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Rawlinson, Richard

An English scholar, Doctor of Civil Law and Fellow of the Royal Society, noted for his large and valuable collections of old manuscripts anal books on Freemasonry and other subjects. Born at London in 1689, initiated about 1726 his name appearing in rosters of four London Lodges. Grand Steward in 1734. He was nonjuring bishop of the Church of England, consecrated March 95, 1728. His Masonic literature is now deposited in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, many interesting old documents being included, one Copy of the Old Constitutions said to be as old as 1700 and the original of which has never been found. Brother Rawlinson died April 6, 1755. There is an interesting letter from Doctor Rawlinson to Mr. Thomas Towl at AGr. Heath's near the Black Dog in Shoreditch. The letter is as follows:

Dear Sir: As you preserve all relating to the Subjeet of Masonry I send you this from Mr. Whitfields Continuation of his Journal, London. 1739, October, page 6. Saavannah in Georgia Friday 24th June, 1738

To the great surprise of myself and people was enabled to read Prayers and preach with power before the Free Masons, with whom I afterwards dined, and was used with the utmost Civility. May God make therm Sertants of Christ, and then, and rzot tic then wig thev be free indeed What notions this Gent has of the craft you may guess by his surprise and wish. I am, sir, yours to command, 13 January, 1738/9. R. R.

Brother W. Wonnacott, late Grand Librarian of United Grand Lodge of England, has called our attention to the two dates given in this letter from Doctor Rawlinson to his Vriend. They do not harmonize and evidently some mistake has been made in the figures. Another error as to the actual day is commented upon by Brother Crawley: Opportunity may here be taken to draw attention to the singular error in Dr. Richard Rawlinson's letter to Towle. in which the Freemasons' hospitality is quoted from George Whitfield's Dxarv; the 24th June, 1738, did not fall on a Friday but on a Saturday. The misdating Of the entry is probably due to a clerical exTor, for there is not wanting contemporary evidence that the incident occurred on Saturday, June 24th, 1738. (See foot-note, Brother W. J. Chetwode Crawley's article on Reverend John Wesley and the Lodge at Downpatrick, in the Transactions, Quatuor Coronati Lodge, volume xv, page 105.)

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