The Origins of Freemasonry and

The stanhope lodge

by W Bro Stanley Tuckman PAGDC

Ancients and Moderns

In 1723 the first Book of Constitutions was issued, but there were many problems facing the premier Grand Lodge during the 1720ís and 1730ís, not the least being that it had no authority to control or direct the many lodges previously in existence. It could not compel those lodges to recognise its jurisdiction, for lodges were not formed as they are today with a petition to Grand Lodge from a given number of brethren, supported by a sponsoring lodge to whom the new lodge would become a daughter. In the early days new lodges were formed spontaneously, all one needed was a meeting place, normally an alehouse or tavern with a suitable room, and many lodges were formed, survived for a while and some disappeared with little trace of their existence. In August 1730 an exposure entitled the Mystery of Freemasonry was published in the Daily Journal, whilst in October 1730 a pamphlet entitled Masonry Dissected was published and widely circulated. This greatly worried the premier Grand Lodge who decided to make a number of changes to the ritual, but some of these changes caused serious discontent amongst many brethren who felt there had been a significant departure from the original landmarks. So deeply was this felt that on 17th July 1751, six lodges who had withdrawn from the premier Grand Lodge formed a rival Grand Lodge in London, subsequently known as the Ancient, as it had as its avowed intention the restoration and retention of the ancient landmarks of the Order, whilst the premier Grand Lodge was dubbed the Modern, on account of the modern innovations it had permitted.

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