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Portugal

Claims that Freemasonry flourished in Portugal as early as 1727 may or may not be true but according to the Minutes of the Grand Lodge of England it is certain that a Dispensation was granted to Brethren at Lisbon on April 17, 1735.

Continuous opposition to the Craft culminated in 1743 in the issue of an edict of death against Freemasonry by Hing John V. The Craft revived in 1761 only to be crushed in 1776 by the Inquisition. Lodges were held in ships in the harbor amid the most unusual surroundings. These dangers it seems only made the Craft grow stronger for a Grand Lodge was actually organized during this period. This was closed by the Grand Master in 1807 to prevent its coming under the rule of the Grand Orient of France.

In the absence of any central control several small Jurisdictions sprang up and in 1849 five of them met to form a Grand Orient, but trouble arose and on January 31,1859, another Grand Orient was instituted. These two Grand Orients, combined with some Lodges on the Irish list, formed ten years later the Grand Orient of Lusitania, comprising a Symbolic Grand Lodge, a Supreme Council, a Supreme Rose Croix Chapter for the French Rite and a Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Brethren. Therefore, as Brother Oliver Day Street says; "It thus appears that Freemasonry of all Rites is united in one Supreme governing body."

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