Church, Freemasons of The
An Architectural College was organized in London, in the year 1842, under the name of Freemasons of the Church for the Recovery, Maintenance, and Furtherance of the True Principles and Practice of Architecture. The founders announced their objects to be "the rediscovery of the ancient principles of architecture; the sanction of good principles of building, and the condemnation of bad ones; the exercise of scientific and experienced judgment in the choice and use of the most proper materials ; the infusion, maintenance, and advancement of science throughout architecture ; and eventuality, by developing the powers of the College upon a just and beneficial footing, to reform the whole practice of architecture, to raise it from its present vituperated condition, and to bring around it the same unquestioned honor which is at present enjoyed by almost every other profession" (Builder, volume 1, page 23).
One of their own members has said that "the title was not intended to express any conformity, with the general body of Freemasons, but rather as indicative of the professed views of the College, namely, recovery, maintenance, and furtherance of the free principles and practice of architecture." And that, in addition, they made it an object of their exertions to preserve or effect the restoration of architectural remains of antiquity threatened unnecessarily with demolition or endangered by decay. But it is evident, from the close connection of modern Freemasonry with the building gilds of the Middle Ages, that any investigations into the condition of medieval architecture must throw light on Masonic history.
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