The Ashlar

 

Learn about Scottish Freemasonry

 

The Beginnings of Freemasonry

 

Freemasonry is one of the world's oldest fraternal societies, it evolved in part from Medieval stone masons guilds mainly in Scotland, after spreading to to England with King James II and his court in the early 1600, the craft greatly expanded in part thanks to events such as the Great Fire of London, which raised the Masons profile immensely.

After the Glorious Revolution in 1688 Freemasonry spread to Europe with Jacobite exiles before travelling to every part of the world. Freemasonry's lessons of moral values (governing relations between people) and its acknowledgement, without crossing the boundaries of religion, that all depends on the providence of God, apply today with as much force as it did when the order began.

The First Grand Lodges

 

The first Grand Lodge, the Grand Lodge of London, was founded on the 24th, June, 1717 when four London lodges met for a joint dinner, proclaiming themselves pre-eminent and assuming regulatory control over Freemasonry in London (and later the whole of England). This apparently spontaneous formation of the Grand Lodge understandably caused resentment amongst the other existing lodges of the time and ultimately lead to a schism in English Freemasonry that was not fully resolved until 1813 when the two rival groups formed the United Grand Lodge of England – the body which exists and co-ordinates English Freemasonry to this day.

In the mean time, the popularity of Freemasonry was spreading internationally. Grand Lodges were formed in Ireland in 1725 and Scotland in 1736. By the 1730’s Freemasonry had also been exported to the British Colonies in North America and, after the American Revolution, Grand Lodges began to form in each of the American states.

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