G There are nearly six million Freemasons worldwide. Pictured: the ceiling of Grand Lodge 2 . Introduction G There are over 330.000 Lodges spread throughout England and Wales. G There are nearly 8.000 Freemasons in England and Wales.

Brotherhood – making new friends and permitted in Lodge meetings. acquaintances from all walks of life. Religious or political discussion is not permitted in Lodge meetings 3 . Masonry recognises no distinction Self improvement – making a of religion and emphasises the contribution to your family and society. of some of the reasons given: G Masonry recognises no distinction of religion Achievement – progressing through the and emphasises the duties of citizenship. The following is a sample social and moral improvement. various offices in the Lodge to become Religious or political discussion is not Worshipful Master. both Masonic and non-Masonic. G Masonry supports a wide range of charities. G Masonry offers no monetary advantages.What is Freemasonry? Why become a Freemason? G Masonry consists of a body of men brought People have their own reasons why they together for the sake of mutual intellectual. Charity – being able to contribute to deserving causes. Education – learning from peers and mentors by practising ritual and making short speeches. both Masonic and non-Masonic. Knowledge – finding out about the history and mysteries of Freemasonry. every background and age group. duties of citizenship. enjoy Freemasonry.

Gilbert & Sir Arthur Sullivan Actors and Entertainers G Nat ‘King’ Cole G John Wayne G Edward ‘Duke’ Ellington G William Cody (‘Buffalo Bill’) G Harry Houdini Sportsmen G Peter Sellers G Clive Lloyd G Clark Gable Kings G Arnold Palmer G George VI G Jack Dempsey G Edward VII G ‘Sugar Ray’ Robinson G Edward VIII Scientists Presidents & Prime Ministers G Sir Alexander Fleming G Sir Winston Churchill G Joseph Lister G George Washington G Edward Jenner (smallpox vaccination) Key Historic Figures Writers G Arthur Wellesley (1st Duke of Wellington) G Rudyard Kipling G Henri Dunant (founder of the Red Cross) G Robert Burns G Dr Barnardo G Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 4 .Famous Freemasons through the ages Businessmen Explorers G Andre Citroen G Sir Ernest Shackleton G Henry Ford G Captain Robert Falcon Scott (Scott of the Antarctic) Musicians G Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin (Astronaut) G Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart G Sir William S.

first Grand Lodge on 24 June 1717 at the Goose The honest answers to the questions when. was persecuted in Europe. they developed primitive initiation either directly or indirectly. so the true origins remain a mystery. who escaped to Scotland after the order trades. from the medieval stonemasons – King Solomon’s time. Freemasonry developed. Many historians have otherwise known as Operative Masons – who tried to prove Freemasonry descended from built the great cathedrals and castles. and in common with other Freemasonry developed. amongst historians and G sprang from bands of travelling G these Lodges gradually became meetings researchers that stonemasons acting by Papal authority. Organised Freemasonry. It was formed by the agreement of four London Lodges.A short history of Freemasonry in Britain The origins of Freemasonry are subject to G derived from the shadowy and mysterious scholarly debate. are that we simply do not know. from the medieval stonemasons 5 . Evidence of That said. as we Rosicrucian Brotherhood which may or know it today. G the stonemasons gathered in huts or There is general agreement Other theories include that Freemasonry: Lodges to rest and eat. G evolved from a band of Knights Templar G eventually. and Gridiron Ale House in St Paul’s Churchyard. ceremonies for new apprentices. there is general agreement the movement’s existence prior to 1691 is amongst historians and researchers that sparse. for stonemasons to regulate their craft. the oldest of which was The stonemason theory thought to have existed in 1691. either directly or Freemasonry neither originated nor existed in indirectly. the mysteries of classical Greece or Rome or Those who favour the theory say there were was derived from the religion of the Egyptian three stages to the evolution of Freemasonry: pyramid builders. where and why did Freemasonry originate. began with the founding of the have existed in Europe in the early 1600s.

so far. and build a better world in new site to prove they were properly skilled There is also plenty of evidence that these which men of differing opinions and had been a member of a hut or Lodge. easier to communicate a accepted Masons. gradually no evidence for operative Lodges. or speculative Masons. for a similar stonemasons. but after 1400. that these you were entitled to your wages. no evidence has come to light. Why and what form the ceremony took is unknown. The Lodges no longer had any . Medieval building records have references to stonemason’s Lodges. apart As the 1600s drew to a close. Gentlemen Masons. nature of the operative Lodges. taking them over and turning them into Lodges of free and accepted. operative Lodges began to admit non- after a hundred years. secret word to prove who you were 6 . Lodges began to admit gentlemen as could peacefully co-exist It was. after all..Those who support the indirect As stonemasons were accustomed to This theory is based on information from travelling all over the country and as there Scotland where there is ample evidence of link believe the originators were no trade union cards or certificates of Scottish operative Lodges – geographically of Freemasonry were men apprenticeship.. or that they in any way altered the demonstrate your skills. and work together for the secret word to prove who you were and that There is no evidence.It was easier to communicate a connection with the stonemasons’ craft. than it was betterment of mankind accepted members were other than honorary to spend hours carving a block of stone to masons. they began to adopt a private defined units with the backing of statute law who wished to promote tolerance word which they could use when arriving at a to control what was termed The Mason Trade. there is gentlemen joined the Lodges. It is known that in the early 1600s these Furthermore. more from Masons’ guilds in some towns. They were Accepted or development in England.

records in his diary for 1646 that he 1646 was the ultimate outcome. the principles they were putting forward. was made a Free Mason in a Lodge held for that purpose at his father-in-law’s house in Those who support the indirect link believe Warrington. they borrowed their forms and indirect link between operative stonemasonry symbols from the operative builders’ craft and Freemasonry. Stonemasons’ tools provided them brought into existence by a group of men in with the multiplicity of emblems to illustrate the late 1500s or early 1600s. they used operative stonemasons. allegory and symbolism to pass on their ideas and principles. Those who support the and took their central allegory from The indirect link theorise that Freemasonry was Bible. Men were It is in England that the first evidence of a unable to meet together without differences Lodge completely made up of non-operative of political and religious opinion leading to Masons is found. He records who was present at the the originators of Freemasonry were men meeting: all have been researched and found who wished to promote tolerance and build to have no connection with operative Masonry. Families were split by opposing and founder of the Ashmolean Museum in views and the English Civil War of 1642 to Oxford. a better world in which men of differing opinions could peacefully co-exist and work English evidence through the 1600s points together for the betterment of mankind. the antiquary arguments.Building a better society theory This was a period of great religious and political turmoil and intolerance. to Freemasonry existing separately from any actual or supposed organisation of In the custom of their times. Elias Ashmole. 7 . This lack of evidence for the existence of operative Lodges but evidence for Lodges of As their central idea was the building of a accepted masons has led to the theory of an better society.

Lodge produced a Book of Constitutions From surviving evidence these box clubs are which outlined the rules and regulations known to have begun to admit members not governing Freemasonry. the Grand Lodge These grew out of the convivial gatherings of was an annual feast at which the Grand members of a particular trade during Master and Wardens were elected. Anthony Sayer was elected as the first Grand Master. Freemasonry within a charitable framework. It is possible that Spain and another in India. they fell on hard times they could apply for In 1723. They met in taverns. as the membership grew. a wide spectrum of society into its Lodges. spreading across much of the world (expanding In the 1600s there was no welfare state. so as the British Empire grew). including one in charity on a local scale. 8 . after 1717 and the establishment of the Premier Grand Lodge (as A more recent theory places the origins of it was known). become known as box clubs. Freemasonry grew in popularity. Expansion belonging to their trade and to have had many traits of early Masonic Lodges. rely on friends and the Poor Law for support. It had begun to Freemasonry had its origins in just such a box operate a central charity fund and had attracted club for operative Masons. attracting many anyone falling ill or becoming disabled had to famous and notable personalities. knowing that if Grand Lodge began to be a regulatory body. Initially. But in The Grand Charity offices meetings of which all present would put 1721 other meetings began to be held and money into a communal box. A charitable framework theory Whatever the origins. had simple initiation By 1730 Grand Lodge had more than 100 ceremonies and passwords and practiced Lodges under its jurisdiction. In those days many trades had what have When Grand Lodge was formed in 1717. Grand relief from the box.

Attempts at a union of the two rivals began has been reprinted and gone in the late 1790s but it was not until the through many editions since its Duke of Sussex became the Grand Master of initial publication. Its founders under the Grand Mastership of HRH Prince claimed that the original Grand Lodge had Augustus Frederick. Lodges and was known as the Ancients or Atholl Grand Lodge. in 1723 still apply today 9 . they called themselves the Grand and gone through many editions since its Lodge of the Ancients and dubbed their senior initial publication. Duke of Sussex. The Book of Constitutions Craft and they intended practising Freemasonry “according to the Old Institutions”. The Book of Constitutions has been reprinted Confusingly. but the the Moderns and his brother the Duke of fundamental rules laid down Kent became Grand Master of the Ancients that progress was made. neither The Book of Constitutions regarding the other as regular or each other’s members as regularly-made Masons. United Freemasonry The two rivals existed side by side. the Union of the two rival Grand Constitutions and in 1751.Some London Lodges disagreed with these Eventually. after the third Duke of Atholl who became its first Grand Master. It included many London laid down in 1723 still apply today. a rival Grand Lodge Lodges took place on 27 December 1813. but the fundamental rules rival the Moderns. was formed by disaffected Masons. the sixth departed from the established customs of the son of King George III.

Assistant Grand Master 10 . to act on his behalf when the Grand Master needs to attend to The Grand Master is also assisted by a Deputy his Royal duties. Provincial Grand Lodges (all other areas). and is also Grand Master and an Assistant Grand Master. A number of senior executive officers and selected senior Brethren assist him. of Kent. such Grand Lodges are recognised as regular UGLE is governed by The Grand Master.g. etc. there is also a Pro Grand Master Pro Grand Master is appointed appointed to act on his behalf when the Grand Master needs to attend to his Royal duties. Grand Lodge – e. the country are grouped under either the Some of these overseas Grand Lodges have Metropolitan Grand Lodge of London or descended directly from UGLE. It is based at Freemasons’ Hall. The and English Freemasons are permitted to join Most Worshipful His Royal Highness the Duke in the meetings. Rules and Regulations of depending upon their geographical location. a Royal Family. the Grand Lodge of For administrative purpose. Grand Lodge meets four times a year at what assisted by a Deputy and an are known as Quarterly Communications. The Constitutions. London. Because the Grand Master is a Because the Grand Master is a member of the member of the Royal Family. Lodges which are governed by a defined Great Queen Street. the Grand Lodge of Hungary. The structure of the United Grand Lodge of England The United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) is Lodges Abroad the ruling and governing body of Freemasonry Many countries abroad have Freemasons’ in this country. Lodges around Sweden.

He is responsible members every year and is then officers and seven progressive officers. to Junior and Senior Wardens The Non-Progressive Officers the highest honour within a Lodge – the The Senior Warden sits opposite These offices are usually occupied by members Worshipful Master. each office is subject to the choice be occupied by the same person for a number next Master. each year a Brother would progress They carry a wand as a badge of their office. Warden sits in the South of the Lodge and will Steward normally progress to Senior Warden. He is Lodge officers are recognisable by the jewels the Lodge are qualified to do so. they work together preceding year’s WM. It is the They are also appointed by the Master annually. who are elected. appoint a Mentor to look after new members. for checking that all those who enter installed in to his office. Master is the highest honour a Lodge can Usually. This is the first office held in the Lodge. Although The Immediate Past Master is normally the assist at the dinner following the their roles are different. The Stewards’ main function is to unqualified person enters the Lodge. by assisting the Master in running the Lodge. The Deacons accompany the candidate occupy in a Lodge. to provide continuity and experience. He is in charge suspended from their Lodge collars (these are of the Lodge during his tenure of office and Junior and Senior Deacons illustrated below) and from the positions they acts as its chairman. The collar the Lodge.Officers of the Lodge Inner Guard The Master (Worshipful Master) The Inner Guard sits just inside the The Master is elected by the Lodge In most Lodges there are eleven non-progressive door of the Lodge. of years. role of the Junior Warden to ensure that no except the Treasurer and Tyler. bestow on any of its members. through these offices on a path from Steward. the Master at the West end of who are Past Masters of the Lodge and tend to the Lodge and is usually the However. via the Deacons and Wardens. during the ceremonies of the Three He also normally conducts the ceremonies in The Progressive Officers Degrees in the Lodge. 11 . Some Lodges formally Lodge meeting (the Festive Board). The Junior of the Master for the year. usually Master for one year. Being elected and installed as jewel for both Deacons is identical.

12 . Almoner which are audited before being approved by the Lodge. He produces annual accounts. Director of Ceremonies – DC Chaplain The role of the DC is to organise and All meetings begin and end with oversee the ceremonies held in the prayer and it is the role of the Lodge Lodge and to ensure all other officers Chaplain to lead the members in concerned in any ritual are aware of this part of the meeting. He is also the smooth administration of the trained to assist those who are in financial Lodge. Subscriptions are decided in The Almoner is the Lodge welfare Lodge on the Treasurer’s recommendation. He maintains contact with the Secretary widows of members and with those The Secretary has responsibility for who are ill or indisposed. He therefore has a knowledge of the communication from Grand Lodge variety of resources that exist in time of need. the Grand Lodge of London. Immediate Past Master (IPM) and his Provincial Grand Lodge (if the Lodge Although not actually an office (as is out of London) or from the Metropolitan the position is his by right). immediate left of the Worshipful Master. their roles. conducted with dignity and decorum. officer. He sits on the members of the agenda for the next meeting. It is also part of his The Treasurer is responsible for Lodge responsibilities to see that the ceremonies are finances. He is the main conduit for need. This is usually achieved by Treasurer meticulous rehearsals. IPM is normally the previous He is also responsible for organising and Master and acts as a guide and support to distributing the summons notifying the the Master when needed.

It is usually The three Great Principles undertaken by an experienced member of upon which Freemasonry the Lodge and is an elected office.Charity Steward Organist The role of the Charity Steward is to The Organist’s role is to provide the music for organise the charity collections in the the meetings and ceremonies. professional Masonic organists. Tyler The Tyler guards the outside of the door to the entrance of the Lodge. In some Lodges he has responsibility for the dining arrangements. this instance the Almoner’s Relief and Truth 13 . Assistant Director of Ceremonies – ADC The role of the ADC is to assist and to understudy the Director of Ceremonies in his office. He has responsibility for preparing the candidates Above: a collar with a jewel attached – in is based are Brotherly Love. Most Lodges Lodge and to suggest to the Lodge to do not have a member with the necessary which charities (Masonic or non-Masonic) skills to play the organ and so rely on the members may wish to subscribe. prior to their entering the Lodge. Assistant Secretary The role of the Assistant Secretary is to help and understudy the Secretary.

WM Worshipful Master G white gloves. the Duke of Kent G white shirt. SEC Secretary DC Director of Ceremonies ALM Almoner ChS Charity Steward AsS Assistant Secretary SD Senior Deacon JD Junior Deacon ADC Assistant Director of Ceremonies IG Inner Guard OR Organis ST Steward TY Tyler 14 . His Royal Highness Key Position in Lodge G an appropriate tie. Dress code All Lodges are arranged in a similar manner: The Most Worshipful The dress code in most lodges is similar: see diagram opposite for details. G a dark lounge suit. UGLE is governed by Regalia The Lodge room The Grand Master. GO Grand Officer Aprons SW Senior Warden JW Junior Warden The aprons of Three Degrees in Freemasonry CH Chaplain and London Grand Rank are shown below and TRE Treasurer are attached round the waist of the wearer. IPM Immediate Past Master G black shoes.

AsS SEC TRE Lodge Members and Guests Lodge Members and Guests Entrance TY ChS ALM SD N Lodge Members and Guests Lodge Members and Guests GO GO IG GO SW W E WM JD IPM Tracing Boards CH Lodge Members and Guests S Lodge Members and Guests ST ST ST ST ADC DC JW OR Lodge Members and Guests Lodge Members and Guests er nn Ba 15 .

org. Great Queen Street London WC2B 5AZ Tel: +44 (0) 20 7831 9811 Pictured: the opening of Grand Lodge All pictures © UGLE 2008 and 2009 .ugle. For more information please visit the United Grand Lodge of England website at www.uk or contact: Freemasons’ Hall.