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GRAND MASTER, namely Sir Christopher Wren, who [as Doctor Anderson says] neglected the lodges. The Doctor's assertion is certainly true, and I will endeavour to do justice unto the memory of Sir Christopher, by relating the real cause of such neglect. The famous Sir Christopher Wren, Knt. [Master of Arts, formerly of Wadham college, Professor of astronomy at Gresham and Oxford, Doctor of the Civil Law, President of the Royal Society, Grand Master of the most Ancient and Honourable Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons, Architect to the Crown, who built most of the churches in London, laid the first stone of the glorious cathedral of St. Paul, and lived to finish it] having served the crown upwards of fifty years, was [at the age of ninety] displaced from employment, in favour of Mr. William Benson, who was made surveyor of the buildings, &c. to his Majesty King George the first. The first specimen of Mr. Benson's skill in architecture was a report made to the house of Lords, that their house and the Painted Chamber adjoining were in immediate danger of falling; whereupon the Lords met in a committee, to appoint some other place to sit in, while the house should be taken down. But it being proposed to cause some other builders first to inspect it, they found it in very good condition. The Lords, upon this, were going upon an address to the king, against the modern architect, for such a misrepres› sentation, but the Earl of Sunderland, then sec retary, gave them an assurance that his majesty would remove him.

Such usage, added to Sir Christopher's great age, was more than enough to make him decline all public assemblies. And the master masons then in London were so much disgusted at the treatment of their old and excellent grand master,

that they would not meet nor hold any communication under the sanction of his successor Mr. Benson; in short, the brethren were struck with a lethargy which seemed to threaten the London lodges with a final dissolution.

Notwithstanding this state of inactivity in London, the lodges in the country, particularly in Scotland and at York, as well as those in Ireland kept up their ancient formalities, customs and usages, without alteration, adding or diminishing, to this hour, from whence they may justly be called the most ancient, &c.

About the year 1717, some joyous companions,* who had passed the degree of a craft, [though very rusty] resolved to form a lodge for themselves in order [by conversation] to, recollect what had been formerly dictated to them, or if that should be found impracticable, to substitute something new, which might for the future pass for masonry amongst themselves. At this meeting the question was asked, whether any person in the assembly knew the Master's part, and being an

*Brother Thomas Grinsell, a man of great veracity, [elder brother of the celebrated James Quin, Esq.] informed his lodge, No. 3, in London [in 1753] that eight persons, whose names were Desaguliers, Gofton, King, Calvert, Lumley, Madden, De Noyer, and Vraden, were the geniusses to whom the world is indebted for the memorable invention of modern masonry.

Mr. Grinsell often told the author that he [Grinsell] was a free mason hefore modern masonry was known. Nor is this to be doubted, when we consider that Mr. Grinsell was an apprentice to a weaver in Dublin, when his mother was married ́ to Mr. Quin's father, and that Mr. Quin himself was seventy three years old when he died in 1766.


swered in the negative, it was resolved nem. con. that the deficiency should be made up with a new composition, and what fragments of the old order found amongst them, should be immediately reformed and made more pliable to the humours of the people. Hence it was ordered, that every person (during the time of his initiation) should wear boots, spurs, a sword and spectacles. That every apprentice, going and coming from work, should carry the plumb rule upon his right side, contrary to the ancients. That every fellow craft should carry the level upon the left side, and not upon his right side, as the ancients did. And that every person dignified with the title of a master mason, should wear a square pendant to his right leg. It was also thought expedient to abolish the old custom of studying Geometry in the lodge, and some of the young brethren made it appear, that a good knife and fork in the hands of a dexterous brother, over proper materials, would give greater satisfaction, and add more to the rotundity of the lodge, than the best scale and compass in Europe, and farthermore added, that a line, a square, a parallelogram, a rhombus, a rhomboides, a triangle, a trapezium, a circle,

This may seem a very ludicrous description of making free-masons. But Mr. Thomas Broughton, master of the lodge, No. 11, London, declared that he was present in a modern lodge, not one mile from the borough of Southwark, when two or three persons dressed in liveries with shoulder tags, booted and spurred, &c. &c. were initiated into modern masonry; and upon enquiry who they were, he was told that they were ser vants to lord Carysfort, then Grand Master of modern masons.

a semicirle, a quadrant, a parabola, a cube, pa rallelopipedon, a prism, a pyramid, a cylinder, a cone, a prismoid, a cylindroid, a sphere, a spheroid, a parabolick, frustrums, segments, polygons, elipsis; and irregular figures of all sorts might be drawn and represented upon bread, beef, mutton, fowls, pies, &c. as demonstratively as upon slates or sheets of paper; and that the use of the globes might be taught and explained as clearly and briefly upon two bottles, as upon Mr. Senex's globes of 28 inches diameter; and we are told, that from this improvement proceeded the laudable custom of charging to a public health at every third sentence that is spoke in the lodge. There was another old custom that gave umbrage to the young architects, i. e. that is the wearing of aprons, which made the gentlemen look like so many mechanicks, therefore it was proposed, that no brother (for the future) should wear an apron. This proposal was rejected by the oldest members who declared, that the aprons were all the signs of masonry then remaining amongst them, and for that reason they would keep and wear them. It was then proposed, that (as they were resolved to wear aprons) they should be turned upside down, in order to avoid appearing mechanical. This proposal took place and answered the design, for that which was formerly the lower part, was now fastened round the abdomen, and the bib and strings hung downwards dangling in such manner as might convince the spectators, that there was not a working mason amongst them.

Agreeable as this alteration might seem to the gentlemen, nevertheless it was attended with an ugly circumstance: for, in traversing the lodge, the brethren were subject to tread upon the strings, which often caused them to fall with great violence, so that it was thought necessary, to invent severat

methods of walking*, in order to avoid treading upon the strings. In brief, every meeting produced an addition or a palinody. Amongst other things they seized on the stone masons arms, § which that good natured company has permitted them to wear to this day, for which reason several of the brethren have turned their aprons in the old fashion, and affect to imitate the operative masons.

*After many years observations on those ingeni, ous methods of walking up to a brother, &c. I con clude, that the first was invented by a man grievously afflicted with the Sciatica. The second by a sailor, much accustomed to the rolling of a ship. And the third by a man, who for recreation or through excess of strong liquors, was wont to dance the drunken Peasant.

The operative masons' are the 30th company in London; they have a Hall in Basinghall-street, the number of livery-men about 70. Admission fine 11. 16s. and livery fine, five pounds. They were originally incorporated in the year 1410, by the name and style of the society of free-masons. And William Hankflow, or Hankstow, Clarencieux King at arms, in the year 1477, granted them their arms, which the modern masons have usurped, as well as that of their title. For the said company is the only society in the kingdom who have a right to the name of free-masons of England. Nor did the accepted masons of old ever claim such a title; all they assumed was that of free and accepted masons; but the present moderns, have been hardy enough to assume the title of free-masons of England, and got their lodge room foisted into Harrison's new history of London, under the name of Free-Masons Hall. But those who admitted Tenducci and Madam D'Eon may do any thing.

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