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Gönderen Konu: The Origins of Freemasonry (Theory)  (Okunma sayısı 2755 defa)

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The Origins of Freemasonry

A Lecture given on 25 August 2000, at the 5th International Conference of Great Priories in The Albert Halls, Stirling, Scotland by Dr Robert Lomas of University of Bradford

 The Origins of Freemasonry
Where Freemasonry Started

Freemasonry, in the form we would recognise today, started at the building of Rosslyn Chapel near Edinburgh.

 How do I know this?

There are three important pieces of evidence which support this statement.

   1. Rosslyn links the Jewish Temple through the Knights Templar to Freemasonry.
   2. The ground plan of Rosslyn is a copy of Herod’s Temple and above ground it replicates the Herodian Architecture of Jerusalem.
   3. Rosslyn contains the oldest document showing a modern First Degree Ceremony being conducted by a Knight Templar.

The Ground Plan

The layout of Rosslyn, which was started in 1440, is an exact replica of the ground plan of the Third Temple, built in Jerusalem by Herod and destroyed in the First Century by the Romans.

 A Stone Document showing the First Degree of Freemasonry

All the carvings in Rosslyn were first cut in wood and produced to the Master of Works for inspection before being cut in stone. This is one of the earliest examples of Quality Control in Britain.

On the lower frame of the window in the South West corner of the Chapel there is a carving which seems to be of a Freemasonic First Degree.

 Is it Just Chance?

John Hamill, the Librarian of the United Grand Lodge of England, has suggested that it may be just co-incidence that this little figure seems to show a link between Templarism and Freemasonry.

The figure shows a man kneeling between two pillars. He is blindfolded and has a running noose about his neck. His feet are in a strange and unnatural posture and in his left hand he holds a bible. The end of the rope about his neck is held by another man who is wearing the mantle of a Knight Templar.

Now for those of you are not familiar with our strange ways of within the craft, when somebody is admitted they are called the Candidate. Men are admitted to men's lodges and women to separate women's lodges. The candidate is dressed in a very odd manner but will only be admitted when properly dressed for the ceremony.

 Who Built Rosslyn?

Rosslyn was built by Sir William St Clair Last St Clair Jarl of Orkney. He was a direct descent of William de St Clair Last Temple Grand Master of Scotland, who died taking the heart of the dead king, Robert de Bruce on a last crusade to Jerusalem.
Sir William, the chapel builder, is also the direct ancestor of First Grand Master Mason of Scotland, also named William St Clair (Sinclair)

 Why did William Build Rosslyn?

To house artifacts brought by the Knights Templar to Scotland in 1126. Between 1118 and 1128 the Templars excavated the ruins of Herod’s Temple in Jerusalem. Hugue de Payen, first Grand Master of the Knights Templar, served on the First Crusade with Henri St Clair, First Earl of Roslin and Hugue visited Roslin in 1126 where he was given land to build the first Templar Preceptory outside the Holy Land.
How do I know about the Templar Excavations?

In 1860 the British Army Engineers mounted an expedition to Jersualem and two Lieutenants ,Wilson and Warren, mapped out the city to Ordnance Survey standards. They excavated beneath Temple Mount and found many deep tunnels in which they also found and recorded Templar artifacts.

 Why Build a Copy of Herod’s Temple?

In 1440 William St Clair was the most powerful man in Scotland.

He decided to build Rosslyn to house the treasures he had inherited from the Templars and establish a seat of spiritual authority to rival James II who was dabbling in English politics and finally got himself killed during the War of the Roses.

William brought in Masons to build Rosslyn and built the town of Roslin to house them.

When James II died (1460) his son, James III, thought William was posing to great a threat to the Crown of Scotland so he stripped William of Orkney and broke up his estates

So now we have visited briefly some of the key events involved in the creation of Freemasonry. There is much more to the story, for example the St Clairs had lands at Kilwinning and were involved with famous Mother Kilwinning Lodge there, but there is not enough time today to tell the full story. So let me finish with a Timeline of the Key events which led to the Formation of the Grand Lodge of Scotland in 1736.

 The Timeline of Freemasonry

1440 Masons given the Mason word by William to preserve the secrets of the Templars he was building Rosslyn to house.

1483 The burgh of Aberdeen is recorded as being involved in settlement of a dispute between six ‘masownys of the lurge’. Masonry is starting to spread out as lodges initiate Candidates and give the the 'Mason Word'

1599 Earliest surviving Lodge Minutes from Edinburgh

1601 James VI made a Mason at Lodge of Scoon and Perth.

1602 William Schaw sets up the modern lodge system in Scotland following the instructions of  James VI

1602 The Lodges of Scotland affirm William St Clair of Roslin as hereditary Grand Master Mason of Scotland from TI

1603 James VI takes Freemasonry to England when he becomes James I of Britain

1641 Sir Robert Moray becomes the first Mason recorded to be made on English Soil.

1715 First Jacobite Rising, lodges begin to disclaim their Scottish roots

1717 Formation of Grand Lodge of London denies Jacobite Heritage

1725 First National Grand Lodge formed in Ireland

1736 Grand Lodge of Scotland Formed as a counter measure to London expansionism.

1736 William St Clair of Roslin made First Grand Master Mason of Scotland and signs away his hereditary rights in favour of elected officers.
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