In the Lodges of Stone-Masons of the Middle Ages, there was a rank or class of workmen called Parlirers, literally, spokesmen. They were an intermediate class of officers between the Masters of the Lodges and the Fellows, and were probably about the same as our modern Wardens. Thus, in the Strasbourg Constitutions of 1459, it is said: "No Craftsman or Mason shall promote one of his apprentices as a parlirer whom he has taken as an apprentice from his rough state, or who is still in the years of apprenticeship," which may be compared with the old English Charge that "no Brother can be a Warden until he has passed the part of a Fellow Craft" (Constitutions, 1723, page 52). They were called Parlirers, properly, says Heldmann, Parlierers, or Spokesmen, because, in the absence of the Masters, they spoke for the Lodge, to traveling Fellows seeking employment, and made the examination.
There are various forms of the word. Kloss, citing the Strasbourg Constitutions, has Parlirer, Krause has, from the same document, Parlierer, but says it is usually Polier; Heldmann uses Parlierer, which has been generally adopted.
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