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men were initiated, and the mysteries of the order held in high estimation.
After Charles I. ascended the throne, earl Pembroke eontinued in his office till the year 1630, when he resigned in favour of Henry Danvers, carl of Danby. This nobleman was succeeded in 1633 by Thomas Howard, earl of Arundel, the ancestor of the Norfolk family. In 1635, Francis Russel, earl of Bedford accepted the government of the society; but Inigo Jones having continued to patronise the lodges during his lordship's administration, he was reelected the following year, and continued in office till the year of his death, 1646. The progress of masonry, how, ever, was for some time obstructed by the breaking out of the civil wars; but it began to revive under the patronage of Charles II. who had been received into the order during his exile. Some lodges,during this reign,were constituted by leave of the several noble grand-masters, and many gentlemen and famous scholars requested at that time to be admitted into the fraternity. On the 27th of December, 1663, a general as. sembly was held, where Henry Jennyn, earl of St. Alban's, was elected grand-master; who appointed Sir John Denham his deputy, and Mr. Christopher Wren, afterwards the celebrated Sir Christopher Wren, and John Webb, hiş wardens. At this assembly several useful regulations were made, for the better government of the lodges; and the greatest harmony prevailed among the whole fraternity. The qarl of St. Alban's was succeeded in his office of grandmaster, by earl Rivers, in the year 1666, when Sir Christopher Wren was appointed deputy, and distinguished himself beyond any of his predecessors in promoting the pros. perity of the lodges which remained at that time, particularly that of St. Paul's, now the lodge of Antiquity, which he patronised upwards of 18 years. At this time he attended the meetings regularly; and during his presidency made a present to the lodge of three mahogany candlesticks, which at that time were very valuable. They are still preserved, and highly valued as a testimony of the esteem of the donor,
The fire which, in 1666, destroyed such a great part of London, afforded aniple opportunity for the masons to exert their abilities. After a calamity so sudden and extensive, however, it became necessary to adopt some regulations to prevent such a catastrophe in time to come. It was now determined, that in all the new buildings to be erected, stone
should be used instead of timber. Wren was ordered by the king and grand-master to draw up the plan of a city with broad and regular streets. Sir Christopher Wren was appointed surveyor-general, and principal architect, for rebuilding the city; the cathedral of St. Paul, and all the parochial churches enacted by parliament, in lieu of those that were destroyed, with other public structures. This gentleman, however, conceiving the charge to be too important for a single person, selected for his assistant Mr. Robert Hook, professor of geometry, in Gresham college. The latter was immediately employed in measuring, adjusting, and setting out the ground of the private streets, to the several proprietors. The model and plan were laid before the king and house of commons, and the practicability of the whole scheme, without any infringement of private property: but unfortunately it happened, that the greater part of the citizens were totally averse to leaving their old habitations, and building houses in other places; and so obstinate were they in their determinations, that they chose rather to have their old city again, under all its disadvantages, than a new one upon the improved plan. Thus an opportunity was lost of making the new city the most magnificent, as well as the most convenient for health and commerce of any in Europe. Hence the architect, being cramped in the execution of his plan, was obliged to alter and abridge it, and to model the city after the manner in which it has since appeared. In 1673, the foundation-stone of the cathedral of St. Paul's, was laid with great solemnity, by the king in person, and the mallet which he used on this occasion, is still preserved in the lodge of antiquity, as a great curiosity.
During the time that the city was rebuilding, lodges were held by the fraternity in different places, and many new orres constituted, to which the best architects resorted. In 1674, carl Rivers resigned the office of grand-master, in favour of George Villiers, duke of Buckingham, who left the care of the fraternity to his wardens, and sir Christopher Wren, who still continued to act as deputy. In 1679, the duke resigned in favour of Henry Bennet, earl of Arlington: but this nobleman was too deeply engaged in state affairs to attend to his duty as a mason, though the lodges continued to meet under his sanction, and many respectable gentlemen joined the fraternity. During the short reign of James II. the masons were much
neglected. In 1685, sir Christopher Wren was elected to the office of grand-master, who appointed Gabriel Cibber and Mr. Edward Strong, his wardens: yet notwithstanding the great reputation and abilities of this celebrated architect, masonry continued in a declining way for many years, and only a few lodges were held occasionally in different parts of the kingdom.
At the revolution, the society was in such a low state in the south of England, that only seven regular lodges were held in London, and its suburbs; and of these only two, viz. that of St. Paul's, and one at St. Thomas's hospital, Southwark, were of any consequence. But in 1695, king William having been initiated into the mysteries, honoured the lodges with his presence, particularly one at Hampton-court, at which he is said to have frequently presided during the time that the new part of his palace was building. Many of the nobility also were present at a general assembly, and feast, held in 1697, particularly Charles, duke of Richmond, and Lenox, who was elected grand-master for that year; but in 1698, resigned his office to sir Christopher Wren, who continued at the head of the fraternity till king William's death, in 1702.
During the reign of queen Anne, masonry made no considerable progress. Sir Christopher's age and infirmi. ties drew off his attention from the duties of his office; the annual festivals were entirely neglected, and the number of masons considerably diminished. It was therefore determined that the privileges of masonry should not be confined to operative masons, but that people of all prosessions should be admitted to participate in them, provided they were regularly approved, and initiated into the order.
Thus the society once more rose into esteem; and on the accession of George I. the masons, now deprived of sir Christopher Wren, resolved to unite again under a grandmaster, and revive the annual festivals. With this view, the members of the only four lodges at that time existing in London, met at the Apple-tree tavern, in Charles-street, Covent Garden; and having voted the oldest master-mason, then present, into the chair, constituted themselves a grand-lodge pro tempore. It was now resolved to renew the quarterly communications among the brethren; and at an annual meeting held on the 24th of June, the same year, Mr. Anthony Sayer was elected grand-master, invested by the oldest master-mason there present, installed by the
master of the oldest lodge, and had due homage paid him by the fraternity. Before this time, a sufficient number of masons, met together within a certain district, had ample power to make masons without a warrant of constitution; but it was now determined, that the privilege of assembling as masons should be vested in certain lodges or assemblies of masons convened in certain places, and that every lodge to be afterwards convened, excepting the four old lodges then existing, should be authorised to act by a warrant from the grand-master for the time, granted by petition from certain individuals, with the consent and approbation of the grand-lodge in communication; and that without such warrant, no lodge should hereafter be deemed regular or constitutional. The former privileges, however, were still allowed to remain to the four old lodges then extant. In consequence of this, the old masons in the metropolis vested all their inherent privileges, as individuals, in the four old lodges, in trust that they never would suffer the ancient charges and land-marks to be infringed. The four old lodges, on their part, agreed to extend their patronage to every new lodge which should hereafter be constituted according to the new regulations of the society; and while they acted in conformity to the ancient constitutions of the order, to admit their masters and wardens to share with them all the privileges of the grand-lodge, that of precedence only excepted.
Matters being thus settled, the brethren of the four old lodges considered their attendance on the future communi. cations of the society as unnecessary; and therefore trust. ed implicitly to their masters and wardens, satisfied that no measure of importance would be adopted without their approbation. It was, however, soon discovered that the new lodges being equally represented with the old ones at the communications, would at length so far outnumber them, that by a majority they might subvert the privileges of the original masons of England which had been centered in the four old lodges; on which account a code of laws was, with the consent of the brethren at large, drawn up for the future government of the society. To this the following was annexed, binding the grand-master for the time being, his successors, and the master of every lodge to be hereafter constituted, to preserve it inviolably: “Every annual grand-lodge has an inherent power and authority to make new regulations, or to alter these for
the real benefit of this ancient fraternity, provided always that the old land-marks be carefully preserved: and that such alterations and new regulations be proposed and agreed to, at the third quarterly communication preceding the annual grand feast; and that they be offered also to the perusal of all the brethren before dinner, in writing, even of the youngest apprentice; the approbation and consent of the majority of all the brethren present being absolutely necessary to make the same binding and obligatory.” TO commemorate this circumstance, it has been customary, ever since that time, for the master of the oldest lodge to attend every grand installation; and, taking precedence of all present, the grand-master only excepted, to deliver the book of the original constitutions to the new installed grand-master, on his promising obedience to the ancient charges and general regulations.
By this precaution, the original constitutions were established as the basis of all succeeding masonic jurisdiction in the south of England; and the ancient land-marks, as they are called, or the boundaries set up as checks against innovation, were carefully secured from the attacks of any future invaders. No great progress, however, was made during the administration of Mr. Sayer, only two lodges being constituted, though several brethren joined the old ones. In 1718, Mr. Sayer was succeeded by Mr. George Payne, who collected many valuable manuscripts on the subject of masonry, and earnestly requested, that the fraternity would bring to the grand-lodge, any old writings or records concerning the fraternity, to show the usages of ancient times: and in consequence of this invitation, several old copies of the Gothic constitutions were produced, arranged, and digested. Another assembly and feast were held on the 24th of June, 1719, when Dr. Desaguliers was unanimously elected grand-master. At this feast the old, regular, and peculiar toasts were introduced; and from this time we may date the rise of free-masonry on its present plan, in the south of England. Many new lodges were established, the old ones visited by many masons who had long neglected the craft, and several noblemen initiated into the mysteries. In 1720, however, the fraternity sustained an irreparable loss by the burning of several valuable manuscripts, concerning the lodges, regulations, charges, secrets, &c. (particularly one written by Mr. Nicholas Stone, the warden under Inigo Jones.) This was