|ÉTUDES MAÇONNIQUES – MASONIC PAPERS|
by W.Bro. ALAIN BERNHEIM 33°
MY APPROACH TO MASONIC HISTORY – Manchester 2011
|This address was delivered on 26 May 2011 in Sheffield before the members of the Manchester Association for Masonic Research.|
Oui, la lecture donne des idées, les idées peuvent mener à l’idée de liberté et l’idée de liberté à l’utopie du bonheur. Ce n’est pas raisonnable.
As a French citizen who was successively a member of the Grand Orient of France – ‘that irregular body’ –, then of the Grande Loge Nationale Française – a regular one –, then of the United Grand Lodges of Germany and, for the past ten years, of the Swiss Grand Lodge Alpina, I would like to thank you for having invited me here to-day.
When I was six, I was blessed with a nanny who convinced me that drinking tea every day was good for me and insisted on talking to me in English. Years later I had to learn German in order to understand what newspapers wrote about my piano recitals. This is why, early in my masonic life, I was able to read books written by authors of the authentic school of masonic history, which, as all of you may not be aware of, originated in Germany and developed somewhat later in the British Isles.
How I became a Mason
In the 1960s, I lived in a small German town and gave about one hundred concerts each year. One day, the local rabbi, a gentleman I had never met before, came to my house and asked if I would give a benefit concert for some charitable association. Having explained what he had in mind, he asked me out of a blue sky: Are you interested in Freemasonry ? And then: Are you Jewish ?
Quite unprepared, I answered yes to his first question and that I felt Jewish only when Jewish people had problems. I added that although I knew next to nothing about Freemasonry, I felt that his second question was sort of irrelevant. Then he said gravely: ‘I see. Then I shall send you to the Grand Orient of France’.
Masonic beginnings (1963-1964)
There were indeed two lodges belonging to the Grand Orient of France in Germany, one of them near to the French border in Saarbrücken. I was made there in 1963. Two German lodges existed in the same town but they never visited us and we never visited them. I asked why and was told it was a complicated matter which I would understand later.
At that time all I knew about Freemasonry came from a book by Roger Peyrefitte, Les Fils de la Lumière. It was rather well-informed and included an interesting portrait of a member of the Grand Orient, Marius Lepage. Lepage was Worshipful Master of a small lodge in Normandy as well as the Editor of an excellent quarterly masonic review, Le Symbolisme. He had written a book which came into my hands, L’ORDRE et les Obédiences. I was very lucky since this is one the finest books ever written in French about Freemasonry.
Not being familiar with German, Lepage did not mention a single book written in that language and probably never suspected that the earliest reliable history of French Freemasonry was written in German in the middle of the 19th Century by Dr. Georg Kloss. He remarked :
There are only very few books – in France – about the history of Freemasonry which can be referred to without reservation.
And then he underlined the importance of the English authentic school, of books by Knoop, Jones and Hamer, and of Ars Quatuor Coronatorum. I got the catalogue from Marks & Co. in Charing Cross Road and bought my first original Gould in red morocco for 2 £ and 15 shillings.
As soon as I was a Master Mason, I candidly applied to become a member of Quatuor Coronati Corresponding Circle. The file I had to fill requested the name of the Lodge I belonged to, not that of its Grand Lodge. My application was accepted and I subscribed for advance copies of papers. About the same time Quatuor Coronati Lodge, having changed its printers, sold old volumes of Ars Quatuor Coronatorum which had been in store for many years at a very attractive price. I bought everything there was to buy.
First tribute to AQC
Soon afterwards, being rather brave, I sent a few pages of comments on Eric Ward’s paper, ‘Anderson’s Freemasonry not Deistic’. Ward gave his interpretation of Anderson’s First Charge and I thought fit to summarize the views of two respected continental Brethren, J. Corneloup and Bernhard Beyer. Bro. Carr accepted my comments except for one sentence of Corneloup which he crossed out:
And since I am myself an atheist, and because I know other atheists (very few in numbers, for genuine atheists are very rare) who belong to the best Freemasons, I have the right to state that all of them have a religious and a moral sense at least equal to that of the average Christian, of the average Jew, of the average Muslim, and no one thinks for one second to forbid them admittance into our Temples.
Carr had written in the margin:
To boast being an atheist and having a religious sense is playing upon words and trying to confuse issues.
To which I replied:
This is not only the problem of Corneloup, of Bernheim, of Carr… It is the problem of words […] For most of us it is not possible to be an atheist and have a religious sense. Corneloup says it is possible for him. [….] who is going to decide if Corneloup is right or wrong ?
In the mean time, having merely followed references given by Kloss and Gould, I had unearthed two essential documents considered as lost forever: the French Grand Lodge General Regulations of 1743 and the Statutes of St John of Jerusalem of 1755. I announced my discovery in 1967 during a conference in Paris on the History of Freemasonry. As a consequence, I became a member of the History Committee of the Grand Orient of France.
When these invaluable documents were brought to the attention of the then Grand Master, Jacques Mitterand, he noticed in the 1755 one that French Freemasons were to go to church on Sundays and declared that the publication of these documents by the Grand Orient was “inopportune”.
The Sitwell papers (1969-1970)
Browsing through old issues of Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, I noticed that in May 1927 Bro. Sitwell had read a remarkable paper in which he quoted many unknown documents about 18th century French Freemasonry. At that time they were owned by two Brethren, Alfred Irwin Sharp and Nicolas Choumitzky. Sitwell’s paper was so important that I decided to look for further ones he may have written.
In February 1969 I went to London and was heartily welcome by Harry Carr. He listened to my query, went to a room behind his desk and came back minutes later with hundred pages of unpublished typewritten papers by Sitwell. Carr was kind enough to have most of them Xeroxed and sent to me in Germany. They were a neglected gold mine.
However next January I got an unexpected letter from Carr:
We have received information that although you are apparently attached to perfectly respectable lodges in Germany, you are also a member of the French Grand Orient. If this is true, we would not be able to keep you upon our Roll of Members and I must ask you to let me have a declaration certified by the Secretary of your Lodge and stating that you are not in any way involved with that irregular and unrecognised body. I shall hope to hear from you at your early convenience. Yours sincerely and fraternally.
I answered immediately, explaining the limited information asked from the registration file I had sent to London and that in the Grand Orient Lodge I belonged to at that time in Strasbourg the Three Great Lights were displayed and that our ritual was always open and closed in the name of the G.A.O.T.U. Carr’s reply was very friendly:
I am deeply sorry to have lost a friend and fellow-student whom I valued highly. […] we will gladly re-instate you (without fee) upon your resignation from the Grand Orient, and your application from a regular and recognised Lodge.
I realised that my membership in the Grand Orient was a mistake and contacted the regular Strasbourg Lodge in which I was regularised in May 1973. I informed Harry Carr who wrote to me:
I am delighted to hear that you are now within the fold […]. Needless to say I shall be most interested to know if you have written anything suitable for us in the years when we were divorced.
However Carr retired as Secretary in November 1973. January next, having in the meantime made the acquaintance of Bro. Baylot, I read a paper before the lodge of research of the Grande Loge Nationale Française, Villard de Honnecourt. It was published with proper acknowledgement for the kindness of Harry Carr and included most documents I had rediscovered.
Somewhat later, I found a microfilm copy of the Sharp documents and that the originals were located in the United States since 1952. I told that story and the beginnings of L’Anglaise de Bordeaux in a paper read before Quatuor Coronati lodge by my dear friend Brigadier A.C.F. Jackson. In his comments, he wrote:
A study of the Index to A. Q. C. shows how weak have been the researches of the lodge in respect of French Freemasonry. […] Q. C. Lodge was founded about the time of the break between French Freemasonry and regular obediences. The lodge seems to have gone into the then curious British middleclass attitude that ‘niggers begin at Calais’. […] Being myself also a French freemason I am aware that there still exists a modicum of suspicion at all levels in the English masonic hierarchy that all French Freemasonry should be viewed with reserve. This view, if it was not sometimes irritating, I have found amusing as it is of course quite ridiculous.
Truly, the ‘suspicion’ goes both ways as a book showed recently, in which the author mentions the French ‘popular Anglophobia’.
However I am convinced that what we have in common is more important than anything else, beginning with the time when the English King Edward III assumed the title of king of France – some seven centuries ago – our ‘Entente Cordiale’ in 1904 and the unforgettable offer made on 16 June 1940 by the English government to the French one:
From now on, France and Great Britain are not two nations anymore, but an indissoluble French-British nation. Every French citizen will immediately enjoy English citizenship. Every British citizen becomes a French citizen.
What remains to be done, in the masonic world of to-day, is to know and to understand each other better. Let us give it a try.
The G.A.O.T.U. – France and Belgium
Speaking in Manchester in November 2007, Roger Dachez reminded his audience that in 1877 the Grand Orient of France decided to remove from its Constitutions, not the mention of the GAOTU – no – but the compulsory “belief in God and the immortality of the soul”.
However he explained neither why nor how this happened and did not mention Belgium. When the French Grand Orient was founded in 1773 it adopted Statutes, later named Statutes and General Regulations of the Masonic Order in France. In 1839, its first article said:
The object of the Order of Free-Masons is the exercise of benevolence, the study of universal morality, of sciences and of arts, as well as the practice of all virtues.
Ten years later, it decided — for the first time in its history — to give itself a Constitution. Its first article included the previous words in the middle of two added sentences:
Freemasonry, an essentially philanthropic, philosophical and progressive institution, is based upon the existence of God and the immortality of the soul ; its object is the exercise of charity, the study of universal morality, of sciences and of arts, as well as the practice of all virtues. Its motto was at all times: Liberty, Equality, Fraternity.
The last sentence was pure imagination and the first one, as far as I am aware, was never part of a masonic Constitution anywhere before. The Constitution was adopted unanimously, but for five votes, on 10 August 1849.
The wording of the 1st article was slightly modified twice in 1854 and 1865. In the latter year, it became an extra sentence:
It regards liberty of conscience as a right which belongs to every man and excludes no one for his beliefs.
At a General Assembly of the Grand Orient held in September 1877, a lodge moved that the words ‘Its principles are the existence of God, the immortality of the soul and human solidarity’ be crossed out (motion No. IX). After a report written and read by a Protestant minister, Frédéric Desmons, they were changed into: ‘Its principles are absolute liberty of conscience and human solidarity’. The motion was carried by a majority.
Whoever wrote that Desmons favoured the suppression of the G.A.O.T.U. likely never read what he said. The G.A.O.T.U. was not mentioned once in his report which concluded with the words:
Considering that Freemasonry is not a religion, that consequently it does not have to assert doctrines or dogmas in its Constitution, [the General Assembly] approves motion No. IX.
Let us now consider what had happened five years earlier in Belgium. The Grand Orient of Belgium did erase the words ‘To the glory of T.G.A.O.T.U.’ from its Statutes in May 1871. Nevertheless, in May 1875, the United Grand Lodge of England entered into official relations with that body and they lasted until 1921. Strangely enough, this appears to have been forgotten, for, as Bro. James Daniel informed Quatuor Coronati Lodge in 2003:
On 10 March 1965 the Grand Registrar of the UGLE […] reminded Grand Lodge that the UGLE had severed relations with the Grand Orient of Belgium in the latter half of the 19th century ‘because they did away with the Volume of the Sacred Law and a belief in a [sic] Supreme Being’.
The United Grand Lodge of England’s reaction was quite different as far as France goes. As a consequence of the Grand Orient’s vote, it adopted a resolution, 6 March 1878, which included the words:
That the Grand Lodge, whilst always anxious to receive in the most fraternal spirit the Brethren of any Foreign Grand Lodge whose proceedings are conducted according to the Ancient Landmarks of the Order, of which a belief in T. G. A. O. T. U. is the first and most important, cannot recognise as ‘true and genuine’ Brethren any who have been initiated in Lodges which either deny or ignore that belief.
Let us now take a look at that ‘first and most important Ancient Landmark’.
‘That unfortunate and mischievous expression, the “Antient Landmarks”’
While preparing this paper I re-read fundamental ones on the topic of landmarks which appeared for the past hundred years in Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, notably Bro. Frederick Worts’s in Vol. 75. In the comments which followed his paper, some members of the lodge stressed the ‘immutability’ of landmarks (Parkinson, James) while others insisted on the fact that landmarks were not permanent (Ward, Rylands). Worts concluded:
Although most “knowledgeable” Masons had a shrewd idea of what the Landmarks were, few were able to define them or to justify their selection, except perhaps the First Landmark, which, admittedly, was the acceptance of the G.A.O.T.U.
John Rylands commented drily without elaborating:
Even in respect of what is miscalled the First Landmark, Bro. Worts feels constrained to insert “perhaps” when discussing the subject.
The definition of ‘the’ First Landmark as the ‘belief in the G.A.O.T.U.’ – Worts used the word acceptance, not belief –, seems to have appeared first in 1878 within the United Grand Lodge of England’s resolution about France. I believed it was true until I read, first in Gould and then in many other books or papers, the portrait of Martin Folkes who was appointed Deputy Grand Master on 24 June 1724 by Charles Lennox, 2nd Duke of Richmond. This is how the Rev. William Stukeley, Folkes’s contemporary, depicted him:
In matters of religion an errant infidel & loud scoffer. Professes himself a godfa[the]r to all monkeys, beleives [sic] nothing of a future state, of the Scriptures, of revelation. He perverted Duke of Montagu, Richmond, Ld Pembroke, & very many more of the nobility, who had an opinion of his understanding; & this has done an infinite prejudice to Religion in general, made the nobility throw off the mask, & openly deride & discountenance even the appearance of religion, w[hic]h has brought us into that deplorable situation we are now in, with thieves, & murderers, perjury, forgery, &c. He thinks there is no difference between us & animals ; but what is owing to the different structure of our brain, as between man & man. When I lived in Ormond Street in 1720, he set up an infidel Club at his house on Sunday evenings, where Will Jones, the mathematician, & others of the heathen stamp, assembled. He invited me to come thither but I always refused. From that time he has been propagating the infidel System with great assiduity, & made it even fashionable in the Royal Society, so that when any mention is made of Moses, of the deluge, of religion, Scriptures, &c., it generally is received with a loud laugh.
Recently, Folkes’s characters were praised in the Online Newsletter of the Society of Antiquaries of London:
In many ways, Folkes was a modern man before his time. David Boyd Haycock’s Dictionary of National Biography entry notes that he detested all forms of racial prejudice (‘In 1747 he explained to his friend da Costa, who was Jewish, that “we are all citizens of the world, and see different customs and tastes without dislike or prejudice, as we do different names and colours”’). It was Folkes’s active atheism that led Stukeley to describe him as ‘in matters of religion an errant infidel & loud scoffer’, but Stukeley goes on to say something else that suggests an acute mind at work: ‘he confesses himself a godf[athe]r to all monkeys … He thinks there is no difference between us & animals; but what is owing to the different structure of our brain, as between man & man’. Stukeley intends to scoff, but the comment raises Folkes to the stature of a Darwinian more than a century before Darwin.
One way to reconcile the wording of Anderson’s first charge with Folkes’s appointment as Deputy Grand Master by the Duke of Richmond is to accept the explanation of my friend Chris Impens, a distinguished professor of mathematics and my predecessor in the chair of Belgium’s lodge of research:
Time and again, it has been claimed that the first charge excludes stupid atheists and irreligious libertines from freemasonry. If you think: yes, that’s what I heard, think again, because Anderson says nothing of the sort.
This provocative sentence is followed with an original analysis of the first charge, based, likely for the first time, upon ‘books, pamphlets, church catechisms, sermons […] and much more written by predecessors and contemporaries of Anderson and Desaguliers’.
Some members of the Craft may reject Chris Impens’s paper. Then they are left with the ticklish task of explaining how an ‘active atheist’ succeeded Desaguliers as the third Deputy Grand Master of English Freemasonry.
Let us now return to France.
Recognition of a new Grand Lodge in France (1913)
In 1973, Bro. Will Read read before Quatuor Coronati Lodge a paper about Sir Alfred Robbins who was appointed President of the Board of General Purposes on 4 June 1913. Read mentioned the meeting of Grand Lodge on the following 3 December and that ‘there was to be a message from the Grand Master’ but did not show what that message said, which was this:
It is with deep satisfaction that I find myself able to signalize the auspicious occasion of the Centenary of the Union by an announcement which will, I am convinced, cause true rejoicing throughout the Craft.
A body of Freemasons in France, confronted by a positive prohibition on the part of the Grand Orient to work in the name of the Great Architect of the Universe have, in fidelity to their Masonic pledges, resolved to uphold the true principles and tenets of the Craft, and have united several Lodges as the Independent and Regular National Grand Lodge of France and of the French Colonies.
In the same paper, Read wrote:
[…] in the nineteen-twenties, […] many Grand Lodges desired therefore to be recognized by the United Grand Lodge. Each application was treated on its merits and examined against the customs, practices and principles followed within the English Craft; but these had never been defined or codified .
He added a foot-note to the above sentence:
Some of these principles were defined and listed as ‘obligations’ when recognition was accorded to the newly-formed ‘Independent and Regular Grand Lodge of France and of the French Colonies’. (Title changed in 1948 to ‘Grande Loge Nationale Française’) vide Grand Lodge Proceedings, 1913, p. 78.
Bro. Read did not quote either the wording of these ‘obligations’ which were read before Grand Lodge the same day, 3 December 1913, by Lord Ampthill, MW Pro Grand Master:
The obligations which will be imposed on all Lodges under this new Constitution are the following:
1. While the Lodge is at work the Bible will always be open on the altar.
2. The ceremonies will be conducted in strict conformity with the Ritual of the “Regime Rectifié” which is followed by these Lodges, a Ritual which was drawn up in 1778 and sanctioned in 1782, and with which the Duke of Kent was initiated in 1792.
3. The Lodge will always be opened and closed with invocation and in the name of the Great Architect of the Universe. All the summonses of the Order and of the Lodges will be printed with the symbols of the Great Architect of the Universe.
4. No religious or political discussion will be permitted in the Lodge.
5. The Lodge as such will never take part officially in any political affair but every individual Brother will preserve complete liberty of opinion and action.
6. Only those Brethren who are recognised as true Brethren by the Grand Lodge of England will be received in Lodge.
It may come as a surprise to many that the above ‘Obligations’ were the faithful translation of suggestions made in two letters written by Dr. de Ribaucourt to England and noways the result of a decision by the United Grand Lodge of England.
In spite of statements made by Ribaucourt in various letters he sent to England between 20 September and 13 November 1913 (the new Grand Lodge was to be composed of ‘three lodges’, ‘at least five lodges’, ‘many lodges’, ‘sixty lodges decline to remain in the Grand Orient’), the new Grand Lodge was created on 5 November 1913 by one single lodge, Le Centre des Amis, founded three years earlier. Edmond de Ribaucourt, Worshipful Master of the lodge, became the first Grand Master.
His Grand Lodge was recognized by the United Grand Lodge of England in a letter signed jointly on 20 November 1913 by Lord Ampthill and Sir Edward Letchworth:
We were quite prepared to receive your letter from 8 October […]. We have full authority to act in the name of our G. M., H. R. H. the Duke of Connaught […] and accordingly in the name of H. R. H. we are eager to assure you that the G.L.N.I. et R. is recognized by the G. L. of England as a sovereign G. L. with which we wish to establish and entertain brotherly relations.
Two weeks later, another lodge, L’Anglaise No. 204, demited from the Grand Orient of France on 3 December. The next day it joined the new Grand Lodge and somewhat later received its Décret N° 2 which said:
Our Sovereign Grand Committee, in its meeting of 15 December 1913, decided to recognize your Very Worshipful Grand Lodge [sic] as being an integral part of our Obedience since 4 December 1913, the day of your official adhesion to our Régime.
Finally, the third lodge of the new Grand Lodge was consecrated on 20 June 1914.
‘Those Basic Principles of Freemasonry for which the Grand Lodge of England has stood throughout its history’ (my italics) – seldom quoted words which stay at the head of this well-known document – were accepted by Grand Lodge on 4 September 1929. They requested:
1. Regularity of origin, i.e. each Grand Lodge shall have been established lawfully by a duly recognized Grand Lodge or by three or more regularly constituted Lodges.
In 1975, Bro. George Draffen retorted:
The National Grand Lodge of France is often quoted as a Grand Lodge founded by only two (!) Lodges and accepted as regular, but this was in December 1913, i.e. sixteen years before the United Grand Lodge of England adopted the regulation stipulating a minimum of three. […] Two old (!) French Lodges […] were responsible for the formation of this new Grand Lodge […] the fact that it had been formed by only two Lodges in no way invalidated this.
All this being taken under consideration, one is reminded of sensible remarks made by English scholars. One by Gould:
Of the Ancient Landmarks it has been observed, with more or less foundation of truth: “Nobody knows what they comprise or omit: they are of no earthly authority, because everything is a landmark when an opponent desires to silence you, but nothing is a landmark that stands in his own way.” (Freemasons’ Magazine, February 25, 1865, p. 139).
The other by Knoop and Jones:
For good or evil the freemasonry of London and Westminster in the age of Walpole showed what are regarded as common British characteristics. […] a reluctance or incapacity to follow an argument to its end, and a disposition to be satisfied with a somewhat illogical position.
When I happen to give masonic instruction to Apprentices or to Master Masons who wish to learn, I give them first two pieces of advice. One is not to believe anything they are told in their lodge without asking ‘How do you know ?’ and not to believe either what they read in books about the history of Freemasonry without checking sources and information provided by any author. Some time ago, I wrote a paper about masonic books – I read it once in Rome with the subtitle, the Good, the Bad and the Ugly – and quoted the following words :
If one resigns oneself to be part of a flock, a flock of Hindus, of Catholics or of Maoists, that’s one thing. But if one has real breadth, and if it is one’s own personal concern, one must search….
I do not use books to find answers but to find how and where their authors found out what they state.
My second advice is never to visit a lodge which is not recognised by our Swiss Grand Lodge Alpina. Not because such a lodge may be termed irregular or unrecognised, but because they pledged themselves to respect our Constitution and General Regulations on the day of their initiation.
I add that I may be of some help if they wish to try and learn our authentic history, but that I will never explain them the meaning of symbols we use in our ceremonies which, in my opinion, cannot be explained nor commented upon. I justify myself by stating that nothing expressed with words – lectures, instructions or conferences – let us hear the music of Freemasonry. Music should be heard, not explained. The music of Freemasonry goes through the heart, not through the brain. Along our rituals, things happen, symbols are showed, sounds are heard. Each Freemason has the duty to try and understand what they mean. No one can – or should – attempt to explain them.
Earlier this evening, I mentioned one the finest books ever written in French about Freemasonry. Marius Lepage makes a fundamental distinction there between L’ORDRE, ‘the traditional and initiatory Freemasonry’, and the Obediences which he qualifies as ‘recent creations […] submitted to all the fluctuations inherent to the congenital weakness of the human mind’.
I was always convinced that this distinction – I find myself whole-heartedly in agreement with it ‑ was first elaborated by Lepage until I found a very similar idea, though expressed in a different way, in the first paper devoted to the Landmarks in Ars Quatuor Coronatorum. It was written by a Swedish-born Brother named Axel Jonas Alfred Poignant:
I regard Freemasonry as one thing, and the Order of Freemasonry as another. The latter, I hold, is a society professing Freemasonry, i. e., a peculiar system of morality. The difference between the two is exactly analogous to the difference between the Religion of Christ and the Church of Christ.
I could find no better words to conclude this evening.
Bibliography of foreign quoted sources
Robert Amadou. 1974-1975. ‘Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité’. Renaissance Traditionnelle 17/18, 19/20, 21/22, 23/24.[anon.] Jean Baylot 1963. Histoire de la Grande Loge Nationale Française 1913-1963. Paris.
— 1976. Histoire du Rite Ecossais Rectifié en France au XXe siècle. Paris: Grande Chancellerie de l’Ordre.
Wilhelm Begemann. Vorgeschichte und Anfänge der Freimaurerei in England, 2 vol. Berlin: Ernst Siegfried Mittler und Sohn. – 1990. Vaduz, Lichtenstein: Sändig Reprint Verlag.
Alain Bernheim. 1974. ‘Contribution à la connaissance de la genèse de la première Grande Loge de France’. Travaux de Villard de Honnecourt X, pp. 18-99. – 1988. Re-issued in Travaux de la Loge nationale de recherches Villard de Honnecourt 17, pp. 55-197.
— 1989. ‘1877 et le Grand Orient de France’. Travaux de la Loge nationale de recherches Villard de Honnecourt 19, pp. 113-147.
— 1994. Les Débuts de la Franc-Maçonnerie à Genève et en Suisse. Genève: Slatkine.
— 2004. ‘Le premier article des « Constitutions d’Anderson »’. Alpina 10, pp. 237-239.
— 2004. ‘Masonic Authors – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’. de hominis Dignitate. Rivits di Cultura Masonica. Anno 5, Numero 6, pp. 102-123.
— 2008. Une certaine idée de la franc-maçonnerie. Paris: Dervy.
Michel Brodsky. 1998. ‘Le Convent du Grand Orient de France de 1877 à la recherche d’une identité’. Acta Macionica 8, pp. 327-357.
Louis Charrière. 1938. Le Régime Écossais Rectifié et le Grand Orient de France. En vente chez l’auteur: 15, rue Daubenton. Paris.
Arnaud Desjardins 1990, En relisant les Évangiles. Paris: La Table Ronde.
Charles de Gaulle. 2000. Mémoires. Paris: La Pléiade.
Arthur Groussier. 1931. Constitution du Grand Orient de France par La Grande Loge Nationale 1773. Paris: Gloton.
Chris Impens. 2008. ‘Concerning God and Religion. The way it was meant’. Acta Macionica 18, pp. 7-21.
Adrien Juvanon. 1926. Vers la Lumière. Paris: Imprimerie centrale de la Bourse.
Marius Lepage. 1956. L’ORDRE et les Obédiences. Lyon: Derain.
Daniel Ligou. 1966. Frédéric Desmons et la Franc-Maçonnerie sous la 3e République. Paris: Gédalge.
— (sous la direction de) 1987. Dictionnaire de la Franc-Maçonnerie. Paris: puf.
Henri-Félix Marcy. 1956. Essai sur l’origine de la Franc-Maçonnerie et l’histoire du Grand Orient de France. Tome deuxième, Le Monde Maçonnique Français et le Grand Orient de France au xviiie Siècle. Paris: Editions du Foyer philosophique.
Alec Mellor. 1980. La Grande Loge Nationale Française. Paris: Belfond.
Pierre Noël. 2000. ‘Le Rite Rectifié en France au XXe siècle’. Travaux de la Loge nationale de recherches Villard de Honnecourt 45, pp. 115-270. That paper under its original title: ‘Heurs et Malheurs du Rite Rectifié en France’ and its 279 foot-notes (none of which were included in the printed version) can be read on the web: http://www.ordo-ab-chao.org/ordo/Doc/heurs.pdf.
— 2007. ‘Le Grand Orient de Belgique et la mort lente du Grand Architecte de l’Univers’, Acta Macionica 17, pp. 399-417.
Petrus, Eques a Cygno & A. V. Adhuc Stat 1913-1963. [The two parts of this small booklet of 24 pages are signed Petrus, Eques a Cygno on p. 20 and A. V. on p. 23. It was printed in 1963 and described on p. 1 as ‘Numéro spécial du Bulletin intérieur de la GLNF pour la commémoration de son cinquantième anniversaire’. This GLNF (Grande Loge Nationale Française) is the breakaway Grand Lodge which was founded in 1958 and had its head office 5 avenue de l’Opéra in Paris.]
Paul Reynaud. 1947. La France a sauvé l’Europe. 2 vol. Paris: Flammarion.
Fabrice Serodes. 2010. Anglophobie et politique. De Fachoda à Mers el-Kébir. Paris: L’Harmattan (see Le Monde dated 29 April 2010).
Oswald Wirth. 1938. Qui est Régulier ? Paris: Éditions du Symbolisme.
Grand Lodge meeting, 3 December 1913(*)
The Grand Secretary [Sir Edward Letchworth] read the following message from the MW Grand Master [HRH Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn].
“It is with deep satisfaction that I find myself able to signalize the auspicious occasion of the Centenary of the Union by an announcement which will, I am convinced, cause true rejoicing throughout the Craft.
“A body of Freemasons in France, confronted by a positive prohibition on the part of the Grand Orient to work in the name of the Great Architect of the Universe have, in fidelity to their Masonic pledges, resolved to uphold the true principles and tenets of the Craft, and have united several Lodges as the Independent and Regular National Grand Lodge of France and of the French Colonies.
“This new body has approached me with the request that it may be recognised by the Grand Lodge of England and, having received full assurance that it is pledged to adhere to those principles of Freemasonry which we regard as fundamental and essential, I have joyfully assented to the establishment of fraternal relations and the exchange of representatives.
“We are thus enabled to celebrate the hundredth anniversary of that Union which was the foundation of our solidarity and world-wide influence, by the consummation of a wish which has been ardently cherished by English Freemasons for many years, and we are once more in the happy position of being able to enjoy Masonic intercourse with men of the great French nation.
“I trust that the bond thus established will strengthen and promote the good understanding which exists outside of the sphere of Freemasonry.”
MW Pro Grand Master [Lord Ampthill].
Brethren, the happy announcement to which you have just listened has been made to you in the form of a Message from the Throne in conformity with precedent and in order to mark its great importance. You will, I am sure, not deem it inappropriate that I should add a few words of explanation.
The agreement with this newly constituted body of French Freemasons is the result of prolonged and difficult negotiations in which two well-known brethren have been devoted and skilful intermediaries. It is no more than their due to mention their names as they hold no official positions and have done their work, not as a matter of duty but from disinterested devotion to the Craft. They are Bro. Edward Roehrich, who plays so prominent a part in the work of the Anglo-foreign Lodges in London, and Bro. Frederick Crowe, to whose self-denial, no less than to the enterprise and generosity of other Brethren, we owe the proud possession of the valuable collection of documents which are now being displayed in the Library.
The Lodge in France which took the lead in withstanding the prohibition of the Grand Orient is the Lodge “Le Centre des Amis” of Paris, in which the guiding spirit has been Bro. Dr. De Ribaucourt.
Bro. de Ribaucourt has been elected Grand Master of the newly constituted Independent and Regular National Grand Lodge of France to which, we have good reason to expect, there will be many accessions of Lodges under this new Constitution all over France.
The obligations which will be imposed on all Lodges under this new Constitution are the following:
1) While the Lodge is at work the Bible will always be open on the altar.
2) The ceremonies will be conducted in strict conformity with the Ritual of the “Regime Rectifié” which is followed by these Lodges, a Ritual which was drawn up in 1778 and sanctioned in 1782, and with which the Duke of Kent was initiated in 1792.
3) The Lodge will always be opened and closed with invocation and in the name of the Great Architect of the Universe. All the summonses of the Order and of the Lodges will be printed with the symbols of the Great Architect of the Universe.
4) No religious or political discussion will be permitted in the Lodge.
5) The Lodge as such will never take part officially in any political affair but every individual Brother will preserve complete liberty of opinion and action.
6) Only those Brethren who are recognised as true Brethren by the Grand Lodge of England will be received in Lodge.
You will permit me, I am sure, to express my own deep satisfaction that the privation of Masonic intercourse with Frenchmen in France, which has for so long caused us so much sadness, is now at an end.
Now that there is a body of Frenchmen, a body which I do not doubt will grow very largely, who regard Freemasonry from the same point of view as we do, we can look forward to a most desirable extension of the principal work which lies before us, namely, that of promoting good understanding and goodwill between nations by the fraternal intercourse of individual men and culture.
I venture to think that no happier or more auspicious event could have coincided with the celebration of the Union which, effected a hundred years ago by the mutual goodwill and concession of men of truly Masonic spirit, has resulted in ever increasing prosperity and power.