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The History of Freemasonry: An Overview

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Chapter Summary

Freemasonry has no founder or founding date. Indeed, around 1600, the time when it can be identified with certainty, there seem to have existed at least two distinct forms, one in Scotland and one in England. A century and a half later, there exists also an Irish form, while in England at least three forms are found side by side, that of the so called 'Premier' Grand Lodge, or 'Moderns', that of the 'Athol' Grand Lodge, or 'Antients', and a third tradition including among others the 'Harodim' and the 'Grand Lodge of All England, held at York'. At the end of the seventeenth and the start of the eighteenth century, the Scottish and English forms of Freemasonry seem to have discovered and influenced each other. During the latter part of the eighteenth century a new form of masonry appeared which was a reaction against the 'Écossais' and the Templar Rites.

Keywords: Athol grand lodge; England; Freemasonry; Harodim; premier grand lodge; Scotland; templar rites



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