Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Chivalric Orders

The Chivalric Orders are a set of three Orders culminating in the grade of Knight Templar, and controlled by that body. This body is markedly different from its foreign counterparts, in that it exhibits a paramilitary structure and outlook on Masonry, being the only branch of Masonry in the world that is a uniformed body. Its requirement that its members be professed Christians has led to calls of condemnation from other Masonic bodies and organizations both inside and outside the United States, claiming that the body is more of a Christian organization rather than a Masonic body. These have had little effect on the body, however, as many of the organizations criticizing the body have similar degrees among themselves. The American body is also arranged different from its nearest relatives in England. The American body includes the Illustrious Order of the Red Cross, which is not conferred in any other organization, though it has very close cousins in the Irish and American Order of Knight Masons and in the English Allied Masonic Degrees grade of the Red Cross of Babylon. Also, in the United States, the Order of Malta is conferred on members before being eligible to receive the Order of the Temple, whereas in England, the Order of Malta is an honorary grade bestowed on Knights Templar. In the United States, all business is transacted in the Order of the Temple, the other bodies only being opened for the conferral of the Orders. In England, the Order of Malta meets and operates as a separate body in addition to the Order of the Temple.

Illustrious Order of the Red Cross

An Order emphasizing the lesson of truth. Elements of this Order were practiced in Ancient Lodges before the final form of the Master Mason Degree came into use. It is still practiced in the full ceremonial form by the Knight Masons of Ireland and the Knight Masons of the United States, and as the Red Cross of Babylon in the English Order of the Allied Masonic Degrees.

Order of Malta

An Order emphasizing the lesson of faith. This Order requires the Mason to profess and practice the Christian faith. The pass degree of the Mediterranean Pass, or Knight of St. Paul prepares the candidate for the Order by introducing the lesson and example of the unfearing and faithful martyr of Christianity. The Order is centered on allegorical elements of the Knights of Malta, inheritors of the medieval Knights Hospitaller.

Order of the Temple

An Order emphasizing the lessons of self-sacrifice and reverence. It is meant to rekindle the spirit of the medieval Knights Templar devotion and self-sacrifice to Christianity. The history of the Masonic Order is long and convoluted, with the Order's ritual differing between that conferred in England and in the United States. That practiced in the United States has a slight militant zeal to the lesson of Christianity, whereas the English ritual is more allegorical. However, the American ritual is most impressive, and more emphasis is placed on the solemnity and reverence associated with the Crucifixion, Resurrection, and Ascension of Christ. The presiding body is a Commandery, and the presiding officer is a Commander (titled Eminent).

The Cryptic Degrees

The Cryptic Degrees are a set of three degrees controlled by the Select Masters Council. The degrees get their name from the reference to a hidden or secret vault in the degrees, hence the term Cryptic. Only the first two degrees are regularly worked, the third degree, that of Super Excellent Master, is worked as an honorary degree, not being required as a requisite for membership in the Council. It is also somewhat peculiar in its association with the Cryptic degrees, as it is more closely allied in theme and character with the Royal Arch and the Illustrious Order of the Red Cross. The history of the body as a whole is also shrouded in uncertainty and controversy. Though there is early evidence of Councils of Royal and Select Masters being worked in the United States, the degrees were worked variously by their own Councils, Royal Arch Chapters, and even Lodges of Perfection of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. Though the Scottish Rite has long relinquished any claim to these degrees, several Grand Jurisdictions (VA & WVA) still confer them as a part of Capitular Masonry. In England, the degree of Most Excellent Master is grouped with this body. In the United States, all business is conducted in the Select Masters Council, the other two bodies only being opened for the conferral of degrees. Some jurisdictions hold "table councils" in similar manner to "table lodges" as a social focal point of their local York Rite bodies.



Royal Master

A Degree emphasizing the lessons of patience and fortitude. The Degree centers around the Fellowcraft Masons who were artificers fabricating the fittings and furniture of the Temple. It is unusual in that the first part of the Degree depicts events taking place before the death of the Grand Master Hiram Abif, and the last part depicts events occurring after his death.


Select Master

A Degree emphasizing the lessons of devotion and zeal. The Degree centers on the construction and furnishing of a Secret Vault beneath the Sanctum Sanctorum of the Temple, and the deposition of those secrets pertaining to the Craft by the three ancient Grand Masters of the Craft. This Degree bridges the events surrounding the concealment and loss of the Ineffable Word and the events leading to the recover of the Word in the Royal Arch Degree. The presiding body is a Council, and the presiding officer is a Master (titled Illustrious).

Super Excellent Master

A Degree emphasizing the lessons of loyalty and faithfulness. The Degree centers around the events leading to the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple at the hands of the Chaldeans. The Degree is narrated by small interludes of biblical prophecy that highlight the end of the first Temple and the construction of the second Temple. It is noteworthy for its scenes of the Jewish court of Zedekiah and the Chaldean court of Nebuchadnezzar. This degree is an honorary one, and a member of the Council not needing to have it in order to hold membership or office.

The Capitular Degrees

The Capitular Degrees are a set of four degrees controlled by the Royal Arch Chapter. They center on the construction phases of Solomon's Temple, with the exception of the degree of Past Master, hence the title of Capitular. The degree of Past Master is the vestigial remnant of the former custom that the degree of the Royal Arch could only be conferred on a Past Master of a Symbolic Blue Lodge. In the United States, these degrees are considered as proprietary to the Royal Arch, while in England there is no Past Master degree as found here, and the Mark Master degree is controlled by its own Grand Lodge. The Most Excellent Master degree is also part of the Cryptic Degree in England. As stated in the forward, the Royal Arch overseas is controlled by Chapters attached to English Blue Lodges. The Royal Arch Chapters have occasionally been referred to as the "Red lodge" in older Masonic publications, though they should more accurately be described as the "Red degrees." In the United States, all Chapter business is conducted in a Royal Arch Chapter, the other bodies being only opened for the conferral of degrees. Some jurisdictions open Mark Master Lodges as "table lodges," which act as a social focus for the local York Rite bodies.

Mark Master

A Degree that emphasizes the lessons of regularity, discipline, and integrity. It is a most impressive Degree centered on the story of the Fellowcraft of the quarry and their role in the building of the Temple. Its importance in English Craft Masonry can be judged by the fact that it operates as a separate Grand Lodge, and is highly sought by members of the Craft in that jurisdiction.

Past Master (Virtual)

A Degree that emphasizes the lesson of harmony. This Degree is conferred because ancient custom required that a Mason must be a Past Master in order to be exalted to the Royal Arch. In some Grand Jurisdictions this Degree is conferred upon all sitting Masters of the Blue Lodge. The Degree confers no actual rank upon the recipient, but is exemplified to maintain the ancient custom.

Most Excellent Master

A Degree that emphasizes the lesson of reverence. This Degree is centered on the dedication of the Temple after its completion, particularly the consecration of the Sanctum Sanctorum and the descent of the Host into the Temple. It is complimentary to the Mark Master Degree and completes the symbolic lessons introduced in that Degree.

The Royal Arch

The completion of the Master Mason Degree and the summit of the original Degrees of the Blue Lodge as practiced in the Antients Lodges of England before 1820. The Degree explains the origins of the Substitute Word found in the Master Mason Degree, the recovery of the Ineffable Word, and its concealment within the Royal Arch Word. This Degree, together with the Master Mason Degree, may have once been exemplified as one large or "super" Degree, with the Master Mason Degree explaining the loss of the Master's Word and the Royal Arch explaining the recovery of the Master's Word. The presiding body is a Chapter, and the presiding officer is a High Priest (titled Excellent).

The Degrees of the York Rite

In addition to my post on the basic description of York Rite Freemasonry, here is information on each individual degree within the 3 separate bodies.

The York Rite, or more correctly, the American Rite, is based on the early remnants of Craft Masonry that were practiced in the early 1700's. The formation of the first Grand Lodge of England in 1717 specified that the lodges were to confer only the degrees of Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft, and Master Mason, all other degrees being considered spurious. However, many lodges had been conferring other degrees that they considered an integral part of Masonry, in particular that of the Royal Arch, and formed their own Grand Lodge in 1751, terming themselves the "Antients" and the other Grand Lodge members the "Moderns." With the merger of the two Grand Lodges in 1813 into the United Grand Lodge of England, the lodges agreed that only the three accepted degrees of Masonry would be used by the lodges, but the degree of the Royal Arch would be attached to Chapters allied directly to these lodges and bearing the same number as the lodge, though as a separate body. Thus, unlike the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, which claims to hold the power of conferring the first three degrees of Masonry in addition to those under its jurisdiction, those found in the York Rite have rightfully acknowledged the fact that they are considered appendant to those of Ancient Craft Masonry. It is still the practice in English Masonry that a Masonic member is not considered to be in possession of all the degrees of Ancient Craft Masonry until he has been exalted to the Royal Arch.

Early American Lodges operated in a similar manner until the establishment of the General Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons. For a period in US history, the Cryptic degrees were controlled by various state Grand Chapter jurisdictions, until the establishment of the General Grand Council. The Chivalric Orders have been controlled by the Grand Encampment since the early 19th century in the United States. All three bodies are technically autonomous Masonic entities, only the requirement of membership in the Royal Arch connecting the Cryptic degrees and Chivalric Orders together.

Appendant to the York Rite Bodies are several additional Masonic bodies, most of which are invitational in nature. Membership in many of them is predicated on membership in the Royal Arch, though some have memberships predicated on other bodies of the York Rite, or membership in all of the York Rite bodies. Many are found in other jurisdictions outside of the United States, but several are uniquely American in their origin.

The Invitational and Honorary Bodies of the York Rite

A treasure trove of information on the York Rite can be found at the website www.yorkrite.org

Many are unaware of the several invitational, honorary bodies that branch from the York Rite. Below is a list, with description, of the various groups:

Allied Masonic Degrees

The Allied Masonic Degrees are an invitational organization, and requires membership in the Royal Arch as well as the Symbolic Lodge. Membership is limited to 27 members per council.

Be it remembered that on August 5, 1933, this Grand Council took as its date of formation January 14, 1892, since this date was the beginning of the Allied Masonic Degrees in America with the formation of the Sovereign College of Allied Masonic and Christian Degrees at Richmond, Virginia, that on April 16, 1932, the subsequent establishment of a Grand Council of Allied Masonic Degrees of the United States of America occurred in Salisbury, North Carolina, and that the union of the two bodies was drawn up and entered into July 18, 1933, and was ratified by the North Carolina Grand Council August 5, 1933 and was ratified by the Sovereign College at Norway, Maine August 24, 1933, and became effective as of September 7, 1933.

The Allied Masonic Degrees are detached degrees some of which, many years ago, were conferred under Craft warrants and formed part of the then loosely governed Freemasonry of the period.

Many of these detached degrees became dormant in some places, although in others they were conferred as side degrees. In time, the better of these degrees were grouped together in an organized body under the title of Allied Masonic Degrees. The degrees comprising the system in our Jurisdiction in the U.S.A. are the Royal Ark Mariner, Secret Monitor, Knight of Constantinople, Saint Lawrence the Martyr, Architect, Superintendent, Grand Tilers of Solomon, Master of Tyre, Excellent Master, Installed Sovereign Master, Installed Commander Noah, Red Branch of Eri and Ye Ancient Order of Corks. They are conferred in the United States in Councils chartered by the Grand Council. Each Council is limited to twenty seven members, with two exceptions. One of these Councils is known as the Council of the Nine Muses and is limited to nine members. The other is Grand Masters Council, which has what is known as a roving charter. The purpose of the latter Council is to provide a place of membership in the Allied Masonic Degrees for brethren residing in localities where Councils have not been organized. Membership in every Council of Allied Masonic Degrees is by invitation, and is predicated on membership in the Royal Arch Chapter.

Knight Masons

The Knight Mason Degrees have their origins to the earliest records of Masonry, in fact there is some indication that the Knight Mason Degrees may have been developed even before the degree of Master Mason!

There are three degrees - Knight of the Sword, Knight of the East, and Knight of the East and West. These "Green" degrees are ancient and are in essence "Old Testament."

Until the mid-Nineteenth Century they were worked in Ireland under the auspices of the Royal Arch Chapters and later the Commandery Preceptories.

Sovereign Rite Sovereign College

The York Rite Sovereign College of North America exists primarily to be of service to the York Rite of Freemasonry. Constituent colleges must declare fealty to the Grand Lodge of their respective jurisdictions. The pre-requisite for membership, which is by invitation only, is good-standing in all four York Rite bodies: Lodge, Chapter, Council and Commandery or Preceptory (Canada.)

Membership in a College is by invitation, and is restricted to those who hold membership in all of the other York Rite bodies. Since the primary object of every College is to foster a spirit of service and to promote and support the York Rite in every way possible, it is no surprise to find many of the leaders of the Craft numbered among its ranks. Here they find a common ground from which the can act for the welfare of all York Rite bodies without special favor to any. Colleges have been active in the organization of York Rite Festivals, degree teams, drill corps, and many other functions which serve to assist, coordinate, and unify the Rite.

The Order of the Purple Cross of York, the highest honor of the College, is conferred upon those members of the College who have distinguished themselves by their service to humanity or to the Rite, The recipients are designated Associate Regents of the Sovereign College, and from their ranks are chosen the Regents or active members of that body.

Royal Order of Scotland

The Royal Order comprises two Degrees, that of Heredom of Kilwinning and that of the Rosy Cross. Tradition tells us that the former was established in Judea, in Palestine, but whether at the time of the Crusaders of much earlier origin, tradition is silent.

Each applicant MUST BE INVITED, MUST HAVE BEEN A MASTER MASON FOR MORE THAN FIVE YEARS and MUST BE A TRINITARIAN CHRISTIAN BY FAITH. He further should hold the 32nd degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, although this may be waived if the Petitioner is a Knight Templar. We require that all applicants must be entitled to honor in Freemasonry because of services performed for the Craft, the Church, or the Public.

Holy Royal Arch Knights Templar Priest

The Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priests is an honorary and invitational organization with membership limitations and cannot be applied for. Members are selected and extended invitations on the basis of outstanding performance as a Commander of a Commandery of Knights Templar. The order has historic roots in England that trace back to 1786, with references back to 1686, the traditional year of revival. The "Priestly Order" was referred to within the ceremonies of "The High Knights Templar" in Ireland in 1755. There are records of the conferral of this Order in the United States during the 1800's but the authority is unknown. The Grand College of America, Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priests was formed in the United States in 1931. The limit of Regular Members in a Tabernacle is 33. The number of Tabernacles in a state is dependent on the number of active Commanderies in each state.

Red Cross of Constantine

The Red Cross of Constantine is officially The Masonic and Military Order of the Red Cross of Constantine and the Orders of the Holy Sepulchre and St. John the Evangelist, the latter two of which are called the Appendant Orders. There are also two chair degrees conferred on the Viceroy and Sovereign of a Conclave, and two honorary orders: Knight Commander of Constantine and Knight Grand Cross. The governing body of the Order for the United States of America, the Republic of Mexico and the Republic of the Philippines and their territories is styled The United Grand Imperial Council of Knights of the Red Cross of Constantine and Appendant Orders for the United States of America, Mexico and the Philippines.

The purpose of the Constantinian Orders are to commemorate the first elevation of Christianity from the position of a despised and proscribed heresy to that of a legally recognized and honored religion, to cultivate the social virtues, appeal to the intellectual and moral qualities, preserve as far as possible the customs of the fraternity and bring about good fellowship and understanding between all branches of Masonry.

Knights Companions of the Order meet in Conclaves of the Red Cross of Constantine and a member must be a Royal Arch Mason in good standing and subscribe to a belief in the Christian religion as revealed in the New Testament. Membership is by invitation and each Conclave has a prescribed membership limit.

Societas Rosicruciana in Civitatibus Foederatis (Rosicrucian Society)

Membership is by invitation only & predicated on regular mainstream Masonic affiliation as well as a profession of Christian faith. Membership was initially restricted to 36 members per College, but this was changed in 1908 by MW Thomas Shryock to 72 members per college. The See of the High Council is in Washington, D.C. The SRICF is in amity with the SRIS (Scotia) and the SRIA (Anglia) as well as the SRIC (Canada) and has helped the cause of Rosicruciana by empowering High Councils in their own sovereignty around the World. They are: the SRIL in Lusitania (Portugal), SRIG in Gallia (France) & the SRIR (Romania).

Grand College of Rites

Established on May 12, 1932 - The Grand College of Rites is a "regular" Masonic body, dedicated to preserving the history and rituals of defunct and inactive Masonic orders.

Any Master Mason holding membership and in good standing in a regular symbolic Lodge recognized by a majority of the Grand Lodges of Freemasonry in the United States may petition for membership in the Grand College of Rites.

Rectified Scottish Rite

The R.E.R. is a strictly Christian Order, and as such the requirements are to be a practicing Christian. There are ritualistic requirements which cannot be assumed by non-Christians. Further one needs to be a Knight Templar and a member of a Symbolic Lodge in fraternal accord with a Grand Lodge recognized by most of the members of the Conference of Grand Masters of North America. This requirement is automatically met by any Knight Templar belonging to a Commandery of Knights Templar here in the United States.

The work of the R.E.R. will be done in full form and follow along the lines intended by those who established these degrees. An initiate will remain in a Lodge of St. Andrew for at least 3 years before being advanced as a Squire Novice, and another 3 years at least before being admitted to the Chevalier Bienfaisant de Cite Saint (CBCS) degrees. By doing so, a Knight may have the full R.E.R. experience.

The final group is an organization for women related to Sir Knights of the Order of the Temple.

Social Order of the Beauceant

As the wives, widows, mothers, sisters, daughters and granddaughters of Knights Templars, they are the only ladies' fraternal order whose eligibility is determined by a Sir Knights membership in the Commandery. A new Assembly may be constituted wherever there is an active Commandery of Knights Templar of sufficient size to warrant it, and there are several interested wives or widows.

The "Chair" Degrees of York Rite Freemasonry

I recently joined a new Masonic Forum and did a thread on the entire York Rite. While I've done a article on the York Rite, I haven't talked much about the invitational, honorary bodies that branch from the York Rite.

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The "Chair Degrees" of York Rite masonry, so called as the candidate must be the installed or a past presiding officer of the respective York Rite body. They may also differ somewhat in name or character from one jurisdiction to another

Order of High Priesthood

A chair degree conferred upon installed or past High Priests. Sometimes referred to as the Anointed Order of High Priesthood. In antiquity, this degree was known as the Order of Melchizadek.

Illustrious Master

A chair degree conferred upon installed or past Illustrious Masters. It is also known as the Order of the Silver Trowel from the jewel of the degree.

Knight Crusader of the Cross

A chair degree conferred upon installed or past Eminent Commanders.

Sovereign Order of Knights Preceptor

All present and Past Commanders of Constituent and Subordinate Commanderies of the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar of the United States of America in a jurisdiction where there is not any Chapter of the Order may petition for membership in the Order of Knights Preceptor. The Grand Chapter of the Order of Knights Preceptor meets annually at the time and place of the Annual Meeting of the Grand Council of Allied Masonic Degrees of the United States of America.

Past Commanders Association (in some jurisdictions)

An association for all present and Past Commanders of Constituent and Subordinate Commanderies of the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar of the United States of America.

Now I am going to include the KYCH as it has much to do with the Chair degrees.

Knight of the York Cross of Honor

Requirements for membership are that each proposed candidate for membership must have presided over a Lodge as a Master, over a Chapter as High Priest, over a Council as Illustrious Master and over a Commandry as Commander. Knights of the York Cross of Honour is a Honor Group of York Rite Masons who are dedicated to serving the Masonic Fraternity as a Labor of Love.No individual should aspire to membership in KYCH, when he has done the required work, and done it well, he will be invited to membership. Those who labor will be rewarded by being invited.

After a Mason has fulfilled the requirements of membership, his name may be proposed for membership by a member of the K.Y.C.H.. The prospective member should not know that he has been proposed. When a Priory receives a proposed, such proposal must be held over until the next stated meeting of the Priory before it is Balloted on. Some of the Ballot rules vary in different Jurisdictions, to comply with Grand Lodge Rules and Regulations. In this Jurisdiction the prospect must receive a unanimous vote by secret Ballot. The prospective proposal should not know that his name was proposed until he is official notified that he is elected to be invited to petition to membership. I f this rule is followed, no one that is proposed and rejected should ever know that he was proposed and rejected, thereby saving much embarrassment. to everyone. SEE MORE

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Some Masonic books

With my previous post I am starting research on early Masonic Templary and its beginnings in America. I have ordered a copy of Compasses and the Cross by Stephen Dafoe. I hope to enjoy the read and hope it will aid me on my journey.
Overview of the Compasses and the Cross:
In the Compasses and the Cross, Stephen Dafoe, the author of Nobly Born: An Illustrated History of the Knights Templar, traces the origins and evolution of the Masonic Knights Templar from their beginnings in the middle of the eighteenth century to its present form. Through the course of the book, Dafoe draws on his knowledge of the history of the original Order as well as that of the modern Masonic variant. Individual chapters will examine the various myths connecting the Templars and Freemasonry put forth by eighteenth and nineteenth century Freemasons including James Anderson, Andrew Michael Ramsay and Baron von Hund, as well as Scottish Freemasons such as William Alexander Lawrie and the Chevalier James Burnes. In addition to separating historical fact from masonic tradition, Dafoe also chronicles the differences in Masonic Templarism as it exists in Britain and the Dominion with that of the United States. An excellent and thought provoking addition to the existing information on the Knights Templar which will be essential reading for all Masons and general readers with an interest in this subject area.
While deployed I had the pleasure of meeting a Brother from another unit. In our talks, he loaned me a book called Workman Unashamed by Christopher Haffner. It was an interesting read for all who are Freemasons and of the Christian faith.

Overview:

Freemasonry has been the subject of much debate by both Christians and non-Christians alike. It has provoked several books to be published in recent years which have sensationalised the issue without proper research. The author, as a freemason and Christian, has carefully examined the accusations levelled at Freemasonry. He gives reasoned answers and explanations to the issues raised in anti-masonic publications and exposes their lack of substance. First published in 1989, this edition has been extensively revised and expanded to incorporate additional information and subsequent developments.
I was also suggested to read The Cross and Compasses by Michael Poll.

Overview:

This book contains a collection of Christian sermons delivered by Freemasons, some Christian ministers, in Christian churches. It spans the 1700's to 1900's. This work is not offered to lift up the Christian faith over any other religion, but to show that to Christian Masons, Christianity is their faith. It is what they believe and it is not diminished by their Masonic membership. A devout Christian Mason is as devout a Christian as any devout Christian. The charges that Freemasonry is anti-Christian or that Christians cannot be true Christians as well as Freemasons are false.
If anyone knows of any more excellent reads out there I hope to hear of them.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

History of the Masonic Templars in America

With some of the free time I have had lately while in Iraq I have started researching the history of the Masonic Knights Templar in America. I have found one piece (see below) that has given me a direction to take and I have also requested information from the Grand Encampment and my Grand Commandery. I am also sifting through research papers done by the Brothers of Quatuor Coronati Lodge No. 2076 (UGLE). The paper that has given me a big piece of the puzzle is titled "The First Knights Templar in the United States", written by Michael Kaulback.

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INTRODUCTION

A careful look must be taken at the known history of the growth and development of the Chivalric Orders of masonic knighthood if any sense is to be made of the connection between the Templars and Freemasonry. The earliest recorded masonic Knights Templar organizations were in Scotland and Ireland in the mid 1700s. They seem to have formed after a speech made by Michael Ramsay of Scotland in France purporting that the Knighthood of the Crusades had masonic influence. No-one is absolutely certain as to the exact dates involved, but in America the series of events are easier to follow.

EARLIEST RECORD

The earliest written record available in America mentioning the Knights Templar is to be found in the records of St. Andrew's Royal Arch Chapter. (called a Royal Arch lodge at that time.) On 28 August, 1769, William Davis was « Accepted and Accordingly made by receiving the four steps - That of Excellent, Super Excellent, Royal Arch, and Knight Templar. »

St. Andrew's Royal Arch Chapter must have been formed befère this date, but very little documentation exists. Originally it was believed that the British Army Lodges working in Boston (Glittering Star n° 322 organized under the Grand Lodge of Ireland and British Army Lodge n° 58 organized under the Grand Lodge of England) brought Royal Arch Masonry with them. However in the records of Saint Andrew's Lodge there is a copy of a letter dated 29 October 1762, sent to the Grand Lodge of Scotland requesting a Charter for a Royal Arch Lodge. We may conclude that there was an existing Royal Arch Lodge or at the very least a group of Royal Arch masons previous to the arrival of the British Army Lodges on 30 September 1768.

Who then were the Officers of Saint Andrew's Lodge who performed the work that day ? Looking at the list we find James Brown listed as Royal Arch Master. He was Master of Glittering Star Lodge n° 322 and listed as N° 48 on the list of Brethren, Grand Registry of Ireland. Next we have Charles Chambers listed as Senior Warden of St. Andrew's Lodge, also Senior Warden of Glittering Star Lodge N° 322 and n° 38 on the same list of Brethren. The test of the members present were members of St. Andrew's Lodge or members of British Army Lodge n° 322.

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I will continue my research and post my findings.