In the oldest North Ireland records of Freemasonry are references to "Priests Pillar Lodges" and to "Hedge Masons"; these are taken by the historians of the Irish Craft, Crawley, Lepper, and Crossle, to denote "Lodges" or "makings' out of doors. The Work Book of 1670 of the Lodge Aberdeen 1e of Scotland has a passage connecting the Irish custom with a Scottish one: "We ordain likewise that all entering Prentices be entered in our ancient outfield lodge in the Mearns in the parish of Nigg at the sources at the point of the Ness."
The Weekly Journal or British Gazeteer, April 11, 1730, published this item: "A few days since, their Graces the Dukes of Richmond and Montague, accompanied by several gentlemen who were all Free and Accepted Masons, according to ancient custom, formed a lodge upon the top of a hill near the Duke of Richmond's seat, at Goodwood in Sussex, and made the Right. Hon. the Lord Baltimore a Free and Accepted Mason." The Duke of Montague (not to be confused with the Duke of Montagtle who was Grand Master in 1721) was Grand Master in 1732 A Duke of Richmond was Grand Master in 1724.
Bro. R. J. Meekren, a former editor of The Builder, contlilJuteel to the interpretation of the history of the Ritual the valuable suggestion that there is a distinct element in the Ritual which is clearly distinguished in 1721 from the rest; that does not appear to be of architectural origin but is more like certain anthropologic ceremonies, of the sort so abundantly illustrated in Frazer's Golden Bough; that the elite of HA.-. is one of them; that it sounds like an old "cultural survival"; and that it may have been the rite enacted outdoors "on the highest hills or in the lowest vales."
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