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Fendeurs, Order Of

Ordre des Fendeurs et Fendeuses Also known as the Forest Masons A French Order accepting both men and women as members, though not necessarily connected with the Masonic Fraternity. They traced their Order back to the time of Alexander the Great. They were, in all probability, a branch of the Carbonari, or Charcoal Burners, a political league which made its appearance in the twelfth century. In 1747 there was a revival of this society and it became popular with ladies and gentlemen of high rank and distinction. Meetings were held in rooms decorated to represent a forest or in the summer time, when the weather permitted, the meetings were held outdoors. In their ritual they used implements connected with woodcutting, such as axes, logs, tree stumps, stone cups, whistles, and their regalia included a carpenter's apron and a russet-colored sash edged with green. The Master was called Pre Matre or Parent Master, and the other offices were Cousin Hermit, Cousin Winedresser, Cousin Bear, Cousin Elm, Cousin Oak, and so forth. A woman candidate was called a Briquette and a man, Briquet.

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