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Manuscripts, Apocryphal

There are certain documents that at various times have been accepted as genuine, but which are now rejected, and considered to be fabrications, by most, if not by all, critical Masonic writers. The question of their authenticity has been thoroughly gone into by Brother R. F. Gould History of Freemasonry, chapter xi and he places them all "within the category of Apocryphal Manuscripts."

The first is the Leland-Locke Manuscript (see Leland Manuscript) .

The second is the Steinmetz Catechism, given by Krause as one of the three oldest documents belonging to the Craft, but of which Gould says, "there appears to me nothing in the preceding 'examination' (or catechism) that is capable of sustaining the claims to antiquity which have been advanced on its behalf."

The third is the Malcolm Canmore Charter, which came to light in 1806, consequent upon the "claim of the Glasgow Freemen Operatinc Saint John's Lodge to take precedence of the other Lodges in the Masonic procession, at the Saving of the foundation-stone of Nelson's Monument on Glasgow Green, although at that time it was an independent organization According to the Charter, the Glasgow Saint John's Lodge was given priority over all the other Lodges in Scotland by Malcolm III, King of Scots, in 1051. The controversy as to the document was lively, but finally it was pronounced to be a manufactured parchment, and the Grand Lodge of Scotland declined to recognize it of value.

The fourth is that of Krause, known as Prince Edwin's Constitution of 926. Upon this unquestioned reliance had for decades been placed, then it came to be doubted, and is now little credited by inquiring Freemasons. Brother Gould closes with the remark:

The original document, as commonly happens in forgeries of this description, is missing; and how, under all the circumstances of the case Krause could have constituted himself the champion of its authenticity, it is difficult to conjecture. Possibly, however, the explanation may be, that in impostures of this character, credulity, on the one part, is a strong temptation to deceit on the other, especially to deceit of which no personal injury is the consequence and which flatters the student of old documents with his own ingenuity.

These remarks, says Brother Hawkins, who prepared this article, are specially quoted as relating to almost all apocryphal documents.

The fifth is the Charter of Cologne, a document in cipher. bearing the date June 24, 1535, as to which see Cologne, Charter of.

The sixth is the Larmenius Charter, or The Charter of Transmission, upon which rests the claims of the French Order of the Temple to being the lineal successors of the historic Knights Templar, for which see Temple, Order of the.

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