More fully in French, L'Ordre des Ferdeurs, meaning the Order of Woodcutters, was a secret society, established at Paris in 1743, by the Chevalier Beauchaine. The Lodge represented a forest, and was generally held in a garden. It was androgynous, for both sexes, and held secret signs and words, and an allegorical language borrowed from the profession of woodoutting.
The Abbe Barruel (tome ii, page 350, edition of 1797) thought that the Order originated in the forests among the actual woodcutters, and that many intelligent inhabitants of the city having united with them, the operative business of felling trees was abandoned and Philosophic Lodges were established--a course of conversion from Operative to Speculative precisely like that, he says, which occurred in Freemasonry, and this conversion was owing to the number of Fendeurs who were also Freemasons. A complete ritual of the Fendeurs is given in the Transactions of Quatuor Coronati Lodge (volume xxu, pages 37-52).
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