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Papworth Manuscript

A manuscript in the possession of Wyatt Papworth, of London, who purchased it from a bookseller of that city in 1860. As some of the watermarks of the paper on which it is written bear the initials G. R., with a crown as a watermark, it is evident that the manuscript cannot be older than 1714, that being the year in which the first of the Georges ascended the throne. It is most probably of a still more recent date, perhaps 1720.

The Rev. A. F. A. Woodford has thus described its appearance: "The scroll was written originally on pages of foolscap size, which were then joined into a continuous roll, and afterwards, probably for greater convenience, the pages were again separated by Cutting them, and it now forms a book, containing twenty-four folios, served together in a light-brown paper cover. The text is of a bold character, but written so irregularly that there are few consecutive pages which have the same number of lines, the average being about seventeen to the page." The manuscript is not complete, three or four of the concluding charges being omitted, although some one has written, in a hand different from that of the text, the word Finis at the bottom of the last page. The manuscript appears to have been simply a copy, in a little less antiquated language, of some older Constitution. It has been published by Brother Hughan (1872) in his Old Charges of the British Free masons.

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