Quatuor Coronati Lodge
With the more than half a hundred published volumes of its treatises, notes, and discussions, minutes, and illustrations entitled Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, Quatuor Coronati Lodge of Research, No. 2076, London, England, has long since become the supreme court of learning and authority in Masonic scholarship throughout the world. In the years immediately preceding the Second World War it even became unofficially, and after the ancient way of scholarship, a world power; for it armed Masonic leaders in countries where Fascism and Roman.
Catholicism combined to attempt to destroy the Fraternity with knowledge whereby Masons were enabled to lay down a solid foundation for immediate and temporary defense, and as the ground on which to rebuild the European Fraternity after the war. Where the Ars Quatuor Corednatorum come, obscurantism among both the friends and the foes of Masonry must go. It has carried out more successfully the command, "Let there be light" than any other single agency thus far manned by Craftsmen. Furthermore, its work is being multiplied by the organizing of other Research Lodges, and ir. recent years even m America, where, after the way had been opened up by the Grand Lodges of North Carolina and New York, Grand Lodges are chartering them in increasing numbers. A copy of the Petition to form the Lodge was published as page 1, Vol. I, of Ars Quatuor Coronatomm. In it Bro. Sir Charles Warren was named as proposed Worshipful Master.
It was signed by nine Masons already eminent for scholarship, among them Gould, Hughan, and Speth. A succinct biography of each founder is included. The Warrant issued by Grand Lodge, dated November 28, 1884, was signed by the Grand Master, Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, afterwards King Edward VII. At the consecration of the Lodge, January 12, 1886, the Grand Secretary, Shadwell H. Clerke, opened in the Third Degree. A. F. A. Woodford, one of the founders, delivered the Oration. After the Consecration the Lodge adjourned to the Holborn Restaurant. At the first Communication, April 7, 1886, six were admitted members, and By-laws were adopted which limited the membership to forty; and, at least by implication, adopted the ancient custom of the "masters' piece" to require of each petitioner for the Degrees or for membership that he first have an already-established position in scholarship. The Initiation fee was fixed at 20 guineas; Passing and Raising, 5 guineas each. The Lodge was to meet in December, March, June, September. Geo. W. Speth was elected Secretary and as such became editor of the Ars. It was on his recommendation that at its Communication on March 3, 1887. the Lodge adopted the plan of a Correspondence Circle and issued a Circular to that effect.
In their subject matter, papers in Ars range from ancient times to modern, cover Britain, Europe, and Asia, and each and every Rite, even including a long and detailed history of the Carbonari, a non-Masonic Italian secret society; but thus far only two or three long papers have been published about Freemasonry in the United States. Since the first American Lodges appeared in the 1720's, Speculative Freemasonry here is within a decade as old as Grand Lodge Speculative Masonry in England; until four to six years after the Revolutionary War American Freemasonry was an integral part of British; at the present time the membership of American Lodges is more than 90% of world membership; each State has a Grand Body in each of Five Rites; its should be obvious that no history or account of the world Fraternity which omits American Masonry can be complete. The omission of American materials is the one fault American Masonic students find with the Ars; nevertheless a Research Lodge must be appreciated for what it does; it is impossible to find fault with it for not doing everything. American students of Masonry make continuous use of Ars; when they combine it with bound volumes of The Builder they have a complete encyclopedia. Research in American subjects will be carried on by American Research Lodges.
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