Harleian MS


The "Apprentice Charge" attached to a MS. which contains the "New Regulations," are found in many MSS., and are those used in the written Indentures of an Apprentice. The "New Regulations" are found in the "Harleian MS.," which is the one we give; the "Grand Lodge MS. 2," numbered 29 c. 33; (2) the "Roberts MS.," numbered 1 to 7; (3) the "McNab MS."; (4) a MS. seen by Dr. James Anderson, number 1 to 7; but there must have been an older original. The Harleian, Grand Lodge, and McNab MSS. give no date of the Assembly; Roberts and Anderson give 1663; probably there was no date in the oldest original. The British Museum officials consider the "Harleian MS." to be early 17th century; it forms a species of Grand Lodge, and inaugurates a Charge for Apprentices.

(Harleian MS., etc., early 17th Century).

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(1) 26. No person (of what degree soever) bee accepted a Free-Mason unless he shall have a lodge of five Free Masons; at least where of one to be a Master or Warden, of that limitt or devision, wherein such lodge shall be kept, and another of the trade of Free Masonry.
(2) 27. That noe p'son shall be accepted a Free Mason but such as are of able body, honest parentage, good reputation, and observers of the laws of the land.
(3) 28. That noe p'son hereafter be accepted a Free Mason, nor shall be admitted into any Lodge or Assembly until hee hath brought a certificate of the time of accep'con from the Lodge yt accepted him, unto the master of that limitt and devision where such Lodge was kept which say'd Master shall enrole the same in parchment in a role to he kept for that purpose, to give an account of all such Accep'cions at every general Assembly. “See the acct. of such Roll at York, Ch. X.”
(4) 29. That every person whoe now is Free Mason shall bring to the Master a note of the time of his accep'tion, to the end the same may be enrolled in such priority of place of the p'son shall deserve and to ye end the whole Company and Fellows may the better know each other.
(5) 30. That for the future the say'd Society, Company, and Fraternity, of Free Masons shall be regulated and govern'd by one Master, and Assembly, and Wardens, as ye said Company shall think fitt to chose at every yearly general Assembly.
(7) 31. That no p'son shall be accepted a Free Mason, or know the secrets of the said Society, until he hath first taken the Oath of secrecy hereafter following: -- I, A.B., doe in the presence of Almighty God and my Fellows and Brethren here present, promise and declare that I will not at any time hereafter, by any act or circumstance whatsoever, directly or indirectly, publish, discover, reveale, or make knowne, any of the secrets, priviledges, or counsells, of the Fraternity or Fellowship of Free Masons, {559} which at this time, or at any time hereafter, shall be made knowne unto mee. So helpe mee God, and the holy contents of this booke.


1. You shall truly honour God and his Holy Church, the King, your Master, and Dame, you shall not absent yourself but with the license of both, or one of them, from their service by day or night.
2. You shall not purloin or steal, or be privy, or accessory to the purloining or stealing, to the value of sixpence, from them, or any of them.
3. You shall not commit adultery, or fornication, in the house of your Master, with his wife, daughter, or maid.
4. You shall not disclose your Master's or Dame's counsels, or secrets, which they have imparted to you, nor what is to be concealed, spoken, or done within the precincts of their house, by them or either of them, or by Free Masons.
6. You shall reverently behave yourself to all Free Masons, not using cards, or dice, or any other unlawful games, Christmas excepted.
7. You shall not haunt, or frequent any taverns, alehouses, or such as go into any of them, except when your Master's business, or Dame's, their, or any of their affairs, or without their or any of their consent.
8. You shall not commit adultery or fornication in any man's house, where you shall be at table or at work.
9. You shall not marry or contract yourself to any woman during your Apprenticeship.
10. You shall not steal any man's goods, but especially your said Master's, or any of his Fellow Masons', or suffer any one to steal their goods, but shall hinder it if you can, and if you cannot, then you shall acquaint your said Master, and his Fellows presently.

6th. That noe p'son be accepted a Ffree Mason, except he be one and twenty yeares old or more.

GRAND LODGE MS. No. 2, "circa" 1650.
32. The 6th. p. 559. (Hence the omission from Harleian MS., and some others may be an error by accident. No date.)

The Addition of 1663 to the "New Articles," and numbered 6, is given by Anderson in the copy he saw, and also in the copy printed by Roberts in 1722. But as it appears in "Grand Lodge MS. 2," as Article 32, it may have been omitted by accident from VI. version.




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