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Freemasonry and Women

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Chapter Summary

Although it is unclear how far the history of Freemasonry reaches back, it definitely existed around 1600 in both London and Scotland. In France an English vogue prevailed at that time and also Freemasonry soon became popular, especially among the nobility, the well-to-do citizens, and many clergymen. In 1744, a booklet was published containing rituals for a male lodge, which show remarkable similarities to those which would soon after be used by the Adoption lodges. Around the same time, a rather large number of mixed orders was created, which were not really masonic, but were nevertheless often to some extent inspired by the example of Freemasonry. These mixed orders have paved the way for the subsequent creation of Adoption lodges from the middle of the eighteenth century onwards. By treating women on an equal basis with men, it reflected as well as contributed to the feminist developments of its time.

Keywords: adoption lodges; feminist developments; Freemasonry; mixed masonic order

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