Today marks the 131st Anniversary of the consecration of Quatuor Coronati Lodge No.2076 in London, England. This Lodge is the premier Research Lodge around the world with the following aims:
- To develop and maintain an interest in Masonic research by presenting and discussing papers in Lodge, and publishing papers and comments in Ars Quatuor Coronatorum (‘AQC’), the Lodge’s Transactions
- To enlist the support and cooperation of Masonic scholars globally and thereby to maintain research standards.
Quatuor Coronati Lodge No.2076 was founded by the following Brothers: Charles Warren, William Harry Rylands, Robert Freke Gould, Rev. Adolphus Frederick Alexander Woodford, Walter Besant, John Paul Rylands, Maj. Sisson Cooper Pratt, William James Hughan, and George William Speth. They desired to establish an evidence-based standard for historical research and to cultivate an interest in their fellow Masons into researching and presenting their papers to their Lodges. The Lodge was founded on November 28th, 1884, but due to the absence of the Founding Worshipful Master (Charles Warren), who was on a diplomatic mission in Africa, the Lodge was not consecrated until January 12th, 1886.
The Lodge's name comes from Latin meaning "Four Crowned Ones." They took this name from the Regius Poem which is the first known Masonic text. It consists of 64 written pages in poetic form. The poem begins by evoking Euclid and his invention of geometry in ancient Egypt and then the spreading of the art of geometry in "divers lands." This is followed by fifteen points for the master concerning both moral behavior and the operation of work on a building site. There are then fifteen points for craftsmen which follow a similar pattern. The general consensus on the age of the document dates its writing to between the late 1300s and the middle of the 15th century, and from internal evidence, its author appears to have been a West of England clergyman. The manuscript was recorded in various personal inventories as it changed hands until it came into possession of the Royal Library, which was donated to the British Museum in 1757 by King George II to form the nucleus of the present British Library. The significance of the document as relating to Freemasonry was not realized until it was featured in an article on Freemasonry by James Halliwell in 1840. The text of the document states that Freemasonry was brought to England during the reign of King Athelstan from 924 to 939. The manuscript is presently held by the British Library in the Royal Manuscript Collection.
The legend of the Quatuor Coronati occurs during the reign of the Roman Emperor Diocletian. There were four craftsmen, named Claudius, Castorius, Simphorianus, and Nicostratus, who converted to Christianity secretly. Christianity was negatively looked upon by the Romans since Emperor Nero had blamed the fire that destroyed much of Rome in 64 AD on Christians. The legend goes that Diocletian ordered a statue of Asclepius, god of medicine, to be made and the Quatuor Coronati refused to do so due to their faith. They were taken before the Tribune, Lampadius, who ordered them stripped and whipped with Scorpions. The Scorpion is also referred to as the Roman Flagrum or Roman Scourge. It is a short whip made of two or three leather ropes tied to a handle. Along each of the leather ropes are knotted with small pieces of metal or bone that quickly remove the skin from the victim. After being whipped, the Quatuor Coronati was then placed in leaden coffins and cast into the Tiber River. Nicodemus is said to have recovered the coffins from the river and re-interred them at his house. There are other variations with this, but they all surround four craftsmen (sometimes 2 pairs of them) being suppressed and put to death for their Christian faith. They are remembered for their expertise as stonemasons and for staying true to their principles. The Roman Catholic Church remembers them as martyrs of the faith and November 8 each year is dedicated to them, as it is said they were killed on that date in 298 AD.
If you are interested in joining, please visit this website: http://qccc.subscribeonline.co.uk/membership
1. Aims of the Lodge. (n.d.). Retrieved from Quatuor Coronati Lodge: https://www.quatuorcoronati.com/about-qc-lodge/aims-of-the-lodge/
2. Quator Coronati: Four Crowned Martyrs. (n.d.). Retrieved from Masonic Dictionary: http://www.masonicdictionary.com/fourcrown.html
3. Quatuor Coronati Lodge. (n.d.). Retrieved from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quatuor_Coronati_Lodge
4. Quatuor Coronati Lodge, No. 2076. (n.d.). Retrieved from Phoenix Masonry: http://www.phoenixmasonry.org/masonicmuseum/quatuor_coronati_lodge_no_2076.htm
5. The Four Crowned Martyrs. (n.d.). Retrieved from Masonic Dictionary: http://www.masonicdictionary.com/fourcrown1.html
6. The Roman Scourge. (n.d.). Retrieved from Bible History Online: http://www.bible-history.com/past/flagrum.html