At the close of the dark ages, Idombardy and the adjacent Italian States were the first which awakened to industry. New cities arose, and the kings, lords, and municipalities began to encourage the artificers of different professions. Among the arts exercised and improved in Lombardy, the art of building held a pre-eminent rank, and from that kingdom, as from a center, the Comacine Masters were dispersed over all Europe (see Traveling Freemasons; also Commune).
With the city of London, the modern history of Freemasonry is intimately connected. A Congress of Freemasons, as it may properly be called was convened there by the Four Old Lodges, at the Apple-Tree Tavern, in 1717. Its results were the formation of the Grand Lodge of England, and a modification of the Masonic system, whence the Freemasonry of the present day has descended. Anderson, in his second edition of the Book of Constitutions, 1738, gives the account of this, as it is now called, Revival of Freemasonry, which see.
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