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Wallers As Masons

Operative Freemasonry had in the large a uniform system of organization, grades, customs, but this is a generalization against which must be charged a long list of exceptions or provisoes, and it is never safe to generalize about the whole of Masonry from any one record, set of rules, or lodge. This proviso holds of the subject of wailers. According to a set of still- existing records wallers were Masons who hewed and laid stone in walls; in contrast to them, the Masons who could work in finer stone, or free-stone, could shape and carve it, were called free-stone Masons--one of the origins, probably, of the name Freemason. A set of rules were set up for Masons in London in 1356; they were compiled by a commission of six free-stone Masons and a commission of six wailers in a joint conference. This indicates a recognized distinction between the two types of Masons, and suggests that they may have had separate organizations. Such a distinction would be in consonance with the records of the incorporated City Companies; in them Masons often were put into the same Company with trades having no connection with building, although each trade would usually maintain its own organization as a fraternity, association, or society apart from the Company.

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