The Origins of Freemasonry: Scotland's Century, 1590 to 1710 by David Stevenson

By David Stevenson

This publication is a brand new version of David Stevenson's vintage account of the origins of Freemasonry, a brotherhood of guys certain jointly through mystery projects, rituals and modes of identity with beliefs of fraternity, equality, toleration and cause. starting in Britain, Freemasonry swept throughout Europe within the mid-eighteenth century in surprising fashion--yet its origins are nonetheless hotly debated this day. the present assumption has been that it emerged in England round 1700, yet David Stevenson demonstrates that the true origins of recent Freemasonry lie in Scotland round 1600, while the method of resorts used to be created through stonemasons with rituals and secrets and techniques mixing medieval mythology with Renaissance and seventeenth-century background. This attention-grabbing paintings of historic detection might be crucial interpreting for someone attracted to Renaissance and seventeenth-century historical past, for freemasons themselves, and for these readers captivated by means of the key societies on the center of the bestselling The Da Vinci Code. David Stevenson is Emeritus Professor of Scottish heritage on the collage of St. Andrews. His many prior courses comprise The Scottish Revolution, 1637-1644; Revolution and Counter-Revolution in Scotland, 1644-1651; and the 1st Freemasons; Scotland, Early motels and their participants. His most up-to-date booklet is the the quest for Rob Roy (2004). past variation Hb (1988) 0-521-35326-2 prior version Pb (1990) 0-521-39654-9

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3, the Devonshire and the Sloane 3848 Mss. I am most grateful to Professor Wallace McLeod for information on the dates of these early versions of the Old Charges. The Medieval contribution 23 mason craft from others. But in spite of this the Charges do not mean that the masons can be regarded as qualitatively different from other crafts; there is little in the Old Charges that cannot be paralleled in the legendary histories proudly maintained by many trades 17 (though static crafts had no need of the sorts of assemblies the masons claimed to have held for ages past).

It could be a building, anything from a rough lean-to to a permanent structure, used for any or all of a variety of purposes from carving stone to sleeping, it was a social and working group, and it could develop into an institution with its own customs or rules. Lodges attached to specific buildings gave the mason trade one type of organisation its particular circumstances required. But there was a need for more. Like all other craftsmen the masons were exclusive in their attitudes. They wanted to limit entry to the trade to men who had been properly trained in its 'mysteries', its skills and techniques.

Sometimes a particular job would involve only a few days' or a few weeks' work; others would take years or even the whole of a working life, requiring permanent settlement close by, or seasonal migration with the mason leaving his family for the spring and summer. All this meant that the needs of the mason in terms of organisation and relations with his fellows were rather different from those of most other craftsmen. The typical form of craft organisation to emerge was the town craft guild. The guild had several overlapping functions.

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