(Issued by the Masonic High Council the Mother High Council on the 10th of March of 2010)
CONCERNING AND REGARDING THE TRUE ORIGINES OF CRAFT FREEMASONRY
The General Board of Masonic Regularity and Jurisprudence, having meet decided that in face of the numerous erroneous and misleading information found on the net and in several publications concerning speculation and some even declaring that Craft Freemasonry originates in and from the so called Order of Knight Templars. The Masonic High Council had the following declaration and official statement prepared and issued on this matter of concern for the accuracy of the history of Craft Freemasonry:
I - The History of Craft Freemasonry is well documented by both English and German Masonic Scholars.
II - Craft Freemasonry and its uses, costumes and traditions based and inherited form those of the Operative Medieval Craft Guilds are in its own merits particular to the Craft, and form a specific and a unique and beautiful symbolic system.
III – The Order of the Temple and any other Chivalric Order does not constitutes the bases on which the Craft is based upon. Further more the General Board of Masonic Regularity and Jurisprudence informs that the Craft and the Operative Craft out-dates in antiquity the Order of the Temple and any other Chivalric Order as it can be easily verified by the Old Charges of Operative Craft Freemasonry:
- 643 AD
Edict of Rothari, 643 A.D.
INCIPIT EDICTVM QVEM RENOVAVIT DOMINVS ROTHARI
Section 144. Of the Comacine Master - If a Comacine Master with his associates (colligantes) shall undertake to restore or build the house of any person whatsoever, after an agreement shall have been closed as to payment, and it chances that someone should be killed, by reason of the house, through the falling of either material or stone, no claim shall be lodged against the owner of the house, in case the Comacine Master or those working with him (consortibus) shall fall to settle for the death or the damage done; because who after having contracted to do work f or his own advantage, must assume, not undeservedly, the damage done.
Section 145. Of masters called or brought in. - If any person shall call or bring in Comacine Masters one or several - to design a work or to daily assist his retainers (servi) at the building of his house (domun aut casa), and it should happen that, by reason of this house (casa), one of the Comacines is killed, the owner of the house (casa) shall not be held responsible. On the other hand, if falling timber or stone should kill an outsider or cause injury to anyone, the fault shall not be imputed to the Masters, but to him who called them in, and he shall be responsible for the damage.
- 926 AD
In the year 926 A.D., there was held a General Assembly of Masons at York, England, called by King Athelstan's son Prince Edwin, wherein the great traditions of symbolic and operative masonry were constituted, revived, or organized, and a new code of laws for the governing of the Craft instituted.
"Soone after the Decease of St. Albones, there came Diverse Warrs into England out of diverse Nations, so that the good rule of Masons was dishired (disturbed) and put down vntill the tyme of King Adilston. In his tyme there was a worthy King in England, that brought this Land into good rest, and he builded many grat workes and buildings, therefore he loved well Masons, for he had a Sonne called Edwin, the which loved Masons much more then his ffather did, and he was soe practized in geometry, that he delighted much to come and talke with Masons and to learne of them the Craft. And after, for the loue he had to Masons and to the Craft, he was made Mason at Windsor, and he gott of the King, his ffather, a Charter and Comission once every yeare to have Assembley within the realms where they would within England, and to correct within themselves ffaults & trespasses that weere done as touching the Craft, and he held them an Assembley at Yorke and there he made Masons and gave them Charges, and taught them the Manners and Comands the same to be kept ever afterwards.
And tooke them the charter and Comission to keep their Assembley, and Ordained that it should be renewed from King to King, and when the Assembley were gathered together he made a Cry, that all old Masons or young, that had any Writeings or Vnderstanding of the charges and manners that weere made before their Lands, wheresoever they were made Masons, that they should shew them forth, there were found some in ffrench, some in greek, some in Hebrew, and some in English, and some in other languages, and when they read and over seen well the intent of them was vnderstood to be all one. And then he caused a Booke be made thereof how this worthy Craft of Masonrie was first founded, and he himselfe comanded, and also then caused, that it should be read in any tyme when it should happen any Mason or Masons to be made to give him or them their Charges, and from that time vntill this day Manners of Masons have been kepte in this manner and omen, as well as Men might governe it, and ffarthermore at diverse Assemblyes have been put and Ordained diverse Charges by the best advice of Masters and ffellows."
The findings of the Society of Philaletes in 1785
And if the above is not sufficient to show that Craft Freemasonry has recorded history that precedes the Order of the Temple, the General Board of Masonic Regularity and Jurisprudence further issues the following information, to put at rest all and any fantasy and wild gueses on the subject of the origins of the Craft.
“A unique event was sponsored by the Societe des Philaletes. Founded in Paris in 1773 for the purpose of tracing the origins of Freemasonry, the Philalethians: established the Academie occultiste (Occult Academy). With the help of contacts in every country, archives and a library were built up that soon contained valuable holdings.
When sufficient information had been collected in 1784, a questionnaire was sent to 128 Freemasons of all Masonic Systems. The replies were to be subject matter for discussion at a convention scheduled in Paris for 15 February 1785. Some of the questions pertained to formalities of masonic ritual etc., but the main object was to inquire of the participants what, in their opinion, was the most essential principle of masonic knowledge, and where and when it originated; what was its lineage, and what groups of individuals could be assumed to have possessed it.
The convention, which went on till 26 May 1785, was attended by representatives from Warsaw, St. Petersburg, and Stockholm, as well as Austria and England, and of course the French Lodges. Many were personalities well known in masonic circles. Also present were Saint-Germain and Cagliostro; Mesmer, though invited, declined, as did Saint-Martin. No unanimity was reached on the origin of Freemasonry, most believing it to be the "hermetic sciences," others "Christian theosophy."
A second convention from 8 March to 27 May 1787 was equally inconclusive. However, it may not be fair to rate the gatherings as unsuccessful: the official transactions may have been far less important than the private exchange among so many luminaries of the age and the common quest for the roots of the esoteric knowledge of their century.”
Concerniente a los verdaderos orígenes de la Franco Masonería
La Junta General de Regularidad y Jurisprudencia Masónica, después de haber decidido que habiendo mucha información errónea y falsa que se encuentra en varias publicaciones relativas y en especulación y algunos incluso se declara que los orígenes de la masonería provienen de la Orden de Caballero Templarios, que es cosa absurda ya que la Franco Masonería existe en su forma operativa desde hace milenio y la orden de los templarios su fundación es posterior y no anterior a la orden Masónica.
El Alto Consejo Masónico ha resuelto emitir la siguiente declaración oficial sobre este asunto de preocupación sobre los antecedentes y la exactitud histórica de la Franco Masonería.
I - La Historia de la Franco Masonería esta bien documentada tanto por los historiadores Masónicos Ingleses y Alemanes.
II – La Franco Masonería, sus usos, costumbres y tradiciones están basadas en los gremios medievales su esencia se encuentra en sus propios méritos particulares a la actividad de los Masones operativos, constituyendo un sistema simbólico especifico propio y hermoso.
III - La Orden del Templo o cualquier otra orden caballeresca no representa, ni constituye, ni sirve de base en la cual la Franco Masonería se basa. Además la Junta General de Regularidad y Jurisprudencia Masónica tiene por bien informar que la Franco Masonería y la Masonería operativa remontan sus orígenes en la antigüedad, anterior, a la Orden del Templo y/o cualquier otra Orden caballeresca de la misma índole, ya que es fácilmente verificado por los antiguos textos y documentos que mencionan y hacen referencia a la Franco Masonería Operativa; Edicto de Rotario, 643 AD, El texto del articulo concerniente a la asamblea de Franco Masones en York 926 AD.
If you have any questions or comments, we would be pleased to hear from you.
© The Masonic High Council the Mother High Council 2005