George Oliver.

The revelations of a square; exhibiting a graphic display of the sayings and doings of eminent free and accepted masons, from the revival in 1717 by Dr. Desaguliers, to the reunion in 1813 by Their R. H., the Duke of Kent and Sussex online

. (page 1 of 31)
Online LibraryGeorge OliverThe revelations of a square; exhibiting a graphic display of the sayings and doings of eminent free and accepted masons, from the revival in 1717 by Dr. Desaguliers, to the reunion in 1813 by Their R. H., the Duke of Kent and Sussex → online text (page 1 of 31)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


52Sksi^SG

\
I



LIBRARY



UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA

GIFT OF

MRS. MARY WOLFSOHN

IN MEMORY OF

HENRY WOLFSOHN



THE



REVELATIONS OF A SQUARE;



EXHIBITING A



GKAPHIC DISPLAY OF SAYINGS AND DOINGS



EMINENT FREE AND ACCEPTED MASONS,

FROM THE

REVIVAL IN 1717 BY DR. DESAGULTERS, O THE REUNION IN 1813 BY THEIR
R.H. THE DUKE OF KENT AND SUSSEX.



BY

GEORGE OLIVER, D.D.,

AUTHOR OP "THE HISTORICAL LANDMARKS OF FREEMASONRY, " ETC., PAST

D.G.M. OP THE GRAND LODGE OP MASSACHUSETTS, U. S., PAST

D.P.G.M. OP LINCOLNSHIRE, AND HONORARY MEMBER OP

VARIOUS LODGES IN EVERY QUARTER OP THE GLOBE.



Miscuit utile dulci. HOR.




NEW TOEK:
MASONIC PUBLISHING AND MANUFACTURING CO,,

430 BKOOME STREET.
1866.




PREFACE.



FREEMASONRY, like all other sciences, is a system of
progression. Something more is required to constitute
a bright Mason than a knowledge of the elements of
the Craft. A carpenter may know the names of his
tools, and have acquired some dexterity in their practical
use ; but this will not enable him to build a house, or to
construct a common dressing-case.

If any one is desirous of being a Mason, in the strict
sense of the word, he must make himself acquainted
with something more than words, signs, and tokens.
The three stages of initiation can no more convert a
man into a Mason, than the indenture of an apprentice
can make him a mechanic.

He must read and meditate, study with care and
attention the history and doctrines of the Order, and
attend his Lodge with the utmost regularity, that he
may become familiar with its discipline by actual per-
sonal observation.

There is no Royal road to Freemasonry.

The Gordian knot can be untied by diligence and
application alone, and he who is ambitious to share in
the honours of Masonry, must work his way up the
ladder step by step, with patient assiduity ; and, u for-
getting what is behind, he must press forward toward
the mark" he aims at, and his mental exertions will not
fail of their reward.

The contents of this book will economize the labour
of his researches, by placing before him the gradual
progress of Masonry from small beginnings to its present



iy PREFACE.

extension and prevailing influence in every country ou
the face of the habitable globe. And, which is of still
greater importance, it will make him familiar with the
doctrines and practices, manners and customs of the
Fraternity, and its master minds in times when its
purity had undergone no change.

It will be evident to the most casual observer, that
the information contained in this work could not have
been acquired by the most industrious and persevering
observation of a single life, even though it might be
extended to an extraordinary length, because it consists
principally of private anecdotes, which could only be
known by personal communication with the parties.
And, accordingly, it is the result of an experience ex-
tending over three successive generations.

The facts are these : My lamented father, who died a
few years ago, at the advanced age of ninety-two, was
made a Mason, as I have reason to believe, in the year
1784. He was very methodical in all his transactions ;
and, being a masonic enthusiast, he noted down in a
diary, expressly devoted to that purpose, under a vivid
recollection of the facts, whether they were witnessed
by himself or communicated to him by others, every
event or conversation that struck his fancy as being
either singular, characteristic, or important in the work-
ing of the Craft.

By this process he preserved several interesting con-
versations of our distinguished Brethren in the eighteenth
century, which would otherwise have been irrecoverably
lost. Added to this, he was acquainted, in the early
part of his life, with an intelligent Brother who was
initiated by Dr. Maimingham in 1740, and personally
knew Brothers Desaguliers, Anderson, Martin Clare,
Hutchinson, Calcott, Preston, and all the great lights
of that period. He was, although advanced in years
when my father knew him, full of anecdote ; and having



PREFACE. V

been an attentive observer of passing occurrences, my
father derived a fund of valuable knowledge from his
communications, which he committed to writing as he
received them, and the MS. came into my hands a short
time before his death. It contains many curious parti-
culars, some of which are now made public for the first
time. In fact, I do not believe there is in existence so
good an account of the masonic practice of that century,
as is contained in this manuscript.

For this reason the following pages must not be
accounted fabulous and without authority, because its
contents are communicated through an imaginary medi-
um ; for the author is in possession of authentic vouchers
for every transaction. It is true the language has been
corrected, and in many cases, the dialogue amplified and
extended, but he is not aware that a single event has
either been misrepresented or heightened in colouring
or perspective. They will contain a true picture of the
manners, customs, usages, and ceremonies of successive
periods during the eighteenth century, drawn from the
actual working of Lodges, and enlivened by numerous
anecdotes of the master spirits of the several ages in
they respectively flourished; and, under whose active
and judicious superintendence, Freemasonry reaped vast
improvements, arid attained a high preponderating influ-
ence and merited celebrity.

The book will, therefore, unquestionably prove a
welcome addition to the meagre history of Masonry dur-
ing the same period, which proceeded from the pens of
Anderson, Noorthouck, and Preston, and constitute al-
most the only records to which we can refer for a
knowledge of the very important events that distin-
guished Freemasonry from the revival to the reunion of
the ancient and modern sections.

It will be observed that the author has mentioned
many peculiar usages and customs which the present



VI PREFACE.

system of Masonry does not tolerate; but being charac-
teristic of the period, they will be, notwithstanding, an
acceptable boon to the accumulating stores of masonic
literature. With our present lights, the inexperienced
Mason may be inclined to ridicule the practices of a by-
gone age, and treat its peculiar doctrines as so many
improbable fictions; but he should remember that the
best Masons of the days here referred to had not dipped
so deeply, as we have had the good fortune to do, into
the recondite interpretation of the mysteries which they
transmitted to posterity ; and that, consequently, their
customs and amusements took a tone from the peculiar
constitution of society, and bore a patent resemblance
to those of the numerous clubs and coteries which
occupied the leisure and divided the attention of the
gentlemen of " Merrie England" in the eighteenth cen-
tury.

It will not be an uninteresting recommendation of
this little work, to state that all the books and pam-
phlets, both for and against the Order, and all the
pretended disclosures of our secrets, which were inces-
santly puffed by our opponents, and purchased with
avidity, and read with eagerness by the vast multitude
of cowans, who were desirous of becoming acquainted
with the mysteries of Masonry without the ceremony
of initiation, that were published in England during the
entire century, have been noticed. The author is not
conscious of any omission. He believes that no book or
paper, which possessed the slightest pretensions to pub-
licity, has escaped his researches.

With these brief explanations, the author presents his
work to the Fraternity, in the hope that it may not be
altogether unworthy of their acceptance. It would
probably have never seen the light, had not a portion
of it, some few years ago, appeared in the pages of the
" Freemasons' Quarterly Magazine and Review." And



PREFACE. Vll

it was so generally approved, that many kind, and per-
haps partial, friends expressed an anxious desire to see it
in a perfect form. If it should be found to possess any
degree of interest, the author disclaims all share of the
credit, except for performing the more humble duty of
arranging materials which had been already collected,
and putting them into a readable form. The task was
simple its execution easy ; and if the reader finds as
much pleasure in its perusal as the author has had in its
compilation, he will consider himself amply repaid for
bis labour.

GEO. OLIVER



SCOPWICK VICARAGE.
December 6, 1854.



CONTENTS.



CHAPTER I.
THE REVIVAL. DR. DESAGULIERS. 1717-1722 .... 1

CHAPTER II.
ATTACK AND DEFENCE. DR. ANDERSON. 1722-1740 . ..!;:

CHAPTER III.
PROCESSIONS. MARTIN CLARE, A. M. 1740-1747 ... ^3

CHAPTER IV.
THE SCHISM. DR. MANNINGHAM. 1747-1760 ..... 49

CHAPTER V.

TESTS AND QUALIFICATIONS. ENTICK, HESLETINB, CALCOTT,
HUTCHINSON. 1760-1769 ........... 64

CHAPTER VI.
IT RAINS ! DUNCKERLEY. 1770, 1771 ........ 64

CHAPTER VH.
DISCIPLINE. DR. DODD. 1772-1777 ........ 101



CHAPTER
DISPUTES. WILLIAM PRESTON. 1777-1779 ...... 125

CHAPTER IX.
FIRE ! CAPTAIN G. SMITH. 1779-1785 ....... 146

CHAPTER X.
SECRETS. JOHN NOORTHOUCK. 1785-1790 ...... 1C8

CHAPTER XI.
CHARLATANS. ARTHUR TEGART. 1790-1794 ..... 189

CHAPTER XII.
COWANS. JOHN DENT. 1794-1798 ........ 211



X CONTENTS.

PA

CHAPTER XIII.

BEGGING MASONS. STEPHEN JONES. 1798-1800 .... 232

CHAPTER XIV.
LEGENDS. REV. JETHRO INWOOD. 1800-1803 252

CHAPTER XV.
LADY MASONS. WILLIAM MEYRICK, JOSEPH SHADBOLT.

1803-1810 272

CHAPTER XVI.
THE SCHISM HEALED. DR. HEMMING. 1810-1813 , . . 283



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.

CURIOUS FLOOR CLOTH to face pa ge 82

COMMEMORATION MEDAL . 265

THE MYSTERIOUS MIRROR OP WISDOM , 311




THE

REVELATIONS OF A SQUARE.



CHAPTER I.

THE REVIVAL. DR. DESAGULIERS.

17171722.

"I could a tale unfold." SHAKESPEARE.
' Dost feel a wish to learn this thing of me ?"

TlTANIA.

** Hoc est
" Vivere bis, vita posse priore frui." MARTIAL.

A FRIEND and Brother, who resides in town, knowing
that I am somewhat of a dabbler in antiquities, forwarded
to me, some time ago, an old SILVER SQUARE, which he
told me had the reputation of having been used in one
of the earliest Lodges after the revival of Masonry in
1717. Of course I found it an object of great interest,
and value it accordingly. Although a good deal batter-
ed, the inscription is still distinctly visible. On one limb
of its upper face is the following legend

KEEPE WITHIN COMPASSE ;
and on the other

A\DTE ON YE SQUARE.

At the angle of junction is a rude heart with the letter J
on it. The reverse is blank, with the exception of two
small old English capitals C Ul. at the angle.

The jewel is soon described ; but how am I to pour-
tray my feelings, when, with the instrument lying on the
table before me, I called up the spirits of the dead, and
contemplated scenes of bygone times the working of
Lodges the solemn Labours and convivial Refreshments



2 THE REVELATIONS OF A SQUARE.

which this small token had witnessed the racy jest and
sparkling wit which set the table on a roar, after the
hours of business were past. This was the age when the
facetious Doctor Sheridan reduced punning to a system,
arid it was practised by rule and compass : and, therefore,
we may readily believe that the Lodges had their share
of it. "0!" I exclaimed aloud, " if this square could
speak, what interesting scenes it might reveal, and how
it would enlighten us about the doings of Freemasonry
at the time of its revival !"

I had been sitting late one evening in contemplation of
the scenes which took place in the palmy days of Mason-
ry, when Desaguliers, Payne, Anderson, Lamb.aH, Mor-
rice, Timson, and their ^compeers were at the helm of
affairs. A dull and dreamy sensation came over me, and I
saw, or fancied I saw, the Square, which had just been re-
posing motionless before me, raise itself up, with great
solemnity, on the exterior points of its two limbs, which
seemed to assume the form of legs. Body it had none,
but the heart, which was delineated at the angle, put
forth two eyes, a snub nose, and a mouth a sort of am-
plification of the letter J. I could trace the features
distinctly, as we see the figure of a human face in the
tire on a winter's night.

While I was considering what all this could mean, I
heard a small thin voice pronounce my name. To say I
was merely surprised at this unexpected phenomenon,
would be too tame an expression I was utterly aston-
ished and confounded. I rubbed my eyes and looked
round the room. Everything appeared exactly as usual
no change could I perceive ; the fire burned brightly ;
the books covered the walls ; the candles cast their
usual light ; and the ticking of the spring clock over
my head preserved its usual monotony. I began to fancy
I had been mistaken, when my name was again uttered
by the same unearthly voice, and there stood the little
fellow, as if determined to indulge in some demoniacal
soliloquy to which I was constrained to listen. At
length it communicated its intention by saying ' Attend
to me, and I will realize all your wishes, by enlightening
you on the subject of your meditations, and giving you
the benefit of my experience ; but first let me caution
you not to utter a single syllable, for if you do the charm



THE REVELATIONS OF A SQUARE. 3

will be broken ; the sound of the human voice silences
me for ever.

" I was originally the property of a Brother whose
extensive genius has invested his name with immortality
Sir Christopher Wren, Grand Master of Masonry at the
latter end of the seventeenth century, which fell into
desuetude -when King George I. had the impolicy to
supersede this great man in favour of Bro. W. Benson,
and so disgusted him with the world, that he declined
all public assemblies, and amongst the rest, relinquished
his connection with Freemasonry. The Craft refused to
meet, or hold any communication with the new Grand
Master, and Masonry languished for several years, till it
was supposed to be extinct ; and Dr. Plot exulted in the
idea that he had given it its death-blow by some ill-
natured animadversions in the History of Staffordshire. 1

"In the year 1712, a person of the name of Simeon
Townsend published a pamphlet, which he entitled,
1 Observations and Enquiries relating to the brotherhood
of the Freemasons ;' and a few others had been issued on
the decline of the Order, as if triumphing in its fall. 2
About this time, Dr. Desaguliers, a Fellow of the Eoyal
Society, and Professor of Philosophy, was gradually rising
into eminence. In the course of his scientific researches,
the above works fell into his hands. He did not find

1 " The Natural History of Staffordshire," by Kobert Plot, Oxford,
1686. In this attack on the Order, the Doctor says, very illogically,
that " one of their articles is to support a Brother till work can be
had;" and another is " to advise the Masters they work for, accord-
ing to the best of their skill, acquainting them with the goodness or
badness of the material, &c., that Masonry be not dishonoured; and
many such like." He then concludes by saying, that " some others
they have that none know but themselves, which I have reason to
suspect are much worse than these ; perhaps as bad as the history of
the Craft itself, than which there is nothing I ever met with more
false or incoherent." See the entire argument in the Gold. Hem.,
Tol. iii., p. 37..

2 These were "A short Analysis of the Unchanged Rites and
Ceremonies of Freemasons :" London, Stephen Dilly, 1676. " The
Paradoxal Discourses of Franc. Mercur van Helmont, concerning the
Macrocosm and Microcosm, or the Greater and Lesser World, and
their Union; set down in Writing by J. B., and now published:"
London, Freeman 1 ,- 1685. " A Short Charge," O.D.A.A.M.F.M.R.O. :
1694. " The Secret History of Clubs, particularly of the Golden
Fleece ; with their Original, and the Characters of the most noted
Members thereof." London, 1709.



4 THE REVELATIONS OF A SQUARE.

them very complimentary to the Fraternity, but they
excited his curiosity, and he was made a Mason in the
old Lodge at the Goose and Gridiron in St. Paul's
Churchyard, and subsequently removed by him to the
Queen's Arms Tavern in the same locality, where the
Grand Lodges were afterwards very frequently held. 3
The peculiar principles of the Craft struck him as being
eminently calculated to contribute to the benefit of the
community at large, if they could be re-directed into the
channel from which they had been diverted by the
retirement of Sir Christopher Wren. Dr. Desaguliers
paid a visit to this veteran Freemason, for the purpose of
consulting him on the subject. The conversation of the
Past Grand Master excited his enthusiasm, for he expa-
tiated with great animation on the beauties of the Order
and the unhappy prostration which had recently befallen
it. From this moment, the doctor determined to make
some efforts to revive Freemasonry, and restore it to its
primitive importance.

" You may perhaps be inclined to inquire," said the
Square, very naively, " how I became acquainted with
these facts, as I was then quietly reposing in the drawer
of a cabinet along with Sir Christopher's collection of
curiosities. The truth is, that the venerable old gentle-
man had taken a liking to Dr. Desaguliers, and presented
me to him with the rest of his Masonic regalia. From
henceforth I was privy to all the doctor's plans; and
as he soon rose to the chair of his Lodge, I had the advan-
tage of hearing almost every conversation he had with
his Masonic friends on the subject nearest to his heart,
which generally occurred in the Lodge, with your
humble servant at his breast suspended from a white
ribbon. Every plan was carefully arranged, and the
details subjected to the most critical supervision before
it was carried into execution; and by this judicious pro-
cess, his schemes were generally successful. Thus,
having been in active operation from a period anterior to
the revival of Masonry, I have witnessed many scenes
which it may be both amusing and instructive to record,
as the good may prove an example worthy of imitation,
and the evil, should there be any, may act as a beacon to

3 It is now called the Lodge of Antiquity.



THE REVELATIONS OF A SQUARE. 5

warn the unwary Brother to avoid the quicksands of
error which will impede his progress to Masonic
perfection.

"Bro. Desaguliers having intimated his intention of
renovating the Order, soon found himself supported by
a party of active and zealous Brothers, whose names
merit preservation. They were Sayer, Payne, Lamball,
Elliott, Gofton, Cord well, De Noyer, Vraden, King,
Morrice, Calvert, Ware, Lumley, and Madden. These
included the Masters and Wardens of the four existing
Lodges at the Goose and Gridiron, the Crown, the Apple-
tree, and the Rummer and Grapes ; and they succeeded
in forming themselves into a Grand Lodge, and resumed
the quarterly Communications, which had been discon-
tinued for many years ; and having thus replanted the
tree, it soon extended its stately branches to every quarter
of the globe.

" There was no code of laws in existence at the period
to regulate the internal economy of the Lodges except a
few brief By-laws of their own, which, in fact, were
little more than a dead letter, for the Brethren acted
pretty much as their own judgment dictated. Any
number of Masons, not less than ten, that is to say, the
Master, two Wardens, and seven Fellow Crafts, with the
consent of the magistrate, were empowered to meet, and
perform all the rites and ceremonies of Masonry, with no
other authority than the privilege which was inherent in
themselves, and had ever remained unquestioned. They
assembled at their option, and opened their Lodges on
the highest of hills or in the lowest of valleys, in com-
memoration of the same custom adopted by the early
Christians, who held their private assemblies in similar
places during the ten great persecutions which threatened
to exterminate them from the face of the earth.

" But as this privilege led to many irregularities,"
continued my companion, " and was likely to afford a
pretext for unconstitutional practices, it was resolved
that every Lodge tt> be hereafter convened, except the
four old Lodges at thie time existing, should be legally
authorized to act by a warrant from the Grand Master
for the time being, granted to certain individuals on
petition, with the consent and approbation of the Grand
Lodge in Communication ; and that without such warrant



6 , THE REVELATIONS OF A SQUARE.

no Lodge should be hereafter deemed regular or consti-
tutional. And a few years later Bro. Desaguliers pro-
posed in Grand Lodge that a code of laws should be
drawn up for the better government of the Craft.

Accordingly, at the annual assembly on St. John's day,
1721, he produced thirty-eight regulations, which passed
without a dissentient voice in the most numerous Grand
Lodge which had yet been seen, conditionally, that every
annual Grand Lodge shall have 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 landmarks be carefully preserved, and that
such alterations and new regulations be proposed and
agreed to at the 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 absolute-
ly necessary to make the same binding and obligatory
These constitutions were signed by Philip, Duke of Whar-
ton, G.M., Theophilus Desaguliers, M.D. and F.R.S., the
Deputy Grand Master, with the rest of the Grand Officers
and the Masters and Wardens, as well as x many other
Brethren then present, to the number of more than a
hundred.

" The convivialities of Masonry were regulated by the
ancient Gothic charges, which directed the Brethren to
enjoy themselves with decent mirth, treating one another
according to their ability, but avoiding all excess, not
forcing any Brother to eat or drink beyond his inclina
tion, according to the old regulation of King Ahasuerus
not hindering him from going home when he pleases,
&c. : you remember the charge ?" 4

I nodded acquiescence. The Square took the alarm,
and hastily said " Do not forget our compact ; if you
speak, my revelations are at an end. To proceed :

" I can testify to the convivial propensities of the
Brethren of that day. Dermott did not libel them when

4 In the year 1755, the Earl of Caernarvon being G. M., it was or
dered that no Brother, for the future, shall smoke tobacco in the Grand
Lodge, either at the Quarterly Communication or the Committee of
Charity, till the Lodges shall be closed. In private Lodges it was a
constant practice.



THE REVELATIONS OF A SQUARE. 7

he said, 'Some of the young Brethren made it appear
that a good knife and fork, in the hands of a dexterous
Brother, over proper materials, would sometimes give
greater satisfaction, and add more to the conviviality of
the Lodge, than the best scale and compass in Europe.'

" Bro. Desaguliers was elevated to the throne of the
Grand Lodge in 1719, and proclaimed Grand Master on
the day of St. John the Baptist. He effected great im-
provements in the Order during his year of office ; and
yet all the record which he thought proper to make of his
Grand Mastership was, that being duly installed, con-
gratulated, and homaged, he revived the old peculiar
toasts or healths drank by Freemasons;' 5 and it was agreed
that when a new Grand Master is appointed, his health
shall be toasted as Grand Master elect. Bro. Desaguliers
was peculiarly active in the improvement and dissemina-
tion of Masonry at its revival, and, therefore, merits the
respectful and affectionate remembrance of the Frater-
nity. He devoted much of his time to promote its best
interests ; and being the Master of several Lodges, I had
a fair quantity of experience in a small space of time, and
I can confidently affirm, that though the public records
of Masonry say so little of the acts of this worthy Brother,
there were many traits in his character that redound to
his immortal praise. He was a grave man in private life,
almost approaching to austerity ; but he could relax in
the private recesses of a Tyled Lodge, and in company
with Brothers and Fellows, where the ties of social in-
tercourse are not particularly stringent. He considered



Online LibraryGeorge OliverThe revelations of a square; exhibiting a graphic display of the sayings and doings of eminent free and accepted masons, from the revival in 1717 by Dr. Desaguliers, to the reunion in 1813 by Their R. H., the Duke of Kent and Sussex → online text (page 1 of 31)