Council of Allied Masonic Degrees
An organization formed in England in 1880 to embosom, protect, and promulgate all side Degrees of a Masonic or other secret character, and those otherwise unclaimed that may appear as waifs. The central organization is termed the Grand Council of Allied Masonic Degrees. The Sovereign College of the Allied Masonic Degrees of America was organized on February 1, l892, at Richmond, Virginia, and the first officers of this Body were chosen as follows: Hartley Carmichael, 33 , Sovereign Grand Master.
Wm. Ryan, 33 , Deputy Grand Master, C.J.S. Right Rev. A. M. Randolph, Bishop of Southern Virginia, Grand Abbot Frederick Webber, 33 , Grand Senior Warden Alfred R. Courtney 32 , Grand Junior Warden W. O. English, 32 , K.C. , Grand Chancellor. Charles A. Nesbitt, 33 , Grand Recorder-General, John F. Mayer. 33 , Grand Bursar. Josiah Drummond, 33 , Grand Almoner. R. P. Williams. 33 , Grand Prefect of Rites. Beverly R. Welford, Jr. 32 , Grand Magister non regens R. H. Hall, 33 , Grand Deacon. O. W. Budd, 32 , S. Fellow. Thomas Whittet, 33 , Grand Verger. Jacob Reinhardt, 32 , Grand Chief of Musisians. Ernest T. Walthall, Grand Printer. H. F. W, Southern, 32 , Grand Tiler.
Brother Nesbitt, the Grand Recorder-General who was also Grand Secretary, Grand Lodge of Virginia, was elected Deputy Grand Master of the Sovereign College in 1901, Brother Howard D. Smith, Norway, Maine, at the same time being chosen Grand Recorder-General. This Sovereign College was organized for the purpose of uniting under Masonic government a number of Degrees hitherto not so controlled. The object of the Sovereign College was two- fold-to work with proper rituals such as were, from their importance or beauty, worthy of propagation, and to lay on the shelf such Degrees, possessed by it, as were merely Masonic absurdities. This Grand Body assumed the care of several Degrees of interest and importance to earnest and progressive Freemasons. It governs the Ark Mariner or Ark and Doye, Secret Monitor, Saint Lawrence the Martyr, Tilers of King Solomon, Knights of Constantinople, the Holy Order of Wisdom, and the Trinitiam Knights of Saint John of Patmos. From the archives we obtain the following particulars;
For the Degree of Ark Mariner all Master Masons in good standing are eligible, and all Ark Mariners are eligible for the Monitor Degree. The Ark Degree ought to be possessed by every well-equipped Freemason. In England the synonymous Degree of Royal Ark Mariner is exceedingly popular. Though it is not necessary in America to possess the Mark Degree before receiving that of the Ark, yet it is well for all Freemasons, who are likely to travel, to take the Mark Degree in the Chapter also,-as the qualification for the English Royal Ark Mariner's Degree is that the candidate must be a Mark Mason. The Degrees of Tiler of Solomon, Saint Lawrence the Martyr, and the Knight of Constantinople are only conferred on those who are already Ark Mariners and Secret Monitors.
The Holy Order of Wisdom is one of the finest and most impressive Degrees in Freemasonry. The qualification is that the candidate must be a Knight Templar of the American Rite, or a. Knight Rose Croix of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite.
The Knight of Patmos is conferred only once a year, and then sparingly. It is given only to Freemasons of some mark and learning.
From the Knights of Patmos the officers of the Sovereign College are elected.
The Degrees of the Order of Wisdom, and the Knight of Patmos, are essentially Christian and Trinitarian. For the latter Degree the Candidate must be a Prince of the Royal secret of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite.
The Grand Bodies with which the Sovereign College is in amity:
In the Ark Mariner Degree: In England, The Royal Ark Council of England. In Scotland, The Supreme Royal Arch Chapter of Scotland.
In the other Degrees, in England, The Grand Council Of Allied Masonic Degrees for England, Wales and the Colonies and Dependencies of the British Crown. In Scotland, The Grand Council of Allied Masonic Degrees for Scotland.
The Festival of the Order is Saint Paul's Day. The Prayer Book Commentary (Maemillan, 1922, page 26) says, "In the ease of Saint Paul we have the festival of his conversion, January 25, commemorating an event standing on a totally different footing from every other conversion, which was divinely destined to alter the whole tone of Christianity,. Our earliest notices of this festival carry it, we believe, to about the middle of the ninth century."
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