Perfection, Rite Of
In 1754, the Chevalier de Bonneville established a Chapter of the advanced Degrees at Paris, in the College of Jesuits of Clermont, hence called the Chapter of Clermont. The system of Freemasonry he there practiced received the name of the Rite of Perfection, or Rite of Heredom. The College of Clermont was, says Rebold (History of Three Grand Lodges, page 46) the asylum of the adherents of the House of Stuart, and hence the Rite is to some extent tinctured with Stuart Freemasonry It consisted of twenty-five Degrees as follows:
1. Apprentice 2. Fellow Craft 3. Master 4. Secret Master 5. Perfect Master 6. Intimate Secretary 7. Intendant of the Building 8. Provost and Judge 9. Elect of Nine 10. Elect of Fifteen 11. Illustrious Elect, Chief of the Twelve Tribes 12. Grand Master Architect 13- Royal Arch 14. Grand, Elect, Ancient, Perfect Master 15. Knight of the Sword 16. Prince of Jerusalem 17. Knight of the East and West 18. Rose Croix Knight 19. Grand Pontiff 20. Grand Patriarch 21. Grand Master of the Key of Freemasonry 22. Prince of Libanus 23. Sovereign Prince Adept Chief of the Grand Consistory 24. Illustrious Knight Commander of the Black and White Eagle 25. Most Illustrious Sovereign Prince of Freemasonry, Grand Knight, Sublime Commander of the Royal Secret. It will be seen that the Degrees of this Rite are the same as those of the Council of Emperors of the East and West, which was established four years later, and to which the Chapter of Clermont gave way. Of course, they are the same, so far as they go, as those of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite which succeeded the Council of Emperors. The distinguishing principle of this Rite is, that Freemasonry was derived from Templarism, and that consequently every Freemason was a Knight Templar. It was there that the Baron von Hund was initiated, and from it, through him, proceeded the Rite of Strict Observance; although he discarded the Degrees and retained only the Templar theory.
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