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Cole, Benjamin

He published at London, in 1728, and again in 1731, the Old Constitutions, engraved on thirty copper plates, under the title of "A Book of the Ancient Constitutions of the Free and Accepted Masons." In 1751, Cole printed a third edition with the title of The Ancient Constitutions and Charges of Freemasons, with a true representation of their noble Art in several Lectures or Speeches. Subsequent editions were published up to 1794. Brother Richard Spencer, the well-known Masonic bibliographer, says that Cole engraved his plates from a manuscript which he calls the Constitutions of 1726, or from a similar manuscript by the same scribe. Brother Hughan published in 1869 in his Constitutions of the Freemasons, in a limited edition of seventy copies, a lithographed facsimile of the 1729 edition of Cole, and in 1897 a facsimile of the 1731 edition, which was limited to 200 copies, was published by Richard Jackson of Leeds, with an introduction by Brother Hughan.

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