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Waechter, Eberhard, Baron Von

Lord of the Chamber to the King of Denmark, and Danish Ambassador at Ratisbon; was born in 1747. He was at one time a very active member of the Rite of Strict Observance, where he bore the characteristic Knighthood name of Eques a ceraso, and had been appointed as Chancellor of the German Priories of the 7th Province.

When the spiritual schism of the Order made its vast pretensions to a secret unaccountably derived from unknown superiors, whose names they refused to divulge, Von Waechter was sent to Italy by the old Scottish Lodge of which Duke Ferdinand was Grand Master, that he might obtain some information from the Pretender, and from other sources, as to the true character of the Rite. Von Waechter was unsuccessful, and the intelligence which he brought back to Germany was unfavorable to Von Hund, and increased the embarrassments of the Strict Observance Lodges. But he himself lost reputation.

A host of enemies attacked him. Some declared that while in Italy he had made a traffic of Freemasonry to enrich himself; others that he had learned and was practicing magic; and others again that he had secretly attached himself to the Jesuits. Von Waechter stoutly denied these charges; but it is certain that, from being in very moderate circumstances, he had, after his return from Italy, become suddenly and unaccountably rich. yet Mossdorf says that he discharged his mission with great delicacy and judgment.

Thory, quoting the Beytrag zur neuesten Geschicte, or the Bearer of New History (page 150) says that in 1782 he proposed to give a new organization to the old Templar system of Freemasonry, on the ruins, perhaps, of both branches of the strict Observance, and declared that he possessed the true secrets of the Order. His proposition for a reform was not accepted by the German Freemasons because they suspected that he was an agent of the Jesuits (ActaLatomorum i, page 152).

Kloss (Bibliographie, No. 622b) gives the title of a work published by him in 1822 as Worte der Wahrheit an die Menschen, meine Brder, Word of Truth on Humanity, my Brethren. He died May 25, 1825, one, perhaps, of the last actors in the great Masonic drama of the Strict Observance.

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