The origins of Freemasonry are shrouded in mystery, but the concensus amongst scholars is that our organization descends to some extent from the operative stonemasons of the middle ages – the Cathedral builders.
The first recorded initiation of a speculative mason was that of Elias Ashmole in 1646, though there must of necessity have been non-operative Lodges in existence at that point. There are further records from the latter half of the 17th century of ‘gentlemen being made masons’.
On 24th June 1717 four established London Lodges came together at the Goose and Gridiron Tavern in St Paul’s Churchyard, and declared themselves a Grand Lodge, electing Anthony Sayer as their first Grand Master. This was the first Grand Lodge in the world, and it is the Tercentenary of this date that we are celebrating .
Freemasonry, and the world, has changed enormously over those 300 years, and countless momentous events have taken place – however, our Fraternity enters its fourth century with optimism and confidence that the three Grand Principles on which our Order is founded will continue to inspire us, and ‘prove to the world the happy and beneficial effects of our Ancient Institution’.
UGLE : www.ugle.org.uk
Tercentenary Jewel : www.toyekenningandspencer.co.uk/shop
Grand Ball : www.thegrandball.uk