch, Grand Expert General, dated 13 September 1880 (11) Rites of Mismaim and Memphis, Raised to Grand Inspector, Sublime Prince 95 degree of the Rite of Memiphis; and an Absolute Sovereign Grand Master 90 degree of the Rite of Misraim, and Chief of the four Series thereof from the 1st to the 90th and last degree; dated 30 September 1880. (12) Subordinate Certificate of the National Lodge, Roumania, 33 degree to 90 degree, dated 15 May 1881 (13) The Superior Certificate for same, as Hon. Member for Life of the Supreme Council 33 degree of Roumania. Brother Davies is registered in Grand Lodge of Ireland books as Maurice L. Howard Davies, in Lodge 891, Enniskillen, 3 October 1856. He affiliated to Lodge 184, Drum, Co. Monaghan, on 12 March 1867, and to Lodge 120, Dublin, in March 1869. When the Grand Lodge of Ireland invented the Warrant, in 1731-32, it was necessary to word the document very widely. Freemasonry was still evolving, and owing to the then difficuities of communication, it was extremely difficult for Grand Lodge to exercise full control of Lodges at a distance from Dublin. See History of the Grand Lodge of Ireland, vol.11, ch.IV.' Hence, it was later argued that it was lawful to confer any degree whatsoeverunder the authority of the Grand Lodge Warrant, alone. The form of the Warrant, and its wording remained unchanged until 1817, when Grand Lodge adopted a form which has remained substantially unchanged till the present day. This laid it down that the Master and Wardens, and their successors should ... at all times hereafter pay implicit observance to, and act and conduct the affairs of the same in strict conformity to the nowexisting Laws of Masonry and to such other Laws and Regulations for the government of the Craft as shall or may at any time hereafter be issued by the Right Worshipful Grand Lodge of Ireland or in default thereof then and in such case, reserving unto the said Right Worshipful Grand Lodge the full power and lawful authority of annulling and cancelling these presents or of otherwise proceeding in the premises as to them shall seem meet. Nevertheless, such Lodges as worked under Warrants issued before this revision continued to claim the right to work any degree under the authority of the Grand Lodge Warrant alone. By the end of the eighteenth century, practically every Irish Lodge worked the Royal Arch and Knight Templar Degrees as a matter of course. Two Rose Croix Chapters, Prince Masons, as we prefer to call them in the city of Dublin, have been at work continuously since 1782. Many other degrees are mentioned in Lodge Minute Books, of which little has survived except the names; many of these survived, certainly in country Lodges, till well into the third quarter of the nineteenth century. The Order of Misraim appears in Ireland with the visit of one of the Bedarride brothers early in 1820, ("The Order of Misraim in Ireland", Thomas E. Johnston, Trans. Lodge CC, Dublin, 1949- 1957.) The only evidence surviving are copies of a few letters between the Duke of Leinster and John Fowler in the latter's letter book. By February 1821 Bedarride had constituted a complete council of seventeen members of the 77 degree; the Duke and Fowler, 90 degree; Bro. Dumoulin, 89 degree; Bro. Norman, who succeeded Fowler as D.G.M. in 1825, 88degree; ... Bro. P. Mitchell and Bro. Trim, 87 degree also Bro. Jamar, a Frenchman residing in Dublin who possessed that degree before. In the previous May, Bros. Dr. Herville, Signor Annelli, Bros. Dumoulin and Trim, of the Original Chapter of Prince Masons had received the 77 degree. The Order was suppressed in 1822 in France by the civil powers, and one would imagine that the Duke of Leinster and John Fowler realised what self seeking frauds the Bedarride brothers were. It was included in the Supreme Grand Council of Rites, set up 28 January 1838, as the governing body of the Higher Degrees from the Prince Mason upwards, but was evidently allowed to die of inanition; the last survivor was the Duke himself, who died in 1874. This Grand Council of Rites survived until 1905, as the supreme governing body of the Prince Masons, and independent of the Supreme Council, 33 degree. In that year, owing to difficulties with other Supreme Councils throughout the world, it surrendered to the 33 degree, but still survives as subordinate governing body, the Grand Chapter of Prince Masons. (Hist., G.L.I., vol. II P. 332.) In Grand Lodge Minutes for 7 December 1882, thirteen members from Limerick were cited as having set up a body of the Ancient and Primitive Rite; seven had severed their connection with that Rite, but the replies of six others were deemed unsatisfactory. These were Maurice L. Davies, William F. Lawlor, Auguste Mouillot, John H. Southwood and Thomas W. Fair. In the Minutes for February 1883, the name of William S. Studdert is added, and replies from Bros. Fair, Lawlor and Mouillot were deemed satisfactory, and no further action was taken against them. The remaining four were suspended from the Rights and Privileges of Freemasonry during the pleasure of Grand Lodge. One of these, Charles Minch Wilson, was actually present in Grand Lodge, and, in spite of earnest appeals from prominent Brethren, including the Deputy Grand Master himself, persisted in remaining obdurate. So, today in Ireland, no degree may be practised save with the approval of Grand Lodge, and one under the authority of a governing body likewise approved. Admission to the A. & A. Rite is confined to Knights Templar, who, with the A. & A. Rite, are recruited by invitation only, and each step is regarded as a reward for services to the Masonic Order only. I gather that the Bedarride brothers were also active in England and Scotland around 1820. R.W. Stubbs writes: Bro. Howe is to be warmly congratulated on his paper which makes good reading in itself, and brings back to life persons and movements of past generations It has done more than most of my recent reading to convince me that we perhaps not quite so silly as some of our Masonic forebears, for none of the present day fringes of Masonry (from which mercifully the United Grand Lodge of England is spared) can be so inept as the bodies which he has taken so much trouble to describe. There is however always the fear that this clear portrayal might encourage some 20th century students to believe that there is something worth salvaging in the follies of Mackenzie, his friends, his rivals and his enemies, for the gap between 'fringe' and 'lunatic fringe' is narrow. I do not believe that this is likely, but if it were to be a result of this paper, Bro. Howe would have done the Craft some disservice. I recognised the name, E. H. Finney, in the paper and have consulted the registers of Grand Lodge and my own Oxford records. There were two of them, probably father and son: the son was initiated in the Churchill Lodge, No. 478, in 1869, aged 24: he gave as his address 9, Godolphin Road, London. At that age and with no College he was probably not an undergraduate: he fades out very soon. The elder has a more varied masonic career. He was initiated in the Lodge of Harmony, No. 309 (then 387) in 1854 when there was a sudden influx into the Lodge of joining members: he was exalted in Chapter of Frienship No. 319 (now 257) in 1856. We next hear of him as a Major on half pay) living in Charles Street, London, and joining Lodge of Harmony, No. 255, in 1867, and the Churchill in 1869 by which time he had been installed in the Coeur de Lion Preceptory, No. 29, in 1868: he fades out of all of them within five years. The juxtaposition of names in 255 and 478 suggests that he was a friend of R.W.Bro.Colonel H.A. Bowyer, Provincial Grand Master for Oxfordshire, and holder between 1857 and 1869 of four offices in the Supreme Council. Initiated as late as 1854 rather puts him out of court as the pupil of Bedarride who had received his Misraim degrees thirty-seven years before 1871. It would be interesting to learn, and I come away from a close perusal of the paper without any inking of it, what induced these Brethren to set up this succession of minuscule Masonic empires. It does not seem to have been a desire for notoriety or even for money: was it perhaps Satan's other secret weapon, idleness? It is difficult to believe that any of them can have conned themselves or their associates into a belief that anything useful to mankind, the Craft, or even themselves was going to emerge. Perhaps the fairest, even if unkind, description of the whole lot of them is Masonic hippies. I would strongly recommend anyone who is interested in the subject to read also J.M. Roberts's The Mythology of the Secret Societies: he has done as good a debunking job as Bro. Howe. Bro. Howe writes in reply: I am indeed grateful for the interest which my paper evidently aroused, and especially to the Worshipful Master for proposing a vote of thanks and to Bro. Cyril Batham for seconding it. Bro. Vetcher mentioned that 'in the early days of the premuer Grand Lodge, in the 18th century, if the number of Fellows of the Royal Society is any criterion, the study of science had been very popular with members of the Craft; and in those days science would have included Alchemy.' My own impression is that by the 1750s interest in Alchemy was at a very low ebb in Great Britain. On the other hand many educated men were still fascinated by astrology. I have identified three contemporary Fellows Of the Royal Societv, all of them eminent mathematicians, who practised it. Bros. Batham, Draffen, Jackson, Horne, Mendoza and Parkinson all provided welcome additional information about the Rites of Memphis and Misraim or their eventual amalgamation in John Yarker's Antient and Primitive Rite. I was aware that the Rite of Misraim had found its way to Ireland long before R. W. Little launched it in England in 1870, but said nothing because I was unwilling to burden either myself or my readers with a potentially inconclusive excursion up a difficult bypath. Bro. Draffen now reveals that it was also known in Scotland during the 1840s- In the case of these two rites (Memphis and Misraim) and their original promoters (Marconis pere et fils and the Bedarride brothers) we are confronted with one of the nineteenth century 'fringe' areas which appears to deserve investigation in depth. By comparison with the ephemeral follies discussed in this paper both had a long and complicated history. However, much of what we know about their annals in France and elsewhere merely consists of bits and pieces of isolated information, much of which is untrustworthy because successive writers have accepted previous statements without subjecting them to any really critical scrutiny. In his comments Bro. Alex Horne suggests that 'a similar excursion into "Fringe" Masonry, on the Continent, if at all possible, would seem to be warranted'. As far as the nineteenth century is concerned, a detailed study of the Rites of Memphis and Misraim would help to fill this gap. Much of the research, however, would have to be undertaken in France. Like Bro. Batham I have heard that the Memphis degrees are still being worked. Geneva has been mentioned in this context but I have no evidence. I cannot answer his question about Yarker and the Memphis (or Antient and Primitive Rite?) degrees with any certainty. But see Yarker's periodical The Kneph, Vol. I, No. 8, 1881, where the Illustrious Grand Master General's (i.e. Yarker's) historical article is more likely to confuse than enlighten. With reference to Bro. Alex Horne's query (see his second paragraph), my inference is that Yarker combined the two Rites, i.e. those of Memphis and Misraim) as the Antient and Primitive Rite. Bro. Harry Mendoza has produced a conundrum relating to J.-M. Ragon (1781-1862) admitting the Duke of Sussex to the Rite of Misraim on 14 February 1817. According to Lenhoff and Posner, Internationales Freimaurer Lexikon, 1932 (art. Misraim-Ritus), the Grand Orient condemned the Rite as irregular in that year, hence presumably after 14 February. According to the article on Ragon, in the same source in February 1817, he would have been W.M. or I.P.M. of the recently formed and later well-known 'Les trinisophes' Lodge at Paris. The document from which Bro. Songhurst quoted cannot be found; the nature of Ragon's association with Michel Bedarride cannot be accurately established ... and the researcher goes round in circles. Bro. R. E. Parkinson referred to the Bedarride brothers as 'self-seeking frauds'. But can this accusation be substantiated? Or were they - and perhaps Marc Bedarride in particular - merely misguided enthusiasts? The latter's long-winded De l'Ordre maconnique de Mismaim, 2 vols., 1845, gives the impression that it was written by a harmless lunatic rather than a self-seeking fraud. Bro. Brig. A.C.F. Jackson criticised Westcott for his misuse and misunderstanding, despite his erudition, of the words 'Rosicrucian' and 'Rosicrucianism'. In fairness to Westcott, it's not surprising that he perpetrated (in c.1887-8) the usual occultist nonsense about the 'old Rosicrucians' and their alleged teachings because no scholarly research in this area had yet been attempted. A. E. Waite's The Brotherhood of the Rosy Cross was not published until 1924 and, in default of any alternative, it achieved the status of a standard work, at least in English. The first important German scholarly publications did not appear until later, e.g. those by R. Kienast in 1926 and W.-E. Peuckert in 1928. However, the recent publication of Dr. Frances A. Yates's brilliant The Rosicrucian Enlightenment (London, Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1972) has given 'Rosicrucian' studies a new dimension and her book is warmly commended to Brethren who are interested in this area. Bro. J. R. Clarke found it difficult to accept the evidence which I supplied for Kenneth Mackenzie's birth date, i.e. 31 October 1833. His death certificate confirms the year. Bro. Clarke was puzzled because Mackenzie's youthful intellectual virtuosity was not commemorated in the Dictionary of National Biography. However, I tried to make it clear that Mackenzie never fulfilled his early promise and was already a spent force by 1860 (aet. 27 or thereabouts). Brother Clarke also chided me for accusing Mackenzie of having perpetrated a 'barefaced lie' in connection with his with claim that the extraordinary table of so-called Rosicrucian degrees in his Royal Masonic Cyclopaedia, 1875, represented the fruits of his own industrious research. I can only repeat that Mackenzie made a literal translation of the table published in 1781 in Der Rosenkreuzer in seiner Blosse. Bro. Will Read kindly made enquiries about the Order of Light, which still exists today, from Brethren who belong to it. I did not imply that the Order came to Bradford via Yarker but merely recalled the latter's earlier connection with it. Bro. Read is able to inform us that the Order in its present form was founded at Bradford on 9 January 1902. According to A. E. Waite (New Encyclopaedia of Freemasonry, 1921, Vol.II, pp. 214-5) it was dormant before 'it came into the hands of certain Masonic Brethren at Bradford,' i.e. in 1902. Waite observed that 'they reconstructed it in all respects', hence presumably without the Sat B'hai material which Yarker had interpolated. The Rite of Swedenborg (see P. 371): I will deal with Bro. Batham's question first. The Canadian Charter dated 1 July 1876 was for the Emanuel Lodge and Temple No. 3 at Manchester. With or without reference to Canada, Emanuel Lodge No. 1 was warranted at Bristol on 13 January 1877. This Lodge them removed to Weston super Mare on 30 May 1877. At Manchester the Egyptian Lodge No. 2 also received its warrant on 13 January 1877. The note preserved by Bro. Draffen referring to the '69th degree of Hieroglyphic Master' does not have any connection with the Rite of Swedenborg. I am grateful to Bro. Alex Horne for correcting my statement that Yarker gave Madame Blavatsky 'what purported to be a Masonic initiation' when she was briefly in England at the end of 1878. There is a blurred and almost illegible reproduction of the certificate which Yarker issued to her on 24 November 1877 in the name of the Antient and Primitive Rite in The Golden Book of the Theosophical Society ... 1875-1925, edited by C. Jinarajadasa, Theosophical Publishing House, Adyar, 1925. The certificate's complete text will be found in 'The Author of Isis Unveiled defends the validity of her Masonic Patent' in the first volume of The Complete Works of H. P. Blavatsky, edited by A. Trevor Barker, London, 1933. The Rite of Adoption was specifically mentioned in the certificate which declared H. P. B. to be an 'Apprentice, Companion, Perfect Mistress, Sublime Elect, Scotch Lady, Chevaliere de Rose Croix ... and a Crowned Princess of Rite of Adoption'. The recent publication of Madame Blavatsky's Isis Unveiled had created a mild sensation in esoteric' circles and it is likely that Yarker expressed his admiration of the book by presenting its author with the certificate in question. Bro. M. J. Spurr's belief that I am writing a paper on Westcott's Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn for presentation to Q.C. Lodge is incorrect. Now that The Magicians of the Golden Dawn has been published my interest in this 'folly' has evaporated. find it difficult to agree with the substance of Bro. Spurr's second paragraph which begins: 'I do not think that it was a coincidence that Quatuor Coronati Lodge was established in 1886.' Firstly we must eliminate the names of R. W. Little and A. E. Waite. Little did not even pretend to be a Masonic historian while A. E. Waite did not join the Craft until 1902, long after Q.C. Lodge was founded. We are thus left with Yarker, whose scholarly interests must be taken seriously in relation to the standards which prevailed at that time. Nor do I find it possible to accept that 'Q.C. Lodge arose, even partially, through interest aroused by "fringe Masonry".' Bro. J. W. Stubbs is somewhat apprehensive lest my paper might encourage a Brother with more imagination than sense to believe 'that there is something worth salvaging in the follies of Mackenzie, his friends, his rivals and his enemies for the gap between "fringe" and "lunatic fringe" is narrow.' He continued 'I do not believe that this is likely, but if it were to be a result of this paper, Bro. Howe would have done the Craft some disservice.' Like Bro. Stubbs I do not believe it likely that any misguided Brother will attempt to salvage anything from the Victorian rubbish-heap discussed in my paper. The risk of this happening in the 1970s appears to be infinitesimal, even inconceivable. These 'fringe' and sometimes 'lunatic fringe' activities happened in a social, sociological and, for that matter, Masonic climate which was utterly unlike the one with which we are familiar. Bro. Stubbs wondered 'what induced these Brethren to set up a succession of minuscule empires?' My own theory is that in the absence of spectator sports, golf, bridge, television and radio, automobiles, packaged tours and charter flights, and much else which we now associate with the idea of leisure, their activities on or beyond the fringe of regular Masonry represented absorbing hobbies. To use a current expression: 'They did their own thing'. I do not agree with Bro. Stubbs' proposition that it would be fair, although unkind, to describe my gentry as 'Masonic hippies'. Mackenzie, Irwin, Cox, Yarker & Co. were not hippies in the sense in which we now understand the word. I would regard them, rather, as Masonic romantics. This loosely-knit fringe 'movement' was the product of a very small coterie of enthusiasts who used Masonry as a springboard for their own fantasies.


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