Freemasonry must have been practiced in Naples before 1751, for in that year Ring Charles issued an Edict forbidding it in his dominions. The author of Anti-Saint Nicaise says that there was a Grand Lodge at Naples, in 1756, which was in correspondence with the Lodges of Germany. But its meetings were suspended by a royal Edict in September, 1775. In 1777 this Edict was repealed at the instigation of the Queen, and Freemasonry was again tolerated. This toleration lasted, however, only for a brief period. In 1781 Ferdinand IV renewed the Edict of Suppression, and from that time until the end of the century Freemasonry was subjected in Italy to the combined persecutions of the Church and State, and the Freemasons of Naples met only in secret. In 1793, after the French Revolution, many Lodges were openly organized.
A Supreme Council of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite was established on the 11th of June 1809 of which King Joachim elected Grand Master, and the Grand Orient of Naples on the 24th of the same month. The fact that the Grand Orient worked according to the French Rite, and the Supreme Council according to the Scottish, caused dissensions between the two Bodies, which, however, were finally healed. And on the 23d of May, 1811, a Concordat was established between the Supreme Council and the Grand Orient, by which the latter took the supervision of the Degrees up to the Eighteenth, and the former of those from the Eighteenth to the Thirty-third. In October, 1812, Wing Joachim accepted the presidency of the Supreme Council as its Grand Commander. Both Bodies became extinct in 1815, on the accession of the Bourbons.
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